Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Creole Jicama Hash with a Sunny Side Up Egg

Perfect Pairing:  Box shredder


I am so excited about this dish!  It will come as no surprise that since I have a big day (MY WEDDING!!!!!) coming up soon I am doing my best to eat healthy, workout, and tone up.  I am always searching for healthy recipes that are still delicious.  I have a fiancé to feed!

I love jicama but had only eaten it as a raw crudite, how it is served here.  In this breakfast (or any other meal) the jicama is shredded and cooked like a hash with onion and creole seasoning.  A simple box shredder is the perfect tool here.  No need to drag out the food processor. Just watch your fingers.


Jicama has a slightly sweet flavor which is great in this, especially if you balance it with a hefty pinch of salt.  

Top it all off with a sprinkle of green onions, sriracha, and an egg.  I like (love) a runny egg, but cook according to your preference.  


It is such a satisfying meal.  If you are familiar with the diet that uses “points” this is only 3 points!!!  You can’t beat that.  It is also paleo friendly for my paleo friends out there!  


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Salmon Burgers with Dill Yogurt Sauce

Perfect Pairing: Broiler Pan

These salmon burgers were a fun switch from regular hamburgers or a simple salmon fillet.  Fresh salmon is combined with fresh dill, horseradish, lemon zest, and shallot to form a super tasty burger.  Then it is topped with a light sauce made from fat free Greek yogurt, fresh dill and a touch of honey.


These are so simple to make, you basically throw everything into the food processor and then the oven.  I would try to get salmon without the skin.  I didn’t do this and removing the skin was the most time consuming part of the meal prep.


Most ovens come with broiler pans but I think they are pretty underused.  I know I rarely use mine!  I dusted it off for this recipe and it was perfect.  If you don’t have a broiler pan you could use a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet.


These were perfect with slices of crunchy cucumber and crisp lettuce.  I served mine with oven-roasted broccoli and sweet potato fries.  It was a delicious and healthy meal.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Roasted Caprese Salad

Perfect Pairing:  Off-season tomatoes


While I love cold-weather comfort food sometimes I crave something fresh that reminds me of warmer days. Especially with the negative temperatures and dreary, dirty snow outside.

The perfect summer dish is a caprese salad made with garden-grown tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and sweet basil.  Now we are stuck with hothouse tomatoes that barely resemble the summer varieties that you could eat like an apple.   Roasting mediocre tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness and concentrates all of the good tomato flavor. 


I used a variety of grape and Campari tomatoes, but use whatever you have on hand or what is on sale.  


After roasting they are topped with shards of fresh mozzarella, julienned basil, and a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar.  

Park yourself under a heat lamp, pour a glass of sauvignon blanc, turn on some Bob Marley and it is practically summer.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

Perfect Pairing: New Year’s Resolution Diet


I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season!  Mine was absolutely wonderful.  It was my first Christmas with my fiancé and his family, so that made it extra special.  


We loved spending time with all of our adorable nieces and nephews.  They make Christmas so fun!












We also had lots of good food!  No surprise there.  One of our family traditions is a meal of homemade chicken and noodles (my dad and I make the noodles) over mashed potatoes.  Starch on starch.  Then a dessert of cookies.  Why not?  Every meal on Christmas break seems to have dessert.

I always look forward to getting back into my healthy routine after the new year.  This year it is especially important since I have a wedding to prepare for!  Yikes!

Each year I post a healthy New Year’s resolution recipe.  

This year it is a delicious Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole.  I adore spaghetti squash.  It is such a great pasta alternative that is full of fiber and nutrients.  Here it is combined with my favorite pizza toppings, sausage (I used turkey), green pepper, onion, and mushrooms.  


Use your favorite spaghetti sauce.  I like Mario Batali’s spicy arrabbiata sauce.


I baked mine in two dishes so I could put one directly in the freezer for a healthy meal that is ready to go when I am short on time.


