Summer is in full swing and that means beach days and hanging by the pool. Well…maybe for you, but this grad student isn’t going to see the beach for awhile. But I can dream right?
And nothing helps me dream about sand in my toes more right now than this Tropical Popcorn Crunch. The flavors of pineapple and coconut make me close my eyes and picture Gulf waves and warm breezes. It’s almost like having a Pina Colada in my hand…almost.
Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. It’s light, but satisfying. Crunchy and flavorful. One of the brands I always reach for? SkinnyPop. Their popcorn comes in a few simple, yet flavorful flavors, including Sea Salt and Pepper, Jalapeno, White Cheddar and Naturally Sweet. It’s ready for snacking right out of the bag. I love it for afternoon snacking or night time movie watching.
And it’s great to get creative with! This Tropical Popcorn Crunch is a cinch to put together, making it easy to throw in your beach bag or to whip up before an impromptu get together. I used SkinnyPop’s Sea Salt and Pepper flavor because it’s one of my go-to’s, but really any flavor would go great with this mix.
Now, don’t let me hold you back from your beach day planning. Just promise you’ll pack this snack and let me know how the salt air felt against your face.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated by SkinnyPop for this post or given free product. I agreed to share a Summer recipe using SkinnyPop simply because I love it!
Tropical Popcorn Crunch
A quick and easy snack that will have you dreaming of the islands.
- 1 bag SkinnyPop popcorn
- 1 cup diced dried pineapple
- 1 cup chopped raw cashews
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Mix ingredients together. Feel free to add more of anything you desire. Enjoy!
A Full Plate http://afullplateblog.com/
Cauliflower and I weren’t always good friends.
Looking back, I was too judgmental of cauliflower. I didn’t like the way cauliflower “looked” or smelled. I would see it and audibly turn my nose up at it.
Then one day I finally caved. A friend and I were out to eat and the trendy Buffalo Cauliflower was on the menu. She said we just had to order it. I wasn’t so sure, but I also will eat just about anything covered in buffalo sauce. So I gave it a whirl. And wouldn’t you know it…it was delicious!
From there I took baby steps to fully liking cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower, cauliflower rice and finally good ol’ plain roasted cauliflower. It’s safe to say cauliflower and I are buds now. Sorry it took me so long to come around, dear cauliflower.
So now that me and cauliflower are tight, when I saw recipes for Cauliflower Alfredo popping up I was all, “Oh, I have to jump on this train!” And you guys…this is definitely a train you want to be riding.
One of my favorite guilty pleasure dishes is pasta with grilled chicken, pancetta and peas. All covered in wonderful, creamy alfredo sauce. So when making Cauliflower Alfredo, I only thought it appropriate to pair it with a healthier version of this pasta dish. Hi quinoa!
Quinoa and Cauliflower Alfredo give this dish a deliciously healthy makeover, but it does NOT skimp on flavor. This alfredo sauce is just as creamy and cheesy tasting as it’s not-so-artery-friendly cousin.
Are there any vegetables that you used to hate, but now you love?
Chicken "Alfredo" With Quinoa, Pancetta & Peas
Creamy cauliflower alfredo sauce and quinoa creates a healthier version of the original pasta based dish.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup pancetta, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 head cauliflower
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 large yellow onion
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Prep ingredients. Cut end off of cauliflower and cut into florets. Remove skin from onion and slice thin. Remove skins from garlic cloves, leave whole. Dice pancetta.
- Add quinoa to small saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Set aside and keep covered until ready for use.
- While quinoa cooks make sauce. Add cauliflower to small saucepan and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain pot and set cauliflower aside.
- Heat oil in pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion. Saute until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- To blender, add cauliflower, garlic, onions, milk and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Wipe pan used for garlic and onion. Heat oil on medium high heat. Add pancetta and peas and cook until pancetta is fully cooked, about 8 minutes. Put in a bowl and set aside.
- Wipe pan clean and heat oil on medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and add to pan. Cook 6-8 minutes per side or until center reaches 165 degrees. Move chicken to cutting board.
- Add quinoa to pan along with pancetta and peas. Mix until incorporated. Add 2 cups of sauce and mix until combined. Add more sauce if desired.
- Slice chicken into 1/2 inch slices. Spoon quinoa mixture into a bowl and top with chicken.
- The quinoa will absorb the sauce quickly. If you have leftovers I suggest adding a bit more sauce before heating up!
A Full Plate http://afullplateblog.com/
When I saw that we had leftover green peppers in the fridge one dish came instantly to mind: Stuffed Peppers.
After searching Pinterest for recipe ideas I came across one for Stuffed Pepper Casserole…mmm, sounds good! Any time I have stuffed peppers I end up cutting everything up and mixing it together anyway, so why not just take the casserole route? I decided to put a healthy spin on it and swapped out ground beef for ground turkey, as well as white rice for brown rice.
This is an easy dish to make during the week for a quick dinner. And leftovers make an easy lunch during the week too!
Start by cooking the turkey over medium high heat. Once fully cooked set aside. Add diced peppers and onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes or so. Add corn, tomato sauce (Hunts is my preferred brand), diced tomatoes, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Feel free to add any other spices that might kick the flavor up a notch. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
Mmm…I was tempted to eat it just like this!
Add rice (I like to use Seeds of Change instant rice) and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a 9×13 pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until cheese is ooey and gooey.
If you love stuffed peppers this is a great twist on the original…and healthier too! Enjoy!