Steel Cut Oatmeal with Roasted Strawberries

Creamy, rich, steel cut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and topped with delicious roasted strawberries makes the perfect healthy breakfast

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Roasted Strawberries

I am very much a creature of habit. I suspect for most of us, change is not an easy thing, but I know that I have a tendency to take this to an extreme at times. Just the act of rearranging furniture in a room  to create a new look is pushing the boundaries of my comfort level. That being said, I will admit that I have eaten the same breakfast, literally the same brand and flavor of granola bar, almost every single morning for about 20 years. Weekends will offer the occasion for a special morning of waffles, pancakes, maybe a breakfast casserole, but for my weekday routine there is never a variety. A grown up, healthy remake of my breakfast selection is in order and this amazing steel cut oatmeal with roasted strawberries started the week off right.

As a family we are on a mission, if you will, of trying to make healthier lifestyle choices. Overall we do a decent job of preparing lunch from home to take to work. We rarely go out to eat for dinner. Neither my husband nor I are morning people so quick, processed breakfast foods are our downfall.

My hope is that making a big batch of steel cut oatmeal on the weekend and portioning it for the week will make for a healthy and convenient breakfast. Unlike old fashioned oats, steel cut oats, though time consuming to prepare, reheat well. The recipe below is for a “single batch” but I actually made a “double batch” for the week. After eating our warm, fresh bowl of oatmeal with delicious strawberries I simply portioned out what remained, added a little extra almond milk and refrigerated the containers. Next week I plan to use a different fruit and then it will seem like a new twist on breakfast.

So why this breakfast and why these ingredients?

  • Strawberries are just yummy!
  • Oatmeal, whether steel cut or old-fashioned, helps lower cholesterol and almost all of us can benefit from this
  • Unsweetened almond milk may help reduce inflammation compared to cow’s milk

If only I could eat this while driving, it would be perfect!

 

Creamy, rich, steel cut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and topped with delicious roasted strawberries makes the perfect healthy breakfast
Steel Cut Oatmeal with Roasted Strawberries
Print Recipe
Creamy, rich, steel cut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and topped with delicious roasted strawberries makes the perfect healthy breakfast
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Creamy, rich, steel cut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and topped with delicious roasted strawberries makes the perfect healthy breakfast
Steel Cut Oatmeal with Roasted Strawberries
Print Recipe
Creamy, rich, steel cut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and topped with delicious roasted strawberries makes the perfect healthy breakfast
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Toss strawberries in one tablespoon of sugar and spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes.
  2. While strawberries are roasting, bring water, almond milk, and salt to a boil in a pot.
  3. While liquids come to a boil, heat a saute pan to medium and add butter. Lightly toast oats for about 1-2 minutes. Add toasted oats to the boiling water and milk mixture and stir.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally for 30 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Serve warm oatmeal topped with extra maple syrup, if desired, and roasted strawberries. Feel free to add chia seed, flax seed, or other toppings as desired.
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Roasted Vegetable and Potato Medley

Seasoned vegetables and potatoes roasted to perfection with a light coating of panko for added crunch make a healthy side dish the whole family will enjoy.

Roasted Vegetable and Potato Medley

Eat your veggies! Eat your veggies! How many times per week can I say this phrase? I’m sure almost every parent has this battle on a regular basis but it is exhausting. I am always on the hunt for a way to make that part of the meal less painful for our little guy. Hide the vegetables beside some potatoes, for instance. A roasted vegetable and potato medley was eaten without tears from him and by the bowl-full by me as roasted vegetables with this slight coating of panko for a bit of added crunch are just delicious!

To what lengths do we go to as parents to get our littles to eat? Do you make it colorful so it looks like fun on a plate? Not always a guarantee for success. Try to find a texture they love, crunchy in this instance? Hit or miss. Pair something new with something familiar to make it less of a reach?  Cross your fingers. Sauce, sauce, sauce. And finally, bribery.

