Tag Archive | "Mexican Dishes"

Simple Side Dishes:Mexican Rice

Tags: , Mexican Rice, Rice, Simple Side Dishes

Simple Side Dishes:Mexican Rice

Posted on 14 September 2012 by noelskitchen

Mexican and spicy foods are as some of you know by reading about my favorite salsa recipe are a true favorite of mine. Over the years, I’ve learned and taught myself to make some wonderful simple Mexican dishes my family has grown to love like Homemade Flour Tortillas, Enchiladas, a variety of salsas and today’s recipe: Mexican Rice. It’s part of this week’s Simple Suppers Menu. It’s versatile, easy and simple. It’s great as a simple side dish but can be included as part of a main meatless dish like smothered burritos (just leave out the chicken, beef or pork). Look how simple it is to make:

Mexican Rice


  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 4 cups chicken, vegetable or beef broth


  1. In large sauté pan or skillet with lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice turns a lightly brown color.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Slowly add tomato sauce and salsa. Be careful of splatters. Stir well.
  3. Add broth and stir. Bring to a low bubbling boil. (Again be careful of splatters).
  4. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until almost all liquid is absorbed. Remove lid and fluff with a fork. All liquid should be absorbed. If not, continue to cook on low for about five minutes to remove any extra liquid.

What’s a favorite Mexican dish that your family makes? I’d love to hear about it!

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Tags: , , ,

Crock Pot Mexican Lasagna and Weekly Meal Plan June 17-23, 2012

Posted on 18 June 2012 by noelskitchen

Happy Monday Everyone! Did you enjoy your Father’s Day weekend? We’ve been enjoying some beautiful weekends here in the sierra foothills since summer vacation started. The kids ended the week camping with papa bear, a great bonding experience for them, which was awesome. Our son, Dante came back and spent Saturday at one of his best friend’s house for his birthday.

Saturday, was an extremely warm day. Not a day where anyone felt like being in the kitchen. Thank goodness for my crock pot. I originally planned a traditional Lasagna for dinner, but decided on making it in the crock pot. I had some Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey that I picked up using my eCoupons from Raley’s and decided on making a Crock Pot Mexican Lasagna. On a hot day, it was easy, went together in a snap and the family love it. The leftovers went into the freezer for a future meal.

Crock Pot Mexican Lasagna


  • 1 pound Jennie-O taco seasoned lean ground turkey
  • 1 18 ounce can of green enchilada sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans-pinto or kidney are good too
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin-optional
  • 1 30-count package corn tortillas (you won’t use all of these)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese-more if you like it cheesy
  1. Brown the ground turkey. Reduce the heat, add the sauce, tomatoes, beans, water and spices and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Layer in the crock pot 1/4 of the sauce, turkey mixture, cheese, and corn tortillas making sure to overlap the tortillas just a little.
  3. Repeat 3 times*. End with a cheese layer.

** Now you may only get 3 layers in your crock pot in that case just make your layers thicker as long as the layers are pretty evenly distributed all will be good. Refrigerate over night or plug in and cook on low 8 hours or high 6 hours. Crock pot sizes vary so you may need to adjust the amount of ingredients.

My weekly meal plan and shopping list is completed and posted on our fridge:

Suppers Your Family Will Love

Need ideas for your weekly meal plan? It’s time for another weekly menu.  I enjoy menu planning because of  the simplicity it provides for my life. It enables me to decrease my grocery shopping excursions to twice a month and it allows me to  have more free time to focus on my family and home. For ideas in the weekly meal plan, we’ll be focusing on a variety of family meals. You’ll find the recipes on the weekly meal plan also available on my Recipe Index page with a grocery list included.

Dinner (recipes will post throughout the week)

Sunday: Father’s Day Feasting – Ultimate Burgers on Homemade Hamburger Buns, Dante’s Loaded Potato Salad, Watermelon

Monday: Rice and Bean Bowls

Tuesday: Kung Pao Chicken, Rice, Cucumber-Tomato Salad

Wednesday: Quick Quesadillas, Guacamole Salad

Thursday: Roasted Chicken and Pesto Panini, Cherry Tomatoes

Friday: Pizza Night! Homemade Pizza Dough with Homemade Pizza Sauce
*Top with whatever is left in fridge, my new favorite is fresh chopped spinach, feta, sliced tomatoes, peperocinis and artichokes.

Saturday: Roasted Vegetable Frittata, Fresh Fruit

Free Templates

Weekly Meal Plan and Shopping List

What’s cooking at your house this week?

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Dinner In 15 Minutes:Tex-Mex Skillet

Tags: 15 Minute Main Dishes, ,

Dinner In 15 Minutes:Tex-Mex Skillet

Posted on 17 May 2012 by noelskitchen

When I was working 10 to 12 hour days, I was usually exhausted by the time I walked in the door. Between work, school activities, and household duties, I was glad when I was out of the kitchen and had dinner on the table in 15 minutes. It meant more time with my family. My work schedule has changed quite a bit since then.

I have a bit more flexibility when it comes to making dinner now. If I choose to make a 30 minute meal on a weeknight,  I can without having the fear that I won’t get to spend time with my family and I don’t have to worry the kids won’t be in bed on time. For the nights we have the family activities like our 4-H meetings, I am able to throw a 15-minute meal together and we are to our meetings on time without having to rush through dinner.

This simple meal is one of those quick 15-minute meals that you can make on any weeknight or when you know you have any weeknight activity or meeting. And it’s a great recipe to use leftover rice from a previous meal.

Tex-Mex Skillet

Serves: 4


  • 1 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 12-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 hot red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup cooked rice


  1. In a medium skillet, cook the sausage till brown. Drain off fat. Stir in tomato sauce, corn, red pepper, water, chili powder and onion powder. Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in cooked rice into the skillet mixture. Remove from heat. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.

Note: The red hot pepper adds just a bit of heat to this dish without the seeds but you can substitute a sweet pepper for the red hot pepper if you chose. This recipe can be adjusted to make 6 to 8 servings or another weeknight meal.

Comments (1)

Tags: Homemade Tortillas, How To Make Tortillas,

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Posted on 10 May 2012 by noelskitchen

I’ve been wanting to make my own flour tortillas for quite some time but I was afraid they wouldn’t quite turn out. I finally decided to dive right in and give it a try and I was really surprised at how easy they are to make. They may be a little time consuming to make on a weeknight, so I suggest blocking out at least 30 minutes on a weekend just to roll out and cook them. But, it’s well worth it! (I’m going to research and find a tortilla press soon.)

I’ve found a few different recipes that use unbleached flour, grain mill and wheat flour but all I had on hand was all-purpose flour, so the next time I make them, I may just try using one of those ingredients.

The ingredients needed for this are so simple. In fact, you probably already have everything you need: flour, salt, baking powder, canola  or vegetable oil, and water.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Makes: 12 tortillas


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • taco seasoning for tortillas
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add in the vegetable oil and mix with your Kitchen Aid using the dough hook or I simply used my fingers until all the oil is incorporated.
  2. Add 1 cup  to 1/2 cups of hot water and mix until a ball is formed and dough is smooth.  If dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes to an hour. (You can also refrigerated it overnight).
  4. Divide the dough into 12 balls and roll out one at a time on a floured surface. Brush off excess flour.
  5.  Cook on a hot, ungreased griddle over medium-high heat. Turn the tortilla when brown blisters form on the first side.
  6. Stack the totillas and serve warm.

Store any uneaten tortillas tightly sealed in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

Tip:  To reheat, place tortillas in aluminum foil and put a damp paper towel inside.  Heat in the oven for about 5 minutes and tortillas will come out soft and warm.  Perfect for rolling up burritos or fajitas!

Comments (2)

Tags: Beans, Burritos, , , Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals,

Smothered Burritos

Posted on 08 May 2012 by noelskitchen

Here’s one of my favorite quick Mexican meals. This recipe is great because it keeps things easy, inexpensive, plus it freezes very well. So of course you could make them as a make ahead meal and freeze for a future meal. These burritos have refried beans, Spanish rice and leftover chicken from our Chicken Lime Tacos the other night, then then the burritos are blanketed with a lightly spiced tomato sauce.

You can change up this recipe any way you want depending on your tastes or what you have on hand. Add some grilled vegetables, leftover chili and rice, shredded beef or pinto beans.

 Smothered Burritos



  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup Restaurant Style Blender Salsa, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup tomato sauce



  • Leftover Refried Beans
  • Leftover Spanish Rice
  • Leftover Chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • sour cream (optional)


To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the water, salsa, tomato paste, cornmeal, chili powder and garlic powder. Mix until smooth Stir in the tomato sauce. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

To make the burritos: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the sour cream among the tortillas, spreading it down the center of each. Top with refried beans, then Spanish rice and lastly the chicken along with 3/4 cup of the cheese. Fold the sides of each tortilla over the filling and face seam side down in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Other ways to change this recipe:

  • use refried black beans
  • use ground beef or no meat at all
  • add cooked onions and peppers for a more “fajita style” burrito
  • use green salsa

Comments (1)

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