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Ten Minute Turkey Tacos

October 28, 2015
turkey-taco

Tired of the slop served at Taco Bell? Want to make something healthy and delicious at home? Open your mind to the possibility of a turkey taco – similar to its beefy counterpart but a lot less greasy in the long run. If you have ten minutes of your life to spare on dinner, you could make some really tasty treats that still have the flare you need. Here’s a recipe for ten minute turkey tacos.

Ingredients

  • Ground turkey
  • Pre-made or homemade taco shells or tortillas
  • Taco seasoning (premade or homemade)
  • Toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, hot sauce, etc.)

Note: Quantities for ingredients will vary based on the number of servings you want to make and the amount of each ingredient you plan to use for each taco. As a rule of thumb, you can get about 12 tacos from a pound of ground beef, ground turkey, or similar meat product.

Step 1 – Brown The Turkey Meat

Put the ground turkey in a large frying pan and cook it like you would ground beef. You can either mix the seasoning in before you put the meat in the pan, or you can sprinkle it on as it’s cooking. Chop up the meat with a spatula as you cook it so it is easier to chew. Then just wait for it to turn brown or white, depending on the grade of ground turkey you got.

Step 2 – Assemble Your Tacos

With your meat fully cooked, all you have to do is put your tacos together. Put the turkey in the inner part of the taco shells or tortillas, and then add your cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, or whatever else you want. If you are cooking for a family, just leave the toppings out on the counter. Then each person can choose what he or she likes.

Step 3 – Enjoy!

With your taco fully assembled, all you have to do is eat it. You could make some Spanish rice to go along with it, or you could turn your tacos into a salad. Whatever the case may be, you’re sure to have a yummy dinner in no time.

Alternative: 10 Minute Turkey Nachos

For a slightly different take on this delicious classic, you could consider using the same ingredients to make turkey nachos. Instead of putting the ingredients in a taco shell, simply sprinkle them over a bed of tortilla chips. You could substitute nacho cheese for regular cheese, or you could melt cheese on top of the meat before you add the cold ingredients. Play around with your options until you have an awesome family meal underway.

Blog Entrees Recipes

How To Properly Marinate Meat

September 23, 2015
marinate-meat

Marinating meat can bring new flavor to your meals, and it may play a role in keeping your meat tender. There are a number of benefits to marinating meats, yet so many people do not know how to do this properly. The process does not take long, and you can get tons of great flavor from it. Here is a guide explaining the right way to marinate meat.

Choose The Type Of Marinade You Want To Use

There are many different types of marinades on the market, and each one has different setting and application requirements.

  • Acidic Marinades: These are the most common marinades used in grilling. They will involve oil, acid (vinegar, citrus, wine), and flavorings.
  • Dairy Marinades: Much milder than acidic marinades, but they can provide the most tender meats if left long enough. They usually consist of buttermilk or Greek yogurt, though they can have other dairy ingredients.
  • Enzymatic Marinades: Made with the help of enzymes from certain fruits, like kiwi, papaya, and ginger. These are subtle but incredibly flavorful under the right application.

Know what kind of marinade you’re working with before you get into the marinating process so you can set yourself up for success.

Acidic Marinades 

Acidic marinades are good for breaking down the bonds in meat that hold proteins together. This makes the meat tender, but only if you use it for the right amount of time. Anything longer than about two hours will result in tougher meat because the marinade will start to retighten the bonds it once broke.

You can minimize this effect by reducing the amount of acid in the marinade. Go light on the lime, lemon, or vinegar in the marinade, and add that to the surface of the meat before and during grilling. You’ll still get the flavor you’re after, but you won’t have to worry about your meat getting tough.

Dairy Marinades 

Dairy marinades are meant to sit for a long time. Most of them work best if they are left to sit for six hours or more. Note that you have to refrigerate dairy based marinades, whereas you don’t always have to with the other options. If you leave the dairy marinade out for too long, the dairy components will start to spoil. Most people use this type of marinade for Southern fried chicken, Indian tandoori, and other meals like that. It works well with chicken, but it may not be suited for other meats.

