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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Have a lot of lettuce? Taco Salad Recipe

Here is my awesome Taco Salad Recipe. I am having a lot of this lately because I have a TON of lettuce in my garden. And some of you have a bagful of it. So here's a great way to use it.

Taco salad
about 300 calories per serving.

1 15 oz. can black beans
1 12 oz.  Ortega taco sauce
1/2 c chopped green pepper
1/2 c chopped onion
low-fat sour cream (or see my version below) 
crushed tortilla chips
diced tomato

Brown green pepper and onion in a small amount of olive oil. Add beans and sauce until heated through. Serve over a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips (not too many!) and top with low-fat sour cream and diced tomatoes. No cheese. You won't miss it because it tastes so good! This is a filling meal and only has about 300 calories!

Now here are all my homemade versions of the above ingredients:

Black beans
Super easy!
Traditional cooking method: Soak 2 cups of dry black beans overnight. The next day, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover for 2 hours. Add water if needed. You can also cook in a crockpot for 8-10 hours on low. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt when beans are tender.

Quick cook method (not what you think!)
Put 2 cups dry black beans AND 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a dutch oven or large oven safe pot. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Bring to a boil on the stove. Cover and cook in the oven for 75 minutes (or longer). I often get it started before church and let it keep baking for 3-4 hours. 

Taco sauce
I created this in a pinch when I didn't have Ortega taco sauce, now I use it all the time. Soooo much cheaper.
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 c white vinegar
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t salt
Mix all ingredients in a jar.

Sour "cream"
No need to hold back with this. Has 15 calories and 2 grams of protein per tablespoon. And it tastes REAL. So much better than plain yogurt.
8 oz. 2% cottage cheese
1/2 c buttermilk (the real stuff, no substitutes on this)

Blend in a blender until smooth. Use more or less buttermilk to make it thinner or thicker.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Yummy new recipe: Overnight Oats

This is a basic recipe that you can add lots of things to. Try it with fresh fruit or berries. I love it with a little toasted slivered almonds.

Overnight Oats
I love this when the weather starts to warm up or I just want something cool
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 t chia seeds (optional)
dash of salt
dash of nutmeg
slivered almonds, toasted in a dry skillet

Put all ingredients in a jar or covered container in the fridge overnight. Add some toasted slivered almonds for a little extra flavor and crunch. I use the vanilla flavored milk which is slightly sweet. If you use unflavored milk you can add a little vanilla and sweetener of your choice (brown sugar, stevia, honey). But go easy. Try it without. It's not that bad!