I realize that “yogurt & pea pasta with feta, basil, & chile pine nuts” doesn’t exactly *sound* easy. But I promise it is. This slightly adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s pea pasta is a super simple meal with fascinating, complex flavors, all in under 30 minutes.
I’ve made a few slight changes to the recipe, mostly to simplify steps (and number of bowls/pots), ensure it’s seasoned properly (it definitely needed more salt), and adjusting a few of the ingredient amounts.
Below I’ve also included both a “full” recipe (in the recipe card) and a smaller version that’s roughly 2/3 to 3/4 of the original, adapted for 2 to 4 people—or one person plus a few meals of leftovers.
This might be a controversial take, but I actually loved this the MOST cold straight out of the fridge…or maybe zapped for 20 seconds in the microwave but still basically cold. It makes totally bomb leftovers.
That picture might be true perfection. Golden grilled sourdough bread, creamy whipped ricotta, tart berries, and a drizzle of honey?? Sign me up!
Given that I’ve been almost entirely avoiding bread for the better part of nine months for some health reasons (issues with processing carbs) and the fact that I’m not really a bread person to begin with, I’m honestly not sure why this idea took hold in my brain so much.
But I started seeing different versions of ricotta toast, avocado toast, crostini, and more all over food blogs I follow and I was just like…YESSSSS. So my sister snagged me a loaf of quite good, thinly-sliced sourdough bread from the store and I played around with it.
So what I’m bringing you here today is less true recipe and more technique + toppings. It’s so versatile, and can be customized to your whims…what’s in season, sweet or savory, what happens to be in your fridge at this very moment…you get the picture.
This pesto goat cheese pasta is, to me, a perfect encapsulation of late summer. Packed full of zucchini and fresh basil, it’s trying its darnedest to use up summer’s bounty of produce while it’s still there.
It combines two of my favorite things (fresh basil pesto and tangy goat cheese) into a super light, refreshing sauce. I added zucchini because I love the flavor and texture, and we’re in the peak of zucchini season.
I threw in the shredded brussels sprouts mostly because they were sitting in my fridge close to going squishy, and I wanted some added “health”.
I used my one true love, Giovanna’s easy homemade pesto, as the base for the sauce, though I did leave out the parmesan since it didn’t seem necessary.
It was as simple as blending the ingredients together and then adding the goat cheese while the pasta and vegetables cooked.
Ohhhhh man. I’ve always been a huge Mongolian beef fan when I get Chinese takeout, but I’d never really given any thought to Mongolian chicken.
But the other night I was really missing my amazing Chinese place back in Atlanta. I was trying to find something delicious and indulgent but easy, and remembered how much I loved my easy 30-minute Mongolian beef.
Problem was…I didn’t have any flank steak or similar. I *did* have chicken thighs though, which honestly were getting close to their use-by date, so I decided to give that a try.
AND IT WAS SO GOOD!!! I could truly have eaten the entire dish in one sitting. I did make a big side of my honey-balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, so I wasn’t *entirely* being naughty.
I kept it simple and roasted some thin red peppers to go along with it, but you could do broccoli or anything else you prefer.
Want to know a secret?? I realize the instant pot is the darling of cooks everywhere. But I’ve struggled to make recipes that I love with it, for the most part. Heresy, I know. However, this easy and delicious instant pot honey garlic chicken is finally a breakthrough!
One of my biggest issues with the Instant Pot (and honestly with crockpots as well) is that sauces tend to be water-ier and everything seems to be soggier than I’d want. Flavors aren’t as punchy or bright. Mostly I’m sad.
And while this sauce definitely isn’t as thick and indulgent as my easy sesame chicken is (or anything like that stovetop-based), the hands-off aspect here and the fast “time to table” makes this a winner. And the flavors are rich and complex. That’s a winner in my book!
These healthy breakfast tacos have been giving me *life* the past several days!
I’ve been on a bit of a “detox” the last couple weeks, nothing super extreme but the kind where you tell yourself you need to LOCK. IT. UP. I’ve been focused on eating simple, unprocessed foods as much as possible, lots of fruit and veg, largely staying away from alcohol…you know the drill.
