Doing Valentine’s Mexican Style in a Canadian sorta way….

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Oh Man! Bonnie Tyler may have sung, “I need a hero,” but I need a breather! I am actually listening to her as I type and it is pretty intense. A whopping 19 million others have clicked onto this video. I can’t even begin to imagine who they are, but I am sure they are all pretty cool. Happy Valentine’s! I don’t need a superman to sweep me off my feet, but I do need someone to rub them…Sean? He is actually out right now with a dear old friend he has not seen in probably 3 years, but my feet will await, slippers off with great anticipation. Today was a radically fun and dazey day. Sweet friends Ashley and Shaun would understand. We had a quite an evening last night, one in which records were played and talks of God, life, marriage, and pasts. We were all stunned and half asleep when we peered at the time and it whispered 2 AM. Wow. So, needless to say, I don’t have a clue what I packed in 1’s lunch this morning. I don’t know how I even got dressed, but life as a mom is not about standing around and asking questions, it is about getting the things that need to get done, done. I know she went to school with a lunch, what it had in it, I do not recall. Boys 2 and 3 had their haircuts late this afternoon, and as we left the salon, Sean asked what was for dinner. As I glanced at the clock in our car shouting 5 pm, I determined and willed for a spicy warm Mexican Valentine’s Dinner. Mmmmmm. I have been craving this for a week. Unfortunately my organic avocados couldn’t hang in there, so we did without them, but the meal was scrumptious none the less. We had 3 Cheese Nachos, Black Bean and Red Quinoa Salad, and cheesy refried beans!

Three Cheese Nachos

Ingredients:
Favorite Taco Chips
1 or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and seasoned (we used Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning)
1 Red Pepper, cut in rings
1/2 Red onion, cut in rings
1/4 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Salsa, optinal, on the side
Sour Cream, optional, on the side
Guacamole, optional, on the side

How To Play:
Turn oven on to Broil. Spread the taco chips evenly in a large 9 X 12 baking dish. Layer with shredded cooked chicken, peppers, onions, and cheeses. Top with chopped Cilantro. Place in hot oven for 5-10 minutes, checking often to make sure the taco chips don’t burn, but cheese is melted, perhaps even bubbling. I do realize that this may be a lot of cheese, we, or perhaps it is more so me, loves cheese, so please tweak the ingredients to your preference!

Serve with refried beans (heated with shredded cheese and salt), salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and Black Bean Red Quinoa Salad.

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Enjoy.

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Black Bean Burritos with Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Burritos

From Slice

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Grapeseed oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 zucchini, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 yam, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups black beans, cooked (19 oz can)
1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
14 oz can organic diced tomatoes
1 tsp each:
chili powder, cumin and coriander
4-6 sprouted grain tortillas
fresh cilantro
aged white cheddar, grated
sour cream
salsa
guacamole

How To Play:
In a saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, zucchini, red pepper, yam and garlic and saute for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and coriander. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 7-10 minutes, until yams are soft. Place mixture in a tortilla with cilantro, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. Wrap up and top with salsa. These burritos freeze well, if there are leftovers.

Note: I add cooked, shredded chicken breast to the bean mixture for extra protein.

Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

(inspired by Oh She Glows)

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked Red quinoa
1 (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
2 Green Onions, chopped
1 small avocado, chopped into 1 inch pieces

For the dressing:
4-5 tbsp of fresh lime juice (Juice from 2 small limes)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste

How To Play:
1. Cook 1 cup Red Quinoa according to package directions.
2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.
3. Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the beans and vegetables and toss well.
4. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy.

Mexican Wednesdays

Life is busy.  I get it.  For us, the busiest day in the week is Wednesday.  It is a whirlwind.  No matter how organized I try to be, I can’t keep up with the time.  With meal planning, budgeting, and trying to be on top of things, Wednesdays means Mexican Food.  I think since September, we have been successful in doing this, however, Sean had a work event last night, so the kids and I ate leftovers and tonight, it is Mexican.  It’s a family favorite.  We like to use seasoned chicken, salsa, sour cream, guacamole,  cut up peppers, and eat it with red quinoa salad, from Oh She Glows.  It is super colorful, super tastey, and super easy for those busy, busy, very busy days…

Chicken Fajitas with Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Ingredients:

2-3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts

Taco Seasoning (Trader Joe’s has an excellent one)

Whole wheat Tortillas (I like Ezekiel, but any brand will do)

1/2 cup of red onion, cut up

1 red, orange, or yellow pepper, cut into strips

sour cream

guacamole

salsa

2-3 cups of cheese, Old Cheddar and Monterey Jack (or your favorites)

Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad (inspired by Oh She Glows)

How To Play:

Cook chicken breasts until no longer pink and add seasoning.  Once the chicken is cooked, take 2 forks and pull the chicken apart, until it is shredded.  Fajitas are best served buffet style, with all the prepared ingredients in separate bowls at the center of the table within everybody’s reach.  It is fun to build your own tortilla, you may have to help the kids, if kids are involved, but either way, it is still fun.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad:(inspired by Oh She Glows)

  • 1 cup uncooked Red quinoa
  • 1 (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 small avocado, chopped into 1 inch pieces

For the dressing:

  • 4-5 tbsp of fresh lime juice (Juice from 2 small limes)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste

How To Play:

1. Cook 1 cup Red Quinoa according to package directions.

2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.

3. Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the beans and vegetables and toss well.

4. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

I also like to eat the salad on its own with the seasoned chicken. It is quite filling.

Enjoy.