Kale & Basil Pesto with Orecchiette & Chicken

Some of the simplest dishes are simply the best! Pesto is one of my favorite things to eat when the weather is hot and humid. It’s light and requires no “cooking” itself. Although, the pasta and chicken does but not much!

What you’ll need:

  • 4-5 Leaves of Kale (flat or curly – your preference)
  • 1 bunch of fresh Basil
  • 3/4 lb of Orecchiette
  • 2 Chicken Breasts (or Tofu for a vegetarian option!)
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 1/3 oz of pine nuts
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half, optional
  • S & P

What to do:

  1. Bring water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Cook according to the directions.
  3. Separately, place the chicken in a pot, cover with water and boil until cooked through for about 10-15 minutes. (If you’re using tofu, prepare according to the directions and cut into small cubes. Sautée with a little olive oil and S & P. 
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Combine the kale, basil, 1/2 cup of cheese, pine nuts and oil in a food processor and put on high until it becomes a paste. (If you prefer a thinner sauce add more oil). 
  5. Drain the pasta and remove the chicken from heat. 
  6. Chop or shred the chicken. 
  7. In a large bowl, mix the pesto, chicken (or tofu) and pasta and until evenly combined. 
  8. Add S & P to taste. 
  9. Add in the tomatoes and top with the additional cheese on each plate. 

Feta and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Well, it’s been a while since my last post. I guess I’ve been busy!!  I’m really glad summer is here. There are so many healthy and yummy things to eat this season. Here is one of them, although, I make them year round 🙂 This is great for vegetarians and could even be converted to […]

Bread Pizza topped with Meatballs and Sausage

What do you do with day old Italian bread, left over sauce, sausage and meatballs?? Make a pizza out of it!! It’s so easy.   

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Italian bread, sliced lengthwise 
  • Olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • dried oregano
  • S & P
  • Homemade tomato sauce
  • Italian sausage, precooked (preferably in the sauce) and sliced thin
  • Meatballs, precooked (again in the sauce) and sliced
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded

  
 What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. spread olive oil over the bread along with garlic powder, oregano, S & P, and parm cheese. 
  3. Place on a sheet tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. 
  4. Remove and top with tomato sauce, sausage, and meatballs. Then top with more Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.  
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

I have to admit, I’m not ready to give up my family recipe for traditional Italian sauce (aka gravy). It is the first thing I learned to cook on my own and is close to my heart. So, I’ve found a great comp that you can use as a guide so that you can make your own! Click the link to find that along with a meatball recipe. You should know by now that I never buy pre-made 🤓

Enjoy!

Breakfast Soft Taco

I have to be honest, this was a throw together meal at the drop of a hat but it was awesome! Breakfast is so versatile and I wish I had more time to put into it some mornings. 

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 3 large eggs
  • cheddar or jack cheese, shredded (I used organic Monterey Jack)
  • Splash of milk
  • garlic powder
  • cumin
  • coriander, ground
  • S & P
  • butter
  • 4 taco shells

For topping:

  • salsa verde
  • avocado
  • scallions

Here’s what to do:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cheese, garlic powder, cumin, coriander and S & P. 
  2. lightly coat a small sautée pan with butter on medium heat. 
  3. add the egg mixture and stir continuously until eggs are cooked through completely.
  4. Heat the taco shells for 10 seconds in the microwave. 
  5. Add the eggs to the taco shells. 
  6. Top with the salsa, avocado and scallions. You can also use whatever other toppings you like to make it your own!

Makes 4 tacos

Enjoy!

  

    Spaghetti Squash “pasta” with sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms and spinach

    Spaghetti squash is one of the easiest vegetables to make. It’s also versatile and can be used as the star of the meal, as a side by itself or mixed into any kind of dish. This dish is simple and easy but does take a bit of time. Well worth it though!

    A tip if you want to do it this way, prep the squash ahead of time and store it in the fridge until your ready to make the dish.

    What you’ll need:

    • 1 spaghetti squash
    • 1 medium onion, sliced
    • 2 sweet bell peppers, sliced
    • mushrooms, chopped
    • fresh spinach, about 2 generous handfuls
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 lb ground sausage
    • 1 cup beef broth
    • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    • S & P
    • Olive oil
    • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
    • Green or yellow squash, optional

    What to do:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Season with salt and pepper and lightly brush it with olive oil.
    3. Roast the squash for 1 hour until soft.
    4. Take the squash out of the oven, shred it with a fork out of the shell and set aside. It should look like spaghetti.
    5. While the squash is in the oven, in a cast iron skillet (or your choice of sauté pan), brown the sausage and set aside.  
    6. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom and heat on medium.
    7. Add the onions and peppers and sauté for 5 minutes.  
    8. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté another 2-3 minutes.
    9. Add the broth and red wine vinegar and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  
    10. Add the squash and sausage and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    11. Add the spinach, stir to incorporate and simmer until spinach wilts.  
    12. Serve on a plate or a bowl topped with Parmesan cheese.

    Enjoy!!

    Lamb for Thanksgiving?

    Sure; why not? Now, I must say there is a turkey going along with this in my house. I have a great way to prepare a bone in leg of lamb that would be a great addition to your thanksgiving feast! You can roast it or smoke, you choose. 

    Smother it in harissa! Make your own right at home. It’s spicy, but delicious at that.  

    Start with the main ingredient, dried chilies. Use any kind you like. I got these ones from the owner of an authentic Mexican restaurant so they can really be any type. 

     
    What you’ll need:

    • 4 oz dried chilies
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • paprika
    • cumin
    • coriander
    • cardamom pods
    • sea salt
    • black pepper 
    • lemon curd
    • tomato paste or sauce
    • 2 Tbls olive oil

    These amounts are for about a 5 lb leg of lamb. 

    What to do:

    1. Soak the chilies in boiling water for 1/2 hour. Reserve the water for the sauce. Remove any stems and seeds. 
    2. Toast the herbs in a small pan over the stove
    3. Grind all the spices in a coffee or herb grinder. 
    4. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. 
    5. Add reserved water if necessary. It depends on the consistentcy you need. 

    In the food processor: 

     

      Healthy Breakfast Wrap

      Scrambled eggs, tomatoes, and green onions all wrapped in a large collard green leaf.  I love including veggies into my breakfast.     

         
      What you need:

      • 2 eggs
      • 1/4 fresh tomato, chopped
      • 1 green onion 
      • 1 collard green leaf
      • Milk
      • 1 tsp olive oil
      • 1/4 tsp salt

      What to do:

      1. Blanch the collard green in a large sautée pan with a bit of water and half of the salt
      2. Pat dry with paper towels
      3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk and the remaining salt 
      4. Heat oil in a small sautée pan
      5. Cook the tomatoes and onions until soft
      6. Add the eggs to the pan and stir frequently until fully cooked
      7. Put the eggs mixture on the collard green and roll it up. 

      Enjoy!

      Crockpot Beef Tacos for Toddlers (or Adults)

      I really think older babies (when ready for solid food) and toddlers should eat just like adults. My husband and I LOVED our beef tacos so why not share with Grady?!?!

      What you need to put in the crockpot:

      • 1 lb flank steak
      • 1 small jar salsa
      • 1/2 cup beef broth
      • 4 cloves garlic

      Toppings and shell:

      • Avocado
      • Greek Yogurt
      • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
      • Deathwish hot sauce (for the adults)
      • Whole wheat soft taco shells 

      What to do:

      1. Add the ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. 
      2. Shread the beef and cook another 1/2 hour – 1 hour. 
      3. Put it all on a shell with as much or as little of the toppings. I recommend that you drain some of the juice from the crockpot beforehand. 

      At the very end I wanted to make sure Grady had enough vegetables so I added some raw carrots. He loved it all!

      Enjoy!

          Vegan Wrap w/ Quinoa Bean Avocado & MORE!

          You want a vegan friendly, vegetarian and/or a plain healthy meal? Here it is! Recently, I’ve been making a lot of vegan food; I love it!!  This is so simple and with just 7 ingredients. 

          Here’s what you’ll need:

          • Whole wheat fajita size wraps
          • 1/2 cup Quinoa 
          • Avocado
          • Black Beans
          • Feta “cheese”
          • Swiss chard leaves (or your choice of greenery)
          • 1 cup Vegetable broth 

          What to do:

          1. Heat  small sauce pan on high adding the broth and bring to a boil. 
          2. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve, add to the boiling broth and reduce to medium low heat stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. 
          3. Remove the pan from heat and put the lid on until the rings appear. 
          4. Rinse the beans in a strainer. 
          5. Lay out the wrap, add all ingredients and wrap it up.      

          Enjoy!

            Vegan Tofu Breakfast Scramble | Start The Day Off Right

            This recipe is certainly a keeper. I will definitely be making this again. My husband even asked me to and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t typically like tofu. With tofu, it’s all about the spices and the amount of them you use. It’s also about the quality. I used Nasoya Extra Firm Tofu which is organic and non GMO. 

            Here’s what you’ll need:

            • 1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu
            • 3 large leaves Swiss chard
            • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
            • 1 red pepper, chopped
            • 1 can black beans
            • 1 tsp garlic powder
            • 1 tsp chili powder
            • 1 tsp turmeric
            • 1/2 tsp season all salt
            • 1/4 tsp black pepper
            • Cheddar “cheese”, shredded 
            • 1 tsp olive oil

            Optional (shown in my pic):

            • Avocado
            • Blackberries
            • Sprouted Grain Bread

            What to do:

            1. Heat a large sauté pan on medium and add the olive oil. 
            2. Add the mushrooms, pepper and Swiss chard and sauté about five minutes starring every minute.  
            3. While you wait, remove the liquid from the tofu. Place 2 paper towels under and 2 above and press lightly. Repeat as necessary. You’ll need several paper towels to absorb it all. 
            4. Mix the spices in a bowl.    
            5. Add the beans to the sauté pan and the whole block of tofu in the middle. 
            6. Break the tofu into small pieces while mixing everything together.  
            7. Add the spices and mix. Sauté another 5 minutes. 
            8. Add the “cheese” on top and melt. (Check out Daiya)  

            Enjoy!