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Spanish Rice

I don’t remember even eating Spanish Rice as a child.  Mr.Picky loves spanish and mexican rice out of a box but I refuse to make the sodium filled rice.  I have come up with a recipe similar to the Mexican rice but had no recipe for the Spanish rice until now.

After doing some research and came up with this recipe after combining what sounded good to me.  It turned out great.  In fact is was the base layer to a skillet/casserole recipe I was making.  Be sure to check back for that recipe.

This Spanish rice is not spicy due to the little ones.  Extra heat could be added with come cayenne pepper to the mix or maybe add a diced jalapeño.  It was flavorful without too much salt and the perfect heat for the kids.

Spanish RiceSpanish Rice:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp or 1 cube chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

In a skillet heat olive oil over medium/ high heat.

Saute onion, pepper, and rice.  Stirring constantly so the rice does not burn, cook until most of the rice has toasted and the vegetables soften.

Spanish Rice

Add the rice mixture to a medium pot along with the remaining ingredients.

Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover and reduce heat to the lowest it will go.

Cook covered for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork when done.


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Citrus Marinated Flank Steak

Rarely do I ever feel the need to prepare red meat or want to eat it.  Something inside of me was craving flank steak.  My grandparents had prepared us some wonderful marinated flank steak the last time we were visiting.  Mr.Picky was a fan of this great flank steak, even though he is often not a fan of this cut of meat.

Looking for my recipe I was given, I was having no luck.  I searched everywhere for my disc full of recipes and could not find it.  Somewhere in our move I lost it, well not lost but put it somewhere special.  I remember just before we moved I came across it in an odd spot and put it somewhere for safe keeping.  I don’t often misplace things and searched every logical place.  One day I will find it.

Until I find it I found this recipe for Citrus Marinated Flank Steak.  The flavors seemed similar to what we ate and I figured it would do until I can get my hands on the right recipe.  This recipe turned out great, not quite as much flavor as I was expecting even after I  marinated it longer.  Mr.Picky approved and said I could prepare it again.

Marinated Flank SteakMarinated Flank Steak:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic,crushed
  • 1 Tbs chipotle chili powder (I used regular so the kids could eat it)
  • 3 Tbs cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 lb. Flank steak

Score steak on both sides.

Place all ingredients besides the stead in a jar or blender, blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

Place steak in a plastic bag and pour in marinade.  Allow to marinade at room temperature for 2 hours.  Or overnight in the refrigerator.

Prepare the grill until high heat is reached and the coals are red hot.  Grill about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Move away from direct heat and cook another 10 minutes longer.  Meat should reach about 145 degrees.  This process took us a bit longer because we were cooking in the snow.

Remove meat to a cutting board, cover in foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Slice meat against the grain in thin strips to serve.

Marinated Flank Steak
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Baked Southwest Chicken Flautas

I enjoy making and eating Spinach Chicken Flautas but was feeling creative the other night when I started to prepare them.  This is how I came up with Southwest Chicken Flautas.  I combined the other recipe with what was on hand in the fridge and these turned out even better.

These flautas are not as dry so you can eat them without dip.  The sweet corn plays nicely with the spice of the pepper and spices.  Mr.Picky said these ones are way better and took many to work with him the next day.

Baked Southwest Chicken Flautas:

These have been cut in half to cool for the kids!

These have been cut in half to cool for the kids!

  • 6-8 8″ tortillas
  • olive oil spray or cooking spray
  • 4 cups cooked chicken (thighs or breast), shredded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 jalapeno or 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mexican cheese blend (or half Colby jack and half cheddar)

Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with foil and lightly spraying with olive oil or cooking spray.

In a small saute pan combine jalapeno, corn, minced garlic, baby spinach, and 1 tbs olive oil.  Saute until corn starts to brown and the spinach wilts.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine all of the remaining ingredients and the vegetables that have slightly cooled.  Mix until evenly combined.

Using the tortillas cut them in half.  Spoon about 2-3 Tablespoons of filling on the straight side of the tortilla.

Roll the tortilla tightly from the straight edge to the round edge.  Place on the prepared cookie sheet seem side down.  Lightly spray the tops of flautas with cooking spray or olive oil spray.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, flip and cook 5 minutes more until golden brown.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

We served our flautus with refried beans and guacamole.

