adaptable chicken tacos

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This morning I woke up early (despite my desire to keep repeatedly heating the snooze button) to go for a run with the XC group. Getting up early in the morning, especially to work out, can be really difficult, but I always feel so great after the workout, waking up early is totally worth it! Plus, then my workout is taken care of for the day. I topped off my 3-miler with an hour walk pushing a baby buggy (I babysat right after practice). Man, those strollers can be hard to maneuver! I love to go for walks, though :)

My dad is planning to re-do my room this summer. For REAL! I am so excited to pick out a color for my walls. I’m thinkin’ about red (it’s my fav). So, in preparation for the re-doing, I have been going through my clothes, stuff & such, and..

books! So many books! Before your eyes lay all of the books (plus another stack or two behind my chair) I’ve ever owned since about..2nd grade, give or take a few that were lost or borrowed. From The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, to Harry Potter, to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, they all hold a special little place in my heart. Part of me feels like I should donate the ones I will never read again to the public library or the middle/high school…but I just can’t part with them! I’ve decided to keep my absolute favorites (HP, The Twilight Saga, Jodi Picoult’s work, I Am the Messenger, my classics, and a few other random titles) and the titles I haven’t yet read in my room, and the others I will store away. Who knows, someday I may want to read them again, or I’ll know someone who’d like to read them.

Okay, so now to the star of this post: chicken tacos! Chicken tacos are probably one of the easiest dinners to whip together. They are a dish that can please a crowd, too, because you can throw whatever you like into the taco, and keep out whatever you don’t. Swap out the chicken for beef, pork, or tofu. These tacos also create yummy leftovers! Have them just like dinner, use the ingredients to have a taco bowl (everything that was in the taco, minus the tortilla) or a quesadilla (great way to use up extra tortillas). Infinitely adaptable!

Chicken Tacos

The cast of characters: All natural chicken breast, whole-wheat tortillas, refried beans (or you can use whole pinto/black beans), freshly grated white & cheddar cheese, spring mix (this is what I had on hand, but I usually use spinach), local salsa, and Cholula hot sauce. Other ingredients that we typically add at my house: guacamole (made by Dad..SO good!), chopped tomatoes & onions.

Prep the chicken: Rinse chicken (about 1 breast per person, if having 2 tacos) and chop into about 1-inch pieces. Place in a large sauté pan coated lightly with extra-virgin olive oil or non-stick spray. You can skip this, but the chicken will stick and cause problems. Solution: add some water after seasoning has been added and scrape scrape scrape away at the bottom of the pan to get the chicken unstuck. I recommend using the oil or spray :) Cook the chicken on medium-high heat until almost cooked all the way through, and add seasoning. Taco seasoning: you can make your own, using cumin, pepper, garlic salt, and onion (this is what’s in one of our favorite seasonings, “La Casa,” you can also toss in some paprika and cayenne pepper) or have some help from the grocery store. The second taco seasoning is what was used this time, but I love the simplicity of the La Casa seasoning, above.

Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan until the other ingredients are assembled and ready to roll. It should look somethin’ like this before covering:

While the chicken is cooking away…heat up the refried beans, grate the cheddar cheeses, open (ha!) bag of greens, chop onions/tomatoes (if using) and make guacamole, if desired: using 1 or 2 avocados, mash until just a few lumps remain. Add salt and pepper. Done! Line up all of the ingredients, including the salsa/hot sauce into an “assembly line.” It’s time to start making the tacos!

First: Warm up tortillas on a frying pan, turning once or twice until soft.

Second: Put refried beans down the center of the tortilla.

Third: Add the chicken.

Fourth: Sprinkle on some cheese..

..and then some greens.

(This is where you’d put on the chopped onions/tomatoes and guacamole, if desired. This time, I just didn’t use them.)

Finish off with some hot sauce,

and fold up the tortilla. Top with salsa!

Simple, delicious, satisfying, adaptable.

What is your favorite type of cuisine? (Mexican, Italian, Thai..)

Mine is Italian! Italian cooking is creative, yet simple food. However, I’m so glad that we live in a country where all cuisines are popular; this way, we never get bored, and there’s always something new to try!

Have a lovely Tuesday,

Abby

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