Fully Loaded Refried Bean Skillet

Fully Loaded Refried Bean Skillet

Remember when you used to eat tortilla chips with refried beans from the can? This is so much better. This fully loaded refried bean skillet tops homemade spicy refried beans with extra sharp cheddar, grilled onions and mushrooms, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and lots of fresh herbs. Serve with warm tortillas for dipping! 

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Vegan Mole Chilaquiles

Vegan mole chilaquiles are a delicious way to use up extra tortilla chips! Try this vegan version made with homemade mole or keep it easy with my timesaving tricks! 

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You thought you had your Mexican food down pat, with your steamy bowl of posole and your overstuffed torta, but little did you know, you're probably missing out on the most delicious Mexican food of all.

Chilaquiles.

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Chilaquiles are an authentic Mexican dish of stale tortillas simmered in sauce. I know, I'm not really making the case for the whole 'most delicious Mexican food of all' statement. But hear me out here! Think nachos, but the emphasis is more on the delicious sauce and less on the chip (and not at all on weird neon orange cheese). You can either simmer the chips in sauce, creating an almost polenta-like texture, or pour the sauce over the chips at the last minute, retaining crunch. Either is cool by me. There are a million and one ways to make chilaquiles and I guarantee every single one is delicious.

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The dish was basically designed to use up leftovers. Throw some torn up day old tortillas or tortilla chips in a flavorful sauce. Add any other random leftovers - tomatoes, grilled zucchini, shredded chicken, a fried egg...there's no rules! And while this recipe is made with a homemade mole sauce, which admittedly, is a bit complicated and has a lengthy ingredient list, you could easily swap jarred salsa verde, a basic tomato sauce spiked with canned chipotle chiles, jarred enchilada sauce or even a store bought mole sauce.

Speaking of mole sauce, if you've never tried it, the ingredients list probably sounds a little crazy. Chocolate? In Mexican food? Just go with it.

Vegan Mole Chilaquiles

Serves 5

This recipe will make extra mole sauce, which you can freeze and use for later. It would also be delicious in slow cooker chicken, over grilled tofu or with enchiladas. I used sweet potato tortilla chips, but feel free to use any kind you like.

Ingredients

Mole Sauce: 

  • 3 poblano chiles
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 dried chipotle chiles
  • 2 dried New Mexico chiles or ancho chiles
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, avocado oil, or other neutral flavored oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or add a pinch of cinnamon with the other spices)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons masa or cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Chilaquiles: 

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, avocado oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounces tortilla chips
  • For garnish: avocado, halved cherry tomatoes, salsa, cilantro

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to boil. Place the poblanos and jalapenos on a large baking sheet and broil for 3 minutes per side until skin is blackened. Place in a bowl and top with plastic wrap or a plate to trap steam. When peppers are cool enough to handle, remove and discard charred skin, stem, seeds and chop remaining flesh.
  2. Warm about 2 cups of water in a pot or glass measuring cup until almost boiling. Add dried chiles and raisins and let sit to soften while you prepare the other ingredients. Once softened, remove the chiles from the water, reserving the remaining chile 'broth', then stem, seed and chop.
  3. Heat oil in a medium pot. Add onion and garlic, saute 5 minutes until tender. Add tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are softened, another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add oregano, cumin and thyme and saute 1 minute until fragrant. Add peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cinnamon stick. Saute another couple of minutes. Add reserved chili 'broth' plus enough water to make 2 1/2 cups, chopped poblanos and jalapeno, chopped dried chiles, raisins and cocoa powder. Simmer 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend sauce until smooth. Stir in masa/cornmeal and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large sided skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Add onion and corn and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add black beans, cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add tortilla chips and stir to combine. Pour in about 2 cups of mole sauce and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve with desired garnishes

More Mexican food from the archives: 

Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Eggplant and Tomatoes
Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Eggplant and Tomatoes
Classic Migas
Classic Migas

Classic Migas

Classic migas, a Tex-Mex dish of eggs cooked with tortillas and vegetables, is my favorite 15 minute meal! 

In yesterday's Wellness Wednesday post, I mentioned there are some nights I feel tempted order pizza rather than cook a homemade meal. Yes, us dietitians are human. The strategy I shared for temptation bundling, which has turned cook time into my downtime, is definitely the main thing that keeps me from dialing in an order of Kung Pao, but I also have another trick up my sleeve.

Meet migas, my favorite 15 minute meal.

Migas is a Tex-Mex dish made of scrambled eggs cooked with tortillas, onions, chiles, tomatoes and topped with cheese. Not much of a looker, but it makes up for that in taste and hearty satisfaction. Oh, and the fact that it takes hardly any time and is made with ingredients that 87% of the time I already have on hand.

Feel free to dress this recipe up with chorizo and red peppers. Or, you could swap out the cheddar for feta, queso fresco or pepper jack. You could also simplify the recipe to the essentials - eggs, tortillas and onion. If I make this for breakfast I'll serve it with fresh fruit. For dinner, it's either a side salad dressed with lime juice and sea salt, or canned refried beans, depending on my hunger level.

Classic Migas

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 3 ounces tortilla chips, lightly crushed
  • 8 large eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, preferably organic

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeno and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato and saute until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add tortilla chips, stir to combine and cook until slightly crisped, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Push the vegetables and tortillas to one half of the skillet. Pour the eggs into the other half. Cook, pushing the outside of the eggs towards the center until cooked about halfway, then stir the entire mixture to combine and cook all of the way through.
  3. Top with cheese and serve.

You Might Also Like: 

Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust
Fried Black Rice with Bok Choy & Eggs
Fried Black Rice with Bok Choy & Eggs
Chickpea Pancake with Fried Egg and Avocado
Chickpea Pancake with Fried Egg and Avocado

Kale Tortilla Salad with Jalapeno-Lime Dressing

This cravable kale tortilla salad with jalapeno-lime dressing is the perfect lunch salad - hearty, satisfying and easy to make in advance. 

Woo! The site is back up and working! My sincerest apologies if you tried to access over the past three days and weren’t able. Long story short, my google adsense account got disabled, we tried to fix it ourselves and ended up taking down the entire site in the process. After three long days of scratching our heads, screaming and crying at my computer, then drowning our sorrows and frustrations in an ungodly amount of sushi, it’s fixed. If you love this blog, please, give my husband/IT guy a hug and buy him a drink. He basically gave up his whole weekend working on the site and I think earned a computer science degree in the process.

When “S” hit the “F,” cooking was the last thing I wanted to do (hence the massive amount of sushi we ate Saturday night). Thankfully, I had a big batch of this kale salad in the fridge already prepped and ready to go. Kale salad is kind of great for a make ahead meal - the sturdier leaves don’t wilt after dressing, so you can store an entire dressed salad in the fridge all week. With this one, all I did was toss in a handful of crumbled tortilla chips before serving to give it some extra crunch.

Reading back over that last paragraph, I don’t think I gave this salad the credit it deserves. This is, like, a really good salad. It’s cravable. Yes, we're still talking about a kale salad. This weekend when I horribly stressed and wanting to eat my feelings in the form of a bacon pimento cheeseburger with fried green tomato, I remembered this salad was in the fridge and immediately forgot about that burger. That’s how good this is!

Kale Tortilla Salad with Jalapeno-Lime Dressing

Serves 4

Adapted from Fresh, Fast, Green (<--- my go to salad cookbook by the way)

Ingredients

Dressing: 

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Salad:

  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 bunch of kale, thick stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, preferably grassfed
  • 2 ounces corn tortilla chips, crumbled

Instructions

  1. First, quick pickle the red onions. In a small bowl, toss the red onion slices with apple cider vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine and let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad, tossing every so often.
  2. Next, make the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until combined. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  3. Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of dressing. Using your hands, massage dressing into the kale to soften. Toss kale with cherry tomatoes, avocado, black beans, cheddar and pickled red onions (discard vinegar). Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips and additional dressing before serving.

 You might also like:

Collard Green Salad with Cornbread Croutons & Black-Eyed Peas
Collard Green Salad with Cornbread Croutons & Black-Eyed Peas
Chipotle Roasted Kabocha Squash & Kale Salad
Chipotle Roasted Kabocha Squash & Kale Salad
Brussels Sprout Salad with Ambrosia Apples & Tempeh Bacon
Brussels Sprout Salad with Ambrosia Apples & Tempeh Bacon

Black Bean Tostadas with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Black bean tostadas with creamy cilantro sauce! A healthy, budget-friendly and flavor packed meal!  

First, thank you so much for the support and encouragement after my big announcement about starting a private practice. As someone who generally isn't a risk taker, this decision was one of the most terrifying things I've ever done. Each comment, email, text and facebook message made me feel a bit more confident and for that, I am eternally grateful. I'm still scared, but I know the fear will always be there, I frankly, I kinda like it that way. As long as I can harness my fear as energy and motivation, I won't be paralyzed by it.

The other day, I stumbled across a quote that I immediately connected with. 

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~

Dale Carnegie

(of How to Win Friends and Influence People fame)

Being in transition is probably the scariest part. Fear of the unknown is the most intense fear of all. I know with each action I take towards building my private practice, the more confidence I'll build. I keep reminding myself how scared I was to teach a nutrition class or stand up for what I feel is the most appropriate medical and nutrition care to other providers. Now these are things I do without a second thought.

My other big fear is how to make it work financially. Luckily, we've always lived well within our means. And starting a nutrition coaching practice doesn't require much capital, so it won't be as difficult or risky as it is for other entrepreneurs. Still, we need to cut back, like, a lot. 

When we sat down to look at our expenses, we found two places where we could realistically save money. The first was what we'll call the random nonessentials - a latte here, a Target run there, a 12th LBD - it adds up when you're not paying attention! The second category, of course, was food.

Gulp.

I've always been mindful of our food expenses. I purchase most of my pantry ingredients from the bulk bins. I rarely buy processed food or meat, the two biggest expenses for most people. I comparison shop. We don't go out to eat as often as most people our age. And as much as I like goji berries, raw cacao powder and kale chips, I don't buy them cause they're hella expensive. Still, it adds up. So here's a look at the steps Scott and I are taking.

1. Limit dining out to once a week.

2. Cut back on meat and dairy.

2. Purchase less organic food. Unless the price difference is insignificant, I'll be purchasing mostly conventional foods. One exception - I will continue to purchase organic meat, eggs and dairy.

4. Get a bit more liberal in my adaptions of recipes. I'm trying to be better at adapting recipes based on what I have on hand. For example, the bean dip recipe I made last night called for fresh mint, but since I had parsley, I just used that. Two bucks saved right there.

5. No weeknight drinking.

So get ready, cause you're going to be seeing quite a few budget friendly bean recipes here on this blog (as if there wasn't enough already). Might as well get started today with these black bean tostadas with creamy cilantro sauce!

Black Bean Tostadas with Creamy Cilantro Sauce

serves 4

This recipe is all about the cilantro sauce. I mean, the tostadas are good and all, but the cilantro sauce takes them to another level. You may never hear me say this again, but you could easily leave off the cheddar and not even notice the difference. I used a little bit of a high quality, aged cheddar I had leftover, but between the creaminess of the beans and the tangy sauce, I could barely taste it. Quick pickled onions are an easy and inexpensive way to dress up Mexican dishes. Try them in quesadillas, chopped salads, or to garnish my green posole. They'd even made a great condiment for my spicy tofu burgers.

Ingredients

Tostada:

  • 1/2 red onion, thin-sliced
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced

Cilantro Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain, organic yogurt (preferably full fat or 2%)
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • Juice from 1/2 lime

Instructions

  1. To pickle the onions, place the onions in a bowl with the vinegar, salt and sugar. Let sit at least 15 minutes, or until the rest of the food is done cooking.
  2. Next, make the sauce by blending the yogurt, cilantro and lime juice in a blender until pureed. Season with salt to taste.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat. Add peppers and saute 5 minutes until tender. Add onion and garlic, saute an additional 5 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Add cumin, stir, and cook 30 seconds. Add black beans, water and season with salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. Mash lightly with a potato masher, so about half the beans are still whole.
  4. Toast the tortillas over a low flame on a gas stove.
  5. Divide the black bean mixture over the tortillas. If using, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and place under the broiler a minute or so until melted.
  6. Divide the shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and pickled red onion over the tostadas. Drizzle (or bathe) in cilantro sauce.

Best Ever Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Charring vegetables under the broiler is the secret for creating a smoky, flavorful broth for this best ever vegetarian tortilla soup. Serve topped with all the delicious things! 

Quickie post for y’all today.  Scott and I are exploring the Yellowstone wilderness this week.  

I’m hesitant to refer to any of my creations as “the best ever.”  Considering I’m a home cook and not a trained chef, I doubt anything coming out of my kitchen deserves that designation, despite what my husband tells me in his feeble attempts to butter me up.

But this tortilla soup, man it is good! I admit, it's probably not the best tortilla soup ever, but it’s certainly the best one I’ve ever had. And I've eaten my fair share of tortilla soup. The trick is charring the vegetables, which adds a smoky flavor to the broth.

Back next week!  That is, if we don't get eaten by a bears.....

Sidebar: I wrote that last week half jokingly. Within our first hour of being here, we had a close encounter of the bear plus three cubs kind.  It was simultaneously the most adorable and most terrifying moment of my life.

Best Ever Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 fresh hatch chili or poblano
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs cilantro
  • 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 6 stone ground corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • For serving: chopped or thinly sliced radish, roasted chili, feta/queso blanco, avocado, lime,

Instructions

  1. Turn on the broiler. Spread garlic, onion, and chili on a baking sheet and broil until onion and garlic are charred and pepper is charred on all sides. You may have to take the garlic out early. Remove onion to blender, let garlic cool a bit before peeling and adding to the blender. Place chili in a bowl topped with plastic wrap and let sit to cool while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cilantro to the garlic and onion to the food processor and puree until smooth.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the tomato puree and cook for a couple minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until it thickens and reduces slightly, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups stock. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. While the soup is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the tortilla strips and fry until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Carefully peel the skins off the chili, Cut the stem off and remove the seeds. Carefully cut into thin slivers.
  6. Divide the soup between 4 bowls. Garnish as desired with