Thanks to Olé, we can enjoy healthier Mexican fare as we celebrate today. Here is a hasty tasty chicken fajita recipe:
- 2 OLE brand High Fiber Low Carb tortillas
- 8 oz. chicken breasts, cubed or shredded
- 1 Tbsp. Chili or Fajita seasoning blend
- 1 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil
- 1 cup julienne-cut bell peppers (I mix green, red, and yellow)
- 1 cup sliced onions
- 2-3 Tbsp. prepared salsa
- 1 spring cilantro (optional)
- Slowly simmer chicken with the seasoning blend in a dry, covered pan.
- Prepare peppers and onions.
- After chicken is fully cooked, remove from the skillet. Add oil and return skillet to medium heat.
- Saute onions over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add peppers and stir-fry together until peppers are firm-tender. Remove skillet from heat.
- Warm tortillas for 10 seconds in microwave oven. Add salsa to the center of each.
- Divide the chicken between the two tortillas. Cover each with half the peppers/onions.
- Serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired. Fold, eat, and enjoy!
We limit our consumption of red meat, yet once a week we enjoy burger day. It’s either beef or bison, never veggie or turkey burgers. This one day it’s all about indulgence. We keep to four-ounce servings, but we buy the best quality burgers we can.
You can get just as creative with a quarter-pound burger, and you control the ingredients and toppings. Serving the burger on a slider bun and luncheon plate creates the illusion of a larger steakhouse serving size because we eat with our eyes first. (Old Weight Watchers® trick–use smaller plates)
This week’s burger day coincided with my jalapeño pepper plant yielding four beautiful red peppers (plus a couple of green), so I’ve added jalapeños in many of this week’s menus–including burgers. Here is my scaled down version of a local steakhouse favorite.
Sauté sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
Grill burgers over medium heat for 6 minutes, turn, and cook 5 more minutes. A cast iron grill pan gives patties grill marks and drains away fat.
Melt 1 oz. Swiss cheese atop cooked burgers. Cheese serves as the glue for the peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
Use whole wheat slider buns to give burgers a larger feel. 😉
These jalapeño-mushroom-onion-Swiss burgers are our new favorites. If you can’t take the heat of hot peppers, substitute sliced banana pepper.
Have you ever eaten at Sid’s Diner in El Reno, Oklahoma? It’s part of historic Route 66 and famous for introducing the fried onion burger back in the 1920s. I’ll admit I haven’t because every time we get to El Reno, we have the bison burger. Love bison burgers! But my curiosity for the fried onion burger grew when my friend Chef Gary Straka made some for a cooking demo for the 360 Cookware skillet. He loves the onion burger, and so did his audience. So today I made fried onion burgers for lunch. Here’s how:
Finely chop Vidalia onion
Press onion into the meat
Grill onion side over medium-low heat
Carefully turn burgers and increase heat.
Serve on a toasted whole wheat bun.
Oklahoma Burger with a Georgia Twist
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 Vidalia onion
- salt and pepper
- cooking spray
- Preheat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Divide the beef in two equal portions and form thin patties.
- Thinly chop the onion.
- Salt and pepper one side of the patties. Press the onions into the meat.
- Carefully place each patty, onion side down, on the preheated griddle. Salt and pepper the second side of each patty.
- Cook for 7 or 8 minutes over medium-low heat. You want the onions to caramelize, not brown.
- Carefully turn each patty (you may need a second spatula as a “helper”) and increase the heat to medium.
- Cook burgers just until done, about 3 minutes or until juices run clear. Do not overcook.
- Serve on your favorite bun (we like whole wheat potato rolls).
If Vidalia onions aren’t available, substitute any sweet onion.
This recipe originated as part of my research for the romance novel I’m currently writing, Return to Drake Springs. The hero is on a tight budget but wants to impress the heroine by cooking her dinner. While shopping, I bought only sale items (the lengths we writers go in the name of research!) at my local supermarket, which included bags of fresh, ready-to-eat spinach and boxes of pasta (Both Buy-One-Get-One free), and a discount on fresh baby portabella mushrooms and red bell peppers. The result of my experiment is Mushroom Pasta Florentine.
This recipe is a hearty and delicious meal for meat free Monday or any day. Whole grain pasta bumps up the protein, and the spinach and mushrooms give two servings of vegetables per meal. It’s affordable, too. This has become one of our household’s favorite meals. A writer never knows where research will lead. ☺
Mushroom Pasta Florentine with Whole Wheat Pasta
Hasty Tasty Mushroom Pasta Florentine
- 4 oz. dried thin spaghetti, whole grain or whole wheat
- 1 package fresh spinach leaves, washed and ready to eat
- 8 oz. crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ red bell pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- ½ tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (i.e. Rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large pot, bring 4 – 5 quarts water to a boil. Add salt and pasta. Cook to al dente (follow instructions on the package).
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add spinach.
- Cook spinach until it wilts and leaves room to add mushrooms and red bell pepper.
- Using tongs, toss cooked mushrooms, spinach, and pepper with nutmeg and garlic. Cook another two minutes and remove from heat.
- In a large shallow bowl, pour extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and herbs.
- Drain pasta and immediately add it to the bowl. Use tongs to toss hot pasta with the oil, garlic, and herbs until pasta is coated and fragrant.
- Add the spinach-mushroom mixture. Toss with the pasta.
- Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.
Recipe can be doubled.