Marshmallow Fruit Salad

Often times I head over to our bookshelves and bring down a book or two. Typically these are recipe books but I am known other work/production related books but in my recent browsing I decided to bring down one book in particular, a Filipino recipe book called A Culinary Life  by Nora V. Daza. I’m really uncertain as to why I collected or decided to hold onto this particular book because it’s just crazy in terms of it’s layout, writing (typos), and really random recipes! One in particular which I read out loud to my wife was called Pampangan Frozen Fruit Salad. She stated ‘My mom made that every year!’. I knew that I had to recreate it but make it my own. The funny thing is that this Pampangan Frozen Fruit Salad recipe is one that we have probably all have had at some point in time, and one that brings back great memories. It’s one that I know as Marshmallow Fruit Salad.

Marshmallow Fruit Salad Recipe
Marshmallow Fruit Salad Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag of mini marshmallows
  • 15 oz can of fruit cocktail, strained
  • 3.5 oz vanilla pudding
  • 10 maraschino cherries
  • 1 gala apple, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 4 strawberries, quartered
  • 1/2 cup of pineapple chunks
  • 2 nectarines, seedless, peeled, segments only
  • 1/2 cup seedless grapes, optional
  • 2 cups Cool Whip

Add the pudding to a mixing bowl. Add the strained fruit, the pineapple, apples, cherries, strawberries, nectarines, apples, and cool whip. Mix well but don’t get all aggressive and damage the fruit. Once mixed, add in the marshmallows, and gently fold into the mixture to get them nicely incorporated.

Marshmallow Fruit Salad Recipe
Marshmallow Fruit Salad Recipe

Cover and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill before serving.

This recipe is not only way too simple to make, but it’s a sweet was to finish a meal, and the fresh fruit really adds a great pop of tartness. This would be great served with crushed graham crackers prior to serving.  This definitely brought back some excitement, and when it’s that easy, why not make it? What are your thoughts on this fruit salad? Are you a fan?

Looking for more fruit related recipes? Try these below:

Chocolate No Bake Cookies with Cranberries and Pepitas

I grew up eating this style of cookie. Granted my grandma made some darn good, and probably the best oatmeal cookies that I have ever eaten, but my dad of all people turned me on to these chocolate no bake cookies. I remember watching him make them, and saw excitement in making them. I know the excitement because it was essentially a no bake cookie, and one that you melted ingredients, poured into a bowl, mixed, and formed into cookies. Wait about an hour and you have treats for the week. What is not to get excited about right?

I’ll admit that these cookies are not my kids favorites. They eat them, and are always curious. They are dense, which I love, and one that carries you a long way in terms of not wanting to go back in and eat three or four of them (which I also love). So I decided to whip up a batch but add in a couple of different ingredients to jazz them up a bit (not that they need jazzing).

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Pepitas
No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Pepitas

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of craisins, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • Parchment Paper

In a sauce pan, add the sugar, cocoa powder, milk and butter, and melt that down and bring to a boil.

During this time, line a baking sheet with the parchment paper.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Pepitas
No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Pepitas

Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium, and then add in your pepitas, vanilla, and craisins. Mix.

To a mixing bowl add the oats and peanut butter.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl and get stirring.  Mix well, then drop a tablespoon, or larger of the mixture onto the lined baking sheet.

Let these cool to harden, then grab and go. I love these, I really do. Maybe it was the history of seeing my dad’s face and that smile that he was creating something yummy back in the day, or maybe it’s because I find them just darn delicious. Whatever the case, they are part of the cookie platter in 2018, and will be on the platter as long as I’m able to make cookies. Plus, did I mention that hidden crunch from the pepitas, and that mild tartness from the craisins that make them even better?! Enjoy!

Looking for more cookie recipes? Try these below:

Toffee Saltine Bars with Chocolate and Nuts

We have been waking up for a few weeks now with part of our kitchen counter top covered in holiday baking ingredients. It is now starting to dwindle down which is great because to be honest, I’m a bit tired of looking at all of it taking up space, but what I still love about it is that every time I walk by them I begin thinking of things I can make out of them. Sure it is pretty much the same ingredients (butter, flour, sugars, variety of chocolate chips, extracts, nuts, and snacks) but something always comes to mind, well at least after a few thought attempts!

