Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas with Mexican Rice

Whew…seems like forever since I’ve posted. Life just never slows down…ever! So much has happened in life. We got married! Yay! Babygirl, who is no longer a baby, she’ll be 4 in 3 months, was diagnosed with asthma after a sudden attack that put us in the hospital for a few day. Big boy is a big boy, he’ll be 8 in 3 months also, and I swear he’s going to eat us out of the house. We joke he must have a worm. Life just keeps going.

One thing that never changes though is my desire to cook a healthy, mostly from scratch meal for my family. Lately I’ve been veering towards the more healthy side. I’ve never cooked super unhealthy, but we all know how our portions can get away from us. I’d really like to lose some more weight before we try to get pregnant in a year and half or two, so I’ve started watching what I eat, tracking my calories and intake and just started some at home exercise.

I’ll try to start posting our meal plans again and I may even start posting what my daily intake is to help others.

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Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
Recipe inspired from Cooking Light

2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces chicken breast
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 a large onion)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about half a large zucchini)
1/2 cup salsa verde
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 flour tortillas
Cooking spray
3 ounces cheese, shredded

Preheat broiler.

Chop the onion and zucchini, combine with corn cut off the cob all in one bowl. Chop chicken into small bite size pieces. Combine 1 teaspoon cumin and the salt and pepper, stirring well. Add the chicken pieces to the spice mixture and combine. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, spray with non stick spray and add chicken. Saute chicken until no longer pink. At this time, working with two tortillas at a time. Place 2 tortillas onto a baking sheet, spray lightly with a non stick spray and place until the broiler until lightly brown. Flip the tortillas and do the exact same procedure to the other side. Proceed with the other two tortillas.

Once chicken is cooked, add the vegetable mixture, saute for 3 minutes. Add the salsa verde, the remaining teaspoon of cumin and half the chopped cilantro. Cook the chicken mixture until the sauce is reduced.

When the chicken mixture is reduced, turn the heat off and with a spoon separate the mixture in the pan into 4 sections. Spoon 1/4 of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla and then top with 1/4 of the cheese. Broil two at a time until the cheese is melted. Top finished tortillas with remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 4, roughly 355 calories per tostada.

Served with Mexican Rice.

Mexican Rice

1 c. white extra long grain rice
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 T. caldo de tomate
1/2 t. garlic powder
Non stick spray
Water

In a small sauce pan, combine rice with onion. Spray throughly with non stick spray. Stir and saute the rice on medium heat for about 10 minutes until beginning to turn light brown. Add caldo de tomate and garlic powder. Stir, then cover with 2 c. water, stir again to loosen any rice from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a full boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Allow to rest then separate grains with a fork.

1/2 c. serving, serves 6, each 1/2 c. serving is roughly 109 calories

I’ve linked this post with some of my favorite weekly go to’s for recipes and ideas, The Weekly PotluckMandy’s Recipe Box’s “Totally Tasty Tuesdays!”, and Buns in My Oven.

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Garlic French Fries

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You ever get a random idea to eat something you’ve never even seen before? But you have to have it right that second.

Well Garlic French Fries did that to me tonight. And I don’t even know how I did it but I knocked my own socks off.

I simply baked a whole pan of good ok freezer french fries until they were really crispy. While they cooked I melted a stick of butter in a small bowl, then added about 4 or 5 finely chopped garlic cloves, some dried parsley and salt. Right before serving I tossed the fries with butter until coated.

Yum! Good thing we’re all eating them cause our breath is going to be fantastic!!!

Northwoods Inn Purple Slaw

Growing up, my family went to Clearman’s Northwoods Inn whenever we went to my grandparents’ house. I don’t remember much about this restaurant but the garlic bread and the salads everyone at the table got. The garlic bread has such cult following that the spread is sold in stores in California. Unfortunately, I’m in Texas. I’ve found a few copycat recipes for the spread online but so far, nothing quite matches it. Tonight, I tried a copycat recipe I found for the purple slaw, the original recipe can be found here.

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Northwoods Inn Purple Slaw

½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup red wine vinegar , plus 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. seasoning salt , such as Lawry’s
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ head red cabbage , very thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients except the cabbage, pour over the cabbage and combine. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible.

