Baked – Potato Nachos

A couple of weeks ago my brother was over and I was trying to think of something easy and filling to make. I know both him AND my hubby LOVE potatoes and bacon. Then again, there are few that DON’T love that combination. Am I right?! So I cut up a few potatoes and just kept adding stuff I had in my fridge to the pan and VOILA! DINNER!

You want to know something weird though? My kids don’t love potatoes. The only type of potatoes they like are french fries. It’s a no to mashed potatoes, tater tots, hash browns, etc. Aren’t they weird. Who doesn’t love potatoes in all shapes, sizes and forms? MY CHILDREN. It’s like I don’t know who they are! They have some serious training to undergo. We’ve gotta work on them. Hopefully by Thanksgiving their MAJOR problem and pickiness of potatoes will be transformed. I will let you know. 🙂

So…. here is the HIT OF THE NIGHT with the adults. The kids had sandwiches. So THERE.

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Ingredients:

  1. 6-10 slices of precooked bacon (I used black label hormel pre-cooked. You can also “pre-cook your own in the oven and then freeze what you don’t use and pull out as needed! Great trick for bacon cravings!!)
  2. 4-5 Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed and diced into bite size pieces (You can also buy the “pre chopped” homestyle fries from the frozen section of the grocery store for an easy option.
  3. 4 chicken tenderloins cooked (I sauteed with 1 TB olive oil, salt and pepper) and diced. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken. That would be EASY and TASTY!
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 2-3 TB olive oil
  6. 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  7. 2 sweet mini red bell peppers diced
  8. 2 tsp chili powder
  9. 1 tsp garlic powder
  10. 1/2 tsp cumin
  11. 1 avocado (for topping)
  12. Greek yogurt (for topping)
  13. Salsa (also for topping)
  14. 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican blend shredded cheeses
  15. 3 green onions, sliced thin
  16. OPTIONAL: sprinkle with red chili flakes

 

 

Directions:

Bacon: Microwave the pre-cooked bacon on a plate with paper towel as directed on packaging. You can also cook raw bacon in the oven as directed. I just go for easy and quick bacon on nights like this!

Potatoes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub and diced the potatoes into bite size pieces. ( like the peel to still be on the potatoes. You can peel if you’d like to). Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder on the pan and stir around a bit. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes, stir well and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes or until soft. Stir again and if needed bake another 10-15 min.

(If you need to saute chicken because you do not have leftover rotisserie chicken, do it NOW while potatoes are baking. Then set aside and rest once cooked. Dice right before you put onto the potatoes.)

Chop the bacon into small pieces. Remove the potatoes from the oven, stir again and sprinkle generously with shredded cheese, peppers, chicken, and chopped bacon. Return the tray to the oven and bake an additional 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Top with sliced green onions, avocado and greek yogurt (or sour cream) just before serving. Enjoy!

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And now, for the song of the day:

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Tonight, we dined on our back screened-in porch, with the breeze and our ceiling fan blowing, our kids playing nicely in the play room… eating this awesome and fresh dish. PERFECT! It’s like the quintessential summer picture in my mind!

It was a bit busy today too, catching up on things that I didn’t get done over the weekend… our freezer decided to “re-set” and go back to factory settings and essentially “turn off”. And, of course, I didn’t notice it right away until half of my things had thawed overnight. So, a LOT of my leftovers and some of my fish and shrimp and chicken had to be tossed 😦 . I was so sad! It’s so tough to have to empty out your freezer… over half into a trash bag! *SOB* ! Luckily a lot stayed frozen in the back and towards the bottom. LUCKILY we have a deep freeze in our garage where I had some of my other purchases and was able to transfer my saved food until the freezer re-started and got back down to proper temperature. At least my fridge didn’t freak out as well! I would have had a melt down!

So, tonight, I had to find chicken that hadn’t thawed and be thrown out, so chicken thighs it was!

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INGREDIENTS

 This is for 3-4 servings, depending on serving size.

2  large chicken thighs
– cooked with 2 TB butter, 1 TB olive oil, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp thyme, salt and pepper. Simmered at medium             high until cooked through and then diced.
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 scallions (green onions) chopped fine
1/2 cup red grapes cut in half
2 heaping TB PLAIN Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon plus the zest
Salt and pepper to taste
6 romaine leaves
1/4 tsp coriander
dash of hot sauce
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cucumber (English Hothouse Cucumber) halved and quartered
1/2 avocado thinly sliced to line the romaine leaves
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DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the parsley, cucumber, scallions, lemon zest, hot sauce and seasonings, and grapes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and give it all a good toss.
  • Add the lemon juice and the greek yogurt and stir to combine. Add the chopped parsley, and toss!
  • Serve scoops of the salad in the wide end of romaine leaves that are lined with slices of avocado. Serve immediately.

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This was DELICIOUS! Try it now! 🙂

And now, for the quote of the day:

INFP INFJ

Lemon Dill Mahi Mahi with a Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

My husband got home late, again, and I wanted something light to eat being that it was so late. I also wanted something QUICK! So… FISH! Both healthy and quick. The nice thing about this dish too is that there’s quinoa in the rice cooker… very hands off… and fish has a quick sear and then goes in the oven. The only thing you really have to watch is the sauce. Everything is done in 15 minutes flat though!

