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.

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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)

  

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.

 

 

Slow Cooked Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup Recipe 

Here is yet another soup recipe. If you’re surprised, then I’m surprised that you’re surprised. As I’ve said before, soup is my favorite thing to make.. But this isn’t your average soup. This soup is down with the thickness if you know what I mean. It also requires a slow cooker which means it’s super easy and the perfect meal for a Sunday supper. 

Here what you need: 

  • 6 cups of chicken broth 
  • 2 cups of water
  • 6 carrots- chopped 
  • 1 bunch of celery -chopped 
  • 1/2 white onion -diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves -minced
  • 4 chicken breasts 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 cup of wild rice blend 
  • 2 tbsp of any salt-free seasoning blend of your choosing

For the creamy-ness

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 2 cups milk 
  • Salt and pepper 

Chop carrots, celery and onion and mince garlic. 

Set slow cooker either to low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. I reccomend 8 since I set it to 4 and the veggies were not as soft as I would have liked them to be. 

Add veggies to slow cooker 

   
 

Add chicken breasts, broth and water to slow cooker. 

  

Add rice, bay leaves and seasoning blend.

  
   

About 40 minutes before cooking time is complete, remove chicken and start to make the creamy mixture. 

I made the mistake of using a pan instead of a pot which made whisking difficult… Learn from my mistake and use a pot. 

The remaining steps are explained in the photographs below: 

  

  
  
   
   
Yes I meant peppa

 
Put chicken back in the crock pot along with the creamy mixture. 

  
Bon appétit! 

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)

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

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

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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.

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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)

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

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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.

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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!

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Vegetable and Wild Rice Soup Recipe

Clearly soup is my favorite meal since this is the 3rd soup recipe I’ve posted. I swear I cook other things but soup is so easy and delicious! I kind of just threw this soup together a few weeks ago and apparently it was really good because Blake asked me to make it again.

Here is what you’ll need:

2 large cartons of low sodium chicken broth [If you’re vegetarian use vegetable broth instead]

1 Green cabbage

3 Carrots

3 Summer Squash

2 Zucchini 

1 Yellow Onion

1 Clove of Garlic

1 tsp Garlic Salt

1/2 tsp Salt and Pepper 

1tbsp Chicken Bullion

1 French Baguette 

1 Pack of Uncle Ben’s “fast cook” wild rice (you’ll need water and either butter OR olive oil for this)

Begin by peeling the carrots then cut them along with the zucchinis, onion, clove of garlic and the cabbage. Place all of the veggies in a large pot and add the broth. Turn heat to medium high and cover the pot.

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While the veggies are cooking in the pot, cook the wild rice in the microwave. Just follow the directions on the box of rice and when it is cooked, add it to the pot.

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Finally, cut the baguette into small pieces to dip into the soup.

And that’s it! Easy and delicious!