No-Cream Cream of Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrot Soup

I have so many delicious new recipes to share with you all. I have been slacking on my blog duties, typical, but i’m back! I have 5 new recipes to share with ya’ll. Who knows when i’ll get them all written & posted, but I’m hoping by the end of this week they’ll all be up. They are just too darn delicious to not share!

Life has been good though. Real good. Headed to the beautiful Stone Harbor, NJ beach this weekend which I am VERY excited about. I was sadly only able to get to the beach once this year & it was too chilly to even go onto the beach. Depressing, I know. I’m only 2 hours away from the beach there is no excuse for this behavior. So this weekend I vow to get sand in my hair, breath salty air through my lungs, soak in that Vitamin D & sip wine. Wine on wine on wine! I cannot wait!

The recipe that I’m going to share with you all tonight is called “No-Cream Cream of Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrot Soup.” I found a “No-Cream Cream of Broccoli Soup” recipe in the September 2015 issue of Everyday w/ Rachel Ray magazine & knew right away that I had to try it. Not only do I LOVE broccoli soups, but I love soups that I get to put into the blender. It blends all the flavors so so well & heck, makes it so much easier to slurp up! The cannelli beans give it a creamy texture without the cream, which is a win in my book. I mean I LOVE cream don’t get me wrong, but I also love where I can make things healthier without really changing the taste, you know? Now my soup wasn’t SUPER creamy, but it was SUPER fresh tasting & such lovely flavors all blended together as one. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.


No-Cream Cream of Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrot Soup

Prep: 20 Min                      Cook Time: 55 Min

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 LB Fresh Broccoli, Stems Cut-Off & Cut into Chunks

    No-Cream Cream of Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrot Soup
    No-Cream Cream of Broccoli, Cauliflower & Carrot Soup
  • 1LB Fresh Cauliflower, Stems Cut-Off & Cut into Chunks
  • 1/2 C Carrots, Diced
  • 1 Shallot, Diced
  • 3 Leeks, White Part Only, Diced
  • 5 C Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cans Cannelli Beans (15 OZ Each), Rinsed
  • 2 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 C Cheddar Cheese, Extra for Topping
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  • Dice shallot & white parts of the 3 leeks. Set aside & begin cutting up rinsed broccoli, cauliflower & carrots.
  • In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced shallots & leeks to pot & cook through for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Once shallots & leeks are cooked through add the chicken broth & cannelli beans. Bring to a simmer & begin adding broccoli, cauliflower & carrots. Allow to simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  • In a blender begin pureeing soup in batches. Return pureed soup to pot & continue to heat on medium heat.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest, cheddar cheese & parmesan cheese. Heat for approximately 10 more minutes until soup is heated through and flavors are blended.
  • Spoon into bowls & top with a little extra cheddar cheese. ENJOY!

Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta

I just got back last weekend from an epic 2 week road trip across the US with my fantastic copilot boyfriend. Our main goal was to return to Utah for a friends wedding, but of course we had to make some fun stops along the way. We went South before heading North, and then back East:  Virgina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, UTAH, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois & Pennsylvania (home). It was so fun, but man did I miss cooking. There are only so many gas station sandwiches you can eat before you begin to loose your mind. Road food is fun for a day & then it’s just downright bad. So needless to say, once I was unpacked, laundry was washed & I was starting to get back to my routine, I started scouting out some tasty recipes to try out.

I had around 4,000 frequent flyer miles, sounds like a lot, but of course not nearly enough for a free flight. So what does the airline do with those miles you ask? They offer magazine subscriptions at no cost, simply use my miles for the ones I want. Cool right? Not really, but hey, it’s better than nothing right?!

