Avocado Hummus, a perfect snack for any occasion.

Avocado Hummus – A Perfect Snow Day Snack

With the northeast getting hammered by another winter storm with snow and ice, many kids are home today and unless you made that mad dash to the grocery store for food last night, will have to get by with what you got in your home for food today. If you have a can of chick peas, an avocado and a few other ingredients, you will be able to make your own Avocado Hummus.

I will throw this out as a disclaimer for anyone that says you need Tahini for hummus to really be hummus. I don’t have Tahini and have to say that my homemade hummus tastes just as good as any other I have ever tried. That being said, here is the recipe for Avocado Hummus.

Avocado Hummus

Avocado Hummus, a perfect snack for any occasion.

Avocado Hummus, a perfect snack for any occasion.

Ingredients:

1 15.5oz. can Chick Peas, drained and rinses
1 Avocado
1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
3 Tbsp. Garlic Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 Lime

Instructions:

In your blender, add chick peas, avocado, sun dried tomatoes, black pepper, olive oil and garlic and begin to blend. If your mixture doesn’t have enough liquid, you may need to add more olive oil or a little water to make it blend easier. This is where I take the half life and squeeze the juice directly into the blender. You may also use a lemon if that is all you have.

You may also need to spoon some of the hummus from the bottom of the blender to the top to allow for all the ingredients to mix well. From start to finish, it shouldn’t take you longer than 5-10 minutes to go from separate ingredients to one bowl of hummus. Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of paprika across the top with pretzels and carrots and you will have a delicious and healthy snow day snack.

Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate

Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate – How Healthy is It?

Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate – How Healthy is It?

Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate This isn’t going to be the typical Men Cook Too article with a recipe and dinner ideas, but this is still a topic that many people should be more concerned about. While at a Super Bowl party, my friend Kristalyn told me I should include more things here about how to stay healthy while working at a desk all day. As someone who struggles with the same problem Monday through Friday, I understand. To start this series on being healthier while at work, I decided to take a look at what’s in your cup.
At the grocery store, we constantly buy various drinks that are supposedly healthy. It isn’t until we do a little research that we find these products aren’t as healthy as we thought. The first drink we will take a look at is the Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate 12 fl oz. can.

Starbucks Refreshers Raspberry Pomegranate

These drinks have become very popular since being introduced. One of the greatest aspects of this 12 fl oz. can of refreshing drink is that it will only cost you 60 calories. The drink is made by combining raspberry and pomegranate flavors with green coffee extract. So with only 60 calories, how healthy is this drink for you considering what ingredients are included?

Ingredients:

Carbonated Water
Fruit Juices from Concentrate (White Grape, Apple, Pomegranate, Red Raspberry)
Erythritol
Natural Flavors
Vegetable Juice (Color)
Green Coffee Bean Extract
Citric Acid
Absorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Rebaudioside-A (Stevia Leaf Extract)
Panax Ginseng Root Powder Extract
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Calcium D-Pantothenate (Vitamin B5)
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)

Analysis:

Some of the ingredients stand out as general inclusions in the drink-making process. However, there are a few ingredients that don’t sound familiar, so let’s look at whether these ingredients are harmful or safe to consume.
• Erythritol
This is a sugar alcohol that has been approved for use in the United States and much of the world as a food additive. You should be able to consume this without fear of any side effects, so this ingredient checks out.
Natural Flavors
A few weeks ago, an article was brought to my attention on Facebook about exactly what natural flavors are. The article said that natural flavors can come from anything from bugs to beaver butts. Not so appetizing if you ask me.
Absorbic Acid
This is an organic compound that has antioxidant properties, so immediately, my fear of this acid goes away and I keep sipping away at my can.
Rebaudioside-A
Rebaudioside-A is another ingredient that sounds a bit weird, but upon further examination, I’m not as worried. It is responsible for the sweetness of the stevia plant leaves. They are a natural sweetener, which will attract those that are diabetic.

I won’t bore you all with specifics on every ingredient, but after examining them all, I have decided that I will continue to drink these as an afternoon pick-me-up instead of buying an actual coffee from Starbucks.

Chorizo Cheese Dip

Chorizo Cheese Dip Recipe – Super Bowl Extravaganza Day 4

Chorizo Cheese Dip Recipe 

I don’t know the exact numbers regarding the percentage of parties on Super Bowl Sunday that have homemade dips, but I’m assuming the number would be in the 90 percent area. From guacamole and seven layer dips to ranch and onion dips, the possibilities are endless. While all of these dips have their positives, they aren’t the most original dishes and don’t provide as much flavor as others. For me, it isn’t a Super Bowl party unless I make this Chorizo Cheese Dip. This dip has so much added flavor that you will hope it was a never-ending bowl.

