Tag Archives: Mexican

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice

It’s almost unbelievable that it’s been ten years already since that day when, in the midst of my ninth grade ignorance, I found myself watching live footage of a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center with my fellow classmates.  I don’t remember much except being shocked and a little detached–I don’t think I was old enough to really understand the significance of what happened.

Well, ten years later, we’re still here–and I understand a lot more about what happened that day.  I watched an incredibly powerful video in church today documenting the men and woman who, through either circumstance or choice, gave their lives in that tragic and terrible event.  And even just by writing about this on my blog, I’m reminding myself that though ten years can encompass new pets, a couple of boyfriends and a husband, a high school diploma and a degree and a half, several moves across the state, purchasing two cars, and the promise of a brand new niece or nephew, I won’t forget.

September 11th also marks another anniversary–the one year anniversary of my blog!  If you want to see how far I’ve come–here’s the first post I ever wrote (and what an ambitious one it was, making apple pie): A Brand New Beginning.

A couple of people gave me suggestions for what to make with cilantro, and I decided to go with my sister, Erin’s idea, for cilantro and lime rice.  She sent me this recipe, which I used as inspiration for this fresh and yummy side dish.

Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 C uncooked brown rice
  • 2 C hot water
  • 1/4-1/2 C cilantro (I measured the amount before I diced it), finely chopped
  • zest of one lime
  • juice of half a lime (but adjust as you like it–this was about 2-3 T)
  • salt to taste

I decided to make this in a fried-rice style because I love the nutty taste it gives to brown rice.  Start by browning the shallot over medium heat, then toss the dried rice into the oil as well.  Let the rice fry with the shallots for a few minutes until it starts to smell toasty. 

Pour the two cups of hot water over the rice, cover, and reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook for about 25 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the lime zest, juice, and cilantro, and season with salt to taste.

I actually loved this rice–very simple flavors, but bright and fresh with the lime and cilantro.  It would be so good with tacos.  So good.

Erin–good call!

I think that for lunch tomorrow I’m going to throw some chickpeas in there to make it a heartier meal and have it as a main dish.  Since Fritz hates cilantro, I’m going to be able to try this rice in a couple different ways.

It’s also quite simple and quick to make, which is always a bonus.

For the remaining cilantro, which was looking a bit wilty, I chopped it up and froze it (see here for a tutorial).  I’m planning on using it in a Thai pork kind of meal (also an inspiration from another blog reader!).

And aren’t these baby red potatoes a beauty?  I cooked ’em as salt potatoes tonight with fantastic results–they were creamy bite size potato packages.

I want to leave you with a question tonight–what is your most powerful memory of 9/11?

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Filed under Side Dishes

Classic Lime Margarita

Somehow it seems that every time I visit my parent’s house, I end up blogging about a really delicious alcoholic drink that we decided to make.  Remember the white summery sangria of a few weeks ago?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We spent all day traveling yesterday (after a morning of class, of course), which is why there was no blog entry.  But because I like to share so many parts of my life, you can see how the little guy gets to ride in style.  Henry basically gets the entire back seat set up (food, water, litter box, crate) for his every need, and he rotates between sitting on my lap in the front, to his little driving oasis in the back.

It’s really the life.

Then today, we went white water rafting!  Mom, Dad, Fritz and I all braved the open seas and had a complete blast!  I was a little (read: a lot) frightened, but it wasn’t as terrifying as I anticipated and ended up actually being really fun and relaxing (but not at the same time).  Fritz and Mom got tossed out of the boat during the rapids aptly named “The Cruncher”, but other than that, no scary incidents.

I also thought I’d post this picture so you all can enjoy my arm muscles.

So it’s a little vain.  Get over it–I’m proud of those new guys!

And we ended the day with a quick wine tasting and a fun Mexican-themed night complete with margaritas and soft tacos.

Classic Lime Margarita (from Confections of a Foodie Bride)

Classic Lime Margarita Printable Recipe Card

I doubled this recipe to make a giant pitcher, which could easily serve 6-10 people more than enough margaritas–depending on how many is more than enough.  You could easily cut this recipe in half, or double it like I did.

  • 2 C water 
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 C lime juice (that’s a heck of a lot of limes!)
  • 1 C triple sec
  • 1 C tequila
  • ice
  • lime wedges for garnish

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour over the lime juice, and add the triple sec and tequila.  Serve chilled, over ice, garnished with lime wedges.

This was the perfect amount of sweet and lime–we were so happy to not have bought a margarita mix!  Sometimes doing it the right way is just as quick but tastes twice as good.

They also went perfectly with our salad and soft tacos.  On the side,  I made salsa from an old recipe of mine that I started using in high school–you’ll see that soon.

What’s your favorite summer drink recipe?

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Filed under Beverages

Hot and Spicy Nachos with a Cool Cilantro Sauce

As my test anxiety was building this week, I developed a very intense need for nachos.

A need for nachos.  Not just your average, “oh, I want nachos”, but a need for nachos.  You can’t ignore those kind of things.  When your body tells you that chips, beans, cheese, and chili powder must be in your belly in 15 minutes or you might die, you listen.

Just like when my body tells me I need to watch Christmas movies even though it’s the middle of June.  I listen and I listen well–and I’m currently watching The Family Stone.  (Please don’t judge me–times of high stress make me do weird things).

But back to the nachos.  I wanted to use up some more of my cilantro, so I decided to spice up my nachos and then cool it back down with a yogurt sauce.  Sound good?

And if you don’t like yogurt sauce, or if the smell/taste/look of cilantro makes you die a little bit inside (hi Fritz!), then you can just skip it.  Fritz enjoyed the nachos quite nicely without it.

Hot and Spicy Nachos with a Cool Cilantro Sauce

  • 8 small corn tortillas, sliced into quarters (or corn chips)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/4-1/2 C jalapeno slices (depending on how much you love your spice!)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 lemon (about 2 T lemon juice)
  • 1/4 C plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • small bunch cilantro (about 2-3 T chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and arrange your corn chips.  Since I had tortillas in the freezer, I microwaved them for a few seconds, sliced ’em in quarters with a pizza roller, sprinkled with a little salt, and baked them until they were crispy, about 15 minutes.  Obviously you can skip this step if you have some chips handy.

These were vegetarian chips, so I used an entire can of refried beans, but you could easily use half or less and add some meat to make them more hearty.  Once the chips are crisp, add the beans on top.  (By the way, I’ve made refried beans from scratch before, and they didn’t quite taste as yummy as the good ol’ canned version.  Reason why?  Third ingredient on the canned kind is lard.  Yeah.  Maybe not so good.)

Sprinkle with jalapenos and cheese.  Be generous.  With both.

Sprinkle on the spices and pop in the oven for a few minutes until the beans are warmed and the cheese melted.

Meanwhile, process the yogurt, cilantro, and lemon juice (lime would probably be even better if you had it!) until smooth.  Drizzle over the top and enjoy!

We both love, love, loved this dinner treat of nachos.  I definitely would have eaten these with some spicy salsa on the side, but we didn’t have any and there was no way my tummy was allowing me to hold off on the nachos.

Experiment with the spices–if you are the hot and spicy type, some cayenne might be just the thing you need.  And if you haven’t already jumped on the smoked paprika bandwagon, now is the time.

Really.  That stuff is good.

In other good and exciting news, we got our fourth CSA box yesterday!  Check out the goods for this week:

I’ve had a lot of variety in my green monsters lately–using kale, chard, and beet greens instead of only plain ol’ spinach.  For those new readers, I am a first-time CSA user from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm on Long Island–read more about their CSA program here.

Plan for tomorrow–up early for the gym, then a doctor’s appointment and spending a large majority of the day reading (for pleasure!) and definitely baking!  I feel like I haven’t baked anything in ages and I absolutely miss having it around. 

Have a great night!

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Filed under Appetizers, Snacks, Vegetarian

Open-Faced Tacos

I have a fun dinner plan for you–open-faced tacos!

 

It was quite a hit at the homestead, I’ll tell you.

Well, it would have been, except that Fritz was a little crabby because it was 81 degrees inside (too hot) due to our temperature-unregulatable apartment, and I dropped a butter knife in between the wall and the floorboard heaters and I made Fritz try to extricate it (this is all underneath the table) while I was attempting to photograph dinner.  Without allowing him to move the said table.

So, needless to say, he was a bit of a downer during the actual consumption of dinner, but once he settled down and contemplated what he had actually eaten, he was pretty excited.  Especially because he gets to have it for lunch again tomorrow.

Now, I’m just going to give you the general idea, not really a recipe.  But here are the ingredients we used:

Open-Faced Tacos

  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • 3/4 lb ground turkey
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/4 t garlic, minced
  • 1 t dried cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:

  • Refried beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Avocado slices
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Spinach, thinly sliced

Bake the corn tortillas in an oven (350 degrees) until crisp. 

