This simple Spicy Guacamole recipe is made with avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, lime, garlic, cilantro, and an extra kick from Sriracha. Make this guacamole as mild or as spicy as you like! I’m all for trying different foods – at least once. Sometimes one bite is all it takes to make me a convert. Other times, …
This simple Spicy Guacamole recipe is made with avocados, tomatoes, jalapeño, lime, garlic, cilantro, and an extra kick from Sriracha. Make this guacamole as mild or as spicy as you like!
I’m all for trying different foods – at least once. Sometimes one bite is all it takes to make me a convert. Other times, that first bite will be the only bite of that food that will ever cross my lips.
For instance, I’ve eaten a raw oyster and a frog leg once – I’ll never consume either of these foods again. Recounting those moments gives me the shivers. But guacamole – that’s a totally different story.
Up until about 10 years ago, avocados and I weren’t on good terms. And if I’m being honest, I hated them before even giving them a chance.
I think I had a negative textural perception of them. I’m big on textures and if something falls into the categories of slimy, gritty, jiggly or velvety (unless it’s ice cream), I immediately deem it as suspect.
Then, during a fateful trip to Whole Foods, I was wandering around and lost my friend for a minute. When I found him, he was standing in the middle of the produce section oohing and aahing over a tub of $9.00 guacamole.
I went over to inspect the situation and was welcomed with a guacamole-covered chip shoved near my face. Of course, I got all dramatic, recoiled and claimed I hated the stuff.
However, I decided to take a tiny nibble – just to prove to him that I did indeed loathe the velvety green dip. But I was wrong. I actually loved the stuff and immediately tossed the pricey container into our cart.
From that day forward, I was a guacamole lover.
This Spicy Guacamole recipe is one of the best I’ve found, and certainly my favorite. Try it at your next barbecue, or heck – on a random Tuesday night. Then come back here and tell me what you think.
A couple of months ago I posted a side dish, Southwest Cauliflower Rice, and ever since I’ve been dying to flesh it out into a main dish. This week I finally got around to it, and OMG, so good! I added some ground beef, black beans, and a bunch of fresh ingredients on top, so you get this wonderful mix of hot and cold flavors and textures, kind of like when you eat a taco, but in bowl form.
Is it Spicy?
The heat level in this recipe depends on the spiciness of two ingredients: the canned diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Ro-tel) and your chili powder. Unfortunately, with both of these ingredients, some brands are spicy and some are not. So you may need to do some experimenting to find the brands that match the heat level that you prefer.
Fresh or Frozen Cauliflower Rice?
You can use either fresh homemade cauliflower rice or frozen store-bought cauliflower rice for this recipe. Both types of riced cauliflower cook very quickly and you shouldn’t need to make any changes to the recipe based on the type of cauliflower rice used.
Take the Taco Seasoning Short Cut
The recipe below includes all the herbs and spices in my homemade taco seasoning. If you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet, you can use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning in place of the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper listed in the recipe below.
Other Topping Ideas
This recipe is so flexible! If you don’t like some of the toppings that I used, here are some other ideas:
Mince the garlic. Add the garlic, olive oil, and ground beef to a large skillet and cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned. If you're using a high fat content beef, you may want to drain off the excess fat before the next step.
Drain the can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with the diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook until the skillet is simmering.
Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet (no need to thaw, if frozen). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is tender (about five minutes).
While the beef and cauliflower are heating, dice the tomato, avocado, and red onion. Roughly chop the cilantro.
Top the beef and cauliflower mixture with the shredded cheddar. Place a lid on the skillet, and let it heat over medium for a few minutes, or until the cheddar has melted.
Once the cheese is melted, top the skillet with the tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
How to Make Beef and Cauliflower Taco Skillet – Step by Step Photos
Mince two cloves of garlic. Add the garlic to a large skillet with 1 Tbsp olive oil and ½ lb. ground beef. Cook over medium heat until the ground beef is browned.
Drain one 15oz. can of black beans and add them to the skillet along with one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (not drained), 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp oregano, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp pepper. Continue to cook and stir until the skillet is simmering.
Add 3 cups riced cauliflower to the skillet. Continue to cook and stir until the riced cauliflower is tender(about 5 minutes).
While the cauliflower and beef are heating, dice one tomato and one avocado. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion. Roughly chop one small handful of cilantro.
Top the skillet with 2 oz. (about ½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese. Place a lid on the skillet and let it heat over medium for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Once the cheese is melted, top with the fresh tomato, avocado, red onion, and cilantro, then serve!