Chorizo Cheese Dip

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

2 Chorizo links (as pictured)
10 oz. Velveeta Cheese
1/2 cup medium Salsa, chunky
1/2 tsp. Pepper
2 Tbsp. Sour Cream
1/4 cup Red Pepper, diced

Instructions:
In a large frying pan, coat the pan with non-stick spray and cook the chorizo. Before I begin to cook the chorizo, I cut the links in half horizontally and then cut into thin strips. Cook chorizo for four minutes, flipping to cook the other side midway through. When chorizo is cooked, place on plate with paper towel to drain the fat and oil. Of course, if you can’t find small chorizo links like those pictured above, one full-sized link should suffice.

Cut your Velveeta into cubes and in same frying pan that you cooked the chorizo, add your salsa, peppers, pepper and Velveeta cheese. You’re going to want to stir this constantly until the cheese melts fully. Before it is done, add the sour cream and mix together. When all the cheese chunks are melted, let dip cook for about two more minutes and then serve in a large bowl with chips. I use Tostitos Scoops to make sure I get more of the chunky ingredients.

Some people would rather cut the chorizo into smaller pieces before cooking, but I like keeping them this size so you get that much extra flavor with each bite.

Chorizo Cheese Dip

Chorizo Cheese Dip

Spicy Dogs in a Blanket

Spicy Dogs in a Blanket Recipe – Super Bowl Extravaganza Day 3

Spicy Dogs in a Blanket

For day three of my Super Bowl Extravaganza of recipes, I decided to bring out something from Men Cook Too, my cookbook set to be released in the next two weeks. At many parties, Pigs in a Blanket are common finger foods that are passed around, but most men I know love a little spice with their food. That is why I came up with Spicy Dogs. Instead of using the traditional hot dogs, I changed it up by using sweet Italian Sausage soaked in hot sauce. What came out was a delicious variation of the traditional dish.

Servings: 6
Ingredients:
2 packages Croissant Rolls
14 small Sweet Sausage Links
3 Tbsp. Hot Sauce
1 oz. Red Wine

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

To start this dish, you will want to cut a slit on one side of each link and put in frying pan with hot sauce and wine. Cook the sausages thoroughly on each side. When sausages are cooked, set aside.

Begin preparing the croissants and roll sausage links in dough and place on baking sheet. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until dough begins to brown.

Spicy Dogs in a Blanket

As I mentioned, this recipe is from Men Cook Too, which can be pre-ordered by clicking the banner at the top right of this page, or by clicking here

Jalapeno and Bacon Stuffed Cheeseburger

Jalapeno and Bacon Stuffed Cheeseburger Recipe – Super Bowl Extravaganza Day 2

With out first Super Bowl recipe, we covered one of the most common Super Bowl day food choices with an unconventional pepperoni pizza, but tonight, we are spicing things up a bit, literally and figuratively. This recipe for Jalapeno and Bacon Stuffed Cheeseburger will give fans of the traditional burger a bit more spice than would usually be tasted

Servings: 4
Ingredients:

1 lb. Ground Beef (80/20)
5 slices Bacon
3 Tbsp. Jalapenos, diced
2 Tbsp. Onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Black Olives, diced
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1/4 cup Gouda, diced
2 Tbsp. Dried Parsley

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil on the bottom to catch all the oil and grease that will drain out of burger.

In a lightly oiled frying pan, cook bacon for three minutes on each side. Bacon won’t be completely cooked at this point, but that’s alright. While bacon is frying, in a large mixing bowl, add beef, jalapenos, onion, black olives, Gouda cheese and spices. Mix these ingredients together well. Once bacon is cooked on both sides, dice into small pieces and mix into bowl.

In a large frying pan, put enough oil to cover the four areas where these burgers will be. This recipe is for four large burgers, but you can easily turn these into sliders to last longer at your Super Bowl party. Grab a large handful of the mixture and press into a burger shape. Put burgers in pan and cook on each side for four minutes.

Put burgers on top of broiler pan and bake uncovered for 12 minutes. Depending on how well done your guests want their burgers cooked, they may need to cook longer, but for me, 12 minutes at 350 degrees leave the burger nice and juicy and the flavors jump out when you take a bite.

