Tag Archives: cumin

Pumpkin Chili

This dish combines some of my favorite fall foods: pumpkin and chili.

I write a weekly column for The Joplin Globe, Claremore Daily Progress, and Ottumwa Courier and this week’s theme was pumpkins.

I love everything pumpkin. From pumpkin patches to carving them to eating the orange globes.

That is why I came up with these pumpkin chili, which is filling and delicious.

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My pumpkin chili is a hearty stew that gets a boost of fiber and Vitamin A from the pumpkin. Pumpkin is very healthy and ½ cup contains 50 calories, 3 gram of fiber and 280 percent of your daily Vitamin A needs. You can’t really taste the pumpkin in my recipe, but it bulks it up and gives it a velvety texture. I add a little cinnamon to compliment the pumpkin this dish.

I love using bison instead of beef in this recipe, but it’s more expensive and not as readily available. Bison is healthier than beef and we are big bison fans.

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Fall is my favorite time of year and I feast on pumpkin. I actually bought six cans last week. In my recipes, I usually use canned instead of real pumpkin because most people don’t have time to roast and puree a whole pumpkin.

I hope you enjoy it.

Pumpkin Chili

Serves 6-8

2 cups chopped red onion

1 pound ground sirloin or some lean ground beef

2 heaping tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon cumin seed

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more to taste)

1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste

1 ½ cups water or chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes

1 ¼ cups salsa

2 cloves chopped garlic or 1 tablespoon dehydrated garlic

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 (15-ounce) can chili beans

*1 (4-ounce) can green chilies (optional)

Shredded cheese, chopped onion, cilantro to garnish

*The green chilies make this dish spicy, so I skip those when serving my family.

Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and when hot, add onions and beef.  Cook for 3 minutes. Then add chili powder, cumin, garlic salt and cinnamon and cook until ground beef is cooked. If necessary, drain beef before going on (if you use lean beef you won’t have to drain it).

Next, add tomato paste and water and cook for 2 minutes until the paste dissolves into the water. Then add salsa, garlic, pumpkin, cilantro and reduce heat to a simmer for 30 minutes (the longer you simmer, the better the flavor). Add beans and cook 10 minutes before serving.

This chili is even better the next day, but some of the cinnamon flavor will fade because of the strong flavors of garlic, cumin and tomatoes. To combat this, I sprinkle plain cinnamon on a bowl just before serving for more emphasis on the cinnamon (you could also just double it in the recipe, but try the ½ teaspoon first because you don’t want to overwhelm the dish with cinnamon).

Mexican Inspired Corn and Bean Dip- easy and delicious

The inspiration for my warm, kidney bean and corn dip is corn on the cob in Mexico. In Mexico, you’ll see vendors hawking grilled corn on the cob rubbed with mayonnaise and chili powder and a dash of Parmesan. The Parmesan doesn’t seem like it would pair well, but it does.  That slight tang beefs up the flavor in the beans and complements the corn.

In this dip, I add corn, dark kidney beans (you can also substitute pinto), mayonnaise, green chilies, chili powder, cumin, lime, Parmesan and cilantro and warm it on the stovetop for about 3 minutes. Before serving, I add a handful of shredded cheddar. Serve it with tortilla chips. It’s best warm, but is still delicious when it cools.

I’ve served it twice and it’s been a huge hit!

beandip

Mexican Inspired Corn and Bean Dip

1 (15-ounce) can of whole kernel corn

1 (15-ounce) can dark kidney beans or pinto beans

1 cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon canola oil

½ teaspoon cumin seed

1 (4-ounce) can of chopped green chilies

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Chop onion and set aside. Drain the beans and corn and set both of those aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and cumin seed and cook 4 minutes. Then pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 3 more minutes until everything has melted together and is well combined. Serve with tortilla chips.

beandip chip

Mango, Pineapple Salsa (serve it as an appetizer first and leftovers on pork, chicken or fish)

I love salsa. Fruit salsa. Smokey salsa. Charred salsa. Jarred salsa. Green salsa. You name it, I love it.

But I particularly love this Mango, Pineapple Salsa. One of my best friends makes a similar salsa and this is my version. My salsa won “Best Overall Salsa” at a friendly competition and it was up against an array of excellent salsas.

Aside from being delicious served on its own, this salsa is great on grilled fish or pork. I recently marinated pork chops for 24 hours in Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce (online) http://www.soyvay.com/flavors/veri-veri-teriyaki) and then pan fried the pork and topped it with the leftover salsa. It was fantastic!

 Pork with Mango, Pineapple Salsa

If you don’t have that sauce, use soy sauce, ginger, 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar  and 1/2 a garlic clove for 3-4 pork chops. That makes a nice marinade. A pork loin marinated in Asian sauce, grilled and then served with this salsa would be spectacular.

This would also be great on chicken or fish tacos.

The key to this salsa is ripe, sweet fruit. Mangoes are hardly ever ripe when you buy them, so I buy them 3-4 days before I need to make this salsa. I also buy extras in case some are not sweet. Whenever I have to use avocados or mangoes I buy extra because you’ll often get a disappointing one in the batch. I bought 5 mangoes to be safe. There were all sweet, so I ate the others for breakfast.

Let this marinate for 2 hours or more before serving. You can adapt this recipe and add 2/3 cup drained black beans to this and it’s delicious, too. In that case, I also add 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

If you can’t find ripe mangoes, you can use the jarred refrigerated type, but fresh is always best!

I like to serve it in a margarita or martini glass for nice presentation. It’s such a refreshing salsa for summer. I adore it!

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Mango, Pineapple Salsa

2 1/2 very ripe mangoes, chopped fine

2 ½ cups finely chopped fresh pineapple

¾ of a medium red onion, chopped

2/3 of a bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

1 teaspoon cumin seed

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Sea salt to taste

.Directions:

Chop all the ingredients and place in a medium bowl. Add salt to taste. Toss and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Two EASY Quesadillas: Goat cheese and grilled peppers; Chicken and Bacon. The choice is yours

I get on kicks. My latest is quesadillas.

A month ago, I made a wonderful black bean, Ranch, rotisserie chicken quesadilla, then a Mediterranean inspired quesadilla and I have several more in the works.

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The charm of the quesadilla is it’s quick, easy, versatile and delicious.

It’s portable so you can eat it on the go as a snack, but also filling enough to enjoy it for dinner.

If you’re watching your carb intake, you can substitute a high protein, low carb wrap for the tortilla shell.

A classic quesadilla is common street fare all over in Mexico. You can fill it with any variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables and use corn, black corn, white or wheat flour tortillas.  There are tremendous possibilities.

It’s a great way to use leftover barbecue meats, too. I nestle shredded barbecue pork in a tortilla, top it with cheese, cilantro, chopped red onion, and grill it. Then I serve it with barbecue sauce and sour cream. It’s delightful.

And you don’t have to know much about cooking to create a delicious quesadilla.

My biggest tip is when making a quesadilla that is stuffed with other ingredients, cook it cheese side down first so it has a chance to melt and the cheese doesn’t fall out when you flip it.

Use a nonstick pan or a skillet to make quesadillas. If you’re feeding a crowd, a pancake griddle works beautifully to cook several at the same time (if you have a family, a griddle is a great choice).

Here are two AMAZING and easy recipes:

The goat cheese quesadilla is tossed with green salsa and cuddles up to bell peppers and chicken. It’s L1070005 (2) one of my favorites as the creamy, tangy goat cheese contrast beautifully with a trio of bell peppers. Goat cheese is also less fattening and I like the fact that my recipe includes veggies. This is a single serving recipe, so perfect for a snack or someone who lives solo.

My bacon and chicken is about as easy as it gets and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. This is basic qubaconqesadilla with rotisserie chicken, bacon pieces, cheese and a dash of cumin. I grill it and serve it with salsa and guacamole.

I hope you enjoy these.

Goat Cheese, Chicken and Tri-Pepper Quesadilla

Serves 1

1 medium size tortilla

Cooking spray

1/3 cup of assorted sliced bell peppers, red, green and yellow or orange

¼ cup of soft goat cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons green salsa

Dash of ground cumin

1/3 cup sliced or chopped rotisserie chicken breast

Guacamole or green salsa for serving

First, slice assorted bell peppers and heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bell peppers and cook 3-5 minutes until they reach desired tenderness. Salt the peppers and remove from heat.

In a bowl, stir together the goat cheese and green salsa until combined. Then spread the mixture over half of a tortilla. Top with chicken and bell peppers. Then sprinkle a dash of ground cumin on the other side of the tortilla and fold over to make a half moon.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium heat. Add the folded tortilla and cook about 2-3 minutes per side, until slightly crisp. Slice and serve with green salsa or guacamole.

goat cheese quesadilla

Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla

Makes 2 snacks or 1 meal size

2 medium size flour tortillas

1 chicken breast

½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese

2 heaping teaspoons real bacon pieces

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin or cumin seed

Cooking spray

Guacamole for serving

Salsa for serving

Cilantro to garnish

Cut the chicken breast off the rotisserie chicken, discard and skin and slice the breast. Then divide those pieces in half.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.

