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Tag Archives: Mexican

Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole


Wow, that title is a mouthful!  Sometimes it’s hard to stick to a two or three-word recipe name when there’s so much goodness going on with it.  I had to tell you this was creamy, because that’s one of the best features of this dish.  I had to tell you it features green chiles, both straight up and in salsa verde, because the flavor profile this creates with the creamy & cheesy ingredients is rockin’.  And it’s a chicken enchilada casserole so I couldn’t exclude those words.  For your sake, I didn’t mention the beans in the title, though I was tempted to call this “Creamy Green Chile Chicken & White Bean Enchilada Casserole.”  You gotta draw the line somewhere, am I right?

Pretty much everything I eat right now seems like the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.  So maybe it’s not true that this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life, but it sure felt that way while I was eating it.  It’s filling (yay for protein, fat and fiber! hehe), which made me so sad because I wanted to eat the whole casserole, in one sitting, all by myself.  It seriously rocked my world.  I was so excited to serve it to my husband (we hardly ever eat dinner together, and on this occasion I actually ate before him, which is unusual since he usually gets off work before me) and I tried not to lean over his shoulder to gauge his reaction.  But I kinda did.  He never gets excited about food like I do, but he said it was “really good” and ate a huge plateful rather quickly, then went back for more.  I’d say that’s a big two thumbs up from the Den man!

There’s pepper in this dish, but the black flecks come mainly from the roasted salsa verde, linked to in the recipe.

I based the recipe off of my favorite Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, and maybe it’s just that I haven’t had them in over a year (so many recipes, so little time), but I do believe this green casserole version is even better than the original enchiladas.  All I know is it’s good, and I would definitely make it for company!

Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Printable recipe
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1 ½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chiles
½ cup salsa verde (I used Walmart’s World Table Roasted Salsa Verde, which I highly recommend)
1 (15.5 oz) can white beans (such as navy or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
1 cup light sour cream
1 (10.5 oz) can light cream of chicken soup
1 ½ cups Monterrey Jack, divided
1 ½ cups Cheddar, divided
*OR 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend substituted for both cheeses
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8-10 white corn tortillas, quartered
Butter for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9 pan with butter and set aside.

Salt your chicken breasts and cook them in a skillet or grill (I use my George Foreman). Allow to cool enough that they won’t burn your hands, then chop them up; set aside.

While the chicken is cooking, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and chop up your onion. Melt the butter in the heated skillet and add the onions, sautéing until softened. Stir in the green chiles and salsa verde and cook for 3-5 more minutes to cook off some of the liquid. Add the chicken, white beans, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, 2 cups of the cheese (reserve the rest for the top), garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Stir together until well blended and cheese is melted.

Spread a small amount of the chicken mixture over the bottom of your prepared pan, then put a layer of the quartered tortillas over it, slightly overlapping. Spread half of the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas, then another layer of tortillas, and finish with the remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top, then cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray to keep the cheese from sticking (or use the nonstick foil). Bake for 15 minutes, remove foil, and bake another 5 minutes or until bubbling around the edges. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting.

Veronica’s notes: I highly recommend shredding your own cheese, as the preshredded kind doesn’t melt as well and IMHO, does not taste as good. You will need ¾ of an 8 ounce block of both cheddar and Monterrey Jack for this recipe (every 8 oz block makes 2 cups of shredded cheese). The tortillas are super simple to cut into quarters if you layer five tortillas and use a pizza cutter on them, or a chef’s knife. Also, this would make an excellent meatless meal if you just replace the chicken with another 2-3 cans of white beans.

A Veronica’s Cornucopia original, with help for transforming it into a casserole from 4 Little Fergusons

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Taco Chili

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Usually on the rare occasion I ask Dennis if he will make something while I’m at work, I get the irritated face.  The “I hate to cook why must you torture me?” face.  The “wouldn’t you rather me rather scrub the toilet and clean the sink drain out by hand instead?” face.  Cooking just isn’t his thing.  It stresses him out.

But chili is another story.  It’s what he lived on as a bachelor and may be the only thing that he really likes to cook.  I handed him the recipe for this with instructions for adapting it to what we had, preparing myself for the sound of grinding teeth (worst sound ever!), but there was no teeth grinding and he didn’t even frown a little.  He actually seemed excited.  It was like I’d been speaking a foreign language all these years and I finally communicated something he understood.  Even better, he reported that he “really enjoyed” making it.  I think his enjoyment translated into the final product because this chili is incredible!  It’s very simple, but oh so good, and if you top it with sour cream and cheese and scoop it up with tortilla chips, you get the total deluxe taco effect. :)

Taco Chili

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning (or 2 1/2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning)
1 (16 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans, drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
10 oz package frozen corn kernels (Dennis used fire-roasted frozen corn)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Optional toppings: Additional cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, chopped scallions, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, etc.

Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat; drain.  Combine with remaining ingredients in a large pot  and stir together.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until you can stand it no longer.  (Dennis simmered his for one hour.)  Serve hot with optional toppings.

Veronicas note: There’s no need to remove the seeds from the jalapeno, unless you are very sensitive.  Dennis left half the seeds in and this was a mild chili.

Recipe source: adapted from The Comfort of Cooking

Corn Salad with Queso Fresco

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It’s been a while! And I’ve noticed I’m not the only one blogging less–it seems summer time is a busy time for everyone and I’m no exception.  Except I haven’t been busy with obligations–I’ve been busy having fun!  That’s the best kind of busy, right? :)

I’ve been enjoying my nephew’s baseball games, we celebrated my PIL’s 50th anniversary, we’ve been biking and walking, I’ve been baking for bake sales, birthdays, and banana bread experiments, and we’re going to Lake Afton every chance we get.  When it’s this hot, the only thing I want to do is soak in the sun’s heat on the beach (with SPF 1,000 sunscreen, of course) and then cool off in the water.  Love it so so much!

I haven’t been cooking very much, but this corn salad is one of the dishes we’ve enjoyed lately.  I love eating cool foods on hot days and fresh corn in the summer is so yummy in any form!  This salad has a a Mexican vibe to it and the flavors are great.  You can make it as is for a side dish, or turn it into a meal by adding some leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken.  Fabulous!

I added so much chicken and tomato to my salad that the corn was hardly the main feature any more!

Corn Salad with Queso Fresco

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Printable recipe with picture

4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
8 ounces queso fresco or cotija cheese
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (and seeded if desired-the seeds will add more heat)
1/2 recipe (about 6 ounces) Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1 large avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional: chopped tomato and leftover rotisserie chicken

Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large stock pot. When the water boils, add the corn and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse and then add to a large bowl. Toss together the corn, red bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno pepper, and crumbled cheese. Toss with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette. Chill until ready to serve. Right before serving, gently toss in the avocado and season with salt and pepper. Serves 10-12.

Recipe source: Our Best Bites

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

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1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or rice vinegar*
4-5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, stems removed

In the jar of your blender, combine lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar. Blend until ingredients are completely combined. With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add cilantro and blend until the cilantro has broken down but still maintains some of its texture. Serve with greens, on any type of Mexican salad, or use as a marinade.

*Reduce sugar to 2 teaspoons if using seasoned rice vinegar, which contains sugar.

Recipe source: Our Best Bites

Corn, Avocado, and Black Bean Tostadas

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For some reason, before I made these tostadas, I had an aversion to chipotle peppers that came canned in adobo sauce.  I think I made one bad dish with them that turned me off, and I was hesitant to use them in anything again.  This recipe has completely turned me around!  These are the absolute best tostadas I’ve ever made.  I love how the sweet corn balances the smoky and spicy flavor of the chiles.

I really love it when I can find vegan meals that don’t require a lot of fake ingredients, and love it even more when those meals are just as delicious as a meat-centric meal.  I have to say that these tostadas beat the pants off of any tostada I’ve made with meat to date.  Although I did put cheddar cheese on these, you can leave it off for a vegan meal because you get plenty of (healthy) fat from the avocado.

This is a great summer meal because it comes together really quickly and only requires a few minutes of heat on the stovetop.  Enjoy!

Corn, Avocado, and Black-Bean Tostadas

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1 large zucchini, diced
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2-3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 tostada shells
1 cup refried black beans*
Shredded lettuce
1 avocado, peeled & sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Spray a large nonstick skilled with oil and heat over medium-high head. Add zucchini and sauté 3 minutes. Add corn and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, onion, cilantro, chipotle chiles, lime juice, and salt. Spread each tostada shell with 2 tablespoons of heated beans and top with shredded lettuce. Spoon corn mixture over lettuce, then top with shredded cheddar and slices of avocado.

*To make your own quick refried black beans, drain a can of black beans and reserve the liquid. Place beans in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, along with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Process, adding in liquid through the feeding tube as necessary to obtain your desired texture. Taste and add salt, pepper, and additional seasonings if desired.

Makes 8 tostadas.

Per tostada: 235 calories; 11.6 g fat; 27.5 g carbohydrates; 5.4 g fiber; 8.6 g protein; 6 Points Plus

Recipe source: adapted from Redbook, October 2010

Secret Recipe ClubThis recipe has actually been recreated twice by the SRC. Here is the first blogger who made it (click the box above for the second): Thru the Bugs on My Windshield

Pineapple & Mango Salad

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I’m ba-ack!  My husband, sister, and I had a fabulous time with our friends in Texas and I put together a slideshow if you are interested, which you can view here.

