Lemony Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Soup

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup3

I am fully aware that I have no business talking about winter. Our California winter could barely be described as “mild.” But, I’ve become a wuss. Now, when it drops below 60, I need a big jacket and a beanie. That…and a big bowl of soup. On one particularly chilly day in February after I put my son to bed I needed 3 things: my cozy bathrobe, The Bachelor on DVR, and this soup.

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup

My husband is always extremely complimentary about my cooking. I’m lucky that he likes most things so he’s pretty easy to please. He likes soup, but has this “thing”… he doesn’t consider soup a meal. An appetizer? Yes. Part of a meal? Sure. But soup period for dinner isn’t usually his first choice.

So you can imagine my surprise when he could not stop raving about this soup. Period.

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup2

In fact, it was this soup that made him say, “You really need to start blogging again. People need to know about this soup!” So, here it is!

The secret to this soup is the lemon. The recipe calls for a good amount (1/2 cup) of lemon juice – more than you’d find in most soups. But don’t worry, the soup doesn’t turn out sour at all. The acidity is the perfect offset for the bitterness of the kale. Using chicken thighs gives you the richness you need to make the soup hearty and the white beans bulk up the soup and add just the right texture. Everything works together in perfect harmony.

Lemon, Chicken, & Kale Soup 4


Go low carb and serve it as is, or get crazy and add a big hunk of warmed bread. For all of you in other parts of the country, this is just what you need to warm you up from those freezing temperatures. For those of you in California, I hear it is going to dip below 70 soon. Better have a bowl of this soup ready!

Recipe: Lemony Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Soup


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 10 oz package kale
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • lemon zest for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper chicken thighs. Roast 20-25 minutes. Coarsely chop. Set aside.
  2. Preheat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl with oil to coat. Add shallot and cook 1 minute, add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add stock, lemon juice, and kale. Bring liquid to a boil. Stir kale until it begins to wilt and all kale is covered by the liquid. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover partially and cook 15 minutes.
  4. Add white beans. Cook 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle into big bowls. Top with lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.




Blueberry Oat Muffins


So, things have been a liiitle crazy around here lately, so some quick and easy meals have been a must. These muffins have been my grab and go-to for breakfast pretty much every morning last week, not to mention a few quick lunches and snacks mixed in as well!

Luckily, I don’t feel too badly about making two of these and a handful of cherries my impromptu lunch because of all the good stuff that fills them up!

The recipe I derived these muffins from calls for you to process the oats in a food processor to make oat flour, but I prefer the texture difference of using the whole oats instead. Plus, I almost doubled the amount of blueberries used in the batter because…why not?! Who doesn’t est a blueberry muffin wishing there were just a few more blueberries scattered in there?

Make sure to give the frozen blueberries a toss in flour before mixing them into the batter, that way they won’t all sink to the bottom. You could use fresh blueberries if you have them, but for some reason I can never keep fresh blueberries in the house long enough to do anything other than eat them by the handful!

Go ahead a fill the muffin cups almost o the top, that way you’ll get big, puffy muffins. I also think next time I make these I’ll sprinkle some dry oats on the top for even more texture.

These will keep for about a week, but they are also great to freeze. I think they will be one of my “make before baby comes projects.” I wouldn’t mind having a dozen or so of these in the freezer for late night feeding snacks!


Recipe: Blueberry Oat Muffins


  • 1 2/3 cups oats
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Mix flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats; stir well. Make a well in center of mixture.
  3. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
  4. Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour, and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter.
  5. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

It’s very rare that I make the same thing two nights in a row. Sure, we use leftovers with the best of them, but if I am cooking it is extremely uncommon for me to cook the same thing on two consecutive nights. This little factoid is important because as soon as I made these roasted chickpeas and my husband tried them he made me promise to make them the next night for dinner as well! That’s when I knew I had a winner!

I love chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) and thought I used them a lot. I make homemade hummus, throw them in salads, stir them in soups, and even toss with pasta. So I couldn’t believe I have never had them baked. It’s a whole new world!

