Spicy Black Bean and Avocado Salsa Recipe

Looking for a simple party food or something healthy to snack on this weekend? This spicy black bean and avocado salsa recipe is just the thing. It’ll definitely liven up any gathering and keep your spicy food lovers happy! I strongly believe food should taste great and look appetizing as well and nothing beats having fresh, healthy ingredients to whip up a pretty bowl of black bean salsa. Check out my cute chile pepper bowl too! I picked that up at Pier 1 Imports. They have a beautiful selection of Mexican inspired home decor.

black-bean-avocado-salsa

I decided to make corn tortillas for my spicy salsa for a heartier meal but this will also go well with tortilla chips for snacking. Once you’ve had homemade tortillas you won’t want the store bought type. To make them just add masa (white corn flour), which has already been lightly flavored with lime & salt, and water. Just mix the two and roll into golf ball sized balls and flatten with a tortilla press. I purchased this one below for $10 at a local store. I then cooked tortillas in a little butter and that was all.

black-bean-avocado-salsa

This spicy black bean salsa recipe is quick and easy to make and is full of great flavors everyone can enjoy. Just chop up a few ingredients and you can have yourself a spicy meal in under 15 minutes.

black-bean-avocado-salsa

The red peppers and jalapenos provide a nice crunch, the avocados adds creaminess, while the black beans gives this spicy black bean and avocado salsa a great chewy texture. Also, black beans have an incredible amount of fiber to keep you full longer and promote healthy digestion. It’s a great super food to add to your diet. Try it and let me know what you think! If you want a spicier salsa, use serrano chiles or habaneros for an even hotter treat.

Spicy Black Bean Salsa Recipe
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Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 haas avocado, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (reserve a couple of slices for topping)
  • 1-2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Fiesta Citrus seasoning, optional
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a bowl mix the rinsed black beans and the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Toss around lightly making sure not to mush the avocados.
  3. Serve with homemade or store bought corn tortillas or your favorite chips.

 

Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Got a craving for spicy foods and also trying to eat healthy? Make these spicy baked sweet potato fries recipe to keep that waistline nice and trim. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and a great source for antioxidant vitamins like beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C. They’re considered a superfood because one single potato is packed with so many nutrients. The best thing about them is they’re filling and taste great either roasted, baked and have a natural mild sweetness that goes well with many spices. When we think of spicy foods what usually comes to mind are high caloric, fried, cheesy foods but there are many ways to eat healthfully and still enjoy great tasting spicy foods.

sweet-potato-fries

sweet-potato-fries2

These fries are pretty spicy. The volcanic dust I used from Volcanic Peppers is aptly named so proceed with caution! 🙂 This pepper powder is made with ground up habanero and bhut jolokia (Ghost) peppers so what you’re getting is pure, natural heat. Another great tasting spice I used was the new Perfect Pinch Fiesta Citrus seasoning from McCormick made with chile pepper, cumin, lime, garlic, and other seasonings for a mildly hot and smoky flavor. A couple dashes with cinnamon brings all of this great flavor together for a nice snack or side dish.

spicy-sp-fries

One of the main complaints you’ll hear about baking sweet potato fries is that they’re not crunchy or crispy enough. The trick to getting that crispy fried texture is to toss the sweet potatoes in cornstarch when seasoning. They won’t get as crispy as the fried version but it’ll be close enough. Besides, they tasted so good it really didn’t matter to me if some were a little wimpy, the spicy, flavorful heat helps too.

sweet-potato-fries3

Another way to get around that soggy fry is to bake them thoroughly, then finish them in broiler for a couple of minutes. Just watch them closely because they’ll easily burn.

Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into fry sticks
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp McCormick Fiesta citrus seasoning
  • ½ tsp Volcanic Peppers Volcanic Dust 2
  • 1-2 dashes cinnamon
  • salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After cutting potatoes, run them through cold water.
  2. In a bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the cornstarch until completely covered.
  3. Drizzle in the olive oil then add the rest of ingredients.
  4. Rub in seasoning and oil with your hands so fries are well covered then spread out on a cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning fries once midway through cooking.
  6. Finish under broil for 1-2 minutes and watch closely so they do not burn.
  7. Remove from oven and serve as a snack or side dish.

 

Quick and Easy Pasta Recipe

It’s Tax Day everyone, hopefully you’ve all gone out and completed your taxes (well at least here in the states). Here’s a quick and easy pasta recipe in case you’re trying to beat the tax clock and make it home to get dinner ready. These are simple ingredients that won’t bog you down with prep work. Just cut up a few veggies and you have yourself a complete meal without too much fuss. I made this pasta dish with bok choy but don’t worry if you don’t have any, you can substitute it for spinach, kale, broccoli rabe or any of your favorite leafy greens. Sometimes the best meals are unplanned and when you just don’t have the time you can toss together a few simple ingredients for a satisfying meal.

1-Italian

Also, who doesn’t have some sort of pasta in the house? I usually pick up several boxes when I go shopping even though I don’t cook it often. I just like having it around because like rice, it can be a meal in a snap, especially when you don’t have anything else in the house. Add a little butter, salt & pepper and chopped herbs with any pasta, pair it with wine and that alone would make a delicious meal. Here I used penne pasta but spaghetti, but any other would go well with this dish. Spice it up with red pepper flakes and you have a hot and spicy dish to cure those tax blues.

bokchoy-pasta

Bok Choy and Pasta Recipe
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Ingredients
  • 2 cups pasta
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • ½ lb bok choy, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese shavings
Instructions
  1. Prepare pasta according to instructions on box.
  2. Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat, add garlic until fragrant, after 30 sec add bok choy, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper and stir.
  3. Add the cooked pasta to pan and stir until ingredients are mixed well.
  4. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

I haven’t been cooking much lately. After the buzz of the holidays faded, I got hit with a severe cold and just didn’t have much energy for anything. All I wanted to do was lounge out in my pajamas and get under the covers with a good book or movie. Take out, juice cleanses, canned soups and anything low effort was at the top of my list for dinner, besides, I was still feeling a little guilty about all the rich foods I had eaten weeks prior. Then came the bitter cold of last weeks Polar Vortex and knew I’d spend several days indoors. I decided to make a pot of chili last week that brought me back to life and next up was this spicy chicken noodle soup recipe! There’s just something about having a hot bowl of homemade stew or soup that takes the chill out of your bones and makes you feel all warm and cozy inside.
pot_chicken_noodle
This recipe is quick and easy and pretty straight forward. It’s definitely something you can knock out after a long day at work or the weekend. This isn’t your typical American style chicken noodle soup but one with roots in Caribbean and umm Asia! Cumin, oregano, achiote (annatto) and garlic flavors with Asian rice noodles and Thai peppers! A mash up of sorts, part Dominican, part Asian, I call it Dominicasian cuisine! The flavors are all Latin though but with a couple of Asian ingredients because well, it’s what I had and sometimes you just work with what you got! Any kind of noodles would work here, its all a matter of what you like. I would have used egg noodles or fideos (Spanish for noodles, usually very thin) if I had any.

chicken_noodle

Note: If you can’t find Adobo with cumin, use regular adobo and add 1/2 tsp of cumin. Also, recipe includes cilantro which I forgot to add when I made this. Cilantro will really brighten flavor up so be sure to add.

Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp Adobo with cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 dried Thai chiles
  • ½ envelop/packet of Sazon with Achiote (Annato)
  • ¼ or ½ in bone cooked chicken, in pieces
  • 5 oz rice noodles, about ½ pkg
  • few sprigs of cilantro
Instructions
  1. Heat up canola oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and stir.
  2. Add the water, chicken bouillon, carrots, and the rest of the ingredients except the noodles. Let the soup come to a boil.
  3. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the noodles and cook for another 7 minutes until noodles are tender. Lower the heat and let simmer then serve.

Spicy Crispy Chicken Breasts with Kale Salad

Crispy and crunchy chicken without deep frying? Of course, just follow this quick and easy recipe for crisp, hot and spicy chicken breasts. It’s a more healthy alternative to frying, doesn’t require much prep time and is tender and juicy.

breaded-chicken

The key to achieving that crispy texture is to double dip chicken in the wet and dry mixtures.  Browning the chicken on stove top with just butter and finishing it in the oven maintains that crunchy texture and also doesn’t leave with the oily mess you get from frying, never mind the extra fat too.

sauteed-chicken

Since white meat tends to get a little dry, soaking the chicken in the milk mixture for several minutes will also give you a tender and moist piece of chicken.

sliced-chicken-kale

Serve it on a bed of kale salad for a healthy dinner.

Spicy Chicken Breasts and Kale Salad

2 chicken boneless breasts
1 tsp Adobo, divided (found in supermarket Spanish food section or bodega)
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp pequin pepper flakes
salt & pepper
1/2 stick butter

1. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp of Adobo and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Set three shallow bowls in front of you and in first bowl add the flour. In the second bowl beat the egg, add milk and season with salt & pepper and mix. Add the bread crumbs to the third bowl, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, the pequin pepper flakes, the remaining Adobo seasoning and mix well.

3. Dip the chicken in each of the bowls starting with the flour first. Coat the meat with flour on both sides. Then add the chicken to the milk mixture and let it sit for about five minutes. If you have a little extra time let it soak in the milk mixture and leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Lastly, dip chicken in the seasoned bread crumbs until well coated.

4. Repeat step 3 except don’t let chicken soak in milk just dip quickly and cover in bread crumbs.

5. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat, add butter. When butter has melted, saute the chicken until you get a nice brown color on both sides.

6. Finish the chicken in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove from oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Slice chicken and serve over kale salad.

Feta & Red Onion Kale Salad

Chop a bunch of kale greens and toss with a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, thinly sliced red onion and crumbled feta cheese.