Black Bean & Squash Enchiladas with Homemade Red Sauce

If you have been around my blog for a while you know that I love Mexican food! I mean, I love it! I’ll take eggs with a Mexican twist, something with cilantro and avocados for lunch, a Mexican casserole or fajitas for dinner. Long gone are the days when I wouldn’t eat Mexican food at all and my hubby was forced to find a friend to go have some Mexican food with.

So no surprise then that I recently created a new enchilada dish, which of course I have to bring to the party. Fiesta Friday requires at least one yummy Mexican meal! It is a “Fiesta”, after all! 🙂

I have always been a meat eater. I still am. But what is different is that I am also a vegetable eater now. There are plenty times that there is no meat in something I cook and I am completely content with that. Long gone too are the days when this girl would never eat vegetables. Many of you have taught me that vegetables can be delicious! Thank you for that!

This reformed meat-only girl 🙂 loved these enchiladas! So did my hubby!

I am so thankful to my friend, Jamie, for sharing a recipe with me for red sauce! I hadn’t been eating enchiladas because the sauce is not low-glycemic. But, I was able to take the recipe this friend gave me and make it without anything that would be considered high glycemic. (If you are reading this, thank you Jamie!!) 🙂 We love the sauce!

Black Bean & Squash Enchiladas with Homemade Red Sauce

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients for Enchiladas:

  • Flour tortillas (could easily be substituted with corn for my gluten-free friends)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 onion chopped up
  • 2-3 yellow squash, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder (we like mild, so if you like hot increase this up to a couple tbsp.)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chicken stalk (or vegetable stock)

Directions:

  • Begin cooking your squash on medium in a frying pan in a little bit of olive oil. When they begin to get tender, add in the onions, garlic, and black beans. Cook until everything is the consistency you like it.
  • To make the sauce, heat the oil on medium high, adding in the tapioca flour. Stir for about a minute. Stir in the spices, and then pour in the chicken stalk. Reduce heat and whisk until it gets to the desired thickness.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a baking dish.
  • In each tortilla, put a few spoonfuls of the bean and squash mixture. Then add some fresh cilantro. Fold up the tortilla, trying to keep everything inside. Do this until you have made all the enchiladas.
  • Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes.
  • When you take it out of the oven, add the cheese and more fresh cilantro.

We are beginning our second year of Fiesta’s together! How exciting!! Angie, thank you! And Sonal and Josette….so fun that you are co-hosting! Thank you!

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My Signature2

Guest Post for Kat’s 9 Lives: Lemon Rosemary Chicken & Squash with a Creamy Garlic Wine Sauce

Have you met Kat yet? Did you know she has 9 lives? Yep! Her adventurous life, her artsy life, her fashionable life, her frugal life, her healthy life, her organized life, her scholarly life, her social life, and her spiritual life. 🙂

Kat is great….she is creative and fun! And I was honored when she asked me to be her “Closing Comerade” this month. I brought over a dish I created: Lemon Rosemary Chicken and Squash with a Creamy Garlic Wine Sauce. You can find the recipe HERE.

Enjoy the recipe…we sure did!

And enjoy saying hi to Kat and looking around her blog!

My Signature2

Cinnamon Pork Chops with Homemade Apple Sauce

What do you think? Is it true? Is it really better late than never? 🙂

Well, here I am “late” to Fiesta Friday! But it is not just any Fiesta Friday, it is the final week of celebrating the 1 year anniversary! Angie, did you ever imagine it would become what it has?! It is a place to get to connect with other bloggers, have fun, learn from one another, make friendships, and get to share our creativity. I have been blessed in all of these ways by being a part of the party! Thank you Angie for beginning something that would be impactful for so many people!

Surely most of you are stuffed by now, but what about a bite of these delicious cinnamon pork chops with homemade applesauce? Yummy!

I covered the chops in olive oil, cinnamon, and black pepper and fried them for about 30 min. You want to make sure that the inside is completely white. I don’t know what got me thinking I should put cinnamon on them, but that’s exactly what I did, and I definitely didn’t regret it. Delicious flavor!

For the homemade applesauce, I cut these apples up and used my Ninja to do the job for me. I think I added some water and a little bit of honey….experiment around with different flavors. It was so good! No preservatives, no refined sugar….love making things homemade!

Happy Fiesta Friday! And Happy Anniversary Angie!

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My Signature2

Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

One of Hubby and I’s most well-loved appetizers is Wheat Thins dipped in cream cheese that is covered with raspberry chipotle sauce. Have you ever had it?! I can’t express how good it is! Truly!

