We love Mexican flavors and Southwest cuisine, and I love pressure cooking, so here is my version of a spicy taco bowl. It’s faster than messing with taco shells and making filling, so it’s a hasty and tasty meal for taco night. Enjoy.
Chicken Taco Bowl
Makes 5 – 6 servings
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (frozen or thawed)
- 1 cup dried black beans (not soaked)
- 1 cup brown long grain rice
- 12 ounces salsa or 1 regular size can Rotel® diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 2½ cups chicken broth or water
- 1 ounce chili or taco seasoning mix
- 8 ounce block Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
- (optional) fresh cilantro sprigs
- In the pot of a pressure cooker, place chicken, beans, and rice. Pour salsa and broth over them. Add 1 ounce chili seasoning mix.
- Seal and bring to pressure. Cook 18 minutes (stovetop) or 23 minutes (electric).
- Remove from heat (or hit “cancel”) and allow pressure to drop on its own. Natural depressurization takes approximately 15 minutes.
- Carefully open cooker and stir. Chicken should easily shred, or you may remove it, shred it separately, and stir it into the rice and beans mixture. Top with cheese and cover. Do not return to heat.
- After a minute or two, the residual heat will melt the cheese and the taco bowl is ready to serve with optional garnish.
Variation: add 1 cup frozen corn kernels before adding the cheese.
Thanks to Olé, we can enjoy healthier Mexican fare as we celebrate today. Here is a hasty tasty chicken fajita recipe:
- 2 OLE brand High Fiber Low Carb tortillas
- 8 oz. chicken breasts, cubed or shredded
- 1 Tbsp. Chili or Fajita seasoning blend
- 1 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil
- 1 cup julienne-cut bell peppers (I mix green, red, and yellow)
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 2-3 Tbsp. prepared salsa
- 1 spring cilantro (optional)
- Slowly simmer chicken with the seasoning blend in a dry, covered pan.
- Prepare peppers and onions.
- After chicken is fully cooked, remove from the skillet. Add oil and return skillet to medium heat.
- Saute onions over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add peppers and stir-fry together until peppers are firm-tender. Remove skillet from heat.
- Warm tortillas for 10 seconds in microwave oven. Add salsa to the center of each.
- Divide the chicken between the two tortillas. Cover each with half the peppers/onions.
- Serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired. Fold, eat, and enjoy!
Butternut squash has vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene . It is a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. I realize butternut squash is healthful, but it was a hard sell to my family. I finally developed a recipe even they will eat. I know by putting a southwest spin on a dish, my family will eat almost anything. Including my newest recipe, Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup. Enjoy!
• 1½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into equal size chunks
• 1 Tbsp. safflower oil (or spray generously with Pam®)
• ½ cup onion, sliced
• ¼ cup sweet pepper, chopped (I used an orange pepper to preserve that lovely orange color)
• 1 tsp. Kosher salt or pink Himalayan salt
• 1 Tbsp. Chili seasoning mix (I use Bloemer’s brand)
• 1 quart vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
• 1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
• (optional) Cilantro for garnish
• (optional) sour cream for garnish
1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a 4 quart pot.
2. Add onions and peppers. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
3. Add squash to the pot. Salt.
4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and steam until squash is fork-tender* (approximately 30 minutes)
5. Remove from heat. Stir in half of the stock and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.
6. Ladle the squash into a Vitamix (or food processor). Puree until smooth. Don’t overfill container. If necessary, process in batches.
7. Return squash puree to the pot, add the chili seasoning mix1, and stir.
8. Return the pot to medium heat and add the remaining stock. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally to combine. For a thicker soup, simmer until soup reduces.
9. Remove pot from heat. Stir in the lime juice and serve with a sour cream and cilantro garnish with tortilla chips on the side.
Kick up the heat level by adding a seeded and thinly sliced jalapeño pepper garnish.
1Vitamix users: During the pureeing of the squash, add the chili seasoning. Then to rinse the container, Add the rest of the stock to the container, run just enough to remove the stuck on squash, then pour into the pot.
*If your cookware isn’t waterless, add one cup of the vegetable stock to steam the squash.
I’ve posted in the past about making salsa in my Vitamix. Today I have a special guest who offers a flavorful twist to salsa. As soon as I pick up a fresh bunch of cilantro, I’m making this recipe. I grow my own jalapeño peppers and herbs but fail miserably at keeping cilantro alive. 😦
Today’s recipe is a guest post by Kristin, a writer for PAM and other ConAgra brands. She resides in Chicago, IL and enjoys trying new recipes on the weekends. Her favorite dishes include poached eggs in the morning, throw-whatever-is-in-the-fridge salads for lunch, and vegetable-heavy stir fries for dinner. She’s always on the hunt for unexpected yet delicious food combinations. Please welcome food blogger Kristin Kruk:
August is the Sunday of summer. Friends and family are making the most out of their last few weeks of sunshine and blue skies before fall kicks in. When you get an invitation to that last minute summer barbeque, come prepared with a zesty appetizer to surprise everyone’s taste buds. Bring a bowl of grilled tomato salsa with a bag of your favorite tortilla chips as an appetizer to the party.
On a time crunch? Don’t worry about grilling outside. A cast iron pan will do the trick because it gets hot and retains heat.
How to grill inside:
- Evenly spray PAM Grilling Spray on the cast iron pan.
- Place pan on stove top on medium-high.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low once the pan gets hot.
Now you’re on your way to a quick grilled tomato salsa!
- PAM Grilling Spray
- 1½-2 pounds of tomatoes (try an assortment), sliced in half
- 1 jalapeño , sliced in half
- 5 green (or red) onions, chopped
- ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Optional ingredients: ½ can of black beans or corn kernels
- In a medium bowl, mix cumin, garlic salt, onions and cilantro. If optional ingredients were used, combine as well. Set aside.
- See “How to grill inside” instructions above.
- Once the burner is set to medium-low, grill tomato and jalapeño slices.
- Rotate so each side is grilled for 3 minutes. When each side is slightly blackened, remove from grill.
- Chop tomato and jalapeño slices into cubes. Dump into the medium bowl (Step 1).
- Refrigerate until ready for use.
This quick and simple appetizer complements any picnic or outdoor outing at the end of summer. Enjoy!
(Cheryl note: I do all my indoor grilling on a Lodge cast iron grill pan (sprayed with PAM). It’s affordable, retains heat, and leaves nice grill marks on food–just like an outdoor grill but without the mess!)