Mango Salsa

Grilled Salmon with Mango Salsa. You might thinking that title sounds familiar if you read my blog regularly. One of the first recipes I posted was my grilled salmon with PEACH salsa recipe. It’s one of my favorites and this summer, the hubster and I have been on a salmon kick and I find myself making it once a week. As I was prepping some salmon last month, I looked into our fruit bowl and in the freezer and realized I was fresh out of peaches. However, I did have mangoes. So mango salsa it was. And mango salsa it has been for the last month. I used the same recipe that I used for the peach salsa, but this time, I just swapped the mangoes for the peaches. I didn’t have red pepper on hand, but the mango salsa tasted great without it!

Don’t get me wrong, the peach salsa is fantastic, but I am really loving this mango salsa. It kind of rocks my world, but don’t tell the peaches that….

Mango Salsa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 3 c. of chopped mango
– 1/4 c. chopped red onion
– 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
– 1 1/2 tbs. rice vinegar
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– Optional: 3/4 c. finely chopped red pepper

Directions:

1. In a medium-sized bowl, chop all ingredients for the salsa and put into bowl. Add vinegar and mix well. Set bowl aside.

Notes:
– You can find my recipe for the peach salsa and my go-to recipe for cooking salmon here.
– Not a fan of salmon or seafood? No problem! This salsa is also great served over grilled chicken or pork!

Low-Fat Choco Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie


Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! The last week and the next two weeks are so crazy for me with a conference and out-of-state travels to visit family! But for now, it’s time for me to tell you about this awesome smoothie I have been making!

The name of this recipe is quite a mouthful, isn’t it?! I probably could have thought of something shorter and more creative, but I’m too dang tired! I had a craving for a smoothie the other day, but I didn’t want my usual fruit smoothie. I wanted something chocolatey, more like a milkshake, but without all the fat and sugar. And though my husband (the milkshake connoisseur) would disagree, I think this is a great substitute for a milkshake. This smoothie is rich and filling because of the peanut butter and banana. Not only is this smoothie low in fat, but it also low in sugar if you use the natural peanut butter.

Low-Fat Choco Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

– 2 cups ice

– 1 cup skim milk

– 1 medium banana, quartered

– 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1 tbs. all natural peanut butter

– Optional: 1 tbs. ground flaxseed

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Easy Blueberry Strawberry Cobbler

I had a major hankering for a fruit cobbler last week. Like major. And since it was the 4th of July, I wanted to make a dessert that was red, white, and blue! I’ve actually never made a cobbler before so I wasn’t sure how this recipe would turn out, but it was really REALLY good and really REALLY easy to make. I decided to use fresh blueberries and strawberries. And for that delicious cake topping, I used boxed cake mix. Super easy! This cobbler was pretty sweet for me, in fact, I had trouble getting through my bowl. If you don’t like super sweet desserts, I recommend maybe cutting down the sugar just a tad.

Easy Blueberry Strawberry Cobbler

Serves 6

Ingredients:

– 1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed

– 2 cups strawberries (about 3/4 of a package), rinsed and hulled

– 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/4 cup water

– 2 tbs. flour

– 1/2 boxed yellow or vanilla cake mix (though, you can use all of it if you want the cobbler to be extra cakey :) )

– 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. In a saucepan, combine flour and sugar. Add water and lemon juice and combine. Stir in the blueberries and strawberries. Turn on the heat to medium high, continue mixing and bring to a boil. Pour mixture into baking disk.

2. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over the fruit until it is well-covered, drizzle melted butter evenly over the top of the cake mix, making sure the cake mix is well-covered in the butter. Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the cake has browned and the fruit starts to bubble over the cake mix. Serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Southwest Burgers

Ok, so I am kind of obsessed with guacamole. I think I could eat it every day whether it is with tortilla chips, tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, veggies, grilled chicken, and now, these Southwest Burgers. Yeah, sure, I tried to infuse a “southwest” flavor into the meat, but really, all I wanted to do is slather copious amounts of guacamole on this burger. I was trying to think about what I was going to make for the 4th of July and figured I would make some sort of burger so after day-dreaming about guacamole, I decided to make these southwest burgers that I topped with some of my Best Dang Guacamole.

