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Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

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This recipe is the seventh in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

Chilpotle-Butternut-Squash-Chili-Front

This is one of my more recent “favorite recipe” discoveries. I love squash and chili, so even though this is a meatless (and vegan) recipe I knew I wanted to try it when I spotted it. I think Steve and I were both a little bit nervous, as I added non-meat ingredients to the pot, that it wouldn’t satisfy us. The chili smelled SO good while it was simmer on the stove, and once I tasted it I was not disappointed.

This chili works so well because there is good flavor and lots of textures, just like any other great chili. There’s a good amount of chopping and dicing involved, but then everything just simmers on the stove for a while. I think of squash as something that takes a long time to cook, but in this case it really doesn’t take more than 30 minutes or so. A super flavorful chili in under an hour? Sounds good to me!

This recipe is from Cookie + Kate and I’ve hardly modified it (and I, somehow, tend to modify even the best recipes, so this is really saying something!). I’ve changed very little about the flavors, mostly just the ratios of different ingredients. Red peppers are crazy expensive here, and I can never find a squash as small as the recipe calls for, so I add more squash and less red pepper. I tend to increase the amount of onion, too, because we just love onions. Don’t skip the crispy tortilla strips!!! I typically cut up 2 tortillas, when the chili is almost done, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and put them in the toaster oven until crispy. It really adds a nice dynamic to the taste of the whole bowl of chili.

Chipotle-Butternut-Squash-Chili-Gluten-Free-Vegan-Vegetarian

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Recipe Source: Cookie + Kate

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 butternut squash (in the 2 lb. range), peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (I’ve also subbed in about 2 t garlic powder)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced (add more or less to taste)
  • 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes (liquid included)
  • 3 c cooked black beans (or 2 cans)
  • 14 oz vegetable broth (my preference is 2 c water + 2 tsp better than bouillon)
  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, diced

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot (dutch oven, stock pot, etc.).
  2. When the oil is warm add the diced veggies: red onion, red bell pepper, butternut squash, garlic. Cook, stirring every minute or two, just until the onions start to soften.
  3. Add the cumin, chipotle pepper, tomatoes, black beans, and broth. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat (basically, a simmer) and cover. The chili is done when the butternut squash is soft and tender.
  4. As the chili is nearing being done, make the tortilla strips. Spray each tortilla with olive oil spray and spinkle with salt. Cut into strips. Bake at 350° F for about 12 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown (I use my toasted oven for this).
  5. Serve chili with the tortilla strips and the diced avocado.

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado and Asiago

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 This recipe is the third in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

Spaghetti Squash is quite possibly my favorite food, and this recipe is my current food obsession.

Spaghetti-Squash-With-Avocado-Asiago-Healthy-Gluten-Free-Dinner

I already have a some favorite spaghetti squash recipes (Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash, Pizza Spaghetti Squash, Spicy Sriracha and Turkey Spaghetti Squash) but I still found myself googling “spaghetti squash recipes” a couple of months ago. You can never have too much of your favorite food, right?!

I was intrigued – this recipe, from The Kitchn – looked so, so simple and had raving reviews. I had to try it. And I did. And we loved it. Even the leftovers for lunch the next day, with slightly browning avocado. Still loved it.

Spaghetti-Squash-With-Avocado-Asiago-Healthy-Dinner-Side-Dish

Of course, I made some modifications to the recipe, mostly by accident (I figured I had the gist of the recipe, and didn’t actually look at it when I was cooking. Ended up missing a few ingredients – opps!). We tried topping this with freshly grated asiago and freshly grated parmesan and the asiago was just slightly better. I found the cheese was salty enough, so I don’t add any salt or pepper to the recipe.

Squash is filling, so this makes a great vegetarian dinner. You can also serve this as a side to meat or fish (serve “Serve this with” section below recipe).

