Tomato Basil Zucchini Pasta

One of the most important aspects of a good spaghetti sauce is having meat in it.  Whether it be ground beef or ground turkey….it is a must.  To spice it up, I used grass-fed buffalo meat which is a wonderfully lean and flavorful choice.  I used up the rest of my tomatoes and created a delicious sauce as well!

Ingredients

4-5 servings

1 lb ground grass-fed buffalo

1/2 white onion minced

3 large tomatoes

1 6 oz can Tomato Paste

1/2 cup to 3/4 water

7-8 leaves fresh basil minced

4 Tbs Olive Oil

1/2 Tbs Oregano

1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning

1 clove Garlic minced

a good shake of Salt, pepper, garlic powder

2 Large Zucchinis

  1. Cut tomatoes in half place in baking dish with 2 Tbs olive oil, salt, garlic powder and oregano.  Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. IMG_7801
  2. In a blender, add roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 Tbs olive oil and 1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning . Pulse for 10 seconds.
  3. Pour into a pot and set to a simmer (low medium heat), Add water slowly.
  4. Chop up onion, garlic and basil (mince).  Add to the sauce. Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Stirring occasionally. IMG_7802
  5. While that cooks, in a separate pan start browning buffalo meat on medium heat. Add to sauce when cooked.
  6. For the zucchini, I cut into thin strips by using a cheese slicer.  Otherwise using a sharp knife and a steady hand will work.  OR even better is a fancy veggie spiralizer.
  7. Boil zucchini noodles in a sauce pan with 2-3 cups of water for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  8. Assemble a bed of noodles and a thick coat of tomato sauce! Enjoy!

Garlic Chicken and Veggie Soup

Rainy days call for soup and grilled cheese.  So, that is exactly what was on the menu for tonights dinner.  Crock pot recipes are my favorite because it does the work for you.  This recipe was basically a combination of what I had in the fridge and it turned out superb.  You can alter the recipe with different veggies or meat, but I think this was prime!

Ingredients

(serves 4-5)

1 Garlic Seasoned rotisserie Chicken

1 cup uncooked Minute brown rice (cook in chicken broth and garlic clove for extra flavor)

1 yellow summer squash

1 red bell pepper

1/2 carton white mushrooms

1/4 cup white onion (minced)

1 clove garlic (minced)

salt/pepper

1 box Swanson Chicken Broth, (4 servings worth) *will need more if cooking rice in chicken broth

Toppings – Sharp Cheddar cheese, Plain Full Fat Yogurt

  1. Separate the chicken, removing the skin and bones.  Chop up chicken into small pieces.  I did not use the entire chicken but about half.
  2. Chop up squash, red bell pepper, white mushroom in to small pieces.  Mince onion and garlic.
  3. In the crock pot add container of Swanson Chicken Broth, chopped veggies, onion, garlic and chicken.  Cook on low/medium heat for 1-2 hours.  This allows for the veggies to soften for a while before adding the rice.  Adding the rice/grain or noodle early on in the cooking process can lead to a mushy disaster.  Especially if you make enough for leftovers.
  4. Last step, cook the rice adding the 1 cup of rice to 2 cups chicken broth until prepared al dente.  The rice continues to cook in the crock pot, so it doesn’t have to be fully cooked right away.  Throw in whole garlic clove (removed at the end of cooking process, just enhances flavor, or add pinch of garlic salt).  Add rice to crock pot with other ingredients.  Leave crock pot on low heat for another hour.  Top with cheddar cheese or plain full fat yogurt.  Grilled cheese sandwich on the side doesn’t hurt either! 🙂 Enjoy

Potato Coin Nachos

The art of a crispy potato coin is something I’m still working on.  My aunt makes them the best but I think the key is to have the potato cut super thin, coated in olive oil, and baked at high heat for only ten to fifteen minutes.  Anywho, potato coins beat tortilla chips for me when it comes to making nachos. Topped with banana peppers, chicken, bacon, tomatoes and cheese.  Noms

Ingredients

1/2 Chicken Breast

3 Strips of Bacon (I have beef bacon that my uncle got from the farmers market- SALTY THICK CUT GOLD)

3 Little Red Potatoes

7-8 Grape Tomatoes

1/4 cup Cheese of choice ( I use Daiya)

Banana Peppers

Salsa, Greek Yogurt and Guac are great toppings! Or

Special Sauce (threw all my favorite seasoning and condiments together)

