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!

Advertisements

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!

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! 🙂

 

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.

 

 

Baked Meatball Recipe 

Today was super gloomy and pretty much the only productive thing I did all day was make spaghetti and meatballs… So I guess you could say it was “cloudy with a chance of MEATBALLS!!!” Haha and yes I’m aware of how lame that just made me sound. Whatever. 

 Here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious baked meatballs:

  •  1 lb ground beef
  • 15 ritz crackers 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp 
  • A pinch of garlic salt and dried basil 

I made this one easy for you by writing the directions on each picture… But don’t forget to read what I say in between! Everything I say is important.. For the most part 😉 

So FIRST, preheat the oven to 400    
    

  

    

    
   
Mix it all together!

  
Start boiling your noodles as your meatballs are cooking

  
I turned mine over at ten minutes to make sure they cooked evenly. 

Add the sauce of your choice to your spaghetti and top it off with these amazing meatballs! 

  

Pasta Salad Recipe

Believe it or not, I have never made pasta salad before…. Nor have I ever really enjoyed eating it. I would see a bowl of it occasionally at the table for different holidays but ignore it because it probably had tomatoes in it…. Which I hate if you didn’t already know that. I know hate is a strong word. But. Yeah. I stand by it. 

Anyway, I figured I would give it a shot. I kind of just threw a bunch of stuff together but it turned out pretty darn good! 

Here’s what you’ll need! 

  • Tri-color pasta
  • About 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3.8 oz can of sliced ripe olives 
  • 8.5 oz can of quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 1-4 red onion 
  • 1/2 cucumber 
  • 1 avocado 
  • Feta cheese 
  • Tajin and garlic salt (yes I know, I use this on just about everything) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

First make the pasta…

Boil water add a pinch of salt, toss those little guys in there and cook them till they’re soft. When they’re cooked, drain the hot water and run some cold water over them to cool them down. 

 
While your noodles are boiling, go ahead and chop the cucumber, bell pepper and red onion. 

  
When the pasta is finished cooking put it back in the pan and drizzle some olive oil over it. 

  
Find a large bowl and start to mix everything together. Pasta, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, artichokes, olives and avocado. Also add tajin and garlic salt.

Drizzle some more olive oil OR use a light salad dressing and mix it in. 

  
Top it off with some feta cheese, salt and pepper and enjoy!

  

Rigatoni Lasagna-like Bake

I’ve been looking for a good excuse to use my super cute blue ceramic baking dish which was a wedding gift from my cousin Anita! 🙂 I made this last week and it was my fist time making it, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit so that it tastes even better when you make it!

This dish is like lasagna but with rigatoni and is much easier to make. I call it “Not Soup” because this is my first blog recipe that isn’t some sort of soup!

Heres what you’ll need:

Rigatoni noodles, 1tbsp salt, 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, pasta sauce of your choice (I chose tomato basil and garlic), Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1Lb ground beef and your choice of seasonings (I used “italian seasonings” from our spice rack)

IMG_1913

Start by boiling a pot of water with 1 tsp. salt

IMG_1915

While water is coming to a boil cut the onion and two cloves of garlic

IMG_1917

Add Rigatoni to boiling water and pre-heat your oven to 350

While noodles are softening, add 1 Tbsp Olive oil to a large skillet and start cooking the beef.

IMG_1916

When the beef is mostly brown, add the onion, garlic and any seasoning you’d like (maybe basil), allow onions to turn brown, then add the whole jar of pasta sauce. (I made the mistake of only adding about half and it turned out a little bit dry in my opinion)

IMG_1920 IMG_1921

Drain noodles and add 1 Tbsp of Olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.

IMG_1919

Grab your 9X13 baking dish and start by adding a layer of noodles to the bottom, then cover the noodles in half of the meat mixture, cover the meat mixture with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

IMG_1922 IMG_1923

Repeat again, adding the rest of the noodles, then the remaining meat mixture, then more mozzarella and parmesan cheese to cover the entire top of the dish.

IMG_1925 (I might have over-done it with the cheese)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese on top is browning and serve with a side salad!

IMG_1930