Flavorful Friday Fiesta

fiesta

TGIF! What better way to start the weekend than with a flavorful fiesta – and watermelon margarita?! Last weekend we grilled up some of our favorite eats and meats to have a fun, festive dinner. The meal was an afterthought to the watermelon margaritas I was excited to try. I wanted the cuisine to complement the refreshing concoction, so we grilled some summer staples and added a Mexican twist.

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We grilled a seasoned skirt steak, which was then topped with an avocado salsa. For a side, I spiced up classic corn on the cob by seasoning it with chili powder and sprinkling it with cotija cheese. I had tasted this traditional Mexican street corn at a restaurant here in Vegas and decided to recreate the deliciousness. The buttery, flavorful corn made for a sensational side.

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Mexican Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated cotija cheese
  • 2 wedges of lime
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Grill corn until hot and lightly charred, 7 to 10 minutes. Use a basting brush to coat corn with melted butter and mayonnaise. Sprinkle with cotija cheese, lime juice and chili powder.

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Skirt Steak with Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

For the steak:

  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak or sirloin steak
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

For the salsa:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 sprigs of cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Mix all of the steak seasonings together and rub on the steaks about 1 hour before grilling, covering well and storing in refrigerator. Grill for about 4 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes, until steak reaches desired doneness.
  2. To make the salsa, mix the salsa ingredients together in a bowl and serve on top of the steak.

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National Hot Dog Day

hot dog 2 CollageI think it’s fitting that National Hot Dog Day falls in July. Whether they are enjoyed at the ball park or around a camp fire, these popular eats seem like the epitome of summer (in addition to ice cream and s’mores, of course). Even though hot dogs seem like a seasonal dish, when I was little they were a year-round staple. I remember Thanksgiving dinners as a kid when my mom would bring hot dogs for my sister and I because we were such picky eaters. I don’t know what happened because now I am very adventurous and enjoy trying new cuisines. Who would have thought that the kid chowing down on microwaved hot dogs would have tried (and liked!) calamari and carpaccio?!

Back then I stuck to ketchup (not even mustard!) as a classic condiment, but now these unique creations make my mouth water! I can’t wait to spice up our next backyard barbecue with these tasty treats.

hot dog 7{Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Hot Dog from Shared Appetite}

hot dog 5
{Corn Dog Mini Muffins from Damn Delicious}

hot dog 1{Tex Mex Hot Dogs from Country Cleaver}

hot dog 6
{BLT Hot Dogs with Caraway Remoulade from Food & Wine}

hot dog 2
{Sweet Pork & Tomatillo Ranch Hot Dogs from Creme de la Crumb}

Basil Quinoa with Red Bell Pepper

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I promise I don’t live off of cookies and cupcakes although it might seem that way from my blog posts. More often than not, I try to cook healthy meals. There were a few ingredients in our fridge that I wanted to use up, so I decided to make a healthy side for dinner with red bell peppers, basil and quinoa. It makes about four servings and paired perfectly with our tilapia and broccoli.

Basil Quinoa with Red Bell Pepper

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine cold water and ice cubes to make an ice bath. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add basil to boiling water, stirring once and then draining immediately. Quickly place basil in ice bath to cool. Remove and gently squeeze out excess water.
  2. Place basil, cheese, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a food processor. Cover and process until nearly smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together warm, cooked quinoa and bell pepper. Add basil mixture and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

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Rise and shine! Continue your celebratory 4th of July weekend with some tart, yet sweet treats. These tasty pancakes are made with whole wheat flour and cornmeal, giving them a heartier texture. Sprinkle blueberries and raspberries on top to keep with the red, white and blue spirit!

Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
  • zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • cooking spray

Directions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk 1 1/4 cups of buttermilk and cornmeal together. Cut butter into four chunks, then add to mixture. Cover and microwave for about 15 seconds, until butter is melted. Stir to fully incorporate and then microwave for another minute, until slightly thickened around the edges. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat eggs and remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Whisk into cornmeal mixture, then add to flour mixture and whisk until combined. Stir in poppy seeds, lemon zest and lemon juice. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Evenly coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, pour batter into pan and cook until edges are set and bubbles begin to form on top, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is golden brown, about 1 more minute. Repeat with remaining batter and serve warm with syrup or fruit.

