Lettuce Wraps- with Chicken, Avocado and Bacon!

So, I was in a little accident a couple of weeks ago (thankfully NOONE was hurt!), and my car was totaled. Pretty sure it was because I had an older van that wasn’t worth a lot… so when it came to repairing it, the parts just cost way more than the van was worth. Oh well! So… we are blessed to have an awesome insurance company and ended up being able to shop for a “new” to us van! I will tell you one thing though, shopping for a vehicle is hysterical with children. They are VERY opinionated. We went and saw this one van and the moment we got into it, my daughter said, LOUDLY, “Mom, I do NOT like this van at ALL. It stinks and is dirty”. Lol! Well, I don’t think the car salesman was surprised when we didn’t come back to purchase said vehicle. Ha! The one we DID end up purchasing, she kept whispering to me “can we keep it mommy? REALLY, can we keep it?”. I took that as a good sign! 🙂  Kids are just too funny! My son, 3, just kept climbing all over everything and pushing all of the buttons. Hopefully he didn’t cause issues in the vehicles that we did NOT buy!

So… having that done, BACK TO COOKING!

I made these a couple weeks back… and they are DELISH!

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Bacon and Avocado!

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken tenders or one chicken breast; seasoned, cooked and diced
  • 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and diced
  • 4 iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Diced sweet mini peppers – about 2

Creamy Avocado Dressing

  • 1/2 Avocado diced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tb vinegar (I used flavored vinegar) like rice or white balsamic
  • 2 TB honey
  • dash of hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 TB olive oil

If this dressing is too thick, just add more of whichever liquid you prefer. You can also add some lemon juice.

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Directions:

Prepare the creamy dressing in a blender or, like me, in my Nutri-Bullet. Set aside for topping lettuce wraps.

To prepare the lettuce wraps, divide the diced chicken among the four lettuce leaves, then top with avocado, tomatoes, bacon, shredded cheese, diced peppers and creamy avocado dressing.

To eat, simply pick up the wrap, tuck in all sides and ENJOY!

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And now, for the quote of the day from a Carrie Underwood song:

As bad as it was as bad as it hurt I thank God i didn't get what I thought that I deserved sometimes life leads you down a different road when you're holding onto someone that you gotta let go someday you'll see the reason why sometimes yeah sometimes there's good in goodbye

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Quick Leftovers Chicken Quesadilla

I’m continuing in this post with using up my leftovers. I used some leftover chicken that I had (you can even use leftover rotisserie chicken for this!!!) This was quick, easy, everything grabbed last minute and MAYBE took 15 minutes! After a busy and crazy day, what’s better than that?! It’s also kid friendly!

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I served this with some chips and salsa… you could also serve it with some spinach or some sour cream and salsa to dip it in. It’s actually quite versatile!

This is for 2 quesadillas… just double, triple etc for more!

Ingredients:

2 flour (or corn… or wheat for that matter!) tortillas
1/4 lb of diced of shredded chicken (already cooked)
2 pieces of cooked bacon – chopped
1/2 sliced avocado
3/4 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced sweet mini peppers (or 1/2 bell pepper chopped)
2-3 TB chopped sweet yellow onion
optional: a few sundried tomato pieces! You can add it in there, or use fresh tomatoes, either would be good!
optional: spinach or a bit of hot sauce

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Directions:

Start of by dicing and slicing your veggies. Get your avocado out and slice 1/2. What I do, is slice the whole thing, and ten place the 1/2 that I don’t use in a baggie (pre-sliced and not in the shell) into the freezer that I can pull out later and use in smoothies). Once all of your veggies are cut, you can pull out your chicken and bacon. I used leftovers. If you do not have leftovers, but still want to make this, just quick cook it up in a bit of olive oil with salt and pepper. I usually use pre-cooked bacon and cook it quickly in the microwave and then crumble it up.

