From the pages of I RVing: Winter 2023

Get Hot in the Galley

Spice things up with these three easy Southwestern recipes. by Marc Acton

IN THE WORDS OF OUR FAVORITE ‘90S POP BAND, “People of the world: Spice up your life.” These three recipes do just that. And just to be clear: They also reject the idea of spice for spice’s sake. Instead, these easy-to-make dishes embrace the taste-factor above all else. They’re a perfect Southwestern balance of palate-tantalizing flavor and taste-bud-testing heat.

Parked Next to Street Tacos

It’s always Taco Tuesday somewhere. This one-pan recipe is ultrasimple but hits all the important taste notes. They have a feisty protein, a smorgasbord of texture and veggie-driven
depth, some acid-based tang, and just the right amount of delicious dairy to round out the complete package. But while it’s as simple as the road is long, these tacos absolutely crush the flavor units-per-prep time records.

Prep your peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro ahead of time (but not your avocados). Marinade your diced onion in a Ziploc bag with vinegar for at least two to four hours to add a quick pickle. Heat oil in a frying pan to medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, pat chicken dry then liberally season, letting the meat rest outside the fridge until room temperature. Drop your seasoned chicken into the pan when the pan is completely heated, and the oil has just started smoking. After about two minutes, add red pepper (wait up to four minutes if you prefer your peppers crunchy). Sauté together until the chicken has been cooking for about seven minutes and is fully cooked.

Remove chicken from heat to rest for at least two to three minutes. For pro-level taste, grill your taco shells while waiting. If a grill is not available, lightly brown your tortillas in a second frying pan on medium heat by rubbing just a little bit of oil on the pan side of the tortillas and lightly browning just on one side. Fill your tortillas with chicken and peppers. Top with pickled onions, sliced avocado, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro. Squeeze a healthy squirt of lime juice on top to finish. For a sneaky-tasty treat, switch out the homemade pickled onions for sliced spicy okra pickles, which add sweetness and heat, but also bushels of flavor.


  • Sliced chicken tenderloins – 1 per desired serving
  • Avocados – 1 per person,
  • sliced Corn – 1 small can
  • Roma tomatoes – 2, diced
  • Cilantro – ½ bunch, stems removed
  • Red onion – ¼ of a small red onion, sliced
  • Red pepper – ½, sliced into strips
  • Lime – ½, cut into wedges
  • Olive oil – ½ tablespoon
  • Seasoning – Equal parts cumin, garlic powder smoked paprika, oregano, salt, pepper
  • Chipotle chili powder – to taste (a little goes a long way)
  • Vinegar – ¼ cup for a quick pickle


Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Chili is the ultimate easy mode, but this creamy, chickeny version feels more like a special occasion than the same old same old beef and bean rehash. And this literally couldn’t be easier to make: Put stuff in the pot. Turn on the pot. Eat your heart out eight hours later. As if that weren’t enough to make this the ideal road meal, it’s also perfect for prepping ahead of time (and cooking and freezing if you’d prefer). And if you happen to have leftovers, they’ll almost certainly last long enough for multiple re-eatings throughout your weekend away (three to four days in the fridge at least).

Add all ingredients except the cream cheese and heavy cream to your crockpot. Stir. Cook on low for eight hours, or on high for three to four hours, ensuring chicken is completely cooked
through. Add cream cheese and heavy cream, cooking for another 15 minutes, and stirring until fully incorporated. Top with your favorite chili toppings, including tortilla strips and sliced avocados for an extra southwest vibe, and serve, preferably with a side of margarita.


  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced or 1 tablespoon of prepared garlic
  • 24 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 can Del Monte southwest corn with poblano and red peppers
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 dashes (around ½ teaspoon) red wine vinegar
  • 2 15-oz. cans Great Northern beans
  • ½ package of cream cheese (4 oz. total)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 4-oz. can of green chiles (or 2 if you’re feeling extra spicy


White Chicken Chilichiladas

There’s no better use for your leftover white chicken chili than enchiladas. You’ve done the hard work of cooking, now all that’s left is translating your leftovers into baked gold.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain any excess liquid out of leftover chili. Assemble enchiladas by filling as many soft tortillas (corn or flour will do) as you’d like to eat with the chicken chili, and a healthy crumble of queso fresco. Hint: If your tortillas are too cold to be convenient to roll, microwave them for 10 seconds at a time until soft. Wrap the enchiladas tightly and squeeze them seam side down in a baking dish.

Pour ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on top—we like the way red sauce mingles with the white sauce of the chili, but green works great too. Top liberally with your favorite shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees until the cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown. Hint: If the cheese isn’t brown after 20 minutes, increase heat to 400 degrees until browned, watching closely to avoid the dreaded burnt cheese. Top with any leftover ingredients from chili night and serve with a side of Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Ready Rice. Consider spritzing with a squirt of sriracha for extra peppery heat.



  • 2 cups of leftover white chicken chili
  • 4-8 tortillas, fajita size are perfect, but the smaller taco or larger burrito sizes work just as well
  • 1 package queso fresco
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (red or green)


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