Tag Archives: Mexican

Beef Burrito Bowls

beefbowltortillaGet out of the taco box and INTO THE BURRITO BOWL, y’all!  

These are my new favorite dish because they’re simple, but the homemade burrito bowls make your guests feel special– and you can eat the whole thing without a fork, a knife or a plate!

This month is National Beef Month and Georgia Beef Month, and I’ve partnered with the Georgia Beef Board and the North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association to create some outstanding beef recipes in May.  Twist my arm, why don’t you….you know I’m a low-carb lover and beef is something I crave for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Believe it or not, 3oz of lean beef only has 160 calories so you can power your day with protein and won’t get that dreaded snack attack mid-morning.  

For the burrito bowl, mix and match your favorite toppings– from sour cream to guacamole and black beans.  If you have a crowd coming over, it’s awesome to set up a “burrito bar” and let people help themselves and build their own bowls.  I cooked New York strip medium rare and then diced it up into bite size pieces for the mini burrito bowls, but feel free to change it up with another cut of steak– or even ground beef with taco seasoning.

Click here for a look at the burrito bowls live on WTVM in Columbus, GA!

Beef Burrito Bowls
Layers of burrito delicious inside an edible tortilla bowl.
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  1. taco size flour tortillas (corn tortillas don't hold their shape as well)
  2. sliced New York strip steak, cooked medium rare
  3. Mexican rice
  4. black beans
  5. guacamole
  6. roasted corn
  7. chopped cherry tomatoes
  8. chopped jalpenos (seeds removed)
  9. cotija cheese (or Mexican crumbling cheese)
  10. Hellman's Chipotle mayo
For the bowls
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and press tortillas into tins. Sides of the tortillas will fold inward a little-- just press them to the side and they'll end up in a cool shape.
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes until hardened and slightly browned.
To build the bowls
  1. Layer with rice, beans, corn, guacamole and assorted toppings in whatever order you prefer.
  2. Drizzle with chipotle mayo.
  3. *To make your own chipotle mayo, mix 2 Tb adobo sauce from a can of chipotles into 3/4 cup mayo. Add 1 Tb honey and stir to combine.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/
Easy Weeknight Meal

7 Layer Turkey Bake

Easy Weeknight Meal

Inspired by a Mexican 7 Layer Dip, this is an easy, weeknight meal!

I love to get creative with simple ingredients.  When I was invited to come on Charlotte Today as a guest, the producer told me the theme was “Easy, Weeknight Meals.”  Now that I’m traveling so much, the easier the prep is, the better!  Don’t get me wrong, I love to plan elaborate meals– but only when I have the time to pull them off without stress.  I may not have kiddos, but I know all too well the feeling of coming home after a long day and not having the energy or the imagination to figure out dinner.  

This dish is inspired by my love of Mexican food and 95% of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry.  Cans make homemade easy!  A combo of canned black beans, refried beans, southwestern corn, and Mexican style chopped tomatoes are layered with tortillas, taco seasoned ground turkey, and cheese.  You can make this ahead so all you need to do is put the casserole dish in the oven when you get home.  30 minutes later, you’ve got a delicious dinner that tastes like you’re out at your favorite neighborhood cantina– add in a cold margarita for the adults, and you’re guaranteed to keep this in your “Easy Weeknight Meals” rotation.  And, you can add more layers to make a bigger casserole– it doesn’t matter what order you put the ingredients in.  This is the perfect dish to have your kids help with– they’ll love building up the layers of delish!

Charlotte Today host Eugene Robinson was pretty stoked when he tasted the final product!  Check out the video below…

Turkey bake

Get in My Belly! With Charlotte Today host, Eugene Robinson

You can also check out Cans Get You Cooking for more easy, healthy delish! 

*This is a sponsored post, but the recipe and the opinions expressed are my own.

7 Layer Turkey Bake
Inspired by 7 Layer Mexican Dip, this meal has ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!
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  1. 1 pound ground turkey
  2. 1 package taco seasoning
  3. ⅔ cup water
  4. 1 Tb canola oil
  5. package of corn or flour tortillas
  6. 1 can refried beans
  7. ½ cup sour cream
  8. 1 can fiesta corn with red peppers (drained)
  9. 1 can chopped Mexican style tomatoes (drained)
  10. 1 can black beans (drained)
  11. 1 can red enchilada sauce
  12. 1 can pickled jalapenos (optional if kids don’t like it too spicy)
  13. 1 package of Mexican style cheese
  14. Cilantro, avocado and black olives for garnish.
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large skillet, brown turkey in canola oil. Add ⅔ cup water and taco seasoning. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat, cooking until thickened, about 6-7 minutes. (Unlike ground beef, you won’t need to drain the turkey because it’s so lean).
  3. Spread tortillas out on a casserole dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Mix can of refried beans with sour cream and spread on top of tortillas.
  5. Layer with seasoned ground turkey, corn, tomatoes, black beans, jalapenos and cheese. Pour can of enchilada sauce over entire casserole. You can add additional cheese to another layer if you want!
  6. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until cheese bubbles.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sliced avocado and black olives.
What's on Parker's Plate? http://whatsonparkersplate.com/

El Calzone

calzoneThis is the first time I’ve cooked since I went home to DC last weekend– it’s been one of those “just make scrambled eggs for dinner” kinda weeks.  I admit– I’ve been sorta uninspired.  Yup– it’s an official Parker Cooking Slump.  *GASP!

