Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mock Tacos

So simple!

2 cans of pork and beans
1 lb of ground beef
1 cup of you favorite salsa
tortilla chips

Brown your hamburger, salt and pepper to taste, add the two cans of pork and beans to that and the salsa. Heat on medium high until bubbly. Serve over tortilla chips with sour cream and more salsa and shredded cheese.

*I had this growing up as a child...just a poor mans meal, but delicious! -Vanessa

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Benito Bean Dip & 7-Layer Bean Dip

From Zonya's Lickety-Split Meals
Serves 42 (2 T. servings, if you're using it as a makes quite a bit)

1 green onions (opt)
1 jar (48 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. salsa
1/2 t. Zippy Zonya Mexi Mix
1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves (opt--Blech, I HATE cilantro!!)
1 lg. bag baked tortilla chips (Tostitos)

5 minutes before serving:
Chop onions in food processor. Add bans, salsa, Mexi mix, and cilantro to processor and blend until smooth. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

7-Layer Bean Dip
Serves 32 as an appetizer or 4 as a meal

2 c. Benito Bean Dip
3 green onions, chopped (I didn't add these because I had already added green onions in the bean dip.)
2 c. shredded lettuce
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
15 slices black olives (opt)
1 lg. bag baked tortilla chips (Tostitos)

20 minutes before serving:
Spread bean mixture all across a large decorative serving platter. Laver veggies & cheese over the bean dip in the order listed. Open chips, it's party time! --Keri

Crock-Pot Fajitas & Zippy Zonya Mexi Mix

From Zonya's Lickety-Split Meals
Serves 12 (1/2 c. mixture per serving)

1 lb. beef top round steak OR boneless, skinless chicken breast OR pork tenderloin OR 24 oz. firm tofu
1 lg. onion
1 green bell pepper, seeded
1 red bell pepper, seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded
3/4 t. salt
12 jalapeno or hot pepper rings from a jar
1 can. (15 oz) pinto, kidney, or black beans, drained and rinsed
2 T. lime juice
4-5 T. Zippy Zonya Mexi Mix*
12 6" flour tortillas
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 c. shredded lettuce
3/4 c. fat-free sour cream (1 T. per fajita)
cheese (I added this...what's a fajita without a little cheese?)

4 to 8 hours before serving:
Trim meat well of fat and cut into 6 portions. (Crumble or cube tofu.) Place in slow cooker. Cut veggies into strips and place in slow cooker.
Add salt through Mexi Mix to slow cooker and mix well. Cook on HIGH 4-5 hours or on LOW 7-8 hours. (Resist the urge to add water. I added a bit because I was worried it would burn & I had WAY too much liquid.) Just before serving, break meat into bite-sized chunks. (I shredded my chicken.)

Warm tortillas in microwave. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove contents from slow cooker. Assemble fajitas with toppings of your choice.

These fajitas are splendid!!

Zippy Zonya Mexi Mix

Instead of using prepared packets of taco or fajita mixes, simply use 3 T. of this mix to replace one packet of commercial mixes. It tastes great, and it replaces the high-sodium packets you get at the store. I've almost used up one full batch of this stuff! --Keri

5 T. ground cumin
1 T. cumin seeds (opt)
6 T. chili powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion flakes
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 t. cayenne pepper (opt)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snowball Cookies

1 C. of Margarine
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. pecans chopped

Cream butter and sugar, add vanilla, salt and flour. Then add pecans, roll into balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees. At about 20 minutes I pick one up and check the bottom, if it is lite golden brown they are done. Roll in powdered sugar. I can pretty much fit this whole batch of dough on one sheet. Theses are so easy to make. Enjoy! -Vanessa


*In a large stock pot boil 5 cups of water with 4 chicken bullion cubes and 4 chicken breast. Cook till chicken is done. Remove chicken and save the stock.

4 chicken breast
3 Cups diced onion
2 Cups of diced bell peppers
2 1/2 Cups of diced celery
1 16. oz package of Smoked sausage

*Cut up first 5 ingredients into bite site pieces. In large wok or frying pan stir fry ingredients in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Salt and pepper to your liking. Don't cook all the way through. They will finish cooking in the pot.

*In your pot with the saved stock add 4 to 5 cups of minute rice. Along with 1 Tbs. of Cayenne pepper, 1 Tbs of garlic powder. Add the rest of ingredients at the top along with 1 cup of green onion, and 1 cup of parsley. The green onion and parsley are optional. Put the lid on your pot and cook on low to medium heat for 10 to 15 minute or until rice is lite and fluffy. This makes enough leftovers to last my family for 2 extra days after I have made it.

