Meal Prep-Shredded Chicken Rice Bowl

I was craving some Mexican food last week so I decided that I am going to go that route for my meal prep this week.  Since I skipped out on meat last week, I definitely wanted to incorporate some in this week’s meal.

I love Mexican food.  If I could eat carne asada or ground beef burritos every week, I totally would.  I actually never really eat beef anymore, maybe once every few weeks in a dinner meal, but never more than that.  I would have gone with ground turkey in this meal (you totally could do that) but it was so expensive when I went grocery shopping so I opted for some good old chicken.

Again, this is an extremely simple meal that you can put your own twist on according to your likes and dislikes.  I love making meals that are easily changeable.

I used my favorite kitchen appliance again this week…my beloved crock pot.  It was Easter this past Sunday (which is the day I do my meal preps) and my boyfriend and I were with his family for most of the day, so I just didn’t have time for anything more than throwing everything into the crock pot before we headed out for the day.  You could totally make this on the stove top or even in your oven if you wanted to use this recipe to make enchiladas.  I was actually wanting to make zucchini enchiladas (using sliced zucchini instead of tortillas) but again, there was just not enough time this weekend.  I do plan on trying that out though, I think it sounds amazing!

For this recipe, I used pretty basic ingredients.  I started out with the liquids first.  I added a 28 ounce can of red enchilada sauce, 24 ounce jar of Southwestern salsa, 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes (I squished the tomatoes because I am not a fan of large tomato chunks), and 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth.  I decided to use the chicken broth because I wanted quite a bit of liquid since I was going to be pouring it over rice (if you use this recipe for the inside of enchiladas, I would skip adding this so it’s not insanely runny).

I then got my veggies prepped and other ingredients ready.  I used yellow onions, green bell peppers, corn, black beans, pinto beans, and of course, the chicken breasts.

Since I used the fire roasted tomatoes, I wanted to try and mimic that flavor with my onions and green bell peppers.  I chopped my onions pretty small and started cooking them in a very small amount of vegetable oil.  I let them cook for much longer than I normally would so that they would start browning on the sides.  Once I liked how they were cooked, I did the same with the green peppers.  After both were cooked, I dumped them into the crock pot of liquids.  I just used canned corn and beans so I drained each of those out and into the crock pot they went.

Once I had all my ingredients ready, I trimmed my chicken breasts and placed them inside the crock pot (make sure your meat is fully submerged in the liquid) and then set it on low heat.

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We got home around 6 hours later, and by that time, the chicken was almost cooked.  I took each breast out and shredded them, then placed all of the shredded chicken back into the crock pot.  I then let everything simmer for about another hour or so, and by then it was ready to go.

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For the rice, I just made some simple jasmine rice with lime juice in my rice cooker.

When I portioned everything out, I sprinkled a small amount of mexican cheese and fresh cilantro on top.  All of the ‘extras’ are of course optional.  I actually wanted to put some sour cream on top to try that out but unfortunately I didn’t have any.

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All I have to say now is…Chipotle who????

Recipe:

  • 28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
  • 24 ounce jar salsa (any kind works–I used Southwestern)
  • 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 15 ounce can yellow corn, drained
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 lbs chicken breast
  • Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic, chili powder, red pepper flakes to taste
  • 5 cups jasmine rice, rinsed
  • juice of 1 lime

-Combine all liquids (enchilada sauce, salsa, broth, and tomatoes) in crock pot

-Drain canned veggies (corn, beans) and pour into crock pot

-Dice onions and cook in 1 tbsp vegetable oil until they start to brown. Remove from pan.  Repeat with green bell peppers.  Put both into crock pot once cooked

-Trim fat from chicken breasts (I had 3 large breasts and I cut each in half so they would cook faster) and submerge into crock pot mixture

-Cook on low heat for about 6 hours.  Remove chicken, shred finely, and replace chicken back into crock pot

-Let simmer for an additional hour

-Prepare rice according to your rice cooker.  Lime juice optional.

-Pour chicken mixture over rice once rice is cooked.

-Add any additional toppings you prefer

Meal Prep-Healthy Vegetable Soup

Do you ever have those Sundays where you just know that the coming week is going to be a hard one?  That was my Sunday.  I was just exhausted this past weekend and had little to no motivation to meal prep some fancy, new, time consuming meal that I’ve never made before….so…I opted for a classic.  I opted for simple.  I opted for comfort.  I opted for vegetable soup.

