Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur Wheat with a Ginger Garlic Dressing

I’m never thrilled about cooking brown rice… It’s just not appealing to me! I’ll mix it with beans, peas, and soups but I avoid eating it when it’s lonely and separate from all the other foods on my plate. Luckily, we have so many grain options at our grocery stores now in the U.S. Just look at this dirt-cheap sale!>>

Bulgur wheat is quick and affordable. The nutritional content is very similar to quinoa (minerals and B vitamins) except it has a little less calories.

It tastes a bit nutty like farro but smaller. I presume it’s versatile in about any type of entree. If you’re an oatmeal connoisseur like me, you’ll be very happy to know it resembles steel-cut oats with its dense almost crunchy texture!

As you probably may have noticed, my stir-fry is not overly cooked. (The vegetables are firm and the colors are vibrant). You’ll see in my recipe below how I achieve this. I don’t do it intentionally to save calories or to retain more vitamins and minerals… I just really prefer the taste and texture. Call it al dente, call it tasty, I don’t care.

It’s a win, win!

Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Bok Choy Stir Fry over Bulgur with a Ginger Garlic Dressing
Print Recipe
Easy and affordable bok choy stiry fry over bulgur wheat mixed with garlic ginger dressing. An asian-inspired meal with a unique grain.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Vegetables
  • 3/4 cup Bulgur wheat, measured dry
  • <1/2 teaspoon Vegetable bouillon cube Optional, or use a broth
  • 1 tablespoon Oil, canola
  • 3-4 whole Carrots, large, slice 1/4-1/2" thick
  • 1/4 cup Onion, yellow or white, diced
  • 3 whole Bell peppers, diced Variety of orange, yellow, red, etc.
  • 1 lb Bok choy, roughly chopped Substitute cabbage, collard or kale greens
Garlic Ginger Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger, fresh, grated I use the chilled tubed variety
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sweet chili sauce *Optional
  • 2 tablespoons Rice vinegar Or substitute with a white vinegar
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet to medium heat. Add canola oil once warm. In a small-medium pan, begin boiling bulgur per labeled directions, adding a bouillon cube or broth if you'd like. This should take 15 minutes maximum to cook.
  2. Add the sliced carrots to the hot skillet. Stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or so. Once the carrots begin to tenderize a little bit, add onion and peppers together until almost caramelized (another 3 minutes.) Add bok choy (or substitute collard greens, kale or cabbage).
  3. To continue cooking the bok choy (or greens), reduce the heat to slightly below medium and cover the pan to allow to steam until desired texture is achieved! This should only take 2 minutes or so.
  4. Saute garlic with olive oil: In a small skillet on medium heat, with one tablespoon of olive oil, once hot, add minced garlic and saute until golden and aromatic. (30 seconds to 1 minute.) Place garlic and extra oils from pan and add to a small bowl with the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, sweet chili sauce (optional). Whisk liquid sauce. Add sauce to vegetables.
  5. Serve sauced vegetables over the warm bulgur wheat! (You can also combine all of these thing and of course multiply the sauce if you're needing that drippy feel!)
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information per (1/4th of recipe) serving:

Calories 312 | Fat 12 | Carbohydrates 53.1 |Fiber 10.1 | Protein 9.4

Sodium: 273 mg

  • I realize I have 3 different oils in this recipe. If you can't make it to the store for sesame oil, I would just wait until next time you make it. (The flavor is A LOT tastier.) And use just canola oil for the entire recipe.
  • Calorie reduction tips: Double leafy greens and/or peppers to stir fry. Use a non-stick pan, steam instead of adding oil, and save a bout 1/4th of the amount of calories.
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Beef & Kale Soup with Potato

It’s officially time to embrace the winter weather. The beach is kindly preparing me for this lake effect snow I have the pleasure in experiencing next month. It’s sort of daunting, sort of exciting. But, I really don’t like spending anytime complaining. Plus, I’m getting this soup thing down! Baby steps.

The best part about this hearty soup is that the meat will take no time at all and it will not dry out! I even recommend this soup for adding any leftover beef you may have, like from your taco nights.

