Monday, June 1, 2015

Easy Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Ok, I know I've been really MIA lately, but--surprise!--we have baby #3!  I'm still getting back into the swing of dinnertime, but I'm getting there.  In the meantime, here's a really great recipe for some easy pork tacos.  I can without hesitation say that I have never bought pork tenderloin before, but don't let the pork log deter you!  (Sorry for that weird mental picture.)  These tacos are amazingly easy to make and seriously delicious!  Corn tortillas are a must, and you can go easy on the toppings.  I liked mine with just a little hot sauce and some extra cilantro.


Easy Pork and Pineapple Tacos
(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

Ingredients
2 lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
pinch of cayenne powder (omit, or add more if desired)
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
corn tortillas

Directions
1) In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Salt and pepper pork pieces and add them to the hot skillet.  Brown each side until golden brown (pieces do not need to be cooked through).
2) Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne powder and stir to combine.  Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3) Add the pineapple and 1/4 cup reserved juice; simmer until pork is cooked through.
4) Stir in fresh cilantro.  Serve in pan fried corn tortillas and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Vegetable Lentil Soup

If there's one thing I never tire of, it's soup.  Luckily, my kids are almost always on board and my husband kindly doesn't complain when we're having yet another soup for dinner.  This one is healthy and delicious and definitely hit the spot for me!


Winter Vegetable Lentil Soup
(adapted from Real Simple)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into 1/4 inch thick halves
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
6 cups water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch kale, thick stem removed and leaves cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
1/2 cup lentils, sorted
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions
1) In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, breaking them up with a spoon.
2) Add six cups water and bring to a boil.  Stir in the sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, salt, and pepper.
3)  Simmer until the potatoes and lentils are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Adjust seasoning, if needed.  Serve into bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Minestrone Soup

I first tried this recipe about four years ago and loved it, but for some reason thought there must be another recipe out there that we would like better.  I've made a multitude of minestrone recipes since then, but I keep coming back to this one.  Honestly, I don't know I bothered trying those other recipes at all.  This one always satisfies!


Minestrone Soup
(adapted from The Sisters Cafe)
Printable Recipe
Serves 8-10

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery (including leaves), chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 cup small shell pasta
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped (a few large handfuls)
shredded parmesan

Directions
1) Heat olive oil in a large pot and saute onion until tender; stir in garlic and stir until fragrant.
2) Add carrots, celery, potatoes, oregano, basil, salt and black pepper and cook together for several minutes.
3) Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, vegetable broth and 4 cups water.  Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4) While vegetables are cooking, in a separate pot, bring water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until pasta is done; drain.
5) Stir spinach and pasta into the soup during the last five minutes of cooking.  If desired, serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Baked Chicken Fajitas

I like fajitas.  My husband loves fajitas.  And up until recently, I don't know if my kids had ever had fajitas.  So when I came across this recipe, it sounded perfect.  I mean, think of it!  Fajitas without all the fuss over the stove!  That's my kind of dinner.


Baked Chicken Fajitas
(adapted from Real Mom Kitchen)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced

Directions
1)  In a large bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt.  Add chicken and stir until well coated.  Set aside.
2)  Place tomatoes, green chiles, onion, and bell peppers in a greased 13x9 pan. Place chicken on top. 
3)  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.  Stir chicken and vegetables together before serving.  Eat with tortillas and desired toppings.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Everything Chili

Chili is a weekly affair at my sister-in-law's house, so when they went vegan several years ago, a vegan chili recipe became a necessity.  She was kind enough to make her chili for our entire extended family the last time we all got together and it is delicious!  As well--and this is coming from a proclaimed TVP-hater, so hear me out--this chili is so good you won't even know that it's not meat.  As in, when I ate this for the first time, I thought I was eating beef instead of TVP.  So if you've always been curious about using meat alternatives, this is a good place to start.  Of course you could always use ground beef or turkey, if you want, or make it without using either meat or TVP.  (So many choices!)  Because this chili is great any way you choose to make it.


Slow Cooker Everything Chili
(adapted from Kim the Health Nut)
Printable Recipe
Serves 8

Ingredients
1/2 pound cooked ground turkey or beef, or 1/2 package TVP crumbles
1 bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup salsa
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green chiles
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

Directions
1)  Put all ingredients except cilantro in the crock pot and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
2)  Stir in cilantro, if using, before serving.  Garnish with cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, or your toppings of choice.  Enjoy!

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