Y’all know I love a good, easy recipe that’s at least semi-healthy. This one checks all the boxes. I saved it from Southern Living last year, and finally tested it out a few weeks ago. It was so delicious I made it again the next week.
Let me also add, I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day with some creamy jalapeño dip we had left over from Chuy’s …. Oh my gosh, LIFE CHANGING! I mean that dip is life changing in and of itself, but drizzled on top of this recipe. Wow. Obviously not as healthy as the original, but c’est la vie.
Safe to say, this one is going in the rotation. Hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think!
6 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 lb. raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pt. grape tomatoes
2 medium zucchinis, cut diagonally into ½-inch slices
2 medium yellow squash, cut diagonally into ½-inch slices
1 lemon, cut into quarters
2 pouches microwaveable basmati rice
S&P to taste
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Stir together olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and 3 tsp. of thyme in a small bowl.
- Place shrimp, tomatoes and zucchini/squash mixture in three separate bowls. Toss each with one-third of oil mixture.
- Heat a rimmed baking sheet in the oven 2 minutes. Add zucchini, squash and lemons (flesh side up) to hot baking sheet, and bake until squash begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and bake until tomatoes begin to burst, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in shrimp; bake until shrimp are cooked through and zucchini/squash is tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Squeeze juice from roasted lemons over veggies. Stir to combine.
- Cook rice according to package directions. Divide rice, shrimp and veggies evenly. Top with remaining thyme.
Not only do I have a new recipe to share today, I also have a new cookbook that will change your life. Okay, that might be a little melodramatic, but for real, it’s amazing.
It’s not just another paleo cookbook. A dear friend recommended it to me, touting 8 full weeks of meal plans (all gluten-free, dairy-free) complete with recipes + shopping lists, and it efficiently utilizes all the ingredients for several of the meals throughout the week, so minimal food waste. It’s all very simple, but very appealing. At the time I learned about the cookbook, we were 6 weeks out from our Mexico vaca, so I ordered the book to use as a guide to help us eat healthier before the trip.
We’re now 3 weeks in and loving it. Most of the recipes are pretty easy, and all have been delicious. We’ve been mixing and matching the meals a bit depending on our schedules for the week and our likes/dislikes, but if you wanted an exact meal plan for every day of the week with an exact list to take to the grocery store, this book is for you.
Every meal we’ve made has been delicious, but this Minestrone Soup has been one of our favorites. It was so good on a cold, rainy day this week and we’ve been eating on it for a few days now! You could kick up the cayenne pepper a bit for a little more kick, but this has such good flavor as is.
M I N E S T R O N E S O U P
2lb ground beef, turkey or chicken (we used beef this time, but will try turkey or chicken next!)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 cups shredded carrots
32oz chicken stock
15oz tomato sauce
10oz diced tomatoes with green chilies
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon parsley
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 lb yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
S&P to taste
- Brown the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until cooked through. use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a slow cooker insert, leaving the fat in the pan.
- Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots to the pan and sauce over medium heat for 8 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly tender. Drain and add the vegetables to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the squash and basil. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Add the squash and basil during the last 30 minutes if cooking on high or 1 hour if cooking on low.
- Adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve with a garnish of fresh basil.
I’ve been trying very hard not to write the cliche post about New Year’s Resolutions and eating healthier, yada yada yada. So I won’t. Instead, I’ll just give you two really great recipes that COULD help with such a resolution IF you had one.
I’ve shared previously about how meal planning can change your life, and I truly stand by that statement today. When I meal plan for the week, everything just seems so much easier and healthier and less stressful. Yes, it is definitely harder on the front-end and does take time, but it is worth it. Trust me.
One of my key tips is using Walmart Grocery Pickup – you place your order online, you drive to the store and they load it into your car for you. In this ridiculous weather we’ve been having, I don’t know how it gets much better than that. You know you want to try it, so take the first step – use this link to sign up for your first order and get $10 off. You’re welcome.
After engorging ourselves in December, we’ve gone back to the everyday mason jar salads for lunch, and are really a hit. I’ve even started making my own salad dressing. It is divine and so much better than that store-made stuff. I’ve made a few varieties, but this one has been our favorite.
A P P L E C I D E R V I N E G A R D R E S S I N G
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/2c olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake to combine! It’s as simple as that.
