Well, hello. I’m here. Suddenly the mother of two under two and that’s sort of blowing my mind. I’m not sure when I got old enough to be the mother of two children but, there you go. My husband and I just looked at each other a few nights ago and said, “WTF?! Weren’t we just at <insert name of favorite bar here> getting drunk? Wasn’t that like, yesterday?”
Nope. It was 12 years ago. Yikes.
At any rate, I am now officially on maternity leave and am attempting to cook dinners again. I’m easing my way back into it, doing some easy things while I adjust to the new (non) sleep schedule (it’s ironic but my almost two year old is having more sleep difficulty than my newborn. Go figure.) and try to get to know the new man in my life. So far, he’s pretty mellow and my daughter seems to like him. I’m crossing my fingers that it will continue that way.
So, in honor of easing in, I give you two recipes. Well, to be fair, I’ll give you one recipe that can then be used as leftovers to create another. No “how-to” photos, just an end product. Sorry about that. Haven’t quite mastered cooking dinner while photographing and watching the newborn and almost two year old. I’ll get there. Maybe.
Easy Taco Salad
Romaine lettuce (not totally nutritious but has a good crunch and is marginally better than iceberg. Marginally.)
1 lb ground meat (I used chicken, you could use turkey or beef)
1 packet taco seasoning (ok, full disclosure, I hate commercial spice mixes and would usually make my own- cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, chili powder, etc- but I was trying for easy. Bring on the MSG.)
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
Handful tortilla chips, crunched up into small pieces
In a skillet over medium heat with a bit of oil, brown your onion. Add 1/2 the red pepper and the meat. Cook until browned and then add the taco seasoning and mix well. If it’s too thick, you can add a touch of water but not too much- you don’t want it to make a sauce, you want it to coat the meat. Set aside to cool a bit.
On a plate, spread out your lettuce (I chop mine). Sprinkle the tomatoes, the other 1/2 of the pepper, the avocado and any other veggies that appeal over the lettuce. Top with the meat and the cheese. Sprinkle some tortilla chips on top.
See? Wasn’t that easy? I liked mine with a bit of ranch dressing. It even got a thumbs up from the husband who doesn’t mind salad but doesn’t love it either.
Leftovers from Taco Salad
Spread a handful of tortilla chips on a plate (best if it’s a plate that can go in the microwave or oven). Top with the leftovers from the taco salad- meat, veggies, cheese. If you want to be healthy, you can throw in a few spoonfuls of black or kidney beans. I was too hungry to bother. Pop into the microwave for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted. I like to use the oven which yields more crispy chips but in a hurry (because was I starving and people were crying), the microwave will do. Dig in, with one hand, while the other holds a baby.