July 20, 2017

Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet

If you want the easiest and most delicious summer meal ever then this is it! This dish takes no time at all and you'll be surprised by how much flavor it has. I don't know if it's the combination of enchilada sauces or what, but this dish is definitely a party!
There's nothing better than a yummy Mexican dish where you don't have to roll even one tortilla. And that melted cheese on top?? It doesn't get any better than that.
As you can tell, I'm slightly obsessed with this recipe and if you want a real winner, bake up your own tortilla chips to scoop up the rice with. It makes it that much better!

Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet
Adapted from Damn Delicious
1 cup uncooked rice, rinsed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup mild red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup mild green enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1. In a large saucepan (or rice cooker), cook rice and 1 1/2 cups water according to package directions; set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in rice, black beans, enchilada sauces, chili powder, cumin and oregano until well combined and heated through, about 2-3 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Remove from heat and top with cheese. Cover until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with tortilla chips.

July 18, 2017

Cookie Butter No-Bake Cookies (Nut-Free)

One thing I really miss about not having peanut butter in our house (because of my son's nut allergies) are the chocolate/peanut butter desserts. There is just something about that combination that calls my name. And one thing I always want to make are no-bake cookies that always call for peanut butter.

For some reason, it never occurred to me to substitute cookie butter for the peanut butter until my husband mentioned it. And while they may not taste exactly the same as the original, these cookies are still crazy addicting!
If you've never made no-bake cookies before, they are essentially one of the easiest cookies to make that result into a rich and decadent treat.

These are also perfect for summer because who wants to bake in this insane heat??
And if you want a real treat, stick the leftover cookies in the freezer. They freeze so well and have the best texture. They're the perfect treat to cool down with!

Cookie Butter No-Bake Cookies (Nut-Free)
Adapted from AllRecipes
Yields: 3 dozen cookies
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup Biscoff spread (or TJ’s cookie butter)
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a rolling boil and then cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in cookie butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper using a cookie scoop. Let cool until hardened and ready to eat.

July 13, 2017

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce

If there is one thing I really love, it's easy meals. Especially in the summer when life is hot and busy. Enter this amazing slow cooker marinara sauce that not only tastes great, but makes enough for dinner and plenty for future meals. This sauce freezes beautifully and thaws for dinner in no time.
I'm seriously in love with this sauce and that's saying a lot since I'm a recently converted tomato sauce lover. I'm still opposed to chunky tomatoes in my marinara so I blended it with my immersion blender and it came out nice and smooth. Just the way I like it.
In my opinion, there's nothing better than a Mason jar full of homemade goodness and this jar of sauce is just that! Be sure to try it out. :)

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce
Slightly Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Yields: 8-9 cups sauce
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 tsp. garlic, minced
2 (28 oz.) cans diced Tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. brown sugar
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Dash of crushed red pepper

1. Place the onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, basil, oregano, brown sugar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in the slow cooker. Stir and put the lid on. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours. (Adjust if your slow cooker has hot spots and cooks faster.)
2. Remove the lid on the slow cooker and stir the sauce. If you don’t like a chunky sauce, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. You can also transfer the sauce to a blender just be careful if the sauce is still hot. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. 
3. Serve over pasta, meatballs, lasagna, as a dipping sauce, etc.

*This sauce freezes perfectly. To freeze, cool completely and pour the sauce into freezer bags, jars or containers. Freeze up to 3 months.

July 11, 2017

Grilled Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Kabobs

If there is one thing I absolutely love about summer I would say is the food. I mean how can you not love it? Fresh fruit, vegetables, icy treats and anything cooked on the grill is perfection in my book. And one of my all-time favorite things to cook on the grill are kabobs. While I've never posted a kabob recipe on the blog, I think this is a great one to start with.
First off, the marinade is incredible. It is so flavorful and pairs so well with the other ingredients. Second, who knew grilling potatoes was such a genius idea? They were honestly my favorite part of the kabob, but I'm also a huge fan of grilled mushrooms, chicken and red onions so you really can't go wrong here.

All I'm saying is you need to try this recipe ASAP.

Grilled Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Kabobs
Adapted from Let’s Dish Recipes
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
8 oz. whole mushrooms
1 lb. small potatoes
1 red onion, chopped into large pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and add to a rimmed baking sheet along with the mushrooms and onions.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and oregano. Pour over the chicken, mushrooms and onions. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
4. Thread the marinated chicken, mushrooms, onions and potatoes onto skewers, leaving about an inch of empty space on the bottom of each skewer so the ingredients stay on.
5. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill kabobs for 10-12 minutes, turning once, or until chicken juices run clear.

June 29, 2017

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta with Basil and Feta

Ok you guys...I have the perfect summer recipe for you. I posted how to roast grape tomatoes yesterday just to prepare you for this pasta dish.

Honestly this recipe came to be as more of an experiment/heavily adapting another recipe. Let's just say I'm in LOVE with how it turned out.
It combines the fresh taste of summer tomatoes, basil and feta in a garlicky coated pasta. There are just no words.
All I have to say is that my husband and I absolutely loved this dish and know you will, too. 

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pasta with Basil and Feta
8 oz. dry spaghetti
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
10 oz. roasted tomatoes (see recipe here)
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
kosher salt and pepper

1. Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water according to directions on package. When pasta is almost finished heat olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
2. Drain pasta and pour into skillet or saucepan. Toss with the olive oil and garlic mixture. Add in tomatoes, feta and basil. Toss gently until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

June 28, 2017

Roasted Grape Tomatoes

I'll be completely honest with you guys, I am not a huge fresh tomato fan. I'm the dork that takes them off of everything, especially sandwiches because I don't love the texture and think they lack flavor...

With the exception of three things: salsa, grape tomatoes and roasted tomatoes.
I absolutely love grape tomatoes because they're bite-sized and usually have good flavor. I will also eat any vegetable that has been roasted and tomatoes come out beautifully when they're roasted.

So the combination of grape tomatoes and a little roasting action in the oven is pure bliss in my book.
These would be perfect on a pizza, in a salad, eaten with some fresh mozzarella and balsamic or my personal favorite with pasta. Particularly some AMAZING pasta that I'm going to share with you tomorrow. It's life-changing you guys. But seriously.

So stay tuned for an incredible summer pasta recipe coming your way!

Roasted Grape Tomatoes
Adapted from Food Network
10 oz. pkg. grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl add the grape tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir lightly to combine.
2. In a 9x13-inch glass baking dish, spread the tomatoes into 1 even layer. Roast for 20 minutes and then stir. Return to the oven and cook for 5-10 more minutes until the tomatoes have begun to shrivel and the liquid in the dish has thickened. Serve hot.

June 24, 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Four

Here's another great week's worth of meal plans to help save you time, money and stress over dinner!

Sunday: Burger Gyros and Oven-Baked Steak Fries

Monday: Creamy Coconut Hawaiian Haystacks and rice

Tuesday: Mexican Caesar Salad and cheese quesadillas

Wednesday: One Pan Healthy Chicken and Veggies and brown rice

Thursday: Crispy Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatballs with Marinara and pasta

Friday: Red Pepper and Feta Pizza

Saturday: Garlicky Greek Spaghetti and parmesan toast

June 23, 2017

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

It's been so hot in Utah lately that I'm ALL about trying to stay cool. And while we all love good old Otter Pops, sometimes it's nice to have something a little more healthy to cool down with.

I was so impressed with this popsicle recipe. It was so easy to throw together and they tasted great, too!

My biggest tip is to make sure to check the sweetness of the popsicles before you pour it into the molds so you don't have a sour popsicle. You can prevent this by finding ripe, sweet strawberries or by adding a little honey or sugar to the mix.
Nothing like a cool, refreshing treat on a hot summer day that you won't leave you feeling guilty! And if you're looking for great popsicle molds, I love these because of the great size, shape and the reusable handles prevent any popsicle from dripping onto your fingers. They're perfect!

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
2 cups coarsely chopped ripe strawberries
1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 12 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
honey or sugar, if needed for sweetness

1. Combine the strawberries, yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla in a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth. Taste to see if you need to add a sweetener such as honey or sugar.
2. Pour into popsicle molds and insert popsicle sticks. Freeze until solid.

June 21, 2017

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm so excited to share this delicious cookie recipe with you today. If you have never had cookie butter (Biscoff) before, you are definitely missing out! It is "eat by the spoonful" good. I'm not joking about that either.
This was my first time baking with cookie butter and it was a a total success. The cookie butter gave these chocolate chip cookies the perfect amount of cinnamon flavor and soft texture.
I mean look at that gooey center!
Cookie butter can be found right next to the peanut butter at your local grocery store and believe me you won't be able to stop eating it once you open it up.
Something I definitely want to try are cinnamon or white chocolate chips in these cookies. I think they might be even better than the semi-sweet chocolate chips because of the cookie butter's cinnamon flavor.
And there's only one way to find out...by making more of these bad boys!

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Slightly Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Biscoff spread (or TJ’s Cookie Butter)
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (cinnamon or white chocolate chips would be great, too)

1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. 2. Beat in egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. On high speed, beat in the Biscoff spread until completely combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt together until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. Switch to high speed and beat in the chocolate chips.
4. The cookie dough will be a little sticky. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
5. Remove cookie dough from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
7. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop, form into balls and place on the baking sheets.
8. Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pan once or twice during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven; they will continue to "set" as they cool. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

June 19, 2017

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes

I feel like I'm slowly getting the hang of using a pressure cooker when it comes to making sides and I have another amazing recipe for you today.

I'm so excited about this mashed potato recipe because it worked PERFECTLY. I swear my mashed potatoes are always lumpy, but these weren't and they tasted so good. I also loved using red potatoes with the skins still on. They had such a better texture than russet potatoes.

So if you want to impress your family or friends, you need to make these ASAP. So easy and they're pure comfort food.

Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from The Baker Upstairs
3 lbs. red potatoes, washed and cut into fourths
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup half and half
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1. Place the rack in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add the potatoes to the pot and pour the chicken broth over the top.
2. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set to high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release the pressure and drain the potatoes, preserving the liquid.
3. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or hand-mixer. Add the butter, half and half, salt and pepper. Mix until combined. Add cooking liquid as needed to reach the desired consistency of potatoes. Serve warm.

June 16, 2017

Chocolately Churro Chex Mix

I've been meaning to make churro Chex mix forever now and finally got my hands on some cinnamon chips, which can be hard to do. I found some Hershey's Cinnamon Chips at my local grocery store, but I know they're sold at specialty kitchen stores as well.

Anyway, back to the good stuff...this Chex mix is unreal. I added chocolate chips mostly because I didn't have enough cinnamon chips leftover and it just worked so I'm sticking to it.

Cinnamon and chocolate may sound like a weird combination, but I'm telling you, they're made for each other.
The cinnamon and chocolate chips are melted together to coat the cereal and then dusted with a yummy cinnamon-sugar mixture. I mean how can you say no to that?
Another awesome thing is this Chex mix is gluten-free and can easily be doubled if you need to take it to a large gathering. Trust me on this one, it will be the hit of the party.

Chocolatey Churro Chex Mix
5 cups rice Chex cereal
1 cup Hershey’s cinnamon chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. In a large microwavable bowl, microwave the cinnamon and chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted. Pour in Chex cereal a cup at a time until completely coated.
2. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon. Pour onto cereal mixture and toss to coat.
3. Pour cereal mixture onto wax paper or a cookie sheet and let cool before serving.

June 7, 2017

Healthy Spiced Applesauce Muffins

I am a homemade muffin fiend and it's the one thing I can sneak healthy ingredients into that my kids will always eat. Unless they can see those said healthy ingredients and then it's game over.

Anyway, these were a total favorite in our house and they are the softest, fluffiest, tastiest muffins ever. We were big fans.
I was so impressed with the texture of these and how they turned out. They were especially good warm and eaten within the first couple of days, but I don't know how they would last much longer than that.
I mean, how could you not devour these??

Healthy Spiced Applesauce Muffins
Makes 12-14 muffins
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup applesauce sweetened or unsweetened
1 large egg
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cavities of a muffin tin and lightly flour or use silicone liners. (These muffins will stick to paper liners.) Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix until combined.
3. In another bowl, mix together the applesauce, large egg, Greek yogurt, canola oil, vanilla extract and brown sugar. Mix until well combined.
4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until JUST combined. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. 
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the tin.

*Store leftover muffins in an airtight container in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before eating. Muffins best enjoyed within 3 days.

June 5, 2017

Mexican Fiesta Bowls

I love a good hearty meal with all the fixins and this is definitely one of those meals! It starts with a scoop of brown rice, some chili, tortilla chips, cheese, TOASTED COCONUT, cilantro and lime. The toasted coconut may sound weird at first, but I love its sweet addition to this dish.

If you need to feed a crowd, or simply feed your family, this is a great meal that everyone will love. It's so easy to make, too!

Mexican Fiesta Bowls
Adapted from Bev Cooks
Serves 4
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper
tortilla chips, crushed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup toasted coconut flakes
lime juice

1. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili, garlic and onion powders. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, brown the beef. Once there’s no more pink, mix in the spices. Season with salt and pepper. Push some of the beef to the edge of the pan and add the tomato paste. Press the paste into the bottom of the pan so the flavors release then mix it all together.
3. Stir in the beans, vinegar and brown sugar. Stir together, reduce heat to medium low and simmer (partially covered) for 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
4. To serve, place a scoop of brown rice in a bowl, a scoop of chili, tortilla chips, cheese, coconut flakes, cilantro and lime juice.

June 1, 2017

Pressure Cooker Brown Rice

I have another staple pressure cooker recipe for you today! While I'm new to the world of brown rice, (hello white rice lover), I can definitely see why people enjoy it. I'm trying to make healthier dinners and brown rice is a great grain to add to our diet.

I think the main reason I never really made brown rice before is because I never knew a great way to prepare it.

Enter the pressure cooker.
You basically drop the ingredients into the pressure cooker pot, set it and forget it.

This is a no-fuss recipe that results in perfect brown rice every time! And stay tuned for a delicious upcoming brown rice dinner idea. :)

Pressure Cooker Brown Rice
Adapted from Pressure Cook Recipes
2 cups brown rice, rinsed and drained well
2 cups water
pinch of kosher salt

1. Place brown rice, water and salt into pressure cooker. Close lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. When done, do a 5 minute quick pressure release. Once all of the pressure is released, open the lid carefully.
2. Fluff with a fork before serving. 

May 30, 2017

Overnight Pizza Dough

Ever since I made overnight artisan bread, I've been intrigued by overnight bread dough and was so excited my friend and neighbor, Jeanne, was teaching a class on how to make overnight pizza dough.

Once I tried her overnight pizza dough I decided I may never go back to any other kind!
It is so soft and basically melts in your mouth. I halved the recipe, but you can easily double it so it yields 2 sheet pans or 8 personal pizzas.

While it does take a bit of babysitting, it is mostly hands-off and it is so worth it. And yes, the type of flour makes a HUGE difference. Bread flour contains more gluten, which means your dough will be fluffier and chewier. But if you're in a pinch, you can use all-purpose flour.
My husband is now obsessed with this pizza dough as well and will not let me make anything else from here on out. It's that good!

Overnight Pizza Dough
Prep Time: About 13 1/2 hours, including rise time
Serving: 1 sheet pan
2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. water at room temperature

1. Add flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a large bowl. Stir with a large spoon until combined. Mix in oil and water until ingredients are fully hydrated, 1 to 2 minutes. 
2. Let rest 5 minutes then mix with a large spoon for an additional minute. The dough should be soft, supple and slightly sticky.
3. With wet fingers bring dough up from bottom of the bowl, stretch and fold over the top. Rotate bowl 1/4 and repeat 4 times. Let rest 5 minutes and repeat 3 more times. After each “stretch and fold” the dough will become firmer and less sticky.
4. Place in a large oiled container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator overnight (12 hours) or up to 3 days. (The dough will not always noticeably rise. This is normal.)
5. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before use. Stretch the dough as much as it will let you into an oiled sheet pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Finish stretching dough into sheet pan. Top with desired topping and bake for 15 minutes.

May 18, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Snack Cake

This is the perfect little treat to kick off strawberry season! It is so moist, dense yet fluffy and perfectly sweet! Your whole family will enjoy this snack cake and there are so many possibilities of what you could make with this cake batter.
The batter honestly tastes like sugar cookie dough, which is amazing! And the strawberries complement it so well.
I had some leftover toasted coconut lying around so sprinkle some on if you're into that sort of thing. I loved the addition of the coconut!
If you're in need of a perfect summer dessert to take to your next family get together then this is it! It's so easy to throw together and everyone will be so impressed.

Fresh Strawberry Snack Cake
Slightly Adapted from The Baker Upstairs
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and quarter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the butter and 1 cup sugar, until light and fluffy. 3. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt mixing until just combined.
4. Spread the cake batter in the prepared cake pan. Arrange the strawberries, cut side down, on top of the batter, spacing them close together (it's okay to overlap a little if you run out of room). Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
5. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Bake an additional 50 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

May 15, 2017

Bacon and Potato Soup

Ok so this soup may not having been the easiest to photograph since the color palette isn't the prettiest, but it was so good! I have always loved loaded potato soup with all the fixin's, but I wanted something similar without all the calories.

This soup has so much flavor for being a basic broth soup and it's perfect any time of the year. I loved the addition of the bacon and cheese to the individual portions so everyone can personalize their own. I added a dollop of sour cream to mine and loved it!

In other words, your family will love this easy and tasty soup. Be sure to give it a try!

Bacon and Potato Soup
Adapted from All Recipes
Makes 4-6 servings
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
3 small red potatoes, cubed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, optional

1. Add oil to a large saucepan and turn heat to medium-high. Add onion and carrots and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
2. Stir in chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
3. Top individual bowls of soup with bacon, cheese and sour cream if desired.

May 11, 2017

Grilled Cuban Mojo Chicken Quinoa Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Ok you guys, this meal was INCREDIBLE. Not only was it delicious, but it's healthy, too, which makes it even more amazing. It's awesome what a creative use of spices and natural foods can do to a meal.

So you've got yourself some nutrient-dense quinoa, yummy seasoned black beans, Cuban mojo chicken and some amazing grilled pineapple salsa. (I'm seriously drooling...)
And let me tell you the pineapple salsa can definitely stand on its own. Sooo good!
This recipe may look complicated, but it comes together easier than you think especially since you can grill the chicken and pineapple at the same time while your quinoa is cooking and your beans are warming up.

You NEED to try this recipe as soon as possible!!

Grilled Cuban Mojo Chicken Quinoa Bowls with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Adapted from Closet Cooking
Serves 4
3 tsp. garlic, minced
3/4 cup sour orange juice (or 1/2 cup orange juice + 1/4 cup lime juice)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 large chicken breasts
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 3/4 cup water (or broth)
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1 lime, juiced and zested
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt to taste
1 (15 oz.) can seasoned black beans, drained but NOT rinsed and warmed in a small pot

To Cook the Mojo Grilled Chicken:
1. Combine the garlic, sour orange juice, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper and place in a sealed container with the chicken breasts to marinate overnight in the fridge or for at least 1 hour.
2. Heat a grill to medium-high heat and cook the chicken 4-5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees F and the juices run clear. Slice into thin strips and set aside.
To Cook the Quinoa:
1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is nice and tender, about 15-20 minutes. (Or if you have a pressure cooker, use this recipe, but be sure to adjust the liquid!)
Grilled Pineapple Salsa:
1. Heat your grill over medium-high heat. Lightly brush the pineapple slices with oil and grill for 2 minutes on each side.
2. Dice the pineapple and mix with the onion, jalapeño, lime juice and zest and cilantro.
To assemble the Quinoa Bowls:
1. Layer each bowl with a scoop of quinoa, seasoned black beans, chicken and pineapple salsa. Enjoy!

May 9, 2017

Pressure Cooker Quinoa

This is my first pressure cooker recipe on the blog, but not the first one I've tried at home. There are so many pressure cooker varieties and while the Instant Pot seems to be the most popular, I have this Cuisinart pressure cooker that works great and it's not as expensive.

It's honestly really exciting to try new recipes in a pressure cooker, but the ones I've loved the most so far are basic like this one.

While I am new to the whole pressure cooker game and honestly the quinoa game, I found a winner recipe for both! I love that quinoa can be a healthier substitute for rice and it still fills you up. It also soaks up the sauce in your lunch or dinner oh so beautifully. ;)
This is such a simple recipe and if you're a pressure cooker beginner like me, this is a perfect one to try out. Plus the quinoa turns out perfectly! I promise you'll love it!

Pressure Cooker Quinoa
Adapted from Hip Pressure Cooking
Serves 4
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1 pinch salt
1. Place the quinoa in a *fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for a few minutes using your hands to rub the grains together.
2. Place the quinoa, water and salt in an electric pressure cooker. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. 
3. Cook for 1 minute at high pressure. Unplug the pressure cooker and open the lid when the pressure indicator/lid-lock has gone down (about 15 to 20 minutes). 
4. Fluff quinoa with a fork and serve.

*If you need a good fine-mesh strainer, I purchased this one last week and love it.