Chicken Skewers with Cashew Pesto Sauce
Fire up the grill and get your wooden skewers blanched in water. The star of this simple dish is the sauce. Made with cashews instead of pine nuts, this sauce is a great savory alternative.

2 c. Fresh Basil
1/2 c. Raw Cashew Nuts, unsalted
1/2 c. Parmesan, grated
3/4 - 1 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (adding more depending on your preference)
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

Simply add all the ingredients from top to bottom to a food processor and blend until smooth. Some people like a really smooth pesto, but I like mine with a little more texture. Drizzle over chicken, or serve on the side for dipping. Grill your chicken on well-blanched wooden skewers. Don't feel like messing around with wooden skewers? Try metal skewers instead. Don't want to mess around with skewers at all? Opt for easy-to-grill chicken breasts or thighs.

Citrus Mint Quinoa
Make ahead of time as a time saver and chill. This dish is great as a side dish to a delicious dinner, or as a leftover topper on a salad. Perfect for warm weather, this is a fresh, crisp but subtle palate pleaser.

2 c. Water
1 c. Quinoa, well-rinsed
1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Lemons, juiced
1/2 c. Scallions or Red Onion, chopped
1/2 c. Peas (if frozen, thawed)
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/4 c. Fresh Mint, chopped
Sea Salt

Bring water to a boil and add quinoa. Reduce to simmer for about 18 to 20 minutes. After quinoa is done, transfer to a medium size bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice, mix well. Add remainder of ingredients, except mint and sea salt. Chill. Before serving, add mint and sea salt. Mix well and serve.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies
I really had no idea what to expect when I made these cookies, but have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, you can certainly forgo these treats for something healthier, but when you need a little chocolate and some good fat, these cookies hit the spot. What's more, if you didn't know they were made with avocado, you'd never guess it was part of the recipe.  There is just enough chocolate in each bite to let you know it's there!

2 c. Gluten Free Baking Mix* (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder**
8 tbsp. Butter (1 stick), room temp
1/2 c. Brown Sugar, packed
1/4 c. Sugar
1 Egg, room temp
1 Ripe Avocado, sliced
1/2 c. Dark Chocolate Chips (darker is better)

*Don't need or want a gluten-free recipe? Simply substitute flour for the mix.
**Most brands of baking powder are gluten-free, but some are not. If you are sensitive to gluten or have Celiac disease, double check.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift gluten free baking mix, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl and set aside. Mix butter until smooth. Add sugars, then egg and avocado. After mixture is smooth, slowly add in dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. Finally, turn off blender and add in chocolate chips, mixing in by hand with a cook spoon or spatula. 

Bake for 15 - 17 minutes. Let stand for a couple minutes and serve!