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Black Bean Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Quinoa Chili

Tracking PixelBlack Bean Quinoa Chili combines black beans, diced tomatoes, vegetables and quinoa into a delicious, easy to make chili! Perfect for the busy holiday season, a weeknight or anytime! {gluten free, vegan} Thank you to Hunt’s Tomatoes for sponsoring this post.

Black Bean Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

During the busy holiday season (or any weeknight for that matter), easy recipes like this Black Bean Quinoa Chili are a lifesaver. With a little advance prep work, i.e. chopping vegetables, and key pantry staples, this delicious, healthy chili can be whipped together in minutes!…

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson. The opinions and text are all mine.

An Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap recipe with spicy, protein-packed chicken, lots of veggies that is made in minutes is great for a quick after school snack, a light lunch, or any time!

Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap | alidaskitchen.com

Back to school time is upon us!  Whether your kids (or you) are already back to school or getting ready to in the next couple weeks, it is an exciting time…and busy.  From gathering school supplies to homework to activities, quick and easy snacks for after school is essential. This Easy Buffalo Chicken Avocado Wrap is packed with spicy, buffalo chicken, lots of vegetables, cheese all wrapped in a tortilla. It is nutritious, tasty and can be made in minutes!…

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Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad | alidaskitchen.com

Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad

Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad is a little spicy, packed with vegetables and protein, and tastes delicious!  Thank you to Pompeian for sponsoring this post as part of the Pantry Insiders program.  Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad | alidaskitchen.com

 

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I like to have healthy, easy recipes on hand for easy lunches and quick weeknight dinners.  This Black Bean Corn Edamame Salad is made with simple, wholesome ingredients that are naturally flavorful.   This salad is delicious for a light meal yet can be made heartier with the addition of cooked quinoa (I use 2 cups cooked for this recipe) or shredded rotisserie chicken. This salad recipe is very flexible and the ingredients can be adjusted to taste….

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Spicy Black Bean Breakfast Burger | protein packed quick and easy healthy breakfast made in minutes!

Spicy Black Bean Breakfast Burger

Spicy Black Bean Breakfast Burger | protein packed quick and easy healthy breakfast made in minutes! Get a protein-packed breakfast in minutes with this Spicy Black Bean Breakfast Burger.  Perfect for when you want something quick, healthy and delicious!  

Lately, I have been feeling more tired than usual and end up hungry in the late mornings. With intense morning workouts and spending long days caring for the kids, I am thinking it might be time to change up my breakfast routine and get a little more protein. My usual breakfast consists of oatmeal with cocoa powder, flax seed meal and a banana.

While I occasionally deviate to something with a little more protein,  like Greek yogurt with berries or a smoothie, it always comes back to carb-heavy oatmeal.  It’s quick to make, and I really like a hot breakfast.  Thankfully this Spicy Black Bean Breakfast Burger has become the protein-packed solution to my breakfast woes.

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Buffalo Aioli | An easy recipe for aioli with a buffalo sauce twist!

Buffalo Aioli #SundaySupper

Buffalo Aioli takes a basic aioli recipe and transforms it into something extraordinary…buffalo style!  A bowl, a whisk, a few simple ingredients, and 5 minutes are all you need to make this easy recipe.

Buffalo Aioli | An easy recipe for buffalo aioli

Aioli is one of those accompaniments that I always enjoy at restaurants. It puts an upscale twist on the simplest sandwiches, burgers, vegetables and has the ability to turn a simple plate of fries into frites!  For whatever reason, it never occurred to me how easy aioli is to make at home.  Then one night, we were making oven fries, and I wanted to do something to dress them up. I had an egg yolk leftover from another recipe, we are crazy for anything buffalo, and from there it was a natural progression to become Buffalo Aioli!

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Chipotle Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

Chipotle Quinoa Chili #WeekdaySupper

Chipotle Quinoa Chili is packed with heart-healthy proteins from quinoa and beans, and a smokiness from the chipotle chiles. Made in 30 minutes, perfect for a weekday supper! {vegan, gluten free}

Chipotle Quinoa Chili | alidaskitchen.com

This winter has been exceptionally cold and snowy, with weather extremes everywhere it seems.  For me, nothing combats these winter chills quite like a tasty bowl of chili.  This Chipotle Quinoa Chili is healthy comfort food that will warm you up from the inside out.  There is a little heat from some green chiles, a subtle smokiness from the chipotle chiles and all around goodness from the protein-packed beans and quinoa.  I had never had quinoa in chili until this recipe, and it is a delicious addition!  Quinoa adds a wonderful texture, adds some protein and fiber, and makes the chili seem especially hearty….

