Chicken tostadas and avocado lime dressing

I get a salad at a fast food restaurant that comes with an avocado lime dressing, and I thought, “Surely I can make this – and make it a bit healthier than this probably is….” being that there were many ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone know what they even were!

On that same day, I saw a lighter version chicken tostada posted on a social media site and thought, “It’s fate. This is what I’m supposed to make tonight.” No, not really. It just looked incredibly good and I thought they would go together perfectly!

Recipe is below, but I first take the avocados (RIPE) and the rest of the ingredients, and put them into the food processor. Puree all of it until you have a creamy salad dressing. You could alway eat it right away, but I like to let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to let all the flavors swim in the pool of yummy-ness together.

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Tasted it, and thought I wanted it a little bit spicier, so I added more pepper.

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If your dressing is too thick, add a tablespoon of water or milk at a time to thin it out.

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You can either fry your tortilla, or you can bake them. I chose to fry them because I wanted the crunch. I cut a bigger tortilla in 1/2 and cooked them in oil for about 2 minutes a side. They bubble up and get brown. Remove, and place on a paper towel so you can drain the excess oil off. They are delicious!! Don’t eat them yet – you could, but wait.

You can barely see it here, but I also cooked a can of low sodium black beans. Put them in a pot for about 35 minutes on medium high heat with 1 can of water, 1/2 an onion thinly sliced, sprinkle of black pepper, and sprinkle of garlic salt. Let it cook down while stirring every 10 min or so until the beans cook down and they are almost all mush. You can spread a layer of beans on the tostada first. Again, follow the marinade and grilling recipe below to cook your chicken breasts. Once cooked and cooled a little, slice it, or shred it. Put as much chicken as you like on your tostada – (fried or oven baked – your choice) Top with a little bit of the avocado lime dressing. 

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I also like to top mine with lettuce, diced tomato, cheddar cheese, and sometimes finely diced red onion. SO yummy. Enjoy!!Final1
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RECIPE for Avocado Lime Dressing:
2 Ripe Avocados
2 limes (the juice of)
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp of red onion diced or can use shallots
Small bunch of cilantro (1 Tbsp?)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp greek yogurt
1/2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water

Place all ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. Taste. Season according to your taste. If too acidic, add more milk or mayo. If not enough acid, add more lime juice or 1 tsp of vinegar.

RECIPE for chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lime (juice of) and zest of
2-3 Tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
Take all items under the chicken and whisk with a fork in a small mixing bowl.

Place chicken breasts in a container or a gallon size ziplock bag. Add all other items – it will be a marinade. Let the chicken marinade for at least an hour. Cook in a saucepan on medium high heat for about 4-5 min per side. Finish in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes more. Take out, let cool. Shred or slice.

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Not your typical Cabbage Roll

First, you will love Quinoa.  You will.  You will.  I will you to love Quinoa. I think most either haven’t tried it, or they’ve tried it plain.

Second, did you know that 1 cup of ground chicken is just over 300 calories.  JUST over 300 calories, and less than 18g of fat!

I’ve been trying different recipes where I can throw in a little Quinoa to get my family used to it. Quinoa is high in protein, lacks gluten, is a great source of fiber and very easy to digest! It is slowly gaining popularity in the US. It also is supposed to make you fuller-for longer. You can find many different kinds of Quinoa. You can find blends of wild rice, bulgar, and quinoa. You can use that in this recipe, as well! This is the one I chose to use:

Quinoa

One meal I LOVE is cabbage rolls.  If you don’t love cabbage rolls, I’m sure you can find a great substitute for this instead of cabbage leaves. My goal was to make cabbage rolls with ground chicken and quinoa-but still have great flavor that regular beef or pork filled cabbage rolls provide.

Recipe will be below.  First, follow the recipe on how to prepare the Quinoa in a separate, small pan.  You will only need about 1/4-1/2 cup of Quinoa cooked, so 1/2 a cup of Quinoa is plenty. While this is cooking:

Pre-heat oven to 375. I sauteed 1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup of green or red bell pepper (any color is fine, really), and 3 cloves of chopped garlic with 2 Tbsp of olive oil until almost soft. (about 4 min) I added my ground chicken and spices. Cook until chicken is almost done.

Ground Chicken

Next, I add about 20 leaves of spinach, and the chili pepper paste (provides a tiny bit of sweet but also the HEAT), and 1/4 of chopped tomatoes (I use the Poma brand in a box). Save the rest of the chopped tomatoes to pour on top of the cabbage rolls once you assemble them. You can honestly add anything to this dish that you think you may like. All of the flavors blend nicely.

Chili tomato

Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes. The flavors will marry and come together nicely! Taste. If you think it’s pretty bland, add more seasoning or pepper.  The Quinoa should be done. Add about 1/4 cup of Quinoa to the mixture. Combine well.

Next, assemble the cabbage rolls.

Cabbage assembly

Roll them up and place them in a casserole dish. Don’t worry about them being perfect leaves. You’ll spoon each leaf bundle out with a big spoon and just dig in with your fork.

Take remaining ground chicken mixture and add 1/4 cup of the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Pour some of the mixture on each roll -but not covering completely. (Pic below) Put a layer of foil on casserole dish and cover tightly. Cook for 25 minutes. Be careful when you remove, as the steam will be quite hot.

Cabbage Final

Recipe:

Not your everyday Cabbage Roll
1 head of cabbage                    1/4 cup of chopped onion
1 lb ground chicken                    3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup of green or red bell pepper                    2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cooked Quinoa                    1 Tbsp chili pepper paste
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes                    fresh spinach
1 tsp garlic salt                    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper

You can put almost any veggie you want, or pine nuts in this dish – experiment!

Enjoy!