One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

It’s a cold, rainy Fall day in NYC, and what better than to make a big pot of cozy comfort food for the soul?

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free / TresOmega Pasta}

I was invited to join the TresOmega Blogger Recipe Challenge and I thought my One Pot Chili Mac Soup recipe would be the perfect thing to make with their gluten free pasta incorporated. This recipe is a cross between chili, tacos, mac and cheese and soup – all mixed together into a delicious pot of goodness..trust me, you’re gonna love this!!!

TresOmega Gluten Free Pasta

TresOmega Gluten Free Quinoa Elbows Pasta is made with a unique blend of Organic Royal Bolivian Quinoa – a nutrient packed superfood, organic amaranth, an ancient grain rich is vitamins and minerals, and organic white rice. The pasta is gluten-free, corn-free and certified organic and GMO-free, and has 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein in each serving.

Tresomega Pasta + Coconut Oil

First I cooked the pasta and tossed it in some TresOmega Virgin Coconut oil  to add to the soup later.

Brown beef, garlic and onions

Next I browned the ground beef, garlic and onions in a little more coconut oil and added some taco seasoning to the mixture in a large dutch oven.

Add veggies and beans and chiles to the pot

Then I added all the delicious veggies to the pot – corn, three types of beans, tomatoes, and chiles, and mixed it all together with the ranch seasoning. Just cover the pot and let simmer on low for about an hour, adding the cooked pasta in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Guys, this is so easy..and soooo good!

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

You can top this soup with whatever your heart desires – sour cream, jalapeños, shredded Mexican cheese, green onions, corn chips, maybe even a little parsley or cilantro for some extra green…go nuts!

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

This one-pot recipe is so simple to make and so delicious and best of all gluten free! So you can have a big pot of comfort food without all the guilt and feeling weighted down. Although on a cold rainy day like today, it might just warrant taking a nice nap afterwards. Enjoy 😉

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

One Pot Chili Mac Soup

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 1 bowl

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Tresomega Virgin Coconut oil, divided
  • 2 pounds ground beef or turkey
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 15 1/2-ounce can pinto beans
  • One 15 1/2-ounce can black beans
  • One 15 1/2-ounce can kidney beans
  • One 8.75-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes with chiles
  • Two 4 1/2-ounce cans diced green chiles
  • One 1 1/4-ounce package taco seasoning mix
  • One 1-ounce package ranch salad dressing mix
  • One package Tresomega Gluten Free Elbows
  • Corn chips, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend, for garnish
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish
  • Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat one tablespoon of Tresomega Coconut Oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the ground beef, onions and garlic and brown for about 5-7 minutes; drain the excess fat. Transfer the mixture to a large stockpot or Dutch oven, stir in taco seasoning.
  2. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles and ranch dressing mix, and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in the pot on the stove.
  3. Meanwhile, cook Tresomega Elbows according to package directions, drain, toss with a tablespoon of Tresomega Coconut Oil and set aside.
  4. Add cooked pasta to the pot in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  5. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with corn chips, sour cream, shredded Mexican cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Notes

Note - you can also cook the soup in a slow cooker over low heat for 6-8 hours.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/11/13/one-pot-chili-mac-soup-gluten-free/

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

To find out more info and purchase Tresomega Nutrition products, visit their website or visit them on social media:

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Facebook

You can also purchase their products at: Sams.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com”

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#glutenfree #HealthyFood

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by TresOmega Nutrition as part of their Blogger Recipe Challenge. I did not receive compensation for this post but did receive products to develop this recipe and all opinions, recipes, photos and text are my own. Please do not use any images without my granted permission. Do feel free to share this post on social media with a link back to the original post and credit to Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet. 

One Pot Chili Mac Soup {Gluten Free}

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole for Game Day!

 

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

 

It’s finally Fall (Yay!) and football season is in full force which means fun tailgating and parties with friends mixed with lots of delicious football party food and drinks! My favorite time of year.

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

I’ve partnered with Mission Foods to create a delicious Game Day recipe for serving a crowd with their awesome flour tortillas, and I present to you my Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole.

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

 

It’s made with ground beef and taco seasoning, onions, garliccorn, jalapeños, chopped tomatoes, beef broth and LOTS of cheese, all baked in layers of spicy, cheesy, ooey-gooey goodness with the flour tortillas in a 9-inch pie pan. Then it’s served cut into wedges and topped with some fresh green onions. You can also serve it with some sour cream and cilantro for extra garnish, if you like, on the side.

