Sorry there aren’t photos with this one. You’ll have to imagine how good it was and ponder the beauty of this painted Mexican villa found on the wall at a restaurant in the middle of no-where, Texas.
The recipe for this post was tonight’s dinner… so I wanted to get it typed out before I forgot it forever. I tend to make things on the fly out of necessity and then forget about them and we never eat them again. This one was “one of the best things” my 9 year old “had ever eaten”, though, so I figured I should write it down and repeat it (not to mention, it was a 30 minute prep-meal – easy peasy). From start to sit down it took about an hour… but half of that time was me baking the cornbread (since I didn’t get it started first).
Below the recipes, you’ll find my menu for the next week. I spent time the past few weeks revamping my recipe binder and tossing all my ancient recipes with flour, sugar, and processed ingredients and replacing them with healthy recipes I’ve been saving from magazines, printed out online sites, and other random places. I’ll take a photo sometime of my massive recipe binder. I hate carrying it around. I look through it each week while I’m planning (now that it is updated) and get ideas to use for the stuff we have on hand. Tonight’s dinner was one of those magic moments brought about by a browse through the ‘soup and sauces’ section of my binder.
Yay for organization! Meal planning for the win!
Here is the recipe for the chili and I’m not even going to use the menu formatting I usually do for recipes because I don’t have an image just yet. I might come back in later and update and add it some time in the future… you know me – high hopes that there is a “someday”… ALSO be sure to note that the ingredient amounts are all to taste for the most part… it won’t ruin the dish if you alter it and make it your own.
WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI
* large chicken breast with southwest seasonings (use more if you want, we eat moderate meat portions)
* 1 can pinto beans (not seasoned or drained)
* 1 can white beans (the ones I used were in tomato juice, don’t drain)
* pinch cayenne (to taste)
* vegetable broth (I didn’t have this, so I added a little water)
* one small white or yellow onion, chopped
* butter for sauteeing onion and chicken, as much as needed to prevent sticking
* pink salt (to taste)
* chipotle chili powder (to taste)
* 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (organic)
* juice off the top of the yogurt (drain it in the pan, not the sink – optional)
* garlic powder and minced garlic (to taste)
* black pepper (ground / to taste)
* 1 jalapeno (chopped)
* chopped zucchini (I used 1/4 of a real big one)
* dash or two of cholula
* few chopped or torn sprigs of fresh cilantro
* few fresh leaves of oregano (I used a handful of both green herbs together)
* grated mexican pepper-jack type cheese (grated for topping at the table)
* 1 Tbsp of sherry wine
* 1 tsp of Red Robin’s Fry Seasoning (or any fry or chili seasoning)
That last ingredient is funny. I just happened to have it on hand and threw it in. You don’t really need it. You can spice it how you like it. We got the Red Robin seasoning free when they opened one in our area and we went to the grand opening. I am not sure what’s in it, so I wouldn’t buy it again unless I was certain it had no msg. I like to purchase organic spices at Natural Grocers for the most part.
Instructions: chop and prep, heat your canned beans in their juices in a large soup pot, butter a skillet and toss in chopped or cut cubed chicken to fry (we use meat scissors and cut it right over the pan as the butter, jalapeño and onions are beginning to sautée), toss in onion, garlic, and seasonings and sautée until the meat is no longer pink, when chicken is cooked, add the chicken, onion, jalapeño and garlic mixture to the bean pot and stir well, continue to add all ingredients except grated cheese and stir, lowering heat to allow ingredients to simmer while you prepare your cornbread, stir regularly to prevent burning, add liquids as needed (reserved broth or water), serve over rice or cornbread
MEXICAN SKILLET CORNBREAD
For this recipe, I cheated tonight. I found a package of organic corn bread mix from HEB in my mom’s pantry, so I brought it home and used it to make this cornbread dish. I followed the recipe on the back except I lessened the water content and added more of my own wet ingredients. I also followed the heating instructions for the oven and it ended up needing more time and more heat, so I have adjusted accordingly below:
* 1 package (2.5 cups?) of organic corn bread mix – regular flavor – HEB brand
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1 tbsp soft butter
* 1 large organic soy-free egg
* chopped fresh chives
* 1 tsp dehydrated onions (McCormick)
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* diced jalapeño (or pickled jalapeño)
* 1 tsp chili powder (I used a chipotle blend)
* pink salt
* oil and water per package instructions – used 1/4 less water because of yogurt “juice”
* 1/2 can of corn (saved the rest for another dish, you could also use cream corn)
* grated Mexican type cheese (I used a Santa Fe red pepper cheese given to me)
Instructions: use large bowl and pour mix out, follow instructions on package for oil and water, add egg and all ingredients except for half of the cheese you plan to use (hold that back to sprinkle on the top), stir with a fork or spoon to blend ingredients well and spread out into buttered cast iron skillet, bake for as long as the package says and adjust to make sure bread is done (test with a toothpick if you aren’t sure) – my bread took 25 minutes and I had to increase the heat to 405 degrees half way through. May vary depending on your oven and altitude. Serve warm with butter or pour the chili on crumbled cornbread.
YUM, right? My 9 year old really loved it all. The chili and rice were completely gone. I saved 3/4 of the cornbread for later this week when we have black bean casserole on Tuesday. The 7 year old wouldn’t even try the cornbread. What a weirdo. My 21 year old son also refused to eat it, saying “he really has to be hungry to eat cornbread and it isn’t his favorite”. Polite words for “I don’t like it.”
We may have two Yankee spies living in our house. Southern cornbread is a must around here. My mama LOVED cornbread and beans. Her mama cooked them regularly for her growing up. I have to be honest, though, cornbread is a twice a year thing for me. I try to avoid too much starch (white potatoes and corn included) so I don’t feed any rogue cancer cells that rear their heads. Everyone has them now and again. I like to be proactive and make sure my body isn’t encouraging their growth. I DO eat corn… I just moderate it (and only eat organic corn, non-GMO).
And…. this photo has nothing to do with the meal… it’s just cute and Texas-y and Mexican-y. Yay for Texas and yay for Mexican food. I got these cookies at the wedding venue I set up at the other day… Redbird Ridge. They had other wedding vendors from the area there, and these cookies were from @sugarmamacookies ???????????? (in Marble Falls, TX). Aren’t they cute????
Plus: my cacti collection is growing, thanks in part to the lovely Lolita (my next wedding client for September!)… to be honest, she’s part of the family – marrying my mama’s ex-boyfriend that we have adopted forever as Papa John. Life is strange, right? You lose one parent, gain another, and life keeps moving forward like a steam roller no matter how you feel about any of it.
Deep thoughts are not my specialty tonight. My 7 year old had a great one this week, though:
“Only YOU are you.” ~ My Little Punk, Age 7
So… here is the rest of the menu for this week. We shall see if I actually get all this done.
I’m training myself not to run to the store during the week because we are trying to live the way we will be living once we get moved to the country… and because we are broke until the house sells. Prayers on that front are appreciated. I know God has His reasons for this smallish delay, but it is a mystery what they are. I don’t mind living in my 2450 square feet current home, though. I’m certainly not suffering. Once we move, I’ll be trying to figure out what to do with my stuff, my mom’s stuff, and trying to figure out how we will all fit and function inside a 900-1000 square foot 2-bedroom old farmhouse WHILE we renovate it. Talk about downsizing! All for the sake of living within your means. Small sacrifice if I get to homeschool my kids… and even smaller #firstworldproblem when you consider our brothers and sisters in refugee camps all over the other side of the planet, running for their lives and being split up from their families or killed.
It is all about perspective. Or as Veggie Tales says, “A thankful heart is a happy heart.”
Without further ado…
NEXT WEEK’S MENU
B French Raisin Bread Toast
L Israeli Cous-Cous, Falafels, Jewish Cucumber Salad, Yogurt Sauce
D Thai Rice, Thai Peanut Salad, Thai Tea
L Soup, Leftovers, or Snacky Meal
D Indian Cauliflower Biryani, Peanut Butter Cookies (made with almond butter)
B Soaked Oatmeal
L Vegetable Korma, Basmati Rice
D Black Bean Casserole, Chips, Salsa
WEDNESDAY 5/23 (Marks the one year anniversary of losing my mama)
B Yogurt Berry Bowls
L Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
D Taco Salad (no meat), Chips, Salsa, some sort of berry dessert
B Buckwheat Pancakes, Turkey Sausages
L Salmon Patties (frozen gluten-free mac-n-chz for boys)
D Chicken-Broccoli Rice Bowls (Asian inspired)
B Breakfast Tacos
L Egg Roll in a Bowl (Trim Healthy Mama Recipe that we alter)
D Succotash Salad (lima beans for the win!)
B Fried Eggs, Berries, Tea, Buttered Toast for boys with jelly
L Blackened Fish Tacos w/ Shredded Cabbage & Cilantro
D Spinach Dip, Chips, Chicken Chorizo Gumbo, Basmati Rice
L Pappasito’s Tortilla Soup (copycat recipe, altered)
D Dinner Out $… maybe (or leftovers if we are too broke)
Ideas for the following week while I was searching through the binder include the following: Baked turkey, green bean bake, asparagus spear salad, harvest slaw, squash w/ garlic and capers, spicy Batata Harrah (potatoes), Mediterranean lentil salad (again), watercress salad, broth (make with turkey), berry dishes for mulberry tree excess, fermented beets, recipes for soaked dry goods, buttermilk, cooked red cabbage
Cucumber, walnuts, boxed spring mix, cashews, sprouts, watercress, cotija cheese, cream of celery soup (organic), chips, salsa, frozen lima beans, avocados, okra, feta, butterhead or red lettuce, Pamela’s baking mix for cobbler, toilet paper, beets, monk fruit crystals, frozen meals for quick school day lunches (organic), REBBL drinks, plantain chips, yogurt, Sea Snax, mushrooms
“Now you know more than I know… because you know what you know and what I know,” says my father-in-law. And he’s right.
Have a yummy week!