My Favorite Quick Lunch: Guacamole

I usually eat leftovers for lunch, but sometimes I don't have any or they just don't sound very appetizing, so I have to make something. Maybe it's just me, but with two little girls and the ever-present housework demanding my attention, I rarely want to take the time to cook a meal at lunch time.
One of my favorite quick fixes is guacamole and tortilla chips. I use a modified version of Alton Brown's recipe. Since guacamole doesn't keep (it turns brown and disgusting-looking within 24 hours, usually), I just cut and mash one avacado and eat the whole thing. I reduce the spices from his recipe by 1/3 to make it work.  (Actually, I usually just sprinkle in what looks good without measuring, but the first time I made it, I reduced the spices by 1/3.) I also don't let it sit for an hour and I only use dried ingredients and skip the tomato altogether. It's absolutely amazing if you take the time to follow the recipe exactly, but it's still pretty tasty, and a lot quicker, this way.
If you can't eat tortilla chips because of a corn allergy, you could substitute pita chips, bagel chips, or bean chips, I think. Let me know how that is if you try it.  Also, it's more filling if you add some leftover taco meat, too.


Red & Green Chicken Salad (Allergen-Free)

My upstairs neighbor "accidentally" bought too much produce at Costco yesterday, so I had a lot of romaine lettuce, apples, and oranges I wasn't expecting.  I tend to think I'm her little project sometimes, but that's another post altogether.  I like apples in salad, so that seemed like a good way to use up some of the produce.  Besides, it's been sunny and warm the last few days and a summer-y salad was on the back of my mind anyway.

My husband, on the other hand, is not a fan of apples (or any fruit for that matter) in salads, and he seems to think that salads are inappropriate for dinner--but he LOVES wraps.  So I decided to make up all the ingredients in separate bowls and he could have a wrap and I could have a salad. Since I can't eat wheat, I couldn't have a flour tortilla, and a wrap in a corn tortilla just sounded weird.  Have you ever tried a corn-tortilla wrap?  Let me know what you thought of it if you have.

Here is the recipe for the salad I came up with--it ended being very filling and tasty.  And it is dairy (milk), soy, wheat (and gluten), egg, nut, corn, and fish/shellfish free.

Red and Green Chicken Salad

1 lb bacon
3 medium chicken breasts
1 head Romain lettuce
1 cup Spinach leaves
1 tomato
1 red-variety apple
4 green onions
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cilantro
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Cook bacon on medium heat until it's got a chewy/crisp consistency. Break cooked bacon into small pieces.

Mix all spices together in small bowl.  Rub both sides of chicken breasts with the mixture and cook it on a grill or a George Foreman until no longer pink in the middle. When the chicken is done cooking, slice it into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, chop Romaine, spinach, tomato and apple into large chunks. Chop the green onions, red bell pepper, and walnuts into small pieces.  Put each item into it's own bowl.

Add all desired ingredients to your salad bowl and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.  If you're making it a wrap, put it in a tortilla instead and skip the dressing, or if you can have dairy and soy, add some ranch dressing.