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Browsing Tag: Dinners

Strawberry-Peach Balsamic Spinach Salad with Pulled Roasted Chicken

 

Strawberry-Peach Balsamic Spinach Salad with Pulled Roasted Chicken 1

Hello, all! Happy Monday!

The Olympics is OVER! And I’m sad about it. I enjoy both the summer and winter games. I didn’t even religiously watch any of the coverage this year. I just liked having it on in the background; I found its presence comforting. I think it has to do with the fact that my parents always had Olympics coverage on in the house when I was growing up. It reminds me of childhood. 

Sausage and Fennel Quinoa Bowls

Sausage and Fennel Quinoa Bowls 1

Hello, all! Happy August!

I cannot believe how quickly the summer has passed. I created and photographed this recipe back in April. WAH WAH. This summer has been nuts for me, and August will be similarly as busy – but in a great way. I’ve got an upcoming trip to Nashville, a birthday celebration for a dear friend, a Tigers baseball game, and the wedding of another dear friend (with the reception in a lovely rustic barn!) to look forward to. And I’ve quit the second job I’d taken on for the summer, so there will soon be more space and time in which to refine the several actually warm-weather-themed recipes I’ve had in the works – hopefully before August is over!

Slow Cooker Salsa-Infused Ground Pork with Black Beans and Rice – in a Lettuce Wrap!

PorkLettuceWraps3

Ahoy, ACF readers! Happy summer! I have missed this blog so! It’s been over TWO MONTHS since I last posted here, which I’m definitely not proud of. I’ve been acutely aware every week over these last two months of the ever-growing chasm of time between this post and the last. But to be fair to myself, it’s been a pretty cray-cray few months.

Over the course of two weeks this May, I juggled working at my day job full time with completing a 40-hour training program that allows me to volunteer with a local women’s shelter. I’d been wanting to participate in it for well over a year, and this was the first out of the last three semiannual training sessions offered where all of the training dates fit into my schedule – so it finally happened! Yay!!!!! Then, because I’m insane, I also decided to pick up a part-time second job waitressing, which included a few weeks of intense training that started a week and a half after the shelter training concluded. So yeah . . . it was nuts. The dust is finally starting to settle, and I’m feeling better equipped to set up a regular writing schedule again. I am very much looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing some new recipes with you!

Enough about me. Let’s talk about our featured guests, lettuce wraps! Lettuce wraps are great because a. they help eliminate carbs, which we all know are quite delectable but not the most cooperative buggers when it comes to staying summer-svelte; b. they help get rid of all that lettuce that is starting to run wild in your garden just now and c. everything is more fun to eat when it’s wrapped up in something! It’s an indisputable fact of the Universe.

And these lettuce wraps are even more awesome because the filling is cooked not by you, but by your handy-dandy Crock-Pot. Yes, it’s a SLOW COOKER RECIPE!!! 🙂

Coconut Lemongrass Curry Stir-Fry

Coconut Lemongrass Curry Stir-Fry 1

Spring has sprung! The flowered trees finally blossomed here in Metro Detroit over the last week, and it’s magical! Seriously, I know that sounds cheesy, but I find flowering trees so beautiful and enchanting. Energy-shifting, on the cusp of powerful, wonderful change. Late spring, people – a powerful time! That full moon in Scorpio last week – it’s bringing some seriously powerful manifestations with it, I can just feel it!

OK, now that I’ve waxed all poetic and hippie-like, it’s time to get down to the practical nuts-and-bolts of why I am here: to relay a healthful veggie stir-fry recipe that will help to cleanse our bodies from all that rich winter comfort food we’ve been eating for months. 

White Bean and Bacon Soup

White Bean and Bacon Soup 1

I’m OBSESSED with this white bean and bacon soup. Seriously. I’ve made it twice over the last several weeks and plan to make it a third time this weekend. It’s so good!

At the risk of sounding too melodramatic, I must say, this soup has been a beacon of hope during these gray, chilly, rainy/snowy/sleety Michigan spring days, which are driving me half-insane at this point – and somehow making me miss winter, which at least doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t.

Spring is supposed to be sunshine, blue skies, and flowering cherry trees – and jaunting about in cute new open-toed sandals with a fresh, pretty pedicure!

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!