I let mine sit for 5 hours.

Now I don’t remember what the slaw used to taste like, I remember 20 year later it tasted good in my memories, and that’s saying a lot for a young child to like cabbage. Twenty years later…it’s still good.

Tonight I served it along side a perfectly coooked steak and twice baked potatoes.

I think I’m in heaven!

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Napa Cabbage, Carrot and Almond Slaw with Honey

Momma, I no feel good.

 

Yep, that’s how my evening started. Twelve minutes til daycare closed and I walked in the door to see my babygirl in one of her teacher’s arms and as soon as she saw me she uttered those words. Bout broke my heart! Shes been battling allergies, cold, congestion, cough, wheezing, pretty much all of it for probably two weeks.

Anyways, when I got home I went into momma mode and gave her a breathing treatment and lots of love and sugars. Because I was so wrapped up in this whole momma thing I forgot to take pictures but I did cook and I did cook in pretty much less than 30 minutes.

Last night I had defrosted two thick cut pork chops and threw those in a ziploc bag with some leftover spicy stirfry sauce found in the fridge. Tonight I took those out of the fridge when I first got home and laid them onto some paper towels to dry them and bring them up to room temperature.

Threw some sliced almonds in a pan on medium low heat to toast, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Kiss baby

Warm up a cast iron skillet on the oven, place the dried pork chops in. Brown on one side, flip and toss the pan in the oven.

While the pork chops were cooking, I made a quick slaw. I found the recipe in the Rachael Ray Magazine.

As for the pork, I always use a thermometer because pork is so often overcooked and dry, it’s SOOOO much better when cooked to 165 degrees.

In all it all came together in no time. And it was good!

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Napa Cabbage, Carrot and Almond Slaw with Honey

6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt
2 carrots, shredded
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Combine the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and 1/8 tsp. salt. Add the cabbage, carrots and almonds, toss to coat.

Yum!

Next time I will not be using olive oil though, a bit too strong for the slaw, I’m going to use a vegetable oil. Regardless it’s very fresh and light.

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Asian Marinated Cucumber

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I actually made these last night so they’d be able to sit and get yummier all night. And yummy they are! Believe it or not I hadn’t had cucumbers any other way besides in a salad until last spring. Our garden was going CRAZY, can’t imagine why. Someone got a little plant happy and planted at least 5 plants of each kind, the whole thing was close to a 1/2 an acre.

Anyways, garden crazy, started looking for a non creamy cucumber dish. Don’t ask why I didn’t want creamy, it just didn’t sound as refreshing to me. I found many fairly simple recipes and began serving marinated cucumbers on a weekly basis. My basic recipe is nothing more than vinegar, olive oil, sugar, water, black pepper and dried parsley. And of course cucumbers and onions.

Tonight though we’re having an asian version because I love practically anything asian in flavor and I am the boss of what we eat after all.

Ingredients

1 cucumber
1/4 of a small white onion
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 c. rice vinegar, seasoned will work too
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
Kosher salt for salting the cucumbers

Start out by washing your cucumbers very good. Slice the ends off and then take a peeler to the cucumber. Peel the whole thing or you can make it pretty and peel a strip then leave a strip unpeeled. Regardless, slice it in two slicing is lengthwise then slice each half into 1/4 inch pieces.

Note: I just realized I left the seeds in these, normally after I slice the cucumber in half I take a spoon and scrape out the seeds. Do this. Don’t be like me and have to scrape the seeds out of each piece after they’ve been salted, unless you don’t mind the seeds. Heck, just do as you please.

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Place the sliced cucumber pieces into a colander over another bowl or over the sink and sprinkle the cucumbers with a good dose of salt. Let these sit for at least 45 minutes.

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After you think the cucumbers have given off as much liquid as they’re going to, place the cucumbers into a bowl. Slice the onion into very thin slices and add the onion to the cucumbers.

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In another bowl, mix the sugar, vinegar, oil and red pepper flakes with a fork until the combined. Now be warned, if you use the full 1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes they will be spicy, not uneatable but there will be some warmth.

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Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and onions. Gently toss the whole mixture. I would recommend refrigerating for at least 6 hours. Enjoy!