Guacamole Chicken Salad

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

My name is Ari, and I have a chicken salad problem.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

There, I admit it. I just…I get on these kicks, and I have to make something every way humanly possible until I decide I’m bored, then I move on to the next best thing. Right now, I enjoy about 3 meals. Burgers, hot dogs (just you wait…so many are coming), and chicken salad (duh). At least my tastes seem to be seasonal?

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So I actually realized I’ve been holding out on you guys. I’ve never actually posted my guacamole recipe. That’s probably because, until now, I had absolutely no idea what it was. I always just messed with a few key ingredients until it tasted the way I wanted. That’s the best part about guacamole–mess it up? Oh, just add more of something else, and it’s sure to even out eventually.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

So for the first time in my life, I measured out every single ingredient for my guacamole. Because I didn’t think using instructions like “Add salt until it’s salty enough” really counted as “quality content”. And I don’t mean to brag, but my guacamole is AWESOME! Spicy, fresh and creamy–it gets requested all.the.time.

Guacamole Chicken Salad #glutenfree #dairyfree

So I made it, then I added a rotisserie chicken, some tomatoes, and after all the photography was done, I had the brilliant idea to add dried cranberries. Oh Em Gee. ADD THE DRIED CRANBERRIES!!! I’m sorry they’re not in the picture. Add them anyway. You’re welcome.

This is legit the best chicken salad I have EVER tasted. It lasted about 3 days, and Steve and I were fighting each other for it. It’s perfect for all you dairy-free folk, and anyone who loves guacamole, or chicken, or food in general.

Guacamole Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Guacamole Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large (or 3 small) avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 lime, zest & juice
  • small handful fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (remove stems and heat for less heat)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional, but recommended)
  • 10-12 oz cooked and shredded chicken (I used one rotisserie)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine avocado, lime (zest and juice), cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Blend for less time if you like a thick and chunky consistency.
  2. Stir in onion, tomatoes, cranberries and chicken. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container with half a lime (this prevent browning) for up to 5 days.
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Want more chicken salad options? I have lots (and none of them have mayo)!

Curried Chicken Salad

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I don’t know about you guys, but I am living in a haze of my post-long-weekend-fun. Did you guys do anything exciting for memorial day? I helped my brother move into his first apartment, celebrated my mom’s birthday, and had an awesome day at Lake Pleasant with Nicole. Oh, and then I spent actual Memorial Day creating recipes, meal planning, grocery shopping, and attempting productivity. Now? I just want to lay around and be lazy.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

It’s always those lazy nights that I feel like throwing in the towel and hitting up Chipotle (honestly, does Chipotle EVER not sound good?) that I end up coming up with some of my favorite recipes. A quick survey of the fridge and pantry, throw a few things together in about 5 minutes, stick it in the oven and hope for the best.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

I know you guys love recipes like that too. Who wants to cook healthy food if it means spending your entire life in the kitchen? Umm, I love cooking, and that sounds awful even to me! This chicken is breaded and crispy and filled with cheese and jalapeno creating the unmistakable flavor of a jalapeno popper (one of my favorite bar food appetizers) in a healthy, simple dinner. I fell in love with it at first bite, and you better believe it will become one of my I-don’t-feel-like-cooking staples.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1 x 6oz chicken breast

Jalapeno Popper Chicken

Crispy, breaded chicken breast stuffed with roasted jalapeno and cheese. It tastes like a jalapeno popper for dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (or sub a gluten-free variety)
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • generous pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 x 6 oz chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 1 oz goat cheese (or cream cheese)
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place a cooling rack inside of a cookie sheet and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, cayenne, salt and pepper in a large shallow bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place jalapeno and garlic on a small piece of tin foil. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Broil until softened, about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. Roughly chop jalapeno, and finely chop garlic.
  4. Divide cheese, jalapeno and garlic between the center of the two chicken breasts. Fold chicken back over on top of the fillings. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Place beaten egg whites in a large shallow bowl. Drench chicken in egg whites, then coat completely in bread crumb mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  6. Bake until cooked throughout and juices run clear, about 30 minutes.
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PB&J Cheesecake Cups

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

You.guys. I just…I’m not even sure I can talk about these little gems.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

I guess that is why we take so many pictures? Because there is no way I could explain in words how out-of-this-world this dessert is.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

First of all, peanut butter and jelly is my probably favorite combination. Well, peanut butter and chocolate miiiight give it a run for it’s money, but I am totally that person that will go to a restaurant and order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Especially if it includes words like “roasted” or other fancy adjectives. I’m a sucker for fancy adjectives.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

I made these for Steve’s birthday. I think I’ve mentioned that his birthday dessert from last year is my very favorite dessert I’ve ever made. It’s also one of the most popular recipes on this li’l ol’ blog. Well, these cheesecake cups give those vanilla bean cookie butter cup cupcakes a run for their money!

