taco tuesday, lightened up

It’s no secret that we love Mexican food around here. I’m certain there are a few local restaurants who know us by name. But, we’ve been trying to eat at home more, and I’ve been trying to shed this last baby weight. So, in an effort to have my favorite food at a fraction of the calories, we’ve lightened up taco night at our house, and it was a huge hit.

Here’s how I gave taco night a healthy makeover:

Taco Shells- Use wonton wrappers to make mini taco shells. Simply lay them over a cooling rack and bake at 400 degrees until they are start to brown and crisp up. This was Braylen’s favorite part, she normally eats a deconstructed taco, but we let her create her own mini-taco’s and she ate several of them. Wonton wrappers come to about 20 calories a piece!

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And they make the cutest little taco shells!

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Taco Meat- If you’re a ground beef lover, trade it out for shredded chicken to make things a little more healthy. Just put several chicken breast in the crock pot with 1/2 jar of your favorite salsa and a pack of taco seasoning. Cook on low for 4-6 hours depending on the amount of chicken. When you’re finished shred the chicken (put in the your stand mixer for quick shredded chicken).

Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh ingredients such as guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, and red onions (I skipped those, but I know some people love them on their tacos).

Greek Yogurt: Switch out your sour cream and serve it with Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative.

Skip the cheese: I know, I know, it’s the best part. But, I promise if you load it up with toppings, you won’t even miss the cheese!

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I’ll go ahead and tell you, these little tacos are addicting, but you won’t feel guilty for going back for a second helping.

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blackberry pickin’ and a blackberry buckle recipe

This past Sunday Braylen and I headed over to a local farm to pick blackberries. This year, several farms have popped up around us, but if you’re local let me recommend Mountain Meadows Farms. They have the biggest and sweetest blackberries I’ve ever tasted.

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We met our neighbors at the farm, Brayden and Braylen had the best time picking blackberries. The two of them ate their fair share of blackberries. Their buckets were lacking in the blackberry departments, but their bellies were not.

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We had planned to pick a gallon of blueberries too, but a storm came up that sent us back home. We’ll have to try again this weekend.

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We had the best time and we enjoyed a blackberry-banana smoothie when we came back home that evening.

I saved the best for the next day, our favorite blackberry treat, a Blackberry Buckle. It’s similar to a cobbler, except it has a more cake-like consistency. It’s best served warm with vanilla ice cream. You can’t go wrong with this dessert!

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Blackberry Buckle
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter the bottom of a baking dish
  3. Wisk together 1 cup sugar, pinch of salt, self rising flour, and milk.
  4. Add melted butter and combine well.
  5. Pour mixture into baking dish.
  6. Distribute blackberries (that have been rinsed and dried) over top of mixture evenly.
  7. Sprinkle remaining ⅓ cup of sugar evenly over the top.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until edges are browned and blackberries are bubbly. Be sure to check this dish frequently towards the end, cooking time will depend on size of baking dish. I used a 9x13 for a thinner blackberry buckle and cooked for about 45 minutes.

 

Berry Cheesecake Trifle

Y’all! This may be more goodness than I’m supposed to dish out on a Monday morning, but I have the best trifle recipe to share with you today on Every Day Cheer. 

Go ahead and have the ingredients on hand to make for your friends on the Fourth. And if you promise not to judge, I’ll let you in a little secret. It goes perfectly with your morning coffee, if you happen to have leftovers. Not that I would know or anything. berrycheesecaketrifle

 

Go ahead and click over to Every Day Cheer to get the recipe. 

 

Weight Watchers Orange Chinese Chicken

I mentioned last week that one of my favorite things about Weight Watchers is that you can pretty much eat anything, within reason.

For the first week I mainly ate things like grilled chicken and roasted vegetables. It was easy and I knew it would keep me within my points range. Plus, I’m all about easy while we’re still adjusting to life with a newborn in the mix.

I did choose one recipe from the Weight Watchers site, I read a few of the reviews and adapted it slightly based on what other people had said about the dish.

It’s a quick and easy week night meal and can easily satisfy a Chinese food craving.

Did I mention it’s only 6 points for a serving? (Recipe serves 4)

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Weight Watchers Orange Chinese Chicken
Cuisine: Chinese
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tsp orange zest, strips
  • 1 pound uncooked boneless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 15 oz can Mandarin oranges, light syrup
  • 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest (more if you're looking for a stronger "orange" flavor)
  • ½ cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste, you can omit these completely if you aren't okay with spicy food)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and orange zest strips, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add cubed and lightly salted and peppered chicken to the skillet.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and cook chicken until browned on both sides.
  5. Drain oranges and reserve ¼ cup of liquid.
  6. Add oranges and ¼ cup of liquid to the skillet and let simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Whisk together broth, soy sauce, finely grated zest, red pepper and cornstarch in a small bowl; add mixture to pan and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes more.

Point value based on 1/4 of recipe, does not include brown rice.

Ham and Swiss Quiche on EDC

This week on Every Day Cheer we’re sharing a few recipes to put together the perfect Easter brunch. I’m up today and I’m sharing a recipe for Mini Ham and Swiss Quiche Bites.

They are simple to make and everyone in our family agrees that they are delicious to eat, too!

Head over to Every Day Cheer and check out the recipe!

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