Three’s Company, y’all

Guacamole Sauce

Guacamole Sauce

It’s a marinade, it’s a dressing, it’s Super-sauce!!

Who doesn’t love efficiency in the kitchen?  So if you could spend a few minutes making one thing that could be used all week in several different ways, wouldn’t you be all for it?     I sure am!

Amazing Dip

Amazing Dip

Take this sauce for example… it’s a guacamole you’re going to love dipping into,  it’s a sauce to dress up some roast or grilled chicken, it’s a marinade to flavor fish or tofu, and finally, if you thin it out a little, it’s a dressing to dress up salads, from greens to veggies.

Use on a salad to wake up some greens or veggies.

Use on a salad to wake up some greens or veggies.

As I am prone to say at times like this..”that’s a lot of bang for your buck”.  And speaking of bucks, avocados seem to be plentiful now and the price is right.   Seems like the situation is just begging you to make this sauce/dip/dressing right now.   What are you waiting for?

 

MULTI-PURPOSE GUACAMOLE SAUCE

Yield:   Makes about 1 cup.  Adjust quantities to make more.

Ingredients:IMG_9230

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (according to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper, or dash hot sauce
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, seeded and coarsely mashed

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Directions:

This couldn’t be easier…..put mashed avocado in a small bowl, add everything else to it, and stir to combine.

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Flavors will blend if you make it about an hour ahead of use time.  Cover and refrigerate till needed.

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 YUM_OH

SOURCE:   Carolyn’s Originals

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Kale, Mandarin and Avocado Salad

Kale, Mandarine and Avocado Salad

Kale, Mandarin and Avocado Salad

I have over-indulged!  Way over.  I imagine there are any number of people saying the same thing about now.  Don’t we ALWAYS over-indulge during the holidays?  And we’ve got only the first one behind us.

I’ve eaten too much sweet potato casserole, stuffed myself with stuffing, picked at one too many pieces of pecan pie. I’ve done the peppermint stick ice-cream.   It was delicious, but it’s over.

Stomach, I’m going to be nicer to you,  because you deserve a break.   Before I start making cookies, I’m making a salad.  This is going to be so good, you’ll be thanking me all over the place.  So, hang on to your hat.

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A salad  begins with greens, right?   And what’s the most popular green in town?  Kale!   Yes, kale, chopped up nice and fine, raw and crunchy.  Next we add some romaine, also chopped up nice and fine, also crunchy.

Cut up the greens nice and fine.

Cut up the greens nice and fine.

To sweeten up this deal we’re adding clementine or tangerine.  Grab and peel those babies.

Avocados go in next;  for color, for fat nutrients, for creaminess…..oh heck, just put them in because we love them, and they love to hang out with citrus.  Bright and juicy meets soft and creamy.

Avocado + Citrus = True Love

Avocado + Citrus = True Love

Last, we sprinkle in some toasted sesame seeds because we need something to get stuck in our teeth to embarrass us later. If you want to leave them out that’s okay,  you can still go ahead and walk around with kale stuck in your teeth.

To soften the kale, you can rub it with a bit of olive oil and salt….that’s called a kale massage….a totally normal thing to do.  If you find baby kale you can skip this step.  My supermarket is now carrying baby kale.

Once the kale is massaged, make the dressing.  The dressing ingredients go into a small jar.  They consist of rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, soy sauce and pepper.  Add in a tiny bit of minced garlic if you’d like.

 

These become the dressing.

These become the dressing.

Now tighten the lid, and start shaking.   Shake, shake, shake like mad.  That’s it.  Done.

Toss dressing with salad.

Toss dressing with salad.

Toss some with the salad, and as it gets tossed together the orange segments may split open and the avocado may mash a bit making these two elements a lovely addition to the sesame dressing.   Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Now’s the time to grab a fork and dig in.  Your stomach will thank you.

Do yourself a favor, take a break today with a salad this good.

Do yourself a favor, take a break today with a salad this good.

KALE, MANDARIN AND AVOCADO SALAD

Yield:   Serves 4 as a side salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups clean and well-chopped kale
  • 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups clean and well-chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 tangerines or clementines, peeled and divided into segments
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • fresh pepper and coarse salt to taste

Instructions:

1.  Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Massage the oil and salt into the kale.

2.  Add the romaine, tangerines, and avocado to the bowl.

3.  Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

4.  In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, and pepper.  Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until emulsified.  If you don’t have a jar, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.

5.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad.  Toss to combine.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!

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SOURCE:   adapted from The Joy of Baking

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I thought I heard someone singing  just outside my back door while I was making these sandwiches for lunch.

