Tag Archives: Corn

Chicken Tortilla Soup and a Whole Bunch More!

It is a soup sorta day don’t you all think?

Although today wasn’t all that cold. But it still felt like the day to enjoy a Mexican inspired meal.

Today started off with a somewhat cool morning and ended with bright sunshine and warmth. The high of the day was about twenty-two degrees centigrade. Can you believe that tomorrow is said to be twenty-seven?! Yeah, both Friday and Saturday is pretty much bikini weather days! The following day however will end up being thirteen degrees.

Kind of sounds like April in the Netherlands.

Not been to the Netherlands in April? Well around the end of the month right around Koningsdag (King’s Day), we get like three days of really nice and hot weather. It goes up to thirty a lot of the time. Only thing is that the days before that it is like sixteen degrees and the days afterwards it is like nineteen degrees. Both pre and post Koningsdag are rainy days while during it is perfectly wonderful.

That honestly is like it is to be this week. It is even rumoured that we are going to have snow this coming Tuesday!

Speaking of snow and cold, a woman told me something very very interesting today!

The more berries on a tree, the more severe the winter will be!

What tree you may ask? Not a mulberry tree, but a Mountain Ash tree!

Mountain Ash Tree

Apparently the Mountain Ash trees are very much covered right now. So all this talk that it will be an Il Niño type of winter doesn’t seem t actually apply. Or does it? Can one actually tell the forecast for the upcoming winter?

To be or not to be a warm winter, that is the question.

Well back to my soup! Sorry for blabbing on about everything else but the food!

So I made a very simple and quick Chicken Tortilla soup. I’m someone who has made a good few of these soups and thought I would try for this one. I definitely saw why it was a twenty minute soup! I also saw that I am lacking some serious herbs and spices in my kitchen. I mean I have a whole bunch of them but I am missing two of the most critical types of spices!

  • Chilli powder
  • Red pepper flakes

How do I not have these for a soup such as this one is beyond me!

I got the recipe from Nutritionist in the Kitch, the direct link for the recipe can be found here. I added a few more ingredients that I feel really needs to be in every tortilla soup. I also removed a few ingredients.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 breast of chicken (283g), cooked and shredded
  • 1 medium yellow onion (150g), chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper (175g), chopped
  • 1 small jalepeño, sliced and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 can (398ml) stewed diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (940ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (398ml) red kidney beans
  • 1 can (199ml) corn
  • 1/3 cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, quartered and squirted in each bowl (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small tortilla, sliced

Instructions:

  • In a large deep pot, sauté garlic, onion, bell pepper, and jalepeño in olive oil until soft and fragrant.

  • Add stewed tomatoes to vegetables and mix. Add cumin and paprika powder. Mix well before adding chicken broth to the tomato mixture. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for five minutes.

  • Now add shredded chicken, kidney beans, and corn and reduce heat and allow to boil onwards for five minutes.

  • While soup is simmering, in a small frying pan heat oil up and fry tortillas until chip-like in consistency.

  • Stir through cilantro and ladle into individual bowls.

  • Top with three strips of the tortilla chips, top with several cilantro leaves, and top that with three slices of avocado. Now squirt some lime juice into soup if doing that.

  • Enjoy!

I love love love this sort of soup. But I love anything with shredded chicken such as a normal chicken soup, an arepa, an epanada, avocado chicken salad, etc. Love it all.

Anyway, I ended up enjoying the soup with a very cool and almost luminescent looking juice! One of the best things about being in North America are having those frozen Minute Maid juices! Like this one!

Almost Glowing juice
Almost Glowing juice

And to go with this Limeade I am also enjoying this Limoncello scented hand cream. I now live in a very dry part of the world (however Johannesburg was also very dry), and I am in constant need of creaming my hands. I recently went to Bath & Body Works and bought about three hand creams for just $12. So beside every sink in my apartment (and luckily there’s only three) I have one of these cream bottles to soften your hands up! This is the one I have in my personal washroom.