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Farm Fresh Caprese Salad

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One thing I miss about living in Washington is the variety of farms and fresh produce. There’s nothing better than a juicy Honeycrisp apple straight from the orchard in the fall. I was excited (and surprised) to hear about a farm here in Las Vegas where you can pick fruits and vegetables right from the source.

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Gilcrease Orchard offers a nice break from the brown, dry desert. It was fun to walk through the fields and orchard, looking for the freshest produce. We went home with some beautiful tomatoes. I will definitely be back in the fall when there are pumpkins and apple cider doughnuts!

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We decided to put the fresh tomatoes to good use and make a refreshing caprese salad. Since we had one tomato left from the grocery store, I used that, too. The difference between the tomatoes from the store and the farm was amazing! Physically, those from the farm were darker in color, juicier, softer and had more seeds. The store-bought tomato was easier to slice because it was firmer, but when it came to taste, it was kind of plain and watery. Lesson learned – farm fresh is much more flavorful! Even Rob, who is happy with non-organic produce from Walmart, was genuinely shocked at the difference. Because this salad is so simple, top-quality tomatoes and mozzarella are important and very noticeable.

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Farm Fresh Caprese Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

On a large platter, evenly space out tomato slices. Top with mozzarella sliced and then basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and/or pepper.

Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Mango Salsa

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Happy Taco Tuesday! For a summer-inspired meal, these sweet and spicy tacos will hit the spot. The fresh flavors and vibrant colors create a delicious dish that pairs perfectly with a fruity margarita!

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I love topping tacos with fruit salsas, which make for a clean, refreshing dish. The sweet and citrusy flavors complement the savory fish while the chipotle crema adds some spice.

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Now let’s get this fiesta started with these tasty tacos!

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Mango Salsa

Ingredients

For the fish:

  • 2 pounds fresh white firm-flesh fish fillets (I used cod), cut into bite-sized strips
  • Beer batter mix
  • 1 cup beer
  • oil for frying

For the salsa:

  • 1 mango
  • arils from half of a pomegranate
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Chipotle Crema

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. buttermilk
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. adobo sauce

To assemble tacos:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • small flour tortillas

Directions

  1. For the salsa: Peel the mango and cut out pit. Dice and place into medium-sized bowl. Add the pomegranate arils, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice. Toss until combined and season with salt and pepper. Set aside in refrigerator.
  2. For the Chipotle Crema: In a small mixing bowl, combine yogurt, buttermilk, minced chipotle chile and tablespoon adobo sauce. Stir until combined, then cover and place in fridge.
  3. For the fish: Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Stir beer batter mix with 1 cup beer and whisk until smooth. Dip fish in batter and coat evenly, shaking off excess batter. Deep fry at 375F until golden brown.
  4. To assemble tacos: Place fried fish on tortilla. Top with salsa, then drizzle with chipotle crema. Sprinkle on avocado. Enjoy!!

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Crisp

sweet potato

Back in college, B4D (breakfast for dinner) was one of my favorite meals served in the sorority and I would always be first in line for the sweet treats. I love when it is acceptable to indulge in dessert-like dishes for dinner. If it were up to me, chocolate chip pancakes would be a supper staple! I decided to channel this B4D mentality because my fiance is on a midnight work schedule, so his breakfast is my dinner. This sweet potato breakfast crisp makes for a delicious start to the morning… or evening. It was very filling, yet relatively healthy – Rob even thought it would be a good pre-hike meal.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Crisp

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a medium bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and the coconut oil. Add honey, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice, whisking until combined. Add diced sweet potato and toss until fully coated. Place in 16-ounce ramekin or divide between two 10-ounce ramekins.
  3. In the same bowl, add remaining tablespoon of butter and oats. Combine until well-coated and crumbly, then sprinkle over sweet potatoes.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft. Test the pieces with a knife before removing from oven. Serve hot.

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Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad

watermelon

Hello, June! How did you sneak up on us already? I may not be ready for the heat, but I am ready for the barbecues! This grilled watermelon and feta salad is a great addition to any summer cookout. The charred watermelon adds a unique, seasonal twist to the classic combo.

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I used the same ingredients to make two versions of the salad. The stacked salad is a fun, aesthetically-pleasing way to serve it at a backyard barbecue. For a traditional side, the tossed salad can be made in one bowl and easily transported to a party. The cool, refreshing dish is sure to be a hit.

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Grilled Watermelon and Feta Salad: Two Ways

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole feta cheese
  • 1/2 large watermelon, cut into slices 1″ thick
  • 1 avocado
  •  2 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and paper to taste
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Place balsamic vinegar in a small sauecpan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until thickened, about five minutes. Let cool.
  2. Lightly drizzle olive oil over watermelon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill quickly, about 30 seconds per side, until slightly charred.
  3. Toss arugula with a teaspoon of olive oil.
  4. For the stacked salad: Cut feta cheese length wise into four smaller squares. Cut watermelon slices into 8 squares that are the same size as the feta. Place one watermelon square on the plate and then top it with the feta square, another watermelon square and a slice of avocado. Sprinkle desired amount of arugula on top of watermelon stack and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.
  5. For the tossed salad: Place 1 cup of arugula on a plate. Cut cheese, watermelon and avocado into bite-sized squares, then add to arugula and toss. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.

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Cinnamon Roll French Toast

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While looking up some recipes to make for a special Easter breakfast, I came across too many that I wanted to try. French toast, cinnamon rolls, quiche… why not make them all? I decided to combine two of the three and make Cinnamon Roll French Toast. It was easy to prep ahead of time and didn’t require many ingredients. I baked the cinnamon rolls the night before so that they would be completely cooled and just stale enough the next morning. When it was time for breakfast, all I did was whip up the egg mixture and grill the French toast. Easy, delicious and healthy. Okay, so it’s not healthy, but it is a sweet breakfast treat.

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Cinnamon Roll French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 can (12.4 oz.) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. Bake cinnamon rolls as directed on package. Let cool completely.
  2. Spray griddle or skillet with cooking spray. Heat griddle to 375 degrees or heat skilled over medium heat.
  3. Slice each roll in half crosswise.
  4. In a shallow dish, whisk eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and vanilla until combined. Dip each cinnamon roll slice into egg mixture, flipping to coat completely. Place on griddle and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together icing and remaining 2 tablespoons syrup. Microwave for 10-20 seconds, until combined and smooth. Serve over French toast.

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Breakfast Pita

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Breakfast is an important, yet inconvenient meal. I always feel best when I start my day off with eggs, but it’s so much easier to just pour a bowl of cereal when you’re in a rush. While I had time this weekend, I tried making this breakfast pita with some ingredients I had around the house. It tasted great and only took about 5 minutes to make! It’ll definitely be my go-to breakfast from now on since it’s healthy and easy to whip up.

Breakfast Pita

Ingredients

  • 1/2 whole grain pita
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mango peach salsa

Place sliced avocado in pita and set aside. Scramble eggs over medium-low heat, adding spinach when almost cooked. Mix in the spinach, until eggs are fully cooked and spinach is warmed up. Place into pita, then add salsa.

Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake

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I’m not the only baker in the family. My sister made one of her specialties while I was visiting her last weekend – her cinnamon roll French toast bake. She lives in Twentynine Palms, Calif. and it was so fun to spend some quality time with her and her husband (and their really cute dog, Gunner, of course). She made this tasty breakfast for us before we took a little day trip to Palm Springs. I had never been there, so I loved checking out the cute shops and cafes, especially the chocolate store!

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Now back to the amazing cinnamon roll bake… It’s perfect for a lazy Sunday morning or Christmas brunch. Serve with a fresh cup of coffee topped with homemade whipped cream and I’m a happy camper!

