Baked Shredded Beef and Cheese Flautas

11 12 2013

I was making my trusty Beef-n-Noodles ( the other night when I decided to save some of the shredded beef to make another meal out of (which I think is brilliant and will do from now on BTW). Now, que my thought for flautas….which are tortillas that have been filled and rolled up into a tube or “flute”. The perfect vessel for using up leftover meat like the shredded beef I saved! These flautas are easy thanks to the leftover beef, deliciously creamy with a spicy kick, AND healthy – my favorite part!

Baked Shredded Beef and Cheese Flautas

Baked Shredded Beef and Cheese Flautas

The following makes 6-8 flautas (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 cups shredded beef, could also use leftover ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • 2 Tbsp pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
  • Couple tablespoons of low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 heaping cup reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • Whole wheat tortillas (6-8 depending on what size you use)
  • Reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375.

In a bowl combine the pureed chipotles, cream cheese and beef broth. Add the broth a tablespoon at a time until the mixture thins out slightly and becomes creamy. Next, add the beef and combine.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave in a damp towel for a minute so they’re easier to roll. Place some of the beef mixture onto the center of the tortilla (make sure not to overstuff), top with a little shredded cheese and roll up. Place seam-side down on a non-stick baking sheet. Continue stuffing and rolling the rest of the flautas.

Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

Garnish flautas with cilantro or parsley and serve with a side of black beans (like pictured above), rice or a salad.


Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

31 10 2013

I’ve recently read several articles that refer to Quinoa as the “super grain of the future”. Though not technically a grain as it’s in the spinach and beet families, it’s referred to a grain because it cooks and looks like one (although pictured here it looks like meat!). It’s packed with protein and essential amino acids; is a good source of fiber, rich in minerals and is gluten free…no wonder it’s called a super grain! Quinoa cooks fast too, so it’s ideal for busy weeknight dinners. I like to use it as a side dish, or in a salad like this tasty Mexican-inspired one. And knowing how healthy it is, I don’t feel bad tossing it in a creamy dressing, which in itself is made with low-fat ingredient choices of course 🙂

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing

The following serves 2-3 with leftovers:

  • 1 cup of pre-rinsed Quinoa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of corn kernels
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Cooked, leftover chicken – could be shredded, cubed or even rotisserie chicken (this is a good recipe to use up leftover chicken)
  • 2/3 cup fat-free or low fat sour cream
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle in adobo, pureed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chili powder
  • Juice from 1 lime, plus more for lettuce
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Reduced-fat Mexican cheese, shredded

In a saucepan, combine black beans, corn and a drizzle of olive oil, cook on medium high until heated through. Add dry quinoa and chicken stock and cook according to quinoa package directions. Once cooked, fold in the onion and shredded chicken, let cool slightly.

While the quinoa cooks, make the salad dressing by combining the following in a bowl: sour cream, cilantro, pureed chipotle in adobo, cumin, chili powder, juice of 1 lime and salt.

Next, combine the dressing with the cooked and semi-cooled quinoa mixture.

Chop romaine and mix with a little olive oil, lime juice and salt.

To serve, divide the dressed romaine among plates and top with the quinoa salad. Top with tomatoes and cheese if desired.

Shredded Crockpot Beef Mexican Pizzas

7 08 2013

This morning I put a roast in my crockpot, covered it with broth, clicked it on low and left for the day. Didn’t have a clue what I was going to make for dinner, I just knew it had to be based around shredded beef! While cruising the net for inspiration for something to make, I found the sauce for this recipe on Shape Magazine’s site, and the rest of my dinner plan basically created itself. I used my easy shredded beef to make delicious Mexican pizzas…yum!

Shredded Crockpot Beef Mexican Pizzas

Shredded Crockpot Beef Mexican Pizzas

The following makes 2 pizzas with leftover beef and bean stuffing (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Shape Magazine):

  • 1 beef roast, use whatever you have on hand
  • 1 box low-sodium, fat-free chicken stock
  • 1 box low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Oil, use whatever you have
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can green chilies, diced
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • Low-fat Mexican blend cheese, shredded

Place beef in the crockpot and cover completely with liquid. I used 1 box of chicken stock and 1 box of beef broth. And if those aren’t enough, I typically use water as the rest of the liquid to ensure the meat is fully covered. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, remove beef and let cool. Shred cooled beef with a fork or your fingers.

Strain the broth liquid from the crockpot and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add the tomatoes, chipotle peppers, lime juice, coriander, cumin and salt to a blender and puree everything until it’s well blended.

In a large saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to turn translucent and become soft. Add garlic and cook another few seconds until fragrant.  Add the green chiles and beans and a little of the strained stock that you cooked the beef in and cook for a few minutes. Next, add the shredded beef to the beans and warm. Add 3/4 of the sauce (reserving 1/4 of it) to the beef and continue to cook until sauce is heated through. (Note: depending how large your roast is you may not want to use all the shredded beef for this recipe. I saved some for another meal! I also saved the broth to use later as well – can’t let that deliciousness go to waste!)

