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Somewhere between work and school and carpool and dating hot men, we moms are also supposed to come up with dinner. That's a pretty tall order most nights. Yeah, yeah, I'm a food blogger and all. I cook for a living and all. But, I can tell you whole heartedly and reassuredly that my 5 o-clock hour looks just like yours. All the little people waiting, and me with not a damn idea of what to serve 'em.
Except, not tonight. Because, early this morning I woke up, tossed some chicken into the crockpot with three other super-simple ingredients and got me-self dinner prepped in 2 minutes flat. Secret: I actually tossed in FROZEN chicken breasts. I totally did! Because I don't even have time to thaw that shit lately. I tell ya, life is just blown up busy sometimes.
Do how'd the fro chick fare? Totally fine. I had a batch of ready-made taco meat in 8 hours. Tender and delicious. No messy micro-defrosting needed!
To drive home the ease and wonderment of this recipe, I want to show you what's in it. It's stuff you've probably already got in your pantry. It's stuff your kids will totally eat. It's stuff that won't break the budget. You ready? Here are the ingredients:
- Mexican Hot Sauce
Oh, and love. Because you will love LOVE luh-huve this recipe. It tastes like what we call "slutty taqueria" food. Just authentic and simple and so so perfect. All of that, without ever having to heat a skillet, bake with foil, or clean up ninety-two posts. Praise.
Here you go, lovely humans. Enjoy this for dinner tonight, Double it so's you haves dinner tomorrow night, and spend more time savoring life that flying through it. We call that Sow Cooker Style, bae.
4-INGREDIENT CROCKPOT CHICKEN TACOS
Cook Time 6 hr
- 3 pounds boneless chicken breast
- 1 cup Valentina Mexican Chili Sauce
- 2 cups salsa
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Place all ingredients into a crockpot. Cook for 6-8 hours on low. Shred with a fork, stir in any remaining sauce
Garnish with cilantro, if you please. Salt as you desire.
The Boyfriend and I have gone bulletproof this month. We start our mornings with Bulletproof Coffee (I do decaf to keep adrenal fatigue at bay), and we’ve simplified our daily diet to approved basics. There are brussels & cukes on the approved list. Bok Choy, avocados, and berries. So far, the diet’s been groovy great. My hunger is low, my belly is flatter, food cravings are waning. (Will write & post more diet details later).
And, while I rarely want a cookie anymore, I’ve found myself plum crazy in love with our version of Chuleta–the wide & meaty Spanish steak, seared to quasi-raw perfection, as inspired by The Boyfriends’ trips to Bar Nestor in Basque Country, Spain. He jaunts there for work and always comes home raving about the food.
Bar Nestor is a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant. Serving up just four simple foods.
Salt topped Chuleta,
Plates of salted Peppers drowning in olive oil,
Salted wedge tomatoes,
A single egg-and-potato Tortilla (dished out just once nightly).
How can you not love that menu? It’s so simple. It’s so perfect.
The flavors all balanced. The preparation most basic. And the satisfaction…through the roof.
The Boyfriend says our version comes awful close to the original. It calls for the same simplicity as the original menu: a nice cut of steak (prepare to dole out $12+ per serving), olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper.
If you’re looking for the quickest, most perfect way to make steak ever, ever, EVAR, this is it. Seared with a crunchy Maldon salt crust (this week’s Thing of the Week), tender as butter, make this steak tonight. Serve it with a side of tomtatoes and peppers, and call dinner done.
THE BEST STEAK EVER
1 hella-good grassfed steak (ribeye, sirloin, filet)
1/2 cup amazing olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons Maldon Sea Salt
fresh ground pepper
1. Pat both sides of steak dry with a paper towel.
2. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt, pepper, and garlic.
3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat.
4. When the olive oil is spitting hot, place the steak in the oil.
5. Cook until a dark crust begins to form around the edges (about 3-4 minutes).
6. Flip and cook on the other side. (About 2-3 minutes).
7. Transfer to a serving platter.
8. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
9. Super sprinkle the top of the steak with salt.
10. Slice, serve, enjoy.
Serve with a side of fresh-sliced, salted tomatoes.
