Archive of ‘Mexican / Southwestern’ category

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl

I recently made a Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl… it was amazing, so I want to share the recipe with you!  I’m sure you’ll love this Weight Watchers meal, with seasoned chicken, bell peppers, onion, avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro and fresh lime juice on a bed of brown rice.
Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You'll love this Weight Watchers meal, with seasoned chicken, bell peppers, onion, avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro and fresh lime juice on a bed of brown rice.

My favorite type of food is Mexican food, so you can imagine how excited I was to try this dish from Weight Watchers (with a few minor tweaks of my own!).  The best part? Knowing that an absolutely healthy meal can also be loaded with wonderful flavor, as this chicken fajita rice bowl is. It’s an entire meal in one bowl! We truly LOVED this dinner.

Seasoned chicken breast, grilled onions and bell peppers, avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro and a  squeeze of fresh lime juice on a bed of brown rice really puts this one over the top! Yum! The salad has a few steps in the process, but can be easily shortened by using leftover chicken breast and store bought salsa (in place of the homemade pico de gallo), if needed. Here’s how to make this delicious meal:

Lightly spray a skillet with non-stick spray.  Saute the bell pepper and onion on medium-high heat; cook for 4-5 minutes, or until tender.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Prepare brown rice according to package directions and set aside.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mix spices for chicken in a small bowl (chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper). Sprinkle evenly over chicken slices, and toss to coat.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in skillet on medium heat. When oil is very hot, add chicken.  Cook chicken 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until done and nicely browned. Transfer chicken to a plate. Set aside.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Prepare pico de gallo (if making homemade or NOT using salsa). I made some very easily by chopping tomatoes, brown onion, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Looking to save a little time? Simply use store-bought chunky salsa.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

So everything should be ready to assemble the salad… grilled peppers and onions, pan-seared chicken, brown rice, pico de gallo (or chunky salsa), avocado, cilantro, diced green chiles, and lime!

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Assemble bowls like this:  1) Divide brown rice between two bowls. 2) Top each with half the bell pepper and onions, and 1/4 of the avocado chunks. 3) Top each bowl with half the chicken and 1 teaspoon chopped green chiles. 4) Garnish each bowl with pico de gallo (or salsa), a couple lime wedges, and a couple sprigs fresh cilantro.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it!  Serve immediately and enjoy this amazing tasting dinner entree!

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It’s even better knowing that this is a fairly low calorie one bowl meal, with chicken, rice and veggies! If you follow a Weight Watchers plan, this Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl (when prepared as written) has a Smart Point total of 7! You can’t beat that, especially when you see and taste how fantastic this dish really is!

Hope you enjoy it… we sure did.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  https://cmx.weightwatchers.com/nui/explore/details2/WWRECIPE:58c0753485fb70cc179c5fb6

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, halved horizontally, then cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
Spices For Chicken:
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
For Salad:
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced brown onion
  • ¼ cup EACH uncooked red and green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ Hass avocado, diced
  • 2 teaspoons diced green chiles
  • ½ medium fresh lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • ½ cup pico de gallo OR fresh salsa
  • 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
Directions
  1. Lightly spray a skillet with non-stick spray. Saute the bell pepper and onion on medium-high heat; cook for 4-5 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Mix spices for chicken in a small bowl (chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper). Sprinkle evenly over chicken slices, and toss to coat. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in skillet on medium heat. When oil is very hot, add chicken. Cook chicken 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until done and nicely browned. Transfer chicken to a plate. Set aside.
  3. Prepare pico de gallo (if making homemade or NOT using salsa). I made some very easily by chopping tomatoes, brown onion, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Looking to save a little time? Simply use store-bought chunky salsa.
  4. Assemble bowls like this: 1) Divide brown rice between two bowls. 2) Top each with half the bell pepper and onions, and ½ of the avocado chunks. 3) Top each bowl with half the chicken and 1 teaspoon chopped green chiles. 4) Garnish each bowl with pico de gallo (or salsa), a couple lime wedges, and a couple sprigs fresh cilantro.
Notes
If you follow a Weight Watchers plan, this Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl (when prepared as written) has a Smart Point total of 7!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl / The Grateful Girl Cooks! You'll love this Weight Watchers meal, with seasoned chicken, bell peppers, onion, avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro and fresh lime juice on a bed of brown rice.

