A Year of Recipes: #16

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Corn bread mix, scallions, cilantro (paste), eggs, enchilada sauce, cumin, chili powder, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, ground beef (I did 93% lean)

This weekend was another of doubling-up in the kitchen (largely because I’m traveling 3 out of 4 weekends this April!) My friend who has recommended a recipe or two before mentioned a Crockpot Tamale Pie she had made before and really enjoyed.

I try to avoid too many canned foods and powdered mixes but sometimes I gotta throw caution to the wind.

I did the majority of my grocery shopping at Target (I had already planned a trip there to spend too much money on clothing and kitchen gadgets) and I picked up the last few items at Walmart since I had to stop by the vision center the following day.  Walmart unfortunately either doesn’t carry cilantro or was out of it, so I ended up purchasing “cilantro paste.” Strange…but it was organic and didn’t have anything too weird in the ingredients. I’m honestly not a big fan of strong cilantro flavor (I halved the amount) but I will admit the paste was extremely easy to work with so kudos to Gourmet Garden for that!

Oooh oooh baby.

The crock pot mix was easy to put together.  Brown up the meat and add the spices.  Cut up some glorious scallions.  Like I’ve mentioned before, green onions tend to upset my stomach but I love them so much I cut up one extra 🙂 Fortunately no queasiness this time around!  All my cutting boards were dirty so I used a paper plate, which works just fine!

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My obligatory close up shot to avoid nasty food photography.

The next step is putting everything but the cornbread mix, eggs and cheese into the crock pot.  It says to cook on low for 8 hours, which is a lot considering the beef is supposed to already be browned.  I ended up switching to high for 4 hours instead and everything seemed to turn out okay (with one minor exception which I will explain next.)

The final step is to mix your eggs with the cornbread mix and pile on top of the mixture.  I felt like there was a little too much liquid left, so I did spoon some out.  Perhaps that is where the 8 hours on low really would make a difference.  Nevertheless, it was no problem to remove a little extra liquid, (and when it came time to serve I used a slotted spoon so it didn’t matter much anyways!)

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I’ve never cooked anything that looked so much like Jabba the Hutt.

While I was mixing up the corn bread mix, I thought about how I was going to serve the dish and saw that it was recommended with shredded lettuce and/or sour cream.  While the corn bread mix cooked, I ran to the store to pick up shredded lettuce, and I’m glad I did!

By the time I got back the cornbread was done, and I scooped out about 1/5 of the contents into a big bowl of lettuce.

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Love how this picture turned out, and I swear there is a cup or two of lettuce under there 😉

Let me say, this was delicious and as soon as I finished I really wanted a second serving (but resisted!)  I’m very glad I added the lettuce, it seemed to perfectly round out the dish.

Taste: 3.5/4 – Next time I’m doing no cilantro and this might make it up to 4!
Ease: 3.5/4
Guiltless: 2/4 – The calories aren’t awful on this (around 600 if I do 5 servings) but certainly not the most natural ingredients.
Leftovers: 4/4 – Heat it up, throw it on a bed of lettuce, tastes just as good!

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