Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Another day, another crockpot recipe! Seriously, this is the EASIEST “recipe” ever, and it is so, so good! It’s no secret we’re big fans of Mexican food, especially tacos. I’m pretty sure my oldest can eat more tacos than me! I discovered these Crockpot Chicken Tacos on Pinterest almost a year ago, and I’ve made them at least every other week ever since (in fact, I’m making them again this week!). We almost always use the chicken for tacos (crunchy shells only…God forbid we try soft shell!), but the husband and I usually enjoy the leftovers for late night nachos. I highly recommend this one…definitely a Rookie Baker household favorite!

1 (1 oz) Envelope Taco Seasoning
6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thawed
1 (16 oz) jar Salsa

Dump all ingredients into a crockpot and give it a little stir to blend the seasoning with the salsa. You do not need to add any water to the taco seasoning. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. When done, the chicken should shred easily when stirred with a fork.

Source:  Tasty Kitchen via Chocolate Therapy

Advertisements

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef for Tacos

Shredded Beef

As I mentioned in my last post, things have been crazy around here the last several months.  And of course once things started calming down toward the end of summer and we got used to the slower pace of life, my oldest started school and a week later started swim classes that run four nights week.  Oh, and the husband started traveling every single week, which is outside the norm for his job.  The first few weeks of our new schedule, it was all I could do to get ANY food on the table for my boys, and what I could get on the table wasn’t all that great.

I finally sat down one Sunday evening and started meal planning again.  I’ve found that taking that bit of time to figure out what to feed my zoo crew each night made my weeks run much more smoothly.  I take the very little free time I have during the day to prep as much as possible to make getting dinner on the table relatively easy.  One of the tools I’ve utilized the most recently is my slow cooker.  There is nothing better than throwing a bunch of food in that sucker first thing in the morning, and have a great dinner on the table by 5:00.

It’s no secret that we love Mexican food.  I could seriously eat some form of it every night and never tire of it.  Combining my new favorite kitchen tool with my family’s favorite food?  Now that makes for a great weeknight!  This shredded beef tastes great in tacos, burrito bowls (see above), quesadillas, and heck, even on it’s own!  With just a few minutes of prep work in the morning, you can have this delicious meal on the table by dinner time.  I’ve already made this several times, and it’s on my meal plan again this week.  It’s that good.

1 (2 lb.) boneless beef roast
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 cup beef broth
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. chili powder
1.5 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat, and add the oil. Sprinkle the beef roast liberally with salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the roast to the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Place in the crock pot.

To the pan, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes before stirring in garlic and tomato paste. After another minute, stir in the beef broth and spices. Scrape up any browned bits, and then pour the seasoned broth and onions over the top of the roast.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred with two forks and allow to cook for a few minutes longer. (To soak up any extra liquid, you can turn the crock pot to high for a little bit after shredding the beef.)

Source:  Elly Says Opa

Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Guess who’s back?  Back again?  Rookie’s back…tell a friend!  Guess who’s back, guess who’s back, guess who’s back…

Ok, that was a total college flashback, but, I’M BACK!!  Wow, life has been CRAZY in The Rookie Baker household, most of which has been the good kind of crazy, but crazy nonetheless.  Shortly after I wrote my last post (8 months ago…), we made the crazy decision to sell our house and buy my in-law’s house in a town 20 minutes away.  What we didn’t expect was for that house to sell in less than 3 weeks, during the husband’s busy travel season.  We survived it, and in early June we finally moved to our new home!  It is much smaller and the kitchen leaves much to be desired (sooooo hoping to do a kitchen renovation in the semi-near future), but we love it here!  My in-laws live 5 minutes away (a good thing for sure!) and our boys have already made friends in our new town.

Speaking of those boys, both of them have had birthdays since my last post!  I am the proud mom of a 5 year old and a 2 year old.  Crazy.  Our oldest started kindergarten in September and is enjoying a swim class four nights a week.  That alone keeps me busy, but then add in the tiny one’s therapy sessions, doctor’s appointments, library story hours, weekly mommy and me swim class, volunteering for the PTA, and the husband’s hectic travel schedule, and I swear all I do is run around like a crazy person!  Cooking has certainly taken a back burner over the last, well, 8 months, but I’m slowly getting back in the kitchen!  Because our schedule is chaotic most weeks, I’ll likely be posting a good number of weeknight friendly recipes that are kid (and adult) tested and approved.

