BLT Tomato Bites (Gluten Free)

BLT Tomato Bites

These are the tastiest little bites I’ve had in a while. Tomatoes are in their prime at the moment and I suggest you make these as soon as you can! Every single bite was a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of delicious.

I have been attempting to make these nearly all summer, but seemed to encounter a Goldilocks dilemma every single time. Definitely make sure you get actual cherry tomatoes. I made the mistake of buying a Costco sized box of grape tomatoes, twice, and they are just too small. Then I tried Campari tomatoes and they are just too big, but finally I actually found cherry tomatoes! And they are just right. I used the small end of a melon baller to ‘pit’ the tomatoes and it was the easiest thing ever.

You can use just about any hot sauce you want. I personally used chipotle Tabasco for just about everything and it was absolutely perfect for these. I am sure your personal favorite will work just fine. I think sriracha or a Mexican hot sauce, like Cholula or Tapitio, would be great as well.

BLT Tomato Bites (Gluten Free)

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes (about 32)
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and broken into big pieces
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt (I used half and half of each)
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce (I recommend Chipotle Tabasco)
  • 1 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce leaves from the heart
  1. Cut off the stem ends of the tomatoes and discard. Using a paring knife or the small end of a melon baller, remove the seeds and discard; place the tomatoes cut side down on paper towels to drain.
  2. Stir together the mayonnaise/yogurt and chipotle and spoon into a resealable bag. Cut off the tip of one corner.
  3. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a platter and press some romaine inside each tomato; sprinkle with salt. Pipe some chipotle mayo over the romaine and top with bacon.

Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

Oh, poor little neglected blog, how I have missed you! Last semester was so crazy and so interesting (microbiology!) that I barely had time to procrastinate and since most of my blogging is born out of procrastination, things just kind of stopped around here. Luckily, I have a much easier course load this semester and I have already been accepted to nursing school (yay!), so hopefully things will start looking a little more normal around here…

I made this dip at the beginning of football season to go with some football watching. It was an instant hit in my (play)book and since the season is now only one game away from being over, I guess I better share it before it’s too late (I’m not even going to apologize for those horrible football puns).

Chipotle and ranch are probably two of my favorite flavors. Combining them resulted in what I think is the world’s best dip. This dip is the perfect combination of slightly spicy, tangy and absolutely delicious. I served the dip with some veggies and kettle chips, but I think it would be a great dipping sauce for chicken wings if they are your thing.


Greek Yogurt Chipotle Ranch Dip

  • 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
  • 1/4 high-quality mayonnaise (I recommend Hollywood Safflower Mayo)
  • 3 Tablespoons dry ranch dressing mix
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped and some reserved for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1+ canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced (add more if you like it spicy!)
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together yogurt, mayonnaise, ranch mix, almost all the green onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and chipotle. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate until needed. Serve with veggies or potato chips.

Chipotle Broccoli Slaw

Chipotle Broccoli Slaw

I’m really into slaws at the moment. There is something so summery about them. This one was just about perfect to me. It was flavorful with a bit of spice. I didn’t have any cabbage on hand, but I did have some broccoli. The slaw dressing would also make a great salad dressing for any salad. I made this for dinner one night and I found that the broccoli was still nice and crispy the next day for lunch. It was all finished off by dinner a day later, so it will keep at least a day in the fridge (if it actually lasts that long). If I had cilantro on hand when I was making this, I definitely would have thrown some in as well.

Chipotle Broccoli Slaw

  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt/mayo/sour cream (or combination of the 3)
  • 2 limes, juice
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, diced (remove or leave seeds depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from chipotle can
  • 1 (large) clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bag of pre-julienned broccoli slaw or 1 small bunch broccoli and 2 large carrots julienned
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small bunch green onions, chopped (about 6-7)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. Prepare the dressing: In a large bowl, stir together yogurt/mayo/sour cream, lime juice, vinegar, honey, chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic and salt to taste.
  2. Toss in the broccoli, carrots, red onion, and green onions. Toss to coat.
  3. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 3o minutes.