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Albondigas Soup

I made Albondigas Soup for dinner a couple of days ago… did you know that “Albondigas” simply means “little meatballs”? That’s right! This is a yummy “little meatball soup”.  It’s very simple to make… and it sure tastes good!Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I was given this recipe at my bridal shower (almost 40 years ago) by the Mom of one of my bridesmaids.  I have made this soup numerous times over the years, and we still enjoy it to this day. Simple and economical to make, the soup has a mild Southwestern flavor, due in small part to chili powder and other spices, and the meatballs, filled with ground beef and rice really help fill you up, too! The soup is perfect served as an pre-dinner soup (in small portions), or as a main course. We had it for our meal as the main course, with a thick slice of french bread. YUM.

The soup is entirely cooked in one pan. Even the meatballs are added uncooked to the hot broth and they cook in the pan. No pre-browning of the meatballs is necessary, so it really doesn’t take much work at all to serve up a hot, steaming pot of albondigas soup! Here’s how to make it:  Saute chopped onions in large soup pot in hot oil until onions are limp, but not yet browned.

Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add the rest of soup ingredients to the pan (chili powder, garlic powder, bisque of tomato soup, condensed beef consomme, water, sliced celery and carrots. Simmer, uncovered, on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While soup is simmering, make the meatballs.

Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While soup is simmering, make the meatballs by combining ground beef, cooked rice, cornstarch, garlic powder, oregano, egg, salt, pepper, and dried parsley in a large bowl. Mix well to fully combine ingredients. Form the meat mixture into small meatballs about the size of a walnut shell (about 1½ inches wide – I was able to make 31 little meatballs). I placed them on parchment paper as I formed them.

Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Carefully place the meatballs (uncooked) into the simmering soup broth.  They will sink to the bottom of the pot.  It is easiest to gently put them into pot with your fingers, not a spoon as shown. I took this photo so you could see that the meatballs go into the pot “uncooked”. The meatballs begin to cook immediately after putting them in, as you can see by the next photo, taken about 30 seconds after adding them.

Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Simmer the soup on low for 30 minutes after adding the meatballs. When done, the fully cooked meatballs will have floated to the top of the soup.

Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

All that’s left to do is to ladle the hot soup into individual bowls. Serve soup hot with a slice of toasted french bread, and a nice mixed green salad on the side… and enjoy!

Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you enjoy this simple to prepare, yet very tasty soup! Have a wonderful day!

Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: Mrs. Phyllis Dean

Albondigas Soup
 
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Delicious Albondigas ("little meatball") Soup is easy and inexpensive Southwestern flavored soup to prepare, and can be served as a first course or an entree!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For the broth:
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • dash of garlic powder or garlic salt
  • 1 can Campbells Bisque of Tomato Soup
  • 3 cans Campbells Condensed Beef Consomme soup
  • 3 cans water
  • 1½ cups sliced carrots
  • 1½ cups sliced celery
For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup COOKED rice
  • 1 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Dash garlic powder or garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup parsley flakes
Directions
  1. Heat oil in large soup pot. Saute onion until limp, but not browned. Add remainder of soup ingredients (chili powder, garlic powder, salt, tomato soup, beef consomme, water, sliced carrots and celery). Simmer uncovered on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. While soup simmers, make the meatballs.
  2. Combine all ingredients for meatballs in medium bowl (ground beef, cooked rice, cornstarch, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper, egg and parsley). Stir well, to fully combine. Form little meatballs with your hands (meatballs should be only about 1½ inches wide). Set formed meatballs on wax paper or parchment paper while you continue to make meatballs.
  3. When soup is done simmering (after 20 minutes), carefully add the uncooked meatballs to the hot broth. They will sink to bottom of pan, but will begin to cook immediately. Cook, uncovered, on a low simmer for 30 minutes. When done, the meatballs will be cooked through and will float to the surface of the soup. Ladle up the hot soup into individual bowls... serve and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Albondigas Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad

Do you like fajitas? Well, I sure do, so I was excited to try a new recipe for Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad! Wow… it tasted fantastic, and I can’t wait to share it with you today.Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This main dish salad is filled with marinated grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, black beans, grilled bell peppers and onion, and is topped with tortilla strips, cilantro, avocado and sour cream, and drizzled with an amazing chili and lime salad dressing (part of it serves as the marinade!). If you like Southwestern food, chances are you will LOVE this filling salad.  We sure did!  It is one of my new favorite salads… will DEFINITELY make this again and again.

The chicken will need to marinate for a couple hours (at least), so plan ahead (the marinating time is not included in the prep time on printable recipe). I like to get things ready ahead of time, so early in the afternoon I marinated the chicken, then grilled the chicken and at the same time, (in a separate skillet) I grilled the onion and peppers.  When it was dinner time, all I had to do was slice the pre-cooked chicken, arrange the salad ingredients in 2 serving bowls, drizzle with the dressing and serve! EASY!