So, when I went to the grocery store last night, I wanted to put together something easy and try to be as creative as I could with what I already had in the fridge (one single pie crust and some leftover creamed corn).

I normally make my own taco seasoning, but I grabbed a packet of McCormick’s taco seasoning, a pound of ground beef, some jalapenos, cilantro and cheese.  Initially I was going to make a Taco Pie, but my pie plate was nowhere to be found!  *Lightbulb moment:  A Taco Calzone….or as my friend Jon Nelson declared, “EL CALZONE!”

another cal

El Calzone

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  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1-2 jalapenos chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup roasted or creamed corn
  • 2 Tb cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
  • cilantro for garnish
  • 1 Pillsbury pie shell
  • egg wash


  1. Saute the onion and jalapenos in butter on medium heat till soft-- about 5 minutes. Add ground beef or turkey and saute until browned. Drain.
  2. Put meat and onion/jalapeno mixture back in pan and add taco seasoning with 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and turn down heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add corn and cream cheese and let cream cheese melt and absorb into the meat mixture. Top with cilantro and take off heat.
  4. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Unwrap the pie crust and lay it flat on a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Pour meat mixture into one side of pie crust and fold crust over in a half moon shape. Seal the edges and press down with the tines of a fork.
  7. Brush crust with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes until pie shell is browned.
  8. Serve with a side of salsa, guacamole and sour cream.


Creamy Chipotle Turkey in Puff Pastry Cups

turkey puffMexican delish meets buttery, flaky pastry?  Whoah, baby, pump your brakes, pump your brakes!  All y’all doin’ low carb can just nix the pastry and make the turkey filling– it can more than stand on it’s own– or would be divine tossed into a lettuce wrap.

You really don’t need the spice mixture if you’re not in the mood to do the extra step— the ground turkey sauteed with onion, adobo sauce and cream cheese has more than enough flavor, but the spices add that extra bit of fabulous.

Creamy Chipotle Turkey in Puff Pastry Cups

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    For the Turkey Filling
  • 1.3 pound package of ground turkey
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 5 Tb adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers found in the Mexican section of the grocery store)
  • 1 package of full fat cream cheese (8oz)
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese
  • 3-4 Tb of spice mix (recipe below)
  • For the spice mix
  • 2 Tb chipotle chili powder
  • 1 Tb coriander
  • 1 Tb cumin
  • 1 Tb dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • For the pastry cups
  • 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry shells


    For the Puff Pastry Cups
  1. Follow package directions.
  2. After baked for 18 minutes, pull out of oven and take top of puff pastry cup off. Put back in the oven for 1 minute to cook the inside of puff pastry cup.
  3. For the Turkey Filling
  4. Mix together the spice mix (there will be more than you need for this meal)
  5. In a frying pan, saute the red onion in 1 Tb butter on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add ground turkey and saute until cooked through.
  7. Add 3-4 Tb of spice seasoning and stir to combine into the turkey meat. (You can add 1/4 cup of water and let simmer down for 5 minutes so the spice seasoning thoroughly covers the meat.)
  8. Add the 5 Tb of adobo sauce and the package of cream cheese.
  9. Stir for about 5 minutes on medium heat until cream cheese melts evenly.
  10. To assemble
  11. Stuff the turkey mixture into the pastry cups and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  12. Pop into the oven for another minute to melt the cheese.
  13. Put the little top of the puff pastry on before serving.
  14. Garnish with cilantro and fresh salsa (optional)


Meaty Monday: Chipotle Turkey Roll with Guaco-Cream

Trifecta of Delish: Cheesy, Spicy, Crunchy!

Trifecta of Delish: Cheesy, Spicy, Crunchy!

Phyllo dough is the NeNe of Culinary Housewives– super high maintenance, super rich, but oh-so-worth the drama.

Making the filling for this is easy, so get that over first, so you can concentrate on the dough!

$$$  NeNe would agree. $$$


1.3 pound package of ground turkey

Spice Mixture (recipe below)

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 block (4 oz) of full-fat cream cheese

3 Tb adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles)

1/4 cup (handful) of chopped fresh cilantro

Spice Mixture:

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions: Brown turkey meat (do not drain) and add spice mixture with the chicken stock.  Simmer for 10 minutes on low to combine and reduce broth.  Add cream cheese, adobo sauce and cilantro, stir until cream cheese melts and combines with turkey mixture.

NOW PAY ATTENTION, LOVELIES.  Here’s the phyllo fun….

Phyllo– (pronounced FEE-lo, by the way, which I botched for years…I thought it was FIE-lo) is paper thin sheets of unleavened dough.  You get it in the freezer section near the frozen pies/pastries at the grocery store.  Let the package defrost for an hour or two before you attempt to use it.

