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Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie

Until recently, soft shell tacos were very hard to find here. Yeah, we could have used tortillas which are everywhere!!! It seems lots of people are on low carb diets these days and I was able to find this GREAT recipe on Pinterest. Who needs a crust? The result was awesome, so much so that we couldn’t believe we ate the WHOLE thing at one sitting.

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FYI…. you will notice in the recipe Taco Seasoning. It’s quite simple to make and cheaper. I have included the recipe I use for taco seasoning at the end of the Pie recipe…

 Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I like La Costena brand with added chipotle)
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese finely shredded, quantity divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • OPTIONAL – a layer of refried beans on the bottom of the pie shell!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9″ pie pan by greasing with butter or spraying with coconut oil.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. If your ground beef is low in fat or if your skillet is not well seasoned, you may want to spray the pan with coconut oil to prevent sticking. When skillet is hot, add ground beef, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Drain beef and add taco seasoning and cook according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool while continuing with the next step.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream. Stir in the green onions, salsa, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the salt.
  4. Stir prepared taco meat into the egg mixture. Pour this mixture into the prepared pie pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. 
  5. Bake pie in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the top is brown and the pie is set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with your favorite taco toppings such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onions, or whatever else you like! Maybe add a few sliced radishes…

Taco Seasoning (enough for this recipe)

1/4 tsp Garlic powder

1/4 tsp Onion powder

1/4 tsp Oregano, dried

1 tsp Black pepper

1 tbsp Chili powder

1/2 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Cumin, ground

 

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Shrimp and Green Bean Stir Fry

Too many string beans from Costco AGAIN! What to do? Stir fry of course. Hope you enjoy this recipe with or without the rice…

 

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Shrimp and Green Bean Stir Fry

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp-shelled, deveined and cut into 1-inch pieces (I cheated and used a dozen frozen, cooked shrimp – no need to thaw)
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound green beans, thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick on an extreme diagonal
  • 1 or 2 sliced radishes (optional) seriously, I have started cooking radishes in my stir fries)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • OPTIONAL RICE

Heat a wok until very hot.

Add the vegetable oil and heat until shimmering.

Add the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds.

Add the shrimp and a pinch of salt and stir-fry until the shrimp are just beginning to turn pink, about 30 seconds.

Add the green beans and radishes and 2 tablespoons of the stock and stir-fry until the beans soften slightly, about 3 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of stock along with the fish sauce and a generous pinch of pepper and stir-fry until the shrimp are cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer.

 

Serve right away.

 

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

I know it sounds a little odd, but this is a very good dish served with rice or maybe Costco Ancient Grains. As usual my slow cooker had it ready in three hours on HIGH, contrary to what the recipe says. It seems every time I use my SC I have the same problem. What do the rest of you find? Mine is a Hamilton Beach with setting – High, Low and Warm. I can never go away and leave it even on LOW…grrr. Be aware…

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Mongolian Beef

  • 1.5 lb. trimmed flank steak
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 T. quick cooking Tapioca, crushed
  • 1 T. grated fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced (whites and greens separated)
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice (or Ancient Grains)
  1. Cut meat into 6 portions. In a 3.5 cup slow cooker combine meat and sliced onions.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the next 6 ingredients (through garlic). Pour over the meat. Sprinkle with WHITE portions of the green onions
  3. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours…or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. (3 in my case!)
  4. Remove meat, reserving cooking liquid.
  5. Slice meat across the grain or coarsely shred and return to the cooker.
  6. Serve over rice and sprinkle with the GREEN portions of the green onions.

Makes 6 servings.

 

Slow Cooker Easy Pork Pozole

Thanks to all of you for getting me past the 14000 views this week! You are all awesome. In return is an awesome Aztec recipe for a soup/stew called pozole. Get out your slow cooker.

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Pozole can be prepared in many ways. All variations include a base of cooked hominy in broth. Typically pork, or sometimes chicken, is included in the base.

Vegetarian recipes substitute beans for the meat.

The three main types of pozole are blanco/white, verde/green and rojo/red.

Red Pozole is usually made without the green sauce, instead adding a red sauce made from one or more chiles, such as guajillo, piquin, or ancho.

Slow Cooker Easy Pork Pozole

  • 2 – 15 oz. cans hominy (white corn), rinsed and drained (fresh in the deli section) In our grocery store here, this is the brand I buy. I use 3/4 package.

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  • 1 – 16 oz. jar salsa
  • 1 – litre reduced sodium chicken broth (I actually used almost 2 to get it less thick)
  • 2 – 4 oz. cans diced green chile peppers undrained (to taste, truthfully, I used two thin slices)
  • 1 – cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 – T ground cumin
  • 4 – cloves garlic minced
  • 1 – tsp. dried oregano, crushed
  • ¼ – tsp. red pepper
  • 12 oz. – pork loin, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Fresh cilantro snipped

NIGHT BEFORE!!!

In the removable crock pot liner, combine the first 9 ingredients (through the red pepper). Stir in the pork pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

NEXT DAY!!!

Let the liner stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours (depending on your slow cooker)…or on HIGH for 3 to 3.5 hours. Check frequently… mine was done in 5 hours on low!

Sprinkle cilantro onto each serving in large soup bowls. Serve with tortillas if desired.

OPTIONAL – In separate side bowls, provide a few sliced radishes, more chopped onion, oregano, chopped cabbage, avocado, cilantro. Let your guests choose what they want to add. I like to add some sour cream for smoothness. 

Makes 6+ servings.

Best Chicken Marinade Ever!

Well maybe an overstatement, as I am still looking for the BEST one…LOL. In the interim I tried this one and was quite happy with it overall. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated as I approach 14000 views on this blog!! Thanks to all of you have stopped by… here is the result with chicken thighs…

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Best Chicken Marinade Ever

Ingredients

  • 6 Chicken breasts or 3.5 lb. chicken
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Rosemary, dried
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1/8 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar ( I cut this back to 1/4 cup so not so sweet)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil, extra virgin

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a large Pyrex measuring cupor mixing bowl and whisk together.
  2. Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
  3. Place chicken in a large, Ziploc bagand pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
  4. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

To grill

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off.
  3. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  4. Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
  5. Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving

 

 

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Thought I could Thai one on since it is now summer…LOL. Sorry that there is no photo, but we were travelling and no camera available.

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Yield: about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice for serving
  • 1 lb. flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chop larger leaves), plus more for garnish
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sambal Oleek, or more to taste (optional)

Directions

  • Cook rice according to directions listed on package.
  • For the sauce:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sambal Oleek if using, set aside.
  • For the beef and veggies:
  • Toss beef with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides but still slightly under-cooked in the center. Transfer beef to a plate while leaving oil in skillet. Reduce heat slightly, add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté until crisp tender, about 2 – 3 minutes (if needed you can add another 1 tsp of oil to the skillet). Add carrots, whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet along with basil leaves, toss until basil has just wilted. Serve immediately over cooked rice garnished with small basil leaves and sesame seeds if desired.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Croque Monsieur

We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.

Croque Monsieur

 Croque-Monsieur

A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.

Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Dijon mustard for spreading

  • 4 slices ham

  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)

  • OPTIONAL – 4 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.

  3. Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.

  4. Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.

I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.

Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/


Sweet Potato, Onion and Blue Cheese Frittata

I want something different for breakfast on Sunday! What do I have?  – sweet potato, red onion and bleu cheese, eggs. Why not? It was a pretty straight forward recipe I found and it turned out well. Mr. L thought it was quite rich with the bleu cheese (secret – I added more than the recipe called for…he was right) Stick to the recipe!

 

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Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Frittata

Ingredients

2 Red onions, medium

1 Sweet potato, large

6 Eggs, large free-range

1 Nutmeg, whole

3 tbsp Olive oil

100 g Blue cheese crumbled

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. Rub the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and leave to cool.
  3. Peel and finely slice the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a 26cm ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion, pop on the lid and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft. Leave to cool.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Crumble in the cheese, then add the onion, and scoops of sweet potato flesh, discarding the skin. Add a good grating of nutmeg, then season.
  5. Wipe out the pan and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the egg mixture and fry over a medium heat until the eggs start to settle and cook.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 more minutes, then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  7. Delicious served with a seasonal salad.

Too vegan for me…LOL…I cooked some bacon….

 

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I LOVE chicken pot pie! I dont make crusts…LOL. Nor can I buy the store-bought crusts here. With some leftover Costco roasted chicken, I yearned for pie. FYI…Bisquick isn’t available here either. Turning to my trusty Pinterest, I found this recipe. It was awesome!!!! I left out the mushrooms and added chopped red pepper… The diced veggies looked great so I added a photo of them too!

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CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP

COOK TIME: 15 MINS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 4 ounces button or baby Bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose or white whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced (I used a can of diced potatoes)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (I used a small can )
  • 1 cup frozen peas (I used a small can)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • oyster crackers (instead of the crust)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat butter in large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted (or heat the olive oil until it is shimmering).  Add onion, carrots, peppers and celery.  Saute for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add in the garlic and mushrooms, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Stir in the flour until it is completely combined, and saute for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Gradually add in the chicken stock and milk, stirring frequently.  Stir in the chicken, potatoes, corn, peas, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper until combined.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer (be careful not to bring it to a boil!), stirring occasionally so that the bottom of the soup does not stick to the pan.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering the soup for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and cooked through.
  4. Taste the soup and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. Serve immediately, with crackers on top or on the side, if desired.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Who does not like shepherd’s pie? There are several variations out there. Sometimes it is called Cottage Pie. This one was a snap! The only tricky part was the roux, melting the butter and adding the flour. Make your life easier and use instant potatoes!

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Easy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
  • 4 cups Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 12 oz. Frozen Peas and Carrots, thawed (Use a can of mixed peas and carrots)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef, onion and garlic.
  • Cook until browned and drain.
  • In another skillet or pan, melt putter and add flour.
  • Cook roux for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in Worcestershire and milk.
  • Cook for 1 minute to thicken.
  • Combine beef mixture, gravy and thawed vegetables.
  • Place in baking dish.
  • Top with mashed potatoes and place in oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. In the last few minutes sprinkle the cheese on the potatoes.