Crockpot Chicken Taco Bake

crockpot-chicken-taco

I actually made this wonderfulness a couple nights ago, but I’ve been eating it through the week. It’s so easy and so yummy! I got the chance to share it with two of my best friends last night and they agreed! James even tried to lick the bowl! A healthy, zesty combination of chicken, black beans and corn, this is a set it and forget it easy weeknight crowd-pleaser. As you can see here, it didn’t need a whole lot to be filling.

Of course, I did get it from Pinterest (I’ve been trying to make stuff I’ve pinned, can you tell?), so I have to give some credit! So I got the recipe from a blog called Budget Bytes, and it’s so easy! Make some rice, top with avocado and cheese and maybe even some sour cream. Yum.

According to the blog, it’s also very tasty with tortillas or taco shells instead of the rice.

Want to see some more recipes I’ve pinned? Follow me on Pinterest.

Chicken Taco Bake

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts – I used a combo of breasts and thighs because I like the taste of the dark meat
  • 1 16 oz jar of salsa – Walmart brand Zesty Cilantro is delicious! I’m betting that the black bean and corn or mango salsa would be really good here too.
  • 1 16 oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 lb frozen corn
  • 1 tbsp each chili powder, cumin, minced garlic
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano, cayenne and salt
  • (If you don’t have these spices, use a packet of taco mix instead)
  • to taste, cracked pepper
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Avocado, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Throw everything but the cilantro, avocado and cheese in the crockpot, along with a cup of water. Mix it together, make sure the chicken is covered with the sauce. Turn on low for 8 hours. Or high for 4, low for 2 if you have a little less time.

At about hour 7.5, go ahead and make some white rice, either in a rice cooker or on the stove. When it’s ready, shred the chicken with two forks, and serve over rice, topped with cheese, avocado and cilantro.

Sit. Eat. Enjoy. 🙂

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Marinated Veggie and Tomato Chicken

I was bored. That’s a dangerous thing around dinner time in my kitchen. I was not only bored and hungry, but I was also bored with what I’ve been eating lately. Therefore, experimentation gets to running rampant.

We have a marinated olive and vegetable mixture that we got from our honeymoon, and I’ve been itching to try and find another way to use it. I took my vegetable mixture and threw it in my food processor. Then I did the same thing with a can of stewed tomatoes.

For the rest of the meal, I sauted garlic in olive oil just until it was fragrant, and then put in some cubed chicken thighs. To balance out the tangy flavors of the vegetables, I made the chicken a little on the spicy side. I added in chili powder, red pepper flakes, onion powder, basil, salt, pepper and just a pinch of cinnamon to balance it out. Once that was mostly cooked through (it doesn’t take long), I added in the veggies and most of the tomatoes – I tried to avoid using the liquid and mostly used the meat of the tomatoes. Let that all work together, and I also threw in some frozen corn to, again, help balance out the flavors. I served it over some linguine with a side of garlic bread.

Of course, I’ve never tried this, but I’m so happy with how it turned out. The spice only came through a little bit on the back-end, and otherwise it was just a very tasty blend of a lot of flavor.

What kind of kitchen experimentation have you done lately? How did it turn out?

 

Bar-be-Right-on-Cue

Ok, so we got a new barbecue grill today. And let me say, I LOVE IT! My dad has always been the one to work the grill, and my parents have a gas grill, so I was a little fuzzy on the details. But Google is my friend, I figured it out. We had a little bit of money left over, so we got ourselves a grill, a chimney to start the coals, some charcoal, and some cheap grilling tools. Oh, and matches. Because for some reason we don’t seem to have any lighters in the house? This grill we found at Lowes, and it has this cool little feature where it folds up pretty flat, can hang if we want it to, and the way that it is built, it rolls around like a large suitcase, and even has a little table to go along with it. Very cool invention.

So, meal number one on my snazzy new grill was porkchops. I marinated them first in this Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon mix that I got for like 69 cents, that mixes with oil, water and apple cider vinegar. I was pretty sure my hunny was going to pass out from delicious flavor overload. It wasn’t terribly hard to figure out how to grill stuff without burning it and/or overcooking it. I put it over the hottest part for a few minutes each side and then moved it off to the not so hot portion where it wasn’t directly over coals, closed the lid and let it cook. At the same time that the meat was going, I also had some corn on the cob going on the grill as well.

I will never cook corn the same way again. It was THAT GOOD.

I de-husked (I don’t know what the correct term would be for removing the husk so I made one up) the corn, rubbed some canola oil on it (has the best neutral flavor) and then put it in some tin foil with some sliced garlic, dry ground sage, dry ground onion, salt and pepper. Wrap that up into a little faux-husk, and let it cook for the same amount of time as the pork on the not-so-hot portion of the grill. It turns out flavorful and juicy and delectable.

I mentioned to my hunny that I’ve never heard him make the “Oh my goodness this is the best thing I’ve ever ate ever” sounds while eating something I made, it’s always while we’re at a restaurant. I’m going to sit up here on my happiness cloud now. Best wedding money spent thus far, I think!

The Next FN Star: LT Style

I went to a BBQ today with some LT buddies from my class, and one of them we have now designated class chef. He picked up and prepared all the food and everyone else brought sides and drinks… Man this guy can cook!

