Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mango Chicken Tacos

This is a new staple in our house- again from I typically make recipes once or twice and then don't make them again for quite awhile, I seem to make this at least every 2 weeks! SO good! I serve this Cafe Rio style in a salad- tortilla on bottom w/melted cheese, black beans (canned beans with dried minced onion, and cilantro), rice (recipe below), lettuce, avocado, pico, and cilantro lime dressing (recipe below as well)! This is a super easy one! And GOOD!!

15-20 frozen chicken tenders {in bag from costco they are quite small.}
2 cups mango salsa {costco kind with peach is the best.}
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP salt

Place all ingredients in crockpot, cook on high 4-6 hours. (I cook all chicken in the crockpot on high, because I think it gets too tender and looses all texture otherwise) Shred and serve.

Cafe Rio Dressing:
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. mayo
1 chopped and seeded jalapeno pepper
3-4 tomatillos, chopped
Approx 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
1 pkg. buttermilk ranch salad dressing
1 tsp lime juice
- Blend all together in blender; chill. The longer it chills, the thicker it will be

Cafe Rio Rice:
2 c. white rice
4 c. water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp. cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 green onions, chopped
6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
-Boil water and add bouillon cubes to dissolve. Combine all ingredients in rice cooker. Cook until rice is done and all liquid is absorbed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Salad Dressing

I do not like store bought dressing. I never have, and I have tried a lot of them! Plus, they are so easy to make, and then you know exactly what is in them!

We have a few favorites, that I always have the stuff on hand to make. We eat a lot of salad!


Good Seasons Zesty Italian packet follow directions on packet, subsituting balsamic vinegar

Sweet Italian: (love this, it is from

1/3 cup sugar
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup water (I omit this)
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I use maybe 1/2 cup, and olive oil instead)

Olive Garden Dressing:

1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tbs honey
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tbs grated parm. cheese

Mom's Chicken Soup

This is my mother's recipe that she made for us when we were sick. If you ask me it is the best chicken soup there is! This can be altered, and there is not an actual "recipe" for it, but since I made it for a sick friend today, I am going to put down what I did- it was a big batch. *tip for any broth soup, while I would love to make my own chicken stock, I don't typically have the time, or remember to do it, so I use Swanson's chicken broth, and add Better than Bullion chicken base to it- this adds tons of flavor!*

In large pot saute in 2 tbs olive oil until tender:
2-3 chopped carrots
2-3 stalks chopped celerey
1 chopped medium onion
2 quarts chicken broth plus 2 tbs better than bullion chicken base (found by the bullion cubes)
6-8 chicken tenders (cook under liquid, remove, chop, return to broth)
Once chicken is cooked:
3 tbs dried tarragon
pepper to taste
(this will not need salt, as the broth is already salty)

simmer on low 20-30 minutes

Add cooked brown rice right before serving (or you can use uncooked egg noodles, and add right before serving, allowing time to cook in the broth)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Favorite Healthy Snacks

I am constantly searching for new, healthy snacks! I try not buy a lot of chips/cookies/etc. Here are a few things that are favorites around here:

Fage 2% Plain Greek Yogurt (High in protein low in fat) with Apricot Preserves mixed in
Fruit Leathers from Costco
Almonds and Craisens
Annie's Organic Chedder Bunnies
Fruit- we eat lots of fruit!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Italian Chicken Stew

Another great soup recipe!

In a large pot saute in 2 TB oil:
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme
Add to pot:
1 quart chicken broth (I also add a TB spoon or so of Better than Bullion chicken base)
1 c diced tomatoes
2 frozen chicken breasts, cook under liquid remove and shred (I use chicken tenders)
1 c white beans
2 TB parsley
Simmer 25 minutes

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Ribs

This is a Marthat Stewart recipe that is terrific! I love using my crock pot on busy days. I tried these a few months ago, and we loved them! I really like how tender ribs are cooked in the crock pot!!

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tbs. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 lbs country style pork ribs (I have used boneless ones)

In the slow cooker mix together the sauce ingredients, add meat (bone side down), cook on high 6 hours, low 10 hours.

Turkey Chili

This is my mother's most requested recipe! It is a staple in our home as well! It also happens to be a weight watcher's recipe, don't ask me how many points it is per serving though, I haven't a clue...

1 lb ground turkey
1 small diced onion
1 small diced green pepper
1 can kidney beans (do not drain any of the cans)
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 T chili powder
1 T oregano
1 T basil
1 T thyme
Salt and Pepper

Saute ground turkey and onions and pepper, do drain the turkey drippings, add cans, and spices. Simmer on low until ready to serve.

Turkey Spinach Burritos

These are the best, easy tacos, loaded with flavor! I love that there is hidden spinach for my growing girl in there as well!

1 lb ground turkey (this originally called for ground beef, I have made it both ways)
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 cup salsa
1 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 package mexican blend shredded cheese (I use less, although I love all the cheese on it)

Brown meat in skillet, drain, and add the spinach. Let the spinach cook down and add the other indgredients. Simmer for a few minutes then add cheese on top to melt. Serve in warm tortillas (the fresh ones from Costco are my favorites!) with sour cream!

Pumpkin Curry Soup

A good friend shared this recipe with me last fall, and I have made it at least 2o times since! This soup is AMAZING! Don't let the curry scare you off- it is a very mild flavor, and perfect for the chilly months ahead of us! This soup is also great the next day- if not better. I serve this over rice.

In 4 TB butter saute:
1 diced onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 quart of chicken broth
1 bay leaf
A pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons curry (I use a more to taste)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 16 oz can pumpkin
3 chicken breasts, cook under liquid, remover, shred, and return to broth (I use chicken tenders, about 15, because I like more chicken in mine)
1 pint half and half (I have subsituted whole milk, it is not as good, but fine if you don't have half and half on hand)
heat through, do not boil

Thai-Style Ground Beef

One of my new favorite things to cook and EAT is a recipe I tried from my It is wonderful! I do recommend buying coconut milk from an Asain market if possible, and the curry paste as well! My husband, and even my 4 year old LOVE this!!

olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leek (I used a green onion)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground sirloin (I used lean ground beef, and will be trying it with ground turkey soon!)
1 teaspoon red curry paste (I used more, nearly a tbs.)
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup light coconut milk (I buy Savoy brand coconut cream)
1 Tbsp brown sugar (I added another tbsp.)
1/4 teaspoon lime zest (omitted this)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp asian fish sauce (omitted this as well)
cooked rice and/or iceberg lettuce wedges (I used romaine leaves, as I do not buy iceberg)
chopped cilantro
heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. drizzle olive oil. add leek; sauté 5 minutes. add garlic; sauté 1 minute. add beef; cook 7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring to crumble. stir in curry paste and tomato sauce; cook until half of liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes). add milk and next 4 ingredients (through fish sauce); cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. serve with the rice and lettuce wedges. garnish with cilantro.