Monday, September 28, 2015

Chicken Tikka Masala

Now believe me when I say I was scared to try this recipe.  I think I can cook pretty well, but Indian food never turns out right.  With that being said, this recipe is awesome.  It actually worked and was delicious!  The key is that it uses heavy cream instead of yogurt as the base of the sauce; yogurt always curdles for me.  I was super pumped about this and plan on making it again very soon!

Chicken Tikka Masala 
Chicken Tikka Masala 

Ingredients:

For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander

For the sauce:
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. paprika
Pinch cayenne
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
For serving: basmati rice, naan

Preparation:
Combine yogurt, lemon, cumin, and coriander in a small bowl.  Place chicken in a greased oven-ready baking dish.  Spoon yogurt marinade over chicken.  Mix, making sure that chicken is coated all over.  Place in refrigerator for up to 6 hours.
Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 50 minutes. Set aside.
Warm a half-tablespoon of butter in a dutch oven. Add the onions and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the ginger, tomato paste, garam masala, paprika, and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Pour the tomatoes and their juices and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, dice the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Stir the cream and chopped chicken into the sauce, and simmer until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is just starting to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper, or other seasonings to taste. Stir in the cilantro just before removing the sauce from heat.
Serve immediately with rice. Top each serving with another sprinkle of cilantro.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Breakfast Enchiladas

Now, you guys definitely know how much I love enchiladas by now. (Need proof, check out some of my favorites: Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas, and Vegetarian Crockpot Enchiladas.  Now, I found a way to have enchiladas for breakfast too!  (Not that I didn't eat the aforementioned as leftovers for breakfast).  These are great because I can see myself putting whatever I want in them... I was thinking bacon and leeks next time!  They would also be SUPER easy to make vegetarian as well!
Note that these enchiladas soak in the egg mixture overnight, so if you want to eat enchiladas immediately, try a different recipe!

Breakfast Enchiladas
Breakfast Enchiladas

Ingredients:
2 cups cubed and cooked ham
½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
8 flour tortillas (6-8 inches)
1¼ cup half-and-half
4 whole eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon flour
salsa, sour cream, and additional green onions for serving

Preparation:
In a medium bowl stir together ham, green onions and 1 1/2 cups of cheese (save the remaining ½ cup for later). Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place a good amount of ham mixture onto a tortilla, careful not to over fill them. Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in the baking pan. Roll up all tortillas and place them into the baking dish with the sides touching.
Whisk together half-and-half, eggs, salt, and flour. Pour over tortillas. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, preheat oven to 350º. Bake covered for 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining ½ cup of cheese over enchiladas. Bake for 10 more minutes or until tops are golden brown and the egg mixture is set.
Serve with salsa, sour cream, and additional green onions.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Love Cake

So, normally I don't make desserts.  I leave that up to my sister because mine always turn out not quite right.  This cake ended up being delicious, but I will say that the layers are supposed to flip flop during baking and mine half-heartedly flipped.  It was still delicious, but the layers didn't look as pretty as Paula Deen's did.  Oh well!
Love Cake

Love Cake

Ingredients:
1 package chocolate cake mix and the ingredients needed to make the cake according to the package
2 lbs. ricotta cheese
4 eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (3.9 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup cold milk
8 oz. Cool Whip

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 350F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Set aside.
In another bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly. Once the cake batter is in place, carefully pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Spread to cover the cake batter as best as you can.
Bake the cake at 350 for 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Once the cake is cool, stir the pudding mix and milk together with a whisk until combined. Carefully, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined.
Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. It tastes even better the next day.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Chew Nibble Nosh

Friday, September 25, 2015

Meatballs

I realized recently that although I use my mom's recipe for meatballs and sauce all the time, I actually have never posted it before.  These meatballs are delicious.  I could eat them all the time.  Now, I actually forgot to take a picture of my sauce (whoops!), so I will post that whenever I make sauce again.  For now, meatballs alone will have to suffice.

Meatballs

Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 lb. hamburger, or ground meat of choice
2 cloves chopped garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
additional garlic powder to taste

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix ground meat, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, cheese, egg, and bread crumbes together in a large bowl.  If mixture is too wet, add more bread crumbs, a little at a time. 
Roll into balls and place on sprayed cookie sheet. 
Spray the top with more pam & season with salt, pepper & garlic powder. 
Bake for about 20-25 minutes until brown.

