Finally! I'm finally sharing this crowd-pleasing recipe with you! I first made these taquitos a few months ago for a Super Bowl party because I wanted to try something fun and festive but I wanted to steer away from my all-too-common chip/dip combo. These taquitos were amazing! They were crispy and cheesy and a little bit spicy. This adaptation makes a double-batch (about 24-26). It takes a little bit of time to make the filling and roll each one, but it's totally worth it to have a freezer full of these little gems! I usually cook a few of them immediately for dinner and freeze a majority of them. They make for a fantastic last-minute snack for guests and even a quick dinner when you are parenting solo, as I have been this past week!
Creamy Chicken Taquitos
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup salsa
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
24-26 6-inch flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine shredded chicken, cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, corn and cheeses. Mix until well combined.
Briefly heat the tortillas in the microwave so they roll easier (about 10 seconds per 10 tortillas). Place a tortilla on a work surface. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the top 1/3 of the tortilla. Fold the top part of the tortilla over the filling and towards you. Continue to roll tightly until you have a taquito. Repeat with the remaining tortillas until you have used all of the filling.
If you are baking immediately, place the taquito seam-side-down on the prepared baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. Baked about 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
If you are freezing for later use, place the taquito seam-side-down on a freezer safe plate that is small enough to fit in your freezer. I use a quarter sheet jelly roll pan. Spray lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Freeze for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a freezer safe bag. When ready to eat, bake at 425 F for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Serve with sour cream, salsa or guacamole.
**Tip - when making Freezer Meals I always write down the name of the item, the date and any cooking instructions, ie, 425 F for 15-20 mins.
Adapted from Annie's-Eats
Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Don't worry, my calendar is correct - I realize that I'm 3 days late, but for very good reason! On Sunday, May 6 I participated in my very first marathon. I organized a relay team to run in the Pittsburgh Marathon. I ran the first leg, which was 5.5 miles. I completed it at a turtle's pace but I'm quite proud of my 1:01:43! This was a huge accomplishment for me because though I've always loved running, I've never been very good at it or confident of myself. Let me tell you, this field was intimidating! 25,000 REAL RUNNERS in one spot! My first thought was "Boy, I wish I'd trained more", but once we got started I realized what these events are all about - FUN! That was the biggest surprise to me. I expected the runners to be very serious and the spectators to be a handful of people crazy enough to get up way early on a Sunday to watch a bunch of people run (well, half crazy...us runners were the real crazies!). I was so wrong! There were thousands and thousands of spectators cheering us on every step of the way and the runners themselves were in full-on party mode! They were shouting and cheering and dancing...it was insanely amazing and I'm so happy that I finally got to run in a marathon. It's especially moving for me that my first experience was in a city that I love more than anywhere else in the world. Thank you Pittsburgh for letting me enjoy you on a whole different level!! I will run again!
To that end, the night before the marathon was Cinco de Mayo. I spent the day eating rather bland, carby foods. I realized everyone else was throwing back some margaritas and eating yummy, Mexican goodness, but I knew that wasn't the right food for the night before the biggest race of my life. I decided to make up for it with a small Cinco de Mayo feast on Siete de Mayo! Today I'm going to share my guacamole recipe with you. I absolutely adore avocados. I've made them into guacamole countless times, topped salads with them, smashed them down into a paste for sandwiches and even made them into dessert. I have always sort of 'winged it' with guacamole, but I found this recipe a few years ago and it was just perfect for my taste. The original recipe calls for a serrano chili pepper, but I've omitted it because I want the flavor of the avocado to shine through. If you want your guacamole a little spicy, just add 1-3 chilies to the first step when you make the 'paste'. Also, I soak my onions for a few minutes to reduce their bite. If you prefer the bite of raw onions, you can omit the soaking step as well. Go ahead, make it your own!
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
3/4 cup torn cilantro
kosher salt, big pinch
3 avocados, diced
1 plum tomato, halved, insides discarded, then diced
Soak onion in a small bowl with cold water for 10-15 minutes. Drain.
