Have you seen those commercials for Taco Bell’s new Cantina Bowl? “Experience our new citrus-herb marinated chicken, flavorful black beans, guacamole made from real Hass avocados, pico de gallo prepared fresh daily, roasted corn & pepper salsa and a creamy cilantro dressing, all served on a bed of cilantro rice.”
I must say, they worked on me. I purchased one of these suckers the other day and I haven’t stopped dreaming about it since. Their Cantina Bowls are amazing!
And no, I am not getting paid to write this article (although I wish I were … *wink wink Taco Bell*).
This is my favorite item on any fast food menu by far. The ingredients are fresh and the lime and cilantro really makes everything pop. This is my rendition of their Cantina Bowl. I made sure to marinate the chicken in lime and herbs and mix plenty of cilantro into the dressing. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty dang close! Give ‘er a try and let me know what you think!
Combine the marinade ingredients in a ziplock baggie and add the chicken. Make sure there is enough oil to cover the chicken and close it tight. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
In the mean time, cook the rice.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing, taste and adjust flavors to your taste. Chill in the fridge.
In a large pan over medium high heat, add a bit of the marinade (oil) to the pan then add the chicken. When the chicken begins turning white on sides of each piece, flip the chicken over and cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat to a simmer and leave the chicken undisturbed for 6-8 minutes. Check the internal temperature of your chicken and remove from the heat once cooked to temperature (165 degrees). Allow to rest for 5 minutes then slice into bite-size pieces.
Heat the black beans and corn kernels in a medium pot over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To build your cantina bowl, place the rice, black beans and corn, chicken and lettuce in a bowl then drizzle with lime-cilantro ranch dressing. Add dollops of pico de gallo and guacamole and serve.
Why do eggplants look so funny? There are short ones, fat ones, long ones and even really dirty looking ones…
However they look, they sure are tasty when you add some breadcrumbs and marinara sauce to the equation. Plus things really get going when you gave your typical eggplant parmesan a new twist by “stuffing” them with an Italian turkey meatball mixture. Boom, bang, SHAPOWIE!
Anywho, step eggplant parmesan up a notch with this recipe. The turkey meatballs alone are so flavorful. You could use these on an ol’ pasta and marinara sauce any day of the week too. But rolling them into some crispy eggplant slices add another layer of flavor. I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as we did.
2 large eggplants, tops removed and evenly sliced to 1/4-inch slices long ways
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup of your favorite (red sauce|http://foodiemcbooty.com/marinara-sauce/)
Extra Mozzarella, for topping
For the Meatballs:
1 small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey meat
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a shallow dish pour 1/2 cup oil, in a second shallow dish pour breadcrumbs. Dredge eggplant through oil on each side lightly then bread with crumbs lightly. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake the eggplant on a lightly oiled sheet for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, mix the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, oregano, basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix well. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch diameter meatballs.
Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and saute, turning, until they are browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes.
Pour a half cup of your red sauce into a baking tray and smooth it out. Take one slice of eggplant, add a pinch of Mozzarella cheese, two mini meatballs on top and roll it as tight as you can. Place the rolled eggplant in the saucy baking tray, seam side down. Continue until the remaining eggplant slices are filled and rolled. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sauce over each rollatini and sprinkle each with Mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve hot.
In November, the company I worked for was purchased by a competitor. The employees weren’t given any information on whether or not the changes would be positive or negative for us. The rumors flew but without any solid information, all we could do was prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Yesterday we finally got our answer and the new company held their first round of layoffs. I was a part of the first round of cuts.
I’ve never been unemployed or qualified for unemployment before. I really enjoyed this job until the buyout. My manager was great, the people I worked with were friendly and competent and I really enjoyed my work. Plus I felt like the work I did was appreciated, until recently at least. It was nice to make a difference. Change can be a scary thing but nothing good ever happens until you take a risk, right? I’m taking this opportunity to find another great job where the work I do makes a difference again.
