Elote Pasta Salad

Elote (Mexican street corn) is one of our absolute favorite side dishes to have during the summer. We have yet to find anyone that doesn’t like it and will find an excuse to squeeze it into any dinner menu that we plan. To change things up for our Memorial Day menu, we wanted to take everything that we love about elote and transform those flavors into a pasta salad to serve a bigger crowd. This recipe is the real deal. It’s cheesy, spicy, and has that hint of lime that makes it taste refreshing as well. We are obsessed with this recipe and hope it finds a way to your picnic tables this summer. If you’re already cooking on the grill, we encourage you the char the corn on there while you cook for a smoky flavor that can’t be beat.

Elote Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
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Everything we love about Mexican street corn folded into a warm delicious pasta salad. Bring on the summer barbecues!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spiral pasta (we used fusili)
  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 8 oz package queso fresco
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Tajin
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta and immediately put it back into the pot it was cooked in.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, heat your oven broiler to high (if you are already cooking on the grill, feel free to do this step on the grill). Brush the ears of corn with the olive oil and be sure to coat on all sides. Put the corn onto a cookie sheet and broil until lightly charred. Rotate the corn as necessary so that most of the sides have a light char. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Once the pasta has finished cooking and it back in the pot, immediately crumble the queso fresco into the hot pasta and toss everything well to coat. The cheese will start to melt and make a light sauce for the pasta. Use a knife to remove the corn from the cobs and add the corn, lime juice, paprika, Tajin, and cilantro into the pot. Toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. This dish is best served warm to room temperature.


Cauliflower Adobo Tacos

Recently we were at a brewery in Columbus that had the best honey adobo chicken fingers. They were so tasty that we have talked about them at least a half a dozen times since we first ate them. When brainstorming what we wanted to make for Cinco de Mayo this year, we knew we wanted to combine the flavors of that honey adobo sauce with cauliflower for tacos. We have been really into subbing cauliflower as a meat-free alternative, and find with the right flavors we rarely notice we are eating vegetarian. We love the combo of flavors in our version of honey adobo sauce- the honey and vinegar are the perfect combination with the smokey chiles and tangy tomato paste. They are sweet and spicy and an excellent centerpiece for Cinco de Mayo or any taco night.

Cauliflower Adobo Tacos

  • Servings: 6-8 taco portions
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Sweet and spicy cauliflower tacos that pack a punch!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, large stem and leaves removed and cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chipotles in adobo, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 taco-sized tortillas
  • your favorite taco toppings: avocado, red onion, cilantro, queso fresco, etc…

Directions

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of olive oil and lay the cauliflower florets in a single layer in the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 7-8 minutes on one side, or until the cauliflower is brown but not burnt. You’ll want to check the cauliflower during this 7 minutes and adjust the heat as necessary to get the cauliflower to the correct color. After the 7 minutes has passed, flip the cauliflower over and repeat the same thing on the other side. Remove the cauliflower into a large bowl and gently tent with foil until later in the recipe.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil to the pan along with the minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chipotles in adobo, water, apple cider vinegar, and cumin to the pan. In the ingredients above we give the option to use between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of honey. If you are making this for younger kids or people with a more spice sensitive palate, use the full 1/2 cup. If you really want to bring the heat go for 1/4 cup. Like Goldilocks we went right in the middle at 1/3 cup and found that it was just right. Whisk well to combine and cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat, or until the sauce is starting to become sticky.
  3. Add the cauliflower back into the pan and toss well to coat. Cook for another 2 minutes so that the cauliflower can absorb the sauce.
  4. Serve the cauliflower in tortillas along with your favorite taco condiments. We particularly like the cauliflower with avocado, queso fresco, freshly sliced red onion, and cilantro.


Spicy Chorizo Queso

Last week Justin Timberlake said “it’s gonna be May” and just like that, here we are rolling into Cinco de Mayo. Last year’s cinco celebrations were a bit bleak thanks to Covid quarantine and a general dismal state of mind. We are feeling much more festive this year and ready for any type of party (literally). We are starting off our menu with this Spicy Chorizo Queso and have to admit we are pretty obsessed with it. We use a variety of ingredients to bring the heat, including fresh jalapeños, pickled jalapeños, chorizo sausage, and chili powder. Unlike a lot of recipes you see out there, we add the chorizo into the queso (hence the red color). It might not be quite as photogenic but it is bursting with flavor. The final result is a complex combo of flavors that have us wanting to eat the entire bowl and calling it dinner. We won’t judge if you go that route as well.

