Recipe: Not Your Average Taco Salad

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My Taco Salad is a little different than most, there is no big, greasy, deep-fried shell. Instead, I use tortilla chips as a garnish. This was one of the first recipes I concocted after we committed healthy eating about 10 years ago. It’s very filling and has tons of veggies.

There are all kinds of changes and modifications that can be made to accommodate any dietary concerns.

Not Your Average Taco Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat of your choice (Beef, chicken, turkey, or pork, or a mixture)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed (or you can use 1.5 cups of frozen corn)
  • 1/4 cup water (or however much the packet tells you to use)
  • 2 cups Tortilla chips (I like these flax seed Tortilla chips)
  • 2 cups (per person) Salad greens of your choice

With the following ingredients, use as much as you’d like, I prep 1/2 cup-1 cup per person:

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped bell peppers (I usually use one red, one yellow, and one orange pepper for color/variety)
  • Shredded carrots
  • Cucumber slices
  • Avocado slices or guacamole, whichever you prefer
  • Shredded or crumbled cheese
  • Black Olive Slices
  • Jalapeno peppers Slices
  • Sour Cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Salsa of your choice

Directions:

  1. Brown meat, set aside.
  2. Using any residual fat in the pan, and adding olive oil, cook onions until clear and soft.
  3. Add meat back to pan, mix in taco seasoning and water. Cook as directed on the taco seasoning packet.
  4. Add in both cans of beans and corn, cook until heated throughout.
  5. To plate, on a dinner plate or a big bowl- arrange 2 cups greens, top with 1/4-1/2 cup meat/bean mixture, top with other veggies and 1/2 cup chips and cheese and a dollop of sour cream/sour cream.
  6. If you NEED dressing, mix a little sour cream or plain Greek Yogurt with salsa or hot sauce and top your salad.

For a vegetarian taco salad- use soy/veggie crumbles instead of meat.

October: New Month, New Coupons!

file000786402730Here is your monthly reminder!  A new month means new printable and electronic coupons!

Check out the following sites:

One of my favorite websites is the Sunday Coupon Review.  It helps me plot out scenarios in advance and I can email friends to ask for coupons in advance. Remember if clipping coupons isn’t your thing, but saving money is, check out my list of Smartphone apps that can save you the big bucks! New offers are added on the Smartphone Savings Apps all the time!

Here are a few of my favorite new coupons:


Save $0.75 When you buy any ONE (1) Horizon Organic Single Serve Milk 6pk or 12pk

Save $1.00 on TWO (2) Celestial Seasonings® boxes (excludes K-Cups)

Save $2.00 on any TWO (2) BOOST® Nutritional Drink or Drink Mix

Save $0.55 on any ONE (1) Hillshire Farm® Lit’l Smokies® Product

Save $15.00 on any ONE (1) FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealing System ($89 or more)

Save $1.00 off any ONE (1) package of Angel Soft® Toilet Paper, 12 Roll or Larger OR 6 Mega Roll or Larger (Available at Walmart)

Houseparty by Ripple Street: Host a Kikkoman® Holiday Party

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Houseparty by Ripple Street has a great new party!

Host a Kikkoman® Holiday Party
This holiday season, invite your friends over and show them how Kikkoman can help you create easy, amazing side dishes and lets you brine a juicy bird to bring great flavor to your holiday meals for great entertaining all season long.

This event is only open to residents of the USA. Party Date: 11/9/19

If you’re selected and confirmed as a host, your exclusive Party Pack will contain:

  • Gift Card
  • Kikkoman T-shirts
  • Kikkoman recipe booklets
  • And more

To apply for the party, click here.

Stockpile Cooking: Yummy Strudel Pumpkin Muffins

Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 7.35.48 PM.pngAs part of my “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” mantra, I’m trying to bake more out of the cupboard. It helps us use up what we’ve got on-hand, and it’s also a lot healthier than buying store-bought muffins.

While I was digging in the very back of the cupboard, I found

These muffins were amazing. The recipes makes 1 mini muffin pan (24 mini muffins), or regular sized muffins.

