Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup

I thought I was seriously living on the edge when I turned my favorite SP&O hoagie into the cheesiest of grilled cheeses. You guys remember that one right? It was a beast! Ever since that sandwich, I’ve been a sausage, pepper, and onion fiend.

Until now.

Now you’re going to need a straight-jacket to get me away from this flavor combo.

Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup!

 I’ll eat the spoon if I have to. I mean business!

Well that was dramatic. And awkward.

Continuing along with my penchant for turning comfort food classics into slurpable soups, I give you the most amazing sausage, pepper, and onion soup. I wish you all could smell how amazing my house smells right now. The aromatics off this pot are killer and so is the in-your-face flavor of this dish! I took my go-to soup base [a combination of veggie broth and fire-roasted crushed tomatoes] and added delicious partially-caramelized onion, an array of tasty bell peppers, and the perfect amount of oomph from my favorite, local, hot Italian sausage.

Toss in a little smashed garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and OMGWHYAREYOUNOTMAKINGTHISRIGHTNOW!?

It’s because I’m still talking, isn’t it? I’ll shut up now.

Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup

Sandwich Remix: Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup!



5.0 from 1 reviews
Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: soup
Ingredients
  • 3-5 large links hot Italian sausage
  • 1 + ½ yellow onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ large red bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ large orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3 + ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes [I used this fire-roasted variety]
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • extras:
  • homemade croutons seasoned with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • freshly grated mozzarella and hot habanero cheddar or pepper jack
  • fresh chopped parsley

  • Add the croutons, the cheese, or both! The soup is also phenomenal all on it's own and is both paleo and gluten-free sans toppings!

  • recipe yields approx 2.5 quarts of soup and serves 4
Instructions
  1. Before you begin: You'll be able to belt out your prep-work while your sausage cooks and your onions start to caramelize away. Once you pile everything together, you'll then have enough time to let it simmer on the stove, allowing all the awesome flavors to meld and intensify. A little multi-tasking goes a long way!
  2. First decide how you'd like your onions! Sliced onions will give the soup a French Onion Soup-esque feel to it while diced onions will be uniform with your peppers and a bit easier to fit on the spoon. I went with sliced, both will work fantastically.
  3. Bring a large pot to medium heat with 2 TBSP of olive oil and add your onions. Stir to coat and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir often.
  4. While your onions are cooking, chop your peppers, mince the garlic and prep the remainder of your ingredients.
  5. Cook sausage via your favorite method.
  6. I boil mine for about 20 minutes while the onions get all gorgeous and golden.
  7. Keep stirring your onions to prevent sticking/burning. Once they start to semi-caramelize and take on a golden hue, add your bell peppers, garlic, salt, and black pepper, then allow them to simmer away until the peppers are tender.
  8. Once they've softened, add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, and sliced sausage [which should be done by now!] and reduce heat so the soup is gently bubbling/simmering.
  9. Prep you toppings while the soup simmers and the flavors deepen.
  10. Grate your cheeses [YUM!] and, if desired, crisp a few slices of your favorite bread [I used a fresh garlic + onion loaf] into homemade croutons by spritzing them with oil, seasoning with garlic, salt, and pepper, and toasting in the oven at 350F until golden.
  11. Back to the soup. Give it a taste, and if you'd like a little burst of heat to the soup, add the red pepper flakes. They're not essential but I LOVE the kick!
  12. Serve piping hot with your choice of extras on top and dig in!

So if you’ve been reading for a while, you know I tend to over-explain my recipes a little. Don’t let that fool you! This recipe is super easy and really really ridiculously good. In fact, chances are that while you’re reading this, I’ll have a leftover bowl in my face.

And for those of you still wondering how I manage to feed your faces with new recipes while a toddler scales my leg…

Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Soup

chickpea-photo-assitant

Each recipe is a team effort!

When she’s not stealing the food off the table, the chickpea actually makes a fabulous assistant. She can frequently be found holding my foam board at ridiculous angles, dropping random objects into the shot, closing the shutters, dancing on the tripod, rearranging my props, texting Maria photos of her foot, and, above all else, eating all my food. It’s our thing!

This soup should be your thing. Get on it!

Chicken Parmesan Soup

aka what happens when your chicken parm wants to go for a little swim…

Chicken Parmesan Soup

This soup makes me giddy. There’s something about serving up my favorite foods in soup form that’s just plain fun. It’s also a really great way to lighten up comfort food and make it deliciously freezer-friendly too! It’s a win-win situation in my book. Plus it’s slurpable. So there’s the added bonus of annoying my husband. I’ll take it!

