Tex-Mex Egg Drop Soup | 15-minute Meal

I’ve got so much Texas in me, it’s overflowing into my soup! Seriously though, last week, the hubby and me were feeling a little under the weather but well enough to eat a bit of something (I mean, puh-lease).  I tried my hand at an egg drop soup for the first time and it was fantastically easy and tasty – considering I added some of the flavors we love right here in the Lone Star and topped it with chopped avocado! This Tex-Mex Egg Drop Soup is the cure for WHATEVER ails you — even if it’s just hunger! Tex Mex Egg Drop Soup

I think you’ll love the new zesty attitude of a traditionally mild-mannered soup.  You can spice it up or down with your preferred amount of chipotle chile powder.  It’s the new thing in Texas comfort food (because I say so)! Continue reading

Lemongrass-Mint Matcha Chai Latte

Tea is . . . my cup of tea! I love that there are so many varieties available that meet me my body where it is for the day, whether that’s requiring an instant pick-me-up, desperately craving better sleep, or feeling bloated and in need a diet detox. Plus, the world’s most popular beverage, is packed with an abundance of antioxidants (varies on the type of tea) to help boost immunity and optimize overall health and well-being.Preparing Lemongrass Mint Matcha Chia  This month, I’ve been jump-starting my mornings with Lemongrass-Mint Matcha Chai Latte, it’s a exponentially more wholesome, herbal alternative the carbonated sugar-free energy drinks I sometimes guzzle prebreakfast (we all have vices, people). After just a few sips of this steaming green goodness, I know that the cold weather, shortened daylight levels, and lengthy to-do list are going to be so much more bearable.

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“Gimme Mo” Mojo Citrus Guacamole

"Gimme Mo" Mojo Citrus Guacamole brings a Latin American twist to your favorite avocado dip -- loaded with garlic and zesty oranges!  Dollop on salads, sandwiches or fish tacos! Or, just dip a chip at your next party!We eat guacamole by the truckload over here and I see nothing wrong with that! — I mean, HELLO heart-healthy, creamy, satiating fats! This simple pleasures is a staple in my life, dolloped on my salads, sandwiches and veggies sticks. Making a yummy meal and NOT having guacamole within lifting distance from my lips feels like a hot date that didn’t end with a kiss. Such a bummer!

I’ve used avocados every which way and have a dozens of guacamole recipes in my mealtime rotation. A recent creation is “Gimme Mo” Mojo Citrus Guacamole with a sensational Latin American-inspired twist that is perfect for plantain chip dipping, toast smearing and fish taco topping.

"Gimme Mo" Mojo Citrus Guacamole brings a Latin American twist to your favorite avocado dip -- loaded with garlic and zesty oranges!  Dollop on salads, sandwiches or fish tacos! Or, just dip a chip at your next party!

Before jumping into this quick and easy guacamole recipe, let me give you the quick 411 on the magical sauce that inspired it. While originating in the Canary Islands, mojo is a simple sauce that is now splattered and slathered on nearly everything edible in Central America, the Caribbean and parts of the southern U.S. With as many regional variations as there are uses for this quintessential Latin condiment, I’m most familiar with the Cuban preparation. Cuban mojo is made with olive oil, sour citrus juices (like bitter orange and lime juice), oregano, and garlic – loads and loads of garlic. It’s often used as a marinade for pork, chicken and seafood, a dip for fried plantains or yucca, or for dressing veggies and potatoes.