Cooking at home changes with the seasons… and like clockwork, when it hits December, I forget to get the occasional red meat. Hamburgers and steaks are usually for eating out during these times of the year. So, without spending too much at all, home cooked meals like these really help me out!

And don’t worry, this soup is also very calorie friendly so with new years resolutions / summer bod preparation in mind, you can rest assured you’re getting a balanced meal without breaking the calorie bank.

Beef & Kale Soup with Potato
Print Recipe
This hearty soup has 6 basic ingredients, with beef being the highlighting flavor. Without weighing you down with cream and extras, it's a balanced approach for what your body craves at meal time. This soup can be be prepared, cooked, and cooled in less than 1 hour.
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Beef & Kale Soup with Potato
Print Recipe
This hearty soup has 6 basic ingredients, with beef being the highlighting flavor. Without weighing you down with cream and extras, it's a balanced approach for what your body craves at meal time. This soup can be be prepared, cooked, and cooled in less than 1 hour.
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
7 servings 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Ground Beef (Or 80/20 turkey or beef) *Nutrition information is for chuck, higher in fat
  • 1 lb Red skin potatoes, small, cubed Or 5-6 potatoes, quartered for smaller potatoes
  • 1 whole Onion, white, medium, chopped
  • 3 whole Carrots, large, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic, fresh, minced or chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 quarts Broth (Vegetable, Beef, or Chicken) *I used vegetable concentrate
  • 1/2 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 pinch Red chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for vegetables *Optional but recommended, 1 tbsp is included in nutrition information
  • Lemon for garnish
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat your large soup pot or dutch oven. In a separate skillet- start cooking the 1 lb of ground meat (of your choice) on medium heat. While the meat is browning, add chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes to the large soup pot. Cook vegetables on medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Once the vegetables are tender and juicy, reduce to medium heat and add in the 1.5 quarts of broth, chopped garlic and kale, and cooked meat. Allow to simmer again. Add in seasonings (oregano, thyme, cumin, coriander, chili flakes is optional) and additional salt and pepper to taste. Flavors should marry and should be ready to cool in another 10 minutes.
  3. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon, serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information, per 1 serving (1/7th of recipe):

Calories 294 Fat 15g Carbohydrates 26g Fiber 4g Protein 16g

*Sodium 198mg

Nutrition information includes ground chuck beef, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and the other listed ingredients

Other nutrition related recipe notes...

  • Swap lean ground turkey to reduce about 90 calories per serving
  • I don't suggest skipping the olive oil in soups!
  • Vegan: Skip the meat, cook lentils instead (with vegetable broth), and add step 1
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Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale

Since I’ve discovered canned chipotles in adobo sauce, it’s been a game changer for recipes like these. Now my sauces have gotten spicy and I love it! This recipe is quick, simple, and doesn’t break the bank. All the canned items here are about $3-4, the pasta is about $4 and the vegetables including the kale, onion, and garlic is less than $5 in total…

Honestly though, I’m trying to cook like a college kid again. I’ll be limited in free time when I’m in Michigan next year and I know I’ll be giving up some of my free time in order to study for the RD exam. So, below you’ll find some of my tips for healthy cooking on a budget. Because it’s always nice to save money while also having a tasty meal!

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This dish starts with making the spicy garlic tomato sauce while the pasta is cooking. After the beans are mixed in and the kale is lightly wilted the sauce can be added to the pasta. And that’s really it. You’ll want to let the flavors marry and keep it at a low heat for just a bit.
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Nothing too long though, because this is meant to be quick and easy!

Cooking meatless will make you want to get a little creative. So adding your favorite spices, acids, and oils is a must. Thankfully nutritious and flavorful meals can be created on a budget with the help of fresh vegetables and a well stocked spice cabinet. 🙂

And of course sometimes you gotta use up all the dry goods from the pantry. I like to keep whole wheat pasta and a variety of whole grains like quinoa, freekah, brown rice, wild rice, millet etc. For canned foods stocking up on canned beans (black, garbanzo, pinto, kidney, all of them!), tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, peppers, pickled and brined vegetables keeps me from going starving when life gets hectic.

