Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fajita Fridayß

Fajita friday!
Is that even a thing?  I think I'll be making it a thing because in this house we love Mexican and could eat it every day.  Tacos, enchiladas, Puerto Rican pulled pork, stuffed poblanos, fajitas, etc.

I make my own seasoning, but it's so different from the original the I don't even know if it even resembles the original anymore.  The one I have in my cabinet was made with organic cornstarch not arrowroot, and I didn't feel like mixing up a new batch, so I just did something different this time, and it was delicious!

Slice several chicken breasts into thin strips and season well with salt, pepper, garlic and cimin.  
Saute in oil until no longer pink on the outside. 
 Add more garlic & cumin, squeeze half some lime juice over it, and add some marjoram and chili powder.  I used a dark chili powder blend and some Ancho chili powder.
  Stir and then add lots of sliced bell peppers. 
In sperate pans, I saute mushrooms and fry onions.

Serve over caulirice with tomato, jalepeno, avocado and cilantro on top.  Taco Sauce or Salsa on the side.  


Monday, August 31, 2015

Taco Tuesday! ***updated for Whole30

Taco Seasoning "Sand" Art

Taco Seasoning:


In a quart sized jar, combine:
     1 cup Dried Minced Onions
     8 Tbsp chili powder
     8 tsp paprika
     4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
     6 tsp oregano
     6 tsp marjoram
     4 Tbsp Real Salt
     1 tsp pepper
     8 tbsp Arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch 
     4 Tbsp Dried Minced Garlic
     4 tsp cumin

Use 2 Tbsp of seasoning and 1/3 cup of water per pound of ground meat.

Taco Sauce:

     1 #10 sized can of plain tomatoes  (whole peeled, diced, fresh, whatever.)
     3 1/4 cups water
     3 1/4 tsp chili powder
     1/4 cup cumin
     3/4 cup onion, chopped
     3/4 cup vinegar
     6.5 tsp granulated garlic
     4 tsp real salt
     3 tsp paprika
      1 tsp Cayenne (more or less to taste)

Puree in a blender then simmer over med/low heat for 30 mins to meld the flavors together. 
This freezes well in smaller portions, and keeps well refrigerated for several weeks.

Whole30 Veggified Tacos:

Season your meat with salt, pepper,  garlic & cumin, and then brown it in a large pan. Once it's almost done, add lots of veggies, like leeks, onion, shredded carrots, diced zucchini &/or squash, and season again.   Once the veggies are cooked down some,  add taco seasoning.  I usually cook up a big batch so that I can freeze some for quick dinners other nights. 

Tacos for the Freezer: 

***this was written pre-whole30, so keep that in mind.  Several of the ideas can still be used,  just omit the non-compliant ingredients.  
I buy a big package of ground beef, or turkey (or venison if its deer season) and cook it all up with onions and peppers, add the taco seasoning according to how many pounds of meat there was, add black or kidney beans and red lentils (you could do corn, shredded veggies like carrots, zucchini,  squash, leeks, etc. if you'd like.)
Freeze it in 2 cup portions.

Then it's a quick dinner to start:
     Taco salad
     Taco boats
     Taco stuffed baked potatoes
     Loaded nachos
     Frazer family Mexican bake 
     Mexican quiche.  I add fresh peppers, banana peppers, pepper jack
       cheese, and follow this "recipe".  I like to serve it on a bed of lettuce
       with sliced tomatoes & black olives.  And sometimes top it with sour
       cream or guacamole.
     Sam's Santa Fe Enchiladas adapted from this recipe. But use real cheese,
        and bake in the oven.  
     Cheeseburger macaroni  (excellent with gf pasta)
     Queso we sometimes add black beans and/or corn

Almond (or Cashew) Butter Chicken

Almond Butter Chicken with a side by side taste test of zoodles and Cumin Cauli-Rice

Almond (or Cashew) Butter Chicken

1. Cut 3 chicken breasts into bite sized chunks & place in a bowl. 
2.  Add:
     3 tsp real salt***
     Zest and juice of 1 lime
     1" ginger, peeled and grated
     6 cloves of garlic, minced
     2 tsp cumin
     1 tsp granulated garlic
     1/4 tsp Cayenne (more or less depending on your heat tolerance.)
          Stir and let sit while you...

