Category Archives: Main Course

Bold & Beefy

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I made these spicy beefy burgers last weekend and they were a huge hit.  Besides being easy they were delicious!  I believe I got 9 patties out of 2 lbs of meat, some were larger  than others, and that was perfect.  Don’t skip out on the Aioli because that is what made the burger, enjoy!

*recipe can be found at Rachael Ray Show

 

Spicy Burgers with Sharp Cheddar & Chunky Blue Cheese Aioli

For the Burgers: 

  • 2 pounds ground sirloin (for a lean, beefy flavor) or chuck (for a buttery flavor) or your own blend
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp grainy Dijon
  • 2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • Melted butter, for basting burgers
  • 12 oz (3/4 pound) sliced sharp white cheddar cheese

For the Chunky Blue Cheese Aioli: 

  • 1 cup mayo (homemade* or store-bought)
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted
  • 1 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 6 oz crumbled blue cheese crumbles or smoked blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

*For the Mayo Base (yields 1 cup prepared aioli): 

  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsps lemon juice
  • About 2/3 cup grape seed oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Green leaf or Bibb lettuce, sliced beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced Vidalia or other mild sweet onions
  • 6 burger rolls of choice (such as Amy’s multi-seeded white rolls for burgers), split and lightly toasted

 

Preparation:

Combine beef with Worcestershire, Dijon, horseradish, salt and pepper; form 6 patties.  Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning occasionally and basting with melted butter to improve caramelized flavor of beef.  Top with cheese the last minute or two of cook time to melt.

 

If you are preparing your own mayo base, whisk up the egg yolk with Dijon and lemon juice then slowly stream in oil, letting it lightly pour down the sides of the bowl while you whisk, stream in oil until aioli forms; season with fine sea salt to taste.

 

For the dressing, combine mayo with garlic, grainy Dijon, blue cheese and parsley.

 

Serve cheeseburgers on roll bottoms topped with lettuce, tomato and Vidalia or red onion. Spread chunky aioli on bun tops and set into place.

Side Dish Staple

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I found this next recipe at Half Baked Harvest and I have already made it twice! The first time I made it as a side dish and the second time I ate it for my main dish over several nights.  It is packed with protein, flavor, and cheesy goodness.  It makes a small 8×8 side dish or you can double the recipe and make a 9×13 or larger casserole.  Enjoy!

 

Creamy Caprese Quinoa Creamy-Caprese-Quinoa-Bake-1

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2-1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

 

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Heat tomato sauce and tomato paste over low heat in a large saucepan.  Once warm, stir in heavy cream, parmesan, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa.  Fold in half of the mozzarella and half of the tomatoes, then chop 6 fresh basil leaves and add them in too.

 

Once combined, spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire quinoa mixture into the dish.  Top with fresh mozzarella rounds or shredded mozzarella and the remaining tomatoes.

 

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil ribbons.  Allow to sit five minutes and then serve.

Nothing Beats Sweet!

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Here is another Pinterest find.  We are having some peeps over for dinner tonight and I am going to try a new dish………….. I know, what am I thinking??? This recipe can be found on Half Baked Harvest.  I will comment later with how it turned out, but for now let’s all cross our fingers!!

 

Healthy Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins Healthy-Chipotle-Chicken-Sweet-Potato-Skins-1

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 pound (about 2 small) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 3 whole chipotle pepper, minced (Remove seeds to make less spicy)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 (half a 10oz bag) cups spinach
  • 5 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • greek yogurt, for serving

 

Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 350°.  Wash your sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork.  Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until fork tender.  Place your chicken in a baking dish and rub with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and peper.  Place in the oven with the potatoes and bake for 25 minutes (Slow cooking mine in crock pot while at work).  Allow to cool and shred the chicken with a fork or your hands.  When the sweet potatoes are done cut in half and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

 

 

In a medium size bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

 

 

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach (this can also be done in the microwave).  Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together, set aside and keep warm.

 

 

Turn the oven up to 400°.  Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a medium size layer of flesh inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own (I reserved the remaining flesh, for another use) and place in a baking dish.  Brush the skins with with a little of the chipotle sauce and bake for 5-10 muntes until nice and crisp.  While the skins bake mix the spinach, chicken and chipotle sauce together.  Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the skins are hot and crisp.  Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and greek yogurt if desired.

Back on Track

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Well, we’ve been living it up these past few months and my waistline is proof!  Will and I recently celebrated our 5 year anniversary in Mexico and our livers and scales have seen better days.  Last night was my true first attempt at getting back on track.  I made up the salmon recipe (thanks to Pioneer Woman for cooking suggestions) and I found the corn dish on Pinterest and made a few tweaks.  Here’s to healthy eating!

 

 

Baked Salmon
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  • 2 salmon fillets
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil spread
  • pepper
  • lime

 

Preparation:

Spray fillets with olive oil spray.  Lightly sprinkle cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper on each fillet.  Place on baking tray in cold oven and then heat oven to 400°.  Bake for 25 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.  Finish it off by squeezing half of a lime on each fillet.

