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Ingredients Archives: Salsa

Forget Taco Tuesday! Let’s do Taco Burger Tuesday!


A few weeks ago our family was in Breckenridge, CO. It’s one of the most beautiful, peaceful places I’ve ever been and one of our family’s favorite vacation spots. Seriously, if it didn’t snow six months out of the year, we’d live there. Our first night there we ate at a steakhouse. Steakhouses are great for healthy eating because it’s usually really easy to order any cut of meat you want and a ton of veggies.

I saw a “Spicy Santa Fe” burger on the menu that looked delicious. I asked if they could serve it without a bun and they were more than willing (side note: most restaurants will happily serve a burger without a bun).  The burger was so amazing I wanted to recreate in at home. While I love the name “Spice Santa Fe” burger, It basically seemed like a taco in burger form to me, so I decided to just call it a Taco Burger.

I seasoned the meat with my Healthy Taco Seasoning (click here for recipe). This gave the patties themselves great flavor. Then add the toppings to the cooked patties and they tasted like a taco, but even better.


We all used different toppings in our family, but some suggested toppings are:


The rest of my family had their burgers on whole wheat buns, but I had mine on a lettuce cup. You could even serve it on a bed of spinach like a salad.

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Make-Ahead Egg Muffins

My kids started school this week. This was a big deal because my youngest started Kindergarten! I’ve never seen someone so excited to go to school. So now I have 3 1/2 hours to myself every day because we opted for half-day Kindergarten. My daughter is a smart little coconut and I’m sure she’d do just fine in full-day, but I needed the adjustment from half to full day. Here are my cutie patooties ready to go! In the words of my mom, one of these kids was okay with going to school (school is old hat once you hit third grade) and the other one is excited beyond all reason.


Day 1, I was so excited. I went grocery shopping by myself for the first time in years. It was so liberating. But then my daughter’s favorite song came on the radio. It made me a little… sad. I’m a complicated person.

Anyway… that’s what’s going on in our lives. That cute little girl in the picture loves to have eggs for breakfast. The problem is, I don’t have time to make eggs every morning now that we have to leave for school at 7:30 a.m. I wake up at 5:45 and work out while my husband gets the kids breakfast. In order to save on time and make sure the kids have a good breakfast, we set it out the night before. So how could I give my daughter eggs, but make breakfast the night before (and scrambling eggs at 9:30 p.m. was not an option for me)?

The solution: Egg muffins. These are SOOOO easy to make. Just scramble eggs and flavor them however you want. My daughter loves salsa and this makes them even easier to flavor. Be careful with salsa. There are some great options out there but read the labels. It’s really easy to find salsa without sugar, but you have to check and make sure they didn’t sneak it in. My daughter also loves bacon, so I cooked some bacon before, chopped that up and added it in.

Then I just put the eggs into a muffin tin using an ice cream scoop. Make sure you grease the pan well.



Just bake them at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.


After the egg muffins cool put them in a Ziploc freezer bag and put them in the freezer.


When I want to serve one, I put it in the fridge the night before. Then in the morning I (or my husband) just stick it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.


This breakfast will give your kids the energy they need to leave you and go out into the world… I’ll get through this… give it a few weeks and I’ll be fine…

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Tender Slow Cooker Salsa Beef

I’m officially insane. Every time I try to simplify my life, I find something fabulous I need to add to it. My son has been taking piano lessons for three years. Plus he goes to karate twice a week and has cub scouts once a week. My daughter is in ballet and tap. Every Sunday I sit on my porch swing and think about how nice it is to relax and how we need to get rid of some activities in our lives. So what did I do last week? I signed my daughter up for piano as well. What’s worse is that it was my idea. She was content with ballet and tap but then I opened my big mouth and asked her if she wanted to take piano. She was thrilled! She’s been “practicing” every day since. The good mom in me is really excited for her. Learning music is important and she’ll love it. But the other side of the good mom is not so happy. I’ve added one more thing to our lives. Sigh. Oh well. It will all work out in the end. Or else I’ll die of exhaustion. Guess I won’t know until I try, right?

So for all you other insane moms out there who are also stretched beyond your limits, I have yet another slow cooker recipe for you. I believe the slow cooker was the best invention since 2-ply toilet paper. Some days, it’s the only way we have a warm meal on the table at dinner time. I can throw everything together in the morning and then come home from ballet or piano or karate or cub scouts or the therapy sessions I should sign myself up for and still be able to give my family a delicious, healthy dinner.

This salsa beef meets all the criteria of comfort food. It’s packed with flavor, tender and super healthy.


This is another fabulous dump and go recipe. While that doesn’t sound glamorous, it’s way better than a bowl of cereal, which is plan B on busy days. Just pull out the slow cooker and add stew meat, carrots, stewed tomatoes, salsa, molasses and garlic. Then let all the flavors meld together. Mmmmmm. A word about salsa. You have to be careful when picking salsa. A lot has added sugar, but it’s still easy to find one that does not if you’re willing to read labels.



Stir this together and cook the entire thing on low for 6-8 hours.

My husband eats this over rice, but my daughter and I like it over mashed sweet potatoes. Either way, you can congratulate yourself at the end of the day for preparing a delicious, healthy dinner for your family even though you spend your days as a taxi driver.


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Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

No matter where go you, there is no shortage of Mexican restaurants. Because what’s not to love? Sugar-sweetened meat, loads of melted cheese, processed-flour tortillas. Good news! There is a way to still enjoy delicious Mexican food without eating a ton of processed food, sugar and bad-for-you oils. And it won’t take all day.

This is a dump-in-the-slow-cooker recipe, so it takes very few steps and comes out moist and flavorful. When my husband was eating this he kept saying, “There’s just something about this.” That’s always a good sign.


Start with the chicken breasts or thighs in a slow cooker. I personally like thighs because they come out much more moist. But if you prefer breasts, go right ahead.

Top with the taco seasoning, lime juice and zest, and chicken broth. No need to stir. Just turn on the slow cooker on high for four hours.




After four hours, shred the chicken and add it back to the slow cooker. Stir in the salsa and let it heat through for another half hour.




Now serve it in lettuce wraps. If you really hate lettuce wraps, substitute a whole-grain tortilla. I always use green-leaf lettuce but you can use romaine or iceberg. Top it with sour cream, guacamole and shredded cheese.



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