Baked Potato Casserole

potatoesThis potato dish is a fantastic dish that will go great with pretty much anything. It’s easy to make and everyone will enjoy it. This works as both a main dish or a side dish, and is quite flexible. I’ve kept the ingredients simple, fresh, and delicious – which is perfect for any meal.

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Ingredients:
4-5 large russet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

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Preheat the oven to 350. Wash and cut the potatoes and place into a 9×13 pan, along with the broccoli. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and rosemary on top – then drizzle the olive oil on top. Stir to evenly coat the vegetables. Sprinkle the cheese over top. Over with tinfoil and place into the oven for 55 minutes – 1 hour. Serve hot.

Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Soup

Potato Sausage and Spinach Soup I made a healthy, delicious soup for dinner today with plenty leftover for lunch tomorrow. There isn’t a lot of ingredients, and it’s not something you have to sit and watch – which is great when I’m trying to get several things done. Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve tried to trim a bit of the extra calories out of my food without sacrificing taste.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound turkey sausage (or spicy Italian sausage)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried sweet basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
3-4 cups baby spinach, roughly cut
1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)

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In a large stock pot, cook the meat with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper over medium heat. Drain any excess fat then add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the basil, oregano, broth, water, and potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes, allowing the potatoes to fully soften when poked with a fork.

Finally, add the baby spinach and half and half, and stir into the soup well, then cook for 5 minutes or so, until it’s fully heated and the spinach is wilted. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Clementine Smoothie

clementine smoothieThis smoothie is bursting with vitamin C and tastes fantastic! It’ll make 1 larger sized smoothie, perfect for breakfast or a snack. It reminds me of a dreamsicle, but all healthy,

Ingredients:
3 clementines, peeled and pith removed
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or milk)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground ginger

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If you like your smoothie really smooth, run it through a sieve and then into your glass. I like it as is – so I just pour from the blender. Drink and enjoy chilled.

Creamy Garlic Mushroom and Onions over Quinoa

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms and Onions

I made this delicious dinner for two the other night and it was wonderful. It’s elegant and delicious – but it’s quite simple to make and takes under 30 minutes. I was looking for something creamy and more of a comfort food, but it had to have lots of great flavor and fill me up. This really did the trick!

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Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz whole white mushrooms
1/2 cup white onion, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
4 tablespoons cream cheese
2-3 tablespoons milk (depending on how thick you want the sauce)

3 cups cooked quinoa, cooked to package directions – or grain of choice

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Start off with cooking the quinoa or other grain, as it’ll take longer than the mushrooms.

In a large skillet over medium heat place the mushrooms, onions, olive oil, and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms and onions are tender – about 5-7 minutes. Add the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and basil and allow the cream cheese to fully melt down – then add milk until it’s at your desired creaminess. Pour over top quinoa or other grain and serve hot! Enjoy!

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

Coconut Sweet Potato SoupThis soup may look simple but it’s bursting with flavor! A coconut milk base with sweet potatoes and lots of spices makes for a delicious meal. This recipe makes about 4 larger sized bowls, but will easily double if you’d like to make a bigger pot.

Ingredients:
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 large shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons fish sauce
1 large lime, juiced

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In a large pot bring the coconut milk and broth to a simmer and add the sweet potatoes, shallot, ginger, curry paste, and cilantro. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender – about 20 minutes. When tender place into a blender and blend until smooth. This may take two rounds, be careful to not burn yourself. Place back into the pot. Add the fish sauce and lime juice. Cook for another 5 minutes, and serve hot. Enjoy!

Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice)

The first time I had this delicious meal was in Mexico. There’s so many variations of it – and really there’s no wrong way to make it. As long as my chicken isn’t dry and it’s spiced nicely I’m going to enjoy my dinner. This is another one of those meals that reheats fantastically, so I can have a hot lunch the next day.

.chickenwithriceIngredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1 pound boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon saffron
2 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, corn, etc) I use whatever I have frozen and let it unfreeze.