The problem? Wheat Thins are high glycemic, highly processed, and the chipotle sauce is full of refined sugar. Ah, a challenge! 🙂

I actually hadn’t felt that sort of challenge rise inside me, or even the desire to try to create new recipes in quite sometime. Though that is not the reason why I haven’t been blogging for the past two months, the fact that I was so excited about creating something of my own again, got me praying about and thinking about whether it was time to come back. So, here I am. I still don’t fully know what it looks like for me to be “back,” but I do know it will be different than before. It will mean less blogging. It will mean less visits to your blogs, though I will still visit! I truly have missed you all…many of you have become dear friends from around the world! 🙂

Okay, so back to Wheat Thins with raspberry chipotle covered cream cheese 🙂 ….. or in this case, what I created with this yumminess in mind: Cheese stuffed chicken with homemade raspberry chipotle sauce! (Gluten free with no-refined sugars, of course!)

The cheese in the middle? Half cream cheese, half Monterrey Jack, and a little bit of almond milk to smooth it out. I truly had no idea if this combination would taste good, but it absolutely did! Really nice taste and texture…loved it!

I cut up some fresh yellow squash and carrots, letting them soak in olive oil, 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed dried chipotle peppers, and a little bit of honey before I cooked them. I wanted to carry over the “chipotle flavor” into the vegetables.

Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large, dried chipotle pepper
  • Raspberries (I didn’t measure….maybe one cup.) Use fresh if available, if not you can use frozen.
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, pressed
  • 2 tbsp almond milk + some almond milk to mix with the cheeses.
  • Cream cheese
  • Monterrey Jack cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Put a chicken breast (one at a time) in a large Ziplock bag and using a meat cleaver, tenderize the chicken and flatten it out. When finished, place on a large plate. Do the same thing with the second chicken breast.
  • Now you want to start preparing the sauce. In a food processor (I use a Ninja), add the raspberries, chipotle pepper, water, honey, almond milk, tomato paste, olive oil, and garlic. Once thoroughly mixed and chopped up, put on the stove in a sauce pan and heat on low.
  • To prepare the cheese, you will want to melt the Monterrey Jack a bit, so that it softens up. I placed it, along with the cream cheese, and some almond milk into a mixing bowl and used a hand mixer to combine all the ingredients, making it smooth.
  • Now you are ready to stuff the chicken! Place a layer of the cheese onto each piece, then fold the pieces in half.
  • Once your sauce has been cooking for about 2 minutes, pour some over the chicken. Save the rest, keeping it warm, so that you can poor more over the chicken when it is finished cooking.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes. (That timing worked great for us, but it depends on how thin you got your chicken and how much you stuffed it.)
  • When ready to eat, pour more of the sauce over the chicken if you would like. We did, and loved it!

This recipe is definitely another keeper in our house! I will probably experiment with the sauce some more, because it didn’t taste like what you get at the store, but we still loved it!

A couple weeks late, but Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it!

A Warm Mexican Style Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Black Bean Salad

The first meal I cooked in our new home! And if you know me well, you are not at all surprised that it has quinoa in it. 😉

Such a colorful salad with so many healthy and delicious ingredients in it! And it was just as delicious as it was those other things! My hubby…my mom….we all thought so!

A Warm Mexican Style Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Black Bean Salad

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • About 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large avocados
  • Lots of fresh Cilantro
  • Honey
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chile Powder
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 white onion
  • Olive oil
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

  • After peeling the sweet potatoes, boil them for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, put 4 cups of water into a pot and boil. When it begins to boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on it, and let simmer for about 12 minutes.
  • By now, your sweet potatoes will be ready to cut up. Slice them into small pieces. Set aside.
  • Dice up a white onion and put it in a skillet with some olive oil, Saute for a few minutes. Add in the garlic, sweet potatoes, chili powder, and honey.
  • When the quinoa has finished simmering for 12 min, take it off the heat, stir, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Cut up the avocado (I mashed it up a bit), adding the lemon juice from 1/2 of a lemon.
  • Slice the tomatoes in half and set aside. Wash and cut up the fresh cilantro.
  • Add the drained and rinsed black beans to the skillet with the sweet potatoes. Add more chile powder and the juice from the other half of the lemon. Mix around and let heat. Make sure to stir often, so your sweet potatoes don’t get burnt.
  • When this is finished, add all your ingredients together. Add some extra sauce by using a mixture of honey, balsamic vinegar, and more chile powder (depending on how spicy you want it.)

Enjoy!

