Posts Tagged ‘snacks’
Well as those 2 recipes went global I got requests for a dessert-y bacon. Now everyone and their mother makes chocolate dipped bacon (with peanut butter/caramel/nuts/etc) but I wanted something different. Why? I like to be different and push the envelope. Hmmm… wonder exactly what that means. I mean where is this proverbial ‘envelope’ they speak of anyway? *shrugs* this is how my mind works… scary, I know!
I’m not really sure how this came about as literally I was in the kitchen putzing around (yes, that’s a technical kitchen term for standing there staring into space pretending to be working but not really getting anything done) and I was moving the container of cocoa powder. For some reason I went to put it in the fridge (which again, I don’t normally do but like I said I was putzing around and not really paying attention) when I saw the package of bacon there. Inspiration hit me! Cocoa and Bacon! However have you ever dipped your finger in cocoa powder, expected it to taste just like chocolate only to realize that it soooooooooooo doesn’t taste like powdered chocolate but something butt nasty?! Yeah… so cruel! I knew I had to add sweetness to it. From that point on I was a machine. I love it when stuff just falls into place.
Yeah, I’m thinking it fell into place quite nicely! Now I’m not going to fool you. This isn’t pretty and it looks burnt BUT it’s not. That ‘burnt’/char look is PURE CHOCOLATE people! I mean seriously.. this stuff is crusted with cocoa and chocolate and so much love I can’t stand it!
This took that envelope and not only pushed it but it done sealed it shut, put a stamp on it and mailed it to Timbuktu!
THAT’S how incredible this Man Candy III is!
Go on, stare it some more. Trust me it was pure torture waiting for these to cool down as the smell of warm chocolate was incredible!
|Cocoa Crusted Chocolate Chip Bacon – Man Candy III||
- 1 lb thick cut bacon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used double dark chocolate)
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder
- 1 tsp chocolate extract (or water will work but the extract makes it)
- 1-2 tsp water
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Combine brown sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder and extract in a bowl. You want not quite to a paste consistency (very slightly moist). If it’s too dry add a teensy bit of water.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place a wire cooling rack on top.
- Spray the rack with cooking spray.
- Place the pieces of bacon on top of the rack trying not to overlap.
- Lay the cocoa mixture on a plate and press each strip of bacon down into it coating the bottom.
- Flip over and coat the other side. You want a pretty good coating on this (no exposed bacon).
- Place in oven and cook for 13 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and flip the bacon.
- If you want, add some more of the cocoa mixture on top of each strip.
- Return to the oven and cook for 13 minutes.
- If you want crispier bacon you can broil for 1 minute each side but watch as this will burn but keep in mind that this bacon will crisp/firm up while it’s cooling so broil at your discretion.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool 1 minute on the rack and then using cooking tongs, remove the bacon from the rack and plate.
- Carefully adorn each strip with mini chips (side facing up).
- While it looks charred and deep dark crusty (okay, not pretty) it’s unbelievably delicious.
To help simplify clean up, as these are cooling, fill your sink up with hot soapy water. Remove the bacon from the racks and immediately put your cooling racks in the water. Let soak for 5-10 minutes and clean up is a breeze! *Note – make sure your cooling racks can be submerged in water first!
However…cause there is always a however with me, my thighs love them even more. *hangs head in sorrow*. See traditional cheese sticks are breaded and deep fried to a golden brown with just a teensy hint of cheese starting to show.
But… deep fried is something I avoid at all costs. Sure there are ‘healthier’ oils but the vast majorities of restaurants out there don’t use the healthier oils to fry in. It’s not cost effective for them.
Now I’ve made them baked a bajillion times and they are truly awesome but I wanted to mix it up. Mostly because I wanted pepperoni with them. See when my family owned a pizza shop we used to get these things called ‘Pizza Sticks’ in that were cheese sticks but had chunks of pepperoni and stuff in them. They were as sinful as sinful could get. I wanted THOSE! Now with baking them with a traditional breadcrumb breading it’s pretty difficult to get it to work. I have done it but honestly it’s time consuming and a veritable P.I.T.A. So as I was rummaging in the fridge I found a package of egg roll wrappers. And since you all know how much I LOVE those little things based on the number of ‘egg roll’ recipes I have on here I decided to give it a shot.