Serve this with potato chips, sweet pickles and whatever condiments you desire. You can also add more jalapenos to the recipe if you want more of a kick, but for those that don’t want their burgers too hot, 3 Tbsp. might be all you need.
Jalapeno and Bacon Stuffed Cheeseburger

Unconventional Pepperoni Pizza

Unconventional Pepperoni Pizza Recipe – Super Bowl Extravaganza Day 1

Unconventional Pepperoni Pizza

Most American men watching the Super Bowl each year stick with beer and pizza. It’s a perfect mix of food and drink that has lasted for decades and will continue to last for decades after we are off this earth. Some men enjoy meat lovers, some stick with plain pepperoni, while others spice it up with an everything pizza. When you have the right tools and a couple of minutes, instead of pulling a pizza out of the freezer or calling the closest delivery place, you can make your own for your guests.

What makes this pizza stand out above others is the fact that you get the taste of every ingredient with every bite. How many times have you ordered a pepperoni pizza and had a slice with a single piece of meat. That isn’t ideal and that is why I decided to slice up every ingredient and mix them all together. With that, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:

Bag of fresh Pizza Dough
Pepperoni, fresh or bagged, diced
½ Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
Dried Oregano
Black Olives, diced
½ tsp. Pepper
Small jar of Pizza Sauce (12 oz.)
Flour

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees. This may be high for some, but I do this, place pizza stone in oven and then once oven is at 500 degrees, drop temperature down to 450 degrees.

Unconventional Pepperoni Pizza

While oven is preheating, put flour down where you will be rolling out your dough. I use wax paper, but you can use a cutting board or even the countertop. Roll out your dough and once it is rolled out all the way (and still able to fit on your pizza stone), mix the pepperoni, garlic, onions and black olives in a bowl. Add pepper and teaspoon of oregano and mix again.

When oven pre-heats, apply flour or corn meal to pizza stone and quickly put dough in oven. Bake dough for 5 minutes. After five minutes is done, you will want to quickly apply ingredients to dough. I remove the entire pizza stone and cut holes into dough where it may have risen. Generously apply pizza sauce to dough. Take your bowl of mixed ingredients and apply to top of sauce. Add cheese and apply more oregano to top of cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes and then broil on low for additional 2 minutes.

This recipe may not seem like the most unique to some out there, but by combining all of these ingredients together before, you are getting a unique mixtures of taste that is experienced when you take your first bite.

Unconventional Pepperoni Pizza

You can easily adjust this recipe to include whatever meat and vegetables you desire. As long as you dice the ingredients and mix them together before applying to pizza, you will be getting a slice of pizza that provides every flavor in every bite, which is what this unconventional pepperoni pizza recipe is all about.

MencookTooBookCoverFinal2

Preparing for the Super Bowl Recipes + Cookbook Proof Ready

Hey everyone!

I’ve got a big announcement to make tonight on Men Cook Too. The first thing I want to say is I apologize for the lack of updates, posts and recipes, but I have been preparing for what will be a busy week for Men Cook Too next week. As You all know, the Super Bowl will be held on Feb. 2 and in the build up to that big day (and national holiday if you ask me), I will be posting five unique and amazing recipes that can easily be completed on Super Bowl Sunday. These aren’t your conventional chips and salsa recipes, but they will be easy to do and have great flavor.

Alright, the big announcement we have here on Men Cook Too tonight is that the first proof for the cookbook was shipped out to me this morning… This was the header of the message I had waiting for me when I woke up today.

Untitled

This is great news and means that we are this much closer to getting the cookbook in your kitchen, in your local bookstores and more. This has been such an exciting process and one that I am so glad to have been given the opportunity to complete (Thanks again to all my Kickstarter backers. I couldn’t have done this without your support). Also, to all my backers who check in to this website, those of you who weren’t getting physical copies of the book, but were still getting recipe cards, you should have gotten these in the mail. These were sent out last week and if they haven’t gotten to you yet, should be soon.

Back to the proof, I am fully anticipating the book needing some revisions done, but I will take care of that the first night I get it and will send it back to my publishing company. From there, it should be about another week for the proof and assuming everything was done, the book will be published and everyone will be getting their books soon.

Another thing I want to show all my loyal readers is what the book cover is going to look like. We are still going through the final steps in refining the cover to accommodate the 116 page full color cookbook, but this is close to what you will see in stores and online. My good friend Kristen, or Kristalyn, who is a terrific graphic designer helped with the cover and is very talented at what she does. If you know anyone looking for a new logo, design or any other work, click the cover below and reach out to Kristen to see what she can do for you.

MencookTooBookCoverFinal2

I also want to let my backers know that if any of you want extra copies of the book, wine glasses or corkscrews, you can make an order through the Men Cook Too store and I will ship everything to you with your reward. Initially, you will have to pay for shipping (the system I use doesn’t allow for customer changes in the cart), but once I get your email saying you were a backer, I will refund whatever was charged for shipping.