Enzymatic Marinades 

Enzymatic marinades are a lot like acidic marinades. They do not work well if used for too long. Two hours is a good cut off time for these as well. Anything after that could result in overly mushy meat. Enzymatic marinades work best when they are exposed to the connective tissues of the meat. Many people will use a meat tenderizer before using this type of marinade so it can soak in the best. If you make your meat particularly thin, you may only want to marinade for an hour.

How To Marinate Meat

Once you know what type of marinade you are using and what you need to do for that specifically, you can apply the same basic steps to all marinating processes.

  1. Prepare a zippered freezer bag with your marinade inside.
  2. Coat the meat on top and bottom with the same marinade, and place it in the bag. Push out all the air so that the meat is as close to the marinade as possible.
  3. Set the bag in the fridge for the required length of time.

If you want to apply a dry rub to the meat as well, you might do so before the marinade or right before you grill. Keep a little of the marinade out of the bag to use while grilling, coating each side as you turn the meat. Even though the marinade may have soaked through the meat, it can’t hurt to have an extra kick on the surface. Test this out with a few different recipes, and you’ll be a marinating machine in no time!

Blog Entrees Recipes

How To Make Shish Kabobs

August 19, 2015
Chicken shish kebab and fresh vegetables on wooden table

Shish kabobs are some of the easiest foods to cook on the grill, and they are incredibly versatile. You can add any kind of meet or vegetable you want to your shish kabobs, and they’re still going to taste good. The key to their success is grilling them the right way. Here is a simple guide explaining how to make shish kabobs on the grill.

Ingredients For Shish Kabobs

The ingredients for your shish kabobs really depend on what you want to eat. For meat, you could try:

  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Shrimp

For vegetables, you could try:

  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Italian Squash
  • Baby Potatoes (boiled ahead of time to cook the interior)
  • Jalapenos
  • Corn On The Cob

Other than that, all you need is whatever grilling seasoning/marinade you like to use and a skewer to stack everything on.

How To Make Your Shish Kabobs

Step 1 – Prepare The Ingredients

Some people like to use dry seasoning on their meat, and others like to marinate it. If you prefer marinating, prepare your meat a day in advance and let it sit in the marinade overnight. Cut the meat into small cubes, about an inch thick. In the case of shrimp, de-vein it and remove any other undesirable components.

Shortly before you assemble your kabobs, cut the vegetables up into small, bite-size pieces. For something like a baby potato, you will need to boil it ahead of time to get the inside cooked. Then you could slice it in half to make it easier to eat, depending on how big it is. With the veggies ready, you can get the meat out and prepare for assembly.

Step 2 – Assemble Your Shish Kabobs

Start threading the ingredients onto your skewer, alternating between meat and vegetables. The meat will absorb flavors from whatever vegetables are touching it, so you need to be careful in that selection. If you don’t want the beef to become overpowered by bell pepper flavor, you may want to put a mushroom nearby instead. At the same time, you may want to keep the bell pepper there if you like that kind of flavor. Play around with some different placement options until you find what you like.

Step 3 – Grill Your Skewers

Lightly brush some oil onto the outside of the kabobs to prevent them from sticking. If you want to use your marinade for this instead, you are welcome to do so. Some people use balsamic vinaigrette to coat their shish kabobs, but that flavor isn’t for everyone. With the kabobs coated, you can begin grilling them.

Heat your grill for about 10 minutes before you start cooking your kabobs. Then you can put them directly on the hot grill. Keep the lid open, and grill the kabobs for about 12 minutes. Flip them over every four minutes so they cook evenly. If you have a chance to, only rotate them 90 degrees so you can cook the sides too, depending on the way your meat is shaped.

Reapply oil or vinaigrette every time you flip the kabobs to keep them tender and juicy. Once the meat has been cooked through and all the vegetables look good, you can pull the kabobs off and let them sit for a few minutes. After that, you are free to enjoy your new work of art. It’s a whole meal on a stick!

Blog Entrees Recipes

Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner: Part 1 – The Turkey

November 6, 2014

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just around the corner? This is usually a holiday where we all give up our diets and pig out for the day, but you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your healthy lifestyle to have a good meal. The recipe below will still give you the turkey tradition you’re used to without all of the calories and sodium that most recipes have. Here is a recipe for lemon-garlic roast turkey.