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 cans (12.4 oz. each) Pillsbury refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Melt butter and pour in ungreased 13″ x 9″ glass dish.
  3. Separate cans of dough into 16 rolls reserving the icing for later use. Cut each roll into 8 pieces and add to buttered baking dish.
  4. Beat eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in cream, cinnamon and vanilla, until combined. Evenly pour over cinnamon roll pieces. Drizzle syrup on top.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Take metal cover off of icing and microwave for about 15 seconds, until thin enough to drizzle on top of baked cinnamon rolls. Serve warm.

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Kale Chips

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Looking for a crispy, salty and healthy snack? These kale chips are satisfying and simple to make! I’m not a big veggie fan, so this is my favorite way to add some green into my diet. With the thin, delicate texture, they almost melt in your mouth. It’s also fun to experiment with different oils and seasonings. Below is the basic recipe and a few additional ideas to enhance the tasty treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Seat salt, for sprinkling

How to

  1. Preheat oven to 275F. Line baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  2. Remove the ribs from the kale and tear into bite-sized pieces. Place in large bowl and toss with olive oil and salt. Be careful to not over salt.
  3. Evenly spread kale on prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, then flip leaves. Continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes, until crisp.

Other ideas:

  • Spice it up with jalapeño olive oil and Cajun seasoning
  • Use garlic oil and truffle salt to enhance the flavor
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

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I made the mistake of going to Trader Joe’s on an empty stomach, which means I wanted to try everything!! The garlic herb chicken sausage caught my eye and seemed really versatile. Since I had a spaghetti squash waiting to be used at home, I decided to make a healthy pasta dish with some of my favorite flavors. The pesto and garlic herb sausage worked perfectly together! I will definitely be making this filling, flavorful meal again.

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Brussels Sprouts and Chicken Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 16 oz. fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 chicken sausage links (I used garlic herb), sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheet with foil. Slice spaghetti squash in half (lengthwise). Scoop out seeds and place cut-side down on prepared baking sheet. Cook for 35 minutes, until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place sliced Brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and salt, toss until evenly coated. Place on foil-covered baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, until crispy on the outside and fully-cooked inside. You might want to flip them halfway through to get both sides.
  3. While Brussels sprouts are cooking, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and sausage is browned.
  4. Use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” strands and place in large bowl. Add cooked Brussels sprouts, sausage and pesto. Toss until fully incorporated.
  5. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Qrazy for Quinoa

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So many quinoa recipes, so little time. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare this versatile superfood. You can eat the basic patties with healthy toppings and sides or treat it as a burger patty sandwiched between a bun or bread. It’s also easy to make it lactose-free and gluten-free with a few substitutions. I’ve been trying to cut our dairy products to test if I’m lactose-intolerant, but it is so hard because I love cheese. Luckily, I discovered some great substitutions that I used while cooking this flavorful fare.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked (recipe below)
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I used GO Veggie!® Lactose-Free)
  • 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese (I used LACTAID®)
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • Canola oil for frying

How to:

  1. To cook the quinoa, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, zucchini, eggs, flour, sugar, cumin, salt and garlic powder.
  3. Lightly coat frying pan with canola oil and heat over medium-low heat. Drop 1/4 cup quinoa mixture into pan and press with spatula to lightly flatten to 1/2-inch thick. Cook until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve with favorite sauce and burger toppings. I topped mine with sliced avocado. I tried it with calorie-free bacon ranch dressing, but wasn’t a fan. I think Tzatziki would be really tasty with it.
  5. It makes about 10 patties, so I placed the ones I wasn’t going to eat right away on a paper towel to soak up some grease and then wrapped them in wax paper, put them in a Ziplock bag and stored in the freezer.

