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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Beef Bolognese Recipe

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There aren’t too many recipes I look forward to making each week. Bolognese, I have to say, is one I don’t mind taking the necessary steps to GREATNESS. Mouth watering, greatness. It is also one of my family’s most favorite recipes I cook each week. It’s definitely a labor of love because it involves steps and patience.

I first saw the recipe from Anne Burrell. This is the recipe I absolutely love. If you follow the process exactly how she says to – your bolognese will rival those served in small, quaint cafes in Italy. I do know this! We took a trip to Italy last summer and I tasted one that could be served side by side next to mine. (I have changed mine up just a bit to personal preference, so feel free to experiment with yours as well!)

First, you are going to take the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and put them in a food processor until it’s a pulp. You can add olive oil to the food processor if it makes it easier to process. Sauté the pulp mixture in olive oil with 2 Tsp of salt on med-high heat with a Tbps of olive oil for about 15 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes. It will start out really liquidy (like in the pic below) but then it will start to tighten up and resemble cornbread.

IMG_8397 When it’s getting close to being done, it’s a nutty brown color, and it will look like cornbread a little. Maybe 2 mins more. Shove it aside in the pan to make room for your meat. Scrape with your wooden spoon.

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Add your meat another 2 tsp salt and LET IT COOK. Do not skimp these processes. Let those flavors develop.

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Once meat is browned all the way through, add your tomato paste. Notice, I still have my veggies to the side. You can also take them completely out if you want.

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Let the tomato paste cook a bit through for approx 4-5 minutes stirring once or twice (It will be thick)

Add your red wine and let this cook out for approx 5-7 minutes stirring a few times.

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Once red wine has reduced, add water – but do NOT add too much water. An inch above the meat is enough. If I’m making this batch, 1 1/2 cups of water is plenty. 2 is max. If you’re making Anne Burrell’s full recipe, I think 3 cups is max.

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I add the seasonings next and stir. Lower your heat to low to medium (where you have a soft simmer) Now it’s just a game of cooking out/ add water / cooking out / add water game. Set your timer for 45 minutes the first go around. Taste. Remember: it WILL concentrate the more liquid you let cook out. I do this about 3 times total throughout the cooking. The whole thing takes me about 2 1/2 hours to make. You can rush it, but the flavors won’t be nearly developed enough. The end result is a thick, salty, rich, hearty flavored bolognese and is incredible over fettuccine or rice. Hubs and son aren’t fond of pasta, so they prefer it over rice. 🙂 Enjoy!

Recipe:

1/2 onion
2 full sized celery stalks
12-14 baby carrots
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs of chuck or sirloin
1 1/2 small cans of tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine (either Merlot or Cab) Oh darn, you’ll have some leftover to drink…
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2- 2 cups of water (repeat as many times as you need)

If you’re still a little scared to try, please watch a video, Anne Burrell has made a video showing how she makes hers. Now, she uses a shit-load of salt in hers. I don’t use that much. Again, make it to your own preference! Once I watched it, I felt much more confident that I could make it on my own! Click HERE to watch her video.