Tag Archives: food

Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch

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Taco ‘Bout a Rough Day

Do you ever have one of those days? One of those days filled with toddler tantrums and tears, time outs, a power outage during potty time, resulting in toddler pooping on the floor, then everyone just eats PB&Js on old bread for lunch, and you sweat (because of no power) and cry while rocking the little one to sleep, wondering if you can start the day over? Yeah…me neither, and those are absolutely not examples from my actual day today…

Just kidding. This has been my day today, combined with the stress of our upcoming move and transition out of the military, plus the mom guilt over not being gentler with Zemirah during these stressful times. Whew!

Praise the Lord we are all healthy and safe, but on these kinds of days, you just need a quick dinner to throw together. Giant stuffed potatoes are such an easy, filling, and cheap dinner that everyone loves, and these Taco Stuffed Potatoes have just the right amount of spice combined with all the comfort of a baked potato. Top them with Avocado Chipotle Ranch for extra creaminess with a kick! I love making homemade sauces when I can, but if you would like to buy some you can purchase some of my favorite Avocado Ranch here; which always comes in handy on those pinch of crazy days!

No matter what kind of day you’re having, these stuffed potatoes will put a smile on your face and warmth in your belly; I hope your family enjoys!

Taco Stuffed Potatoes with Avocado Chipotle Ranch

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

For the Avocado Chipotle Ranch:

For the Taco Stuffed Potatoes:

  • One potato per person eating (I used sweet for me and russet for my husband)
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Optional toppings:
    • salted pepitas
    • pickled jalapenos
    • chopped cilatro
    • chopped scallions
    • avocado

Directions:

For the Avocado Chipotle Ranch:

  • Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor
  • Blend until smooth
  • Keep leftovers, covered, in fridge for a week

For the Taco Stuffed Potatoes:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Poke holes all over potatoes (make sure you gave them a good scrubbing!) with a fork or knife
  • Place directly on rack
  • Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until soft and skin is easily pierced with a fork
  • With 20 minutes left on the potatoes, start your taco meat
  • Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat
  • Cook onion and garlic for a few minutes, until onions are translucent
  • Add ground meat, stirring to break up meat (or use one of these)
  • Add seasonings, stirring to combine
  • When meat is cooked through, drain fat if using beef
  • Add tomato paste, stirring to combine
  • Let mixture simmer for 10 minutes
  • Cut open potatoes and fill with taco meat
  • Don’t forget a drizzle of Avocado Chipotle Ranch and extra toppings!
  • Store leftover meat, covered, in fridge for a week

Be sure to check out my Slow Cooker Potato and Kale SoupOne Pan Chicken and Shrimp FajitasSheet Pan Salmon, and Roasted Chicken with Carrots for other quick and healthy dinner ideas! Everyone has those crazy days, you are not alone. Don’t forget to count your blessings…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

Classic Garlic Hummus

hummus

Generational Food

Hummus has gained popularity in the last few years as a healthy, good-for-you food, and it is! But at the risk of sounding like one of *those* people… “I was into hummus before it was popular”.  Actually, though, hummus and I do go way back.

My grandmother, Elizabeth Aijian Munroe, was a first generation American whose parents fled Armenia to escape the Turks. Because of their traumatic experiences in Armenia, they wanted to raise their children as Americans not Armenians. So they spoke English in their home and did not keep many Armenian traditions…except food. While my sisters and I wish that we knew the Armenian language or some of the customs and traditions, we are all thankful we grew up with the tradition of Armenian hospitality and food.

As a child, we lived about 6 hours north of my grandparents so it was always quite the ordeal driving down to Mimi and Papa’s. Whenever we would arrive, Mimi would always, without a doubt, have out an appetizer spread which always included hummus. To be honest, I hated it as a kid. I would much rather eat the pita bread, Armenian cheese, and kalamata olives she’d set out. Now, however, I love hummus!

My Mimi and Papa were married for 64 years, and just last year, they passed on into eternity a mere 12 days apart. So now, I see hummus in a whole new light: a love of culture, food, and hosting loved ones in your home…all in one little dip. In fact, when I was making this hummus, Zemirah helped me squeeze the lemon juice and I felt a rush of emotions (and maybe my eyes watered a bit) and gratitude as I thought about the history and love in this little bean dip. I imagined my great-grandmother making hummus with my grandmother, my grandmother making hummus with my mom, my mom making hummus with me, and now, here I was, continuing on in the tradition.

This recipe is based on the one found in the cookbook, Armenian Cooking Today, which was gifted to me by my sweet mom, who was wise and kind enough to have herself and Mimi write notes in the margins. Food has such history, can tell incredibly vast, beautiful stories, and brings us all together to enjoy eating with ones we love. I hope this simple, healthy dish can bring some history and love to your table, too.

Classic Garlic Hummus

Serves 10-12. Delicious as a veggie or chip dip, or as a spread.

Ingredients:

  • One 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Water as needed
  • Optional garnishes:
    • a drizzle of olive oil
    • chopped parsley
    • a sprinkle of paprika

Directions:

  • Combine chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil in blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Blend until smooth
  • Adjust consistency with water if needed (I like mine thicker, but not too oily and heavy, which is why I use water)
  • Best if chilled overnight before serving
  • Garnish before serving, if desired

Thank you for letting me share a little about myself and my family. I hope you keep this easy hummus on hand for a quick snack or spread, but just be warned, you might want to pop a breath mint after eating it haha! Although, garlic is nature’s antibiotic, so eat up and stay healthy! Eat all the garlic…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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