Posts Tagged With: Avocado

Poblano & Chicken Grilled Pizza with Avocado

Big news, people!  We have been making a LOT of grilled pizza recently (like, this is one of at least 3 recipes I’m got waiting for you!!).  AND I finally found a crust recipe that’s easy and fast enough to whip up in about an hour (that includes the rise, oh yes it does)…I just need to track it down again (coming as a separate pose next week).  For this pizza, I actually had a refrigerated crust in the fridge (because I was THAT skeptical that the hour-crust would work out when we were having people over for dinner), so we went ahead and used it.  Also in big news, Branden informed me that he liked the easy, inexpensive home-made crust better than the refrigerated one – you don’t understand, he prefers Pillsbury Grands (okay, so they are kind of good in their weird, processed way) over my homemade buttermilk biscuits so this is a really big deal (and a money saver!).

But on to the pizza…we had some weird leftovers in our fridge last week that I morphed into this amazing creation that I’m going to intentionally make again.  I had pepper jack cheese, goat cheese, half of a rotisserie chicken (I LOVE these things, sooooo much flavor!), a poblano pepper, some ripe avocados, limes that were going to look a bit funky in the next day or so, and that darned pizza crust.  OBVIOUSLY having the pizza crust, these misfits were doomed to top it.

Branden was nuts about this pizza (and I’ll admit, I loved it too)!  There’s gooey, spicy cheese, crispy, garlicky crust, flavorful rotisserie chicken, creamy goat cheese, spicy poblanos, and cool avocado…heaven, anyone?  I saw a rendition of this on Pinterest (and yes, I clearly have a problem) and just went hog wild with it.  I’m just at a loss for words on how to describe this thing, but trust me when I say that all the flavors came together in an amazing way.  All of the flavors are so vibrant but they’re not beating each other up for attention – a perfect harmony.

Now here’s a question for you?  What’s your favorite pizza topping?  What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever thrown on top of a pizza?  I had kimchi on a pizza once and was NOT a fan…

  • 6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large poblano chiles, quartered and seeded
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 16 wedges
  • 1 Pizza Crust (refrigerated or other)
  • 1/2 c. store-bought salsa verde (I used this one by Guy Fieri)
  • 1 1/2 c. pulled rotisserie chicken (I buy these already cooked in the deli section of the grocery store)
  • 3 c. (10 to 12 oz.) coarsely grated pepper jack
  • 3/4 c. (about 4 oz.) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 large ripe hass avocado, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for squeezing
Preheat a grill to 500 degrees . In a small bowl, mix together the extra virgin olive oil, garlic and cumin; season with salt.
Place the chiles and onions on a baking sheet; brush with 2 tbsp. of the cumin oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, turning with tongs, until the vegetables are charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Return the chiles and onions to the baking sheet. Cut the chiles into 1/4- to 1/3-inch strips.  (You can also do all of this in a baking pan under the broil for similar results.)
Lower the heat on one side of the the grill to low. Oil the grate on that side of the grill. Move the shaped dough to the grill. Lower the edge of the dough onto the oiled grill, draping the dough perpendicular to the grate.
Cover the grill and cook until the crust begin to bubble and brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the crust from the grill.  Invert the crust flat side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the crusts generously with the cumin oil. Spread the crusts with the salsa verde, then top with the pepper jack, chiles, chicken, and onions. Transfer the pizza carefully back to the grill. Cover and cook until the cheese melts and the bottom of the crust is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Off the heat, top the pizza with the goat cheese, avocado and cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges.
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jerk Chicken Paninis

We had a wave of summer up here in Ohio over the last few weeks…seriously, 80 degrees and SUN!  Its been so crazy; we broke temperature records from the 1930s and we had to mow grass!!  This is a big deal – I’ve seen blizzards in April some years and now I’m thinking about planting my garden in a few weeks (I normally wait until the end of May).  This weather is border-line creepy… but I like it.

Warm weather calls cooking and eating outdoors, didn’t you know that?  I decided to christen the grill with Jerk Chicken Paninis (a Epiphany I had during work.  Don’t judge me – I work for a food company and therefore always have food on the brain).  These have an awesome combo of sweet and spicy that I think you’ll LOVE.  Enjoy!

  • Fresh sour dough bread, cut into 8 1 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fileted
  • Jerk rub (I used this)
  • 4 1/2 inch rings of fresh pineapple
  • 1 Haas avocado, mashed
  • 16 slices pepper jack cheese
  • Butter

Rub the chicken with the seasoning and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Grill the chicken until cooked.  Also grill the pineapple rings until grill marks are visible on both sides.

