Healthy Peanut Butter Apple Dip

It’s that time of year again. No, not the one where the world’s dressed in white and everything you hear sounds like Christmas. The one before that. The one that starts right after Labor Day. The one that is harkened by different shades of purple, orange, and black. The one with candy, fruit, and gourds a plenty. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of posts featuring apples and oranges orange.

Healthy peanut butter apple dip

Even when it’s not Apple-picking season at our local orchard, we go through *at least* 10 lbs in a regular month. It’s one of the sons’ go to after school snacks. Pair it with a scoop of peanut butter, and they’re in heaven. BUT serve them with this dip? And you’re both going to be feeling great, because A. It’s delicious, and B. You know that it’s as nutritious as it is yummy.

The Best Ever, Healthy Peanut Butter Dip

Healthy peanut butter apple dip 2

Peanut Butter (we prefer using homemade, organic, or an all natural style since they’re of a thinner consistency)
Greek yogurt
Honey

Directions

  1. Mix together 1 part peanut butter, 1 part Greek yogurt, and 1/2 part honey, stirring until smooth and the dip’s a uniform consistency. Serve with sliced apples for dipping. The sons like apples, pretzels, and grapes with this dip. It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks, just give it a good stir before serving as some separation is bound to happen.

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

Have you ever had a Southwestern-style egg roll? They’re so good, and for the most part they’re not too bad for you calorie-wise. Originally we had to go to our local Chilis to enjoy them, but then we began making them at home, using tiny tortillas.

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips 2

But have you ever worked with egg roll or wonton wrappers? Once you’ve opened the package, you’ve got days at most to use the rest before they go bad. And y’all know how much food waste pains me, so as usual necessity was the mother of ingenuity. And it led to our own deconstructed version of southwestern egg rolls, this time turned into a dip. With an egg roll ‘chip’ replacing our typical flour tortilla.

it good. When we ran out of chips the sons were scarfing it down by the spoonful!

East meets (south)West in this funky Tex-Mex, inside out, version of an egg roll. Its simple, fun and a great way to use up leftovers, especially if you’re like us and you’ve got a half a can of black beans here,a quarter cup of diced peppers there, etc.

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

Southwestern Egg Roll Dip with Wonton Chips

1 chicken breast, cooked, then either diced or shredded
3/4 – 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced and then diced
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
package of wonton wrappers
3/4 cup ranch dressing
the juice of 1 lemon or lime, your choice
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 avocado, mashed
salt and pepper, to taste
oil for frying

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, corn, beans, peppers, green onion, spinach, and cheese until roughly combined.
    2. In a separate bowl combine the ranch dressing, the lemon or lime juice, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper stirring until an evenly incorporated dressing forms.
    3. Mix the mashed avocado in with the dressing, whisking until evenly incorporated, and then pour the finished dressing over the veggie mixture.
    Heat vegetable oil in a pan over med/hi heat.
    4. Cut a stack (your desired amount) of wonton squares in half diagonally, forming triangular shaped ‘chips’. Fry the chips a few minutes on each side until golden brown.
    5. Serve the veggie/dressing mix as a dip in a bowl, with the egg roll chips on the side, or scoop out a bit of the dip onto each chip for easy grab and go bite sized snacks.

Greek Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

We’ve run the gambit on the recipe list, especially when it comes to kabobs. They’re a favorite of ours, especially in the grilling months, since they’re so, so easy to throw together. Cooking? Well, that’s a breeze. What’s not to love??

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebobs 2

These kabobs are healthy, they’re absolutely loaded with flavor, and they’re pretty easy from start to finish. Short on time? Most of the work can be done ahead of time with the marinade. And then all you’ve got left is to string them along. Me? I get an assembly line going in the kitchen, and we’re all set in less than five minutes.

these kabobs are good all by themselves, BUT if you’re looking to take the meal from just mmm, mmm, good, to flavor bending good? That’s where the homemade tzatziki sauce comes in.

Grilled Greek Chicken Kabobs 4

It’s a must. Rich, creamy, AND healthy ( and this from the cucumber hater of our family ). Get in on this action. There isn’t much more you can ask for in a healthy dinner for the whole family to enjoy.

Greek Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebobs 3

2 lbs bonless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing the grill
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 large red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, diced into 1 inch pieces
3 small zucchini (nearly 1 lb), sliced into rounds slightly under 1/2-inch thick
1 large red onion, diced into 1 inch wedges

Tzatziki

1 medium cucumber (about 8 oz), peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 heaping cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnishing kebabs
1 tbspchopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried)
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the kebabs:

  1. In a bowl whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, and coriander until evenly combined. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.  2. Place the cubed chicken in a Large zip locking bag and pour olive the prepared marinade over the chicken amd gently squish the chicken around to evenly coat. Seal the bag, lay it flat, and refrigerate the chicken for 45 minutes, or up to 2 hours (no longer than 2 hours or the chicken will start to get mealy because of the acidic ingredients). If using wooden skewers soak them in water for 30 minutes.
    3. Drizzle the prepped veggies with the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil and gently stir/toss to coat. I just lightly season them with salt.
    4. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Thread a red bell pepper, red onion, zucchini, 2 chicken pieces on to skewer and repeat until the skewer is full (leave an inch or two free on both ends to allow for safe handling). Brush the heated grill lightly with olive oil, place the skewers on grill and grill until chicken registers 165 degrees in center, about 7 – 9 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking. Garnish the cooked skewers with parsley (optional), and serve the. warm with Tzatziki sauce.

For the Tzatziki:

  1. Place the diced cucumber in a mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with salt, toss to evenly coat then allow to rest 30 minutes at room temperature.
    2. Rinse the cucumbers and place them onto several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some of the liquid from cucumbers (almost as if wringing moisture from a cloth). Place the cucumbers in food processor and pulse to chop fine (if there’s excess liquid drain it off).
    3. Pour the cucumbers into a mixing bowl and add in the Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything to evenly combine. 4. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Pineapple Mango Salsa

Is there anything quite as ‘refreshing’ as a good blend of some yummy fresh fruits or veggies into a good salsa? I’m not sure, but around here a good, fresh salsa always hits the spot. And this fruity, pineapple mango version is a family favorite.

Pineapple Mango Salsa 2

It’s perfect served up with our favorite or tortilla chips. Served over top grilled fish, or other seafood? Yes sir-ee! We even like it paired with grilled chicken. Serve the meat over a bed of rice with a hearty scoop of  salsa on top, and dinner time is a fresh, healthy hit.

Pineapple Mango Salsa 3

Put a little pep in your step and some groove into your meal with a heaping helping of this refreshing salsa.

Pineapple Mango Salsa

Pineapple Mango Salsa

1 (heaping) cup pineapple, diced
1 cup mango, diced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced
1/2 whole red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
juice of one lemon
pinch of sugar, optional
pinch of salt, optional

Directions

1. In a large bowl, gently stir together the pineapple, mango, tomatoes, peppers, onion, and cilantro until evenly incorporated.
2. Squeeze the lemon juice overtop the salsa mixture. Again, gently stir to mix it in.
3. Add salt and/or sugar, if needed, and stir to incorporate.
4. Serve chilled with tortilla chips, or on top of grilled chicken or fish.

Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders

Tired of eating the same old thing for lunch every day? Look forward to lunch again with these quick & easy, relatively healthy Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders. Chock full of fresh veggies, with a little kick from some fresh jalapeno peppers, they’re the perfect way to add a little ‘ole’ to your day!

Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders

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Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

My MIL is like the plant whisperer. So, I wasn’t surprised two weeks ago when bags full of summer squash started appearing on my doorstep. Seriously, these things were huge…and plentiful. But I was stuck in a rut. A zucchini rut.

When the dark green squash lands in my kitchen, it  always met one of three fates:

1. Being sliced into rounds, topped with Parmesan cheese, and baked;

2. Shredded up and baked into some form of zucchini/vegetable bread; or

3. Shredded or diced and hidden in various casseroles to trick my kids (and husband?) into eating more veggies.

While I love all of these uses for zucchini, I knew there had to be some sort of unheard of zucchini greatness out there to help shake things up and pull us out of our rut.

I don’t normally fry our veggies, but when I saw this recipe I immediately decided I was making an exception. The hubs took one bite and couldn’t believe that something so delicious could be made from just zucchini and onions. They reminded of a crispier version of potato latkes. They’re great plain, but the spiced mayo makes a perfectly paired dip adding just the right amount of tang & spice. We served the fritters as a side with dinner, but they would also make a great light lunch.   Looking for a way to rise out of your own stagnant zucchini or side-dish rotation? Is your bounty overflowing with the green garden veggies and you need to get creative to use them all up? Whatever your reason, you can’t go wrong with these. Just look at them. Gorgeous, isn’t it? They taste just as great.

Zucchini Fritters with Chili Lime Mayo

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Zucchini Fritters

recipe adapted from Family Feed Bag

vegetable oil for frying
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup diced onion
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Mayo

1 cup prepared mayo
1 tbsp lime juice, lemon will work as a substitute
1/2 tsp chili powder

4 Sons 'R' Us: Zucchini Fritters with chili lime mayo

1. Pour the oil in a skillet so that it is half an inch deep and turn the heat to medium.
2. While waiting for the oil to heat up, combine the zucchini, onion, and eggs in a large bowl. Stir the mixture to combine. It may get a little frothy, but that’s ok.
3. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, salt, and pepper and stir to combine
4. To finish the batter,  add the dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and fold it all together.
5. Once your oil is hot (dip a spoon with some batter on it into the oil to test, if the oil starts bubbling in contact with the batter, it’s ready) you can drop the batter a tablespoon at a time into the oil, frying for 2-3 minutes per side. If you want a more substantial fritter, form the batter into loose ‘patties’ and fry in oil 3-4 minutes per side.
6. When the centers are firm, remove them from the oil and allow the to drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.
7. To make the dip, simply combine the prepared mayo, lime juice, and chili powder in a small mixing bowl and stir it all up.

Delicious Dill Dip

Over the years, I’ve come to find that, in the summer, there’s nothing better for a light lunch or snack than some garden-fresh veggies. This Delicious Dill Dip is the perfect refreshing compliment for them. Even better, I like the sneaky little way it has of getting my kids to eat every last nutritious bite of good-for-them ‘green-stuff.’ I’m not sure who is more surprised, myself or my boys, when we discover a veggie plate can be emptied, and left without even a stray crumb of broccoli, quite that quickly. Never ceases to amaze us. However, even if you’re on the fence about how tasty raw, fresh veggies actually might be, could be… they do make the perfect edible spoon to get dip from bowl to mouth. Technically, you don’t even have to eat the veggies, but it might be more ‘socially acceptable’ than just digging into said dip with a spoon. And it’s that good. You’ll consider it. I’ve just got to make sure I keep that tid-bit under-wraps. You know, in the interest of trying to teach good-manners, and all those other sorts of life-lessons Moms must met out.

Delicious Dill Dip

4 Sons 'R' Us: Delicious Dill Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Chill for at least one hour before serving.
  3. Serve with fresh veggies, slices of crusty bread, crackers, or pretzels.