"Let love be genuine. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality." Romans 12: 9-13
Teresa Smith is wife to Rob, mom to Nate and Jacob, and loves to cycle with her husband on their Ferrari Red Co-Motion Tandem. Her passion for this blog is to help make life simple living on a gluten free diet with delicious recipes that she has adapted to be gluten free. She and her husband are missionary staff with FamilyLife Ministries in Little Rock, Arkansas.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Borracho Beans with Meredith

My friend Meredith is the daughter of our dear friends, Harry & Melanie Li. Their family moved here in 2002 to help pastor the multi-ethnic, Mosaic Church. Our friendship began 17 years ago in Idaho while Rob & I were serving as deacons of hospitality in our church. Our first evening together was food and fellowship as we welcomed the Li's. Meredith has been a BIG fan of my beans over the years, so it was time we got together to create. Now she can have them whenever she wants!

One of my favorite things in the world is to ignite a passion in woman (and girls) to exercise hospitality. Scripture contains plenty of references speaking to the subject of hospitality. It seems to be a lost art today. The early church ate together, going house to house, breaking bread. It's like hospitality has fallen out of favor. We live in such a manic society, over burdened with busy activities. We have little time to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. We love one another best when we share our home, a safe place around the dinner table. Our most prized possessions include our time, privacy, friendship, fellowship and refreshment. "When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality". (Romans 12:13 NLT)

Meredith was a delight to work with in the kitchen. I hope this recipe will encourage you to exercise some hospitality in your home.

Oh! Did I mention these beans go nicely with tacos, enchiladas, fish tacos, just to name a few. Or you can enjoy them like a bowl of ice cream, like Meredith!

Dry pinto beans just waiting to be yummified!

After you have soaked them overnight, cover them with water, add salt and start to simmer.

Lots of fresh garlic!

This is how they look after they have simmered for 3 to 4 hours until nice and soft.

Fry up some bacon

Meredith and I discussing how best to chop an onion. :)

She did great! Didn't even cry! (or bleed)

Into the bacon grease they go.

Cook until translucent and soft.

Fresh cilantro is key. Be sure to remove the stems before chopping.

Saute it all together.

Add the onion, cilantro, and torn up bacon to the beans.

I had some fresh garden tomatoes from my sweet neighbor Debbie. Thank you Debbie! It was actually supposed to be our garden, but I gave up on it, glad she didn't!

Tomatoes in the pot.

A few pickled or fresh jalapenos for added flavor.

I really think the beans tasted better because Meredith was cooking!

Yep! The connoisseur gave her stamp of approval.

This darling face is after her 2nd bowl full.

I told her if she came to cook she could take home her very own container of beans.
Wonder if she shared them with her family?

Borracho Beans

1 lb. Dry pinto beans

Soak overnight in large pot covered with water

Next day:

Drain water and refill to cover beans.


1 Tbps. Salt

5-6 minced garlic cloves

Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for 2-4 hours until beans are tender. Checking on water to make sure they don’t dry out. I usually add water during the cook time. These need to be very brothy.


4 strips bacon, remove and crumble

In bacon grease sauté:

½ large onion, chopped

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Remove and strain from grease and add to beans.


1 chopped tomato

Jalepenos to taste

Serve and enjoy!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quinoa with Orange & Mint

This little salad is one I came up with after tasting something similar at Whole Foods. What is really great about Whole Foods is that they list all the ingredients when you purchase something from their deli. Well that only spells creation for me. I love taking the ingredients and finding my own quanities, coming up with my own rendition. I must say that I like this recipe better, simply because I went a little more generous on certain things that I like. I think its much more flavorful. Quinoa is such a good choice for those of us on a gluten free diet. Not only is it yummy it also is a good source of fiber which can be hard to come by. I found this wonderful Red Quinoa at Trader Joe's on my latest trip to Nashville to visit our two sons. I wish we had one here. Feel free to use regular quinoa too. The arrangements are endless when it comes to this grain. Experiment for yourself!

Be sure to rinse the grains well before you cook them. It can be a challenge finding a strainer with small enough holes to accommodate this little grain.

Here is what it looks like after it is cooked. They have cute curls that pop out when cooked. It is called the germ ring!!! I know scary.

I always like to toast any nuts that I use in recipes. It brings out a stronger flavor. Just put the almonds in a dry pan and stir. Keep watch or they will burn!

Fresh mint is so good!

Chop it up fine

Fresh orange sections and zest is the secret to this recipe!

You can use whatever type of pepper you like. Red is pretty. I happened to have an orange one.

Mix the dressing ingredients together.

Everything is chopped and ready for the final touch of dressing.

Quinoa Salad with Orange & Mint

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups water

Cook according to package directions. Let cool.

½ to ¾ cup chopped red, yellow or orange peppers, or a combination

3 green onions sliced

½ cup toasted sliced almonds

2 Tbps. fresh mint chopped

1 orange, zested and sectioned


3 Tbps. Champagne Vinegar

2 Tbps. Honey

3 Tbps. Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fish Tacos with Pineapple Jicama Salsa and Cilantro Lime Rice

Want a quick and super delicious summer meal? This one is worthy of company too! I begin by preparing the salsa first to get things started and let the flavors blend.

This is what a jicama looks like in case you have never seen one. They are like a Mexican potato, a crunchy, lightly sweet taste that takes on the flavors of the other ingredients you add. Peel and chop this little guy up.

The original recipe did not say to grill the pineapple, but I thought it would be a great idea to sweeten up the pineapple. It was a great addition!

There is the salsa all ready to go. Just set it aside and let the flavors meet.

To blacken the tilapia, I just pile a lot of each of the seasonings on a plate and blend together. Dip the fish into the seasonings and your ready to fry!

A little olive oil is all you need to make these come alive!

Now for those of you who know, Rob once set my kitchen on fire cooking chicken and he claims it was because I wanted a new kitchen. We got that wish, so know he is trusted mainly just with knives. He's so cute.

The other wonderful idea that he had was to lightly grill the corn tortillas with a little cheese on them. He saw that on the show Dives, Diners and Drive-Ins. It's his latest claim to fame.

The cilantro lime rice is super easy and sooo good!

Now, just sink your teeth into that would ya! A little fresh corn on the cob never hurts either.

Blackened Fish Tacos and Cilantro Lime Rice

2-4 Tilapia filets

1 ½ tsp. each of cumin, chili powder, oregano

Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Dredge fish in the seasoning

Saute in Olive Oil until cooked through approx. 4 minutes per side . Then chop. Drizzle fish with lime juice.

Corn or Flour tortillas toasted in butter with Mexican cheese. Grill until toasted and cheese is melted

Top tortilla with fish, coleslaw, avocado slices and Brianna’s Chipolte Cheddar dressing,pico de gallo, or Pineapple Jicama Salsa. drizzle fish with Lime juice.

Cilantro Lime Rice

Make 1 cup of white rice in 2 cups of water. Add olive oil and lime juice to liquids. Salt to taste. Chop Cilantro add to rice either before or after cooking. Salt to bring out the flavors.

Pineapple-Jicama Salsa

2 Tbps. finely chopped red onion

1 Tbps. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 fresh pineapple, cut into spears to grill (optional) or cubed

2 Tbps. fresh pineapple juice, squeezed from the rind

1 cup jicama, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice

3 Tbps. finely chopped cilantro

1-2 tsp. brown sugar

1 jalapeno-stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

In a bowl, combine the red onion with the lime juice and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the pinneapple, juice, jicama, cilantro, brown sugar, jalapeno and scallion to the bowl and toss. Serve with the fish tacos.