Like most of my recipes, this chicken parmesan soup underwent typical P&C test kitchen shenanigans. I tried three different cooking methods and ingredient line-ups, which is why it took me so ridiculously long to finally post this soup. Luckily it’s well worth the wait!

Dare I be cliche and say the third time’s the charm?

Chicken Parmesan Soup

Cliche or not, it’s downright charming. AND DELICIOUS!  Let’s eat!



4.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken Parmesan Soup
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2.5 quarts
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken breast [weighed post-trimming]
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes [28 oz]
  • 3 cups low-sodium broth [veggie or chicken]
  • ¼ tsp salt plus extra to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3 TBSP olive oil or butter
  • ½ tsp parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried/ground oregano
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • chopped fresh basil, to taste
  • crusty bread [1-2 slices for each bowl]
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
  • freshly grated mozzarella cheese, to taste

  • note: most broths and canned tomatoes are salted, so beyond seasoning the chicken breast, I typically wait until the very end to add any additional salt and pepper. This way you can season it perfectly to suit your tastes! I've made the soup with an added ½ cup of half and half [for creaminess] and without, both are delicious! Enjoy!

  • adapted from Rachel Ray
Instructions
  1. For this recipe you can spend a little extra to save a little extra [time] and grab boneless skinless chicken *or* trim your own and save some cash monies.
  2. Once your chicken is prepped and ready, use a meat tenderizer [I won't tell if you saran wrap your hammer] and pound out the chicken until it's uniform in thickness. This is optional, but will help it cook evenly, and a bit quicker.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I used ¼ tsp salt.
  4. Next heat a large pot [3 quart or larger] to medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil, then add the chicken.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes until golden and seared and flip.
  6. Add 1 cup of broth and cover.
  7. Cook approx 8-15 minutes until fully cooked and opaque [cook time will vary depending on thickness of your chicken, you can use a thermometer to check if it's reached 165F]
  8. Once cooked, remove chicken with tongs and shred on a cutting board with two forks.
  9. If you own a stand mixer you can use [this] nifty trick to shred it super fast!
  10. Return shredded chicken to the same pot and add crushed tomatoes and 2 additional cups of broth. Simmer covered while you saute the onions.
  11. Heat a pan to medium heat with 3 tablespoons of butter.
  12. Saute garlic first, to infuse the butter, then add onions and saute until tender and, if time permits, a teeny bit caramelized.
  13. Season the onions with parsley, garlic powder, paprika, and oregano and add to the soup.
  14. Stir in tomato paste and any additional salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer on low until you're ready to dig in.
  15. I typically let mine sit on the stove-top a little longer while I prep the toasts.
  16. Stir in shredded basil just before serving.
  17. Before serving, take this soup to the next level by toasting a few slices of your favorite crusty bread.
  18. Rub the toasts with minced garlic [use a little or a lot!] and top with freshly grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
  19. Stick the toasts under the broiler to melt the cheese or simply pop a slice on each bowl of soup and use the microwave to melt it; I love doing this simply because the bread soaks up some of the soup and ends up with a french onion soup-esque topping that sends me swooning.

 going gluten-free? you can skip the bread altogether or use your favorite GF varitey!

Alternatively, you can absolutely cook this bad boy in the slow cooker. My crock-pot test batch was delicious, but the chicken spent so much time getting up close and personal with the veggies that it straight up took over the flavor profile of the dish. As far as soups go, I loved it, friends and family loved it, but we all also agreed that we loved the stove-top version the best, so do with it what you may! If you break out the slow cooker, the flavors will be a little bit different, and I highly suggest carving out a few prep minutes to saute the garlic and onion before adding them to the pot. Cook on high for no more than 4 hours [or low for 6-8], fish out the whole chicken breasts with a pair of tongs, shred, and return to the pot. The key when slow cooking tomato based soups is to avoid over-cooking. Stir in fresh basil just before serving and top with your garlicky parm-toast topping. It was good, but the technique in the recipe above totally won me over like a squealing fangirl.

To freeze, simply pour into your favorite freezer-friendly container, leaving about an inch at the top [soup often expands when frozen], pop it in the freezer, and defrost on a rainy day! Now you’ll have delicious fast food without the fuss! =)

Fork-Shredded Chicken

Chicken Parmesan Soup

If you’re a fan of that ridiculously awesome crouton/cheese combo on top of French Onion Soup you’re going to flip over this. Depending on how you feel about your soup accessories, you can simply dunk the crusty, crunchy, cheesy, toasts into your hot soup and use it as a bonus utensil or allow the garlicky bread and cheese to soak up the delicious broth as you scoop it apart bit by bit with your spoon.