Add to sauce the last hour.
Enjoy!

Creamy Italian Dip

We had so much time off for the Pope being in Philly that we decided to have a party... obviously!  Matt and I hosted an Italian themed party... with lots of Italian foods because that's probably what they eat at the Vatican, right?  Anyway, for an appetizer I served this dip with crackers as well as some olives.  It was the perfect start to our meal!

Creamy Italian Dip

Creamy Italian Dip

Ingredients:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
2 small tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp. Italian Dressing
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. basil, chopped

Preparation:
Spread cream cheese onto bottom of pie plate.
Combine tomatoes and dressing; spoon over cream cheese.
Top with remaining ingredients.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Kraft

French Toast Casserole

The pope being in Philly means one thing... 5 day weekend!  To celebrate, I decided to make French toast... we had to have something with our mimosas!  I ended up going a little easier and translated French toast into a French toast casserole.  We topped ours with strawberries, which was a good thing because it was so sweet! (Syrup would definitely have sent us to the dentist).  Bacon on the side made this a wonderful brunch!

French Toast Casserole 

French Toast Casserole

Ingredients:

French Toast:
1 loaf Crusty French Bread (I actually used regular wheat, but French bread would have been much better)
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
3/4 cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

Topping:
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
Fresh Fruit (Strawberries, blueberries, bananas, etc.)

Preparation:
Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks and evenly distribute in the pan.
In a medium sized bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter pieces and cut them into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 F. Remove casserole from the fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.
Scoop out individual portions. Top with Fresh fruit.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Roasted Squash and Onions

This recipe could not be easier.  For real.  Got some squash? Got some onions? Great, that's all you need.  Also, it's delcious!  Matt was convinced that it was bad for him because it was so tasty.  "There's really no cheese?  No meat? No butter?"  It was really like that, and then he ate all of it.  This was a great side to my no carb meal with sausage!

Roasted Squash and Onions
Roasted Squash and Onions

Ingredients:
2 medium yellow summer squash, cut in thick strips
1.5 small onions, sliced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 425F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil. Trim the ends of the squash, cut off the slender necks, and slice the necks in half, lengthwise. Then slice each squash into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Lay the slices on the cooking sheet in a single layer, or best you can, I had to overlap, but it was fine.
Layer in onions.
Sprinkle with pepper and salt.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until bottoms of squash begin to brown. Flip squash and onions and bake until bottoms of squash are browned, about 15 minutes more. Serve immediately.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Susan at Fat Free Vegan

Monday, September 21, 2015

Moroccan Meatball Tagine

I found this recipe and knew I had to try it!  I am a big lover of meatballs (hello, I'm Italian!) and the North African twist sounded like a winner to me!  Plus I've been trying to incorporate more veggies into my dinners, and this seemed like the perfect way to do so.  I served it over couscous for a complete meal!

Moroccan Meatball Tagine
Also, my meatballs kind of fell apart, but they were still very tasty, so I deemed they were fine.  I only may have worried if I was having a fancy party, but still, eh.

Moroccan Meatball Tagine

Ingredients:
1 large onion, finely chopped, divided
2 Tbsp. raisins, coarsely chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 Tbsp. tomato puree
3 tsp. curry powder
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
2 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
1 cup frozen peas

Preparation:
Mix together half the onions, the raisins, ground beef, tomato puree, and curry powder in a large bowl.  Using your hands, combine and form into meatballs.  (The recipe said you could make 24, I made about 15, it's fine).
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a dutch oven.  Add the meatballs and brown all over.  Pour out excess fat.  Add cinnamon, tomatoes, and lemon juice.  Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan.  Add celery and zucchini and cook until soft, but not mushy.  Add peas and cook for another 5 minutes.
Combine zucchini mixture into meatball mixture just before serving.
Serve over couscous for a complete meal.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from 1000 Recipe for Simple Family Food by Eleanor Maxfield

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Chicken Piccata

Chicken piccata is a dish that I often find myself ordering at restaurants because I don't make it at home.  Why?  Who knows.  Well, now I need to find something else to order at restaurants because this turned out great and I can't wait to make it again!

