January 29, 2016

Five for Friday January 29th!

It is my first instalment of Five for Friday! It is my favorite things I have found lately.   Linking up with some other beautiful bloggers for this, see the link at the bottom.  Visit them and show them some love!. I am so happy today is here, it has been a doozy at work and today stops it.  And it's Carnival time here in New Orleans! The food will return next week, it'll be a chicken festival!


Have y'all seen these tulips from Costco?  They are $10.  Supposedly they last a long time. It is worht the $10 just to get the vase! My sister and I each got them two weekends ago and they hadn't bloomed.  Now they are starting to and are looking lovely! They were in the patio furniture section of my Costco, only been to that one so not sure how that translates.

January 28, 2016

I was craving chicken wings, and then I chickened out (ranch slaw with buffalo chicken)

As I have told you time and time again, I love buffalo flavored things. I just can't get enough of it. I had a couple of wings a few weeks ago to tame my craving, but I wanted more. As I am a lady over 35 now and have to watch my girlish figure, Buffalo Wings are not on the regular rotation as much as I want them to be. I was craving them one football Sunday recently but thought better of it and came up with something much healthier and low carb to have sort of the same effect.  Well, maybe only in my mind...

This is not a chopped challenge of myself like I usually do as I actively bought some ingredients, but I guess that may make it more like the real TV show! But wait, I just didn't have slaw, so maybe this does count!  The chicken gives you the nice mouthburn of wings, and the slaw gives the cooling effect of ranch and the classic crunch of carrots and celery.  It tasted like wings, but it was a lot cleaner to eat and I didn't feel gross after.

This is a great party recipe that gives you all the flavor of Buffalo Wings without all the calories.  A perfect option for the ladies or low carbers at your Superbowl party!  I don't like blue cheese, but that would be a great addition!  Try this out if you are buffalo flavor lover like me!  Full recipe after the montage.

January 27, 2016

What a difference a half a year makes! (6 months in!)

I cannot believe it has been 6 months since I started this blog.  It has been such a fulfilling experience, combining my love of cooking and writing!  And I love sharing my recipes and pinterest successes and fails with people.  It didn't start out as fun as it seems now though.  Oh time, you do tell! Thanks to all my peeps for supporting me!

The day I realized I had to move out of my beautiful home a little over 6 months ago I was so scared and didn't know what to do. I had to pack up a whole big house, alone, and move, again.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to be strong and be me. And clean the bathtub. I even used a toothbrush! It looked delightful after. So fresh and so clean. I sent my sister a celebratory "We can do it" text.

 Take that, curveballs! And nasty jacuzzi tubs!

January 26, 2016

Masking an ingredient I hate (sausage cheese tartlets)

I really don't like olives, black or green. So briny. My taste buds are getting more and more used to pickled briny things, but I still can't stand olives or pickles. So why do we see olives in this recipe? Because they add to the salty deliciousnessness of these sausage cheese tartlets that make them irresistible.

I got this recipe from my friend Chelsea, who got it from her momma, who lived in Mississippi at the time by way of Iowa. Chelsea's parents used to have an amazing house in Mississippi that we would weekend at. One of the garages was converted into a private in-home movie theater. We had a Harry Potter marathon one time in celebration of me finishing the book series before the last movie came out! We would be lazy and have monochromatic meals , make your own breakfast burrito bars and Pammie Sue's noodles, which are basically homemade egg noodles cooked in chicken broth. It was heavenly. So comforting and relaxing.

You will probably end up with more filing that you need for 45, you can probably even make 60. I usually freeze the leftover filling for a rainy day when I need an appetizer in a pinch. This is also yummy stuffed in a chicken thigh or breast or even a pork chop. These are always a hit and they are so different! The original recipe calls for breakfast sausage, which I usually use, but decided to switch it up and use fresh Cajun sausage. It was just as good, so really any fresh (well the breakfast kind is sometimes frozen) sausage will do. Please enjoy the montage and the full recipe will follow.

The red bell pepper was chopped before I snapped the pic.  I usually get Hidden Valley Ranch, but the store brand was 49 cents! Why the heck not!
I squeezed it all out of the casings.  It was an odd task.
Fry it on up.
Ugh look at all that fat, gross!
Take your sausage and put it in a bowl
Add ranch mix
Red bell pepper
And cheese, glorious cheese!

Mix it all up good.
I had some about ready for the compost bin green onions so I decided to throw those in.
I think they add some nice color.
These things are so great.  I need to try out some more methods with them.
This was to show you what size spoon I was using.
Fill em up and get them ready for the oven

Yummy Yummy
Sausage cheese tartlets: (makes 45 with leftover filling)
1 small can of chopped black olives
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 packet ranch dressing mix
dashes of tabasco to your liking
1 pack of fresh sausage (italian, cajun or breakfast, you know the crumbly kind)
1 bag of colby/monterey jack cheese
mini phyllo shells (3 packs)

Brown sausage. Drain fat and pour in large bowl. Combine rest of ingredients with sausage(you might not need all of the cheese, eyeball it). Put spoonful of mixture in phyllo shells. Place on baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Happy Cooking!


January 25, 2016

Is that really vegan? (Veganish hummus avocado and tomato toasts)

This recipe is the bomb dot com.  I am pretty sure I pinned this when I was vegan for a hot minute but also maybe for my friends Delaney and Catherine in Austin who were vegan and gluten free because of health problems.  Whatever the case this recipe is delicious and you won't believe it is vegan!  Well, depending on the kind of bread you use.  I used to make my own bread when I made this or made sure the bread I used was vegan and or gluten free.  Now to save time and energy, I use the mini pumpernickel toasts, which I am not sure if they are vegan or not.  

I made these for my mom's best friend's daughter's bridal shower about a year ago.  These people were not vegan in any way shape or form. Everyone raved about them and asked for the recipe! They were shocked at how easy and vegan it was.  I decided to make these for the New Year's Eve party just in case there were any vegetarians.  They were a hit as usual.  

The balsamic tomatoes are so delicious and add a punch of flavor.  Not that the hummus and guacamole didn't add their own flavor.  When I make a small batch I use fresh avocado like the original recipe, but nothing beats the flavor or Wholly Guacamole! (They didn't pay me to say that, I really love it!)  Make these next time you have a party, you will not be disappointed!  Full recipe after the montage.

January 24, 2016

Recap of the weekend and looking ahead (january 25-31)

Friday I started off the weekend right at lunch with a wet burrito from Juan's Flying Burrito. I treated myself for a reason! Dinner plans that night...
And yes, I ate the whole thing.
For dinner, a group of book club gals went to Seed for dinner.  It is a vegan restaurant.  As a former vegan (for all of two weeks, it was hard!) I can appreciate it.  We had the trio of dips and southern fried tofu nuggets for an appetizer.  All were great.  I got the chili and a zuchini salad for my entree.  It was good! But I missed meat kind of.
Clockwise from top: Hummus, puttanesca, creole cashew cream cheese, buffalo sauce.
We went for drinks at Barrel Proof  after and encountered a very unfortunate passed out drunk man. I'm not sure if you can tell what is in his mouth, but it was a makeshift cigarette.  We made his friends remove it...after we posed for a pic!

You can't smoke in here, seriously!
Saturday was double duty with a family friendly boat parade in Slidell at my friend Liz's waterfront property.
It was a beautiful day, but so cold!
The theme was games, this was the only one that wasn't of the board variety.
Then it was the raunchy Krewe Du Vieux after at my friend Jacque's. With the uber surge pricing I took a $50 ride there that normally costs $8! Should have thought about that one! They were so spot on with the satire. I can't share much as a lot of it was worse than the name of this blog, if you know what I mean...

They were spot on with this one!
Today I went to yoga for my friend Jen's first "real" class she taught and got my much needed namaste on! It was a donation based class and all proceeds went to the Africa Yoga Project! What a score! I get to feel good and help others to do the same that can't with their own means!

Next week look for some yummy Superbowl recipes, all delicious and out of the ordinary.  This week is also a milestone with a post to celebrate.  Also starting tomorrow I am going to start publishing my posts in the morning, but still doing the Facebook and Instagram in the evening.  I feel this will be a good change, what do you think?  Also I will be adding a new Friday mostly not food feature!  

Hope you all have a great week!  What did you get up to?

Happy Cooking!


January 21, 2016

Oodles of zoodles! (Zucchini noodles with spicy tomato sauce and chicken)

I pretty much buy all of my own Christmas presents from my parents every year.  I make a wish list on Pinterest and then send some items to my mom.  This year all the items, except a fancy pair of pants for Pure Barre, were kitchen tools from Amazon.  Since I have Amazon Prime and Mimi doesn't, I ordered all of my own Christmas presents and had them shipped to her house.  One thing on my list was a spiralizer so I could make noodles out of vegetables to enhance my little to no carb lifestyle.  I went with this one as it was cheap (unlike those pure barre pants) and seemed to have good reviews. And that way I could get more stuff!

I tried it out with an oldish green  apple I had in my fridge to try and make some slaw the day before and it did not work at all. Didn't spiralize and just broke the apple. I was so disappointed I looked into sending it back.  I was only going to get like $1.50 back if I sent it so I decided to give it another whirl.  I am so glad I did.  This is not the spiralizer of your dreams, for sure, but it worked for me. Except for the top, that thing is crap, it tore up what was left of my zucchini.

I decided to doctor up some marinara sauce to have on top of it.  I had some leftover roasted chicken and Trader Joe's sauce so I add that together with some red pepper flakes to make a spicy tomato sauce!  I forgot my camera at work this day so you are treated to a post taken with an I Phone.  Not that bad I guess!  The zoodles ended up being better than I thought.  I think that is because I sauted them instead of boiling them.  That is a trick I will keep for my file!  Full recipe after the montage!

January 20, 2016

Feeling nostalgic at the State Street house on New Year's Eve (doritos taco salad)

When I was a junior in college, I lived in the sorority house as required, as did most of my friends. One of our friends, M'liss, (You may remember her from some chicken mishaps) still lived off campus in a condo her parents owned.  We would go over there sometimes to get away from the hustle, bustle and drama of having so many 18-22 year old women living in one place.  One of the things we would always have there is an interesting salad with Doritos in it topped with French dressing.  It was such a weird combination yet so delicious.

I was feeling a bit nostalgic on New Year's eve.  I was to spend it with some great new and old friends at the house I lived in when I first moved back to New Orleans.  It is affectionately called the lucky little purple house, although I think it is actually pink. It has 15 foot ceilings, floor to ceiling openable windows that I got creative on curtains for and is walking distance to Audubon park and countless shops, bars and restaurants.  And has a kick ass large porch. Everything I want in a house and don't have currently!  I am so lucky that my friend lives there, complete with some of the fun improvements still there that my roomie and I did so I can visit and remember those simpler times. With those thoughts I decided to make that weird salad from college, which was also a simpler time.  It is a crowd pleaser and no one was bringing a salad!

I made my own french dressing as I have the past few times I have made this and it was quite delightful.  Bottled will always do though, that was the original way.  The night was a blast and the salad was a hit. We played games, had yummy food, drank champagne, watched men in fancy formal wear shoot fireworks and remembered how lucky we are to live in New Orleans and have yet another wonderful year here.  Please enjoy the super short montage and the full recipe will follow.

January 19, 2016

Detoxing and clean eating (power protein salad)

Everyone has New Year's resolutions.  Mine for 2015 was to lose the rest of my weight I gained after I quit smoking. (Worth every pound gained, if you still smoke quit now!) I decided to do this by living a little to no carb lifestyle.  It worked; I lost the last 11 pounds, and two sizes in the process! Although I feel Pure Barre may have had a little to do with it as well!

I have kind of explained the lifestyle here before. It is simply this, try not to buy carbs and try not to eat them at home during the week or at lunch. I don't count carbs, I just read labels and try to eat lean proteins and veggies. Then, on the weekend, or when I go out to eat, I can have whatever I want.  It is a lifestyle, not a diet, so you don't feel guilty or deprived.  I used to call my days I ate what I want cheat day, but that feels dirty.  I feel like I just get to eat whatever I want when I am not at home. Like quitting smoking, getting over a breakup, or sticking to an exercise regime, it is all mind over matter.   Anything is possible!

Most times, except for when I eat Italian food, specifically pizza, I go little to no carb at restaurants or parties as a result.  It's how I found my love of the Vito unwich at Jimmy John's (add hot peppers) and the Buffalo chicken salad my friend and I order off the menu at Walk On's, both which happen to be affiliated with one of my favorite fit people, Drew Brees!

When I started the little to no carb lifestyle,  I mostly focused on healthy salads for lunch as that is a no brainer.  I stumbled across this simple yet delicious one and loved it.  I could make it for 3 days in a row and not get tired of it.  It is a pack individually and assemble at work number, but it takes no time to do it all.  I had already cooked my chicken so please enjoy an abbreviated montage after the jump.  Linking up with Meal Plan Monday over at Southern Plate and others!

January 18, 2016

The way to start off fresh for lunch (Winter Detox Salad)

It is a new year's tradition for me to start the work year off with a detox salad.  My family always has the traditional cabbage and black eyed peas (and corned beef because we are Irish) on New Year's Day, and then the next day back at work, I have this.  It is just to combat all the drinking and eating that is done over the holidays.  It is a lot of assembly.  I usually eat at my desk, so that is why you are getting a desk shot in the montage.  Also it is good to see my computer in that shot, it is now caput.

I pinned this recipe back when I lived in Austin.  I remember I was sad because I was missing a lot of stuff in New Orleans.  LSU was playing in the national championship in New Orleans and the Saints were hosting playoff games.   In hindsight, I am glad I missed that National Championship game in person. Woof.  My Austin friends and I watched it in one of our fellow LSU fan's man cave.  We determined that the man cave was cursed and refused to watch another game there.  We never did.

This salad is a nutritional power house, raw and vegan.  That sounds terrible but it is really delicious. I am not a fan of fennel so I subbed celery for that.  It gives you the same texture without the taste of licorice.  That taste makes me thing of Jagermeister and the LSU fight song.  You late 90s early 2000's LSU students know what I mean.  This was day two of not having my camera so it is an Iphone post.  Also I forgot an ingredient shot so we will just get right to the action after the jump.

January 17, 2016

Recapping the weekend and looking ahead (January 18-23)

What a fun long weekend!  I am so happy I get tomorrow off for extra recovery.  It started off Friday noticing these bad boys were in at Pure Barre!  Cardio is being reintroduced, I cannot wait to try Pure Barre Platform!

It's gonna hurt, I'm sure! 

Friday night I went to a fancy Mardi Gras ball.  It was so fun!  I got all gussied up and brought out my grandmother's faux fur!

Those are actual "kid gloves"
Saturday during the day we had our Hogs for the Cause plot draft. It's a fun day of drinking beer and talking shit to the other teams while we pick our spots for the event. As our team is the only all girls team we get our fair share of ribbing. We hold our own though and always place high in the area where it counts, fundraising. Although I am personally taking it upon myself to ensure we place a bit higher in ribs. We have a Cadillac smoker and have no excuse!

Thanks for hosting us NOLA brewing!
We got a pretty good spot next to our"Boyfriends" the Death Chefs

We next popped into the Quarter to try and take part in the Arcade Fire and Preservation Jazz Hall band second line tribute to David Bowie. 

My friend stopped for a lucky dog.

It was so packed as you can imagine!

So packed

We ducked into the Court of Two Sisters and I had a cold toddy. I just love bourbon these days and I don't know where that came from!
Bourbony, fruity and delicious
A great menagerie of people!
After, we headed back uptown and paid our friends at Del Fuego a visit. They are hooking Sweet Swine of Mine up with 20% of their profits on a Saturday parade day. More money to pad our fundraising account! 

How can you go wrong with Queso Fundido and a spicy margarita?!
It was weird not to cook all weekend but I sure enjoyed not doing dishes! Making a Brussels sprouts pizza tonight! I feel like I pizza my poor readers to death, but I may do a post on it, just in case. 

I also have a request. I have beets. The white kind. I hate beets! Anyone have a sure fire way to use them without feeling like you are eating grass? Am I the only person that feels this way? I know I am a little strange, I don't like shrimp or Adele either!

Hope you all had fabulous weekends readers! 

Happy Cooking!

January 14, 2016

Leftovers make the best meals (Duck and Andouille Gumbo)

I love gumbo.  Only with meat though, I'm not a seafood person.  But a good chicken and sausage gumbo, mmm mmm that's my jam.  My mom is partial to making a lighter seafood gumbo with okra. This means no heavy duty roux making.  I am guessing this is a product of she and her mother, and I am pretty sure my great grandmother before her, not being true lovers of cooking.  I never really have loved my mother's gumbo (sorry mom if you read this post this far)(which she probably hasn't) but the rest of my family does.

I prefer a dark rich gumbo.  But until I met the ex, I always hated making a roux because I would always mess it up.  When I lived in Austin, my friend Aimee and I would make gumbo on football Saturdays.  I would make the stock and chop while she made the roux since I never made it right.  It took forever but it was so worth it!  I tried making it in the oven, in the microwave, but nothing worked.  

One football Saturday two years ago the ex and I made gumbo for some friends for the LSU Ole Miss game. It was the first time we made gumbo together. I was amazed as his roux was awesomely dark and finished before I could finish my chopping!  What was his secret?  Higher heat.  I always thought you could never have it on a high flame and mostly had to keep it alternating on and off the burner. Nope!  All you have to do is watch it good and stir frequently and it will be done in no time!  

We had a turducken for Christmas and my grandmother offered me some leftover duck meat to take home.  She said ooh that'll make a good gumbo!  She was right!  I only wish I would have made my own stock with the bones of the turkey we also had but I couldn't take those away from her.  The store bought broth would do in a pinch anyway.  I ran to Rouse's the next day and grabbed some andouille and went to chopping.  My sister invited me over for some wine with her best friend that was in town mid chop. I immediately packed my stuff and went. This meant I got to cook in her fancy kitchen, not do the dishes and she her best friend and my brother in law got some serendipitous gumbo. Everyone wins! And everyone loved the gumbo.  I served it the next day to my former gumbo partner, Aimee, who was in town and she loved it too! Full recipe after the montage.

The cast. That's the duck on the right.

January 13, 2016

The meatloaf that keeps giving (patty melt sans bread with balsamic brussels sprouts)

I never tried a patty melt until Law School.  We just never had them in my house or at the school cafeteria that I know of.  My law school boyfriend loved them and turned me on to them.  I really haven't had one since we broke up nearly 10 years ago. Anywhere we would go for lunch or dinner, if it had a patty melt or Mr. Pibb on the menu, he was ordering it.  I am that way with duck.  And Brussels sprouts.  I had some leftover meatloaf and thought that making a low carb feeling riff on a patty melt would be a good creative leftover use for it.  And an excuse to make Brussels sprouts on the side.  I usually make the balsamic drizzle from Eat 80/20 to go with roasted Brussels sprouts or broccoli, but I chose the easy route and used bottled balsamic glaze.

This is certainly not a regular patty melt.  For starters, there's no bread.  And there's less cheese. And there's no grilling of the bread to melt the lots of cheese.  So basically this is really not a patty melt at all, just an excuse do a leftover makeover with some of my favorite things and blog about it.  It still tasted great and kind of gave the patty melt feel.  But I am also into year two of the little to no carb lifestyle.  I am  trying to keep my girlish figure and you have to cut where you can!  Full recipe after the montage!

The Cast.  My new and not better Rouses had only the expensive stalk of sprouts.  Budget be damned, I will have my little bitter sprouts!

January 11, 2016

Trying to recreate a Texas goodie (puffy tacos)

Puffy tacos seem to be just a Texas thing.  I like Tex Mex food a lot and never seem to find them on the menu here.  Although we really are not the hotbed of Tex Mex cuisine here in New Orleans.  All they are is a a tortilla that is fried in oil until it gets puffy and it is topped with you choice of meat along with lettuce and cheese and other yummy things.  The first time I had a puffy taco was at Vivo in Austin.  It was delicious and I was hooked.  I always blamed the weight I gained while living in Austin on quitting smoking, but maybe it was the tacos!

I am not a fan of shredded iceberg lettuce as I can always taste it and it really brings nothing to the table nutrition wise.  I decided to use shredded cabbage in lieu of lettuce.  Vivo says their tortillas were corn but I didn't trust that my non authentic corn tortillas would puff, so I used both flour and corn to experiment.  Flour won!  I forgot to buy cheddar cheese and sour cream so I used the last of that Havarti from the grilled cheese (what a good Costco buy!).  I am a little embarrassed to admit that I seasoned my chicken with Taco Bell sauce. I am a sucker for taco bell when hungover and always stock up on sauce.  I have a bunch in my pantry and some in my "condiment drawer" at work. 

I really missed the cheddar cheese here, and also the sour cream.  The sour cream kinds of binds everything together so it isn't as messy.  Well, it is still messy, but a yummy creamy mess.  This is probably a fun thing to make with or for kids as the puffiness is cool.  Follow me along to the montage and the full recipe will appear after.  Enjoy!

The cast.  Seriously, don't judge me for the Taco Bell sauce!

Let your chicken marinate in seasoning and sauce.I love the little sayings!  This one was perfect.
Nothing like a ripe, local tomato!
My camera would not get off the blurry setting for this chicken!  This was the best I could get.
Making the shells,  see the indent?
It didn't really stick around after I flipped.  
I tried with the corn, but my intuition was correct, it just turned into a crunchy tostada.
The results.  I will have to use the corn for something else of course!
The toppings minus the cabbage.
Puffy Tacos (serves 4)

8 Flour tortillas
1 cup of vegetable oil
seasoned and grilled chicken (or taco meat or pulled pork, whatever you would like)
Optional toppings:
Shredded cabbage
diced tomato
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
hot sauce
cilantro, chopped
green onions chopped

For the Puffy Shells:
Heat cooking oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add one tortilla at a time to pan and using tongs, push down in the middle to form an indent in the tortilla while it cooks.  Cook tortilla about 1-2 minutes per side are until golden.  Remove tortilla and drain on napkin. Repeat with the rest of your tortillas. Assemble puffy tacos by topping with meat and condiments.

Happy Cooking!

Rescued produce to the rescue! (Kale and Ground beef tacos with hidden veggies)

I was leaving my sister's house one evening to go home and she said, "Hey, do you still use kale everyday?  They had some in my Hollygrove box and it is going to go to waste."  I do not eat kale everyday anymore now that I have switched to spinach for my morning smoothies. (dear lawd this blog has come along way since then!) And since kale is apparently so hard to find in this town. However, as I am sure you have inferred by now, I hate letting things, especially fresh locally grown veggies, go to waste.  I had to get something for dinner anyway and this way I could use that instead of picking something up.

I began googling at red lights what I could make.  I remembered I had a bit of ground meat leftover from New Years Eve's taco salad.  I googled kale and ground meat and this popped up first.  Sounded like a winner!  Replacing some of the meat for carrots in a taco sounded like something good to share with my momma readers,  and I had everything else on hand!

This was really good.  I also made my homemade taco shells to go with it. Boxed shells or soft flour or corn will work too. I was glad I wilted the kale and sauteed it with onion to get some good flavor on there.  Even if you leave out the kale, swapping out half the meat for carrots is an ingenious idea to fool your kiddos or significant other (or your self, but only if you cook blindfolded!)  Try it out sometime.  I bet it would be equally good with squash or zucchini or any other mild flavored grateable veggie.  I cut this in half as it was just for me and I still had some filling leftover.  I have reproduced the full recipe for four below. Full recipe after the montage!

Kale glorious kale! My meat was frozen so that varied my cooking time.  That was my last tablespoon of tomato paste in my freezer.  Time to stock up!
Grate those nutrient packed carrots!
The onions were my addition.  I was glad I kept my contacts in!
I love seeing what my fruits and veggies are supposed to look like when I get them
from a farmers market!
Saute the onions and then throw in the kale to wilt.
Heat up your meat.  Or in my case, defrost it.
Add the carrots and the all important garlic!
When meat is cooked through add the tomato paste and cumin to spice it up.
And when you are done, you can enjoy and feel a little less guilty!
Kale and Beef tacos with hidden veggies (Adapted from Epicurious)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
2 carrots, grated
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water
12 corn taco shells (or make your own!)
2 cups kale leaves sliced into thin strips
1 small onion sluiced into half moons
1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese
 jarred salsa

Heat a large non stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, carrots, and garlic. Sprinkle with the salt. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat begins to brown and the vegetables soften. Add the chili powder, cumin, and tomato paste. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, until the spices become fragrant. Add the water, reduce the heat, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until the beef is no longer pink in the center.

While that is cooking add the olive oil to another skillet.  Saute the onions until translucent. Add the kale and mix well allowing it to wilt.

Meanwhile, place the taco shells in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to warm them (or warm them in the toaster oven). Assemble each taco by spooning in 2 tablespoons of the meat and some of the kale and cheese into each shell. Top each taco with 1 teaspoon salsa and serve immediately.

Happy Cooking!