Throughout the last few days I have received so much support from friends and family. Thank you for your kind words, and offering a helping hand, and even asking around if anyone knows if there is a job available. I never expected this much support. It’s absolutely wonderful and makes this transition that much easier. I can’t thank you guys enough. I love you all very much.
Okay, back to the food portion of this post. My fiscal cleanse couldn’t have come at a better time now that I’m unemployed. I went through my pantry and found a ranch packet and some leftover pesto. I tossed those into a slow cooker with chicken thighs as an experiment (why not?). The chicken turned out full-flavored and fall-apart tender. Definitely a new favorite crock pot recipe.
I didn’t have potatoes on hand, but I bet that you can toss them in with everything else and they would turn out just as tender as the carrots did. I also thought the dish was salty enough because of the ranch packet.
About a pound of potatoes, cut into inch-thick chunks
6 ounce jar of pesto
1 package Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients except for the chicken into your slow cooker. Place the chicken on top of the veggies (there should be enough liquid to mostly cover the chicken, add more stock if necessary) and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW for 6 to 7 hours until the chicken is cooked and the veggies are tender.
No matter how much I stuff my face with turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy (and the pounds), there is only so much of a Thanksgiving meal one girl can handle. Now I can only speak for myself but I suspect that majority of the foodies and cooks out there really enjoy getting creative with Turkey Day leftovers and giving them life again. “It’s alive!! Muahahah!” Okay, not quite Frankenstein ALIVE, but you get my gist.
Last year I repurposed my turkey leftovers the next morning as a Turkey and Spinach Eggs Benedict. This year a lightbulb went off (a rare occasion, don’t worry): I typically have canned soup and leftover pie crust (and/or pre-made pie crust) from Thanksgiving in my fridge too. Why not throw turkey, soup, and some veggies into a pie crust and bake it to perfection? Exactly. There isn’t a good reason not to!
Place the vegetables into a saucepan; cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer over medium-low heat until the celery is tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the vegetables in a colander set in the sink, and set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and all seasonings; slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Remove from heat; stir the cooked vegetables and turkey meat into the filling until well combined.
Fit 1 pie crust into the bottom of a 9-inch pie dishes. Spoon half the filling into the pie crust, then top the pie with another crust. Pinch and roll the top and bottom crusts together at the edge of each pie to seal, and cut several small slits into the top of the pie with a sharp knife to release steam.
Bake in the preheated oven until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. If the crusts are browning too quickly, cover the pie with aluminum foil after about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
You can easily freeze this pot pie and make it later. Simply cut slits in your top pie crust and wrap in both aluminum then plastic wrap. The foil prevents freezer burn and the plastic keeps the odors out. Place the frozen pie in your cold oven and bring to 425. Do not thaw. Overall cook times will vary. If you feel that your crust is browning too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil then remove it during the last 10 minutes of baking.
There are a few signature aromas that say autumn to me – cinnamon apples, sage and squash and roasting chicken top my list. This chicken in particular doesn’t take a lot of work but it tastes like you spent all day roasting it. The juicy chicken cooks in its own juices and you can use these pan drippings to create an incredible sauce to drizzle on top of your chicken or on top of a big pile of mashed potatoes or vegetables.
Pan-roasting is such a beautiful method to achieve succulent, restaurant-quality chicken. Brown the meat first to get the skin nice and crispy and lock in all of the moisture inside of the meat. Then finish everything in the oven until your chicken reaches roasting nirvana. In less than an hour, you have delicious, tender chicken thighs that look like you’ve been slaving for hours.
Preheat oven to 450°. Pat chicken dry and season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium/medium-low; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate; let rest 5 minutes before serving.
For my birthday (which was many moons ago now) my Mister bought me a gift card to this amazing European market in Boulder. I finally went shopping and purchased some orecchiette imported from Italy. Now if you’ve never had orecchiette, think of them as tiny pasta bowls.
