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
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!
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
We are up to our chin guards in football season, so I’ve kicked up my family-friendly, meal-prepping madness into overtime. With just a little “overtime” work on Sunday, I can prepare a couple batches of my BBQ Beef, Black Bean and Sweet ‘Tater Taquitos and have enough for a couple quick-fix, weeknight dinners and leftovers for snacking on the big game day. By the way and sorry for the questionable rhyming (haha), I originally developed these onfleek-o taquitos for BeefLovingTexans.com, so check it out!
While my teenage boys and their always-hungry friends are munching what they assume to be merely crispy, crunchy, cheesy, beefy taquitos (rolled small tacos by any other name!), I snicker in silent satisfaction knowing I’ve snuck in some wholesome nutrition to fuel their busy, active bodies. Lean beef for muscle-making protein and iron, beans for even more protein plus fiber, and sweet potato in a whole grain tortillas for a double-whammy of healthy complex carbs for long-lasting giddy-up-and-go. As Guy Fieri would say in his own punderful way, “You can’t beato these taquitos!”
These tasty taquitos can be devoured right out of the oven, or freeze a batch and then just toss in the oven (or toaster oven!) on those endless days that have gone into double overtime. This is an easy way to pass the proverbial ball over to the kids and let them do some quarterbacking in the kitchen.
Just add a simple side salad and your favorite Texas-style condiments like guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and barbeque sauce.My Mojo Citrus Guacamole makes a tasty team up!
One the taquito innards are made, assemble by adding a spoonful in the middle of a whole grain tortilla, rolling up and baking (no frying here and they are still super crunchy). While corn tortillas are traditional for taquitos, I’ve found that the corn-flour “mix” tortillas are more pliable and less prone to crack. If needed, insert a toothpick to keep tortillas secure, but don’t forget to remove before serving!
Favorite football team? Any football players on the family roster this year? Favorite thing to roll in a tortilla? Please share in commets! XOXO , Jennifer
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.
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.
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.
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
Getting more avocados in your life is a good thing! Avocados are an excellent source of fiber and protein and pack an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – they are a super star in the world of super foods and are so beneficial in the diet of a runner, stand-up paddle boarder, CrossFitter, mountain climber, yogi, gymnast, obstacle course racer or other active person. Oh, hey, I just described myself!
This nutrient-dense fruit regularly stars as guacamole at my house, but also makes a rich and creamy addition to salads, soups, and even baked goods. Plus, have you ever had avocado in a smoothie? It’s soooooo good! I’m totally loving the new Veggie Avocado Pineapple Smoothie from Smoothie King, more about that in a second – let me tell you about these Avocado Hacks that will make dealing with the sometimes fragile, fussy and fake-out ripe avocado.
1) Avocado Dicing for Dummies – Simply cut in half crosswise, remove seed and, key point, leave the skin on! Use a paring knife to make cuts across and down, without piecing the peel. If fairly firm, the avocado will “pop” out of the skin when pushed, or if riper, use a spoon to coax the dices out. This is sooooo much less messy than peeling and then cutting.
2) Use Avocados Instead of Butter: Swap out avocados for butter in your baking at a 1:1 ratio, you’ll save lots of calories and get all of the nutritional benefits of avocado. Of course, you can also spread on your toast too – apparently that’s a thang!
3) How to Freeze Guacamole – It’s a rare day that leftover guacamole is left at the bottom of the bowl, but it can happen. More likely, there’s a big sale on avocados and something need to be done with them before over ripening – make a huge batch of guacamole and freeze it! Yes, you can do that – just smash it up with a little lemon juice and freeze in a zip-top plastic bag. When ready to use, just thaw in the fridge! And, the same concept goes for avocado slices – find out How to Freeze Avocados!
4) Prevent Avocado from Oxidizing Overnight – Coating with lemon juice is a popular method, but what if you don’t want that tart-puckery taste to linger around? Simply pour a layer of milk on top of your avocado slices or guacamole and then chill (literally and figuratively)! When ready to get your guac on, simply drain of the milk and stir or mash. Or, you can also set an avocado half cut-side down on a big slice of onion and keep airtight in plastic wrap! These methods will keep your avocado looking pretty good for a day, maybe a little longer.
5) How to Ripen an Avocado in 10 Minutes: Turn a rock hard avocado into creamy, edible goodness by slicing and tossing with lemon juice and baking at 300 F degrees for 10 minutes or until just softening.
6) How to Ripen an Avocado Overnight: If you don’t need to eat your avocado ASAP, then stick it in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple and leave on the countertop. Overnight, the fruit’s ethylene gases will soften your avocado to perfection.
Okay, back to the avocado in smoothies? Have you ever tried it? It sounds weird, but blended beverages are blessed with a super creamy taste. In fact, nearly everything from the produce section is good in a smoothie – when I don’t have time to make my own, I swing by Smoothie King for one of their Veggie Blends – these veggie-packed smoothies are deliciously blended to help fuel my health and wellness goals and I love the fact they are so transparent with their nutrition details, so I can pick and choose which one is going to work the best to optimize my “fuel” needs for the day.
I’m not on a calorie-restricted diet. In fact, as an athlete, I’m often looking for ways to get filled up without scarfing down junk foods. The new Veggie Avocado Pineapple Smoothie has more calories and fat content than the other Veggie Blends (Carrot Kale Dream, Berry Carrot Dream, Apple Kiwi Kale) – but offers a long-lasting, satiating boost of nutrition is what I need to power me through an intense workout without making me feel bloated and filled up with a heavy meal. A 20-oz drink has 6 grams of fiber to fill me up and is naturally hydrating, providing me the electrolytes I need for a sweat session.
