Super Green Walnut Pesto

Happy Thursday everyone! For me, it’s my Friday, and I am so darn excited to paint a little in our house tomorrow. We decided on… do I dare say it… a shade of gray… that will hopefully warm up some of our rooms and highlight some of our furniture and accents. I swear I do like other colors besides white and gray! (sometimes)

Two nights ago I was driving home from work and couldn’t for the life of my think of what I wanted for dinner. My mom and I were talking about pizza, and somehow pizza turned into pasta, and pasta turned into thinking of a new sauce that I could make from scratch. I decided to make pesto, but a not so traditional pesto, that I could secretly hide some extra green in it. Have a mentioned before how hard it is to get Jeff to eat vegetables?

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This pesto was BOMB. Literally, I was eating it with a spoon. Jeff liked it also, and I know it was truly enjoyable for him because he ate the leftovers the next day. Can I tell you just how much it makes my heart swoon when I come home and find leftover containers EMPTY in the kitchen sink. That is how I truly know when one of my recipes is a success!

I called this a “super green” pesto because it truly is really, really green. I don’t mean clean, green… although that is pretty appropriate as well…. but it is literally really green and bright in color. This pesto is so unbelievably easy and delicious, you can bet I will make it again ASAP.

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I hope you give this yummy little recipe a try. Don’t be afraid to play around with it or substitute different greens. Let me know if you find a substitution that you love! I’m sure others would like to know as well 🙂

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Super Green Walnut Pesto

  • Servings: approx. 1 3/4 cup total volume
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • ~3 cups raw greens (I used ~1 cup kale, 2 cups spinach)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • pinch of kosher seal salt
  • pinch of back pepper
  • 3 med size garlic cloves OR 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup water

Directions

It a food processor, pulse greens with olive oil. Once there is a little more room in the food processor, add walnuts, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Pulse or grind on low until garlic is fully chopped and incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the container and add ~1/3 cup of water. Continue to pulse or blend until the pesto is the consistency you prefer. If you like it to me a little chunky, you can just stir in the water to help thin it our instead of pulsing.

Serve over grilled meats, warm pasta, or with warm bread. Enjoy!

 

 


First pumpkin cookie of the season!

It’s officially pumpkin season! You know, even though our afternoons are still hitting 100 degrees I am not letting the toasty walks to my car after work ruin my usual spring into fall foods and recipes. I have been itching to make something with pumpkin, so obviously my first go to was cookies!

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Quick side note… does EVERY nutrition/whole food bar company make a pumpkin spice version now?! Holy moly! My Instagram feed has been BLOWING UP with every food blogger out there posting about pumpkin Perfect bars or Rx Bars. I have to stay true to my favorite whole food bar brand Lara Bar; their pumpkin pie bar is amazing!

So a little about this recipe…

Its not low in sugar, it’s not grain free or vegetarian, and yes it contains fat. These cookies were made to be delicious and boy are they! I use whole wheat flour, oats, and pumpkin puree as my base with coconut oil and a whole egg for fat. Start your pumpkin season off right with these little beauties!

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In case you read my last post, in terms of calories I’m not sure what the calorie content is of these cookies. Sometimes I will calculate calories for my recipes just to share here for extra info. I will say, regardless of the calories, these are freaking amazing! They are made with ingredients that are easy, simple, and many might already be in your pantry. I hope you give them a try, and as always let me know what you think! Happy Tuesday everyone!

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Chocolatey Pumpkin Spice Cookies

  • Servings: 24 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg
  • 3/4 can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium size bowl, combine 1 egg with brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, and pumpkin puree. Mix with a fork or whisk until brown sugar is well incorporated into wet ingredients with minimal to no lumps.

Add oats, flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a large spoon or fork until all dry ingredients are moistened. Lastly, fold in your chocolate chips or chunks (whatever your preference!)

Lightly grease a cookie sheet and scoop large spoonfuls about 1-1 1/2 inches apart. The cookies do not really spread out, so if you would like them flatter, lightly press down with the back of a spoon. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until they slide off the sheet easily without breaking. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Keep in an air-tight container for 3-4 days; refrigerate to keep for about 5-7 days. Enjoy!


Holiday festivities… and food!

Hi everyone! I hope y’all had a fun and relaxing weekend. Jeff and I started a serious journey towards finding out perfect home this weekend and let me tell you…. STRESSFUL. I don’t know if I ever pictured house hunting to be this stressful, but boy do I see why we have avoided it until now. With that said, yesterday I was in dire need of a little relaxation and down time.

Jeff worked through the afternoon, which gave me time to plan a nice little Memorial Day dinner for both of us. No, I didn’t pull out the grill (although I’d highly recommend it if you make the burgers!) because sitting in front of a hot grill in 100 degree weather just didn’t seem all that appealing.

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When it comes to festive foods, you know I like to keep it simple, flavorful, and fun! I had been thinking about making sliders for a while so I went with mini turkey burger sliders as our main dish and a unique, tangy “potato salad” for our side. Who doesn’t love burgers and potato salad?!

The potato salad is definitely not your traditional potato salad. I added a little roasted corn and sauteed green beans for added color and flavor. The dressing is super delicious, tangy, and easy to make. It can also be used to marinate chicken, other meats, or dress other salads/veggies! Make it ahead of time to save yourself some extra work if planning for a party or barbecue!