The day I made this salad it was pouring rain, so I cooked the chicken on my indoor George Foreman grill. You can cook the marinated chicken on the BBQ, an indoor grill, or the EASY way… in a skillet on your stovetop! The recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs, but boneless chicken breasts are a great substitution, too!

Here’s how to make this delicious salad:  In a small bowl, whisk the ingredients for the marinade together until fully blended.  Pour HALF (approx. 1/4 cup) of the marinade into a shallow dish. Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate/marinate chicken for at least 2 hours (turning occasionally to coat), for best taste results!   When you cook the marinated chicken, discard and do NOT use the marinade that has been in contact with the chicken, to avoid cross contamination!

Cover and set the remaining marinade (approx. 1/4 cup) aside until ready to serve (this is the salad dressing). There is no need to refrigerate.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After chicken has been marinated, grill the chicken until done and crispy on a BBQ or indoor grill. If using a skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat until hot before adding the pieces of chicken.  When cooked fully, remove chicken. Let rest for a few minutes, then cut into thin slices.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add sliced red and yellow bell peppers and onions. Cook until tender (4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
To assemble the salad, fill serving dish with torn romaine leaves. Evenly distribute black beans, peppers and onions over lettuce. Add sliced avocado and crisp tortilla strips (I made my own tortilla strips – to see how to make them, check notes section of printable recipe).  Sprinkle salad with extra cilantro leaves.  Place a dollop of sour cream on top, and add a lime wedge (for garnish).  Drizzle reserved marinade over the top.  Serve… and ENJOY this amazing, flavor-filled chicken fajita salad! The recipe as written (below) makes two very generous sized main course salads.

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I’m not kidding… this really is one delicious dinner!  I hope you will give it a try. My husband loved it, too.  One of his first comments after tasting it and saying “wow”, was “this has to be one of the best looking salads I’ve ever eaten”. Yes, it LOOKS good, but just wait until you TASTE it! Grab a fork and have a taste of that juicy chicken!  YUM!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a wonderful day! Thanks for stopping by this website… I hope you find some delicious recipes to fix for those you love and cherish! There are a lot of wonderful recipes available in my Categorized Recipe Index at the top of this page! Hope you’ll check it out!

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  https://cafedelites.com/2015/08/09/grilled-chilli-lime-chicken-fajita-salad/

Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad
 
Prep time
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Delicious main dish salad featuring grilled marinated chicken, bell peppers, onions, black beans, avocado and Romaine lettuce, and served with a delicious chili & lime dressing!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Main Course Salad
Cuisine: Southwestern
Serves: 2 Main Course Servings
Ingredients
For Marinade:
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup (+ 1 Tablespoon more) fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For Salad:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (can substitute chicken breasts)
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced thin (seeds removed)
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced thin (seeds removed)
  • ½ medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups Romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced (divided)
  • ½ cup black beans (rinsed, drained)
For Garnish (Optional):
  • Sour cream and extra cilantro leaves
  • Crisp tortilla strips (see Notes section for "how to make" these).
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk ingredients for marinade together until fully blended. Pour HALF (approx. ¼ cup) of the marinade into a shallow dish. Add chicken and let marinate in fridge for at least 2 hours, turning occasionally to coat. Cover remaining marinade and set aside until ready to serve (this is the salad dressing-you do not need to refrigerate).
  2. Heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat in a skillet. Once oil is hot, add marinated chicken pieces; cook until done and crispy on outside (can also use indoor grill or outside BBQ). When fully cooked, remove chicken. Let rest for a few minutes, then cut into thin slices. Set aside. Discard and do NOT use the marinade that has been in contact with the chicken, to avoid cross contamination.
  3. In a separate skillet, heat a teaspoon of oil on medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and bell peppers. Cook until tender (4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.
To Assemble Salad: Fill serving dish with torn romaine leaves. Evenly distribute black beans, peppers and onions over lettuce. Add sliced avocado and crisp tortilla strips. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Place a dollop of sour cream on top and add a lime wedge (for garnish). Drizzle reserved marinade over salad. Serve... and ENJOY!
Notes
Prep Time does not include marinating time for chicken.

