Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hoisin Glazed Meatballs

Meatballs are always a client favorite. With the Super Bowl right around the corner, these would be the perfect appetizer to bring to your party. These meatballs have such a rich depth of flavor thanks to the variety of sweet, spicy and salty ingredients that make up the sauce. I like to pack up any leftovers to use for lunches and pair them with fresh cut veggies. 


1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Roll into equally sized balls (use a cookie scoop to be more precise) and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.



3. Meanwhile, place the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring often. Turn heat to low and keep warm.

4. Toss meatballs with sauce. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve over rice or, if serving as an appetizer, place meatballs on a platter and serve with toothpicks.





Hoisin Glazed Meatballs
Serves 4 (as a meal) or 8 (as an appetizer)

All you need:
1 1/2 pounds 90% lean ground beef
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons blackberry preserves
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
2 teaspoons sriracha
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Sliced green onion and sesame seeds, for garnish
Brown rice, for serving (optional)

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Combine the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Roll into equally sized balls (use a cookie scoop to be more precise) and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring often. Turn heat to low and keep warm.
4. Toss meatballs with sauce. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve over rice or, if serving as an appetizer, place meatballs on a platter and serve with toothpicks.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Banana Flour Crepes

Since I have several gluten-free clients, I've been experimenting with alternative flours so I can add some new and exciting gluten-free items to my menus. Banana flour is one that I had seen at the grocery store, but was a little skeptical to try. After all, what is banana flour exactly? Turns out they use dehydrated unripe green bananas and mill them into flour. It actually tastes a lot like regular flour, but because it has a higher starch content, the rule of thumb is to use 30% less in any recipe that calls for flour (for example, 2/3 cup banana flour for every 1 cup flour). I love the texture of these crepes, so I will definitely be using this flour in other recipes. 


1. In a large bowl, whisk banana flour, milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt together until just combined.



2. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop crepe batter into the pan and swirl the batter to coat the pan. Cook for 1 minute (or until the edges start to curl), flip and cook for 1 minute longer. Continue until all the batter has been used (coat the pan with more cooking spray each time for easier flipping). Stack the crepes on a plate as you go to keep them warm.



3. In the same skillet, melt butter, brown sugar and salt together and cook until bubbly. Add bananas and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring often. Finish with half and half.





4. To serve, fold crepes and place 2 onto each serving plate. Spoon warm bananas over the top and serve.


Banana Flour Crepes
Serves 4 (2 crepes each)

All you need:
1 1/2 cups banana flour
2 cups milk
3 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Non-stick cooking spray

Caramelized Bananas
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch salt
3 bananas, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons half and half

All you do:
1. In a large bowl, whisk banana flour, milk, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt together until just combined.
2. Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop crepe batter into the pan and swirl the batter to coat the pan. Cook for 1 minute (or until the edges start to curl), flip and cook for 1 minute longer. Continue until all the batter has been used (coat the pan with more cooking spray each time for easier flipping). Stack the crepes on a plate as you go to keep them warm.
3. In the same skillet, melt butter, brown sugar and salt together and cook until bubbly. Add bananas and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring often. Finish with half and half.
4. To serve, fold crepes and place 2 onto each serving plate. Spoon warm bananas over the top and serve.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Maple-Mustard Cherry Roasted Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

Sheet pan dinners seem to be all the rage right now - and for good reason. Who wouldn't love a meal that requires nearly no clean-up? This meal is one where the oven really does most of the work for you. And the ingredients are very minimal - just quality maple syrup, dijon, cherries, olive oil and thyme make the most beautiful sticky glaze for the juicy chicken. And the Brussels sprouts are there to soak up any of the pan juices. I'm ready to eat!


1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat with non-stick spray. Place chicken on the sheet and season well with salt and pepper. Flip the chicken so it's skin side down and roast for 30 minutes (this will help the skin crisp up). After the time is up, turn heat down to 400 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, place syrup, dijon, cherries, olive oil and thyme in a blender and process until smooth. Flip the chicken back over so the skin is facing up and brush with half of the the mustard sauce. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes.




3. Brush the chicken with any remaining sauce. Let rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve with Brussels sprouts on the side.




Maple-Mustard Cherry Roasted Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4

All you need:
1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken, legs tied
Salt and pepper

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat with non-stick spray. Place chicken on the sheet and season well with salt and pepper. Flip the chicken so it's skin side down and roast for 30 minutes (this will help the skin crisp up). After the time is up, turn heat down to 400 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, place syrup, dijon, cherries, olive oil and thyme in a blender and process until smooth. Flip the chicken back over so the skin is facing up and brush with half of the the mustard sauce. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes.
3. Brush the chicken with any remaining sauce. Let rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve with Brussels sprouts on the side.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Red Beans and Rice (Instant Pot)

I'm always quick to use canned beans for the convenience, but this weekend I bought some organic dry beans from a local farmer and I'm so happy I did! These beans have an entirely different flavor and tasted much fresher since I was able to control the amount of salt they were cooked in. This dish is full of protein and fiber, making it a great option for any meal. For a fun breakfast option, try topping your beans with a fried egg and hot peppers for added richness and flavor.


