Who wants a big bowl of enchilada soup today? Well, lucky you! ‘Cause that’s what I am serving up.
Today is my first reveal with Group B of the Secret Recipe Club (due to the holidays and a glitch … aka I forgot to fill out a form). I’m excited to have a whole new group of blogs to peruse, although I will miss my Group A-ers a lot!
My assigned blog for this month was An Affair from the Heart. I’ve been following Michaela on Facebook since I got this assignment, and I really enjoy interacting on her Facebook page! Every Tuesday she announces a theme and shares recipes on the page based on that theme. It’s fun to see the round-up without ever leaving FB. Not that I am on there all the time …
Michaela is a stay-at-home mom of four (one in college, one in high school, and two a little younger), and she loves to throw big parties and entertain as well as feed her family. I would call her recipes down-to-earth, the kind of things I love to make: not fussy, not necessarily gourmet, but good and delicious.
I was very tempted to make something from the Popcorn & Snack Mix category, but for the benefit of my weight-loss attempts decided to go with soup instead. This Beefy Enchilada Soup will be great for lunches this week. It made a ton, so I froze about half for a later family meal.
I had to make a few adjustments based on what I could find at my store. They didn’t have Mexicorn, so I used one can of regular corn and one can of hominy, which I love. I used mild enchilada sauce, and I think the soup could have used a little more kick, so I would recommend using medium or serving with some hot sauce. I also made this on the stovetop instead of using a slow cooker, 100% because I didn’t want to have to wash the slow cooker. Because I AM THAT PERSON. But I am adding the slow cooker instructions for you at the bottom of the recipe if you want them.
15 oz. Mexican-style stewed or diced tomatoes, with liquid
15 oz. canned pinto beans, with liquid
15 oz. canned yellow corn, drained, or about 1 c. frozen corn
15 oz. canned hominy, drained
20 oz. water (two enchilada cans)
hot sauce, to taste
2 c. Mexican-blend shredded cheese, divided
6 small corn tortillas, cut in half and then into strips
optional: diced avocado, sliced olives, sour cream, diced tomatoes, etc.
In a large soup pot, brown ground beef and onion together until beef is done. Drain off fat. Add enchilada sauce, tomatoes, pinto beans, corn, hominy, and two enchilada cans of water.
Stir well and bring soup to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to low and simmer.
Simmer soup at least an hour or as long as you can. Take off lid and add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and tortilla strips. Stir well, then cook another 15 minutes or so (uncovered).
Taste and season with hot sauce if desired (or pass at the table). Top bowls with the rest of the cheese and any optional toppings.
To make this in the slow cooker, cook beef and onion as directed. Then mix beef/onion with remaining ingredients except cheese and tortillas in the slow cooker. Cook on low 8-10 hours. During the last hour, stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese and tortilla strips and season with hot sauce if desired. Serve with additional cheese and optional toppings.
I came across several versions of this little salad while I was working on an article about Spring vegetables last year. When I was pregnant with Joshua, I developed a taste for radishes like I have never had before. And it hasn’t gone away! So this salad became a healthy favorite.
A few minutes with a mandoline or sharp knife, and you will be set with a big bowl of fresh yummyness.
The more-authentic recipes of this Eastern European classic dish recommend green onions; they are not my favorite, so I’ve subbed in dried minced onion for ease. You can use the white parts of three green onions, though, if you’d like. The sour cream really mellows out the spicy red radish, but if you like a less-peppery radish, try the watermelon radish variety.
Note: This post is sponsored by Naturally Fresh® and The Motherhood, and I was compensated for my time and recipe development. All opinions, pictures, and experiences are my own, and I hope you enjoy them. As always, money earned through sponsored posts will be donated, and I thank you greatly for giving me that ability!
Party food. It’s basically the best, right? I am positive I could live on dips, maybe with a stuffed jalapeno and chicken wing thrown in there. And there is no time for party food like the Super Bowl.
I have zero interest in football. This morning I had a Trivia Crack question about who played in the 2014 Super Bowl, and I had no idea. I went to a party on campus. I swear! I cooked amazing chicken chili, which won a cook-off. But I had no idea who played in the game.
Naturally Fresh and The Motherhood asked if I would develop a Super Bowl snack recipe using one of their dressings. When I read that their dressings and dips have no preservatives or artificial colors or flavorings, I was sold! I hopped down to Publix and found a jar in the refrigerated section, near salads. Imagine that – the Ranch dressing is made with actual buttermilk that needs to be refrigerated.
I was impressed with the ingredients list, especially how low sugar is on the list; and I recognized all the ingredients on the label. I’ve been experimenting with making my own Paleo mayonnaise, mostly so I can make Ranch dressing. But so far that has been a disaster. And I am not eating dairy-free, so I’d much rather grab a nice jar of Ranch that I know tastes good than do battle with my immersion blender and have a kitchen splattered with olive oil again.
Since I am trying to eat grain-free right now, I decided to make a little chicken nugget that fits my diet. The chicken is marinated in Ranch dressing and spices, a technique I’ve used for years to make great pork chops. These are then breaded with almond meal and fried in palm oil shortening (or whatever you want to use for deep frying – it’s an oil I feel comfortable using).
