a better nacho

This summer at Camp Endeavor I will be leading a lot of cooking classes and I couldn’t be more excited! Last year we made Spring Rolls and they were a big hit, I love seeing kids try new foods and enjoy things they don’t think they will. I wanted to test out some new recipes before camp starts and this one is so delicious I had to share!

After watching Food Revolution, I was really inspired by Jamie’s addition of vegetables in everyday dishes like sloppy joes and nachos. In a quest for healthier alternatives to kid favorites I thought that nachos would be a great meal to have the kids at camp prepare as well as a recipe that they could then prepare for their families once they returned home.

The mission: Make nachos into a healthy meal and include as many vegetables as possible.

The result: A filling, well-rounded meal that is stuffed with vegetables and enjoyed by everyone – kids and adults.

Beef & Veggie Nachos - 4 servings

  • 16 oz grassfed beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 4 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can fiesta corn, drained
  • seasonings: cumin, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper
  • tortilla chips
  • shredded cheese
  • toppings: chopped tomatoes, green onions, black olives, lettuce, salsa and sour cream
  • 1 can refried black beans

Heat large pan. Add beef and onions to pan, cooking for about 4 minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and seasonings. Let simmer until no pink meat remains, about 4-5 minutes.

Heat can of refried beans or black beans and turn on broiler. Layer tortilla chips on pan. Top with beans, beef mixture and top with a sprinkle of cheese. Broil until the cheese has melted, about 3-4 minutes.

Serve nachos with additional toppings and napkins. :)



entertaining:butter & salts

A few years back, I met the tasters sister Amy at a great little wine bar in Chicago and one of the items that we had was butter with various salts. I’ve never forgotten how delicious it was and I’ve been building my salt collection ever since. When the truffle salt made its way into my collection, I knew I was ready for my own butter and salt experience.


The concept is simple and the preparation is minimal – simply sprinkle the salt over pieces of high-quality butter and serve with bread or crackers. Wine is optional but highly recommended ;) Although I love red, I think a crisp white would pair beautifully with the saltiness and creamy butter.

Left to right: Truffle Salt, Himalayan Sea Salt, Smoked Sea Salt, Citrus Sea Salt

what to do with 15 pounds of morels

Since all of my friends and family know I love food, I am the recipient of some interesting calls at times. I can handle, “what do I do with zucchini and onions” or “what should I do with truffle oil,” but the question I received last night stopped me dead in my tracks.

“What do I do with 15 pounds of morel mushrooms?” left me screaming expletives that I would never repeat in front of my mother. It just isn’t fair I wailed. I want to go out in the woods and forage for mushrooms but lets be real, even more than that, I want pounds and pounds of morels at my disposal that I don’t have to pay $50/pound for.

The call came from my brother who is currently 25 and single, a wild land firefighter, and living in Idaho. Don’t ask me to elaborate where in Idaho, all I know is that he lives 3 hours from the nearest grocery store, doesn’t have the internet and can’t get cell service to save his life. I’m not sure which of those situations is worst but I’m leaning towards the grocery store.

The upside of Idaho is that the shirt I bought him a few years back will finally come in handy for something.

But getting back to the mushrooms, when I asked him what he had already done with them I was reminded of the Forrest Gump Movie when Bubba is describing the many ways to eat shrimp.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhfK98f5S00]

Drew has already sautéed in butter, put them on pizza, deep-fried (yes, I was horrified too), breaded and sautéed and was simply running out of options. I requested that he overnight me a few pounds, but then I remembered that he would probably have to send them via horseback or something and that simply won’t cut it.

My immediate thoughts were to put them in a Quiche and include them in a pasta dish. But since I have access to things like the internet I told him I would see what I could find. As of no surprise, there are endless amounts of delicious-sounding morel mushroom recipes, so here is what I would make with a stash of morels.  Just in case you have a few pounds lying around ;)

Lasagna with Asparagus, Leeks and Morels

Fettuccine with Morel Mushrooms and Sage Cream

Scrambled Eggs with Ramps, Morels and Asparagus

Beef Tenderloin Steaks Stuffed with Morels

Creamy Mushrooms on Toasted Country Bread

Spring Vegetable Sauté

What would you do with a pound of morels?

greek potato salad

I’m generally not a huge fan of potato salads, or potatoes – with the exception of sweet potatoes – for that matter, but this is definitely an exception. Perhaps if you throw in green beans, feta, and kalamata olives I can be convinced to eat anything, but this? I’m still longing for the leftovers. And that never happens in my world.

Maybe I like it so much because it is essentially the opposite of your typical potato salad, found in every deli counter, but I’d rather think it’s because it doesn’t contain a week’s worth of mayo per serving. Not to mention that it just tastes perfect.

Go ahead, make this for your next picnic or summer BBQ – I can assure you that it will go over well with any crowd. And if you have any leftovers? I’ll happily accept them. :)

Thanks to Georgene for sharing this delicious recipe!

Greek Potato Salad - 6-8 servings

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain water from pan. Pour 1/2 cup dressing over hot potatoes and mix so all potatoes are coated with dressing. Set aside and let cool.

Steam green beans until tender-crisp. Cut into 2 inch pieces. Let cool.

Pour remaining dressing (1/4 cup) over remaining ingredients and toss together.