Fruit salad

Fruit salad is such an easy recipe to prepare, but when it is enhanced with some citrus juice, honey, and mint, it makes this recipe so much better. This is a great side dish or dessert to make during these hot summer months for BBQs or parties. I sometime just make this and keep it in the fridge, snacking on it throughout the week (if it even lasts that long – it’s so good!).

Ingredients

1 small pineapple, cored and diced
1 pt. strawberries, quartered
1 mango, cored and diced
1/2 pt blueberries
1/2 pint raspberries
2 cups green grapes, halved
Juice from one lime
1 Tbl honey or agave
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 Tbl mint, minced

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss fruit to coat with honey, juices, and mint. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve!

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Skinny 4th of July Dessert

The 4th of July is one of my all time favorite holidays. It always has been. It might be because my birthday is right around the corner, or the fact that it’s summer. But it really might just be because it is a great excuse to have people over and BBQ all day long.


Although I love everything about barbecuing and the 4th of July, it can be a little overwhelming. So much food, so many choices, so many calories. Where do you even begin to determine what is OK to eat and what’s not?

Since it’s summer and I like wearing a bathing suit to the beach, I really try and control my portions and calorie consumption on the 4th. This dessert is a really great way to make a really beautiful dessert that is full of flavor, but is also packed with fruit and lightened up ingredients to make it not so fattening. This is also a really simple recipe that can be put together in minutes! No baking involved!

I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing 4th of July! I know I will be watching the fireworks on the beach enjoying this amazing dessert!

Ingredients

3/4 of one angle food cake, cut up into small chunks
1 pt. Strawberries, quartered
1 1/2 pts. Blueberries
1 tub light Cool Whip (I used True Whip which is an all natural, trans fat free whipped topping that is very similar to Cool Whip.)
1 box sugar free instant vanilla pudding
1 1/3 cups fat free milk

In a bowl, whisk together pudding and milk until thickened. Fold in whipped cream and set aside.

Lay down a layer of angel food cake on the bottom of your trifle dish. Top it with the cut up strawberries and blueberries. Spread pudding/whipped cream mixture over top. Repeat this process until you have at least three layers and have used all of your pudding/whipped cream, fruit, and cake.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but overnight is better.

Enjoy!

Very berry crumble

Nothing screams spring time louder than a big bowl of fresh berries. And nothing tastes as great either. The weather in NC has been so beautiful lately so I have been taking full advantage of all the amazing produce that our grocery stores have been providing. I could not pass up buying fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries a few days ago – but berries go bad so quickly that I figured I’d better use them while they are still fresh.

By the way, since when is a half pint of blueberries $5??? I need a better job. Oh wait, I need an actual job.

Anyways, this crumble is a great way to use up some berries in a very delicious way. It is another very simple preparation with an amazing turnout. I usually bake my crumbles in a 9×13 baking dish, but my baking dish was being used to house my spinach artichoke dip (posting later on). So, I baked these little suckers in muffin tins. They were more like individual crumbles. But if you are anything like me – three crumbles was one serving size 😉 . Oh well. It’s fruit so it must be healthy. Right?

Ingredients

4 cups of your favorite mixed berries (I used blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Place filling into a baking dish or muffin tins. Set aside.

Crumble topping
1 cup quick cooking oats
4 Tbl butter
2 Tbl whole wheat flour
1 Tbl granulated sugar
2 Tbl brown sugar

In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Combine all ingredients until crumbly. Mixture should have the consistency of wet sand. If you mixture seems a little dry, add a tablespoon more of butter. Pour crumble over top of the berry mixture and lightly pat down.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is slightly browned. Serve with or without ice cream.

Enjoy!!

Beer braised chicken tacos with a mango corn and avocado salsa

I am craving summer time so badly. I have five weeks left of school, and then I am done. FOREVER. Thank goodness. This recipe brings me back home because during the summer, my family and I are always making all kinds of salsas and tacos to enjoy after a long day of fun in the sun.

These tacos are really tasty and super easy. Once your chicken is in the slow cooker, its smooth sailing. And this salsa. This salsa is amazing. Sweet, salty, tart, creamy. What more do you want? Well, I could use a drink, but this salsa will do for now. Next time I make this salsa, I might use it on top of some grilled fish – or even in fish tacos. And, just so you know – this recipe makes a ton of salsa. But that’s OK. Because you will not want to stop eating it. I personally polished off a bowl of it tonight.

Ingredients
Enough chicken for about 8 tacos

Flour tortillas
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle beer (I used Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy)
1 package taco seasoning

Place all of the ingredients except tortillas into your slow cooker on the ‘high’ setting and let cook for 4 hours. Once 3 hours have elapsed,, remove the chicken from the slow cooker (leaving all liquid in the slow cooker) and using two fork, shred on a cutting board. Place chicken back into the slow cooker and continue cooking for the remaining hour.

When the four hours is up, the chicken is done and you can begin to assemble your tacos.

Mango Corn Avocado Salsa

1 large mango
2 medium avocados
1/2 bag frozen corn
1 small red onion, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced
1 small bunch cilantro, minced
Juice and zest from two limes

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and place corn on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until corn begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Set aside.

Peel and chop mango and avocados. Place into a large bowl and add in onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice and zest. Add in your cooled corn and mix all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to top your tacos with.

*I used low carb whole wheat tortillas, but feel free to use whatever you like. This chicken and salsa would also be really good over some lettuce as a salad.

** If you don’t have a slow cooker, don’t worry – you can still make this recipe. Instead of placing all the ingredients in the slow cooker, add it to a pot on the stove top and cook it over medium heat until chicken is shreddable. This should take about 45 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on it and occasionally add water or chicken stock into the pot so all of your liquid doesn’t evaporate.

Enjoy!!!

Watermelon lime frescas

Whoa. These are good. Perfect for spring time…maybe with a little vodka next time 😉 .

Ingredients

1 small watermelon, diced
Zest and juice from one lime
1 pinch salt
1 tsp sugar

Add all ingredients except seltzer water to your blender and blend until smooth. Once blended, strain through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any seeds or pulp. Refrigerate until needed.

Ice cubes

1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
mint leaves
basil leaves

In a small sauce pan, bring all ingredients to boil and simmer for about 12 minutes. Once the mixture thickens slightly, remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place in ice trays and freeze until solid.

Mint sugared rim

1/2 cup granulated sugar
3-4 mint leaves, minced

Pour your granulated sugar into a shallow bowl and add in your minced mint leaves. Run a slice of lime around the rim of your glass and dip the rim into the sugar to form the sugared rim.

Once your ice cubes are frozen, place a few of them into a cup with your watermelon puree and top with seltzer water.

Enjoy!!