Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

Salads have become my mommy life saver recently.

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This is not a fabricated sentence at all, so believe me when I say this…

My baby slept 45 minutes total during the day yesterday. That’s right. 45 minutes. Not a solid 45 either, I just added all the minutes she slept and it was 45.

I had a little heart to heart with myself and realized that maybe it’s not a coincidence that all three of my children are horrible sleepers. I think I sleep trained them that way.

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That being said, when it comes to meals for myself, I need them to be quick. Obviously a s’mores pop tart would do the trick, but seeing that I’m trying to kick my butt back into shape I’ve been stuffing my face with salad beasts!

I love salads! Even the simple ones like lettuce and tomato :). But since I’m nursing and I’m hungry 90% of my life, I need it to be filling.

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I’ll usually prepare a large salad/salad ingredients once or twice a week and have it last me a few days for ‘quick mama lunches.’ Then I’ll sometimes use leftover proteins from dinner to add on top, and if I’m lucky and have a ripe avocado I will throw that on too!

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But my favorite part of a salad is always the dressing. Always. A good salad dressing can make or break that salad beast, and I wish I was the kind of girl that was good with a little lemon juice and EVOO…

Nope.

Just like I wish I was good with just eating a strawberry and calling it dessert. I.Just.Can’t.

Unless it’s covered in chocolate. That’s a different story.

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Chopped Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing
 
Ingredients
  • (For the Salad)
  • ⅓ green cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ purple cabbage, thinly sliced, roughly chopped
  • (opt.) ⅓ ice berg lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into thin pieces and roughly chopped
  • ½ cucumber, skin removed, diced
  • ½ c. baby tomatoes, I used yellow, cut in halves
  • ⅓ c. diced peanuts
  • 2-3 small avocados, diced
  • (opt.) chicken, grilled or shredded
  • (opt.) crispy wontons or Chinese noodles
  • (For the Peanut Dressing)
  • ½ c. peanut butter
  • 3 TB. soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 2 TB. coconut or brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • ½ c. water**
  • **If you refrigerate the dressing for a few hours it will become thicker as it sits. You may need to thin in out with a little water before adding to the salad.
Instructions
  1. Assemble the salad on a platter with all of the ingredients. Leave out the chicken and avocado for those that don't want it. (If you are planning to use this salad over the coarse of a few days, don't use the avocado until you are ready to eat it, that way it doesn't brown.)
  2. In a small blender or food processor, add the salad dressing ingredients and blend until creamy.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss,before serving. OR, if saving the salad for the next few days, use salad dressing on your individual salad and keep dressing covered in the fridge.
  4. Enjoy!

 

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Now…

Someone tell me how to properly sleep train, otherwise, this mama just might start eating s’mores pop tarts for dinner.

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera

I ordered a bathing suit online last week, so…

Lightened up Primavera Pasta it is!

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

If you’ve never had pasta primavera, it’s basically a pasta dish with cooked, yet crisp, veggies and a nice creamy sauce. Cream as in heavy cream.

I love heavy cream.

My grandmother always had heavy cream in her fridge for her tea, and one time I poured myself a glass thinking it was milk. I remember drinking it thinking it was the best tasting milk I had ever had in my ENTIRE life.

I then proceeded to pour myself another.

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

Eventually someone told me what I was really doing, but unfortunately it didn’t stop me. I snuck a glass every time I was at her house. And after that I licked my finger and dipped it in her sugar jar.

Oh my gosh, no wonder…nevermind.

 

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

This recipe makes a huge amount of pasta, and would be perfect for your weeknight family dinner. (It only takes about 30 minutes total to make!) You could add a nice herbed lemony protein to it and it’s a complete meal! OR, you could do what I did and make it on a sunday so you have a ‘mommy’ lunch ready for you everyday! Because busy mamas don’t always have time for lunch, am I right?

And when that happens, that’s when we start drinking heavy cream and dipping our fingers in the sugar jar. Take my word. Make this pasta, and save your digestive system.

