Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos, Freezing Guacamole and Cinco de Mayo Sippers

Raw Jicama Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional dish.

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.

Raw Jicima Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional recipe.

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.

freezing avocado guacamoleIf 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.

two ingredient beer cocktails

Raw Jicima Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional recipe.
Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Get your fiesta off to a fit start with these no-cook nachos made from jicama and veggies. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo. And, find out how to freeze guacamole.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Raw Jicima Nachos make a vegan swap for the traditional recipe.
Raw Vegan Jicama Nachos with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Print Recipe
Get your fiesta off to a fit start with these no-cook nachos made from jicama and veggies. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo. And, find out how to freeze guacamole.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Nachos
Dressing
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Slice jicama into 1/4" discs and then cut each slice into 4 to 6 wedges.
  2. Top each wedge with large dollop of guacamole. Sprinkle with veggies and pepita seeds.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. Drizzle onto "nachos," enjoy.
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{Green} Giant Taste! Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites Recipe + #Giveaway

It’s a very familiar scene. I’m in the midst of preparing a holiday dinner (or even a weeknight supper) and family and friends begin congregating in the kitchen to see what smells so good and make diversionary chit chat. It’s not that I don’t want to visit with them, because I most certainly do! But, at the same time I am totally aware of their ulterior motives – and that is to get their greedy hands on a pre-dinner sample.

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant appetizer

My husband calls it “quality control” and my three teenage boys don’t even bother explaining away this blatant devouring of the dinner rations. Forget about sneaking tastes on the sly; mounds of shredded cheese, meticulously sliced fruit, chopped nuts and other ingredients intended for the night’s recipe disappear right off my cutting board. In all honesty, I’ve been the guilty party as a guest in other folks’ homes . “Oh, do you think that roast is done yet or should I add a little more salt and pepper to those mashed potatoes? I’ll just have a small taste, if you don’t mind – thank you very much!”

jennifer fisher green giant appetizer

However, with a little pre-planning, it’s easy to whip up a first course that will tide everyone over until the main dish is ready. My stash of frozen Green Giant vegetables has become not just a reliable source for healthy side dishes, but also nutritious ingredients for hors d’oeuvres.   If you’ve read the blog more than once or twice, you may have noticed I love me some southwestern cuisine – the smoky flavors and spicy heat turn even the mildest-mannered menu into a boot-stompin’, chop-smackin’ experience.  My recipe for Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema will keep even the most ravenous rustlers satisfied and out of the main dish until the dinner bell is rung. It’s also a festive and flavorful offering to bring along to a casual holiday party – the host will totally be high-fiving you at the door!

An easy snack to make, these mini muffin-esque appetizers use Green Giant’s boxed Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce, a surprising low in fat and calorie product that is endorsed by Weight Watchers® with a 1 PointsPlus™ value per ½ cup serving.  The creamy dip that accompanies these Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites is mindful of fat and calories as well – it’s simply fat-free sour cream blended with lime juice and ground chipotle powder.

Cauliflower & Green Chile Tamale Bites with Chipotle Crema Recipe

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com green giant ingredients

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (10 oz) Green Giant® cauliflower & cheese sauce
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted Hatch green chiles (or 4-oz can green chiles)
  • 1/3 cup grated Colby Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup bacon crumbles

Chipotle Crema:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder

Heat oven to 375°F. Generously grease or spray 24 mini muffin cups with cooking spray. Cook cauliflower as directed on bag for minimum time. Let cool for 5 minutes and coarsely chop cauliflower.

In medium bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, milk, eggs cumin and salt with whisk or fork until blended. Stir in cauliflower and cheese sauce, green chiles, cheese and bacon. Divide mixture evenly among cups, filling ¾ full.

Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and tops are light brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of bites from pan; remove to cooling rack.

Meanwhile, mix sour cream, lime juice and chipotle powder in small bowl until smooth. Top each warm bite with mixture or serve on the side.

Makes 24.

green giant

Looking for more veggie inspiration? Check out all the other appetizer ideas from Green Giant. And, don’t forget to enter my giveaway  – one winner will be sent three coupons for a free Green Giant Steamers product (11 – 12 ounce bags).  It’s so easy to eat healthy when you can steam vegetables right in the microwave. Choose from a variety of delicious, low-fat, 100% natural sauces or your favorite plain vegetables.

****This was a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions and recipes are completely my own.****

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Farm to Fork Facts & Beef Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers Recipe

This weekend, I spent another educational day with the Texas Beef Council learning about how my favorite protein source – beef — makes it from “farm to fork.” With beef industry experts on-board our charter bus classroom, a small herd of beef-eating athletes slash curious consumers rolled through the Central Texas countryside on a mission to gain a deeper understanding of the cattle industry . . . . and, ultimately, those steaks on our dinner plates. Over the day, we toured a working ranch, visited a feed lot and then hoofed it around a ginormous meat department at a super-sized HEB.

SAMSUNG

If you’ve read my blog before, you know I’m a big fan of beef. After avoiding it for the first half of my life, I suddenly found myself craving it during my first pregnancy. Of course, my body had finally taken the reigns from my brain, telling it I needed the added protein, iron, B vitamins, zinc and several other vital nutrients in which I was missing the mark. That was 17 years ago and today I’m still craving beef as a way to refuel my body after hard running and strength-training workouts.

But, that’s enough about me. I want to share some new-to-me, interesting things I learned about beef this weekend, facts I think you should know too. The final beef tidbit in my list is a yummy appetizer recipe that the awesome folks with the Texas Beef Council fed with us as a prelude to dinner.

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A Few Farm to Fork Facts: Most I Never Knew – Did You?

  1. The average ranch in Texas is just something like 46 heads of cattle; this really busted my “big business” view of the cattle raising industry. We visited the approximate 2,000 herd Breitschopft Ranch in Gonzalez and this, aside from just a handful of mega-ranches in the state, is as “big business” as it gets – yet it was a surprisingly down-home, salt-of-the-earth, family-oriented operation with an owner who works his butt off 365 days a year to produce a quality product for consumers.
  2. When you buy “Certified Angus Beef” in the grocery store or order it from a restaurant menu you are ordering a “brand” of beef, not specifically a “grade” of beef.  The grades of beef given by USDA inspectors are prime, choice, select and a few lesser-quality grades. According to the Certified Angus Beef website, this brand only puts its name on prime and choice grades – but this makes it no better or worse than equivalent piece of beef with the same grade. Another interesting fact about the admittedly yummy brand; the Angus designation only requires the animal’s hide to be at least 51 percent black. Really.
  3. The yellow-orange tint in the rendered fat from grass-finished beef (meaning the cow never went to a feed lot before slaughter) comes from the fat-soluble beta-carotene in the ingested grass.  I asked this question after being curious about the different-colored drippings in my grill pan after experimenting with a ground grass-fed beef product.
  4. Changes in cattle breeding and fat-trimming methods have resulted in increased availability of leaner beef. I’ve mentioned a million times before that there are 29 cuts of lean beef.  But, I didn’t realize that a whopping two-thirds (67%) of beef sold at retail (including popular cuts like sirloin tenderloin and t-bone) meet governmental guidelines for “lean.” How can you NOT have beef for dinner!
  5. A cow’s stomach (a four-compartment vessel collectively called a rumen) is a very complicated thing. To put it simply, the animal co-exists with billions of microbes in the stomach – bacteria, fungi and protists – that break down grass, hay and other food products into nutrients a cow is actually able to digest. I haven’t done justice to the science behind the rumen, especially considering there are people with advanced college degrees on the topic!
  6. The beef supply in the US is very, very, extremely safe and highly regulated by the thousands of USDA inspectors every step of the way. The chances of being affected by one of the media sensationalized “beef issues” is like “being struck by lightning AND winning the powerball lottery on the same day” according to a PhD beef expert I know to be very knowledgeable on the subject. By the way, Facts About Beef is a great resource for gathering more information on any beef concerns you might encounter.
  7. My last tidbit is about cooking with ground beef. Ground beef is very convenient, cost-efficient and gives you so many ways to be creative! Plus, I forgot to mention ground beef can be super delicious as evidenced by this easy appetizer from the Texas Beef Council.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - beef stuffed bell peppers

Beef & Couscous Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 15 baby sweet bell peppers (approx. 2.5” to 3” long)
  • 2/3 cup spicy 100% vegetable juice
  • ½ cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ¼ cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup reduced fat shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

Heat oven to 400F degrees. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes, but not stems. Place peppers, cut sides up, onto two rimmed baking sheets.

Combine ground beef, vegetable juice, spinach, couscous, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in large bowl; mix lightly but thoroughly. Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers; sprinkle tops evenly with cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 25 – 30 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pepper registers 160F degrees and peppers begin to brown.

Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Take-Out Makeover – Baked Chicken Spring Rolls with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

baked chicken spring rolls  raspberry chipotle sauce

Get that crispy crunch of an egg roll with virtually none of the fat with this yummy Baked Chicken Spring Rolls with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce recipe. A lightened up version of a take-out favorite, this snack or light dinner option can be made at home snippity-snap, quicker than the delivery guy can even get to your front door.

Inspired by the vegetables already in my produce bin, this recipe is easily adaptable to whatever colorful vegetables (and maybe even fruits for the daring) you need to use up. For convenience, I like a pre-prepared sauce for my spring rolls; Fischer & Wieser Raspberry Chipolte Sauce is a favorite.

Baked Chicken Spring Rolls with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce Recipe

2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon dried, ground ancho chile powder
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 large red onion, diced
6-ounces cabbage blend (I used a coleslaw bag)
¾ cup fresh corn kernels
3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley (more for garnish)
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried, ground ancho chile powder
2 cups diced or shredded chicken breast (already cooked)
12 square (7-inch) spring roll wrappers
3/4 cup Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, for serving (I used Fischer & Wieser brand)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

In large sauté pan heat up sesame oil over medium-low heat and add chile powder and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes. Add red onions and corn and sauté for 3 – 5 minutes until somewhat softened, but not soggy. Sir in the cabbage, lemon juice, and soy sauce and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for another 2 – 3 minutes. Stir chicken into vegetable mixture. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 5 minutes.

spring roll veggies

Arrange the spring roll wrappers on a dry work surface then place 1/3 cup of the mixture in the center of each wrapper. Roll the wrappers snuggly around the mixture, folding the edges inward. Before your final fold, dip fingers in water and then moisten the outer edge of the wrapper to seal the spring roll shut.

spring roll collage

Line a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat nonstick baking mat and line up spring rolls. Brush the tops of the rolls with olive oil then bake them for 25 – 30 minutes (rotating half-way through) or until golden brown and crisped. Remove the spring rolls from the oven and serve them immediately with warmed raspberry chipotle sauce.

spring rolls ready for oven

Makes 12 spring rolls.

Nutrition Information:

baked chicken spring roll nutrition info