Thursday, September 17, 2015

Taco Stuffed Shells

It has been awhile since I posted something.  I'm always trying new recipes but when they need improvements I don't publish them.  This one was perfect.  I got it out of the newspaper, Contra Costa Times and I will definitely make it again, especially since we didn't have seconds and hubby forgot to put the leftovers in the refrigerator so they had to be tossed, sad morning.
The original recipe used the entire box of shells and 1 1/2 lb. of ground turkey and topped it with green onions and I used the cheese I had on hand, Colby Jack, but the rest was the same so you will be able to do more shells but not sure if the filling will do the whole box of shells as suggested.
The only change I will try next time is to use my homemade taco seasoning and the cheese will be what ever I have on hand.  I would also like to try another sauce like enchilada but the Taco sauce was great.  I think it would also be good served with sour cream, guacamole and shredded lettuce to bring the TACO theme full circle.

1 lb. ground turkey, cooked and crumbled
2 t. chile powder
½ t. cumin
¼ t. salt
10 oz. tub of cream cheese with chives
Half box jumbo shells, 22
12 oz. bottle Taco sauce
1 C. Mexican cheese
10 crumbled tortilla chips

Cook and crumble ground turkey till  no longer pink.  Add seasoning and cream cheese.  Stuff 21 shells, place in a 7x11” baking dish.  Top with taco sauce.  Cover with foil, bake 20 minutes.  Top with Mexican cheese and crumbled tortilla chips and bake another 15 minutes.  Makes 22 shells.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Chicken Fried Steak Fingers

Tried this new presentation of Chicken Fried Steak, serving it as an appetizer, cutting it into fingers before you dredge and fry and using the gravy as a dipping sauce.  It was a good snack for afternoon baseball for the two of us, I wouldn't make it for company and I more than likely won't make it again for us.  The steak was a spoon for me to eat more gravy.  At least if I keep it as a steak I don't believe I would eat as much gravy.  I only did two steaks (less than a half a pound each) and almost all the gravy was gone, had a ton of leftover flour and egg so that should have been reduced when I reduced the beef. 

Original recipe came from The Pioneer Woman, she cooked it for her boys which makes more sense.  It was a bit boring for me although we did eat it all so not bad, just not exciting as I would have liked.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Zucchini Stuffing

I realized I never published the Zucchini Stuffing Casserole.  During a visit to PA in January of 2013, my sister in law made this for dinner one night with a turkey breast.  She got the recipe from a neighbor.  I wasn’t interesting in eating it at first when she called it a Zucchini Casserole because I know she hadn't tasted it and I'm not a huge fan of zucchini. Since it has a cube of butter I wouldn’t make it for us, I would make it for a potluck.  After all it was very tasty and I had two servings.

1 box of stuffing mix
1 (14.5 oz. or smaller) can cream of mushroom soup
½ C. sour cream
3 C. zucchini, sliced and cubed
½ onion, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 stick butter, melted
-3 Cheese blend, shredded

Slice and cube zucchini, grate onion and carrot.  Melt butter and mix all ingredients  except cheese in a large bowl.  Pour into a greased 9x13” pan.  Bake 350 for 30 minutes.  Top with shredded cheese and let rest 5 minutes until cheese melts.

Variation:  Add cooked chopped chicken of you want a one pot main dish.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Back to my Routine or at least a Semi Routine

Monday started me back to more of my regular routine and I'm loving it.  Having hubby home with me definitely disrupts what I normally do and although it shouldn't have a huge impact it does give me a sense of what his retirement will be and I need to make sure I continue to do my thing.
So on Sunday I planned out weekly meals and on Monday I went grocery shopping, cleaned the fridge, did the food prep and tried a couple new recipes along with some older ones that I had not taken a picture of or made in a long time and this is the results.

I am swayed by the name of a recipe which is why my recipe names are pretty simple and straight forward so when I saw "Tomato Pie" on The Chew using canned tomatoes I had to give it a try.  I make a good tomato pie with fresh tomatoes so I figured this could be one I make all year round and having a good pantry meal makes for an easy dinner when you don't have fresh veggies in the house.
Unfortunately this recipe didn't live up to it's name which is why I've now changed the name to Pizza Stuffing.  It reminded me of another recipe I got from my sister in law in PA last year or so which I also considered a side dish vs a main.  It was Zucchini Stuffing.
The flavors tasted like the red sauce on a  pizza which is where my name came from.  I reduced the mayo and cheddar because it just seemed like too much, too many calories, and added in all of the cornbread mix so I wouldn’t have to toss out that half cup.   I think it a decent side dish but not a good Meatless Monday main dish unless you served it along with a salad or something more. Original recipe came from an audience member on The Chew.
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomato
1 box Stove top cornbread stuffing mix, reserve ¼ C.
¼ red onion (½ C.), diced
1 t. dried basil
¼ C. reserved stuffing mix
1 C. cheddar cheese, grated
½ C. lite mayonnaise
¼ t. dried basil

In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, stuffing mix (reserving ¼ C. for topping) and diced red onion.  Mix.  Place in lightly greased 8x8” pan.  Mix topping ingredients.  Dollop on top of tomato mixture, bake 25 minutes, smear dollops to coat entire top, bake another 15 minutes till top is golden.

For lunch this day I made a simple Mediterranean Salad with lots of goobers but no lettuce (cucumbers, roma tomatoes, feta, kalamata olives, green onions, basil and a vinaigrette.

Friday, June 12, 2015

VEGETARIAN ENCHILADA QUINOA, this weeks new recipe

I found this on Pinterest and added it to my "Recipes I must try" list and thank goodness I did.  It was quick, easy, very tasty, vegetarian which is a bonus and pretty healthy.  I will make it again and I would even make it for our Football Sunday potlucks at the bar since it only takes 3 hours and I would prep it the night before.  I only made two changes to the original recipe.   I used a can of diced tomatoes undrained and a can of roasted diced green chilies drained.  I didn't use the combo tomato and green chilies because that is not something I keep on hand.  I would always rather use my staples.  Instead of vegetable broth I used vegetable stock, again because it is what I had.  Normally I don't have vegetable stock on hand so I would probably use chicken broth.

If you simply can't do without meat, however I would suggest you at least try it first without because it wasn't missed but you could add cooked ground beef, turkey or chicken or frankly your favorite meat.

I forgot to take a picture this time but you can see how pretty it is here.  The original recipe came from Cooking Classy.


Drizzle of EVOO or canola

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. dry quinoa
2 1/4 C. vegetable stock
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 oz. can diced fire roasted green chilies, drained
8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. Kosher salt
1/4 t. coarse black pepper
14.5 oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed
14.5 oz. can pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 C. frozen corn
1 1/2 C. cheddar, Jack or Mexican blend cheese
Toppings: Diced avocado, tomatoes, chopped cilantro, green onions, lime wedge

Chop onion, bell pepper and mince garlic. Saute onion and bell pepper for 3 minutes, add garlic and saute another minute. Add to slow cooker. Top with quinoa, stock, tomatoes, chilies, tomato sauce, and spices. Stir. Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours, check to make sure it hasn't dried out and if OK continue to cook another 45 minutes. If it is dry add a little but more broth to moisten but not enough so that it is soupy.

Add frozen corn, drained beans, stir. Sprinkle cheese on top, cover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes or till cheese is melted.

Note: Original recipe said 2 hr. 45 min-3 hr. 15 minutes but after the 2 hr 45 min all the liquid was absorbed and verging on dry so keep an eye out because slow cookers vary, which is why I now say check after 2 hours. I also didn't rinse the pinto beans so that gave it a bit more moisture and if I rince next time it would be another reason to keep an eye on it. Since it was dry I added a splash more stock when I added the corn and beans since it had to cook an additional 10-15 minutes.

  • Add cooked ground meat, turkey, beef or chicken.
  • Add a diced jalapeno or pablano for a bit more spice.
  • Use enchilada sauce vs tomato sauce.
  • UPDATEI tried another version but unfortunately I was swayed by the  name of "fajitas" which it was not.  It turned out to be VERY similar to this recipe but this flavor profile is better because the fajita seasoning has a lime flavor which in the "stew" or "casserole" it didn't work.  That recipe is called Crockpot Quinoa, Sweet Potato & Chicken Fajitas.  There wasn't enough chicken in this recipe for the fajita name but as a Quinoa taco topped with chicken, maybe.