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.