I made these toffee saltine bars for a couple of reasons. I recall someone in my family stating they did not like coffee, or nuts on their desserts, and for my advantage I wanted to use up some leftover saltine crackers that were just on the brink of getting stale, so this was an easy challenge to make haters of toffee and nuts into lovers and get rid of the crackers. I will mention that I won on both accounts!

Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts
Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped, optional
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • parchment paper, recommended

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by heating a small pot on medium heat. Add in your sugar and butter, and let that begin to come to a light simmer.

During this time, line a baking sheet(s) with parchment paper. Lay the saltine crackers onto the parchment paper, covering edge to edge if possible, salt side up.

Once the butter and sugar is completely melted and bubbling, let it bubble for about 1 minute, the pour the mixture over all of the saltines, covering all of them.

Place these into the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes.

 

Remove from the oven, and pour on the chocolate chips, covering all of the crackers.

Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts
Toffee Saltine Crackers with Chocolate and Nuts

Let the chocolate chips set for about 2-3 minutes, then use an offset spatula or spatula and gently spread the chips as they should easily be melted.

Once covered, top with the chopped nuts. As you can see I did a half sheet of nuts, and one with just chocolate. A win/win for everyone. Doing so prevents kids or adults from taking a bar covered in nuts and stopping them from brushing off any nuts!

Let these cool and harden, about 1 hour or 10 minutes in my garage, and then begin breaking them into bite sized pieces. Place them onto a serving platter, or freeze in a ziplock bag until ready to gift.

The result is a real crowd pleaser. These a chocolaty, buttery, and crunchy deliciousness. There was no doubt on the toffee part would be a overall treat, and something that won over the family. Hope you enjoy!

 

Homemade Wedge Fries

Oh how do I love a good fried potato. I actually really don’t care what type of potato is served, but if it is golden brown and delicious, I’m all in. I’m still coming up with pretty much all of the menu ideas for the family, and exhausting as that can be (granted, I still enjoy it), I decided to rummage through my pantry as I normally do to come up with something to make. This time it was about four potatoes I had just looking at me, so I took them out, scrubbed them and laid them out to dry. This allowed me to walk past them about 20 times only to think about what the heck I was going to make for the evening meal.

At first I thought I would make mashed potatoes and gravy as I know my daughter loves that and could probably just eat a bowl of that for dinner, me included, but as I thought about them more I was really on the fence to make twice cooked french fries, but I didn’t want to deal with frying. Then the light came on… (it takes awhile nowadays for that light to come on) and BOOM… wedge fries!

Homemade Wedge Fries Recipe
Homemade Wedge Fries Recipe

Wedge fries can be hit or miss in my opinion. You either get ones that are too soft, or too crispy, or ones that are simply just not seasoned. Since wedge fries are a bit on the larger size, you will want to not only cook them properly, but season them properly. I think I did just that because these were actually the star of the dinner, and so much that I ended up making another batch later in the week.

This recipe is way too simple to make, and is a perfect snack, or side dish to most any meal.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • Olive oil, to lightly coat
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, more to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • fresh herbs, optional
  • salted cold water

Start by taking a potato and cutting it in half, lengthwise. To each half, cut them into four wedges. I like to cut the half in half, again lengthwise, then cut each one in half on the diagonal.

Place these wedges into a large bowl of cold water.  Add about 1 tablespoon of salt and stir.

Repeat with the remaining potatoes.

How to make wedge fries
How to make wedge fries

Soak the potatoes for about 30 minutes to remove some of that starch. After 30 minutes, drain, and rinse the potatoes.

Once the potatoes have drained, pat them dry. Wipe out the bowl with some paper towel, then place those wedges back in the bowl. Drizzle olive oil all over the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and give a good toss.

How to make wedge fries
How to make wedge fries

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Lay them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place into the oven.

Bake the fries for about 20 minutes, then turn each wedge over, and cook another 10 minutes. Take a butter knife or fork and lightly poke the wedge. It should insert rather easily. The wedge should look golden on the outside, and nice and tender on the inside.

Now here is what I like to do, but you can simply plate and serve as is.

I like to heat a very large skillet on medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of additional olive oil, and the butter, and let that butter come to a bubble. Slide the wedges into the skillet, and give a good jiggle to the skillet to cover the wedges in butter and oil, and let those continue to cook for about 5 minutes to get a bit extra crispy. If you are using fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary, throw it in now. If some of the wedges start to fall apart, don’t worry. I could eat a bowl of those crispy bits (and the table agreed) alone!

