meal

chicken tacos

The Pioneer Woman was one of the first bloggers that I ever started following.  She was already a Food Network star at the point that I started reading her blog, but I was amazed at how even her older posts were so good.  Her step-by-step photos were really what drew me in, and influenced me in my blog post format.

Anyway, I learned this method of cooking tacos from her website.  This is my absolute favorite way to make tacos!  The tortillas end up being almost like a hard taco, but not quite as crunchy. 
This process involves, what I would call "shallow frying."  Basically, you assemble the tacos (with the warm ingredients), then cook them in about a quarter/half inch of oil, and add the cold ingredients.

*This photo doesn't capture the heat of the oil.  It kind of looks my oil isn't hot at all, but it was!

You use your tongs to place the taco in the oil, and just rest there for a few seconds with the tongs still holding the taco.  After about 10-15 seconds, it will start to keep its shape and it will be ok to lay on the taco on its side and let it cook for a few minutes.  Once its golden brown on the underside, flip the taco over and let it cook until the other side is golden brown.  Transfer the taco to a paper towel lined plate to soak up the excess grease.

This chicken seasoning is my GO TO.  It's so easy and super flavorful.  I love it for salads, tacos, rice bowls, literally anything.  It always ends up looking like blackened chicken, and it's divine.

Chicken tacos

For Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

For Tacos:
8 corn tortillas
Refried Beans
Your favorite toppings (pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, salsas, guac, etc.)

To Make Chicken:
Season the chicken using chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.  Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat, place chicken in pan when oil is hot and cook 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate and cut when it cools down a bit.

To Make Tacos:
Heat a quarter inch oil over medium-high heat.  Assemble the tacos, using 2 tbs refried beans and a few slices of chicken.  Using tongs, hold the taco by its base and place into the hot oil.  Stand the taco up for a few seconds, then lay it on its side to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Once the underside is golden brown, flip the taco over.  Once done, let the taco rest on a paper towel-lined plate.  Once it's cooled down, add all the toppings you want!

cauliflower pizza crust

My mom made us cauliflower pizzas wayyyyy before it was cool.  She was trying to find a way to health up one of our favorites at a time when my dad and I weren't too interested in health-ing anything up.  She'd tell us "instead of [insert unhealthy food] I've found a recipe for [insert healthy alternative]!!!"  In all honesty, cauliflower pizza crust is actually a really delicious healthy alternative to traditional pizza crust.  I mean, in no way does it replace REAL, crunchy, carb-y pizza crust, but when you want to brag to your friends about the low carb and delicious pizza you had last night, cauliflower can help you out.  I also want you to know that I KNOW this is cheese heavy and uses fatty, greasy meats, but I didn't say this was completely clean.  Just a little lower in carbs and calories and less guilt inducing than normal pizza.

I adapted my recipe for the pizza crust from (my fave) Katie Lee's recipe.  I changed around some of the ingredients, but also made it a little easier.  I put the soppressata and ricotta underneath the cheese, which made the soppressata easier to bite into.

 

How I made it easier/faster:
1.  I bought pre-riced cauliflower.  My grocery story has it for basically the same price as a head of cauliflower, which makes it a pretty easy decision for me!
2.  I didn't pre cook the cauliflower.  I found this to be an unnecessary step.  The cauliflower cooks evenly in the oven, it doesn't need to be steamed or pre-cooked before the oven.


Ingredients:
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/3 cup ricotta
Soppressata, pepperoni, or your favorite pizza toppings

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat
2. Use dish towel or paper towels to squeeze water out from cauliflower
3. Transfer cauliflower to a medium sized bowl and add 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan, italian seasoning, onion and garlic powders, and eggs.  Add salt, pepper and a pinch or two of chili flakes to taste.  Stir until combined.
4. Transfer "dough" to baking sheet.  Form into a circle, until "dough" is about 1/3 inch tall
5. Bake for 20 minutes
6. Spread pizza sauce on crust, layer soppressata on top of sauce, dot quarter sized drops of ricotta on top of soppressata, then layer on the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, and top with pepperoni (if using).
7. Bake for 10 more minutes.