Blackberry Banana & Oat Breakfast Muffins

Blackberry Banana & Oat Breakfast Muffins 2

I love breakfasts that I can grab and go while I’m halfway out the door. This recipe is a simple answer to folks who have busy mornings (or if they’re just late). These muffins are packed with good stuff: fresh berries, bananas and oats but not a lot of added sugar. My recipe makes a large batch, about 15 big muffins. I like when the muffins are larger in size and bake over the sides of the muffin tin but that’s just my personal preference. If a smaller size muffin is preferred, simply divide the recipe in half. Raspberries, cherries and blueberries make great substitutes if blackberries aren’t available.

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Lemon and Cajun Roasted Chicken

Lemon and Cajun Roasted Chicken

Roasting a whole chicken is one of the simplest solutions to weeknight meals. This recipe uses a standard Cajun spice rub that is easy to mix together. For maximum flavor I used fresh thyme, lemons and garlic in addition to the spice blend. A trick I use to get the seasoning under the skin is by cutting two slits on each side of the chicken breast and rubbing the spices in under the skin. I used Meyer lemons because their flavor is a little bit milder and sweeter than the average lemon. The chicken was so tender and juicy with great flavors. Goes great with corn on the cob and grilled summer vegetables!
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Homemade Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup

Nothing gets any better than a highly nutritious broth and savory wontons. I am a huge fan of amazing stocks and this soup really knocks it out of the park when it comes to a flavorful broth. One of the best parts about making good stock is the transformation of leftovers and all the “throwaway” stuff. Pig’s feet and chicken bones aren’t exactly on my weeknight menu but this recipe unlocks the power of those humble ingredients! I would consider this a great weekend project since it does take some time to make all the wontons. Other than the time it takes to assemble the wontons this recipe is really easy to prepare. It is so worth it and the flavor was unbeatable. I will definitely be making this soup again!

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Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Peanuts

Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Peanuts

Curries are one of my favorite things to make. Besides being fairly easy to prep and cook, the results are often outstanding! This curry combines thinly sliced chicken, butternut squash and peanuts in a red curry sauce. You can’t really get much better than that! The best thing about this recipe is the layering of the flavors that come from the coconut milk, peanuts and red curry paste. When I’m in a pinch I buy a pre-made red curry paste from a local Thai market but when I’m in no hurry I just make it from scratch. The sauce is rich but refreshing at the same time–perfect for a cooler summer night’s dinner. I served the curry with rice and garnished each plate with green onions, fresh mint and plenty of peanuts and lime juice.
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Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Say hello to your new favorite soup recipe–lasagna in a bowl! This recipe takes all the elements of traditional lasagna and transforms them into an easy and delicious soup. I used elbow pasta for the noodles along with hot Italian sausage and fire roasted diced tomatoes for added savoriness. I couldn’t believe how easy this was to throw together! A mixture of ricotta, parmesan and romano are added to the top which is the pièce de résistance of each bowl! Since it doesn’t take long to put together it makes a great weeknight meal.
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Italian Sausage Soup with Roasted Cauliflower and Yellow Squash

Italian Sausage Soup with Roasted Cauliflower

This soup is perfect for rainy summer nights or chilly fall days. It combines roasted cauliflower, yellow squash, red potatoes with fresh fennel and thyme. You start off the soup by broiling the cauliflower until just charred. I used homemade chicken stock which lends the best flavor to the recipe. I couldn’t get enough of these flavors combined! The spicy sausage combined with the charred flavor from the cauliflower with the fresh herbs really took this soup to the next level. Serve this soup with some fresh parsley, grated parmesan cheese and a crusty baguette.
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Jambalaya

Jambalaya

Jambalaya is the ultimate Louisiana comfort food. This rice dish combines spicy Andouille sausage, shrimp and creole spices in a large skillet and slow cooked over the stove. There are lots of variations of Jambalaya so it’s a fun dish to experiment with. A great trick to get some of that briny shrimp flavor into the rice is cooking the shells in the chicken stock, effectively making a super quick shrimp stock.  I went to the local butcher for the Andouille (which I would recommend for the boost in quality and flavor) but you can find it in most grocery stores as well. I pre-make my Creole seasoning which I keep in a marked jar in the spice cabinet. This recipe can easily be served as a main course but also works well as a side to many other Creole dishes. I garnished the dish with plenty of Louisiana-style hot sauce and chopped green onions.
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Moroccan Chicken Soup with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemons

Moroccan Chicken Soup with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemons

This recipe combines the heartiness of classic chicken vegetable soup with the flavors of roasted Moroccan chicken and curry flavors. For the freshest and most nutritious soup I use homemade chicken stock. Preserved lemons might be hard to find at your average grocery store which is why I just make them ahead of time. I had also found that roasting a chicken in the oven with spices and olive oil allows for the most tender, shredded meat for the soup. If you don’t have any chicken stock on hand, you can use the bones from the chicken and make your own. If you already have some ready, that’s great, because you can then freeze the bones and have it ready to go for next time! The recipe uses a whole butternut squash, carrots, red potatoes and chickpeas for heartiness and flavor. A few tablespoons of spicy Moroccan Harissa paste and a curry spice blend is all that it needs to take this soup to the next level! I was very happy with the results and will be incorporating it into my weekly meals! The recipe yields a lot of soup so it makes a perfect weekday dinner.
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Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Eggplant

Thai Green Curry with Chicken

I simply can’t get enough of Thai curries. The combination of fresh herbs with creamy coconut milk and layered spices can be transcendental and delicious. This curry combines thinly shredded chicken with eggplant, red peppers, coconut milk in a fresh green curry broth. I usually make all my curry pastes from scratch but I found a pre-made version from a local Thai market that I like a lot. I recommend finding your own local asian or Thai market that has all the ingredients you need, no substitutes needed! If you do go for the homemade version, recipes can be readily found online. This recipe is easy to throw together and doesn’t require much prep or cooking time. Serve with rice and if you want to make the meal vegetarian, substitute one package of extra firm tofu for the chicken and switch out chicken stock for vegetable stock.
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Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

When everyone is super busy these days who doesn’t love a grab and go breakfast? These muffins are the perfect “wrap in a napkin” breakfast. A lot of muffins you buy at cafes and stores are loaded with sugar but these are much better for you in that respect. I also added some rolled oats for fiber and hardiness. You can pretty much add whatever fruit you want to these since they are surprisingly versatile: raspberries, blackberries, currants and boysenberries would all work great as an added fruit. I added a little lemon zest to brighten up the fruit flavor. The muffins were fluffy on the inside and taste amazing straight out of the oven!
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