Tag Archive: Mexican

Taco Bowls

I get really hungry for all things Mexican in flavor.  Enchiladas are far too messy to make for one person.  Eating out is not a good idea.  Besides it is too cold to be ducking in and out of the car when I could be home where it is warm.  This little bite of salad has all the good flavor combinations.  Corn tortillas, baked not fried.  Well seasoned taco meat, refried beans, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, cheese, sour cream and hot spicy salsa.  That about covers what I was craving and it didn’t take any longer than going through the takeout line at Taco Bell!  I would have liked some cilantro but not enough to go back to the store.  It does add a delicious flavor.   Give it a try with your favorite toppings.



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Dr. Pepper Fajitas

Living here in the southwest we love our spicy food.  Anything on a tortilla is especially appetizing to my children.  Starting out I made over-spiced meat and made some really tough fajitas.  I have found that putting them in a container to marinade for a few hours really helps with flavor and tenderness.  A friend shared with me that a local restaurant used canned soda to make their fajitas.  So I tried it with Dr. Pepper and dry fajita seasoning.  The result was a tender piece of meat with a nice crust after grilling.  I even grill the peppers and onions.  Very little oil is required to grill the veggies.  This results in no leftovers.  So I think it is a winner.


My children like these served with Mexican rice and refried beans to make a loaded fajita burrito.

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Another quick and easy southwest favorite that is somewhat healthified.  I love Mexican food in that with a few staples in your pantry you can use them in any combination.  The flavorings can increase or decrease the heat to your liking.  I always find that Mexican food makes me just full enough.  The staples have a lot of protein and fiber.  Used correctly they can be really healthy.  Enjoy this quick and easy family favorite of mine.  Don’t use store bought seasoning packets.  They are half salt and don’t allow you to adjust the flavors to your liking.  A few simple seasonings in your cabinet will get you just the flavor you want.

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian parika
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cup  of water
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • Pam
  • 1 15 oz can refried black beans (fat free)
  • 1 head of Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce (chopped finely)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • ¾ cup of grated cheddar-jack or pepper-jack cheese
  • Salsa

Preheat oven to 350

Over medium high heat add oil, onion and jalapeno into a sauce pan.  Cook until onion and jalapeno are softened.  Crumble ground turkey into the pan.  As you stir and brown the turkey and the seasonings one at a time and mix completely.  When the turkey is cooked and all of the seasonings have been mixed in add the cup of water and stir.  Bring to a boil and let all of the water cook out , stirring occasionally.  This takes about half an hour.

While the turkey is cooking, spray a cookie sheet with PAM and lay out the corn tortillas.  Spray the tops lightly and place in the oven until crisp.  About 13 minutes.

Heat the refried beans in the microwave or on the stove top.  I like to do mine on the stove top and mix in some salsa for extra flavor.

When the turkey is cooked and the tortillas and beans are ready, you are set to assemble.  Spread 2 or 3 tablespoons of beans on a tortilla.  Top with ½ cup of the turkey mixture, cheese, lettuce, tomato and salsa.  You could add guacamole or sour cream too.

Then crunch a way.  To super slim these, add the seasoning to the beans and skip the turkey.

Did you submit your favorite cookie recipe to my holiday cookie exchange?

Cookies 2012


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Growing HomeBack for Seconds


Healthy Breakfast Burritos

I love breakfast for dinner and on Sunday morning.  One of my favorite things is Migas.  Once you add the chorizo and all the cheese those calories start to add up though.  I was really hungry for them so I did this version of a breakfast burrito to quench my hunger.  Add more or less spice to your liking.

Serves 4

  • Pam
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
  • 4 Morning Glory or other meat substitute frozen sausage patties
  • 2 frozen hash brown patties cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Seasoning
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • Salsa

Cook breakfast patties in a non-stick skillet sprayed with PAM and chop into ¼ inch chunks.  Set aside.  Spray skillet with Pam at medium.  Add onion and jalapeno and cook until soft and just beginning to brown (about 5 minutes).  Evenly distribute onion and jalapeno in the bottom of the pan.  Add egg substitute, sausage and hasbrowns.  Stir slowly until cooked to your egg liking.  Heat the four flour tortillas in the microwave for thirty seconds.  Distribute eggs evenly between the tortillas and top with equal portions of the cheese and salsa.  Wrap and let set a few minutes to let cheese melt.