TO MAKE TORTILLA STRIPS: Cut 2 corn tortillas in half, then cut into thin strips. Coat strips with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil, then bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes on each side (flipping midway through baking), until light brown and crispy.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Grilled Chili & Lime Chicken Fajita Salad / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup

I recently tried a new soup recipe… Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup… and it was FANTASTIC!  The best part was that the soup cooks in a crockpot, for super easy preparation! Throw ingredients into crockpot in the morning… enjoy this yummy soup at night!Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The flavors are amazing. If you enjoy Southwestern flavors, and want to make a big batch of delicious soup, then you might need to check this one out. I found the recipe on Pinterest recently and decided to try it out. This soup DID NOT disappoint! It was as easy as adding ingredients to crockpot, shredding chicken and adding it back in to crockpot… and then serving it up with some flavorful garnishes to finish it off! Super duper EASY!

Here’s how easy it is to make:  Chicken, green enchilada sauce, white and black beans, green chiles, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, cilantro and spices are placed in crockpot. This is cooked on low for 5-7 hours OR on High for 3-5 hours.

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
After the time you cooked it for is up, the chicken is removed from crockpot (and in my case, with a few straggler beans!). The chicken is then shredded with two forks (EASY).

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
A block of cream cheese is cut into chunks and added to the soup. Heat is turned to high and soup is cooked for another 30 minutes. The cream cheese should be melted or easily stirred into the soup at the end of the 30 minutes.

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The shredded chicken is added back into the soup, and is heated another 10 minutes or so.  When completely heated through, ladle soup into serving bowls.  For BEST flavor, garnish each bowl with some chopped cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and a couple of lime wedges (lime wedges add even more flavor when squeezed over soup before eating!)

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

There you have it! The recipe is perfect to make on a busy day! Prepare soup (i.e. dump all the stuff into crockpot) in the morning, and let it cook all day. Before serving, all you will need to do is shred chicken, and add cream cheese & heat! It really is a super easy recipe… and it tastes FANTASTIC! Even the leftovers were perfect the next day!

Sure hope you will consider making this delicious, tasty soup! We absolutely LOVED it!  Have a great day.

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/crockpot-green-chicken-chile-enchilada-soup-video/

Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup
 
Prep time
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This Southwestern flavored soup will hit the spot! Throw the ingredients in your crockpot, and let it do the work for you! You're going to love this soup!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 can (10 ounces) green enchilada sauce
  • 1 can white beans (I used cannelini), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs (I used a combo 2 breasts/3 small thighs)
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) diced fire-roasted green chiles (including liquid)
  • 1 can (10.5 ounce) diced tomatoes (including liquid)
  • 4 teaspoons ground chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or stock)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened to room temp)
For garnish:
  • Sour cream, fresh lime wedges, additional chopped cilantro
Directions
  1. Into a large crock pot add green enchilada sauce, white and black beans, raw chicken, green chiles, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro, and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  2. Put lid on crockpot. Cook on LOW for 5-7 hours OR cook on HIGH for 3-5 hours.
  3. When cooking time is finished, remove chicken pieces to a large bowl. Shred chicken using two forks. Set aside.
  4. Cut cream cheese into small chunks and add chunks into crockpot. Stir well. Put cover on crockpot. Cook on HIGH for 30 minutes. When time is up, stir or whisk the cream cheese. It should melt or easily blend into the soup at this point.
  5. Stir in the shredded chicken, and heat soup for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Ladle hot soup into serving bowls. Garnish each bowl with additional chopped cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, and a couple lime wedges. Lime wedges should be squeezed over soup before eating!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Green Chile Chicken Crockpot Enchilada Soup / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Pork Chops Olé

If you enjoy pork chops, easy to prepare dinners, and Southwestern flavors, then this recipe for Pork Chops Olé might be just the recipe you’re looking for!Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!  This flavorful Southwestern pork chops and Spansh rice entree bakes together in one dish!
I was on the phone with my sister a couple days ago, and I told her I had some pork chops laid out for dinner, but hadn’t decided on HOW to cook them yet. She told me about a recipe she had made previously, and it sounded promising. I got off the phone, tweaked the recipe just a tiny bit, and a couple hours later we were eating it for dinner… and it was GOOD!

Here’s how I made it (NOTE:  the recipe, as written serves 6 – I made everything exactly the same as written in the recipe, but only used 3 pork chops for my hubby and I):

Season the chops with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder.

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat oil on medium high until hot. Carefully place pork chops into hot oil. Do not move them once they hit the pan.

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
After 2-3 minutes (when they have a good “sear” on the bottom), flip them over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Brown on all sides, as well (I stand them up using tongs, to get nice brown color on the sides).

