Healthy Lemon Almond Chicken Salad

So, I had this post all written and ready to publish, then it mysteriously disappeared. Like, hit save and *poof*—everything was gone. So you’ll have to take my word that it was probably the most interesting, witty piece of food writing known to man.

Healthy Lemon Almond Chicken Salad

Or probably not. Guys, my brain is totally fried. Looooong hours, too much on my plate, getting ready for travel, not sleeping well. I know from experience that the way I’m living right now is a no-fail recipe for gaining weight (I have last fall to prove it). I’ve had absolutely no time or energy to cook, but I knew that if I didn’t make something I’d end up having a Farm Burger #4 chicken burger every day for lunch. Which…hello, 15 pounds.

Healthy Lemon Almond Chicken Salad done

So this caught my eye a few weeks ago. I’m a sucker for chicken salad. All of it. All the kinds. But I tend to be lazy about making it, because it takes a number of ingredients and then I eat it so fast. Plus, it’s not always the healthiest.

lemon almond chicken salad green onions lemon

lemon almond chicken salad lemon zest

The ingredients for this chicken salad were super simple. And more importantly, healthy. I didn’t even cook my own chicken breasts. Just saute up cooked chicken with some spices, zest the lemon, slice the scallions, and you’re rockin’ and rollin’. It’s light and fresh and perfect for August in Georgia (and a healthy work lunch). [Read more…]

Dutch Baby (or German Pancake)

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted last! Things have been nuts with work, and some travel as well. While I haven’t cooked much, I actually have a backlog of recipes that I just haven’t been able to find the time to put together and post.

Dutch Baby

July has been a whirlwind. My mom came for a visit, which was great. We cooked an awesome dinner one night, but I also talked her into getting burgers, Thai, and Chinese takeout. Which was bomb. Then last week I was up in New York for work, then spent a long weekend in L.A. with a bestie hiking the Hollywood Hills and drinking copious quantities of wine. On top of insane work hours, what few minutes of free time I can squeeze out are taken up by the last stages of planning for our Scotland trip right now (!!).

Dutch Baby Pancake

But I realized last night that I’d never posted this dutch baby recipe, which is practically criminal. These things are awesome. These aren’t something I grew up with, but it was the recipe for apple pie german pancakes that gave me the idea. I had some leftover batter, and so I looked up what to do with it. I effectively made one of these, and have been hooked ever since. They’re easy, fast, incredibly versatile, and delish! [Read more…]

Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

These pancakes look like Cookie Monster.

Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

Once you see it, you can’t un-see it….

strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes strawberries closeup

Last weekend after my insane 4th of July (which involved accidentally hiking over 15 miles and burning a billion calories), I woke up the next morning feeling like an 80-year-old, kind of fell/rolled out of bed, and got my coffee made like usual. But as I sat on the couch my stomach demanded something more. After poking through Pinterest for a hot second, I had talked myself into this glorious breakfast.

Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes single

By all rights, I shouldn’t like these pancakes, because I have this weird hangup about hot and fruit. Fruit shouldn’t be hot. I take fruit crisp out of the oven and put it right in the freezer. Hot fruit is weird. But these were amazing. Fresh, summery strawberries in a golden crispy pancake, drenched in maple syrup. Practically perfect in every way. [Read more…]

Balsamic & Honey Grilled Chicken

You just can’t go wrong with a well-grilled marinated chicken breast. It is endlessly versatile—eat it fresh off the grill, re-heat with some veggies, throw it in a stir fry, make chicken salad.

Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken

This marinade is one of perfect simplicity…the balsamic vinegar helps slightly break down the meat, allowing the spices and garlic to really soak in, and the honey to make it super moist. But none of it overwhelms.

Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken cut

These suckers are so juicy and flavorful, but can go with just about anything! [Read more…]

Fried Squash Blossoms

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of this one.

Fried Squash Blossoms

These little babies feel so fancy and seemed like they would be a ton of work. Surprisingly, though, they were really simple to throw together and were WELL worth the effort.

Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Fried squash blossoms and stuffed squash blossoms are one of my favorite Italian dishes—any time I see them on a restaurant menu, I have to order them. And unless you have a garden overflowing with squash and zucchini (I don’t), they’re nearly impossible to get your hands on fresh.

fried squash blossom fresh blossoms

So when I saw them at the farmer’s market last weekend, I pounced. I didn’t know how to prepare them or what I was doing, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to have my very own fancy blossoms. When I got home I looked a few recipes up on Pinterest to get a feel for ingredients, proportions, and how to prep them. The prepping part is easy, just a little exacting—you have to gently separate the flower petals and reach in to pull off the stamen. It’s not hard, but my chunky fingers kept tearing the delicate buds.

fried squash blossom fresh blossoms closeup

I went back and forth on whether to stuff them or not, and decided to split the difference. I had some leftover honey goat cheese, so I softened that, chiffonaded some fresh basil, and stirred that together with a splash of lemon juice and some sea salt. The stuffed ones were out of this world…a solid 10 on the flavor-meter. My only complaint on this recipe is that there was a lot of waste for one person (I stuffed myself, but could only eat so many and they’re not good leftover), so next time I make these will definitely be for a group! [Read more…]

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Peach season!!!!

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I feel like that should have been all-caps. Because, not only is it peach season, but my VERY. FIRST. PEACH. was perfectly ripe. That has never happened in the history of ever. Farmers market FTW!

fresh peach coconut milk ice cream peaches

When I snagged these beauties last weekend and they were perfectly ripe and criminally juicy, I knew I had to do something amazing with them immediately. And it was balls-hot (the hyphen is important for adhering to AP style…) so ice cream was the logical conclusion.

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream closeup

This is my no-fail coconut milk ice cream. I’ve made it in many different flavors, including my absolute favorite in the world, peanut butter and honey with sea salt, as well as a slight variation of peanut butter and strawberry jam. It’s easy, adaptable, healthy, only as sweet as you want it to be, and naturally dairy-free. And did I mention easy? As long as you have a little frozen yogurt maker you’re golden. Otherwise I’d try stirring it every so often in the freezer and you’ll probably still get good results. [Read more…]

Whole-Grain Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Yeah, I went on something of a muffin-baking bender a couple months back. In a couple of weeks I made these double chocolate banana muffins and these healthy apple muffins with cinnamon-sugar topping, and somehow these guys fell off the radar.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Yeah, you’ll notice that there are two whole wheat, apple-y, cinnamon-y muffin recipes.

Funny story…

caramel glazed apple bread apples sliced

I made the first recipe for work, the one with the crunchy topping. It got rave reviews, but the pictures I took were terrible so I knew I’d need to make it again to get better shots.

So I pulled the ingredients together, started stirring everything together, and was like, “Wow, I must have been really out it when I made this the first time, because I don’t remember some of these steps!”.  Then I got the batter together and started to spoon it into the muffin tins, and was worried about how much more liquidy it was than the last time I made it.

Some of you can see where this is going…

healthy apple cinnamon streusel muffins batter tins 2

Yeah, not the same recipe.

So this is the second recipe, the one I made on accident. I loved the streusel topping, and the muffins were SO moist. Definitely recommend this one! [Read more…]

Nacho Chicken

My co-workers are probably sick of hearing the word “nachos”. Don’t ask me why, but I’ve been weirdly obsessed with eating them non-stop for going on two months now.

Chicken Nachos

I always make my family’s meat and beans recipe. I could eat it morning, noon, and night. And have done so. Don’t judge.

Chicken Nachos Bite

But I’ve never made chicken nachos before. I’ve only ever had them once or twice at a restaurant, but I was still craving nachos one Sunday and decided I needed to try something new.

Chicken Nachos closeup

I looked up a bunch of nacho chicken recipes, but kept coming back to the Pioneer Woman’s, so that’s what I decided to try. It also was fairly simple compared to the others, fewer steps and less time overall.

chicken nachos tomato avocado

One of the great things about nachos is that the toppings options are basically unlimited. Generally I go pretty plain—meat, beans, and cheese—but these called for some extra awesomeness. [Read more…]

Healthy Apple Muffins with Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

Crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping.

Crunchy. Cinnamon. Sugar. Topping.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Basically, that’s all you need to know about this recipe. But I guess I could mention the fact that they’re mostly whole wheat, low in sugar, and full of wholesome fruit. I mean, if that kind of thing’s important to you.

healthy apple cinnamon muffins apples whole

When you make this, the batter will worry you because it is crazy thick. Like, bread dough thick. You won’t pour or spoon it into the muffin tins, you’ll kind of awkwardly drop it in there and kind of smoosh it. Don’t try to smash it into the muffin cups, just kind of drop it and it will expand as it bakes to fill in the gaps. And despite the thickness of the batter and the density of the baked muffins, they’re super moist! [Read more…]

Risotto Primavera

This recipe is the perfect blend of hearty winter fare and bright spring veggies…

Risotto Primavera

It’s kind of weird that I’ve never made a risotto primavera, given my love of risotto. But when I was home for Passover this year, we were trying to come up with a delicious side dish and my mom mentioned risotto. We thought about all the veggies we had, and all the fresh herbs, and I decided that it was the perfect idea.

kansas lilacs

I’ve said this a million times, but people always think risotto is so difficult. But it’s not! It just needs a little TLC…you can’t rush it, but 90% of risotto is in gently stirring. You get too rough with it, try to turn the heat way up to rush it, and that’s when things go south.

Plan for an hour. But it’s an hour of stirring, drinking wine, talking to guests—it’s the perfect dinner party dish. [Read more…]

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