Archive of ‘DINNER’ category

Real Flavor, Real Fast: Banh Mi Sandwiches



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As y’all know I often make meatless recipes (no, I am not vegetarian, but simply it’s less time consuming after I get home from work). Honestly, sometimes a girl needs meat. And if I’m going to eat meat, it’s going to be pork because, let’s be real – pork is the most tender, juicy and flavorful.


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I went to Safeway and bought Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork to make one of my new favorite recipes… Banh Mi sandwiches! This recipe can be made in 30 minutes or LESS! Especially if you prep the night before. Perfect for any night of the week or weekends… or both!


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Whether you’re asking yourself “What’s for dinner?” or your kids, spouse, or parents ask the question, you won’t have to dread it because there is an easy and flavorful option with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. #RealFlavorRealFast

Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 10-20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Sandwich Fixings (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

+ 3/4-1 cup of carrots, grated
+ 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
+ 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced or julienned
+ Cilantro, to taste
+ Basil, to taste
+ Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
+ Buns or a baguette

Sandwich Spread (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

+ 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
+ 2 green onions, finely chopped
+ 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce


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Meat:

+ Smithfield Marinated Roasted Garlic & Cracked Black Pepper Pork Tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds, then cut into thin strips
+ 1/4 cup soy sauce
+ 2 tablespoons sesame oil
+ 2 tablespoons honey
+ 2 tablespoons fish sauce
+ 2 tablespoons sriracha or chili garlic sauce
+ Juice of 1/2 lime
+ 1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped

Directions

+ Prep sandwich fixings and spread if you did not do it ahead of time.
+ Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, fish sauce, sriracha/chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and lemongrass in a small bowl.
+ Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in large non-stick skillet over medium to high heat.
+ Add pork strips and sauté until pork is brown and cooked through.
+ Add sauce to the skillet and toss pork strips until all are fully coated.
+ Reduce to medium heat and cook until some of the sauce is absorbed.
+ Begin assembling sandwiches, starting with your baguette/bun. (I highly recommend toasting or grilling it if you have time!)
+ Add sandwich spread to lightly coat the bottom half of the baguette/bun.
+ Add pork, carrots, cucumber, radishes. Garnish with cilantro and basil to taste, and finish it off with a sprinkling of sesame seeds if desired.

If you’ve been hesitant about hopping on the pork train, give Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork a try. They have a variety of flavors (Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet, Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet and more!) and cuts (tenderloins, loin filets, and roasts) and can be purchased at Safeway. Perfect for grilling, roasting, or sautéing.

For more delicious Smithfield Fresh Pork recipes, visit:

http://www.smithfield.com/meal-ideas/real-flavor-real-fast/

Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.

As y’all know I often make meatless recipes (no, I am not vegetarian, but simply it’s less time consuming after I get home from work). Honestly, sometimes a girl needs meat. And if I’m going to eat meat, it’s going to be pork because, let’s be real – pork is the most tender, juicy and flavorful.

I went to Safeway and bought Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork to make one of my new favorite recipes… Banh Mi sandwiches! This recipe can be made in 30 minutes or LESS! Especially if you prep the night before. Perfect for any night of the week or weekends… or both!

Whether you’re asking yourself “What’s for dinner?” or your kids, spouse, or parents ask the question, you won’t have to dread it because there is an easy and flavorful option with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. #RealFlavorRealFast

Serves: 2-4

Prep Time: 10-20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Sandwich Fixings (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

  • 3/4-1 cup of carrots, grated
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced or julienned
  • Cilantro, to taste
  • Basil, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Buns or a baguette

Sandwich Spread (can be prepped a day ahead if desired):

  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce

Meat:

  • Smithfield Marinated Roasted Garlic & Cracked Black Pepper Pork Tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds, then cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha or chili garlic sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped

Directions

  • Prep sandwich fixings and spread if you did not do it ahead of time.
  • Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, fish sauce, sriracha/chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and lemongrass in a small bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in large non-stick skillet over medium to high heat.
  • Add pork strips and sauté until pork is brown and almost cooked through.
  • Add sauce to the skillet and toss pork strips until all are fully coated.
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook until some of the sauce is absorbed and the pork is brown and slightly crispy on the edges.
  • Begin assembling sandwiches, starting with your baguette/bun. (I highly recommend toasting or grilling it if you have time!)
  • Add sandwich spread to lightly coat the bottom half of the baguette/bun.
  • Add pork, carrots, cucumber, radishes. Garnish with cilantro and basil to taste, and finish it off with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

If you’ve been hesitant about hopping on the pork train, give Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork a try. They have a variety of flavors (Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet, Steakhouse Mushroom Pork Loin Filet and more!) and cuts (tenderloins, loin filets, and roasts) and can be purchased at Safeway. Perfect for grilling, roasting, or sautéing.

For more delicious Smithfield Fresh Pork recipes, visit:

http://www.smithfield.com/meal-ideas/real-flavor-real-fast/

Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Smithfield®. The opinions and text are all mine.

These Spicy Peanut “Noodles” are Everything



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As much as I love carbs, I try to avoid them when possible – particularly for dishes that use traditional pasta or spaghetti. And honestly I LIKE the taste and texture of vegetable noodles better whether it be spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, beet noodles, and sweet potato noodles, etc, etc etc. I know what you’re thinking… “lies! no one likes veggie noodles better than Barilla the OG!” But I do – I intentionally under cook my “zoodles” if you will because I adore a good crunch!

If you’re looking for a nice and light but FILLING meal, you’re in for a real treat. This can be made super ahead of time because you serve it cold. As for the peanut butter, you can make your own if you’re feeling adventurous, but if you’re going to use store-bought like I did, please do yourself a favor and use the naughty-er creamy kind (JIF, Skippy, etc). If you try and go with the healthier natural butters, you will not end up with a creamy sauce. I’ve tried using the natural Costco Kirkland brand that you have to refrigerate and the result was no bueno. Capische?

I made this for dinner and it was a hit with my main squeeze, and myself! Leftovers made for a fantastic lunch the next day. By the way, do you like our lunchboxes? Can you guess whose is whose? It’s safe to say that we are still kids at heart. My adorable robot lunch box is made by an even more adorable company called SoYoung. They are based out of Toronto, Canada and sell lunch boxes, cooler bags, backpacks and diaper bags. Their modern, elevated designs make the products both kid- and adult-appropriate. In 2014, SoYoung partnered with Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company on a limited edition lunch box which sold out in less than 8 days! Their lunch box designs include: sharks, bicycles, elephants, giraffes, dinosaurs, seahorses, starfish, and even Russian dolls (remember those from back in the day? LOVE!). And their cooler bags? To die. Those designs include pink peonies (WANT), beets (WANT), artichoke, and dandelions. They’re in select Nordstrom and Whole Foods stores, and 500 other specialty retailers.

Recipe inspired by the one and only Jaclyn from Cooking Classy.

INGREDS

Sauce
+ 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
+ 1/4 cup warm water
+ 3 tablespoons soy sauce
+ 2 tablespoons honey
+ 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
+ 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
+ 1.5 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
+ 1 tablespoon minced garlic
+ 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

+ 2 chicken breasts (cooked and sliced thin)
+ 1 spaghetti squash (cooked and shredded into spaghetti strings)
+ 6 mini “cocktail” cucumbers (sliced)
+ 1/2 cup chopped green onion, and some to garnish
+ Chopped cilantro, (1/2 to 1 cup, depending on taste) and some to garnish
+ Sesame seeds for garnish
+ Bean sprouts for garnish

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 350°.
+ Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Season with salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Place on baking sheet, flesh side up and cook for 30 minutes. Please note I like my strings on the crunchier side, so if you like yours softer, cook longer. When done, set aside, let cool, and string into noodles with a fork.
+ Prepare sauce. Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Store in fridge until ready to use.
+ Cook chicken using this fool-proof recipe. Slice thin.
+ Similar to making your own tacos, allow all eaters to make their own bowl. Start with spaghetti squash, add sliced cucumber, chicken slices, sauce to taste, and toss to combine. Top with green onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, and sesame seeds.

x Lindsey


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SEXY DATE NIGHT IN RECIPE: HALIBUT x THAI COCONUT CURRY



Halibut Coconut Curry




Ladies… (or gentlemen)! This recipe is bomb AF. One, because it’s unbelievably tasty, two, because it’s warm and comforting (without the calories of “comfort food”), and three, because Thai food, especially home made Thai food is just sexy for lil date night in.

Costco doesn’t sell Halibut on the reg so when I saw it I was immediately intrigued. By the way guys, Costco has some good deals on fresh fish – salmon, tilapia, ahi tuna steaks…etc. I try and meal plan majority of the time but when there is fresh fish involved, I will be the first to make an impulse purchase. I had no idea what I was going to make with the halibut, no idea when I was going to make it, therefore had no idea what other ingreds I needed but by golly I was not going to leave the store without it.

Trey finished his first clinical experience for his PT program and was back to the grind of 8-5 classes. When he gets home from school, he’s not actually done with school. Papers to write, articles to read, study guides to make, and studying his ass off consumes most, if not all his evenings. This particular evening I wanted to make him something extra special, with a little pizzazz. Something that would feed my fall fever and his belly. We had about one hour to spend together that evening so a delicious, filling, flavorful dinner was a must! You’ll notice that I poached the halibut. This method allows it to really soak up all the juicy delicious flavors in the curry. Are you drooling yet?

PS: IF YOU HAVE SHALLOW BOWLS LIKE THESE, YOU’RE GOLDEN. THIS DISH IS BEST SERVED IN A SHALLOW BOWL like this one from Crate and Barrel or this one from Target. No, I do not have shallow bowls and yes I now need shallow bowls in my life because half the fun in making meals is the presentation!

INGREDS
+ 4 or 5 fresh halibut filets (in my case I had one large cut from Costco and cut it into individual filet pieces)
+ 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
+ 1/2 to 1 box of fresh baby spinach
+ Salt and pepper to taste
+ 3 shallots, diced
+ 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
+ 3.5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (divided)
+ 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
+ 1/2 teaspoon honey or coconut sugar
+ 1/4 – 1/2 cup cilantro (divided, save some for garnishing)
+ 1/4 cup green onions (both green and white parts)
+ Juice of 1/2 a lime plus more to garnish (w/ slices)
+ 1 cup dry quinoa

DIRECTIONS
+ Cook your quinoa. Place 1 cup of dry quinoa in a small saucepan. Instead of water, cook in two cups of vegetable or chicken broth (this gives the quinoa more flavor). Set aside.
+ Rinse halibut fillets, pat to try and season with a little salt.
+ Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir frequently until wilted and transfer immediately into a bowl. Set aside.
+ Add the additional tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and saute the shallots until soft, about 2 minutes or so.
+ Add curry paste, vegetable/chicken broth, coconut milk, and honey/coconut sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and reduce the curry by half. Taste and add salt or other seasonings if desired.
+ Place the halibut fillets into the pan, spooning broth over the tops. Cover with lid and poach 5-10 minutes depending on how thick your fish is. If you have trouble fitting all of your fillets into the pan at once, work in batches to ensure proper cooking. Do not overcook halibut, or it will come out dry.
+ Place a bed of the cooked spinach in your bowls and add some quinoa. Top with halibut.
+ Add cilantro, green onions, and lime juice to curry and stir. Pour the broth over the fish and garnish with cilantro, green onion if desired, and lime wedge.

Recipe inspired by Maya of Alaskan From Scratch.

TTFN, ta-ta for now,

x Linds


Halibut coconut curry



Kale & Spinach Salad with Zoodled Apples and Carrots



Kale Salad




Love salad but get stuck in a rut of the same old veggies, same old dressing, same texture and flavors? As much as I love my salad go-tos, sometimes I just need something with a little zing – a little pep to get me excited about eating muh veggies. I made this salad on a whim on Labor Day evening when I realized the long weekend was long gone and I still had lots to do – laundry, cleaning, food prepping, and watching Big Brother (#guiltypleasure). It was unlike me not to have planned dinner but it really snuck up on me so I grabbed the freshest vegetables I had in the fridge, waved my magic wand and POOF! A “make again” meal that was quick, easy, and melts in your mouth!

This salad could be brought to a football party for a delicious healthy option. The different textures and vibrant colors make it super sexy. You are what you eat, right?!



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INGREDS
Salad
+ 1 (big) bunch of curly kale
+ 1-2 handfuls of baby spinach
+ 2 carrots (I used one purple and one yellow carrot)
+ 1 apple
+ 1/3-1/2 cup dried cranberries (can use dried cherries, currants, etc.)
+ 1/4-1/2 cup feta cheese
+ 1/4 cup raw sprouted pumpkin seeds (pine nuts, sliced almonds work well too)

Dressing
+ Juice of 1 whole lemon
+ 1 tablespoon olive oil
+ 1 teaspoon honey
+ Pinch of salt
+ Fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS
+ Combine all dressing ingredients in a small mason or jelly jar. Shake to combine and set aside in fridge.
+ Remove kale leaves from stems and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until you get small pieces. Transfer to a medium bowl.
+ Place 1/2 handfuls of baby spinach into the bowl of the food processor and pulse until you get small pieces. Transfer to the medium bowl.
+ Using a Spiralizer, ‘zoodle’ the carrots and apple via desired blade. Add to the kale/spinach bowl and use a knife and fork to cut through the salad so the zoodled ingredients are cut short and can fit on a fork when you’re ready to eat.
+ Add dried cranberries, feta, and pumpkin seeds and mix.
+ Shake the dressing again (because ingredients settle) and drizzle over the salad. Mix well.
+ Share with a loved one or eat it all to your face!
+ This can be stored in a container for leftovers but is best if eaten immediately because of the dressing.


Kale



Healthified Buffalo Chicken Pizza {with Avocado spread}



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On Friday Trey and I went to a show at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret which by the way I HIGHLY recommend. Lannie’s is located underground in the historic D&F Clocktower in the heart of downtown Denver. Sexy, sensual decor, cocktails, and raunchy entertainment is what makes this a fun outside-the-box activity whether you’re with your other half or your girls.

I knew the show started at 8 so I needed to make a dinner that was quick and easy but still healthy. I looked in my freezer and saw frozen Trader Joe’s pizza dough and immediately knew I wanted to create some sort of yummy ‘za. But what kind?

Chicken… check.
Buffalo sauce… check.
Celery… check.
Avocado… check.

Avocado? Why avocado you ask. Well – first and foremost, avocado is the shit. Secondly, avocado is the secret ingredient that makes this pizza so damn good. I used the avocado to create a spread and that’s what makes the “sauce.” Genius, right? The avocado not only acts as a healthy fat but it can also balance the heat from the buffalo sauce and sooth your tastebuds.

Please note that when I make pizza I never measure ingredients out. I wing it for the most part so I apologize for the lack of specificity but use your best judgment and most importantly create it to satisfy YOUR taste and YOUR appetite!

INGREDS
+ 2 chicken breasts (cooked and finely cubed/chopped)
+ Trader Joe’s pizza dough (I used the garlic herb type)
+ Flour for dough
+ 2 avocados (enough to create the spread sauce to cover entire base of pizza)
+ Salt and pepper to taste
+ Celery, chopped
+ Red onion, thinly sliced
+ Buffalo sauce (such as Frank’s)
+ 2-3 tablespoons mozzarella or provolone cheese, shredded

DIRECTIONS
+ Prepare the chicken. Cook chicken, following these kick ass instructions from The Kitchn. Seriously, this gives you the most moist, juicy, and flavorful chicken EVERY TIME. It’s fool proof too!
+ Once chicken breasts are cooked, finely chop/cube the chicken and transfer into a bowl.
+ Add buffalo sauce to chicken (to desired taste) and stir to combine.
+ Prepare the pizza crust. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease your pizza pan. This is the pan I have.
+ Sprinkle a little flour over dough, knead it into a ball and use a rolling pin to mold crust into your desired pizza pan.
+ Place prepared dough in oven and bake until it starts to bubble and becomes a light golden color, about 5 minutes or so – but keep an eye on it – and use your oven light!
+ Remove and flip crust over so the bottom crispy side is now on top.
+ Cut your avocados in half and transfer flesh into a small bowl.
+ Mash avocado until mostly smooth – a few chunks are fine if you like.
+ Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
+ Spread avocado spread onto the crust to create the “sauce.”
+ Top your pizza with chopped celery, sliced onion, buffalo chicken, and cheese. Repeat until all toppings are used.
+ Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

This is a perfect meal before going out, as long as you don’t outdo yourself in slices. I stuck with one and a half slices. Makes for great leftovers too! I promise it’ll be a big hit with your loved one, friends, and family.

xx



buffalo chicken pizza



Not Another Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe // Ginger Lime Tuna Steak



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Don’t get me wrong. I love leftovers. I appreciate leftovers. I eat leftovers all the time. But every year I get really sick of Thanksgiving leftovers. The turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes – I can only do so much. After about three and a half days of turkey sandwiches, turkey salads, reheated ‘taters and dry stuffing I respectfully place the holiday feast in the freezer so I can come back to it at another time when I’m strapped for time and need a quick and easy dinner.

After eating too much and drinking too many bacon-infused bourbon cocktails (with spiced apple cider, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, etc. – amazing by the way), I was ready for a light and fresh meal with no remnants of the smorgasbord you get on turkey day. This meal is healthy, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and contains ginger, lime, cilantro, soy sauce… ‘nough said, right?

Omega-3 fatty acids are super trendy via supplements, but I prefer to get it from the food I put in my body. Plus I’m terrible at swallowing those big ass pills (hence why I get the fish oil gummies – don’t judge me). Ahi tuna is an incredible source of Omega-3 Fat.

But first …
WTF are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
+ Form of polyunsaturated fat that the body derives from food
+ Known as EFAs (essential fatty acids) = good health
WTF makes them so great?
+ They reduce inflammation
+ They lower blood pressure
+ They reduce blood clots
+ They lower cholesterol
+ They may reduce the risk for diabetes, stroke, arthritis
+ They may reduce brain and mental disorders (the brain, the brain, the center of the chain! Babysitters Club movie anyone?)
+ Great for skin and hair! (I’ll take that!)
WTF are some foods that contain Omega-3s?
+ Fish: salmon, tuna, herring
+ Nuts/Seeds: chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds
+ Oil: olive oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil

Oh, ginger. I could marry ginger I like love it that much. After my Thanksgiving feast I wanted/needed this ingredient that alleviates boated, gassy, distressed tummies. Gingy also has therapeutic properties, reduces inflammation and is great for blood circulation. I love how versatile it is – you can put it in fish marinades, smoothies, tea, oatmeal, cookies – endless possibilities!

Onto the recipe. I know fresh fish can be expensive, but if you go to Costco you’ll find their prices to be pretty reasonable. That’s where I got the Ahi tuna steaks. Sidenote: I get my extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, spinach, avocados, and sugars from Costco. EVOO and soy sauce is especially helpful to buy here because I use it so much and it’s such a pain to run out in the middle of cooking. Costco has ginormous bags of spinach and sacks of five avos for super cheap. It’s amazeballs.

Ok. Onto the recipe. For real this time.


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INGREDS
+ 2 Ahi tuna steaks
+ Salt and pepper to taste
+ 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
+ 4 tablespoons soy sauce
+ 2-4 teaspoons fresh minced ginger, depending on preference
+ 4 cloves minced garlic
+ 1 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
+ Juice of 2 limes + zest
+ 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or honey
+ 1 avocado, thinly sliced
+ 8 cups of fresh, baby spinach

DIRECTIONS
+ Season each side of steaks with salt and pepper.
+ In a large pan or shallow bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, zest and sugar.
+ Place tuna steaks in marinade and let sit for two hours or so in the fridge.


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+ In a medium skillet heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add the spinach and wilt only slightly. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
+ After marination, very lightly grease a cast iron skillet with oil of choice.
+ Heat skillet on high – you want it really hot because you it to cook quickly to ensure it remains rare in the center.
+ Transfer steaks onto skillet and sear. My tuna steaks were thick so I cooked for about one minute on each side.


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+ Pour remaining marinade into saucepan and reduce until thickened, 3-4 minutes
+ Place wilted spinach on plates and top with seared tuna steaks.
+ Garnish the steaks with avocado slices, reduced marinade, and fresh cilantro.
+ Enjoy now, thank me later.

(Recipe was very adapted but inspired by Bev from Bev Cooks.)

Happy December 1, everyone!

xx

Boston Market’s Sweet Potato Casserole {A Healthy Makeover}



Sweet_Potato_Casserole



Anyone ever have Boston Market’s Sweet Potato Casserole?
You know, the one with the delicious brown sugar oatmeal cookie crumble topping and melted marshmallows?
The one that’s 480 calories per serving? Yes, you heard me right. Almost 500 calories in ONE serving of this side dish. Can you say GUT BOMB? Ugh! Why does everything so good have to be so bad? Such is life, I guess!

I refuse to give up this comfort food, especially with Thanksgiving just around the corner. With a little brainstorming, determination, experimenting, and sprinkle of elbow grease, I was able to transform this traditionally fattening dish into a much lighter, BUTTER-FREE recipe that is sure to satisfy.

Some of the naughty ingredients in the traditional Boston Market Sweet Potato Casserole are:
Casserole
+ 1/2 stick of butter
+ 1/2 cup brown sugar
+ 1/4 cup heavy cream
Topping
+ 1 cup brown sugar
+ 1 stick of butter
+ 2 cups mini marshmallows

That’s 1 1/2 sticks of butter, 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, and heavy cream in ONE dish. Yikes, bikes! I’m not saying that this isn’t tasty because let’s be real here – anything with butter, sugar and cream in it is bound to be damn good but it ain’t the healthiest thing you could be putting into your body. Remember people, your body is a temple – worship it. Especially on Thanksgiving, because a healthy body, let alone a body in general is definitely something we should all be thankful for!

Now in my personal opinion, the ‘mallows aren’t so bad. I left them out this time but wouldn’t be opposed to using about 1/2 to 1 cup of them for Thanksgiving. Better yet, I’d make my own. This time around, however, I used chopped pecans to give it a lil extra something. Take a look at my improved recipe and compare the ingredients. Different huh? But I tell you the taste is almost identical. You’re still getting that same sweet flavor of the potatoes and the same crumbly, delightful topping that is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.


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Healthy Makeover Recipe
INGREDIENTS
Casserole
+ 4-5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
+ 1/3 cup honey
+ 1 egg
+ 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
+ 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
+ 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Topping
+ 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
+ 1/4-1/2 cup rolled oats (does NOT have to be quick-cooking)
+ 2 tablespoons all-purpose regular or GF flour
+ 1 teaspoon cinnamon
+ 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar
+ 1/3 cup or so of roughly chopped pecans (FYI Williams Sonoma Veggie Chopper is amazing for chopping pecans. Yes, I am slightly obsessed with this kitchen toy.)