I love the mojo flavor profile and have done past recipes like Mojo Steak Kebabs and Mojo Chicken with Grilled Oranges (below) are both delicious!  This guacamole would be a perfect complement to both! Not only can “Gimme Mo” Mojo Citrus Guacamole be served atop a main dish on the dinner plate, to the side of a salad, or in a festive dip bowl – it also makes a clever single-serve presentation scooped into the emptied halves of the orange peel.

grilled chicken breasts and oranges

I originally developed this recipe for the new Guacamole Herb and Spice Blend from the Instantly Fresh line at Litehouse Foods.It’s a mixture of freeze-dried herbs and seasonings (including cilantro, garlic, red onion and red chili) that make it easy to get the guacamole bowl filled to the top “chop-chop” without endless slicing and dicing!  There are no preservatives or other yucky chemicals in this convenient spice blend that you can pick up on the spice aisle or in the produce department (although it doesn’t need to be chilled).  If you find a bottle, just swap out the red onion, jalapeno and cilantro in the recipe below for 4 tablespoons of this magical spice blend.

Litehouse Foods Instantly Fresh Guacamole Blend

Are you an avocado addict? How many would you guesstimate you eat in a month? What is best thing you’ve dipped a chip or carrot stick into lately?  Please share in the comments, XOXO – Jennifer 

“Gimme Mo” Mojo Citrus Guacamole
Print Recipe
This Latiin-inspired take on guacamole adds loads of garlic and zesty orange juice! The perfect condiment for your main dishes . . . but mainly for dipping!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
“Gimme Mo” Mojo Citrus Guacamole
Print Recipe
This Latiin-inspired take on guacamole adds loads of garlic and zesty orange juice! The perfect condiment for your main dishes . . . but mainly for dipping!
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Instructions
  1. In bowl, mash together peeled and pitted avocados with orange juice and lime juice (if avocados are extra large, you may need a small splash extra of each).
  2. Stir in onion, pepper, cilantro,oregano (or 4 Tbsp swap of the guacamole blend mentioned in blog post), salt and garlic.
  3. Use zester, to remove approximately 1 tablespoon zest from orange. Stir into guacamole.
  4. Peel orange and cut away any pith and most membrane. Dice into small chunks. Gently stir into guacamole.
  5. Serve as dip or condiment for sandwiches, burgers, fajitas, salads, etc.
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“Go For The Gold” Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways

Turmeric Curry HummusWhen I want a satisfying snack that tastes super yummy, has loads of health benefits, and won’t have me hungry again in an hour, my “Go for Gold” Turmeric Curry Hummus with Minted Roast Chickpeas is a winner! It’s definitely what to bring to a football tailgate or sports watching party to show that you are the decided victor of dips and champion of chickpeas.Turmeric Hummus with Minty Roast Chickpeas is creamy and crunchy at the same time! A healthy snack with protein and fiber, perfect for post workout of for a party appetizer.

If you’re not familiar with turmeric, you need to get acquainted ASAP. I’ve featured it before in many recipes — my Turmeric Honey “Health” Shots have been popular! While it’s the primary spice in many Indian dishes (such as curry) and lends everything it touches (including hands) a golden yellow to orange hue, turmeric is consumed not just for its warm and mildly peppery taste, but also for the many purported health benefits.

For example, numerous studies suggest that turmeric’s active component, curcumin, helps alleviate or reduce the incidence of everything from certain cancers to depression – and it’s is highly touted as a natural pain-killer and anti-inflammatory. I take turmeric often to recover from hard workouts faster, I’m a fan of these Curcumin Capsules (from Turmeric Root Extract) sold by NOW Foods.

Turmeric.
I do advise using fresh turmeric along with the dried ground turmeric as directed in the recipe. The fresh has a more pleasingly distinctive aroma, flavor and health benefits in root form (technically a rhizome like ginger) than from the ground powder.  However, the ground turmeric helps distribute the golden-orange color evenly. If you’re looking for fresh turmeric, ask your produce manager to stock it from Frieda’s.
Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways - appetizer dip, pasta toss and veggie sandwich!

