Archive for the ‘Mexican’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans

If you’re looking for a fabulous vegetarian entree, look no further. This was the first time I cooked with quinoa and was quite surprised with how much I liked it. It definitely had an interesting texture but I’m looking forward to using it in this dish as well as others soon. All of the ingredients blended very well together. I enjoyed it just the way it is but my husband thought it needed some meat in it. It would be wonderful either way.

I recently joined Weight Watchers so I’m always in need of healthy and delicious dishes and this definitely fit the bill. I calculated these peppers around 6ish WW points per half since the only items that counted as points were the quinoa, black beans, enchilada sauce, and the cheese. Not too shabby.


4 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles (don’t drain)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil, if desired
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 28 oz can red enchilada sauce


Add quinoa and onion to a large saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, cover, turn off heat and let steam 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In the meantime, microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften slightly. (Prepared this way, the peppers should come out crisp-tender. If you want them crisper, you can omit this step.)

Pour quinoa/onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in black beans, tomato, green chiles and their juices, cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. If the mixture seems to dry, drizzle in a bit of olive oil.

Pour enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ baking dish. Divide filling among peppers. Nestle stuffed peppers into the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.

Source: One Lovely Life


PostHeaderIcon Chicken Enchiladas

These have been on my to-make list forever and I kept putting them off. Honestly, I read the recipe over and it looked a little time-consuming for me. I can be a very lazy cook (hey, it’s hard when you have an eight month old – that’s right, she’s 8 months already!) but I finally gave in and made them since my husband’s grandparents were visiting for the weekend. This was my first time making enchiladas at home and I was very impressed. Like I said, it was a bit time-consuming but not enough that I wouldn’t make them again.

The chicken cooks in the homemade enchilada sauce, which I found to be an interesting technique which gave fabulous results. The enchiladas can be assembled ahead of time and I’m sure they would freeze very well. However, I found it was easier to make the enchilada filling in the afternoon and then quickly assembled them right before popping them in the oven.  Our company LOVED them and even went back for seconds. I’m pretty sure that’s a compliment, but they’re so sweet I’m not sure if they were just being polite. :) In my defense, my husband liked them and he’s not a huge fan of mexican food.

Chicken Enchiladas


1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
½ cup minced fresh cilantro
12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
Cooking spray


Combine the onion, jalapeno and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through (160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.

Strain the sauce through a large mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing down on the onions and tomatoes to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the reserved solids to a large bowl and set aside. Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the bowl with the onion mixture. Add in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses, and the cilantro. Stir to combine.

Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Oil a 9 x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable. Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla. Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.

Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚ F. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from America’s Test Kitchen

PostHeaderIcon Salsa

In honor of Cinco do Mayo I decided to share my favorite salsa recipe with you! After trying many different recipes I finally found “the one” salsa recipe that I truly love. I could literally eat this all day and never get sick of it. Yup, it’s that good!

This is super easy and quick to make. Just dump all of the ingredients in a food processor, pulse to your desired consistency, refrigerate, and devour! I love that you can easily make it to fit your taste buds. For instance, you can add more than two jalapenos if you want to really kick up the heat. Also, you can drain the canned tomatoes if you like a thicker salsa. I like to use two jalapenos and not drain the tomatoes. The red wine vinegar is essential to making this awesome salsa so please don’t skip it! This makes a large amount of salsa so be prepared and either buy a lot of tortilla chips (or make your own!) or cut the recipe in half. I usually just buy a lot of tortilla chips. :)


2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and very coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (drained or not, depending on how much liquid you want in your salsa)
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice of one lime

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the jalapenos and garlic.  Process until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add all other ingredients to the food processor.  Pulse in very brief pulses until the vegetables have reached the size you desire (it does not take many pulses so don’t overdo it).  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Source: slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats


PostHeaderIcon Baked Tortilla Chips

This is just a fun little way to make tortilla chips at home. These tortilla chips are super healthy, especially compared to store-bought tortilla chips. They are also very quick to make. Just cut the tortillas in triangles with a pizza cutter, place on a cookie sheet (do not overlap them), lightly cover with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt, and broil each side until crisp and lightly brown. I used olive oil cooking spray and sea salt and the results were delicious, I’m sure any type of cooking spray would work though. I served these tortilla chips with my slow cooker chicken tortilla soup and they complimented each other perfectly. Of course, I’ll still buy tortilla chips at the store, but this is just a fun way to make them if you’re in a bind or looking for a healthy alternative.