DIRECTIONS
+ Preheat oven to 350°F
+ Lightly grease an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with coconut oil
+ Fill a large pot with cubed sweet potatoes and water
+ Over high heat, bring to a boil and cook until fork-tender
+ Drain potatoes and transfer into a large bowl
+ Add honey. Trick of the trade: when adding honey, grease the measuring cup with canola or olive oil then add the honey. This will cause the honey to come right out without sticking.
+ Add egg, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, kosher salt
+ Mix with an electric mixer or food processor until smooth
+ Spread evenly onto prepared baking dish
+ Melt coconut oil in microwave (about 15-30 seconds)
+ Add rolled oats, flour, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and chopped pecans
+ Stir to combine and sprinkle topping over potatoes
+ Bake 45 minutes until hot and brown around the edges

Feel free to double this recipe if you’re expecting many guests for Thanksgiving. Just be sure to use a 9×13 baking dish instead of an 8 or 9in square dish. This recipe makes for great leftovers too! Also a good dessert alternative to pie or ice cream!

I am SO getting in the Thanksgiving spirit. Weeeeeeeeee!


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^Photo by Noah Berg Photography

(Fresh) Beet Burgers {just like the Kitchen Next Door}



beet burgers




Lettuce.
Turnip.
the BEET.

I don’t always pun in my posts but when I do, it makes my heart skip a beet.

Beet burgers. Many, many moons ago when I was college at CU *Boulder* (go Buffs) I mosey’d my way down Pearl Street and found myself at the Kitchen Next Door – an amazeballs restaurant founded in Boulder, considered a community bistro, built by craftsman, serving food and drink from like-minded farmers, ranchers and purveyors. KND is committed to environmentally-friendly practices, including composting, wind power, eco-friendly packaging and recycling used cooking oil. It soon became one of my go-to eateries, and the beet burger was my go-to item on the menu.

Naturally, I was inclined to replicate this vegetarian delight. And after a few tries, my determination paid off. That’s one of my favorite things about cooking – remembering a distinct flavor and testing different ingredients until you get it just right.

This recipe is not only tasty but it’s also superduper healthy! A burger that’s healthy – who would’a thunk it? Beets should be in all yall’s diet. Beets are a powerhouse nutrient loaded with vitamin C, fiber, potassium (healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (good for bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas). It’s even been said that beets can clear up dandruff (which I get during dry, Colorado winters), relieve constipation (we’ve all been there), lower blood pressure, and prevent varicose veins!

Note: you will need a food processor for this recipe; otherwise you can try blending or manually mashing – I have not tried those techniques, FYI.

Ingreds
+ 2 1/2 cups of roasted beets, cubed
+ 1 cup of onion, chopped
+ 1/2 cup celery, chopped
+ 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
+ 1/2 canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
+ 2 eggs
+ 1/2 teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)
+ 1/2 teaspoon paprika
+ salt and pepper to taste
+ 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
+ Arugula or spinach
+ Onion (thinly sliced)
+ Feta or goat cheese

Roast the Beets
+ Preheat oven to 400°F
+ Slice beet leaves, leaving yourself enough to grip
+ Rinse and scrub the beets then individually wrap loosely in foil
+ Transfer wrapped beets to oven (you can place directly on oven rack) and roast for 50-60 minutes
+ Beets are done when a fork slides easily into the beet
+ Dice beets into cubes

Directions
+ Preheat the oven to 350°F
+ In a small pan over medium-high heat, saute onions, carrots and celery with a pinch of salt until veggies soften. Let cool for a few minutes
+ Add beets, sauteed veggies, chickpeas and eggs to the bowl of the food processor
+ Mix on low or high until well combined
+ Add cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to taste and mix well
+ While food processor is running, slowly add the breadcrumbs until thoroughly mixed
+ Consistency will be a bit wet but should form and hold a patty (won’t be so wet that it loses shape but not so dry that it’s crumbly)
+ Place parchment paper on two baking pans/cookie sheets
+ Use your hands to form patties and carefully place on each sheet
+ Bake until hot in the center, ensuring not to overly dry, about 20-30 minutes
+ Keep an eye out as they cook
+ While they’re cooking, caramelize the onions
+ When finished, top with caramelized onions, greens, and cheese


beet burgers



Feel free to include burger buns, but I find them flavorful enough where you don’t even need them!

