Cilantro Lime Chicken

Today’s edition of Mexican Monday requires prep on Sunday, even though it’s a slow cooker dish! But that’s also what makes it perfect for your Monday, whether you follow my Mexican Monday Menu plan or not. The chicken needs to marinate over night, but in the morning all you have to do is drop it into the slow cooker – no chopping, no measuring!

I found this recipe on a Pinterest post of Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes. Although we don’t follow the Paleo diet trend in this house, I may have some readers who do. Or maybe I’ll get new readers from it! 😉 If you’re looking for new Paleo inspired recipes, check out Jason’s blog, Paleo Pot

But because we don’t follow Paleo, I served this chicken with Rice and Beans

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-6 lb whole chicken
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 whole lime
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Steps:

  1. Mix together pepper, salt, cumin, cayenne, and chili powder. 
  2. Dry chicken and rub spice mixture over entire chicken.
  3. Poke holes in the whole lime and rub with spice mixture. Place in chicken cavity.
  4. In a food processor (I actually used the single serve unit for my Ninja blender, a Magic Bullet would work great too!) combine lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil.
  5. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag with the marinade. Marinate over night.
  6. Put chicken, breast side up, in slow cooker with the marinade. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours.

*This recipe is modified from Jason at http://paleopot.com/2013/01/chili-cilantro-lime-chicken/*

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Turkey Tomatillo Lettuce Wraps

Mexican food isn’t necessarily known for being healthy, and I know my preference for turning Mexican Monday into Pasta Night doesn’t follow many diets, but it is possible to turn Mexican Monday into Healthy Night. Most taco recipes can be turned into taco salads, or in this instance, a lettuce wrap!

I was excited to find this recipe and Mountain Mama’s blog where she partakes in Taco Tuesday. I hope to find more Mexican Monday inspirations from her as I explore her page.

I absolutely loved this recipe – it was fresh, healthy, and crispy. I think it’s genius to take a store bought salsa and add more fresh flavors to it.

If you don’t like using fresh lettuce as your taco shell, you can substitute soft or hard shell tacos.

Turkey Tomatillo Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 C fresh cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 C tomatillo salsa
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • your favorite taco toppings, i.e. tomatoes, fresh onion, cheese, avocado

Steps:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil in medium-high heat. When hot add ground turkey and season with S+P. Brown turkey, breaking up with a wooden spoon. After 5 minutes stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
  2. In a food processor combine onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salsa. Pulse until smooth. Add to the turkey. Cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock and cook let simmer another 2 minutes.
  4. Tear off lettuce leaves, fill with turkey, and top with your favorite taco toppings.

*This recipe is adapted from Kelley at http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2014/01/cilantro-lime-turkey-taco-lettuce-wraps/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-4*

Lettuce Wraps

Bacon Wrapped Dates

It’s the time of year for cocktail parties. Saying goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014.

Bacon-wrapped anything is always a safe appetizer to take with you to your New Year’s parties. And bacon wrapped dates are your best bet. The dates caramelize in the oven and turn into candy. The bacon crisps up. What you are left with is essentially a chewy centered candy.

I have a big lesson learned to tag along with this recipe. Bake your bacon wrapped anything on a cookie sheet with a rim! Why? Bacon releases fat/grease. This grease is not solid. This grease will most likely drip off of a flat cookie sheet. In a 450 degree oven this grease will catch fire. Now what?! Turn off the oven. According to dummies.com keep the oven door closed and the lack of oxygen will cause the fire to die. But if want to save your bacon wrapped anything quickly and carefully remove them from the oven and throw either baking soda or salt on the flame. DO NOT USE FLOUR. Apparently, flour will cause an explosion!

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Ingredients:

  • dried dates
  • bacon

Steps:

  1. Soak toothpicks in water, to prevent them from catching fire. Preheat oven to 450 deg.
  2. Cut bacon in half. On a plate, microwave bacon for 2 minutes (covered with a paper towel).
  3. Wrap each date with bacon and skewer with a toothpick.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and crispy.

*This recipe is adapted from Beau at http://oursavorylife.com/a-delicious-paleo-snack-recipe-bacon-wrapped-dates/*

Bacon Wrapped Dates