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I fell in love again… with this risotto. It’s been a while since I’ve made a risotto; not the right season, too much stirring, but this one was just right. Creamy and bright and hearty all at the same time. Exactly what we needed as winter hit Seattle. I’ll be bringing this one around for a dinner party soon. It’s sure to be a family favorite.

sausage spinach tomato risotto

Sausage Tomato & Spinach Risotto
via martha stewart

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach (10 to 14 ounces), stems removed, chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
2 tablespoons butter

In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid).
Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan, and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.

This meal is SO quick, especially with a little prep the night before. We cooked the rice the evening prior, and mixed it up while the chicken was cooking and voila! A 15 min dinner. We did only marinate the chicken for the minimum 10 minutes, and it was absolutely delicious, but next time I’m going to try marinating it overnight to see if we get a little more kick of out of the jalapeños (and we will definitely be making this again soon!).

honey jalapeno chicken avocado cilantro lime rice
Honey Jalapeño Chicken
via bookpage

¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds chicken tenders
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream for serving

Preheat the grill and oil the grill rack.Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, oil, garlic, jalapeños, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss the chicken in the marinade and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Grill the chicken until well browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve the chicken sprinkled with the cilantro and with a dollop of sour cream on the plate.

Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice
via cooking classy

4 – 5 cups cooked brown (preferably day old)
2 medium, ripe avocados
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mash avocados in a large mixing bowl. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, cumin and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in warm cooked rice and serve warm.

Well, that hiatus ended up being a bit longer than expected, but I did forget to mention that summer can last well into early October here in Seattle. I’ve also been working too much, but here are a couple of recipes we tried recently and really loved! I’m just starting to get back in the swing of cooking again, it’s been a long, wonderful, busy, crazy summer.

The second the weather starts to turn, I’m ready for soup season! This one is hearty and delicious, but still bright enough to feel good on a warmish day.

lemon-chicken-soup

Lemony Chicken & Spring Vegetable Soup
View the full recipe here via The Cozy Apron.

Also this fabulous potato salad, which was so packed with flavor and so filling, we ate it as a meal all on it’s own.

potato salad with sausage and fennel

Potato Salad with Italian Sausage and Fennel
View the full recipe here via Cook the Story.

Hope you enjoy these! More recipes and fun stuff to come soon!
I hope your summer has been fabulous too! xoxo.

I’m assuming you all know how I feel about quick and easy meals at this point –  they’re my favorite! Long work hours can sometimes put a damper on my desire to cook when I get home, but it’s meals like this that not only get us through the week, but wow us a little! Besides the time to cook the rice, this took mere minutes and is slightly spicy, super flavorful, and perfectly protein-packed. The original recipe said it makes 3-4 servings, but the husband and I definitely put it down in one sitting that night! I think we might 1 1/2x the recipe next time, so we have a little bit of leftovers for lunch. I can see mixing this up with different veggies, like broccolini too. Yum! It would also be easy to make this paleo friendly. throwing it over some cauliflower rice and substituting a couple things in the sauce too.

spicy green beans

Spicy Green Bean & Turkey Ricebowl
via the weary chef

1 c. medium grain rice, uncooked
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1 lb. ground turkey
2 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. crushed ginger
1 lb. washed and trimmed green beans (or Chinese long beans if available)
1 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari sauce)
1 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

Cook the rice as directed.
When rice is about 15 minutes from done, heat large skillet over high heat. Add sesame oil, and sauté green onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Stir in ground turkey and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked. Crumble meat as much as possible.
Stir in chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, and ginger. Add green beans and soy sauce, and stir to coat. Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender. Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. Serve over cooked rice.

Wow! We really don’t make enough fish. This recipe is amazing, and enough to convince me to stop being so scared of fish dishes and bring a little more into my life. Sometimes I feel like living in the northwest, I get a little burned out on all the salmon around here (crazy! I know!), but this recipe has just enough kick and is such a departure from the usual – it made me fall in love with salmon all over again. Plus, the avocado salsa here could be my new favorite topping. Seriously. This is fantastic, folks. Did I mention this is also paleo and whole30 friendly? I didn’t even realize it until after I’d already scarfed it all down.

grilled spiced salmon with avocado salsa

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
via the cookie rookie 

2 lbs salmon, cut into 4 pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp black pepper

for the Avocado salsa:
1 avocado, sliced
½ small red onion, sliced
Juice from 2 limes
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Mix the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper together, rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and this seasoning mix. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat the grill. Combine the avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use. Grill the salmon to desired doneness (our took about 7-8 minutes). Top with avocado salsa and enjoy!

Something new! I feel like we’ve been stuck in a rut lately, but maybe it’s just because I’ve gotten out of the habit of cooking every night and have been eating way too much junk. This was a great dish to get us back on track. Super healthy and super delicious – plus it’s easy to make vegan and gluten free with a little earth balance swapped out for the butter and gluten free options for the noodles and tamari. What’s tamari you say? It’s like soy sauce, only better! Made without wheat, a little less salty, but still big on flavor. And this dish showcases it perfectly, along with a few of my favorite things: mushrooms and bok choy.

shiitake bok choy soba noodle bowl

Shiitake Bok Choy Soba Noodle Bowl
via a house in the hills

4 cups, washed and thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 small/medium bok choy,
2 bunches of buckwheat soba (about 16 oz)
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons tamari
1/8 cup mirin
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
sesame seeds to garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles per package instructions, drain and rinse with warm water.
While water is coming to a boil, prepare mushrooms, sauce and bok choy. In a large non stick sauté pan heat earth balance butter with 4 tablespoons tamari and add mushrooms. Give a quick stir to coat and then cook on high heat for 6 minutes (do your best to not stir the after the initial mix). Give them another stir and cook an additional two minutes. The should be brown, slightly crispy and a little caramelized. Set aside until noodles are prepared.
For the sauce, combine mirin, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of tamari. For the bok choy, trim off ends, wash thoroughly and dry. In a large wok combine noodles, sauce, bok choy and mushrooms. Cook over medium high heat until bok choy is wilted. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately!

Last week I made this amazing soup. It was so bright and summery, and perfect on a night that was just a bit crisp. For fresh herbs, I only had parsley and a little bit of basil on hand, but it made for a fantastic pistou (the french version of a pesto), and with just a squeeze of lemon in each bowl, I was in love. And it was still fresh and delicious the next day after a quick zap in the microwave and a mix-in of the pistou and lemon at work. I forgot to take a picture of the masterpiece, but the original one is so gorgeous, I just had to share. After browsing a bit, I think Love and Lemons might be one of my new favorite food blogs. I didn’t even notice most of the recipes were vegetarian or vegan, everything just looks so good! Click through the link below for the full recipe!

soup au pistou

image via love and lemons