Spaghetti-Squash-Avocado-Asiago-Healthy-Weeknight-Dinner

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado and Asiago

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (mine are usually in the 4 lb. range)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 c freshly grated asiago cheese, for topping (parmesan also works)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 374° F.
  2. While the oven is preheating but the spaghetti squash in half and place it face down on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the squash for 30 – 45 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the squash so start checking every 5 minutes or so once it reaches the 30 min mark. You want the cooked squash to separate in strands but still be fairly firm. It should not be at all mushy.
  4. Towards the end of the baking time for the squash heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet.
  5. Add the minced garlic when the oil is warm. Cook, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until you see a couple pieces of garlic just start to turn tan in color. Remove from heat.
  6. When the squash is done and has cooled down for a few minutes use a fork to scrape the strands out of the shell. Put the spaghetti squash in a bowl and stir in the garlic olive oil.
  7. Serve with the asiago cheese and avocado.

Recipe Inspiration: The Kitchn

Serve This With:

 

Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Breakfast Wraps

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A 15 minute, warm breakfast. Well rounded, tasty, and fast enough for a weekday morning.
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If you’re already tired of Pumpkin Spice everything recipes then you are in the right spot today! Here’s a totally non-seasonal, no pumpkin in sight recipe. Not to say I don’t love pumpkin, because I do! I’m just saving my pumpkin recipes for next month 😉

I’ve been going on and on about these wraps on so many of my Gluten Free Weekly Meals posts. I figured it was about time to bring you the recipe.

Really, this is hardly a recipe at all. There are so few ingredients and the prep is so minimal. I guess that makes it the perfect recipe for anyone who isn’t looking to spend hours in the kitchen! Yeah, this isn’t as quick as grabbing a bowl of cereal in the morning, but about 15 minutes to a warm, whole foods breakfast is a good deal.

Bacon-Egg-Avocado-Wrap-Avocado

Now, confession time: I actually never eat this with bacon. I just find bacon, well . . . disgusting. I’ll eat turkey bacon every once in a while, as part of a recipe, but not on it’s own. Greasy foods are not my thing. For me, this breakfast becomes a tortilla spread with mashed avocado (seasoned with lime, of course), topped with an over-medium cooked egg. I’m telling you, that right there is a really satisfying, well rounded breakfast. I actually served it this way for a while, and one day it dawned on my that Steve may enjoy some bacon with his breakfast. Against my better judgement I got some of that *real* bacon at the grocery store. I cooked up a few slices the next morning to go with this breakfast and it was a big hit. Apparently, like out of this world good. Like, telling his best friend about it over video games that evening good.

Eh, I still prefer my breakfast wraps without bacon.

Of course, you can, and should, make yours however you’d like!

Bacon-Egg-Avocado-Wrap-Over

Bacon, Egg, and Avocado Breakfast Wraps

Ingredients
  • 8 slices of bacon (turkey bacon, regular bacon, any type of bacon you like)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 – 2 T water
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 T lime juice (or more, to taste – sometimes I vary the amount depending on the size of the avocado)
  • salt, optional
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, preferably one that has a lid, cook the bacon over medium heat. (I don’t have the best bacon cooking technique BUT here’s how I do it: Turn my heat to medium and put the bacon in the skillet. Once the bacon starts sizzling I flip it every minute or so. Once the bacon starts “foaming” on both sides I transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels). Once the bacon has finished cooking drain out any excess fat from the pan.
  2. While the bacon is cooking mash the avocado in a small bowl. Stir in the lime juice. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
  3. In the same skillet, still over medium heat, crack each of the eggs into the pan. Do your best to keep them separate, but if the eggs run into each other a bit it is okay. You can cook them in batches if all 4 eggs don’t fit into your skillet. Once you’ve cracker all the eggs into the pan add 1 T of water and cover. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes for over-medium eggs, or until you see the thin white layer from over top of the yolk. Watch the pan as you cook (I like to use a glass lid), and add the second tablespoon of water if the first cooks off. If you like your yolks cooked through, just add a couple minutes to the cooking time.
  4. Using a tortilla warmer, or just stacked on a plate, microwave the corn tortillas for 30 seconds.
  5. To serve, spread the mashed avocado on each tortilla. Add two slices of bacon and an egg to each tortilla. Fold or wrap up to eat. Or you can use a folk, I suppose.

 

 

Mashed Black Bean Fajitas with Grilled Corn, Avocado, and Cabbage

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Black bean, vegetarian fajitas packed with veggies. Easily made gluten free using corn tortillas. Cooks up in under 30 minutes!

