Avocado Chimchurri Bruschetta

Here’s the recipe I promised you yesterday. Oops!

I’ve made this recipe twice now and everyone loves it! It’s a fantastic appetizer, particularly if you are an avocado fan, and if you aren’t than I feel sorry for you.

Avocado Chimchurri Bruschetta

  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, minced
  • 1//4 cup chopped fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 baguette, sliced and toasted (I’ve used both white and whole wheat baguette)

Combine the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, oregano, and black and red pepper in small bowl.

Whisk in the oil until thoroughly combined, then stir in the herbs.

Gently toss the avocado cubes into the sauce.

Spoon the avocado and sauce mixture onto toast slices.

Tortellini with Corn, Arugula and Tomatoes

It’s What’s For Dinner Wednesday! YAY! And I’ve had quite the Wednesday.

Molly slept until 8:30am which NEVER happens. I seriously felt like a new woman when I woke up. She is still coughing a bit and has a runny nose, but is feeling so much better. I think she just needed extra sleep.

About an hour or so after we woke up I was on Facebook and a friend of mine mentioned that the Bloom just down the street was closing and the ENTIRE store was 50% off. Well, I hauled my ass up there so fast and piled up my cart with diapers, coffee, baking ingredients and shampoo! I got $440 worth of groceries for $220. I don’t think I have ever been that excited about groceries. Woo!

Now, this recipe is an oldie. I can’t even remember where I found it but it has evolved over the past few years and I don’t even measure the ingredients anymore, but don’t worry, I have measurements for you. This dish is one of the first meals Ben and I made together when we started dating. Awwww.

Tortellini with Corn, Arugula and Tomatoes

  • 2 packages of the tortellini of your choice
  • 1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels (I use frozen)
  • 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, stemmed and chopped (I use one tomato b/c Ben isn’t a big fan)
  • 1/4 cup scallion, thinly sliced (I use onion powder to taste)
  • Handful arugula
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • Grated Parmesan
  • optional – cooked ground turkey for a meat lover

Directions

1. Cook tortellini according to the directions on the packaging.

2. Meanwhile, pour the vinegar into a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Add the corn, tomatoes, scallion and arugula. Toss until coated.

3. When tortellini is done cooking, drain the pasta and then toss with the arugula mixture. The arugula should begin to wilt. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on a little parmesan.

Yum! It’s seriously so good. I like to add red pepper flakes to mine, but I’m totally addicted to red pepper flakes.

Tortellini with Corn, Arugula and Tomato

Enjoy!

By the way… I’m so so so so mad about Picnik shutting down. I can’t even talk about it. :(

Hungry Girl – Kickin’ Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today is Health & Wellness Thursday over on The Momma Bird where you can find me talking about inspiration and motivation. It’s really easy to get excited about starting a new health and fitness routine. Then, after a few weeks, it gets old. You are bored or you aren’t seeing the results you want. Well, I have a few suggestions to inspire you. Go check it out!

I didn’t get a chance to post a recipe yesterday, however this recipe is perfect for all of you watching what you eat so it works out well! It’s no secret that I’m a big Hungry Girl fan. I love that she takes bad-for-you food and makes it good for you! This soup is guaranteed to keep you warm on these cold winter nights AND satisfy you!

Hungry Girl’s Kickin’ Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup diced tomato, undrained
  • 1/2 cup sweet whole kernel corn, canned
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fajita seasoning mix
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 6 baked tortilla chips, crushed
  • Optional toppings – cilantro, nonfat sour cream, low fat/fat free shredded cheese

Directions

  • In a medium pot sprayed with nonstick spray, cook onions, garlic, seasoning and spices over medium heat until onions soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the corn and diced tomatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken, jalapeno and lime juice. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes to thoroughly blend flavors.
  • Once ready to serve, top each serving with crushed chips and, if desired, the optional toppings.chicken tortilla soup

     

    I added avocado to mine! YUM!

