Monthly Archives: January 2014

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

Are you ready for a crazy-easy, totally delectable, healthy weeknight meal? This, my friends, is it. Broccoli and shrimp harmoniously roasted together on a baking sheet. You know what that means? It only dirties one pan! A major win in the world of weeknight meals.

Just toss the broccoli florets with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pop it in the oven for a little bit to get going. Meanwhile, season a pound of shrimp with olive oil, salt, pepper, red chili peppers (if you’re into that kind of thing), and the zest of one lemon. Add the shrimp to the baking sheet and let that goodness finish cooking together.

If you like, steam some brown rice or quinoa to round out your meal.

If you’re Robert, douse everything in Sriracha.

What more is there to say?

Dinner is served.

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Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

Serves 2 

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of broccoli (about 2 lbs), cut into florets
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili peppers
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, toss broccoli with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper. Spread broccoli onto baking sheet and cook 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine shrimp, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, chili peppers, and lemon zest. Add to baking sheet and roast about 10 to 15 minutes more, tossing halfway through. Broccoli will be golden and shrimp will be pink and opaque.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa, if desired.

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin2I’m convinced there’s a little old lady living inside of me. I love Sunday night dinner. It’s my favorite meal of the week. The recipes I make for Sunday night dinner aren’t always time consuming or complicated {this one sure isn’t}. But what I love about cooking on Sundays is there’s no time pressure like a growling belly after a long workday. I cook at my own pace and take my time tasting and experimenting so the process is just as satisfying as the end result. I also enjoy indulging my old lady side on Sundays by eating dinner around 5pm or 6pm so I can have plenty of time to get full and digest. Just hand me my walker now!

I’m so thrilled with how this recipe came out. I tend to keep things super simple when I roast pork tenderloin–usually just some olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper–but the marinade I made here gives the meat a hefty punch of flavor. This is definitely my new go-to. Plus, all of the ingredients are pantry and refrigerator staples. Just mix them together and pour into a plastic baggie with your tenderloin so it can bathe for a few hours. Brown the meat on the stove and then stick it in the oven to finish cooking.

Whether you save this for a leisurely Sunday night dinner or marinate the meat in the morning and cook it up after a long day at work I promise you’ll be equally satisfied the moment you dig in.

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 (1 lb) pork tenderloins

Preparation:

In a bowl, add the apple cider vinegar through black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour marinade into a large zip-top bag. Add the pork tenderloins. Use your hands on the outside of the bag to make sure the meat is covered in the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a grill pan (spray with non-stick spray) or cast-iron pan (heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil) over medium high heat. Brown the pork tenderloins, about 2 minutes on all four sides for a total of about 8 minutes. Transfer pork tenderloins to roasting pan or foil-lined baking sheet and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Source: Slightly Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod 

Skinny Egg White Salad

Skinny Egg White Salad

For 20 years, my family and another family have shared a ski house at Mt. Snow, Vermont. It’s my favorite place in the whole world. Always has been, always will be. Every year we travel from our different corners of the country (the four kids live with each of our husbands/fiancees in L.A., Chicago, and New York) to spend the week of New Years together. Our parents still meet at the house almost every single weekend in the winter to ski.

This holiday while we were all at Mt. Snow we replicated a photo we took 20 years ago!

This holiday while we were all at Mt. Snow we replicated a photo we took 20 years ago!

For 20 years the lunch we pack with Army-like precision has always remained the same: multimeat sandwiches (a combination of different lunch meats), Lay’s potato chips, apples, clementines, cookies, and a giant bag of candy. I live for that bag of candy. After hours of skiing, it’s a well-deserved and delicious break.

Shortly after New Years this year when there were still a few of us left we switched up the routine. Barbara (pictured far left) whipped up an egg white salad and brought it to the mountain. Since I’m not a fan of egg salad and a total creature of habit, I stuck to my multimeat thank you very much. But during lunch, the egg white salad looked so good I had to try a bite. IT WAS AMAZING. There are no yolks (I think that’s what I dislike about regular egg salad), the tiniest bit of mayo (feel free to adjust as you like), and lots of chopped raw baby spinach.

I made a batch last weekend and it’s safe to say I’m obsessed. It makes for such a light, yet filling protein-packed lunch. Robert even had some for breakfast one morning (it’s eggs after all). You can serve it any way you like: on whole wheat toast, pita, a bed of greens, or my favorite, alongside some Mary’s Gone Crackers. I can already tell this is something I’ll be making again and again. I hope you love it as much as we do. Thanks Barbara for introducing us to this awesome recipe!!

Skinny Egg White Salad

Skinny Egg White Salad

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 12 hardboiled eggs, shells and yolks removed, whites chopped
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3-4 handfuls raw baby spinach, chopped
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Preparation

In a bowl, combine chopped egg whites, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard. Mix to combine. Add chopped baby spinach. Season with salt and pepper and paprika. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Let’s be honest. If you live anywhere within the Polar Vortex it’s hibernation time. I’m pretty much in hibernation mode between now and March. At first I try to fight it–making plans and lists of fun things to do–but I’m throwing in the towel and just letting it happen this year. For me, hibernation means tons of time at home (many weekends included), fires in the fireplace, movies on TV, reading books, plenty of sleep, and a healthy dose of laziness.

It also means warm, comforting meals. That’s where the slow cooker really shines. If you ask me what’s the one must-have kitchen appliance it would, without a doubt, be a slow cooker. Seriously. If you’ve been on the fence about getting one, just do it. It’s worth every single penny and doesn’t even require that many pennies. You can score a great slow cooker on Amazon.

