Monday, September 26, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Grilled Chicken and Brie Sandwiches with Honeycrisp Apples and Arugula

Ever try a Honeycrisp apple? Take one bite and you’ll be hooked -- they’re absolutely delicious, so sweet and juicy. Just as their name implies, these apples are nice and crisp, and they hold up great in this quick, suuuuuper tasty sandwich.

Grilled Chicken and Brie Sandwiches with Honeycrisp Apples and Arugula 
Serves 4 
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
¼ cup whole grain dijon mustard
1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced thin
1 pound shredded rotisserie chicken
4 ounces Brie, sliced thin
1 cup arugula

Butter one side of each slice of bread and then spread mustard on the inside of each slice. Layer half the slices, buttered side down, with apples, chicken, Brie and arugula. Top each sandwich with a second slice of bread, buttered side up.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Put 1 sandwich in the pan at a time (or 2 if you’ve got a big enough pan) and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, carefully flipping once, until cheese has melted and the bread is toasted.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Open-Faced Bruschetta Burgers

This was my first time making a batch of burgers using more than one type of meat for the patties, and I must say I was quite pleased with the results. Mixing Italian sausage in with ground turkey makes for a flavorful burger. Serve it with a slice of toasty Italian bread, fresh mozzarella and some homemade bruschetta and you’ve got quite a grilled delight on your plate!

Open-Faced Bruschetta Burgers 
Serves 8 
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for bread
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
1 pound ground turkey 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
½ teaspoon salt, plus extra for bruschetta
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into eight slices
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into one-inch slices (you’ll likely have extra)

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Make bruschetta by combining tomatoes, 2 teaspoons garlic and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, Italian sausage, salt and pepper, remaining garlic and Italian seasoning. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.

Put 8 bread slices on a plate and lightly brush with olive oil.

Place patties on grill, cooking for 5 minutes before turning them over. Top each patty with a slice of mozzarella. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes, until meat is completely cooked and the mozzarella is slightly melted. Remove burgers from the grill and let them sit for a minute.

Put bread slices, oiled side down, on grill for a minute to lightly toast them. Remove from grill.

Build your burger by starting with a toasted bread slice, adding a patty and topping with bruschetta.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to sign off on summer yet. Yes, the fast-approaching fall is going to be great, but nothing beats some backyard barbecuing on a warm summer day. If you feel like getting your grill on over the Labor Day weekend, bust out some chicken breasts and give this fresh, delicious salad a try.

Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Salad with Basil Vinaigrette 
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
½ cup olive oil, plus extra for grilling
1 cup water
1 cup couscous
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
4 ounces crumbled feta
4 nectarines, cut into wedges
4 cups baby spinach
Salt and pepper

Make the dressing by blending the first four ingredients. Set aside.

Bring water to boil in a pan. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, cover and let sit for five minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.

Preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Brush the chicken with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, flipping once, until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter and let it sit for a few minute before slicing.

In a large bowl, combine couscous, chicken, shallot, feta, nectarines and baby spinach. Add dressing to bowl and stir gently to mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Romesco Pizza with Sausage and Peppers

If you’ve never had romesco sauce, you’re missing out. This delicious nut-and-red-pepper sauce is easy to make (I like both The Kitchn and Pinch of Yum’s recipes) and great served with or spread on just about anything, including this fabulous pizza. The sauce, combined with sweet peppers, savory sausage and smoky cheese, creates quite a flavor sensation.

Romesco Pizza with Sausage and Peppers 
Pizza dough (I use one 16-ounce ball of Trader Joe’s dough)
Flour and cornmeal (for prepping the pizza dough)
1-1½ cups romesco sauce (depending on how saucy you like your pizza)
8 ounces cooked sweet Italian sausage, sliced
2 cups sliced sweet bell peppers (I used a mix of red and yellow bell peppers)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded smoked gouda
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface and transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza pan. Bake just the dough for 5 minutes and remove from oven.

Give dough a good coating of romesco sauce and then top with sausage, bell pepper and cheese. Bake 12-14 minutes, until crust and cheese are golden. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you’ve got ‘em, and enjoy.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Old Bay Shrimp with Tomatoes and Corn

I recently bought my first tin of Old Bay Seasoning and love using it to add some sass to seafood. Cook up this delicious dinner for two in just a few minutes, and bonus points for only using one frying pan to put it all together!

Old Bay Shrimp with Tomatoes and Corn
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kernels from 1 ear sweet corn
1 large Roma tomato, cored and diced
1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and pepper

In a large frying pan (nonstick if you’ve got it), melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute, until fragrant. Add corn, tomato and jalapeño and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and distribute between two dishes. Heat olive oil in the same frying pan you used for the vegetables. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Dust with Old Bay Seasoning and stir to coat. Add half the shrimp to each of your two dishes and enjoy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Barbecue Chicken Burritos with Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Dressing

Have you made barbecue chicken in your slow cooker yet? Why not? It’s super easy and mighty delicious. Put it on top of a baked potato, mix it up with some fresh veggies to make a great dinner bowl, or try it my new favorite way by rolling it up into a burrito with some tasty slaw.

Barbecue Chicken Burritos with Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Dressing 
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup barbecue sauce, plus extra for drizzling
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup avocado
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 cups shredded green cabbage (it’s about half a head of cabbage)
½ red onion, thinly sliced
4-6 burrito-sized tortillas

Place chicken in slow cooker, add barbecue sauce and cook on low for 6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred with a knife and fork. Return chicken to the slow cooker and add pinto beans, stirring so everything is coated with sauce. Cook for an additional hour on low. Remove from heat. 

To make the dressing, add avocado, yogurt, cilantro, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, lime juice, water and white wine vinegar to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Make the slaw by tossing the cabbage and onions in a bowl with enough dressing to lightly coat everything. Add chicken and slaw to the middle of your tortillas, drizzle with extra barbecue sauce and avocado dressing, roll 'em up and enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Mango Macadamia Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These lettuce wraps are fresh, fast and packed with flavor!

Make-Fast Mondays: Mango Macadamia Chicken Lettuce Wraps 
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 pound cooked chicken breast, cubed or shredded
1 cucumber, seeds removed, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled, cored and diced
1 avocado, stoned and diced
¼ cup diced red onion
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
¼ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Make dressing by blending first five ingredients in a blender until smooth. Combine chicken, cucumber, mango, avocado and red onion in a large bowl. Add dressing to the bowl and stir gently to mix. Spoon the chicken mixture onto lettuce leaves and sprinkle with macadamia nuts.