Carne Asada

One of the places Jeremiah and I eat out at a lot is Chipotle. On more than one occasion, we have tried to make our own at home. I also was telling Jeremiah about these amazing black beans and rice I had eaten at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I was convinced they used chicken broth and I could try to replicate the flavor at home.

This was our attempt last week and trying to replicate both these tasty dishes. Although we thought the Carne Asada had really good flavor, making it along with rice, beans, guacamole, and Pico from scratch made quite a mess to clean-up. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go out and stand in line.

FullSizeRender (6)Carne Asade by Show Me the Yummy
2 lb. flank steak
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar

In a small bowl, mix spices. Then, stir in oil. Rub half of mixture on each side of the steak. Mix together remaining ingredients. Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour in half of juice mixture. Place in steak and pour over with remaining juice. Cook on low for six hours.

Black Beans by Amber Bourek
8 oz. dry black beans
1 c. low sodium chicken stock
water
½ diced yellow onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Rise black beans. For beans in sprayed Crockpot. Cover with 1 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover by two inches. Add in onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook on high for six – seven hours.

Note:

I put together a few recipes to make this dish. I cooked them for 4 hours. They were still a little hard so I kept cooking them. My husband thinks we should have soaked the beans for 24 hours and then they would have cooked in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

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Breakfast Burrito

I got this recipe from Harvesters’ Nutrition Department. This is a recipe that Jeremiah and I had originally planned to make for the week of the SNAP Challenge. We had to pass because it was too much for our budget. That’s too bad because they are healthy and super filling.

PicoHarvesters’ homemade pico de gallo
3 medium tomatoes, diced
2/3 c. cilantro, minced
½ small onion, diced
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno

Breakfast BurritoBreakfast Burrito
1 T. canola oil
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium russet potatoes, diced
8 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
8 (10 inch) whole wheat lower sodium tortillas
1 c. low fat Cheddar cheese, shredded (4 oz.)

Mix all ingredients to make pico de gallo.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add pepper, onion, and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 8 minutes).

Spread potato mixture to the edge of the skillet and cook eggs in the middle.

Spread egg mixture into tortillas. Top with cheese and pico. Roll up like a burrito.

Nutritional Facts: 288 calories, 11 g. fat, 15 g. protein, 35 g. carbs, 6 g. fiber, and 193 mg. sodium.

Notes:

  • Nutrition says this recipe serves 8 at a cost of $1.35 per serving. I was able to make 12 burritos by using a smaller tortilla. Plus, we had a little pico de gallo left for homemade tortilla chips.
  • I omitted the jalapeno from the pico.
  • I froze some of the burritos. If you do this, please add more seasoning to your eggs/potato mixture.
  • We used a high fiber tortilla shell.

Turkey Tacos

Recently, a group was using our kitchen at work to teach a nutritious cooking class for daycare providers. The group leader invited me to sample some of their recipes. I really liked this tasty taco. It wasn’t too spicy and extra healthy with beans and sweet potatoes. Jeremiah and I used tortillas high in fiber so one taco really filled us up. We also served it with fresh guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Creative Commons photo by: John Liu

Turkey Tacos by John Haddock
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 sweet potato, zucchini, or carrot grated
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground turkey over a medium heat. Add beans, veggies, and seasoning. Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Serve in a tortilla shell. Top with shredded cheese and any desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream).

Turkey Taco

Recently, a group was using our kitchen at work to teach a nutritious cooking class for daycare providers. The group leader invited me to sample some of their recipe. I really liked this tasty taco. It wasn’t too spicy and extra healthy with beans and sweet potatoes. Jeremiah and I used tortillas high in fiber so one taco really filled us up. We also served it with fresh guacamole and homemade tortilla chips.

Turkey TacoTurkey Tacos by John Haddock
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 can white beans, drained
1 sweet potato, zucchini, or carrot grated
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Cook ground turkey over a medium heat. Add beans, veggies, and seasoning. Cook on medium for 20 minutes. Serve in a tortilla shell. Top with shredded cheese and any desired toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, salsa, or sour cream).

