Taco Pie

Football season is upon us! With America’s favorite past time comes chili, seven layered chip dip, beer, and taco pie. Tacos can be messy and require too much effort on a Sunday when you’d rather veg on the couch and enjoy the game. Prepare it ahead of time (even the night before) and throw it in the oven a half hour before you’re ready to chow!

Ingredients:

1 to 1.5 lbs of ground sirloin

2 packages of mild McCormick taco seasoning (You’ll only need 1 package if sans sour cream)

8 oz sour cream (skip if dairy free)

1 package of Pillsbury pie crust (You’ll only use half)

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup of shredded cheese (What used to be Galaxy Nutritional Foods is now Go Veggie. They have a soy-free, dairy-free rice cheese available in shreds.)

1 cup of slightly crushed tortilla chips (El Milagro homestyle for soy-free)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 420 degrees. Put one of the pie crusts into an un-greased pie dish. Bake it for 10 minutes, or until it browns slightly.

Brown the meat. Follow the directions on the McCormick packet for adding the seasoning. Be sure to strain after!

Remove the pie crust from the oven. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.  Pour in the strained meat into the cooked crust.

Mix the additional taco seasoning packet into the sour cream. Spread the seasoned sour cream over the meat.

Layer the chopped onion, tomato, and bell pepper over the sour cream. Sprinkle the cheese on top, then add the crushed chips.

Place the dish in the oven for 30-40 mins. Watch for the edges of the pie crust to brown slightly.

Let cool for a few minutes and serve at half time!

Taco Pie

Farmers Market Pasta

Pasta has a reputation for being a heavy, carb-overloading, cheat-meal. But, it doesn’t have to be! This light, refreshing dish breaks through the confines of pasta barriers. It will leave you satisfied, but not overly stuffed!

 

Ingredients:

Pasta Puttana‘s Fiery Red Chile handcut tagliatelle (Spinach pasta is a tasty substitute. Just add crushed red pepper flakes or chili pepper paste to get the kick!)

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Freshly cut arugula

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Chiffonade your fresh arugula

Follow the package directions to boil the pasta. Fresh pasta cooks quickly!

Strain pasta.

In a small prep bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper.

In a serving bowl, gently combine the pasta, arugula, and dressing.

 

Farmers Market Pasta

Farmers Market Pasta

 

Tortilla Soup

Soup season is upon us! Nothing beats a fall weekend full of sweaters, football, and homemade soup. This recipe was adapted from http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chipotle-chicken-tortilla-soup-10000001087094/.

Ingredients:

Two chicken breasts (bone in)

1 clove of garlic minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

14.5 oz can of whole kernel corn

1 cup water (I ended up adding a second cup at the end)

salt & pepper to flavor

14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (the recipe calls for stewed tomatoes, but I couldn’t find any that were soy-free)

1 cup crushed baked tortilla chips

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

7 oz can of chipotles in adobo sauce (discard the peppers and use the sauce)

1 lime

1/2 yellow onion chopped

1 stick of celery chopped

Directions:

First, make your own chicken broth (thanks, Mom)! Pour the water into your pot and place the two chicken breasts in. Add your chopped celery, chopped onion, and minced garlic. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and put the lid on. Let it simmer for 45 mins.

Remove the lid. Carefully transport the chicken breasts to a cutting board to cool. They’ll be tender!

Add the tomatoes (unstrained), corn, adobo sauce, and spices to the broth. I don’t put the chipotle peppers in the soup, just the adobo sauce. If you’re looking for a stronger kick, mince a pepper and toss it in. Add water if it appears too dense.

Remove the skin and bone from the chicken breasts. Using two forks, shred the chicken by pulling it apart. Discard fat. Place the shredded chicken in the broth.

Stir. Put the lid back on and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

Serve with tortilla chips and a wedge of lime. Delicious! Happy weekend!

Steve’s Spicy Flank Steak

I’ve adapted this recipe a few times- I was initially inspired by my pseudo-cousin, Steve (a fabulous cook). Thanks, Steve!

I suggest you avoid this unless you have an extreme love for SPICY food. This recipe yields about 6 servings. I typically half it.

Ingredients:

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 limes, juiced

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sherry- this replaced chicken broth. While there are broths that are soy-free, they are very difficult to find. If you’d prefer chicken broth, I suggest making your own.

1 tablespoon of canola oil

1 medium jalapeño chile pepper (or three serrano chiles)

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

3/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (dried works fine if it’s easier!)

1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (I tend to add extra – yum)

2 tablespoons of honey

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (WARNING: Does contain “natural flavoring”!!! It has never bothered me in this dish- it’s such a minute amount. If at all nervous, omit it!)

3 pounds beef flank steak

kosher salt to taste

Directions:

Puree the solids and liquids into the bowl of a blender or food processor until the ingredients are well incorporated. Marinate the flank steak with 1/2 cup of the puree in a resealable bag overnight in the refrigerator. Reserve the rest of the puree to use later as a sauce.

Preheat a grill for medium-high heat.

While grill is warming, remove the meat from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Discard any marinade left in the bag. Liberally season the steak with the kosher salt, and cook to desired doneness, approximately 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145°; medium, 160°; well-done, 170°)

To serve, slice the steak against the grain into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices.

Pour yourself a bold red wine and enjoy!

WHAT TO DO WITH THE EXTRA SAUCE:

My favorite part- Coarsely chop your favorite veggies (I use onion and bell peppers). Toss them in a wok with the extra sauce and a few cups of water. Simmer until the water evaporates. They are to die for! Heed warning: the leftovers get so much more spicy!

Steve and I in the kitchen. Don’t be fooled- I didn’t do any of the work.