That’s all for now, but please check back next week when my Super Bowl recipe extravaganza begins!

Hobson

Turkey Burger

Healthy Alternative to the Classic Burger – Turkey Burger Recipe

For me, regardless of the meat used in a homemade burger, there needs to be more than just spices involved. I NEED vegetables to be included in my burgers. This is for many reasons, but the most important is simply the great added taste you are getting with your burger. When you buy fresh ground turkey, beef, chicken or pork, the taste is already far beyond the taste experienced with the frozen variety. Then add some onions, peppers, spinach and whatever other healthy items you want and you will create something with a taste that is far superior than anything else you have ever eaten. A recipe like the Turkey Burger I am including here is something that is common when I make a burger of any kind, so I hope you like it.

Turkey Vegetable Burgers
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:
1 lb. Ground Turkey
2 Tbsp. Onion, diced
1/4 cup Bell Pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. Spinach, diced
Dried Parsley
Dried Basil
Dried Thyme
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

Instructions:
In a large bowl, add turkey, onion, peppers and spinach and mix well. The amount of each vegetable added to the recipe can be changed according to what you like and would rather taste more. I prefer having an equal mix of all the vegetables in mine.

Next, add spices to the bowl. This is where your taste buds come into play the most. I use a lot of spices, but a good starting point would be about a tablespoon of parsley, basil and thyme. Add a pinch of salt and pepper (or to your liking) and mix well one last time.

Grab a handful of your mixture and roll into hand. Obviously the more meat you use, the bigger the burgers, but for this recipe, split mixture four ways and you will still get four nicely-sized burgers. Roll out burger in hand and place into a lightly oiled frying pan on medium heat. I drop a pinch of paprika on top of burgers when they first start to cook. After four minutes, flip and apply same amount of paprika to this side. After four minutes, flip again and put lid on pan. You are going to want to cook these until they have an internal temperature of 160 degrees. This number comes from the USDA.

If you want to keep this as healthy as possible, eat without a bun and enjoy it with a side of brown rice and mixed vegetables.
Turkey Burger

Turkey Burger

Quinoa Cakes Recipe

Kickstarter Update + Spinach, Feta and Quinoa Cakes Recipe + Giveaway

Update for Men Cook Too Kickstarter Backers

We are getting closer to the completion of the layout process of Men Cook Too. I’d say we are about two weeks away from the final proof being completed and there will likely be another week on top of that for edits. Once edits are made, it’ll be another week and then the book will be published. As soon as the book is published, it should be less than another week to get the first-run stock of books and I will send out rewards for all the pledges made through Kickstarter. I have been working on the thank you notes and have been slowly piecing together all the rewards for my backers. Those who are set to receive e-book copies will have to wait probably around another week to get their files for them to be transferred into the proper format.

I’m getting excited about the finish and hope everyone enjoys their book.

Spinach, Feta and Quinoa Cakes Recipe

Servings: 8 Cakes
Ingredients:
2 cups Water
1 cup Uncooked Quinoa
1 cup Spinach, chopped
1/3 cup Olives, diced
1/3 cup Feta Cheese
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 tsp dried Parsley

Instructions:
In medium-sized sauce pan, add water and quinoa. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. The quinoa should absorb most of the water in that time. While quinoa is cooking, mix spinach, feta cheese, olives, eggs and bread crumbs in large bowl. When quinoa is finished cooking, add to bowl and mix together with other ingredients. Add salt, pepper and parsley roll mixture into patties. I make them about the size of a hamburger, but you can adjust them to be smaller or larger depending on what you’re craving.

Quinoa Cakes Recipe

In a large frying pan, add oil and set heat to medium. Place patties on pan and cook for eight minutes or until brown. Flip and cook for additional eight minutes. Serve with a side spinach salad with olives and feta cheese, with a glass of red wine.

Quinoa Cakes Recipe

Giveaway

One quick note before I go. I partnered with Elyssa at The Wellness Doer to offer a giveaway to her readers. For those that have already pledged to receive a copy of Men Cook Too, this is your chance to get another copy to give as a gift. The contest is open to residents of the United States and offers those that have something to advertise online a chance to also win ad space on two websites. To enter, head over to The Wellness Doer by clicking the link banner below and following the instructions listed within that page. Also, while you’re there, you will have the chance to check out a recipe from Men Cook Too for Chicken Meatloaf. 

The Wellness Doer

Enjoy and have a great night!

