Category Archives: Mexican

Barbacoa Beef for Burrito Bowls

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As I mentioned in previous post, our past 10+ months have been…well…different.  They involved a lot of cross-country flights (mostly on CH’s part), lots of Facetime, emails and phone calls.   But the biggest downside for CH, was not eating home cooked meals. His survival rested on one particular restaurant chain – Chipotle.  Thankfully there is one 2 blocks from his office and I am fairly certain they know his name and order by heart.  As his wife, I am grateful he eats so healthy and I won’t complain about his frequent visits here.  However, now that I am home and back in action, I need to fend-off the competition.  Thankfully, I have this ace of a recipe up my sleeve – Chipotle, you are no competition for me.

I’ve been making this for a while now – we hosted a fun summer party last year and had a build-your-own-burrito-bowl party.  I’ve made this for my Dad, my girlfriend with a new baby, my Mom and many more.  Every time I make it, it comes out with rave reviews and barely any leftovers.  I remember I even made it when we went camping – it was perfect because all you needed to do was re-heat the beef and you had an instant, delicious, non-camping food dinner.  CH and I disagree about the ratio of lettuce to rice to meat, mine being more of a salad bowl, his being more of a meat bowl, but hey, it works.

I am actually wishing as I write this that a giant burrito salad bowl was in-front of me…alas it is not, but it will be again soon! Definitely add this to your recipe roster, you won’t be disappointed (and Chipotle, well, CH says it was great while it lasted!).

IMG_1051 Barbacoa Beef 

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time:  45 minutes
Cook Time:  5.5 hours (mostly hands-off time)

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs beef eye of round or bottom round roast, most of the fat trimmed*
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce (4 makes it quite spicy!)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 TBSP ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • salt and pepper  (generous amounts of both!)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 2 cups water

For Serving:

  • lettuce
  • cilantro-lime rice
  • black beans
  • pico de gallo
  • cheese
  • guacamole
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro
  • tortilla chips
  • lime wedges

*Skinny Taste called for removing all of the fat – but I followed Sunny Side Up’s recommendation and left a little of the fat, as I agree it maintains the moisture in the beef better. 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Add garlic, onion, lime juice, chipotles, cumin, oregano, cloves and water to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process until liquified.

Heat oil in a dutch oven over high-heat. Cut beef into 4 large chunks and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the dutch oven and brown each side.

Add the liquified seasonings and bay leaves. Put a lid on the dutch oven and cook in the oven for 4-5 hours, or until the meat easily shreds.

Discard the bay leaf and shred the beef in the dutch oven. Taste and add additional seasoning if necessary.

Place the dutch oven over medium heat and cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes.

As stated above, serve with lettuce, cilantro-lime rice, black beans, pico de gallo, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Recipe slightly adapted from SunnySideUp, originally from SkinnyTaste.

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Chicken Fajitas

 Fajita shot1

Oh Summer.  The months of constant running around here, there and everywhere.  Dinners out on patios with friends, wedding events galore, time spent at the beach and at parks…sometimes it feels like we are rarely home during the summer, let alone home for dinner.  But on those quiet summer nights, we fire-up the grill and enjoy the best of the seasonal produce, and this meal was everything a summer meal is meant to be.

Not to mention this is a quick dinner to get on the table and would be well received for those summer dinners with friends.  I served it up with some cheddar cheese, sour cream, tomatillo salsa and those made it top-notch.   The only changes I made to the recipe was using chicken thighs (my go-to) and adding a few more peppers to the mix.  I also don’t have a charcoal grill, so we just used our gas grilled and it tasted perfect.

Another great recipe from Annie’s Eats and one that will be on our table many times over the next few months (and I am sure even over the winter too!)

Enjoy!

Fajita shot2

Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Yield: 4-6 Servings
Prep Time:  15 minutes, plus 15 for marinating
Cook Time:  20 minutes, give or take

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 6 TBSP vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, ribbed and diced
  • 1½ TBSP minced fresh cilantro (or more!)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. pepper
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1½ lbs)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into ½-inch thick slices, rings not separated
  • 1 large red bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 1 large yellow bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 1 large orange bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 1 large green bell peppers, stemmed, quartered and seeded
  • 8-12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Sour Cream, Salsa, Tomatillo Salsa and extra cilantro for serving

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and pepper.  Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade; set aside.  Place the chicken thighs in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Brush both sides of the onion rounds and peppers with the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

For a gas grill, light all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.  Leave one burner on high and turn the rest down to medium. (see here for charcoal directions).

Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and transfer to the hotter side of the grill; discard the left over marinade.  Cook the chicken until it is well browned, 3-4 minutes.  Using tongs, flip the chicken and continue grilling until it is no longer pink inside (or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 160˚ F.)

Place the onion rounds and peppers on the cooler side of the grill.   Cook the onions and peppers until spottily charred and crisp-tender, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice as needed.

When the chicken and vegetables are done, separate the onions into rings and place them in a medium bowl.  Slice the bell peppers lengthwise into ¼-inch strips (discard the inside bits!) and then slice the chicken into ¼-inch strips (or, as I did, just dice the chicken into pieces).

Add the chicken and the reserved marinade into the bowl with the onions and toss to mix.

In 2 or 3 batches, transfer the tortillas in a single layer to the now empty grill on the cooler side.  Cook until warm and lightly browned, about 20 seconds per side.  When the tortillas are done, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or foil.

Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a large platter, serve with the warmed tortillas and cheese, sour cream, salsa etc.

Enjoy!

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Mexican

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Eggrolls

Bnut Eggrolls Shot 1

You know one of those recipes that you make again and again because it is so good?  Well, this is one of them in our house.  I’ve been making these for at least a year (probably more!)  They are a great recipes to whip-up and have extra in the freezer for a quick meal and they are definitely great for company too.  They take a little time to prepare (just because of the rolling) but they are sure to impress and important to note, they are very healthy and a great option for a meatless meal.

What’s even better with these?  The cilantro yogurt dipping sauce shown here.  TOTALLY takes them over the top good, and don’t worry, the recipe is also below.

Usually I make these with black beans (as the title eludes!) but when I went to make them last week I was out of black beans and so was my local store (odd, hey?).  So, I improvised, feeling confident because I had made them so often before.  I used 1 can of chickpeas and 1 can of red kidney beans.  Verdict – same result, same texture and just as good, so feel free to switch-up the beans to your liking.

Definitely give these a shot (and be sure to make the whole recipe and freeze the rest, you’ll be thankful for a quick, delicious and healthy meal on the fly).

BnutEggrollsShot2

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Eggrolls

Yield:  About 30 rolls
Prep Time:  40 minutes or so
Cook Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 lbs peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 medium sized squash)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced or grated
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or use a mixture of your favourite beans, including chickpeas or red kidney)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 package (small/medium) egg roll wrappers (note, original recipe makes 30 with small wrappers > the ones shown above are with medium wrappers and I usually get about 20)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry your butternut squash.  Place the butternut squash, in its whole-form, in the oven and roast for 45mins – 1hour, or until a butter knife inserted into the flesh meets no resistance. Remove from oven, allow the squash to cool.  Cut in half, remove the seeds and remove the flesh.

(You can also cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay the halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes OR as the original recipe states, you can peel, dice and boil the butternut squash – however, I prefer to roast it, just because I feel as though it retains more nutrients).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, jalapeño  cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the black beans and stir to combine evenly. Remove from heat.Place the butternut squash and the onion mixture in a large bowl and mash lightly to combine. These will be best if the mixture is left a little bit chunky.To assemble the egg rolls, place a wrapper on your surface with one corner pointing down (diamond position). Place a some of the squash mixture onto the wrapper, and use a pastry brush dipped in water to wet the edges of the wrapper (or use you finger and just dip in a small bowl of water).

Fold the bottom corner up, then fold the outside corners in, and roll it all up. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until squash mixture is used up; it’ll depend entirely on you how many eggrolls you get because it depends on how much mixture you use per roll.  It is generally between 25 – 30 eggrolls for me.

To Bake:

Place a baking sheet in the oven while heating at 400F. When it’s hot, remove from the oven, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and place the egg rolls on the sheet. Spray the top well with nonstick spray. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Extra egg rolls can be wrapped well in saran wrap, placed in a freezer bag, frozen and baked straight from the freezer, adding about 2-5 minutes to total cooking time.

Recipe from Cara’s Cravings

Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients & Directions:
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek is fine too)
  • 2 TBSP sour cream
  • 5 TBSP minced cilantro
  • dash of S&P

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to combine and that’s it.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Mexican, Vegetarian and Vegan