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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Cheesy Stuffed Mexican Meatloaves

Serves 4.

4 scallions, minced
2 bell peppers (of choice), thinly sliced into strips, or you can totally use poblanos too!
2 limes
1 cup jasmine rice
20 ounces ground pork
1/2 cup Panko
2 tablespoons southwest spice
1 cup Mexican cheese blend (or grate Colby instead)
1/2 cup sour cream
salsa (optional)


1. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim scallions and mince whites. Thinly slice bell peppers.  Quarter limes.

2. Place rice, 1¾ cup water, and a large pinch of salt in a medium, lidded pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir once, cover and reduce heat to low/simmer. NOW LEAVE IT ALONE!  Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and keep covered until ready to serve.

3. In a medium bowl, combine ground pork, scallion whites, Panko, southwest spice, and 2 tsp. salt. Divide mixture into quarters and flatten into ½-inch-thick rounds. Set aside half the cheese for topping. Divide remaining cheese between each round. Fold edges of meat around cheese, sealing to create four, 1-inch-tall loaves.

4. Place meatloaves on one side of a lightly-oiled baking sheet (or just use parchment paper). Toss bell peppers on other side of sheet with a large drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake until meatloaves are just cooked through and peppers are lightly browned and tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and top meatloaves with remaining cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes longer.

5. Fluff rice and 1 Tbsp. butter with a fork and season with salt and pepper. (I squeezed a lime wedge over rice and stirred to combine.)  Divide rice between plates. Top with meatloaves, roasted peppers, salsa (if desired), and a dollop of sour cream (I also squeezed a lime wedge over the sour cream)

*Adapted from

Monday, December 17, 2018

Crispy Chicken with Garlicky Orzo

Serves two; double recipe for additional portions!

1 Roma tomato
6 oz. orzo
2 tablespoons garlic herb butter (I got mine at Mariano's and they're already in tablespoon portions!)
4 oz. baby spinach, chopped
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
2 chicken breasts (pounded to thickness of cutlets) or 2 chicken cutlets
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1. Cut tomato into ½-inch cubes. Add to a medium pan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the orzo. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Pour 1 cup water and a large pinch of salt into pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9-11 minutes. (TIP: If mixture seems dry, add more water to loosen, ¼ cup at a time.) Remove pan from heat and stir in garlic herb butter, spinach, and the Parmesan.

3. On a plate, season chicken with salt and pepper. Brush each with 1 tablespoon sour cream (top and bottom). Dip into Panko mixture one piece at a time, coating all over and pressing to adhere. Heat a ¼-inch layer of oil in another large pan over high heat.  Add breaded chicken and cook until crisp and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side, lowering heat if it browns too quickly. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt.

4. Serve chicken with garlicky orzo.  Enjoy!


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Meatloaf Balsamico

Serves two.  Delish!

1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 yellow onion, grated
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
10 oz. ground beef (85/15)
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons ketchup

salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Using a box grater, grate half of a yellow onion.  

2. In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, parsley, grated onion, Panko, ground beef, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  

3. Season with pepper, then mix with hands to combine.  Form into two 2-inch-tall loaves and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

4. In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and ketchup, then brush onto meatloaves.

5.  Bake in oven until no longer pink in the center, about 25 minutes.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Pasta Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat)


  • Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp)
  • 3 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans low sodium chicken broth or beef broth (I used an entire 32 oz. container.)
  • 1/2 cup water, then more as desired
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 scant cup dry ditalini pasta
  • 1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • Finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, optional


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, crumble in ground beef or sausage and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through. 
  2. Drain fat from beef then transfer beef to a plate, set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in same pot. 
  3. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium-high heat until tender about 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. 
  4. Add chicken/beef broth, tomato sauce, water, canned tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano, thyme, and cooked beef then season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, about 15 - 20 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate sauce pan, prepare ditalani pasta according to directions on package, cooking to al dente.
  7. Add cooked and drained pasta to soup, along with kidney beans and great northern beans. Thin with a little more broth or water if desired.  Over time, pasta will soak up liquid.
  8. Allow to cook 1 minute longer. Stir in optional parsley, and serve warm with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Baked Chicken with Cream Cheese, Spinach, and Mozzarella

Can be made ahead of time!  This is sooooo good and super easy!


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I just used a heaping teaspoon of pre-minced garlic.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut horizontally to make four breasts
  • 3-4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-6 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1.  Slice chicken breasts horizontally and place flat into Ziplock bag.  In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (optional), 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Stir to combine and spoon over chicken in Ziplock.  Seal and massage chicken from outside of bag until coated. Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients.
(If prepping to eat immediately, now would be the time to position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.)
2. Chop spinach and quickly wilt in a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.
3. Remove chicken from bag and arrange on baking dish.  Distribute softened cream cheese evenly between four breasts and spread over the chicken.  Lay sauteéd spinach on top of the cream cheese. Finally, sprinkle Mozzarella over the top.
(If prepping early in the day, at this point, cover baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.)
4. At 400ºF, bake for 20-30 minutes.  (I baked mine for 25.)  Chicken is done when cooked through to an internal temperature of 165˚F.  Serve warm with a side of choice.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Honey-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Serves two.  Yum.

2 sweet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
12 oz. pork tenderloin
1 clove garlic, minced
fresh thyme
6 oz. fresh green beans
2 packs chicken stock concentrate (Buy here.)
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  (Line your sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.)  Peel sweet potatoes and cut into ½-inch cubes. Toss on one half of a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, a total of 20-25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Pat pork dry with a paper towel.  Season all over with salt and pepper. Cook in pan, turning occasionally, until browned all over on surface, 6-8 minutes total. While pork cooks, mince 1 clove garlic.  Strip 2 teaspoons thyme leaves from stems.

3. After sweet potatoes have roasted 10 minutes, remove from oven and toss, keeping toward one side of pan. Add green beans to other side and toss with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Return to oven and roast until both items are tender, 10-15 minutes.

4. Once pork is browned, transfer to another baking sheet. (I used a large jelly roll pan, so my tenderloin was able to fit on same pan as beans and potatoes.)  Roast in oven to desired doneness, 8-12 minutes.  (Remember that meat still cooks after removing from oven and allowing to rest.  I took pork out at 8 minutes.)  Let pork rest at least 2-3 minutes after removing from oven.

5. Heat a drizzle of oil in pan used for pork over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in stock concentrates, ¼ cup water, and honey. Scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Simmer until reduced by half, 3-4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon butter and stir to melt. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

6. Slice pork.  Divide green beans and sweet potatoes between plates, then top with pork. Drizzle with glaze and serve. (If glaze seems stiff, stir in a splash or two of water first.)


Monday, June 11, 2018

Chickpea-Powered Mediterranean Couscous

Serves two.

1 zucchini, diced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
thyme (fresh or dried)
2 scallions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained AND dried
1 tsp. smoked paprika
3/4 cup Israeli couscous
1 packed veggie stock concentrate (Buy here.)
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
Also needed: olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter

1. Adjust racks to middle and upper position and preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Drain and rinse half the chickpeas from the box/can. (If you are doubling the recipe, use the entire box/can.)  *THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  MAKE SURE YOU DRYYYYYY THE CHICKPEAS THOROUGHLY AFTER RINSING.  On a baking sheet, toss chickpeas, paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. (I actually didn't add the paprika until after they were done roasting, which made for crispier chickpeas.  It's not necessary to wait, but I prefer it!  *If you have a few extra minutes, it also helps to peel the "shell" on each pea before roasting. )  Roast in oven on upper rack until crisp, about 30 minutes, tossing halfway.  (They may pop and that's totally normal!)

2. Meanwhile, trim zucchini, then cut into ½-inch cubes. Halve tomatoes. Strip thyme leaves from stems (or you can use dried thyme). Trim, then thinly slice scallions, keeping greens and whites separate. Mince garlic. Halve lemon.

2. Toss zucchini, tomatoes, and half of the thyme leaves (or add a pinch or two of dried) on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven on middle rack until tender, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. (*Put this in 10 minutes after chickpeas have been cooking.)

3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter, garlic, and scallion whites in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, add couscous and remaining thyme leaves (or add a pinch of dried). Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until couscous is lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes.

5. Stir stock concentrate and 1½ cups water into pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until couscous is al dente, 10-12 minutes.  After 12 minutes, turn heat off and place a paper towel under lid.  Continue to cover (lid on) for 4-5 additional minutes.

6. Add half the veggies, half the feta cheese, and a squeeze of lemon to pot with couscous and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide couscous mixture between plates, then top with chickpeas and remaining veggies. Sprinkle with scallion greens and remaining feta cheese.

*Serve with a protein if you wish!