Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

These taco stuffed sweet potatoes are an easy, healthy and filling dinner that will make the whole family happy.
Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 2I love baked potatoes. You know, the ones stuffed with butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream. They are probably one of my favorite things in life. Potatoes stuffed with BBQ pulled pork, buffalo chicken and chili are equally delicious. Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 3
But these options aren’t the best when you are trying to make healthy choices so I went on a mission to create a healthy baked potato that was still satisfying.
Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 5First, I opted for a sweet potato over a traditional russet to up the nutrition factor. Then I filled them with lean ground turkey spiced with my favorite taco seasoning and black beans for some protein that makes them super filling. Then you can get creative as you want, topping them with your favorite taco accompaniments. Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes 4
What makes them even better is that everything can be made ahead of time and just reheated when you are ready to eat. So make double and you’ll have lunch all week.

Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes, baked
1 lb. ground turkey
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
1 (15 oz.) black beans
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
Taco toppings: cheese, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, avocado…

1. While the potatoes are baking, cook the ground turkey. When it is close to being done, sprinkle on the taco seasoning and stir until it’s evenly distributed. Continue to cook until turkey is no longer pink.

2. In a small saucepan, combine black beans (undrained), garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until warmed through.

3. Split baked sweet potatoes in half and fill with ground turkey, black beans and desired toppings.

 

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Blue Cheese Avocado Dressing

Southwestern Chopped Salad 1
I have another Mexican inspired recipe to share today in preparation for Cinco de Mayo tomorrow just in case you didn’t find something in yesterday’s taco post. We decided on these Loaded Carne Asada Tacos for our little celebration but if you want to make smarter decisions and keep it light, this Southwestern Chopped Salad is the way to go.
Southwestern Chopped Salad 2
Ever since receiving Seriously Delish for Christmas I have been dying to make the Blue Cheese Avocado Dressing. I’ve had it rolling around in my head for awhile and thought the cool, creamy avocado would pair really well with some smoky, spicy chipotle chicken.
Blue Cheese Avocado Dressing 2
Toss is some romaine, roasted corn, black beans, cilantro and even more avocado for a perfectly dreamy salad.
Southwestern Chopped Salad 3
I topped ours with crispy tortilla strips for some added texture. This salad was enjoyed by my entire family which is a huge feat. I couldn’t shovel it in Hannah’s mouth fast enough.
Blue Cheese Avocado Dressing 1
Southwestern Chopped Salad
serves 2

1 large romaine heart, washed and chopped
2 chipotle chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely minced
tortilla strips, for garnish
Blue Cheese Dressing, recipe follows

1. Preheat broiler. Place frozen corn on rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place under broiler and cook until some brown spots appear, stirring frequently. This should only take a couple minutes so keep a close eye on it. Remove from oven and scrape into a small bowl.

2. In a large bowl, combine romaine, chicken, corn, black beans, avocado and cilantro. Toss then add desired amount of blue cheese avocado dressing, tossing again. Serve with tortilla strips on top.

Blue Cheese Avocado Dressing
recipe slightly adapted from Seriously Delish

1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
1 garlic clove, roughly minced
Juice from 1/2 lemon
6 Tbsp. low-fat buttermilk
1 Tbsp. mayo
1 Tbsp. sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4-6 ounces bleu cheese crumbles (depending on taste)

Place avocado, garlic, lemon juice, buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, salt and pepper in food processor and blend until smooth. Gently stir in bleu cheese crumbles. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

*Disclaimer: the link above is an affiliate link which means if you click on the link and purchase, I get a small percentage from the sale.
Blue Cheese Avocado Dressing 3

