Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicken Mango Salsa Soup

I found this soup a while ago on the 71 toes blog.  It looked fast and easy, so I wanted to give it a try.  Plus, this month the Mango salsa is on coupon at Costco.  I thought a few of my kids would turn their noses at this soup, but as we began to eat, it was silent.  It was either two things:  my kids were starving, or they really liked the soup.  I think it was both.  I started out halving the recipe, but quickly got everything out and made the whole thing.  We had two extra people over for dinner and we had a good amount of leftovers.  Perfect for a few lunches over the next couple of days.  I bought a rotisserie chicken at Costco and added black beans. Great soup to serve a large crowd.   

Chicken Mango Salsa Soup
recipe from 71 Toes

1 jar Mango Peach Salsa (from Costco)
1/2 jar Jack’s Special Salsa (also from Costco, but I used regular salsa when I made it and it worked just fine)
1/4 c. olive oil

Simmer for 10 minutes, then add:

1 1/4 tsp. cumin
2 1/2 qts (80 oz) chicken stock or broth
5-6 chicken breasts chopped up (or rotisserie works great)

Add one large package of frozen corn close to when you want to serve soup so it doesn’t overcook (equivalent of about 3 cans of corn drained)

Bring all ingredients to a low boil, stirring as it heats up.  Simmer for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with any variety of these:  

shredded cheese, small tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado chunks, chopped cilantro, black beans 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Tacos

I have been wanting to try these tacos out for a really long time now and have put them on the menu for a couple of weeks, but by the time I went to make them, I was out of a few of the ingredients.  I finally made them on Monday, and they were a huge hit.  Every one of my children loved them and even had seconds!  This meal is incredibly healthy and so satisfying.  The quinoa needs to be thoroughly rinsed before cooking; otherwise, it might have a really bitter taste to it.  I cooked mine in chicken broth to help add some flavor.  I cooked 2 cups quinoa in 4 cups of chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Make it a few hours or days ahead of time, so it is cooled by the time you need to use it.  I wasn't sure how many tacos this would make, so I made 1 1/2 times the recipe.  It made more than enough.  I bought fresh corn tortillas at the tortilla factory that we used the same day, and the next day for lunch we had it with flour tortillas.  I like it with both, but is much easier for kids to eat if you use flour.   If you use corn, I recommend heating them up on a skillet to somewhat harden the shell (not crunchy).  That way, they don't become soft and the tacos filling doesn't fall through the tortilla.  I also added diced radishes because I love the flavor they add.  Enjoy!

Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Tacos
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5) oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis, undrained
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Serve with:
  • corn or wheat tortillas
  • chopped lettuce
  • Monterey Jack, cheddar or a combination
  • diced avocados
  • diced tomatoes
  • hot sauce
  • diced radishes
  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium high heat. Once hot, add onion and saute until golden and tender, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in broth, diced tomatoes, cooked quinoa, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover saucepan with lid and simmer about 20 minutes, until mixture has thickened.
  • Stir in corn and black beans and simmer, uncovered 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in lime juice and cilantro. Serve warm over tortillas with desired toppings.
Source:  Cooking Classy (adapted slightly)

**I know you can barely see any of the filling in the tacos.  I got carried away with the lettuce and other toppings and didn't care by that point because my baby was crying in the background begging to be fed.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Coconut Vanilla Granola

I am always looking for recipes to use or incorporate coconut oil in, so when I came across this one I made it right away.  The great thing about granola is you can add and take away what you don't like.  I added sunflower seeds and used the roasted chopped almonds from Winco instead of the sliced.   I am not a dried fruit in my granola kind of girl, but if that suits your fancy, go for it.  This granola is by far my favorite one out there.  Your house will smell amazing and that touch of nutmeg makes it feel instantly like Fall.  

Coconut Vanilla Granola
adapted slightly from Table for Two

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 T. vanilla extract
2 tsp. vanilla bean paste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, shredded coconut, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste.  Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.  Spread evenly on the lined baking sheets and bake for 30-45 minutes or until lightly golden.  Stir every 10 minutes to make sure you get even baking and to avoid burning.  Cool completely and store in air tight containers.

**I baked mine for 35 minutes.

{cooks note}
I purchase my coconut oil from Costco because it is much cheaper than buying it anywhere else.  I also bought 100% pure maple syrup from Costco.  If you do not have vanilla bean paste, you do not want to skip it.  Purchase some here.  You will not be disappointed.  I go through this stuff way too fast.  I usually only use it in recipes where you will actually see the speckles of bean.  

I am obviously no good at taking pictures, but I included this one because it gives you a closer look at what the granola looks like.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Hello?  Anybody out there?  I'm pretty sure I forgot how to blog.  Everything needs updated.  I'm actually scared to even look at my archives and see the pictures I took.  Yikes!  I'm not bringing this thing back from the dead yet.  Maybe a recipe here and there.  We'll see.

 I thought this would be the easiest way to post the recipe for the picture I put on Instagram today.  These cookies have become a favorite of mine recently.  I have been sifting through and organizing all of my recipes and I found this one I had typed out years ago.  Not sure the source, but it's a good one.  I noticed that in a previous post I said chocolate chip cookies with pudding were "fine".  I take that back.  THESE chocolate chip cookies with pudding are great! It all depends on the recipe.  I add m&m's to most of my chocolate chip cookies because everything is better with an m&m.  Am I right?

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

1 cup shortening and 1c butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
Add 1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
5 1/4 c flour
package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup mini m&m's
Sea salt
Cream shortening/butter and sugars together.  Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.  Mix in the salt, soda and flour until just combined.  Add the pudding until combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and mini m&m's.  Lightly sprinkle with sea salt just before baking.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Best if they are lightly golden on the bottom and slightly underdone on the top.