And these easy breakfast tacos have been playing a big role in enabling my “being good”. I can be on a conference call, taking notes and speaking up, and still whip these babies up in 5 minutes. They’re a great fast lunch when on the go.
I also love how simple they are, yet how satisfying they are…I don’t feel cheated in any way, and I’m full for hours.
They’re also really versatile, so you can get as creative as you’d like with extra toppings or seasonings. Even calling this a “recipe” feels like it’s overstating things a bit—they’re that easy.
If you’re timing this, here goes…READ THE POST
Some of the best recipes result from trying to use up an ingredient, and that’s definitely the story of this AMAZING salmon and potato hash.
I’d bought a couple giant salmon filets, but the week kind of got away from me and they were smelling stroooong. I was trying to figure out what to do, since throwing $20 worth of salmon away did not appeal. But just eating the filet itself kind of freaked me out. So I decided to just bake it up and figure it out later.
Then I got a brainwave about a salmon and potato hash, since I also had a bunch of red potatoes to use up. After looking up a bunch of recipes nothing struck my fancy, so I just made it up.
And this has become a new fave, a hearty and healthy lunch option that makes great leftovers and is the perfect way to use up leftover salmon.
The recipe is super flexible, so you can add other veggies or adjust the seasonings based on your mood. Just don’t add anything too wet (like fresh zucchini or squash)…it’s meant to be dry and get kind of caramelized.
You’ll actually notice through this recipe that I alternate between two sets of photos. I’ve made this a few times, and once I added in some roasted butternut squash that was just sitting around. Don’t let it confuse you!
How have I not tried this recipe before?! An easy sesame chicken recipe should be my catnip.
This is one of those things that has sat on my Pinterest board for a couple years now, and every week I look at it and then pass it over for something else. Why? I have no idea.
Sesame chicken is my jam when I get Chinese food. But over the winter break I decided to give it a try since it looked simple and I was already making a dessert as well. And I’m so glad I did—this recipe is simple, delicious, and mostly healthy. You can add whatever veggies you want and it can be ready in the time it takes to cook your rice.
The one major change I’ve made is to double the sauce recipe…I like my sesame chicken SAUCY. But I’ve kept the original amounts in the recipe below, and then I just always double it.
It’s been a bit since I found a main dish recipe I really loved. I’ve had a few “okay” ones, but this…now THIS is worth sharing with you. It’s only recently I’ve started playing around with ground turkey (i’m a hamburger girl), and wouldn’t have thought to put it in a curry. But this easy Thai ground turkey curry is so lovely and comforting that I’m a convert.
This recipe really is quite versatile. I added zucchini as I like the green color it adds, and also as a way to cram some more veggies in. The first time I made this I also substituted sweet potatoes for the carrots (very thinly sliced, like matchsticks), and both were delicious.
What DOES matter is using really good quality coconut milk if at all possible. I’ve linked to one that I am currently using that I buy on Amazon, but try and find one without BPA-lined cans, guar gum and similar stabilizers, and with the highest fat content possible (don’t go “light”!). I think Trader Joe’s organic canned coconut milk is great as well.
This is so easy and adaptable that I’ve made it a few times in the past few weeks, trying to make sure I had it right. I made it in both a very large skillet and a stockpot (and both worked fine) so you may see both make an appearance in the photos below.READ THE POST
I was getting ready to start my grill the other night, when all of the sudden I realized I needed a break from it. I’d grilled chicken and veggies almost every night for over a year and a half (and loved it), but it was time to switch things up. But since it was already dinner time, I had to find something fast, easy, and that didn’t require special ingredients. Oh, and healthy. And yet magically this delightful maple-glazed chicken with a nice spiced sweet potato hash totally fit the bill!
I ended up modifying the original recipe a little, specifically in how I cooked the chicken since I had tiny tenders vs. full chicken breasts. What I discovered is that the recipe is simple and flexible, so you can figure out the right proportion of stove vs. oven each time you make it. The sweet-and-savory combo was a total winner!
