Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Tuesday... Taco Tuesday that is!

This recipe can be applied to either Tacos or Taco Salad, it all depends on how creative you wanna get... at the end of the day though, it's fast, it's relatively healthy and it's good!   

 I use ground turkey meat for my tacos just to cut down on the fat... you can use ground beef or even ground chicken... it's all muy rico if you ask me! 

And lastly... making tacos does not necessarily mean that you brown some meat and throw a package of sodium filled pre-made taco seasoning mix all over it... you can make a great seasoning blend/mix with the ingredients that I am SURE are already in your kitchen or use fresh ingredients and throw them in a blender... give it a try!!!

Taco Salad

1 lb. Ground Beef (Turkey or Chicken) 
1 Small Onion Finely Diced

Now there are a couple variations on this dish... you can go either way! 

The first is for the seasoning... 
Combine in a bowl: 
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Garlic Powder 
1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
1 tsp. Tomato paste

The second seasoning mix uses fresh ingredients... 
Grab the old blender and jut throw in: 
1 Onion
1 Small Tomato
1/2 Jalapeno (seeds removed) 
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Heaping Spoonful of Chili Powder
A drizzle of Olive Oil

Brown your meat in a frying pan and add your seasonings... 
Shred some iceberg lettuce, dice an avocado, chop a tomato, get out your shredded cheese and some sour cream and top with a black olive. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Baked Chicken Casserole with Spanish Rice & Black Beans

Sunday nights are generally a night where I am just pretty tired from an active weekend with the family and don't like to spend too much time in the kitchen.  

I found this recipe a while back in Southern Living magazine and forgot about it till I opened it up this afternoon and was reminded just how easy Sunday night dinners can actually be... and just cause it's easy and you get a little help, doesn't necessarily mean it's not equally as delicious! 

Baked Chicken Casserole with Spanish Rice & Black Beans

1 Cup White Rice
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 green bell pepper diced small
1/2 red bell pepper diced small
1 clove garlic minced
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 large can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small can diced tomatoes
1 small can diced chiles 
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Monterey Jack 
1 small can sliced black olives
3 or 4 scallions or green onions chopped
2 tbs. olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

In a saute pan with the olive oil, saute the onion, bell peppers & garlic. Add Chicken and allow to brown on either side.  Remove. Set aside. 
In a large oven safe casserole dish add your rice & tomatoes, onion, bell peppers & garlic, chicken broth, chiles, salt & pepper.  Arrange chicken breasts on top.  Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and pour the beans on top, sprinkle with the cheese, scallions and olives.  Cook uncovered in the oven for another 15 minutes. 

Super easy! Super delicious! 

**adapted from Southern Living Magazine Recipe**

Friday, December 3, 2010

Viva Oliva...Viva Balsamic... Viva Portabella!!! Marinated Grilled Portabella Mushrooms

Who doesn't love Olive Oil... and who doesn't love Balsamic Vinegar.... and who doesn't love them more when they have wonderful herbs & flavors infused into them. 

I was shopping this past week in town and I came across this store that I had never seen before... I went inside, and they told me they were open for about a month or so... and well, I fell in love in this store!    What kind of store is this you ask?  An Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar store! Viva Oliva to be exact...  This company infuses different flavors into these wonderfully delicious on their own anyways ingredients.  

They had Lavender, Pomegranate & Tangerine Balsamic... Persian Lime, Herbes de Provence, Truffle & Lemon Olive Oil... I sampled quite a few of them to say the least and they were all divine.  They have combos that are made up for you already... and you guys know me by now, I don't advertise for anyone that I don't absolutely love and think they have a stellar product... these people made an incredible product!  QUALITY infused balsamic & olive oil! 

They would seriously make delicious salad dressings and add to just about any dish you'll cook with them.   

So I picked out the Lavender Balsamic and Persian Lime Olive Oil... and I came across these beautiful Portabella Mushrooms yesterday in the market... I marinated the two together with a little freshly macerated garlic, salt & pepper... and then threw them on the grill... OH MY!  It was divine.   It had so much flavor and you could really pick up the mild aroma of the Lavender and the sweet tang of the Persian Lime...it was a match made in heaven. 

I have one leftover today and I'm going to make a sandwich with some fresh arugula, buffalla mozzarella & fire roasted red bell peppers... that mushroom is going to be the perfect addition!  

To order some of these Oils & Balsamic Vinegars... check them out.  They have a page that's dedicated to all of the incredible flavors they have and the insanely delicious combos you can make!  These would make awesome gifts too... just sayin'! :-)  Check em out!  http://www.vivaoliva.com/

BBQ Ranch Tenderloin Lettuce Wraps

BBQ Ranch Tenderloin Wrap

1 Pork Tenderloin marinated in your favorite BBQ Sauce
1 Avocado diced
1 Cucumber diced
1 Tomato diced
1/2 Red Onion diced
1/4 c. Corn
Chopped Cilantro (optional)
2 TBS. Ranch Dressing

Romaine Lettuce, Butter Lettuce...Iceberg... any leafy lettuce.

Grill your tenderloin to sear on either side... I used my indoor stovetop grill. 
Remove and place in the oven on 400 until the internal temp reaches 150 degrees. (probably about 20 minutes)  Allow to sit for a few minutes when you remove it from the oven.  Cut into 1 inch thick slices. 

In a bowl, combine avocado, cucumber, tomato, onion & ranch dressing... 

Wash, clean & pat dry your lettuce leaves.... and begin layering.  

Place the bbq pork on the leaf, followed by the avocado salad mixture, a little chopped fresh cilantro and then a spoonful of corn.   SO YUM! 

Panko Crusted Asparagus

Veggies can be so boring sometimes... yes, yes, they're filled with many vitamins and nutrients and sometimes alone they can be spectacular... but every now and then... ya just need to shake things up a bit?  

I discovered this recipe recently and well, I fell in love.  It's my new favorite way of serving asparagus!  It's crunchy, it's flavorful and it adds so much to this vegetable that's already in my top ten!  Oh and as always, do I even need to say this... it's SO easy!!!

Panko Crusted Asparagus

1 tbs. Dijon Mustard 
1/2 juice of Lemon
2 tbs. Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper
1 Cup Panko Crumbs

Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper.  Remove the hard bottom stems of the asparagus and toss in the mixture. 

Roll asparagus into the Panko crumbs and place in a sheet tray in the oven on 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. 

Squeeze a bit more lemon juice on top... and WOW!

It truly is so easy and adds so much to this already tasty vegetable... who knows, the kids might even be more inclined to eat it too!  Mine are!