Category Archives: Tex Mex

Chili Rubbed Steak

The rub on this leaves a mildly spicy coating on the meat – none of the individual flavors stands out by itself – they all mingle and create a great flavor that leaves you coming back for more.

Chili Rubbed Steak
Chili Rubbed Steak

6 servings
290 calories per serving

2 t caraway seeds
2 t cumin seeds
½ t coriander seeds
2 T tomato sauce
1 T red chili paste
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ¾ t chili powder
2 lb. boneless beef sirloin
½ t salt
¼ t pepper

In a skillet mix the 3 seeds and cook on medium high for 3 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, being sure to stir constantly then cool completely. Using a coffee grinder, pulse seeds to a fine powder and then combine with tomato sauce, chili paste, oil, garlic and chili powder, salt and pepper. Spread the spice mix over and refrigerate 2 – 4 hours. Grill meat 20 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove from heat, tent with foil and let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Southwest Pork Soup

Tender pork, spicy broth – the flavor is just fantastic ! If you don’t enjoy spice, just remove the jalapeno and you will still end up with a great tasting pork soup.

Southwest Pork Soup
Southwest Pork Soup

4 servings
325 calories per serving

Pam
1 c onion, chopped
2/3 c green bell pepper, chopped
1 c chopped mushrooms
1 T minced garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1 lb. pork tenderloin in bite sized pieces
2 c chicken broth
2 c beef broth
1 c water
2 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
15 oz. kidney beans, rinsed and drained
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 T cilantro, chopped
1 c avocado, diced

Heat a non stick soup pot then spray with Pam. Add onion and cook 5-6 minutes adding a bit of hot water if necessary to keep onions moist. Add pepper, mushrooms, garlic and jalapenos and cook another 3 minutes then add pork and cook another 10 minutes. Add broth, water, spices, beans and tomatoes and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro just before serving. Spoon into bowls and top with avocado pieces.

Southwest Ranch Salad

This is simple to make and you can even pack it up to go as it travels well. All the southwest flavors mingle nicely and it’s a refreshing lunch salad. If you don’t like Ranch dressing, substitute any other low fat or no fat dressing.

Southwest Ranch Salad
Southwest Ranch Salad

4 servings
380 calories per serving

4 c mixed salad greens
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
10 oz. frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 large red pepper, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 c low fat shredded cheddar cheese
½ c low fat ranch dressing
2 T cilantro, chopped

Arrange greens on plates and top with beans, corn, peppers, tomatoes and cheese. Top with dressing and cilantro.

Tex Mex Cobb

Chop up all your veggies and fixings and lay them out on a platter in rows. It’s a beautiful presentation and everyone can grab exactly what they want for their salad. The dressing for this one is so simple and so low cal, but it tastes divine !

Tex Mex Cobb
Tex Mex Cobb

10 servings
291 calories per serving

20 oz. mixed greens (Spring mix, baby greens, etc.)
12 oz. seasoned chicken breast strips (Perdue Shortcuts work great here)
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c low fat shredded cheese
12 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 small avocados, sliced
2 c grape tomatoes, halved
2 ribs of celery, sliced
2/3 c fat free ranch dressing
1/3 cup chunky salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Over a large platter with the greens then arrange chicken, eggs, beans, cheese, bacon, avocados and tomatoes in rows and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix the salsa and dressing and pour over platter.

Southwest Sirloin

This simple sauce turns out a spicy, smoky, sirloin. Try it on chicken or pork as well !

Southwest Sirloin
Southwest Sirloin

4 servings
265 calories per serving

1 lb. sirloin steak
2 t oil
1 ½ T taco seasoning
1/3 c steak sauce

Heat grill. Run steak with oil and then coat with taco seasoning. Grill steak basting with steak sauce as you go. Cook to desired doneness. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into thin slices.

Big Pot o’ Chili

Savory, hot chili – make it as spicy or as mild as you like. This one bulks up the veggies and uses turkey and very lean ground beef so it comes in at a low calorie count for a good sized portion. For 400 calories you can have a huge portion ! Try making this the next time you have a football party.

All the different tomato products used in this recipe have their own unique flavor and the combination of them is just perfect. But if you don’t particularly like one or another, feel free to substitute.

Cook this stovetop for hours to get that deep, rich, long simmer flavor – or you can cook this in the crock pot all day long while you are at work. Chili also does well in a pressure cooker. If you need instructions, just write to me and I’ll be happy to send you info.

