Easy Chicken Fajitas – in one pan!

 

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What’s for dinner?  Ugh, that dreaded question.  Even this home cook wants to prepare an easy weeknight dinner that doesn’t keep me in the kitchen after I’m already exhausted from work, the gym, errands…..you know what I’m saying.  In this busy world of fitting way too much into a day we need an easy, one pan meal that cooks for a mere 25 minutes and comes out absolutely delish!!  And to make it even more fantastic, it’s Mexican!  So get out the sombreros and set Pandora to Mariachi music, you’ll have the time with this speedy dinner!  Ole!

Easy Chicken Fajitas - in one pan!
 
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These delicious and flavorful fajitas come together in a snap in just one pan!
Author:
Recipe type: main course, chicken
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1- 1½ pounds of chicken breasts - sliced into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper - sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper - sliced thin
  • 1 green bell pepper - sliced thin
  • 1 yellow onion - sliced thin
  • 1 cup salsa ( I used an all natural salsa verde)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • corn, wheat or flour tortillas for serving
  • chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In large bowl combine chicken, veggies, salsa, oil and spices.
  3. Toss so that all ingredients are covered with the spices.
  4. Spread chicken mixture evenly onto a sheet pan (cookie sheet) lined with foil.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender.
  6. Serve with tortillas and garnish with sour cream and cilantro if desired.

 

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Try serving them in whole wheat or corn (my favorite) tortillas.  I love them with my easy refried beans and/or Mexican rice for a complete meal.  Or for a fresh twist pair them with my guacamole salsa.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

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I’ve always felt like I’m missing out the pulled pork sandwich.  I don’t eat pork as I just don’t like it.  Well, except of course for bacon which seriously should be a food group in itself.  I mean one of our local restaurants serves bacon ice cream!  I’ve known self-proclaimed vegans, ok only one, who still sneaks a slice of bacon once in awhile.  Yes, the guilty party knows just who I’m talking about….

So here’s my answer to the pulled pork sandwich.  This pulled chicken has a real depth of flavor.  It is in a word fantastic.  It is slow cooked in the crock pot for 7 hours so it is super moist and so very flavorful.  And you will absolutely love how your house smells while it’s cooking.

This one’s a blue ribbon winner, winner chicken dinner for sure.  (Or lunch, or snack).

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Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
 
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This pulled chicken will make you forget about pulled pork! It is made in the slow cooker and is so moist with a great depth of flavor Try serving it on a pretzel roll with a nice cabbage slaw on top.
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Cuisine: Main Dish
Ingredients
  • 1 onion (sweet) – thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or tomato puree, diced tomatoes do NOT work!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken and onion to the slow cooker.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the sauce and stir to cover all of the chicken and onion.
  4. Cook on low for 7 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and gently pull it apart using 2 forks.
  6. Add the pulled chicken back into the crock pot, stirring it into the sauce.
  7. *(recipe adapted from Pure Wow)

My favorite way to serve this sandwich in on a warmed or toasted pretzel roll with a nice vinaigrette cabbage slaw on top.  I’m obsessed with the pretzel roll actually.  I have a friend who serves them warmed with various types of mustard for dipping….yep, I’d be so happy to call that dinner.

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Chicken Kofta Burgers

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Sometimes you create a dish that is just so good that it makes you smile when you think about it; and crave tasting it.  Enter this chicken kofta burger.  As you read through the ingredients list you will seriously think that these spices could not mix into something tasty.  I assure you, they do and everyone I make this dish for absolutely raves about it!

This was inspired by my favorite neighborhood Mediterranean restaurant.  I love it, it is by far my favorite place to eat.  But…you all know I love to re-create restaurant dishes in my own kitchen.  I enjoy their chicken kofta so much that it inspired me to make my own.  It took a few attempts but here is the finished product.  Please try this one, your taste buds will be thrilled!!

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Try serving it with roasted sweet potatoes and my kale taboulli salad.

Chicken Kofta Burgers
 
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A delightful fresh dish with ground chicken, fresh herbs and array of spices. This one is a must try, your taste buds will love you!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, Chicken
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 6 burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup fresh parsley - chopped
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh mint - chopped
  • ⅓ cup onion - diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands until well combined.
  2. Form the mixture into oval shaped patties.
  3. Cook on a stove-top grill pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  4. Or broil 5-6 inches from heat for 8-10 minutes, turning once.

