Plant Protein Kale Caesar Salad Tacos

It’s not unusual to share tacos on Tuesday, my family asks for some version of this Mexican and Tex-Mex staple nearly every day of the week! What is outside convention is today’s taco filling – it’s my take on Ceasar Salad!  These Plant Power Caesar Salad Tacos are a veggie-lover’s delight as kale, avocado, chickpeas, quinoa and seeds and a robust Caesar dressing are tossed together and stuffed right in the shell.

Plant Protein Caesar Salad Tacos

You heard right, a cool, crisp salad in a taco shell! This 10-minute recipe has minimal cooking (just warming the shells) and offers hand-held, utensil-free convenience for backyard munchers – it’s an awesome summer dinner! Read on to get more delicious details.  Continue reading

How To Grill Nearly Every Vegetable from Avocado To Zucchini

Grilling season is here! It’s my favorite cooking method and I’m a lucky girl to live in a climate that permits it nearly all year. Most of us use the grill to fire up steaks, burgers, chicken and even seafood. But, don’t forget to grill your vegetables – flame-kissed, caramelized vegetables are magic! Adding grilled vegetables to your meal is the easiest way to win dinner, win compliment, and win the summer! Platter of Grilled Vegetables

There is no excuse to be stuck inside with a plate of steamed broccoli or sad salad when you can be outside kicking up the flavor. and your heels! You can grill just about any veggie, even lettuce and lemons! Read on to get vegetable grilling tips along with some great recipes.   Continue reading

Grilled Avocado Boats with Blistered Tomatoes

Last week, I grilled cantaloupe and today it’s avocados! I’ve been getting my fruit freak on by firing up whatever pretty produce catches my eye. This isn’t big news at my house. When it comes to backyard cooking, I’m always in beta mode and, thankfully, it’s nearly impossible to mess up a simple, fresh meal on the grill. Grilled Avocado Boats

Are you ready to swoon over the “smoky swag” of my Grilled Avocado Boats with Blistered Tomatoes. Trust me, you’ll swoon and then run for a spoon! Continue reading

How To Grill Avocados (That Don’t Turn Brown for Meal Prepping)!

I have a “how to” today that might make even the most super freak avocado aficionado faint – GRILLED AVOCADOS! Grilled Avocado

AvocadOoooohemmmmgeee, you heard me right! It’s amazing simple and insanely appetizing to throw avocados on the grates. Grilling this creamy, savory fruit gives it delicious bits of flame-kissed char and smoky swag that you just won’t find eating it in the typical fashion. Read on to get all the directions to this game-changing  avocado hack and find out why they take days (instead of minutes) to turn brown using this method.  Continue reading

Grilled Avocado Tacos with Creamy Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dressing

I am about to change your life with two simple words that I frequently say separately, but never before together– Grilled Avocados. That’s right, I discovered avocados can and should be grilled! Tossing this creamy green fruit on the grates for a few minutes creates a smoky, simply marvelous flavor profile that plain ole avocados just can’t deliver. Grilled Avocado Tacos

With grilling season firing up and Cinco de May moments away, you’re definitely going to want to toss on a few avocados to go along with your barbecue. Or, if you’re vegetarian, vegan or just taking a plant-based day for variety, you’ll love my recipe for Grilled Avocado Tacos with Creamy Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Dressing

Continue reading

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

“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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Get Active Outdoors in Austin #FromHereForHere

 

This post was sponsored by Ozarka Water, however all opinions, recipes, and enthusiasm are my own.Hi How are You Mural from AustinI love living in Austin, Texas and, with the exception of a few boomerang moves, I have called this little place (well, now a BIG place) home my entire life – not many folks can say the same! Sure, the live music scene and hipster vibe has made this town trendy and it’s also the place to be for high tech, politics, and a good food truck fix.   However, the opportunities for being active are what I appreciate most about being right here in the ATX. The weather is wonderfully warm and the sun seems to never stop shining on the abundance of parks, lakes and local events where I stay active. And, there are so many local businesses that make products #FromHereForHere (like Ozarka Water) that keep me hydrated and fueled up for my healthy fitness journey.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  My neighborhood has over 20 miles of hike and bike trails to run and explore . . . 

