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GF Mexican Casserole

So y’all know I love me some Mexican food. And if you don’t know… now you know. (Thanks, Biggie.) I actually had it in one form or another three times last week, almost four, but me and my girlfriends cancelled dinner plans one night. Besides pizza, it’s my favorite thing to eat. I’m talking stretch-pants-mandatory-no-room-at-the-inn eat. Basically I like it.

mexican casserole 2

So when I tried to stop eating gluten, one of the hardest things for me to give up were flour tortillas. (No, I didn’t stop eating gluten just because I’m a trendy hipster, I read it helps with hypothyroidism and some other health issues, also I’m a little bit of a trendy hipster). Slowly and begrudgingly, I made the transition to corn tortillas, one burrito at a time, and it’s safe to say that I am now a full-blown corn tortilla convert. Sure you have to double-up on most them because they tear so easy, but they’re also drastically less calories, so I hardly feel guilty about that.

And also that just means I can add more cheese. #JessMath

mexican casserole 4

The rest of the ingredients in this dish came from a few of my kitchen staples and a need to use up the remainder of the most delicious corn on the planet that we brought home from our cabin a week prior. And as I hoped, it created a beautiful, cheesy, Mexican-inspired mess.

Gluten-Free Mexican Casserole
Serves: 4-6
Cook time: about 45 minutes

You’ll Need:
1lb lean ground turkey
1 sm. red onion, chopped
2 jalapenos (or other pepper of your choice), chopped
4 T taco seasoning, or 1 packet, + 3/4 cup water, (I use Penzeys bc I love them)
2 ears fresh corn, cut off the cobb
1 can diced chiles
2 cups sharp and/or mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa of your choice, plus more for serving
1 pack small corn tortillas

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. In a large pan, sprayed lightly with oil, heat onions and chopped peppers for about 5 minutes over med-high, until softened. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about another 8 minutes. Stir in taco seasoning and water, and simmer over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Stir in corn and can of chiles until combined. In a baking dish, spoon about 1/4 cup of salsa onto the bottom and layer with corn tortillas (about 5-6) to cover the bottom. Add half the turkey mixture, half the cheese, and another layer of tortillas. (You can use less this time if you want, I used 6 again.) Then add another 1/4 cup of salsa, turkey mixture, and the final layer of tortillas (again, up to you how many you’d like to use here) and the rest of the cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. (If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it, give it a little longer to heat through.) Garnish with avocado, lime, cilantro, , sriracha, sour cream or whatever other fixins’ you like!

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mexican casserole 1
This was so insanely flavorful and such an easy dinner to make. You guys know I love meals you can make ahead of time, but it also made for killer leftovers. I’d like to say we ate this three days in a row, but we hogged out so hard that the leftovers only lasted the next day.

No judgement.


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A Few Things Friday.

cabin
HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Too much? Sorry. If you can’t tell I’m super excited for the weekend. Why you ask? Because we have NOTHING (count it… zero things) going on this weekend. Why is that so rare anymore? It’s like you pass 25 and all of a sudden there is some kind of event going on every second of your life for the rest of eternity. Not that I’m anti-birthday or wedding or cookout, but momma needs her down time.

Speaking of, the picture above is from our family’s cabin that we just got back from last weekend. I always forget how beautiful it is there until I’m standing back in the rock-bottomed creek, being hugged by trees and mountains. Sure there was a black bear sighting one day and at one point I think I had 47 mosquito bites, but there is nothing quite like a night out on the deck laughing with family and watching the little ones run around like we did 20+ years ago. With wine, of course.

rose

Also, when did rosé become so delicious? I feel like I always stayed away from it because it looks like it came from a box that starts with “F” and ends with “ranzia” and would rot my poor teeth, but turns out the dry ones are pretty awesome. Because you know what I needed, an excuse to drink more wine. (I got this one at Trader Joe’s and 100% forget what kind it was… zero help.)

Also for those who have been asking (mom), Ace is doing really well, and he and Mac are still best buds. They actually have both been sleeping in bed with us and while I think Brandon is ready to move into the guest room, I think it’s just about the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. Although I will tell you that I found something so vile in our bed the other week that I can only assume one of those fur balls brought in. Ready for this?  A FREAKING SLUG.

I know.

But look at this face…

ace

Yeah, it’s still pretty terrifying.

(PS In case you think I’ve totally forgotten how handsome Mac is, let me assure you he is still my number one guy, he is just terrified of having his picture taken and runs into the next room as soon as I even try.)

Enjoy your weekends, friends!


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Honey & Garlic Glazed Salmon

Quick statistic:

4 salmon

Reason #345672 that I’m the absolute worst to go out to dinner with:

“Is your salmon farm raised or wild caught?” (Long pause.)

And without going into a diatribe about why this is an important question to me, just know that it’s a make or break kind of deal. Yes, I realize that probably half the places I ask this question are going to just lie to me, and once I’ve actually had someone respond, “which one do you want it to be…?” Also, yes, I realize I’m kind of an asshole. I’ve accepted it and so have most of the people who dine out with me regularly. Don’t even get me staaarted on the wine list situation.

But back to the salmon.

salmon 5

I adore salmon. I know a lot of people find it really “fishy”, but I find it buttery and delightful.

1 honey garlic salmon

With it being Lent and all, every Friday when I have to decide what kind of fish dish I’m going to prepare (or pretentiously order), my mind almost always goes to salmon. And much to my pleasant surprise, Brandon actually requested it last week, which led me to racking my brain trying to come up with a new way to prepare it. (This is worth mentioning because for the last 10 years he has professed his hatred for it.) Challenge accepted.

Honey & Garlic Glazed Salmon
Serves: 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
You’ll Need:
2  salmon fillets (preferably wild caught, just sayin’)
2 gloves garlic, minced
3 T honey
1 tsp dried dill
Salt & pepper
Cedar planks, soaked for at least 5 hours (optional – you can just use a foil-lined baking sheet)

Directions: Preheat oven to 500. In a med sauce pan, combine dill, honey and garlic, and sautee over med heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Place salmon fillets on the cedar plank (or pan), sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and evenly spread the garlic and honey mixture over the top. Place on the middle oven rack and cook for about 12 minutes (less if you like your salmon more rare/med-rare). Pairs great with a chardonnay.

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3 salmon

This turned out so delicious. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the sweet and savory combination of honey mixed with garlic and dill, but it was really tasty. Brandon actually swears he liked it, which is kind of a miracle. And if you don’t have the fancy little cedar planks to bake yours on, don’t fret, it will still be just as delicious on a regular baking sheet, it just won’t have that smokey wood-fired essence that the plank gives it. (Also I did not soak my plank long enough, and it looked like the sequel to Backdraft in my kitchen for about 30 minutes after these puppies were done.)

But hey, at least they were wild caught and the lovely woman at the grocery store didn’t even sass me for asking.

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