The next easy, life-changing recipe I want to share is crustless quiche. I first learned about it from my Mom early last year, and it is now a staple in our house. If we’re being good, we make some every Sunday for the week ahead.
To be honest, I’ve never been much of a breakfast person, but since I’ve started eating this in the morning I’ve noticed I’m not starving at lunch (which makes eating a salad easier) and I have more energy. The best thing about this recipe is you can change it up with whatever you want or have left over in your fridge. Here’s how we’ve been doing it lately –
A L D E R M A N S ‘ F A V O R I T E C R U S T L E S S Q U I C H E 1 lb hot sausage
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4c sliced cherry tomatoes
splash of milk
sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Turn oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook the sausage, adding garlic when its almost/basically done.
- Whisk eggs with milk and S&P.
- Spray pan – we use 9.5″ circular glass pan.
- Spread sausage, spinach + tomatoes, then cover with egg mixture.
- Bake for approx. 30 minutes, until set.
I then pre-cut slices of quiche, cover with foil and pop in the refrigerator. In the mornings, we take a piece, microwave it for about 35 seconds and top with some salsa verde. Yum!
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What a relaxing, rainy Sunday it’s been. You know the ones – where you wake up unhindered by an alarm and only the smell of freshly ground coffee can entice you out of bed, where you can leisurely cross things off your to-do list while sneaking in an episode or two of your current binge ((Ozark)), where you can drink a glass of wine at 4pm on the porch listening to the tender rainfall and contemplate the week ahead.
I love these days, and especially when these days are 65 degrees in August.in the South. literally unheard of.
These types of days call for a delicious home-cooked meal and a good bottle of red. Like the recipe below, which I found in a magazine and made early this week.
“Oh my gosh. This is amazing.”
Yessss! And it was easy, and it’s healthy. Winner winner, pork dinner.
1 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 pork chops (we used butterfly, but the recipe called for bone-in)
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, sliced
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
S&P to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine chile powder, cumin and salt; rub all over pork.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning once, until deeply browned, about 4-5 minutes per side.
3. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast until 140 degrees, approx 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, wipe out skillet and return to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
5. Add corn and beans. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
6. Stir in chopped cilantro, lime juice and S&P. (I also added a little more chile powder to the succotash!)
7. Serve with pork and lime wedges and top with more cilantro!
PS – I just got a cast-iron skillet and am LOVING it. Send me any of your favorite cast-iron recipes!
I can’t say I’ve ever made biscuits and gravy. I love them and they make me think of my Dad and my Husband, but I’ve never made them.
A few weeks ago, Husband tagged me in a Tasty video on Facebook – Gravy-Stuffed Biscuits. They looked DIVINE and we vowed to make them together one weekend.
Well, we stuck to our vow and we are very impressed with ourselves because they were absolutely amazing. They’re so easy, and put a unique twist on the classic breakfast recipe. Next time we have to take a dish to a brunch or have people stay the night with us, these will be first on our list to make.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
G R A V Y – S T U F F E D B I S C U I T S
- 14 oz. ground italian sausage
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1½ cups milk
- 8 biscuits – we used fluffy, buttery biscuits!
- S+P and other seasoning options: italian seasoning, basil, thyme, sage
1. Cook the sausage over medium-high heat.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the flour over the sausage and stir until the flour has absorbed all of the sausage fat and is lightly coating the sausage pieces.
3. Add the milk in several increments while whisking.
4. Season with S+P and anything else you may have – we used some italian seasoning.
5. Cook the gravy for 5-10 minutes, frequently stirring until the gravy thickens. Let cool.
6. Fill a well-greased ice-cube tray with the gravy OR if you’re like us and don’t have an ice-cube tray, you can use liners in a cupcake pan.
7. Freeze for 30-40 minutes.
8. Pre-heat the oven to 350.
9. Flatten out the biscuits, and place a cube of gravy into each of the biscuits.
10. Fold the sides of the biscuit dough around the gravy cube pinching the dough together at the top. Roll the biscuit balls to smooth them out.
11. Place the biscuits on a parchment lined ½ cookie sheet making sure the dough seams are on the bottom.
12. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
If you have leftover gravy, re-heat it and add on top! It would also be good to make gravy without sausage just for dipping.
I thought I didn’t like Cuban sandwiches. I had no reason not to, and had never tried them, but I just didn’t like them.