 Not only are these good enough to eat two nights in a row, but they are also easy enough to make even if you want them every night of the week! Active prep time is about 90 seconds and then you just pop ‘em in the oven while you get the rest of dinner ready.
Just drain the garbanzos and then pour onto a couple layers of paper towels. Then, grab another layer of paper towels and place them on top. Rub back and forth gently (you don’t want to squish them!) until most of the skins have slipped off. Then gather up the skins and toss them out and put the beans in a bowl.
Toss with the spices and stir. Then turn onto a baking sheet.
Bake until brown and crispy. Time will vary between 30 and 45 minuted depending on how dry your chickpeas were before baking. Just start checking them at 30 minutes and about every 5 minutes after.
Serve ‘em up! We had ours with some grilled salmon on night one and baked chicken on night two, but they’ll go with anything! Michael also mentioned that he thought they would be great as an alternative to peanuts or almonds as a party snack or appetizer – which they would!

Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)


  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans. Dry between 2 layers of paper towels, rubbing gently to remove skins. Discard skins and place chickpeas in a bowl.
  4. Toss with next 4 ingredients and pour onto prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Stir the beans at least once during baking for even browning.

Strawberry and Avocado Salsa

Happy Friday!

 I’m so excited about this recipe. It involves so many of my favorite things! Strawberries, avocado, cilantro, and Mexican food in general. If it wasn’t so frowned upon I’d make a giant batch to bathe in. That would be frowned upon, right?
This salsa is so versatile, which, along with the amazing flavor is why I love it! You can really spice it up and eat it with tortilla chips, or leave the spice out and have it with cinnamon sugar chips for a sweet treat, or us it as a topping for grilled steak, chicken, or even fish! Basically, you should just make it and then you’ll start inventing ways to use it just so you can eat it at every meal.
Strawberries are all over right now and I couldn’t be happier. Last week I got some that were as big as my head! Ok, maybe a sliiiight exaggeration but they were huge! Usually I can take a strawberry down in one bite, two TOPS. But these were 4 or 5 biters! Unheard of!

 You want to make sure your avocados are ripe but not mushy. You want the chunks to stay chunk-y in the salsa, not get blended in. I throw a ton of cilantro into this salsa because I love it. In my experience, you either love cilantro or hate it. While my cilantro-loving self can’t imagine how anyone couldn’t feel the same, you could make this dish without the cilantro…I guess. ;)
Another great thing about this dish is that it is just as easy to make a small batch as it is to make a big batch, so it’s perfect for your next BBQ, dinner party, or picnic. Or, it’s perfect to keep in the fridge for a few days for meals, snacks, and eating straight with a spoon. :)

Recipe: Strawberry and Avocado Salsa


  • about 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 avocados, cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (for a milder salsa, take out the seeds and ribs)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • teaspoon salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Hey there!

Happy Friday! Hope you are looking forward to a wonderful weekend! It is supposed to be warm and sunny in the Bay Area and I’m looking forward to being outside and soaking in some rays. Until then, I’ll be eating this cake!

Don’t you just love having people over for dinner? I do! The other night we had some friends over for dinner and it was so much fun. I was in charge of the main dish and dessert. I went for an apple theme because I purchased a giant bag of apples before I left for Chicago (smart move I know) and needed to use some up. So I went with pork chops and applesauce for dinner and I spent hours trying to find the perfect apple dessert. Sometimes when I have people over, I tend to go a biiiit overboard or try to be too fancy. I was looking at some seriously complex (and don’t get me wrong, delicious) looking apple desserts, but then I came upon this ridiculously simple apple cake and for some reason just went with it.

Wouldn’t you know, this dessert received RAVE reviews from the dinner guests! Sometimes simple is best! I also didn’t mention a peep to the guys who were going on and on about how delicious it was that it was both low fat AND whole wheat! Muahahahahaaa! (ßmy sneaky laugh!)

I think one thing I did that made my guests (and me!) swoon over this cake is that I used really good cinnamon. For Christmas, I got some “boutique” spices from my mother in law which I use all the time. You don’t have to go scouring your local gourmet shop for ceylon cinnamon, but you should use a good quality cinnamon, preferable one that hasn’t been sitting in your spice cupboard since Full House was running new episodes.

Another trick is to really cream the sugar, butter, and cream cheese. I let mine run on medium high speed for about 5 minutes. This leaves you with a ridiculously airy batter and in turn, a light and fluffy cake! It’s also really important to let your butter and cream cheese come up to room temp before mixing. Don’t even try melting or defrosting in the micro. Just be patient!

