Category Archives: Mexican-inspired

Enchiladas – Two Ways

Recently, I had a craving for enchiladas, so I started looking for recipes for fillings, sauce, etc. I came across a blog (RecipeTinEats) that had a recipe for pork carnitas, which I then modified a bit (see my modified recipe here) and pork carnitas enchiladas. Around the same time, some good friends of ours had a baby (and the wife is vegan), and we wanted to visit and bring dinner over. So – I thought – I could make an enchilada sauce that would work with either meat or vegan fillings (inspired by veganinsanity blog), and then I could make both! So, I used one of Rick Bayless’s recipes for inspiration, and I made an enchilada sauce that I was happy with (as a test batch), then doubled the recipe so that I could make both the pork carnitas enchiladas AND the vegan enchiladas!


Enchilada Sauce
Adapted from Rick Bayless
Makes enough for 1 recipe enchiladas (8 servings)

Ingredients:
8 dried guajillo chiles
1 1/2 cups fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Toast the chile pieces a few at a time in a dry heavy skillet or on a griddle heated over medium, pressing them flat against the hot surface with a metal spatula until they are aromatic, about 20 seconds per side.

2. In a bowl, rehydrate the chiles for 20 minutes in boiling water to cover; place a small plate on the top to keep the chiles submerged. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the rehydrated chiles to a blender. Measure 1 cup of water (from the chiles), and set aside. Add the tomatoes and garlic and process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium mesh sieve into a bowl.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium (4 to 5 quart) pot or Dutch oven or a large (12 inch) deep skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the chile puree, chile water, and spices and stir nearly constantly until reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, about 7 minutes. Add the broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Season with sugar and salt.

Nutritional info (sauce only, per serving):
Calories: 37.3
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 286.9 mg
Potassium: 101.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 6.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Sugars: 2.5 g
Protein: 1.1 g


Black Bean Enchiladas (Vegan)
A Karen original recipe inspired by vegan enchiladas by veganinsanity blog and enchilada sauce by Rick Bayless
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
6 oz chopped cactus (nopalitos)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
8 medium flour tortillas
1 cup vegan mexican “cheese” (I used Go Veggie Mexican shreds)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan over high heat. Add the onion, pepper, zucchini, cactus, and corn. Add salt, pepper, and spices. Saute until onion is beginning to soften. Stir in the black beans and cilantro.
 

3. Distribute filling into each tortilla and roll up and place in the baking dish.

4. Pour over the enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted (or appears soft).

Nutritional info (per enchilada, with sauce):
Calories: 274.7
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 808.9 mg
Potassium: 363.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 40.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.5 g
Sugars: 5.0 g
Protein: 7.9 g


Pork Carnitas Enchiladas
A Karen original recipe inspired by pork carnitas from Recipe Tin Eats blog and enchilada sauce by Rick Bayless
Serves 8

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked pork carnitas
6 oz chopped cactus (nopalitos – see photo above in vegan enchilada recipe)
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
8 medium flour tortillas
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan over high heat. Add the cactus and pork carnitas and cook until the bottom of the pork is nicely browned about 10 minutes. Do not turn, just make the bottom crispy (to keep the pulled pork as moist as possible), then remove the pulled pork into a bowl.

3. Add the carnitas, black beans, and 1/4 cup cheese into a bowl and mix to combine. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 13×9 glass baking dish. Distribute filling evenly into each tortilla and roll up and place in the baking dish.

4. Pour over the remaining enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

Nutritional info (per enchilada, with sauce):
Calories: 298.7
Total Fat: 9.0 g
Saturated Fat: 4.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 28.3 mg
Sodium: 803.8 mg
Potassium: 414.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 33.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 g
Sugars: 4.1 g
Protein: 19.2 g

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Pork Carnitas

I love to find new recipes for pork, since it is so versatile for so many things. I wanted to make some pork carnitas so that I could use the meat for tacos, enchiladas, etc. So, I started searching online, and I came across a recipe that seemed like the perfect fit on Recipe Tin Eats. I modified it slightly (used a leaner cut of pork, and doubled the seasonings – see here for the original recipe), and it was fantastic! The meat is great on its own with rice, used in a taco, or used in enchiladas!  This is probably not the most authentic recipe, but we love it. Enjoy!

Pork Carnitas
Slightly adapted from Recipe Tin Eats blog
Makes 24 oz shredded pork

Ingredients:
2 lb pork loin, trimmed
1 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 fl oz  fresh orange juice

Directions:
1. Mix oregano, cumin, coriander, and olive oil in a small bowl. Rub over pork loin.

