Pakistani Kima

Full disclosure:  I have no idea if this recipe is truly Pakistani, nor do I know what “kima” is.

But I *do* know that it’s delicious, filling, healthy, and easy.  That’s a dinner grand slam in my books.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

My sister has been making this for her family for quite a while, and she made it for us while I was visiting my parents a couple years ago.  I fell in love with the incredible aroma and flavors of the spice combination.  It’s truly what makes this dish special.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

But it has a lot more going for it.  It’s chock-full of veggies, across the color spectrum (something that I’m usually desperately needing).  It’s also super satiating, with a one-two-three punch of the fat in the butter (don’t skimp on this), the lean ground beef, and the fiber-full vegetables.

It clocks in at around 320 calories per serving (if you make 6 servings out of the batch), which is great if you’re trying to keep your calories down but not feel hungry all the time.

30-minute Pakistani Kima, full of veggies, protein, and aromatic spices, and comes together for a healthy & easy dinner

And best of all, this recipe is super easy to make, a one-pot standby.  It only takes about a half-hour total, and only requires you to do some vegetable chopping and throw everything into a pot.  I made two desserts while putting this together a couple weeks ago, because I didn’t have to spare any brainpower for it.  So I’m kind of in love. [Read more…]

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Chicken Tikka Masala

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It’s funny how quickly a new dish can become a go-to.

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala | Finding Time for Cooking

Indian food has been a challenge for a long time…in restaurants, even when it’s mild it’s usually too spicy for me.  But I’ve also had several recipes I was dying to try.  The intense combination of spices, held together with creamy sauces, is just too much to resist.

chicken-tikka-masala-bowl-2

I finally pulled myself together over winter break and gave this a try.  Part of that was just making sure I had all the spices I needed.  And I was shocked at how easy this dish was to make, how satisfying, and how great the leftovers were.  So I made it a few days later.  And the week after that.

It’s now in my regular rotation, because the lunch leftovers are unbeatable.  Pair it with some of my delish and easy homemade naan, and you’ve got an exotic and yet comforting winner.  Don’t be scared by the ingredient list, because you make the paste once and it will last you through several batches. [Read more…]

“Crack” Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry

This was my first “back on the healthy train” recipe since coming back from quite a bit of travel over the past few months—including a week and a half inhaling pastries on the French Riviera.  So I didn’t need normal healthy, I needed SUPER healthy.  A sort of food detox, if you will.

Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry...healthy, easy, yummy

What I didn’t expect was for this to be SUPER yummy as well.

beef-cabbage-stir-fry-green-onions

And cheap and easy.  Fast, cheap, healthy, easy, and yummy is like a unicorn of a recipe.  I mean, it’s no mac and cheese, but it’ll do.

beef-cabbage-stir-fry

This is going into my regular rotation of uber healthy meals.  It’s got a ton of fiber from all the veggies, is surprisingly satiating, and still has just enough protein from the beef.  You could definitely use a whole pound of beef instead of a half-pound (or substitute turkey, chicken, pork, whatever), but I didn’t feel cheated by the amount of meat, and it lets you stretch your meat further.  This was lunch leftovers all week for me, and I didn’t get sick of it, which is a miracle in and of itself. [Read more…]

Chicken with Creamy Feta Sauce

I just realized that it’s been MONTHS since I brought you a main dish recipe, which is crazy!  So making up for that now with an insanely easy and super delish entree that is great for dinner as well as to pack in your lunch for work all week.

Chicken with Creamy Feta Sauce

(Confession: I made this recipe Sunday evening so I could have awesome, healthy lunches all week long.  And then I ordered Chinese takeout for dinner that night, because I was going to be healthy all week.  Does anyone else do that?)

chicken with creamy feta sauce chives chopped

Don’t be scared by the idea of a feta cheese sauce—it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly of feta specifically, but rather contributes a super creamy, slightly salty, weirdly comforting flavor without owning it.  I’m not the biggest fan of feta, but I am a BIG fan of this sauce. [Read more…]

One-Pot Kale & Quinoa Pilaf (…and why I’ve been MIA)

Wow, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted a recipe! January was gone in the blink of an eye. I was traveling the first half…first, a quick little trip down to Cancun to try and get some sun and relaxation for a few days, then Dallas to visit my bestie, and then NYC for a quick work trip. All within two weeks. Add insanely long hours at work, and my blogging and cooking hours have been few and far between.

