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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

 

 

 

Coconut Maple Granola

coconut maple granola

 

This is the best granola I have ever tasted.

I thought long and hard about things before I wrote that sentence. I have had a lot of granola. I love granola. But this is the best granola I’ve ever gotten my hands on. Since I discovered the recipe I have made it at least once a week and I’m not even close to sick of it yet. Thank goodness for Costco-sized packs of Quaker Oats!

All the credit for bringing this granola into my life goes to my friend Christina. She came down from Portland to stay with me over the holidays and brought a little pouch of this granola with her. I devoured it in about 5 seconds. After she left I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I asked her for the recipe. On one hand, I’m glad I did because, as I have stated, it is amazing. On the other hand, I think I am getting dangerously close to needing to check myself into granola rehab.

coconut maple granola

I guess this granola could have been called “Trader Joe’s” granola, huh? :)

I had never heard of coconut chips before this recipe, in fact, I was looking for something in a bag like chocolate chips! Haha, silly me. These coconut chips are little flecks of coconut that have been dried and roasted and they are delicious!

coconut maple granola

The combination of the flavor of the coconut oil and coconut chips with the maple syrup and brown sugar makes this granola irresistible! I’ll admit, this is overall sweeter than most granola I usually make, but if you pair it with some unsweetened greek yogurt it’s divine. If you prefer your granola a little less sweet, you can cut back on the sugar a bit, just be sure to add a little extra coconut oil to assure the granola gets crispy all over.

coconut maple granola

 

The original recipe called for pecans and pepitas only, but Christina had found some local Oregon hazelnuts and decided to throw them in and I can’t imagine this stuff without them! Hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts anyway, but with the amazing sugar/syrup coating they are even better! I like to leave them whole, but you can always give them a rough chop if you’d like.

coconut maple granola

 

This recipe makes a pretty giant batch, but it keeps well in an airtight container for at least a week, if it lasts you that long! Or fill a couple mason jars and give them to your neighbor, your boss, your kid’s teacher, or anyone you’d like to love you forever and ever.

Enjoy! And thanks Christina!

Recipe: Coconut Maple Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup together over medium heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, salt, and coconut chips. Pour sugar mixture over oat mixture and stir well to coat.
  4. Turn onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once to cook evenly.

 

 

Seared Salmon with Buttered Green Onions

Hey there!!!

I’m back with a recipe that is worth the wait! :) Well…at least I hope so! Turns out, getting ready for a baby is hard work. And time consuming work. Time consuming work that leads to #1 not that much time to make delicious foods and baked goods and #2 even less time to blog! But I haven’t forgotten you – I promise!

This recipe is based off of one my mom used to make all the time when I was a kid. Last month when we were up in Seattle, we stocked up on fresh, wild caught, Copper River Salmon so we’ve been enjoying it pretty much weekly since we’ve been back. I thought I’d get to try out some new salmon recipes with all the fillets we got, but I made a huge mistake. This was the recipe first and now my husband won’t let me make it any other way!

But who could blame him? How bad can a recipe be when it starts like this…

Am I right?!?! :)

This recipe is a perfect weeknight meal – cooks up in a jiffy and you can even use one pan to make it if you want – less clean up = more time to watch the bachelorette!

The key to this dish isn’t the butter (although it helps!), it’s really, really good salmon. If you don’t have a bunch straight from Seattle, don’t worry! Head on down to your local seafood market and grab some wild caught Alaskan Salmon and it will be just as delicious.

Searing the salmon couldn’t be easier. My husband and I have a favorite seafood restaurant in San Francisco called Gigi’s. They make all kinds of seafood all kinds of different ways, but our favorite is the pan seared. The salmon gets a nice crispy crust and as an added bonus it cooks up really fast!

While the salmon is cooking (or right after if you want to use the same pan!) cook up the green onions. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the chopped green onions. Cook until soft and translucent. Pretty easy huh?

When the onions are done, top the salmon with a big scoop of onions (don’t forget to scoop up some of that butter!). You’ll have a dish you’ll want to make again and again.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Seared Salmon with Buttered Green Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 pound wild salmon, cut into 2 fillets
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, let oil preheat for about 30 seconds.
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to oil, skin side up. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Until crust forms and inside is just barely cooked though.
  3. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted, add chopped onions. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  4. Serve salmon with a big scoop of onions and butter, season again with salt and pepper to taste.

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!
Enjoy!

Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Baked Eggs with Kale and Sausage

Happy Monday everyone!

 If you’ve read this blog before, you probably know that I have an extreme fondness for my local Farmer’s Market. It’s my Sunday ritual. I just love walking though and looking at the fresh, local produce, not to mention seeing things I can’t find at my local grocery store or (even more exciting) I’ve never even heard of! Shopping the farmer’s market also helps me branch out in the kitchen. I usually go with a list of things I know I need, but always come back with those items plus whatever looks so good I just can’t resist it. Case in point, last week these giant batches of kale looked so good I couldn’t stop myself from buying two. We used one to make the world’s largest batch of kale chips, and the second one sat in the fridge for a few days while I marinated on what to do with it.
Just so happened, I had a dozen extra large eggs in the fridge (from the farmer’s market too). So the wheels started turning. I do love breakfast for dinner, and sure an omelet would be easy, but too expected. Then I remembered a dish I had several years ago where the eggs were baked in a rich tomato sauce – I figured, why can’t I do the same thing with these eggs, only…very different. Time for some experimentation!
First, I fried up some sausage until it was crispy. You could use turkey sausage here, but the fat content in pork sausage goes a long way to help the flavor of the kale, so that’s what I’d suggest. After the sausage is cooked, drain it on a paper towel while you sauté your kale.
Kale is perfect for this dish because even when cooked, it still has some body. It doesn’t wilt down too much the way spinach might. When the kale is cooked down, pour it into a greased 9×9 baking dish and then sprinkle in the sausage. Use a spoon to mix things up so the sausage is incorporated in the kale instead of layered on top.
Next, all you need to do is crack your eggs on top season with S&P and bake! This was delicious for dinner, but would work great for brunch too! You could even make it in individual ramekins if you wanted to have an impressive and delicious addition to your brunch table.
Enjoy!

Recipe: Baked Eggs with Kale and Sausage

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 8 oz pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large skillet over med-hi heat, Cook sausage until brown and slightly crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Drain sausage onto a plate lined with paper towel. Set aside.
  3. Add oil to the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Add kale and sauté for about 5 minutes. Until Kale starts to wilt and darken, but still retains some shape.
  4. Grease a 9×9 baking dish. Add kale. Add sausage and stir together. Crack eggs on top of kale/sausage mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake 15-18 minutes, until whites are set but yolks are runny. (If you want your yolks set, increase baking time).

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. :)
Enjoy!

Recipe: Strawberry and Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

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!
Enjoy!!

Recipe: Thai Turkey Salad

(serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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! ;)
Enjoy!

Recipe: Truffled Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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???

Enjoy!

Recipe: Homemade Turkey Sausage

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

 

Superfood Granola

Hey!

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!

Enjoy!

*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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Happy Friday!

 Hope you are enjoying a bright, sunny day like I am! If not, whip one of these, close your eyes, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be on a tropical beach somewhere!
I love brussels sprouts. I make roasted brussels sprouts all the time. But I haven’t branched out into other cooking methods much. I guess it’s always kind of been an, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it kinda thing. That is, until I was at the grocery store with my hubby and he saw a prepackaged “brussels sprouts sauté” and said, “Hey, this looks good! Wanna try it?” Now, don’t get my wrong, I take help from the grocery store whenever I can. But I usually draw the limit at prepackaged things that I could totally make myself AND are about 3 times more expensive just because someone wrapped plastic wrap around them. “No!” I said. “I’ll make my own version!” So after a quick peek at the ingredients and a few more items in our basket, I was off.
I was a little weary of “shaved” brussels sprouts recipes because when I heard that my mind went immediately to my clumsy fingers holding a tiny sprout on the mandolin. Nothing good could possibly have come from that. Then I realized that all I had to do was slice the brussels sprouts thinly (way less risk of losing a finger) to achieve the shaved texture that is so popular on menus everywhere.
Brussels sprouts and bacon. A match made in heaven. It’s like chocolate chip cookies and milk, or hot dogs, beer, and baseball, or a LBD and red high heels. Some things just belong together.
One of the secret ingredients in this dish is a splash of red wine vinegar added to the brussels sprouts as they sauté. It takes away some of the natural bitterness they can have, and adds a slightly sweet tang that will make you want to go back for seconds! This dish takes shape in minutes so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal side dish (or any old time for that matter!).
Enjoy!

