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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chorizo Chili

Pumpkin Chicken Chorizo Chili

Well, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Do you have an extra can of pumpkin puree? Want something delicious to do with it? Well, read on.

This is honestly one of the best things I have ever made in my slow cooker. Seriously. And of course, this is exactly the time of year that everyone has a can of pumpkin puree in their cabinet, pumpkin puree stored in the freezer, or can easily go get a can at the store. After making this, you may just start stocking up on some year-round. If you didn’t know there were no tomatoes in this chili, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell. Eight hours and the canned pumpkin and all of the other ingredients do something rather magical together. jwa doesn’t even like chili and he loves this chili.

I find the chorizo adds enough heat for me, but you may want more. If so, just serve with some hot sauce.

And like a lot of chili recipes, this one has a secret ingredient – smoked chocolate chips. In the recipe below, I just listed bittersweet chocolate chips, but if you are feeling extra ambitious or . . . → Read More: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chorizo Chili

$50 Safeway Gift Card Giveaway + Grilled Flank Steak & Quinoa Soup with Cilantro Chimichurri

Seared Flank Steak & Quinoa Soup with Cilantro Chimichurri

Recently, I was contacted by Safeway and asked if I wanted to try some products from the new Marcela Valladolid line and enter the Safeway Real Taste of Mexico Meal Solution Challenge.* Being a huge fan of Mexican food, I decided to take them up on their offer – and also because I could give a $50 Safeway gift card away on my blog! And if you don’t live by a Safeway, don’t worry, it’s also good at a number of other stores (see below).

In starting to develop a recipe for the contest, I kind of veered away from Mexico a bit and accidentally wandered down to Argentina and Peru (let’s call it pan-South American, maybe?). But hey, that’s a useful thing about these Marcela Valladolid products – you can experiment a bit and see where your imagination and other ingredients take you!

I chose to use the Flank Steak for Arrachera, which is seasoned with a tasty mix of citrus, rosemary and thyme. And while it would have no doubt made great tacos, it also worked very well in this soup. Versatility! We also used the corn tortillas . . . → Read More: $50 Safeway Gift Card Giveaway + Grilled Flank Steak & Quinoa Soup with Cilantro Chimichurri

Xico on SE Division

Xico, SE Division, Portland, OR

Yes, as you’ll be able to tell from the photos here, we went to Xico early last month, back when there was this thing called…the sun, hanging bright in the sky. Even though it is all cold and rainy now, I suggest going to Xico and getting yourself a margarita — that will definitely lighten up the evening.

During our visit, we sat in the back patio area and enjoyed a very good meal. But really, the actual inside of the restaurant looked super cozy too. I’d imagine it will be a great place this fall and winter for a few drinks, enchiladas, quesadillas and other assorted Mexican dishes. The vibe is slightly upscale and authentic Mexican fare (sort of like Nuestra Cocina further down on Division) but Xico is a shorter walk for us in the rain, so that is a definite bonus. I liked it and would definitely go again.

They also have lunch and a lunch window. I think my new goal is to try a Sonoran hot dog (Grilled Nathan’s all beef frank, bacon, salsa verde, eye-of-goat beans, cotija, crema, pico de gallo) one day very, very soon!

Xico
3715 SE Division . . . → Read More: Xico on SE Division

Asian-Fusion Tuna Tacos

tuna tacos

This was a delightfully odd mix of a meal. I saw the original recipe and thought it sounded somewhat interesting but both jwa and I really, really liked the resulting dinnerc. I am always a fan of tacos and these were no exception. I got some local Oregon coast Albacore Tuna Loin from Flying Fish and went to work with my grill pan.

And bonus! During one of the very few, very hot days we’ve had so far this Summer — the grill pan is only heated for about 5-6 minutes total! Yay!

The beans below were a quick attempt at a side dish and I’ve got to admit, I think they worked quite well.

Asian Tuna Tacos (Tacos de Atún Estilo Japones)
Adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine. Serves 4, recipe is easily halved.
1⁄2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp prepared wasabi or 1 tbsp powdered wasabi mixed with 2 tsp water
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp lime juice
1⁄2 tsp sugar
1 pound tuna steaks, about 1-inch thick
Kosher salt + pepper
3 tbsp mild olive oil
8-16 corn tortillas, warmed (amount depends if you like to double-up your tortillas for tacos)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin slices
3 scallions, thinly . . . → Read More: Asian-Fusion Tuna Tacos

Veggie & Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy

Enchiladas with Chile Gravy

Okay, this is one of those recipes that I saw during the day and went, “OH MY GOD!!!” And then when I got home I immediately made it for dinner. The original recipe is awesome but it’s also one of those recipes that is super-easily adapted to anything you feel like sticking in there. In fact, the first time I made these, I did so as written, except that I just about a tablespoon of defrosted, squeezed-out, chopped spinach per each enchilada for Spinach and Cheese Enchiladas*.

This dish below, however, might just be my new standard enchilada recipe. And, since I plan on making this once a week, I did do a few things to make it a little more once a week friendly. Namely, adding veggies, not frying the tortillas, and decreasing the cheese (!!). Also, and you may certainly not want to do this, but I used a combination of low fat cheese (1/4 cup) for inside the enchiladas, saving the good stuff for on top (3/4 cup). Yes, I know, crazy-talk!

But, wow, still so good and I feel a little bit better about eating this how frequently . . . → Read More: Veggie & Cheese Enchiladas with Chili Gravy