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

 

I love making casseroles and one-pot dishes in the Fall, and especially for parties with friends because they’re easy to make and easy to transport and serve, and they are usually a huge hit on the food table! This one will disappear fast so you might want to double the recipe for a big crowd – trust me!

Group8_Soft_Flour_Tortillas

I’m also hosting a giveaway for my readers to win 2 packs of Mission Foods Tortillas – all you need to do is leave a comment and your email below telling me how you would use the tortillas to make a delicious recipe for your Fall Football party! A winner will be chosen at random.

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

Hope you enjoy my super yum recipe and enter for a chance to win tortillas to make your party more delicious and fun too!

Mission Foods Football Party Food

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole

Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole for Game Day!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Serving Size: 1 wedge

This Beef Enchilada Tortilla Casserole is a super easy and tasty dish to make for Football season! Made with Mission Foods flour tortillas, all layered with a spicy enchilada beef, mixed with onions, garlic, corn, tomatoes, broth and jalapeño and lots of cheese in the layers and on top! Garnished with scallions, sour cream and cilantro if desired...and DIG IN!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 cup petite diced tomatoes and juice (or 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 large Mission Foods flour tortillas
  • 1 6-ounce package shredded Mexican Blend cheese (Colby, Monterey Jack and Cheddar)
  • 1-2 scallions, sliced, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and onion to pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes until browned and crumbled.
  3. In a separate medium saucepan, melt the butter and sauce the garlic for 1 minute until lightly golden, sprinkle with flour and stir, cooking for 30 seconds.
  4. Add broth, taco seasoning, tomatoes, corn and jalapeños to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add 1 1/2 cups of the tomato-corn-jalapeno mixture to the cooked ground beef and onions in the large saute pan, mixing together and reserving the rest for the top layer of the casserole.
  7. In a 9-inch pie plate, place 1 tortilla on the bottom. Top with 1 cup of the beef mixture, and sprinkle with a layer of the shredded cheese. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with the 4th tortilla on top.
  8. Spread the reserved tomato mixture over the tortilla and top with the rest of the shredded cheese.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
  10. Let cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve with sliced green onions, and sour cream and cilantro (if desired).

Notes

You can also substitute ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef. For a large crowd, I suggest doubling the recipe to make two casseroles as this one will disappear fast!

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STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS

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Seafood Corn Chowder

Seafood Corn Chowder

Seafood Corn Chowder

Now that summer is coming to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to make one last dish to celebrate the season. And what would be better than something with fresh seafood and something that requires minimum cooking effort in this scorching weather?

Seafood

I decided to make a delicious Seafood Corn Chowder, chock full of seafood – lobster, scallops, crabmeat, shrimp, fresh corn,

fresh veggies

and all kinds of fresh veggies – multi-colored bell peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic and spices, all cooked in a chicken stock finished with cream and garnished with fresh chives and parsley.

Seafood Corn Chowder 2

I made this chowder in my gorgeous KitchenAid® Professional Seven-Ply 8-Quart Stockpot, which is perfect for making soups, stews, chili, and one-pot dishes for a crowd.

Pour Cream

It’s extra large and made out of multi-layered stainless steel so it’s sturdy and heats up quickly and evenly. It also has optional pasta and steamer inserts, which I love, that fit right inside the large pot and lid. This is definitely one of my favorite go-to pots that I use for everything and it all fits conveniently together with a stainless steel lid to seal in moisture and heat.

Seafood Corn Chowder 3

It’s heaven in a bowl, really.

READ THE FULL STORY & GET THE RECIPE ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG HERE

Shrimp, Basil & Corn Zucchini Noodles w/ Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce

Zucchini Noodles 1

Hello Summer! And hello to the season for lighter food and flavors and quality time at the beach and the pool (READ: also time for shorts and sundresses and to lose a few to fit into the bathing suit!)

Zucchini Noodles 10

I’ve been craving pasta lately because i’ve been cutting down on carbs a bit, but I’ve had this cool Veggetti noodle tool in my pantry for a few months and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make some Zucchini Noodles (AKA “zoodles”), and tie in some fresh ingredients from the season such as shrimp and corn and basil.

