Pistachio Arugula Sweet Pea Pesto

There’s a new pesto in town folks!

Pistachio Arugula Sweet Pea Pesto

Pistachio Arugula Sweet Pea Pesto


I’ve long been a fan of using arugula in pesto. It’s vibrant, flavorful, and just plain pretty! More importantly, is just how heavenly it tastes over four-cheese spinach tortellini. I could seriously eat this and nothing else all winter long. In fact, I just may try to!

You should join me. It’s oh-so-easy being green!

Pistachio Arugula Sweet Pea Pesto

Pistachio Arugula Sweet Pea Pesto
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: sauce, condiment
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup [2.5 oz] of fresh baby arugula [half of a 5 oz pkg]
  • ¾ cup of frozen peas
  • 25 pistachios, shelled
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin or mild olive oil
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin or milk olive oil [separate from above]
  • ½ tsp fresh smashed + minced garlic
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • yummy extras:
  • additional Parmesan cheese for topping [do it!]
  • additional olive oil to thin the sauce, if desired
  • several chopped pistachios for garnish
  • parsley for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Begin by steaming your peas, this will take a few minutes on the stove or the microwave.
  2. Next grab your freshly smashed/minced garlic.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, add the garlic to a tablespoon of olive oil and cook on high for 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can break out a small pan and sauté the garlic on the stove top. Both methods work great and take the bite out of the garlic while infusing the oil with rich garlicky flavor.
  4. Add to a food processor along with the remainder of your ingredients and pulse until beautifully blended.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and blend in a little extra olive oil if to thin the sauce. I add extra when using it for pasta and leave it thicker for spreading on crackers or crostini. Let your tastebuds be your guide!
Notes
Between the natural saltiness of the cheese and the pistachios used [most come salted, unless you happen to have access to unsalted] the dish will already have a bit of season to it. Add any additional salt to taste. I personally wound up adding around ⅛ teaspoon along with extra Parmesan for topping.

 Arugula Sweet Pea Pistachio Pesto

This totally goes without saying, but the glory of pesto is that you can make it out of anything you have in abundance. If your garden is overflowing with fresh, fragrant basil, then whip up a bowl of traditional pesto! Have a bag of baby spinach that needs to be used up fast? Sub the arugula in this recipe for spinach and you’ve got yourself a sassy sauce!

The pestobilities are endless!

Did I really just say that? I’ll be under the bed hiding if you need me. I’ll only come out if you make me pesto.

Cajun Chickpea Sweet Potato Burgers

Cajun Chickpea and Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Cajun Aioli

I say this quite a bit, but how on Earth have I gone my entire life without these burgers!?

This cajun spin on my classic Sweet Potato Chickpea Burger is something you’re going to want in your life, stat. Flecked with the foodie equivalent of the holy trinity and spiced to zesty perfection, these veggie burgers are full of flavor and easily compliment a number of dietary needs.

Swap out the egg and sub in a flax or chia egg to make them vegan and for a meal that’s gloriously gluten-free, crumble them over salads, spuds, or slap them on your favorite GF bun!

Cajun Chickpea and Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Cajun Aioli

Cajun Chickpea Sweet Potato Burgers

Chickpea Sweet Potato Veggie Burger

Cajun Chickpea Sweet Potato Burgers
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato yielding 1 cup puree
  • 2 cups chickpeas [canned or cooked from dry]
  • 1 and ½ cups whole oats
  • ½ cup red pepper [about ¼ the pepper]
  • ½ cup diced onion [half a small onion]
  • ¼ cup diced celery [approx 1 stalk]
  • 2 tsp olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 large egg or 1 flax egg
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cayenne
  • salt and pepper, to taste [I used a pinch of sea salt]

  • cajun chipotle aioli:
  • ⅓ cup quality mayo [store bought or homemade]
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chipotle adobo sauce
  • ¼ tsp cajun seasoning blend, or to taste
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • a pinch of salt

  • The sauce is good on *everything* :: you may just want to double it!

