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Monday, May 30, 2016

Recipe Review from 5/23/2016

Happy Memorial Day weekend! 

Hopefully the weather was nicer where you are - we spent the bulk of the week and weekend under a sky of fog, rain, mist, more fog, heavier fog, drizzle and a touch of wind.   Yard work?  ha!  I could pasture goats on my lawn it's so thick right now.   It's been this way since last Wednesday. 

Tho, as I get this ready for posting, it's looking like Monday is going to be nice. 

And on the positive side, the lilacs, iris, and honeysuckle are in full bloom and smell absolutely divine! 

Just a couple recipes to review from this past week.  Both were very tasty and noteworthy.  I would make both of these again. 

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) Leftover Kale/Quinoa Salad   (S) Taco Pasta Salad
Mon (Yoga/Bkrp/Legion)  leftover taco salad
Tues - Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Wed- Leftovers
Thurs (Yoga)  leftovers
Fri (Charter Fish Trip/Out)
Sat - Low Country Boil with cornbread and salad

Taco Pasta Salad (The Girl Who Ate Everything Blog via Pinterest)  vegetarian
I usually don't say this, but I didn't change much for this dish and made it as written.   I will note, however, my pasta shells were whole wheat.  Not that that makes much of a difference.

What I did do differently, was I used cherry tomatoes instead of chopping whole regular tomatoes because cherry tomatoes are not as liquid-y.  I used 2 tbsp Penzeys Taco Seasoning.

This turned out really good.  It does make a significant amount (serves 10-12 easily), so this would be perfect for a potluck, lunches, picnic, or several suppers.    I had it for lunches.  Recommended!

1 lb medium pasta shells (or other pasta shape) 
photo from Girl Who Ate Everything Blog
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn, frozen, canned, or fresh (cooked)
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1½ cups salsa
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons Old El Paso Penzeys taco seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
3 avocados, firm but ripe - diced
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cooled pasta, black beans, corn, cilantro, tomatoes, and salsa. Toss gently.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, taco seasoning, and garlic. Pour over pasta and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving.
  4. Right before serving, toss in the cheese and avocado. Add your favorite taco toppings like sour cream or crushed tortillas.
Author (Girl Who Ate Everything) notes: 

This pasta works best with firm but ripe avocados. Overly ripe avocados will become mushy.

Any small pasta shape works well here so feel free to use what you have on hand.

Reserve a small amount of the veggies to sprinkle on top for pretty presentation.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos  (Gal on a Mission via Pinterest)  gluten free option**
Recipe calls for baking, but in the interests of not heating up the house when it's 70* outside (our one day of 70*), I cooked these on the grill.  I used an aluminum foil covered 8x8 cake pan to cook the [turkey] breasts, removed and shredded and cleaned out the pan, then put in a new sheet of aluminum foil and cooked the tacos.  Worked like a charm and I think it actually saved some time.

I used hard shell and soft shell tacos for this - I love hard shell tacos, the Husband, not so much.  I only "stuffed" and cooked enough for the meal.  If I were doing more of a crowd, I'd do them all at once.

Result?  These were darn tasty.  Very reminiscent of a slow cooker buffalo chicken dish the SIL made served over Hawaiian buns, but not as runny.  Leftovers were just as good and a snap to pull together.  Recommended! 

Buffalo Chicken Mixture:
Photo from Gal on a Mission Blog
  • 2 large chicken breasts  (I used 2 1/2 young turkey breasts)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce*  (I used 1/3 cup)
  • hard taco shells**  corn tacos for gluten free option
  • buffalo chicken mixture
  • Mexican four cheese shredded cheese
  • lettuce (optional)
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)

Buffalo Chicken Mixture
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish or sheet. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the salt, pepper, and paprika together in a small ramekin. Coat each chicken breast lightly with the spice mix.
  3. Place chicken into baking dish or sheet and bake for 18 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Allow the chicken breasts to completely cool and then shred using two forks or by using a mixer.
  4. Place the cream cheese, butter, and hot sauce into a large pan and simmer over medium heat until the cream cheese has melted. Making sure to stir frequently.
  5. Place the shredded chicken into the mixture and stir to coat. Remove from heat.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line hard taco shells into an 8x8 baking dish or a 9x13 baking dish, depending on how many tacos you are making.
  2. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the buffalo chicken mixture into each hard shell, top with shredded cheese. Repeat with all tacos.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  4. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and hot sauce. (optional)
Author (Gal on a Mission) Notes
*Add ¼-1/2 cup of hot sauce depending on how spicy you would like. I only recommend using Frank's Red Hot Sauce.
*I made less than 12 tacos, but there is enough mixture for 12 tacos.

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