Happy and healthy cooking!

Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale
Print Recipe
An easy plant-based meal for meatless Mondays or lazy Sundays that's deceivingly hearty and comforting. Whole wheat orzo pasta and pinto beans come together in a spicy tomato sauce... with fresh kale of course!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Spicy Pinto Bean Orzo Pasta with Kale
Print Recipe
An easy plant-based meal for meatless Mondays or lazy Sundays that's deceivingly hearty and comforting. Whole wheat orzo pasta and pinto beans come together in a spicy tomato sauce... with fresh kale of course!
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 2-6 minutes
Cook Time
12-18 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 2 tablespoons Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated
  • 1/4 cup Onion, white, diced
  • 2 cups Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup Canned diced tomatoes Organic*
  • 1 x 8 oz can Tomato sauce, reduced sodium I used the Goya brand*
  • 1 x 15 oz can Pinto beans, drained, rinsed Or 1 and 2/3 cup cooked beans of choice
  • 2 whole Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon Oregano, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili powder, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika powder, smoked
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bring 1 large pot of water to a boil then add the 1 cup of whole wheat orzo pasta.
  2. In a large medium heat skillet add olive oil followed by garlic and onion until golden; then add chopped kale until lightly wilted. Lastly add peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and 1 full can of pinto beans (or white, kidney, black). Toss seasoning: 1/2 tbsp of oregano, salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp of chili powder and smoked paprika.
  3. Once seasoning is added and kale is wilted, allow the sauce to simmer low for at least 3 minutes.
  4. By this time your pasta should be cooked. Combine your sauce and pasta in either pan and mix.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (1/6th of recipe, ~1 and 1/4 to 1/2 cup) serving

Calories 231 | Fat 5 | Carbohydrates 38 | Fiber 5.1 | Protein 8.4

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Saucy Portobello, Black Beans + Butternut Squash Tacos {Vegan}

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I’d like to say these were the best vegetarian/vegan tacos I’ve ever had but that’s just not fair… So, I’ll let you know that my fair judges, and meat-eating friends, were very pleased (and stuffed) after this healthy taco night!

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I was sort of amazed on how well everything, including the butternut squash, mixed with everything.

Honestly, don’t neglect any part of this recipe! If you want chicken instead of the base (butternut squash and black beans) I would stick with the same seasonings and maybe add in the black beans. Because all of this made me want to drool, it’s hard to imagine it any different. The saucy portobellos are EVERYTHING.

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It starts with all the basics, but the added chipotle pepper in adobo sauce is what really makes this recipe so special.

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I hope these bring you as much happiness and messiness as they did me!

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Thank you Dana!!