**On the plus side, what’s healthier than a big old bowl of vegetables??**

From my previous posts, you’d know that I am in the process of moving…well, getting ready to move.  I have been re-organizing, cleaning, clearing, trashing, donating, and trying to sell anything we could.  I’ll be moving to Washington in a couple of months, and my boyfriend and I decided that we only want to fill our two cars with as much as we can, and leave the rest.  We want a new start.  We want simple.  So we are saying no to a big moving truck and only keeping what we need/can fit.  I spent literally the entire weekend doing as much as I could and I actually did get quite a bit done.  But by the end of the day on Sunday, though, I really just wanted to cuddle up with a blanket and a yummy bowl of soup.

I think we can all agree that soup gives us a sense of comfort…am I right?

I didn’t want to make a heavy soup, and I wanted to skip out on meat this week, so I decided on classic vegetable.  You can really add anything and everything into your version of vegetable soup, but I am just here to share my version.

Also, crock pots are my saviors.

My local stores didn’t have every ingredient I wanted on sale this week, so I did use a few frozen veggies..which is fine..fresh or frozen are what I like to use.  I try and stay away from canned veggies if I can, but hey, use what you can.

Since I did get some of my vegetables frozen. that saved me a little time on prepping.  This was such a quick meal to prepare, the longest part is waiting for it to cook in the crock pot.  You can even make this soup stove top if you want, but I went with the crock pot because I wanted to let it simmer for a few hours.

I started out by cutting up my onion and celery stalks.  I wanted to add in some extra flavor by slightly carmelizing my onions before I put them in the crock pot.  I simmered them for a few minutes over the stove and then added in some minced garlic and my chopped celery.  I let that brew for a few minutes while I got my other ingredients ready to go.

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As soon as I saw my onions starting to slightly brown, I removed the pan from heat.

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I got my green beans, carrots, peas, and corn frozen, so no prepping there!  You can just throw those bad boys in your crock pop straight from the bag.

For the broth, I went with vegetable broth and a small can of chicken broth (just for a little added flavor).  You can do all vegetable, all chicken, whatever your heart desires.  I went with vegetable because it was the healthier option and the sodium content was quite a bit less than what it was in chicken broth.  (If you remove the chicken broth, this is a perfect vegetarian meal!)

I decided to thrown in some chick peas for protein since I was straying away from meat this week.  However, customize your version any way you’d like!  You can use kidney beans, ground beef, turkey, etc.

**It was at this moment I realized I would be needing 2 crock pots**

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As you can see, I added in some additional veggies that I had laying around the house.  I found some pre-diced (thanking my past self for cutting these a few weeks ago when I did) sweet potatoes from a meal prep I made a few weeks ago, so I threw those in my crock pot(s) along with 3 small russet potatoes (diced, of course), and some freshly cut parsley.  I also added in some spices before I left my soup to cook.  Those spices consisted of salt, pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper, basil, italian seasoning, and a couple bay leaves.

And that’s it.  That’s all there is too it.  I wasn’t actually going for a spicy soup, but somehow I made it that way.  I mean, it wasn’t spicy spicy, but it definitely has a zing to it.  And not going to lie, it tastes freakin’ delicious.

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Recipe:

  • 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3.5 c. celery
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 lbs. frozen peas
  • 1 lbs. frozen green beans
  • 1 lbs. frozen carrots
  • 2 lbs. frozen mixed green beans, peas, and corn
  • 6 c. sweet potatoes
  • 3 c. russet potatoes
  • 2 cans chick peas
  • 2 cans italian diced tomatoes
  • 3 48 oz. boxes vegetable broth
  • 14.5 oz. chicken broth
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Salt, pepper, basil, chili powder, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning, fresh parsley, to taste

-Heat vegetable oil in pan.  Once hot, add in diced onions and cook until transparent.  Once transparent, add in cut celery and minced garlic.  Simmer until onions start to brown.

-Add in peas, carrots, green beans, corn, chick peas, potatoes, and tomatoes (not drained) into crock pot.

-Once onion mixture is cooked, add into crock pot.

-Add broth into crock pot.

-Add spices.

-Let simmer 4-10 hours.

(I left mine to cook about 8 hours on low-medium heat)

ENJOY!

Meal Prep-Honey Lemon Chicken//Green Beans//Carrots//Potato Wedges

Happy Monday!  Coming at you again with a new weekly meal prep.  This weekend was a long one for me (not length-wise, unfortunately) and it went by WAY too quickly.  Like I talked about on my About Me page, I will be moving to Washington this summer so I have been trying to get things sorted out as much as I can in the free time that I have.  This is going slowly 😦  In addition to that, my boyfriend just bought a project car (1990 Nissan 240SX) that we are building for the next drift event here on April 15th, so a lot of our time has been spent doing that the past few weeks.  We did just put the engine in this weekend though, so things are going well!  We’re going to aim to get the transmission in tonight…we shall see how that goes.

Anyway, back to food.  Because I was really busy this weekend, I didn’t really plan anything special to make, and I didn’t want to spend hours grocery shopping on Sunday like I usually do every week.  Especially with my car giving me issues the past couple of days (don’t even get me started on that -_- ).  So, I opted for the easiest, most basic ‘meal prep’ meal in the world…chicken and veggies.  An advantage to that, too, was that everything I needed was on sale at Sprouts, so I only had to go to one store as opposed the the usual 3 or 4 I normally go to every weekend.

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of food pretty easily (unless we’re talking about pizza–i love you, pizza).  If you saw last week’s meal prep post you would have seen that I made Teriyaki chicken.  Chicken is something I get tired of eating after a few days, so 2 weeks of chicken for me was just not going to work.  Even though the chicken I made last week and this week were completely different, I just knew I would have ended up wasting so much if I made chicken the biggest part of my meal.  What I did instead was make a weeks worth of chicken for my boyfriend (he doesn’t care what he eats as long as he has food–bless his soul) and I only saved myself a half of a chicken breast to eat one day or split up among days if I feel like it.  Because I didn’t have a ‘main dish’ for myself, I just made a bunch of different types of vegetables to replace the chicken.

Let’s get to it.

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I love potatoes.  I haven’t made them for a while, so they sounded extra delicious this week.  I figured since potatoes are a heavier vegetable, they’d be a good ‘substitute’ for the chicken I wasn’t making myself.  While searching through Pinterest a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a blog that talked about soaking potatoes in ice water before you cook them to remove a lot of the starch that they carry.  I had no idea?  Thanks for the tip though, girl.  So that is exactly what I did.  Since I prep for 10 meals, I used around 8 lbs of Russet Potatoes to make potato wedges.  I washed them all, then cut them into pretty thin wedges.  I wanted them to be crispy, so I didn’t want to cut them too thick.  Before seasoning, I filled up a big bowl of ice water and let my potatoes soak for 25 minutes.  I then drained them and added the seasonings.  All i used was olive oil, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, and some garlic.  Make sure not to overlap your potatoes when you lay them on a baking sheet so they cook evenly.  I lined mine with foil (and sprayed the foil with cooking spray to prevent sticking) and ended up sprinkling some more Cajun seasoning on top of the potatoes for a little more spice.  Cook them at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes around, then cook for another 30-40 minutes depending on how crunchy you like them.  Completely optional, but I topped them off with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley after they were done cooking.

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Oh my god, my mouth is watering looking at this picture because these WERE SO GOOD.  The perfect amount of crunch and seasoning.  Seriously one of my new faves.  I promise you that you’ll love these.

On to the next veggie.

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Carrots.  I love carrots, my boyfriend is very so-so with them.  I made them anyway, figuring I would only give him a few.  I made a glaze for my carrots with butter, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.  I say glaze because I melted the butter then added the spices once melted.  These only took a few minutes to prepare, the longest part was waiting for the butter to melt.  I poured the glaze over 2 pounds of baby carrots, mixed them up making sure everything was coated nicely, then spread them onto a baking pan (foil lined and sprayed with cooking spray) and they were ready to go in the oven.

Moving on.

Last part of the meal here.  The chicken and green beans.  I baked them both using the same ingredients and on the same pan so that is why I’m talking about them together.  I love shortcuts.  As stated in the title, I decided on honey lemon chicken (which I’ve never actually made before).  I’m sure you could use any kind of chicken with this sauce, but I went with chicken breast.  I used 3 pretty large breasts and 2 pounds of green beans.  For the sauce, I mixed honey, soy sauce, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, minced garlic, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.  It turned out to be a pretty thin consistency which was good for spreading over the entire baking pan.

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My pan wasn’t huge, but I made it work, and it looked really pretty.

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I cooked both the chicken pan and the carrots together on 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  The breasts were pretty thick so they needed a few extra minutes (I took the green beans off the pan at the 30 minute mark).  I let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes once cooked and they turned out perfectly moist.   The sliced lemons really gave it an extra punch of flavor.

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See you next week!

 

Recipe: Potato wedges

  • 8 lbs russet potatoes
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, garlic, cajun seasoning to taste

-Wash and slice potatoes into thin wedges

-Soak sliced potatoes in ice water for 20-25 minutes (optional, to remove excess starch)

-Season potatoes with olive oil and spices. Spread evenly on greased baking pan.

-Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cook for 15 minutes.  Take out, flip potatoes. Cook for another 30-40 minutes (depending on how crispy you like them).

-Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh parley while still hot (optional)

 

Recipe: Butter glazed carrots

  • 2 lbs baby carrots
  • 6 tbs butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt, pepper to taste

-Melt butter in saucepan.  After completely melted, add minced garlic and let simmer for 3-5 minutes (or until garlic starts to brown)

-Add salt and pepper into butter mixture, pour over carrots and stir

-Spread carrots evenly on greased baking pan

-Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook for 30-35 minutes.

 

Recipe: Honey lemon chicken/green beans

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 lbs green beans, washed, ends cut off
  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1.5 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Lemon (optional, for garnish)

-Mix together lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic, parsley, salt and pepper

-On a greased baking pan, place chicken breast and green beans

-Pour 3/4 of the sauce mixture over chicken, 1/4 over green beans

-Slice remaining lemon into thin wedges. Place on top of chicken and green beans for added taste

-Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook for 30-35 minutes

 

Inspirations:

http://diethood.com/garlic-butter-roasted-carrots/

https://cafedelites.com/2017/02/26/one-pan-honey-lemon-chicken-asparagus/

http://www.sprinklesomesugar.com/crispy-potato-wedges/

Meal Prep-Teriyaki Chicken//Zucchini Salad

Before you think “Wow, those two dishes don’t really go together”, trust me, I already know.  Why would I make a half Asian, half Italian meal?  I’ll tell you why….because I wanted to.  Or, more specifically, because I used what my local grocery stores had on sale this week.

Honestly, I’ve been waiting to make this teriyaki chicken for a few weeks now.  I’ve never done a homemade teriyaki sauce, but I’m glad I did, because it was damn good.  It took no time at all, which was also a major plus.  In fact, this whole meal was actually quite quick.

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I started out by making my zucchini salad, which is just pasta salad substituting the pasta for zucchini noodles.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but wanted to risk trying in case it was something I ended up loving.  I’m glad I thought about doing this.  Zucchini noodles have become a staple in my household recently.  They’re so much healthier than pasta noodles and they take very little time to prepare.  If you’ve never done so, I’ll give you some very detailed instructions on how to.  First, invest in a spiralizer…it will change your life.  Second, wash your zucchini, cut the ends off of both sides, and cut the zucchini in half (this isn’t a necessary step, but i like to do this so my noodles don’t come out so long).  Third, stick your zucchini on your spiralizer and start spinning.  Done.  It’s that easy.  When you finish, you’ll have a little something like so:

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Perfect zoodles.   Yep, you read that right.

After I cut all of my zucchini (I used 8) I started preparing the veggies that I was going to add into the salad.  You can use whatever vegetables you want.  I decided on red and orange peppers, broccoli, black olives, and green onions.  Nothing too fancy.  The reason I was hesitant to make this side dish was because I didn’t know how well the zucchini would take to the Italian dressing I chose to use.  Zucchini is obviously pretty moist once you cut it up, and I was nervous that the noodles were just going to be a soggy mess once I added the dressing.  Before I added anything into the noodles, I lined a big mixing bowl with paper towels and moved all of the noodles into the bowl with the paper towels, hoping that some of the moisture would get sucked up.  I let them sit for about 25 minutes and then moved on to finishing off the salad.  I did add some parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in addition to the veggies and dressing.  To my surprise, it turned out great.  The noodles were not soggy and still had a nice crunch to them.

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Alright, so now we’re moving on to the main dish, the teriyaki chicken.  I found a recipe for a very simple teriyaki sauce here and tweaked it to my liking.  It took less than 10 minutes to make this sauce and you’d never know that by how good it was.  All you have to do is add all of the ingredients into a saucepan, let it boil, then reduce your heat down and stir until it starts getting heavy.  You can also add a little more cornstarch if you’re wanting a thicker sauce, or more water if you want it thinner.

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That’s basically all there is to it.  I bought chicken tenders because I was honestly too lazy to cut up large chicken breasts, so I already had my chicken ready to go.  I lined a baking pan with foil (again, out of sheer laziness and not wanting to clean) and added a couple spoonfuls of the teriyaki along the bottom of the pan.  You add in your chicken, add any spices you want on the chicken (I went simple and just used garlic, salt, and pepper) and use the rest of your teriyaki to top everything off.  Throw it into a 400 degree oven for about 18 minutes and you’re good to go.

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This was so simple, anybody could make this meal.  And again, I know this doesn’t technically ‘go together’, but do what you want!  I wanted a veggie side dish to keep it on the lighter side this week, as opposed to something heavier like rice, so that’s exactly what I did.  Plus, with Summer weather coming in full force here in Arizona, a cold pasta salad was perfect.

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Let me know if you make this meal and how it turned out 🙂

 

Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken 

  • 3/4 c. Soy Sauce (I used low sodium)
  • 5 1/2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 1.5 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 3.75 lbs Chicken

-Add all ingredients into saucepan over medium heat

-Bring to a boil, then turn to low heat and stir sauce until desired thickness

-Coat bottom of baking pan with a layer of teriyaki, add in (optional) seasoned chicken, then use the rest of the sauce to cover chicken

-Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes

Recipe: Zucchini Salad

  • 8 large zucchini, spiralized
  • 12 oz. Italian dressing
  • 2 cans Black Olives, sliced
  • 2 Orange Peppers, cut
  • 1 Red Pepper, cut
  • 3 large Broccoli heads, cut
  • 1 bundle Green Onions, sliced
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper to taste

-Cut ends off zucchini, spiralize into thin noodles.  Line bowl with paper towels, place zucchini in bowl for 20-25 minutes to absorb excess moisture.

-Remove paper towels from zoodles.  Add in all prepped veggies, spices, cheese, and dressing.  Stir together.

-Enjoy!

(I’ll remind you that these recipes are what I use for 10 meals, so be sure to adjust accordingly!)

Meal Prep-Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato Mix//Broccoli

Hello, hello!  It’s Sunday night, and I’ve just finished my meal prepping for the week.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little iffy about this one because I’ve never really been into sweet potatoes.  I’ve always preferred regular potatoes, but for the sake of nutrition, I decided to be a little daring.

Many of my recipes I create are inspired from Pinterest, but I never follow recipes to a T.  I like putting my own spins and twists on each meal I create, and I definitely do my own thing when it comes to spices.  My boyfriend loves spicy food, I, however, am a complete wimp when it comes to spice.  But, being the amazing girlfriend I am, I always try to make each meal spicy enough for his taste (as I attempt to build up my spice tolerance) so I usually go pretty heavy.

I started out by getting all of my ingredients and prepping them as needed.  This included 2 yellow bell peppers, a sweet onion, and fresh parsley.  If you haven’t seen my About Me page, I make 10 lunch meals at a time (Monday-Friday meals split between my boyfriend and myself) so if it looks like a lot of food, it’s because it is.

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I decided to use broccoli as a side dish, so I started getting it prepared and ready to go into the oven so I could save some time and just have everything going at once.  This time around, I dressed the broccoli with a pretty small amount of olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder.  I spread the veggies on an aluminum baking pan (make sure you don’t overlap) and threw them in the oven at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remember when I talked about building my spice tolerance?  There’s your proof^^

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After I put the broccoli in the oven, I started cooking the ground turkey for the main dish.  I cooked the turkey on medium heat by itself until it was just about done, around 5-6 minutes, and then added 2 tsps minced garlic, yellow peppers, onion, and simmered everything together for another 5 or so minutes (or until your onions start to brown).  I also added in a few spices (salt, pepper, chili powder, and crushed red pepper flakes) while everything was simmering down.  I’ll tell you what though-crushed red pepper is not my friend.

While things were cooking, I peeled and cut my sweet potatoes.  I diced them pretty small so they wouldn’t take too long to get tender.  As soon as the onions browned in the turkey mixture, I added in the potatoes and covered the pan.  It only took about 10 minutes for them to get soft, and I did add in some additional spice and a small amount of water (to prevent any sticking).  To be honest, this was my first time making sweet potatoes, but I think I did a pretty OK job.  Once everything was ready, I sprinkled some shredded mozzarella on top, let it melt, then topped it off with the fresh parsley.

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Hello, delicious 🙂

Recipe:

  • 2 Yellow Peppers
  • 1 onion (I used sweet, I’m sure any would do)
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 5-6 sweet potatoes (depending on size)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper to taste*

-Heat olive oil in pan and cook ground turkey on medium heat until just about fully cooked, about 5-6 minutes.

-Add in yellow peppers, minced garlic, and onion.  Cook until onions start to brown.

-Add in spices.

-Once onions are browned, add in cubed sweet potatoes and cover pan.  May need to add water to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Cook about 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

-Top everything with mozzarella cheese, let melt, then add fresh parsley.

-Enjoy!

 

Recipe inspired by : http://www.primaverakitchen.com/ground-turkey-sweet-potato-skillet/