Tag Archives: spicy

Turkey and Yam Spicy Tacos

Turkey and Yam Spicy Tacos (serves 6-8)
Inspired by a recipe found here.

I swear, Mexican food is an incredible thing. It is agreed among myself and Bryan that our most successful meals are those that incorporate Mexican flavors. This one is no exception. A spicy blend of herbs and spices creates a flavorful base for the turkey. The yams mixed into the turkey creates a subtle sweetness that balances the spiciness of the meat. It is a truly delicious, though unusual, combination.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yam, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • A handful of jalapeno pepper slices, minced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 16 small, warm corn tortillas

Put the diced yam in a microwave-safe bowl; cook in the microwave until cooked through and fork-tender, stirring once, 5 to 7 minutes.

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium heat; cook and stir the turkey until crumbled and evenly brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper into the turkey and continue cooking until the onions begin to caramelize, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with the chili powder, cumin, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Pour the salsa over everything; fold the sweet potatoes into the mixture.

Allow the mixture to cook until the excess moisture evaporates. Serve with the warm tortillas, as well with any of your favorite taco fixins.

::Ashley

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Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Inspired by a recipe found here.

Pasta, pasta, pasta. So versatile, so comforting, so delicious. I wanted to make a simple pasta dish that incorporated protein in a different way. I had never heard of Cajun Chicken Pasta before stumbling upon this recipe while surfing on AllRecipes. The recipe looked simple, most ingredients were on hand, and the photos looked delicious. I was sold. Again, I modified the recipe to include brown rice pasta to up the nutritional value and substituted heavy cream for light cream, as well as xanthan gum for corn starch.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with xanthan gum, it’s a powdered thickener that works a lot like gelatin, flour, or cornstarch, but is completely vegan and is, in my opinion, a lot easier to work with. While thickening with flour or cornstarch can be tricky and lead to clumps, just a sprinkle of xanthan gum over a sauce works brilliantly to thicken. When substituting xanthan gum for other thickeners in recipes, I do not recommend a 1:1 ratio– you will need far less xanthan gum as a little bit goes a long way. Xanthan gum also stabilizes rather than continues to thicken, unlike other thickeners. This is great because you won’t end up with a gloppy sauce after time has passed. So yay for xanthan gum!

Ingredients:

  • 8oz brown rice pasta shapes
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 2-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 8oz container of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Dried parsley flakes to garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add salt and pasta, then cook for 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Place the chicken and the Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake to coat. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, saute the chicken until almost tender (about 5-7 minutes.) Add the bell peppers, mushrooms and green onion. Saute and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat.

Add the cream, garlic, salt and ground black pepper. Heat through. Sprinkle xanthan gum over sauce until sauce reaches desired thickness. Add the cooked pasta, toss and heat through. Garnish with dried parsley and serve.

::Ashley