Easing Back Into It

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

Ingredients

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.)

Shredded cheese

chopped tomatoes

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 avocado, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

Handful tortilla chips, crunched up into small pieces

Directions

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.

Bonus recipe:

Leftover nachos

Ingredients

Leftovers from Taco Salad

Beans (optional)

Tortilla Chips

Directions

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.

And, a bonus photo:

See? Two under two. How did this happen?!?

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4 thoughts on “Easing Back Into It

  1. First of all – wonderful photo! I know how you feel, and I know the rhythm of a two-baby house. It takes some getting used to, but once you do, it flows pretty well! Beautiful family – so happy for you all!

    Now – taco salad – one of my all time favorite meals. Really! One thing I have done to make it less calorie laden is to leave out any meat, or keep it to a very small amount, I also nix the cheese, except for maybe a sprinkle (1 tsp or so). For a dressing, I use a good thick and chunky salsa (most salsas are only 5 calories a tablespoon – and I love them, hot or mild (I could and actually have, eaten a whole jar just by itself!). I have found that even without any oil in it, salsa coats all the salad ingredients just as well as oil, and cuts the calorie count considerably! As a nursing Mom, however, you can use those extra calories. It’s when you quit that and find yourself just as hungry that you might need to start watching those calories like I did, and still must!

    Taco salad is one of the few “Mexican-ish” foods I can make at home, because it is easy to make for one. Hubs does not like anything that even slightly resembles Mexican food because he has this belief that it is all too spicy for him, and I cannot persuade him otherwise. So unless one of our sons comes and takes me to a Mexican restaurant, I don’t get any good Mexican food!

    Thanks for the great recipe an suggestions! Enjoy your family!

    • Thanks Paula. I’m working on getting into a useful rhythm- just in time for me to go back to work and have to establish a new one!

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