Taco Seasoning

I don't know if you know this, but taco seasoning is the most versatile seasoning mix ever.  No really. Ever.  My mom makes shepherd's pie with it, I make fajitas with it, you can make meatloaf with it...pretty much anything with meat, taco seasoning will make better.

If you want to be lazy, you can buy it for about 99 cents a package at the grocery store, but then you have to deal with the "what IS natural flavoring" conversation in your head. 

Side Note: WHAT IS NATURAL FLAVORING????? $100 if someone can tell me. All I know is it's not natural, and I don't know what flavor it is, and therefore it freaks me out.

To just avoid that whole scenario, I like to keep a homemade version on hand.  The flavors are much richer, and I can genuinely take credit for every aspect of a dish when compliments oooobviously come rolling in about my seasoning abilities.


Spicy Quinoa with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes

Whenever I hear the word "superfood" I imagine a cucumber flying around in a superman cape sprinkling vitamin dust on little children's cereal.  MAYBE superfoods aren't actually as cool as that....but I'm gonna go on believing that they are.  

Take quinoa for example.  To start, it is hands down the trendiest food in town.  In the last six months or so it catapulted from a relatively obscure health food, to practically dominating food magazines, the foodie blogosphere, and restaurant menus across the city.  Why shouldn't it?  Just 3/4 of a cup contains a whopping 14g of complete protein, 6 g of fiber,  and copious amounts of B vitamins, iron, potassium, and tons of other nutrients.  

Ask not what quinoa can do for you, but rather what you can do with quinoa.

This recipe is (once again) something that started as a mash up of foods already sitting in my pantry, and ended up being awesome.  It's excessively easy (the actual amount of work probably takes a total of 10 minutes), and although I ate it as a main dish, it would be equally great as a side dish to add some color to your plate.  The cheese is optional, but in the words of Julia Child, "You can leave it out....but you'll regret it."