Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Strawberry Chicken Kale Salad with Jalapeno-Basil Vinaigrette


 Every once in a while, Josh and I crave a big, leafy green salad with lots of healthy protein on top. This salad not only looks gorgeous, but it tastes so good and is chock-full of heart-healthy fats. This is one recipe that you will want to make again in the summer to eat outside on the patio while soaking up some sunshine (I'm counting down the days!).


1. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth. 



2. Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with half of the vinaigrette. Massage with your (clean!) hands for 1 minute, or until the kale breaks down slightly. 



3. Transfer the kale to a serving platter and top with the remaining salad ingredients. Serve the remaining dressing on the side. 



Strawberry Chicken Kale Salad with Jalapeno-Basil Vinaigrette
Serves 4

All you need:
Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
5 fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 large lime
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 

Salad
1 large bunch kale, stemmed and thinly sliced 
2 cooked chicken breasts, cooled and diced 
1/2 cup sliced strawberries 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds 
1/4 cup toasted walnut halves 
5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 

All you do:
1. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth. 
2. Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with half of the vinaigrette. Massage with your (clean!) hands for 1 minute, or until the kale breaks down slightly. 
3. Transfer the kale to a serving platter and top with the remaining salad ingredients. Serve the remaining dressing on the side. 
 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Orecchiette Pasta with Caramelized Mushrooms, Wilted Arugula and Sundried Tomatoes


With all that life throws at us, mid-week meals can be difficult to plan. Pasta is always a good go-to for quick and simple meal ideas. While I don't eat a huge amount of pasta, I like mixing it with nutrient dense foods to create a balanced meal. This meal, for example, is so flavorful and colorful and packs a good nutrition punch thanks to the leafy greens, mushrooms and tomatoes. 

If you want to add more protein, simply add diced chicken, sauteed shrimp or chickpeas.


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orecchiette and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. 


2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, turn heat to medium and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. 



 
3. Add wine and reduce by half. Add sundried tomatoes and remove pan from heat. 


4. Place arugula in a large bowl. Add the cooked orecchiette and pour the mushroom sauce over. Toss to combine. Add 1/2 of the Parmesan and toss again. 




5. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter and top with the remaining Parmesan. Drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with pinenuts. 



Orecchiette Pasta with Caramelized Mushrooms, Wilted Arugula and Sundried Tomatoes
Serves 6

All you need:
8 oz. orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine
1 small jar julienned sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained 
4 cups arugula
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese 
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar (or 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar + 1 teaspoon honey)
2 tablespoons toasted pinenuts 

All you do:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orecchiette and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. 
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, turn heat to medium and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. 
3. Add wine and reduce by half. Add sundried tomatoes and remove pan from heat. 
4. Place arugula in a large bowl. Add the cooked orecchiette and pour the mushroom sauce over. Toss to combine. Add 1/2 of the Parmesan and toss again. 
5. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter and top with the remaining Parmesan. Drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with pinenuts. 

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Creamy Green Chile Mexican Lasagna



 We made it to Friday which means I'm ready for some comfort food! Ever since I got home from my Mexican vacation, I've been craving these flavors. The creamy beef and green chile filling in this dish pairs perfectly with the crisp corn tortillas and spicy pepper jack cheese. Feel free to add more garnishes as you see fit - for example, this would also be great with a dollop of sour cream and a splash of hot sauce. YUM.



1. Preheat oven to 375. 
2. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. 


3. Add the cream cheese, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and cilantro and stir to combine. 


4. Spread half of the beef mixture onto the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Top with four tortillas, half the tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with the remaining beef and tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheese. Finish with the last four tortillas and the remaining cheese. Wrap the pan with foil (that has been slightly coated with cooking spray so the cheese doesn't stick) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes longer. 





5. Allow the lasagna to sit for 10 minutes, then slice. Garnish with avocado and serve.





Creamy Green Chile Mexican Lasagna
Serves 4

All you need:
1 pound lean ground beef
8 oz. cream cheese 
2 (4 oz.) cans diced green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder 
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
2 small tomatoes, diced 
1 1/2 cups freshly grated pepper jack cheese
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cubed avocado, for garnish 

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. 
2. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl. 
3. Add the cream cheese, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt and cilantro and stir to combine. 
4. Spread half of the beef mixture onto the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. Top with four tortillas, half the tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with the remaining beef and tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheese. Finish with the last four tortillas and the remaining cheese. Wrap the pan with foil (that has been slightly coated with cooking spray so the cheese doesn't stick) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes longer. 
5. Allow the lasagna to sit for 10 minutes, then slice. Garnish with avocado and serve. 
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Roasted Spring Vegetable Gnocchi with Lemony Basil Oil

Spring is here! Is anyone else just sitting in the sun spot in their living room soaking up the rays of sunshine? (Nope? Just me? I blame the fact that I live with dogs.) 

Anyways, spring means that some of my favorite veggies (like asparagus) are super cheap and tasty right now. Roasting the veggies and gnocchi together on one sheet pan makes this dinner so simple, but it tastes gourmet and looks beautiful! This will definitely be one recipe that you keep around to make during the busy work week.


1. Preheat oven to 450. Line 1 large or 2 regular sized baking sheet(s) with foil or parchment paper. 
2. Place Brussels sprouts, asparagus, carrots, onion and gnocchi on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with thyme, salt and pepper and toss to combine; roast for 20 minutes. 


3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining olive oil with the basil and lemon zest/juice in a small bowl. 


4. Transfer the roasted veggies and gnocchi to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with lemon-basil oil; toss to combine. 

5. Place the gnocchi in serving bowls and garnish with pine nuts and Parmesan.




Roasted Spring Vegetable Gnocchi with Lemony Basil Oil
Serves 4

All you need:
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced 
3 carrots, peeled and diced 
1 red onion, sliced thin 
1 (16 oz.) package gnocchi 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped 
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon 
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted 
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish 

All you do: 
1. Preheat oven to 450. Line 1 large or 2 regular sized baking sheet(s) with foil or parchment paper. 
2. Place Brussels sprouts, asparagus, carrots, onion and gnocchi on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with thyme, salt and pepper and toss to combine; roast for 20 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining olive oil with the basil and lemon zest/juice in a small bowl. 
4. Transfer the roasted veggies and gnocchi to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with lemon-basil oil; toss to combine. 
5. Place the gnocchi in serving bowls and garnish with pine nuts and Parmesan. 

 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Harissa Chicken with Herbed Couscous


I'm a fan of anything sweet and spicy and this chicken hits all the right notes if you're craving those flavors. Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste that works great in sauces, marinades and as a garnish for eggs (my favorite). I found it on a grocery shopping trip recently and was so excited to create some recipes with it!

If you can't find harissa, simply substitute chili garlic sauce which can be found in the Asian section of your local supermarket. And if you don't prefer chicken thighs, substitute chicken breasts or wings.



1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top. Coat the rack with cooking spray. 
2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the butter, harissa, honey and lime juice over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking rack and season with salt and pepper. Brush with half of the harissa mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Brush with the remaining harissa and bake for 20 minutes longer. 







3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then add the couscous. Turn the heat off and allow the couscous to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add the parsley, almonds and raisins and stir to combine. 





4. Scoop the couscous onto serving plates (or one large serving platter), top with chicken and serve.   






Harissa Chicken with Herbed Couscous
Serves 6

All you need:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons harissa 
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 lime 
 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
Salt and pepper, to taste

Couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced small 
2 cups chicken stock
1 (10 oz.) box couscous 
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped 
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds 
1/4 cup golden raisins 

All you do:
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top. Coat the rack with cooking spray. 
2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the butter, harissa, honey and lime juice over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking rack and season with salt and pepper. Brush with half of the harissa mixture and bake for 20 minutes. Brush with the remaining harissa and bake for 20 minutes longer. 
3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then add the couscous. Turn the heat off and allow the couscous to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Add the parsley, almonds and raisins and stir to combine. 
4. Scoop the couscous onto serving plates (or one large serving platter), top with chicken and serve.