BLT Chopped Salad

BLT Chopped Salad
It’s hard to get my husband behind the idea of salad for dinner. I mean, he never complains if I serve it, but it’s just one of those things you pick up on after being married for 15 (oh wait, almost 16!) years. But if it’s hard to get my husband on board, then you can only imagine how hard it is to get my kids on board! But this right here does it. I’m giving the bacon full credit. I mean, who doesn’t love  a good BLT? But  being able to have that same delicious BLT flavor without the added carbs is guilt free eating if I’ve ever seen it. My two oldest couldn’t shovel it in fast enough and in between bites kept saying, “this is so good”, “no, this is really good”. In my book that goes down as a success.

BLT Chopped Salad

2 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped
2 cups fresh arugula, chopped
1 pint grape tomatos, quartered
4 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup black beans
1 avocado, chopped
4 ounces feta, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
ranch dressing

Prepare ingredients. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, arugula, tomatoes, corn, black beans and avocado. Add in salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice then toss well to coat. Fold in bacon and feta then drizzle with ranch dressing. Serve immediately.

Source | How Sweet It Is

{Flashback Friday} Spinach Pesto Pasta

I absolutely love this recipe, because not only is this dish super good, but with an entire bag of spinach packed into it then it is super good for you too. You know I love Alfredo pasta with the best of them, but it’s nice to find a pasta dish that tastes incredible and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it. It’s just perfectly light and flavorful for a summer evening, and doesn’t take too long so you’re not slaving over a hot stove.  I’ve always loved pesto pasta, but there’s just something about this dish that takes it a step above the rest!

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbs lemon juice
3/4 /c freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
1 package spaghetti pasta (I prefer whole grain or whole wheat)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for a few minutes then remove and set aside. Add the butter and 1 Tbs olive oil to the skillet and cook over low heat until butter is melted. Add the shallots and garlic, continue cooking over low heat stirring for 5-7 minutes or until a golden color. Remove the stems from the spinach. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the spinach, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Drain then squeeze out the excess water. Place the spinach in a food processor or blender along with the cooked shallots and garlic, basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan and half the pine nuts. Blend to form a chunky paste.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Remove 3 Tbs cooking water and stir into the spinach mixture. Drain the pasta, return to the pan and add the spinach mixture and remaining pine nuts, mix well to combine. Blanch the tomoatoes for a few minutes in boiling water then remove with a slotted spoon and gently mix into the pasta. Top each serving with Parmesan, basil, a squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source | Everyday Delicious: Chelsea Winter

Original post here

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

My sister had posted a picture of her flat bread pizza lunch on instagram and I immediately added it to the next week’s menu. Such a quick and easy lunch or dinner that can easily be customized to fit any taste. I love the smokey flavor of the charred bread combined with the subtle flavor  of pesto and dripping with melted cheese. The tomatoes and basil freshen it up and the zip of balsamic vinegar just ties it all together. Even though it’s more soup weather than it is grilling weather over here, I just couldn’t resist. Although by the time this scheduled post is up then we’ll be well on our way back to the states where I can’t wait to eat all the seasonal fresh fruit and host BBQ’s with friends and family! Eeeek! I’m giddy with excitement just thinking about it! And I have a feeling there will be plenty more grilled flat bread pizza in our near future!

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

2 whole wheat naan flatbreads (the flatbread they sell here is more like a tortilla, so I used a panini bread instead)
olive oil (for brushing)
coarse sea salt
1/4 cup pesto (approximately)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 tomato, sliced
fresh basil, chopped
balsamic vinegar (to drizzle)
diced grilled chicken (optional)

Brush both sides of bread with olive oil, then lightly sprinkle each side with coarse sea salt. Add the flatbread to the grill and cook over med-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip over then remove from grill and spread the cooked side with pesto, sprinkle with cheese, add tomato slices (and diced grilled chicken if using). Return to the grill, close the lid and continue cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Transfer to serving plate, garnish with chopped basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Source | Six Little Chefs

Grilled Flat Bread Pesto Pizza

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo
After just reading the title of this recipe I knew I had to try it, and it did not disappoint! This rich, creamy, flavorful pasta tastes as good as it sounds. A quick week night meal that tastes like restaurant quality. I’m all over that!

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

2 whole red bell peppers (I just used a 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup half & half (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream)
4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (optional)
1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente
salt & pepper, to taste
basil (to garnish)

If you are roasting your own peppers, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil 10 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in olive oil 5-7 minutes or until tender. Pour in half & half, goat cheese (or crumbled feta), parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir until cheeses are melted then keep warm over low heat. Uncover peppers, peel off skin, remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces and stir into the sauce. Remove from heat and pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. Return back to the pan and toss with cooked pasta. Garnish each serving with grated parmesan and chopped fresh basil.

Source | Lauren’s Latest

{20 minute} Garlic Alfredo Tortellini

Garlic Alfredo Tortellini
Meals don’t get much easier or tastier than this! A rich creamy alfredo sauce (yet lightened up by substituting heavy cream for milk and half & half) poured over cheese tortellini–yes please! A hundered times over. Any day of the week.

Garlic Alfredo Tortellini

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated three cheese tortellini
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk, or more, as needed
1/2 cup half and half
2 ounces cream cheese, cubed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini according to package directions then drain well. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk and half and half, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in cheeses until melted, about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in tortellini and gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley, if desired.

Source | Damn Delicious

White Lightning Chicken Lime Chilli

White Lightning Chicken Lime Chilli

My friend brought over this soup right after I had one of my babies. It was absolutely delicious. And it wasn’t just because I was breastfeeding and wanted to eat everything in sight, or because I was so sleep deprived that my brain couldn’t function. No, I have made it several times since then and it is just as delicious as the first! This soup has since become one of my favorites with it’s rich creamy texture and hint of lime, topped with a handful of crushed tortilla chips. Perfection.

White Lightning Chicken Lime Chilli
White Lightning Chicken Lime Chilli
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream

Toppings: tortilla chips, lime wedges, cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream.

Cook and shred chicken, then set aside. In a pot over medium high heat, saute onion, salt, cumin, oregano, pepper and cayenne pepper for 5-6 min. Add garlic and green chilies then saute another minute or two. Add chicken broth, lime juice, cilantro, beans,  corn and shredded chicken. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in cream and sour cream then cook until warmed through.  Garnish each serving with desired toppings.

Source | Chelsea Figgins

Skillet Balsamic Chicken & Vegetables

My idea of the perfect meal is: First and foremost, delicous. Healthy. Simple and quick to throw together. Looks pretty. Doesn’t require a lot of clean up.  There, I think I covered all the bases. And this dish right here ticks every single one of those boxes. 1) The sauce is just straight up phenomenal, just so full of flavor. 2) Chock full of fresh veggies and lean chicken. 3) On the table in less than 30 minutes. 4) Only one skillet to clean. 5) The presentation and bright colors are just a work of art. So there you have it, dinner doesn’t get much better than this.

One Skillet Balsamic Chicken & Vegetables
In a mixing bowl whisk together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes, set aside. (as a side note, I had my husband bring back year supply of crushed red pepper flakes and other seasonings I can’t seem to find here. So glad he did so that I can make fabulous dishes like this!)

One Skillet Balsamic Chicken & Vegetables
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste, then add to skillet and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, or until chicken has cooked through.

One Skillet Balsamic Chicken & Vegetables
Meanwhile, trim asparagus of tough ends, and prepare carrots, zuchhini and tomatoes. Add half the dressing mixture to skillet and rotate chicken to evenly coat. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add asparagus, carrots and zucchini to skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook (stirring regularly) until crisp tender, about 4 minutes.

One Skillet Balsamic Chicken & Vegetables
Return chicken to the skillet with the veggies. Pour remaining dressing over meat and veggies. Stir gently to coat and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and serve warm. Can also serve over rice.

One Skillet Balsamic Chicken & Vegetables

One Skillet Balsamic Chicken & Vegetables
2/3 cup light Italian salad dressing
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fresh asparagus and/or green beans
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and julienned
1 1/2 cups zucchini, julienned
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

In a mixing bowl whisk together salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes, set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste, then add to skillet and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, or until chicken has cooked through. Meanwhile, trim asparagus of tough ends, and prepare carrots, zuchhini and tomatoes. Add half the dressing mixture to skillet and rotate chicken to evenly coat. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Add asparagus, carrots and zucchini to skillet, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook (stirring regularly) until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet with the veggies. Pour remaining dressing over meat and veggies. Stir gently to coat and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and serve warm. Can also serve over rice.

Source | Six Little Chefs