Tina Made Cilantro-Lime Bean Salad

I’m not even kidding right now, I’ve made this salad 4x in the last 2 weeks (just barely adapted below). It contains the best ingredient duo ever… lime + cilantro (pho, anyone?). Actually, it’s a trifecta of goodness, because it also contains avocados (tacos, anyone?). What is it about the combination of these three green ingredients that is so delicious? That was a rhetorical question. Make it now.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 T extra virgin olive
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1- 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1- 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, diced

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Cut your grape tomatoes in half, dice your avocado and red onion, and chop your cilantro.

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Rinse and drain your chick peas and black beans. Mix the minced garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt in a bowl.

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Mix beans with tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and avocado. When you’re ready to eat, dress with the vinaigrette. Serves 4-5.

Tina Made Bacon-Wrapped Dates

Another dish I made for Thanksgiving! And then again the next day for a holiday potluck. Kinda sick of these little suckers now but I’m sure I’ll get over it soon enough. I made 50 dates for the potluck (for ~10 people), so the recipe below will be for that many– but obviously, cut down (or increase) if you need to. It’s super easy (only 4 ingredients!) but is a bit tedious to assemble. Promise it will be worth it though. 😉 Original recipe and directions here; directions modified below.

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Ingredients:
  • 50 pitted dates (I used Deglet Noor because they were smallest– original recipe recommends Medjool)
  • 50 almonds, unsalted
  • 1 lb. bacon
  • half block of cream cheese
  • 50 toothpicks, soaked in water for 10 minutes

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Throw a bunch of toothpicks in a bowl of water and let them soak (take them out after 10 minutes and pat dry). Meanwhile, cut a slit into each of the dates. Cut small rectangular pieces of cream cheese (~3/4″ long, 1/2″ wide, 1/4″ thick) and use a knife to place them into each date. Pop an almond into each one. The cream cheese should “seal” the date back together so it doesn’t fall apart!   

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Cut pieces of bacon large enough to wrap around the dates, and secure with a toothpick. Soaking the toothpicks is not an absolutely necessary step, but prevents it from burning before going into the oven.

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Arrange dates in a shallow baking pan lined with foil. Bake for 8 minutes, then flip each date over, and bake for another 8 minutes. Flip dates again, and broil for 2 minutes. Flip dates for the last time, and broil for another 2 minutes. The bacon should be cooked after 16 minutes (or even less) but the broiling will crisp it up!

Bon appetit!

Tina Made Chicken Tortilla Soup

I know. LA was 90 degrees yesterday. Let’s disregard that, because I’ve got the perfect fall recipe for you, folks. This is the first and only chicken tortilla soup recipe I’ve tried (adapted from here), but I kinda love it so I’m sticking with it.

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Ingredients (recipe serves 6):

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts*
  • ~45 oz. low-sodium chicken broth (roughly 3 cans)
  • 1.5 cups chunky salsa
  • 1 can corn kernels
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic + 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • tortilla chips
  • Optional (to garnish): shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado, green onions, sour cream

*LAZY PEOPLE– Substitute chicken breasts for one of those rotisserie chickens you can buy at the market… you know, like Ralph’s or something. Cuts down on cooking time + dishes to wash.

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Pictured above– soup ingredients + optional garnish ingredients

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Boil chicken in water with one clove of garlic. If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, skip this step, obvi. Chop onion. I mentioned this last time, but how to properly/easily chop an onion here. Remove chicken from heat and let cool.

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While chicken is cooling, saute chopped onion in olive oil until browned. Heat chicken broth on med-high heat in large pot. Shred chicken– careful, it’ll probably still be hot! If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, just shred that. Boom.

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Add shredded chicken, salsa, onion, corn, black beans (rinsed), lemon juice, cumin, garlic, chili powder to pot. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least an hour.

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To serve– Break up tortilla chips and put in bottom of bowl. Pour soup over chips and sprinkle cheese on top (optional). Garnish with additional toppings of choice (e.g. cilantro, avocado, green onions, sour cream). I chose avocados and cilantro.

Note: If the soup tastes watery or bland, just wait! It will taste exponentially better as time passes (err…until it spoils, of course). I would highly suggest that you make it in the morning to eat for dinner, or make it at night, then eat it the next day.