Grilled Mexican Pork Chops

Sometimes I feel like my life revolves around scheduling dinner. Finding recipes, making sure it’s healthy and that I can eat it (gluten free, lactose free), making sure we don’t double up on genre (nobody really wants pasta 3 nights in a row, do they?), dodging traffic at our busy H.E.B grocery store, making something that is finished in 45 minutes or less after a long day of work, and on and on! Yes, the week is set by the menu!

For tonight, we’re going light and healthy.  Fire up the grill and get ready!

The main ingredients for my inspiration:  Pork chops, taco seasoning, corn on the cob, and sweet potatoes

Prep Work:   (The potatoes and corn can be prepped the night before if you need to save time.)

1.  Rub pork chops generously with taco seasoning.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes while you prep the veggies.

2.  Shuck and clean ears of corn.  Lay the corn on a square of foil.  Place a few slabs of butter, sprinkle generously with cayenne and salt&pepper.  Roll each ear of corn in it’s on foil and seal.  (If you have extra taco seasoning, you can use that on the corn!)

3.  Peel potatoes and cube into 1 inch pieces.  Create a foil packet and season generously with garlic salt and cayenne.

Grill time!

  1.  Add the potatoes and corn first on the grill at a medium heat and let cook for 15-20 minutes undisturbed.
  2. Flip the corn and potatoes and move the sides of burners (or top rack if you have one, away from direct heat.)
  3. Add pork chops.  Grill 6-8 minutes on each side, checking to make sure the inside has been cooked through before removing from the grill.

The result:  PURE DELICIOUSNESS!    And super easy!   The hubby and I enjoy this meal because it is pretty simple on clean up (throw away the foil and only a few dishes to clean.) as well as it gives us some time to catch up on our day and visit while the food cooks.

 

**Note – this can be done in the oven/stove.   Preheat oven to 350 and cook the corn and potatoes in foil packets for 30 minutes.   Cook the pork on the stove top over medium heat.

Fat Tuesday

On a school night, I consider a victory if I get dinner made. Unfortunately for my sweet husband, lately dinner hasn’t been my #1 focus. A few weeks ago, however, dinner came together! 11 friends and co-workers joined us for dinner. Why? It was Fat Tuesday!!

Here are a few pictures from our Boiling Pot Night!

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Favorite Asparagus

Robby and I have a favorite way to cooking our asparagus.

I can’t WAIT to try it out on a grill this summer.  I’m sure it will be even better!

aspargus

Ingredients:

  • 2 bundles of asparagus

  • olive oil

  • garlic salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 350

  2. Wash asparagus and cut off ends

  3. Spread out asparagus on a foil lined baking sheet

  4. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over asparagus.  Use your hands to toss and coat each stalk.

  5. Generously sprinkle garlic salt over asparagus.

  6. Bake 20 minutes, take out to toss and stir, then bake 20-25 minutes.

  7. Enjoy!

Side note:  On a grill, bake for 30 minutes in a foil pouch, then open for last 10 minutes.

Flounder Piccata with Lemon, Capers and Artichoke Sauce

It’s HOT outside!  As in 102 as the high today, and it’s not even June yet.  Welcome to Texas,  y’all!  

These hot days make me crave citrus flavors and something light to eat.  When I came across a recipe on Skinnytaste.com for Flounder Piccata it sparked my interest.  Unfortunately, our grocery store did not have fresh flounder.  With a little bending of the rules, though, I created a terrific dinner that is great for the summer!

Follow the recipe link above, but feel free to substitute as needed for your dietary needs.  I used fresh tilapia filets and added in a can of quartered artichoke hearts to the sauce.  The artichokes added in a nice vinegar taste along with the capers.  Yum!

Let simmer until reduced to half
Let simmer until reduced to half

The finished product!!

dinner 2

Quick and Healthy – Taco Soup

It rained here,….sort of. It was dark, windy, and raining south of Midland/Odessa when I left work. It rained for a good 5 minutes and then it stopped. Just like that. You couldn’t tell on the streets or side walks that we’d received any rain in our neighborhood. I guess I should be thankful for 5 minutes of rain, it’s better than no rain at all!

Inspired by the cloudy evening, I decided to make one last stew before temperatures are in the 100’s for the rest of the week.

 

Taco Soup

Taco Soup
Taco Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey meat
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 small can of green chilies
  • 1 packet of Taco Seasoning (low sodium)
  • 2 cups of water

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse the black beans and corn before combining with full can of kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, green chilies, and taco seasoning. Stir well and let simmer.
  2. Saute chopped onions and ground turkey until turkey is cooked through.
  3. Add meat and onions to the mixture and add 2 cups of water.
  4. Allow to bubble and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Serve with cheese and corn chips.

 

*I use lactose free cheese and a gluten free corn chips. This helps keep my allergies in check as well as makes the recipe a bit healthier!

Perk up your Salad!

Need a new flavor for your spring/summer salads?   Try this ah-MAZ-ing Poppy Seed Dressing!  Jolene at Holly Hill Homestead has always been one of my favorite chefs in the entire world.  I think she has outdone herself with this dressing.  

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Try it on fruit salad, with a spinach and strawberry salad on a hot day, ontop of grilled chicken, and more!  I can’t say ENOUGH about this.  THANK YOU, Jolene, for making the world a better place with your dressing!  hehe

But wait!  It gets better!   You can stay at her Holly Hill Homestead Bed and Breakfast and she will do the cooking for you!  (just click on the link)   Hidden in the woods of North East Texas, enjoy a day of antiquing in nearby Jefferson, visit many lakes in the area, or just lounge on the back porch and let the country just cleanse your soul.   (trust me, it’s so worth it!)  

Check out her Blog here at Atop Holly Hill.   She has lots of yummy recipes waiting there for you!  Enjoy!

Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)

During the AdvoCare cleanse, I find that I do better if I have snacks readily available during the day.  Sometimes I get so busy at work I won’t have time for lunch, but can grab a hand full of trail mix or an apple.  

Here’s a strange thing,….lately I’ve been craving something spicy!  If you know me, you know that I’m a baby when it comes to turning up the heat of food.  I can’t handle ANY spice without saying “It burns my tongue!!”  My family may never let me live it down.  I don’t know why, but I’ve wanted spicey things lately.   Strange, right?!?!  So last night, I had an idea:  make a snack with some kick to it!  And so I started something new for us:  

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Favorite Seasoning
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400.  
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Drain both cans of chickpeas and blot with a paper towel to soak up any excess water.  The less water the better!
  4. Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper.
  5. Generously dust/sprinkle with your favorite seasoning.  (I used a Cajun seasoning to get that spice kick I’ve been craving!)
  6. Drizzle olive oil on chickpeas just to cover, then toss so it’s well spread.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes then stir to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Bake 20 more minutes.  Look for a golden brown color in the chickpeas.  Once cooled, they should have a light crunch.
  8. Enjoy!
Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper

Spread out chickpeas on parchment paper

Tony Chachere's, my seasoning of choice!

Tony Chachere’s, my seasoning of choice!

Easy Mexican Salad

I suppose every good recipe has a story behind it.

This recipe was taught to me by a guy I dated in college.  To be quite honest, I was very hesitant to try his cooking since majority of the time we spoke on the phone I always heard the fire alarm going off in the background because he had burnt something.  On the night he made this dish, we went to grocery shop together.  He kept calling it “taco salad” so I went with the typical tex-mex Taco Salad with guacamole, pico, taco seasoning, etc…   After over an hour of miscommunications, he convinced me  that this WAS taco salad because his momma told him so.  HAHA!

Though the relationship didn’t last, this recipe has been one that I’ve passed on to countless friends!

Ode to my ex’s mother:

Dear Cindy, though the relationship was not meant to be,

I’m forever grateful for this fantastic recipe!

And with that, here we go!  Mexican Salad

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Ingredients:

  • fresh spinach leaves (can use any other type of lettuce)
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef (can substitute quinoa, I used both for extra protein)
  • 1 bottle of fat free Catalina dressing
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, rinsed
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag of Frito’s corn chips

Directions:

1.  Prepare the ground beef and/or quinoa.  I used a lean ground beef and a black bean quinoa.  The flavors really complemented each other.   Once ground beef is cooked through, drain well and set aside.

quinoa

Roland brand Quinoa, ready in 15 minutes!

lean ground beef

lean ground beef

2.  Rinse both corn and black beans before heating them in the same skillet as the ground beef was in.  Once warmed, mix ground beef, corn, and black beans together.

ground beef, quinoa, corn, and black beans with dressing on top.

ground beef, quinoa, corn, and black beans with dressing on top.

3.  Add Catalina dressing to the mixture, being careful not to add too much.  I taste test as I go to get the right flavor.

catalina

4.  Plate fresh spinach leaves and add Frito’s to the plate.  This gives a nice salty crunch to the salad!

And voila!  A simple and very quick meal.

The best part, the dressing!