Black-Bean-Fajitas-Front

Last week I shared a method for cooking your own dry beans. It takes a while, but the effort is minimal. Once the beans are cooked they are as effortless to use as canned beans. I generally store mine in Ziploc bags in the freezer. Just thaw and use! If you store cooked beans in the refrigerator then there’s one less step (just remember that your beans will last longer in the freezer, so use them up before they go bad if you store them in the fridge!). With no prep required, beans make an excellent last minute meal!

Which is exactly how these fajitas started. I had meat in the house, but none that wasn’t frozen. There was a bunch of random stuff in the refrigerator, which I’m sure everyone reading this who is also a human being understands. Why is it that despite my best intentions, there are always odds and ends left in the refrigerator? I do my best to combat it. I look in the refrigerator and freezer before making a meal plan or grocery list. I open it when going to eat a snack. I try to utilize everything in there, but inevitably, there are still odds and ends.

Black-Bean-Tacos-Over

So, I gathered all my odds and ends from the refrigerator and prepared them while I sauteed some onions and black beans. The bean and onion mixture seemed bland so I added some lime juice and fajita seasoning. I used one of my new found favorite spices, Penzey’s Fajita Seasoning. I only found and had the chance to visit my first Penzey’s a few months ago and I am already a convert. Their spices make all my food taste amazing! What I love is that there is so much flavor in their spice blends. I can use less to get a great taste, and many don’t even have salt in them (although, I do love the 4S Smoky Salt). Of course, there are other fajita seasonings on the market, so just sub in whatever variety you can find and/or enjoy. In a pinch, taco seasoning will work!

Black-Bean-Tacos-Tall

Even though there is some dicing and chopping required, this is easily a 30 minute dinner. A healthy 30 minute dinner, at that! To make things even quicker you could use frozen or canned corn – also a great option for when you don’t want to grill in the winter! If you totally love cooking, there’s a variation for you, too! Try making your own tortillas. When I want something quick and convenient I use store bought corn tortillas, but there’s nothing quite like Mexican food with homemade tortillas. There’s a link in the recipe below with directions on how to make your own tortilla.

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Save this recipe, and next time you’re in a pinch and need a quick, healthy, dinner, give these fajitas a try! I know that to some of you no gluten and no meat may sound like a drag, but I bet by the end of the meal you won’t be missing either!

 Mashed Black Bean Fajitas with Grilled Corn, Avocado, and Cabbage

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil (or any oil that you regularly use)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 can rinsed and drained, or 2 c cooked black beans
  • 2 tsp fajita seasoning (I use Penzey’s)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs lime juice (or juice from 1 lime)
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1/2 c diced red cabbage
  • 1/2 avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 corn tortillas (here’s a recipe to make your own corn tortillas)
Directions
  1. Preheat the grill. Husk the corn, and lay it on the grill in direct heat. Turn it every 2 to 3 minutes, until charred on all sides.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is warm, add the onions. Stir frequently, until the onions are softened.
  4. Stir in the beans.
  5. Add the lime juice and fajita seasoning. Stir to combine. Using a fork, gently mash the beans.
  6. Serve hot with the cabbage, avocado, and cheese. If using store bought corn tortillas, microwave a small stack (3 – 5) of tortillas for about 30 seconds to soften them.

 Serve this with

This post is linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays hosted by Gluten Free Easily, Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures, and Gluten Free Homemaker. Check it out! Tons of recipes there!

PGF: Chipotle & Avocado Chicken Burgers

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This is not your normal hamburger. These chicken patties are lightly seasoned with zesty spices and stuffed with cool avocado. You will enjoy them with or without a hamburger bun!

Chipotle-Avocado-Chicken-Burgers-on-grill

I think I have a “thing” with hamburgers. I’ve eaten a lot of burgers in my day – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, turkey burgers. Almost every week I announce that dinner tonight is “burgers”. But I never, ever make an ordinary burger. I just can’t do it. There are so many good flavors out there that make an ordinary burger into something amazing!

Last summer I shared my Sweet Thai Chili Burgers, which are pretty unique in terms of flavored hamburgers. These Chipotle & Avocado Chicken Burgers are much milder. If you’re not crazy about over the top flavors or want a gentle introduction into the world of flavored burgers these would be a great choice.

Chipotle-Avocado-Chicken-Burgers-Front

If you glance down at the ingredient list you may notice a few strange things. If you don’t have any chipotle chili powder you may want to consider getting some. It’s similar to regular chili powder, but a bit stronger and has a smoky taste. I get mine in the Hispanic section of the grocery store for less than $2 a jar! Of course, you could sub in any other chili powder you have on hand, resulting in only a slightly different flavor. The last ingredient on the list is shredded zucchini. I know, I know, it sounds crazy weird, but the zucchini will help give the burgers body. To prepare the zucchini you’ll want to shred it – I use a box grater. Take the shredded zucchini and put it in a cheesecloth or thin towel and wring out the liquid. You’ll want to measure the 1/3 cup once you’ve done all the preparations with the zucchini. If you’re adverse to zucchini or don’t want the extra work you can sub in breadcrumbs. I promise though, nothing about this burger taste like zucchini! Avocado is definitely a strange ingredient in burgers, but it actually handles the grilling quite well.

I generally eat these burgers plain, but there’s nothing like a good GF hamburger bun now and again. It’s easy to turn this into a portionally gluten free meal, just serve with regular and gluten free hamburger buns! Avoiding cross contamination is easy – just serve the GF hamburgers first, before you even get out the wheat hamburger buns. Make some corn on the cob, lay out some burger toppings, and you’ll have a simple, gluten free, summer meal!

Chipotle-Avocado-Chicken-Burgers-Tall

Chipotle & Avocado Chicken Burgers

This recipe makes 4 chicken burgers, but is easily modified to make a double batch, or even slider sized burgers.
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1 small avocado, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 c shredded zucchini, with liquid squeezed out.
Directions
  1. In a mixining bowl, combine all ingredients except the avocado.
  2. Once the spices are thoroughly mixed into the chicken gently stir in the avocado.
  3. Form the mixture into 4  patties using your hands.
  4. Grill over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Make sure the burgers reach a temperature of 165° F.
  5. Serve plain, or with hamburger buns.

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

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I posted a picture of these burrito bowls in one of my Daniel Fast updates. Last week I shared my personal favorite version of Cilantro Lime Rice. Now, here’s an entire-meal application for that rice!

Black Bean Burrito Bowl 2

These burrito bowls are healthy and delicious. I’m thinking as I’m typing this that I rarely believe it when other bloggers say that same thing. A bunch of vegetables usually tastes like a bunch of vegetables. The pictures always look nice but that doesn’t mean I’m actually going to want to go chow down on a big bowl of vegetables. The difference (for me at least) between these burritos and other health foods is that they are seasoned very well. I usually love to put taco sauce and cheese on anything Mexican-ish but I wasn’t missing either of those in this bowl. The seasoned black beans and the cilantro lime rice together in one mouthful was plenty of flavor! And thinking about it, that’s why I add all the cheese and taco sauce to a regular burrito – because I’m trying to pack in more flavor.

As is, this dinner is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, soy free (I think – PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong!!), nut free, vegetarian, and vegan (again, I think – If I’m wrong let me know)! Everything in this recipe is a whole food or spice. Don’t you love knowing that you are putting real food into your body? I know I do.

My half-eaten bowl.

My half-eaten bowl.

Of course, depending on your preferences you could add any number of things to these bowls. Tomatoes or green onions, broken up tortillas chips for some crunch, shredded cheese, hot sauce, etc. You could even add lettuce for a taco salad. The options are endless!

Black Bean Burrito Bowl 1

Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Ingredients
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 16 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1 c frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 recipe Cilantro Lime Rice
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. When the oil is hot add the onion and cook until softened.
  2. While the onion is cooking, mix the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, and salt.
  3. Add the black beans into the skillet. Stir in the seasoning mix and water. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the beans are heated through.
  4. To serve, fill bowls with rice. Top with some of the black bean/onion mixture, corn, and avocado.
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