Tag Archives: Cilantro

Mango-Jalapeno Salsa from The Daniel Plan Cookbook

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Now that the weather is warming up, I’ve been eating more fruit–there’s something about the warmer weather that makes me crave it more! I love all kinds of fruit and that’s what I like about this Mango-Jalapeno Salsa–there’s a nice variety of fruit–mango, pineapple, and apple–mixed in with some diced tomato and red bell pepper. It’s a little on the spicy side, so use half the amount of jalapeno and ginger if you want a milder salsa. Overall, I think this is a great, healthy mix of naturally sweet and savory flavors!

517gSVWkM3L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Speaking of healthy, this recipe is from a new cookbook out last month, The Daniel Plan Cookbook, by Pastor Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman. It’s a companion book to the New York Times Bestseller, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life and has 100 easy recipes (with full-color photos) to help you eat healthy for life. “Food truly is medicine,” says one of the authors, Dr. Hyman. Eating real, whole foods can help reverse chronic disease, aid in weight loss, and even optimize brain health. In developing the book, the authors thought about what most people like to eat, then created healthy versions of popular dishes to show that healthy eating is possible in the “real world.” So there are recipes for Blueberry French Toast, BBQ Chicken Pizza, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Classic Meatloaf, and Chocolate Coconut pudding, to name a few…that just goes to show you don’t need to feel deprived when you’re eating healthy!

I received a sampler of recipes from the book and decided to try the Mango-Jalapeno Salsa. This tropical-style salsa goes well with Mexican recipes using fish or chicken, like the Grilled Spicy Fish Tacos, another delicious-sounding recipe in the book. I really like it with those blue corn tortilla chips, too.

MANGO-JALAPENO SALSA from The Daniel Plan Cookbook

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup seeded and diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno (use half the amount of jalapeno and ginger for a milder salsa)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place salsa ingredients in a bowl. Mix together well. Chill in refrigerator. (Keeps up to 1 week refrigerated).

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This makes about 3 1/2 cups of salsa. It’s really easy to make and so good! Have you tried making a fruity salsa before?

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Fiesta Chili Mac

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One of the things I enjoy most about cooking and baking is taking a recipe and “making it my own.” And that’s exactly what I was asked to do with a few recipes from Ragù! It was fun creating this tradish_logo_300x300“New Tra-Dish” Fiesta Chili Mac using Ragù® Old World Style® Traditional Pasta Sauce. Each jar of this pasta sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes, making it Ragù’s richest, thickest recipe.

I decided to put my own spin on Ragù’s Family Favorite Chili Mac–which you’ll find it on their site, along with other great tasting, quick and easy recipes. I decided to do a Fiesta-flavored version of it, adding in some onion and green bell pepper to the ground beef when it was almost done cooking. Then I mixed some cheddar cheese in with the meat mixture, pasta sauce, and macaroni to make it nice and cheesy. And of course you need Fiesta toppings, so I used a little more cheese, sour cream, green onion, and tomato to top this dish. I also used chopped fresh cilantro as a garnish, which is optional. Chopped or sliced black olives would be another great topping, also optional.

This turned out to be a very yummy and filling dish! It’s very cheesy, with lots of rich tomato taste from the Ragù pasta sauce. I really liked the addition of the extra veggies and toppings, too. If you like these Fiesta flavors, then I’m sure you and your family will really enjoy this!

FIESTA CHILI MAC by NancyCreative, adapted from Ragù’s Family Favorite Chili Mac

Makes 6 to 8 servings in a 9″ deep dish microwave-safe pie plate (or you can use an 8×8″ or 9×9″ square microwave-safe baking dish)

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jar (1 lb. 8 oz.) Ragù® Old World Style® Traditional Pasta Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, plus a dollop for the top
  • 2 green onion stems, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato
  • Optional: 2 to 3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, 2 Tablespoons chopped or sliced black olives

Grease or spray a 9″ deep dish microwave-safe pie plate (or similar-sized microwave-safe baking dish, like a square 8×8″ or 9×9″ dish); set aside. Note: It helps if you have all your veggies chopped before you begin cooking! You can cook your macaroni beforehand too, or  cook it while your ground beef is cooking.