But 1/2 TB in the bottom of the skillet and let it melt and medium to medium low temp on the stove. Once melted, place 1 of the tortillas on the skillet. Cover with desired amount of cheese, then place half of chicken, then the veggies, and ending with the avocado. Fold over the tortilla and let it brown for a minute or two, then flip it over with a large spatula. Let it continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to ooze out the side. Remove from skillet and place on a plate, and repeat with the 2nd tortilla. I usually cut each quesadilla in 2-4 pieces with a pizza cutter. Serve with some salsa, maybe some sour cream, and enjoy!!!!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭17-18‬

Fresh Quinoa Avocado Spinach Salad

Sunday night I went to a marriage mentor group and it was requested that I bring a salad! I do love a fancy salad! Getting creative and figuring out how to make a new dressing, using fun ingredients and pumping up the taste and flavors… the BEST!

This one I found the original recipe on a website about the Mediterranean Diet and altered the salad adding a bit more flavor to it and hit the JACKPOT! It was delicious! The only thing I’d change is that I would have made it a bit more dry than I did. I added WAY more olive oil and lemon juice than they did originally… and I’d go half-way between the two… So the recipe below is exactly halfway between what I made, and the original recipe (on the amount of olive oil and lemon juice)

This one can be filling as a main dish for lunch, or an awesome side dish for a grilled hamburger night, or brats or pizza!

Make this one tonight! 🙂

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Fresh Quinoa Avocado Spinach Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa, rinsed and drained*
1 cup water
1 vine-on medium tomato – seeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach – chopped or torn into large pieces
1/3 cup diced FRESH basil
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow sweet (1 small)
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice (and the zest of 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
 1 ripe avocado sliced and diced (pit removed of course!)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 of a English Hothouse cucumber sliced and quartered

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*Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove a bitter substance called saponin that coats the seeds.

Directions

  1. In a 1-1/2-quart saucepan combine quinoa and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. (OR, as I did, use your Rice Cooker… EASY!)
  2. Transfer quinoa to a medium Mixing Bowl. Add tomato, spinach, basil, cucumber, and onion; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic powder, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Add the diced avocado and gently toss.
  3. Sprinkle with some of the feta. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

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Fresh AND filling!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Southwestern Chicken Salad with an Avocado Parsley Dressing

When you come home after a long day at work and it’s hot outside… the weather is nice, sun is shining… don’t you just crave a salad? Nice, cool, crisp? Add a bit of chicken and just enough spice to make the dressing’s coolness almost a relief?

This is the salad for you! I seriously craved this dressing after I had it the first time. I made ANOTHER salad for lunch the next day JUST so I could use the rest of the dressing. It was THAT amazing!

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This is for 3-4 salads, depending on size of salad… is it your main course, or a side?

Ingredients

Salad:

Large head of Dark Green Romaine
1 15 oz. can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
3 mini sweet peppers chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 medium vine-on tomato cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Chopped scallions (Green Onions) – if so desired
1/2 Avocado diced
2 chicken tenderloins cooked (I cooked w/a bit of cumin and chili powder and olive oil) and sliced PER SALAD)
1 cup (more or less) corn. I used thawed frozen corn… you can use fresh or canned as well
1/2 can diced Natural Black Ripe Olives
Drizzle of salsa

For the dressing:

1 cup loosely packed FRESH parsley, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 tsp Chopped Garlic in Pure Olive Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. White Balsamc Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 TB fresh local Honey

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Directions
Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender (I used my Nutribullet) until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Finely chop romaine, sautee your chicken until cooked through and white all the way through, chop the sweet peppers, tomatoes, and green onions, avocado, black olives…
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Toss with desired dressing. I did find that the salad was best when I drizzled the salad with the dressing, and then tossed to coat thoroughly!

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You will NOT regret making this salad!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Community Post: 13 Incredibly Awesome Amy Poehler Quotes

Creamy Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Last night we eat dinner late. So bad. I read a few different blogs about healthy eating, especially my FAVORITE : http://www.dietitiancassie.com/ . Do I follow all of her rules? No. Should I? Maybe yes… maybe no? Everyone’s body is different. But she is very smart and has a lot of good information on how to naturally keep our bodies healthy, and how to think about food and what we put into our bodies completely differently than what we’ve been taught… and stay healthy! Check out her page!!!