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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups | alidaskitchen.com

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups #SundaySupper

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups | alidaskitchen.com #SundaySupper

After making the Spinach Lasagna Cups recipe for last Sunday, I had another tasty idea pop into my head that I had to make right away – Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups.  I don’t typically like to share similar recipes back-to-back, but these were so good, they simply could not wait.

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna Cups are made with layers of cheese, veggies, spicy, buffalo-sauce soaked shredded chicken and more cheese.  In other words, they combine some of the most delicious game day foods (or any day foods, duh!)  into a  wonderful, bite-sized lasagna. The concept is the same as the Spinach Lasagna Cups, with lasagna-style layering, using wonton wrappers in place of noodles.   They are quick and easy to make, and bake up in a snap!…

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Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com #RubbermaidSharpie #PMedia #ad

Jalapeno Hummus

Jalapeno Hummus is a healthy dip (or spread) with a little jalapeno kick.  Luckily it takes only 10 minutes to make, because this popular hummus disappears quickly!  

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Rubbermaid and Sharpie but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RubbermaidSharpie  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

Jalapeno Hummus | alidaskitchen.com #RubbermaidSharpie #PMedia #ad

With the Big Game just around the corner, I have been putting the finishing touches on my menu planning and coming up with some fun recipes.  In fact, it’s almost like planning for the holidays – mass quantities of lots of tasty foods to share with family and friends!  

After making Sweet Potato Hummus, I have been looking forward to making more varieties of homemade hummus. This time I thought something a little spicy was in order ~ something like Jalapeno Hummus!  With just a few simple ingredients and a food processor (or blender), you are 10 minutes away from one of the best hummus recipes ever!  Jalapeno Hummus is flavorful without being too spicy.  All of the flavors blend very nicely, with a little jalapeno kick at the end.  The recipe can easily be doubled (or tripled!), making Jalapeno Hummus ideal for game day entertaining.    

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Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes | alidaskitchen.com

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are filled with corn, black beans, Greek yogurt, tomatoes with chiles and more! Kick off the New Year in a healthy way with these nutritional powerhouses!

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato | alidaskitchen.com

After spending most of December in a butter and sugar coma, I always look forward to January. The start of the new year always inspires me to focus back on healthier recipes, including lots of fruits and vegetables. Ever since the summer, I have wanted to make a Corn and Black Bean Salad. What I had in mind was a healthy vegetable-rich salad taking advantage of the bounty of summer garden produce. I never got around to making it, so just slotted it for next summer. Then it occurred to me – why wait until summer when I have the garden essentials I need already in my pantry with Del Monte® vegetables and tomatoes!…

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Quick and Easy Salsa Chicken

Quick and Easy Salsa Chicken #WeekdaySupper #FamilyDinnerTable

Quick and Easy Salsa Chicken

From busy weeknights to inexperienced cooks and everything in between, Quick and Easy Salsa Chicken is a simple yet tasty recipe that everybody needs to have in their recipe box.

Quick and Easy Salsa Chicken is a great choice for when you’re looking to make something fast that is healthy too.   It can be made in less than 15 minutes, and this recipe is very hands off, just put everything in the pan and cook.   Cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces inevitably speeds up the cooking process for the chicken.   While I listed the measurements for what I used in the recipe below, this recipe is very flexible and these amounts are not strict.  Just make sure the salsa covers your chicken and you’re good to go!…

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Three Bean Vegetarian Chili from Alida's Kitchen

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili #WeekdaySupper

30 Minute Three Bean Vegetarian Chili from alidaskitchen.com Three Bean Vegetarian Chili is so good, carnivores will not miss the meat!  This healthy chili takes only 30 minutes to make, and leftovers reheat well. {vegan, gluten free}

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili, also known as “Veg Head” Chili, is one of our favorite recipes to make during the cooler months. This chili is hearty enough to satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians (and vegans!) alike…due to the addition of the third bean ~ refried beans!  The refried beans are an unexpected addition that thickens the chili perfectly and gives it a the nice hearty texture.  Combined with the other beans and all of the vegetables and spices, this chili has quickly become a family favorite….

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Baked Barbecue Chicken ~ easy and healthy!

Baked Barbecue Chicken #SundaySupper #FamilyDinnerTable

Baked Barbecue Chicken ~ easy and healthy!