Make a big batch and portion into individual grab-and-go containers to stash in lunchboxes, backpacks and gym bags along with veggie sticks or crackers. However, dipping stuff INTO hummus isn’t the only way to enjoy it! My two other serving suggestions are to 1) pile up high on whole grain bread or a wrap along with other veggies to make a filling sandwich and 2) to toss with warm pasta or vegetable noodles (like “zoodles”) as a creative sauce.  I wasn’t sure if the sauce idea would work one night when fixing a “clear the fridge” dinner in a pinch — but it most certainly did!

roast chickpeas for a crunch healthy snackAlso, if you love a crunchy, salty snack the roasted mint chickpeas that I’ve used to garnish the top make a fantastic snack on their own.

Just double up that part of the recipe and keep the extra batch for snacking right off the pan – or to use as grain-free “croutons

By the way, I originally developed this recipe for Litehouse Foods using their Instantly Fresh Herbs! Check it out.

 

Do you use turmeric in your diet, what is a favorite recipe? If you’re at a party, do you go for the dips or the desserts? What’s on your upcoming fall season race season? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer  

Turmeric Curry Hummus
"Go For The Gold" Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Turmeric Curry Hummus
"Go For The Gold" Turmeric Hummus Served 3 Ways
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. After draining and rinsing chickpeas, place them on a paper towel and fold over, gently rubbing them. This will remove any remaining “skins.”
  3. Toss mint and salt together in small bowl. Take ½ cup of chickpeas and toss around with olive oil until coated. Add chickpeas to bowl with mint and shake around until dusted.
  4. Place chickpeas in oven and bake, tossing occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden and crunchy.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool on pan.
  5. Place remaining chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, curry powder, dried turmeric, fresh turmeric, remaining salt and pepper in a food processor and blend till smooth and creamy. If needed, add a bit of additional lime juice or water to adjust the consistency.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and roasted chickpeas.
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Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles – One in a Melon!

Welcoming the official first day of summer with these beautiful little bites — Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles. Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles

This easy, no-cook appetizer recipe uses simple ingredients to create a stunning starter for a poolside party, al fresco meal or impromptu happy hour — also, how scrumptious and refreshing to pack in a picnic basket?!

Fet & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles are an easy, no cook appetizer for your next summer party. The sweet and salty flavors in this fruit and cheese recipe work so well together!

Only four ingredients needed — mint, basil, feta cheese and a cantaloupe. I always rely on my sense of smell to pick out the best cantaloupe, this no-nonsense nose method scores me a sweet and juicy winner nearly every time! Pick up the melon and sniff, it should smell sweet and slightly musky — like a cantaloupe. If it doesn’t have that signature scent, don’t buy it! Also, the best cantaloupes feel heavy for their size (lots of water content) and has a stem end that is slightly soft, yielding to your finger a bit when pressed.

cantelopes

You know I can’t resist a good food pun, so here ya go! Bwahaha!

Get the nutrition label for these Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles here:

Click Here for Nutrition Infofo

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what are you doing on this first day of summer? What is your favorite summer-time fruit? Please share in the comments below, XOXO — Jennifer 

DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings

Two-Minute Homemade Garlic Pizza Sauce can be made in a flash, saves money and lets you control the spice.Yeah, yeah . . . National Pizza Day was yesterday. I may be a day late, but definitely not a dollar short with this easy-to-make homemade garlic pizza sauce recipe that will take your pie to the next level. Homemade garlic pizza sauce tastes better, saves money and can be made ahead and frozen for a busy weeknight dinner solution. Store-bought sauces can be kind of pricey, especially the better ones – but my creation saves you some dough (see what I did there?) that can be put towards your favorite fresh toppings. Personally, I love Campari tomatoes, spinach and roasted garlic – but the kids are pepperoni addicts all the way. As for the crust, I’m staying out of the crust controversy – pan crust, thin crust or even cauliflower-carrot crust, it’s up to you. Make it your way, I’m just here to share the sauce. DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!The secret to this pizza sauce recipe is a can of “fire-roasted” tomatoes and Instantly Fresh herbs – I’m a big fan of these freeze-dried herbs and garlic from Litehouse Foods, but you can also use regular dried herbs or fresh if feeling fancy.  Those not in the know would think this hearty sauce had been simmering all day on the stovetop and not whipped up at warp speed in a blender. Make a double batch and freeze for a busy weeknight dinner solution. Other recipes that are insanely good with this pizza sauce: Egg & Zucchini Ragu Eight Minute Egg & Zucchini Ragu   More Eggs . . .Portabello Eggs Inferno:   Portobello Eggs Inferno makes a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner! Dip Roasted Spicy Creole Shrimp into Pizza Sauce (instead of cocktail sauce): Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spices  

So, what is your favorite topping for pizza? Dare I ask, what is your sauce strategy? Do you cut your pizza in wedges or squares? Do you consider pizza something for a “cheat” day or a well-balanced, hand-held meal? Please share in the comments – XOXO, Jennifer

Linking up with Running On Happy and The Fit Foodie Mama

DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!
DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings
Print Recipe
No pre-packaged pizza sauce here, this easy homemade recipe takes your pie (and pasta) to the next level, saves money and lets you control the spice.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
DIY Homemade Pizza Sauce is perfect for your pie and to use with nearly everything -- sauce to dunk bread, shrimp, cheese, to toss with pasta or zoodles, or to simmer with eggs!
DIY Garlic Pizza Sauce and Saucesome Food Pairings
Print Recipe
No pre-packaged pizza sauce here, this easy homemade recipe takes your pie (and pasta) to the next level, saves money and lets you control the spice.
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
16 servings 2 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend for approximately 45 seconds or until ingredients combined and tomatoes broken down but not completely pureed. Spread out sauce thinly on prepared pizza crust. Makes sauce for 3 medium or 2 large pizzas. Store leftover sauce in refrigerator or freeze in air-tight zip-top plastic bag.
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Bon Temps! Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons

Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter CroutonsWell, first of all, happy Mardi Gras – Laissez les bons temps rouler! This day of eating, drinking and overindulging that can take quite a toll so, I’m sharing a healthy salad to help keep you fit and fierce for Fat Tuesday . . . or get you back on track later in the week!

Creole Cajun Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons

You’re going to love my Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons, it’s like a healthier version of a Po’ Boy sandwich that exploded with loads of lettuces and farm-fresh veggies. Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spicesInstead of getting fried in oh-my-gawd grease, the succulent shrimp in this quick and easy recipe get a toss in Creole Seasoning before being lightly sautéed in heart-healthy olive oil.

Forget about bland Creole seasoning from grocery store spice aisle, kick up the taste and cut down on costs by making a big batch at home – in addition, making it from scratch lets you say au revoir to weird chemicals and preservatives and control the amount of heat. Often referred to as Cajun spice, this blend of peppers, paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic and onion powders creates the base of bold flavor on practically everything in my shrimp recipe – BAM! Spices for Creole Seasoning

I also use Instantly Fresh Herbs  in my Creole Spice Mix, a generous recipe that makes plenty for the salad, dressing and croutons – store leftovers in an airtight jar for up to a year. Use this Creole Spice Mix in soups and gumbos, rub into catfish and tuna, mix into meatballs, and even sprinkle on grilled fruit – this Cajun food seasoning is crazy-good!

Creole Spice with Instantly Fresh HErbs

The dressing isn’t loaded in fat either; I used the deliciously creamy Greek yogurt-based Ranch and jazzed it up a bit with Creole spices.

