Healthy Taco Salad

Healthy Taco Salad ~ greens + chipotle seasoned ground meat, beans, avocado, corn, tomatoes & cheese + a 5 ingredient salsa verde Greek yogurt dressing.

Dinner | July 11, 2018 | By

Healthy Taco Salad ~ lettuce, chipotle seasoned ground meat, black beans, creamy avocado, sweet corn, fresh diced tomatoes, bell pepper and sharp cheddar cheese plus a simple 5-ingredient Salsa Verde Greek Yogurt Dressing.

When my youngest daughter was in elementary school her two favorite lunchroom meals were Popcorn Shrimp and Walking Tacos.

Popcorn Shrimp was the tiniest shrimp you could imagine with a thick breading, fried and served with ketchup. The Walking Taco started with a mini bag of Fritos topped with seasoned ground beef and the sort of warm, gooey “cheese” that requires air quotes to describe. The whole meal was served inside the actual Fritos bag. 

I’ll admit, letting her buy these meals didn’t earn me Mother of the Year Award but overall, she was a healthy eater, loved fruit and would try most foods. She’s still the same way and since this Healthy Taco Salad is her brainchild I think Walking Tacos days are behind her.

The salad dressing recipe is my own creation ~ an accomplishment for someone whose best salad recipe before this one involves potatoes and full fat mayonnaise and you guys, this dressing is good.  

Healthy Taco Salad hits every flavor note from the crispy lettuce to the tangy, Salsa Verde Greek Yogurt dressing and everything in between.


Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad

Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad: slightly sweet, mostly spicy grilled shrimp + corn-avocado salad with a simple 3 ingredient cilantro-lime dressing.

Dinner | June 24, 2018 | By

Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad ~ slightly sweet, mostly spicy grilled shrimp plus a sweet corn-avocado salad with a simple 3-ingredient tangy cilantro-lime dressing that pairs perfectly with the sweet corn. Make both the shrimp and salad ~ or either ~ for a great summer dinner, appetizer or light lunch.

Do you remember your hairstyle from the 80’s? Mine involved big hair and lots of spray to achieve the look. I *may* have even carried that look and my giant can of hairspray into the 90’s.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with all this talk of hair so here it is: not only do hairstyles need updating, but blog posts, too. I didn’t write the original Honey Sriracha Grilled Shrimp Salad recipe as long ago as the 80’s, but you’ll have to trust me when I say while the recipe remains rock solid and unchanged, the photos were in desperate need of a refresh. 


Butter Chicken Recipe

butter chicken recipe ~ overhead photo of yellow tumeric indian style rice topped with creamy butter chicken. serve with any rice or naan bread

Dinner | June 16, 2018 | By

This Butter Chicken Recipe is creamy, loaded with flavor and simple to make all in one pan. Serve it up with a side of rice, a simple Chickpea Tomato Salad or just some warm naan bread.

What a surprise it was to hear about Anthony Bourdain’s death ~ famed chef, world traveler, TV celebrity and master storyteller who told it like it was with phrases like “ass-burning Szechuan”. A man who seemed to have the world by the tail took his own life leaving much behind, beginning with why.

Like many, I enjoyed watching him explore food and places in the world I may never experience on his show Parts Unknown. He inspired a generation of foodies to travel and step out of their comfort zone in the kitchen, create dishes that bring joy and speak love to their families and sometimes even transport them to places around the world. 


Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs ~ marinated chicken, bright colored bell peppers and red onions skewered then grilled to golden, garnished with lemon wedges and served with pita bread.

Dinner | May 12, 2018 | By

Grilled Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs ~ lemon, garlic, oregano, olive oil ~ simple ingredients marinated with boneless chicken breasts and grilled for delicious Greek style flavor.

These kabobs kick off grilling season for us and are on repeat all summer. Sunshine, skewered food, more time outdoors and a delicious meal on a stick that’s a must-make. The simple, Greek-style ingredients in the marinade lock in the really robust flavor. The whole meal can be on the table without ever touching a skillet. Game on.


Spring Panzanella Salad

Spring Panzanella Salad ~ golden, toasted whole grain bread cubes, fresh asparagus, tomatoes, artichokes + other seasonal vegetables lightly dressed in an easy homemade red wine vinaigrette.

Dinner | April 30, 2018 | By

Spring Panzanella Salad ~ golden, toasted whole grain bread cubes, fresh asparagus, tomatoes, artichokes and other seasonal vegetables lightly dressed in an easy homemade red wine vinaigrette.

Turns out stale bread isn’t just for feeding the birds. It’s actually just the kind of bread you need for panzanella salad including Spring Panzanella Salad ~ golden toasted bread cubes, fresh seasonal vegetables and shaved parmesan cheese, flavored with an easy homemade vinaigrette.

The first time I tasted Ina Garten’s panzanella salad recipe was about 10 years ago at a book club meeting and I’ve made it many times since.  Ina’s recipe was a jumping point for this Spring Panzanella Salad. To bring a bright, spring flavor I added fresh asparagus and some artichokes, swapped out her French bread for a hearty multigrain for texture and even more flavor and shaved some parmesan cheese into the salad for zest.

