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Posts tagged “Mexican

Fire-Roasted Salsa Sisters

Fire Roasted Salsa Sisters

I’ve had some really good salsas lately that were fire roasted, so I decided to try making some. The key to making a fire roasted salsa is to roast the vegetables on the grill. The “fire” from the grill gives the salsa a delectable smoky flavor. (Okay, it’s really smoke from the coals that adds the smoky flavor, not fire, but “smoke roasted salsa” just doesn’t have the right ring to it …)

It’s very simple to do, really, but it makes for such a delightful-tasting salsa. So the next time you fire up the grill, I suggest tossing some peppers, tomatoes and onions on there and make up a fire roasted salsa. It’s the perfect healthy, delicious condiment to go with a good quesadilla (like this chipotle black bean quesadilla with avocado cream I made the other day), tacos, eggs, and so much more … I really love a good salsa and always have some homemade salsa in my fridge. This fire roasted salsa has totally won my heart. Strangely, it’s the simpler red one that I love the most, although the hearty Adobo salsa with cilantro and white beans is also lovely in its own chunky way. They each have their own personality, so to speak, just like sisters.

Fire Roasted Salsas: Two Variations

Rojo Fuego Salsa (Red Fire Salsa)

For this salsa, I peeled the tomatoes and peppers after grilling them, resulting in a brilliant fire-red colored salsa.

  • 4 whole hot chili peppers (use more or less depending on how hot your peppers are and how hot you like your salsa. Mine were super-hot and a brilliant red color!)
  • 4 large garden fresh tomatoes
  • 1 onion, cut in fourths (skin on!)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Heat up the grill and put the chili peppers, tomatoes, and onion directly over the heat to roast. Turn as they cook so all sides are roasted. The skins on the peppers should turn black and charred on all sides, the tomatoes should be soft with the skins cracked, and the onion should be lightly brown.
  2. Once they are cooked on all sides, remove from the grill and let the vegies cool off until they are cool enough to touch. Pull the skins off the tomato and peppers and onion and discard the skins.
  3. Put the peeled vegies into a blender or food processor and pulse till everything is very finely chopped and mixed well. If you want a smoother salsa, puree in the blender/food processor to your liking. Store in a covered container in the fridge.

Rojo Fuego Salsa (Red Fire Salsa)

Adobo Fuego Salsa (Adobo Fire Salsa)

When I made this salsa, I didn’t peel the peppers after roasting. The charred bits of skin add a bit of extra smoky flavor to the salsa.

  • 2 large garden tomatoes
  • 2 – 7 jalapeno peppers (adjust the number of peppers for how hot you want your salsa … if you want a very mild salsa, use bell pepper in place of the jalapeno)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup cooked white beans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • A few sprigs of cilantro (just the leaves, not the stems)

Directions:

  1. Heat up the grill and put the jalapenos, onion and tomato directly over the heat to roast. Turn as they cook so all sides are roasted. The skins on the peppers should turn black and charred on all sides, the tomatoes should be soft with the skins cracked, and the onion should be lightly brown.
  2. Once they are cooked on all sides, remove from the grill. Do NOT peel the peppers, but do pull the peel off the tomato and onion.
  3. Put the tomato, jalapeno, and onion into a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients and pulse till everything is very finely chopped and mixed well. Store in a covered container in the fridge.

Copioso Fuego Salsa (Hearty Fire Salsa)

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysFriday Food Fight, and Scrumptious Sunday.


Chipotle Black Bean Quesadillas with Avocado Cream

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadilla with Avocado Cream

I have some exciting news for you! Well, it’s exciting to me, anyway, and I hope you find it exciting too … Sumptuous Spoonfuls is teaming up with Swiss Diamond International. I will be crafting some recipes for Swiss Diamond International using their cookware. They are not paying me to do this, but they are giving me samples of their cookware to use in developing their recipes.

I was really excited when Swiss Diamond International contacted me, and even more excited after I read about their cookware.  I was intrigued by the use of diamonds in cookware. This is from Swiss Diamond’s web site:

  • Diamonds are durable - As the hardest material known to man, diamonds give the coating additional strength and resilience.
  • Diamonds are a better heat conductor than metal - Four times more conductive than copper, diamonds create even heat distribution across the pan’s surface. Diamonds also allow the pan to brown food like stainless steel, creating a “fond” that can be used for gravy – or easily washed away with warm soapy water.
  • Diamonds are naturally nonstick - One of the most valuable properties of diamonds in a nonstick coating is that very little sticks to them. Coupled with their durability, this creates a lifetime of superior performance.