In Italian‘orecchio‘ means ‘ear,’ and the suffix ‘etto’ means ‘small’ because these resemble the shape of small ears. Which, I admit, sounds a bit weird at first, but after you take a bite of orecchiette brimming with delicious sauce, you’ll understand why this pasta is so good.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).
We’ve already had our first snow here in Colorado. The second I saw the white stuff on the grass I immediately knew it was soup season. All I wanted to do after that long day at the office was to cuddle up in my soft PJ’s and warm myself inside and out with some homemade soup.
I love the how beautiful colors of the red pepper, chives, carrots and celery shine in this soup. There is something absolutely comforting about these ingredients. Maybe it’s the vegetables, but I think the half-and-half and cheese are really what does it for me. Mmm… yep. The cheesier the better. That’s my humble opinion of course.
1 cup shredded cheese blend (I used colby/monterrey)
5 tablespoons cornstarch
Fill a large pot quarter of the way full with water and bring it to a boil. Add about a tablespoon of salt and boil the potatoes for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the potatoes to sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat a small pan to medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil and brown the ground turkey 80% cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add the browned turkey, corn, broth, poultry seasoning, red pepper, cayenne, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring the contents to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard thyme and add the chives and cooked potatoes.
Taste test and adjust seasonings as desired. Add the milk, half-and-half, and shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is completely incorporated into the soup. Pour some of the soup in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until the cornstarch is completely incorporated. Add the mixture to the soup pot. Keep repeating this step until the soup reaches the thickness you like. Serve hot with freshly baked bread.
Mister had asked me the other night if I had ever tasted Chicken and Biscuits before. I asked, “You mean chicken and dumplings, right?” Nope! This is something that Mister’s mom made for his family when he was growing up. Since the nights are cooler and we find ourselves snuggling more than usual, I decided to make this stick to your ribs dish.
Overall the dish is very easy. I used leftover chicken from my Juicy Herbed Chicken Breast, canned Cambell’s soup, frozen veggies and canned biscuits. This is great for chilly weekday nights where you want to feel warm from the inside out. This is definitely comfort food. We had plenty of extras, being just the two of us and this Creamy Chicken and Biscuits warmed up nicely the next morning for breakfast. Yum!
Chicken breast can be bland and boring and tends to dry out before you can snap your fingers and count to three. Have no fear folks, I finally found a winner of a recipe!
I marinated this chicken for an hour then used some fresh herbs from my herb garden to pack some extra flavor into these babies. The chicken turned out juicy and popped with the bits of herbs on top. Best darn chicken breast I’ve ever made, I tell ya’ whut. It may be the healthiest chicken I’ve ever made too. There wasn’t a trace of bacon or bacon grease to be seen.
Pound out all of your chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer to just under a 1/2-inch thickness. Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together, then add the chicken and marinade to a shallow baking dish. Add enough water to the dish so that the chicken is mostly covered. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 30 - 90 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pour majority of the marinade out of the pan, leaving a thin layer at the bottom of your baking dish. Sprinkle your herbs on both the tops and bottoms of the chicken breast. Loosely cover the baking pan with foil and bake in 400 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at 165 degrees. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and serve hot.
I have many moments throughout my day where I find myself bouncing around on some of my favorite food blogs and I always manage to end up on Skinny Taste. I was looking for something to do with the chicken drumsticks that had been thawing in my fridge for two days and came across this finger-licking good recipe! This glaze is amazing. If you have ever ordered teriyaki glazed wings at your favorite wing joint, this recipe is for you (yeah, I’m talking to YOU). Gina (from Skinny Taste) recommends using this glaze on drumsticks, wings or thighs. Anything with a bone really.
My Mister was especially thrilled to hear that I used Sriracha hot sauce in this recipe. That boy could put this hot sauce on anything … and he does. It is super tasty, so I don’t blame him there but if you’re not a big heat junkie you can always omit the hot sauce from this recipe. Personally, we added a bit more than the recipe calls for but that’s just us.