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In a large skillet over medium heat add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and chicken. Salt and pepper both sides to your liking and add the cumin. Cook until lightly browned on both sides and no longer pink. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic, onions, and pepper. Sautee for several minutes, allowing to soften. Add rice, broth, saffron, mixed vegetables and chicken back to the pan. Stir well and continue to cook over the medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook another 15-20 minutes allowing the rice to soften. Serve hot.

Quinoa and Spinach Salad with Fresh Berries

quinoasalad1I’ve been a bit burned out with the cold and dreary weather as of late – and I wanted something cheerful to pick me up and give me that warm summertime feeling. Plus, I’d been craving fresh berries for the past couple of weeks, so I caved in and bought some. Besides just snacking on them plain, and using for oatmeal and a few other things – I wanted to make a delicious salad.

quinoasalad2Ingredients:
5 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 clementines, peeled and sectioned
1.5 cups cooked quinoa
3-4 tablespoons crushed walnuts

for the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

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In a bowl mix together all of the salad ingredients. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a smaller bowl and pour overtop the salad and toss until evenly coated. Makes 3-4 larger salads. Enjoy.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Tomato Basil Parmesan SoupWho doesn’t love a delicious creamy tomato soup? This soup has that wonderful tomato taste along with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Yummy! I was so excited to be back in the kitchen today – I’d had surgery on my hand last week and I’ve mostly been eating finger foods and simple meals. This filled me up and gave me a nutritious dinner – and it really hit the spot.

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Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large celery stalks
5 large carrots
1/2 large white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
28 oz fire roasted tomatoes, diced
4 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 cups milk
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sweet rice flour

extra Parmesan cheese for garnish

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In a food processor place the carrots, celery, and onions and finely mince. (You can also finely chop by hand if you prefer.) Place into a large pot over medium heat with the olive oil and garlicĀ  and allow to cook for about 5 minutes and let the vegetables soften. Add the cans of fire roasted tomatoes and their sauce, the fresh basil, and 3 of the 4 cups of the vegetable stock. Stir well.

In a smaller pot over medium heat melt the butter. Slowly add in the flour and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes. Add in that 1 cup of vegetable stock that was set aside, and combine well. Add this into the larger pot of soup and mix well. Now add in the milk. salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese and stir that in well. Allow to cook for another 20 minutes.

Feel free to top off with a bit more cheese and basil if you like. I really like basil so I sprinkled just a bit more on top of my bowl. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!

Easy Roast and Veggie Slow Cooker Dinner

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This was one of the days where I had to be to work at 3am. I can’t tell you how much I love having a slow cooker for days like today, I can prepare a meal before I go to work and after I get home there’s a delicious lunch waiting for me. I also love the way it makes the house smell – it’s so inviting. This doesn’t take long to prepare and get into the cooker, and on a cold snowy day it’s worth it to wake up a little bit early for it.

Ingredients:
1 1/2-2 pounds chuck roast
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup baby carrots
1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
4 medium potatoes cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 celery stalks cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 cups beef broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary

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Season the meat with salt and pepper and coat a skillet with the olive oil. Cook the meat over medium high heat, until all sides are golden brown (about 6-8 minutes). Transfer to the slow cooker and pour the beef stock over top the meat, then add the rest of the seasonings and vegetables. Turn the slow cooker on low and allow to cook for 6-8 hours. The roast and vegetables should be very tender (basically falling apart) to the touch of a fork when done.

Perfect meal for a cold day – Enjoy!

Chicken Avocado Burritos

avoburrito1I’ve always liked burritos and tacos. They’re a great meal when I’m having family or friends over since you can build your own. I’d been wanting to make some that were a bit healthier – and I wanted to incorporate turmeric after a discussion I’d been having about it with my mom. So I came up with these delicious burritos for dinner.

Ingredients:
1 pound cooked shredded chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 ripe avocados, diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup pepperjack cheese, shredded

gluten free tortillas of choice (I used Udi’s)

In a large skillet over medium heat place the olive oil and chicken. Sprinkle the salt and turmeric over both sides of the chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center, then gently shred it.

Prepare the rest of the toppings and combine in the tortillas. Serve warm. Serves 4. Enjoy!

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