Archive for the ‘Mexican Food’ Category

Hot & Spicy Chili Pepper and Steak Burrito

If you have a craving for something hot and spicy, then this is the perfect recipe! It’s a hot and spicy burrito with grilled steak and 5 different chili peppers – and not just any chili peppers! It uses serranos, habaneros and jalapeños to supply the hotness plus it has Anaheim peppers and mini peppers for added flavor. It’s pretty hot, but its good!

This recipe is similar to the steak fajitas recipe elsewhere in this website. The main difference is that this recipe calls for skirt steak instead of flat iron steak. Try to get a good cut of lean meat — preferably grass-fed beef. If it isn’t so lean, then spend the time and trim away all the fat you can manage. You want the steak to be really lean for two reasons. First, it makes for better flavor and second, it is healthier with less fat.

The hot & spicy burrito is also prepared with guacamole. The recipe for guacamole can be found in the sauces and dressings section of this website. ... Read More

Homemade Refried Beans

This is my recipe for homemade refried beans. There are numerous recipes for refried beans. The traditional fat used has been lard. Finding a good source for healthy lard is not easy. You need to know a butcher that can get it for you. Refried beans are excellent for healthy eating or for losing weight.

First you will need to cook the pinto beans. You should soak the beans in water overnight, then on the following day it takes about 3-4 hours to cook them. This recipe uses some chili powder, oregano and other seasonings to add spice. You will sauté some chopped onions in a little lard, butter or coconut oil, then add crushed or minced garlic, then add seasonings to gradually infuse more and more flavor. At the end of the cooking you will add some fresh squeezed lime juice. You add it at the end to keep from cooking away the flavor.

Note: This recipe calls for 4 1/2 cups of cooked beans (a little more than double the volume of the dried beans). If you cook 4 cups of dried beans it will divide up into about 2 batches of 4 1/2 cups of cooked beans.

Fat Free Refried Beans


  • 4 1/2 cups cooked beans
  • 1 cup chopped onions (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 tbsp minced or crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 juice from fresh squeezed lime (juice from 1/2 lime)

Mash the beans in a bowl with a masher and set aside for now. Add chopped onions to a heavy skillet and cook until soft and beginning to brown a little. Add 1 tbsp of water at a time to keep skillet moist and to keep from burning the onions. Then add garlic and continue cooking until the onions are a light brown color. Add mashed beans to skillet and mix thoroughly, then stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt. Continue to cook the beans in the skillet and stir with a spatula until it is a thick paste. At that time, add the lime juice and thoroughly mix it into the cooked beans. Turn off the heat once the lime juice is mixed in to avoid cooking away the lime flavor.

Shown below is a photo of all the ingredients. Starting in the upper right corner and moving counter-clockwise: crushed garlic, ground cumin, oregano, chili powder, onion, lime and dried pinto beans.

Start by cooking the pinto beans. Please see this post for complete instructions. After cooking the beans, use a masher to mash them while in the pot.

Chop the onions …

Place the chopped onions in a large skillet.

Measure out portions of the other ingredients and set them aside in dishes. Shown below (left to right): all the dry ingredients in the dish on the left (ground cumin, oregano, chili powder and salt), then crushed garlic in the middle dish followed by fresh squeezed lime juice in the last dish.

Sauté the chopped onions in water, gradually adding more water as necessary – about a tablespoon at a time – to keep the onions from sticking to the skillet or burning. After cooking for about 8 minutes, add the crushed garlic.

Continue to cook the vegetables for about 2 minutes more. Just infuse the flavors into the vegetables.

When the onions and garlic are cooked, add the mashed beans.

Use the masher or wooden spoon and continue to cook the vegetables and mashed beans together. After a minute or two, add the dry seasonings (ground cumin, oregano, chili powder and salt).

Continue to cook and stir the mashed beans with a masher or wooden spoon for another minute or two, then add the fresh squeezed lime juice.

Using the masher, thoroughly mix the fresh squeezed lime juice throughout the mashed beans. When everything is all mixed together, the refried beans will be done.

How To Cook Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are among the most common staple foods in many cultures. They are very healthy and inexpensive. Pinto beans are the most highly consumed dried bean in the U.S.A. and the are very easy to cook. Pinto beans are an excellent source of protein – especially when combined with rice. Proteins are composed of amino acids. The body can produce all but 10 amino acids. These 10 amino acids are called “essential amino acids”. Foods containing all of these essential amino acids are called “complete proteins” and foods lacking in certain essential amino acids are called “incomplete proteins”. Some vegetables lack certain essential amino acids but when combined in the same meal with other vegetables containing the missing amino acids, a complete protein will result. Thus, certain combinations of vegetables with incomplete proteins balance each other out to form complete proteins. Beans and rice is one such combination.