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This dish takes only 30 minutes to make!
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. coconut oil or EVOO
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 head of broccoli, stems removed
  • 1 red bell pepper,cut into strips
  • 1 TB. coconut oil or EVOO
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, bottoms chopped off
  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • ¾ c. chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 2 TB. EVOO or butter
  • 1½ c. non dairy, unsweetened, regular milk (Like cashew, coconut, soy)
  • ½ c. chopped fresh basil
  • ½ c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 bag frozen peas, 12 oz
  • Salt, Pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced and zested
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove and cook your pasta until al dente. Do not over cook.
  2. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan add your oil and cook your onion and garlic for a few minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add your carrot and broccoli and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove ingredients from the sauce pan and add to a plate and set aside.
  4. Next add the peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove and add to the plate and set aside.
  5. Next add the additional oil and add the zucchini and squash. Cook for 1 minute, then remove and set on the plate.
  6. Next add your asparagus, toss, and cover. Steam for a few minutes until it has softened a little. Remove and add it to the plate.
  7. Drain your al dente pasta.
  8. Next add your broth and butter. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Then add in your milk and fresh basil and cheese. Let it cook for about a minute, then add the frozen peas, pasta and cooked veggies. Toss and season generously with salt and pepper. Then add the lemon juice and zest. Toss and adjust seasonings and extra cheese if desired.

 

Lightened Up Pasta Primavera, The Diva Dish

Thank goodness my grandma doesn’t read my blog, otherwise I don’t think she would be too happy…

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meat Balls

*Need a quick weeknight dinner? Meatballs are one of our family favorites and it’s super fast to whip together! Add the meatballs to your favorite pasta and you are done! Plus, these meatballs have a hint of veggies in them!*

I find myself making meatballs almost weekly for my little family because it’s fast and one of the dinners that my kids eat without hesitation.

I think it’s their Italian blood that doesn’t have a problem eating meatballs and pasta. It’s also that same Italian blood that makes our family look like a performing broadway show with all the singing, yelling, animated gesturing and dramatic exits…

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs via The Diva Dish

Dramatic as in when you are picking up your 2 year old from preschool and she doesn’t want to leave. So then you have to drag her to the car as she screams, flailing every body part only for the unlock button to stop working. Don’t worry, the kids and their parents stopped in their tracks and watched every single moment.

Why do moments like that feel like slow motion?

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs via The Diva Dish

Back to meatballs. Italian hot headed or not, your family will thank you for these meatballs. And, this recipe is pretty versatile! This recipe originally came from THIS meatball recipe, and I’ve adapted it so many times and tried new flavors! Add your favorite pasta, or simply use the rest of your pest0 and sun dried tomatoes to your pasta (kind of a version of THIS recipe), and you have a complete meal!

Side Note: I can’t guarantee that the side effects from these meatballs won’t be a little dramatic…

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs via The Diva Dish

Sun Dried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ pound ground turkey
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ⅓ c. parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ⅓ c. bread crumbs
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated, plus extra for topping
  • 4 TB. pesto
  • ⅓ c. chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 grated garlic clove
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, add all ingredients together and gently fold and incorporate until combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Using a large casserole dish, 9 X13, coat the bottom of the dish with 2 TB. olive oil.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, shape meat into 1 inch size meatballs and arrange in the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with more parmesan cheese, lightly coated.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. Cover with foil and allow them to sit for a few minutes before serving.

 

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Preschool again today…Wish me luck!

Spring Citrus Kale Salad

The other day as I was making a kale salad, my cousin looked at me and said, “Isn’t it funny how now you are eating that, but back then it was a decoration on your steak plate!”

Citrus Spring Kale Salad

Years ago, the thought of eating kale would have been a laughing matter to me. If kale was in fact that veggie on the plate, I gladly scooted it over and face planted right into some creamy mashed potatoes.

(I think I might still do that?)

Luckily for me, my family have taken that spot and forcefully push their veggies to the side along with an exaggerated, “OMG THAT LOOKS LIKE POOP!” Husband, please don’t say poop at the dinner table…

That’s right, you heard me. My family doesn’t love veggies. I know you probably assumed the first thing my kids ask for in the morning is a carrot, but no my friends. Wrong.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

They ask for Lucky Charms…Every day. And every day I say No. Then they cry, tell me I’m a mean mom and how we aren’t best friends. My husband is so dramatic.

ALL before 7 a.m.

So imagine my reaction when I placed this kale salad on their dinner plate the other night and everyone started gobbling it up. Excited? Shocked? Happy?

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Is there a feeling that describes Booya? I could picture it so clearly…

Kale salads being requested every night. Kids screaming for veggies and hummus as a snack. Fighting for the last scoop of vegetables at dinner…

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

None of that happened and they still asked for marshmallows for breakfast this morning…

But they ate a kale salad for dinner last night, so I guess you could call that a win in my eyes.

