Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Aloha BBQ Sliders

 Oh man, this combo is delicious.  If you haven't tried a "hawaiian" burger you need to make these!  Bacon, pineapple, bbq, so so good.  These are really fun summery burgers made on the grill and served on hawaiian buns.  But, you can make them anytime of year if you want a fun meal!  Just cook the burgers in a skillet.

Aloha BBQ Sliders
via Tidy Mom

1-1/2 pound ground beef
2/3 cups Barbecue Sauce, divided
3/4 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 pkg (12 each) Hawaiian dinner rolls
sliced Swiss cheese, around 3-4 slices
1 can (8 oz each) pineapple slices, drained (reserve juice)
6 slices of bacon
lettuce (I skipped)
cooking spray

Spray cold grate of gas grill with grilling spray.  Preheat grill for medium heat.  Combine barbecue sauce with 2 tablespoons pineapple juice.  Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup of Barbeque sauce mixture to beef and steak seasoning in large bowl.  Shape mixture into 12 small patties.  Grill patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through (160°F).  Meanwhile, remove attached rolls from package; do NOT separate.  Cut in half horizontally.  Spray cut sides with grilling spray; toast on grill.  Grill pineapple slices for 1-2 minutes on each side (if desired).  Separate toasted rolls and assemble sliders;  Spread remaining barbecue sauce mixture on rolls, place a small piece of lettuce then patties on bottom halves of rolls; top with cheese, bacon and pineapple.  Close with tops of rolls.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Southwest Goat Cheese Pizza

This was one of our favorite pizzas I've made in a long time.  It was delicious!  The goat cheese was awesome with the southwestern flavors of cilantro, lime, and pablanos.  Such a great pizza.  I used the Pioneer Woman's pizza dough because it is by far our favorite!  Its so so so easy to make if you have a stand mixer and it is really delicious.  I try to make it at least the day before because the flavors really get better the longer it sits in the fridge (within 3-4 days).

Southwest Goat Cheese Pizza
via Sprouted Kitchen - (please check out her blog, its amazing!)
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche, room temperature
  • sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 roasted poblano pepper*
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed (you can use 1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen corn)
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (I used a 5 oz log, crumbled)
  • 1 packed cup baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 500'. Prepare the dough according to instructions and set up your pizza stone or baking sheet.  Collect all of your topppings together. Roll the dough out super thin, about 1/8''. Transfer the dough to your pan.  Spread the creme fraiche across the top. Sprinkle a bit of smoked paprika on top (chipotle powder works too if you like it spicy). Distribute half the goat cheese, the poblanos, shallots, corn and the rest of the goat cheese. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 12-15 minutes until the top browns in parts. Turn the oven to broil and cook another minute.  Remove the pizza to cool. In a bowl, combine the baby arugula, cilantro, oil, lime juice, and pinch of salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat. Top the pizza with the greens and cut as you wish.

* To roast the pepper, broil them in the oven until blackened on all sides.  Remove the pepper to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Allow them to steam for five minutes or until cool, this makes the skin easier to peel. Once they are cool enough to touch, rub or peel off the charred skin. Discard the stem and seeds and chop into small pieces.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Smoky Black Bean Chili

This delicious smoky chili was a good mix up for my normal chili!  It was a great vegetarian meal that was pretty darn healthy as well!  We loved this and it will definitely make its way into the rotation.

Smoky Black Bean Chili
slightly adapted from Rachel Ray magazine

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn
2 tomatoes chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (I ended up adding a second for a spicy chili!)
chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt & pepper
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 quart vegetable stock/broth
2 tbsp tom paste

Heat oil in large stock pot.  Cook onion, carrots, and pepper until tender.  Add all other ingredients and stir.  At this point the chili was too thin for our tastes so I used my immersion blender to puree a little bit until it was as thick as I liked.  Season with seasonings to taste.  We enjoyed this with shredded cheddar, greek yogurt, and cornbread.

Salmon Florentine

This is definitely becoming a regular in our home.  I've made spinach and feta covered salmon a few times and its great, but this was so so much better.  We have been loving sun dried tomatoes lately so they were a great addition.  And last minute this afternoon I thought of this fish I previously made with roasted garlic.  Have you ever had roasted garlic?  It is one of the simplest things to make and it adds incredible flavor.  Such a delicious healthy meal that was pretty simple to make!

Salmon Florentine
adapted from Self Magazine

1 lb fresh wild salmon
about 5 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 head garlic
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil
1 teaspoons panko bread crumbs, optional

Heat oven to 450. Cut the top off the garlic and wrap it in foil.  Bake at 450 for 30 minutes until garlic is roasted and tender.  You will be able to easily squeeze the cloves out.  Lower heat to 375.

Squeeze spinach of all excess liquid and place in a bowl. Add tomatoes, feta, and roasted garlic.  Season with salt & pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and mix.  Place salmon fillet in a baking dish and carefully cover with spinach mixture patting down on salmon.  Sprinkle lightly with panko.  Bake until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mexican Grilled Polenta Pizza

I mean holy cow.  These "pizzas" are so so good.  They have that great grilled flavor, the polenta crust is crunchy on the bottom, yet somehow still sort of creamy inside, and the veggies - so so good!  This is why I love the blog world and making new recipes.  You find something so fun and inventive like this that I never would have thought of, yet we absolutely loved it.  If its too cold where you are to make these on the grill, I'm positive they would be just as delicious made indoors.  You could roast the veggies or even saute them and bake the crust in the oven as well, no problem.  I am starting to think of fun winter versions of this now with colder weather veggies!

Mexican Grilled Polenta Pizza
adapted slightly via Edible Ash
3 cups water
1 cup polenta grits
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
toppings: red onion, red peppers, zucchini, corn, black beans, taco sauce, smashed avocado, cheddar cheese, etc.

For the polenta: Bring water to boil in a large pot. Slowly stir in the polenta grits and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and place a lid on slightly ajar to avoid spattering. Stir frequently for 25-30 minutes [lid can be removed once spattering stops] until the polenta is very stiff. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the salt + pepper. Taste and add more s/p if needed. *The polenta will seem thickened around 15 minutes but continue to cook the full time. Do not use these instructions for quick-cook polenta.
While cooking, line two, 8-inch round pans with parchment [or wax paper]. Spread half of the polenta in each pan with a silicone spatula being sure to spread evenly, firmly, and all the way to the edge. You want the pizzas 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until fully chilled.
While chilling cook any pizza toppings and set aside until ready to use.

Preheat your grill to 350-375* F [med/med-high]. Grease your grill grates and evenly brush 1-2 teaspoons of oil the top of each polenta crust. Remove from the pan and gently flip onto the grill. Peel the parchment off and close the grill. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until grill marks appear and the edges are golden brown. Lightly oil the other side then carefully flip with a large metal spatula. Grill for about 4 minutes then add toppings (I spread with smashed avocado, then shredded cheese). Close the grill and let cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Carefully remove from the grill and add the remainder of the toppings (veggies and taco sauce in my case), let rest for 2-3 minutes then slice on a cutting board and serve.
notes: Cooking polenta for hot breakfast cereal may only take about 5-10 minutes but when cooking to actually create polenta it takes about 30 minutes until it’s fully ready. It’s important to cook it this long so the pizza crust holds up when grilling. Pizzas can be made 1 night ahead and kept in the fridge overnight. Cover once cooled.
for the toppings: I sliced red onion, red pepper, and zucchini and tossed them in olive oil and taco seasonings.  Then I cooked them on the grill using my grill basket until tender. Then I added frozen (thawed) corn and black beans and tossed together. I set everything aside until ready to top the pizzas.

Spinach and Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

This was a really delicious spin on spaghetti squash.  It basically tastes like spinach and artichoke dip baked on top of the squash in a casserole dish.  Its packed with tons of great nutrition and yummy feta cheese.

Spinach and Artichoke Spaghetti Squash
via Taste & Tell blog

1 spaghetti squash, seeded
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 ounces less fat cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
3 cups packed baby spinach
1 1/4 cups canned artichoke hearts, chopped
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Place the spaghetti squash in a microwave safe dish, cut side up. Pour about half an inch of water in the dish, then cover with plastic wrap and microwave until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly, then with a fork, scrape up the strings from the squash.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add in the sour cream, cream cheese and half of the parmesan cheese and stir until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts and cook until the spinach has wilted. Pour half of the mixture into each spaghetti squash half and gently pull up on the spaghetti squash strings to combine with the sauce as much as possible. Top with the shredded mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thai Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing

This is a fun salad before the nice weather is completely gone!  I had this recipe pinned for forever and finally tried it out.  We added shrimp on top to make it a meal and it was great!  I have really been liking curries lately and absolutely loved the flavor of the dressing!  And the mango is perfect, don't skip it if you can find it!

Thai Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing
via The Roasted Root

For the dressing:
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder 
½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad:
Spring green mix
1 mango, peeled and chopped
½ red pepper, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
4 stalks green onion, chooped
2/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews
Fresh cilantro for serving

 To prepare the dressing:
  1. Add all ingredients for the dressing to a small blender (I used my small food processor) and blend until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until it thickens, about 2 hours.
To prepare the Thai Salad:
  1. Add all ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl (or add desired amount of ingredients to separate bowls).
  2. Drizzle desired amount of Curry Coconut Peanut Dressing on top and toss ingredients together.
  3. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and lime slices.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Salmon & Feta Pockets

These are one of our new favorite meals.  I guess not very new since we have been making them all summer long.  They are ridiculously easy and so so great.

Salmon & Feta Pockets

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
Salmon (we use about 1 lb wild salmon for the two of us and leftovers)
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Greek Yogurt
Fresh Spinach
Tomatoes, sliced
optional: cucumbers and red onion (I'll add these if I have them!)

Bake salmon until it flakes easily with a fork.  Spread greek yogurt in pitas and add all other ingredients to your taste!  Enjoy!