Green Chile Pesto Caprese Salads Recipe

Green chiles and tomatoes are a perfect pair for a Southwest Caprese Salad.  I’ve used my Green Chile Pesto Recipe to put a Spaghetti Western spin on a salad fit for Clint Eastwood, himself.

Whole Tomato Caprese Salad with Green Chile Pesto


“Salad!  We don’t need no stinking salads!”   Oooops… that was a different western movie.  But, I’m sure many of the wranglers at your house feel the same way.  My boys?  Can’t get them near your average salad.  It wasn’t until my oldest son was old enough (an perhaps brave enough) to sell me it was the lettuce he hated and not the salad.

That little bit of bravery opened up a whole world of fun and inventive salads.  I know this caprese salad looks like your average, run of the mill tomato and mozzarella but, it has one thing that the others don’t… Green Chile Pesto!  Yum!  I use it in all sorts of dishes, pastas, sandwiches, etc.

It is also a great way to “kick up” this salad for Spaghetti Western Week.  Slice the salad “fancy like” and it is fit for a Clint Eastwood birthday celebration or for the “dudes” in your family.

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Healthy and Easy Lazy Summer Salsa Recipe

Who said Southwest recipes can’t be light and healthy or fit into a clean eating lifestyle?  My Lazy Summer Salsa is made from fresh, roasted tomatoes and jalapenos and makes a fast and easy sauce for grilled chicken or beef.

Healthy and Easy Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

 When you think about healthy, clean eating, you probably don’t think about Southwest food.  I hope to change your mind.  This summer, we are sharing lots of our favorite light and healthy Southwest recipes made with fresh ingredients.

First on the list is my Lazy Summer Salsa Recipe.  This roasted tomato and jalapeno salsa is the base of most of my summer cooking.  It is a fast, easy and the vegetables can be roasted outside on the grill or indoors in the oven or skillet.  Just roast the veggies and pulse them in a food processor into a nice chunky salsa and serve with chips and guacamole or as a light sauce for all of your summer grilling recipes.

To start the season of with a bang, I’ve joined with some other amazing bloggers for an “Eat Clean 2014 Challenge.”  We are joining our blogs together once a week for the next four weeks and offering some healthy, “clean” recipes that have no processed ingredients.  At the end of the four weeks, we will put all of our recipes together in an e-cookbook to make them easy for you to download and keep on hand for the busy summer….

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10 Brussels Sprouts Recipes with a Little Help From My Friends

I’ve collected 10 Brussels sprouts recipes from 10 of my blogging friends who really do love Brussels sprouts.

10 Brussels Sprouts Recipe

You may notice that there are no Brussels sprouts recipes here on Everyday Southwest.  Brussels sprouts are my arch nemesis, my Kryptonite, my pail filled with water that melts me at the thought of them.  I have only eaten Brussels sprouts that I have liked one time in my entire life.  They were prepared personally for me by the famous James Beard Award winning chef, Robert McGrath (the father of “American Western Cuisine” himself) as he stood only five feet away from me.  Perhaps I loved the Brussels sprouts.  Or, perhaps, I was dazzled by Mr. Cowboy Chef.  I may never know for sure.

This time of year, I can’t get away from them.  Their little green faces are everywhere!  In the grocery store, the farmers markets, at the fancy restaurants (and the not-so-fancy).  Even my friends and faithful readers are filled with questions about how to cook them.

I’ve decided this year I’m going to end the madness and do a post on Brussels sprouts… with a little help from my friends, of course….

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Cancun Grilled Chicken Tacos with Citrus Chile Marinade

Cancun Grilled Chicken Tacos Citrus Chile Marinade

People keep telling me that summer vacation is over.  They are probably unpacking their suitcase, kicking the sand out of their shoes and finding places for all the cute little tchotchkes they bought on their Cancun get a way.  Wait… you didn’t go to Cancun?  Don’t feel bad, I didn’t get to go to the beach this year, either.  In fact, I’ve decided I’m not going to be so nice about it this year.  I’ve decided I’m going to rebel about it.  Ya, that’s it, I’m going to put on my own “occupy” protest.  I’m going to camp in the backyard and not take a bath until somebody takes me to the beach.  This year, summer isn’t over until I say so!

Well, maybe I’ll come in to shower and stuff… it is 150 degrees out there.

Or, maybe, I’ll just stay in under the air conditioner, make my Cancun Grilled Chicken Tacos with Citrus Chile Marinade and pretend I’m at the beach.

You can even stage your own protest.  Your family will love these tacos.  I tried them out on my brother’s family this summer and his kids ate until there was nothing left on the table.  It really made a fun weeknight meal and I was amazed at how fast it came together.  Especially with my niece, Audrey, making the guacamole!  We set bowls of the taco ingredients around the table “family style” to really get the kids talking to each other after a long day….

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Refried Lentils Tostadas Recipe

Lentil Tostadas

Who says only beans get to be refried?

Refried lentils is the result of a Desperation Dinner one night when I was craving tostadas and had no beans in the pantry. I thought, why NOT lentils?

Lentils are much easier to use than beans – no overnight soaking, draining, planning ahead. Lentils can be cooked up in just minutes, and are earthy and delicious. And not as starchy as beans.

I cooked them until very soft and then mashed them with a fork. Then, I heated oil and spices in a skillet and added the mashed lentils in a thin layer and let them cook until lightly browned on the bottom. I turned them over in batches, adding texture and more browned exteriors.

They didn’t hold together well, unlike beans, which are more starchy. So, I added a little sour cream for texture and richness and a little Monterey jack cheese as the “glue” to hold the lentil mixture together.

This is a “Must Make Again” surprise success!


— posted by Donna

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Top Ten List of Our Most Loved Recipes for 2012

image top ten lightest grey final lg

It’s time for our annual “Top Ten List” of the year’s most viewed and most requested recipes on Everyday Southwest.  We’ve had some really great recipes this year and, luckily, we don’t have to choose our favorites.  You did!  I have searched through the Google and WordPress  stats to discover your most loved recipes of the year.

Before we get started with the count down, we’d like to thank all of you for your support this year; all of your comments and kind words.  It has been so fun getting know some of you on Facebook and twitter.  If you don’t follow us yet, please do!  We love hearing from you.  Please continue to let us know how you like our recipes and what you would like to see on the blog in the upcoming year.  We really have fun putting together recipes to share with all of you and hope you like them as much as we do.

Now… on to the countdown!

image Bacon Wrapped Sonoran Hot Dog Recipe

First place recipe with the most views and the most searched recipe of the year is, of course, the Bacon Wrapped Sonoran Hot Dog.  Who doesn’t love bacon wrapped anything?  This Tucson favorite has been a hit  from the start and was even featured on the Huffington Post and the Visit Tucson website.  The Sonoran Hot Dog is wrapped in bacon then grilled to crispy perfection.  Place it in a warm bun (or soft bolillo if you are lucky enough to have a great Latin bakery nearby) and top it with beans, avocados, cotija cheese, salsa, crema or any of your favorite Latin flavored toppings for a hot dog to rival the world’s best dogs… look out Chicago and New York!

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Grilled Peach Salad with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Recipe

image Grilled Peach Salad with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

Cover your ears, Mario Batali, we’re doing unspeakable things to  prosciutto.  I filled sweet, juicy peaches with of a tad of jalapeno goat cheese and wrapped them in salty prosciutto.  Then, I broke the rules and threw them on the grill.  Not for long, just long enough to warm the peaches, melt the goat cheese, crisp up the prosciutto and make peaches the star of  this salad.

I’ve had peaches on the brain lately.  If anything can send me “traveling through another dimension, a dimension beyond sight and sound, a journey into imagination…” and childhood, it’s peaches.  About a week ago, I was featured in a Blogger Spotlight on Taste and Tell.  Deborah (the creative genius behind the Taste and Tell blog) asked so many great questions about my favorite recipes, favorite blog posts, favorite childhood food memories that she got me feeling pretty nostalgic and craving peaches.

After reminiscing about peaches for a while, I realized I hadn’t done anything wild or crazy with them all summer.  Of coarse, I’ve made lots of my family’s favorite peaches foster and lots of peach cobblers this summer.  But, I needed to do something rebellious, a little dangerous, to keep with my “breakin’ the rules” attitude this summer .  This is what I came up with;  an “all grown up” salad with peaches wrapped in prosciutto, stuffed with goat cheese and grilled until crispy on as many sides as possible.  I know, someone said you aren’t supposed to cook prosciutto… that’s what makes it so dangerous.

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Southwest Grilled Chicken Spring Rolls Recipe

image Grilled Chicken Summer Rolls Recipe
East meets Southwest today in Grilled Chicken Spring Rolls.  Yes indeed, they are a fun concoction of southwest flavors rolled up with grilled chicken and fresh vegetables then tucked into a Vietnamese ripe paper wrapping.  Throw in some angel hair pasta with a little chile oil and they make a filling family meal.

You know me, I’m always looking for a way to cheat nature and keep from turning my oven on.  So, when I can manage to cheat the dish washer too, I’m in heaven.  All it took was a grill pan and a pot of water to get this on the table.  Yes, we did use a few plates and bowls but, we made up for that… no silverware required.  Just put the ingredients in the center of the table and let every one build their own spring roll.

I’ve had plenty of spring rolls as an appetizer in restaurants before but, I had never thought of making them for dinner until I attended a photography workshop given by my friends Diane and Todd from White on Rice Couple.  After the first day of shooting, Diane and Todd brought all the fresh ingredients for authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls into the studio and spread them out for dinner, family style.  I have to say it was the nicest, most relaxed way to get to know a whole class full of people.  While Diane introduced us to her Vietnamese cooking with fresh herbs, fish sauce, a wonderful chicken dish and how to work with the rice paper, our shyness disappeared and we wound up  talking like old friends.

I thought I would use Diane’s magic trick and serve her Spring Rolls when my boys came over for dinner this weekend.  They worked like a charm.  The boys laughed and told jokes and hung around  the table for most of the night.  Best of all, I got to spend the time with them and not in the kitchen over the dish washer….

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