Easy Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho

4B3115C4-1A78-4D12-869F-38548C5A38D6I got the recipe for this Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho from my friend and next door neighbor, Trang. We were over their house for Pho one day and it was the best, most Authentic Vietnamese Pho I have ever eaten so I knew I had to get her recipe! I was very nervous about trying this recipe because I’ve seen so many recipes and video’s on making Vietnamese Pho that I was totally overwhelmed and I put off making it for years lol! But, to my surprise this recipe was very simple and I am so exited to share it with everyone that has been waiting for me to post it! This recipe can be made with beef if you would prefer Beef Pho, you just need to have beef and beef bones to make Beef Pho and it takes more time to cook. We are definitely Pho lovers in my family and went out to eat Pho very frequently, so I was very happy when my hubby and 8 yr old son said that this Pho tastes better then any restaurant we’ve ever eaten it at. I made this Pho for lunch yesterday and my boys were already asking me to make it again next week, So I hope you all love it just as much as we did!

Easy Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho {Makes a big pot}:

Ingredeints:

For the Pho Soup:

  • 3 Large Onions (Peeled, cut in halves)
  • 1 5-6 inch long Ginger (Peeled, cut into quarter sized slices)
  • 1/2 Jar Cot Pho Bo brand Beef Flavored Pho Soup Base (Pictured below, Yes even for Chicken Pho I used Beef Soup Soup Base per my friend’s suggestion, it makes Pho more flavorful then the Chicken Soup Base)
  • Organic Cage Free Chicken (Mine was 6 LBS)
  • Water ( I did 32 Cups in a large 16 Quart pot)
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Rice Noodles (Make sure the package says “Pho” on it. There are wide flat rice noodles, or thin noodles. I got both and we loved both.

Pho Soup Base and Pho Rice Noodles can be purchased at International Stores, or Vietnamese Stores (for my local friends in Charlotte, I purchased these ingredients at Super G Mart)

D8BC6156-182F-4A4F-BC3D-3B14909ABFA2

53073A13-5EFE-4E6D-B465-707FE384810D

89EEA1D6-CD1A-422E-9366-4D09FEBCD4EA

For the Toppings/Garnish:

  • 4 Limes
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Scallions
  • Thai Basil
  • Hoisin Sauce or Hot Sauce (Optional, I don’t use it)

9F8906D3-8925-4FE1-954C-AD864F309520

Directions:

