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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Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai with Broccolini

As I’m posting this, I’m realizing many of us are probably sorting out recipes for the holiday dinners. I’m thinking pies, casseroles, and cocktails are invading your brain right now.

I’ll just pretend some of you are interested in some vegetables!

This pad thai can be made with any type of protein you’d like. In my recipe you’ll see I used tempeh; chicken is specified as an alternative for those who would rather cook up some meat. To stir fry the tempeh/chicken all I used was peanut butter and coconut oil! The sauce you stir in has plenty of flavor.

The spaghetti squash works perfectly as noodles in the pad thai… and you will most likely have some left over!

Pro tip: If you have to be cautious with your sodium intake, add the remaining roasted spaghetti squash noodles to a small portion of your serving instead of the saucy pad thai noodles

I hope everyone enjoys the holidays this weekend and finds room for more meals like this! <3

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Print Recipe
Spaghetti squash converts this traditional pad thai recipe into a plant-based (and gluten free) dinner meal. Squash 'noodles' combined with saucy peanut sauteed tempeh (or chicken) with fresh broccolini and a little bit of a spicy kick makes for a great summer or cozy winter meal!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Print Recipe
Spaghetti squash converts this traditional pad thai recipe into a plant-based (and gluten free) dinner meal. Squash 'noodles' combined with saucy peanut sauteed tempeh (or chicken) with fresh broccolini and a little bit of a spicy kick makes for a great summer or cozy winter meal!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 10-12 minutes
Cook Time
50 minutes
Ingredients
Spaghetti Squash (Noodles)
  • 1 medium Spaghetti squash ~5 cups cooked
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil, extra virgin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Skillet
  • 2 x 7.5 oz container Tempeh, cubed I use Lightlife (either Three grain or Original) ; or use 14oz-1lb chicken
  • 2 tbsp Peanut butter, creamy, natural With salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut oil or canola oil For the skillet
  • 1 bunch Broccolini 4 cups minimum
  • 1 cup Mung bean sprouts *Optional
  • 1/4 cup Green onion, chopped *Optional
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, crumbled Additional 1/4 cup for garnish is optional
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh, roughly chopped *Optional
  • 1 whole Lime, halved and juiced *Optional
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Sweet chili sauce I used Trader Joe's
  • 3 tbsp Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp Rice vinegar
  • Pinch of red chili flakes *Optional
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the spaghetti squash to roast. Slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It will be ready when it's fork tender and you can scoop out the squash like spaghetti noodles.
  2. Next, prepare either the sauteed chicken or tempeh. In a large (deep) skillet, on medium heat, add either 1 tbsp canola oil or coconut oil when warm, then add 2 tbsp of the peanut butter, and about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. *This is for about 1 pound of chicken or 15 oz of tempeh*
  3. While the chicken (or tempeh) is cooking create the sauce for the entire pad thai seperately. In a small bowl mix together rice wine vinegar - 1 tbsp, and 3 tbsp each of sweet chili sauce and low-sodium soy sauce. Pinch of red chili flakes if you like it hot.
  4. When chicken (or tempeh) is cooked add the trimmed broccolini (or broccoli florets) to the large skillet on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add extra oil and black pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm if the squash is still cooking in the oven.
  5. Once spaghetti squash is cooked, add at least half of the spaghetti squash to the skillet stirring frequently. Combine the sprouts, sauce, green onion, and 1/4 c crushed peanuts. Garnish with lemon juice and cilantro, as well as additional 1/4 cup of peanuts (if you'd like).... then serve!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per (2/3 cup) serving

Calories 320 | Fat 16 | Carbohydrates 28.7 | Fiber 10.2 | Protein 20.1

  • Nutrition Information includes: tempeh,1/4 cup of peanuts, and 5 cups of cooked spaghetti squash
  • Protein: If you'd like to use chicken, cube about 14 oz to 1 lb of raw chicken in replacement of the tempeh.
  • If you have more than 5 cups of spaghetti squash I suggest keeping it separate and adding it as needed per meal time.
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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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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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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!

CilantroChixPasta1

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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Quinoa Encrusted Chicken Tenders

So I’m not sure if I’m the best at judging chicken tenders in their original fried form, but these crispy, minimal chicken tenders are all I ever want in my chopped salad this week. It adds a toasted and crumbly texture I never get in salads.

