Chili Con Carne

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Chilly nights are perfect for enjoying comfort foods that warm you from the inside out! This was flavorful and has the perfect amount of spiciness. We enjoyed it with this corn bread, aged cheddar cheese, cilantro and some sour cream. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chili Con Carne – adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 2 Tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • One – 2 pound chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste – season lightly
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño chili peppers, stems removed, seeded, ribs removed, minced
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 14-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated cheddar cheese, cilantro and lime wedges for serving

Directions –

1.  In a small bowl mix the chili powder, chipotle chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, and ground coriander. Set aside.

2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat, add back in 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Working in batches so that you don’t crowd the beef (crowding will steam cook the meat instead of browning it), brown the beef cubes on all sides. Remove beef from pan, set aside.

3.  Add another Tablespoon of bacon fat to the pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño, cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

4. Put onion chili mixture, beef, tomatoes, water, lime juice. Heat the chili on medium high heat until it comes to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Then uncover and cook for another half hour, keeping the temperature at a place where you can maintain a simmer.

5. Gently mix in the kidney beans. Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese, cilantro and sour cream if desired. Serve with cornbread.

Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread – adapted from Allrecipes

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 8×8 baking dish or a 9 inch cake pan.

2. Melt butter in large skillet (I put it in the microwave for about 45 seconds). Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Fold in the cheese and pour into your prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.(*mine took 30 minutes with convection)

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Paleo Taco Salad

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Quick Post: This taco meat was okay the first day, but even better as the week went on 🙂 I made a few modifications to the recipe, but I added the link to the original as always 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Paleo Taco Salad – adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (*I used bison)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • tomato paste (*optional, I used a whole 6 ounce can*)
  • 1/2 cup of bone broth, or water

Directions –

In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and mix well. (*I used all but about a tablespoon of the mixture*) Add the tomato paste and bone broth to the pan and continue cooking until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Serve immediately over chopped Romaine lettuce, and top with lots of veggies.

 

 

Whole 30 Chicken Fajitas and Cauli “Rice”

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Yum! This is a new favorite that just gets better the next day. I love the cauli-rice and it is a good substitute for rice and I know I’ll be making this again. It takes more work than regular rice, but the flavor is savory, nutty, fluffy and much more nutritious. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Fajitas – inspired by Simply Recipes

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, divided horizontally, then sliced into 1/2″ strips
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, sliced lengthwise (root to tip) into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

Marinade

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Directions –

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a glass or plastic container. Add the chicken, mix well, cover and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. (You can marinate them in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours, but remove them an hour before cooking so that they can come closer to room temp.)

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Heat a large cast iron frying pan on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan. As soon as the oil begins to shimmer, lay the chicken breast pieces in the pan. Depending on the size of the pan, and if you have had to cut the chicken breasts, you may have to work in batches. Let the chicken cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, until you have a good sear. Once seared well on one side, turn the pieces over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until well seared on the second side. Once seared on the second side, remove to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 5 minutes.

While the chicken is resting, cook the onions and peppers. Add another tablespoon of coconut to the frying pan. Heat on high. As soon as the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers to the pan. Use a metal spatula to scrape up some of the browned bits from the chicken and stir to coat the onions and peppers with the oil and brown bits. Spread the onions and peppers in an even layer in the pan. Let them cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. You want them to sear with some blackening. Stir the vegetables and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

 

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice – adapted from The Clothes Make the Girl

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cleaned and cut into florets
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • salt to taste

Directions –

Preheat oven to 425, and prepare two baking sheets.

Using a food processor, place a portion of the florets in the bowl with the blade attachment and pulse until the mix resembles rice – about 10-15 pulses. Pour the “rice” in a medium bowl and continue with the other florets. Pour the  coconut oil over the cauliflower and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, toss the mixture well and then spread half of the cauliflower onto each baking sheet.

Roast for 15 minutes and then rotate the pans and continue cooking until tender and beginning to get a few brown spots, about 10 more minutes.

 

 

Pork Carnitas

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Quick Post: My son loves taco night, and these definitely hit the spot.  I made the meat on a Friday and didn’t end up using it until a Monday. The advantage to letting it sit, is that the fat will rise to the top so you can remove it. The meat also tasted even better, and I was able to pull off even more fat off of the pieces of meat. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pork Carnitas – adapted from My Kitchen Escapades

  • 4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 Tb fresh lime juice
  • 2 C water
  • 1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

Directions –

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.

