Category Archives: 30 Minutes or Less

Seasoned Black Beans + Loaded Tex Mex Bowls and a Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway!

These Seasoned Black Beans are so simple to prepare and will be a big hit with your family! And as a bonus, I am helping giveaway a KITCHEN AID MIXER so keep reading! 

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls, healthy, easy, and perfect for a weeknight!

Sometimes, actually, often times there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
I am a pretty organized person so I normally have everything that needs to be done for the day written out. I have always been like that, with work, school, real life, and the blog. I love the satisfaction of checking something off my to do list. But I am often really hard on my self when I don’t get everything taken care of. Especially with Maebells. I don’t like feeling like I have unfinished business, but that is exactly how it feels when I don’t have time to respond to emails or comments or time a dinner wrong and run out of daylight for the photos.

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls! Healthy and easy weeknight meal!

So I have been working on some recipes that are for those days when you just don’t have much left in you at the end of the day. These Seasoned Black Beans are a great example of how quickly you can throw together a meal with a couple of basic pantry staples. Here is how we do it!
Add one can of undrained black beans to a medium size sauce pan and throw in some spices and a dash of hot sauce. Let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. Yep, that is it!

Told you this was for days when you have nothing left to give! ;)

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls, healthy, easy and perfect for a weeknight! #glutenfree

I used these seasoned black beans in these loaded Tex Mex Bowls. All I did was add cooked rice, black beans, some rotisserie chicken, and our favorite vegetables and shredded cheese in a big old bowl and topped it with a Creamy Tex Mex sauce and tortilla strips.

It is a dinner that comes together extremely quickly, is still healthy, and gives you a new idea for a rotisserie chicken! These black beans can be used a million different ways. We have also had them with tacos or with grilled chicken and salsa.

Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls, healthy and easy meal! Perfect for a weeknight!

4.9 from 9 reviews
Seasoned Black Beans and Loaded Tex Mex Bowls
Recipe type: Side Dish, Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • For the Seasoned Black Beans
  • 1 15 ounce can Black Beans
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • For the Creamy Tex Mex Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (depending on how hot you like it)
  1. Heat a small or medium sauce pan to medium heat.
  2. Add the undrained can of black beans, hot sauce and spices. Reduce heat to medium low and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes, no more than 30 minutes.
  3. For the Sauce: Combine the sour cream and hot sauce
  4. For the Loaded Tex Mex Bowls
  5. Add ½ cup cooked rice, ½ cup Seasoned Black Beans, a handful of shredded or rotisserie chicken, shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocado, green onions, tortillas strips (or chips) and the Creamy Tex Mex Sauce.

As promised, we’re giving away a truly awesome prize today – a KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield!  What’s not to love about that?

KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Giveaway organized by Juggling Act Mama

ABOUT THE PRIZE: KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield

  • Winner chooses color – Empire Red, Ice (blue), Contour Silver or White on White
  • Multipurpose attachment hub, over 15 optional attachments
  • 5-quart stainless steel bowl, dishwasher safe
  • Tilt-head design
  • Includes coated flat beater, coated dough hook, wire whip and 1-piece pouring shield, 1-year warranty
  • 2-piece pouring shield with large chute for adding ingredients
  • 325-watt mixer with 10 speeds; 5-quart stainless steel bowl

Enter the KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.  Some entries, such as tweeting can be done daily so be sure to check back.

RULES: Open to US/CAN Residents only. 1 winner will be chosen. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be drawn. Prize is valued at $300 USD. Winner may choose a $300 USD Amazon gift card in lieu of prize if desired. All entries will be verified. This giveaway is in no way associated with KitchenAid, Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Asparagus, Avocado, and Tomato Salad

Asparagus, Tomato and Avocado Salad in a creamy lemon vinaigrette! Healthy, quick and delicious!

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!

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!

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+
  • 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
  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!

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
  • 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
  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

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
  • 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)
  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

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

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

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 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
  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.