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add uncooked rice, can of diced tomatoes (including juice), water, diced green peppers, and a packet of taco seasoning to the dish. Stir to combine. Place seared pork chops on top of the rice/tomato mixture

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Garnish the top of each piece of pork with thin strips of green pepper.

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 90 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. At the end of 90 minutes (when your kitchen smells amazing!), carefully remove the dish from oven. Remove foil (and discard), then top each piece of pork with grated Cheddar cheese. Put the dish back into the oven (uncovered) for a couple more minutes, until cheese has melted.

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When cheese has fully melted, remove dish from oven. Use a spatula and place a serving of pork (and the Spanish rice it is sitting on) onto individual serving plates. Serve hot… and enjoy! The pork chop and the rice will have a wonderful Southwestern flavor. I served it with some sautéed yellow and green zucchini from our garden!

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will give this recipe a try! Once you brown the pork chops, the rest of the meal is cooked in one dish, all together!  The rice cooks under the pork chops and comes out light, fluffy, and full of flavor!  Can’t beat that!  Have a fantastic day, friends.

Pork Chops Olé / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My sister, Joni.

Pork Chops Olé
 
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Southwestern flavors shine in this baked pork chop and rice "all-in-one-dish" meal!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 pork chops, about 1½" thick (I used boneless, but bone-in would work, too!)
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder & cumin (to season chops)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1¾ cups water
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (use entire can, plus juice)
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • ⅓ cup chopped green peppers (goes in with rice)
  • 3-4 thin slices green pepper per pork chop (as garnish for pork chops)
  • 1 small handful grated cheddar cheese for each pork chop
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly season pork chops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet. Once oil is hot, lightly brown pork chops on all sides (2-3 minutes per side).
  3. Spray a 13x9 inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Add the UNCOOKED rice, water, diced tomatoes (including juice), chopped green peppers, and envelope of taco seasoning.Stir to combine.
  4. Place the browned pork chops on top of the rice/sauce mixture. Garnish each pork chop with several thin slices of green pepper.
  5. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1½ hours. When done, remove dish from oven. Remove foil. Cover each pork chop with a handful of grated cheddar cheese. Place dish back into oven, (uncovered). Let cook for a couple minutes, until cheese has completely melted.
  6. Remove dish from oven, and serve. I found it easiest to use a spatula and remove rice and pork chops at the same time. Enjoy!
Notes
Prep time is very fast... then it bakes for 90 minutes, so this is very simple to prepare. Find a quiet spot to put your feet up... and enjoy the wonderful aromas coming out of your kitchen as it bakes!

 

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Santa Fe Chicken

Anyone out there love a good Southwestern kick to their chicken? I sure do, which is why this Santa Fe Chicken tasted fantastic! This easy recipe features baked seasoned chicken breasts, a crushed tortilla chip coating, covered in salsa and Monterey Pepper Jack cheese! Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe is very simple to prepare. I used two large chicken breasts and cut them horizontally in half, which gave me 4 thin chicken breasts, for 4 servings! I loved the flavor of the finished chicken, and I hope you will, too! Here’s how you prepare this simple recipe:

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Finely crush tortilla chips in your food processor (or crush in a sealable plastic storage bag, using a rolling pin or mallet to crumble). This will be the coating for the chicken, so you want it to be in small pieces.  Place crumbs on a dinner plate. Set aside.

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and a light sprinkling of cumin and garlic powder. If using whole chicken breasts, be sure to pound out the chicken with a mallet until it is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick, If using large breasts as I did, slice them horizontally in half (then no need to pound them).

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Coat each piece of chicken on both sides with mayonnaise (I know… weird, right? Yet the mayo helps keep the chicken very moist as it bakes! I was using my homemade mayonnaise, which is why it has a slight yellow hue).

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Dredge each piece of chicken in the tortilla chip crumbs on BOTH sides. Use your fingers to help pack down the crumbs, if necessary.

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray, then place the coated chicken breasts in the pan.

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake the chicken, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees). I baked mine for 25 minutes. When done, remove pan from oven. Top each piece of chicken with salsa. I used the homemade salsa I canned last summer!

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle the grated Monterey Pepper Jack cheese on top of the salsa. Place the chicken back into the oven and continue cooking for 5 more minutes (until the cheese is melted).

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This is how it looked, right out of the oven. (I think it looks like a Tex-Mex version of Chicken Parmigiana)!

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To serve, garnish each piece of chicken with a couple slices fresh avocado, and some chopped cilantro.  Garnishing the dish is optional, but it adds additional flavor AND beautiful color!