After you cream the batter, gently fold in the dry ingredients and then the apples coated in lemon, cinnamon and sugar. Pour in a spring form pan and sprinkle with more cinnamon & sugar mixture. Make sure to grease the pan well so it doesn’t stick!

You may want to leave the house while this is baking to avoid being so entranced by the smell that you pull it out of the oven and dive in to a half-baked cake with a spoon.

You can serve the cake warm or at room temperature, and it goes extremely well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Incidentally, it also serves as a fantastic breakfast. J


Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Cake


  • • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
  • • 1/2 cup stick butter, room temperature
  • • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • • 6 ounces block-style reduced fat cream cheese, softened (about 3/4 cup)
  • • 2 large eggs
  • • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • • 4 cups chopped, peeled apple (about 3 large)
  • • Cooking spray
  • • juice of 1/2 a lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.
  3.  Combine 1/4cup sugar and cinnamon. Combine 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture, lemon juice, and apple in a bowl, and stir apple mixture into batter. Pour batter into a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.
  4. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.

Grilled Lentil Salad

Hi friends!

 Sometimes the most delicious recipes come out of thin air. Case in point: grilled lentil salad. Last week my hubby and I were at a loss for what to have for dinner. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store because I had a full fridge. The problem was, I went to the grocery store without any kind of plan as to what my meals for the week would be. I don’t usually do this, but when I do, it almost always ends up with me stringing together the hodge podge of produce, protein, and grain I did pick up in any way that remotely makes sense. Luckily, this time not only did it make sense, it was utterly delicious!
We have a charcoal grill, which is great because of the flavor we get when we grill anything, but not so great for the time it takes to get ready. So, when we grill, I want to grill everything. I figure, if we’re going to the trouble to turn it on, why not use it! After putting our heads together, we decided to make this grilled lentil salad. I cannot lie, the original idea was really Michael’s, but then I thought of this grilled panzanella salad I made last year and thought, why couldn’t I do something similar with lentils? Turns out, you can! And it’s delicious!
You could really use whatever veggies you have on hand, but red peppers, onions, and zucchini offered a nice mix of flavors and textures. You can also choose how charred you want them, I like my veggies really charred, especially with a charcoal flavor, but if you don’t, just take a couple minutes off of grilling time.
Lentils are great. Yummy and versatile. Plus they are nutritional powerhouses. We try to incorporate lots of lentils into out diets, but you have to be creative. No one likes a big bowl of plain ol lentils. Green lentils work best for this recipe because they stand up well in a salad. You could also use black lentils, but red lentils won’t hold together enough to be tossed in this salad.
The dressing for this salad is tangy, a little spicy, and works great with the lentils and veggies. Once you taste it you’ll probably also want to put it on green salad, dip grilled chicken into it, or use it for one of a million other things for which it would also be really delicious!
Make sure to pour it on the salad while everything is still hot so that it can soak in and coat everything. Speaking of hot, a great thing about this salad is that it can be served hot, room temperature, or cold. It would also be great to take to a picnic or potluck since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and will hold up well even after a few hours.
In every bite of this salad you get the grill flavor of the veggies, the meaty texture of the lentils, and the tangy dressing. It’s perfect for a side dish or as a very balanced lunch on it’s own, complete with protein (thanks lentils!). Better yet, make it as a side dish one night and you’ve got lunch ready for tomorrow! Score!!

Recipe: Grilled Lentil Salad


  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 2 red bell peppers, whole
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook the lentils according to package instructions until al dente. Set aside
  2. Slice onion into three equal rounds (about 1/2″ thick). Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Drizzle onion, red pepper, and zucchini with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Toss to coat. Grill over medium high heat on a charcoal or gas grill (you can also use a grill pan on the stove). Grill red peppers until they are charred and black all around (you will remove skins later). Grill onions 4-5 minutes per side, until dark grill marks appear and onions soften. Grill zucchini 3-4 minutes per side, until dark grill marks appear and flesh softens. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly before slicing. For a tutorial about how to remove skins from a red bell pepper, look here.
  3. Chop veggies and add them to a large bowl with the lentils.
  4. Mix together mustard, oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for the dressing. Beat with a whisk for a minute or two until completely emulsified. Drizzle over the still warm salad. Toss to coat.
  5. Top with chopped chives. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.

Thai Turkey Salad

Happy Friday!!

