Monday, March 25, 2013


Who doesn't love tacos? This recipe combines some spicy refried beans with the ground turkey. Tacos are a great really fast dinner to make, probably under 20 minutes. 

Sometimes I will make my own taco seasoning because it is fairly straight forward, but this time I used the Trader Joe's taco seasoning which has quite some kick to it! I used the Trader Joe's flour tortillas which once heated up for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave are quite easy to fold. We tried the Brown Rice tortillas and those don't fold very well for burritos or wrapping the tacos. They would be good for quesadilla though!

This heated up well as leftovers for lunch the next day too. 

4 servings

1 package flour/rice/corn tortillas
1 lb Ground Turkey
Seasoning packet - Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning
1 can refried beans (see recipe below)
1 head lettuce
1 small can black olives
Sour Cream

Heat skillet. Add ground turkey, cook until all the meat is browned. Add refried beans and taco seasoning packet (to taste). If it is too thick add in water, about 1/4 cup at a time. Slice up the lettuce and put the olives, salsa, and cheese into respective bowls. Assemble by taking tortilla or taco shell,  add meat and then your toppings!

Semi-Homemade Refried Beans 
Adapted from PinchMySalt 
1 Tbsp bacon drippings (or vegetable oil)
2 cloves of garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic powder
Sprinkle some taco seasoning into the beans, or a tsp of chili powder
1 cans (15 oz) pinto beans

In a large skillet, heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute or two. Add the drained beans smash them with the back of a wooden spoon. Keep stirring and mashing until the beans are the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

Looking for a quick dinner? Or breakfast? This french toast was so easy to create!

I used Trader Joe's Multigrain Country Bread which I don't really care for for sandwiches since it is a little on the drier side. BUT this was perfect for this eggy french toast! I'm not a fan of syrup so I wanted to make a fruit topping (last time I used raspberry jelly, delish!). There were apples waiting to be used to this would be perfect! The topping is based around an apple pie filling. You could also add apple pie spice or nutmeg if you wanted.

Next time I would use half the amount of yolks (ie 2 eggs, but separate one egg from the yolk) to see if it would change the texture while making it a little healthier.

Naked French Toast
Topped with Apples and Cinnamon
A lil dollop of jelly
French Toast

The general rule of thumb is 1 egg per slice of bread. For 6 eggs (6 slices of bread) I used about 1 tsp cinnamon and vanilla, 1/4 cup of water.

In bowl (or a 9x9 baking dish) scramble the eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, and a splash of water (or milk). Dip bread slices in egg batter and let the egg get a bit absorbed (about a minute). Heat frying pan over medium, cook until brown on one side (approx 3-5 minutes), then flip and cook the other side.

Apple Cinnamon Topping
Tops 6 slices of french toast

1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp brown sugar, packed
1 tsp (ish) cinnamon
a splash of water (2 tbsp?)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 medium apple, small dice, I didn't peel it

Heat skillet over medium. Melt butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add the apple and walnuts and stir until coated. I wanted a little "sauce" so I added a splash of water. Cook until apples are starting to soften and a sauce is starting to form.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hearty Vegetable Lasagna

Wow! Life can sure get hectic! Kind of dropped the ball on my 100th post and celebrating the blog's 1 year! Hope you enjoy post # 99 and stay tuned for 100!

Here is a veggie lasagna which used the Hearty Vegetable Lasagna recipe for inspiration. I added in extra veggies and followed some of the reviews ideas for flavors. This was very filling and straightforward to make. Easy make ahead meal as well. Be cautious when freezing veggie based lasagnas because they produce a lot of liquid and can get soggy. If anyone has any tips for making them freeze better, please let me know!

Previous Vegetable Lasagna using zucchini, squash, eggplant, and spinach.

Spread some sauce/veg in the bottom

Layers of noodles, ricotta, veg, and sauce

Continue and top with cheese
Golden bubbly goodness!

Hearty Vegetable Lasagna 
makes 12 slices

 1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons oil
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup carrots (or whatever is left over in your fridge)
¾ cup chopped onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper
½ zucchini, sliced
½ bag baby spinach
2 (26 ounce) jars pasta sauce
1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and drain. (OR use no cook lasagna noodles)
In a large saucepan heat oil. Cook and stir mushrooms, green peppers, carrots, onion, garlic, and oregano, season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened. Add in zuchini and Wilt several handfuls of spinach over the warm veggies, stir to combine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread 1 cup tomato sauce and some of the veggie mix into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer on top of that: noodles, veggies, sauce, and ricotta until nothing remains. There will be approx 2-4 layers. 
Top with the mozzarella cheese.
Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes (but keep an eye on it, if it starts to get too brown cover with foil and let it continue to cook). Let stand 15 minutes before serving.