In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and green pepper in olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes until onion is translucent. Add ground beef, breaking into pieces until it’s no longer pink in the middle. Drain excess grease if necessary, then continue cooking over medium heat while adding garlic, spices, and green chiles. Set aside.
Prep a smooth, dry surface. Lay out a tortilla and spoon about half a cup of beef mixture in the center. Fold the edge closest to you on top of the filling, then snugly roll it halfway up. Fold both sides inward toward the middle, then tightly wrap until closed. Set aside on a tray/plate and repeat with remaining tortillas.
In a large, deep skillet, heat canola or vegetable oil on medium-high to 365 F. Carefully lower a chimichanga into the hot oil, frying until the bottom side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip chimichanga, frying opposite side until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Keeping the oil at a consistent 365 F, repeat with remaining chimichangas, being careful not to crowd the pan (which would lower the frying temperature and cause excess oil to be absorbed, preventing them from frying).
Serve immediately with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa toppings (optional). To reheat leftovers, use oven broiler and cook on each side for a minute or so.
Note: Find uncooked flour tortillas in the cheese or deli section of the grocery store. Pre-cooked tortillas will work too, with a less flaky result.
Per serving: 647 calories, 25 grams fat (7 grams saturated fat), 162 milligrams cholesterol, 262 milligrams sodium, 44 grams total carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 61 grams protein.
The first step will be to roast the poblano pepper. If you have a gas stove, turn flame to medium. Place whole pepper on the grate directly above the gas flame. Use a pair of tongs to quarter turn the pepper every 5 minutes, roasting for a total of 20 minutes. If you have an electric oven, turn oven to broil setting. Quarter pepper lengthwise, stem, and de-seed. Place skin sides up on a broiler pan and broil until skins blister and char, about 8 minutes. With either method, keep a close eye on them as they can quickly catch fire and smoke. Let roasted pepper cool, then peel, de-seed, and finely chop.
Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and continue cooking about 5 to 7 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir in flour, cooking a minute or two until mixture begins to smell nutty (it’ll smell less like raw flour). Slowly stir in milk. Continue stirring while sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Stir in roasted poblano, garlic, and cumin. Turn heat down to medium-low. Stir a small handful of cheese into the sauce, letting it melt completely before adding the next handful. Continue until all cheese has been added. Stir in sour cream, tomatoes, and cilantro, then season with salt and smoked paprika. Sprinkle some cilantro on top and serve hot with tortilla chips for dipping.
Tip: Pre-shredded cheese contains fillers to keep the shreds from sticking together, which can also cause separation in your queso dip. To avoid separation, use block cheese and shred by hand.
Per serving: 172 calories, 13 grams fat (9 grams saturated fat), 42 milligrams cholesterol, 359 milligrams sodium, 5 grams total carbohydrates, 0.5 gram fiber, 9 grams protein.
In a large skillet, sauté the onion, red pepper, green pepper, and jalapeño in olive oil until onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cornmeal, and spices. Add eggs, whipping cream, and melted butter. Begin whisking, slowly adding water as you go until a thick batter forms. Fold in sautéed vegetables, corn, and cheeses. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch greased casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 55 to 60 minutes. Serve hot.
Per serving: 275 calories, 13 grams fat (7 grams saturated fat), 63 milligrams cholesterol, 585 milligrams sodium, 33 grams total carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 10 grams protein.
Preheat oven to 425 F. Dice sweet potatoes into chunks, somewhere between ½-inch to 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, mix together all spices. Add diced sweet potatoes and red pepper, pouring olive oil on top. Toss together until seasoning has coated potatoes. Spread evenly in a single layer, giving the potatoes some space, on a large baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Serve as a side dish or dress them up by topping with cheddar cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, and avocado.
Per serving: 345 calories, 8 grams fat (1 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 29 milligrams sodium, 67 grams total carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 4 grams protein.