My Signature

Chicken with Cherry Curry

*Please Note: This was a pre-scheduled post, as my hubby and I are enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation for a couple of weeks. Please do stop by and comment…just know that I won’t be able to reply for a while. I appreciate you all!*

Have you ever met someone who says they hate a certain type of food and when you ask them why, you realize they have never even tried it? Well, I am sure you know those people…and if not, now you do! 😉 Before I began cooking about 6 months ago, this was me!

And one of the foods I adamantly said I didn’t like was Indian food. Had I ever even taken one small bite of it? Nope. Believe it or not, this girl was far from adventurous with food!

How ironic then when God saw fit to bring quite a few wonderful Indian foodie bloggers into my life! You all are often introducing me to exquisite looking food….the spices you use, the meals you create have continued to intrigue me. Thus, when I saw my bloggy friend, Anjana’s, recipe for Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk I was inspired!

I hope after I got finished experimenting and creating a new sort of curry dish, that all of you, my dear Indian friends, can still call this Indian food! 🙂 Let me know! 😀  Anjana, thank you for the inspiration!

So many new spices for my pallet to soak up and enjoy! My hubby and I both really liked this! No, this girl does not hate Indian food! 🙂

Chicken with Cherry Curry

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen with inspiration from this recipe at  The Corner of Happy And Harried.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 14 red cherries
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • 1 tsp white cooking wine
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 5 fresh cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  • Chop up the onion and place the pieces into a skillet with a couple tbsp of olive oil.
  • Press or mince the garlic and add that to the large skillet or saucepan.
  • Cut up the cherries and set aside.
  • Add the cinnamon, garam masala, coriander, tumeric, and red chili pepper…stirring to mix everything together.
  • Add the coconut milk, honey, and wine.
  • I let this cook on medium for at least 30 minutes, maybe more.
  • Add the cherries to the mixture and let them cook in it for about 5 minutes. Then turn the burner down to low, so that it is just keeping the sauce warm.
  • When sauce is pretty much done, cut up the chicken into small pieces and put them in a skillet with a couple tbsp of olive oil. Cook on medium or high heat, flipping the pieces when the front side is cooked. Once both sides are cooked, you are ready to eat!
  • Put the desired amount of chicken on each plate, pouring the cherry curry sauce over it.

Lori9

Southwestern Shrimp Tacos with a Chipotle Honey Lime Sauce

We have been on a shrimp kick lately, and boy am I loving it! So many fun and creative things to do with this most delicious treat! 🙂

This time I decided to pull from my absolute LOVE of Mexican food, but with a little twist…a “southwestern” twist. 🙂

Oh my! Oh my! These were scrumptious!! And the sauce was the extra “oomph” that put these over the top!

Southwestern Shrimp Tacos with a Chipotle Honey Lime Sauce

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shrimp (I used jumbo)
  • Tortillas of your choice (use a gluten free alternative if needed)
  • 1 can black beans
  • Cilantro
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1-2 limes
  • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning + more to cook on the shrimp
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Olive oil
  • (1 tsp tapioca flour if you desire to thicken the sauce)

Directions:

  • Peel and de-vein all the shrimp. Set aside.
  • Prepare all your veggies. Wash and chop up the cilantro. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the avocado in smaller pieces.
  • Begin preparing the sauce by putting the honey, almond milk, 1 tsp chipotle seasoning, and fresh squeezed lime juice in a saucepan and heat over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain and rinse the black beans and put them in a large skillet on low heat.
  • When all of these things are pretty much ready, you can cook the shrimp. It cooks fast, so you want it to be the final thing you do.
  • Pour a bit of olive oil in a large skillet, placing the shrimp in it. Sprinkle them with your desired amount of chipotle seasoning and cook until both sides are pink.
  • Heat up the tortillas and you are ready to dig in! Enjoy!

Lori9

 

Black Bean Fajitas: Guest Post at Simply Vegetarian

My friend, Sonal, asked me to do a guest post over at her lovely blog: Simply Vegetarian. Surely most of you know her by now! She is so sweet and she is often expanding my horizons when it comes to the food in my kitchen! I love that!

Though I am not a vegetarian, this reformed vegetable hater (yes, it’s true), has really grown to appreciate vegetables. And I love that my vegetarian friends, like Sonal, continuously introduce me to new vegetables and wonderful ways of cooking them.

The dish I brought over to Simply Vegetarian was delicious black bean fajitas with homemade guacamole. Loved them! I told Sonal that I didn’t even miss the meat. 🙂

To see my guest post, say hi to Sonal, see more pictures, and get the recipe, go HERE.

(Thanks Sonal! So fun to get to do this…I feel honored!)

Lori9

Sauteed Shrimp with a White Wine & Garlic Cream Sauce

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“Its Friday,” you say?! Friday?! You know what that means right?! Party time! 😀

For those of you who have yet to come to Fiesta Friday, please come join us!

So, what am I bringing to the party?

I know, I know….you are thinking, “That sure doesn’t look like something sweet.”

You are right….your eyes do not deceive you. 🙂 No, it is not sweet, but I can guarantee you that it sure is delicious!

I had never cooked shrimp before, but it is something that both my hubby and I love. The fun part was creatively coming up with a sauce that would compliment the flavor of the shrimp. And I just have to say that I absolutely loved how rich and flavorful it was! Yet another dish that proves my love for coconut milk! 🙂

Heading over to the party now, and looking forward to seeing you there!

As always, a big thanks to Angie at The Novice Gardeneand the co-hosts! You are appreciated!

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Sauteed Shrimp with a white wine & Garlic cream sauce

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp
  • 1/3 cup white cooking wine
  • 1 2/3 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Half of a lemon for lemon juice
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 3/4 cup thick coconut milk
  • Kale

Directions:

  • Mince garlic
  • Pour the wine, butter, and garlic into a large saucepan, letting them saute.
  • Add the mustard, coconut milk, crushed red pepper, and lemon juice. Let cook on low to medium heat to let all the flavors mix with one another.
  • Meanwhile, peel and de-vein the shrimp.
  • Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until both sides are pink.
  • Serve on a plate, along with some kale.

Lori9

 

Stuffed Sirloin Tip

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Our families haven’t seen us since I began my cooking adventures. This is what they are used to:

  • Me sitting around relaxing while they are cooking
  • Occasionally they would ask me to grab something, and I would internally feel freaked out and wonder, “Am I going to know what that is?”
  • Pouring the gravy into the “Gravy bowl” wrong dish.
  • My pickyness….growing up my mom would make 2 meals. One for me and one for everyone else.
  • Blandness….give me some bland food please! 🙂
  • Me not being willing to try things they make that I have never had before.

You could ask my mom, dad, and brothers if they ever thought I would cook, no less enjoy it, and they would all say with absoluteness, “NO WAY!!”  But, I am a different person now. 😀

So, how fun to get to cook for our families and let them into this new world of mine….this world of creating beauty in the kitchen!

I recently cooked for my mother-in-law for the first time ever. I wanted to introduce her to some of my favorite things, so I came up with this recipe consisting of steak, black beans, quinoa, sauteed onions, Monterrey Jack cheese, and a sweet and tangy honey & white wine vinegar sauce.

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My mother-in-law was a trooper…she is just like I used to be….very picky, likes bland food, and is convinced she hates things even though she has never tried them. I totally understand where she is coming from! We told her she had to at least take one full bite with everything in it and then if she didn’t like it she didn’t have to eat it. 🙂  Well, she took that bite….thank you mom….okay, so she is not quite ready for my adventurousness yet. 😉 I have to admit though that I wasn’t too sad about it because it just meant that hubby and I could have more! 🙂

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Hubby did the actual grilling for me….he is the grill master in our house. 🙂 This delicious sauce I made is what he basted the sirloin in…so flavorful!

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We absolutely loved this recipe! Really….I could eat this every day! Not exaggerating! And because I love it this much, I am bringing it to the party this week! Dig in friends! 😀 Fiesta Friday goodness!

Angie, thanks for starting this party and keeping it going every week! I truly love it! And to you wonderful co-hosts (Fae at Fae’s Twist & Tango and Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen) , thanks so much for all of your hard work! Between you and Angie…you guys keep this party hopping! 🙂

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Stuffed Sirloin Tip

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 3 large extremely thin cut sirloin strip steaks
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 of a yellow onion
  • Chili powder
  • Honey
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil

Directions:

  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (You may want to check on it a few times. If all the water soaks up too soon the quinoa will become really crunchy.).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, slice up the onion.
  • Pour a little bit of oil in a skillet and saute the onions. When they are mostly finished, add in the black beans, some honey, some white wine vinegar, and chili powder. Cook until all heated.
  • When quinoa is finished, add it into the skillet and stir.
  • Make a cup of sauce for basting with by combining honey, white wine vinegar and chili powder…play around until you find the taste you are looking for…whether you like it more tangy or more sweet. Set aside.
  • Lay the steak out. Put the black bean/quinoa mixture onto one half of each steak, fold the steak up, and use skewers to hold it tightly together.
  • Grill, flipping and basting, until cooked to your liking.
  • Use any extra sauce to pour over the steak at the end.

Come Join the party! All are welcome!

Lori9