Category Archives: Fiesta

Veggie Enchiladas

Veggie Enchilada

We eat this dish often here at 488 and never tire of it!  It is filled with all sorts of veggies and beans and topped with nutritional yeast uncheese sauce , for a meal that will please not only picky meat-eating adults, but young kids, who turn their noses up to anything vegetable.  I used to roll them up and make more traditional enchiladas, but now I just layer with corn (gluten free) tortillas–like a lasagna.  It is much easier, takes a lot less time AND you can fit more into your pan.  You are going to love that fact, because it is even better on day 2!  Cheers to being full–heart, mind, and belly!!

Veggie Enchiladas

Servings ~9

  • 1 can of black beans, cooked according to my mexi-black bean recipe
  • 18corn tortillas, gluten free
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes, or as much as you like!
  • Splash of agave nectar
  • Splash of fresh lime juice
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 spanish sweet paprika
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 c frozen corn
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped–I used orange and yellow
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 c grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 c sliced black olives
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce, or make your own like I did.  I even made my own chili powder following Alton Brown’s recipe
  • 1 1/2 c uncheese nutritional cheese sauce
  • 1 container of dairy free sour cream
  • Fresh avocado slices
  • cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Add a splash of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of a lasagna pan, to coat the pan.
In a large skillet over medium-low, cook the onions in the EVOO for 5-7 minutes, until they start to soften.  Add the garlic, jalapeno, tomato, bell pepper, splash of agave nectar, lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper flakes and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the peas and corn and cook for another 5 minutes, until they are thawed.Add 6 (less or more, depending upon the size of your pan) corn tortillas to line the pan.Prepare the beans and uncheese, cheese sauce.Add a thin layer of beans (use about half of the beans) to the top of the tortillas.  Next, add a layer of the cooked veggies (use about half of the veggies).  Sprinkle 1/2 of the chopped olives on next.  Squeeze a lime over the veggies, add 1/2 of the sour cream, 1/3 of the enchilada sauce, and 1/3 of the uncheese sauce.   Add another layer of tortillas and repeat the process.  Add the top and final layer of tortillas and coat the top of the tortillas with the last of the enchilada and uncheese sauces.  Sprinkle some ground cumin and chipotle pepper flakes on top and bake for about an hour.  Check it at about 45 minutes, if the top is getting too brown, place a layer of aluminum foil over the pan to stop the top from getting to brown or burning.  Make sure you let the enchiladas cool for 15 minutes before you serve.  Serve with sliced avocado, sprinkle of cumin and a squeeze of lime over the top.  ENJOY!

Deconstructed Nachos

I know I promised you some of my favorite recipes from my stay at Anamaya Resort in Montezuma, and they will come.  Today though, I am sharing a recipe from my week with my hubby in Ojochal, Costa Rica.  Ojochal is a beautiful, small village on the Pacific coast, known for its  unspoiled beaches AND fabulous restaurants!  Once we were settled into our house, we conducted an extensive (ok, maybe about 10 minutes!) google search to narrow down our dining choices to only the very best-of-the-best, for our short week-long visit.  Through our search, we discovered a small, quaint place, Adelante, for a casual afternoon snack and drink.  It had a cool, comfortable atmosphere, with a great deck, a good beer list, and really spectacular and relatively healthful munchies.

Their deconstructed nachos were absolutely phenomenal and the presentation was simple and so stylish!  A couple of nights ago I decided to give them a try here at home.  Great idea!  They were so easy and we loved every bite.
Yes, they are just nachos, so you can use whatever toppings you like.  We prefer a meatless, minimal cheese nacho so that is exactly what I made.  What makes these nachos really special is the presentation, so make them fit your style!  Here is a picture of what I created.  Do you like my style??

Is your mouth watering like mine??

Deconstructed Nachos

Servings:  as many as you like!

  • corn tortillas, use a pizza cutter to cut into 4 pieces/tortilla
  • sea salt
  • pam cooking spray or oil
  • cheese of your choice.  I used shredded cheddar mix (very minimal) on these, but I think a thin slice of pepper jack, goat, or a high quality mozzarella would be great!
  • cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • black olives, cut in half
  • ripe avocado
  • ripe mango, cut into very thin and small slices
  • salsa
  • lime, cut into wedges
  • jalapeno, thinly sliced (not pictured)
  • cilantro, chopped (not pictured)

Preheat the oven to around 400 degrees F.  Use convection if your oven has that feature.

