Category Archives: Lunch and Dinner

Caribbean Turkey Burgers with Mango


I was initially attracted to this recipe because I LOVE (and I mean LOVE!) Mangoes! I even dedicated an entire post to mango-cutting. But, this was honestly one of the best burgers I’ve EVER had. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I’d make these even when Mangoes are not in season. The hubby and the babe agreed that these should be a staple in our household :). Ok, I know she’s only 10 months old but, trust me, clearing her plate=agreeing.

But, before I get to the recipe, I have to share some pictures from our wonderful Memorial Day weekend spent visiting my parents. My little girl is growing up so fast, it’s crazy! Not pictured: lots of relaxing, swimming and delicious Margaritas made by my brother–recipe and margs to come! Also not pictured: REALLY humid and hot 10 mile run with one of my awesome Momma-friends who happened to be on vacation in the same city as us. So thankful for my big group of traveling running-buddies! I’ve had friends from my running group travel as far as San Francisco the same weekend I was there (not purposefully but let’s just say massive running groups have their advantages that go above and beyond great community and accountability!).

Now, here’s the cutie pie!

Ellie Grace with her Great Grandma, Mimi! So happy (and in her P.J.’s…maybe that’s why she’s happy!? They are comfy!!!).

With one set of Grandparents!

And, when she got home, she was dying to get to work :).

Alright, how bout those burgers…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C bread crumbs (I homemade mine using a food processor)
  • 3 Tbsp green onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns or sandwich ‘thins’
  • 1 C spinach
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

Directions: In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, green onions, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, jerk seasoning and salt. Crumble turkey into the bowl and mix just until combined. Shape into four patties. In a large skillet, cook patties in oil over medium heat until cooked all the way through–about 5 minutes on each side. Serve on buns with spinach, mango slices and bell pepper slices.

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree


I’m a little hesitant to admit how I decided on this salmon recipe for dinner last week. Here goes nothing…

So, if you know me or my family (which, you most likely do if you’re reading my blog), you probably know how I feel about wasting food and/or not saving and eating leftovers. We are the people who take 1 piece of sushi to go. Of course we throw in the 3 pieces of edamame as well to make for a perfect little snack the next day.

Anyway, I thought my take on leftovers was becoming more normal but then there was so much of this leftover pea puree in my freezer. See, I made Ellie Grace some baby food but she hated peas! HATED. So, I had just the right amount of pea puree for the lovely Giada de Laurentiis’ salmon recipe. It was that or the trash for those peas.

So, I opted for this recipe and it was quite possibly the best decision I made last week. I know I recently posted about Honey Mustard Salmon but this was a COMPLETELY different kind of party for your taste buds. It. Was. Amazing!

By the way, ‘brodetto’ is a fancy word for fish soup. This is more like salmon on top of broth but we used spoons and definitely had every last bite/sip left in our bowls. 🙂

I followed Giada’s recipe exactly so I can’t take any credit for this one but I will tell you that you won’t be disappointed if you make it!

Ingredients

Lemon Brodetto:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped

Pea Puree:

  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan

Salmon:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

For lemon brodetto, warm olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until tender. Then, add  lemon juice, zest, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cover.

For pea puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree. Drizzle in olive oil with machine running. Transfer

For salmon, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Wash, dry and season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon until flakes easily– about 5 minutes on the first side and a few more minutes after flipping it.

To assemble the dish, divide the lemon brodetto between 4 shallow dishes and add some mint to each bowl. Place a large spoonful of pea puree in the center of each dish. Then, top with salmon and a mint leaf and serve.

Source: Food Network–Giada de Laurentiis

Cilantro Lime Quinoa


After making those Plant-chiladas last week, I had tons of cilantro left over. So, since Trey raves about cilantro lime rice EVERY time he eats it, I figured I wouldn’t compete with Whole Foods (or Chipotle is the other place I think he gets it?) and go for the quinoa version instead. I got the recipe from one of my favorite food blogs and made this during finals week for a fresh, healthy but very easy side dish. I had it with black beans for lunch one day and with chicken and veggies for dinner.

