Monday, May 29, 2017

Chicken Fajita Lettuce Tacos

I'm calling these lettuce "tacos" because of the whole fajita/taco seasoning theme. If it makes you feel better then you can call them lettuce wraps. Tacos sound way more fun though. Just sayin'.
Anyway, this is one of the most simple meals I have ever made for how tasty it is. There is 7 ingredients in total (more if you are making your own taco seasoning) and only takes about 30 minutes from prep to table. Can't complain about that. 
Something else to love about this recipe? The nutritional counts. According to MyFitnessPal one serving (recipe makes 1) is - 343 calories, 20 carbs, 12 fat, 39 protein, 6 fiber. (FYI - The nutritional counts include the sour cream.)

Chicken Fajita Lettuce Tacos

Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 small bell peppers (any color), cut into slices
1/2 onion, cut into slices
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, raw, cut into strips
1 tsp oil
2 tsp taco seasoning
4 leaves romaine lettuce

1/2 Tbsp sour cream

In a small bowl, stir together the spices. (Note - if you are using bought taco seasoning then skip this step.) Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425. Line a small tray with parchment paper or a Silpat. Place sliced pepper, onion, and chicken on tray. 

Drizzle with the oil and then sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Toss all together to evenly coat. 
Cook at 425 until peppers are soft and chicken is cooked - about 20 - 25 minutes. 

Assemble tacos - stack 2 lettuce leaves together for a more stable taco "shell". Repeat with the other 2 leaves. Fill each with half of the chicken and pepper filling. 

If desired, drizzle with some sour cream.

Serve hot. 

Note - You can make this with raw chicken or you can make this with chicken that is already cooked. I had some frozen, cooked breasts to use up. I simply sliced them while frozen and tossed them in as per the recipe. Because they were frozen when I did this they were heated through and ready to eat by the time the peppers were done.  Also, if you want it more taco-y then just sprinkle more taco seasoning on there. I only ever use 1 to 2 tsps but you can go as nuts as you like!
Quick, easy, healthy, delicious. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Indian Inspired Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of those dishes that can be customized a bazillion ways. 
We posted our Quinoa Stuffed Peppers (HERE) and they are one of our most popular posts. They had a more Southwest-y thing going on. They were also vegetarian whereas these tasty morsels are completely vegan. Most stuffed peppers, in my experience, are stuffed with some kind of hamburger and rice mixture. I love them all ways but I will admit - the Indian spices in these have moved them up to the top of the list. 
This recipe makes 8 peppers - so 16 halves, but can easily be halved for a smaller batch. I like to make the full lot as they can be frozen and reheated later! 
According to MyFitnessPal 1 serving (recipe makes 8) is: 197 calories, 29 carbs, 5 fat, 7 protein, 5 fiber. 

Indian Inspired Stuffed Peppers

8 medium peppers, halved & seeded
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp tumeric
3 cups basmati rice (cooked)
1 cup canned lentils
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place bell peppers, cut side down, on the prepared cookie sheet. 

Cover with a piece of tinfoil. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes, or until peppers become tender. 
Make sure your other ingredients are prepped and ready to go!

While peppers are baking, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil with the mustard and cumin seeds.

When the seeds start popping, add in the carrots and onions. Saute for about 5 minutes, until onions soften. Add in the curry powder, garam masala, and tumeric. Stir to combine. 
Add in the rice, lentils, peas and cashews. 

Cook and stir until everything is heated through. Remove from heat. 
Stuff the pepper halves with the rice mixture.

You may have some filling leftover, depending on the size of your peppers. (FYI - It is fabulous to eat on its own.) Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes - until everything is heated. 

Serve hot. Leftovers also reheat very well in the microwave.

You can also throw in a handful of golden raisins to the filling if you like. I didn't have any on hand but they would make a lovely addition to the peppers. I love the crunch of the cashews in there and the squishy raisins would add a nice contrast, along with their hint of sweetness. Just keep in mind that would change the nutritional counts listed above. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Burger Bowls

Way, way back in 2013 we posted a Cheeseburger Salad (See post HERE) . 
It has remained one of my favorites ever since. Here's the thing though - salads just aren't as cool as they were in 2013. You have to make "bowls" now. You have to place them in the bowl so as to see all the ingredients and have it look fancy schmancy. 
You HAVE to.
It's kind of the rule now. 
Anyway...this is basically a re-do of that post but updated so we are all trendy and cool. #arewepopularyet

Burger Bowls
(Slightly adapted from our Cheeseburger Salad

2 Tbsp light mayo
2 Tbsp 0 fat Greek yogurt, plain
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp water
1 tsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp hot dog relish (the green stuff)
1 tsp Sugar Twin (or other sugar sub)
dash of hot sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp olive oil

Burger patties
1 lb lean ground beef
1 slice onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp HP sauce
1 egg
salt & pepper

16 cups lettuce, chopped or shredded
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
4 slices onion
4 pickles, sliced
4 oz aged cheddar, shredded

Prepare dressing - In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Prepare burgers - In a mixing bowl, combine burger patty ingredients. 

