Tag Archives: Sour cream

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.

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Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

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I really didn’t know what to expect when I was making this Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower. I had never tried roasting cauliflower before, so this was something new for me. I’m not a particularly big fan of cauliflower either, but I do love roasted veggies–so I thought it would be worth a try!

When I had my first taste of this, I thought, “Wow, this is good!” I really did. It surpassed my expectations. Who would have thought cauliflower could have tasted so good? The cauliflower is roasted, along with some sliced red onion, in a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice. Sour cream and shredded Cheddar cheese, added after the roasting, give this side dish a rich, creamy flavor. And the crumbled bacon on top is a nice touch, although this is great without the bacon, too, if you want to keep it meatless.

I’m sure this is something everyone in your family will love. It’s definitely worth making!

CHEESY ROASTED CAULIFLOWER by NancyCreative, adapted from Kraft Foods

Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Juice from 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup regular or lite sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 ounces) , regular or low-fat
  • Optional: 1 slice of cooked and crumbled bacon or 1 Tablespoon real bacon bits

Preheat oven to 450˚F.

In large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients; spread onto foil-covered rimmed 10 x 15″ baking sheet. Bake at 450˚ for 40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes for even baking (you may get a few burnt edges on your sliced onions and cauliflower, but that’s okay!).

After cauliflower is roasted, spoon back into large bowl and stir in the sour cream. Then mix in the shredded Cheddar cheese. Spoon mixture into an oven-safe baking dish and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is all melted. Top with crumbled bacon or bacon bits, if using, and serve.

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This is a great dinner side dish. And something to keep in mind for special holiday meals. It’s not the healthiest way to prepare cauliflower, but it sure is good! Do you have a favorite cauliflower side dish?

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?

Chocolate Chip-Cherry Banana Bread

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I love trying different variations on banana bread–there seem to be so many! I’ve made a Chocolate Chip Banana Bread before, which is really yummy, so when I saw a recipe at BetterHomesandGardens.com for a banana bread with both chocolate chips and cherries in it, I knew I needed to try it out! I made some changes to the recipe, including using a little more chopped cherries, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips. This quick bread is such a treat and if you want a more elaborate treat, you can add a scoop of vanilla or cherry ice cream on top of a warmed, thick slice of this bread and drizzle chocolate or hot fudge sauce over it all!

Another thing about this bread is that I think it tastes even better after a day or two. It comes out of the oven a little on the crusty side, but when it’s completely cooled, wrapped, and refrigerated overnight, it moistens up and the flavor seems a little more enhanced somehow. You can also freeze this–it thaws out well and tastes great!

CHOCOLATE CHIP–CHERRY BANANA BREAD by NancyC, adapted from BetterHomesandGardens.com

Makes a 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2 small-to-medium bananas)
  • 12 Maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Lightly spray or grease a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine Greek yogurt (or sour cream), eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir in mashed bananas.

Add  yogurt (or sour cream) mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in chopped cherries, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350˚F for 50 to 53 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean–be careful not to overbake, or the bread will be dry. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

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Then slice, serve, and enjoy!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Creative Time Out.

5-Layer Mexican Dip

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Since rooting for your favorite sports team can work up an appetite (or is that just an excuse to snack? 🙂 ), I thought I’d share this yummy dip recipe I found on the Kraft Foods website. I love recipes like this that are so easy to make! And because it has refried black beans, olives, green onions, and chopped tomato in it, it’s a little healthy, right? You could make it even healthier by using light sour cream instead of regular sour cream. Or, if you like plain Greek yogurt, you could even substitute that for the sour cream. And if you use low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, you have a lower-calorie dip that’s still really tasty!

I made a few small changes to the recipe and included suggestions for making it lighter. This makes about 4 cups of dip or 32 (2 Tbsp.) servings. You can also make this into a 6-or 7-layer dip by adding a layer of guacamole and/or salsa–either one or both would be good, and I’ve noted that in the recipe…

5-LAYER MEXICAN DIP by NancyC, slightly adapted from Kraft Foods

  • 1 (15-1/2 oz.) can refried black beans
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup light or regular sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt
  • optional ingredients: 1 cup guacamole and/or 1 cup salsa (as additions to, or in place of, the sour cream)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or low-fat shredded cheddar cheese)
  • 3 green onions, sliced (you can slice up the entire green onion, or just the stems)
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced olives (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • optional garnish: 1/8 to 1/4 cup sour cream, or Greek yogurt
  • optional garnish: 1 sliced green onion stem

Mix the refried black beans, chili powder, and cumin together, blending well. Spread onto the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.

Spread sour cream over the bean mixture. If using guacamole and/or salsa, spread 1 cup of each over the sour cream, spreading the guacamole first. Then top with a layer each of shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, sliced black olives, and chopped tomato. Garnish with additional sour cream and sliced green onions, if desired.

Refrigerate several hours or until chilled; serve with tortilla chips (blue corn tortilla chips are good with this, and I’ve read that they are healthier than the white corn tortilla chips).

Then dig into the dip and enjoy the game!

Linked to Carole’s Chatter.