This one is quick and easy!  Enjoy!

Don’t forget to share your cookie recipes at my holiday cookie exchange:

Cookies 2012

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Make-Ahead Meals for Busy MomsHungryLittleGirl


Zucchini Boats

One last zucchini meal.  I really do like the things I have come up with this year.  This one is very tasty and it is an adaptation (very far removed).

Zucchini Boats

  • 2 Hatch green chiles, or 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium zucchini squash
  • 1 cup cooked Israeli couscous
  • 4 ounces Colby-Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup packed, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top of tomatoes)

Wash and dry the chiles and leave the stems on, use a knife and slit about a 1” verticle slit near the stem, and place them on a grill, the broiler or over the open flame on your gas stove.   I prefer the gas grill outside when the weather permits. (In El Paso that is almost always!)  Turn them until they are charred on all sides.  Once they are blackened all over, put them in a bowl or pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag or even foil.  You want them to steam completely.  They need to be cool enough to handle.  With the back of a paring knife slip the charred skin away by sliding the knife down the chile.  Remove as much of the blackened skin as possible.  A little char adds to the smoky flavor of the chile.  DO NOT RINSE THE CHILES when preparing them for sauces, enchiladas, pico de gallo or casseroles/stews, unless instructed in a recipe. Dice the chiles into ¼” dice.

Add corn and onion to a non-stick pan and cook for 10 minutes, half way through, stir mixture and then sprinkle with minced garlic. Add corn mixture to chopped chiles; stir in oregano, oil, lime juice, salt, cumin, and black pepper.

Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the inside; set aside.

Cook the couscous according to the package instructions. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Add to corn mixture; toss well.  Add the cheese to the mixture and carefully combine all ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spoon corn mixture evenly among each zucchini boat. Place in a baking dish.  Add about ¼ cup water to steam the squash.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler and sprinkle a little cheese on each zucchini. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese melts/browns. Serve immediately.

Sharing this week with Jam Hands and:
Foodie Friends Friday

Mexico-Welcome Juanita’s Cocina!

Mexico first participated at the Olympic Games in 1900 and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since 1924. Mexico has also participated in several Winter Olympic Games since 1928, though has never medaled in the Winter Olympics.Mexican athletes have won a total of 57 medals – with track and field, boxing and diving as the top medal-producing sports.Thanks for joining us for Olympic Week.  I could not think of a better country to end with than Mexico.  It has lent particular depth and meaning to our Texas culture and food.  Those of us who live here don’t call it Mexican.  We just call it food!  I also couldn’t think of a friend I would like to share my kitchen with for this event more than Jen from Juanita’s Cocina.  Her recipes take Tex-Mex to a whole new level.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and visit her Cocina for more inspiration. 

Hi, y’all! I’m Jen from Juanita’s Cocina!

I was SO excited when Linda from Tumbleweed Contessa wrote and asked if I would consider guest posting in her kitchen. You see, I’m a HUGE TWC (that’s what all of the cool kids call the Tumbleweed Contessa) fan. We’re both Texans, and we both love cookin’. Linda is even a West Texas gal, and since I’m from the West Texas area, I feel that we’re sort of on the same wavelength. Us West Texas folks know how to make things sparkle and shine, in spite of all of the dust…cooking included. And of course, we all know how to dodge tumbleweeds on a windy day while driving the country roads.

When Linda told me that I’d be a guest poster during her food celebration of the Olympics, I thought: “Why didn’t I think of that???”

Me and this dish are representing Mexico…which is perfect, because I specialize in all things Mexican cooking. Mexican cooking is my comfort zone…it’s where my heart is at. Sometimes I like to tell people that I was raised with a jalapeno in my mouth instead of a pacifier.

It didn’t take me long to settle on the dish I’d be making to share here in the Contessa kitchen. I immediately went to one of our favorite dishes…this Poblano, Hominy, and Chorizo Casserole from The Homesick Texan.

