Raco? Taco Rice

I was thinking of calling this Mexican dirty rice or taco rice. The “raco” name was suggested by my eight year old. My DH went further to suggest that we open a raco truck. Hmm, yeah that isn’t happening. I was craving taco meat and rice and tortilla chips; raco was born. I guess this is like hamburger helper, although I can’t remember ever eating hamburger helper.  I have no idea how I got through college without eating hamburger helper, but as I was dealing with chronic headaches and food allergies at the time, I just never bought the stuff.

Raco

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs Grass-fed Ground Beef
  • 2 Tbsp, Taco Seasoning (Azure Market, GF and no weird stuff)
  • 1/2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes (Natural Value Organic)
  • Tortilla Chips
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, rinsed, stems removed

Brown the ground beef, season with taco seasoning. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add cooked rice and pour tomatoes over all. Cook until bubbly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Top with cilantro leaves and serve with tortilla chips.

Probably best to serve this with a green salad, this isn’t really the healthiest recipe, not veggie packed or anything. Still, it’s easy and yummy and probably not at all original. Oh, well. I mostly wanted to write down the recipe for the next time I make it.

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October Menu 2016

 

 

Menu
October
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
30 31 1
Aunt Sandi’s Stew Soup and Sandwiches Falafel/chicken
flat bread
olives
cucumbers
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Minestrone soup
French bread
Chicken pot pie Chicken Fried Steak
Mashed potatoes
green beans
corn
Haystacks Chicken Enchilada casserole
beans and rice
green salad
Loaded baked potatoes Red Beans and Rice
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Chicken
Chimichangas
Beans and Ham
Baked potato
Halibut fingers
veggie tray
oven fries
Meatloaf
acorn squash
Baked potatoes
spinach
Gumbo
french bread
Chicken Verde
rice
beans
green salad
Carbonara
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Teriyaki Halibut
Rice
Green salad
Taco Salad Halibut Melts
baby carrots
apple slices
Fried Rice
Stir-fry veggies
 Popcorn Chicken French Dips Asian chicken
salad
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Spaghetti
green salad
bread sticks
Peanutty Pork
skewers
rice
cucumber salad
Tuna noodle casserole
peas
green salad
Mexican Veggie Soup Burrito/taco bar Pizza/Calzones Greek Chicken
Salad
humus
flat bread
olives

I haven’t posted a menu for some time, but I find them so helpful. I just want to be able to go to the monthly menu page and get some ideas. This blog is the place where I can organize my thoughts.

I’m trying to incorporate more slow cooker and oven meals because the school year gets so busy. There are days when I’m not home until dinner time. How am I supposed to cook something when I haven’t been home? I don’t do a lot of “30 minute meals” because it seems like too much work. I don’t mind something that takes an hour or two in the oven just as long as the prep time is short.

I also avoid slow cooker meals where you have to cook everything first. What is the point? I will say that I have made soups and stews early in the day and then transferred them to the crock pot until dinner time. I want to be able to do my prep work and cooking when I have the time. And that is rarely just before dinner time.

That said, Chicken Fried Steak is one of the most labor intensive (and messy) things that I cook. It is also high in calories and fat. (We don’t have it often, even when it is on the menu.) So, I schedule that dinner for a day that we have more time at home.

On the other hand Chicken Verde is just about as easy as you can get! It’s just chicken breasts and salsa verde (from a jar) in the crock pot. My family loves it. Even the child that complains that almost everything is too spicy likes it. Just buy a salsa that your family likes.

I am looking forward to Fall and all the cozy meals I can make. Can’t wait for Navy Beans! I love them in a bowl, on top of a baked potato or even on top of toast. I might have to move that up on the menu a bit. Getting hungry.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Tuna Noodles

GF and DF Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • 1 half medium onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 quarter bell pepper, diced (I use red)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning or salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2-2  cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1 tablespoon potato flour
  • 1 or 2 7 oz cans tuna, drained
  • 3 cups (dry) gluten-free elbows
  • crushed potato chips or vegan Parmesan to top (optional)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Saute onion, celery and pepper in olive oil or vegan butter in a medium sauce pan. Add seasoning and milk. Heat through. When little bubbles form around edge of pan, stir in potato flour. When most of the lumps have disappeared (don’t worry, it will be fine, just keep stirring) add in the cheese shreds. On low heat, stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in tuna. This is the time to add more milk, if it looks too dry/thick. Mix tuna sauce into cooked and drained noodles. (OR now you can add more milk, if it looks too dry.) Pour noodles and sauce into 2 qt casserole dish. Top with crushed potato chips or vegan parm. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes, uncovered.

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There it is. Up at the top so you don’t have to scroll through all my story-telling to get to the recipe. I hate when you have to search to find the recipe. (I know I am guilty of doing this.) I don’t care about your husband or your cat. I  really don’t want to hear about your fabulous trip to NYC. And I don’t want to see your gorgeous photos because I am jealous! (I have no talent in photography) I just want the recipe! So, now I can story-tell to my little heart’s content and it won’t be in anyone’s way.

I have a recipe for DF tuna and noodles, but now we are trying to be gluten free for my sweet daughter. This girl is a trooper. She has had so many health problems and I am just amazed at how she handles them. The only times I have been in the ER have been with her. I think that because her birth was so difficult, I am more nervous for her. I feel like she needs more protection. I also feel like I have let her down. I should have been more in tune to her body. I know I can’t make sure she doesn’t get sick, but oh, I want to do just that! Anyway, in my attempt to be a more overbearing mother I have decided to eliminate gluten from her diet. Now we are going to be dairy AND gluten free. I am praying that it makes a difference in her health. I am going to be super vigilant for 6 months to see if it makes any difference. Then I might relent and let her have Chick-fil-A nuggets because I hate to deny her of her favorite things. This is where my darling husband would say “Are you the mom?” Yes, I am the mom, but I also know how hard it is to not eat your favorite food. I so wanted my children to be able to eat whatever they wanted, but being healthy is more important. And that is the moral of today’s story.

July Menu

Menu
July
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 2 3 4
Pork chops
grilled squash
jicama slaw
grilled chicken
corn on the cob
potato salad
grilled tuna salad sandwiches Taco Salad
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Pizza
green salad
Hamburgers Steak fajitas Spaghetti California-Thai
Flank Steak
rice
green salad
Nahcos for the World grilled chicken salad
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Chile Verde
rice & beans
Calzones
green salad
Chicken club
wrap
Black bean and
avocado tacos
Fish nuggets
carrot sticks & dip
Chicken
Chimichangas
Greek Chicken
Salad
humus
flat bread
olives
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Beans and Ham
Corn Bread
asparagus
Black bean soup Italian Drunken Noodles BBQ Pork Sandwiches Patio Chicken
Green salad
carrots
shrimp and hotlink kabobs
rice
green salad
Asian chicken
salad
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
16 27 28 29 30 31
Grilled Steak
potatoes and carrots in foil
green salad
Pad Thai Chicken and Cheese enchiladas
beans and rice
green salad
Chef Salads  Baked Italian Halibut  Sloppy Joes

 
Well, it isn’t exactly pretty. But it IS a menu.

Easter Dinner Plus

I tend to over-cook on holidays. Growing up, our holidays were so focused on food that I feel like my children will be missing something if I don’t have a feast for them every holiday. So, Easter.

Brunch Menu:
Deviled eggs
bacon
sausage links
poppy-seed muffins
fruit and juice

Dinner Menu:
Roast Pork
mashed potatoes
carrots
potato salad
spinach salad
green beans
lemon meringue pie

This is what I planned for my family. Me, husband, two girls. Four people.  I was the only one to eat the roast on Sunday. Apparently, I should have assumed that my children would prefer left-over chili-mac to a roast dinner. The dreams of sitting down to a well laid table with flowers and candles and children in their frilly Easter dresses was dashed. The reality being children gobbling up chili-mac surrounded by pastel colored tin foil candy wrappers. And my husband sitting in his chair in the living room, eating only potato salad and sausages. That seems to be the way holidays go in our house. If I really cared I would force my family to change, but if they are happy, I’ll leave it alone.

I might have got a bit carried away, but, BUT I learned something! I put two small roasts in the crock pot and I have three different meals. After I had my roast dinner, I put the left over meat in Ziploc bag and stuck it in the fridge. The next day I took out the bag and kneaded the meat until it was shredded. I love to use a mixer to shred chicken when it is hot, but this was even easier. You just need more time. So, after I smooshed the meat around the bag I took out half and warmed it up with BBQ sauce (recipe below) and served pulled pork sandwiches. The other half I warmed up with salsa verde (Herdez brand) and made pork tacos. And tonight my family can decide if they want BBQ or tacos. I love left overs.

I did make a change to my menu; I made a chocolate chess pie instead of the lemon meringue. I wanted something a little easier, with fewer steps. Here are a couple of recipes so people like me might actually read this post.

 

Sonny’s BBQ Sauce
Ingredients:
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup red wine vinegar (scant)
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or less for the kids
Several dashes liquid smoke

Whisk it all together and heat on the stove if you want.

Chocolate Chess Pie

½ cup margarine
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup cocoa
3 eggs
1 tsp. cornmeal
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. vinegar
Unbaked 9” pie shell

Cream margarine and sugar. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Turn into pie shell and bake at 325º for about 45 minutes or until firm. Let cool before serving. If it is still warm at serving time add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This pie is also yummy the next day just out of the fridge. It is chocolate pie, it’s just good.

 

When I came up with the BBQ sauce recipe Sonny’s wasn’t selling their sauce except at their restaurants. When we lived in Florida we went to Sonny’s quite often and we always had sauce packets in the fridge. BBQ isn’t so popular in Idaho. We have a couple of places that we like to go, but (even though it’s a chain) I miss Sonny’s. Now I see that you can buy their sauce on Amazon, but I like the recipe I use. I really don’t feel compelled to spend $17 on BBQ sauce. If you have never been to a Sonny’s, the sauce is sweet, a little tangy and a little spicy, but mostly sweet. I like it that way. We once went to BBQ in Alabama and there was no sugar in their sauce; tomato base with mustard, vinegar and no sugar. No thank you. Yes, I am from the Northwest and no, I don’t know anything about barbecue, but I know what I like. (And that wasn’t it!)

The chocolate chess pie recipe is from my mom. You can leave out the cocoa and have a plain chess pie, which I love covered in fresh blackberry or raspberry syrup. THE taste of summer! Better make a note of that and make some chess pie and berry syrup in a few months. I love summer.

Turkey Enchiladas…um, I can’t wait

I remember sitting alone at the kitchen table, I was seven or eight years old. It was dark outside, I was watching the reflection of the TV in the sliding glass door. The dishes were done, kitchen cleaned, light turned out. In front of me was the only plate not in the dishwasher. On this plate the remains of enchiladas, cold and congealed stared up at me. I was not allowed to leave the table until I finished. I hated enchiladas! They were too spicy, my mom used too many onions, I just didn’t like them. Oh, how times change! Of course I chop my onions finer and I try to make them a little milder for the kids, but I still use the same recipe my mom always did. This is my favorite enchilada sauce recipe. It was originally from a hippy cookbook my aunt had. My mom got the recipe in the early eighties and made it her own. By the time I was old enough to help in the kitchen I loved these enchiladas. We use the red sauce for turkey and the green sauce for fish. Oh great, now I also have a craving for halibut enchiladas. Break out the Vitamix, it’s sauce time!