Spicy Avocado Deviled Eggs

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

I found this idea from a friend, you can visit her page here. She had shared it on her Facebook page and I snagged it as soon as I saw it! If you don’t know I have decided to try to lose weight, and prepare for a 5K in 5 months, so I have been looking for alternative food options and low caloric fat content. Deviled eggs is so not on that list! Eggs in general are good for us, but when you add in mayonnaise (which I LOVE) it throws it back into oblivion.

Anyway, my kids all like deviled eggs too and they usually like the same old same old. I have tried making variations to no avail, they just want the “plain” way. So when I made this I didn’t even think of them, I was just thinking this would be lunch and snacks for the next 2 days. As soon as the kiddos came home they instantly saw them and wanted to try, I mean they are green right, cool color, to the yellow version. AND it is creeping up on St. Patrick’s Day, they think I am trying to be festive! I love it 😀 They all grab one and chow down…EVEN my, “I hate mayo kid”! “Hey Mikey, they liked it!” (remember that commercial?)

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

Needles to say my plan of snack and lunch for 2 days went down the drain at that point, but that is ok, a good fat & mayo free snack has now been added to our repertoire AND it is holiday friendly!

WIN WIN =  HAPPY MOMMA = HAPPY BLOGGING = HAPPY  YOU!

Click here for the original version. Read on for mine 😀

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
  • 1 fully ripened avocado; peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of my Home Made Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground brown mustard
  • 1.5 teaspoon Dijon mustard (recommend French’s Dijon with Chardonnay)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 of a jalapeno; seeded, ribs removed, diced fine
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion ( I use the microplane)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (I use the microplane)
  • Garnish: Finely diced jalapeno & dash of hot sauce on top when ready to eat (recommend Tapatio Salsa Picante)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium sized bowl mash avocado and egg yolks until a creamy consistency.

2. Add yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, jalapeno, onion, & garlic; mix thoroughly.

3. Spoon or pipe back into egg white shells, dividing equally. Garnish with jalapeno and hot sauce before serving. Should last 2 days, crossing fingers!

Spicy St. Patty's Day Deviled Eggs - sweetheatchefs.com

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Bacon Guacamole…yes you heard right…BACON!

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

There is one thing my household loves more than avocado and that is bacon. That is why when I saw this recipe I instantly knew I HAD to make it, and soon.

This recipe is from my sweetest and most awesome friend Bernadette. Her fabulous blog is Rantz From My Crazy Kitchen. You can find many amazing recipes there including a page with 58 bacon recipes from breakfast all the way through to dessert, which means you can have a PORK PARTY all day! You can view Bernadette’s recipe for her outta this world guacamole here. Below is my version with just a slight modification.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 avocados
  • 4 slices thick center cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, diced fine
  • 3/4 tablespoon jalapeno, diced fine 
  • 4 heirloom cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (small cloves or 1 big one)
  • handful of freshly chopped cilantro
  • dash of salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut up bacon in bite sized pieces and fry the bacon with the onions until crisp. (this is money right here, in the voice of Guy Fierre!) If you prefer less done/burnt onions, remove as you are cooking. I enjoy crispy bacon and crispy onion and they cooked together the entire process in a pan of marriage bliss! Drain everything on a paper towels when done.
  2. In a small bowl mash the avocado
  3. Next add; tomatoes, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  4. Stir in the bacon and onion, cover tightly with plastic wrap pressed right on top of the guacamole and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. 

This recipe fed 3 of us, 2 boys and myself. We ate every last drop.

bacon guac - sweetheatchefs.com

I TEENY TINY PIECE OF ADVICE ON THIS RECIPE…..The yield here is NOT enough, plan to quadruple it for your first try. That way you won’t be licking the container clean just to get a little bit more.