Turkey, Tomato, & Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups

Sorry I didn’t post this recipe yesterday, it was a rough day. Unfortunately, I attended the funeral of a friend. It was heartbreaking and emotionally draining. I left feeling all the love everyone had for him, but the obvious hole that he left is gaping. Seeing so many people in that much pain is almost unbearable. I hope my hugs helped a tiny bit for at least a few moments of comfort.

Life truly is so fleeting.

Anyway, here’s your weekly recipe. I promise it’s a good one… and it’s adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen, so you know it’s awesome. Her recipe calls for onions and green peppers, but I don’t like either so I removed. Visit her site for the original recipe.

Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups

2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil (may need more, depending on your pan)
2 T finely minced fresh garlic 
1 lb. ground turkey (10% fat or less)
Onion powder for seasoning
2 C flavorful tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 cups low-fat mozzarella or other mild white cheese

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Chop onion and green pepper. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, then sauté  minced garlic about 1 minute, being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove garlic to a bowl.

Add 2 tsp. more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground turkey, season with onion powder, and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Tilt pan to see if there is any extra fat, and remove with a spoon if there is, then stir  garlic back into the meat. Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture (it doesn’t need to be completely cool), then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

zucchini cups

Hungry Girl Chicken Pot Pie

I think I may have mentioned at least one hundred times how much I love Hungry Girl’s recipes. When my sister and I were roommates we pretty much lived off of her first cookbook. And now she has three cookbooks and her own show on The Food Network! Crazy!

I make this recipe a lot. It is SO easy and seriously delicious. It only serves four so if you have a big family you will have to adjust the ingredients. Okay, I’ll shut up now. Here ya go!

HG’s Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. raw boneless skinless chicken breast; cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cups C&W Ultimate Petite Mixed Vegetables (or any other frozen mixed vegetables)
  • 1 can (10.75 oz.) Campbell’s Condensed Soup, 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery
  • 3 servings Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent Rolls (unprepared)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute chicken pieces for several minutes in a pan spritzed with nonstick cooking spray, until chicken is light brown/cooked but still tender; set aside. Heat frozen veggies in microwave according to package. Mix chicken, vegetables and soup together and put in a 9" round baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place dish in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly (stir about halfway through).

While dish is cooking, unroll 3 crescent rolls. Combine pieces together with hands to make one large ball of dough. With a rolling pin, roll dough out into a circle to cover top of dish. Add dough to the top of the dish and cook for an additional 15 – 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serves 4.

HGChickenPotPie

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This will probably be the last guilty pleasure recipe you see for awhile. I know you’re thinking, “What the hell?” Don’t worry, it will only be for a few weeks. A new year = a new you, right? I’m sure many of you will be looking for healthy recipes and I am going to give them to you. Have no fear, all of my healthy recipes taste awesome! I only eat food that tastes good.

So, why not go out with a bang this year and blow some people’s minds with an awesome banana cake? You really should.

Totally Awesome Banana Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups ripe, mashed banana
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter at room temp
  • 2 1/8 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 275°
  • Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans
  • In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
  • Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
  • Stir in banana mixture.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
  •  

    The Best Cream Cheese Buttercream Ever

    I stand by Edna’s frosting. It’s delicious and easy to work with. I want to give her all the credit so if you want the recipe then you have to visit her site :)

    If you feel like getting creative then you can play with some fondant and make a cute little design. I made a baby giraffe for a friend’s baby shower. Everyone loved the cake!

    bananacake

    Peppermint Patty Surprise Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars

    Is that a mouthful or what? I’m sure a lot of you have Christmas cookie exchanges this time of year and this recipe will definitely give you a leg up. Okay, so they are technically bars, but I don’t think anyone will hold that against you.  These are seriously SO GOOD!

    My sister sent me the recipe and I knew I had to somehow incorporate them into my holiday baking. I ended up making them for the Pure Matters team, so I wouldn’t eat the entire batch. Not the healthiest, but perfect if you want to indulge. Enjoy and happy baking!!

