Are you the kind of person who prefers a cup or two of coffee in place of a morning meal? According to my research, you're not alone. 31 million Americans are skipping breakfast on a regular basis. SKIPPING BREAKFAST! I'm not opposed to coffee but I just can't understand why in the world would anyone want to miss out on the most delicious meal of the day. Crispy multigrain toast, chewy bagels, crunchy granola, yogurt with fresh fruit, Belgian waffles, fluffy pancakes, gooey cinnamon rolls, hearty muffins, avocado toast - do I even need to go on?
Why in the world someone would want to miss out on indulging in some of these amazing confections? I love breakfast food so much that eating it once a day doesn't seem like nearly enough. I eat breakfast for dinner at least once a week.
I'm not a morning person by any means. I love breakfast but I don't want you to get the wrong idea about my morning routine. If you're picturing me in my kitchen at 6:00 AM preparing coffee cake and vegetable egg white omelettes for myself - you couldn't be more wrong. I'm more of a prep breakfast before I go to bed, kind of girl. I climb in bed at night thinking about the scrumptious nourishment that I already prepped for my morning meal. If you need some make ahead breakfast ideas, check out my recipes for overnight oats, yeast waffles, overnight cinnamon rolls or egg casserole.
Clearly, there are some people who crawl into bed at night dreaming about the steaming cup of hot coffee that they will drink in the morning but that has never been the case for me. Whole wheat muffins packed with carrots, pineapple, raisins and coconut - now that's the stuff that MY dreams are made of. As long as there are morning glory muffins around - there's just no excuse NOT to eat breakfast.
Morning Glory Muffins
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used melted coconut oil)
3 large eggs
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 large carrots, shredded
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Cool on wire rack. Enjoy.
The best part about this recipe is that they freeze beautifully. I pull one out of the freezer and after one minute in the microwave, they're perfectly defrosted, warmed and ready to enjoy. And since they're loaded with carrots, I feel like I get to count them as a serving of vegetables too. 🤣
One of my all time favorite blogged recipes is Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad. It requires a little bit of a time commitment to grill all of the vegetables required for this recipe but it's so worth it. The results are amazing. Grilled veggies, al dente pasta, a light drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese - simple and delicious.
If we're going to call my previous Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad the "original", then this Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Orzo Salad, is version 2.0. (If apple can upgrade their iPhone every couple of months, I can do it too.) It's not that I'm all about the latest and greatest (Heck, I may be the very last person on the planet that still uses an iPhone 5) or that the original version is outdated or obsolete, it's just that I felt like I could add a few more features to the original recipe.
Some strips of lean protein, a zesty honey citrus dressing and some ricotta salada crumbles are just a few of the upgrades that you'll find in my Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Orzo Salad 2.0 recipe.
Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Orzo Salad
1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 ears fresh corn
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into quarters
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup ricotta salada
Divide orzo among 6 plates and top with sliced chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
Giving a little cheer today for this perfect grilling weather. Here's to some really great grilled dinners this April.
Spaghetti sauce day has become a time honored tradition in our house. We spend hours mixing together our trio of meat into perfectly round balls before popping them into a giant pot of sauce so it can simmer away on the stove all afternoon. My pot of marinara slowly cooks down and thickens for the better part of an entire day. By the time it's reduced to the perfect consistency and developed complex flavors, I've invested at least 8 hours into the preparation of this revered spaghetti sauce.
To say that I treat the vibrant red sauce as though its liquid gold, would be an understatement. My family teases me about being way too stingy with my precious sauce. They are fully aware that if any trace of sauce is left on their plate after our spaghetti dinners, I will expect them to mop it up with a piece of crusty Italian bread. I just can't handle the thought of wasting spaghetti sauce. It's way too good for that.
My mom's spaghetti sauce recipe is one recipe that I don't mess around with. The only issue that I have is that sometimes, we run out of meatballs before we run out of sauce. I'm hesitant to try and adjust the meatball to sauce ratios though, so occasionally I'll make batch of extra meatballs to add to my sauce. These turkey and sausage meatballs were a delicious addition to our spaghetti dinners.
I served these meatballs and sauce along with a side of Italian bread for dinner. My family LOVED the idea of having a meal centered around meatballs without pasta. I packed up the leftover meatballs in ziploc bags, popped them in the freezer and served them with my prized spaghetti sauce when I ran out of of meatballs.
