Tag Archives: snack

Rosemary Almonds- savory gift from the kitchen

A savory gift from the kitchen is a welcome change this time of year.

I adore homemade gifts particularly edible ones, but I get tired of sweets. After a half a dozen cookies, I long for something salty which is why I predominantly dish out savory gifts.

Savory gifts are unique, practical and often healthier.

These almonds are addictive and so easy to make. I gobbled up the leftovers from this photo shoot in 24 hours. A nibble here. A snack there. And they were all gone.

I first tasted Rosemary Almonds at a tapas restaurant and fell in love! They are incredible warm but excellent later, too. I serve them at parties all the time.

This is way better for you than a cookie or plate of divinity.

I found these cute containers at Michael’s. They are adorable but don’t hold much. I will likely use them for spice mixes that I give as gifts. Enjoy!

 

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Rosemary Almonds

Makes 1 gift

1 cup raw almonds (or at least unsalted)

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons dried rosemary

Garlic salt to taste (can substitute sea salt)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss almonds in olive oil and use your hands to make sure the almonds are coated and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with rosemary and garlic salt and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before packaging and store in an airtight container for best results. These nuts will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container.

 

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Hawaiian Chicken Salad

Let me start by saying, don’t let this unattractive photo fool you, this dish is delicious. I’d have a better photo if I wasn’t allergic to cashews and getting just this close on my iPhone triggered a big reaction!

I’ve been playing around with this concept of a Hawaiian chicken salad for quite some time and I have not been happy with the results … until now.

I initially made this with macadamia nuts, but they didn’t offer enough crunch. So I decided on cashews, the one problem is I am allergic to cashews. It’s the only food I am allergic to.

No worries, I thought, I will be sure not to touch the nut and I’ll be fine. Wrong. As I stirred this salad (I was taking it to a ladies gathering that night), I started to run bright red! I got hives down my neck and throat and started to consider a trip to urgent care. Luckily, it only last about 30 minutes.

But now I know not only am I allergic to cashews, I am highly allergic, so this will be the last recipe I likely post with the nut. And that is why these pictures are so pitiful. I shot it quickly on my iPhone instead of taking time with my big camera.

I just needed to get away from this nut.

So, try it out. The ladies loved it! I tasted it before I added the nut and liked it, but I knew the cashew would add a lot of depth to this dish.

The combination of basil, pineapple, chicken and cashews explodes with flavor. It’s fantastic! I really wish I could have done some food styling.

I hope you like it.

Hawaiian Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken

½ cup chopped red onion

1 cup minced fresh pineapple

1/3 cup chopped celery

12-15 basil leaves

¾ cup cashews

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove all the skin from the rotisserie chicken and  discard. Then pull the meat off the bones and chop the entire chicken into pieces. Place it in a large container with a lid.

Chop onion, pineapple, celery and thinly slice basil leaves. Add to the bowl. Top with cashews.

Stir together mayonnaise and red wine vinegar. Add to the dish and stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. For best results, cover and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

You can eat this salad as a sandwich or wrap, with cracker or tortilla chips (I served tortilla chips and it was popular) or on a bed of lettuce as a real salad.

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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Two EASY Quesadillas: Goat cheese and grilled peppers; Chicken and Bacon. The choice is yours

I get on kicks. My latest is quesadillas.

A month ago, I made a wonderful black bean, Ranch, rotisserie chicken quesadilla, then a Mediterranean inspired quesadilla and I have several more in the works.

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The charm of the quesadilla is it’s quick, easy, versatile and delicious.

It’s portable so you can eat it on the go as a snack, but also filling enough to enjoy it for dinner.

If you’re watching your carb intake, you can substitute a high protein, low carb wrap for the tortilla shell.

A classic quesadilla is common street fare all over in Mexico. You can fill it with any variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables and use corn, black corn, white or wheat flour tortillas.  There are tremendous possibilities.

It’s a great way to use leftover barbecue meats, too. I nestle shredded barbecue pork in a tortilla, top it with cheese, cilantro, chopped red onion, and grill it. Then I serve it with barbecue sauce and sour cream. It’s delightful.

And you don’t have to know much about cooking to create a delicious quesadilla.

My biggest tip is when making a quesadilla that is stuffed with other ingredients, cook it cheese side down first so it has a chance to melt and the cheese doesn’t fall out when you flip it.

Use a nonstick pan or a skillet to make quesadillas. If you’re feeding a crowd, a pancake griddle works beautifully to cook several at the same time (if you have a family, a griddle is a great choice).

Here are two AMAZING and easy recipes:

The goat cheese quesadilla is tossed with green salsa and cuddles up to bell peppers and chicken. It’s L1070005 (2) one of my favorites as the creamy, tangy goat cheese contrast beautifully with a trio of bell peppers. Goat cheese is also less fattening and I like the fact that my recipe includes veggies. This is a single serving recipe, so perfect for a snack or someone who lives solo.