We are even getting to the point that we are tricking the dog to eat. Our old boy is hanging in there somehow, but doesn’t inhale his food in three bites like he did as a puppy. Some days we sneak a little bite of bread underneath the pile of dog food and it makes him eat his way down to the treat at the bottom. It’s much like my son hunting for the potatoes in the bowl with zucchini and peppers, only the dog is not as smart at picking around the bites he doesn’t want!

I have to remind myself that this is karma, therefore what I get for torturing my parents with my picky eating years ago. I want to raise a strong-willed child, independent and unwavering, yet I want to mold him at the same time. Parenting is tough!

 

Seasoned vegetables and potatoes roasted to perfection with a light coating of panko for added crunch make a healthy side dish the whole family will enjoy.
Roasted Vegetable and Potato Medley
Print Recipe
Seasoned vegetables and potatoes roasted to perfection with a light coating of panko for added crunch make a healthy side dish the whole family will enjoy.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Seasoned vegetables and potatoes roasted to perfection with a light coating of panko for added crunch make a healthy side dish the whole family will enjoy.
Roasted Vegetable and Potato Medley
Print Recipe
Seasoned vegetables and potatoes roasted to perfection with a light coating of panko for added crunch make a healthy side dish the whole family will enjoy.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare vegetable and potatoes by chopping them to roughly the same size so that they will roast evenly.
  2. Place chopped ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add panko crumbs. Toss to coat.
  3. Spread vegetable/potato mixture on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast at 400F for approximately 45 minutes, stirring gently twice during the process.
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Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip

Creamy spinach dip that is bursting with roasted garlic flavor

Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip

I came very close to naming this recipe “not on a first date dip” because it contains a full head of roasted garlic. If you have never tried roasting garlic before it is so simple to do and is absolutely heavenly! Roasting the garlic turns it almost to the consistency of butter and gives it a sweeter, less powerful taste. This roasted garlic spinach dip is creamy and packed with garlic flavor and the spinach gives it the perfect “dip” texture.

We had never eaten roasted garlic until last year. My husband and I took an overnight trip to a nice hotel and then went to a concert. We made fun of ourselves the whole weekend because we, being in our thirties, were on this trip to see James Taylor perform, who was in his sixties. My husband and I went to UNC Chapel Hill and James Taylor lived in Chapel Hill for some time so we have always enjoyed his music. While on our little getaway we ate at the hotel restaurant and were served the best, fresh bread with a side of roasted garlic for spreading. After the first bite or two my husband and I were both addicted!

Since that I trip I look for ways to sneak roasted garlic into recipes and though it is a bit time consuming, could not be more simple. Just slice of the very top off the head of garlic and pour a bit of olive oil over the top. Sprinkle the garlic lightly with salt and pepper and wrap in foil and bake at 375 F for 45 minutes. Once it is cool you can easily squeeze out the roasted cloves to use in your dish. When I roast garlic I often plan to roast several bulbs at once and then try to plan other meals over the coming days that can use that amazing garlic flavor. For example, this week I made a second bulb and put it in the food processor with some olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. I then used that mixture to marinate chicken breasts which then were seared and roasted. Delicious!

Creamy spinach dip that is bursting with roasted garlic flavor

 

Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip
Print Recipe
Creamy spinach dip that is bursting with roasted garlic flavor
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Roasted Garlic Spinach Dip
Print Recipe
Creamy spinach dip that is bursting with roasted garlic flavor
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
65 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Roast the garlic by heating oven to 375F. Cut top 1/4 off head of garlic. Place on piece of foil. Cover cut portion of garlic with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Close foil. Roast for 45 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. Lower temperature on oven to 350F. Heat frozen spinach per package instructions. Strain to remove as much water as possible.
  3. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Add all of the cloves of roasted garlic and mix to break up the garlic. Add mozzarella, spinach, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased dish. Top with parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
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Chicken and Pickled Jalapeno Pizza

Chicken seasoned with a blend of spices, pickled jalapeno slices, caramelized onions, infused olive oil top this pizza to create a flavor explosion!