READ THE POST
Sometimes a self-directed health guilt trip and a slapdash new recipe can actually work out for once. My track record lately on poorly-thought-out and super rushed recipe trials has been…not great. Due to tons of travel lately (and not a little bit of stress and convenience-based choices), I’m feeling less than spry and as soon as I got back from a week at the wineries of Sonoma I really felt the need to LOCK IT DOWN.
I really needed to actually eat a decent healthy lunch last week, and this thai chicken with cauliflower rice happened to catch my eye. I actually threw it together in just a few minutes *while* making my dinner for that night, and to my surprise it was totally awesome! Easy, delicious, and fast.
And best of all, it made amazeball leftovers. Like, leftovers I actually looked forward to warming up at work. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, both playing with the ingredients in the sauce slightly as well as combining a few steps to make it even easier.
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a simple healthy dinner recipe…probably because it’s been a while since I’ve *made* one that doesn’t require just throwing chicken and veggies on the grill. But this yummy and super easy farro salad is such a perfect way to transition from winter’s cozy comfort food to lighter summer fare that I had to share.
This is another Smitten Kitchen gem that I’ve adapted in several different iterations depending on what I have in the fridge (like that delish goat cheese with thyme and apricots you can kind of see in the pic below). This is the simplest version, but feel free to add to or switch up ingredients. The best part of this dish is the combination of different textures and flavors—creamy, chewy, salty, crunchy, sweet. So as you swap things in and out, try and maintain those elements for maximum awesomeness. You can also try it with different grains (barley is a particular favorite of mine).
I’ve been accidentally keeping this recipe a secret the last couple months. I know, I’m sorry…that’s not what friends do.
It wasn’t not on purpose. It’s just that life’s been so crazy, and this chicken has been one of the things getting me through. As the weather has gotten too cold for my normal nightly grilling, I had to try and find something else super easy but still healthy to have regularly. And once I tried this once, I was totally hooked.
This apricot balsamic chicken recipe comes courtesy of Joy the Baker (link at the end of this post), and it’s so simple but feels kind of fancy. The original recipe calls for chicken thighs, and it probably is best because thighs stay more moist and bring more flavor.
But I use chicken breasts sometimes, just because I struggle with the texture of thigh meat and don’t typically have it on hand. Chicken breasts work just fine, and my biggest tip is to make sure they’re sliced or pounded thin and even, so they cook quickly without drying out (also, try brining them first). I also swapped out the thyme the original recipe calls for and added rosemary instead, which I think gives it a punchier flavor.
This is the kind of recipe you can actually whip up on a weeknight after a frantic day of work in less than 30 minutes, then sit down with a glass of wine and take a deep breath.
You know you know what I’m talking about.
Somehow I totally forgot about this recipe. Which is bananas, because for a number of years I probably made this pasta with spinach, tomatoes, and feta…once a week???
I started making it in college, and pretty soon it was my go-to. I made it at least once a week while I was doing my internship, and later once I moved to Atlanta. Sometimes multiple times a week.
It was easy and cheap, came together in the time it took the pasta to cook, and felt kind of fancy. Before I started this blog I basically had a 3-recipe rotation…
[Editor’s note: photos updated in July 2021]
Then somehow I totally forgot about it once I started trying out lots of recipes for this site.
But when I was at the grocery store last weekend trying to figure out what to do for dinner (since my Kroger was totally out of avocados, which I’d kind of needed), I saw some beautiful heirloom tomatoes and this recipe popped into my mind.
It’s very forgiving, the veggie amounts aren’t super exact and neither is the feta amount. I recommend this for a night where you just need something on the table fast, and want fresh, healthy ingredients.
What’s a more patriotic way to celebrate Independence Day than Americanized Chinese food? This super easy Mongolian beef is one of my new favorites and was what I was craving this year along with my fireworks.
It’s funny, I looked through all the recent recipes I’ve made but not posted yet, and there’s not a single one I’d classify as American.