Place onion, cilantro and kosher salt in a pile on a cutting board. Chop, then mash into a paste with the flat side of a large knife. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Add diced avocados and mash with a wooden spoon until well combined, but still chunky. Stir in the diced tomato. Adjust seasoning with additional kosher salt.
Cover with plastic wrap placed directly down on top of the guacamole to reduce oxidation. Place in the refrigerator to allow flavors to meld until you are ready to eat it.
Food Network Magazine - May 2010
Last year when I started back on Weight Watchers I missed baking, in a bad way. Luckily, Weight Watchers had several recipes on their website that involved flour, sugar, measuring, etc. I'm not a huge fan of some of their weight loss techniques (artificial sweeteners, fat-free, 'fake' foods, etc) but with a few modifications, this recipe turned out to be perfectly delicious and healthy. JP even asks for these often for her school snack! I keep them in the freezer and throw a few in her snack box in the morning and they are thawed out by snack time. If you want a chocolate fix right now and can't wait, just pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Super easy and great to have on hand!
Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Makes about 36 mini muffins
1 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup uncooked, quick oats
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
1 large banana, mashed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Coat mini muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine yogurt, milk, oats, vanilla extract and egg. Set aside for 5 minutes for oats to soften. Stir in mashed banana.
In a separate bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into yogurt mixture to moisten ingredients. Do not beat. Dough will be very thick. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into prepared mini muffin tins. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Adapted from Weight Watchers
So, I remember years ago, it was Thanksgiving 2004. My parents and sister decided to join my husband and me at my in-law's house for Thanksgiving dinner. After dinner my parents, sister and I drove to King of Prussia for some Black Friday shopping while my husband spend a few days with his dad at a hunting camp. I was so excited to go to King of Prussia Mall again! A place I had yearned to go to for years, then when I lived in West Chester I was able to frequent often and became quite familiar with this beautiful mammoth. This trip was also exciting for me because my husband and I had just signed the papers to buy/build a new townhouse with a shiny new stainless steel kitchen! After spending 12 hours in a mall full of endless choices I found myself leaving with two small bags. One bag from Pottery Barn with a few Christmas ornaments. And one bag from Williams-Sonoma with a shiny new cookbook filled with healthy recipes! A brand new kitchen and a new cookbook filled with HEALTHY recipes!?!? I could hardly contain my excitement! This could be life-changing!
Fast forward a few months to when we moved into our new house with the shiny kitchen. At that point life was pretty crazy. Not only were we in the middle of a move, but I was also a few months pregnant with sweet little JP! Cooking was the last thing on my mind. And so the cookbook sat....sat on a shelf, then in a closet and most recently in a box in the garage. Sure, I'd made one or two recipes from it but for the most part, this book just got pushed aside for something else.
A few weeks ago when I'd realized I'd eaten a few too many cupcakes I was tempted to buy a new, healthy cookbook. Just then I remember this little gem and started to search for it. I found it in a plastic tote in the garage and I'm so happy I did! Looking through it now the recipes seem FAR less involved and complicated as I thought they were back in 2004. Maybe it's because I'm a much better cook than I was then, but I think alot of it is because so many ingredients are so widely available today compared to 2004 (Broccolini?? Goat Cheese??). Overall, this is one of the easiest dishes I've ever made. There is very little prep work, it comes together very quickly and it's a perfect pasta dish for the warm summer months up ahead. If you don't usually salt your pasta water make sure you do AND make sure you use the recommended 2 tablespoons. You'll thank me later!!
Pasta with Tomatoes, Arugula & Goat Cheese
3/4 pound ziti, fusilli or cavatappi
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 cups loosely packed arugula
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the boiling water before adding the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Before draining pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Drain pasta, mix in arugula and place in a warm bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil heats up add tomatoes to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Place over warm pasta. Add crumbled goat cheese, tossing to combine all ingredients. Add a little of the reserved pasta water if the dish is a bit dry. Season with fresh ground pepper to taste.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Healthful Cooking
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!