• Mexican Breakfast Casserole

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    This picture stinks…will update the photo when we make again.   This casserole is so good and feeds a crowd.  We had it for dinner, both kiddos loved it, and then we had it for lunch today and it was just a good as leftovers.

    Definitely making this again and especially when we have guests over.

    Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective.

    Ingredients:

    • 16 eggs or 32 oz. carton of egg beaters
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    • 4-6 green onions, chopped
    • 4 quality corn tortillas cut into ½ x 1 inch slices
    • 1 ¾ c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
    • 1 tsp. salt or 1 tsp. of taco seasoning
    • Pepper
    • 1 bag of frozen hash browns – about 6 c. hash browns, defrosted
    • ¼ c. + 2 TBSP taco seasoning (1.5 packet)
    • 6 TBSP melted butter

    Serve with salsa, green onions, cilantro, sour cream, etc.

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325*
    2. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray
    3. In a large bowl combine eggs through pepper and pour egg mixture into pan
    4. In another bowl combine the hash browns, taco seasoning and melted butter, and toss to coat.  Evenly place hash browns over egg mixture.
    5. Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes until the center is set and hash browns are crisp.  You may want to put it under the broiler at the end to crisp up the hash browns.

    Mexican Breakfast Casserole:
    5star

     

     

  • Chicken Carnitas Tacos

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    My new favorite chicken tacos!!!!!!!!! These tacos have a slight kick, so if you don’t like spice reduce the chili powder.

    I prefer to cook boneless chicken in a crockpot on HIGH for 2 hours, but you can always lengthen the cooking time and cook on low (the usual cooking time conversion is when you cook on low you double the high cooking time, so in this case it would be low for 4 hours).  The original recipe call for cooking on low for 6-8 hours.

    Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
    • 3/4 c. orange juice (~2 oranges)
    • 1/4 c. lime juice (~2 limes)
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 TBSP chili powder
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2 cup cilantro, torn
    • Toppings: Salsa, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese, etc.
    • Limes, cut into wedges

    Directions:

    1. Place the chicken in the crockpot.
    2. In a bowl mix the orange juice, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper together and then pour over chicken.
    3. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or until tender.
    4. Remove chicken from crockpot and shred. Reserve the juices.
    5. Spread the chicken out in a single layer on a baking sheet and add 1/4 c. of juices and broil until it starts getting crispy, about 5 minutes. Mix in another 1/4 c. of the juices, mix everything up and broil for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and mix in another 1/4 c. of the juices.
    6. Assemble the tacos on the tortillas with the chicken carnitas along with the  cilantro salsa and whatever toppings you like and serve with the lime wedges.

    Chicken Carnitas Tacos:

    5star

     

  • Mexican Quinoa Salad

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    Don’t be scared of quinoa if you’ve never had it.  Quinoa is very healthy for you and has lots of fiber and protein, and it’s actually very tasty.  There are a couple of varieties: red and white.  I personally prefer the red just because it visually looks more appealing and looks more gourmet.  The red quinoa is harder to find and is generally more expensive than the white, but use what you like.

    This salad is very flavorful and makes for an excellent side dish.  It’s also great for a picnic or potluck because it doesn’t need to be kept cold.

    Recipe adapted from Jeanette’s Healthy Living.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. uncooked quinoa (whatever color you prefer)
    • 2 c. water
    • 2 tsp. olive oil
    • 3 c. corn
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 1/2 c. cooked black beans
    • 1 c. cojita or feta cheese, crumbled
    • 3 TBSP fresh cilantro, minced
    • 3 TBSP scallions, minced
    • 2 limes, juiced
    • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    • a few dashes of cayenne pepper (can omit)
    • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
    • sea salt, to taste
    • fresh ground pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Rinse and drain quinoa thoroughly in cold water before cooking.  Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
    2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Saute corn and garlic until corn has some brown spots (that’s the caramelization that makes the corn even sweeter). Transfer to a large bowl and toss in the quinoa and the rest of the ingredients. Season to your liking with additional chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