Apparently I’ve been on an Asian kick, though. And this one’s a doozy—the most delicious, successful Asian recipe I’ve made since this super easy sesame chicken.
The sauce is obviously the hero of this recipe—you could switch the beef out for chicken and maybe wouldn’t even notice (update: I did and it’s amazing!). It’s a little sweet and salty and garlicky and super tangy. It’s got bite.
I honestly don’t know that I’d classify it as a traditional Mongolian beef sauce, which I think of as a little more mellow. But no matter what you call it, it’s awesome. And as a bonus, this recipe creates a lot of sauce to soak into the rice, which is one of my non-negotiables where Chinese food is concerned.
Simplicity, man. As I mentioned last week, I just wanted the easiest dinner possible. Something healthy, but something that didn’t require a million steps or ingredients.
Also, I’ve been on a weird ricotta kick. Like, eat it straight out of the carton with a spoon, maybe with a drizzle of honey. It’s getting weird. I used to hate ricotta and now look at me.
So I made some delicious marinated grilled (well, sauteed) chicken, and this delightful frittata.
Frittatas are such a great go-to meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They’re full of veggies and protein, easy, and make awesome leftovers. Basically, they’re perfect.READ THE POST
The CSA box I got a couple weeks ago was—much like the rest of us here in Georgia—stuck between summer and winter.
There were some delightful strawberries and spring-y butter lettuce, but a couple of sweet potatoes as well. I don’t give sweet potatoes much thought, generally, but the timing seemed perfect since I’d just pinned this sweet potato pasta sauce recipe.
I’ve been really trying to focus on cooking and eating healthy when I’m at home (minus a few Chinese food-palooza Saturday nights), particularly since I’ve had a rash of delicious but indulgent lunches and dinners for work.
This recipe seemed to balance my need for comfort food that especially-chilly day, but the presence of whole wheat pasta and adding creamy sweet potato to the sauce upped the healthy quotient.
Also, shallots, amirite?! These little guys pack so much flavor punch!! And the crispy sesame kale really takes this dish to the next level.
The sauce also has deeeelicious sautéed garlic and shallots to make a super flavorful base. I had a little trouble with the crispy kale (left it in the oven too long…yikes!) but overall this was simple and awesome and totally satisfying.
Blah blah blah resolutions blah. Seems like that’s all anyone talks about this time of year. But the fact of the matter is, there’s nothing magical about January in terms of getting healthy.
In fact, it’s harder to make a drastic change mid-winter (when, let’s face it, your body is craving sleep and warm comfort food) than to make gradual changes over time that you can actually sustain.
For me, the two major things are exercising almost every day and eating healthy at home since my job often entails lots of eating out, drinking, and treats.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I’m not going to stick with a diet that I don’t enjoy. That’s why one of my big focuses in the past year has been finding super healthy recipes that I absolutely love.
Make a list of the most healthy foods and ingredients you should be eating—superfoods, whole grains, spices, etc.—and then see how you can work them into recipes. Everyone’s list is going to be different. For me, I haven’t found anything involving lentils that I enjoy, and brown rice is dry and bland when eaten as leftovers.
But conversely I’ve found a lot of quinoa and barley recipes that I like and are great to take to work the next day. I love kale, brussels sprouts, all squashes, okra, and spinach, but there is no recipe or list of healthy benefits that can convince me to eat cucumbers, green peppers, or fresh ginger.
Once you find ingredients you enjoy, hunt up all sorts of different recipes using them. That’s where this recipe comes in. I’ve found that quinoa salads like this one and my sweet & savory chicken quinoa and quinoa & kale salad with feta & pecans are easy, healthy, filling, and affordable. And that’s quite the combination.READ THE POST
Mercy! It’s been over a month since I posted a real, honest-to-goodness main dish recipe here. I’ve had sweets and breads and pancakes, but nothing that’ll really stick to your bones.
I feel like I’ve been saying it all year, but it’s been utter madness lately. Work’s crazy, some travel, add in Thanksgiving, all the extra food and drinks around the holidays, and trying to finish everything up for the year.
