Hearty Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Hearty buffalo chicken sandwiches are perfect for satisfying your craving for all things saucy, spicy and crispy. Great for eating while sipping a cold beer!

Hearty Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

When it comes to sandwiches, there is none as satisfying as the hearty buffalo chicken sandwich. That may be a bold statement but I stand by it whole-heartedly. PB&J with the crusts cut off just doesn’t do it for me. When I’m looking for something substantial and hearty, I go for buffalo chicken sandwiches, hands down.

It’s a great sandwich for the upcoming summer season. The spice of the buffalo sauce, believe it or not, will cool you off. Spicy food makes you sweat and, gross as this is, sweat is the body’s natural air conditioning system. Plus there isn’t much to compare with sitting on the deck, eating a couple of these sandwiches while drinking a cold brew and watching a sports game. If that’s your sort of thing, of course.

The trick here is, once again, the double dredge. Seriously. Try making this chicken without double dreding and you’ll see, it just doesn’t compare. The double dredge is what gives this chicken a ​thick coating. The buffalo sauce sticks to that coating and creates a saucy, coated piece of buffalo chicken. Top it with a healthy spoonful of blue cheese crumbles, naturally. We used pretzel rolls, like Megan (this recipe is lightly adapted from hers, ever so lightly) and it turned out fantastically. The salty, slightly crisp pretzel rolls is a perfect compliment.

Serve this with a cold beer, perhaps a Monty Python Holy Grail Ale, if you’re into beer. Or just a giant glass of pink lemonade.

What’s your favorite summer sandwich?

Hearty Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup buffalo sauce, divided
  • 6 to 8 chicken breast tenders
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk ranch dressing
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 6 pretzel rolls

Instructions

  1. In a large dish, mix buttermilk and buffalo sauce. Place the chicken in the sauce, mix to coat and set in the fridge. Marinate for at least 1 hour so the chicken stays moist.
  2. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
  3. Preheat the skillet with vegetable oil. As it heats, remove the chicken from the marinade.
  4. Dredge it in the flour mixture, then dip it back into the marinade and dredge one more time in the flour.
  5. Place it into the oil and fry for 4 to 5 minutes per side until the coating is crisp and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oil and place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
  6. Pour the remaining buffalo sauce over top of the chicken and toss to coat.
  7. Take your rolls and slather buttermilk ranch onto the bottom of each roll. Lay one to two chicken tenders on top of each roll.
  8. Top with crumbled blue cheese and lay the top of the pretzel roll on.
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Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes

I love holidays that revolve around food. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, 4th of July. Each one has a specific food that I associate and love. And so while a football game may not necessarily be a holiday, it is definitely something that people celebrate and it has a lot to do with food. As I mentioned with these vegetarian buffalo bites, I was interested in testing out some meat-free options to see how they held up in comparison with their traditional counterparts.

I played around with the idea of a sloppy joe, since that always makes me think of sporting events. I’ve never really seen one served at a hockey game (the only event I’ll attend) but still, the image came to mind. And so I went with lentil sloppy joes. Lentils tend to have a really hearty, meaty quality to them. If you are looking to sub out meat but aren’t daring enough to try one of the standard substitutions like tofu, lentils are a decent choice. Mixed with tomato sauce and veggies and loaded with spices, these sloppy joes tasted pretty darned much like a real sandwich.

Now, I didn’t add cheese to mind mainly because I didn’t have any cheese on hand. it was a sad day. Had my fridge been well-stocked, I would have definitely added a thick slice of American cheese. It would have added something extra. I highly recommend, should your fridge be well-stocked, that you add cheese. Just because it’s cheese and everyone loves cheese, right?

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
Recipe type: vegetarian, game day, healthy, dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 5
 

Vegetarian lentil sloppy joes are a great, meat-free alternative to standard sloppy joes.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sliced rolls for serving

Instructions
  1. Place lentils in a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and cover, cooking for 30 minutes until tender.
  2. In a large pan, heat oil over medium high. Add in onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in carrot and cook an additional 5 minutes until carrots are softened.
  3. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well to combine.
  4. Stir in chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and cumin and mix well to completely incorporate. Mix in maple syrup and apple cider vinegar and stir well.
  5. Turn to low and simmer until lentils have finished cooking. Once lentils are finished, place them in the sauce pan with the tomato sauce. Stir well to completely incorporate.
  6. Cook an additional 15 minutes to thicken. Use a spoon and heap a large serving onto your rolls immediately before serving.

 

Pomegranate Cupcakes

Pomegranate Cupcakes

I’m not a big fruit person. As much of a sweet eater as I can be, I’d typically choose vegetables over fruit in a heart beat. So much of it has to do with texture. I hate the texture of most fruits. Melons are always grainy. Grapes can be sometimes mushy. An apple has to have just the right amount of crunch and sour flavor for me to be on board. And yet even though I don’t love most fruits, I’m always a fan of pomegranates.

