Category Archives: Mexican/Spanish Recipes

A Mexican Cheese Pie Variation

Photo: Chicken Chile Rellano PieWhile a cheese pie is a lot like a quiche, it’s not exactly the same. It’s the basic recipe adapted with different ingredients that takes it on a different path. In this case, our cheese pie is similar to the Chile Rellano casserole but with a couple of differences. This recipe is adapted from Miz Liz at Low Carb Friends. I made a few adjustments and changes to spice it up a little more.

It cooks quickly and makes a thick, satisfying slice of pie. It will serve six average appetites, but those bigger eaters should be content with one-quarter of the pie.  You can dress it up when you serve it with other go-withs like pico de Gallo, avocado or guacamole, and/or sour cream.

If you want it to be spicier, add more fajita or taco seasoning to it. Don’t want it spicy at all? Omit the seasoning and simply add salt and pepper. While it does use a low carb baking mix – the original recipe came from Carbquik’s web site -, you don’t have to use it. Omit the flour if you wish, or simply use 1 tablespoon of any low carb flour to help thicken it.

I hope you will give this a try and let me know what you think

Chicken Chile Rellano Casserole

2 4 oz. cans chopped Green Chilies, drained
1 cup shredded Chicken
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese or Cheddar Jack Cheese
1/2 cup Cream plus 1/2 cup Water
1 cup CarbQuik mix or other Low Carb Baking Mix
1 – 2 tablespoons of Fajita or Taco Seasoning Mix
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F.) Grease an 8″ pie plate or casserole dish or spray with baking spray.

Drain the chiles and spread them over the bottom of the pan. Top with cheese, then spread the chicken and chop onions over the top.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, cream, water, seasoning, and baking mix together until it is completely mixed using a spoon or silicone spatula. Pour over the chicken and cheese. Place pie pan on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Insert a knife in the middle to check if it is fully set.

Cool for about 10 minutes to allow it to finish setting up to make it easier to cut. Serve with sour cream, pico de gallo, and/or guacamole to garnish. A green side salad works well with this dish.

Makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on appetite.

Tip: For those who want a meatless dish, simply omit the chicken.
If you would like to add corn to it, use Dynasty Baby Sweet Corn and chop it up. It adds the flavor with only 0.3 carbs extra per serving of 1/6.

Photo: Nutrition Info for Chicken Chile Rellano Casserole

 

 

Hot Chile for Cold Days

Photo: Rene's Beef and Chorizo Chile

With a snowstorm arriving in Reno last weekend, my thoughts turned to warm comfort food. Weather like this calls for at least stew, soup, or chile. I went with the latter. Usually, I make my Tex-Mex chile, the variety that uses all meat chunks and carries a ton of heat. But I decided to try something a little different, so here’s my take on a meat and bean chile done low carb.

First, I added medium-hot chorizo in for a zap of spice and a different flavor, then mixed in ground beef. I chose black beans because they are a bit lower in carbohydrates than either pinto or red beans. The result is fabulous, tasty, and warming. Like many stews, soups, and curries, the longer the pot sits, the more flavorful it becomes. So if you want to make it a day ahead, you can cover it and put it in the ‘fridge for a day or so. Nonetheless, it is delicious on the first day.

Rene’s Beef and Chorizo Chile

1 Onion, diced
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
2 pounds Ground Beef
1 pound Chorizo Sausage
1 can diced Green Peppers
1 packet Taco Seasoning or 2 tablespoons Spicy Seasoning
1 15-oz can Stewed Tomatoes, chopped
1 15-oz can Tomatoes with Chiles
1 can Black Beans, with juice
1 cup Pumpkin puree

In a 10 to 12 cup heavy pot, heat a teaspoon oil and add onions and garlic. Stir and cook for about five minutes until the onions are sweating. Add ground beef and chorizo, breaking it up as you stir it around. Cook until the meat is lightly browned.

Add green peppers, seasoning, and both cans of tomatoes. Add about a half-cup to each tomato can and swish them around to get the rest of the juice in the can, then add to the chile pot. Stir it together, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for an hour.

Taste the sauce to check the seasoning and adjust it if you want it spicier. Add the black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir well and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes until the chile thickens.

Serve in bowls with cheddar jack or Mexican cheese and sour cream if you wish.

Makes 8 to 10 servings, about 1 cup each.

Tip: You can make an excellent chile cheese omelet with this chile. Just add 1 cup of warmed chile in the middle of the partially cooked omelet and top with cheese. Fold the omelet over or cook the top in a broiler until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy the spicy taste of tacos

Photo: Zucchini Taco Boat

As May draws to a close and warmer weather is coming to many places, here’s another Mexican-style dish that is quick and easy to prepare. This brings the spicy flavor of a taco to a low carb option of a zucchini base rather than using tortillas. Add fresh fruit or a green salad for a delightful, guilt-free meal.

I found the original recipe by Lauren Miyashiro on Delish.com and adapted it a little more to make it easier and lower carb’d.

Zucchini Taco Boat

2 Zucchini, 6 to 8″ long
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 cup Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
2/3 pound Ground Beef
1 teaspoon Taco Seasoning
1/2 cup Pico de Gallo
1 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
Freshly chopped Cilantro for garnish
1 Haas Avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 350° (F).

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a sharp paring knife to cut around the edge, leaving about 1/4 of an inch. Score across the inside piece to almost the bottom, then remove the insides. Chop into small cubes and set aside for later.