So I was curious to see if it really works … and I have to say I absolutely love these pans! They cook like a dream … the heat distributes across the pan so well. The food cooks faster and so evenly. And nothing sticks to the pan … with no cooking spray or butter. I tried some of the stickiest, most difficult things (like fried rice) and nothing stuck. And they’re so easy to clean too. (By the way, while Swiss Diamond did give me the pans, they did not pay me to say that … this is my honest experience.) I’m curious to see how well they retain that magic nonstick surface … I guess time will tell.

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadillas with Avocado Cream

For this recipe, I used the crepe/omelet pan. This little pan is by far my favorite so far. It has a low lip so that it’s easy to flip crepes, omelets, and pancakes. (Even the IHOP-style pancakes that have always been a struggle for me to flip … I found I can even make giant  pancakes – bigger than IHOP’s! – in this pan and they cook and flip SO nicely.) Anyway, I was craving a quesadilla the other day and thought this pan would be perfect for that. I wanted to try making it without any oil or cooking spray and see if the tortilla got properly crisped and browned on both sides. And you know what? It did.

You don’t have to have a crepe / omelet pan to make these quesadillas … any frying pan will do. But it sure makes cooking a pleasure.

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadilla with Avocado Cream in Swiss Diamond International Crepe/Omelet Pan

 Chipotle Black Bean Quesadilla with Avocado Cream

For each quesadilla:

  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado
  • 1 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • juice from 1/4 – 1/2 of a fresh lime
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons plain nonfat yogurt (optional)
  • 2 tortillas that fit the size of your pan. I used some whole wheat “wraps” that were a little smaller than my crepe pan.
  • Refried black beans (homemade or canned)
  • About a Tablespoon of finely chopped onion
  • About a Tablespoon of finely chopped chipotle pepper (a jalapeno roasted on the grill would also work)
  • About 1/2 oz. of finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • For serving: your favorite salsa. A fire-roasted salsa is especially nice with this quesadilla!

Directions:

  1. First, make the Avocado cream by mashing the avocado in a bowl, then mash in the cream cheese, onion, garlic and lime juice and stir until everything is mixed well and the mixture is fairly smooth. Add a teaspoon or two of plain nonfat yogurt if you like to get it to a nice spreadable consistency.
  2. Take one tortilla and spread it with a layer of refried black beans, then spread on a layer of avocado cream. Sprinkle the onion and chipotle pepper over, then sprinkle evenly with the shredded cheddar and top it all off with the 2nd tortilla.
  3. Heat your pan over medium heat. If your pan needs it, spray the pan with cooking spray, then slide the quesadilla into the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, then check to see if the bottom is nicely browned and crisp. Once it’s brown, flip the quesadilla over with a spatula and cook until it’s brown on the other side and the cheese is melted. (The bottom half is crisp by now so the quesadilla is fairly easy to flip, but if you are making a large quesadilla, you may need to slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board and then flip it over back into the pan.)
  4. Slide the quesadilla onto a cutting board, cut into wedges, and serve with the salsa.

Black Bean Chipotle Quesadillas with Avocado Cream

If you would like to purchase Swiss Diamond cookware, visit http://www.swissdiamond.us/.

This recipe was shared at Show & Share WednesdayCast Party WednesdayThursday’s TreasuresGala Dinner PartyFit & Fabulous FridaysFriday Food Fight, Weekend Potluck and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.


Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup is one of the most marvelous things in life. It’s got everything going for it: the lovely crunch of the tortilla chips, the oozy melted cheese, tasty Mexican flavors, the soothing comfort of a hot bowl of soup. Plus it’s great for your sinuses and your health and it’s so easy to make. It’s such a versatile soup too: it can be a nice vegetarian meal or starter, or you can add meat or seafood to it for a heartier soup. The other thing I like about tortilla soup is it helps use up those chips on the bottom of the bag that aren’t big enough for other uses (like dipping).

I made this simple soup without any meat, allowing the flavors of the tomato and the peppers to really shine through, but you can add meat if you like. I listed a whole bunch of things you could add to this soup if you want to change things up a bit.

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of a large onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 fresh garden tomatoes, peeled and cored (about 1 lb or 2 cups after they are pureed) … canned tomatoes work too
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped (use more or less depending on how spicy you want your soup … you can substitute other peppers for the jalapenos too … use bell pepper for a milder soup, or a different hot chile pepper to vary the flavor)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
  • Baked or fried tortilla chips (or strips)
  • Shredded Mexican and/or queso fresco crumbles
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Optional add-ins:
    • sautee with the onion/garlic: celery, carrots, zucchini or other veggies
    • add with the tomatoes/peppers: chicken, pork, shrimp, crab, avocado, lime juice, cooked corn, cooked beans, hominy

Directions:

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the olive oil and swirl it around, then the chopped onion and garlic. Sautee until the onion is very soft and translucent.
  2. Pour the tomatoes (with juices) into a blender and blend till smooth. Add them to the pot along with the jalapenos, broth, tomato sauce, and seasonings. Reduce heat slightly and allow the soup to simmer for about 15 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the peppers to cook and the flavors to meld.
  3. To serve: pour the hot soup into bowls, sprinkle with tortilla chips and cheese, then cilantro and avocado (if you like).

