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Crock Pot Chicken Taco Salad

 

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I grew up with a huge garden in my backyard, thanks to my Parents. I love having fresh vegetables straight from the garden; not only do they taste better but they stay fresh much longer and you pick what you eat. I currently live in a town house which means I don’t have a yard to have my big garden; but this year we have proved to ourselves that we can have a small garden on our patio. Our patio has a strip of dirt that is about 2′.5″ wide and 8′ long. My husband built a garden box to sit on our little strip of dirt. I was able to fit way more in it than I thought I would. We have 3 tomato plants, 6 different types of peppers, a cucumber, spinach, red romaine lettuce, and buttercrunch lettuce. I also have rosemary, oregano, parsley, and basil growing in pots. I have been using my herbs and lettuce for a few weeks. There is nothing better than eating a salad 30 minutes after cutting lettuce from your garden. I made this salad the other day and it was yummy! Definitely hit the spot for a summer meal. The original recipe for Chicken Tacos called for taco seasoning but ever since I came across a recipe for homemade taco seasoning I stopped buying the packets. Why? Because it has less salt, no msg, no sugar and it tastes better!

Recipe modified from- Life in the Lofthouse: Chicken Tacos.

Taco seasoning from- skinnytaste.com 

For the Chicken:

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 jar (16 oz) salsa

1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

juice of 1 lime

1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions: In a small bowl make the taco seasoning by combining the oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika. Stir until all of the seasonings have mixed well. Place the chicken in the crock pot and pour the salsa over the chicken. Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the salsa and squeeze the lime on top of the seasoning, stir to cover the chicken with the salsa mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Remove the chicken onto a large plate and shred with a fork. Add the black beans, stir and cook for 1 more hour.

For the tortillas:

6-8 corn tortillas

2 tbs olive oil

chili powder to taste

Of course you can use store bought tortilla chips but I had some soft corn tortillas from bountiful baskets on hand so I made my own. I love the tortillas from bountiful baskets because they have 4 or 5 ingredients and I can read them!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut 6-8 tortillas in half and lay flat on baking sheet, it’s okay if they overlap a little bit. Drizzle the tortillas with 2 tbs olive oil and then using your hands rub the oil all over to cover both sides. Use more oil if needed. sprinkle with Chili powder.

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before they are cooked

Bake at 450 for 8-9 minutes. watch carefully during the last minute so you don’t burn them. Tortillas should be crisp and browned on the edges.

After... yummy, crispy, homemade tortillas!

After… yummy, crispy, homemade tortillas!

For the Salad:

Place desired amount of tortillas on your plate. Top with mixed greens (I used red romaine lettuce and buttercruch lettuce), placed desired amount of the taco chicken mixture on your lettuce and top it off with desired toppings. This salad doesn’t need dressing, we put salsa, avocado, and sour cream on ours and it was delicious!

Enjoy!

Enjoy!

 

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

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A Story: I know that summer isn’t the typical season to bake pumpkin goodies but in our house we enjoy pumpkin anything no matter what time of year it is. I always keep pumpkin puree stocked in my pantry especially in the fall but this year my sister-in-law and I made pumpkin puree out of the pumpkins from her garden. When I was digging in the freezer the other day I found that I still have multiple bags of it left over so I decided it was the perfect day to bake! I searched the internet for Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins and found a recipe from Eat Live Run. I made a few changes including substituting over half of the sugar for honey and replacing the oil with applesauce. I also left off the streusel topping. I hope you like it!

The Recipe:

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Choc Chip Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cups raw honey

2 eggs

1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar added)

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions: Pre heat oven to 375 and grease muffin tins with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients (WW flour through nutmeg) in a large bowl and whisk together until combined. In a large bowl with a kitchen stand mixer or hand held mixer combine the brown sugar, honey, and applesauce beat on high speed for a good two minutes. Add eggs, pumpkin, milk, vanilla, and flax seed and beat until smooth. Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients just until combined. Stir in 1 cup dark chocolate chips. Pour batter into the muffin tins until about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Makes 15-18 muffins. Enjoy!

 

 

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