While the beef is cooking in the sauce, warm the tortillas in the oven for a few minutes.

To build the Mexican pizzas: spoon some a good helping of the beef and bean mixture onto a tortilla. Place a second tortilla on top. Spoon some of the sauce on top of the second tortilla and top with cheese. Repeat with remaining two tortillas.

Bake the pizzas on baking sheet or pizza stone until warmed through and cheese is melted, 5 minutes or so.

Remove from the oven, let cool for a minute, then slice. Garnish with lime zest and extra sauce. You can also top the pizza with extra goodies such as tomatoes, black olives and lettuce if you like as well.

Chipotle Inspired Turkey Fajita and Rice Stack

5 06 2013

This meal was inspired by Chipotle! It can be easy to make your own fast food right at home….albeit not as “fast” as they would make it, I guarantee it will be healthier for you! And a healthy meal is better than a fast meal any day!

Chipotle Inspired Turkey Fajita Rice Stack

Chipotle Inspired Turkey Fajita Rice Stack

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl):

  • Olive oil
  • 1 package ground turkey or ground chicken
  • Couple teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 Chipotle in adobe and sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Brown rice
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 large can (28 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilles
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 and a half red onion – 1 sliced and half diced
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Handful of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Reduced fat Mexican cheese, shredded

In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat and add ground turkey or chicken. Break up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Next add in 2 – 3 teaspoons of ground cumin and 2 Chipotle in adobe and a few small spoons of the adobe sauce. Mash up the Chipotles well with the back of your wooden spoon right into the meat and mix together well. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, then taste. If you like it spicier, you can add another Chipotle or a little more of the adobe sauce. You may also want to adjust the cumin seasoning and add a little more. If the meat looks dry, add a little chicken stock. Next, add the sliced red peppers and onion right to the turkey or chicken and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

In another large skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium high heat and add half a diced onion and minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add a teaspoon of ground cumin and a teaspoon of dried oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Next add the black beans and the diced green chilles. Cook for 5 or so minutes over medium heat, turning occasionally. Next add the juice of 1 lime and turn the heat back to low. Taste and adjust seasoning, such as salt, as needed. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Make brown rice according to the package directions. Add the zest of 1 lime to the liquid before you bring to a boil. This will add flavor to the rice. Make 1 serving per person (the zest of 1 lime should be enough for 4 servings).

In a bowl, toss romaine lettuce with a little lime juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

To serve: divide rice among plates and top with beans, then the turkey, pepper and onion mixture, followed by the dressed lettuce and finally top with some Mexican cheese. Pairs perfectly with a margarita….I prefer the Skinny Girl brand 🙂

Bean Tortilla Casserole

24 02 2013

This hearty Tex-Mex dish is meatless and make ahead – perfect for a Friday dinner, especially if you observe Lent.

Bean Tortilla Casserole

Bean Tortilla Casserole

The following serves 4-5 (compliments of Everyday Food):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 10 tortillas
  • 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream for garnish if you want
  • Avocado, cubed

Preheat oven to 450.

In a medium pot, heat oil and garlic over medium and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add beans and 3/4 cup water and bring to a simmer until beans are very tender, about 5 minutes. Mash slightly and season with salt.

Meanwhile, in a blender, puree diced tomatoes with cilantro.

Lay 4 tortillas in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with one-third of the tomatoes, half the bean mixture and one-third of the cheese. Repeat, using 3 tortillas. Top with remaining 3 tortillas, remaining tomatoes and cheese.

Cover with foil and bake covered, until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Remove foil, reduce oven to 350 and bake until heated through and cheese is browned, 20 minutes.

Serve with cubed avocado and garnish with sour cream if desired.

If you’re making ahead, just build the casserole, cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.

This Girl’s Extras: To make this casserole a bit lighter, I used whole wheat tortillas rather than corn (although because the tortillas were larger I didn’t need as many as the recipe called for), a reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend and fat-free sour cream. I also added the extra avocado topping for some extra fiber.

Cheesy Turkey Tostadas

27 01 2013

This meal is a great way to get your Mexican fix without busting your belly! It comes together quick too, making it a great weeknight recipe!

Cheesy Turkey Tostadas

Cheesy Turkey Tostadas

The following makes 4 servings (compliments of the South Beach cookbook):

  • 4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
  • 5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 pound thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets, cut into very thin strips (or 1 pound lean ground turkey, which I used instead)
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Place the tortillas on the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the tortillas on 1 side with 1 tsp of the olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake the tortillas for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Leave the tortillas on the baking sheet.

While the tortillas are baking, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 4 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken (or turkey) and onion and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the meat is almost cooked through, 5 minutes or so.

Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes.

Top the tortillas evenly with the chicken or turkey mixture, then sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Broil 6 inches from the heat, watching carefully to prevent the tortillas from burning, just until the cheese melts. Top evenly with the avocado and garnish with cilantro.