{Green} Giant Taste! Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites Recipe + #Giveaway

It’s a very familiar scene. I’m in the midst of preparing a holiday dinner (or even a weeknight supper) and family and friends begin congregating in the kitchen to see what smells so good and make diversionary chit chat. It’s not that I don’t want to visit with them, because I most certainly do! But, at the same time I am totally aware of their ulterior motives – and that is to get their greedy hands on a pre-dinner sample.

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant appetizer

My husband calls it “quality control” and my three teenage boys don’t even bother explaining away this blatant devouring of the dinner rations. Forget about sneaking tastes on the sly; mounds of shredded cheese, meticulously sliced fruit, chopped nuts and other ingredients intended for the night’s recipe disappear right off my cutting board. In all honesty, I’ve been the guilty party as a guest in other folks’ homes . “Oh, do you think that roast is done yet or should I add a little more salt and pepper to those mashed potatoes? I’ll just have a small taste, if you don’t mind – thank you very much!”

jennifer fisher green giant appetizer

However, with a little pre-planning, it’s easy to whip up a first course that will tide everyone over until the main dish is ready. My stash of frozen Green Giant vegetables has become not just a reliable source for healthy side dishes, but also nutritious ingredients for hors d’oeuvres.   If you’ve read the blog more than once or twice, you may have noticed I love me some southwestern cuisine – the smoky flavors and spicy heat turn even the mildest-mannered menu into a boot-stompin’, chop-smackin’ experience.  My recipe for Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema will keep even the most ravenous rustlers satisfied and out of the main dish until the dinner bell is rung. It’s also a festive and flavorful offering to bring along to a casual holiday party – the host will totally be high-fiving you at the door!

An easy snack to make, these mini muffin-esque appetizers use Green Giant’s boxed Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce, a surprising low in fat and calorie product that is endorsed by Weight Watchers® with a 1 PointsPlus™ value per ½ cup serving.  The creamy dip that accompanies these Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites is mindful of fat and calories as well – it’s simply fat-free sour cream blended with lime juice and ground chipotle powder.

Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema Recipe

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant ingredients



  • 1 box (10 oz) Green Giant® cauliflower & cheese sauce
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted Hatch green chiles (or 4-oz can green chiles)
  • 1/3 cup grated Colby Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup bacon crumbles

Chipotle Crema:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder

Heat oven to 375°F. Generously grease or spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Cook cauliflower as directed on bag for minimum time. Let cool for 5 minutes and coarsely chop cauliflower.

In medium bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, milk, eggs cumin and salt with whisk or fork until blended. Stir in cauliflower and cheese sauce, green chiles, cheese and bacon. Divide mixture evenly among cups, filling ¾ full.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are light brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of bites from pan; remove to cooling rack.

Meanwhile, mix sour cream, lime juice and chipotle powder in small bowl until smooth. Top each warm bite with mixture or serve on the side.

Makes 24.

green giant

Looking for more veggie inspiration? Check out all the other appetizer ideas from Green Giant. And, don’t forget to enter my giveaway  – one winner will be sent three coupons for a free Green Giant Steamers product (11 – 12 ounce bags).  It’s so easy to eat healthy when you can steam vegetables right in the microwave. Choose from a variety of delicious, low-fat, 100% natural sauces or your favorite plain vegetables.

****This was a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions and recipes are completely my own.****


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Never too Hot for Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup!

It was almost cold today; the backdoor thermometer decreed it to be 93 degrees!  I guess weather is all relative, but I was sure thankful for a break from the 100+ degree streak Austin has been on forever.  The cloud cover on my mid-morning run kept me from breaking much of a sweat and while it did get toasty later in the afternoon, the lower angle of the sun cast an amber glow and longer shadows that could only mean one thing — autumn will be here someday and hopefully someday soon!

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com hatch green chile chicken enchilada soup

All this wishful thinking about changing seasons turned my mind to food.  Soup. Wouldn’t soup be great for dinner?  Regardless of the fact that cold weather is still month(s) away, I caved to my cravings and made one of my “most favoritest” soups of all time – Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup.  Although I was super excited about making the soup, the actual process was bittersweet. I was reminded that Hatch green chile season, which runs from late July through early September, has pretty much come to an end.  I did have an apocalyptic-like stash (75 pounds) of these prized peppers in my freezer, but it’s been dwindling by the day.

As a past Hatch Green Chile Cook-Off Winner at Central Market’s #HATCHFEST, I’ve made some very unusual recipes for the contest including Hatch Green Chile and Chicken Cheesecake and Hatch Green Chile Banana Muffins.  My Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup isn’t quite as crazy as these concoctions, but my husband claims it is still off-the-hook delicious. It’s one of his favorites and mine too – it’s super simple to make, can be prepared ahead of time for those busy nights, and stays tasty when served as leftovers – in fact, it might be even better the next day (so make a double batch)!

