September 30, 2014

baked beans

I would consider baked beans one of my favorite dishes of all time, so when I say that I love these... I LOVE these!  They are everything baked beans are supposed to be... sweet and smokey, yet tangy with some zip.  I used to think that the best baked beans were Bush's from a can... just like they were, without anything added to them, straight from the can.  Heat and eat.  Wow, was I wrong and honestly not sure I should even be admitting that! 

I used a mixture of beans for this recipe, partly because I thought it would be pretty but also because I had 3 bags of beans that each had small amounts... and what better way to use the leftovers!?  If you are buying beans and just want to use one variety, navy beans work well.

This vegetarian version of baked beans is the best thanks to the cilantro (my personal favorite) and the liquid smoke seasoning, which gives it the smokey flavor.  It completely substitutes the need for ham or bacon, however if you prefer you can still add them.  If you have leftovers (or want to make extra) worries because they might just be better the next day!

September 29, 2014

veggie pot pie

 Something about the start of fall makes me feel the need to open the windows and bake.  What better choice than pot pie.  It's like the all American comfort food... perfect for a cool, crisp day!  This vegetarian version is delicious, but feel free to add in some shredded chicken or beef.  My favorite part... the crust!

September 27, 2014

baked lemon pasta

 This pasta dish is light, healthy, and delicious!  The lemon is so refreshing and perfect when topped with nutty parmesan and fresh parsley.  I will definitely make this again and it would be easy to double or triple this recipe for guest!

September 26, 2014

blackening seasoning

 This is seasoning blend is so good on fish or chicken.  We bought fresh Amberjack (a firm white fish) today and it was perfect!  Need a dip?  Add a teaspoon or so to sour cream or plain greek yogurt.  So many ways to use this... keep the leftovers in an airtight container.  It'll come in handy!

herb mashed potatoes

This is a tasty spin on the traditional mashed potatoes.  The herbs add a fresh, summery flavor to an already loved side dish.

September 25, 2014

Grocery List- Week 17

Meals for the week:

-herb mashed potatoes with blackening seasoning for fish/chicken/tofu
-baked lemon pasta
-veggie pot pie

  • 3 pounds potatoes
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley or 2 small
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme  
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Pasta/Rice/Beans/Canned Goods
  • 1 pound thin spaghetti 
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 sheet puff pastry 
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2-1 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 1 egg
  • chicken/fish/tofu (your choice, to be blackened and served with herb mashed potatoes)

September 24, 2014

tomatillo salsa with roasted green chilies

This salsa was a welcomed change from the usual red tomato salsa that we eat with tacos and quesadillas.  It is less sweet and has a different set of flavors, making it perfect to serve with asian tacos.

asian tacos

shown served with tomatillo salsa with roasted green chilies
These are delicious!!!  The crunch of the cabbage makes the perfect topping for the earthy, teriyaki mushrooms and greens.  

September 22, 2014

lemon basil quinoa with leek and tomatoes

This vegetarian dish is tasty by itself, but would also go great with grilled steak, chicken, or pork.  Two serving ideas are cornbread or a rustic Italian loaf.  However you decide to eat it, you're going to love it!

September 20, 2014

pizza with greens

  Pizza for dinner makes the kids happy and adding the greens makes the adults happy... it's a win win!  Plus it's delicious and makes for a fun family night!

September 18, 2014

pad thai

  Love Pad Thai?  Here is a fast, homemade version that you will LOVE!  It is easy to prepare, making it perfect for a Sunday afternoon or weeknight dinner.

September 16, 2014

pear and asparagus quesadillas

 I love fusion food (blending elements from different cuisines) and feel that it is fun, new, and shakes things up!  In fact... I have even labeled it that way, which means there are more to come!!

These are amazing!!! They are delicious and a new way to make quesadillas.  The gruyere is nutty and pairs perfectly with the sweetness in the pears.  I know you will love them as much as we did!  They can be served with chips and salsa or whatever you please.

September 14, 2014

asian salad with peanut dressing

  I may or may not have a thing for Asian salads... they are crunchy, sweet, and just taste fresh.  I love them.  Add cilantro... I love them even more.