In a recent Oprah Winfrey show, Dr. Mehmet Oz and freelance writer Dan Buettner discussed the “blue zones” – areas of the planet where people often live to be 100. Dan Buettner emphasizes what he calls the “Mesoamerican trifecta” — the predominant diet in much of Central America for the last 3,500 years. Mr Buettner states that “The diet consists of lightly salted corn tortillas, beans and squash” … which is “arguably the best longevity food ever invented.” Pinto beans are good for heart health, they are very high in fiber and help to stabilize blood sugar levels, thereby keeping you from getting hungry.

Fat Free Pinto Beans

  • 3 1/2 cups pinto beans

Sort through the beans and pull out any stones or shriveled beans. Add beans to a pot with a lid. Add water to cover beans with 1 to 2 inches of water. You can’t add too much water because you’re going to rinse them the next day, anyway. Let soak overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, rinse the beans. This is an important step because the overnight soaking will pull out an enzyme that causes gas and that enzyme will now be in the water. So you rinse away all of that water along with the enzyme that causes gas so you get rid of it. Now add new water to the pot of beans as needed to just cover them. Heat over medium flame until water starts to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Check water level after about 20 minutes, then every 30 minutes afterwards, adding water as needed to keep water level just to the top of the beans. Do not allow the water to boil away and burn the beans. Stir with wooden spoon occasionally. Cook until beans are soft and the cooking liquid is of good consistency. Never add salt until beans are fully cooked.

Fat Free Pinto Beans

Start with a medium sized cooking pot with lid. I like to cook 3 1/2 cups of dried beans at a time. Measure out the beans and spread them out on a clean, flat surface, then sort through them and discard any stones or shriveled beans.

Cover the beans with 1 to 2 inches of water. Add as much water as you want. You can’t add too much water at this step. Place the lid on the pot and set the beans in the refrigerator and allow to soak overnight.

The next day, rinse away all of the soaking water and add new water. This step will get rid of all the enzyme that causes gas because the soaking water will contain the enzyme. Add enough new water to just cover the beans.

Place the pot over a flame and bring water to a boil, then reduce to a very low flame. Allow to cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Shown below is a photo taken just after water begins to boil and just before reducing the flame. Stir occasionally, checking the water level periodically and adding more water as necessary to just cover the beans during cooking. It has been my experience that water needs to be added around the first 20 minutes after boiling.

During the last 30 to 45 minutes, there may be a tendency for the beans to stick to the pan, so be careful around this time. Stir the beans and make sure the flame is very low and that the water level covers the beans.

The beans should be fully cooked in no more than 3 hours. Once you have cooked the pinto beans, you can make them into refried beans, or you can allow to cool and place in a covered container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze some of them if you like, then place in the refrigerator after thawing.

Steak Fajitas

Steak Fajitas are very healthy and high in protein. They are easy to make and should go over very well with family and friends. You can serve it with some guacamole which you can also make at home using the guacamole recipe here.

Traditionally, steak fajitas are made with flank steak (or skirt steak), but in this example I am using Flat Iron steak. It is very similar to the more traditional cuts of meat for steak fajitas but it is a lot more tender. We buy grass fed beef from an online source. It is better quality than grain fed beef.

Steak Fajitas Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Flat Iron steak (or flank steak or skirt steak)
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 large green bell peppers


  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (include the stems)

1. Prepare the marinade and steak:

Add all the marinade ingredients to a large glass bowl, and then stir to mix thoroughly. Slice the steak into thin strips – about 1/4 inches thick. Use an electric knife for best results. Cut the strips to about 1 inch wide by 3 inches to 4 inches in length. Add the strips of steak to the marinade in the glass bowl and thoroughly mix together so the marinade is allowed to coat all the pieces of steak. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Marinade the steak for at least a couple of hours. For best results, allow to marinade overnight.

2. Prepare the vegetables:

  • Slice the onions lengthwise into 3/8 inch strips. First cut them in half, then into quarters as you would normally slice an onion, but then instead of chopping them cross-wise, slice them lengthwise into strips.
  • Slice the bell peppers into 3/8 inch strips similar to the onions. First, cut out the stem, then slice each pepper in half lengthwise, then into quarters, then remove the seeds and ribs, then slice into strips.