*I hope this makes sense. If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will try to answer it as best I can! Enjoy! -Vanessa

Monday, March 3, 2008

Saucy Almond Chicken Stir-Fry

From Zonya's Lickety-Split Meals
Serves 6

3/4 c. Uncle Ben's whole-grain instant brown rice, dry*
1 1/3 c. water
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth, 1/3 less sodium
1 T. sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. soy sauce, reduced sodium
1 T. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. slivered almonds
4 (4 oz each) skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4" pieces
2 boxes (10 oz each) frozen pea pods or whole green beans
1 can (8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained

Combine rice and water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook on high 9-10 minutes or until tender.

Stir broth, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch & soy sauce together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Heat oil and garlic in a LARGE nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and almonds. Cook until chicken is cooked through adn almonds are golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut pepper into 3/4" pieces and open containers. Add to stir-fry when chicken is done. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Stir the broth mixture and pour in. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Serve over rice with fruit on the side.

*The recipe allows for 1 c. stir-fry over 1/2 c. rice. I only got about 2 c. rice, not 3, so you may want to increase the rice you do a little bit. --Keri

Split Pea Soup

From Zonya's Lickety-Split Meals
Serves 10

3 1/2 c. dried split peas
3 celery stalks
3 carrots
1 lg. onion
4 c. water
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) chicken broth, 1/3 less sodium
1 t. poultry seasoning
20 grinds fresh ground pepper
2 oz lean ham (opt)

8 to 11 hours before serving:
Rinse peas in a colander, pick over for stones and place in slow cooker. Chop veggies & place in slow cooker. Place remaining ingredients, except ham, in slow cooker and mix. Cook on HIGH 8-9 hours or on LOW 10-11 hours.

30 minutes before or just before serving:
Cut ham into small cubes. Add in the last 1/2 hour of cooking. Serve with crackers or cornbread, tossed salad, and low-fat frozen yogurt for dessert.

This was really good and so easy to throw together beforehand. My husband even loved it! --Keri

Tortilla Soup

I'm not sure really why this is called Tortilla Soup since there aren't tortilla's in it, but it is really yummy and super quick!

2 lbs cooked chicken
32-48 oz. chicken broth
4 family size cans chicken & rice condensed soup
2 to 3 cans Mexican Rotel
2 packs Lipton Rice pouches (chicken flavor)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp. cumin

Dump everything into a big pot and simmer until rice is tender. Add broth or water to adjust thickness to your liking. Add crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and/or sour cream to garnish.

This makes a TON of soup. I usually 1/2 or 1/4 the recipe. It is super quick and easy for a quick meal when not in the mood to cook. Enjoy! -Amanda

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kickin' Chicken with Fries

From Zonya's Lickety-Split Meals
Serves 4

1 c. salsa or picante sauce
1 T. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1 (4 oz each) boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 bag (24 oz) Ore Ida potato wedges*
1 bag (16 oz) frozen green beans
2 T. water

Preheat oven to 450. Arrange oven racks to accomodate both a baking sheet and a 9x13 baking dish. Mix together salsa, brown sugar & mustard in a 2-cup measuring cup. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Pour sauce over chicken. Put in oven.

Spread out potato wedges on nonstick baking sheet. (I like to put it on a foil lined sheet for easy clean up.) Set timer for 25 minutes.

Place the green beans & water in a microwave-safe dish, cover and cook on high 12 minutes. (You will leave the veggies set in microwave 10 minutes longer.) At sound of timer, check chicken to see if it's done. Cook 5 more minutes if necessary. Enjoy!

*If you prefer, make the homemade version of Oven Fries, which is what I did. :)

Oven Fries
Serves 4

4 med. (6 oz each) baking potatoes (also try sweet potatoes, they're great!)
1 T. canola or olive oil
1/2 t. Mrs. Dash or Spike seasoning
salt, pepper, and ketchup

Preheat oven to 375 (or just follow the above recipe, like I did). Coat a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray.

Thoroughly wash and scrub potatoes--peel if non-organic. Cut lengthwise into wedges. Place in bowl. Drizzle oil over potatoes and toss. Sprinkle seasoning over potatoes and toss. Spread seasoned potato wedges over baking sheet. Set timer and bake 50 minutes or until tender. At the sound of the timer, transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with ketchup. --Keri