Category Archives: Main Courses

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail — SO DELICIOUS

Why do I call this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail? Because it’s based on a dish I love at a local Mexican restaurant and that is exactly what they call it.

In flavor, it’s really a cross between a ceviche, salsa and shrimp cocktail. I love Ecuadorian style ceviche, which has tomato and lot of citrus. It’s served with popcorn on top, which sounds weird but is amazing. However, it’s huge pain to make. So I simplified the concept by using Zing Zang, which is one of my favorite Bloody Mary Mixes.

The I add fresh lime juice, cilantro, shrimp (cooked because I live in the Midwest and would not trust raw shrimp here), tomatoes, cucumbers and chunked avocado. This is divine. It’s excellent for a summer party because it’s light and people can serve themselves. It’s fun served in martini or margarita glasses.

Plus, if you have a garden, you can use the cucumbers and tomatoes out of it in this dish.

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

2 ½ cups Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix, chilled

2/3 cup chopped and peeled cucumber

1 cup chopped tomatoes

½ cup minced red onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Half a red bell pepper, chopped

12 ounces cooked small shrimp (I bought frozen precooked shrimp in a bag and defrosted it)

¼ cup lime juice, minus 1 teaspoon

2 avocadoes, chopped

Note: If you are not serving this right away, then don’t add the avocadoes until you serve it.

If shrimp is frozen, follow the instructions on the package to defrost it. I defrosted mine in the refrigerator overnight.

The Bloody Mary mix should be chilled in advance especially if you plan to serve this immediately.

Because of the lime juice in this recipe, you want to use glass or another nonreactive bowl.

Place Bloody Mary mix in the bowl and set aside.

Peel and chop the cucumber; chop the tomato, onion, cilantro and red bell pepper and add to the bowl.  Drain the water off your shrimp and add to the mix. Stir in lime juice and mix thoroughly.

Gently fold in chopped avocado. Serve. You can serve this plain or with tortilla chips on the side.

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Chicken Fattoush Flatbread

I love, love, love Fattoush, a Middle Eastern salad that explodes with flavor. I was first introduced to it at a Lebanese restaurant in Ghana. I lived in Ghana, in West Africa, for years and it has some incredible restaurants.

Fattoush is served with warm pita, usually crispy from the oven. If you have leftover pita from a party or pita that’s about to go stale, you should make Fattoush.   Fresh herbs, like parsley, mint, basil, are key to this salad. I pack a lot of parsley in mine and often use cilantro, too.  The vinaigrette is simple, lots of lemon and olive oil. If you love lemon, add the lemon zest, too.  I hit mine with a general dose of black pepper and garlic salt and load on the green onions.

My mouth is watering.

The concept of the warm pita was my inspiration for this flatbread. To transform the salad into a main course, I added rotisserie chicken and then piled it all atop of whole wheat flatbread. I made my own flatbread, but you could use Naan or pizza dough or pitas instead.

If you’re looking for a HEALTHY, delicious dinner, you’ve found it. It’s so light and flavorful. It’s the perfect summer dish.

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Chicken Fattoush Flatbread.

serves 2

1 cooked, crispy flatbread crust (I made my own whole wheat but it’s faster to buy one; my recipe follows)

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced Romaine lettuce

3 green onions, sliced

½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or mint

1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled or unpeeled, it’s up to you)

1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

2/3 cup sliced grape tomatoes

Generous dose of garlic salt

Generous dose of black pepper to taste

Dressing

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Salt

For the dressing, whisk ingredients together. Salt to taste and set aside.

Bake flatbread according to directions. You want the salad to rest for 5-10 minutes before you add it to the flatbread  but you also want the flatbread to be warm, so read the instructions before you make the salad so you time it right.

For the salad:

Thinly slice the lettuce and green onions and place in a large bowl.

Chop the parsley, cilantro or mint, cucumber, chicken, slice tomatoes and add to bowl. Pour salad dressing over salad and add a lot of black pepper and garlic salt. Taste as you go so you don’t oversalt. Allow it to rest 5-10 minutes.

When pita is ready, top it with the salad and serve.

You can use a pizza, pita or flabtread crust or make your own. For this portions, you will need 3-4 whole wheat pitas or

Whole Wheat Flatbread Crust

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons active yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup lukewarm water

Stir ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl with a clean towel and place on the oven to rise for 6 hours. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees or more to help it rise.