Honestly, these went together really easy and were baked in no time. So let’s get to the good stuff… TASTE!
Seriously there were really, REALLY good! Like I preferred the super crispy ‘shell’ of the egg roll over traditional bread crumbs. Plus it allowed me to incorporate pepperoni in it (BONUS!). The cheese was all ooey gooey inside, the pepperoni hot and the shell was super crunchy! I literally made these 4 days in a row! Plus the best part, they are WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY less fattening than traditional ones. You can leave out the pepperoni or use a turkey lower fat one if you wish. All I know is right now my stomach is growling and I’m off to make me a few of these puppies!
|Baked Pepperoni Pizza Egg Roll Cheese Sticks|
- 4 low fat mozzarella string cheeses, cut in half, width-wise
- 8 slices of sandwich pepperoni
- 1 Tbl plus 1 tsp pizza sauce
- 8 Egg roll wrappers
- Cooking Spray
- Additional pizza sauce for dipping
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- Next lay an egg roll wrapper down to where it is in a diamond shape and lightly brush both sides with water. These are often a bit dry so if you do not moisten it, they will crack when you try to roll them.
- Lay down a slice of pepperoni not quite in the middle of the wrapper but rather in the lower third of the wrapper.
- Next top with a slice of cheese.
- Spoon on a 1/2 tsp of pizza sauce over top the cheese.
- Begin rolling by taking the bottom and ‘tucking’ under the mixture.
- Bring in the sides and then continue rolling. I tend to take a dab more water to ‘seal’ the edges when I get to the end.
- Set aside and repeat for the remaining wrappers.
- Lightly spray the entire egg roll with cooking spray and set on the cooling rack.
- Bake for 6 minutes (or until the top is lightly golden brown), flip, spray again and bake for another 5-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. The trick is to get them crispy right before the cheese starts to melt out.
- Transfer to a plate and serve with warmed pizza sauce.
My local grocery store now carries this amazing tilapia and a ridiculous price. And while I have a bunch of recipes on here for tilapia:
I wanted something different. I’m banking on this slider with the spicy slaw definitely fits the bill. I absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED this! The texture is super awesome (very burger-esque) and the slaw adds the heat and ‘crunch’ factor. This is a winner all the way around!
Just LOOK how amazing that is? It was so juicy that it needed nothing but bun and slaw!
|Tilapia Burgers with a Spicy Jalapeno Slaw|
For the Burgers
- 4 6ounce Tilapia Fillets
- 1/2 cup Wheat Panko
- 1 extra large egg
- 1 Tbl Dijon
- 1 Tbl honey
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 green onion, minced (whites and greens)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 cup cornstarch (plus pinch of salt and pepper mixed in)
- 3 Tbl canola oil
For the Spicy Jalapeno Slaw
- 3 cups green cabbage, cut into thin strips
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 Tbl sugar
- 1 Tbl soy sauce (low sodium)
- 2 Tbl canola oil
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated ground ginger
- 1 Tbl creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup peanuts (unsalted)
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup red onions, minced
- 1-2 tsp minced jalapeno (depends on your spice tolerance)
- 1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
Prepare the Slaw
- In a food processor and mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, canola oil, ginger, peanut butter, peanuts, lime juice, garlic, tabasco sauce.
- In a bowl, mix the cabbage, carrots, jalapeno and onions together.
- Pour the liquid mixture over top and add the salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours though overnight is best.
Prepare the Burgers
- In a food processor, pulse tilapia until chopped.
- Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the cornstarch and canola oil.
- Using a spoon, mix until well combined.
- Heat a 12” round non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Add in the canola oil.
- In a pie plate, add the cornstarch plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend to incorporate.
- Using either your hands or a large spoon, scoop out a 2-3” round ball and gently flatten it out to 2” round by 1” high.
