Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mesquite Chicken Tacos with Creamy Corn Salsa

We love tacos here so when I discovered this corn salsa I thought it'd be nice to try something new. These were fabulous, the chicken is marinated in a mesquite seasoning and with the creamy corn salsa makes these explode with more deliciousness. Serve with your favorite toppings and tortillas and enjoy!

Mesquite Chicken Tacos with Creamy Corn Salsa
adapted from Wendy Weekend Gourmet

Corn Salsa
1 1/2 cups thawed frozen corn kernels
1 finely diced seeded jalapeno
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp mesquite seasoning mix

Make the creamy corn salsa by combining all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well to combine and refrigerate until you're ready to serve the tacos.

Mesquite Marinade
Juice of 3 limes
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. mesquite seasoning mix
2 tbs. honey
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 lb chicken breasts

In a large bowl whisk ingredients (except chicken) well to combine then add chicken breast. Toss well to coat and refrigerate for 2-4 hours -- the longer you marinate, the better the flavor will be. 
Heat a large non-stick skillet or cast-iron grill pan over med-high heat. Add about 1 tbs. olive oil and heat for about five minutes. Brown the chicken well on all sides until cooked through -- about 5 minutes per side (I grilled my chicken).
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let it rest for five minutes, then slice into bite-size pieces. 
Steam 8 corn tortillas using a damp kitchen towel and microwaving for about 1 minute. 
Assemble tacos as desired, can add additional taco toppings if you like.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Two Ingredient Pancakes

Thought I'd give these super simple pancakes a try, I've seen them around long enough and I bet you have the ingredients needed so you can whip these up tomorrow! Now I have found that these are best to cook as smaller pancakes, they are delicate and could be difficult to flip if they are larger size. These came out great, reminded me much of crepes, just slightly thicker and not as pliable. Even my 5 year old says they were "so good!".

a freckle photo

Two Ingredient Pancakes
as seen from Green Organic Mama, makes about 8-10 pancakes

2 ripe bananas
4 whole eggs
oil for pan (I used coconut oil)

Heat a small skillet over medium/low heat. In a blender or food processor blend the bananas and eggs together until smooth. Heat a little oil in the skillet and add about 1/4 cup size scoop of batter. Allow to cook until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes each ( I cooked mine closer to low heat). Serve as desired, I liked mine with slices of banana and a little syrup.

Peanut Butter & Vanilla pancakes (4 Ing. pancakes)

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Grilled Ham and Cheese Chicken Burgers with Roasted Potato Fries

Winner winner chicken dinner! I came across these burgers and decided to give them a go, such easy ingredients! Since these are soft tender patties, I chilled mine for a few hours to help them firm up (could also freeze them) and cooked them on my grill grate tray thing (see photo) so they'd hold up a little better. The ham and parmesan cheeses were really good in these. We all enjoyed them and will definitely keep in our files.

Grilled Ham and Cheese Chicken Burgers 
slightly adapted from Smoked 'n Grilled 

1 lb. ground chicken breast
1/2 cup cooked diced ham
2/3 cup Parmesan/Asiago cheese (shredded)
Salt & pepper to taste

 Mix all the ingredients together and form into 4 patties. Cover and chill for a few hours. Cook over a medium hot grill until just cooked through. About 8 to 10 minutes.

Add your favorite toppings and buns (we used lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo and white american cheese).


I made myself gluten free buns (they're really flat but were great)

For the fries, I sliced Yukon gold potatoes in half lengthwise, tossed with a little oil, salt and pepper. Roasted in a 425' oven on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side down for about 40 mins. They'll have crispy outsides and fluffy insides. My fave!

see the ham throughout the chicken patty

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Sweet Ideas

Happy Valentine's Day my lovely readers! Today I have chosen quite a handful of past deliciousness I have made throughout my blog(s). They seem very fitting to share with someone you love. Go ahead and click their titles to see the post and recipe. I think most of these can be adapted to be gluten free too, any questions feel free to email or comment. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Marshmallow Filled Cupcakes

For my Valentine's (and myself) I made these Gluten Free Chocolate Marshmallow Filled Cupcakes. I made the kid's race track banquet these cupcakes back in December (see pics), and I have been thinking of them since, so I made them GF! A basic chocolaty cupcake with a vanilla marshmallow filling and chocolate frosting glaze, like those Hostess cupcakes. These were SO good! Soft tender cupcakes with a creamy filling....and they never knew they were made gluten free! :)
*Note, you may also use regular chocolate cupcakes if you're not GF, here's a recipe I use.

ignore my sad piping skills, next time I'll use my tip

Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes from No Gluten No Problem

1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp GF pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups Artisan Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp GF baking powder
3/4 tsp GF baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Line a standard cupcake tin with paper liners.
2. Heat the butter, water and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.
3. Meanwhile, put the sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the butter-cocoa mixture and mix at low speed for about 5 minutes, until cool.
4. Add the egg and mix to incorporate.
5. Add the sour cream and vanilla, mix to incorporate, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients - the flour through the salt - and whisk to mix.
7. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix for about 10 seconds at medium-low speed to incorporate with the wet ingredients.
8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for an additional 5 seconds at high speed, just until everything is mixed and smooth.
9. Divide the batter evenly among the paper-lined cups. Make the top of the batter as smooth as you can.
10. Bake for 25 minutes.
11. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tins and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Marshmallow Vanilla Filling
(makes enough for 24 cupcakes) adapted from Marzipan Mom

1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz marshmallow fluff
food coloring, optional

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and blend well. Add the marshmallow cream and beat only until combined. Add food coloring if desired. Add to a pastry bag for filling cupcakes. Store at room temperature.
Once cupcakes are cooled, take an apple corer and scoop out a little of the middles of each cupcake, saving the insides to add a top later. Pipe/squeeze a little filling into each cupcakes, replace tops with a little of the cupcake's insides.
Save some filling to squiggle or write on top of cupcakes with. Use a small writing tip such as a 1 or 2 D.

Chocolate Glaze
(makes enough for 24 cupcakes) from Marzipan Mom

1 cup sugar
3 ounces espresso (enhances the chocolate flavor, could use coffee or water)
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 sticks butter

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and espresso to a boil. Whisk in the chocolates, cocoa powder, and salt until smooth. Place the mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. On low speed, add the corn syrup and butter. Beat until smooth and cool. Store at room temperature. The mixture should be somewhat liquid so that it makes a smooth icing on the cupcake, but not so runny that it drips down the sides. It will thicken up the longer it sits, I had my in the fridge to speed up the process and thicken more. If it is too stiff, you can microwave it for about 10 seconds once or twice until it is the correct consistency. Add to cupcakes, decorate as desired. Keep at room temp.

(click pics to see)
(regular cupcakes for the race track kids, far right ones are ganache filled)

my GF cupcakes

Regular chocolate marshmallow filled cupcakes 
with a chocolate & vanilla cream cheese frosting swirl

Regular chocolate marshmallow filled cupcakes 
with a chocolate & vanilla cream cheese frosting swirl

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bacon, Egg, Avocado and Tomato Salad

This salad is good! I don't think there is much to say except just go make this. It's like a favorite BLT or Club sandwich on a plate, minus the bread. Another easy take and go salad lunch that will be great for me... and you!

Bacon, Egg, Avocado and Tomato Salad

1 ripe avocado, chopped
2 boiled eggs, chopped
1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
2-4 cooked pieces of bacon, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from one lemon wedge

 Directions: Gently mix all ingredients together. Enjoy.

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

OK, the Holidays have passed, out with all the junky sweets and such (I should not be having) and back to the good stuff! We have been sick with a month long cold and cough here and I'm finally starting to feel better, eat better and exercise again. I came across this recipe and thought it sounded great. I really need to develop my taste for that textural issue of quinoa so I gave it another go. I am happy to report, this is one recipe I like! OK but wait. Now I have a pomegranate aril texture issue. I hate the hard crunchy leftover bits, Hmmm. Oh well, this was great, lots of flavors and textures and will be a wonderful lunch on the go. The original recipe called for corn but I added the edamame (another new food to me), but you can add whatever yummies you like.

Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 
slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
Serves 5

Salad Ingredients: 
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled and segments chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup pomegranate arils (about 1 pomegranate worth)
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper
Cooked shrimp

For the Lemon Vinaigrette: 
2 lemons, juiced (1/4 cup juice)
2 garlic cloves, minced
dash of sweetener (agave nectar, honey or white sugar)
salt & pepper
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Cook quinoa according to package directions (1/2 cup quinoa + 1 cup water). Set aside to cool.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake to combine.

Combine cooled quinoa with red onion, orange segments, avocado, beans, pomegranate arils, edamame, cilantro, salt and pepper and shrimp. Pour Lemon Vinaigrette over the salad and stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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