Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Nobody really needs an excuse to drink margaritas and eat enchiladas.  But if you did, Cinco de Mayo would be it.    The fifth of May is a holiday that celebrates Mexico’s defeat of French colonists who were trying to expand into Mexico.  It has its importance in Mexico, yes, but is widely celebrated here in the U.S. where drinking margaritas and eating Tex-Mex foods is the center of most activities.

Other popular Mexican foods include guacamole, tacos, tortillas,  burittos, and churros.  I enjoy eating any or all of them, but recipes for those can be found in abundance at many food-related sites, and often include (non)healthy doses of fat and calories.   I wanted to prepare an entree that would be healthy, colorful and speak Mexican, while keeping the fat in check.   So stuffed peppers it is, with a nod to Cinco de Mayo.   They are  muy Mexican and delicioso!!

IMG_7143

MEXICAN STUFFED PEPPERS

Yield:   Makes 4 servings:

Ingredients:IMG_7136

  • 4  (medium sized) bell peppers in assorted colors
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 package Spanish Rice mix, such as Rice-a-Roni
  • 2 cups Colby-Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa, choose your level of “heat”
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  •  2 tablespoon minced cilantro, or parsley

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.  Clean and prepare the peppers.  Slice in half vertically, removing all ribs and seeds.  Set aside.  Note:  You may wish to leave the peppers whole for stuffing.  I like to cut mine in half so I get more stuffing–for me, it’s all about the stuffing and not so much the pepper.

Peppers halved and prepared for  stuffing.

Peppers halved and prepared for stuffing.

2.  Cook the beef:  In a large skillet heated to medium-high, crumble the beef and cook until no longer pink.  Near the end of its cooking time add the onions and sauté a bit longer till they soften.  Drain any drippings.

Browning the beef and onions.

Browning the beef and onions.

3.  Stir in the package of rice mix and its seasonings, 1  1/2 cup cheese, salsa and hot sauce.  (I added about 1/2 cup water, to be sure there was enough liquid to cook the rice.)

4.  Fill the pepper halves so the filling is slightly mounded at the top.  Place in a baking dish close together so they support each other.  Pour the 1/2 cup water around them.

IMG_7139

Cover with foil and bake until they are tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  If you like to use cooking bags, place the peppers in a bag and bake for about the same length of time.

IMG_7141

5.  When the peppers are tender, remove any covering, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and return to oven to melt cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

 

SOURCE:  majorly adapted from a recipe from Taste of Home

 

Advertisements

A Meal for Cinco de Mayo

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and black bean and corn salad.

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

With this Sunday coming up being the 5th of May, that means its Cinco de Mayo.  This Mexican holiday commemorates the victory of Mexican military over the French at the battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862.  This relatively little known holiday is a big day in Mexico and Mexican and Chicano communities.  Over the past few years, since Mexican foods have become so popular here in the U.S., this little holiday has also gained importance and now provides a good reason/excuse for putting together a Mexican meal and perhaps having a party.  Pinatas anyone?

The Mexican Chicken recipe produces an extremely tasty dish that is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.  It can be served over rice, or wrapped in a tortilla, or simply eaten as is.

Mexican Chicken

Mexican Chicken

Along with it I served yellow rice, for those who can eat carbs, and a corn and black bean  salad.   The recipe for the salad is included here also.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and corn and black bean salad.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

I love this salad as it makes a great side dish, or appetizer served with chips.  It can also be used as a topping on taco salads or served with grilled meats.  Nutritionally, it is very low in saturated fat, and loaded with antioxidants.  The carbohydrates that the beans and corn provide are complex carbs for the most part, and do not have an immediate impact on blood sugar.  Use fresh sweet corn when it is in season, otherwise, frozen, thawed corn,  or canned corn will work just fine also.

MEXICAN CHICKEN

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

Servings:   about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Grease or spray an 8-inch  baking dish.

2.  Sprinkle chicken on all sides with the taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Grill or pan sauté  until just cooked.  Remove from the pan or grill and cut into smaller bite-size pieces.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

3.  Place chicken in the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with salt if desired, and add enchilada sauce.  Toss to coat with the sauce.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Spread in a baking dish.

Spread in a baking dish.

Top with grated cheese.

Top with grated cheese.

4.  Bake at 350* for 10 – 20 minutes until heated through and bubbly.  Scatter green onions over the top.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Serve over rice or wrapped in a tortilla if desired.  The yellow rice I served was Carolina brand packaged mix that only required water added before cooking.

Nutritional index:  calories, 266,  carb. 4 g.  fat, 12 g.

SOURCE:   genaw.com/low carb

IMG_3928

SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN SALAD

SERVINGS:   about 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 15,5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

    Corn and black bean salad with avocados.

    Southwestern black bean salad with avocados.

  • 9 oz, cooked corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped,  or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped ( or more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced.  (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Squeeze fresh lime juice into the mixture (to taste) and olive oil.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.   Add avocado before serving.

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

Nutritional profile:  Wt. Watcher Points+;  2 pt.,  calories: 79.5,   fat:  3.5 g.,  Carb:  12 g. Sodium:  127mg.(with no added salt)

SOURCE:    skinnytaste.com

Mexican Fiesta Chicken

Tomorrow  being Cinco de Mayo I thought you might enjoy this colorful and tasty recipe.  In case you were wondering  what to have for dinner  there’s still plenty of time to prepare a festive meal in honor of this Mexican holiday, with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. 

  • 8 chicken drumsticks or 4 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1   12oz. jar chunky red salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup tortilla corn chips
  1. Rinse the chicken pieces. and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a 10-inch skillet cook the chicken in hot cooking oil, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until chicken is light brown, turning occasionally so chicken browns evenly.  Drain off the fat.
  3. Pour the salsa over the chicken in the skillet.  Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork.
  4. Transfer the chicken and salsa sauce to a serving platter.  Sprinkle with the cheese.  Serve with the tortilla chips tucked in among the chicken pieces for a nice presentation.

I like to serve this dish with Spanish Rice, guacamole, and additional tortilla chips on the side.

Source:  This clipping has been mounted in my recipe notebook for many years.  I do not remember where it came from.