Light Guacamole Recipe

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Avocados are life. Can I get an amen? Seriously, I could contentedly eat avocados every day, because there are so many ways to do it. And they are so good for you! But perhaps you are looking to hold back and keep to the lighter side of your eating life. If you’re looking for immediate gratification, I suggest the Trader Joe’s Reduced Fat guacamole. But if you’re like me and like to try to make food at home, try out this light guacamole recipe.

Ingredients for Light Guacamole

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 tomato, peeled and chopped

How to Make Light Guacamole

  1. Add onion, salt, lime juice, cottage cheese, garlic, and avocado to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and gently stir in the chopped tomato.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap allowing the plastic to actually touch the entire surface of the guacamole.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve.

This makes for a nice, creamy light guacamole that is perfect for dipping. Some people may prefer to use dried onion flakes instead of fresh onion. Those who like a bit more heat may want to throw in a pinch of cayenne pepper.

If you prefer your guacamole to be a little chunkier, you could choose to instead mash everything together with a fork prior to stirring in the vegetables. I’ve included photos of a few items from Amazon that you might find useful. Click on a picture to get more information about it. (affiliate links)

Keep this a low-fat snack by serving it with low-fat tortilla chips, carrot sticks or celery. Chicken and turkey sandwiches and even a burger or veggie burger are also calling for some light guacamole on top!

Chicken and Waffles with Maple and Sriracha for Brunch

The first time one of the local barbecue restaurants advertised having chicken and waffles on the menu, I felt my stomach lurch and shuddered. That just sounded gross. When I was in Chicago for a Pearl Jam weekend, we did stop at one place for breakfast that had them featured on the menu. Honestly, I can’t remember if I tried them or not. So they must have been quite uneventful.

Then the bar and grill by my house decided to try them on the menu one night. Being a regular, I had the honor of being the first to sample them. My huge stack arrived with a lot of creamy maple sauce, a few dots of sriracha, and maple syrup to pour over them. I was impressed at how tasty they were and even suggested a bit more heat to give it flavor. (I am not one for a lot of heat in my food.)

A couple of tweaks were made over time and the chicken and waffles quickly became the hot seller on their new brunch menu. Popularity increased so much that they are now a staple on the regular menu, as well. And seriously, they are so worth it!

Chicken and Waffles at Home


Want to make these at home? I can’t divulge all of the secrets behind this luscious plate of brunch goodness, but I can share a few tips with you from the creator.

Use chicken thighs. Part of this rationale in a restaurant is being able to save a little bit of money and thus save the customer a bit of money. But who doesn’t want to save money at home, as well? Thighs are a little darker than breast meat, but substitute well. They’re still good for you, much more flavorful, and cook faster.

Use panko bread crumbs. Traditional bread crumbs are great, but there’s something about the flavor of the panko bread crumbs and the fact that they seem to make for a crispier chicken. They also work whether you are frying or baking the chicken.

Balance the savory and sweet. Experiment to find the balance that best suits your personal palate. Like I said earlier, I am not one who really enjoys a lot of heat, so I like a little bit less sriracha sauce than others. Some people like a lot of heat and would prefer that over the sweeter sauce, though that sweet sauce does have a little kick to it. (And no, I cannot divulge the secret ingredient of that particular sauce, but I am sure you can find something that you would like!) Also remember that you are likely to serve this with maple syrup to drizzle on top.

Layer the goodness. Use thicker waffles to provide more support and to be less likely to get soggy. Put one waffle on the bottom with a bit of your sweet sauce. Add a chicken thigh on top with your sriracha. Make one more layer on top. You want that sweet and savory to mix all the way through for sheer gustatory delight.

So have you ever tried chicken and waffles? How were they made? What is your favorite way of eating them?

Hot Dog Stuffed Pitas

Who says your hot dogs have to be done traditionally?  Sometimes it is fun to mix it up a little bit and try something new. A great way to do this are these hot dog stuffed pitas that you can still make on your grill. They’re a perfect addition to any party that you may have.

Ingredients for Hot Dog Stuffed Pitas

  • 1/2 lb hot dogs, cubed
  • 1/2 lb sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (2 oz) jar stuffed green olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced onions
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 pita rounds
  • heavy duty foil

How to Make Hot Dog Stuffed Pitas

  1. Chop hot dogs into small pieces and put in a bowl.
  2. Add the cheese, olives, onions, chili sauce, mustard, eggs, and mayonnaise to the hot dogs, and mix together until well combined.
  3. Cut pita rounds in half and fill.
  4. Take heavy duty foil and tightly wrap each pita packet separately.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
  6. Set grill to hot, and place foil-wrapped pita pockets on grill, cooking for to 10 minutes, flipping once.
  7. Remove pitas from foil and continue grilling until crisp, about 10 minutes more. Flip if you can, but be careful to keep filling inside.
  8. Serve with cold dipping sauces if desired.

I think a great alternative to stuffing and grilling the pitas would be to first cook the hot dogs and then mix up all of the filling. And then I would use it as a sort of thick dip for pieces of pita, pita chips, or possibly even tortillas. Or I could even eat it as a sort of salad on the side with some other tasty picnic treats.

I am also the kind of person who can take or leave the olives. I know a lot of people like them, so they would be disappointed without them in there.

If you’re looking for a slightly more traditional hot dog, you could make the filling without the chopped hot dogs and then top them with the filling after they are grilled. Serve them up in traditional buns or even in the pita pockets that way.

How would you like to eat your hot dog stuffed pitas?

Ballpark Hot Dogs With Grilled Peppers and Onions

Nothing says summer like grilling ballpark hot dogs with peppers and onions. I don’t care what time of year it is. It’s like a bite of sunshine in your mouth and makes you dream of relaxing days under a blue sky. And the best thing is, you can bust out the grill at any time of year to make them.

Plus they are so easy to make. Your biggest concern is whether or not you want to use traditional hot dogs or if you want to use hot or sweet Italian sausages. And then are you going to cook them whole, or do that thing where you slice them in half? Apparently here in Rochester, it’s a thing to cut them in half. I will never understand this, but when in Rome…

So here is a quick and easy classic way to make your ballpark hot dogs or sausages.

Ingredients for Ballpark Hot Dogs

  • 3 green bell peppers, cleaned and cut into strips
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 package (14 ounce size) hot dogs, smoked hot or sweet Italian sausages, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 hero rolls, sliced open
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Making Ballpark Hot Dogs

  1. Heat grill to medium-hot.
  2. Toss peppers and onions with oil in a bowl, then put in grilling basket or tray.
  3. Cook basket with peppers and onions on grill and sausages directly on grates.
  4. Cook peppers and onions until just starting to char, about 3 or 4 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for 3 or 4 minutes or until soft and nicely charred.
  5. Cook hot dogs sausages about 3 or 4 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for about the same time or until they get nice and hot and have good grill marks. If you leave them whole, it may take a little bit longer.
  6. Put open side of rolls down on grill during the last minute of cooking to toast.
  7. Remove everything from grill.
  8. Toss peppers and onions and hot dogs or sausages with vinegar and mozzarella cheese in a large bowl.
  9. Use tongs to serve 2 sausage halves and a generous amount of peppers and onions on a toasted bun.
  10. Add a bit of mustard if desired.

I admit that I would probably pick out more of the onions on mine. And then trying to decide which mustard to use would totally depend on your taste. I have a serious thing for horseradish mustard, but dijon could also work.

How do you like your ballpark hot dogs?

Taste Testing: Ore Ida Extra Crispy Crinkles

On the couple of days a week that I work out of the house all day, I often stop at the grocery store on my lunch break, in search of something new to try to eat. You never know what you may stumble upon or what may catch your eye. Today I saw Ore Ida Extra Crispy Crinkles, which are fries that you can make in the microwave. For $1.50ish, I figured why not?

I flashed back to my childhood. Fries were always highly coveted. My mother would occasionally pick up fast food for us and inevitably eat half of the fries before she got home. We always begged her to just get her own, but she always insisted that she didn’t want any. It made me crazy! But we tried not to make too much of a big deal out of it, because having fast food was actually a treat. If we complained too much, we wouldn’t be able to have it at all.

Sometimes she would even buy us fries that we could make at home. But the kind that you made in the oven were never quite crispy enough. And forget about the Ore Ida fries that you could buy for the microwave. Yes, we got them, because we just needed to fill that craving on occasion. And no matter what you did, they always came out horribly soggy. So I momentarily hesitated. But surely after 20+ years, they would have figured out how to make this work now, right?

Cooking Ore Ida Extra Crispy Crinkles

Behold the double-sided heating element thingie, or whatever you want to call it. The crispers are on both the top and the bottom of the box.

The instructions insist that you must make sure that you shove that top part down into the box, so that both sides of the crisper are touching the fries. That’s the only way to guarantee that they crisp up nicely. So okay, here’s my proof that I did it.

You cook them for four minutes and then let them sit for another minute to keep on crisping. I did just as instructed. I pulled them out, expectations high. And then I saw this. They looked wet. Soggy. Flashbacks to my childhood. And I felt sad.

Taste Testing Ore Ida Extra Crispy Crinkles

I took them into the office to try. And yes, they were sad, limp, soggy fries. They even tasted the same as when I was a kid, which isn’t saying much. I had no ketchup for dipping – and believe me, they needed it – but I still had a couple of extra Horsey sauces laying around from an Arby’s run my boss made a few weeks ago.

Horsey sauce on fries is something I’d never before tried, but I do recommend it. They certainly helped out these fries, so I am sure they would be fabulous on fries I actually thought tasted good.

So yes, Ore Ida Extra Crispy Crinkles still are not much better than they were approximately 20 or so years ago. Honestly, if these are supposed to be the extra crispy ones, I am scared of what regular ones would be like. Now, I do know that there is another version that they dub extra crispy. Perhaps something in the crinkles caused a problem. Maybe I actually did something wrong in the cooking process, though I did read the instructions carefully. Maybe I will try again one of these days. Stay tuned.