Category Archives: Main Dish

Seasoned Black Beans + Loaded Tex Mex Bowls and a Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway!

These Seasoned Black Beans are so simple to prepare and will be a big hit with your family! And as a bonus, I am helping giveaway a KITCHEN AID MIXER so keep reading! 

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls, healthy, easy, and perfect for a weeknight!

Sometimes, actually, often times there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
I am a pretty organized person so I normally have everything that needs to be done for the day written out. I have always been like that, with work, school, real life, and the blog. I love the satisfaction of checking something off my to do list. But I am often really hard on my self when I don’t get everything taken care of. Especially with Maebells. I don’t like feeling like I have unfinished business, but that is exactly how it feels when I don’t have time to respond to emails or comments or time a dinner wrong and run out of daylight for the photos.

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls! Healthy and easy weeknight meal!

So I have been working on some recipes that are for those days when you just don’t have much left in you at the end of the day. These Seasoned Black Beans are a great example of how quickly you can throw together a meal with a couple of basic pantry staples. Here is how we do it!
Add one can of undrained black beans to a medium size sauce pan and throw in some spices and a dash of hot sauce. Let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. Yep, that is it!

Told you this was for days when you have nothing left to give! ;)

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls, healthy, easy and perfect for a weeknight! #glutenfree

I used these seasoned black beans in these loaded Tex Mex Bowls. All I did was add cooked rice, black beans, some rotisserie chicken, and our favorite vegetables and shredded cheese in a big old bowl and topped it with a Creamy Tex Mex sauce and tortilla strips.

It is a dinner that comes together extremely quickly, is still healthy, and gives you a new idea for a rotisserie chicken! These black beans can be used a million different ways. We have also had them with tacos or with grilled chicken and salsa.

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls, healthy and easy meal! Perfect for a weeknight!

4.9 from 8 reviews
Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls
Recipe type: Side Dish, Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • For the Seasoned Black Beans
  • 1 15 ounce can Black Beans
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • For the Creamy Tex Mex Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (depending on how hot you like it)
  1. Heat a small or medium sauce pan to medium heat.
  2. Add the undrained can of black beans, hot sauce and spices. Reduce heat to medium low and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, no more than 30 minutes.
  3. For the Sauce: Combine the sour cream and hot sauce
  4. For the Loaded Tex Mex Bowls
  5. Add ½ cup cooked rice, ½ cup Seasoned Black Beans, a handful of shredded or rotisserie chicken, shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, tortillas strips (or chips) and the Creamy Tex Mex Sauce.

As promised, we’re giving away a truly awesome prize today – a KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield!  What’s not to love about that?

KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Giveaway organized by Juggling Act Mama

ABOUT THE PRIZE: KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield

  • Winner chooses color – Empire Red, Ice (blue), Contour Silver or White on White
  • Multipurpose attachment hub, over 15 optional attachments
  • 5-quart stainless steel bowl, dishwasher safe
  • Tilt-head design
  • Includes coated flat beater, coated dough hook, wire whip and 1-piece pouring shield, 1-year warranty
  • 2-piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients
  • 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl

Enter the KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Some entries, such as tweeting can be done daily so be sure to check back.

RULES: Open to US/CAN Residents only. 1 winner will be chosen. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be drawn. Prize is valued at $300 USD. Winner may choose a $300 USD Amazon gift card in lieu of prize if desired. All entries will be verified. This giveaway is in no way associated with KitchenAid, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

Using your Slow Cooker makes this White Bean Chicken Chili Verde a cinch! Just toss in your ingredients, and let it simmer all day! Come home to a warm, filling bowl of soup!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker

Yesterday was cold, windy, and rainy.
I couldn’t have been happier!
I know that might sound strange, but I have been longing for some nice cool weather and the big thunderstorm we had was so calming. It made me just want to curl up on the couch with a big bowl of warm soup!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker

So even though I did have to go to work, I absolutely did make that big warm bowl of soup! I opted for a White Bean Chicken Chili made extra special with salsa verde and lime juice.

This will definitely become one of our favorite soups this fall. It was super filling, extra tasty and required hardly any effort at all! Since this is a slow cooker recipe you just toss in your ingredients and go!

Here is how we make it!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde
Throw in some chopped onion, jalapenos, and garlic in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

Top it with some chicken breast and some seasonings.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

Then throw in the salsa verde and the green chilis.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

You’re almost done! Add the white beans and the chicken broth. Stick a lid on that baby and let it simmer all day!

