Browsing Tag


Tomahawk Steak Carne Asada

EAT, family meals By November 17, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , 24 Comments

Tomahawk Steak Carne AsadaRarely do I feel as if I could take on Bobby Flay or Giada De Laurentiis. But I have discovered a secret weapon for busy mothers who haven’t been to the grocery store alone in nearly a decade, let alone had time to develop unique Mexican sauces in a traditional style. In my household, my partner is BBQ grill-obsessed, and our new Weber has been a huge success. While he grills, my roll is to prepare veggies and sauces – between kids, laundry, working and filling out a myriad of school permission slips! So I must admit that I don’t do everything from (ahem) scratch.

Here’s how we went Mexican Gourmet using tomahawk steaks:

Mexican Tomahawk Steak Carne Asada Tacos

1 Old El Paso Steak Carne Asada dinner kit
4 Limes
3 Avacados

1. Marinate the steaks in lime juice for 2 hours.
2. Heat the grill to 400 degrees.
3. Rub the steaks with seasoning included in the package.
Tomahawk Steak Tacos4. Place the steaks on the grill – approximately 10 minutes each side for medium.
5. Prepare the guacamole by mixing the seasoning mix included in the dinner kit with chopped avocadoes.
6. Chop the tomahawk steaks after allowing them to rest for 5 minutes and assemble your delectable tacos.

Mexican Citrus



Crab tacos

Crab Tacos with Homemade Guacamole

EAT, family meals By September 17, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 12 Comments

Taco Tuesday? Fajita Friday? Or simply an excuse-for-a-fiesta-Saturday.  All summer long I’ve been tending to the garden as the kids help me water and weed. We’ve tried our hand at growing vegetables and have been thrilled with the results.  In addition, my family and I have the good fortune of owning a crab trap. So when I mastered the summer challenge of catching crab in the Pacific Ocean (though I still won’t touch them), I was very proud.  The only obstacle is when I catch too many.  Seriously.  Listen to myself!  Feeling inspired and using my new pastimes to source fresh ingredients, I got our family and friends out of a serious dinner rut with crab tacos.

Fresh Guacamole and Mexican SaladThe first step was to shell and retrieve meat from (wait for it…) 8 huge crab.  Born and bred in Nova Scotia, I used my lobster-shelling skills and sharp equipment to finish the job.  Gathering tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro from the garden, as well as a bag full of lettuce and I was ready.
Salad, Crab Tacos and HOmemade Guacamole (serves 10).

Assorted greens
12 sliced roma tomatoes
Purple Onions, diced
1/2 c feta cheese
Dressing: 1/2 cup each olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper and dijon

Homemade Guacamole:
6 avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 t cumin
2 cloves garlic (diced)
1/2 t sea salt
4 T lime juice
4 T. sour cream
1/2 c cilantro

8 Fresh crab (or 4 tins of store-bought crab)
2 T. butter
1/4 c lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

6 Jalapenos
2 c. Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 c. Sour Cream
1 c. yellow corn
1 c. red onions
1/2 cu chopped cilantro
Old El Paso salsa

2 Packages Old El Paso soft tortillas

Fresh Crab TacosMethod:

1.  Make the guacamole by combining ingredients listed above. Leaving larger chunks of avocado as you combine with a fork will add texture and interest.
2.  Place diced red onions, corn, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, cheese and jalapenos into dishes.
3.  Heat crab meat in butter in a skillet over low heat. Add salt and pepper and lemon juice at the 2 minute-mark and cook for 1 minute longer.
4.  Warm tortillas in a microwave-safe warmer or in a skillet/oven.  To ensure they remain supple and don’t dry out, you can sprinkle with water.

Arrange all individual ingredients and allow your family to assemble their own tacos according to their liking.  Bon appetit!

Old El Paso wants you to enjoy a Fajita Friday or Taco Tuesday and are providing us with a kit filled with bowls, a cookbook and of course some Old El Paso kits worth $75! Entry is simple, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Open to Canadians and the winner will have 48 hours to respond. Giveaway ends September 30th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A Back to School Goal: Exciting Family Dinners

EAT, family meals By August 21, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , , , No Comments

exciting family dinner plansSummer is so great.  Salad from the garden.  Beach dinners prepackaged at the grocery store.  The 2 for 1 Tuesday Whole Foods pizza deal.  Thankfully there are berries in the garden because I’ve been pretty lax on feeding my family interesting, well-balanced dinners.  A goal I always implement for September is to get life back on track after a summer of fun.  This year at the top of my list for back to school is exciting family dinners.

I wouldn’t say that I’m in a meal rut – I love to cook and develop recipes and experiment.  I’ve just been (gasp) lazy this summer.  Lazy and tired.  So the thought of a meal plan that forces me to experiment is quite exciting.  The plan should eliminate stress, save money at the store and get the kids excited for what is to come.  Mexican has always been a favourite of the family – making our own tacos to assert our personalities and experimenting with spices, meats and fresh ingredients to excite the tastebuds.  (Food fights optional).

weekly meal plan

So when I created this plan, I’ve slotted in two Mexican-inspired nights.  As an ambassador I’ll be developing recipes using Old El Paso dinner kits.  I promise to be creative and share our new recipes on UrbanMommies and Pinterest. In the meantime head over to the Old El Paso Facebook page and see how they’re experimenting. Happy eating amigos!

What recipes would you like to see in each of our nightly categories?

Disclosure – I am participating in the Old El Paso Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills, and received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.


Mexi Meatless Shepherd’s Pie

EAT, family meals By December 6, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

When the Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook arrived at the UrbanMommies offices we got very excited!  It is often difficult to find great recipes for vegetarians.  This Mexican inspired meatless Shepherd’s Pie is packed with healthy ingredients and huge flavour.

recipe developed by Amy Snider-Whitson, PHEc

2lb (1kg) sweet potatoes, scrubbed well and pierced all over with a fork
1 Tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, no salt added, well rinsed and drained
1 cup (250 mL) cooked quinoa made with water (see pages 5–6)
1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn, no need to thaw
1 cup (250 mL) mild or medium salsa, deli-style
1/4 cup (60 mL) light sour cream
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp (1mL) freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) thinly sliced green onion or chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the sweet potatoes for 60 minutes, or until tender. Alternatively, microwave at high for 8 to 12 minutes. Cool until easy to handle.

Lightly grease an 8­cup (2 L) baking dish with canola oil or line with wet parchment paper (see page 10). Set aside.

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the black beans, cooked quinoa, corn and salsa until well combined. Remove from heat.

Pour into the prepared pan. If you used a microwave to cook the sweet potatoes, at this point preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Meanwhile, cut the cooled sweet potatoes in half and scrape out the flesh. Discard the skins. Mash the sweet potato well with the sour cream. Stir in the cilantro. Season with pepper if desired.

For a rustic look (as in the photo), spoon the sweet potato mixture over the quinoa mixture in heaping teaspoonfuls. (If you like more conformity, spoon on and spread out.)

Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle top of the casserole with green onion or cilantro (if using) to garnish.

Makes 6 cups (1.5L) • One serving = 1 1/2cups(375mL)

Nutrition per serving (1 1/2 cups/375 mL)

413 calories, 2 mg cholesterol, 13 g fibre, 1 g saturated fat, 75 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 6 g total fat, 544 mg sodium, 24 g sugars

Excellent source of vitamins A and C


Colourful Fish Tacos

EAT, family meals By October 1, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

Tacos are the new darling of the culinary world, and they help to inspire creativity, variety and healthfulness in our kids.  Not only fun and healthy as a meal, but fish tacos can help kids learn about sustainability in the seafood industry.  Parents can help their children learn more about the importance of sustainable seafood on the interactive website sponsored by President’s Choice/Loblaws, who have made a commitment to sell only sustainable seafood products by the end of 2013. The link “school of fish” includes a list of fish at risk, a ‘did you know’ section, more recipes that kids will love, and tips for parents to help even their picky eater like to eat more fish.

Serves: 8
Skill level:
Prep time:
Cooking time:
Total time:

2 tbsp (25 mL) sour cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice
2 cups (500 mL) coarsely grated red cabbage, grated using large holes of box grater
4 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Half jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
2 pkgs (each 280 g) PC Blue Menu Wild Pacific Halibut Skinless Fillets, thawed
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
8 PC Blue Menu Jalapeño Corn Whole Grain Tortillas
½ cup (125 mL) PC Tomatillo Salsa
½ cup (125 mL) fresh coriander leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). In large bowl, stir together sour cream and lime juice. Stir in cabbage, green onions, ¼ tsp (1 mL) of the salt and jalapeño, if using; toss to coat.
  2. Cut each halibut fillet lengthwise into 6 strips. In large nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle halibut with pepper and remaining salt. Place in pan; cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Meanwhile, remove tortillas from package and wrap with foil; place in oven and heat 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. To assemble, fill tortillas with slaw, fish, salsa and coriander.

Nutritional information

Low in saturated fat pillar
Source of Fibre

Per serving:

220 calories
fat 8 g (1.5 g of it saturated)
sodium 440 mg
carbohydrate 22 g
fibre 4 g
protein 17 g
Omega-3 pillar