Happy New Year!

Now that we are a couple weeks into the new year, it’s time to get back to business! I’d like to first start by wishing all of you a Happy New Year! From my family to your’s, I wish nothing but happiness and joy in the new year.

I was beyond happy to spend Christmas back in Pennsylvania with my family. It was great to see everyone to have time to just catch up and relax for a week.

The holidays came and went so fast. And I actually did some cooking over the past few weeks, regardless of the sickness that had plagued our house again. My coworkers and I had another potluck lunch. For this I made my aunt’s deviled eggs and baked corn. I also made the chocolate and M&M pretzels that I had made for our Thanksgiving potluck.

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Merry Christmas Circles Printables
Striped Paper Printables

While I was home in Pennsylvania, I took the time make dinner for my parents, brothers and their families. On the menu was…..slow cooker Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and roasted green beans. Recipe for the Salisbury steak to posted later this week.

I have also made a few meals for my family since being back in Tampa, including Alfredo stuffed chicken breast and stove top macaroni and cheese. Recipes also to be posted later this week.

One of my favorites was the slow cooker chicken tacos we had for dinner last night. So simple and quick to put together. The hardest part was setting up all the fixings buffet style for us to assemble our tacos.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 jar mild chunky salsa
1 cup chicken broth/stock

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, salsa, and chicken broth. Lay chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker. Pour salsa mixture over chicken. Cover, and cook in high for 3-4 hours, until chicken shreds easily with a fork.

**Recipe credit: Guilt or guilt free?

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Serve along with any toppings you and your family like. We had lettuce, tomato, red onion, corn, black beans, taco sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, as well as store bought chipotle and ranchero dressings. I also served a combination of hard and soft shell tacos.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Looking forward to leftovers tonight!

Don’t forget to check back later this week for more recipes that I have made over the holidays.

ENJOY!! 🙂

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Taco Twist!

Even though we did not have a football game to go to, there is no reason why we can’t cook it up like a tailgate!

Our gameday meal was inspired by my parents. I had spoken to them the night before, and they had told me that two of my brothers were coming to their house that night for tacos. I really like tacos, but do not make them very often.

Ordinary tacos did not appeal to me on gameday. I really wanted burgers and hotdogs, but how could I make them different?? I took to Pinterest. No recipes stood out. So I just came up with something myself. This is so simple, and only requires 2 ingredients!!!

Taco Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:

4 ready-made turkey burgers (or you can patty your own)
1 package low sodium taco seasoning

Directions:

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Grease with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, sprinkle both sides of each burger with taco seasoning, being sure to rub it in so it sticks to the burgers.

Depending on the size of your pan, sauté burgers 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (I cooked 2 burgers at a time, and had my oven on low to keep first 2 burgers warm while I cooked the last 2).

Serve with all the fixings of you and your family’s choice. I set up an assembly line of sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomato, onion, and shredded cheese. I also made my favorite black bean and corn salsa (minus the edamame) with tortilla chips.

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I was really unsure how this would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised! They were so good, and tasted just like a taco, but better!!!

Have fun, and make it to suit your family!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Football Saturday Dinner: Blackened Fish Tacos

A few weeks ago, my grocery store had cod fillets on sale, but when I went to purchase them, they were sold out. Because the price was so good, I got a raincheck. Today, when I went to pick up a few things, I cashed in on my raincheck!

Even before the grocery store,I woke up thinking about fish tacos. Maybe they were in one of my dreams?? So, before I headed off to the hospital early this morning to see a few patients, I got on my iPad to find a recipe. Below is my version!

Simple Blackened Fish Tacos

Ingredients:

2 and 1/2 tsp paprika
2 and 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
4 cod fillets
Cooking spray
8 corn tortillas

Directions:

Spray the grill pan before heating. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine spices, honey, and lime juice in a bowl. Using your hands, coat both sides of the fish. Grill each side for 3 to 4 minutes.

Wrapped in a damp paper towel, warm corn tortillas in microwave for 30-45 seconds.

**Recipe Inspiration: Some Kitchen Stories

To top the cod, I also made a black bean and corn salsa, similar to what I made with my healthy chicken enchiladas (minus the edamame). Click link for recipe.

And then, I combined 1 cup of fat free sour cream with 1/4 cup chunky salsa.

Lastly, I had some store-bought shredded Mexican cheese and some green cabbage I shredded in the food processor.

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Also pictured, a black bean soup I had previously made with my baked taco chicken. Click link for recipe.

A delicious success! Little man really enjoyed the fish and black bean soup too!!

ENJOY!! 🙂

GO IRISH!!!

Deconstructed Burrito….with Quinoa!