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For the turkey burgers, I decided to do a few sliders wrapped in romaine lettuce for myself and mini buns for Jeff. I like the added crunch of the lettuce and found this to be a great alternative to a regular bun if you tend to eat gluten-free or want to minimize your carbs for other health reasons. The burgers were flavored with green chile and shredded cheddar cheese, nut other flavor combos such as feta and basil or blue cheese and bacon would also be great to try!

I hope you give these recipes a try and maybe add them in to your next barbecue. The 4th of July is right around the corner, so planning ahead will help minimize stress and hopefully lead to a fun and relaxing party!

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Tangy Dijon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Yields ~1/4-1/3 c dressing depending on how careful you are with measurements!

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
  • pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Directions

Put all ingredients into a mason jar or small container with a lid. Agitate by shaking vigorously. Store in a cool area until ready to use.

Green Chile Cheddar Turkey Sliders

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Yields ~8-10 sliders depending on size

  • 1 lb ground lead turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 can diced green chiles 
  • 1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c diced yellow or white onion
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch chile powder

Directions

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients with hands or roughly with a fork. Roll and press patties about the size of a larger, thick cookie or muffin top. Place on parchment paper until ready to cook.

In a large pan (or on a grill), spray the surface to prevent sticking. Heat the pan to medium heat and place about 4-5 patties in the pan. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear and there is a golden brown color on the surface. Serve with toppings of choice.


Making the most of Memorial Day weekend!

Ok, so long weekends are the best right?! I don’t think there is one person that I talked to today that wasn’t excited about having a little extra time this weekend to spend with family, friends, or soaking up the Arizona heat.

Summertime holiday weekends are typically filled with cookouts and fun activities, but do you ever get sick of the same old hamburger, hot dog, potato salad menu? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good potato salad, but sometimes I just want something a little different!

Today I’m going to pull some of my favorite recipes for cookouts and summer time parties. I’m also going to give you some tips on how to liven up these recipes even more and tailor them to whatever function you are attending or hosting!

  1. Instead of regular burgers, try these turkey burgers with a fun twist!

Simple Turkey Burger

  • For a spicy flare, add 1/2 can of green chilies, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, a and a pinch of chili powder.
  • For a more salty/savory burger, mix in 1 Tsp of dried thyme and 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese!

2. Instead of regular pasta salad, try this creamier avocado pasta salad!

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Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

  • Add various veggies that you enjoy; you don’t have to just stick to what is in the recipe! Try cooked green beans, snack peas, red pepper, etc!

3. For dessert, skip the typically cupcakes or cookies and go for something fun, festive,           and light!

Banana ‘Nilla Party Parfait

  • Add different fruit that fits the occasion. For example, for Memorial day, add blue and red fruit (such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries) for a more patriotic look!

4. Need another side that will keep well for leftovers? Take a spin off the normal salad!

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Fresh and Fast Lemon Broccoli Salad

  • Swap the golden raisins for cranberries or use green apple instead of Gala for a more “tart” and crisp bite!

 

 


Sweet & Salty Roasted Brussel Sprout Pizza

You guys know how much I love my summer pizzas! I know I just shared an old recipe a few weeks ago in one of my posts which recap[ed some of my favorite of summer recipes. This one might be up there now with some of my favorite pizzas! I am a big brussel lover and love to trying cooking with them in different ways. Any vegetable roasted usually is a big win for me, so why not add roasted brussels to a pizza?!


The sweet element of this pizza comes from dates and a little drizzle of honey on top. Dates are a perfect way for me to curb a sweet craving (type them with peanut butter… amazing!) when it arises, and tastes perfect with a charred brussel sprout. I also add caramelized onion for a little different type of sweetness. Sweet and salty has always been one of my favorite combinations, so topping the pizza with feta cheese added a salty element that put this pizza on my favorites list!

This is a perfect pizza for a relaxing summer night or to bring to a barbecue or outdoor get together! I used a whole wheat crust, but you can use whatever you like best. Happy Monday readers!

Sweet & Salty Roasted Brussel Sprout Pizza

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 pizza crust (I used a store bought whole wheat crust)
2-3 cups brussel sprouts (depending on size)
1/4 cup chopped white or yellow onion
5-6 large dates, cupped
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/4-1/3 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tsp olive oil for Brussels + 1 tsp for crust

Brussel seasonings: garlic powder (~1/2 tsp), onion powder (~1/4 tsp), black pepper (~1/8 tsp), salt (pinch!)

Pizza seasonings: black pepper (pinch), garlic powder (pinch), drizzle of honey

Directions


Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

Slice brussel sprouts in half. Toss lightly in olive oil and recommended seasonings. Roast brussels for about 12-15 minutes or until outside leaves start to get golden and crispy.

In a small saute pan, saute sliced onion in a little cooking spray with a pinch of black pepper. To help caramelize the onions, add a little water to the bottle of the pan. Once fully cooked and slightly brown, set aside to let cool.

Roughly chop the dates into small pieces. You can make them as big or small as you desire.

Brush the crust of your pizza with 1 tsp olive oil and a sprinkle a little black pepper and garlic powder on top. Top the pizza with roasted brussels, date pieces, cooled onion, feta cheese, and shredded mozzarella. Add a pinch of salt on top before allowing the pizza to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crust is crispy (still on 400 degrees). Cook the pizza on a minimally greased baking sheet or pizza stone for easier clean up.

Once the crust is crispy, remove pizza from the oven and drizzle with a little honey. Let cool before cutting into squares and serving.