Then we watched the movie Chef. If you like food trucks and indie movies, add this to your list immediately because the movie was incredible, and guess what – it made me really want to eat a Cuban sandwich.
We’ve found a place locally that serves amazing Cubans – Pinnacle Bar and Grill in Rogers. But then I saw this recipe for Slow-Cooker Cuban Sandwiches in a magazine and had to try it.
It wasn’t quite the same, but it was so easy and made a ton of food. This would be great to make for a football watch party or a family gathering. You make the pork in the crockpot (which is so tender and delicious!!) then anyone can add whatever toppings they want. Of course I would recommend you stick with the traditional Cuban of ham, swiss, pickles and dijon mustard.
Weekend plans complete: Make slow-cooker cuban sandwiches and watch Chef.
S L O W – C O O K E R C U B A N S A N D W I C H E S
- 2lb boneless pork shoulder roast
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 6-in. sub rolls (we used King’s Hawaiian subs, but would also be great on a real sub)
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 3 oz. thinly sliced deli ham
- 3 oz. thinly sliced Swiss cheese
- Dill pickle chips
- Rub the pork with the garlic and salt and place in slow-cooker. Add the chicken stock. Cover and cook on low until the pork is very tender, 7 to 8 hours.
- Pull pork into 1- to 2-inch pieces; toss with the lime juice. Return to slow cooker to keep warm.
- Preheat broiler with the oven rack 6 inches from heat. Split the rolls. Spread the mustard on the bottom halves and top evenly with the pork, ham, and swiss cheese.
- Broil until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Top with the pickles and sandwich with the tops of the rolls.
See more of my favorite recipes here.
Any time I can find a new recipe that fits weeknight rotation criteria (namely, easy and semi-healthy), I consider it a win. In the last few weeks, I found TWO really delicious and easy dishes that Husband and I both love, so of course, I had to share.
I N D I A N B U T T E R C H I C K E N [C R O C K P O T M E A L]
I love our crockpot year-round, but in the Fall I’m itching to use it even more. Sometimes I wish I had two crockpots so I could use one the next night without having to clean the one from the night before … but that would just promote bad behavior, so I resist and clean and stick to one crockpot meal a week.
I was searching for new chicken crockpot recipes and happened upon this one. It’s very different than something we would typically do, but I’m so glad we tried it because it’s amazing. If you like Indian flavors and spices, you need to try this – simply mix the sauce on the stovetop, pour it over the chicken and heat on low for 6 hours.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tsp coconut oil (we’ve had this in our pantry for forever, but haven’t used until now!)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 (14oz) can coconut milk
- 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼c Cilantro, or to taste
- In a medium saute pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent and fairly tender. Add garlic, spices, and salt. Cook 1 minute longer, till all the spices are fragrant and amazing. Stir in coconut milk and tomato paste and stir until well combined.
- Add chicken to the slow cooker. Pour sauce over everything.
- Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low heat for 6-8 hours.
- Shred or dice chicken into the sauce, squeeze in lime juice, top with cilantro, and serve with your favorite vegetable or rice – we’ve been using quinoa!
S L O P P Y J O E S T U F F E D P E P P E R S
Fun fact about me – any time I’m staying in a hotel room, the TV will be on going back and forth between HGTV and Food Network. Since we cut cable, those are the two channels I miss dearly, so when I’m traveling (for work or vacation) I get so excited I’ll be able to watch from my cozy hotel bed.
Last weekend we went to Hermann, Missouri for a little weekend getaway. It was time for me and Husband to reconnect, to drink wine and of course, relax. Sunday morning we woke up earlier than usual, so we turned on the fireplace, made some coffee and watched Ayesha’s Homemade on Food Network. I loved the show and loved all the dishes she made, but this one stood out and I vowed to make it. Well, I made it this week and it was a hit. It will be going in the weeknight rotation for sure.
- 3 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 cup grated Cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Halve the peppers through the stems; remove the stems, seeds and membranes. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss the peppers with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then arrange the peppers cut-sides up. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, and garlic and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Season with the cumin, smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper; stir to combine. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, vinegar and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Spoon the filling into the pepper halves and sprinkle with the Cheddar. Pour 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the baking dish and tent with foil (so the foil is not touching the cheese). Bake until the peppers begin to soften, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and bake until peppers are very tender and the filling is browned and bubbly, another 15 to 20 minutes.
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