Chicken Souvlaki with Zucchini Tzatziki

I made this meal a while ago. It was delicious. It might seem intimidating at first, but it’s worth the effort.

As I mixed the ingredients together for the marinade, I paused in amazement at what I had created. The lemon and garlic fragrance, the beautiful golden color, with the fresh herbs… I actually took a picture, then deleted it, because I couldn’t capture a photo that would do it justice. Don’t worry if marinades don’t get you all hot and sweaty (like some of us), at least you have the recipe to an amazing meal.

chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce

Chicken Souvlaki & Tzatziki Sauce

original recipe can be found at simplydeliciousfood.com

for the chicken souvlaki

  • 4 chicken breasts, chopped into bite size chunks
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

for the zucchini tzatziki

  • 2 large zucchini, grated
  • 1.5 cups greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the marinade ingredients with the chopped chicken, and place into a ziplock bag. Remove the excess air, and marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes, up to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, thread the chicken pieces onto a metal or wooden skewer, and grill until cooked through (I used a cast iron griddle pan).

I made the tzatziki sauce while the chicken was marinating, because I wanted the flavors to meld. I only marinated the chicken for 30 minutes, and it was wonderful. I served it all with some warm whole wheat pita bread.

 

Perfect pancakes

It’s surprising simple making pancakes from scratch. They’re incredibly delicious too.

I’ll let you in on a secret, I mixed all of the ingredients in the measuring cup, so I would have less dishes to do… am I just super lazy or a freaking genius???

I halved the recipe because there’s only two of us, and it still made 6 small pancakes.

pancakes from scratch

Perfect Pancakes

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg beaten (only using 1/2 egg)
  • 1.5 tablespoon butter, melted

Mix together the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Beat the egg and pour half into the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, and milk, and stir everything together until incorporated. Try not to over mix. Heat the skillet on medium high, and lightly oil with butter or pam canola oil cooking spray. Brown on both sides, and serve warm. Top with syrup and enjoy!

Fried Goat Cheese with Apples and Agave

I love cheese.

But goat cheese holds a very special place in my heart. I usually buy the 4oz package at the grocery store (it’s also known as chèvre), and it never seems to be enough. There are soooo many different ways to use goat cheese, but this simple recipe will knock your socks off.

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. I would describe goat cheese as soft, salty, and almost tart. I like it straight out of the package, but baking or frying the cheese makes it creamier with less tart. The cool, crisp apples, and the sweet agave are a perfect balance to the savory cheese. I promise you will never look at goat cheese the same way again.

fried goat cheese with apples and agave

 

Fried goat cheese with apples and agave

  • 4oz goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Gala apple, sliced
  • drizzle of agave or honey 

Slice the goat cheese into small pieces. The goat cheese can be soft and crumbly, so if it falls apart just roll the crumbs into a ball. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, and pour 2 tablespoons of canola oil into skillet. Dip the pieces of goat cheese into the egg, then place into the bread crumbs, turning the pieces so they are fully covered with bread crumbs. when the skillet is hot, place the pieces into the skillet, and brown on both sides (this should take about 5-10 minutes). If your pieces are round, then just move them around more often to brown the sides.  Slice the gala apple and arrange on plate. Place the fried goat cheese over the apples, then drizzle with agave or honey to taste. Grab a glass of your favorite wine, and enjoy!

Spaghetti Carbonara with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

I get a lot of great recipes from other food bloggers and Iowagirleats.com is one I use frequently. I made this recipe, assisted by my friend Angie, who wasn’t particularly a fan of brussels sprouts before this meal. But we all know bacon makes everything taste better, and she really enjoyed it. It’s a creamy pasta with crunchy salty bacon that screams comfort food. I love brussels sprouts, especially when they sneak their way into an already great meal.

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Recipe adapted from iowagirleats.com

Spaghetti Carbonara with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 slices of crisp cooked bacon, chopped
  • 12oz bag of frozen/fresh brussels sprouts, chopped, or  8oz pre-shredded brussels sprouts
  • 2 eggs
  • 8oz spaghetti (I used half of a package)
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Roughly chop brussels sprouts, and thinly slice the onions. Whisk eggs in a bowl with salt and lots of pepper, then whisk in parmesan cheese, and set aside.