That means I’ve been keeping long hours and not eating remotely normally. Pretty much no fruits and veggies, and I don’t remember the last time I cooked a real meal. But last weekend it was so cold and dreary and I really wanted to get back to real life.
I wanted comfort food, but healthy, and this baked pasta with broccolini, kale, and chicken sausage fit the bill. It’s got greens and crunch, tossed with golden sausage and firm pasta, all in the warm hug of creamy, garlicky béchamel and dots of gooey fresh mozzarella.
Basically, it’s perfect.
And fairly simple, all things considered. I was able to saute up the sausage and kale while the water boiled, then get everything else ready while the pasta and broccolini cooked, then stir everything together and pour it into the pan.
Twenty minutes later, I had a big, golden, slightly crunchy masterpiece on my hands.
The original recipe from Smitten Kitchen calls for broccoli rabe, which I couldn’t locate at my grocery store. I used broccolini instead (which isn’t quite the same, but can do in a pinch) and added some sautéed kale for some extra health and texture. Everything else was just right!READ THE POST
I’m having trouble accepting that my grilling season is almost over.
Yes, I realize that the weather in Atlanta will permit grilling pretty much year-round, but it is harder to heat up when it’s cold. So I’m trying to squeeze all the grilling in that I can, and I’m on a super salmon kick.
I was so excited when my first salmon grilling (maple citrus grilled salmon) went so well, that I felt brave trying it again. This sesame-soy salmon was just as easy, but more of a savory (I always want to spell it savoury, like the Brits) spin.READ THE POST
I’ll preface this one by admitting that it’s a tad rich for my blood. Which probably puts it right in most people’s wheelhouse since I have a low tolerance for that kind of thing. But the pasta combination of flavorful rotisserie chicken, garlicky spinach, and creamy goat cheese really packs a wallop.
This is another of my infamous “kitchen sink” pastas, which have a pretty doggone good track record over the years. There seem to be some really odd but delicious combinations of random pasta-friendly ingredients sitting around my house when I’m hungry.
This one, while not my favorite ever, was warm and comforting—it would have been a great winter dish. And for someone with a taste for these things, a dash of spice (like red pepper flakes or something along those lines) would add an interesting bite to the creamy richness.READ THE POST
I’ll be honest. I was really scared to try grilling fish. But my inaugural foray with this maple citrus grilled salmon was SO GOOD.
See, I luuurrrrve fish. Particularly more “fishy” fish (as my co-worker Lucy would say) like salmon. But dry fish? Blech. I want moist, flaky fish. I’ve tried making salmon in the oven in the past but haven’t had a ton of success getting it to the right consistency. But this grilled salmon was a REVELATION.
My mom and I made this a couple days after my surgery, so simplicity was key. I was mostly useless, and cooking in someone else’s kitchen is always hard so we wanted to keep it easy on her. I found this delicious-sounding marinade/glaze on Pinterest and, since I had all the ingredients on-hand, decided it was the perfect thing to try.
We were both so shocked by how good it was, how perfect the consistency was, and just how easy the recipe was. I was really sad that we only had two tiny fillets, because I would have DESTROYED, like, an entire salmon if it’d been available. Mmmmm, salmon.READ THE POST
I’ve got another “kitchen sink” pasta coming your way, and BOY is this one a goodie!
It was borne of necessity, and in the weirdest way imaginable. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I had surgery towards the end of July, and it actually happened quite fast. Typically it takes about 6-8 weeks to get a spot on the surgery list, but they had a cancellation two weeks out that I was able to grab.
But that meant I had to get a million things done in a really short amount of time—calling insurance companies, booking hotels (the surgery was out of state), figuring out what equipment I’d need for recovery, etc.
I also had to get into my regular doctor for a pre-surgery check-up. I got in, they did some bloodwork and such, and then the next day got a call that my blood clotting was the teensiest, tiniest bit below normal. Not a surprise to me, I bleed like a stuck pig, but she wanted to re-do the bloodwork after the weekend and if it wasn’t normal possibly have me see a hematologist.
