Category Archives: 30 Minutes or Less

Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

I don’t post many salad recipes, mainly because my salads are very boring.

I generally just toss in some spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and top it with oil and vinegar. So, to prevent from boring you to death, I just don’t share them.

However, this salad is a game changer. My Mom came across this recipe back in the summer and we fell in love. Steamed asparagus is combined with avocado and tomatoes, and then tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. It is the weirdest, most fantastic combination of ingredients!

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Since trying this a couple months ago I just can’t seem to get enough. This salad is, of course, best when it is fresh, but it does store fairly well. I like to make a batch on Sunday nights and take it to work for the first part of the week. It is healthy and filling and I love the mix of flavors and textures.

The salad is a cinch to prepare. It all starts with simply steaming freshly trimmed asparagus until tender. Just be careful not to overcook it, otherwise it will be mushy and you really want it to have a nice little crunch to it. Then add in some chopped tomatoes and avocados, along with a load of fresh basil, the lemon vinaigrette and a good dose of mozzarella for good measure. And there you have it! The strangest yet most fantastic salad you will ever eat!

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Happy Saturday Friends!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
Recipe type: Salad, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
  • 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Bocconcini Mozzarella, drained
  • ½ cup packed basil leaves, sliced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Boil asparagus in a large pot of salted water for 1½ minutes, or until fork tender. Be careful not to overcook!
  2. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Add the asparagus, tomatoes, avocados and mozzarella into a large bowl.
  4. In a small bowl or mixing cup combine the basil, oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper. Mix well until everything is combined and pour over salad ingredients.
  5. Toss to coat.

 

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious! www.maebells.com

Recipe was inspired and adapted from Sunset magazine.

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce, A SUPER game day snack! Ready in under 30 minutes! #glutenfree

A couple weeks ago I had a bit too much going on, there was no way I was going to get everything done, plus dinner. So, I asked Mr. Maebell if he minded making dinner. This is how it went.

Him: “Oh yeah, I will make dinner, no problem!”

Me: “Really? You don’t mind? It doesn’t matter what we have. Something easy is fine.”

Him: “Oh I’ve got this babe!”

Wow, I thought. I seriously do not give him enough credit! What a good husband I have!
I headed off to work, heart aflutter, because I was so impresed with how helpful he had just been.

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce, an awesome game day snack! #glutenfree

Fast forward 9 hours. I walk in the door.

“I am grillin’ pork chops!” he declared with a big grin on his face. “and I am trying something new” he pulled out a ziplock bag full of pork chops in a bright red thick sauce.

“Oh yeah? Did you make up a marinade” I asked.

“Nope, I just put them in sriracha!” he said.

I just stared at him, then stared at the bright red sauce covering $11 worth of pork chops. There was nothing to do but smile. “Great!” I said.

Bless him.

We ate the hottest pork chops of our entire life. We drank the entire pitcher of water in one sitting. Midway through the meal he said “I think maybe next time we should mix the Sriracha with something else.”

I just smiled and nodded. Yes, yes, we should.

It is tiny moments like that, that makes me so very happy I’m spending my life with that silly man.

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce, Perfect for game day!! #glutenfree

So since we love Sriracha but recently learned it cannot be used as a marinade ;) I decided to put it to get use in these Sriracha and Honey Lime Smoked Drumsticks. As you can probably tell from Tuesday’s Italian Sliders we are on a major game day kick in this house. I am on a mission to come up with awesome appetizers that have all of the game day flair traditional chips, dips, and greasy burgers do, but none of the calories.

Instead of traditional fried wings I opted for smoked drumsticks. This is insanely easy, we just threw them on the grill with absolutely nothing on them! No oil, salt, pepper, or marinade, nada! Just smoked chicken, pure and simple. Then I made a quick and easy sauce with just five ingredients!! When the drumsticks were done, I tossed them in the sauce, and that was it!