When it’s time to cook, preheat oven to 450 and place baking sheet in the oven to heat.

Split the dough in half. Coat your hands with flour and work the dough into a ball (you may need more flour). Sprinkle corn meal and flour on a flat surface. Start working the dough in your hands, pinching it to spread it out. Then place on the floured surface and spread with your fingers until you have a piece of flatbread.

When oven is ready, remove the baking sheet, sprinkle it with cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking, and bake 10-13 minutes, until crisp.

Top with fattoush and serve immediately.

Chicken Enchilada Flatbread

This flatbread is so easy to make and makes a quick dinner or appetizer. It takes 20 minutes from start to finish.

You can top it with cilantro, sour cream, tomatoes, black olives — anything you’d like.

I use red enchilada sauce, but it’s delicious with green, too.

Chicken Enchilada Flatbread

Makes 2 (serves 3-4)

1 (8.8 ounce) package of Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1/2 cup refried beans

1/4 cup salsa

Garlic salt to taste

2 rotisserie chicken breasts

1 cup red enchilada sauce

1 ½ cups shredded Mexican-style mixed cheese

1 green onion

Sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and taco seasoning, divide it in half and spread half on each Naan crust. Then, in the same bowl, mix refried beans, salsa and garlic salt to taste. Spread that over the cream cheese mixture.

Pull the chicken breasts off the rotisserie chicken and shred it with your hands. I put the chicken in the same bowl I’ve been using so I don’t’ dirty any more dishes. Stir together the chicken and enchilada sauce and then spread the mixture on each piece of Naan.

Top with cheese. Bake 9 minutes.

Chop green onion and use it to garnish the flatbread. If desired, garnish with sour cream, too.

Slice and serve.

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Try this Fabulous Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread

Divine. Heavenly. That’s how I’d describe my Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread, which is bubbly, creamy, bacon goodness.

Every day this week, I am showcasing a new flatbread creation and this is my favorite so far. Now, I am not done creating yet, but I’m in the home stretch.

This wonderful flatbread is topped with bits of tart apple that provide a nice contrast in terms of texture and flavor.

This pairs beautifully with red wine. The funny thing is I don’t usually like blue cheese, but Gorgonzola is much lighter than many other varieties and this doesn’t even taste like blue cheese. So if you think you don’t like blue cheese, it’s still worth trying this.

I can’t wait to eat it again.

Chicken, Bacon, Gorgonzola Flatbread

Makes 2 flatbreads

1 (8.8 ounce) package (which contains 2 flatbreads) of Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan

5 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup real bacon pieces or chopped bacon, plus 1 teaspoon (do not use bacon bits)

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup Gorgonzola crumbles

1 ¼ cups chopped rotisserie chicken

2/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 Granny Smith apple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together cream cheese, bacon, heavy whipping cream, garlic powder and Gorgonzola. Set aside.

Remove the breasts from the rotisserie chicken and chop those. Finely mince the Granny Smith apple and set aside.

When oven is preheated, spread half the cream cheese mixture on each flatbread. Sprinkle half the chicken on each flatbread and top with Mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 9 minutes. Then sprinkle with the apple and serve.

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Garden Vegetable, Dill, Chicken Flatbread

Flatbread week continues with another cool flatbread. Flatbreads are usually served warm, but it’s so hot. I am in the mood for something refreshing. This is REFRESHING! I don’t know how hot it is where you are, but we have a heat index of 108 today! So, cool is key. This flatbread was inspired by Greek salad and dill dip. You could add feta to this if you wanted, but I love it as is.

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Garden Vegetable, Dill, Chicken Flatbread

Makes 2 flatbreads

1 ¼ cups sour cream

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 green onion, chopped

1 (8.8 ounce) package of Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan (or use my recipe for flatbread dough and precook it)

½ cup chopped rotisserie chicken breasts

2/3 cup chopped cucumber

2/3 cup sliced grape or cherry tomatoes

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 large fresh Basil leaves to garnish

Mix sour cream, dill, chopped garlic and sliced green onion. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When time to assemble, toss together chicken, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt to vegetables and toss.

Then spread half the sour cream mixture on a cooked flatbread crust. Top it with half the vegetable and chicken mixture. Finely slice the basil and sprinkle it on top. Repeat the process for the second flatbread, then slice and serve.