Slice your tortillas into quarters, place them on a cookie sheet.  Spray them with cooking spray or use a brush to add a very light oil to the top.  Sprinkle with a light dusting of finely ground (powdered) sea salt.  Bake until golden brown (about 10 minutes in my oven).  You may need to turn the cookie sheet to make sure the pieces are cooking evenly.  When they are just starting to brown pull them out of the oven and add the cheese.  Bake for another 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the chips are nice and crispy.

While the tortillas are cooking prep the other toppings.  Cut the tomatoes and jalapenos into thin slices and mangoes into thin and small pieces.  Dice the onion.  Slice the olives in half and fill them with your favorite salsa.

Make the guacamole according to your favorite recipe.  I like my guac very simple.  Here is what I usually do:  mash the avocado with a big squeeze of lime, a generous sprinkle of sea salt, chipotle pepper flakes, and cumin.  Add diced red onion.  Mix well.

Build the nachos!  Take a look at my picture to build like I did.  I had two different nachos.   1.  guac, tomato, olive 2.  guac, mango.  I wish I would have had fresh jalapenos and cilantro to add to the festive dish, but no such luck!  Instead, I sprinkled a mix of ground chipotle pepper and cumin over the top and garnished the plate with a lime.  I served them with fresh salsa and a big mug of Matilda!

Bon Appetit!



TACA salad

TACA salad

No, that is NOT a typo!  My TACA salad is a healthy mix of Tomato, Arugula, Cucumber, and Avocado.  The cumin, lime, and cilantro do give it a bit of a mexican flare, but it is definitely not a taco salad (whatever that really is!?!).

My hubby and I visited our local farmers market early Saturday morning.  We lucked out and and scored a big bag of super spicy arugula and some gorgeous (on the tongue and the eye!) cherry tomatoes.  It is pretty sad, but on our drive home we were munching away on the spicy green leaves and sweet little tomatoes…yep, we love to eat like bunnies!  So today I picked a couple of big cucumbers from the garden and made this FANTASTIC salad for lunch!  It was super easy to make and filled me up all afternoon.  Plus, this one will nourish your body like crazy with loads of antioxidants (to help you get rid of cancer causing free radicals), vegetable protein (which is low in acid and easily utilized by the body to make new tissue), healthy omega 3 fats (the backbone of mitochondria, which fuels your cells–esp your brain cells), SULFER (which helps rid the body of toxins), folic acid (which is necessary for DNA and RNA replication–i.e. building new, healthy cells), manganese (supports bone and tissue health), magnesium (transmission of nerve impulses, detoxification of toxins, heart and bone health), and calcium (do I really need to write about this one?!).

Do me a favor:  Hit your local farmer’s market this weekend and try this salad!  You will be very glad that you did!

Bon Appetit!

Stop drooling and get busy chopping!

TACA salad

Servings:  As many as you like!

  • Big bunch of arugula
  • Big bunch of green onions, chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of chipotle pepper flakes
  • 2 cucumbers, cut into bite size cubes
  • 2 avocados, cut into bite size cubes
  • 1 c (or more) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
  • splash of agave nectar

Mix together the fruit juices, cumin, salt, pepper, agave nectar, and chipotle pepper flakes in a large bowl.  Add in all of the other ingredients, except for the avocado and arugula, and stir until well coated with the dressing.  Add the avocado and very gently stir, until well distributed, being careful not to mash the avocado.  For serving, place a healthy amount of arugula in individual serving bowls.  Divide the vegetable mix evenly, and serve on top of your bed of arugula.  Eat and enjoy!


Black Bean Enchilada Soup

Black Bean Enchilada Soup

I have this awesome friend named Lisa.  She is a riot, beautiful, and always, I mean always has a big smile on her face and a great story to share!  Oh, and she also has a great appreciation for good shoes and good food — no wonder we are such great buds!

So, Lisa sent me this Enchilada soup recipe over the weekend.  When Lisa sends a recipe, I know I had better drop everything and make it immediately!  Which is pretty much exactly what I did!  She got the recipe from her Farm Chicks cookbook (I guess I need to get my hands on one!) and I adapted it with my usual tweaks to create this flavorful masterpiece that ended up in my stew pot this weekend–pure scrumptiousness in a bowl!

