Busy Season Meal Solutions
(Family Features) As families across the country transition back into more normal routines this fall with work, school – whether virtual or in-person – and calendars jam-packed with commitments, it’s important to find ways to save precious time and squeeze in more moments with loved ones.
While getting nutritious, delicious and affordable meals on the table to help fuel those busy days is crucial, there are ways to cut down the amount of time spent in the kitchen each day. Setting aside a couple hours each week to meal prep can make it easier to serve lunch and dinner on a tight schedule and budget. For example, this California-Style Cheesy Enchilada Casserole can be made in batches ahead of time then frozen as individual portions and reheated when hunger strikes while working or learning from home.
Using prepared enchilada sauce, roasted chicken and a Hispanic-style cheese blend made with 100% Real California Milk from California dairy farm families, plus a traditional blend of vegetables and spices, you can feel good about serving your family members a flavorful, nutritional and budget-friendly meal each time they reach for another helping.
Find additional busy season recipe inspiration, nutritional information and more at RealCaliforniaMilk.com.
California-Style Cheesy Enchilada Casserole
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup Real California half-and-half, milk or evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup Real California sour cream
- vegetable oil
- 1 1/2-2 cups prepared enchilada sauce, divided
- 12 corn tortillas, divided
- 1 cup roasted skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 teaspoons enchilada seasoning
- 4 cups shredded Real California Mexican cheese blend, divided, or 1 cup each shredded Real California Oaxaca, Cheddar, Jalapeño Jack and crumbled Cotija cheeses
- 1 cup canned pinto beans, drained well
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/3 cup canned kernel corn, well drained
- 1/3 cup sliced black olives, well drained
- 1/3 cup mild green chiles, well drained
- 2 tablespoons of cilantro, minced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- lime wedges, for serving
- Real California sour cream, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- To make cooking sauce: In bowl, whisk eggs, salt, half-and-half and sour cream; set aside.
- Spray casserole dish with vegetable oil.
- To make casserole: Assemble first layer by spreading 6 tablespoons enchilada sauce on bottom of casserole dish. Top with four tortillas, overlapping them. Cover tortillas with 6 tablespoons enchilada sauce.
- Assemble second layer by tossing chicken with enchilada seasoning. Mix with 3 cups shredded cheese. Layer half chicken-cheese mixture over tortillas.
- Assemble third layer by seasoning pinto beans with cumin and garlic powder. Spread beans over cheese-chicken layer.
- Assemble fourth layer by overlapping four tortillas then cover with 6-8 tablespoons enchilada sauce. Cover with corn, olives and chiles. Top with remaining cheese-chicken mixture.
- Assemble final layer by covering filling with remaining tortillas, overlapped, then spread remaining enchilada sauce over them. Pour cooking sauce over casserole. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Let rest at least 30 minutes.
- Bake 50-60 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove and rest 10 minutes before cutting.
- Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serve with lime wedges and sour cream.
Source: Real California Milk
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
(Family Features) Cinco de Mayo is a fun and festive holiday that's celebrated with music, dancing, family and delicious food. To bring great Mexican flavors to your fiesta, take a lesson from Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega - also known as Mama Ortega.
In the 1800s, Mama Ortega created a loving home for her 13 children, and it centered around a tiny kitchen. From her small charcoal-burning stove, Mama created memorable meals her family loved. Everything for each meal was homegrown, handpicked and homemade.
You may not be able to grow your own ingredients, but you can take advantage of the way Mama did things - through authentic ingredients such as the line of Ortega Mexican Foods products. Fire-roasted chiles, authentic taco seasonings, crisp taco shells made with whole kernel corn and America's number one taco sauce are just a few of the ways that Ortega brings authentic Mexican flavor and fun to your family's dinner table.
For more delicious Mexican recipes to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo - or any day - visit www.ortega.com.
Slow-Cooked Shredded Beef Tacos
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Start to Finish: 6 hours
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 Ortega Grande Taco Dinner Kit
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles
- Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded mild cheddar cheese, sour cream
- Place beef and onion in 4-quart slow cooker. Combine water and seasoning mix from kit in small bowl. Pour over beef and onion. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or until fork tender.
- Transfer beef to cutting board; shred beef with two forks. Place in large bowl. Stir in taco sauce from kit and chilies.
- Fill warmed taco shells and tortillas from kit with beef mixture. Top with cheese sauce from kit. Garnish with desired toppings.
Smothered Beef and Bean Burritos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 40 minutes
Makes: 10 burritos
- 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can (10 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 Ortega Soft Taco Kit
- 1 cup Ortega Refried Beans
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup diced tomato
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine soups and sour cream in small bowl; set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain and discard fat. Add water and seasoning mix from kit. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in refried beans.
- Wrap tortillas from kit with clean, lightly moistened cloth or paper towels. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 1 minute, until hot and pliable.
- Divide beef mixture evenly among tortillas. Fold ends of tortilla to middle, then roll tightly around mixture. Place in baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Spread soup mixture evenly over tortillas. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with taco sauce from kit, cilantro and tomatoes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Makes: 12 empanadas
- 1 cup prepared refrigerated barbecue shredded pork
- 2 tablespoons Ortega Taco Sauce, any variety
- 1 tablespoon Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chilies
- 1 can (12-count) refrigerated biscuits
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 cup black bean and corn salsa
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix pork, taco sauce and chilies in small bowl.
- Separate biscuits into 12 pieces. Flatten each biscuit into 6-inch round, using rolling pin. Divide filling evenly among biscuits, spreading over half of each round to within 1/4 inch of edge. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal well. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with salsa for dipping.
Chili Con Queso Dip
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 package (16 ounces) pasteurized processed cheese spread, cut into chunks
- 1 cup Ortega Thick and Chunky Mild Salsa
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
- 1 package (10 count) Ortega Tostada Shells or 1 package (12-count)
- Ortega Taco Shells, broken into pieces
- Additional Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles (optional)
- Chopped tomatoes (optional)
- Combine cheese, salsa and chilies in small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until fully melted and blended.
- Serve warm with tostada or taco shells. Garnish with additional chilies and tomatoes, if desired.
Chocolate Chile Brownies With Spiced Frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour
Makes: 9 servings
- 1 package (18 to 19 ounces) brownie mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles, undrained
- 1 cup powered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ortega Chili Seasoning Mix
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over sides of pan; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Prepare brownies according to package directions. Stir in chilies; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or use time recommended on package. Cool on wire rack. Using foil "handles," remove from pan.
- Blend powdered sugar and seasoning mix in small bowl. Stir in milk, adding more if necessary, until desired consistency. Spread on brownies. Slice and serve.