Category Archives: lettuce

Quick and Easy Taco Salad

Standard

I have been missing my best friend a lot lately. I mean I miss her all of the time, but lately it has been a lot! She lives in Southern California and I am in Western Washington. We haven’t seen each other in 5 years, but we can sure burn up the phone lines when we want to!! You know a true friend  (and she is more like a sister to me than a friend) when you can not speak for a while, but when you do it can last 3 hours! That’s us!!
Anyway, this is a salad that she used to make all of the time. The first time I made it for my family they thought it sounded like a weird combination of flavors, but they ate it so fast I almost didn’t get any! After that I was requested to make this at least every other week (more like every week actually). This salad is inexpensive and extremely simple to make, and a great way to get your kids to eat some veggies if they aren’t big fans. My kids hated tomatoes but ate them up like crazy when I made this salad for them. Kevin had never had it so he was skeptical about having a salad for dinner, but once he had it he said that it was like an entire meal in one bowl. He is right! Meat, veggies, dairy, yummm!! 

You can use packaged dressing and taco seasonings if you want. I make my own now so I have them on hand to use. Here is the link to my Homemade Italian Dressing Mix. I will post the recipe for homemade taco seasoning at the bottom (I don’t have a post for that yet).
Quick and Easy Taco Salad
1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 package low sodium taco seasoning or 1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning (see below for ingredients)
1 bag of chopped romaine hearts
1 to 2 vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 can sliced black olives
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
2 cups Mexican blend cheese
1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix or 2 tablespoons of my Homemade Italian Seasoning Mix
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons water
Tortilla chips
Hot sauce, optional
Taco Seasoning:

1/2 cup chili powder

1/4 cup onion powder

1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Brown the ground beef/turkey over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon in to small bits. Add the taco seasoning mix and stir to combine. You can add a splash of water here if needed. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine the lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onions, avocado, and cheese. Toss to combine. 
In a shaker bottle, or medium bowl, combine the dressing mix, olive oils, vinegar, and water. Shake or whisk to combine well. 
Add the taco meat to the salad mix, toss, add salad dressing (as much or as little as you want), toss. Crush up several handfuls of tortilla chips and toss with the salad. Dish up into bowl and top with hot sauce if desired!
Serves 4 to 6
ENJOY!

Advertisements

Chicken Parmesan BLTs

Standard

Hello to you fabulous foodies! Have you missed me? I sure have missed you!! I can’t believe this move has kept me away for 2 weeks! I can tell you that moving blows and I will never move again if I have anything to do with it. If we have to move, we will hire someone to do it next time instead of thinking we are 20 years younger and our backs, among other parts, were up to the task. My chiropractor asked me if I had been in a car crash!!! 

I am still trying to find places for all of my kitchen stuff, as this kitchen is waaaay smaller than my other one. It is proving to be quite difficult but I will prevail! I refuse to have my butt kicked by pantry items and pots and pans!! I am also having to learn how to cook on an electric stove, something I am not happy about I can tell you. Luckily Kevin had an electric stove before we met so he is helping me figure it out, but as soon as we can you can bet we will be installing a gas stove!!

Since I am organizing, and learning, I have not been able to cook any meals for the blog in my new home. I cooked our first real dinner in the new place last night. A simple pork loin with rosemary and garlic, mashed potatoes, and sauteed asparagus. After eating on the go for the last few weeks it was so nice to sit down to a nice quiet meal, just the two of us.

This sandwich was one of the last things I made in the old house. I am a bit obsessed with BLTs right now. I have been trying to turn everything into a BLT. Some are good, others not so much, but this was amazing, but a warning, is not a meal for those that don’t like mess. This is a great messy in your face sandwich. We loved it! I guess you could of course use a knife and fork if you want, but we didn’t and laughed at each other through yumms and mmms about how good it was. We have a few sammies on our list of ones to make again, and this is on it for sure! I hope you give it a try.

What is your favorite sandwich?