Lisa Fain and the Homesick Texan is one of my go-to stops for amazing Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. I have never tried a recipe from her cookbook or site that I haven’t absolutely fallen in love with. Everything is full of spice and huge, complex flavors, and this casserole is no different. Lisa’s recipes aren’t for the faint of heart…you need to love spice, in a subtle sort of way. Her recipes won’t slap you directly in the face, but they will leave that good chile burn in the back of your throat. It’s a feeling I love.

I figured nothing screams Mexican cooking and is more appropriate for the Tumbleweed Contessa’s Olympic-worthy celebration than chiles, chorizo, and posole (hominy). We served our casserole alongside some smoked brisket, but you can absolutely have this dish as your main entree. It’s THAT good. You don’t need anything else. This casserole is also better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld for a bit longer.

Poblano, Hominy, and Chorizo Casserole


  • 2 poblanos
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1/2 lb. Mexican chorizo, removed from the casing and crumbled
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 2 15 oz. cans of hominy, drained
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Roast the poblanos under the broiler in your oven until skins blacken and char, approximately 5 minutes per side. Once roasted, place the poblanos in a bag or container with a lid, seal and set aside for 10-15 minutes. After 15 minutes, peel the poblanos, remove the stems, and de-seed if desired. Dice the poblanos and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350.

Over medium-low heat, heat the oil in a 10-inch iron (or oven-safe) skillet. Cook the chorizo in the skillet until it is cooked through. Once cooked, remove from the skillet, set on a paper towel-lined plate, and allow to drain.

Add the diced jalapenos and onions to the skillet and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute before removing the skillet from the heat.

Add the poblanos, chorizo, hominy, sour cream, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, lime juice, and 1/2 of the cheese to the skillet and stir until well-combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until top is browned and casserole is bubbling.

Y’all are going to LOVE this casserole. Sometimes I think people are scared of the word “casserole” (me included). There’s no need to be fearful of this one…unless you’re afraid of delicious!

I truly think that this dish is worthy of an Olympic-style celebration!

Thank you to Linda and Tumbleweed Contessa for allowing me to share one of my favorite dishes here in the Tumbleweed Kitchen. I can’t wait to see what else is served up during this amazing celebration of the foods from different countries!

Mexican Fiesta Update

Oops! I forgot to include the recipe for my rice. Here it is.

Mexican Rice

1 cup white or brown rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 jalapeño pepper finely diced
½ medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste

In a medium sauce pan with a lid, add the rice, and vegetable oil. With the flame on medium-high toast the rice stirring constantly. (It will burn quickly when it gets hot.)
Add the jalapeño and onion and cook about 2 minutes. Add the water, salt and tomato paste. Stir well.

Cover and turn the heat to low and cover. Simmer until all the water is absorbed about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Mexican Fiesta

As I have said before I try to eat healthy.  Sometimes nothing will do though but to have a good mexican dinner.  My favorite is enchiladas with all the trimmings.  Here in the West Texas town of El Paso everyone has the best recipe for tacos, rice, salsa, beans, tamales and most importantly enchiladas.  My best are traditional with red sauce. To go to the fancier side, I do Suiza sauce.  Here are the recipes.  I gotta go eat!

Baked Tortilla Chips

  • 6 wheat or white corn tortillas
  • Pam non-stick cooking spray
  • Kosher Salt

Cut the tortillas into quarters or sixths, place on a baking sheet and lightly spray with the non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes.  Watch closely so they don’t brown too much.


Mexican Chicken Enchiladas with Suiza Sauce


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • vegetable oil
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups cooked cubed or bite size chicken meat
  • 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnishing, if desired
  • 4 ounces Queso Anejo, shredded (substitute Parmesan if unavailable)
  • 1 cup sour cream, for serving, optional
  • Salsa or Pico de Gallo, for serving, optional


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, little by little, until thoroughly combined. Add the chicken stock and bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened and flavorful, about 10 minutes. Add the pepper jack and stir until melted. Season with the salt and remove from the heat. Set aside, covered, while you assemble the enchiladas.