Ingredients:

–2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth

–1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
–2 cloves garlic, minced
— fresh lime juice from 1.5 large limes
–1/3 cup chopped cilantro
–1/4 tsp granulated sugar
–salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: In a large pot, bring the 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in quinoa and cook until quinoa is tender and broth has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork, stir in remaining ingredients and enjoy.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

My First Mother’s Day


Yea, okay, it’s Wednesday and Mother’s Day is old news now but I know I’ll want to look back on this post later and, in my defense, I had finals this week so I just couldn’t find time for you, my lovely little blog.

When I was little, I remember asking my mom why there wasn’t a ‘Kid’s Day’. She said ‘because all the other days of the year are kid’s days’. I honestly thought I got cheated out of this having-a-day-to-yourself thing. Wow, I was either a jerk or just really clueless. Ha! I was thankful for my mother before but, now, after having a child of my own, words could NEVER come close to expressing how thankful I am for my amazing mom! Can’t believe she still puts up with us ;).

Pictures are more fun than words {or maybe I’ve been reading too many children’s books} so here’s (mostly) a picture story of how my first Mother’s Day went:

Naturally, we got things started the night before. My Mom came over to watch the babe so hubby and I could grab a drink. Oh, and fried pickles, of course!

Mmmm…Happy Mother’s Day to me :)!

And, HMD to Trey too! Ha!

Then, my sweet little girl threw me a surprise party from 3am-6am. She just couldn’t wait to celebrate! So thoughtful of her. I was too delirious to take pictures but I’m sure she was being cute even if it didn’t seem cute at the time : /.

Atleast we got to nap until 8:40am after that! These two gave me a sweet card:

Then, our little family enjoyed the beautiful morning relaxing in our backyard, drinking way too much coffee to make up for our sleepless night.

SO happy!

And, finally, my day was topped off with an evening spent with my wonderful family an incredible meal made by my sweet sweet cousins! Yum!

Slaving away in their precious aprons!

No meal is complete in this house without the incredibly fast personal veggie chopper.

1st (Grand)mother’s Day for Gemma (above)!

The end. Mom, that was fun! I am SO blessed to have such an amazing family!

And, last but not least, a few of my kind family members and friends gave me Mother’s Day gifts…notice how they are all edible. Obviously these people know me well! Annnndddd…Trey sharpened ALL of our kitchen knives! Now that’s the way to a woman’s heart :).

Plant-chiladas


I guess I should have gotten in the Cinco de Mayo spirit last week, but in Texas, you really can’t get enough Mexican food so we made some delicious, healthy enchiladas last night. I call these plant-chiladas because unlike most enchiladas, these have no meat and no cheese. Yea, you read me right, these are vegan enchiladas. Don’t let that scare you away though. These guys are tasty and filling. Oh, and…we ended up sprinkling (or lathering) some cheese on top.

But, they really are good either way so follow where your taste buds lead you. I really just said that..I’m such a dork. That automatically happens when you become a parent. Please keep reading. Please :).

Sooo, after eating high protein breakfasts and lunches and hardly any veggies all day, Trey and I wanted a filling but veggie-full dinner. Plus, we had sushi for dinner on Cinco de Mayo so we needed our fill of some Mexican food :).

This recipe is mostly an Engine 2 recipe but, we went against Engine 2 guidelines and used ingredients that contained at least some fat such as enchilada sauce, hashbrowns and butter (duh) as well as an ingredient with dairy–cheese. Mmmm!

And, I have to show off my little cutie, of course! Here she is swimming for the first time!

And, just being precious (I know, I might be biased)…

Ingredients:

–16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
–32 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
–30 ounces frozen hash-brown (or tater-tot) potatoes
–2 tsp cumin
–2 Tbsp chili powder
–8 ounces diced green chilies, canned
–18 corn tortillas
–about 48 ounces mild enchilada sauce

–fresh cilantro

–shredded cheese (optional)

–salt and pepper to taste

–butter or oil to grease baking dish

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Saute mushrooms and spinach on high until mushrooms are tender (about 7 minutes). Saute potatoes on high for about 10 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder to potatoes. Combine all veggies and add green chilies. Line a greased 9×13 casserole dish with 6 tortillas. Add veggies mixture and top with sauce. Add six more tortillas, more veggies and more sauce. Finally, add the remaining six tortillas and a layer of sauce. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes then let cool for about 15 minutes. Top with cilantro and cheese, if desired and serve.

We added salt and pepper after serving but you could add it to the veggie mixture instead.

Source: Adapted from Engine 2

Running Update and Pesto Pizza


Yesterday, thanks to this little lady, my day started at 4am.

She was ready to get cooking! Or at least measuring ;).

By the time she went back to bed, around 6am, I was fully caffeinated and ready for a run with one of my mommy-friends before a day of hanging out with little miss fussy pants (i.e. a cute, sweet but very high maintenance teething baby).

After hardly running for 3 months, I’m SO happy to be back on the trail and to get my social life back, somewhat. What? You talk when you run!? Yep, it’s true, we runners are socialites–we just socialize at a different time of day than most people ;). I don’t think I let the news out on the blog but 3 months ago, after lots of running and racing, I found out that I had a pelvic stress fracture. Needless to say, it has taken a long time to recover so, I’m overly excited to be running again.

Enough about running though! Onto that pizza…

This pesto pizza was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Trey kept asking if we could make pizza (typical) and I kept putting it off because I REALLY wanted to make the dough but haven’t had the time to invest in dough-making as of late. Soon enough we will make the entire pizza from scratch but, in the meantime, this was pretty awesome and SO easy to make!

Ingredients:

–pre-baked 12 oz pizza crust (I used Artisan, whole wheat)

–1-2 Tbsp olive oil

–3-4 Tbsp homemade, fresh pesto (see recipe below)

–1 cup sliced mozzarella cheese

–2 large tomatoes, sliced

–handful of spinach leaves

–1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

–1/2 tsp basil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil on pizza crust (you can use cooking spray instead but I prefer straight up olive oil). Place pizza crust on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Spread pesto evenly over crust leaving 1/2 inch border. Top with mozzarella cheese, tomato slices and spinach. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and dried or fresh basil (if using fresh, use about 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil).

Source: Adapted from myrecipes.com

Pesto Recipe- Ingredients:

–2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

–1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

–1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

–1/3 cup walnuts

–3 cloves garlic, minced

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a food processor, pulse walnuts and basil a few times. Add garlic and pulse. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while food processor is on. Then add the Parmesan cheese, pulse. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste, stir and serve.

Source: simplyrecipes.com

Tagged

Honey Mustard Glaze Salmon


I’ll slowly be coming back to blogging over the next few weeks. I’m SO excited! Thanks in advance for reading!

This post is about our dinner last night. Notice the difference in starches–brown rice-me, potatoes and mac n’ cheese-Trey.

Okay, let me start by saying I have the best hubby in the world. Hands down.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll explain how this meal came about. Trey has been itching to cook new recipes lately. And, by this I mean, he has been itching for ME to cook some new, delicious meals. (Although, he did make some wonderful chili recently. I’ll definitely be blogging about it in the near future!)

After throwing out about 159.8 ideas for what ‘we’ could make including tuna steaks, lobster, dishes that required crazy, unique ingredients, and much more, I limited him to ingredients we already have at home since I had just gone to the store.  When Trey made that amazing chili I just mentioned, he took the recipe to the store and bought every. single. ingredient listed. I’m talking salt and pepper, people. Guess who got to take all the spices we already had back to the grocery store the next day? Sometimes I have to remind him that we cook at home so much to SAVE money, not spend it ;).

So, we settled on this Honey Mustard Glaze Salmon and were very pleased with the outcome. While I was prepping and cooking everything, Trey was doing ‘manly’ things like mowing the lawn and trimming trees in our front yard. When we finally sat down to eat, per usual, I asked him how the meal was and if it was ‘blog-worthy’. He said, ‘yes, and it wasn’t too difficult either’. While he was right about it being an easy recipe, I was a little confused about how he worded that sentence—I’m pretty sure, no, I’m positive that Trey thinks when I cook, he actually cooked too.

Like I said, I feel so blessed to be married to such an amazing man who is supportive and encouraging in my cooking efforts (and everything else, really). But, he’s so funny sometimes. I’ll let him have it…I really couldn’t accomplish any cooking most days without his help with the baby. Two become one, right!? 😉 I mean, he is most of the reason why I get to explore cooking anyway.

Now, onto the recipe…

Here are the Ingredients {3 servings}:

–1 lb salmon fillet

–2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt

–2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard

–3 tsp honey

–1/2 tsp dill weed

–homemade bread crumbs (from 1.5 slices of bread)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash salmon and place on foiled baking sheet. Combine yogurt, mustard, honey and dill weed in a small bowl and spread over salmon fillet. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake for about 15 minutes or until salmon is barely cooked through (make sure it flakes easily with a fork). Serve and enjoy!

