Friday, December 7, 2012

Southwestern Cheeseball

Picture and recipe from Taste and Tell.

I wanted to bring something snacky to Thanksgiving, so I opted for....MY FIRST CHEESEBALL!

Who doesn't love balls of cheese, right?

  • 8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
  • chopped cilantro (I used chives)
  • crackers, for serving

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cheddar, cream cheese, butter, onion, garlic powder and green chile. Mix completely.
  • Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and wrap tightly. Refrigerate until set up, 2 hours to overnight.
  • Place chopped cilantro on a plate. Unwrap cheeseball and roll in the cilantro until coated. Serve with crackers.

I'm not huge on cilantro, and a friend suggested chives. Good choice! Loved them. This turned out pretty tasty, but it could have used a liiiiiittle bit more of a bite. I'm not sure what exactly I would add, but I will probably play with it a bit, next time.

Southwestern Cheeseball |

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe and pictures from How Sweet Eats.

How Sweet Eats is just.....she just....NEEDS TO BE MY BFF AND COOK FOR ME EVERY DAY. That's all.

makes 8 enchiladas
8 large whole wheat tortillas 
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (or more depending on your tastebuds) (I will use more next time)
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
1 tablespoon BBQ seasoning
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on low-medium. Add sliced onions with a pinch of salt, and let caramelize until soft and golden – about 10 minutes. While onions are cooking, dump enchilada sauce into a bowl and whisk in your favorite BBQ sauce until combined.
Add shredded chicken to onions with BBQ seasoning and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly. Pour in about a half of a cup of enchilada/BBQ sauce mixture, and add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup colby cheese. Stir until mixture comes together and turn off heat.
Pour a drizzle of enchilada/BBQ sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Take each tortilla and fill it with 1/2 + of chicken mixture. Roll each up and set it in the baking dish. Dump remaining enchilada/BBQ sauce on top of tortillas and add remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. 

I snagged a rotisserie chicken at the store, and shredded that sucker right up. Easy peasy. These were SUPER easy to put together and came out really good. The sauce was pretty much enchilada sauce with a touch of bbq sauce. I would have liked it to be a little bbq-ier, so I'll probably add a bit more of that, next time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup

Recipe and picture from The Food Network.

Oh soup season.

You were so desperately missed.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 to 6 large shallots, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces ground white turkey meat, broken into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (yeah, idk, I just threw a bunch of herbs in there. Oregano, savory, thyme)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed (I used about a cup more)
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I used one bag of that Trader Joe's frozen rice stuff)
  • 1 small bunch kale, coarsely chopped (about 4 packed cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, carrots and bell pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to brown and soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey and stir until the meat turns white and begins to color very slightly around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the herbes de Provence and stir, 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth, tomatoes and rice. Bring to a boil. Stir in the kale and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and the freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and Parmesan, if using, and serve.
Picture of Turkey, Kale and Brown Rice Soup Recipe
So, I used a crap ton of kale and carrots (CRAM ALL THE VEGGIES IN YOUR SOUPS!), which I'm sure is why I ended up adding a little more broth to it. This was pretty simple to put together, didnt take too long (maybe 45 mins from start to finish), and is GOOD! A nice hearty soup. 
Now just cross your fingers we get one of the stock pots on our wedding registry so I don't have to make soup in a wok, anymore.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Butternut Squash and Pancetta Orecchiette

Recipe and picture from SpoonForkBacon.

I cooked, AGAIN!!! I've realized something.

I cook more when I DON'T have food in the house. If I have to go to the grocery store, then I might as well check out a recipe or two and actually MAKE something, you know?

I got back from my trip, immediately left for another, and came back to bowls full of air and emptiness in my kitchen.


I had half a butternut squash leftover from a recipe I kind of a long time ago. But it wasn't moldy or smelly! My two tests. If it's 9 months past the expiration date but isn't smelly or moldy? Get in my face.

So, a couple things.

1) When I first glanced over this, I was all "Thyme! I totally have that left over, too!". Nope. I had sage left over, so I used that. I have ZERO regrets. It was great.

2) What I love about this type of pasta recipe is that you can pretty much chuck whatever amount of the "topping" ingredients that you have in there. My half a squash ended up being WAY more than the amount called for, I just tossed my whole thing of pancetta in there, I have no idea if it's anywhere near the amount it was supposed to be, AND I halved the actual pasta. I'm a fan of a large topping to pasta ratio.