Big Pot o' Chili
Big Pot o' Chili

20 servings
210 calories per serving

2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
20 oz. lean ground turkey
16 oz. very lean ground beef
5 ribs of celery, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 t minced garlic
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
15.5 oz. can chick peas, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15.5 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 15.75 oz. cans Campbells Pork and Beans (this addition really mellows out the tomato base)
28 oz. petite diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. fired roasted diced tomatoes
14.5 oz. stewed tomatoes
3 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (if you don’t like heat, remove this ingredient. If you like it very spicy, add more of this ingredient)
29 oz. tomato sauce
1 T salt
1 T pepper
2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
5 T chili powder
3 t cumin
2 t basil flakes
2 t parsley flakes
3 t oregano flakes

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large dutch oven or soup pot. Saute onions, celery and green pepper and yellow pepper 15 minutes. Add the turkey and beef and continue cooking until meat is done. Be sure to break up meat into little pieces as it cooks. (if cooking in a crock pot, do this first step stove top in a skillet and then turn it all into a heated crock) Add garlic and mushrooms and stir. Add all spices and mix well. Bring to a boil them lower and simmer for 2-3 hours on a low heat. Stir occasionally and adjust spice during the last half hour of cooking. (if cooking in a crock pot, cook on low 8-10 hours or high 5-6 hours)

The leftovers freeze well – so don’t be afraid of the huge serving size. You can also cut this in half and make 10 servings – just halve everything. Serve with low fat sour cream and low fat shredded cheddar as a garnish / topping.

South of the Border Chicken

This is one of those PERFECT meals. Some meals are just spiced perfectly, cook up perfectly time and time again, and deserve a place in the Hall of Fame of recipes – this is one of those. If you love Mexican inspired dishes, you have to give this one a try !

South of the Border Chicken
South of the Border Chicken

4 servings
289 calories per serving

12 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ t pepper
¼ t salt
2 t oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c fat free beef broth
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4.5 oz. can chopped chilies
1 t chili powder
½ t ground cumin
3 c hot cooked rice
Pam

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and place in a hot skillet sprayed with Pam. Cook 5 minutes or until they begin to brown then set aside and keep warm. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and 2 T of the broth. Cook 6 minutes or until tender then add tomato sauce, beans and the rest of the broth and mix well. Add the pepper, chili powder, cumin and chicken and bring to a boil the reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Southwest Spinach Salad

What a symphony of flavors ! Your mouth doesn’t know what to be the happiest about – is it the pine nut accent? Or the spicy pepperjack cheese? Or the creamy avocados? Or the smoky chipotle dressing? This is one of THE BEST salads I’ve ever made.

Southwest Spinach Salad
Southwest Spinach Salad

4 servings
300 calories per serving

8 c fresh baby spinach
1/2 c corn with sweet peppers
1/3 c halved black pitted olives
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 oz. diced pepper jack cheese
2 plum tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 ripe avocado cut into 16 slices
3 T lime juice
2 T oil
1 t chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1/8 t salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T toasted pine nuts
A few extra squirts of lime juice if you like your salad nice and ‘wet’

Combine spinach, corn, olives, cilantro and cheese. Place 2 c worth on each plate. Arrange tomato, egg and avocado slices atop the spinach. Combine lime juice, oil, chopped chipotle, salt and garlic. Whisk well and pour over salads. Sprinkle with pine nuts.

Southwest Chicken Panini

Spicy hot and spicy good. You can tone this one down by using chili powder instead of chipotles, but it you like it hot, roll with it :)

Southwest Chicken Panini
Southwest Chicken Panini

4 servings
360 calories per serving

2 c finely chopped cooked chicken breasts (Perdue Shortcuts work great here)
1 ½ t diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (available in the Mexican section of your grocery store)
2 T Miracle Whip lite
2 T light ranch dressing
8 slices Italian bread
8 slices tomato
4 fat free cheese slices
ICBINB Spray

Heat Panini grill. Mix chicken, chipotles and dressings and fill bread slices, then add tomatoes and cheese and spray outside of bread with I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter spray (about 5 squirts per slice of bread) and grill about 2 minutes per side or 4 minutes total in a Panini press.

Grilled Chili Rubbed Sirloin

Flavorful with or without the sauce ! Grilled London Broil is one of my favorites, but sometimes it lacks flavor because it is a lean cut. This recipe puts all the flavor back in…and then some !

Grilled Chili Rubbed Sirloin
Grilled Chili Rubbed Sirloin

4 servings
160 calories per serving

1 lb. boneless sirloin steak
1 ½ T chili seasoning (or a mix of chili powder, garlic powder and onion powder)
¼ t pepper
Pam
½ c water
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t instant coffee
1 ½ t Worcestershire sauce
¼ t salt

Sprinkle meat with chili seasoning (go heavier on the seasoning if you wish – it adds miniscule amounts of calories) and pepper and then spray with Pam. Use short little sprays so you don’t blow the dry ingredients off the meat. This makes a nice spicy ‘paste’ and keeps the meat from sticking to the grill. Heat grill and cook meat 6-10 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Alternately heat a skillet and cook steak 6-10 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from grill or pan and tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Combine water, vinegar, coffee and Worcestershire and add to small pan and cook until reduced to ¼ c (about 5 minutes). Slice steak thinly and drizzle with sauce.

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