Sometimes I like to tell funny stories about things that happen around my house… so I’m gonna tell a little quick story here. This honestly may be TMI for you… but I keep giggling about it so, I’m gonna share it.

The other day my kids had their well check at the doctor. After kids are potty trained they test their urine and have them “pee in a cup” to be tested. Well my 3 year old little boy actually found this fascinating and thought it was fun to go in a cup! Fast forward to later that evening when I am making dinner and I hear my 6 year old daughter yell “MOM!! You are NOT gonna be happy! Levi is making a VERY BAD choice!”. I NEVER like hearing that. Never. So, I head upstairs and my 3 year old little boy is in the hallway up stairs (luckily it has wood floors) peeing into a cup. He looks at me and says “cup too wittle mommy” with very innocent and questioning eyes. Oh my goodness, I seriously  had to stop myself from laughing. He got to do this at the doctor, why couldn’t it be ok at home? The only problem? He used a small plastic medicine cup that’s about the size of 2 TSP. Yeah. It was ALL OVER the floor… poor boy.. he didn’t realize that medicine cup would just be too small. Oh man. And then I usually have him  help me clean up the mess, this one, I didn’t want his help. No thanks little messy one. No thanks. 🙂 We had to have a little talk about what is ok at home, and what is ok at the doctor’s office to remind him where it’s ok to go potty. Oy!

LOL.

So now, on to the recipe that I was still able to make later that evening!

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Serving Size : 2

Lemon Dill Mahi Mahi with a Lemon Dill Cream Sauce

Ingredients
For the Fish

  • 2 4ounce Mahi Mahi fillets (or any fish of your choice)
  • Zest of 1 Large Lemon
  • Juice of Half a Large Lemon
  • 3 T of Melted Butter or Olive Oil
  • 4 tsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of lemon
  • 1/2 cup whole grain quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (whole fat or 4%)
  • Juice of Half a Large Lemon
  • 1 TB butter
  • 3 tsp dried (or fresh) dill
  • 2 TB fresh parmesan

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Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Salt your cast iron grill pan or skillet and heat on medium. Place fish onto hot skillet (I cooked mine from frozen and they turned out GREAT!!)
  2. Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa and place into a rice cooker (or cook to instructions on the package) and put 1 cup of water in with 1 TB of olive oil drizzled. Close rice cooker and push cook button and leave to the side.
  3. Pour melted butter and lemon juice over fish. Sprinkle evenly with lemon zest and dill. Add salt and pepper as desired as well.
  4. Place in oven and bake approximately 15 minutes or until fish is white, fully opaque, and flaky.
  5. While fish is baking, put butter, lemon juice and dill into a small sauce pot stirring while melting. After the butter is melted and it’s incorporated well, add the Greek yogurt while whisking in…. whisk until well incorporated and then add the parmesan in the same manner. Mixture will thicken as it cools.
  6. Open cooked quinoa and put the 1/2 cup of frozen peas into the rice cooker with the quinoa and stir. Let the peas sit in the rice cooker for 2-3 minutes so they get warm, but still have a bit of a “pop” or “crunch”.
  7. Place fillets onto a pile of the quinoa with peas and garnish with sauce.
Enjoy!!!
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This one was so yummy, I will definitely make this one again! easy too… not too many ingredients, but still made with all “Real Food” in regards to my last post! 🙂
And now, for the quote of the day:
//

“7 Layer Salad” … or Taco Salad…

My daughter asked for tacos again. Ha. She’s obviously her father’s daughter. She ate GREAT tonight. Me, I wanted to make something that was using the same ingredients, but using less carbs. So… I saw this salad, or “7 layer dip”.. although I can’t see using this as a dip honestly. I also should have put this into a clear bowl so that all the layers could have been seen from the outside when I took pictures. It was quite pretty to be honest! And, as I was about to take a picture it fell… and I was so sad!

But… this is a DELICIOUS salad, or … dip… but it’s a bit messy. That’s ok though. It makes up for the messiness and lack of being a “pretty” dish with flavor. That’s all that’s really important anyway!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 lb. grass fed ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/2 cup PLAIN Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
  • 1 tomato sliced and diced
  • taco seasoning
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of black olives, sliced
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of salsa

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Directions

Start by cooking the ground beef through until there is no longer any pink. Drain the fat. Then, add the taco seasoning and the amount of water said on the back of the taco seasoning packet. (If you use homemade taco seasoning, it’s about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of water). Stir until well incorporated. Add 1/2 of the black beans to the hamburger meat.

Next chop the lettuce, black olives, tomatoes and the avocado. Place the avocado in a small bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and the garlic powder. Stir and set aside.

Starting with the lettuce on the bottom of a bowl, add each layer on top of the next, ending with sprinkling the cheese on top. I then drizzled salsa over top.

You can eat this as a salad, like I did… crunch a few chips over top to still get a few chips and crunch in without eating as many chips as you would have if you ate the whole thing with chips… or… go for it and just eat it with scoops chips! Delicious either way right?!

