Fresh pesto is one of those recipes that can be smothered on just about anything to create a fresh bright flavor. I often make pesto to put on pasta, zucchini noodles, pizza and chicken. I think it would even be delicious on grilled steak as a chimichurri alternative. Today I am spreading it on salmon just before grilling. You can make pesto out of any nuts you prefer, I used walnuts. The addition of fresh basil adds a hint of anise flavor to any dish and a beautiful bright green color. A squeeze of lemon juice adds a little tang, perfect for fish dishes. Try this lemon walnut pesto on your next recipe!
Lemon Walnut Pesto Grilled Salmon
- 2 lb. salmon filet
- For Pesto:
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 c walnut pieces
- 6 large basil leaves
- 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- Heat grill to 425. While grill heats, prepare ingredients for pesto in a food processor or blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to make the salmon.
- Lay salmon on a large piece of foil. Spoon pesto over salmon.
- Fold foil over salmon so that it is completely enclosed in foil.
- Place on grill. Cook 15 minutes. Slice salmon and serve.
Trader Joe’s grocery store has become a favorite destination for me to do my grocery shopping. Not only are the prices hard to beat, but I love their selection of prepared frozen items from their signature line. I rarely make eggplant, so when I came across these breaded eggplant cutlets at Trader Joe’s I had to buy them. They crisp up super quick in the oven and take all the work out of having to batter and coat your own eggplant cutlets. I knew they would be amazing in a caprese recipe. Traditionally, caprese type salads are made with mozzarella, tomato and basil–so the crispiness of the eggplant kicks it up a notch and makes it more of a hearty, satisfying dish. These eggplant caprese stacks with balsamic glaze would make a terrific side dish to just about any entree or a delicious vegetarian entree option.
Eggplant Caprese Stacks wit Balsamic Glaze
- For Glaze:
- 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- For Eggplant Stacks:
- 8 eggplant cutlets (trader joes brand)
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced to 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1 large mozzarella ball, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
- 8 basil leaves
- Sea salt and black pepper
- To Make Glaze:
- Combine ingredients over med/low heat in a small saucepan. Stir until sugar dissolves.
- Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened.
- Pour into a container and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- For Stacks:
- Cook eggplant cutlets in oven until crispy and lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly.
- Layer slices of eggplant, tomato, mozzarella and basil. Repeat and then create another stack. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.
Creating fresh takes on burger recipes is one of my favorite things to do during the warmer months. I often see a variety of burger options at the grocery store in the meat department. Those are great in a pinch, but when I have a little extra time, I like to create my own hand crafted burgers. This one came to me when I was trying to think of new ways to use corn meal. I found it to be the perfect binder in this recipe for cheesy jalapeño corn burgers.
The corn meal creates an almost crispy outside to the burger, which I loved. The meat in this recipe is sort of an afterthought. I wanted the other ingredients to be the stars of the show, so instead of using beef, I used ground chicken. These burgers are delicious on their own with a little spicy mayonnaise (I use mayo mixed with a little chipotle in adobo sauce) on top served alongside grilled hearts of romaine or your choice of veggie.
Cheesy Jalapeño Corn Burger
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/2 c corn kernels, thawed
- 1/2 c cornmeal
- 1 tbsp jalapeño, minced
- 1 tsp garlic, pressed into a paste
- 1/3 c red onion, finely chopped
- 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Form into patties.
- Place on grill. Cook 10 minutes, flip and cook ten minutes longer.
Warmer weather and chilled desserts go hand in hand. This weekend I am having my mom and stepdad over for a BBQ. I wanted to create a dessert for us to enjoy after dinner that would feel Spring-like. I have been making this oat crust for all sorts of dessert recipes from protein pie to piña colada bars. It is safe to say that it has become my go-to crust recipe for desserts. I like it because it is full of fiber and taste like cookies, providing a nice crumbly texture for just about any filling or topping. I thought it would make the perfect base to be topped with a lightly sweetened cream cheese filling and fresh strawberries and kiwi. I hope you enjoy this strawberry kiwi cream cheese tart as much as we will!
Strawberry-Kiwi Cream Cheese Tart
- FOR CRUST
- 1 c oat flour
- 1/4 c old fashioned oats
- 1/4 c cane sugar
- 1/2 c melted butter
- 2 16 oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 c powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 2 c thinly sliced strawberries
- 1 c thinly sliced kiwi
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a tart or pie pan.
- Combine oat flour, butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix until combine and moistened.
- Press crust mixture into pan using hands.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool at room temperature.
- Using a hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, almond milk and vanilla until smooth.
- Spread cream cheese filling over crust.
- Top with sliced kiwi and strawberries. Refrigerate 2 hours. Slice and serve.
Fruit infused muffins are a delicious way to use fresh fruit of the season. Using the zest and the juice of the fruit, in this case tangerines, adds a ton of flavor and aroma to muffins. Chia seeds are a nice switch from traditional poppyseed. Chia seeds are a great source of plant based protein and fiber. I also typically use oat flour, which I grind out of old fashioned oats in my food processor, to create the base for my muffins. It is a super simple way to create you own fresh ground flour.
The shining star in this recipe is the use of olive oil rather than butter. Most people don’t typically reach for olive oil for baking, but trust me, it is a terrific fat substitute. I used a premium extra virgin olive oil by Oilio. Oilio is a family owned company and their oil is single sourced in Southern Kalamata Greece. The olive oil gives these muffins a super moist texture while amping up the good for you fatty acids, making for a muffin that is equally delicious as it is healthy.
Olive Oil and Tangerine Muffins with Chia Seeds
- 1 c oat flour
- 1 c old fashioned oats
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
- 1/3 c tangerine juice or orange juice
- 2 tbsp tangerine zest or orange zest
- 1/3 c cane sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- Combine oat flour, oats, sugar and baking powder. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, add olive oil, almond milk, tangerine juice, tangerine zest. Stir to combine.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry. Stir. Add chia seeds and stir once more.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring scoop to pour batter into muffin pan.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
Breakfast meals are just as delicious for dinner or any time of day. I often forget to reach for the eggs and whip up a breakfast type dish for dinner. This simple garden fresh Bacon Mozzarella and Veggie frittata makes a delicious dinner that is high in protein and packed with good for you veggies. Next, time you are can’t decide on a dinner recipe, think breakfast!
Bacon, Mozzarella and Veggie Frittata
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 c half and half
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large mozzarella ball, sliced into 6 pieces
- 3 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 c grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 c red onion, chopped
- 2/3 c baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a pie or quiche pan with non stick spray.
- Cook bacon until crispy. Allow to cool and then coarsely chop.
- While bacon cooks, heat olive oil in a separate pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onions. Cook until tender and onions begin to soften. Turn heat off and allow to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and half and half. Add garlic powder, chives, chili flakes and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Add mushrooms, onion and bacon to pie pan. pour egg mixture over. Assemble mozzarella slices on top. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
One of my favorite things about Spring is switching from stick-to-your-ribs comfort meals to lighter, garden fresh recipes. I love making a meal out of grain salads and earthy greens topped with grilled or roasted herb chicken. Hints of lemon run through this Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Mediterranean Chicken dish, making for a bright and flavorful Spring recipe. It becomes so much more than a salad when you combine all of these ingredients. A little bit of parmesan cheese, crunchy sunflower kernels and heart healthy avocado top the recipe and each bring there own unique flavors.
Quinoa and Arugula Salad with Mediterranean Chicken
- FOR SALAD
- 1 c quinoa
- 4 c arugula
- 1 c grape tomato, sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/3 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp sunflower kernels
- FOR DRESSING
- 1 tbsp basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 c olive oil
- Sea salt
- FOR CHICKEN
- 1 lb chicken breast tenders
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl and chill 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine chicken and marinade ingredients. Toss to coat.
- Pour chicken onto baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine ingredients for salad dressing. Add arugula, tomatoes and quinoa. Stir to coat. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, sunflower kernels and avocado.
- Place chicken on salad. Serve.
Easter is a holiday that evokes thoughts of colorful and bright food with fresh flavors. In today’s recipe, I created a simple and wholesome side dish of roasted vegetables with a creamy and tangy herb dressing. I wanted to make something different from he traditional potato salad. Cabbage, carrots, and potatoes are hearty and have the most wonderful flavor when roasted with a light char. This recipe for roasted vegetables with herb butter sauce will look gorgeous on your Easter table.
Roasted Vegetables with Herb Butter Sauce
- 1 head of cabbage
- 1 bunch of carrots (5-6 medium carrots), sliced lengthwise
- 1 lb baby red potatoes, quartered
- FOR SAUCE
- 1/3 c olive oil
- 1/3 c grass-fed butter, melter
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried dill
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, butter, dill and chives. Reserve 1/3 cup of sauce for after roasting.
- Slice cabbage to about 1 inch thickness. Place in a large bowl.
- Prepare carrots and potatoes. Add to bowl with cabbage.
- Pour sauce over vegetables. Use hands to mix and coat vegetables.
- Place vegetables on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake 30 minutes. Turn broiler to 550 and broil 5 minutes or until vegetables are lightly charred. pour reserved sauce over vegetables right before serving.
I love a meal that can be stretched and reheated throughout the week. Sunday is an ideal day to prepare a big batch of chili to have during the start of a new week. Having a healthy recipe on hand keeps me from ordering out and starts the week off on the right foot. Another fantastic aspect of this recipe is that you only use one pot for super quick cleanup.
This chili made with grass-fed ground beef, green salsa and fresh vegetables covers all the bases for a healthy recipe. Instead of using oil, I begin cooking the ground beef first and then add in my veggies which will cook in the juices from the meat. You could also use ground turkey or chicken if you prefer.
The secret ingredient in this recipe is corn tortillas. The tortillas are added to the chili and then simmered for 20 minutes. This breaks the tortillas down completely and they become a part of the broth adding a nice roasted corn background, much like tortilla soup.
- 1 lb grass fed beef
- 1 c white onion, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 can pinto beans, drained
- 1 16 oz jar of green salsa
- 24 oz low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 corn tortillas, torn into large pieces
- 1 c cilantro, chopped
- 1 avocado, diced
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, begin to brown ground beef over medium heat.
- After 5 minutes, add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, onion powder, salt and cumin. Use a wood spoon to break up ground beef and stir well. Cover and cook 5 minutes longer.
- Remove lid and add chicken broth and salsa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and add tortillas. Simmer 20 minutes.
- Stir in beans. Continue to simmer for a thicker chili or serve.
- Garnish with cilantro and chopped avocado.
With Spring approaching, I want to share this yummy and aromatic Lavender Coconut Yogurt Bark. Bark candies are traditionally made with just chocolate, but I created a frozen yogurt bar this past summer and I thought, why not combine these two for one delicious dessert?!
This bark is lower in sugar than traditional bark from the use of the Greek yogurt, but still has that decadent flavor using melted white chocolate. Lavender is such a beautiful herb to use in dessert recipes. It is aromatic and adds a freshness to dishes, perfect for springtime recipes.
The bark is finished with fresh lemon zest, extra coconut and white chocolate chips. Pop these babies in the freezer and you will have a springtime treat in no time.This chilled treat melts quickly, so enjoy it like you would ice cream.
Coconut Lavender Yogurt Bark with White Chocolate
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
- 1/2 c + 1/4c mini white chocolate chips
- 2 tsp lavender buds, divided
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Melt coconut oil in microwave until melted.
- Add 1 tsp lavender, stir.
- In a mixing bowl add Greek yogurt. Stir in half of coconut flakes to combine.
- In a small bowl melt 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips until melted working in 30 second increments. Stir coconut oil/lavender in with melted white chocolate chips.
- Pour white chocolate mixture in with Greek yogurt stirring quickly as you pour.
- Pour into an 8x13 pan. Scatter the rest of the coconut top. Sprinkle the rest of lavender buds and the lemon zest. Gently press toppings into yogurt.
- Freeze 2 hours. Use a butter knife to break up into pieces of bark. Store in an airtight container in freezer.