Avocado and Corn Salsa

This Corn Avocado Salsa recipe is a quick and delicious side to serve up with just about anything! This cool summer side dish is easy to make and is gluten and dairy free!

Corn and avocado salsa recipe in a bowlAvocado and Corn Salsa Recipe

This is the perfect summery side dish to serve when the weather is HOT. This Avocado and Corn Salsa comes together quickly. It is the perfect easy side dish to throw together and flies off the table! This dish is served great with nearly anything, but we especially like it for other quick cooking summer dishes like this Blackened Fish, quick Chicken Tacos or this Garlic and Lime Grilled Steak.

Corn Salsa Ingredients

  • Fresh Corn on the Cob
  • Red Onion
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Olive Oil
  • Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper

Corn salsa with avocado plated with fishMethods to Cook the Corn

The only piece of this salsa that needs to be cooked is the corn! There are a few different methods you can use to cook it. You can quickly boil it, as we suggest in the recipe. Or you could grill it! Additionally you can also cook corn in the Instant Pot using these directions here.

If you like this avocado recipe, check out these others:

If you like this side dish, check out these others:

Corn Avocado Salsa
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Ingredients
  1. 2 local organic corn on the cob
  2. 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  3. 1/2 cup fresh grape tomatoes, cut in half
  4. 1 avocado, cubed
  5. 1/2 tsp ground garlic (from garlic mill, or garlic powder), more to taste
  6. 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Juice from one lime
  8. Dash of Himalayan sea salt, more to taste
  9. Optional: 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. 1. Grill or boil corn
  2. 2. Cut corn kernels off and place into bowl
  3. 3. Add tomato, onion, and avocado and mix together
  4. 4. Add cilantro, ground garlic, lime juice, oil, and salt, mix together to combine
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

These Chocolate Chip Paleo Zucchini Muffins are fluffy, moist, and packed with good-for-you ingredients. Made with a combination of almond flour and coconut flour, this gluten-free muffin recipe is made with unrefined sweeteners, zucchini, dark chocolate and is the perfect grab-and-go breakfast!

Gluten free zucchini muffins with chocolate chips broken openChocolate Chip Paleo Zucchini Muffins

This Paleo Zucchini Muffin recipe is an OG Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and still a goodie all these years later! This recipe was originally published in celebration of LCK turning 1 back in 2014. We’re republishing today because this recipe has stood the test of time and is worth the photo facelift it got to reshare today!

These gluten free muffins made with a blend of almond flour and coconut flour have the perfect texture! They are the best way to use up zucchini and your picky eaters will never know there are some veggies inside the muffin! Grab one when you are running out the door, or for a guilt-free mid-day snack. They freeze well, too!

Chocolate paleo zucchini muffins in a tinIngredients for these Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins:

  • Almond Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Vanilla
  • Unsweetened Apple Sauce
  • Baking PowderZ
  • Zucchini
  • Chocolate Chips

bowl of batter of almond flour zucchini muffinsIs Almond Flour Healthy?

I love using almond flour as the base for my muffin recipes because they make the best gluten-free muffins without needing to add a lot of other fussy ingredients. Almond flour is a delicious and nutrient dense alternative to any other flour. It is low in carbs and high in fat which makes it a great healthy flour that makes you feel fuller, longer.

How to Measure Almond Flour

If you have an electronic kitchen scale at home, it’s best to use it here to measure almond flour. Almond flour can be tricky to measure as it can be easily compacted, even straight from the bag. The same goes for coconut flour because such a small difference in measuring can impact a recipe because it’s such an absorbent flour. So we’ve included the weight in grams here. Any electronic kitchen scale can switch between grams and ounces, and grams are more precise so we’re offering that. If you don’t have a scale: lightly scoop the almond flour or coconut flour into the cup measurement and level it off.

Gluten free zucchini chocolate chip muffinsLooking for other recipes to use up zucchini? Check out these others:

If you like this muffin recipe, check out these:


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups almond flour
  2. 1 tablespoons coconut flour
  3. 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
  4. 1/8 teaspoon Himalyan sea salt
  5. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 4 tablespoons raw honey
  8. 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  9. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  10. 1 cup grated zucchini
  11. 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Place 12 baking liners in muffin tin or simply directly on a baking sheet
  3. In a mixing bowl combine almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, salt, and baking powder
  4. Add in eggs, honey, vanilla, and applesauce and mix well
  5. Fold in grated zucchini and dark chocolate
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Baked Chicken Caesar Salad Burgers

These Baked Chicken Caesar Burgers are so flavorful and such a fun dinner! They take all the flavor of a Chicken Caesar Salad and turn it into burger form. They’re dairy-free, gluten-free and optionally Paleo and Whole30 friendly too!

