Mexican Casserole

September 29, 2008

I am in love with Mexican food. I think it’s probably my favorite type of cuisine. It’s saucy, spicy, and most of the time cheesy. What could be better? Another thing is that it’s normally pretty quick and easy to make. This dish combines all the things I love about Mexican food. It’s spicy, saucy, cheesy and easy! The hubby loved it too so I’ll definitely be making this again. And another plus is that there is plenty leftover for lunches. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow.

Mexican Casserole

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/2 an onion, diced

1/2 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen)

1 bag Mintute rice (I used brown)

1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own-see recipe below)

10 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies

14 oz can enchilada sauce (small can)

shredded mexican cheese

6- 8″ tortillas (I used flour but corn would work also)

Preheat oven to 375. Begin by sauteing the onion in a little olive oil until it begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground turkey to the pan. While the turkey is browning, cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside. Once the turkey is browned, drain any fat or liquid from the pan. Add the corn kernels, taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Add the rice and stir. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1/2 the can of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Next, make a layer with two tortillas. They should overlap a little. Add a layer of the ground turkey mixture and then 1/2 the can of diced tomatoes with chilies. Add a thin layer of shredded cheese. Add two more tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with a layer of tortillas. Top with the additional enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and allow to cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Here’s how to make your own taco seasoning.

Taco Seasoning

1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each)

Combine all ingredients.


Turkey Meatball Subs

February 27, 2008

Nope, this isn’t a toasted sub from a chain sandwich place. It’s homemade and much better than I’ve gotten at any chain restaurant if you ask me. My husband always orders a meatball sub anytime we do happen to eat at a sandwich place, so I decided a while back I would start making them at home occasionally since he likes them so much. I didn’t have any ground beef in the freezer but I did have some lean ground turkey. I decided to use that for my meatballs tonight along with some whole wheat sub rolls I had in the freezer. They were so delicious and somewhat healthier than regular meatball subs! Healthier if you don’t count all the cheese I put on mine.
; ) Subway’s got nothing on me!

Turkey Meatball Subs

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp each salt and pepper
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

*1 jar marinara sauce
*sub rolls
*provolone or mozzarella cheese-2 slices per sub

Mix all ingredients in a bowl until just combined. Heat a skillet over medium heat with about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Form the turkey mixture into balls and place in the skillet. Turn the meatballs every couple minutes to brown on all sides. Add marinara sauce to the pan, cover and let simmer over low heat about 15 minutes to ensure the meatballs are completely cooked. Place 4 meatballs on each sub roll that has been sliced lengthwise and spoon the marinara sauce over the meatballs. Top with cheese (I used provolone) and place under the broiler for a couple minutes to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

Stuffed Shells

February 9, 2008

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m cleaning out or reorganizing my pantry, I always seem to find at least a couple half boxes of pasta that I’ve had for who knows how long. I mean, with just me and my husband here, rarely do I cook an entire box of pasta at once. Lucky for me, whenever I manage to stumble upon those half empty (or half full if you like) boxes, it always seems to spark a dinner idea. Well last week as I was standing on my tip toes trying to reach something on the top shelf of my pantry, I happened upon a partial box of large pasta shells. Well, naturally I thought of stuffed shells. I haven’t made these in so long so I thought I’d add them to my menu for this week. I had forgotten how good these little cheese stuffed shells are. I had planned on having leftovers for our lunches tomorrow, but let’s just say it looks like one of us will have to order out for lunch. They were just too darn good!

Stuffed Shells

1/2 box jumbo shells
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/4 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4-1/2 cup baby spinach
salt and pepper
4 cups pasta sauce or meat sauce (I used a meat sauce made with ground turkey and jarred sauce)

Preheat oven to 350. Begin by boiling the shells until done (about 8-9 minutes). Drain. Combine cheeses, egg, italian seasoning, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor. Add baby spinach and pulse a couple more times until the spinach is slightly chopped. In a baking dish, spread 2 cups of the meat sauce in the bottom of the dish. Next, scoop about 1 1/2 tsp of the cheese mixture into each shell and place them in the dish on top of the sauce. Top with the remaining sauce and additional mozzarella cheese is desired. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 25-30 min.

Santa Fe Soup

January 21, 2008

This has got to be one of my favorite soups. Not only is it easy, it’s so delicious. I first had this at an Auburn/Alabama neighborhood football party my sister-in-law had a few years ago. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. It’s been one of my favorites ever since. I haven’t made it in a long time and remembered the other day how much I love it. So I made a big ol’ pot today just for me. My husband turns his nose up to any recipe that includes beans, let alone THREE kinds of beans, so I’ve got a lot of soup to eat! Of course this will be lunch a few days this week and I’ll probably freeze some for later. It’s a great hearty soup for these cold winter days. And if you want to make it even better, load it up with some cheddar cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips or serve it with some cheddar and jalapeno cornbread.

Santa Fe Soup
(with my alterations)

2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 can chili beans with sauce
1 can black beans, rinsed well
1 can navy beans, rinsed well
1 can or 15 oz frozen corn kernels
1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/4 cup chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
a pinch of sugar

*additional salt if needed

Begin by sauteing the onion in a pan with a little olive oil. After 2-3 minutes, add the ground meat and cook until done. Drain if needed. In a small bowl combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Then, combine all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer on med/low for 35-45 minutes. Add additional salt to taste.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Also great with cornbread.

*1 packet of taco seasoning mix can be subbed for the spices if desired.

Burgers and Fries

May 30, 2007

Tonight I decided to put a healthy spin on traditional burgers and fries. So I made turkey burgers and baked sweet potato fries. The turkey burger recipe is a basic recipe I got from one of the ladies on a cooking board I frequent. They turned out very tasty!

Turkey Burgers


3 lbs. ground turkey

¼ c seasoned breadcrumbs

¼ c finely diced onion

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

¼ c chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1 t salt

¼ t pepper

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into 12 patties.
  • Cook patties in a medium skillet over medium, turning once, until heated through.

* I actually halved this recipe and made 4 larger patties instead of 6 smaller ones.

Sweet Potato Fries with Basil Salt
5 sweet potatoes, cut into about 1 by 5-inch “fries”
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.Place the sweet potato “fries” on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. In another small bowl combine the mayonnaise, garlic, and lemon juice, and stir to combine.

When the sweet potato fries come out of the oven, sprinkle with the basil salt. Serve with the garlic mayonnaise alongside for dipping.

*The recipe calls for a garlic mayonnaise dipping sauce which I didn’t make since we aren’t really fans of mayo. Instead I sprinkled the potatoes with a little garlic powder for extra flavor.