- Place the patty in the cornstarch mixture and coat all sides, shaking off the excess. You should get 4-5 slider size patties.
- Place the Tilapia patties in the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes per side (or when each side is golden brown). These cook relatively fast.
- To serve, place on a toasted sesame seed slider bun then add 2-3 heaping Tbl of Spicy Jalapeno Slaw.
What I’ve come up is PERFECT for an appetizer, main meal, on a buffet table during the game or for upcoming graduation parties and summer picnics. These meatballs were absolutely FANTASTIC! They are packed with protein from the chicken, cheese and egg (or egg whites) on it’s own. But with the addition of Nectar™ Medical – Whey Protein Isolate, it POWER BOOSTS THE PROTEIN in these delicious meatballs!
I’m taking Protein Powder beyond the shake!
Whether you hit the gym during your lunch or right after work, you can pack these with you and eat on the go. Just heat ‘em up for 30 seconds to a minute and you have a FANTASTIC meal!
Just look how yummy these meatballs look!
I mean seriously.. meatballs that are GOOD FOR YOU!!! Genius, I KNOW! Marrying into an Italian family, having an amazing meatball is law. While I love traditional meatballs (trust me, my Italian meatballs are SUPREME) but I also love a variety. One thing that is essential as well in my house is Chicken Parmesan. Normally you egg wash-flour dredge-breadcrumb dip then pan fry. I’ll still do that from time to time but having all that extra carbs is not conducive to my thighs *wink*. With this recipe I wanted to replicate that awesome flavor of traditional chicken parmesan into a healthier style. Of course I can always bake the traditional chicken parmesan *hint hint! Keep an eye out on the site for that soon but Shhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!* but that’s later on.
Now to add even more good-for-you-stuff in these, I added spinach which is packed with antioxidants.
When working with these meatballs there is something VERY important to know.
- You don’t roll these in your hands like traditional meatballs. Why? Ground chicken, without ‘fillers’ (bread) in them is rather sticky. HOWEVER if you lightly wet your hands before you scoop some of the mixture up and almost toss them from hand to hand in a twisting motion to form the ball. I re-wet may hands after every 3-4 meatballs.
I baked these 100% in the oven (meaning I didn’t pan-sear them first) though if you prefer that meatball caramelization feel free to. I have directions on how to do that below.
As you can see, these babies cooked up nice and brown. Now I’ll admit, I ate a nekkid one and WOW they were so good! So full of flavor. The spinach was a fantastic addition! These were so tender and moist.
I had some Marinara Sauce warming so I put some on top of each meatball, followed by some fresh mozzarella cheese and then broiled for a few minutes to melt the cheese. People the SMELL that emanated from my oven when I took these out was incredible! The cheese was all bubbly, the sauce was steaming and you could hear that ‘sizzle’!
Just look how scrumptious these look! Now you could easily serve these as appetizers, on top of some wheat pasta, in lettuce cups (I had that actually for lunch – TO DIE FOR!!!), as a slider an so forth!
These were so juicy that after you finished the first one, your stomach BEGGED you for another.
Now I couldn’t eat a third one as these are really filling BUT what I loved the most is that they, while truly decadent, they were GUILTLESS!
So after I made these, and ate 2, Mr. Fantabulous came out into the kitchen sniffing - which means the aroma hit him. I got the puzzled look as he looked at them, then at me and said “Hey, those are your normal meatballs, are they? And can I have one?”
As he was eating it I was watching intensely. One ‘ting I’ve learned from this Italian man is that they take meatballs pretty seriously. Trust me, it took me a few years to master mine. As he put the fork down and took a drink he said “Hmmm, let me try another one. I’m not sure honey.” Now normally when he says that it means he’s on the fence. He’s my biggest critic so I trust him, obviously. As he inhaled the 2nd… and 3rd one I caught on! That man was soooooooooo playing me! He LOVED them and my tricking me into thinking he was on the fence he got to stuff his beautiful face! LOL
He then said “Hey it’s weird. They taste like chicken parmesan but it’s not. What is it?” I said “Um, Chicken Parmesan Meatballs”. I then told him that I put protein powder in it and he was in heaven! He said “Whoa wait! You mean these are healthy AND after we work out tonight I can eat these???” LOL He’s so pretty Love that man!
Plus check out these great nutritional benefits!
The Syntrax Nectar Medical Unflavored Protein Powder:
♥ Mixes instantly and completely with a spoon
♥ Has Promina™ Whey Isolate
♥ 100% Natural Ingredients
♥ Mixes with Foods or Beverages
♥ 10 grams of protein per serving
♥ Lactose and Gluten Free
♥ Aspartame Free
Nectar Medical is a 100% natural protein formula designed to exceed even the most stringent and demanding requirements of the medical community. It is designed around Promina, a pharmaceutical-grade whey protein isolate that is known for its utmost purity, unwavering consistency and pleasant taste. Whey protein isolate is considered by most experts to be the single highest quality source of protein for human nutrition. Its bioavailability is without compare and its amino acids are utilized more efficiently than any other source of protein.*
Because Nectar Medical has a bland taste and is instantly soluble and dispersible, it can be mixed unnoticeable and easily into nearly any beverage or food item, such as milk, tea, juice, flavored water, cereal, soup pudding or mashed potatoes. Likewise, Nectar Medical is an ideal product to be used in tube-feeding applications due to its ease of use and health-promoting benefits.
Nectar Medical is specifically formulated to be used as a medical food for renal (dialysis) patients. Meeting the distinctive needs of these individuals, Nectar Medical provides a superior protein source with low levels of potassium and phosphorous.*
Nectar Medical is specifically formulated to be used as a medical food for bariatric surgery patients. Meeting the distinctive needs of these individuals, Nectar Medical provides a easily digestible, superior protein source with low levels of fat, sugar and total carbohydrates.
Now if you don’t mind, I’m off to make dinner and these are calling my name in a BIG way!
|Protein Packed Chicken Parmesan Florentine Meatballs|
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 3/4 cup ground rolled oats (like breadcrumb texture) *I ground mine to a coarse mixture. Do not grind to a flour. To make gluten free, use gluten free oats
- 1/4 cup Syntrax Medical Unflavored Protein Powder
- 2 Tbl sweet yellow onions, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp basil (dried) or 1 tsp fresh, chopped
- 1 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1 large whole egg (or 3 Tbl egg whites)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves, pulsed in the food processor (should render almost 3/4-1 cup)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 3/4 tsp coarse salt
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (you don’t want the powdery stuff. You want it either grated or even pulsed to little chunks. You want texture.)
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups Marinara Sauce, divided
- 10-20 fresh mozzarella slices (it depends on how big your slices are. They should be 1”wide by 1-2” long)
- Olive Oil for misting
- Preheat oven to 400F, setting rack to upper third part of oven.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- In a large bowl, add the chicken, oats, protein powder, onion, oregano, steak seasoning, egg, Worcestershire, salt, black pepper, parmesan and 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup marinara sauce.
- Shape into 2” round meatballs (can make 1” for appetizers). I find it’s best to lightly wet my hands to shape these and you don’t really ‘roll’ them but rather toss them from hand to hand in a twisting motion to form the ball. The mixture is wet and very tender.
- Spray the foil pan with cooking spray.*note: you can pan-sear these first in a sprayed non-stick skillet for ~3 minutes per side to get that browned sealed exterior.
- Place the meatballs about 1” apart (they don’t really spread) on the pan.
- Spray/mist each meatball with extra virgin olive oil. It’ll help them ‘brown’ and get that great pan-seared exterior.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temp is 160 (yes I know they aren’t up to temp yet). *Note: if you pan seared them then only bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and turn on your broiler.
- Top each meatball with 1 Tbl of sauce.
- Top with a slice of cheese and place back in the oven.
- Broil for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.
- Heat remaining sauce in a small saucepan and serve on the side.
If you make these as appetizers, make the meatballs 1″ round.
You can make these as sliders for parties.
I personally love these in lettuce cups and then use the lettuce as the ‘bun’.
