Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

20 Sep

Got an eggplant in our veggie box and couldn’t decide what to do with it….  I came across this recipe on Pinterest and we were pleasantly surprised.  It was delicious!

Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Adapted from Foodnetwork


2 teaspoons cumin

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)


One 14.5-ounce can chicken  broth

1 1/4 cups quinoa

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

One 1 1/4-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large Honey Crisp or Golden Delicious apple, unpeeled,cored, quartered

3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted

 1/4 cup roasted saltedsunflower seeds

1/2 cup dried cranberries


For the vinaigrette:   Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cumin until thick and blended in a small bowl. Stir in the shallots. Set the vinaigrette aside.
For the salad: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Mix in the quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, spray a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper on the sheet. Roast until tender and browned, stirring once, about 30 minutes.

Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Add the vinaigrette, eggplant, apples, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and cranberries. Toss to blend.

one pan chicken fajitas

24 Apr

i found this recipe in self magazine….  who can resist fajitas?  we really liked these — easy to make and tasty… already made them a few times!



Chicken Fajitas

adapted from self magazine


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  tortillas
  •  tomatoes, chopped
  • avocado, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided


Heat oven to 400°. In a bowl, toss chicken with garlic, juice, 1 tsp oil, chili powder and cumin; marinate 20 minutes. Coat a rimmed sheet pan with cooking spray; add chicken with marinade, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes with chiles, salt, black pepper and remaining 1 tsp oil; toss to combine. Roast, stirring once, until chicken is cooked through, 20 minutes. Wrap tortillas in foil; heat in oven during last 10 minutes of roasting time.

garnish with tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro

Spaghetti Carbonara with Chicken Sausage

12 Apr

Haven’t been posting much lately… No real reason  Just lazy!

I bought some chicken sausage and didn’t feel like making some of my usuals with it.. so i scoured the internet and this recipe popped up.  Don’t remember the last time i ate or made a carbonara!  But this came out really good!


Spaghetti Carbonara with Chicken Sausage

adapted from cleaneating


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb haricot verts
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided, plus additional to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 3-oz links all-natural, cooked chicken sausage, diced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 box spaghetti


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat oil. Add haricot verts, shallots, salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add 1/3 cup water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, until veggies are crisp-tender and liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic has softened, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  2. Increase heat to medium and add sausage to skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and heated through. Add to bowl with haricot verts.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and 1/8 tsp pepper; set aside. To boiling water, add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Drain and return pasta to pot, off of the heat. Immediately add egg mixture to hot pasta and stir vigorously until thickened and creamy, about 1 minute. Add veggie mixture and stir to combine. Season with additional pepper. Divide among serving bowls, top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese, dividing evenly.



Lentils with Kale and Shrimp

6 Mar

this was amazingly delicious!    can’t wait to make it again!




* 1 cup lentils
* 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 bunch kale, ends trimmed and cut into ribbons
* 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tbs. Herbs De Provence
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper
* 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* juice from half a lemon
* 1/4 cup chicken stock
* 1/2 tsp coarse salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper



Cook the lentils in boiling water until tender, 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary.

On a plate, toss the shrimp with the Herbs De Provence and crushed red pepper.

Heat 2 Tbs oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and sear for 2 minutes. Flip and sear 30 more seconds. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan. Scrap up the good browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the liquid has mostly absorbed, add the garlic and bloom for 30 seconds. Add the kale and cherry tomatoes; saute until wilted, 1 minute.

To the pot with the lentils, add the kale mixture and seared shrimp. Taste and season with salt and pepper, accordingly. Drizzle with remaining oil and spritz with lemon. Toss together and serve!

Pumpkin pecan pie gingerbread bars

14 Jan

This is one of the desserts i made for thanksgiving….   it sounded good… it looked good in the recipe… but the ingredients.. oy the ingredients… I’ve never used molasses before.  didn’t even know where to find it in the grocery store. had to text my bff to find out!  and the smell of it… oy….  i made it and stuck it in the oven hoping for the best!  there was A LOT going on!   surprisingly these were really good.. they grew on us!  kind of like a pumpkin pecan pie with gingerbread crust… so good!


Pumpkin pecan pie gingerbread bars

adapted from culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody


For the crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup molasses
1 tsp. ground ginger

For the filling:
6 large eggs
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup white chocolate chips (as a garnish)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with foil.

For the crust:
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, five minutes.
Add the molasses and ginger and beat until fully combined.

Add flour and salt and mix until combined but crumbly. Don’t worry that it’s crumbly it will come together when you press it into the pan and it bakes.
Press dough into the bottom of a prepared pan; bake until golden, 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling with about 5 minutes left to bake.