Enough about me, let’s talk about this recipe for Cilantro Lime Rice.  We are HUGE Chipotle fans, and were thrilled when one opened in our old town just five minutes from our house.  Let’s just say we may have singlehandedly kept them in business as we navigated the chaos of selling our house.  I love their burrito bowls and was on the hunt for a recipe I could make at home so I could recreate this family favorite.  Skinny Taste to the rescue!  This rice tastes exactly like the rice at Chipotle, and dare I say it, perhaps even better.  I make this at least once a week as the base for burrito bowls.  Stay tuned for a few great slow cooker recipes that pair perfectly with this rice!  On its own or as the base of a burrito bowl, this rice is truly a family favorite!

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice
1/2 lime, juiced
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
3 tsp vegetable oil

In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed.

Source:  Skinny Taste

Enchilada Pie

So, the beginnings of this post have been sitting in my drafts folder since May 19th, and it dawned on me today that I hadn’t actually posted it yet!  Which is a shame, because this is one of the better recipes I’ve made in a long time.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much commentary on this since we ate it almost 2 months ago, but trust me when I say it is absolutely fantastic, and relatively healthy (and tastes even better as leftovers!).  I will be adding this to our meal rotation again here soon!

Cat and Mo’s Enchilada Pie

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt
1 cup light sour cream
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 Tbsp pure chile powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 cups broken tortilla chips (about the size of corn chips)
2 cups grated light cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef, onion, and garlic until the vegetables are soft and the beef is just slightly pink, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the enchilada sauce and black beans, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste adn add salt if you like.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, blend the sour cream, green chiles, cilantro, salsa, chile powder, and cumin until smooth. 

Spoon half of the meat-bean mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan or large casserole dish.  Top with 1 1/2 cups of the smallest broken chips and 1 cup of the cheese.  Cover the chips and cheese with the remaining meat-bean mixture.  Spoon on the sour cream mixture and gently spread it to cover the meat in an even layer.  Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups chips and remaining 1 cup cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Source:  Adapted from Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist, page 151

Mexican Rice

This rice was the perfect accompainiment for the Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos we had for Cinco de Mayo.  It comes together in about 25 minutes or so, and only requires a little bit of up front work.  This will definitely be a go-to side dish for our Mexican dinners!

Mexican Rice
Servings: Points+: 5

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.

Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Source: From Allrecipes

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

I’m a big fan of Mexican food, and one of the appetizers I like to get while out at a Mexican restaurant are chicken taquitos.  I mean, how can you go wrong with chicken, cheese and other yummy seasonings wrapped in a corn tortilla and deep fried?  I bookmarked this recipe awhile ago, and when scanning saved recipes for something new for Cinco de Mayo, I decided it was time to try these.  I’m always a fan of trying to “healthify” my favorite foods, so I was really hoping these would taste as good as the restaurant version.  I am VERY happy to say that they taste even better than the ones I’ve had at restaurants!  All three of us were big fans of these, especially the toddler…just look at his cute little face 🙂

The only changes I made to the recipe were to substitute black bean salsa for the green salsa since we’re not fan of the green salsa, and I used a Mexican blend cheese rather than pepperjack to make them more toddler friendly.   Also, be careful not to overfill the tortillas…most of mine split because I had too much filling in them, and I only got 11 taquitos!  These will make a somewhat frequent appearance on our weekly meal plan, and I will definiltey be making a batch or two to freeze so that we have them for impromptu football parties this fall, and for dinners after our new little one arrives in September.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Servings: 12 taquitos  Points+:  3 per taquito

1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup black bean salsa
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cups grated Mexican blend cheese

small corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.

(You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.)

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.

Then roll it up as tight as you can.

Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

Source: Adapted from Our Best Bites

CEiMB: Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing

I am not a big salad eater, but I am a huge fan of taco salad, so I was excited about this week’s CEiMB recipe for Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing.  Let me tell you, we really enjoyed this!  Even the toddler ate this, and he’s never eaten salad before (although he is a tomato junkie, so he mostly ate it because of all the tomatoes).  The only thing I was nervous about was the dressing, but the lime vinagrette with the tomatoes was fantastic, and complemented the flavor of the beef nicely.  We will definitely have this again, especially since I had dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.  Quick, tasty, and healthy…you can’t beat that!

A big thanks to Peggy of Pantry Revisted for picking another great Ellie recipe.  You can find this recipe on page 77 of Ellie Krieger’s So Easy or on Peggy’s blog.  You can check out the CEiMB blogroll to see how everyone else enjoed this one. Up next week, Baked Beans with Ham.