I thought these were delicious, but I wasn’t sure if I could sell my kids on the gluten-free breading. Libbie happened to come by when I was trying them, though, and was ecstatic to be a taste-tester. And she LOVED them. Woohoo! These may be a good lunchbox staple, too.
Delicious fried chicken nuggets take on a new flavor profile after being marinated in Ranch dressing and coated with almond meal.
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 c. Naturally Fresh® Classic Ranch dressing, plus more for dipping
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 c. coconut flour
1 1/2 c. almond meal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
oil for deep frying - I used palm oil shortening
salt for sprinkling
Toss cubed chicken with the Ranch dressing, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cover and refrigerate at least half an hour.
Set up three bowls for coating chicken. In the first, put coconut flour. In the second, beat the egg. In the third, mix almond meal, salt, and pepper.
Heat shortening or oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Your oil should be about 1 inch deep. Test to see if oil is ready by using the end of a wooden spoon. If bubbles form around it, it is hot enough. Watch your oil and keep it fairly low. If too hot, the almond meal will easily burn.
Coat chicken pieces in coconut flour, then egg, then almond meal. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until chicken feels firm, flipping in the oil once. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate, and immediately sprinkle lightly with salt. Fry in batches, being careful not to overcrowd chicken.
Serve with extra Ranch dressing for dipping.
Cutting chicken while it is partially frozen will make it easier to get even cubes. For a spicier nugget, you can add some cayenne to the marinade or to the almond coating.
There are about a million versions of these super simple banana-and-egg pancakes. Yes, the combination sounds super weird, but it works. And these work with my new grain-free, refined sugar-free diet right now!
Here is how I like to make these little pancakes. (David and Joshua will eat them too. Libbie, my pickiest eater, is not a fan. But she doesn’t like regular banana pancakes, either. She is weird.)
2 T butter (ghee, if you are Paleo) or coconut oil for frying
maple syrup or honey
In a bowl, mash banana well. Beat in eggs. Stir in coconut flour.
Melt butter, ghee, or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter into the hot oil/butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once, just like a pancake, until cooked through.
Once cooked, drizzle with pure maple syrup or honey.
Butter is fine if you haven't cut out dairy, but a true Paleo diet does. Most Paleo followers will eat clarified butter (ghee), which has all the milk solids skimmed off. Coconut oil is a great alternative, though, if you want to avoid butter altogether.
After wondering if I had been assigned to every single person from group A in the Secret Recipe Club, I got my blog for this month. And it was Chef in Disguise! Aha! Someone whose recipes I always lust over during the SRC reveal. This was a fun month for me.
Sawsan grew up in Jordan and lives in the United Arab Emirates, where she is an orthodontist. She offers recipes with Middle Eastern flair as well as those from around the world. I was in awe of all the different cultures represented in her recipe index.
I love to try new things and am an adventurous eater, so I would love to test out some of Sawsan’s recipes like Cauliflower Makloubeh. I almost made the Baked Kibbeh, but I was afraid my kids would turn up their noses or it wouldn’t taste right.
Here’s a side note for you: when I visited Brazil in 2007, we were in a city with a very large Lebanese population. Most of what we did was among these immigrants, and we ate a lot of food that Sawsan features in her Middle Eastern recipes section! I went to a cooking class with a few of my friends, and kibbeh was one of the dishes we “learned” to make. But the one time I tried to make it at home in the States, I felt like it tasted watery and bland. That was probably in 2007 or 2008, though, so maybe I should give it another try. /side note over
Anyway, I was craving steak, so when my in-laws were here for Libbie’s birthday last weekend I decided to make Sawsan’s recipe for Yogurt-Marinated Steak. But since I’d also been eyeing her recipe for Honey-Oregano Beef Onion Skewers, I had kebabs on the brain. So I cut my beef into cubes and made kebabs with the marinated meat, bell pepper chunks, and onion. I seared my kebabs on a grill pan, then finished them in the oven. We ate them alongside Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. And it was all wonderful!
I can imagine using this marinade for chicken or pork as well. It has great all-around flavor.
Slightly adapted from Chef in Disguise for the Secret Recipe Club. The recipe calls for fresh rosemary, but I used thyme because I had some on hand. Any earthy, fresh herb would work well here, like parsley or sage.
2 lbs. top round beef
3 T plain yogurt
2 T white or red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 T fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 sweet bell peppers, diced into large chunks
1-2 onions, cut into very large dice
Cut steak into large cubes. Place in a gallon zipper freezer bag.
In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme or rosemary, oregano, and paprika. Pour into the bag with beef and squish around to cover beef. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, as long as overnight.
(You can also freeze this in the marinade for a make-ahead meal. Just defrost completely in the refrigerator before making kebabs.)
On wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes before using), alternately thread beef, pepper pieces, and onion pieces.
Sear on a lightly oiled grill pan or skillet, then broil in the oven until to your desired doneness. Alternately, cook on a grill until to your liking.
If, like me, you are a great lover of all things peanut butter, these muffins are for you. They are light and fluffy, specked with just enough chocolate to tickle your tastebuds, and make a perfect breakfast or grab-and-go snack.
I love muffins and I cannot lie. And the goodness of these, you cannot deny.
Unless you don’t like peanut butter. In which case, well, I am very, very sorry.