6 Ingredient Easy Chunky Guacamole

Easy Chunky Guacamole

6 Ingredient Easy Chunky Guacamole is everything it’s chalked up to be. It has 6 ingredients, is easy to make, is chunky and delicious, and is also guacamole. I’ve been making variations of this recipe for awhile but I haven’t put down on paper until now. To be honest, avocados are great on there own, but this recipe takes them to the next level. Each of the 6 ingredients brings something unique to the table (or bowl):

1. Avocado

Obviously, avocado is the star of the show. The avocado is what Kobe was to the Lakers, what Justin Timberlake was to N’Snyc, what Nick Sparks is to romance novels. I think there was a reference there for everyone, you get the picture.

Getting to the punchline, the avocado brings the creamy flavor and consistency to the guacamole.

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Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad

Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich

For the past two years, I have been taking a turkey sandwich to work for lunch nearly every day. It just never got old for some reason and was quick, easy, affordable and relatively healthy. We had a good thing going, me and those turkey sandwiches.

Well, the other day, my relationship with turkey sandwiches came to a grinding halt. I was sitting (like all office workers do too much) eating lunch and had a sudden realization – I was officially sick of turkey sandwiches. It took two years, but I finally broke.

I needed to act fast because buying lunch in downtown Chicago is not an option for me. At the very least, it’s a rare treat. They’re thieves down there I tell you, there is no way to eat lunch for less than $9!

I decided to take baby steps and not steer too far from what I know and once loved, and opted for a simple solution, a better sandwich. I opted for this Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad between two slices of bread.
Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad SandwichAny hesitation I had regarding switching away from my bread and butter sandwich was washed away as soon as I tasted this glorious sandwich. The chicken was moist from the slower cooker, the avocado was creamy and the red onion brought a fresh and spicy bite to tie everything together.

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Irish Coffee with Coconut Whipped Cream

Irish Coffee with Coconut Whipped Cream

I was awoken last Saturday by construction workers at 8:00 AM. I’m a morning person, but even for me 8:00 AM on a Saturday was rough. Frustrated, and with nothing else to do, I headed out to the grocery store to pick up what I needed to make something for Economical Chef. St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, so an Irish Coffee seemed right. This isn’t your every day Potato-eating Guinness-drinking Irish Coffee though, it’s Irish Coffee with Coconut Whipped Cream.

Yes, coconut whipped cream. It’s actually surprisingly easy to make. I used canned coconut cream, but I heard full fat coconut milk will work too if you can’t find it. Besides boasting a unique and tropical taste, according to the world wide web, coconut cream has a handful of benefits, most coming from its “healthy fats”:

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Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

The search for a better lunch continues, and this time I whipped up a vegetarian option: Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing. If you have read the past couple articles I’ve posted, then you know how sick of lunch meat sandwiches I have gotten. If not, catch up with all the latest gossip here (bonus is you get to see my Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe).

I have been a quinoa fan for as long as I have been able to pronounce the word correctly. So about 3 years. Those who eat it know that while it is extremely healthy, it can be a little bland. I had also been hearing great things about Tahini, which I found out 6 days ago is just ground sesame seeds. Who knew? It has a great nutty taste (some say it’s bitter too, but I honestly didn’t pick up on that) and combining quinoa and tahini (along with a handful of other ingredients) made for a fresh and healthy lunch. I actually added some Simple Soy Sauce Basil Chicken to my lunches this past week to pack in a little more protein.

Oh yea, and the chickpeas, I almost forgot. Chickpeas are great in salads and ground up as a dip (aka, hummus), and they also go great in this “salad” and add some welcomed texture and protein.

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Rosemary Dijon Pork Loin

Rosemary Dijon Pork Loin Main

My wife hates the smell of bacon. It’s kind of weird. She also hates the smell of coffee in the morning, so not really sure we can trust her. Needless to say, she was not a fan of when I made this delicious rosemary Dijon pork loin last Sunday afternoon. Its tasty, herby aroma filled the apartment. Or in her words, “it smelt like death.”

After opening up all the windows and airing the place out, I was able to slice this pork and chow down. It was the perfect Sunday late lunch, but it also heated up well all week for lunches and dinners.

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Coconut benefits – Just a Fad or Here to Stay?

Coconut benefits – Just a Fad or Here to Stay?

There are a lot of food trends generating buzz these days – kale, juice cleanses, sirahca –  but one in particular has caught the attention of the Economical Chef: Coconut benefits – just a fad or here to stay? Lets dive in. The coconut first entered the spotlight in the form of coconut water in the early 2000s. Through this day, Vita Coco and Zico have sold coconut water by touting its health benefits and parading the athletes and  celebrities that use the product. i.e. this frickin’ guy:

Although, it was not until around 2012 that coconut benefits of water really started to gain traction. And more recently, other forms of coconut are getting increasingly popular.

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Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites

As you read in my Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken article, I recently gave up eating deli meat sandwiches for lunch. It just became too much to handle – eating a cold sandwich every day. Don’t get me wrong, I loved them for 2+ years and will probably eat them again, but in the meantime, I need to switch it up. I’m opting for hot lunches for the first time since elementary school. Except this time hot lunch doesn’t mean pizza and corn dogs, this time it means Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites. They’re spicy, savory, easy to make and heat up beautifully so you can bring them to work every day for lunch. They go great in a wrap, with some brown rice and vegetables or on top of a salad. The best part is that a complete lunch featuring these Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites will run you less than $3.

That’s fast food cheap.

Making this recipe is extremely easy too, and takes less than 30 minutes. I had some help along the way from some useful kitchen tools; my Le Creuset and wooden turner:

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Blanched Swiss Chard in Light Garlic Butter

Blanched Swiss Chard

Blanched Swiss Chard in Light Garlic Butter is the perfect side dish for lunch, dinner or even breakfast. The natural bitterness of Swiss chard is minimized by the blanching process, and the garlic butter adds a light, savory flavor to this leafy side dish (while still keeping it healthy). This recipe scores a 10 and I look forward to making it again.

Blanched Swiss Chard Score
Photo From: Guy Speed

I actually just got home from a week-long trip across the Southwestern United States – visiting Nevada, Arizona and Utah. National Parks were the focus of the trip and I saw Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. The sites and hiking were incredible.

Blanched Swiss Chard - Travel Blanched Swiss Chard - Travel Blanched Swiss Chard - Travel

With travel also came a lot of eating out and spending. It was minimized by following these tips, but eating out and spending more than normal is unavoidable when traveling. So, now that I am back home and back in my routine I am trying to cook and eat as healthy and economically as possible to make up for a week of traveling, eating out and spending.

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Simple Cinnamon Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt Ingredients

Breakfast is often expensive, inconvenient, and unhealthy. What an optimistic way to start a post, eh?

Common breakfast foods such as cereal and granola bars have been masquerading as convenient health foods for quite some time, but they are typically packed with sugar and unnatural ingredients. Starting your day right is important, especially if you are heading to a fast-paced-action-packed office environment.

Anyways, this cinnamon yogurt parfait will taste delicious, and is great for you too. What a cliche!

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