2. Place pork in a slow cooker. Top with remaining ingredients.

3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

4. Shred after pork is cooked.

Nutritional info (per oz cooked):
Calories: 51.2
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 20.8 mg
Sodium: 163.2 mg
Potassium: 198.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 1.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.2 g
Sugars: 0.4 g
Protein: 8.6 g

Grilled Chicken with Tomatillo-Tomato Salsa

Summer is here! And that means grilling in our household!  This recipe is easy and refreshing, especially with the fresh salsa. It makes quite a bit of salsa, so feel free to serve the extra with chips on the side. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken with Tomatillo-Tomato Salsa

from Body and Soul magazine
serves 4

Ingredients:
Olive oil, for grill
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
1/2 small red onion, quartered
1/2 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, roughly chopped (I used one cayenne pepper and left in the seeds & ribs – it was just the right amount of heat)
8 ounces tomatillos (about 4), peeled, rinsed, cored, and quartered
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1/2 cup whole cilantro leaves

Directions:
Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. In a shallow dish, stir together 2 tablespoons lime juice and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and coat. Let sit 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse onion and jalapeno until finely chopped. Add tomatillos and pulse once or twice. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and remaining lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Pulse to combine.

Grill chicken, covered, until opaque throughout, about 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil; let rest 5 minutes. Serve chicken with salsa (use a slotted spoon for serving, to remove some of the excess liquid).

Nutritional Info Per Serving:
Calories: 163.0
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 64.0 mg
Sodium: 147.0 mg
Potassium: 588.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 8.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
Sugars: 2.6 g
Protein: 27.3 g

Beef & Black Bean Tacos

We love tacos in Texas, so recently I decided to do a twist on plain-old regular tacos. I didn’t have taco shells on hand, but I did have a package of 6-inch corn tortillas. And I didn’t have an entire pound of ground beef – I had 8oz, and I found cooked black beans in my freezer (about the equivalent of one can). So, I decided to do some improvising! I used the meat and beans together with my homemade taco seasoning, and I baked the tortillas in the oven (by turning my cupcake pan upside-down). It was a lot of fun, and they turned out great! Enjoy!

Beef & Black Bean Tacos

A Karen original recipe
Serves 4 (2 tacos per serving)

Ingredients:
8 oz 93% lean ground beef, uncooked
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (about 1 can – if canned, then rinse & drain)
8 6-inch corn tortillas (I use HEB brand)
1 recipe homemade taco seasoning (see recipe below)
1/2 cup water
toppings – lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream, etc. (not included in nutritional info)

Directions:
Bake tortillas upside-down in a cupcake pan at 425 for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown meat in medium skillet. Add taco seasoning, black beans, and 1/2 cup water. Simmer until thickened.

Fill tortillas with the beef & bean mixture.


Top with your favorite toppings (lettuce, salsa, cheese, etc.).

Nutritional info:
Calories 287.7
Total Fat 5.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Cholesterol 30.0 mg
Sodium 349.0 mg
Potassium 430.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 40.5 g
Dietary Fiber 7.0 g
Sugars 0.6 g
Protein 19.5 g

Homemade taco seasoning (equals 1 store-bought packet)

Adapted from unknown recipe source
Makes 1 “packet”, 4 servings

1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp tomato powder

For tacos, mix with 1/2 cup water and cooked ground meat.

Nutritional info per serving:
Calories: 7.6
Total Fat:: 0.2 g
Saturated Fat: 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 298.8 mg
Potassium: 53.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 2.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Sugars: 0.6 g
Protein: 0.3 g

Elote Corn Bake

In San Antonio, elote corn (roasted corn on the cob, with spices, mayo, and topped with cojita cheese) is one of our favorites at local restaurants. One of our favorites is from a nearby restaurant, Two Step (roasted corn). My good friend introduced me to this easy casserole recipe to serve at parties – it’s all the fun of the elote corn, without having to make individual ears of corn for everyone. It’s a lot of fun, and we will definitely be making this again!

r

Slightly adapted from “Food in my beard” blog
Serves 12

Ingredients:
10 ears of corn
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 Tbsp cilantro chopped
1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
1/4 cup light mayo (I used Hellman’s)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 oz crumbled Cojita cheese

1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:
Shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob. Use the back of your knife to scrape extra corn juice from the cob.

Chop the herbs and scallions and and mix all of the ingredients (except cojita cheese and lime) in a large bowl.

Pour into a baking dish, and top with cojita cheese. Bake at 350 for about a half hour until it is bubbling.

Before serving, squeeze lime wedges over the top (or, alternatively, give guests a lime wedge to dress each serving individually).

Nutritional info:
Calories: 106.3
Total Fat: 3.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.3 g
Cholesterol: 5.8 mg
Sodium: 204.1 mg
Potassium: 262.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 17.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Sugars: 3.8 g
Protein: 4.1 g

Turkey Tacos with Avocado-Corn Salsa

Another favorite with leftover turkey meat? Turkey tacos! We’ve been making this recipe for several years, and it is always fun to make!

Turkey tacos - done

Turkey Tacos with Avocado-Corn Salsa
From Prevention magazine
Serves 6, 2 tacos per serving

Ingredients
1 firm, ripe avocado, peeled, pitted & chopped
1 cup corn kernels – fresh, frozen, or canned (& drained)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 package (12) corn taco shells
1 pkg (1.25 oz) reduced sodium taco seasoning (or use homemade)
12 oz cooked boneless, skinless turkey breast, sliced into strips
3/4 cup water

Directions
1. Mix avocado, corn, tomatoes, & lime juice in a medium bowl. Set salsa aside.
Turkey tacos - salsa

2. Warm shells in oven.

3. In medium skillet, combine seasoning, turkey, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Turkey tacos - meat Turkey tacos - with seasoning Turkey tacos - filling cooked

4. Spoon turkey mixture into shells. Top with salsa.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 251.9
Total Fat: 10.2 g
Cholesterol: 33.3 mg
Sodium: 217.4 mg
Total Carbs: 22.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.6 g
Protein: 19.6 g

Beef and Bean Burrito Casserole

I always like to have a few easy-to-grab meals around in the freezer, mainly for lunches. So, I have come up with a few recipes that make several servings and freeze well. This is one of those recipes – easy to make, filling, freezes well, and both John and I like it! We just made it again recently, so I have several servings in the freezer to look forward to! 🙂

You can also sub cooked chicken breast (12 oz) if you prefer chicken instead of beef – it’s great either way!

Beef and Bean Burrito Casserole
Source unknown
Serves 9

Ingredients:
1 pound 93% lean ground beef (or sub 12 oz cooked cubed chicken breast)
1 packet taco seasoning reduced sodium (or use my homemade recipe – 1 “pack”)
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes w/chiles (Ro-Tel – medium)
1 can (15 oz) fat free refried beans
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (can sub 2 cups fat free cheddar, if desired)
4 cups brown rice, cooked
1 medium onion
spray olive oil (I use misto)

Directions:
1. Cook rice, set aside. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Dice onion and saute in large skillet with ground meat. Add water and 1 packet of taco seasoning. Simmer until sauce thickens. Add corn, Ro-tel tomatoes, tomato paste and beans.

3. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with spray olive oil, and fill with veggie/bean/meat mixture. Top with 1/2 cup of cheese (or 1 cup if using ff). Cover with cooked brown rice. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Spray with olive oil spray.

4. Bake covered at 350° until heated through, 20 min. Remove cover and continue baking until cheese is melted, 5 min.

Cut into 9 pieces.

Nutritional info (2 cups fat free cheese):
Calories: 340.8
Total Fat: 4.8 g
Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 33.3 mg
Sodium: 792.4 mg
Potassium: 434.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 51.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.4 g
Sugars: 4.5 g
Protein: 26.1 g

Nutritional info (1 cup full-fat cheese):
Calories: 349.7
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Saturated Fat: 4.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 40.0 mg
Sodium: 623.6 mg
Potassium: 434.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 49.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.4 g
Sugars: 4.5 g
Protein: 20.7 g

Nuritional info (sub 12 oz cooked chicken):
Calories: 306.6
Total Fat: 2.7 g
Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 27.9 mg
Sodium: 781.6 mg
Potassium: 505.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 51.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.4 g
Sugars: 4.5 g
Protein: 24.0 g

Taco Seasoning

I love tacos. But I dislike the store-bought seasoning – mainly because I find it WAY too salty! And because of all of the salt, I could never actually taste the seasonings! Plus, I never think to buy it, so I decided I should figure out a way to make a tasty mix for myself, so that I could make tacos (or use the seasoning in recipes) anytime.

I’ve been making this recipe for several years now, and I love it (and so does John)! I usually make about 4-5 batches at a time (package them individually in snack-size ziplock bags or small plastic containers) so that they’re always on-hand and ready to use.

Homemade taco seasoning
Adapted from unknown recipe source
Makes 1 store-bought “packet” (4 servings)

1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp tomato powder

For tacos, mix with 1/2 cup water and cooked ground meat.

Nutritional info (4 servings):
Calories: 7.6
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 298.8 mg
Total Carbs: 2.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.3 g