Easy Meals: Mexican Edition

Being an avid eater on a budget does have its benefits: you learn how to cook frugally, and still create a delicious meal. When cooking Mexican food, I tend to go by-the-packet, simply for lack of sauces and spices. With food like fajitas, taco salad, quesadillas, and other Mexican dishes, it is easy to put your own interpretation into it and still come up with a tasty dish. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve made:

Easy Chicken Fajita Recipe

Prep time: 45 minutes           Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Flour Tortillas
  • Chicken Breast
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice (substituted for lime)
  • Teriyaki Marinade Sauce
  • Bell Peppers
  • White Onion
  • Other spices as desired (I use cayenne, paprika, and salt and pepper)

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch thick slices, and 1-2 inches long. Mix Lemon (or lime) juice, teriyaki marinade, and spices into a large bowl. Once chicken is cooked, mix into the marinade. Let chicken soak, place dish in the fridge. Cut the bell peppers and onion into slices, and after ten minutes add to the marinade. Let marinade anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

When the food is done marinating, simply cook stovetop over medium heat until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Take off the stove and place into tortillas. Add toppings as desired: I suggest sour cream, lettuce, tomato, and salsa or guacamole.

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Taco Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes              Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 packet any taco mix
  • Lettuce
  • 1 Tomato
  • Tortilla chips
  • Southwest Salsa/Hot Sauce
  • Light sour cream
  • Mexican rice (if preferred)

On a skillet, heat to medium heat and melt butter or oil in pan. Add ground beef, cooking until it is completely browned. Add taco mix and 2/3 cup water (or what the mix calls for) and heat until boiling, then turn down to medium heat. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, then take off heat. Chop up tomatoes and wash lettuce, and fill bowl with desired ingredients! If preferred, add a side dish of rice. A quick, delicious meal.

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Chicken Quesadillas

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes               Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts (1 per quesadilla)
  • Flour tortillas – large
  • Shredded cheese – Mexican mix
  • Canned Jalapeño peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • White Onion
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream (Guacamole if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 375. Cook chicken until thoroughly cooked, it should take about twenty minutes but may take longer for some ovens. Heat up skillet to medium heat with a little oil or cooking spray, then put tortilla on. Fill tortilla with shredded cheese, chicken, diced tomatoes, jalapeño slices, and diced onions as desired. Fold in half and flatten with spatula. Cook for about two minutes on one side, and when it is slightly browned, turn over to other side. When finished, cut into pieces and serve with salsa and sour cream.

-Lisa

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