Anyways… back to eating late. I know I shouldn’t have dinner that late… but I was making a blanket for my daughter, Madilyn and I was almost done crocheting it and I looked up and it was almost 8:00 and I hadn’t started dinner! Woops! Luckily it only took me 20 minutes to make from start to finish… so… pretty darn good!

This one is simple, full of flavor, quick and very filling. Yes, it does have pasta. I, of course, am steering you to Dietitian Cassie’s website and she’s pretty much grain free… and here I am writing a blog post with pasta in it. But… still read her blog. And.. decide for yourself what to eat…. ? 🙂 But… for me? I eat carbs/grains 1 time per day MAX, if not less often. I try my best to fill up on veggies and protein during the day… which really works for me! I’m not starving and HANGRY come dinner. I also have go to healthy fat, high protein snacks that I grab while I’m cooking that really help. I love celery with 1 TB sunflower seed butter. Also, when I am having a sugar craving, I grab 1 or 2 of these Butter Mints: http://empoweredsustenance.com/stop-sugar-cravings/ . Lots of good ideas!! 🙂

Here’s the delicious… pasta filled, quick and easy dinner recipe with some amazing and tasty shrimp:

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for 3-4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb shrimp (I used Trader Joes Argentinian Red Shrimp) (cooked and deveined)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 TB parmesan cheese
  • ÂĽ tsp red pepper flakes (I used this on a garnish on my husband’s bowl since it’s too spicy for me… but he loved it)
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 can diced petite tomatoes (with the juice in the can as well)
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • ÂĽ cup white wine (I used a Riesling… just use your favorite)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ÂĽ cup heavy cream
  • spaghetti noodles
  • fresh parmesan for garnish
  • fresh parsley for garnish

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Instructions
  1. On a baking sheet, place the shrimp (I do mine from frozen) on a foil lined sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, splash of white wine, a bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Place in a 375 degree preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on size of shrimp).
  2. While the shrimp is cooking, in a skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil, and saute the onions and garlic until soft.
  3. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, cayenne powder, can of diced tomatoes, white wine and salt & pepper.
  4. Cook until the liquid is reduced to half.
  5. While the tomato mixture is simmering, boil the spaghetti noodles according to the package directions.
  6. Once the tomato mixture is done simmering, add the shrimp back into the sauce, stir and remove from heat.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream and the 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.
  8. Toss the tomato and shrimp sauce with spaghetti noodles.
  9. Garnish with fresh parmesan, red pepper flakes and fresh parsley
  10. Serve Immediately
  11. ENJOY!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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Whole Grain Southwest Quinoa Bowl with a Fried Egg!

So I feel like I’ve been putting on here that I’m TIRED a lot lately.  Guess what?! Today, I’m NOT! Woohoo! We actually had a great day! I would attribute it to spending a majority of our day outside. We did school EARLY and then just spent the rest of the time outside (except for during naptime). We even had some dog training for our dog Duke, outside! It was quite marvelous! It’s so nice that it’s not yet a sauna outside, so we can still enjoy it! And, I straightened my curly hair for one possible last hurrah! Because, once it turns to a sauna outside, my curly hair returns within minutes of stepping outside! HA!

A couple of things about today’s recipe.

1. I use sweet mini-peppers a lot. I use them because I like the different colors in 1 bag. I also like that I don’t have to cut open a full bell pepper and then try to save it and hope that it doesn’t dry out. So, I like the sweet mini peppers as snacks, and the fact that I can grab a few to put in my dishes without worrying about part of them drying out! They stay fresh for a long time too!
2. When I only use 1/2 an onion, I DO NOT put the other half back in the fridge. I was recently informed that they absorb sickness and germs and bad things… and can actually make you sick if you do that! I RARELY use an entire onion when I cook something. I like onions, but I don’t want an overload. So, I slice the rest of them, put them in a freezer baggie and put them in the freezer. That way, they stay fresh and I can grab just the amount that I want to put in each dish and they stay FRESH!!!!
3. I almost always use the rice cooker for quinoa and rice. It’s sooo much easier! Very “mindless” which is perfect when I’m doing so much other stuff to prep, etc. Set it and forget it!

