Monday, April 11, 2011

Quick Weeknight Meal: Tortilla Stack

I'm always on the hunt for dinner ideas that will be quick and easy to serve during the week.  My mom made this creative Tortilla Stack dish for us while we were visiting and it was delicious and relatively healthy. What's easier than putting a few layers together and then baking? Not much. And of course, any Mexican food is alright with me. I've made this several times and it's best right out of the oven. Leftovers tend to make the tortillas a tad soggy. But if you're looking to feed a crowd, this one's a pleaser! Thanks for the recipe Mom!

Tortilla Stack
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 T. fresh cilantro, minced
1 lb. ground beef, cooked
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 cups salsa
5 flour tortillas (8 inch)
1 1/4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
5 T. sliced black olives
1/3 cup pickled jalapeno slices (I used a small can of diced mild green chiles which worked well.)

Saute peppers and onions in oil until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Cook the beef in the same pan. Then add the peppers and onions to the meat, stir in the cilantro and cumin; heat through.

Spread 1/4 cup salsa into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate coated with nonstick cooking spray. Layer one tortilla, a 1/4 of the meat mixture, 1/4 cup salsa, 1/4 cup cheese, 1 T. olives and 2 or 3 jalapeno slices. Repeat layers three times. Top with remaining tortilla, salsa, olives and jalapeno slices.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 5-10 minutes longer until heated through and cheese is melted.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Quick Weeknight Meal: Chicken Cobb Salad

One of my good friends is always asking me what I'm making for dinner so she can find some inspiration in the kitchen. Sometimes I'm taking an adventurous route and trying a new recipe, though most nights I'm making the go-to dishes I've posted on this blog. One of the new dishes I've tried recently is this yummy and colorful Chicken Cobb Salad. It was an easy and delicious meal that didn't require cooking - just assembling. (Though I did cook the bacon and hard boiled the eggs a day ahead.) I hardly knew what to do with myself after dinner when there weren't any pots and pans to wash!

Most salads seem to be on the lighter side but this one was even filling enough to keep my hungry husband satisfied - a definite plus. You can bet I'll be making this one again. Plus, I'm always willing to hang up my dish gloves for a night!

Chicken Cobb Salad
(Recipe adapted from "Everyday Food")

4 slices bacon (4 oz.)
3 T. red-wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 large head romaine lettuce, shredded
8 oz. cooked chicken breast (or roasted turkey), cut into 3/4-inch dice (2 cups) - (I use pre-cooked packaged Perdue grilled chicken breast strips.)
1/2 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 oz. feta (or blue cheese), crumbled (3/4 cup)
2 hard-cooked eggs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 handful of grape tomatoes
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Let cool, then crumble the bacon. (This step can be done ahead of time.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, and mustard. Place the lettuce on a serving platter, and toss with the dressing. Arrange the remaining ingredients on the lettuce as desired, and season with salt and pepper.