Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mexican Meatball Skillet

Meatballs are one of those many foods that can be quite versatile. For me, they fall under the category of Blank Slate foods. Meaning you can basically turn a pile of meat into whatever you want to; be it Italian, Asian, Mexican, etc.
Typically, we think of meatballs in one or two way: Spaghetti or on a sub sandwich. This recipe breaks a few of those boundaries with the classic meatball crowd. My husband had to warm up to the possiblity that meatballs could be consumed without pasta or bread surrounding them, You may come to find this struggle common in your household as well. My suggestion is to surprise them and just say "We're having Mexican tonight." It worked for me and the dish was a total success.
Hope you have the same results! Happy Eating!

Mexican Meatball Skillet

1 lb ground turkey meat
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp taco seasoning

1/2 onion, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, julianned
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 cup yellow sweet corn
Salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste
couple of dashes of Texas Pete hot sauce
2-4 Tbsp EVOO
2 corn tortillas per person
1/2 Mexican cheese
1 Tbsp butter


-->In a large bowl, mix together ground meat, taco seasoning and chopped green onions. Form into small balls and place in a preheated large skillet with EVOO.

-->Completely cook meatballs adding sliced onions and peppers while cooking. Usually takes around 10-15 minutes.

--> After 10 minutes, add black beans, corn, and tomatoes. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes more.

-->While meatballs are simmering, butter corn tortillas and place on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil for 5 minutes, keeping a close eye so they don't burn,

-->Plate and serve with the toasted tortillas. Enjoy!

-->Garnish with fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dirty Rice

Dirty rice has always been one of my favorite meals. When I was diagnosed with Celiac's, I started reading every single label that I buy from the store. Some of the simplest foods that one would never think would have wheat products or gluten in them, do. This has made buying quick make meals very difficult for my family. On the other hand, it has forced my family to be a little more healthy. Creating things from scratch is something that I love to do, so creating this recipe for Dirty Rice was not much of a challenge, but fun nonetheless.  I have perfected it over the last year and changed some of the ingredients (did you know that beef broth has wheat in it?). I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it.

Dirty Rice

You will need:
1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2/3 cup black beans
2 cup brown minute rice
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
To taste: garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, red pepper flakes
dash of lime juice
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (I use Texas Pete's Cha! sauce)

--> In a large skillet, brown sausage and drain 3/4 of the grease. 
-->Saute the vegetables with the cooked sausage. Season vegetables with pinches of garlic powder, chili powder, and paprika. Add 1 Tbsp of the Cha! and a dash of lime juice.
-->While the vegetables are sauteing, cook the rice in the microwave. Add 1 1.2 cups of water to 2 cups of rice and microwave for 9 minutes.
-->Add the rice to the skillet with the remainder of the Cha!, the broth, and spices to your taste Simmer for 10-15 minutes on med-lo heat. 

Happy Eating!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mango, Avocado, Tomato Chicken Quinoa Salad

I don't know about you but I am always on the lookout for a new salad to try. I troll Pinterest quite frequently looking for food for the blog and to try at home. I found this salad in the dead of winter and tucked it away for a summers day. I added, of course, my own variations and twists. 
The one ingredient, quinoa,  I am sure most people have not come much in contact. I, myself, was introduced to quinoa a few years back. My best friend and her family are always on the search for healthier and more natural ingredients to use in cooking. Quinoa is a naturally gluten free grain found mostly in Africa. It is akin to oatmeal and grits in that you can add anything, savory or sweet, with it and it is delicious. There are several varieties, or colors, of quinoa: white, red and brown. It is cooked like rice; boiled and simmered until the liquid has absorbed. The only thing I have found disconcerting and had to get use to seeing is the little sprouts that appear when the quinoa is fully cooked. Other than that little quirk, quinoa is a great protein packed, gluten free alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes. 
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we do. Happy Eating!