Saucy Portobello, Black Beans + Butternut Squash Tacos {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Spiced black beans and butternut squash piled high; topped with saucy portobello mushrooms sautéed in a garlic-tomato-adoba sauce. Wrapped in small whole wheat tortilla(s), garnished with fresh cilantro!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Saucy Portobello, Black Beans + Butternut Squash Tacos {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Spiced black beans and butternut squash piled high; topped with saucy portobello mushrooms sautéed in a garlic-tomato-adoba sauce. Wrapped in small whole wheat tortilla(s), garnished with fresh cilantro!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 Pmall tacos 0 Minutes; Prep time included in cook time
Cook Time
40 Minutes
Ingredients
Butternut Squash + Black Beans
  • 2 cups Butternut squash, cubed *Try the pre-cubed butternut squash to cut down on time
  • 1 x 15 oz can Black beans, rinsed, drained =1 and 2/3 cup cooked
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder, ground
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
Adobo Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil or canola oil For sautéing
  • 1/4 cup Onion, white
  • 2 tbsp Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated 3-5 cloves
  • 1 x 15 oz can Tomato sauce, no salt added *Organic
  • 1 whole Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp Adobo sauce More or less if preferred
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chili powder, ground
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar *Or you can use muscavado sugar
Portobello Mushrooms
  • 4 whole Portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/2 an inch Stems removed
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil or canola oil
For Serving
  • 12 small Tortillas, whole wheat (or corn) La tortilla are a great choice, or fresh if you can find them
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped
Servings: Pmall tacos
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet or a glass dish, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with seasonings (cinnamon, chili powder, cumin). Bake for 20-40 mins or until tender. *I bake additional squash for later, 2 c cubed will reduce cooking time to 20 mins*
  2. In a large skillet: While squash bakes, heat skillet to medium, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil when hot. Sauté onion and garlic until golden. 4-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce skillet to low heat. Add 15 oz can of tomato sauce, chopped chipotle pepper, 2 tsp of adobo sauce, 1/2 c water, 1/2 tsp each of cumin and chili powder, then 1 and 1/2 tbsp of coconut sugar. Stir. Adjust to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes at least. Set aside
  4. In a large skillet: On medium-high heat sauté mushrooms, adding additional oil as needed. Once cooked, mix in about 1/2 a cup of Adobo Sauce to make the saucy mushroom topping.
  5. Squash should be baked or about ready. Set 2 c of butternut squash aside. Warm up the 1 and 2/3 c black beans, mix these together when warm. Add a pinch of black pepper. You may mix in 1/4 cup of Adobo Sauce now, or wait until tacos are served.
  6. Serve on warm whole wheat (or corn) tortillas! Placing butternut squash + black beans at bottom, saucy portobellos, then garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (2 tacos) serving

Calories 308 | Fat 11.4 | Carbohydrates 51.5 | Fiber 23 | Protein 16.3

Recipe makes about 12 tacos

Special note on cooking time: You may have tons of butternut squash. This will increase baking time. Remember to set aside the 2 cups cubed after baked if you decided to cook it all at once. You may add the Adobo Sauce then or just use the sauce as a topping on tacos when serving!

Storage: Sauce lasts up to 1 week, or you can freeze it! Freezing can keep the sauce fresh for at least 1 month. The remaining ingredients will ideally be stored and refrigerated for 2-3 days. I always recommend separating some ingredients if you can for storage purposes; this also helps with utilizing the leftovers better.

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Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta

Nothing complicated about this pasta dish at all. Roasting vegetables in olive oil is simple, tasty and makes every meal come together so nicely! You can do eggplant, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini, additional kale, really any vegetable you desire or already have in the house.

Try this fall friendly recipe out or let your imagine roll. Whole wheat (especially whole grains) coupled with vegetables is a perfect base for main meals; the protein can be added last or added to the baking process.

Get cooking, and if you experiment, let me know what you come up with!

 

Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta
Print Recipe
Roasted eggplant, artichokes, and kale come together with whole wheat orzo for a simple easy to make dinner.
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Roasted Garlic Vegetable Orzo Pasta
Print Recipe
Roasted eggplant, artichokes, and kale come together with whole wheat orzo for a simple easy to make dinner.
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time
35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Orzo pasta
  • 1 medium Eggplant
  • 1/2 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped
  • 1 cup Artichokes, marinated in vinegar and olive oil Quartered, drained
  • 3-4 cloves(s) Garlic, fresh Or use 2 tablespoons of jarred minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper To taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Cut eggplant in half (long ways is easier so you can rinse the salt off). Sprinkle with fine kosher salt. Let sit for ~ 30 mins. Preheat oven to 425. Prepare and chop garlic and kale.
  2. Cube eggplant uniformly and toss in olive. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and disperse the eggplant evenly on sheet. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes or until tender and cooked through.
  3. Bring about 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of whole wheat orzo pasta to the pot. While pasta cooks- sauté garlic in olive oil on medium, adding kale last.
  4. Once pasta is al dente, add the cooked ingredients all in one pot: sautéed kale and garlic, roasted eggplant, and rinsed artichoke.
  5. Serve warm. This dish pairs well with just about everything and works well if you have leftover chicken to throw in!
Recipe Notes
  • To reduce calories simply steam kale and reduce olive oil
  • This recipe is not high in protein, so for most individuals consider this a side for a meal that includes meat, poultry or fish
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Chicken Artichoke Stir Fry

I get that chicken can get boring. Sometimes the thought of ‘cooking some chicken’ makes for boring dishes. Cooking chicken in bulk gets boring, and you need tons of different recipes to keep everyone interested throughout the week. Instead of making things difficult I like to spice things up with vegetables

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This dish has fresh cherry tomatoes plus marinated artichokes that you can find in a jar at any local grocery store. Look for vinegar and olive oil, and not much more on the label.

All you need to do is warm your skillet with you favorite oil (I used coconut oil) – rub your chicken with seasoning – cook chicken + vegetables…. and you’re done!

Serve this over a bed of jasmine rice or pile it into your favorite whole wheat pita. This artichoke recipe doesn’t need the added cheese and cream and is complete in less than 15 minutes!

Chicken Artichoke Stir Fry
Print Recipe
A 10 minute chicken dish made light with sauteed artichokes and fresh cherry tomatoes. Stir fry for two!
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Chicken Artichoke Stir Fry
Print Recipe
A 10 minute chicken dish made light with sauteed artichokes and fresh cherry tomatoes. Stir fry for two!
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
2 3 oz portions
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 oz Chicken Breast, fresh, cut into tenders
  • 1/2 cup Artichokes, marinated in vinegar and olive oil These are jarred
  • 1/2 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Oil: Canola or coconut etc.
Servings: 3 oz portions
Instructions
  1. Thaw chicken. Cut into tenders. Rub chili powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  2. Heat medium skillet to medium-high heat with canola or coconut oil. Once warm add chicken and cook about 3 mins on one side before adding vegetables.
  3. Add quartered artichokes and halved cherry tomatoes. Flip chicken and continue to cook for about 3 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Serve this over a bed of jasmine rice or pile it into your favorite whole wheat pita.
Recipe Notes

Recipe is made in accordance to 1 large chicken breast

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Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}

So, I used this fancy Italian ‘lacinato kale’ instead of regular kale… because it looked pretty. I’ll be honest though, it didn’t taste much different. The chopping however was quick and painless!

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After chopping up all the vegetables I wanted to add fresh herbs and continue adding all the flavors… but I’m glad I resisted. This salad is tasty because of how simple it is. Just garlic, olive oil and rosemary.

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When you begin adding the kale to the pan, be patient…the kale takes the longest to cook down. But if you’re antsy, add a tad bit of water (technical terms) and top the pan. This will make the lettuce tender, and shorten the cooking time.

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Of course don’t forget to rinse and drain any canned beans you choose to use. If you go with the dried beans…more power to you! But I do suggest cooking the dried beans prior to starting this recipe to make it nice and quick.

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Black eyed peas or any semi-soft white bean will work.

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Tomatoes are next. Then add the cooked beans and white wine vinegar. White wine vinegar is crucial for this salad, but if anyone uses a substitute that pans out well, post it at the bottom and let me know!

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Serve it up warm, with a glass of wine, and you’re done for the night 😉 If you need additional protein though, see my notes at the bottom!

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This salad was perfect for a small dinner, but

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Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Lightly sautéed lacinato kale, chunks of tomato, garlic and white beans. This warm salad is wholesome, quick, and a great option for those who enjoy incorporating plant-based meals for dinner.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Sautéed Black Eyed Pea Kale Salad {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Lightly sautéed lacinato kale, chunks of tomato, garlic and white beans. This warm salad is wholesome, quick, and a great option for those who enjoy incorporating plant-based meals for dinner.
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 salads 5-10 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch Kale, fresh, chopped, stems removed Lacinato, or regular
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 15 oz can Black eyed peas Navy beans work well too
  • 1 large Tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated Also jarred/canned works well here!
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary, dry Or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 2 teaspoons White wine vinegar
Servings: salads
Instructions
  1. Heat a large pan to medium-high heat with olive oil, add garlic and rosemary. Cook until aromatic, not brown, for a maximum of 2 minutes.
  2. Add kale to pan. Stir occasionally, cook for 10 minutes or more. (Steaming with a top and additional 2-5 tsp of water is optional) Next, add tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes or until warm.
  3. Stir in beans, vinegar, (and salt and pepper if you'd like). Cook for 2 or so minutes until beans are cooked to liking.
Recipe Notes
  • Serve warm
  • Storage: stays well for up to 5 days
  • For those who need additional protein: Stir fry sliced chicken breast (1/2 - 1 lb) in rosemary and olive oil prior to the recipe and keep warm.