Boo-ya.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

Spring Citrus Salad
 
Family Friendly
Ingredients
  • 1 head curly kale
  • 1 c. strawberries
  • 1 c. clementines cut in half
  • 2-3 ounces of goat cheese
  • 3 TB. slivered almonds
  • Dressing:
  • Zest of 1 large orange (1/4 c.)
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 1 garlic clove smashed or grated
  • 1 TB. greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. using a cutting board, remove the leaves from the stems of the kale.
  2. Roll the leaves up and slice them. Place them in a bowl.
  3. Make the dressing by whisking everything together in a small bowl. Pour it over the kale salad and toss to coat.
  4. Next add strawberries, oranges, and almonds. Toss to coat.
  5. Top with Goat cheese.
  6. Allow to sit for a few minutes for the dressing to marinade.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Salad adapted from HERE

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish 

I think the reason why this Kale salad was so family friendly were for the following reasons:

I used fruit in the salad, which is one of their favorite foods. The bright strawberries and clementines automatically drew them in.

The salad was frilly like a tutu. This really drew my husband in ;). Before I served it, I told my girls that the salad was frilly like a tutu and it got them excited. I know it sounds crazy, but when you have a 2 and 4 year old daughter, you will understand.

Spring Citrus Kale Salad from The Diva Dish

I’m hoping I can pull another fast one on them again for dinner this week, but we shall see. I think my husband is on to something.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup (Served in Pumpkins!)

Ever since the start of “Fall”, I’ve been craving a nice warm pumpkin soup served in a cute lil’ pumpkin!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

But I wanted to spice it up a little different since my husband dreads anything pumpkin. ( I know…)

So I added some curry season, creamy coconut milk, and a little sweetness from a sweet potato. He actually really like it! Until he added one too many dashes of Franks Hot sauce and RUINED it.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

He seems to think that Franks Hot sauce goes on EVERYTHING. I mean, it’s not like they market the product saying  it goes on EV.RY.THANG.

 

Or do they?

Don’t answer.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

He also doesn’t like dessert, Real Housewives, or the color turquoise. (Which, I want to paint my whole house and every piece of furniture.) WHAT’S WRONG WITH HIM?! Not that much really…He’s adorable. But really? Who hates turquoise?

Now…About that Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup…

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ c. pumpkin puree, fresh or canned
  • 1 c. sweet potato puree
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 4 TB. madras curry powder, or another curry powder seasoning
  • grated nutmeg, or a sprinkle of ground nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Topping:
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Drizzle of coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Add the puree, milk, broth, and curry powder in a pot over the stop. Turn the heat on to medium.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together until creamy. Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Add in your nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve hot in bowls, or hollowed pumpkins, and top with roasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of coconut milk.

 

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

My dream is to one day hold a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner at my house where I serve this soup in mini pumpkins and everyone says “Ooooh” and “Aaahhh”…

Then drizzle it with a yummy coconut milk and some crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds! It’s the perfect crouton for this soup!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, The Diva Dish, http://thediva-dish.com

I promise my next recipe won’t be pumpkin based…I think? Otherwise my husband might, well…Put Franks Hot Sauce on Pumpkin Pie.

Not ok…

Simple Top Ramen

Today I held a (rather large) clump of thin dirty blond hair in my hand.

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One child screaming with her hands on her head, and the other child grinning from ear to ear, doing some sort of twirl victory dance.

As I bent down to scold said dancing child, her little two year old mouth looked at me and said, “Yeave me ayone!”

What?!

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Then my 4 year old removed her hands from her poor scalp that was probably burning, and screamed, “MY SECOND NAME IS ELSA, QUEEN OF THE QUEEN!”…Followed by a twirl of her gown and loud stomps down the hallway.

“YEAVE ME AYONE.”

“NO! MY NAME IS ELSA”

“GO AYAY!”

“YOU CAN’T TELL ELSA WHAT TO DO!”

“AYAYALDLF LSKDJFY!!!!”

Push, Shove, Twirl, Stomp, and Victory Dance…In that order.

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I couldn’t figure out whether to talk to Elsa or Gia, and quite frankly I was worried the two year old will pull my hair. So I did what any desperate mom would do…

I drank.

Ice water. It calms me guys. Then I said a prayer.

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For sanity, for comfort, and for strength.