 Hope you are looking forward to a wonderful, relaxing weekend. I’ll be doing some work around the house, hanging out with some friends, and watching the Master’s. I love seeing all that bright green grass – makes me want to go kick some butt on the putt putt course! :)
This salad is #1 delicious #2 so quick and easy and #3 super healthy. Does it get much better than that for a recipe? I think not. In fact, after dinner, my husband said to me, “You are putting this on the blog, right? People definitely need to know about this.” So, per Michael’s recommendation, here it is!
The Thai flavors in this salad not only come from the garnish (mint, lime, peanuts) but they are infused into the meat so every bite is more flavorful than the last! So head to your pantry and fridge and grab your Thai flavor essentials.
Fish sauce. Don’t be grossed out. Fish sauce is to Thai food what soy sauce is to sushi…or something like that. I mean, I don’t know that anyone actually dips anything into fish sauce (that would be a bit much) but the point is, most Thai dishes have fish sauce in there somewhere. So even if you don’t like fish, don’t worry! Fish sauce won’t leave your turkey tasting like you just grabbed it out of the ocean, I promise. Mirin isn’t traditionally Thai, but I like the added sweetness and tang. I also can’t get enough Sambal Oelek. We pretty much put it on everything. Feel free to add more than suggested if you like things hot, or less if you have a tender tongue!
It’s a toss up as to what the most difficult part of this recipe is…Turning on the stove? Mixing up the sauce? Chopping the cucumbers? ;) It’s all so easy! And comes together in just minutes, perfect for a healthy, flavorful meal, even if you get home from work a little late. First, brown the ground turkey and then add the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes. While that is cooking, get the rest of your salad ready. A big bed of green cabbage, chopped cucumber, and lots and lots of fresh mint. The fresh mint is one of my favorite parts of Thai food, so I pile it on, you can use your on discretion.
If you are like me, once you get the salad assembled, you might think, there is not going to be enough dressing on this thing! Because basically, you have the squeeze of lime and the juices with the turkey (which aren’t a lot), but trust me, it is just perfect. It is a bit of a “dry” salad, but it works. I really works. If you just can’t possibly imagine a salad without some extra liquid, squeeze another half lime over everything to lossen it up a bit, but really these is so much flavor happening here you won’t miss gobs of dressing. Top everything off with some shelled peanuts and you’re off to the races.
Make this for someone special and see what kind of compliments you get…I was pretty happy with mine!

Recipe: Thai Turkey Salad

(serves 4)


  • 6 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup shelled peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (optional, adds a little extra sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 limes, halved
  • lime wedges for garnish


  1. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned (about 7-10 minutes).
  2. Mix together fish sauce, honey, mirin, sambal, and water. When turkey has browned, reduce heat to medium and pour sauce over meat. Cook an additional 5 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone.
  3. Assemble salads: place cabbage in the bottom of a large salad bowl, top with cucumber and mint. Squeeze 1/2 lime over each salad. Top with turkey mixture. Sprinkle peanuts over the top and garnish with additional lime wedges and mint, if desired.

Truffled Pea Soup


Hi there!

Last week was my spring break and I spent it soaking up some family time in Chicago with my mom and sisters. We had so much fun! But, I realized that “spring” in Chicago is very different than “spring” in Northern California. It was quite chilly and windy and we were wearing coats everywhere we went. The really funny thing was, as soon as it got up past 50 degrees, all these crazy people in shorts came out! It was like shorts, sun dresses, and tank tops everywhere! I couldn’t believe it!  I guess they had spent a very long winter in sweaters and coats and they are ready to change up the wardrobe, but geeze! At 50 degrees I’m still in a parka! (Ok, I’m a bit of a wuss).

