Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mediterranean Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps

 As warmer weather approaches (slowly), I start to crave lighter dishes. This meal is bursting with flavor, but won't leave you feeling weighed down, making it the perfect simple supper or portable lunch. If you want to add an extra flavor (and texture), finish with a sprinkle of toasted pinenuts.


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form into 12 meatballs and bake for 20 minutes. 




3. Meanwhile, combine the cucumber sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. 


4. Place lettuce leaves on a serving platter and top each with a meatball. Finish with a dollop of sauce and a sprinkle of feta.


Mediterranean Turkey Meatball Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4 (3 wraps each)

All you need:
Meatballs
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 zucchini, grated
1/2 small red onion, grated
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten 
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cucumber sauce
1 (6 oz.) plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped dill
Juice of 1 lemon 

12 butter lettuce leaves
Crumbled feta cheese, for garnish 

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form into 12 meatballs and bake for 20 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, combine the cucumber sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. 
4. Place lettuce leaves on a serving platter and top each with a meatball. Finish with a dollop of sauce and a sprinkle of feta.
 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Strawberry Lemon Crisp

 I love spring for so many reasons, but one of my favorite reasons is because it's strawberry season! It's the perfect time to fill your shopping cart with several pints and enjoy the sweetness. This recipe is super simple, but will definitely impress your guests. Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. YUM.


1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. 
2. Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the baking dish and set aside. 





3. Combine the flour, oats, sugars, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter and coconut oil and stir until moistened crumbs form. Spoon mixture over the filling. 



4. Bake until the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then serve warm.




Strawberry Lemon Crisp
Serves 6

All you need:
Filling
4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup brown sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar (optional)

Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cups oats
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. 
2. Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into the baking dish and set aside. 
3. Combine the flour, oats, sugars, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter and coconut oil and stir until moistened crumbs form. Spoon mixture over the filling. 
4. Bake until the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then serve warm.
 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chopped Broccoli Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

 This may look like "health food", but it's actually the perfect way to get a boatload of veggies and protein without sacrificing flavor. This salad provides a great crunch and holds up well in the fridge so you can enjoy it throughout the week (by itself, or with grilled chicken or fish). And once the weather warms up, it's also a good gluten-free option to take to your next picnic!


1. Place broccoli in a food processor and pulse into small pieces (work in batches if needed). Transfer to a large mixing bowl.


2. Place carrots in a food processor and pulse until they are the same size as the broccoli. Transfer to the same bowl.



3. Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine.


4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Drizzle over the salad and mix until well combined. Keep salad cold until ready to serve.





Chopped Broccoli Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
Serves 8

All you need:
1 (12 oz.) bag fresh broccoli florets
3 carrots, trimmed and roughly chopped 
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped 
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil mayo
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar (or honey)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

All you do:
1. Place broccoli in a food processor and pulse into small pieces (work in batches if needed). Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2. Place carrots in a food processor and pulse until they are the same size as the broccoli. Transfer to the same bowl.
3. Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine.
4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Drizzle over the salad and mix until well combined. Keep salad cold until ready to serve.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Chinese BBQ Grilled Pork Chops


If the weather is above 40 degrees, it's grill time in my opinion. Grilling is my favorite cooking method because it's fast and adds a great smoky flavor. Speaking of flavor, these pork chops are a flavor BOMB. The sauce is a combo of sweet, salty and spicy and will have you licking your plate. Serve the chops with rice or stir-fried veggies.

1. Combine marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl.


2. Place pork chops in a large storage bag and pour 1/2 of the marinade over. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight). Reserve the remaining marinade in a separate container in the fridge. 


3. Heat grill to medium-high and grill the chops for 6-8 minutes per side (depending on the thickness) until they are no longer pink. Remove the chops from the grill and rest for 10 minutes. 



4. While the chops rest, warm the remaining marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle sauce over the pork chops and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. 





Chinese BBQ Grilled Pork Chops
Serves 4

All you need:
Marinade
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup agave nectar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sriracha (or more if you want it spicier) 
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice

4 boneless pork chops
Sesame seeds and sliced green onion, for garnish

All you do:
1. Combine marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Place pork chops in a large storage bag and pour 1/2 of the marinade over. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight). Reserve the remaining marinade in a separate container in the fridge. 
3. Heat grill to medium-high and grill the chops for 6-8 minutes per side (depending on the thickness) until they are no longer pink. Remove the chops from the grill and rest for 10 minutes. 
4. While the chops rest, warm the remaining marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle sauce over the pork chops and garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. 
 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Matcha Almond Cookies


It's not often that I give myself a pat on the back, but these were just that good. The subtle flavor of green tea paired with sweet vanilla and almond is perfection. Serve these cookies with hot tea or coffee and have your friends begging for the recipe! You can find matcha (green tea powder) at most health food stores.

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Sift the flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and matcha powder in a large bowl. Set aside.



3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 



4. Gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar on a plate. Roll the dough into 2-inch balls and roll in the sugar; place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart and top each with an almond. 




5. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack; keep in an airtight container until ready to serve. 




Matcha Almond Cookies
Makes 16 cookies

All you need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour (or 1 cup finely ground blanched almonds)
1 teaspoon baking powder 
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons matcha powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup raw (turbinado) sugar, plus 1/4 cup for coating
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 whole raw almonds

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
2. Sift the flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and matcha powder in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
4. Gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar on a plate. Roll the dough into 2-inch balls and roll in the sugar; place on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart and top each with an almond. 
5. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack; keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.