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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ginger Carrot Soup

If I haven't convinced you to get a Vitamix yet, 
get one for this soup!


  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 16 oz. bag of baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 32 oz. box low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth or stock
  • (*I added 1 tablespoon half and half)
1. In a medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until translucent.
2. Add the carrots, ginger, salt, and broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the carrots are fork-tender.
3. Puree the soup in a blender (VITAMIX!!!) or with a hand blender until creamy and smooth.   Add salt to taste if necessary.
4. Serve, topped with a dollop of yogurt, sour cream, or crème fraîche if desired.

*Weelicious Cookbook

Monday, August 11, 2014

Maggie's Find: Bachelorette Party Taco Dip

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened (*or half greek yogurt/half cream cheese)
  • 1 (16 oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup chunky mild salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning. Stir in chunky salsa to taco dip mixture; mix until combined.
  2. Add shredded cheese and black olives to taco dip mixture. Chop up two large tomatoes, and add tomatoes to taco dip mixture and stir until just combined.
  3. Scoop taco dip into serving bowl and top with additional shredded cheese, black olives, avocado, and tomatoes.
  4. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

1/3 cup (3 oz.) cream cheese (low fat is fine, but avoid fat free)
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken 
1 cup grated pepperjack or plain jack cheese
small flour or corn tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray or olive oil

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.  Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.   You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.
If using corn tortillas, work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave, wrapped in damp paper towels until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If using flour tortillas straight from the fridge, it helps to warm them in the microwave so they’re easier to roll.
Place 2-3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1 inch from the edges.  Roll up tortillas and place seam down on a baking sheet, not touching one another.  Spray lightly with cooking spray, or lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.  Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.  Dip in sour cream!
Freezer Instructions: Prepare the taquitos through rolling them out and placing them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, then transfer to a large freezer bag. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 and place the taquitos on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
Yields 12-16, when using 6″ tortillas, depending on how full you make them.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Laura's Find: Grill Master Chicken Wings

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing
3 pounds chicken wings, cut apart at joints, wing tips discarded

1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce (such as Frank's RedHot), or to taste

First step, get this: grill basket from Williams Sonoma.  It's amazeeeee.  If you don't get the basket, don't worry, you can still make these...

1.Combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, Italian dressing, and chicken wings in a large, Ziploc bag. Close bag and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.
2.Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat. (Place basket (with top removed) on grill if using.) In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the 1 teaspoon soy sauce and the hot pepper sauce. Turn off heat and reserve.    
3.Remove the chicken wings from the marinade and pat dry. Cook the wings on the preheated grill, (in basket if using) turning occasionally (every 7 minutes or so), until the chicken is well browned and no longer pink, 25 to 30 minutes. *Mine was closer to 25.
4.Place grilled wings in a large bowl. Pour butter sauce over wings; toss to mix well.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grape and Avocado Arugula Salad


    Salad Ingredients:
  • 6 cups fresh arugula, loosely packed
  • 2 cups halved seedless grapes, red or green or a mix
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
  • half a small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • balsamic vinaigrette (ingredients below)
  • White Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or traditional balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or agave nectar, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper


To Make The Salad:
Add salad ingredients to a bowl, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
To Make The Vinaigrette:
Whisk all ingredients together for 30 seconds until combined.
*If you want to add some extra protein, add chicken, shrimp, or crispy tofu!  (Serves 2-4.)

FIVE Interchangeable Chicken Salads!

All of these recipes start with the Basic Chicken Salad (see below) but can also be eaten on its own! Switching out a few ingredients from the Basic Chicken Salad transforms the salads' flavors and textures.

Basic Chicken Salad:
In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion tops, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Almond Chutney Chicken Salad:
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad but omit the celery and mayo.  Add 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds, 2 tablespoons raisins, 1/3 cup plain yogurt, and 1/4 cup mango chutney.

Waldorf Chicken Salad:
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad but omit the parsley.  Add1/2 chopped apple, 1/2 cup halved grapes, and 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnut pieces.

Mexican Chicken Salad:
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad but omit the parsley, lemon juice, and black pepper.  Add 1/2 cup shredded Mexican style four-cheese blend, 1/2 cup chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 finely chopped jalapeño peppers (seeded if you'd like) and 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning mix.

Lemon Avocado Chicken Salad
Prepare Basic Chicken Salad, adding 1/2 cup chopped avocado, 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, 1 tablespoon additional lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic.

*Midwest Living Magazine, June 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Greek Dip Platter

6oz. plain Greek Yogurt
10oz. Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (may not use entire thing)
minced red onion
chopped cucumber
chopped tomato
chopped kalamata olives
feta cheese
chopped fresh parsley
Spread Greek yogurt on the bottom of a deep plate. Spread hummus evenly on top. Sprinkle on red onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, and parsley. Serve with dippers, including Triscuits, pita chips, whole-grain crackers, carrots, celery, or cucumber slices.