Tagged: cilantro

Three Bean Tamale Bake

Greetings, ya’ll! As promised, I have returned with a delightful new recipe to share with you.

Now, I mentioned in my post Monday that with this baby on board, I’ve started to be a bit less fond of chicken. It’s so weird!! I can still eat a little bit once in a while, but I’ve started seeking alternatives for my quick post-workout meals.

This particular recipe is one I’ve had in my arsenal for a while and just kind of forgot about. Do you have any recipes like that in your repertoire?  I used to make this all the time with ground turkey or shredded chicken, but I decided tonight that would make it meatless! If your husband is anything like mine…the idea of a meatless dinner (unless it’s Mac & Cheese) may not be his favorite thing. Lucky for me, top anything with Jiffy Corn Bread and he’ll manage through with a smile on his face.

Starring a hearty combination of black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans…all you really need to make this recipe is a can opener and a skillet! This recipe is fantastic for any mom-to-be who is experiencing any meat aversions or anyone looking for a meatless, high protein recipe! Future mommies should make it a point to try and incorporate beans and whole grains into their diet daily… your baby (and digestive system) will thank you later!

 Three Bean Tamale Bake

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup prepared salsa verde
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 box prepared corn bread mix (like Jiffy or Bob’s Red Mill), prepared to box directions
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Optional Garnishes: avocado, lime, cilantro, scallions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in an oven safe skillet. Add the onion, peppers, and tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the remaining ingredients (except the cornbread) to the skillet and stir well until combined.

Pour prepared corn bread mix on top of the bean mixture. Top with cheese and place it in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let sit 5 minutes before serving (You don’t realllllllllllly have to wait if you’re impatient like me… it just will stay a bit more together this way and you are less likely to burn your tongue!!)

Here it is fresh from the oven….gosh I can’t wait to have a camera again (instead of my camera phone!)


Annnnd heeeeeeeeere it is all delicious and served up with some shredded cheese, fresh slices of avocado, scallions, cilantro, and a little squeeze of lime. It’s not the prettiest meal I’ve ever made, but boy is it delicious!


A Little Bit Sweet & A Little Bit Spicy

No, no, no.

We’re not talking about me…though my husband might beg to differ…(HEYO!)

What we are talking about are these deliciously, fantastically, awesomely, wonderfully (I could do this all day) spectacular recipes I’m about to share with you. (YES! I did say RECIPES – You’ve got a twofer today!)

Personally, I LOVE sweet and spicy things! I also love that according to  Women’s Health that makes me trendy (at least my food anyway…). Give me a nice fruit salsa with an extra dose of  jalapeños or some chocolate and chili peppers, like this old gem of mine – White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Chile De Arbol Bread Pudding – and I’ll be happy as a clam.

(Note to self…make that bread pudding again ASAP! )

I’ve even tried Tabasco Ice Cream, and let me tell you, it was awesome!  I just find something so pleasurable about indulging in flavors that compliment and contrast each other at the same time. I can never say no to something sweet and spicy. Can you?

(Second note to self…you gave up bread for Lent, fool, make it for Easter!)

You can enjoy this recipe hot or cold, and with or without the Spicy Lime Tilapia (below) I served it with!

Sweet & Spicy Pineapple
& Black Bean Quinoa

  •  1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water/chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed (I use the canned stuff  until summer time. Still super delicious!)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Cilantro, chopped, to taste (I use SO MUCH! Because I love it. But if you’re not a fan go ahead and leave it out or sub in parsley.)
  • 1 juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Season with cumin, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Add the water and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer – covered – for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the black beans, pineapple, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir gently to combine and cover five minute more until the beans and pineapple are heated through. Serve topped with more cilantro if you’re a freak, like me!



Spicy Lime Tilapia

  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • The juice and zest of 1 lime

Combine the spices and lime zest in a small dish. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of the tilapia filets.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over high heat. Add the seasoned tilapia filets and let cook for about 5 minutes.

Carefully flip with a spatula and continue cooking for about 2 minutes more.

Add the lime juice to the pan and cover. Reduce heat to low and let cook 2 to 4 minutes more or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with sweet & spicy pineapple & black bean quinoa!!


This is one BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY, SWEET & SPICY  meal you don’t want to miss out on.

Summer Shrimpies!

So this post title may be a little off-putting to some. Summer shrimpies???  I know what you’re thinking.

But it’s not summer anymore, Jen. It’s September so it’s fall ,right?

No sir!

Fall does not officially start until Wednesday, September 22 and I shall embrace every day of summer we have left … as well as every last bit of summer produce AND grillin!!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the fall.

I adore the fall, actually.

It’s my favorite season!

I love  walking around in the cool fall air in a big, comfy hoodie admiring the leaves as they begin to change colors. And then, I love coming home to a big pot of chili cooking away on my stovetop. Or something with pumpkin! Or both! *Sigh* I get all happy just thinking about it…

. . . but it’s not fall yet!

And thus, I present to you a recipe that’s super easy and scrumptious and delightful for summer…because it is, in fact, still summer.

Grilled Chili Lime Shrimp
with Mango Salsa

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 large mangoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped fine
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the salsa, combine mango, jalapeño, onion, bell pepper, cilantro and half of the lime juice in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Toss shrimp in a large bowl with remaining lime juice, chili powder, salt and pepper. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

Stick the shrimp on skewers (if using wooden ones, be sure to let them soak for 20 minutes or so beforehand so they don’t burn up on the grill), about 8 per skewer. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side until the shrimp turn pink and opaque. Serve with salsa!

Guacamole, Guacamole

Okay, so back in the day when I used to babysit the little girls that lived across the street from me I was forced to watch The Wiggles. It could have been much worse, I suppose. The Wiggles aren’t baaaaaad exactly. They may weird me out as a young adult, but I admire the fact that they educate young children and such. Howeverrrrr…the songs they sing are so insanelyyyyy irritating and catchy that they have stuck with me even to today.

Anyone know the Hot Potato song???  Well, from time to time any word (or words) with four syllables will be sung to the tune of the Hot Potato song in my head. Thus the post title, Guacamole, Guacamole. (Sometime, I catch myself at work singing “Cappuccino, Cappuccino.” Sigh. I have issues.)

ANYWHO! Whether or not it’s to the tune of another song, I think guacamole is totally deserving of it!

… a song that is…

Why, you ask? Because it’s fan-freakin-tastic, that’s why!  Aside from being delicious and exceptionally versatile, guacamole is an outstanding source of nutrients thanks, of course, to the delicious AVOCADO.

Avocados have a bad reputation among most people.

“But there’s so much fat in it! How can it be good for me?!”

The majority of the fat in that delicious fruit  (because yes, an avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable!) is monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are actually good for you and they aid in lowering bad cholesterol! This healthy fat can also be found in most nuts and olive oil, too!  Avocados are also an excellent source of potassium, folate, and vitamins B, C, and E.

My recipe for guacamole is pretty simple, and can be altered to your liking. Personally, I am a CILANTRO FREAK! I can’t get enough of the stuff…so I use a TON. If ya don’t like it, leave it out, but just know that I think you’re a freak for not liking it . Hehehehehe.

Simple Guacamole

  • 2 avocados (I use Hass Avocados. You can tell it’s ripe when you gently squeeze the avocado and it gives a little. If it’s too hard, you won’t be able to use it right away.)
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, diced
  • 1 small bunch or 1/2 a large bunch of cilantro (rinsed, dried and chopped as small as you can get it)
  • The juice of 2 small or 1 large lime
  • Salt to taste

Begin by pitting and peeling your avocados.
(Rather than me try and describe how to do this in words,
which could get kind of complicated if you’ve never done it before, check out that video!

Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a medium-sized bowl. Mash it with a fork or spoon until few large chunks remain. Add the lime juice right away, to prevent the avocado from turning brown. Add the salt, onion, and cilantro. Mix well until all of the ingredients are combined.

Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving. Serve with chips or veggies or just eat it with a spoon because it’s that good!!

*Remember, feel free to alter this recipe to your liking. If you like smoother guacamole and you have a food processor, feel free to pop all the ingredients in there and whir it around a few times. I prefer chunky guacamole…and I don’t have a food processor.*

** In case anyone is curious, 1 tablespoon of this delicious guacamole is equivalent to 2 Weight Watchers Points**

Chicken, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Curry

All last week I was absolutely hell bent on making a recipe I found for Aloo Gobi – curried cauliflower and potatoes.

I’ve never had it before.

As a matter of fact, I’ve never had Indian curry before at all.

Lately, though, I’ve wanted nothing more than to prepare a great big pot of it. I blame this in part on that fact that I’ve been  looking at pictures of curries on foodgawker and they were all so pretty . I guess my brain just associates pretty with tasty. Who knows?

Regardless,the other night I finally had time to prepare dinner. Aloo Gobi? But but but… I also found a Chicken Curry recipe that sounded equally delicious and easy to prepare.

I hate making decisions.

Why doooooo I have to chooose?!?!

Oh wait! I don’t! Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

As per usual, I am incapable of following a recipe and must, somehow, find a way to make a recipe (or two) my own. So that’s what I did. The result was a beautiful, creamy, spicy curry that I served with coconut cilantro rice.

Chicken, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Curry

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasted, cubed
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 serrano chili, diced fine
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger serrano. Cook until they begin to soften, about two minutes.
Add the dried spices to the pot ,stirring rapidly, to form a thick paste.
Add chicken and cauliflower. Stir and cook about two minutes more.
Add tomato paste, coconut milk, chickpeas and yogurt. Stir well.
Add lemon juice and bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer 40 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with coconut cilantro rice!

    *nom nom nom nom nom*