One of the magazines I subscribed to was Everyday with Rachel Ray. There are a lot of delicious sounding recipes in the magazine, so I’ll take it as a win in the selection book. I have cooked 2 of the recipes in the magazine, adding my little spin on them, of course. That’s where all the fun is, and eating all the food, but that’s a given. In the magazine the recipe is called Cauliflower & Caper Pasta. It’s a really delicious dish. I have been wanting to cook something with capers for a while now. I always loved anything with capers & lemon. The tartness of both just goes so well together with chicken, pasta a lot of things really. So once I saw “caper” in the title, I knew I was going to try it out.

The hardest thing about this recipe is crisping the capers. Now I have never fried anything a day in my life. I’m scared of hot oil, just like I’m scared of the broiler. Dummy me did not have a cover for the frying pan to prevent the oil from going EVERYWHERE once I added the capers to the pan. Learning curve. Needless to say I walked away with only minor oil burns & by minor I mean, just redness for a day and an initial sting. They always say you learn from your mistakes, & yes, yes I did learn from my mistake. So please, if you’re going to make this dish, be EXTRA careful when crisping the capers & the cauliflower. I don’t want anyone else burning their precious hands.


Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta

Serves: 5              Total Time: 45 Min.

Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta
Crispy Capers, Cauliflower & Spinach Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 5 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 4 OZ Drained Capers (Patted Dry!)
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, Cut into Bite Sized Pieces (Washed & Patted Dry!)
  • 1 C Fresh Spinach Leaves
  • 1 Box of Spaghetti, I use Barilla Protein Plus, but any Spaghetti will work just fine!
  • 1/2 C Warm Water
  • 1 C White w/ Lemon Flavor Cooking Wine
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/4 C Grated Parmesan

Directions:

  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  • While pasta is cooking, cut cauliflower into bite size pieces, wash & pat dry. Drain capers & pat dry.
  • Begin heating up a medium-large frying pan with olive oil on medium heat. Add capers to hot frying pan, BE CAREFUL. If you have a frying pan screen now is the time to use it!
  • Work capers around in pan until crispy, approximately 8 minutes. Scoop out with a slotted spoon & place into a bowl on the side.
  • Begin adding cauliflower florets to frying pan. Work around pan until browned, approximately 8-10 minutes.
  • Add garlic, water, white cooking wine w/ lemon flavoring & fresh time. Combine together & add capers & spinach. Once heated through & pasta is cooked & drained, add to large bowl with pasta being sure to cover all of the noodles. Top with parmesan cheese mixing well. Serve immediately & ENJOY!

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

It’s been on of those weeks where you over think everything & nothing seems to go how you imagined it would go.  I sometimes, well I shouldn’t say sometimes, I a lot of the time over think situations. I’m a planner & a thinker. I expect things to be one way because of how I was raised, but i’m learning that things aren’t always as black & white as they may seem. Not everyone feels the same way you about things & that is ok. People move at different paces & that’s ok too. I need to accept that how I picture/want things isn’t how they will always be & THAT’S OK. The planet will continue to spin & the sun will continue to shine. This is probably a lesson people learn in their teens and not in their 20’s but ya know what, not all of us learn things when we should.

So I made this AMAZING chicken salad recipe last weekend and a number of months ago. Every time I eat it I fall in love all over again with chicken salad. It’s not your traditional chicken salad and that’s probably why I love it so much. It’s heaven in a bowl if there was ever such a thing.

I’ve been trying to get my boyfriend to experience new flavors and new foods. We’re both trying to eat healthier and watch what we’re consuming when we’re together & apart. It’s not easy, but we’re trying. He was never really much of a food person, by that I mean, before we started dating he was basically living off of banana & peanut butter sammies. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some banana & peanut butter from time to time, but not multiple times a week! Just no. So when I told him I was going to whip up some Greek yogurt chicken salad for lunch before he went riding, he was a little hesitant to try it. He also was a little nervous about the whole idea of grapes & apples being in chicken salad. I told him to just trust me on this one, I knew he was going to love it. And guess what – he loved it. He took one bite and couldn’t stop complimenting how good it was. I had to pat myself on the back! Lol!

So without further ado – here’s my slightly adapted version of the Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad Sandwich recipe on the Damn Delicious blog.


Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 30 Minutes         Servings:  4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 lbs Chicken Breasts, Cooked & Shredded
  • Olive Oil or Non-Stick Cooking Spray

    Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
    Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
  • Pepper to Taste
  • Onion Salt to Taste
  • 1/2 C Diced Red Onion
  • 1/2 C Diced Granny Smith Apple
  • 2/3 C Quartered Red Grapes
  • 1/3 C Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 C Sliced Almonds
  • 1 Serving Plain Greek Yogurt (5.3 Ounces)
  • 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While oven is preheating line a baking dish with tin foil & lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil.
  2. I used 2 large chicken breasts in my chicken salad.. I think they weighed around 1.3 lbs for the both of them. I would use at least 1 lb of chicken, but 1.5 or slightly less will be just as perfect! Trim the fat off of your chicken breasts and discard. Sprinkle each side with a little bit of onion salt & pepper.
  3. Place chicken in baking dish. Once oven is preheated place baking dish with chicken inside of oven and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes on each side depending on how thick your chicken is. Since we are simply shredding the chicken for this recipe feel free to cut it in half to make sure the chicken is cooked through & no pink remains.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, begin slicing grapes into quarters, dicing the red onion & dicing the granny smith apple. Place in a large bowl along with the dried cranberries, sliced almonds, plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice garlic powder & salt. Mix until everything is covered evenly.
  5. Once chicken is cooked let it cool slightly before you begin shredding with a knife & fork. Add to the yogurt mixture and allow to cool, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  6. For a slightly healthy sandwich, serve with sandwich thins or atop of a bed of lettuce. The chicken salad is so good you’ll probably eat it straight from the bowl like me!

Crock-Pot Pineapple Chicken

Two posts within 24 hours – you lucky ducks!

This past Sunday was a relaxing day. I spent it with my favorite boy cleaning his apartment, cooking lunch, dinner & even dessert! We went thrifting on Saturday and I scored this cute little cookbook called “101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker” by Janet Eyring & Stephanie Ashcraft for $1.00. Schwing! The recipes are all super simple which I like because it leaves a lot of room for adding my own little spin on them. Plus, who doesn’t love a delicious crock-pot recipe?! Crazy people, that’s who.

The recipe i’m going to share with you all is called Pineapple Chicken – simple enough. It’s delicious with some oriental vegetables & brown rice. I opted for a frozen vegetable mix with water chestnuts, snap peas, green beans, carrots, red peppers & onions. The pineapple chicken alone would probably taste delicious on some Hawaiian bread, or potato bread even – something a little sweeter!


Crock-Pot Pineapple Chicken

Serves: 4-6         Prep Time: 10 Min          Cook Time: 6-7 Hours Low

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 LB Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used 1 package of chicken breasts, which had 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1/4 TSP Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
  • 1/8 TSP Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy
  • 1/4 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1 Can Pineapple Tidbits (20 OZ), Juice Included
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 3-4 TBSP Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 TSP Minced Garlic

Directions:

  1. Grease a 3.5 to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray or butter.
  2. Combine spices & sprinkle over chicken breasts. Place chicken into crock-pot, low setting turned on.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the pineapple tidbits, juice from the tidbits, dijon mustard, low sodium soy sauce & garlic. Pour over chicken & cover.
  4. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is easy to shred.

**If you’re cooking with frozen vegetables I added them into the crock-pot for 10 minutes once the chicken was done. Make sure to mix them well so that they all get a little of the liquid on them!

Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken

It’s been ages since my last post. AGES. I’ve been meaning to post, but my life has been a bit hectic these past couple of weeks. Mostly a good kind of hectic, but this past week a friend of mine passed away suddenly in a long boarding accident. It makes you think about life & how precious & fragile it really is. Just like that it can be taken away from you. Cherish every single moment you have with the ones you love. Tell them you love them. Don’t hold anything back. Life is way too short to hold anything back. Do what you love & what makes you happy, because you just never know.. Don’t waste any time being unhappy.

