Category Archives: easy

Salmon and Avocado Apps with Lemon, Dill and Sesame Seeds

Not gonna lie, I felt pretty pleased with myself making these. The saltiness/savoriness of the salmon combined with the creamy avocado is perfect, they have 4 ingredients, tops, are chock full of Omega-3s – the “good for you fats” – which help with your cardiovascular health, eyesight, joints and a whole bunch of other things, have a hint of the bright flavor of lemon (which adds detox benefits) and if you use Wild for Salmon’s Dill and Orange Gravlax, you can skip the dill altogether. I did a couple of these with a light coating of toasted sesame seeds, but that’s up to you. These were ready in no time, and gone in about that same amount too.

SALMON AND AVOCADO APPS WITH LEMON AND DILL (makes about 30)
– 3 avocados, cut into approx. 3/4 inch chunks
Wild for Salmon’s Dill and Orange Gravlax (or smoked salmon if you can’t find this, but please try because this is amazing.)
– juice of 1 lemon
– pinch of kosher salt
– sesame seeds (optional)

1. Cut the avocados into approx. 3/4 inch chunks. 



2. Add to a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and the pinch of salt – this will keep the avocado from browning.

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Linguini with Baby Portabellos, Spinach & Shallots in a Rosemary Cream Sauce

One of the things I love most about visiting my parents’ house is that you can always find great stuff in the fridge to throw together to make something delicious. Oh, are you starving? Ok, let’s find baby portabellos, shallots, spinach, fresh rosemary, a little heavy cream and good pasta too. That’ll work! This was so easy to throw together and completely allowed me to overlook the heavy cream I added because there was spinach in it, which everybody knows cancels out any fat content in any recipe, ever.

LINGUINI WITH BABY PORTABELLOS, SPINACH & SHALLOTS IN A ROSEMARY CREAM SAUCE 
– 2 cups baby portabellos, washed and sliced 
– 2 cups spinach 
– 2 shallots, sliced 
– 1/3 C. heavy cream 
– 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (if you don’t have fresh, skip it. Don’t use dried in this recipe) 
– Fresh parmesan, approx. ¼ cup plus more for topping 
– 1 lb. pasta 
– 1 tbsp. butter 
– 1 tbsp. EVOO 
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
– Kosher salt & pepper to taste 

1.  Cook your pasta – linguini should cook for about the same time as it takes to make everything else. 

2. In a saucepan, melt the butter and EVOO over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, approx. 60 seconds. 


3. Add the sliced baby portabellos and cook until they’re fairly soft, approx. 5 minutes. These will continue to cook as you add everything else, so don’t overdo it. 


4. Add the shallots, cook until wilted. 


5. Stir in the cream, rosemary and parmesan over medium-low heat. This will look pretty thin, but don’t worry – it’ll cook down a bunch and it coats the pasta really well. I usually stop when it still looks pretty thin before I overdo it and end up with a barely-there cream sauce. If you do that, though, just add a little pasta water to it. 


6. Remove from heat, add spinach and stir well to wilt. 


7. Add the cooked pasta to the spinach – the heat from the noodles will continue to wilt the spinach.

8. Stir everything well, top with a little fresh parm, and give your parents a kiss for being so wonderful.



Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


This roasted butternut squash soup just nails it. It’s basically pureed squash and chicken (or veggie) broth, some added vegetables, spices and a splash of heavy cream. I think it would be great for kids, or even baby food, minus the heavy cream and spices. That bit of info, for me however, is filed away under “for future reference”, at least for the time being. :]

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (makes a giant pot of soup that freezes really well, too)

– 2 large butternut squash (squashes??)
– 2 celery stalks, chopped
– 2 carrots, chopped
– 1 vidalia onion, diced
– 6 cups chicken broth (this will depend on the height of your squash, though. I’d buy 64 oz. of chicken broth just to be safe)
– 1 T. butter
– 1 T. EVOO
– Splash of heavy cream, or up to 1/4 c. to taste
– Kosher Salt
– White pepper (this blends into the soup nicely)
– Freshly grated nutmeg
– 8-10 sage leaves, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Pierce each squash with a fork or skewer a few times. Cut each squash in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds and stringy things at the bottom of the squash. Rub with a couple of drops of olive oil, then roast, cut-side down, for approx. 30 – 45 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.




3. In your soup pot (I cannot say enough great things about Le Creuset ), heat 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onion, celery, and carrot, saute for 10 minutes or until soft.  You want these to “sweat”, not brown, so make sure you give them some room, and salt them with some Kosher salt to draw out as much water as possible.

Look at this Farmers’ Market celery!!! Unbelievable.


 



3. When squash is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin. This should come right off, but cut away anything that remains. Roughly chop the roasted squash into chunks.



4. Add squash to the onion/celery/carrot mixture. Add chopped sage and approx. 1 T. of Kosher salt. Add chicken (or vegetable) stock until it just covers the squash in the pot. 

  



5. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour. 

6. After an hour, use an immersion blender to puree the soup into a creamy consistency. Breville makes great immersion blenders, and we are definitely registering for one, since the one I use (all the time) I won during a “Yankee Swap” at my very first job out of college at MSPCC.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Just make sure the soup is cool, because if it’s hot, it could explode in your blender (really).



7. Season to taste with nutmeg, white pepper, Kosher salt. Swirl in heavy cream for some richness.



— This soup will continue to blend the flavors, so when you think you’re “almost there” with the spices, STOP.  It’ll come together perfectly in a couple of hours!  You can even throw this together the night before, then reheat for dinner or lunch the next day to get that perfect flavor combination.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale “Au Gratin”

It’s butternut squash season!!  I look forward to this every year. Butternut squash is the basis for some of my favorite fall recipes, from soup to sides to main dishes. This side is savory due to the roasted squash and a light dusting of parmesan cheese, and has an added punch of health benefits with the addition of the kale. I could have eaten this on its own instead of as a side. It was great.

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH & KALE “AU GRATIN” (serves approx. 4)

– 1 large butternut squash, roasted and cubed
– 2 cups kale, de-stemmed and chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, diced
– Freshly grated parmesan, approx. 1/4 cup

1. Cut the butternut squash in half. I’ve learned that the easiest way to do this is to poke a couple of holes in the squash while it’s still whole, and throw it in the oven at 400 for maybe 15 minutes.  It should soften enough in that time that you can cut it in half, lengthwise, without feeling like you’re going to cut off your fingers accidentally.


2. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff at the bottom of the squash. Rub each half with a little olive oil, and place cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast for approx. 30 – 45 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). Peel and cube squash – it should still be a little firm, but if not, don’t worry about it too much. Lower oven temp to 350.

3. In a saute pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, and add chopped garlic. Stir until fragrant, approx. 90 seconds. Add chopped kale and stir to combine until wilted. Set aside.

4. Lightly mist a baking pan with olive oil, then add kale/garlic mixture and cubed squash. Stir to combine, then top with the grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for approx. 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


Greek Yogurt Chicken


Greek yogurt is everywhere nowadays. I’ve started using it in baking, cooking, even in dressings. But a Greek yogurt coating? On chicken?? When I first read about this on Pinterest, I thought it sounded totally gross, but I was too curious to find out how it would be. Turns out, it’s healthy, flavorful, and creates a little tangy coating that keeps the chicken juicy. This recipe can be ready from start to finish in an hour, tops, which gives you enough time to make a nice side salad, or steam some veggies, and have yourself a nice glass of wine. We’ve used this recipe dozens of times, and it’s just one of the easiest, most delicious ways we make chicken.

GREEK YOGURT CHICKEN

– Chicken breasts
– 1 container greek yogurt (I like Chobani)
– Freshly grated parmesan cheese, approx. 1/3 cup
– 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 
– 1 tbsp. kosher salt
– 1/2 tsp. pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. In a “breading” bowl, combine the yogurt, cheese, and seasonings, stir to combine.

3. Place a cooling rack over a deeper roasting pan lined in foil. This creates a “convection” type of cooking for those of us with basic ovens (someday, Viking convection oven. I’m coming for you!).

4. Coat the chicken with the mixture. You really don’t need a lot of it – it’s a ton of flavor in even a thinner coating. 

5. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, depending on your oven. It seems like some folks have had a lot of luck with this coating turning golden, almost “fried” looking, but whatever color it ends up being, just make sure you make a small slice to check that it’s cooked all the way through.