This is the first time that I’ve ever written the recipe down, so if the soup seems too thick just add more chicken stock, if it seems too thin, add more crushed tortilla chips. Also, I usually use chicken that I have grilled earlier in the week, but you can cook yours however you like. And, if you don’t eat meat, just swap out the stock for vegetable stock and omit the chicken. Enjoy!

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup diced Hatch green chiles (that have been roasted, seeded & peeled)
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 cup pre-cooked diced chicken breast
  • 8 ounces light sour cream
  • Garnish: additional tortilla chips, shredded cheese, green onions

Serves 6.

In a large covered pot, add chicken stock, tomatoes (with all the juice), green chiles, onion, cumin, pepper and tortilla chips. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes until heated through. Remove pot from heat and stir in sour cream until thoroughly incorporated.

To serve, top with crushed chips, cheese and green onions.

anolon pot

Also wanted to give a shout out to my new Anolon 4qt Covered Casserole from the Nouvelle Copper  line. Features include a double full-cap copper base that distributes heat very evenly, anodized construction that is twice as hard as stainless steel, non-stick interior and stainless steel handles. Two other thumbs up: This pot can go straight from the stove top to the oven (very convenient) and has a European-inspired design (very cool).


If you love Hatch Green Chiles as much as I do, you’ll want to check out some of my other Hatch recipes:

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - hatch cheesecake

Hatch Green Chile & Chicken Cheesecake with Avocado Drizzle

Hot  Mess Hatch Green Chile Burgers with Calabaza Squash “Buns”

Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zuchinni

Hatch Green Chile Guacamole

Summer Loving | Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - green chile pork stuffed zucchiniBlogging about healthy food has its perks; pretty tasty perks. I’m talking about the opportunity to eat at an endless buffet only limited by my imagination. But it also has a downside; really just little nuisances like cleaning up a mountain of dirty pots and pans and getting critiqued by my kids who can’t fathom wanting to substitute sugar or certain fats in a recipe for something more nutritious. But, today my blogging bothers were multiplied 100x due thanks to my basically skipping a decent lunch.

Although I had pre-prepared most of the night’s meal in the morning before I tackled a day filled with gym-going (training for my Under Armour #WhatsBeautiful Campaign Goal), errands and (gasp) other writing work, I could scarcely contain myself until it was my turn to eat. So, while everyone else was digging into this delicious recipe for Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini, I was out in the backyard beating the sunset so I could take all the requisite food shots. At one point, I really thought about ditching this post so I could just go ahead and eat.

Glad I didn’t though; the recipe turned out fantastic and offers a practical way to take advantage of a zucchini squash surplus this time of year. I’m also thinking it would be damn good with Calabacita squash, zucchini’s south-of-the-border cousin.  If you are craving enchiladas and want to go a little healthier, this recipe ditches the tortillas and most of the cheese.  It’s hard to believe, but one medium-sized squash only has 33 calories. I think you’d probably go into a calorie deficit just eating and digesting it. All you like-minded vitamin and mineral nerds will be glad to know that zucchini is also a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6 and magnesium.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - stuffed zucchini final

Green Chile & Pork Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

  • 4 to 5 zucchini squash (about 1.25 lbs)
  • 1 cup chopped fire roasted green chiles – peeled,seeded and divided in half*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ pound shredded pork roast, pre-cooked
  • 1 15-ounce can green chile enchilada sauce
  • 4 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 16 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - scoop out zucchni

Chop stem end off of each zucchini, discard. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp with a grapefruit knife; reserve for use later.

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Par-boil zucchini for 2 minutes or slightly tender. Drain and place, scooped side up, in a 13” x 9” glass baking dish.

Add olive oil to skillet; bring heat up to medium-high. Add cumin and garlic and sauté for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add chopped red onion and sauté for 2 minutes, add reserved zucchini pulp, and ½ cup of green chilies and continue to sauté for 2 -3 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir shredded pork into vegetable mixture. Top zucchinis with even portion of mixture, leftover may be place around the sides of dish.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - blend sauce chiles

Add enchilada sauce and remaining ½ cup green chilies to blender; pulse on and off a few times to coarsely break up green chills. Pour over top of stuffed zucchinis. Top with shredded cheese and rows of grape tomatoes to indicate where each stuffed zucchini is buried.

Serves 4 – 5.

2011 HAtch green chili tv segment crop

*By the way, I broke into my stash of fire-roasted Hatch green chiles for the making of this recipe! I have 75 pounds in the freezer, seriously! The recipe is best with fresh, fire-roasted (Hatch season is still a couple months away) — but substituting an 8-ounce can of green chiles will do in a pinch!

Keep Calm and Guac On! Hatch Green Chile Guacamole Recipe

Since I adore avocados, National Guacamole Day (Sept. 16th) is a pretty big deal for me. It’s not like I’ve decorated a tree or sent out cards, but you better believe I’m eating the marvelous mash-up morning, noon and night! Oh, how I hated the stuff as a kid; not that I ever let it near my taste buds. My parents used to make a huge bowl of guacamole, grab a bag of chips and park themselves on the patio for a big chow down. “Ewwww, I’d exclaim,” it looks like throw-up, and they’d just laugh and say “good, more for us!” But times change and palates ripen. Now I can’t get enough in the way of avocados, especially in the form of guacamole. If my kids ever tried to get into my guacamole, I’d swat the hands of those little moochers away!

But, why some athletes avoid avocados, I’ll never know. Maybe it’s because the fruit is high in fat — one cup has 21 grams. However, nearly all of that fat is of the heart-healthy persuasion, known as mono-and polyunsaturated fat. When saturated and trans fats in the diet are replaced with healthier fats (like avocado fat), LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) can be lowered. That’s good!  Another good thing about the avocado is that it is a rich source of antioxidants, able to protect your body from free radical damage over time. Also, the healthy fats in the avocado provide a satisfied fullness that sustains for a decent part of the day, rather than the crash that can come quickly after eating an only high carbs snack.

Anyway, on to the recipe!  My Hatch Green Chili Guacamole was inspired by the 75 pounds of these roasted peppers that I won last year in the 2011 Central Market Hatch Green Chile Cook Off. Needless to say, I’ve been adding Hatch to almost everything I’ve cooked this year. Think outside the dip bowl; use this guacamole recipe on sandwiches, in eggs, on top of savory pancakes or wherever else you can imagine!

Hatch Green Chile Guacamole Recipe

  • 2 Hatch green chilies – roasted, skinned and seeded
  • 2 extra large ripe avocados
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon shredded cilantro

Peel and seed avocados; place into medium bowl. Dice roasted (skinned and seeded) green chilies and add to the bowl. Add lemon juice and garlic salt; mash with back of fork until desired consistency is achieved (I like to keep a few avocado lumps). Garnish with shredded cilantro leaves, if desired.

Note: Roast green chiles (or any pepper) by setting them on a hot grill or under the
 oven broiler until the skin is blistered and mostly blackened, approximately 10 – 20 minutes. During the process, use tongs to flip the chiles several times for even roasting. Remove from heat source and let cool. Rinse loosened skins off in water; slice open to remove seeds. 

Crustless Calabacita Quiche Recipe . . . Put Some Zing in Your Zucchini!

Summer brings us grocery store produce aisles that are overflowing with bushels and baskets of squash including zucchini, yellow crookneck, Mexican straight-neck and sunburst squashes. I’ve heard that if you grow the stuff yourself, sometimes you can’t give it away fast enough. I think I hear my neighbor knocking now . . . yay!

Summer squash can be enjoyed steamed, sautéed, grilled and even eaten raw. It’s an awesome addition to the diet of an athlete, packed with potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and C, folate, and fiber. If you’re looking for a new way to serve up squash, try out my Crustless Calabacita Quiche Recipe. Foregoing a fat-packed crust and loaded with squash and lots of other yummy veggies, this easy recipe is a healthy option as a main or side dish or breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Don’t be confused about the word “calabacita;” in Spanish it just means little squash. You can use any summer squash with a tender rind and edible skin. South of the border, they take the term “calabacita” one step further, using it as a generalization for a popularly prepared mélange of squash, corn, green chilies and other vegetables. I hope you like my ‘quiche’ take on the traditional dish!

Crustless Calabacita Quiche Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 ½ lbs summer squash (I used zucchini), chopped into 1/3” pieces
  • ½ sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¾ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup fire-roasted green chiles (such as Hatch), seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾  cup egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey jack cheese
  • Garnish: pico de gallo


Briefly heat oil in large skillet; sauté chopped squash, onion and corn over medium-high heat until tender, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in roasted green chiles, minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add egg whites and cheese, stir together until combined.  Pour into a 1.5 quart casserole dish or into individual ramekins.

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Bake covered for approximately 30 – 40 minutes, until eggs are set and cheese is bubbling. For a golden brown top, remove cover for last 10 minutes of baking.   Serves 8.

Nutrition information (per serving): calories 82, fat 2.9g, sodium 190mg, cholesterol 3.0mg, total carb 6.1g, dietary fiber 1g, sugars 1.2g, protein 8.3g