Chicken Parmesan BLTs
adapted from a recipe by Rachael Ray

  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes (squish them in a bowl with your hands to break them up a bit)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced with seeds (can sub 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt (to taste)

  • For the Chicken Parmesan Cutlets:
  • 1 chicken breasts, halved across, 2 cutlets total
  • Flour, for dredging, in shallow dish
  • 1 large eggs, beaten in shallow dish
  • cup Panko breadcrumbs or homemade coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt 
  • Coarse ground pepper
  • Olive oil for frying

  • For the BLT Topping:
  • 4 slicesthick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup light or fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fat fee evaporated milk (can sub half-n-half)
  • A drizzle of Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt 
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced to desired thickness
  • Lettuce, torn
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 crusty style hoagie rolls, toasted 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the sauce heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chilies, cook until fragrant and garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes. Season with salt and simmer over low heat partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pound chicken cutlets to about 1/8 inch. Season them with salt and pepper. Set up three dishes, one with the flour, one with the eggs and another with the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Coat chicken in flour, shaking off any excess then dip them in the egg and then in breadcrumb mixture. Fry in shallow oil over medium to medium- high heat until deeply golden. Keep cutlets warm in the oven on a rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet.

Combine the ricotta cheese in a bowl with thyme, lemon zest, olive oil, evaporated milk, and salt and pepper.

Remove the chicken from the oven and place rack at center of oven then switch on broiler. Toast the rolls and remove. Arrange chicken on roll bottoms in this order: cutlet, sauce, 2 slices mozzarella cheese. Broil until mozzarella is bubbly. Top with bacon, lettuce, tomato. Generously apply ricotta mixture to roll tops and set into place. Have lots of napkins!

ENJOY!!

2 servings

Healthy Chicken Taco Bowls

Standard

I have been trying to lighten things up a bit around here. With the warm weather we of course are wearing less clothing which makes it a bit obvious that the cool sweater weather we have around here 8 months a year has allowed us to hide a multitude of sins! So I am trying to “sneak” in healthier versions of foods we love without making it stand out too much. I mean I don’t want a flashing light above the dinner table saying “Healthy Food Here” it might just make everyone run and hide. Really though to me it is a bit of a challenge. I like to see their faces and hear what they think about the food before I tell them it is healthy. I just don’t want them to get it in their heads that they wont like it before they even try it. Why does healthy = tasteless or inedible to some people?

What started the whole idea for this meal was a commercial I saw on TV for a pan that you can bake tortilla shells in to make healthier taco salads. I liked it, but I hate to buy all of those “gadgets”. If I bought every one that peeked my interest I would need a whole storage for just my kitchen stuff!! So I of course turned to my trusty internet for ideas. I saw one that used upside down jumbo muffin tins, but the tortillas wouldn’t stay tucked in the right way, so back I went for more ideas. 
That’s when I found this fantastic idea at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. It is brilliant! I knew I had canning jars in my pantry so I was set and ready to go with it. I was so excited about this meal. I made Avocado Hot Sauce to substitute for guacamole and sour cream and a can of black beans with jalapeno already in my pantry!
You can see here how perfect the canning jars work for this process. I used the soft taco size flour tortillas so the bowls were small  I only ate one for dinner but the guys ate two plus I think Seth made a soft taco later. Hungry boy!
The jars are the pint jars by Ball but any oven safe glass or cup would work for this too. I think they came out so good, crispy without the guilt of frying them in oil!
Healthy Chicken Taco Bowls
6 soft taco sized flour tortilla shells
Olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 15 ounce can of black beans with jalapeno (I used Bush’s)
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 head of lettuce, shredded or chopped
Mexican blend shredded cheese
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt in a small bowl. Place chicken tenders on a baking sheet an drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the cumin mixture on both sides of each chicken tender. Reserve excess mixture. Bake tenders for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Turn oven up to 400 degrees
Meanwhile place jars upside down on a rimmed baking sheet and spray them with non-stick spray. Heat tortillas (I did 2 at a time) in the microwave for about 30 seconds, just enough to make them soft so you can form them over the jars. Using your fingers, rub a bit of olive oil on each tortilla, just enough so it will crisp up and to help keep it from sticking. Press the sides of the tortillas down gently to form the “bowls” around the jars.
Shred cooled chicken with two forks, set aside. Place the can of black beans in a small sauce pot and heat.
Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes depending on your oven. Just check them to make sure they crisp but don’t burn. Remove from heat and carefully remove each shell from the jars. 
Assemble each taco bowl by adding black beans, then the chicken, green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, a sprinkling of cheese, and top with the Avocado Hot Sauce.
ENJOY!!