 

 

 

Grilled Corn, Poblano, & Onion Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

*recipe found at For the Love of Cooking, I adapted to our tastes and for 2 people

  • 3 tbsp canola oil, (divided) (I used Olive Oil spray) DSC_9990
  • 3 ears of yellow corn, husked (2 ears)
  • 2 ears of white corn, husked (1 ear)
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, cut into thick rings (I used small red onion)
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves (parsley)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (1 lime)
  • Dash of cumin
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (2-3)
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • tsp of honey

 

Preparation:

Heat the grill to high.  Rub (spray) corn, poblano, and onion rings with 1 tablespoon of canola oil.  Place onto the hot grill.  Grill, carefully turning occasionally, until poblano is almost blackened and the onions are grilled and tender, about 5-10 minutes.  Remove them from the grill.  Keep cooking the corn until cooked through and the kernels have browned, for a total of 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the grill and let the corn cool.

 

Place the poblano in a zip lock bag then seal; dice the grilled onion and set aside.  Let the chile sit in the sealed zip lock for 5 minutes.  Remove the chile from the bag and carefully peel the charred skin from the chile.  Remove the stem and seeds as well; dice and set aside with the onions.

 

Once the corn has cooled, cut the kernels from the cobs into a large bowl.  Add the grilled onions, poblanos, avocado, and cilantro together in a bowl.

 

In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil (accidentally forgot the oil…… oops, but it still tasted GREAT!) with the lime juice, dash of cumin, honey, and minced garlic; mix thoroughly.  Add the lime vinaigrette to the the corn mixture and toss until evenly coated.  Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy.

Salmon Shocker

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I usually cook salmon when I am trying to be healthy and when I am sick of chicken………… Somehow it always ends up that I eat a few bites and give the rest to our great dane Scout (he LOVES salmon).  I don’t know if it’s the texture, the idea of fish, or the color but for some reason I am not swooning over the pink swimmer like everyone else is.  Self magazine sends me healthy recipes every now and then and of course I cringed when I saw that the main recipe was  a salmon dish.  Well, I was trying to be healthy, again, and I decided to try this one out and I actually devoured the entire thing!  I hope you guys try it out, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe featured in Self, enjoy!

 

Salmon with Sriracha Sauce and Lime salmon-sriracha-sauce-lime-fore296

  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro

 

Preparation:

Heat oven to 425°. In a bowl, whisk together juice, zest, syrup, sriracha and salt. Place salmon in a baking dish lined with parchment paper; pour lime-maple mixture over top. Roast salmon until cooked through and flaky, 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve.

Fresh-fully Fit

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This next recipe is from Amazing Pinterest Recipes and is pretty darn good.  I made this for Valentine’s dinner because I wanted to have healthy comfort food.  It tasted more on the healthy side than the comforting side but Will said it’s definitely a “Do Again.”  My favorite part of this dish was that it made 4 servings and I used the leftover chicken breasts the next 2 nights on a fresh spinach salad and it was delicious!  I hope you try this one out, it’s healthy, inexpensive, and easy.  Enjoy!

 

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Fresh Tomatoes

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 15
  • 4 – 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion sliced

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven at 375°. Brown the chicken breasts in a pan. In a blender place the garlic, basil, olive oil, vinegar, water and pulse until pureed.

 

Place the browned chicken breasts in a pyrex and cover with the basil, garlic mixture. Top with mushrooms, tomatoes and onion and bake for about 40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Serve with brown rice and a salad.

 

This was so absolutely delicious and you can eat one chicken breast and freeze the rest. I highly recommend a “good” quality balsamic vinegar. A little more expensive, but worth it.
This recipe is simple, clean and super delicious. It is very easy to prepare. It is also very low carb. Balsamic Vinegar Chicken. This is a great recipe. If you happen to make this please let me know how you like it by leaving a comment below.

Sassy Soup for the Soul

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I made this delicious recipe the other night and got two thumbs up from Will.  I had to adapt since I could not find a particular type of pepper at the store and I changed the way the chicken was cooked, but don’t fret I will post the original and my adaption so you can choose what works best for you.  I hope you enjoy and please know that this feeds an army!

 

Eva Longoria’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

* recipe can be found at All The Best

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  • 6 whole Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 bunch celery, diced
  • 1 pasilla chili pepper, diced (I used 1 Poblano and roasted it)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups hearty chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 2 tsps ground cumin seed
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 Tbsps fresh cilantro leaves
  • Tortilla chips, avocado, jalapeños, and sour cream to garnish

 

Preparation:

I slow cooked my chicken because I like shredded chicken in most dishes and I knew for certian that it was cooked through.  If cooking my way place 4 chicken breasts halves in slow cooker with a splach of water, salt, and pepper and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

 

If roasting poblano turn broiler on and place poblano in cracked oven and let skin blacken.  When ready place poblano if dish and cover with plastic wrap and let cool.  Once cool peel skin off and seed.  Dice up and reserve for the soup).  

 

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a bowl, toss tomatoes with half the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of black pepper.  Spread on a baking pan and roast until light brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

 

While tomatoes are roasting, in a stockpot over medium heat, sauté onion, celery, peppers, and garlic in remaining oil.  Stir frequently until soft and translucent.

 

To stockpot add chicken stock, lime juice, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 20 minutes.

 

Remove roasted tomatoes from oven (peel should be falling off), and add to broth.

 

Add chicken-breast strips and simmer 10 minutes. (Shred slow cooked chicken and place into soup and simmer for 10 minutes).