DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I am really into making homemade fresh salad dressings this summer. When I was out of town last month in Cabo, I came home and my husband had planted various hanging fresh herb baskets in our backyard. Needless to say I was beyond excited, and this DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe will be the first of many recipes including fresh herbs in the coming months. This vinaigrette can be drizzled over salads, fish tacos, seafood, pork and chicken. We served it last night over a big mixed salad with grilled shrimp, and it was divine! If you want to grow your own cilantro this summer, it’s super easy. It just needs good sunlight and water almost every day.

fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro is very low in calories, and its green leaves contain  antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce the “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. It’s also high in potassium, calcium, folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It’s also said to be a detoxifying food.

 

Chicken Burrito Bowl

chicken burrito bowl

My kids love Southwestern foods, and grain bowls are a new hit at our house. This Chicken Burrito Bowl is one of their favorites, filled with black beans, chicken, corn, brown rice, and chicken. It’s so easy to prepare–you can even make it ahead of time. Perfect for a summer or fall healthy dinner, add this easy, healthy recipe to your menu list!

 

Taquito Layered Dip: Cinco De Mayo

Taquito Layered Dip

Happy May and Cinco De Mayo! I am finally back from Italy, and now is the time to spice it up for summer entertaining just in time for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, graduation, lake and beach parties. I made this Taquito Layered Dip today when I was having some friends over, and I saved a ton of time by using Chicken Taquito’s by Jose Ole. Feel free to use the chicken or steak varieties, and add your favorite southwestern toppings such as black olives, cilantro, avocado or jalapeños. You can also make your life simpler (and sometimes save money) using frozen foods to create fabulous appetizers, main dishes and even desserts. There are a huge variety of different cuisines represented in the freezer aisle, including options that cover snack-time, breakfast, lunch, dinner, entertaining and specialty food occasions. If you like southwestern food, the options of frozen food choices are endless. For more recipes such as these using frozen foods see Easy Home Meals.

This post is sponsored by Easy Home Meals, but all opinions are my own.

Tofu Tacos for Cinco De Mayo

Tofu Taco

I am thinking about making a vegetarian for Cinco deMayo on Monday (or maybe the Kentucky Derby tomorrow). These Tofu Tacos are perfect for Cinco De Mayo. I made these for my 3 kids, and they fell in love with tofu. This recipe is so easy, fast and healthy! I used House Foods Tofu which offers both Premium & Organic products in five consistencies.   All products are made exclusively with 100% US grown soybeans and are Non-GMO Product Verified, certified gluten-free and Kosher.  Not only is House Foods’ tofu low in fat and high in protein, it also has the ability to soak up any flavor and add body and texture to a dish. Happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend!

Tortilla Soup with Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

If you have any leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, I have a great recipe idea. This Tortilla Soup recipe is my newest favorite, and it’s a perfect way to use up your turkey leftovers. I served it tonight, and I couldn’t stop eating it. If you don’t have any turkey leftovers, feel free to use cooked chicken (or a rotisserie chicken is perfect if you’re in a hurry). You can also make this a vegetarian recipe by substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth, omitting the turkey and using an entire can of black beans. My 3 kids loved this soup, and they told me it is the best tortilla soup they have ever tried. I took this as a sincere compliment and good endorsement! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday! It was so nice to be with my family and catch up on some rest. I ran a 10K “Turkey Run” on Thursday, and I placed 5th in my age division. I’ll take it! Here is to a great week ahead!

Easy Tacos: Weeknight Dinner Idea

Two weeks down, and our school is in full swing. Can you believe it? We are up to our ears in homework, dance, football and soccer, so dinner is always a challenge. These Easy Tacos are an ideal super quick weeknight dinner recipe. Instead of using a store-bought taco mix, use this homemade spice mixture which will have a lot less sodium. You can even make the meat ahead of time to simplify the dinner process. If you are gluten-free or eating Paleo, spoon the meat over the salad or use gluten-free tortillas (that’s what I do). Enjoy and have a great week ahead!

Magical Gluten-Free Side Dish: Southwestern Quinoa Salad

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A lot of people have asked me lately, “What is quinoa?”. I answer, “It’s the magical grain.” Quinoa is the amazing gluten-free grain that is high in fiber and a complete protein, meaning it has all nine amino acids. Quinoa also contains high amounts of  lysine, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. It is a great replacement for rice or couscous and works great here in this simple recipe for Southwestern Quinoa Salad. Serve it room temperature or chilled. It’s awesome, and my kids even ate it too! By the way, quinoa can be found at Whole Foods Market or any of your specialty stores.

Easy and Light Cinco De Mayo Appetizer: Southwestern Spinach Dip

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I’ve had several requests for spinach dip recipes, and this Southwestern Spinach Dip is one with a twist just in time for Cinco De Mayo. Use Pepper Jack cheese, green chiles and fresh tomatoes to flavor this wonderful appetizer. Just beware! It’s very addictive so purchase plenty of chips. Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Layered Chicken Santa Fe Salad

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We love salads for supper, and anything Southwestern goes over great at my house. Layered Santa Fe Salad is a breeze. Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the grocery, or use leftover grilled chicken. Serve with salsa or, for kids, ranch dressing. In under 25 minutes, you will have a colorful dinner on the table that is so healthy, high in protein and low in fat.

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo with Pomegranate Margaritas

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I featured this awesome Pomegranate Recipe when my blog was brand new back in November right before Thanksgiving. Since Cinco De Mayo is around the corner, I thought I would share it one more time. Adding pomegranate juice adds great depth of flavor to this simple beverage. It is perfect to serve this time of year as the weather has warmed up here in the south, and spring is upon us. I used Patron Silver for the tequila, as it’s one of my favorites. Look for me on Sunday at 7:35 a.m central time on Fox 6 News in Birmingham, Alabama