So naturally, I’m freaking out, because I don’t have time for complications, and I really needed the surgery to go on as scheduled.
What does that have to do with pasta, you ask? Well, as I said, I was freaking out a little (okay, a fair amount), so I did a bunch of research on foods that help your blood clot, and foods that prevent blood clots.
Unfortunately, I learned that ALL THE GOOD FOODS keep your blood from clotting—wine, coffee, balsamic vinegar, soy, strawberries, tomatoes, basically every spice. And only a few thicken the blood. I avoided coffee and wine (yes, it was a sad weekend) and wracked my brain for what I could make for dinner Sunday night before the bloodwork Monday morning.
Veggies high in vitamin K were the first place to start, like kale, brussels sprouts, and okra, so I totally loaded up on those. I put kale and zucchini in the pasta, roasted some okra, and also had steak, goat cheese, and anything else I could find that was higher in saturated fat. I did go ahead and throw some tomatoes into the pasta, but largely avoided them when I ate it that night, just in case.
The good news is that it worked—my blood clotting came out in the normal range and the surgery went on as scheduled. It was a weekend full of worrying, but at least I was able to find a solution. And I got a delicious, super easy pasta recipe out of the bargain. So without further ado…READ THE POST
I’ve finally found a way I like to consume chardonnay!
It’s no major secret that I love wine, and there are certainly ones I love more than others. But for some reason I can NOT find a chardonnay that I like. I’ve tried a bunch, and I just don’t like them. I call it chardon-NO. My mom’s not the biggest fan either, and she’d tried a bottle I had in my fridge but didn’t like it, then had the brilliant idea to use it as a marinade instead.
We threw this recipe together a couple days after my surgery, so simple was the key word. It was actually meant to be grilled, but all the recent rain had tripped some kind of ground wire and my outdoor outlet didn’t work, so we cooked it on the stove instead. Always have a backup plan.
What was surprising was how unique the flavors were! I mean, barbecue is always good, and Sweet Baby Ray’s is the best. But you could really taste the chardonnay in there, and it added a really special flavor to the barbecue sauce—sweet without being cloying, and with that oaky depth (almost a little bite) that I don’t like in wine but somehow I really loved in chicken. Plus the sage fried up into little awesome crispy bits.READ THE POST
So I got a real treat this year for Father’s Day—I actually got my dad! It was a last-minute decision, but we got my dad a ticket down to Atlanta a few days before and so we got to spend a long weekend together.
It seemed the travel gods were displeased with us, though, because his flight was super delayed (then cancelled, then he was put on another flight and arrived around 1:00 a.m.) on his way into the ATL, and then his flight leaving was also super delayed. Needless to say, we were tired!
He came down to help me do handyman jobs on my new place, hanging pictures and the like. While we got some down time, we also were super busy and worked hard, so my papa deserved a GOOD meal on Father’s Day!
I had bookmarked this chicken avocado enchiladas recipe a while back, and while it’s not totally in my wheelhouse, it’s definitely in my dad’s.
We attacked it like starving hyenas, totally stuffing ourselves, then finished off our evening with creamy, refreshing lemon cornstarch pudding and some wine. All-in-all, a successful Father’s Day!READ THE POST
You know those days when you just don’t feel like cooking, or going through a million steps to get a meal on the table? A.k.a. every day? Or it’s just too hot to cook things for too long? That’s where this recipe comes in—a simple pasta with no-cook sauce.
You have the amazing summer flavors of fresh tomatoes and basil, the bite of the garlic, and that’s about it. Simple, basic. And super delish.
Add in a tiny bit of cheese and some hot pasta, and you have a winner, and all in the time it takes to boil the pasta.
I make up a LOT of pasta dishes. Like…a lot. But it’s only once in a blue moon I create one that becomes a life staple. This recipe is one of the all-timers, a hearty and indulgent pasta with roasted peppers and red onion, crisp chicken sausage, and a creamy goat cheese sauce. It’s my dreams in pasta form.