Spicy Chorizo Queso

  • Servings: 8-10
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A queso that is perfect for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations or any gathering in need of a spicy dip.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz chorizo
  • 1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup gently packed, shredded chihuahua cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • pickled jalapenos, for garnish
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo (removing any casing) and cook until the chorizo is just cooked through. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon into a bowl and drain all but 1 tbs of the fat from the pot.
  2. Put the pot back on the heat and reduce to the heat to medium. Add the jalapeno, garlic, and onion to the pot. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the cumin, chili powder, and half and half to the pot.
  3. When the half and half starts to simmer, add about 1/3 of the cheese and stir well with a whisk to combine. When the first batch of cheese is melted, add another 1/3 and whisk to combine. Repeat with the remaining 1/3 of the cheese and again, whisk until the sauce is completely combined. Use a slotted spoon to add all but 2 tbs of the chorizo back to the pot. You want to leave behind any fat that drained while it was resting. Reduce the heat of the pot to low and let the sauce cook for 10 minutes. Whisk occasionally to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the queso to a large serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining 2 tbs of chorizo, lots of fresh cilantro, and pickled jalapenos. Serve with your favorite chips for dipping.


Semi-Homemade Fish Tacos

Last week we shared one of our favorite recipes for Spicy Slaw. We love this recipe because it can easily be paired with burgers, tacos, and even eaten plain as a salad. Today we are sharing one of our favorite uses of the slaw with this recipe for semi-homemade fish tacos. We use frozen fish filets in this recipe so that we can prepare the rest of the ingredients while the fish is cooking. This saves us a ton of time and cleanup in the kitchen and allows us to focus on preparing and incorporating fresh ingredients. Our taco toppings are fairly simple in this recipe, as this is a recipe we often use for weekday lunches. If you have more time in the kitchen, the sky is the limit with where you can take these. If you have some extra time, this recipe would pair perfectly with our avocado crema, red onion, and cotija cheese. We’d love to hear how you make it your own!

Semi-Homemade Fish Tacos

  • Servings: 6 tacos
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Our quick and easy recipe for semi-homemade fish tacos.

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen breaded fish filets (we used Trader Joe’s panko crusted tilapia)
  • 6 taco shells
  • 1 can black beans
  • Spicy Slaw
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salsa

Directions

  1. Prepare the fish according to package directions.
  2. While the fish is cooking, prepare the spicy slaw and set aside.
  3. Drain and rinse the black beans and heat in a pot over medium heat.
  4. When the fish is finished cooking, slice the fish into 1/2 inch pieces.
  5. Assemble the tacos. Place a generous portion of slaw in the taco shell. Top with black beans, fish, tomatoes, shredded cheddar and salsa. Serve immediately.


Seven Layer Dip Nachos

We have arrived at Super Bowl week! We have always loved celebrating the Super Bowl with huge food spreads, lots of friends, and family, but this year is most exciting for Kidd because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be playing. Kidd has been a Bucs fan through thick and thin, so this year we have set out to make a menu that is extra special. While our gathering may be a bit smaller, we fully plan to indulge in an epic Super Bowl spread.

Jamie hates seven layer dip. Let’s just put that out there into the world and get it off our chests. The layering of all of these different ingredients- some of which should be hot, some of which should be cold- is just a huge no no. The only problem with her dislike of seven layer dip is that everyone else in the family loves it. Can’t get enough. When brainstorming recipes for this year’s Super Bowl, we knew we had to form some sort of compromise so that the seven layer fans get their fix, but make sure that Jamie wouldn’t be repulsed by the idea of eating cold refried beans. Enter Seven Layer Dip Nachos. A recipe to make all of the people happy. We have baked the chips, cheese, refried beans, and chiles before topping them with all of the ingredients we prefer to have cold. To spice things up, we have made a chipotle lime sour cream and added our homemade guacamole. If you’re not in the mood to cook any more than you have to, you can easily purchase sour cream and guacamole at the grocery store and call it a win. These nachos are a gorgeous heap of cheesy goodness and the perfect game day appetizer for hungry football fans.

