What is it with the beginning of the school year and illnesses? Both kids have been sick and now I seem to have caught it, so as I type this up I am “enjoying” a cup of hot alka seltzer and praying that my throat won’t feel as awful as it does now in the morning. Talk about not much of a productive past 7 days.
Anyhow – my husband is out of town, and while I had originally planned on slow-cooking some barbacoa for this Taco Tuesday, I felt it would be a waste if I had a 3lb chuck roast all to myself. Instead of spending more money at the grocery and dragging said sick child #2 out, I worked with what I got and I have to say; I was extremely pleased with the results!
I was introduced to lentils via FitGirlsGuide a couple years back. I haven’t met a bean I didn’t like and I’ve used potatoes in place of meat before, so paired with pico de gallo, I can totally see why this combination can work great if you’re trying to do without meat or you’re a vegetarian. Just make sure you don’t go light on the lentils! They’re high in lean protein and a great source of potassium.
Lentils and Potato Tacos
Skip the meat! A delicious take on tacos using lentils and potatoes.
- 4 6-inch corn tortillas
- 1 cup lentils, boiled
- 2 medium potatoes, diced small and cooked
- 3-4 tablespoons pico de gallo
- ½ cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cilantro, thinly chopped
- sour cream, optional
- salsa, optional
- Using a small pot, bring 1 cup of lentils and 4 cups of hot water to a slight boil over medium heat. Allow to cook 25-30 minutes, or until lentils seem tender. Drain and set aside.
- At the same time, using a large skillet - add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set heat to medium. Add diced potatoes, making sure to stir with a spatula to prevent burning. Cook until potatoes seem crispy. Set aside.
- When both lentils and potatoes are ready, assemble your corn tortilla - beginning with potatoes and followed by lentils, 1 tablespoon of pico de gallo, cheese and cilantro. Top with sour cream or salsa, if desired. Repeat step with each tortilla.
I have no problem whatsoever dedicating a night each week to tacos. And for the most part traditional style tacos always hit the spot, but I like to switch it up every once in awhile. So why not combine a taco with something else I love to eat: a potato! I originally wanted to test this on a sweet potato, but we only had russet potatoes in the refrigerator and I wanted to avoid a trip to the grocery store for at least one day. Does anyone else feel like they’re at the grocery so much they may as well have stock in it?
Did you know that potatoes are the number one vegetable crop in the United States? That’s crazy! It probably helps that the low-calorie veggie is loaded with potassium and Vitamin C; both essential things needed in our daily dietary. In my book, that makes it A-OK to stuff them with some extra stuff; especially if it’s additional healthy things like ground turkey, beans and corn.
Stuffed Taco Potatoes
This is a recipe for taco styled potatoes that are chockful of all your favorite mexican toppings. Great to use for any Taco Tuesday or Mexican-themed meal.
- 4 russet potatoes
- 1lb ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 8-ounces low-fat refried beans
- 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes well, pat dry with a paper towel and add to oven rack to bake for 1 hour. While doing so, line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- While potatoes are cooking, brown ground turkey and onion in a skillet over med-high heat. Drain excess grease in a strainer and return turkey mix to skillet. Add taco seasoning, corn and refried beans; stirring well to combine. Lower heat to low and allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
- When potatoes have finished cooking, remove from oven and allow to slightly cool down before cutting in half. Scoop the inside out, leaving a thin layer at bottom of potato. Spray potato inside and outside with cooking spray. Place each individually on baking sheet, upside down, and bake for 5 minutes.
- After potato skins seem crispier, add turkey mix. Top with a tablespoon of salsa and sprinkle cheddar cheese. Add to oven and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
- Serve with additional garnishes like sour cream, green onions, bacon.
When the sound of chicken and cheese quesadilla just doesn’t sound like too appetizing of a choice, live’n it up a little.
Tonight I felt like a little barbeque chicken and pineapple. Those two ingredients on their own taste good, but still lack a little more punch to the flavor. With some red onion and cilantro, you’re adding a touch of spice. Drizzle some additional BBQ sauce and low-fat yogurt ranch and now we’re talking!
Just make sure you take a picture of your food before you eat it. I gobbled this up so quick, that had I not, I would have had to wait another week or so to repeat the recipe and take photos for the recipe.
BBQ Chicken and Pineapple Open Faced Quesadilla
Add some flavor to those quesadillas with some barbeque rotisserie chicken, pineapple tidbits and more. You'll never want a cheese and chicken quesadilla again.
- 4 large burrito size flour tortillas
- 2½ cups rotisserie chicken, tossed in your favorite BBQ sauce
- ½ cup pineapple tidbits
- halve of a red onion, sliced thin
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- BBQ sauce, for drizzling
- low-fat ranch yogurt, for drizzling
- Grease a large skillet with cooking spray over med-high heat.
- Add tortilla. Sprinkle ¼ cup of sharp cheddar cheese and ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese evenly on-top of tortilla. Follow by adding enough rotisserie chicken, pineapple. onion slices and cilantro to fairly cover entire tortilla. Cook until bottom of tortilla is a light golden brown, or crispy; about 5 minutes.
