Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Greek Tacos

I searched and searched for a good recipe for greek tacos, and finally one popped up in my feed the other day.  After the first bite, my husband said, "Add these to the rotation!"  My thoughts exactly.  So, they are now part of our "rotation".  The only thing that requires some time, is the homemade tzatziki sauce I made.  I highly recommend you make your own.  It doesn't take long and can be made hours in advance.  The best part, every child ate their dinner.  

Greek Tacos
    Taco filling
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 20 oz 93% lean ground turkey
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 + 2 Tbsp chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp each dried thyme and ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • For serving
  • Flour tortillas, tzatziki (homemade - recipe in notes below, or store bought), chopped romaine lettuce, crumbled feta cheese, diced Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced cucumbers, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro
  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in red onion and saute 2 minutes then add turkey, season with salt to taste and cook, breaking up and stirring occasionally, until nearly cooked through. Then add garlic and continue to cook until turkey is cooked through. Stir in tomato sauce, chicken broth, oregano, thyme and coriander. Season with salt to taste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until sauce has reduced, about 6 - 8 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Serve warm over tortillas with toppings listed.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
For the tzatziki: 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I recommend Fage 2%, it's thick) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
Directions: Place diced cucumber in a mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with salt, toss to evenly coat then allow to rest 20 minutes at room temperature. Rinse cucumbers and place over several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some of the liquid from cucumbers (almost as if wringing moisture from a cloth). Place cucumbers in food processor and pulse to chop fine. Dab cucumbers with a paper towel to soak up more moisture, then add in Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and dill and season with salt to taste. Plus to blend. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.
{cooks note}
For the tzatziki sauce, I used nonfat plain yogurt and it turned out great.  I think next time I will add feta cheese to the sauce.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble

I love chicken pot pie, but I love chicken pot pie crumble even more.  It's a one pot dish that can be served alone or with a salad.  It does involve some dishes, but I do them all while it's baking in the oven.  Then you basically have no big dishes to do after dinner.  The biscuit crust is so good with the parmesan cheese and adds a great texture to the dish.  I've been making this recipe for a few years now, and I love it just as much as the first time I had it.  

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble

    Chicken and Sauce:
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken (about three medium-size chicken breasts)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • Crumble Topping:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. To prepare the chicken, place the chicken and broth in a large Dutch oven or pot and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Cook the chicken until it is just done (don’t overcook or it will dry out) – about 10-12 minutes. Alternately, if you are planning in advance, you can place the chicken and broth in a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours. Transfer the cooked chicken to a medium bowl. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a liquid measuring cup and reserve. Return the pot to the stovetop (no need to wash if you used it to cook the chicken).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Sprinkle the chilled butter pieces over the top of the flour. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add the cream and stir until just combined. Crumble the mixture into irregularly shaped pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the crumble topping until fragrant and starting to brown, about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through. Set aside.
  3. For the filling, heat the olive oil in the now-empty pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken into small bite-size pieces. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the chicken; set aside.
  4. Over medium heat melt the butter in the empty pot. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the reserved chicken broth and milk. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the bottom. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat and stir the chicken, vegetables and peas into the sauce.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 pan. Scatter the crumble topping evenly over the filling. Place the 9X13-inch pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until the topping is well browned, about 15-20 minutes. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source:  Mels Kitchen Cafe

{I've made this recipe many times without celery because, let's get real, who has time to go to the store just for celery.  I love using a rotisserie chicken for this recipe and usually have one all ready to go in my freezer for hectic nights when I haven't defrosted chicken.}

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I feel like I'm always trying a new chocolate chip cookie recipe, just to see if it's better than the best one I think I have.  When I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it.  When the recipe calls for more brown sugar than white sugar, I know it's probably going to be a keeper.  I have a few select favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, and this one just made the list.  I used semi-sweet chocolate chunks from Trader Joe's (my fav!), semi-sweet chocolate chips from Trader Joe's and a dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe's that I grated in my cheese grater.  Those are just what I had.  Feel free to use any type of chocolate you want.  

One of my favorite things to do with chocolate chip cookies is sprinkle a little sea salt on the tops, just before baking.  It adds the best flavor mixed with the dark chocolate.  I have plans to make these again soon and freeze a bunch for later use.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Chip Cookies


3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/3 cup grated chocolate
Extra sea salt for sprinkling on cookies, if desired


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.

3.  Using a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together for about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chunks, chocolate chips, and grated chocolate.

4.  Form the cookie dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.

5.  Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Note-to grate the chocolate, use a chocolate bar and cheese grater. You can use semi-sweet, dark, or milk chocolate. Choose your favorite! The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the cookies!

Recipe Source:  Two Peas & Their Pod

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken

This is one of those recipes you are so happy you got ready the day before because dinner ends up being a breeze the day you actually make it.  I recommend marinating this for about 24 hours if you can.  I pan fried mine on the stove, but on the bbq would be great.  It has the best lemon flavor without being too overpowering.  This would be delicious served over a salad as well.  Stay tuned for the Rice Pilaf recipe I used as a side.  

Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 lb. chicken breasts


Combine all ingredients in a large ziplock bag and add chicken.  Place in fridge overnight. Grill or pan fry when ready.  

Recipe Source:  adapted slightly from Mels Kitchen Cafe

{cooks note}

You can also place frozen chicken in the bag of marinade and put back in freezer for later use.  I used 8 of the thinly sliced frozen chicken breasts from Costco because they cook fast and hold the marinade better.