Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mexi-Base & 4 Quick Meal Ideas

Whether you're cooking for one, or for a family of 6, there are several simple tricks I've used over the years.  I like to keep 2 cooked legumes, 2 cooked whole grains and a variety of sauces on hand so I can throw together 30 minute meals without much fuss.  Taking this concept a little further, I make a mixture of TVP, Spices, Black Beans and Salsa that is the base of at least 3 more meals.  It also freezes well, but it has a shelf life of 5 days providing that you NEVER double dip.

I like using my  homemade salsa, but you don't have to.  Store bought is just fine if you're into that.  I'm fairly picky about my salsa, but I do love Mrs. Renfro's brand and they have a HOT Ghost Chili sauce that is delicious, but I digress.  Back to the recipes.  For simplicity sake, I will use canned beans, but obviously, if you cook your beans from scratch, it will be cheaper.

Mexi Base
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • good pinch salt
  • Canned chipotles to taste (depending on your heat preference)
  • 15 oz can black beans and the liquid
  • 1 cup dried TVP
  • 2 cups Salsa
  • Water if needed (between 1/2 - 1 cup)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  1. In a skillet or cast iron over medium heat add the oil and spices, onion and garlic and salt.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft
  3. Add the Chipotles, beans, tvp, salsa and 1/2 cup water.
  4. Cover, cook for 10 minutes, then add more water if needed, the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt/pepper to taste.
Awesome stuffed in a collard burrito mixed with leftover grains
Or rolled into corn tortillas , topped with salsa mixed with Queso and baked at 350 for 30 mins
Turn it into a quick chili. 2 cups mexi-base, any leftover veggies, veggie broth and some more salsa. Simmer then top with your favorite toppings. 
Finally, you can make a BURGER out of it! 
Top the burger with my Southwestern Sauce and enjoy!!
Or eat on a fresh tortilla (we got these amazing fresh tortillas at a farmer's market... mmmm

What are your tricks for getting quick meals on the table?  If you're cooking for one, do you have trouble motivating yourself to cook real food?  

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