Whole 30 Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

I promised to share any delicious recipes I found, and I sure am finding some yummy ones! Something that has been really neat about this process is discovering how easy it is to make some of our favorite things. Mayonnaise, for example.

Last night, in honor of taco Tuesday, we had taco salad for dinner. I found the recipe for the taco seasoning at Our Paleo Life and the recipe for the cilantro lime dressing at Stupid Easy Paleo. In about 1/2 an hour, we had the delicious creation below!!!

IMG_3333

Whole 30

I decided to try something new. Today, I kicked off the Whole 30 program. My goal is not to use it as a weight loss tool (although, if a few pounds here or there go, I won’t complain), but rather to take a look at what and how I eat. The concept is simple – stick to meats, seafood (nope!), and vegetables. Don’t eat things like sugar or consume alcohol. The premise is that you take all of this out for 30 days and focus on how your body feels. Allegedly, I’m going to have more energy, feel less of that 2pm sugar craving, and feel less bloated.

The hardest part for me is going to be the no pasta thing – definitely not something I’m going to continue long-term (they pull grains to help people see if they have any sort of intolerance).

Another tough part for me is giving up Diet Coke… a staple in my life and something I suspect I will probably feel better without in the long term. Again, by no means am I saying I’ll never drink another one, but I’m trying to feel what impact it has on my day to day.

There are all sorts of really cool recipes out there – today I had scrambled eggs for breakfast with my black coffee (creamer is a no no), a chicken bacon salad for lunch, and taco salad for dinner. Below are some pics of how yummy everything looked!

IMG_3296
Chicken Bacon Salad with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar
IMG_3297
Taco Salad

My first thought on the program is how hard it is to grocery shop. Instead of grabbing a box and some hamburger (Hamburger Helper anyone?) I spent 15 minutes on the salsa aisle looking for some sort of salsa that didn’t have sugar in the ingredients. My trip ended up being an hour and half of wandering the store wondering what the hell I’ve been eating for the last 36 years. My refrigerator is stuffed (think fresh stuff!) and my pantry is bare (no more processed foods!).

My only hangup today was a craving for something sweet after dinner. Dessert is normally my downfall (ice cream!), so instead, I had a glass of unsweetened iced tea. It hit the cold spot and the somewhat sweet spot and I got through it!

The even better news? Mike is on board, too. So for the next 30 days we’re committed to working on making healthier choices and paying more attention to what we put into our bodies. I can’t wait to see what the month brings! I’ll keep you posted and share recipes along the way!

Enchilada Soup

This last week Mike and I tried another InstantPot recipe that I found here. I’ll confess, thus far we’ve mostly used it to make rice, but decided to give the slow cooker a go with Enchilada Soup. It was absolutely delicious!

img_1750

Ingredients

For the enchilada sauce:
Neutral cooking oil, such as canola or safflower
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Mexican-style chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock, plus more for thinning if needed

For the soup:
1 (15-ounce) can yellow corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
2 to 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Heavy cream, to taste, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, optional

To serve:
Grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Tortilla chips
Cilantro

Directions

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeño and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.

Add the corn, beans, and chicken thighs to a 5-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Cover and set on low for 6 to 7 hours (or high for 4 hours).

Shred the cooked chicken using two forks. Stir in a splash of heavy cream if desired. Give the soup a taste and season the soup with additional salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, if needed.

Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and cilantro for garnish.

 

Chicken Wonton Tacos

Last night I tried a new recipe that I found on Allrecipes.com… chicken wonton tacos. They were absolutely amazing! They’re tiny, so if you have them for dinner, be prepared to eat like eight of them. They’re great as the main dish or would be awesome appetizers!

IMG_1155

Ingredients

1/3 head of red cabbage, sliced and chopped

4 small carrots, peeled and grated

1/4 cup coleslaw dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 pound ground chicken

1/4 cup stir fry sauce

14 wonton wrappers

Directions

Mix cabbage, carrots, coleslaw dressing, vinegar, soy sauce, and teriyaki together in a bowl; refrigerate until flavors blend, 1 hour to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir ground chicken in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Add stir-fry sauce, cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and simmer.

Form wonton wrappers into taco shapes and arrange between the cups of an inverted muffin tin.

Bake in the preheated oven until firm and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken mixture into each wonton taco shell and top with slaw.

 

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Apricot Jam

The other night I tried a new recipe from Cooking Light… it was really yummy! Apricot is one of my favorite fruits, so I was excited to try something that used it! From start to finish the whole thing took about 35 minutes… nice and quick for a weeknight meal! Enjoy!

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Apricot Jam
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Apricot Jam

Ingredients

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 one pound pork tenderloin

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine preserves, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and garlic in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Sprinkle pork with remaining salt and black pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add prok to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned. Turn pork over.

Place pan in oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 150 degrees. Remove pork from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Cut pork into thin slices and serve with apricot mixture.

Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner

Ok, internet friends, this one is a good one. I found this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine (click here for the link to their site) and it was a hit. It takes just a little more than the 30 minutes that’s promised, but is quick, easy, and delicious! It was so pretty that I decided to share two pictures – one in the pan and one on the plate! I did leave out the mushrooms (I’m allergic) and only added two chicken breasts. This would definitely feed four people if you added the two extra chicken breasts. Enjoy!

In The Skillet
In The Skillet
On The Plate
On The Plate

Ingredients

12 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 3/4-inch thickness
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 thyme sprigs
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup whole milk
5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
8 very thin lemon slices
1 (8-ounce) package trimmed haricots verts (French green beans)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and thyme sprigs to pan; cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken over. Place pan in oven; bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add potatoes, cut sides down; mushrooms; and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring once. Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add remaining salt, remaining pepper, flour mixture, stock, lemon, and beans to pan; simmer 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Add chicken; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Lighter Orange Chicken

I made this the other night for Mike and I… not only was it super easy, but it was delicious! I put juuuuuust a little too much Siracha in it… but other than that, it was amazing! Enjoy!

Lighter Orange Chicken
Lighter Orange Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into small 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp granulted sugar
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Chopped green onions and sesame seeds, for serving

Directions

Heat a wok over moderately high heat. Add canola oil and once hot add chicken and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook chicken, tossing occasionally, until it has cooked through, about 5 – 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving the little bit of remaining oil behind. Reduce burner to medium heat and return skillet to heat. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add in orange juice, 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, the orange zest, soy sauce, honey, sugar, onion powder, ginger, vinegar and Sriracha. Season with salt and pepper to taste and return to heat. In a small bowl stir together cornstarch with remaining 2 Tbsp chicken broth until well blended. Pour mixture into wok, cook and stir constantly until sauce bubbles and has thickened well. Remove from heat and toss chicken in sauce mixture.

Serve warm with white or brown rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds.

From: Cooking Classy