 

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Buffalo-Style Turkey Meatballs

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Ok, it’s deep dark confession time.  Yes, I’m a healthy eater but I love boneless buffalo wings, they’re definitely my favorite bar food and something I reserve as a rare and very special treat to myself.  That being said, I have tried for quite awhile to come up with a healthy alternative to the boneless buffalo wing, one that is completely guilt-free.  Here’s the result….

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These meatballs are really delicious and definitely satisfy that craving for a buffalo wing.  The sauce can be hot or mild, your choice.  I will say though that I think a mild sauce allows for you to be able to actually taste the meatball itself and that’s important because this meatball is absolutely delicious.  It is a light, summer-friendly meatball and I highly recommend eating them on their own without the sauce as a variation to this dish.  You could also substitute beef for the turkey.

I typically serve these with my homemade blue cheese dressing as a dipping sauce.

Buffalo-Style Turkey Meatballs
 
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Author:
Recipe type: main course
Cuisine: Meat dish
Serves: 20 meatballs
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks - diced
  • ½ of an onion - diced (I used Vidalia onion)
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh sage - chopped (5 large leaves) or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg - lightly beaten (I used liquid egg white substitute)
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or ground chicken or ground beef)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup hot sauce ( use your desired heat level)
  • 1 cup Blue Cheese dressing (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the celery and onion, sage and oregano and cook until tender, approximately 3-4 minutes. Let them cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine the turkey, celery and onion mixture, egg and mustard. Combine the ingredients with your hands until well combined.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and mix them into the meat mixture with your hands.
  5. Form the mixture into 1 inch balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes until browned.
  7. For the sauce:
  8. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
  9. Add the hot sauce and whisk to combine until smooth.
  10. Toss the sauce with the meatballs and serve warm.
  11. Serve with blue cheese dressing if desired.
  12. Note - the meatballs can e made up to 2 days ahead and gently reheated in a nonstick pan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Then add the sauce before serving.

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Turkey Sloppy Joes

 

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It’s been a crazy week here and I’m being pulled in what feels like endless directions.  It’s just the time to take one evening and make a big batch of comfort food that can get me through the week.  Ground turkey was on sale at the market so enter turkey sloppy joes.  This is one of my favorite Fall dishes as it’s comforting and super easy to prepare.  I always make a double batch as it saves well in the refrigerator for a few days and also freezes well.  I like sloppy joes served in different ways.  Of course there’s the traditional way on a toasted whole wheat or pretzel bun but I really like it in warmed corn tortillas.  I also serve it over brown rice or whole grain pasta like a meat sauce.  I’ve even made an outside-the-box taco salad with it which is great with some roasted squash and baked tortilla chips. But two of my favorite ways to serve this mixture is over roasted spaghetti squash and inside the cavities of roasted acorn squash halves.  Wow, now that’s a great big serving of Fall on a dinner plate!  Enjoy and be sure to let me know your creative ideas for serving sloppy joes.

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I use a medium dice on the bell peppers and a small dice on the onion which seems to be the right texture for the sloppy joes.  I always use a variety of colors with the peppers as it looks so nice and fall-like.  Yellow and orange seem to be the prettiest.

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Turkey Sloppy Joes
 
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I make a large batch of these as they're delicious and tend to go fast. You could definitely cut the recipe in half. But I warn you, you'll miss not having leftovers of this dish!
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, What's for dinner?
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of assorted bell peppers - diced medium (I used green and orange)
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion - diced small
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Cook the ground turkey until no longer pink.
  3. Reserve a tablespoon of the turkey drippings and then drain any excess fat off the turkey.
  4. Put the turkey into another bowl and set aside.
  5. In the same skillet add the tablespoon of turkey drippings and a small drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Heat the skillet over medium high heat.
  7. Add the peppers, onions and all of the spices. Stir until well combined.
  8. Cook the peppers and onions until they're tender but not soggy, about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium.
  10. Add the turkey back into the pan along with the tomato sauce.
  11. Stir well and heat everything all the way through.
  12. If the sauce is too thin you can add some tomato paste to thicken it up.
  13. I've never chosen to do this as the sauce on the leftovers gets thicker after you refrigerate it.