You can feel so good about this dish.  Health food.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Mustard Pork Chops

Perfect Pairing:  Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans


When I ran across Nigella Lawson’s Mustard Pork Chops recipe I knew I needed to make it pronto.  It is a great cold weather dish with few ingredients that comes together in minutes.  

I made just a few changes to the original recipe.  I used three pork chops instead of two, and seasoned them with salt and pepper before searing in the pan.  Before deglazing the pan I added one sliced onion and cooked until soft and caramelized, then added the sauce ingredients (hard cider, mustard, and a touch of cream).  I bumped up the amounts of mustard and cider to make a little more sauce.


Nigella recommended serving the chops with gnocchi.  Of course you could keep the prep super simple and use store-bought gnocchi, or you could make your own!  I had always wanted to make gnocchi so this seemed like the perfect time.  I used this sweet potato gnocchi recipe from Richard Blais (Top Chef and Food Network fame).  I followed the gnocchi prep only and used the pork chop sauce to top it off.  I will definitely make these again and use the full recipe with the brown butter sauce because that sounds fantastic. 


They ended up being pretty easy to make and kind of fun!  I found that a bench scraper was the best tool for the job.

To round out the meal I roasted brussels sprouts (using this method, minus the vinegar) and tossed in handfuls of pecans and dried cranberries for the last few minutes in the oven.  Pretty and yummy.


It was a pretty fantastic meal!


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wheat Berry Chicken Salad

Perfect Pairing:  Diet and Leftover Sage

If your Thanksgiving was as delicious as mine was you might be looking to detox a bit.  This salad is the perfect way to jump start that healthy kick!

Last year I wrote a post for Trail Mix Wheat Berry Salad with Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Orange Vinaigrette where I talked about my first introduction to wheat berries. 


My mom had a wheat berry salad at a friend’s house and later made it for me.  This Wheat Berry Chicken Salad is that original recipe.  It is simple, healthy, filling, and delicious.  I think it is the mix of textures that make it special, chewy berries are mixed with crunchy celery and apples. 

Wheat berries are combined with rotisserie chicken, dried cranberries, fresh herbs, veggies, and tossed in a light dressing.  This calls for fresh sage which might just be in your refrigerator after making that Thanksgiving stuffing!

If you are new to wheat berries you can usually find them in the organic aisle or with the other grains.


If you are on a diet this is a great “go-to” meal/snack.  One serving of this salad (recipe makes 14 servings) is four points.  If you know much about diets, you know which one uses points!  

Wheat berries are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.  Totes diet food!  My mom will make a batch and keep it in the fridge to have on hand for a quick and satisfying meal.  It keeps really well for over a week.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Menu

I can hardly believe it has already been a month since I got engaged!  The month has been full of fun wedding planning.  We have our date, church, reception venue, band, photographer, rehearsal dinner venue, my dress, and my bridesmaid dresses.  I call that a success!  Next up is the food.  You KNOW I am looking forward to that part!

Now let’s focus on the ultimate food holiday, Thanksgiving.  Last year I shared a few of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes.  They absolutely must be on our table every single year.  If you are looking for some new recipes for your Thanksgiving table, look no further!


This is my favorite part of the meal. You will never want to make another stuffing.  The tart cherries and savory sausage make it the most delicious stuffing ever.  We always make it outside of the bird so the top has a little crunch.

No marshmallows here!  Instead it is topped with a pecan streusel.  The best.

This shows up at every major family meal.  It will be the easiest thing you make at Thanksgiving and probably the most popular.  Always a crowd pleaser!

Those three are our staples.  Every year we change up the other dishes.  Here are some great options!

This is a great recipe for a small group since it is not an entire bird.  Using the rotisserie on the grill is a great way to free up the oven for the all-important side dishes!

Love the combination of sherry and citrus.

I might like these more than traditional pecan pie.  Amazing.

A fun alternative for your dessert table!


It combines the traditional pumpkin pie and pecan pie in one tasty bite!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I know I am personally overwhelmed with blessings and I can't wait to celebrate with my loved ones.
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