Chicken Verde Tacos

It was so nice to get up this morning to head to the gym and have it be chilly outside. Am I alone in this? Turning off the air conditioning and opening up my windows was such a good feeling. I actually think I heard my house sigh with relief. Temperatures like this make me want to bake muffins, put chili in the crockpot, throw some chicken in the oven and start a big batch of soup. And while I would love to spend my week doing just that, I have a lot of work to do so all that cooking will have to wait. Thankfully, there are many quick and easy recipes out there for us busy bees. These Chicken Verde Tacos seemed almost too easy. So much so that I didn’t think they would be very good. Boy was I wrong.

Pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is warmed with salsa verde and stuffed into a corn tortilla before being topped with a light cabbage slaw. So simple. Rotisserie chicken is a busy girl’s best friend and tacos never disappoint. The salsa verde adds all of the spicy flavor you come to expect in a taco and the cabbage slaw provides a fresh, creamy crunch. With this busy week, I’m happy to have leftovers in the fridge which can be heated up in no time for lunch or dinner. With another busy weekend coming up too, I’m not sure when I’ll get to doing all that Fall cooking I want to do. In the meantime, I’ll keep making quick and easy recipes like this as I’m sure most of you do too.


Combine chicken and salsa in a saucepan over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.


Heat tortillas 20 seconds on each side over an open flame or according to directions. Combine cabbage and mayonnaise in a bowl; toss to coat.


Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with cabbage mixture.



  • Lime
  • Cilantro

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Sausage, Gravy, and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches

I’m so happy to be home. I was in Chicago two weeks ago for vacation, which was much needed, and in Atlanta last week for work. There is just something so nice about coming home to your own space, your own stuff, and your own bed. I went to bed so early last night that it’s embarrassing, especially since it was a Friday night. I woke up this morning feeling good (despite the fact I’m battling a head cold) and couldn’t wait to get back in my kitchen after two weeks away. Most people don’t think to spend their Saturday mornings cooking but it’s one of my favorite things to do. This morning I was so excited to make myself something new with these Sausage, Gravy, and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches.

English muffins are filled with turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, and a light gravy flavored with fresh thyme, garlic and onion powders, and cayenne pepper. This isn’t your ordinary breakfast sandwich. You aren’t going to find this at your local coffee drive-thru. I’m a bit of a sucker for turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches (Wawa Sizzlis are my FAVORITE!) so this was a nice healthier alternative. The best part in my opinion? The thyme in the gravy. The gravy makes this a bit of a messy sandwich but if you are eating them at home, who cares? Lick that gravy off your fingers because no one is watching. I’m heading to a tailgate tomorrow morning so I might just wrap one of these up and take it with me. No one at the tailgate will care if I lick my fingers either.


Divide sausage into 6 equal portions; pat each portion into a 3-inch patty (about 1/4 inch thick). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer patties to a plate. Reserve drippings in pan.


 Combine milk, flour, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add mixture to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.



Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add eggs; cook 4 minutes, stirring until curds form.


Divide eggs evenly over bottom halves of muffins. Top each with 3 tablespoons gravy. Place 1 sausage patty and top half of muffin on each sandwich.



Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew

I flew home from Chicago on Friday and turned around and left for another work trip on Sunday. Over the last four weeks, I’ve been home for one and that week was spent hardly eating, let alone cooking (thanks to some food poisoning). Even though I was only home for barely two days this weekend, I was eager to cook. But when I’m heading away again, there doesn’t seem a point to make something that will sit in the fridge and go bad before I get back home. So I decided to make this Moroccan Chicken and Chickpea Stew so I store it in the freezer where it will be waiting for me when I get back home.

Chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, carrots, and onion are mixed with broth and flavored with cumin and red pepper flake before half the mixture is blended and added back into the pot to help thicken the stew. To finish it off, chicken is simmered in the stew giving it another layer of flavor and heartiness. Cilantro and lemon zest, which are added when it’s time to serve, provide one last fresh punch to this stew. Now that the temperatures are starting to cool down a little tiny bit, I’m excited to keep my pot out and make soup, stew, and chili all fall long.


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.


Stir in the garlic, cumin and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, chickpeas and tomatoes.


In a blender, puree 2 cups of the mixture. Stir the puree into the stew, season and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.



Add the chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes; season. Serve with cilantro and lemon zest.


Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Teriyaki Meat Loaf

Thanks to those of you who keep checking in and I’m sorry I’ve been slacking on the posts! Last week I was recovering from food poisoning and the week before that I was in Buenos Aires for work. This week – I have no excuses. I’ve been on vacation all week, laying by the lake just north of Chicago and getting in a lot of rest, relaxation and exercise. Since I’m not home, I haven’t been cooking like I normally would on my days off but I have a few recipes stashed away that I’ve made for times like this when I haven’t been cooking. One of my favorites I’ve made recently is this Teriyaki Meat Loaf.

Ground meat (the recipe calls for beef; I used turkey) is jolted with flavors of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil before being bathed in a little teriyaki sauce. After a first trip to the oven (since I used turkey, I cooked it for 40 minutes here), more teriyaki sauce is added and the meatloaf is surrounded with crisp green beans. Another 20 minutes in the often and the entire meal is done. This meatloaf is packed with salty sweet flavor and the green beans are perfect sidekicks. This meal was a hit for me, despite popping my jaw out of socket when eating a green bean, but I digress. I just might have to make this again when I get back home.


In bowl, combine meat, egg, breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and 1/2 tsp. oil. On foil-lined baking sheet, shape into loaf. Drizzle with half the teriyaki sauce and bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes for beef, 40 minutes for turkey.



In bowl, toss beans with remaining oil; season.


Top meat loaf with remaining teriyaki sauce and surround with beans.


Bake until meat loaf edges are browned and beans are tender, 20 minutes.



Additions: None

Omissions: None


  • Ground turkey

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Creamy, Dreamy Tropical Smoothie

I got back from a work trip on Saturday morning and after flying all night and enduring a three hour layover in Atlanta on no sleep, I finally made it home only to be sick the entire weekend with food poisoning. For someone who likes to cook and eat, food poisoning is brutal. I already had no food in my fridge because I was gone all week which is just as well because the only thing I’ve been willing to get down is water. I still haven’t been able to get to the store or think about food yet and am going on my third day of little to no food. But as I’m starting to feel a little bit better, I’m considering (maybe) a smoothie. This is reminding me of this Creamy, Dreamy Tropical Smoothie I made before I left on my work trip. When I was feeling 100%, this was a perfectly cool summertime treat for these dog days of summer.

Frozen pineapple, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and honey are blended together until smooth and creamy. A little topping of toasted unsweetened coconut finishes off this smoothie which really is like a drinking a sip of the tropics. Since I used frozen pineapple, I didn’t use ice but if using fresh pineapple, you’ll need the ice to thicken it up. Thinking about this smoothie, I’m dreaming of the days when I will be lakeside next week listening to the waves instead of home laying in my bed under the weather.


Place pineapple, yogurt, coconut milk, ice, and honey in a blender. Process on high speed for 60 seconds or until smooth or desired consistency.


Pour into tall glasses. Garnish each serving with 1 teaspoon toasted shredded coconut, if desired. Serve smoothies immediately.


Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Slim Turkey Reubens

Who knew there was such a thing as turkey pastrami? Had I known this, I might have been trying to make Reubens a long time ago! There used to be a restaurant near me that served Rachaels – basically a Reuben but with turkey and coleslaw instead of pastrami and sauerkraut. It was my favorite sandwich there. I saw this recipe for Slim Turkey Reubens and knew immediately I needed to try to make it. I was a little worried about the sauerkraut since I’m not a fan but figured I’d give it a go. You never know, right?

Turkey pastrami, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut is sandwiched between rye bread which is slathered with whole-grain mustard on one side and a yogurt-based Russian dressing on the other. The Russian dressing, made with yogurt, ketchup, pickles, and capers, was so flavorful and not at all tangy as Greek yogurt can be. Not being a sauerkraut or capers fan, I was a little skeptical. But I have to say, this sandwich ROCKS! And who knew that cooking spray could create such a beautifully golden toasted goodness? There are so many different flavors going on with the rye, the mustard, the sauerkraut, the cheese, the pickles, and the capers but where one might overpower a regular sandwich, all of these marry so perfectly together that it’s a perfect storm of flavor. Forget about Rachaels – I’m sold on these Reubens.


In a small bowl, mix the yogurt, pickles, ketchup and capers to make Russian dressing; season with salt and pepper.


Spread mustard on 4 slices of bread; top with the cheese, pastrami and sauerkraut. Spread the Russian dressing on the other 4 slices of bread. Add to the sandwiches, dressing side down.


Heat a large skillet or griddle pan over medium. Coat both sides of the sandwiches with cooking spray. Working in two batches, cook the sandwiches, covered, until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted, 2 to 3 minutes per side.



Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Zucchini and Corn Chili

Sure, maybe the end of summer isn’t exactly the best time to be making chili. But when the main ingredients are zucchini and corn, why not make it in the summer when the produce is at it’s best? For someone like me who travels a lot for work, things like soups, stews and chilis are great to make in advance and store in the freezer so that when you come back from a road trip, a great meal cane be heated up in no time. This Zucchini and Corn Chili came together quickly, freezes beautifully, and is packed with healthy flavor.

Zucchini, corn and onion are cooked with chili powder and cumin before being mixed with canned tomatoes, black beans, vegetable stock, and poblano peppers. The peppers give this chili just enough of a kick while the spices provide that perfect chili flavor. The zucchini, corn and black beans make a great hearty combination in this vegetarian chili. When I’m gone for a week and tired from traveling, knowing that my refrigerator is empty, I’ll be happy to have this chili waiting in the freezer so I can relax and wait another day to do grocery shopping.


Char the poblano peppers either over an open flame on a gas burner or under the broiler. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Peel, seed and dice the chiles.


Cut the corn off the cobs. Heat a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium-high and add the oil. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


Add the zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir until the spices are toasted, about 2 minutes. S


eason with salt and pepper, then stir in half the beans. In a medium bowl, mash the remaining beans with a fork; stir into the vegetables (this will help thicken the chili).


Add the stock, tomatoes, honey and peppers. Cover and simmer until the flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes.


Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve with your choice of toppings.


Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

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