Zucchini Noodles 8

This dish screams creamy comfort food, but is balanced out with a clean, citrus-y brightness with a Meyer Lemon cream sauce made with mascarpone cheese, Meyer lemon juice and zest, lemongrass chicken broth, white wine, sweet basil olive oil and garlic. The lightness of these zucchini noodles are also totally amazing, rather than a heavy pasta that will put you to sleep in .02 seconds.

Zucchini Noodles 3

I love Meyer lemons because they are delicate and less sour than regular lemons and almost mimic the flavor of lemon and orange juice mixed together, which you can absolutely do if you can’t find Meyer lemons or they aren’t in season. I ordered mine on Fresh Direct which always has everything in stock and delivers on top of that!

Zucchini Noodles

Prep your zucchini noodles with a Veggetti or Spiralizer on a cutting board or over a large mixing bowl. I suggest squeezing out any excess water from them before sauteing (you can let them sit in a colander to extract water for about 15 minutes or so). You might also want to cut the strand piles in half to make them easier to manage and eat. Sauté the noodles in some olive oil with red pepper flakes and garlic for a few minutes and set aside.

LemonZest-Juice

Zest and juice one Meyer lemon to add to the cream sauce. Look at that vivid color! LOVE.

Prep Shrimp

Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the shrimp and sauté in some olive oil for couple minutes until they are pink and set aside. Don’t overcook them though because you will add them back in to the sauce later on and you don’t want tough rubbery shrimp.

Lemon Sauce Ingredients

Prep ingredients for the Meyer Lemon Cream sauce and add the white wine, chicken broth, Meyer lemon juice and zest to the saute pan with leftover juices from the shrimp. Stir and simmer over medium heat for until the liquid reduces by half.

Meyer Lemon Sauce

Add the corn, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until heated through. I used frozen sweet corn but you can use fresh corn too which might take a little longer to cook (or you can precook the fresh corn and add the kernels into the sauce).

Add Mascarpone, Shrimp and Basil

Stir in the mascarpone cheese and blend together until it turns into a gorgeous, silky and creamy sauce. Toss in the shrimp and basil. Isn’t that pretty?

Zucchini Noodles 6

Serve over the zucchini noodles with additional basil and lemon zest and get ready to DEVOUR.

Zucchini Noodles 7

Alternatively you can toss the zucchini noodles in to the pan with the sauce and shrimp and corn and mix it all together to serve as a one pot dish. I prefer keeping the noodles separate from the sauce so they don’t get too mushy, personally.

Zucchini Noodles 5

Garnish with some extra basil and lemon zest and serve with a glass of white wine (I particularly like McBride Sisters Truvee Chardonnay who were kind enough to send me a sample which I LOVED), and some crusty bread to mop up that yum sauce, if you wish. Light, bright, healthy and delicious!

Shrimp, Basil & Corn Zucchini Noodles w/ Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Serving Size: 1 cup of noodles with sauce

This is a super healthy and totally delicious low carb option to pasta. It features sautéed zucchini noodles smothered in a Meyer Lemon cream sauce with shrimp, corn and fresh basil. It's light and bright and the perfect dish for Summer with a glass of white wine and some toasty bread to mop up the sauce.

Delicious!!

Ingredients

  • Zucchini Noodles:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (7 Barrels Basil olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Shrimp:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2-3/4 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Garlic salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Zest and juice of 1 Meyer Lemon
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Truvee Chardonnay)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (Pacific Foods Lemongrass Bone Both)
  • 2/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup sweet corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Basil, for garnish
  • Additional lemon zest, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the Zucchini Noodles:
  2. Using a Veggeti or Spiralizer vegetable cutter, cut both zucchini into medium large noodles over a cutting board or large bowl.
  3. Form the vegetable pasta into two piles and cut each in half to create shorter, easy to manage strands.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and sauté the garlic for a minute or so, being careful not to burn.
  5. Add the zucchini noodles, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes to your desired consistency.
  6. Remove noodles from the heat into a medium bowl and set aside while you cook the shrimp.
  7. Prepare the Shrimp:
  8. In the same sauce pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  9. Sprinkle some garlic salt and pepper on to the shrimp, and add shrimp to the pan cooking for about 3 minutes, stirring often so they cook evenly.
  10. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and transfer to a small bowl while you make the Meyer Lemon cream sauce.
  11. Meyer Lemon Cream Sauce:
  12. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the same large sauce pan over medium heat.
  13. Add the additional garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  14. Add the lemon juice, zest, chicken broth and wine and let simmer down until reduced, about 3 minutes.
  15. Add the corn kernels, salt and pepper and heat through another minute or two, then stir in the Mascarpone cheese until you get a silky, creamy sauce.
  16. Add the cooked shrimp, zucchini noodles and basil; toss to coat. (You can also keep the zucchini noodles separate from the shrimp, corn and basil with Meyer Lemon sauce and spoon it over the noodles in bowls which keeps the noodles from getting mushy in the sauce which is how i prefer serving them.)
  17. Serve with additional basil and lemon zest, and a glass of Chardonnay or dry Italian wine and some crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Notes