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it! See how easy it is to whip up this delicious dinner for 4? I really believe you will love the Tex-Mex flavor (and the amazing tortilla chip crust) on these baked chicken breasts! Sure hope you will give them a try… I KNOW I will be making these again!

Have a wonderful day, and may you KNOW today just how much you are loved by the One who created you! May God bless you in all you do today…

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/santa-fe-baked-chicken/

Santa Fe Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Baked chicken breasts with a Southwestern flavor featuring a crushed tortilla chip crust, Salsa, and Monterey Pepper Jack cheese!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 2 large breasts, cut in half horizontally!)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cumin (to sprinkle on chicken breasts)
  • Garlic powder (to sprinkle on chicken breasts)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (can substitute olive oil, if necessary)
  • 1 + ½ cups tortilla chip crumbs (chips processed in food processor or pounded in plastic sealable bag)
  • 1+ ⅓ cups salsa
  • 1 + ⅓ cups grated Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese (may substitute sharp cheddar)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray (or use parchment paper on bottom of pan).
  2. Finely crush the tortilla chips by processing them in a food processor (or in a large plastic sealable bag using a meat mallet or rolling pin) until they are small crumbs. Place crumbs on a dinner plate. Set aside.
  3. If using 4 chicken breasts, pound them down to about ¼-1/2 inch thickness by placing them between sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet to pound them out. If using 2 large breasts, just cut them in half horizontally (no need to pound them down thinner). Lightly season each piece of chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.
  4. Spread mayonnaise onto both sides of each piece of chicken (one at a time), then dredge mayonnaise coated chicken in the tortilla chip crumbs, turning to coat both sides. Use your fingers to press on additional crumbs, if necessary.
  5. Bake chicken (uncovered) in 400 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes. When done, chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  6. Remove pan from oven. Spoon salsa over top of each chicken breast, followed by grated Pepper Jack cheese. Place chicken back in oven for an additional 5 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  7. Remove from oven. Serve with a garnish of avocado slices and chopped cilantro.
Notes
To thinly slice avocado... cut in half, remove seed. Run a large spoon under and around avocado half and remove entire half of avocado in one piece. Thinly slice.

 

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Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat)

If you enjoy the flavor of chicken enchiladas, chances are pretty good you will love this copycat recipe of this famous restaurant’s much requested item… Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup! It’s so good… all that cheesy, chicken enchilada goodness in a big bowl of soup!Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Enjoy a taste of the Southwest with this delicious soup!
I found this recipe in one of my “Top Secret” cookbooks by celebrity/author Todd Wilbur (I think I’ve bought them all), where he dissects famous recipes and then creates a copycat recipe to show how to duplicate it at home. This soup is thick and cheesy, packed with chicken, and because of the addition of masa harina, enchilada sauce and spices, tastes just like a good chicken enchilada!

Here’s what you do to make this delicious soup:  Add chicken breasts to hot oil in large pan and cook each side for 4-5 minutes, until browned.

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Remove browned chicken from pan. Set aside to cool. Add onion to pan. Cook over medium heat for a couple minutes; add minced garlic for the last 30 seconds (so it doesn’t burn and become bitter).

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add chicken broth to pan. In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of water with Masa Harina (found in Mexican food section in grocery store). Whisk this mixture until it is well blended and smooth. Add the water/Masa Harina mixture to the onion/garlic broth.

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add 1 additional cup of water, enchilada sauce, cheese cubes, and spices. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often (cheese will completely melt).

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Shred the chicken into small pieces. I use two forks to do this. Add the shredded chicken to the soup pot.

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Reduce heat; simmer soup on low for 30-40 minutes. Soup will thicken as it cooks. While soup is simmering, prepare the tortilla strips (for garnish). To do this, cut 3-4 corn tortillas in half, then into thin strips. Coat the strips with a Tablespoon or two of vegetable oil, then spread out on a baking sheet.

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes, then flip the strips over and bake other side for 6-8 minutes, until crispy and light brown in color. When done, set aside to cool completely.

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Make a quick pico de gallo while the tortilla strips are baking in oven by chopping and mixing ingredients in bowl (tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper).

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When soup is done, ladle it into bowls. Top soup with pico de gallo, and baked tortilla strips. (May also add grated cheddar cheese or sour cream, if desired).

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While I think we will agree that this is probably not the “healthiest soup” on the planet, it really is delicious, and tastes just like a fantastic chicken enchilada. And every once in awhile, that’s a GOOD thing! Hope you will consider trying this recipe – it’s really tasty… (all those people requesting it at Chili’s can’t be wrong)! Have a great day!

