Saturday, February 18, 2017

Easy Carne Asada Tacos




 I got this recipe from a friend named Kristy. I spent a few dinners at her house and she taught me first hand how to make it. I absolutely LOVE Carne Asada tacos, so when she said she was making them, I decided to write everything down as we went along. She didn't mind. Since then, I have made it myself several times, and its fairly fool proof. A fun and great recipe for a BBQ outside, on those lazy summer days. If you're going "low carb" you can always eat this as a salad, or use low carb substitutes for tortillas. 

Easy Carne Asada Tacos

3 lbs Carne Asada beef (or boneless, skinless chicken pounded flat)
3 cups vegetables sliced (any you like-- we prefer green onion, bell pepper, and squash)
1 bag of your favorite corn tortillas

Marinade:

¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp Chef Merito (or Melissa’s) Carne Asada seasoning, recipe down below
1 tsp Callieri (or Melissa’s) “Cimichurri” seasoning, recipe down below
½ tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:
1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl.  Blend the vegetables into the  mixture, and then the meat, until everything is thoroughly coated in the marinade.  Cover and marinade in the refrigerator a minimum of 15 minutes or longer, but preferably overnight (the longer it marinades, the better the flavor will be and the more the meat will become tender).

2. Take the meat out, leaving the vegetables behind.  Be sure your grill is properly heated and ready to cook. You can use an indoor grill, or an outdoor grill.  Grill the meat on both sides, until done (no more blood or pink meat is visible, inside or on the surface). Be careful not to burn the meat.  Remove the meat from the grill, transfer to a plate and cut into strips. 

3. Set an oven-safe skillet over the grill to contain the vegetables (if using an outdoor grill), and cook vegetables until tender.

4. Serve meat and vegetables hot, with warm (or grill toasted) corn or flour tortillas, and your favorite condiment  (such as sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.).  

TIP:  You can also serve this dish with sides of Spanish / Mexican rice or re-fried beans.

Melissa’s carne asada seasoning mix:
3 tsp mild chili powder (McCormick is best)
1 tsp meat tenderizer
1 tsp dried minced garlic
½ tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
2 tsp ground paprika

Melissa’s chimichurri seasoning mix:
4 tsp Parsley
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp crushed dried red peppers
1 tsp minced dried garlic





Monday, February 6, 2017

Cloud Bread / Woopsie Bread



This recipe is a great bread substitute when you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight, or if you are diabetic. Properly stored, it has a good bready texture and slightly sweet taste.  Just right for sandwiches, short cake desserts, even pizza crust!  Zero carbs and extremely LOW in calories. It has been a life saver on my weight loss journey and I hope it helps other people too.  



Cloud Bread (Woopsie Bread)



Ingredients:
3 eggs, yolks separated and kept in a bowl
3 tablespoons sour cream (yogurt or softened cream cheese can substitute)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 packet sugar substitute

Directions:
1.        Mix sugar substitute, cream cheese and egg yolks until smooth and creamy.



2.        In a separate bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy with stiff peaks (almost like whipped cream). 







3.       Add half the yolk mixture to the egg whites a VERY GENTLY fold them into the egg whites until well combined, to avoid deflating the egg whites. Do not be tempted to quickly stir-- only fold. Repeat with the second half of yolk mixture. 





4.       Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet to prevent bread from sticking. Spoon egg micture onto baking sheet, spreading them out to make 3 inch circles, 1/2 inch thick. Bake 30 minutes, or until light brown. 








5.       Remove from oven. Allow to cool a few minutes, then gently beel bread circles off parchment paper. Serve immediately. Or quickly place in a plastic zip bag or tight sealed container (while still warm) to keep bread soft. Bread will become crumbly and fall apart easily if it is left out.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Melissa's Chicken Paprikash (Chicken Paprika)






I LOVE chicken paprikash/paprika. I found a recipe online that I really enjoy, I often make it when I have a craving.  However, most recipes involve adding flour or corn starch at the end, to thicken the sauce. Since I started my weight loss journey, I decided to skip that part.  Instead, I boil the sauce down to thicken it. It seems to work quite well!  So here is my favorite recipe, without the carby thickener.  Enjoy!

Melissa's Chicken Paprikash (Chicken Paprika) 

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs chicken ( about 3 whole chicken thigh/drumstick joints, cut apart)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black pepper
1 tablespoon Butter – cultured unsalted (or olive oil)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large Anaheim pepper, cut in have and thinly sliced (in a pinch, you can use a bell pepper)
¼ cup Paprika
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped (optional)
1 cup Chicken stock
1/2 cup Sour cream 

Directions:

1.       With a paper towel, dab the chicken as dry as possible. Meat browns better when its dry.
2.      Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over the chicken.
3.      Heat a large skillet (heavy bottom is best) over medium-high heat. Add the butter (or olive oil), and swirl to coat the pan.  Add the chicken, be careful not to crowd the pan.  If they don’t all fit in your pan with plenty of room, fry the chicken in smaller batches. 
4.      Let the chicken cook in the pan until it gets golden brown on one side. Flip them over and let them brown on the other side.  Remove chicken from pan, place in a bowl and set aside. 
5.      Place the peppers and onions in the same pan you cooked the chicken in. Reduce heat to medium, cover with a lid and let the vegetables steam for about 10 minutes.  This will help them caramelize better.  Remove the lid and saute vegetables until the onions are golden brown. 
6.      Add the paprika and garlic (if garlic is desired).  Mix well into the vegetables.  Fry and stir constantly, until the paprika releases its flavors (about 30 seconds).  Be careful not to let the paprika burn or scorch, because it will turn bitter. 
7.      Now add the chicken broth and return the chicken pieces back to the pan, along with any accumulated juices.  Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and turn the heat down to medium, or medium low, to maintain a gentle simmer.  Cook the chicken until it is fall-off-the-bone tender (about 1 hour). Add a little more broth or water, if the sauce starts to dry up.  But as the chicken gets closer to being done, let some liquid boil out, to thicken the sauce.
8.      When the chicken is done, temper the sour cream by placing it in a bowl and adding some of the chicken liquid to it (about 4 tablespoons full, one spoon full at a time), and stirring well after each addition. 
9.      Turn off the heat and remove chicken from the burner.  Add the sour cream mixture to the chicken and stir to combine well. Do not allow the chicken to boil or continue cooking on the burner after adding the sour cream.  This will curdle the sour cream.
10.  Let chicken stand for 5 minutes, then serve.  Normally, it it served with pasta or rice. But for low carb dieters, it can be served with vegetables.