Arugula Salad

Every time I make this salad I seem to get compliments so I thought it would be a good one to share! It’s proven to be a crowd pleaser and can be modified to fit your preference.

The main two things that you’ll need are

• Arugula

&

• Girard’s light champagne dressing (I think this is what makes it so good!)

The toppings that can be used are

  • Mini bell peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Sliced black olives
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Chicken (try the already cooked balsamic vinegar and rosemary chicken from Trader Joe’s)

I usually add some pepper and a little Tajin on the avocado.

It’s healthy, delicious, and easy to make! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Puffs

I’ve been on a mission to find new recipes lately, it all started because I’ve been having the hardest time cooking for just myself. I’m so used to cooking for two or more and even then I usually have leftovers. I’m coming to the conclusion that cooking for one is nearly impossible, I tried cutting this recipe in half and it was still too much for one person.

These cheesy chicken and spinach puffs are sooo yummy and would be the perfect thing to bring to a potluck!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 50 Minutes

Yields: 2 Dozen

Heres what you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2′ cubes (I used Trader Joes already cooked “just grilled chicken” and it made the process so much easier)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter/ soft
  • 3 8oz cans refrigerated crescent rolls

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, cook onion and garlic stirring about 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add chicken and cook – if you’re not using Trader Joes already cooked chicken, cook thoroughly (5 mins or so) and then add spinach. Cook, stirring until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to colander and drain, then transfer to a large bowl and add ricotta, parmesan and butter, stirring until creamy.
  5. Unroll dough, add 1 tablespoon of filling into each triangle. Roll up and bake until filling ins heated through and dough is golden brown 9-12 minutes.
  6. Cool on rack and serve at room temperature.

I don’t have a great picture of how mine turned out because I was way too anxious to eat them. But here’s what I’ve got.

IMG_8773

Pan Seared Tilapia 

I haven’t been cooking much lately since I’ve moved back home. But since Blake and I will be moving to San Diego in about a month, I decided to make dinner for my mom last night. 

I love being able to make something that is healthy and delicious with minimal ingredients. So I made this tilapia dish with salad and a side of quoina.

If you have time to make the quoina beforehand then you can refrigerate it and mix it into the salad. But here’s what I did to make this super easy and delicious meal. 

First, I boiled the quoina because it takes the longest. I then seasoned the tilapia fillets with lemon juice, garlic salt and paprika. 

I added about two cloves (or a teaspoon) of minced garlic to the pan along with a tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice mixture (from trader joes). 


I brought the mixture to a medium heat and allowed the garlic to cook for a minute before I added the fish to the pan. 

Once I added the fish, I set my timer for 3 minutes and started working on the salad. 

With just a bag of mixed greens, 2 Persian cucumbers, a can of black olives, 1/2 red onion and 2 avocados, this salad was super easy to throw together.

I cut the cucumbers, onion and avocado, then tossed everything in a medium bowl, drizzled some of the olive oil and lemon mixture onto the salad and added a little bit of tajin seasoning. 

When three minutes was up, I flipped the fillets and set the timer for another 3 minutes. I drizzled some fresh lemon juice on the fish and the quoina and everything was finished in no time. 


It was easy, healthy AND delicious. What more could you ask for?

Organic Lentil & Kale Soup Recipe

Unfortunately the weather has been pretty gloomy lately but it gave me the perfect opportunity to make my favorite type of food… SOUP!

I wanted to try something new and on the healthier side, so I purchased these organic ingredients and got started:

  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic/or garlic paste
  • 1 sweet yellow onion- chopped
  • 3 carrots- thinly sliced
  • 17.6 oz pack of pre-cooked Lentils
  • 2 cans of Cannellini Beans
  • 2 cups of Baby Kale
  • 1 carton of Vegetable Broth
  • Fresh Thyme
  • 1/4 of a lemons juice (optional)
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

1-Start by cutting the veggies then heat a large soup pot containing the olive oil and garlic paste. Add the carrots, onion and fresh thyme.

2- Cook veggies at medium high heat for about ten minutes.


3- Drain beans and add to pot with the lentils and broth. Turn heat to high.


4-Once broth is boiling add the kale and turn off heat.

5- Add the seasonings of your choice and more fresh thyme if you’d like.

And that’s it! So easy, healthy and filling! Yum!

A Healthy Breakfast Recipe

This is a recipe from my new book Go With Your Gut. As described in the book, it’s called a “Superhuman Breakfast Frittata” because it includes all of the key ingredients to properly nourish your body.

I made this for the first time on Saturday to bring to an Easter brunch.

I must admit, I was wary as to whether it would taste good or not. Considering the recipe called for sweet potatoes and kale, two things that I have never been particularly fond of, I made this without expecting to like it very much.

I  was surprised at how much I actually liked it and it was a big hit at the brunch too!

Heres what you’ll need to make it:

  • 12 Large eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 1 Tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Sweet potato, very finely diced or shredded
  • 2 or 3 Kale leaves, deveined and chopped, or 2 to 3 cups baby spinach or arugula
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning or 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs
  • Sprinkle of raw, shredded goat cheese, crumbled goat cheese or feta (optional)

Makes 4-6 servings

1- Preheat the oven to 350

2- Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Whisk in the egg yolks to combine. Add the sea salt and pepper; stir and set aside.

3- In a 10-inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet (ideally cast iron), melt the coconut oil over medium heat.

4- Add the garlic, onions, and sweet potato and season with sea salt and pepper.

5- Toss to coat the veggies in the oil and cook until you can almost stab through the sweet potato with a fork. Add in the greens and sauté for 2 more minutes.

6- Pour in the egg mixture so that the vegetables and eggs are distributed evenly and add the Italian Seasoning or herbs.

7- Let everything cook undisturbed for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the edges are set and slightly brown and the center is slightly wobbly when you shake the pan.

8- Put the entire pan in the oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the frittata has set completely. If using the cheese, add it during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

9- Take the frittata out of the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

10- Slice it into wedges and serve.

Here are a few pictures of how mine turned out:

(As you can see I shredded the sweet potato as thinly as possible with the smaller portion of my cheese grater)

  

Easter “Bird’s Nest” Treats

These are super easy to make and really cute. 

I’ll admit that I think I kind of messed up because my cocoa krispie treats were not holding together very well. But I think it’s because I added some coconut oil along with the butter. 

  
So basically just follow the directions on how to make regular Rice Krispie treats (except use cocoa krispies instead) and then pull a handful out at a time and lay them on a sheet of wax paper. Make sure they’re in a messy circle shape (the messier the better), then wile they’re still warm stick 3 robins eggs in the center of each clump.

  
I kept mine in the fridge because they were sticking together a lot. By the time I got them to the party they had become one huge clump. But like I said, I didn’t follow the original Rice Krispie treat recipe so that’s probably why. 

  
Happy almost Easter 🐰❤️

Beer Bread Recipe

My best friend’s mom taught me how to make this a few years ago. I just remember that it tasted so good that I really needed to know the recipe. That was a few years ago and I haven’t had it since but I figured that St Patrick’s Day would be the perfect time to make it!

It’s sooooo easy and yummy. CARBS BABY!

Here’s what you need!

  • 3 cups of flour- SIFTED
  • 3 tbsp baking powder (don’t add this if you’re using self rising flour)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt (don’t add this if you’re using self rising flour)
  • 1 12oz can of beer, I used a Guinness brand Blonde American lager.
  • 1 stick of butter

Preheat oven to 375

Mix everything in a large bowl, don’t forget to sift the flour, I guess it’s important.

You can either add the butter into the mixture or pour it on top for a more hardened crust.

I added it in and used the excess to grease the pan.

Pour your mixture into the greased bread pan and bake for 1 hour, then allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.

HAPPY ST. PADDY’S DAY! 🙂

 

Slow Cooked Beef Stew Recipe

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As promised, I am providing my recipe for tonight’s dinner on the blog incase you want to make it too! Except I guess you won’t be able to make it until tomorrow because it took about 8 hours.

I’ll separate the recipe for the beer bread into another post so as not to confuse you, but just click HERE to see it.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • PAM or some other grease spray
  • 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of cream of celery soup
  • 2 lbs of stew meat
  • 2 packs of onion soup mix
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 5 carrots- peeled and chopped
  • 1 white onion- chopped
  • 4-6 red potatoes- diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic- minced
  • 1 bag of frozen peas

In a large ziplock baggie, combine the meat, onion soup mix, paprika and even a pinch of salt and pepper if you’d like. Then shake it around until each cube of meat is covered.

Spray the crock pot with a layer of PAM then place the meat in a flat layer along the bottom. Set it on high for 8 hours.

Chop the carrots, onion, potatoes and garlic clove, then place them on top of the meat.

Place the 2 bay leaves in as well, then pour the 2 cans of cream of mushroom and 1 can of cream of celery.

I sprinkled some salt, pepper and garlic salt on the top too but thats optional.

I added the bag of peas about 4 hours in.


And there you have it! It was delicious and super filling!

Beachy Shrimp Tacos

I got a little crazy this week and decided to try ANOTHER new recipe. I get so bored of eating the same thing too often so I love to switch it up. I usually have a hard time figuring out what to make but since it was Tuesday I knew I wanted to make tacos. Not just any regular tacos, shrimp tacos! I wanted something with some zest to it and these definitely satisfied my craving! I named them Beachy Shrimp Tacos because they remind me of something I would eat at a restaurant near the beach, overlooking the ocean.. paired with a corona 😉

I made two different toppings for these bad boys so it took a little while to prepare everything but it was totally worth it. I’ll separate this recipe into three sections, one for the basic taco necessities, and one for each of the toppings.

Here goes:

The Basics:

  • 1lb cooked shrimp
  • 1 can of black beans
  • Shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Flour tortillas
  • 2 limes
  • Salt- a pinch
  • Pepper- a pinch
  • Garlic salt- a few shakes
  • Tajin- a few shakes
  • Some sort of lime seasoning- I used a lime garlic and herb mixture

About 6 hours before dinner I chopped the butts off of all the shrimp, stuck them in a large ziplock Baggie and squeezed 2 limes into the bag. Then I added whatever seasonings I figured would be an appropriate mixture into the bag as well. Then shook the bag to distribute the seasonings evenly, and stuck it in the fridge.

I apologize that I don’t have accurate measurements for the seasonings since I normally just add as much as I think would taste good. But if you have a hard time measuring by eye, just don’t put too much. You can always add more later.

Ceviche style topping:

  • 1 cucumber -diced
  • 2 limes
  • 2 avocados -diced
  • 1/4 red onion -diced
  • 1/4 bunch chopped cilantro
  • Salt, pepper, garlic salt, tajin (a couple shakes of each)

Coleslaw style topping:

  • 1/2 bunch of red cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch of green cabbage
  • 2 carrots pelled and shredded
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Once you’ve made your toppings, go ahead and throw the shrimp on the barbie! I mean… In a pan on the stove!


The shrimp were already cooked so I just heated them up a bit after allowing them to soak in the flavor for those 6 hours.

Next step was to heat up the black beans in a small sauce pan.

While the shrimp was warming I tossed a few tortillas in the oven and turned the broiler on since I have and electric stove and can heat them on the stovetop. (Keep an eye on these, the broiler gets super hot and will burn them if you don’t keep checking on them.)


I even put some shredded cheese on the tortillas to melt it!


Add a layer of beans and shrimp on top of the cheese


Then your toppings!


And there you have it!!

 

 

Homemade Albondigas Soup! 

Being a Southern California girl, I have always been within blocks of multiple authentic Mexican restaurants. AND being a lover of all soups, I often order a bowl of albondigas.

Since Blake and I both grew up eating authentic Mexican food, we have been completely disappointed with any Mexican restaurant we have tried here in North Carolina (at least in the city that we live in). For whatever reason, out of four different restaurants we have been to, NONE OF THEM have albondigas on the menu. What the heck is up with that?

For those of you who don’t know, albondigas is a Mexican meatball/vegetable soup and it is delicious!  So after our fourth -not so great- “Mexican” dining experience just the other day, I was really craving some meatball soup. I figured if no one here could make it for me, I would have to make it for myself… and boy am I glad that I did! Now I have a great recipe to add to my collection.

Here’s what you will need if you want to make it too!

  • 2 – 32oz cartons of vegetable broth
  • 1- lime
  • 1 cup of ‘minute white rice’
  • 1 can of pickled jalapeños
  • 5- carrots
  • 5- potatoes
  • 3 -zucchini
  • 1- yellow onion
  • 1- bay leaf
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp Chipotle salsa
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro -chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp pepper
  • I also added a few shakes of Garlic Salt (per usual) and Tajin for that chile lime taste

I did a pretty horrible job of getting good pictures of everything while I was making this since it was my first time and I was more concerned with doing it right than taking pictures… But here’s a picture of the chipotle sauce I used. I had a hard time finding it so hopefully this will be helpful if you plan on making the soup 🙂 


Start by making the minute rice. I used the microwave- the directions are on the box but you basically just have to put one cup of rice and one cup of water in a bowl with a lid, then microwave it for a few minutes. Set it aside when it’s done and keep it covered to allow the rice to absorb all of the water.

Then make the meat mixture for the meatballs-In a bowl, mix your ground beef, 1/4 cup of the rice, egg, cilantro, juice from one wedge from the lime, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper… I also chopped a bit of the onion and threw it in the mix, but that’s optional- for onion lovers only. hehe

Then roll the mixture into balls.. of meat, and place them into a pan, cover and set aside for later.

Start chopping your onions, (don’t forget to peel the) carrots and the pickled jalapeños (about 1/3 cups worth), once you’ve got them all chopped, toss them in your pot with just enough vegetable broth to cover them and bring them to a high heat while you chop the rest of the veggies.

Bring the meatball pan to a medium heat and start to cook them until the outside of the meatballs begin to brown. DON’T cook them all the way through because the hot broth will do that for you.


After the carrots and onions have been simmering for about 10-15 minutes, add the rest of the vegetable broth, all of the veggies and your bay leaf.


Squeeze the rest of the lime juice into the pot, add the three tablespoons of chipotle sauce and plop the meatballs and the remainder of the rice in as well.

Cover and cook on high for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and soft- stir occasionally.

Add enough salt and pepper to satisfy your taste buds, or don’t. Then serve and allow the soup to cool, and top with cilantro and avocado if you’re into that sort of thing.


This crappy picture seriously doesn’t even do it justice, it was way better than it looks.