And now, the recipe!

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Ingredients
for 3-4 servings:
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cups of water
  • 1 tsp flax meal (if you have and so desire)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cracked pepper
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 3-4 mini sweet peppers diced
  • 1 1/2 cups whole kernel sweet corn (frozen, fresh or canned)
  • ½ yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • handful of grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • dash cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis (like rotel) from the can
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 4 eggs, fried/over easy (1 egg per serving)
  • 2 avocado, sliced
  • fresh cilantro (garnish)
  • fresh lime zest and juice of 1 lime to top
  • sour cream or shredded cheddar if desired for topping

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Instructions
  1. Put olive oil in a non-stick skillet
  2. Start quinoa in the rice cooker, or on stove top – following directions on bag (RINSE QUINOA)
  3. Cut up vegetables
  4. Place squash, zucchini, minni peppers, onion, tomatoes, corn, salt, and pepper into the skillet. Toss to coat.
  5. Season with the dry spices (paprika, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, oregano and lime zest). Add the 1/2 cup of Rotel or similar.
  6. Sautee veggies in sauce pan until the zucchini is tender, but still firm. Squeeze lime juice over vegetables just before you server.
  7. Fluff quinoa with a fork and serve with the vegetables.
  8. Pan fry four eggs
  9. Serve egg on top of quinoa with avocado slices and fresh cilantro. Also, try shredded cheese or sour cream!

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This one was filling, healthy, and one that you don’t feel guilty after eating! You got your protein, your whole grains AND your veggies! Definitely give this one a try!

And now, for the quote of the day: 🙂

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Grown Ups Grilled Cheese with a Quick Corn Chowder

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This was a quick dinner, in total took me about 25 minutes start to finish. Not too shabby since I had no clue what I was going to make when I walked into the kitchen!! I was going to make a type of sandwich and doctor up some soup I had from Trader Joes… but I found out it was expired. OOPS!! So, here’s what I came up with!

Chowder

Ingredients:

1 strip of bacon chopped into small pieces
4 small yukon gold potatoes diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups of milk (I used organic PLAIN coconut milk)
1 TB PLAIN (not vanilla!!) yogurt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 onion chopped
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce (to desired spiciness)
3/4 cup of corn (I used frozen)
Parmesan Cheese as garnish

Directions:

In a large pot (soup size) place the bacon pieces and start cooking to sizzling. Once starting to brown, add the onion and potatoes. Once the onions have started to brown, turn down the heat to 2 (simmer… med/low). Slowly add the milk, not allowing it to boil and then add the water. Cover with a lid and let simmer on low until the potatoes start to soften. Then, add the garlic and the remaining milk and whisk in the yogurt. Add the hot sauce, corn and the salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low. When serving, add shredded parmesan cheese as garnish on top to add a salty-peppery cheesiness.

Grown up Grilled Cheese

2 slices of sourdough
1 slice aged swiss
1 slice gouda cheese
tomato
Fresh Basil
thinly sliced avocado
(butter on the undersides of the bread for in the skillet).

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I put the buttered side down, and then added the cheese. When the cheese was melted, I added the toppings, melted a bit more and made sure the bread was sufficiently toasted, and then made into a sandwich and plated. YUM!

Enjoy!!

 

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Honey Lime “Guacamole”… or “A Twist on Guacamole”

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I could also call this “Messy Bowl” 🙂

original recipe: http://easyrecipestodo.blogspot.com/2013/11/grilled-corn-avocado-and-tomato-salad.html

INGREDIENTS
1 pint grape tomatoes (I’m not a big tomato fan… I only had a few in there for “garnish”…)
1 ripe avocado
1 bag of Steam Fresh sweet corn (or 2 ears freshly grilled corn from original recipe)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
HONEY LIME DRESSING
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp honey
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS
Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. The corn should have some brown spots and be tender and not mushy. Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices. Set aside and let cool. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.
HONEY LIME DRESSING
1. Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
2. Combine the sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn and honey lime dressing and mix gently so everything is evenly coated. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle. Enjoy.