I hope you’re as upBEET as I was after you try this recipe 🙂

HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CHICKEN SALAD

Photo credit: Chung-Ah, Damn Delicious


Greek-Yogurt-Chicken-Salad-Sandwich



My sure fire way to get yummy, tender, flavorful chicken is in the Crock pot. That’s the secret to the perfect chicken salad. Another major player in this recipe is my handy dandy Chef’n VeggiChop Vegetable Chopper from Williams Sonoma. This makes the chopping so fast and so easy. “This hand-powered cooks’ tool evenly and efficiently chops fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and meats without a cutting board. A few pulls creates a coarse chop; the more you pull, the finer the texture becomes.” The reason why this chicken salad is so healthy is because no mayo or sour cream is used. The creamy texture comes from plain Greek yogurt, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and a little bit of red wine vinegar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1 medium-sized apple (diced, I used a Gala)
  • 2/3 cup grapes (halved)
  • 2-3 celery stalks (diced)
  • 1-2 tablespoons green onion (sliced thin)
  • 1/3 cup of raisins and dried cranberries (mixed)
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1 5.3 oz container of Chobani plain Greek yogurt or 1/2 cup of another brand
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1-2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
  • Fresh or dried dill weed (to taste)
  • Garlic powder (to taste)
  • Onion powder (to taste)
  • Garlic salt (to taste)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Bean-less Turkey/Kale/Sweet Potato Chili {with a kick!}



Bean-less turkey chili




I know that chili isn’t your traditional Memorial Day weekend food, but if you’re looking for something to make other than burgers and brats, try this. It’s nutritious and much lighter than BBQ food but still ultra filling and most importantly, DEEEEELISH.

This chili contains NO BEANS – and this is OK! Because you know somebody will bring the baked beans to the party>>>let’s be real. I find the sweet potato is a perfect alternative to beans, they contain fiber and fill you right up.

I’m excited because the recipe makes a lot of servings, which helloooo(!), means lots of leftovers, and you can double or triple it very easily if you’ll be feeding guests this weekend or need to bring something to a Memorial Day partay.

I added one fresh chopped jalapeno (with seeds) to the mix – I wanted my chili to have a li’l kickeroo. Instead of a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream I topped it with a sprinkling of shredded cheese, fresh avocado, and chopped green onion.

Check out my recipe below or visit Christal’s blog, Nutritionist in the Kitch for the original recipe.

INGREDS
+ 1-2 lbs of lean ground turkey
+ 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
+ 1/2 teaspoon or so cumin
+ 1/2 cup chopped onion
+ 3-4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
+ 1 1/2-2 15oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilis (do not drain)
+ 1 medium sweet potato (cubed)
+ 3/4 cup water
+ 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
+ 1/4 teaspoon paprika
+ 1 bay leaf
+ Shredded cheese (for garnish)
+ Avocado slices (for garnish)
+ Fresh cilantro (for garnish)
+ Green onion (chopped, for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
+ In a very large skillet over medium heat, brown ground turkey and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cumin
+ Once cooked add onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat
+ Add diced tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, chili pepper, paprika, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and bay leaf
+ Cover and simmer over medium-low until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally and check potatoes periodically to see if they’re done. You don’t want them to get mushy. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed
+ Add kale and stir until wilted. Remove bay leaf
+ Garnish with cheese, avocado slices, cilantro, and green onion



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photo 3



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