Homemade Breadcrumbs: Toast one or two slices of bread until they don’t contain any more moisture. Process in a food-processor and waalaa!

Spaghetti {Squash}


This is one of my favorite ways to sneak a veggie into our meal! And, it’s SO easy! I took the super duper easy route and didn’t make homemade sauce this week. In a perfect world, I’d have it with my Mimi’s spaghetti sauce but I didn’t have Mimi, any of her sauce in our freezer or her delicious ‘secret’ recipe. So, we went with a good ‘ol jar of sauce and added ground turkey meat to it. Not too shabby. And, quick prep work which is always a plus ;). Trey even likes this meal. A LOT!

The only ingredient for today is a spaghetti squash. You’re on your own for the sauce…until I get brave enough to make and write about a sauce.

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, place face down on a baking sheet (rind facing up) and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender. I cook until I can pierce it with a knife. Then scoop out the ‘noodles’ with two forks. Add sauce and enjoy!

Black Bean and Couscous Salad


I’ve had some Israeli couscous in the pantry for a while now so I finally decided to use it. If you’ve never made Israeli couscous, you should definitely try it. The couscous pieces are much larger than regular couscous. And, by the way, did you know that couscous is considered a pasta, not a grain. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that but it’s true ;). That seems to be a common question people have. If you can prove me wrong, please do. I’m generally not a huge fan of pasta because I don’t like the slimy texture. I do, however, love the texture of couscous. We went the healthy route and used whole wheat.
I initially thought of making a hot bean and couscous salad but we liked this better cold! And, of course, we had plenty leftover.
Ingredients:
–1 cup uncooked whole wheat Israeli couscous
–1 1/4 cups chicken broth
–2 Tbsp olive oil
–juice from 1 lime
–1 tsp red wine vinegar
–1/2 tsp ground cumin
–2 cloves garlic, minced
–1 yellow onion, chopped
–1 red bell pepper, chopped
–1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
–1 can (15 ounce) of corn (or use fresh if you have time!)
–1 can (15 ounce) of black beans, drained
–salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Bring chicken broth to a boil and stir in couscous. Stir gently and let simmer for about 8 minutes or until couscous is almost ready. Then, remove from heat. Heat olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add red bell pepper and onion. Cook until onions are translucent. Fluff couscous and add veggies and the rest of the ingredients to the couscous mixture and stir and enjoy. Or, refrigerate for later!
Let me know what you think!
I also embarked on my first journey of making baby food! I was SO intimidated by the thought of making it but it was SO easy. I might blog about it for you mamas who are afraid to make it ;). Sweet potatoes were on the menu for my little cutie last night. She LOVED them. I’m so proud of my good little eater.
Feed ME!

Kale Salad


My cousin told me about this incredible salad over a year ago. After trying it at a dinner hosted by one of our good friends, well…the rest is history. We will definitely be eating this as a side ALL the time! I mean, raw kale, tasty? Do those words belong in the same sentence? This is a health nut’s dream come true. 🙂

So, I took the mommy-doesn’t-have much-time (and wants the least amount of dishes possible to clean) short cut to making this. Honestly, making it the original way doesn’t take that much longer but every second counts with my demanding baby so, I’ll give you the real recipe and keep you posted on my short cuts along the way. Sound good?

Mkay, Ingredients:

–1 bunch kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces

–2 slices country bread (or whatever bread you have around in my case)

–1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (I bought mine shredded)

–1/2 clove garlic

–3 Tbsp olive oil

–juice from 1 lemon

–1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Toast bread until golden brown. Break into small pieces and pulse in food processor (or if you don’t want to clean your food processor, break into tiny pieces directly over salad 😉 ). Whisk all ingredients except kale in a small bowl (or, to save time, just throw it all on top of the kale). Pour over kale and add bread crumbs, if haven’t already. Stir and serve.

Source: 101 cookbooks.com

We enjoyed this salad with this pork last week!

The next day, I had leftover kale and no time to run to the store. So, we had the same salad but used shredded cheddar cheese (rather than Parmesan) and 1/2 a grapefruit + 1/2 lemon for juice (rather than just one lemon). It was pretty darn good too!