Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

One of Hubby and I’s most well-loved appetizers is Wheat Thins dipped in cream cheese that is covered with raspberry chipotle sauce. Have you ever had it?! I can’t express how good it is! Truly!

The problem? Wheat Thins are high glycemic, highly processed, and the chipotle sauce is full of refined sugar. Ah, a challenge! 🙂

I actually hadn’t felt that sort of challenge rise inside me, or even the desire to try to create new recipes in quite sometime. Though that is not the reason why I haven’t been blogging for the past two months, the fact that I was so excited about creating something of my own again, got me praying about and thinking about whether it was time to come back. So, here I am. I still don’t fully know what it looks like for me to be “back,” but I do know it will be different than before. It will mean less blogging. It will mean less visits to your blogs, though I will still visit! I truly have missed you all…many of you have become dear friends from around the world! 🙂

Okay, so back to Wheat Thins with raspberry chipotle covered cream cheese 🙂 ….. or in this case, what I created with this yumminess in mind: Cheese stuffed chicken with homemade raspberry chipotle sauce! (Gluten free with no-refined sugars, of course!)

The cheese in the middle? Half cream cheese, half Monterrey Jack, and a little bit of almond milk to smooth it out. I truly had no idea if this combination would taste good, but it absolutely did! Really nice taste and texture…loved it!

I cut up some fresh yellow squash and carrots, letting them soak in olive oil, 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed dried chipotle peppers, and a little bit of honey before I cooked them. I wanted to carry over the “chipotle flavor” into the vegetables.

Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large, dried chipotle pepper
  • Raspberries (I didn’t measure….maybe one cup.) Use fresh if available, if not you can use frozen.
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, pressed
  • 2 tbsp almond milk + some almond milk to mix with the cheeses.
  • Cream cheese
  • Monterrey Jack cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Put a chicken breast (one at a time) in a large Ziplock bag and using a meat cleaver, tenderize the chicken and flatten it out. When finished, place on a large plate. Do the same thing with the second chicken breast.
  • Now you want to start preparing the sauce. In a food processor (I use a Ninja), add the raspberries, chipotle pepper, water, honey, almond milk, tomato paste, olive oil, and garlic. Once thoroughly mixed and chopped up, put on the stove in a sauce pan and heat on low.
  • To prepare the cheese, you will want to melt the Monterrey Jack a bit, so that it softens up. I placed it, along with the cream cheese, and some almond milk into a mixing bowl and used a hand mixer to combine all the ingredients, making it smooth.
  • Now you are ready to stuff the chicken! Place a layer of the cheese onto each piece, then fold the pieces in half.
  • Once your sauce has been cooking for about 2 minutes, pour some over the chicken. Save the rest, keeping it warm, so that you can poor more over the chicken when it is finished cooking.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes. (That timing worked great for us, but it depends on how thin you got your chicken and how much you stuffed it.)
  • When ready to eat, pour more of the sauce over the chicken if you would like. We did, and loved it!

This recipe is definitely another keeper in our house! I will probably experiment with the sauce some more, because it didn’t taste like what you get at the store, but we still loved it!

A couple weeks late, but Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it!

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Coconut Shavings

Almond Joys have been my favorite candy bar for so long now that I can’t remember when that even started. But do you know what I would probably love even better? A “Walnut Joy!” 🙂 Chocolate + Coconut + Walnuts!? Yum! This very combination was the inspiration for these cookies.

I was a little hesitant…..coconut flakes in a chocolate chip cookie? Never heard of such a thing! Would it even taste anything like I imagined it would?!

Well, yes my friends, it did! I absolutely loved these! And I am hoping you….my Fiesta Friday friends….will love them too! 🙂

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Coconut Shavings

  • Servings: 24 Cookies
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*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Chopped walnuts (as much or as little as you would like)
  • Shredded, dry coconut (as much or as little as you would like)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine all the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry in another. When both are mixed well, combine them together.
  • Add in the walnuts and chocolate chips, making sure they are spread throughout.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Try to make each cookie the same size so that they all cook evenly.
  • When putting the dough on the baking sheet, smooch it down a bit, rather than leaving a ball….it cooks better that way.
  • Cook for 7-10 min depending on how you like them.

As always, a big thank you to Angie at the Novice Gardener! Fun to have Julianna at Foodie on Board and Hilda at Along the Grapevine co-hosting the party this week! Thanks ladies! And if you don’t know what this party is that probably means you should join us! 🙂 All are welcome…not just foodies! Click on the icon below. 

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Quinoa with Spicy Chickpea Gravy

For quite some time now I have really wanted to cook something with chickpeas. Would you believe that I had no idea what they were until some of you introduced me to them?

I created this gravy to put over quinoa, and I don’t doubt that it would go great with chicken as well. I still haven’t experimented much with Indian cuisine, so the inspiration for this gravy came from some Indian spices. I had no idea what I was going to put into it until I was finished…love when that happens. 🙂

It came out thick, which I prefer, but you could easily add more liquid to it.

