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

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

Grateful for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is finally here and although I did miss a couple of weeks, I managed to write about one thing that I am grateful for almost every week since I began.

Today is a day to reflect on every reason that you have to be thankful, whether it’s a person, place, feeling, thing or literally anything else. There are so many reasons to be thankful, LITERALLY SO MANY!

We focus on such trivial things in our day to day lives that our attention is often taken away from what matters most. Forget the stresses of your job and any drama in your life and be grateful for the people who love you, the things that make you happy and the places you love to be. I am so grateful for this holiday and the opportunity to gather with family and eat delicious food.

To those of you who take the time to read my blog, I am thankful for you and I hope that you have a wonderful turkey day!

XOXO

Always be Grateful

I’ve made it through another year of life and rather than dreading getting older I’m feeling very grateful to be alive and surrounded by so much love. I spent my birthday, first by having a nice lunch with my grandma who has taken me out to lunch for almost every single birthday of my life. Later in the day, a few of my friends and some of my family joined me for a lovely birthday dinner at a Thai restaurant.

I sort of threw the plans together at the last minute because I almost forgot that it was my birthday. It was a Tuesday and I was still so wrapped up in the festivities of my brothers wedding over the weekend. Also, I never thought I would be this person.. but I can see how people lose enthusiasm for their birthdays the older they get.

This birthday was a wonderful reminder of what I should really be grateful for in life. I wasn’t expecting any gifts which made it even more of a treat when I actually got one. I wasn’t expecting so many people to be able to attend a last minute get-together but those who showed up made it really special. Even just a card with a sweet little note inside made me happy and reminded me that I am loved.

They say less is more, and in this case it certainly was. So since I have been reminded of all the little things in life that make me happy I’ve decided to start a gratitude train. I’ll think of something that I am grateful for and share with you each week until Thanksgiving. I encourage you to think of the things in your life that make you happy to be alive. You can share in a comment below or keep them to yourself, just remember that there is always something to be grateful for!

Motivation Monday #18

Happy Monday, it’s that time again for your weekly dose of motivation!

Being the planner that I am, I like to take the time on Sundays to plan out the things that I absolutely need to get done on the weekdays. Yesterday I was feeling yucky from being lazy all day and not having enough energy to do anything since I was out late having too much fun the night before. So one of my main goals for this week was to stick to my workout routine and go grocery shopping for some healthy meals.

I woke up this morning with a nasty head cold but I’m staying positive about being able to workout and get other things done. Since I had it planned out yesterday, I am not going to let a stuffy nose and headache keep me from doing what I need to do.

Make goals for yourself constantly, whether they are as small as doing the laundry on a certain day every week or as big as losing 20 pounds. Once you start to plan it will be easier for you to get into a routine and that will help to keep your life productive and make you feel great about yourself!

Have a beautiful Monday!

XOXO

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)

  

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!

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.

 

 

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!

  

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo 

Holy deliciousness. This meal is the perfect way to get your picky eaters to finally eat their broccoli. 

It received two thumbs up from Blake and Logan. 👍🏼👍🏼

Here’s what you’ll need for this creamy and delicious chicken & broccoli Alfredo recipe. 

  • 1 Jar of Bertoli (garlic) Alfredo sauce (I chose garlic but there are many different flavors including original) 
  • 2 bunches of broccoli (I bought the fresh kind so by “2 bunches” I mean two of those mini trees of broccoli, if you buy bagged I would say it’s probably equivalent to about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 pack of thin spaghetti noodles
  • 3 chicken breasts 
  • 1 1/2tbsp olive oil 
  • 1tbsp country crock (or any other type of butter)
  • Parmesan cheese to top 
  • Salt, pepper and garlic salt to season

Start by chopping your broccoli like so:

  
You’ll need a large pan to cook the chicken and a large pot to boil the noodles.

Pour the tablespoon of olive oil on the pan and heat to medium high. Fill your pot 3/4 of the way with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. 

Place your chicken breasts on the pan and your noodles in the boiling water (I break the noodles in half to help them cook faster). I used Garlic Salt to season my chicken.  

  
Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, cut them into small strips and set them aside. 

  
At this point your noodles are likely done cooking as well, drain the water and use the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil on noodles to keep them from sticking together. 

  
Rinse your chicken pan, or use a new one to cook the broccoli. 

Add the tablespoon of whatever type of butter you like and some salt and pepper as well. Cook the broccoli until it’s soft.

  
Now bring the chicken back to your pan along with the broccoli and add the noodles as well.

  
Next step: SAUCE

  
Empty the entire contents of the jar like so:

  
And mix it all up. 

  
Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!