Baked Tortilla Chips


1 small package of white corn tortillas, taco size, cut into triangles
Cooking spray (I used olive oil spray)
Salt-to taste


Preheat the broiler to high. Cut the corn tortillas into triangles using a pizza cutter and place on a large baking sheet. Don’t overlap the chips. If you want to make a large batch, fill a second pan and only bake one at a time.

Spray the triangles lightly with cooking spray. Turn over triangles and spray again. Sprinkle with salt, to taste.

Bake in the oven for about 3-4 minutes. Turn chips over and bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until chips are golden brown and crisp. Make sure you don’t go too far while the chips are in the oven. They will bake quickly!

Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


Source: Two Peas and their Pod


PostHeaderIcon Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

After my weekend on the Amtrak I just wanted a nice home cooked meal. Don’t get me wrong, the food on the Amtrak was surprisingly good, but there’s nothing better than a meal at home after you’ve been traveling. I choose this meal for many reasons: (1) the weather this week is cold and rainy so I wanted a comforting meal, (2) this recipe makes a nice amount, perfect for leftovers during the week, and (3) it’s DELICIOUS.

I had most of the ingredients on hand so it was super easy to whip up and throw in the slow cooker. The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon chili powder, I used 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon regular chili powder and the heat was perfect! I served the soup with homemade tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, and limes – it was literally the perfect meal! My husband even gave it 6 out of 5 stars! Pretty impressive, huh? :)


2 frozen chicken breasts
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
1 can (15 oz) corn
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cloves garlic
1 cup water
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 whole bay leaf, optional
Tortilla chips
2 limes
Low fat sour cream
Low fat cheddar cheese


Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, corn, beans, garlic, water, chicken broth, seasonings, cilantro, and bay leaf into the crock pot. Stir and cover. Put on low setting for 7-8 hours.

Remove chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks. Place back in the crock pot and stir.

Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, low fat sour cream, lime wedges, and a sprinkle of cheese!

Source: adapted from Tasty Kitchen


PostHeaderIcon Queso Dip

My husband and I love a restaurant by our house that serves our favorite appetizer, queso dip. We both crave this stuff and go there for dinner just to eat this appetizer! I’ve been meaning to recreate this at home for years. Well, this past week I saw a recipe that looked similar to “our queso dip”, and with a few modifications it did taste similar. It wasn’t an exact match but it was darn close – and very delicious!

I made this while we watched the Packers vs. Bears game last weekend. It was devoured within minutes. I even saw my brother-in-law’s friend lick his plate clean! Yup, it’s that good! I knew I had to post this recipe soon since it would be perfect for The Super Bowl!

Queso Dip


1/2 finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 tomato, chopped
1/2  4-ounce can jalapeno peppers (or 1 fresh jalapeno pepper)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 ounces mexican-style cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
1 8 oz package cream cheese, cubed
Tortilla chips for dipping


In a medium saucepan cook onion in butter until tender.  Stir in tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and cumin.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat.  Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Toss shredded cheese with cornstarch.  Gradually add cheese mixture to saucepan, stirring until cheese is melted.  Gradually add the cream cheese, stirring until cheese is melted and smooth.  Heat through.  Serve with chips.

Source: adapted from Our Best Bites, originally from Better Homes & Gardens


PostHeaderIcon Texas Caviar

Ever since I can remember, my favorite part of watching a football game is all the great food!

I vividly remember getting excited when my mom would plan to have people over for a football game since I knew she would make tons of snacks and appetizers (How am I not morbidly obese? Never mind, don’t answer that.). I love to graze when I eat so a table full of appetizers is ideal for a gal like me!

I’ve seen this dish made two different ways. The first way is with a bottle of italian dressing, the second (and my favorite) is with a combination of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and fresh lime juice. Both ways are delicious but the second way is my favorite since it uses freshly squeezed limes instead of bottled dressing. The original recipe only called for 1/2 lime but I used two limes and it was perfect! This dish is a great appetizer or side dish to some mexican food.

Texas Caviar


1 can (15 oz) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz) corn, drained and rinsed

1 whole tomato, chopped

2 whole green onions, chopped

2 whole jalapenos, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 limes, juiced

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3 pinches ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir and chill for several hours or overnight.

Serve cold on its own as a side dish or with chips as an appetizer!

Source: adapted from Tasty Kitchen