Baked  Barbecue Chicken is a quick and easy recipe for enjoying a classic favorite, made in a healthy way.  For some reason, Barbecue Chicken always makes me think of summer, but we enjoy this dish no matter what the weather is outside – even when there are several feet (!!) of snow on the ground!  Perhaps it’s a little too early to be discussing snow…

The concept of Baked Barbecue Chicken is not new to the blog.  I have made a few tweaks to the previous recipe to simplify the process and yield a shorter cooking time ~ all with great results.   This recipe is very easy.  You can make your own barbecue-style sauce (like this easy pantry sauce or this one if you like some spice).  If you prefer, a store-bought sauce also works great.  The recipe can easily be adjusted to yield more or fewer servings to fit your needs.   I like to make plenty of extras because barbecue chicken is so versatile  and leftovers can be transformed into something different for a quick and easy weeknight supper….

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Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad | alidaskitchen.com

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad is a delicious entree salad made with quinoa, broccoli, carrots, tossed with a healthier version of buffalo chicken. Quick and easy, perfect for a weeknight!
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad | alidaskitchen.com
This Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad is darn near perfection.  We start with warm, shredded chicken tossed in a lighter buffalo sauce; add sautéed vegetables and combine it with the ever trendy (and tasty!) quinoa.  Sprinkle blue cheese (or cheddar) on top, as desired, and you’re looking at a delicious and healthy Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad.

Not only is this salad am-a-zing, but it can be made in under 30 minutes!  The quinoa and chicken cook simultaneously, allowing plenty of time to prepare and sauté the vegetables and whisk together the sauce.  Put it all together and dinner is served!  (Leftovers make great lunches too)

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad | alidaskitchen.com

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad
 
Yields: 3 to 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 to 10 ounces) OR 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 to 3 green onions chopped, whites and greens separated
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup hot sauce (I recommend Frank's hot sauce)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Optional toppings: blue cheese crumbles or shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Make quinoa: In a medium sauce pan, put rinsed quinoa and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff quinoa with a fork.
  2. Poach chicken: While the quinoa is cooking, place chicken in medium pot, and add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let chicken stand, covered until cooked through (about 12 to 14 minutes). Remove chicken from liquid and shred with 2 forks.
  3. While quinoa and chicken are cooking, sauté the vegetables. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add broccoli, carrots and the whites of green onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until desired crisp-tenderness. Set aside.
  4. Make the sauce: Whisk together hot sauce, oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder and salt.
  5. Pour ¼ cup sauce over shredded chicken, tossing to coat.
  6. To a large bowl, add quinoa, chicken and vegetables, tossing to combine (You can add remaining sauce with this step OR drizzle as desired over each individual serving).
  7. Sprinkle with remaining chopped green onion and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad | alidaskitchen.com I drew inspiration from this recipe and my Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders recipe.

healthy baked buffalo chicken breast tenders

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders are made with simple pantry ingredients, and because they are so delicious and easy, they have become a fixture in our dinner rotation.  The seasoned flour gives an interesting boost of flavor to these otherwise basic baked chicken tenders.  It also is a nice complement to the hot and spicy buffalo sauce.  While either buttermilk or egg whites work great for moistening the chicken before breading, I tend to prefer the tang from the buttermilk.  The buffalo sauce makes a modest amount to contribute the spicy  buffalo flavor without excess, thus making it a bit lighter.  The result is a spicy buffalo baked chicken dish that is as delicious as it is easy.  The recipe also halves easily, making a simple dinner for 2.  I enjoy my buffalo chicken plain, but it is also delicious served with your favorite side of blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk OR 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound chicken tenders OR boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place a wire rack on rimmed baking sheet (optional). Set aside.
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder and salt.
  3. Put buttermilk (or egg whites) and breadcrumbs, each in separate shallow bowls.
  4. Working with one tender at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, then dip in buttermilk and then toss with bread crumbs, making sure chicken is coated, and then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tenders.
  5. Spray tops of chicken with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk the hot sauce and butter until combined. Once chicken is done, remove from oven and drizzle with hot sauce mixture, making sure to flip to get both sides.. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Food.com

edamame guacamole

Edamame Guacamole

One of our favorite cuisines is Mexican, and an essential accompaniment is (of course) guacamole.  For a while now, I have been saving recipes for guacamole and finally decided it was time to make my own.  I wanted to give it with a healthy twist incorporating one of my favorite foods – enter Edamame Guacamole.