And then in that moment, both my girls came and sat on my lap and as clear as day I heard, “They love you so much.”

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Did they stop fighting after that? No. I swear my oldest was running around saying “Son of a Fish!”

Did I feel like a complete failure? No. Despite the chaos and drama, I felt loved,  I knew they felt loved and loved each other as well.

I also knew that someone had taught my daughter to say, “Son of a fish!”…

Next step:

Comfort Food.

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Top Ramen
 
I will be completely honest and say as a child I LOVED opening a package of top ramen, sprinkling the 'seasoning' packet on top of the dried pasta, and eating as is. I can still taste it! This is a spin off of that ever so popular childhood favorite. This is a vegetarian version, but you can definitely add in your favorite ingredients. Switch up the broths, sautee some diced veggies with the onions, etc.
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. sesame oil, or olive oil
  • ¼ c. minced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • (Opt: Minced carrots)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 oz. Chinese Noodles
  • 4 tsp. ground celery seed
  • 4-5 TB. fresh chopped chives
  • salt/pepper
  • optional: red pepper flakes, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc.)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, add oil and heat up. Then add minced onion, garlic, and ginger. (If you add other raw veggies add in here as well.)
  2. Continually toss and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Next add in broth and water.
  4. Stir and add in chinese noodles.
  5. Sprinkle in spices and let cook for a few minutes until the noodles are soft.
  6. Add in your additional seasonings and toppings. Serve hot!

 

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I enjoyed this comfort food all by myself…Imagine that. One child asleep, and the other staring/glaring at me from time out.

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You can thank that son of a fish.

Blackened Halibut

I have this intense love hate relationship with fish.

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The thought of eating it makes me sick, the smell of it makes me want to (ya know), and the look of it…BAHLSDFKJALDFHKLJDF!!!

But then I went to this sea food restaurant in Newport Beach and had the best tasting halibut of my life, and I’ve dreamt about it once a week since then.

IT’S SO CONFUSING!

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A problem I’ve been faced with a lot since living in Las Vegas is getting ‘fresher’ food, especially meats and fish. We aren’t that far away from the ocean, but it’s just not the same since living in San Diego. I notice the fish smell a lot worse and the fish are colored to look a certain way…(Which makes it sound even less appealing.)

I used to buy salmon because it was the one I was most familiar with, but I don’t think I will ever go back. Many of you have suggested I try halibut, and boy I wish I would have listened sooner! It basically taste like chicken…I mean seriously, it’s the REAL chicken of the sea.

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I’ve also noticed that I prefer my fish blackened, which means it has a little crisp and char on the outside. Also, fish taste amazing with a lot of butter. Buuuutttaaaa. But I recently found out it also taste good with coconut oil too! Which ever you prefer to use, both work great!

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This version can be made on a grill, or if you are like me and don’t own one, then a cast iron skillet works great too! (Even a regular pan is fine!)

And if the idea of eating fish sounds disgusting to your kids, tell them it’s chicken. #greatparenting

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Blackened halibut
 
Ingredients
  • fresh halibut
  • butter or coconut oil
  • fresh garlic
  • old bay seasoning
  • lemon
Instructions
  1. Heat your cast iron skillet on the stove on medium heat. (This allows the pan to get hot!)
  2. For each halibut, melt 2 TB. of oil (or butter) and ½ tsp. chopped garlic clove.
  3. Dip halibut into the melted butter, and coat completely.
  4. Remove the halibut and place on a plate. Sprinkle each side generously with Old Bay seasoning.
  5. Melt 1 tsp. of butter or oil in the pan. Add the halibut, which should make the pan smoke.
  6. Cook halibut for a few minutes on each side until it's cooked all the way though.
  7. Finish off with fresh lemon juice.
  8. Enjoy!

 

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I’d love to know your favorite ways to eat or prepare fish, and which fish is your favorite! I wouldn’t say I’m 100% sold on the idea of loving fish…But, a little convincing never hurt anyone right?!

Mexican Style Salad Naan Pizza

Often times I try and make dinners that can please the whole family, and everyone will enjoy.

That’s in a perfect world though…In reality, my husband wants Del Taco, one daughter is screaming for a popsicle, and the other is eating crumbs off the kitchen floor…And I just want to make peanut butter and honey sandwiches for everyone and tell them to suck it up. (And then I’ll go out and have myself a nice dinner.)

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Nothing’s worse than making this huge dinner to have one person try it, and the rest of the family dabble at it. So glad I spent 45 minutes making dinner for everyone to not eat it.

AM I RIGHT MOMS?!?!

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I’ve learned that effort is good when making dinner, but going all out crazy just isn’t worth it. No matter how many sauces, dips, spreads, spices, and methods I used making that dinner, there is a chance that 50% will eat only a few bites. And then I feel bummed because all the work I put into dinner, so I finish off everyones plate to make up for it.

It’s not pretty.

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So when it comes to dinner, I try and think simple. I remember that I have two kids under 3, and a husband that has the flavor palate of a 15 year old. I also usually try to stick with dishes that can easily be adapted for my kiddos. That means that I can take different parts of that dish and serve them separately to my one year old. For example, this pizza.

I made it so I can serve her the chicken separately, along with the corn, and I can make a quesadilla out of the rest of the ingredients.

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The sauce is so easy that it took 2 minutes to make, just the way I like it! It’s vibrant and green due to the cilantro and avocado, which goes perfectly for a mexican style pizza! I also added this in my girls quesadillas!

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Let’s not forget about the “crust” in this pizza. It’s garlic naan bread, which just took a few hours off my dinner prep. On days where I don’t have the will or time to make homemade dough, naan bread is the perfect sub. It’s fluffy and flavorful, and when you broil it in the oven it has a nice little crunch just like pizza dough would!

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Then there is my husband and I who have completely two different food preferences. So for my pizza, I opted for no cheese to keep it a little lighter.

But for my husbands pizza, I added a little bit more chicken, lots or cheese, and a few dashes of hot sauce!

After the pizzas are baked, I drizzled cold plain greek yogurt on top, which brings it all together!

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Mexican Salad Naan Pizza
 
Ingredients
  • For the Pizza
  • Garlic Naan Bread
  • Avocado Cilantro Sauce(Recipe to follow)
  • romain lettuce
  • Cooked chicken
  • corn
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • cheese
  • plain greek yogurt
  • hot sauce
  • (For the Avocado Cilantro Sauce)
  • 2 small avocados
  • 2 small limes (juice)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • ¼ c. chopped white onion
  • 1-2 gloves garlic chopped
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • salt/pepper
Instructions
  1. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients into a blender, and blending until creamy. Adjust salt/pepper to preferred taste.
  2. To make the pizza, get the naan bread. Spread the sauce on top of the bread.
  3. Then top with chopped romain, corn, diced tomatoes, diced peppers, cooked chicken, and if desired, cheese.
  4. Turn the oven on HI broil, and cook pizza for about 5 or so minutes, until the naan bread is a little crisp and the cheese is melted.
  5. Drizzle with greek yogurt.
  6. Enjoy!

 

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My husband said this was his favorite dish from me. But he totally says that all the time because I’m such an amazing cook so…

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This is what the girls dinner looked like. It wasn’t as colorful, but they enjoyed it! Their quesadillas had cheese and the avocado sauce.

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Don’t worry, tomorrow night I WILL serve peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

 

Sweet Lime Chicken

The very first ‘home cooked’ meal I ever made my husband was chicken. It was disgusting.

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I remember calling my mom every 5 minutes, “Wait, so how do I know when the chicken is done? It’s been in for an hour?”

It was done alright.

I have this fear of undercooking meat, so I tend to go overboard and make sure that it’s really cooked. I remember the look on my husbands face when he first tried my chicken. It was like, “I know we just got married and all but how can I tell my new wife that she’s the worst cook and I wish my mom was here?….”

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Sadly it finally took me a couple years before I started cooking chicken the right way. That’s right…A couple of years. Exactly how many chicken dishes did husband have to force down during that time, I don’t know…But now I know his exact face when I make something that doesn’t taste the best. I always follow that look up with a, “Whaaaaaaat?! What’s wrong with THIS dinner?!”

The secret for cooking chicken, in my eyes, is to buy a meat thermometer. That kitchen tool right there has saved my life.

As for the chicken breast, they say it’s done when the internal temperature reaches 165. So I always cook the chicken to about 160 degrees, and then I pull it out of the oven, cover it with foil, and let it continue to cook a little more. I also make sure the breast are thin and even. It doesn’t cook evenly if one side of the breast is super thick, and the other is super thin.

Bored yet?