My bacon and chicken is about as easy as it gets and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish. This is basic qubaconqesadilla with rotisserie chicken, bacon pieces, cheese and a dash of cumin. I grill it and serve it with salsa and guacamole.

I hope you enjoy these.

Goat Cheese, Chicken and Tri-Pepper Quesadilla

Serves 1

1 medium size tortilla

Cooking spray

1/3 cup of assorted sliced bell peppers, red, green and yellow or orange

¼ cup of soft goat cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons green salsa

Dash of ground cumin

1/3 cup sliced or chopped rotisserie chicken breast

Guacamole or green salsa for serving

First, slice assorted bell peppers and heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bell peppers and cook 3-5 minutes until they reach desired tenderness. Salt the peppers and remove from heat.

In a bowl, stir together the goat cheese and green salsa until combined. Then spread the mixture over half of a tortilla. Top with chicken and bell peppers. Then sprinkle a dash of ground cumin on the other side of the tortilla and fold over to make a half moon.

Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat it over medium heat. Add the folded tortilla and cook about 2-3 minutes per side, until slightly crisp. Slice and serve with green salsa or guacamole.

goat cheese quesadilla

Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla

Makes 2 snacks or 1 meal size

2 medium size flour tortillas

1 chicken breast

½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese

2 heaping teaspoons real bacon pieces

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin or cumin seed

Cooking spray

Guacamole for serving

Salsa for serving

Cilantro to garnish

Cut the chicken breast off the rotisserie chicken, discard and skin and slice the breast. Then divide those pieces in half.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.

Place half the cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with chicken, bacon and cumin. Fold the other half of the tortilla over to make a half moon. Then place in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

Serve with salsa and guacamole.

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EASY Mediterranean Quesadillas with Feta, Red Pepper Sauce

I LOVE this recipe. It comes together in about 10 minutes so it’s perfect for lunch, a snack, light dinner (serve it with a salad) or a quick appetizer.  If you want to cut  calories and fat, you can omit the cheese inside the quesadilla and only use the feta in the red pepper sauce. I have done that and it was still popular.

You have to try these!

EASY Mediterranean Quesadillas with Feta, Red Pepper Sauce

1 cup chopped, skinless rotisserie chicken

1/3 cup hummus

1 tablespoon chopped red onion

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chopped black olives

1 tablespoon chopped green olives

3 (8-inch) flour tortillas

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Parsley or cilantro to garnish (optional)

Sauce:

1/3 cup feta cheese

¾ cup roasted red pepper slices

These quesadillas are so, so, so easy and delicious!

Make the sauce first. Place feta and roasted red pepper slices in a food processor and process for 30 seconds. Set aside.

Next, mix chicken, hummus, onion, cumin, and olives together and set aside.

Place mixture in half a flour tortilla shell (so when you fold it over it looks like a half moon). Top the mixture with cheese.

Preheat a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat. When hot, place the folded quesadilla down and cook about 3-4 minutes per side.

If desired, garnish with parsley or cilantro (I did this more for the photo than the taste).

Remove and top with red pepper sauce and serve immediately.

Chicken, Ranch, Black Bean Quesadilla

I made this recipe a few weeks ago when my sister was visiting from California and it was a big hit. It’s kid friendly and incredibly easy!

From start to finish, these take 15-20 minutes, so they are perfect for a busy weeknight. They make a good snack or appetizer for a party.

Chicken, Ranch, Black Bean Quesadilla

8 ounces whipped cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon dry Ranch salad dressing mix

½ cup corn, drained

2 tablespoons chopped black olives

½ cup black beans, drained

1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon of chopped red onion

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

1/3 cup chunky salsa (it must be chunky)

1 cup chopped chicken

2 cups shredded Mexican style cheese

6- 8 flour tortillas

Guacamole or extra salsa to serve (optional)

MIs together cream cheese and Ranch dressing until thoroughly combined. Then stir in corn, black olives, black beans, onion, cilantro, salsa and chicken.

You have two options when cooking. You can bake the tortillas or make them on the stovetop or skillet (my favorite method). Baking is easier but the shell gets crispy and busts up a little when you cut it. If you want to bake them, bake at 400 for 6-8 minutes.

If you have a pancake skillet, it’s perfect for these. If not, you can make them two or three at a time or just bake them all at once.

Directions:

Divide mixture between flour tortillas, only filling halfway so when you fold over the tortilla you will have a half moon. Top the mixture with cheese.

Spray a nonstick pan or skillet with cooking spray. Turn heat on to medium. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve immediately. These are great with guacamole or extra salsa.

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