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Dinner on the Grill

 

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An entire dinner on the grill with no mess in the house.  I love it!

My local grocery store had turkey cutlets on sale.  They’re all white meat and boneless and perfect for marinating and grilling.  I even took a cheat by using a bottle of all natural, preservative free dressing as my marinade.  I added some chopped fresh rosemary into the marinade and it was really tasty.

This was one of those nights that I really didn’t feel like cooking.  With the exception of chopping the veggies, this meal was almost labor free.

This would be a great meal for this hectic back-to-school season!

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Dinner on the Grill
 
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An entire dinner on the grill with no mess in the house! This is a great meal for this busy back-to-school season.
Author:
Recipe type: Grilling, Grilled Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Turkey tenderloins
  • 1 bottle of preservative free, all natural salad dressing (I used a garlic vinaigrette)
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
  • carrots - (multi colored), cut
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 2 beets - sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
  • olive oil
  • Montreal steak seasoning
Instructions
  1. Place the turkey tenderloins into a zip top plastic bag.
  2. Add approximately ¾ of the bottled dressing and the rosemary.
  3. Let the tenderloins marinate for at least an hour or up to several hours before grilling.
  4. Toss all the veggies with olive oil and Montreal steak seasoning.
  5. Keep the beets separate from the other veggies as they will turn them purple.
  6. Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat.
  7. Grill the turkey tenderloins until cooked through until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the tenderloin reaches a temperature of 165 degrees. (Approximately 30-40 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the tenderloins, turning once to get even grill marks).
  8. Place the veggies on the grill and cook until fork tender and nice grill marks form.

 

 

 

 

 

Bistro Salad

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I have two preferred methods of cooking vegetables depending on the season.  In the fall and winter it’s roasting; in the spring and summer is grilling.  The peppers and beets in this salad were grilled.  Yes, beets; like little circles of purple perfection!!

The steak is a flank steak.  Flank steak is an economical cut of steak as compared to prime rib, T-bone and ribeye.  It’s typically not as tender of a cut so using a marinade or rub is recommended but not imperative.  I’ve included a simple marinade in the recipe that I enjoy.

Bistro Salad
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Steak Salad with grilled veggies
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • For the marinade:
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons deli style or whole grain mustard
  • For the flank steak:
  • 3 pound flank steak
  • For the salad:
  • Boston (butter) lettuce, or romaine, or your favorite mix of lettuce - chopped
  • 2 beets - peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 2-3 bell peppers - cut into 2 inch wide strips
  • 4 Hungarian/banana/cubanelle peppers - sliced into 1 inch wide strips
  • ½ to 1 pint of grape tomatoes - sliced in half lengthwise, I used yellow and red and a heirloom variety called black krim (the 2 tone ones in the picture)
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
Instructions
  1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake the jar until mixed. Or mix all ingredients in a bowl using a wire whisk.
  2. Pour the marinade into a zip-top plastic bag.
  3. Add the steak to the bag and place in a baking pan in the refrigerator. This will prevent a mess in your refrigerator if the bag should leak.
  4. ALTERNATE METHOD: Place the steak into a baking pan, pour the marinade over the steak and turn the steak around with tongs so coated all over with the marinade. Cover the top of the pan with foil or plastic wrap.
  5. Let the meat marinate for at least an hour before cooking.
  6. Heat 1 side of your grill to high and keep the other side off (no direct heat).
  7. Brush the grill grates with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  8. Place the steak on the grill on the high heat side. Sear the steak for 3 minutes on each side until nice and browned.
  9. Transfer the steak to the non-heat side of the grill and grill for an additional 3-5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 125-130 degrees for medium rare. Move the steak to a plate with aluminum foil tented over it.
  10. Let the meat rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting it.
  11. Place the veggies on the high heat side of the grill and cook until nice grill marks appear then turn the veggies over again until grill marks form and the veggies are tender. Approximately 3-5 minutes per side.
  12. Remove the veggies from the grill
  13. Place the lettuce in the bowls.
  14. Slice the steak against the grain. That is, perpendicular to the long, fibrous muscle fibers running along the meat.
  15. Top your lettuce with the grilled veggies, tomatoes and crumbled blue cheese.
  16. Serve with your favorite dressing.