Chicken Caesar BurgersBaked Chicken Caesar Burgers Recipe

These light Baked Chicken Caesar Burgers are the perfect alternative to a traditional burger! They’re so delicious and flavorful and a fun twist on the traditional salad! Pair them with a 2-ingredient Caesar salad slaw and homemade parmesan crisps and you’ll knock it out of the park with this dinner.

This recipe uses my homemade recipe for Caesar Dressing from my book, which is delicious and happens to be dairy-free. If you wanted to you could swap in a store-bought version, just be careful to check labels if you have dietary restrictions.

Chicken Caesar Salad BurgersHere is what you need to make the Caesar Burgers:

  • Ground chicken
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Scallions
  • Sriracha
  • Parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Homemade or store-bought Caesar Dressing

Chicken Caesar Salad Burgers

Is Caesar Dressing Gluten Free?

Some store-bought caesar dressings can contain gluten. This salad uses a homemade version that is naturally gluten-free. The recipe comes from my cookbook and is my all-time favorite. It’s made dairy-free but doesn’t skimp on the creaminess and the flavor.

Chicken Caesar Salad Burgers

If you like this burger recipe, check out these others:

Chicken Caesar Burgers
Serves 4
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Burgers
  1. 1 pound ground chicken
  2. 2 tablespoons caesar dressing (see below)
  3. 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoons minced garlic)
  5. 1 teaspoon sriracha
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  7. 1 Tablespoon chopped scallions
  8. 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  11. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  12. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  13. Optional: 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Caesar Dressing from page 320 of the Lexi's Clean Kitchen Cookbook
  1. 1/2 cup homemade mayo (page 312) or store-bought
  2. 2 teaspoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 clove garlic
  5. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  6. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  7. 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  8. Pinch of fine sea salt
  9. Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Caesar Slaw
  1. Shredded Romaine Lettuce
  2. 3 Tablespoons caesar dressing
Other Toppings
  1. Sliced tomato
  2. Sliced red onion
  3. Parmesan Crisps
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place all of the ingredients for the dressing in a high-speed blender and pulse once (about 5 seconds) just until the dressing is thick and smooth. If you over blend, the dressing will become watery.
  3. In a  large bowl, toss all of the chicken burger ingredients and mix until well combined.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4-parts, and place 4 patties on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes, or until the tops become a light golden brown.
  6. While the burgers are baking, make caesar slaw and assemble other desired toppings
Parmesan Crisps
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spoon cheese by tablespoonfuls two inches apart on the prepared baking sheet (1 tablespoon per crisp).
  3. Bake for 6 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool completely before lifting each crisp up with a spatula.
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Raise your hand if you have an addiction to buffalo anything! If yes, you’re going to love these Buffalo Chicken Burgers. They’re spiced just right and perfect topped with tomato and avocado and wrapped in lettuce. They also happen to be gluten-free, paleo friendly and low carb!

Spicy Chicken Burger recipe

Buffalo Chicken Burger Recipe

Let’s talk about how much we all love buffalo over here at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. To start we’ve got Buffalo NuggetsBuffalo Sweet PotatoesBuffalo TendersBuffalo HummusBuffalo Chili and we could go on and on but we’ll move on to these delicious Buffalo Chicken Burgers! They’ve got that slight heat packed into a ground chicken burger and are so delicious it kind of makes you think they’re “bad” for you but they’re actually quite nutritious. Serve them up with lettuce and tomato in a low carb lettuce wrap or you can eat them like you would any other burger: in a bun! These also make great meal prep for the week ahead! 

Here’s what’s in them:

  • Ground chicken
  • Egg
  • Onion
  • Scallions
  • Carrots
  • Hot Sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Sea Salt and Pepper

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

What to serve with Buffalo Chicken Burgers

This is a pretty versatile dish. You can serve this with a side salad, or a cucumber salad which will help cool down the heat. Or you can serve this with a heartier salad like this Tomato Cucumber Salad with Crispy Chickpeas or Israeli Salad. This would also be great served with cauliflower rice!

If you like this burger recipe, try these other favorites: 

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 0:30 Yields 4

Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a food processor food processor combine carrots and onion; pulse to chop into small bits.
  • In a large bowl combine the vegetable mixture, ground chicken, egg, garlic powder, hot sauce, and salt & pepper.
  • Form into patties and bake for 20 minutes. Flipping halfway through.
  • Broil on high for 2 minutes at the end.

Recipe Notes

  • Serve over lettuce, or in lettuce wraps with avocado, tomato, or any toppings you'd like!
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

15 Tips for Ultimate Summer Grilling

Summer time means grilling time! Grilling tends to be a pretty healthy cooking method — plus it lends itself to sitting outside and throwing BBQs! Summer doesn’t get any better. All grilling methods are not created equal, though. Here are fifteen of my best tips for how to grill!

ultimate guide on how to grill

15 Tips for Ultimate Summer Grilling

For all your BBQ needs.


1. Clean your grill. Even if you’re pretty sure your grill is clean from its last use, it never hurts to give it a little extra TLC before you start another cooking session, because grill grates that aren’t clean can cause sticking (and weird flavors). Scrub the hot grate with a wire brush, then brush it with your oil of choice — and grill away! 

2. Heat it up! Don’t turn your grill on and expect to start cooking right away, it needs plenty of time to preheat. The exact amount of time will differ from grill to grill, but for ideal cooking, it should be hot enough that you can’t hold your hand over it for more than two seconds, which usually takes between fifteen and twenty-five minutes. Use the preheat time to remove any meat from the fridge. You’ll get the best results when meat has time to come to room temperature. 

3. Start with salt. No matter what meat you’re grilling or how you’re preparing it, there’s a basic rule number-one when it comes to the BBQ: always season with salt first. A generous dusting of salt will help bring out the flavor of your meat and will keep it juicy while it’s heating. And don’t worry about the flavor — your finished product will only taste salty if you add too much after cooking.

Grilled Shrimp Salmon Scampi

4. Marinate or season your chicken. The word “marinade” might sound a little fancy, but making one doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need for the perfect flavor on your grilled chicken is a combo of oil (we like avocado oil), acid (lemon or lime juice or vinegar) and spices (dried or fresh) and salt and pepper.

5. Pat steak dry after marinating. You can use a simple marinade for your grilled steaks, as well, but you’ll want to be extra careful to pat red meat dry before putting it over the heat. Marinated, wet red meat won’t get that nice sear on it! 

6. Season burgers. Classic burgers are always a crowd-pleaser, but you can uplevel your patties by adding an extra dash of extra-virgin olive oil. I also love stuffing or seasoning our burgers with a mix of sea salt, garlic, and finely-diced onion. These little additions will keep the fat content of your burger moist and that much more yummy. 

7. Don’t flip steak too frequently. It may make you feel like the queen of the grill to flip that steak every few minutes, but this technique is not going to yield you the best results. Instead, flip your steak only once. Steaks that are one-inch thick should be cooked for three minutes per side on high heat for rare, four minutes on each side for medium rare, and five minutes on each side for medium. 

8. Add veggie! Too often, we forget how delicious grilled vegetables can be in the mix of burgers and steak and chicken and all of the other meats. But if you struggle to squeeze more veggies into your diet, putting some on the BBQ is a great solution! Almost any vegetable can be delicious on the grill with a coating of oil and spices. 

how to grill ribs

9. Sauce ribs at the right time. There are few things better than a bite of freshly-grilled and saucy ribs, and few things more off-putting than ribs that taste a little like burnt sugar. This flavor typically comes from sauce that’s put on too early in the cooking process (because — you guessed it! — the sugar can burn). Slap sauce on those ribs in the final thirty minutes on the grill to achieve perfection. 

10. Put salmon on a cedar plank. You can grab cedar planks from any local hardware store, but they’re good for way more than home repair. If you soak one in salted water for about two hours, it becomes the perfect surface for grilling salmon. Put the soaked plank directly on your grill, then set the fish on top. You’ll get a delicious smoky flavor. 

11. Keep things where they are. Once you’ve placed something on the grill, you don’t need to – and shouldn’t! — move it around too much. And don’t worry about sticking. If meat is stuck to the grates, it will typically unstick itself when it’s ready to be moved. 

12. Score your meat. Scoring meat basically means cutting thin slits in its surface before you cook it. As far as I’m concerned, this is a non-negotiable for grilling! When you include scoring as part of your meat prep routine, it helps the meat cook flat and pulls the juices from any delicious marinade you’ve prepared right into its center. More flavor! 

13. Use proper spacing for skewers. Preparing kebabs? Delicious! Did you know that there’s more to skewers than just spearing a few chunks of meat and veggies and hoping for the best? It’s all in the spacing. Meat actually stays juicier during cooking when it’s touching — but not packed too tightly against — whatever’s next to it. Don’t overstuff your skewers, but don’t leave too much space between ingredients, either. 

Grilled Corn 

14. Do corn on the cob right. Does anything taste more summery than corn on the cob, fresh off the grill? I don’t think so! To prepare corn for grilling open up the husks, while keeping them on the corn and remove the silk. Fold the husks back into place and soak the corn for 10 minutes in cold, salty water. Grill with the husks until the kernels are cooked and serve with a bit of grass-fed butter and a sprinkle of sea salt before putting it on the grill for fifteen to twenty minutes. 

15. Give it a rest. Your food is bound to look delicious coming off the grill (especially if you follow all of these tips), but it’s important to resist the urge to start eating it right away. Grilled meat is best served after five to ten minutes of rest. Pour yourself a cocktail or visit with guests while you wait! 

