Do you guys use a planner every day? I know it’s easy now to just add stuff to the calendar in your phone, but I LOVE having a physical planner to write everything down in. I got mine from Erin Condren the last couple years and I’m obsessed. One thing I do with my planner that’s super random is I write down the food holidays every day. For example, today (January 19th) is National Popcorn Day! When I can, I try to make a dinner relating to the food holiday it is. I don’t do it a lot, but it helps me branch out in the things I’m cooking!
It is because of this that I tried to find a “Food Holiday Calendar.” Well, I couldn’t find one, but I DID find a Healthy Recipe-A-Day Calendar! It’s put together by Sonja & Alex over at ACoupleCooks.com and I love it!! It’s a lot of healthy recipes (hello, 2017 resolution!)and a lot of vegetarian recipes as well, which I like. This is the first recipe I tried making from their calendar. And let me just say, it was AMAZING!! Honestly, the name and the photo on the calendar didn’t really entice me, but I decided to give it a try anyways because I do love a good curry recipe and anything with sweet potatoes in it has to be good, right?
Give this recipe a try- it’s proof that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring and can be delicious!! Also- look at all the leftovers!!
A quick tip- cut everything up and measure everything before you start cooking. I try to do this every time I cook, and let me tell you it makes a world of difference. Cooking is so much less stressful when you don’t have to be cooking and chopping stuff up at the same time.
1 yellow onion
1 pound sweet potato (~4 cups chopped)
1 head cauliflower (~5 cups chopped)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
23 oz jar diced San Marzano plum tomatoes
15 oz can full-fat coconut milk
15 oz can chickpeas
4 cups spinach leaves
Cilantro, for garnish
Brown rice, for serving
Prepare the brown rice according to the package instructions. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can always use Uncle Ben’s 90 second easy rice.
Dice the onion. Chop the sweet potato into bite-sized chunks (do not peel). Chop the cauliflower into florets.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 2 minutes, then add the sweet potato and saute 3 minutes. Add cauliflower and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and saute another 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the cauliflower and sweet potato are tender.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. When the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas and 4 cups spinach and stir for 2 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add another ½ teaspoon kosher salt to taste, adding additional salt if necessary.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve on top of brown rice.
I thought this was going to take a lot longer to make and considerably more effort than it did. Only 30 minutes and I had a fancy AF looking soup! And it was creamy, satisfying, and super filling. A great cold night meal.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions, celery and broccoli and cook to soften about 3-5 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and cook an additional minute, stirring constantly.
Slowly add broth, milk, cream, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Use a whisk to combine, then add in cooked chicken. Heat over medium heat until warm, about 10-15 minutes.
To make crust strips, unroll thawed pie crust (for one crust). Cut into strips and lay on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven.
To assemble, Pour soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese and pieces of pie crust strips. Enjoy!
I don’t know about you, but breakfast is hand down my most favorite meal of the day. I could eat scrambled eggs with avocado on toast for EVERY SINGLE MEAL! But I need to branch out, because other breakfast foods are pretty damn delicious too. Like this French Toast Casserole! I decided to make this recipe because I could put everything together the night before and then just pop it in the oven in the morning. I’m never in the mood to make anything fancy first thing in the morning. I just want to eat! So this was perfect.
The best thing about this recipe? The leftovers!! I portioned them out to take to work every morning and they were just as good as the day I made it. Mmmm.
Makes 12 large servings
1 loaf crusty sourdough or French bread* (I used Pepperidge Farm, 1.5 pound loaf)
2 cups milk (I used skim)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
Optional: Syrup, bananas, or other fruit
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces (1/4 lb)
Grease a 9×13 pan with butter. Tear bread into bite-size chunks and place evenly in the pan.
In a medium sized bowl mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for several hours or overnight (I put mine in overnight….it was about 12 hours).
In a medium bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter* until it all looks nice and crumbly. Place in a Ziploc bag and put in fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, take pan and bag out of fridge and preheat oven to 350 F. Remove wrap and evenly sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.
Optional: Serve with syrup, bananas, or blueberries. YUM!
Side notes: * Make sure you buy sourdough bread, not any ol’ sandwich bread. This is very important, otherwise you might end up with a soggy casserole. And nobody likes a soggy casserole
* If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use two knives moving away from each other to cut in the butter for the topping.
Guys. Ok. I’m really excited about this Mac & Cheese. Like REALLY excited. I’ve tried so many Mac & Cheese recipes and they ALL fall short of my expectations. Until now.
Just a warning- there is cottage cheese and sour cream in this. But don’t fret if you don’t like either of those things! You will still love this recipe. I promise. The ingredients mesh perfectly with one another and the Ritz cracker (and butter!) topping is to die for. It’s great for holidays, but I will warn you it’s not a super quick recipe. It’s makes a good make-ahead or freezer meal though.
One thing about the cheese: you can buy the cheese pre-shredded, but if you have the time I highly recommend shredding it yourself with either a cheese grater or a shredder attachment of some sort. It melts better when you do this and makes the dish creamier. And who doesn’t like that?
All that being said, the outcome is well worth the time to prepare it.
2 1/2 to 3 cups uncooked macaroni
6 tbsp butter
6 tbsp flour
3 cups milk (we use skim)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
2/3 cup sour cream (we use light)
1 1/3 cup cottage cheese (small curd)
2 to 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded
25 to 30 Ritz crackers, crushed
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook and drain macaroni.
Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and mix well.
Add the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. This is the part that takes a while, but it’s worth it.
Add salt, sugar, and cubed Velveeta cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
Add sour cream and cottage cheese. Stir well. Remove from heat.
Put the macaroni, cheddar, and swiss cheese in a BIG bowl. Pour in the creamy cheese sauce. Stir really well.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13″ casserole. Sprinkle the crushed Ritz crackers over the top. Drizzle with melted butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until crackers are a golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
I’m not a big baker or dessert eater, so this post is a big deal. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the occasional treat, but generally I have a harder time turning down appetizers or carbs. Free bagels at work will be the death of me!
So anyways, I try to make desserts once in awhile just to switch things up and hopefully start feeling more confident in the baking department. I picked out this recipe for my company’s annual cookie exchange (although technically not a cookie, but who cares) because I wanted something that would catch people’s eye and be EXCITING! You can’t get much more eye grabbing and exciting than Blondies made with funfetti cake mix! Maybe that’s why they were all demolished by the end of the day. Or it was because they were AMAZING! Either way, no leftovers for me!
These are super moist and really not difficult at all to make. No mixer needed. And did I mention white chocolate?!? Yum.
Fun fact: Craig and I’s wedding cake was Funfetti with strawberry cheesecake filling.
1 box funfetti cake mix
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1/3-1/2 cup milk (less is better)
1/2 cup sprinkles
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray 11×7 baking pan with nonstick spray.
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Add the milk slowly. You want to cake batter to be as dense & thick as possible.
Mix in the sprinkles and white chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared baking pan, sprinkle a few more sprinkles on top, and bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are just turning brown.
Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.Make ahead tip:Blondies remain fresh up to 2 weeks stored covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Blondies freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
So as you know, last weekend was Christmas! I went to my aunt and uncle’s house (one of many stops on Christmas and Christmas Eve) and was instructed to make green bean casserole. Easy. My mom and my sister came over to my place first to open gifts. And I obviously got too excited about everything because I COMPLETELY FORGOT to grab the casserole when we left. Everyone was not very happy with me because apparently they were really looking forward to it. Womp womp.
So where am I going with this? Craig and I got to eat the casserole by ourselves! And you can’t have green bean casserole without have a fancy meat to go with it, right? Right. Well this meat is fancy AND easy! Plus I already had every ingredient besides the actual tenderloin. I love it when that happens.
My mouth is drooling just thinking about this recipe. Good thing I have leftovers for lunch today.
2 lb Pork Tenderloin
3 tbsp Olive Oil, Extra Virgin
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more if you like it hot)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat olive oil in fry pan on medium-high heat.
In large ziplock bag, combine flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Add tenderloin and shake until coated.
Sauté tenderloin until all sides are a nice brown color, 3 sides at 2 1/2-3 minutes per side.
While sautéing, combine brown sugar, honey and butter in a small saucepan. Cook on low stirring consistently until you have a nice smooth glaze. (about 3 minutes)
Place your tenderloin in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish and coat with about half of the glaze.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until internal temp reaches 155 degrees F.
Remove foil, coat with remaining glaze and bake 10 more minutes.
Time for a recipe with my all time favorite food in it… avocado!
I’ve never made pesto before and I wasn’t even sure if I liked it all that much… now I know that I LOVE pesto. Especially avocado pesto. Or really anything with avocado in it.
I made this on Friday, and although I’m trying not to repeat recipes until I have enough for a cookbook, I’m craving this meal again… I think I might make it this weekend. Seriously, it was so good. I wish I took more photos.
1 medium ripe avocado
3/4 c. firmly packed basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. penne pasta (I used fettucine instead)
1/4 c. shaved parmesan cheese (for garish)
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper, to taste (for chicken)
Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, season chicken with salt and pepper and place on a grill (or grill pan) over medium-high heat for 6 minutes on each side, until center is no longer pink. You can add other spices if you want, but don’t over-season your chicken.
Peel avocado and remove pit. Put avocado, basil, salt, pepper, garlic and pine nuts in a blender or food processor. Turn blender on and add olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
Process until mixture becomes a smooth paste. Gently fold in parmesan cheese. Toss with cooked pasta. Slice grilled chicken breasts and lay across top of pasta. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese and serve.
Ok I’ll admit it… I was skeptical about this recipe. Like, very skeptical. I mean, I’m all about eating salmon to be healthy blah blah blah, but making a cold dip out of it are you crazy?!? I did, however, pick out this recipe myself because I’m constantly pushing myself to experiment with new recipes. AND IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!
My mouth is actually watering just thinking about it… how could I be so wrong about this dip? It was absolutely perfect. Maybe a little messy when I attempted to scape the remnants out of the blender, but I’m not going to lie and say I cleaned it right away, or within the same night. So don’t do what I did and make sure you clean-up while things are still able to be cleaned easily.
Serves not very many because it’s delicious and you’ll want to eat it all yourself.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp red onion, diced small
1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
2 oz plus 2 more oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Bagel chips, for serving
In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, cream cheese, capers, red onion, lemon juice, horseradish, and 2 ounces smoked salmon. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds.
Transfer to a small bowl and stir in remaining 2 ounces smoked salmon.
Top with fresh parsley and serve with bagel chips.
As you can see by the photo, I also served it with pretzel crisps, spinach dip, and salsa… seriously, yum. I’m drooling.
Warning: This is really good and ADDICTING. I made a mini pizza for both my boyfriend and I (that’s right, one for each of us), thinking I would keep some to have the next day for breakfast. I was wrong. I ended up eating the whole mini pizza in one sitting because it was so damn delicious!
If you’re being good, you can always make 1 mini pizza for 2 people so you’re not tempted to eat more than you should, which is what I should have done 😛
Have I mentioned how much I love breakfast food? No? I LOVE breakfast food.
Makes 2 mini pizzas.
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter
2 (8-inch) pizza crusts (Boboli is my fave)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups shredded jack cheese blend (I like Colby Jack)
4 fully cooked sausage patties, crumbled (I used Jimmy Dean)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 medium tomato, diced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 450°F
In a medium pan over medium heat, scramble eggs in butter; set aside.
Lay out pizza crusts and brush each with oil. Top with eggs, cheese, crumbled sausage, Parmesan, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble.
Good morning! I have yet another delicious recipe for you guys to try… I found this one at skinnytaste.com and I’m absolutely in love with it. The best part about it? It makes GREAT leftovers, and although I cook a lot it’s nice to have a few days a week where I can just get home and heat up something yummy without having to do any work.
This would also be a great meal to cook for the holidays (plus you can make it ahead of time!). Who doesn’t like chicken, broccoli, cheese, and pasta?!?
6 oz macaroni noodles (or really any kind of noodles you love)
2 tsp oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin (I cheated and used squeezable garlic)
12 oz fresh broccoli florets, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1-3/4 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 cup 1% milk
12 oz cooked shredded chicken breast (I buy the canned stuff at Costco)
4 oz shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar
3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli and a little salt, sauté and cover the broccoli for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the broccoli begins to soften. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 9 x 12 casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large pot, heat butter over medium-low heat, when melted add the shallot and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.
Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined over medium heat; whisk well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes). Remove from heat and add reduced fat sharp cheddar and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese; mix well until the cheese melts.
Add the shredded chicken, noodles and broccoli to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated.
Pour into a casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Place the casserole under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp and golden (careful not to burn).