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

You guys are going to love these babies. Creamy peanut butter cheesecake stuffed with raspberry (or whatever flavor you love most) jam on top of my very favorite go-to graham cracker crust. It just doesn’t get much better.

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

PB&J Cheesecake Cups

Peanut butter and jelly meets cheesecake in these perfect, single serving cups.

Ingredients

    For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1 cup old fashioned graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 lb reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used PB&Co white chocolate wonderful)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • approx 6 tbsp low sugar raspberry jam (or jam or your choosing)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set. Aside.
  2. To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Place approx 1 tablespoon of crust into each muffin tin. Press down with your fingers or a shot glass. Bake until set, about 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese, peanut butter and brown sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Beat in almond milk and vanilla.
  4. Evenly divide half the cheesecake batter (eyeball it) between your 12 muffin tins. Top with approx 1/2 tbsp of jam, then divide remaining cheesecake batter.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and just set, about 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door. Allow cheesecakes to sit in opened oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 3-4 hours. Store covered in refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

Inspired by Gimme Some Oven

If you'd like, you can top the cheesecake cups with extra jam just before serving.

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Drink & Dish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

I realllllly hope you like this recipe. I almost lost a leg creating it for you. I mean, “lost a leg” might be sliiiiightly dramatic, but I did end up with a pretty massive and nasty burn on my leg. I’ve had quite a few kitchen casualties recently, and I’m just considering it an opportunity to toughen up.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

I’m pretty much a wimp about hurting myself. I will push through tons of pain when I run, but the second I SEE the physical pain happen, I kind of cry like a baby. It’s not my best character trait, but I mean it could be worse, right?

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Ya know, for all my whining, this dish totallllly made up for it. I’ve made it before, but not for a long time, and with one bite I remembered just how dangerously delicious it was. In fact, after several days of nonstop picking at it and eating bites here and there, I finally had to throw in the towel and send the rest of the leftovers off with my family.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

It literally tastes like a loaded baked potato. It has all the good stuff, and gets rid of a large amount of the bad. No butter (the original recipe calls for TWO STICKS–gross), no sour cream, and lighter cheese and bacon options. If you’re not a meat or bacon eater, I guess you cooouuulllld leave it out, but I feel like it’s totally worth the little extra splurge here. Plus, center cut bacon is like 35 caloies a slice, so unless you just don’t like it, I’d keep it. ;)

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

The only time consuming part of this salad is waiting for the potatoes to bake. Literally, the rest is 5 minutes of throwing things together in a bowl. The flavors and textures come together perfectly with the starchy potatoes, creamy greek yogurt and crunchy, salty bacon.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Make sure you check out the latest episode of Drink & Dish, and if you want a fun summer treat for Memorial Day or lounging by the pool, check out Nicole’s delicious vodka lemonade slush.


Drink & Dish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8 servings

Drink & Dish: Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Simple, easy, and lightened up loaded baked potato salad perfect for summer BBQs.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs red skinned potatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 heaping cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Generous pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork. Transfer to a large baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Cook until softened, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Cut baked potatoes into 1" cubes. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and lightly toss until combined. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

Adapted from Rachel Ray

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Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

My mind has officially checked out into summer vacation land. Technically, I have 2 more days of classes before it becomes official, but mentally I am….so….there. And let’s face it,  I’ve been there for a couple of weeks now.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

There is something about summer when you work on the school calendar. I still work hard over the summer, but it all seems like so much FUN. Maybe it’s knowing it’s all only temporary, and eventually you will all go back to “real life”, but I just love it. Despite the hear here in Phoenix, it’s probably my favorite time of year.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

It seems like no matter what I have on my meal plan these days, nothing sounds better than grilling up some burgers and eating dinner by the pool. It just makes my heart happy. Not to mention the flavor combinations for burgers are pretty much endless, leaving you with burger after burger recipe. Sorry I’m not sorry.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

I do have a pretty sweet side dish coming your way later this week that you can eat along side these burgers during your Memorial Day festivities.

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Spicy Chipotle Cheeseburgers

Simple and easy spicy chipotle cheeseburgers are a perfect way to kick up your summer grilling!

Ingredients

    For the burgers:
  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef (or lean ground turkey)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • pinch salt
  • For the creamy chipotle spread:
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • Toppings/to put together the burger:
  • Whole grain buns (whole wheat, brown rice, etc.)
  • Sliced roma tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. To make the burgers, combine beef, chopped chipotle pepper and salt in a large bowl. Create 4 evenly sized patties. Gently press each patty down in the center with your thumb to create an indent--this promotes even cooking. Grill to desired doneness, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  2. To make the sauce, blend Greek yogurt and chipotle pepper in a food processor or blender until well combined.
  3. To assemble burgers, spread sauce onto the top side of the bun. Top bottom half with lettuce, burger, cheese and tomato slices (or whatever you'd like--it's your burger!) and finish off with the top half of the bun. Serve immediately. Leftover meat patties can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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