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Taco Time

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t LOVE tacos?

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We think its safe to say that most of you probably do ūüôā ¬†We also think that’s its a generally accepted fact that taco salad is one of the best salads out there!

And while traditionally, taco salads have taco shells crushed up on top¬†of them, we think that’s kind of boring…

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Because why put the taco shells on top, when you can make a¬†taco bowl instead? ¬†Obviously having a crispy,¬†edible bowl filled seasoned ground beef, peppers, tomatoes, salsa, quacomole, and “sour cream” is¬†way¬†better!

And it’s much easier than you think! ¬†So here it goes, some step-by-step pictures!

First,¬†find a few bowls (however many people you’re serving, that’s how many bowls you need!). ¬†Fold the¬†whole wheat tortillas to fit inside the bowls, then find something heavy(ish) to put inside them. ¬†We used two small ramekins here, but if you have pie weights, or something similar, they would probably work even better!

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Second,¬†you have to bake them! ¬†They only take about 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned and crispy. ¬†Once they’ve cooled slightly, remove the ramekin or pie weights.

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Now, flip them over and bake them a little longer to crisp-up the bottoms.

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After about 5 minutes, the bottoms should be slightly browned and hard to the touch, which mean’s they’re ready to be filled up with delicious taco salad!

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Just be careful when you crack it open- you might be met with an avalanche of creamy, spicy, full-of-flavour beef and vegetables, guacamole, “sour cream” (aka plain yogurt) and salsa. Oh, and don’t forget cheese! ūüėČ

Really, calling a taco salad a “salad” is like calling the snowy weather we’re having today “Spring”- it’s calling itself one thing and doing something entirely different in hopes that no one will notice- but what’s in a name, really? ¬†Taco salad can be called whatever it wants- its too delicious to argue. Spring on the other hand? ¬†You’ve got some ‘splaining to do…

Taco Bowl Salads

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Prep: 15 min
Bake/cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 large (10 inch) whole wheat tortilla wraps (corn tortillas would work, too)

500g. extra lean or lean ground beef
1/4 large white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. sweet bell peppers, diced
1/2 28-oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cumin
pinch of salt
pepper, to taste
Optional: hot pepper flakes

Toppings:

Salsa
Guacamole
Plain yogurt (aka “sour cream”)
shredded lettuce
Grated cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Fit the wraps into 2 bowls.  Place something heavy (such as a ramekin or pie weights) on top and bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned and crispy.  When they are ready, remove from the oven.  Remove the ramekin or weights and take the tortilla out of the bowl.  Flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes, until the bottoms are slightly browned and hard to the touch.

While the tortillas are in the oven, preheat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ground beef, onions, and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the beef is almost cooked. Add the peppers and seasonings and cook until the beef is cooked through, continuing to stir.  Now add the tomatoes and cook until the much of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Divide the mixture between the two taco bowls, and top with whatever toppings you desire!

~twosaucysisters

Do you like tacos?  What are your favourite taco toppings?

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Taco Time

When my dad went to the grocery store the other day, chicken thighs were on sale, so he picked up a package. ¬†Chicken thighs are already cheaper than the breasts, so when they go on sale they’re an even bigger money-saver. ¬†The thighs, however, are often given a bad wrap for being higher in fat than the breast, which of course, is true. ¬†In all honesty I prefer the breast because of that reason- I’m not a huge fan of all the extra blubber hanging off the thighs-¬†gross. ¬†The meat itself is also a bit darker, and I prefer light meat, so the breast is usually my cut of choice.

That being said, there definitely is a place for chicken thighs, even in a healthy diet.  It just takes a little more creativity.

What are those, you ask?  Why, pulled chicken tacos, of course!

As we have mentioned before, both Julie and I are not overly fond of pork. ¬†Our brothers, though, really love pulled-pork, so this is our compromise. ¬†And here, my friends, is where chicken thighs have found their niche! ¬†You see, in this recipe, the chicken itself doesn’t have to look pretty, because you’re going to be shredding it up anyways, so you can rip it apart and mangle it up as much as you want to cut out a majority of that nasty excess fat that has found its way into all of the nooks and crannies of the thigh. ¬†At the end, if your chicken looks like it got in a fight with a lawn-mower, it doesn’t matter! ¬†The process of cutting out the fat is a little long and tedious, but it is very worth it in the end.