So, basically what I’m trying to say is, here’s something for those of you that think that spring means 50 degrees and windy :)
This pea soup couldn’t be easier, or more delicious! It requires just a few ingredients and a bit of time to bring together.
The secret ingredient that brings this soup from “yum” to “OHMYGOSHTHATSGREAT” is a teeny bit of truffle oil. A little of this stuff goes a long way so I suggest getting a small bottle of the good stuff rather than a big bottle of the ok-but-not-great stuff.
After sautéing the garlic and onions, just add the peas, straight from the freezer. Couldn’t be easier! Toss in some chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make a totally vegetarian dish) and let cook for about 20 minutes. Then blend it up in the blender until you have a smooth, silky, soup you’ll enjoy no matter what climate you’re in.
The great thing about this soup is it is perfect for the season if your spring is 70 and sunny and you can buy fresh peas in the farmer’s market and have a bowl on your porch, but it’s also perfect if your spring is 50 and windy and need something to warm you up after your chilly walk home. So make up a batch asap! I think I might have to go back to Chicago just to prove my point! ;)

Recipe: Truffled Pea Soup


  • 1 16 oz bag frozen peas or 2 1/2 cups fresh peas (shelled)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock (homemade if you have it!)
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • white truffel oil for drizzling


  1. Preheat a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and tarragon. Cook 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add frozen peas and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, 15-20 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Make sure to remove the top circle of the blender so that steam can escape.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with a drizzle (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) of white truffle oil.

Homemade Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Good Morning!

I’ve been trying to eat more protein for breakfast recently, which isn’t always so easy for an oatmeal/cereal/toast loving gal. And I love my green smoothies with protein powder, but everyone needs a little variety now and then. The problem is, I’m usually running out the door at the very last minute before I know I’ll be late for work so it’s not always so easy to fry up some bacon or make that chicken omelet I’ve been craving.

Luckily, these homemade turkey sausage patties can be made ahead, so whip up a batch on Sunday night and you’ll have a healthy protein boost ready to help you kick start your morning!

Packed inside these terrific turkey treats are all the flavors you’re looking for in sausage: garlic, smoked paprika, and fennel seed. And because you’re using turkey you get all that sausage flavor with way fewer calories and fat grams then if you ordered up a side at your local breakfast joint.

Mixing these patties up is a cinch, but you can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Really get in there and mix the herbs and spices in so that each bite tastes as good as the next. Then, simply pan fry the sausages, about 5 minutes per side. You need about 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan before you get cooking; the ground turkey breast doesn’t have the fat content of pork or beef, so it needs a little help!

These sausage patties taste great drizzled with maple syrup or dunked in a farm fresh egg yolk. You could also whip yourself up a homemade Sausage McMuffin. I bet they’d also be great sliced up and wrapped around a pancake. Man, is anyone else getting hungry???


Recipe: Homemade Turkey Sausage


  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix very well with your hands, being sure to incorporate fully.
  2. Form into 8 patties.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook sausage about 5-7 minutes per side, until brown on both sides and cooked though.


Strawberry Mint Sorbet

Hey! No April foolin’ here – this Strawberry Mint Sorbet is a quick, easy, and super delicious treat you’ll want to make no matter what the weather is where you live. I say that because I’m about to head to freezing cold Chicago from sunny, warm California, but I might just make a batch of this to eat while snuggled up in a sweatshirt and blanket!

The best part of this recipe? Besides how amazing it tastes of course.. It’s only 3 ingredients!

The second best part? It only takes one simple step to come together! Just crab your food processor, toss everything in and blend away!

You want to let the berries thaw at room temperature for about 20 minutes before processing. Then, you’ll end up with a fantastic smelling strawberry mint crumble.

Don’t worry, no one will judge if you try a bite ;)

Drizzle in 1/2 cup water and you’ll get the base of your sorbet. It’s basically like a sweet, minty, fresh strawberry slurpee.

Stick it in the freezer for at least an hour and serve. Fresh, fruity, homemade sorbet that is better than any you could buy in the grocery store or pay $3 a scoop for in the ice cream shop.



Recipe: Strawberry Mint Sorbet


  • 1 16oz bag frozen strawberries, thawed at room temperature for 20 minutes
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor and process until you get a crumbly consistency.
  2. Drizzle in 1/2 cup water and process until smooth.
  3. Freeze in a shallow container for at least 1 hour.

Chicago Dog Salad

She said what???? Yep, Chicago Dog Salad. I thought the same thing when my husband came home and told me he had seen this salad at a meeting. It’s pretty rare that something in the culinary world shocks me, but I had never even thought of something like this. Which is interesting because I feel like I’ve turned just about everything else into a salad at some point or another. But never a Chicago Dog…until now! As soon as Michael told me about it, I knew I would have to give it a go.

