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Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Salsa

Summer never tasted so good with this refreshing and easy watermelon salsa. Serves great with chips or over grilled seafood and poultry. Serves up in just ten minutes. (full recipe below)

Reclaiming My Blog

Inspired by the great words of Auntie Maxine, I declare today, that I am RECLAIMING MY BLOG. To say that I have had a love hate relationship with consistency on the blog this year is an understatement. 2017 launched with so many competing priorities that it has been difficult to give everything the attention it needs.

maxine waters reclaiming my time meme

As a result MATD unfortunately, has been a bit neglected over the last few months but it has never left my heart. I am always thinking of new ways to offer more value to those of you subscribers but as the ideas flow in I sometimes get overwhelmed with the load of work that accompanies it. I have to also confess that the time away has also driven a bit of anxiety and insecurity about where my blog is compared to where I think it should be. I had some one-on-one convos with other entrepreneur friends who said these feelings were normal and apparently what I had signed up for when I decided to become a solopreneur. I don’t know honey, that must have been in the fine print.

fresh summer watermelon

Regardless, taking some time away has allowed me to focus in on where I want to take the blog which will involve a visual refresh, some narrowing of content as well as some new perks for loyal subscribers. I’ll talk to you more about the details of the changes over the next few weeks but just know that I am still here, not perfect, but still fighting the good fight.

Summer Watermelon

As a matter of fact, the other day I was testing out new recipes and decided I would share one of them with you to get things back rolling. Summer is my favorite season for many reasons but one of those reasons is that its peak season for watermelon. Since I was a kid I haven’t been able to resist a big ole slice of juicy watermelon. Today isn’t any different, only now I try to jazz it up in recipes like this delicious watermelon salsa. It is so refreshing and light that it disappears almost as quickly as you put it down.

Once you get past cutting through the mammoth fruit the rest is easy-peasy. Just chop up a few simple ingredients: cilantro, jalapeno, red onion and toss with honey and lime and you will be introducing your taste buds to your new summer snack.

Don’t wait too long to give this recipe a try, you definitely want to do it now that watermelon are in their prime because peak season ends at the end of August. Go ahead and check out the recipe below and don’t forget to tag @MeikoAndTheDish on social media.

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Watermelon Salsa

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Watermelon Salsa

Summer never tasted so good with this refreshing and easy watermelon salsa. Serves great with chips or over grilled seafood and poultry.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups watermelon, seeded and diced
  • 1-2 jalapeno(s), seeded and finely diced
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Whisk lime juice, honey salt and pepper in a bowl until mixed.
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and drizzle over the lime/honey mixture. Toss and serve or refrigerate in airtight container.
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Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Healthy Sweet Potato Chips

Healthy Sweet Potato Chips - It's easy to make homemade chips all you need is a few ingredients and you possibly will never buy store brought chips again.

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups coconut oil
  • Cumin to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Tajin or salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse sweet potatoes and pat dry. Slice thinly, using either a mandolin or sharp knife. Try to get the slices between1-2mm thick.
  2. Heat coconut oil to 270 degrees in medium saucepan. Fry potatoes in batches making sure that they do not overlap for approximately 4 minutes or until golden. Set on paper towels or wire rack to get rid of excess oil.
  3. Sprinkle with seasonings (Tajin, cinnamon and cumin) while still warm and serve.
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Sauteed Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

Sauteed Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

Have you had a taco worth dying for? Apparently I have. I got a story. Want to hear it? Well here it go.

So I decided to visit Chicago last week. I had a business meeting and I also just wanted to hang out with my girl friends a bit.  On Friday, I worked from a cute little cafe in Wicker Park. For lunch I decided to grab a few tacos from Big Star on my way to my next destination. I got my tacos “to-go” and got on the CTA Blue Line. I got on at Damen and knew that I had only two stops before it was time to get off on Chicago. Nevertheless, I got wrapped up in instagram and wasn’t paying attention to the trip. BAD IDEA.

The Blue Line stopped at Chicago and like clockwork the pleasant automated lady’s voice announced the stop over the intercom system. People rushed around me to get off but I didn’t. Why? Because instead of using my ears, I was using my super sassy index finger to scroll through insta on a “liking” spree.