This recipe isn’t pretty to look at, so instead here are my food adventures from Mexico. Hit and miss, to be honest, because Cancun is (as my mom pointed out) the Branson of Mexico. But we tried really hard to find more authentic local places, and stayed far away from Senor Frog’s.

I drank ALL THE PINA COLADAS and tried Mayan-style chicken and vegetables. Honestly, it was inoffensive but wasn’t a fan.

jess pina colada

We toured Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Then we chowed down on fish tacos.

jess mom chichen itza

I soaked up every ray of sunshine available on the only sunny day we had. Vitamin D, come to me! And of course, I had a pina colada and a Coke, which is my go-to beach beverage.

jess cancun beach

I took Argentinean food out for a trial run, with my first trip to Argentina coming up in just over a month! It was delicious and an OBSCENE amount of food (you can’t see the insanely huge chunk of beef staring me in the face…). Sarai and I are going to have our work cut out for us.

jess argentinean food

So, that’s all to say sorry for dropping off the face of the earth. Things have been crazy and tiring, and I haven’t been eating anything but nachos since I’ve been home, but I do have a major backlog of awesome recipes from late December that I owe you. But first, we get our kale on…

This recipe isn’t pretty to look at, but it IS fast, easy, healthy, and yummy. I’ll be honest and say that quinoa isn’t really my thing. It’s fine, but the texture is kind of weird and it’s a little bland. So for me, this recipe is good. If you love quinoa, it’s great. The flavors are fresh, tangy, and satisfying.

One Pot Kale & Qunioa Pilaf kale One Pot Kale & Qunioa Pilaf kale closeup2 [Read more…]

Drunken Cheesy Bread

Question:  what should one serve at a girls’ night with wine, tiramisu, and Magic Mike XXL??

Drunken Cheesy Bread

Answer:  drunken cheesy bread.  If you answered anything else, you’re wrong.

Drunken Cheesy Bread closeup

This recipe has been burning a hole in my Pinterest board, but I felt like I couldn’t justify making it for just myself on a random Sunday night.  So when my friend Casey came over for a long-overdue girls’ night, I knew what was on the menu.

drunken cheesy bread gruyere closeup

In addition to be delicious and decadent-feeling, it’s also deceptively-simple and easy to prepare.  It literally took five minutes to put together (and that was just how long it took to grate the gruyere), then we popped it in the oven, drank some wine, and 20 minutes later a bubbly, cheesy delight popped back out.  The flavors together are AMAZING, and the wine soaks into the bread and creates a silky, almost custard-like texture. [Read more…]

Rigatoni with Chicken, Goat Cheese, & Grilled Fairytale Eggplant

This is one of those really random, accidental recipes that turned out SO. GOOD.

Chicken Pasta with Grilled Baby Eggplant & Goat Cheese

One weekend this summer I was at the farmer’s market and found the most adorable tiny, lavender-colored eggplant I’d ever seen—fairytale eggplant.

Chicken Pasta with Grilled Baby Eggplant & Goat Cheese done

I had to buy a pound of them, but then try and figure out what to do. After looking up some recipes, I decided that grilling them would be the yummiest. And it was…I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but these were soft and smoky and salty, and just awesome.

chicken pasta with grilled baby eggplant & goat cheese fairytale eggplant

Of course, if I’m heating up the grill then why not grill some herbed chicken as well? I also picked up some of the last juicy tomatoes of summer, and a bunch of massively fragrant herbs. Because those two things make everything better.

chicken pasta with grilled baby eggplant & goat cheese fairytale eggplant grilled closeup

And of course, every pasta needs a sauce. Some goat cheese and some pasta water, and boom—instant tangy deliciousness. It was a bunch of random ingredients, but they somehow all came together into an easy, perfect late summer dish.  [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…]

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…]

Slow Cooker Caramelized Chicken

My takeaway from this recipe?  Sure ain’t pretty, and fairly sure mine didn’t “caramelize”, but it sure was delicious!

Slow Cooker Caramelized Chicken

The pictures of this recipe from Skinny Ms. (see link at the bottom) look beautiful, so not sure what I did wrong to keep it from caramelizing.  However, the flavors are so great that it was a keeper recipe anyway. It’s sweet and salty and layered, with a little kick from the cayenne.  (Well, “little” depending on how much you put in…I’m a baby.)

slow cooker caramelized chicken green onions

It also is super fast and easy. The only down side is that cleaning my crockpot was insanely difficult afterward—I have a really old crockpot and it doesn’t have a removable piece. I’ve never used liners but might have to see if they make one for mine, because cleaning that was ridiculous.  [Read more…]

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