Mexican Spice Bean Burritos

Tonight’s episode of Meatless Monday takes us to the Serves4 kitchen where Mexican Spiced Bean Burritos are being made. What do you like about this meal? I like that it comes together so quickly and easily; I like that you leave the table feeling full, but not weighted down; I like the crunch of the lettuce, the moisture added by the tomatoes and the creaminess of the sour cream.  What would you do differently next time:  I would add some additional water.  The bean filling felt very dry and clumpy.  Also, because they filling started out dry, they did not reheat well.  Also, I would consider using all black beans next time, my kids are not wild about the flavor of the kidney beans.  And avocado!  How did I not add avocado?!?!

Ingredients:

1 Tbs canola (or olive) oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Morton & Bassett Mexican Spice Blend (for spicier version, sub chipotle chile powder)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup of water
1 (15 oz) can organic black beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can organic kidney beans, drained
3 Tbs refrigerated fresh salsa (often found in the deli section of the supermarket)
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas, I used the fajita size
1 cup preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
3 chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped lettuce
6 Tbs light sour cream
6 Tbs green onions, thinly sliced (optional)

Preparation:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Stir in Mexican spice blend and salt, cook 30 second, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in salsa.  Partially mash bean mixture.

Heat a medium – small nonstick skillet over low heat.  Add tortillas one at a time, turning to warm both sides.  Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of tortilla.  To each serving with about 2 1/2 Tbs cheese, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lettuce, 1 Tbs onions, and 1 Tbs sour cream; roll up. 

Perfect served with guacamole and chips! 

Serves 6

Total time: 30 minutes

 Bean Burritos

*Derived from Cooking Light

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Easy Peasy Linguine

Tonight was the first night, as my family snuffled quietly in their beds and I retreated downstairs to make sure all of the windows were closed (or to pour another glass of wine, maybe?) that I smelled fall. I leaned over the kids’ tub to close the window and stopped short. That unmistakable smell, even here in Cali, was fall. How can that be? It seems like just yesterday I was filled with the excitement of all summer had to offer. Finally one drop off as Berto heads into the first grade and D into kindergarten. A summer filled with swimming; catching our first lizard; saying goodbye to my sweet, sweet German shepherd Lobo; growing tomatoes and basil in our first attempts at a garden; surfing for the first time; losing 2 bottom teeth (resulting in feeling oh so big now); day trips; a vacation; and, the return of summer hours at my office. But all of that is coming to a close, with a shiver in the early evening air. Makes me glad there is always comfort food. And, what is better comfort food than pasta?

Ingredients:

The wonderful thing about this dish is all of the possible meat options. Feeling healthier than extra lean ground beef? Sub ground turkey or chicken. For something different try pork or sausage (be sure to removed the casings first!). How about going even meatier? Use ground sirloin. Or, you can make it vegetarian like I did tonight by subbing the meat with mushrooms.

1 (9 oz) pkg fresh linguine
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef / or the item you are subbing
1/2 cup pre chopped onion (I use prepared veggies as often as possible, such a time saver)
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (whatever you have on hand; shaved, grated, shredded)
Handful of basil leaves, sliced thinly (nothing like walking into the backyard and picking your own basil!)

Preparation:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Omit oil and salt. Drain and return pasta to pot.

While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, garlic, oregano, and salt; cook 5 minutes, or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 3 minutes or until thickened. Serve over pasta and top with cheese and basil.

Serves 4

Total time: 30 minutes

photo (1)

*Derived from Cooking Light

Sweet Basil & Oegano Bruschetta Chicken

Not too terribly long ago McCormick came up with their Gourmet Recipe Mixes.  I’ve been wanting to try the Garlic & White Wine Chicken Scaloppine, but haven’t been able to find it in my local supermarket (most likely I’m hitting it on the wrong day).  What I did purchase and tuck away in my pantry was the mixture for this dinner.  When Saturday presented itself with me scratching my head as to dinner, to my pantry I went, pulled out my seasoning mix, and viola, dinner ready so fast I felt like I had just nodded my head like “I Dream of Jeannie”.  Hardly any dishes were used in the making of this meal.  That is always a bonus.  Let me see if I have this correct:  less time for cooking + less time for cleaning up = more time to sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the remainder of the evening.  That is a win-win in my book!  Super added bonus, Berto could not get enough of the chicken.  And I do believe you could dip some warm, crusty bread in the olive oil mixture for a wonderful appetizer.  See picture below for one of my favorite wines to serve with!

Ingredients:

1 pkg Sweet Basil & Oregano Bruschetta Chicken
1/3 cup olive oil
2 lbs plum tomatoes (about 10) quartered lengthwise (I used the heirloom I had on had and they held up very well)
1 lb chicken tenders or boneless skinless breasts cut into 1″ strips (I used boneless skinless thighs and cut them into a little larger than bite sized pieces)
8 oz spaghetti or angel hair pasta (I used rigatoni)
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425.  Mix oil and Seasoning Mix in small bowl until well blended.  Reserve 3 Tbs and set aside.  Place tomatoes in single layer on one side of large, shallow, foil-lined baking pan.  Place chicken on other side of pan.  Brush tomatoes and then chicken generously with remaining olive oil mixture.

Bake 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and tomatoes are tender.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.

Spoon tomatoes into a large bowl and coarsely chop (I chopped them right on the baking pan, yes, defeating the purpose of foil lining it, but that’s kind of what a dishwasher is for . . . ).  To large bowl add tomatoes, pasta, chicken, pan juices, reserved oil mixture, and vinegar; toss to coat. 

Serves 8

Total time: 40 minutes

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*Courtesy McCormick Gourmet