chicken tacos with guacamole

Chicken tacos with guacamole, a twist on the classic are the perfect weeknight dinner. 

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

Chicken tacos. They’re a weeknight staple, and hopefully on Tuesdays because Taco Tuesdays are just plain fun.

We actually went out for Taco Tuesday/Happy Hour just last week. All of a sudden, reality has started setting in that soon (10 or so weeks!) we’re going to have a squiggly, little infant on our hands and life as we know it is about to change. So we’re taking full advantage. An impromptu happy hour mid-week and two movies this weekend (American Sniper – SO good, Inherent Vice – not really a fan), we’re really living it up. (Hehe.)

Preparing for the baby’s arrival has also gotten into full swing and we finally hung curtains in the “nursery” …. putting together the crib and dresser are next on the list!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

These chicken tacos though! No taco seasoning out of a pouch here. These are a bit different. Just as flavorful, but without the overwhelming chili flavors. The meat is cooked with onions, garlic and red pepper and seasoned with pantry-staple spices. It’s fresh and tasty, and you control how spicy you want it to be!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

It’s extremely versatile as well. Double – or even triple – the batch, it’s perfect for freezing. We’re having leftovers with quinoa and black beans this week, but it would be great in quesadillas, on nachos or salads, in burritos, etc.

These tacos as a whole are SO good and adding anything else (besides a touch of sharp cheddar) is not necessary. You’ll be hooked on the warm chicken taco meat + sharp cheddar + cool guacamole all served up in a crunchy corn tortilla combination. And guess what? Dinner is on the table in 30 minutes. (By the way, I so rarely buy crispy corn tortillas that I didn’t realize that you need to bake them for a few minutes – they are so much better when you do this!)

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

If you’re a chicken-every-night kind of person, Chicken: The New Classics by Marcus Bean* deserves a spot on your shelf. It’s a collection of – yup, you guessed it – chicken-based recipes, utilizing a wide range of chicken cuts. This recipe is a perfect example of the modern twists on chicken classics theme, a classic but reinvented a bit and just as satisfying as the original.

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

The book is broken into sections like Buying, Preparing and Cooking Chicken, Weekday Meals, For the Weekend, Dinners & Celebrations and Basic Recipes (like the guacamole) and Accompaniments. The images are beautiful (which is always important for me) and I’ve got quite a few recipes I’d like to make flagged, like: Chicken Fricassee, Persian Chicken, Crisp Chicken & Potato Crust and Chicken with Crisp Noodles.

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

But ultimately, I started with these chicken tacos with guacamole and I’m so glad I did. I have a feeling that (Chicken) Taco Tuesdays will become your new favorite day of the week, too!

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole | anutritionisteats.com

 

Chicken Tacos with Guacamole
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1.5 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice from ½ lime
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 12 taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper, and fry for 2-3 minutes until just soft.
  3. Add the chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring until the chicken is just starting to color.
  4. Add the dry spices and mix everything well, then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, prepare guacamole.
  7. Cut the avocados in half, remove pits and scoop out the flesh, using a spoon and put it into a bowl.
  8. Add the lime juice and crush with the back of a fork, add cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Fill the tacos with the chicken mixture and top with spoonfuls of guacamole. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 tacos Calories: 565 Fat: 36 grams Saturated fat: 13 grams Carbohydrates: 31 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 44 grams Cholesterol: 162 mg

 (*affiliate link) This book was sent to me, all opinions are my own. 

green beans vinaigrette with blue cheese

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

Let’s ring in 2015 with something green, shall we?

It’s a total cliché, I know. But December wasn’t all cookies and egg nog either – things were actually quite healthy around here. Waldorf Salad, Veggies with a Charred Onion Dip, Blueberry Baked Oatmeal and not a single cookie or candy insight! (Well, I was eating them but not making them.)

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

It’s no secret that I love green beans. (Always haricot verts actually, and there is a difference, albeit small.) Richie gets sick of them because week after week, I prepare them in the same exact way: lightly steamed, finished in a pan with a touch of (usually) butter, garlic salt (YES, the stuff that comes in a big green bottle) and red pepper flakes. On the nights that he makes them, they’re always much better! His secret?

Skipping the garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Butter, salt and pepper. That’s it.

Green Bean Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

But this idea for green beans basically fell into my lap (it was on the back of the package) and since I’ve been loving the blue cheese + nut +vinaigrette combo lately I had to make it immediately. I need a life – I know!

It couldn’t be easier to make. Steam the green beans, whip up the vinaigrette (which honestly, is something I think you should always have around) and toss everything together. Dinner vegetables get an upgrade!

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese | anutritionisteats.com

 

Green Beans Vinaigrette with Blue Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • ¼ cup toasted and chopped nuts
Instructions
  1. Lightly steam green beans. (I microwave mine!)
  2. While the beans are cooking, whisk together shallot, mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper.
  3. Toss green beans with about ¼ cup of dressing. (You'll have extra dressing.)
  4. Top with blue cheese and chopped nuts.
  5. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

 

easy baked ziti

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Who is ready for a non-Thanksgiving recipe? It was a wonderful evening, but I’m ready to get into the Christmas spirit! This doesn’t mean that I’ve got the decorations up, or even plan on getting a tree but I love giving gifts, lighting candles every night, and of course, the comfort food that cooler weather brings.

And baked ziti is the perfect comfort food.

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

It’s comforting, it’s satisfying and it’s easy to make. Isn’t that what every dinner should be?

Bonus: it’s five ingredients and takes only 10 minutes of active prep time. It will be on the table in 35 minutes and everyone will be happy.

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Baked Ziti isn’t necessarily the prettiest food around, but it is tasty. No matter if your taste buds lean gourmet or picky – it’s a meal that the whole family will love. I used a spicy red pepper marinara (jarred) sauce but use your favorite jarred or homemade sauce.

Serve with a green salad – it’s all this dinner needs!

Easy Baked Ziti | anutritionisteats.com

Easy Baked Ziti
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 25-oz jar of marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta as directed until al dente, drain and set aside.
  3. Mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the bottom of an 8x8 inch pan with half of the marinara sauce.
  5. Top with pasta, ricotta mixture and remaining sauce.
  6. (Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese if desired.)
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until bubbly.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 538 Fat: 19 grams Carbohydrates: 62 grams Sugar: 13 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 28 grams Cholesterol: 145 miligrams

 

gorgonzola + honey crostini

I’m currently in the sky, headed back to the West Coast! I’ll call it the “best” coast if it feels more like the fall weather I enjoyed in New York, and less like the summer weather I didn’t enjoy in LA this past weekend. (I loved being in NYC, the energy feels so different than in LA – I only wish I could have extended my trip so that I could have stayed longer than 36 hours!)

But back to the weather (I am from the midwest after all, and we do like to talk about it), I’m ready for squash and soup and chili and hot tea ALL the time! Temps in the 80’s make that complicated.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

But I’ll try not to complain about the weather and continue to drown my weather woes with good appetizers. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Appetizers are the way to my heart. They are my heart.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

And easy appetizers are best. Because when you’re hungry, you’re HUNGRY!

Here, crunchy crostini is topped with creamy and slightly pungent gorgonzola cheese (I used a triple cream!) and a drizzle of sweet honey. You can’t go wrong with this combination. Crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Three minutes until crostini is in your belly.

  1. Lightly toast bread
  2. Spread cheese
  3. Drizzle honey
  4. Lightly toast again

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Perfection in a bite.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • french baguette
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (or blue) cheese
  • honey
Instructions
  1. Lightly broil bread for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Spread blue cheese and drizzle with honey.
  3. Broil crostini for another 2 minutes, or until cheese has melted.