hatch chile cream cheese + avocado bagel sandwich

late summer means. .

hatch chiles!

let’s talk about ‘em.

{hatch chili cream cheese + avocado bagel sandwich} sometimes the best things are the simple things! hatch chilis, cream cheese, avocado + fresh ground pepper are a winning combo!

the hatch chile, or the new mexico chile as it is more formally known, grows best in the climate of its namesake.

authentic new mexican hatch chiles are a prized favorite among those from the southwest + are actually named after their original growing area in hatch, new mexico. {phew! i love when new facts are easy to remember!}

hatch farmers say that the intense sunlight + cool nights in this valley result in a uniquely flavored chile.

the typical season for the chile runs from august into early september + in that {far too short!} timespan, you’ll see people running -not walking- to their markets to join in on the chile party!

{hatch chili cream cheese + avocado bagel sandwich} sometimes the best things are the simple things! hatch chilis are all the rage + really shine in this sandwich

one of the greatest things about hatch season is the prized process of roasting!

if you’re lucky enough to catch a roasting, you’ll find a chile roaster from your market standing proud next to a large cylindrical cage drum over propane-fueled flames.

with a rumble in your tummy + a glimmer in your eye, you’ll watch as the bright hatch peppers turn ‘round + ‘round, blistering over the mesmerizing flames.

{hatch chili cream cheese + avocado bagel sandwich} sometimes the best things are the simple things! hatch chilis are all the rage + they really shine in this homemade cream cheese mix

my move to wichita has brought me closer to the new mexico region, therefore i have run into these roastings weekly at my local whole foods, but the internet tells me that a lovely market near you {wherever you are!} just might have the same wonder occurring.

no roasting near you? no problem!

just as with other peppers, you can easily get the job done at home by simply roasting them over an open flame on your gas stove or grill! the always burning things in two seconds broiler is there for backup as well.

once roasted, they have a meaty flesh + mild-medium heat making them ideal for use in chile rellenos, tortilla soup + chile con queso. . but today, i am going to totally throw you for a loop.

we’re going to mix it up into some cream cheese, schmear it on a freshly toasted bagel + top it with buttery avocado + cool cilantro.

and guess what. .

{hatch chili cream cheese + avocado bagel sandwich} sometimes the best things are the simple things! hatch chilis, cream cheese, avocado + fresh ground pepper are a winning combo

. .this bagel sandwich blew my mind.

no if’s, and’s or but’s about it.

the decadent cream cheese is laced with the subtle heat of the hatch chiles + with each bite, they form a perfect marriage.

i scarfed down enjoyed this sandwich for a treat-yo-self kind of lunch but it would truly taste great at any time of the day! {brunch eaters, i’m talkin to you – throw a fried egg equipped with a runny yolk on top + fahgettaboudit!}  


hatch chile cream cheese + avocado bagel sandwich
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons hatch chilies, roasted + chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 plain {or sesame seed!} bagels, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • kosher salt + freshly ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. combine the cream cheese + hatch chiles in a bowl. mix well!
  2. season the cream cheese mix with salt + pepper to taste.
  3. spread the cream cheese mix over one side of your toasted bagel.
  4. lay the avocado over the cream cheese, season with freshly ground pepper + cilantro.
  5. enjoy!


swap

 no hatch chiles near you? i bet you can find an anaheim! these peppers are a bit milder then their cousin the hatch, but they will roast up beautifully + can typically be found year-round! ja

Symbols-Add

a protein would be a great add – like roasted deli turkey for a lunch vibe or grilled chicken breast for an amped up dinner version. don’t forget about the runny egg mention, that’s a serious home run.

tiny leftovers

 while the assembled sandwich won’t hold too well after 8+ hours, the cream cheese mix sure will! just store it in a airtight container in the fridge!

cal arrow

a great way to drop the cals would be to choose a light cream cheese + swap the bagel for a hearty whole grain bread.

rsz_1rsz_11rsz_get-the-facts-clipart-7540461

did you know that the chile pepper is actually a fruit!

“Chilies straddle the border, a fruit technically, a vegetable in our salads and curries. Perhaps some of the confusion comes from the fact that, well, chili peppers don’t want to be eaten by us. That’s why they produce capsicum, the chemical substance that is felt by our tongues as pungent spiciness. Their intended targets are birds, who cannot taste capsicum.”

also!

“Another definite fruit characteristic is that, despite the presence of capsicum, chilies are in fact incredibly healthy. They have more Vitamin C than oranges, more Vitamin A than tomatoes, and are significant sources of Magnesium, Iron, and Thiamine.”

{fun information is from this source!}

 

ravioli + asparagus in a lemon-brown butter sauce

some days you just need a pasta hug.

and sometimes, those days land on a monday.

and since i know most of you smart hungover humans opt for lighter choices after the weekend, i’ve decided to share this flavorful-blasted low-cal meatless pasta dish with you!

{ravioli with asparagus + walnuts in a lemon-brown butter sauce} a few simple ingredients to a comforting dish that's ready in under 15 minutes!

you keep it fairly simple here, which is another monday upside.

the ingredients are fresh + can usually be found on-hand.

nothing in the fridge? no worries, there’s only 6 ingredients!

so stop at the store after work + you won’t even need a basket! in and out is the name of the monday grocery store game!

