Tag Archives: mystery basket

Chopped Challenge: Chocolate, Noodles, Sour Gummy Worms and Dragon Fruit

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This weeks “Chopped Challenge” mystery basket was an interesting combination of Noodles, Sour Gummy Worms, Chocolate and Dragon Fruit.

One of the items on my “things I want to make list” was dessert pasta so I decided to combine the chocolate into the noodles and make Chocolate Oreo Spaghetti Noodles.  I then decided to melt down the sour gummy worms, combine them with dragon fruit and ricotta cheese to make a sauce for the noodles.

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The result was a delicious, unique dessert, perfect for an Italian dinner night!

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (divided)
  • 1 cup oreo crumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp sour gummy worms (melted)
  • 6 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 dragon fruit (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp honey

Begin preparing the chocolate oreo spaghetti by combining the crushed oreos and 2 cups flour.

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Next, add the eggs to the flour oreo mixture and combine until the dough forms into a ball.  The dough should be slightly sticky.  If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, if it’s not sticky enough, add a little water.

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Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the sauce by first melting the sour gummy worms.

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Total science-experiment look going on!

Take a teaspoon of the melted science experiment gummy worms and combine with the goat cheese, ricotta cheese, honey and dragon fruit.

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Next, head back to the pasta dough and prepare the spaghetti in a pasta machine.

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Be sure to have that extra cup of flour handy as the oreos make this dough extra sticky!

Place the noodles into boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top.  Toss with the Ricotta Dragon Fruit Sauce and serve!

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Grab a fork and dig in!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free flour for traditional flour in the pasta dough to make this recipe gluten-free.

Chocolate Oreo Spaghetti with Ricotta Dragon Fruit Sauce

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Chocolate Oreo Spaghetti with Ricotta Dragon Fruit Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (divided)
  • 1 cup oreo crumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp sour gummy worms (melted)
  • 6 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1/2 dragon fruit (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Begin preparing the chocolate oreo spaghetti by combining the crushed oreos and 2 cups flour.
  2. Next, add the eggs to the flour oreo mixture and combine until the dough forms into a ball. The dough should be slightly sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, if it’s not sticky enough, add a little water.
  3. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime prepare the sauce by first melting the sour gummy worms.
  5. Take a teaspoon of the melted gummy worms and combine with the goat cheese, ricotta cheese, honey and dragon fruit.
  6. Next, head back to the pasta dough and prepare the spaghetti in a pasta machine.
  7. Be sure to have that extra cup of flour handy as the oreos make this dough extra sticky!
  8. Place the noodles into boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top. Toss with the Ricotta Dragon Fruit Sauce and serve.
http://whitneybond.com/2013/02/02/chopped-challenge-chocolate-noodles-sour-gummy-worms-and-dragon-fruit/

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Sprinkles, Hummus, Birthday Cake and Artichokes

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This weeks Chopped Challenge was very special because it  just so happened to fall on my birthday!

The ingredients I was given were very interesting, Sprinkles from Allison Davis, Hummus from Arun, Birthday Cake from Krista Lombardi and Artichokes from Angela Garner.

I decided to make a combination of sweet and spicy party dips including Birthday Cake Hummus and Spicy Buffalo Artichoke Dip. The hummus was inspired by my favorite peanut butter hummus at the local farmers market and the buffalo artichoke dip inspired by my consistent need to add buffalo sauce to anything possible!

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Ingredients (Birthday Cake Hummus)

  • 2 cups birthday cake batter
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
    • 1/2 tbsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 15 oz can garbanzo beans (or chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles
  • pita bread (for dipping)
  • vanilla wafers (for dipping)

Begin by combining the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.  In a large bowl beat together the eggs, sugars, butter, vanilla and coconut milk.  Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined.

Place 2 cups of the birthday cake batter (recipe will make slightly more than that so you can bake up a couple little cupcakes on the side :-), garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice and sprinkles into a blender or food processor.