This would also be a delicious sauce over any pasta, and if you're a vegetarian you could substitute the shrimp for another vegetable or legumes for some protein. If you can't find Meyer lemons or they aren't in season, simply mix some orange juice into the lemon juice to give it a similar flavor.

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Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp, Basil and Corn in Meyer Lemon Cream SauceZucchini Noodles 9

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Other similar recipes you might enjoy:

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Shrimp and Zucchini with Tomatoes 

Basil Shrimp Zucchini Pasta

Shrimp and Zucchini Risotto

Fettuccine with Shrimp and Zucchini

Note: I received a sample of McBride Sisters Truvee Chardonnay for tasting which inspired me to create this recipe and share with my readers. All opinions of the product are my own and I was not compensated for this post.

Shrimp & Veggie Pasta Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Seashell Shrimp Salad

Seashell Shrimp Salad

One of my favorite recipes to make for a summer BBQ or outdoor party is  Shrimp and Veggie Pasta Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette. It has a light, lemony herb dressing with fresh basil, parsley, dill and tarragon, along with a touch Dijon mustard, Champagne vinegar, olive oil and fresh lemon.

I love using big seashell pasta and adding plenty of fresh veggies including cucumbers, celery, roasted red peppers, grilled corn and scallions for crunch, and adding fresh sautéed shrimp, which you can also grill if you prefer. It goes perfectly with grilled chicken, burgers, skewers and fresh fruit like watermelon, pineapple and mango.

Shrimp

First cook your seashell pasta, drain and set aside. Then you can either grill the shrimp or sauté it for a few minutes in a large sauce pan with some fresh lemon, herbs, seasonings and olive oil and let cool while you prep the other ingredients.

corn

Season and grill the corn, shave off the kernels and add to the salad with the rest of the veggies (celery, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, green onions). Feel free to sub whatever fresh veggies you like to the salad to make it colorful and healthy!

dressing

Make the Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette by whisking together some extra virgin olive oil, Champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon, salt and pepper and chopped fresh herbs.

Salad Ingredients

Pour over the pasta, veggies and shrimp in a large mixing bowl and fold together. I like to put the salad in the fridge and let the flavors meld together  – you can really taste the fresh herbs and zingy lemon when you let it sit together for a bit.

shrimp veggie pasta salad

So easy, so light and refreshing and perfect for a backyard BBQ or beach party.

Shrimp & Veggie Pasta Salad with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of pasta (medium-large shells or rotini)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound small shrimp, peeled, cleaned and deveined, tails removed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • Sea salt, to taste (for shrimp and salad dressing)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, roughly chopped (tarragon, basil, parsley)
  • 2 fresh sweet corn cobs or 1 cup frozen
  • 1 cup English cucumber, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
  • 2 lemon wedges, squeezed for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions (usually about 9-11 minutes for al dente). Drain, rinse under cool water and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice scallions and cook until soft about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add one more tablespoon of oil then add shrimp, red pepper flakes, Old Bay seasoning and sea salt; sauté together stirring constantly until shrimp are opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set pan aside to let shrimp mixture cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl add salt and pepper, vinegar, mustard, garlic, lemon juice and zest. Use the KitchenAid® 3-Speed Hand Blender with the whisk attachment to blend ingredients together and slowly pour in the olive oil in small amounts until the dressing is emulsified and mixed well. Chop the fresh herbs, mix into the Lemon-Herb dressing and set aside.
  4. Prepare the fresh corn by grilling it – add a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then char it over a medium-high grill for about 15 minutes. Shuck the cooked kernels off the cob and set aside in a separate mixing bowl. If using frozen sweet corn, simply boil in 1-2 tablespoons of water in a small pot over medium-high for 3-4 minutes, then drain and place into a bowl, set aside.
  5. Add the cucumbers and celery to the accompanying mixing bowl of the KitchenAid® 3-Speed Hand Blender, and pulse a few times until chopped into a small to medium dice. Chop each vegetable separately to avoid overfilling the blender bowl. Chop the roasted red pepper into medium diced pieces. Throw all the chopped veggies into a bowl and set aside.
  6. Pour the cooked pasta, shrimp and scallion mixture, corn and all the prepped veggies into a large mixing bowl and add the Lemon-Herb dressing. Gently mix all the ingredients together with a large spoon. Garnish pasta salad with additional chopped herbs, fresh lemon juice and additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator or cooler until ready to serve.
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READ THE FULL POST ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG TO SEE HOW I MADE IT WITH MY KitchenAid® 3-Speed Hand Blender + TIPS FOR PLANNING THE PERFECT BEACH BASH

