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Taco Salad Tuesday

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3/4 pounds ground turkey

1 package of taco seasoning mix

8-10 cups of cut-up romaine hearts or iceberg lettuce 

1 12 ounce of frozen corn, defrosted

1 15 ounce can of red or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 4 ounce can of diced green chilis

1 4 ounce can chopped black olives, drained

1 cup Mexican Blend shredded cheese or shredded cheddar

1/2 of a 9-ounce bag of tortilla chips, broken into small pieces

1/3 cup of mild or medium salsa

1/4 cup thousand island dressing

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup of sour cream 

Saute meat until cooked through.

Add Taco Seasoning packet and cook according to package directions.  When done, remove from heat and let cool. 

Add all ingredients to a large decorative bowl and toss. to mix.

Serve on individual plates with a dollop of sour cream 

Notes:

This recipe can be halved, doubled, tripled, or made to whatever size you need.  It is a perfect party entree for an outdoor summer fiesta because you can prepare all the components in advance, put them in the refrigerator and then just toss them together at the last minute.  It's great served with warm tortillas (corn or flour) on the side. 

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This recipe is adapted from one I remember fondly having as a child when my mom would take me to Lawry's California Center, near Dodger Stadium. Sadly, the restaurant closed in 1991 but was an idyllic place to visit and dine. I have so many fond memories of being there with my mom, enjoying the exquisite gardens and au courant cuisine. Their taco salad recipe was and will always be my favorite version of this classic. 

Serves 6

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Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Lemon Zest, and Fresh Basil 

Serves 4-6

1 pound of spaghetti 

4 medium zucchini 

1/4 tsp of salt

Fresh Ground pepper 

2 cloves of garlic, pressed

1 lemon zested

Olive oil

10-12 basil leaves, chiffonade 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut zucchini in half and then in half again, lengthwise.  Cut lengthwise again. Cut into smaller 1/2 inch chunks.

Place zucchini in a medium bowl.  Add garlic enough olive oil to coat well.  Add salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Transfer zucchini to a sheet tray covered in foil.  Spread evenly on tray and put in preheated oven.

In the meantime, boil pasta. When done, drain and return to pot. Add olive oil, lemon zest, and toss to keep from sticking. Cover with lid to keep warm. 

Cook until zucchini until soft, but still somewhat firm and browned about 10-15 minutes. 

Transfer pasta to a large pasta bowl. 

Add warm zucchini.

Add basil

Add parmesan cheese if desired and toss to serve.

 

 

Note:

This is a great summer dish since fresh zucchini and basil are plentiful.  

The spaghetti can be replaced with another pasta if you don't have it on hand.

Serve with a fresh green salad and warm crusty bread.  

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Jana's Easy Enchiladas 

Serves 4-6 

 

Enchiladas

1 package of corn tortillas - 12 count

1 12 ounce jar of Trader Joe's Enchilada sauce (or your favorite prepared enchilada sauce)

1 1/2 to 2 cups of shredded Mexican cheese

10 black olives chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1/2 small onion chopped

Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray

Heat tortillas, one-by-one until warm 

After each one is warm, fill with 2-3 tbs. of shredded cheese, then roll up and place seam-side down in the pan. Continue until all the tortillas are in the pan

Pour the bottle of enchilada sauce over the tortillas, making sure to distribute it evenly

Top with the remaining cheese (you can add more or less cheese to the top. depending on how you like it)

Place pan in pre-heated oven and cook until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted approximately 15 minutes

Remove from oven and top with dollops of sour cream, chopped olives, scallions and yellow onions.

Serve immediately.

Notes:

 I have tried many pre-made enchilada sauces and Trader Joes is far and above the best.  It has a great flavor consistency and level of spiciness for all tastes. 

I like to serve this dish with refried beans, restaurant-style tortilla chips (Trader Joes are the best), and homemade guacamole.   

Simple Homemade Guacamole

2-3 ripe avocados

Fresh Lemon Juice

Cholula Hot Sauce

Salt and Pepper

Mash avocadoes in a bowl until chunky

Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. 

Serve with chips

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Fish and Corn Chowder

Serves 4-6

2 tbs. olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

2 quarts chicken stock or fish stock if you have it

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 yellow bell pepper  finely chopped (red or green are fine as a substitute)

1 pound bag of frozen petite corn, defrosted

1 pound of white fish, such as cod, cut into 1" chunks

3 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons of flour

1 1/2 cups of milk

Fresh chopped dill 2-3 tbs.

Salt and Pepper 

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Soup

Heat olive oil on low heat in a good-sized soup or stockpot

Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes

Add stock to the pot and bring to a soft boil

Add potoatoes and cook for about 5-8 minutes until just starting to get tender

Add bell pepper, corn, and fish.  Cook for another 10 -15 minutes.

 

White sauce

In the meantime, in a separate pan, melt butter on low heat

When butter is melted add flour and stir together for 3 minutes or so to make a roux

Add milk and whisk well to combine, over low heat

Keep whisking over low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes 

Add the white sauce to the soup and gently stir together until well incorporated and soup has a creamy consistency

Stir in dill 

Season with salt and pepper to taste

Serve hot in bowls with your favorite crusty French or Soughdough bread on the side. 

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Grilled Chicken Pita Sandwiches with Greek Cauliflower

Pita Sandwiches

2 large chicken breasts or 4 boneless thighs, grilled and thinly sliced

2 cups of chopped lettuce (any lettuce you prefer)

1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers 

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/3 cup pickled red onions (regular red onions are fine, or no onions if you prefer)

Dill yogurt spread

4 pita breads

Dill Yogurt Spread

1 cup of plain greek yogurt (any plain yogurt will do)

1-2 tbs. chopped dill

2 tsp. lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Assemble all ingredients inside the pita and enjoy. 

Greek Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, trimmed, washed and cut into small florets

2 tbs. olive oil

2 cloves galric, crushed

2 tbs. lemon juice

2 tbs. chopped parsley

2 tbs. finely grated parmesan cheese 

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Combine olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, parmesan, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  

Add cauliflower and combine well.

Transfer to a sheet pan covered in foil.

Roast unit tender, about 20-25 minutes.

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