Quick & Easy Snacking – American Idol Top 7

Another week gone and another Idol sent home during last week’s top 7 showcase on American Idol. The sultry toned, yet bottom three plagued, Stefano Langone saw his Idol run come to an end. Stefano had one of his strongest performances yet with Ne-Yo’s “Closer”, but it still wasn’t strong enough for the American voters to secure him a spot in the top 6.

The Idols performed songs of the 21st century, so sticking with the health contentious theme of the last decade, I was cooking up some quick and healthy snacks for your Idol viewing pleasure.

Over the past season of Idol I’ve had the pleasure of posting my own unique recipes and take on each week’s theme, on Yahoo!’s Reality Rocks blog by the fabulous Lyndsey Parker. Last week I was serving up movie theater fare with my Loaded Rotisserie Chicken Nachos and Flatbread with Arugula.

This week I’ve whipped up some delicious veggie sliders and a simple recipe for shrimp and chicken lettuce wraps. So give these recipes a try and let me know what you think.

Check out Reality Rocks on Wednesday and Thursday to see what I’ll be cooking up in honor of the folk rock queen herself, Ms Carole King.

Happy Eating!

Black Bean & Avocado Sliders


▪ 1 serrano chile, minced
▪ 1 large garlic clove, minced
▪ 3 tbsp shallot, minced
▪ 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
▪ 1 egg
▪ 1 tsp chili powder
▪ 1 tsp cumin
▪ 1/4 tsp kosher salt
▪ 1/8 tsp cracked pepper
▪ 15oz container black beans, drained & rinsed (reserve some of the liquid)
▪ 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
▪ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
▪ 8 whole wheat slider buns
▪ 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
▪ avocado, sliced
▪ salsa

Finely mince the chile, garlic, and shallot.

Mix the first 9 ingredients (through the pepper) in a large bowl until well-combined.

Add the black beans and corn, and mash with a potato masher or fork. If the mixture is too dry, add some of the reserved black bean liquid.

Form into 8 patties the size of the slider buns.

Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties in batches for around 3 minutes on each side.

Top the patties with the salsa, avocado slices, and cilantro.

Chicken & Shrimp Lettuce Wraps


▪ 1 tbsp peanut oil
▪ salt and pepper
▪ 8oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
▪ 1/4 tsp sesame oil
▪ 2 carrots, shaved (using a vegetable peeler)
▪ 2 scallions, julienned
▪ 2-inch piece of ginger, julienned
▪ 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
▪ 5 mushrooms, thinly sliced
▪ 2 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced
▪ 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
▪ 1/4 cup soy sauce
▪ 4 tsp fish sauce
▪ 4 tsp sugar
▪ 8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
▪ 8 pieces Boston Bibb lettuce

Julienne vegetables.

Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Lightly sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken until cooked through, around 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add the sesame oil and the next 7 ingredients through the red pepper and sauté until vegetables are soft.

While veggies are sautéing, whisk the soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Add half of the mixture to the veggies and save the remaining for dipping.

Add the shrimp and sauté until cooked, around 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken to the pan just to heat through.

Serve on top of the Boston Bibb lettuce and a small ramekin of sauce on each plate.

Los Angeles  Indie powerhouse, Warpaint, delivers constant eargasms with their full-length debut, The Fool. Every track on the record takes me to my special hipster place where every day is a festival filled with a sea of skinny jeaned music revelers. So check out two of my favorite tracks off the album!! Happy listening!

Undertow – Warpaint

Bees – Warpaint

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