If you are looking for some other Cajun, Creole or otherwise New Orleans-ish, check out this collection of Crescent City inspired recipes from Cooking Light

Creole Cajun and New Orleans recipes from Cooking  Light

 

What are your Mardi Gras plans? What is your favorite Cajun or Creole recipes? Please share in the comments, XOXO — Jennifer

Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
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Let the good times roll while keeping it light with my New Orleans inspired entree salad featuring spicy sauteed shrimp and crusty French baguette croutons.
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons
Print Recipe
Let the good times roll while keeping it light with my New Orleans inspired entree salad featuring spicy sauteed shrimp and crusty French baguette croutons.
Ingredients
For Creole Spice
For Shrimp
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To make Creole Spice Mix, place ingredients in small jar with lid. Stir or shake to combine. May be stored in pantry out of direct sunlight for up to one year. Makes approximately ½ cup.
  2. To make shrimp, heat olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat thawed shrimp dry and toss with Creole Spice Mix. Place in hot skillet and sauté for approximately 2 minutes, or until heated through (take care not to over-heat since shrimp are precooked). Remove shrimp from heat to a plate while finishing remainder of dish.
  3. To prepare salad, top lettuce with cabbage, radish and tomatoes on a large platter or individual bowls. For dressing stir, Creole Spice Mix in dressing until incorporated – use more or less depending on preference for spiciness.
  4. For croutons, slice 8-inch length of baguette in half lengthwise. Next, slice each half in half at a long diagonal; place on baking sheet. Brush cut side of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and Creole Spice Mix. Set under broiler for 60 seconds (keep a vigilant eye) or until top beginning to bubble and brown.
  5. To serve, place shrimp on prepared salad and add one big crouton per person; pass with dressing.
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Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein Smoothie – Hoping #FTW

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein SmoothieIt is still smoothie time in the great ATX — it’s been in the high 90s this week! It’s so hot you can’t leave a bag of chocolate chips in the car for an hour — lesson learned. That being said, I’ll drink a smoothie (and eat deformed chocolate) pretty much anytime of the year . . . it’s such a quick and easy way to make a nourishing meal to take on the go.Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Protein Smoothie

Today, I’ve blended up a Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Smoothie for a slurpable, sweet and super healthy start to the day. Who doesn’t love a chocolate protein smoothie, it’s like drinking a milkshake for breakfast. I’ve added maca powder, ’cause that’s how I mix! Maca, a root vegetable indigenous to Peru, is a natural ingredient prized for thousands of years for its ability to boost stamina, endurance and hormonal balance. It includes vital nutrients such fatty acids, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates and minerals. Sign me up for all of this. Thank you maca powder!
maca, mint and chocolateTo add a flavor lift of mint, there are two options. You can use sprigs of fresh mint, which grows so abundantly for me in the summer. But, my fresh mint is looking pretty sad, so my tried-and-true swap in is Instantly Fresh Mint from Litehouse Foods — it’s dehydrated mint that is recipe ready any time of the year. One jar has the equivalent of three bunches of mint inside. Look for it in the produce section of your grocery store in little herb-sized jars — ask the produce manager.

Chocolate Maca Mint Smoothie

Chocolate Maca Mint Chip Smoothie

  • 8 ounce unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1/3 frozen large banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maca powder
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Instantly Fresh Mint (or fresh leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips

Add all ingredients to blender, adding ice as needed. Blend until smooth. Makes 1 serving!

 

So yeah, I’m going to me needed all the energy, endurance and stamina I can get — I have a bunch of races and competitions coming up. I signed up last minute to run the Hill Country Half Marathon in Marble Falls, Texas thus weekend — it’s hill out there y’all. When they keep focusing on the words “scenic,” “beautiful” and “stunning views,” you know that those hills are going to be tough. Also, I’ve got the Spartan Beast in Dallas, it’s an approximate 14 mile run with 30-ish obstacles. I’ve been having so much fun training for obstacle course races, it’s a nice shake up from the traditional marathons and road races I do. Then, of course, San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon in early December.

Celebrating with friends at the end of Spartan Race.It’s not too late to join me! Dallas Beast, October 31 and November 1, 2015, Sign Up Now for this Reebok Spartan Race! Save 10% and use discount code FINISH at checkout!

What are YOU drinking this week? What are YOU racing this month? Please share in the comments below – XOXO Jennifer