Bread and cheese ~ whatever the question, it’s always the answer.


Ground Beef Tacos

Ground Beef Tacos ~ bold, spicy Mexican flavored ground beef tacos with chipotle peppers. An easy recipe, perfect for tacos, enchiladas or nachos.

Dinner | April 22, 2018 | By

Ground Beef Tacos ~ bold, spicy chipotle flavored ground beef tacos from scratch. Also perfect for enchiladas or nachos and ready in under 30 minutes.  

When it comes to sharing recipes, sometimes I overlook the obvious, like these Ground Beef Tacos. Who doesn’t love a good taco (except maybe my grandkids who are in that ‘suspicious food’ state of toddlerhood). Crunchy or soft but always loaded with spicy meat, lettuce, cheese and fresh salsa.

You’ve probably made tacos using a packaged dry seasoning mix and if you’re happy with that, don’t rock the boat.

But I’m guessing since you’re reading this, you know in your heart of hearts there are better tasting tacos out there. If you’re also wondering (a) what’s actually in that seasoning package and (b) why your homemade tacos don’t taste as good as the ones in your favorite Mexican restaurant, I urge you to give this recipe a try.


Chili Lime Chicken

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken breasts exploding with bold flavor, topped with an easy sweet-spicy fresh pineapple salsa. Stove to table in under 30 minutes!

Dinner | April 7, 2018 | By

Chili Lime Chicken ~ tender, juicy chicken exploding with bold flavors, served with an easy sweet-spicy pineapple salsa.

We’re home from vacation and while it’s great to be home, let’s just say a teenage boy couldn’t have eaten more than I did while I was gone. Ugh.

The goal is to get back into the swing of things, starting with eating better and saying a hard NO to a midafternoon Rumrunner. Don’t judge me. It’s one of the best beach drinks around.

Anyway, it’s 30° today with a light dusting of snow on the ground, so I made this Chili Lime Chicken in a skillet. If it’s warmer where you are you can certainly fire up the grill and do this Chili Lime Chicken proud.


Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

or until the sauce thickens.

Dinner | February 24, 2018 | By

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie ~ the ultimate in comfort food with its buttery, golden flaky crust filled with tender bites of chicken, potatoes, carrots and peas and a creamy chicken flavored sauce.

I grew up on Homemade Chicken Pot Pie ~ not the kind you’re seeing here, but the mini ones from the freezer section of the grocery store. They were also baked to a golden brown and filled with chicken and veggies ~ some I liked (corn and potatoes); others (carrots and peas) I passed along to the family dog camped out under the dinner table. 

Today I love all the veggies that make up the rich flavors in this Homemade Chicken Pot Pie. It’s a million times better than the frozen one. Seriously, a comfort dream dinner.


Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf

Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf ~ perfectly seasoned meatloaf with a slightly sweet, boldly spicy caramelized honey chipotle glaze baked on top and cheddar cheese inside.

Dinner | February 17, 2018 | By

Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf ~ perfectly seasoned meatloaf with a slightly sweet, boldly spicy caramelized honey-chipotle glaze baked on top.

Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf ~ perfectly seasoned meatloaf with a slightly sweet, boldly spicy caramelized honey chipotle glaze baked on top and cheddar cheese inside.

Meatloaf doesn’t always have the best reputation. It’s been known to be greasy, dry, flavorless. The stuff that’s passed by in the cafeteria line and sometimes even at home. Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf is just the recipe to set all those outdated, preconceived notions about meatloaf aside. 

This meatloaf is perfectly seasoned with a slightly sweet and yes, boldly spicy glaze that with the magic of the baking process caramelizes ~ and as if that’s not enough to get you to the table on time, I added some grated sharp cheddar cheese, inside too.

My standard meatloaf is a classic recipe I’ve been making for years, smothered in mushroom gravy but the last couple of weeks I’ve been cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator before we leave on vacation, creating some new recipes with the ingredients I found.

A can of chipotle peppers in adobo was just what this Honey Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf needed to take it to the next level. As comforting as its classic cousin, but with sass. Lots of sass.


Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegetable Barley Soup ~ hearty, nourishing delicious comfort in a bowl. This soup is loaded with vegetables, beans and barley, packed with fiber and protein.

Dinner, Soup | February 5, 2018 | By

Vegetable Barley Soup ~ hearty, nourishing delicious comfort in a bowl loaded with veggies, beans and barley and packed with fiber and protein.

Most times when I make soup I don’t cook with a recipe. My favorite way is to let the ingredients in the refrigerator tell the story. Try it sometime; soup (unlike baking) is very forgiving. It’s practically goof-proof.

Last week a friend of mine called to see if I wanted to walk along the lake with her. My knee-jerk reaction was um no, it’s too cold, but she’s so dedicated to walking even when the temps are below zero, that I agreed if for no other reason than I didn’t want to be a wimp.

We even convinced another friend to join us and you know how it goes ~ three women walking and talking and before we knew it a few miles were behind us.

By the time I got home I was chilled to the bone and a pot of soup was the only solution ~ a pot of steaming, flavor loaded soup . . . the kind I already had all the ingredients for and that’s how this Vegetable Barley Soup was born.