  1. Peel the onions and cut them in halves. Peel the ginger and cut into quarter size slices. Put foil on a baking sheet, and spray the baking sheet with oil and put onion and ginger on it.B8031C4F-06AB-4C1A-892B-D08450D43A19
  2. Put the Onion/Ginger into the over on 350 Degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes until the onion is yellow/golden in color. This baking process is important for the onion to get a sweet taste.4B943D73-80B1-403C-9E83-D2C00B4DFCC7
  3. Boil water in a pot. This will not be your Pho soup yet! Add the chicken into the pot (no giblets). Let in boil for 3-5 minutes. If using beef with beef bone instead of chicken, let it boil 5-7 minutes. This process cleans the meat of any impurities. Take the chicken out of the pot, discard the water in the pot and rinse/clean again with regular water.
  4. Boil a big pot of water, as much water as you need for your Pho Soup (I did 32 cups). Add the chicken into the pot. Then add Pho Seasoning. I used half a jar of seasoning for my Pho and 1 filter bag of spices. (The seasoning is a pasty texture and has 2 filter bags of spices included in the jar.) Add Salt to taste, I added 2 tsp. Add Sugar to taste, I added 4 tsp. Add the baked onion and ginger.09F8F1B3-FDC8-47EF-8B4F-02D7A6300962
  5. Let it cook on a light boil (Low-Med heat) for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. I had a 6 LB chicken and I cooked it for 40 minutes. If you are using beef, it will take 2.5 -3 hrs to cook.FFD05E10-A2CC-4222-8492-FE64A4058B5A
  6. In the last 15 minutes of cook time, soak your Pho noodles in a bowl of water for 10-15 minutes. Boil a separate pot of water for the rice noodles. When the water comes to a boil, throw in the rice noodles and cook until just tender. About 40-50 seconds for the thin noodles(green pack) and about 3-4 minutes for thick wide noodles (blue pack)! Then run under cold water in a strainer. Be careful not to overcook your rice noodles or they will be too soft and fall apart in your soup!EC051D16-2CCB-4D0E-BFC3-161752ACA9BA
  7. When the chicken is soft enough take it out and turn off the stove. I discard the spice filter packet at this time too. Some people discard the onion/ginger but I like to keep the onion/ginger in the pot for flavor but don’t serve it. My husband liked the onion and added some to his bowl. Cut the chicken up into small strips.11D8F579-F347-4910-BF09-BC4CB1C2346F
  8. To serve, put noodles and chicken into bowls. Pour the Pho broth over the noodles/chicken. Serve with a plate of toppings on the side. Limes cut into quarters, finely chopped scallions and cilantro, sliced jalapeno pepper, washed bean sprouts. EAAEEE8E-591E-491C-B46B-FC9C8A155DFB9F8906D3-8925-4FE1-954C-AD864F309520
  9. Everyone can make their own bowl according to their preferences. I like to squeeze 2 lime quarters into my bowl, add some scallions, cilantro, 1 slice jalapeno pepper, and a handful of bean sprouts! Pho can be refrigerated in the pot overnight, just let it come to room temperature before putting in fridge and store the rice noodles separate or they will make the soup broth starchy. You can microwave the rice noodles and add heated up broth to serve the next day. When we ate it the next day, we didn’t microwave the rice noodles, just heated up the broth in a small pot and added noodles at the end because we had just enough for a bowl each.8DFCF639-4D51-471F-A6B7-BCC691491C1E

 

Easy Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

4E59D2D5-04A8-46D9-AA38-D1E2D01C8CD2These super easy and fast Cheesy Chicken quesadillas have been a life saver for me during this 2020 Coronavirus pandemic where we are quarantined in the house and a fast, easy, budget friendly recipe was definitely needed for when I need to feed my family and I’m on a time crunch. These literally take 10 to 15 minutes to prepare/cook and have on the table. My hubby came up with this recipe several years ago and I’m so excited to share it with you all!

Easy Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas {1-2 Quesadillas Per Serving}:

Ingredients (per 1 quesadilla):

  • 1-2 TBS Canned Premium Chunk Chicken Breast
  • 2-3 TBS Cheddar Jack Cheese OR Mexican Blend Cheese
  • 1 Raw Tortilla (I buy these at Costco) OR 1 cooked Tortilla
  • Salsa (Optional on the side to dip)
  • Sour Cream (Option on the side to dip)

324E7640-01D4-4C4D-BD35-BCE3A90A8A23Directions:

  1. Put raw tortilla in a pan and set it on Low heat setting. Cook 1 side of the tortilla until it is just cooked through on that side but not yet golden. Flip it over to the other side to fill (step 2).6460F2A2-53B5-4EC0-B715-E3C6A41BB9BB
  2. Add about 1-2 TBS Canned chicken breast, spreading it evenly with a fork. 2539B87C-CA6A-4DAB-A663-9A1E7797197B
  3. Then add about 2-3 TBS shredded Cheddar Jack or Mexican blend cheese, spreading it evenly with a fork. C8564CC9-DF08-40DB-BCDE-98770D121A00
  4. Fold the tortilla closed using a spatula. Cook for a few minutes and then flip to the other side and cook for an additional few minutes until the tortilla is slightly golden on both sides.15AF3CA3-7279-4F66-ADC2-302F12CC7228
  5. These taste best served immediately when the cheese is warm and melty inside, with a side of Salsa and Sour Cream Optionally*. BA26E8A5-BBBE-4823-AC27-BD1E33099915