On the good stuff.

And it was GOOD.

Serves 3 to 4
1 lb orecchiette pasta
3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, diced (I used the package from Trader Joe's)
1 shallot, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
8 to 10 threads saffron
1 tablespoon minced thyme (....or sage)
2 teaspoons thinly sliced chives
2 egg yolks
1 cup pasta water
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Once the water has been brought to a boil, add pasta and stir. Cook pasta until al dente, drain (reserving 3/4 cup pasta water), toss with 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
2. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté for 3 minutes. Drain pancetta onto paper towels and set aside.
3. Pour remaining oil to pan and sauté shallots for 1 minute. Add carrots, celery and garlic and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Add the squash and continue to sauté for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, stir in the saffron threads (I own saffron now! How fancy of me!!) and cook until the liquid has almost disappeared or until the squash has softened.
6. Return pancetta to the pan, with the vegetable mixture and stir in the orecchiette until well combined.
7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently fold in the herbs.
8. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and pasta water. Pour the mixture over the pasta and stir together. Sprinkle cheese over pasta and stir until just combined. Adjust seasonings and serve with extra pecorino sprinkled on top.
Egg yolk and pasta water sauce, you say? Huh? JUST DO IT, TRUST ME. I don't even know how, but it works. It works so so well. This was DELICIOUS. It was a pretty easy and quick dish to put together, too. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Spaghetti with Creamy Butternut Leek Parmesan Sauce

Recipe and picture from Skinny Taste.

So, Susannah mentioned that she was going to make this tonight. Cool. Whatever. Do your think.

She texted me while I was out running errands.


I had no dinner plans...


SHE WAS RIGHT. There are very few ingredients and it's DELICIOUS. My Trader Joe's didn't have the pre-cut butternut squash, so I just bought a whole one and skinned it with a potato peeler. Pretty easy.

I've also never used leeks OR sage, so this was a big deal.

I served it with whole wheat penne good.


  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 8 oz spaghetti of your choice (use brow rice pasta for gluten-free)
  • 1 (1 cup) large leek (white part only)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • 4 sage leaves, sliced thin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft.Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender, blend until smooth.

Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, melt the butter, sauté the leeks and garlic over medium-low heat until soft and golden, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water to thin out to your liking. Stir in parmesan cheese and sage and mix in pasta until well coated. (mine was much saucier than this picture, which was perfect for me)


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chicken and Lime Soup

Recipe from Budget Bites.

I'm have fully claimed my seat upon the YAY IT'S FALL!! train. Soup. All the soup. I want nothing but soup. What I love about soup is that it's totally easy to make healthy (and it's almost impossible to buy actual healthy pre-made soup. SODIUM BOMBS) and to store. 

I had to doctor this recipe a smidge, because I didn't have everything on hand. Happens. 

2 Tbspolive oil$0.24
1 mediumyellow onion$0.28
2 stalkscelery$0.45
1 mediumjalapeno (nope didn't have, used cayenne pepper)$0.09
4 clovesgarlic$0.32
3/4 lb.chicken breast$1.46
6 cupschicken broth*$0.42
1 (14.5 oz.) candiced tomatoes w/chiles (used 1 can of tomato paste)$0.95
1 tsporegano$0.05
1/2 Tbspcumin$0.08
1 mediumlime$0.33
1/2 bunchcilantro$0.43
1 mediumavocado (didn't have. boo.)$1.29
*I use Better Than Bouillon chicken soup base to make my broth because it is less expensive than buying canned or boxed broths. (OK and I use the boxed low sodium broth from Trader Joes....haven't gotten around to trying that Bouillon stuff yet)

STEP 1: Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince the garlic. Cook the onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. 

STEP 2: Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, canned tomatoes with chiles, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top, and let simmer for one hour.

STEP 3: After simmering for an hour with a lid on, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the soup. Get as much juice as possible from the lime by using a spoon to scrape the inside of the lime.

STEP 4: Rinse the cilantro and then roughly chop the leaves. Add to the pot, give it a quick stir, and serve. Dice the avocado and add a few chunks to each bowl. 

(might want to toss a bit of salt and pepper up in there, too)

Avo and some crunched up tortilla chips would be KILLER on this. I mean, it's BASICALLY a chicken tortilla soup. I loved how non-fussy the chicken was. Just chuck it in there raw, then shred it up an hour later. I didn't have diced tomatoes, but the tomato paste actually worked out pretty perfectly. 

