Double Decker Turkey Veggie Tacos

1 1/2 lb turkey breast chops, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
2 tablespoons raspberry hot sauce
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 onion, halved and sliced
1/4 cup Old El Paso Hot Taco Sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided use
1 eggplant, diced
2 zucchini, diced
6 oz crimini mushrooms, diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 14-oz Old El Paso Dinner Kit, Hard & Soft Taco kits
1 cup Old El Paso Refried Beans with Green Chiles
1/2 cup mixed shredded Mexican cheese

Place the turkey, hot sauce, jalapeno and onion in a resealable bag or marinating container. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Toss with taco sauce. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Add the contents of the bag to the skillet. Saute until the turkey is cooked through.

In a separate large skillet, heat the remaining oil. Saute the eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms until soft. Sprinkle with chili powder and lime juice halfway through the cooking process.

Prepare the hard taco shells and soft tortillas according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the beans in a small pan. Spread a thin layer of beans on each soft taco to the edges. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold the soft tortillas over each hard taco shell, bean-side up. Add a couple of pieces of turkey to each taco and then top with vegetable mixture. Serve immediately.



Patty Melt

Patty Melt
Makes 2 sandwiches

It’s important to use rye bread with caraway seeds (called Jewish rye, in the United States.) Those little savory seeds add a distinct, yet critical flavor to the sandwich.

  • 2 onions (about 1 pound / 450g)
  • 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 – 14 ounces (350g) ground beef
  • 4 slices Swiss-style cheese, such as Emmenthal
  • 4 slices Jewish rye bread

Additional softened butter for the bread and frying the sandwiches

1. Peel and slice the onions. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, season them with salt and pepper, and cook them – stirring frequently – until soft, wilted, and golden brown. It should take about 15 minutes. If using a non-stick skillet, you may need to add the additional tablespoon of butter. Set aside.

2. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and shape into two oval patties about the size of the slices of bread you’ll be using. In a separate pan, fry the beef patties until done a little less than your liking.

3. Butter one side of each slice of bread, then flip them over so the butter side is down, and lay a slice of cheese over each slice of bread. Spread some of the cooked onions over two cheese-covered slices of the bread, top them with a beef patty, then flip the remaining two slices of cheese-covered bread over the beef patties and press down with enough pressure to “meld” the fillings.

4. Heat some butter in a skillet (preferably cast-iron) or a grill pan over medium heat and slide the two sandwiches in. Once the underside of the sandwiches are grilled to your liking – which will take a few minutes, use a spatula to carefully flip the two sandwiches.

5. Continue to cook the sandwiches so the other side gets grilled. You may want to press the sandwiches down while they are heating to compress them, which makes them easier to handle and eat. Don’t worry about any of the burger juices running out; any that do will get absorbed by the bread and will be delicious.

(And if the cheese isn’t melting quickly, cover the pan with a lid, to encourage the cheese to melt.)

When the sandwiches are ready, slide them onto a cutting board, slice them in half, and serve.



Ramen-Crusted Fried Chicken


serves Serves 3 to 5, active time 25 minutes, total time 4 1/2 hours to overnight

  • 2 packages of shrimp- or chicken-flavored instant ramen noodles
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) buttermilk
  • 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) soy sauce
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs with bone (about 6 thighs)
  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage, for serving
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Thoroughly mix contents of one seasoning packet, buttermilk, and soy sauce. Place chicken pieces in zipper-lock bag and add buttermilk mixture. Seal bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Let chicken rest at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Crush two ramen bricks by hand into rough 1/4- to 1/8th-inch pieces. Transfer 3/4 of ramen pieces to a blender and blend until texture resembles coarse meal. Combine the ramen meal and ramen pieces in a wide, shallow dish. Take thighs one at a time from the buttermilk, allowing excess buttermilk to drip off and dredge them heavily in the ramen pieces. Carefully transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 300°F. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or wok to 325°F. Carefully transfer chicken pieces to oil and fry until golden brown on first side, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and fry on second side until golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven. Roast until chicken registers 170ºF on an instant read thermometer, about 10 minutes. Dust finished chicken with remaining seasoning packet. Serve immediately with cabbage and lemon wedges.


Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf


serves Serves 12, active time 30 minutes, total time 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, brown butter over medium heat, swirling the pan every so often. Once the butter has browned, transfer it to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let the butter cool slightly then cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating until fully incorporated. Add in half of the flour mixture, mixing to combine, then add the milk and vanilla, finishing with the remaining flour. Beat in pumpkin until just combined then fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes or a until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert and remove loaf from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.


Spinach Pesto Chicken


serves Serves 4, active time 10 minutes, total time 20 minutes

  • 2 cups packed spinach leaves, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium clove garlic, coarsely chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pound chicken breast, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups cooked spiral pasta


  1. Add spinach, pistachios, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the spinach is roughly chopped, about 8 short pulses. Add cheese and continue pulsing until roughly chopped (you can hop more or less to taste), drizzling a little extra olive oil if pesto is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Season chicken cubes with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until foaming subsides. Add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until barely cooked through (check by cutting open a cube, it should be opaque all the way through), about 8 minutes.
  3. Fill four bowls with an equal amount of cooked spiral pasta, then divide the chicken evenly between each bowl. Drop a generous dollop of pesto into each bowl and serve immediately.


Crock Pot Sweet Garlic Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (diet or regular)
2-3 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons water
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken (frozen, thawed or fresh) inside slow cooker. Mix together brown sugar, vinegar, soda, garlic, soy sauce, and pepper together. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Take chicken pieces out of slow cooker (mine basically fell apart) and pour remaining sauce into saucepan. Place saucepan over high heat. Mix together corn starch and water, pour into saucepan, and mix well. Let sauce come to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to thicken and turns into a glaze. Remove from heat and let sit for a minute or two (it will continue to thicken as it cools down).

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plain fresh breadcrumbs (see note above)
  • 24 ounces ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (such as Tabasco), divided
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • Iceberg lettuce for garnish, optional
  • Tomato for garnish, optional


1.  Stir milk and salt into bread crumbs in a medium bowl to moisten. Add chicken, 1/4 cup hot sauce, and butter, and mix gently with fingers until just combined (don’t overmix). Chill until slightly firm, about 30 minutes. Shape into four patties that are just wider than the buns.
2.  Stir blue cheese into mayonnaise; chill until ready to serve. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add patties and cook until cooked through (155°F), about 3 to 4 minutes per side, basting the second side with the remaining hot sauce as they cook. Transfer to a plate and wipe out skillet with paper towel.
3.  Return skillet to heat and toast the flat sides of the buns in the empty pan. Serve the burgers with the blue cheese mayo, sprinkle with the chopped celery, and lettuce and tomato if desired.


Loaded Chicken & Potatoes


1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)
6-8 medium skin on red potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/3 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp hot sauce (more if you like it HOT)


2 c fiesta blend cheese
1 c crumbled bacon
1 c diced green onion

How to Make:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and chicken and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes and chicken into the prepared baking dish..
3. Bake the potatoes and chicken for 55-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until cooked through, crispy, and browned on the outside. While the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon (about half a pound).
4. Once the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked, remove from the oven. Top the cooked potatoes with the the cheese, bacon, and green onion. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve With: extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing or sour cream!

Greek Marinated Chicken

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 medium lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley
  • 3½ to 4 lbs chicken pieces
  1. To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Use a fine holed cheese grater or a zester to scrape the thin layer of yellow zest from the lemon skin into the bowl. Also add the juice from half of the lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp). Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about ¼ bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.
  3. After marinating for 30 minutes, either cook the chicken on a grill OR preheat the oven to 375 degrees in preparation to bake the chicken.
  4. To bake the chicken, place the chicken pieces in a large casserole dish (9×13). Bake the chicken in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top.


Braised Eggplant with Garlic and Basil


serves Serves 2 to 3, active time 5 minutes, total time 20 minutes

  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 pound Chinese eggplant (about 2 large), sliced into 1/2-inch disks
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai basil)


  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups water, soy sauce, sugar, and chili bean sauce in a small bowl and stir. Combine 1/4 cup water and the cornstarch in a separate bowl.
  2. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a large fry pan or Dutch oven until shimmering. Add the garlic and eggplant and sprinkle with the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the water, soy sauce, sugar and chili bean sauce mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle but consistent simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring or flipping eggplant occasionally, for until eggplant slices are tender and liquid has reduced by about half, about 15 minutes.
  4. Stir the cornstarch and water mixture in its bowl to loosen it up. Stir it into the pan with the eggplant and allow it to thicken. Taste for seasoning, adding any extra salt, soy sauce, chili sauce, or sugar as desired. Remove from heat and stir in the whole basil leaves. Serve immediately.