He made corn on the cob with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and then topped it with cinnamon and sugar. I never knew how well that would go together! Once grilled and crispy, it was slightly smoky and had an amazing flavor that brought out the sweetness of the corn.

And then there was his chicken. I apparently stuck my foot in my mouth because when he asked if it was good, I said “Oh My God, Good doesn’t begin to describe it.” Well, being around soldiers means that the next thing anyone asks is if he can always make girls say that. Geez.

I watched him prepare this chicken, and there were a ton of different spices that went on it. It started with basil, and then some oregano, montreal chicken seasoning, seasoned salt, garlic powder, paprika, splenda, brown sugar, and honey barbecue sauce. When grilled, the skin got crispy and delicious, and it was juicy and just plain amazing.

He also made a second batch that were almost like buffalo wings, because they had the same seasonings, but then he made up a Frank’s Red Hot, butter and basil sauce to go over top of them. I don’t normally like spicy, but these were just spicy enough that it was a good flavor instead of a kick in the butt.

I may need to watch him cook some more, he could expand my repertoire ten fold if he makes food that good all the time.

Roasted Veggie Lasagna

In an effort to find something super tasty for dinner with Lady Luck, I found this – pulled from BunsInMyOven.com, a blog I read all the time.

There, it was called Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas, but after careful deliberation, we decided that lasagna is layered, and enchiladas are rolled. This dish is layered. Therefore, it can’t be an enchilada.

There are so many veggies in this dish it’s ridiculous! There’s cauliflower, three types of peppers, two types of potatoes, corn and spinach. Oh yeah, there’s also cilantro infused salsa, tortillas and sooo much cheese! I love it! It’s spicy and crunchy and savory and amazing! Lady Luck was doing back flips over the flavor.

This is so simple too! Chop up all the veggies, and roast them with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper in a dish for 30 minutes. Then layer in a casserole dish starting with the cilantro infused salsa (we actually used salsa verde), then cheese, then veggies, spinach and corn tortillas. Repeat process. Simple, right?

To go on top, we made up some guacamole, and got some sour cream, and topped it with green onions. I’m pretty sure Lady Luck and her daughter couldn’t wait to dig in again the next day because I got a very happy text message.

For dessert, we put together a twist on sopapillas, and it satisfied the sweet tooth rather well. Mix an 8 ounce package of sour cream with a cup of sugar and some vanilla extract. Open a tube of croissants, roll it all out together, and then layer the cream cheese and put another rolled out layer of croissants on top. Pinch the edges together, top with melted butter and cinnamon sugar and bake until golden at 350 degrees.

Repeatable? Definitely.

Chicken Corn Chowder

Thank you Buns in my Oven! I saw this post this morning from that blog on my reader, and I had to make it. If it wasn’t 9 a.m., I probably would have made it right then. But as it was, the chicken wasn’t defrosted, and I didn’t have any potatoes.

This is one of those recipes that is so absolutely perfect for either a) a crowd, b) a rainy day or c) when you’re living paycheck to paycheck and need dinners for a week. I don’t care that I’m going to be eating it again and again, it was so worth it!

I think this was the most prepared I’ve EVER been to make a dish. I need to do that part more often, because when I don’t have a sous chef following behind me, it makes the whole process a lot easier.

But either way. So EASY! Boil and then shred the chicken. Cook chopped bacon, remove from pot, saute potatoes and white portion of scallions in grease. Add stock, milk and spices. Boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add chicken and corn, warm through. Serve with cheese, sour cream, green part of scallions and bacon. This very much makes me think of a loaded baked potato, just in a bowl and with some corn.

Revisions for next time? Marinate and/or rub down the chicken with spices to add more flavor. Use cream instead of milk. And add cheese to final cooking process. Everything is better with cheese.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

The perfect end to a hectic week!

So my apartment has been torn apart for almost a month now – but we’re not going to go in to that. Basically, my kitchen is in a shambles, there are a ton of things in boxes, and it makes it hard to cook a really scrumptious meal. But, take one pan, one casserole dish, a spoon and knife…Oh my goodness the possibilities.

This is hearty, makes a lot, tastes DELICIOUS and is somewhat healthy. What’s not to love?

So, I used chicken thighs. I’m sure you could use chicken breasts. But I like dark meat. Wait. I need to back up. Start by chopping up garlic, onions and bell peppers. Add in a small handful of chopped sweet yellow peppers (like the kind they put on your sandwich at Subway), and saute together for a bit. Add in the chicken, that’s been all chopped up pretty. Then goes in a bunch of paprika, some cilantro, garlic powder, a dash of red pepper flakes and a couple tablespoons of hot sauce. (No it’s not spicy it’s delicious!)

So all this gets cooked up together until the chicken is done and it’s all bubbling away in the sauces. Then goes in some salsa, a can of chopped tomatoes, a can of corn and of course cheddar cheese. Proceed to bubble.

Get a big casserole dish, and put some tortilla chips in the bottom. Smush them all up so they are semi flat. Then pour the hot, bubbly, yummy goodness over top and level it out. Pour more cheese over top, cover with tin foil, and bake 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Let rest 5 minutes and enjoy!!

If I had sour cream in the house, I’d probably put some on top. But I didn’t.

Please do try this and please tell me how it is!