For most of us, we understand that fried chicken tenders are clearly not the healthiest option for ourselves or our kids. Bringing home chicken tenders on a busy day is one thing that we all have done at least once in our life though. This recipe however will have you loving on making a healthy fried chicken substitute, I promise!

You start with either leftover cooked quinoa, or cook it according to the package directions before you get going (typically something like 2 cups of water:1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until granule spiyralizes, soak up all water, and fluff!) If you have plenty of this you can make a HUGE batch of these chicken tenders, you may need to quadruple this recipe!

Add the 1 of a cup of cooked quinoa to a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 300 for about 25 minutes. While this is getting toasty, coat your chicken with the mustard, lemon, and thyme. I didn’t need too much of a binder, but if you’re feeling weary… add an egg if you’d like!

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The quinoa should look toasted and a little golden..

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Allow the quinoa to cool, then add to the chicken mix. Toss and coat.

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Decrease the temperature of the oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit.

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Once you have the chicken all coated remove the parchment paper any you can spray olive oil on the baking sheet.

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Bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be pretty and golden!

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Perfect for kids and adults of all ages!

Quinoa Crusted Chicken Tenders
Print Recipe
Crispy quinoa encrusted chicken tenders with a dash of lemon and thyme, perfect for all entrees or any picky eaters!
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Quinoa Crusted Chicken Tenders
Print Recipe
Crispy quinoa encrusted chicken tenders with a dash of lemon and thyme, perfect for all entrees or any picky eaters!
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Servings
4 Servings
Cook Time
30 minutes (does not include cooking quinoa)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked
  • 1 lb Chicken, cut into tenders
  • 3 tbsp Spicy brown mustard, whole grain
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice Or juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp Thyme Fresh or dried
  • Salt and Pepper to
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add 1 cup of cooked quinoa to parchment lined baking sheet. Toast for a total of about 25 minutes. Use convection if you can; may need to toss in the middle for even toasting.
  2. Cut chicken thin, trim off excess fat. In a large bowl: toss in 3 tbsp mustard, lemon juice, and thyme. Pepper and salt is optional.
  3. Increase oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit.
  4. Add toasted quinoa to large bowl with chicken. Toss to coat.
  5. Remove parchment paper, spray pan with olive oil. Add chicken tenders to baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Calories 184 Fat 4g Protein 26g Carbohydrates 10g (1/4th of recipe) Fiber 1g

Nutrition information is for 4 oz servings

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Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread {Vegan}

I love burgers and I love grilled vegetables. I’m trying to figure out why I haven’t actually put them together before?? Needles to say, after this impromptu meal I will definitely be repeating this idea for work week lunches.

I didn’t want to spend more than a few minutes in the kitchen this weekend with trying to spend time with my roommate, and best friend, moving out on Sunday! We succeeded in guzzling down an oversized (maybe 32 ounces?!) pineapple rum cocktail the evening before. I was picturing vegetables screaming my name at this point!

So, for my kitchen the go to vegetable besides leafy greens is usually squash. Zucchini squash and other varieties are a pretty huge staple in the summer months around here. They don’t always have to be zoodled! I don’t do that so much, grilling and roasting is just my all time fav.

After you slice the squash up the hard work is over. I went to town with all the lemon and thyme I had. Just sprinkle with light sea salt and pepper and place on a lightly oiled pan if you’re using an oven.  I know most of you will be grilling these up, so just cut it thicker..

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While the vegetables are cooking, the spread can be whipped up in 2 minutes. Well, mashed up that is. Chop up the fresh cilantro and add to a small bowl of mashed black beans.

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It won’t need to be super smooth unless you really want it too. The flavor and texture is all you really need. Although, cilantro black bean dip is amazing… use a potato masher here and you’re done!

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Very little assembly required. If you tend to enjoy chicken on sandwiches, this would be a great time to use left-overs or grilled chicken from the weekend.

I did … and I still ended up eating this in less than 20 minutes!

Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread
Print Recipe
A seasonal fresh sandwich filled with vegetables and herbs! Roasted squash seasoned with lemon and thyme, and a simple cilantro black bean spread.
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Summer Squash Sandwich with Cilantro Black Bean Spread
Print Recipe
A seasonal fresh sandwich filled with vegetables and herbs! Roasted squash seasoned with lemon and thyme, and a simple cilantro black bean spread.
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 Sandwich 5 Minutes
Cook Time
~15 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 slices Whole wheat bread I used Eureka, Grainiac bread
  • 2 medium Squashes, summer and Zucchini
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin Or canola, depends on cooking device
  • 1 tbsp Thyme, fresh Dried thyme= about 1/2 tbsp
  • 1/2 whole Lemon 2-3 slices, remaining juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Black beans, mashed
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, fresh
  • 3 oz Chicken (Optional)
Servings: Sandwich
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425, or start up grill. Slice squash evenly and spray pan with light oil. Sprinkle squash with fresh (or dried) thyme. Slice 2-3 thin lemon slices in the mix for garnish (optional). Squeeze remaining lemon on top. Top with pepper and salt.
  2. Bake for nearly 15 minutes, or grill for 5-7 minutes. Toast bread to liking.
  3. While squash is cooking mash black beans with a potato masher. (Make sure to drain and rinse canned beans.) Add in chopped cilantro.
  4. Once bread is toasted and squash is ready, assemble and spread!
Recipe Notes
  • You may slice zucchini any thickness you'd like. I prefer a 1/4 of an inch for a sandwich, thicker is nice if you're not adding meat but too thin and it will not hold it's structure!
  • If you're using dried herbs, these especially should be reduced. I recommend about 1/2 of what the recipe calls for.
  • For Vegan Sandwich can be made with or without chicken.
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Mexican Chorizo with Turkey

I needed some simple meat inspiration. It really has not been on my mind, or my menu. Maybe it’s because I’m not able to work out as hard as I’d like to… but that’s no excuse to reduce protein. Old habits die hard!

This recipe inspired me to eat up. It’s just the right amount of spice. I’m not sensitive to spice… it’s very mild with a lot of flavor. Huge bonus being that it is so simple.

MexicanChorizoSpice

Add the spice to the uncooked ground turkey, and cook on a medium-high heat skillet for 10 minutes.

This replaces any of those taco seasoning packets from the stores, so you can thank me later 🙂

Mexican Chorizo with Turkey
Print Recipe
Spicy tender ground turkey, similar to Mexican chorizo. A quick and delicious addition to tacos, salads, burritos, eggs, and everything in between.
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 2-5 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 2-5 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Mexican Chorizo with Turkey
Print Recipe
Spicy tender ground turkey, similar to Mexican chorizo. A quick and delicious addition to tacos, salads, burritos, eggs, and everything in between.
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 2-5 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 2-5 Minutes
Cook Time
10 Minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Ground Turkey, Lean 93% lean
  • 1 tsp salt I used sea salt
  • 2 tsp Chili powder, ground
  • 2 tsp Paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 1 tsp Red chili pepper flakes Or 1 pinch
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp Oregano, ground
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, fresh, pressed Or powder (1/2)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar Optional*
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT canola oil in medium bowl. Place in fridge for an hour if possible, not necessary.
  2. Heat large skillet with 1 tbsp of canola oil to medium-high heat.
  3. Cook until brown, crumble to pieces like you would ground beef. About 10 mins.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition per serving, 4oz raw or 3oz cooked, 1/4th of recipe:

Calories 192g Fat 11.6g Protein 21.3g

Vegan substitute: replace 1 pound of turkey with 1 container of tempeh, marinade for atleast 30 minutes*

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“Korean Style” Chicken [Kimchi]

Remember that Homemade Kimchi recipe I posted last month? I’ve used it as a marinade a couple times now to make up a quick korean style chicken stir-fry. You can use store-bought kimchi instead , OR use bok choy and chipotle peppers in adobo instead!

Chipotle peppers add a bunch of heat, and are very reasonable in price, working great for quick meals like these. I remove the seeds but keep all that wonderful sauce they are marinating in. Use these in addition to kimchi marinade or as a substitute if you don’t have any kimchi.

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Get going by adding in the kimchi, about 1/2 cup depending on the amount of chicken you have. I had about 1 – 1 and 1/2 lbs going into the skillet. If you have time, let it marinate… if not, the flavors and juices of this dish really do mix well together for a quick sensational meal in under 30 minutes. …Score! I know.

