Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SNAP Meal - Mexican Fiesta

It's almost a year since Jeff Novick released his Fast Food DVD and I wrote a post about it. For a while I was making at least one of his SNAP meals each week. Then we started to get sick of them, because each one made SO much we would be eating it for days on end. We're the type of people who get bored with our food very fast, but unlike what Dr. McDougall hypothosizes (Get bored, eat less), we tend to swing in the opposite direction and seek out other, more flavorful, usually higher calorie, foods. The times I would go off the McDougall program were usually after a long stretch of being 100% compliant.

So I stopped making so many SNAP meals. Now, when I do make one, it's much more enjoyable and we don't mind the leftovers so much. Some of these leftovers even go great mixed in with pasta. Like this Mexican Fiesta one.

The official recipe, as posted on Jeff's Facebook Photos section:

Mexican Fiesta

2 28 oz Can Whole Tomatoes (no salt added)
2 lbs Frozen Mixed Peppers and Onions (Birds Eye)
.5 lb Frozen Corn
1 can Eden Foods Pinto Beans
1 Can Eden Foods Black Beans
Spices (I used garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne)

Put all in a pot, bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes.

Serve over Cooked Long Grain Brown Rice

Top with fresh Cilantro

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This is one meal I pretty much stick to the recommended brands, at least when it comes to the peppers. Name brand veggies cost almost twice as much as store-brand in many cases, and it's certainly true for this pepper/onion mix, but I tried making it with a bag of sliced peppers and a bag of diced onions and it somehow didn't seem right, like there was too much of a pepper taste. I tried a few cups of fresh sliced peppers and onions, and got a different texture. Still, if finances are tight or the store doesn't have the Bird's Eye, store brand it is and I just add a bit more onions or spices.

For the beans I use either store brand or Goya, depending on what's in my pantry that I picked up on sale. I just rinse them well and dump them in.

I always have corn in the freezer, but I'm preparing for another winter like last, and plan on having a good supply of canned veggies on my newly acquired shelving unit, and if I make this in February, with 5 feet of snow outside my apartment, I'll use canned corn and like it.

For the spices, I had found a recipe for a fajita mix that tastes a lot like the Old El Paso one I like.

Here's the recipe as I copied it:

Fajita Seasoning Mix
Linda Larsen
Make your own fajita seasoning mix using this easy recipe. If you are simply going to rub the mixture on steak, chicken, pork, or seafood before grilling it, omit the cornstarch.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


    3 Tbsp. cornstarch
    2 Tbsp. chili powder
    1 Tbsp. salt
    1 Tbsp. paprika
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    2-1/2 tsp. crushed chicken bouillon cube
    1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 tsp. cumin

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Makes the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix

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I made up a whole jar-full of this stuff and leave out the salt and it still tastes fine. Just before I'm ready to serve I'll add a tablespoon and taste, and keep adding and tasting until it comes out just right.

To go along with this meal I might make the cornbread I mentioned yesterday, Jan Tz's sweet corn bread. Unless I break down and make the cornbread my husband wants me to make, a very UN-McDougall one - the cornbread recipe by Isa and posted on-line at the PPK web site.   This has got to be the MOST delicious cornbread in the world. It's not too sweet, not too heavy or gritty (Unless you use a larger grit cornmeal, that is) and it makes so much I usually divide it in half and serve half at one meal (and still have leftovers for snacks) and freeze the other on a piece of cardboard covered in plastic wrap. I tried McDougalling this recipe by using substitutes for the oil, like Wonderslim, Lighter Bake, or applesauce, but it changes the taste and texture too much. Perhaps if I let my husband have the rest of yesterday's sally cake I can afford to eat a small piece of this cornbread and not feel too guilty. Besides, it also goes with tomorrow's meal so I'll only have to bake once.

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