Simply Spicy Tortilla Soup

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysNewlyweds Recipe LinkyCast Party WednesdayFull Plate Thursday, Kitchen Fun Friday, Weekend Potluck, Lifeologia’s Birthday Party Potluck, Fit & Fabulous Fridays and All my Bloggy Friends.


Cheesy Zucchini Chorizo Breakfast Boats

Cheesy Zucchini Chorizo Breakfast Boats

If you haven’t noticed, I have an affection (obsession) for cheese. I have a drawer in my fridge dedicated to cheese. I buy little chunks of flavorful cheeses and use them frequently in my cooking. Some sweet soul at Arla (the maker of Dofino cheeses) noticed my affinity for cheese … and sent me several “samples” of Dofino cheeses. Ironically, these “samples” are the same size as the little chunks I normally buy at the store … and there are six different kinds … some of them I can’t even find at my local stores. I’m in cheese heaven! They did ask that I share my recipes that I make with their cheeses. Are you kidding? There’s no way you could shut me up!

CHEESE!

On to the recipe: if you’ve never had a really good chorizo with eggs and potatoes, it’s a sublime experience. Those three ingredients together are simply magical. Add a little cheese and it’s heaven on a plate. My dad makes this wonderful chorizo (one of these days I’ll get the recipe for it!) and I found some in the freezer, so I cooked some chorizo with eggs, potatoes and cheese while my sis was here. I had about 3/4 cup of the cooked chorizo left after they left, so I decided to make it into a breakfast boat, using one of those gorgeous Italian zucchini that my sister brought me. It made such a beautiful boat I was tempted to add a mast with a little sail just for fun, but I didn’t want to mess up the perfection of the melty cheese …

Cheesy Zucchini Chorizo Breakfast Boats

Cheesy Zucchini Chorizo Breakfast Boats

This filling will stuff two medium (14-inch) zucchini if you cut the tops off lengthwise, or two halves if cut in half lengthwise and both halves are stuffed … or even more if your zucchini are small!

  • 3/4 cup good quality lean chorizo, cooked
  • 1 cup potato, cut in small cubes, cooked
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used about 2/3 cup shredded Dofino Gouda cheese, plus about 1/3 cup Mexican fiesta blend I had in my fridge that I needed to use up … I mixed the two to make my own amazing cheesy blend)

Directions:

  1. Cut the zucchini lengthwise to make two boats and with a grapefruit spoon (or other scooping device), scoop out the insides to make boats. (Save the seedy inside part to make Zummus.)
  2. Cook up the chorizo in a frying pan over medium heat, chopping it up into little crumbles as it cooks. When the chorizo is done, remove it from the pan and drain off the excess fat from the pan. Fry up the potato till it’s cooked, then add the zucchini, sweet onion and jalapeno and sautee for a few minutes until the onion is translucent and the zucchini is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water till smooth. Sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt.
  4. Add the chorizo back into the frying pan and stir to mix, then pour in the eggs, scrambling them just for a few minutes. Fold in about 1/2 of the cheese mixture as well. You want to leave the eggs very moist, not quite done, because they will finish cooking in the boats.
  5. Spoon this lovely mixture into your zucchini boats, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (or broil briefly) until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.
  6. Serve hot. Plates are optional. ;)

Cheesy Zucchini Chorizo Breakfast Boats

This recipe was shared at Recipe of the Week, Thursday’s Treasures, Recipe of the Week and Scrumptious Sundays.


Zucchini Avocado Quesadilla

Zucchini Avocado Quesadilla

So in case you haven’t noticed, the ingredient of the week (month?) is zucchini at my house. My sis brought me several zucchini, some beautiful stripey Italian zucchini and some plain green ones, some big, some little. I love zucchini season because it makes me get really creative in the kitchen, trying to think of different ways to use this plentiful, mild-tasting vegetable. Zucchini is so good for adding to so many dishes because it takes on the flavor of whatever you pair it with, so it can be sweet or savory, and it can take on many different textures too depending on whether it’s shredded, chunked, sliced, or ribboned, raw or cooked.

For this quesadilla, I used one of the smaller green zucchini, but I think the Italian ones would be nice in a quesadilla too. I was just making a small one for me for lunch, so I didn’t want to cut into one of those big guys. Honestly I really wanted some shredded chicken on this quesadilla, but I didn’t have any on hand and was in a rush to make lunch so I went with a vegie version. I think if you had some leftover chicken around (perhaps from the grill?), you may want to toss that into the mix. Beans would be fun to put on here too. But then again, it’s nice just like this …

Zucchini Avocado Quesadilla

Zucchini Avocado Quesadilla

  • 17 – 20 thin slices of a small/medium-sized zucchini
  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado
  • 1 oz. light cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped ancho chile (or other hot chile pepper)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/2 Tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt
  • juice from a wedge of fresh lime
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • shredded gouda cheese (sorry I forgot to measure how much I used! You can eyeball it, though. Enough to cover the zucchini in a thin layer.)
  • 2 medium-sized tortillas (not the tiny taco-sized ones, but not the huge burrito-sized ones either … whole grain/whole wheat is good!)
  • For serving: your favorite salsa!

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and lay the zucchini slices on the pan in a single layer. Spray them lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt) and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes. Flip them over and cook for just a few minutes more until the zucchini rounds are tender.
  2. While the zucchini are cooking, mash up the avocado in a bowl, then mix with the cream cheese, garlic, yogurt, and lime juice. Take one of the tortillas and spread it with this creamy green mixture, then when the zucchini are done, arrange them on top and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.
  3. Top with shredded gouda cheese (or whatever cheese you prefer … I like gouda because it has a good flavor and it melts well … and then put the other tortilla on top.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Slide the quesadilla carefully onto the skillet, cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, checking the bottom frequently to see if it’s golden brown yet.
  5. When it is nicely browned on the bottom, flip it over to brown the other side. (To help you flip it, you may want to slide the quesadilla out of the pan onto a flat cutting board, then flip it over and slide it back into the pan. The bottom side will be crisp, so this isn’t as hard as it may sound.)
  6. Once both sides are brown and the cheese is melted, slide the quesadilla onto your cutting board, cut it up and serve with salsa.

Zucchini Avocado Quesadilla

This recipe was shared at Foodie Friends Friday, Scrumptious SundayRecipe of the Week, Fit & Fabulous Fridays and Manic Monday.


Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

It was the big day, the day the dancers prepare for all year. My girl is in competition dance so she gets so many opportunities to perform, but it all leads up to THIS. The day of the big end-of-the-year dance recital.

I thought I was being clever, but really, in hindsight, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to plan a vacation right after recital. That meant I was scrambling at work today to finish up all the loose ends … and on top of that, I had to make sure she got fed and drank enough water and run her to rehearsal and back. And find her lost costumes and the missing jazz shoe (that never did turn up … she had to borrow a shoe from a friend!) … and help her with her hair … and then my family was coming for the recital so I was bugging my son to clean up and wash all the bedding. My mom, dad, and sis showed up at 4 and I hadn’t even showered yet! I quickly cleaned myself up and we rushed off to find some food before the recital …

It all added up to a lot of craziness and stress that really didn’t need to be QUITE that crazy. The show went really well, but I could tell at the beginning of the show that my dancer didn’t quite have her head in the game. I feel a little pang of “mom guilt”, like could I maybe have been a little less stressed and rushed today and had more patience with her?

So you know I had NO time to cook today. But still after scrambling with everything all morning, I really really needed to eat! I found some of the cheese mixture I’d used for my fish quesadillas in the fridge and threw together this quesadilla for lunch today in a few minutes … and it turned out really good. I’m glad I took a short break to make this … I’m wishing now that I had taken the time to make my sweetie girl the waffles that she wanted this morning. Ah well. There is always tomorrow. Finally, some time to just unwind and do as we please …

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

For the cheese mixture:

  • 1 cup cooked white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini)
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of liquid from the beans
  • 1 Tablespoon goat cheese
  • Green onion (I used two)
  • Garlic scapes (I used two)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno (use more or less according to how spicy you want it)
  • A few cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup finely shredded Mexican blend of cheeses

For the quesadilla:

  • 2 whole-grain flour tortillas
  • A handful of baby spinach leaves
  • Chopped tomato (I used 1/2 of a medium tomato for one quesadilla)
  • Chopped red onion (just a bit)
  • Avocado, part sliced, part chopped (I used half an avocado for my quesadilla)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salsa (I used my dad’s simple salsa fresca)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or handi chopper, blend the white beans, yogurt, goat cheese, and a bit of cooking liquid from the beans till smooth. Add snipped green onion, garlic scapes, jalapeno, and cilantro and stir (or chop if you like), then blend in the shredded cheese. (You can make the cheese mixture ahead of time and store it in a covered container in the fridge.)
  2. Spread both tortillas with a thin layer of the cheese mixture. On one of the tortillas, arrange the spinach leaves, tomato, red onion, chopped avocado and cilantro. Top with the 2nd tortilla.
  3. Heat a frying pan or cast iron skillet to medium low heat and spray with cooking spray. Put the quesadilla in the pan, cover and cook briefly. Check often and when it is brown on the bottom, slide it onto a plate, then flip it over and slide back into the pan and cover to brown the other side. When both sides are brown and the cheese is nicely melted, slide the quesadilla out of the pan onto a cutting board, cut into pieces, and serve immediately topped with avocado slices with salsa on the side.

Spinach Avocado Quesadillas

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays and Weekend Potluck.


Fish Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

My dad gave me some fresh fish he had caught when I visited last weekend, and he told me I must either cook them up by Monday or freeze them. Fish is SO much better when it’s fresh, so I cooked it up. My daughter loooooves fresh fish, but she wasn’t very hungry Monday night and we ended up with quite a stack of leftover cooked fish, part catfish, part Northern Pike.

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

So what do you do with a stack of leftover fish? Well, I often make fish tacos, but this time I wanted to do something a little different … why not a fish quesadilla? I tried it once. Pretty good, but not great. So I tried it a different slant on it … much better! … you are going to be so glad I waited to blog this because these Fish Quesadillas are SO good!  The white beans and greek yogurt take them to a level beyond tasty. (That’s my own personal opinion.) I’m wanting another one already … gonna have to get some more tortillas!

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup cooked white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini)
  • 1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon of liquid from the beans
  • 1 Tablespoon goat cheese
  • Green onion (I used two)
  • Garlic scapes (I used two)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno (use more or less according to how spicy you want it)
  • A few cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup finely shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
  • Cooked fish fillets
  • Flour tortillas (whole grain is good!)
  • Pineapple salsa (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. First, make the pineapple salsa and set aside to allow the flavors to blend.
  2. In a food processor or handi chopper, blend the white beans, yogurt, goat cheese, and a bit of cooking liquid from the beans till smooth. Add snipped green onion, garlic scapes, jalapeno, and cilantro and stir (or chop if you like), then blend in the shredded cheese.
  3. Heat a skillet pan to medium low heat and spray with cooking spray. While it’s warming, spread a tortilla with the cheese/bean mixture, then put flakes of fish all over half the tortilla. Fold it in half so the cheesy mixture completely covers the fish flakes. (If you want to make a big full round quesadilla, spread two tortillas with a thin layer of the cheesy mixture, top one of them with flaked fish, then carefully put the other tortilla on top (cheesy mixture down).)
  4. Put the tortilla in the pan, cover and cook briefly. Check often and when it is brown on the bottom, flip the tortilla over to brown the other side. When both sides are brown and the cheese is nicely melted, slide the quesadilla out of the pan onto a cutting board, cut into pieces, and serve immediately with the fresh pineapple salsa.

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

  • 2/3 cup pineapple cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped, peeled orange
  • 1/2 cup chopped green & red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped fine
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno (use more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tequila
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lime
  • A small bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Let sit for a bit to allow the flavors to blend. Store any remaining salsa in a covered container in the fridge.

Next Generation Fish & White Bean Quesadillas with Pineapple Salsa

This recipe was shared at Potluck PartyFit & Fabulous FridaysWeekend Potluck, Everyday Mom’s MealsManic Mondays,  Totally Tasty Tuesdays and KM’s Seafood Bloghop.


Popcorn Nachos

Popcorn Nachos

I love popcorn … I love nachos. I had this really weird idea today … why couldn’t you combine the two? Who says you need chips to make nachos?

Well you can. The only “catch” is you don’t want them to get too wet because popcorn gets soggy easily, so things like tomatoes and salsa are probably not the best options for this kind of nachos.

I started simple. Just popcorn, cheese, and jalapenos. Then I added taco meat. Now I’m thinking about adding onions and what else could I add? Hmmm …

Popcorn Nachos

Popcorn Nachos

This is really simple. Make some popcorn. I usually use my air popper, but today I just popped my popcorn in a paper bag. Have you heard about that trick? Just put 1/4 cup of popcorn in a plain paper bag, fold over the top several times, and microwave it for 2 minutes. Quick perfect popcorn without fat, butter, added chemicals or preservatives or salt! It’s so much healthier and easier on your pocketbook than buying that pre-packaged microwave popcorn, and you can even reuse the bag, so it’s eco-friendly too.

Spread a layer of popcorn on an oven-safe plate or pan. Chop your jalapenos fine and dab them with a clean towel to soak up any excess moisture. Heat up your taco meat (and also dab that with a towel if the meat seems a little moist).

Sprinkle the popcorn with a light layer of shredded cheese, taco meat, and jalapenos. Try not to go overboard on the cheese or meat or you’ll overwhelm your popcorn. Sprinkle with Red Robin seasoning or your favorite seasoned salt. Add another layer of popcorn if you like, then top with more meat, cheese, and jalapenos and another sprinkling of seasoning.

Popcorn Nachos

Bake at 350 for 5 – 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

Popcorn Nachos

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckMom’s Everyday MealsMealtime Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, and Cast Party Wednesdays.


Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

The other day, I woke craving Huevos Rancheros. From my favorite restaurant in Albuquerque: Charlie’s Front Door. Oh Charlie’s how I miss you! … but of course I’m not there, I”m here.

I can’t make Huevos like Charlie’s Front Door does. They have this green chile sauce they smother it in that is just flipping amazing. I am not even going to try to replicate that … I just want to tell you, if you happen to get to Albuquerque, please stop in and visit Charlie’s Front Door … they have so many dishes there I would almost kill just to taste them one more time … the Jocoque and the Indian tacos are ooooh so good …

Don’t get me wrong! I CAN make a pretty mean Huevos Rancheros.  AND it’s a healthy, filling Mexican meal you can make in minutes, so it’s doable even on a busy workday. And the awesome advantage of these is you can have them just about anywhere, anytime. All you need is tortillas, eggs, cheese, and a few basic Mexican toppings.

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

(per serving)

  • 1 small tortilla (corn or flour … whole wheat is good … I didn’t have any corn so had to use flour)
  • Refried beans (or whole beans … I just happened to have some very tasty spicy chipotle refried beans on hand)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 or 2 eggs (how much space do you have on your tortilla? how much protein do you want?)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Toppings: Salsa, chopped onion, avocado, tomato, jalapenos, green chile sauce, cilantro … (did I miss anything? what else could you use?)

Heat a skillet pan (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat and spray it with cooking spray. Put a tortilla in the pan and let it toast until it’s golden brown on the bottom. Flip it over.

Huevos Rancheros

Slide it out of the pan briefly and on the toasted side, spread it with refried beans and sprinkle with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese. Put it back in the pan with the un-toasted side down. Crack an egg (or two) over top.

Huevos Rancheros

Now cover, and cook on medium low heat until the egg white is cooked and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Check it periodically to make sure it isn’t burning the tortilla on the bottom.  (If your egg covers the cheese and beans, you can even flip it to cook the egg “over easy” … I wouldn’t recommend that approach if you have any cheese sticking out, though.)

Huevos Rancheros

Slide your lovely cheesy egg tortilla onto a plate and garnish with your choice of toppings. The bottom of mine was a little crunchy. That’s totally okay in my book. I love crunchy! … by the way, I added a big, messy slather of my sister’s salsa after I took the pictures …

Huevos Rancheros

Now, if you’ll excuse me, things are starting to get a little messy over here …

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Weekend PotluckEveryday Mom’s Meals, Scrumptious SundaysMoosewood MondayFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways and Mealtime Mondays.


Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, My Way

Crunchwrap Supreme My Way

Taco Bell has this thing they call a Crunchwrap Supreme. It’s sort of like a tostada, with Nacho cheese sauce, wrapped in a tortilla, then “toasted” in a pan. It’s really a pretty good idea, but I’ve never actually tried one. Because whenever I saw one, I always thought, “I would have done it a little differently.”

So when Happy Little Tomato posted a Crunchwrap Supreme recipe, I thought, “hey, I could do that” … and then wondered, “hey, why haven’t I?”

And so, I did. Twice now. The first time with taco meat, and then the second time I made a vegetarian version. Both were delicious, and I’m certain they were WAY more nutritious than Taco Bell’s version.

So this is my thinking. It needs refried beans. And more vegies, especially jalapenos. I left out the “nacho cheese” sauce. How about if we just use REAL cheese? Yeah. Let’s do that. And why would you put lettuce INSIDE the crunchwrap? Then it’s gonna get cooked … ew. Let’s keep the lettuce on the outside, along with the salsa. Now you’re talkin’ …

Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, My Way

Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, My Way

Adapted from Happy Little Tomato

  • Large, burrito-sized tortillas or “wraps” (I used some uber-healthy whole wheat, high-fiber ones.)
  • Refried beans
  • Taco meat (optional … I included it on one, but not on the other, and I really couldn’t much tell the difference)
  • Chopped onion, green onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, tomato or other favorite “taco-style” vegies (maybe some corn?)
  • Tostado or taco shells or crushed tortilla chips (I found a whole grain taco shell I really like that I used here …)
  • Shredded sharp cheddar or mexican blend of cheeses
  • Condiments: salsa, lettuce, and greek yogurt

Directions:

Warm up your refried beans (and taco meat, if you’re using it). I just put them together in a little bowl and microwaved them.

