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Pesto Pasta w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Baked Asparagus

12 Apr

I couldn’t get too far into the Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition without some asparagus.  It’s one of my favorite springtime staples!  Sun-dried tomatoes don’t last too long either and I refuse to waste food, so finding a recipe that called for both became essential (we used sun-dried tomatoes with our meatballs the other day, remember?).  I’m loving this new series and I hope you are, too!  It’s been really fun hunting around, looking for yummy new recipes.  I’ve added a bunch of new ones to my permanent rotation.


 

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Baked Asparagus (from Damn Delicious)

  • 8 oz. medium shells
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1/3 c. julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/2 c. basil pesto
  • 1/3 c. diced mozzarella cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 2. T. olive oil
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 425*F and bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.  Place the asparagus in a single row on a baking sheet, drizzle in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss them around to coat.  Bake the asparagus for around 8-10 minutes, or until it’s tender but still crispy.  Cook the shells according to the instructions.

While the asparagus are baking, prepare the sun-dried tomato and basil in a large mixing bowl.

PestoSunDriedTomato

When the asparagus have finished baking, let them cool down. Then, cut them into 1″ pieces.

Asparagus

I added shells into the pesto mix as soon as they were finished cooking, along with the 1/3 c. of diced cheese.  This way the cheese would get all melty and delicious.

Mozzarella Cheese

 

Then, mix everything together into a glorious medley.

PastaMixture

I ate mine with a fried egg on top because that’s what Chungah suggested in her post.  Always listen to Chungah because her food really is damn, delicious.

Pasta Sundried Tomato Asparagus Pesto Fried Egg

No, really.  It is.


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Arugula + Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato w/ Poached Egg

28 Jul

This recipe is so simple it feels wrong to toot my own horn, but that’s my very first poached egg you guys.  Ever.  I feel like I should get a foodie gold star right now!  Poached egg dance!  Poached egg dance!  Poached egg dance!  (PS – IDGAF if you think eggs are meat.  I consider this a meatless recipe, so put it in your Meatless Monday rolodex, yo.)

Stuffed-Sweet-Potato-Black-Beans-Arugula-Poached-Egg


Arugula & Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato w/ Poached Egg (from How Sweet It Is)

  • sweet potato
  • arugula
  • black beans, drained and rinsed
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 lg egg
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

First, cook the sweet potato using your method of choice (microwave, slow-cooker, oven, etc.).  Since I don’t care for the skin, I usually bake mine in a 400*F oven for about an hour, remove the skin and put the potato in a small dish.  You do you, though.  While the potato is cooking, I suggest tossing some arugula in extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper:

arugula-olive-oil-salt-pepper

Then, a great idea is to start fretting about cooking a poached egg.  This includes, scouring Pinterest, rapid-firing search terms into Google, calling your mom and cursing her for not answering, and then finally realizing you have 13 eggs in the house so just friggin’ throw one in some water all ready.  But not really throw!  Because you have to be careful with eggs, you know.  Anyway, I did what I was told and followed Smitten Kitchen’s tutorial for the perfect poached eggs. As I waited for my water to boil, I topped my sweet potato with some cheddar cheese, about 1/2 c. of black beans which had been rinsed but were unseasoned, and my arugula.

Stuffed-Sweet-Potato-Arugula

This was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done right here!

1st-ever-poached-egg

Having absolutely no frame of reference for if something is done or not really creates anxiety when you could ruin your whole dinner with one little poke.  But then….

Stuffed-Sweet-Potato-2

With great risk, comes great reward.

Roasted Beet Salad

22 Jul

I’ve been a fan of the beets for as long as I can remember…

thebeets

COME ON, Killer Tofu was one of the greatest hits of my childhood.

But seriously, beets.

Beets

My favorite way to prepare beets is to roast them (here is my go-to recipe).  This time, though, when the beets came out of the oven I tossed them in balsamic vinegar instead of of apple cider vinegar and knew they belonged on a bed of arugula and spinach.

Roasted-Beet-Salad-Goat-Cheese-Pecans-Arugula-Spinach

I added in a bit of crumbled goat cheese, toasted pecans, and my favorite balsamic dressing.  Seriously easy, meatless, and delicious!

My Favorite Balsamic Dressing:

  • 3 T. balsamic
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • scant 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper to taste

Whisk together the balsamic, garlic, and Dijon mustard together.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste.

