Flavorful Friday Fiesta

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TGIF! What better way to start the weekend than with a flavorful fiesta – and watermelon margarita?! Last weekend we grilled up some of our favorite eats and meats to have a fun, festive dinner. The meal was an afterthought to the watermelon margaritas I was excited to try. I wanted the cuisine to complement the refreshing concoction, so we grilled some summer staples and added a Mexican twist.

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We grilled a seasoned skirt steak, which was then topped with an avocado salsa. For a side, I spiced up classic corn on the cob by seasoning it with chili powder and sprinkling it with cotija cheese. I had tasted this traditional Mexican street corn at a restaurant here in Vegas and decided to recreate the deliciousness. The buttery, flavorful corn made for a sensational side.

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Mexican Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated cotija cheese
  • 2 wedges of lime
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grill corn until hot and lightly charred, 7 to 10 minutes. Use a basting brush to coat corn with melted butter and mayonnaise. Sprinkle with cotija cheese, lime juice and chili powder.

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Skirt Steak with Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

For the steak:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak or sirloin steak
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the salsa:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 sprigs of cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Mix all of the steak seasonings together and rub on the steaks about 1 hour before grilling, covering well and storing in refrigerator. Grill for about 4 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes, until steak reaches desired doneness.
  2. To make the salsa, mix the salsa ingredients together in a bowl and serve on top of the steak.

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Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

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Rob loves snacking on chips and salsa, so when we bought a food processor the first thing he made was tomatillo avocado salsa. We loved it as the fresh ingredients make it stand out from store-bought dips. It’s the perfect combination of salsa and guacamole with just enough spice. Pair it with a refreshing margarita and you’ve got a flavorful fiesta!

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and sliced in half
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeño, deseeded and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. On baking sheet covered with foil, place the tomatillo halves, seed-side down, jalapeño and garlic. Cook (or broil) for about 10 minutes, until tomatillos and softened and slightly charred. Let cool.
  2. Add tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño, onion, cilantro and scooped avocado to a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

 

Breakfast Pita

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Breakfast is an important, yet inconvenient meal. I always feel best when I start my day off with eggs, but it’s so much easier to just pour a bowl of cereal when you’re in a rush. While I had time this weekend, I tried making this breakfast pita with some ingredients I had around the house. It tasted great and only took about 5 minutes to make! It’ll definitely be my go-to breakfast from now on since it’s healthy and easy to whip up.

Breakfast Pita

Ingredients

  • 1/2 whole grain pita
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mango peach salsa

Place sliced avocado in pita and set aside. Scramble eggs over medium-low heat, adding spinach when almost cooked. Mix in the spinach, until eggs are fully cooked and spinach is warmed up. Place into pita, then add salsa.

Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili

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The best way to warm up this season? Chili! This hearty, healthy dinner is perfect for a frosty fall night. The combo of sweet potatoes, black beans and avocado make for a flavorful twist on this classic dish. Light the fire, cuddle on the couch  with a cozy blanket and eat up!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (29 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 32 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Sour cream

How to:

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and oregano until combined.
  3. Add black beans, vegetable stock and sweet potato chunks. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in quinoa. Continue cooking for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa and potatoes are fully cooked and chili has thickened.
  5. Pour into bowls and top with sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream. Makes about 6 servings.

Homemade Guacamole

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Holy guacamole! With football season underway (Go Seahawks and Huskies!), there’s no better gameday snack than chips and dip. I love this simple guacamole recipe because it’s more about the avocado and not a green paste you buy at a store.

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • Half of a jalapeño,
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 2 Tbsp. onion
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Cut avocados in half, take out pits. Cut and scoop out into small bowl. Mash with fork until desired consistency (chunky or more of a solid mixture)
  2. Scoop out seeds of jalapeño. Dice jalapeño, roma tomato and onion. Mix into bowl with avocado until fully incorporated.

 

Green Chile Chicken with Avocados

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I am so excited to share this delicious dinner! The recipe started out as chicken parmesan, but I decided to substitute the tomato sauce with green chile sauce and add avocados. Ever since I visited New Mexico and Texas, I’ve been obsessed with green chile everything! It has so much flavor and the perfect amount of spice (because I’m not a spicy food fan). It goes well with everything from lasagna and burgers to chicken fried steak and mac & cheese. You can read about where it all began and some authentic green chile cuisine I experienced in a previous post from my trip.

If I do say so myself, this dish was amazing! Probably the best chicken dish I’ve ever made. The chicken was tender and juicy and the toppings gave it so much flavor. It’s warm, cheesy and filling, yet decently healthy. The perfect comfort food. Plus, it was also quick and easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup green chile sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 395F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil. Set aside.
  • Place chicken breast in Ziplock bag. Use a rolling pin to flatten until about 1/2 inch thick.
  • In a shallow bowl (I used a pie pan), whisk together the egg and milk. Set aside.
  • Pour flour onto a plate. On a separate plate, pour breadcrumbs.
  • Coat one chicken breast in flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then coat in breadcrumbs. Press them in and flip it a few times, so that it is fully covered. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with other chicken breast.
  • Lightly spray top of chicken with cooking spray and bake for 4 minutes. Flip, then bake for 4 more minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cover each chicken breast with 1/4 cup green chile sauce (or however much you prefer; also depends on how big the chicken breast is). Arrange avocado slices over sauce then sprinkle with cheese.
  • Place in oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until golden and chicken is completely cooked.
  • Serve by itself or with pasta. Enjoy!

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