Tag: Big Flavor

Skillet Mexican Zucchini

This zucchini is incredibly delicious with a little bit of a Mexican kick from the jalapeno then topped with melted queso blanco. It’s also easy and quick, a must try!

I’m a bit of a cookbook addict. It’s a problem as I’m running out of room in my home for all my books, bu that never stops me from buying new ones. But the biggest problem is that I kind neglect them. But this weekend I was thumbing through the Aaron Sanchez’s cookbook Simple Food, Big Flavor[1] who is also one of the judges on Chopped (one of my favorite shows) and I came across his Mexican recipe for zucchini. I can’t get enough of zucchini in the summer, in fact I have an entire Pinterest Board devoted to skinny zucchini called Yummy Zucchini[2], so I decided to test this out…

You MUST try this! I only made a few tweaks using less oil, and and rather than making a cilantro pesto, I added Garden Gourmet cilantro paste and minced pickled jalapeno for kick. It totally exceeded my expectations.

Skillet Mexican Zucchini
Servings: 4  • Size: 1/4  • Old Points: 2 pts • Weight Watcher Points+: 4 pt
Calories: 102 • Fat: 6 g • Carb: 8 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 5 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 211 mg • Cholest: 17 mg


  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb zucchini, diced
  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro or Garden Gourmet cilantro paste
  • 1 tsp minced pickled jalapeño
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco
  • fresh lime juice, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


the garlic in oil in a large skillet over medium heat 1 minute,
stirring until sizzling. Add zucchini and cook stirring occasionally,
about 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the tomato and green
onion and cook about 3 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and add
cilantro paste, jalapeño and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste
and top with queso blanco. Serve hot.


  1. ^ Simple Food, Big Flavor (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Yummy Zucchini (pinterest.com)

Aaron’s Mexican Dry Adobo Seasoning

A fusion of Mexican and American spices – a dry rub that combines the flavors of Mexico using dried pasilla and ancho chiles, with spices commonly used in dry rubs across the American South. Make a batch and it will keep for months if stores in an airtight container.

I don’t watch much TV, but one show I am pretty addicted to is Chopped on the Food Network. I love seeing what mystery ingredients the contestants will get, and love seeing what the chefs come up with under pressure. But what really gets me watching is the judges, at times they can be a bit harsh, which makes me thankful I’m not on that show. If you watch Chopped, then you probably recognize Aaron Sanchez, chef from Centrico in NYC. This adobo recipe is from his new cookbook, Simple Food, Big Flavor[1]. I actually quartered the recipe and it still made a lot, and used it to make a delicious pork tenderloin from his book (recipe coming next), but thought this should live on a page of it’s own.

This can be used as a run, for seasoning chili, stews, black bean soup and more.

Aaron’s Mexican Dry Adobo Seasoning
Servings: 24 • Size: 1 teaspoon • Old Points: 0 • Weight Watcher Points+: 0 pt
Calories: 8.5 • Fat: 0.5 g • Carb: 1 g • Fiber: 0.5 g • Protein: 0 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 1 mg • Cholest: 0 mg 


  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 dried pasilla chile, stemmed, seeded, deveinied and torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeded, deveinied and torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp dried whole Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp sweet Spanish paprika


Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in the cumin, coriander, fennel and mustard seeds along with pieces of the pasilla and ancho chiles. Toast stirring consantly until aromatic and just begins to smoke, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool on a plate.

When room temperature, grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Put the powder in a large bowl and combine with remaining spices; stir well to combine.

Store in an airtight container, for up to one month.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Source: Simple Food, Big Flavor[2]


  1. ^ Simple Food, Big Flavor (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Simple Food, Big Flavor (www.amazon.com)

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Mexican Adobo Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin

A lean pork tenderloin, rubbed with Mexican adobo and grilled or broiled to give you a great tasting, smoky, tender piece of meat.

Pork tenderloin is the leanest cut of pork, in fact it’s just as lean as a skinless chicken breast, and it doesn’t take long to cook, which makes it perfect for busy weeknights. If you’re tired of making the same ‘ole thing for dinner, this is the answer (and bonus, it’s totally man-friendly).

I was really in the mood for some Cilantro Lime Rice[1], and I thought it was the perfect compliment; I used some lime wedges to squeeze over the pork – delish! I was craving white rice, but I often use brown rice too as a whole grain option. For an even healthier side, last week’s Fiesta Bean Salad[2] would also be fabulous!

This recipe is from the cookbook Simple Food, Big Flavor[3],
by Aarón Sánchez (you may know him as one of the judges on Chopped[4]).
Yesterday I made a batch of Aaron’s Adobo[5] with full intentions of making
this pork dish. I still have a lot of adobo left, so I’m going to use
the rest to grill some pork chops this weekend. It was pretty chilly
yesterday, so rather than making this on my grill, I used my broiler instead.

Mexican Adobo Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Servings: 4 • Size: 1/4 • Old Points: 4 • Weight Watcher Points+: 4 pt
Calories: 182 • Fat: 6.5 g • Carb: 3 g • Fiber: 1.5 g • Protein: 27.5 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 66 mg (without the salt) • Cholest: 81 mg


  • 18 oz pork tenderloin
  • 3 tbsp Aaron’s Adobo[6]
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste


Rub the olive oil over the tenderloin and pat on the adobo. Set aside about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high, or preheat the broiler. Generously season the pork with salt.

Grill or broil on high until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 145°F, about 20 to 22 minutes. Let the pork rest about 5 minutes before slicing.


  1. ^ Cilantro Lime Rice (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  2. ^ Fiesta Bean Salad (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  3. ^ Simple Food, Big Flavor (www.amazon.com)
  4. ^ Chopped (www.foodnetwork.com)
  5. ^ Aaron’s Adobo (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  6. ^ Aaron’s Adobo (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)

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