Food Styling for Mario Lopez and Avocados from Mexico on NBC Live and Bethenny Shows!

MarioLopez-hero

Mario Lopez NBC Live

I recently did a fun food styling TV segment for Mario Lopez and Avocados from Mexico on the Bethenny show and NBC New York Live. The segment featured Mario discussing his new cookbook Extra Lean,  demonstrating how to use fresh avocados in your everyday cooking for delicious healthy meals. I made his Chicken Enchiladas with Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salsa for the show – it turned out absolutely delicious and was a hit backstage! I also made some gorgeous Avocado, Mozzarella and Tomato Salad Bites for the Bethenny Show that were super cute and delicious. Here’s the recipes and some fun behind the scenes photos from the show!

WATCH THE VIDEO FROM NY LIVE NBC SHOW 

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas with Black Bean, Avocado and Corn Salsa

Serves 3

Ingredients:

6 corn tortillas
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 tbsp canned green chiles
1/2 cup mild tomato salsa, divided
1/2 cup low fat shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack recommended)
Chopped scallions
Hot sauce (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven to warm.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add onions and peppers. Season with salt and oregano and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add chicken, green chiles, 1/2 cup salsa, and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
  5. Remove tortillas from the oven and spray a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
  6. Place 1/4 cup of chicken mixture in a tortilla, roll up and transfer to baking dish; repeat with remaining tortillas.
  7. Top tortillas with Black Bean, Avocado and Corn Salsa and cheese and bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
  8. Garnish with chopped scallions, additional Black Bean, Avocado and Corn Salsa and serve with hot sauce, if desired.

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Black Bean, Avocado and Corn Salsa

Serves 4 – 8

Ingredients:

1/4 cup vinaigrette salad dressing
1/4 cup sliced scallions
2 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp grated lime peel
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1 fully ripened avocado from Mexico, halved, pitted, peeled and diced

Directions:

In large bowl, whisk together salad dressing, scallions, cilantro and lime peel. Stir in beans, corn and red pepper. Add avocado; toss gently. Season with salt, if desired.

photo: Kristen Hess

Avocado-Mozzarella-and-Tomato-Salad

Avocado, Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 Hass Avocados from Mexico, sliced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 pound mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 ounce bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • With a small knife or “shark”, cut the little stem end out of the tomato using a serrated knife, cut the tomatoes into 1/3 inch slices.
  • Slice the mozzarella 1/4 inch thick.
  • Alternate slices of Avocado, tomato, mozzarella and basil leaves like playing cards on individual plates.
  • Drizzle on the olive oil and vinegar.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

photo: Avocados from Mexico

Mario Lopez

mariolopez1

mariolopez2

mariolopez3

Set and Mario Lopez photos: Kristen Hess

 

Big Pot of Comfort :: Spicy Cajun Chili with a Kick!

Spicy Cajun Chili
Spicy Cajun Chili

Chili is one of my go-to recipes when the Autumn leaves start turning colors and the weather starts getting cooler – especially on a crisp weekend night cuddled under some fuzzy blankets with me and my kitty cat watching some movies. Or with a group of friends watching everyone go crazy on college football game day. There’s nothing better than that. And, it’s an easy thing to make and dishes out a big dose of comfort. The best part is once I make a big pot, I can eat it for a few days and then throw the rest in the freezer for later (unless all my crazy friends dig in and there’s nothing left to show for it which actually makes me the happiest!)