- Remove from skillet and drizzle BBQ sauce and low-fat ranch yogurt over-top. Repeat with each tortilla.
I may not be able to stand hot sauce on anything, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to shy away from anything slightly less spicy. By that I mean anything considered medium and below. Generally red enchilada sauce can be spicy, but I inhale it anyway and imagine that I may pay for it later. Why in the world would I ever turn down such a yummy meal?
For my first qualifying Meatless Monday post (!) – I decided to make Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas. My husband is out of town for a few days so this is the perfect dish to make and have as leftovers so I’m not consecutively cooking for one (and one child who is not as fearless when it comes to food) – luckily it tastes just as good, if not better the next day!
Enchiladas are usually made of just a few ingredients. Your meal-prep time isn’t going to be ridiculous, so you can make this when you’re in a pinch, ahead of time or just because you’re craving an easy Mexican meal. This particular recipe calls for black bean and corn salsa, so your preparation time is cut down dramatically just because of that. Even with it being meatless, the salsa packs in such a flavor combined with the weight/size of diced sweet potato pieces that the enchilada still tastes and appears fair in size.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas
A delicious Vegetarian version of Enchiladas featuring diced sweet potatoes and a rich and flavorful black bean and corn salsa. Enjoyable as either a main course or potluck dish.
- 1 extra-large sweet potato, cooked, skin peeled and diced into cubes
- ½ cup black bean and corn salsa
- 2½ cups shredded mexican blend cheese, divided
- 2 cups mild red enchilada sauce, divided
- 6-8 white corn tortillas
- 1 medium tomato, diced for garnishing
- cilantro, for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a rectangular baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook, or bake sweet potato. If you're in a pinch for time, place sweet potato in a microwave and cook on high for 8-10 minutes. It can also be baked in an oven at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes. When sweet potato is cooked through, use a fork to slide skin off. Dice into ½ inch cubes.
- Using a large bowl, add sweet potato cubes, black bean and corn salsa and 1½ cups of shredded cheese. Carefully mix all ingredients together.
- Pour about 1 cup of red enchilada sauce into prepared baking dish. Make sure sauce is even and has covered entire bottom of pan. Set aside.
- Add ¼ cup of sweet potato salsa mix into middle of tortilla. Roll both sides up, placing your seam side downward. Repeat with each tortilla.
- Pour the remaining 1 cup of red enchilada sauce overtop of tortillas, covering them entirely. Lightly sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese onto each, following with diced tomatoes and cilantro for garnish.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.
- I love to make this at the beginning of the week and reheat leftovers for either lunch or dinner the following day. It tastes just as good!
Adapted from Averie Cooks
Adapted from Averie Cooks
A lot of households, including my own, participate weekly in “Taco Tuesday” or “Taco Thursday” if you’re running behind on schedule and refuse to miss out. I don’t want to say that eating tacos grows old, because quite frankly I don’t see any truth in that. It is nice however to mix it up a little here and there. You can still use your taco shells and taco seasoning. Just think of it as “dressing your taco up differently.” Change is OK. It’s not permanent unless you like it.
Beef Tostadas are basically just an open taco.
Quick Beef Tostadas
An open-faced taco on baked tortilla.
- 1lb ground turkey
- one taco seasoning packet
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- shredded colby jack cheese
- romaine lettuce, shredded.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Heat a well greased large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until brown. Drain excess grease in a strainer. Return ground turkey to skillet and add taco seasoning with 1/3 cup of warm water. Mix well.
- When meat and taco seasoning have been well combined, add black beans. Reduce heat to simmer.
- Using a cup, trace the cup's edges on top of a tortilla, carefully cutting around with a knife. Add each tortilla cut-out to a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove tortillas, add ground turkey mix to each. Top with a fair sprinkle of colby jack cheddar cheese and return to oven to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, or when cheese appears melted.
- Top each tortilla with diced tomatoes, romaine lettuce. Add salsa or sour cream as well if desired.
Crockpot Meal Alert! Who else loves the meals you get to throw into a big ol’ pot and leave to simmer until it’s dinner time? The easier the assembly on a busy week day, the better.
Burrito Bowls are pretty come and serve as you please. You can use other meats aside from chicken, add as many vegetables as you like and top with whatever else fits your pleasure. Because I’m watching what I eat more closely, I prepared this burrito bowl using ingredients that were healthy and that I could stand to eat consecutively for a few days.
Chicken Burrito Bowl in a Crockpot
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package taco seasoning
- 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 3/4 cups of instant whole grain brown rice
- ½ cup shredded colby jack cheese
- 1 tablespoon lite sour cream
- 1 tomato, diced
- Prep a large crockpot and set on low heat. Add chicken breasts.
- Pour low-sodium chicken broth overtop chicken breasts, followed by taco seasoning. Mix well.
- Cook on low for about 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken breasts from crockpot with a pair of tongs and place in a covered container to preserve heat.
- Add instant rice and black beans to crockpot and turn heat to high. Cook for 30 minutes, or until rice appears cooked thoroughly.
- Add chicken breasts to crockpot again, cook for an additional 20 minutes on high.
- Serve with additional healthy toppings.