Huevos Rancheros

There is no food in the house.

You can’t make a delicious and satisfying meal

You must order takeout.

Have you found yourself in this frightening situation?

It usually hits just at the time when your favorite take out place is about to close and you end up debating being that jerk who places an order just before closing and makes the delivery guys work late (you will give him a good tip, you promise) and just taking a second look in the fridge.

9 times out of 10, I do actually have some ingredients that I can toss together and make into something.

Usually, it’s huevos rancheros.

Really, all you need is onion, peppers, beans and eggs. I tend to have all of these ingredients on hand. This time, there was also chorizo and some shredded cheese in the fridge. Score.

Chop up your onion and pepper and chorizo (if you have it) and toss into a pot with some olive oil.

Cook over medium heat until the veggies soften.

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Add in your beans. I had refried pinto beans in the cabinet, but you could  use black beans, pinto beans, refried black beans, kidney beans. Really, whatever you have.

 

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Let this cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Toss in a handful (or two) of cheese

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and stir.

 

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In a skillet, fry two eggs, sunny side and runny and gooey.

Place a scoop of the bean and veggie mixture on your plate and top with the fried eggs.

 

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And there’s a delicious and healthy meal from the contents of your pantry.

If you have, you can top with salsa or avocado or both.

You will feel better about whipping up something yourself and your delivery guy will thank you.

Mexican Style Baked Eggs

 

Two of my favorite things in the dinner world are meals that can be made in one pot and things that involve a gooey egg with a runny yolk.

This lovely concoction delivers both.

A baked egg dish brings a lot to the table. Ease, convenience, great way to use up some leftover veggies, and a way to pack in the veggies and goodness.

This dish is packed with all the flavors of a taco, but eliminates the extra calories of the tortilla and gives a protein punch with some eggs. Also, it’s a lot less messy than a make-your-own taco bar.

You will need

  • 1 white onion cut into thin slices,
  • 2 bell peppers (any color) cut into slices
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 eggs (two per person)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cheese, avocado, sour cream or whatever toppings you prefer

Start by drizzling olive oil in your pot. You want something that is oven-proof and also has sides at least 4 inches high, so you can sautee your veggies and not throw them everywhere.

Toss in your onion and peppers.

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Let them cook over medium until the onions are translucent.

Next add diced tomatoes

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And stir

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Let the tomatoes warm through and cook for about 5 minutes

Then add the rinsed and drained black beans

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And stir

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Season with salt and pepper and let this cook together for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425.

When you’re happy with your veggie mixture, lower the heat a bit and, using a wooden spoon, make a small divot in the mixture – one for each egg.

You want to be able to crack an egg and have it nestle into the little hole.

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Repeat with all your eggs.

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Then pop into the oven to bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggs are set.

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Carefully scoop out so as not to break the yolks and pile on a plate.

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Add cheese

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Some avocado and Greek yogurt (sorry we don’t use sour cream)

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And voila. Mexican baked eggs and only one messy pot.

Fajita Night

I love Mexican food for many reasons. First, of course, is for the taste.

The fresh crisp vegetables, the creamy avocado, the spices. Such great textural and flavor combinations. Cool sour cream against the heat of a chili. Soft tortillas and crunch peppers.

The second reason to love Mexican is how fast you can get dinner on the table when you do a Mexican night.

We make tacos a lot. Tons of variations, too.

But I haven’t made fajitas in a while.

You can buy a kit at the store, but you can just as easily make your own. The kit doesn’t save you much time any way – it really just puts the spice packet and the tortillas in the same box.

I made chicken fajitas, but you can use any kind of meat you want, or you can go vegetarian with it. Maybe add some black beans for the protein. Or tofu. If you’re feeling daring.

So you will need

  • chicken breast
  • 3 peppers (any color, I used green because they were cheapest), diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • vegetable oil
  • taco or fajita seasoning (it’s in a packet- it’s premixed with all those great flavors)
  • toppings as desired (I made my avocado yogurt dip and then added some shredded cabbage and cheese)

Preheat the oven to 400.

Place the chicken breasts on a foil lined baking dish. You want something with sides so the oil and spices won’t drip when you take the pan out (yes, I’ve made a mess of my stove before).

Drizzle some vegetable and some of the seasoning mix over the chicken. Add more if you want more spice and less for less. Totally up to you.

Pop the chicken in the oven and let cook until the juices run clear. You can also cut it open and check the coloring since we’re just going to shred the chicken later.

While the chicken bakes, add some vegetable oil and the diced peppers and onion to a pan.

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Sprinkle over more of the seasoning mix. Stir and let cook until the veggies are soft.

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When the juices are clear and the pinkness is cooked out of the chicken, remove from the oven and slice it up into bite size pieces.

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Add the shredded chicken to the pot of veggies, stir and let the mixture cook together. For a bit of extra flavor, pour the oil collected in the pan from the chicken into the pot. It adds some more fat and juice to the dish, which is on the light side.

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Last, but not least, assemble the fajita. Some avocado yogurt sauce, followed by shredded cabbage, then by the veggie and chicken mix and topped with cheese.

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That’s the third great thing about Mexican night. It’s assemble your own meal. It’s like those R.L Stine Choose Your Own Adventure Goosebumps books!

Except, you know, you won’t meet a mad scientist or a flesh-eating zombie if you make the wrong turn.