Thursday, December 15, 2016

Roasted Beet Salad with Feta and Olives

We recently had a fantastic dinner at Mill Valley Beerworks. Everything was clean-the-plate delicious but one dish that I truly couldn’t get enough of was a beet salad with feta and olives. I do love beets in a salad, but this was the first time I’d had them with olives -- it's a great slightly-sweet-and-salty combo. This is my attempt to recreate it at home.

Roasted Beet Salad with Feta and Olives 
1 pound beets, roots and stems trimmed
⅓ cup raw, unsalted pistachios
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from half an orange)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 cups arugula
2 ounces crumbled feta
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each beet loosely in aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the beets in the oven and roast until tender when poked with a fork, 60-90 minutes (depending on how big your beets are). Remove beets from oven and set aside to cool.

Put pistachios on a separate baking sheet and place in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove pistachios from the oven and set aside to cool.

Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, orange juice and balsamic vinegar.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove them from the aluminum foil. Peel the beets (wear gloves if you don’t want pink hands). Cut the beets into wedges and place in a medium bowl. Toss the beets with just enough dressing to coat.

Once pistachios have cooled, coarsely chop them. Toss remaining dressing with arugula, feta and olives.

Distribute the arugula mixture between four dishes, then top each dish with beets. Sprinkle each dish with chopped pistachios and serve.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tri-Tip Chili

We recently had some friends over for a barbecue and ended up with a ton of leftover tri-tip. While my husband’s recipe is a tried-and-true favorite, excessive leftovers of any sort can be a challenge. Hence, this chili. It’s easy and delicious, and a great way to make something new with what’s hogging space in the fridge.

Tri-Tip Chili 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound cooked tri-tip, cubed
1 15-ounce can kidney beans
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 7 ¾ ounce can El Pato tomato sauce with jalapeño

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, cayenne and salt and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

We recently moved into a new house, and while it was a local move, it was still quite a bit of work, hence no new recipes from me for a bit. But, everything’s finally unpacked and I’m back in the kitchen! Our new place has a great backyard, where I recently discovered some late-season mega zucchini that the previous tenant must’ve planted. These bad boys are each at least a foot long!

I was able to put a (slight) dent in our backyard bounty with a batch of tasty muffins. Note: if you’re working with a bigger zucchini like I did for this recipe, you’ll want to quarter it lengthwise and remove seeds before grating.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins 
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup grated zucchini
½ cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
Cooking spray or butter, to grease muffin tin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease muffin tin. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg in large bowl and stir or whisk to blend. In another bowl, combine zucchini, yogurt, vanilla extract, egg, brown sugar and walnuts, stirring until blended. Add dry ingredients to the bowl with the zucchini mixture, stirring until everything’s mixed. Scoop ⅓ cup mix per muffin cup. Bake for 20 minutes.

Yields 9-10 muffins

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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Farro Salad with Shrimp and Corn

My local supermarket’s selling 5 ears of fresh corn for a dollar right now. What better time to take advantage of this seasonal favorite with a quick salad packed with chewy farro, succulent shrimp and sweet, summery corn?

Farro Salad with Shrimp and Corn 
Serves 6 

1 cup farro
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 ½ pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kernels from 2 ears of sweet corn
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 cup diced red onion
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water and farro to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. While farro is simmering, make the dressing by blending 5 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons lime juice, red wine vinegar, garlic and jalapeno in a blender until smooth. Set aside. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Remove from heat and drizzle with remaining tablespoon lime juice. Drain the farro and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the shrimp, corn, pepper, onions, onion, cilantro and dressing. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted from Greens + Grains: Recipes for Deliciously Healthy Meals.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Strawberry Carrot Orange Smoothie

Remember that Great Green Smoothie Experiment I told you guys about a while ago? Well, it’s still going strong, but some days I just feel like sipping on something on the sweeter side.

Strawberry Carrot Orange Smoothie
4 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
1 large carrot
1 large navel orange, peeled
Cold water

Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Yields about 16 ounces, depending on how much water you add -- I suggest starting with ½ cup and adding more until you get the desired consistency for easy sipping.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Ground Lamb Kebab Wraps with Cucumber-Radish Salsa

With summer so close you can taste it, I’ll bet you’re dreaming of grilling up something meaty and delicious. Give this a recipe a try the next time you feel like firing up the barbecue.

Ground Lamb Kebab Wraps with Cucumber-Radish Salsa 
1 pound ground lamb
½ cup finely diced white onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, divided
2 tablespoons chopped mint, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sliced radish
½ cup peeled and diced cucumber
½ teaspoon olive oil, plus extra for grilling
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 warm flatbread or pita rounds
Equipment: 4 12-inch skewers (I used metal skewers, but wooden skewers work great)

If using wooden skewers, place them in a shallow dish, cover with water and soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain skewers when you’re ready to use them. 

Get your grill started (medium-high heat).

Combine radishes, cucumber, ½ teaspoon olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine lamb, onion, 1 tablespoon each parsley and mint, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Divide meat mixture into four portions and form each around a skewer, making an oblong sausage shape. Brush lamb kebabs with a little bit of olive oil.

Grill kebabs for 5 minutes before turning once and grilling another 5 minutes, or until meat is brown and thoroughly cooked. Remove meat from skewer. Spread hummus on each flatbread, add meat and top with salsa.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Pesto Chicken Polenta Bowls with Artichoke Hearts and Spinach

Nothing beats the taste of fresh, homemade pesto, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep a store-bought jar or two stashed in the cabinet for those times when you want pesto in a pinch. Crack open a jar of your favorite store-bought variety and give this recipe a try. Wondering what to do with the rest of the jar? Find just a few ideas for what you can do with the leftover green goodness here.

Pesto Chicken Polenta Bowls with Artichoke Hearts and Spinach 
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup polenta
2 bay leaves
¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3-4 tablespoons pesto
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
8 ounces chopped spinach

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually add polenta and bay leaves, stirring for a minute, before reducing heat to low and covering the saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring the polenta for a minute every 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat, remove bay leaves, and stir in the grated Parmesan. 

Once polenta is simmering, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil and add mushrooms to the pan, cooking until mushrooms are slightly softened. Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, pesto and red pepper flakes to the pan, stirring once or twice, until everything’s nice and warm. Add spinach and continue to cook for just a minute longer, until spinach wilts but is still a vibrant green, and everything’s got an even coating of pesto sauce. Divide polenta evenly among 6 bowls, followed by the pesto chicken mixture. Garnish with Parmesan and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Golden Beet and Sunchoke Soup

Spring is in the air, skies are blue, the sun is shining … Yes, I know we’re all pumped for summer salads and barbecues, but how about a delicious bowl of soup before the weather heats up too much? This soup takes only about 30 minutes to make and is great when you’re craving a bowl of something hot and tasty that’s also veg-friendly and dairy-free.

Golden Beet and Sunchoke Soup 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound golden beets, peeled and chopped
1 pound sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted

Warm olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add beets, sunchokes, onion, garlic and salt and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 4 cups vegetable broth, nutmeg, white pepper and cayenne. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the beets and sunchokes are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Working in batches, process the soup in a blender until smooth. Add more broth if you want to thin the soup a bit. Season with salt. Divide soup among bowls (yields 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are) and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Chocolate Oatmeal Hazelnut Cookies

While I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like, I’m particularly fond of cookies with a good chew factor that don’t crumble to tiny bits when you take a bite. Make a batch of these bad boys the next time you’re craving something chewy, chocolatey and nutty.

Chocolate Oatmeal Hazelnut Cookies 
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups hazelnuts

Place oven racks in upper third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Toast hazelnuts in a cookie sheet until fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Let hazelnuts cool and then coarsely chop them.

Combine butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large bowl, beating with electric mixer until fluffy before adding eggs, beating to mix thoroughly. Add oats, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt, mixing on low speed until blended. Add chopped hazelnuts and mix until incorporated. Drop batter by the tablespoon about 1-1½ inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes -- cookies should appear done but will still be soft. Remove cookie sheets from oven, letting cookies stand for 2-3 minutes before moving them to cooking racks.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Bratwurst with Beans and Greens

I’ve been firing up the oven a lot lately, the direct result of a long string of gloomy, rainy days (but please keep it coming, El Niño). Chase the gray away by making this delicious, cozy, quick meal!

Bratwurst with Beans and Greens 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
12 ounces bratwurst or smoked sausage, sliced (I used Saag’s Natural Chicken Bratwurst)
3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups diced tomatoes (from two cans; you’ll have a little bit extra)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped greens (I used a mix of kale and spinach)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet or other oven-proof pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, smoked paprika, thyme and pepper flakes. Cook for another 3-3 minutes so everything’s nice and warm. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the greens. Season with salt and pepper, then put skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Chicken with Chickpeas and Artichoke Hearts

Want to make something zippy and zesty in just a matter of minutes? Here you go!

Chicken with Chickpeas and Artichoke Hearts 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over moderate heat. Add chicken, garlic and oregano and cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and add artichoke hearts, chickpeas and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is nice and warm, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rosemary Potato and Chicken Pizza

There’s a Sacramento restaurant, Paesanos, that used to serve a phenomenal Patata y Pollo pizza covered with roast chicken, potatoes, herbs and cheese. This pizza was so good my friend Lucy called the restaurant in hopes of getting the recipe, (unsuccessfully) spinning a tale that her (nonexistent) child had food allergies and that she needed to know all the ingredients so she could make sure it was safe for her fake kid to eat.

I haven’t visited this restaurant in years (and don’t think the Patata y Pollo has been on their menu for a while), but I still crave that pizza. Not sure if my attempt to recreate this pizza is a perfect match, but it is still sooooo good.

Rosemary Potato and Chicken Pizza 
8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thin (use a mandoline for super thin slices)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
1 chicken bouillon cube, smashed
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons water
Pizza dough (I use one 16-ounce ball of Trader Joe’s dough)
Flour and cornmeal (for prepping the pizza dough)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 ounces goat cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss potatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon rosemary in a bowl. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until golden and tender, about 18-20 minutes.

While potatoes are in the oven, warm the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for a minute, until fragrant. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink. Add bouillon, wine and water to the frying pan and cook for a couple minutes, until chicken is completely cooked and sauce has thickened.

Roll out your pizza dough on a floured surface and transfer to a cornmeal-dusted pizza pan. Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Top dough with potatoes, chicken, goat cheese and mozzarella and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crust and mozzarella are golden.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Grilled Salmon with Black Bean Salad

Grilled salmon is so simple yet so tasty. Pair it with a quick salad packed with black beans and hearts of palm and you’ve got a fresh, delicious dinner in no time!

Grilled Salmon with Black Bean Salad 
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-ounce jar hearts of palm, drained and sliced
¼ cup sliced green onions
4 4-ounce salmon fillets
Salt and pepper

Make the dressing by blending first six ingredients in a blender until smooth. Reserve ¼ cup of the dressing.

To make the salad, put black beans, hearts of palm and green onions in a bowl and drizzle with the rest of the dressing, giving a quick stir so everything’s lightly coated with dressing.

Preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Place salmon, flesh side down, on a lightly oiled grill rack. Grill salmon for 8 minutes, flipping once.

Plate each salmon fillet with a scoop of the bean salad, drizzle with a little bit of dressing, and enjoy.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Wild Rice Casserole with Chicken, Mushrooms and Broccoli

Nothing innovative about this casserole, but damn, is it good.

Wild Rice Casserole with Chicken, Mushrooms and Broccoli 
4 cups water 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
½ pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup nonfat milk
½ pound broccoli crowns, chopped
1 pound cooked, chopped chicken meat
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, bring rice and water to boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook rice until tender, about 40 minutes or so. Drain well.

While rice is cooking, warm olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, onion and thyme and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften. Stir in the mushrooms, ground mustard and poultry seasoning and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add butter, flour and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens a bit. Stir in milk and continue simmering for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in broccoli, chicken and rice. Transfer mixture to a 9-by-13 glass baking dish, top with cheese, and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Frittata with Sausage, White Cheddar and Beet Greens

Ever buy a bunch of beets and can’t figure out what to do with the greens? Don’t toss them out -- cook and eat them! I recently chopped some up and tossed them in this frittata and loved how it turned out. Don’t have a bunch of beet greens lying around? Try using kale, swiss chard or spinach instead.

Frittata with Sausage, White Cheddar and Beet Greens 
8 eggs
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1 cup grated aged white cheddar
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups chopped beet greens

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat the eggs, onion and garlic powder in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in shredded cheese and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, using your spoon or spatula to crumble the meat, until browned. Add beet greens to the skillet and cook for a minute or two. Add the eggs, give a quick stir to make sure everything is evenly mixed, turn off your burner and put skillet in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the eggs are set and golden.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Make-Fast Mondays: Skillet Sausage with Green Apples and Cabbage

What do I love about this meal? Lots of flavor, short shopping list and you only have to wash a couple dishes!

Skillet Sausage with Green Apples and Cabbage 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (dried thyme will work, too)
12 ounces smoked turkey sausage, sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
1 pound shredded green cabbage
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and thyme and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until onions start to soften. Add sausage and apples to pan and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cabbage and water, cover and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, stir in the red wine vinegar, and enjoy.