Give one a try, remembering that they will be piping hot on the interior. If it requires more salt or pepper, go for it otherwise let your table season to their liking.

Plate and serve.

The result is one hell of a wedge fry and a lot less oil to deal with. As I thought I would have some of these wedges remain on the table to be used for a breakfast skillet the next day, well I was wrong. The family loved them so much it was as this was their first experience eating a large french fry! Hope you enjoy.

Nacho Hot Dogs

Don’t knock us, but I will admit that as often as we have things on our meal rotation such as ‘Taco (whatever day), breakfast for dinner, roasted chicken, etc” there is one meal that probably makes it into the rotation once a month, and that is hot dog night. I love it. The dinner table however is pretty below average when it comes to loading up a hot dog and as a matter of fact, 99.9 percent of the table of eaters, excluding myself, only eats a plain hot dog. No big deal. I’m not to judge as there is something to be said about a plain weiner, or hot dog, especially if you are getting a quality weiner such as a product from Nueske’s.  For me however, well it’s a completely different experience. I love to try different things on mine, and as pure as I can get to just mustard, or a couple of peppers on top, there are often times when I’m craving something alongside that hot dog, and that’s when this little creation appeared; the nacho hot dog.

Nacho Hot Dogs
Nacho Hot Dogs

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite wieners or hot dogs, cooked to your liking (grilled or steamed)
  • Hot Dog Buns
  • 1/2 cup Chihuahua cheese, per serving
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, per serving
  • chopped onions, optional
  • 1/2 whole jalapeno, thinly sliced, seeds optional

That’s where I am standing on the nacho hot dog. Why only cheese and jalapeno? I’m a fan of the simple nacho as the starting ground. There is something about the combination of salty cheese and a spicy pepper that when done right, it is just hard to beat. Now sure… use this as your base. If you want beans, go for it. Tomatoes, onion, salsa… go for it. It’ up to you, but the simply smokiness from the wiener, along with the cheese and chilies really makes this a great bite.

How to make Nacho Hot Dogs
How to make Nacho Hot Dogs

Once your hot dogs are cooked, place them into a bun, top with the quesadilla cheese, then the cheddar, then lay in the jalapenos.

Place on a baking sheet and place into a 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted and the bun is slightly toasted. Once removed, add some chopped onions to the top.

Dig in and enjoy!

Related Links:

Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispies Treats

I’m not sure if Kellog’s came up with the idea of Rice Krispies treats before thinking of just coming up with the idea of pouring cereal into a bowl and simply add milk. Who knew that melting butter, adding more sugary goodness from marshmallows, and adding rice krispies would yield one of the most popular deserts for kids (and adults) since who knows when! According to the Internet they were invented in 1939, and I am so glad that they were. Now if you know me, or have followed Simple Comfort Food for any time, you will probably realize that I have never been a fan desserts, but lately that game plan has changed (and I think I am thankful that it has).

Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispie Treats
Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispies Treats

So as I often do when making desserts, I start by thinking of my kids (and wife) and visualize how happy they will be that a dessert is present in the house, and for whatever reason pumpkin spice popped into my head. I know it is the season of pumpkin spice, and to be honest I am not a fan of pumpkin spiced anything, but again I was thinking of my kids and realizing that they love pumpkin spiced anything, especially growing up (they still are) and when really young pumpkin muffins were their absolute favorite, so I knew they would love trying these.

Rice Krispies are so easy to make that however you spin them up they are sure to be a hit. For me, these are seasonal, full of that pumpkin spice, and were not for me. I will pursue other desserts, but my kids… they pan of pumpkin spiced rice krispies treats were devoured.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 10.5 oz bag of marshmallows
  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 13×9 pan sprayed with cooking spray

Way too simple.

Add a pot to the stove (or one large enough to hold all of the rice krispies), and begin melting the butter. Once the butter melts, add in the marshmallows and pumpkin spice. Reduce the heat to low melt all of the marshmallows. Once melted, add in the rice krispies and thoroughly combine.

Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispie Treats
Pumpkin Spiced Rice Krispies Treats

Spread evenly into the 13×9 dish. Let the marshmallows mellow and form, then slice into bars and enjoy!