To assemble the panini, butter the outsides of the bread.  Layer on the toppings in this order (trust me, this is an art – you don’t want soggy bread from the pineapple!): slice of cheese, chicken, pineapple, and another slice of cheese.  Spread avocado on the other slice of bread and before placing on the sandwich.  Using a panini press (or the grill since you’ve already got it hot), grill the paninis until toasted and cheese is melted.

Categories: Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Winter finally came to Ohio.  I guess we were past due?  I really just wish we’d skip it all together with and go straight to summer…I want flip flops and dinner outside and late night walks and sundresses and swimming and…I really could go on.  I yearn for that first day that I walk outside and the sun is actually warm on my skin.  Oh my gosh I can’t wait!  But until then, I shall remain bundled up on the couch in my 63° house and eat soup.

Mmmm, noodle soup (No Joey, there’s no noodles here!  I’m a not-so-closet Friends addict – if you’ve seen this episode with the soup commercial audition, then I hope you chuckled, if not then just ignore me)!  This is a pretty hearty one that filled even Branden up and packs lots of Tex-Mex flavors.  The original recipe came from Adrianna over at A Cozy Kitchen, but I amended it to make it a little more filling for the hubby.


  • 1 large fresh poblano pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes (in juice)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 c. chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2-3 corn tortillas, sliced into strips and halved
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Handful of Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

Quickly toast the pepper by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fill the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.)

Break the pepper into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice.

Heat the oil in a medium (3- to 4-quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.

Raise the heat under the pan to medium-high. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with about a teaspoon of salt (amount depends on the saltiness of the broth).

While soup is simmering, pour three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. When oil is hot, add tortilla strips and fry until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and set aside.

Just before serving, add the shredded chicken and corn to the simmering broth. Ladle the soup into the bowls and top with cubed avocado, shredded cheese and tortilla strips.

Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes, Soup | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

FAIL: Baked Avocado Fries

Ugh.  This is just sad, but I feel like I have to post things that don’t go as well because let’s face it, we all make things that just don’t go the way we hope they will so why not compare battle stories?  Here’s one of my recent fails…Baked Avocado Fries.

I’ve been hearing about avocado fries for the last few months and I’ve been intrigued.  Really intrigued.  Everyone’s been raving.  It sounds so amazing…avocados…fries.  YUM.

Well, I try not to fry my food because my body just doesn’t handle that very well, so I was pretty excited when I found a recipe for baked avocado fries that claimed to be as good as their fried counterpart.  Not so much (assuming these taste differently than the fried ones).  Let me defend this recipe a bit by saying the avocados I had were as hard as rocks (which is blowing my mind still).  I had these things in my fridge for weeks and figured they were probably on the back side of good.  WRONG.  They were not even close to ripe.  I had to work so hard to get the darn things out of their skin…and let’s not even talk about trying to remove the pits!  Annoying.  Their “raw” state is what probably led me to my qualm with this recipe…they had no flavor.  Bummmmmmer.

No flavor at all.  I tried fashioning a quick dip out of Greek yogurt and adobo sauce I had on hand that tasted awesome on its own, but still didn’t really help the fries.  I also think the panko I used was to coarse.  Who knows…

I still want to try to fried version of these guys though because I love avocados.  Since there’s so much hoopla around the fried version, I feel like I have to try it before I form an official opinion.

SO what about you?  Have you jumped on the avocado fry train?  Did you like them?  I’m still curious…

Categories: American, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Navel Orange, Pomegranate, & Avocado Salsa

Happy New Year!!

I’m starting this year fresh with a new, cleaner look to the blog.  I was never a huge fan of my old look, but despite having an IT degree, I really have had no desire to design and host my own site, so I picked a generic look from WordPress.  Nothing has changed this year – I still don’t have the desire to design my own site yet, but I did find a new design that I like better…and I hope you do, too!  I also got a photo booth for Christmas so hopefully I can improve my photo skills in the new year, too (please don’t judge my photos in the next few weeks…I’m learning!!).  I shoot everything for my blog right now using this guy, but the lighting is too inconsistent and quite frankly terrible in our house that I really struggle making my pictures look decent despite really loving this camera for what it is – an indestructible point and shoot (p.s., we went snorkeling in Saint Lucia with this thing and the pictures were AMAZING – I highly, highly recommend this camera, especially if you’re not very nice to technology like I am).

Okay, so enough jib-jab about “improvements” to my blog – how about an awesome and healthy salsa that looks like a party in a bowl?!  Great!  I made this for our Mexican-themed New Year’s celebration at our house and it was a huge hit!  The flavors were incredible and so fresh – the oranges really added something different.