Chicken Piccata 
Chicken Piccata 

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, pounded thin, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup chicken broth
1.5 lemons
¾ Cup Heavy Cream
¼ cup capers
Chopped parsley, for garnish
1/2 pound spaghetti

Preparation:
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Season flour with salt and pepper, to taste and dredge chicken in flour.  Place the chicken in the skillet. Cook for about 6 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked throughout and no longer pink. Remove from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
Turn the heat to medium low. Add broth, juice from lemons, heavy cream, and capers. Bring the sauce to a boil and return to medium low heat. Test the sauce and season with salt and pepper as needed, (you probably won't need much salt because the capers are so salty!). Allow the sauce to cook and bubble for about 3 minutes.
Serve the chicken over cooked pasta and spoon the sauce over both. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Recipe Critic

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

BLT Flatbread Pizza

I needed a quick, yummy dinner this week because I spent longer at school helping out with the play.  This recipe fit the bill!  Using pre-made crust, naan in this case, was a great time saver, and the only prep I had to do was to cook the bacon.  It took about 20 minutes in total and we were ready to eat in no time!
We ordered wings (because who has pizza without wings!?), though if I had more time, I could have made wings.  Alas, that will be a great weekend project.

BLT Flatbread Pizza


BLT Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients:
4 pieces garlic naan
1/2 cup tomato sauce
5 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch thick circles
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup arugula
1/2 lemon
Pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
Lay naan on a pizza stone, pizza steel, or baking sheet. (I had to use a pizza stone and a baking sheet).
Spread about 1/8 cup of tomato sauce on each piece of naan.
Divide the bacon, tomato circles, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese evenly between the naan.
Place naan in the oven.  If using two pans, switch top and bottom pans after 4 minutes.
Continue baking until the cheese is melted and the naan bread is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
Take pizza out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
While the pizza is resting, place the arugula in a small bowl and toss it with the lemon juice and ground pepper.
Top each pizza with a quarter of the arugula salad.
Slice the pizzas into halves.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Cookin' Canuck

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Arugula Salad with Tomatoes

Are you ready for the easiest salad accompaniment ever?  Perfect.  I serve this salad all the time.  My Mom serves this salad all the time.  It goes great with any Italian meal or as a nice summer salad.  I served it tonight with eggplant parmigiana and some homemade bread... delicious!

Arugula Salad with Tomatoes

Arugula Salad with Tomatoes

Ingredients:
6 oz. arugula (1 bag)
1 tomato, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 lemon
parmesan, to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil, more to taste
salt, to taste

Preparation:
Add lemon juice and olive oil in small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Place arugula in large bowl. Sprinkle parmesan on top of arugula, to taste.  Add salt, to taste. Mix well. Add tomatoes on top.
Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Balsamic Blueberry and Spinach Grilled Cheese

This grilled cheese was just happenstance; I was alone for dinner, was browsing Pinterest for menu ideas for next week and chanced upon this recipe.  I had every ingredient!  Hooray!
Let me tell you, this was goooood.  Before you say, "Wait! Blueberries and balsamic and spinach and cheese?  Together?!" stop, this was great.  The sweetness from the blueberries and sugar combined with the acidity of the vinegar and the creaminess of the cheese make for one dynamite dish.  It came together in about ten minutes and I didn't have to turn on my oven in the midst of this Philly heat wave.  Perfection!

Balsamic Blueberry and Spinach Grilled Cheese
Full disclaimer- I was going to say that I wanted you to be able to see the spinach and that's why I bit into my sandwich, but really I kind of burnt it and I bit off the blacker parts.  Whoops!


