{Lighter} Chicken Fajita Casserole

{Lighter} Chicken Fajita Casserole

Hi there! I am Megan from The Housewife in Training Files. I am so honored to be a contributor to My Cooking Spot! What an amazing little blog this is.

{Lighter} Chicken Fajita Casserole

I have a special place in my heart for quinoa and for many reasons. You can even say I am tad bit obsessed. And for good reasons!  A quick cooking, gluten free whole grain that is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains more antioxidants, protein and fiber than any other grain; which is the perfect reason for me to substitute any recipe that calls for rice, couscous and even pasta!

{Lighter} Chicken Fajita Casserole

When I think of winter, I immediately curse Mother Nature, kidding, sorta. No really; I immediately think of comfort dishes. Cheesy, gooey dishes that are so rich they keep you full and happy for hours on end!  One evening I was feeling like a bit of a fiesta so I set out to make a lighter dish that was a way less time consuming than making a full Mexican spread.  Let’s be honest, I had a margarita calling my name. [Read more…]

Prime Time – Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream & Parsnip Fingerling Mash



The weather is chilly, dare I say frigid, in most of our country in the cold, cold January of this year and the glory and bustle of the Holidays are over. The time for waiting out the winter has come. I love this time of year though, as time seems to slow, almost to a standstill. The frost collects on the windows, the snow on the ground and long shadows stretch from the skeletons’ of trees. The canned goods of summer pop open and fill pots and pans with memories of sun, heat and blossoms. I light the candles around the house; welcoming their warm light into my home and sip hot tea, settling in for the early nights and evenings of day dreaming. These twilight evenings seem to beg for quiet evenings at home, building a fire, bundled in a favorite blanket or sitting down for a warm dinner with family and friends.

One of my favorite things to make this time of year is a roast with root vegetables. Really relishing in the flavors of the season. You may think these dinners take time and skill but you couldn’t be more wrong. Today I want to share with you a roast dinner anyone can make to warm up your stomach, heart and home on these midwinter nights. The best part of this meal is that it only takes 40 minutes to make after you preheat your oven. So turn up the oven and settle in for a night around the table filling your heart with joy and laughter and your heart full of warmth.



  • 1 top or bottom round beef roast, tied
  • Coarse salt
  • Grape seed oil or other high heat oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup pearl onions halved
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1/4 Cup fresh horseradish
  • 2 large parsnips – cut into chunks about the size of the potatoes
  • 2 Cups fingerling potatoes


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set potatoes and diced parsnips in large pot of water on high heat.



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Cowboy Stew with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes


Finally, it’s gotten colder in Los Angeles! I never felt quite right making hearty stew while it was 75 and sunny outside, but I finally got the chance over this weekend. I remember when I was younger, my Mom would make Cowboy stew. I would come home from school and it was always pitch black by the time I got home because I would have to stay in extended care while waiting for my Mom to pick me up. If it was a particularly cold day, my Mom would make stew in the crockpot and simmer it all day until we got home. We’d sit down with a hot bowl and watch Family Matters. Oh how I love Urkel. Those were the good days!

Our traditional Cowboy Stew had chunks of potatoes in it, but I decided to mash mine up for a buttery mashed potato bowl!

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Acorn Squash Soufflé with Apple Cinnamon Topping

Acorn Squash Souffle

When I think of Fall recipes, there are two ingredients that immediately come to mind; squash and apples. So in my hunt to make the perfect dish to combine these flavors, I headed to the Broadway Farmers Market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle to obtain the absolute best apples. My favorite apple orchard, Jones Creek Farms, has a small stall here each Sunday with apples that taste so much better than anything I’ve ever bought in a store. I also selected two beautiful acorn squash from Alm Hill Gardens. The market itself spreads across a small courtyard at Seattle Community College and further North along the sidewalk – giving it a somewhat more urban feel than many of the other markets I’ve visited in the city.


In pairing these two flavors I took some inspiration from one of my favorite, rather indulgent, recipes; Sweet Potato Soufflé with a Twist from the Kitchn. I love this recipe and make it every year, however in doing my best to cut way down on meat (I can’t resist loading that recipe with bacon) and sugar – I wanted a similar dish without the indulgence.



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