When the weather has turned hot, I just can’t seem to get enough of salads. Often I try to mix it up a little so it’s not the same ol’ and I’m trying a different combination of veggies or protein. I’ve been especially trying to get my vegetables in this week since starting this new nutrition program where dinner should be 75% veggies and 25% protein. This meal is right on target for that!
Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Salad
Marinated honey mustard chicken served over a bed of spring greens, veggies and bacon crumbles. A drizzle of homemade honey mustard dressing tops it off.
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup crumbled cooked bacon, about 4 pieces
- 4 cups spring salad mix
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup sweet corn
- ¼ cup red onion, sliced
- 3 tablespoons mustard
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium size bowl, add ingredients for the marinade/dressing. Divide half into a separate shallow dish and add chicken breasts. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum. Refridgerate the other half for your dressing.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large size skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken; searing each side for about 3-5 minues. Repeat until chicken is a golden brown and is cooked through. Remove from pan and allow to cool momentarily. When chicken is cool enough to handle, slice into pieces and set aside.
- Divide 4 cups of salad into 4 bowls or plates. Add bacon, tomatoes, corn and onion. Next add your chicken and drizzle the honey mustard dressing you had set aside earlier.
It feels like it’s been some time since I’ve done a meatless Monday post, let alone cooked a meatless meal on a Monday. While searching for clean-eating recipes for the week, I stumbled upon this one from Yummily Yours that I had to try since I’m still in the quest for finding the perfect natural (aka unprocessed) marinara sauce.
It’s crazy how little amount of time and effort it takes to make a marinara. I like more chunks of tomatoes and less “sauce” in mine, so I don’t necessarily puree the tomatoes – just halve them and cook or bake. Tomatoes are magical like that.
So Arrabbiata is a spicy sauce that is made from garlic, tomatoes, and red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. I laid low on the red chili peppers and used chili powder myself because I was going to have the children try the sauce, but my husband deemed it an “adult meal” and now I know next time to actually use red pepper FLAKES, not ground chili. I left it as it’s intended to be cooked in the recipe below though.
I was most thoroughly excited about learning how to get that “restaurant shine” you see often see in pasta dishes when I tried this recipe. The secret? Add a little under half a cup of the water you cooked your pasta in to the skillet you’re cooking your tomato mixture in. Who would have thought?!
- 8-ounces linguine pasta
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- cherry tomatoes , sliced into halves
- 2 tablespoons chilli flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- grated parmesan, for topping.
- Bring a large saucepan to a raging boil and add pasta. Cook according to package.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add minced garlic, allowing to saute; 3 minutes. Next add the tomatoes and cook until they appear softened and the skin looks slightly broken.
- As pasta is finished, drain all but 1/3 of pasta water if possible. Add just pasta to tomatoes and mix well, adding salt and pepper for taste if desired. Next add pasta water, stirring so that the water and olive oil are combined. This sound appear to thicken the sauce some.
- Garnish with chilli flakes and parsley, stirring again to combine. Serve with grated parmesan strips overtop.
Adapted from Yummily Yours
Adapted from Yummily Yours
A gas range is something I am still getting used to. No one quite understands the difference between an electric stove and a gas range until they actually go from having one to the other. I’ve always heard that a lot of food not only tastes different when using a gas stove (or oven), but also cooks much quicker. It’s still too early for me to validate the taste answer, but I can absolutely attest to the cooks quicker one! I learned just how quick after burning french toast.
Since we are now officially in the new home, I can settle in more comfortably and get back into the swing of things – meaning actually cooking again; something I desperately missed both mentally and physically. I always feel so much better about myself when I know where my meals came from and who prepared them. Don’t get me wrong, eating out every once in awhile is nice but not only does it get expensive but it’s also most likely not healthy.
Tonight’s dinner was a late one due to schedules so it had to be something more on the simple side. It’s been some time since I made a marinara sauce and pasta can be both satisfying to all tastebuds and a quick clean-plater. I had most things already on hand, aside from the tomatoes which I happily walked over to Whole Foods to acquire. It’s awesome just how good even a basic marinara sauce can taste. Those tomatoes really do their job!