Creamy Cilantro Chicken

Creamy Cilantro Chicken 5
Remember how I told you last week about the gorgeous weather we were having? Well, we got pummeled with snow this past weekend and ended up having a snow day Monday. And we have another storm heading our way any minute now. Wahhhh. Can’t it be Spring yet? I really shouldn’t complain because we’ve had a gorgeous winter so far but it’s just such a pain carting the kids around in the snow. I predict I will not be going anywhere unless absolutely necessary.
Creamy Cilantro Chicken 4
While the weather was nice, we had this delicious creamy cilantro chicken straight from the grill. I always love Italian dressing as a marinade so when I saw this recipe I knew it was something we had to try. Italian dressing is mixed with lime juice and cilantro for a zesty chicken marinade. Some of it is reserved to mix with the sour cream for a delicious sauce to drizzle over the finished dish. It so tasty and a very easy weeknight dinner alongside some cilantro lime rice and black beans. And don’t worry if you’re having frigid weather like us, this would be equally delicious on a countertop grill or sautéed on the stovetop.
Creamy Cilantro Chicken 2
Creamy Cilantro Chicken
recipe adapted from Mom’s Test Kitchen

1 1/4 pounds chicken tenderloins
1 cup Italian dressing
1 small lime, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
Cilantro Lime Rice
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed

1. Combine Italian dressing, lime juice and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Reserve 1/4 cup for use later. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour remaining marinade over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

2. Combine the sour cream, remaining 1/4 cup marinade and remaining cilantro together and refrigerate until ready for use.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and cook chicken until cooked through and juices run clear. Serve chicken over cilantro lime rice and black beans, drizzled with the zesty sour cream sauce.
Creamy Cilantro Chicken 1

Hot Black Bean Dip {Football Food}

Hot Black Bean Dip
Those that know me well know that chips are my downfall, my nemesis, that one food I just can’t resist. I seriously have a hard time practicing self control when they are around. Which is why they are only in my house on rare occasions. Football games being such times since they are the perfect snack to inhale while watching the game. And although I would be perfectly happy with a bowl of chips (sea salt kettle chips to be precise), it’s nice to whip up a dip so that I can say I had black beans for dinner instead of just chips……
Hot Black Bean Dip
Tortilla chips are the perfect vehicle for this spicy, smoky, cheesy black bean dip. This dip takes a few steps but it’s very simple and can even be prepared ahead of time then put in the oven right before kick off, giving you time to whip up more delicious food to chow down on during the game. Because I guess eating chips and dip for dinner is not the appropriate adult thing to do.

And if for some totally indescribable reason you don’t like chips (I’m not sure we can be friends anymore), this dip is also very tasty atop crispy baked sweet potato fries.
Hot Black Bean Dip
Hot Black Bean Dip
recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 (15½-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed well, divided
2 canned chipotle chiles, minced + 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
¾ cup water
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ cups frozen corn, thawed
6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups), divided
6 ounces sharp Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups), divided
¾ cup chopped cilantro, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking pan (I used an 8×8) with non-stick spray.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and salt, cooking until softened and translucent (about 4 minutes).Add the garlic and chili powder and cook another minute. Stir in 1 can of black beans, chipotles and adobo sauce, water and tomatoes. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, 2-3 minutes.

3. Transfer the black bean mixture to a food processor or blender then add the vinegar. Process until smooth then pour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining black beans, corn, half of the cheeses, 1/2 cup cilantro and pepper. Dump into prepared pan then top with the remaining cheese. (At this point you can cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bake and serve – if you do this add 5-10 minutes to the baking time). Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Top with remaining cilantro for garnish.

Turkey and Corn Chili {Football Food}

Turkey and Corn Chili
When I think of the perfect food to eat on a crisp fall day while watching football, chili automatically pops into my head. It’s warm, comforting, filling and can easily feed a crowd.

Although I love a rich, hearty and tomato-y chili, it’s still really warm around here so when the chili craving struck I went on the hunt for something lighter and a little different. This chili still has the comfort of traditional recipes but brings in flavors of the lingering summer to combine for the perfect game day meal.
Turkey and Corn Chili
The addition of barbeque sauce brings an amazing, smoky flavor that is unique and delicious with the turkey, corn and black beans.

