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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pan Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

This is so easy to prepare ahead of time, and let me tell you - I have now made this three times and it cooks PERFECTLY each time.  Juicy, tender, and extremely flavorful!  And a beautiful dish.  This is the perfect dish to prep in the morning and pop in the oven an hour before eating.  A crowd pleaser for SURE!

Thanks to my friend Victoria for giving me my first taste of this deliciousness.  The recipe is not mine, and unfortunately I don't have the info of the originator.  However, know that I have seriously approved this recipe.

Serves 2 - 4 (My husband and I can easily devour the entire chicken ourselves.)


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed

1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper1/2 cup or 1 cup Greek yogurt (depending on your sauce preference)
1 whole chicken (~4 lbs) **ask your local market to remove the backbone***
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes, halved1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, dividedsalt and pepper to taste

1.  Remove the backbone of the chicken, or have your local butcher do it for you (Whole Foods does it!).  Place the chicken skin side up in a roasting pan.  Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
2.  Preheat oven to 425.
3.  Mix together oil, garlic, paprika, cumin and red pepper.  Use half of this mixture to baste the chicken with.  Pour the remaining half over the greek yogurt and set aside as a dipping sauce.
4.  Cover the chicken and pan with tomatoes, cilantro and chickpeas.  

Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.  Serve with yogurt sauce.  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Spinach Quinoa Salad with Apples, Pistachios and Feta

This was a really light, refreshing and tasty salad.  I made a huge bowl of it and will be eating it for lunch for the next couple of days.  Don't worry about it getting too soggy, because the quinoa does a nice job of absorbing the dressing, making it great as leftovers!

Serves 4-6 (or use as leftovers!)

1 Bag baby spinach
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped granny smith apples
1 shallot, minced
6-8 large basil leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped pistachios

For the dressing:

2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper


Cook quinoa according to package (hint - I always cook in broth versus water for more flavor).  Set aside.

Toss quinoa with spinach, cheese and all other remaining ingredients.  Mix together dressing and toss with salad.  Let chill and marinate in the refrigerator at least 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

White Bean Sausage and Vegetable Soup

This was so delicious, so easy, and SO healthy!


1 lb sausage links (kielbasa, chicken sausage, whichever you prefer)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and sorted
1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 Tbsp truffle salt (optional -- can use regular salt)
1 Tbsp pepper
Fresh shaved parmesan cheese to top it off


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage links, turning once to brown the sides.  Set aside.

Place all vegetables, lentils and beans in a crockpot.  Add sausage, add broth, add salt and pepper.  Cook on low or high, depending on your timeframe (4 hours on high, 7 hours low).

Before serving, slice up sausage into small pieces, and top with fresh grated parmesan.

***Use whatever vegetables you have!  A fantastic sausage I use is a smoke gouda sausage from Whole Foods.  You can make it even healthier by substituting for a chicken sausage.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Sausage Casserole

Ok so I am NOT a casserole person.  I mean, I like them, but I don't make them.  My mom always laughed that it was such an Ohio thing.  With three siblings growing up in the bitter cold, they relied on casseroles.  Pretty sure she's casseroled-out.  But I tried this.  And I loved it.  And something tells me that my Dade City family is a fan of casseroles.  My mother-in-"love" is the queen of finding food items and tossing them in to make a good, well-rounded meal.  Well, I gotta say, that is SMART.  And easy.  And eco-friendly.  And hallelujah, every single person in our family ate it.  And loved it.  And that never happens.  Enjoy.

Also - this can all be prepped ahead of time, then placed in the oven 45 minutes before serving.

Serves 6


1 Cup quinoa (uncooked - then cook according to package)
3/4 Cup low fat cream cheese
1 Cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
1 14.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 Cup broccoli florets, chopped and stems removed
1 Cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 Lb mild italian chicken sausage (I purchased from deli, in their casings, then removed casings)
1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil


1.  Cook quinoa according to package and set aside.
2.  In a pan, saute chopped onions until almost tender, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove casings from sausage and add sausage to the pan over medium heat, chopping until sausage has a ground texture.  Turn the stove off, and add in the chopped spinach and place a lid on the pan to wilt the spinach.
3.  Steam or boil broccoli until tender crisp - DO NOT OVERCOOK.  (like 2 minutes) Drain and set aside.
4.  In a large bowl, stir chicken soup, cheddar cheese and cream cheese.  Add sausage mixture, broccoli, and quinoa and stir completely.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.
5.  Pour into a casserole dish.  When ready, bake covered at 350 for 40 minutes.  Then broil uncovered for 5 to get brown and bubbly.