Olive and Pineapple Nachos

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Summertime means lots of snack foods.  Preferably with a nice, cold, fruity adult beverage.

When I was younger, my nachos always were cheese- just cheese.  Usually just cheddar.  Maybe a Cheddar and Monterrey Jack combo if I was feeling daring.  And every single nacho needed a decent amount of cheese on it. Eventually, I progressed into more daring topings starting with sour cream and progressing up to refried beans and pico de gallo.

Now, plain cheese nachos are boring. I will now bravely go where no other nacho has gone before (look out for my version of Thanksgiving on nachos this November).  Here we have one of my ideas of “that might be good on nachos”.  A bit of strange bedfellows but it works out well: you get savory cheesy taste, salty olives, and tangy pineapple.

OLIVE AND PINEAPPLE NACHOS
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS

Tortilla chips
Shredded pepper jack cheese
Spanish olives with pimentos, sliced
Pineapple, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place tortilla chips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle cheese on top. Top with olives and pineapple. Bake for 7-12 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Linguine with Toasted Garlic, Brussels Sprouts, Olives, and Cranberries

When I saw this pasta on Two Peas and their Pod, they referred to the combination as crazy pasta, and  it was love at first dysfunction.  I have begun eating crazy pasta at least once every two weeks for the past few months.  I love this pasta combo.   It may be a bit crazy with some schizophrenic topping tendencies, but it truly is a delicious combination.  I don’t judge any bit of craziness.  After all, we all go a little mad sometimes, right?

This last week I was feeling a little under the weather, and this pasta was a perfect warm meal to help lift my spirits.  It is quick to come together for any week night dinner or lunch.  It’s garlicly, salty, crunchy, and chewy.  The original recipe used kale instead of Brussels sprouts and Feta instead of blue cheese.  I have also used cabbage in the place of Brussels sprouts and goat cheese in place of blue cheese.  Feel free to mix and match but keep to the same basic idea of a green, a cheese, olives, and dried fruit, and I promise it will be love at first bite.

Perhaps this pasta isn’t crazy, it just a little scatter brained.  It just needs some talk therapy.

LINGUINE WITH TOASTED GARLIC, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, CRANBERRIES, AND OLIVES
INGREDIENTS

8 ounces linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
8-10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3-4 cups Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
1/2 tablespoon chicken bouillon
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

DIRECTIONS
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook linguine until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil.  Cook Brussels sprouts and red onion until tender, 4-6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add cooked linguine, cranberries, kalamta olives, and pasta water.  Bring to a boil and add chicken bouillon.  Cook until all liquid is absorbed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste,  Serve on plates and top with blue cheese crumbles.
Serves 4.

Seven Layer Mediterranean Dip

One of my first recipes I created and made for weekend snacking as a seven layer Mexican dip (minus a few layers since I didn’t like tomatoes and avocados when I was younger so I wisely compensated by adding some more cheese).   Served with salty Frito scoops, I was set for a weekend of yummy snacking and felt like a culinary genius.

This dip is a genius idea for a spin on the traditional seven layer dip replacing the Mexican layers with its Mediterranean flavored counterpart.  It tastes fresh and light and is simple to make.  Each layer provides a different flavor profile to create a combination of creaminess and crunchiness.

SEVEN LAYER MEDITERRANEAN DIP
INGREDIENTS

10 ounces hummus
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cucumbers, pealed and chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS
Spread the hummus in the bottom of an 8×8 pan.  In a large bowl, combined cream cheese, garlic, dill, and lemon juice.  Using a hand mixer, beat until combined and whipped.  Spread cream cheese mixture on top of hummus layer.
Spread cucumbers in a layer over a colander.  Salt and let sit for at least 15 minutes.  Pat dry and transfer cucumber to a tea towel.  Wring out excess water.  Sprinkle cucumber on top of cream cheese layer.  Drain excess juices from chopped tomatoes with a paper towel.  Sprinkle over cucumbers.  Drain excess juices from olives with a paper towel.  Sprinkle olives on top of tomatoes.  Sprinkle green onions, feta cheese, and parsley on top.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) in refrigerator.  Serve with pita chips.