You’re going to need 10 single phyllo sheets and a stick of butter melted.  Yes, a whole stick.  It’s worth it, I promise.

It’s easiest to use a large baking sheet with tin foil that is sprayed with some cooking spray.  Then lay out your first sheet of Phyllo.  Using a spoon, or a basting brush, drizzle some butter on the phyllo sheet.  It doesn’t have to be even, just get it around all four corners and some in the middle.

Spread some butter over the first sheet of phyllo-- a basting brush makes it easy

Spread some butter over the first sheet of phyllo– a basting brush makes it easy

Then, add a second sheet, brush on more butter.  Add a third sheet, brush on more butter.  Add a fourth sheet, and so on and so on, till you get ten, (yes, 10!) sheets of buttered phyllo piled on top of one another.  It’s OK if the sheets rip a little, they’re all going to be baked in a layer so no one will notice if there’s a tear.

Layer 10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough

Layer 10 sheets of buttered phyllo dough

Next, take that creamy, chipotle turkey mixture and spoon it out lengthwise, close to the edge of phyllo so you can start to roll it up.

Spoon out turkey mixture onto phyllo off center, closer to the edge

Spoon out turkey mixture onto phyllo off center, closer to the edge

Then, start to roll up the phyllo dough burrito style…be gentle, cuz it’s a delicate process!

Gently, now...start to roll the phyllo

Gently, now…start to roll the phyllo

End with seam side down and brush with a little more butter on top of the roll.

Now you're turkey roll is ready to bake, baby!

Now you’re turkey roll is ready to bake, baby!

Once you have your turkey roll buttered (again)! Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until browned.

I serve it with some guaco-cream on the side.  The fresh garlic gives it a real kick and is the perfect companion to the turkey roll.  Here’s that recipe:


Mix in food processor:

1 avocado

2 garlic cloves

1/2 lime

pinch of kosher salt

1 tsp honey

Scrumptious on a plate

Scrumptious on a plate


Chipotle Beef Burritos with Whipped Avocado Cream

Smoky, crunchy, creamy and hearty....

Smoky, crunchy, creamy and hearty….

I salivate over the smoky heat of chipotle peppers.  They come in that tiny can in the “Mexican” section of most grocery stores– the adobo sauce is what the peppers are in.  If you really want to spike the heat in this, blend in an actual chipotle, but the adobo sauce is really all you need.

Check the International or Mexican section of most supermarkets for these hotties

Check the International or Mexican section of most supermarkets for these hotties

This is the kind of dish you can make ahead—  get the filling sauteed and stash it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.  Then stuff and heat your burritos– and stuff your pie hole.  It’s a winner.

2 pounds ground beef
1 Tb canola oil
1 medium onion or 1/2 large onion
1 cup beef broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes regular (drained)
1 can black beans (drained)
3 Tb adobo sauce from chipotle can
Palmful of cilantro chopped
Grated Mexican style cheese

Spice Mixture
1 Tb chipotle chili powder
1 Tb paprika
1 Tb cumin
1 Tb coriander
1 Tb dried minced onion (in spice section)
1/2 Tb garlic powder
1/2 Tb onion powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt (more to taste if you prefer)

Saute 2 pounds ground beef in a Tb of canola oil until cooked through. Drain meat. In same pan that you used to brown the meat, sauté 1 medium chopped onion (I prefer Vidalia). After 5 minutes of sautéing onion, add meat back to pan and stir to combine. Add spice mixture with 1 cup of beef broth and simmer on medium/low for 15 minutes. Add 3 Tb adobo sauce, drained rotel tomatoes and drained black beans.

Stuff meat mixture into a tortilla and sprinkle cheese in. Fold seam side down and top with more cheese. Bake at 400 until cheese gets bubbly and browned on top (about 7-10 minutes) or broil for a few minutes. Pull out of oven and top with chopped cilantro, whipped avocado cream, jalapeño and more cheeeeeeeese if you pleeeeeeeeeease.

Whipped Avocado Cream
Mix in food processor:
2 avocados
2 fresh garlic cloves
2 Tb cilantro
1 Tb sour cream
1 tsp honey
juice from 1/2 lime squeezed
pinch of kosher salt

Top avocado cream on your burrito!

Holy Guacamole!


Holy Guacamole with Holy Homemade chips

Holy Guacamole with Holy Homemade chips


4 avocados
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Palmful of fresh cilantro chopped
1 diced jalapeño (no seeds)
Juice of one lime squeezed
1 tomato chopped
Kosher salt to taste

Mash avocados with lime juice and fold in rest of ingredients.

Homemade Chips:

Corn or flour tortillas
Canola or corn oil

Cut corn or flour tortillas into triangles. Meanwhile, heat 2-3 inches of canola or corn oil in a deep rimmed frying pan or Dutch oven on medium heat until it sizzles if you flick a little water on it. Pop tortillas into oil and flip over when browned on one side. They may bubble up, which I love! Drain on paper towel and sprinkle kosher salt on chips.

Dip in guac and enjoy!