I had planned to share my favorite basic cheesecake recipe with you upon my return, but you will have to wait until Monday for that one because I’m on a deadline to get a mango recipe posted for BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient). Trust me, I’m doing you a favor! This salad is so delicious and you don’t risk gaining ten pounds if you go wild and eat the entire recipe.  Which you might be tempted to do with the cheesecake.

OK, so I’m a mango purist.  Mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit and I find them so delicious as they are, with nothing added, that it’s hard for me to make a recipe with them.  There is, however, a lovely salad that I make with them from time to time (usually when I have a mango surplus, because using my only mango for anything other than eating plain would be sacrilege) that is so simple and pure in itself, I don’t feel like I’m adulterating the fruit by including it in the salad.

There are only three ingredients and they marry so well together that in the past I have been inspired to give the salad names that would usually be associated with cocktails, like Hawaiian Sunrise and Tropical Paradise.  To keep things simple and pure, in keeping with the recipe itself, I decided to just go with Pineapple & Mango Salad for it’s official title.

I’ve made this salad with parsley, mint and cilantro and I usually prefer the parsley, though any of them will work.  If you think another sounds better, go with that.  I think it is a matter of personal taste, or perhaps even occasion, as when I’m serving it as dessert after a Mexican meal, the cilantro seems best.  And if you want to give it a little more tropical feel, add in some sweetened coconut.  I did that this morning on my second bowl and thought it was nice, though being a mango purist I can’t exactly condone the behavior. ;)

Pineapple & Mango Salad

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 ripe pineapple
4 ripe mangoes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, mint, or cilantro, chopped fine

Cut a slice off the bottom of the pineapple and cut the top off as well.  Sit the pineapple up on on its now-flat end and slice down around the sides to remove the outside.  Keep cutting until you have no pits remaining in the flesh.  Cut the pineapple into quarters, then slice the middle off of each to remove the pit.  Lay each quarter on its back, cut into thirds length-wise, then chop into chunks.  Place the pineapple chunks in a large bowl.  Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh away from the seed.  Chop the flesh into chunks and add to the bowl.  Add the parsley and stir until combined.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least until well chilled, before serving.

Veronica’s notes: this salad is perfectly delicious when the fruit is ripe, but if yours is a little under-ripe, you can add in some agave nectar or other sweetener of your choice.  If you don’t feel like cutting up a pineapple, you can usually find fresh cut pineapple at salad bars at supermarkets, or even in the refrigerated produce section.  There is a simpler way to cut the flesh from a mango, which is depicted here (I don’t use this method because I feel like I can’t cut the cubes close enough to the skin and I waste too much of the mango), and to see a tutorial on cutting pineapple, click here.

Recipe source: CW (that’s my Mom.  Dad calls her CW, which stands for Crazed Woman, and she calls him “crazy man.”  Gotta love my dysfunctional family! :) )

This is linked with Nutmeg Nanny for BSI: mangoes.

Questions of the day: 1) Is there anything you love so much in its natural state you can’t alter it?  2) What is your favorite fruit?  3) Do you know anyone that has mean/teasing pet names for their significant other?

Green Rice

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I do not really like Spanish rice, but I do love Mexican food, so I’m always looking for alternative side dishes to complement my Mexican meals (let me know if you have some!). I started making this green rice about four years ago and every one that has tried it raves about it and immediately tries to figure out what’s in it b/c they’re always expecting broccoli when they look at it and are surprised by the slightly spicy, garlicky & cilantro taste. It is a very nice complement to any Mexican dinner, but I really like to serve it with my creamy chicken enchiladas along with a salad. It does take a while to make, so I usually save it for special occasions or days when I have an extra hour to prepare dinner.


Green Rice pictured with Fish Tacos

GREEN RICE

3 cups fat-free chicken broth or water
2 poblano peppers, stems & seeds removed
1 jalapeno pepper, stem & seeds removed (use latex gloves so your skin doesn’t get burned during handling)
1 bunch (at least 1 cup) chopped fresh cilantro leaves, divided in half
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup brown rice
½ tsp. salt

Combine the broth and peppers in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and then partially cover and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender*, add 1/2 of the cilantro and process to a smooth puree. Set aside.

Wipe the pan clean, add the oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the warm broth mixture & the salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Start checking on it about 30 minutes to make sure there is still enough liquid. There should be enough, but add more broth as needed. Also, the rice will start sticking to the bottom toward the end of cooking so when most of the liquid is absorbed, you’ll have to stir it every few minutes to keep the bottom from scorching. This makes the rice creamy–almost like a risotto in texture. Once the rice is tender, remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered. Stir in remaining cilantro and serve.

*Remove the center part of your blender lid before turning it on so that the steam has somewhere to escape once the internal pressure increases. If you don’t do this, your blender lid will blow off & you could be badly burned (as I have on two separate occasions). It works best to start the blender on low and slowly increase the speed, that way nothing sloshes out through the open hole at the top.

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