Mango, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken Quinoa Salad

  • 1 medium mango, diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 large beef tomato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp diced green chilles
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapples
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green onion, cut
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, mix well.
  2. May refrigerate before serving. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Black bean burgers with tomato and avocado salsa

Lately, my husband and I have been on a Mexican food kick. I do believe that in a past life I was Mexican or Spanish. I am in love with this food. I could eat it day and night, everyday and not get tired of it. This new recipe is something that my husband and I have never tired before, even in a restaurant. I have seen many recipes and have had friends try black bean burgers before, but we have not been brave enough to try it yet. Until now...dum, dum, dum....Here are my personal thoughts on this recipe.
I have a texture issue with many foods. It took me years to eat Alfredo sauce because of the creamy texture. It also took me years to eat an avocado because of how creamy it it. I LOVE crunchy stuff and have never had an issue with the crunch, but when it comes to creamy...well, that's a whole other issue.
That being said, my husband loves this new twist on a burger. I, however, will have to try it again to come to a more positive conclusion. The salsa I could eat all day and night and not get tired of it. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as my husband and I are.

Black bean burgers with tomato avocado salsa

Black bean burger

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/2 diced red peppers
  • 1/2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • lime juice from fresh lime
  • 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients just come together. You want the consistency of ground meat.
  3. Form the patties, it should make 4 medium size patties. Place in heated skillet.
  4. Cook each side around 5-7 minutes, a nice crust should form on the outside.
  5. Remove from the skillet and serve with corn tortillas and the tomato avocado salsa.

Tomato Avocado Salsa
  • 1 fresh medium size tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • lime juice from fresh lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1  green onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  1. Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  2. Mix and serve with the black bean burgers.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbages

Before my lifestyle change and before I married my husband, a northerner. I was not a fan of cabbage in any shape or form. Funny thing is I thought a head of lettuce and a head of green cabbage were the same. I even mixed them up one time when I was young and naive. I bought the cabbage because it was cheaper, thinking it was the same as the lettuce. Yes, not one of my finest moments, but lesson learned.
This is a simple, low carb version of the aristocratic stuffed cabbages, but deconstructed. A one pan, 40 minute or less meals that even the skeptical of cabbage person will enjoy.

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbages

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup carrot sticks
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup diced onions
2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 large beef tomato, sliced
1 cup vegetable broth

-->In a large skillet, heat Olive oil and butter to brown ground turkey.

-->Add carrots, onions, and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent.

-->Add shredded cabbage and cover. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the cabbage is translucent.

-->Add vegetable broth, return cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

-->Serve with the sliced tomatoes. Happy Eating!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hoppin' Johns with Cubed Steak and Sauteed Cabbage

In my household, there is a mergance of southern and northern traditions. My husband is from Ohio. Raised in a community with Italian, German, and Polish families living side by side. A melding of cultures with delicious food and strong personalities. His tradition included sauerkraut, cabbage, kielbasa, and potatoes.
My background couldn't be more different. Raised in the south with very southern women and men surrounding my life. Fried chicken, sweet tea, corn bread, baked mac and cheese were the foundations of my childhood. For New Years dinner, my family would gather around the table to the smells of collards, cornbread, black eyed peas, and a nice steak (the only steak we would eat all year.) I am pretty sure there were other foods, but the a fore mentioned are the foods that stick out distinctly in my mind.
This year, I have decided to combine some of the traditions from both our families. Instead of using ground sausage in my hoppin' johns, I used kielbasa. Since I forgot the sauerkraut, I made sauteed cabbage instead.
My hope for you this new year is that whatever you eat, enjoy  it to the fullest. May your home be filled with laughter of friends and family and the smells of delicious meals. Happy New Year!

Hoppin' Johns with Cubed Steak and Sauteed Cabbage

1 bag of frozen Black eyed peas

1 cup Instant brown rice
1/2 cup of diced onions
1/2 cup of diced kielbasa
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp butter

3 cubed steaks 
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 cup beef broth

2 cups green cabbage
2 cups purple cabbage
1 cup onion slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp beef broth

-->In a large sauce pan, bring 3 cups of water to boil with the black eyed peas and a dash of salt. Keep the peas boiling for 30 minutes. 

-->In a smaller sauce pan, make the instant rice per package. 
-->In a large skillet on med-hi, add butter. Saute onions and kielbasa. Add to rice and set aside.

-->In the heated skillet, add olive oil. Season the cubed steaks with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Brown both sides on med-high. Add beef broth, turn to med-lo and let simmer.

-->While the meat is cooking, in the smaller sauce pan, heat butter and olive oil on med-hi. Add cabbage and onions. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Saute until onions and cabbage are translucent.

-->By now, the timer for the black eyed peas should have dinged. Add the rice and kielbasa to the peas, cover and let simmer for 7-10 minutes; adding water when needed.
-->Serve with cornbread and your favorite beverage for a Happy New Year!