Brown the bacon in a large skillet. Allow bacon to cool on paper towel lined plate, leaving bacon grease in the skillet. Chop bacon into large chunks.

Start cooking the spaghetti as directed. Make sure you properly salt your pasta water. It should be “salty like the sea”. If you get ahead, DON’T throw out the pasta water, you will need it later.

While you’re waiting for the pasta water to boil, add olive oil to the bacon grease left in the skillet to equal a little more than 2 tablespoons. Add brussels sprouts and onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until tender and caramelized. Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute. Add cooked bacon back to pan, stir together, and remove from heat.

Your pasta should be finished cooking, use tongs to remove the pasta from the water and place into skillet with brussels sprouts mixture, then add the egg/parmesan cheese mixture, and stir to evenly coat the pasta. Add some of the pasta water to make the sauce smooth. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

 

Brunch

Eggs. I love them. I eat them frequently. However, a week or so ago, my neighbor dropped off 3 dozen organic eggs, and I wasn’t sure I could use them fast enough. But I am not a quitter. So, I decided to make a huge breakfast for me and Scott that would last us well past lunch time. The great thing about this recipe is you can add ANYthing to it. I chose to omit meat from this round, but I have added sausage, or bacon in the past. I had some tomatoes from my garden that were perfectly ripe, so I sliced them into big chunks.

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Scott likes bell peppers, so I sliced up a whole green bell pepper into big chunks (so I can pick them out), and threw it in the mix. I always use a cast iron skillet because it will need to bake in the oven, but if you don’t have one, you can use any skillet that is oven safe.

I start out with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, enough to coat the onions because you don’t want them to burn. Chop up about 1/2 cup onion (more or less depending on your preference) and sauté on medium high heat until translucent. Then add a clove of chopped garlic, stir and sauté, for about a minute, then add the tomatoes and bell pepper. Give it a good stir, and sprinkle about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (your preference here) over the vegetables. I used 7 or 8 eggs, but you can get away with using only 6. Crack the eggs open and pour over vegetables, careful not to break the yolk, filling up any spaces, until there is an even amount of egg throughout the pan. Then sprinkle salt & freshly ground black pepper over the top. Place in a preheated oven at 350° and bake for 20 minutes or until the yolks are not jiggly. Remove from oven, and sprinkle chopped parsley on top , or you can be like me, and chop the parsley, and then completely forget about it.

It should look something like this:

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and this:

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For extra vitamins add a mimosa or bloody mary ♥

Recipe adapted from addapinch.com

Tomato Baked Eggs

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (or any other shredded cheese)
  • 6-8 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsly

Preheat oven to 350°. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to skillet. Sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for about one minute, then add tomatoes and bell pepper. Mix everything together, then cover vegetables with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Crack the eggs open and pour over vegetables, careful not to break the yolk, filling up any spaces, until there is an even amount of egg throughout the pan. Then sprinkle salt & freshly ground black pepper over the top. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until the yolks are not runny. Remove from oven, and sprinkle chopped parsley on top.

 

Chicken Burgers

I had no idea how many different recipes there are for chicken burgers on the internet. But this recipe is a good one. Trust me. Keep reading this section if you are going to grind the chicken yourself, otherwise proceed to the next paragraph. –  I took some frozen chicken breasts out of the freezer around 10am. I let them defrost in the fridge for 5-6 hours then I chopped them into large cubes, and fed them into the grinder. Partial freezing helps the chicken keep from turning to mush while grinding. IMG_4242

 

The original recipe can be found here theartofdoingstuff.com

After you ground up the chicken breasts (or opened the package) you’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp course salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2-4 Tbsp canola oil

For the breading you will need:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • a dash of salt, pepper, and paprika

(To the flour add the dash of salt, pepper and paprika, stir together.)

In a bowl, mix chicken, egg, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder together. Mix in bread crumbs. Form into patties using 1/3rd cup as a measuring tool. Coat the patties with the flour mixture, dip into the beaten egg, then the bread crumbs. Pan fry in 2-4 Tbs of canola oil for 4 minutes on each side. Cook longer if you made them thicker. They are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165º.

I hope you all enjoy!

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CocoNUT Granola

Well, it’s been over 2 years since I’ve written anything on this blog. But I’m back, so lets get on with it!