In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.
I have a confession to make. I, Miss McBooty, am addicted to the Food Network. Yes I know, you’re asking yourself how am I any different than any other female blogger? Well I’ve noticed lately that every time I turn on my TV, the Food Network is on. And even though I’ve seen about 99% of all of the programming, I do not touch the remote.
Perhaps it’s time for an intervention.
Until that happens, I’m going to happily enjoy my time with Crazy Guy and Beautiful Giada and the absolutely charming Neelys and Blogger Ree and all of the other wonderfully talented personalities on the network.
Today’s recipe was inspired by Giada. Whenever I see her on tv, she charms me and lulls me to sleep, like a mother would to her young child. I feel completely comfortable when she speaks, and sleepy, almost like she is singing me a lullaby. Did I mention that her show makes me sleepy? I mean this in a good way – like a cuddle up in my PJs in front of a warm fire kind of way. I love how she puts her own Italian spin on everything, including these taquitos.
This recipe has a lot of great elements in it. Fresh veggies and low-fat turkey keep things on the lighter side too. I feel a little less guilty for devouring an extra one.
Plus the spices really take it up a notch (or two in my case). I recommend serving these taquitos with sour cream and freshly mashed avocado with a bit of sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder to cool off the taste buds. Yum!
1 small jalapeno, finely diced (optional/adjust the amount of seeds/membrane to your liking)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature (8 ounces)
Eighteen 6 1/2-inch-diameter extra-thin or regular corn tortillas
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded white or extra sharp Cheddar (4 ounces)
Serving suggestion: salsa, guacamole or sour cream
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Spray a heavy nonstick baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray.
For the filling: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Cook the onions, jalapeno (if you are using it), salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the turkey and cumin. Cook until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the beans. Mash the beans until smooth, using a fork. Stir in the mascarpone.
Place a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush each side of the tortillas with olive oil. Cook the tortillas in batches until warm, about 30 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the filling into each tortilla and roll up into a cigar shape. Place the tortillas, seam-side-down, on the baking sheet and sprinkle with Cheddar. Bake until the Cheddar is melted and the tortillas are crisp and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve with salsa and guacamole.
If you’re anything like me, you were raised on good old-fashioned beef patties. There is something magical about the texture and rich flavor in a good beef burger. I am right there with you 100%.
Then there are those moments where I flounder. I find myself realizing that I need something other than red meat in my diet. So I satisfy that finger and mouth feel by making a turkey burger instead. Don’t expect to bite into turkey steak or anything here folks. This is a totally different animal (literally).
This recipe has made my Top 5 recipes of the summer. The fresh zucchini and carrot make this burger incredibly light and fresh. And the flavors are hardly lacking. Mister and I were licking our fingers dry after devouring these guys. And yes… that isn’t beef you’re seeing there.
A few things to keep in mind when you cook with ground turkey:
1. Use ground turkey that is a combination of dark and white meat if possible. White meat dries out a lot easier.
2. Do not overcook the turkey! Whether it’s ground turkey or a whole roasted turkey for Thanksgiving, there is a very fine line between cooked turkey and dry turkey. I steam my burgers as they finish cooking to help seal in moisture.
If you’re not convinced to try this fresh summer turkey burger, then at least convince your friend to make them and invite you over. Then all you have to do is bring the beer, watch and enjoy.
Salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Slices of crusty bread, buttered and toasted
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
In a large bowl, combine the turkey, zucchini, carrot, garlic, egg, thyme, salt, pepper. Form the mixture into four to six patties. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties on one side until the bottom is fully cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Try not to manipulate them too much so they stick together nicely. Flip the patties over, add a touch of water to your pan and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until there is no trace of pink remaining. Try not to overcook the burgers (it happens fast).
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Serve the burgers on the toasted bread with lettuce and lemon mayonnaise.
I do not recommend grilling these particular turkey burgers because the patties can be fragile, depending on how your mixture turns out.