Place hollowed out zucchini halves, cut side up, into the bottom of a baking dish large enough to accommodate all four. Drizzle or brush 1 tablespoon oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes to soften the zucchini. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a  skillet over medium-high heat and add onion and reserved zucchini. Stir and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add ground beef, breaking up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until beef is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.

Stir in taco seasoning and salt and pepper. Add Pico de Gallo and mix well. If you don’t have any, use equal amounts of chopped onions and tomatoes, one chopped green chile, and 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini bottoms and sprinkle cheese over the top of each.

Photo: Zucchini Boats in the pan from the oven.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes until the zucchini is tender and cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced avocado on the side. Serve with sour cream and/or salsa.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information for Zucchini Taco Boats

Try fish for your Cinco de Mayo celebration!

Photo: Mexican-style Tilapia

For a long time, I haven’t included fish in my Mexican or Tex-Mex eating. Truth is, I am not a big fish fan, although shellfish is a whole different story. But I do like white fish, such as tilapia, cod, and halibut along with salmon. I never considered using them in Mexican food, but I decided it was time to try it out. I started with this delicious dish.

Mostly, I’m relying on seasoning to bring the flavor to the fish. I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning, but you can use your own favorite. This dish easy to make. Add about 1/4 cup of black beans or frijole beans as a side dish along with the riced turnips with chile I posted a few days ago or with the amazingly good riced golden beets I’m adding the recipe for below. I usually use them as a couscous substitute, but they work well with this fish.

Mexican-style White Fish

2 tilapia fish fillets (4 oz. each) or other white fish
1 cloves garlic minced
1/2 lime juiced
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

In a shallow pan or bowl, add garlic, seasoning, salt, and lime juice and mix. Rub the mixture over the fish fillets, making sure to cover them on both sides.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, place the fillets in the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and cook the reverse side the same amount of time. Turn off heat, flip the fish back over, and let it sit another minute.

Serve with a salad, beans, riced beets, or cauliflower rice along with guacamole, sour cream, sliced onions, and tomato as preferred.

Makes two servings.

Photo: Riced golden beets

Riced Golden Beets

1 medium golden beet, peeled
1/4 cup Hot Water
1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Diced Onions (optional)
Salt to taste

Cut beet into cubes and use a food processor to chop until the pieces are rice-sized.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add butter. Add onions and sauté for two minutes.

Add one cup of the riced beets and stir into the butter and onions for a couple of minutes. Heat water to boiling, then add chicken bullion. When melted add to the skillet, add salt, and stir in. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Check a couple of times to make sure the rice doesn’t dry out. Add water as needed. Check to be sure beets are tender.

Makes two 1/2 cup servings.

Image: Nutrition Info Mexican whitefishImage: Nutrition Info - Riced Golden Beets

Variations on Enchiladas

The seasons begin to turn, and I have been craving a little Mexican food this past week. It’s a fundamental part of my diet since I grew  up in a Southwest border town. But I also wanted to use a meatless variety choice, so I went for this adapted recipe for enchiladas. Just cheese in these logs of tortillas is common and can be found in most Mexican restaurants, so a little twist or two on the recipe makes it a more interesting and flavorful combination. This version is destined to become one of my favorites for a Meatless Monday or any time you want a light dinner.

For my ingredients, I used Great Value Fiesta Cheese mix, found at Wal-Mart, which includes four varieties of Mexican cheese and is really low in carbohydrates. You can select other cheese mixes or just Monterrey Jack cheese. I also used Jalapeno Cheese, which adds just a little kick. The butternut squash is a delicious, but mild stand-in for meat and adds a little substance to the dish.

Other add-ins could include chopped olives, chopped green chiles, green onions, chopped and cooked tomatillos, and additional seasonings such as cumin, cayenne pepper, and cilantro to adjust it to your preferences. Also, I made this batch with red enchilada sauce, but you can use green chile enchilada sauce or green chile salsa. Each change will affect the overall Carb count though. Anytime you are making Mexican food, you can expect the net carbs in the dish to push toward the 10 net carb mark, so figure any changes into the meal.

Photo: Enchilada cut open.
Enchilada cut open to reveal the cheesy interior. I served mine with a apple, kohlrabi, and cabbage coleslaw

Butternut and Cheese Enchiladas

4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cups Salsa
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Jalapeno Jack Cheese, grated or shredded
1 cup Butternut Squash, cubed
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese or Mexican Cheese Mix
6 7-inch Low Carb Tortillas
1 cup Red Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Cook the butternut squash cubes for 1 to 2 minutes in a microwave until they are just tender. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and salsa and beat it to mix together. (I used a wooden spoon to work it together, but you can also use a hand mixer.) Add the onions and 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack or Fiesta Cheese and mix together well, then stir in the butternut squash. This is the filling for your enchiladas.

In a baking pan or a oven-safe skillet, add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/6th of the filling down the middle of a tortilla and roll it into a log over the filling. Place seam down in the pan. Repeat with the next 5 tortillas, fitting them snugly into the pan or skillet. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Cheddar Jack or more Mexican Cheese Mix.

Photo: Enchiladas in a pan.
Six enchiladas just out of the oven in a square copper skillet.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted. Let sit for a few minutes, then use a spatula to remove each enchilada to the plate. Serve with a salad or Spanish riced cauliflower.

Makes 6 servings.

You might also like Chicken Enchiladas with ZucchiniCast Iron Skillet Enchiladas, and Apple, Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw.

Photo: Info for Enchiladas