Bean, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

September 5, 2016

Some days when I sit down to share a new recipe with you, I draw a complete blank regarding what to write. I lack any funny anecdotes or fond distant memories to share; instead I stare blankly at my blinking cursor.

 

Today is one of those days.



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So rather than ramble about nothing, I’ll cut straight to the point. This salad is awesome. Simple ingredients, little time investment, big flavor results. Enjoy it for lunch, as a dip for tortilla chips, or even wrapped up in a soft taco shell.

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How was your Labor Day weekend? Let me know below!

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Bean, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Serves: 4

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed (~2 cups)
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 2 tbls. cilantro OR parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste (this will vary on whether you have salted or unsalted beans)

Directions:

  1. Combine first eight ingredients in a large bowl (beans through cilantro).
  2. Mix thoroughly
  3. Salt and pepper, to taste
  4. Enjoy!

Waldorf Chicken Wrap

September 1, 2016

As I get back into the grind of packing school lunches everyday, I’ve been on the lookout for fun alternatives to my usual turkey sandwich. After discovering a new brand of gluten-free tortillas that I really like, I’ve gotten into making giant wraps quite often.

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The latest recipe I want to share with you is for a Waldorf salad wrap. I love Waldorf salads. The combination of savory chicken, sweet crispy apples, and crunchy walnuts mixed together in a creamy dressing is absolutely delicious.

That being said, for many of us our lunch “hour” is more like lunch “10 minutes” or eat while working in front of the computer, and devouring an entire salad during those precious few moments of downtime is a little unrealistic. Therefore, I decided to turn this favorite salad into an on-the-go wrap. Simple and delicious.

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What’s your favorite school box lunch? Let me know or link up below!

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Waldorf Chicken Wrap

Serves: 4

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbls. light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 medium apple, diced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 large tortillas (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1 1/3 cup mixed greens

Directions:

  1. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant ~ 3-5 minutes (Toasting adds a great depth of flavor. If you are short on time, however, you can omit this step.)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, mustard, and thyme. Stir until smooth.
  3. Fold in walnuts, chicken, and apple. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide lettuce evenly amongst four tortillas, followed by the chicken mixture.
  5. Wrap up and enjoy!

Recipe from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy cookbook

Parmesan Buttered Zoodles

August 29, 2016

As I scroll through my Facebook feed I am amazed at the bounty of vegetables growing in everybody’s gardens. It is clearly harvest time. Per usual, the biggest crops seem to be tomatoes and zucchini.





Last week I shared a fresh way to use up some of your baby tomatoes, and today I want to show you a very simple zucchini side, which is – you guessed it – made of zoodles!

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I was inspired to make this the other night when I had grilled chicken on the menu. I need a quick side dish, so I turned to my trusty spiralizer. Light and buttery with a bite from the Parmesan cheese, this dish is the perfect side to any meal.

What is your favorite side dish for grilled chicken? Let me know below!

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Parmesan Buttered Zoodles

Yield: 1-2 (Can easily double, triple, etc.)

Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbls. butter
  • 2 tbls. parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used 1/4 tsp. salt)

Directions:

  1. Spiralize your zucchini. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to cut thin strips
  2. Preheat large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Coat with cooking spray (I use my Misto)
  4. Add garlic, saute about 30 seconds or until fragrant
  5. Add zoodles. Stir. Cook about 3-5 minutes, depending on desired texture. Do not overcook, or zoodles get mushy.
  6. Drain any excess liquid.
  7. Return zoodles to pan. Add butter, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Stir until evenly coated.
  8. Enjoy!

Garlic Basil Shrimp

August 26, 2016

I was never much of a seafood person when I was younger. There are a few different reasons for this general avoidance, but probably the biggest was unfamiliarity. Growing up in the Midwest, I simply didn’t come across seafood very often. Fish? Yes. Seafood? No.

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Because of this, I’ve always been rather intimidated by preparing the stuff. There is no saving over-cooked seafood. On the other hand, I’m totally freaked out by raw fish as well. This obviously makes preparing seafood a particular challenge  for me.

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I decided the other day that I need to get over this, however, and I decided to start with shrimp. So to help ease myself into the world of cooking seafood I totally cheated and started with pre-cooked shrimp. I know, all you seafood aficionados are shaking your heads right now. Don’t hate, I’ll get to the raw stuff eventually. For this recipe, however, I started with frozen pre-cooked shrimp. Ten minutes later I had an impressive, elegant and – most importantly – delicious entree that’s beautiful enough for entertaining but simple enough for a busy weeknight.

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Do you eat a lot of seafood? What’s your favorite way to prepare it? (I need all the tips I can get!) Let me know or link up below!

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Garlic Basil Shrimp

Serves: 3-4

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbls. olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs frozen pre-cooked shrimp, thawed according to package directions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (can use chicken broth if you don’t like to cook with wine)
  • 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic and redpepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Ad wine and cook over over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Return shrimp to pan and toss. Cook until just heated through.
  6. Enjoy with your favorite side.

Recipe slightly adapted from Ellie Kreiger’s So Easy cookbook.

Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

August 23, 2016

My husband just started a new job this week, and I decided to celebrate with this over-the-top-delicious ice cream cake. Congratulations, Ry!





I don’t know about you, but where I grew up Dairy Queen ice cream cake was the cake to have at every celebration. In fact, it seems that each birthday party I attended from kindergarten through middle school was accompanied by the classic “cool treat.” (Except for me; I was the odd ball who loved Angel food cake, which my mom would make special for me each year – thanks mom <3)

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I can certainly understand the appeal; the cake consists of a crunchy, fudge-y cookie center, which is sandwiched by rich chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and then topped with a sweet whipped icing. In sum, it’s an ice cream lover’s dream. (See video above)

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With food allergies on the rise, however (myself included), fewer and fewer people can indulge in a slice of this dairy heaven…until now, that is. Combine gluten free cookies and lactose free ice cream, and you’re on your way to ice cream cake bliss for everyone. In fact, if you swap the ice cream for a soy alternative, dairy-free and vegans can indulge, too. Ice cream cake for all!

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Was ice cream cake popular where you grew up? What’s your favorite celebration dessert? Let me know or link up below!

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Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake

Serves: 8-10

Time: 20 minutes + 3-4 hours chill time

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt. chocolate ice cream, softened (I use Breyers Lactose Free)
  • 1.5 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened (I use Breyers Lactose Free)
  • 18 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (I use Glutino gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup hot fudge (here is a delicious dairy free alternative)
  • 3 cups whipped topping (I use light cool whip, which is dairy free. Homemade whipped cream recipe below)
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Line a 10-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place chocolate ice cream into pan. Smooth and even out.
  3. Crumble sandwich cookies. (See video above)
  4. Evenly sprinkle cookie crumbles over chocolate ice cream.
  5. Smooth hot fudge over the cookies. Freeze one hour.
  6. Add softened vanilla ice cream over the top of the hot fudge. Smooth and even out.
  7. Freeze an additional two-three hours or until ice cream is firm.
  8. Remove cake from spring form pan.
  9. Frost cake with whipped cream (cool whip or real whipped cream – recipe follows)
  10. Decorate as desired with sprinkles.
  11. Return to freezer until whipped cream hardens and you’re ready to serve.
  12. Remove from freezer for a few minutes before serving. Use a hot knife for the cleanest cut. Enjoy!

Whipped Cream:

Yield: Frosting for one cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint heavy cream, well chilled
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Chill both bowl and beater.
  2. Add cream and beat until frothy.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla gradually while beating.
  4. Whip until you reach a light frosting-like texture.
  5. Use immediately.

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