She wasn’t the best singer in the world, but ya got to hand it to her, she was brave.  I’m sure if I had the nerve to sing outside in public, I’d be less than average, too.  But a lot of times it’s more about guts than anything else when it comes to singing.  You just have to step out there and mean it.  That’s what it takes. ( Not that I would really know, but that’s what I’ve heard, anyway.)

I felt that way when I stepped into the kitchen around noon on a Saturday, and started pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator for lunch.  It takes guts to make something you’ve never made before, but I’ve had every intention of making these sandwiches for a long time now.  I think that’s called procrastination, or making excuses like I’m missing one of the necessary ingredients.   Sometimes the best plans take time to activate.  Yep, that’s what it takes;  intention, plans, and guts.  I’m telling you, it’s real.

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The idea that was floating around in my head was to put avocado into a grilled cheese sandwich.  I was imagining an irresistible gooeyness, but realized that it needed something else to contrast with all that richness, so I included firm, ripe tomato slices.  Tomatoes that are not overly ripe work best, so they don’t give off too much juice as they grill.  A leap of faith is what it was,  but one that turned out to be right on the money.    Whoo-Hoo!

This is a sandwich to make when you want to impress someone with your culinary skills!

 

AVOCADO AND TOMATO GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES

Yield:  Makes 4 sandwichesIMG_7959

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup) or any other cheese of choice
  • 8 slices seedless rye bread
  • 8 tomato slices
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp, black pepper
  • cooking spray

Directions:

1.  Sprinkle 3 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 bread slices.  If using sliced cheese, use 2 slices.  Top each with 2 tomato slices.  Arrange avocado slices evenly over tomato slices.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.   (In place of salt and pepper, I often use Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle for an added flavor boost.)

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2.  Top with remaining 4 bread slices.  Lightly coat outsides of sandwiches with cooking spray.

3.  Heat a grill pan (or panini pan) over medium heat.  Place sandwiches in pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted and well marked and cheese melts.  Cut each sandwich in half and serve immediately.

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SOURCE:    A Carolyn Original

 

 

 

Open-Faced Salmon & Avocado BLT’s

Open-faced salmon and avocado BLT's.

Open-faced salmon and avocado BLT’s.

Our weekly menus this summer have been plentiful in these two things:  hearty sandwiches and salads.  Somehow they seem like the right thing to have on a warm day when cooking is out of the question, so I’m always on the lookout for new combinations, especially for sandwiches.  I want them to be dinner-worthy which means they need to include the major components of a meal, be filling and nutritious.  This combination of tender salmon fillet with fresh tomatoes and lettuce plus crispy bacon on a focaccia roll is perfect.

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I made this one evening a few weeks ago, on a night when I was starving, so I don’t know if I was having an exceptionally good cooking night or if I was just incredibly  hungry, but it was just soooo good.

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OPEN-FACED SALMON & AVOCADO BLT’S

Yield:    Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices diagonally cut ciabatta bread or 2 large ciabatta rolls, cut in half

    Get all the vegetables ready.

    Get all the vegetables ready.

  • 4 center-cut bacon slices
  • 4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets, skinned, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives, or green onions, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) tomato slices, halved
  • 1/2 peeled ripe avocado, cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 lemon wedges for serving

Directions:

1.  Preheat broiler to high.

2.  Arrange bread or rolls on a baking sheet; broil 1 minute or until lightly toasted.

3.  Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan.  Add salmon fillets to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Cook bacon till crisp, then cook salmon in the drippings.

Cook bacon till crisp, then cook salmon in the drippings.

4.  Combine canola mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoons minced chives, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.

5.  Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over bread slices; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 bacon slice,  2 halved tomato slices, 2 avocado slices and 1 fish fillet.

Building the sandwich layer by layer.

Building the sandwich layer by layer.

Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon chives.  Serve with lemon wedges.

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SOURCE:    Eating Well

 

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Chopped Salad

Chop, Chop, Chopped!   This is not about the T.V. show Chopped, but about a salad.  Where salads are concerned, “chopped” is the new buzz-word.

“Tossed” is the word most often associated with putting a great salad together.  A very enjoyable jumble of greens and vegetables comes out of this technique.  Then there’s the “composed” salad, a thoughtful work of art; leaves placed just so on the plate form a base, with slivers of vegetables, fruits, nuts and other delightful ingredients carefully arranged over them, with the dressing drizzled on like splatters of paint.

