Easy Pico De Gallo

I absolutely love pico de gallo.  And, it’s hard to believe that I’ve never made it before now.  That’s just plain crazy!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

Being that it’s tomato season, and that I can’t get enough of these red beautiful bad boys… it was prime time for me to try to make my own pico.

I got inspired to make this chunky salsa after enjoying Cafe Rio again on Saturday.  I always get what I like to call a “mexi-salad” there.  The Cafe Rio Salad comes with way too much on it, so I change it up quite a bit… I remove the tortilla, the beans, the rice, and most of the toppings to make room for grilled chicken, guacamole, and what I like to call an obscene amount of pico de gallo.

Cafe Rio Salad | No Thanks to Cake

Yep… it’s a little excessive, but when you remove everything else… you might as well load up on what you like, right?

Knowing I had a few fresh tomatoes leftover from last week’s haul at the farmer’s market, I decided to get chopping and create my own at-home pico.  I also had just picked up a new citrus juicer that I was dying to use….  great excuses to make some great pico!

Easy Pico de Gallo

Makes 2 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

4 hot house tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 small onion, diced

1 jalapeño, diced with seeds and stems removed

1/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Dice your tomatoes, taking care to remove the seeds.

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Dice your onions next.  Note:  I took this as an opportunity to use my onion chopper from Williams-Sonoma.  I wish I had used this for the tomatoes too, as it created the most perfectly uniform dice!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Dice your jalapeño next.  Note:  I put the jalapeño into the vegetable chopper for a fine dice… in seconds!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Chop your cilantro and add it to the mix.

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Squeeze 1/2 of a fresh lime into the mixture.  Note:  I used my Lemon Press from Williams-Sonoma to squeeze the lime.  If you don’t have one of these yet, I highly recommend it!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Add the salt and pepper.  Mix to combine and refrigerate immediately.  Flavors will begin to combine, and create the most delicious pico.

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Serve with baked chips, over grilled chicken, or with a spoon!

Easy Pico de Gallo | No Thanks to Cake

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If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy these yummy sauces from NTTC.

Restaurant Style Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing | No Thanks to Cake

The Very Best {EVER} Guacamole | No Thanks to Cake

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Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Sometimes I stumble upon an amazing dinner…. and today’s recipe is one of those.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

I didn’t plan to make this for dinner, and then it all just came together.

My local farmers’ market has stand that sells vegetables by the bag.  You can fill a pretty large bag with all of your favorite veggies, for just $10.  Pretty cool, right?

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

I ended up having a little room left and added two poblano peppers as a last minute addition.  I’m a big fan of Chile Relleno (a la Trader Joe’s), so I thought I would try to make my own version… but healthier with these peppers.

I also leveraged a few other recipes that I had made recently to create this dish.  Click the images below for the full recipes…

Crockpot Salsa Chicken | No Thanks to Cake

Restaurant Style Salsa | No Thanks to Cake

I can’t believe how delicious these peppers came out!  Poblanos have a much milder flavor than a bell pepper, and I really prefer them to traditional stuffed peppers.  I seriously wish I would have bought about 5 of those peppers!  Next time, I will!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

1/3 cup shredded chicken (I used Salsa Chicken)

1 poblano pepper

1 roma tomato, diced and seeded

1 wedge Laughing Cow Cheese – Chipotle and Queso Fresco flavor

2 Tbsp. diced onion

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 cups fresh spinach

cooking spray

salt and pepper

1 1/2 Tbsp. reduced fat 4-Cheese Mexican cheese, shredded

Salsa (I used Restaurant Style Salsa)

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Saute onions and garlic in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.  Add spinach and sauté until wilted, about 1-2 more minutes.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Add chicken and tomatoes to the pan, and stir to combine.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

4.  Add one wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese.  Stir to combine.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

5.  Remove the top of the pepper where the stem is.  Cut the pepper vertically to allow for it to be filled.  Remove the seeds as best you can, and fill it with the chicken mixture.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

6.  Place in a cooking sheet, sprayed with non-stick spray.  Top with shredded cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and pepper is cooked.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

7.  Remove to a plate to serve.  Top with fresh salsa.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

Stuffed Poblano Peppers | No Thanks to Cake

Per entire recipe serving:

CAL 307; CARB 20g; FAT 13g; PROT 33g; FIB 5g; WW Points Plus: 8

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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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One-Serving Queso Verde (and a Jenny Thank You)

On Thursday night after my life coaching session, I remembered that there was a big box outside my front door.

Not too excited to go outside in the windiness, I begrudgingly went outside to find this box had blown over into the stones.  Barefoot, I balanced myself on a few stones and retrieved the box.

When I got in inside, I peeked at the return label and was stunned to see it was from my friends at Jenny Craig

A Jenny Craig Surprise | No Thanks to Cake

I definitely hadn’t ordered anything from Jenny since I pick up all of my Jenny foods at a local centre.  I was excited to tear into the package and see what was inside.  A present?  For little ol’ me!?!?!

A Jenny Craig Surprise | No Thanks to Cake

And, I couldn’t even believe what I found inside… Such a nice care package!!!

A Jenny Craig Surprise | No Thanks to Cake

All the goodies were packed into a Jenny bag… and if you can see inside, you can see that there were lots of Jenny treats in there!  I couldn’t believe how much was in that bag… it had to be Tetris-ed in there, seriously!!

A Jenny Craig Surprise | No Thanks to Cake

Not only did they hook me up with all of the latest and greatest Jenny snacks to try, but they also threw in a few other fun items, including a filtered water bottle, a Jenny pedometer, and these fun items.

A Jenny Craig Surprise | No Thanks to Cake

How about this?  An iTunes gift card and a list of fun workout songs to download.  DOWNLOADED!  I’ve had some trouble getting back into my gym routine lately, and it’s like they knew… so, I’ve got some new tunes to get me MOVING!

A Jenny Craig Surprise | No Thanks to Cake

Ok, I’m obsessed with these guy.  It’s a salad holder with a dressing storage in the lid and an attached fork!  I can’t wait to fill this guy up with veggies and take it to work.

And the very best part of all, they included a note…

A Jenny Craig Surprise | No Thanks to Cake

While I appreciate all the goodies they sent, this letter touched me the most.  Such kind words from Team Jenny, thanking ME for what I’m doing when in reality, I feel like I owe so much to them.  So awesome.  Thank you, all!!!

Since the snacks arrived, I’ve been enjoying them.  I’ve dabbled in the Chocolate Chip Bars, and devoured a package of cheese curls.  And, I also tried the new Jenny Craig Black Bean Taco Chips, and decided to make a fun dip to eat them with.

One Serving Queso Verde | No Thanks to Cake

The chips alone are a delightful cross between tortilla chips and Sun Chips, and a blank palette to play with.  I decided to make a yummy queso dip to enjoy… I mean, who doesn’t love queso!?

One-Serving Queso Verde

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

One-Serving Queso Verde | No Thanks to Cake

1 wedge Laughing Cow Cheese - Chipotle and Queso Fresco flavor

2 Tbsp. Pace Salsa Verde

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Combine all ingredients in a small microwave-safe bowl.

One-Serving Queso Verde | No Thanks to Cake

2.  Place bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Remove and whisk the ingredients together.  Place in the microwave for another 15 seconds.  Whisk again until it has a queso consistency…

One-Serving Queso Verde | No Thanks to Cake

3.  Grab a single serving of your favorite chips (I used Jenny Black Bean Taco Chips) and ENJOY!

One-Serving Queso Verde | No Thanks to Cake

One-Serving Queso Verde | No Thanks to Cake

Per entire recipe (not including chips):

CAL 50; CARB 3g; FAT 3g; PROT 2g; FIB 0g; WW Points: 1

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