Recipe: Quick Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds brussels sprouts, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper (plus more to taste – I like my brussels sprouts salty!)

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium skillet over med-high heat. Chop bacon and add to the hot pan. Cook until done and brown on both sides. Remove from pan onto a paper towel to drain. Remove all but one tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add sliced brussels sprouts to the bacon grease. Cook one minute. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and stir. Cook 3 minutes. Add red wine vinegar and bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until brussels sprouts begin to be translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup with parmesan crisps

Happy Friday!

Isn’t the week back after vacation just the worst? Ever since I got back I just keep thinking, “If I were in Hawaii I’d be doing (blank)” and it’s always something WAY cooler then I’m really doing. Speaking of cool, I’m also freezing all the time because I want to wear things that show off my tan before it disappears but mother nature does not seem to be agreeing with me! I know, really serious problems, huh? :)
My solution to the post vacation blues? Park my butt in the kitchen! I’ve been whipping up lots of new things and I can’t wait to share them, starting with these cute-as-a-button soup shooters.
I made them as an appetizer, hence the tiny size, but you could just as easily serve this chunky, flavorful, healthy soup in as big a bowl as you can handle. Soup is one of my favorite things to make because it is quick, easy, and perfect for “health-ing up.” That’s to say, when you make your own soup you can leave out or substitute for things like butter, cream, etc. that many ready made soups contain. This soup is very low in calories but you’d never know by how good it tastes!
First, you have to broil the tomatoes and red bell pepper. Just place them on a baking sheet and place under the broiler on the top rack until the tomatoes begin to pop and peppers begin to char. This will take about 5-10 minutes depending on your broiler. You’ll want to turn the peppers to make sure they char evenly.
When you remove them, immediately place the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This steams the peppers and makes the charred skin really easy to remove. If you’ve ever tried skinning a pepper without doing this, you know how tough it can be. After you try this way you’ll never do it any other way! Just let to sit for about 10 minutes and then peel the skin off with ease!
Meanwhile, chop up your onion and garlic and sauté in a medium sauce pot with olive oil. Then add the tomatoes and skinned bell peppers. Add in the seasonings and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer.
While the soup is cooking, you can make the parmesan crisps. These are pretty tough, so get ready. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make 9 parmesan mounds. Place in the oven to cook. Remove. Voila! They are so easy, and so perfect for crumbling over your soup!
Using an immersion blender or a regular one, puree the soup (in batches if you are using a regular blender). Serve in whatever kind of cup you like – I like these cute multi colored ones! Top with greek yogurt, chives, and a parmesan crisp.
Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Roasted red pepper and tomato soup with parmesan crisps

Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 1/4 cups parmesan cheese
  • greek yogurt and chives for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to broil. Position the rack in the highest position. Place tomatoes and bell peppers on a baking sheet and broil, watching constantly, for 5-10 minutes, until tomatoes start to pop and peppers char. Turn peppers at least once to evenly char.
  2. Remove tomatoes and peppers from the oven and immediately place the peppers in a boil and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove plastic wrap carefully and peel skin from peppers. Coarsely chop.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and bell peppers along with seasonings and 1/2 cup chicken stock or water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer uncovered 15 minutes.
  4. Puree soup in a blender or using an immersion blender. At this point, if you want the soup a little thinner, add the other 1/2 cup of chicken stock or water. The texture of your soup will depend on how juicy your tomatoes were!
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place heaping tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese 2″ apart. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool before removing from the parchment.
  7. Top pureed soup with greek yogurt, chives, and parmesan crisps.
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