1. Place olive oil in the pressure cooker and turn to "saute". Add onion, garlic and bacon and stir until the bacon fat starts to render. Add carrots and peppers and cook until lightly softened, stirring often.


2. Add beans, salt, oregano and hot sauce and stir to combine. Cover with chicken stock. Seal the pressure cooker and cook on HIGH pressure for 40 minutes. Once time is up, turn the knob to "venting" and release pressure.



3. Serve beans over rice and garnish with green onion.


Red Beans and Rice (Instant Pot)
Serves 6

All you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 pound dry red beans
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon hot sauce
4 cups chicken stock
Cooked white or brown rice, for serving
Sliced green onion, for garnish

All you do:
1. Place olive oil in the pressure cooker and turn to "saute". Add onion, garlic and bacon and stir until the bacon fat starts to render. Add carrots and peppers and cook until lightly softened, stirring often.
2. Add beans, salt, oregano and hot sauce and stir to combine. Cover with chicken stock. Seal the pressure cooker and cook on HIGH pressure for 40 minutes. Once time is up, turn the knob to "venting" and release pressure.
3. Serve beans over rice and garnish with green onion.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Pan-Seared Salmon with Walnut-Olive Pesto and Pomegranate

Salmon with pesto is one of my favorite flavor combos, but this isn't your typical pesto recipe. This pesto consists of walnuts, olives and golden raisins, creating the perfect balance of sweet, salty and nutty flavor. Placed on top of warm, lemony salmon and sprinkled with juicy pomegranate seeds, this is a wonderful dish for entertaining because it's pretty too! I like to serve mine with baked sweet potato fries, but it would also be great with roasted broccoli or mashed potatoes.



1. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.


2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon filets with salt and pepper and place flesh side down in the hot pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and flaky.



3. Place cooked salmon on a platter and squeeze fresh lemon juice over. Top with pesto and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley.



Pan-Seared Salmon with Walnut-Olive Pesto and Pomegranate
Serves 4

All you need:
Pesto
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pitted green olives
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Pinch sugar

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6 oz.) salmon filets, skin removed
Juice of 1 lemon
Pomegranate seeds and chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

All you do:
1. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon filets with salt and pepper and place flesh side down in the hot pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown and flaky.
3. Place cooked salmon on a platter and squeeze fresh lemon juice over. Top with pesto and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and parsley.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Butternut Squash, Apple and White Cheddar Biscuits

Weekends call for amazing breakfast food and these biscuits are super special. They get most of their sweetness from roasted butternut squash, which gives them a wonderful moist texture and pretty orange color. The apples and cheddar in the biscuits add an extra layer of sweet and salty flavor. I like mine topped with blackberry jam, but any jam will do! If you have any leftover after breakfast, use the biscuits for sandwiches (my suggestion: smoked turkey, Dijon and arugula). Yum!


1. Preheat oven to 425. Place the oven racks in the middle and upper sections of the oven to prevent burning. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place squash cut-side down onto one of the baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender.

2. Allow squash to cool slightly, then scoop the flesh into a food processor and process until smooth.

3. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cubed butter to the food processor and pulse until the mixture forms fine crumbs.


4. Add egg and buttermilk and pulse again until just combined. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and add apple and white cheddar; stir to combine.



5. Use a 1/4 cup measure to drop the dough evenly onto each baking sheet (6 biscuits per sheet). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Allow the biscuits to cool slightly, then cut in half lengthwise and top with butter and jam.





Butternut Squash, Apple and White Cheddar Biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits

All you need:
1 small butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 small sweet apple (like Macintosh or Honeycrisp), diced small
1 cup freshly grated white cheddar cheese

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Place the oven racks in the middle and upper sections of the oven to prevent burning. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place squash cut-side down onto one of the baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender.
2. Allow squash to cool slightly, then scoop the flesh into a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cubed butter to the food processor and pulse until the mixture forms fine crumbs.
4. Add egg and buttermilk and pulse again until just combined. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and add apple and white cheddar; stir to combine.
5. Use a 1/4 cup measure to drop the dough evenly onto each baking sheet (6 biscuits per sheet). Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Allow the biscuits to cool slightly, then cut in half lengthwise and top with butter and jam.