When blessed with warm weather and three-day weekends, we grill burgers . . .I only wish there were more of the latter! So, it’s no surprise that this Memorial Day, I will be rounding the family and some dear friends to partake in the worship of sunshine and flame-kissed, juicy burgers with all of the fixings.
In honor of National Hamburger Month which occurs every May, I put together a tutorial on How to Make a Better Burger Bar for Beef Loving Texans (please check it out)! I touch on the meat of that post here and add some new burger hacks and helpful hints here to take your burgerlicious summer cookout to the next level.
Indulge your little sweethearts with a heart-shaped dinner, it’s a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family. I’m not talking about lobster tails or expensive steaks, but a meal that everyone can appreciate. My recipe for Italian Roast Beef Crescent Ring is cheesy, meaty goodness shaped like a heart to win hearts!
Speaking of food crushes, I first made this recipe for BeefLovingTexans.com and have become obsessed with it, making it again and again for casual weeknight dinners and to take to a Super Bowl party (in a football shape, naturally)! It can be cut into small pieces for an appetizer or paired a larger portion with a green salad for a well-balanced meal.
Brighten up any winter snack situation with these Vibrant Greek Yogurt Dips colorized with some of Mother Nature’s most vivid ingredients including beet powder, turmeric powder and matcha tea. No need to go all fake and freaky to create edible rainbow colors for your holiday appetizers and other fun recipes throughout the year. These natural ingredients are superfoods (typically found on the health food, spice and tea aisles) and not only pump up the pigment, but boost nutrition as well!
While there are lots of additional benefits, beet root powder boosts nitric oxide in your blood (helping circulation, blood pressure and stamina), ground turmeric is a spice that can help to reduce inflammation and lessen the perception of pain, and matcha tea is known to boost the metabolism, calm the mind and help protect against certain cancers.
The other beauty of these three Vibrant Greek Yogurt Dips is how easy they are to make – I originally created the recipes for Litehouse Foods using first their Homestyle Ranch Dip, then later the OPAdipity Greek Yogurt Dips and finally with Greek yogurt from scratch. Using prepared dips (found in the refrigerated section of your produce department) is an “almost homemade” shortcut perfect when you need to pull together a party ASAP or at the 11th hour realize you didn’t bring a dish for the office shindig. I feel more than comfortable using the Litehouse Foods brand because they are VERY mindful to keep their products as fresh and preservative as possible.
But, knowing these dips aren’t easy for some of you to find (and that many prefer scratch recipes), I’ve written out the full preparation of the recipes (and then noted how to swap in the prepared dressings if that’s the route you choose). The base recipe is the same for all three dips, simply mix in 2 tablespoons of the chosen “superfood” ingredient and add extra garnish on top as desired!
These dips also take sandwiches, wraps, side dishes and steamed veggies to the next level with just a drizzle or dollop! Enjoy and Happy Holidays to Hue!
If you need a visual on the beet powder, ground turmeric and matcha — here are the products I used:
Football parties, tailgating and fall season gathers require dip to draw people together. Just think of all the great gossip, high-fiving and friendly smack talk that has gone down in, what I like to call, the “Chip and Dip Zone.”
But, maybe you hesitate to enter the ZONE for fear of the cheesy dip – is it made of mystery processed “cheese,” loaded with fat upon fat, or just boringly bland? I’ll admit, these thoughts cross my mind, especially flashbacks of tepid fake orange stadium cheese on stale round tortilla chips. That’s why I came up with my Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire-Roasted Tomato Queso – it’s bold and it’s better for you made with REAL ingredients.
I think you’ll definitely widen your mind (and mouth) in appreciation for my Blue Cheese & Fire-roasted Tomato Queso. This unique cheese dip marrieds the audacious attitude blue-cheese with the smoky laid-back goodness of tomatoes roasted over flames. I’ve used my fav brand of blue cheese (Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles) and canned fire-roasted tomatoes which. Of course, canned tomatoes are convenient and taste great in recipes, but did you know that they contain more lycopene (a free-radical destroying antioxidant) than those fresh off the vine? It’s true!
While this cheese dip recipe requires a whisk, it’s quite easy prepare, coming together in just 15 minutes or less– and you can keep it warmed for a party but pouring into a small slow cooker. It was first whipped up to celebrated International Beer Day with Litehouse Foods. Using low-fat dairy products help keep this snack sensible in moderation and, if you are on a gluten-free diet, it is easy to swap out flour used in the roux with a gluten-free flour blend (I use Living Now Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour, it’s inexpensive and provides the right texture for my recipe)
Serve Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire-Roasted Tomato Queso with veggie sticks, artisan chips, or chunks of crusty bread. I’ve even reheated the leftovers and poured over cooked zoodles and topped with shrimp for an impromptu “pasta” dinner.
If you are hosting a huge football party, you might want to consider adding my Healthy Snack Stadium to your spread of snacks, appetizers and game-day grub.
[Tweet Not yer stadium cheese dip! Lower-Fat Blue Cheese & Fire-Roasted Tomato Queso #fitfluential #livinglitehouse”]
What football team(s) are you rooting for this season? Are you typically an at-home or stadium spectator? Please share in comments, xoxo Jennifer
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