My long winded descriptions do this no justice. Your butt: get it in the kitchen! Stat!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Garlic and Gouda

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Garlic and Cheese

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Garlic and Gouda

After maybe the third or fourth faceplant into my cheesy skillet seafood dip. realization hit. Mushrooms: this must be stuffed into mushrooms! I simplified the recipe a bit, gleaned a little inspiration from the over-the-top seafood stuffed mushrooms from Red Lobster [holy butter bomb batman!] and promptly got to work.

The result? They are hands-down the best seafood stuffed mushrooms ever to be introduced to my face! Things got scary for a second after they hit the table… I was convinced someone was going to get forked fighting over the biggest mushrooms on the plate. When P gets back I’m clearly going to have to make him his own plate, because one of us is bound to get stabbed over these mushrooms.

What?! I’m protective over my food! It’s absolutely the result of growing up with three hungry siblings. Food was scarce between the four of us and if you wanted a second helping of my mom’s to die for mashed potatoes, you pretty much had to dive for it.

I always won. Always.

And that concludes today’s confession of why I’m a crazy food blogger. Let’s get back to these melt-in-your-mouth mushrooms, shall we?

5.0 from 1 reviews
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Garlic and Gouda
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Author:
Recipe type: appetizer, snack
Serves: 25 stuffed shrooms
Ingredients
  • 25-30 button mushrooms [I used three 8 oz containers]
  • ¼ cup diced red pepper [green works too!]
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 3 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mined [around 2 TBSP]
  • ½ TBSP butter
  • ½ tsp old bay seasoning blend
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika, plus extra for topping
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz lump crab meat [found in the refrigerated seafood section]
  • ½ cup gouda cheese, plus extra for topping
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Drizzle foil with a little olive oil or spritz with your favorite cooking spray.
  3. Remove the stems from your mushrooms and arrange them on the baking sheet.
  4. Finely dice your veggies and, with a ½ TBSP of butter, saute the celery, onion, and red pepper.
  5. Towards the end, add your chopped mushrooms and garlic, continue to saute until onions and celery are translucent and tender and mushrooms are fully cooked.
  6. Season with old bay, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, stir, and pour into a mixing bowl.
  7. Add your crab, panko breadcrumbs, and cheese, then mix.
  8. Spoon mixture into mushroom caps and top with a little extra gouda and paprika.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and stuffing is golden.
  10. Grab a fork and attack!

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms with Garlic and Gouda

On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t serve these with forks at all. Fingers are far less stabby.

Dig in!

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Squash

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Squash

Since boycotting pumpkin this year, I stepped up my squash game. Er… let me rephrase that so I sound less moronic, since pumpkin is technically a squash too! I benched pumpkin and brought my favorite over-looked and under-loved squash all-stars out to play the field. They’re seriously rocking my plate and I’m certain you’re going to love them too! It’s safe to say that I’m one proud couch. I mean cook! I mean… Oy, just eat your veggies will ya?

In other news, I think my brain is broken.

I’ve never been a huge fan of squash [Though I said the same for sweet potatoes a few years back and look at me now! Hah!] mainly because any time I tried it, that poor veggie had been manhandled and mistreated into a mushy, soggy, and/or sweetened state. With the right cooking techniques and the right add-ons, it’s downright delicious! A little roasting and some savory side-kicks can take squash from meh to MEEEEEE-OWW!

And with that, my brain finally broke.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Squash

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Squash


Since Winter squash finally hit the shelves, I’ve been hoarding dumpling squash. Have you had it before? It’s actually the perfect squash for people who don’t like squash! It has the buttery texture and facade of an acorn squash but the mild, easy to compliment flavor of yellow squash and spaghetti squash. It’s not too sweet or too strong or too anything, as Goldilocks would say, this one is juuuuust right!

Can you tell I’ve been reading more baby books than big girl books as of lately? Yeah. Sorry about that.

Let’s get squashed! [again!]

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Squash
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 dumpling squash
  • ½-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast [1-2 cups cooked]
  • ½ cup salsa verde [I'm obsessed with Target's brand]
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp butter or oil for sauteing
  • ½-1 cup diced tri-colored bell peppers
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 2-4 oz freshly grated cheese

  • tower of toppings:
  • plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • chopped green onion
  • am optional pinch of red pepper flakes for added heat
  • diced jalapenos for even more heat! [also yummy; also optional]
  • fresh cilantro

  • note: Any cheese that rocks your tastebuds will rock this dish! My favorites lately have been gouda [the un-smoked variety!] and pepper jack yogurt cheese. The yogurt cheese is usually in the fancy cheese section and goes on sale often! It's delicious!

  • Have some of your favorite enchilada sauce handy? Go ahead and add it to the mix!
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mental prep: though this dish has a few components that are all cooked differently, don't fret! You can cook the chicken while the squash roasts and the veggies while the chicken poaches and, before you know it, the kitchen will be clean and you'll have food in your face. Ready? Let's do this!
  3. Slice your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  4. To prevent sticking, rub the rim of the squash's flesh with a teeny bit of olive oil or simply place a little water inside your baking dish. Both work great!
  5. Place inside a baking dish or atop rimmed, lined baking sheet [some liquid will escape] and roast face-down for approx 40 minutes.
  6. While the squash roasts, cook your chicken and saute your veggies.
  7. You can cook the chicken any which way you prefer but to save on time I typically crock-pot it ahead of time [see notes in the post below] or throw it together on the stove top while the squash bakes away.
  8. Bring a medium pot of water or your favorite broth [hello flavor!] to boil and add your boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the water.
  9. Cover your pot with it's lid and remove from heat.
  10. Allow the chicken to poach for approx 25 minutes.
  11. Remove from liquid, chop with the grain into small pieces and combine with salsa verde.
  12. Season with salt and pepper [cayenne pepper if you're feeling spicy!] as well as your garlic powder and cumin.
  13. Stir and set aside.
  14. As mentioned earlier, while the chicken cooks, saute those veggies!
  15. Simply bring a little bit of butter or oil to heat, add your peppers and onion and saute until tender.
  16. By now you should have a kitchen full of yum!
  17. Rake a fork across the bottom of the squash and stir in your salsa chicken, peppers, and onion.
  18. Top with a mountain of freshly grated cheese and pop squash back in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  19. Serve bubbly and hot with all your favorite toppings!

chopped bell pepper and onionfreshly grated pepper jack yogurt cheese

shortcut shenanigans: If your kitchen happens to be overrun leftovers from a festive Taco Tuesday the night before, or any night of the week really, then you can whip this dish up with little to no effort! That’s actually how I created this baby in the first place! Of course other ways to shave time off this recipe would be to bake your squash ahead of time, when you know you’ll be around to yank it from the oven when the timer goes off. It’ll stay fresh in your fridge for a few days awaiting this delish dish. You can also cook the chicken in advance on the stove top, in the oven, or using your slow cooker! I love making a huge batch of salsa shredded chicken over the weekend to toss into meals all week long. It’s easy and requires so little effort that it’s become a go-to these past few months. Simply season the chicken with a little salt, cumin, and garlic powder, pour over your favorite salsa verde, and let your crock-pot do the work! It can be ready in 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low; choose what works for you!

update: squash can also be microwaved for 5 minutes, halved, and then roasted at 400 F for 15-20 minutes! I tried this method the other day and it worked great! xo

so… how was it?

Despite the fact that it I over-explained the crap out of this recipe, it’s so ridiculously easy and awesome and, well, you’ve got to try it! It’s a fiesta in a [squash] bowl!

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Squash

I think I have a cheese problem.

case in point:

Savory Sweet Potato NachosPanera Broccoli and Cheese SoupCreamy Tomato Soup with Baked Mozzarella Balls

Sausage, Garlic, and Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Sausage, Garlic, and Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Every time I post a recipe with meat in it people go nuts. The general response is usually “Whaaaaaaat I thought you were vegetarian!?” or “Jenny don’t take a bite of that there’s meat in it!” Oops.

I guess I don’t talk about it much, huh? Though I haven’t been one since starting P&C, I was a mondo vegetarian/pescatarian for around 6 years. I loved it! It challenged me to embrace new foods [Beans and I became BFF finally!] and step outside of my comfort zone in order to nurture my body. Though I was happy at the time, my body’s needs changed and thus, so did my dietary lineup. Initially I only had a few servings of local grass-fed, pasture-raised meat a month, but it’s since increased to a few times a week, along with the occasional addition of poultry and pork. Pregnancy, nursing, and all that jazz played their role. I’ve even gotten as lax as to order an occasional burger at a restaurant and feed into my life-long BLT infatuation. While I’ve always tried to keep things veggie-centric on the blog, I will occasionally throw a t-rex friendly recipe your way when the craving strikes.

Well the craving struck. Hard. This one is for all my gluten-free carnivores that will humor me and let me stuff their food into vegetables. They’re flavorful finger food, perfect for a party or a holiday appetizer!

Sausage, Garlic, and Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Sausage, Garlic, and Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Serves: 25 stuffed mushrooms
Ingredients
  • about 25 standard-large whole button mushrooms [24oz]
  • ½ cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • ¾ cup broth or water
  • 3 hot Italian chicken sausage links [the larger sized ones]
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
  • 5 button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • Feel free to use regular button mushrooms or baby bella portobellos! I've made it with both and they're delicious! I've also tested the recipe using both organic chicken sausage and pork sausage and it was divine both ways. Choose your favorite!

  • No quinoa handy? These are also marvelous with Italian style or Panko breadcrumbs! Yum!
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Clean mushrooms, remove stems, and arrange on an oiled baking sheet.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Bring a small pot with ¾ cup of broth or water to boil.
  5. Add quinoa and cook, partially covered for 12-13 minutes until fluffy.
  6. Set aside.
  7. While the quinoa cooks, bring a skillet to medium-high heat.
  8. Remove casings from sausage and add to your skillet.
  9. Cook sausage, stirring often to create small crumbles, and once it's no longer pink in the center, set aside. The goal is to leave the sausage a bit juicy since it still has some oven time ahead of it.
  10. Keep burner on and, using the same skillet, add your onion and a little bit of water [or broth... or wine!] to deglaze the pan and saute.
  11. When onions start to soften, add in garlic and chopped mushroom and reduce heat to medium.
  12. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are tender and translucent.
  13. Add your quinoa to the sausage mixture mix thoroughly.
  14. Season with sea salt, garlic powder, and paprika. I like these garlicky [and wouldn't have them any other way!] so feel free to give the mixture a taste before adding the garlic powder. If you love it as is, have at it. If you're a garlic lover, add the 2 TBSP in full. Let your taste buds be your guide!
  15. Remove from heat and allow to cool just a tad before handling.
  16. Refrain from scarfing too many spoonfuls of the stuffing in your mouth while you spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps.
  17. Bake for approx 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and steamy after giving up a bit of their liquid.
  18. Dig in! Well, once the mushrooms are a little less molten hot than they will be straight out of the oven. Burning the roof of your mouth is the worst!

Sausage Garlic Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms

Garlic, Quinoa, and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Buttery Roasted Garlic Edamame

Buttery Roasted Garlic Edamame

Today’s recipe is one of those token “why didn’t I think of this sooner!?” moments brought to life. I easily can eat plain old sea salted edamame until I’m green in the face, but sometimes a special occasion [or a monster craving] calls for a little extra oomph. It seemed only fitting to bring a little buttah in on the fun! After all, edamame is as addictive as buttered popcorn so, total no brainer. The addition of roasted garlic though? You’re going to die over it. Or swoon. Or do some sort of happy irish jig. Laugh now, but I’ll be the one laughing when you break into dance at first bite. Enjoy!

Don’t let the hour long cook time below scare you off, you’ll simply be popping a bulb or two of garlic in the oven and walking away. No effort or stirring required! The garlic can even be roasted ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to four days. I’ll make multiple bulbs at once and stir that golden goodness into everything from dips to soups to mashed potatoes. It’s divine.

Buttery Roasted Garlic Edamame




5.0 from 1 reviews
Garlic Butter Edamame
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: appetizer
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 large head of garlic, roasted
  • 2 [10 oz] bags of whole edamame
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

  • optional: toasted sesame seeds for a crunchy topping
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Grab an entire bulb of garlic and slice a little less than ¼ of the top off, just enough to expose the cloves.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and seal into a pinched pouch of aluminum foil.
  4. Roast anywhere from 40-60 minutes, depending on your oven and patience.
  5. Once the house starts to smell like heaven, resist the urge to dive straight in to the oven and spread the entire thing on toast. Better yet, roast a second bulb so you can do exactly that! The garlic can be roasted ahead of time and stored in the fridge if you'd like to have it on hand for easy additions to meals.
  6. Next bring a medium to large pot of water [approx 4-6 cups] to boil on the stove top.
  7. Boil the edamame until tender, but still firm, approx 3 minutes or so.
  8. Test a pod for desired tenderness and drain liquid from the pot.
  9. Grab a warm head of garlic and squeeze out the bulbs into a bowl. After roasting it basically turns into buttery, garlic paste and will leave your house smelling amazing all day long. The only thing better than the smell is the taste! I die.
  10. Whisk together melted butter, roasted garlic, garlic powder, and salt and pour over edamame.
  11. Toss to coat.
  12. Add your cayenne pepper and any additional sea salt to taste and dig in!

Feel like getting butter wasted? Ill totally look the other way while you pour an extra tablespoon over. Want a bit of fire in your face? Up that cayenne and feel the burn!

Buttery Roasted Garlic Edamame

And while we’re at it, let’s talk about these bowls! This set of ridiculously gorgeous emerald dipped acacia wooden bowls rock my kitchen! Red Envelope was sweet enough to gift me a set of bowls, just because, and I loved them so much I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Talk about getting bowled over! I literally tore through their site to order the matching set of plates and a few early birthday presents for the pilot. Thank you so much Red Envelope for the super sweet gift! All meals shall be eaten out of these bowls forevahh!

Let’s get back to that gorgeous green edamame eh!?

This buttery roasted garlic edamame was fan-freaking-tastic! I don’t think I’ve ever inhaled edamame so fast in my life! I’ve always slacked off in my seasoning routine and gone with just plain garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and sea salt but the addition of butter and creamy roasted garlic took this dish to a whole new level of yum! I dare you not to lick your fingers. And the bowl. And the other bowl you mixed the garlic in. Enjoy!

green your snacking routine!

Creamy Cilantro SpreadAvocado Topped Sushi Recipe and Instructions Healthy White Bean Dip with Avocado and Cilantro Spicy Cayenne Kale Chips + tips on how to make the crispiest oven-baked kale chips ever! Bell Pepper Pizzas Easy Broccoli Cheese Pizza

Veggie Burger Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I’m convinced these veggie burger stuffed sweet potatoes could easily be a wordless recipe. Combine a little simple addition, [this] amazingly versatile mexican veggie burger recipe, and the following three photos and you’ve got a deliciously an easy lunch that’s fun, filling, and fast!

Cat got me hooked on these a while back and I’m here to offer the same addition up to my blog buddies. It’s only fitting!

Homemade Mexican Veggie Burgers with Taco Aioli
Crumbled Mexican Veggie Burgers
Cheesy Veggie Burger Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

See? It totally works.

In case you  need me to fill in the blanks a little, you’ll simply want to grab a leftover veggie burger… though while we’re at it, literally any burger will do! So uh, yeah, grab one and bake at 350 F until warm and crumbly. While it’s baking, either bake or microwave your sweet potato. Ready? Slice the spud, stuff with your veg burger and cheese and pop it back in the oven until hot and melty and then top with all your favorites! You can add fresh cilantro, salsa, greek yogurt, sour cream, guacamole, or even a squirt of fresh lime juice! The possibilities are endless.

And don’t fret, I’ll be back with an actual recipe as soon. WordPress makes me dizzy. Or maybe that’s tequilla. I shouldn’t mix the two.

Hummus Remix: Perfect Party Hummus… in a Hurry!

Sometimes I start playing around with the text function on Photoshop and I get a little carried away. Forgive me.
Perfect Party Hummus... in a Hurry!

Putting my mortifying level of cheesiness aside, I had to go there! This has been my hands-down favorite snack/appetizer/snacketizer/whatevertizer to whip up when I have last minute company. Though lezzbehonest, most of the time I have enough notice but wind up reading blogs, snuggling chickpeas, washing sippy cups, attempting to tame my frizz-bomb of a mane, finding yogurt or avocado or some unacceptable substance in the aforementioned mane and playing the do I really have to wash my hair? game while attempting to clothe myself and OMG-WHAT-AM-I-GOING-TO-FEED-THESE-PEOPLE!?

Of course it doesn’t always go down quite like that. Sometimes I make this with nothing more than the intent to shovel it into my face. There may only be 2.5 of us living in this house, but a tub of hummus is a one day affair over here. The second it’s opened, it’s a mere hour or so from utter annihilation. Fancifying it simply slows us down a little.Why yes, I do use toppings as obstacles to slow me down. Why no, it doesn’t work one bit. I still eat faster than the Cookie Monster.mmm… cookies. I should make us some… Until then, we hummus!

Hummus Remix: Perfect Party Hummus... in a Hurry!

Hummus Remix: Perfect Party Hummus… in a Hurry!

Hummus Remix: Perfect Party Hummus... in a Hurry!
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tub of your favorite hummus
  • 2-3 TBSP diced cucumber
  • 2-3 TBSP diced tomato
  • 2-3 TBSP crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 TBSP minced red onion
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
  • a hearty drizzle of balsamic reduction or glaze
  • sliced cucumber, carrots, bell pepper slices, + pita chips for dipping

  • Of course if you're chilling at home with some chickpeas [yours, not mine] then feel free to whip up a bowl of yummy homemade hummus! Same goes for the glaze, you can purchase a bottle at your favorite grocery store or simply reduce your favorite balsamic vinegar over medium heat in a saucepan , stirring occasionally, until it thickens into a yummy reduction.
Instructions
  1. Get ready to tackle that party prep to-do list because your easy appetizer pretty much just walked into the kitchen and made itself!
  2. Chop the veggies and herbs and pile onto hummus.
  3. Crumble your feta on top and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  4. Surround with an array of crunchy pita chips and veggies. Because, duh.
Hummus Remix: Perfect Party Hummus... in a Hurry!

