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Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken


Austin Countdown: T-17 days. That’s right, in just two weeks the hubby and I will be packing the wagons and heading to the big land of Texas where Jack will work hard on his PhD and I will lounge lazily by the pool, work on my tan and eat Fro-Yo. Have I mentioned I am still unemployed? Hopefully that will change soon after we get settled and then off to work for me as well. Now, on to more tasty topics…With most of our home packed into boxes, there have been few projects for me to share with you, that is, until this week.

Jack and I have been on a constant scouting mission for avocados. Avocados are my all time favorite summer food. Unfortunately, finding these delicious fruits is easier said than done. Produce options are ridiculously limited in our small town and when we do find a decent batch, they typically sell for around $2/fruit. Yikes! Lately, our local produce stand down the street has had a fairly good showing of avocado however and we have been taking full advantage.

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken

This week, we had avocado every night. Since the weather here is hot and sticky, we wanted our meal to highlight the avocado flavor and also remain light and fresh tasting. Here’s what we came up with:

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken over Spinach and a Toasted Tortilla

That sounds long and complicated as I write it out but it is pretty simple and incredibly delicious.

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken

Chili-Coke Chicken

2 chicken breasts 1 tbsp red pepper flakes 1 tbsp Adobo seasoning 2 tbsp Brown sugar pepper to taste coke to taste –start at 1 tsp rum to taste –start at 1 tsp 2 tsp lemon juice

Boil 2 chicken breasts until cooked. Run cold water over chicken and shred. Mix above ingredients, adjust according to taste. All our sauces are done by taste so these are rough measurements. Toss chicken with seasoning and let sit.

Mango Avocado Salsa & Chili-Coke Chicken

Mango Avocado Salsa

1 Mango 1 Avocado 1/4 cup chopped red onion 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 cup yellow tomato chopped 1/4 Feta Cheese 1 tsp lemon juice salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients by tossing gently. Set Aside.

Next, pour 1-2 tsp of olive oil into a pan. Allow the oil to warm up and then toss your tortilla into the oil. Cook on each side until slightly crisp.

Pile spinach on top of the tortillas, followed by the chicken and topped off with the mango avocado salsa. Enjoy!


Brussel Sprouts & Toasted Pecans


I didn’t grow up a vegetable-eating child, not even a semi-compliant vegetable eater. I spent many a night sitting at the table after everyone else had finished their supper staring down the grotesque stalks of broccoli and cauliflower that threatened my sensitive palate. I hated vegetables forever, and then one day, I didn’t. I tell you about my childhood vegetable woes because it is necessary if I’m to convince you that this brussel sprouts recipe is absolutely delicious!

brussel sprouts

Yes, despite the common misconception that brussel sprouts are a child’s worst nightmare (and many adults’) these little vegetables are so tasty when cooked right. I had the pleasure of trying my first sprouts at a friends home a few weeks ago and decided I needed to attempt my own recipe.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Toasted Pecans

1 package brussel sprouts
1/2 cup chopped pecans
olive oil
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
garlic powder or 2 minced cloves
pepper
salt

Instructions:

Rinse sprouts and place in casserole dish (or similar). Coat generously with olive oil, balsamic vinegar & lemon juice–adjust vinegar for individual taste. I cannot emphasize enough to coat the brussel sprouts well with the olive oil, this is the key to getting them cooked just right, all the way through to the middle.

Chop pecans and garlic (unless you use powder) and place in small oven safe dish. Place dish under broiler for 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add toasted pecans & garlic to the sprouts. Add a dash of salt and about 1 tsp of pepper. Place in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, you want the sprouts very tender. Stir contents every 15 minutes.

Once sprouts are tender, broil on high for about 15 minutes until the outsides begin to char. Remove from the oven & allow to cool. Serve alone as a side dish or add to a mixed-green salad with artichoke hearts.


Grilled Eggplant, Tomato & Aioli Sandwiches


In preparation for the coming school year our kitchen has once more turned to freezer-meal central. I recently read a book on cutting your grocery bill in half and while I began the read thinking it would be quite useless, I can proudly say, it works! I’m very excited to share some tips with you throughout the coming months. For now, let me just emphasize the importance of going to the grocery store once monthly and taking one day each month to cook up a couple staple meals that will keep in the freezer. Last year we realized just how valuable freezer meals can be with a schedule like ours.

Anyways, I’ll get to more freezer meal recipes, tricks and tips in a few weeksMore freezer meals here, but I’ll get to back to the point… While freezer meals are wonderful on the wallet, we love our fresh fruits and veggies so we supplement our menu with produce dinners from the farmer’s market. Whipping up a quick vegetarian meal once or twice a week goes a long way to incorporating variety into your month of meals.

Egg, tomato, eggplant sandwich

This week one of our produce meals consisted of eggplant, tomatoes, onions and eggs. The tomatoes were from our very own garden, the eggplant was thrown into my produce bag for free after buying 5 zucchinis and 5 yellow squash and the eggs are from a local farmer. Neat-O, right? I love fresh!

Here’s how we put this dish together:

1.) Grill Eggplant: Slice eggplant, sprinkle with salt, parsley, pepper, thyme and garlic, place in a sauce pan with 2 tbsp. of olive oil, cook each side 3 minutes or until slightly browned

2.) Saute onions in 1 tbsp of olive oil

3.) Cook 2 over-easy eggs

4.) Prepare Aioli Sauce: 1/4 c. light mayo or Greek Yogurt, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove

5.) Slice tomatoes, toast bread and assemble sandwiches

Egg, tomato, eggplant sandwich

Easy as pie! My favorite part was slicing open the yolk and letting it drizzle all over the sandwich, seriously, it was SO good.

Next time you are looking for a healthy, tasty and filling dinner recipe, give these open-faced sandwiches a try. Trust me, it’s a decision you won’t regret.