Thursday, May 31, 2018

Brownie Batter Dessert Hummus

Dessert hummus is a recent trend that I was a bit skeptical to try. However, now I totally understand the hype. This hummus is so incredibly delicious and really does have the same taste and texture as brownie batter (without any added flour or sugar). I recommend serving this as a pool or lake-side snack, appetizer or light dessert for your next gathering.


1. Place the garbanzo beans, milk, cocoa powder, syrup, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a food processor and blend until very smooth, about 2-3 minutes.



2. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with hemp seeds and peanuts. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve.




Brownie Batter Dessert Hummus
Serves 8

All you need:
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Hemp seeds and chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
Gluten-free pretzels and fresh fruit, for dipping

All you do:
1. Place the garbanzo beans, milk, cocoa powder, syrup, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a food processor and blend until very smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with hemp seeds and peanuts. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Hawaiian Skirt Steak with Pineapple Coconut Rice

Skirt steak is a great weeknight meal item because it soaks up marinades and cooks quickly on the grill. I was feeling tropical and will really come up with any excuse to eat coconut rice (yummmm). The combination of sweet, creamy rice and spicy steak is delish. Now all you need to add is a margarita and some tunes and you're good to enjoy your evening on the patio. Cheers!




1. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Place skirt steak in a 8x8 dish and pour marinade over. Let sit on the counter for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring coconut milk, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice, cover pan and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes, then fluff rice with a fork. Add pineapple and stir to combine.



4. Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill skirt steak for 3 minutes per side then rest for 5 minutes before slicing.



5. Scoop rice into serving bowls and top with steak and jalapeƱos.



Hawaiian Skirt Steak with Pineapple Coconut Rice
Serves 3-4

All you need:
Marinade
1/2 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon fresh peeled grated ginger
Zest and juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, fat trimmed

Rice
1 (14.5 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups instant white rice
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced

Thinly sliced jalapeno, for garnish

All you do:
1. Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Place skirt steak in a 8x8 dish and pour marinade over. Let sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring coconut milk, water and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add rice, cover pan and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes, then fluff rice with a fork. Add pineapple and stir to combine.
4. Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill skirt steak for 3 minutes per side then rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
5. Scoop rice into serving bowls and top with steak and jalapeƱos.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Endive Arugula Salad with Gorgonzola and Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Ahh patio weather. Here in Michigan we wait so patiently to enjoy fresh meals outside, so once it's actually nice out Josh and I love eating fresh meals like this one on the deck. This salad is not only beautiful,  but the contrast of flavors makes it irresistible (the peppery arugula, tart grapes, sweet vinaigrette and nutty gorgonzola and pecans). The endive adds a great color contrast as well - I like doing a combo of purple and green. Serve this as is or if you would like to add a protein, I recommend adding grilled beef tenderloin.


1. Arrange endive leaves and arugula on a large serving platter. Top evenly with cheese, grapes and pecans.


2. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle the salad lightly with vinaigrette. Serve the remaining dressing on the side. 






Endive Arugula Salad with Gorgonzola and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Serves 4

All you need:
1 cup endive leaves
4 cups baby arugula
2 oz. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 cup green grapes, halved
1/2 cup roasted salted pecan halves

Vinaigrette
Zest and juice of 2 blood oranges
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Arrange endive leaves and arugula on a large serving platter. Top evenly with cheese, grapes and pecans.
2. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle the salad lightly with vinaigrette. Serve the remaining dressing on the side. 


Monday, May 14, 2018

Green Apple Guacamole

There are few people I have met that don't love guacamole. It's a common menu item at dinner parties I cook for and I love playing around with the different add-ins (for example, mango and pineapple). Adding apple provides a great crunch and tart sweetness, which balances nicely with the spicy jalapeno. Serve this as an appetizer with chips or scoop it on top of chicken tacos for a perfect summer meal. 



1. Place avocado flesh in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.


2. Add apple, jalapeno, onion, lime zest/juice, cilantro and salt and stir to combine.


3. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve blue corn chips on the side for dipping. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Green Apple Guacamole
Serves 8

All you need:
3 large ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced small
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
1/2 small red onion, diced small
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blue corn chips, for serving

All you do:
1. Place avocado flesh in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.
2. Add apple, jalapeno, onion, lime zest/juice, cilantro and salt and stir to combine.
3. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve blue corn chips on the side for dipping. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Lemon-Thyme Grilled Chicken with Apple, Bacon and Celery Slaw

I love being outside and grilling when the weather gets warmer. I find grilling to be the quickest (and one of the healthiest) ways to get dinner on the table fast. For this recipe, I recommend marinating the chicken the night before to really get the citrus flavor to soak in. Serve this with a cold glass of sparkling white wine or lemony herbal iced tea. So fresh!



1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and add chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (up to overnight).


2. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Rest 5 minutes.


3. While the chicken rests, combine slaw ingredients in a large bowl.

4. Scoop slaw onto serving plates and top with chicken.


Lemon-Thyme Grilled Chicken with Apple, Bacon and Celery Slaw
Serves 4

All you need:
Marinade
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Slaw
1/3 cup mayo
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper
3 cups chopped green cabbage
1 large sweet apple, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds

All you do:
1. Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and add chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (up to overnight).
2. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Rest 5 minutes.
3. While the chicken rests, combine slaw ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Scoop slaw onto serving plates and top with chicken.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Roasted Broccoli, Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Lasagna


Who says lasagna can't be good without meat? I'm here to prove it definitely can taste fabulous. This lasagna is chock-full of nutty roasted broccoli, creamy goat cheese and lemony pesto. It's super rich, so I recommend pairing this with a simple green salad for balance. And this dish is actually even better leftover, so make sure you save some for lunch!



1. Preheat oven to 425. Place broccoli on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Once the broccoli is done roasting, decrease oven temperature to 375.


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


3. Spread a thin layer of marinara and pesto onto the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Top with 4 noodles, 1/3 of the broccoli, 1/3 of the sundried tomatoes, 1/3 of the goat cheese, 1/4 of the mozzarella, 1/4 of the sauce and 1/4 of the pesto. Repeat twice. Top with the remaining noodles, sauce, pesto and mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.



4. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before cutting.




Roasted Broccoli, Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Lasagna
Serves 8

All you need:
1 pound broccoli florets
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper, to taste

Almond Pesto
2 cups fresh basil
1 cup whole roasted almonds
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil

24 oz. marinara sauce
16 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425. Place broccoli on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Once the broccoli is done roasting, decrease oven temperature to 375.
2. Place pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Spread a thin layer of marinara and pesto onto the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Top with 4 noodles, 1/3 of the broccoli, 1/3 of the sundried tomatoes, 1/3 of the goat cheese, 1/4 of the mozzarella, 1/4 of the sauce and 1/4 of the pesto. Repeat twice. Top with the remaining noodles, sauce, pesto and mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.
4. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Nachos

Nachos are one of my favorite comfort foods. Traditionally I use blue corn or regular corn chips as the base, but to reduce the sodium and up the nutritional value, I decided to use sweet potatoes. The result is the perfect blend of sweet and salty. If you want to add a good kick, add thinly sliced serrano pepper on top. I believe this meal will continue to be on rotation at our house because it's so delicious and simple!


1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a large sheet pan lightly with olive oil. Place potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 8-10 minutes longer, or until crisp (watch them carefully so they don't burn).




2. Top the potatoes with pork, corn, red pepper and cheese and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the cheese melts.


3. Serve garnished with avocado and sour cream.



Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Nachos
Serves 3-4

All you need:
3 large or 6 small sweet potatoes, sliced thin
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup pulled pork
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup black beans
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1 avocado, diced small
Sour cream, for garnish

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a large sheet pan lightly with olive oil. Place potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 8-10 minutes longer, or until crisp (watch them carefully so they don't burn).
2. Top the potatoes with pork, corn, red pepper and cheese and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the cheese melts.
3. Serve garnished with avocado and sour cream.