Nutrition information per entire recipe:

Calories 551 Fat 17g Carbohydrates 77g Fiber 24g Protein 27g

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Chicken Roast with Blueberry Balsamic Glaze

You know that time of year when you watch all your favorite summer fruit just get sad? For us in Virginia, it’s almost that time unfortunately! However, I’m here to remind you to go pick while you can! I had a weekend I basically designated for markets and picking so I could get my last few fresh finds for the summer. These were found at Muddy Creek, in Pungo. And when I say found, I mean harvested…because I obviously paid!:)

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Impromptu picking led me to a blueberry recipe competition, which included this sweet and savory dish. I adapted this recipe from the blueberry council’s website which I found months ago. Finally had a reason to try it out! I would bookmark this one for the fall if you don’t get to it this summer, use frozen blueberries and you can have a mock thanksgiving party in your kitchen!


For the recipe, you’ll want a 450 degree oven ready and simply slice your onion, chop up your rosemary, and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.  RCBB1 RCBB2

Next, you’ll rub your chicken OR turkey breast with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, add to the casserole dish. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 and pop it in the oven immediately for about 40 minutes.RCBB3

Now for those tasty jewels. In a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of chopped dried figs, balsamic vinegar, and blueberries. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low. When your glaze looks like it has shrunk in size (1/3 to 1/2 the size) you’ll stir in the mustard, maple, pepper and salt!

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The chicken cooks fast after all the fun with the glaze, so remember to grab it from the oven after 40 minutes. Then you can coat and dress it with the glaze. I brushed a majority of the liquid directly on the meat. And if you have 2 breasts you’ll definitely want to do this!

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Add the remaining blueberries (1 and 1/2 cups) to the dish. Nothing should remain! Bake the dish for an additional 20 minutes and your finished! RCBB9

I don’t know if you’re truly prepared for the complete comfort this dish will bring. It’s fruity with all the surrounding blueberries, but very savory as it’s served warm. I would go with a small serving of traditional roasted potatoes over some greens but it’s up to you and what you’re feeling…

 

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But, I am warning you now! This will make you want to curl up on the couch and read a good book. I
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Chicken Roast with Blueberry Balsamic Glaze
Print Recipe
A sweet and savory roasted chicken breast served on a bed of endless fresh blueberries accompanied by a light balsamic glaze. Pairs perfectly with potatoes!
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Chicken Roast with Blueberry Balsamic Glaze
Print Recipe
A sweet and savory roasted chicken breast served on a bed of endless fresh blueberries accompanied by a light balsamic glaze. Pairs perfectly with potatoes!
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Chicken breast or turkey breast bone-in Fresh or thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil Divided for breast and onions
  • 1 teaspoon Black pepper, ground For breast
  • 1 small Onion, white, sweet Sliced thin
  • 3 sprigs Rosemary Up to 5 tablespoons roughly chopped
  • 2 cups Blueberries, fresh
  • 1/2 cup Figs, dried, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Maple syrup Or any liquid sweetener
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Mustard, spicy, whole grain
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Slice 1 onion and place at the bottom of the oven-safe casserole dish (I used an uncovered dutch oven.) Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil.
  2. Carefully place 3 or more rosemary sprigs onto the onions. If you're using fresh rosemary, be careful to not forget about the stems, or use 3 -5 tbsp dried for convenience.
  3. Prepare bone-in chicken breast or turkey breast by rubbing 1 tbsp of olive oil and as much salt and pepper as desired. Place it on the onion and rosemary when you're finished.
  4. Turn down the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Place the uncovered dish into the oven. Bake for 40 minutes
  5. Start the balsamic glaze: Place only 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries (or frozen), 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup dried figs into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer then reduce to low heat until the contents shrinks in size by about half. Stir in 1 tbsp of maple syrup and mustard, and plus salt and pepper.
  6. Once the breast has cooked for 40 minutes, remove dish from oven and reduce the temperature to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Using a brush or ladle, coat the balsamic glaze over the breast. Pour all of the glaze into the dish. Then surround remaining fresh blueberries (1 and 1/2 cups) into the dish.
  7. Once all of the contents are in the dish, place the almost finished product in the oven for 20 minutes to cook. Your poultry breast should read to 160 degrees fahrenheit! (Serve with my petite roasted potatoes.)
Recipe Notes

Nutrition information for 1 serving (approximately 4 oz of cooked chicken):

Calories 348 Fat 10g Carbohydrates 39g Fiber 4.1g Protein 27g

Calories account for 1/4th of chicken breast and includes 1/4th of glaze and blueberries. This is an over-estimate, you will most likely not be using all of the glaze and blueberries. 

 

 

 

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Garlic Honey Chickpea Kale Salad {Vegetarian}

This recipe is perfect for those of you who love a bunch of flavor, but don’t have a bunch of ingredients. It’s light, crunchy, with a touch of honey to balance the warm spices in the chickpeas!

RoastedChickpeaKaleSalad1

First thing you want to do is clean and trim your kale. I usually do this when I bring it home because I hate dirty vegetables going into the fridge! You’ll want a solid 6 cups of trimmed kale prepared. I grabbed some local kale for only 99 cents per bunch, so I actually was able to make this salad twice!

Now set your oven to 350 degrees to get the chickpeas ready to roast. My favorite part! Toss the chickpeas in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil plus about 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, red chili powder, cumin, all spice, and garlic powder. Salt and pepper too if you feel you need it! These flavor combinations are all adjustable, so do what your heart desires, I like warm all spice and cinnamon, but they’re not crucial for flavor!

For this recipe I was looking for a CRUNCH. So, the cook time ranges from 50 minutes to an hour. I recommend flipping the chickpeas in the middle if you can remember! My oven didn’t take a full hour to make a crispy chickpea. You can do this part ahead of time, perfect for snacking.

While the chickpeas are crisping add all of the ingredients for the kale salad together. If you allow the dressing to sit in the kale for an hour or so you’ll notice the kale shrinks up. But if you’re feeling impatient I suppose you can double the dressing to make the kale more palatable.

Whisk minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. You’ll want 1 whole lemon at least or 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. For salads I always use a rich extra virgin olive oil and usually don’t need too much.

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RoastedChickpeaKaleSalad3

Once the chickpeas are toasted, toss them in the kale and eat up!

This salad made my mouth real happy. I felt full after eating it as a snack but I think the best combination was dinner. Pair this with a rotisserie chicken a couple of times a week and make your life easier after work!

RoastedChickpeaKaleSalad5

Garlic Honey Chickpea Kale Salad
Print Recipe
Crispy spiced chickpeas tossed in a slightly sweet garlic honey kale salad.
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Garlic Honey Chickpea Kale Salad
Print Recipe
Crispy spiced chickpeas tossed in a slightly sweet garlic honey kale salad.
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 side salads, 2 full 10 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 15 oz can Chickpeas, rinsed, drained OR 1 and 2/3 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Paprika, smoked
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder Powder
Garlicy Honey Kale Salad
  • 6 cups Kale, fresh, chopped Stem removed
  • 1-2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice, or juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, fresh, minced/pressed/grated This is when the jar type is awesome!
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp Honey (Maple if vegan)
Servings: side salads, 2 full
Instructions
  1. Clean and trim kale. Measure 6 cups of chopped kale. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Rinse and drain 1 can of chickpeas (1 and 2/3 cups). Toss the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, red chili powder, cumin, all spice, and garlic powder. Salt and pepper to taste*
  3. Bake on a very lightly greased baking sheet for about 50 minutes to an hour. Flip and check after 25 minutes.
  4. Toss the kale with 1 - 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tbsp of lemon juice (or 1 lemon), 1/2 tbsp or more of honey (maple if vegan), and 1 tbsp of minced garlic. Let it sit and marinate in the kale as long as you can before serving. Great served chilled.
  5. Add the toasted chickpeas to the chilled kale salad. Serve immediately!
Recipe Notes