Chicken and Pickled Jalapeno Pizza

The pizza I concocted this week was admittedly a bit unusual, but ended up being fantastic! As with many of the dishes I make, it  started with the basic concept of something we know that we like, such as pizza, and then experiment from there. I love caramelized onions and cilantro, two things that really would not seem to go together all. My husband loves cherry peppers and pickled jalapenos so I threw those on the pizza, too. Chicken and cheese were all of the additional ingredients that were needed to bring this pickled jalapeno pizza together. Often strange combinations end up being amazing and this pizza was sweet, sour, and spicy, hitting all of the right flavors.

There was a time, not very long ago, that I would have said that I hated pretty much anything pickled. I still will not eat a dill pickle if you paid me to and do not understand why so many restaurants serve them with a sandwich. My husband, on the other hand, literally buys them by the giant jar-full to eat as a snack. I have come to actually like some pickled foods, such as pickled jalapenos and pickled red onions.  The taste of vinegar is definitely an acquired taste. Now if I could only get my family to try eating turnip greens with some vinegar poured over them I would be happy.  This, strangely, used to be one of my favorite foods as a kid. There is no chance anyone in my house will even try it!

My gardening goals for the coming year is to master growing peppers. I have attempted jalapenos in the past but most of them ended up rotting before they were of a decent size. This summer I vow to figure out how to remedy this and grow some yummy cherry peppers as well. Banana peppers would be a fun pizza addition so these may be something I can plant, too. Any great advice on how I can be successful in this venture is welcomed.

Chicken seasoned with a blend of spices, pickled jalapeno slices, caramelized onions, infused olive oil top this pizza to create a flavor explosion!
Chicken and Pickled Jalapeno Pizza
Print Recipe
Chicken seasoned with a blend of spices, pickled jalapeno slices, caramelized onions, infused olive oil top this pizza to create a flavor explosion!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Chicken and Pickled Jalapeno Pizza
Print Recipe
Chicken seasoned with a blend of spices, pickled jalapeno slices, caramelized onions, infused olive oil top this pizza to create a flavor explosion!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 45 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Prepare pizza crust if making your own. Preheat oven according to crust directions.
  2. Create infused olive oil by heating 1/4 cup of olive oil to simmering and adding 3 whole garlic cloves and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes then remove from heat while preparing other ingredients.
  3. Caramelize onions by heating a saute pan over medium low heat. Add butter and then onions. Stir onions occasionally as you do not want them to burn. You may need to add a small amount of olive oil if they seem to be too dry. You may season lightly with salt and pepper. After about 40 minutes (or more) they should be very soft and brown. Remove from heat.
  4. While onions are cooking, proceed to making chicken. Make spice mixture by combining salt, pepper, ancho chile pepper, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  5. Heat saute pan over medium and add a small amount of olive oil. Season chicken pieces with the spice mixture and toss to coat. Add chicken to pan and cook until just done.
  6. Prepare pizza by spreading a thin layer of infused oil on crust. Sprinkle the Tbsp of minced cherry peppers over the crust. Top with shredded mozzarella.
  7. Top with caramelized onions, seasoned chicken, and pickled jalapeno slices. Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.
  8. Top cooked pizza with chopped, fresh cilantro.
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Southwestern Frittata

A flavorful southwestern frittata loaded with vegetables, chiles, hash browns, sausage, and melted cheese that is great for breakfast or dinner.

Southwestern Frittata

Breakfast for dinner was a complete success this week with this super flavorful southwestern frittata. Frittatas are a great way to use up leftover ingredients, in this case green peppers, onions, and hash browns, and I knew that adding cheese and sausage would make everyone happy. This dish would be great to serve just about any time of day.

I have tried to convince my husband that our next family “pet” needs to be chickens. Fresh eggs would be delightful and would save money. He is always looking for a project to build to use all of those tools that sit in the garage and a chicken coop would be a challenge. Our sweet dog is really struggling and we know that his days are numbered. I don’t want a cat or a fish to replace our dear dog one day and we are too busy for a puppy. Chickens are perfect! Trendy even.

