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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Whole 30-Approved Avocado Sonoma Chicken Salad

I’m a sucker for chicken salad. Regular chicken salad, Sonoma wine country chicken salad, curried chicken salad, chicken salad with bits of pineapple, with mayo, without mayo—literally, I have yet to find one I don’t like.

whole30 avocado sonoma chicken salad combined

I’ve posted my absolute favorite chicken salad recipe, the best I’ve ever had. But it also isn’t necessarily the *healthiest* one. This one, however, might be.

whole30 avocado sonoma chicken salad avocado

I haven’t done Whole 30 myself, though I’ve thought about it. Honestly I can’t commit myself to a month of anything that requires drastic change, not with my insane work schedule. I like the idea, though, for the most part…except giving up wine, that’s just CRAY.

whole30 avocado sonoma chicken salad lemon

This chicken salad has no mayo and is chock full of whole, raw ingredients. It brings fiber, healthy fats, and a one-two protein punch from the chicken and pecans to the party. I devoured it on my little Trader Joe’s 12-grain crackers for lunch a few days in a row, and found it satiating and tasteeeee!
[Read more…]

French Onion Pasta

When I first saw this recipe, I was suuuuper excited, because I love french onion soup. I mean really lurve it.

French Onion Pasta

I will say that this pasta doesn’t quite live up to that level of insane richness, but the idea is still there.

french onion pasta thyme chopped

You start by caramelizing onions down to the point of sweet jamminess, then add broth (and a little wine in my case). Let those flavors hang out for a while, let the pasta soak up all that delicious liquid, and top with arugula and parmesan. Done.

french onion pasta onions cooking

My one complaint with this dish is that I feel like the onions end up getting lost in all the broth…I was hoping for more onion. I think if I made this again I’d use at least one more onion, and I’d look at using something more like the melty Gruyere that true French onion soup uses, vs. parmesan (which never melts quite as luxuriously for me). But all-in-all, this was warm and comforting. [Read more…]

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

I don’t know if this is weird, but I’d never had acorn squash before I made this. In fact, I’m not even sure what prompted me to pick one up at Trader Joe’s last week. But it was just sitting there all cute and bumpy and green and orange, and I just had to have it.

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash

My first thought was roasting it, and after perusing some recipes, I definitely knew that was the right choice. But rather than just roasting the halves, I found this delightful recipe that called for slicing it up (cuts down on baking time), tossing with some oil, salt, & pepper (as you do), and sprinkling with some fresh thyme and parmesan.

parmesan roasted acorn squash full squash [Read more…]

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