    Peppermint Patty Surprise Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars by Jenny Flake at Picky Palate

    peppermint patty surprise chocolate chunk cookie bars

    Broccoli & Quinoa Casserole

    If you’re new here Wednesdays = recipe sharing around these parts. I originally had a Christmas cookie recipe I was going to share today, but I made this casserole last night and it was so amazeballs that I just had to share it with you ASAP. I loved it so much that I kept going back and taking bites before I stuck the leftovers in the fridge. I had to seriously stop myself.

    It is THAT good. I think it would be a great side dish at Christmas/Christmas Eve dinner because it’s so similar to a traditional broccoli-rice casserole, but it’s made with quinoa! Less carbs and more protein! YES! I actually added chicken to my casserole for even more protein, but the original recipe doesn’t call for it.

    BROCCOLI-QUINOA CASSEROLE

    Ingredients

    • 1 can condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup, low sodium
    • 1/3 cup reduced fat mayo
    • 2 tablespoons skim milk
    • 1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)
    • 1/2 tsp Splenda
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • dash of ground nutmeg
    • 2 cups cooked broccoli
    • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
    • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese

    Cook your quinoa and broccoli according to the packaging (yes I use frozen broccoli).

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8×8 in) casserole dish – or individual ramekins – with vegetable cooking spray.

    In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, Splenda, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.

    Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and bake for 35-40 minutes (20-25 minutes for ramekins) or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

    OMGSOEFFINGGOOD!!!

    broccoliquinoacasserole

    Looks similar to the Mexican Lasagna. TOTALLY different.

    Tortellini with Butternut Squash and Fontina

    Heeeyyy! So, it’s Wednesday again, which means I have another recipe for you. Yay! This time I made a recipe I found in Real Simple’s October issue. I love this magazine! October was “A Month of Easy Dinners.” There was even a shopping list included!  <3

    Here’s the original recipe, however I crossed out the mushrooms because I don’t like mushrooms, therefore I didn’t use them. Blargh.

    Tortellini with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms, and Fontina

    Ingredients

    • 1 Small Butternut Squash (2 Pounds), Peeled And Cut Into 1-inch Cubes
    • 1 pound Cremini Mushrooms, Stems Trimmed And Halved If Large
    • ¼ cups Fresh Sage Leaves, Torn
    • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    • Kosher Salt And Black Pepper
    • 1 pound Fresh Or Frozen Cheese Tortellini (I used whole wheat)
    • 2 ounces, weight Fontina, Grated, Plus More For Serving

     

    1. Heat oven to 450° F. On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss the squash and mushrooms with the sage, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once and rotating pans halfway through, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the tortellini and return to the pot. Add the fontina, ¼ cup of the cooking water, and ½ teaspoon salt and stir gently until a light sauce forms (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Add the vegetables and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with additional fontina, garnish with a few sage leaves.

    YUM YUM IN MY TUM TUM!

    tortellini with butternut squash

    There may or may not be some added parmesan on there.

    Apple Crisp

    Bet you didn’t know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving!  If you’re looking for a twist on the typical Apple Pie, I highly suggest making some delicious Apple Crisp.  It’s a bit of a tradition in our household since we go apple picking every fall.  We pick a bunch of yummy apples and make this recipe!

    Not that long ago I had a food blog.  But then I got pregnant and I couldn’t keep up with it.  Eventually, I took the name of my food blog and used it as the name of my business: Noms by Nikki!  My food blog still exists on the interwebs, however I may reuse some of those recipes on here so don’t judge.

    Without further ado:

    Apple Crisp

    1 c. sugar
    2 tsp. lemon juice
    1/4 c. water
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    6 peeled and sliced large apples
    3/4 c. flour
    1/4 tsp. salt
    6 tbsp. butter

    Combine 1/2 c. sugar, lemon juice, water and cinnamon in bottom of small baking pan. Slice in apples. Blend remaining 1/2 c. sugar, flour, salt and butter until crumbly. Spread over apples and pat smooth.Bake at 375°F. for 40-50 minutes, until apples are tender and crust is browned.

    apple crisp