Ingredients You Need

  • 12-pound organic turkey
  • 10 garlic cloves (divided)
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup oregano leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Crush 6 cloves of garlic and place them in a large bucket or stockpot. Add in Worcestershire sauce, salt, lemon juice, and 4 quarts of cold water.
  2. Remove giblets and trim the excess skin on the turkey. Place turkey in bucket with brine, and put it all together in the fridge for 24 hours. If there is not enough brine to cover the turkey, turn the turkey over every 8 hours.
  3. Remove the turkey and rinse well. Use a paper towel to pat it dry, and then discard the brine.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Put the oregano, lemon zest, oil, pepper, 2 tablespoons of water, and the remaining 4 cloves garlic in a food processor. Pulse to a paste.
  6. Loosen the turkey skin over the breasts and thighs. Rub the paste under the skin and all over the turkey. Add some of the paste inside the cavity as well.
  7. Tie the turkey legs together using kitchen string or plastic zip ties. Tuck the tips of the wings under the turkey.
  8. Set the turkey in a large roasting pan on a roasting rack, breast-side down.
  9. Roast the turkey in the oven for about an hour. Turn the turkey over and add 1 cup water to the bottom of the pan. Continue roasting for 1 more hour.
  10. Use a turkey baster to baste the turkey with the juice at the bottom of the pan. Make a tent with aluminum foil over the top and continue roasting the turkey for 30-45 minutes. Baste every 15 minutes, and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thigh shows 165°F.
  11. Move the turkey onto the cutting board. Let it set for 20-30 minutes, remove the leg fasteners, and start carving.

How To Make Healthy Thanksgiving Turkey

Read about The Stuffing in Part 2, Green Bean Casserole In Part 3

Blog Entrees Recipes Sandwiches

Pesto Shrimp Tacos

September 23, 2014

It could be quite messy eating tacos but the kids love having them just for that reason. 🙂

I haven’t been in the greatest mood. I think part of the reason is that i don’t get enough sleep and i have so much on my mind. Marc is almost 18 months now and still wakes up so many times at night. He drinks about 4-5 bottles through out the night so i hardly get a full 2 hours of sleep. He doesn’t take the pacifier so the bottle consoles him. I know I know. Everyone tells me i have to just let him cry for a few days but i just don’t have the heart. I keep saying its ok he will grow out of it. I have to figure out a way!!!

So summer is over and Halloween is just around the corner. I don’t know why and i hope you don’t hate me for this but i hate halloween. Kids love it but it my least favorite holiday. I prefer christmas a million times over.:)

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Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)
Serving Size 4

Calories 490
Total Fat 16.8g
Saturated Fat 3.3g
Total Carbohydrates 51.9g
Dietary Fiber 11.7g
Protein 37.4g

Nutrition Facts are calculated and may Vary

 

Blog Entrees Recipes

Tomato and Basil Beef Chunks

September 23, 2014

Hubby loves to have some meat about once a week. I do use fillets most times and i make sure they are very lean. My kids like meat as well. I am blessed with children that eat everything. I only have one picky eater.

I am super sore. Sometimes i just want to lay down and not get up for a whole day. I started to workout more. But as they say no pain no gain. When i complain about soreness but husband says “Rena you should be happy. It means you are growing muscle!” But the torture of picky up the baby and doing the normal daily things is just painful.

This dish is great! We had them with salad and sweet potatoes. I hope you enjoy it as well if you do try them. I am trying to improve my photography skills. Just too busy to spend too much time taking pictures and doing the editing. I currently just use my phone.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Serving Size: 2

Calories 380
Total Fat 16.3g
Total Carbohydrates 7.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.6g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 48.9g

Blog Entrees Recipes

Garlic and Rosemary Chicken with Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes

September 21, 2014

For those of you that know my husband is into body building you should know that all he eats is eggs and chicken. I honestly got tired of making scrambled eggs. We use about 6 dozens of eggs a week. You are probably thinking “cholesterol”. I know I know.  He only eats about 1-2 yolks a day. I personally hate eggs. I think its because when i was younger my mom forced me to eat them and thus as i grew older i grew to only hate it. Hahahah.

