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Category: Dinners

Easy Spicy Sausage and Sweet Potato Chili

Easy Spicy Sausage and Sweet Potato Chili 1

It’s getting warmer, you guys! Spring has arrived to the Northern Hemisphere! Huzzah!

Here in Southeast Michigan, the early days of spring can often feel like what I’ve termed “Winter Lite.” Consistently warmer weather can take a while to get here; snow – at least a few whimpering, amount-to-nothing flakes – can be expected as far into spring as the end of April. So hearty meals such as this spicy sausage and sweet potato chili are still on the agenda for me.

Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Cayenne and Lime Honey Dipping Sauce

 

Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Cayenne and Lime Honey Dipping Sauce 1

 

On today’s menu: chicken tenders! But not the janky diner chicken tenders you ate by the bucketful when you were a teenager (if you were anything like me). OK, those chicken tenders were actually pretty good a lot of the time – except when they didn’t deep fry them thoroughly enough and they were still kind of cold in the middle. Then yuck. But these chicken tenders are not yuck and are much more healthful, because for one, they are gluten-free – yay! The “breading” is made from raw almonds and is really, really quick and easy to make.

Quinoa and Black Beans with Avocado Cream Sauce

Quinoa and Black Beans with Avocado Cream Sauce

Nature knows what’s up. She knows that healthy fat is where it’s at! And what better source is there of plant-based healthy fat than avocados? I’m OBSESSED with them! They are so richly delicious, with all that yummy healthy good monounsaturated fat and loads of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins K and C and potassium. They’re like nature’s butter, fresh off the tree instead of straight from the cow’s udder (and I’m sure the cows are more than happy to share that distinction with them if it means they will be hassled less!).

Acorn Squash and Spinach Risotto

Acorn Squash and Spinach RisottoI hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday break! When you get sick of all that leftover ham (delicious in its own right, but how many ham sandwiches in a row can a person eat, really?), make this creamy, decadent acorn squash and spinach risotto. It’s easy and delicious and probably takes less effort than forcing yourself out of your jammies to go get carryout would.

Macaroni and Cheese with Sauteed Leeks, Extreme Habañero and Southwestern Noodles

Macaroni and Cheese with Sauteed Leeks, Extreme Habañero and Southwestern Noodles

Guys, I’ve been out of the game too long with the recipe posting. Life has been hectic, but when is it not, really? I’ve got way more interests than there will ever be hours in the day to accommodate even a fraction of them, at least while I still have to spend my weekday hours making my living as a cubicle rat in Corporate America (until this blog hits it big, of course! :P). I had even gotten so lazy with my routine over the past few months that while I was still creating recipes, I was forgetting to write them down. It was my fairly typical “It’s 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night and I have to haul ass to bed and I’ll remember this until I write it down tomorrow” M.O. – but then I was completely forgetting to write the recipe down until weeks later, when I wanted to post it! Yeah . . .. Needless to say, I’m in the process of remaking two recipes I’ve already shot photos for to make sure I’m not recalling the ingredient ratios incorrectly. Here’s to dropping lazy habits in 2016!

But you know what’s great about this macaroni and cheese? I don’t need to remember anything. Because yeah, that’s the mark of a great macaroni and cheese, as my mother taught me: it’s best with no measuring involved. OK, yeah, it kind of sucks when you make the best macaroni and cheese of your life and then you have no idea how to recreate it. But that’s part of the fun!

Quick and Dirty Beef and Black Bean Chili

Quick and Dirty Beef and Black Bean Chili

I pride myself on being someone who is passionate about clean eating. But I’m far from perfect; standing before the stove, it’s a nightly struggle between clean and convenient – which, as I hope I am illustrating with this blog, are certainly not mutually exclusive! But sometimes even I give in to the corporate food giants’ mythical siren song extolling the virtues of prepared food convenience – aka sometimes I’m short-sighted and forget to plan!

Vegan Risotto with Spinach, Saffron, and Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Vegan Risotto with Spinach, Saffron, and Roasted Grape Tomatoes

I just typed the title of this blog post, and all I can think is “Oh, yum!” Even without cheese, this risotto is amazing. Even without wine, it’s amazing!

Quinoa with Cranberries, Caramelized Onion, and Toasted Pepitas

Quinoa with Cranberries, Caramelized Onion, and Toasted Pepitas

Fall! Fall is here! It still doesn’t quite feel like it weather-wise here in metro Detroit; we’ve enjoyed a ton of warm, absolutely gorgeous days over the past three weeks. But I am certainly not complaining! Here’s to keeping up this gorgeous-weather streak until my birthday, a little over a week from today!

While it doesn’t entirely feel like fall here yet, I know it is because of the gorgeous, diffused quality of the sunlight that only displays its beauty at this time of year. And because advertisements for pumpkin spice lattes are everywhere. And with the arrival of the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte comes the arrival of fall food.

Italian Farro with Pesto, Caramelized Onion, and Swiss Chard

Italian Farro with Pesto, Caramelized Onions, and Swiss Chard

Pesto! I’m OBSESSED. Also, this was my first time properly caramelizing an onion. It was delightful!

White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

Recipe creation, for me, often originates from the practical standpoint of “I need to use X and Y and Z before they go bad – what can I incorporate them in?” I’m sure many of you can relate, especially at this time of year, when swoon-worthy produce is everywhere. It’s too easy to buy too much up at once at my beloved neighborhood Italian produce market – it just all always looks so lovely!