Again, I am not too big of a fan for pumpkin spice, but as this was a seasonal dessert, and full of those warm fall spices, they were hard to resist. Simply put, they were delicious and my kids devoured them.

What’s your take on pumpkin spice? Fan? If so, what is your favorite way to use it? Enjoy!

Homemade Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers

It seems as though I have always had a love for chili peppers. I assume that I got this love by watching, learning, and probably tasting hot sauces at an earlier age. It was probably hanging around our kitchen and my dad cracking open a bottle of hot sauce and asking me to try. Maybe not. Whatever the case, I love chili peppers and I probably eat at least 1/2 dozen (or more) each week. With that being said, it’s a bit sad that we had to harvest the rest of our vegetables from our garden last night. We still had a lot of tomatoes that have yet to ripen, plenty of chili peppers, and a broccoli plant that only wanted to yield it’s baby crown! I can’t say that it was anyone’s fault as to why we had so much left on the vines but in about two more weeks, those tomatoes would probably be perfect! Oh well.

Pickled Pepperoncini Recipe
Pickled Pepperoncini Recipe

That’s OK though. As much as I would like to harvest everything that we grow, I realize that we must sacrifice a few things to get what we needed from the garden. I often plant an array of chili peppers each year so I was excited to see what was flowering and low and behold it was the pepperoncini, and sure enough one of my favorite eating ‘snack’ chili peppers. There were so many peppers on the two bushes that I did not know what to do with all of them. The pickling was the first batch, and now I must figure out what to do with the rest of them. I have some ideas up my sleeve, but in the meantime, here is a quick recipe for pickling chili peppers.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mason jar
  • ~25 whole pepperoncini peppers, washed, slit with a knife
  • 5 cloves of garlic, skins removed, lightly smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Just to note, Spring may be one of my favorite time of year, only for the sure pleasure of knowing that we will be able to plant, and plant something new. This is the first year we planted this peppers, and as we planted two bushes this year, I will most likely decide to plant one next year. One plant/bush will yield a ton of peppers, and probably too many for the average person depending on how much you enjoy chili peppers.

Start by making sure your peppers are cleaned and cleared of any dirt. Once cleaned, take a sharp knife and make a small slit into each pepper. Why the small slit? My plan is to let those great pickling juices infiltrate the interior and make for great flavor.

Drop each pepper into the mason jar along with the bay leaf.

Pickled Pepperoncini Ingredients
Pickled Pepperoncini Ingredients

To a small sauce pan, add the vinegar, salt, sugar, garlic, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar, then remove from the heat and let it cool.

Once cooled, pour in the pickling solution and once it is completely cool, seal and place in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days before digging in.

The beautiful thing about these pepperoncini peppers is that not only are they crunchy, slightly spicy, and are a perfect side dish (and snack (yes, I eat these for snacks sometimes)), but they are great in making them your own in terms of pickling variants, but geez are they ever easy to make. I know I was winning when we, yes I say ‘we’ because my wife participated in trying and eating more than one of them! That’s a huge deal!

To be honest, at first I had no clue as to what these peppers were when we planted. I knew what pepperoncini were, but the seeds did not state that. When trying a raw one, I fell in love, as did my wife. The pickled pepperoncini are awesome, but the raw (feel free to freeze them raw) are dynamite! I’m curious, what is your favorite quick pickle go to recipe? Enjoy!

You might enjoy:

 

3 Ingredient Everything Bagels

I recently came across, what I thought was a posting from TastyKitchen.com, a resource I have been a contributor and friend of for many years. It was a post that intrigued me, so much that it had me interested in trying to make it. This takes a lot from me, if you will. Granted I read a ton of cook books, review recipes, but I rarely sit down with a recipe and create it. I know it sounds ironic that a dude that publishes recipes for everyone never really uses other peoples recipes. I know it’s weird, trust me. Granted when I am reading through recipes, I get ideas that may snowball into something similar down the road, or I may take an ingredient that sounded great and use that in another recipe, but I rarely sit down and go step by step. That was until I say a 2 ingredient bagel recipe.

For one, my whole family loves bagels. I’m an everything bagel dude and so is my kid, however if you pretty much put any bagel in front of us I bet it would be devoured. So this particular recipe, that I found out was from Kirbie’s Cravings was right up my alley to try, plus I have been in search of an Everything Bagel seasoning which I found at Trader Joes, that I have been dying to try.

3 Ingredient Everything Bagels Recipe
3 Ingredient Everything Bagels Recipe

This must be a win, win, right? Or did they turn out only using 2 ingredients (3rd being the seasoning)?

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup of Non-fat Greek plain Yogurt, strained
  • 1 1/4 cup Self-Rising flour, adjust accordingly
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • Everything bagel seasoning, to your liking
  • parchment paper

You have two options for making the bagel dough. Hand knead, or KitchenAid mixer. God gave me some strength that morning so I decided hands (I probably did not want to have to deal with dishes).

To a mixing bowl, add the self-rising flour. This already includes all of the wonderful baking ingredients so you don’t have to worry about things like baking powder, or salt. Next add in the strained yogurt. I strain the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, and let it sit over the bowl for about 30 minutes. You will see about a 1/4 cup of water strained from the yogurt. Crazy.

Start mixing the yogurt and flour with a wooden spoon (or KitchenAid) until it begins to form, then start working with your hands to knead the dough. Be gentle as you only want the dough to come fully together. Try not to overwork the dough.

Let this rest for a minute or two as you get a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and your oven preheated to 350 degrees.

3 Ingredient Everything Bagels
3 Ingredient Everything Bagels

Divide the dough into about 4-6 pieces. Take each ball and form into a rope, making the rope long enough and wide enough for a bagel shape. Take each end of the rope and pinch together, flipping over the rope and keeping the seam side down. Repeat.

Take your beaten egg and add the water. Mix. Using a brush, take the egg wash and brush each bagel on the top and sides.

Generously sprinkle the everything seasoning over the top. Heck if you just want another seasoning, go for it. Now is the time!

Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. You can crank up the heat to 450 towards the end if you want additional color but only cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove, and get your cream cheese ready.

Again, I was a bit skeptical of these, but they only took a few minutes to whip up, were only a few dollars to make (and now I can make a ton with all of the self-rising flour I have), and was ready to dig in.

3 Ingredient Everything Bagels Recipe
3 Ingredient Everything Bagels Recipe

My first bite. Delicious. My second bite. Delicious. This is when I told my wife and kids to get over here and try them. We huddled around the table and were all surprised out how good they were.

Yogurt, flour, everything seasoning. Who knew. So thanks to Kirbie’s Cravings for drawing me in enough to buy the ingredients and give these a shot. I suspect these will be made every weekend in the near future. If you like bagels, give these a shot.

Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad

My wife and I go through this dilemma, probably like most of you, about once every couple of weeks and that is that we really consider eating ‘more healthy’ and incorporate more fresh vegetables and ‘good’ stuff into our weekly dinner plans. This is not to say that we do not eat healthy. In my opinion we do really well and rarely go out to eat, limit our intake on junk foods, and eat fairly well balanced meals throughout the week. Granted, we are eating more meat than we probably should but I think that defaults to my kids as if it were just my wife and I eating we would most likely be very content eating a nice salad on a daily basis. So not too long ago my wife had mentioned this idea and stated that she would really like to eat more quinoa. I listen to that stuff, and felt it was my duty to turn her on to a nice fresh garden salad. A quinoa salad that was packed full of crunch vegetables, and loaded with flavor.

Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad Recipe
Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad Recipe

This quinoa salad is simple to make and is perfect as a main meal, or side dish. It’s got great crunch and an awesome citrus kick to boot.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup skillet fried chick peas, optional
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste

If you have never cooked quinoa, it could not be easier. It is as simple as rice (without the rice cooker). Simply add water, add quinoa, stir, wait, and fluff.

Let’s begin by bringing 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to a medium-low, and cook for about 15 minutes.  The water should be absorbed and the quinoa should be translucent. Taste so that it is tender. Once tender, remove from the heat, dump it into a mixing bowl, and let it cool.

Quinoa Salad Ingredients
Quinoa Salad Ingredients

Next, prepare all of your diced ingredients. I will leave it up to you if you want to leave the skin on your cucumber or not. I’m a fan on skin on with my vegetables whether that be cucumbers, potatoes, or carrots. Again, I will leave it up to you. Just make sure you get rid of the seeds. Once you have all of your veggies chopped and diced, add them to the bowl of quinoa.  If you are going with a bit more protein, add the skillet fried chickpeas (great for texture).

