Turkey Tacos

turkey tacos

Healthy Turkey Tacos!

At the beginning of last semester, I was on a huge cooking kick and had every intention of keeping up with this blog. I aced grad-school, failed blogging. A new semester (and my final semester-HOORAY!!!!) has just begun. Therefore, I am going to make every effort to actually maintain this blog.

I’m kicking off the semester with some of my ground turkey favorites. The first being turkey tacos. So simple to make, super fast, easy to reheat, and great to bring to work. Added bonus, it’s healthy!!! Why is it healthy? Because I don’t use red meat or the pre-packaged taco seasoning (aka low sodium). I like to add cheddar cheese and sour cream, but those can easily be eliminated to make this dish completely healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 of an onion, chopped
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomatoes
  • Ortega taco sauce (hot of  course)-only 10 calories per serving.
  • cheddar cheesearizona
  • sour cream
  • tortilla shells
  • spices (I use Arizona Dreaming from Penzey’s Spices)
    •  I use this spice, because there is NO sodium added.
    •  The ingredients include ground ancho chili pepper, paprika, chipotle pepper, red pepper, jalapeno, cocoa, and natural smoke flavoring.

 

Directions:

  1. In a skillet, add olive oil, about two turns around the pan.
  2. On medium heat, add the ground turkey. Begin to break apart the turkey with a spatula. Once you have broken apart the turkey, add your spices. I was very liberal adding mine. I probably added at least 2 tbsp worth. You will have to continue break apart the turkey through the cooking process.
  3. Once the turkey is about half way cooked, add the chopped onions. I do this because I don’t like my onions to be too soft or completely raw.taco
  4. When the meat is fully cooked (no longer pink), taste and add spices accordingly.
  5. I prefer my tortillas warmed so I will put them in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds depending on the microwave and size of the tortilla.
  6. Add the turkey mixture and whatever ingredients you like and enjoy!
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Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

peppermint

My mom was having a holiday gathering at her house with some of her friends. I will use any excuse to make cupcakes, so I went with a holiday theme for these treats! They ended up turning out great, I was quite pleased.

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; set aside. In small bowl, mix hot water and cocoa until dissolved; set aside.
  3. In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about 1/3 of mixture at a time, and cocoa mixture, about 1/2 at a time, beating just until blended.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; place on cooling racks to cool.

Honestly, I can’t recall where I found this recipe and I must have misplaced the link. I believe it was from a site similar to foodsnots.com?

Frosting

I wanted to go with a hot cocoa with peppermint kind of theme. That’s why I didn’t use a traditional chocolate cupcake recipe. The hot cocoa part was taken care of through the cupcake so I needed a peppermint frosting recipe. I decided to just use a traditional recipe and add pepper. Turned out great!

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • about 4 1/2 cups of confectioner sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint

Directions

  1. In a mixer, combine butter and cream cheese. Mix until smooth and add confectioner sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Add peppermint and mix until blended.
  2. To get the “candy cane” or red and white swirled effect, you need to separate the frosting in half. Add red food coloring to one. When placing the frosting in the piping bag, put the white on one side and the red on the other. It doesn’t matter if it does not look perfect in the bag, it still ends up blending nicely!

Cheesy Potato Soup

patato soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of bacon (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1 white inion, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 6 cups peeled and diced russet potatoes (2 lb.)
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. tabasco sauce (I used Franks and added substantially more hotsauce-to taste)
  • 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • Salt, pepper, & cayenne pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook bacon in a large pot. Once cooked, transfer out of pan and leave drippings in the bottom of the pan. You will use the drippings as a base for adding the rest of the ingredients. Dice bacon and use to top soup when ready to serve.

2. Add onion, celery, and garlic to the drippings (I added extra virgin olive oil and butter since turkey bacon does not produce the same amount of drippings as regular bacon). Cook over medium heat until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Add  potatoes, dry mustard, and paprika. Stir to coat potatoes.

4. Stir in broth, worcestershire, and franks hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cook partially covered until potatoes are soft-about 10-15 minutes.

5.  Coarsely mash the potatoes and stir in the cheddar and half-and-half. Remove from heat and season.

Here’s my thing, I’ve been on the hunt for a reaalllyyyyy good potato soup recipe. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it. Although, it was still quite good. It was a little “soupy” for my taste. Potato soup should be chunky and thick (some may disagree). This was not thick by any means. However, it could partially be due to the fact that I used low fat half-and-half (I don’t recommend that). There wasn’t enough liquid while cooking the potatoes to soften them completely. I would either add more of the liquid ingredients, or boil the potatoes separately and transfer them over once soften. I ended up adding more cheese and more hotsauce, which gave the soup much more flavor.

Unfortunately, I am still on the hunt for a great potato soup recipe. Better luck next time.

The original recipe can be found here!