This is delicious by itself as a main dish or if you would prefer to add meat it would be great with some grilled teriyaki chicken or shrimp, like this recipe from, Teriyaki Marinade (however I would suggest replacing the soy sauce with Bragg's Liquid Aminos). 

September 13, 2014

red lentils with coconut and potatoes

  If someone was to ask me what my favorite cuisine is I would have to say Indian... hands down.  I love the flavors!  I used to even think that I didn't like rice until I began trying all the different types and ventured over to the fragrant white varieties.  One of my favorites is basmati, which smells delicious and taste even better!

September 12, 2014

pasta with spinach pesto and roasted tomatoes

This delicious, earthy pasta is full of the health rock star spinach.  This leafy green is low in calories yet very high in vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients.  Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6.  So eat up with zero guilt:)

September 11, 2014

Grocery List- Week 16

Meals for the week:

-pasta with spinach pesto and roasted tomatoes
-red lentils with coconut and potatoes over basmati rice
-asian salad with peanut dressing

  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 1 pound fresh spinach
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded (you can also use coleslaw mix in place of the cabbages)  
  • 1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot 
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 English or 2 regular cucumbers 
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 bunch green onions 
  • 2 inches ginger root
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 package basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey  
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce   
Pasta/Rice/Beans/Canned Goods
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 pound spinach pasta (plain can be used if you are unable to find spinach)
  • 1/2 pound dried small red lentils, washed and picked over
  • 4-6 cups of prepared rice (I would highly recommend basmati for this recipe) 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

September 09, 2014

taco salad in tortilla bowls with avocado dressing

These are great for a busy night!  I made them on a night when we had football practice, so prep was extra important.  I made the shells, dressing, and cut up the veggies earlier in the day so that at 7:30 when we were all ready to eat... all we had to do was assemble.  The shells were a fun way to eat salad and the kids loved them!  In fact they loved them so much that I got "thanks for making dinner mom". :)

These would also be delicious if you wanted to add shredded chicken, beef, or pork.

September 07, 2014

roasted tomato and corn grits with shrimp

I LOVE comfort food that is still healthy!  This dish is delicious... with the creamy grits, sweet roasted tomatoes, and blackened shrimp.  If you don't eat seafood you can substitute the shrimp for tofu or thinly sliced chicken breast.

 Like I have mentioned before... since I grew up Indiana, where grits are not a common word, when I moved to the south 4 years ago I thought they were just a nasty dish people ate for breakfast.  On top of that the only grits I had ever tried were Quaker Instant Grits, and they are a far cry from the stone ground goodness that I now eat!:)  I realized I was missing something when my husband and I went to a 5-star restaurant and they served shrimp on a bed of grits... I knew there was more to them!  After trying several recipes they are now one of my FAVORITES!!!  

September 06, 2014

mushroom marsala pasta

I love anything marsala!  Here is my vegetarian pasta version... and yes you could add chicken to it. ;) However, it might just be better than the original!

September 04, 2014

Grocery List- Week 15

Meals for the week:
-mushroom marsala pasta served with crusty Italian bread
-roasted tomato and corn grits with shrimp (you can substitute the shrimp for tofu or thinly sliced chicken breast)
-taco salad in tortilla bowls with avocado dressing

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 pounds mushrooms
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 7 ounces mixed salad greens or spinach
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro 
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 limes
  • 2 cups stone-ground grits
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Pasta/Rice/Beans/Canned Goods
  • 1 pound pasta, a small cut (ex. penne or rotini)
  • 1/2 cup dry black beans, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, plus more for garnish (if you don't like goat cheese use a sharp cheddar) 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese or mexican crumbling cheese (taco salad)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt  
  •  1-2 pounds wild caught shrimp (depending on how many shrimp you want to serve per person or you can substitute the shrimp for tofu or thinly sliced chicken breast)
  • 6, large 10 inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup dry marsala wine, good quality (not cooking wine)

September 01, 2014

mexican lasagna with guacamole

Your family will love this!!  It is great for a busy weeknight and can be made ahead of time so that when you are ready to eat, all you have to do is pop it in the oven!  The fresh guacamole makes a delicious topping and if you would like some spice.... add the hot sauce.  This dish is great served with chips and salsa, plus the chips make great scoops for any beans that get left behind! :)