I decided I wanted to make a spicier version of the chili I normally make and added a kick to it with some Cajun/Creole seasoning Tony Chacere’s (or you can try Emeril’s Southwest Essence) which adds an extra layer of spicy, savory flavor with green and red bell pepper and celery flavors.  I added some red pepper flakes, diced green chilies and a few tablespoons of hot sauce to the mix and used half ground chicken (you can also use ground turkey) / half ground beef and threw in some garlic, onions and black beans to make it a little healthier too. If you want to make it even more authentically Cajun, you could throw in some Andouille sausage or corn or green and red peppers for even more flavor and texture.

It’s perfect on its own, but you can cool the heat a little bit with some sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on top. If you want it even spicier, just throw in a little extra hot sauce – I love Evil Ooze by Hotline Pepper Products (my friend Kerry Stressel makes it in Texas) and classic Tabasco hot sauce, or you can do a little milder sauce like Frank’s RedHot or Cholula) and top with extra diced chilies or sliced jalapenos. I usually serve my chili with plain crackers or corn chips, but you could also make some yummy cheesy garlic bread to serve with it instead. Cozy up and enjoy! 🙂

Spicy Cajun Chili with a Kick

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning (Tony Chacere's)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 -28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 -15 ounce can tomato sauce or 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced green chilies, drained (or 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced)
  • 1 cup of corn kernels (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, for garnish
  • Extra hot sauce, diced chilies or jalapeno (if desired)
  • Crackers, garlic toast or corn chips, for serving (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute the chopped onion until soft and translucent, for about 5-6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Add the ground chicken or turkey and beef to the pot and mix with the garlic and onion, stirring with a wooden spoon to brown the meat. Continue to cook until all the meat is brown and no longer pink, for about 8-10 minutes. Drain the fat off the meat into a colander and place meat and onion-garlic mixture back into the pan.
  3. Add the Cajun-Creole seasoning and all the dry chili spices and red pepper flakes, stir and cook for another minute or so.
  4. Pour in the stock, water, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce (or chopped fresh tomatoes) and hot sauce; turn up the heat until chili starts to bubble, and lower heat to a simmer.
  5. Stir in black beans and and diced green chilies, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes, up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Note: You can play with the thickness of the chili by adding additional water or stock as it simmers, but be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking if you do this.)
  7. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish. Top with some extra diced chilies or jalapenos for extra zing if desired.

Notes

You can play with the desired thickness of the chili by adding additional water or stock but be sure to taste and season it to your liking if you do this.)

You can also add some fresh or canned corn to the chili while cooking.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish. You can also top with some extra diced chilies or jalapenos for extra zing if desired.

Fresh cilantro or lime adds great flavors as garnish for a little bit more green.

Enjoy with a big hearty glass of red wine or a beer and some crackers, corn chips or cheesy garlic bread.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/09/spicy-cajun-chili/

Other Chili Recipes you may enjoy:

Southern Style Taco Soup

Emeril Lagasse Kickin Chili

Cooking Light Turkey and Bean Chili

White on Rice Couple Spicy Bacon Cowboy Chili

How Sweet Eats Chunky Fire Roasted Chili

The Pioneer Woman Simple Chili

Devon’s Award Winning Chili (Barefoot Contessa)

Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero-Green Chile & Pepper Jack Cream

Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero, Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream
Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero, Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream

This is an easy, tasty dish I whipped up the other night that is a spin on Chicken Fajitas. The main difference being that these have a crunchy, toasted tortilla that you eat the Fajitas on – either flat like a pizza, rolled up like a burrito or wrap, or folded in half like a big taco. I kicked up the heat a little bit by adding some green chiles, hot Indian red pepper (which is like Cayenne but hotter!), sliced jalapenos, and made a spicy Habanero, Green Chile and Pepper Jack sour cream to give it some more flavor and heat. The dip mixes I bought from a company called Gourmet Creations at the Corn Hill Arts Festival Upstate NY. You can also purchase their seasonings online, or flavor the sour cream with anything you like – a regular onion dip or veggie dip mix would work too. What I love about the mixes from Gourmet Creations is that they are all gluten-free, and are handmade with all natural dried ingredients and they can be used not only for dips and sauces, but to use as spice rubs on fish, veggies, poultry and meat, and they make excellent herb butters, too. I bought about 10 different flavors from them – sooo good!

Now, I’m a total spice-head and LOVE spicy food so if you aren’t interested in making the Fajita Wraps hot, just omit the Indian or Cayenne Red pepper, hot sauce, jalapenos and serve with regular sour cream and cilantro. Another idea if you want a more grilled flavor, is you can grill the chicken and corn first and then add it to the sauteed peppers, onions, chiles and Fajita mix. You can even char the green chiles over a grill or gas flame if you want to get super fancy! This requires a little more time and effort but anything grilled adds a nice charred smoky flavor to the dish.

I recommend a Spanish or Mexican rice to go with the Fajitas, and a smashing Margarita to make it official and douse the flames. Enjoy.

Crunchy Chicken Fajita Wraps w/ Habanero Green Chile-Pepper Jack Cream

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1/2 large or 1 small-med sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 packet of Fajita seasoning
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 can green chiles (mild)
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen, cooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne or hot Indian red pepper)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 large tortillas (corn, whole wheat, flour - whatever you prefer)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 package Habanero-Chile dip mix
  • 1/2 package Monterey Jack dip mix
  • Dash of hot sauce, (optional, for garnish)
  • Cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute peppers and onions for about 5-6 minutes until soft and onions are translucent. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add additional tablespoon of oil to skillet and saute chicken until browned about 6-8 minutes. Add water and Fajita mix and stir together with chicken. Return sauteed peppers and onions to the same pan.
  3. Add green chiles, cooked corn, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper or cayenne and lower heat to a simmer. Cook ingredients for another 5-10 minutes on low to heat through, allowing sauce to thicken and flavors to blend together.
  4. Heat another large skillet over medium-high and add 1 teaspoon of oil or spray with cooking spray.
  5. Cook tortillas, one at a time in skillet for about 1-2 minutes, flipping each side, until crunchy and browned. You may also heat the tortillas up in a 400 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes or so if you prefer.
  6. Mix 1/2 package Habanero-Green Chile seasoning mix and 1/2 package Monterey Jack seasoning mix into a medium bowl with 1 cup of sour cream. You can also make the seasoned sour cream mix ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve (recommended as the flavors blend better the more they sit!). Another cool idea is to chop up some Chipotle peppers and add these with some Adobo sauce to the sour cream, or even just some extra taco seasoning, or pureed cilantro if you like a cooler creamy topping.
  7. Serve tortillas with Chicken Fajita mixture; top with Habanero-Green Chile & Pepper Jack cream, sliced jalapenos, a dash of hot sauce and chopped cilantro, if desired.
  8. You can roll these up like a burrito or wrap, put the Fajita mixture on top of a flat crunchy tortilla like a pizza or tostada, or fold it in half and eat like a big Chicken Taco! Any way you serve it, it's delicious! Enjoy.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/07/26/crunchy-chicken-fajita-wraps-w-habanero-green-chile-pepper-jack-cream/

Spice up Your Night w/ Southern-Style Taco Soup

 

Southern Style Taco Soup

Southern-Style Taco Soup is something I discovered when I lived down South in Atlanta. My ex-boyfriend’s Mom (a great Southern cook from Alabama) made this for us everytime we came home to visit on a chilly winter night and it was completely delicious – similar to chili yet a warm flavorful soup with corn, black beans, kidney beans and green chilies and diced tomatoes.

The key is the taco seasoning and ranch salad dressing mix – it gives it tons of flavor and a super creamy consistency. Top it off with corn chips, sour cream, jalapeños, cilantro and grated sharp cheddar and you’ve got a hearty soup that eats like a meal. Delish!

Spice up Your Night w/ Southern-Style Taco Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups diced Sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pinto beans
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can sweet white kernel baby corn, drained
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles (Rotel)
  • 1 (4 1/2-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • Dash of Tabasco or hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
  • Corn chips, for serving
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Grated sharp cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, for garnish
  • Sliced jalapenos, for garnish
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large stockpot.
  2. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, hot sauce, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. Alternatively you can cook the soup in a slow cooker on low for about 6 hours which really makes the flavors meld together.
  3. Serve with corn chips in the bowl and pour soup over the chips. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, fresh cilantro and sliced jalapenos. 
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2010/12/11/spice-up-your-night-with-some-southern-style-taco-soup/

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