Spicy Breakfast for dinner


The other day I mentioned a frittata I made. It was one of those fantastic things that you create with the random ingredients you have on hand. A few weeks ago I picked up my Bountiful Basket and also got a guacamole pack. There was so much food I was running out of inspiration to use everything before it went bad. I had this genius idea to make a Mexican-inspired frittata. You know, eggs, jalapeno, avocado, salsa, cheese, etc. I have only made a few frittatas in my day and only one of them has turned out well. Oddly enough it was the first one I ever made and I have not been able to duplicate the results until this Mexican frittata. Do you have some goodies laying around? Or feel like going out of your way to try my concoction? Here’s what you will need…

Mexican Frittata

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons shredded reduced fat cheese

Preheat oven to 350. In an oven-safe medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and stir to coat pan evenly. Meanwhile whisk together eggs, egg beaters, pico, milk and jalapeno until well-combined. Add mix to skillet slowly. You want to work the egg mixture gently in the pan but keep the liquid moving so all portions get heated. This is just to start the process of cooking before placing pan in the oven. See this video for a visual (Giada). Next, I bake it for 7-10 minutes. You want the eggs to be set and the top to be a light golden brown.

You will get four servings out of this. I served ours with roasted potatoes and onions (1/2 pound potatoes, 1/2 medium yellow onion, 1/2 jalapeno diced; roasted at 400 for 35 minutes with oil, salt, and pepper) but you could also add a side salad and or some crusty bread.

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Chilaquiles Rojo


Another fabulous request from Juan – this dish was so yummy! It will certainly pop up again in my repertoire.

 

I asked around for a recipe for these mainly because I didn’t want to just search the internet and risk getting a reference recipe I didn’t trust. I did not follow the recipe I was given to a T for many reasons, but I think it turned out well just the same. If the recipe seems daunting don’t let it frighten you. It is similar to making lasagna,  lots of easy little steps but worth the effort.

Chilaqiules Rojo

  • 10 flour tortillas, cut into triangles
  • 1 cups water
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Serrano chilies, diced
  • 2 Jalapeno chilies, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 small sweet peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound chorizo, casing removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • Guacamole and Sour cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a glass baking dish (I used an 8×13) with aluminum foil and non-stick spray.

In a non-stick skillet brown the tortilla triangles until slightly dry and light gold in color. Set aside. I did this in batches and let them sit while I prepared the rest of the recipe. You want them a little dry so they will absorb all the juices so let them sit!

In a large skillet brown the chorizo this will take about 5 minutes. I coated the pan with non-stick spray and this worked fine – if you’d like you can add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to the pan as well but the fat content in the chorizo will eliminate the need for extra oil. You don’t need to cook this all the way through, as it will finish cooking in the oven. Once it is golden brown remove from the pan and set aside, preferably in a large mixing bowl.

In the same skillet sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Then add the chilies, peppers, and tomatoes. Cook these until warmed through – about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add water, simmer about 5 minutes. (At this point it was recommended that I blend the vegetables to make a purée, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered and I loved the texture and color so I abstained. By all means though blend away if you feel so inclined.) Add vegetable mix to the chorizo and mix well to combine. Add in ½ of the cilantro and mix again.

Now comes the fun part – Assembling your dinner!! Remember my earlier comment that this was like lasagna?? Well it really is. I layered mine this way: pan – tortilla triangles – meat/veggie – tortilla triangles – meat/veggie – cheese/cilantro.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. This will yield 8 healthy portions, though we had seconds so don’t count on leftovers. 9 points plus per serving.

     


Fish Tacos


Thank you so much for the requested dish!! I am always looking for new ideas, and sadly fish tacos are not in my normal routine, though I think with this recipe they have found a new home. The fish taco recipe was adapted from Great Food Fast. Give these guys a try and be sure to keep the suggestions coming!

 

Fish Tacos

      

  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ½ cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound firm white fish, cut into 16 cubes
  • 8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, combine sour cream, lemon zest and juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to a small bowl and set aside for serving. Toss the cabbage and jalapeno with the remaining sour cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In two batches, cook the fish until golden brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile warm the tortillas – either in the microwave or oven, or if you are lucky enough over a gas burner (try not to let them catch on fire).

To assemble your taco: fill the tortilla with a bit of slaw, then fish and then top with the remaining sauce. We served ours with a dollop of guacamole as well.

Yields 8 tacos, 2 tacos per person.

 

Guacamole

  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded
  • ½ jalapeno, minced
  • zest and juice of ½ lime
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

In a medium bowl combine shallot, garlic, tomato, jalapeno and avocado (without skin and seed). Mash the ingredients together until well combined – you can use what ever you have around so a fork/spoon/spatula. Anything.

Add in lime zest and juice and cilantro; stir well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yields ½ cup guacamole or enough to serve 1 tablespoon per taco.


2 dinners, 2 desserts


Four good recipes in two days: Mexican Couscous Salad, Bistro Turkey Burgers, Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, Angel Food Cake with Strawberries.

It has been a hot week so far and promises to continue. Not much else to report around here. Had to visit the hospital yesterday for some pre-employment stuff and did a bunch of projects around the house today but that is the extent of our excitement… That was until we went to the grocery store and stumbled upon some angel food cake.

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries, serves 2

      

  • 1/2 pint strawberries, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 slices angel food cake (about 2 oz)
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons sugar (will depend on sweetness of strawberries)
  • 2 tablespoons light whipped cream

Slice strawberries and place in medium bowl with sugar. Add sugar gradually based on sweetness of berries, mix well. Refrigerate berries for at least 30 minutes. Assemble each plate: 1 slice of cake with 1/2 the berries and 1 tablespoon of whipped cream. 3 Points Plus per serving * Carver warmed the cake in the toaster oven until the edges were crispy which was a delicious variation!