Guys. Girls. Gurus.
You’re life is about to change.
I don’t want to overtrump the power of a simple bowl of soup. But, this soup is so, so perfect.
Three ingredients. Slow cooker recipe. Four minutes of prep.
If you’d like to serve this baby for dinner, add a half-pound of roast to the slow cooker, then shred it just before you add the cheese.
Feed a crowd for less than $10, or save it all for yourself and enjoy it as leftovers.
Slurp. Eat. Enjoy.
HOT DAMN FRENCH ONION SOUP
1 large sweet onion
5 cups beef or veggie broth
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices gouda cheese
1. Chop up onion
2. Place onion and broth in a slow cooker.
3. Cook on low for 6-8 hours
4. Just before serving, ladel soup in bowls.
5. Top with cheese slices.
6. Place under your ovens preheated broiler.
7. When cheese is bubbly, spoon away.
Wanna trick everyone in your life to eat cabbage? You know it’s a latent life hope.
I once sat my whole fam down for an authentic cabbage roll recipe. It was a German family favorite. Or Greek. Or wherever they serve cabbage rolls stuffed with beef. It seemed like a pretty divine idea to me. The kids thought it seemed less like dinner and more like something to stab sullenly. I turned away from cabbage after that. Since coleslaw had long ago been declared inedible by the fam, cabbage rolls were our final option. I haven’t bought a head of cabbage since 1999.
Until I figured out this recipe here. Welcome to 2014. We’re all healthy up in here. (Do people even say that sentence anymore?)
This recipe is one of *those recipes* you wish for nightly. Fast. Fresh. Healthy. Fun. Yummy. Cheap.
It’s like getting gourmet take-out for dinner. Only, in minutes. Sans the post-meal bloat.
- Easy to feed a crowd
- Budget happy
- Ahead-prep possible
- Takes 7 minutes to make
- Fancy enough for guests
- Picky kid & teen approved
- Delicious enough
- No recipe deciphering required
- 5 Ingredients!
Here’s how it works: Cabbage becomes a no-carb taco-shell swap in. Filled with the easiest 3-ingredient beef tossed in Sriracha that my teen-tester called “I can’t stop standing here and smelling this, when can I eat it?”
Once we top it all with a quick cucumber-cilantro salsa, boi. That’s when.
Oh, and after I sneak a kiss because my dinner-prep stress is totally zero, and I actually have time to sit, eat, breathe, and enjoy family dinner without the 1950’s casserole runaround.
Smooch. Eat. Enjoy.
CRAZY EASY, DIY SPICY STREET TACOS
1 pound Thousand-Garlic Beef
2 tablespoons sriracha
1/4 cup each diced cucumnbers, green onions, cilantro
8 cabbage leaves
1. Toss beef into sriracha.
2. Toss cukes, onions, cilantro together.
3. Serve beef and veggies in cabbage leaves.
4. Smooch your clever self.
*paleo eaters can swap out the Sriracha and toss in some fresh jalapenos and tomatoes.
Around our house, we call this recipe “Thousand Garlic Beef.” Isn’t that the most alluring name ever? It’s like a your average cut of roast went and got itself a stage name, moved to Vegas, and started wearing pasties.
Thousand Garlic Pasties.
The magic of the recipe (despite thousand mention) is that it’s absurdly simplesimple. Like, three ingredients simple. Plop, plop, plop, slow cook. That’s seriously all you have to do to prep this recipe.
And, just like Vegas, this steak brings the world together at your fingertips. It’s flavor is so versatile, you can pair it with Asian flavors, make it Mexican, turn it into Americano comfort yums, or put a tophat on it and take it to prom. It’s just seriously unstoppable.
Grab anywhere from 1-3 pounds of cheap cut of grassfed beef (it’s the caveeat way), pop it into your crockpot, and you’ll have a tender, incredibly flavorful meat ready to pop into any dish ever.
- Toss it in chili
- Stuff it in tacos and burritos
- Make it into a mean Shepherd’s Pie
- Get gourmet with your nacho making
- Sprinkle it on salads
- Turn it into shredded BBQ
- Get French Dippy with it
- Melt it into a cheesesteak
- Stuff it into peppers
- Stir it into soups
- The options are endless!
Serve it straight out of the crockpot, or shred/dice the cooked meat and store it for later. The meat will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you’d like to freeze it, zip it tight into a freezer bag and use it within 4 weeks of freezage.
Would love to hear how you’re mixing your Thousand Garlic Steak into your fave, fast recipes. Leave a comment and offer up your family’s ideas. And, stay tuned for more recipes that make quick-fast-clever use of this yummy beef.
3-INGREDIENT THOUSAND GARLIC STEAK (IN THE SLOW COOKER)
1-3 pounds beef roast or cheap steak
1-4 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Beef in slow cooker.
2. Garlic on beef in slow cooker.
3. Drizzle with olive oil
4. Salt and pepper profusely.
5. Cover, cook, 6 hours on high.
6. Shred, slice, or dice. Serve.
Here’s the thing. I could eat Cocoa Pebbles like they’re crack. They are definitely the gateway drug to Cookie Crunch. And super definitely the gateway to Cookie Butt. Don’t ask me how I know.
So, when I swapped my life to paleo primal Cavegirl eatage, I made a firm pinky swear that cereal would be avoided hithertofore. Or whatever the right legalese for those sorts of swears happens to be.
But a girls gotta get in her crunchy morning bowl of yumyum from time to time.
And so, I started hunting for an easy cereal swap. And here’s what I discovered.
SECRET SKINNY CEREAL
When you’re walking down the Baking Aisle of your local grocer, glowering at the preservatives in boxed cake mixes, and steering clear of fake frosting while alternately mouthwatering over fotos of Funfetti cupcakes, stop yourself midaisle. You know, in the baggy nuts section.
You can grab two or three kinds of nuts for less than $5 usually. I love me some sliced almond, pecans, walnuts.
Toss those all in a bowl with yo’ favorite coconut milk or almond milk. Add a bunch of berries. If you have quinoa sitting around from last night’s Ancient Aztec Eats dinner menu (is this even a thing?) do it. Drop like it’s hot. In the bowl. (Although twerking is tres acceptable, too.)
It’s really that easy. Swap out the Cocoa Crack. Slide into ye’ olde skinny jeans. (Or whatever the legalese is for that phrase.)
SKINNY JEANS CEREAL
2 tablespoons each sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts
1 cup berries
1/2 cup coconut milk beverage
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
1. Toss together in a bowl.
I moved to a new house last month. I got a new boyfriend last year. It’s high time the blog starts reflecting real life.
So, it’s gonna.
Cleaner. Quicker. Everything you really oughtta eat. Impossibly easy, no-nonsense nutrition sprinkled with secret secrets, storytelling, and real stuff.
Because, after 6 years of food blogging (or is that seven?) I’m like soooo over rainbow cakes and cupcakes and feeling fat. I’m soo over spending hours in the kitchen. I’m so over ingredient lists as long as a human femur. I mean, who actually writes a shopping list anymore? (Dear Organized Shopping List Writers, zip it. You put shame in my face.)
Seeing as how zucchini season is nigh upon us (which usually means it’s high upon us), I’ve whapped together this 3-ingredient 5-step recipe. You can serve it as a side, or eat it for dinner, or eat it chopstick style to get your kids to quit whining about green bits.
I’m not saying that’s what I do. But chopsticks work wonders, folks.
Also working wonders: kicking the pasta habit, switching to zoodles, and grilling in a bikini.
Eat good stuff. Have more fun. You deserve more of both.
STUPID EASY ZUCCHINI CAPRESE
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1. Slice zucchini with a spiralizer or sharp ass knife.
2. Drizzle some olive oil in a hot skillet.
3. Quick cook them noodles.
4. Salt. Pepper. Tomatoes. Eat.
5. Add mozzarella balls if you're a balla