No, no, no he says. I’m pretty sure it is against the homeowner’s association rules as well. I feel quite sure my dog barking is louder than chickens so this rule seems silly. I mentioned the idea to my dad, who happened to grow up on an egg farm of all places, and he thinks it is a stupid idea, too. Apparently wild animals will come after my chickens and chickens poop a lot. So much for my dream of fresh egg frittatas every week.

A flavorful southwestern frittata loaded with vegetables, chiles, hash browns, sausage, and melted cheese that is great for breakfast or dinner.

Southwestern Frittata

A flavorful southwestern frittata loaded with vegetables, chiles, hash browns, sausage, and melted cheese that is great for breakfast or dinner.
Southwestern Frittata
Print Recipe
A flavorful southwestern frittata loaded with vegetables, chiles, hash browns, sausage, and melted cheese that is great for breakfast or dinner.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
A flavorful southwestern frittata loaded with vegetables, chiles, hash browns, sausage, and melted cheese that is great for breakfast or dinner.
Southwestern Frittata
Print Recipe
A flavorful southwestern frittata loaded with vegetables, chiles, hash browns, sausage, and melted cheese that is great for breakfast or dinner.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat saute pan to medium. Add pork sausage and crumble and brown the sausage until cooked. Drain the meat, leaving enough fat to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add green peppers and onion to the pan and stir occasionally until softened, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add green chiles, frozen hash browns, and garlic to the pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add the buttermilk. Whisk. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add sausage and 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the pepper/onion/hash brown mixture and stir to combine. Pour the egg and milk combination into the pan and stir gently for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and eggs appear set.
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Crockpot Beef Tacos

Easy, spicy beef tacos slow cooked in the crockpot and topped with your favorite Tex Mex ingredients

Crockpot Beef Tacos

There could be no more perfect of a weeknight meal than spicy beef tacos, cooked effortlessly in a crockpot while I am at work. These crockpot beef tacos are an easy meal that can be pulled together in minutes and they allow for lots of creativity with the toppings you put on them. I can add cilantro and pickled red onions to just about anything, and these tacos are the perfect vessel for both.

My sweet and loving husband knows my love of Mexican food is so great that he gifted me with a trip to a Mexican cooking class together. The chef prepared several amazing dishes, the very best of which was the most delicious taco I have ever eaten. I’m sure my husband would rather have been at a steakhouse, but I was thrilled to be at the cooking class. He sets the bar too high when it comes to creative gift ideas!

Beef tacos have to be my hands-down favorite taco. Beef seems to take on the warm, spicy flavors so well and can be topped with just about any topping that you wish to add. I think my husband requests shrimp tacos even more often that beef, so the struggle to pick what to make can be tough! The local Mexican restaurant that we go to has a taco platter that we love to buy that has a variety of tacos: beef, chicken, shrimp, fish, chorizo. One day I would love to have a dinner party and try to have nothing but unique, fancy tacos. One day…

Tonight, the crockpot!

Easy, spicy beef tacos slow cooked in the crockpot and topped with your favorite Tex Mex ingredients

Crockpot Beef Tacos

Easy, spicy beef tacos slow cooked in the crockpot and topped with your favorite Tex Mex ingredients
Crockpot Beef Tacos
Print Recipe
Easy, spicy beef tacos slow cooked in the crockpot and topped with your favorite Tex Mex ingredients
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
7-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
7-8 hours
Easy, spicy beef tacos slow cooked in the crockpot and topped with your favorite Tex Mex ingredients
Crockpot Beef Tacos
Print Recipe
Easy, spicy beef tacos slow cooked in the crockpot and topped with your favorite Tex Mex ingredients
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
7-8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
7-8 hours
Ingredients
Crockpot beef
Jalapeno cream sauce
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Optional step for best texture and flavor: heat heavy bottomed pan on medium heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Sear meat on all sides, approximately two minutes per side.
  2. Place meat in crockpot. Season evenly with cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, Ancho chili powder, and chipotle peppers. Add stock to pot.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  4. Remove meat from pot and shred with a fork.
  5. Prepare cream sauce by simply mixing the sour cream and jalapeno. May thin the sauce with a small amount of lime juice if desired.
  6. Assemble tacos with warmed tortillas, beef, and desired toppings.
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Brie Bites

Puffed pastry stuffed with brie cheese and jam

Brie Bites

It is officially the first week back to school for my son. This allows me some time to be able to work on recipes and posting to the blog with a little less guilt! He was not so thrilled that the summer was over and I agree that the summer seems to have flown by. I dove back into recipe experimentation by making these cute little brie bites. Always a sucker for cheese and bread, they are a heavenly appetizer by my standards.

