Tag Archives: Mexican

Mexican quinoa bowl

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As a recently-married, full-time student, there are two things I’m always running out of. Time and money. With my obsession of cooking, I’ve had to learn how to make homemade, healthy and delicious dinners that are quick to make and within our budget…

Most girls my age do that “mental battle” thing at the mall. They find that perfect shirt they really need  want, and spend the next 15 minutes trying to justify why it’s ok to buy it, and why this time, the budget will be forgiving of that adorable new outfit. Yaaa, I do that too, but it’s usually in the produce section of the grocery store…embarrassing. It usually involves that devilishly delicious mango, which given it’s the month of March, costs $2 for ONE. Ugh…

Sooo, I’ve had to learn how to eat on a budget. Buy food in bulk. Plan recipes for the week that have similar ingredients, so I can stretch things a little further.

This Mexican quinoa bowl was the result of my efforts to use similar ingredients for my meals throughout the week. Earlier this week, I made quinoa stuffed acorn squash, and you’ll notice many of the same ingredients from that recipe pop up in today’s quinoa bowl. Mission accomplished! (Well, besides the kind of expensive strawberries we ate with it…the result of my mental battle this week. Eeek.)

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Mexican quinoa bowl

ingredients: *serves 2-3 

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt, pepper (plus some for seasoning)
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced in to small pieces
  • 1/2 avocado
  • feta cheese, cilantro, sour cream for topping

directions:

  1. Combine garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper and 1/4 tsp chili powder in a medium bowl. Mix well. Cut the chicken breast into small cubes and add to the bowl, stir it around until it’s all covered in the seasoning.
  2. Heat some oil in a large skillet and add the chicken. Cook it on low heat until it’s white in the middle, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and add the diced onion and red pepper. Cook on low heat until they are soft.
  4. Add the corn, beans and quinoa, and allow to warm.
  5. Stir in the chicken and the rest of the chili powder. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, avocado slices, feta cheese and sour cream.

on the stove

avacado

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Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

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              My sweet, sweet potato. Dinner really doesn’t get much better than this…In my opinion, sweet potatoes on their own are sorta, kinda heavenly. And then you mix in some corn, beans and cream queso and voila! Mexican heaven. The perfect way to celebrate my husband’s heritage…haha. This recipe was inspired by “Pinch of Yum,” which, if you haven’t explored her blog yet, prepare to spend at least 17 1/2 hours today looking through fabulous recipes. She’s quite the cook.
             I also made a variation of this recipe using a normal old russet potato, and topping it with salsa. It was delicious…however if you like sweet potatoes, I would stick with this:
mexican stuffed sweet potatoes
ingredients: *serves 2
  • 1-2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 ounce light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • bit of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • handful of shredded cheese (I used pepperjack because it’s my husband’s fav.)
directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub olive oil and sea salt on potatoes and stick them with a fork.  Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  2. Place the corn in a skillet and roast over medium-high heat until they begin to brown. Sprinkle some salt and add the black beans. Once they have warmed,  remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Saute the onion in some oil over medium heat until soft and translucent. Set aside.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven when tender and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Scrape the flesh of the sweet potatoes out, leaving the skins intact.
  5. Mix the flesh of the sweet potatoes with the cream cheese, sour cream and salt. Once mixed, stir in the black beans, roasted corn, sauteed onions and cilantro.
  6. Place the filling back into the empty skins, top each one with some cheese, and broil in the oven until the cheese is melted; about 5 min.

potoato copy cropped

pork enchilada tamale pie

corn tamale

Remember all that leftover pork in your fridge from those delicious carnitas?? (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, see my last post…) It would be sinful to let that stuff go to waste. So…thanks to another incredible recipe from pinchofyum.com, here is my latest food creation: pork enchilada tamale pie.

ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup yellow corn meal
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 can diced green chiles
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 2-3 cups leftover pork
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded white cheese (I used Pepperjack)
directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
  2. Stir in the oil until the mixture makes soft crumbs. Whisk in the milk and egg. Add the cream corn and green chiles and stir until just combined.
  3. Bake in a 9-inch square pan for about 25 minutes. Remember it won’t be completely dry like corn-bread because it’s a tamale-like base. It’ll be a little gooey…mmm.
  4. Poke holes in the crust and pour the enchilada sauce on top. Drain excess moisture out of the pork and arrange on top of the crust. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. When everything is heated through, remove foil and let bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Top with chopped cilantro, and pico de gallo. (see last post for recipe)

IMG_4733 corn tamale cropped corn tamale cropped2

crockpot pork carnitas with homemade pico de gallo

pork carnita close

In all my years of cooking experience (which add up to about 3…) I have never produced a more delicious hunk of meat. This pork is TO DIE FOR. But don’t die or you won’t be able to enjoy its succulent, sweet flavor.

Besides being mouth-wateringly delicious, this recipe has another thing going for it. It’s cooked in a crock-pot which, in my opinion, is the best invention after the Shop-Vac. 

I just can’t seem to describe my feelings for the crock-pot without getting emotional. That’s just how much I loooove it.

I can’t take all the credit for this recipe however. It comes from pinchofyum.com, which I highly recommend subscribing to. I just made a few adjustments and voila! Incredible pork carnitas.

ingredients for pork: (Will serve about 4 people. If you’re just cooking for 2, save the leftovers for another recipe which will be coming later this week!) 

  • 2-4 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped in small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • juice of a lime
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • ½ cup salsa
    *I used a lime-flavored salsa and it was really good

directions for pork:

  1. Chop your garlic and rub all over the pork shoulder. Place the meat in the crock-pot.
  2. Mix together the salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano and cinnamon. Rub the seasonings onto the pork. (Don’t be shy, really RUB it in!)
  3. Add the lime juice, orange juice, chicken broth and salsa. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Shred the meat in the crock-pot.
  5. Serve on tortillas with fresh cilantro, avocado, cheese (I used pepper-jack) and fresh pico de gallo.

avacado

pork carnita

ingredients for pico de gallo

  • 2 large red tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion
  • LOTS of cilantro
  • juice from a lime
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, cut into tiny pieces
  • salt to taste

directions for pico de gallo

  1. Cut tomatoes into small chunks
  2. Dice the onion and jalapeno
  3. Wash and chop cilantro into smaller pieces
  4. Add everything in a bowl, mix together and refrigerate for at least an hour

picco de gallo

P.S. Make sure to keep all the leftovers! They’ll be used for another scrumptious recipe, which will be coming soon!