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. 

waldorf salad

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

I love this time of year. The lights, the cheer – everyone seems so happy! And I can’t forget the constant stream of sweet treats. I don’t know about your office, but between the gift sweets and homemade sweets, it’s hard to stay away from the kitchen. And then there’s my own kitchen…which has seen its own constant stream of sweet treats lately. Dessert > Wine. (Only while pregnant.)

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But with all of the extra treats, it’s also a time of year when cutting back elsewhere needs to happen. Cookies > Other Carbs.

It’s not something that I actively keep track of, or even stress out about, but I make sure that salads are a staple for lunch and dinners are built around protein and vegetables. For me, it feels easy (and honestly, salads at lunch are the norm) but painless. I still get to enjoy the treats and while I’ll be gaining weight this year no matter what, at a minimum, I can feel good about fitting in some nutritious foods into each day.

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But it’s not the time to cut-back too much – meals still need to be filling! This salad, though pretty light in calories, still packs a protein and fiber punch, and it will keep you satisfied until your cookie snack! :)

Need more convincing? This salad is:

  • high in protein (32 grams!)
  • full of fresh produce (crunchy romaine and celery + sweet apples!)
  • healthy fats from almonds
  • light and tasty yogurt-based dressing

Enjoy every cookie. And every salad!

Waldorf Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-lb chicken breasts
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through.
  2. Let cool and thinly slice. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, yogurt and mayonnaise.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
  5. Layer lettuce, celery, chicken, apples and almonds on each plate.
  6. Drizzle with dressing.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 19 grams Sugar: 12 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 32 grams

How do you balance things this time of year?  

slow cooker paella

slowcookerpaella6softlight

Is this week over yet? Between having my parents in town (SO fun!), some big projects at work, a work trip to New York this weekend AND looking for someplace to live, I’m ready to collapse.

Which is precisely the time to bring out the slow cooker. (Or, actually collapse…which might happen.) So let’s pull out the slow cooker, slow things down a bit and enjoy a nice, easy dinner. And please drink some wine for me. At minimum, a glass – preferably more.

Paella. In. The. Slow. Cooker.

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

This isn’t really authentic paella. It’s more like the paella for those of us who don’t have a paella pan. And don’t really have the time to spend an hour and a half on dinner. And don’t really have the money for dinners that include not only chicken and chorizo, but clams, shrimp and lobster tails.

I like to think of us as normal people. Real people. And people who sometimes need to collapse. :)

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.comThis slow cooker paella takes a half hour of prep work and two hours in the slow cooker. (And NO clams or lobster tails!)

And after it’s finished in the slow cooker, and you’re ready to eat, you must promise me three things:

  1. You’ll squeeze some fresh lemon over each plate
  2. You’ll sprinkle fresh parsley over each plate
  3. You’ll season (each plate) with some (hopefully high-quality) salt if it needs it

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

Slow Cooker Paella
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ lb (skinless, boneless) chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups short-grain rice (I used arborio)
  • 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 oz cured chorizo, roughly chopped (I found this in the packaged deli meat section)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of saffron
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped parsley for serving
  • lemon wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pan.
  2. Add chicken and sprinkle with half of paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Transfer chicken to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add rice to pan and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to slow cooker.
  6. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Cook on high for 2 hours, until rice is soft.
  8. Stir in peas and let sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with parsley and lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 467 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 58 grams Sugar: 8 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 27 grams Cholesterol: 81 milligrams

 

italian chicken sausage & vegetable soup

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

Back when we lived in Minnesota, soups were a regular lunch rotation while I suffered through winters.

Now that winter = 60 degrees, I find myself forgetting to make soups and stews, always waiting until it “cools down just a bit more.” Well, no more. I figured that since my office always feels cold, there’s no reason to wait until it cools down.

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

The (very hot!) day I decided to make this soup, I watched Giada make a Vegetable & Barley Soup and I took two things from the episode: 1) Use a parmesan rind to help flavor soup (which I’ve always meant to do) and 2) Use the sausage as a topping instead of letting it simmer in the soup.

Like any good lunch or dinner – it’s healthy and tasty!

italiansausagesoup3

I wanted the soup to be full of vegetables as well as a good source of protein and fiber. So it’s simple. Fill the soup with tender-crisp vegetables and throw in some chicken sausage for a protein boost, it’s a filling combo. It happens to be gluten-free and paleo, if you’re into those things!

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 1 heart of celery (2 cups chopped)
  • about 1 pound of carrots (2 cups chopped)
  • 10-12 cups of chopped kale
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • parmesan rind (optional)
  • 12 oz italian chicken sausage
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add kale, broth, water, tomatoes and parmesan rind and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.
  5. While soup is cooking, thinly slice chicken sausage in half lengthwise and then chop.
  6. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive in in medium pan and sauté about 3-4 minutes, until brown, set aside.
  7. To serve, top serving of soup with chicken sausage and parmesan cheese if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 370 Fat: 17 grams Carbohydrates: 35 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 25 grams