Coconut Macadamia Muffins with Lime Glaze

Coconut Macadami Muffins with Lime Glaze 5I really struggle with getting Noah to eat breakfast but one thing I can always get him to inhale without complaint is muffins. The healthiest choice? No, but the majority of the time I will make a whole wheat version with very little sugar. But this muffin is so not that. It has chia seeds and wheat germ though so that makes them healthy right? Still no?

We really like tropical, citrusy treats around here so when I came upon this recipe I knew it would be a hit. I decided to add macadamia nuts for some texture and crunch as well as the chia seeds and wheat germ to feel a little better about eating them. I also made them into muffins, rather than a loaf because the portable factor makes life easier for me. Coconut Macadami Muffins with Lime Glaze 2
The zesty lime glaze puts these muffins over the top. It lends such a citrus punch and makes you think for a second you are on the beach. But then you remember you’re in Nebraska and summer is almost over. Womp womp. I definitely plan on lots of muffins during the school year since they can be made the night before and my kids are guaranteed to eat them. If you’re in the same boat as me, check out my recipe index for a huge selection of muffin recipes. Can you tell we’re big fans?
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I also plan on making some big batches of whole wheat waffles to freeze for more easy breakfast options. Any other great, easy breakfast ideas for me?

Coconut Macadamia Muffins with Lime Glaze
recipe adapted from Wonky Wonderful

1½ cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs 3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 Tbsp. chia seed
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
1/2 cup macadamia nuts

for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

2. Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs, coconut milk and vanilla while mixing. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.

3. Gently fold in flaked coconut, chia seeds, wheat germ and macadamia nuts.

4. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers or spray with non-stick spray.

5. Bake 16-20 minutes or until toothpick can be inserted and removed clean. Allow muffins to cool on rack.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Mix powdered sugar and lime juice together until smooth. Poke holes in the muffins and spread half the glaze onto the muffins.

7. Stir coconut and lime zest into the remaining glaze and spread onto muffins. It will be thick. Coconut Macadami Muffins with Lime Glaze 1

Lime Yogurt Pie with Strawberries for Pi Day

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This pie is totally doing double duty. Not only is it perfect for Pi Day tomorrow but it would be the perfect green dessert for St. Patrick’s Day too. Two holidays taken care of with a sweet, yet light treat. Super important now that we’re gearing up for spring and summer.
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I started to tell you all the story of how this pie came about on Wednesday. My main {little} man is always thinking up recipes we should make and this is the newest edition straight out of the mind of Noah. He named it Yogurt Scrunchful Pie. He makes up words on the daily and explained to me that scrunchful means it has to have some crunchy stuff in it. Alrighty then.
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I was planning on making this completely no-bake but the dude thought we should bake the crust so that it would be crunchy (don’t forget the scrunchful). Well, with the smooth filling it would be nice to have a bit more texture so we went with it. Seriously, does he understand that about the palate already or was he just born with it? Either way, he’s pretty awesome in my book. I almost used his name for the title of this post but worried you guys might think I went off the deep end.
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I thought about some yummy flavor combinations before we set off to the grocery store for our ingredients but they were all shot down for lime. Oh, the opinions of four year olds. He doesn’t get much control over meals (what do you mean we can’t eat pizza every night of the week?) so we went with his choice this time. And I did manage to talk him into some macerated strawberries on top “to make it fancy.”
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The filling consists of yogurt and Cool Whip, that’s it. We went with Greek yogurt and lite Cool Whip to keep it low on calories and sugar but still super refreshing and satisfying. The filling has such a light consistency, even after frozen. I foresee many of these pies in our future. Especially since it’s so easy and can be made ahead of time.
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I have literally thought of dozen of flavor combinations that we have to try this summer. Coconut yogurt with unsweetened coconut mixed into the crust. Vanilla yogurt and a few dollops of peanut butter with a chocolate cookie crust. Lemon yogurt with strawberries folded in. Mixed berries. I could go on and on.
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And don’t worry, I didn’t leave anyone out of this collaboration. I had my other little assistant at my feet during the photo shoot. And although she has a bad case of the flu, she was still pretty irritated that she didn’t get all.the.pie.right.now. That girl will let you know what’s up.
Lime Yogurt Pie 1
Lime Yogurt Pie

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the filling:
2 (5.3 oz.) containers lime Greek yogurt
1 (8 oz). lite Cool Whip

For the strawberries:
2 cups strawberries, washed and sliced
Zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1. For the crust: mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together. Press into a pie plate along the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

2. Gently fold yogurt into the Cool Whip. Spread evenly into the cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

3. Remove pie from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, mix strawberries, lime zest and sugar in a small bowl and leave at room temperature to macerate. When ready to serve, cut pie into wedges and top with strawberries.

 

Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette 1
This is officially my new favorite salad dressing and I’m pretty sure it will be my dressing of the summer. It’s incredibly vibrant and zingy….the perfect dressing to keep it light and bright for the upcoming swimsuit season.
Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette 1
My favorite way to serve this dressing is over a salad of romaine, chipotle chicken, grilled corn, black beans and diced avocado. What’s even better is that now that I’m addicted to cilantro lime rice and make it almost once a week, I always have the needed ingredients on hand for this vinaigrette. Which means I pretty much always have this dressing in my fridge. Try it, you won’t regret it!

Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2/3 c olive oil

Combine all ingredients and shake. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow the oil to come back to room temperature.

 

Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo

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So, I’ve been trying to write this post for about two hours but I’m just drawing a blank. Probably because the little miss has been waking up about every 10 minutes so I have to go in her room and pop her pacifier back in her mouth. You could guess that sleep has been a precious commodity around here lately. One that I’m not getting. Noah has been sleeping more than she has….there is something majorly wrong with that picture. Luckily, she’ll sleep for a few hours straight at night but naps have been non-existent.

No sleep = unhappy, grumpy mama. You know what does make me happy though? These pork chops. They have a warm smokiness due to the cumin and spices and a yummy zip from the citrus. It really is a perfect combination.
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Plus they are pretty quick and easy to make. If you don’t count the marinating time, I would say they only take about 15 minutes from start to finish. A perfect weeknight meal with some major Cuban flair.

Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo
recipe from Food Network

1 cup plus 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup  vinegar
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried  oregano
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine

1. In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup lime juice, and vinegar.  Add pork and let it sit and marinate for about 1 hour in refrigerator.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all dried spices. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and rub with the dry spice mixture.

3. Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and sear on 1 side until brown. Flip over and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the garlic and continue to cook until garlic begins to brown. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, and white wine. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and begins to thicken. The chops should be cooked through.

4. Remove the chops from pan and put on a warm plate. Continue to reduce juices in pan by half.  Pour over the chops and serve immediately.

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 3
This is officially my new favorite dinner. I could literally eat it every week. That’s saying something since I usually make a new recipe then don’t make it again for months because I keep trying new things to share with you guys. But this…
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 2
This happens a lot around here. It’s easy, healthy and fills you up!

I have to admit that I have never been a huge fan of cilantro but it has slowly been growing on me and this recipe is one of the reasons. I still don’t love a ton of it as I find it overpowering but a little really brightens up any dish it is in.
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 4
And just an FYI, this is really yummy with steak too! It’s like making your own rice bowls at home but way cheaper and healthier!

Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken

For the Cilantro Lime Rice:
recipe from Sarah’s Cucina Bella

1 cup uncooked rice (I used brown rice)
1 lime, zested
1/3 cup cilantro, finely minced

For the Seasoned Black Beans:
recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or use cooked dried beans)
2 teaspoons oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 chicken breasts
4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Rub
1 Tbsp. olive oil

salsa/pico for garnish

1. Cook rice according to package directions. Preheat grill to medium high heat.

2. Meanwhile, in a pan cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add oregano and cumin, cooking over low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add black beans and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, to allow flavors to blend. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp. lime juice right before serving.

3. While beans are cooking, rub chicken with olive oil and Mexican spice rub. Grill until juices run clear. Once rice has cooked, stir in lime zest and 1/3 cup cilantro.

4. To serve, spoon rice on plate then top with seasoned black beans. Top with a few slices of chicken and enjoy!
Cilantro Lime Rice and Seasoned Black Beans with Chicken 1

Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

Asian Chicken Salad 4
I have been wanting to make an Asian Chicken Salad for quite some time now and I keep seeing them pop up everywhere around the blogosphere. My absolute favorite version is from Granite City and it was my mission to recreate it and share it with you all.
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Please don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list…a lot of the ingredients are the same throughout the different elements and the dressings and marinade can be mixed up ahead of time.
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Although this wasn’t exactly like the restaurant version, it was still quite a light and delicious dinner on a hot night. I have to say the dressings are what made it for me. That sweet chili lime vinaigrette is sweet, a little spicy and has just the right amount of sesame. I could probably eat it with a spoon. The light drizzle of the peanut dressing gives a nutty depth that puts the salad over the edge for me. And I just can’t eat a salad without some kind of crunch on top so the wonton strips were a perfect addition.

Joel wasn’t a huge fan so it probably won’t be hitting the dinner table too often but it will be on frequent rotations for my weekday lunches.
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Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

For the Pineapple Chicken Marinade:
1 lime, zested and juiced
6 oz. can pineapple juice, or 1 cup
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts

For the Salad:
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
2-3 carrots, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, small dice (I didn’t use but thought it would be a good addition)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Green onion, to taste
Wonton Strips

For the Chili Lime Dressing:
recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum
1/2 cup sweet chili garlic sauce
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons lime juice

For the Peanut Dressing:
recipe adapted from myrecipes.com
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. dry-roasted peanuts

1. For the chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients together in a ziplock bag and mix around to combine. Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness and marinate for 1-4 hours.

2. While the chicken is marinating, mix up the dressings. For the chili lime vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a mason jar, seal tightly and shake until well combined. Refrigerate. For the peanut dressing: Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add in peanut and blend for 10 seconds more. Place in bowl or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat and cook chicken until juices run clear. Meanwhile, put the salad together. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, cilantro and green onion. Mix to combine ingredients. Once chicken has been grilled, slice into bite size chunks and place on top of salad. Scatter with wonton strips and drizzle with a good amount of chili lime vinaigrette and a bit of the peanut dressing. Enjoy!
Asian Chicken Salad 1

Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken

Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken 2
Sometimes there are days, even as a food blogger, that I just don’t want to cook. Days when I really just want to throw a stupid frozen pizza in the oven and call it good (if only I kept them in the house…). And I used to do that and still occasionally do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But I try my hardest to provide home cooked meals every night to my family. Yep, the only time we go out to eat is for lunch on Sundays after church. So you can understand how cooking could get old every once and awhile.

This recipe is for those nights when you have no motivation but need to get something easy and healthy on the table. The chicken in marinated in a combination of Greek yogurt, lime juice and zest, black pepper, cumin and a few other pantry staples for a quick weeknight dinner. It can soak up the goodness for as little as a half hour or you could put it together the night before. Then all you have to do is throw it on the grill. I kept with the lazy theme here and served it alongside some of those frozen broccoli and cauliflower in the steamer bags from the freezer section. They aren’t quite as delicious as fresh but they are super easy and just as good for you.
Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken 2
So, keep this one in mind when the “I don’t feel like cooking” mood strikes. It’s healthy, flavorful (the cumin and lime really shine through) and really simple.

Yogurt Lime Black Pepper Chicken
recipe adapted from Food.com

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
zest of one lime
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Combine all ingredients, except the chicken, in a medium mixing bowl. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over. Let out any excess air and seal the bag. Marinate for 30 minutes or up to overnight. Grill over medium-high heat (about 6 minutes per side at 400 degrees F) or until juices run clear.

*You could use this marinade for any kind of poultry or meat so don’t feel limited to just chicken