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Finally! I’ve been meaning to try zucchini noodles for so long and after we finally picked up a spiralizer, I knew it was on. Love this for a meatless Monday! It’s rich and satisfying but not too heavy. Planned on making this with pork chops, but ended up just eating 2 giant bowls instead!

Creamy Red Pepper Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Red Pepper & Chèvre Sauce
via GI365

2 roasted red peppers, about 8 ounces (fresh or jarred)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 pounds zucchini, ends cut off and spiralized or cut into ‘noodles’
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces of soft goat cheese, (usually labeled chèvre)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

Add the 2 roasted bell peppers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, goat cheese and 1 teaspoon salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. For the zucchini noodles: heat a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic; sauté for a minute or two until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the sea salt and zucchini noodles to the skillet and sauté using a pair of non-stick tongs to toss the noodles. Just as the zucchini noodles begin to soften, but before they start shedding water, add the sauce and cook just until the sauce is heated. Adjust the salt to your taste, and serve immediately with the freshly chopped parsley, grated parmesan, extra goat cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.

We’ve had quite a few sunny days here in Seattle. And when the sun comes out, I get the urge for grilled food. These burgers had just a bit of bite, and a ton of flavor. I love the contrast of the fresh, crunchy lettuce and cucumbers with the cool, creamy sauce and spiced burgers. A perfectly balanced and rather healthy meal. This is the sort of thing I’ll eat all spring and summer long. A few minutes of prep and a few on the grill, great for a weeknight meal.

Greek Inspired Burgers
Spicy Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt
via applemint

1 lb ground chicken
1 red jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste
1 Lebanese or English cucumber, sliced with skin on
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
3-4 tbs fresh mint, chopped
Few leaves of fresh crunchy lettuce (I used butter lettuce)

Mix together the ground chicken, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, chili powder and cumin. Form into wide flat patties. Grill or pan fry in a bit of olive oil until cooked through (about 5 minutes per side). Mix together the Greek yogurt, mint and salt to taste. Serve the burgers warm over toasted buns, pita or alone, with the cucumber and lettuce and yogurt sauce.

Coming home to this delicious meal after an exhausting day was so wonderful. I read recently about a chef that always keeps sausage in the fridge or freezer because it’s the perfect way start to any simple dish, packed with flavor. We ate this as is, but I bet it would be great served with rice or polenta! This recipe has plenty of kick, but I’m thinking about adding a few extra veggies, like bell peppers next time. Yum!

black beans and sausage

Black Beans and Sausage
via martha stewart

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound kielbasa or other smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, diced small
2 shallots, diced small
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
1/4 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream), for serving

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add carrots and shallots to skillet and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add black beans and broth and bring mixture to a boil. Add sausage, reduce heat to a rapid simmer, and cook until carrots are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve with more parsley and a dollop of yogurt.

After a long week, I love to sit down with the husband and enjoy a pint of chocolate or coffee ice cream. And yes, I usually eat the whole pint in one sitting. Well, I stumbled across this little recipe recently and fell in love. It’s incredibly delicious on it’s own, and amazing with just a few mix-ins! I went for Nutella this time, just a spoonful added to my bowl, but any nut butter would be great, along with cocoa, sprinkles, fresh berries, honey, almonds… the options are endless! I have the feeling this will become a weekly ritual.

banana ice cream

And after two small bowls each (it’s so good and there’s no guilt!), we had just enough to fill up a little mason jar and toss it in the freezer for tomorrow night. It just needs a few moments to soften on the counter and voila!

banana ice cream

1 Ingredient Ice Cream
via the kitchn

4-6 ripe bananas

Start with ripe bananas: They should be sweet and soft. Peel the bananas and cut them into half inch slices. Put the bananas in an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight.
Blend the frozen banana pieces in a food processor. The banana will look crumbly at first; scrape down the food processor and keep blending. As the last bits of banana smooth out, you’ll see the mixture shift from blended banana to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate the ice cream. (If adding any mix-ins, like peanut butter or chocolate chips, this is the moment to do it). Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid: You can eat the ice cream immediately, it will be more like the texture of frozen yogurt. We ate most this way because we couldn’t wait!

Nutella, so far, is my favorite mix-in. What would yours be?

Wow. It’s been a bit since I made a marsala, and this one really, really hit the spot tonight. Shallots, perfectly mellowed in this creamy sauce. As a huge fan of bone-in, skin-on thighs that get browned a bit a in the pan before kicking up the flavor with a sauce, I’m pretty much obsessed with crispy chicken skin. It all started with Chicken Cacciatore. And this recipe does it just right.

creamy chicken marsala_raudette

Creamy Chicken Marsala
via the view from great island

6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb small mushrooms, I used white button, cremini would be great too
3 Tbsp butter, divided
2 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 tbsp ground thyme
3/4 cup Marsala wine (or dry Sherry)
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375F. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth. Cut off the ends of the stems, and quarter them (you can halve the small ones). Heat a heavy oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until quite hot. Brush the skin side of the thighs with a little olive oil and, when the pan is good and hot, but not smoking, brown the thighs, skin down, for about 5-10 minutes, or until they have a nice brown color. Remove them to a plate.
Wipe out any burnt bits and add 2 Tbsp of the butter to the pan. Saute the shallots for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until they start to shrink and brown. Add the wine to the pan and turn up the heat and let it reduce down a bit (about half). Add the cream and thyme to the pan and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and finish the sauce by stirring in the last bit of butter.Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, spooning the sauce over them a bit as well. Bake the thighs for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Veggie packed, gluten-free (or gluten light, dending on your enchilada sauce), rich, cheesy, spicy magic! The satisying texture of a lasagna with a southwestern bite. This is my kind of comfort food!

mexican inspired casserole

Mexican Inspired Casserole with Roasted Corn & Peppers
via a pinch of yum

2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
1 jalapeno or 2 chipotle peppers (optional – just for more kick)
½ red onion
2 cups frozen corn
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a cheddar & pepperjack blend)
10 medium corn tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 cups red enchilada sauce
cilantro, guacamole, or sour cream for topping

Dice the peppers and mince the onions. Heat a large nonstick skillet with a little bit of oil over high heat. Add the onion and peppers, sprinkle with chili and cumin, and stir, rest, stir, rest until you get a nice browning on the outside of the peppers. Remove and set aside. Repeat the roasting process with the corn, sprinkling with chili and cumin, removing from the heat when browned and roasted on the outside. Sprinkle the roasted veggies with a little bit of salt and toss to coat.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tortillas into thin strips. Put the refried beans in a bowl and mix with a little bit of water to make them easier to spread. Spread a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan. Layer in order: half of the tortilla strips, all the beans, half of the veggies, half of the sauce, half of the cheese. Cover with the other half of the tortilla strips, veggies, sauce, and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted (I broiled mine for the last 3 minutes to get the top nice and bubbly). Serve with guacamole, fresh cilantro and sour cream!

Sometimes I just don’t have it in me. Sometimes I’m craving something but I want it now and it’s time for a few shortcuts. Wonton soup is one of those things I crave all the time, but with order minimums, there’s only so many times I can order take out and be left with a bunch of other stuff in the fridge (although the husband never minds). I was having another one of those cravings this weekend, grabbed a bag of pre-made wontons, and tossed a few things I had in the fridge and freezer in. Voila! If I did a little more shopping before hand, I might pack this with some more veggies, like bok choy, carrots, broccoli, maybe a bit of cilantro. This is a great base for so many options. Easily made vegetarian or vegan too, subbing out the fish sauce, chicken broth and opting for meatless wontons. Endless possibilities!

5 minute won ton soup

Five Minute Wonton Soup
inspired by the view from great island

4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 package wontons (I used Trader Joe’s frozen chicken cilantro mini’s)
1/3 cup very thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

Bring your stock and water to a low boil, stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Toss in the wontons and let cook for about a minute. Add the mushroom and cook for an additional minute, until the wontons are just done. Remove from heat and stir in in the scallions. Serve hot!