potato, poblano + chorizo tacos

potayto. potahto.

poblayno, poblahno.

chorizo.

potato poblano taco ingredients (1 of 1)

in my little entertaining world, taco parties are my go-to.

and these potato, poblano + chorizo tacos are always invited.

you’d never guess that 5 {awesome} ingredients could pack so much flavor then we top those 5 {awesome} ingredients with a couple taco regulars – cojita + avocado – and boom! you’re in the no-fail zone.

and let’s talk about this fun medley of colored potatoes. fiesta ready amiright? i choose these little guys because i love the color effect they add to the taco – purple potatoes are sure to get a conversation started!

purple potato medley for potato tacos (1 of 1)

now, let’s talk a little bit about chorizo. it’s one of my favorite secret ingredients. while i know it isn’t so secret, i do think it’s often underutilized.

chorizo is a pork sausage. it can be found as a cured meat {read: you can eat it on your drive home from the market} or as an encased sausage that needs to be cooked up {read: cool your jets, get home + brown it up in a skillet}.

one of my favorite things about chorizo – the skillet kind –  is when cooked, the sausage releases a delicious spicy red oil. the oil is vibrant in color + adds so much flavor.

a fun thing to notice is that often recipes using chorizo do not call for additional oil to be added to the pan since it provides its own.. and let’s just say olive oil isn’t even mad about that, it knows that ruby red oil of chorizo’s is a total scene stealer

roasted poblanos for potato poblano tacos (1 of 1)

when throwing a taco party, i always opt for a full spread. three kinds of tacos, a spicy guac, a mild pico de gallo + of course, plenty of chilled tequila. {for agave mules. duh.}

these potato, poblano + chorizo tacos bring a lot of flavor. they have a subtle heat from the chorizo, rich flavor from the potatoes + a little smoke from the roasted poblanos.

when serving them in my taco party lineup, i pair them with a super light fish taco {think spice rubbed tilapia with a cool crema + fresh cabbage}  + a shredded chicken taco {chicken baked for hours in mexican lager, then shredded + topped with pico + lime sugar-scented lettuce}

don’t you wanna come to my fiesta now?! well the good news is that i’m working on a post to feature all three recipes as well as a few tips for helping it all come together smoothly. i’d tell ya when that’s coming but that would take all the fun out of it. so, you’ll just have to stay tuned!

{potato, poblano + chorizo tacos} (1 of 1)

for now, i’m arming you with these {awesome} potato, poblano + chorizo tacos because they are headliner worthy at a few fiestas of their own.

so turn your spotify to the gypsy kings station, shake your booty into the kitchen + make these tacos for a few amigos. they’re going to love ‘em.


5.0 from 1 reviews
potato, poblano + chorizo tacos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8 tacos
Ingredients
  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 16oz purple potato medley, chopped into equal sized cubes
  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces Mexican raw chorizo, casings removed
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 8 corn tortillas, 6 inch
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • ¼ cup cojita cheese, crumbled
  • lime wedges
Instructions
for the roasted poblanos
  1. preheat the broiler to high.
  2. cut the poblanos in half lengthwise, remove the ribs + seeds.
  3. place the poblanos, cut side down, on a baking sheet. flatten the peppers with the palm of your hand to break them down a bit. broil for 10 minutes, or until blackened.
  4. place the peppers in a paper bag {or glass bowl covered with plastic wrap}. let stand for 5 minutes. peel skin away + chop coarsely.
for the tacos
  1. heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. once oil is hot, add the potato + cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  3. remove the potato to a large bowl.
  4. add the onion + garlic to the skillet + cook until translucent and softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. add the poblano, ground red pepper + a dash of salt. cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. remove the onion mixture to the large bowl with the potatoes.
  6. next, add the chorizo + cook for 3 minutes, breaking apart into small pieces.
  7. return the potato mixture to the pan.
  8. stir in chicken stock + bring to a boil. reduce heat + partially cover.
  9. simmer for 5 minutes, or until the potato is tender + the liquid is almost evaporated.
  10. arrange ⅓ cup of the mixture on top of each tortilla + sprinkle with cojita + cubed avocado.
  11. serve with lime wedges + enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos with ⅓ cup potato mixture Calories: 362 Fat: 15 Carbohydrates: 43 Sugar: 4 Sodium: 483 Fiber: 6 Protein: 11

 


cooktip

to help with the cooking flow, i suggest to toss your poblanos into the oven first! then prep all your veggies + gather the rest of your ingredients. the recipe really comes together quick if you have everything ready on-hand!

