Twenty Minute Turkey Tacos….

Can an old favorite be improved upon?  Of course!  Forget those little sodium packed seasoning mixes and follow this recipe instead.  Use this seasoned meat in taco or enchilada casseroles, taco salads and burritos.  I make extra for the freezer for an even easier meal down the road.  Feel free to use ground beef as well.

Turkey Tacos

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped, or 2 teaspoons granulated onion
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 1/2 lbs. ground 93% lean turkey
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water

1)  Heat  a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the canola oil.  Add the onion and cook for 5-7  minutes.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.
2)  Add the meat and cook through.  Break up the meat with a spatula while cooking.  Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.   Stir to combine and add the water.  Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.  Serve with warmed soft or crunchy shells and your favorite toppings.

Enjoy with your happy family!



Chicken Fajita Brown Rice….

Yet another way to use that brown rice you’ve squirreled away in your freezer!  Doesn’t this look delicious?  I’m here to tell you, it is…This dinner goes together in minutes.  I like to serve it over brown rice as a nice alternative to eating wrapped in tortillas.

Chicken Fajita Rice

1 lb. chicken tenders
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into ½” wedges
1 small red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 small green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch ground chipotle or 3 pinches of chili powder (chipotle is very potent!)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
One batch of Spanish Brown Rice, recipe below

1) Season the chicken with chipotle, salt, and pepper. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Place seasoned tenders into hot skillet. Resist moving them around right away, don’t turn until the chicken starts turning white around the edges. You will have nice browning or caramelization this way. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan and place on a plate, cover with foil.
2) Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the prepared onion and peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
3) While peppers are cooking, prepare brown rice, set aside.
4) Add garlic to pepper mixture, cook one minute. Add chicken tenders and juices on plate back to pan. Pour lime juice over chicken and vegetables.
5) Time to eat! Put ½ cup of hot rice onto plate, top with 1 ounce of shredded cheese and top with peppers and chicken strips. Makes 4 servings.  Garnish with baked tortilla strips if you like.

*Add a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce if you like a little extra heat
*Instead of serving over rice, simply top with baked tortilla strips. See recipe below.
*Add thinly sliced jalapeno peppers when cooking the peppers and onions if you wish.

Meatless Tamale Pie….

This is an excellent vegetarian one dish dinner recipe that will leave your tastebuds happy and your appetite satisfied.  The combination of the butternut squash, roasted poblanos, corn tortillas and white corn is absolutely delicious!  There are a few more steps to it than many of my other recipes, but it will totally be worth it.  You could roast the squash and prepare the poblano peppers a day or two ahead if you wish.  Why not double the recipe, freeze to enjoy at another time!

Meatless Tamale Pie

1 medium sized butternut squash, cut in half and seeded
1 cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and pepper
3 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 16 oz. bag frozen white corn
Salt and pepper
1 can black refried beans
1/3 cup non fat plain yogurt
16 oz. medium salsa verde
12-14 small corn tortillas
1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

You will need a large casserole dish, spray generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
1) Preheat oven to 350’. Carefully cut squash in half, remove seeds. Place cut face down on cookie sheet and add water to pan. Bake until squash is soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool enough to handle.
2) Scoop squash out and put into medium size bowl. Add chili powder, a couple of pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Beat with a hand mixer or with a potato masher. Add enough water to resemble the consistency of mashed potatoes. Set aside.
3) Roast the rinsed poblano peppers until they blister over a gas flame on the range, on the grill, or in the broiler. Once blistered and charred, place in a bowl and cover with foil. Allow to steam for about 20 minutes.
4) In a large skillet, heat pan with canola oil over medium high heat. Add onions, cook about 6 minutes, add garlic and cook another minute. Add corn.
5) While corn is warming, remove core and seeds from roasted poblano peppers. Remove the skin and chop peppers coarsely. Add to pan with the corn. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Taste. Remove from heat.
6) In a small mixing bowl, combine the refried beans and plain yogurt, mix well.
7) Cut corn tortillas in half. Layer bottom of casserole dish with halved tortillas.
8) Spread black beans over tortillas and half of the cheese.
9) Pour half of the salsa verde over beans, top with another layer of corn tortillas.
10) Spread squash over tortillas and add corn on top of it. Add remaining salsa verde.
11) Add one last layer of tortillas. Pour tomatoes with juice and spread evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
12) Bake at 350’ for one hour. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

This is excellent baked ahead, cooled and reheated. It will slice like lasagna. It freezes well. Serve with a cool salad with yogurt ranch dressing. Enjoy!