Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mango Habanero Baked Chicken Wings

 While chicken wings might not be my first choice when it comes to chicken, they are my husband's absolute favorite food so I try to incorporate them into our weekly menu from time to time. I actually love how crispy the skin gets after it's baked and it's fun to play around with new sauces. This mango habanero sauce is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy (but not too spicy, in my opinion). Serve this with a leafy salad or sweet potato fries (and maybe a side of blue cheese or ranch if you need a cool down!).




1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lay chicken wings on the sheet in a single layer, skin side down. Bake for 20 minutes, flip and bake for 15 minutes longer. 



2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add wing sauce, mango, habanero, agave and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. 



3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and process until smooth. 

4. Place the wings in a large bowl and pour sauce over; toss to coat.






Mango Habanero Baked Chicken Wings
Serves 3-4

All you need:
2 lb. chicken wings (I used Smart Chicken wings)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1 habanero chile, seeds removed and chopped
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lay chicken wings on the sheet in a single layer, skin side down. Bake for 20 minutes, flip and bake for 15 minutes longer. 
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add wing sauce, mango, habanero, agave and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and process until smooth. 
4. Place the wings in a large bowl and pour sauce over; toss to coat. 
 

Monday, June 26, 2017

White Bean Burgers with Bruschetta Garnish

Nothing beats fresh summer tomatoes. They're so sweet and plump and pair perfectly with fresh basil and balsamic. While traditionally a topper for toasted bread, I decided to take that delicious bruschetta topping and use it as a garnish for these white bean burgers. With a crisp outside and creamy inside, these burgers are so delicious you won't miss the meat (and they pack lots of protein and fiber as an added bonus)!


1. Combine bruschetta ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.



2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper and remove pan from heat.


3. Puree the beans in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the lemon zest/juice, cooked veggies, parsley, breadcrumbs and eat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Shape into 4 patties.





4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet you used for the veggies. Brown the burgers for 3-4 minutes per side.


5. Transfer the burgers to serving plates and garnish with the bruschetta mixture.


White Bean Burgers with Bruschetta Garnish
Serves 4

All you need:
Bruschetta Garnish
3 Heirloom (or Roma) tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Burgers
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Combine bruschetta ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper and remove pan from heat.
3. Puree the beans in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the lemon zest/juice, cooked veggies, parsley, breadcrumbs and eat. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Shape into 4 patties.
4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet you used for the veggies. Brown the burgers for 3-4 minutes per side.
5. Transfer the burgers to serving plates and garnish with the bruschetta mixture.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Coconut Pistachio Cookie Bars

I'm always trying to find new ways to use my avocados since I buy them in bulk whenever they go on sale. They work beautifully in baked goods to add moisture and creaminess similar to butter. These cookie bars make a great snack or breakfast paired with your morning coffee. For added goodness and texture, throw in some dark chocolate chunks.


1. Preheat oven to 375. Brush a 13x9 pan with olive oil.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

3. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, avocado, sugar and vanilla together until creamy.


4. Add eggs and beat well. Gradually add the flour mixture, then fold in the coconut and pistachios.




5. Spread the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

6. Cool completely, then cut into squares.

Coconut Pistachio Cookie Bars
Serves 18

All you need:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup shelled pistachios

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Brush a 13x9 pan with olive oil.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
3. In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter, avocado, sugar and vanilla together until creamy.
4. Add eggs and beat well. Gradually add the flour mixture, then fold in the coconut and pistachios.
5. Spread the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.
6. Cool completely, then cut into squares.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Strawberry Basil Salsa

Summer dinners are meant to be fresh and simple. This steak dinner is no exception. The fresh strawberry basil salsa adds a pop of sweetness on top of each juicy steak. Serve this with quinoa or arugula salad with a glass of rose and you have a gourmet meal to enjoy on the patio!



1. Preheat grill to high. Lightly oil the grill grate.
2. Combine salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.


3. Season steaks well on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 minutes per side (for medium rare), then rest on a plate for 10 minutes.



4. Slice steak, spoon salsa over and serve.



Grilled Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Strawberry Basil Salsa
Serves 2

All you need:
Salsa
1 cup strawberries, hulled and diced small
5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1 small shallot, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey
Salt, to taste

2 (6-8 oz.) beef tenderloin steaks, room temperature
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Preheat grill to high. Lightly oil the grill grate.
2. Combine salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Season steaks well on both sides with salt and pepper. Grill for 4 minutes per side (for medium rare), then rest on a plate for 10 minutes.
4. Slice steak, spoon salsa over and serve.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sesame Crusted Salmon with Wasabi Aioli

The combination of toasty sesame seeds and wasabi is one of my absolute faves. This meal could not be easier, but it packs a huge flavor punch. Serve this with zucchini noodles or quinoa and you have a dinner that not only tastes great, but is full of healthy fats as well.


1. Combine aioli ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.


2. Place sesame seeds in a shallow dish and mix to combine. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Press the sesame seeds onto the salmon and coat well.



3. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted, add the salmon and cook 3 minutes per side, or until the salmon is flaky and the sesame seeds are well toasted.


4. Transfer the salmon to serving plates and top with aioli.


Sesame Crusted Salmon with Wasabi Aioli
Serves 2

All you need:
Aioli
1/2 cup olive oil mayo
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon wasabi paste (or more, to taste)
Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
2 (6-8 oz.) salmon filets, skin removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons coconut oil

All you do:
1. Combine aioli ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Place sesame seeds in a shallow dish and mix to combine. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Press the sesame seeds onto the salmon and coat well.
3. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the coconut oil. Once the oil is melted, add the salmon and cook 3 minutes per side, or until the salmon is flaky and the sesame seeds are well toasted.
4. Transfer the salmon to serving plates and top with aioli.