Tag Archives: mexican

Seven-Layer Bean Dip with Fresh Tortilla Chips


Eating clean just hit a whole new level this week.  I learned to make my own tortilla chips.  And not only were they delicious, but they were a cinch to make and are pretty healthy too…SCORE!

And if that wasn’t cool enough, I got to dunk those crisp, salty triangles of love into a rich and creamy, party in your mouth, seven-layer bean dip.  A match made in heaven, for sure :)

The key to this rockin appetizer/snack/lunch/dinner/any time of day treat, is to use the freshest ingredients.  I did use canned beans and olives (although after reading this blog post I am determined to make my own beans) but the addition of fresh jalapeños, bell peppers and cilantro brings in bright and pungent flavors.  And the vibrant colors make for a beautiful presentation.


1/8 large red onion, cut into thin 1-inch-long slices

1 15 oz can Pinto Beans

1 tsp chile powder

1/4 tsp ground cumin

3 jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and chopped

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced

1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin 1-inch-long slices

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup black olives, chopped

Olive oil cooking spray

6 6-inch sprouted corn tortillas

Pinch sea salt, optional


1.  In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup water on medium-high.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add pinto beans, chile powder and cumin and stir to combine.  With a potato mashed or the back of a fork, mash mixture slightly.  Cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes.

2.  Spoon pinto bean mixture into a 8-inch Square Cake Pan.  Layer  jalapeños, black beans, avocado, yogurt, bell peppers, cilantro and olives over top.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

3.  Prepare chips:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Mist 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.  Stack tortillas and cut into quarters.  Spread in a single layer on baking sheets, leaving enough space between each and dividing evenly amount sheets.  Mist tops with cooking spray.  If desired, sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until crisp and edges are slightly browned.

Recipe from Clean Eating

As delicious as this dip was, the next time I make it I think try to change a few things.  For one, the jalapeños were a bit too hot for me.  I might substitute them with green bell pepper instead and then replace the red bell pepper with chopped tomatoes.  It could also use a bit of seasoning in each layer.  Nothing fancy.  Just some salt and pepper.  But I think those small changes could go a long way.

I was most surprised by the success of the Greek yogurt.  I have heard of people using it in place of sour cream before, but I had never tried it myself.  I have a strong love affair with sour cream and couldn’t imagine Greek yogurt being able to take its place.  But after this experience, it’s done.  Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream and I’m looking forward to trying it in some of my other recipes soon.

So the next time you are looking for the perfect party food, ditch the highly processed, calorie-ridden dips and reach for a fresh and healthy alternative.  Plus, I can bet that if you bust out your own homemade chips, you are sure to be the hostess with the mosses!

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Grilled Steak Soft Tacos

When it comes to food, I love giving old favorites a new twist.  And I think I can safely say, tacos are definitely an old favorite.  But tacos with grilled corn and arugula?  Now, that’s a new twist.

I came across this recipe when Freddie and I first got married.  Tacos seemed to be a “go to” meal for us but I was getting a bit bored with the same predictable renditions.

Enter MyRecipes.com.  A mecca for delicious, healthy and easy to prepare meals.  And back in the day, I would spend hours perusing their pages collecting recipe after recipe for potential weeknight dinners.  When I found this one, I knew I had a winner.

You see, I kind of have a thing for arugula.  I love its crunchy texture and I am wild about the flavor.  Peppery.  Spicy.  Yum.

And then of course you have the grilled corn.  Sweet, caramelized kernels that explode in your mouth with each bite.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Throw them on top of tender marinated steak and you might just nominate every night to be taco night.


1 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)

1 (2 lb) flank steak, trimmed

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

6 garlic cloves, minced

Cooking spray

4 ears shucked corn

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 cups trimmed arugula

2 cups thinly sliced red onion

1  cup chopped tomato (about 2 plum tomatoes)

8 lime wedges


Combine lime juice and steak in a large zip-top plastic bag, and seal bag.  Marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning bag occasionally.

Prepare grill.

Remove steak from bag; discard marinade.  Combine cumin, and next 4 ingredients (cumin through garlic)l rub over both sides of steak.

Place steak on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Place on a cutting board; cover loosely with foil.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Cut steak into small cubes.

Place corn on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 8 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.  Cut kernels from ears of corn; discard cobs.

Heat tortillas according to package directions.  Divide steak evenly among tortillas; top each serving with about 1/4 cup corn, 1/4 cup arugula, 1/4 cup onion, and 2 tablespoons tomato.  Serve with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Recipe from Cooking Light via MyRecipes.com

When it comes to the toppings, feel free to go nuts.  Throw in some of your favs…fresh jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, cheese, sour cream.  The possibilities are endless.  These are just some of the toppings that were suggested in the original recipe and I kind of dig how clean and simple the flavors are.