Tomato? Tomahto? Marinara is a personal preference. I happen to like mine sweet so cherry tomatoes that were roasted in an oven were sure to give my marinara a sweet taste. I made sure to marinate them with some olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt, italian seasoning, oregano and fresh basil leaves before I cooked them in the oven for a couple hours. And if you don’t want to get out the whisk and crush your tomatoes after they’re done roasting; you can puree them the lazy (and super smart) cook way – in a blender! Just make sure to pulse for less than a minute if you would like to have some “chunk” pieces to your sauce.
What would you add in your marinara sauce?
We’ve been using ground turkey instead of ground beef for so long that I’ve forgotten what beef actually tastes like. I like ground turkey. The kids have grown to like it too, so I really see no point in switching back. It’s healthier and that makes spending a couple extra bucks worth it to me.
While trying to expand my “bowl recipes,” I stumbled across this particular one for with what seemed like extremely good-for-you meatballs. I liked that they were an oven-bake and the marinara was an easy homemade sauce you could put together in no time and patiently hang out in the kitchen with a cup of tea while it slowly cooked over the stove.
And so I did just that.
Not to mention, it tastes great over whole-grain rice. Which obviously makes it a keeper, a blog post and handwritten down on a recipe card to go in my book. But if you don’t like rice, you can eat just the meatballs with the sauce, overtop a plate of linguini noodles or on a sub.
That makes it pretty hard not to want to give it a try, don’t you think?
Oven-Cooked Paleo Italian Meatballs with Sauce
Healthy ground turkey meatballs baked in the oven and then simmered in a sauce-pan of delicious and hearty homemade marinara sauce. Recipe is both paleo and gluten-free.
- 1lb ground turkey beef
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, divided (optional)
- whole grain rice, (optional)
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsely, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a large baking sheet, cover with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add beaten egg with ground turkey, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, italian seasoning, parsley, salt and black pepper. Combine well with clean hands.
- Using hands, roll meatballs, about 2 tablespoons of mixture, evenly and spread on baking pan. Space out each meatball at least ½-1 inch apart from each other.
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and allow to saute for 5 minutes. Next add garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Both onion and garlic should appear transparent. Add canned tomatoes, bay leaf and pepper. Combine well with a wooden spoon and lower heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Serve overtop meatballs and whole-grain rice.
- Recipe has been adjusted from original posted via adapt link.
Adapted from Noshtastic
When we think of pasta, we imagine a tomato sauce deliciously overlapping noodles. Spaghetti Carbonara is a little different, but the good kind of different.
The dish that originated out of Rome simply consists of egg, bacon, black pepper and cheese tangled between thin pasta noodles. Add in additional meat, vegetables to even greater the flavor.
Perfect for those with the intention of having a light dinner, or needing a quick meal to put together.
The healthier version of pasta!
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Whole grain spaghetti
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4oz deli-fresh ham, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
- Fill a large saucepan 2/3 full with water for spaghetti noodles. After water is brought to a boil, cook noodles according to package.
- While noodles are cooking, whisk together eggs with 2 tablespoons cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet, add oil and cook garlic for 1 minute over medium heat. Next, add red pepper flakes and ham and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- After draining noodles, add to egg mixture, stirring well with a large spoon to combine well. Add garlic and ham mixture and stir again, combining well.
- Divide among 4 plates. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese on top, along with another pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
Spaghetti is a household staple as far as dinner for at least 2 nights per month. Sometimes even as frequent as once a week, depending on how good the spaghetti itself (or sauce) is. I like to compliment my pasta with homemade meatballs that have been soaking in marinara sauce for hours ala crockpot.
Because I’m doing my best to avoid as much processed food as possible, I’ve decided that spaghetti for me is best as natural as possible. The kids’ aren’t especially big on raw tomatoes, so they stick with the traditional spaghetti marinara, but I can get my husband to eat his spaghetti natural because he does like raw tomatoes. Phew, nothing like a night where you AREN’T the only oddball plate at dinner.
The great part about natural sauce is you can mix and choose whatever ingredient to add to it as you like. I, personally, like just a slight hint of kick so I add crushed red pepper to mine. That also helps it to not taste too bland, as it can; tomatoes are good, but let’s be honest, they aren’t really flavorful.
Suggested Ingredients: 5 diced roma tomatoes, minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, dried italian seasoning, crushed black pepper, salt.
1. Add all ingredients into a processor and only process for a few seconds. This allows the mixture to not only mix, but liquify just slightly. You do want some whole tomatoes.
Note: Processing is optional. Sometimes I just mix in a bowl and eat as is.