I happened across some pre-portioned brie cheese slices at the grocery store and had already decided that I would find some way to use puffed pastry for my post this week. I also had several jars of jam, jelly and a delicious jar of orange marmalade in the refrigerator. The jellies and marmalades were left over from a breakfast I had made a few weeks ago in which I was determined to perfect the art of making biscuits, complete with an array of toppings. A southern lady ought to be able to make a good biscuit,  but I still have some work to do! These brie bites made me forget all about those biscuits.

The texture of this appetizer is what made me love them so much. The outside of the brie bites are flaky and buttery and the inside is creamy and gooey. Since I made them with a variety of fillings, it was a surprise every time you picked one up to take a bite.

With summer winding down and fall about to start, I can’t help but be excited. I love everything about fall: the food, the weather, the smells, starting to shop for the holidays. Life is good. See what a little cheese, sugar, and buttery bread will do for you!

Brie Bites
Print Recipe
Puffed pastry stuffed with brie cheese and jam
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
17 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
17 minutes
Brie Bites
Print Recipe
Puffed pastry stuffed with brie cheese and jam
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
17 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
17 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Cut brie into 8 pieces if not purchased in pre-cut pieces.
  3. Cut puffed pastry into 8 triangles. Dough needs to be about triple the size of the cheese.
  4. Place one piece of brie cheese in the middle of each triangle of puffed pastry.
  5. Add approximately one tablespoon of jam, jelly, or marmalade on top of each piece of cheese.
  6. Carefully fold puffed pastry over the filling and use a fork to crimp the edges closed for each pastry.
  7. Whisk egg white with a small amount of water and brush the tops of the pastries.
  8. Bake at 400F for 17 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Serve warm.
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Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail

A simple, spicy Sriracha shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe

Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail

This past week has been a frustrating  computer week in our house. I am very glad to finally be posting this amazingly quick and easy Sriracha shrimp cocktail recipe because I am happy to finally have a computer that works! Somehow I managed to get a very stubborn virus on my computer and it took many hours of work, mainly by my technology adept husband, to remove it. I sat down a week ago to innocently upload these yummy shrimp pictures and then, pop ups, threats of website takeover, and then, frozen screen. Panic!

I just wanted to share my shrimp. They were really tasty. So much flavor packed in to a recipe that took so little time to prepare. I adore shrimp just about any way they are prepared but covered in  garlic and fresh herbs and then dipped in a spicy sauce, simply delicious. I feel like I need more appetizers that I can make ahead of time and serve at room temperature if needed, and this dish would certainly work in that situation.

It is hard for me comprehend that there are people, multiple people, many people in fact, in the world that spend their time creating things like computer viruses. People like me, who run very basic blogs for fun with a very small following of readers, have intruders that try to hack their websites on a daily basis. What purpose does this serve? The effort that some will put in to doing harm for personal gain, even if it is tiny, is sad.

A simple, spicy shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe
Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail
Print Recipe
A simple, spicy Sriracha shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
A simple, spicy shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe
Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail
Print Recipe
A simple, spicy Sriracha shrimp cocktail appetizer recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare cocktail sauce by combining ketsup, horseradish, and Sriracha in a bowl. Stir well then cover and refrigerate.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, and olive oil. Add shrimp and stir to coat.
  4. Pour the shrimp mixture on a baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes (shorter time period if using small shirmp).
  5. Serve shrimp with prepared sauce.
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Grilled Vegetable Salad

A grilled vegetable salad with fresh ingredients, pasta, and a light dressing that is ready in minutes.