Place half the cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with chicken, bacon and cumin. Fold the other half of the tortilla over to make a half moon. Then place in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

Serve with salsa and guacamole.

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Southwest Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

This is now my favorite Go To Summer dish. I am so in love with this quinoa salad.  It’s healthy, refreshing, low fat, high in fiber, high in protein and loaded with vitamins. And did I mention it’s delicious!

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First, I cook the quinoa with chicken broth to give it more flavor. Then I chilled it and tossed it with chicken, cilantro, red bell peppers, corn, avocado and a lime-cumin vinaigrette. Sliced grape tomatoes are a nice addition and so are black beans. I actually thought I had black beans when I made this and when I realized I didn’t, was too busy to go to the store, so I made it without.

Anyway, this is perfect for lunch as a main course; as a side dish at a picnic; or as a light dinner.

Give it a try.

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Southwest Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (breast is preferred in this recipe)

Half a large red bell pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons red onion

½ cup of chopped cilantro

Half a can of corn, drained

½ cup black beans, drained (optional)

1 avocado

Dressing:

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon canola oil

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the quinoa: Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil in a medium pot with a tight fitting lid. Let it boil 3 minutes, cover with lid and cook another 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when a hook is released from the grain. Chill for later.

To prepare: Chop chicken, red bell pepper, onion and cilantro and place in a medium to large bowl. Fluff the quinoa and add it to the mix.

Drain corn and black beans (if you’re using those) and toss with quinoa. Then pit your avocado and chop.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over quinoa. Toss to coat and serve.

If you are making this ahead of time, leave the avocado off until the last minute.

Note: This recipe is also good with about ½ cup halved grape tomatoes, too.

quinoavo

Southwest Style Stuffed Peppers

I’ve always loved stuffed peppers, but making one can be quite an affair and take hours. This is one of the easiest versions of stuffed peppers I’ve come up with. Instead of rice, I use hominy and puree it in the food processor. I add bulk, holds the dish together and offers a delicious, deep corn flavor.

Then, I use rotisserie chicken, cumin and picante sauce. Of course, a good dose of cilantro and cheese is wonderful, too.

These peppers are assembled in about 10 minutes and then baked for 15-20. The peppers are still crisp, which I love. I hate mushy vegetables. And vegetables retain more nutrients when they are not cooked too much.

This is a perfect dinner for a busy night. I hope you enjoy it.

Southwest Style Stuffed Peppers

1 can hominy

2 teaspoons cumin seed

1 cup picante sauce

1 rotisserie chicken, chopped and de-skinned

2/3 cup canned black beans, drained

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexi-blend cheese

Garlic salt to taste

4 bell peppers of assorted colors (red and yellow are my favorite)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Drain hominy and place it in the food processor with cumin seed. Pulse until semi-smooth. Then pour in a large bowl. Add picante sauce, chicken, black beans and cilantro. Add 1 cup of cheese. Stir to thoroughly combine the mixture. Set aside.

Cut bell peppers in half and remove seeds and any veins. Stuff each half with the mixture. Then top with remaining cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 15-20 minutes. Peppers will still be crisp.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Alas, it’s Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend. The weather is supposed to be nice, so I plan to be outside. Here’s a quick dinner for anyone else you wants to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible. It takes about 15 minutes to assemble these and then you bake them and enjoy. They are so easy and delicious.

These are dryer enchiladas, which is the style I like. If you like really wet, swimming in sauce enchiladas, then buy two cans or sauce or a large one.

1 rotisserie chicken

2/3 cup chunky salsa

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1  (15-ounce) jar green or red enchilada sauce (use two jars if you like really wet enchiladas)

Refried beans (optional)

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, or a cheddar and Colby-Jack combination

10-12 Corn tortillas

Tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Debone and de-skin your chicken. Then pull off all the meat and shred it with your hands and place in a large bowl.

Add salsa, cumin and half the jar of enchilada sauce and stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning if you’d like.

Spray a glass pan with cooking spray. If you like refried beans, spread about 1-2 tablespoons on each tortilla.

Fill each tortilla with chicken and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll shut and place face down on the pan. Repeat until you’ve used all your chicken. Then top with remaining cheese and drizzle the rest of the enchilada sauce over the dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve garnished with tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream and any desired toppings.