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Hot Wing Flatbread

I declare this flatbread week! Every day this week I am posting a delicious flatbread, most of them will use rotisserie chicken and be incredibly easy recipes.

This is my Hot Wing Flatbread, which was inspired by hot wings. I loved wings in college, but I can’t touch them now. If I did, I’d be up all night with heartburn. So I decided to take the flavors behind the wing and transform it into a flatbread and the results were FABULOUS.

I spread Ranch dressing on a prebaked crust, topped it with rotisserie chicken that was tossed in hot wing sauce, added celery and blue cheese crumbles. It’s delightful and didn’t give me any heartburn.

This is actually served cool, so it’s excellent on a hot summer day.

I made my own crust. My recipe is simple- it contains flour, salt, yeast and water—but it needs six hours to rise so it’s not something that can be prepared at the last minute.

If you want to simplify this recipe, just use Stonefire Tandoori Baked Original Naan which makes the perfect crust. When you bake it, it’s crisp on the outside but still slightly chewy on the inside.

I started crafting flatbreads this weekend and my inspiration was endless, so I decided to post one recipe a day here.

I hope you enjoy flatbread week.

Hot Wing Flatbread

Makes 1 flatbread

1 precooked flatbread

1/3 cup Ranch dressing

2/3 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

2 -3 tablespoons Ott’s Wing Sauce or your favorite hot wing sauce

2 small stalks of celery, minced

3 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola

I recommend using the breast meat for this recipe. Pull off the chicken breast and finely chop it. Then toss it in the wing sauce and stir to coat the chicken.

Mince two small celery stalks.

Next, spread Ranch dressing on a precooked flatbread. Top with the chicken. Sprinkle with celery and Gorgonzola and serve.

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Juliana’s Simple Flatbread Crust

1 1/2 cups bread flour, more for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoons active yeast

1 teaspoon salt

¾ to 1 cup lukewarm water

Cornmeal

Olive oil

Stir together flour, yeast and salt. Then add warm water, stir, and then use your hand to gather dough into a ball. Drizzle olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl with a clean towel and place on the oven to rise for 6 hours. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees to help it rise.

When it’s time to cook, preheat oven to 450 and place a baking sheet in the oven to heat.

Split the dough in half. Coat your hands with flour and work the dough into a ball (you may need more flour). Start working the dough in your hands, pinching it to spread it out in your hands. Sprinkle corn meal and flour on a flat surface. Then put the dough down and continue to stretch it until you have a piece of flatbread.

When oven is preheated, remove the baking sheet, sprinkle it with cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking, and bake the flatbread for 10-13 minutes.

Asian Inspired Salad with Chicken, Edamame, Granny Smith Apples and Ginger Dressing

I must say, I chose the wrong color of bowl to showcase this delicious salad. I was STARVING when I made this and all I wanted to do was photograph it so I could gobble it up. I rushed and it didn’t pay off in terms of my photo. If I had just swapped out a white bowl for the green, this salad would look more appealing.

Let me tell you, it’s DELICIOUS, HEALTHY and very LIGHT. It’s perfect when it’s hot outside. My husband and I both commented on how good we felt after we ate this salad and how long that feeling lasted.

We are both trying to shed a few pounds, so I will likely be posting more healthier food options. Don’t worry, for you junk food lovers there will be plenty of indulgence, too.

This salad gets protein from the chicken and edamame; fiber from the apples, lettuce, and Napa cabbage. The ginger dressing is light and refreshing. And then there’s the flavor punch from the cilantro and green onions. Yummy! I love it and I hope you enjoy it, too. If you do, please share it.

Asian Inspired Salad with Chicken, Edamame, Granny Smith Apples and Ginger Dressing

Makes two generous dinner or lunch portions (we had a little leftover)

1 cup shredded Napa cabbage

4 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

½ cup cooked, shelled edamame

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 green onions, sliced

First full of cilantro

Two rotisserie chicken breasts

Dressing:

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon ginger paste or finely shredded fresh ginger (I prefer ginger paste in the tube because it’s so easy and I can grab it whenever I need)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a glass bowl and set aside.

For the salad, chop all the vegetables and place in a large serving bowl or divide between two bowls or plates.

Remove chicken breast and pull off the skin. Chop the meat into desired pieces and place on top of vegetables. Toss with the dressing. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.