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with a generous pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper. Give this a good stir to mix everything, and then give it a taste. Does it need more salt, pepper, or oil? If so, go for it and adjust to your liking.

Now you are ready to serve. This quinoa salad is not only super healthy for you, but darn it is delicious. A perfect side dish for a family night meal, or a great leftover to pack for your daily lunch. Enjoy!

Fresh Garden Quinoa Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salads
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup skillet fried chick peas, optional
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Let’s begin by bringing 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to a medium-low, and cook for about 15 minutes. The water should be absorbed and the quinoa should be translucent. Taste so that it is tender. Once tender, remove from the heat, dump it into a mixing bowl, and let it cool.
  2. Next, prepare all of your diced ingredients. I will leave it up to you if you want to leave the skin on your cucumber or not. I’m a fan on skin on with my vegetables whether that be cucumbers, potatoes, or carrots. Again, I will leave it up to you. Just make sure you get rid of the seeds. Once you have all of your veggies chopped and diced, add them to the bowl of quinoa. If you are going with a bit more protein, add the skillet fried chickpeas (great for texture).
  3. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with a generous pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper. Give this a good stir to mix everything, and then give it a taste. Does it need more salt, pepper, or oil? If so, go for it and adjust to your liking.
  4. Now you are ready to serve.

More Quinoa Recipes:

Mexican Elotes Tater Tots

Summertime is finally here, and sometimes that is s a great thing or a bad thing. The bad only being that it has been a scorcher in Wisconsin. The temperature has been in the upper to mid 90’s lately with a high percentage of humidity. I don’t perform well in humidity, and as I normally run hot to begin with, when you add humidity that only means I’m a walking puddle.  The great thing is that all of the wonderful produce that my wife and family love is in full harvest, and one of them being corn. I’ve always related corn and tomatoes to summertime while living in the midwest, and as we grow a lot of tomatoes in our garden, corn is pretty much on our lunch or dinner table several times a week.

While living in Dallas, I was first introduced to Mexican corn (Elotes), and I fell in love. It was addicting. Grilled or steamed corn smothered in mayonnaise, sprinkled with chili powder and cotija cheese, what was not to love? I had elotes on my mind after buying a handful of corn on the cob, and after rummaging through my freezer (trying to purge frozen items), I located some nice tater tots. I love tater tots, and after looking at both the corn and the tater tots, I knew I could only do justice my making some loaded Mexican Elotes Tater Tots.

Mexican Elotes Tater Tots Recipe
Mexican Elotes Tater Tots Recipe

Forget the nachos. These are a game changer.

Let’s get started.

  • 2 ears of corn, steamed or grilled, then cut off the cob
  • 1/2 a bag or about 15 oz of frozen tater tots, cooked by directions on bag
  • 2 cups of Supremo 3 Cheese Mexican blend cheese (Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Cotija)
  • 1/3 cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish
  • 1/2 lime, optional

Start by preheating your oven by directions, or fry the tots if you desire. I baked mine on a cast iron fajita skillet (love), and during this time steam or grill your corn.

Once the corn is cooked to your liking (I like mine a bit al dente), cut it off the cob and place it into a mixing bowl.

Add the mayonnaise, chili powder, and a bit of salt and pepper. Those tater tots need some salt and pepper.

Mexican Elotes Tater Tots Ingredients
Mexican Elotes Tater Tots Ingredients

Once the tots are close to being done (and to your liking), and some like them a bit tender and some like them nice and crispy like myself, remove the skillet or baking sheet from the oven. Top all of the tater tots with the Mexican shredded cheeses and place back into the oven and cook for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted.

Once the cheese is nicely melted, remove it from the oven and slide onto your serving plate. I keep mine on the cast iron skillet and place it on top of the wooden board that came with the fajita skillet.

Mexican Elotes Tater Tots Recipe
Mexican Elotes Tater Tots Recipe

Top with the corn mixture, shower with fresh cilantro, and serve with a lime wedge for additional acidity.

Now block yourself from others, just kidding, and dig in. You talk about everything you can love about Mexican Elotes, these Mexican Elotes Tater Tots just bring it over the top. Simple, quick, and delicious. This is a perfect Summertime snack. Enjoy.

If you are looking for other takes on Mexican elotes, or other corn ideas this summer, give these a try: