Yes to Yummy

Tag Archive: Mexican

Fire Roasted Corn and Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa (gluten-free + vegan)

June 16, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

014

Happy summer! The sun is shining! Birds are singing! No math for two and a half months! (Sorry, conic sections, but I’m giving you the Cee Lo Green treatment.) I am now officially a senior! I can read books I want to read! I can use exclamation points freely in writing without looking like a fool! HOORAY!!!

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of this beautiful season than with a fresh yet hearty veggie burger.

004

How did these gorgeous burgers come about? Basically, I was in a very big cooking mood after taking my SAT subject tests last month, so I made homemade buns, black bean burgers, and salsa, all from scratch, and then proceeded to artfully arrange them for photographing purposes.

015

Here are the buns I made that I’m not going to give you a recipe for…because it’s TOP. SECRET. (OOHHHH.) Actually, I’m just lazy, so you’re stuck with a photograph. Sorry bub.

To give you some perspective, these burgers were about half the size of my head, and neither of my parents could actually fit the entire thing into either of their mouths at once. Sorry to disappoint you, but this dish won’t stay this perfectly-assembled for very long.

007

While these burgers aren’t meaty, I’d say, they have a wonderful chewy texture and are loaded with flavor. Black beans and corn are already a winning combination, but when you pair them with juicy mango pieces, luscious avocado slices, and crunchy fresh vegetables, you have a recipe for awesome. Studded with cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika, this dish has the perfect amount of seasoning without being too spicy.

Best of all, both the burgers and the salsa are super easy to prepare, especially if you’re using store-bought buns or making a veggie burger salad instead. (This, however, was not the case for me: to quote my AP chemistry class, “Abby, you always take the complicated way.”)

010

Really, though, the process is simple. You saute everybody in a pan…

001-001

…then for a pulse in the food processor and an orderly formation…

007-001

…and finally a bake in the oven until beginning to crisp and tender in the center. And the salsa, well, it’s basically just mixing things together in a bowl. I think you can do that.

011

But if you still need a recipe, I’ve got you covered for both below. 😉

Print this page

Mango + Cucumber Salsa

Fresh, simple, and sweet, this salsa makes for a fabulous summer accompaniment to anything grilled or simply on its own. Feel free to substitute basil or cilantro for the mint and lemon or orange juice for the lime.

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 5 min
Yield 6-8 servings

2 mangoes, fully ripe

1 small cucumber or 1/2 of a large cucumber

A handful of mint leaves, finely minced

The juice of 2 limes (about 3-4 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Peel, slice, and dice the mangoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Peel and de-seed the cucumber and dice it about the same size as the mango.

Mix the mango and cucumber in a bowl with the mint leaves, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir together and taste, then add more lime juice, salt, or pepper if necessary. For best results, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before eating.


001

What is your favorite summer burger? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know! 🙂


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicken Carnitas (healthy + super easy!)

January 18, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

025

Braising anything is delicious, but when you braise something and THEN pan-fry it? HEAVEN. And that’s exactly what carnitas are.

033

After being slow-cooked in a mixture of onions, citrus, and herbs and spices for 8 hours, this chicken is incredibly flavorful by itself…but when you add guacamole, salsa, raw and roasted vegetables, and other accompaniments, you have a plate filled with pure deliciousness. There’s a reason why Chipotle is so popular!

049

The plate is messy, but every bite is filled with crunchies, squishies, and overall exquisite taste. This is one of those meals that once you start eating you won’t be able to stop yourself. 😉

The best part is that this dish is a breeze to put together and, while it takes a while to cook, it only requires about 5 minutes of prep-time. The magic here is in the slow cooker which, if you add enough salt and seasonings, makes food that is both super tender and flavorful.

I mean it–don’t skimp on especially the sodium chloride here (*cough* chemistry nerd alert *cough*). When I first started using my slow cooker, everything tasted incredibly bland until I bumped up the salt content…then, all of a sudden, the other flavors burst out like blooming flowers of yumminess. I promise it’s not going to be like sucking on sunflower seeds…it’s going to be a freaking amazing date with cumin, garlic, oregano, thyme, and lemon.

Another secret here is to use juniper berries. They’re an obscure ingredient, so I made it optional, but I’ve found that even adding a few makes a big difference, adding a subtle note of savory richness to the fairly mellow chicken thighs. I got mine at Penzeys, but you should be able to find them at any well-stocked grocery store.

I hesitated on posting this recipe for a while because it’s so flipping straight-forward. But after much persuasion from my mom (and a little spare time to photograph due to a shortened exam schedule), I decided to put this puppy up.

So, basically, you put the chicken in the crock pot and add all of the flavoring components…

012

…let everybody hang out for 8 hours…

014

…take the chicken out of its luxurious bath…

019

…and fry away in olive or coconut oil until crispy heaven is achieved!

029

Inspired by this recipe

Print this page

Chicken Carnitas

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time 8 hr 30 min
Total Time 8 hr 30 min
Yield 6-8 servings

3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

A good crack of black pepper

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

2 teaspoons of thyme

1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

The juice of 1 large lemon

6 juniper berries (optional but recommended)

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil

Romaine lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and roasted vegetables, for serving

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine the chicken with all of the remaining ingredients with the exception of the cooking oil and the accompaniments. Cover tightly with the lid and let cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the accumulated liquid (you can let this sit in the fridge overnight and use it for stock) and pat it dry with paper towels.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1/4 of the chicken pieces, breaking them up slightly with a pair of tongs. Let cook until golden brown on the bottom side, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another few minutes.

Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more 1 tablespoon of oil for each batch to keep the chicken crispy.

Serve on a big plate with raw and roasted vegetables, guacamole, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice. Slow-cooked black beans would also be delicious here. 🙂


Please don’t forget the toppings. Just don’t. Eating this dish without some avocado involved is a crime against humanity.

040

Which do you prefer: guacamole or salsa? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chicken Carnitas

January 16, 2015 Print this page

Braising anything is delicious, but when you braise something and THEN pan-fry it? HEAVEN. This dish is so easy to make and tastes phenomenal every time, so get some ripe avocados for guac and get cooking!

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time 8 hr 30 min
Total Time 8 hr 30 min
Yield 6-8 servings

3 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

A good crack of black pepper

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

2 teaspoons of thyme

1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

The juice of 1 large lemon

6 juniper berries (optional but recommended)

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil

Romaine lettuce, guacamole, salsa, and roasted vegetables, for serving

Directions

In a slow cooker, combine the chicken with all of the remaining ingredients with the exception of the cooking oil and the accompaniments. Cover tightly with the lid and let cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the accumulated liquid (you can let this sit in the fridge overnight and use it for stock) and pat it dry with paper towels.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 1/4 of the chicken pieces, breaking them up slightly with a pair of tongs. Let cook until golden brown on the bottom side, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another few minutes.

Remove to a plate, cover with foil, and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more 1 tablespoon of oil for each batch to keep the chicken crispy.

Serve on a big plate with raw and roasted vegetables, guacamole, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice. Slow-cooked black beans would also be delicious here. 🙂


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beef Empanadas

June 4, 2014 Print this page

In Latin American countries, families often get together and roll these out together, so unless you have a hoard of helpful relatives, you’ll have to form the empanadas on your own. But if you’re ready to blow the socks off of your family and friends on a Sunday or rainy weeknight, you should totally make these.

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 50 min
Yield 9 empanadas

FOR THE DOUGH:

1 cup of tapioca powder

1 1/4 cups of blanched almond flour

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

FOR THE FILLING:

2 tablespoons of ghee or coconut oil

1 medium onion, chopped finely

1 large carrot, chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3/4 lb of ground beef

6 ounces of tomato paste

1 tablespoon of oregano

1 tablespoon of cumin

A pinch of paprika

A generous pinch of salt

FOR THE EGG WASH:

1 egg

1 teaspoon of water

A pinch of salt

Directions

FOR THE DOUGH:

In a big mixing bowl, whisk together the tapioca powder, almond flour, salt, and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold together. Once a homogeneous ball is formed, wrap it up in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for an hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

FOR THE FILLING:

Melt 2 tablespoons of ghee or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the fat is hot, add the onion and carrot and saute for 5 minutes.

To the onion and carrot, add the garlic, then crumble in the ground beef. Use a large spoon to break it up, then let it saute with the onion and garlic until no pink remains, about another 5 minutes.

Add in the tomato paste, oregano, cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir to incorporate, then turn the heat down to low. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat until you roll your empanadas.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Take out the ball of dough and divide it into nine even-sized smaller balls.

Rip off two pieces of wax paper and dust them lightly with tapioca or arrowroot flour. Put one of the balls between the two sheets and use a weight, large can, or cookbook to smush it down until it’s flat. 

Remove the top layer of parchment paper and round out the edges of the dough circle with your hands.

Using a small spoon, scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the filling and put it on half of the dough circle towards the center, leaving some room on the edges to seal up the empanada.

Fold over the exposed half of the dough circle on top of the circle with the filling and use a damp fork to seal the sides and create a pretty pattern.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then brush lightly with some prepared egg wash. Continue baking until golden brown and shiny on top, about 10 minutes longer.

Serve immediately with roasted or grilled vegetables, brown rice or cauliflower rice, and guacamole and salsa for dipping.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beef Empanadas (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free)

June 3, 2014 Leave your thoughts Print this page

057

Today, we’re going to be getting a little exotic. We’re also going to be getting a little beefy.

I hope you’re all right with that.

070

And this recipe was developed because of first-world grocery problems. Allow me to explain.

I had this great idea one night in the shower–savory banana splits, with grilled plantains instead of the bananas, Mexican-seasoned meatballs instead of ice cream, guacamole instead of whipped cream, and a cherry tomato on top. It was genius, I tell you, genius.

But then, I went to my local provider of plantains (a decent-sized organic market) and there were no plantains. I was heartbroken. What was a creative girl to do with good-quality ground beef? I couldn’t just make burgers, after all.

After much deliberating and brainstorming, I hit another idea and ran with it. Both my family and I are very glad I did so.

065

The filling, made from ground beef, tomato paste, onions, and herbs and seasoning is delicious on its own, but the buttery, slightly-crunchy exterior really takes the tastiness to the next level. Add some guacamole and salsa on the side and it gets EVEN. BETTER.

086

In Latin American countries, families often get together and roll these out together, so unless you have a hoard of helpful relatives, you’ll have to form the empanadas on your own. Oh well. The first couple are a little tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy!

If you’re ready to blow the socks off of your family and friends on a Sunday or rainy weeknight, let’s get started.

Recipe adapted from here.

001

In a big mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of tapioca powder, 1 1/4 cups of blanched almond flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold together. Once a homogeneous ball is formed, wrap it up in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for an hour.

010

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

014

Time to make the filling! Melt 2 tablespoons of ghee or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat and chop up a medium onion and a large carrot. Once the fat is hot, add the onion and carrot and saute for 5 minutes.

To the onion and carrot, add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, then crumble in 3/4 lb of ground beef (I always use grass-fed/organic beef from my butcher). Use a large spoon to break it up, then let it saute with the onion and garlic until no pink remains, about another 5 minutes.

016

Add in 6 ounces of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of oregano, 1 tablespoon of cumin, a pinch of paprika, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to incorporate, then turn the heat down to low. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat until you roll your empanadas.

Take out the ball of dough and divide it into nine even-sized smaller balls.

023

Rip off two pieces of wax paper and dust them lightly with tapioca or arrowroot flour. Put one of the balls between the two sheets and use a weight, large can, or cookbook to smush it down until it’s flat.

028

Remove the top layer of parchment paper and round out the edges of the dough circle with your hands.

030

Using a small spoon, scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the filling and put it on half of the dough circle towards the center, leaving some room on the edges to seal up the empanada.

031

Fold over the exposed half of the dough circle on top of the circle with the filling and use a damp fork to seal the sides and create a pretty pattern.

Repeat with the remaining dough. You will have leftover filling, and that’s OK: it tastes really good with eggs for breakfast or mixed into a chopped salad for lunch or dinner.

042

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then brush lightly with some egg wash. (Simply whisk together an egg with a teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt in a bowl.) Continue baking until golden brown and shiny on top, about 10 minutes longer.

Serve immediately with roasted or grilled vegetables, brown rice or cauliflower rice, and guacamole and salsa for dipping. Yummy heaven.

056

What is your favorite Latin American dish? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,