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Baked Zucchini Chips

20140119-160559.jpgLooking for a healthy snack? These baked zucchini chips are crispy, flavorful and will satisfy cravings for salty, crunchy potato chips. I really want to like vegetables, but have a hard time finding ones I like and how to prepare them. A little breading and seasoning go a long way because I LOVED these! (I know they obviously aren’t as healthy as the plain vegetable, but it’s a start, right?) They are simple to make, with only 10 minutes prep time and few ingredients. 20140119-160629.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini, sliced (1/4-inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red peppers
  • 1/4 cup milk

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with canola oil.
  2. Whisk together cheese, bread crumbs, salt, garlic powder and crushed red pepper in shallow bowl or plate. Pour milk into a separate bowl.
  3. Dip zucchini slices in milk then into bread crumb mixture until lightly coated. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned and crisp. Serve warm. I dipped them in light ranch dressing.

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Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

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This recipe is perfect for a quick, healthy dinner, especially during the week when time for cooking greatly diminishes. Tilapia, which doesn’t taste too “fishy,” is a great source of protein and low in calories. I like to add more flavor and create a crunchier texture with the breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese coating. Serve with a side of vegetables for some added nutrition!

Ingredients (serves two)

  • Two tilapia fillets
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp. Egg Beaters (or beat one egg)
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil

If you use the individually wrapped, frozen fillets (like I did), make sure to thaw before cooking. Pour egg into shallow bowl. Combine bread crumbs, cheese and garlic powder on a small plate, mixing well. Heat canola oil in pan over medium heat. Coat fillet with egg, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place in pan and cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until fully cooked. Repeat with second fillet and serve warm.

Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash

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Mmm… I love pad thai, but wanted to make a healthier version. Hence the spaghetti squash! I love the taste and texture of this delicious meal. It makes 4-6 servings, so hello leftovers and lunch tomorrow!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut oil
  • 3 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Spoon out seeds and sprinkle cut sides with olive oil. Place squash on baking sheet with cut side down and roast for about 45 minutes, until tender. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” and place into colander to drain for about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, beat together eggs in a small bowl.
  3. In another small bowl, create the sauce by mixing together the sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and lime juice.
  4. When squash is ready, heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Pour in eggs and scramble until almost cooked. Add red pepper, carrot, chicken and squash noodles. Add a few pinches of salt and toss together. Add sauce and stir until coated. Cook for about 2 minutes, until vegetables are heated through.
  5. Garnish with crushed peanuts, cilantro and green onions.

If you’re a spaghetti squash fan you might also like my recipes for Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash, Santa Fe Spaghetti Squash Casserole and Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce.

Lobster Ravioli with Cream Sauce

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Never go to Trader Joe’s hungry. I came home with so many meals that I would not have otherwise picked out, like this lobster ravioli. Even though I grew up in Seattle, I had never really tried seafood until my boyfriend, Rob, introduced me to it. I realized I had been missing out because now I love sushi, lobster and all kinds of seafood! I recently tried lobster mac and cheese from a food truck at Life is Beautiful, which was amazing, so I figured this pasta was worth a try. I wasn’t sure what sauce to pair it with, so I Googled some simple sauces and came across this recipe from Kitchen Illiterate, which was made with this ravioli in mind. It was perfect and I will use it with future pastas, too.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste

How-to:

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil and butter. When butter is melted and bubbly, add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Whisk in the heavy cream and bring to a boil, whisking continually. Add a pinch of salt and continue to whisk until sauce has thickened to the consistency you prefer. Pour over pasta and toss until coated.

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Fall Breakfast Medley

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You’ll fall for this Fall Breakfast Medley. Made with maple sausage, sweet potatoes and caramelized apples, it’s the perfect sweet and salty breakfast for a crisp, fall morning. It’s quick and easy to make, so weekend mornings can be spent watching football and lounging on the couch instead of working away in the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package of Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Maple Roll Sausage (8 ounces)
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 small Gala apples, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs, fried or scrambled

How-to:

  1. Cook sausage as directed on package with the onion. Drain and set aside.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water by about one inch. Stir in 1 tsp. of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10-12 minutes until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in sugar until combined and the sugar starts to dissolve. Add apples and cook for 8-10 minutes (stirring frequently), until tender and golden brown. It should start to smell caramelized. Set aside on low heat to keep warm.
  4. Drain potatoes and combine with sausage mixture and apples. Mix well and top with eggs.