3. Chop these veggies:
     1 leek, sliced
     2 bell peppers, cut into strips
     3 carrots thinly sliced into half moons (or spiralized)
     1 small head broccoli or 2 cups frozen**

4. In a saucepan, warm:
     1 cup nut butter
     1 cup full fat coconut milk
     2 cups chicken stock
     1 tsp salt***
     1 tsp granulated garlic*
     1 tsp cumin*
     1/4 tsp Coriander*
     1/8 tsp cardamom*
     1/4 tsp tumeric*
          Whisk until smooth.

5.  Heat a very large saucepan with coconut oil.  Once it's hot, pour the chicken in and sear on a sides.  Once browned, add your veggies** and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.

6. Add the sauce and simmer until the flavors combine, and it starts to slightly reduce.   If it gets too thick, feel free to add more stock.

7.  Serve over cumin cauli-rice, or zoodles.  Drizzle with sesame oil.  Garnish with toasted cashews, thinly sliced green onions and/or cilantro if desired.  Kenny gave his a really healthy few shakes of crushed red pepper, too.

*you may substitute curry powder for these spices, if you'd like.
**if using frozen broccoli wait until just before you add the sauce to prevent it from getting mushy.
***I realize that it seems like an INSANE amount of salt,  but I put that much to make up for the omission of lack soy sauce

Kaitlyn  (5) took a picture of her plate too.

AND, if you're wondering who won the side by side taste test at the beginning, look no further.  Kenny's favorite was the cumin cauli-rice, but everyone else preferred the zoodles.  The slurp factor definitely played a role in the decision for the kids.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stuffed Poblanos

Stuffed Poblanos 

Sauté some veggies in coconut oil.

Add ground beef (mine was browned and frozen)

Season well with sslt, pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano and Ancho chili powder. 

Slice Poblanos in half, scoop out the seeds and membranes. 

Stuff the peppers with your filling. 

Spoon enchilada sauce on top and Grill or Bake until the peppers are cooked to your desired taste/texture.

Stuffed Poblanos:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 handful of Leeks  (or onion)
1 handful of Peppers
1 zucchini
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp Granulated Garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano 
1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder
1.5 cups of ground beef*

Melt your oil in a pan. Add veggies and seasonings and cook until softened.  Add your beef and stir until flavors are well incorporated.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.  
Slice the Poblanos, removing the seeds and membranes.  Stuff with your filling, and spoon Enchilada Sauce over top. Place on the grill and cook until the peppers are cooked to your liking.  (Or bake 400° for 25-20 mins)

I try to stay prepared and make dinner time less hectic by doing things ahead of time.  When. I buy ground beef, I cook it all up and leave some plain and bag it up in 1.5 cup portions for my freezer.  If you don't have meat already cooked, start by browning your meat, then add your veggies.  Just be sure to season each step of the way.  

If the enchilada sauce is too runny, feel free to cook it down some more.  I froze it the last time I made it, and it seperated a bit, so I let it simmer until it was the desired thickness. 

Coodles! With Recipes for Italian Dressing and Salad Supreme

Our Spiralizer arrived in the mail, and we wasted NO time checking it out.  
We used the thick "noodle" blade on 2 cucumbers, the thin blade on 1 green pepper, and the wide blade on a yellow squash. 
Then I made a quick "spaghetti salad" with our coodles. 
Coodle "Spaghetti" Salad

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lemon Garlic Whole Grilled Butterflied Chicken

So, you're probably thinking, "a butterflied chicken?!?! No way.  Too hard."  And until Friday, that's what I thought too.  However, it is sooo stinking easy! I don't know what I was so afraid of!  

How to butterfly a chicken:
1.  Find the back/spine.  
2.  Cut down one side with kitchen shears.
3.  Repeat on the otherside.
4.  Discard (or save for stock) the back.
5.  Flip the chicken over and press down with the palm of your hand until it cracks and is flat. 
***so easy***

Marinade, and then grill on indirect heat until the internal temp is 165° (it was between 45-60 minutes for us).

Serve with grilled veggies

It was delicious plain, but AMAZING with a drizzle of Chimichurri Sauce! 
(See the last post for that recipe!)

Lemon Garlic Grilled Whole Butterflied Chicken

1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp salt 
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your taste)
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 2 lemons
2 Tbsp vinegar

Butterfly Chicken and place in a bowl or bag.  Pour marinade over and refrigerate.  Allow to marinade for as long as time allows, preferably at least an hour.  We did it overnight.  Grill on indirect heat for 45 minutes to an hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.  