Hobson

MenCookTooBookCover_Orginal2

Men Cook Too Giveaway

Hey everyone,

Sorry to have neglected you all a bit in the past couple of days, but they were a busy one in my house. Between starting and finishing a 9,000 word book on my favorite baseball team, rearranging my apartment and working on a guest post for The Wellness Doer, I haven’t been cooking anything. I promise you all though that by the end of Sunday, at least two new recipes will be posted here, so please continue to check back.

Now back to business. As I mentioned briefly above, I wrote a guest post at The Wellness Doer. Elyssa was kind enough to let me send a message to her audience and included in that post, was a recipe from Men Cook Too. For all of you that are looking to make a healthy chicken meatloaf dish before the cookbook is officially released, head on over Elyssa’s site. You can easily access that site by clicking the banner below.

The Wellness Doer

Another great thing I have joined together with Elyssa for was a giveaway. There are many different things you can do to earn entries for the giveaway which will run for one week. At the end of the week, two winners will randomly be selected. The first prize will be a free copy of Men Cook Too and three months of ad space here on MenCookToo.com and the second prize will be three months of ad space on TheWellnessDoer.com. These ad spaces are perfect for anyone looking to start their own blog and are hoping to get some extra traffic.

Well that is all for now. Time for me to go to my full-time job. Until next time (it’ll be soon), have a great day and head over to The Wellness Doer today for a chance to win Men Cook Too.

An avocado tuna fish sandwich is a filling and healthy snack for your kids after a long day of playing in the snow.

Avocado Tuna Fish Sandwich Recipe – Perfect Snow-day Snack

As much of the United States is left to recover from the damage caused by Winter Storm Hercules, there are a few things that are definite.

One. Shoveling the driveway.
Two. Cleaning off your cars.
Three. The kids are home from school and need food.

With the parking lots of local grocery stores crammed with cars in the days before the storm hit, I think most people were ready for all three of these issues. For all the guys out there that are unsure of what constitutes as a healthy and positive snack for their children, I’ve got all the answers you need here with this Avocado Tuna Fish Sandwich.

Servings: 2 Sandwiches
Ingredients:
1 4 oz. can Tuna Fish, drained
1 Avocado
1/8 cup Onion, diced
Salt
Pepper
Wheat Bread
Lime

Instructions:
Toast the bread for the sandwich as you would for a morning meal.

An avocado tuna fish sandwich is a filling and healthy snack for your kids after a long day of playing in the snow.

An avocado tuna fish sandwich is a filling and healthy snack for your kids after a long day of playing in the snow.

Cut the avocado in half, pop out the pit and scoop as much of the flesh out of the vegetable and put it in a bowl. Use a spoon to mash the avocado. Add the tuna fish and onion and mix together. Add salt and pepper to your liking and mix again. When your bowl is mixed well, take your lime, cut it in half and squeeze the lime juice over the mixture. Mix one last time and add mixture to your slice of bread and not only will your kids be getting a snack that is healthy, but one that will also be filling and enjoyable.

Sautéed Chicken Layered with Spinach, Peppers and Gouda Cheese

Sautéed Chicken Layered with Spinach, Peppers and Gouda Cheese – Recipe

Talk about starting off 2014 the right way, that is what I did tonight with our first dinner of the year. After a fun and exciting evening to bring in the new year the right way, my energy level was low and I needed to come up with a dish that would taste delicious, but not require a lot of work. That was my inspiration for this dish and especially considering the traditional chicken dishes have become boring, I decided to add spinach, peppers and Gouda cheese to this dish.

Sautéed Chicken Layered with Spinach, Peppers and Gouda Cheese

Servings: 2
Ingredients:
2 1-lb. pieces boneless Chicken Breast
½ Bell Pepper, diced
2 cups Spinach
Gouda Cheese, 2 thin slices per chicken breast or 1/2 cup shredded
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Parsley
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Lemon, cut into slices
All-Purpose Flour

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small frying pan, add olive oil, peppers, pepper and parsley and cook for 8 minutes on medium heat. Squeeze lemon juice into pan, leaving 1 slice of lemon for later on. Add spinach and leave on low heat until spinach wilts.

In a medium frying pan (preferably one that can be put into oven), coat with oil and turn heat to medium. Take chicken breasts and coat with all-purpose flour and place in pan. Cook on each side for five minutes. Scoop vegetable mix onto each chicken and apply slices of cheese to top. Bake for 7 minutes and serve with the starch of your choosing including potatoes, linguine, white rice or even cornbread.

Sautéed Chicken Layered with Spinach, Peppers and Gouda Cheese Sautéed Chicken Layered with Spinach, Peppers and Gouda Cheese