Serve this with some hearty chips or on warm flour tortillas…or throw it on a salad with grilled shrimp (you won’t need dressing!).


  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 large hass avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 2/3 c. diced red onion
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 2 green onions, including green tops, cut on the diagonal into thin slices
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, whisk together he lime juice, salt, and pepper until the salt dissolves.

Working with one orange at a time, cut a slice from the top and bottom to reveal the flesh.  Stand the orange upright and slice away from the peel from the sides in wide strips, cutting downward, following the contour of the fruit, and removing all the white pith.  Holding the orange over a bowl, use a sharp paring knife to cut along both sides of each segment, releasing the segments and allowing the juice and segments to drop into the bowl.  Discard any seeds that might adhere to the fruit or drop into the bowl.  Repeat with the remaining oranges (this technique is called “supreming”).  Drain the juice into a measuring cup and set aside.  Cut the orange segments into 1/2″ pieces and add to the bowl containing the lime juice.

To extract the seeds from the pomegranate, cut the fruit into quarters.  Fill a large bowl with cold water and place it in the kitchen sink to contain any squirting pomegranate juice.  Using your fingertips, break the seeds away from the pith under water.  The seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl.  Discard any pith, drain the water, blot the seeds lightly with paper towels and add to the bowl with the orange segments.

Add the avocado, red onion, jalapeno, green onions, and cilantro to the bowl.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the ingredients together, being careful not to mash the avocado.  Add the reserved orange juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the salsa is moist but not soupy.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and set aside for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

By Diane Morgan, Skinny Dips

Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Mexican, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

“Happy Food” – Carnitas, Cerda Style

“Happy Food” was coined by my Mexican uncle and family as a name for carnitas.  This is comfort food to my family – a more delicious take on a classic taco night.  On this particular evening, we made ours with chicken instead of pork (we tend to mix up the meat depending on what we have on hand.  We’ve used everything from pork tenderloin to flank steak and grilled chicken breast).  Yum.  My mouth is officially watering.

So dig in and build yourself some “happy food”

  • Corn tortillas (warmed on a griddle)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1.5 lbs. meat (grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, beef flank steak, shrimp)  We like to rub ours down with this before grilling.
  • 1 c. cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Haas avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 c. shredded Gouda
  • 1/2 c. red onion, chopped
  • Course sea salt

Grill the meat and slice.  Build carnitas one at a time table side.  Might I suggest building in this order: beans, cheese, meat, avocado (more or less beside the meat), red onion, cilantro, salt, and finish with lime juice.  Perfection!

Got leftovers?  I like these again the next day, but I usually mix it up by throwing everything on a big ‘ole bed of greens and subbing black beans for the refried ones.

Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Queso Fundido Grilled Pizza…and a Celebration!

Business first: This is my 100th post!  Thanks so much for continuing to support my blog – I really hope you’ve been enjoying it has much as I have creating it.  I’m  so excited for the future of it and can’t wait to see what it evolves to over time!  Thank you mucho, again!!

And now for the really exciting part of the post…THE FOOD!

Something about Friday evening just makes me want to veg out on the couch and stare into the oblivion…that is of course after I’ve ordered and pizza and cracked open some chips and salsa to tide me over until a high school kid delivers my cheesy carb-saucer at my door.  Okay, so its not that bad…the places we normally order from don’t deliver.  Regardless, Friday nights just make me want to be lazy and indulge in all things unheathly…almost a reverse detox if you will.  Which brings me to another round of grilled pizzas – I’ve got two more new ones for you (you can jump up and down if you’d like)!

A big thanks to Branden for these pizzas as he’s STILL in charge of the cooking at our house.  Its been over three weeks now and I’m just about half-way to being a biped again.  Finally.

Branden said the biggest thing with the pizza (and we’ve said it before when we’ve made BBQ Chicken Pizza and Hawaiian Pizza on the grill), that its so important to have all the toppings prepped before throwing the crust on the grill because once you’re cooking, you’re cooking and it goes FAST!  Also, just keep in mind the “low and slow” mantra.  Other than that, this is a breeze and delicious to boot!

On a side note, we used extra chorizo because we love it.  A lot.  Also, chill out on the adobo sauce if your tongue can’t handle lots of spice…or add more if that’s your thing.  Still not spicy enough?  Chop up some of those chipotle peppers and throw ’em on there, too!  (Whatever you do, don’t throw them away, make sure to do something awesome with them…like throwing them in this chili recipe.)