Ok, here is the recipe:

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Sweet Lime Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Chicken Breast or Tenders, desired amount
  • Olive Oil
  • Limes (3-4)
  • Lime Zest of 1-2 limes.
  • Coconut Sugar or Honey
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • *There are no measurements for this recipe
  • Optional: Top chicken with chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add your chicken to a baking dish large enough to where the chicken isn't too crowded together.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on top of the chicken. (Enough olive oil to coat the entire top of the chicken. It's ok to be somewhat generous.) Then Squeeze your limes onto the chicken. (I used 1 and a half limes per side. Don't be shy. Squeeze enough juice to coat entire tops of chicken.)
  4. Grate lime zest over the chicken, one lime per side.
  5. Sprinkle coconut sugar on top of chicken, enough to coat entire top of chicken. If using honey, drizzle on top. Use enough to coat lightly.
  6. Do the same with the remaining spices, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Be generous.
  7. Flip the chicken, and do the same to the other side ; olive oil, sweetener, and spices.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until internal temperature is close to 165 degrees. Cover at let sit for at least 5-10 minutes after baking to let the flavors come together.
  9. Top chicken with chopped cilantro.

 

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My next food to learn how to cook is steak.(P.S. I have a food blog?)  I usually don’t eat steak, but my husband loves it. I feel bad that I rarely cook it for him…Sadly I feel even worse when I DO cook it for him. Let’s just say there is NO red in the middle, and the outside has this ‘char’ to it. Crispaaaaayyyy!

 

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But if my husband asked me to make him chocolate cake, well by all means…It would be fantastic!

Clean Out Your Fridge Pasta Sauce

 

Did you know that by the time Sunday comes around we have half a box of cereal in our pantry, a bag of carrots in the fridge, an almost empty jar of peanut butter on the counter, and a full bag of dark chocolate chips in the freezer? Hashtag Priorities.

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I’m never ready for Sunday dinner. I plan dinner out for the whole week, but then it’s like I forgot about Sunday and just pretend that there will be something in the pantry to make and all will be well…

No, Arielle. Every Sunday this happens, and every sunday you forget, and every Sunday you suck.

Sunday is basically like an episode of chopped. I open the pantry, the fridge, and the freezer. Swear a few times because I’m an idiot and should have prepared better for this, hope that honey nut cheerios would make a great crouton on a salad, and pray that everything works out…

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Like most families, I assume that by the end of the week everyones fridge holds the least exciting food in the produce drawer. Its all the leftover produce that didn’t get eaten during the week, which means there wasn’t a desire there to eat them to begin with.

This Sunday, I just so happened to have a Costco amount of tomatoes, carrot sticks, one zucchini, and an ‘older’ bag of celery. Wouldn’t it be great if I could combine all of that into one and my kids would eat it?!

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And that is how this Pasta Sauce was born. I’m sure it could work with the majority of veggies you have in your drawer, which makes cleaning out the fridge all that more successful. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can definitely used canned. Add your favorite toppings, seasoning, or even make it a meat sauce.

If you are lucky enough to have more than the end piece of bread in your pantry, serve it along with an herbed garlic bread for dipping!

Did I mention it’s full of veggies?!

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Veggie Filled Pasta Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This is a quick and simple pasta sauce that could easily be made with the veggies that are left in the fridge at the end of the week!
Ingredients
  • 2 TB. coconut oil/olive oil
  • 3 lbs. tomatoes (I used plum)
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrot sticks, or a handful of baby carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 TB. tomato paste
  • 4 TB. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaping TB. dried basil
  • 1 heaping TB. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • salt/pepper-to taste
  • hot sauce (a few dashes-optional)
Instructions
  1. Dice onion and garlic. Add them to a pot on the stove.
  2. Turn the heat on the stove to medium heat, and add the coconut oil.
  3. Toss the onion and garlic and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear.
  4. While the onion/garlic is cooking, dice the rest of the veggies.
  5. Add the rest of the veggies to the pot and stir. Add in the paste, seasonings, and vinegar.Cover and let simmer for 15-30 minutes on med-low heat, stirring occasionally. Get the rest of the dinner ready while the sauce cooks. (You can cook the sauce as long as needed, just until the veggies are somewhat tender)
  6. Transfer to a blender, and blend sauce until pureed and thick.
  7. Transfer the sauce back to the pot, taste, adjust seasoning, and serve along with pasta, meat sauce, chicken, etc.

 

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And for dessert?

A bag of chocolate chips. Seriously…

Greatest.Mom.Ever.