National Soup Month

When I think of Beer Cheese Soup, the first thing that pops into my mind is Lazlo’s Brewery. It’s a restaurant in Lincoln, NE. The original location is located in the Haymarket District. When I was in college, my friends and I used to walk down there to eat a lot. To this day, I could still tell you what everyone would order. Dan would get the Lazlo Burger and an Empyrean Amber Ale (made in Lazlo’s owner’s brewery). Rob wasn’t a drinker. He always got the French Dip but added Swiss Cheese and sautéed onions. He also ordered a side of ranch dipping sauce for his fries. Lazlo’s makes these great fries. They are crinkle fries with seasoning salt. And Ben always ordered a cup of Beer Cheese Soup. Ironic because Ben was the baby of the group – just 17 years old his first few months attending college.

After college graduations and break-ups, I ended up working for the owners of Lazlo’s. I worked in their neighboring restaurant entitled Jabrisco’s. It was an unusual Italian restaurant named after the owners Jay, Brian, and Scott. (They also had a financial partner who was a dentist but I can’t remember his name.) They had things on the menu like a PB&J wood-fired pizza, homemade spinach pasta, and this to die for chocolate dessert. We also had this amazing patio where I would sell coffee during the weekly Farmer’s Market. I worked there for about eight months as a host/head host. I could sell the bar area better than most on a busy Friday night or Saturday home football game. Following my college graduation, I left to pursue AmeriCorps full-time. But during the time I worked at Jabrisco’s, I learned some great customer service skills, importance to details, and a lot about the hospitality industry.

Today, Lazlo’s has doubled in size and now occupies the space that was once Jabrisco’s. The food is still delicious, reasonably priced, and the service is top notch. The Haymarket has also turned into this major entertainment district.

Although this recipe is very different then Lazlo’s Beer Cheese Soup, it did make me think back to some pretty cool people and an experience that greatly impacted my life.

Beer Cheese SoupBacon Beer Cheese Soup with Chicken from Pinterest
6 slices of bacon
1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breast
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 c. beer
1 c. chicken broth
2 c. half and half
8 oz. mild cheese
1 tsp. Worchester sauce
chives
croutons

Cook bacon and chicken. In a large sauce pan, cook butter, flour, and spices. Add beer, broth, and half and half. Whisk to combine and bring to a bubble. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Add Worchester sauce, chicken, and bacon. Allow to simmer. Garnish with chives and croutons.

Notes:

  • This recipe is good but spicy. One bowl had me drinking three glasses of water, blowing my nose, and dotting my watering eyes. My recommendation is to cut the spice at least to half or maybe a third of the recipe listed above. That’s my plan for the next time I cook it.
  • I didn’t have chicken stock so I used water and put in about 2 oz. more of beer. Veggie stock is also an option.
  • When I make a soup like this I know I am sharing with vegetarian friends, I make meat more of a topping. Canned chicken is another option. I used about a ½ lb. chicken and pre-cooked bacon.
  • I used fat free half and half. I think our Nutrition Manager at work also said that Fat Free Evaporated Milk is another substitute option to make a creamy soup healthier.
  • I used light beer.
  • I used Velveeta cheese.
  • I added parsley instead of chives.

On the second day, I picked up some chicken stock and frozen hash browns. I added about 1 cup of hash browns and ¾ c. chicken stock. I also added homemade croutons. It decreased the water consumption.

Turkey Leftovers

Sure, who doesn’t love a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? In my family, that means both turkey and ham. My nephew prefers ham and my grandfather won’t eat bird meat. With six people eating this feast, it leaves a lot of leftovers. My question after eatting leftover for a day or two is: what else can I make with? Below is a recipe from the December2013/January 2014 issue of Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious that my family will be trying.

Turkey cordon bleu

Photo from Taste of Home website

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole by Kristine Blauert
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. sage
2 c. cubed cooked turkey
2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. crushed butter flavored crackers (I’m using Ritz – they are Brock’s fav)

Cook macaroni (or pasta of your choice) according to the package directions. Meanwhile, mix soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, mustard, and seasonsing together. Add meats and mozerella cheese. Drain pasta and add soup mixture. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and top with crackers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Notes:

  • You can cover and freeze this casserole. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Baked Garlic Cilantro Fries

I’ve figured out, I really can’t eat plain fries anymore. I recently took my nephew to BRGR and said “we should order the truffle fries”. As a 16 year old, I think he was a little scared because he asked if we could order regular fries. Although we intended to share, we both gravitated toward our personal picks. This is for my friends with adult palates.

