Category Archives: onion

Black Beans and Rice


Black Beans and Rice

1 package Black Beans, prepared ( I rinsed them and then brought to a rapid boil, covered in about 5 cups water for two minutes, then I removed from heat and soaked them for two hours…I drained and rinsed, then added about 8 cups water and I cooked them three hours on a low simmer with the lid partly askew so the steam could escape…during the last hour I turned up heat a little, and with lid on…I checked intermittently to make sure the water had not boiled out)…desired consistency is tender, but not tough or mushy…a little firm is good.

2 onions, chopped (I added to the beans after I sautéed with the garlic in about 4 TBS olive oil)

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 1/2 cups zatarans long grain rice (makes 9 cups, prepared)…prepare per package instructions

4 TBS olive oil (in addition to what is used to sauté the onions and garlic)

5 teaspoons cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

2 large handfuls cilantro chopped fine

salt and pepper to taste

After cooking the onion and garlic, add it to the beans and prepare as noted above. Prepare rice per package instructions. Once beans and rice are done, in a small bowl mix together cumin, cayenne, cilantro and olive oil. If it appears thick like a paste, add a bit more olive oil. Pour into rice and stir. With a ladle with drainage holes, dip beans (slowly, allowing to mostly drain) into the rice. Stir together. Salt and pepper to taste.

Lavonda’s Vegetable Lasagna

My sis Lavonda is an amazing chef! I needed a vegetable lasagna recipe this weekend and I knew I could count on her to create the perfect dish! The following recipe is what she created for me to make and it was wonderful! The only things that I did differently than her recipe were to double the recipe and add oregano and salt to my sauce, just a matter of personal taste preference. I used to grow oregano and I cannot get enough of it in my Italian dishes!






2 T Olive Oil

Assortment of sliced and/or diced vegetables (I used carrots, mushrooms, red bell peppers, zuchini, onion)

Dried Basil (heaping teaspoon)

Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

4 to 5 Cloves of Garlic, minced (if they are small, add more)

28 oz can diced tomatoes

1 large or 2 small can tomato sauce

Heat pan to medium, add olive oil, sauté vegetables a few minutes, then add pepper,basil and garlic. Stir until garlic is fragrant (less than a minute), then add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Add more seasonings to taste (can add a little crushed fennel, a little oregano, more basil, etc)

Ricotta Mixture

1 Large container Ricotta Cheese

2 oz Parmesan Cheese, finely grated in food processor (I bought the Parmesan that is grated in shreds and left it in that form)

1/2 tsp dried Basil

Black Pepper to taste

1 Egg

Mix all ingredients together until well blended.


12 to 16 oz Shredded White Cheese – can use Italian Blend or Mozzarella Cheese

3 oz Fresh Parmesan, shredded or Grated


Cover bottom of casserole dish thinly with vegetables and sauce.

Add a layer of the ready for baking lasagna noodles (no boiling needed), spread ricotta mixture over noodles, top with vegetables and sauce, then add a layer of shredded cheese. Repeat until casserole dish is full. 

Note from Teresa: I ended with layer of cheese and grated Parmesan on top


Cover top with parchment or wax paper, then cover with foil. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until bubbling and cheese on top has browned (about 15 more minutes).

Note from Teresa: when I doubled the recipe, I also doubled all my cooking times for the sauce to allow for the extra ingredients and I increased baking time by about 10 minutes before removing the foil/paper to allow time for the extra lasagna to bake in the oven…I made one large, one medium and one small lasagna when I doubled the recipe).

Teresa’s Guacamole


My friend August taught me to make guacamole a couple years ago and today I am sharing my latest recipe for the delicious dish.


4 avocados

1/2 onion, chopped

3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 handful cilantro, finely chopped

Juice from 2-3 limes per taste preference

Sea salt to taste

*optional: add a few jalapeños or your favorite hot peppers, chopped

Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Scoop out the fruit and place in a medium bowl. Run a knife through the fruit until desired texture (chunky to smooth) is reached. Add all other ingredients and mix well.

Serve with your favorite Mexican dish or with tortilla chips. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. It will turn dark so placing Saran wrap directly over guacamole mixture will help it not to turn as quickly. Stir well before serving each time.