  • extras:
  • spring mix lettuce
  • sliced avocado
  • your favorite burger buns
Instructions
  1. Bake, microwave, or boil your sweet potato until tender.
  2. Remove/discard the skin and, using a food processor or blender, puree the sweet potato until smooth but thick.
  3. Scoop out the sweet potato and add to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Next rain and rinse your chickpeas, then add to the food processor. Pulse just a few times to break up the beans, still leaving lots of great texture. Add to the sweet potato.
  5. Next pulse one and a half cups of oats in your processor until flour-like [it doesn't have to be super fine by any means; just ground] then add to the sweet potato mixture.
  6. Next saute your onion, bell pepper, and celery in approx 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat.
  7. After about 7 minutes or so, add garlic and continue to saute until the veggies are translucent and tender.
  8. Once your veggies are ready, transfer to the bowl with the sweet potato and add 1 egg [or flax egg] to the bowl along with cajun seasoning blend, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  9. Stir to incorporate and divide burger mixture into 4-6 balls. I wound up making 5. The sizing seemed right for my buns.
  10. Cup each ball in your hands and squeeze, pressing it into a compact disc. Think of it as stress-relief!
  11. Form into into patties, cover, and refrigerate for approx. 30 minutes to set the burgers.
  12. Feel free to prep these overnight for the following day.
  13. Ready to eat? Pour a teeny bit of oil in a skillet, heat to high, and cook for a few minutes on each side until you're left with a golden crust and a warm center. Cook only a few at a time, trying not to overcrowd the skillet.
  14. While they cook, whisk together your aioli.
  15. Pile a lightly toasted bun high with greens and your fresh-from-the-skillet burger, top it off with a generous helping of aioli and dig in!

Cajun Chickpea and Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Cajun Aioli

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Chipotle Hummus

This healthy hummus is spiked with smoky chipotle pepper and just the right amount of lemon and garlic to make this addictive dip your new favorite snack!

Homemade Chipotle Hummus

Not to toot my own horn, but… I’m totally going to toot my horn. This is hands-down the best hummus I’ve ever had. Roasted red pepper hummus has always been my go-to but this? This is a total game changer! I’m glad my recent chipotle-a-thon migrated from my bean dip makeover into a big bowl of chickpeas. Grab a jar or your favorite canned chipotle peppers and join me! You know you want to!



Chipotle Hummus
 
Author:
Recipe type: dip
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 TBSP tahini
  • 2 TBSP quality olive oil
  • 1 chipotle pepper [packed in adobo]
  • 1 and ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp adobo sauce
  • ¼ tsp minced garlic
  • ⅛ tsp salt

  • top it with:
  • ½ chipotle pepper, minced
  • a hearty drizzle of olive oil [I used harissa EVOO - so good!]
  • a sprinkle of paprika

  • serve it with:
  • pita chips
  • fresh pita wedges
  • tortilla chips
  • fresh veggies
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine chickpeas, chipotle pepper, tahini, adobo sauce.
  2. Blend to incorporate.
  3. Scrape down the sides and add your garlic, salt, and lemon juice.
  4. Blend until deliciously creamy.
  5. Dive in with a pita chip for a taste-test and add more of your favorite ingredients if desired [more oil or tahini will thin out the hummus, more chipotle pepper will add heat and smoky flavor and more lemon juice will add some zest to the dip] - the above measurements were my idea of hummus perfection! Love it so!
  6. To fancily, top with half of a chopped chipotle pepper, a hearty drizzle of your favorite olive oil [I broke out the harissa-infused evoo for mine! Yum!] and a sprinkling of paprika.

Homemade Chipotle Hummus

The hummus [or yummus as we call it here!] will keep for a few days in your fridge, but you’ll be too busy licking the bowl clean to worry about leftovers! Next time I’m doubling the batch! Or maybe I should triple it? It’s hummus time, baby!

dip it: dip it good!

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Healthy Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Pico de Gallo

Spicy Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Pico de Gallo

This smoky vegan black bean dip is low in fat and big in flavor! Soup isn’t the only way to warm up on a cold day!


