Category Archives: Mexican

Spicy Bean Burritos

Growing up, we didn’t eat a lot of beans. Sometimes we’d have chili and they’d show up there, but other than that, they were limited.

Now that I have my own kitchen (and have had for some time!) beans are a frequent guest at our dinners. I am so lucky that CH will eat almost anything and he happens to love beans, so it’s a win-win. Nothing will beat the Tuscan white beans we had while traveling in Italy, but I will keep trying recipes until I get it right.

This meal however is one of my favourite go-to quick dinners, and it has even been made many upon many times – I was just lucky that I planned ahead a little and managed to take a photo this time around.  I even made these while living in France last year.  They are healthy, very budget-friendly and the bottom line – they are delicious.

Like I said above, this is an easy weeknight dinner that is ready in about half an hour and is absolutely delicious for lunch the next day (or two!). Feel free to fill them with whatever toppings you like – just be careful not to over-stuff them or you will have burrito explosion :)!  Oh, and if you don’t like spicy, kick back the amount of chili powder to your liking.  One final note – feel free to use whatever canned beans you have on hand – I’ve used only black beans, a mixture of white beans/black beans, and straight pinto beans – use what you like and they will be delicious.

Enjoy!

Spicy Bean Burritos

Yield:
about 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes (prep while the beans cook!)
Cook Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

 For the bean filling:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. minced chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper
  • S&P to taste
  • 1/3 cup water, vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 TBSP of your favourite store-bought salsa

 For serving:

  • 6 (9- or 10-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced cherry tomatoes
  • Shredded romaine lettuce
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced cucumber
  • Low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Diced cilantro

Directions:

To make the bean filling:

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent and slightly brown. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin, salt and cayenne; stir, cooking just until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.

Add the beans and the water or broth to the skillet.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the salsa.

Spoon about a third of a cup of the bean mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Top each serving with a pinch of shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, cucumber cilantro and sour cream.  Roll the tortilla up tightly, burrito style, and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats, as seen on Pink Parsley Catering, originally from Cooking Light

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Mexican, Vegetarian and Vegan

The Perfect Snack: 7 Layer Dip

If you asked CH what appetizer must be at a party/get-together he would say “Buffalo Chicken Dip” and “7 Layer Dip”, without even hesitating.  He loves both of them and will basically stand beside the table until he’s gotten his fix (which is usually the whole thing).

We had a Friday night appetizer night at home a couple weeks ago, just the two of us, and this was one of the first things he asked for.  It’s such an easy dish to make, it’s fairly healthy and in my opinion it looks so pretty (until the end that is!). I’ve lightened up this recipe, as I don’t use cream cheese or a lot of cheddar cheese, but there are so many variations that you can switch it up if you like.

Of course, you can also buy this dip pre-made at the store (Costco makes a great one!) but home-made is always better in my opinion. I took it a step further and made my guacamole from scratch and my taco seasoning and I cannot tell you how much better it tasted – CH claimed it the best he’s ever had (yes, I know…that acclamation happens often around here, what can I say, I’m lucky!).  My next step is making the refried beans from scratch, but I have to be a little more organized for that.

In any event, with the big football weekends coming up, this would be a great appetizer.  As my photos showed, I styled it in individual cups (mine was a little small!), which I think is such a stellar idea for a party – you can double dip all you want, without worrying.  Plus, I just think it looks so stylish.  I cannot take credit for this idea, for I saw it on Pinterest – which has many upon many good ideas.

PS – I got excited styling my container to photograph and totally switched-up the layers – hence two sour cream layers, whoops!

Enjoy!

7 Layer Dip

Serving Size: 7×5 inch pan or so, enough for 4-6 people as an appetizer
Prep Time: 20 minutes (if you make things from scratch)
Cook Time: None!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of refried beans (or be ambitious and make your own via Smells Like Home)
  • 1 batch of Guacamole (Sing for Your Supper’s recipe is my absolute favourite – for the recipe you should have a generous cup of guacamole – this recipe makes slightly more – but it keeps for a few days!)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3 TBSP Taco Seasoning (make you own with the recipe here!)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/8 cup black olives, pitted and sliced

Instructions:

Select your serving dish – I used a 7×5 Emile Henry personal lasagna dish, which was perfect for this.  Since this recipe isn’t strict, use whatever you have on hand and just adjust accordingly, you may have a little leftover that doesn’t fit, but oh well, it’s perfect for a snack tomorrow!

On the bottom of the pan, spread an even layer of the refried beans.  Next, layer the guacamole.

Mix together the sour cream and the taco seasoning in a small bowl, and then evenly layer it on-top of the guacamole.  Top the sour cream layer with the grated cheese, olives, tomato and green onions.

I try to make this ahead and let it chill in the fridge, covered, for at least a couple hours.

Serve with taco chips or pita chips (our favourite!).

Enjoy!

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

Shrimp & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Wow, these were good and SO simple to prepare.  They definitely taste like they took a lot more work than they did!

It was CH’s birthday on Sunday and I told him that I’d make him anything he wanted for dinner.  I told him lamb, steak, halibut…anything. He hemmed and hawwed, but couldn’t decide. He knew he wanted his chocolate cake and bruschetta – but couldn’t decide on a main dish.  He finally decided… quesadillas.

Quesadillas? Really, over all of those other delicious items?  He said yupp, with a smile, and that was that.  He did demand at least 2 or 3 different quesadillas, so at least I could have some fun! [CH: For clarification, quesadilla is like pizza. Lots of variety in flavour, warm and gooey, and always super delicious.]

I came upon Eat Live Run’s recipe and knew it was perfect.  CH (as we know) LOVES goat cheese and shrimp, so it was a perfect combo. I also liked the addition of the roasted veggies and of course, the spices!  I also sliced my shrimp in half, horizontally, which gave me double the amount of shrimp and ensured that every bite had a good amount of shrimp!  Yumm!

The flavours worked so well together, the warm creaminess of the goat cheese, mixed with the spicy shrimp and sweet roasted peppers – it was definitely a match made in heaven!

I roasted my own peppers (an additional step from the original recipe) and added some garlic powder too, which I feel just really added to the flavour. I also used mozzarella, which blended really well with the goat cheese!  Topped with a little sour cream and fresh guacamole, they were so tasty!

Note – I do my quesadillas a little differently.  I use one tortilla per quesadilla.  I lightly brown both sides of the tortilla, fill one-side of the flattened quesadilla with the goodies and then fold-over the other side and allow to brown a little more on both sides (and blending the flavours/melting the cheeses).  In my opinion, this way is much easier and keeps more of the goodies inside when you cut/serve it.

Definitely give these a try if you love goat cheese (and shrimp) as much as we do!  It will be on our table in the near future, I can guarantee that!

Enjoy!

Shrimp & Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Yield:  2 quesadillas
Prep Time:  15 minutes (including roasted peppers)
Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 8 uncooked shrimp (remove tails)
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 red pepper
  • 1/4 orange pepper
  • 1/4 yellow pepper
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 3/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • sour cream & guacamole for serving

Directions:

Peppers

Preheat your broiler to the HIGH setting.

Place peppers and onion on a baking sheet and place under broiler.

Allow to cook until each side’s skin is blistering and softened  (around 5 minutes per side or 10 minutes total).

Once all sides are sufficiently blistered, remove from oven, place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set-aside until ready to use!

Shrimp

While peppers are broiling, prepare the shrimp.

Heat a small sauté pan over high-heat.  Add olive oil and allow to heat for 30 seconds.  Add shrimp to the pan and cook for 1 minute.

Add chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne and salt to the pan and continue to cook for another 30 seconds – 1 minute, or until shrimp are pink and cooked throughout.  (Be careful not to overcook the shrimp – they only take 2 – 3 minutes – at most!)

Remove shrimp from heat and set-aside to cool.

Once cooled, slice the shrimp in half horizontally (essentially butterflying the shrimp but completing separating them).

Quesadilla Assembly

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  Place one tortilla in the pan and allow to brown slightly on both sides (around 1 minute per side).

Remove the tortilla from heat (and remove the pan from the element until ready for use again) and scatter mozzarella on one side of the tortilla.

Layer 8 pieces of shrimp (4 whole shrimp) on-top of the mozzarella and scatter the peppers over-top.

Crumble the goat cheese over the peppers & shrimp and fold-over the tortilla.

Press down firmly on the tortilla to incorporate all of the ingredients.

Return the filled-tortilla to the pan and cook on both sides until nice and brown and the cheeses have melted (about 3 minutes per side).

Remove from heat & repeat with remaining ingredients.

Slice quesadillas into quarters and serve warm with sour cream & guacamole (or salsa!)

Enjoy!

Recipe Adapted From Eat, Live, Run

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