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Sprinkles are fun!

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Blend well, then serve topped with additional sprinkles!

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I loved the vanilla wafers dipped into this hummus for a sweet treat!

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I then prepared the spicy buffalo artichoke dip.

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Ingredients (Spicy Buffalo Artichoke Dip)

  • 1/2 cup vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (drained)
  • pita bread (for dipping)
  • wheat thins (for dipping)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor and combine well.  Next, add the artichoke hearts and lightly blend for 10-15 seconds.  Pour into a serving bowl with a side of pita bread or wheat thins for dipping.  I topped it with parmesan cheese and chives for a little extra deliciousness and color!

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This is definitely my new favorite dip, it’s kind of like if Spinach Artichoke Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip got married, this would be their delicious little baby!

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I will definitely be serving this at my Christmas Cocktail Party next weekend!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: Both dips are vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Replace the flour in the birthday cake batter with a gluten-free flour substitute such as coconut flour and serve each dip with gluten-free cookies and crackers for a gluten-free option.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Tomato Paste, Dates, Pastrami and Turnip Greens

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

This weeks Chopped Challenge was made especially special because it was the first challenge that my dad contributed an ingredient to!  His contribution to the mystery basket was dates, one of our families favorite fruits! In addition to dates, Renee Vaughan added tomato paste, Cassie Vaughn added turnip greens and Thomas Kamakani Jr added pastrami!

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It just so happens that my one purchase on black friday was a Panini Press, which I was beyond excited about!  It’s been on my “want” list for a while and I was so excited to get this $50 piece of amazingness for $9.99 on friday!

So obviously this weeks Chopped Challenge had to be a panini!  I turned these 4 ingredients into a Pastrami Panini with a Sweet Tomato Spread, Turnip Greens and Blue Cheese Rosemary Stuffed Dates.

Ingredients (makes 2 paninis)

  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sweet tomato spread (ingredients below)
  • 1/4 cup southern style greens (collard, turnip & kale)
  • 4 oz pastrami
  • 4 dates (pitted)
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary

Sweet Tomato Spread

  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Prepare the tomato spread by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

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Next, spread the tops of each slice of bread with olive oil.  Flip then spread the sweet tomato spread on the other side.

Top each slice with the southern greens and pastrami.

Next, combine the blue cheese and rosemary, then stuff the mixture inside the dates.  Place two dates on one half of each sandwich.

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Place the other half of the sandwich on top and set the sandwiches in the panini press.

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And press!

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Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes then remove from the press and serve!

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The combination of sweet dates, the savory blue cheese rosemary combination and the herb crusted pastrami was so ridiculously delicious!

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

I’m not going to lie, I might eat this sandwich every day for the rest of the week!

Now slice it open and dig in!

Week fourteen of Chopped Challenge Thursdays combined dates, pastrami, turnip greens and tomato paste. The dish I created using these mystery box ingredients is a Pastrami Panini with Sweet Tomato Spread, Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates and Turnip Greens.

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the pastrami and replace with extra veggies such as caramelized onions and roasted red peppers for a vegetarian twist to this dish.

♦ Gluten Free Option: When gluten-free bread is used, this recipe is gluten-free.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Yams, Cranberries, Pears and Habanero Peppers

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This very special Thanksgiving edition of “Chopped Challenge Thursdays” combined yams from Ashley Caretto, cranberries from Cassie Sue Vaughn, pears from Muffet “LLB Momma” Bond and serrano habanero peppers from Katie Samples.

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I created a new Thanksgiving favorite with these ingredients, Baked Yam Wedges with Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Pear Sauce.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs yams (or sweet potatoes)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 pear (peeled, de-seeded and diced)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 small habanero pepper (de-seeded and diced)
  • 1 lemon (juiced – not pictured)

Begin by slicing the yams into wedges and placing in a baking dish.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle the ginger and cinnamon on top.

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Place into a 375° oven for 45 minutes.