Seven Layer Dip Nachos

  • Servings: 8-10
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Our version of Seven Layer Dip made into nachos!

Ingredients for the Nachos

  • 1 bag of your favorite tortilla chips
  • 8 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chiles, drained
  • 2-3 tbs sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo, drained well
  • 1/2 recipe of our homemade guacamole

Ingredients for the Chipotle Lime Sour Cream

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • juice from one lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay half of the chips onto a small cookie sheet in an even layer. We like the nachos to be piled high, so if it looks like the sheet tray is getting little crowded, that’s okay! Just make sure the chips are in an even layer so they don’t spill in the oven.
  2. Use a spoon to dollop half of the refried beans, green chiles, and shredded cheese over the first layer of nachos. Add the remaining tortilla chips on top of the first layer and repeat the dollops of refried beans, green chiles, and cheese. Bake the nachos in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted.
  3. While the chips are baking, make the sour cream. Whisk the sour cream, chipotle in adobo, cumin, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. When the cheese is melted onto the chips, remove from the oven and let the topping games begin! Dollop the sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole around the chips, trying to get the toppings into all of the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle with the olives and serve immediately.


Shrimp Taco Salad

We love mixing up our protein options by incorporating fish and seafood into our menu planning. This salad is the perfect way to bring shrimp to your lunch table in under 30 minutes. Tajin is a Mexican seasoning blend of chili powder, lime and salt. We eat it on just about anything – fruit included! Using the tajin gives the salad a citrusy punch that is complimented by the yogurt and avocado crema salad dressing. We have intentionally made this salad to be on the lighter side, but if a salad just won’t cut it for your appetite, this recipe can easily be put in taco shells or tortillas and topped with cheddar or cotija cheese to bulk it up. For us, this is a perfect weekday lunch to have while working from home.

Shrimp Taco Salad

  • Servings: 2 lunch servings
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A lunch salad that is filled with flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes; a great recipe for a weekday lunch while working from home.

Shrimp Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs tajin

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 package (8 oz) coleslaw mix
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 single serving package (5.3oz) non-fat Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Season and cook the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and tajin. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil and cook the shrimp fully through (about 3 minutes per side). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and 1/2 avocado and mix until the avocado is fully blended with the yogurt. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, tomatoes, beans and cooked shrimp. Toss with the yogurt/avocado dressing.
  4. Optional – if you want to make this dish more hearty, you can put the salad mix in a tortilla to make a wrap or serve as individual tacos.


Cauliflower & Chickpea Enchiladas

We have seen a lot of New Year’s resolution posts on our social media accounts, and one of the most common food goals people are talking about is the desire to eat more plant based. Eating plant based has a number of benefits for our bodies and the environment; including a reduced carbon footprint and greenhouse emissions. Our mom eats mostly plant based and we will never forget when she ordered the surprise vegetarian dinner at a steak house only to have a bowl of pasta served to her. We view cooking plant based meals as a fun challenge; we like to experiment with new ingredients and flavors and not just replace meat with pasta or other empty carbs. When we have a successful dish like these enchiladas, we don’t even miss the meat.

Cauliflower & Chickpea Enchiladas

  • Servings: 4
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A plant based recipe that everyone will love. These enchiladas are so delicious we promise you won’t be distracted they are vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed and florets chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 4 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed (we love Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large burrito-sized torillas
  • enchilada sauce (anywhere from 10 – 16 oz)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • chopped green onions, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drizzle the cauliflower with 2 tbs olive and season well with salt and pepper. Lay the cauliflower in an even layer and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is roasted and fork tender. Leave the oven on and reduce the head to 350 degrees, as you will need to bake the enchiladas after they are assembled.
  3. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and onion to the pan. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the onion starts to caramelize. Add the chipotles in adobo, cumin, coriander to the pan; mix to combine and let the spices toast on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the chickpeas, sour cream, and water to the pan. Stir to combine and cover. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes to soften the chickpeas. Remove the lid and mash half the chickpeas with a potato masher or a large fork. Add the corn and gently fold in the with a spatula to combine. If the cauliflower has not finished cooking by this point, remove the pan from the heat until the cauliflower is cooked. When the cauliflower is roasted and tender, to the pan and mix everything well to combine.
  5. Lay the four tortillas onto your counter top or cooking space. Divide the cauliflower mix amongst the four tortillas. Do the best you can to roll them into burritos.
  6. Spray a pyrex baking dish with cooking spray. Use a spoon to layer about 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish. Add the four burritos to the pan in an even layer. Top the burritos with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Spray a piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the baking dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, the first 15 minutes covered in foil and the last 5 minutes uncovered to let the cheese get melty and bubbly. Top with green onions, cilantro, or avocado if you wish and serve immediately.


Avocado Crema

When we are having friends over, we like to create a menu that allows our guests to pick and choose what they want to eat. Recently, we had our friends Kaitlyn and Aaron over for arepas. We had arepas, served with our Beer Braised Shredded Chicken and lots of toppings including black beans, grilled corn, and shredded coleslaw cabbage. One of our favorite condiments for a dinner like this is this recipe for Avocado Crema. The yogurt in the crema is a nice tangy addition to the heartier dishes like braised chicken and stewed black beans. It’s a great condiment for tacos, arepas, quesadillas, or any other of your Mexican favorites.

Avocado Crema

  • Servings: 4 servings
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The perfect, quick and easy, taco topping.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Use a fork or potato masher to mash the avocado in a small mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (yogurt – cumin) and mash really well, until the avocado crema is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


Beer Braised Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

During the fall and winter months, it is so comforting at night to have a warm cooked meal on the table. The problem with that is we don’t always have the time to be in the kitchen for hours on the weeknight. This recipe helps bring both together by giving you a delicious meal that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. This is a fun Mexican spin on a traditional shredded chicken. The beer, limes, and dried chiles blend together for a tangy, citrusy chicken that has just a hint of heat. We love this recipes because there are endless options for how you can use this chicken. We put it in tacos, over salad, or even on a burger bun- you can truly incorporate this any way you would like. We have found through some trial and error that our favorite beer for this recipe is a lighter ale, specifically, Corona. The key to cooking with any alcohol is that if you like to drink it, you will likely enjoy eating it as well. So if you don’t like Corona, just swap it out for something that suits you.

Beer Braised Instant Pot Chicken

  • Servings: 6-8 for taco preparation
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A quick & easy recipe for shredded chicken that is perfect for tacos, enchiladas, and salads.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 4 dried guajillo chilis (these can be found in the Mexican section of most grocery stores)
  • 6 oz Corona Beer or another beer of your choosing
  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (~6 chicken thighs)
  • 1 lime, cut into segments

Directions

  1. Put the Instant Pot on the sauté setting and add the olive oil and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the salt, pepper cumin, chilis, beer, and limes to the pot and give everything a quick stir. Place the chicken breasts into the Instant Pot and try to submerge them in the liquid as much as possible. It’s ok if they are not fully submerged. Switch the Instant Pot setting to the Pressure Cook setting on High and set for 12 minutes.
  3. Use the quick release once the chicken has finished cooking. Use two large forks to shred the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve in tacos with rice and salad or in any other format you would like!


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Servings: 6
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We love to have a good pot of soup on the stove in the fall as the weather starts to get chilly. This Chicken Tortilla Soup has been in our recipe repertoire for many years now- it’s a go-to recipe that is the perfect mix of savory and spicy. It’s also very healthy and an easy way to get our veggies in when it’s cold out. If we are having friends over to watch a football game, we can up the ante and have lots of fun toppings to add over top. What starts out as a simple cup of soup can easily turn into a hearty meal with just a few toppings! We love to serve this soup with a batch of cornbread or crusty bread to dip into all of that spicy soup left at the bottom of the bowl.

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs)
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed (we used a roasted corn from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1- 28 oz can roasted tomatoes
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional Topping Ingredients

  • shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • tortilla strips
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced green onions
  • sliced avocado

Directions

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and let it get nice and hot. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper and the paprika. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until they are seared well. They will not be cooked through at this point, but remove from from the pan onto a plate.
  2. Add the yellow onion to the pan. If the pan is dry, go ahead and add an extra tbs of olive oil to prevent sticking. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion starts to caramelize. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and coriander to the pan, saute another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the black beans and corn to the pan. Toss to give it all a good coat. Add the roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, and chicken breasts back to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and remove the chicken breasts from the pot. Keep the liquid cooking on a low simmer while you shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken back to the pot, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup hot with any additional toppings.