3. Cooking:

Grill the steak on a gas grill. Arrange the grill grates by laying them one on top of the other in a staggered fashion so the spaces between the grates are narrow to keep the meat from falling through. Use grilling tongs to turn the meat. While the meat is cooking on the grill, cook the vegetables in a large skillet. Cook the vegetables until the onions are slightly translucent. Both the meat and the vegetables should be done in about 12 to 15 minutes. Turn the vegetables continuously to avoid burning them and turn the meat a few times while grilling. Place the cooked meat and cooked vegetables in separate serving bowls when done.

4. Serving:

Serve portions of meat and vegetables on a plate with 2 flour tortillas, guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Place a couple of strips of meat on a tortilla, then top with vegetables, salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Salt to taste if desired. Roll the tortilla around the ingredients and enjoy! Optionally, serve with cooked pinto beans.

Shown below is a shot of all the ingredients. Left to right, then back to front starting in the back row: olive oil, bell peppers, onions, ground cumin, cilantro, flat iron steak, limes, jalapeño pepper and garlic.

First, prepare the marinade. Begin by chopping the cilantro. Chop it up real fine, including the stems.

Next, slice the jalapeño pepper, removing the seeds and ribs, then peel the cloves of garlic.

Chop them with a chopper.

Add the chopped cilantro, garlic and jalapeño pepper to a glass bowl, then add the olive oil.

Next, add fresh squeezed lime juice.

Next, add the ground cumin …

Mix everything together with a spatula. The marinade is now finished and we are ready to add the meat.

I like to use an electric knife because it is easy to slice the meat very thin. I will cut the meat into 1/4 inch slices, then cut the strips to about 1 inch wide by 3 inches to 4 inches in length. I am using Flat iron steak in this example, but you can also use skirt steak or flank steak.

Add the sliced meat to the marinade and mix it all together so that all the meat is coated with the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator while marinading. Marinade the meat for at least a couple of hours. For best results, marinade overnight.

Next, slice the onions. Cut them in half first, then into quarters as you would normally slice an onion.

Instead of cutting the quartered onion cross-wise as you would normally slice an onion, slice them lengthwise into 3/8 inch strips as shown in the photo below.

Slice them all up into 3/8 inch strips.

Next, slice the bell peppers. Start by removing the stem, then cut each pepper in half.

Cut them lengthwise into sections to make it easy to remove the ribs and seeds.

Then cut them all up into 3/8 inch slices (lengthwise) similar to how the onions were cut. If I am not cooking right away, I will put the sliced vegetables into a reclosable zip lock bag and put it in the refrigerator until I am ready to cook them.

After the meat has marinated, cook it on a gas grill. Use grilling tongs to turn the meat. Notice how the grills are arranged. They are stacked one on top of the other with the top one upside down over the other. The grill bars are arranged in a staggered fashion in order to close the gaps so the meat doesn’t fall through the grill onto the flames.

While the meat is cooking, place all the sliced vegetables in a large skillet. It takes about 12 to 15 minutes to cook the meat and the vegetables, so you can cook them both at the same time.

When the meat is done, place it in a serving bowl.

When the onions start to become translucent, the vegetables will be cooked. Place these in a separate serving bowl.

Serve immediately. I like to serve them with two flour tortillas, guacamole, sour cream and a little salsa. Serve with portions of cooked vegetables and meat. Optionally, serve with cooked pinto beans.

This is a very delicious and healthy meal and should be a big hit with guests.

Guacamole Recipe

This is a quick and easy recipe for guacamole that is also very healthy. Avocados, hot peppers and garlic have health benefits.

The most important thing is to use ripe avocados – not too soft and not too hard. If you buy unripened avocados, you can put them in a paper bag in a dark place for a few days and they will ripen. Guacamole is best served with tortilla chips or sliced celery or carrots.

Guacamole Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt


Mash the 2 avocados in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the lime juice with a citrus juicer and add it to the bowl. Peel the shallot and garlic cloves then finely chop them plus the jalapeño pepper with a chopper. Dice the tomato then chop the diced tomato with the chopper. Add all chopped ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly and add salt. Makes 2 cups of guacamole.

Shown below is a shot of all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Note: If you see 2 shallots it is because they were small. Use one medium sized shallot.

Start by cutting the avocados in half and removing the pits. Then spoon the avocados away from their peels into the mixing bowl.

Mash them with a potato masher.

Juice the lime with a citrus juicer and add it to the mixing bowl. The lime will help prevent the avocados from oxidizing and will add flavor at the same time.

Slice the jalapeño pepper, shallot and garlic cloves into quarters, then chop them with a chopper.

Dice the tomato, then chop the diced tomato with the chopper.

Add all the chopped ingredients to the bowl and mix with a rubber spatula.

Serve with tortilla chips.