Limoncello Hand cream
Limoncello Hand cream

By the way, this Limoncello hand cream smells A MILLION times better than the actual Limoncello liquour. A couple years ago I tried to make a Limoncello cocktail for my little sister and I and well…. it tasted much worse than medicine generally tastes! Blegh!

And before I am done, have you all heard of the amazing story that archaeologists found the another humanoid creature that may change history as we know it? They found it just outside of Johannesburg in a cave! This creature being part Neanderthal and part cro-magnon! While watching the news they said that these humanoids had long hands like ours, however instead of being straight in length like ours, they were longer and curved to be able to climb! How cool is that!

I am just amazed by all that is discovered in this fantastic world we live in.

Anyway I am so sorry for just going on and on like crazy today.

Guess I had just so much to say! Hope you all have a fabulous rest of the day and enjoy your meal!

Happy eating… and learning!

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Mexican Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

I love tacos! (dun dun dun dun dun) I love tacos!

In case you are wondering, I was creating the beat in between the lyrics of “I want candy”. But I don’t want candy, instead I love tacos.

Love love love tacos.

The best part about these tacos are that they are super healthy!

For a long time I’ve been interested in the idea of a lettuce wrap but never got around to doing it until today. I am so glad I finally got into it! This was a fantastic meal!

Mexican chicken Lettuce wrap

I got the recipe from the blog Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy hour which I found on Pinterest after looking up Lettuce Wrap recipes. The direct link to the recipe can be found here. The recipe is quite a small one which I decided to increase in size, but as you already know – I LOVED it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 breasts chicken, cooked and shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (86g) can black beans
  • ½ cup (90g) can sweet corn
  • 1/3 cup (76g) green onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (8.5g) tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 avocados, sliced (optional)
  • 1 head of lettuce (of your choice)

Instructions:

  1. Combine the chicken, beans, corn, onion, cilantro and chips in a large bowl and mix.

  2. Spoon in vinegar and mayonnaise and mix well.

  3. Wash head of lettuce and pat each of the leaves dry before spooning the chicken salad into the leaves.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

I honestly feel that this may be one of the best tacos I’ve had in a very long time. It reminds me of a deconstructed taco actually as there are tortillas in the salad, and usually a proper taco is held together with a hard shell tortilla.

Mexican Chicken SaladMexican Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Although the idea of a lettuce wrap doesn’t seem all that filling, I can tell you that my mom was incredibly full after her meal! Though I did give her a plateful of five wraps. She also tried the chicken salad with bread and decided that the lettuce wrap was ten times better with the salad than a slice of bread.

About the tortilla chips, I find buying tortilla chips in South Africa to be super difficult. Most the time when we go down the chip aisle we see a variety of assorted flavoured chips but rarely ever do we see basic chips like the ones we bought today. Thankfully we did find what we found today. But most the time it is SO hard to find that here.

Tortilla chips

I honestly adored this and hope you all enjoy it as much as mom and I did!

Happy eating!

Colorful Mexican Stuffed Avocado

‘Tis the season to be colorful. The season of Spring is the perfect season to bring out all the colors in your closet or make-up drawers. Or in my case – place on a plate and indulge in!

Although I am always colorful when it comes to food. Whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter, I will always find an excuse to add a pop of color to a normal white plate. Mexican Quinoa stuffed Avocado

This looks pretty festive for the season of Spring, wouldn’t you think?

And not only is this beautiful, but it is delicious too!

Although the recipe is considered as an appetizer, I’ve made this into a meal. Because why would someone combine all this protein for an appetizer? If this is the starter then the meal must be the size of a pea! Anyway, I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients
  • Avocados (1 small avocado per person)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro + some for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Start by rinsing your quinoa well and then place it in a sauce pan and toast for about two minutes until the quinoa starts to smell ‘toasty.’ Add one cup of water or vegetable broth and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover. (To get fluffy quinoa, it’s really important to not stir it, just let it be, keeping a close eye on it)

  2. Chop the red onion and red pepper and add all the ingredients, minus the quinoa, in a bowl and mix well with the taco seasoning. Once the quinoa is finished and has cooled, add it to the vegetable mixture.