Balsamic Blueberry and Spinach Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:
2 slices of bread (I used sourdough)
8 slices of cheese (I used an even amount of both sharp white cheddar and monterey jack)
1 cup Fresh spinach (it will seem like a lot when you put it on, but I promise it's not)
1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2- 1 tsp. butter

Preparation:
In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar and vinegar over medium heat. Let the mixture come to a slow boil. Use a utensil to crush berries as you stir. After boiling for about 5 minutes, pour mixture into a mesh strainer and let the juice syrup separate from the solid berries.  (If you don't have a mesh strainer, I used a slotted spoon and that worked fine!)
Spread blueberries onto a piece of bread, top with half the cheese, then spinach, and then the rest of your cheese! Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Top with your other slice of bread.
Over low heat, melt 1/2 tsp. of butter.  Once melted, add your sandwich.  Once the bread is golden brown (unlike mine!), flip over and grill the other side until golden brown.  If you have no butter left in the pan when you flip you can melt your other 1/2 tsp. of butter before re-adding the sandwich.
 Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Amanda K. by the Bay

Monday, August 31, 2015

Maque Choux

Today I made cajun marinated chicken (which I totally forgot to take a picture of... evidence of how fast we ate them... don't worry I'll make it again!) and needed a side dish.  I stumbled on this New Orleans side and decided it would be perfect!  Corn is in season right now and I didn't need to turn on the oven, I was sold!
When I set out to make this, I unfortunately couldn't use my "holy trinity" in this dish (onions, bell peppers, and celery) because I used all my pepper in the Tex Mex Sweet Potato Salad I made the day before.  Whoops!  I doubled the celery, and didn't really miss it, but it would have added a nice sweetness to the dish.  I included it in here for you guys, but if you don't have any pepper, you can double the celery, I promise.

Maque Choux

Maque Choux

Ingredients:
3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
1/4 cup bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup tomato, finely diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon parsley
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery and bell pepper, and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the corn, tomatoes, cream, and parsley and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree 1/4 of the corn mixture.
Mix in the green onions, season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tex Mex Sweet Potato Salad

I really needed a side dish for my cilantro lime salmon and this seemed like a perfect solution!  I'm not a huge fan of overly mayonnaise-y potato salads, so I really wanted something that would fill me up without being too much.
This potato salad uses a homemade honey mustard dressing that feels like a nice light solution to mayo.  I halved the dressing recipe for you guys because there was a ton in the bottom of the bowl when I was done.  
This recipe is also very easily made vegan, substitute agave or maple syrup for the honey!

Tex Mex Sweet Potato Salad

Tex Mex Sweet Potato Salad

Ingredients:
about 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 jumbo), washed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced 
1 cup corn (I use frozen that I allowed to thaw)
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, minced
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add the sweet potatoes in an even, flat layer. Evenly drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until fork-tender and done. Halfway through baking flip potatoes to ensure even cooking. Baking time will vary, I recommend starting to check at 30 minutes for doneness.
Add the green onions, red pepper, corn, cilantro to a large bowl; set aside.
Add the honey, dijon mustard, lime juice, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper, optional cayenne pepper to a medium bowl, whisk to combine; set aside.
After potatoes are cooked, add them to the bowl with the beans and vegetables, add the sauce, and toss to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance, make any necessary tweaks, and serve. Potato salad can be served warm, at room temp, or chilled.  
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Averie at Averie Cooks

Cilantro Lime Salmon

Ever since Matt came back from Santa Fe, he has had a hankering for salmon; Santa Fe is not a hot bed for seafood, you know, being in a desert.  I came across this recipe from Closet Cooking, a blog I've been following for a long time and thought it sounded perfect!  I did not realize however, that my cilantro had gone bad, so this is a little sparse on cilantro, I had to scavenge around for a few good leaves.  Oh well!
I paired this with Tex Mex Sweet Potato Salad and it was a great meal!

Cilantro Lime Salmon

Cilantro Lime Salmon

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. oil
1 lime, juice and zest
2 Tbsp. cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. salmon, either one big filet, or split into 2

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400.
Combine oil, lime juice and zest, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
Rub oil mixture on salmon and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until salmon is cooked to your liking.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Closet Cooking

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Brown Sugar Baked Peaches

Tonight I really wanted something sweet for dessert, but I didn't want to make a whole batch of cookies or brownies.  I remembered I had pinned a recipe for baked peaches recently, and as luck would have it, I had bought peaches!  The weather was finally cool enough to turn on the oven, it seemed like fate.
These were great because they took about 5 seconds to prepare and they smell delicious as they're cooking.  They were super yummy and took away my craving for some sugar while remaining somewhat healthy.  Perfect!

Brown Sugar Baked Peaches


Brown Sugar Baked Peaches

Ingredients:
1 peach
*1 tsp. butter, divided (to save even more calories, I used Smart Balance)
2 tsp. brown sugar, divided
cinnamon, to taste

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375.
Halve peach and remove pit.
Place skin side down in baking dish.
Place 1/2 tsp. of butter and 1 tsp. brown sugar in each peach half.  Sprinkle both sides with cinnamon.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Kitchen is my Playground

*You could also use a different butter substitute and make these vegan!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Skinny Off the Cob Mexican Street Corn

Have you ever had Mexican street corn?  It's very tasty, cheesy, and messy.  However, one thing it is not is healthy.  It's full of mayonnaise and cheese.  This version is lightened up with Greek yogurt and made a little less messy by going off the cob- it's still packed with flavor though!


Do you see all the cheesy gooeyness?  I promise it's good for you!



I served this with Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon for a low carb meal!


Skinny Off the Cob Mexican Street Corn

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. butter (I used Smart Balance)
1 12 oz. package frozen corn
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cotija or feta cheese
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt, to taste

Preparation:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Melt butter.  Once butter is melted, add package of corn.  Saute until cooked through and the liquid is evaporated.
While corn is cooking, combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add corn to Greek yogurt mixture.
Combine.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Double Dipped Life

Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon

I love salmon.  I could live everyday on salmon, with an occasional steak thrown in.  After coming back from New Mexico, I have had a craving for fish, as evidenced by my fish tacos... I have also had crab cakes and I even had crab cake eggs benedict for brunch today, I can't get enough!  Perhaps it's because being in the desert for a month has left me with a hankering for it.  Perhaps it's because salmon was super on sale today.  Whatever the reason, this salmon was yummy!
The best thing about this spice rub (besides the fact that it's yummy!) is that because it's equal parts of everything, it's easy to half to make a dinner for one, or double for a dinner for four!

Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon

Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon

Ingredients:
2 salmon filets
1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Avocado (optional)
Pickled Onions (optional)

Preparation:
Combine salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl.  Pat on the outside of the salmon.  Keep in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take salmon out of fridge.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add oil.
When oil is hot, add salmon.
Cook skin side down (if you filets have skin) for 4 minutes.  Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes.
Top with avocado and pickled onion, if you wish!
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Laylita's Recipes

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Sauce and Pickled Onions

These tacos are amazing.  My only complaint is that because Matt is still in Santa Fe and Alyssa doesn't eat fish, I only made one piece... I wish I had more.  I even thought about just wrapping up the sauce and some pickled onions in a tortilla and eating that.  (I didn't.)
These tacos tasted like the ones you get at a restaurant, but healthier because I didn't fry the fish, trust me, it doesn't need to be fried.
Also, I now know why restaurants normally double up the corn tortillas... mine crumbled up, but I just grabbed a fork and ate them up.
I'm planning on crab cakes tomorrow and am stoked to top them with the leftover sauce and onions!

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Sauce and Pickled Onions

Fish Tacos

For the Pickled Onions:
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove gaarlic
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Add sliced onions to a medium bowl. Pour enough boiling water over onions so that they are covered. Count to 10, then drain.
Toast cinnamon, cloves and the red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
Whisk in vinegar, lime juice, a 1/4 cup of the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until sugar and salt have dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour brine over onions.
Allow to stand at room temperature until cooled, cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

For the Cilantro Sauce:
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup mayo
½ tsp lime (I used lemon because I used all the lime for the onions, so actually, either is fine)
1 handful of cilantro..I like a lot, I usually add more than a handfull
1 Tbsp. onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until creamy, cilantro won't really blend, but that's okay!.  Transfer to the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving (this part is necessary for the ingredients to really shine!) Enjoy!

For the Fish Tacos

2 4 oz. mahi mahi filets
2 Tbsp. butter
4 corn tortillas (or 8 if you want to double up)
4 leaves red leaf lettuce
Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
Cilantro Sauce, above
Pickled Onions, above
Cilantro, to taste

Place nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add butter and allow to melt.
Meanwhile, cut filets in half (it's easier to fit in tortillas), season both sides with cumin, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Place fish in pan, cook both sides about 4 minutes, depending on thickness of fish.
While fish is cooking, heat up tortillas; I like to do mine over the burner for a few seconds, but if you have an electric stove do it in the microwave!
Assemble fish tacos with lettuce on the bottom, add fish, then top with a dollop of cilantro sauce and some pickled onions.  Add cilantro, if you would like!
Enjoy!

Recipe for pickled onions adapted from Adam and Joanne at Inspired Taste
Recipe for Cilantro sauce adapted from Sherron at Simply Gourmet

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Black Beans and Rice

I'm about to go back to Philly, so this is my last post from Santa Fe :(  Also, Matt is staying (because it's his job!) for an extra week and a half so I figured instead of him eating cereal every night for dinner, I would make him a few meals.  Ziti happened because I was trying to use up a bunch of things in the fridge and I also made him these black beans and rice.
Going into my cooking, I was more excited for the ziti, but after tasting these, they are so good.  You could use them as a side for simple grilled chicken, or use them as a filling in tacos. They could also be a main dish with a salad on the side for a light summer meal!
These are also super easy to make vegetarian/vegan, just use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and you are done!

Black Beans and Rice


Black Beans and Rice

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup basmati rice (or you can use regular white rice)
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian/vegan version)
3/4 tsp. taco seasoning
2 cups black beans

Preparation:
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion, and sauté 3 minutes, until onion is tender. Add pepper and garlic, sauté one minute longer.
Add uncooked rice, and stir, toasting it for about 2 minutes. .
Add stock and taco seasoning. Stir together, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, according to rice package directions, usually 15-20 minutes.
Remove lid, stir in beans, and cover again. Turn off heat, and let stand for 3 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Andi at The Weary Chef

Friday, August 7, 2015

Mango Salsa

Mango salsa screams summer.  Fresh flavors, plus being in New Mexico, it seemed like a no brainer.  I made this as an appetizer for dinner with a few friends, but then ended up putting it on the turkey burgers I made.  (It was also good on some bean and cheese tacos I had for lunch the next day).  This salsa is super easy and the flavors speak for themselves.

Mango Salsa


Mango Salsa

Ingredients:
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced (about 3 cups)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
1 lime, juiced
Salt, to taste

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Season lightly with salt, to taste.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pork Florentine

Pork Florentine sounds very fancy, looks very fancy, but is not that hard to make, my favorite!  Plus it's healthy because of the spinach... right?  (Definitely not, but that's okay).
The great thing about florentine is that you can florentine just about anything... don't eat pork?  No problem!  You can make chicken florentine or salmon florentine or tofu florentine!  (I haven't tried that one, so let me know how it goes!)  The florentine sauce is super yummy and a great splurge for a chilly fall night.

Pork Florentine


Pork Florentine

Ingredients:
10 oz of baby spinach leaves, chopped into large pieces
1 lb of thinly sliced boneless pork chops (about 4 to 5 chops)
4 tablespoons of flour, divided
½ of a white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of chicken broth
½ cup of heavy cream
1 cup of grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
3 Tbsp. Olive oil

Preparation:
In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and saute until wilted. Lightly season with salt, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Season the pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place 2 tablespoons of flour in a shallow bowl and lightly dredge the chops, shaking off any excess flour. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until brown on both sides and completely cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
Add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
Slowly add the chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let simmer until sauce thickens. (This happened for me in about 2 minutes).
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the spinach and Parmesan.
Plate the chops, top with the spinach cream sauce and eat.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Egg Me On

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vegan Black Bean Tacos

Matt has had several vegetarian dinners lately and has not complained once... I'm not sure what is going on, but I'm here to ride that train!  I made vegan black bean tacos tonight and they were great! They were even better when topped with my super easy salsa verde!

Vegan Black Bean Tacos


Vegan Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients:
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 cups black beans (1 can is good too, rinsed and drained)
1 small zucchini, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 corn (GF) or flour tortillas
Optional for Serving: diced tomatoes, cilantro, salsa verde

Preparation:
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add black beans and onion.
Cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add zucchini, bell pepper, garlic.
Saute until zucchini is soft, but not mushy.
Meanwhile, heat tortillas in microwave under a damp paper towel for 30 seconds.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer a scoop of bean mixture into a warmed tortilla.
Top with desired toppings.
Enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Salsa Verde

Here in New Mexico, there is an abundance of fresh veggies that I would normally not have an abundance of in Philly... not that they're not there, but they're hella expensive.  (I'm not sure if I've ever said "hella" before, but it's happening now I guess!)  Tomatillos are super cheap. Cilantro is super cheap. Okay, that's it because everything else in this salsa is about the same cost wise, but the tomatillos were like $2.00/lb. cheaper!

This salsa was great on my vegan tacos, but was also great with tortilla chips!

Salsa Verde


Salsa Verde

Ingredients:
1 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
1 poblano pepper, stem cut off
1/2 small white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Salt, to taste

Preparation:
Heat oil over high heat in a large skillet.  Add tomatillos, poblano, and onion.
Saute on high, flipping after about 2 minutes.  (They should be nice and charred).
Transfer to a blender or food processor.  Add garlic, cilantro, and lime juice.  Blend until combined. (You may have to transfer tomatillos in batches, I did!)
Salt to taste.
Chill in refrigerator.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Chef Savvy

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potatoes are the best.  Growing up, we basically only had them doused with butter and brown sugar and marshmallows (Thanks, Dad!), but now I cook them in all sorts of forms.  In curry? Check. As fries? Check. The filling for tacos? Check. And now since I found this lovely recipe, as mashed potatoes? Check.  These potatoes are less sweet than normal because of the garlic, but equally delicious!  Serve with pork schnitzel for a complete meal!

Sweet Potato Mash

After looking again at this recipe, I halved it, but realized upon re-typing it that I did not half the milk or Greek yogurt.  Mystery solved as to why they were a little extra liquid-y.  I have made these before and they came out perfect, here I was blaming my ineptitude on the altitude!  Whoops!

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients:
1 lb. (2 medium) sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
salt and fresh cracked ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large pot boil sweet potatoes in salted water until tender, (easily pierced with a fork).
Drain in a colander.
Meanwhile, melt butter and sauté garlic until lightly golden. Return potatoes to the pan, add milk and sour cream. Mash until smooth. (I have used both a potato masher and some forks in this recipe, both work well, it's up to you!)
Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Gina at Skinny Taste

Pork Schnitzel

If you're like me and did not grow up in a German household, your only interaction with "schnitzel" probably came from The Sound of Music, "... doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles..."  However, I came across this recipe recently and thought I should try it; good thing because it's delicious!  I served mine with garlic sweet potato mash and a caprese salad.  Yum!

Pork Schnitzel

Pork Schnitzel

Ingredients:
5 boneless pork chops, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs, I used Panko
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Preparation:
Preheat oven to lowest setting.
Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.  (I used about 1/4 cup in total).
Place the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip the chops in the flour, the egg, and then bread crumbs, coating both sides and shaking off excess at each step.
Make sure the cooking oil is hot enough at this point.
Fry the schnitzels for about 3-5 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer briefly to an oven safe plate.  I had to do mine in batches, so I kept the extra in the oven.
Repeat until all the pork is done.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Jo Cooks

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Avocado Quesadilla

Are you ready for the easiest lunch of all time?  Perfect.  It's an avocado quesadilla.  Not interested?  Good, more for me.  This is a little surprising because it is a VEGAN lunch.  No, not vegetarian, VEGAN.  If you've ever read my blog, you're probably in shock, what!? No chese!?  That's correct!  The creamy avocado means you don't even need cheese, so get ready for a healthy quick lunch!

Avocado Quesadilla 


Do my plates look different?  That's because this is my first post from Santa Fe!  Matthew has a job here for 6 weeks, so here we are for the summer!

Avocado Quesadilla

Ingredients:
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 avocado
1 small roma tomato, diced
1 scallion, sliced
2 fajita size tortillas (corn or flour, use corn to make GF)

Preparation:
Place frying pan over medium heat.
Add vegetable oil. 
Meanwhile, spread avocado on one tortilla. 
Once vegetable oil is hot, place tortilla with avocado on heat.  Add diced tomato and scallion.
Place second tortilla on top of tomatoes and scallions.  
Once bottom tortilla is golden brown, flip quesadilla over.  
Cook until second tortilla is golden brown. 
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Garden Grazer

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Roasted Hard Apple Cider Pork Loin

The only way I cook a pork loin is an amazing recipe out of How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  It's more time consuming than I usually go for, basting the meat every 15 minutes, but the end results more than make up for it.  I took that recipe this week and used hard cider instead of the white wine usually called for (and changed some of the spices accordingly) and I must say, it was great.  I used hard apple cider over regular because it has less sugar and I didn't want the end result to be super sweet.  (Also I had some leftover in my fridge that was open, so no one was going to drink it.)

Roasted Hard Apple Cider Pork Loin


Roasted Hard Apple Cider Pork Loin

Ingredients:
3-4 lb. boneless pork loin
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups hard apple cider (I used Stella Artois Cidre because it's less sugary)
1 Tbsp. butter

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 450.
Mix rosemary, garlic, and a liberal amount of salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Rub all over the pork.  Put pork in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes.
Pour about 1/2 a cup of cider over the pork, lower the oven to 325 and roast for 15 minutes.  Continue to roast, adding about 1/4 cup of liquid every 15 minutes.  (If there is liquid in the bottom of the pan, baste instead of adding more.)
Start checking the roast after 1 1/4 hours (though mine usually takes about 1 1/2 hours).  It will be done when a meat thermometer reads 145-150. Transfer meat to a platter.
Place roasting pan over 2 burners, add the rest of the cider (if you didn't use it) and the butter.  Reduce to about 3/4 cup of liquid, scraping up the brown bits in the pan as you stir.
Serve the roast with the sauce over top.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Denver Frittata

Today I decided to clean out all of the leftovers in the fridge, and that amounted to all the ingredients for a Denver omelet.  However, with my new pots and pans, I have not figured out how to properly cook an egg.  (They're stainless steel, how do you work those things!?)  Anyway, I figured since it was the weekend I would use the oven and bake it up.
I also only had a yellow pepper, but I would normally use a green pepper in this dish, as per a traditional Denver omelet.  (Though it was still very good!)
The best part about this meal is that it is great for any meal of the day!  Though we served it for dinner, it could be a great breakfast or lunch.  I served mine with homemade bread.  Yummy!


Denver Frittata



Denver Frittata

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 cup ham, diced
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400.
Spray a 9 or 10 inch round pan with cooking spray.
Over medium heat, add butter to a large skillet.  Once the butter is melted, add onion and peppers.  Cook 3-4 minutes, or until the onions get soft.  Add the ham, and cook until warmed through.
Meanwhile, add the eggs and milk to a large bowl.  Whisk until combined.  Add ham mixture and cheese.  Stir well. Add to greased pan.
Cook 20-25 minutes, or until the egg is no longer runny (when you insert a knife in the middle, it should come out clean).
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

After all the unhealthy eating/eating out we did over Christmas break, I was excited to be cooking things from scratch.  Though I wouldn't exactly call this recipe healthy, it does have broccoli, so that's a plus, right?  (In reality, this isn't that bad for you, there's only a half cup of heavy cream.)  Anyhow, this turned out super delicious and as an extra plus, I served it with homemade bread.  It was just what I needed!

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter, sliced
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
6 Tbsp. flour
2 (12 oz.) cans fat-free evaporated milk
5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make it vegetarian!)
5 cups diced broccoli*, (about 2 medium heads)
1/8 tsp. dried chives
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until they soften, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic powder, flour, salt, and pepper, cook, whisking continuously for about 2 minutes.  Add milk, whisk until smooth.  Cook until it begins to thicken, stirring continuously.  Pour into slow cooker along with chicken stock, broccoli, and chives.  Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours.
Turn heat on warm and stir in heavy cream, shredded cheese, and parmesan, stir to blend.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Make sure to dice the stems quite fine if you're using them so they cook evenly

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy