2017-08-09 / Entertainment

Spice Up School Days

Busy school days demand meals that can match the pace of life. A Mexican-themed meal is a sure way to keep things festive and lively around the family dinner table.

Not only does a meal centered on Mexican-style foods let you spice up your menu, it also allows for plenty of personalization so even the pickiest of palates can be time spent together.

these ideas:

An ethnically-inspired meal is a great opportunity

experiment with foods they wouldn’t normally eat.
Sample variations of classic salsas, incorporate
seasonal ingredients like jicama and diced sweet
peppers to freshen up your dishes or put a spicy spin
on a classic Italian favorite by creating Mexicaninspired stuffed shells.

Get creative with proteins. Chicken and beef are

are also great candidates for a Mexican-style meal.
Pork is another good choice for many Mexican
dishes, and beans provide an excellent source of

Mex-up your taco night. Try an alternative to the
traditional corn shell with an option like Ortega Good
Grains Taco Shells, crafted with artisanal blends of
real corn, unique grains and ingredients baked into
each shell. They’re made with whole kernel corn,
giving them an authentic taste and a distinctive

Keep things kid-friendly and fun by focusing

little hands to handle, but a street taco portion, a
chimichanga or even nachos are more hands-on.

Look for fun toppings that add an extra crunch. For
example, new Ortega Crispy Taco Toppers, lightly
breaded slices of real jalapeno or onion, provide

tacos, salads and even Mexican-style burgers.

Don’t forget dessert. No meal is complete without

sopapilla. Many of these favorites can be prepared
ahead of time so you can simply cook and serve for a

Find more mealtime inspiration like these recipes, perfect Ortega on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Slow Cooked “Pulled” Chicken Tacos

Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 2 hours Servings: 5

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Chipotle Taco Sauce

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 package (10 shells) Ortega Good Grains White

Corn with Chia Taco Shells, warmed taco toppings In medium pan, combine chicken, taco sauce, chicken stock, salt and pepper, and cook on low, covered, approximately 2 hours, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 F. Remove chicken from pan and shred using two forks.

Turn heat to medium-high and reduce cooking liquid into thick sauce, cooking 3-5 minutes and stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and combine sauce with shredded chicken.

Serve in taco shells with desired taco toppings.

Baja Chicken Pizza

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5
4 boneless, skinless
chicken breasts, about
1 pound
1 bottle (8 ounces) Ortega
Green Taco Sauce
1 can Ortega Vegetarian
Refried Beans
3/4 cup Ortega Homestyle
Salsa (any variety)
1 Mama Mary’s prepared
pizza crust
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (4 ounces) Ortega
Diced Green Chiles
1 bag (8 ounces) Mexicanstyle shredded cheese
1 bottle (8 ounces)
Ortega Original Taco
Sauce (any variety)
1 bag Ortega Crispy Onion
Taco Toppers
In large bowl or re-sealable plastic
bag, combine chicken breasts with
green taco sauce. Stir or shake to
coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes
or up to 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350 F.
Bake chicken 15-20 minutes, or
until internal temperature reaches
165 F.
Let chicken cool 10 minutes
then cut into small cubes.
In medium bowl, combine
refried beans and salsa.
Transfer prepared pizza crust to
baking sheet.
Spread bean mixture over dough,
leaving 1/4 inch at edges for crust.
Top with peppers, green chiles,
chicken and cheese. Bake 10-15
minutes, or until crust is golden
brown and cheese is melted.
Top with taco sauce and crispy
onion toppers then serve.

Mexican Style “Totchos”

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5
1 package (32 ounces) tater tots
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 packet Ortega Taco Seasoning
1 cup water
16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
1 bag Ortega Crispy Jalapeno
Taco Toppers

Prepare tater tots according to
package directions.
Heat medium skillet over
medium heat. Cook ground beef
4-5 minutes until browned, using
wooden spoon to break into
small pieces. Add taco seasoning
and water. Cook until water
evaporates and sauce is thickened.
Top hot tater tots with cooked
ground beef and cheese, and
broil in oven 5 minutes.
Top with tomatoes, sour cream
and crispy jalapeno toppers, and
serve immediately.

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