Easy rice cooker Mexican rice

Easy rice cooker Mexican rice (served with iceberg lettuce salad, Tapatio hot sauce, avocado, and cheese)

This Mexican rice is one of my favorite rice cooker recipes, and it’s one that we’ve been making for several years — I first posted the recipe in 2012, and we’ve made it countless times since then.

Why do we like it? It’s super simple to make! And it’s a delicious side dish that goes well with nearly any Mexican-inspired meal. I’ve served it with enchiladas, fajitas, and tacos, to name a few.

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Chopped taco salad

Chopped taco salad
Chopped taco salad

I first made this taco salad for a potluck lunch at work last year — I wanted something that was easy to make and transport. But I liked it so much that it’s become a regular part of our dinner rotation. It’s easy to mix up a large bowlful (I serve the dressing on the side) and have several delicious meals.

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Southwestern-style chicken and bean enchiladas

Southwestern-style chicken and bean enchiladas
Southwestern-style chicken and bean enchiladas (served with lettuce and guacamole)

I don’t usually have a lot of time to cook during the week, so I rely on quick and easy meals (like this chef salad). But on the weekend, I enjoy making — and eating — more “homey” meals. These enchiladas are a great choice, and they make delicious leftovers.

I like to use a variety of veggies along with the chicken in my filling, so it’s colorful and healthy. Also, I make my enchilada sauce from a Carlita brand seasoning packet, but you could substitute 2 cups of your favorite enchilada sauce. The pepperjack cheese adds a hint of spice, but you could amp it up with diced jalapeno peppers, if you like. Either way, they’re delicious!

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Bacon and queso molletes

Bacon and queso molletes

When Michael recently had a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, he made a point to stop by Tortas Frontera, one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants (we often watch his show¬†Mexico — One Plate at a Time on tv at home). Michael ended up ordering the bacon & queso mollete (a warm, open-faced sandwich), as well as the corn & poblano chowder, and reported back to me that both were delicious!

So, naturally, we decided to recreate the deliciousness at home. While we didn’t have the exact ingredients listed on the menu, we made a few substitutions and thought our molletes were still fabulous! It’s an easy recipe to make, so we hope you give it a try!

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Chipotle chicken tacos

Chipotle chicken tacos

I’ve made this chipotle chicken taco recipe several times since Michael first created it. It’s a great (and healthy) alternative to a ground beef taco filling. I like to serve it “tostada-style” with toasted corn tortillas, but you could also use flour tortillas if you prefer.

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Homemade taco hamburger helper

Homemade taco hamburger helper

I first saw a version of this taco pasta on Pinterest, and immediately pinned it as something I wanted to make. When Michael and I first tried it last week, we thought it was pretty good — it actually reminded us a lot of hamburger helper. I liked that the recipe was quick and easy, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Updated 09/17/12: I made this recipe again, using leftover taco meat (already seasoned) and diced tomatoes in place of the ground turkey and salsa. I replaced the taco seasoning in the recipe with chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powders, and a sprinkle of dried thyme. I omitted the cream cheese, and transferred to a 8″x11″ baking dish to keep warm (~300 degree oven) until serving. We ate it with cottage cheese and salad… delicious!

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