2 Tbs Avocado oil mayo, 1 Tbs Ketchup, Splash of Franks Red Hot,  Dash of garlic salt, creole seasoning and pepper! Enjoy

  1. First pre-heat oven to 400.  While that preheats, chop and pan fry chicken and bacon.
  2. Chop up potatoes into THIN slices and coat BOTH sides of the potato with olive oil.  If you have a fancy brush use that or just give them a good coating. Through some salt on.  Bake for 10-15 Minutes, Flip half way through.
  3. Chop up tomatoes and banana peppers into small pieces.
  4. Grab a plate, layer the crispy potatoes,meat,peppers,tomato and cheese.  Give it a good nuke in the microwave and top with salsa,guac or desired topping!

Baked, Seasoned Lemon Salmon with Avocado Cilantro Dippin Sauce

For starters I am thankful for having so many relatives in town.  Not only do they let me use their kitchen, but they supply me with good food, wine and company.  As far as the meal went, I had a few restrictions to meet everyones needs and preferences; no gluten, dairy and relatively low carb.  It wasn’t much of struggle and the meal just kinda worked its way together thankfully! Here’s a photo of Uncle Dave in his shining moment of glory! Image Ingredients (3-4 servings) Thick Salmon Flank 2 Tbs Olive Oil 1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice Salt, Pepper, Minced Garlic Avocado Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce 1 Avocado 2 Tbs Avocado Mayo 5-6 pieces Chopped Cilantro 1 Tbs Lemon Juice salt, pepper, garlic salt Green Bean Bacon Bake Bag of Stemmed and Ready Green Beans 5-6 Strips chopped bacon Paprika Brown Sugar Balsamic Tomato Basil Salad 1 container grape tomatoes 9-10 small Fresh Mozzarella balls 7-8 leaves Fresh Basil Balsamic, Olive Oil, Salt Directions 1) For the salmon the baking time depends on how thick cut your salmon piece is.  Ours was BIG! Wrap the salmon foil with  olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings.  Slice the salmon horizontally and place lemon slices in between. 2) Cover the salmon with more foil and bake in a pan at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Check and see if the salmon falls apart. If not bake for longer. Avocado Dressing 1) In a blender, add one avocado, mayo, cilantro, garlic and lemon juice.  Blend.  Add seasonings.  If you want a thinner sauce add olive oil to thin it out. Green Bean Side 1) Slice and fry up bacon (until cooked but not crispy because it will be baked later). Add Smoked Paprika, sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and a good coat of balsamic dressing.  Note- buy the good balsamic from an olive oil store, it has a sweet smooth taste versus the bitter crap from the grocery store.  An investment but TOTALLY worth it. 2) In a small cooking pan add the green beans and coat with the bacon and sauce.  Don’t drain the grease from the bacon.  It adds a lot more flavor and keeps things from drying out. 3) Bake at 325 for 20 minutes Mozzarella Tomato Basil Side 1) Wash and slice up tomato in half 2) chop up fresh basil until minced 3) Cut mozzarella balls in half 4) Add tomato, basil, mozzarella into a small bowl.  Add a few tablespoons balsamic and olive oil.  Add salt or greek seasoning on top.  Place in the fridge to let flavors marinate together. ENJOYYYYYYY!!!!!

BBQ Pork Mac N Cheesin

Successfully made my first pork tenderloin in the oven yesterday, however it was three pounds so leftovers meant BBQ pulled pork.  I’m a big fan of Annie’s brand Mac n Cheese but made my own and topped it was sautéed veggies.  Then in a blink of an eye twas gone!

Ingredients

(1 serving)

Shredded Pork (I googled how to cook a tenderloin, but otherwise buy precooked at a local grocery store)

1/2 cup uncooked Brown Rice Noodles

1/2 cup Broccoli (frozen or fresh, but frozen works easier- just microwave and chop)….plus its like a $2.00 🙂

1/8 diced Red Onion

2 slices Go Veggie Cheese (or any other shredded cheddar cheese)

2 Tbs Almond Milk

1 Tbs Butter

2 Tbs BBQ sauce

Salt, Pepper

1) Prep a pot with water for boiling the noodles.  While the noodles are cooking, slice up broccoli and onions.

