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. 

slow cooker pork sandwiches

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

So not Christmas cookies. Or Christmas brunch ideas or even really Christmas-related. Which given that we’re only a few days out from Christmas, may not make sense.

But it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s Eve. I’m not trying to rush Christmas, or anything crazy like that. But menus need to be planned, food needs to be considered and drinks, drinks definitely deserve a little thought.

So what are you doing? I’m flying back to LA on New Year’s Eve and to be perfectly honest, I’m not feeling very confident that I’ll be able to stay up until midnight. Last year we had friends over for dinner and we drank fancy champagne – it was perfect! This year? Maybe a nice dinner at home.

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

But we’re getting off-track. These slow-cooked pork sandwiches? Perfect for casual New Year’s Eve get-togethers or New Year’s Day football and lounging.

I absolutely love slow-cooked pork. It’s so versatile, so comforting and so tasty. Usually I keep it ridiculously simple and season it with some garlic, salt and pepper before letting the slow-cooker do it’s magic.

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

Here, pork is seasoned with a flavorful rub and then slow cooks away, until it shreds with the slightest touch. The rub is easy and SO worth the few minutes it takes to pull-together.

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

So the pork cooks away and your work is essentially done. There are a few things to prep, but really, it’s nothing.

Serve the pork sandwiches on baguettes or soft buns with:

  • a variety of mustards (hot, yellow, spicy, etc.)
  • pickles (I went with sweet, but dill would also be great)
  • freshly chopped parsley (always a good idea)
  • cooking juice/broth

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

The mustard and pickles cut through the succulent pork in a superb way. You definitely don’t want to skip them!

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

Oh, and serve with plenty of napkins – it’s juicy!

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 3 Tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • 3.5-4 lb pork shoulder
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 baguettes or 8 buns
  • various mustards
  • pickle chips
  • freshly chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Mix together orange zest, rosemary, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper.
  2. Cut 6 small slits into pork and fill with garlic cloves.
  3. Rub pork with spice mixture.
  4. Pour orange juice around the pork.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
  6. Season with salt & pepper if necessary.
  7. Serve pork sandwiches with various mustards, chopped parsley and pickle chips.
Notes
Nutrition info is for 8 sandwiches.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 561 Fat: 30 grams Carbohydrates: 35 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 37 grams

 

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?  

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