Skinny(er) Scalloped Potatoes

Skinny(er) Scalloped Potatoes - sweetheatchefs.com

INGREDIENTS

Non stick cooking spray
10 medium peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thinly. I used my food processor attachment at 2mm
2.5 tbsp butter
salt and fresh pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic, or if you are a garlic lover (like me) 2 cloves minced or microplaned (if you don’t have cloves, 1/2-1 tsp garlic powder)
1 cup shredded reduced fat Cheddar or Gruye cheese or a combo of both
1/4 cup large grate parmesan cheese
2 cup fat-free milk
1 bay leaf
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
3 tsp thyme
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish
 
 
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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 9″x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl add potatoes, salt, & fresh cracked pepper. Toss well so everything is coated.
  3. The placement of the potatoes will happen in 4 different batches. First batch take 1/4 of the potatoes and layer them on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add 1/4 of the cheese on top, repeat until all potatoes and cheese are in pan.
  5. In a small saucepan, bring milk, butter, dijon mustard, thyme, bay leaf and nutmeg to a boil over medium heat stirring very frequently so it does not scaldpour over potatoes (remove bay leaf)
  6. Top with the Parmesan cheese and green onions.
  7. Bake uncovered, for 40 – 50 minutes (depending on how thick your potatoes were) or until potatoes are tender. 

sweetheatchefs.com

Manic Monday Button

Homemade Breadcrumbs – Because it’s too easy not to!

You know those pesky ends to the bread no one eats? Or when you have a toddler who is on a kick of I won’t eat the crust on my sammich!? What a better way to make use of those left overs is to make them into bread crumbs. Throughout the month I toss ends and left over bread scraps into a bag in the freezer and once a month I get out the food processor and the frozen bread and go to town for the morning making bread crumbs. I freeze them so they don’t get moldy before I am ready to use them. You can make plain ones or seasoned ones just like you can buy in the store. But the best part is you make them with natural ingredients and they types of herbs and seasonings YOU like. You are not limited to what is supplied in the supermarket. This could not be a simpler project to take on, in fact my 2 year old loves to whirl the food processor in what he thinks is his all acclaimed part of helping in the kitchen 😀

INGREDIENTS:

  • Left over bread ends, scraps, hot dog buns, hamburger buns, whatever bread product you have that you won’t use.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat oven to  375 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor tear up bread and pulverize until consistency you like for bread crumbs. I generally use a medium to smaller consistency. 
  3. Line a sheet pan with foil and toss about 2 cups worth of the mixture (which for me is 1 container full from the food processor) onto the sheet pan.
  4. Bake for   12 – 15 minutes.
  5. Watch it your first time to make sure they don’t over cook. I have made extra crispy ones and the flavor was not all that great. 
  6. Halfway through the baking process I toss and break up the bread crumbs to ensure a nice even browning.

 

ITALIAN SEASONED INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons dried ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground basil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)

ITALIAN SEASONED DIRECTIONS:

Follow the steps above for the plain crumbs, except before placing in the oven toss with the ingredients above.

You can create whatever seasoning suits you. I make a lot of Italian food, so this is my go to mix.

Store in an airtight container or zip lock bag in freezer for several months.

Focaccia – Don’t miss this!

I have made this recipe a few times now and each time it just gets better since I get more comfortable with the whole dough making business. A baker, I AM NOT, N-K?! So..if I can do this ANYONE, can do this. I follow this dough recipe to the “T” and then add the other stuff to suit mine and my families taste. I found this recipe at this amazing blog…ready for the name?….The Barefoot Kitchen Witch! Love her name, love her blog, check her out and you’ll see why. While you are there tell her we sent ya over 😀

Ok, back to the Focaccia yumminess. I could eat these things as a meal in-and-of-itself, however to save face and not look like a total carb overload eater, I make this with either a veggie packed salad or delicious soup, like my Creamy Chicken Veggie & Rice Soup.

Let your heart and tummy guide you through this process of what to top it with. Your options are as vast as your imagination on this one, that is half the fun coming up with toppings and combinations. Just imagine yourself biting into a light warm crispy and soft doughy bite filled with your favorite toppings….now your talking!

Take your time with the recipe, nurture it, follow it and enjoy the outcome when finished. I will guide you through a step by step process that will ensure complete success!