As usual, I had to serve my tacos with a side of rice and beans.  I went with my new favorite Mexican Rice and a delicious pinto bean recipe (look for the details in an upcoming post).  I like to switch it up once in a while.  Guess that’s just the theme of the day.

For all of those non-meateaters out there, this recipe works great with chicken breast as well.  The marinade and rub are pretty interchangeable when it comes to your choice of protein.

Judging by the mess I made in my kitchen, it looks like Taco Saturday at our place was a success.  But I still have one more taco recipe to share.  And I can’t wait.  So hold tight and I’ll make sure to deliver that one in a few days.  In the meantime, I would love to hear from you:

What are some ways you like to spice up an old favorite?

Looking forward to your tips and tricks.

Happy Weekend!


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Cilantro Lime Rice

If you have ever eaten at Chipotle, then there is no doubt you share my love for Cilantro Lime Rice. The tangy lime infused basmati rice whisks you away to a magical place and before you know it you have eaten spoonfuls upon spoonfuls of rice (or is that only me…).

Until recently, when I discovered my new green rice recipe, this Cilantro Lime Rice was being cooked up in my kitchen all the time. Traditional Spanish Rice has never been a favorite of mine, but I always felt the need to serve rice and beans whenever I would make a Mexican meal. So this recipe was a perfect alternative.

After my unexpected dinner last night, I had to come up with a few side dishes on the fly, and I was excited to revisit this recipe. It was a perfect complement to the zesty Blood Orange Salsa, and worked well to soak up the extra juices from the fruit.


1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter

2 teaspoons fresh cilantro

2/3 cup white basmati rice

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

Juice from 1 lime


1. In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil or butter over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted.

2. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute.

3. Add water and salt, bring to a full rolling boil.

4. At boiling, cover, turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 25 minutes.

5. Add in cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.

Recipe from Food.com

The only downfall of this recipe is that it doesn’t make much. So I usually double it, especially when we have company. But for last nights meal one round was just enough.

So if you are looking for a side dish that is bright and fresh and will bring some pizzazz to your plate, give this Cilantro Lime Rice recipe a try. It’s a small bite of fiesta :)

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Green Rice

Everyone that knows me, knows I love to cook.  I rarely need an excuse to get busy in the kitchen.  So when my girlfriend called me the other day and asked me to help her make food for her party, I was all in!  She told me she was making enchiladas and needed me to make something she could serve on the side.  My first thought was to make my famous guacamole but then she told me she was expecting 25 people and I realized that would be A LOT of guacamole!  So she suggested I bring some sort of rice dish, and I was excited to have the prefect recipe :)

Unlike Freddie, who can’t get enough of Mexican rice, I am not the biggest fan.  Usually when I make Mexican food, I serve it with cilantro and lime rice, like the rice you get at Chipotle.  But once I found this recipe, it has become my new favorite staple.

I love to watch cooking shows.  Not only do they teach you about different ingredients and cooking techniques, but they always help to inspire me to try new dishes.  I don’t normally watch Ingrid Hoffmann’s show Simply Delicioso, but I am glad I happened to stumble upon it the day she was sharing this recipe.  When I saw how easy this rice was to make and how beautiful it looked on the plate, I knew I would have to give it a shot.

What I like most about this green rice, is that the idea is unique and fresh yet it has all the delicious flavors you crave from Mexican cuisine.  And my favorite part is that it is not spicy!  I am a huge wimp when it comes to heat so the milder the better for me.  But this rice is so tasty, those who are expecting heat, don’t even miss it.


2 cups chicken broth

2 pasilla peppers (also known as poblano chile peppers), chopped

1 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped


3 tablespoons corn oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice

3 cloves garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

4 scallions, white and pale green parts only, sliced


In a blender (I used my Vitamix), warm chicken broth, pasilla peppers, cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt.  Blend until smooth.

In medium saucepan heat corn oil over medium heat.  Saute onion until soft, 2-3 minutes.  Add rice and garlic and cook for another minute.  Add chili puree, cover and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cooking until liquid is absolved and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, fluff with fork.  Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.  Garnish with scallions and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from Ingrid Hoffmann via foodnetwork.com

Since this recipe only yields 4-6 servings, I made 5 batches.  I cooked each batch separately because I wanted to make sure that the rice cooked all the way through and that each batch turned out perfectly.  The recipe is so easy to follow and quick to prepare, I was able to make each batch in no time.

Served on the side of enchiladas, tacos or stuffed in a burrito, this rice is sure to take your favorite Mexican meal to the next level.  And because it is so full of flavor, it’s not limited to a certain cuisine.  It can be enjoyed alongside a roasted chicken breast, piece of fish or accompanied by your favorite veggies.  No matter what you choose to serve it with your taste buds are sure to have a fiesta!

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