Grilled Vegetable Salad

Relaxing with a dinner of grilled vegetables mixed with a light dressing and pasta on a warm summer night. What could be better? My husband doing the grilling on the hot grill! This grilled vegetable salad was delicious served warm but was just as good served at room temperature. It was a colorful and healthy way to use up left over vegetables from the week. The dressing was light and easy to prepare and adding fun pasta shapes was a way to get my son eat some vegetables without a fight.

I always love trying to find ways to use fresh herbs when I cook. My garden at home is tiny but in the little nook that I have created I have basil and thyme.  Adding these herbs to a recipe seems to brighten it and add freshness, though dried herbs would work well, too.  Somehow these plants manage to endure the hot, dry summer, despite my neglect. I can’t say the same about the hanging baskets on my front porch!

I have mentioned in other posts that I have  searched my grandmother’s treasure trove of a basement for unique, forgotten kitchen items. She has let me borrow several plates and bowls, such as the one in this picture. One of my favorite finds is the fork pictured here. I love the dark patina and the delicate engraving. It was the only one of its pattern that I could find in her collection so she let me have it. It would not be special to anyone but me, so I’m glad that I could save it.

A grilled vegetable salad with fresh ingredients, pasta, and a light dressing that is ready in minutes.
Grilled Vegetable Salad
Print Recipe
A grilled vegetable salad with fresh ingredients, pasta, and a light dressing that is ready in minutes.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
A grilled vegetable salad with fresh ingredients, pasta, and a light dressing that is ready in minutes.
Grilled Vegetable Salad
Print Recipe
A grilled vegetable salad with fresh ingredients, pasta, and a light dressing that is ready in minutes.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to medium heat. Lightly coat vegetables with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  3. Place zucchini and red onion slices on the grill. Place asparagus in a grill basket and add to the grill. After 4-5 minutes, stir the asparagus and add the cherry tomatoes to the grill basket. Turn the zucchini and red onion slices over. Add the green onions to the grill. Remove all vegetables after an additional 4-5 minutes.
  4. While vegetables are grilling, stir together the dressing ingredients.
  5. Cut vegetables into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl with the cooked pasta. Pour dressing over the vegetable and pasta and stir gently to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Banana Mango Smoothie

Creamy banana mango smoothies with chia seeds for protein, fiber, and omega- 3 fatty acids make a healthy breakfast or snack

Banana Mango Smoothie

We have been trying so hard lately to eat smaller portions and lighter meals. My husband has even roped me in to a work out routine with him to attempt to build muscle tone and I am realizing how little I have! This week I have made a few different smoothies, either as a healthy breakfast or as a snack. Our favorite so far has been this banana mango smoothie with chia seeds.

Chia seeds were a new purchase for me and I was tempted to leave them out, but I am glad that I didn’t. They are a bit pricey to purchase and, at least at my grocery store, frustrating because you can only purchase them in a fairly large quantity. I will be looking for ways to use these in recipes in the coming weeks because you only need a relatively small amount in one smoothie. The chia seeds thicken the smoothie and add a bit of a crunch to the texture. They also add protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids in addition to the nutrient content of the fruits.

I will fully admit that we had another smoothie a few nights later that was also delicious. I had attempted a new meal that seemed lovely in my head but was disastrous on the plate. I had no back up plans for dinner other than left over fruit, yogurt, juice, and my big bag of chia seeds. A diet night it was, indeed.

Creamy banana mango smoothies with chia seeds for protein, fiber, and omega- 3 fatty acids make a healthy breakfast or snack
Banana Mango Smoothie
Print Recipe
Creamy banana mango smoothies with chia seeds for protein, fiber, and omega- 3 fatty acids make a healthy breakfast or snack
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Creamy banana mango smoothies with chia seeds for protein, fiber, and omega- 3 fatty acids make a healthy breakfast or snack
Banana Mango Smoothie
Print Recipe
Creamy banana mango smoothies with chia seeds for protein, fiber, and omega- 3 fatty acids make a healthy breakfast or snack
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Can serve at room temperature or chilled. Top with additional chia seeds and sliced bananas if desired.
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