WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Roasted Chickpea Fajitas January 19, 2012

Filed under: Meatless,Mexican-inspired — WannaBe Chef @ 11:48 am

Oh my goodness, these fajitas were so good!  Once again, roasting comes out the winner for tastiest cooking method.  Roasting the chickpeas makes them chewy, hearty, and even a little crispy.  You won’t miss the meat at all in these fajitas.

Roasted Chickpea Fajitas

I followed the recipe loosely.  I didn’t have any cilantro because the stupid store was all out.  I also added some cheese, sour cream, hot salsa, and diced yellow tomatoes.  I didn’t really measure the seasonings either, and ended up adding some EVOO, garlic powder and pepper to the chickpeas before roasting.


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto January 4, 2012

Filed under: Meatless,Pasta — WannaBe Chef @ 12:07 pm

Hi, folks!  I’ve got a good one to share today.   As you know, I love roasted veggies.  Roasting concentrates the flavors, brings out the natural sugars, and gives them a nice brown crisp.  The base of last night’s pesto is roasted tomatoes, or maybe they should be called “candied tomatoes.”  I really enjoyed this vegan twist on pesto, and I highly recommend making this!

Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
Copied and pasted directly from Oh She Glows


  • 9 large roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Your desired amount of cooked Pasta

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 10 mins at 400F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

2. Reduce oven heat to 325F and toast almonds for 8-10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup into food processor and process until finely chopped. I left mine a bit chunky for texture. Remove and set aside.

3. With processor turned on, add 2 garlic cloves and let it whirl around until finely chopped. Now add in the basil and process until finely chopped.

4. Add in the oil, optional nutritional yeast, and 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes (you will have tomatoes left over). Process until smooth. Pulse in 1/3 cup toasted almonds. Season generously with salt and pepper. I think I used about 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more.

5. Pour your desired amount of pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well. Chop the remaining roasted tomatoes and stir into pasta. Chop remaining almonds and Chiffonade the basil.


Tortilla Soup with Black Beans November 11, 2011

Filed under: Meatless,One dish meal,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 9:55 am

Happy 11-11-11!  I bet lots of weddings are happening today.  Anywho, I just have a quick soup to share.  I was kind of surprised to see that this was a Martha Stewart recipe, seeing as it’s made of like 99% canned / pre-made items.  It was ok for a quick week night meal.  It definitely needs some heat and cheese on top, though!

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans
Slightly modified from Martha Stewart


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for topping
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and hot sauce for topping


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add garlic and chili powder, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
  3. Stir in tortilla chips and cook until softened.  Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with cheese, hot sauce, more chips and lime wedges if desired.

Tex Mex Mac & Cheese April 17, 2011

Filed under: Meatless,Mexican-inspired,Pasta — WannaBe Chef @ 5:56 pm

Hi, kids.  Just dropping by to share a delicious twist on your standard macaroni and cheese.  This recipe was very easy and versatile since you could add any number of mexican-inspired ingredients.

Tex-Mex Mac & Cheese
Slightly adapted from recipe >>>HERE<<<

  • I used more than 1 cup dry pasta, probably about 1 1/2 – 2 cups
  • I added a chunk of butter and started with a traditional roux rather than just adding the milk right to the dry flour 
  • I used way more cheese (regular sharp cheddar) than 1/2 cup 😉

This stuff was really good… kind of like tacos meets mac & cheese.  I really liked the texture and heartiness provided by the black beans, and I would highly recommend the salsa on top for some spice.


Whatever floats your boat January 13, 2011

Filed under: Meatless,Potato,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 8:11 pm

Today is my second day of being a bachelorette due to Wayne being on a business trip.  Dinners are ofter much more simple and usually veggie based when I’m by myself.  Last night’s dinner was no exception.  I wasn’t all that excited for it, but I should have known better since it was a Rachael Ray recipe, and she usually doesn’t disappoint.  These humble little zucchini boats might not seem like much, but they were perfectly tender and packed with flavor.  I only made two small zucchinis, but I wish I would have made the whole recipe. 