But the “chopped” salad is perhaps the most satisfying creation that can come out of a salad bowl.  All it takes is a sharp knife and you can cut lettuces, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, avocado, chicken, shrimp—anything you want—into a mixture of delectable morsels.  Coat it all with dressing and the whole thing becomes infused with flavor.  When you take a bite, the full impact of a chopped salad hits you:   each forkful has a snippet of all the ingredients.  You get the perfect bite every time.

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So get out your knife and cutting board for this crazy-good summer salad that features two favorites;  shrimp and avocado.  Healthy fats (avocado) and protein (shrimp) insures that you will be satisfied and all for less than 400 calories / serving.

The shrimp can be cooked outdoors on the grill, for an added smoky flavor that plays well with the bacon.  To me, this is the perfect meal to eat outside on the deck on a warm summer evening.  If calories are not a concern, you might want to add a warm crunchy roll or rustic bread with this salad.

 

SHRIMP AND AVOCADO CHOPPED SALAD

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh dill ( or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed)
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Puree the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Set aside while you prepare the salad.

Shrimp and Salad:IMG_7488

  • 1 pound raw shrimp ( 21 – 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup assorted cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 slices crispy cooked bacon, diced

1.  Preheat grill to medium or heat a grill pan over medium heat.

2.  Toss shrimp with 2 teaspoons oil, lime zest, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

3.  Grill the shrimp, turning once, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes, total.  Transfer to a cutting board.  Chop the shrimp into bite-size pieces.

4.  Combine lettuce, cabbage, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, avocado and bacon in a large bowl.  Add the shrimp and dressing;  toss to coat.  Season with pepper to taste.

Each serving is about 2  1/2 cups,  398 calories.

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SOURCE:   Eating Well

 

 

 

Avocado-Mango Salsa (with roasted corn chips)

Avocado-Mango Salsa with roast corn chips.

Avocado-Mango Salsa with roast corn chips.

Sometimes you just gotta have a snack!   And if that snack is good for you, you’ll have waaay less guilt while you munch away.  So is anything better to snack on than salsa and chips?    Not in my house there isn’t.

Munch away on this!!

Munch away on this!!

I think most people know how good avocados are for us.  Each serving of this snack provides more than half the daily requirement of  potassium and is also a good source of fiber and monounsaturated fat.  A serving of 3 tablespoons of salsa and 6 chips is only 92 calories.  Use your own judgement in deciding if you can have more than 1 serving?????  It is so good I think you will want to have more.

Whoever had the idea to combine these ingredients was really on to something:  creamy avocado, sweet mango, spicy cilantro, and tangy lime.  They just belong together.  Add in the crispiness of corn tortillas sprinkled with a little salt.   WOW!  Mr. D. says it’s the best salsa he’s ever had.  He’s become bored with the usual red salsa(s) that are tangy and spicy.  This makes a nice change from all that and it might even be considered “addicting”.

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If you would love to have a bowl of this yumminess pop up in front of you right now, you are not alone.  But hang on for a bit, because it only takes a few minutes to make it.  Part of the enjoyment of this salsa is the chunkiness of the avocado and mango, so don’t mash them.  Once mixed, let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  We loved the home-made chips too.  They are very crisp and have just a tad of salt sprinkled on them.  A tiny bit more salt in the salsa is all that’s needed to bring this whole taste experience together in a big way.

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AVOCADO-MANGO SALSA with ROASTED CORN CHIPS

Yield:   about 12 servings  (serving size is 3 tablespoons salsa and 6 chips)

The colors of the ingredients make it appetizing.

The colors of the ingredients make it appetizing.

Ingredients:

  •  12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges
  • cooking spray
  •  1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped peeled avocado
  • 1 cup chopped peeled mango (the golden mango is an Ataulfo mango)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • cilantro sprigs, for garnish, optional

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Arrange tortillas wedges in a single layer on baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Coat wedges with cooking spray.  Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon salt evenly over the wedges.  Bake at 425* for 8 minutes or until crisp.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges.

Spread out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray,

Spread out on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray,

They become crispy and golden.

They become crispy and golden.

3.  Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, avocado, mango, chopped cilantro, and juice, tossing gently.  Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Serve with chips.

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SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos

Irish Nachos

Sometimes on a Friday evening a group of us from the dance studio go out for a bite to eat after a practice session.  Nearby is a pub that serves Irish Nachos that we all love.  We usually order two platters of them and we can devour them in very short  order.  The platter of these nachos comes with a mixture of  waffle fries piled high with seasoned ground beef, onions, peppers, jalepeños and melted cheese. Sour cream, salsa and guacamole are served on the side.  Everyone just digs in and they disappear in no time flat!!

