The Tasty Travels of the Swanky Budgeteer.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Kitchen to Yours

Food, glorious food! I'm a foodie, therefore, I eat to live, and live to eat. I love trying new and different foods, visiting various restaurants, and we sometimes plan our vacations based on Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods. (He's my favorite, & I've been a devoted fan since the beginning).

As a Stay-at-home mom, I gladly cook most of my family's meals, however, my husband enjoys cooking too, as he holds a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He especially loves to grill.
Baked Avocado with a side of Refried Beans, topped with fresh, diced tomatoes, and queso fresco

My family gives me the freedom to cook whatever I'm inspired to cook, but everyone in our house is encouraged to give input on meal ideas. Most of our meals are meatless, as our youngest child is vegetarian, and we simply don't feel the need to consume meat every day. I'm serious about my family's health, so I cook only healthy meals. We eat meat about 3-4 times a month, but that varies depending on whether we're traveling or not.

Today, I'm sharing a few of the meals I cooked this week. I hope to make this a weekly feature, as I love sharing my recipes with others.

First up is one of our lunch-time favorites: Baked Avocado. This meal is healthy, and protein packed. Read here to learn some of the many health benefits of avocado. It can be modified several different ways, according to taste, and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
For this particular meal, here's what you'll need:

  • Medium to Large Avocado
  • 1 Tomato diced
  • Crumbled Queso Fresco
  • Veggie Bacon, or Turkey Bacon, or whatever you prefer

  1. Preheat toaster oven (I prefer toaster oven) to 350 degrees
  2. Cut avocado length-wise into two halves. Remove seed. Save and plant in your home garden.
  3. Place veggie bacon, or turkey bacon in the middle, and on top of the avocado halves.
  4. Place each avocado halve in toaster oven to bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the outer edges are crisp, or if you've added bacon the bacon is crisp. (This step is also dependent on the size of the avocado as well. The bigger the avocado, the longer the cook time.)
  5. Remove avocado from toaster oven and sprinkle diced tomatoes and queso fresco on top of the avocado halves.

Again, there are several variations to this recipe. I've filled the center of my avocado with crab meat,  and I've seen it filled with egg. In that instance, the egg is cooked along with the avocado. Feel free ti use queso fresco, or shredded cheese, or no cheese. The recipe I've provided is my personal take on it, but feel free to be creative with yours and add whatever you like. If you like this, please share your recipe and your pictures with me here on my blog, or on my Facebook, or Instagram pages, and tag me to them!

Baked Avocado topped with tomatoes and shredded cheese (with an Angry Orchard Cider Beer on the side)

The next recipe I'm sharing with you today is great for lunch, snack, or as small plates/hors d'oeuvres.   I love fresh food, and I absolutely love Mediterranean food! I'd say this dish is inspired Mediterranean. This is a simple and easy dish. I usually add carrots, but on this particular day, I didn't have any. 

Fresh and delicious

Here's what you'll need: 

  • Hummus, most any hummus will do. I like homemade hummus, and I also like Grandma's Hummus but use your favorite.
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 handful of grape tomatoes
  • 1 handful (pitted) Kalamata olives
  • Garlic Naan Tandoori Bread ( I prefer garlic, but use what you prefer) 
  1. Cut the Garlic Naan Tandoori bread into triangular pieces.
  2. Place in toaster oven heated to about 250-300 degrees. I use low heat, so as not to burn the bread. I usually prepare the other food during this step, so I could easily burn the bread if the temp is too high. The key here is just to warm, or slightly toast the bread.
  3. Wash the bell pepper and tomatoes.
  4. Slice bell pepper
  5. Arrange hummus, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and bell pepper slices onto plate 
  6. Remove bread from toaster oven and add to plate.

This will be a weekly feature, so be sure to check back. Please share, leave a comment, or tag me to pictures of these recipes once you try them. I'd love to see your take on them.

See you next week!


Bijou Bella

@bijoubella (Instagram)
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