Now, some of you may be thinking that by cutting out all of the fat we will lose all of the moisture.  Ordinarily you would be correct, but in this dish, it is the sauce that is the real show-stopper, and completely makes up for any moisture loss.

Before I go any further with the tacos, though, there is one other component of this meal that deserves some attention.  Because what is a good taco without a little salsa?

We served our tacos with peach salsa and honestly, this may have been my¬†favourite part of the meal! ¬†Julie and I both were eating this stuff with just a spoon, it was that good. ¬†The peaches were perfectly ripe, and the sweet juiciness of them complimented the tacos¬†pefectly. ¬†There isn’t really a whole lot I can say to describe how delicious it really was, so you’ll just have to make it yourself!

This salsa was so fresh tasting, and it was super simple to make. ¬†It would be really good with tortilla chips as a snack to bring to parties, if you’re willing to share it ūüėČ

Summertime Peach Salsa

Prep: 10 min

Makes: 1.5-2 c.

Ingredients:

1 tomato, diced

1 peach, peeled and diced

1/4 c. diced red pepper

1/4 c. diced green pepper

1/4 c. diced hot peppers (we used banana peppers)

1/3 c. diced white or red onion

1 garlic scape, diced

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp lime juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Easy, right?

And now on to the main event!

The first step is making your sauce and pouring it into a slow cooker with the chicken.

   Slow cooker meals are great in the summer time, because when you look outside and the sun is shining, the sky is a perfect blue with hardly a cloud and the thermometer is telling you that its the perfect weather for swimming, the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours in the kitchen.

  The Slow cooker is the perfect solution.  It does all the work for you while you can enjoy the beautiful weather outside.

Julie and I call our slow cooker Ol’ Faithful. ¬†She’s got a few chips and cracks, a few scratches, and is probably older than we are, but she has never failed us. ¬†Never burns our food, never under-cooks anything. ¬†Whatever we put in there always comes out moist and flavourful. ¬†The day this one kicks the bucket will be a day of mourning for us, i’m afraid.

But I digress.

The next step is making your taco shells. ¬†Of course, you can buy taco shells, but we often find them to be too salty. ¬†Instead, we like to use small, 8-inch tortillas. Here’s what we did:

Insert a toothpick into each tortilla to hold them open, then bake them at 350 for 10 minutes.  What we forgot to do: roll up a ball of tin foil and place it inside each tortilla to keep them from collapsing inward when baked.  They still turn out crispy and delicious, you just have to pry them open a bit to get any filling inside.  The tin foil on the inside will help you to avoid any cracked shells.

The pulled chicken is really delicious, and you don’t just have to do tacos. ¬†We’ve made it before and put in on a bun, on salad, in wraps- it’s very versatile! ¬†This is one of our family’s favourite meals, so we hope you enjoy!

Pulled Chicken

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 3-8 hours*

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 c. tomato paste

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp worchestershire sauce

1 tsp chipotle puree (chipotle peppers in adobo sauce blended until smooth)

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp molasses1/2 c. water

1 tbsp corn starch

1 large package of chicken thighs

Directions:

Open up the chicken thighs and remove the excess fat. Place in the slow-cooker.

Combine all other ingredients except for corn starch in a separate bowl, stirring until smooth.  Add the sauce to the slow cooker and stir.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker shred it using 2 forks.

Meanwhile, pour the sauce into a sauce pan and add the corn starch, whisking quickly to avoid clumps.  Bring to a boil, then turn to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add shredded chicken to the sauce and stir until evenly coated.  Serve over buns, in tacos, over salad, etc.

Enjoy!

~Brittany @ twosaucysisters

Do you like pulled pork?

What is your favourite slow-cooker recipe?