Well, I got the idea that I would like to make a similar dish at home.  First of all, if you’re not familiar with Irish Nachos, you use potato in place of corn chips, but otherwise they are pretty much like regular nachos but so much better, because you can pile on all the ingredients that you like.  They are totally delicious and a great crowd pleaser, not to mention extremely budget friendly.

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

You start with a big pan of thinly sliced roasted potatoes. Waffle cut french fries work well, too.

Roast sliced potatoes in a heavy oven-ready pan.

Roast sliced potatoes in a heavy oven-ready pan.

Next you pile on some sautéed vegetables….

Pile on sautéed peppers and onions.

Pile on sautéed peppers and onions, diced tomatoes and scallions.

Then, layer on some seasoned cooked meat.  Ground beef or ground turkey are both really good, but you could also use shredded beef or shredded pork….whatever!!   It’s all going to be so delicious.  The version I made here was meatless. Along with this I served turkey burgers minus the bun.

Top with shredded cheese.

Top with shredded cheese.

Add on some diced tomatoes, and chopped scallions, then a big handful of cheese.   Put it back into the oven to melt the cheese.

Hot and melty, so good!!

Hot and melty, so good!!

Once its out of the oven for the final time, serve while hot with sour cream, salsa and guacamole and call it a meal.

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Add your favorite toppings and dig in!

These make a wonderful snack or meal on game day when everyone wants to be in front of the TV.

IRISH NACHOS

Yield:    Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 large red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey or beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese ( I like a Mexican Blend )
  • sour cream, salsa and avocado or guacamole to serve on the side

Directions:

1.  In a large wrought iron skillet or tart pan, layer the sliced potatoes in circles, making sure to cover as much of the bottom of the pan as possible.  Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the paprika and garlic powder.  Drizzle with the olive oil and bake at 350* F. for about 35 minutes.

2.  While potatoes are baking,  cut up peppers and onion.  In a medium skillet drizzle olive oil to coat the pan and bring to medium high heat.  Add the peppers and onions and sauté for 5 minutes.  Remove to a dish to keep warm.  Next add the beef or turkey and sprinkle with the chili powder.  Season with salt and pepper and sauté  until meat is fully cooked.

3.  When potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and layer the vegetables mixture over the top.  Then transfer the meat mixture to the pan over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and scallions.  Then top with shredded cheese.

4.  Put back into the oven for about 5 – 7 minutes until the cheese has melted.

5.  Once out of the oven, serve immediately with sides of sour cream, salsa, and chopped avocado or guacamole.

SOURCE:  Carolyn’s Originals

Bacon Guacamole Deviled Eggs

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When I think of picnics and cookouts I think of deviled eggs.  The dad of my husband’s family loves deviled eggs and we always have them at every gathering; usually made the traditional way with mayonnaise, mustard, a little sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika on top.  This is the way it’s always been and we just don’t mess with a good thing.

Bacon guacamole deviled eggs,  awesome!

Bacon guacamole deviled eggs, awesome!

Along comes yours truly who’s always tampering with recipes and I saw this idea for mixing guacamole with the deviled egg filling; and since bacon also goes with eggs why not add some of that too?  Two great foods that we love can only get better when combined, right?  No matter how you look at it these had to be a match made in heaven.  Well, turns out I was right on that score.  Just about everyone at our cookout loved my new-fangled deviled eggs—except the dad.  I made a few the way he likes them just for him!

If you like deviled eggs and you also like guacamole, then I think you’re going to like these eggs very much!  Make a lot, they will disappear quickly.

BACON GUACAMOLE DEVILED EGGS

Servings:    6     Increase ingredients accordingly for larger amounts.

Ingredients;

  • 6 eggs, boiled, peeled and cut in half
    Hard-cook the eggs, remove yolks and mix with other ingredients.

    Hard-cook the eggs, remove yolks and mix with other ingredients.

  • 1 large ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. diced tomato
  • 1 Tbsp. red  onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice ( ~ 1/2 lime)
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • salt, and pepper and cayenne to taste
  • pinch chili powder for garnish

1.  Scoop the yolks out of the eggs and mash in a bowl with the avocado.  Add the bacon, jalapeño, onion, tomato, lime juice and cilantro.  Season with salt,  pepper and cayenne.

2.  Place a tablespoon of the mixture back into the holes left by the egg yolks and serve garnished with a pinch of chili powder.

Green eggs but no ham!

Green eggs but no ham!

SOURCE:  Adapted from a recipe on ZIP LIST

A Meal for Cinco de Mayo

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and black bean and corn salad.

Mexican chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

With this Sunday coming up being the 5th of May, that means its Cinco de Mayo.  This Mexican holiday commemorates the victory of Mexican military over the French at the battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862.  This relatively little known holiday is a big day in Mexico and Mexican and Chicano communities.  Over the past few years, since Mexican foods have become so popular here in the U.S., this little holiday has also gained importance and now provides a good reason/excuse for putting together a Mexican meal and perhaps having a party.  Pinatas anyone?

The Mexican Chicken recipe produces an extremely tasty dish that is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates.  It can be served over rice, or wrapped in a tortilla, or simply eaten as is.

Mexican Chicken

Mexican Chicken

Along with it I served yellow rice, for those who can eat carbs, and a corn and black bean  salad.   The recipe for the salad is included here also.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and corn and black bean salad.

The menu included Mexican Chicken, yellow rice, and Southwestern black bean salad.

I love this salad as it makes a great side dish, or appetizer served with chips.  It can also be used as a topping on taco salads or served with grilled meats.  Nutritionally, it is very low in saturated fat, and loaded with antioxidants.  The carbohydrates that the beans and corn provide are complex carbs for the most part, and do not have an immediate impact on blood sugar.  Use fresh sweet corn when it is in season, otherwise, frozen, thawed corn,  or canned corn will work just fine also.

MEXICAN CHICKEN

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

The menu includes all these ingredients plus chicken.

Servings:   about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. taco seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Grease or spray an 8-inch  baking dish.

2.  Sprinkle chicken on all sides with the taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Sprinkle chicken all over with taco seasoning.

Grill or pan sauté  until just cooked.  Remove from the pan or grill and cut into smaller bite-size pieces.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Pan grill or saute the chicken breasts.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

Cut into smaller pieces and coat with enchilada sauce.

3.  Place chicken in the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with salt if desired, and add enchilada sauce.  Toss to coat with the sauce.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Spread in a baking dish.

Spread in a baking dish.

Top with grated cheese.

Top with grated cheese.

4.  Bake at 350* for 10 – 20 minutes until heated through and bubbly.  Scatter green onions over the top.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Once baked, sprinkle with green onions.

Serve over rice or wrapped in a tortilla if desired.  The yellow rice I served was Carolina brand packaged mix that only required water added before cooking.

Nutritional index:  calories, 266,  carb. 4 g.  fat, 12 g.

SOURCE:   genaw.com/low carb

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SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN SALAD

SERVINGS:   about 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  • 15,5 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

    Corn and black bean salad with avocados.

    Southwestern black bean salad with avocados.

  • 9 oz, cooked corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped,  or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped ( or more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced.  (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper.

Squeeze fresh lime juice into the mixture (to taste) and olive oil.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.   Add avocado before serving.

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

A delicious side dish, topping or dip, and so good for you!

Nutritional profile:  Wt. Watcher Points+;  2 pt.,  calories: 79.5,   fat:  3.5 g.,  Carb:  12 g. Sodium:  127mg.(with no added salt)

SOURCE:    skinnytaste.com

Grapefruit-Avocado Salsa

Grapefruit and avocado salsa.

Grapefruit and avocado salsa.

I love to make salsas.  They are so easy.  A salsa can really elevate an entree above the ordinary and help bring the flavors of a dish together.  Recently I cooked some flounder filets, prepared very simply by lightly dusting with a mixture of flour and cornmeal then pan frying in a little butter and olive oil.  A very ordinary way to quickly cook fish fillets.  But to go along with it, I made this salsa using grapefruit and avocado.

My original intention was to have fish tacos, that’s why I made the salsa.  As I finished making it, however, I tasted it, and WOW, my taste buds woke up and started to sing!…it was fabulous and I didn’t want it to get lost in a taco.  I just loved the way the citrus paired with the avocado.  So I served it as an accompaniment to the flounder, along with a vegetable and a salad.   I know I will be making this salsa again very soon,  I wanted to eat it by the bowlful!

GRAPEFRUIT-AVOCADO SALSA

Only a few ingredients needed for this salsa.

Only a few ingredients needed for this salsa.

YIELD:    Serves  4

  • 1 Ruby Red grapefruit, segmented and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons diced red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • coarse salt

To Make the Salsa:

Combine grapefruit, avocado, onion, cilantro, jalapeño , and lime juice in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and set aside.  That’s It!

A great accompaniment to a mild flavored fish fillet.

A great accompaniment to a mild flavored fish fillet.

SOURCE:   Martha Stewart’s  Whole Living