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Once you have the garlic & ginger pressed or grated, place this in with the chicken marinade. Next, add the soy sauce and the rice vinegar to the marinade before. Let that sit for however long you can. [Refrigerated]

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When you get to stir frying everything, set the skillet to medium-high heat with 1 and 1/2 tbsp to 2 tbsp of canola oil. You won’t exactly need too much oil, just make sure not to use a dark sesame oil here as it may burn up the kimchi or bok choy too quickly.

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Let the chicken cook for 3-5 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other side until mostly cooked through. Set the stove to medium heat (lower) for the remainder of the time. Next you can add in all that bok choy, plus more (3x), if you’re substituting this with kimchi. It sadly simmers away fast, so don’t over cook it until it’s mush! I’ve done that before and it was awful. It should have a little crisp bite to it, and works really well with the korean flavors.

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After you remove it from the heat you can cut up a lime however you like and use it for serving. The juice balances out the spice of the dish nicely so I suggest adding it to each serving! Plus it’s a perfect garnish.

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Serve this over brown rice or just as is! Life is too short to have that plain, tasteless, -blah- chicken. On busy work days, this makes my typical chicken leftovers a lot more interesting.

"Korean Style" Chicken [Kimchi]
Print Recipe
Quick and light Korean inspired stir fry. Tender, juicy chicken balanced with spicy kimchi, mild peppers, and crisp bok choy.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
"Korean Style" Chicken [Kimchi]
Print Recipe
Quick and light Korean inspired stir fry. Tender, juicy chicken balanced with spicy kimchi, mild peppers, and crisp bok choy.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs Chicken Breast Cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi, fresh or bought *Substitute bok choy and chipotle (in adoba) peppers
  • 2 bunches/cups Bok Choy, chopped *x3 IF substituting for kimchi
  • 2 whole Chipotle pepper in adobo, minced *x3 IF substituting for kimchi
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic Pressed/Grated, 1-2 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, fresh Ground/Grated
  • 1 medium Lime Sliced
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. After cutting chicken, allow the chicken and kimchi to marinade for as long as you can. 1 hour minimum is optimal, but, a few minutes is fine. * Substitute kimchi with chipotle in adobo (minced, remove seeds) if needed here
  2. Cut up bok choy into thirds, press/grate garlic and ginger, mince and remove all or additional seeds from chipotle in adobo. Place chipotle, garlic, and ginger in with chicken marinade. Stir in soy sauce and rice vinegar. Remaining bok choy, set aside.
  3. Set skillet to medium-high heat, with 1 and 1/2 - 2 tbsp of canola oil. Add chicken to skillet, the kimchi marinade or chipotle marinade. Cook 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked mostly through.
  4. Lower the heat to medium. Add bok choy to pan til tender, about 3-5 minutes, and stirring occasionally. Make sure the chicken is cooked through before taking off the heat, and serve with fresh lime!
Recipe Notes

Nutrition per serving (Serves 6, 4 ounces):

Calories 189 Fat 4.9g Carbohydrates 6.4g Fiber 2.3g Protein 29.4g

*Calories calculated with 1 and 1/2 lbs chicken breast, generic kimchi, 2lbs of bok toy, 4 tbsp of chipotle in adobo, + 1 and 1/2 tbsp canola oil*

  • Storage: up to 5 days maximum
  • Vegan: try tofu as a substitute
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Spiced Chickpea “Moroccan” Saute {Vegan}

If you’re looking to cook something quick with a lot of flavor you’ve come to the right recipe. This chickpea sauté is seriously all about flavor… thanks to the Moroccan spice gods! All the spices here are so necessary. Normally I’d say substitute this or that, but not today. You would not enjoy this dish nearly as much if you had to remove some of these essentials. Get all of these these in your spice cabinet and I promise you’ll thank me!

SpicedChickpeaSauteSpicesFragrant, sweet spices like cinnamon, coriander and paprika are all affordable at local grocery stores, as well as the fresh herbs.