I love cooking with these pans. They make it so quick. I hate baking in the oven now.  Something like this literally only takes about 10 minutes. Best source of protein is typically from chicken breast and egg whites. We eat a lot of broccoli. My kids prefer it over green beans and asparagus. I cannot eat asparagus. When i was a kid i hated eating vegetables. I took baby steps to start including it into my diet again.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:26]

Nutrition facts (per serving)
Serving Size 4

Calories 345
Total Fat 10.0g
Total Carbohydrates 7.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.5g
Sugars 2.3g
Protein 57.0g

Nutrition Facts are calculated and may Vary

Blog Entrees Recipes

Honey Grilled Salmon topped with Roasted BBQ Balsamic Tomatoes

September 21, 2014

I cannot believe its taken me this long to do a post. This summer has been very crazy for me. It was non stop with the kids. I have all the meals and pictures taken but i just couldn’t find the time to type out the recipes and edit pictures and so on. Where did the summer go? i don’t even feel like we got a decent summer this year. I was only able to take the kids to the pool twice the whole summer. Michigan weather can be bitter sweet. Kids are back to school so i should have more time to blog more. I still have baby Marc at home with me. I do like to take a nap with him in the morning. At 18 months you would think that he sleeps through the night but he still wakes up quite a bit for the bottle. He takes about 5 bottles through out the night. He just likes to wake up to suck on the bottle. I don’t really think he is hungry. I would have to discuss this problem on another post. My husband just walked into the house from costco and if you shop often at costcos you will know what i should be doing for the next half hour.

This Salmon was amazing. Only one of my kids won’t have fish. I am not sure why. The rest love it.  I love the taste of sweet and savory on a meal. This was simple and we enjoyed it with some Quinoa.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:25]

Serving Size 1-2
Calories 484
Total Fat 26.3g
Total Carbohydrates 29.7g
Dietary Fiber 4.0g
Sugars 25.1g
Protein 37.4g

Blog Entrees Recipes

Veggie Tacos

August 10, 2014

I usually hate making Tacos as much as I love them. The reason is that its a bit messy. Especially when my kids want to have some. They loved this one. I usually add some sort of protein most times but this time my eldest said mommy can you please make me some without any meat? so I figured we will all have some without any meat. Nothing wrong with doing some veggie meals. I always get asked what I cook for my kids and whether they eat the meals I eat. Here’s the scoop on that. When I first started eating clean, I cooked my meals different from what I cook the kids. So every time I made my meals they always rushed to eat what I made and thus I eat way less than what I intended to eat :). So I then learned to prepare more of what I would eat and they just love it. They do like to eat rice with stews quite a bit. I would never even try to force my kids to go on a certain diet. They really just don’t like to eat fried food. I think that its because ever since they were younger I just never gave them any. Not because I didn’t want them to have any but because I simply never cooked any fried food.

These tacos are delicious. Fell free to add any protein of choice. Fish, Chicken or shrimp would taste great. I used Corn tortilla because I didn’t have any whole grain low carb ones that I normally eat. feel free to sub that as well.. Hope you enjoy this!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:24]

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)
Serving Size 4

Calories 304
Total Fat 14.6g
Saturated Fat 2.8g
Total Carbohydrates 39.2g
Dietary Fiber 10.5g
Protein 8.8g

Nutrition Facts are calculated and may Vary

 

 

Blog Entrees Recipes

Sweet and Sour Noodles

July 16, 2014

 

This dish was amazing. Even my picky sister that never approves of anything said oh wow this is amazing why didn’t you add shrimp to this? Then I thought why didn’t I? I think I wasn’t in the mood for any meat. Sometimes I just like to keep my meals simple. I think you could totally add chicken or shrimp to this and it will come out amazing.

Gosh I feel like I never have time to do anything. I know you guys would like to see more food posts. I am trying my hardest. The kids are not in any summer camps this year so we are always running around all day. I am very excited we are going to Disney World in a couple of weeks. I know it will be crazy with 5 kids. If you didn’t know my oldest is 7 and my youngest is 1. This should be fun right? I wonder why I am 100lbs.:) Kids are amazing and a blessing though. I couldn’t have it any other way. I am blessed!

 

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:22]

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)
Serves 3
Calories 223
Total Fat 6.1g
Total Carbohydrates 35.7g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Sugars 15.6g
Protein 7.0g