With the start of college football last week, that has been my main focus!! I look forward to it starting again every year right after the National Championship game.

With that being said, it was time for me to get back to cooking, and more importantly, posting on here for you all to see. I had started by laying out boneless, skinless chicken breast earlier today. I really had no idea what I was going to make. And honestly, I did not know what I was making until about 15 minutes before I started cooking.

So, I took to Pinterest and looked through some recipes I had pinned. I had come across a recipe for black bean burrito bowls. I did not have all the ingredients to make it as in the original recipe. Below is my version.

Deconstructed Burrito

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Directions:

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a mesh strainer, and drain. Pour quinoa into a saucepan along with 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring the quinoa to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover. Let the quinoa simmer for about 20 minutes until it becomes tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

While quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Pour minced onion into the saucepan and saute for a few minutes till it softens. Add the minced garlic sauté 1-2 minutes. Be sure not to burn the garlic.

Add the black beans and thawed corn to the pan of onions along with 1/2 cup chicken stock, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for 15 minutes till the liquid is mostly evaporated. Stir in 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.

When the quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Use the fork to mix in 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.

Place desired portion of quinoa on plate, and top with some of the black bean mixture. I also then topped with a spoon of store bought salsa.

I served this along with baked taco chicken with avocado cream sauce, as I had made in a previous post.

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This was a delicious, quick meal!! It would be great for when you are limited on time through the week.

ENJOY!!!

Mexican Inspired Dinner — Taco-seaoned Baked Chicken with Black Bean Soup

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The yummy meal in the pictured above was created because my husband had asked for baked chicken for dinner tonight. I really wanted to do something different rather than the boring baked chicken I always make. After scouring my pantry, I realized I had several cans of black beans (likely from one of my extreme couponing grocery trips…LOL). So, after some research online, following are the recipes that my mind came up with!

Black Bean Soup —

2 tablespoons

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

2. cups stock (I used chicken stock because I was serving it with chicken)

Green pepper sauce (Tabasco) to taste

Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the green pepper, garlic, onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin. Add 2 cans of beans, and stock. In a separate bowl, mash the third can of beans with a fork or potato masher, and add. Add 5-6 dashes of green pepper sauce, or to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve toppings of your choice. I did avocado cream sauce (see recipe below), chopped green chillies, chopped red onion, shredded cheese.

**Recipe inspired by www.realsimple.com

Avocado Cream Sauce —

1 avocado, chopped

1/3 cup fat free sour cream

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp lime juice

Salt and pepper, to taste.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix until incorporated and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Taco-seasoned Baked Chicken —

8 chicken drumsticks

1 package coating mix, like Shake n’ Bake

1/2 package taco seasoning

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine coating mix and taco seasoning in bag. Place 2-3 chicken pieces into coating mixture. Shake/mix until chicken is coated. Place onto a greased (with cooking spray) baking sheet. Continue until all pieces are coated. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

**Next time I will try boneless, skinless chicken breast. Preparing in the same manor, but would only bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as my family did!

Mexican Inspired Dinner — Taco-seaoned Baked Chicken with Black Bean Soup

Image

The yummy meal in the pictured above was created because my husband had asked for baked chicken for dinner tonight. I really wanted to do something different rather than the boring baked chicken I always make. After scouring my pantry, I realized I had several cans of black beans (likely from one of my extreme couponing grocery trips…LOL). So, after some research online, following are the recipes that my mind came up with!

Black Bean Soup —

2 tablespoons

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped kosher salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

2. cups stock (I used chicken stock because I was serving it with chicken)

Green pepper sauce (Tabasco) to taste

Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the green pepper, garlic, onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin. Add 2 cans of beans, and stock. In a separate bowl, mash the third can of beans with a fork or potato masher, and add. Add 5-6 dashes of green pepper sauce, or to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve toppings of your choice. I did avocado cream sauce (see recipe below), chopped green chillies, chopped red onion, shredded cheese.

**Recipe inspired by www.realsimple.com

Avocado Cream Sauce —

1 avocado, chopped

1/3 cup fat free sour cream

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp lime juice

Salt and pepper, to taste.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix until incorporated and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Taco-seasoned Baked Chicken —

8 chicken drumsticks

1 package coating mix, like Shake n’ Bake

1/2 package taco seasoning

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine coating mix and taco seasoning in bag. Place 2-3 chicken pieces into coating mixture. Shake/mix until chicken is coated. Place onto a greased (with cooking spray) baking sheet. Continue until all pieces are coated. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

**Next time I will try boneless, skinless chicken breast. Preparing in the same manor, but would only bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as my family did!