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2”, by Todd Wilbur, Published by Penguin Group, 2007, pages 118-119.

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Southwestern flavors featuring chicken, cheese, enchilada sauce, etc. shine in a copycat recipe for this wonderful soup!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
For Soup:
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 chicken breasts (skinless/boneless)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Masa Harina (found in Mexican food section of grocery store)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 16 ounces Velveeta Cheese (small box), diced into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
For Tortilla Garnish:
  • 3-4 corn tortillas
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
For Pico de Gallo:
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 handful cilantro (approx. 3 Tablespoons), chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Directions
To prepare soup:
  1. Add vegetable oil to a large pan. Heat on medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts to pot; cook chicken for 4-5 minutes per side, until they are light brown. Remove from pan; set aside.
  2. Add chopped onion to pan. Cook over medium heat for two minutes,; add the minced garlic for the last 30 seconds (so it won't burn and become bitter). Add chicken broth to the onions.
  3. In bowl or large mixing cup, mix the masa harina with 2 cups of water. Mix well, to combine, then add to chicken broth and onion mixture in pan. Whisk well, to combine.
  4. Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, cheese cubes, and spices to the pan. Cook, and bring it all to a boil.
  5. Shred the chicken into small pieces (I use two forks to do this); add chicken to soup. Reduce the heat and let soup simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching on the bottom of pan. Soup will thicken as it cooks. Prepare tortilla strips and pico de gallo while soup cooks. When done, ladle soup into serving bowls, and garnish with pico de gallo and tortilla strips.
To Make Tortilla Strips:
  1. Cut tortillas in half, then cut into thin strips. Coat strips with vegetable oil, then bake at 375 degrees for 5-6 minutes on each side (flipping midway through baking), until light brown and crispy.
To Make Pico de Gallo:
  1. Combine ingredients in small bowl. Mix well. Taste test; add additional salt/pepper, if desired.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup (copycat) / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Enjoy a taste of the Southwest with this delicious soup!

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Shrimp Tacos

The other night I decided to make Shrimp Tacos for our dinner. Pretty funny, since I’d never made shrimp tacos before (it’s usually beef, shredded pork or chicken). Sooo… I knew what ingredients I wanted to include in them, love to experiment in the kitchen, and the result? Seriously, ridiculously GOOD shrimp tacos… and they were very easy to make, too!Shrimp Tacos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I didn’t use a recipe to make the shrimp tacos, but you really don’t need one to make these! I gathered my “must have” ingredients, chopped them up, pan-seared seasoned some medium sized shrimp, warmed the tortillas in the microwave (wrapped in paper towels), put them all together, and voila! Shrimp tacos, with an amazing sauce, and lots of crunch and flavor from the purple cabbage and pico de gallo! As quick as you can say “Icanhardlywaittotrythese”, they were done! We LOVED them! No, really. We LOVED them, and they were done in less than 15 minutes! Now that is my kind of meal!

I made a quick pico de gallo, using chopped tomato, red onion, cilantro, a couple squeezes of fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste, then set aside. I chopped up purple cabbage and set aside. I mixed sour cream with green taco sauce, then mixed in some of my homemade taco seasoning mix (http://www.thegratefulgirlcooks.com/make-your-own-taco-seasoning-mix/), and set aside. I happened to have a squeeze bottle handy, so I put the sauce in it, then squeezed the sauce over the finished tacos, when done (but you can just drizzle it on with a spoon).

I am not adding an “official, printable” recipe with this post, because honestly, you can tailor make as many or as few as you wish (and increase quantities to match), but here’s a picture of the basics you use, plus 3-4 cooked shrimp per taco, and corn tortillas. By the way… sliced avocado would taste great on these, also!

Shrimp Tacos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To cook the shrimp, I heated a small amount of olive oil in skillet. I tossed the shelled and  de-veined shrimp with 1 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix, then pan cooked them on medium high for 2-3 minutes on each side until done (I threw in a tiny pinch of chopped cilantro right at the very end of the cooking time).

Shrimp Tacos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I wrapped corn tortillas in paper towels, then heated them on medium temp in microwave just until warm (15-20 seconds). Once warm, I added 3-4 cooked shrimp per taco, a small handful of purple cabbage, then pico de gallo. I topped the tacos off by adding the green sour cream sauce. That’s it!  Many restaurants use 2 tortillas for each taco to prevent them from tearing open, but to save on calories, I used one tortilla per taco. If you want to double up on tortillas, then by all means, go for it!