When I came home I pulled the chicken out of the crock pot and shredded it with a fork. Really, I kind of just poked at it a because it is so tender it just falls apart. Then I added the chicken back into the slow cooker, squeezed a whole lime over the top and a sprinkle of seasoned salt. I let it simmer another 30 minutes or so.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker

That is it! Serve this soup with tortilla chips and all your favorite Mexican fixings or with a side of cornbread! You will love how simple and satisfying this is!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde
Recipe type: Main DIsh, Slow Cooker, Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Using your Slow Cooker makes this White Bean Chicken Chili Verde a cinch! Just toss in your ingredients, and let it simmer all day! Come home to a warm, filling bowl of soup!
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, fat removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cans green chilis
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 32 ounce container of chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1½ teaspoons season salt, garlic salt or salt based cajun seasoning
  1. Place the chopped onion, diced and seeded jalapeno peppers, and minced garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Top with Chicken breast and spices
  3. Add undrained cans of green chills and salsa verde
  4. Add the cans of drained and rinsed white beans and chicken broth.
  5. Let mixture simmer on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  6. Before you serve, remove the chicken breast and shred, add the shredded chicken back to the crock pot.
  7. Squeeze lime juice into the soup and sprinkle season salt, stir, and let simmer an additional 20-30 minutes.





Andouille Sausage + Jerk Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

 Jerk Shrimp and Andouille Sausage are cooked to perfection and laid on a bed of ultra creamy cheddar grits for the ultimate Southern meal! 

Andouille Sausage + Jerk Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

Today is my birthday.

I love birthdays, love love love them. Not just mine, but anyones. When people say they don’t celebrate their birthday I think about how super sad that is. Why wouldn’t you celebrate?! The fact that you were born, the fact that you are still here on this Earth, growing, learning, loving, why in the world wouldn’t you celebrate that?!

Andouille Sausage + Jerk Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

So because I am off celebrating I am going to share a revamped version of my classic Shrimp and Creamy Cheesy Grits recipe.

If you have never had Shrimp and Grits, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Sorry to yell at you, but I need you to understand the importance of going out right now and buying all of the ingredients. This is so so good!

Andouille Sausage + Jerk Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

My traditional recipe has shrimp coated in spices, pan seared then laid on a bed of cheese grits and topped with bacon and chopped green onions. It is fantastic.

But because one good recipe is never enough this variation has the shrimp tossed in Jerk spices and I thew in some sausage for good measure.

Both are amazing, you will love them!
I’m off to blow out some birthday candles! Happy Saturday my friends!

Andouille Sausage + Jerk Shrimp and Cheddar Grits

Andoulli Sausage + Jerk Shrimp and Cheddar Grits
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • ½ pound deveined and shelled shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Jerk seasoning
  • ½ package of Johnsonville Andouille Sausage, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup yellow corn grits
  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 green onion stalks, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. For the Cheddar Grits
  2. In a medium to large sauce pan bring chicken broth to a boil, add grits and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cover and let grits simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. When grits have absorbed the liquid add cream cheese, shredded cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Stir mixture well, cover and remove from heat.
  6. For the Sausage and Jerk Shrimp
  7. Place shrimp in a large plastic bag or mixing bowl and toss with the Jerk seasoning, making sure it is evenly coated.
  8. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp is pink and tender.
  9. Remove shrimp from skillet.
  10. Add sliced sausage and let cook approximately 2 minute on each side.
  11. Remove sauce from skillet.
  12. To assemble the shrimp and grits add a heaping serving of grits to two shallow bowls. Top with shrimp, sausage, chopped green onions, and additional salt and pepper.


Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce, A SUPER game day snack! Ready in under 30 minutes! #glutenfree

A couple weeks ago I had a bit too much going on, there was no way I was going to get everything done, plus dinner. So, I asked Mr. Maebell if he minded making dinner. This is how it went.

Him: “Oh yeah, I will make dinner, no problem!”

Me: “Really? You don’t mind? It doesn’t matter what we have. Something easy is fine.”

Him: “Oh I’ve got this babe!”

Wow, I thought. I seriously do not give him enough credit! What a good husband I have!
I headed off to work, heart aflutter, because I was so impresed with how helpful he had just been.

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce, an awesome game day snack! #glutenfree

Fast forward 9 hours. I walk in the door.

“I am grillin’ pork chops!” he declared with a big grin on his face. “and I am trying something new” he pulled out a ziplock bag full of pork chops in a bright red thick sauce.

“Oh yeah? Did you make up a marinade” I asked.

“Nope, I just put them in sriracha!” he said.

I just stared at him, then stared at the bright red sauce covering $11 worth of pork chops. There was nothing to do but smile. “Great!” I said.

Bless him.

We ate the hottest pork chops of our entire life. We drank the entire pitcher of water in one sitting. Midway through the meal he said “I think maybe next time we should mix the Sriracha with something else.”

I just smiled and nodded. Yes, yes, we should.

It is tiny moments like that, that makes me so very happy I’m spending my life with that silly man.

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce, Perfect for game day!! #glutenfree

So since we love Sriracha but recently learned it cannot be used as a marinade ;) I decided to put it to get use in these Sriracha and Honey Lime Smoked Drumsticks. As you can probably tell from Tuesday’s Italian Sliders we are on a major game day kick in this house. I am on a mission to come up with awesome appetizers that have all of the game day flair traditional chips, dips, and greasy burgers do, but none of the calories.

Instead of traditional fried wings I opted for smoked drumsticks. This is insanely easy, we just threw them on the grill with absolutely nothing on them! No oil, salt, pepper, or marinade, nada! Just smoked chicken, pure and simple. Then I made a quick and easy sauce with just five ingredients!! When the drumsticks were done, I tossed them in the sauce, and that was it!