Optional: Serve with the chimichurri sauce from my last post. (Which, once you taste it, there will not be an option.  It really is that good!)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chimichurri Sauce

I researched some recipes and combined a few to make my own Chimichurri Sauce.  We had it over grilled chicken and veggies.  It is so fresh and cleansing!

In a food processor, I put:
1 ish cups fresh herbs with stems I used mostly parsley with some cilantro and a little bit of chives.
1/2 jalepenos without the seeds
3 cloves of garlic
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp of dried oregano (I would have used fresh if i had it)
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 - 3/4 cup Olive Oil
Blend until smooth!

Here are my "research" recipes:

This grilled lemon garlic butterflied chicken will be my next post! Hands down,  the best chicken we have ever made! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


We decided we need to get back to eating healthy again.  With a new job, relocation, being pregnant, having a baby, and all the other chaos in our life lately, we have fallen into old habits and making poor food choices.  Interestingly enough, when we eat crap, we feel like crap.  So, we're going to do whole30 to reset and make healthier choices to feel better.  I'm planning to keep a food diary there and post some favorite recipes here.  

Feel free to follow me:

And my husband:

Curious to find out exactly what whole30 is? All of the info for their program is on their website

Have you done a whole30? How has it changed your life? 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Greek Dip

This dip is one of our favorite snacks.  It's so simple, and delicious!

Cavanders has MSG in it, which we don't eat,  do I found a copycat recipe here:

And if you have any leftover  (which is a rare thing here!), try this:

Greek dip baked chicken:
Pound chicken out thin, season with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil and marjoram.  Top with the dip, and bake at 400° until chicken is cooked through.

Greek Dip Chicken Sauté:
Season bite sizes pieces of chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, basil, and marjoram.  Saute in a pan with a little bit if evoo.  When the chicken is almost done, add the dip and allow to get warmed through as the chicken finishes cooking.  Serve over pasta.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mediterranean Meatballs

Also Mediterranean meatballs.  I don't have a recipe, I just make it.  But i throw in whatever I have.   I've used any combo of spinach, roasted red peppers, feta, lots of garlic, pepperocini peppers, chopped up chickpeas, sun dried tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, etc. Season with oregano, garlic, parsley, salt,  pepper and an egg.  Bake them or pan fry them until they're cooked through.  We love them with zoodles!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Puerto Rican Roasted Pork

Puerto Rican Roasted Pork:

4 lb Pork shoulder
Adobo (recipe follows)
Granulated Garlic
Red wine vinegar
2 Bay leaves

4 sliced garlic cloves
 1 1/2 tsp. of dried oregano
 1 tsp. of kosher salt
 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
 4 tbs. of olive oil
 3 tsp. of red wine vinegar
Mash together in a mortar and pestle, or a quick pulsing in a food processor will do it.

With a long sharp knife blade pierce the roast in at least 10 spots. Into each of the holes with your finger add the paste in all the holes until you’ve almost used it up.
Rub what’s left over the whole roast, then salt, pepper, granulated garlic and oregano gets sprinkled all over the roast.  (Be extremely generous!! You almost can't put too much!!)
Pour 1/8 cup of vinegar over the roast after you have placed it in a roasting pan. 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. When it’s at temperature add the roast, uncovered. and let it cook for at least 1 hour. 
Then add 1 cup of 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar to the pan, 2 bay leaves, lower the temperature to 300 and roast for 3 hours. If the roast starts to blacken at all towards the end of the time, cover with foil. The key to this dish is that the meat pulls apart, you should be able to shred it. To test, take 2 forks and see if you can easily pry the meat from the bone. If you can’t, roast uncovered for additional 20 minutes. When it’s at that point, let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Then pull all the meat apart, re- moving any visible fat pieces.  Mix the shredded meat with the meat juices and cover, heat in oven for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.  Serve with rice and beans

Recipe adapted from:

Balsamic vinaigrette

We use this dressing for everything! All my friends rave about the the dressing, and I'm pretty sure it's the Kirkland Signature Balsamic Vinegar.  

We usually do olive oil, but this avocado oil makes an equally delicious dressing.

Dressing on Salad

Drizzled over tomatoes, basil and provolone. 

Use it to marinade veggies, chicken or both.

