Tag Archives: chopped challenge

Chopped Challenge: Nopales, Green Chilies, Cashews and Black Beans

Chipotle cashew chicken, garlic lime black bean puree and nopale guacamole top these delicious tostadas with so much flavor!

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I want to start off by saying thank you, thank you, thank you to the four contributors to this weeks “Mystery Basket” on Facebook!

I loved this combination of ingredients from the moment I saw it and was so excited to cook with Nopales (aka cactus) for the first time!

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The basket was kicked off by DeAndre Matthews with Nopales, then followed up with Black Beans from Becca Rogers, Cashews from Nicole Whelan and finished off with Green Chilies from Momma Bond!

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My first thought was to use the cactus in a salsa, but then I thought about how fun it would be to continually say “Nopale Guacamole” (go ahead, say it!  Fun, right?) so guacamole it was!

I decided to toss the green chilies into the Nopale Guacamole, as well as a few other fun things that we’ll get to in a few!

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Next, I decided to make tostadas. Tacos have already appeared a few times on the blog, while tostadas have made only one appearance, anyone remember that recipe? Chocolate Bell Pepper Chorizo Tostadas with Quail Eggs, so much fun!

Then I decided to use the puree recipe from my Black Bean Chorizo Fillo Baskets to turn the black beans into a Garlic Lime Black Bean Puree for the first layer of the tostada.

Finally I decided to marinate chicken strips in  a spicy chipotle marinade, then roll the chicken in the cashews and bake them as the “meat portion” of the tostada!

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The result was a seriously delicious and complex dish with spicy, sweet, creamy, fresh and crispy components!

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Chipotle Cashew Chicken Tostadas Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced into strips)
  • 3 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups crushed cashews
  • 6 corn tostadas

Black Bean Puree Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans (15 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 lime (juiced)

Nopale Guacamole Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 small tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4 avocados
  • ½ red onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh nopales (spikes removed/chopped)
  • 4 oz green chilies
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes (juiced)

Optional Toppings

  • cotija cheese
  • sour cream
  • cilantro

Begin the recipe by preparing the chicken.  First combine the chipotle peppers, cumin, honey, lime juice and olive oil in a food processor.  Once mixed into a puree, place in a bowl and add the chicken (a bigger bowl wouldn’t have been a horrible idea here!)

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Place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Next, place the cashews in a food processor until they are of a fine crumb consistency.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and dredge in the crushed cashews.

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Place the breaded chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

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Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 15 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the black bean puree by simply placing all of the ingredients in the food processor and blending until smooth.  Yes, that does mean I used (and washed) my food processor 3 times today!  What a well-used Christmas gift!

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Place the puree in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat for 5 minutes before preparing the tostadas.

In the meantime prepare the guacamole. Slice the red pepper, jalapeño and poblano chilis  into approximately 1 inch strips and place on a baking sheet with the whole tomatillos for roasting.

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I also roasted some cactus to decide which I liked better, raw or roasted, in the guacamole. I ended up going with the raw, but if you would like some roasted cactus, throw it on there, it’s delicious!

Roast under the broiler on high for 6 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes to make sure that everything roasts evenly.  (This is when a round baking stone or dish comes in handy!)

Remove from the oven and quickly place the jalapeños, poblanos and red peppers in a plastic bag and zip closed. (This makes them easier to peel!)

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Next, mash the avocados in a large bowl, then add the red onions, nopales (cactus), green chilies, cilantro and lime juice.

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Peel the roasted peppers, chilies and tomatillos, then add to the guacamole. Voila! A delicious, chunky, flavorful guacamole awaits your taste buds!

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At this point, things should be coming together and you can begin assembling the tostadas!

Start by spreading the black bean puree on each tostada, next place the chicken on top of the bean puree, then the guacamole on top of that.

You can also add sour cream, cotija cheese or cilantro at this time!  I ended up omitting the sour cream simply because I didn’t feel the need for it, but I like to give options, so there you have it! 🙂

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Nopales can be found at most major grocery stores in the jar, that was what I happened to find first, but was not necessarily my first choice for the recipe!

My motto is, “fresh is always best!”, so I ventured further to a large Mexican market where I found the-real-deal nopales and already de-spiked and cut nopales!

So basically I now have a ton of cactus!

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If I were the betting type, I’d place a nice little wager on more cactus recipes appearing soon on the blog!

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Although this seems like a complicated dish, each aspect is pretty simple, it’s just putting them all together that takes a little time, but I promise, it is well worth the end result!

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The guacamole alone is amazing and will definitely make an appearance on my “Gameday Grub” menu for the Superbowl!

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Now grab a fork (or in this case your hands will do!) and dig in!

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5 from 1 vote
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Chipotle Cashew Chicken Tostadas

Chipotle cashew chicken, garlic lime black bean puree and nopale guacamole top these delicious tostadas with so much flavor!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 Tostadas
Calories 856 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into cubes
  • 3 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups cashews crushed
  • 6 corn tostadas

Black Bean Puree

  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Nopale Guacamole

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 small tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4 avocados
  • ½ cup red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh nopales spikes removed/chopped
  • 4 oz diced green chilies
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Optional Toppings

  • cotija cheese
  • sour cream
  • cilantro

Instructions

  1. Begin the recipe by preparing the chicken. Combine the chipotle peppers, cumin, honey, lime juice and olive oil in a food processor. Once mixed into a puree, place in a bowl and add the chicken.

  2. Place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. 

  3. Place the cashews in a food processor until they are of a fine crumb consistency.

  4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and dredge in the crushed cashews.
  5. Place the breaded chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

  6. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 15 minutes.

  7. While the chicken is baking, prepare the black bean puree by placing all of the ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth.

  8. Place the puree in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat for 5 minutes before preparing the tostadas.
  9. In the meantime prepare the guacamole. Slice the red pepper, jalapeño, and poblano chili into approximately 1 inch strips and place on a baking sheet with the whole tomatillos for roasting.

  10. Roast under the broiler on high for 6 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes to make sure that everything roasts evenly.
  11. Remove from the oven and quickly place the jalapeños, poblanos and red peppers in a plastic bag and zip closed.

  12. Mash the avocados in a large bowl, then add the red onions, nopales (cactus), green chilies, cilantro and lime juice.

  13. Peel the roasted peppers, chilies and tomatillos, chop, then add to the guacamole.

  14. To assemble the tostadas, spread the black bean puree on each tostada. 

  15. Place the chicken on top of the bean puree, then the guacamole on top of that. You can also add sour cream, cotija cheese or cilantro at this time.

Caramelized Pear & Pomegranate Baklava

Caramelized pears and pomegranate seeds add a delicious burst of color and flavor to this traditional Greek baklava recipe!

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It’s week 20 of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” and today is a delicious one!

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I try to play the “perfect hostess” card most of the time, but Sunday night “perfect hostess” I was not.

I planned a delicious Greek dinner for a few friends and was able to complete 3 of the 4 items on the menu, but when it came down to dessert I simply ran out of time to prepare the Baklava!

Since I had driven to 3 grocery stores to find phyllo dough, this dessert was still happening, just a little later than planned.

As I looked at my “Mystery Basket Ingredients” for the week, I thought “hmmm maybe I can incorporate these into my Baklava” and I did!

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This weeks mystery basket featured Pears from Michael Winger, Pomegranates from Allison Davis, Turmeric from Krista Lombardi and Eggs from Kristi Sellers.

I incorporated the pears by caramelizing them in a little cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and turmeric mixture, then mixed the caramelized pears with the pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachios for the filling.

I then used half butter and half egg white wash to brush the phyllo dough.

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The result was a sweet, nutty, tart, scrumptious dessert, that had so many levels of flavor and pure awesomeness in every bite!

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 pears (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups pistachio kernels
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pear slices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Combine the turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.

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Add the spice mixture to the caramelizing pears.

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Cook for 3-5 minutes of until pears become soft, but not mushy!

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Place the pistachios in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.

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Chop up the pear slices, then add the pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

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Prepare the “Baklava Making Station” by laying out the phyllo dough, next to a bowl with melted butter and bowl with egg whites, a pastry brush and a 9 x 13 baking dish.

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Spray the baking dish with cooking spray or brush with the melted butter then one by one place the phyllo dough into the baking dish and brush with butter or egg white, alternating with each sheet.  After 10 sheets, place half of the filling on the dough.

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Layer 5 more sheets on top (still alternating egg wash and butter on each sheet) then top with the rest of the filling.

Finally, top the baklava with the last 5 sheets of phyllo dough (egg wash, butter, egg wash, butter, you get it by now!)

Next, slice the Baklava diagonally to form little diamonds.

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Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.

While the baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup to go on top.

Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Next, add the honey, lemon juice and vanilla. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to cool while the baklava finishes baking.

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Once the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top.

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Let the syrup soak in there for 3-4 hours, then serve!

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Not only was this dessert a delicious mid-week treat, it also helped me knock another item off the “food list challenge”  (I’m now at 72 of 100!)

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I also upped the ante on my “Valentines Day Challenge” by sharing this dessert with new friends!

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Grab a slice and dig in!

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5 from 1 vote
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Caramelized Pear and Pomegranate Baklava

Caramelized pears and pomegranate seeds add a delicious burst of color and flavor to this traditional Greek baklava recipe!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 24 pieces baklava
Calories 190 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 pears peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups pistachio kernels
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the pear slices, cook for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Combine the turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.

  3. Add the spice mixture to the caramelizing pears.
  4. Cook for 3-5 minutes of until pears become soft, but not mushy.

  5. Place the pistachios in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.

  6. Chop up the pear slices, then add the pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
  7. Prepare the “Baklava Making Station” by laying out the phyllo dough, next to a bowl with melted butter and bowl with egg whites, a pastry brush and a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  8. Spray the baking dish with cooking spray or brush with the melted butter then one by one place the phyllo dough into the baking dish and brush with butter or egg white, alternating with each sheet. 

  9. After 10 sheets, place half of the filling on the dough.

  10. Layer 5 more sheets on top (still alternating egg wash and butter on each sheet) then top with the rest of the filling.
  11. Finally, top the baklava with the last 5 sheets of phyllo dough (egg wash, butter, egg wash, butter)
  12. Slice the Baklava diagonally to form little diamonds.

  13. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.

  14. While the baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup to go on top.
  15. Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Add the honey, lemon juice and vanilla.

  16. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to cool while the baklava finishes baking.
  17. Once the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top.
  18. Let the syrup soak in there for 3-4 hours, then serve.

Soy Chorizo Veggie Burgers

Soy chorizo, spicy tofu and cooked lentils are combined in this delicious recipe for spicy veggie burgers, topped with a raspberry avocado salsa!

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This weeks Chopped Challenge Thursday combined a scrumptious assortment of ingredients including Raspberries from my friend and fellow blogger Olivia Reyes, Chorizo from Rafael Ocampo, Ginger from Ronni Haragos and Tofu from Stephanie VandenBerg.

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I took these ingredients as an opportunity to create another wonderfully gluten-free and vegetarian burger for the new year!

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One of my favorite “Chopped Challenge” dishes to date is the Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger I created back in October.

The dish I created today is similar in that it is rich in fiber and vitamins, without the gluten or meat, yet it combines its own unique ingredients including red lentils and soy chorizo!

I also topped this delectable burger with a Raspberry Avocado Salsa with freshly grated ginger, lime juice and cilantro!

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Soy Chorizo Veggie Burgers Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 14 oz firm tofu
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 12 oz soy chorizo
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeño (de-seeded and diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup rice chex crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese (for topping)

Raspberry Avocado Salsa Ingredients

  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • 2 avocados (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lime (juiced)

Rinse the red lentils and add them to 2 cups of boiling water.  Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the tofu, chili powder and cumin to a food processor and blend until smooth.

(P.S. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my parents for the amazing Christmas gift pictured below, I’ve used it twice a day since I got it home and it is awesome!)

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Transfer the spicy tofu to a large mixing bowl and add the soy chorizo.

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Combine well, then add the cooked lentils, diced onions, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic.

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Add in the lime juice, cilantro, spinach, eggs and rice chex crumbs.

*Rice chex crumbs can be made by simply blending rice chex cereal in a food processor. Using these instead of breadcrumbs keeps the dish gluten-free!

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Combine well, then form into 12 patties.

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These can be cooked on the grill for 10 minutes per side.

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Or in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.

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Next, prepare the Raspberry Avocado Salsa by slightly muddling the raspberries.

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Then add the diced avocado, red onion and freshly grated ginger.

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Add the cilantro, black pepper, lime juice and drizzle with the olive oil.

Finish the burgers by topping with some cotija cheese.

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Then the salsa!

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This recipe makes 12 burgers, unless you are feeding a lot of people or are really really hungry, you can individually freeze any leftover burgers for a quick and easy dinner down the road!

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5 from 1 vote
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Soy Chorizo Veggie Burgers with Raspberry Avocado Salsa

Soy chorizo, spicy tofu and cooked lentils are combined in this delicious recipe for spicy veggie burgers, topped with a raspberry avocado salsa!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 burgers
Calories 256 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 14 oz firm tofu
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 12 oz soy chorizo
  • 1 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup red onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup rice chex crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese for topping

Raspberry Avocado Salsa

  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Instructions

  1. Rinse the red lentils and add them to 2 cups of boiling water. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

  2. Add the tofu, chili powder and cumin to a food processor and blend until smooth.

  3. Transfer the spicy tofu to a large mixing bowl and add the soy chorizo.

  4. Combine well, then add the cooked lentils, diced onions, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic.
  5. Add in the lime juice, cilantro, spinach, eggs and rice chex crumbs. (Rice chex crumbs can be made by simply blending rice chex cereal in a food processor. Using these instead of breadcrumbs keeps the dish gluten-free.)

  6. Combine well, then form into 12 patties.
  7. These can be cooked on the grill for 10 minutes per side or in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  8. To prepare the Raspberry Avocado Salsa, add the raspberries to a medium bowl and slightly muddle the raspberries.

  9. Add the diced avocado, red onion and freshly grated ginger.

  10. Add the cilantro, black pepper, lime juice and drizzle with the olive oil.

  11. Finish the burgers by topping with the salsa and cotija cheese.

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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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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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Puree until a thick sauce forms.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Remove from the skillet and place on the baking sheet.

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

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Serve with the Sweet Marshmallow BBQ Sauce for dipping.

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

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Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Pie with Pumpkin Ice Cream

This Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Pie topped with homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream is the perfect fall dessert combining a warm pie with delicious fall flavors!

Chocolate Chip Caramel Pecan Cookie Pie with Pumpkin Ice Cream

From the minute I saw this weeks chopped challenge mystery basket I knew a dessert was about to be made!

Chopped Challenge Ingredients Week Five

Hershey’s chocolate morsels, caramel, pecans and pumpkin, all ingredients that scream fall dessert!

Not wanting to make a traditional pie or try to combine all of the ingredients into one dish I decided to make a cookie pie using the Hershey’s chocolate morsels as the chocolate chips and adding caramelized pecans to the dish.  I then decided to turn the pumpkin into a delicious ice cream to top the warm cookie pie.

The final result of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” Week Five: Chocolate Chip Caramelized Pecan Cookie Pie with Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream.

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Ingredients (cookie pie)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter (separated) (3/4 cup melted)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla (separated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 bag ( 1 3/4 cups) Hershey’s Mini Kisses
  • 1 bag (14 oz) caramels
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups crushed pecans

Ingredients (pumpkin ice cream)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 4 eggs (whisked)
  • 3/4 gallon whole milk
  • 7-8 pounds ice
  • 2 cups ice cream salt

Start by preparing the ice cream. Combine the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in the bottom of the ice cream canister.

How to make Pumpkin Ice Cream

Next, add the pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, whipping cream and mix well.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Recipe

Then add two cups of the whole milk to a small saucepan over low heat.  When warm add in the whisked eggs. Continue whisking the mixture regularly for 2-3 minutes making sure the temperature does not get too warm to cook the eggs.

Warming eggs in milk

Add the mixture to the canister then add the rest of the whole milk to the “fill line” on the ice cream canister.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Mix together well then place the canister inside the ice cream maker.  Surround the canister with ice and salt then plug the ice cream maker in to begin the freezing process.

While the ice cream is freezing begin making the cookie pie.  Still remember to fill the outside of the ice cream maker with ice and salt when needed. If the ice level is too low the freezing process will stop and runny ice cream will result…. and I know that no one wants that!

For the cookie pie, begin by making the caramelized pecans. Unwrap each caramel and place into a medium pan over low to medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 tbsp vanilla and 1/4 cup butter to the caramels.

Making Caramel Sauce

Stir consistently until the caramels are fully melted.  Then add in the pecans.

Caramelizing Pecans

Remove from heat and mix until the pecans are well coated. Set to the side while you prepare the cookie dough.

Start by combining the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Next cream together the butter and sugars.  Add in 1 tbsp vanilla, the whole egg and egg yolk.  Mix well, then add in the flour mixture.

Cookie Dough

Next, mix in the chocolate chips or mini Hershey’s kisses.

Hershey Kiss Cookie Dough

Finally, add 1 cup of the caramelized pecans to the mixture.

Chocolate Chip Caramel Pecan Cookie Dough

Mix well then place into a greased pie plate.

Hershey Kiss Carmel Pecan Cookie Pie

Place in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes or until crisp and brown around the edges.

Before the pie is finished cooking the ice cream machine should shut off and that means… the ice cream is ready!

Pumpkin Ice Cream

While waiting for the pie to come out of the oven, maybe I should go ahead and scoop out some ice cream.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Maybe a couple bowls of it…

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ding!  Caught by the timer!  The pie is ready!

Chocolate Chip Caramelized Pecan Cookie Pie

Top with the pumpkin ice cream and get ready to gobble down!  The cold ice cream on the warm pie melts quickly!

Hershey Kiss Caramel Pecan Cookie Pie with Pumpkin Ice cream

See, I wasn’t kidding!

Chocolate Pecan Cookie Pie with Pumpkin Ice Cream

This is one decadent, creamy, delicious dessert!

If you like a more crisp cookie pie, I would recommend separating the dough into two pie plates to make a thinner, crisper cookie, rather than a thick chewy cookie (like what I have… and love!)

Chocolate Chip Caramel Pecan Cookie Pie with Pumpkin Ice Cream
5 from 1 vote
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Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Pie with Pumpkin Ice Cream

A warm Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Pie is topped with cool Pumpkin Ice Cream in this delicious fall dessert recipe!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Calories 1636 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

Pumpkin Ice Cream

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 4 eggs whisked
  • 3/4 gallon whole milk
  • 7-8 pounds ice
  • 2 cups ice cream salt

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Pie

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter divided - 3/4 cup melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 14 oz chocolate chips or mini Hershey's Kisses
  • 14 oz caramels
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups crushed pecans

Instructions

Pumpkin Ice Cream

  1. Combine the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in the bottom of the ice cream canister.
  2. Add the pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, whipping cream and mix well.
  3. Add two cups of the whole milk to a small saucepan over low heat.
  4. When warm add in the whisked eggs.
  5. Continue whisking the mixture regularly for 2-3 minutes making sure the temperature does not get too warm to cook the eggs.
  6. Add the mixture to the canister then add the rest of the whole milk to the “fill line” on the ice cream canister.
  7. Mix together well then place the canister inside the ice cream maker.
  8. Surround the canister with ice and salt then plug the ice cream maker in to begin the freezing process.
  9. Continue to fill the outside of the ice cream maker with ice and salt throughout the freezing process.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Pie

  1. Prepare the caramelized pecans by unwrapping each caramel and placing them in a medium pan over low to medium heat.

  2. Add 1/2 cup milk, 1 tbsp vanilla and 1/4 cup butter to the caramels.

  3. Stir consistently until the caramels are fully melted, then add the pecans.

  4. Remove from heat and mix until the pecans are well coated.

  5. Set to the side while you prepare the cookie dough.

  6. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

  7. Cream together the butter and sugars.

  8. Add in 1 tbsp vanilla, the whole egg and egg yolk.

  9. Mix well, then add in the flour mixture.

  10. Add the chocolate chips or mini Hershey’s kisses.

  11. Add 1 cup of the caramelized pecans to the mixture.

  12. Mix well then place into a greased pie plate.

  13. Place in a 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until crisp and brown around the edges.