Mix very well - I find using my hands works best. Form into 4 equal patties.

In a frying pan, over medium heat, cook burgers until desired level of done-ness is reached (at least 160 degrees). Note - you can also bake in the oven or on the BBQ if you prefer. 
Prepare bowl - Place 4 cups of lettuce in a serving bowl. Top with 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1 slice onion, 1 sliced pickle, 1 oz of shredded cheese, and 1 burger pretty. 

Repeat with remaining ingredients 3 more times.

Top each with 2 Tbsp of the dressing. 

Serve immediately.

According to MyFitnessPal one serving (recipe makes 4) - 
With no dressing: 420 calories, 10 carbs, 27 fat, 35 protein, 3 fiber.
2 Tbsp dressing: 35 calories, 4 carbs, 2 fat, 1 protein, 0 fiber.
Grand total: 455 calories, 14 carbs, 29 fat, 3 fiber. 
One filling is VERY generous. 
You an also keep ingredients, separate, in the fridge until ready to eat. I brought mine to work the next day, simply reheating the burger in the microwave briefly before topping my bowl. 
You can make it the fancy, new, trendy way OR make it the old fashioned way. Either way - it works and tastes delicious! 

We're sharing over at Carole's Chatter. Be sure to click over and say hi!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rhubarb Roll Up Cobbler

Once again I am terrible at coming up with a name for a recipe. This dish is what would result if rhubarb crisp and scones had a baby. Crazy good! But what to call it?
I went between rhubarb cranberry roll ups, rhubarb crisp with biscuits, and a bunch of other terrible names that you don't even want to know about. 
Rhubarb Roll Up Cobbler seemed to be the most favorable name.
It is the perfect combination of tart and sweet and, with ice cream, will make your brain explode. Not even lying. Serve it hot, warm, or chilled. Whatever you prefer. All three ways are amazing (if I do say so myself). 
I first created this dish back in 2008, before we started the blog, and had forgotten about it in my old recipe book. When I came across it the other day I thought it would be a brilliant way to use up some of the massive amount of rhubarb in Sue's garden. #BrilliantIndeed

Rhubarb Roll Up Cobbler

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup water

Rhubarb Base
4 cups rhubarb, cut into about 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp cornstarch

Scone Topping
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup milk

Scone filling
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar
2 cups rhubarb, finely diced

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a 9 X 9 pan with cooking spray, set aside.
Prepare syrup - stir together sugar, cranberry juice, and water in a medium saucepan.

Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat and set aside while you continue the cobbler. 

Prepare rhubarb base - Toss the 4 cups of rhubarb with the cornstarch and spread in prepared 9 X 9 pan. (You should also prepare the 2 cups of finely diced rhubarb so it is ready when you make the scone topping.) 

Prepare scone topping and filling - In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Stir in the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Lastly, stir in the oil and milk until a soft dough forms. (If it is too dry, add in a few spoonfuls of milk. If it is too wet, add in a few spoonfuls of flour.)
On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a 10 inch square. 
Spread the softened butter over the dough, sprinkle with the brown and white sugars. Lastly, sprinkle with the finely diced rhubarb.

Roll up, jelly roll style and press gently to seal.
Cut into 9 equal rolls. Place on top of the rhubarb in the pan. Drizzle the rolls evenly with the cranberry syrup.

Bake at 425 for approx 25 - 30 minutes, until scones are golden brown. (If tops appear to be browning to quickly then place tinfoil on top and continue to cook until the scones are done.) 

Let sit for at least 15 - 20 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or chilled. (Personally I like warm so when you top it with ice cream or whipping cream it starts to melt!) 

Of course, whipping cream or ice cream is a necessity. 

That color tho. 

Tart and sweet, flaky and squishy, there are all sorts of things going on in there. 
This is best eaten the day it is made but will survive until the following day without getting too soggy. 
A great recipe to use up rhubarb if you have it filling up your fridge. I put 4 cups for the base but I may have added closer to 5. I measured 4 cups in the pan but it seemed a little low so I cut up 2 more stalks (just an FYI). 

Be sure to pop over to Carole's Chatter for some foodie links. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chunky Monkey Popcorn

Healthy snack idea time. 
More specifically, DELICIOUS, healthy snack idea time. 
SkinnyPop popcorn asked several bloggers to come up with a unique and personalized snack idea by adding 3 ingredients to SkinnyPop Popcorn (check out their website HERE)
What's that? Create even more ways to enjoy SkinnyPop? Count me in. 
By the way, we were not compensated for this post. We just really enjoy SkinnyPop and creating fun and healthy snack ideas. 
I decided to go with peanut butter as my first ingredient because.... well.... it's peanut butter. There's pretty much nothing it can't do. And then I added chocolate and banana because I think we all know what a magical combination that is. My recipe is for a very generous single serving but can easily be halved or doubled for less or more!

Chunky Monkey Popcorn

3 3/4 cup SkinnyPop Popcorn (1 serving)
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp no sugar, dark chocolate chips, divided
15 dried banana chips

Spread the SkinnyPop popcorn on a cookie tray. Prepare your other ingredients. Divide the no sugar chocolate chips in half. Microwave half in a small bowl for about 20 - 30 seconds, until melted. 
Microwave peanut butter for 20 - 30 seconds, until melted.
Slightly crush the dried banana chips so they are broken up well. 

Drizzle the melted chocolate and peanut butter over the popcorn using a spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips and the crushed banana chips.

Pop into the freezer for 1 minute to firm up the chocolate and peanut butter.
Place into a bowl and enjoy!
FYI - Once firmed up, this also makes a great lunch box snack. Simply place it in a zip top bag and it is good to go!

So pretty...... and delicious.... and easy peasy. 

It might not seem like a lot of peanut butter or chocolate or banana but, trust me, it is the right amount. You get a different combination of flavors in each mouthful. 
Of course, you can add more if you really want to (but seriously, try this amount first!)

What 3 ingredients would you add to SkinnyPop to personalize it? The options are endless! 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Cinnamon Pecan Babka

Homemade bread is one of my favorite things to make. There is just something about the feel of the dough when you knead it and the smell of the bread while it bakes that makes you feel like a super genius in the kitchen. 
There is so many things you can create with homemade dough, so many shapes and flavors. 
I found this wonderful brown sugar pecan babka over at the Spiced Blog (Link HERE) and decided to give it a go. I got 2 beautiful braids out of the recipe but you can easily make them loaves like David did on his blog or make them into rolls, etc. 
Bread tends to take a long time to make but the end result is certainly worth it!

Cinnamon Pecan Babka
(Slightly adapted from Spiced)

5 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup milk, warmed
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp active dry yeast 
2 cups flour (plus some extra for kneading)
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil

3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Egg wash
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, warm milk, and sugar. (This should be warm to touch, not too hot). Add the yeast to the warm mixture and whisk together. Set aside to proof for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, the egg, egg yolks, vanilla, salt, and oil. Add the melted butter/yeast mixture and stir until well combined. 
Scrape dough out of bowl onto a well floured work surface. Knead for one minute, adding more flour as necessary if too sticky. 
Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover, and place somewhere warm to rise for about an hour and a half. (NOTE - You can also cover and place in fridge overnight at this point. Then continue on in the morning.)

Until dough has doubled in size. 

When risen, mix the filling ingredients (pecans, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon) together and set aside. 

Cut dough in half. Cover half and set aside.
Roll one half of the dough into a large rectangle (about 10 X 15). 

Spread the filling over the dough to within an inch of the borders.

Roll up, jelly roll style and pinch to seal.

Cut down the center of the roll.

Pinch one end together then carefully twist the 2 halves together. 

Form into a circle and pinch to seal together. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. 

Repeat with the other half of the dough. Cover both rings and set aside in a warm place to rise for an hour. 

Preheat oven to 350. 
Whisk together the egg and milk. Using a pastry or basting brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the babka. 
Bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes, turn down the heat to 325 and continue baking until golden brown, about another 15 minutes. If bread appears to be getting too dark on top but doesn't seem done, cover loosely with a piece of tinfoil and continue baking until done. 

Let cool on tray for about 10 minutes before moving to wire rack to cool completely. 

Or serve it warm. It's pretty darn addictive warm. 

Babka at its finest. 

How pretty is that cinnamon twisty-ness? 

Make one for yourself and one to share with someone special OR, you know, freeze the other for later. I'm not judging. 

Carole's Chatter has some fun and tasty food links. Be sure to pop over and check them out!