In the mean time, prepare the Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Pear Sauce.

Begin by combining the water and sugar in a skillet.  Once the sugar has dissolved, add the diced pear.

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Cook for 5 minutes, then add the honey, cranberries and habanero.

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Cook until the cranberries begin to pop and a thick sauce forms.

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Squeeze the lemon juice into the sauce and mix well.  Pour the mixture on top of the baked yams and place back into the oven for 5-10 minutes.

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I served them along side a Turkey and Dressing Thanksgiving feast with favorites like Bacon Wrapped Dates and Garlic Lemon Green Beans!

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The yams were sweet and delicious, with a very slight kick at the end from the habanero!

turkey, dressing, green beans, spicy cranberry yams, creamed corn, cranberry pear glaze, cranberry pear yams, cranberry pear sweet potatoes, recipe, food, thanksgiving♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Cranberries, Spam, Serrano Chilies and Dark Chocolate

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When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.  When Dusty Duprel hands you spam, you make fancy spam tacos!

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This weeks mystery basket included Cranberries from Olivia Reyes, Serrano Chilies from Kate Ouzounian, the aforementioned Spam and Dark Chocolate from Angela Cho.

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I decided to combine the cranberries, dark chocolate and Serrano chilies into a mole sauce to top the spam which I marinated in a chili lime mixture (in my opinion you have to put some work in to make spam delicious!)

The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Twelve:  Chili Lime Marinated Spam Tacos with Cranberry Mole Sauce!

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Ingredients

  • Cranberry Mole (makes 4 cups)
  • 1 lb tomatillos
  • 3 large pasilla chilies (chopped)
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 6 small Serrano chilies (de-seeded and chopped)
  • 1 very ripe plantain (sliced)
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • Chili Lime Spam (makes 1 ½ cups)
  • 12 oz can Spam
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Tacos (makes 6 tacos)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 lime (cut into 6 wedges)
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp queso fresco

We’re going to start by marinating that spam to infuse it with the chili lime flavors and take away the canned taste.

Simply whisk together the brown sugar, soy sauce, chili powder lime juice, red pepper flakes and olive oil.  Then open up that can of spam and dice it up.

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Add the spam to the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the spam is marinating, prepare the mole sauce.

Begin by roasting the tomatillos.  Because my HOA busted me for having a grill on my balcony, I will now roast my tomatillos in the oven!

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Allow to roast for 15-20 minutes of until slightly charred on the outside. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Next, lightly brown the pasilla chilies in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

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Remove from the skillet and add to a medium bowl with the cranberries.  Cover with warm water then set aside.

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In the same skillet over medium heat add the almonds, ground cloves, cinnamon, black pepper and allspice.

Toast for 2-3 minutes then place in a spice grinder and ground until a powder forms. If you do not have a spice grinder a coffee grinder works well or a small food processor.

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Still using the same skillet add the olive oil, onions, garlic and serrano chilies.

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Brown in the skillet until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Now peel the cooled tomatillos and place in a blender or food processor with the ground spices.

Next add the dark chocolate and plantains to the blender.

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Then add the cooked onions and chilies, pasilla peppers, cranberries and a small amount of the soaking liquid.  Start with about 1/2 cup, then add more if the sauce is too thick.

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Blend until creamy, then pour back into the skillet over low heat.

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Simmer for 5-10 minutes while cooking the spam.

Pour the spam and marinade into a skillet over medium-high heat.

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Cook for 7-10 minutes or until no liquid exists and the spam is slightly caramelized.

To make the tacos, place the spam into warmed tortillas.

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Then top with the cranberry mole sauce.

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Finish the tacos off with cilantro, cojita cheese and avocado.

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These tacos have a great balance of sweetness, acidity and spice!

spam tacos, chili lime marinated spam, cranberry mole, cranberry chocolate mole sauce, avocado, cilantro, limes, corn tortillas, recipe

The chocolate, chili pepper, cranberry combination in the mole sauce is divine! I’m thinking about making this for Thanksgiving to put on the turkey, Yum!