Heat a small skillet over high heat. When hot, add some of the vegetable oil and 1 of the tortillas. Cook until soft, turning midway, about 30 seconds per tortilla. Transfer to a plate to assemble the enchilada.  (You can’t stop to answer the phone now.)

Place some of the chicken down the middle of the tortilla, top with some of the green chiles and grated cheese.  Spoon about a tablespoon of the sauce down the center of the chicken/cheese and roll the tortilla.  Place seam-side down in the baking dish.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350°. Remove the foil and continue to bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the sauce and cheese are bubbly and light golden brown on top.

Serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, Spanish Rice and a spoonful of Grama Jo’s salsa, if desired.

Mid-Week BBQ

I guess I am still hungry for Fourth of July festivals as I woke up this morning craving BBQ.  Good thing that I know just the quick fix to cook all day while I am at work.  I’ll set up my crock pot and let it cook dinner.  Throughout the day I began to elaborate on the Tuesday night party.  Maybe I want some Mexican and something fresh and fruity too.  How am I going to get this all in one dinner?  That is how my kitchen experiments start.  I began to imagine the recipe below.  It was good.  Real good.  I have leftovers in case I need some more this week.

Pulled Pork Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

For the pork:

  • 1 pork tenderloin fat trimmed
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 16 oz bottle of Dr. Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chipotle chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Corn or Flour tortillas
  • Cheese and/or toppings

In the morning place all the ingredients through the salt and pepper into the crock pot and set to low.  Leave to stew for 6-8 hours.  Before removing from the pot fix the salsa (see below).

When ready to eat remove to pan and finish the shredding.  This should be very easy and almost done for you.  Serve with warmed tortillas, salsa and your favorite cheese.  I used Cotija.



For the salsa:

  • 2 pineapple rings
  • ½ of a red onion finely diced
  • 2 jalapeños finely diced
  • 1 cup of tomatoes finely diced  (I take mine as I get them from the garden, today’s crop was cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro finely chopped
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • Salt

Pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium.  Spray with cooking spray and add pineapple rings.  Spray the top side with cooking spray and let cook for three minutes or until deep grill marks appear.  Flip.  Cook 2-3 minutes more to char the other side.  Remove from pan to a plate and put in the refrigerator to chill.  When they are about room temperature, cut into small pieces.

Add all of the fruits and vegetables to a bowl and pour lime juice in and stir.  Salt to taste.  Serve over tacos.

I grilled a few extra pineapple rings for dessert!

Sharing Salsa!

Sharing this week with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

I think a lot of people have wonderful family recipes that they never write down.  It takes a lot of time to explain how to make something you have made forever and make it clear and correct so someone else can make it.  This is one of those recipes.

I have a friend at work who has the most wonderful mother.  She is a dedicated mom, grandmother and great-grandmother.  She sounds like a lively lady and makes her daughter laugh a lot.  She cooks dinner for Nelda and her boys a lot of days.  I never had the pleasure to come home to a home-cooked meal, unless I got up early and got things started in the crock pot.  That is such a nice thing to do.  I always hear them talking about dinner as the day goes on, so I check out their menu selections.  Sometimes I get a good idea.

One day she shows up at the office with a jar of salsa her mom made.  I immediately had to come up with a meal to serve this with.  So I made enchiladas, rice, tostados and a salad.  I shared some of the salsa with my daughter too.  It was so good, and so much better than the bottled stuff off the shelf.  Very fresh and you know what is in it.

This would be easy and good to make for your party snacks.

Grama Jo’s Salsa 

  • 10 jalapenos
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 – 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 –  8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup water (maybe a little more)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt

Boil the jalapenos in a pan with a lid until they are soft.  Cut off the stems (leave the seeds in) before you put them in the blender.  Add the onion chunks, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic cloves, the water, salt and garlic salt.  If you want to cut back on the salt you can eliminate the 2 teaspoons of salt, but not the garlic salt.  Blend until chunky.  Don’t make it into a puree or you will have a salsa smoothie, Grama Jo says.

Put in clean jars with lids and store in the frig. (It won’t last very long around hungry spicy food lovers.)  It makes a lot.  Everyone is addicted to it.  Enjoy!

Thanks, Jo for sharing your secret recipe with us.