Tilapia Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Back in January I did Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 exercise program and also tried doing her MEAL PLAN that goes along with it on most days. Anyway, this is my VERSION of her Mahi mahi tacos. It's super yummy and tastes so FRESH. It's the perfect spring meal if you ask me!

Tilapia Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
1/2 to 1 pound tilapia, cut into bite-size chunks
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper

Mango Avocado Salsa
1 ripe mango, cut into pieces
1 small avocado, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/3 to 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon orange juice

Place the fish in a bowl and then combine the lime juice, orange juice, garlic, and seasonings and pour over fish. Let marinate about 15 minutes.

While fish is marinating, combine salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside. (Make sure to toss well so the avocado doesn't brown!)

In a frying pan, cook the fish in about 1 teaspoon olive oil and the marinade until completely cooked through and opaque, about 4 or 5 minutes. Serve fish on flour tortillas topped with the mango salsa.

TIP: Another nice addition for serving . . . plain greek yogurt! Try it instead of sour cream for a more tangy taste. Shredded lettuce would also be a great addition.  


Creamy Avocado Pasta

So again, Pinterest is AMAZING! I found 3 or 4 avocado pasta recipes that I liked and came up with my own VERSION. Let me be the first to say that it turned out so YUMMY. Is that bad of me to praise myself like that? Anyway, hope ya like this super SIMPLE dish that is full of FLAVOR! Oh, and this would also be a great GREEN dish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your fam!

Creamy Avocado Pasta
6 to 8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 sprig fresh basil
2 small avocados, peeled and pitted (or 1 really big one!)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream (I used light)
Thinly sliced green onion, to garnish

Start cooking your spaghetti in salted water in a pot according to package directions.

In a blender or food processor, blend together the lime juice, oil, basil, avocado, s and p, cheese, and sour cream, until mostly smooth.

Drain cooked spaghetti, then put back in the pot. Toss with the creamy avocado mixture and then put in individual serving bowls (or on plates). Sprinkle with more cheese and some green onion. Serves 2 or 3.

TIP: This is probably best served right after making. Leftovers may start turning brown and might not look so appetizing. Another addition that might be good—toasted pine nuts!


Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Here's another soup to keep you WARM! I posted this recipe a year or two ago, but when I made it last week, it was so DELISH that I thought I better share it with you again. I think every time I make this I SWITCH up the ingredients according to whatever I have on hand. I love that it is so VERSATILE!

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
3/4 cup wild rice
5 cups water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 to 2 cups frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup diced onion
1 can cream of chicken soup, condensed
1 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 cups rotisserie chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
Slivered almonds to garnish (optional)

In a large soup pan, combine the rice with the water and bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once about halfway through. Stir in the broccoli, carrots, and onion. Cover and simmer 10 minutes more, or until vegetables and rice are tender. Stir in the condensed soup, cream cheese, and chicken. Cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Thin with water or chicken broth if soup is too thick for your liking. Serve with almonds sprinkled over the top, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

TIP: You can totally change this recipe every time you make it. It's also good minus the broccoli and with a cup of sliced celery instead. Or just add some celery and a little less broccoli. Or throw in a cup of corn. Diced bell pepper would probably taste pretty yummy too. So many possibilities! 


CInnamon Explosion French Toast

We love BREAKFAST foods at our house, and occasionally have them for DINNER. This yummy version of FRENCH TOAST is one of those quick dinners we threw together at the last minute. Boy did it turn out SCRUMPTIOUS. It is just bursting with cinnamon flavor—hence the "explosion" description in the recipe title!

Cinnamon Explosion French Toast

Cinnamon Cream Syrup
(Recipe from allrecipes.com)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5 ounces evaporated milk

Cinnamon Whipped Cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

French Toast
1 loaf unsliced cinnamon bread (we used Cinnamon Burst from Great Harvest)
2 eggs
Chopped pecans

For the syrup, combine the all but the milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool for 5 minutes and then stir in milk; set aside until ready to use.

For the whipped cream, beat cream with powdered sugar and cinnamon until stiff peaks form. Put in the fridge until ready to use.

For the French toast, heat a large frying pan or electric skillet and spray with nonstick spray. Slice the bread into 1-inch-thick slices (or 1 1/2 inches if you prefer); set aside. With a fork, beat together the eggs with a desired amount of milk and cinnamon (just like a regular French toast mixture). Dip bread slices in both sides of milk mixture and then cook until nicely browned on each side. Serve with the syrup drizzled over top and a dollop a the whipped cream. Garnish with the pecans.

TIP: If this is TOO much cinnamon for you, just make regular whipped cream without the cinnamon.


Snickers Hot Chocolate

Oh my, is this GOOD! I've been seeing so many fun HOT CHOCOLATE recipes, I decided to come up with my own version. This chocolatey concoction turned out AMAZING—its very decadent and definitely fulfills any desire for DESSERT.

Snickers Hot Chocolate
1 cup hot chocolate (I used a homemade milk chocolate mix made with skim milk)
Fresh whipped cream*
2 miniature Snicker's, chopped (not the fun-size!)
Caramel ice cream topping

Top your cup of hot chocolate with a scoop of cream, the chopped Snickers, and a drizzle of the caramel ice cream topping. Enjoy!

TIP: I made cinnamon whipped cream to go with some cinnamon french toast (that will be posted in a few days). Since it was already made, I just used some of the leftovers instead of whipping more cream. Try whipping 1/2 cup cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. AMAZING!

Hot chocolate


Nut-Encrusted Chicken

I recently did Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 workout DVDs and 30-day meal plan. This recipe was one of my favorites. It was DELICIOUS. I made a few little adjustments to her recipe, but thanks for SHARING Jillian!  (Sorry for the really terrible photo!)

Nut-Encrusted Chicken
1/2 cup raw almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons olive oil, or a little more if needed
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Dijon mustard (optional)
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a food processor, combine the almonds, oil, lemon zest and juice, a few squirts of Dijon mustard, rosemary, garlic, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped. Put the chicken in a shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and pat the nut mixture over each piece to coat. Bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes or so, depending on thickness of breast halves.

TIP: I used chicken tenders instead of breast halves and they worked out perfect! Serve with a nice veggie salad for a great rounded and healthy meal.


Fresh Italian Pasta Salad

We love SALAD at our house and we love PASTA too, so why not combine them when we can, right? This is the perfect combo of salad—it's FRESH, cool, and crisp. Not to mention, full of FLAVOR!

Fresh Italian Pasta Salad
3 cups mini farfalle pasta (little bow ties)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sliced olives (green, black, or a combo)
1 to 1 1/2 cups cubed pepperoni or salami (or both)
1/4 to 1/3 purple onion, chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup Bernstein's Cheese & Garlic Italian dressing, plus more if necessary
4 to 5 cups chopped iceberg lettuce

Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and cool. Combine all ingredients except the lettuce in a large bowl and chill until ready to serve. Toss in the lettuce just before serving and add more dressing if salad seems dry.

TIP: Just like most pasta salads, this one is easy to customize for your family! If you don't like peppers, leave them out. You could add things like fresh tomatoes or mushrooms, or even cubes of fresh mozzarella (the marinated balls would be delicious!).