Chicken Kabobs with Greek Salad

Standard
I have gone through a bit of obsession with Greek food lately. I don’t know if anyone else does it but I will get hooked on a certain type of food (Greek, Italian, Mexican, fish and seafood, veggies, etc.) and want it just about everyday. Not the same food, but the flavors. It kind of drives my family a little batty at time. OH well, I do the cooking so I guess what I decide goes right? Although I do try to give you all a variety of recipes during the week. I don’t to make you just as crazy as my family!
I did a Greek Burger back for #SundaySupper’s Father’s Day post and it was soooo good. I think that was when my little mind started cranking out ideas for recipes. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with recipes flying through your head to the point that you just have to get up and start writing them down? Oh, maybe that is just my weird thing, but I seriously get some of my best ideas in the middle of the night! Last night I had to fight the urge to get up and start canning dilled green beans! Wacko!!

My friends, this was a meal that made them stop complaining though. My son isn’t a huge feta fan (strange but true) so I wondered if he would like this, but he did. Kevin’s son eats anything I make as fast as I put it in front of him, which I haven’t quite decided if it is a testament to how good my food is or just being a 20 year old boy that is happy someone else is cooking for him and he doesn’t have to eat McDonald’s every night. I have decided to believe the first idea.
This is a great summertime meal. Sitting outside by the grill enjoying the tangy kabobs along with the salad? So good! You could also make these kabobs with some rice pilaf. Toss a little bit of feta in after the pilaf is cooked along with some lemon, mmmmmm heaven!!

Chicken Kabobs with Greek Salad
For the Kabobs:
8-ounces of plain yogurt (not Greek style, you want it saucier)
1/3 ocup of feta cheese, crumbled well
1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon of dried Mediterranean oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2  lemon, zested and juiced
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
4 plum tomatoes, cut into wedges (or a container of cherry tomatoes)
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
For the Salad:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried Mediterranean oregano
1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3/4 kalamata olives
3/4 cup feta cheese
In a large shallow baking dish, combine the yogurt, feta, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon zest and juice. Stir to combine well and add the chicken, turning to make sure it is completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours to overnight.
Remove chicken from the marinade and thread onto skewers, alternating with the onion and tomato wedges. Discard leftover marinade. Grill over medium high heat, turning to assure all sides are cooked, until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. 
While chicken is cooking whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red wine vinegar, and dried oregano in a small bowl. Place the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta in a large salad bowl. Toss with salad dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pile some salad on a plate and top with kabobs.
ENJOY!!!

Bobbi on a Budget – BLTAE Sammies with Homemade Bacon Mayo

Standard

So I am sure some of you are asking “What the heck is a BLTAE?” right? Well let me tell you. BLTAE stands for bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, with a fried egg on top of all of that loveliness! It is one of the best sandwiches I have ever had/made. Seriously, I am not joking. The first time I had this sandwich was at a local restaurant Kevin and I love. We always go there for dinner but they have recently opened for lunch so we took my son to lunch so we could show him the place. This restaurant is a wonderful “date night” place because the service is wonderful and the food is awesome with great prices! It is called The Green House and if you are ever in the Tacoma/Gig Harbor WA area you HAVE to give it a try.

But I digress. Back to the sandwich. I have been craving this sandwich since that very first day I tried it. But for whatever reason (Lord knows it is the difficulty factor) I have never made them at home. Yesterday Kevin and I were the only ones home for dinner AND I just happened to have been to the store and purchased what I needed for the sandwiches, TADA I knew what we were having for dinner.

When I put out on Facebook and Twitter what I was planning on making, one of my Twitter friends suggested I make a bacon mayo to go with it. I had been planning on a garlic mayo but ummmmm helloooooo bacon mayo? Heck ya!!! SO I was on a mission.

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the bacon drippings to cool down so you don’t scramble the eggs for the mayo. Seriously, I was pacing the kitchen. It is kind of like a watched pot never boils. Watched bacon grease never cools!! Finally it was cooled and I knew when I added the vegetable oil to it to make the 1 cup total oil needed, it would cool it the rest of the way.

I am doubling the sandwich portion of the sandwich so it can be a meal for 4. This is what Rachael Ray would refer to as a BLD, breakfast, lunch or dinner meal. You have your protein, veggies, and carbs on in one package.

So, without further adieu, I give you the BLTAE!!!

