Jul 06

Sweet and Spicy Orange Salmon

Whether you strive to eat healthy or not, these salmon fillets will delight you with a sweet and spicy glaze that is healthy and bursting with flavor. With just a few ingredients, which might already be in your pantry, this glaze is simple and quick. Adjust your cooking time according to the thickness of your fillets. I had two small fillets and they only took about 5 minutes to cook. Enjoy!

Juice from one orange (about 1/4 cup)
Zest from one orange
1/4 C. soy sauce (I used coconut aminos)
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. sriracha, more or less to taste
Salmon fillet(s), between 1-1/2 to 2 lbs total

Whisk together orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and sriracha in a bowl. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the sauce in a separate bowl for glazing later on. Add remaining sauce to a shallow dish (or a plastic bag) and place the salmon in it to marinate for about 20 minutes, flipping the salmon over hallway through.

As the salmon is marinating, preheat oven to 400 degrees. You’ll want a rack to be situated in the middle of the oven, as well as one near the top. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Once the salmon has finished marinating, place the salmon on the prepared sheet, skin side down, and bake on the middle rack for about 18 minutes. After 18 minutes, remove the sheet from the oven and brush the reserved 1/4 cup of sauce over the salmon fillets. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees and place sheet on the upper oven rack. Broil for about 2 minutes, or until the edges of the salmon begin to crisp and brown.

Jun 28

Asparagus, Tomato and Feta Salad

I love just about any dish that uses balsamic vinegar, and this one didn’t disappoint either. Perfect for the summer, this simple, quick and delicious side dish provides a wow factor not only from the flavor but its presentation. Take advantage of fresh summer produce, and enjoy this salad at your next picnic or cookout and have your friends asking for the recipe. Enjoy!

6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. olive oil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-lb. fresh asparagus (preferably medium thickness), tough ends trimmed,
remaining diced into 2-inch pieces
1 (10.5-oz) pkg. grape tomatoes, halved
2/3 C. chopped walnuts, toasted
4-oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare vinaigrette – add vinegar to a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat and allow to boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Pour into a jar or bowl, add olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic and whisk to blend while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Add asparagus to boiling water and allow to boil until tender crisp, about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile fill a medium mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Drain and immediately transfer asparagus to ice water, let rest about 10 seconds then drain asparagus well. Transfer to a bowl with tomatoes and walnuts. Drizzle vinaigrette over top and toss lightly. Sprinkle over half of the feta then plate and top with remaining feta (just so the feta doesn’t brown from tossing with all the dressing).

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Jun 21

Chili Powder

There are many recipes for chili powder and no need to buy yet another “spice”. I had never thought about it but chili powder is a combo of spices that I already had in my pantry. Some brands also add extras that are not a spice. Feel free to change out an ingredient or the amount of an ingredient to your family’s taste. Enjoy!

2 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container.

May 28

Red White and Blue Parfaits

Light and fresh, these parfaits are great for celebrating your summer holidays. Fresh juicy strawberries and fresh plump blueberries layered between a mixture of whipped topping, white chocolate and Mascarpone cheese. If you find the whipped topping mixture not sweet enough, you can add a little more white chocolate. Enjoy!

4-oz Mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
4-oz whipped topping
1 Tbsp. white chocolate chips or bar
Fresh strawberries, hulled and diced (about 2 dozen)
Fresh blueberries (about 1 cup)

To make the cream, microwave 1 tablespoon of white chocolate in a microwave safe dish for about 15 seconds. Stir until melted and add the Mascarpone cheese. Stir until smooth and then fold in the whipped topping. Stir gently to combine.

To assemble your parfaits divide the ingredients equally between 4 serving glasses by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of strawberries first and top with a dollop of whipped topping mixture. Add a layer of blueberries and top with a dollop of whipped topping. Add another layer of strawberries and top that with a few blueberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

May 24

Peanut Butter Coconut Bites

If you are looking for a healthy snack that also tastes amazing, these no-bake peanut butter coconut bites are what you are looking for. I mean come on, peanut butter, coconut, maple syrup and a few chocolate chips, raisins or peanuts. They are so good! Natural peanut butter works best for this recipe due to the drippy, liquidy nature of it. Make them gluten-free by using gluten-free oats. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, and if you prefer them firm, store them in the fridge. Enjoy!

3/4 C. unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 C. rolled oats
1/4 C. ground flaxseed
1/4 C. chopped peanuts, chocolate chips, raisins or other add-ins
3/4 C. natural peanut butter
1/4 C. pure maple syrup

In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture. Using a sturdy spatula, fold together until well incorporated. Scoop mixture into your hands and roll into bites, about 1 1/2 tablespoons. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more maple syrup and peanut butter.