I pour it over pieces of chicken and then freeze it in the marinade.  Just thaw, lay it on a pan and bake or broil until cooked through.  It's delicious with a little bit of cheese sprinkled on for the last little bit of cooking time. We've done cheddar and/or parmesan.  Or just grill it. 

I never measure, or make it the exact same twice,  but it's always yummy!  It's 2:1 oil to vinegar and whatever seasonings you like.  Put it all in a jar and shake.  

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 cup olive oil 
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
1.5 tsp real salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
1/2 tsp oregano 
1/2 tsp basil

Fresh herbs and/or garlic is great too!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Roasted tomatillo Salsa
Half your salsa ingredients and place them on a baking sheet.
This time we did green peppers, onions, tomatillos, garlic, and jalepenos.

Roast until they're browned.

*insert pic of vitamix full here*  (oops!)
Pulse with salt, pepper, lime juice or vinegar, cilantro, cumin and oregano.

Place in a bowl.  Enjoy still hot/warm or allow to cool.  

Eat with chips, or we love to mix it with shredded chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, and bell peppers chopped up as a burrito!

How do you eat your tomatillos?

Chicken Roll Ups

We love these, but I don't have a "recipe" i just kind of make it. 
Pound out chicken (thighs, breasts, or whatever you have).  Sprinkle each side with salt, pepper,  garlic and Italian seasoning, then layer salami, provolone, spinach and sun dried tomatoes. (Or another seasoning and filling combination of your choice.)
Roll it up, or fold in half.  Secure it with a toothpick.
Heat a cast iron pan (or other oven safe pan) with some olive oil and sear on each side.  Then bake in the oven until cooked through. 

Some other versions we've done are:
Ham thinly sliced or finely chopped with swiss cheese and spinach served with a honey mustard or dijon/mayo dipping sauce.
Bacon, pesto and mozzarella.
Salami, provolone, basil, roasted red peppers, pepperocini peppers and artichoke hearts.

I normally use whatever needs to get used up from the fridge!  What filling will you try?


Enchilada sauce:
3 jalepenos  (whole or scrape the seeds out depending on how spicy you like)
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 beefsteak tomatoes
A pinch of salt
Process in blender or food processor until smooth.  Transfer to a pan and let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes until thickened. 

12 oz shredded chicken
2 chopped jalepenos
1/2 cup shredded cheese
2 tsp of fresh chopped oregano 1/2 the batch of sauce
salt to taste

Place in the center of a tortilla and place seam side down in a large baking dish.  Repeat.  (It usually makes about 8).  Pour the remaining sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with additional cheese. 
Bake at 350 for 20 mins.   I usually serve it with rice and black beans, or refried beans.  Enjoy!

For gluten free enjoyment, use brown rice tortillas, or make a rice/quinoa bowl.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Chili Mix:

1/2 cup Dried Parsley
1/2 cup Chili Powder
1/4 cup Dried Minced Onion
2 Tbsp Real Salt
2 Tbsp Dried Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
1 Tbsp Dried Cilantro
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch 

1/4 cup = 1 packet (Although I only eyeball it into my pot. 

I don't have a "recipe" for my chili, so it comes out different everytime. I start with browning meat (beef, turkey or venison) with some veggies (onion, garlic, bell peppers, diced zucchini, shredded carrots, etc. ) and salt and pepper.  Let some tomato paste cook ti get a richer, deeper flavor.  Add tomatoes,  stock, chili seasoning, lentils and beans.  Cover and let simmer for hours. 

I usually make a huge batch and freeze dinner sized amounts in ziplocks.  Then we can thaw it and have dinner almost ready! 
We like to have it over rice, with cornbread or eat it over baked potatoes.

 Our favorite way to finish off the last bit is chili dip! 

Chili dip:
1 block of cream cheese
2 ish cups of chili
Chili seasoning 
Shredded cheese
Crackers or chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spread a block of cream cheese into a pie plate,  making sure to smear up the sides, just like you would a pie crust.  Season the chili with extra seasoning,  if it needs it,  pour on top of the cream cheese.   Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes or until the chili is hot through,  and the cheese is melted. 

Here are a few of our other favorite chili recipes:

I double and freeze half of each other these recipes as well, and the two red ones also make delicious chili dip.  

Do have a recipe? Or is chili something you just make?  How do you serve yours?