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These tacos would be delicious with a side of Grilled Pineapple Tomatillo Guacamole or Deconstructed Mexican Street Corn!

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If Spam is not your thing, you could easily substitute shrimp, chicken or beef in this dish!

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Or if you’re vegetarian, Tofu Tacos!

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Now it’s time to dig in!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute spam with tofu.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free, just make sure the brand of soy sauce you purchase is gluten-free! (Fresh & Easy is not.)

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Cinnamon, Oranges, Apples and Brussels Sprouts

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

Welcome to Chopped Challenge Thursday, Week Eleven!  I can’t believe it has been almost 3 months since I began this little portion of the blog!  It has been a blast and this week was especially fun because my 87-year-old grandma in Houston, Texas submitted an ingredient into the mix (with a little help from my Mom to post on Facebook)!

Check out Nana this summer with my Mom and I while showing off her backyard garden!

grandma, backyard, texas, Houston, nana, mom, family

Nana submitted Cinnamon because she said that she heard it has a lot of health benefits! She’s one smart lady because cinnamon does pack a lot of health benefits including lowering bad cholesterol, relieving arthritis pain, stabilizing blood sugar and even eliminating migraine headaches!

The next three ingredients added into the mix were brussels sprouts from Allison Davis, apples from Wendi Garrison and oranges from Cynthia Mitchell.

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I already had an Apple Sausage Gorgonzola Tart on my menu for the week so I decided to use the additional ingredients from “Mystery Basket Monday” to turn the Tart into this weeks Chopped Challenge Thursday!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tartThe final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Eleven: Caramelized Apple and Onion Tart with Gorgonzola, Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

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Ingredients (makes 2 tarts – serves 4)

  • 1 cup brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/3 cup and 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 red apples (cored and sliced)
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 oranges (juiced)
  • 1 roll phyllo dough (app 20 sheets)
  • 2 sweet italian sausages (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)

Start by quartering the brussels sprouts and placing on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with the minced garlic.

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Place into a 425° oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside while preparing the rest of the tart.

brussels sprouts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, minced garlic, black pepper, kosher salt, recipe

Now on to caramelizing the apples and onions. Melt the butter in a large skillet then add the sliced apples.

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Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the sliced onions.

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Cook until the apples and onions become tender, about 8-10 minutes, then add the brown sugar, cinnamon and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

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Combine all of the ingredients together and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Set to the side while preparing the orange vinaigrette for the tart.

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Whisk the juice of 2 oranges (app 1/3 cup) with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar.

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Now prepare the tart’s crust by brushing this mixture on each sheet of phyllo dough, while stacking the sheets on top of each other.

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Place 10 sheets in 2 separate stacks to make 2 tarts.

Fold the edges of the tart in to form the crust, then brush the edges with the orange vinaigrette.

Next begin to assemble the tarts by placing a layer of caramelized apples and onions on the crust.

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Next top with the brussels sprouts, then the sausage, gorgonzola cheese and rosemary.

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Transfer carefully onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 425° for 10-12 minutes (depending on how crisp you want the crust!)

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

Thank you all for continuing to provide such awesome ingredients and inspiration through “Chopped Challenge Thursdays”, this is another new favorite dish for me!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

There are so many components that make up this delectable tart…

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

the creaminess of the gorgonzola cheese…

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

the sweetness of the cinnamon apples…

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

and the savory flavors of the sausage and brussels sprouts!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

Now it’s time to dig in!

caramelized apples, caramelized onions, sweet italian sausage, roasted garlic brussels sprouts, gorgonzola cheese, rosemary, phyllo dough crust, tart

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian when the sausage is eliminated. Replace the butter with olive oil and eliminate the cheese  to make this recipe vegan.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Foodista has a recipe for gluten-free phyllo dough here or replace the crust completely with my cauliflower based Gluten Free Pizza Crust.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Almonds, Beer, Tomatoes and Marshmallow Fluff

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

This weeks Chopped Challenge Mystery Basket included beer, almonds, tomatoes and marshmallow fluff…  again!

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I combined the beer and almonds to make one of my favorite side dishes, onion rings.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

I then combined the marshmallow fluff and tomatoes to make a side of BBQ sauce for dipping.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Ten: Beer Battered Almond Crusted Onion Rings with a Sweet Marshmallow BBQ Sauce

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Ingredients (BBQ Sauce – makes 2 cups)

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Puree until a thick sauce forms.

beer battered onion rings, recipe, honey BBQ sauce, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Place in the refrigerator while preparing the onion rings.

Ingredients (Onion Rings – makes app. 30)

  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Begin by slicing the onions into 1/4 inch rounds.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Next, whisk together the egg, milk and beer. Pour the mixture over the onions.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Next, blend together the almonds and cornmeal in a food processor.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Place in a shallow dish.  Combine the flour, salt and cayenne pepper in a separate shallow dish.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Next, heat a small amount of olive or canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then pre-heat the oven to 400° and prepare a baking dish topped with cooling racks on the side of the skillet.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Now, you’re ready to go!

Begin, by moving the onions from the milk and beer mixture to the flour mixture, coat well, then toss them back into the milk and beer, then into the cornmeal almond mixture.  Coat well then place into the skillet and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Remove from the skillet and place on the baking sheet.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Bake for 6-8 minutes then remove from the oven.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

Serve with the Sweet Marshmallow BBQ Sauce for dipping.

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

This is the perfect way to eat your favorite crispy side dish without the guilt of eating fried foods!

beer battered onion rings, almond crusted onion rings, baked onion rings, sweet bbq sauce, marshmallow bbq sauce

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free flour for traditional flour and gluten-free beer to make this recipe gluten-free.

Chopped Challenge Thursday: Pumpkin, Mango, Oysters and Pecans

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketWow oh wow, this weeks Mystery Basket looked like East Coast meets West Coast meets Halloween meets Hawaii, Oysters, Mango, Pecans and Pumpkin, what in the world would I make with this odd combination of ingredients?

Luckily for me I visited Miami in the spring and was treated to a delicious dinner at The Dutch by my great friend Mr. Manning. What does my amazing dinner in Miami have to do with this weeks Chopped Challenge you ask?  Well, it was at this dinner that I had Oyster Sliders for the first time.

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketAs soon as Thomas Kamakani threw the oyster’s in the mystery basket this week, I knew I must re-create these delicious sliders, Little Leopard style.

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketI added the pecans from Cindi Bogue into the breading for the oysters, used the pumpkin from Kelly Taylor Shirley to make the sauce for the sliders and combined the mango from Rafael Ocampo with pickled onions and jalapeños to make a fantastic relish to top these babies!

pumpkin, mango, oysters, pecans, ingredients, chopped challenge, mystery basketThe final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Nine: Crispy Oyster Sliders with Pickled Jalapeño Mango Relish and Spicy Pumpkin Aioli.

cilantro, mango, coriander, pickled jalapeños and onions, mango relish, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketIngredients

Pickled Jalapeño Mango Relish (Makes 4 Cups)

  • 2 red onions (sliced)
  • 4 large jalapeños (de-seeded and sliced)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander
  • 1/2 mango (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 limes (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro

(Ignore the cabbage in the picture, I was originally going to make a slaw, but changed my mind. I’m a girl, we do that 😉 )

Begin by pickling the onions and jalapeños. Poach the onions in boiling water for 2 minutes.

fried oysters, pickled jalapeños and onions, mango relish chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basket

Remove from the water and place in a bowl or dish with lid.

Whisk together the apple cider, sugar and coriander.

apple cider, coriander, brown sugar, pickling, pickled jalapeños and onions, mango relish chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketAdd the jalapenos to the mixture then pour on top of the onions.

fried oysters, pickled jalapeños and onions, pickling onions, mango relish chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketPut the lid on top of the dish and place into the refrigerator for one hour.

Remove from the refrigerator and add the lime juice and cilantro.

fried oysters, pickled jalapeños and onions, mango relish chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basket

Remove the pickled vegetables from the vinegar sauce and place in a small bowl, then add the chopped mango.

fried oysters, pickled jalapeños and onions, mango relish chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basket

Next, prepare the Spicy Pumpkin Aioli.

pumpkin, spicy, aioli, dip, low fat, vegan, vegenaise, recipe, sriracha, garlic, paprikaIngredients

Spicy Pumpkin Aioli (makes 1 cup)

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegenaise

Add all ingredients to a small bowl.

pumpkin, spicy, aioli, dip, low fat, vegan, vegenaise, recipe, garlic, paprika, chili powderWhisk together.

pumpkin, spicy, aioli, dip, low fat, vegan, vegenaise, recipeCover and refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Next, prepare the oysters.

oysters, pecans, cornmeal, paprika, chili powder, canola oil, ingredients, recipe, fried oystersIngredients (makes 3 fried oysters)

  • 3 large oysters
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Start by shucking and cleaning the oysters. (Thank you to my roommate Ryan for being my “Professional King of Shucking”, as he proudly named himself after successfully shucking the oysters with a kitchen knife, haha)

Next, prepare the breading my placing the cornmeal, pecans, paprika and cayenne pepper in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, cornmeal pecan breading, paprika, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketPlace the mixture in a shallow bowl and roll the oysters in the breading.

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, cornmeal pecan breading, fried oysters, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketPlace a skillet with 1/2 inch of canola oil over medium-high heat.

When hot, add the oysters to the oil.

fried oysters, sliders, oyster sliders, crispy oysters, fried oysters, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketCook for 1 minute on each side then drain on a paper towel.

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketNow it’s time to put the sliders together!

I used homemade pretzel buns as the base for the slider, but any slider buns will work!

Start by placing the aioli on the bottom bun.

Next, place the oysters on top.

ried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketThen top with the relish.

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, pickled jalapeños, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketAren’t they so cute and fancy?

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketI went on a little bit of a picture-taking frenzy!

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketNow top them with the other half of the bun and skewer them to keep all the goodies together!

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketThen take some more pictures of how cute they are!

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basketAnd top with another pickled jalapeño, because it looks pretty and you can never have too many pickled jalapeños in your life!

fried oysters, sliders, pretzel bun, oyster sliders, oyster shells, chopped challenge thursdays, mystery basket

♦ Gluten Free Option: The sauce, relish and oysters are gluten-free, simply replace the pretzel bun with a gluten-free bun to make this dish gluten-free.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

This burger is super healthy, fiber-filled, protein-packed, vegetarian, gluten-free and really delicious, basically the best veggie burger ever!

Black Bean Quinoa Burger with Avocado

This recipe originally came from my “Chopped Challenge Series” I hosted on Facebook. The ingredients of my “Mystery Basket” that created this delicious dish came from Thomas Kamakani Jr. with Quinoa, Barbara Cervantes with jalapeños and Muffet Bond with red peppers.  Then we have the curve ball pitcher, Miss Allison Davis with marshmallow fluff… there always has to be one!

red peppers, jalapeños, quinoa, marshmallow fluff

When it comes to those “curve ball” ingredients such as lemon curd, apple butter or marshmallow fluff, it’s all about breaking down the ingredients, what exactly is marshmallow fluff?  Basically it’s corn syrup, sugar and water, in simpler terms, a sweetener.

I thought about what goes well with marshmallow that is not dessert and thought sweet potatoes! Who doesn’t love those delicious sweet potatoes covered in brown sugar and marshmallows with a nicely roasted turkey on Thanksgiving day!

I then decided to combine the jalapenos and marshmallow fluff, as I love the combination of sweet and spicy. I have used a Sweet Jalapeño Sauce to accompany my recipes for Mexican Chorizo Meatballs and Squash Puppies in the past.

I combined the quinoa with the sweet potatoes and added black beans to create this burger which packs 9 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein, all without meat or gluten!

sweet potatoes, quinoa, red peppers, black beans, jalapeños, marshmallow fluff, cilantro, rice chex, garlic, red onion

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • ½ red pepper (diced)
  • 1 jalapeño (de-seeded and diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup rice chex (crushed)*
  • 1 egg

Sweet Jalapeño Sauce (makes 1 cup)

  • 1/4 cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (not pictured)
  • 1 small jalapeño (de-seeded and diced)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime (juiced)

Optional Toppings

  • Avocado
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Iceberg Lettuce Leafs (for wrapping)

*Breadcrumbs can be substituted, I simply keep a bag of crushed rice chex on hand to make my dishes gluten-free.

Start by boiling a large pot of water.  Next, peel and cube the sweet potatoes and add them to the boiling water, cook for 20 minutes.

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While the potatoes are boiling, rinse and drain the black beans, then add 1 cup of the beans to a large mixing bowl and smash with a fork to create a paste for which to hold the burgers together.

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Next, drain the sweet potatoes and add them to the smashed beans. Smash them into the mixture with a fork without turning them into a puree.

Next, add the cooked quinoa to the mix.

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Then add the chopped onion, red pepper, jalapeño, garlic and the remaining whole black beans.

sweet potatoes, black beans, jalapeños, red peppers, onions, garlic, burger mixture, vegetables

Finally, add the spices, cumin, chipotle pepper and cilantro, as well as the binding ingredients including the rice chex and egg.

Mix together, then use your hands to form into 8 patties.

Place the burgers on a grill over medium heat for 10 minutes, then flip and grill for an additional 10 minutes.

*Alternatively you can place the burgers in a 375° oven for 20 minutes, flipping half-way through or bake them in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat for 10 minutes per side.

While the burgers are on the grill, prepare the Sweet Jalapeño Sauce.

Simply place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor.

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Blend until smooth and serve with the Sweet Potato Quinoa Black Bean Burgers.

Vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Is it just me or are these the prettiest burgers you’ve ever seen?

Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger Recipe

They say you should have five colors on your plate for a healthy meal, how about 5 colors in one item on the plate!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Veggie Burgers

I wrapped the burgers in lettuce and topped them with roasted red peppers and sliced avocado, then served them with homemade sweet potato tots.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Gluten Free Veggie Burgers

And voila!  The perfect vegetarian, gluten-free burger is created!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 burgers

Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sweet potatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • ½ red pepper (diced)
  • 1 jalapeño (de-seeded and diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup rice chex (crushed)*
  • 1 egg
  • 8 iceberg lettuce leafs (for wrapping)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers (sliced)

Instructions

  1. Start by boiling a large pot of water.
  2. Next, peel and cube the sweet potatoes and add them to the boiling water, cook for 20 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, rinse and drain the black beans, then add 1 cup of the beans to a large mixing bowl and smash with a fork to create a paste for which to hold the burgers together.
  4. Next, drain the sweet potatoes and add them to the smashed beans. Smash them into the mixture with a fork without turning them into a puree.
  5. Next, add the cooked quinoa to the mix.
  6. Then add the chopped onion, red pepper, jalapeño, garlic and the remaining whole black beans.
  7. Finally, add the spices, cumin, chipotle pepper and cilantro, as well as the binding ingredients including the rice chex and egg.
  8. Mix together, then use your hands to form into 8 patties.
  9. Place the burgers on a grill over medium heat for 10 minutes, then flip and grill for an additional 10 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/2012/10/11/chopped-challenge-thursday-quinoa-jalapenos-red-peppers-and-marshmallow-fluff/