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Feeding the Temple– Grab Your Sombrero!

Originally, we promised to offer some healthy ideas for cooking foods that taste good and are easy to throw together upon returning home from a long day at work. The trick is in preparing dishes that are good on day one and then do a super job of turning into luscious leftovers.

We also said that with a slight change to the basic ingredients that we have on hand in the fridge, we could go from one country to another. So join us as we visit south of the border.

We’ll start our trip to Mexico with Bean Burritos. There are many ways to prepare this meal that’s rolled up in a flour tortilla.

The way we like it is with the many components served buffet style. Thus, strolling down the line, it’s possible to ladle in a tiny bit of “this” or a lot of “that” until you have the perfect meal. The first item on the buffet is a stack of corn or flour tortillas, readily available in the supermarket. Our preference is flour because the corn tortillas have a tendency to fall apart after steaming. While it’s not necessary to steam the tortillas, it’s a nifty touch and enhances the aroma and flavor of the tortilla. And it’s oh, so easy! A microwave moment!

Place a damp paper towel on a plate, place a tortilla on the towel, cover with another damp paper towel and continue until you’ve layered 6 tortillas, ending up with a damp paper towel. Microwave the stack on high for 1 minute. If not warm enough, repeat for 1 minute. Place in a tortilla warmer or wrap in a cloth dish towel to retain the steam. Heat only 6 at a time for this to work.

Following on the buffet line are two favorites you’ve already prepared: Black Bean Dip and Chili Con Queso. The simple recipe for each of these was presented in “Football Anyone? The Starter or a Great Nosh.” Either of these is good for serving with corn chips, but this time they appear as stars of the dinner. The next item is Guacamole; then, salsa and/or chopped tomatoes (an offering for those who don’t like it ‘hot’). Shredded lettuce or fresh spinach leaves may be served, to top off this stuffing, if you’re crazy for greens as are we.

The parade of food on the buffet…

You can cook up another pot of Black Bean Dip or maybe you’ve got a bowl that remained in the refrigerator, ready to serve. So often it takes only a few minutes to fix double the amount of a good recipe, while the ingredients are already on the counter for use as a leftover, or that you have the foresight to freeze for a future dinner. See, here, how we use it as one of the delicious fillers layered in a flour tortilla.

The Chili Con Queso has been reserved in the fridge for as long as two weeks without deteriorating. If a little light line of liquid forms on top, simply stir before heating in the microwave. Of course, this recipe practically cooks itself, so check out the “Easy Peasy” version on that same page.


Remember, we stick with Easy, right? This is Easy! The trick here is removing the skin from the avocados. Believe it or not, I used to peel them! Oh, no! Slice the avocado in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the meat and remove the pit. Voila! Peeled avocado!

The problem with avocado is that the fruit blackens when exposed to oxygen. If preparing ahead of time, place a sheet of aluminum foil on the guacamole, pressing down on the fruit, rendering it airtight. If there is a slight blackening around the edges, simply remove and discard.


2 Avocados, ripe

1 package Guacamole Mix

1. Mash the avocado with a fork to the consistency you prefer. Some like it chunky.
2. Add the seasonings from the envelope and mix (don’t mash) throughout.


There you have it! Take a plate and place the tortilla on the plate. Layer the ingredients, and go heavier on your favorites. Seat yourself. Gently roll, so as not to spill goodies out the sides. Open wide and say, “Mmmmm, good!”

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