Archive for ‘Mexican inspiration’

April 6, 2011

Taco Style Salad in a Tortilla Bowl

Another birthday come and gone!

So I am now 38. Great! Glad it’s over, really; I don’t care much about my birthday… I used to, but not anymore. Been disappointed way too many times, so I learned to treat it as “just another day”. Nothing special about it, at least not as far as the outside world is concerned.

Few things worth mentioning, though…

On my way to work I got to do my first hearing of “Awesome as F**k”, Green Day’s latest CD. Awesome, it was! It really set my day off to a great start. You see, my kids and I have this HUGE love affair with Green Day. I could make an extremely long entry on that subject, but I’ll spare you… for now! Funny thing is, that CD came out on my daughter’s birthday and I finally got to listen to it for the first time on mine. Cool!

Also on my way to work, I witnessed the odometer on my truck turning to 200 000 km, somewhere between kilometre 37 and 38 of highway 15. I thought it was odd that this should happen on the morning of my 38th birthday…  Weird!

My coworkers took me out for lunch. I got to choose where I wanted to go. Of course, I chose SUSHI! Sushi sans the dollar sign factor. Now that’s what I call a good thing!

My ex and my daughter gave me a dozen white roses, tied with a pretty purple bow. Awwww, so beautiful! I really hope I get to use them in one of my upcoming photo shoots… I’ll have to plan around that.  SWEET!

The Habs played the best darn game of their entire season! Wow, what a show. Edge of your seat kind of game. Carey made tons of unbelievable saves, and probably what will be THE save of the year. Lovely!

And this, is what I had for supper on my birthday. Really birthday worthy, if I may say!

Ingredients
(serves 4)

  • 4 large multi grain tortillas
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ cup cooked kidney beans
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup frozen corn, cooked
  • 175g Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups chunky salsa
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup pickled cactus slices
  • Low fat sour cream
  • Chunky salsa

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Press tortillas in small oven safe bowls (I use stainless steel mixing bowls) to shape them into bowls. Place in the oven and bake until they just start to turn brown. Don’t overcook as the bowls will have to return to the oven later. Remove from oven and let them cool for a few minutes before “unmolding”. Reserve.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until tender and lightly coloured. Add kidney beans, cumin and chilli powder. Cook until fragrant then add water. Continue cooking until all water evaporates. Remove from heat, divide between reserved tortilla bowls.
  • Add a few tablespoons of salsa on top of the beans, then divide the corn and cheese between the bowls. Reserve a few tablespoons of cheese to garnish.
  • Place the bowls on a cookie sheet and return them to the oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and continue building your salad, dividing lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno peppers, black olives, pickled cactus and reserved cheese between all four bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream if desired.
  • Serve with additional sour cream and salsa.

February 7, 2011

Chili Made Healthy

On Super Bowl day here, there is never a question as to what we are going to eat. It’s become tradition now to make a huge batch of good old hot Chili Corn Carne. Don’t ask. We’re strange like that…

While Chili is already a pretty healthy dish if you don’t load it up with fat, this year, I decided to make an even healthier version. To do that, I started by replacing the habitual ground beef with ground chicken breasts. Well, actually, that’s pretty much the only change I made… I have to say that I honestly liked it, even preferred it to beef. Chicken is really moist and I prefer its texture to that of the beef. And I find chicken has more flavor too. My daughter and I decided, after tasting it, that this year’s was the best Chili we ever made.

I traditionally like to serve my chili with oven baked tortilla “chips”. What’s really fun about them is that you can actually use them as a spoon and scoop your chili with them. I also garnish with a little bit of grated cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped green onions.

You have no idea just how bad I am refraining myself now from running upstairs and have another bowl…

Ingredients
(serves 6-8)

  • 4 cups dry Kidney Beans
  • 900g chicken breast
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chipotle (or chili) powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder (you can use fresh garlic instead, I was all out…)
  • 3 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp dried parsley
  • 6-8 Multigrain Tortillas
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to brush
  • Salt Pepper
  • Grated Cheddar cheese
  • Low Fat Sour Cream
  • Green onions, finely chopped

Directions

The night before, soak the kidney beans in 8-10 cups of water.

  • Rinse the beans in a colander to remove all the soaking liquid.
  • Transfer the beans to a pot and cover with plenty of water. Add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, until tender but slightly undercooked. Make sure the beans are always covered with water.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into small cubes and grind in the food processor, on pulse, until it reaches the desired consistency. Work in small batches to avoid over processing the meat. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the onions, bell pepper and celery over medium heat until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add all the seasonings, stir to coat.
  • Turn up the heat and add the ground chicken. Cook the meat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to fry and turns golden.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotle peppers and cacao powder. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer while the beans are cooking.
  • When the beans are ready, drain them and add them to the chili.
  • Bring back to the boil and again, reduce heat. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • To make the tortilla chips, brush each tortilla with olive oil, then sprinke with salt and pepper. Cut them into 6 pieces and transfer onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven on broil for about 1-2 minutes per side, until they turn golden. Make sure to keep a close eye on them as they tend to brown quickly.
  • Arrange the tortillas around the plates, and top each serving with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, a dollop of low fat sour cream and sprinkle a few chopped green onions.

 

 

December 16, 2010

Chicken Quesadilla

Can’t say I’m too happy with this picture. I find Quesadillas are very hard to make it so they look nice.They just look so boring just lying there in the plate. I’ll definitely have to work on that because it’s too bad, really. I think they are such a great dish!

So very easy to prepare, I’m not even going to bother writing down a recipe. You just basically need to throw anything you want in a tortilla, it could be chicken, kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, olives, peppers, beef, tofu, onions, even apples if you so desire. As long as you add a hefty dose of cumin and chili powder, or even better, chipotle, some Monterey Jack cheese, you get yourself a decent quesadilla!

Just throw all your ingredients in the tortilla, fold in half and bake in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or you can cook them in a frying pan, over medium heat, about 5 minutes per side.

Anyway, sorry about the bad picture, I will try and get a better one next time. Here’s another try, not too happy with that one either, but will post anyway, it might grow on me! ;o)