Cheesy Zucchini Boats
Recipe from Rachael Ray

I didn’t measure anything and used the recipe more as a guide.  I also didn’t cook the zucchini as long as the recipe said because my zucchinis were quite small.  Otherwise, I didn’t make any changes. 

At the last minute, I decided to cut up a potato that I baked the other day.  I cut it into french fry shapes, coated them in olive oil and seasonings, and baked them until golden.  WOWWWW, can you say best oven fries ever?  I will definitely be using pre-baked potatoes for fries from now on.  Don’t let the picture fool you… I ate the whole potato’s worth of fries.   

Luckily, I saved two of my zucchini boats for dinner tonight.  I decided to cut them into chunks and combine them with macaroni, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella “pearls” (found at Wal-mart of all places), and parm.  It turned out really well for being doctored-up leftovers… nice and warm and hearty 🙂 


Snooze October 14, 2010

Filed under: Beverage,Meatless,Potato — WannaBe Chef @ 6:34 pm

Hi friends.  I’m a little grouchy today, mostly because of the morons that “work” at the post office.  I just want my package, ok?!  Is it too much to ask for the carrier to put it in the right mailbox?!  Ugh.  Sorry, just had to get that out.  It’s been pretty boring around here, but Wayne is coming back tomorrow at least.  Dinner last night was anything but blogworthy – it was a massive pancake with walnuts, mini chocolate chips, peanut butter and syrup.  Is your mouth watering now?  So, my son has been especially leechy lately…

I also wanted to share this yummy drink I made the other night.  Into the blender, I dumped some pineapple juice, a couple spoonfuls of coconut milk, a little bit of shredded coconut, a pinch of sugar, and a handful of ice.

Tonight’s dinner was less than exciting, but it tasted so good.  A baked sweet potato topped with black beans, cumin, salt, pepper, fresh salsa and sour cream.


Slurpin’ again October 4, 2010

Filed under: Meatless,One dish meal,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 6:36 pm

Hello my dears!!  I apologize for leaving you hanging for a few days there.  We’ve had a house guest since Saturday, so I haven’t been taking pics of my food.  Last night, I made my first potroast!  This is something my mom used to make a lot when I was a kid, so it was a total trip back in time!  I don’t have a pic, but it was soooo good!  Boneless chuck roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots, cooked in the oven for almost 2 hours.  The only bad thing about this meal is it will make your house smell like roast and onions for dayssss.  I used to get mad at my mom as a kid because I would smell like potroast the next day at school haha. 

So anyway, today I made a big pot of soup.  Yeah, I’m still on the soup kick!  This stuff did not disappoint.  It was smooth, cheesy and very flavorful even with NO salt or pepper added.  Give this one a try, it’s super easy and makes a huuuge pot of soup!   

Broccoli Cheese Soup
Based on this recipe and its reviews


  • 1/4 cup butter (4 Tbsp)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 big heads of fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 (32 ounce) cartons chicken broth (you won’t use it all)
  • 1 pound Velveeta, cut into small cubes
  • handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, about 1/2 – 2/3 cup
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • scant 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch


  1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot.  Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent.
  2. Stir in the broccoli, then add 1 full carton of broth and about 1/4 of the other carton, just enough to cover the broccoli.  Bring to a soft boil / simmer and cook until broccoli is just tender.
  3. Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese slowly so it doesn’t clump.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Add the sharp cheddar and let that melt. 
  4. Stir in the milk and garlic powder.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together about half of the remaining broth and the cornstarch to make a slurry.  Stir this into the soup.
  6. Bring soup back to a boil just for a minute or so, stirring constantly until soup thickens.  Remove from heat and serve.  **Do not leave soup unattended on the heat, or the cheese and milk will stick/burn on the bottom of the pan.