After you have your vegetables and herbs all cut up and ready, start by adding the chickpeas to the medium-heat and oiled skillet, then half of the spices go in. After just a few seconds you’ll notice the aromatic effect and the chickpeas will golden like they do when they roast. Remove from the pan after about 4 minutes, and put in a medium bowl to the side. *If you’d like to add meat to this dish add 1 lb of cut chicken here and take out about 1 and 1/2 cups of chickpeas, the spices should be adjusted too!*

SpicedChickpeaSaute1Next, in the same large skillet: add in the diced sweet bell peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, in remaining olive oil and spices (1/2). Spices should be added after the contents hit the pan. Cook until carrots are tender, about 5-8 minutes.

Once carrot mixture is cooked tender and smelling sweet it’s time to put it all together again. You’ll add back the chickpeas you cooked previously. Add in the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and chipotle. Let the flavors combine by adding the broth here too. I went for a thick, well marinated sauté instead of a runny or soup-like mix… I used 3/4 cup of broth, not completely covering the bean contents with liquid, just nearly to the top! If you want it to be thick like this I suggest using that rule of thumb too instead of a specific liquid measure. Cook for 3, 5 minutes max- still at medium heat.

…Nice not having to manipulate any cooking temperatures isn’t it? Medium heat all the way through. So simple! Also, if you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes I’m pretty sure substituting for the regular fresh or canned tomatoes wouldn’t change a thing… I just wanted to use them here and see how it turned out. Not a game changer, but I would repeat this recipe with sun-dried tomatoes again!

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Once your skillet is set to the side add in all those lovely fresh flavors: chopped cilantro, lemon juice, and lemon zest!

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Garnish galore! Extra cilantro and lemon zest wouldn’t kill this dish as you can see 🙂

>>As a side note for those who eat a lot, and frequently throughout the day… I love this by itself as an in-between meal. It’s flavorful and gives me the perfect energy and satiety. To make it a full meal I’ll place it on a bed of spinach and top it with a bit of warmed up chicken- this trick always works for me when it comes to bean-based salads and sides.

Spiced Chickpea "Moroccan" Saute {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Sweet and spicy peppers sautéed with warm chickpeas. Mixed and topped with fresh cilantro and lemon.
Servings Prep Time
5 Servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 Servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Spiced Chickpea "Moroccan" Saute {Vegan}
Print Recipe
Sweet and spicy peppers sautéed with warm chickpeas. Mixed and topped with fresh cilantro and lemon.
Servings Prep Time
5 Servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 Servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Chickpea Saute
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin Divided
  • 3 cups Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) Cooked/Canned; Drained, rinsed 2-3x
  • 1 cup Bell peppers Diced
  • 1 cup carrots Diced / 2 medium
  • 1 cup Onion, white / yellow Diced / 1 medium
  • 1/2 cup Tomato Diced (Fresh or Canned)
  • 1/8 cup Chipotle pepper in adoba Minced, seed removed / 1-2 medium
  • 1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes Rinsed, minced (Marinated)
  • 1/2 tbsp Ginger, fresh Grated/Pressed Fresh or Ground Jarred
  • 6 cloves Garlic, fresh Pressed/Grated / 3 tbsp
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable or Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, fresh Chopped finely
  • 1 large Lemon Zest + Juice
Spices
  • 1 tsp Cumin, ground powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 2 tsp Paprika Smoked
  • 1/2 tsp Chili powder, ground
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • Salt, optional
  • *Optional- 1 lb Chicken breast
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Heat large skillet (sauté pan) to medium heat, with half of the olive oil. When hot, add all chickpeas, then 1/2 of spices. Stir occasionally, cook for ~4 minutes until golden, set aside in separate bowl.
  2. [If meat is added- cook 1lb of cut chicken here, in same pan, same time, with additional cooking time and spices. Remove 1/2 of chickpeas.]
  3. In the same large skillet: add in the diced sweet bell peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, in remaining olive oil and spices (1/2). Add spices last. Cook until carrots are tender, ~ 5-8 mins, medium heat.
  4. Add back chickpeas to large skillet (medium heat) with tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and chipotle. At the same time add broth until nearly covering bean mix. Cook 3, 5 minutes max.
  5. Remove from heat. Add in cilantro, lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition per serving: (3/4 cup serving, 1/5th)

Calories 288 Fat 9.4g Carbohydrates 38.1g Fiber 9.5g Protein 10.2g

*chicken is not included in nutrition information*

  • Storage: Stores well up to a week
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