Healthy One-Pot Mexican Quinoa

After several weeks of (over) indulging we are trying to get back to our (semi) healthy ways.  I realize I might be about five years late to the quinoa trend….but slowly I am learning yummy ways to eat it! We have basically replaced rice with quinoa.  It makes me feel less ‘carb stuffed’ than rice after a meal.  And obviously it is packed with protein. I might be behind in some food trends…..but better late then never!

This an awesome and filling meal that you can add whatever you have in your kitchen and change the tastes up to your liking! It is pretty easy to put together in less then 15 minutes.  And it’s a ‘one pot meal’.  So clean up is a breeze!

I think the one thing that makes this recipe stand out is using salsa verde  yum.  I love the tangy flavor of tomatillos…..there is just something about the flavors that makes it so good.  And, often I’ll add diced up avacados to it if I have them in my kitchen.

Healthy One-Pot Mexican Quinoa

Makes about (3) 1 cup servings

  • 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 jar of salsa verde
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce (optional)

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Prepare quinoa: Add one cup of quinoa and two cups of water to a medium sized pot.  Bring to a boil then lower to simmer, uncovered.  It is ready when you can see the seed inside and the shell is translucent. This takes about 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, chop up the red pepper into small bite size pieces.  Add to the quinoa as it cooks, so it can cook the pepper at the same time.

Open all of the cans (and rinse off the black beans).

Once the quinoa is ready, dump in the other ingredients and combine. Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately! Enjoy!

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Rocky Road Chocolate Fudge

Holiday fudge is a favorite treat in our house….but I am not good at using an candy thermometer.  Every time I try I never seem to get it right and end up with sugary goo….not melt in your deliciousness.  So, I have figured out a trick! This is a no thermometer method that works every  time! I have added and deleted different ingredients (peanuts, pretzel pieces.  Or Nutella instead of peanut butter). Add sprinkles that go with your holiday and have a hit every time!

Rocky-Road Easy Chocolate Fudge

  • 2 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2  cup of peanut butter
  • 3/4 cups rice krispies
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkles (optional)

 

Cover a 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle half of the mini marshmallows in the pan.

In a microwaveable safe bowl add all chocolate chips, peanut butter and vanilla and microwave at 30 second at a time until melted.  Add in rice krispies  and the rest of the marshmallows and combine.

Wit a spatula, spread mixture in pan and distribute sprinkles if desired.  Chill in refrigerator at least one hour before cutting into one inch pieces.

 

 

Yummy Three Ingredient Chicken Tacos

If you have been following along so far, you might have noticed a theme of many of my posts.  I like easy.  Easy recipes, easy crafts, ways to make life easier.  Is there anyone who wants to make life more difficult?

This is one of my easiest weeknight dinners.  Three ingredients chicken tacos.  How is that possible??? Using one of my easy cooking tricks…..my beloved crock pot.

Our days can get crazy, but this literally takes five minutes.  And it is so flavorful and fulfilling. Trust me….try it at least once and you will be hooked.  This makes an apperance every few weeks in our house.

THREE INGREDIANT CHICKEN TACOS

  • 1 package of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 1 can of your favorite salsa (I love anything spicy- but go with what your family loves)

Dump all THREE ingredients into your crock pot.  Stir it around.  Place lid on crock pot and set on high for about 4 hours.

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**In the meantime, go to soccer practice, do laundry, wrangle kids, and basically live your life while not touching the crock pot**

Once the house smells delicious uncover the lid and shred the chicken with forks (It should be fully cooked by this point).  Place back into the pot and stir around and let sit in the sauce for at least another fifteen minutes.

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And your ready to dress your taco meat in  your favorite shell and toppings!

Or- for leftovers the next day, I love it as an easy (there is that word again) taco salad!

Enjoy!!

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Quiche for a Crowd

I love brunch. It is one of my favorite weekend traditions that since becoming a parent have become few and far between. But when my family from Alabama and Toronto were planning on coming in for the holidays, I jumped at the chance to host! Thirteen adults, a four-year-old, a three-year-old and FOUR eighteen-months-old calls for planning ahead and coming up with an easy and elegant plan!

I decided to make quiche the weekend before and freeze them.  I will thaw them the day before and heat up in the oven.  I plan on serving it with coffee, juice, fresh fruit and a quick banana bread (recipe coming soon in a new future post)!


QUICHE

  • Pre-made pie shell (I use frozen store brand deep dish)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 yellow onion
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 package of bacon
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayanne pepper (Secret ingredient ALERT)!!!
  • OTHER INGREDIENTS- whatever you want to add….I used bite size broccoli, but I also love mushrooms, leeks, sauteed ham…..use your imagination.

**This is for ONE quiche.  I made three, so just tripled the recipe.

Heat Oven to 375.

First, chop the onion into tiny bite size pieces.  Melt butter in pan and add onion.  Season with salt (this helps to soften the onion).  Keep heat at a medium and stir often.  This process takes time!! You want a beautiful caramelized brown color.  Don’t turn up the heat……it will burn and turn bitter.

Prepare other ingredients.  Shred cheese if not shredded yet.  I like Swiss, but other strong cheeses like gruyere or a sharp cheddar would work well too!  Chop any vegetables or other ingredients you want to add.

In a large bowl crack eggs, add cream and season with salt and pepper.  Add a few DASHES of  cayenne pepper.  Use sparingly.  Just a hint will add a depth of flavor.  Your guest will ask….’what is that?’ SO GOOD.  Just don’t use too much……


Put the pie crusts on baking pan and sprinkle cheese in pie crust.  By this time, your onion should be beautifully caramelized.  Spoon out into dish.  Add other ingredients (I used chopped bacon in two and broccoli in the other).  Distribute evenly.


Bake 30-35 minutes until the filling has risen and slightly darkened and crust has turned a golden brown.

Serve and Enjoy!!

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**If you are planning on freezing make sure they are cooled before putting in the freezer.