3 Healthy Options From My Week

20 Jul

It’s time for another round-up of healthy options from my week!  These posts are as much for me to remember my good ideas as they are for you to feel inspired to try your own clean meals.  Despite the cooler temps this week, I definitely fell off the fitness wagon.  Hard.  Possibly broke a limb and was dragged behind the wagon – that’s how bad it was.  When you are being dragged behind the fitness wagon by your broken ankle, I strongly recommend taking a look behind you and trying to spot something positive back there.  The good news for me is that I’ve stayed pretty focused on eating clean. Now if only I could figure out a way to have a good fitness AND food week at the same time…

Anyway, here are 3 healthy options from my week:

1.

Copycat-Panera-Chicken-Hummus-Power-Bowl

I love Panera, but I love control over what goes into my body more.  Solution?  DIY duh.  I of course made up my own thing based on what I had on hand but the thing that makes it “copcat” for me is the hummus instead of dressing.  I mean, who knew?  I may have had this salad every day this week – grilled chicken with Essence of Emeril seasoning, feta, sunflower seeds, chopped red peppers, and cilantro-jalapeno hummus from the Greek Gourmet.  It’s like a farmer’s market in my mouth.  As far as I’m concerned, I may never use dressing again.  This particular hummus is all I need.

2.

Baked-Asparagus-Fries

I found this recipe over on Just A Taste and have made them several times now.  I haven’t been disappointed!  The asparagus don’t get mushy or soft like they normally do because of the light breading.  They are so easy to make, too!  I subbed plain Greek yogurt in for the mayo in both the breading and the garlic aioli.  Seriously, how did I not know about these a hundred years ago?

3.

sun-dried-tomato-chicken-salad

This one was kind of a happy accident.  I had about 2 cups of shredded chicken left over from various meal prepping during the week and I also had some sun-dried tomato “mayo” that I had made as a condiment for burgers LAST week (1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt + 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped + 4 large basil leaves + 1 t. lemon juice + salt/pepper).

At the last minute, I threw the 2 together with some feta and lettuce on one of these wraps from La Tortilla Factory:

La-Tortilla-Factory-100-Calorie-Tortillas

“Each wrap contains 20g of whole grains and 200mg of Omega 3 fatty acids with 8g of fiber and only 1.5g of fat {via}”


 

What are some of your go-to healthy options for the week?

What toppings are on your favorite salad?

 

Bruschetta, Avocado, & Mozzarella Chicken

24 Jun

Since I posted a fall-flavored Meatless Monday recipe yesterday, I knew I had to share a full-on-in-your-face-SUMMER recipe today!  This is another spectacular recipe I found over at Iowa Girl Eats – I will fan girl over her recipes every. damn. day.  Go check her out!

Bruschetta-Avocado-Mozzarella-Chicken-Balsalmic-Reduction



Bruschetta, Avocado, and Mozzarella Chicken

  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – pounded to about 1/4″ thickness
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 c. bruschetta (homemade or store bought)
  • sliced Mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil, salt, pepper
  • spinach

Preheat the broiler and pour 1/2 c. balsamic into a small skillet and bring to a boil.  As soon as the vinegar begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer it off for about 10-15 minutes.  It will begin to get syrupy and reduce a ton.  You know it’s ready to go when it coats the spoon: Balsamic-Reduction

Meanwhile, heat 1 T. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper, then cook it 7ish minutes per side or until your meat thermometer reaches 165*F.

Chicken

**I don’t mess around with “cook until pink” or “until juices run clear.”  After having a kitchen under construction so long, I’ve learned that lighting can be the difference between food poisoning and a great dinner.  Always go for the thermometer to check if meat is cooked!**

Delallo-Italian-Tomato-Bruschetta

When the chicken is ready to go, spoon enough bruschetta on top to make you happy!  I have never purchased pre-made bruschetta before and I was pleasantly surprised with this Delallo Italian Tomato mixture.   Doesn’t hurt that Delallo is based right here in Pittsburgh.  The pre-made bruschetta was the best idea I didn’t mean to have.  Honestly, it was so sweet that it complimented everything perfectly – I don’t even really like tomatoes!!  Add onto that your sliced avocado, and finally top it with a piece of mozzarella cheese. Chicken-Bruschetta-Avoacdo-Mozzarella

At this point, your balsamic reduction is probably done so just go ahead and set that aside until you are ready to eat!  Pop the chicken into the broiler and cook it until the cheese gets melted and toasted to perfection.

Serve on a bed of spinach with the balsamic reduction!

Bruschetta-Chicken-Avocado-Mozzarella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How’s that for a 20 minute meal?!

 

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