Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mexican Caesar Salad with Quesadilla "Croutons" and Cilantro-Lime dressing

If you want all the taste of Mexican food, but without that heavy feeling that sometimes comes with a great Mexican feast, then this salad will become one of your favorite salads EVER!
It is so full of flavor and light and healthy!

About once a year I decide to "get healthier". I try to create spins on my go to recipes that might just make it healthier.  I use real food ingredients and make a lot of swap outs.  In the end, I hope for a healthier alternative to some of my favorite dishes. 

I was making quesadillas as a side dish for my kids so it just wouldn't be a salad and I got the idea to make them into "croutons"! I crisped up the tortilla and melted the cheese and cut into little squares and sprinkled it over my salad. It was amazing!  A little crunch just like a crouton promises with cheesy goodness!

This salad is so fresh and so tasty that every single person in my house asked if I would make it again tomorrow!
I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did!

How to make Chicken:

  • boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 lime or lemon (juiced)
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. 

Season chicken with cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt and pepper. 
Drizzle with oil. 
Cook chicken on grill about 8 minutes per side. Depending how thick pieces are.
Squeeze lime or lemon juice over the chicken. 
Thinly slice.

Cilantro-Lime Caesar Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • a couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 jalapeno  (minced)
  • 1 lime (zested, juiced)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
Add all ingredients into Mason jar and shake. It's that easy! 
(If you don't have a Mason jar, then add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk.)

*To make quesadilla melt 1 teaspoon of butter and add tortilla, then top with cheese and cover with another tortilla.  Cook until golden brown and flip over and continue cooking until cheese melts and tortilla is golden brown.

Now putting it all together:

  •  romaine lettuce (thinly sliced into strips)
  • 1/4 cup cheese (cotija or pepperjack or colby)
  • 1 or 2 avocados depending on size (sliced or diced)
  • 1 cheesy quesadilla* to make "croutons" (cut into small squares)
  • 1/2 black beans (canned or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
Time to eat:
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and toss to combine. 
  • Add dressing to taste. 
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Recently a friend of mine treated me to lunch at Steak 'n Shake. After deciding what we would order for lunch, we started to look at all the milk shake flavors they had to offer. 

Sooooo many flavors and then....I couldn't believe my eyes---cookie butter!  Cookie butter was a milk shake flavor!  It was new! I was skeptical at first.  I thought what if they ruin it?? What if it has an artificial taste??  

Instead, I was going to order a tried and true flavor like mint chip or Oreo cookie. At the last minute I told myself to just try it and so I did!!  I can't even begin to explain what was happening in my mouth. It was definitely the best thing that has ever happened to it!  

Once I got home I told my whole family about it.  I was going to take them there to try it and I knew it would be the best thing that has ever happened to them!  It didn't occur to me to try and make it at first.   

Then I had a light bulb moment----I had vanilla frozen yogurt, cookie butter, cookies that make cookie butter and of course ice and milk...oh and I added vanilla extract to bump up the flavor.  I wasn't sure exactly what Steak 'n Shake did, but I was going to try and replicate it. 
I even told my husband it probably won't be as good, but it can't be bad.  IT WAS AMAZING!  LIKE PERFECT!  


  • 2 cups of milk (you can substitute with almond milk)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen vanilla yogurt (you can use ice cream, I happen to have frozen yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter*
  • 8 cookies
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Put all ingredients into a blender, and blend for approximately 30 seconds.  
It's that easy! 
Serve in a glass and enjoy! 

*I use to only buy Trader Joes brand cookie butter and for the first time I tried the original brand Lotus.  It is very yummy!  It even comes in crunchy!