  • 1 lb. raw Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 prepared pizza crust dough, homemade or refrigerated (we often cheat because we’re lazy.  Pillsbury refrigerated crusts work GREAT on the grill)
  • 1/4 c. adobo sauce (from a can of chiles in adobo sauce)
  • 1 1/2 c. grated Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 c. crumbled queso fresco
  • 2 large poblano peppers, roasted, seeded, and sliced into strips
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin wedges
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any clumps, until no longer pink.  Drain on paper towels and reserve for topping.
  2. Preheat the grill, roll out and shape the dough, and grill the first side of the crust until golden.  Flip the crust.
  3. Spread the entire surface with the adobo sauce.  Top with the cheeses.  Sprinkle with the crumbled chorizo, poblano strips, and tomatoes.  Grill until crust is golden and cheeses are melted.
  4. Remove from the grill and garnish with the avocado and season with salt and pepper.  Slice and serve imediately.

Adapted from Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel & Bob Blumer

Categories: American, Entrees, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

I was hungry for Chipotle the other night, but 1,200 calories for dinner didn’t sound like a good idea, so I decided to make my own version of that wonderul goodness (unfortunately sans that delicious tortilla).  Enter: Burrito Bowl.

This was a pretty simple meal and used a lot of staples that I already had in the house; beans, rice, onion, shrimp (in the freezer).  I also used one of those Frontera sauce packets I’ve talked about before to save some time and add a quick pop of spicy flavor.  Even though this one said it was for chicken, I wanted the smoky tomato and chile flavors without having to add roasted tomatoes and chiles to the dish, so this worked out well.  By the way, you can totaly make this with grilled chicken…I only used shrimp because I knew I could thaw it quicker and quite frankly, it sounded good.

Had I not lost my marbles, I had bought some Mexican queso to sprinkle over the top too.  Alas, its still still in my fridge, forgotten about.  Oh well, this was still yummy in my tummy.


  • 2 c. cooked rice (I used basmati, but a regular long-grain white will do just fine)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 c. fresh chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground curry
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp
  • 1 Frontera simmer sauce package
  • 1/2 avocado, thinkly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Mexican queso (optional)

Stir the juice of the lime and 1/2 c. of cilantro into cooked rice.  Set aside.

Mix black beans, curry, and cumin in a small saucepan and heat over low until beginning to simmer.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute garlic for one minute.  Add all peppers and onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and continue stirring until pink.  Add simmer sauce and bring to a simmer for three minutes.

To serve, place 1/2 c. of rice in bottom of bowl and layer with black beans and sauce mixture.  Top with cilantro, avocado slices, and cheese.


Categories: Entrees, Latin, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cheater Key Lime Shrimp Tacos

I only say “cheater” because I didn’t make the yummy sauce for these tacos, Chef Rick Bayless from Frontera Restaurant in Chicago did…and I’m okay with that because with his help, I made dinner in 20 minutes.  Judge me if you must, but my belly is content and now I’m free to lounge on the couch…

  • 1 lb. 25-30 shrimp, deviened and peeled
  • 1 pack of Frontera Key Lime Cilantro taco sauce
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 Haas avocado, sliced
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 8 flour tortillas, fajita size
  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 TBS of oil and saute the onion and jalapeno until softened.
  2. Add shrimp and cook until pink and heated through.
  3. Add simmer sauce and stir constantly until sauce is simmering and beginning to thicken.
  4. Serve on tortillas with avocado slices and cilantro.
Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Falafel Patties with Avocado-Lime Sauce

Hooray for another quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s delicious.  I first made this dinner while Branden wasn’t home because I wasn’t sure that he’d be super keen about a dinner without meat.  I loved it and to my dismay, he came home and ate all the leftovers, complaining that there weren’t more.  So now when I make this dish, I make a double batch so he can have multiple sandwiches and I can pack my lunch.


  • 1 small Haas avocado
  • 2 TBS fat-free sour cream
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 TBS minced red onion
  • 2 TBS fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (15.5 oz. can)
  • 1/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 c. plain, dried bread crumbs
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 TBS chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 4 pitas, 7-inch
  1. To make the sauce, mash the avocado in a small bowl.  Add the sour cream, tomato, onion, lime juice, and salt, stirring to combine.  Set aside.
  2. Mash the beans in a large bowl.  Add the Monterey Jack, bread crumbs, scallions, cilantro, egg white, and cumin, stirring to mix well.  With damp hands, form the mixture into 4 patties
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the patties and cook until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Cut off the top third of each pita and reserve for another use.  Stuff each pita with a falafel patty and top with about 2 TBS of the avocado sauce.

We also like to jam some peppery arugula or mixed greens in the pita, too!

Categories: Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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