20-25 Bites

May 09

Buttermilk Ranch Roasted Chicken with Potatoes

I had never been big on using chicken thighs in a dish because I didn’t like the way they turned out. Maybe it’s just me, but I have always used chicken breast. I know why chefs say they like to use chicken thighs, because they don’t dry out, but I never cared for them. This dish changed my thoughts. Tender, moist slow roasted chicken with a buttermilk ranch dressing slathered over it and potatoes. This is so good! Yes, it takes a couple of hours to cook and some attention but it is so worth it. Maybe not a meal for a busy week night but definitely a lazy weekend meal. It is important to use a dressing that has real buttermilk in it. If you prefer to make your own, check out the one I make myself often. Enjoy!

10 Pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or legs
2 Tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 lbs. small red potatoes
1 1/2 C. buttermilk ranch dressing

Add chicken, oil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and peppers to a large bowl and toss to coat. Really work it with your hands and massage the spices into the chicken.

Spray one large baking pan (18×13 or two smaller pans (13×9) with cooking spray. Arrange chicken pieces evenly in pan(s) and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, clean potatoes. Leave the smaller potatoes whole and cut the larger ones in half. You don’t want anything bigger than 2″ in diameter.

Remove pan(s) from oven. Arrange potatoes evenly around chicken pieces. Return pan(s) to oven and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

Remove pan(s) from oven. Baste chicken and potatoes with buttermilk ranch dressing. Sprinkle potatoes with a little a little coarse grain salt. Return pan(s) to oven and continue cooking for 30 more minutes.

Remove pan(s) from oven. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Baste chicken and potatoes with buttermilk ranch dressing again. Return pan(s) to oven and continue cooking for 15-30 minutes or until chicken is golden brown.

May 03

Broccoli Apple Salad

This broccoli salad has many different textures and flavors that come together to make such a delicious dish. Broccoli and pecans add crunch, apples and dried cranberries add sweetness, and to round it out a simple dressing that has a hint of lemon. If you wish not to use yogurt in the dressing just double the amount of mayonnaise. When preparing this for just my husband and I, I cut the recipe in half because it does make a lot. Enjoy!

4 C. fresh broccoli florets, (about 2 medium heads)
1/2 C. shredded carrots
1/4 C. diced red onion
2 large apples, finely chopped
1/2 C. pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 C. dried cranberries

Creamy dressing:
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. plain/Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans, and dried cranberries. In a smaller bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

Apr 09

Cheesy Chorizo Caramelized Onion Dip

This cheesy dip is sure to be a hit at your next party. A cheese dip with caramelized onions, and a little heat from chorizo sausage. Great dippers are baguette slices, tortilla chips or veggies. Fair warning though, this will go fast so double the recipe if you have a large crowd. Enjoy!

2 C. onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. thyme
1/2 chorizo sausage, about 6 oz.
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temp.
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. Monterey or mozzarella cheese
1/4 C. chopped chives or green onions
Kosher salt

Remove chorizo from casing and cook in a medium skillet over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, chopping with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally. Set aside.

In another skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add onion. Add thyme, season with salt and lower heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes until onions become soft and caramelized.

In a medium-sized bowl add cream cheese and mayonnaise and mix well until smooth. Add cheese, caramelized onions, green onions and mix well. Gently fold in chorizo. Pour into a 2 cup baking dish.

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degree for 12-15 minutes or until dip is golden and bubbly. Garnish with additional green onion and serve with baguette slices, tortilla chips or veggies.

Apr 03

Chia Jam

My quest to find a healthier jam/jelly brought me to this chia jam recipe. My journey started in the grocery store, reading the label of each jar. It was rare to find one that didn’t have high fructose corn syrup in it! This stuff is everywhere. Onto the ones that used sugar or honey; better but my husband and I thought it was more sugar than we needed in a jam/jelly since it would over shadow the fruit flavor. Then I came across this recipe that not only could I control the amount of sweetener used but chia seeds are used which have their own health benefits. We found that unless the fruit is in season frozen is better to use. Enjoy!

3 C. fresh or frozen fruit
2-3 Tbsp. sweetener of choice(I used maple syrup)
3 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract(optional)

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine your fruit and sweetener over low heat. Using a potato masher, smash the fruit to release juices. Add the chia seeds. Stirring frequently, bring to a simmer and cook down for 10 minutes or so, or until jam has a nice thick consistency. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract if desired. Cool and serve.

Feb 25

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Raw Brussels sprouts sliced very thinly create a delicate slaw. Add a simple and fresh dressing and you have an unbelievably delicious salad perfect for weeknights, BBQ’s, and picnics. If you don’t care for Brussels sprouts and you have only had them cooked try this recipe and it will change your mind. Fresh, simple, delicious and healthy….can’t beat that! Enjoy!

1-lb Brussels sprout
3/4 C. walnuts or pecans, chopped
3/4 C. dried cranberries
1/2 C. crumbled blue cheese

For the dressing:
1/4 C. orange juice
1/4 C. cider vinegar
5 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

Cut Brussels sprouts into very thin slices using a sharp knife or slicer. Toss in a bowl and separate layers. It should look like slaw. Add the toppings and mix well.

For the dressing: In a measuring cup or bowl, add the orange juice, vinegar, olive oil and honey or maple syrup. Whisk and pour over salad right before serving.

Taken from: creativeandhealthyfunfood.com