Homemade Lamb Deli Meat/Kielbasa

BACB1150-6BFD-4835-ABFB-833551D238CBThis homemade lamb deli meat is so savory and delicious! We like to make a big batch and keep it in the fridge for a quick appetizer, sandwich meat, deli snack. It’s especially great to have on hand during uncertain times like right now (Coronavirus quarantines going on) as grocery stores are running out of food and it’s a good idea to have at least a month worth of groceries just incase of the inevitable. This lamb deli meat can stay fresh in the fridge for a few months. It’s kind of like home made Spam or Kielbasa so it stays fresh for a long time and can be eaten just like that (cut up in thin slices) or in other different ways (sandwiches, wraps, etc). This is a Bulgarian recipe and we first tried it at our friends house. We loved it and couldn’t get enough so we got the recipe and made it immediately! Recipe credit goes to our friend (and very good chef) Ivan. Recipe coming to life and photo credit goes to my husband Michael who made it and even took the pictures for me to share with you all! You can also use beef or Chicken but we love lamb so that’s what we used (and that’s how our friend makes it too).

Homemade Lamb Deli Meat/Kielbasa {Makes a big batch glass tray}:

Ingredients:

  • 6.5 LB Lamb (or Beef) Meat (Preferably with a good amount of fat)
  • 1 Jalapeño or Red Chili Pepper (Very finely chopped)
  • 1.5 LB Lamb (or Beef) Bone
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 2 Bay Leaves

C931DD22-A8CD-4DB2-BC17-552AA029A302Directions:

  1. Wash the lamb meat and bones, pat dry with paper towels. Cut up the meat into small (about 1/2 inch pieces). B0AEA577-2BB7-4787-B523-8F4F56200B22
  2. Put lamb meat and bones into a pot on low heat and cook on low, mixing every once in a while so the meat doesn’t burn, for 4 hours or until the meat is very tender and falling apart. There will be some water from the fat of the meat and that’s fine.E58C8B1C-E54A-468F-94C6-3CC3C413DB70
  3. When the meat is tender and falling apart, discard the bones. Add the very finely chopped Jalapeño or Chili pepper, salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook an additional 30 minutes until most of the water boils down.
  4. Put the lamb meat mixture into a glass tray and evenly spread it out. Let it cool down an hour or two, cover and refrigerate.A25A4089-D748-48A9-A97A-B8E76D6BBB5E
  5. Best served chilled, after it has been refrigerated overnight.431520BF-81B3-4B8C-923E-E3326D9558FA
  6. To serve cut into thin slices like deli meat. Yum!BACB1150-6BFD-4835-ABFB-833551D238CB

 

 

 

 

Chinese Teriyaki Chicken Skewers

266C81C2-976A-41A9-BE10-ECF4E953430BThese Chinese Teriyaki Chicken Skewers are absolutely delicious! They taste like the Authentic Chinese restaurant/takeout kind. It’s important to get all the right ingredients for this recipe which I will have pictured below and that can be found at an Asian or International store. Also note that this recipe is best if you let the chicken marinate overnight or for at least 6 hours, however I tried both ways and it does make a huge difference and tastes much better and more flavorful if marinated overnight! We had these for dinner 2 days ago and my boys requested them again for dinner tonight. These taste great as an appetizer or as part of a whole Chinese style meal. I like to pair them with vegetable fried rice and some steamed veggies on the side.

Chinese Teriyaki Chicken Skewers {Serves 4} :

Ingredients:

  • 3 LB Chicken Thighs (Boneless/Skinless)
  • 1 TBS Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBS Sherry Wine
  • 1 TBS Oyster Sauce
  • 1 TBS Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 4 TBS Bull Head BBQ Sauce (the Vegetarian one, there are a few different types)
  • 3 TBS Pineapple Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground White Pepper
  • Peanut Oil or any oil (for frying. Peanut oil is best for frying chicken.)

73A93B5D-D5CE-4B1F-8B8C-9A347D6D4A58

839CE9CC-74BC-4CFF-84BA-4881A8CBC5FEDirections:

  1. Wash the Chicken thighs. Pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces. Set aside in a big bowl.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a separate big bowl.

1307E426-363F-4F10-91B6-6B9F0357BE5A

3. Pour the marinade mixture into the bowl of chicken. Mix the chicken well with the marinade mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let it stand and marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight (for the chicken to be flavorful and very soft). The longer you let it marinate the better it will taste!

01D7BA69-70C2-4490-BF2E-5155B6049407

4. Let the bamboo skewers soak in water for at least 30 minutes, so they don’t burn while cooking in the oven/pan.

5. Pat the bamboo skewers dry with paper towels. Using your hands, put the marinated chicken on the skewers.

532749D3-DED2-430B-A97D-B652D621E39B

6. To cook preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking rack with foil, spray it with non stick spray or use a brush to spread some oil on the foil.  Put the chicken skewers on the baking sheet and bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then flip the skewers oven to the other side and bake an additional 20 minutes.

4969FB7B-7939-4885-A6F6-7086C272FF98

7. Heat a pan with peanut oil (or any oil would work, but peanut oil works especially well for chicken) on medium high heat (7) and fry each chicken skewer for 1 minute on each side. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any  excess oil. Serve hot! If you need to serve later, just keep them warm in the oven on warm setting or low heat setting.

5637633C-DF53-460A-8B82-A46DC348154C

Chicken Potato Salad (Olivier Salad)

4FBC6F99-638D-4262-B795-EA5D7B5615FCThis is the classic Russian Olivier salad recipe, but with chicken instead of bologna. I got this Chicken Olivier salad recipe from my friend Inna. We tried it at her house once, it was the first time we tried it with chicken and we absolutely loved it this way! I haven’t stopped thinking about it since so I had to make it at home and share the recipe with you all. For my American friends, this is basically a potato salad with chicken in it and it is served cold so it’s a great make a head dish or potluck dish. I also enjoy it served in a croissant sandwich for lunch/dinner.

Chicken Potato Salad (Olivier Salad) {Serves 10-12 as a side dish} :

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2.5 LB Chicken Breasts (4 large breasts)
  • 3 Potatoes
  • 4 Carrots
  • 8 Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 1 Can kosher dill pickles
  • 1 bunch Scallions
  • 1 bunch Dill
  • 1 Can Peas
  • 1 small Onion
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Peppercorns
  • 1.5 Cups Mayonnaise
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

ECA2DC08-F742-407F-9DED-84784828EAF5

6586E815-3735-478B-90F0-B0044FD421EDDirections:

  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Bring a medium sized pot of water to boil. When the water comes to a boil, throw in 1 whole peeled onion, 6 peppercorns, 2 bay leaves and chicken breasts. Cook on med-high for 30 minutes. Then turn the burner off and let the pot stand on the burner for 10 minutes, afterwards take out the chicken breasts and put them on a plate to cool. *Meanwhile move on to step 2.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the washed carrots and potatoes. Cook until the carrots and potatoes are both tender when poked with a fork (about 25 to 30 minutes) but do not over cook. In another small pot, bring water to a boil and hard boil the eggs.
  3. When the chicken breasts have cooled down, cut them into small cubes. When the carrots and potatoes have cooled off, peel them and cut them into small cubes. When the hard boiled eggs have cooled down, peel them thoroughly and cut them into small cubes. Add the cut chicken, carrots, potatoes, and hard boiled eggs to a big mixing bowl. Drain and finely dice the can of pickles and add them to the bowl. Wash and finely chop the scallions (both green and white part) and add to the bowl.1A862007-A044-44D2-A156-2156E5000AE4
  4. Add the mayonnaise to the bowl according to taste and texture preferences. I added 1.5 cups mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste, I added about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Mix well to incorporate mayo.
  5. Lastly add the (drained) can of peas and finely chopped dill to the bowl. Gently mix again. *I add the peas in last because they are so delicate, I don’t want to squash them. You can add a can of (drained) corn instead if you don’t like peas. 279AC29C-7113-4161-89C4-37B14078AFAD
  6. Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours and enjoy! Great as a side dish, potluck dish, cook out side dish, and makes a great croissant sandwich too! Can be made the day before and tastes best if refrigerated over night.

Mexican “Pollo Con Crema” Chicken

D7111BFA-230D-45CE-A3EA-161FEFFEAE0F“Pollo Con Crema” is my absolute favorite Mexican chicken dish. I always order it when we go out for Mexican so of course I had to recreate it at home and I am so glad I did! It tastes so much better home made and is fast and easy to make so perfect for a busy weeknight. I pair it with Spanish rice (recipe below) and highly recommend you make both recipes together!

Mexican “Pollo Con Crema” Chicken {Serves 4-6} :

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut into thin strips)
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion (cut into thin strips)
  • 1 Pack Mushrooms (sliced thick)
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers (sliced into thin strips)
  • 1 (16 oz.) Container Sour Cream
  • 1.5 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons “Better then bullion” Chicken base
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (for a spicy kick, to your preference)
  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning

 

Directions:

1) Do the prep work first. Wash and cut all the veggies and Chicken breast. Heat olive oil in a large pan on Med-High heat. Add the chicken breast and season it with salt/pepper and Montreal chicken seasoning.

3FD54D24-EE2A-4C65-8218-1A367F6CDF95

2) Cook until chicken cooks all the way through and gets golden.  Then add in the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent and all veggies are soft and cooked through well.

9155ECD2-86DB-4EFD-98BA-7DD28D75B4B7

3) Add in the heavy cream and chicken base. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

50B83867-03E7-4F92-B84A-D24127E551D9

4) Stir in the sour cream, sprinkle in the paprika and cayenne pepper and turn burner off and mix well. The cream should be a creamy but slightly thick consistency. Serve with my amazing Spanish rice, some warm tortillas, and Mexican beans or avocado on the side for the perfect Mexican dinner!

74E894BD-7349-47C2-B1F0-220DD1162B05

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken

5EAE7DED-288A-4A6C-A89F-72EE8E5796D6This Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken is a new week night favorite dinner recipe in our house. Perfectly seasoned slow cooked chicken in a creamy, dreamy, satisfying sauce that I poured all over my rice. I could probably just eat it as is by the spoonful! I seriously couldn’t get enough lol. I got the recipe from my friend Jocqueline back in November and finally had a chance to make it, yes it’s been a while but this recipe has been on my mind since I first tried it and fell in love with it! It’s so fast and easy to prepare but so delicious! The pictures don’t do it any justice, it’s one of those dishes you absolutely must try and it will definitely go on your busy week night dinner rotation. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Crock Pot Creamy Italian Chicken {Serves 4}

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts ( 2.5 LB) Organic
  • 1 (8 oz) block Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 2 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 (0.7 oz) Packet Dry Italian Salad Dressing
  • Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • Cooked Jasmine Rice or Pasta (whatever you want to serve it over)

0312C0CB-7572-4925-A8ED-7FD1A122470C

Directions:

1) Wash the chicken breasts and pat dry. Put them in crock pot and sprinkle montreal chicken seasoning all over the top of chicken breasts.

8741F399-5C1F-45B1-81AE-0CFAE14589A9

2) In a bowl, mash up the softened cream cheese with a fork. Add in the cream of chicken soup and dry Italian seasoning salad dressing. Mix well with a fork. *Don’t worry if the cream cheese is a bit clumpy, it will soften and get smoother while cooking.

67D61DE0-DD04-4491-8338-17E4FDA6F4F1

3) Pour the cream cheese mixture into the crockpot over the chicken breasts.

6CD83C84-5729-4CA9-B0BB-B032E7C5FBE4

4) Cook on low for 4 hours, or on low for 1 hour and high for 2 hours (that’s what I did as I was pressed on time).

9D080531-2C53-4E07-B3FA-45B2D878850C

5) Cook rice or pasta 20 mins before chicken is done. Serve hot over rice or pasta. We love it over Jasmine rice! Look at this creamy, dreamy, satisfying sauce:

097C78A7-F056-495C-AB01-3721FECB5052

 

 

Tender Crockpot Beef Brisket

DE6F812E-7724-4858-9687-E0544F5F2684

This tender crockpot beef brisket is super easy, but so tender, juicy, and delicious! It does take 8 hours on HIGH in the slow cooker, so make sure you plan ahead to give it enough time. This is a great week night or make ahead recipe, it also tastes just as great on the second day. You can make it a regular juicy and tender brisket, or add BBQ sauce to make it a BBQ brisket. I served this brisket with mashed potatoes and it was great with the brisket broth poured all over the mashed potatoes. I bought the brisket at Costco where it was not only super fresh but also cheaper then most grocery stores. So here is another easy, fast, hearty, comfort food, crockpot recipe for you!
Tender Crockpot Beef Brisket {Serves 8-10}

Ingredients:

  • Beef Brisket (mine was 5.5 LB)
  • 3-4 TBS Mayonnaise (I use homemade)
  • 1.5 tsp Salt
  • 1.5 tsp Montreal Chicken Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1.5 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Mrs.Dash (or any salt-free seasoning)
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 4 TBS Butter

2507C090-ADB2-4B5B-8350-CB138DD1150A

Directions:

1) Wash the beef brisket thoroughly and pat completely dry with a paper towel. Put the brisket in a big bowl and season it with all the seasonings (salt, chicken seasoning, onion powder, Italian seasoning, Mrs.Dash). Smother the Mayonnaise all around both sides of the brisket. Sprinkle the spices and the garlic on brisket and smother it all around both sides of the brisket. (If you are making BBQ brisket, also add 2-3 TBS BBQ sauce to the brisket and smother on both sides. This is a plain, not BBQ brisket).

5565BE1F-CE30-44B9-9AB4-8671953EE079

2) Place brisket into a crockpot and add 4 TBS butter (cut up into pieces and spread out on the brisket). Cook brisket on HIGH for 8 hours, flipping the brisket 2-3 times or at least once halfway through cook time if possible. (If making BBQ brisket, make sure to add 3-4 TBS BBQ sauce in the last hour of slow cooking and smother it all around the brisket.)

3) After 8 hours, the brisket should be fall off the fork tender and super juicy! The broth inside the crockpot can be poured over rice or mashed potatoes. We loved the broth over mashed potatoes!

E9A13FAA-03AC-4212-A39E-E4141EECC74F

Crockpot Beef Stew

ADFD6A89-D86F-4EB6-A643-3110EFE507E0

I came up with this recipe last weekend when we had a “snow day” it was mostly icy rain and barely enough snow to cover the ground but we live in the South so it was a big deal and not a day you want to drive around for groceries or out to eat, so the night before we bought all the ingredients for this super easy, but very delicious crockpot beef stew. I couldn’t find a recipe that I wanted so I threw together a bunch of stuff and it turned out absolutely perfect!!! It was literally the best beef stew that I’ve ever tried. It’s interesting how the spontaneous recipes usually turn out to be the best ones. I shared a quick video of the beef stew on social media when it was done cooking and teased many people who reached our asking for the recipe. So of course, here is the promised recipe that I hope you will love just as much as we did! Just make sure that you prepare it in advance to give it 7 to 8 hours on HIGH in the crock pot to cook until the veggies and meat are tender and juicy. I did the prep work in the morning and it was ready in time for dinner.

Easy Crockpot Beef Stew {Serves 6-8}

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.5 LB Beef Stew Meat OR Chuck Roast (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 5-6 Gold Potatoes, Medium size (cubed into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 4-5 Carrots
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 2 Cups Dry Red Wine
  • 1 LB Mushrooms
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 8 Cups Beef Broth ( I made my own Better then boullion beef broth)
  • 3 TBS Olive Oil
  • 1 (15 oz) Can Tomato Sauce Or 2 TBS Tomato Paste
  • 2 tsp Mrs.Dash (or any Salt-Free Seasoning)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt to taste (I did 3 tsp)
  • 2 TBS Dry Parsley Flakes
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 3 TBS Oil for frying meat (along with Salt or Steak Seasoning if you want to precook your meat, I’ve been throwing in RAW meat lately and there is absolutely no difference in taste. Still the same tender and flavorful beef!)

Directions:

1) Do the prep work first. Wash and cut the meat into cubes. Wash and cut the potatoes into cubes. Wash the bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms and chop up also. If you are making your own beef broth like I did, then make it and set it aside.

2) This step is optional. I’ve been throwing in raw meat lately and there is absolutely no difference in taste. Still the same tender, flavorful beef. If you want to first precook your meat: Set a frying pan with 3 TBS olive oil on Med-High heat and cook your meat thoroughly adding salt or steak seasoning to taste. Stir it every few minutes, cooking until it gets browned.

3) Put the raw or cooked meat and chopped veggies into the crock pot. Add the wine, tomato sauce (or paste) and beef broth. Sprinkle in some salt to taste. I added 3 tsp Salt. Add in the Mrs.Dash (or other salt free seasoning), paprika, Italian seasoning, dry parsley and bay leaves. Add the minced garlic cloves too.

4) Stir everything gently, and turn the crock pot on for 6-8 hours on HIGH. Yes, it does take 6-8 hours cook time for best results to get juicy, tender flavorful meat and tender vegetables. Gently stir halfway through if possible (if not it will still taste just as great!).

A108B912-4E63-496C-B880-928AFE5CBDB4

5) Stir everything gently together and enjoy! Reheats easily in a pot if needed.

2DD3EDD0-3710-480D-979E-6FC158E0E7EB

How To Make Taco’s

9D925FF1-FDEB-42E1-AD4B-CE0849B00DF6Yesterday was Taco Tuesday at our house. Yum!!! Even my picky son, who hardly ever eats anything, ate 4 taco’s yesterday evening for dinner! I was surprised but so thrilled. Upon going to bed, he told me that this was the best dinner ever and that’s something this momma was so glad to hear! I think we may make Taco Tuesdays a weekly thing at our house now since it proved to be such a hit with my family. The best part about a taco dinner is how easy and fast everything is to prepare so it is perfect for a weeknight dinner. I think the fun part is everyone making their own perfect taco so this is also a great dinner to make if you have company coming over. This is not really a recipe because everyone knows pretty much what a taco consists of, this is just my step by step tutorial for those that reached out to me asking about how I make the meat filling and stuff. I hope you make next Tuesday a taco Tuesday too! 😉

How To Make Taco’s {Serves 6-8 people}

Ingredients:

  • 2 LB Ground Beef
  • 2 (1.25 oz) Packets (Ortega Brand) Taco Seasoning Mix (I use the 40% Less Sodium)
  • Taco Sauce (Mild) (Optional, to top)
  • 2 Boxes of Taco Shells (13-15 Count) *I like the stand & stuff shells, so much easier
  • 1 Large tomatoe
  • Romaine Lettuce (Or regular lettuce)
  • 1 (8oz) Block Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
  • 1 Container Sour Cream (Optional, to top)
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil (For Sauté)

9CEEC5C6-CF37-48C2-A86F-6B8066A6C96FDirections:

1) Do all the prep work first. Wash and chop up the Romain lettuce, set aside in a plate. Wash and finely chop up the tomato, set aside in a plate. Shredd the block of Cheddar Cheese, set aside in a plate.

2) In a saucepan on Med-High heat add 2 TBS Olive Oil. When the oil heats up, add the ground beef, break it into pieces using a spatula.

1B23390B-C026-4657-8279-785C9692432D

3) Add the packets of Taco Seasoning. You need 1 packet of seasoning for 1 pound of ground beef. I use Ortega brand 40% less sodium packets bc I don’t like my meat to be too salty and using regular packets of seasoning in my opinion make it too salty. Mix thoroughly and cook until the meat has browned and is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). Meanwhile bake the taco shells on 350 degrees in the oven for 5-7 mins until hot (be careful not to burn them).

D042B9ED-1B3A-4A12-AB92-8C914F398B44

4) Set up a “taco station” on the table with all the toppings in plates, the meat, the taco shells, taco sauce, and sour cream.

9D925FF1-FDEB-42E1-AD4B-CE0849B00DF6

Everyone creates their own perfect taco! Yum!!!

F1B5B06A-EB9F-4C9C-99B4-5D219703D99B