Meanwhile, cook the ground turkey over medium heat and add the spices–but feel free to deviate and use whatever floats your boat.  Add some salsa if you want!

To assemble the tacos the way we did, spread the refried beans over the tortilla and add the meat and a sprinkle of cheese over the top.  Broil in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is browned.

Now–go to town with your toppings.

Seriously.

Do whatever you want.

Enjoy!  These had a nice crunch and were fun to eat in an open-faced form.

I bought myself a present today!  I love cookbooks, but don’t have very many that are healthy, and lately I’ve been using the internet more and more to find recipes I want to try–that’s annoying because then my computer is in the middle of the table (and it has a very short battery life, so it needs to be plugged in) and plus..it’s just not as cute as a cookbook.  I leafed through this book in the store and saw so many recipes that I want to try so I just up and bought it!  Yay!

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Filed under Entrees

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Day number two of midterms week, down.  Yes!

On a more sad note, Fritz went off to California today for a dental conference that he’s presenting research in.  Sad for me, happy for him.  It’s going to be very lonely for the next couple of days, so it’s probably a good thing I have a large stack of textbooks to bury my sorrows in.

Actually, that’s never really a good thing, is it?

My mom (who is apparently the recent MVP of this blog) gave me a recipe for this sweet-potato-black-bean-quinoa-casserole this weekend, and I decided to give it a try because it was filled with a lot of healthy ingredients that I had on hand.  My one complaint was that it was a bit dry, so I’d probably add a 1/2 cup of water or so next time I made it (or an extra cup of salsa–even better!).  It was good as a side dish, and even better as a Mexican-style filling for the omelet I just made for dinner! 

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

  • 1 C dry quinoa
  • 3 C black beans (2 cans, or 1 1/3 C dried beans, soaked, rinsed, and cooked)
  • 1 sweet potato, grated (about 2 C)
  • 1 1/2 C salsa
  • 3/4 grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 T cumin
  • 2 eggs or 1 egg/1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed in 3 T water)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the quinoa according to instructions (I used 2 1/2 C water and simmered until all the water was absorbed–I had both red and white quinoa, and red cooks more slowly than white).

In a casserole dish, combine the quinoa, grated sweet potato, and black beans.

Mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl, using only half of the grated cheese (eggs/flax egg, cheese, salsa).

Pour over the quinoa mixture, and combine thoroughly.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake, covered, on the middle rack in the oven for 25 minutes.  Uncover for another five minutes and let the cheese on the top brown (you can broil it if you like your cheese crispy).

Slice and serve!

Since mine came out a bit crumbly, I was using it as a filling for other meals, which was perfect.  A great way to eat this would be in a halved bell pepper with some extra salsa–mm! 

Between all the studying that Fritz and I have been doing, it hasn’t been very fun around here.  Luckily, Henry always manages to find some way to amuse himself–he was surfing on pieces of paper in the kitchen, jumping from one to another and sliding all over the floor.  Who knew cats were so hysterical?

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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

This is a pretty exciting recipe.

Not because it is gourmet, or terribly difficult, or requires any skilled technique whatsoever.  Actually, for all the opposite reasons: it’s cheap, healthy, super easy, uses only one pot, and most importantly–it’s delicious and very filling.  I mean–what else can a woman ask for?

Oh, yes–leftovers.  This recipe makes about 6 servings, which means when I was busy studying for finals, Fritz could toss a big spoonful of this into a Tupperware, bring along a whole-wheat roll-up, and make himself a hearty Mexican-style wrap for lunch at school.

So basically, this is a recipe for perfection.

Enjoy!

Mexican Quinoa Skillet (adapted from this recipe)

  • 3/4 to 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 T chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 C red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 C water

Saute the onions and peppers in a large pot/skillet over medium high heat in 1 T olive oil, or until browned.  Add the ground turkey and brown until thoroughly cooked, drain the excess fat, then toss in the spices and stir for two minutes more.

Next, add the tomatoes, quinoa, and water, and simmer on low uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and unfurls.  If the water evaporates too quickly, cover and add a bit more water as needed.

Once it’s ready, serve hot in a giant bowl and enjoy yourself some quick-n-easy comfort food.  You can copy Fritz and eat it in a wrap, topped with some salsa and grated  cheese.  He’ll be flattered.

With all the shopping and wrapping I have to do, it’s nice to have a dinner that doesn’t take long.  What’s your go-to speedy meal for a crazy night?

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Filed under Entrees