Cook ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until almost done. Add chopped onion and green bell pepper and cook a few minutes longer until they are slightly tender and ground beef is done.

Stir in pasta sauce and chili powder. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in cooked macaroni , blending ingredients well, then add in 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese, blending cheese evenly into the mixture.

Spoon this mixture into your greased 9″ deep dish pie plate (or similar-size baking dish), mounding up mixture toward the center (if you use an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking dish, the mixture will be more level). Sprinkle another 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese evenly over the mixture (leave the other 1/2 cup cheese for the garnish). It will look like this in a pie plate–quite a hefty mound!

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Microwave on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the cheese on top is thoroughly melted.

Remove from microwave and top center area of pie with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup sour cream, chopped green onion, chopped cilantro (optional), chopped tomato, and chopped or sliced olives (optional). Add an extra dollop of sour cream in the center, then serve. Note: You’ll want to add your toppings quickly so you can serve this dish while it’s nice and hot!

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When serving, if you’ve used a pie plate, you can cut “slices” as if you were cutting a pie, but as you can see, the “slices” probably won’t hold their shape on your plates–since it tastes so good though, I don’t think anyone will mind! 🙂 If you make this in a square baking dish, you can cut into squares and serve or just spoon out with a large serving spoon.

You can find more quick and easy recipe ideas from Ragù at Facebook.com/RaguSauce.

This post was sponsored by Ragù and Yummly, but the opinions expressed are mine.

Sharing this recipe at Foodie Friday and Meal Plan Monday.

Southwestern Black Bean Soup

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Winter seems to be trying to hang on in some areas! Have you had a lot of cool spring days where you live? Well, next time the temperature drops, this is a great soup to make if you like black beans. I found this recipe at Eating Well, and thought it sounded good. And after tasting it, I thought it was great!  It has a little chili powder, cumin, and even some salsa to give it a little zippy Southwestern taste. Since you puree half of this soup, it has a nice creaminess with a little chunky texture. And it tastes great with some sour cream (or greek yogurt), shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped fresh cilantro on top. I added less water than the original recipe calls for, which was a good thing, because the soup would have been too watery for my liking if I had followed the recipe exactly. I really like the way it turned out–it’s great for lunch or a lighter dinner.

SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN SOUP by NancyC, adapted from EatingWell.com

Makes about 6 servings

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 small or medium onions, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream (about a Tablespoon), shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin, and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add beans, water, salsa, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree (use caution when pureeing hot liquids)–you may have to puree half the soup in two batches. Stir the puree back into the saucepan. Serve soup garnished with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or chopped cilantro, if desired.

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Do you like black beans? What’s your favorite way to prepare them?

Black Bean Chicken Chili

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I was searching for a chicken chili recipe and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I came up with this recipe. I really love this chili! It tastes great and it’s healthy, too! It’s a little different from your typical chili…with chicken instead of beef, and lots of tasty ingredients like onion, garlic, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and fresh cilantro. I think this recipe could work with ground beef, too, if you prefer that over chicken. This chili is so nice and thick… it’s thick enough to serve over rice if you want. And it’s great when you top this bowl of chili with a heaping helping of fresh cilantro and shredded Monterey Jack cheese or Cheddar cheese…yum!

Here’s the recipe…hope you like it!

BLACK BEAN CHICKEN CHILI by NancyCreative

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 (1 lb.) package boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, uncooked and cut into chunks (about 1/2″ or a little smaller)
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice, fresh-squeezed or bottled
  • 1 (15 oz.) can corn, well-drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • dash of salt, if desired
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a large saucepan (a 4-quart size works well), heat olive or canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir onion, garlic, and chicken chunks in oil for 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center (if you’re having trouble cutting the chicken before you cook it, you can cook it first and then cut it into chunks).

Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, and lime juice; stir until mixture is well blended. Add corn, black beans, and green chiles, stirring until blended. Next, add ground cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and a dash of salt if desired, stirring until blended. Then stir in 2 Tablespoons of the chopped fresh cilantro, stirring until it’s well blended in the chili mixture.

Heat chili to boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in bowls and garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro and shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese.

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You can also serve this chili over rice if you’d like to. It makes a great meal on a chilly day!