I’m trying to focus on all the good he gave this world, but am having trouble accepting how unfair life really can be. Good people don’t deserve bad things. Good people don’t deserve to die. I mean, no one really deserves to die, but good people definitely don’t deserve to die. Really all that I can do is remember the good times we shared with our beautiful Park City family.

We all moved out there for a little taste of our own freedom, on our own, out of our comfort zones. We all found it while finding each other. Some of us stayed, some of us left, but we’ll all always share that amazing bond we created those years we spent together, laughing, crying, drinking, skiing & riding. Mountain towns do something to the people that live there. They bring out the best & the worst in you. They make you find yourself & who you are. There will always be a special place in my heart for the mountains & the people I met while out there.

I’ve decided to focus on doing what I love. I spent enough time in my life being unhappy, and sure, it’s dumb of me to think I won’t ever be unhappy again, but I’m hopeful for endless amounts of happiness in my future. There are so many good people in my life right now, some close in distance, some far. I trust them & I love them.

So here we are. Finally, a new recipe. I’ve eaten this three times in the past week that’s how much I love it. The original recipe came from Nutmegnany. My roommate actually stumbled upon this recipe and made it for dinner one night. I had a few bites & knew that I was going to make this for my boyfriend the next time I got to see him. Now the original recipe is quite spicy. I do not enjoy a lot of heat in my food. I start to focus on how much my mouth burns rather than what the food tastes like. My adapted version of the recipe omits the crushed red pepper that Nutmegnanny calls for in her recipe for Honey Spiced Glazed Chicken. If you like heat, add some crushed red pepper to your spice mix! It’s delicious with or without it, I personally just prefer not to sweat when I’m eating my dinner. 🙂

This dish goes great with a sprouted rice & quinoa blend. I found this delicious blend by truRoots at BJ’s & have fallen in love with it. It’s a great blend of grains packed with all sorts of good stuff.  A brown rice or white rice would work just as good though! We enjoyed it with a side of acorn squash since I had one laying around that needed to be used. Any vegetable would work as a side to make it a well rounded dish.


Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken

Serves 3-4           Prep Time: 10 Min          Cook Time: 15-20 Min

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package Chicken Tenderloins (1-1.5 LB)

    Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken
    Smoked Paprika Honey Glazed Chicken
  • 2 TSP Smoked Paprika or Regular Paprika
  • 2 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1 TSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 C Honey
  • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine spices in a small bowl (paprika, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, chili powder, onion powder & crushed red pepper if using)
  2. Set oven to broil on low & line a sheet pan with tin foil (easier cleanup).
  3. Season each side of each chicken tenderloin with spice mixture & place on sheet pan.
  4. Place sheet pan with chicken in over for approximately 5-7 minutes for each side (5-7 minutes on one side, flip & 5-7 minutes on the other side).
  5. While chicken is cooking combine 1/2 cup of honey & 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar, mixing well.
  6. After chicken is done cooking pour the honey mixture over the cooked chicken making sure to cover all of the chicken. Place the sheet pan back in the oven and allow the glaze to thicken for about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove chicken from oven and serve immediately.  ENJOY!

Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup w/ Chicken

It’s been WAY too long since my last post. I have been cooking up a storm, but just can’t seem to find the time to sit down and get all of my thoughts on what I’ve been cooking together. Sometimes life just gets in the way!

I have had many people ask me for this recipe so before doing anything tonight I wanted to get this up for everyone to start making their very own Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup w/ Chicken. It’s such a simple soup, but so refreshing & light. It’s the perfect soup for a spring & summer. The lemon juice and fresh vegetables give it such a lovely taste.

I got my inspiration from The Cozy Apron’s Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup w/ Quinoa & Fresh Basil. I haven’t quite figured out how to make things from complete scratch so I always need a little inspiration to help me get started. I like to use other recipes as like an outline. Soups are a great way to add your own little spin on things. It’s so hard to mess up a soup! Feel free to get creative.