    Mexican Quinoa Salad:

    5star

  • Chicken Posole

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    This Posole is so easy to make and so good.  Ellie, the pickiest of pickiest eaters ate this dish and she proclaimed it delicious and 5 star worthy!  Wow!!  She did ask “what is that mushy vegetable?”  I told her corn because she “tried” hominy a few days ago and said she didn’t like it, but she liked the “corn” in the Posole.  So in our house we had chicken and corn soup. ;)

    Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, April 2014

    Ingredients:

    • 10 canned tomatillos
    • 1 bunch of cilantro
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 2 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 3 chicken breast halves, cut up in bite size pieces
    • 6-7 c. chicken broth
    • 2 cans hominy, drained
    • Limes, quartered

    Directions:

    1. Combine tomatillos through black pepper in food processor, and process until almost smooth.
    2. Heat a soup pot oven over medium high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add onion and cook for 4 minutes; then add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
    3. Add the chicken and saute until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink.
    4. Add the tomatillo mixture, broth, and hominy and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through.
    5. Serve with limes.

    Chicken Posole:

    5star

  • Taco Chicken

    This taco filling is quite tasty and both kiddos really enjoyed it.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 chicken breasts
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 pack taco seasoning
    • 1 (15 oz.) can cream of onion soup (cheddar cheese soup works really well too)
    • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (16 oz.) jar of salsa

    Directions:

    1. Put chicken in Crockpot; then add the onion and sprinkle with taco seasoning.
    2. Add the soup; then the beans; then the salsa.
    3. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours.   Remove chicken from Crockpot and shred then return chicken to Crockpot.
    4. Serve with tortillas and cheese.

    Taco Chicken:

     

  • Bean and Cheese Burritos – Freezable!

    These burritos are soooo good and the fact that they are freezable are going to be life savers when the kiddos’ swim schedule kicks into high gear and we need nutritious and quick meals.  If you wanted to add meat, just substitute meat for the Morning Star veggie crumbles.

    This recipe is adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

    Ingredients:

    Rice:
    • 2 c. water
    • 1 c. long grain white rice
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
    • 1/2 lime, juiced
    Filling:
    • 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
    • 3 TBSP tomato paste
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
    • 1/2 TBSP ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 package of Morning Star veggie crumbles
    • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice
    • 3/4 tsp. salt
    • 6-8 (10-inch) whole wheat tortillas (the ones boosted with fiber)
    • Shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterrey jack)
    • Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, etc.

    Directions:

    1. For the rice, bring the broth/water, rice, garlic, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 16-18 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat, keeping it covered, and let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. When ready to use, add the cilantro and lime juice and fluff with a fork.
    2. For the filling, combine the broth and half of the beans in a small bowl and mash with a fork until the beans are coarsely mashed with the broth (reserve the whole beans for later). In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil until hot and rippling. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano and chili powder and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the Morning Star veggie crumbles and cook until done about 6-8 minutes.
    3. Stir the mashed bean mixture into the meat mixture and cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is thick and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the rest of the whole beans, lime juice and salt. Remove from heat. If serving immediately, follow the instructions in the next paragraph. If freezing for later, let the bean mixture and the rice cool to warm room temperature before proceeding.
    4. Wrap the tortillas in between damp paper towels and microwave until the tortillas are soft, about 1 minute. Arrange the tortillas on the counter and divide the rice, bean filling and cheese evenly among the tortillas and place the filling in the bottom 1/4 of the tortilla facing you.  You can also add salsa, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, etc. to your liking.
    5. Fold the sides of the tortilla toward each other over the filling while lifting the bottom edge over, rolling into a burrito shape. Serve immediately (if desired).
    6. For freezer burritos, wrap each burrito in plastic wrap. Place burritos in a gallon-sized freezer ziploc bag. To reheat, unwrap the burrito from the plastic wrap and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Poke the burrito with the tines of a fork all over and continue microwaving in 30-second increments until heated through.