Things to know about this recipe:

  1. Kids love helping with this; let them dimple the dough, let them pick their own ingredients and let them top their own with what they picked!
  2. The dough is sticky; keep flour out until  you are done with all the handling of it
  3. Small kitchen? Make sure you have room for 2 sheet pans and a cutting board and a floured surface all at once.
  4. Use a kitchen aid (or whatever brand) stand up mixer for this, a hand held mixer will not work.
  5. If you want smaller portions, I have made this recipe into 18 focaccias, it is possible.
  6. Pre cut your parchment paper and set out on sheet pans ahead of time or during the rising process.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2  1/2 tsp (1 pkg) active dry yeast or 1 small cake (18 grams) fresh yeast
  • 1  cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk (warmed in microwave for about 1 minute)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 1/2 T lard, at room temperature (I used vegetable shortening)
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Olive oil for brushing the tops
  • Salt for sprinkling the tops
  • Cornmeal for dusting the bottoms before baking
  • Toppings – thinly sliced vegetables, grilled or sautéed to intensify the flavor.  Garlic, Cheeses, Whatever sounds good.

DIRECTIONS:

Stir the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand until creamy, 10 minutes. 

Stir in the oil, and lard with the paddle. 

Add the flour and mix at low speed about 2 minutes. 

Change to the dough hook and knead 4 to 5 minutes. 

Add the salt and knead another 1 to 2 minutes.  The dough will climb up the collar of the hook, and you will have to stop several times to push it down.  The dough should be smooth, velvety, and softer than bread dough but firmer than croissant dough.

First Rise:

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap (don’t forget to spray the plastic wrap), and let rise until doubled, 2 hours.

Cut the dough into 6 pieces (or however many you want to make, remember I made mine into 18 once) on a lightly floured surface and shape into balls. Let rest under a towel for 15 minutes.

Dimple the dough balls (remember kids love this part, no matter what age!), spreading each into a circle, and let rest under a towel another 15 minutes. 

Dimple tops with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt alone or your seasoning. (Here I used basil and salt) Place the dough circles on parchment-lined or oiled baking sheets or baker’s peels sprinkled with cornmeal.

Second Rise:

Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Dimple the dough again with your fingertips, stretching it as you go.  Sprinkle with salt and brush with oil. 

Mist water very lightly over the top to cover and trap the oil and then cover with the toppings of your choice.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. at least 20 minutes before you plan to bake.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes.  Immediately brush the surfaces with oil.  Serve hot, or cool on racks to room temperature.

This recipe is being shown over at Thursday’s Treasures!!

Broccoflower Fritters

Normally when you hear the word “fritter” you, or at least I, think of a nice warm gooey apple fritter! Sadly not much nutrients in one of those, but in my veggie fritter, you will get a ton of them. From cancer fighting agents to helping fight those nasty cold buggies searching your immune system for a place to live. There is no end to the wonderful benefits of broccoli. You can make this recipe with just broccoli, or just cauliflower, I used a combination of broccoli and a broccoflower I found at the store that looked beautiful. This cross-breed between broccoli and cauliflower is it’s sweeter counterpart. You can eat it raw as is, or cook how you would broccoli or cauliflower. I love the taste of both so I decided to have the best of both worlds 😀

The crispy exterior of these fritters mixed with the tender interior with the nutty parmesan cheese and rosemary flavors really blend well together. Bringing a well-rounded side dish to your meal or just to eat as a snack.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 stalks rosemary, toasted and chopped
1/2 c flour
2 stalks brocoli
1/2 broccoflower
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt/pepper to taste
rosemary oil to cook in

DIRECTIONS

Steam your broccoli or broccoflower until fork tender.

In a medium sized bowl combine; eggs, parmesan cheese, cornmeal, rosemary, flour, red pepper flakes, salt/pepper (if using).

Add steamed broccoli or broccoflower and mash away. Using a potato masher works wonders for this process. You don’t want the consistency of mashed potatoes, you want a chunkier mixture with pieces of the vegetable throughout. 

In a skillet heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 sprig of rosemary. Heat on medium low to infuse the oil with the rosemary flavors. About 5-7 minutes.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 1 tablespoon of fritter batter into the hot rosemary oil and flatten with spatula.