If there are other veggies you want to add, go for it! I think a little spinach or kale would go great with everything in this soup & might just have to add it next time I make this, which will be soon.

Without further ado, I give you my Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup w/ Chicken recipe below. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I sure did!

Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup with Chicken

Serves About 5-7

Ingredients:

Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup with Chicken
Spring Vegetable Lemon Soup with Chicken
  • 1 Lb Chicken Breast, Baked
  • 2 Shallots, Sliced
  • 1 Lemon, Zested (set aside) & Sliced
  • Dash Lemon Pepper (Sprinkled over Chicken)
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 5 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Half Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 5 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Zucchini, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Yellow Squash, Chopped
  • 1 Can Chickpeas, Drained & Rinsed
  • 2-3 tsp Lemon Zest
  • 4 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken in a baking dish, sprinkle both sides of chicken with Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning. Layer sliced lemon slices on top of chicken. Spread sliced shallots around chicken breasts. Fold parchment paper onto top of chicken loosely in baking dish (keeps moisture inside & chicken juicy). Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. Once chicken is fully cooked remove from over & cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside until ready to add to soup.
  2. Cook 1 Cup quinoa according to directions on box & set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter & oil in large soup pot at medium heat. Once melted add carrots, diced onion & garlic. Let simmer until slightly translucent & garlic becomes aromatic. Sprinkle w/ Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning & stir to combine.
  4. Add chicken broth, cover & bring to a simmer, medium/low heat worked best for me. While chicken broth is heating up, begin slicing up your vegetables & adding them to the pot along with the chickpeas. Let simmer for approximately 25 minutes before adding the peas, chicken & cooked quinoa to soup.
  5. Once peas, diced chicken & quinoa is added to the soup add the lemon zest & juice. Stir. Taste to see if any salt/pepper needs to be added. Add accordingly until you reach your preferred taste. Cover & simmer for another 5-10 minutes until everything is at an even temperature. Scoop from the bottom to be sure your getting a little bit of everything & ENJOY!

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Asparagus & Roasted Garlic Gruyere Cheese Stuffed Chicken Sausage

I found this recipe from a blog called Damn Delicious. They served their pesto pasta with a fried egg, which sounds amazing. Who doesn’t like ooey gooey egg yolk all over your food. I do, but egg on my pasta didn’t sound too appealing to me. So I went a slightly different route by adding some chicken sausage to get some protein.

Disregard the 95 word recipe title. Just call it Delicious Pesto Pasta. You won’t be disappointed.


Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Asparagus & Roasted Garlic Gruyere Cheese Stuffed Chicken Sausage

Serves 6-8           Prep Time 25 Min             Cook Time 15 Minuets

Ingredients

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Asparagus & Roasted Garlic Gruyere Cheese Stuffed Chicken Sausage
Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Roasted Asparagus & Roasted Garlic Gruyere Cheese Stuffed Chicken Sausage
  • 1 Box of Shell Pasta (8oz)
  • 1 Bundle of Fresh Asparagus, Bottoms Trimmed
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 TBSP Minced Garlic
  • 7oz Buitoni Pesto w/ Basil
  • 1 Package of Aidells Roasted Garlic & Gruyere Cheese Chicken Sausage (4 Links)
  • 1/2C Sundried Tomatoes Drained & chopped (I used a food processor)
  • 1 Block Mozzarella Cheese, Diced

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Trim the ends of the asparagus & spread out over a baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus. Sprinkle with salt/pepper & minced garlic. Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the asparagus are tender & crisp. Remove from oven & let cool before cutting into bite sized pieces.
  • While asparagus are roasting, boil water and cook pasta according to directions on the box.
  • Slice chicken sausage and cook in a frying pan until heated through.
  • Drain pasta once cooked. In a large bowl combine pasta, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, sausage, mozzarella cubes & pesto. Mix until well combined & serve immediately.