Before I share the recipe, do you want to know more about our weekend?  Too bad, cause I am going to tell you anyway!  🙂  It was our first weekend at home with NOTHING TO DO–no visitors, no commitments, NOTHING–in a very, very long time!  I can’t tell you how happy that made us!  So, what did we do??  LEAVE!  We took Tobi and Wilson (Henna has a bum leg right now, so she stayed home to rest) hiking on Sunday.  We headed south to check out Johnny Morris’ Dogwood Canyon Nature Reserve.  Great decision!  I have to take this opportunity to give Johnny much deserved thanks for creating a wonderful place for nature enthusiasts to get some exercise in the heart of the Ozarks!  For those of you who aren’t from these here parts (ha, I had to say that!), Dogwood Canyon is a beautiful nature reserve boasting a 6 1/2 mile paved trail for hiking, running, biking, roller blading–they even have a tram for those less inclined to get out and move!–whatever your preference may be.  The trail is lined with waterfalls, stunning cliffs, caves, trees, and much, much more!  Making it a photogs dream!  You could seriously spend all day exercising and snapping photos of the scenery–which is pretty much what I did!  Oh, happy day!

Anyway, we were exhausted by the time we made it home, but I couldn’t wait to get started on the much anticipated enchilada soup.  I quickly got the prep work done and set the soup to simmer.  Simmer it did–for about two hours while we sat outside by a bonfire sipping on thirst quenching home brews, playing with the dogs, rehashing our day of fun!  When we finally drug ourselves in for dinner we were starving for this hot and filling soup.  It took just one bite to know that it completely exceeded our expectations!  It was the perfect way to end our perfect day!  THANK YOU LISA for sharing!

Dogwood Canyon


Black Bean Enchilada Soup

Servings:  6

1 T ground cumin

1 T cumin seed


1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 T  garlic, minced

3-4 c veggie or chicken broth

1 # chicken (thigh is best), cut up into small pieces (hormone free-antibiotic free).  This soup tastes GREAT without the chicken, so don’t be afraid to make this vegetarian or vegan.

2 cans organic, non-gmo black beans, do not drain

1 14 oz can organice fire roasted tomatoes, diced

1 1/2 c frozen corn (non-gmo, organic)

1 c organic salsa

2 roasted jalapenos, minced

1 T chili powder

1 lime, juiced

1 t chipotle pepper flakes

cilantro, chopped

green onion, chopped

non-dairy sour cream (we use tofutti sour cream!)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Slice open the jalapenos and place them on a cooking sheet seed side down.  Roast for about 25-30 minutes, until very soft.  Remove from oven and mince.

While the peppers are roasting, saute the red and yellow onion, garlic, chipotle pepper flakes and cumin (both the seeds and ground) in EVOO in a large skillet over low heat until the onions are soft, but not brown–about 5-7 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium and add the corn, chili powder and roasted jalapenos and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the salsa, fire roasted tomatoes, chicken (optional) beans and a big squeeze of lime (about half of the limes juice) and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Turn up the heat to medium high, add the broth and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low (as low as you can go!) and cook uncovered for about an hour (or two if you get distracted), stirring occasionally.

Serve the soup once it has achieved the consistency you desire!  Garnish with a big spoonful of sour cream, a handful of chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and a big, big squeeze of lime!






My new fav lunch

Doesn’t that look good?? My new fav lunch!

I just finished devouring my new fav lunch.  It is fresh, delicious, and it only took 3 minutes to make–including the time it took me to get the ingredients out of my big a** fridge!  Keep the ingredients on hand for this one cause it is a super smart, super delicious, super filling, and a super great decision!  What is up with my fixation on SUPER today??  Anyway, try it–you WILL love it!

My new fav lunch

Servings:  2

Calories=350; fat=who really cares, most of it is coming from the avocado!

  • 2 GF tortillas–I like Udi’s (found in the freezer section at Mama Jeans)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced into 6 slices
  • 4 T fresh salsa–I use Artisan from Sam’s
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t cumin seeds or cumin powder
  • a few sliced black olives
  • 1-2 T diced red onion
  • sprinkle of nutritional yeast
  • 1 T cilantro, torn–if you have some on hand
  • 1/2 lime, juice only

Put half of the ingredients on a tortilla and sprinkle lime juice over the top.  Pop it in the micro for 30 seconds or so.  Prep the second one or do your clean up (return items to the fridge and wipe off the knife) while it is cooking.  Roll it up, eat and enjoy your quick and healthful lunch!


Flour tortillas!

Flour tortillas

I can’t tell you how much fun I have scouring the web looking for inspirations for my blog.  A few months ago I ran across the most kick a** site – .  This gal has it going on!  She swears and often consumes adult beverages while whipping up easy and affordable dishes and cocktails!  She is an absolute riot and the creator of this adapted recipe!  Make sure you check out her site!

Anyway, I turned to her when thinking about making my own tortillas.  She has a video showing and hilariously describing how best to make these puppies!  Her recipe is super simple, so I went for it!  We don’t usually have cow’s milk here at the casa, so I have made them with coconut and goat’s milk and both worked perfectly!  I must warn you though–once you have had a taste of these awesome tortillas, you won’t have the stomach to go back to the ‘bagged in plastic, tastes like plastic’ grocery store version!