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce

Smoked Drumsticks with Sriracha and Honey Lime Sauce
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds drumsticks
  • 1½ tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (Lachoy is gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • zest of one lime
  • juice from half a lime
Instructions
  1. Heat a grill to 375
  2. Place the plain drumsticks directly on the grill and let cook for 25 minutes, turning once while cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, add the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and let simmer on medium low while the drumsticks are cooking. You do not want to boil, you just want to heat the mixture so the flavors meld and it thickens a tiny bit.
  4. Remove drumsticks from grill and place in a large bowl with a lid, pour the sauce over the drumsticks, place lid on bowl tightly and shake the bowl to evenly coat the drumsticks.
  5. Garnish drumsticks with any additional sauce left in the bowl, sesame seeds, and additional lime zest if desired.

 

 

 

Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Pesto+Feta Spread

 The ultimate vegetarian slider packed with fresh zucchini, mini sweet peppers, basil leaves and a creamy whipped Pesto and Feta Spread! 

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread. Finally, a vegetarian appetizer that everyone will love! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Since Football season is in full swing the big question every week is “What are you making for the game?!”

As a person who is totally indifferent to football, I am kind of glad that food seems to be a big way to “get into the game” because it makes me feel like I am a true Southerner who is actually celebrating game day. So, I will gladly put on my florescent orange t shirt, make snacks, and Pinterest while my husband screams at the television.

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread

The only bad thing about it is that all traditional game day snacks are so darn unhealthy. I am totally up for an ooey, gooey, cheesy snack but eating it week after week is a little much. So I have been experimenting with some lighter, healthier game day options. I finally struck gold over the weekend with these beautiful Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Pesto+Feta Spread. Seriously, these little guys are kind of a miracle.

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread

It is so simple, I just toss some sliced zucchini and mini sweet peppers in a little olive oil and a few spices, cooked them in a skillet until they were tender and had browned a little bit, toasted some rolls, made this super easy spread and called it a day! You could make a pretty big batch of these in under 20 minutes. I served them with the Pesto Chicken Sweet Peppers for the perfect, filling but healthy game day snack.

Italian Veggie Sliders with Feta+Pesto Spread

Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Feta+Pesto Spread, the BEST vegetarian sliders ever!!

These will be making a regular appearance around our table, healthy, easy, and super easy!

Italian Veggie Sliders with Whipped Pesto+Feta Spread
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main Dish, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 4-6 rolls (I used Udi's gluten free rolls)
  • 2 medium size zucchini, sliced fairly thickly
  • 8 mini sweet peppers, sliced fairly thickly
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
  • 1½ tablespoon basil pesto
  • 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4-6 basil leaves (one or two leaves per slider)
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat.
  2. Toss the sliced zucchini and the sliced sweet peppers with the olive oil and the spices in a large ziplock bag.
  3. Lightly spray the skillet with cooking spray and add the veggies in a single layer (this may take two batches to get it all)
  4. Cook the vegetables for approximately 2 minutes on each side until they are tender and beginning to brown a bit.
  5. Remove vegetables from skillet and add the sliced halves of the rolls to the skillet to lightly toast them. Approximately 1 minute.
  6. Remove rolls from heat
  7. Combine the feta cheese, cream cheese and basil in a small blender or food process and pulse approximately 30 seconds until well combined.
  8. To assemble the sliders stack the zucchini and pepper slices on the rolls, top with basil leaves, spread a thick layer of the spread over the top half of the bun and close.

 

*I used Udi’s dinner rolls, which are pretty large for rolls. I got 5 very full sandwiches with this recipe.

If you are using something like the little hawaiian bread rolls this will make closer to 6-8 sliders for you.

 

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Enchilada Sauce ...a super simple sauce from scratch, so much better than the canned stuff! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Mexican food!
It is all I want. I tend to go overboard so generally whatever I am craving at the moment I go grocery shopping is what we have for an entire week. This week included nachos, tacos, enchiladas, and tex mex stuffed peppers. Ha!

Variety is not my middle name.

I love enchiladas and could eat them all the time, but I am kind of picky about my enchilada sauce. I want a thick full bodied sauce, not a thin sauce that obsorbs into the tortillas. I want to taste the chili powder and the cumin, and cilantro must be absolutely nowhere in sight.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce ...a super simple sauce from scratch, so much better than the canned stuff! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

And the enchilada filling? Pure and simple. Ground beef and sharp cheddar cheese. Oh yes. I might trash up and complicate all kinds of other recipes but my enchiladas are simple. Why mess with perfection?!

