Monthly Archives: January 2014

Super Bowl 2014, otherwise know as the Snack Bowl!

I really have no desire to watch football, I don’t like it and never have. However, there is something to be said for the Super Bowl. Great commercials, a sometimes great half time show, parties, and game day food. The commercials, half time and food I enjoy. Honestly, mostly the food!

This year we are enjoying a quiet Super Bowl at home. That said, we still wanted to enjoy the game day food. So, on a smaller scale, I staggered our favorite snacks throughout the day. Just for the record, no, we do not eat like this every day!

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This beautiful creamy guacamole was the first dish of the day. Great for dipping just as is, or as a topping on nachos. As a bonus, it is also simple to prepare.

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Meanwhile, the pulled turkey for the barbecue pulled turkey nachos is simmering away nicely on the stove.

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Next up to tackle dairy free queso. My husband mentioned the velvetta queso which we can’t or won’t eat in our house. I decided to create my own dairy free version. It got my husband’s approval for being just like the queso he remembered. Also for use on the nachos, but will it make it that long?

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Of course it did not! We snacked on some with pretzel nuggets and blue corn chips as a starter.

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Next up, these gorgeous broccoli and dairy free cheddar tater skins.

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The Pulled Turkey Barbecue nachos were next, starring the pulled turkey and guacamole shown above.

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Last dish of the day! Sriracha wings fresh out of the oven!

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Served them with a honey coconut yogurt dipping sauce and garnished with scallions and sesame seeds. These were, I believe, my favorite dish of the day. I am a sucker for sriracha!

Some of these recipes will be in a blog to follow. It was too much to include them all today. I hope everyone enjoyed Super Bowl Sunday!

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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Penne in Buffalo Cream Sauce

Sometimes my brain works in mysterious ways, seriously mysterious. Maybe the name of the blog should be Melissa’s Mysterious Menu? What do you think? The other night I was craving some good meatballs and that craving for traditional meatballs somehow morphed into this dish. No rhyme or reason.

This dish has two components. The buffalo chicken meatballs and the buffalo cream sauce. I wanted it to be really reminiscent of eating buffalo wings but it a unique, healthier way.

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First, for the meatballs, grate three carrots, three celery stalks and three cloves of garlic into a mixing bowl.

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Into the mixing bowl, add one pound ground chicken, one large egg, one-half cup of panko bread crumbs, two ounces of dairy free cream cheese, a few dashes of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, and a pinch of salt. There are several substitutions you could make here. First, if you do not have ground chicken, ground turkey would work well also. Second, if you have a favorite hot sauce, feel free to substitute it. For me, Frank’s is the taste of wings. Third, feel free to substitute full dairy cream cheese or even blue cheese. Mix well until combined. Don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands, it is the best way to know when everything is mixed.

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Form into small-medium sized meatballs, I made eighteen. Keep them as close in size as possible for even cooking. I placed the meatballs in the refrigerator for a few hours to firm up prior to baking.

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Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and space meatballs out on tray. Place into 400* oven on the middle rack.

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Bake for twenty minutes, turning once or twice during cooking time. The meatballs will be nice and golden brown when done.

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Next for the buffalo cream sauce. Start with one cup of plain unsweetened almond milk.

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Once the almond milk is warm, add in four ounces of dairy free cream cheese. Watch carefully, stirring until melted. Again, feel free to substitute full dairy cream cheese or blue cheese.

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Once the almond milk and dairy free cream cheese are nicely combined, mix two tablespoons of corn starch with cold water and whisk in to help thicken the sauce. Simmer to cook out the starch. Season with salt.

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Time to add in the buffalo! Add six ounces of Frank’s Red Hot, or to taste. I went for a little kick. Simmer until well combined and the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

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Toss sauce with cooked penne pasta until the pasta is well coated. Any pasta you have in your pantry will do.

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Serve a generous portion of the pasta topped with a few meatballs, and a few extra dashes of Frank’s Red Hot too taste. Your mind will wonder if you are eating wings or pasta or maybe both! Another serving idea would be to make the meatballs and the sauce and serve in a crock pot, similar to serving swedish meatballs, only different!


Avocado Shrimp Rolls

Yesterday, my husband and I were talking to friends about a business trip he took to Texas. The conversation reminded me of a dish he ate at a local seafood restaurant during that trip; a beautiful spicy avocado shrimp cocktail. Then I thought of a delicious New England style shrimp roll we ate during a weekend getaway. From there, my brain married the two and this dish was born.

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The dish starts with two chopped avocados. In this instance you want avocados that are ripe, but still firm. No need to be precise. A rustic rough chop is perfect.

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To the avocados, add the zest and juice of two limes. My husband was already saying how good it smelled at this point!

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Next, rough chop two pounds of cooked shrimp which have been chilled.

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Add the shrimp, one-quarter cup of mayonnaise, salt, cilantro and a dash of your favorite hot sauce to the avocados. My mayonnaise of choice is Veganaise Grape Seed Oil, but use whatever you have on hand.

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Gently mix well to combine.

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To cut the richness of the avocado shrimp roll, I decided to serve a quick and easy slaw with it. I totally cheated and used a bag of slaw mix instead of hand slicing everything. Add one-quarter cup of mayonnaise, one-quarter cup of honey serrano vinegar, salt and celery seeds. You could also use plain old white vinegar or apple cider vinegar as well. Toss well to combine.

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Spoon the avocado shrimp mixture into your favorite roll. The slaw and some pickled jalapeños are the perfect accompaniment to the avocado shrimp roll because the tang cuts the richness.


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