Tuesday, Jan 22nd, 2013
(Almost) Blackened Chicken Tacos
(Almost) Blackened Chicken Tacos
These were SO good! Best part, the kids LOVED them too! I went through 24 tacos, they were that good!! I got the idea from my Fresh 20 menu for this week, but had to make some changes so my family would eat them (couldn't get salmon and had to lessen the heat). My kids asked me to make these again!! Hope your kids like them too!!


1 teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper*optional
3 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lime, cut in half
24 – 6” corn tortillas or taco shells
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425
  2. On a large plate, combine chili powder, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to make blackening seasoning. (To make it Almost, cut the black pepper in half, omit cayenne for less heat. Stir into 1 cup of flour.)  Stir with a fork to combine.
  3. Cut your boneless, skinless chicken breast into strips. (Long strips work well with the taco shells!) Season the chicken strips with kosher salt on both sides. Press the chicken down into the blackening seasoning. Spray two cookies sheets with Pam.  Place breaded chicken strips onto pan, leaving room to "breathe". Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.
  4. Remove from heat and squeeze fresh lime juice over the top, if desired. ( I did not.) 
  5. Fill each taco with chicken strip(s), sprinkle with cheddar cheese. When you have a plate full, (I had 6 on a plate) put in the microwave for about 1 minute or until the cheese is melted.
  6. Serve as is or top with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.
I served it with brown rice and tropical fruit salad.
Friday, Jan 11th, 2013

Tonight's Dinner was Homemade Tomato Soup with Meatball Poppers

Tomato Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 medium yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, cut into small dice
1 roasted red pepper, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt
1 – 28 oz can organic, no salt added tomato puree
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

A day (or more) ahead of time, roast the red pepper
To roast red pepper
1. Wash and dry 1 red bell pepper. Blacken the skin on all sides over an open flame - you can also place it on a baking sheet and roast it under the broiler.
2. Once the pepper is black and charred on all sides, place it into a zip loc bag or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes, remove, and peel away the skin over the sink. Remove and discard the stem and seeds and store the pepper in the refrigerator for later in the week.

     Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot add in the onions, celery, and roasted red pepper. Season with paprika and oregano and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Sweat the vegetables for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are translucent and begin to soften.
     Add in tomato puree, vegetable broth,and salt & pepper. Reduce heat to low/medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
     Remove the soup from the heat and carefully puree it in small
batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to
pot and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve warm.

For the Meatball Poppers, I followed the recipe, for the most part except for I just placed each meatball onto a triangle, sprinkled some mozzarella cheese on top, then folded the two corners in before I rolled it up towards the pointy end. Then I pinched closed any gaps on the side.   I used the meatballs that I had slow cooked in spaghetti sauce yesterday for this, so they had a little sauce, which was perfect.

The kids used the soup as a dipper for their Meatball Poppers, whereas Dad & I ate the soup with a spoon AND dunked our Popper in it!
Thursday, Jan 11th, 2013

We had Spaghetti and Meatballs tonight, like we do every Thursday but today, because of looking at the Fresh 20 menu, I saw that they had Broiled Italian Zucchini with their spaghetti.  Not only was it simple to make, but delish! The kids were not thrilled, but I'm going to serve it again since this is the first time they've seen zucchini not in bread! And it was so easy to make!  Just take a small zucchini, cut off the ends, then cut length-wise. Brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and oregano. Broil with the oven rack towards the middle of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.  Then sprinkle with parmasen cheese, then mozzarella cheese. Then put back into the oven for 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Really, really good! You should try it!

Tuesday, Jan 9, 2013
     This was DELISH! Twice Baked Pizza Potatoes with an Apple Spinach Feta Salad topped with evoo & honey.
I got the recipe from this new meal plan that I've subscribed to because I had a GroupOn for it!! It is called Fresh 20 and NONE of the foods are processed and includes seasonal fruits and/or vegetables.
So, back to dinner. I did prepare it differently than the recipe says and it turned out better than I thought. Ok, what I did differently:
     After I scooped out the baked potato, I brushed the insides with melted butter and sprinkled salt on them (I LOVE the WHOLE potato, but don't like how dry they are when they are Twice Baked!!)
     I had melted half a stick of butter for the insides (I had baked 6 potatoes) and what was left, I dumped into the potatoes. I then added salt, about 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and about 1 1/2 cups of pizza sauce. Then I mixed it all together. I left them lumpy, because that's how we like 'em in our family!
     I used my big ice cream scoop and filled each half. Some potatoes were bigger, so they got a little more filling.
     I had on had some garlicy chicken, so I chopped it up real small and added about 2 tablespoons on top of each half.
     Then I added about 2 tablespoons of sauce on top, then sprinkled with shredded mozzarella cheese.
     Baked in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Wow! It smelled SO GOOD!!

     I was going to serve a garden salad with it, but the stupid fridge froze my cucumbers and carrots! So I did a quick google search and found a salad with spinach, apple chunks and goat cheese, which I didn't have so I used Feta cheese instead. The dressing was suppose to be evoo, honey, and apple cider vinegar, but I knew the kids wouldn't have liked the vinegar, so I left it out. I think next time I'll put some apple cider in there, it needed a little something else.
     Best part? The kids ate the potato AND the salad. Yea, there was some crumbling about eating the salad, but I didn't give them a lot and they have to try it. I think 50 more times and they just might stop complaining about the spinach, lol!!