For some reason I took a breather and looked up, all to realize we were parked at my stop. I quickly grabbed my bag of food and ran towards the closing doors. I was fast enough to put my hand in the door, thinking that it would signal the door to open back up … it didn’t. Not only did the door close on my hand, repeatedly, but the Blue Line started slowly moving. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the hand that was stuck in the door was the one holding my bag of food!!! Insert “HELL TO THE NAH” song.

The next series of events happened quickly but I will describe them as I know them to be true. I looked at my bag of food, caught on the outside of the door, in despair and thought, “I’M NOT LETTING GO, I WON’T GIVE UP ON YOU.” I saw people on the outside of the train chuckling at my expense. My heart was beating fast at the thought of losing all this food I had just paid for, not to mention, I really had my heart set on trying the Taco De Zanahorias. I heard someone say, “let go of the bag!” My immediate response was not to let go but to give them the death stare for saying something so preposterous. All the while a striking young man comes to my rescue and hits some magical button that stops the train and releases the jaw-clenching grip of the door. I say thank you, and after which secure the bag of food, calmly walk off the Blue Line, with my head lifted high and adorning the biggest smile knowing that I was still about to eat.

Were my priorities mixed up in the moment? Pretty much. Could I have almost died or lost my hand? Quite possibly. But had I not committed to keeping that food, you my friend, would not have benefited from this week’s inspired Taco Tuesday recipes. BLOOP!
Since I am eating vegetarian for the Mission: Get It Right, Get It Tight, Health Challenge I shared my recipes for the 3 amazing vegetarian tacos that I made this week. Are my vegetarian taco creations worth dying for? I think so, but you be the judge!

 Sauteed Chipotle MushroomTaco

A blend of crimini and portobello mushrooms, sauteed in chipotle adobo sauce, lime juice and sour cream. Served on top of warm corn tortilla with tossed mesclun greens and crumbled cotija cheese. Yum Yum!

Sauteed Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Sauteed Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

Sauteed Chipotle Mushroom Tacos - Mushrooms are great substitute for meat and these tacos do not disappoint in the flavor department.

Ingredients

  • Chipotle Sauteed Mushrooms
  • 1 (8 oz) package crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large Portobello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 3 teaspoons of sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sour cream
  • 1 teaspopn lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • ! Tacos
  • chipotle sautéed mushrooms
  • 4 corn tortillas, warm
  • 1½ cup of mesclun greens
  • ? cup queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ tablespoon olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet and add in all sliced mushrooms. Cook mushrooms browned and excess fluid has evaporated (approx. 10 minutes on medium heat). Add salt to taste.
  2. Get sauce (not the actual chipotles) out of the canned chipotles in adobo and add it to the pan. Add in the sour cream and lemon juice and stir. Cook down for 5 minutes
  3. Serve sauteed mushrooms on top of warm tortillas with crumbled queso fresco and mesclun greens topped in olive oil, salt and pepper
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Easy No Bake Truffles

Easy No Bake Truffles

Easy No Bake Truffles

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 5

Easy No Bake Truffles

Easy No Bake Truffles - Sometimes you have to feed your chocolate cravings.

Ingredients

  • 18 Oreos or Nutter Butters
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ cups dark chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
  • 1 TBS coconut oil (optional)
  • Optional Toppings: candy bar, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, white or dark chocolate, nuts ... your options are endless

Instructions

  1. Pulse cookies in a food processor until they break down into crumbs. In a bowl mix together cookie crumbs and cream cheese. Roll your mixture into approximately ½tablespoon sized balls and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add chocolate to a microwave safe bowl along with the coconut oil. Microwave in 15 second intervals and stir often until the chocolate is fully melted.
  3. Insert a toothpick into each truffle and dip into the chocolate and place on waxed paper.
  4. Drizzle, crumble or sprinkle on additional toppings for garnish.
  5. Refrigerate for truffles to cool and harden for at least 1 hour.
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Double Cheese Pulled Chicken Chili

Double Cheese Pulled Chicken Chili

This blog post has been compensated by Borden® Cheese. All opinions are mine alone. #BordenCheeseLove #CollectiveBias #Ad

My name is Meiko, and I am a chili fanatic. I don’t know what it is about a big warm bowl of chili, but I could literally eat it every day. There are so many versions of chili that I don’t think I could ever get bored of it. I also love it because if you use your leftovers wisely, you could basically dump them in a chili and have an amazing new dish.

As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago, I made a bunch of spaghetti and had a ton of leftover meat sauce. I hate to waste, so I added a few clutch ingredients and magically turned it into chili.  I’m being a bit dramatic because there is clearly no magic involved, but you have to admit the ease and versatility of this dish is pretty awesome.

So I decided to check out this Fiesta Mart store that I’ve driven by a hundred times. I thought maybe a new store would give me so new inspiration, and it worked. This week I made a new recipe I like to call Double Cheese Pulled Chicken Chili. Sounds delicious right? IT IS!

 

I always start my chili with a roux. I know this is not a very common practice, but I think it add deeper flavor and helps to thicken the batch.  I basically heat my oil, add in in flour and toast it until it reaches a caramel brown. Then I literally dump in all the remaining ingredients and let the pot simmer so that all the flavors meld together. I also added cooked chopped chicken, which easily pulled apart as the chili cooked down. Next I added in the LOOOOOOOOVE, which for me is just a code for BRING ON CHEESE.😍 😍 😍

I wanted this chili to be full of LOVE and  extra cheesy, so while at Fiesta Mart I raided their large variety of Borden® Cheese. I narrowed in on Borden® Cheese Finely Shredded Four Cheese Mexican Shreds and Borden® Cheese Mozzarella String Cheese to achieve the, “ooey gooey-ness” that I was looking for. You can find where varieties of Borden® Cheeses are sold nearest to you by using their nifty store locator link.
Ok, so  I chopped up the string cheese into small chunks and submerged them into the batch of chili.

Then, upon serving, I added a healthy helping of the shredded cheese to the top and heated the bowl in the microwave for an extra 35 seconds to get it all melted.

The outcome was this amazing bowl of deliciousness. I’m telling you, this is what food memories are made of; heart-warming bowls of love that you enjoy with your framily (friends + family 😊).  This new recipe is definitely going to be a recurring staple in my chili rotation.

Let me know what your favorite type of chili is below.

Double Cheese Pulled Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 10-16

Double Cheese Pulled Chicken Chili

Double Cheese Pulled Chicken Chili - Is made with a thick roux base and mix of delicious pulled chicken and ooey gooey chunks of cheese with each bite. This simmering pot of love warms up any occasion, from Game Day to a heartwarming family meal.

Ingredients

  • !Chili
  • ? cup vegetable oil
  • ? cup flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans dark kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced jalapeño peppers
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana style hot sauce
  • 5 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3½ pounds cooked skinless, chicken, cut into medium chunks
  • 3 Borden® Cheese Mozzarella String Cheese, chopped ½ inch segments
  • 1 (8 oz) pack Borden® Cheese Finely Shredded Four Cheese Mexican Shreds
  • chopped green onion for garnish
  • Seasoning blend
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the seasoning blend ingredients and set aside.
  2. In a heavy large pot, heat oil on medium. Add in flour and whisk continuously until the flour reaches a caramel brown.
  3. Add in diced onion and bell peppers, and cook while covered for five minutes. Then add in chicken stock, kidney beans, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, canned tomatoes, canned jalapeños, and hot sauce and stir well. Cook covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Use wooden spoon to scrape the bits on the bottom of the pot and stir. Stir in chicken and garlic, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes covered.
  5. Add in and submerge chopped mozzarella string cheese evenly spaced throughout the pot of chili. Increase heat to medium and cover the pot to allow the cheese to melt for 7-10 minutes.
  6. Ladle chili into a large bowls and top with a generous portion of Borden® Cheese Finely Shredded Four Cheese Mexican Shreds and green onion. Serve warm.
  7. Note: To get ooey gooey melted cheese on top of chili add bowl to the microwave on high for 20 seconds, then serve.
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