    Bean and Cheese Burritos:

     

     

  • TT’s Salsa

    We had some friends over the other night for taco/nacho bar, and TT (9 yo) wanted to make a salsa, so he researched online and printed out a recipe.  We adapted the recipe to what we had on hand, and it was so good, and we’ll definitely make this one again.  This recipe makes a lot of salsa, so you might want to halve the recipe.

    Recipe adapted from Food Network.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of fire roasted tomatoes
    • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans of Mexican stewed tomatoes
    • 1/2 c. cilantro
    • 1/2 onion
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 jalapeno, seeds and membranes removed
    • 1/4 tsp. cumin
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp. sugar
    • 1 lime, juiced

    Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are combined and the salsa is at a consistency you like.
    2. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
    3. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

    TT’s Salsa:

     

     

  • Restaurant Mexican Rice

    I love Mexican rice, and this is one of the best Mexican rices I’ve ever had.  It’s so flavorful and really tastes like rice you’d get at a Mexican restaurant.

    Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1/2 whole large onion, chopped
    • 2 c. rice
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (10 oz.) can mild Rotel tomatoes
    • 1 (14.5 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
    • 2 c. chicken broth, more if needed
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
    2. Add onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
    3. Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic. Stir constantly, making sure the rice doesn’t burn. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes.
    4. Add Ro-tel and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine and let cook for 2 minutes.
    5. Finally, add broth, salt and cumin and stir together.
    6. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 additional minutes or until rice is done. Periodically mix the rice, and add more liquid as needed.

    Restaurant Mexican Rice:

     

     

  • Red Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas

    These enchiladas are so yummy and definitely restaurant quality.  Definitely craveable.  I like my enchiladas heavily sauced so the only change to the original recipe is to double the sauce.  Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 medium onion, chopped fine
    • 2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine (optional-I didn’t use)
    • 2 tsp. canola oil
    • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 4 TBSP. chili powder
    • 4 tsp. ground cumin
    • 6 tsp. sugar
    • 4 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce
    • 2 c. water
    • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
    • 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 c. shredded Monterey jack cheese
    • 1/2 c. minced fresh cilantro
    • 12 (6-inch) soft corn or flour tortillas (fajita-size for flour tortillas)
    • cooking spray
    • salt and ground black pepper

    Directions:

    1. In a large saucepan, combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a simmer.
    2. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts you are using. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
    3. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the leftover onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside.
    4. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture in the large bowl. Also stir in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese and the cilantro. Toss to combine.
    5. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
    6. Heat oven to 400 F. Pour 1/2 of the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.
    7. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
    8. Serve with remaining enchilada sauce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, additional cilantro, if desired.

    Rec Chile Sauce Chicken Enchiladas:

     

     

  • Taco Pizza

    This taco pizza is quick to make and can be customized to your liking.  It’s so tasty and so easy! The picture above has half with just beans, cheese and tomatoes, and the other half has beans, cheese, taco meat, and tomatoes.  But the possibilities are endless….add jalapenos, avocado, sour cream salsa, etc.  Be creative!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 package (13.02 oz) refrigerated bread dough
    • 1 lb. meat or veggie meat crumbles
    • 1 packet of taco seasoning
    • 1/2 c. water
    • 1 15 oz can of refried beans
    • 1 c. shredded cheese
    • 1 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
    • Other toppings: lettuce, jalapenos, olives, avocado, sour cream, salsa, etc.

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 425*
    2. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Remove dough from package and unroll in center of cookie sheet. Press dough to form 10×14 rectangle.  With a fork, poke dough about every 2 inches.  Bake 8-10 minutes or  until crust browns.
    3. Meanwhile, in a skillet cook meat if using until no longer pink.  Add taco seasoning and water and stir until mixture becomes thick.
    4. Heat refried beans with some water so that they are spreadable.
    5. Spread beans evenly over crust leaving 1/4 inch border around edges.  Add cheese to the beans then top with the meat mixture, tomatoes, and any other toppings of choice.
    6. Cut pieces and serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and enjoy!

    Taco Pizza: