Sunday, January 11, 2015

Healthier McQueeney Special (say whaaat?)

My great-uncle and his family own Lake Breeze Ski Lodge on Lake McQueeney.  This is where my grandma grew up and where my dad worked for some of his summers (even though they lived in Florida by then).  It's a beautiful area and I'd highly recommend you visit if you're ever in San Antonio! (It's not far from there and makes a great day trip!)

Back to the food.  So they have a recipe there called McQueeney Special and I grew up eating that and looooooove it!  The problem is, the original recipe calls for sour cream, Fritos, beef, and tons of cheese.  Well, at least that's the way we made it.  Not sure if that's the original way or not.

Hubby and I love this recipe because it's delish and it's not too bad on the prep time. However long it takes to brown your meat, it takes that long plus five minutes.

Since we love it so much, we decided to try to make it a bit healthier.  Here's the new (and mostly improved) recipe!

1 bag of black bean chips (these get crushed and go on bottom... any healthy chip will do)
1-2 lbs lean ground turkey (depending on how many you need to serve)
1 Roma tomato (diced for topping)
2 cups shredded or torn lettuce (for topping... hubby never eats that part)
3 avocados (for guacamole on top or chopped as toppings... up to you)
salt, pepper, garlic salt
1/2 T garlic (we use that minced garlic that comes in a big plastic jar)
1 T finely chopped onion (for the guacamole or as a topping... up to you)
1 can tomato sauce (organic if you're going whole hog on the health thing... lol)
2-3 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar and jack cheeses (again - organic depending on how healthy you're being)
1 t lemon or lime juice
4-5 T chili powder (I use a ton, but it's up to you how much you add to the meat)
**We don't do low fat cheese because of info we read and because ... well... we like cheese.

Over medium heat, brown your turkey and add garlic once it's just starting to really cook.  Add your seasonings to the meat while it cooks.  I usually have mine pretty darkened with chili powder because I love the stuff.

While that cooks, go ahead and chop up all your other veggie and cheese toppings.  Take the skins off of the avocados.  If you're making guac, go ahead and squish them up with a fork until they're the consistency you want.  I never use a mixer because I like chunks in mine. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add a little of the juice from your garlic container.  Add your onion.  Go ahead and stir that all up. Using the rest of your onion. use a knife to scrape the interior flesh to get some onion 'juice' dripping into the mix.  If you only have the 1T, then just skip that part. I don't like too much onion, but I like the fresh flavor.  Once you mix all that together, then add a little bit of your tomato (like maybe 1/3 of it).  Stir gently to mix those in.  Add your lemon or lime juice last.  Stir gently.  (This keeps it from browning as easily.  Also- if you leave a pit in there, that'll keep it longer, too!)

By now your meat should be cooked, so add your tomato sauce.  Add any other seasoning you like (I usually do more chili powder.  I'm weird though, so use your own discretion).  

Crunch your chips into the bottom of your bowl.  You need enough so that you covered the bowl entirely but not so much that it looks like your'e eating cereal. (Don't get crazy.) I always add a smidge of cheese next so that the meat will melt it to the chips.  Meat goes next, then cheese, and then whatever toppings you prefer.  Guacamole goes on last so that it holds all your toppings onto the dish.

Voila!  A super filling dish that doesn't have to cost you on the scales!  This is my version of comfort food, so I hope it becomes a family favorite in your home, too!!  Let me know, y'all!!

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