Shrimp Tacos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I didn’t measure anything when I made these scrumptious tacos… I just “guess-tamated”, and taste-tested everything. The sour cream sauce was approx. 1/3 cup sour cream, with 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning mix, and approx. 3 Tablespoons green taco sauce (just taste it until it tastes just right for YOU!) The amounts shown made 6 tacos.

I hope you will consider trying these quick and tasty shrimp tacos! They were so delicious… I can’t wait to make them again soon. Have a fantastic weekend, friends; may you experience a deepening awareness of God’s great love for YOU!

Shrimp Tacos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Chili Spaghetti

Looking for a quick, delicious and easy weeknight dinner? How about making a batch of Chili Spaghetti? It’s a slight twist on traditional spaghetti, as it has Mexican-inspired flavors!Chili Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
When you really think about it, traditional spaghetti has tomatoes, meat, tomato sauce, onions, garlic and cheese (Parmesan). Well- guess what? Many of those same ingredients are found in Chili, but with a completely different set of spices. So why NOT make a Mexican-inspired spaghetti, right? Right.

It’s so very easy, and it surprisingly tastes so very good! It is very filling, and full of flavor. My hubby and I love having this occasionally. If you are more into “regular” spaghetti, be sure and try my recipes for Easy Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage or Easy Meatballs for Spaghetti.

I make my Mom’s recipe for homemade chili (http://www.thegratefulgirlcooks.com/moms-old-fashioned-chili/), so I always seem to have some extra in the freezer. I use that for this recipe, but for crying out loud… if you don’t have homemade, just buy some good quality chili (meat and beans) to make this EASY!

Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. While it is cooking, heat up the chili in a large skillet. About a minute or so before the spaghetti is done, ladle out about 1/4 cup pasta water (this has starch in it), and stir it into the chili. Drain pasta and add it to the skillet with the chili in it. Continue to cook for a couple minutes until well coated and pasta is fully cooked.

Chili Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chili Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, place the pasta onto individual serving plates. Spoon a little leftover chili from pan onto pasta. Garnish with some grated cheddar cheese, sliced green onions and a dollop of sour cream. Serve piping hot, and enjoy!

Note** If you are using store bought chili, the key is making sure you have enough chili to completely coat the spaghetti, and have some extra to spoon on top when you plate it!

Chili Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

No recipe needed (unless you want to enjoy my recipe for “Mom’s Old-Fashioned Chili“)… see how easy that is?  Sure hope you will give this a try. It is very easy to “throw together” on a busy day!

Have a great weekend, friends.

Chili Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Chili Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Breakfast Burritos

Have you ever eaten or made a Breakfast Burrito before?  I tasted my first breakfast burrito about 8 years ago when called in to work overtime on a Saturday morning by my former boss. He bought breakfast burritos for all of us, and that was my first taste of one, but not my last!Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
They are very easy to make at home, so thought I would share a quick “how to” in case you would like to try making them yourself! This is a simple version… eggs, bacon, cheese and salsa… but add whatever additional ingredients you would like… to make it your own! Here’s how you make one:

Mix together a couple eggs with a bit of milk. Add mixture to non-stick skillet that has been sprayed or buttered. Season eggs with salt and pepper (to taste).

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add one slice of pre-cooked, crumbled bacon to the eggs. Mix together; scramble eggs on medium low heat until done.

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place a medium sized flour tortilla between two paper towels and microwave for 20 seconds. Remove the warm tortilla and place scrambled egg/bacon mixture down the center of tortilla.

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add a handful of grated cheddar cheese (can also use pepper jack, if desired), and then spoon some salsa on top. If you are not eating these right away, I would suggest putting the salsa on top of the eggs, THEN covering the salsa with the grated cheese. (This will help the salsa not to soak the tortilla too much while waiting for someone to come eat it). You can also wrap the breakfast burritos in aluminum foil once done, to keep warm.

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Roll up tortilla (burrito style), by first turning up one end of the tortilla. Once end is turned up, tightly roll the tortilla over the filling and place on serving plate.

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Serve with a side of salsa on the side for an extra kick. I don’t normally cut them in half, but did for the photo, so you could see the inside of the Breakfast Burrito.

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

There’s no need to post a recipe… this is just a very easy way to make a quick breakfast burrito. The best part is just to make it your own. Add some cilantro, some green onion slices, spinach, avocado, etc. if you wish.  You really can’t hurt these!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Be kind to each other out there!

Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Here’s one more pic to pin on your Pinterest boards!Breakfast Burritos / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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