Tag: Mexican

Mexican Pasta Toss

We’re at the tail end of tomato season, and I was determined to make one last dish with roasted grape tomatoes since I loved them on the Italian Baked Potato.  The rest of this dish just kind of came together with what I had on hand.  It’s very mild, so if you want to kick it up a notch, go for it!  Maybe some sauteed peppers or a dash of cayenne? 


Mexican Pasta Toss

1 pint grape tomatoes, roasted in a 400F oven for 30-40 minutes
2 c. whole wheat shells, cooked and drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. corn, cooked and drained
1 t chili powder
Shredded cheddar cheese

Toss tomatoes, pasta, beans, and corn in a large bowl, and season with chili powder.  Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Mexican Grilled Salad

I hope everyone had a great long weekend!  Did you try any of the recipes I suggested for an End of Summer BBQ?  My classes start today, and I am actually really excited about the new semester.  There’s a lot left to learn, and I want to keep moving towards the goal of being a Registered Dietitian.  But if you’re not ready for fall, don’t worry.  There’s at least a week of summer left on Recipes that Fit, and it will be full of tomatoes, eggplant, and corn.

This salad was at least partially made with ingredients from a Rhode Island farmer’s market, and  is a variation of the Mediterranean Chopped Salad from earlier this summer.  The corn, tomatoes, and onion can all be grilled in advance.


I got the idea for grilled croutons from Emeril, and added a Mexican flair by dipping the bread in a mixture of olive oil and chili powder.


Of course, any of the salad ingredients can be optional, and you could add sliced jalapenos if you’d like your salad to have more kick.  I used queso fresco, which is a soft and mild cheese, but shredded cheddar would also be good.  This might be the last time I eat fresh corn this season, and this salad was the perfect way to enjoy it!


Mexican Grilled Salad

Ears of Corn, husks removed
Onion, sliced thickly
Tomatoes, cut in half and seeds removed
Baguette slices
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, and Cumin
Romaine lettuce, cleaned and torn
Black Beans, rinsed and drained
Avocado, diced
Queso Fresco, crumbled
Olives sliced

1. Place corn and onion slices directly on a hot grill.  Cook until nicely browned.  Cool slightly, and remove corn niblets with a knife.  Chop grilled onion.
2. Drizzle tomato halves with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill until browned and softened, using a grill basket if available.  Cool slightly, remove tomato skins, and chop.
3. Dip baguette slices in a mixture of olive oil and chili powder.  Place directly on a hot grill, and cook until browned.  Cool slightly, and chop into croutons.
4. Mix 3 T olive oil, 2-3 T lime juice, 1/2 t cumin, 1/2 t chili powder, 1/8 t salt, and 1/8 t cayenne pepper in a small bowl. (Makes enough dressing for 3-4 salads.)
5. Assemble salads using all ingredients, drizzle with dressing, and serve.


Charred Corn Tacos with Zucchini Radish Slaw

The main dish of our Mexican feast were these corn tacos, based on a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  You start by making a slaw with zucchini, radish, and lime.  (A total of six limes were used in the preparation of this meal, and none of those were in an alcoholic beverage!) 


2 ears of corn are grilled, to produce nicely charred kernels.  The kernels of the remaining ears are sauteed with chopped onion.  This mixture of corn was so good, you could have just eaten it right out of the bowl.


I warmed the tortillas by placing them between damp paper towels and cooking for 20 seconds in the microwave.  So if you don’t eat all the corn first and actually assemble a taco, here’s what you get.  It was very messy to eat – you had to either hold the taco and keep eating until it was gone, or drop it in your plate and attack it with a fork. 

But regardless of how you ate them, the tacos were delicious.

Do you feel like something is missing?  Oh yes, in the hustle and bustle of dinnertime, I completely forgot to take out the queso fresco.  I can only assume that crumbled cheese would make these tacos that much better.  Next time…..

Chicken Taquitos

A few weeks ago, I went on a quick trip to Mohegan Sun.  I am not really a big gambler, but love to people-watch.  The hotel room was gorgeous, and the air conditioned environment was very enjoyable in the middle of a heat wave.  But my favorite part of the trip was our meal at SolToro, a Mexican restaurant at the casino.  We ordered a bunch of appetizers to share, including the Chicken Taquitos which were amazing.  I immediately declared that I had to try to recreate these myself.