Last week I was at Costco and saw the most glorious display of avocados ever. Mounds and mounds of those beautiful green beauties just calling out my name. I HAD to get them; actually I had to get 2 sacks of ‘em (like I bought 12 HUGE avocados. Now typically when you think avocados you think guacamole but I’ve gone so far beyond that it’s not even funny. I use it often in baked goods instead of butter. SHHHHHHHHHHH!!! No one knows this so just keep it between us, k?
Ever since I bought these I’ve been craving them in the worst way but I wasn’t sure what or how I wanted to eat them. All I cared about was eating them. Truth be told there have been times when I’ve just cut up an avocado, put on some sea salt and at it like that. Saturday morning I decided to try ‘stuffing’ them. I was going to go with maybe a bbq & beer chicken but this was breakfast time and I wanted eggs. That’s when it hit me… Baked Eggs and avocados!
I halved them, put them in little ramekins and got to filling. Since I already make those Florentine Breakfast Birdnests with baked eggs, I knew how long eggs would take to bake in the oven. While they were cooking I fried up some bacon because bacon is just a law when it comes to trying out new recipes and plus I have several TKW family members that would disown me if I didn’t include bacon at least once *wink*. LOL
As these beauties were baking I realized that I had no ‘vehicle’ to eat these with. I mean yeah a spoon works but I wanted something more; something I don’t know… edible? LOL Since I had made some whole grain bread the other day I sliced off a piece and toasted that.
While this was baking Mr. Fantabulous had just finished his protein drink and was onto his bowl of cereal. When I plated my breakfast he made the 7-year-old-squinched-up-boy-icky-face followed with a “Ew! What’s that?? Did you put bacon in it?? HONEY!” So I blew him off, scooped out the silky smooth avocado and placed it gently on top of my toast. I broke the yolk and immediately spread out the avocado onto the toast. I took one bite and I was in love! Apparently it showed on my face as I didn’t come up for air after bite number 3. I looked up, locked eyes with Mr. Fantabulous and he was staring at me so intently. I looked at my breakfast love, looked back at him, looked back at my breakfast and back at him.
|Breakfast Avocados on the Half Shell|
- 1 large avocado
- 2 small eggs
- 2 sliced of bacon, cooked then crumbled or 4 pieces cooked and left whole
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbl cheddar cheese
- 2 pieces of crusty, toasted buttered bread
- Pre-heat oven to 425F
- Crack the eggs in a medium bowl being mindful not to break the yolks.
- Cut avocado in half and carefully remove seed.
- Take a spoon and gently hull out the hole the seed was in so it’s big enough to hold the yolk and some of the white. Try not to make the sides or bottom too thin.
- Place two ramekins on a baking tray. You want to use ramekins that you can place the avocado down in without too much side-to-side tilt. You want the avocado to be flat. You can cut just a small sliver off of the bottom to keep it from tiling.
- Using a slotted spoon, gently scoop out one of the yolks and place it into the hole of the avocado. Do this for each avocado half.
- Next, take a small spoon to carefully spoon some of the egg whites into the avocado hole till it’s full. You most likely will have left over egg whites, save these for another use.
- Add 1/4 tsp of salt and fresh cracked black pepper to each egg.
- Top with 1 Tbl cheddar cheese.
- Gently place the tray in oven and bake for about 15 minutes or just until your yolk is set but still runny. If you want, you can bake up to 18 minutes to have a fully cooked yolk and egg whites.
- Remove the ramekins from the oven and sprinkle crumbled bacon on top.
- Place 2 strips of bacon forming an ‘X’ pattern on the toast.
- Using a large spoon, scoop out the breakfast avocado and lay it down on the toast.
- Gently push down, breaking the yolk and spread the avocado and egg onto the toast.
- Now open up and say YUMMMM!!!
To mix it up, you could down a piece of prosciutto or baked ham down first before you put in the egg. Bake as normal.
You could put in fresh spinach down, the egg yolk and some Asiago Cheese.
You could saute up some peppers and onions (just about 1 Tbl of them), place in the avocado first then the egg and bake. When it’s done, top with salsa!