Chipotle Chicken & Tomato Soup with Orange & Red Onion Salad

Chipotle Chicken & Tomato Soup

My soup kick is still in full force. I think I’ve found a new favorite. This soup was so fast and easy to make. Open some cans, chop a couple things, let them come to a boil, get out a bowl and a spoon and your soup is ready in less than 20 minutes. I’ve gotten in the habit of cooking extra chicken or turkey to have on hand to add to salads or in this case soup so I always have something quick and easy to make for lunch. Even if you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, it would probably only add about 10 minutes to your cooking time and this soup is definitely worth it. I was tempted to add in some garlic and onion, but dicing and mincing kind of defeated the purpose of a fast meal. The stewed tomatoes I used did have some bell pepper, onion and celery added in, which provided a little extra something (I would give you a brand name, but the were the store’s own brand, but I think they are a pretty common blend). Next time, I would probably throw in some frozen corn as well.

Orange and Red Onion Salad with Red Pepper

As good as the soup was, my favorite part of this meal was the orange and red onion salad. I like onions with pretty much anything, but this combination sounded very peculiar to me. I was shocked by how delicious it was. We are close to a full on obsession. The salt, pepper and cayenne were an amazing combination that made the oranges taste even sweeter. I left the oranges and red onions until after I was done with the soup, and by that time the salt brought out the juice of the oranges so I just skipped adding the original recipe’s olive oil. I’m not a big fan of olive oil as a dipping/dressing unless it’s blended with something else, and I really think it might be kind of strange here. My dash of cayenne, was accidentally a much bigger dash than planned, but it was perfect. I am super tempted to go buy huge bags of oranges and red onions, because this is something I could eat every day.

Chipotle Chicken & Tomato Soup (from Cooking Light via

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can navy/white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Partially mash tomatoes and beans with a potato masher.
  2. Stir in chicken; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in oil. Place 1 1/4 cups soup in each of four bowls.
  3. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons sour cream and 1 tablespoon cilantro.

Orange & Red Onion Salad (from Cooking Light via
(original serves 6| scale to 1 orange for individual serving)

  • 18 (1/4-inch-thick) orange slices (about 4 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper or chipotle pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (olive oil)
  1. Arrange orange slices in a single layer on a platter. Top evenly with onion. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Drizzle with oil. Serve immediately.

Ina Garten’s Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Ina Garten's Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts

Let’s talk about edible gifts for a while, shall we? I’m sure everyone has some kind work function, potluck, or ugly sweater party coming up during the next couple of weeks. Over the next few days I’ll share some wonderful recipes perfect for sharing at any and all of these said events. They would also make great gifts if you are poor like me and have to resort to making and baking your own or if you just want to impress your hosts.
I kind of fell in love with these when I made them for a dinner party. I used 10 ounces of pecans and 10 ounces of walnuts and had to use 2 big baking pans as a result. I didn’t have any almonds on hand and I don’t care for cashews that much, but the walnuts and pecans definitely held their own. One word about the baking pans, I used two, one dark metal, one light metal, the darker metal started to look like it was about to burn the last time I was stirring the nuts, so I ended up taking them out a bit early, the lighter metal sheet too the whole time.
The end result was kind of sweet, kind of smokey, kind of salty and totally delicious. I tasted the chipotle flavor and didn’t find it spicy at all, but it takes a lot of spice for me to even notice it. These would be great and easy appetizer for a holiday party or even as a quick homemade, edible gift. Anyone who gets these will love you.
Ina Garten’s Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts (from The Kitchn)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews (14 ounces)
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves (7 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds (3 ounces)
  • 1⁄3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brush a sheet pan generously with vegetable oil. Combine the cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, the maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice, and chipotle powder on the sheet pan. Toss to coat the nuts evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of the rosemary and 2 teaspoons of salt and toss again.
  3. Spread the nuts in one layer. Roast the nuts for 25 minutes, stirring twice with a large metal spatula, until the nuts are glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons of rosemary.
  4. Toss well and set aside at room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking as they cool. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or cool completely and store in airtight containers at room temperature.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onion & Chipotle Turkey Chili

This is a recipe I made up the other day. It was part out of ingredients I needed to use up and part out of just what I was in the mood for. I had an opened can of chipotles to use up. I also had to use up some ground turkey. And I was just in the mood for caramelized onions. I decided to try to combine them and see where it took me.

The good thing about made up recipes, is that you sometimes end up with something great. The bad thing is that I don’t really have exact measurements. But that’s really not a problem. You know your tastes. I know mine. Just use whatever you think is going to make you happy; regardless, it’s going be delicious.

This recipe is probably a little more labor intensive than most other slow cooker recipes, but I really think it’s worth it. I diced up two onions very finely and caramelized them. When they were nice and brown and caramelized, I threw half in the crockpot and left half in the pan. Then I added in the garlic and ground turkey to brown. The turkey and the caramelized onions got all nice and friendly in the pan and I think this really added to the flavor of the chili. While the chili was cooking away, I caramelized a third onion because I’m a bit crazy. When the third onion was almost done caramelizing, I added in some of the adobo sauce from the can of chipotles. Oh my. I could have  eaten the entire pan of onions by themselves, right then and there. They were amazing and definitely made a great topping to the chili.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onion & Chipotle Turkey Chili

  • 3 large onions, 2 finely diced, 1 finely sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed (or a 1 can measure of frozen corn)
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes with jalapenos
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1-14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1-3 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chipotle Chili Powder
  • Garlic & Herb Powder
  • Shredded cheese (for serving)
  • Sour cream (for serving)
  • Chopped green onions (for serving)
  1. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, add two diced onions and caramelize. When onions are caramelized, put half of the onions in the crockpot, then add in garlic and turkey. Cook until turkey is no longer pink.
  2. While the onions and turkey are cooking, add the cans of tomatoes, beans, corn, chipotles and tomato sauce. When the turkey is browned add that to the crockpot. Take taco seasoning, chipotle powder and garlic powder and sprinkle up and down the length of the crockpot. Add in turkey.
  3. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  4. While chili is in crockpot, add third sliced onion to pan and caramelize. When onions are nearly done, add a couple spoonfuls of the adobo sauce from chipotles and finish caramelizing.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Sweet Potato Cakes with Chipotle Black Bean Salsa

I saw this recipe and instantly knew I was going to have to make it. Such a tasty and colorful dish that would be perfect as a fall appetizer or as a football watching snack like Lisa recommends. The way the recipe is broken down and written makes it look like a lot more work than it is, so don’t let that intimidate you.

I threw in an extra chipotle because mine were a little on the small side and I love chipotle. The sour cream and sweet potato really help calm the spiciness of the chipotles, but the flavor is still there. I also sprinkled some garlic powder on top, before I squeezed in the lime juice, just because garlic makes everything a little better. I also substituted corn for the original yellow bell pepper because I’m not really a fan of bell peppers and they are costing well over 3 dollars in these parts for one damn pepper! Outrageous!

Sweet Potato Cakes with Chipotle Black Bean Salsa (from Lisa is Cooking)

For the Sweet Potato Cakes:

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 green onions, both white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter
  1. Steam the sweet potato chunks for 15-20 minutes until completely tender, and then transfer to a colander and allow to drain until dry.
  2. Once very dry, place sweet potato chunks in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher to break up chunks. Add flour and finely chopped green onions, and mix with your hands to form a smooth batter. Using your hands here is best so that it doesn’t become over mixed. In a food processor, the sweet potato mixture could quickly become gummy. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Once the mixture is smooth, and the flour and green onions are mixed in, you’re ready to fry. Note: the mixture should be sticky but not wet, so more flour may be needed.
  3. In a non-stick skillet, heat two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and two tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Form round, flat cakes from about two tablespoons of batter per cake, and fry four or five at a time for three minutes per side until golden. Transfer finished cakes to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain and cool. Add more oil and butter to pan between batches as needed, and continue frying a few cakes at a time until all are ready for their toppings.

For the Chipotle Black Bean Salsa:

  • 1 16 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1-2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely minced red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Combine all salsa ingredients, starting with one chipotle, in a small bowl and stir to combine. Taste for chipotle heat and add more if desired, and taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Salsa can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
To Assemble for Serving:
  • Sour cream
  • Cholula or hot sauce of choice (optional)
  1. Place sweet potato cakes on a serving platter and add a small dollop of sour cream to each. Top sour cream with a small spoonful of black bean salsa and hot sauce, if desired and enjoy.