This Baked Chicken Taquito recipe served as my primary guide, although I altered the tortilla preparation as suggested in the comments.  This is a great party recipe, because you can do most of the work in advance and just fill and bake the tray of taquitos right before serving.  They are perfect for dipping in salsa, guacamole, or sour cream (or all three!)  These taquitos don’t have the same fried taste as the ones at the restaurant, but they do have a fantastic flavor.  If you’d like them a little spicier, I would add some cayenne pepper to the filling.  I almost did that myself, but was too nervous since I was cooking for a group.  And rest assured, a vegetarian version of these taquitos is already swirling around in my head…..


Chicken Taquitos

1 T canola oil
1 c. chopped onion
2 t minced garlic
1 t cumin
1 t paprika
2 c. shredded cooked chicken
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
15 corn tortillas
1 1/2 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onion, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.  Add cumin and paprika and stir to coat.  Stir in chicken and cilantro, and remove from heat.

Place 5 tortillas between two damp paper towels, and microwave on medium power for 30 seconds.  Fill each tortilla with about 2 T chicken mixture, and 1 1/2 T shredded cheese.  Roll up, and place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Lightly coat filled tortillas with cooking spray, and bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

-Adapted from Whole Foods Market

Salsa and Guacamole

Last year for my Mom’s birthday, we had an elegant dinner of bruschetta, eggplant gremolata, penne with vodka sauce, veal scaloppine, and mocha ice cream cake.  It was certainly a meal to remember, and we enjoyed the earlier courses while our littlest family member was awake, and then had the later courses after his bedtime.

This year, we had a much more low key Mexican-themed meal, but it was just as much fun.  And this time, the littlest person got to stay up right to the end, to sing a well practiced “Happy Birthday”.  Of course, every Mexican fiesta needs to start with some homemade salsa and guacamole.

For the salsa, I turned to this Salsa Fresca recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  It’s a simple recipe with the usual ingredients: tomatoes, onions, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime.  The salsa was fine, but not spectacular as we’ve come to expect from Deb.  To be fair, I am not a salsa eater so need to rely on the opinions of others.  Still, I think it was nice to eat salsa that didn’t come from a glass jar.

For the guacamole, I turned to Jenna from Eat, Live, Run and what she calls the only guacamole recipe you’ll ever need.  It’s another easy recipe, calling for avocados, onion, lime juice, jalapeno, and salt.  I may not enjoy salsa, but guacamole is something I’ve grown to love.  Some people thought the lime flavor was almost too strong, but I really liked it, and the jalapeno gave the guacamole just the right amount of kick. 


You may think that homemade salsa and guacamole are no big deal, and to you I say, just wait for the next recipe, chicken taquitos!

Zucchini Black Bean Enchiladas

We’ll take a little break from the sweets today to talk about a new dinner recipe. These enchiladas are so good that I’ve made them three times over the past month. Really! The first time I forgot to take pictures. The second time I added a few ingredients and liked the result, but the pictures came out horribly. The third time I made a few more changes to the recipe and liked the enchiladas even more. The pictures aren’t great but you really need this recipe now, so that you’re ready when local zucchini is abundant.

I started with this recipe posted by Gina from Skinny Taste, who had the fabulous idea to use shredded zucchini to make a vegetarian enchilada. I added some red onion and black beans, for just a little more flavor and protein. Gina also inspired me to make my own enchilada sauce, which is actually really easy! Everyone who tasted this recipe has been surprised by just how much they like it. And equally important, the enchiladas are just as good for lunch the next day.

2 t canola oil
1 t minced garlic
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
3 large zucchini, shredded
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 oz. Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded and divided
6 Joesph’s brand Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat tortillas
Enchilada Sauce:
Cooking Spray
1 t minced garlic
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 c. Knorr vegetable broth
Heat oil in a large frying pan, and saute garlic, onion, and scallions for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Add shredded zucchini, and saute for 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir in beans and 1/2 c. shredded cheese.
To make the sauce, coat a small pot with cooking spray, and saute the minced garlic. Add the tomato sauce, spices, and broth, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and then remove from heat.
Coat an 11″x7″ or a 13″x9″ baking dish with cooking spray. Fill each tortilla with 1/6 of zucchini- bean mixture, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Reserving 1 cup of the enchilada sauce for serving, pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.
Serve with remaining enchilada sauce and additional chopped scallions.