 

Salmon Salad, a 20 minute meal

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Yes I’m a food blogger.  Yes I love to cook.  And, yes there are nights that like everybody else I just don’t want to even think about cooking.  Nights when I have no motivation or energy to do so and no idea what to make.

Sometimes I turn to take-out but the question of “what do you want to pick up?” is often worse than “what are you making for dinner?”  I swear sometimes by the time we finally decide on what to order for takeout I could have cooked a four course gourmet meal.

This is where your pantry, freezer and refrigerator really come in handy.  One of my favorite items to keep on hand are salmon burgers.  They are delicious, packed with protein and very versatile.  I serve them with some instant brown rice and a vegetable (frequently a frozen veggie also from the freezer) and a complete meal is on the table in 20 minutes.  They’re great put on a bun with a couple condiments of your choice with a side salad.

This particular salad was thrown together by looking in the refrigerator for miscellaneous produce and items in jars in the refrigerator door.  I started with a bed of arugula (any green would do) and added a handful of broccoli slaw mix from a bag, mild banana pepper rings, some chopped fresh basil from the garden and  some chopped cucumber.  The salmon burger cooks from frozen in the oven in 20 minutes.  Top the salad with the dressing of your choice and the salmon burger and you’ve got a great meal; delicious, nutritious and best of all super quick!

This same no brainer meal can be duplicated with a veggie burger, chicken burger or sirloin burger.  I just really love these salmon burgers though.  They seem a bit more gourmet and they feel like a real treat as they’re so meaty and tasty.

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Fresh Mex Turkey Tacos

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No doubt that Mexican cuisine is one of my favorites.  But I really love the fresh and healthy style of Mexican cooking.  No fried greasy beef-filled tortillas smothered with melted cheese here!  The avocados, tomatoes, peppers, lime and fresh herbs blend together so well both for their visual beauty as well as their marriage of fresh flavor.

I say this as humbly as I can but this was one of the best meals I’ve created in a good number of days.  It was a beautiful flavor forward meal.  The fact that all these beautiful ingredients are in season helped considerably.

I served the turkey tacos along with a broccoli slaw salad with a sweet rice vinegar dressing and a guacamole salsa.  My girlfriend was totally speechless over this dinner.  Of course, her mouth was full most of the time so……..

Enjoy!  As always, I welcome your comments and any ideas on additional ingredients you might add.

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Fresh Mex Turkey Tacos
 
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Author:
Recipe type: What's For Dinner?, Main course
Cuisine: Mexican, Taco
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons of all natural preservative free Taco Seasoning (I used Penzy)
  • ½ Tablespoon cumin
  • 6 radishes - thinly sliced into rounds
  • Sour cream for serving
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add ⅔ cup water, the taco seasoning and cumin.
  2. Simmer until the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  3. Warm the tortillas on a griddle pan or skillet or in the oven wrapped in foil.
  4. Serve the ground beef in the warm tortillas garnished with guacamole salsa, radishes, sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

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Traditional Turkey Meatloaf

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I have been making this turkey meatloaf for years.  The recipe was actually from the Jennie-O package the ground turkey came in.  Sometimes it does pay to read those recipes printed on the labels of your foods!  This meatloaf never fails and it’s moist and delicious.

Traditional Turkey Meatloaf
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main Course, What' For Dinner
Cuisine: Turkey
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion - chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey - I use the 93% lean (not the ground turkey breast that is 99% lean)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup catsup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the turkey, bread crumbs, egg, ¼ cup catsup, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to the onion mixture.
  6. Mix well with your hands.
  7. Pack the mixture into an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
  8. Spread the remaining ½ cup catsup over the top of the meatloaf.
  9. **Note - I often spread balsamic vinegar over the top of the meatloaf with the back of a spoon. It's awesome. (See photo above).
  10. Bake for 55 minutes until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.
  11. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before cutting.

 

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