Tag Archives: Mexican

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!

Mouthwatering Mexican with Homemade Sauces and a Salad

Oooh Mexican! Now that is one type of cuisine that everyone seems to love! Our family does not exclude that stereotype whatsoever. We definitely love it! Although it seems we prefer homemade Mexican dishes over attending restaurants which serve Mexican dishes. I don’t know about you, but most restaurants we’ve been to seem to have mediocre dishes. Even the guacamole seems to taste so boring at certain Mexican restaurants we have been to!

Well, when I make Mexican influenced dishes, they taste nothing BUT bland!

Before I give you the recipe for my spectacular meal, let me start by telling you that I made all the sauces from scratch. Including the garlic chili sauce (which you can EASILY buy in the store). Why did I make a garlic chili sauce from scratch? Well I mostly didn’t know that could be found in stores here. I mean it is a basic sauce, but so is Sriracha and I only know that to be in the States. So I always need to end up making spicy sauces similar to Sriracha, including this garlic chili sauce.

Garlic Chili Sauce

I got the recipe for the sauce on White on Rice Couple, but the direct link to the recipe can be found here. I mostly followed the recipe, except I used less chilis than the recipe called for. Much less chili’s. The recipe calls for a cup of chilis but I only used two. Just 2. And my mouth was still burning! Not sure how others can handle more than that.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chili peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed and sliced
  • ½ (113g) red onion, chopped
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce

Instructions:

  1. Rinse, clean, and remove stems from chili peppers, dry peppers and then and thinly slice.

  2. In a small sauce pan, heat olive oil and add garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant.

  3. Then add can of tomatoes and chili peppers to garlic and onion and mix. Allow to simmer on low for a minute or two. Now add rice vinegar, sugar, and fish sauce and mix well.

  4. Allow sauce to simmer for five minutes, this will break down the heat from the chili peppers.

  5. Remove pan from heat and allow sauce to completely cool down.

  6. Once cool, pour tomato mixture into a small food processor and blend until smooth.

  7. Pour into a bowl or a sauce boat and use as desired.

When making this much, you make about a cup or so of the sauce. So I used some for my actual Mexican meal, but I’ve got so much that I will use it for multiple things this week! Plus my dad likes spicy so this should be good for him too!

I really do not know how people could handle a cup of chili peppers though, YIKES!

The recipe for the meal itself was found at Simple Roots Wellness, but the direct link for the website can be found here. This recipe calls for a Sriracha sauce, but as I said Sriracha is not found in any of the places I’ve lived as of late so I made my sauce with a garlic-chili sauce flavouring. And delicious it was!

Vegetarian Version

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (100g) Vegetarian Meat Crumbles
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • 1 ½ teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup (59ml) water

Salad:

  • ½ head lettuce, chopped
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Bunch of cilantro, chopped

Cream Sauce:

  • ½ cup (100g) goat cheese
  • ¼ cup (59ml) water
  • 2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce

Instructions:

  1. In a small Wok, sauté veggie meat crumbles.

  2. Add sliced garlic and garlic chili sauce and mix well. Add molasses, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to meat crumbles and mix.

  3. Season with dried oregano, cumin powder, paprika powder, salt and pepper, and water to veggie mince.

  4. Mix well and allow to simmer until liquid becomes a light sauce.

  5. Meanwhile combine goat cheese, water, and garlic chili sauce in a mini food processor until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and place in fridge.

  6. When ready to serve, place lettuce in a bowl and add choice of toppings. Top with veggie meat crumbles and slices of avocado.

  7. Drizzle on cream sauce and enjoy!

This recipe was originally meant to be made with actual mincemeat and as my parents do not eat veggie meat substitutes, I made them the original version of the recipe. If you wish to make the recipe with mincemeat then double everything from the chili sauce to the water for the meat. You can also double the ingredients for the salad. The goat cheese sauce is the same for both the veggie crumbles and normal mincemeat.

Ground Beef version

This was the first time I have ever touched mincemeat in years. I hate cooking it. The smell of the meat in a pan is God awful! I actually never even liked it when I did eat meat way back when.

Cooking it today made me think of middle school, when I took Food Economics. I did love that class. I even learnt how to sew in that class! But I also learnt that I dislike the smell of ground beef! Thankfully I still do!

Anyway, that is the meal for the evening! A fabulous meal indeed. One that each and every one of us truly loved. Including mom who dislikes goat cheese and yet she didn’t mind the goat cheese sauce! Lucky me!

If you all end up making this, I hope you enjoy it! It was a good one!

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!

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!

Homemade Mexican Lunch

To start the week off correctly, I decided to make homemade taquitos for lunch with my favourite recipe for guacamole on Monday. Unfortunately the salsa was just store bought, but the rest was made fresh from our kitchen and made with love. The recipe that I had found was from Just a Taste, but I changed the recipe some.

Taquitos, Guac, y Salsa

Below you can see the recipe that I used for the Taquitos:

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
2 cups shredded breast of chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar and gruyère cheese
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (6 whole wheat & 6 normal tortillas)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF or 218ºC and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic to pan, cook until it’s translucent, 3 to 5 minutes or until fragrant. 

Reduce the heat to low, and then add the lime juice, cumin, chili, salt and black pepper to the pan, stirring to combine. Add the shredded chicken, tossing to combine.

Transfer the chicken mixture to a large bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes, and then stir in the shredded cheese.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. (I used the same pan after a quick wipe down to reduce cleaning afterwards) One at a time, dip each tortilla into the broth for 10 to 15 seconds, just until it’s pliable enough to roll. Transfer the tortilla to your work surface and place about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the lower third of each tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla, and then place it seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the filling and rolling process with the remaining tortillas.

Bake the taquitos for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Serve with guacamole and salsa.

For the best guacamole we’ve ever had, here is a rough estimation of the recipe:

2/3 avocados chopped, then mashed
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tomato, chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium bowl, cut avocados in half and remove nut. Cube meat of the avocado and then remove from skin. Mash avocados to preferred consistency then add lemon juice to ensure avocado stays green. 

Chop onion and mince garlic and add to mashed avocado mixture. If adding tomatoes to your guacamole, chop and add with onion and garlic. Pour in vinegar and mix together until all is coated. 

Add as much salt and pepper that you need to acquired taste. 

The taquitos tasted good, a little on the bland side to my personal taste, but good never the less. If I make this recipe again, I will be sure to add more cumin and chili powder than just a couple teaspoons worth. They tasted much better when each bite had some guacamole or salsa with it.

If you try the taquitos recipe or my famous guacamole recipe, please let me know how it turns out and if you tweak it as I have!