Spicy Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Pico de Gallo

Healthy Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Pico de Gallo
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: dip
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 can [15 oz] black beans or refried black beans
  • ½ cup roasted salsa verde
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce [start with one then add another to taste]
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • a pinch of cumin, to taste
  • a pinch of salt, to taste

  • pico de gallo:
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • ⅛-1/4 cup diced jalapeno [optional but awesome!]
  • fresh cilantro, to taste
  • fresh lime juice, to taste
  • a pinch of salt

  • extras:
  • tortilla chips and veggie sticks for dipping
Instructions
  1. Combine black beans, green salsa, garlic, lime juice, cumin and salt in a food processor.
  2. Next add one chipotle pepper and puree.
  3. Taste test for heat, then add the additional chipotle pepper if you're in the mood for a kick, then blend again.
  4. You can even sneak in a little cayenne if you feel like kicking things up a few more notches. Have at it! Make this dip as spicy or as mild as you'd like!
  5. Heat a small saucepan to medium heat and warm up the dip. Alternatively the microwave can be used if desired.
  6. While the dip warms, chop pico de gallo ingredients and combine.
  7. Serve over warm dip with an assortment of tortilla chips and veggies.

Spicy Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Pico de Gallo

The heat doesn’t hit you at first, but has a slow after-burn that, for heat lovers, keeps you coming back for more! P and I scarfed the entire bowl within a few hours, fanning our faces dramatically before diving back in for another face full of fire. We have a few dishes that we make on the regular that can only be described as painfully delicious. This baby just made the list.

As always, dips are uber easy to customize and you can control the heat by reducing the amount of chipotle used and also choosing a mild green salsa. If you’re a rebel like we are, feel free to up the heat with extra chipotle and even jalapeños or cayenne pepper. It can go either way!

I purposely didn’t share this batch with the chickpea, because the last time I let her dive into a spicy dip she spent the remainder of the day trying to rub red pepper flake after-burn off her tongue while I offered up buckets of yogurt and bananas to help the poor kid out. She’s either a masochist or a spice addict, because she decided to creep over to my set-up and help herself. Multiple. Times.

Spicy Chipotle Black Bean Dip with Pico de Gallo

At first I thought she was in it entirely for the tortilla chips, but each bite was followed by another dunk into the dip and another dramatic “my tongue is meltingggggg!!!” moment followed by, you guessed it, more dip! Poor kid. I’ll throw her a bone and make her some guac today.

still hungry?

Skillet Black Bean Queso

skillet black bean queso

craving more chipotle?

 

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Asiago Sun-dried Tomato Biscuits with Whipped Basil Butter

I felt like telling a story today. A long one. Please excuse [or enjoy!] my excess verbosity.

Is verbosity even a word? Bear with me here!

Sun-dried Tomato Asiago Biscuits with Whipped Basil-Garlic Butter

My friends have a knack for reporting back to me after a particularly yummy restaurant meal and then insisting I recreate it for them, having only their drool-worthy description to go on. It’s my favorite type of challenge! So when my favorite West coaster requested sun dried tomato biscuits, I happily obliged.

Maria wanted fluffy, flaky biscuits flecked with sun-dried tomatoes, asiago cheese and slathered in basil garlic butter. Um, hello most amazing combination ever! I rushed out to the store and picked up a giant package of sun-dried tomatoes and, since their basil looked a little sad, a tube of chopped basil.. paste? I don’t even know what to call the stuff! It was very pesto-esque. Groceries in hand, I promptly flung myself into the kitchen.

The smell from the oven was nothing short of heavenly. I barely got them onto the cooling rack before I scooped up a molten hot biscuit and took my first glorious bite. “Nailed it!” I thought, as I went in for another chomp. All the while I’m texting Maria, prancing and preening like a freaking peacock… until I hit a mouthful sun-dried tomato and was thrust into full blown sensory assault.

Naturally, I was completely furious at my tastebuds for their betrayal. They failed me. That first bite was so good, surely I could make myself like them?! I slathered the freshly whipped basil butter on the next bite and died of yum, up until the exact moment a second morsel of sun-dried tomato hit my mouth. Dammit! I then proceeded to eat three biscuits. Partially because they were so good and partially because I was determined to prove to my taste buds that they were sadly mistaken and sun-dried tomatoes are the bomb.

I wound up sitting cross-legged on my dining room table [don’t ask] picking out each ruby red fleck as I shoved hunks of basil butter slathered biscuit int0 my mouth, only feeling shame from my inability to adore the dried version of one of my favorite foods.

My voice of reason [aka Maria… I feel like this post is outing our love affair; I heart you boo!] insisted I have friends with a normal palate test the recipe for me. Perfect! I sent copies along to both Meghan and Maria and awaited verdict.

As I’m sure you already know, they LOVED them; there’s no way I’d post them otherwise. My palate abuse was thankfully not in vain and I’m happy to report that, with a thumbs up from the besties, you should totally make these too. Unless you hate sun-dried tomatoes like me, then just leave those evil little tomato raisins out of the recipe and carry on with your biscuit-loving self.

I have issues.

AND BISCUITS!

Sun-dried Tomato Asiago Biscuits with Whipped Basil-Garlic Butter

5.0 from 4 reviews
Asiago Sun-dried Tomato Biscuits with Whipped Basil Butter
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 8 biscuits
Ingredients
  • 2 + ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 + ½ TBSP baking powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 + ½ cups milk [or buttermilk]
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomato [oil-packed + drained]
  • ¾ cup asiago cheese, packed

  • whipped garlic basil butter:
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ½ tsp basil paste, pesto, or chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic minced and microwaved in olive oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Grate cheese and set aside.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, basil, sugar and salt.
  4. Next grate cold butter over the flour mixture or cut it in using a pastry cutter, whichever you prefer.
  5. Add milk and sun-dried tomato and mix with a fork until incorporated.
  6. Once the liquid is incorporated into the biscuit dough, you should be left with super sticky dough.
  7. Add the cheese and knead the dough a few times in the bowl and then move to a floured cutting board or working surface.
  8. Knead the dough a few more times [not a lot, maybe 10 kneads total counting what you did in the bowl] and flatten.
  9. Cut out 8 fairly-thick biscuits or 10 shorter biscuits from the dough.
  10. No biscuit cutter? No problem! These work as drop biscuits too!
  11. Bake on the center rack on a baking sheet lined with a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat at 425 F for approx 14 minutes.
  12. For the basil butter: take out butter and allow to soften. mince/smash one clove of garlic and microwave it in olive oil [enough to cover garlic]for 30 seconds or so on 50% power to help infuse the evoo withthe garlic and amp the flavahhh. You can also simply saute it in a pan, whichever you prefer! Add the garlic and basil to your butter and whip using a hand mixer or a food processor, or even a good old whisk. [I used a hand mixer to incorporate a ton of air into the butter for super-fluffy results] All that's left to do is whip it and whip it good! Slather on your biscuits and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the basil buttah. It’s magical.

Sun-Dried Tomato Biscuits with Asiago Cheese and Whipped Basil Butter

 In fact, if you’re anything like Meghan and I, you may need an extra batch of garlicky basil butter to spread on everything in sight.

still hungry?

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3 Delicious Ways to Turn Holiday Leftovers into a Healthy Lunch!

Here are some of my favorite tips for turning yummy holiday leftovers into a quick + healthy lunch:

Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Salad Stuffed Sweet Potato

3 Delicious Ways to Turn Holiday Leftovers into a Healthy Lunch!

3 Ways to Turn Holiday Leftovers into a Healthy Lunch!

#1 stuff it in a spud!

This is typically my solution for just about ever meal ever. Leftovers from taco night? Stuff it in a spud! Can’t stand to look at that chicken and broccoli casserole lurking in your fridge? Stuff it in a spud! Crisper drawer bursting at the seams? You know where to stuff it!