{ravioli with asparagus + walnuts in a lemon-brown butter sauce} the asparagus cooks right in the brown butter sauce! _

ever made a brown butter sauce?

no? well, pretty please take my word for it, it’s the best.

not only is the nutty natural flavor just so delightful, it’s also the easiest of ease!

you simply heat butter {do yourself a favor + go for the kerrygold! it’s truly the best!} in a skillet over medium heat until it froths up + starts to transform from it’s original canary yellow into a gorgeous golden brown.

then, here in this dish, you coat a lickable spoon fresh store-bought ravioli in it’s glory. 

finish the dish off with a bright kick of lemon juice, crisp asparagus, a few hearty grinds of black pepper, crunchy toasted walnuts + a handful of grated parm – that my friends, is a pasta hug you’ll never want to let go of!

{ravioli with asparagus + walnuts in a lemon-brown butter sauce} you'll love this pasta dish that comes together in just 15 minutes!_

the fresh store-bought ravioli is boiled up in just minutes + the lemon-brown butter sauce comes together in just under 10 minutes.

after a little math on this dish’s cooktime, we’re talkin roughly 15 minutes! add in the super low calorie count of only 386 per serving + you’ve got yourself a pasta hug on a monday that won’t leave you bogged down!

total weeknight win!

{ravioli with asparagus + walnuts in a lemon-brown butter sauce} you'll love this pasta dish that comes together in just 15 minutes!


ravioli + asparagus in a lemon-brown butter sauce
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 8oz package of fresh ravioli {see below for flavor note}
  • ½ pound of asparagus, tough ends chopped + cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. while waiting for the water to boil, measure + cut your ingredients to have everything ready!
  3. in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat until frothy.
  4. add chopped asparagus to the pan, stir slightly to coat asparagus with butter + cover with the pan with a lid. cook until tender {about 5 minutes, depending on the size of the asparagus. you want it to stay crisp + not get soggy!}
  5. while the asparagus is cooking, add the ravioli to the boiling water + cook according to the package instructions.
  6. drain the ravioli when done + add to a bowl.
  7. when the asparagus is done, remove asparagus with a slotted spoon, leaving the browned butter in the skillet. add asparagus to the bowl of ravioli.
  8. add the lemon juice + black pepper to the pan with the remaining browned butter. bring to a boil, let boil for 1 minute.
  9. then pour the lemon-brown butter over the ravioli mix. add walnuts, parsley + parmesan cheese to the bowl + toss gently to combine.
  10. serve with a garnish of grated parmesan, if you wish, + enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ the recipe Calories: 386 Fat: 31 Carbohydrates: 20 Sodium: 7353 Protein: 11

 


swap

you are the master of your raviloi destiny! i chose a chanterelle mushroom ravioli but really any option would work beautifully! goat cheese + sundried tomato, four cheese, spinach + ricotta. . you get the idea!

Symbols-Add

adding some fresh mushrooms to the mix would be a great choice! add them in at the asparagus step so they can bathe in the brown butter.

drink

a chardonnay would be a great wine pairing! chardonnay’s can an run the gamut from big, buttery + oaky to the more streamlined, bright + crisp versions. you want to seek out one with buttery richness to match the butter in the dish! generally speaking, an easy route is to look for california chardonnays from the central coast-edna valley-santa barbara area.

 Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve is a great choice! {and sits at only $8!}

  rsz_1rsz_1rsz_two-hand-emoji-922068

thank you to geraldine from green valley kitchen for posting this recipe! my version here is only slightly adapted from her original! check her out for more vegetarian dishes!

 

grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa

this dish right here.

this dish RIGHT HERE.

this dish NEEDS to be made in your kitchen before this season’s watermelons roll away into fall.

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} this is the only chicken marinade you need to know! it's the best!

the other day, i posted literally the best ever chicken tortilla soup from a blogger i admire. today, i am raising a glass to another favorite blogger, iowa girl eats, by sharing my slightly adapted version of her grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa.

one winning aspect of this dish is that it’s a cinch to throw together!

another great part? it’s a total twofer! 

the watermelon-cucumber salsa is stand-alone great + the chicken -oh gosh the chicken!- has flavor for miles.

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} this is the only chicken marinade you need to know! it's the best!-2

the first thing that needs to be known is that, no exaggerations included, the chicken marinade in this recipe is the only marinade you may ever need.

it’s salty from a dash of soy, sweet from a drizzle of honey, packs some heat from raw garlic and red pepper flakes + has a hint of ginger to round everything out.

i will pinky promise that once you try this marinade you will jot it’s contents on a flash card, spend some quality time memorizing it + use it as a go-to marinade for like ever.

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} a summer fruit salsa + the perfect grilled chicken make for the perfect combination!_

as for the salsa, it is such a fun summer spin on salsa!

watermelon is truly the MVP of summer fruits + some serious summertime magic happens when you meld it’s refreshing flavor with cool cukes, spicy jalapenos + zesty fresh-squeezed lime juice.

it doesn’t matter how you eat it -by the chip load or fork load- you will love how cool it is! {PUNS}

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} a summer fruit salsa + the perfect grilled chicken make for the perfect combination! _

i know temps are dropping, but i am confident a market near you still has some watermelons hangin around! so grab five a few + do yourself a solid by cooking up this cool combo!

happy friday friends!