2) In a small fry pan with oil, sauté the veggies for three to four minutes until tender

3) Add in cooked and shredded meat to the veggies and add BBQ sauce.  Leave on low heat

4) Once the noodles are done (about 8-10 min), Drain water, add milk, cheese and butter.

5)Assemble. 1st- Layer of Mac 2nd- the Meat and Veggie mixture 3rd- more BBQ sauce, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Tortilla Tacos

Favorite fast food restaurant hands down is Chipotle. Delicious guac and tacos are my go to.  However, being gluten free now, it means corn tortillas instead of flour.  Although I don’t mind corn tortillas they tend to be dry and crack easily, especially when they are loaded with meat and salsa.  I love sweet potatoes so I whipped up these sweet potato type tortillas, threw the batter in a pan and flipped em like a pancake.  More flavor and texture than the corn tortilla.

Ingredients

(about 2 servings)

Tortillas

1 8 oz sweet potato (I get the ones wrapped in plastic wrap for easy microwaving)

3 tbs almond flour

1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (I used dairy free Go Veggie)

1 tbs olive oil

1 egg

1 pearl onion

The insides of your taco

1/2 lb ground beef, chicken or steak

1 roma tomato

pepper jack cheese

lettuce

salsa

guacamole

1) Pop your sweet potato in the microwave for about 3 minutes.  Until it is fully cooked

2) The hard part now, throw all the ingredients in for the tortillas into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  The batter should be thick but should be thin enough that you can spread it around in the pan.  If it seems to thick add one more egg.

3) Heat up a pan and throughly grease the pan.  Add the batter to desired tortilla size and fry up for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

4) fill your tortilla with chopped up roma tomato, lettuce, hamburger, salsa and guac.  ENJOY!!!!

Coconut Chicken Curry

I first tried coconut curry when my sister and I went on a little trip together to Duluth.  We decided to splurge a bit and go out for fancy dinner.  Stepping out of my comfort zone we both ordered dishes we had never tried before.  The meal was better than bananas, peanut butter and chocolate…..and that is saying ALOT!!! It was loaded with mushrooms, peppers, carrots, onions and chicken and the sauce was perfect.  I have attempted many times to recreate it and I think I found something that almost compares.  A little zing, sweetness and spice all in one dish.

Ingredients

(serves 2)

1 large chicken breast

1/2 cup jasmine rice (or other kind if you prefer)

1 tbs lemon juice

1 red bell pepper

7-8 baby carrots

1 container baby white mushrooms

1 can sliced water chestnuts

1/4 cup minced onion

sauce

1/2 cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk

1 cup gluten free chicken broth

2 tsp red curry paste (I use the Thai Kitchen Brand)

2 tbs tomato paste

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (for thicker sauce)

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tbs honey

1) First I started by throwing my chicken breast in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.  Pan frying would work as well, however I have limited cooking supplies and stovetop space so oven it was for me! Next prep your rice.  My jasmine rice takes about 30 minutes in all.  I use chicken broth and lime juice instead of water to cook to add extra flavor!

2) While that is cooking prep your veggies, cut the pepper, carrots, onion and mushrooms into slices.  Set aside

3) Now time for the sauce.  When you first open the coconut milk it will be separated.  Don’t freight! That is how it is suppose to be.  Give it a good stir and it will melt just perfectly when we add it in the sauce pan.  In a large mixing bowl add the coconut milk, red curry paste, tomato paste, onion powered, ginger powder, red pepper flakes and honey.  Use a whisk and stir all ingredients together.  Transfer into a sauce pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir.

4) After 15 min add your veggies.  Let simmer and cover for another 10 minutes.  I added 1 tsp of arrowroot powder to thick in up a bit.  You can use cornstarch or a bit of flour to thicken.

IMG_7569

Things always get a tad bit messy when I’m cooking! 😉

5) Once chicken is done.  Let cool for 5 minutes to keep the juices, then cut into thin slices.

6) Throw chicken in with sauce.

7) Lastly assemble, lay a bed of rice then top with a your chicken curry mixture.  Top with fresh cilantro, salt, squirt of lime juice or coconut flakes!

ENJOY!!!

Ground Turkey Spaghetti with Zucchini and Brown Rice Noodles

Yesterday I made a delicious turkey burger but still had about 2/3 lb ground turkey leftover.  I was craving spaghetti so I thought I better give it a go.  I am a big fan of zucchini and wanted to experiment making the infamous zucchini noodles people rave about.  However, I love brown rice noodles so mixing the two seemed like a good idea.  In addition, I made homemade spaghetti sauce with farmers market fresh tomatoes! VOILA a delicious meal was created!

Ingredients

(2-2.5 servings)

2/3 lb ground turkey

1 large zucchini

1 cup brown rice noodles (I get the brown rice quinoa noodles from trader joes)

1 cup mushroom

1/2 small white onion (about 1/4 cup minced up)

4 tbs tomato paste

2 medium tomatoes

2 tbs garlic infused olive oil (regular olive oil works too)

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp oregano

salt n pepper!

1) First I started to brown my turkey meat on low-medium heat.

2) While that is cooking, cut up mushrooms and mince up onion.  For the zucchini, it would be easiest to use a fancy pansy spirializer, however I don’t have one so I cut the zucchini the long way into thin strips.

IMG_7550

3) For the sauce it is quick n easy.  I threw the tomatoes, tomato paste, minced onion, olive oil, garlic clove and seasonings all into my ninja bullet blender.  I like my sauce to be pretty thick, however to thin it out a bit add more olive oil or even a dash of milk will do the trick!

4) Add the sauce to the browned turkey meat, throw in the mushrooms and cover on low heat for 10 minutes.  Let it simmer for the mushrooms to soften, stirring every so often.  While the sauce is simmering, boil up some water to make the brown rice noodles.  Boil for 7 minutes, for the remaining 3 minutes of cooking time add the zucchini noodles in so they soften up in the boiling water along with the brown rice noodles.  Drain water, add a dash of olive oil so noodles don’t become sticky.

IMG_7552

This is just proof that I’m working with the bare essentials with college style living.  I have one pot and pan and make it work.  I’m just waiting for the day that this little oven blows up on me……..it isn’t exactly new.

5) Lastly assemble! Lay your bed of zucchini and brown rice noodles and top with a big ole heaping of sauce.  Top with more garlic salt or cheese.

* I attempted at making almond flour garlic bread……failed MISERABLY.  It turned into a crumbly mess.  However, almond flour costs an arm and a leg, so I ate grudgingly ate it.  I’ll keep working on that recipe!

Zesty Turkey Burger and Grilled Veggies

When it is 95 degrees outside it means lake time…..and grilling.  Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, asparagus and tomato were the ingredients I had on hand and it turned out phenomenal!

Ingredients

(1 serving)

1/3 lb ground turkey meat

1 medium sweet potato

8-10 asparagus spears

1 medium sized tomato

1 tsp Greek Seasoning

1/2 tsp Garlic Salt

olive oil

1) First patty up your burger.  Add in desired seasonings (I love greek and garlic…always my go to) Set aside

2) Chop up sweet potatoes into 1/2 in thick strips.  Sweet potatoes can take up to 35-40 minutes on the grill so my trick is to microwave them for about 2 minutes prior to putting them on the grill.  That way they soften up a bit and don’t take quite as long.

3) Coat the sweet potatoes in olive oil and throw on the grill in tin foil or a veggie grilling grate for 5-10 minutes before putting on your burger (typically 7-8 minutes each side).  Keep the temperature at around 400. Coat asparagus and tomato in olive oil and seasonings and allow them to grill up for 10-15 minutes.

4) I topped my burger with lemon juice, smoked mustard and spinach and artichoke dip! Other options I love are feta cheese, guacamole, ketchup or even a fried up egg!

Grilled Lemon Pepper Walleye

Every year my family and I head up to Miltona for a week at the lake. The week is dedicated to relaxation, boat rides and fishing. The best part is bringing leftover fish home and cooking it up in a variety of ways. I love using the grill because it’s fast and adds extra smokey flavor. Pair it with a baked beans and homemade potato fries and you’ve met cabin cookin standards. ingredients

Walleye approx 6 oz per person

2 tbls olive oil

1/2 tbs lemon juice

2 tsp lemon pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp onion powder

1) One of the biggest mistakes made with fish is cooking it when it is wet. I let my fish de-thaw then pat dry with a paper towel and let sit out for 5-10 minutes.

2) Mix olive oil with lemon juice and throughly coat fish. Mix together seasonings together and sprinkle on top of fish.

3) Grill the fish at about 350- 375 degrees for 3-4 minutes each side. One again this depends on how thick the fish is. The fish should start to split when it is throughly cooked in the middle Top with more lemon juice, salt and pepper! Enjoy