Specifically, I recommend sticking with yellow and orange bell (or sweet) peppers for this, because they have a mildness to them that really complements the tangy goat cheese. And similarly, the bite of red onion is definitely a winner over yellow or white. Then give them that delicious caramelization from roasting, and it’s sublime.
I’m really on a roll with these easy chicken recipes. Chicken has been kind of a “meh” option for me, I think maybe I ate too much in college or something and just got tired of it.
Also I get freaked out worrying about whether it’s fully cooked or not. But I’ve had a string of awesome, flavorful, juicy, easy chicken recipes lately, courtesy of our good friend Pinterest.
My family and I tried out this recipe while they were visiting a few weeks ago. We wanted something simple and fairly fast, since we were starving. Also, we were really intrigued by the combination of honey, goat cheese, and butter cracker flavors (spoiler alert—they were awesome!), but we were also surprised by how great the kick of the red pepper was. It was exactly the touch that was needed.READ THE POST
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Jessica, it’s the middle of winter, we just got hit by a cold spell/blizzard/snowpocalypse and you want me to eat healthy quinoa instead of the comfort food I was craving??? Girl, you are nuts.”
I get that. It’s cold and I want a blue cheese burger, fries, and a few glasses of wine. But in a weird way I’ve also been craving something healthier, to get a tiny bit of that summer feeling. And this citrus chicken quinoa dish is also incredibly hearty and filling.
The flavors are so light and summery, a bright spot in the chilly, rainy winter we’re having. This recipe was also very easy to throw together, and great as leftovers as well. I used a mixture of both red and white quinoa since I had them both on-hand, but you could use either separately as well.
READ THE POST
I am not a mustard person, which is why I had pinned this recipe quite some time ago but have been finding reasons to put off trying it. But I had company coming over and needed a quick, easy dinner I could throw together. And thus, I decided to tackle the ever-present “man-pleasing chicken” recipe from Pinterest.
I was really worried that the three main ingredients—dijon mustard, maple syrup, and a sweeter vinegar—would just make this way too intense, all the flavors fighting each other. But I was pleasantly surprised by how the flavors actually kind of balanced each other out, making the end result sweet, tangy, and with just enough bite to keep your interested.
The other nice flavor component was the rosemary. If you don’t have it the recipe is still great, but the fresh rosemary just adds another great layer of flavor with the mustard-maple sauce.
[June 2019: This is one of my most popular recipes, so I’ve updated the images to be better…though it’s hard to make this chicken look pretty 🙂 But it IS delicious]
READ THE POST
I’ll be honest—this recipe is a little outside my wheelhouse. I wouldn’t have seen a pin labeled “lime curry chicken” and thought, “Oh man, I’ve gotta try this!”. I’m a sucker for authentic Italian cuisine, Southern comfort adaptations, that kind of thing. My sister, on the other hand, gravitates toward flavors like curry, cilantro, lime, and the like, flavors with Asian or Mexican inspirations. It’s interesting how we can both have grown up eating the same food and diverged on very different flavor paths as adults.
So I was visiting her over the winter break and we whipped up this little recipe for dinner. The actual prep time didn’t take long at all, simply some grating and whisking together ingredients. But I would recommend letting the chicken marinate in the sauce for a half-hour or so before cooking, lets these flavors really soak in.
This chicken was so flavorful and yet all of the flavors worked so well together. And it was so moist! It’s actually called “lime coconut chicken”, but to me you couldn’t taste the coconut milk flavor (which is totally okay in my book) and you COULD taste the curry. So I made an executive decision. We served with lime cilantro rice on the side, but it would be great with regular rice, noodles, or regular side dishes and bread.
The original recipe calls for it to be grilled (which was delicious), but I don’t have a grill and you’d be fine sauteing in a pan or even (if necessary) baking. I think saute is probably better than baking, but either would work.READ THE POST
I’ve been wanting to try a stuffed red bell pepper recipe for quite some time, and I’m not sure what’s been holding me back. I think maybe it’s because they sound delicious—I’d never actually had one—and super healthy but look like they take a bit more effort than I’m willing to put into a weeknight meal.
So it was with a moderate amount of trepidation that I approached this recipe. I perused several different ones, but liked the combination of the protein in the beef, the fiber in the brown rice, and the overall simplicity. Lots of stuffed pepper recipes I’d seen have lots of different ingredients, which sounds yummy but also over-complicates everything.
I was quite happy with this recipe, and will definitely be trying other stuffed pepper recipes (with corn, black beans, etc.). Note, this recipe makes at least 6 half peppers, so if you’re cooking for one person you could bake them two at a time as needed, so you have fresh dinner. Or they make great leftovers, if you’d prefer to just re-heat, maybe take to work for lunch.READ THE POST
This is the #1 recipe in my family. Forever. Always.
In some families, if you say “we’re having Mexican”, they might mean tacos one day, enchiladas another, and quesadillas another. But in my family, we only mean one thing—meat and beans. Yes, we might make taco salad or soft tacos or nachos, but it’s always meat and beans.
This is the easiest meal ever, quite healthy, full of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. And it makes great leftovers that can be used in a myriad of ways.
Taco salad. Chili-cheese omelette. Nachos. These are just a few ways you can use the meat and beans. They’re delicious, and keep at least a week in the fridge.READ THE POST
If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a “chicken so easy I don’t actually have to do anything” kick for the past month or so. That’s mostly because I’ve been cooking for other people more often lately—when it’s just me, I am way too lazy to deal with raw meat. But this influx of company has been great for getting me to try a few of the most popular chicken recipes on Pinterest and see if they’re really as easy as they claim to be.
Spoiler: they are. First it was the garlic brown sugar chicken (which was phenomenal), then the white wine lemon chicken, which I made again last Friday night when my family was in town and it turned out even better than the first time.
So last Sunday, when I was going to be cooking another big meal, I looked at a few of my entree pins on Pinterest and this “melt-in-your-mouth chicken” jumped out at me. It took ingredients I already had on hand, and it looked really easy so that I could concentrate on the new lemon ricotta cheesecake and lemon asparagus goat cheese pasta recipes I was trying out the same night. Yeeeeahh…sometimes I get a little overambitious on trying new recipes all at once…
Anyway, long story short, this turned out awesome and everyone raved about it. It also made my ravenous post-run self a great dinner of leftovers on Monday night.
Also, you can use all Greek yogurt instead of the mayo if you prefer. The mayo gives it awesome tang, but obviously adds some calories and fat.
My garlic brown sugar chicken experiment went so well a couple weeks ago that when I needed a meat dish, I went to Pinterest for the answer. I knew I needed something simple, since I was also trying a new bread recipe and a new kale mac & cheese recipe. I scanned the red wine chicken, debated about the garlic chicken (wow, that’s a lot of garlic), and then I found this gem—chicken with white wine and lemon sauce.
Other than the chicken itself, I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry. The recipe was fast, easy, and not TOO lemon-y, which was nice since it didn’t fight the other dishes’ flavors.
Haha, well several years after writing this post originally, I had to re-write it because basically nothing was true anymore.
I wrote that almost none of my recipes have chicken (I literally grill chicken every night now), that knowing whether the chicken is cooked stresses me out (true, but I’ve discovered meat thermometers), and that I hate dealing with raw meat (still true, but I’ve had to man up). I’ve updated a few of the recipe details as well.
BUT, what is still true about this delish chicken recipe is that it’s super fast, easy, and healthy. And that still makes it a winner (winner, chicken dinner) in my book.
This recipe is so easy and not remotely stressful, even on a harried weeknight. It even got a super thumbs up from a guy friend, so don’t worry about the brown sugar making it too “frou frou”. I served this with a delicious cauliflower leek risotto and some sauteed kale and they went great together. We were super stuffed afterward.
Note, I’ve recently updated the photos and the recipe itself to improve the overall output.
The best part about this? Five minutes of actual hands-on time, and then it’s in the oven. Start your ovens…