Easy Grilled Vegetables


This article was originally published in partnership with American Express in May 2015, but we’ve updated it and expanded on this topic in June 2019.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Cooked spaghetti squash is a great nutrient dense, gluten-free, lower carb alternative to pasta or rice noodles. There are two great methods how to cook spaghetti squash and we’re giving you all the details you need to know!

Bowl of instant pot spaghetti squashHow to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash noodles are probably the easiest alternative to traditional pasta there is. While it doesn’t taste exactly the same, spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense, low carb alternative to pasta (whether gluten-free or not). If you can’t eat pasta or noodles for whatever reason, this is a pretty good substitute. It can take the place of almost any noodle dish, ranging from a classic “spaghetti” and meatballs, to a baked Italian “pasta” dish or even as a Pad Thai. Cooking spaghetti squash is so simple, being a mostly hands off cooking task. The hardest part is slicing it in half, so we are giving tips below.

Safe knife skills with spaghetti squash

How to Safely Cut It:

Your best answer to safely cutting a spaghetti squash is to have a large sharp knife, and a flat stead surface to cut it. With one hand, steady the spaghetti squash, and with the other press the knife into the squash before using your weight to leverage the knife through the squash. Once the knife is at least an inch inside the squash use your other hand to push down on the knife until it cuts through the squash entirely.

We cut the squash in two ways:

  1. Crosswise the the middle: This is our preferred method. This way is easier because there is less squash to cut, and you don’t have to go close to the stem. This results in long strings of noodles.
  2. Lengthwise: This method is harder to cut the squash and results in shorter noodles. Don’t try to attempt to cut through the hard stem. Once you’ve cut to that, take the knife out and use your hands to pull apart the spaghetti squash halves.

Still are afraid to cut the squash? You can always cook the squash whole, and cut after it is cooked. It’s obviously much easier to cut after it is soft, but we don’t prefer this method (see below as to why).

Can you Cook Spaghetti Squash Whole?

Yes you can, but this was not our favorite method of cooking it. If you are truly intimidated by cutting a squash, cooking it whole certainly makes it a lot easier to cut, but if you follow the tips above you should be able to safely cut a spaghetti squash. We didn’t like the result of a whole cooked spaghetti squash because it is harder to scoop out the seeds when they’re soft because you can’t easily distinguish between the inedible seeds and the edible squash strands.

Roasted spaghetti squash

Long strands of spaghetti squash

Our Favorite Way to Cook It

We are fans of cooking spaghetti squash in both the oven and in the Instant Pot. There is a slight difference in taste, and an even greater difference in cook time between these two, but knowing both is useful.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Roasting spaghetti squash in the oven takes longer, but it results in tender caramelized squash noodles. This is definitely our preferred method if we have the time. To make it, all you do is split the spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and roast until fork tender. More detailed directions are below in the recipe section!

How to Cook Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Steaming spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot is by far the quickest method, and great when short on time! The squash noodles have a more straight-forward taste to them since there is no caramelization occurring. We prefer splitting the spaghetti squash and scooping out the seeds before cooking it, but you can steam it whole.

Spaghetti squash meal prep

Do you Eat the Skin of the Spaghetti Squash?

No! While some squash has edible skin, this is not one of them. Simply scoop out the “noodles” and discard the skin.

How to Use it

Treat spaghetti squash noodles like pasta! It can be eaten as is with a little oil, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese or you can use it in any variety of recipes. Check out below for some of ours:

Recipes using Spaghetti Squash:

Watch the video:


How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time 00:03 Cook Time 00:45 Inactive Time 00:00 Total Time 00:50 Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4lb. spaghetti squash (see note)
  • splash of oil (roasting only)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

For the Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with foil
  2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise (for short "noodles") or crosswise (for long "noodles") and scoop out seeds. 
  3. Scoop out seeds and discard.
  4. Brush inside with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Place facedown on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until you can pierce with a fork.
  6. When cool enough to handle, scrape out "spaghetti" with a fork.
  7. Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.

For the Instant Pot:

  1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise (for short "noodles") or crosswise (for long "noodles") and scoop out seeds. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  3. Stack the spaghetti squash on top of each other (cut-side up).
  4. Close the lid and make sure the knob is turned to sealing.
  5. Set to manual high-pressure for 10 minutes (longer time will be needed for bigger squash)
  6. When the timer goes off, turn the vent on the top of the lid to venting to release the steam.
  7. Once the venting knob has dropped, open the lid and shred the spaghetti squash with two forks to turn squash into spaghetti-like noodles!
  8. Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  1. If your spaghetti squash is a different size, you may have to adjust the cooking time, especially for the Instant Pot.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash