What’s for dinner? Ugh, that dreaded question. Even this home cook wants to prepare an easy weeknight dinner that doesn’t keep me in the kitchen after I’m already exhausted from work, the gym, errands…..you know what I’m saying. In this busy world of fitting way too much into a day we need an easy, one pan meal that cooks for a mere 25 minutes and comes out absolutely delish!! And to make it even more fantastic, it’s Mexican! So get out the sombreros and set Pandora to Mariachi music, you’ll have the time with this speedy dinner! Ole!
Hummus….one of my favorite foods to eat and make but I love to experiment with new flavors and new, unexpected ingredients in my hummus. This one is not only stunningly beautiful with it’s bright purplish red color but it is an excellent combination of earthy and sweet.
Roasting the beets makes all the difference. Cooking them with this method brings out their natural sweetness and gives a great depth of flavor to the hummus.
2-3 Tablespoons water - start with 2 and add another if it is too thick
For roasted beets:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stems off the beats and cut off the tip end so that you can lie the beet flat on the cutting board. Peel the beets with a veggie peeler. Dice the beet into medium chunks. I cut each beet into thirds, each third into a third again and then in half. Drizzle them with olive oil and blend them with your hands to distribute the oil evenly over the beets. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper. Roast for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven and the size of your dice. Check them and flip them around with a spatula after each 10 minute of cooking time. They’re done when a fork goes through them when pierced.
Combine all ingredients except the water in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well blended. Add 2 tablespoons of the water and process again. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of water.
I’ve always felt like I’m missing out the pulled pork sandwich. I don’t eat pork as I just don’t like it. Well, except of course for bacon which seriously should be a food group in itself. I mean one of our local restaurants serves bacon ice cream! I’ve known self-proclaimed vegans, ok only one, who still sneaks a slice of bacon once in awhile. Yes, the guilty party knows just who I’m talking about….
So here’s my answer to the pulled pork sandwich. This pulled chicken has a real depth of flavor. It is in a word fantastic. It is slow cooked in the crock pot for 7 hours so it is super moist and so very flavorful. And you will absolutely love how your house smells while it’s cooking.
This one’s a blue ribbon winner, winner chicken dinner for sure. (Or lunch, or snack).
My favorite way to serve this sandwich in on a warmed or toasted pretzel roll with a nice vinaigrette cabbage slaw on top. I’m obsessed with the pretzel roll actually. I have a friend who serves them warmed with various types of mustard for dipping….yep, I’d be so happy to call that dinner.
Sometimes you create a dish that is just so good that it makes you smile when you think about it; and crave tasting it. Enter this chicken kofta burger. As you read through the ingredients list you will seriously think that these spices could not mix into something tasty. I assure you, they do and everyone I make this dish for absolutely raves about it!
This was inspired by my favorite neighborhood Mediterranean restaurant. I love it, it is by far my favorite place to eat. But…you all know I love to re-create restaurant dishes in my own kitchen. I enjoy their chicken kofta so much that it inspired me to make my own. It took a few attempts but here is the finished product. Please try this one, your taste buds will be thrilled!!
Did you know that kale is such a nutritional rockstar that it has its own day? Yep, October 7th is National Kale Day! Ok, it’s a bit crazy but hey, everything else seems to have its own “National Day” so why not kale? Kale is really amazing in the nutrition department boasting so many vitamins and antioxidants for your body that it just boggles the mind. Here’s my top 5 good for you facts about kale….
It is only a mere 33 calories per cup. You can chop it up and add it to your dishes for an almost calorie-free nutritional boost.
It is loaded with antioxidants. It contains a lot of beta carotene (Vitamin C) which is known to reduce oxidative damage in the body. Oxidative damage is believed to lead to aging and many diseases including Cancer.
Kale contains substances that bind bile acids to lower cholesterol levels. Steamed kale is particularly effective for this.
It contains Vitamin K which is crucial for blood clotting. This is good if you’re an accident-prone gal like myself (hello tree-trimming incident this Fall). So, your cuts heal faster without as much blood loss.
Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin. People who have diets rich in these two nutrients have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two of the most common eye disorders as we age.
Kale is quite easy to add to your diet. Try chopping it up small and adding it to your salads like the tabouli salad I’m sharing here. It is also great in smoothies, its taste disappears and it adds tons of nutrition.
Ok, I’ll admit it, one of my very favorite parts about Fall is cooking with pumpkin. I love pumpkin everything and love trying new pumpkin foods. I will try adding pumpkin to just about everything. Not only does it taste amazing but it gives the foods a beautiful orange color….perfect for the Fall season. These pancakes are easy and are always a huge hit. The mild pumpkin flavor is delightful. They remind me of pumpkin pie and really, I ask you, who doesn’t want pumpkin pie for breakfast? I typically serve these pancakes with butter and pure maple syrup. I also serve them with apple butter or fresh whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon for something different.
But…..my absolute favorite topping for these pancakes and so many other things is cinnamon honey butter. What?! Yep, it’s as delicious as it sounds. And it’s incredibly easy, here’s the method:
Mix 3/4 cup room temperature butter and 1/4 cup honey until smooth and creamy. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of course sea salt or Kosher salt. it’s that easy and it’s amazing on biscuits, bagels and toast.
Ok, it’s deep dark confession time. Yes, I’m a healthy eater but I love boneless buffalo wings, they’re definitely my favorite bar food and something I reserve as a rare and very special treat to myself. That being said, I have tried for quite awhile to come up with a healthy alternative to the boneless buffalo wing, one that is completely guilt-free. Here’s the result….
These meatballs are really delicious and definitely satisfy that craving for a buffalo wing. The sauce can be hot or mild, your choice. I will say though that I think a mild sauce allows for you to be able to actually taste the meatball itself and that’s important because this meatball is absolutely delicious. It is a light, summer-friendly meatball and I highly recommend eating them on their own without the sauce as a variation to this dish. You could also substitute beef for the turkey.
Once I tell someone that I’m a food blogger and that I love to cook I’m inevitably asked “so, what’s your signature dish?” This is definitely a valid question and I love that people are interested enough to ask it but, truth be known, I really don’t feel like I have one. I mean, am I an expert at just one dish? Do I have one particular dish that I love to make and go to time after time? Hmmmmm, not really. It’s honestly a question I dread and have really contemplated just making something up!
All that being said I do think that one of my favorite things to make, if not my most favorite is bruchettas or crostinis. I have become quite known for them and I serve a different one at each gathering I host. I don’t believe there’s a more versatile or popular appetizer. It falls into my #1 guideline that an appetizer has to be a “finger food” and it is probably the most versatile and creative appetizer you can serve. The ingredients are endless and you can fit those ingredients beautifully into any season or holiday.
I made this berry bruschetta for a Fourth of July party and I have to say, it was a major hit! So much so that I’ve been asked to make it regularly this summer. It came to me because of the colors (red, white and blue) and the fresh in season ingredients (strawberries, blueberries and fresh mint).
Boneless Buffalo wings, one of the best bar snacks ever invented. I loved them in my 20’s but sadly I no longer have the metabolism of a 20 year old and not to mention it’s bikini season. So…. I get my buffalo chicken fix with this delicious and nutritious pasta salad. There is all of that delicious buffalo chicken flavor but without the breading, the frying and the guilt. And, wait for it…..there’s even fresh crumbled blue cheese! Yep, I’ve covered all the bases with this one. You could pack it for a poolside lunch where you can wear and rock your two-piece bathing suit.
I was able to find a bottle of all natural ranch dressing made with yogurt which was good for this recipe. You can also use my homemade Buttermilk ranch dressing.
This chopped vegetable salad is crunchy, colorful and really delicious. There is just something about Asian inspired flavors that remind me of Spring and eating light. This Thai Peanut Dressing is creamy and has a bit of a bite to it with the chili sauce.
I have made this salad many times and sometimes I really spend a lot of time chopping all the veggies to the same size matchsticks and other times I just chop it all up different sizes. It’s all in the presentation I guess but either way it tastes the same…..Yummy! I tend to serve this salad with fish, the flavors work perfectly.
This dressing is also great over rice noodles with some bean sprouts and chopped snap peas or as a sauce for pasta with shredded chicken and green onions.
¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (plus extra for garnish)
Note: I served mine over a bed of chopped kale, stems removed (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
½ cup seasoned rice-wine vinegar
⅓ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk all ingredients together until the dressing is smooth in texture.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss with tongs to coat.
To serve, pile a helping of salad onto a plate over the kale (if using) and garnish generously with more cilantro and peanuts. The salad gets better as it sits and will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.