Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Week 5 - Tex-Mex

I had lots of ideas for the Tex-Mex challenge, but what I ended up doing was mostly driven by the fact that I was buying a Costco-sized bag of sweet potatoes (which should sound familiar after the last two challenge posts). Since I knew I was getting the sweet potatoes, I just googled sweet potatoes and Tex-Mex which led me to a recipe for a Tex-Mex style sweet potato skillet which I used as a starting point for the challenge.

The ingredients we used were:

- 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed ($1.50)
- coconut oil for cooking ($0.15)
- 1 large onion, chopped ($0.50)
- a few garlic cloves, chopped ($0.08)
- 2 large red bell peppers, chopped ($1.98)
- can of black beans ($0.75)
- can of corn ($0.75)
- can of diced tomatoes with juices ($0.75)
- a tbsp of cumin ($0.10)
- a couple tbsp of taco seasoning ($0.15)
- salt and pepper ($0.05)
- juice of one lime ($0.29)
- shredded Mexican cheese ($1.75)
- sour cream ($0.72)
- 2 avocados, sliced or cubed ($2.33)
- scallions for garnish ($0.65)

The total for dinner was about $12.50 and it made enough to have some leftovers. Not that cheap considering it had no meat in it, but bell peppers and cheese aren't cheap these days. We also bought our avocado bag right before the prices started dropping. Within a week, the Costco price had dropped $2 for the same size bag, so unfortunately that raised the price here a little bit.

I was icing my knee because I was a klutz while walking out of Costco that evening, so A actually did most of the work for this challenge meal. Basically you heat coconut oil in a large skillet, and then add the sweet potatoes, cumin, and salt to cook for a bit. Next was the onion, red peppers, and garlic, and then a few minutes later, the black beans and corn. After that, it was time for the diced tomatoes (with the can liquid), cumin, salt and pepper, taco seasoning. Once the mixture was boiling (even though not much liquid in it), you put it over low heat, covered, until the potatoes are cooked through (which was at least 15 minutes but probably more like 20-25). We added the lime juice to finish it once the potatoes were done.

On top of the sweet potato mixture, we put avocado slices or cubes, scallions, sour cream, and the shredded cheese. Although the original recipe directed you to broil it to melt the cheese on top (and we're sure that would have been tasty), we still haven't figured out our broiler situation and the cheese melted just fine thrown onto the mixture on the plate while hot.

This skillet meal was really good and pretty simple to make, other than having a bit of prep work. Not having had that much real Tex-Mex food, it's hard for us to say whether it was authentic as far as Tex-Mex goes, but whether it was or not, it was tasty and we'd make this again.

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