I recently made some pretty awesome granola, and a ton of it. So, I brought some to work to share with my co-workers. Guess what? They loved it too! At their request, I must share this delicious recipe with you. You’re welcome:)

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CocoNUT Granola

Recipe adapted from Chef John of mymagazine

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 light agave or honey
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped roasted cashews

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Toss oats, coconut, and almonds together in a LARGE bowl. Whisk oil and honey together in a small bowl. Pour liquid over oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all of the oats and nuts are covered. (I used my stand mixer and it took about 1 minute). Pour mixture onto a 13x18x1-inch sheet pan. Bake, stirring every 5-10 minutes (I stirred it every 10-15 min) with a spatula, until the mixture turns and even, golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and add cranberries and cashews. Store in an airtight container.

Note: The pan will be quite full, but baking the granola in a single pan will keep it from burning. If you want to make a smaller amount, use a smaller pan.

 

Salmon and Asparagus

Hi everyone! I’m back with one of my favorite dishes! Salmon and asparagus. You will definitely love how easy this is to make and it’s really delicious:)

 

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Salmon and Asparagus

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place the fish in a shallow baking pan and pour the olive oil on top. Sprinkle half of the salt and pepper on the salmon and place it in a cold oven @ 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

For the asparagus, cut the stems from the ends of the asparagus and drizzle them with olive oil. Add a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Next, toss the asparagus to make sure each spear is fully coated and place them in the oven with the salmon. Depending on the size of the asparagus spears, (if they are really thick or really thin) they should be done in about 20 minutes. You want the ends to be nice and crispy and the center soft.

 

Quick and Delicious Enchiladas

I was pretty hungry when I got home from work and I was at a loss for what to make for dinner. I scoured the internet for recipes but came up short. I was staring blankly at the different things scattered around my fridge for so long that Scott informed me (jokingly) that I was cooling down the house. So, I quickly decided to make some chicken enchiladas. I just threw together what I had in my fridge and pantry and it turned out pretty great. In fact, I’ve started measuring how good my food is by how fast Scott eats it. Scott calls it the “Devouring Scale”. If the food scores a 5, he consumed it in about a minute and asked for seconds, and if it scored a 1, he ate it slowly and didn’t finish it.  These enchiladas scored a 4.5 on the scale. By the time I started eating mine, his were gone! I hope you all enjoy them as much as we did:)

Chicken Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 28 oz can of red enchilada sauce
  • 6 large taco size flour tortillas
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a skillet, add the shredded chicken and the can of diced tomatoes with green chili’s and heat thoroughly. Next, place 1/4 of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9″ x 9″  baking dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken and tomatoes in the middle of the flour tortilla and cover with shredded cheddar cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place it in the baking dish on the enchilada sauce. Continue adding the chicken and cheese until the baking dish is full, then cover all of the tortillas with the remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle the shredded pepper jack cheese over the top of the enchiladas. Place the dish in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro.

Citrus Marinated Oven Roasted Chicken

I was looking through recipes for something easy to make during the week, since Scott and I both work until about 5pm. By the time we get home, there’s not enough time to make meals from scratch.  I found this chicken recipe and decided to prep it on the weekend and freeze it, until I’m ready to use it during the week.  It worked great. It takes about 25 minutes in the oven and we’re ready to go. The recipe calls for a ton of garlic. I love garlic, but I don’t want a mouthful of it. Luckily,  the other ingredients in the marinade kind of tone down the garlic and the flavors all meld well together. I made some orzo pasta that I mixed with grilled veggies and sprinkled with parmesan cheese to complete the meal. Here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Roasted Chicken with a Citrus Glaze

Recipe from Juliashealthyitalian.com

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast cut into 1″ strips (or boneless, skinless thighs)
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 8-10 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Rosemary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon plus it’s zest
  • 1/4 cup honey

DIRECTIONS:
Combine all ingredients in a pan and bake in a PREHEATED oven at 450 for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top. No need to turn it!

You can bake it immediately, or do what I did and cover the chicken with the marinade, put it in a large ziplock bag, and freeze it until you’re ready to use it.

For the rice, I just prepared the package of orzo as directed, but I used chicken broth instead of water. I grilled some summer squash and asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then chopped it all up and combined it with the rice.