Thursday, January 19, 2017

Easy Beef Wet Burritos


 Spicy Beef Burritos smothered in a red sauce and ooey gooey cheese!

I wish I could be a better meal planner.  I think that would be a good resolution or goal for me to work on this year.

You see, most of my meals ARE planned, however other factors, such as cravings and energy level take over quickly during the week and I end up making something completely different than what I had planned.  Do you ever do that?  (I'd love to think it isn't only me...!)

So the other night I was going to make a chicken stir fry, when I had a craving for Mexican food.  A beef burrito was calling me.  Dang, why couldn't I crave a chicken burrito??  So I pop by the store for some ground sirloin and flour tortillas and head home.  Then it hit me.  I really want one of those 'wet' burritos.  You know the ones that are smothered in sauce.  Yeah, that sounds really good!

Easy Beef Wet Burritos

So I rooted around in the pantry for something to make a sauce with and spied a pouch of Fontera Taco Skillet Sauce.  I had the one that is a red sauce made with mild red chili and cumin, labeled Texas Style.  This is usually used as a taco sauce so I decided to put some with the meat to give it a saucy bite and the rest over the top.  As these sauces are made from Chef Rick Bayless I knew it would taste wonderful.  I've tried several of his different sauces in a couple of dishes and they do not disappoint.  Let' just hope my improvisation works!

So this is how I used this sauce.  I browned up my ground sirloin and added about half the pouch, stirring to coat the beef.  Once I built the burrito I used the sauce again pouring it over the top and then sprinkling it with cheese like the restaurants do.  Pop those babies in the oven to heat it all up and melt the cheese and you are done!  Time to eat!

All in all we both loved this version of Easy Beef Wet Burritos.  What a great use of his sauces.  He also has a verde sauce that would take great over a burrito as well which I want to try next time.  But for now my craving for Mexican food, and beef burritos is satisfied.  I'll try planning that Chinese stir fry for another day!


Easy Beef Wet Burritos

serves 4-6

1 lb ground sirloin
1 15 oz can refried beans (Spicy Jalapeno)
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 flour tortillas (I used burrito size)
1 pouch (8oz) Frontera Texas Original Taco Skillet Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet over medium heat brown ground sirloin, using a spatula or wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Cook until no longer pink and browned all over.   Add 1/2 pouch of the taco sauce to the skillet, stirring meat to coat.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile in a small sauce pan add the refried beans over low heat, stirring occasionally to heat.

Assemble your burritos.  On a flour tortilla place a 1/4 of the refined beans down the middle, top with meat, tomatoes, and 1/4 of the cheese. Fold both side in toward the middle and roll the long edges over the filling to make a burrito.  Place in a baking pan and repeat.

Cover the burritos with the remaining sauce and top with 1/3 cup cheese. 

Cover baking pan with a piece of aluminum foil and place in the oven.  Cook 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and serve.

Monday, January 16, 2017

10 Comfort Food Soups


A mix of 10 comforting, healthy, and satisfying soups to enjoy this winter.

Winter is for enjoying comfort food.  There something so satisfying about a hot bowl soup and piece of crusty bread for your lunch or dinner, sitting in front of a fireplace or in candlelight!

Both MGG and I LOVE a good bowl of soup.  We also like variety in our soups with various flavors from Italian, Mexican to good 'ole American.  We also like to protein in our soups and often use beef or chicken, but we also love a good vegetarian soup as well.  Today I'm bringing you 10 delicious soups to make this winter.

Most of them are very healthy with a few splurges thrown in for an occasional treat!



Italian Style Roasted Chicken and Orzo Soup

Greek Style Lemony Chicken and Orzo Soup

Slow Cooker: Mexican Vegetable and Quinoa Soup

Easy Minestrone 

Chicken Enchiladas Soup 

Chicken Tortilla Verde Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup

Easy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Beef Burgundy Stew

Rustic Beef Stew

Friday, January 13, 2017

Healthier Slow Cooker Orange Chicken


For quick weeknight dinners we eat a lot of Chinese food.

Stir frys that I make using beef or chicken and whatever vegetable I have on hand.  It's soooo much better than takeout and done in a flash.

But there are times when we go out to dinner and just crave a good Chinese meal.  MGG loves Orange Chicken.  To tell the truth I love it too, but tend not to eat it as much due to the large amount of sugar in the sauce.  So I set out to make a healthier version at home, using less sugar so that it isn't as calorie ridden, and using the "slow cooker"!!


Now I want to state that doing this on the stove only takes about 20 minutes.  So why use the slow cooker?  There are just some days that I am so busy that it is late when we eat, and I really don't want to stand over the stove and cook. 

Days where I work all day, I can through this in the slow cooker when I get home, wait for MGG to get home, then we're off to the gym.  When we are ready to eat after we get back and shower etc....a hot meal is ready for us.  I LOVE THAT!  Seriously, when I don't want to cook, he's lucky I don't just throw a salad his way and call it a day!

The slow cooker gives me an option to have a hot dinner when I really need it.  So cooking on high for 2 hours is perfect for me.  Or need be on low for 4 during the weekend when I'm running errands.

I used my favorite multi-purpose Breville Risotto Plus Maker.  I love it because it sautés, steams, slow cooks, and makes risotto...yum!  It really has been my go to slow cooker this past year and I can't recommend it enough.

So try this Healthier Slow Cooker Orange Chicken soon.  You'll love the flavor and won't miss the deep fried fat, nor the extra sugar.  I promise.


Kitchen Note:  If you have a slow cooker with a sauté option, use that to brown the cornstarched chicken instead of a separate skillet.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

3 thin Cut Boneless Chicken Breasts, chopped into 1" pieces
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup reduced sugar orange marmalade
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a small bowl mix the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, salt and pepper.

On a plate add the cornstarch and the chicken tossing to coat. Preheat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil to heat. Add the chicken and quickly brown all sides, about 4 minutes. (You don't need to cook the chicken, only brown it.)

Add the chicken to the slow cooker.  In a small bowl mix the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, salt and pepper.

Add the mixture over the chicken.  Cook on low 4 hours or on high 2-3 hours.  Serve over hot cooked rice.

adapted from The Recipe Critic


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