Southwest Burgers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or turkey, or black beans!)

– 2 tsp. taco seasoning

– 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

– 1 tsp. onion powder

– 4 slices of pepper jack cheese

– Toppings: guacamole and salsa

– Optional: If you want the burgers to be moister, try adding 1/3 cup of salsa into the meat. You can also add 2 tsp. of hot sauce if you want these burgers to have a kick to them!

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine beef, taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder. Form into 4 patties.

2. Heat grill or grill pan (spray with cooking spray first) to medium high heat. Cook burgers approximately 5 minutes on each side or until burgers are cooked to your desire. Add cheese slices on top of the burgers about 2 minutes before you remove them from the grill. Top burger with the best dang guacamole, salsa, and serve!

Three Bean Salad

Celebrating the 4th of July is synonymous with burgers, hot dogs, desserts, chips, etc (you know, basically any junk food!). So by no means am I going to pretend we had a really healthy meal on the 4th of July. I mean, that would just be very un-American of me! We had southwestern burgers and strawberry and blueberry cobbler (those recipes will be posted soon), but I wanted to try to off-set the bad carbs and sugar with a side dish that I could feel better about eating! This three-bean salad is delicious and healthy and it’s a great substitute for mayo-ridden potato and pasta salads. It’s very easy to make and is perfect for summer picnics and BBQ’s!

Three Bean Salad

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

– 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

– 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

– 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed

– 2 tbs. apple cider vinegar

– 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

– 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

– 2 tbs. chopped cilantro

– salt and black pepper to taste

– Optional: 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice and finely chopped red onion

Directions:

1. Drain and rinse beans in a colander. Transfer beans to a bowl. Add in all other ingredients and mix. Chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Nutella Cupcakes


It was my friend/co-worker’s birthday last week and I offered to make the cupcakes. But ya see, it wasn’t so simple because Jennifer is usually the person in my lab that makes the cupcakes for all of our special events. I had some big shoes to fill and I didn’t want to make plain ol’ vanilla or chocolate cupcakes and then I remembered seeing this this post from My Baking Addiction for Nutella buttercream frosting and knew I found the right cupcakes. If you have never had Nutella, I highly suggest you pick up a jar of it the next time you hit up your grocery store. It is a chocolate hazelnut spread that was sent down to us from Heaven. The addition of Nutella to the cupcake batter gave the cake a rich, decadent taste!

I used the doctored up chocolate cake recipe that I used for my Triple Chocolate Cupcakes, except instead of adding in the pudding mix, I added Nutella and baked it right into the cake! These Nutella cupcakes were amazing, but I almost wish they had a little more Nutella flavor. If I make these again, I think I will do it the way Jamie from My Baking Addiction suggests by filling the cupcakes with Nutella after they bake!

Nutella Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

– 1 box devil’s food cake mix

– 4 eggs

– 1 cup vegetable oil (though I used more like 3/4 cup)

– 1 cup sour cream

– 1/2 cup milk

– 2 tsp. vanilla extract

– 1/2 cup Nutella

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix eggs, oil, sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, and Nutella. Add in cake mix and mix until well-combined.

2. Place cupcake liners into muffin pan and pour batter into cups filling each cup approximately 3/4 of the way. Bake for 19-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. Then, I want you to go for a quick jog or do some jumping jacks because if you are anything like me, you had at least two (maybe 3) spoonfuls of Nutella while you were making these cupcakes….

Ingredients for the Nutella Buttercream Frosting:

From My Baking Addiction

– 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened

– 2 lbs. confectioners’ sugar, sifted

– 1 13 ounce container Nutella

– 6-8 tbs. milk or heavy cream

– 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Cream together the butter and Nutella in a large mixing bowl. Add in confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time and continue until all sugar is creamed together with the butter and Nutella. Add vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of the milk or cream and mix. Keep adding a tablespoon of the milk or cream until your frosting is smooth.

Notes:
– Because I wanted to add Nutella into the cake batter and needed it for the frosting, I bought the large, 26 ounce jar of Nutella so I didn’t have to buy 2 smaller jars.