This sauce is such a cinch to throw together. Just tomato sauce, garlic and loads of spices. I just let it simmer on the stove to make sure all of the flavors meld together perfectly and voila, your done!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce ...a super simple sauce from scratch, so much better than the canned stuff! #glutenfree www.maebells.com

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (ancho chili powder works well if you want more spice)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Heat a small sauce pan to medium heat.
  2. Add olive oil and garlic, stirring for about 20 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, hot sauce, garlic salt, and salt, stirring mixture for about thirty seconds.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and water, stir well.
  5. Bring mixture to a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Let mixture simmer 20 minutes.
  6. This makes enough for a 9x13 pan of enchiladas.

 

Pan Seared Sriracha Lemon Pork Chops

 Pork Chops are tossed in a zesty marinade made of lemon juice, sriracha, chili garlic sauce, sesame seed oil, and soy sauce then pan seared to perfection! This easy meal comes together in mere minutes! 

Pan Seared Lemon Sriracha Pork Chops. These are so easy! And ready in about 15 minutes! #glutenfree #healthy www.maebells.com

The Asian kick continues!

When I shared these fabulous Salmon and Broccoli Bowls I told you that we had enjoyed Asian inspired dishes for a whole week. These pork chops were without a doubt one of our favorites from that week. They are full of flavor and a cinch to make!

It is amazing to me that the same set of ingredients can make such different dishes. If you have made the Kung Pao, Lo Mien, Salmon and Broccoli Bowls, or the fried rice you likely have the ingredients for this dish on hand.

Pan Seared Lemon Sriracha Pork Chops. These are so easy! And ready in about 15 minutes! #glutenfree #healthy www.maebells.com

You start by making a really simple marinade for the pork chops. The marinade has just five simple ingredients, the juice of one lemon, chili garlic sauce, sriracha, sesame seed oil, and a little soy sauce. I mixed my marinade in a small bowl to make sure everything was well combined first. Then throw your meat and marinade in a bag for a couple hours. I let mine marinate for about 2 hours.

Pan Seared Lemon Sriracha Pork Chops. These are so easy! And ready in about 15 minutes! #glutenfree #healthy www.maebells.com

Heat a large skillet to medium heat with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the pork chops in the skillet and let them get nice and brown, that took about 3 minutes on each side for me. Depending on the thickness of your chops you might need to adjust the cooking time slightly.

Pan Seared Lemon Sriracha Pork Chops. These are so easy! And ready in about 15 minutes! #glutenfree #healthy www.maebells.com

I served my pork chops over vegetable fried rice for a complete meal. If you don’t have a handy fried rice recipe try this Kale and Red Pepper Fried Rice. So good, you will love the combination!

Pan Seared Lemon Sriracha Pork Chops. These are so easy! And ready in about 15 minutes! #glutenfree #healthy www.maebells.com

Pan Seared Sriracha Lemon Pork Chops
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless pork chops
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (lachoy is gluten free)
  • 1½ teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons oil for cooking
Instructions
  1. Mix the lemon juice, garlic sauce, sesame seed oil, soy sauce and sriracha in a small bowl, mix well.
  2. Place marinade in a plastic bag and pour marinade over top.
  3. Place pork chops in fridge to marinate, you can do this anywhere from 8 hours to 30 minutes.
  4. When ready to cook heat a large skillet to medium heat. Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the skillet and when it is hot place 2-3 of the pork chops in the skillet. Be careful not to crowd them.
  5. Cook for about 3 minutes, flip and cook another 3 minutes.
  6. Remove cooked pork chops and keep warm.
  7. Add the last tablespoon of oil and cook the rest 3 minutes on each side.
  8. This is great served over brown rice or vegetable fried rice.
  9. **Depending on the thickness of your pork chops you may need to adjust your cooking time. I used medium thickness boneless pork chops for reference.