On Sundays we put the lean eating aside for an indulgent family dinner. I look forward to this tremendously.😋
Trying out new recipes makes my heart so happy. As soon as I saw the words pesto, cheese, & pasta I knew this would not disappoint.
I always make my own pesto because it’s super easy and noticeably better, but if you’re short on time you could substitute with a jar variety. My pesto is easy: Simply combine the leaves of 1 basil plant, 1/3C pine nuts, 1/2C shredded Parmesan, 1/2C EVOO, juice of a lemon, and cracked salt and pepper to taste.
Trim 3 chicken breasts and place them in your crockpot. Top with a liberal amount of cracked salt and pepper.
Top with your pesto and one tablespoon of stick butter.
Turn your crockpot to low and let cook for 5-6 hours (don’t remove the lid!).
Shred you chicken and add in 1/2C shredded Parmesan and 1/2lb pasta.
Grate 2C mozzarella. Buying shredded cheese isn’t the same as grating your own. Trust me.
Combine your Parmesan and pasta with the chicken. Top with the mozzarella and cover for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with grated parm, dried basil, and cracked pepper. Bread and a mixed green salad would complete this meal.😋
Adapted from: The Magical Slow Cooker
We all know most food during the holidays isn’t necessarily figure friendly. Well let me introduce this perfect companion to your guilty indulgences. I served this for Thanksgiving and used it for my detox food for the 3 days that followed. So, so good.
Begin with a bag of cruciferous greens such as a kale and broccoli mix. You need sturdy greens that won’t get soggy in the dressing. Trader Joe’s is a good spot to grab a bag of this.
Combine 1/3C vegetable oil (I’m sure EVOO would also work), 1/4C apple cider vinegar, 2tbl honey, 1tbl whole grain Dijon, and 1/2tsp salt. Whisk to blend. Now add 3/4C sliced green onions. Set aside.
Using a large mixing bowl, combine about 10 packed cups of your greens, 1C dried blueberries, 1C dried cherries, 1/2C sunflower seeds, and 1C coarsely chopped smoked almonds.
Toss in your dressing and enjoy!!
Adapted From – The Kitchn
So I realize I just published the recipe for tacos using this sauce. It deserves it’s own post. In fact, we are grilling bbq chicken tonight JUST to have it again!
Begin by warming 2tbl EVOO over medium heat. Add 1 large, finely diced onion and cook until it becomes soft and translucent. Then add 3tsp minced garlic and continue cooking for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add 3/4tsp salt and 1/4tsp pepper. Pour in 1/2 cup white wine. Whisk to combine. Now add the following: 1/4 cup tomato paste, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2tbl Dijon, 1 chopped chipotle pepper and a tablespoon of the adobo sauce that it comes in. Reduce your heat and let that simmer for 25-30 minutes. Now add 2tbl white wine vinegar and 1tbl Worcestershire.
Once it has cooled, pour sauce into a food processor or blender and purée.
We marinated our chicken for 3 hours (but it would’ve kept getting better over time, we’re just impatient) and wow, just wow. You will never buy a jarred variety again.😋
I love soup in the cooler months. We don’t have many of those here, so I like to make the most of “soup season” while we can. This is one of my favorites and talk about quick and easy! It’s very hearty so even big appetites will fill up, especially if you add a mixed green salad and a crusty bread. Voila, dinner is served!
Begin by warming a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven. Sauté a medium onion until soft (about 5 minutes) and then add in a teaspoon of minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Now add in 2 cups beef bone broth, 28oz can undrained diced tomatoes, 8oz can of tomato sauce, 1/2tsp salt, and 1/2tsp of oregano.
Add in 20-25 frozen, Italian style mini meatballs and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Now add in 3-4 cups of pre-cooked, refrigerated tortellini. They only need to cook for a couple of minutes to become al dente.
Stir in 2 big handfuls of baby spinach. Once the spinach wilts, remove from heat.
This last step is optional but ’tis the season for a little indulgence so go ahead! Add 1/3C heavy cream (everything is better with heavy cream!). This freezes beautifully, so make a big batch and enjoy more than once!😋
Inspired By – Spicy Southern Kitchen
There are only a few ways to respect a perfectly ripe, garden fresh tomato. A tomato sandwich with baked white or sourdough bread, Hellmann’s Real Mayo, and salt/pepper is a classic favorite. I would even put a toasted BLT in this catagory. However, if you want to take it up a notch, tomato pie is absolutely a little slice of heaven.
There are a million ways to make a tomato pie, but this is one of my favorites. For those who don’t know my cousin (remember, the one with the unbelievable shrimp and grits recipe?!), she’s quite the cook also. This is her recipe that has come down from her mom’s side of the family. Her mom (my aunt) is one of the best cooks and bakers I know. Period.
You obviously want to begin with the most perfectly ripe tomato slices you can find. These came from our garden.
Slice a large vidalia onion and sauté it with a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. I like to let the onions cook way down until they begin to caramelize.
Rinse and pat dry about 15 basil leaves.
Now here is where this recipe stands out from the rest. Instead of using cheddar cheese, combine 1 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Set aside.
Cook your pie crust according to the package instructions and let cool completely. Layer your tomatoes and generously salt and pepper them.
Now layer in your onions and basil leaves. Repeat 2 more layers of each, ensuring you salt and pepper each tomato layer.
Top with your cheese and mayo mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pairs well with fresh corn and a mixed green salad. Enjoy!
Adapted From: Catherine Ballard Logan
We just returned from a week at the beach. The beauty of living here is that we didn’t feel the need to eat out whatsoever. We simply picked veggies from our garden, brought fresh local shrimp from The Shrimp Lady, and bought some good bread, meats, and fruit. I mean, no place in town could beat the view from the porch anyways….
Every dinner felt like a date night…..
One of my favorite meals that we cooked were these Sliders. Now, these could easily be served as full size sandwiches or even bite size mini biscuits for the perfect brunch treat. Any size, they are absolutely delicious.
Begin by whisking together 1/3C mayonnaise, 1tbl chopped basil, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed orange juice + 1tsp orange zest, and 3/4tsp Old Bay seasoning.
Fold in a pound of cooked & chilled fresh shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or smaller for smaller servings), 6 crispy crumbled slices of bacon, and 1/4tsp each of salt and pepper.
Prepare your buns by buttering each side and sliding them under the broiler or onto the grill until the edges begin to brown.
Spoon some of your shrimp mixture onto one half and top with fresh basil leaves and garden fresh tomatoes before capping with your top piece of warm buttered bread. OMG.😃
Adapted From: Southern Living
We happened to have some leftover steak from a couple of nights ago (doesn’t happen very often). However, when this does happen, we either turn it into amazing steak sandwiches or tacos.
Begin by chopping off any excess fat and then dicing your steak into small pieces. Dice an onion and a handful of cilantro.
Add in a bit of cracked pepper and sea salt. Then stir to combine.
Warm about 1/4C of EVOO over medium heat in a large saucepan. Place cooked corn tortillas into oil and add a couple spoonfuls of your meat mixture and spicy shredded cheese (this variety is pretty tasty).
Use the back of your spatula to fold the tacos over and cook for ~3 minutes per side until they begin to brown.
Combine ingredients for your pico (recipe also on blog).
Serve and enjoy!
This is not an over statement – it really is the best Mac I’ve ever had, and my friends and family would agree. It’s a bit tedious, but WELL worth the effort!
Begin by shredding 8oz of gruyere, 10oz of white cheddar, and 10oz of yellow cheddar.
Now warm 3.5 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of heavy cream together over medium heat in a saucepan.
In a large saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter bubbles, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk for about a minute until it combines and thickens.
Slowly add in your warm milk/cream mixture whisking continuously until sauce thickens and bubbles.
Remove from heat and add 2tsp salt, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, & 1/4tsp black pepper.
Stir in grated cheeses.
Now add 2lbs cooked elbow macaroni.
Prepare 6 slices good white bread, crust removed and ripped into 1/2inch size pieces. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of melted butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Cover your pot of macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until top begins to brown. Enjoy!😋
Adapted from: Eat Drink Smile
I haven’t had a decent lobster roll in a million years. Not since my last trip to Maine with my family over 6 years ago where I had more than one a day at each of the local eateries (when in Rome…). It’s one of the sweetest, most decadent indulgences on the planet.
Fast forward to yesterday when my most awesome neighbors hosted a group of us for a New Year’s Day “lobstah bake”. They are northerners and wonderful, beautiful friends who included us in our first ever divergence from collards and black eyed peas on the first day of the year. Not only were we included in the festivities, we were blessed to score some leftover lobster! Without wanting it to sit for one more day (aka we had zero self control knowing it was in the fridge), I decided to attempt my own lobster rolls. It took 10 minutes, seriously…and my husband ate FOUR! (Our new year diet starts tomorrow!)
~Whisk together 2 tablespoons of GOOD mayo (navy Hellmans) and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Fold into chopped lobster meat (2-3 cups) and crack salt and pepper over the mixture.
~Warm 2-3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Place center sliced buns (I like Sara Lee) in pan and brown on each side. Stuff mixture into buns, drizzle with additional melted butter, and top with with chives or parsley. Be still my happy heart.❤️
I love soup and am especially a fan of all chili varieties. Nothing says comfort like a lit fireplace, cozy pjs, and a warm bowl of soup (and also a favorite DVR show to watch – lately This Is Us).
This is a fix it and forget it soup for the crockpot. Throw in 3 chicken breasts, 2 cans of great northern beans (drained), 2 cups of salsa verde, 2tsp cumin, and 6 cups of chicken broth (or bone broth, my latest obsession).
That’s it! Cook on low for 5-6 hours until chicken shreds easily with a fork. Serve with your favorite toppings. We LOVE Greek yogurt, jalapeños, cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce. I also make homemade tortilla chips to accompany this. Simply cut thin tortillas into pieces with a pizza cutter, brush both sides with olive oil, lightly salt, and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350. Enjoy!!