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See, a delicious, messy and just a #getinmybelly moment!!! 🙂 ENJOY!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Hang on

Apple Thyme Lemon Chicken

LemonThymeAppleChicken

This one has FLAVOR! I’m saying… like, chicken can be very void of flavor. Seriously. You’ve gotta try really hard to pack flavor into chicken. This one… SO flavorful and just bright! I used chicken thighs, and I think that helped keep the chicken moist also. I used skinless, but you can also use skin-on for extra moisture in the chicken.

I served this over mashed potatoes and with green beans. I am going to be trying mashed cauliflower soon… I’ll have to see how it compares!! Maybe mashed cauliflower and a salad next time… hmmm… this chicken was good… I’d definitely make this again. Two thumbs up from both my father-in-law and my huband!!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped into slices
  • 1/4 onion cut into thin, large pieces
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1.74- 2 lbs chicken (I used 5 pieces chicken thighs skinless)… you can use skin-on or skin off
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 11/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt (or crème fraĂŽche)
  • Juice of ½ lemon and zest of 1 whole lemon
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

AppleThymeLemonChicken

Directions:

01 Melt half the butter in a saucepan over high heat, add apples and sautĂŠ, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon, until golden brown and tender. Transfer to a bowl.
02 Melt the remaining butter in the pan over medium heat and fry the onions, garlic, bay leaves and thyme for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown. Turn over and cook for another 5 minutes. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the white wine, turning the heat up high to burn off the alcohol, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add chicken stock and when stock comes to boil, lower heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is tender (Mine I only cooked for about 15 min since it was chicken thighs). Whisk in greek yogurt and add apples, raising the heat again to allow some of the cooking liquid to evaporate and the sauce to thicken. Add lemon juice and parsley then transfer the mixture to 4 plates, spooning sauce over the top and serve with boiled rice or buttery mashed potatoes.

Enjoy!!!!!

 

And now, for the quote of the day:

1486-heaven-is-full-of-answers-to-prayers-for-which-no-one-ever

LIGHT Chicken Salad Sandwiches

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These were pretty good! I wanted to add a couple more ingredients to them, and I will put them as “add-ins” on the end, but to keep them light, I did not. So… Here it is!

 

Ingredients:

6 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
1 TB olive oil
salt & pepper (1/2 tsp)
21 seasoning salute (Trader Joes)
2 Heaping tablespoons of FF Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Halved grape tomatoes
Lettuce

Add ins: craisins and walnuts!!! YUM!

Cook chicken tenderloins until fully cooked. I put about 1 Tb olive oil into skillet, heat until rippling slightly, place the frozen chicken tenderloins into pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a little bit of the 21 seasoning salute from TJ. Turn half way and cover. Total cooking time approx. 10 minutes.

When the chicken is done, set to the side and let rest for 5 minutes. When done resting, cut into small cubes. Then let cool. After cooling, combine all ingredients in a bowl. I put mine on the homemade rolls that I’ve mentioned in previous posts. You could do on bread or rolls, or in a Romaine Lettuce leaf for low carb. YUM!

Sunday Lunch

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There are a few recipes that need to go in here… so I’ll start with the simple.

Beets:

Fresh beets, cut up and boiled for 20 minutes. Then, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. YUM!

Guacamole:

2 avocados, sliced and diced
the juice of 1 lime
1/4 sweet onion
splash of hot sauce
1 small bunch of FRESH cilantro (about 1/4 cup)
grape tomatoes sliced in half (I used around 10)

Shrimp Caprese Orzo Pasta

Original recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2746948

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 4

 

Ingredients

Orzo Pasta, 1 cup 
Grape Tomatoes cut in 1/2, 1 cup 
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Basil, 1 tbsp
 White Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tbsp 
Salt, 1 dash
Pepper, black, 1 dash
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
Juice of 1 lemon, plus the zest
Shrimp, raw, 10 medium
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced
FRESH mozzarella cut into slices
While orzo pasta is cooking according to box instructions, mix the tomatoes, half the garlic, the basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and mozzarella cheese in a serving dish.In the oven, at 350 degrees, cook shrimp in the remaining garlic and the EVOO. About 8-15 minutes (depending on size and if they were frozen).

Drain pasta and stir together with diced tomato mixture and then top with cooked shrimp.

Serving Size: Makes 3-4 Dinner Portions

Number of Servings: 4

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

 

Greek Chicken:

adapted from this recipe: http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/06/greek-marinated-chicken/

Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano $0.08
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium lemon
  • ½ tsp ground himalayan sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • Âź bunch fresh parsley $0.20
  • 3½ to 4 lbs chicken pieces $6.86
  • Instructions
    1. To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Use a fine holed cheese grater or a zester to scrape the thin layer of yellow zest from the lemon skin into the bowl. Also add the juice from half of the lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp). Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about Âź bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.
    2. Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.
    3. After marinating for 30 minutes, either cook the chicken on a grill OR preheat the oven to 375 degrees in preparation to bake the chicken.
    4. To bake the chicken, place the chicken pieces in a large casserole dish (9×13). Bake the chicken in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top.