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 2 pounds drumsticks
  • 1½ tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (Lachoy is gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • zest of one lime
  • juice from half a lime
  1. Heat a grill to 375
  2. Place the plain drumsticks directly on the grill and let cook for 25 minutes, turning once while cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, add the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and let simmer on medium low while the drumsticks are cooking. You do not want to boil, you just want to heat the mixture so the flavors meld and it thickens a tiny bit.
  4. Remove drumsticks from grill and place in a large bowl with a lid, pour the sauce over the drumsticks, place lid on bowl tightly and shake the bowl to evenly coat the drumsticks.
  5. Garnish drumsticks with any additional sauce left in the bowl, sesame seeds, and additional lime zest if desired.




Slow Cooker Jalapeño Ranch Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Slaw

Jalapeño Ranch Slow Cooker Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Slaw...your family will LOVE these! So easy and super impressive! #glutenfree

Over the years, my Mother has developed a bit of an obsession. She collects hoards something super unusual…crock pots.

My Mom LOVES her crock pots. She has every size and shape known to man. The bottom shelves of her pantry are filled with various slow cookers stacked inside one other and on top of each other. Yet every year when Black Friday rolls around my dear Mother will brave the cold and the crazy crowds and head to the the local Wal-mart. She comes home with some odds and ends and always, always a $5 crock pot.

And what did she ask for for Christmas last year? Another crock pot.

Over the years, I have found my Mom’s love of slow cookers to be oddly comforting. Whenever I drag out one of my slow cookers, which were gifts from my Mom, I think of her. If I am browsing through the kitchen section at a store and a crock pot catches my eye I like to think that is a little of my Mom in me. I love it. Sometimes the most unusual and unexpected things make me feel a little closer to home.

Jalapeño Ranch Slow Cooker Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Slaw

So, whenever I create a good slow cooker recipe I always have to share it with my Mom and sisters because, well because our love of crock pots is genetic. :)

These Jalapeño Ranch Carnitas are a game changer. They are so unbelievably easy and full of flavor. It makes a super impressive dinner with hardly any effort at all. These carnitas are topped with a Cilantro Lime Slaw, which is really simple and helps pull all of the flavors together. Here is how we do it!

Jalapeño Ranch Slow Cooker Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Slaw...your family will LOVE this! #glutenfree

For the carnitas you just throw a pork loin and five other simple ingredients in your crock pot and let it simmer on low all day. That is it! No precooking, no weird ingredients, this will take you literally two minutes to throw together in the morning before you go to work.

After 8 hours, you just shred the meat. This won’t be difficult, it will basically just fall apart. Place your meat on a lined baking sheet and broil it for a minute or two until it gets nice and crisp. YUM! Then drizzle a bit of the juice from the crock pot over the crisp meat. This is the key to having super fantastic majorly flavorful carnitas, do not skip that step!

Then just whip up the slaw and warm some corn tortillas and you have a guest worthy meal on your hands with hardly any effort at all!

Slow Cooker Jalapeño Ranch Carnitas with Cilantro Lime Slaw
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4+
  • For the Carnitas
  • 2 pounds pork loin
  • 1 package ranch seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 sliced fresh jalapeño
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of beer (I used Red Bridge)
  • For the Cilantro Lime Slaw
  • 3 cups slaw mix
  • ¼ cup diced red pepper
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  1. For the Jalapeño Ranch Carnitas
  2. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  3. Place the pork loin fat side down in the slow cooker.
  4. Top with ranch seasoning, minced garlic, cumin, and the freshly sliced jalapeño. I did not seed the jalapeño and did not think it was spicy.
  5. Pour the bottle of beer right over the top.
  6. Let cook on low 8 hours.
  7. After it has cooked for 8 hours, shred the meat with a fork, it should just fall apart.
  8. Do not discard the juice from the slow cooker.
  9. Using a parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet place the shreds of meat in a single layer.
  10. Turn your broiler on high and set the meat under your broiler. Let it broil for 1-2 minutes until crisp. (WATCH CLOSELY!!!) Keep an eye on the meat, as every oven heats differently, yours may get crisp quicker than mine did.
  11. When meat is crisp spoon some of the juice from the slow cooker over the top (this is key, do not skip this step)
  12. To make the Cilantro Lime Slaw:
  13. Add the slaw mix, chopped red pepper and jalapeños to a mixing bowl.
  14. In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the oil, vinegar, cilantro, slices, and lime juice. Stir well.
  15. Pour over slaw and stir.
  16. Keep cool until ready to serve.
  17. (I personally like the slaw best when it has had time to sit and let the flavors meld. It can be made and served immediately, but I like it best if it has set for an hour or two.)
  18. To assemble carnitas:
  19. Heat a stack of corn tortillas.
  20. Place meat and slaw in tortilla and garnish with additional juice from the slow cooker, or lime juice.

*A few tips: The slaw in the pictures is the broccoli slaw mix. I have since used regular slaw mix and I think I prefer the regular cabbage mix. However, both worked great.

If you prefer not to use beer 1 1/2 cups of Dr. Pepper or beef broth would be a great substitute!