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Coconut & Guava Chicken

I originally found this recipe on Good Thymes and Good Food for coconut apricot chicken, but I wanted to switch it up a bit. I not only switched the apricot to guava, but I decided to use half coconut flour instead of all regular flour. I also poured the glaze on top instead of using it as a dipping sauce. It was pretty good, but is best served on the same day it is cooked. There are many changes you could make to this recipe, but the following is how I prepared it.

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Strawberry Jello & Pretzel Pie

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Pie

I found this recipe on the-girl-who-ate-everything.com and thought it looked interesting. I made this for 4th of July and it was so good!! It reminds me of a strawberry cheesecake. It is a little messy, but not too difficult to make. I wanted a dessert that was different, yet didn’t require too many ingredients. I’m a crust girl, to me the best part of the cheesecake is the crust (if it is done right that is). This pretzel crust is the perfect combination of salty and sweet and super yummy. Give this recipe a try if you like strawberry cheesecake.

What You Need

2 1/2 cups of finely crushed pretzels

3 Tablespoons of brown sugar

1 1/2 sticks of melted butter

1- 6 oz. package of strawberry instant jello

8 oz. fresh strawberries, sliced (the original recipe called for a whole pack of strawberries which is 16 oz. I only used about half, but if you want to add more go ahead)

1- 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

8 oz. cool whip

How To Prepare

1. Make the Jello as directed on the box and add strawberries. Refrigerate until partially set. I used the fast process on the box (using half water half ice) and left my jello in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours. It may take longer if you just use water. Just make sure it is not too watery or it will make the crust soggy.

2. When jello is almost ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Combine the crushed pretzels, brown sugar and melted butter and press it in a greased 9 x 13 pan. I lined my pan with parchment paper instead of greasing it. If the crust is too dry and is not sticking well, you can add more melted butter.

4. Bake crust for 10 minutes.

5. Combine cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat with hand mixer until smooth. Then add cool whip and beat to combine fully.

6. Once the crust is cool, add the cream cheese layer on top of the crust and smooth it out. Make sure you smooth it out all the way to the corners.

7. Pour the jello on top over the cream cheese layer. I scooped my jello out with a spoon. Then place in fridge to cool.

8. It is best to wait a few hours for it to set before eating. I thought it tasted best the next day. You can add more fresh strawberries on top if you wish.

Spinach & Pepper Jack Hummus

I love hummus and I wanted to try making my own so I tried out this recipe. It is very tasty and makes a generous amount. You can always change it up depending on your particular taste.

pepper jack spinach hummus

What You Need

1 can of chickpeas (16 oz.) drained and rinsed

2 Tablespoons of tahini (ground sesame seeds)

2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 cups of fresh, roughly chopped spinach

1/4 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese

2 tablespoons of olive oil

sea salt & pepper to taste

How To Prepare

1. Put chickpeas, garlic, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor. (Don’t forget to drain and rinse the chickpeas first.)

2. Pulse until fully combined and all chickpeas are broken up.

3. Add in spinach, salt, pepper, cheese, and olive oil. Pulse until smooth and creamy.

4. Take a taste test and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if necessary.

Serve with pita chips and refrigerate any leftover hummus.

I like to eat this with Stacys multigrain pita chips that I purchase at my local grocery store.

recipe adapted from: healthywithheather.com

Cheddar & Apple Buttermilk Biscuits

cheddar apple biscuits

These biscuits may sound like a weird combination of ingredients, but they are so good. It is like having a cheddar biscuit mixed with a sweet apple pie. A great combination of sweet and savory. These could be a nice little dessert snack or eaten for breakfast.

What You’ll Need

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large granny smith apple, finely chopped

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar 

a few spoonfuls of frozen apple juice concentrate (thawed)

How to Prepare

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet (or grease it if you don’t have parchment)

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium or large bowl.

3. Cut butter into slices and add to bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut butter into the flour mixture until it combines and becomes crumbly.
*A pastry blender is a curved set of metal wires that attach to a handle. It is not an actual blender. If you don’t have one you can use your hands to combine the flour mixture and butter.

4. Pour in buttermilk and mix until moistened. Stir in chopped apples and shredded cheese.

5. Form dough by using a 1/4 cup scoop and placing on the cookie sheet. Keep 1 inch in between each biscuit.
*I did mine a little smaller- about a spoon and a half of dough for each biscuit.

6. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Once cooked, move immediately to wire rack to cool.
*the small ones took exactly 17 minutes to cook for me.

7. Place powdered sugar in a bowl and add apple juice concentrate slowly until desired consistency.  Then drizzle over biscuits.