This guacamole did not disappoint.  There are little flecks of edamame throughout, adding a protein and fiber boost.  Along with the good fats from the avocado, this guacamole is a nutrition powerhouse.  The combination of the onion, chile and salsa (I used medium) give this guacamole some zip without being overpowering.  Below I listed the amounts that I used, but really everything can be adjusted to taste.  It is such a flexible and forgiving recipe.    This Edamame Guacamole tasted so fresh and delicious, I almost grabbed a bag of baked tortilla chips and some crudites and called it dinner.  Almost….but I needed to save some for a special recipe that I will be sharing with you tomorrow.  Edamame Guacamole meets an old childhood favorite!

Edamame Guacamole
 
Yields: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (thawed if frozen - that is what I used)
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, to taste)
Instructions
  1. Put avocado, edamame, onion, chile, salsa, garlic and lime in food processor and pulse until smooth. Add cilantro, if desired. Tranfer to a bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Adapted from Whole Foods

baked cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa

Baked Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

Baked Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa is one of those dishes that combines very simple ingredients to make something versatile, classic and delicious.  The spice rub is an easy way to add flavor to the chicken without any added fat or calories, keeping things nice and light.

The avocado salsa topping is also a combination of simple, fresh ingredients.  The creamy avocado cools the spicy chicken, and the red onion complements everything quite nicely.  While delicious as-is, I can also envision adding some black beans or corn to the salsa or served as a simple side.

The chicken can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake, and the recipe halves easily to serve dinner for two.

 

Baked Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus additional for salsa
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, plus additional for salsa
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust to taste
  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless (4 to 6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided (approximately from 1 lime)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (adjust amounts to taste preference). Rub all over chicken and place in prepared baking dish.
  3. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of lime juice over chicken. Bake uncovered for approxmiately 30 minutes, or chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the salsa. Put red onion and remaining lime juice in a medium bowl and let sit. Just before serving, mix in avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve salsa over chicken.

Adapted from Everyday Food Light

oven-baked sriracha chicken

Oven-Baked Sriracha Chicken

It seems sriracha sauce is everywhere these days.  I was excited to find a baked chicken recipe using sriracha, but based on my preference, wanted to use chicken breast instead of drumsticks and thighs.  Of course when cooking with leaner, boneless/skinless cuts, such as chicken breast, modifications are required in order to achieve tender and juicy meat.  Well, the first time I made this with chicken breast, I intentionally did not adjust for this to see what would happen and guess what…it was dry!  But the flavor was amazing, so I knew it was worth further experimentation.  With a few simple tweaks, the result was exactly what I was hoping for ~ moist and tender, spicy sriracha chicken breast baked in the oven.  Keep in mind, the sriracha sauce has some heat, so adjust the amount accordingly.  We enjoyed this with edamame brown rice.

Oven-Baked Sriracha Chicken
 
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch green onions (greens (thinly sliced) and whites (minced) separated)
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (or grated)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced (or grated)
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five star seasoning
  • 4 4-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the minced whites of the green onions, hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic, salt, lime juice, sriracha sauce, and seasoning.
  3. Working with once piece at a time, place chicken breast in the bowl and coat with sauce (note: the sauce is pretty thick). Place chicken breast in baking dish and repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Pour any remaining sauce over the chicken.
  4. Cover baking dish with with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Place chicken on serving dish(es) and top with green onion greens and sesame seeds.
Notes
Make ahead tip: Prepare chicken and sauce per the above and refrigerate until ready. Take chicken out of the refrigerator and then preheat the oven. Bake as usual.

Adapted from Eating Well

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Black Bean Chili with Roasted Butternut Squash

One of my favorite things about the fall season (aside from an abundance of pumpkin recipes) is chili.  Not any chili will do, however…there are only a few chili recipes that I actually like.  Each is as good as the next, and they all have one thing in common.  They are vegetarian, and so delicious that you don’t miss the meat!

This Black Bean Chili with Roasted Butternut Squash is a new recipe to add to my chili repertiore.  It rivals my go-to recipe and then some.  The butternut squash adds a little more work to this recipe, but it’s definitely worth it.  I found some pre-cut cubes of butternut squash, which is what I used this time.  It definintely cut down on prep time.  But if you’re looking at a beautiful butternut squash and wondering what to do with it, I highly recommend trying this chili.