My sister lives in Chicago so I am well versed in Chicago Dog culture. And it is a culture there. Do not even try to put ketchup on a hot dog in Chicago – you will regret it. Woah. That’s one mistake I’ll never make again! But don’t worry. No ketchup here. Just all the ingredients of a perfect Chicago Dog!
I know what you are thinking…Sweet Apple Sausage??? Ok, you’re right. They don’t use sweet apple sausage in Chicago. My husband was really skeptical too, but you so many salty and spicy elements in this salad that I thought the apple sausage would be a nice balance. Turns out, I was right! When you get a bite with a salty pickle, spicy peperoncini, and hot onion with the sweet, charred sausage to create salad harmony, you’ll understand.
This salad is very easy to put together. Just chop up all the veggies and brown the sausage in a skillet. Make sure you use a great big bowl so you can do a good job mixing to incorporate everything.
One of the aspects of this salad I am most impressed with (if I do say so myself) is the dressing. I was just thinking, “what aspects have I missed in this salad that are present in a Chicago Dog,” and there it was: mustard and poppy seeds. Mustard because, as we have discussed, it is the only thing acceptable to put on your dog and poppy seeds because of the poppy seed hot dog bun. I toyed with tossing bits of bun in the salad, but I think poppy seeds in the dressing gets the point across just as well – maybe even better!
Since I’m headed to Chicago in two weeks to visit my sisters and the cutest niece in the world, I think I’ll have to have this salad a few more times just to get me in the mood!

Recipe: Chicago Dog Salad


  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large hot house tomato, diced
  • 5 pickles, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 10 pepperoncinis, chopped
  • 4 chicken apple sausages
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste, but the pickles add a lot of salty flavor)


  1. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and pepperoncinis. Toss well.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Slice sausages in half lengthwise. Cook sausages until blackened on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Chop sausages and add to salad.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, evoo, salt, pepper, and poppy seeds. You’ll probably make more dressing than you can use on one salad, but it keeps well in the fridge for at least a week.
  5. Drizzle over the salad and toss well to combine. Top with another sprinkle of poppy seeds.

Superfood Granola


As spring approaches, I’m finding myself in the mood for some lighter foods all throughout the day. Especially after indulging a little too much over the holiday weekend! But, being as I’m just about 6 months pregnant, I’m also finding myself needing a bit more food to fill us  both up! So, I want to make sure the extra food I’m eating isn’t just satisfying my hunger, it’s also giving me the nutrients I need to pass along to my little man.

This superfood granola is so packed with good-for-you-stuff it’s a light, yet filling meal you can feel great about eating. Oh, and it tastes so good you’ll feel like you’re indulging too!

This granola is a little bit different than my normal granola recipes, mainly because it’s not baked! Which coincidentally makes it a cinch to throw together on a weeknight or any old time. The almond butter and honey you add bind the granola without needing to bake it – so it’s perfect for all you raw food lovers out there! The honey does make it a little sweeter than my usual granola recipes but I counterbalanced the extra sweetness well by using unsweetened fruit. But if you like your granola sweet, feel free to use sweetened fruit!

This recipe really packs in the vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. All things we could use more of on a daily basis! If you press this granola into a pan and chill it, you’ll end up with granola bars. Perfect for those of us that are constantly on the go (who isn’t!?!). Or you can do what I did and break them up before they are completely set to make a chunky no-bake loose granola. Either way it tastes delicious. The unbaked oats have a different taste and texture than baked oats, but not baking them allows them to soak up the almond buttery/honey goodness. And because this granola is a bit sweeter you can toss it into some plain greek yogurt for a quick, easy, and extremely healthy breakfast – no extra sweeteners needed!

This granola will definitely help you get your day started off on the right foot. Give it a try!


*Important recipe note! This granola will come out just as good with some small substitutions. No chia seeds? No problem? Like rasins instead of blueberries? Go for it! you get the idea.. :)

Recipe: Superfood Granola


  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raw/turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Lightly grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine oats, walnuts, flaxseeds, wheat germ, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently until lightly bubbling; 2-5 minutes.
  4. Immediately pour almond butter mixture over oat mixture and carefully mix with a rubber spatula or spoon.
  5. Gently press mixture into prepared pan, smoothing the top evenly.
  6. For granola bars: Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  7. For loose granola: Refrigerate until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Break granola up into chunks and continue to let cool at room temperature until completely cooled.
  8. Store bars or granola in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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