Black Bean and Avocado Rice Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

Black bean and avocado rice tacos with pineapple salsa are a meatless meal the whole family will love!

A lot of people are looking for meatless meals that make the whole family happy, like these crispy black bean and avocado rice tacos with pineapple salsa. Black beans and rice are a classic combo, and when you add crispy corn tortillas, creamy avocado, fresh cilantro and parsley, melty cheese and a spicy-sweet pineapple salsa, who can argue with that? Leave out the cheese if you want vegan tacos, because they will still have plenty of flavor.

This recipe was inspired by Allie’s Avocado Green Rice, and it was a huge hit! My teen son devoured the tacos, but my favorite part was the pineapple salsa. It’s such an addictive flavor combination, I couldn’t stop eating it! I guess I did stop at some point, though, because the next day I used the leftover salsa to make nachos.

I developed this recipe for SoFab Food, so check it out on their site: Black Bean and Avocado Rice Tacos with Pineapple Salsa via SoFab Food


Spiral Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Spiral sweet potato oven fries are a perfect healthy snack or side dish that takes only 30 minutes to make!

I admit it, vegetable side dishes are kind of an obsession of mine! I’m also obsessed with cooking gadgets, so put two and two together, and you’ll know why I decided to make these spiral sweet potato oven fries. 

Regular sweet potato fries are delicious, but let’s face it, they’re not an everyday kind of food. These spiral sweet potato oven fries have a similar taste and texture, but they’re a lot healthier! They’re great as a side dish, snack, salad topping or burger topping. You can cut the sweet potatoes with a vegetable spiralizer, or you can buy spiralized sweet potatoes in many grocery stores.

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Green Beans with Breadcrumbs, Garlic and Almonds

Easy green beans with breadcrumbs, almonds and garlic come together in 15 minutes with just a few basic ingredients.

Is it weird that I love, love, love veggie side dishes? Plain veggies are good for you, but dressing them up makes them a lot more appealing. I’m seriously excited about these green beans with breadcrumbs, almonds and garlic, a recipe I’ve been perfecting for several months now. This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes with a few simple ingredients from the freezer and pantry. I usually have the ingredients for this recipe on hand, so I can whip it up on short notice.

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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup for the Instant Pot

Easy, inexpensive creamy tomato-basil soup will be your new favorite recipe for the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker.

If you read this blog regularly, you might have noticed that we make a lot of soup, especially tomato soup! Is there anything better than a hot mug of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winter day? One of my favorite recipes is this creamy tomato basil soup for the Instant Pot. My family loves this soup, and I love it because it’s easy and inexpensive to make.

I got my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker more than a year ago, and it’s become one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. The thing I use it for the most is making soup. It has a pre-programmed soup setting, so cooking the soup is automatic.

This creamy tomato basil soup is packed with flavor, and with healthy veggies. Just a touch of heavy cream gives the soup richness without too many calories.

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Italian Salad with Pears, Shaved Parmesan, and Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette

This beautiful Italian salad combines pears, shaved Parmesan and honey-balsamic vinaigrette.

I’m always looking for new salad combinations, especially since I’ve somehow become the go-to salad person for our family get-togethers. Two things I’ve learned about making a good salad are 1) you need a balance of flavors and textures, and 2) you can always look to Italian cuisine for inspiration. This Italian salad with pears, shaved Parmesan and honey-balsamic vinaigrette is a perfect blend of sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavors, with a variety of textures from tender salad greens to juicy pears to crunchy toasted pine nuts.

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Christmas Deviled Eggs

Christmas deviled eggs will be the hit of any holiday party.

Deviled eggs are classic appetizers, welcome at any party table. This week I was asked to bring an appetizer to a big family Christmas party, and I thought if I dressed them up in Christmas colors, deviled eggs would be perfect. I had to smile when I named this recipe “Christmas Deviled Eggs,” because normally Christmas and the devil don’t go together. When I looked into the history of deviled eggs, I learned that sometimes people in the Midwest and South call deviled eggs “angel eggs” when bringing them to church functions.  So you can definitely call these Christmas Deviled Eggs “Angel Eggs” if you prefer.

Plain deviled eggs get dressed up for the holidays with festive red and green garnishes.

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Homemade Roasted Chili Oil

Sichuan-style toasted chili oil brings a toasty heat to all your favorite foods.

Lately I’m in love with Sichuan-style roasted chili oil – a little obsessed, in fact. Roasted chili oil (or toasted chili oil) has a complex, toasted chili flavor that’s mellow and not acidic. Sometimes I buy roasted chili oil from my local gourmet supermarket, but it’s expensive and hard to find. I decided to try making my own, so I would never run out. I eat it with scrambled eggs, roasted vegetables and potatoes. It’s also fantastic with our 10-Minute Wonton Soup, Crock-Pot Honey Balsamic Chicken, Korean Beef and Noodle Stir-Fry and Easy Homemade Kung Pao Chicken.

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Creamy Tomato Basil Soup With Orzo

Creamy tomato basil soup with orzo is one of the best soups you will ever make!

One thing I love about fall is the return of soup season! One of the first soups I make every year when the weather turns cooler is this creamy tomato basil soup with orzo, which is based on a ready-made soup from Costco. It’s probably my favorite “Costco hack” recipe. I’ve made this soup dozens of times – for my family, for company or for potlucks – and people always ask me for the recipe.

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Southwest Salad with Quinoa and Black Beans

There aren’t many foods I dislike, but I don’t really like quinoa. There, I said it. I know quinoa is trendy and good for you, but I just have never liked the taste of it. Until now. Recently, I was at a food blogger event, and one of the lunch selections was this amazing Southwest salad with black beans, quinoa, queso fresco, and fresh vegetables. With this recipe, I’ve found a way to eat quinoa that I really love.

This salad is substantial, super tasty, and vegetarian. I serve it with a cilantro lime vinaigrette, and even kids will eat it. I love how healthy it is, and how easy it is to make.

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Chipotle Lime Honey Vinaigrette

Chipotle Lime and Honey Vinaigrette tastes great with salads, grilled chicken, shrimp or fish.

During the past week we’ve celebrated a high school graduation, bought season passes to the water park, and fired up the grill at least three times. I guess you could say summer is underway! I love the tastes of summer, especially tangy citrus flavors like lime and lemon. I developed this recipe for Chipotle Lime Honey Vinaigrette to go with my Chipotle Lime Chicken Kabobs, but it goes great with any kind of salad, grilled fish or shrimp.

There are so many flavor directions you can go with a basic vinaigrette, but this combination of chipotle, lime and honey is one of my favorites. This dressing is tart, sweet and spicy without being overpowering. It’s fresher and less expensive than bottled dressing.

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