Tamale Pie


We love spicy Mexican food and can’t get enough of it. I cook it at least once a week so I’m always looking for new Mexican recipes.

Tamale Pie
Source: A Couple Cooks

1 (18 oz) tube polenta
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1/2 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup taco seasoning
dash to taste – cumin, cayenne, dry cilantro, garlic powder
1.5 cups shredded cheese
sour cream for serving

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray an 8×11-inch baking dish (or similar size).

Spread the polenta into an even layer on the bottom of the baking dish.

Cook the ground beef with onion an bell pepper, then drain. Stir in the taco seasoning, canned tomatoes, any additional seasonings and mix until heated through and well combined then add the corn and black beans. Layer the beef mixture over the polenta. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake about 20 minutes or until heated through. Remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Top each serving with sour cream.

Enjoy!

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Here’s another super simple crock-pot recipe.¬† ūüôā

I made¬†this soup¬†on a day that¬†I was home from work¬†so that¬†I could¬†watch it carefully. ¬†I was a little afraid that¬†the rice would get¬†overcooked.¬† Well,¬†time got away from me {big surprise!}¬†and after 7 hours on low the rice was a little mushy, but not bad.¬† Maybe my crock-pot runs¬†hot?¬† But next time, I’ll probably only let it go for 5 hours on low. ¬† Also¬†I will say, that I almost skipped the roux/milk step to make the soup creamy.¬† I think it would have been just fine as just a broth-based soup.¬† So I’ll¬†keep that in mind next time – one recipe, two versions.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Source:  365daysofcrockpot.com

4 cups (one 32 oz carton) low sodium chicken broth

2 cups water

2 large boneless, skinless breasts {I used 4 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs}

1 box of Rice-A-Roni long grain and wile rice

1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup diced or shredded carrots

1 cup diced celery

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter

2 cups half and half {I used skim milk}

Directions:

Combine broth, water, ground black pepper, carrots, celery, chicken, and rice (with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker.  Cook on low for 5-8 hours or high for 4 hours (or until chicken is cooked through, veggies are tender, and rice is cooked).  Remove the chicken and shred it, then add back into slow cooker.  In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in the flour slowly to form a roux.  Whisk in cream or milk, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth.  Stir milk mixture into slow cooker and let it cook for about 15 more minutes.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper seasoning if needed.

Enjoy!

Harvest Chili

On a cold and lazy weekend I just love to enjoy a big bowl of chili for dinner.¬† So that is exactly what I made last Sunday.¬† You know that I have my go-to family favorite chili recipe, but I decided to mix things up after seeing Milk & Honey’s recent post.¬† I’m glad I tried it because it’s nice to have options.

This chili definitely had some sweet flavor notes from the sweet potatoes but it was spicy too.  That is totally adjustable based on the type and amount of seasonings that you add.

Harvest Chili

inspired by:  Milk and Honey

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes {about 1.5 pounds total}, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 pound lean ground beef

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 large onion, diced

2 chipotle peppers, minced – I omitted these completely by accident

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained {I used about 1.5 cups dry pinto beans, that I soaked overnight and then cooked}

1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz) can hominy, drained  {You can sub corn or butter beans}

1 (46 oz) can tomato juice

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Saute the peppers, carrots, onion, garlic in a frying pan just until tender.  Add them to your large crock-pot.  Then cook the ground beef until no longer pink, drain it, and add to the crock-pot.

Also to the crock-pot add:  the pinto beans, hominy, chopped sweet potatoes, seasonings, stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and juice.  Stir everything together.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for about 5 hours or just until the potatoes become tender.

Breakfast Pull Apart Bread


Oh Pinterest, you make me more addicted every single day. The downside of Pinterest is too much inspiration and not enough time to make everything. But I still must pin all.the.time. If you are a member, then you know what I mean. ūüôā But, this recipe is one of the few things that I’ve actually made from that site and it did not disappoint. It is very much like monkey bread, but the biscuits are left whole. Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast Pull Apart Bread

2 tubes of buttermilk biscuits
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts – optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a fluted ring pan with cooking spray.

Mix the melted butter and maple syrup, pour 1/2 in bottom of ring pan. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and put 1/2 of that mixture over the butter mixture. Arrange all of the biscuits upright in a circle all the way around the pan. Top with remaining 1/2 of butter mixture and then remaining nut mixture.

Bake about 20-25 minutes or until center of biscuits are done. Let set for about 5 minutes then loosen edges with a knife, invert onto a plate and serve. Servings just pull right apart.

Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash


Well, this was my first time cooking with barley and it turned out great!¬† The oven does most of the work so it was really easy too.¬† I can’t wait to make this again.¬† It is a pretty¬†healthy meal as well since barley is fiber rich and the spinach and squash are vitamin and nutrient rich.

Oh by the way, I’m crossing this off my 30×30 list for risotto.¬† It is really not a true risotto, but that list has barely been touched so I’ll take what I can get.¬† I have a feeling that list is going to be extended to a 30 while I’m 30 list.¬† Oops.

Baked Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

Source:  Dec 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1″ pieces (about 3 cups) – next time I may use a large sweet potato

1 onion, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 cup pearl barley

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

5 oz baby spinach – I know I used less that this, I didn’t measure, just used all I had in an open package

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the squash, onion, and s&p.  Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, 4-6 minutes.

Add the barley to the vegetables and cook for another minute.  Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Cover the pot and transfer to the oven.  Bake until barley is tender, 35-40 minutes.

Remove from oven, stir in spinach and Parmesan.

Enjoy!