Don’t forget to use these when you make your own tortilla chips!

Flour tortillas!

Makes 10-12

  • 2 c bread or AP flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 2 T vegetable oil (I use grapeseed)
  • 3/4 c room temperature goat, 2 %,  or plain soy milk

Sift together the dry ingredients.  In a separate container, add the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet into the dry and mix together.

On a clean counter top knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.  I don’t have to flour my countertop, but throw some flour down if your are afraid of the dough sticking.  Place the kneaded ball back in your bowl and cover with a cool, damp towel for 30 minutes.

Heat a non-stick or cast iron pan over medium/medium-high.  You want it nice and hot, but not smokin!

Divide the dough into 10 small pieces. Using a circular rolling motion with the palm of your hand against the countertop, roll them into small balls.  Let the balls rest under the damp towel for 10 minutes.  Again, flour your countertop if sticking is an issue.  Flatten a ball with your hand and then use a rolling pin to flatten it to a paper-thin thickness.  Carefully lift the tortilla off of the countertop and put in your heated pan.  I take my hand and twirl the sphere to brown nice and evenly.  Flip it over after it achieves the doneness that you desire.  Once finished start another one and keep going until you have cooked them all!  Try not to gobble too many of them down before you are finished!


The earthquaker

The earthquaker!

This super tasty dish was inspired by my hubby, who used to eat earthquaker burritos at some locally owned restaurant in Denver years ago.  He talks of this awesome burrito so often, I thought I would make up my own version.  MY earthquaker is more like a burrito casserole than a traditional burrito, but I think he liked mine even more than the original!

I picked up some beautiful new potatoes and sweet corn (and the juiciest peaches–don’t worry they are NOT in this dish!–although I think it might be kind of good!) at Gordon’s Orchard this week to pull this dish together.  If you are ever in our neck of the woods, make sure you stop at Gordon’s!  It is just south of Osceola and always has the BEST produce–I schedule my travel to be sure I can pick up some of their goodies!  Out of our garden, I picked a couple of gorgeous red onions and jalapenos to flavor it perfectly!  I even made the flour tortillas with goat’s milk from a local farmer!  Yep, I am getting a lot more industrious with my cooking and having the best time doing it!  You certainly do not have to make the tortillas, but it is a lot of fun, pretty darn quick and soooo much better than those dry, flavorless discs you purchase in a bag!

This dish will take a little more time than most on this site, but I promise you have never had anything like it!  It might be a good idea to double the recipe so you can eat one now and pop the other in the freezer for a rainy (or very busy) day!  BTW–I am munching on the leftovers as I am writing this dish, and holy schnikes is it good!

Warning:  This is another ‘don’t forget the beano!’ dish!

The earthquaker

Servings:  10

  • At least 9 small flour tortillas or six medium/large (see my site for the home made version)
  • 1 c uncheese cheese sauce (use link for this recipe)
  • 1 bag or 1 1/2 c grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1-2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 pack of Old ElPaso burrito or enchilada dry mix
  • 2 # new potatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 2 t (or more!) chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1-2 T EVOO
  • PAM cooking spray
  • 1-2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 T (or more!) cumin seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-10 oz can enchilada sauce, we like it hot!
  • 1-10 oz can  green chili enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 large can black beans, cooked according to my mexi-black bean recipe
  • corn from 3 cobs, about 1 1/2 c
  • green peas, about 1 1/2 c
  • 1 large lime
  • cilantro and sour cream for garnishing, as desired!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Start a pot of salted water boiling and add new potatoes.  Boil for 20-25 minutes, or until fork tender.  Drain and cube into smaller, bite size pieces.  Throw into a big bowl that has a lid, add a sprinkle of salt, freshly ground pepper, 1 T cumin seeds, chipotle pepper flakes, and a large splash of EVOO.  Put the lid on your bowl and shake to coat the potatoes well.  Place in a large lasagna pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are nicely browned and a little bit crispy.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel so you can use it for your casserole.

If you are going to make the tortillas, get them started once you get the potatoes in the boil pot!  This is also a good time to make the uncheese sauce.

When building the casserole, think about how you make a lasagna–in layers, right??  Use that approach to build this dish!