Shrimp Tacos with Adobo Sauce

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These were really good and I will definitely use this recipe again. Even my picky daughter ate her serving up! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Shrimp Tacos with Adobo Sauce – adapted from Coupon Clipping Cook

  • 10 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 1/2 pounds large raw Shrimp, Deveined and Shelled
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 3 dashes Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Red Onion
  • 1 cup shredded Green Cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded Purple Cabbage
  • 1 whole Lime

For the Adobo Sauce:

  • 5 teaspoons Adobo Sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; 11 ounce can)
  • ¼ cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 of a whole Lime
  • 2 dashes Salt

Directions –

Chop the cilantro, and thinly slice the green and purple cabbage. Chop the onion and set the veggies and cilantro aside.

In a small bowl add the adobo sauce from the can of chipotle peppers, sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Mix and set aside.

Put the shrimp in a medium size bowl and add the chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, cumin, and salt. Mix together so that the shrimp is coated with the spices.

In a medium size skillet add the olive oil. Then add the shrimp. Turn the shrimp as they cook until each side is lightly browned (about 6 minutes). Reserve the olive oil in the pan, and remove the shrimp on to a cutting board or plate.

Cut the shrimp in half and put them in a bowl. Then add the remaining olive oil from the pan in with the pieces of shrimp and mix together.

Warm the corn tortillas in the microwave for about 10 to 12 seconds.Then top with the shrimp, onion, cilantro, and the green and purple cabbage. Drizzle the adobo sauce on top. Serve while the tortilla is still warm, and with a quarter piece of lime.

BOMB Chicken Enchiladas

These were amazing! I was so impressed with this meal and it will go in the rotation. It’s totally worth the extra effort, and even my picky husband enjoyed these. For someone who doesn’t like red sauces or corn tortillas, he ate two large servings, and took leftovers to work the next day without a complaint! I served these with spicy pinto beans (I will share that recipe soon) and fresh pico de gallo. Thanks for reading, enjoy! Chicken Enchiladas with Red Chile Sauce – adapted from Pink Parsley

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medim cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (*my addition*)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder (*my addition*)
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup extra sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 12 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt and ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 425. Combine the onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil in a large saucepan. cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and chopped tomato. Bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Nestle the chicken into the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through (thickest part reaches 160 degrees), about 12-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside to cool. Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to the onion mixture, and add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheese, and the cilantro. Toss to combine. Stack the tortillas on a plate and cover with plastic wrap; Microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread the tortillas on a clean work surface, and spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each. Tightly roll each tortilla and lay seam-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 7 minutes, or until the tortillas start to brown slightly (skip this step if you don’t like the crunch). Reduce heat to 400. Remove enchiladas and pour sauce evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese. Cover dish with foil, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese browns. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Ground Beef Tacos II

When in doubt, ask your nine-year old what you should make for dinner…the boy loves tacos! Any Tex-Mex style foods, really. We haven’t had tacos in a while, so I agreed; searched through Pink Parsley and chose this recipe. M is anti-corn tortilla for some reason, so I haven’t decided if I want to fry up the flour tortillas I’ll be using for these.

Verdict: Yum! The leftovers didn’t last more than one day either! I served this with my fave rice, fresh pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese and lettuce. Everyone enjoyed these and my picky daughter even ate more than a few bites. This is the second ground beef taco recipe that I have posted here, and I’m happy to report that this one is going to be my go-to recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ground Beef Tacos – adapted from Pink Parsley via Cook’s Illustrated

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (*I used Mexican oregano)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 pound 90% lean (or leaner) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, about 5 minutes longer, until meat is no longer pink.

Add tomato sauce, broth, brown sugar, and vinegar; bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid has reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper and serve with your favorite taco fixin’s.

 

 

Tri-Tip Tacos

Yum! This was my first experience preparing and eating tri-tip, and I’m happy to report that it was excellent.  I was inspired by this recipe, but created my own seasonings for this. I’m just guessing on the amounts, but that’s what’s so great about this kind of meal, just throw in what seasonings you prefer and make it as mild or spicy as you like. The flavor was pretty good, but next time I would marinade the meat overnight in the seasonings or just add more seasonings to the meat in the first place if I didn’t plan ahead. We used the leftover meat for bean and beef burritos (but that’s another post). Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Shredded Tri-Tip Tacos – 
  • 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. tri-tip roast
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (4 oz.) mild green chilies
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, diced fresh tomatoes, avocado slices, salsa, lime wedges

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, make taco seasoning rub by combining the kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, ground ginger and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

Rub tri-tip with dry spice rub and place in  crock pot. Cover roast with diced tomatoes,  chillies, onion, and garlic. Place the lid on the crock pot on and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Remove from oven and place tri-tip on cutting board. Discard the smashed garlic. Leave remaining juices, tomatoes, chillies and onion in pot.

Using two forks, shred the tri-tip by holding one fork steady with one hand and slowly scraping the other fork, prongs faced backwards, with your other hand away from the other fork. Transfer the shredded tri-tip to a large bowl and add the reserved cooked vegetables and juices from the Dutch oven. Stir to combine. Serve in warmed tortillas with all your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Flank Steak Tacos with Avocado Dressing

I haven’t eaten red meat in almost two months! I haven’t been craving it at all, but this recipe sounds good to me. Besides that, we haven’t had a taco night in months, so I know my son will be happy. I’ll serve this with baked brown rice and black beans doctored up with some onion, cilantro and jalapeno.

Verdict: Yum! This was really good. Next time, I’ll make sure to start marinating the steak sooner than I did today (only about 3 hours). The avocado dressing was really good, and will get even better as it sits. Today I tried some of it on this red lentil soup and it complimented the flavors so well. I plan on using the leftovers for sandwiches, salads or as a dip for veggies. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Flank Steak Tacos – adapted from Love at First Bite
For the Marinade:

  • 1 pound flank steak (or skirt steak)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 jalapeno (seeds and all), chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or olive oil

For Avocado Dressing:

  • 2 avocados, seeds and skin removed
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Serve with:
Corn tortillas, feta cheese, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and lime wedges

In a ziplock bag or glass container, add all ingredients for the marinade, plus the steak. Marinate the meat at least 30 minutes, and up to 6 hours. In the meantime make the dressing.

In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients for the dressing and pulse until smooth and creamy. Put in a sealed container or jar, and place in fridge to let the flavors mix.

Heat a grill, or grill pan to high heat. Grill the steak for a couple of minutes on each side, until steak is seared on the outside and pink in the middle. It will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your steak. Take off the heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes before you slice it (make sure to slice against the grain).

Serve the meat in a corn tortilla (for gluten-free, or whole wheat if you prefer), and top with crumbled feta cheese, lettuce or cabbage, lime juice, cilantro, and avocado dressing.

Brown Rice and Black Beans with Pico de Gallo

Yum! I love black beans, but sadly my family doesn’t. If you have the time and you’re not starving, but you want a substantial meal plus leftovers, this is perfect 🙂  I got the idea for this here, but I modified the black bean recipe quite a bit to make it even more healthy. I read that draining and rinsing the beans decreases the sodium by about 40% ; and besides, the liquid inside the can kinda grosses me out. I love baking the brown rice and it’s a foolproof method of preparing it – not quick by any means, but entirely worth the wait. Once the rice is in the oven, you can make your pico de gallo and stash it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The beans are the quickest part of this meal and only take about 10 minutes. This is by far my favorite lunch and I ate the leftovers for four days, ( I had to make up another batch of black beans) and thankfully I’m not sick of it yet! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Baked Brown Rice – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups HOT water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Pour rice into the dish, add water, salt and butter; and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.

Once it’s finished baking, carefully remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

Black Beans –

  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained really well
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1 TBSP chopped cilantro, optional
Directions:
1. Rinse and thoroughly drain your black beans. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan or skillet over medium heat, drizzle the olive and saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the beans, cumin, oregano, salt and about 1/3 cup of water to the pan. Cook for about 5 more minutes or until desired thickness, (you can smash some of the beans for a thicker sauce). Add your cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, serve over brown rice and top with your fresh pico. Enjoy!