Monthly Archives: September 2014

Italian Sausage, Quinoa, Veggie Skillet Dinner

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I didn’t know what to call this dish. I really wanted to be able to claim that catchy “one-pot dinner” label but this dish comes together much faster when you use two.

It’s worth it though. It’s quick and easy, the quintessential weeknight dinner. Oh and let’s not forget deeelicious! And it keeps well if there are leftovers.

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The cast of characters include: Italian sausage, quinoa, zucchini, onion, garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella.

So in one pot you have the quinoa simmering away with yummy herbs like parsley & oregano. In another pan, you’re cooking up some Italian sausage and veggies. Then the quinoa joins the sausage & veggies party and the whole thing gets topped with cheeeeeese. Just a little. I mean, balance, right?

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***I’m writing a few guest posts for the Oklahoma Women Bloggers’ website throughout September! I’d love for you to check them out. Here are the links for the 3 posted so far:

4 Things I Love About Cooking

Three Blogging Challenges and How to Overcome Them

You Know You’re a Blogger When…

Italian Sausage, Quinoa, Veggie Skillet Dinner; Recipe or Not

  •  1 lb ground Italian sausage or combo of 1/2 lb Italian sausage & 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 of a small onion, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • a couple of sun-dried tomatoes, diced (about 3 T.)
  • a handful of spinach leaves, torn into smaller pieces
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa (be sure to rinse it if it doesn’t come pre-rinsed)
  • 1 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. dried parsley
  • pinch of salt
  • Fresh parsley, for topping

In a small or medium pot, bring the quinoa, water, oregano, parsley, and salt to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa about 20 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. While the quinoa is cooking, heat a separate skillet to medium heat. Cook the Italian sausage or sausage/turkey combo until no longer pink in the center. Once the sausage is cooked, throw in the onions, garlic, and zucchini. Cook for a few minutes then add the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Once the spinach is starting to wilt, add the pot of quinoa. Stir until everything is combined and top with a thin layer of mozzarella. Cover the skillet with a lid for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Top with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

***Like this recipe? Share it with a friend and if you want free weekly recipes, click ‘Get recipes!’ on the top of the sidebar and enter your email address.

 

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Spicy Garlic Parmesan Wings

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Sports! Game day! Stats! Tailgating! Playoffs!

I think this is what comes to mind for most people when wings are mentioned.

I grew up watching sports because both of my brothers played multiple sports. If I don’t personally know someone playing, I don’t really keep up with a team (local, college, or professional). Shocking for an Oklahoma girl, I know.

I have absolutely nothing against sports. They just aren’t on my weekly radar minus one exception. My hubby loooves the St. Louis Cardinals. He keeps up with them and I keep up with them through him.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a sports fanatic to enjoy some wings.

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I’m not going to claim these are healthy but I will claim they are probably healthier than restaurant wings. They are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and covered in garlicky-Parmesan.

These are baked and we’re actually using baking powder to get them crispy. What the what?! Fo realz… the baking powder helps dry out the skin which makes them crisp up and get golden brown. #chemistry I promise you won’t even know there was baking powder on them by the time they’re done baking.

Spicy Garlic Parmesan Wings; Recipe or Not

makes roughly 20-24 wings

For the wings:

  • 2 lbs. chicken wings (the small hot wing size)
  • 1 T. baking powder (trust me, you will NOT taste this)
  • a good pinch of salt & pepper

For the sauce:

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • pinch of dried parsley
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (use more or less depending on how spicy you like wings)

Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse the wings and dry them really well. Toss them with the baking powder, salt, and pepper then spread them out on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side up. Bake them for 50 minutes or until they are golden brown and the tops are crispy. In the last few minutes of baking, prepare the sauce – stir together the butter, olive oil, garlic powder, and parsley. In a large bowl, toss the wings in the sauce, grated parmesan, and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.

***Like this recipe? Share it with a friend and if you want free weekly recipes, click ‘Get recipes!’ on the top of the sidebar and enter your email address.

Snack Series: Garlic Edamame + a Snack Roundup

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I’ll never forget the first time I tried edamame. I didn’t know what it was and started chewing the whole thing (shell & all) at lunch one day with my co-worker. We were at an Asian restaurant and they served edamame as an appetizer.

“Don’t eat the shell!” she cried as I was chomping away. Let’s just say it’s difficult to gracefully discard edamame shells from your mouth.

Despite this experience, I got hooked on edamame as a snack. It’s great with just salt sprinkled on but I like adding garlic powder to give it a little extra flavor.

Garlic Edamame; Recipe or Not

  • 1 cup or so of shelled edamame (find it in the freezer section, thaw according to directions)
  • sprinkle of kosher or sea salt
  • sprinkle of garlic powder, optional

SNACK ROUNDUP!

We had three great reader contributions to this snack series.

Nuts with or without raisins in the mix (Love this suggestion! I keep nuts at my desk as a quick snack or they are great for on-the-go! Healthy fats & protein. *Thumbs up*)

– Dark chocolate covered almonds (I mean… dark chocolate. Enough said. *Makes mental note to get some for desk snack stash*)

– Smoothie: frozen blueberries and strawberries, half a banana, almond milk, a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, a handful of oats, some chia seeds and a scoop of coconut oil. (Now that’s a power smoothie! Could even be breakfast or a post workout treat. I will be giving this a try!)

Thank you so much to Veronica & Amy for contributing these snacks!

More snacks from Recipe or Not:

BBQ Popcorn

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Lemon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

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 Healthy Homemade Granola

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Previously from this snack series: Avocado Toast

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Previously from this snack series: Cinnamon Apples

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Snack Series: Cinnamon Apples

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I have lots to share with you today! But first — Cinnamon + Apples.

As a self-proclaimed apple pie enthusiast, this snack is my JAM.

There’s a window of time right after I’ve eaten dinner and before the time I know I shouldn’t eat anymore because it’s so close to bed time (but still sometimes eat then anyways, shhhh. ;)).

During this time, I just need a leeettle bit of something sweet. Apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon is the perfect thing. But really, it’s good ANY time.

Second — I wrote my very first guest blog post! 4 Things I Love About Cooking: Click here to read.

And third — An idea popped in my mind. I want to ask YOU (yes, you right there in front of the screen!) to share YOUR favorite snack(s) in the comments. Then, I will compile the list and share it on Friday. I think it would make this snack series even better (plus who doesn’t love more snacks?). If you’ve got a simple, (mostly) healthy, and delicious snack to share, leave a comment and your snack will be featured Friday. :) (***Please be clear on ingredients or any specific instructions.)

Cinnamon Apples; from a personal trainer at my gym

  • 1 apple, cut into slices
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Start off light on the cinnamon. Taste it and add more until you’re satisfied with the apple to cinnamon ratio.

Snack Series: Avocado Toast

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Ready for some snacks?!

This week I’m sharing three of my favorite. They can hardly be called recipes since they’re so simple but I think it’s good to have some go-to snacks in your repertoire.

I’ve been telling a lot of friends recently about avocado toast so I thought I’d start with it first.

The bread gets nice and crispy in the toaster then smeared with creamy avocado. This on its own is a little bland so we sprinkle on salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes for a kick. BOOM. It’s snack time. (Or breakfast… I frequently eat this for breakfast!)

Avocado Toast; from Kris Carr

  • 2 pieces of bread, toasted
  • 1 small avocado*
  • sprinkle of kosher or sea salt
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes, optional

Toast the bread, smear with avocado, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Done!

*If you use a large avocado, only use half. Leave the seed in one side, wrap with plastic wrap, pressing it against the avocado to remove the air. Leaving the seed in helps keep more surface area of the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown.

Asian Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing

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I’m on a salad spree.

And by spree, I mean I posted a salad recipe last month and loved it so much I decided to create another one.

Ok, so it’s not really a spree but let me tell you why I’m so into these salads right now.

I’m an accountant and work in an office all day. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s best to avoid eating heavy lunches during the workday.

They make the already difficult 2:00 slump EVEN HARDER.

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That’s where this perky and colorful salad comes in. It’s packed with all sorts of good-for-you ingredients. Plus we’re adding some grains to make it more filling.

No more 2:00 crash with this for lunch and I’ve noticed I have more energy when I get home too! Soo, uh… you should.. *nudge nudge* … make this salad. ;)

It tastes as fresh as it looks with a smooth sesame dressing to drizzle on.

PS – Have you entered to win these kitchen goodies? The giveaway closes at 10:00pm CDT TONIGHT (9/4). There is still time to enter! Find out how here: Recipe or Not Giveaway.

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And one last announcement — next week I’ll be doing a series of some of my favorite snacks! A new snack will be in your inbox Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. :)

Asian Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing; Recipe or Not

serves 4-5

For the salad:

  • 1 5oz. package spinach leaves (I tore mine into smaller pieces.)
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2-3 green onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 c. shelled edamame
  • 2 c. cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
  • sesame seeds for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 3 T. honey
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 3/4 t. sesame oil 
  • Want to add some spice? Use sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes.

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a mason jar or container with a tight light, shake the dressing ingredients until everything is completely mixed. You may need to use a fork or spoon to whisk/scrape the honey off the bottom before shaking the dressing.

***Like this recipe? Share it with a friend and if you want free weekly recipes, click ‘Get recipes!’ on the top of the sidebar and enter your email address.