For the filling:
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined.
Mix in pumpkin, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt until combined.
Fold in pecans and pour over hot crust.
Bake bars until filling is just set, about 45 minutes.
If using white chocolate chips, remove from oven at 40 minutes, sprinkle chips and put back in for another 5 minutes.
Cool bars to room temperature and remove foil before cutting.
They will have a pie consistency so the filling is a little soft.




bok choy chicken

15 Dec

There’s a farmers market by mom’s house that i pop into now and then…  they have a good variety of stuff and its CHEAP!   i always get baby bok choy there.   it’s just one of those things that much cheaper than shoprite!

the original recipe called for sliced breasts…  i used ground chicken.  this one came out a bit bland for me.





Bok Choy Chicken Recipe

adapted from rasamalaysia


1 lb ground chicken
2 tablespoons oil
baby bok choy, sliced into pieces
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into pieces


1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch


1/2 heaping tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes  pepper
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Marinate the chicken with the ingredients in Marinade for 10 minutes. Combine all the ingredients in the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to blend well.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok until the oil becomes hot. Add the chicken and brown. Dish out and set aside.

Heat up the remaining oil in the wok until hot. Add the ginger into the wok and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the chicken back into the wok and do a few quick stirs. Add in the bok choy and stir to combine well. Transfer the sauce into the wok and continue to stir-fry until the bok choy is cooked but remain crisp. Do not overcook.

Garlic shrimp in coconut milk, tomatoes, and cilantro

13 Dec

We hadn’t had shrimp in a long time and I needed something quick to prepare.   Shrimp its was!  This was soooo good!   Served it over brown rice.  Will definitely be making this again!  (I didn’t have a red pepper so I left it out)


Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Milk, Tomatoes and Cilantro
Adapted from skinnytaste.com


1 1/4 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1/2 cup cilantro
4 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
14 oz can light coconut milk
1/2 lime, squeezed


In a medium pot, heat oil on low. Add red peppers and sauté until soft (about 4 minutes). Add scallion whites, 1/4 cup cilantro, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook 1 minute.

Add tomatoes, coconut milk and salt to taste, cover and simmer on low about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend together and to thicken the sauce.

Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes. Add lime juice.

To serve, divide equally among 4 bowls and top with scallions and cilantro.

chicken chili

3 Nov

i found this recipe on pinterest…. do i follow 21-day fix or any other of those diets or drink shakes… no i do not.. the recipe looked good and easy.. so i made it🙂 and it turned out good! really good! served it with some garlic toast. even forgot the cilantro…


chicken chili
adapted from supernovamom

1 tsp olive oil
2 lbs ground chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green (or red) bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
12 fresh cilantro sprigs, finely chopped (for garnish, optional)

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat
Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook, stirring occassionally, for 5-8 mins, or until chicken is no longer pink.
Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Add beans and tomatoes (w/ liquid). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, or until thickened.
Serve warm, sprinkled with cilatro.

orange chicken

9 Oct

this one was a little too bland for me… served it with green beans and a quinoa /rice blend…


Orange Chicken
adapted from Skinnytaste


For the Orange Sauce:

1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sriracha, or more to taste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons corn starch

For the chicken:

2lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
kosher salt, to taste
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1-inch grated ginger
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tbsp chopped scallions


Mix the orange sauce ingredients and set aside.

Season the chicken lightly with salt and coat evenly with corn starch, set aside.

Heat a wok on high heat, add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and add half of the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until well browned, set aside. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and chicken and repeat cooking 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set aside with the rest of the chicken.

Add remaining teaspoon of oil and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the orange zest then return the chicken to the pan. Quickly stir the chicken then add the orange sauce and cook until the sauce thickens,about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide between 4 plates and garnish with the scallion

chicken quesadillas

21 Sep

who doesn’t love quesadillas? these were no exception!





chicken quesadillas

adapted from pioneer woman



  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons Taco Or Tex-mex Seasoning
  • Vegetable Or Olive Oil For Frying
  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 1 whole Large Bell Pepper (color Of Your Choice)
  • tortillas
  • 2 cups Grated mexican blend cheese
  • Butter, For Frying



Heat oil  in a skillet over high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with taco seasoning. Add the chicken to the skillet and saute over medium-high heat until done, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet, allow to cool slightly, and dice into cubes. Set aside.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, throw in the onions and peppers and cook until the veggies are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter in a separate skillet or griddle over medium heat and lay a flour tortilla in the skillet. Build the quesadillas by laying a good amount of grated cheese on the bottom tortilla, and then arranging the chicken and cooked peppers on the cheese. Top with a little more grated cheese and top with a second tortilla.

When the tortilla is golden on the first side, carefully flip the quesadilla to the other side, adding another 1/2 tablespoon butter to the skillet at the same time. Continue cooking until the second side is golden.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings. Cut into wedges and serve with desired extras