Spread some of that hot bean mixture in the middle of your gargantuan tortilla. Top with some cheese. Put it in the microwave and melt it a bit if you want.

Making a Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, Step 1

Now top that with a bunch of your vegies of choice. I used onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper. Then top that with some tortilla chips or a tostada shell, or, like I did here, you can take a taco shell and break it in half.

Making a Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, Step 2

At this point, you can add more vegies and a little more cheese if you want. Then you bend up the edges, sort of origami style, like this. I had to break the edges of my taco shell a bit to get it to fold nicely.

Making a Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, Step 3

Now heat up a skillet pan to medium heat and spray it with cooking spray. Set your crunchwrap in the hot pan. You might get a little tired of holding those folds in place (I did!) …

Making a Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, Step 4

So I covered it with a flat lid from one of my saucepans:

Making a Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, Step 4

Test the bottom of the crunchwrap by lifting it a little with a spatula and when it is golden brown, use a spatula to flip it over and “toast” the other side.

Making a Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme, Step 5

When it’s nice and brown and toasty on the other side, it’s ready! I served mine on a bed of lettuce, with a bit of salsa and greek yogurt on top.

Making a Mexican Crunchwrap Supreme

This recipe was shared with Katherine Martinelli’s Pepper Blog HopRecipe of the Week: Hot & Spicy Recipes,  Tastetastic Thursdays and Trick or Treat Tuesdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Taco Salad Inspirations

Taco Salad with Beef, Beans, Cheese, Bell Pepper, Onion and Vegie Corn Chips

Taco salads are one of my very favorite quick meals. I make them a LOT. I have photographed a few of them, meaning to share them with you, but never did … well today I’m going to show you a few of my taco salad meanderings. There have been many more, and there are still more brewing in my mind …

Taco Salad with Beef, Beans, Cheese, Bell Pepper, Onion and Vegie Corn Chips

All you need to make a scrumptious taco salad are a few of these things:

  • Lettuce: plain green leaf lettuce, iceberg or romaine, or a mix of greens.
  • Taco meat (or shredded chicken or pork or skip the meat and have a vegetarian taco salad!) … I usually use ground venison flavored up with taco seasoning mix because it’s easy, fast, and so gooood. Meat should be hot when adding to the salad.
  • Beans: in my world, beans are a MUST on a taco salad. Refried beans, black beans, or pinto beans (whole). Make sure they are hot when you put them on your salad.
  • Cheese: shredded Mexican blend, cheddar, goat cheese crumbles
  • Salsa! Oh you must have salsa or at least pico de gallo on a taco salad
  • Vegies: Chopped bell peppers, onions, corn, or other vegies
  • Chips: baked or fried. Store-bought or homemade. But you need tortilla chips of some kind for that crunch factor!
  • Cilantro: optional, but I do so love cilantro and it adds a little extra magic to a taco salad

Vegetarian Taco Salad with Goat Cheese

This one is a vegetarian version with a mound of refried beans and salsa in the middle, cilantro, goat cheese, shredded cheddar, red onions, and some Doritos my daughter didn’t finish. (I do try to avoid Doritos because I don’t like the extra preservatives, artificial color and other not-good-for-you things they put in them, but they ARE quite good on taco salads. I need to find a way to make my own nacho cheese doritos …)

Vegetarian Taco Salad with Doritos, Cilantro, & Goat Cheese

On those days when I can’t decide between a taco salad and nachos, I make a “nacho” salad … melt some cheese on the tortilla chips (with onions and chopped jalapenos, if you like), then arrange the chips around the bowl, like this:

Nacho Salad with Refried Beans, Taco Meat, Nachos, Onions, & Salsa

This nacho salad has a mound of hot refried beans in the middle, a drizzle of salsa, a sprinkle of taco meat and red onions, surrounded with melty nachos.

Nacho Salad with Refried Beans, Taco Meat, Nachos, Onions, & Salsa

This recipe was shared at It’s a Keeper ThursdaysFit and Fabulous FridaysKatherine Martinelli’s Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, and Weekend Potluck.


Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burritos

… and a game of “tag” … I was tagged twice, first by Good Cooks and then Chef in Disguise tagged me again

I don’t know that I even think of this as a recipe … it is one of those throw-it-together kind of lunches, something I could almost do in my sleep. You could add a sauce over the top if you like. My sister has a great recipe for homemade red sauce that would be awesome on these.

I was making my burrito for lunch, so I just wrapped my burrito in a napkin and munched away on it while I worked … but it’s a great quick meal to throw together for a hearty Meatless Monday meal, or if you have some meat you want to toss in, chop it up and add it with the beans and rice.

Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burritos

Add in other stuff as you please … or leave out anything you don’t like. This is a very forgiving recipe.

  • Black beans, cooked and drained
  • Cooked rice (I used basmati rice)
  • Large flour tortillas (whole wheat or regular … )
  • Your favorite salsa (I used my funky kiwi, kumquat, and mango salsa … the salsa you choose is going to really impact the flavor so pick a good one!)
  • Optional: chopped jalapenos or green chile
  • Chopped onion & avocado
  • Shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend + some shredded sharp cheddar)
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

First, make sure the black beans and rice are good and hot.

For each burrito, heat a large tortilla in the microwave briefly until it’s warm. (Warm tortillas fold better.) Put a couple spoonfuls of beans in the center of the tortilla in a rectangular-ish shape and mash them roughly with a fork. (You could use refried beans too in place of the black beans … that works well too …) Top with a few spoonfuls of salsa and the rice.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and microwave on high for a minute or two until the cheese melts, then toss on some cilantro.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

Now fold over the short edges of the burrito and then fold over the long end.

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

and then just roll it up …

Cheesy Black Bean & Rice Burritos

If you were going to add sauce, this would be where you would pour the hot sauce over top, maybe add a little more cheese, then microwave it a bit more to get that cheese on top all melty.

(Instead of microwave-melting the cheese, you could make a bunch of these, put them in a baking pan, cover with sauce and a bit more cheese and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or so or until everything is all hot and bubbly.)

Cheesy Rice & Black Bean Burrito

Now for the tag game … I’ve been tagged, so I have to answer the following questions, then tag 5 other bloggers who are supposed to do the same.

Describe yourself in 7 words…

Foodie, Tree Hugger, Geek, Empath, Mother, Dreamer, Friend

What keeps you up at night?

Usually I sleep well, but sometimes I worry. Sometimes I stay up too late talking to my best friend … or out on a date. I’m divorced, yes, so I worry about men and love and where things are going in my life. My mind can also get busy wondering, pondering, fearing for my childrens’ future. Sometimes I can’t sleep because I think of a really good idea for a recipe and I’m so excited to make it. Sometimes I stay up late to finish writing up a blog post. Sometimes I stress over stupid things like how to make an ugly food look good. Once in a while I stress over work.

Who would you like to be?

I want to just be me and not let anybody get in the way of that. Being an empath, that’s hard to do because I feel what other people feel and I care so much about my friends and family. I guess, though, that is who I am.

What scares you?

Global warming and how people take our earth for granted. What’s going to happen in my children’s lifetime … and their childrens’ lifetime. Will our earth be able to recover from what we are doing to it?

Sometimes the thought of being alone scares me too. But since I started this blog, really, I never am alone …

What are the best and worst things about blogging?

The very best thing about blogging is the wonderful friends I have made along the way. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it feels to wake up every morning to this fantastic group of caring, loving people. Foodies are the most generous, sweet, kind people you will ever meet, and having a food blog has brought me friends from all over the world I would never have met or even known of if I didn’t have this blog.

The worst thing about blogging … I suppose it is the time, because it does take a lot of time. But every moment I’m blogging or cooking for the blog is pure joy. I blog because I love it.

What is the last website you looked at?

I went to my sister’s food blog: She Eats Pork and Fishes … to find the recipe for the burrito sauce.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To love and respect myself more. To be kinder and more forgiving to myself. To stand up for myself and say no sometimes, rather than trying to please so many people. To be a stronger, better mother.

Slankets, yes or no?

Seriously? You want to know that? No, really, you don’t care. This is not important … (um, what’s a slanket anyway?)

Tell us something about the person who tagged you…

Samah (Good Cooks) is a mother from Palestine who lives here in the US now. Her photographs and recipes are just phenomenal. She is adventurous and brave in the kitchen and tackles all sorts of different recipes, and although I’ve not met her in person, I am sure that is how she is in real life too. Everything she cooks makes me drool …

Sawsan (Chef in Disguise) is a wonderful cook, a talented photographer and a sweet, sweet person. She is a mother and a doctor, but she is also my friend. She has so many good things to say. I love the variety of foods that she makes–she teaches me about foods I had never heard of. She has a heart of gold.

Tag, you’re it!

Now to pass on this game to five other bloggers … it’s so hard to choose … but I pick:

  1. Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen
  2. Cooking with Mel
  3. Debi at Recipes for my Boys
  4. Bia at Rich and Sweet
  5. Melissa at ChinDeep

This recipe was shared at Meatless MondaysTotally Tasty Tuesdays, Midweek FiestaNewlyweds Recipe LinkyCast Party Wednesday, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


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