25 January, 2012

Return of the Taco Salad

One of my favorite meals growing up was what my family called "taco salad".  The way we served it was more of a taco and less of a salad. We cooked ground beef in taco seasoning and served it on top of Doritos (yep you heard me) with toppings such as lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and salsa. I am pretty sure the reason behind this meal was that chips were less expensive than buying the prepackaged taco shells that other families were eating. At the time I secretly wished we had the shells. In hindsight, I am glad we didn't.

Recently I have returned to this childhood favorite but I have tweaked it for more of an adult taste.  The best thing about this dish is that everyone can fix their salad to their preference. In need of a lighter version, serve with more lettuce, less meat, and tweak your toppings. In need of a more hearty version, pile on the beef and cheese. You see where I am going with this. Go.

What is your favorite childhood meal?

Taco Salad Serves 3-4
1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
couple pinches of cayenne pepper
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
Yellow Corn tortilla chips
Romaine lettuce, chopped
cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream

In a medium sized skillet, brown ground beef on medium-high heat. (Drain if necessary and return to stove). Add onion and green pepper and saute for a few minutes. Add seasonings and a tbsp or two of water if there is no liquid left in your skillet. Turn heat to low, add beans and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve in a bowl with lettuce on the bottom, crush a small handful of tortilla chips on top, add ground beef, and top with cheese, salsa and sour cream.

10 January, 2012

Blue Cheese Apple Crostini

There are many decisions to make in life. Some are superficial but then some affect our health and our future. And usually for a while we will question ourselves on whether we got it right. Doubting our decision is a very unhealthy thing to do to our minds and bodies causing undue stress. We want to use our heads but sometimes there are two many scenarios to analyze and too many uncontrollable variables. So instead we must trust our heart and our faith and go forward. Make the decision and then just keep swimming. Thank you Dory for your encouraging words and motivation.

For those superficial decisions like what to serve at a party for an appetizer, I am including an idea that came from my usual inspiration of lingering fridge contents. These little crostinis are super easy and likely to be a big hit at your next gathering. I would imagine feta would work if you are not a blue cheese fan. Superbowl party anyone?

Blue Cheese Apple Crostini
blue cheese
apple (honey crisp, fuji or gala)
olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice baguette, brush olive oil onto slices and top with a spoonful of cheese. Heat in oven for about 8 minutes and then turn to broil for about 2 minutes. Remove from oven, top with sliced apple and serve.


06 January, 2012

Spinach Turkey Goddess Wrap

2011. Yep, it's a wrap. By now we have all celebrated it or have bid it good riddance and started focusing on 2012. We love a new year. It makes us feel so fresh, so clean, so positive. Something about turning that calendar to January makes us feel like we can start our whole lives over if we wanted to. Or perhaps just clean up some things and set some new goals. As you might remember from my January 2011 post, I am passionately against setting New Year's resolutions with the word diet involved, the phrase "lose 20 pounds", or the promise to work out until exhaustion every day. However, I am a huge supporter of making new goals and aiming to add healthy habits into our everyday lives.

If I had to guess, I am sure alot of us are aiming to eat "healthier" in 2012 so I am posting an idea for an easy lunch to take to work. The easiest way to eat healthier is to take control of your ingredients. The wrap is a very simple and versatile lunch in which you can mix and match your favorite greens, salad dressing or condiment, protein and veggies into a mobile meal. The wrap below happened because of what was in my fridge and was really basic but ended up being very enjoyable. I can think of so many yummy combinations. What would you put in your wrap?

Spinach Turkey Goddess Wrap
spinach wrap
thinly sliced turkey
handful of spinach
baby Swiss cheese