This recipe makes about 28 small biscuits or 14 larger biscuits.

They are best when served warm right out of the oven, but can still be enjoyed refrigerated and heated later.

cheddar biscuits

recipe adapted from: simplysouthernbaking.com

Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup

sweet potato lentil soup

I love making soup because you get to throw everything in a pot and let the stove do the rest of the work. This soup tastes great and has some healthy ingredients too.

What You’ll Need

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium vidalia onion, finely chopped

4 small carrots (or 3 medium), chopped

2 Tbsp curry powder

1 tsp salt & pepper

2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

3 large garlic cloves, minced

48 oz low sodium chicken broth

2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
(I used diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion– but plain would work too)

1 cup of brown lentils

How to Prepare

1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

2. Add the onions and carrots. Saute until onions are tender, about 5 mins.

3. Add ginger, garlic, curry, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 mins.

4. Pour in chicken broth, sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes (with juice), and lentils. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

This makes about 8-10 servings.

recipe adapted from: cookingwithmykid.com

Greek Lima Beans

Greek Lima Beans

I don’t think lima beans have much of a flavor on their own, but this recipe gives them a nice taste. This recipe calls for mint leaves, but keep in mind there are two types of mint (peppermint and spearmint). From what I have read, traditionally you cook with spearmint, but I used a combination of both. Whatever you have on hand should be fine.

WHAT YOU NEED

10 oz frozen lima beans

1 cup water

3 Tbsp olive oil

3Tbsp parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped
(approx. 15 leaves. I used mostly spearmint leaves and a few peppermint)

3 big cloves of garlic

zest from 1 lemon

1 oz feta cheese

salt & pepper

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Put oil and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook for about 1 minute to soften garlic.

2. Add the lima beans, water, 1 tbsp mint, 2 tbsp parsley, and some salt. (the remaining herbs will be added at the end)

3. Bring to a simmer. Then cover and reduce heat.

4. Cook for approx. 17 minutes or until the beans are soft.

5. Remove from heat and add remaining herbs, lemon zest and pepper. Crumble feta cheese on top.

You can serve this dish with a variety of food. I had it with steak and red potatoes as shown below.

steak - lima beans - potatoessteak - lima beans - potatoes - dinner

recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp

honey lime grilled shrimp

I made this shrimp for a party and it was very very tasty! It can be served as an appetizer or part of your main course.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

2 lbs raw, shelled, de-veined shrimp

1 jar (4 oz) hot chili paste
(look in the ethnic section of the grocery store. I used Thai Kitchen brand)

1 cup of honey

1/2 cup of lime juice (about 4 or 5 limes)

1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic

1/4 cup fresh minced ginger

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup canola oil (you could substitute with coconut oil)

Approx. 10 bamboo or metal skewers

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Rinse shrimp and place in a large ziplock bag.

2. Put all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

3. Set aside 1/2 cup of the marinade to use when ready to cook.

4. Pour the rest of the marinade in the bag and coat the shrimp.

5. Put the bag of shrimp w/ marinade in a bowl/container to prevent from leaking.

6. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours.
(I marinated mine for about 35 hours)

7. When ready to cook, thread the shrimp onto the skewers and fire up the grill.

  • *Some people recommend soaking bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before grilling to avoid them catching fire. I have read that it doesn’t really help, but use your own judgement. I didn’t soak my skewers, but I also lined the grill with foil.
  • *I baked a few in the oven to try them out before I served them at a party. So if you wish to bake them instead of grilling, they will still turn out delicious. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

8. Put shrimp on the grill and pour the reserved marinade on top.

9. Cook the shrimp for a few minutes on each side until pink.

*Be sure to keep an eye on them because shrimp cook very fast!

10. Once fully cooked, take off the grill and pull off the skewers to serve in a bowl. You can give each person an individual skewer if you prefer.

This recipe was adapted from: ourbestbites.com

Cucumbers Topped with Tuna, Dried Mango & Cranberries

cucumbers-tuna-fruit

This is a healthy snack idea or could even be eaten for lunch.

If you want to make it like a little sandwich, you could even put an extra cucumber slice on top.

WHAT YOU NEED

Tuna fish (prepared how you like it, read below to see my preference)

1/2  Cucumber sliced (or however many slices you want to make)

Dried fruit of your choice

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Prepare tuna the way you normally would.

-I put a little bit of mayo, relish, and onions in mine.

  • Cut the cucumber into slices, spread a little tuna on each slice and top with dried fruit

(my favorite is cranberries)

If you don’t like the skin you could peel it, but remember the skin has a lot of nutrients!

If you want to know the benefits of cucumber read my post here.

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