Technically we only had one new taco this week, but I tried out a few other Mexican style recipes to give us some variety! While I’ve used a lot of the same ingredients meal to meal – tortillas, avocado, poblano peppers, it doesn’t feel like anything has been a repeat.
The recipe of the week was sweet potato & black bean nachos with green chile salsa. We love nachos in this house. What’s not to love about a pile of crispy, salty tortilla chips, covered in all of your favorite things + cheese? Mostly the calorie count. I try to save my nacho indulgences for restaurants, when I can’t tell that they used basically an entire bag of chips to make one plate. So when I saw this recipe from Half Baked Harvest, I had to try it. Instead of chips – sweet potatoes, so it’s automatically healthier, right? But I figured there was no way we’d be satisfied without the chips. Sweet potatoes are notoriously soggy, unless they’re deep fried. But with all of the other delicious toppings, I had to try this. Since the nachos were our entire meal, I also added some instant pot bbq beer chicken that I made to use in a taco later in the week. And the original recipe called for cauliflower, which isn’t usually my favorite, so I used a red pepper instead.
Roasted sweet potato wedges, red pepper, then topped with the bbq beer chicken, black beans, and shredded cheese. To top it all off, a tangy salsa made with roasted tomatillos and canned green chiles. Oh and obviously avocado. The result? We loved this. We didn’t even miss the chips, which is saying a lot given how fast we eat chips around here! These were definitely fork-worthy nachos, and I’ll definitely be making these again.
The next Mexican inspired dinner was tamale pie! I have still yet to make real tamales. I’m ok with that. Every recipe talks about how they are a lot of work and while I know they’d be delicious, I have recipes like this tamale pie that suffice just fine! However, this recipe goes against everything I believe – it uses a box Jiffy mix (HORROR!), canned cream corn (nasty), and jarred enchilada sauce (use Trader Joe’s if you’re not making your own sauce). Plus some ground beef and cheese and the result is worth looking past the packaged components. This is the easiest dinner and is so satisfying. Mix the corn bread with a few extra ingredients and bake it completely. Then add cooked ground beef, enchilada sauce, and cheese, and bake a little bit longer. When the juices from the ground beef, plus the enchilada sauce, soak into the cornbread, the texture becomes similar to that of a tamale. While the ground beef was good, I’ve also made it with leftover shredded pork, and THAT was my favorite.
Next was instant pot bbq beer pulled chicken tacos. The only taco of the week! This recipe was in my Half Baked Harvest cookbook. Literally less than 10 minutes of cook time in the instant pot to have a delicious shredded chicken. The original recipe called for a ranch corn slaw, where the “ranch” was a spicy avocado ranch. Avocado & ranch are two of my favorite things! Slaw isn’t really my thing, so I replaced cabbage with thin slices of roasted poblano pepper. The pepper + fresh corn and the spicy avocado ranch was the perfect topping to sweet bbq chicken. And since corn tortillas have given me so much trouble, I made a “quesadilla” with tortilla and cheese, and then used that as a taco shell. Sturdy, cheesy, and delicious!
The last meal was chipotle brown rice, mango & black bean quesadillas. I was intrigued by the flavor combination, and wanted to try a new method for cooking the quesadilla – by baking them! This recipe didn’t turn out as good as I hoped. I used frozen mango – fresh is always better – and I once again struggled with the corn tortillas. I definitely prefer working with – and eating – flour tortillas when it comes to quesadillas.
One more Half Baked Harvest recipe for the week, which was my contribution for dessert after a Mexican feast with friends! I had churro waffles on my list of recipes to make this month and decided that dessert was a perfectly good reason to make them, and even better, since my dear friend Sara volunteered to make cinnamon ice cream in her new ice cream maker. The waffles came together really quickly, with a buttermilk base. I only have a Belgian waffle maker (like the kind at the hotel where you flip it and wait for the ready light to come on!), and I think the wells were a little too deep for this batter. However, the result was still outstanding. After the waffle baked, I coated it with butter and dipped it in cinnamon sugar. Served with the cinnamon ice cream – holy cow. Even after eating about an entire bag of chips and many margs and maybe some taquitos AND a burrito – this churro waffle & ice cream hit the spot.
What kind of week would it be without a new margarita? We tried prickly pear margaritas that were the prettiest pink and perfectly sweet. I forgot to get a picture but I will next time since we’ll definitely be having those again. I also made a frozen margarita using Limeade and my vitamix. This frozen margarita was SO refreshing after spending a good part of my day doing landscaping work in the sun!
- 12 oz container of frozen limeade mix – thawed
- 6 – 12 oz tequila, depending how frisky you want to feel
- 6 oz triple sec
- 6 oz water – ONLY if you use just 6 oz of tequila
- lots of ice cubes
- chunky salt
Add the thawed limeade, tequila, triple sec, and water (if you are using) to the Vitamix. Blend for just a minute to mix all the ingredients. Add ice cubes a cup at time and blend to incorporate. Do not add too much ice at one time or you will stall your Vitamix! Continue to add and blend until the mix reaches your desired consistency. Use a lime wedge to edge a glass, then dip the glass in salt, and fill with the frozen marg. Enjoy!
Oh and the favorite meal of the week? It was a tie. Both the sweet potato nachos & the tamale pie were a hit! Both my husband & I couldn’t decide which one we liked better!
Just one more week of #mexicanmay / #mayipleasehaveataco month! I’ve got a few of my favorite stand-by recipes on the menu, a fridge full of avocados, and plenty more tequila on hand.