 

Low Fat Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour, or a 1 for 1 gluten-free flour blend if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (You could also use almond meal if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 can canned pumpkin puree (approx. 30-ish ounces)
  • 3/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 3 oz. container of fat-free Greek vanilla yogurt (or use 3oz. of fat-free plain Greek yogurt and 1 T. vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (whatever kind you like)

DSC00551.jpgStrudel topping

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup Flour (you can also use whole wheat flour, or a 1 for 1 gluten-free flour blend if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger

Directions:

Muffins-

  1. Mix dry ingredients together, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth and combined.
  3. Add dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient mixture and mix until smooth and combined.
  4. Pour batter into greased muffin tins (or use cupcake liners).

Strudel-

  1. Mix all strudel ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Option one: Spoon about a tablespoon of the strudel onto the uncooked muffins right before putting to the oven.
  3. Option two: Fill the muffin tins halfway with muffin batter, drop in the strudel mix, and top with more muffin batter to make strudel surprise muffins.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

 

 

 

Top 10 Herbs and Spices needed for a Well-Stocked Kitchen!

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I get a lot of people who ask about my spice rack- what do I keep in my kitchen, since we cook at home so much. I made a list of what I use, then I polled my Facebook friends. Below is a reflection of what we use most at home, plus what most of my foodie friends use too all combined into a handy dandy top ten list!

I prefer spices and herbs from Penzey’s– They have the best quality and a wide variety. They tend to be a little more expensive, but they are very high-quality herbs and spices, and you will use much less than their cheaper counterparts. If you have a Penzey’s store near you, it’s worth checking out. Join their mailing list- they frequently have coupons for freebies and really good deals (and free shipping sometimes too if you don’t live close to a store). Penzey’s also sells their spices on Amazon!

  1. Mural of Flavor
  2. Cinnamon
  3. Cumin
  4. Chili Powder
  5. Italian Seasoning
  6. Oregano
  7. Ginger
  8. Bay Leaves
  9. Paprika
  10. Turkish Seasoning

These are of course in addition to Table Salt, Kosher Salt, a pepper mill for freshly cracked pepper, roasted garlic, granulated garlic, toasted onions, onion powder, and air-dried shallots. For me, these are pantry staples and every kitchen should have them, as they are used in so many recipes, in addition to the 10 above.

 

Talk Back: What are some of your favorite seasonings?

Urbane Cafe: Free lunch for Teachers and Staff (El Cajon and Encinitas Locations)!

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Various Urbane Cafe locations are offering free lunches (sandwich or salad) to teachers and school staff.

Not so small print…
  • Only one meal per ticket
  • Must have Valid Teacher ID
  • No app, phone or online orders
  • Must be present to receive the offer

The El Cajon Location is offering them on 9/17/19 and 9/18/19 at 11am. RSVP here. 

The Encinitas location is offering them on 9/24/19  and 9/26/19 11am-9pm.  RSVP here.

 

 

Please share this post with your friends and family who might benefit! Teachers and school staff work so hard- they deserve a free lunch!

Family Favorite Recipe: Mountain Man Breakfast Casserole

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This is a great old Boy Scout/backpacking recipe. We eat it when we go camping, cooked in a dutch oven. You can cook it at home in a baking dish in the oven if you aren’t out cooking in a field.

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 4.38.58 PM.pngIngredients

  • 1 bag O’Brien Potatoes, approx 28 ounces- defrosted
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb. bulk breakfast sausage (like Jimmy Dean) cooked, crumbled and patted to absorb the excess oil
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sour Cream and Salsa (for a topping)

Directions

  1. Mix the sausage,  1 cup of  the cheese, and potatoes in a bowl
  2. Pour sausage/egg/cheese mixture into a 9×11 baking dish
  3. Scramble eggs and milk and pour over sausage/egg/cheese mixture
  4. Top the dish with the remaining 1 c. cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-35 minutes until the eggs have set and the dish is brown, bubbly and delicious.
  6. Serve with Sour Cream and Salsa.
  7. Serves 8-10 at home 4-6 when camping (fresh air makes you hungry).

If you have any leftovers, it’s great in a warmed tortilla the next morning as a burrito! I’ve also been informed that this is really good with avocado slices on top.

 

Modifications for special dietary concerns:

  • You can make this vegetarian by using soy sausage crumbles.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
  • This recipe cannot be made vegan.