Crap, I just realized that I bought some carrots to toss in there, but I forgot them!! Soups like this are nice, because you can just cram all the veggies you want in there. I bet you could put spinach or kale in this, too. Veggies are our friends, folks. 

Throwing this one in the keeper file. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Spinach Stracciatella Soup With Orzo

Another Skinny Taste recipe!

I saw this recipe online, and the reviews said it was fast and delicious.

Welp, count me in.

It's almost November, so that means two things. SOUP AND BOOTS!!! Ok, fine, it's still in the 90's, so both are sorta still uncomfortable, but I refuse to give in. I'm going to sweat my ass off in my boots while eating hot soup AND I'LL LIKE IT.


This soup was GREAT. It was super fast, and a total hit. I cooked up some sweet chicken sausage and tossed that in there at the end. It fit together perfectly.

I also like that this has egg in it, even if just a bit. Provides a little protein.

  • 6 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 9 oz baby spinach
  • 4 oz uncooked orzo
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring 5 cups chicken broth to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine remaining cup of cold chicken broth with eggs, cheese and parsley and whisk well. Whisk into boiling pot and cook 3-4 minutes on low. Add orzo and cook according to package directions. When pasta is done, add the baby spinach and mix until it welts. Remove from heat,add salt (if needed) and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with additional grated cheese.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chicken and Chorizo Casserole

The other night, I decided to make myself dinner. I was going to make fish, rice and asparagus. Healthy! I got excited when I remember that I had some homemade balsamic dressing in the fridge and decided to dump it on EVERYTHING. Omg. 4 bites in and I never wanted to taste that damn dressing again. Blech. I called it a bust and ate frozen yogurt for dinner. That is how you adult. Before I left, I decided I wanted to do some late night cooking. REAL cooking. That way I wouldn't be screwed again the next day for food.

This recipe came from What to Cook and How to Cook It, a cookbook my sister got me last Christmas. I love it because it has a picture of all the ingredients AND a picture of each step. Ah lav pitchurs!

1lb 2oz skinless, boneless chicken thighs
5 oz chorizo (see note)
1 Tsp olive oil
1 onion (I used yellow)
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
3 Tbl dry sherry or white wine
1 (14.5 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsely
S & P

(chorizo note from the recipe: there are two types: cooking chorizo, which is soft, like a regular sausage, and cured chorizo, which is firm and dry, and is eaten raw, like salami. Either type will work, but choose the cooking chorizo if there's a choice. I got fresh pork chorizo from the butcher at Whole Foods and it was DELICIOUS.)

1. Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks and the chorizo into thin slices. Place a large heavy frying pan or shallow flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat, then add 1 Tbl olive oil. After 30 secs, add the chorizo. Fry for 3 mins, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is starting to crisp and has released some of its red oil.

2. Transfer the chorizo to a plate and set it aside. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper, then fry for 5 mins, stirring often, until golden.

3. While the chicken cooks, start preparing the vegetables. Thinly slice the onion and garlic, then seed the pepper and cut it into chunky strips. Add them to the pan, then reduce the heat. Cook gently for 109 mins until the onions, peppers and garlic have softened, stirring every few mins.

4. Stir in the cinnamon, paprika, and thyme and fry for 1 min, until fragrant.

5. Reduce the heat to medium. Now pour in the sherry or wine - it will sizzle and reduce down to almost nothing ( pan must have had more liquid than hers did, because mine didn't sizzle and reduce that much. No harm done, though). Then add the tomatoes and broth. Stir, then simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins, until the sauce has thickened a little and the chicken is tender.

6. Add the chickpeas and chorizo to the pan, stir well, then simmer for 2 more mins, until heated though.

7. Roughly chop the parsley leaves, add to the casserole, then stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drillzle with extra-virigin olive oil, if you wat. Serve with crusty bread (I didn't, I served it over rice).

This dish turned out SO fragrant. It smelled and tasted delicious. I love the combination of spices, as well. It's a one pot dish, which is certainly always appreciated.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffin Recipe

And more Pumpkin Day Prep! (recipe)

    The muffins:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (mine's just ww, not pastry. Worked fine.)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp espresso powder
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • The topping:
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    The muffins:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place 12 liners in a muffin tin and spray the liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together espresso powder and hot water until espresso powder dissolves. Let it cool to room temperature.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), combine pumpkin, yogurt, brown sugar, canola oil, egg and espresso powder mixture. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
  6. Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  8. Remove muffins from the pan and allow to cool. Serve.
I sampled one. FOR BLOGGING PURPOSES ONLY. Holy crap it's delicious. 

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili

October first is Pumpkin Day for Nicole and me.

All things pumpkin are to be consumed.


Since I'm going out of town this weekend and am training someone Monday after work, that leaves me with approximately zero time to make delicious pumpkin things to shove in my face on Monday.

Oh hey! I have a freezer!


I'm prepared as ish, you guys.

I started off with this chili, which I cooked through the night last night in my crock pot. I heart that thing SO HARD.

  • cooking spray 
  • 2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 (15 oz cans) of white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
  • 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • fat free sour cream for topping (optional)
  • chopped cilantro and chives for topping (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Heat a large heavy saute pan over high heat and lightly spray with oil. Add meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes.  Add to crock pot.

Add oil to the saute pan, then onions, garlic, sauté about 3 - 4 minutes; add cumin and sauté another minute. 

Add to crock pot. Add beans, pumpkin puree, green chilis, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Remove bay leaves and adjust seasoning to taste before serving.

After it was done, I divided it up into small containers and stuck in the freezer to save for Monday. In the SMALL spoonful taste I had, it was legit. Bring on Pumpkin Day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Slow Cooker Steal Cut Oatmeal

I have made a discovery.

And it is GLORIOUS.

I put this together right before I go to sleep. When I wake up, the entire apartment smells so gloriously delicious that I am more than happy to jump out of bed. That doesn't usually  happen with my 5:15 wake up call, TRUST ME.

Side note: the first time I made overnight oatmeal it was from a different recipe (which I, naturally, didnt save), and it included only water (actually I did a little almond milk for flavor), oats and cinnamon. That's a little less fussy than this recipe, but it was still delicious. The first recipe called for 1 cup of oats to 4 cups of liquid and I was happy with the outcome. The recipe below called for 1:3, so I increased the liquid. It cooks for SO long that you don't want it to burn or get dry.

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk) (I used 2 cups of almond milk)
  • 1-1/2 cups water (2 cups)
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional) (psh, Im not one to turn down butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter
Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray (didn't do this the first time and spent about 83 hours trying to scrap the goop off and scrubbing the pot. USE THE SPRAY!). Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

It develops a pretty this "crust" along the walls, which is actually my favorite part. I toss the leftovers in the fridge and heat it up pretty much following her instructions.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crockpot Beer Chicken Tacos

With the dipping temps outside comes boots and crockpotting! Woot!!

The original recipe by How Sweet Eats is for carnitas, but I had chicken on hand, so that's what I went with.

Crockpot Beer Carnitas
serves at least 6 generously with leftovers
5-6 pounds pork shoulder roast (or butt)
1 tablespoons canola oil
8 ounces of your favorite beer
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
for serving: corn tortillas, guacamole, fresh cilantro, freshly chopped mango.
Combine seasonings together in a bowl and mix until combined. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Once hot, add pork and sear on all sides until golden brown (about 2 minutes per side).
Add pork to the crockpot and sprinkle seasonings all over. Pour in beer, then cook on low for 10-12 hours. Check once or twice if possible and if needed, add more beer (I did not add any). Before serving, use forks or kitchen tongs to shred pork. Let sit on low or warm for another 20-30 minutes before serving.

Ok, SO. I used about 5 chicken breasts, which is significantly less than the 5-6 lbs of pork called for in the recipe. Naturally, I didn't adjust anything else. The end result was a little soupy and a little salty. The other spices seemed fine, just a little salty. HOWEVER. It was still great. We served it on pita with cheese and avocado and it was delicious. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chicken Taco Bowls

Recipe and pictures from Budget Bytes.

Hoooo boy. We have a keeper with this one, folks! This was super simple and SUPER tasty. It says to cook on low for 8 hrs, but I was in rush and cooked it on high for 3 hours. It wasn't AS shreddy and fall apart-y as slow cooker chicken usually is, but it was still cooked and perfectly moist.

1.5 lbs.chicken breasts$2.90
1 (16 oz.) jarsalsa$1.99
1 (15 oz.) canblack beans, drained$1.19
1/2 lb. (8 oz.)frozen corn$0.57
1 Tbspchili powder$0.15
1/2 Tbspcumin$0.07
1/2 Tbspminced garlic$0.10
1/2 tspdried oregano$0.03
1/4 tspcayenne pepper$0.02
1/4 tspsalt$0.02
to tastecracked pepper$0.02
2 cupsdry rice$0.66
8 oz.shredded cheddar$2.49
1/2 bunchcilantro (optional)$0.45

STEP 1: Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with 1/4 cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.

STEP 2: Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.

STEP 3: Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).

STEP 4: After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

taco chicken bowls

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Balsamic Dressing

I invited my lifelong best friend's parents over to my parents house for dinner last weekend so that we could ask her dad to officiate our wedding. I was NERVOUS! LeGreg was making his spaghetti sauce and asked that I make a salad. I opted for a cucumber/tomato/mozzarella salad and assumed my parents would have some of my mom's homemade dressing in the cupboard. Ok FINE, that's a lie, I didnt really think about the dressing at all until we got home from the store, too late to turn back to buy some. After we got home, I twiddled my thumbs a bit and tried to figure out what to do. I took to my Isabel's Cantina cookbook and found just the right recipe for balsamic dressing. It was super easy, and I tossed it over the salad with a little fresh basil on top. 

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1Tbl packed light brown sugar
1 Tbl minced fresh rosemary
2 garlic cloves
1 c. extra virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, rosemary and garlic together. As your whisking (I used an immersion blender, which worked wonderfully), drizzle in the olive oil.

That's it!


And deelish.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-free, if you wanna)

I first heard about these cookies on How Sweet It Is, but they're actually from Eat Live Run. When I first looked at the recipe, I was SHOCKED. I had almost everything on that list. Except regular sugar. I know it's weird, but I have zero sugar in my house. Don't judge me.

While looking at stuff to register I told LeGreg, "Well, we obviously have to register for a KitchenAid mixer. Every house needs one of those." To which he appropriately responded, "why do you need one of those? You never even bake!". What a dick, right?


The fact that this recipe is so easy that you can use a spoon to mix it and I didn't even have to use my hand mixer is NOT THE POINT, PEOPLE.

I'm a baker, now.

That's the point.


(Warning: this makes ELEVENTY MILLION cookies)

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups gluten-free oats (or old fashioned) (I used old fashioned. Or whatever the oatmeal is in my cupboard)
1 10-oz bag dark chocolate chips
1 cup almond butter
2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp warm water
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together the coconut oil, almond butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Add vanilla extract and ground flax + water water mixture. Keep beating until everything is combined.
In another bowl, mix together the oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Mix until just combined—be careful not to overmix!
Roll small balls of dough and place three inches apart on a silpat or parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Do not flatten dough balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffy. Let cool for 5 minutes on sheet tray before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.

First off, I definitely completely forgot the vanilla, and I'm not sure it was missed. Not that I have anything to compare this to, but whatever.

Second off, almond butter is like semi-liquid gold. A cup of it is A LOT. I might have cried a little as I put the almost empty jar that I had just opened that morning back into the fridge. 
They WAY flattened out while they baked, so I used pretty tiny balls of dough. They look crunchy, but they're actually pretty chewy. AND DELICIOUS. 
But a little oily. Between the coconut oil and the almond butter, which is pretty oily itself, they're just a little....oily. I might try to remedy that next time, but I have no idea how yet. 
BUT I'M TOTALLY A BAKER NOW.  So I'm sure I'll expertly figure it out. 
Things REAL bakers do? Forget to buy chocolate chips and use a dark chocolate bar that they find in the back of the freezer (because ugh, you can't binge eat dark chocolate, so why bother?) and chop it up to MAKE chocolate chips. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Avocado-Lime Black Bean Salad

Source (including pic): Oh She Glows

Apparently I'm on a blog stalking roll with another OSG recipe.

I'll just say this.

When she says "easy" here, she is NOT joking.

This literally took about 5 mins to throw together, including the chopping. I added some brown rice, as rice and beans combined makes for a complete protein.

  • Two 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 small shallots, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large avocado, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

Directions: Drain the beans thoroughly and rinse. In a large bowl add the beans and toss with lime juice, cilantro leaves, diced shallot, and ground cumin. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Peel and slice an avocado, and serve the beans at room temperature, with chopped avocado on top or mixed throughout the salad. Note that I did not have any cilantro on hand, but it still tasted delicious! Makes 3-4 servings.
20101102IMG 9400 thumb   Easy Avocado Lime Black Bean Salad