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this recipe is a spin from one originally featured in cooking light. they included corn in the taco mix. i opted out but feel free to add those yellow kernals of love right back in. i would suggest to char ’em up for a little flavor boost.

drink

speaking of fiestas, let’s talk beverage pairings! the best pairing for these tacos is a refreshing mexican lager. hellloooo corona!

 swap

i used the adorable bag of purple potato medley potatoes. if you can’t find these or simply don’t care about the color effect, then opt for basic white potatoes or yukon gold potatoes. yukon golds are super buttery which is the perfect contrast to the heat of the chorizo. another tip is to skin your potatoes for an even softer + smoother potato taste!

halibut + herbed butter hobo pack

today, i am throwing some new cooking methods your way!

and with those methods we’re whipping up a super simple dish that looks + tastes much fancier than it is!

the dish is a halibut + herbed butter hobo pack. sounds fun doesn’t it!?

not only is this a fun dish but afterwards you’re going to be ready to film your audition tape for the next food network star, that’s how much kitchen confidence you’ll be exuding. so let’s get the explaining started so you can start rolling your tape. . .

halibut hobo pack ingredients (1 of 1)

first method up: we have the classic butter log. butter is delicious. guess what makes it even more delicious? herbs! spices! salt!

so for your first step of this recipe you’re going to pull out your food processor {i have this tiny little guy!} + mix up fresh herbs with a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper + unsalted softened butter. voila! herbs + butter = herbed butter! told ya it was simple!

after mixing it up, you plop {that’s an ugly word isn’t it? but it makes me giggle so it’s stayin’} the herbed butter right onto a piece of plastic wrap + you’re going to form it into a log! {melvin has a video tutorial for you down at the bottom of the page} once you have your herbed butter in log form, you simply let it setup in the freezer for ten minutes! voila! herbed butter log!

halibut hobo pack herbed butter (1 of 1)

herbed butter logs are amazing to keep on hand for an instant flavor boost to any meal! toss a pad of it on top of a grilled steak or use the butter as an appetizer with some bakery fresh bread for last minute guests! herbed butter is also an awesome way to stretch fresh ingredients.

say you have some fresh herbs in the fridge that are on their way to dead town.. chop ‘em up, mix ‘em with some salt + some softened butter, roll it up + freeze it! you can do the same with fresh garlic, chopped shallot or even some spicy chiles – you’re the boss of the butter sauce!

once the log is rolled up, they will keep in the freezer for up to a month, the hardest part will be remembering that you have that little hidden gem in your freezer door. {where my fellow ADD homies at?}

halibut hobo pack herbed butter final (1 of 1)

next method up: the hobo pack. hobo pack is just one of the fun ways to say ‘food wrapped in foil + cooked.’ basically you take a few ingredients of your choice, strategically layer them on top of a piece of foil, fold up the sides to form a closed packet + cook it!

while the ease of putting a hobo pack together is what allures cooks to it, this method is also praised because it’s a breeze for cleanup! {repeat after me: crumple up the foil. place in garbage.}

so now that you’ve gained TWO new cooking methods, let’s put your knowledge to the test + combine ‘em with some super fresh spring ingredients!

halibut hobo pack before the oven (1 of 1)halibut + herbed butter hobo pack: for our herbed butter log, we use tarragon + chives – two herbs that lend well to white fish.

once the butter is made up, we are going to mound up a combination of sweet corn + shiitake mushrooms on the foil first, top it with a pad of our herbed butter, then lay down a delicate halibut filet + finish it off with one more kiss of the herbed butter.

after just 15 minutes in the oven, the herbed butter will create a beautiful sauce + you will plate an aromatic fish dish that will make you think you’re in five star restaurant. . and those yoga pants you’re wearing are totally on the dress code!

halibut hobo pack (1 of 1)


halibut + herbed butter hobo pack
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless halibut fillets, 6 ounces each
  • 2 ears of sweet corn, kernels cut from the cobs
  • 5oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup chives
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves
  • 8 baguette slices, cut on the ¼ inch diagonal
Instructions
to make the herbed butter
  1. in a food processor, pulse the chives, tarragon + butter until smooth.
  2. season your butter mixture with salt + pepper. pulse until a bright green color is achieved.
  3. lay down a sheet of plastic wrap + transfer the herb butter, forming into a log.
  4. freeze for 10 minutes, until the butter is slightly firm.
  5. cut the butter into 16 pads
for the halibut hobo packs
  1. preheat your oven to 375º
  2. arrange four 12-inch sheets of foil on a work surface + spray evenly with cooking oil spray.
  3. in a medium bowl, toss the corn with the shiitake + season with salt + pepper.
  4. mound the mixture in the center of the foil sheets + top each mound with a pad of the herb butter.
  5. then lay the halibut fillets down + top the halibut with another pad of the herb butter.
  6. fold up the foil on all sides + pinch the seams to seal.
  7. place the foil packets onto a sheet pan + cook for 16 minutes
  8. meanwhile, heat up a grill pan + grill the baguette slices until slightly charred on both sides.
  9. top baguette slices with the remaining herb butter, allowing it to melt.
  10. open the halibut hobo packs. plate the fish + vegetables with the buttered baguette toasts on the side.
  11. enjoy!
Notes
recipe slightly adapted from the amazing website, food & wine!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 filet with 2 baguette slices Calories: 682 Fat: 53 Carbohydrates: 17 Sugar: 4 Sodium: 206 Protein: 40

 


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here is a video tutorial on how to roll a butter log!

cooktip

these hobo packs are also grill friendly! follow all of the same instructions, just simply toss your foil packs onto a high heat grill -with the lid closed- for 8-10 minutes. after taking them off the grill, let the packs rest for 2 minutes to finish cooking!

drink

serve with a lively sauvignon blanc.

cal arrow

there are a few ways to cut calories here, with the most obvious being to omit the grilled baguettes with herbed butter all together. BUT i must warn you, these few bites of charred goodness might be my favorite part of the dish! so i would suggest to only put 1 herbed butter pad in the foil pack {on top of the filet} + split 1 herbed butter pad among your two baguette slices – this will cut 200 calories! then you can have your cake + eat it too!

swap

i know there are a lot of mushroom haters out there, so my suggestion for a swap would be to choose a veggie with soaking power! soaking power, you ask? the lovely thing about the mushrooms in this recipe is the earthy taste they lend as well as the flavor they take on when they sop up all of the melted herbed butter.. so i would try thinly sliced + skinned squash for a replacement! let me know in the comments if you swap + love something!

honey-habañero salmon with charred corn salad

disclaimer: do not let the word habañero scare you away from this recipe.

green onionslet’s just say honey salmon just isn’t as catchy.

the honey is the foremost flavor + the dash of habañero tabasco sauce is simply used to give the dish a sassy kick. but if you’re still not lookin’ to take a trust walk on the wild side with the heat, then the habañero tabasco can very easily be substituted with the hot sauce of your dreams or even omitted!

ingredients

this is also a wonderful starter recipe for those who are on the fence about salmon! the cooking method, baking, is fool-proof + you’ll want to eat the charred corn salad right out of the mixing bowl.

one tip i would hope you follow is to make sure you purchase a quality piece of salmon! better ingredients simply taste better! and that makes all the difference in a straightforward recipe like this one.

as i get ambitious in my kitchen, part of the process in learning to cook is being curious as to how i can improve a recipe as well as learning {googling} why! here are some tips i learned straight from the whole foods blog‘s mouth on why sustainable fish is better:

  • salmon can be found in an array of colors – from pale pink to shades of orange to a deep rich red. you want to be sure to avoid any signs of browning + go for flesh that has a good bounce-back when depressed.
  • king salmon, also called chinook, is the most sought-after due to it’s high oil content + full flavor. this species also has an abundance of omega-3s ensuring the most exquisite salmon dining experience!
  • coho {silver salmon} is found later in the summer + it has a milder flavor. which is perfect for you nervous nellies!
  • lastly, if you remember one thing, remember that sustainable is the best {should be the only} way  – no matter the fish!

charred corn salsaafter all that salmon talk, let’s get down to the charred corn salad. this coming monday is the official kick-off to grilling season so light up those grills + show some corn who’s boss. the combination of the charred corn with the creamy cool avocado + the crisp green onions is just what summer ordered!

the charred corn salad really stands up on its own if you’re looking for a colorful dish to bring to a potluck with friends {serve with tortilla chip scoops + you’ve got a salsa} or just enjoy a heaping bowl of it under the shade of tree as a light lunch. maybe even through a dash of that tabasco habañero in the salad mix + you’ll officially be a registered badass!honey habanero salmon


honey-habañero salmon with charred corn salad
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
honey-habanero salmon
  • 2 6oz pieces of fresh salmon, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ lime, zested
  • 1 dash of tabasco habañero sauce {you can substitute this for any hot sauce you have on hand!}
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • dash of salt + grind of pepper
charred corn salad
  • 1 ear fresh white or yellow corn, shucked but left on the cob
  • 1 large avocado, pitted + cubed
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • kosher salt + fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
honey-habañero salmon:
  1. preheat your oven to 450º
  2. whisk together the marinade of honey, tabasco, lime juice + brown sugar. set aside.
  3. lay your salmon filets, skin-side down, in a baking dish or foil-lined baking sheet with a rim.
  4. zest the lime over each salmon filet.
  5. pour ⅔ of the marinade over the salmon + bake for 12-15 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork {depending on the thickness of your filets}
  6. once done cooking, you may choose to turn the broiler on high - KEEP AN EYE ON IT - to caramelize the marinade.
  7. remove from the oven + plate the salmon. pour the reserved marinade over the salmon.
charred corn salad:
  1. on a grill, indoor grill pan or gas stove burner, place the corn over the heat + rotate with tongs to char the corn on all sides.
  2. once corn is charred, cut the corn off the cob into a large mixing bowl + combine with the remaining ingredients. salt + pepper to taste.
  3. generously spoon the salad over the prepared salmon + enjoy!
Notes
recipe slightly adapted from an amazing blog, running with tweezers
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 6oz piece of salmon with ½ the charred corn salad Calories: 417 Fat: 11 Sugar: 31 Sodium: 197 Protein: 38

 


 

swap

no tabasco habañero in your fridge? don’t skip out on this recipe just for that reason! the extra heat it brings elevates the flavor from your usual tabasco suspects but by all means – throw in a dash {or three} of whatever you have on-hand! or.. if you’re a heat-loving hot-sauce-using human like me.. buy a tiny bottle of the tabasco habañero because you’ll love it + be happy to have it join your fridge party for other dishes!

 

 

 

 

 

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this dish could easily be re-purposed into strictly the salad category! to give it more “salad body” – while the grill is on for your corn, char up some romaine lettuce + roughly chop! then after cooking the salmon, flake it apart + toss it with the grilled romaine + the charred corn salad ingredients! a handful of chopped blanched asparagus or diced red onion would also be wonderful additions, as would olive oil to taste to help the lime juice stretch as a “dressing”.

swap

salmon is king in this recipe but if seafood aint your thing then replacing with a different protein like chicken would be worth trying! let me know in the comments if you swap something else in that works well!

tiny one

this recipe is already set for 2 serving sizes. i would suggest cooking it as written + then simply dividing into 2 portions – 1 on the plate + 1 in a tupperware! cover + refrigerate the tupperware portion + you’ve got an easy second meal!

oven-fried chicken with arugula salad + fried egg

this recipe is a culinary example of perfect combinations.

chicken with arugula salad and runny egg

first, let’s talk the chicken + parmesan panko. panko is a japanese breadcrumb that gives a bit more crunch than your average breadcrumb. we take that panko a step further by adding in some salty parmesan. since we are baking and not frying the chicken here, the panko aids in tricking your culinary senses that you might be enjoying something fried – which tends to always have that BIG crunch in comparison to something breaded + baked. and as i hope all of you know, everything is better with cheese.

next combination we have is the {perfect} dijon vinaigrette. this vinaigrette is from tyler florences repertoire so that’s really enough said. but i thank him for figuring out how to marry the sweetness from the shallots with a bit of dijon, tart red wine vinegar + smooth olive oil. mmm mmm mmm!

next up on the block, we take that sweet-n-zippy vinaigrette + combine it with peppery arugula. i don’t know about you, but i have a serious crush on arugula. as a self-proclaimed lettuce hater, i find the amount of flavor you get from each bite {PUNS} of arugula just brings the party to every plated situation. also gives your forearms a break from that pesky harder-than-it-looks pepper grinder.

next combo: gooey golden egg yolk + well, anything. everything. there is the saying ‘its like the icing on top of the cake” i feel like the savory version of that statement should be ‘its like the egg yolk on top of the chicken” the indulgence of the yolk’s flavor as it coats your mouth is unlike anything else!

for the last combination, i’m going to blow your mind.. it’s the combination of those four combinations. WHAAAT! {oh, you saw that coming?}

the chicken, parmesan panko, arugula + the vinaigrette all dancing in the golden yolk of a fried egg when you cut your fork through – guys. this recipe is the real deal. find a friend, or even someone you’re trying to convince to be your friend, and make them this recipe.

oven fried chicken with arugula salad


4.0 from 1 reviews
oven-fried chicken with arugula salad + runny egg
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
chicken:
  • 2 5oz chicken breasts, pounded down to ¼” thick
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • ½ cup panko
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, for frying
arugula salad:
  • 5 oz fresh arugula
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
chicken:
  1. preheat oven to 375 F. fit a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet + mist with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. season both sides of your chicken breast with garlic powder, s + p
  3. grab two shallow bowls:
  4. first bowl) whisk together the egg + tablespoon water.
  5. second bowl) combine the panko, grated parmesan
  6. working one at a time, dredge the chicken in the egg mixture + then in the breadcrumb mixture.
  7. heat the non-stick spray in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. once hot*, add the chicken + cook until golden brown on both sides {about 4 minutes} + transfer to the baking sheet.
  8. bake for 20-25 minutes.
argula salad:
  1. meanwhile, prepare the arugula salad by whisking together all of the listed ingredients + adding the arugula. toss to combine.
fried egg:
  1. with 5 minutes left on the chicken cook time, wipe the skillet clean of any crumbs + return to medium-high heat.
  2. cook your eggs over-easy for runny yolk.
  3. lastly, once the chicken is done, plate your meal by placing the chicken down first, top with the egg + arugula salad. enjoy!
Notes
vinaigrette from Tyler Florence

chicken slightly adapted from one of my favorite blogs, Prevention R.D.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 chicken breast with ½ salad + 1 egg Calories: 608 Fat: 28 Unsaturated fat: 3 Carbohydrates: 45 Sugar: 11 Sodium: 1108 Fiber: 3 Protein: 42


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make sure your pan + olive oil is very hot before adding in the breaded chicken {step 7} – you can test this by dropping a drop of water onto the pan + watching it sizzle! this will ensure that your chicken stays crisp + not soggy!

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i listed the chicken as pounded down for this recipe, which ensures even cooking! here is a youtube vid on how! {ps: she uses a mallet in the video, if you don’t have one, you can use the bottom of a small heavy-bottom saucepan or even the palm of your hand – if you’re a tough guy!}

swap

to lower the calories in the vinaigrette recipe, try halving it or using a preferred lower calorie substitute for the 1/4 cup of olive oil {which alone is 477 calories!}. another simple swap would be to use smaller portion of chicken breasts.

tiny one

cooking this eggcellent recipe for one? fry up both pieces of chicken on night one, storing the other. you can mix up the full vinaigrette recipe but only dress half the salad + fry your eggs before serving {those won’t keep!}

roasted butternut squash salad with cranberries + goat cheese

this salad reminds me a bit of christmas morning. the tiny little packages of roasted butternut squash are strewn all over a floor of baby greens, topped with cranberry bows + tied with goat cheese ribbons.

but just as any beautiful christmas package – it’s what’s inside that counts! and inside those beautiful ingredients is the real present. we’re talkin’ nutrients here people! and speaking of stuff that’s good for you, did you know that butternut squash is a leader in the veggie world for eye health!? who knew! butternut squash is rich in carotenoids, folate, vitamins a, b6, + c – all those fancy words mean nutrients. and the bottom line: nutrients are important for keeping your eyes on the prize.

roasted butternut squash

over here in my ambitious kitchen i try my best to balance some kitchen guilty pleasures with ingredients that nutritionally shine and let’s just say, this salad excuses that extra piece of bacon {or three} that i steal from the skillet every sunday!

eye health is something that is often overlooked. {PUNS!} bugs bunny taught us that a chomp on a carrot here or there will help us see + in turn escape elmer fudd. wearing this season’s ray-bans help protect us from those pesky UV rays. but, there’s gotta be more? right?

roasted butternut squash salad ingredients

right! turns out there’s tozens of ingredients that you can incorporate into your light lunches + delightful dinners that will make a difference!

with macular degeneration affecting more than 10 million americans, it is the leading cause of vision loss for those 55 + older. my grandmother + two great aunts suffered from macular degeneration + knowing first hand what they went through gives me that extra push to add in a bit of butternut here + a handful of blueberries there. another reason? fresh veggies are delicious! duh!

roasted butternut squash salad with cranberries and goat cheese

so today, i’m doing something awesome! i am showing my support for eye health by blogging about healthy vision! i encourage you to grab yourself a bowl of this satisfying salad, then take just a few seconds + read some fun {cooking is fun peeps!} ways to increase + incorporate these optic superfoods into your diet!

once you’re done, you’ll have a new salad to share with your loved ones, all while becoming a believer that it’s as easy as a blink of an eye {you know i had to. .} to amp up your eye health!

roasted butternut squash salad with cranberries pecans and goat cheese


5.0 from 1 reviews
butternut squash salad with cranberries + goat cheese
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch chunks {about 2 cups}
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 5-ounce bag baby greens
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pecan halves, lightly chopped
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon freshly snipped chives
Instructions
  1. preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. in a mixing bowl, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the agave nectar, and 1 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.
  3. spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment + bake until tender and golden, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing after 10 minutes. set aside to cool.
  4. assemble the baby greens, cranberries, pecans + goat cheese in a salad bowl.
  5. top with the butternut squash.
  6. in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, vinegar, mustard, chives, ¼ teaspoon salt + extra pepper into a vinaigrette and toss with the salad.
  7. serve immediately + enjoy!
Notes
Recipe from Eat Right For Your Sight: Simple Tasty Recipes That Help Reduce the Risk of Vision Loss from Macular Degeneration, By Jennifer Trainer Thompson and Johanna M. Seddon, copyright © American Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2014. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 360 Fat: 30 Saturated fat: 5 Sodium: 260 Fiber: 4 Protein: 4


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  • eat three colors of veggies + fruit every day. the nutrients for your eye health come from the pigment in vegetables and fruit!
  • when it comes to eye health, the darker the better! go for a red pepper over a yellow one, kale over romaine + blueberries over honeydew!
  • did you know that farm fresh eggs from well-fed hens produce darker yolks than the pale yolks you’ll find in ‘factory’ eggs from grocery stores? we talked about darker being better so go for the gold! {the puns are out of control and i just love it.}
  • omega 3 fatty acids are important to healthy development of your brain, nerves and eyes. they are found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts, squash + tofu.
  • deep-colored antioxidants charge directly to your retina. antioxident – now there’s a buzzword that puts kale to shame! learn more about antioxidents here + eat more blueberries, grapes, pomegranates + cranberries like the smoothie here.

 

grilled balsamic veggie stack

let me tell you a veggie tale.

beautiful eggplant

once upon a time, there was a boy named aj. aj thought that every dinner contained meat – chicken, steak, spaghetti with bolognese, even fish sticks made the cut. but a dinner without meat? he was no fool!

years later, aj met a little lass named kelly. kelly was just learning to cook + would often get ambitious in her kitchen whipping them up delightful dinners. after aj + kelly had spent a long weekend on a bbq crawl in kansas city, kelly knew their dinner table needed a break from the meat world. so with no notice to aj, she gathered together tons of seasonal veggies, bathed them in balsamic + beckoned for aj to fire up the grill! as the grill charred up each + every slice, she delicately built up a stack of color on their plates + under the setting summer sun, they ate every last bite!

as aj leant back from the table, a full-stomach-sigh exhaled + he exclaimed to kelly how great the dinner was – the chicken must have been a really lean cut! kelly then giggled, as she usually does, and told aj of her secret – there was no chicken! no meat at all!

grilled veggie stack with balsamic drizzle
from that night forward aj looked forward – even suggested! – that they go meatless more often, and so they did! portobello burgers, zucchini pizza bites + their favorite, the balsamic veggie stack, all lived happily ever after on their dinner table.


grilled balsamic veggie stack
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant, cut into ½" slices
  • 1 roasted red pepper {you can used jarred or check out my tutorial for making them at home! SO SIMPLE!}
  • ½ red onion, sliced into ½" circles
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into ½" slices
  • 8oz arugula
  • fresh basil leaves
  • roasted red pepper pesto with chili oil {see notes}
  • balsamic glaze {love this store-bought brand!}
marinade
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Instructions
  1. mix together the marinade ingredients.
  2. marinate the eggplant, fresh mozzarella slices + red onion in marinade. let sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. heat a grill {or grill pan} to medium high.
  4. remove your eggplant slices from the heat + grill 5 minutes per side. remove to a piece of foil + wrap them up tightly, steaming to finish cooking. set aside while you grill the remaining veggies.
  5. place the red onion + roasted red pepper on the grill. grill about 3-4 minutes on each side. once you flip them over to the other side, place 1 slice of mozzarella over each piece to warm the cheese.
  6. next, stack! i suggest this order, from bottom to top:
  7. eggplant, arugula, red onion, mozzarella, pesto, arugula, roasted red pepper, mozzarella, eggplant. garnish with fresh basil + balsamic glaze!
Notes
i mixed 2 tbsp homemade roasted red pepper pesto with 2 tbsp of chili oil. a traditional green pesto would work as well!


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though this veggie stack is delicious in all it’s ‘no meat glory’ – adding a thin sliced chicken breast would be great in the mix! i would recommend marinating the chicken in the same marinade listed – separate bag! since the chicken will take a bit longer to cook depending on it’s cut + size, simply grill the chicken first, removing from heat to rest while you grill your veggies.

swap

you can really swap in + out your favorite veggies in this recipe! the meaty texture of a portobello mushroom works lovely in place of eggplant. use a large spanish onion, if red onions aren’t to your preference + baby spinach would be a tasty swap for the peppery arugula! just note, that if you swap out the arugula be sure to taste for seasoning! as i do not use pepper in my ingredients for that reason!

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the skin on a large eggplant can be tough yet smaller eggplants tend to have more tender skin. if you are worried about the texture being too tough, use a vegetable peeler to stripe the skin lengthwise – this will remove half the skin while the remaining will help the eggplant maintain it’s shape while stacked!

tiny tomatoe

a slice of tomato – especially heirlooms – would lend nicely here instead of the roasted red pepper.

garlic-habañero shrimp

hi!

happy friday!

wanna go on a date?

garlic habanero shrimp ingredients

just like most, when five o’clock on a friday hits, i am craving a date night! what cures that craving for more cowbell date night? i LOVE me some tapas + sangria!

back in chicago, aj + i loved a local tapas restaurant called cafe iberico. under their roof we celebrated a couple of our anniversaries, a few family get-togethers, handfuls of group dinners among friends + could sometimes be found bellied up to their bar after a looong work day.

so, what are tapas, you ask? think of tapas as spanish snacks. you can order one for a light bite or order five + voila, you’ve now had dinner! as aj + i started to become more adventurous with food, the idea of tapas really appealed to us because it allowed for us to dabble in unexplored flavors + to share! and guys, i don’t know if you’ve heard, but sharing is caring!

habanero garlic shrimp in marinade for appetizer

 

this recipe combines flavors from a few of my favorite tapas. it starts with a good amount of white wine + garlic, inspired by the classic tapa, gambas al ajillo. then, a few notable flavors from shrimp ceviche make an appearance + lastly, we spice things up {PUNS!} with the heat of a habañero.

so i say we heat things up + take our internet friendship to the next level. garlic-habañero shrimp is on the menu! if that doesn’t convince ya – then how about i slice up a warm-from-the-oven baguette for dipping. i knew that’d get ya!

habanero garlic shrimp with dipping bread appetizer


 

garlic-habañero shrimp
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb medium-sized raw shrimp, peeled + deveined
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 8 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 habañero, finely minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
Instructions
  1. preheat the oven to 400º
  2. in a medium sized bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients
  3. add the shrimp to the marinade mixture + let sit for 10 minutes to marinate
  4. place the shrimp, including the marinade, into an oven safe dish. cook in the oven for 7 minutes
  5. remove from the oven + let sit for 5 minutes before serving
  6. serve with sliced baguette for soaking up broth
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4

 


swap

my recipe calls for a full habañero, which yields a pretty big heat kick in the pants. if you’re a bit more shy to heat, either drop down the amount to ½ of a habañero or use a milder chili of your choice! {your mildest option being a seeded + de-ribbed jalapeño}

drink

the habañero chiles in this recipe will overwhelm most wines. instead, try a rebujito, the cocktail of choice during the local ferias, or street fairs, in southern spain. fill a highball with ice, add in a few ounces of fino sherry + top it off with sprite {or tonic with fresh squeezed lemon juice, if you prefer!}. give the glass a few stirs + you’ve got a refreshing new spin on the spritzer!

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take these from the dipping bowl to the bbq! whisk together the marinade, skewer the shrimp {jumbo shrimp would be perfect here}, baste + grill ’em up! they would make for the perfect handheld backyard app! or assemble the skewers + a healthy drizzle of the marinade over a plate of spanish quinoa. yum!

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have a few extra habañeros? don’t be like this guy. ouchie.

 

thai chicken naan pizza

back in the day, my mom + i loved spending our afternoons hitting the pavement at the shopping mall by us. {oakbrook mall, that is – holla chicagoland peeps!}

we’re both 5 foot 2 -on a good day- so we would work up quite the appetite running our little legs around for hours in the name of a good sale. california pizza kitchen, or CPK, as the cool kids called it, was one of our fav places to rest our gams + grab lunch.

CPK offered three pages of pizza spins but my poor italian mother birthed a daughter who gets a rash from tomato sauce, so we always stuck to the “non-traditional” section of the menu.

my favorite? the thai chicken pizza.

it’s basically like pb+j and stir fry had a baby. it rules.

sliced veggies for pizza

finding restaurant recipes that you can make at home is basically the point of the internet {it’s not? are you sure?}, so you can imagine my excitement when i came across this take on the thai chicken pizza that i loved so much.

the peanut sauce ingredient list might look a bit daunting, but believe it or not, these are staples in my ambitious cubburds!

if you aren’t stocked with the the few vinegars + sauces needed, i promise you’ll find each one worth the grocery trip! turns out things like rice wine vinegar + sherry are needed things in the kitchen world!

let’s just put it this way, i’m basically arming you for any sort of asian curveball that late night of menu planning on pinterest might throw at you!

thai chicken pizza sauce ingredients
another plus!

after blitzing the sauce up in the blender + spreading the love across your naan, you should have a little leftover!

wanna know one of my favorite ways to use it up?

grab yourself a package of ramen noodles, {yes, im serious}, throw away the flavor pack {now you’re taking me more serious, aren’t you?}, boil the noodles, drain, add the peanut sauce + top witha generous amount of sriracha + sliced scallions!
thai chicken pizza with peanut sauce
true life: i just gave you TWO recipes in one post.

so go on. make this! now you have two reasons!


 

5.0 from 1 reviews
thai chicken naan pizza
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Recipe type: pizza
Cuisine: thai
Ingredients
peanut sauce
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1½ tbsp rice wine or sherry
  • 2¼ tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1½ tsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sambel oleek {add more for additional heat!}
naan pizza
  • 2 naan flatbreads
  • 1 c cooked chicken, shredded {see notes below!}
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled + shaved with a peeler
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 1 c mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ c parmesan, shredded
Instructions
peanut sauce
  1. combine all of the ingredients listed in a blender. blend until smooth.
naan pizza
  1. preheat the oven to 425º
  2. spread 2 tbsp of peanut sauce on each naan, leaving a small border around the edge for a crust
  3. layer the chicken, red pepper, carrots, scallions, cilantro + cheese on top of the naan
  4. bake the naan for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted + crust is golden
Notes
slightly adapted from the wonderful blog, Cookin' Canuck.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Pizza Calories: 540


swap

don’t have cooked chicken on hand? skip the rotisserie + check out my recipe for simple poached chicken! try the asian zest with this pizza – it adds so much flavor!

 swap

naan is my number one choice for this recipe because it’s a bit hearty yet crisps up beautifully! {i love the Stonefire brand} but if naan is not accessible or easy for you, you can build this pizza atop any crust you wish – homemade, store-bought or even a sesame seed bagel! all i would suggest is using something on the thicker end of the scale since the pizza is rather topping-heavy!

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this recipe makes for a great appetizer! pop a few in the oven + cut into squares for easy hand-held snacking.

drink

you will want to reach for slightly sweet wines like a rieslings or gewurztraminer to pair with this. the slight sweetness + floral notes match very well with the many flavors of thai food + the sugar mitigates the effect of chili + spice on the palate. as for beer, go with an ice-cold brown ale.