If you are feeding a crowd, double the recipe and whip up some sweet cornbread to nibble alongside it. Perfect for cheering on your favorite team tomorrow. Go Huskers!
Turkey and Corn Chili
Turkey and Corn Chili
recipe adapted from Food Network

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb.  ground turkey
2 Tbsp. dark chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 salt
1/2 pepper
2 Tbsp. Mexican spice rub
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 to 3 Tbsp. hot sauce
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1/2 cup beer (the alcohol cooks out)
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
11 oz. can corn
16 oz. can pinto or black beans

1. Heat a pot over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and the turkey meat. Season the meat with: chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, Mexican spice rub, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon into small crumbles.

2. Chop the onion, reserving 1/4 of it for topping the chili. Brown meat 5 minutes, then add onions and cook 10 minutes more. Add beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up the drippings and cooking off the alcohol. Add tomato sauce and barbecue sauce and bring to a bubble. Stir in corn and black beans. Let chili simmer 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and heat level to your taste. Remove from heat and serve.

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 3
This is officially my new favorite dinner. I could literally eat it every week. That’s saying something since I usually make a new recipe then don’t make it again for months because I keep trying new things to share with you guys. But this…
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 2
This happens a lot around here. It’s easy, healthy and fills you up!

I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of cilantro but it has slowly been growing on me and this recipe is one of the reasons. I still don’t love a ton of it as I find it overpowering but a little really brightens up any dish it is in.
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 4
And just an FYI, this is really yummy with steak too! It’s like making your own rice bowls at home but way cheaper and healthier!

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

For the Cilantro Lime Rice:
recipe from Sarah’s Cucina Bella

1 cup uncooked rice (I used brown rice)
1 lime, zested
1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced

For the Seasoned Black Beans:
recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or use cooked dried beans)
2 teaspoons oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Rub
1 Tbsp. olive oil

salsa/pico for garnish

1. Cook rice according to package directions. Preheat grill to medium high heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a pan cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add oregano and cumin, cooking over low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add black beans and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, to allow flavors to blend. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp. lime juice right before serving.

3. While beans are cooking, rub chicken with olive oil and Mexican spice rub. Grill until juices run clear. Once rice has cooked, stir in lime zest and 1/3 cup cilantro.

4. To serve, spoon rice on plate then top with seasoned black beans. Top with a few slices of chicken and enjoy!
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 1

Moros y Cristianos {Black Beans and Rice}

Black Beans and Rice 3
I posted on Wednesday about my first chimichurri experience during our trip to Florida last summer and this is one of the side dishes we had alongside it there and when I made it at home. Moros y Cristianos is a Cuban dish of black beans and rice which is incredibly delicious. And it’s a great side to make with the chimichurri because the steak is relatively simple so you have the time to follow through with the extra steps of this dish. And they are totally worth it.
Black Beans and Rice 2

As you can tell, Noah was a little anxious to try the dish. He just couldn’t keep his little fingers out of the big ‘ole bowl. And he tore it up which is always a sigh of relief for a mama of a toddler. He’s not a fan of meat or poultry so I love that he gets some protein here too.

Black Beans and Rice 4

Lastly, I love this recipe even more because every single ingredient it calls for is always in my pantry. Simple, everyday ingredients combine into a Cuban infused weeknight side dish.

Moros y Cristianos {Black Beans and Rice}
recipe adapted from Three Guys from Miami

1 1/2 cups black beans, dried
1/4 cup olive oil
2 & 1/2 cups onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
3 teaspoons cumin, ground
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 cups chicken stock
3 cups long grain white rice

1. Place black beans and 4 cups of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for about 3 minutes then remove from the heat and cover for an hour.

2. Drain and rinse the beans after they have soaked then return to the pan. Cover again with water and bring to a boil. Once they have started boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Drain beans.

3. Place rice in a fine sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. Heat a big dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion in the olive oil until it softens, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute being careful not to burn it. Stir in the tomato paste, black beans, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, and vinegar. Let it cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir the rice and chicken stock into the bean mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and fluffy. Remove the bay leaf and drizzle with olive oil before serving.