Monday, August 26, 2013

Food Inspirations


Sometimes I eat things in restaurants that I love so much that I think, how can I use these flavors in something else.  I love Chili's Southwestern Egg Rolls, and the authentic recipe exists on the internet all over the place. I've made them, and they are exactly like the real deal.  My husband loves those egg rolls so much that, when I make them, I double the batch and save some in the freezer before frying them so that he can have them from time to time.  We don't fry that much, but they are a treat when we do.

So I wanted to use the filling for these egg rolls except I wanted to make a pasta.  And, let me tell you, this was a good idea.  No, a great idea.  This pasta was delectable.  The only changes I made to the filling ingredients is to add Velveeta (who doesn't love that!) and mixing it with pasta instead of fried up in a tortilla.  And I didn't chop the jalapeno slices because I wanted them to show in the picture, plus we love eating jalapenos anyway.  This was spicy, cheesy, darn tasty.  I think you and your family will love it too.

The Chili's theme song makes me want to watch Austin Powers.

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN PASTA
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb cooked, shredded chicken
2 green onions, chopped
2 T Italian parsley, chopped
2-4 T jalapeno slices (the kind in the jar)
1 lb Velveeta, cubed
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C frozen corn kernels
One 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1/2 C shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 C water
1 lb penne pasta

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Cook the bell pepper, green onions, and jalapeno slices in olive oil in a large skillet until tender.  Add in the chicken, garlic, cumin and chili powder.  Stir in the black beans, spinach and corn.  Add in the water, parsley, Velveeta, and Pepper Jack cheese.  Cook and stir until the cheese has melted.  Toss with the pasta and serve.

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