Quinoa with Spicy Chickpea Gravy

*created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water for quinoa + 1 cup for gravy
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp white cooking wine
  • 1-2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 -1 tsp ginger
  • Black pepper

Directions:

  • Measure out and rinse the quinoa.
  • Put 2 cups of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water.
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, chop up the onion and saute them in a bit of olive oil.
  • After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, blend them in a food processor with one cup of water until it gets the consistency of gravy.
  • Add the blended chickpeas into the pan with the onions. Now add all your spices, the olive oil, and the cooking wine. Cook on medium to low heat, stirring regularly.
  • When everything is ready, serve the gravy over the quinoa.

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I needed to come up with a large dish for our church potluck tomorrow…and that is where one of my favorite staples comes in. Quinoa!

When I began cooking it, I didn’t know what exactly I was going to do, but I knew it needed the flexibility of a cold dish. I always get to church early in the morning for a second music practice, so bringing something hot just doesn’t work.

I love the way this turned into a delicious Mediterranean salad!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 4 cups water
  • Black pepper
  • Tomatoes
  • Lots of fresh basil
  • 3 lemons for juice
  • A little bit of red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 fresh cloves of garlic, minced

Directions:

  • Put 4 cups of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in 2 cups quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (You may want to check on it a few times. If all the water soaks up too soon the quinoa will become really crunchy.).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Let quinoa cool and then put it into a large serving dish.
  • Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper. Stir thoroughly.
  • Cut up the fresh basil and tomatoes. Add to the quinoa, mixing.
  • Finally, add the quinoa and you are ready to serve this yummy dish.

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Lemon Sour Dough French Toast with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

I LOVE french toast! There is something about the smell of it cooking on a Saturday morning…still in your pj’s, coming down the stairs with your slippers on, a cozy blanket welcoming you as you wait for this delicious treat. For some reason it makes me smile. It brings out the kid in me. It makes me think of family.

I thought it would be fun the other day to add a little twist to our normal recipe…some fresh lemon, along with some homemade syrup. The combination of lemon and strawberry…wonderful!

This french toast was delicious! And I will honestly say that even without the lemon, I love this recipe more than any other I have ever had.

So to my Fiesta Friday family…stay in your pj’s, curl up with a fleece blanket, smell the aroma of the french toast cooking, and enjoy a big plate!

Lemon Sour Dough French Toast with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients for French Toast:

  • 6-8 pieces Sour Dough Bread (This is a low-glycemic bread. Use a gluten free bread if needed)
  • 4 Eggs
  • Almond Milk
  • Honey
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Lemon for Fresh Lemon Juice

Ingredients for Syrup:

  • Strawberries
  • Honey

Directions:

  • Combine the strawberries with the amount of honey you want in a food processor to make the syrup.
  • Combine eggs, almond milk, honey, vanilla, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
  • Grease a frying pan.
  • Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture, covering both sides.
  • Cook on each side until slightly browned.
  • Serve on plates, adding butter if desired, along with the syrup.

A BIG thank you, as always, to Angie at The Novice Gardener and her co-hosts this week! 

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Quinoa & Tomato Salad with a Lemony Avocado & Cilantro yogurt dressing

You know I am a quinoa lover. And if you don’t, well now you do! 🙂

Yes, I have eaten it for breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Dessert?! Not yet! 😉

This was my lunch today….so simple….so good for you….and so delicious!

Quinoa & Tomato Salad with a Lemony Avocado & Cilantro yogurt dressing

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white quinoa
  • 1 avocado
  • Tomatoes (cherry or larger)
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lemon (for its fresh juice & zest)
  • Plain Greek Yogurt (1/2-1 cup) (Make sure it is gluten free if that’s what you need…I’ve read differing things about it.)
  • 1 tbsp Honey

Directions:

  • Measure out and rinse the quinoa.
  • Put 1 cup of water into a saucepan and boil.
  • When the water comes to a boil, add in the quinoa until it begins to boil again.
  • Reduce to medium heat, place a lid on the saucepan, and let simmer for about 12 minutes or until it has sucked up all the water. (It took me 14 minutes).
  • When this is finished, take it off of the heat, stir it, cover again, and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Prepare the dressing by chopping up the fresh cilantro and combining it with the honey, yogurt, and avocado.
  • Zest part of the lemon and add the zest into the dressing, stirring well.
  • Chop up the tomatoes and set aside.
  • When the quinoa is finished, place it in a serving dish with the desired amount of tomatoes. Take the lemon and squeeze its juice over the salad.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, adding more fresh cilantro to the top if desired.

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Almond Shortcake Mini Tarts- Guest Post for Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook

Don’t these almond shortcake mini tarts with vanilla almond cream cheese and fresh blackberries look delicious?!

To get the recipe and see more pics, head on over to Jhuls’ site The Not So Creative Cook where I have had the honor of doing a guest post for her.

Most of you know this lovely lady…she is fun. She reaches out to others. She makes us laugh. And she really is creative! 🙂

But if you don’t yet know her, please check out her blog! She is a blessing to all of us who know her!

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Baked Sweet Potato with Chocolate Sauce and an Almond Crumble

I love sweet potatoes.I always have.

I love chocolate. I always have.

But sweet potatoes and chocolate together?!

I never, ever would have guessed that these two things taste amazing when they are combined!

When I cooked my hubby this the other day for lunch, somehow I ended up making myself this rich and delightful sweet potato that you see here.

You have to try this! And as encouragement for you to do just that, I am bringing it to the party this week. Fiesta Friday…don’t we all look forward to this day each week? Thank you sweet Angie…the creative brains behind this! And thank you Selma and Elaine for co-hosting! You both are two very lovely ladies who I enjoy!

Baked Sweet Potato with Chocolate Sauce and an Almond Crumble

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Cocoa
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Honey or Agave
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Almond Flour
  • 1-2 tsp Pure Almond Extract

Directions:

  • I took the quick route and cooked my sweet potato in the oven for 5 minutes. Check on it at that point and if it is not cooked enough then cook for a few more minutes.
  • Make the chocolate sauce by combining cocoa, grapeseed oil, vanilla, and honey/agave. I am not putting amounts here, because it just depends on your tastebuds and how sweet you want it. Stir well. When you get the flavor you are looking for, you can microwave it for 20 seconds if you want it to be warm.
  • Make the crumble topping by mixing the almond flour, some grapeseed oil, some honey/agave, and almond extract.
  • Pour the chocolate sauce over the warm potato and then sprinkle the crumble on top.

Enjoy!

Come join the party: foodies, writers, photographers, artists…all are welcome!

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Italian Chicken Sausage Salad with Honey Butter Dressing

I went into the kitchen with no idea what I was going to make my hubby for lunch. I wanted to make sure it was something yummy, something filling, and something nutritious. I really had no intention of trying something new. But alas, my creative mind got ahead of me, and before I knew it….

I had created him something he had never eaten before. Something I had never made before. Something I wasn’t even sure would taste good.

But as I have learned from this adventure, if you don’t try it you will never know. Sometimes you love the dish you created. Sometimes it is okay. Other times you end up having to throw it away. I used to live my life “not trying” different foods….I can hardly believe that now. I was really missing out.

What really surprised me was that my non-sweet potato loving hubby loved this dish. When he told me that, I was a bit shocked and asked, “Really, really?!” 😉 So, this experiment turned out just right!

Italian Chicken Sausage Salad with Honey Butter Dressing

*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 avocados
  • Fresh basil
  • 2 Italian chicken sausages (we use Open Nature)
  • Honey
  • Butter
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  • On a microwave safe plate,  I cooked each potato for 5 minutes, poking holes in the top first.
  • While they are cooking, slice up the two sausages, and wash and shop up the basil.
  • In a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil, over low-medium heat, cook the pieces of sausage. Add in the basil.
  • When the potatoes are finished, scoop out the insides and put them in the skillet with the meat. Pour a bit of honey in the skillet, along with a couple slices of butter. Stir well.
  • While this is cooking for a couple more minutes, cut up two avocados.
  • Serve on plates with the avocado mixed in.

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Vanilla Muffins with a Dark Chocolate Filling

I feel like saying, “Just call me the muffin queen.” Because yes, I am bringing muffins again to the party! 😉 But don’t worry, I’ve created a new recipe that I hope you will love!

I love muffins. Muffins are fun. Muffins are versatile. You can eat them for breakfast. You can eat them for snack. You can eat them for dessert. Kids love them. Adults love them. They can be savory. They can be sweet.

When we invited a couple over for dessert, I knew right away that I would be creating a new muffin recipe. I had thoughts of what I might do running through my head all week. Then the day arrived.

It was a long day, and I made the mistake of putting my head down for “5 minutes.” Oops. I woke up an hour before they were supposed to get here. My new muffin recipe that had been percolating in my mind now had to be created at warp speed and half asleep. 😀

Imagine my hearts content when the wife stopped our conversation to say to her hubby, “I need another muffin.” And he came back with another for himself as well.

They didn’t know at the time that my muffins were: low-glycemic, no refined sugar, dairy-free, & gluten free. I love that you can have a healthy muffin that tastes so yummy that people are convinced it is full of refined sugar, etc.!

So here I come Fiesta Friday party goers with my bad-for-you tasting good-for-you muffins! 😉

Vanilla Muffins with a Dark Chocolate Filling

  • Servings: 12 muffins
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*Created by Lori at creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

Ingredients for Muffin:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Chocolate Filling:

  • Cocoa
  • Honey
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients for the muffin batter in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another. Then combine all of them together, mixing well.
  • Line a muffin pan with papers, or grease it well.
  • Pour the batter into each slot, halfway full.
  • Combine the cocoa, honey, grapeseed oil, and vanilla. I did this more by taste, which is why I don’t give the specifics on how much of each. It depends on how sweet you want it, etc. And note that you don’t need to make tons, just a little bowl full.
  • When this is made, pour some into each muffin..
  • Now pour more batter to cover the chocolate, leaving the batter 2/3 of the way to the top.
  • Bake for 20- 25 minutes.

Thanks Angie….you always brighten Fridays in the blogosphere! Sylvia, and Andrea – excited you are co-hosting this week! Thanks!

Come join the party!

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