And in case you’re wondering, I made us cookies too!

cookies

I promise to save you a few crumbs.

 

Recipe coming soon, ’cause I’m a total tease and like to leave at least one of you licking your screen.

“The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!”

 
planning a party?
Savory Sweet Potato NachosVeggie Spinach DipPesto Veggie DipCreamy Cilantro SpreadCheesy Skillet Seafood Dip Healthy White Bean Dip with Avocado and Cilantro

Easy Blanched Asparagus with Cayenne, Lemon, and Garlic

My go-to technique for perfect asparagus, every time!
Easy Blanched Asparagus with Cayenne, Lemon, and Garlic... my go-to technique for perfect asparagus, every time!

 Easy Blanched Asparagus with Cayenne, Lemon, and Garlic

Easy Blanched Asparagus with Cayenne, Lemon, and Garlic
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1-2 TBSP butter
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp salt
  • a few wedges of fresh lemon
Instructions
  1. Excuse me while I get overly descriptive here. I always get a ton of questions on my blanching technique and I wanted to get super detailed with a super-short recipe. Mwah!
  2. First prep your ice bath. Though it seems silly, this is a fabulous step to include when you're blanching vegetables. Fill a medium-large bowl with ice and water and set aside. This will serve as a speedy method to shock the green beans and prevent them from continuing to cook. There's few things worse than mushy vegetables and this ice bath will prevent you from having sad, limp asparagus with dinner.
  3. Blanch the asparagus spears by bringing a shallow pan or skillet of water to boil, you'll want just enough water to cover the asparagus but not so much that they're swimming in it. Once you've reached a rolling boil, add the asparagus. They'll almost immediately turn bright green and start to tenderize. Give them just a few minutes [I'd say maybe 2-4] in the water before removing from heat. To test, spear one with a fork to ensure they meet your standards of al-dente. Some prefer a bit softer, I like mine a bit crisper. Immediately drain all liquid and submerge in your ice bath. Drain liquid once asparagus spears have cooled.
  4. Now you can go ahead and season the entire bunch [as I'll indicate below] or grab a handful of spears and store in your fridge for salad toppers or to use in your favorite pasta dish. Up to you! The full bunch of asparagus will make enough asparagus as a large side dish for two or a smaller side for four.
  5. To season the spears, melt your butter in the same skillet you used earlier on medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, toss your asparagus in along with it and season with the above measurements, or adjust to taste. I make this so often that measuring goes out the window and I simply sprinkle and stir until it smells heavenly, then give it a quick taste to see if I want more of a certain spice. Start small and work your way up, you can always add more later! If you have fresh garlic on hand, it makes a great addition. I'm so garlic obsessed that even if I mince a clove or two into the pan with the asparagus I'll still use garlic powder for extra oomph! It's standard operating procedure around here.
  6. Since the asparagus are already technically cooked, you'll simply be warming them up with the butter and spices, in just a few minutes they'll be ready to scarf alongside your favorite dish. If you're planning out a big meal, you can save the butter/seasoning step for last and leave your blanched asparagus off to the side until your main course is ready. I love it when all my food is ready and piping hot at the same time!
  7. Squirt asparagus with lemon just before serving or allow everyone to add their own!
And of course if you have leftovers, the options for revival are endless!
Here are a few of my favorite uses for leftover asparagus:
Cauliflower Soup with PestoSpinacha and Feta Quiche with Asparagus PestoAsparagus QuicheHomemade Vegetarian Sushi Veggies and Gruyere Grits Summer Veggie Flatbread with Asparagus and Eggplant

Beetza! Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic and Feta

Beetza!!! Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic and Feta
Alright kids, forgive me while talk down to you for a second here. I know a few of you are the type to run streaking through my blog with some anti-beet campaign of yours or carry on like my husband who dramatically flails and shrieks: “They taste like dirt, Jenny, NO!” [pilots are tres dramatic] None of that, children! Behave yourselves! 
 
After all, beets have feelings too! They were once a living, breathing entity. That is, of course, until I tossed mine in the oven and roasted it into submission.
 
Bad rap aside, beets are fabulous for you and this beetza is legendary: the sweetness from the tomatoes and balsamic glaze, the creaminess from the salty feta and the peppery bite of baby arugula will make you forget your’re scarfing a pizza covered in beets. Factor in the fragrant herbed garlic and the underlying sweetness of those earthy beets and well… yum. There. I said it. YUM! So stick that on your fork and eat it!
 
Beetza! Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic and Feta
Beetza!
Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic & Feta
[serves one, because I didn't want to share]
Beetza! Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic and Feta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: entree,
Cuisine: pizza
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 large or 2 small beets, leaves and stem removed
  • 1 tsp minced + smashed garlic with a pinch of salt added
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛-1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • a pinch of oregano
  • 1 garlic naan flatbread or your favorite pizza crust
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • ½ cup baby arugula
  • 3 thin slices heirloom tomato, quartered
  • 1 TBSP balsamic reduction or glaze
Instructions
  1. Grab your beet [or beets if you're cooking a few to nosh on throughout the week!] and get cooking! I'll post my two favorite cooking methods and let you decide which you use! Roasting is great if you're head over heels for roasted veggies and boiling is perfect for a hot summer day where you don't want to heat the kitchen to sauna-like proportions. See post below for both techniques.
  2. While your beets are roasting in the oven or boiling away on the stove, make your garlic spread. Combine minced and smashed garlic with a pinch of salt, olive oil, oregano, and parsley. Whisk and let it sit so the herbs and garlic infuse into the olive oil. This also makes a stellar dip for crusty baguettes.
  3. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F and spread the garlicky herbed olive oil on your naan before you attempt to drink the entire bowl.
  4. Top with half the feta or goat cheese and add your beets and half of the sliced tomatoes.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, directly on the rack, until the crust is golden and crisp.
  6. Top with arugula and remaining tomato and feta and drizzle with a hearty tablespoon or so of sweet balsamic reduction.
  7. Dig in!
Notes
cook time includes the beet boiling/roasting times; but feel free to cook/prep your beets at the beginning of the week and enjoy them on super speedy flatbread pizzas and fresh salads all week long!
 
easy stove-top beets:
1. Place the beets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook the beets until they are soft when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes for large beets.  Set a timer and catch up on some emails… or a book… or even that sink full of dishes, since there is no need to babysit the beets.
 
2. Drain and, while the beets are still warm, remove the ends and skin. They are so easy to peel that all you’ll need is a fork! Slide it over the curves of the beet to nix the skin.  This takes only a minute or two and requires so. little. effort. You can use a knife as well, if you prefer, just resist the urge to fling juice all over the place and analyze the splatter a la Dexter.
 
3. Slice into thin discs and then into quarters and set aside, or sweeten the deal by grabbing a cup of juice! Bring your favorite juice to a boil and add in the sliced beets until frothy and bubbly. Just a few minutes should do! Orange juice, cherry juice, and pomegranate juice will all infuse the beets with fruity sweetness. This is my favorite method in the history of ever.
 
oven-roasted beets:
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap each beet loosely in aluminum foil and drizzle with a little olive oil before closing it off. Depending on size, prepare to roast for 50-70 minutes. Check around the 40-50 minute mark, beets will be done once they’re easily pierced with a fork. Remove skin via the same method as the boiled beets and, if you’d like, you can use the fruit-bath technique on these as well! 
 
For either method, store any leftover beets in an airtight container for around 4-5 days.
 
Naan with Garlicky Herbed Olive Oil

You can find shelf-stable reduced balsamic glaze in your local grocery store next to the olive oils and vinegar or make your own with your favorite balsamic. I always have a bottle in my fridge and my pantry because I’m often pressed for time and there are great quality versions available! Hello convenience!

 

Where were we? Oh yes! The beetza! You may now introduce it to your face.

Beetza!!! Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic and Feta
Garlicky Veggie Flatbread Pizza with Balsamic and Feta

so… how was it? Quick, easy and delicious! Haha well, there’s nothing quick about the actual beet cooking process itself but roasting or boiling your bunch-o-beets the day you bring them home will give you instant access to yummy sliced beets for the next few days to add to salads, puree into soup, slap on sandwiches, and to veg up your pizza! Plus they basically cook themselves so you have the glorious option to set a timer and peace out.

I went a little photo crazy with this one, didn’t I? Lo siento. It was just so flipping pretty! Let me make it up to you by offering you a slice:

Beetza!!! Garlicky Flatbread Pizza with Beets, Balsamic and Feta

Yum!

still hungry?
Quinoa Bruschetta SaladSweet Potato and Spinach Skillet FrittataCheesy Skillet Seafood Dip Bell Pepper Pizzas Easy Broccoli Cheese Pizza Summer Squash Pizza