May 23, 2012

Sweet Potato Hash

This meal is awesome, because you could eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I've done all three.  It also comes together super fast,  so it's an easy weeknight meal.  And there are TONS of leftovers, not to mention, bacon?  Sean and I love it. 

Sweet Potato Hash
 1 ½ lbs. sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2-3 potatoes)
1 tbsp (or more) coconut oil (or olive oil)
5-6 strips bacon
2 medium summer squash (or zucchini), diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice
1/2 red onion,  chopped small
sea salt & pepper
5-6 eggs

Heat a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until done, drain on paper towels.  Add sweet potatoes to the skillet and cook in the leftover bacon fat.  Stir occasionally until potatoes are beginning to soften, 8-10 minutes.  In the meantime, in another skillet, heat coconut oil and fry eggs to your liking.  If necessary, add coconut oil to the sweet potatoes.  Add chopped red onion and bell pepper, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for another 3-4 minutes until soft. After 4 minutes, add in the zucchini and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes more, stirring.  Turn off heat and crumble bacon over top.  Stir to mix everything up.  Top with 1-2 fried eggs.

**I've used both zucchini and summer squash in this.  I prefer the squash, Sean likes the zucchini.  Both turn out great.  You can also top with scallions or throw in some grilled corn for an extra sumthin sumthin ;)**
On another note, Sean and I went out to dinner last weekend to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.  We ended up at Bahama Breeze to use up some giftcards that have been laying around since Christmas (okay, okay, we'd been saving them :P)   We went with the intention to try all the drinks on their menu.  Well, that didn't happen, but this Coconut Pineapple Martini did!
I think I'm going to have to figure out how to make this at home.  So good!  In the background was Sean's mojito.  They use fresh cane juice to sweeten it.  Like, we literally watched them put the cane into a machine to turn it into juice.  Pretty awesome.

We also hit up Longwood Gardens and spent 2 hours wandering around looking at flowers (and people watching).  Then some yoga.  My feet were killlllllllling me. But it was a blast, so it's all good!

Short week this week, then headed home (NJ) for the long weekend! I can't wait!

May 8, 2012

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

Happy ocho de mayo!  Yeah, I know.  I'm a little late on the celebrations.  ;)  I had chicken and sweet potatoes on the meal plan for last friday, but was feeling festive for cinco de mayo, so asked Sean if he had any Mexican suggestions.  "Enchiladas, spanish rice and watermelon margaritas!"  Well, okay then!  Challenge: accepted.

I'm usually not a fan of enchiladas, so I've never made them before.  I don't like how they fall apart and don't stay pretty.  I don't mind the taste, but I'm a texture girl, so it always bugged me when they'd turn into a pile of mush upon scooping them out of the pan.  But, as I've learned, mix the broken enchilada with some rice, throw some sour cream or guacamole on top, and I've got myself a burrito bowl (kind of)!  LOL, either way, these were delicious.  If anyone has any tips on keeping enchiladas from falling apart upon serving, I'm all ears!

They're so pretty in the dish....
To make the chicken:

Spicy Tequila chicken (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
½ cups Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (about 2 Limes)
¼ cups Tequilla
1 ounce, fluid Triple Sec
2 cloves Garlic
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1  jalepeno pepper
¼ teaspoons Cumin
½ teaspoons Chili Powder
2-3 Chicken Breasts

Combine all ingredients listed (except chicken) into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixture is smooth.  Put chicken into ziploc bag or into a shallow dish and pour marinade over.  Leave to marinate for 1-2 hours.

Place a pan over medium high heat and sear the chicken breasts on each side. It should take about 4-5 minutes per side. Reserve excess marinade.  After both sides are golden brown, reduce heat to medium low and remove chicken from pan. Put chicken onto a cutting board and slice chicken into small bite sized pieces.

Return chicken to pan and add the excess marinade. Stir everything to combine and let simmer for another 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through.  Remove from heat and use chicken in enchiladas!

2-3 cups cooked chicken
2 (10 oz) cans red enchilada sauce
8  low carb tortillas
1 cups shredded cheddar cheese &
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, mixed together
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, chopped
green onions
sour cream and guacamole for topping

Preheat the oven to 425.  Heat beans and jalapenos in pan on stove over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Add chicken and 1 can of enchilada sauce. Spray with cooking spray, then pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish with the other can.  Take one tortilla, spoon chicken mixture in a straight line into the center and sprinkle with a sprinkling of cheese. Wrap the tortilla tightly and place it seam down in the baking dish. Repeat until all enchiladas are rolled.  They should fit in the dish perfectly.

Spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or so, until the tortillas start to brown.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚ F. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the rest of the sauce oven the top. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese and onions. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. 
At your service, my love ;)

Margarita, anyone?

May 3, 2012

Breakfast Frittata

I like to get the most sleep out of my mornings.  This usually means snoozing one too many times, frantically waking up, rushing around to get ready, and being late to work.  Sometimes, I have time to make myself breakfast.  (yeah, right)  So to avoid being ANOTHER 10 minutes late, I make breakfast before hand and heat it up once I get to work.  Enter bacon, broccoli and cheese frittata.  Yum.

Sorry, this is the worst picture ever!  But it's still delicious ;)
Breakfast Frittata
4 strips bacon
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
10-12 eggs
1/4 cup half and half
4 oz cheddar cheese
coconut oil
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Fry bacon in cast iron skillet until crispy, set aside on paper towels to drain fat.  In the bacon fat left in the skillet, saute the peppers and onions over medium high heat until browned and soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove from pan, add some coconut oil if necessary and saute the broccoli the same way until bright green.  In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the heavy cream and add salt & pepper.  Add sauteed veggies to bowl with eggs, crumble bacon over top and shred the cheese into the mixture.  Add another 1/2 tbsp coconut oil to skillet and pour egg mixture in, cooking on med-high heat for 4-5 minutes, until set.  Once egg begins to set, transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Let cool completely, and slice into 8 pieces.

I put all 8 slices into Tupperwares to bring to work with me, and reheat for 1 minute in the microwave.  Breakfast!

Note:  You could sub in any other meat or veggies you want, it's a pretty versatile recipe!