Cook until brown on edges about 3-4 minutes, then flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.

Remove from oil and place on paper towel and give a light dusting of parmesean cheese & salt (optional). I omit the salt from the recipe and use it here instead.

Recipe makes approximately 15 fritters depending on the size you make them. They can be stored in an airtight ziplock or container in fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 2 weeks.

Best served warm.  If re-heating, warm oven to 375 degrees F. Take a cookie sheet with a wire rack and place on cookie sheet, place fritters on rack and bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through. 

Featured at: Foodie Friends Friday

Krispy Sea Salt & Pepper Kale Chips

I am officially on the KALE bandwagon ya’ll. What took me so long? Well, the first bunch of Kale I purchased from the farmer’s market went bad before I had a chance to make it, so that went out the window. The next bunch of Kale I purchased from the Farmer’s market, was left in my vehicle and went bad. Let me just say in the hot California sun, rotting away in my 135 degree car, kale does not smell so good 😦 Ok, so after 2 times now I am thinking do I even attempt a third try? HECK YA! I went for it and am so happy. I am sad to say that I have NEVER used kale in anything. Nope! Not a smoothie, not a salad, not as a side dish. *sticks pouty lip out*  My kids see this huge big green bunch of veggies on the counter and immediately cringe, just because. They have no reason to…seriously, when is the last time you saw a food you didn’t know what it was and just cringed? I look at an unfamiliar food and am excited to see what potential is has! Anyway, I tell them to not worry about it and go about their business. After all was said and done there were mixed reviews. I of course LOVED them, 1 son age 10 who LOVED them as much as me. The other kids, said they were *eh*. Of course I made them eat them, but they certainly would not be asking for those again. Between my son and I we ate both cookie sheets! I’m dying for next Tuesday when I can get back to the farmer’s market and get more!

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch kale, washed and thoroughly dried
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling to taste
white pepper for sprinkling to taste

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.

Cut, wash, and dry kale. Make sure to remove the ribs and stems that are tough and woody. They do not soften and they are not good unless you like eating straw that is hard and sharp! NOTE: The veins of the leaf should remain in tact, if you tear the pieces too small they tend to burn quickly, so you need to watch your cooking time and adjust it accordingly.

Tear Kale into bite sized pieces and place on cookie sheet atop parchment paper. I end up with 2 cookie sheets full….drooling just remembering my bounty!

Toss both pans full of Kale with the olive oil,  sea salt and white pepper.

Bake for 12 minutes and turn over using a spatula. Keep kale spread out and as flat as possible. It “K”risps up really nice that way.

Bake for another 12 minutes or until crispy, being careful not to let the leaves burn. Remember if your pieces are too small they may burn, so check them frequently.

Eat…Eat…Eat until they are all gone, which is roughly 10 minutes!

Featured on Foodie Friends Friday!

Roasted Cauliflower

First off, I can’t take credit for this recipe. I got it from Rachael Ray. It is the BEST cauliflower recipe ever! My kids don’t eat or like cauliflower for that matter or any veggies really and we eat the entire head of cauliflower with this recipe! I am at the point now that I automatically get 2 heads of cauliflower when I make this. (YES it’s that good!)

INGREDIENTS

4 cloves garlic, halved
About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (the smaller the better)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (must get this cheese, you can substitute, but this is the best!)

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the true "par...

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the true “parmesan” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. 
  2. In a small pot, combine the garlic and EVOO; heat over a low flame and gently simmer until the garlic is light golden brown in color and very fragrant, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the garlic cloves and reserve.
  3. Pile the cauliflower on a baking sheet and dress with the lemon juice, about 3-4 tablespoons of the garlic-infused oil, thyme, and salt/pepper. 
  4. Toss to combine and spread the florets out in a single layer. Roast to brown at the edges and until tender, 20-25 minutes. 
  5. Cover with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and roast for 5 minutes more. 
  6. Serve warm if you can manage to keep from eating straight off the pan (this is what m and my hubby end up doing!)
  7. Those garlic cloves you used to season the olive oil are great in mashed potatoes, potato salad, or mixed up in anything you can think of!