Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

I’ve said it before: At my house, anytime is chili time, with or without beans. With Cinco de Mayo comes another excuse for a week’s worth of Mexican-themed dishes, starting with turkey chili:


Tasty Turkey Chili

Serves 4-6*


1.3 pounds ground turkey breast
1 yellow onion, diced
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 oz. chili powder (I use Bloemer’s®)
1 small can chili beans (optional)
1 can or bottle beer, any kind
Redneck Pepper® Jalapeño (to taste)
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves (optional)


Brown ground turkey and onion over medium-low heat in a covered 4-quart pan. Gradually add the remaining ingredients except for the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then cook, uncovered until the liquid reduces and chili is thick. Don’t rush it. This reduction can take from 20-45 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in fresh cilantro and serve.

Store leftovers in a covered container or freeze in an airtight bag or container.

Products to make great chili

Products to make great chili

These aren’t paid endorsements, just my favorites. Bloemer’s® is a product out of Louisville, Kentucky, my hometown, and I order their chili powder by the case via the Internet; Redneck Pepper® is in Lake City, Florida, not far from where I live. Each company makes a great product, so I hope you’ll give each a try.


Enchiladas Suizas Bake

Serves 4-6


1 pound ground turkey breast or lean ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 16 oz. jar salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
4 oz. sour cream
8 oz. skim milk
½ cup shredded 2% or low-fat swiss cheese
1 cup shredded 2% or low-fat Mexican blend or Colby-Jack cheese
8 whole wheat tortillas (approx. 8″)
8 oz. frozen corn kernels (or fresh if available)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Brown ground turkey and onion over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, milk, and salsa verde (Green Salsa) and blend, either by hand or with a blender.

Pour approximately ¼ cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish. Spread to coat lightly. Arrange half the tortillas in the bottom of the dish, overlapping or cutting as needed to fit. Add half the browned ground turkey, half the corn kernels, and 1/2 cup of the combined cheeses. Drizzle one cup of the sauce over the whole layer, then repeat by layering remaining tortillas, turkey, corn, 1/2 cup cheese, and remaining sauce. Finally, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for thirty minutes. Makes six servings. (In our case this will last a couple days because the leftovers are great, too!)

When it comes to appetizers, I prefer quesadillas because I can use whole wheat tortillas (More fiber and complex carbohydrates). Empanadas are made with a dough, and tostadas use corn tortillas. Also, quesadillas are quick. You can make two servings in a matter of minutes in your skillet or on your grill or griddle.


Easy Chicken Quesadilla

This is a lightened version of a favorite.


Nonstick cooking spray
2 whole wheat tortillas, approximately 8″ in diameter.
¼ cup chunky salsa, either jarred or homemade
2 oz. cooked chicken (or any leftover meat) shredded
¼ cup shredded 2% or low-fat Mexican blend cheese


Preheat a griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Meanwhile, spread the salsa over one tortilla. Sprinkle chicken or meat, covering well. Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken. Top with the second tortilla. Carefully place stacked tortillas on the griddle or into the skillet. Press slightly. After three minutes, carefully turn using a large spatula. Again, press the stacked tortillas and cook two additional minutes.

Using a large spatula, move the quesadilla to a cutting board and cut into fourths using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter. Each serving is two pieces. Or for an appetizer, cut into sixths.

Chicken Quesadilla

Chicken Quesadilla

Enjoy these recipes this week or anytime for a hasty tasty Mexican meal!

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Filed under Burritos, casseroles, chicken, Chili and Stew, Cilantro, Healthful Eating, Quesadillas, Recipes, salsa, Tostados, turkey

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