On the last night of a recent visit with my parents, I wanted to treat them to a great home cooked meal. When they visit, we do a lot of going out to eat and ordering in, but on their last night its become a tradition that I make them a meal we can all enjoy (it also helps to distract from how sad I am to say goodbye).
This visit I made my Slow Cooker Pineapple Chipotle Tacos and because all but a few minutes of this recipe is hands free time in the crockpot, it freed me up to have about 30 minutes before dinner to make a fun taco bar.
Having a taco bar has become one of our new favorite meals. It creates a laid back and really social atmosphere. It’s fun to see what everyone likes to put on their tacos and you might end up trying something new – like my husband who tried some cilantro on his tacos and loved it.
Everyone assembles their own tacos and includes what they like and skips what they don’t. This can be a great idea for serving people following various diets.
If you have people over who enjoy standard flour tortillas, you can serve those alongside some grain-free plantain tortillas or gluten-free crispy corn tortillas. Everyone can have something that suits them.
I am practicing what I preach and using lots of seasonal produce here at our house. A clear favorite has emerged from my list of what’s in season for June – Mangoes! It’s been mango madness here and at many of the stores we’ve visited recently.
Our Trader Joe’s was even having a contest to see if you could guess how many mango products they have in the store (think pumpkin madness in October, but with mangoes!).
One of Trader Joe’s new products inspired this recipe and also a side dish I’ll be making for Father’s Day. I picked up This Mango Jicama Slaw at our local TJ’s last week and it was amazing! It was a perfect combination of flavors and textures. My favorite component was the Mango Lime Vinaigrette, but what I wasn’t loving were the first three ingredients: Water, sugar and canola oil.
I thought I could make something just as delicious by using a healthier oil and skipping the water + added sugar. While I love Trader Joe’s, when they make these pre-packaged goodies, many times they will add extra sugar. The mango used in this pre-packaged slaw was not very ripe and therefore not as sweet.
By buying your own mango, you can wait until it’s perfectly ripe and sweet, which means you won’t need to add any sugar to your dressing.
Now, the added water is a bit of preference. Adding water will thin out your vinaigrette, which some people prefer, but I also find that it dilutes the flavor. The ingredients in this dressing are blended and have a consistency somewhere between vinaigrette and mayo. It’s super creamy, but still pourable.
I’m pretty in love with this dressing and I hope you love it too. In addition to enjoying it on salads – on Father’s Day I have plans to toss this with some cabbage and cilantro for a quick and easy side dish.
We’ve been buying whole organic chickens with the idea of cooking the chicken and then using the bones for homemade chicken stock for the last few years. While I always enjoyed the homemade stock, I never really got excited to eat the chicken.
Chicken is wonderfully versatile, but so many recipes I’ve found tend to be bland, dry or both. After making quite a few recipes to beat this bland bird problem, I have found some definite winners.
Below is a list of our favorite recipes using the entire chicken in different and delicious ways.
Have you heard of the Whole30? If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve heard about it and then some. Sorry not sorry about that. The Whole30 has changed my life for the better in so many ways, and I want to share as many tips and recipes as I can to help others successfully complete the program.
If you’re new to this blog, here is the Whole30 in a nutshell:
The Whole30 program by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig is a 30 day reset where you eliminate alcohol, dairy, grains, legumes, sugar (real and artificial), and harmful food additives (carrageean, MSG, sulfites) – learn more about it here. Basically, what you are left with are whole, unprocessed foods that allow your gut to heal, which is crucial to healthy immune responses and overall health.
Doing the Whole30 has been the single most effective thing I’ve done for my health and well-being. After a couple of failed starts, I was able to complete my first Whole30 in May of last year. After hearing me rave about how I felt, my husband decided to join me on every round after that.
Now, it’s become a routine part of our lives. We like to do a Whole30 every 3-4 months to help us feel our best. From my first few failed attempts and our successes, I have put together some tips to help you prepare for your Whole30.