Cilantro FriesBaked Garlic Cilantro Fries on Pinterest
2-3 potatoes
1 T. olive oil
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. sea salt
pepper
1/8 c. cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and place a wire cookie rack onto it. Cut potatoes and soak in cold water for a few minutes. Dry. Toss in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Once fries are done, toss in cilantro.

Notes:

  • If you don’t use a wire rack, flip fries half way through baking.
  • Shortcut recipe, use coating on pre-made frozen fries. I baked 20 minutes and it was probably a little too long.

Crockpot BBQ

Living in Kansas City, I think it is a requirement to eat BBQ. The funny thing about Kansas Citians is that everyone has their favorite barbeque restaurant – and you won’t always get the same answer. My personal favorite Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. But I’m very lucky to live less than a mile from Zarda’s BBQ so I can enjoy the smell of barbecue almost any day I decide to go for a walk. And this weekend, I also can enjoy smells from the Lenexa BBQ Cook-off just down the street.

I ran across this recipe using Sweet Rays BBQ Sauce on Facebook a few weeks ago. I had two chicken breasts thawing in my fridge so I decided to give it a try after work one day. I cut them in half and they cooked up in about 2 1/2 hrs on low. It is very juicy and full of flavor. Sweet sauce with just a bit of a kick.

Crock Pot BBQ ChickenCrock Pot BBQ Chicken
4-6 chicken breast
1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce (I like KC Masterpiece)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. vinegar (your choice)
I tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Place pieces of chicken in a crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Chicken Nuggets

I’ve worked in the hotel industry for nearly 14 years now. Over the years, I’ve seen many brides and grooms create gift bags for their out of town guests. A few weeks ago, one of my co-workers told me when she gets married some day that she will include Cheetos for guests. It made me laugh. Renee proclaimed, “Everybody loves them even if they don’t admit it.” I said, “It’s like KFC. Everybody has a favorite kind or side dish but you don’t eat it every often.”

Although this recipe is no KFC secret recipe, it is a healthier way to serve your family something every kid will eat.

Chicken NuggetsBaked Nuggets by Parade Magazine
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into 2 inch pieces)
1/4 c. skim milk
1/2 c. plain dried bread crumbs

Mix flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Pour milk into a separate shallow dish. Pour bread crumbs onto a third shallow dish. Place chicken piece in flour mixture, then milk, and roll in bread crumbs. Place coated pieces on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information: 220 calories per serving, 17 g. carbs, 26 g. protein, 4 g. fat, 65 mg. cholesterol, 220 mg. sodium, and 2 g. fiber. Recipe makes four servings.

Note: One of my friend’s children is allergic to milk. I’m sure this would work just as well with soy milk.

Tangy BBQ Sauce
1/3 c. barbecue sauce
1 T. cider vinegar
2 T. honey
1 tsp. grated orange rind

In a small sauce pan, bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Serve warm.

Note: I didn’t have an orange so I used orange juice. I thought the sauce was great.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

My grandparents are both diabetic. As they are getting older, they tend to eat out for every meal they actually eat. That means less paying attention to ingredients and skipping meals. While home for the holidays, I decided to do a little baking for them. To be quite honest, I bit off more than I could chew. I had dozens of recipes I thought I could make in a day – soups, casseroles, entrees, and desserts using veggies. In about 10 hours time, I made 13 entrees, 4 side dishes, and 3 snacks.

My Grandpa loves salsa so I decided to make him fresh salsa with some homemade tortilla chips. My thought process was to pick a low-fat, high fiber, and whole grain tortilla I could bake. I cooked these up and my Grandpa loved them. I hope you like them too.

Homemade Tortilla Chips Homemade Tortilla Chips by Simple & Delicious
Six – 10 inch flour tortillas
3 T. melted butter (I used unsalted butter)
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

Brush mixture on both sides of tortillas. Use cookie cutter to cut into shapes. Bake at 400 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Chips will crisp a little bit when they cool.

Notes:

  • I used scissors to cut into triangle shapes (a pizza cutter would also work). I only coated one side and I thought it was still good.
  • I used Wildtree Fiesta Salsa Mix for the salsa. Wildtree is certified organic – meaning you can read all the names of the ingredients on the side of the bottle and know what they are. 1/4 c. of the mix combined with a can of low sodium diced tomatoes in a food processor makes a great salsa. Just refrigerate for two hours before serving. One of the dried ingredients though is peppers so if you want a milder salsa don’t use as much mix.