BLUE CORN CHIPS HUEVOS RANCHEROS

This huevos rancheros dish is a quick and easy solution to warm weather dining when the last thing the cook needs is to spend an inordinate amount of time running around a hot kitchen. It’s also pretty easy on the eaters—substantial without being heavy. Give it a try!

Blue Corn Chips Huevos Rancheros

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced onion

1-15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp butter

8 eggs

2 cups salsa verde sauce

3 cups blue corn tortilla chips

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced thin

4 oz crumbled queso fresco cheese

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1) To medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil; add onions and cook 5 minutes until softened; reduce heat to low and stir in black beans, chipotle chile, cumin, sea salt, and water and cook 5 minutes; reduce heat to lowest setting to keep warm

2) In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; break eggs into skillet and cook to desired doneness (I cooked 3 minutes until whites started to set, added 1 tbsp water, and covered with a lid to allow the whites to set more firmly and the yolk to cook partway without flipping–yum!); remove from heat

3) Assemble each of four plates as follows, dividing ingredients between them: spoon 1/2 cup salsa verde on plate and scatter chips over it, top with eggs, scatter avocado, cheese, and cilantro over it all; serve it up!

Servings: 4

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PORK AND PLUM SAUCE STIR FRY

This Pork and Plum Sauce Stir Fry is easy and tasty. The only negative for my guys: chopsticks. They know how to use those lovely little pinchers–well, close enough–but chopsticks do limit one’s ability to quickly devour a tasty meal–a plus in my opinion since it always takes far longer to make than to eat 🙂

Pork and Plum Sauce Stir Fry

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sesame oil (optional, but it adds a nice, snappy flavor)

1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, sliced thin into bite-sized pieces

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

4 green onions, sliced thin

1-8 oz can bean sprouts

6 oz whole wheat thin spaghetti, prepared al dente according to package directions

3/4 cup plum sauce

3 tbsp sherry cooking wine

sea salt

ground black pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1) To large wok (or deep skillet), add olive oil and sesame oil and heat over medium-high; add pork and cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes until lightly browned on both sides and no longer pink

2) Add bell pepper and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes; add green onions, bean sprouts, and pre-cooked spaghetti and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes

3) Stir in plum sauce and cooking wine, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook 3 minutes; remove from heat, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve–see, easy!

Servings: 4

BLACK BEAN-BACON DIP

I know dips are usually reserved for appetizers, but from time to time our family enjoys making a meal of chips and dip. Though our favorite remains Cream Cheese Black Bean Dip, this Black Bean-Bacon Dip is a contender. The only complaint was from Junior Too: “It could be spicier.” In which case, you can always substitute hot salsa.

Black Bean-Bacon Dip

6 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon; if you use regular fatty bacon, you probably won’t need the olive oil)

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped fine

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped very fine

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1-1/2 cup salsa (I used medium)

2-15 oz cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and coarsely mashed (leave some beans intact)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup grated Colby-Monterey Jack blend, divided (cheddar is good too)

2 tbsp taco seasoning

tortilla chips

1) In large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until just crisp; remove from heat and chop; set aside

2) Add olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high; add onions and jalapeno and, stirring often, cook 5 minutes until veggies soften; reduce heat to medium and stir in cilantro (reserving 2 tbsp for topping), salsa, mashed black beans, sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese (reserving 1/4 cup for topping), bacon (reserving 2 tbsp for topping), and taco seasoning; cook, stirring often, 10 minutes until heated through; remove from heat

3) Pour bean dip into medium-sized serving dish, top with reserved cheese, bacon, and cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips

Servings: 10-12 (appetizer), 4-6 (entree)