Black Bean Chili with Roasted Butternut Squash
Yields 4-6 servings

1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloved, minced
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with chiles, including juices
1 tablespoon chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and/or pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss butternut squash cubes with olive oil.  Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.  Transfer butternut squash to prepared baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.  Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown (about 30 minutes). 
  2. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic, stirring 1 minute.
  3. Stir in beans, broth, tomatoes, chipotle chiles, chili powder and oregano.  Simmer, covered 10 minutes.  Uncover and cook 10 more minutes.
  4. Stir squash into bean mixture and cook 5 minutes.  Add salt and/or pepper, to taste.  Serve warm.

Adapted from Health, December 2006

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Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta

When I was flipping through a recent magazine for the second time, I was a little surprised to see that I flagged something called ‘Stovetop Chili Mac.’  It’s not something that I would typically make, based on title alone.  After a quick glance, I could definitely see the potential in this dish – increase the veggies, give it some kick,…and we find ourselves with the delicious Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta.

The beef and zucchini sauce was a spicy and flavorful topping on top of pasta, which is a nice change from your every day bolognese.  The preparation of this sauce reminds me of my go-to taco recipe though.  This recipe makes plenty, so enjoy pasta for dinner and then tacos for lunch the next day.  That’s what we did!

Spicy Beef and Zucchini Pasta
Yields 4 servings

3/4 pound (12 oz) short pasta, such as rotini or rigatoni
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced or grated
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 green and/or red bell peppers, chopped
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes with chiles, including juices
2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, for topping

  1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium.  Add onion, peppers and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and peppers are soft (about 5 minutes).
  3. Increase heat to medium high, add beef and break it up with a wooden spoon.  Cook until no longer pink.  Add chili powder and cumin, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add zucchini and cook until tender.  Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook until mixture is thickened and heated through. 
  5. Divide pasta among 4 bowls, top with meat sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.

Adapted from Everyday Food

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Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

It is not very often that a new recipe immediately leaps way to the top of the list.  But when I saw a tasty recipe in Experience Life magazine, I think my heart skipped a beat with excitement.  I got that ‘I just found a recipe that will change your life’ feeling.  Cheese, black beans, green onions, garlic and spices, all nestled in a tasty little jalapeno?  Seriously?  Time to fire up the grill!

In fact, I was tempted to simply grab a spoon and eat the filling straight from the bowl.

I resisted and instead stuffed these beautiful jalapenos.  The result is a delightful, healthy twist on a jalapeno popper.

This heavenly dish makes for a perfect appetizer at any summer gathering, yet is easy enough to whip together for a light weeknight dinner.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Grilled Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers
Yields 8 (appetizer) or 4 (dinner) servings

16 jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon chili powder

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the peppers.
  2. Make a lengthwise slit down each pepper, leaving the stem intact; carefully remove ribs and seeds.  (Tip: a quick rinse helps remove the seeds from the inside, lessening the heat)
  3. Distribute filling evenly among peppers (about 1 tablespoon per pepper).
  4. Heat grill to medium heat.  Place stuffed peppers on a sheet of foil on the grill.  Cover and cook until cheese mixture has melted and peppers are softened, about 10-15 minutes.

Adapted from Experience Life

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Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Chicken

Sometimes is pays to be picky.  Or at least to be cooking for picky guests.  I was hosting a summer get together and, by request, was making my “Magic Hamburgers.”  However I knew one of my guests would not eat ground beef, so I was on a two-fold mission: find something delicious that she will like and find something with ingredients I already have.

Enter Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Chicken.  Mission accomplished.

I am so thankful for my picky dinner guest.  If not for her, I would not have found this recipe and my life in the kitchen would not be the same.

In all seriousness, this barbecue sauce is incredible.  I love that it is so easily made from basic ingredients commonly found in the pantry.  The hot sauce, along with the black pepper, add the perfect zing which can be altered to your heat tolerance.  I prefer using chicken tenders, though you can easily adapt this recipe to whatever part of the chicken you like to grill.  It also makes for great barbecue chicken sandwiches.

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Chicken
 
A simple barbecue sauce made with pantry ingredients.
Yields: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenders
Instructions
  1. Mix first 6 ingredients in bowl.
  2. Place chicken in ziploc bag. Pour ½ sauce in bag, making sure chicken is well coated. Marinate for at least 4 hours.
  3. Grill chicken as usual, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  4. Serve with remaining barbeque sauce for dipping.

Adapted from Food & Wine