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Taco Salad

19 Aug

It has been a crazy month as my father has gotten a kidney transplant after waiting for three years.  While we rejoice in that, mama has not been in the kitchen.  Daddy has done a fabulous job, but he doesn’t care to take pictures before he eats. 🙂

A great, quick, go to pantry meal is taco salad.  I used to mix all of my ingredients together and serve.  However, in doing that, no one wanted to eat the leftovers because the lettuce and chips were soggy.  In a great kitchen epiphany, I decided the best way to be sure no leftovers were wasted was to keep the “guts” of my taco salad separate from both the lettuce and the chips.

First, I brown some ground beef and drain it.  Add it back to the skillet,  toss in a drained can of black beans and a can of drained diced tomatoes.  (I used my beloved Red Gold petite diced) EDITED TO ADD: I also add about a tablespoon each of chili powder, garlic powder and cumin.  You can add some taco seasoning if you prefer.  Thanks for pointing that out Jen!

In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of sour cream and 3/4 cup of Catalina salad dressing.  Add beef mixture and mix well.  On a plate, put crushed chips, chopped iceburg lettuce, beef mixture, salsa and top with cheese.  Sorry for the photo.  It looks gross, but it tastes yummy. 🙂


Mashed Potato Salad

14 Jul

I had left over mashed potatoes from Sunday’s oven fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy.  I decided to try to make my mother-in-love’s mashed potato salad.  It turned out pretty good!  I need to get the actual recipe from her so I can give you the proportions correctly.  Mine went something like this:

Start two eggs on the stove to hard boil.  Take leftover potatoes (about 1 1/2 cups) and put them in a mixing bowl.  Take a tablespoon and scoop out a heaping spoonful of Miracle Whip.  Take another Tablespoon and throw in a heaping tablespoon of sour cream.  Toss in a teaspoon of relish, a dash of lemon juice and a dash of white vinegar.  Peel hard boiled eggs, put them in the bowl and smash them with a fork as you mix it all together.  Not exactly a recipe, but that’s how I roll.

Eating Out of The Pantry

11 Jul

Sometimes finances for students here at Concordia Seminary dictate some frugal food creativity.  For July, we are not spending any money on food (or anything else!) except for milk and if we absolutely have to, eggs.  We get fresh fruits and vegetables (that are at the end of life and need to be used up in a few days) on Saturdays at our Sem food bank.  We also get bread at the food bank and twice a month we get canned staples and a few frozen items.  Obviously, we can do a little more with that to work with then someone who does not have these resources.  Hopefully this will still inspire you to dig around if your freezer and cabinets and eat the food you have!

Here are a couple recipes to get you started.  I will try to get pictures of our food from here on out.  I’m not a food stylist.  Please don’t judge. 😉

Great macaroni salad that I took as our contribution to our weekly community BBQ:

Picnic Macaroni Salad from Fresh Plate

Saturday I made Spanish Rice and served it with Cheese Roll Ups:

Spanish Rice:

2 T. olive oil (or whatever you have)

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup chili sauce

1 cup quick cooking rice

Cook the onions and pepper in oil until slightly soft.  Add tomatoes, water and chili sauce and bring to a boil.  Add rice.  Cover and cook five minutes.  Uncover and let cook until liquid is mostly evaporated and rice is tender.  I’m sure you could do this with long grain rice too, just adjusting the liquid and cooking times.

Cheese Roll Ups

8 flour tortillas

4oz. cheddar cheese, shredded

Spray an 8.5×11 pan with cooking spray.  Roll shredded cheese in tortillas and place in pan.  Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until cheese is just melted.  Don’t let your tortillas get too crunchy. 🙂

Happy Cooking!