In fact, all the Veggie Blends at Smoothie King are hydrating and healthful – some even have a “Make it Skinny” option. You can check out the nutrition info on all the green smoothies and other menu choices either on the Smoothie King web site or in the store.
I’m hosting a $25 Visa Gift Card giveaway so one of you readers can load up on veggie smoothies or whatever your heart desires at Smoothie King or anywhere!
Are you an avocadotarian? Could you eat an avocado every day? I could, and have – and maybe more than one!
Even though avocados are considered a “healthy” superfood, the good-for-you fats and calories can start to add up when overindulging on this rich, creamy fruit. I came up with a winning, waist-whittling solution to this “I can’t believe I ate the whole bowl of guacamole problem” — it’s Skinny Garden Guacamole.
I originally created the makeover recipe for Litehouse Foods – their convenient Instantly Fresh Herbs add zip to the dip! Pureed peas and asparagus are swapped out for one-half of the smashed avocado used in guacamole — the recipe takes a cup of guacamole down from about 375 calories and 34 grams of fat to just over 200 calories with 19.5 grams of fat for the same amount.
When you need a nourishing nosh, this healthy avocado dip can be served the traditional way with tortilla chips, veggie sticks or atop crispy crackers for an appetizer or happy hour starter. It’s also makes a great light lunch (or breakfast) spread on a piece of whole grain toast.
The ways to use Skinny Garden Guacamole are endless, eat it straight out of the bowl with a spoon or add a big dollop atop tostados, on eggs, or entrée salads. Another tasty way to use this makeover guacamole dip recipe is to stuff it in a summer ripe tomato — Bacon Guacamole Stuffed Tomatoes!
Print out my recipe below for Skinny Garden Guacamole, you’re going to love it! If you’re looking for more avocado relish or guacamole type recipes, check out the yummy collection at CookingLight.com.
What is your favorite way to eat guacamole? Please share in the comments below — XOXO Jennifer
Keep your Cinco de Mayo fiesta fit with my recipe for Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette. No cheese here people, but lots of creamy guacamole and vegetable goodness that will make you shout “Ole” – especially when you bite into the crispy, crunchy jicama ‘chips.’ While these thin wedges of jicama obviously aren’t bona fide, deep-fried tortilla chips, they do provide a nutritious and neat way to shovel a bunch of tasty toppings into your mouth.
I cut my jicama into ¼-inch rounds and then quartered them to resemble triangle-shaped nacho chips. I’ve seen other veggie lovers and Paleo diet types slice the jicama nearly paper thin to use as a flexible wraps for taco fillings.
If you’re looking for a great guacamole recipe, I am a fan of RO*TEL’s Rockin’ Guac or simply mash up avocado, squeeze in lime juice and season with garlic salt. If you have leftover guacamole, it can be frozen. Just follow the steps in my DIY post from last year on how to make guacamole that you can keep in the freezer!
Need a drink for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta? Might I suggest my Skinny Blackberry Nectarine Margarita or Watermelon Ginger Lmeade? Or, check out these south-of-the-border inspired beer cocktails and other Cinco de Mayo ideas from CookingLight.com.
This post is sponsored by ConAgra RO*TEL.
We know how to put on a fiesta every weekend here in Texas. But, Cinco de Mayo is an extra special reason to celebrate because five out of seven years the party falls on a work day – and that’s a legitimate reason to tell the boss “adios” and cut loose early to enjoy some patio time. This year, Cinco de Mayo is on a Tuesday which so conveniently aligns with Taco Tuesday, Tostado Tuesday and Guacamole & Tortilla Chips Tuesday. I am a food blogger and thus allowed to make up these extra observances dedicated to food and drink.
There can be no fiesta without guacamole. In these parts, guacamole is not just a healthy dip and satiating snack — it’s an appetizer that draws people together, have you ever seen the mob scene near the guacamole bowl?! Smashed up avocado is also a condiment smeared on everything from eggs and enchiladas to burgers and burritos, and salads and sandwiches – and, of course, devoured right off a dipped chip. You can even serve it up with a super healthy spin by serving it in tomato cups along with mild green chilies! Ole!
One of the best recipes I’ve found is RO*TEL’s Rockin’ Guac – it’s so simple to make and gets a zesty (but not too spicy) kick from the tomatoes and green chilies.
I’m keeping things simple this Cinco de Mayo and making Black Bean, Zucchini and Corn Tacos – they are just screaming for RO*TEL’s Rockin’ Guac! It’s a vegetarian recipe, but even those carnivorous folks in the crowd love it (I think it’s the guac that makes it so satisfying). The beauty of this recipe is that I can sauté the veggies up in a skillet, keep it warm, and then sit back and enjoy the party – no sweating over the grill!
So, what will we all drink? Creamy watermelon smoothies for the kids and the adults will enjoy Bud Light Lime-A-Ritas, a margarita-like drink that isn’t quite as strong. Tequila has never agreed with me, so these perfectly-portioned cans of yum (made with malt alcohol) don’t give me a hideous hangover the next day. That is a GOOD thing to ensure I can fiesta on the Seis de Mayo, too!
Zest up your fiesta with RO*TEL’s Rockin Guac and Bud Light’s Lime-A-Rita. How are you planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Bud Light Lime-A-Rita® is a registered trademark of Anheuser-Busch. ConAgra Foods, Inc. All Rights Reserved