Diary of a Foodie

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Grilled Chicken Tostada Bowls

Looking for new ways to eat healthier is not always easy when you have 4 boys that just want to eat chicken nuggets all day. We love tacos around this place so I thought I would find new ways to add more vegetables and use more figure friendly chicken breast.

Grilled Chicken Tostada Bowls

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 TBSP Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground chile powder
juice and zest of one lime
1/4 c vegetable oil

Pour vegetable oil, lime juice and zest, and seasonings in a gallon Ziploc bag. Place chicken in bag and rub seasonings all over the chicken. Let chicken marinate in fridge for about 2-4 hours. Grill chicken for 6-8 minutes per side, or until no longer pink inside. Remove chicken from grill and allow it to rest 5 minutes before cutting chicken into chunks. 

2 cans black beans, drain, and heat through with 1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup black olives, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

6 whole wheat flour tortillas
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Turn a cupcake/muffin pan upside down and spray with cooking spray. Take each flour tortilla and fold over the cupcake mold to make the tortilla into a bowl. Bake the tortillas on an upside down cupcake pan for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly brown. Once browned, remove from oven and flip the tortillas off the pan and let them cool before filling.

Fill the flour tortilla tostada bowl with 1/3 cup black beans, 1/3 c cheese, salsa, chopped chicken, lettuce, olives, and cherry tomatoes.

Ropa Vieja

I like to try foods from around the world and I am fascinated by Cuban food. Heavily seasoned but not spicy, Ropa Viejha (rope-uh vee-aa-ha) literally means old clothes. The beef in this dish is shredded after a long braising time to look like old clothes. Hence the name. It is a great and easy way to try new flavors.

Ropa Vieja

2 lb flank steak
3 large tomatoes, seeded, and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chile powder
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano

Put meat in crockpot and sprinkle with the seasonings. Pour the vegetables and tomato sauce over the meat. Turn crockpot to high and cook for 6-8 hours, or until beef is easily shredded with two forks. Shred meat and place back into cooking liquid. To be authentic, serve over rice with black beans as a side. I served it to my family in softened corn tortillas, topped with black beans, and cheese.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Supreme Pizza Pasta Bake

Several years ago, while at staying at our family's cabin with some friends, we had Pizza Pasta Bake for dinner. It was penne pasta, pasta sauce, cheese, topped with pepperoni. It was really good! Over the last couple years, I've experimented on this basic recipe and come up with this latest version...
Supreme Pizza Pasta Bake. I've tried to scale back on the fat and use a whole wheat pasta and turkey sausage and pepperoni, to get this healthier. Hope you enjoy!

Supreme Pizza Pasta Bake

1 lb whole wheat pasta (penne or elbow macaroni)
2 links mild turkey Italian sausage (Jennie-O and Johnsonville make these)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced black olives
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/2 c diced yellow onion
1 green bell pepper, diced
8 oz package turkey pepperoni
1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (or make here)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring 10 cups of water to a boil and add 1 TBSP salt to water. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente (about 10 minutes). While pasta is cooking, in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook the turkey sausage all the way through, About 10 minutes, turning often. Once sausage is cooked through, remove it from pan and let it rest. At this point, pasta should be done. Drain the pasta, add the pasta back into the pot it was cooked in,  and set it aside for assembly. In the same skillet the sausage was cooked in, add 1 TBSP olive oil, garlic, olives, mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Saute the vegetables over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Chop the cooked sausage into bit sized pieces and add to the cooked pasta. Add the sautéed vegetables to the pasta and sausage. Pour in marinara sauce and stir till all ingredients are coated. Pour the pasta into a greased 9X13 pan. Top the pasta with the shredded cheese and pepperoni. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve hot with garlic bread or salad.