Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub

Earlier in the month after my trip to Fitbloggin, I took a quick trip to Florida to visit with my dad.  He’s lived on the northeastern coast of Florida for the past several years… retiring to his version of paradise.  After spending the previous 10+ years in Green Bay, you can understand why this Guy was looking for sunny, hot days as he was planning his retirement.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake

Since my dad has retired, he’s become quite the cook.  As a kid, I don’t remember him cooking much.  Grilling, yes.  Cooking, not so much.  That being said, it’s fun to see him enjoying something I love to do so much.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake

It seems like every time I get down there, I bring back a beautiful tan as well as a few recipes to share with you guys. Remember the Bacon Cauliflower Lettuce Salad??

Bacon Cauliflower Lettuce Salad | No Thanks to Cake

This trip, we ate a lot of grilled foods… all sprinkled with my dad’s spice rub.  A little sweet, a little spicy, I had a chance to watch him make it and to capture all his secret ingredients.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake

I made my first batch last weekend, and it was AWESOME.  I know this is something I’ll be shaking on grilled meats for months to come. Thanks, Dad, for sharing the recipe with me (and subsequently with the rest of NTTC!)

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub

INGREDIENTS

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake
1 1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. salt (or seasoned salt)
1/2 Tbsp. Mesquite Smoked sea salt (or celery salt)
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. cayenne (optional)
1/2 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 cup brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS
1.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend well.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake
2.  Move to an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.  Note:  I got these at my local Penzey’s.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake
3.  Apply the rub generously to your favorite grillable meats.  Note: I used chicken, but I imagine it would be great on pork, beef, etc.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub | No Thanks to Cake

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Avocado Salsa

Ever since the Fitbloggin Avocado contest, I’ve been completely hooked on avocados.  I just can’t get enough of them.

And… next week, as part of my prize pack for winning 2nd place in the recipe contest, the commission is sending me an ENTIRE BOX of California Avocados.  Can you imagine??? I’m so excited!

I’ve been eating a lot of carrots lately as snacks, and I wanted a different kind of dip to use with them.  I always like to put something on them… whether it’s Laughing Cow Cheese (a fave!) or one of my homemade healthy dips.  Then, I found this idea…

Avocado Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

How delicious does that look? And, why haven’t I tried something like this before???  Adding an avocado to your favorite salsa gives it a creamy and decadent texture… perfect for dipping chips, vegetables, and it even can be used as a salad dressing!  So good!

Avocado Salsa

From The Picky Palate Cookbook

1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 small avocados, mashed
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
½ lime, juiced
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until blended.

Avocado Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Avocado Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Avocado Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Avocado Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  Serve with veggies or baked chips.

Avocado Salsa | No Thanks to Cake Avocado Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

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Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey

I love this recipe.  Another amazing Pinterest find, I made it just a few days after I found it!

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

It combines one of my favorite vegetables – green beans – with lean ground turkey.  Uh-mazing!  The flavors remind me a lot of those yummy chicken lettuce wraps at PF Changs, but with extra veggies!  Speaking of extra veggies, I doubled the green beans in the dish to add extra volume and color.

Try this dish… it’s delicious and cooks up in no time!

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey

Adapted from The Weary Cook

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

1 tsp. sesame oil
1/3 large onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 lb. extra lean ground turkey
1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. crushed ginger
1 lb. washed and trimmed green beans (or Chinese long beans if available)
1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Add sesame oil, and sauté onions and garlic for about 2 minutes.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

 

2.  Stir in ground turkey and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked. Crumble meat as much as possible.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Stir in chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

 

4.  Add green beans and soy sauce, and stir to coat.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

 

5.  Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. If desired, serve over cooked rice or quinoa.

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/2 recipe serving:

CAL 245; CARB 23g; FAT 5g; PROT 31g; FIB 8g; WW Points Plus: 6

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Mocha Icebox Dessert

When 4th of July rolled around and Tiffany asked me to bring a dish to her cookout, I knew that I wanted to bring dessert.  Any chance to put together a healthier, yet decadent dessert… I’m in.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

This dessert is one my mom used to make when I was little.  Surprisingly, being the pickiest human on the planet… I loved it from a young age!  Cool whip, mocha mousse, and fluffy lady finger cookies make the most perfect dessert!

This was a delicious trip down memory lane and a fluffy light way to enjoy a sweet treat.  Enjoy!

Mocha Icebox Dessert

Serves 9

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

INGREDIENTS

16 large marshmallows
6 Tbsp. hot water
2 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. butter
3/4 tsp. instant coffee - I used Starbucks Via
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 containers thawed Cool Whip Light
1 (3 oz.) pkg. lady finger cookies
1/4 tsp. salt
Chocolate Curls, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Heat marshmallows, water, cocoa, butter, coffee, and salt over medium heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat. Let stand until thickened.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Combine 2 1/2 cups Cool Whip, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and marshmallow-cocoa mixture.  Fold until combined.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Line bottom and sides of ungreased baking dish 8 x 8 x 2 with ladyfingers.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Spread marshmallow mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Cover and refrigerate until set about 5 hours.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Combine 2 cups Cool Whip with 1/4 tsp. vanilla.  Spread on top of the pudding dish.  Top with chocolate curls created with a vegetable peeler and chocolate bar at room temperature.

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Mocha Icebox Dessert | No Thanks to Cake

Per 1/9th recipe:

CAL 268; CARB 44g; FAT 9g; PROT 2g; FIB 0g; WW Points Plus: 7

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