Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lemony Parmesan and Pea Risotto


There aren't many dishes more comforting than risotto. What I love about it is that the flavors are so versatile! I've made risotto with mushrooms, pumpkin, thai flavors, you name it. But in the spirit of spring, I decided to add peas and fresh lemon. The mixture of lemon and Parmesan is wonderful paired with the sweet peas. Serve this dish on it's own or serve alongside salmon or chicken. If you want to go completely vegetarian, simply stir in some cannellini beans at the end for added protein. 


1. Heat chicken broth in a medium saucepan over low heat. 

2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 



3. Add rice and toast for 1 minute. 


4. Pour in wine and cook until wine is completely absorbed. 

5. Add the warm broth, 1 ladle at a time, until all broth has been absorbed, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Once rice is fully cooked, stir in the peas and Parmesan.


6. Stir in lemon zest, juice and parsley. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve. Garnish with more cheese, if desired.  




 Lemony Parmesan and Pea Risotto 
Serves 8

All you need: 
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 carrot, peeled and diced 
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large sweet yellow onion, diced 
3 garlic cloves, minced 
1 cup Arborio rice 
1/2 cup white wine 
1/2 cup frozen peas 
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish 
Zest and juice of 1 lemon 
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley 
Salt and pepper, to taste  

All you do:
1. Heat chicken broth in a medium saucepan over low heat. 
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. 
3. Add rice and toast for 1 minute. 
4. Pour in wine and cook until wine is completely absorbed. 
5. Add the warm broth, 1 ladle at a time, until all broth has been absorbed, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Once rice is fully cooked, stir in the peas and Parmesan.
6. Stir in lemon zest, juice and parsley. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve. Garnish with more cheese, if desired. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Creamy Roasted Potato and Asparagus Soup


 So I'm not sure what's up with this snow, but any day in the 30's calls for a warm meal. As spring continues to tease us, I figured I would still take a moment to enjoy spring veggies. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, especially roasted, so I decided to turn it into a creamy, delicious soup. The parmigiano-reggiano cheese adds a perfect nuttiness and the plain Greek yogurt provides a wonderful creamy texture. Serve this with crusty bread and you've got a meal that satisfies the whole family (and gets them to eat their vegetables!).

1. Preheat oven to 425. Toss onion, asparagus, potatoes and olive oil together on a baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes.

2. Transfer roasted vegetables to a large saucepan and add cheese, nutmeg, crushed red pepper and vegetable broth. Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.


3. Carefully transfer soup to a blender and process for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Pour soup back into the pot and add the Greek yogurt and milk.


4. Cook soup for 10 minutes longer over lot heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Garnish with more cheese, if desired.


 Creamy Roasted Potato and Asparagus Soup
Serves 8
 
All you need: 
1 yellow onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into pieces
6 baby red potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch crushed red pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Toss onion, asparagus, potatoes and olive oil together on a baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes.
2. Transfer roasted vegetables to a large saucepan and add cheese, nutmeg, crushed red pepper and vegetable broth. Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Carefully transfer soup to a blender and process for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Pour soup back into the pot and add the Greek yogurt and milk.
4. Cook soup for 10 minutes longer over lot heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Garnish with more cheese, if desired.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Very Berry Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette


I think we can officially say spring is here (finally!) and with that comes sweet, juicy strawberries. They are by far my favorite fruit and getting them this cheap means it's time to stock up! They are especially tasty in this salad paired with tangy goat cheese and fresh blueberry dressing. Enjoy this meal for lunch or dinner and celebrate the season :)


1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Adjust seasonings as needed, transfer to a small bowl and set aside.


3. Grill chicken 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil; rest for 5 minutes, then slice.



4. Place spinach in a large mixing bowl and toss with 1/2 the dressing. Separate onto 4 plates and top with strawberries, blackberries, almonds, goat cheese and sliced chicken. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.





Very Berry Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4

All you need:
Vinaigrette
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 small shallot, diced
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (preferably aged balsamic if you can find it)
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken
8 cups baby spinach
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

All you do:
1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
2. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Adjust seasonings as needed, transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
3. Grill chicken 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil; rest for 5 minutes, then slice.
4. Place spinach in a large mixing bowl and toss with 1/2 the dressing. Separate onto 4 plates and top with strawberries, blackberries, almonds, goat cheese and sliced chicken. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Italian Chicken Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


Good-for-you comfort food is exactly what I needed after a long day. These meatballs are packed with lean protein and fresh flavors and the sweet roasted red pepper sauce sends it over the top. This dish seems gourmet, but it's on your table in about 20 minutes! 


1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine meatball ingredients. Shape into 16 meatballs and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.



3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add Italian seasoning and red wine and cook until wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.



4. Place spinach, sundried tomatoes and roasted red peppers in a blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture into the pan with the wine and turn heat to low. Stir in heavy cream.


5. Serve meatballs with a good amount of sauce (and pasta, if desired).




Italian Chicken Meatballs with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Serves 6

All you need:
Meatballs
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 shallot, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/4 cup red wine
1 cup baby spinach
1 (6 oz.) jar sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine meatball ingredients. Shape into 16 meatballs and bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add Italian seasoning and red wine and cook until wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
4. Place spinach, sundried tomatoes and roasted red peppers in a blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture into the pan with the wine and turn heat to low. Stir in heavy cream.
5. Serve meatballs with a good amount of sauce (and pasta, if desired).


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Asian Turkey Sliders with Crunchy Slaw


While I love a good turkey burger, sometimes they can be pretty dry because they're lower in fat. An easy fix for that is adding moisture and flavor. In this case, I decided to go with an Asian theme and add sweet Hoisin sauce and fresh vegetables. The creamy yogurt and crunchy slaw topping round out the flavors perfectly. If you're watching your carbs, simply skip the bun and serve with burgers over a bed of slaw. 


1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, garlic and jalapeño and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, salt, Hoisin sauce, green onion, cilantro and lime juice. Place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry.



3. Meanwhile, combine slaw ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and sweet chili sauce.



4. Coat a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray and turn heat to medium. Shape the meat mixture into 8 patties and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.


5. To serve, spread each bun half with the yogurt mixture. Top one half with a burger, 2-3 slices cucumber, a scoop of slaw and the other bun half. Repeat with the remaining burgers.



Asian Turkey Sliders with Crunchy Slaw
Makes 8 sliders

All you need:
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
8 slider buns, split

Slaw
1 small bag coleslaw mix
1 tablespoons reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Thinly sliced cucumber, for garnish

All you do:
1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, garlic and jalapeño and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, combine turkey, salt, Hoisin sauce, green onion, cilantro and lime juice. Place in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to marry.
3. Meanwhile, combine slaw ingredients in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and sweet chili sauce.
4. Coat a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray and turn heat to medium. Shape the meat mixture into 8 patties and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
5. To serve, spread each bun half with the yogurt mixture. Top one half with a burger, 2-3 slices cucumber, a scoop of slaw and the other bun half. Repeat with the remaining burgers.