My mom used to buy them when we were kids and I have loved them ever since. I don’t think I ever realized what a pain they were to peel and seed. But once you crack that baby open, those little ruby red jewels are worth it. They’re a bit tangy, a bit sassy and definitely delicious. I wanted to make a dessert with them but was stuck on what. So I just went the easy way and made cupcakes.

I used a classic vanilla cupcake recipe that I keep on hand and filled it with some of the little jewels. Just a third cup so they don’t overwhelm your dessert. A healthy dollop of cream cheese frosting and a pretty sprinkling of pom seeds on top and you are good to go. These cupcakes are as stunning as they are tasty! Pomegranate Cupcakes

5.0 from 2 reviews

Pomegranate Cupcakes
Recipe type: dessert, fruit, cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 10
 

These simple vanilla cupcakes are studded with ruby red pomegranates and taste as good as they look.
Ingredients
  • For cupcakes:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
  • red food dye (optional)
  • For icing:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • additional seeds for garnish

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add in flour mixture and milk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour, until well mixed. Add in red food coloring if you choose. Fold in pomegranate seeds.
  4. Divide batter into muffin tins, ¾ to the top of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To prepare frosting, cream butter and cream cheese until completely combined.
  7. Add in powdered sugar and mix until completely combined.
  8. Once cupcakes are cool, transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a circle tip.
  9. Starting on the outside of the cakes, frosting circles going up as you pipe. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

 

Pomegranate Cupcakes

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

I never want to be that cliched food writer. You know the one, always sharing what’s super trendy or posting 2 million cookie recipes around Christmas or having million recipe collections of pumpkin recipes. But sometimes, you really just need to share something at just the right time. It makes sense and your readers will thank you for it. Hence this chili.

If you’re in my part of the country – or many other parts as well – then you know this week brought an extreme chill not felt for years. I was lucky enough to be inside for most of the time but there are others who aren’t as lucky. Kids walking to school, the guy I saw on the highway changing his tire, the dog who needs to take a good five minutes to find a potty spot. No matter how you’ve spent the last week, you still need something to warm up your bones. Chili is a great, hearty option.

I went for vegetarian chili mainly due to lack of thawed meat. But really, I didn’t miss it at all. Two different kinds of beans – both red kidney and black – make this soup incredibly hearty meaty without actually adding any meat. A great kick of spice lends tons of flavor and the quinoa? Well that might just be my favorite part. It adds a great heft, a nice filling quality, without making this chili heavy.

Top if all off with a helping of jalapeno cornbread and you are set. The cornbread is essential here. You could skip it but why?

Vegetarian Chili
Recipe type: vegetarian, dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10
 

Vegetarian chili will warm you to the bone, even on the coldest of days.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups frozen corn
  • juice of one lime
  • optional: shredded cheese, sour cream, diced red onion for topping
  • For cornbread:
  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  2. Add onions and toss to coat. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, cayenne, water and quinoa and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes.
  5. Add in beans, corn and lime juice and simmer an additional five minutes.
  6. Portion into bowls and top with shredded cheese, sour cream or diced red onions. Serve with jalapeno cornbread.
  7. To make cornbread, Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9X11 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  8. In a bowl, combine cornmeal, flour and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together oil, milk and egg.
  9. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.
  10. Fold in jalapenos. Pour into baking dish and bake 20 minutes until golden.
  11. Remove and allow to cool. Slice into squares.

 

Butterscotch Muffins

Butterscotch Muffins

In general, I am not a huge muffin fan. I can see why other people like them – they are quick to make, easy to grab-and-go and are generally tasty. I don’t hate muffins, by any means. They’ll just never be my first choice. Even the lightest of muffins tend to be too heavy for me that early in the morning.

That being said, I did enjoy these muffins immensely, as did everyone in the house. We had a boatload of company over the past two weeks and so lots of breakfasts were made and eaten. Four different kinds of muffins, bacon, eggs, cereal and buckets of coffee. These muffins flew off the plates in record time! They’re got a great hit of sweetness from the butterscotch with just enough bitterness from the chocolate to balance it out. I’ve lightened them a bit, using half all-purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour. The result is unquestionable – a tasty muffin that is light, fluffy and healthy.

Note – this recipe makes 6 muffins. I’m beginning to half recipes, since we often end up with far too many leftovers. Feel free to double it. If you aren’t good at conversions, email me and I can help you double.

Butterscotch Muffins
Recipe type: muffins, breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

These muffins, chock full of butterscotch chips, are a great, sweet breakfast treat.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. coffee yogurt
  • 1½ Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Whisk sugar, buttermilk, yogurt, oil and applesauce in a bowl until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in chips.
  5. Divide evenly into muffin tins, ¾ to the top. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes until cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.