Spray the lasagna pan with a light coating of PAM.  Put a thin coating of the green chili sauce on the pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with one layer of tortillas (about 3 small).  Add  1/2 of the potatoes, pepper jack cheese, corn, peas, jalapeno, black beans, and onion.  Sprinkle with a 1/2 t cumin seeds, 1/3 of the Old ElPaso mix, and squeeze lime juice over the top.  Add another layer of tortillas and put a healthy coating of the red and green enchilada sauces on top.  Next, add the second half of the ingredients listed above.  Then add another sprinkle of cumin seeds, 1/3 of the Old ElPaso dry mix, and lime juice.  Add the last tortilla layer.  Coat with the last of the red and green enchilada sauces.  Drizzle the cheese sauce on top and sprinkle cumin seeds, Old ElPaso dry mix, and more lime juice over the sauce.

Bake for at 375 for 40-45 minutes.  I use convection bake setting on my oven, but regular bake is fine.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

While waiting for the dish to cool, slice your avocado and get the garnishes ready to go!

Serve this dish with a nice cool amber ale, margarita, or light white wine and ENJOY!!






Sweet potato and jumbo shrimp enchilada

We made this recipe last night and it was absolutely amazing!  We have been making vegetarian/vegan enchiladas for years now and really can’t get enough of them, but we decided to be adventuresome and try something new.  If you love enchiladas, you will ADORE this recipe!  If you leave out the cheese and shrimp and add more veggies and some rice, you will get a fantastic vegan meal!  Serve this with a Saison or a glass of fume blanc.

Bon Appetit!

Sweet potato and jumbo shrimp enchilada

Serves 5-6


1-2 T cumin seeds (more to taste)

2 t chipotle pepper flakes

1/2 red onion (chopped)

1/2 yellow onion (chopped)

1-2 T garlic (minced)

1 red bell pepper (chopped)

6-8 small campari tomatoes (chopped)

1 large sweet potato, sliced thin into coins

1 c corn (no canned–frozen or fresh)

1 packet Old Elpaso Burrito seasoning (or the like)

1 # jumbo shrimp (raw, deveined, shelled)

1 c mexi black beans

1 1/2 c nutritional yeast un-cheese sauce (recipe to follow)

1/2 c tofu sour cream

2 cans old elpaso enchilada sauce (medium temp is nice)

1 avocado

1/2 c cubed habenero cheddar cheese

9 flour tortillas — try the homemade version!

In a large saute pan heat the evoo.  Add the cumin seeds and chipotle pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and corn, cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the sweet potato and the burrito mix and stir in (try not to break apart the sweet potato). Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Move the veggie mix to the edges of the pan, leaving an open circle in the middle.  Add a splash of evoo if you aren’t using a non-stick pan.  Add 10 shrimp (or what will fit in the open circle).  Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes (until turns opaque and pink).   Once the shrimp is cooked set it on a plate to rest and repeat until all of the shrimp are cooked.  Once you are finished with the shrimp stir the veggies around again to sop up all of the shrimp flavor in the pan.  Turn off the heat and start assembly.

While the veggies are cooking prepare to assemble the enchiladas.  You will need a sort of assembly line to put these babies together.

Spray pam cooking spray on the bottom of a lasagne pan.  Cover the bottom of the lasagna pan with enchilda sauce (1/4 of a can is probably enough).  Put in an easy to reach location probably at the far end of the assembly line.

Cover the surface of a dinner plate with the enchilada sauce (another 1/4 of a can?).  Step one in assembly, so put it close to the saute pan with  the veggies.

Set your tortillas (probably 8-10) near your dinner plate

Cube the cheese and have a plateful handy here.

Set your container of sour cream next in line.

Next will be the cooked rice.

Plate of shrimp and the chopped cilantro

Assembly (this is a dirty job, so have paper towels handy):  take a tortilla and rub both sides on the plate with the sauce to coat (add more sauce to the plate as needed).  Leave the coated tortilla on the plate while you add the other ingredients.  Add a scoop or two of the veggie mix.  Add a dollop of sour cream.  Add two spoonfuls of rice.  Add 3-4 cubes of cheese.  Add 3-4 shrimp and a drizzle of cilantro.  Roll up the tortilla and set in the lasange pan.  Repeat until you are out of the filler ingredients.  Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce on top (or as much as you like).  Drizzle the nutritional yeast sauce on top (as much as you like).  Bake at 375 degrees F for 35-45 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and/or more sour cream.

Nutritional yeast un-cheese sauce:

1 c nutritional yeast flakes

1 1/2 c soy milk

1 t soy sauce

1-2 t dijon mustard

Mix well.  You can cook this on the stove top for 5-10 minutes to get a nice thick cheese-like sauce.  You do not need to cook the sauce if you are using it to bake–it will thicken as the dish bakes.