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Roasted Jalapeno and Garlic Hummus Recipe

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We love hummus, and all different kinds. This one is a roasted jalapeno and garlic hummus. By roasting the garlic and jalapeno it takes the bite out, and becomes a more savory taste. This is the hummus that I use to make Hummus Crusted Chicken. If I have some left, I will do that recipe. Now for the ingredients.

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(You can use a can of garbanzo beans if you don’t have the time to boil the dried ones. If you use a can, you will skip the step of boiling and go straight to peeling.)

I begin with a bag of dried Chick Peas (Garbanzo beans). I soak them for 12 hours over night. Once they have soaked, I drain the beans and clean out the pot. Add the beans back to the pot and fill with water, 1 teaspoon of Salt, 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda and a crushed clove of garlic. Bring the beans to a boil, and then reduce the heat so they simmer. You will need to skim the foam off the top so it doesn’t overflow. Cook the beans for 40 minutes to an hour. I watch the beans to see when they are beginning to render their skins. This is very important if you want smooth hummus. Don’t let them cook too long or they will become mushy.

While the beans are boiling, cook the garlic and jalapeno in a 425 degree oven for 18 minutes. Place the garlic with the skin and the jalapeno in aluminum foil and drizzle generously with olive oil. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

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While the jalapeno and garlic are cooling, drain the beans in a strainer and place a bowl under to soak them in cold water. This will stop them from cooking and allow the skins to render easily.

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The following are the ingredients you will need for the peeled garbanzo beans. Did I mention peeling? Place a few paper towels down next to the bowl of your food processor. Lift a handful of the beans out and place on the paper towels. Pinch the beans between your fingers and they will slip right out of their skin. Continue until you have gotten all the skins off the beans.

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1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Tahini
1/3 Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice, (You can use bottled if you don’t have fresh)
1/2 Cup Water, Reserve for last and add to thin the hummus to your liking
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Cummin
I add a 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper because my guys like a little more heat.
Add the beans to the bowl of the food processor. Cut the tops off the jalapenos and clean out the seeds, then place in food processor with the beans. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins and into the food processor bowl. Place all the above ingredients, except the water, into the bowl and grind for 6 – 8 minutes until you get the consistency you desire. If it is chunky, add a little water and continue to process.

This is how I like my consistency.

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Place in a bowl and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.

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Enjoy,

Michele

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs Recipe

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First of all, I am not claiming these are healthy at all.  I am a firm believer of eating all foods, just  in moderation. I do not believe in eliminating any group of foods from your diet, unless you are allergic to the item. I do have a dairy allergy and peanut allergy so I can’t have these.  My husband hooked me up with some amazing baked hot wings, and I had some of those. My husband and boys, and their friends love them. I have 7 teenagers in the house to eat them all. And everything else in the house.

Now, the reason for these scrumptious little bites is that it’s Super Bowl Sunday. And for those who follow football, it is a feast of all the bad foods in one day. In our house, we try to balance out the bad with a little good. I did the Hummus recipe earlier and my husband is doing Guacamole as I type this post.

I doubled the recipe because of all the teenagers I am feeding, but for a regular batch you will need:

1/2 lb Provolone Cheese, shredded

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1/2 of an 18″ Pepperoni Stick, diced, sauteed and grease drained

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I chop my pepperoni stick into quarters before I put it in my food processor.  It just makes even chunks without pulverizing the pepperoni.

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Grind the pepperoni before cooking in a non-stick skillet.

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Once the pepperoni is sauteed, I prop the pan up to drain the grease. And there will be a lot of grease.

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I use a turkey baster to strain the grease out. Then I wipe up the rest with a paper towel. Toss the pepperoni in the bowl with the grated provolone cheese. Now you are going to add the remaining ingredients.

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3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 – 2 Cup Package Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.

Stir all the ingredients together in the bowl. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Add a few more shakes of garlic salt, if necessary and stir to mix.

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Spray mini muffin tins with Pam Cooking Spray

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Spoon mixture into mini muffin cups.

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Bake until golden brown and puffed up. Approximately 25 minutes. Allow to cool in the tray for 10 minutes. Lift out and cool on wire rack.

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Heat up some pizza sauce for dunking your Pizza Puffs.

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Enjoy,

Michelel

Balsamic Glaze Brussel Sprouts

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I love to drizzle balsamic vinegar over my cooked vegetables. This glaze works well on Asparagus as well.

You will need the following ingredients.

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1 ½ lbs Thawed, Frozen Brussel Sprouts
3 Tablespoon Olive oil
¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar to drizzle over Brussel Sprouts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts, and cut them in half. Mix them in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Pour them onto a sheet pan and roast for 30 to 35 minutes.

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Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.

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Enjoy,

Michele

Almond Crusted Chicken and Balsamic Glaze Brussel Sprouts

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I told everyone today that I was making this for dinner. I figure I better get this recipe and photos up so that you all can try this sometime this week. We were sitting around the dinner table last night and I asked them what they wanted for dinner Monday night. They said, “Almond Crusted Chicken.” They all agreed that it is their favorite of my chicken recipes. Caribbean Chicken came in second and Chicken Diabla was a close third. I have more, but they are their favorites, and they will request at least one of them each week.

We will start with the Almond Crusted Chicken

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The first thing you need is Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast. I brine my chicken in 4 cups of water and 1/4 cup Kosher Salt for at least 1 hour. Then you rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry. I lay my chicken out on a cutting board and pound flat (for even cooking).

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This is my meat pounder. I broke the plastic handled one, so my husband bought me one that I couldn’t break. The following are the ingredients you need to do the coating.

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6 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, Brine in salt water (no sugar) before preparing
(thoroughly pat chicken dry with paper towels)

5 oz Almonds, ground

1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs

½ tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp Pepper

3 Egg Whites

~ 1/2 cup flour (for dredging)

7 Tblspn Vegetable Oil

In a food processor, finely grind almonds. Combine almonds, bread crumbs, salt and pepper (set aside). Whip egg whites. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Then dredge chicken in flour.

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Dip chicken into egg whites, then into almond mixture. Shake the excess off the chicken and place it on a wire rack that it is sitting over a cookie sheet.

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Place oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Make sure that it is really hot. Cook the chicken in the hot oil for about 5 – 7 minutes on each side. Use a screen to catch the splattering grease.

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Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet.
Heat the lemon juice and wine in the same skillet over low heat, stirring to loosen almond mixture.

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I make more than one serving because the boys like this over their rice and chicken.

8 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 1/3 Cups White Wine

Heat the lemon juice and wine in the same skillet over low heat, stirring to loosen almond mixture.

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Once it is reduced, serve over chicken and rice.

Enjoy,

Michele

Homemade Almond Granola

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Why do nuts get such a bad rap in the media. All we hear is they are fattening, and fat is bad. So what do people do? They won’t touch those nasty fattening nuts, but they will go through the drive thru at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s or any other fattening fast food joint you can name. We all need some fat in our diets. It is what keeps you feeling satisfied, and keeps your insulin levels from spiking and plummeting. So what does society do? They give up healthy nuts and opt for fast food that satisfies them at that moment and an hour later they are looking for something else. It is a vicious cycle, and as the appetite for greasy foods grows so does the waistline.

Let’s break that cycle and bring some healthy fat into our diets. I have a homemade Almond Granola recipe that you can eat plain, add to your yogurt or pour a little milk over and have your own cereal.

The base of the granola is made up of oats and nuts.

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You need:

4 Cups Old Fashion Whole Oats
2 Cups Chopped Almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and toast oats on cookie sheet for 6 minutes and almonds on another cookie sheet for 8 to 10 minutes. They should be a little brown, but not burnt. Remove from oven and place in metal mixing bowl. At this point, turn oven temperature back to 325 degrees.

While they are toasting whisk  the following ingredients in a bowl.

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1/3 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract, (I make my own with Vanilla Beans and Vodka)
1/2 Cup Oil, (I use Coconut Oil)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Cups of Dried Fruit, (not pictured – my family doesn’t like dried fruit)

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Pour the liquid mixture over the warm oats and almonds and stir until thoroughly combined. Take a parchment lined cookie sheet and press the mixture onto the parchment paper.

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Place in the 325 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown. (It takes 40 minutes in my oven.)
Remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for 10 minutes.

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Once the granola is cool, break into pieces and store in an air tight container or ziplock bags. This is where you would add the dried fruit.

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Enjoy,

Michele