Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Pineapple Salsa

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I am so over the cold and the snow.  It goes from 70° and sunny to 6-8 inches of snow the next day. No wonder the flu is rampant here in upstate NY.  We’ve been so sick here the last month.  My poor kids have missed so much school and had so much to make up.  Well, I am declaring we are done with illnesses.  NO MORE!!!

I decided that to get us out of “the funk” we’ve been in, I was grilling chicken and making a colorful fresh fruit salsa.  My kids are southwestern food obsessed, so I figured this meal would go over well.  It’s not too spicy (you control the heat) and actually very simple to throw together.  The flavors sound a bit odd but they work so well together.  You can also taste every single ingredient that goes into it.

First start by making the chicken marinade.  I made it in the morning before I went to work and let it sit all day in the frig.  The flavoring turned out perfect.  Some olive oil, garlic, onion, chipotle chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, honey, cayenne, lime juice and zest all make up the marinade.  Just whisk the ingredients together, and dump over the top of the chicken.  I let it marinate for about 8 hours and it was amazing.  Don’t have 8 hours?  I would recommend at least 30 minutes of marinade time.

Limesauce

I usually just put my chicken in a gallon zip-lock bag and pour the marinade on top.  The bags make for easy clean up.

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I also put the bag in a bowl before I store it in the frig.  I’ve had a few instances where the bag had a small hole or wasn’t sealed tightly and the raw chicken goo ran all over.  Not a fun clean up.  I’ve since learned.

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After setting the chicken aside to mingle with the sauce, I got to work on my salsa.  So easy!  I chopped strawberries, pineapple, onion, avocado, cilantro and a tiny bit of jalapeno and placed them in a bowl.

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To that I added a little lemon juice, zest, cumin, salt pepper and a tiny bit of olive oil and stirred it all together.  The lemon juice will keep the avocado from turning brown.  Cover the bowl and place the in the refrigerator till ready to use.

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Once you are ready to start making dinner, pull the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you heat up the grill.  I used my indoor grill because my back deck is covered in snow at the moment and I wasn’t about to stand outside in it and grill.  The indoor grill works perfect for these situations.  Once the grill was heated, I cooked them on medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side.  I then took them off the grill and placed the chicken on a plate that I covered with foil to let them rest while I heated the tortillas on the same grill.

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When the tortillas are heated through, dice the chicken and add to the warm tortillas with the fruit salsa and some avocado creme sauce (mashed avocado, sour cream, lime zest and garlic I just throw it together till it looks good) and some more cilantro!

There you have it!  A simple delicious dinner in no time at all!

Happy Eating!

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Serving Size: 2 tortillas

Chipotle Lime Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Pineapple Salsa

Spicy Chipotle Chicken Tacos with a rainbow of colors from the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa. Simple and delicious!

15 minPrep Time:

20 minCook Time:

35 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • Chipotle Lime Marinade:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon hamalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
  • Lime zest from 1 lime
  • 1 lb chicken breast trimmed of fat
  • For the Strawberry Pineapple Salsa
  • 1/4 ripe pineapple, trimmed and diced
  • 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and diced
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno,seeded and diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk marinade ingredients together and pour evenly all over chicken breasts.
  2. Allow chicken to sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to 8 hours.
  3. Dice pineapple, strawberries, avocado and onions. De-seed the jalapeno and dice.
  4. Toss pineapple, strawberries, onion, avocado and jalapeno and cilantro, with the lemon juice, cumin and salt and pepper and olive oil in a large bowl. If you would like it spicier, add some of the jalapeno seeds to taste.
  5. Can be served immediately or even better chilled.
  6. Remove chicken from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium heat.
  8. Grill chicken undisturbed for for 8-10 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through.
  9. Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  10. To assemble, place diced or sliced chicken in the tortillas then top with Salsa followed by Avocado Creme if desired.
Cuisine: Southwestern |

Notes

Total Time does not include marinating chicken

21 Day Fix: 1 Red, 1 Purple, 1 Blue, 1 Yellow, 2 tsp

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/04/chipotle-lime-chicken-tacos-with-strawberry-pineapple-salsa/

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Baked Taquitos

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My family seems to love anything that is Mexican/Southwestern.  I was worried at first that my kids would not eat these because everything is mashed together but they loved them!  My oldest son actually said, that “they were they best thing he had ever eaten.”  Of course, he also thought that they were burritos, but close enough, right?

In an effort to eat more meals that are meatless, I have been experimenting a lot with ways to cook different veggies.  We have chili and quesadillas that I make that are all vegetables but I wanted something different.  I even tried making a cauliflower taco but that didn’t turn out so well.  These can be made with sweet potatoes or butternut squash.  They are interchangeable in my book.  I happened to use sweet potato because I bought a few to make sweet potato muffins (recipe for another time) so I had one on hand.

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I also used 8″ white corn tortillas but flour tortillas would work just fine as well, but I think those are considered Flautas.  Not that there is much difference in my humble opinion. Please correct me if I’m wrong on this.

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These little delights are also baked, not fried like normal taquitos.  To get them crisp like the fried ones you will need two things.  Olive oil spray and an oven proof cooling rack.  You want the heat to be able to crisp both sides at once so you want them elevated.  If you don’t have a cooling rack that can go in the oven, just remember to flip the taquitos half way through cooking.

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Quick, easy and perfect for a meatless Monday!

Serving Size: 2 Taquitos

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Baked Taquitos

20 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

35 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 10, 8” corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups of black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 medium sweet potato or 1 1/2 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup red onion
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 oz ? fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 ounces of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 *F.
  2. Poke a few holes in your sweet potato, wrap it in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 8 minutes. ***
  3. Combine corn, diced onion, black beans, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cilantro and salsa.
  4. Once your sweet potato is cooked, fluff the inside with a fork and add the flesh to the rest of your veggies and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add salt, pepper and cream cheese and stir to combine.
  6. Working 3-4 tortillas at a time, wrap corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 30 seconds.
  7. Immediately spray one side each tortilla with oil and add "line" of veggie filling (aprrox 3 tablespoons) to the center of the "dry side" of each tortilla.
  8. Top it off with a layer of cheese and roll the tortilla.
  9. Place on a wire cooling rack and seal with a toothpick, if needed.
  10. Repeat these steps until you have a rack full of taquitos.
  11. Give them one more spray of olive oil and set the rack on the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  12. Bake on the middle rack, at 425 *F, for 15 minutes.
Cuisine: Mexican | Recipe Type: Vegetarian

Notes

***If using butternut squash, roast the squash in a 425*F oven with a little olive oil for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and do a rough mash and add to other ingredients.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2016/01/black-bean-sweet-potato-baked-taquitos/

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Pumpkin Chili

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I wasn’t lying when I said, “I could prove a person could live off pumpkin recipes for a few months.”  This recipe is one of our favorites.  Mine, because the slow cooker does it all and the kids because they love chili, as long as it is not too spicy.  For the past couple of years, I have made this on Halloween night.  Festive with the pumpkin and easy.  Let’s face it, no one wants to spend the evening in the kitchen while trying to get excited children in costumes and tending to the trick-or-treaters’ at the door.  So what better idea than to throw together something warm, delicious and comforting that will be ready whenever everyone is ready to eat?

This pumpkin chili recipe is even more perfect for this time of year by adding in pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!). Adding a little bit of cinnamon makes it even more inviting. It’s hearty and filling, and will keep all of your little ghouls and goblins warm and sated so they don’t all their candy while out. Which lets face it, here in western NY it is a crap shoot whether it will be warm or snowing.  There were many years I remember having a snowsuit over or under a costume!

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Serve it up with a slice of pumpkin cornbread, and dinner is ready with very little effort – because we all know that there is way too much going on to worry about what’s going to be for dinner!!

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Sorry for the short post today.  We have been having internet and server issues the past few days (hence the no posts in a few days) and I didn’t want to risk losing stuff.

Serving Size: 1 cup

Slow Cooker Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Favorite Fall Flavors added to a Quick, Comforting, Slow Cooker Classic!

15 minPrep Time:

6 hrCook Time:

6 hr, 15 Total Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey (beef or chicken would work too)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 215.25-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • few drops hot sauce, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef.
  2. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. In a medium slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and hot sauce. Stir.
  4. Add in the cooked turkey and stir.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve with your favorite chili toppings and some cornbread!
Cuisine: Tex-Mex |

Notes

21 Day Fix: 1G, 1P, 1R, 2Y

Pumpkin puree counts as a purple, pumpkin chunks as a green. Same with tomatoes. Sauce and puree counts as a purple while chunks/diced or whole count as a green.

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/10/slow-cooker-turkey-pumpkin-chili/

Chicken Fajita Pasta

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I have to say, that this is hands down, one of the best meals I have ever made!  Tender chicken, crispy peppers and onions, pasta and a delicate sauce all come together to create this warm and inviting, fast and easy one pan dish!

Let’s get started with how to make it!

Start by cutting three chicken breast into bite sized chunks and seasoning with 1 1/2 tablespoons of taco or fajita seasoning mix.  Now, I used my own homemade taco seasoning.  You can totally tell difference between homemade and store bought.  Homemade is 1000x’s better and I can control what goes in it.  I make big batches of it and store it in a air tight container.  Here is the the recipe I use: Homemade Taco Seasoning.

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In a large skillet with a cover, heat olive oil on high heat.  When the oil is very hot, add the chicken in a single layer and cook (without stirring) until one side is seared and browned. Then flip the chicken over and brown the other side . Remove the chicken to a plate.

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Add a tad more oil to the skillet and let it heat on high again.  When it has heated through, add the peppers and onions and another 1 1/2 tablespoons of taco/fajita seasoning and cook, stirring every so often until the veggies start to blacken.

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Turn the heat to low and add the minced garlic and cook for a few seconds until fragrant.  Add the veggies to the plate with the chicken.

Turn the heat back up to medium high and add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, and uncooked pasta to the skillet stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes until the pasta is tender and the liquid is mostly absorbed.

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Add the chicken and veggies back in, stir to combine  and until heated through, about 3 minutes.

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Serve with a nice salad and you have yourself a quick and delicious meal bursting with multiple flavors!

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Enjoy!

Yield: 4 Servings

Chicken Fajita Pasta

10 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

25 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons taco or fajita seasoning (I used Homemade Taco Seasoning)
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers (2-3 bell peppers)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 (15.5oz) can Diced Tomatoes (with or without Chili's)
  • 8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with 1. 5 tablespoons taco seasoning.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet with a cover, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned.
  5. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  6. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high.
  7. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning.
  8. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened.
  9. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until well combined.
  10. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.
  11. In the same skillet with heat turned to medium high, add the broth, milk, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt.
  12. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.
  13. Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through.

Notes

21 Day Fix = 2 Y, 1 R, 1 G, 1 TSP

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/09/chicken-fajita-pasta/

 

Baked Tilapia

 

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I’m not going to lie.  Fish is not one of my favorites.  Well let me rephrase that, fish that tastes “fishy” is not a favorite.  I am trying my hardest to incorporate it more into our diet.  As a kid, I spent my summers’ in Tennessee with my grandparents.  My grandfather did a lot of cat-fishing so whenever he made fish, that’s what it would be.  In my opinion, it’s a very fishy tasting fish so I would dread fish nights.  Well, mostly.  He also made fried cornbread or hush puppies to go with it and his were the best!

At home my fish exposure was tuna.  Again, very fishy and usually served with mayo (yeah, I just gagged a little writing that).  So, needless to say, my fish experiences weren’t broad. That is until I went to England for the first time.  Pub style fish and chips (drooling).  Best thing ever, if you over look the mayo they try to serve you to dip your “chips” in!  I was fortunate to find a pub style fish batter in Wegman’s UK section that we love.  This however, is a consume on a very rare occasion kind of thing.

Over the years I have been introduced to many other types of fish but my favorites are tilapia and halibut.  Not an overwhelming fish taste and you can do pretty much anything with them.  I’ve already shown you how I bake the fish for fish nachos but this is how I bake it for fish tacos and when we eat it without making it into some form of a Mexican dish.  We prefer it breaded but breaded doesn’t have to mean fried or unhealthy!

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With the help of my handy dandy divided bowl I whisk one side with some egg beaters and some water.  In the other side, I combine a mixture of toasted breadcrumbs, garlic powder, paprika, some parsley, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.  You dip the fish into the egg wash and let the excess drip off.  Then add the fish to the breadcrumbs and push the breading into the fish a bit.

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Place the fish on a baking sheet covered with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 425* for about 15 minutes! So easy!  We used our fish to make tacos that night!

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Serving Size: 1 Fillet

Baked Tilapia

10 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

25 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4-5 tilapia fillets
  • Egg Wash
  • 1/4 cup egg beaters or 1 egg
  • 1/4 water

Instructions

  1. Spread bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and place into the oven.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F, toasting bread crumbs while the oven preheats, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Remove the baking sheet when bread crumbs are lightly golden, stirring once (watch carefully so crumbs don't burn).
  4. Whisk egg wash ingredients in a flat bowl or deep plate.
  5. Combine toasted breadcrumbs, lemon zest, garlic, paprika, parsley and salt and pepper in another flat bowl or deep plate.
  6. Pat fillets dry with paper towels.
  7. Dip fillets one at a time into the egg wash. Let excess drip free.
  8. Coat both sides of fillets by pressing into crumb mixture in the bowl and then place them onto a foil and greased baking sheet.
  9. Press remaining crumbs on top of fillets.
  10. Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily, about 15 minutes.

Notes

Per Serving: approx. 220 calories

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/09/baked-tilapia/

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

 

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Slow cooker chicken fajitas!  Can you say, “Yum?” Their bright colors and sizzling aroma attracts lots of attention at restaurants.  Fajitas are one of the things that I order most when ever we go out for Mexican food.  It is one of those thing that I never make at home though I’m not sure why.  I guess I consider it a luxury item reserved for the special occasion of going out.  Either that or I just don’t feel like marinating everything and standing at the stove sauteing it all.  Either way, that is no longer the case.  This recipe is so easy and has so much flavor, that I will be making them quite often!  And the best part is… it cooks all day while you do other things!

The boys ate theirs with corn tortillas that I placed in the oven to make the shells hard (they don’t care for soft corn tortillas).  I opted to make mine a salad over kale with olives and avocado and some white cheddar cheese.  Both yummy choices!  Enjoy!

 

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fajitas

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of salsa
  • 1 red, orange and green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Optional: Corn tortillas, cheddar cheese, olives, avocado, sour cream and salsa

Instructions

  1. Pour half of the salsa into the bottom of a slow cooker and spread into an even layer.
  2. Top with half of the peppers and half of the onions. Sprinkle garlic over the peppers and onions.
  3. Top with chicken breasts.
  4. Evenly sprinkle half of the taco seasoning over chicken breasts then flip chicken and sprinkle in remainder.
  5. Top with remaining salsa, peppers and onions.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH heat 3 - 4 hours or low heat 6 - 8 hours.
  7. Remove chicken and cut into strips or shred.
  8. Ladle out 1 cup of the broth in slow cooker and discard.
  9. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice and honey and add to slow cooker along with chicken. Gently toss.
  10. Serve corn tortillas with sour cream and optional guacamole, cheese and salsa.
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/08/slow-cooker-chicken-fajitas/

Healthier Buffalo Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas

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Have you ever had one of those moments that you wish you could do over?  That moment for me would have been on Monday afternoon.  If I could do that moment over, yesterday wouldn’t have had to have happen.  Call it mothers intuition or a sixth sense, but I knew I should not have done it and now my oldest has a broken hand. 🙁   And no, I did not break it.

They had been begging me to get the DIY Slip’ n Slide out but it is such a pain to set up and they are wild and crazy on it so I kept saying no.  Then we had friends come over and the neighbor kids over and the begging started some more (from my kids, not theirs).  So I gave in to the peer pressure and said okay even though I knew I shouldn’t have.  And of course, my oldest gets hurt.  He tried to “run” on it and fell on his hand.  However, to his credit, he walked it off for a few minutes and then continued to play.  He even played in his soccer game later that night.  You could tell it was bothering him a little because he kept favoring it but when you asked him about it, his response was, “it’s just sore mom.  I’m fine.”  I totally knew it wasn’t.

Well yesterday morning, showed that it wasn’t fine.  He came downstairs and it was swollen and black and blue.  I almost started crying because I knew.  I broke numerous bones as a kid, I knew the signs.  I wanted to kick myself for not taking him to the ED the night before.  So we spend the day at the doctor, hospital and Orthopaedic doctors.  And what a long day it was.  He was a trooper though.  Never complained or cried once.  When they told him it was broken, all he said was, “okay” and got up to leave.   Whaat????  Thankfully the bones were not displaced and no surgery is required.  Just a cast for the next four weeks, a royal blue one I might add.  But still , my baby is in a cast.  I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.  Mother’s guilt they call it.  Always follow that mother’s intuition!!

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Long story short, dinner wasn’t what it was supposed to be.  I really just wanted to order out but we are trying to save money and eat healthy and those things don’t always go hand in hand with ordering out.  So Buffalo Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas came to the rescue!  Chunks of seasoned chicken, homemade ranch sauce, black beans, gooey cheese and Franks Red Hot all in a whole wheat tortilla and grilled to perfection!  Plus, it’s low in calories and fat!  Triple win!!

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I make my homemade ranch sauce using cottage cheese and spices.  Significantly less calories and added protein.  WooHoo!  I started by sauteing the seasoned chicken chunks in some extra virgin olive oil.  I then added the black beans and stirring it around.  Next came the ranch dressing.

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This is where I stopped for the boys.  I took some out for them and put it in a small bowl because they won’t eat the Franks.  To the remainder of the mixture still in the pan, I added the Franks Red Hot.

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I let it cook for a few minutes on low, then removed it from the heat.  Now you could totally use a panini press to make the quesadilla but I decided to use my cast iron skillet.  Mostly because it was already sitting there.  I heated the skillet, sprayed one side of the tortilla with coconut oil cooking spray and placed it in the pan.  I sprinkled some cheddar cheese on it, then added the chicken mixture.  When the cheese started to melt a bit, I carefully folded the tortilla in half and cooked it a couple more minutes on each side.

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Lovely, cheesy buffalo chicken without all the guilt!! Nom Nom Nom…

Serving Size: 1 Quesadilla

Buffalo Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas

5 minPrep Time:

15 minCook Time:

20 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, chunked
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Franks hot sauce (or other wing sauce)
  • 1/4 cup homemade ranch dressing (link in post)
  • 4 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small skillet, saute the chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper in olive oil, on medium heat until almost cooked through.
  2. Add the black beans and stir.
  3. Add the homemade ranch dressing and stir to combine.
  4. Add the Frank's hot sauce and stir again. Cook for 3 -4 more minutes on low. Remove from heat.
  5. Heat a different skillet to medium heat and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  6. Place tortilla on the heated skillet.
  7. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese, then spread about a 1/4- 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture onto one half of the tortilla.
  8. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bottom side is golden brown. Fold the top of the quesadilla in half to close.
  9. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Serve with homemade ranch and salsa!
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/07/buffalo-chicken-black-bean-quesadillas/

 

 

 

Strawberry Mango Salsa

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Fresh strawberries and mangoes come together to make this spicy salsa

There is nothing like a good homemade salsa!  My inspiration for this salsa came from The Bonefish Grill’s mango salsa.  I get it with the blackened fish tacos or seared scallops whenever we go there.  It’s sweet and spicy and the perfect combination.  While walking through the grocery store the next morning after eating at the Bonefish, I saw a display of mangoes. I figured, why not try making my own salsa?  So I picked through the mangoes trying to find the perfect one, which was harder then I thought, considering I had never bought a fresh mango before.

I found a couple with little “give” when I pushed on them and figured I would give those a shot.  When I got home I set out trying to replicate the salsa.  It’s sad to admit but I actually had to google how to cut a mango.  I had no clue.  Turns out, the ones I grabbed were perfect.  Once I learned how to cut the mango, it was smooth sailing from there.  I diced up the mango, very finely cut some red onion and a jalapeno, added some lime zest and juice and a tiny bit of honey since I am avoiding sugar.  Now normally, salsa has cilantro in it.  My family will not eat it fresh.  They say it tastes like soap.  I think they are crazy.  I love it!  But since I am the only one who does, I opted to go with fresh basil in it instead.  It didn’t quite taste the same but it was still good.

As I was putting the salsa in the refrigerator, I saw the last of the strawberries from when we went picking at the beginning of the week and wondered what they would taste like in it.  I tried a strawberry with the salsa and it was magic!  I quickly diced up a bunch and added them to the mangoes.

It went perfect with our fish nachos.  It gave it the right amount of sweetness to counteract the spiciness of the fish!  It was not bad on its own either!

Serving Size: 4 servings

Strawberry Mango Salsa

15 minPrep Time:

15 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced strawberries
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 a jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (cilantro can be used in its place)
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, mango, jalapeño, onion, basil, honey and lime zest and juice.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/07/strawberry-mango-salsa/

Baked Tilapia Nachos with Strawberry Mango Salsa

nachoshome

The spicy flavor of fish tacos, in nacho form!

I have been completely stressed out lately.  I am not even sure why.  Maybe all the rain is finally driving us all insane.  I desperately needed to get out of the house and away for a bit.  So when my best friend text and asked to go to dinner, I jumped on the chance!  After much debate, we finally decided to go to The Bonefish Grill.  I was so excited!  I hadn’t been there in forever and I love their food!  I knew I was making fish tacos for dinner the next day but I am in love with Bonefish’s Blackened Fish Tacos, so, I ordered them anyway.  Man, are they good!  Even the husband was appreciative when I brought home the leftovers.

It’s no secret that my family is in love with Mexican/southwestern food.  I believe my kids could eat it at every meal.  No joke!  They especially love tacos and nachos.  I had gotten a big package of frozen tilapia at Wegman’s the week before so I took three packets out to thaw.  Unfortunately, I was no longer feeling the urge for tacos but I had already told the family that’s what we were having.  I didn’t want a mutiny on my hands so I figured I better get started with making the corn tortilla’s into curved taco shells.  As I was pulling out the tortillas, I noticed a bag of organic blue corn chips (our favorite for nachos, they are sturdy) and the idea struck me!  Fish nachos instead of tacos!  Brilliant!

I prepared the fish with homemade taco seasoning (with just a bit more cayenne) and broiled them on high for about 3 minutes on each side.

fish

I then placed half a bag or so (sorry I didn’t measure) of corn chips on a baking sheet and threw a combination of Monterrey Jack and white cheddar cheese over the top of the chips and broiled those till the cheesy was melted and bubbly.  Once those were done, I crumbled the tilapia and added it to the top.  I usually like spinach or shredded lettuce on my nachos but when I opened the crisper to get the spinach, I saw a bag of broccoli slaw and figured, why not?!?  It was originally going on my fish tacos anyway.  Once I added a small amount of the slaw, I diced an avocado and threw that over the top too.  We topped it all off with some fresh strawberry mango salsa that I had made earlier that day trying to copycat the mango salsa from the Bonefish Grill.

nachos

I’m not going to lie.  These may be a new favorite.  The spicy fish, mixed with the salty crunchiness of the blue corn chips and the sweet salsa, was perfect.  All it needed was a refreshing margarita to go with it!  Since my 21 Day Fix diet doesn’t included margarita’s, I had to watch the husband enjoy his from afar.  Sigh…

Just look at how pretty these are!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Baked Tilapia Nachos with Strawberry Mango Salsa

15 minPrep Time:

10 minCook Time:

25 minTotal Time:

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Ingredients

  • 3 tilapia filets
  • 2 teaspoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 6 ounces (about 4 big handfuls) of organic blue corn chips
  • 4 ounces shredded cheese of your choice, I used white cheddar and Monterrey Jack
  • 1 handful of Cole Slaw or Broccoli slaw
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Strawberry Mango Salsa

Instructions

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Spray an aluminum lined baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Add tilapia and season with taco seasoning.
  4. Broil 3 minutes on each side, turning once, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer the fish to a separate plate to cool.
  6. Use a fork to flake the fish into bite-sized pieces.
  7. Spread the chips out evenly on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese.
  8. Place the sheet in the oven under the broiler until the cheese is melted, about 1-2 minutes.
  9. Remove, then top the chips evenly with the tilapia, avocado, slaw and strawberry mango salsa.
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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/07/baked-tilapia-nachos-with-strawberry-mango-salsa/

Slow Cooker Southwest Dump Chicken

newtaco

Okay, dump chicken sounds horrible, I know…BUT I have to tell you how simple and fabulous this chicken is! Three ingredients!  That’s it!  And literally all you do is dump them in the slow cooker, turn it on and go about your day. The majority of dinner is done when you get home and you have wonderfully moist (sorry Anna) and delicious southwest chicken.  How easy is that?

You take fresh or frozen chicken (I buy my chicken in large quantities, divide it up and freeze it), a jar of your favorite salsa and some homemade taco seasoning and dump it all in your slow cooker.   DSC_0071

Once it is done cooking, you take two forks and shred the chicken.  Or if you are like me and the sound of forks scrapping against glass or metal is worse than nails on a chalkboard, you put it in your stand mixer and let the paddle attachment shred it for you!

tacomeat

Seriously though, I can’t stand the sound of utensils scrapping against a plate, teeth, glass or metal.  If it were healthy and cost effective, my family would eat with plastic utensils at every meal.  I spend most of my meals cringing.  Anyone else have this problem or am I the only weird one?

Anyway, back to the chicken.  I use this recipe for pretty much every Mexican/Southwest meal I make.  We made tacos with it this night but I have made burritos, enchiladas, tostada’s, copycat southwest egg rolls and salads with it.  If you want you can add corn and black beans for the last half hour of cooking and make it a meal over brown rice or quinoa!  Kind of like a burrito bowl!  The options are endless!

I usually divide the mixture up and freeze half to use another time.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of salsa.  If you prefer peach or mango salsa, use it!  It’s actually very tasty.  Prefer more spice? Add hot salsa.  Like it green?  Add salsa verde!  You get the picture, taylor it however your family wants!

Slow Cooker Southwest Dump Chicken

Slow Cooker Southwest Dump Chicken to use in tacos, enchiladas, burritos or salads

5 minPrep Time:

6 hrCook Time:

6 hr, 5 Total Time:

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
  • 1 16 ounce jar of your favorite salsa
  • 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet store bought)

Instructions

  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Place fresh or frozen chicken in a single layer at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the taco seasoning evenly across the top of the chicken breast.
  4. Dump the jar of salsa over the top of the chicken breast.
  5. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Depending on your slow cooker and whether you use fresh or frozen chicken. Internal temp of the chicken breast should be 165 degrees.
  6. Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred with two forks or place in a stand mixer and shred the chicken on low speed with the paddle attachment.
  7. Place chicken back in the slow cooker and stir everything together.
  8. Serve in tacos, burritos, enchiladas or salads. Or add cooked corn black beans and serve over rice.

Notes

Recipe freezes well. After chicken has cooled, place in a freezable container for up to 4 months.

Get creative! You can add corn and black beans to the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes for more vegetables. Also try out different salsa's ! I have used homemade and even ones with mango's and peaches! It was fabulous!

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http://thepotterspantry.com/2015/06/slow-cooker-southwest-dump-chicken/