Calories 206 Fat 8g Protein 10.75g Carbohydrates 30.5g Fiber 10g

  • Serve with your favorite meat dish, like a roasted chicken or turkey. You can also use this as a healthy, surprisingly filling snack.
  • Stays well for 3 days maximum.
  • Kale salad dressing is approximate and light, double if you want a heavy dressing but remember if you let it sit before serving it will absorb well.
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Cilantro Chicken Pasta Salad

Leftovers are so crucial for me this summer! It’s been so hard for me to stay in the kitchen with everything going on lately, so I think all you busy bees out there will really appreciate this quick, modifiable pasta salad!

I baked my boneless chicken breast first (2 pounds for me as I wanted to cook it all), and decided to do the pulled version. Which I highly recommend by the way! To do this I added half apple cider vinegar and half vegetable broth  and seasoned it with lemon and pepper. My favorite way to cook my chicken is with the dutch oven, I set the oven to 400F for about 30-35 minutes, with not too much liquid either. Set aside 4 cups of pulled cooked chicken when you’re ready.

Next, start the pasta so you have time to cool the noodles before mixing.

I wanted a lot of leftovers so I went with 4 cups of dry pasta, as well as 4 cups of cooked pulled chicken. Once everything is chopped and cooled… the rest is history. Which is the way it should be!

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For a light pasta salad like what I did here, simply add 2 tablespoons each of mustard and plain greek yogurt (reduced fat is fine), 1/2 cup of chopped red onion, the juice of 2 small lemons or about 3 tablespoons, 1/3 cup of roughly chopped cilantro, and 1/2 of a small avocado.

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Once all the ingredients are combined and tossed I drizzled a bit of good extra virgin olive oil and fresh black pepper.

CilantroChixPasta4Chill it then, dig in because this one is made for plenty of plates!

Cilantro Chicken Pasta Salad
Print Recipe
Simple summer pasta salad with a touch of fresh cilantro, made easy with staple ingredients like whole wheat pasta, mustard and greek yogurt.
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Cilantro Chicken Pasta Salad
Print Recipe
Simple summer pasta salad with a touch of fresh cilantro, made easy with staple ingredients like whole wheat pasta, mustard and greek yogurt.
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings
6 or more servings
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Whole wheat pasta, dry, rotini or fusilli Any noodles work fine
  • 4 cups Chicken, cooked, pulled Roughly 1 lb
  • 1/2 cup Red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 whole Avocado, mashed or diced
  • 2 whole Lemons 3 tbsp of juice
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 tbsp Mustard, spicy brown
  • *Optional: Extra virgin olive oil and pepper 1 tbsp
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bake 1 lb of chicken in dutch oven or crock pot. Half vegetable broth + apple cider vinegar, just enough liquid to reach about half the thickness of the chicken. Make enough for 4 cups cooked, pulled chicken. 400F, dutch oven for about 30-35 minutes.
  2. Cook 4 cups of pasta (measured dry.) Set aside to cool.
  3. Chop 1/2 cup red onion, roughly chop 1/3 cup of cilantro, half of an avocado, 2 tbsp each of mustard and greek yogurt (plain), and juice of 2 lemons or ~3 tbsp.
  4. Toss and combine all ingredients. Add extra virgin olive oil and pepper if you desire. Chill before serving.
Recipe Notes

Calories 317 Fat 5g Protein 24.6g Carbohydrates 43g Fiber 6g

Nutrition information does not include extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top

  • To make vegan: remove the greek yogurt and chicken of course, add extra lemon juice (2 tbsp), and replace protein with slivered almonds or black beans.
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