Tag Archives: mexican

Mexican Casserole – Quick, Easy, and Cheap!

9 Nov

This casserole was one of the easiest things I have ever put together. It was also one of the most delicious. When I started to make this casserole, I didn’t have high hopes. I knew it would fill us up but it just seemed to be a run of the mill casserole, nothing too exciting. Thankfully, I was wrong. Jason loved it, went back for seconds that were as big as his first serving, and nibbled on it after dinner until there were no leftovers for his lunch the next day. Whoops.

I have recently become obsessed with my 8×4 baking dish. The 9×13 and 8×8 sizes are just too big for the two of us, especially when you take into account adding side dishes to a meal. The following recipe has been bulked up to fit an 8×8 baking dish because, apparently when I make it next time, the 8×4 simply won’t do.

Quick, Easy, and Cheap Mexican Casserole

Servings: 4-6
Level: Easy
Time: 30 minutes

1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. corriander, optional
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 c. tortilla chips, crushed
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 can nacho cheese condensed soup, or any brand of cheese dip will work as well
1 can rotel, drained
1/3 c. cheese, shredded

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook onions, ground beef, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, corriander, and red pepper flakes together until beef is browned throughout. Drain off excess fat. Pour crushed tortilla chips in a greased 8×8 baking sheet to coat the bottom. In a large bowl, mix together browned beef, beans, corn, condensed soup, and rotel. Pour over chips. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake, covered, for 20-25 minutes. Yum!

Tips
– Serve with a dollop of sour cream and/or salsa on top.
– Serve along side a green salad.
– Use taco seasoning instead of listed spices to flavor the meat.

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Beef Empanadas made from Taco Night Leftovers and Biscuits

1 Nov

Taco night is a favorite around here. Most of the time there aren’t any leftovers but this time there were and so I decided to turn them into something a little different.

These little guys took 15 minutes to make and were perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. They reminded me of a Mexican flavored calzone. Originally, empanadas are made with a flaky dough that roughly resembles pie crust. For this recipe, I used canned biscuits. I bought them to make a super quick version of chicken and dumplings… stay tuned for the recipe!… and had one can left over.

We ended up topping them with a little sour cream and we wished we had made more! Enjoy!

Beef Empanadas

Time: 15 minutes, if you are using leftover taco meat and veggies
Level: Easy
Servings: 3

1 c. leftover taco meat and veggies (mine was a mix of cooked ground beef, black beans, corn, rotel tomatoes, and taco seasoning)
1 can buttermilk biscuits (I used Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits and there were 6 biscuits inside)

Preheat oven to temperature indicated on the biscuit can. Lay biscuit rounds down on a cutting board and roll them out as thin as you can. Put 1/3 c. taco meat and veggies in the middle of a flattened biscuit.

Top with another flattened biscuit. Crimp edges together so it is sealed shut all the way around. Repeat until all biscuits have been used. With a fork, poke 3 holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 10 minutes.

Yum!

Tips
– Add cheese.
– Use chicken, pork, or any other meat.
– Leftover fajita mix would also be good.
– Top with sour cream.
– Dunk in salsa.

South of the Border Burgers

20 Oct

We love tacos and burritos at our house! But, alas, I was completely out of tortillas when the craving hit us. I don’t know about you but around here, when a craving hits, there’s no getting rid of it… So the South of the Border Burger was born, as most things are, out of necessity. And now this burger will surely be a weeknight  staple! I hope you like it.


South of the Border Burgers

Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Level: Easy

2 servings of ground beef (I always pre-portion my meat once I buy it…)
1 tbsp. low sodium taco seasoning
2 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 tbsp. salsa
1 tbsp. sour cream
2 slices cheddar cheese
freshly sliced purple onions, optional
lettuce

Mix ground beef and taco seasoning. Form into 2 patties. Either outside on the grill or inside in a grill pan, grill burgers until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes on each side.

Spread salsa on one side of hamburger buns and spread sour cream on the other side. Top buns with burgers, cheddar cheese,  onions, and lettuce. Yum!

Black Bean Croquettes

11 Sep

Last night, I wanted to make black bean burgers but I couldn’t get my patties thick enough to stay together. I think next time, I’ll try adding brown rice as a binder. I bet that would help.

Since the burger idea wasn’t working out so well, I went in a slightly different direction and made croquettes. They turned out AMAZING! Even my carnivorous husband was impressed and couldn’t believe how filling they were.

The best part of this dish was that all of the ingredients used in the croquettes are ingredients that I always have in stock. I will definitely be making this recipe again when I’m low on groceries!

Black Bean Croquettes

Servings: 4 patties
Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried onion, or freshly diced onions
1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed
1/3 c. plain dry breadcrumbs (divided in half)
1/3 c. tomatoes, diced
1/2 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease baking sheet. In a bowl, mash black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onions with a fork until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/2 of the breadcrumbs. Stir in tomatoes. In a small bowl, mix remaining breadcrumbs with olive oil.

Divide the bean mixture into 4 patties. Lightly press each patty into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat.

Place on baking sheet.

Bake the croquettes until heated throughout and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Yum!

Tips
– Serve with salsa and sour cream.
– Instead of fresh tomatoes, you can use a little rotel.
– Serve with brown rice and a side salad.

Chicken Spaghetti… with a Mexican Twist

4 Sep

We love chicken spaghetti. It reminds me of childhood and sorority house Monday night dinners. Yum! Normally, you make chicken spaghetti with one can of cream of chicken and one can of cream of mushroom. But, since I was out of cream of mushroom, I figured I’d take the recipe in a new direction and use a can of condensed nacho cheese soup. I never buy the stuff, honestly… but I was given a few cans by my wonderful Nana and was very glad I had them after tonight! By adding a few spices and changing up the soups, the traditional chicken spaghetti recipe was transformed into a completely different, yet equally delicious, casserole. Enjoy!

Mexican Chicken Spaghetti

Servings: 8-10
Time: 35 minutes
Level: Easy

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I simply boil the chicken in water, a little salt, and black pepper until no longer pink)
1 box angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
1 can rotel, undrained
1 c. broth or water
1 c. cheese, shredded (pick your fav… it can be a Mexican variety or just plain cheddar)
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Bake, covered for 25 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool and thicken for 10 minutes before serving. Yum!

Tips
– This dish is waaaay better the next day so leftovers are a must! It is also a great dish to make ahead of time.
– This dish freezes well.

Simple Sabroso Salsa

7 Jul

Sabroso means tasty in Spanish… I’m not sure if I used it in the right context or not, but hey, I only have a minor in the language so I’m not expected to know, right?

This salsa is called Sabroso Salsa because it is simply that, a tasty sauce… especially the next day, once all of the flavors sit and have a chance to mingle with each other.

If you have any leftover grilled corn, use it! If not, no worries! Canned corn will do just fine.

I served this salsa with tortilla chips but it would also be delicious served on crackers or bite sized baguette slices topped a little avocado and cheese. Appetizers, anyone?

Don’t forget to check the tips section for 2 great ideas for using up leftovers!

Simple Sabroso Salsa

Time: 5 minutes
Servings: A lot! It made about 3 -4 cups of salsa.
Level: Easy

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel, drained
1 tbsp. jalapeños, diced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lime juice

Mix all ingredients together and let sit in the fridge until ready to serve. Yum!

Tips
– Play with the spices. You can add as little or as much of each as you’d like!
– I spooned leftover salsa over grilled chicken for dinner the next day. Yum!
– Another idea for leftovers!!!! I used the rest of the leftover salsa to make a simple pasta dish. I heated the salsa in the microwave and mixed it with cooked, drained pasta shell noodles and leftover shredded chicken. It was so yummy!!

You Hate Leftovers? No Way… and Big Boy Burritos

18 Jun

I recently had an interesting conversation with a guy about leftovers. I am leftover obsessed and he was telling how much he absolutely HATES them. After talking  about soggy casseroles, spoonfuls of peas, and one bite of this and that thrown back on a plate and stuck in the microwave, I almost agreed with him. GAAARRRROSSS.

It occurred to me that whenever I use leftovers, I rarely ever eat them in exactly the same way. I always turn them in to something completely different, so instead of boringly eating the same meal, I just have half of the leg work done for me when beginning my next meal.

Case in point: Last night’s burritos. I call them Big Boy Burritos because they are almost too stuffed to fit into a tortilla. Good news? You don’t need any sides. All of your veggies and protein are wrapped up into one filling bundle. Yum!

The day before I  made Steak and Veggie Kabobs and had a lot leftover. I made leftovers on purpose so I could have steak, veggies, and rice already done for a quick meal later. If you think ahead, you can make weeknight dinners a breeze for nights when you’re in a hurry.

Big Boy Burritos

Servings: However much you have leftover.
Time: 10 minutes, max
Level: Easy

Steak or chicken, cooked
Veggies, cooked
Salsa
Rice
Black Beans
Tortillas
Sour cream
Cheese, shredded

Slice meat and veggies into bite sized pieces.

In a skillet over medium heat, heat meat, veggies, a few spoonfuls of salsa, rice, and black beans until warmed throughout.

Microwave tortillas for 15 seconds to help them become more pliable. Top tortillas with desired amounts of salsa and sour cream. Top with warmed meat mixture and a little cheese. Wrap it up and you’re good to go! Yum!

Mexican Tortilla Pizza

16 May

I was going to make quesadillas… but then I figured it would save me almost 100 calories if I left off the top tortilla. Ahh, Mexican Tortilla Pizza is born.

Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips make this dish super quick and easy. I use these pre-cooked chicken strips a lot!

I’ll be making this pizza again, for sure!

Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

1/3 c. Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips
1/4 c. corn, frozen
1/4 c. peppers and onions, frozen
1/4 c. mushrooms, sliced, optional
1 tbsp. jalapeños, diced, optional
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
salt, to taste

2 tortillas
1/2 c. refried beans
1/3 c cheese, shredded
salsa, to top
sour cream, to top

In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken, vegetables, and spices, until chicken is completely thawed.

Turn oven to Broil. Spread refried beans on each tortilla, top with chicken mixture, then sprinkle with cheese.

Broil in oven until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.

Top with salsa and sour cream, if desired. Yum!!

Tips
– Try using different veggies, meat, or spices to mix things up.
– Leftover taco meat, enchilada sauce, or fajitas? No problem! This pizza would be good topped with any of those leftovers.

Chicken Torta

9 May

A torta is basically a sandwich. This Cuban/Mexican sandwich can be made using any type of protein. Chicken, steak, pork, and even scrambled eggs can top this veggie packed delight.

I decided to try and recreate this delicious torta after eating one with friends at Las Delicias. Las Delicias makes the BEST tortas. The one I had the other night was made with eggs… yum!

Tonight’s version is made with chicken. Either way, it is oh so good and you MUST try one soon.

Chicken Torta

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

chicken, cooked and shredded (enough for 2)
1/3 c.  enchilada sauce
1/4 c. refried beans
sour cream
2 soft but crusty rolls or baguette
avocado slices, optional
tomato slices, optional
onion slices, optional
jalapeño slices, optional

Heat chicken with enchilada sauce. Cook until meat is thoroughly saturated with sauce.  Spread refried beans on one side of the split bread and spread sour cream on the other. Toast until slightly crispy. Top bread with meat and veggies.

Yum!

Tips
– Try different meats and sauces. You could use leftover fajita meat that has been marinated and cooked… that would be yummy.
– If you choose to use scrambled/omelet eggs, you can omit the enchilada sauce. Add a little hot sauce or salsa to your eggs instead.
– I topped mine with hot sauce.
– I used a whole wheat baguette but it wasn’t soft enough and made the sandwich messier than normal.
– I served mine with a side of corn, bell peppers, onions, and  jalapeños seasoned with a little salt, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.

In Honor of Cinco de Mayo…

3 May

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Cinco de Mayo… Ahh, what a delicious holiday. Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a holiday that celebrates  Mexico’s victory over the French on May 5, 1862.  But, dang, celebrating  their victory with a delicious dinner is just fine by me. Our neighbors to the south know what their doing when it comes to their amazing cuisine and I’m not ashamed of how much I love it!

If your going to be staying in this Cinco de Mayo or if you are planning on having a blow out fiesta with friends, check out these recipes below. I took a look back at my recipe collection and my love is clearly evident… I can’t say that ANY of these recipes are even slightly  authentic but they are definitely inspired by south of the border flavors.

Grab yourself a basket of chips and a bowl of salsa, maybe a margarita or two, and celebrate!

Enchilada Pie 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas (vegetarian and vegan)

Steak Fajitas

Mexican Cornbread

Quinoa Salsa Side Dish

Gringa Tostada

Fiesta Fritata

Baja Shrimp Tacos with a Corn and Radish Salad

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