 

grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
grilled chicken with marinade:
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled + crushed {please note! you do not want chopped/minced garlic - it will burn on the grill!}
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
watermelon-cucumber salsa:
  • 2 cups watermelon, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded + diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced {i suggest to leave the seeds in but remove + de-rib if heat sensitive}
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, zested + juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • kosher salt + pepper, to taste
Instructions
grilled chicken:
  1. whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl then transfer to a plastic bag for marinating.
  2. pound the chicken to an even thickness, score diagonally across the top + place inside the bag with the marinade.
  3. marinate, in the refrigerator, for at least 30 minutes. {up to 12 hours}
  4. when ready to grill, heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat + spray with non-stick spray.
  5. cook the chicken for 5 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center.
  6. remove to a plate + let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
watermelon-cucumber salsa:
  1. combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. serve the salsa over each piece of grilled chicken.


 cooktip

 no grill? while the char of the grill can’t be beat, this marinade + salsa combo is too good to miss! simply sautee your chicken in a skillet, using whatever tickles your fancy for a non-stick option! {a pad of butter wouldn’t hurt the browning process ;)}

rsz_1rsz_11rsz_get-the-facts-clipart-7540461

here is a great video on how to pound your chicken breast to even thickness! taking this extra step with chicken when grilled will ensure that your chicken cooks evenly – no dried out ends here!

tiny leftovers

 add this dish to the ‘no leftovers fly’ list. the watermelon-cucumber salsa will simply get all.. watery. and as for the chicken, cooked chicken will hold great when eaten cool or at room temp! but trying to nuke it just yields a sad rubbery chicken experience.

Symbols-Add

 fresh summer corn or sliced scallions would be great additions to the salsa!

tiny lightbulb

 it would be a super fun party idea to dice your grilled chicken + add it right into the salsa! serve the protein-kissed salsa with tortilla chip scoops + you’ve got yourself an awesome appetizer! {or even toss it over some arugula or baby greens for a lunch salad!}

rsz_1rsz_1rsz_two-hand-emoji-922068

thank you to inspiring kristin from iowa girl eats! this dish has been saved on my pinterest for months + it totally surpassed my expectations!

20-minute chicken tortilla soup

summer is starting to wind down + with the first feel of chill in evening air, i was instantly overcome with a craving for soup.

might sound a bit aggressive, but when a 20-minute tortilla soup from one of your favorite bloggers has been sitting at the top of your ‘to-try’ list for months, all it takes is a 10º drop from the summer norm + i’m convinced soup is acceptable!

i’m a pretty easy sell, huh.

{cheesy chicken tortilla soup} a handful of delicious ingredients turn into a comforting soup on the stove-top in only 30 minutes!

chicken tortilla soup + i have had a long love affair.

i can never turn it down as a starter at my favorite mexican restaurant + if it’s on the lineup with even 10 others, i’ll always choose the tortilla.

but, kelly, what about broccoli cheese! everyone loves broccoli cheese soup!

well, internet friend, i like to think of this cheesy chicken tortilla soup as the sassy tequila-drinkin’ sister of brocc + cheese…

we swap the broccoli for diced green chiles + add in handfuls of cheddar. then we use masa harina which is a corn flour to thicken the beautiful broth.

there’s a few other festive ingredients like black beans + fire-roasted tomatoes, and bite after bite you’ll find yourself smiling ear to ear.

{cheesy chicken tortilla soup} a comforting soup that comes together stove-top in only 30 minutes! _

now, don’t get me wrong, i love the base of the soup but what really gets my tummy rumbling is the garnish! the tasty toppings!

so making this {super easy!} soup at home is the perfect way to sneak in an abundance of avocado + tons of tortilla strips!

{cheesy chicken tortilla soup} a comforting soup that comes together stove-top in only 30 minutes!_

with fall on the horizon + busy weekdays among us, the time has come to resurrect your favorite heavy bottomed soup pot + whip up a batch of this satisfying soup inside!  

and hey, with just 20 minutes of stove-top cook time, you’ll barely heat up the kitchen! take that soup-in-the-summer naysayers!


20-minute chicken tortilla soup
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup masa harina
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked + shredded {check out my recipe for lime-poached chicken in the notes!}
  • 10oz red enchilada sauce
  • 14oz canned black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 14oz canned diced tomatoes, not-drained {i used ro-tel HOT which gave great heat}
  • 4oz canned chopped green chiles, not-drained
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, {freshly grated if possible!}
  • toppings to taste! {see note below!}
Instructions
  1. in a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. add the onion + saute until cooked + translucent. {about 5 minutes}
  3. add the garilc+ saute for an additional minute until fragrant.
  4. next, stir in the masa harina + cook for an additional minute.
  5. slowly pour in half the chicken stock, stirring to keep lump-free + the mixture is completely combined.
  6. slowly add in the remainder of the chicken stock + stir to combine until mix is smooth. {this may take a few minutes to smooth out}
  7. then add in the chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles + cumin. stir to combine.
  8. continue stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches a simmer. then reduce heat to medium-low + let it simmer until fully heated through, stirring occasionally so that the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pan. {about 5 minutes}.
  9. then stir in the cheese, one handful at a time, until combined.
  10. serve the soup hot with your choice of delicious toppings! enjoy!
Notes
slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven.


 cooktip

when mixing the chicken stock in at steps 5 + 6 don’t be alarmed if your masa harina siezes up into goopy glops {thats a real term, right?} , simply take your time to continue stirring the mixture until the clumps smooth out. i used the back of my stirring spoon to move the clumps to the side of the pot to break them apart + then just stir, stir stir!

