If you watched my live video yesterday from Vie, then you’ll know that I like to think on my feet in the kitchen and am usually super hangry right around the time I realize I have no time to cook something. This is when my commonsense approach to meals kicks in!
I’ve been wanting to try both Mas Guapo‘s seasoning mix and Trader Joe’s frozen Fire-Roasted Corn & Cotija mix. I remembered I had tortillas, cheese, and loads of fire-roasted tomatoes (my favorite) from my demo yesterday so after putting Mr. Baby down I decided to throw together a couple of lunch combos to get me in the spirit of writing and working (or maybe I just needed the energy to deal with the after school chaos?). In either case, these two meals fit the bill for me on all fronts and I’d love to share!
For flavor reference: Mas Guapo is a delicious spice mixture that has a little bit of everything but leans toward Latin flavors and TJ’s Corn Mix is super complex because the mixture of the perfectly fire-roasted corn and cotija really add a layering of flavor that compliments anything. The nice thing is that the cotija is packaged separately so that’s perfect for all you Vegans out there!
Many of you know that I love local, so reaching for Mas Guapo (a local company) was a no-brainer. The first thing I did was fire up the range to heat up my skillet for a round of simple quesadillas. Then I remembered I had the fire-roasted corn & cotija…and then I remembered I had a nice big stash of fire-roasted tomatoes from Harris Teeter.
Once my skillet was warm, I added my tortilla+cheese+corn mixture and let that melt & toast slowly while I threw together a quick salsa in the blender. I like my salsas spicy, tomato-y and completely pureed (read: cantina style). I’ll include the recipe below! After I finished pureeing my salsa, I poured it into a bowl and couldn’t let the remnants go to waste. Those of you whom have taken classes from me or know me well know that I never let anything go to waste. So, I filled up my blender with 2 cups of water, swirled it around to grab any leftover salsa, and then stopped because I had to think about how to use this delicious watered-down version. Of course, a soup popped into my head.
Fire-Roasted Corn & Cotija Quesadillas
Cut yourself some slack and take 10 minutes tops to throw together these delicious quesadillas that everyone will eat. Trust me, I know: my dog even stole some off the high chair...
2 flour tortillas
cooking spray, olive oil or unsalted butter
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese
2 Tbsp cotija cheese
1/4 cup fire-roasted corn (frozen)
+sour cream, lime and salsa for garnish
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Oil the pan and add 1 tortilla. Sprinkle on cheeses and corn, then cook for a few minutes until cheese begins to bubble.
Next, place the second tortilla on top, press to seal and flip to toast the other side.
Slice into quarters once tortilla is browned and serve with sour cream, a lime wedge and salsa (recipe to follow).
With the leftover salsa-water, plus some more Mas Guapo, an onion, some garlic and the rest of the fire-roasted corn (and ahem another can of fire-roasted tomatoes) plus the white beans I had on hand…I had a gorgeous healthy soup that came together in 10 minutes. Even better, I remembered I had corn tortillas as well. I love tearing corn tortillas and throwing them into tortilla soup to thicken the soups up. That’s just what I did!
Easy Cantina Salsa
I make this often when I'm craving a nice, simple salsa with a kick. But remember, you are in control of the spice level so go easy (or not) if you like.
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 Tbsp pickled jalapenos
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp Mas Guapo seasoning
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
1 tsp cumin
Blend all ingredients together in a blender and store for 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container!
To all of you who think you can’t have a simple, delicious and homemade lunch in 10-15 minutes (that doesn’t require a microwave or a call to your favorite takeout joint)…guess what? You can, and you will!
Luckily, baby slept through most of all of this and only woke when he smelled the amazing aromas from the kitchen. Yes, he is my kid: he wakes up when he smells food cooking!1