They reheated great in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes for a quick lunch the next day.

Reheated Flautas for lunch

Reheated Flautas for lunch

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

I am a chili lover, especially if the chili is made with kidney beans.  Growing up my mom always made chili with kidney beans. To this day I swear I can eat chili breakfast, lunch, and dinner as long as it is homemade.  My mother’s chili is very similar but usually uses ground beef and omit the pumpkin and pumpkin spice.  Chili is so simple, versatile and forgiving, and is a one pot meal.  A slow cooker would work as well but as long as I am home I love to just simmer my soup in a dutch oven on the stove.

A few years ago I had come across a recipe that added pumpkin.  In the fall if I have any pumpkin in the freezer or extra from baking I make this chili.  The pumpkin purée added a depth and richness to the chili without a pumpkin flavor.

Of course chili can not be served without fresh cornbread.  Sour cream and cheddar cheese are optional.

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Turkey Pumpkin Chili:

  • 1 package ground turkey breast (16-20 oz.)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 green pepper,diced
  • 1  cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (26 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or (1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice)

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

In a large pot brown turkey, add in onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant.

Add remaining ingredients and bring up to simmer, continue to simmer on low for at least 1 hour.

Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips, or with some cheddar cheese.
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Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna

This is a family favorite recipe, I remember my mom making this often.  In fact it when Mr.Picky ate this for the first time, became his favorite meal.  I remember making this casserole for him on our 1 year anniversary, and packing the whole pan to the park to eat as a picnic.

It is an easy one dish meal that is quick to put together.  This recipe works great to put together the night before, and put in the oven the next day.  Plus who doesn’t want to use up the crumbs and crushed tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag?

Mexican Lasagna:

  • 4-5 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  •  1 package of taco seasoning or my taco seasoning mix:
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 16 oz. container of sour cream, lite works fine
  • 16 oz. container of cottage cheese, lite works fine
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or mexican blend)

Start by browning up ground beef, once it is almost all brown add in onions, water, and seasonings.  Allow to cook for a minute or two, and add in tomato sauce.  Simmer for 15 minutes and set aside.

In a bowl combine sour cream and cottage cheese until well combined.

Grease a 9×13″ pan lightly, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mexican Lasagna

Layering:

Place a thinly layer of tortilla chips in the bottom (about half the chips).

Next spoon as evenly as you can half of the meat mixture.

On top of that spoon dollops of the white mixture.

Mexican Lasagna

Repeat layers again ending on the white mixture, top with shredded cheese.Mexican Lasagna

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and starting to brown.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving, a bit of salsa goes great on top!

*Variations: sometime I will add a layer of corn or sliced olives just below the shredded cheese.

Taco Seasoning

This is the recipe I use instead of those packets of taco seasoning.  It is much healthier and tastier, not to mention you probably already have all these spices in the cupboard.

Simple use the following seasoning for 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 cup water, allow to simmer for about 15 minutes to make some great tacos.  Or just substitute this recipe where any packet is required.

Taco Seasoning:

  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion

Crock Pot Chicken Chili

Mr.Picky is not a fan of soup.  Surprise, surprise Mr.Picky actually liked this recipe.  I tried this recipe out over a year ago and have made it over and over since.  I have adapted some of the seasonings from the original post Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili.  The original recipe seemed a little too spicy for my kids, it contained both a taco packet and addition seasoning.  I didn’t use a packet of seasoning so have substituted my own seasonings.  I cut out the junk in the taco packet seasoning and I feel the flavor was much better.

This is a great meal that is quick to throw together, but tastes amazing.  We usually add cheese to our chili but I have found you don’t even need it with recipe.  It is great with crushed tortilla chips added and fresh cilantro on top.

Chicken Chili:Chicken Chili

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8  oz. can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz. package of frozen corn
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes (petite work best)
  • 1 sm. can green chilies
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, except chicken.  Stir until combined and place chicken breasts on top.

Cook on low for 10 hours, or high for 6 hours.  30 minutes before serving remove chicken breasts, shred and mix back into chili.

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