#FromHereForHEre Trail Run in Austin

My house is sublimely sandwiched between two bodies of water. Three miles one way is Lake Travis, the largest reservoir of the Colorado River and home to swimming, boating, scuba diving, and even legal nude bathing in the Hippie Hollow park area (we all want to #KeepAustinWeird). Another three miles down the road the other way is the return of the Colorado River at Mansfield Damn before it turns into downtown’s Lake Austin (more recently renamed Ladybird Lake).

I like to paddle board toward downtown for miles or until my arms tire out . . .

Paddle Boarding Lake Austin

#FromHereFor Here Jet Ski in Austin

 

Some days I get my motor started by taking the jet ski out . . . 

 

 

 

 

 

Or, sometimes I just relax and sit in a chair while my son enjoys after-dinner fishing while our dog standing on guard . . . 

davis fishing with lucy

And, if the water sports in Austin weren’t enough, there is every type of endurance sporting event imaginable – my favorites are probably the Spartan Race in nearby Burnett at Reveille Ranch and the Fit Foodie Race.

Of course, being so active in Austin requires the proper hydration and snacks! And that’s where I can count on Texas to treat me right again! There are so many beverages and foods #FromHereForHere that make it heaven for the adventurous, healthy foodie like myself.

Ozarka Water  by Lake Austin

jennifer ozarkaWith the heat and amount of physical activity I do in the summer, I always concerned about getting enough water. At the top of my cooler you’ll find Ozarka ® Brand Natural Spring Water, sourced from three nearby springs, this water has a uniquely Texan fresh taste! It’s so easy to stay hydrated with this clean-tasting, crisp water that’s available in convenient single-serve bottles and for Ozarka® water delivery at home.

Gotta have that Ozarka ® Brand Natural Spring Water! I try to drink an ounce per pound of my body weight, even more if I’ve run far or worked out hard!

All these outdoor workouts in in Austin makes a girl hungry So, I came up with a super easy nut recipe using a few local ingredients #FromHereForHere . It’s perfect to pack up in a snack baggie for on-the-go munching at the lake or post run!  My Habanero BBQ Almonds use Yellowbird Sauce (a peppery condiment that puts the whoowhee hot yum on EVERYTHING, Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds from Taste Elevated that add in interesting mustard sweet-heat flavor and BBQ Sauce from Snow’s BBQ Sauce (named best in the state by Texas Monthly staff).

Habanero BBQ Almonds

To make, heat skillet to medium- high over stovetop. add 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds. Toast, stirring constantly for 4 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, 2 teaspoons habanero sauce, 1 tablespoon moist, jarred mustard seeds (with sauce) and 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Cook over medium-low for an additional 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Makes 1 cup.

JElly Queens Spice Kings Grill OzarkaI also found some new local ingredients for my grilling creations — I can’t wait to try them! The Black Garlic Rosemary BBQ Sauce from Jelly Queens  is an umami bomb of flavor! I first learned about black garlic about a year ago as an ingredient, but have never seen it used in a prepared artisan product – this stuff will send your taste buds out of bounds!  They also make a fab-looking Steak Rub that will be so on fleek crusting up my flat iron!

Chips Queso Bean Salad OzarkaWhen I’m packing a picnic lunch for the lake, my recipe for Mom’s Best Black Bean, Avocado & Corn Salad is ALWAYS a winner – in fact, the California Avocado Association even named it the winner in the July 4th All-American Recipe Contest in 2014! But add some local love to this salad, I take along Queso con Salsa Escabeche from CookWell & Company  (built around a blend of blue and cheddar cheeses!) and Paqui’s  Tortilla Chips (“better for you” tortilla chips named after the Aztec word for “to be happy”). The family and I are snacking happy until the sun sets!

What do you love most about your hometown? Do you have any must-try local food products? Do you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer