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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

When I’m in a pinch for a meal, my go-to is often chicken with a mustard sauce. I usually have almost everything on hand, there are a million variations, and they always turn out just right. This version is perfectly tangy, but with the sweet creaminess of leeks. I love to serve this with a vegetable like broccoli and smother the whole plate with this amazing dijon sauce.

chicken-breasts-with-dijon

Chicken Dijon
via bon appetit

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus thyme leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place chicken in Dutch oven and cook until brown on both sides, 12-15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Place leeks and onion in same pot and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, wine, Dijon mustard, and minced thyme and bring to a simmer. Return chicken to pot. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Transfer chicken to plates. Bring liquid in pot to a boil; cook until sauce is thickened and glossy, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with thyme leaves.

Yum! This salad is so simple and so tasty. I love the crunch and the sweetness of fresh peas this time of the year. With delicious salty bacon and the bite of sharp cheddar, I don’t know what there isn’t to love about this. It’s the perfect side for a summer of barbecues and get-togethers. I’m thrilled to have a new favorite to share!

spring pea and bacon salad

Spring Pea & Bacon Salad
via foodie with family

1 pound of bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled or finely chopped
2 pounds fresh peas, blanched and chilled
3/4 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 small red onion, peeled, and finely chopped
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon paprika

To blanch the peas, drop them in boiling water for 3 minutes, then move to an ice water bath. Once chilled, drain and stir together all of the ingredients. Serve immediately, or (preferably) put in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, to give the flavors a chance to meld, for an hour but up to three days prior to serving. Give it a gentle stir from top to bottom before serving.

For you non-paleo followers, don’t let the tag frighten you away – this dish is awesome! We’ve made it twice now, and I know it’s going to be a regular in our weeknight rotation. I love the substitution of broccoli slaw for noodles. It’s still hearty and delicious, and possibly more flavorful! The recipe below makes about 3 servings, and we’ll usually double it so there’s enough for leftovers.

paleo pad thai

Paleo Chicken Pad Thai
via the paleo mom

1 1/2 lbs chicken meat, cut into small 1” chunks
4-5 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (more if you use breast meat, less if you use thigh meat)
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (or use 1 more Tbsp fish sauce, or soy sauce if you’re not paleo)
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
½ Tbsp Coconut Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar would work too)
5 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
4-5 green onions, finely chopped
12oz package of broccoli slaw
2 medium carrots, cut into thin julienne strips

Heat a wok (or large saute pan) over medium-high heat. Add oil and garlic, cook about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add fish sauce, coconut aminos, lime juice and vinegar. Cook at a rapid simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Add broccoli slaw and julienned carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft but still firm, about 3-4 minutes. Toss or garnish with green onion and cilantro to serve.

 

I had a seriously craving for corn chowder this week. And a little extra kick! So I hit the produce stand, grabbed a couple of peppers and got to work. I also substituted cilantro for the traditional parsley, which I loved with the flavor of the peppers. It ended up not too spicy, but just with a bit of bite, so if you’re looking for a real kick, feel free to pile the peppers on!

corn chowder

Four Pepper Corn Chowder
adapted from food52

6 medium ears of corn
6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 medium poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 cups light cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
1/4 cup Water

Add bacon to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a few of minutes until it just starts to brown. Throw in the diced onion, poblano, jalapeño, bell pepper and celery and stir, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add the potato and saute with the vegetables for an additional minute. Add the corn. Stir and pour in chicken broth and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Pour in the cream. Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes. Serve with crusty sourdough bread or even torilla chips!

Talk about easy! I love a one step meal. Just mix and broil. Voilà!
Simple, spicy, wonderful flavors too. The perfect weeknight meal.

spicy peanut chicken with broccolini

Spicy Peanut Chicken with Broccolini
via martha stewart

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sambal oelek or sriracha
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
4 skinless chicken thighs
1 bunch Broccolini

Preheat broiler. Mix together peanut butter, water, sesame oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek, and rice vinegar. Toss chicken thighs and Broccolini in sauce, and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil 10 inches from heat until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes (watch to make sure it doesn’t burn). Serve hot alone or over rice.

This weekend we celebrated my lovely mother’s birthday with a little family brunch. I broke out my savory french toast recipe and revamped the crustless quiche with new flavors. I think it’s my favorite version yet. The sausage made it a super hearty version, while the bell peppers added just the right sweetness to balance the salty bite.  Happy brunching!

crustless quiche part 2 italian

Crustless Quiche Part 2, Italian Style
via mrs. harding cooks

10 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. shredded cheese (I used white cheddar this time)
1 lb. cottage cheese
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 green onions, chopped
1 lb sweet italian sausage
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 small onion, finely diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan. In a large bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined and no lumps remain. With a wooden spoon, stir in cottage cheese, 3/4 of the shredded cheese, melted butter, and green onions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage and break into small crumbles. Remove to a paper towel and let cool slightly before adding to egg mixture. Leave the grease in the pan over heat, add bell pepper and onion, and saute a few minutes until soft and tender. Add the garlic and saute a minute or so more. Add chopped spinach and cook a few minutes, until wilted. Add cooked vegetable and spinach to egg mixture and stir to combine.
Pour into a 9×13 pan, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 20-25 minutes, or until browned around the edges and lightly browned in the middle. Serve hot! Or not – this reheats well.