Category Archives: Easy

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.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

One year ago today, you could have found me on the sandy shores of Jamaica. It was warm, it was sunny, and it was my wedding day.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

We made the decision to have a destination wedding pretty quickly after we got engaged. We are both really practical people. So, it was hard for us to imagine spending a ton of money on a wedding when we knew there were real, more practical, bigger expenses we were saving for. And it was even harder to imagine asking our parents to pay for a big wedding neither one of us really wanted. So, we opted for Jamaica instead.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing! So delicious and gluten free! www.maebells.com

After the trip was booked I had a little twinge of regret. We wouldn’t have all of our friends there to watch us get married. I wouldn’t have bridesmaids. People we loved wouldn’t be there. I really wondered if I had made a mistake.

In the end, we had ten wonderful, fantastic guests at our wedding. My brother and my Dad walked me down the aisle, Mr. Maebell and I said our own vows, and Gimme Three Steps could be heard from a mile away as we walked out. There was an awful lot of love on that little beach.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

As I sit here today, and think back, I absolutely couldn’t have asked for it to happen any other way. I know we live in this world that makes you believe that a wedding is a once in a life time event, so you should spend big. While I do think it deserves celebrating, the good stuff, the really really good stuff comes after the wedding. The actual marriage is what you should put your effort and energy into planning, not just the party.

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing

Since we got married in another country bringing the top of the cake back was totally unrealistic. So, today we are celebrating our anniversary with these wonderful Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Icing. Hey, I know it may not be the most traditional way to celebrate your anniversary but neither was our wedding!

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing, gluten free and SO GOOD! www.maebells.comCarrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing, totally gluten free! www.maebells.comCarrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing, gluten free and SO GOOD! www.maebells.com

Happy Thursday!

Carrot Cake Bars with Vanilla Cream Cheese Icing
Recipe type: Dessert, Sweets, Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8+
 
Ingredients
  • For the Carrot Cake Bars
  • 1½ cup Gluten Free Bisquick
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats, I used gluten free
  • 1 package dry vanilla pudding mix (5 ounces)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrot, packed
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, 8 ounces and undrained
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 1¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • For the Cream Cheese Icing
  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of milk (if needed to thin, this is up to your personal preference)
  • For the Topping
  • ⅛ cup shredded coconut, toasted*
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the ingredients in the following order:
  3. Mix flour, oats, baking powder, salt, vanilla pudding mix, sugar, and cinnamon, combine well.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, carrots, undrained can of pineapple, oil, buttermilk, and eggs.
  5. Fold in the pecans.
  6. Pour into greased 12x8 pan, bake 35-40 minutes.
  7. Remove bars from oven when a tooth pick comes out clean.
  8. Turn bars out onto a cooling rack.
  9. For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  10. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk (if you are using) until smooth and creamy.
  11. Frost bars with cream cheese icing when completely cool.
  12. Top the bars with the toasted coconut and the pecans
  13. *To toast the coconut place coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. Turn the broiler on medium and place coconut directly under the broiler. Watch carefully and remove when golden.

 

 

 

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

Using your Slow Cooker makes this White Bean Chicken Chili Verde a cinch! Just toss in your ingredients, and let it simmer all day! Come home to a warm, filling bowl of soup!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker www.maebells.com

Yesterday was cold, windy, and rainy.
I couldn’t have been happier!
I know that might sound strange, but I have been longing for some nice cool weather and the big thunderstorm we had was so calming. It made me just want to curl up on the couch with a big bowl of warm soup!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker www.maebells.com

So even though I did have to go to work, I absolutely did make that big warm bowl of soup! I opted for a White Bean Chicken Chili made extra special with salsa verde and lime juice.

This will definitely become one of our favorite soups this fall. It was super filling, extra tasty and required hardly any effort at all! Since this is a slow cooker recipe you just toss in your ingredients and go!

Here is how we make it!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde
Throw in some chopped onion, jalapenos, and garlic in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

Top it with some chicken breast and some seasonings.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

Then throw in the salsa verde and the green chilis.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde

You’re almost done! Add the white beans and the chicken broth. Stick a lid on that baby and let it simmer all day!

When I came home I pulled the chicken out of the crock pot and shredded it with a fork. Really, I kind of just poked at it a because it is so tender it just falls apart. Then I added the chicken back into the slow cooker, squeezed a whole lime over the top and a sprinkle of seasoned salt. I let it simmer another 30 minutes or so.

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker www.maebells.com

That is it! Serve this soup with tortilla chips and all your favorite Mexican fixings or with a side of cornbread! You will love how simple and satisfying this is!

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde  #glutenfree #slowcooker www.maebells.com

Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili Verde
Recipe type: Main DIsh, Slow Cooker, Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Using your Slow Cooker makes this White Bean Chicken Chili Verde a cinch! Just toss in your ingredients, and let it simmer all day! Come home to a warm, filling bowl of soup!
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, fat removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 cans green chilis
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 32 ounce container of chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1½ teaspoons season salt, garlic salt or salt based cajun seasoning
Instructions
  1. Place the chopped onion, diced and seeded jalapeno peppers, and minced garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Top with Chicken breast and spices
  3. Add undrained cans of green chills and salsa verde
  4. Add the cans of drained and rinsed white beans and chicken broth.
  5. Let mixture simmer on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  6. Before you serve, remove the chicken breast and shred, add the shredded chicken back to the crock pot.
  7. Squeeze lime juice into the soup and sprinkle season salt, stir, and let simmer an additional 20-30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.