Pin It

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, and Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon Mayo

For the mayo:
2 egg yolks (or 1 extra large)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
8 pieces of bacon (preferably apple wood smoked), bacon cooked crisp and drippings reserved
Vegetable oil, enough to make the bacon drippings reach 1 cup
For the sandwiches:
4 eggs
1 large tomato, sliced thin and salted
1 large avocado, sliced thin and salted
8 slices of bacon, crisped and cut in half.
Lettuce, whatever type you choose.
8 slices of bread, toasted
Bacon Mayo
To make the mayo use either a whisk or an immersion blender to blend the egg yolks with the dry ingredients. Add half of the vinegar and whisking briskly. Begin adding a few drops of the oil until the mixture begins to thicken and lighten. Increase the oil flow to constant and continue whisking.  Once half of the oil is added dump in the rest of your vinegar. Continue whisking in the remained of the oil. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Can be refrigerated up to 1 week.
Once the mayo has set for a bit. Toast your bread. Spread the bacon mayo on both sides of the bread and layer your tomato, and avocado on one side, topping with the bacon. Fry an egg just so the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny. Place the egg on top of the bacon and then top with the lettuce and other slice of bread. 
WALA you have made your first BLTAE!! Enjoy!

Pickled Beet Salad with Walnuts and Feta

Standard



I made this salad last week, but with Kevin’s son Dylan visiting from Job Corps and Jessi being on leave as well, I had a FULL house. Sadly my posting duties suffered.


Kevin wasn’t feeling well on Wednesday and of course the mother in me came out full force. I mean I had a full house of kids so I just kind of lumped him into the group. I was asking all the “Mom” questions…..What did you eat today?…..Did you drink enough water…….Are you running a temperature, let me feel your forehead. He quietly put up with all of my poking and prodding and then turned to me straight faced and said very matter of factly, “I think it is because I need RED MEAT!”. I laughed, but realized I have been cooking a lot of chicken, I mean a LOT of chicken. Like I have said in the past, I could eat chicken and fish and leave red meat pretty much on the road side holding a side that says “Homeless, need a job”.


Non the less, I felt guilty neglecting his needs, so off I went to the store to get a steak to calm his inner beast. We have a local meat market and I can tell you that once I found that I will never get steak at a chain grocery store again! Their meat it so much more flavorful it makes me actually want to eat steak (I am more of a filet girl if I eat read meat…..ya I am pricey).



Have I mentioned that Kevin is a “purist” when it comes to a lot of things? His steak is one of those things. Oh I have made chimichurris in the past, and he has eaten them, and LIKED them 
( like this one for instance Rib Eye Steaks with Chimichurri and Chili Pilaf ). But given a choice he will tell you that he prefers a bit of salt and pepper and toss that meat on the grill! So I knew no fancy stuff for this meal, at least NOT for the meat. I began searching my pantry and came upon my jar of pickled beets, yesssssssss. I had mentioned this salad last weekend and then never got around to making it, so this was my perfect opportunity. 


I was so excited to find out Kevin likes beets. My kids turn their noses up at them so I really haven’t had beets since I was a kid, you know like 10 years ago or so hehehe. Now that I know he likes them I have visions of roasted beets playing in my head.


Kevin’s son Dylan was not so sold on the whole beets thing. He was in the kitchen and I hear a voice..


Dylan – What’s in this bowl?
Me – Salad
Dylan – Whats’ in the salad….it’s ummmm PINK
Kevin – JUST EAT IT!
Dylan – WOW this is pretty good


Bless his heart! Ms Picky Pants wouldn’t even try it *sigh* I tried to explain that she was in culinary now and needed to broaden her horizons. Her response? That’s what a sous chef is for! Oy Vey!!

This salad is so good I could eat it every day. All of the ingredients play together so nicely. If you like beets, you HAVE to give this one a try!! And make sure to check out the Purdy Pickle Company, they are the ones that gave me these fabulous pickled beets and recipe!



Pickled Beet Salad with Walnuts and Feta

1 bag of hearts of romaine lettuce
1 (12-ounce) jar of pickled beets
2 tablespoons raspberry preserves
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
4 radishes, chopped
2 rib of celery, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts about 3 to 4 minutes. 

In a large bowl combine lettuce, onions, radishes, celery, and beets. 

In a small bowl whisk the raspberry preserves, vinegar, and oil. Dress the salad with the raspberry preserve vinaigrette. Top with feta cheese and walnuts, and toss. 

Adjust seasoning to taste and serve. 

Pin It