I adore chili and this is a super healthy version you can make that requires minimal prep time. The only thing you have to do is brown the ground turkey in a skillet. Conveniently, you can chop your veggies in the time it takes the meat to cook. Dump it all in the slow cooker and you’re good to go. I even snuck some spinach in there for an extra dose of greens in your day.

Stay warm out there!

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (keep the seeds if you like it spicy, discard if you don’t)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (I used an orange & yellow)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed*
  • 2 (15 oz) cans no salt added kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans no salt added tomato sauce
  • 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1.5 cups frozen yellow corn
  • 2-3 heaping handfuls baby spinach
  • Avocado for garnish (optional)

Preparation

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey to skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste, cook until it starts to brown. While turkey cooks, chop your veggies. To the slow cooker add jalapeno, onion, pepper, beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and red chili pepper flakes. Add turkey. Cook on low for 6 hours. Add corn and spinach. Cook on low until spinach wilts, about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve in bowls and top with chunks of avocado or any other desired toppings.

*Note: I’ve made this recipe using beans and tomatoes in BPA-free packaging (boxes and glass jars). Although the measurements of those packages differ slightly, I’ve tested the recipe both ways and it works so use whatever you have available.

Source: Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod 

 

5 Ways to Master Pinterest for Recipes

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Hello! Happy New Year! I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday. We sure did! Robert and I returned last night from a two week long whirlwind east coast trip. During that time we drove from Chicago to Pittsburgh, PA; Ocean City, MD; Dover, DE; New York City; Mount Snow, VT; Killington, VT; and on our drive back to Chicago we got stuck in Milan, OH for two days due to bad weather. We are thrilled to be home and settling back into a routine again. I’m especially excited to get into the kitchen and cook up lots of healthy, clean meals that I hope to share with you very soon.

During our many hours on the road I had plenty of time to think. One of the the things I kept coming back to is how much I love Pinterest. (Here are my boards.) I don’t think I’ve ever encountered such a useful tool when it comes to meal planning and cooking (I hinted at it in this post). However, I know not everyone feels this way. You may find Pinterest overwhelming or consider it a needless distraction. So that’s why I’m here to share with you my five tips for winning at Pinterest especially when it comes to planning meals. Over time and with trial and error here’s what I’ve found works best for me. I hope it helps you, too!

5 Ways to Master Pinterest for Recipes 

1. Only pin what you’ll eat. I realize this may seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing. We have a tendency to fantasize about our future selves. For instance, you may imagine that your future self loooves spaghetti squash so you pin dozens of recipes using that ingredient. In reality maybe it’s not your favorite. So when looking through your Pinterest boards you walk away uninspired because you’re not looking at foods you’ll actually make. Thus, only pin what you like. When possible, read recipes before pinning to ensure you like all of the ingredients (or can easily adjust them) and they fit with the time you’re willing to commit. If you don’t like to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen cooking dinner don’t pin recipes that take three hours to make. You could also create separate boards for weeknight meals (30 minutes or less) and weekend/dinner party meals (30+ minutes) if that works better for you.

2. Categorize your boards. Create separate boards for different types of meals rather than having one food board. This means different things to different people. Mine are divided by main ingredient/type (poultry, meat, fish, sweets, soup, slow cooker, salads, etc.) This makes complete sense to me, but another way of organizing may make more sense to you. Perhaps you’d prefer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or maybe you have a board for healthy meals and one for more indulgent recipes (hello, balance!) Or maybe the time suggestion in the tip above floats your boat. The point is to create a system where you can more easily find recipes that fulfill your needs. If I’m craving soup I know exactly where to look. If I’m trying to eat more fish I go straight to the fish board. The easier recipes are to find the more likely you are to make them.

3. Follow bloggers you love on Pinterest. This can work for any kind of blog, but let’s keep with the food theme here. If you like a certain food blogger you’ll probably like the stuff they’re pinning, too. Some of my favorite bloggers/pinners include Pinch of Yum, Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod, Ali from Gimme Some Oven, Gaby from What’s Gaby CookingBeverly from Bev CooksJoy from Joy the Baker, Lori from RecipeGirl, and many others. By the same token, the more people you follow on Pinterest (and like) the more awesome stuff you’ll be exposed to when you check Pinterest each day.

4. Pin stuff you find on your own. The tip above increases the items in your feed that you can repin, but to truly make Pinterest work for you it helps to pin items you find on your own. How do you do that? If you read a food blog and see a recipe you like, pin it. Pin recipes you see in magazines, too. Every month I receive Cooking LightFood & Wine, and Bon Appetit in addition to health magazines like Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Fitness, and others (hey, it’s my job!) Any time I find a recipe I like I pin it and then recycle the magazine (unless I have an article in there). You can also follow all of these magazines on Pinterest and Facebook for even more items to repin. The food magazines also link to great round-up posts if you “like” their Facebook page and can pin recipes from their site.

5. Pin individual recipes. Sometimes you’ll see a pin for “50 slow cooker recipes” or “100 one pot meals.” Don’t pin those. Instead, click through those lists and only pin the recipes you’d actually make—back to tip #1. It’s more time consuming, of course, but it’s so worth it. Making Pinterest work for you means being able to quickly find a recipe you want to cook. If you do the work ahead of time to identify those recipes you can ensure every item on your board is something you’ll love.

Well, there you have it! Do you have any other tips to add? If so, please share in the comments below! I still have more to learn when it comes to maximizing Pinterest. (I also want to figure out how to get a “pin it” button over my images…so far I haven’t had much luck…) I hope my tips help you so you can enjoy Pinterest as much as I do!