Pork

My Affair With Tostadas!

It’s no surprise that I love tacos. But I have a confession.  I’ve been cheating on tacos with tostadas!  The last year my love for tostadas has grown so much.  I can’t tell you how much I love those crispy flat tortillas!! There have been times I felt like I was posting at least one tostada picture a week on my social media.

I thought I’d share some of my favorites on my blog.  It’s super simple to put together a delicious tostadas dinner.  I figured I’d share some tips!

First you need to start out with a crispy tostada shell.  I’ve only ever seen corn tostadas but if you see flour tostadas give them a go!  You next need to add a delicious protein.  This can be steak, chicken, shrimp or to keep it vegetarian you can add beans or even eggs.  Next is your choice of delicious toppings.  You can add onions, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, avocado, sour cream, cheese, cheese sauce, guacamole or salsa. Breakfast tostadas are also a great idea.  Just add some eggs and chorizo, sausage or bacon and your toppings and you have successfully made a breakfast tostada!  Or be like me and just eat a regular tostada for breakfast.  No eggs required!! Ha, Ha!

I try and keep tostadas on hand because they have a long shelf life and it’s a great way to throw together a quick dinner.  Here are 4 of my tostadas below with the ingridents.  My favorites are #3 and #4 just because I love steak!!  Check them out! Leave your favorite in the comments! Each of these recipes will make 2 tostadas and you can obviously use more or less of the toppings to your likings.  Enjoy!

1# Spicy Chicken Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
1 T diced onion
1 T diced jalapeños
4 oz cooked chicken
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T queso sauce
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread cooked refried beans over tostadas.  Top chicken, onions, jalapeños, shredded cheese and drizzle of queso sauce. Enjoy. 

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#2 Pulled Pork Tostada

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 Oz leftover pulled pork
1/4 cup cooked refried beans
2 T diced onion
2 T salsa
6 slices jalapeños
2 T shredded cheese

Directions: Spread the refried beans over the tostadas.  Top with pork, onions and jalapeños and shredded cheese and drizzle over salsa. 

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#3 Skirt Steak Tostadas

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz Skirt Steak, Cooked
1/4 cup guacamole
2 T chopped onion
1 T chopped cilantro
2 T queso fresco
2 T salsa
2 lime squeezes

Directions: Spread out guacamole over tostadas.  Top with skirt steak, onion, and queso fresco, drizzle salsa over tostadas and finish with chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime.

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#4 Filet Mignon Steak Tacos

Ingredients:
2 Tostadas
4 oz  filet mignon, cooked
3 T sour cream
2 T chopped jalapeno
2 T diced onion
2 T cilantro
3 T Chihuahua Cheese

Directions: Spread sour cream over the tostadas and lay out steak and continue with toppings, jalapeno, onion, cheese and then Chihuahua cheese.

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Crustless Sausage & Cheddar Quiche

Happy Sunday Funday! I am super excited to share some new awesome recipes with you all. Stay tuned for more!!!

I’ve been trying to eat food lower in carbs. So, I made this crustless quiche. I’m not a huge fan of eggs. I can only eat them every so often. The problem is eggs are a great food while doing the Keto/low carb diet. I need to change the texture and try and mask the flavor as much as possible to really enjoy an egg dish. Quiches and egg stratas are a great way to accomplish that.

That is where this recipe comes in. The star of this dish is definitely the sausage and cheddar cheese. I mean c’mon who doesn’t like sausage and cheese?

This quiche is definitely low in carbs because there is no crust. If you aren’t watching your carb intake or want to use a crust, feel free to do so. I’m sure it would just make this dish even better. If you want to spare some carbs, don’t worry this quiche is delicious without any crust at all.

This quiche is wonderful left over. Dare I even say better the next day! The flavors seem to intensify really well by the next day and makes this a great left over dish. It’s perfect to prep for breakfasts through the week. If you want to double this recipe, just make it in a larger baking dish and cut into squares to serve vs pie slices.

I hope you give it a try!

Crustless Sausage & Cheddar Quiche

Ingredients:
8 oz cooked breakfast sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
6 large eggs
2 t salt
2 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder

Directions:
In a medium sauté pan over medium heat cook the sausage and break up into small pieces. Cook until cooked through. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel to remove excess grease. Add diced onion to the sauté pan and cook on high heat mixing every so often until onion has softened.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8 inch pie pan with cooking spray. Spread the onion and sausage evenly on the bottom of the pie pan. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs and add the heavy whipping cream, whisk until fully incorporated. Fold in the cheddar cheese.

Pour egg mixture into the pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Insert a knife into the center of the quiche to make sure it comes out clean. The quiche shouldn’t be jiggly in the middle. If it is put back in for another 5-7 minutes. Let the quiche set 10-15 minutes before cutting to serve.

Chef Notes: To make sure the quiche doesn’t go over and make a mess bake it on a cookie sheet to catch any leaks of the egg mixture. Your oven will thank you.

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Cauliflower Chowder

It’s been a cold and snowy last week or so in Chicago.  The weather is only about to get worse, unfortunately.   We are looking at more snow and super cold temperatures by the middle of the week.   I keep reading articles talking about coldest temperatures in 25 years.  I hope it doesn’t get that cold. However, what is better on a cold winter’s day but a nice bowl of a hearty soup.

Today I made cauliflower chowder.  It’s hearty but light at the same time.  I made this soup as a healthier alternative to traditional cream soups.  It’s very easy to even turn this into a Keto recipe. Check it out.  See cook’s notes below to make Keto.

Cauliflower Chowder

Ingredients:
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
3 T flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1  large red pepper, diced
1 cup gold potatoes, diced
3, 16 oz bags frozen cauliflower
3, 32 oz boxes unsalted or low sodium chicken broth
2 cups fat free half and half
8 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese (more for topping)
1 large bay leaf
2 t dried rosemary
2 t dried thyme
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t chili powder
2 t salt (more to taste)
2 t pepper (more to taste)
1 t crushed red pepper

Toppings (optional)
Shredded cheese
Chopped Bacon
Green onion

Directions:

Heat a large soup pot on medium high heat.  Add in the olive oil and let heat a minute before adding in the garlic and onion.  Once garlic and onion are added cook about 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent.   Next add in the red pepper and cook another 3 minutes until soft.

Add in the butter and let melt completely.  Slowly add the flour and mix well.  Cook the roux for about 4-6 minutes.  Add in the chicken stock, potatoes and frozen cauliflower and mix.  Add in thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.  Simmer on medium high heat about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.   Check potatoes and make sure they are soft.  Remove the bay leaf.   Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to break up the cauliflower, but leaving some chunks.

Once blended put back on the stove and add in the 2 cups of fat free half and half and mix well.  Season the soup with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, crushed red pepper and chili powder.  Mix well. Let simmer 15 minutes once the cream is added.

Remove the soup from the heat and add in 8 oz of cheese and mix to thoroughly melt the cheese.  Make sure to put the spoon to the bottom of the pot to make sure the cheese isn’t all fallen to the bottom.

To serve, ladle soup into a bowl and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese, bacon and green onions.

Chef Notes:  For Keto recipe, replace 3 T of flour with ¼ t of xanthan gum.  Do not add in with the butter.  Make a slurry with the xanthan gum some liquid and add into the pot.  Replace fat free half and half for full fat heavy whipping cream. Omit potatoes entirely.

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Bacon & Goat Cheese Frittata with Mushroom & Onion

Spice up your boring eggs with this frittata recipe. This is a great recipe to have for breakfast, brunch or even dinner. It’s so versatile and you can add any proteins, veggies or cheeses. I used bacon, (because I love it so much), mushroom, onions and goat cheese. It came out delicious. This is definitely an elevated dish for any meal. It’s sure to please even picky eaters and can be put together so quickly.

Take a look at my recipe and just add ingredients you love. There is no rules here. 🙂

Bacon & Goat Cheese Frittata with Mushroom & Onion

Ingredients:
5 eggs, whisked
1/4 cup milk
3 oz goat cheese
3/4 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped|
2 t olive oil
5 bacon slices, cooked and chopped
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t crushed red pepper, optional
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven 375°. Heat a medium, oven safe saute pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. Add in olive oil let heat a minute. Add in onion and let cook 2 minutes and then add in the mushrooms.

Lower heat to medium and let cook 4-6 minutes, mixing a few times. Season with salt and pepper. Add milk to the whisked eggs and season with salt, pepper, thyme and crushed red pepper. Mix well. Add in bacon, reserve a few pieces for the top.

Add the egg mixture to the pan and make sure it fully covers the mushroom mixture and the bottom of the pan. Let cook 3-5 minutes until edges are set. Crumble goat cheese evenly over the top of egg mixture and top remaining bacon. Remove from heat and put in the oven for 13-15 minutes until cooked and serve immediately.

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Shrimp & Bacon BBQ Ranch Salad

I’m about 2 weeks into doing Weight Watchers and I’m finally realizing that dinner doesn’t have to be a production every single night. I have a habit of over thinking a meal and then getting frustrated or discouraged. I always feel like every meal should have a a protein, a vegetable and a starch. That must be my culinary professors in my head telling me that.

So, I’m learning it’s ok to have eggs for dinner or a quick thrown together salad or something simple. With doing Weight Watchers I feel it’s easier as I can really eat anything I want.

I put this salad together this for dinner that was full of protein and very delicious. It really was super simple.

Shrimp & Bacon BBQ Ranch Salad

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
20 medium shrimp, cleaned and cooked and slightly warm
1 small avocado
½ cup no salt black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 small red onion, diced
¼ cup shredded cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and rough chopped
6- 8 cups romaine lettuce, cleaned and chopped
2 oz bbq sauce
2 oz ranch dressing

Directions: In a small bowl mix together bbq sauce and ranch dressing. Add lettuce to a large bowl. Add in corn, black beans, onions, cheese and dressing and mix well. Separate into individual bowls and top with even amount of shrimp, bacon and avocado. Enjoy!

Notes: Feel free to mix all these ingredients together and serve it up. I always like to make sure the main proteins or higher fat/calories items are equally distributed to both bowls especially when county calories or points. In this case, that would be the shrimp, bacon and avocado. Use any bbq sauce you’d like, mine had a slight kick and it gave a nice flavor profile. If you don’t have cooked shrimp, feel free to use raw and just cook them up. That’s exactly what I did.

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Scallop Gratin with Crispy Prosciutto

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. In my family we always do seafood on Christmas Eve. We are Italian and it’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember. I made this scallop dish and it was a hit and super delicious and rather simple.

Scallops are one food item I have gotten a lot of questions about. People are worried about overcooking the scallops. That’s a common thing actually. If you are searing them, it’s a hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side. You want the inside glistening when you cut into it. For these they are baked an take a little longer. There is so many different ways to use scallops. Check my recipes for seafood and you’ll find the scallop tacos. They are to die for as well.

For now, check out this upscale simple recipe!

Scallop Gratin with Crispy Prosciutto

Ingredients:
4 oz prosciutto or par-cooked bacon, minced or rough chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2- 2lbs bay scallops, rinsed, dried and mussel removed

Topping:
1 stick butter, soften
¾ cup plan panko breadcrumbs
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
3 T olive oil
2 medium shallots, small diced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t kosher salt
1 t pepper

Directions: Heat oven 425°. In a medium baking dish add the wine and top with the scallops. In a medium bowl add all ingredients for the topping and mix well till incorporated. I used a fork to mash the butter and get everything fully mixed. Add mixture evenly on top of the scallops. Sprinkle with prosciutto or bacon. Bake in oven 12-16 minutes. Serve hot. Feel free to serve with bread for dipping in butter mixture.

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Bacon Wrapped Dijon Pork Tenderloin

You have to make this awesome bacon wrapped Dijon pork tenderloin.  I like to experiment a lot with pork tenderloin.  They are so easy to make and you can do so many different things.  You can stuff it, wrap it, grill it, roast it and the list goes on and on.

I decided to wrap it with bacon for this recipe.  Bacon is one of the best foods around if you ask me.  I know it’s not healthy but it is delicious.  Everything in moderation right?  Give this dish a try.  It’s delicious.  I can’t wait to make again.  Also, if you’d rather omit the bacon, feel free just add the glaze on the pork and bake in the oven, no need to brown in the sauté pan. It still comes out with an amazing flavor.

Bacon Wrapped Dijon Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:
1 pork tenderloin, 1-3lbs
8-10 bacon slices (good quality)

Glaze:
2 ½ T light brown sugar
2 T Dijon mustard
½ T soy sauce, low sodium
½ T olive oil
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
2 t paprika
2 t chili powder
Sprinkle: salt and pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°.  In a bowl whisk together all ingredients for the glaze.  Set aside.  Open tenderloin and pat dry with paper towel.  Lay out bacon on large surface close together.  Add the tenderloin on top of bacon over to one side.  Brush the glaze all over the pork.  Tightly roll the tenderloin making sure the bacon is staying in place.  Feel free to use toothpicks to keep the bacon on the pork.

Heat a large sauté pan on high heat.  Once the pan is hot, brown the pork tenderloin on all sides 4-5 minutes.  This will help cook the bacon slightly prior to putting in the oven.  Add the meat to a baking dish and cook in the oven 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the pork tenderloin.  Cook till internal temperature is 160°-165°.  Remove from the oven and tent with foil and let rest 7-10 minutes.

Carefully cut the pork and serve with your favorite sides.  Then enjoy!!