cook this / 10

Arugula, Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

Now that it's almost summertime, I am craving light dinners full of fresh, simple ingredients. There is nothing better than the abundance of delicious fruit that is in season right now! I can't get enough of watermelon... by itself, drizzled with olive oil and salt, with mint... it's. so. good.

This salad comes together quickly and is bursting with fresh flavor. The peppery arugula, salty cheese, and sweet watermelon are the perfect combination for a light lunch or a healthy side dish. Add grilled chicken or seared scallops and serve this for dinner!

Watermelon2.jpg

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Arugula, Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

Ingredients

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus zest
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups arugula
3 cups seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
12 ounces feta cheese, diced in 1-inch cubes
1 cup mint leaves, chopped

Directions

In a small bowl, zest orange and lemon. Add orange and lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt & pepper. Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, add diced watermelon, feta, mint, and arugula. If you plan to serve the salad immediately, add the citrus dressing and toss to combine. If not, cover and refrigerate the salad and dressing separately, and dress the salad immediately before serving.

Enjoy!

 

cook this / 09

Every few months, I go through a phase where I clean out the fridge and pantry and make an "everything but the kitchen sink" recipe. It's either out of desperation because I don't want to grocery shop, or just because I'm feeling creative and want to test my foraging skills. This is one of those recipes. I love stocking my pantry with protein, like nuts and beans, for this exact reason (I am not a huge fan of preparing meat, so when I cook it's vegetarian 75% of the time, but I still like sneaking in protein).

I always have the following on hand: herbs of some kind, lemons/limes, nuts, dried fruit, brown rice/quinoa, and beans. You can make a pretty delicious (albeit scrappy!) meal out of those items if you're in a pinch, or just don't feel like grocery shopping.

This salad is crunchy, sweet, salty, and HEALTHY. It's perfect for lunch or a light dinner, and the flavors blend overnight so it's even better the next day. (I had this for lunch and/or dinner for an entire week!)

Feel free to substitute any herbs or veggies you may have on hand rather than the ones listed below.

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Herbed Wild Rice Salad with Corn, Cranberries, & White Beans

Ingredients

1 cup wild rice

1 cup brown rice

1 can white beans (Great Northern or cannellini)

1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

1 jalapeño, diced

1/2 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/4 cup mint, chopped

1/4 cup chives, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup wild rice with 3 cups water. Bring the rice to a boil and reduce to simmer, covering with a lid, for 45-50 minutes. In another medium saucepan, combine 1 cup brown rice with 2 1/4 cups water. Bring the rice to a boil and reduce to simmer, covering with a lid, for 45-50 minutes.

Remove from heat and let wild rice and brown rice sit in the saucepan, with the lid on, for 10 minutes. Rice should be chewy, not crunchy, when done. Fluff with a fork before serving. 

Drain and rinse the white beans, and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the dried fruit, pumpkin/sunflower seeds, herbs, scallions, and jalapeño.

In a small mixing bowl, add lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.

Add the wild and brown rice to the large mixing bowl, and pour dressing into bowl. Stir to combine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve chilled, after 3-4 hours.

Enjoy!

 

cook this / 08

Chile Verde Chicken Enchiladas & Chile de Arbol Mango Margaritas

¡Hola... feliz Cinco de Mayo!

I hope everyone had a good weekend! Are you ready for a festive Cinco de Mayo? I have a soft spot for this holiday... between speaking Spanish (and being fluent back in the day), the delicious food and drinks, I can't get enough.

Tim and I make tacos pretty often, so I wanted to try something new. These chile verde chicken enchiladas are SO GOOD. I don't know how I've made it 27 years without having made enchiladas before, but I think they're going into our monthly dinner rotation! So. good. Believe me. (Added bonus: enchiladas freeze really well, so these would be great as a make-ahead dinner.)

And, what's Cinco de Mayo without a margarita in hand? One of my favorites is from El Carnicero; the Rooster Claw. It's a (super) spicy mango margarita with habanero. While I didn't want to singe my taste buds this time around, I went with a milder option that still has a decent kick!

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Chile Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or use rotisserie chicken)

10 corn tortillas

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 can green chiles (4 oz.)

6 scallions, diced

1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt

1 cup chile verde

3/4 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend or Colby Jack)

1/2 cups cilantro, diced (plus extra for garnish)

Juice of 1 lime, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat a 9x13" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add jalapenos and green chiles and simmer for 3 minutes, until jalapenos are softened. Add garlic and scallions, simmer 1 minute. Add shredded chicken to vegetables.

In a medium bowl, combine salsa verde and greek yogurt. Add cilantro and the juice of 1 lime; stir to combine.

Add all but 1 cup of the yogurt salsa to the chicken and veggies; stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup cheese to the saucepan and once the cheese is melted, turn the heat off.

Wrap 5 corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave. This keeps the tortillas from cracking while you roll up the enchiladas.

Add a small amount of the chicken, cheese, and salsa mixture to each corn tortilla and roll up tightly. Place the seam of the enchilada facing down in the greased baking pan. Continue to roll the enchiladas, placing them tightly against each other until the baking pan is full.

Top the enchiladas with the remaining 1 cup of yogurt salsa, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Place baking pan into oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, keeping an eye on the top to make sure the cheese doesn't brown or burn.

Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Hottie Biscotti.

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Chile de Arbol Mango Margarita

Ingredients

2 ounces white tequila (I suggest Patrón Silver)

2 ounces mango juice

2 ounces lime juice

1 ounce Cointreau (or any kind of Triple Sec)

2 tablespoons chile de arbol

2 tablespoons course salt

Lime wedge

 

Directions

Combine tequila, cointreau, mango and lime juice in a shaker. Add ice, and shake for 1 minute until mixture is chilled.

On a small plate, combine chile de arbol and salt. Rub the lime wedge along the rim of the glass and dip the glass into the chile salt mixture.

Pour into a glass and serve with a lime wedge. Enjoy!

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Check out my classy bar collection... a glittery Caesar's shot glass and just your average, ginormous cocktail shaker. I look like a college student... (but I really love my glitter shot glasses)!

cook this / 06


herbed quinoa chicken salad

As soon as the weather gets warm, I tend to crave healthy, lighter foods like quinoa. The great thing about quinoa is that it's incredibly versatile, and you can really pair it with anything. It's packed with protein and fiber, boots your metabolism, and is rich in antioxidants. If you haven't tried quinoa yet, do it! It takes on the flavor of whatever you prepare it with, so you can be as timid or as bold as you want.

This recipe is a spin on your traditional chicken salad but with healthy, lighter ingredients like greek yogurt and quinoa. Your beach bod will be thanking you in no time :)

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Herbed Quinoa Chicken Salad
with Apples, Grapes & Almonds

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken stock

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

1/2 red onion, diced

1 granny smith apple, diced

1 1/2 cups green grapes, cut in half

1 1/2 cups arugula, chopped

1 T. basil, chopped

1 T. mint, chopped

1 T. chives, chopped

1/3 cup slivered almonds

1 cup greek yogurt

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 T. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Pour 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup quinoa into a large saucepan. Cook quinoa according to the package instructions and set aside to cool.

Cook chicken (bake in the oven or on the stovetop, based on your preference). Once cooked, shred the chicken breasts using 2 forks to pull apart. Put chicken in a large bowl, and add apple, red onion, arugula, almonds, grapes, basil, mint and chives into a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour dressing into the large bowl with the chicken, herbs, grapes, apples and almonds. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can eat the quinoa immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Enjoy!

herbed quinoa chicken salad
herbed quinoa chicken salad