Cheesy Turkey Meatball Skillet
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 cup whole wheat panko
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
Uncover and add mozzarella. Cover and cook until melted.
Garnish with chopped parsley.
Serve right out of the skillet or transfer meatballs to a bowl.
If you prefer, you can always serve pasta with your turkey meatballs.
I've only got a 2-3 containers of spaghetti sauce and meatballs in my freezer right now so it won't be long before I have another sauce day. Having an adequate supply of spaghetti sauce stored in my freezer helps me sleep better at night. Spaghetti sauce is my ultimate comfort food.
I love where I live. As hard as this is to believe, I don't pass a single fast food restaurant between my house and the local Kroger store. (A trip that I make often.) There are no fast food restaurants on the route from my house to the school that my kids attended. My husband doesn't even pass a single fast food restaurant on his commute to work.
I know what you must be thinking - "she must live on some remote island in the middle of the the Indian ocean." 🤣 Actually - I live 45 minutes outside of Atlanta - which boasts the worlds largest drive-in restaurant and the worlds busiest airport. We love going into the city but we were very intentional when we choose a rural neighborhood to raise our family.
For some people, this type of living probably sounds like a nightmare, but to me - it's a dream. When my kids were young, they adored french fries and chicken nuggets as much as the next kid. Luckily, out of site-out of mind, worked in my favor because they really didn't ask for fast food treats unless we were actually driving past the restaurant.
I really don't enjoy eating fast food very often so the lack of burger and chicken joints in close proximity to my home actually proved to be more of a benefit than a hinderance. I certainly would have been tempted to stop and pick up a quick and easy meal way more often if I passed by fast food options on my daily errands. Most nights, it was more efficient for me to prepare dinner at home than it was for me to drive to the nearest hamburger shop.
These Citrus and Spice Pork Chops are the perfect example of a recipe that I can make even quicker than I can pick up dinner. The thin chops grill up super quickly and they are really tasty. Way better than anything that I can pick up from the closest restaurant adorned with golden arches.
Citrus and Spice Pork Chops
1/4 cup oil 2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped 2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced shallot 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon lime zest 8 bone in pork chops
2 Tablespoons lime juice 2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Transfer pork chops to a platter and spoon vinaigrette over top.
Yes, I know that there are 4 pork chops on this plate. How long it's going to take for me to figure out this whole cooking for two thing? Maybe I'm in denial that we're empty nesters or maybe it's my catering experience or maybe I just don't know how to cook for two: whatever the reason, we have plenty of leftovers - which is not always a bad thing.
I've been in denial for a long time but it's time that I admit to the fact that I am a recipe hoarder. I'd like to call myself a recipe collector but I think it's safe to say that I've moved way past the "collection" stage and entered the hoarding stage. The problem is that every day I find great recipes that I want to try. (Admittedly, there are worse problems.) I see them everywhere I look - in my cooking magazines, on television cooking shows, on the internet and facebook videos and then there's the delicious food that I eat at restaurants that I want to try and duplicate at home. Safe to say that I'm obsessed with food and recipes.
As of today, I've got over 50 recipes in my blog que that are just patiently waiting to be revealed. Instead of trying to keep track of torn out magazine pages and trying to remember internet websites, I copy new recipes into my blog que for safe keeping until I'm ready to give them a try. Some of the recipes in my que stay there for a long time and others get created almost immediately. It all depends on what I'm in the mood to make or what type of recipe I need for a specific occasion.
This recipe for Roast Chicken and Stuffing only sat in my blog que for about 48 hours before I moved it from the "want to try" category to the "tested" category. I'm a sucker for a great roast chicken recipe. Any easy chicken dinner that's healthy AND delicious is my jam so it didn't take me long at all to jump all over this recipe for a skillet roasted chicken breast dinner.
Roast Chicken and Stuffing
2 bone in chicken breasts
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1 onion, chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
5 ounces Italian bread, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
Serve over stuffing.
It's taken me nearly two years to get used to downsizing my meals to make them suitable for just two people. This recipe is perfect for a family of two. Roasting chicken breasts instead of whole chickens is a great way for me to keep my meal size in check. My chicken breasts were so big that we had plenty for dinner with a little leftover for lunch the next day. 😃If you're feeding more than two, you can simply adjust the servings by adding more chicken breasts and stuffing to your recipe. Enjoy!
Like my page on facebook.
Follow me on Instagram