Thursday, June 28, 2012

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping Sauce

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping Sauce is fresh, fruity, nutty, and spicy.

This was our first time cooking with coconut oil and we love it. It added a nice, nutty flavor to the shrimp and is healthy (bonus!). The dipping sauce is sweet and spicy, which is a perfect complement the fresh and nutty coconut shrimp.

Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Tablespoon

·1 lb. pre-cooked shrimp, thawed
·2 tsp coconut oil
·1 egg
·1 TBS cornstarch
·1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
·1 TBS lime juice
·5 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
·1 cup crushed pineapple, with juice

Combine lime juice, jalapeno slices, and crushed pineapple in a food processor. Process until smooth and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Beat egg in a small, shallow dish. Place cornstarch and coconut on two separate plates. Coat the shrimp in cornstarch, then dip in the egg, and then dip in the coconut.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet. When it liquefies, add the shrimp and lightly pan fry on both slides until golden brown. Serve with pineapple dipping sauce.

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Craving

Monday, June 25, 2012

Southwestern Chili Con Queso Pasta

This 30-minute meal essentially combines queso and pasta to make an incredibly flavorful main dish. How can you go wrong by combining queso and pasta?! The flavors are diverse with chili inspired flavors (cumin and chili powder) and southwestern flavors (cilantro, jalapeños, tomatoes, and chilies). This meal was definitely a hit in my house.

Southwestern Chili Con Queso Pasta
Adapted from Rachael Ray

·1 lb. gluten free pasta noodles (penne, fusseli, or macaroni)
·1 lb. ground beef
·1 TBS ground cumin
·2 TBS chili powder
·Salt and pepper
·½ large red onion, chopped
·1 TBS minced garlic
·10 pickled jalapeño slices, chopped
·2 TBS butter
·2 TBS gluten free flour
·2 cups skim milk
·2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
·¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
·½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
·1 – 10oz. can diced tomatoes and chilies, drained

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet until almost finished. Drain grease and add onion, garlic, jalapeños, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Finish cooking until beef is browned. Remove from heat.

In a medium saucepan (while beef is browning), melt butter and then add flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Whisk in milk. When milk starts to bubble, stir in cheese, cilantro, and parsley with a wooden spoon. When the cheese has melted, stir in tomatoes and chilies.

When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain it and add it back into the large pot. Add the ground beef mixture and the queso sauce. Stir to combine, then serve.

Yield: 6

I've also shared this recipe on: Gluten Free Wednesdays

Friday, June 22, 2012

Key West Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Key West Grilled Chicken Kabobs are zesty with a hint of lime.

This is another fantastic recipe I stumbled across on Pinterest. And, this is another meal Mike and I made for my in-laws when the visited a few weeks ago. I served with brown rice and grilled peppers and onions. I was impressed with the zesty, lime flavor of the juicy chicken. Yum!

Key West Grilled Chicken
Slightly adapted from Grocery Budget 101

·3 TBS GF Soy Sauce Substitute
·2 TBS honey
·Juice from 2 limes
·1 tsp minced garlic
·1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
·4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a small bowl combine all ingredients except chicken. Cut the chicken into large chunks, skewer on bamboo sticks that have been soaked in water, and marinate for at least 1 hour.

Grill on medium high heat for 6 to 10 minutes, until juices run clear.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tex-Mex Bacon Cheeseburgers

This Tex-Mex Bacon Cheeseburger is one mess of a burger. While it's one of the messiest burgers I've ever eaten, it is incredibly flavorful and delicious. The use of queso sauce instead of sliced cheese on top sends this burger over the edge.

This is another recipe I made when my in-laws were visiting, and everyone loved it. I absolutely covered my burger in queso sauce and was an absolute mess when I was finished eating. It was worth it - this burger is phenomenal! I served the burgers with non-tex-mex food, Kale Chips and Baked Potato Salad. I found the potato salad recipe on Pinterest and made it for a work potluck a few weeks ago. It was a hit then and it was a hit with my in-laws!

Tex-Mex Bacon Cheeseburgers
Slightly adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

·12 slices good-quality smoky bacon, 4 slices finely chopped and 8 left whole
·1¼ lbs lean ground beef
·3 tablespoons grated onion
·1 tsp minced garlic
·2 tablespoons pureed chipotle in adobo sauce
·2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
·Salt and pepper
·3 tablespoons butter
·2 tablespoons gluten free flour
·1 cup milk
·1 ½ cups shredded cheddar
·1 – 14oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
·4 gluten free hamburger buns
·Chopped onion, tomatoes, cilantro pickled jalapeno, and corn chips

Cook bacon until crisp in microwave or oven. Meanwhile, combine the beef, chopped bacon, onion, garlic, chipotle puree, and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties (thinner at the center). Grill the burgers, flipping once, on a gas grill until done.

To make the queso sauce, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Stir in the cheese to melt. Stir in the tomatoes and chiles.

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms (grill bun if desired) and top with the queso sauce, bacon strips, corn chips, remaining desired toppings, and bun tops. Serve with extra queso on the side.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Amaretto Brownies

Amaretto Brownies are decadent and delicious, with a flavor combination of rich chocolate and almond.

My mother-in-law has been "waiting for samples" of the recipes I post on my blog to arrive in the mail for months. They never arrive, since it's difficult to ship (and, let's be honest, my recipes don't last long in my house!). When my in-laws visited last weekend, I wanted to make my mother-in-law a chocolate dessert. My mother-in-law and I both like amaretto, so I came up with this spin on my Black Bean Brownies - Amaretto Brownies. They were enjoyed by all, and we devoured them.

Amaretto Brownies
Brownie Ingredients:
·1 recipe for Black Bean Brownies
·¼ cup slivered almonds
·2 TBS amaretto

Frosting Ingredients:·2 TBS butter, softened
·1 cup powdered sugar
·1 TBS milk
·1 TBS amaretto
·¼ cup slivered almonds

Directions:Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch glass pan. Drain and rinse black beans. In a blender, puree beans, eggs, EVOO, and applesauce. Then, add almonds, amaretto, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Puree until smooth. Using a spoon or spatula, mix the chocolate chips into the batter.

Pour the brownie batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. As the brownies bake, they will pull away from the edge of the pan. Let brownies cool in the pan before frosting.

For the frosting, cream butter and gradually add powdered sugar. Blend in milk and amaretto. Frost brownies once they are cool and top with slivered almonds.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Protein Ranch Dressing

This secretly healthy homemade ranch dressing is incredibly flavorful, with dill, parsley, and garlic and onion powders.

My husband L-O-V-E-S condiments. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressing. You name it, he covers his food with it. He's so addicted to condiments, namely ketchup, that he gave them up for Lent one year. It was hard for him. I was convinced after Lent ended that he'd let up on his condiment usage. Well, I was wrong. Mike went back into full usage of his favorite sauces.

A few years ago, I was flabbergasted when I returned home from a business trip and found a 4 pound bottle of private label ketchup in our fridge! Mike was out of ketchup and he economically bought the biggest and cheapest bottle he could at the store. He was in heaven with his 4 pound ketchup. I, on the other hand, was mourning all of the high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients he was covering his food with.

Mike always asks why I harp on him about his condiment usage. It's not uncommon for me to ask him to try his food before he "ruins it with ketchup." He humors me and does, but after one bite he covers his food with his beloved condiments. What's my problem with condiments? I do think that they are somewhat unhealthy, especially as I exaggerate Mike's high usage of them. But, you may be surprised to learn that I grew up as a picky eater. I never really started using condiments until I was an adult. That's right. I ate salad with no dressing, plain cheeseburgers, and fries with no ketchup. Now, probably thanks to my condiment addicted husband, I use condiments sparingly.

I've been wanting to make homemade ranch dressing and homemade ketchup for a few years, but Mike hasn't been too receptive to the idea. When I went grocery shopping last weekend, Mike asked for salad and ranch dressing. I told him I'd try making homemade ranch this time with a secret protein-packed ingredient. He rolled his eyes, as I think he's sick of his "hippie and frugal" wife that wants to make everything homemade these days (thanks Pinterest, I for sure enjoy my homemade all-purpose cleaner, teeth whitener, face toner, and a billion other things). :)

I quickly assembled the homemade protein ranch with a few ingredients: cottage cheese, water, and homemade ranch seasoning. I tasted it and immediately made myself a salad, which I covered in dressing! This homemade ranch is incredibly flavorful, with dill, parsley, and garlic and onion powders, and secretly healthy. It tastes better than ranch dressing, and I'm encouraging my husband to cover his salad with it since it's healthy and packed full of protein.

Mike surprised himself and actually likes it. So, this will be my go-to salad dressing, as long as I can keep reminding Mike that it's better (and healthier) than the store bought bottles. Up next, homemade ketchup!

Protein Ranch Dressing
·1 – 16oz. container cottage cheese
·½ cup water
·2 TBS dried parsley
·1 tsp garlic powder
·1 tsp onion powder
·½ tsp dried dill
·½ tsp dried basil
·½ tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Chipotle Cheeseburgers are a zesty spin on a traditional burger. We like spicy foods, so next time I'll probably amp up the flavors. I served with colby jack cheese and grilled Udi's GF Hamburger Buns.

Click here for Chipotle Cheeseburgers recipe from Taste of Home

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mom's Mango Avocado Salsa

I am in L-O-V-E with this Mango Avocado Salsa. It's fresh and incredibly flavorful. The mango adds a nice level of sweetness and pairs well with the avocado and red onion.

My mom made this Mango Avocado Salsa when I was home last month. It is so good that it disappeared quickly and we made another batch. I'm addicted to this salsa, so I've been making it a lot over the past month (usually as a double batch). It's great for a quick snack, or to take as an appetizer to a cookout.

Mango Avocado Salsa
·1 avocado, diced
·½ mango, diced
·½ red onion, chopped
·Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
·Juice from 1 lime

Combine all ingredients into a bowl; stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

Notes: Can also add chopped green onion and/or corn kernels.

I've also shared this recipe on: Gluten Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2 Ingredient Nutella Mousse

2 Ingredient Nutella Mousse is dangerously delicious and sinfully sweet.

This mousse is rich with hazelnut and chocolate flavors. The texture is creamy with the airy, yet thick texture you expect from mousse. Resist the urge to eat it right after you prepare it; the texture and flavors really are better once chilled overnight.

Click here for Nutella Mousse recipe from Sugar Hero

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Pantry: KIND Bars

I'm traveling this week, so I want to share one of my favorite travel snacks with you - KIND Bars. Not only are they easy to throw in my purse when I'm on the go, but I can always find one for breakfast when I'm traveling (thanks to Starbucks). KIND Bars taste great and are healthy - gluten free and all natural. As a bonus, they're made by a company with good, wholesome values.

My favorite varieties are: Cranberry Almonds + Antioxidants, Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein, Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants, Blueberry Pecan + Fiber, Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio + Antioxidants, and Peanut Butter Strawberry.

What are your favorite travel snacks?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kale Chips

Kale Chips are one of my new favorite snacks. They are crunchy, healthy, and simple to prepare.

I've been making a few batches a week for the past month, using my friend Jamie's recipe - which you can find here.

What are your favorite ways to eat kale? So far, I only like it as Kale Chips.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Quick Smoothies

Quick Smoothies are my new go-to delicious and nutritious breakfast.

I've been thinking about making smoothies for awhile now, but I didn't think it would be easy or quick enough to do in the morning. Until I came across this idea for DIY Smoothie Packs on Pinterest. Freezing yogurt and having everything ready to go was exactly the solution I needed. 

Instead of freezing individual smoothie kits, I prefer to have one bag of frozen fruit in the freezer and one bag of frozen yogurt pucks. It makes it easy for me to grab one puck of yogurt and a cup of frozen fruit to put into my Magic Bullet. The smoothies I am currently drinking are vanilla yogurt with milk, vanilla protein powder, and a combination of peaches, strawberries, pineapple, and mangos. They are delicoius, fairly quick to prepare in the morning, and keep me full until lunch time.

Quick Smoothies
·1 large tub of yogurt flavor of choice
·Frozen fruit of choice
·Milk or juice
·Optional add-ins: protein powder, chia seeds, oats, spinach, etc.

Divide yogurt evenly among 12 regular-size muffin tins. Place in the freezer and freeze for a few hours until hardened. Remove yogurt from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes. Use a spoon and pop the yogurt pucks out of the muffin tins. Place yogurt pucks in a plastic bag and return to the freezer.

To prepare a smoothie, let yogurt and frozen fruit sit on the counter for about 10 minutes. Place one yogurt puck and about one cup of frozen fruit into a Magic Bullet cup. Add between one half and one cup of milk or juice and any additional add-ins. Blend until smooth.

Notes: If freezing your own fruit, lay it out evenly on a baking sheet and freeze it before placing it in a plastic bag. I prefer having one bag of yogurt pucks and one bag of frozen fruit in my freezer. However, if you prefer pre-made smoothie kits, you can portion out one puck of yogurt and one cup of frozen fruit into individual plastic bags.