Mexican Couscous Salad, serves 4

  • 2/3 cup dried couscous
  • 1 cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil – 1 teaspoon for cooking couscous, remainder for vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • zest and juice of one orange (could use two limes here if you would prefer)
  • 2 chicken breasts, grilled and then diced

Over medium high heat, toast couscous in 1 teaspoon olive oil for 4-5 minutes until golden. Gradually add in water or stock, 1/3 cup at a time until couscous is barely covered in liquid. Cover pan and simmer for 8 minutes until all liquid is nearly absorbed. Stir in red onion, recover and remove from heat. In a large bowl make the vinaigrette: whisk together the mint, orange zest, orange juice, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add in remaining ingredients and stir well to coat all ingredients in vinaigrette. Serve over mixed greens. Serving size is 1 1/2 cups. 13 Points Plus per serving.

Bistro Turkey Burgers, serves 3

   

  • 1 pound ground turkey, lean
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 6 slices ciabatta
  • 2 cups arugula, rinsed and drained
  • 3 slices low fat provolone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons low fat ranch dressing

In a large bowl combine turkey, scallions, parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of Frank’s red hot. Score meat to form three equal portions and form patties which match the size and shape of the ciabatta slices. Cook over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Meanwhile toast ciabatta slices and combine dressing and remaining 2 tablespoons of hot sauce in a small bowl to make sandwich topping.  10 Points Plus per serving

To assemble each sandwich:

  1. coat one side of each slice of ciabatta with 1 teaspoon of dressing-hot sauce
  2. then 1/2 slice cheese,
  3. then tomatoes and arugula on one side
  4. next top patties on top of arugula
  5. cover patties with second slice of bread (with sauce and 1/2 slice cheese)
  6. slice sandwiches, 2 halves per serving

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies, makes 3 dozen cookies

     

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick light butter, room temperature
  • 4oz unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt; mix well. Meanwhile in a large bowl beat applesauce and butter until completely incorporated. Add in two sugars to butter and beat until light and creamy. Next, add in eggs, one at a time – mixing well after each addition. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, 1/3 at a time – mixing well between additions. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans until well dispersed. Spoon batter onto baking sheets using a rounded tablespoon. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. 3 Points Plus per cookie.


Inaugural date night


That’s right, we have instituted date night. Currently on Thursday’s. Our first date date night of our new lives happened to be in Albuquerque, NM. After the two precious dinners and the less than satisfying road meals we had been eating we decided we would hunt down authentic Mexican food. Once we got to the hotel we put the iPad to use and searched out a restaurant within walking distance.
In Carver’s words the meal was, “Glorious,” or maybe that was just the beers he was referring to…
The restaurant was very unassuming from the front, as most good restaurants usually are. The service was great and the food was perfect.
We started out with a beer (Pacifico and Negro Modelo) and some chips with lime juice. For the entree I had fish tacos while Carver had mixed fajitas. We shared the meals of course and they were the perfect way to kick off date night. I also LOVED the rice, not your standard red rice. If I had to guess, I would say: white rice cooked in chicken stock and then a mirepoix mixed in before serving. I will certainly be trying it out at home.
Dessert was flan- free because we mentioned their website. And the flan was equally delicious. There had to be a little old lady involved. Our waiter Javier denied it, but I don’t think he was telling the truth.

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friday again


Friday again. Very strange week. I enjoy not having to commute in snow storms, and having time to get ahead on reading and assignments but I have had enough snow days for the semester. I have waited years to take these classes and now Mother Nature is messing with my learning. As I look at the 10 day forecast and it’s THREE pending storms, I would just like to say… ENOUGH already. Please give me a break.

Last thing to do is adjust my weekend project/errand list and do some more reading. I am slowly hacking away at Omnivore’s Dilemma. It is an interesting book, but I find I can’t read more than 30 pages at a time- possibly because I’m reading at the end of my day when sleep is beckoning… I will get there – I must!

I am trying to put of going to the grocery store as long as possible so I have been digging deep in my freezer and cabinets to use forgotten items. Tonight’s dinner was some frozen Mexican vegetable soup with added corn, avocado and shrimp. Very nice dinner for a cold night. The soup is thick and filling and super tasty. Also, I freeze half of it in bags (label before filling and lay flat in the freezer once full- this makes defrosting MUCH easier) and it lasts about 3-4 months. I froze the vegetarian portion and then just added in extra protein before serving. I think this gives you more flexibility.

Mexican-Inspired Vegetable Soup (Adapted from WW)

Dice 2 small zucchini, 1 medium Spanish onion, 1 medium green pepper, 2 medium jalapeno. Place green beans,3 garlic cloves minced, zucchini, 14oz diced tomatoes, onion, green pepper, jalapeño, 1t oregano, 1/2t cumin and 2 1/2c vegetable broth (low sodium) into a large soup pot. Puree 1/4c roasted peppers with 1T chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a blender or food processor; stir into soup with 1 can black beans– rinsed. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, partly covered, for about 15 minutes. Stir in 1c frozen corn kernels and 10 medium shrimp cut in half. Let cook 2-3 minutes longer, until shrimp is opaque and cooked through. Stir in 1/2c cilantro– chopped, 2T lime juice and 3/4t salt. Serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.Points Plus: 3

I served this with 1/4 of a medium avocado, 1oz tortilla chips and 1T shredded cheese – Additional Points Plus value: 6