 Symbols-Add

the topping options here are endless. i suggest fresh avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips + sliced scallions! sour cream, pico de gallo + more cheese are great additions as well!

tiny lightbulb

this recipe calls for cooked + shredded chicken. a rotisserie chicken is a wonderful shortcut or try poaching chicken breast in lime juice for a super flavorful boost! here are the steps:

1. place two large boneless skinless chicken breast into the bottom of a pot.

2. juice two limes over the chicken, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt + fill the pot with water, filling it just over the chicken breast.

3. bring the pot to a boil, then cover + simmer for 10 minutes.

4. shred the chicken!

swap

 if you cannot find masa harina, substituting regular flour or cornmeal will give you the right texture, though the flavor won’t be quite the same.

tiny leftovers

 this soup holds really well -airtight- in the fridge! my batch went too quick to give the freezer test a try but i’ll get back to you just as soon as i try it myself!

rsz_1rsz_11rsz_get-the-facts-clipart-7540461

masa harina is a very finely ground corn flour that is used to make corn tortillas! it can be found in your grocery store’s flour aisle. you’ll definitely want to give this new ingredient a go if your local stores have it available – the flavor is outstanding!

rsz_1rsz_1rsz_two-hand-emoji-922068

 huge props to Ali from Gimme Some Oven. this recipe was slightly adapted from her original version + the results lived beyond expectations!

 

tex-mex one-skillet pasta

today’s dish is of the one-skillet variety.

have you tried this magical method yet?

well, let me tell ya – the process is quite as simple as the internet promises! so, today, we are going to embark on a little tex-mex trip to one-skillet town!

{tex-mex one skillet pasta} the ingredient line-up!some one-skillet dishes will have you toss everything right in, cover + walk away. but this one here is a bit of a spin off on that idea.

{don’t quit me now! i’m not a fibber! the reasons are totally worth it!} 

reason numero uno: crispy sausage edges are a textural win! so, in this one-skillet dish, we are going to first brown up some chicken sausage to get that tasty browned bite we all love.

reason numero dos: we want to amp up the flavor! in this spin, we soften the veggies in the skillet before adding the cooking liquid. doing so gives the veggies a flavor boost from the already cooked sausage + now seasoned, skillet. {browned bits. i’m talkin’ to you!}

both steps are a teeny tiny extra labor of cooking love – but you’ll thank me when you get to the final bites! pinky promise!

{tex-mex one skillet pasta} throw everything in the skillet + simmer away to tender goodness!now although, we added two steps to the one-pot method, this dish still ranks in the top three of easy peasy. {one being PB&J and the other being canned soup}

this is because once you complete the first two steps, then we add in {read: literally pour} some goodies like rotel {a zesty blend of crushed tomatoes with chiles}, pasta {orecchiette to be exact!} + we even make room for some good-for-you-greens like brussels sprouts.{tex-mex one skillet pasta} savory chicken sausage + veggies simmer into a wonderful one-pot pasta everyone will love!while i know most of you are on the brussels train to trendy foodie town, some are still on the outs. but, i am convinced their presence in this pasta will turn you into a lover!

here, the brussels beautiful layers are peeled apart to give a {insert favorite green}-like bite. after just minutes of simmering, the notorious hearty green will transform into delicate vitamin-packed shells that sop up all the tex-mex flavors. 

plus, if you’re not sold just yet, i want you to know that at the end we cover everything in a heaping handful of melty gooey monterrey jack. 

and everything shoes, leather, bark.. is delicious with cheese on top, right?!

{tex-mex one skillet pasta} savory chicken sausage + veggies simmer into a wonderful one-pot pasta everyone will love!_after your cooking time has elapsed, you’ll eat it straight from the skillet dish it out in heaping spoonfuls to a bowl near you, garnish with green onions + you may even choose to toss on a dollop of daisy {this is not a plug. that’s just how i refer to sour cream in general. tv has ruined me.} to cool things down a bit!

guess what the best part is? you only have one skillet to clean! {. .and a few bowls with forks. told ya to think about that straight from the skillet plan. .}

BOOM!

tummy full.

mind blown.


tex-mex one-skillet pasta
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. {2 links} chicken sausage, thinly sliced {any smoked flavor will do. i used a chipotle + cheese flavor, which i highly reccommend!}
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced {seeded + de-ribbed if looking for less heat}
  • 1 {10 oz.} can diced tomatoes w/chiles {i used ro-tel HOT with habanero - which gave a HUGE heat kick}
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. orecchiette pasta
  • 2 cups brussles sprouts, shredded or de-leaved
  • ½ cup shredded mexican blend cheese
  • ¼ cup green scallions, sliced
Instructions
  1. heat a skillet over medium heat + spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. add the chicken sausage to the skillet + saute until browned. {about 5 minutes}
  3. add the onion + jalapeno to the skillet with the chicken sausage. continue to saute until the veggies have softened {about 5 minutes}.
  4. add the ro-tel + chicken broth. stir to combine + using your spatula, break up any browned bits off of the bottom of the skillet.
  5. add the uncooked pasta + brussels sprouts to the skillet, doing your best to submerge both under the liquid.
  6. allow for the liquid to reach a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer + cover.
  7. cook, covered, for 14 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
  8. remove the lid, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, replace the lid + let it sit for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  9. add the scallions for garnish + serve! enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ of recipe Calories: 332 Fat: 11 Carbohydrates: 41 Sugar: 10 Sodium: 1258 Protein: 18


tiny lightbulb

to stretch the chicken sausage in the dish, i sliced each link very thinly! 26 slices per link to be exact! while you don’t need to be on the number money, i do suggest to do your best to get as many as you can without losing sausage coin integrity! the benefits to more sausage coins is simple – you’ll now get a salty bite into each forkful without having to up the actual link count!

swap

pasta changes: any pasta can be substituted into this recipe to adjust to what you may have on hand! the biggest trick will that you will need to then adjust cooking time since different shapes cook at different times! orecchiette, the pasta i used, is a great choice because of it’s similar size to the sausage coins +  brussels leaves so i would highly suggest giving it a try!

swap

next, let’s chat about sausage swaps: like i mentioned, i used a chipotle + cheese chicken sausage because those flavors lend very well to the flavor profile we’re workin’ on. BUT. if you can’t find that kind then don’t skip this meal because of it! a traditional turkey kielbasa would work just as well, as would any chicken sausage flavor you can dream into it {maybe skip the apple flavor but go for the green chile, ya catch my drift}. and, health-minded or not, i would skip the traditional pork or italian sausages because they usually contain fennel which wouldn’t jive here.

swap

swaps for the brussels sprouts: heartier greens such as kale, raw broccoli florets or swiss chard will need the same cook time as the brussels, so add it at the same step! if you opt for a lighter green, such as fresh baby spinach or arugula, you will want to add it at the cheese step so that it wilts, yet doesn’t totally break down!

cal arrow

a great way to drop the cals would be to use a light shredded cheese. and a great way to lower sodium would be to drop the chicken sausage down to only 1 link!

tiny leftovers

 surprisingly, this dish holds pretty well in air-tight tupperware! i reheated mine in the microwave the next day + while the pasta lost a bit of it’s natural bite in lieu of becoming a bit gummy, the flavors were strong after marrying + it tasted great!

Symbols-Add

i used jalapenos + onion as the veggie stars but bell peppers, poblano peppers or corn would be great! fresh diced avocado over the top would give a great cooling taste!

rsz_1rsz_11rsz_get-the-facts-clipart-7540461

martha taught me that:

 “Orecchiette, from the Italian words “orecchio” (ear) and “etto” (small), is an ear-shaped pasta originating in the beautiful southern region of Italy.”

rsz_1rsz_1rsz_two-hand-emoji-922068

thank you to the great blogs {kevin + amanda} + {budget bytes} for the inspiration! my recipe here is slightly adapted from each of their one-pot sausage pasta spins!

egg white tortilla cups

63 calories!

when was the last time you could say 63 calories made a fulfilling impact on your life?

well, the time is now! and these delicious egg white tortilla cups are the giver of good news!

{breakfast tortilla cups}_

breakfast is a tough topic for me.

i was never much of a pancake gal. and eggs, well let’s just say they don’t rev my engine quite like they do the rest of the world.

don’t get me wrong, i LOVE a perfectly poached egg. but that’s as long as a toasty piece of sourdough, the size of my head, is alongside it to dip in the golden goodness.

steak-n-eggs. SOLD.

eggs benny with extra hollandaise. SOLD.

but weekday morning breakfast? eh. i’ll wait to stuff my face with french fries for lunch.

{breakfast tortilla cups} customizable ingredients make these a total home run!

but. my lunch theory could only last for so long.

and yes, i’m talking until my metabolism caught up with me in my late twenties.

i also started to come around to the fact that humans need breakfast. FACT.

so once i found these customizable little tortilla cups, i just knew i was embarking on a long breakfast-on-the-go love affair.

{breakfast tortilla cups} super simple to assemble for bake time!

these breakfast delights are super simple to assemble, a breeze to bake + endlessly customizable.

they also taste just as dreamy when reheated as they do fresh out the oven. {are you catchin’ what i’m throwing down?} this means you can whip ‘em up on a sunday afternoon, toss ‘em in the freezer + not have to worry all week about amping up that morning blood sugar – you’re answer is only seconds away from freezer to microwave!

what more could you ask for!

{breakfast tortilla cups} customizable, easy + cheesy!!_

as one who cooks a great deal, veggie scraps are a common occurrence in my fridge at week’s end. these little cups were basically made for that! truly, i think that’s the greatest part!

because you can whip these little tortilla packages up each week, change up the toppings to clean out the fridge + voila! you’ll never tire of ‘em!

but. most importantly. . 

{breakfast tortilla cups} customizable, easy + cheesy!_

did you hear me say they are only 63 calories a cup!?! each little tantalizing tortilla cup!

now, that my internet friend, is a weekday win!

wake up, eat as many as leave you satisfied + you’ll totally have room to splurge on that side of cheese for your lunchtime fries. 😉


egg white tortilla cups
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12 tortilla cups
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups egg whites
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup of milk, greek yogurt or sour cream {this adds a great fluffiness!}
  • ¾ cup shredded cheese of choice {i used a mexican blend here!}
  • 6 10" flour tortillas, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup finely diced toppings {i used jalapeno, green bell pepper, white onion + steak}
  • salt + pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. preheat the oven to 350º
  2. spray the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. {i love trader joe’s coconut oil spray - 0 cals!}
  3. press the tortilla quarters into each muffin spot, forming a little ‘cup’. {you should be able to use 2 quarter pieces per muffin cup, don’t worry if they don’t fit perfectly - they will settle once the ingredients are in!}
  4. distribute your diced toppings into the cups.
  5. in a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, eggs + milk/sour cream.
  6. pour the egg mixture into each cup, filling about ⅔ the way full.
  7. sprinkle cheese generously on top of each cup.
  8. bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven to low broil + continue baking for 3-5 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly + tortilla crust is golden.
  9. remove from the oven, let the cups cool a bit before removing from the pan {a knife around the edges works great!} + enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 tortilla cup Calories: 63


cal arrow

 63 calories per muffin includes using reduced fat cheese, skim milk or 0% greek yogurt + does not include any of the topping add-ins!

tiny leftovers

 to freeze: bake as the recipe indicates + let the tortilla cups fully cool from the oven. then remove them to a freezer-safe container {ziploc bags work as well}. to reheat, simply place desired amount on a paper towel in the microwave + zap for about 30 seconds!

swap

i suggest using 10″ flour tortillas here. but really anything tortilla-related will work!

if using smaller tortillas, i suggest to use something with a rim {cup, can, bowl..} to cut them into a smaller circle to fit one per muffin cup.

corn tortillas give a great lend of flavor to mexican-inspired toppings. and even low-carb wraps can be subbed in {just be conscious they might get a bit crispier}.

Symbols-Add

 toppings are endless! i think using these little guys as a ‘clean your fridge’ vessel is a great key to success, but if buying the add-ins just be sure to precook any meat {bacon, turkey sausage, chicken, steak. .} before adding into the tins for cooking! veggies do not need to be cooked!

tiny lightbulb

 these also make for an awesome brunch dish! you could whip up a few kinds -veggie lovers, meat lovers, pizza lovers- and serve on a platter! they are super cute + handheld friendly!

tandoori chicken burger

chicken burgers.

UGH.

is that the noise you just made? it’s okay. i used to loud huff at any mention of those two words combined.

..but the truth is, these poor little poultry patties really have a bad rap.

{tandori chicken burger} fresh ingredients!

chicken burgers are notoriously known for being dry + flavorless. always overcooked. always, dare i say, boring!

but here i am to pump a little hope into the hearts of your cooking world with a tandoori-spiced chicken burger that’s sure to bring the flavor!

{tandori chicken burger} the spice mix steals the show!

tandoori.

let’s first talk about that magical culinary word.

tandoori chicken is a dish originating from an indian subcontinent. it traditionally consists of roasted chicken that is marinated in yogurt + then flavor boosted with with gorgeous red + yellow spices, such as paprika, cayenne + tumeric.

where does the name come from? well, the chicken is traditionally cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor!

woooo!
learning is fun! go team!

{tandori chicken burger} simple ingredients, a quick spice mix + ground chicken!

so, today, we’re going to let that knowledge influence us + we’re going to take a chicken patty to tandoori town!

our spin will start by seasoning ground chicken with a few kicks of cayenne + paprika, we’ll incorporate the yogurt by topping the chicken patty with a quick tzatziki sauce then we’re going to keep tradition alive by serving it on naan.

and once we grill the burger up, we’re going to layer some crisp fresh veg on the patty party! {are you counting how many times i’ve said patty? i literally can’t stop.}

{tandori chicken burger} an exotic twist on the chicken burger! _

now that we’ve talked about the plan, let’s talk logistics. i’m talkin about the patty cooking basics.

from my research, the internet has taught me that the key to patty success in the cooking process is to LEAVE THE BURGER ALONE.

mix it. form it. heat it. WAIT FOR IT. flip it. smile at it. WAIT FOR IT. eat it.

that’s simple enough, right?

basically, any flipping excitement needs to take a backseat on this one because once you place that patty on the grill you MUST leave it alone for 5 minutes. if you move it before then, you will risk literally watching your dreams crumble before you. a bit dramatic? NAH. chicken burgers are some serious stuff!

and while the patties are transforming into dinner – you’ll have some time to slice up the fresh veg + whip up a quick tzatziki.

if you’re not like me + don’t always a batch of the tzatziki in your fridge, then please promise me you won’t skip this step.. it comes together super quick + your burger needs it like a coca cola needs the classic.

{tandori chicken burger} an exotic twist on the chicken burger! plus - the tzatziki that everyone loves!

and in the final moments, while the tandoori chicken burgers are resting alongside it’s accompaniments, you’ll want to leave that grill pan on high so you can char up the naan.

i buy my naan from the store {heyyy stonefire! you’re the only one for me!} but if you make your own, then do all that awesomeness beforehand + gauge the size of your naan to the likings of a burger bun.

as for those who store buy, you’ll notice the packaged naans are kinda amoeba like – always a different shape + size! so, same rule for you as it is for the awesome naan homemakers. . you might need to cut yours to fit to be folded up + around whatever size chicken burger you have!

once that naan situation is all figured out + it’s grill lines are looking fierce, then you’ll build your very own tandoori dream inside of it!
enjoy!


tandoori chicken burger
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 chicken burgers
Ingredients
for the chicken burger patties:
  • 1½ pounds ground chicken breast
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • kosher salt + pepper, to taste
for the burger building:
  • cucumber, sliced thin on the bias
  • red onion, sliced into thin rounds
  • cilantro, chopped
  • tzatziki, to taste
  • 4 naans, cut to size
Instructions
  1. in a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken with the listed ingredients + mix well. form into 4 patties.
  2. on a grill pan {or skillet} over medium-high heat, cook the chicken burgers for 5 minutes for the first side - without flipping!
  3. then flip the burgers, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  4. toss your naan bread on the grill during the last few minutes + grill until your liking.
  5. top the burgers with a few sliced cucumbers, red onion + a handful of cilantro.
  6. lastly, top the burgers with the tzatziki + enjoy!
Notes
adapted from a great blog! thank you for the inspiration baked bree!

 


 cooktip

soak the raw red onion in an ice bath {small bowl with water + ice cubes} to remove the raw bite!

tiny lightbulb

these would make great sliders! just form the patties into slider size + adjust the cooking time depending on the size! you could set up a little slider building station with all the toppings on the side or build them yourself + serve on a platter at your next party!

cal arrow

a great way to drop the cals here would be to remove the naan + replace with a large butter lettuce leaf as a lettuce wrap!

Symbols-Add   i have tried this burger with hummus on the bottom of the naan + the added creamyness was totally delish!

swap

is the tzatziki not jazzing you up? here is a quick yogurt sauce with mint that’s a wonderful alternative!

in a small bowl, mix the following until well combined:

  • 6oz fat free plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 large lemon, zested + juiced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt + pepper, to taste

shaved asparagus salad with salmon

have you ever had raw asparagus?

well, let me tell ya – there’s first time for everything! especially when that everything is crazy fresh + delicious!

{shaved asparagus salad} shaving asparagus is easy! just takes a bit of patience!

i have seen the likes of bon appetit magazine tell me about this raw asparagus thing {same goes for whole foods #toosoon?} but until i came across this super approachable salad recipe, raw asparagus wasn’t jumping off the top of my ‘to try’ list.

enter: shaving the asparagus

for this salad we create a raw noodles/shredded lettuce effect by shaving raw asparagus spears. sound scary? i’ll guide you! i think the best way to amp you up for this new technique is to remember that perfection does not need to be obtained.

after some trial + lots of error, i found the easiest way to shave the spears is to first trim off the tips {about 1/4 inch}. then, hold the asparagus spear by the tough end + shave away from you with a veggie peeler.

another tip: try placing the asparagus stalk against something, like your kitchen cutting board or counter for a bit of give-back.

one more tip: don’t be afraid to use some oomph in the peelin’ process – whats the worst that can happen? you break the spear! then simply slice your little raw rejects as thin as you can!

{shaved asparagus salad with salmon + a lemon vinaigrette} the vinaigrette is amazing on its own!_

the next big star here is the lemon vinaigrette.

 

it’s a simple gathering of a few cupboard ingredients that are whisked into a bright vinaigrette. once it’s mixed with the delicate shaved asparagus ribbons + pine nuts you will see a transformation right before your eyes into a salad even your teeniest bikini will love!

 

oh. and there’s burrata on top of all that. because let’s keep it real.

i can’t suggest anything veggie based without a little indulgence.

{shaved asparagus salad with salmon + a lemon vinaigrette}_

last + certainly not least is the top fish in the recipe, salmon.

how shall we cook the salmon? K.I.S.S. {keep it simple stupid – using that phrase is a straight shout out to all the rad dads out there}

you can choose to cook it up how ever you fancy – but i think the best way is roasting! roasting the salmon allows for all hands to be on deck for the shaved asparagus salad which will cut down on overall meal cook time + increase your chance to have another sip of your “cooking” wine.

how do ya roast it? well the key to a successful roasted salmon is to not overthink it! this is a lesson i learned from the kitchn -a site that i treat as a cooking bible along my ambitious journey. they taught me this method + so i’m going to share their wisdom with you!

the simple salmon success story:

  1. preheat the oven to 425
  2. rub the salmon with just enough olive oil to coat + season generously with s + p.
  3. place the salmon, skin side down, in a roasting vessel {foil-lined baking sheet is my go-to as it makes cleanup a breeze}
  4. roast the salmon for 6 minutes per half-inch of salmon #math
  5. {optional KAK step – turn the broil on high for 2 additional minutes}
  6. remove from the oven

once that salmon is all roasty toasty then you’ll simply lay it atop the gorgeous asparagus + burrata bed you have so lovingly made for it + turn on some cool r&b to make sweet sweet love to it dive into a dish you’ll swear came out of someone else’s ambitious kitchen.

{shaved asparagus salad with salmon + a lemon vinaigrette} _


shaved asparagus salad with salmon
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch thick stalk asparagus spears
  • 1 large ball burrata cheese {could substitute herbed ricotta or shaved parmesan}
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 salmon fillets, roasted {or cooked anyway!}
for the lemon vinaigrette:
  • 1 lemon, zested + juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
f i r s t - whip up the vinaigrette:
  1. combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in small bowl + whisk well to combine, adjust seasoning to taste {salt + honey especially} + set aside.
n e x t - make the shaved asparagus salad:
  1. cut off asparagus tips set aside.
  2. with a veggie peeler, peel the asparagus stalks from tough end to cut end + set into a medium mixing bowl to combine with asparagus tips.
  3. prior to serving, toss the shaved asparagus with the vinaigrette + pine nuts.
  4. divide the salad onto two plates, topping each serving with torn pieces of burrata, to taste.
  5. lastly, lay the salmon fillets on top with a final drizzle of the vinaigrette. enjoy!

 


tiny leftovers

the raw shaved asparagus will indeed hold in an airtight container, but the salad will not hold once it is dressed! save the assembling of everything else until right before serving. but, hey, getting that labor step out of the way transforms this salad into the perfect potluck option or last minute entertaining meal!

swap

salmon is king here but feel free to use whatever protein speaks to you! a nice grilled chicken breast or some seared shrimp would lend wonderfully to the flavors.

tiny lightbulb

get ahead of the cooking game by roasting a few extra salmon filets! you can choose to keep the seasoning simple -as listed- so it can lend to any meal throughout the week or get a little crazy + jazz a few up with your favorite taco seasoning for tomorrow’s burrito bowls! {once roasted the salmon will hold in an airtight container for up to 5 days! holy awesome!}

cal arrow

pine nuts, olive oil + burrata are all a bit of a caloric hit BUT good fats are a real thing, peeps! if you’re watching your intake then simply adjust the dish to meet your daily numbers. {remember, if you go down in olive oil, go up in lemon juice}

 

shredded chicken tacos

there are some recipes that you should have in your cooking arsenal. .

shredded chicken tacos is totally one of them.

{weeknight chicken tacos} homemade spice mix lends all the flavor to the chicken!_

it’s no secret that tacos rule my ambitious world, but these little tortilla gems are the ultimate crowd pleaser.

everyone – from age 3 to 103 – loves themselves a well-made chicken taco!

for me, shredded chicken tacos are a bit nostalgic because i used to eat them all the time from taco bell in my teens. but for most, shredded chicken is the protein go-to simply because it’s a fail-proof choice!

i know this because the internet told me that america eats a TON of chicken. look what the huffpost taught me:

“In 2012, Americans were eating almost 60 pounds of chicken per person each year.”

holy chick! that’s a lot of chicken!

{weeknight chicken tacos} a fun new trick to shredding chicken!

i digress. back to the taco talk. .

while, i like a lot of toppings + jazzy jazz on top of my tacos, feel free to whip these up under whatever toppings you think is best!

just a dollop of daisy? sure!

a drizzle of salsa? oh yeah!

avocado, jalapenos + crema? now you’re talkin!

this recipe is going to suggest the latter option + i think you should give that a go, but like i said, you do you, awesome internet friend.

{weeknight chicken tacos} flavor packed tacos that are perfect for a busy night - made in under 30 minutes!

lastly, i’m sharing with you a cool trick to shredding chicken!

while some might think it’s a bit overzealous + dirty dish enhancing, i am going to assume you are the humans that don’t mind shredding chicken with the good ‘ol fork method.

as for me, hate it.

so you can imagine that my life was turned up side down lemme take a minute just sit right there when i found out how simple + quick a few blitzes in the stand mixer turned chicken breast into shredded glory!

{weeknight chicken tacos} easy as 1, 2, 3! _

no matter how you shred these tacos up, you’ll be glad you did! the spice mix lends the perfect amount of flavor {bye bye taco spice packets!} + leaves room for you raise the heat with toppings galore!

another bonus: leftovers are serious tupperware royalty! {that is if there are any!}


shredded chicken tacos
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
for the chicken:
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 8oz beer, any kind will do - i used a corona
for the tacos:
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • 8 {4-inch} tortillas, whichever you choose - we like corn!
  • 4oz cojita cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
for the crema:
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce {from a can of chipotles in adobo}
  • 1 lime, zested + juiced
  • kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
quick crema:
  1. in a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients to combine. set aside.
shredded chicken tacos:
  1. preheat the oven to 450º
  2. heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. add olive oil to the skillet. once the oil is hot, add the chicken to sear on both sides. {about 2 minutes per side}
  4. add the beer to the skillet, cover + place into the oven. let the chicken roast for 20 minutes.
  5. while the chicken is roasting, combine your spice mix.
  6. once the chicken is finished cooking, add only the chicken breast to the bowl of a stand mixer. {there will be pan juices in the skillet - do not drain these! we will need it!}
  7. turn the stand mixer on a low speed to break up the chicken. as it is 'mixing', sprinkle in your spice mix to fully incorporate.
  8. transfer the spiced chicken back into the skillet to combine with the pan juices. {this is keep the chicken super moist}
  9. to assemble the tacos, place the chicken on top of a tortilla, then top with red onion, cilantro, fresh jalapeno, cheese, squeeze of lime juice + a drizzle of the crema! enjoy!

 


cooktip

if using a stand mixer isn’t for you – no fret! you can choose to chop your chicken breast or simply shred it how you know best! {i am assuming this is the fork vs fork method of simply pulling it apart}

another thing to note is the roasting time – which can totally depend on the size of your chicken breast. i typically look for 8oz chicken breast which will roast at the time listed! if you have 6oz breasts then roast for 16 minutes, 10oz breasts will need at least 30 minutes.

tiny leftovers

 leftovers will keep wonderfully in sealed tupperware! the shredded chicken is awesome as a salad or burrito bowl topper! #switchitup

drink

 serve with an ice cold corona. awesomeeeeeeee.

 swap

 i use chicken breast here but chicken thighs would also be delicious! {just adjust cooking time}

shredded chicken also lends well to the traditional shredded ‘taco blend’ cheese you find at the market- go with that instead of the cojita for a gooey cheesetastic spin!