Tuna Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes

Tuna Orzo with Roasted Tomatoes

Serves 4-6


10 oz solid light tuna packed in olive oil (or water), drained 

1 lb dried orzo pasta

Olive oil

2 T Minced fresh parsley 

1 C Shaved parmesan

1 heaping cup Grape tomatoes, halved 

2 or 3 Garlic cloves, minced

Salt/ pepper


  1. Boil water & cook the orzo according to instructions on the box
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, roast the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees, until tender
  3. Drain the pasta and gently toss in olive oil, parsley, tomatoes, parmesan, tuna, salt & pepper
  4. Serve it with a smile!


Roasted Red Pepper - Goat Cheese Spread

Leila’s Roasted Red Pepper - Goat Cheese Spread



  • 12-15 oz plain goat cheese 
  • 4 oz cream cheese (half stick) 
  • 1/2 red bell pepper 
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, not crispy, chopped (optional) 
  • 2 T fresh basil, chiffonade
  • salt & white pepper, to taste

*Serve with Crostini or yummy bread


  1. In the oven, at 425 degrees, roast the bell pepper and garlic in a little olive oil.  The bell pepper should be slightly charred, but not mushy.  The garlic should be golden & soft.
  2. Remove the skin from the pepper, dice the pepper and give the garlic a rough chop. Lightly salt and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, combine goat cheese and cream cheese until soft and creamy.  Add bacon, garlic and 1 T bell pepper and a couple dashes white pepper. Puree until well incorporated.  Taste, (does it need salt?) add as necessary and puree.


Smoky Guajillo Salsa— It's a video!

I want to show you how to make this smoky pureed salsa! I serve this on my Roast Beef Tacos. It's great with meat or fish— it's special, okay?

Leila’s Smoky Guajillo Salsa 

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s Smoky Two Chili Salsa


  • 4-6 large dried guajillo chilies seeded and torn 
  • 1 cup super hot water 
  • 1/2 white onion (quartered) 
  • 3 garlic cloves 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro 
  • juice of 1 lime 
  • 1/2 T adobo sauce from a small can of chipotles (adjust heat by adding more or less) 
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1 T agave nectar 
  • 1 T olive oil salt to taste


In a small bowl soak the chilies in water for an hour or more. On a medium-high stove, in a small pan, dry roast the onion to slightly char, add the garlic toward the end because it will char faster. Remember to turn them to roast evenly.

When the onion and garlic are tender and falling apart, transfer the chillies, chili liquid, onion, garlic and the remaining ingredients to your food processor and puree until completely blended.

Store in the fridge for up to a week. Makes about 2 cups.

Roasted Beef Tacos— It's a Video!

You guys!!! This is my first cooking video. I had nasty, cold the day we filmed, you can tell I'm dragging, but I had fun in spite of it. I'm so grateful for Joe, at for making this possible.

Sooo, for my first cooking video I chose to show ya'll how to make my Roasted Beef Tacos. Why? 'Cause it's one of my favorite recipes EVER. So juicy, so flavorful and just so dang good! 

FYI, If you were following my blog before, you'll have to enter your info below to re-subscribe because I left Wordpress (long story). If you were never following, what's wrong with you? You don't like Ms. Buena Vida? You are so mean.

Leila’s Roasted Beef Tacos with Smoky Guajillo Salsa 

A Juicy, Tender Pot Roast with Mexi-Flair

These are the most "melt in your mouth," flavorful tacos!! They can be served with or without the smoky salsa. The meat is flavorful on it own.


  • 3-4 lb. Chuck Roast, patted dry 
  • Olive Oil 
  • S/P 
  • Ground Cumin 
  • Mexican Chili Powder 
  • Garlic Powder 
  • 1 White Onion, cut in half and sliced into thin strips 
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced length wise or minced 
  • 1 T Minced Fresh Oregano 
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes, whole 
  • 1 T. Butter
  • (1) 4 oz. Can diced green chilies 
  • 1/2 C Beef Broth 
  • 1/4 C Tomato Juice 
  • 1 Bay Leaf 
  • (18) 6 inch tortillas (I like corn, but you probably like flour) 
  • 8 oz. Sour cream, to serve (optional)

Smoky Guajillo Salsa Recipe (make ahead)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. On the stove, In a hot dutch oven or heavy pot roast whole tomatoes so that the skins are charred  lightly on all sides (no oil). This gives the tomatoes a nice smoky flavor. On a cutting board dice your tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and set aside.

3. Add 1 T olive oil to the same pot and sauté onion and garlic and oregano.  Set aside when the garlic and onions have a great caramel color, add a pinch of salt.

4. Season the meat LIBERALLY with salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and chili powder. Be obnoxious about it, to almost form a crust with the seasonings. In the same pot sear the meat in a bit of olive oil. To give it a nice brown color.  Set the meat aside and deglaze the pan with the broth and a pad of butter, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all of those lovely seasonings into the sauce. Add tomato juice, meat, veggies & chilies to the pot.

5. Transfer Pot to oven and roast 3-4 hours, until very tender and easy to shred.

6. Remove the fat. Shred the meat with a fork. Mix the meat and the broth so that everything is incorporated well.

Heat tortillas in a dry skillet, until they're warm and soft. Serve meat in tacos with Leila's Smoky Guajillo Salsa & sour cream. 

Plan 3 tacos per adult. Serves 4-6