This cilantro sunflower seed dressing was created when we needed something quick & easy for a dinner side salad. It’s cashew-free, soy-free, plant-based, and now a go-to anytime we need something fast, flavorful, and nourishing. Just 5 simple ingre…
This cilantro sunflower seed dressing was created when we needed something quick & easy for a dinner side salad. It’s cashew-free, soy-free, plant-based, and now a go-to anytime we need something fast, flavorful, and nourishing. Just 5 simple ingredients, a blender, and 10 minutes required. Let us show you how it’s done!
Why Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are the creamy base for this dressing. They’re a mild-flavored, nut-free alternative to cashews, and they’re packed with vitamin E, selenium, vitamins B5 & B6, folate, zinc, and more (source).
I’ve been out and about, here and there, but one thing that seems to follow me around is furikake. “What? A Japanese seaweed-based condiment?” you might say. While I do tend to tote French salted butter, fleur de sel, and Dijon mustard along with me on my travels, I’ve always loved furikake as well, and find myself craving it more and more these days. In…
I’ve been out and about, here and there, but one thing that seems to follow me around is furikake. “What? A Japanese seaweed-based condiment?” you might say. While I do tend to tote French salted butter, fleur de sel, and Dijon mustard along with me on my travels, I’ve always loved furikake as well, and find myself craving it more and more these days. In all honestly, I get a little antsy when I don’t have some around, which happened last time I tried to restock in Paris and couldn’t find any.
There are different types of furikake. Some contain bonito (fish flakes) or dried shrimp, and others have bits of desiccated egg. Some are relatively mellow and others have a pleasant funk to them. In the last few years, “funky” has been a dicey word to describe certain foods, but to me, at the risk of cancellation, funky isn’t a bad thing. Some of my favorite foods, like fish sauce, kimchi, and Camembert could be described as “funky” (just as songs like Funky Nassau, Uptown Funk, and Play That Funky Music use “funky” to complement, and compliment, their respective subjects) so I’m fine with having a funky-friendly blog.
I had a craving for a grilled eggplant sandwich the other day but 1) I don’t have a grill and 2) that sounded like a lot of work, so I made this quick skillet version instead. The resulting Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are a “meaty” combo of sautéed eggplant drenched with marinara sauce, piled high onto a garlic butter toasted bun, then topped off with melty mozzarella cheese. YES PLEASE.
This recipe makes about 3-4 sandwiches, depending on the size of your eggplant and the size of your rolls or buns. I used hoagie buns that were about 6 inches in length and an eggplant that was about 8-inches long and I was able to make three large sandwiches. If you were to use round rolls, you’d probably get four piled-high sandwiches.
How to Store Leftovers
These sandwiches definitely need to be consumed right when they’re assembled, so if you’re in a smaller household that won’t be eating all three or four sandwiches at once, make sure to store the components separately. Keep the sautéed eggplant with red sauce in its own container and reheat either in a skillet or in the microwave. Butter and toast your bread just before assembly, then add the eggplant and cheese, and briefly heat to melt the cheese.
I used fresh mozzarella because it melts so beautifully and I can get it for a decent price. If fresh mozzarella is not available or not available at a reasonable price, you can use shredded mozzarella instead. Full-fat mozzarella will always melt better than part-skim, but part-skim will work in a pinch.
Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches
Total Cost $6.41 recipe / $2.14 each
Prep Time 25minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 40minutes
Servings 3to 4 sandwiches
Author Beth – Budget Bytes
1eggplant (8" length)$1.49
4Tbspolive oil, divided$0.32
Cube the eggplant into ½-inch cubes. Mince the garlic.
Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the cubed eggplant and Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
Add the marinara sauce to the skillet with the eggplant, stir to combine, then heat through (3-5 minutes). Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
Preheat the boiler on your oven and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle. Combine the second 2 Tbsp olive oil with the butter and garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds to melt the butter, then stir to combine.
Place the buns on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Brush the butter and olive oil mixture over the cut surfaces of the rolls. Bake under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are just barely golden brown (watch them closely as broilers can vary).
After removing the rolls from the oven, switch the setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Pile the eggplant mixture onto the toasted rolls, then top with mozzarella. Return the sandwiches to the hot oven and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted. Serve hot!
How to Make Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos
Cube one eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Mince two cloves of garlic.
Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
Add the cubed eggplant and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
Once the eggplant is soft, add 1 cup marinara sauce.
Stir to combine the eggplant and sauce, then heat through. Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
Preheat the broiler on your oven and make sure the oven’s rack is in the middle position. Place your buns or rolls on a baking sheet, cut side up. Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp butter, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds, or until melted, then stir to combine. Brush the butter and oil mixture over the cut surface of the rolls.
Toast the rolls under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are barely golden brown. Watch them closely, as broilers can vary quite a bit. Once toasted, switch the oven’s setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Spoon the eggplant mixture onto the rolls.
Top the eggplant mixture with mozzarella (about 1 oz. per sandwich).
Return the sandwiches to the oven and bake for a few minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted.
Serve the eggplant mozzarella sandwiches while they’re still hot! (I added a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor)
Josh and my boys LOVE a good, juicy steak. One of their favorite cuts is flank steak and they especially love grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce because it is loaded with flavor. They get steak AND an amazing sauce. The two combined are a match…
Josh and my boys LOVE a good, juicy steak. One of their favorite cuts is flank steak and they especially love grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce because it is loaded with flavor. They get steak AND an amazing sauce. The two combined are a match made in heaven. This recipes comes from my friend…
If you think paella is too difficult to make, think again! This one pan wonder is surprisingly approachable, incredibly flavorful, and customizable based on taste and season. We couldn’t help but add some vegan chorizo (check out our recent recipe here…
If you think paella is too difficult to make, think again! This one pan wonder is surprisingly approachable, incredibly flavorful, and customizable based on taste and season. We couldn’t help but add some vegan chorizo (check out our recent recipe here) for even more substance. Let us show you how it’s done!
What is Paella?
Paella is a rice-based dish originating in Valencia, Spain. The word paella means “frying pan,” and the dish is traditionally made in a shallow, wide pan with handles on the sides, sometimes also called a paellera.
As soon as the warm weather of summer rolls around all I want to eat are crunchy vegetables and cold pasta salad. This Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is my go-to with a medley of colorful vegetables, a tangy homemade vinaigrette, and plenty of ways to customize it based on what I have on hand, or what I’m craving that day. Plus it holds up great in the fridge, so it’s perfect for meal prep!
Originally posted 6-14-2011, updated 5-22-2021.
Perfect for Potlucks
This classic vegetable pasta salad is absolutely perfect for potlucks because it makes a huge batch and it goes with everything. Not to mention it holds up well to travel and is still super delicious after it’s been sitting on that picnic table for a bit. ;)
I used fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, and parsley, plus threw in some roasted red peppers for fun. But you can add so many different vegetables to this mix. Here are a few more options:
Fresh bell pepper
Asparagus (steamed or grilled)
In addition to swapping out some of the vegetables, you can experiment with adding other ingredients to this salad to either add more flavor or make it into a full meal. Here are a few ideas:
Toasted pita bread
Mozzarella cubes or pearls
The recipe below includes a really basic tangy vinaigrette, but if you don’t have a well stocked pantry and want to buy a bottled dressing for this salad, any basic Italian dressing will do well. You could also choose something like a Caesar dressing (not creamy-style) or a Greek vinaigrette.
Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
This light and fresh Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks, or your weekly meal prep.
Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package directions (boil 7-10 minutes or until tender), then drain in a colander. Rinse briefly to cool the pasta, then let it drain well.
While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, broccoli, and parsley. Slice the roasted red peppers (drained) and the red onion.
Place the pasta and chopped vegetables in the largest bowl you have. Give the vinaigrette a brief whisk, then pour it over the salad. Stir the pasta and vegetables until everything is coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper, if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.
How to Make Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – Step By Step Photos
Make the dressing first. Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 clove of minced garlic, ¾ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set the dressing aside.
Cook 12oz. bowtie pasta (or other short shaped pasta) according to the package directions (boil until tender, drain in a colander). Give the pasta a quick rise to cool it off, then let it drain well.
While the pasta is cooking and draining, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, one yellow squash, one zucchini, and drain and slice one jar of roasted red peppers.
Chop one crown of broccoli into small bite-sized florets and slice ½ of a red onion. Roughly chop ½ cup parsley (not pictured).
When the pasta is cool and drained and all the vegetables chopped, it’s time to assemble the salad. Place everything in the largest bowl or container you have, give the vinaigrette a quick whisk, then pour it over the pasta and vegetables.
Stir until everything is really well coated in dressing. Give it a taste and add salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Make sure to give it a stir after refrigerating and just before serving to redistribute the dressing.
Guess what time it is! Comfort-food-o’clock. And what makes better comfort food than a rich creamy pasta dish, like this One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff? This is yet another “better than the box” meal. It cooks in one easy pot, just like hamburger helper stroganoff, but it’s homemade. You’re going to want to tuck […]
Guess what time it is! Comfort-food-o’clock. And what makes better comfort food than a rich creamy pasta dish, like this One Pot Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff? This is yet another “better than the box” meal. It cooks in one easy pot, just like hamburger helper stroganoff, but it’s homemade. You’re going to want to tuck this recipe into your back pocket for those nights when you’re super tired and need an extra comforting meal. :)
Originally posted 2-17-14, updated 5-20-21
Use All Beef, No Beef, or Both!
I used half ground beef and half mushrooms to stretch my pennies a bit further, but you could do all mushrooms or all beef if you prefer. If you’re doing a vegetarian version with all mushrooms, use mushroom or vegetable broth to replace the beef broth.
Tips for “One Pot” Success
One pot recipes can be a bit tricky for some, so here are some pointers:
Use heavy, thick cookware to help the ingredients heat evenly.
The broth does not need to fully cover the noodles for them to cook, so resist the urge to add extra water or broth.
Make sure the liquid is simmering the whole time the pasta is cooking. If the heat is too low, the pasta will just get gummy.
Stir the pot occasionally to prevent sticking, but not too often or your risk breaking down the pasta.
Use your judgment. If your pasta looks close to being cooked through, but there is too much liquid left in the skillet, let it finish simmering with the lid off. If the liquid is gone but your pasta is still not tender, add a splash more water or broth and continue to simmer.
Every piece of cookware and every range top is different, so one pot recipes are a bit like riding a bike. You have to feel it out and find the sweet spot for the equipment you’re using.
Use Good Broth
The broth brings a lot of flavor to this beef and mushroom stroganoff, so make sure you’re using a nice and flavorful broth that has adequate salt. I like to use Better than Bouillon to make broth for recipes because it’s super flavorful, I can mix up any amount I need, and the jar stays good in the refrigerator for months, so there are no leftovers to go to waste. If you still find your stroganoff to be on the bland side in the end, an extra pinch of salt can really help the flavors pop.
Mince the garlic. Add the garlic and butter to a large pot or skillet and sauté over medium heat for about one minute, or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
Add the ground beef and continue to sauté until it is fully browned.
While the beef is browning, slice the mushrooms. Add the sliced mushrooms and some freshly cracked pepper to the pot with the beef. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are soft (about five minutes).
Add the uncooked egg noodles to the pot along with the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine. The liquid will not fully cover the noodles, but that's okay.
Place a lid on the pot and allow the liquid to come up to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, give the pot a stir, replace the lid, and reduce the heat to low. Allow the pot to simmer on low heat for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and replacing the lid every couple of minutes. After 7-10 minutes the pasta should be tender and most of the liquid absorbed.
Once the noodles are tender, add the sour cream and fold it into the noodles until everything is rich and creamy. Give the noodles a taste and add extra salt or pepper, if needed. Roughly chop a handful of parsley leaves and sprinkle over top. Serve hot.
How to Make Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff – Step by Step Photos
Begin by sautéing 2 cloves of minced garlic in 2 Tbsp of butter until soft (1-2 minutes). You can use a large pot or large skillet, as long as it is big enough to hold all of the pasta AND has a lid (the lid will be used later).
Next, add 1/2 lb. ground beef and continue to sauté until it is fully browned.
While the beef is browning, slice 8oz. mushrooms. White button mushrooms are fine, but if you can get these baby bella mushrooms they are even more awesome (shout out to ALDI for carrying these at an affordable price).
Once the beef is browned, add the mushrooms and some freshly cracked pepper. Continue to sauté until they are soft (about five minutes).
Add ½ lb. wide egg noodles to the skillet along with 2 cups beef broth, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and ½ tsp Dijon mustard. Stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the noodles, but that’s okay. The steam in the skillet will help cook them and they’ll be stirred to make sure even cooking.
Place a lid on the skillet and bring the broth up to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, give it a quick stir to loosen the noodles from the bottom, return the lid quickly, and turn the heat down to low. Let the skillet simmer, stirring occasionally and always replacing the lid, for 7-10 minutes or until the noodles are tender and there is only a small amount of thick sauce left in the skillet.
Finally, add ⅓ cup sour cream and fold it into the noodles until everything is creamy and delicious!
Top off the beef and mushroom stroganoff with a little chopped parsley for color (because stroganoff is kind of boring to look at) and it’s time to dive into that skillet full of creamy goodness! You might want to give it a taste at this point to see if you want a little extra salt or pepper (again, depending on the salt content of your broth), but other than that it’s time to eat! And only one dish to clean. :)
We shared a recipe for General Tso’s tofu stir-fry years ago and it’s become a fan-favorite. We wanted to try our hands at a cauliflower version and — spoiler alert — it worked extremely well!
Cauliflower florets are tossed in a spicy, gingery sauce t…
We shared a recipe for General Tso’s tofu stir-fry years ago and it’s become a fan-favorite. We wanted to try our hands at a cauliflower version and — spoiler alert — it worked extremely well!
Cauliflower florets are tossed in a spicy, gingery sauce then baked until crispy in the oven. Perfect for enjoying as a snack or side or serving with grains and veggies for a flavorful meal. Just 10 ingredients required and naturally vegan and gluten-free.