Chicken Burritos /Tacos /Nachos / Whatever

 

I have a weakness for Mexican food.  Seriously, I could eat it every day and not be sad.  So, I ran across this recipe about one year ago.  And I maybe cook it about every eight days. There was a week that I cooked it four times, once for us and then I happened to have three friends who just had babies and needed a yummy meal.

Don’t under-estimate the silly ingredients and lack of effort you need.  It is a very versatile meal.  Make tacos, burritos, pile up nachos, throw it in soup, whatever you want.

It is the perfect meal to take over to a friend or have ready for the family after a long day.

 

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3-4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet Ranch seasoning mix
2 cups low sodium and fat-free chicken broth

This is the easiest thing you will do today:
Put chicken breasts, taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, and chicken broth in your slow cooker.  Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.  Shred chicken with a fork and let it soak up the broth.  Then you are ready to serve.

Fixing for your tacos/burritos/nachos/whatever
shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions,  shredded cheese, corn/flour tortillas, tortilla chips

Lettuce Wraps in a Slow Cooker (WHAT?!?)

Welcome to Summer Break! I love not setting alarm clocks, hanging with my boys, and having a messy ponytail almost every day. In the summer, I still want to make good meals but want to soak up all the outside fun and adventures that we have planned. So welcome in Lettuce Wraps that you make in a slow cooker! Can I get an “AMEN!” These wraps are simple and very tasty. Chop a few things and forget about it. Throw some edamame on the side and you are ready for a pretty healthy meal that you did not give much thought to. I’m always looking for easy meals in the summer. So please share your go-to’s in the comments below. I would love to cook them up and share with our squad. Take it easy this summer and watch for recipes, summer ideas, books I’m trying to read while playing hot wheels, and random thoughts from my head.

Keep Singing and Dancing! We have so many reasons too!
Looking Forward, Amanda

 

20160218_195921 (1)Slow Cooker Lettuce Wraps

2 lb. ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 T soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained, rinsed, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 T rice vinegar
1 1/2 t sesame oil
2 heads iceberg lettuce, cleaned, separate lettuce leaves

Sauce
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 T soy sauce

Place ground chicken and garlic in a large skillet. Cook ground chicken throughly. Drain off liquid and pour mixture into a slow cooker. Add red bell pepper, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper and toss mixture. Cover and cook on low heat 2 – 3 hours until chicken is tender.
Stir in water chestnuts, green onions, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, cook until heated through. I give this about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt pepper if you as desire.

Mix additional hoisin sauce and soy sauce for sauce. This will add a little kick for those that want it.

Fill your lettuce leaves with the chicken mixture and top with extra sauce if you are feeling crazy. Serve with cooked edamame.

If there are leftovers, they are very yummy the next day.

Sausage & Kale Soup

Happy NEW Year! A new year brings such excitement, promise, and new adventures. Each year I take time to review my goals from the year before and create new goals to guide me. This year I went through a process to find a word that encompasses my goals. My word this year is PURPOSEFUL. One of my goals is being purposeful with my blog. I want to share my recipes, my heart, and encourage you along the way. My goal is to blog at least every two weeks. So I’m a little off to begin the year. I give myself forgiveness and know that I have been purposeful in other aspects of my life: spending every moment soaking up time with my sister and niece while they were visiting, taking care of little one with pneumonia, adjusting back to an alarm and school routine, and threw in a few dates and a getaway with Chris.

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I wanted to start this year by sharing this yummy soup my sister, Lesley, shared with me. This year I rang in the new year surrounded by friends and my family. My sister and niece joined us for the celebration all the way from Texas. The following week, Lesley and I shared a lot of time in the kitchen. Our new, improved, and beautiful kitchen creates great space for sharing life. We are there all the time. This Sausage Kale Soup was shared and enjoyed on a cold, relaxing evening. It has instantly become a favorite. Not only was it yummy for dinner but I enjoyed it for lunch the following two days. Lesley says that it is just as terrific if you make ahead, freeze, and serve later. Plus it has KALE!! I can’t get enough of that green stuff. This soup screams to be made for a family with a new baby, a friend who has had a bad day, or just a simple “thinking of you” meal. Bless those around you this year. Look for reasons to Sing and Dance in your kitchen.
Looking Forward- Amanda

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Complete Happiness in a Bowl

Sausage Kale Soup

1 T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lb Italian sausage, remove casting
1 lb red potatoes, sliced thin circles
1 bunch kale, trimmed, chopped, stems removed
8 cups of chicken broth
1 c dry white wine
1 t crushed red pepper (use less if you don’t want it too spicy)
1/3 c heavy cream
3/4 shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the sausage. Brown sausage and crumble into smaller pieces. Once the sausage is ready, add potatoes, kale, chicken broth, wine and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir completely then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. When ready to serve, stir in the cream and parmesan cheese. Serve in individual bowls topped with parmesan cheese and red pepper. Delicious with warm bread.

Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

It’s not cold in ATL today but in my Texas hometown, they are welcoming lots of snow. Snow and cold weather makes me want soup. Here’s a little Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup I made a few weeks ago. You probably have most items on hand already. This soup was different from my go-to Tortilla Soup because of the yummy rice and black beans. Everyone needs options! Enjoy and stay warm! -Amanda

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Tex-Mex Tortilla Soup

3 T olive oil, divided
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
1 small white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 + 1/2 t chile powder
1 t dried Mexican oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
15 oz canned black beans, drained
1/2 cup uncooked long or medium-grain brown rice, rinsed well in a wire strainer with cold water
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup salsa
Optional Toppings:
sliced avocados
shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

In a large soup pan, heat 1 T of oil over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, stirring often so all sides get browned. Remove and set aside.
Add 2 T of oil to a soup pot over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion, pepper, garlic, and olives together for 5 minutes. Add a little pepper and stir often. Mix in the chile powder, oregano, thyme, black beans, and rice, cook 3 minutes. Stir the chicken back into the pot and add the broth and salsa. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes. Stir often. Add seasonings to taste. (OR add to crock pot and keep on low until ready to dinner.)
Serve with toppings like, cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, and tortilla chips if desired.

Fabulous Fish Tacos

I just crave fish tacos. I am on the hunt for the best fish taco recipe. There are “musts” that my tacos need: a good kick of flavor on the fish, a cabbage slaw, and a genius sauce. The prep was not too bad because I could break it up and still have a productive afternoon with my boys. This recipe has moved up to a favorite go-to. I’ll still be looking for the next fish taco contestant. Until then!- Amanda

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                                              Fabulous Fish Tacos

4 filets of tilapia (about a pound)
8 small wheat flour tortillas
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 ripe avocado, sliced thin
olive oil

The slaw: 
2 c green cabbage, finely shredded
1 t honey
the juice of 1/2 a lime
1 T fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper

The seasoning for fish:
2 t salt
2 t fresh black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t smoked paprika
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t cumin powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t cumin powder

The sauce:
1/2 c olive oil mayo
1/2 c sour cream
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t cumin powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
the juice of one lime

First off you want to mix up your garnish sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well, season with salt and fresh pepper. Now just stick it in the refrigerator until time to serve the tacos. You can make this earlier in the day to help with prep time.
In a small bowl for the slaw, whisk together: honey, salt, cilantro, and lime juice. Toss with the cabbage. Pop that slaw in the refrigerator until you are ready to dress the tacos.
Combine ingredients for fish seasoning. Lay fish on a plate and drizzle both sides with olive oil. Apply seasonings to both sides of fish.
Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook fish until white and flaky, about 3 minutes per side. Gently pull fish apart into bite size pieces.
Warm tortillas. Dress up your fish tacos by filling tortillas with fish. Then layer with slaw, red onions, and sauce. Makes 8.
Serve with chips and salsa

Baked Salmon and Asparagus with Balsamic & Butter Sauce

This house loves salmon. I love that this tasty fish is full of omega-3 and is total brain food. I try to make it once a week so I’m always looking for new ways to dish it up. Our asparagus has been so yummy this year and it compliments salmon so nicely. This recipe is simple and has little prep and clean-up! Enjoy!- Amanda

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Baked Salmon and Asparagus with Balsamic & Butter Sauce

1 lb. salmon fillets
1 bunch of asparagus
1T & 1t olive oil
sea salt and pepper
2 T unsalted butter
1 t soy sauce
3 t balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Gently toss asparagus with olive oil and brush a light coat of oil on salmon, placing both on a baking sheet together. Season with sea salt and pepper. Place in oven to cook for approximately 12 minutes or until desired doneness of fish and asparagus is reached.
While they bake, whip up the butter sauce: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. (Just keep watching and stirring to make sure you don’t burn the butter.). Remove butter from heat. Add soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
Remove salmon and asparagus from oven, arrange on plates and pour sauce over top to serve.

Cheeseburger Stuffed Zucchini

Complete CRAZY talk!  It’s a cheeseburger in a zucchini boat!  Honestly, all the goodness of a gouda cheese burger without the guilt of that carb-crazy bun.  Trust me, as you read through the ingredients you will question if I am a mad person!  Just give it a shot and you will see that deliciousness just arrived in a zucchini boat.  Set Sail!- Amanda  

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Cheeseburger Stuffed Zucchini

1 T olive oil

1 lb. ground beef

1 small yellow onion, diced

coarse salt and fresh black pepper

1/2 T Tony Chachere’s seasoning

1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced, seeds removed

1/2 cup dill pickle, diced

Sauce:

1 T butter

1 T all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 T Dijon mustard

1 + 1/2 cups Gouda cheese, shredded, divided

3 medium zucchini

green onions, snipped with kitchen shears, for serving

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add ground beef and onion. Season well with salt and pepper. Add Tony Chachere’s seasoning.  Brown the ground beef until cooked through breaking it up as it cooks. Drain off excess grease.

Add the ground beef mixture to a large bowl and mix in tomatoes and pickles.

In the same skillet heat the butter for the sauce over medium-low heat, whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in milk and mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook 2 minutes. Turn heat down to low and add 1 cup of the Gouda stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.

Meanwhile wash the zucchini and slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds leaving the zucchini intact. Place on a large baking sheet or roasting pan.

Stir the cheese sauce into the ground meat. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Spoon the meat into the zucchini boats, sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/2 cup of Gouda.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions to serve.