Yes I DID just tell you to stuff it. Yes I’m snickering. Moving on!

If you happen to be lucky enough to have my Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Candied Walnuts on your holiday menu this year, then I’m going to insist you stuff any and all leftovers in a perfectly fluffy sweet potato. It’s heavenly. You can also do the same for my Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta. Cue swoonfest.

 #2 top it on a salad

This one is a total no-brainer. So many types of leftovers taste fantastic over a bed of leafy greens and with a fun dressing to drizzle, it can breathe new life into a dish. Your taste buds won’t even notice you put last night’s dinner on repeat!

The two recipes that I suggested to stuff in a spud? Well clearly you’ll have to make more so you can try them over a salad too! The results are delicious. Some other recipes that taste wonderful over salads are leftover roast turkey or glazed ham. Chop them up and turn ‘em into a festive Cobb salad with a bevvy of chopped veggies, your favorite cheese, hard boiled eggs, and a light dressing. Bam! Lunch practically made itself!

This trick works great for entrees and sides alike. Take a recipe like my Cranberry Clementine Brussels Sprouts, chop it up, and toss it over kale or field greens for a seasonal salad that’s fruity and fun!

Healthy Holiday Leftover Sandwiches: the options are endless!

#3 slap it on a sandwich

Something about leftover holiday sandwiches makes me really ridiculously happy. I adore them! …possibly even more than the holiday meal itself which, I know, total foodie blasphemy – but it’s true! Grab your favorite bread and pile it high with all your favorite leftovers. Skip your usual sandwich spread and use leftover Spinach Dip, Cranberry Sauce, or even Hummus to take your sandwich game to the next level.

So there you have it! — three delicious reasons to give leftovers a chance! <3

What’s your favorite way to revamp leftovers?

Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup with Garlicky Mushroom Bruschetta

Though I have two amazingly scrumptious mushroom Brie soups already on the blog, my husband insisted I needed a third. He needed a third.

Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup with Garlicky Mushroom Bruschetta

My first was a brothy, buttery version of the classic while the second was thick, creamy, and swirled with pureed white beans. This one? This soup was all about the cream! P was craving a big bowl of restaurant-style mushroom brie soup, and when your meat-loving husband requests a vegetarian dish? Game on! Done deal! Let me at that Brie!

While I know many of you are  on the fence about your fungi friendliness, I have to admit that we’re totally team mushroom over here. If you love them too, here’s another shroom-tastic soup for your repertoire!

Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup with Garlicky Mushroom Bruschetta

Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup with Mushroom Parmesan Toasts

Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¼ diced celery
  • ⅓ diced onion
  • 1 TBSP butter, halved
  • 8 oz cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • ⅛ tsp dried thyme [or ¼ tsp fresh]
  • a pinch of optional cayenne pepper [optional but awesome]
  • a pinch of allspice
  • black pepper and any additional salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup dry sherry [or ⅛ cup apple cider vinegar + ⅛ cup water]
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ cup [8 oz] brie, rind removed
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • garnish with fresh or dried parsley and chopped green onion

  • Recipe yields 2 entree-sized portions [perfect for lunch!] or 4 small bowls as a side to your favorite meal or sandwich!

  • adapted from food swoon
Instructions
  1. First set out your dairy so they can begin to reach room temperature. This way you won't be adding cold cream + brie to hot soup and the soup will cook a bit faster.
  2. In a large pot, melt ½ tablespoon of butter and saute celery and onion until tender and translucent.
  3. Add 12 oz of your favoite mushrooms [wild or domestic] and another ½ tablespoon of butterl.
  4. Once the mushrooms begein to give up a bit of their liquid, add pinch of salt and the garlic.
  5. Cook for a few minutes to brown the mushrooms.
  6. I then scooped out ½ cup of cooked mushrooms from the pot to add to the soup later, if you'd prefer to puree all the mushrooms, feel free to leave them in. See notes below for three different texture options.
  7. Next add ⅛ tsp dried thyme [or ¼ tsp fresh!] as well as a pinch of optional cayenne and allspice [I love the combo!]
  8. Add ¼ cup dry sherry *or* ⅛ cup apple cider vinegar and ⅛ cup water [as a sherry substitute'] and bring to a boil on medium high.
  9. Next add 2 cups veg broth and cup half and half and bring back up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes.
  10. Blend using an immersion blender until smooth then add reserved mushrooms.
  11. No immersion blender? No problem! Remove the soup from heat, allow to cool a bit and then puree in small batches in a food processor or blender, then add back to the pot.
  12. After adding the mushrooms, bring the heat back up and cook for about 10-20 minutes.
  13. Stir in the brie and heavy cream and simmer for an additional 10 min.
  14. Garnish with green onion and/or parsley and mushroom toasts, if desired. [see below for recipe/instructions]
Notes
There are three delicious ways you can make this soup: You can puree the entire batch making more of a creamy bisque, you can make it as written, with a combination of pureed and sliced mushrooms, or you can saute the mushrooms on the side and scarf a creamy brie-based soup flecked with sliced shrooms. No matter how you slice it, pureeing mushrooms always leads to great texture that reminds me a little of eating oatmeal or super-soupy cheese grits, if you'd rather the soup portion of your soup be completely creamy, I highly suggest option three. All you'll have to do is saute the mushrooms in a skillet and then add them in after you puree the onion and celery into the broth, easy peasy! Whichever method you choose, the mushroom brie flavor of this soup is fantastic! Enjoy!

The soup itself is gloriously gluten-free but in case your a baguette addict, grab your favorite crusty bread and use the remaining mushrooms to make toasty crostini perfect for dunking.

For the Mushroom Bruschetta:

Grab a freshly baked baguette [I always have a few frozen in my freezer for such occasions, it’s such a convenience!] and, slicing at an angle, cut off four slices. Toast if desired or leave fresh and fluffy, both ways are awesome! Saute 4 oz of mushrooms in a little bit of butter with minced garlic and a pinch of garlic powder and, once tender and perfectly browned, add to the bread. Grate some fresh parmesan on top [mozzarella or extra brie works too!] and serve alongside your soup. They’re perfect for dunking!

 Creamy Mushroom Brie Soup with Mushroom Parmesan Toasts

I’m pretty convinced P needs to make meal requests more often. This soup was just what we needed to empty the crisper and fill our faces. This indulgent soup kept us deliciously full til dinnertime and was oh-so-tasty! Hope you love it too!

feeling like a SOUPer star?

Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini with Chipotle Panko

Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini Squash with Chipotle Panko

Hookay soo… I totally had another post that was supposed to go up today but I had to bump it after I lost my mind over these zucchini boats. Granted, there wasn’t much left of it to lose at this point, but bear with me here!

We’ve been popping cookies over here [until New Years Eve, then we pop bottles! Woot!] and need to cancel out the sweet stuff with a little veggie TLC. Something tells me you’re probably in the same boat. No worries, we shall hop in a zucchini boat and sail away into the sunset! Or just eat them. I think we should eat them.

But first, we stuff them!



Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini with Chipotle Panko
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: side dish
Serves: 3-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 medium zucchini squash
  • 1 tsp olive oil plus a little extra if needed
  • ¼ cup diced/minced onion
  • ¼ cup zuke filling [taken from zucchini above]
  • 1 large clove garlic smashed and minced
  • ½ cup chipotle-seasoned panko [Italian-style works too!]
  • ½ TBSP parsley
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3-4 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and remove stem.
  3. Bring a medium-large pot of water to boil with enough water to cover your zucchini. [don't add them yet]
  4. Once water is boiling, add zucchini slices and boil for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and drain.
  6. Use a mellon baller, spoon, or knife to scoop the inside of the zucchini out [potato-skin style!] leaving maybe ¼ inch or so to maintain shape.
  7. Place filling on a cutting board, chop/mince and measure out ¼ cup to use later.
  8. Place zucchini slices face down on a few layers of paper towels to help drain any extra moisture [no mushy veggies here!] you may also salt them to help the process along if desired.
  9. In a skillet [or you can use the same pot as before!] bring olive oil to medium-high heat and add ¼ cup onion and ¼ cup zucchini filling.
  10. Saute until onion is tender and translucent, then add garlic, panko, parsley, salt, and a little more olive oil if mixture seems dry.
  11. Cook for just a few more minutes, remove from heat, and set aside.
  12. Place zucchini on a greased or non-stick lipped baking sheet or inside your favorite baking dish.
  13. Line with grated pepper jack cheese [a mexican blend of cheeses would work great too!] and then top with stuffing.
  14. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until the panko is crispy and the zucchini is perfectly tender. Mine were perfect at 15, I like the zukes a little al dente so I can pick them up and eat them like a slice of pizza! I'm classy like that.
  15. Enjoy!

Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini with Chipotle Panko

Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini with Chipotle Panko

 

Get squashed!

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Mini Phyllo Quiche Cups

In desperate need of breakfast, brunch, or dinner… FAST!? I’ve got your back! Crispy phyllo cups make the perfect base for egg and all your favorite mix-ins! Whip up a batch with spinach and swiss one day, turkey sausage and cheddar the next, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms… grab whatever you have on hand and make these super-satisfying egg cups in just 15 minutes.

Phyllo, filo, fillo… however you choose to spell it, these flaky freezer staples of mine are fun, easy, and oh-so-versatile. I can’t make up my mind which I like best. Hello indecisiveness! Call them whatever you like, you’ll barely be able to get a word in because you’ll be too busy munching away!

Mini Phyllo Quiche Cups

Mini Fillo Quiche Cups

This is a little less recipe and a little more mealspiration, but I’ll give you some tips and measurements to get you started! Before you know it you’ll be tucking a few boxes of these flaky little lifesavers in your freezer as an edible get out of jail free card. Though I suppose it’s more of a “get out of a boring breakfast” card, which is even better because, food.

Though if you do find yourself behind bars these phyllo wonders are of no use to you, call a lawyer… then ask him to bring you something to eat.

To answer your question yes, my brain is officially broken. I’m breaking out the superglue as we speak. Until then, we have shenanigans to partake in and breakfast to make!



Mini Fillo Quiche Cups
 
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Recipe type: breakfast, brunch, brinner, snack, appetizer
Serves: 15 bite sized quiche cups
Ingredients
  • 15 mini fillo cups [1 package]
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 TBSP half and half
  • a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • a few teaspoons of your favorite veggies [raw or cooked]
  • 1 oz coarsely grated cheese [choose your favorite!]
  • any of your favorite toppings from the list below
  • a teeny bit of oil, spray oil, or butter to prevent sticking

  • a few mix-in ideas:
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • mushroom
  • onion
  • bell peppers
  • jalapeno
  • crumbled sausage

  • tasty toppings:
  • red pepper flakes [they're spicy, but my favorite!]
  • chopped green onion
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • salsa
  • hot sauce
  • bacon

  • Grab a spouted measuring cup to do your pouring, it'll help control how much egg goes into each phyllo cup!
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prevent sticking by rubbing a mini muffin tin with olive oil or butter, or spritzing it with spray oil.
  3. Alternatively you can line them on a baking sheet or use a regular muffin tin, no worries.
  4. If using a baking sheet, simply group the cups very close together so they don't fan out into fillo discs as they cook; easy peasy!
  5. Use cooked veggies if you prefer them soft, or grab your favorite raw veggies if you like the crunch. I usually have a boatload of leftovers in my fridge so I love using them up in these little breakfast bites! I consider it foodie upcycling, hah!
  6. Whisk together your egg and half and half [see below for subsitutions] and set aside.
  7. Line the bottom of each fillo cup with your mix-ins then use a spouted measuring cup to pour the egg into each cup.
  8. Top with cheese and your favorite toppings.
  9. Bake on the center rack for 8-10 minutes. Mine are typically done around 9.
Notes
While the measurements above are perfect for one 15-cup package of phyllo cups [which you can find in your grocer's freezer section next to the pie crusts and puff pastry!] you can easily double, triple, or quadruple the above measurements to make extra! I can finish a 15 bite spread of these babies without batting an eye and usually double the recipe to feed my family.

Since each quiche is itty bitty, stick to around 2 mix ins per phyllo cup. Craving variety? Make a few of each of your favorite combinations!

My favorites so far have been chicken-apple sausage and cheddar, jalapeno with feta and cilantro, and arugula or spinach mixed with green onion, red pepper flakes and topped with habanero cheddar. The latter was the prettiest and the one I used for photos. I play favorites with my food and that combo rocked my socks!

substitution shenanigans: Feel free to use milk or cream instead of the half and half. I grew up on quiche so the richness of the half and half is my favorite. I run out of milk constantly and often make these with just eggs and toppings as well! They come out extra eggy and still super delicious. Try them both ways or just do what appeals most to you! When using egg only, simply use an extra egg.

How perfect are these for Sunday brunch!? I’d be making a batch this morning, but we made them so often last week that we’ve gone through two cartons of eggs without batting and eye. Clearly it’s time to hit up the grocery store, or head over to the farm for some pet chickens! I’m leaning on the latter, though my little chicken of a chickpea insists on chirping “buck buck buck bigawwwk!” while she eats her breakfast, so really, what’s the harm in a little extra clucking around here? Bring on the pet chickens!

Pick up a few extra packages of fillo cups and make these no-bake chocolate coconut baklava bites too!

still hungry?

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Skillet Black Bean Queso

Skillet Black Bean Queso

There’s a burrito barn in Wilmington that has the most ridiculous black bean queso ever. It was getting to the point where I was starting to fantasize about driving two hours just to quell the craving. In traffic. With. A. Toddler.

Once I got a handle on my queso-goggles and came to my senses, I did what any hungry food blogger would do. I made my own. Though I skipped over the questionably processed cheese product and went straight for the good stuff. There’s almost always a brick of Cabot in my fridge and it beats the pants off of the shelf stable block of… what is that stuff anyways? It scares me. On second thought, I don’t want to know! I’ll stick with pepper jack.

5.0 from 1 reviews
black bean queso dip
 
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Recipe type: dip, appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup tomatillo salsa verde
  • 15 oz [1 can] vegetarian refried black beans
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 8 oz pepper jack cheese, freshly grated, plus a few extra ounces for topping
  • 1 oz grated mozzarella, for topping
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes for topping [deliciously spicy + optional!]
  • ¼ tsp dried parsley for topping
  • tortilla chips and veggies for dipping


  • notes notes notes: I beelined for Target's Archer Farms Salsa Verde and Cabot Pepper Jack for this recipe, they're my go to for dips and taco nights! No cast iron skillet? No problem! You can make the dip in your favorite pot or pan and then transfer the mixture to a baking dish for the final step, basically grab any oven-safe dish that doubles as a serving dish and you're good to go!
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Take out pepper jack cheese and cream cheese ahead of time and allow to soften.
  3. Next combine your beans and green salsa in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet and bring to medium heat on your stove top, stirring frequently.
  4. Add softened cream cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Once the beans are hot and the cream cheese has fully melted, slowly add freshly grated pepper jack cheese, stirring constantly to incorporate.
  6. Top with extra pepper jack, grated mozzarella cheese, parsley and red pepper flakes, and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly!
  7. To make the cheese bubbly and golden, switch your oven to broil on high for just a minute or so [keep an eye on it to prevent burning]
  8. Dig in right away and store leftovers for up to 4 days in a covered bowl. May be reheated in the oven or microwave. Enjoy!

Cheesy Skillet Black Bean Queso

 It tastes great the first day, fabulous the next, and the third day? You’ll have to make more because it’s gone baby gone!

still hungry?

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