  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool.

  4. To assemble the avocados, begin by cutting them in half, removing the skin and the pit. (You can also scoop a little extra from the pit to add more room for the quinoa mixture – do this after you peel the skin off!)

  5. Scoop about ½ a cup of the quinoa mixture into each avocado, more if you can fit it.

  6. Finish by mixing Greek yoghurt and lemon juice together and adding a little dollop on top of the quinoa mixture and some chopped cilantro and serve.

  7. Enjoy!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed AvocadoDoesn’t that look too much to be for an appetizer? Especially with the fact that black beans, quinoa, AND avocado have protein in it. Not to mention the fact that Greek yoghurt has protein too! Although, a dollop or two doesn’t give you quite the kick needed.

So that’s my dinner for this evening.

But, because I only used a tablespoon of taco seasoning there is a big chance that I’ll make taco’s tomorrow for dinner. I just need to buy lettuce, salsa, and wraps. I’ve got everything else to make a perfect taco or six. (When I was younger, I loved tacos so much that I would have between four to six – no lie) I don’t think I can accomplish that now though.

Y’all should totally make this. You could make it as it should be, an appetizer. OR you can eat it as I did as a meal.

Buen provecho, gente!

Vegetable Enchiladas for a Colorful Evening

So… there was a fiesta in my oven last night. No seriously, it seemed that I was at a proper Mexican party where a piñata let out enough color to celebrate. It was delightful. Most of all delicious too.

Last night’s meal was a mix of healthy vegetables and salsa to create a perfect enchilada. What a great thing to be eating on a Tuesday which kick starts the warmth to come during the week. It has been quite cold as of late, but yesterday was pretty warm and the remainder of the week will increase in temperature as well. So enchiladas definitely are making week look good.

Fiesta in Oven

Okay, so that doesn’t quite look like a fiesta or a piñata, but when it came out it sure looked impressive.

Colorful

Look at all those beautiful colors! Layers of colors at that. Perfection.

The recipe can be found here:

Ingredients

  • 1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (or one small cauliflower head), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and slivered
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Tablespoons heat-safe olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups homemade or store bought salsa/pico de gallo
  • 2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
  • 5 corn tortillas, teared into appropriate slices as needed
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheese works best)
  • sour cream and thinly sliced scallions for garnish, if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 218ᵒC (425ᵒF). Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
  2. Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF).
  3. Prepare an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
  5. Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

Beautiful LayersCheck out those fantastic layers. Does it actually even look like layers to y’all?

Well when it came to plating the meal I opted out from using sour cream and chives. It really was unnecessary for both the reason of adding more fat to the dish as well as the taste is fantastic without it!

You really should try this. It doesn’t plate all too attractively, but it tastes great.

Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas

Plus to make things even better, I took a little bit back to my apartment and decided to make an omelette with the enchilada mixture inside. Seriously that was perfection. I before eight in the morning and I am still full at four.  Usually I would be peckish but I am satisfied. Well maybe not now after writing an entry on food.

So this is definitely a five star meal. If I could have made it gluten free I would have too. But where does one find gluten free tortillas in the country of the Netherlands? If anyone can help me on that one please do!

I really hope you all try this meal out. It is great.

Buen provecho!

Colorful Veg for a Colorful Night

Saturdays are great. No, not the band the Saturdays, but the day itself is a wonderful day. You can either relax and be yourself or go out and have a ball, but at the end of the day whichever you choose to do you have fun right? Well this past Saturday much like most Saturdays, I spent it inside relaxing. And now you know how much of a boring person I really am.

I did however decide to spoil my sister. Both my parents went out to my uncle and aunts place for dinner so it was just Hanna and I, oh and of course Austin. Usually I make healthy food which Hanna is not all too interested in, so I thought to change it up Saturday by making healthy nachos with a chickpea Greek salad on the side. It probably should have been the nachos on the side, but really the salad was the side. And oh boy was it scrumptious. Everything was just so perfect and extra colorful. Just the way I like it.

Healthy Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag tortilla chips
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 chili peppers, sliced
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 batch refried beans
    –          1 Tablespoon olive oil
    –          2 shallots, chopped
    –          2 cloves garlic, crushed
    –          1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    –          1/3 cup water

Directions:

  1. Place tin foil on tray and preheat oven to 375ᵒF (190ᵒC)

  2. Before nachos are made, make refried beans. Sauté shallots and garlic in oil in a pan then add kidney beans and water. Allow water to warm kidney beans thoroughly. Once warmed then place bean mixture in a bowl and mash with a potato masher.

  3. Spread tortilla chips on tin foil and sprinkle half the cheese on the chips. Spread the tomatoes over the cheese then add the avocados over the tomatoes, next add the corn and the refried beans.

  4. Spread other half of cheese on vegetables and top with sliced chili peppers.

  5. Place nachos in oven until cheese has melted, approximately ten minutes.

  6. Then enjoy!

Nachos

Salad and NachosNow I know that does not look attractive at all, but Hanna thought I should take a photo, so of course I did.

Although it looks god awful, I know that it tasted amazing. Even when my mom came home she had a bite of the salad and enjoyed it as well.

The recipe for the salad is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.

  2. Once ready to eat remove and enjoy.

This was honestly a great meal. So delicious it seemed to be so wrong, but really it was so right. Completely healthy, well except for those chips. But a little starch never hurt anyone, right?

If you end up making one of the recipes above I hope you enjoy it! My little sister and I sure did! By the way, the original recipe for the nachos can be found here.

Buen provecho!

Turkey Wrap Lunch & Quinoa Fried Rice Dinner

 When you live on your own do you just make one plate of food for the night or do you make a couple servings worth for a couple nights?

Usually I just make a meal for the one night, but last night I went for the big meal. It will probably benefit me to have a good lunch for tomorrow anyway. Although today’s lunch wasn’t all that bad either.

For lunch I made a turkey wrap with a sun dried tomato and corn salad while for dinner I went for quinoa fried “rice”. Both very healthy and very filling, thus being great meals!

For the wrap all you will need is the following:

  • A couple slices of turkey
  • Small head of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons canned corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 whole wheat tortilla wraps

Directions:

  1. Mix tomatoes and corn kernels together with oil and vinegar.

  2. Lay out two whole wheat tortillas and add turkey slices.

  3. Spread chopped head of lettuce over turkey and then spread tomato and corn mixture over that.

  4. Wrap up tortilla and keep tight, then enjoy.

Turkey, Tomato, and Corn wrapsThe recipe above is obviously for two people but I was a hungry monkey so I had both. Skipping breakfast means dealing with a hungry lady. Not smart.

So for dinner I had the not so fried rice, as it was quinoa. The recipe for that one can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup canned corn
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Directions:

  1. Cook quinoa as instructed on the bag (1 cup quinoa; 2 cups water)

  2. Chop all vegetables and set aside. 

  3. In a large frying pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry eggs. Flip once and then set aside. Once cool enough cut into thin slices.

  4. In same frying pan or wok heat another tablespoon of olive oil and add garlic and shallots. Cook until translucent. 

  5. Add chopped mushrooms, zucchini, and broccoli to garlic and onion and fry for approximately 4 minutes. 

  6. Next add quinoa, corn, and chopped carrots and cook for another 2 minutes.

  7. Add ginger and soy sauce and toss in with quinoa mixture.

  8. Finally add egg and green onions and serve. 

Quinoa Fried RiceI am aware that this plate looks to be more vegetables than quinoa, but that is because the rest of the quinoa is in a tupperware container in my refrigerator. I didn’t quite proportion my plate that well.

All in all it was a very productive food filled day.

If you end up making either meal I am sure you will enjoy them. I definitely did.

Eet smakelijk!