Category Archives: Cooking

Kale Salad

Kale Salad - In Her Chucks

This summer I fell in love…with kale.

Since subscribing to my CSA 3 years ago, I have been slowly warming up to this leafy green vegetable.  But over the last few months, my affection for kale has reached a whole new level.  Whether I am munching on kale chips, drinking kale juice, or dipping some sliced cucumbers in kale pesto, I just can’t get enough.  But this salad is definitely my go-to recipe.  And I have been going to it A LOT this summer.

What makes this recipe so good is the bright and complex flavors.  There is something about the mixture of sesame seed oil and soy sauce that sends me over the edge.  Add a few squeezes of fresh citrus and minced garlic and the dressing is nothing short of a party in your mouth.  And then of course, who doesn’t love the extra texture of toasted sesame seeds and perfectly ripe avocado perched on top of these leaves of glory.  Do you catch my drift?  It really is a healthy slice of heaven ;)

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste (or use a garlic press)

4 tbsp toasted sesame oil

3 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Place kale into a large serving bowl.  Add remaining ingredients (except for the avocado) and toss to coat.  Gently fold avocados into the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes a good portion of salad.  If you are anything like me, you might be able to scarf it all down in one sitting.  But if you find yourself with left overs, the good news is that it keeps well in the fridge overnight.  So feel free to enjoy it the next day for lunch.  However, if you plan on sharing it with friends for a bbq or potluck, you might want to double the recipe because I can promise you the salad will be gone within minutes.

I have to admit, I feel terrible that it took me so long to befriend kale.  But now that we are clearly BFFs I have no doubt we will be making up for lost time.

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Chopped Caprese Salad

Chopped Caprese Salad - In Her Chucks

After nearly three years as a loyal CSA subscriber, I can honestly say, my weekly boxes have converted me in ways I never thought possible.  Once upon a time I used to feel lost and overwhelmed by the site of unwanted veggies but now I can honestly say I am a beet buff, a kale craver and most recently a proud tomato lover.

And if it weren’t for the help of my CSA, I don’t think those conversions would have been possible.  Week after week, they provided me with bunches of soil dusted root vegetables, luscious leafy greens and perfectly plump tomatoes.  And because I wouldn’t dare waste any of it, I had to get creative.  And slowly but surely, I became more and more excited to get these items in my box.  And today, I will pretty much eat anything.

Now, I know Caprese Salads aren’t anything new.  I mean, if you’ve met one Caprese Salad you’ve met them all, right?  Well, in this case, I promise that this Caprese Salad is sure to kick things up a notch.  The secret ingredient?  Kalamata olives.  These little suckers change. the. game.

Readers, meet my new favorite salad.  New favorite salad, meet my amazing and loyal readers.

Ingredients

1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (or I like the Baby Heirloom Tomatoes from Trader Joe’s)

12 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped (I use the Ciliegine Fresh Mozzarella Cheese from Trader Joe’s)

3 oz Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

5-7 basil leaves, finely chopped

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste)

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or more to taste) *traditional balsamic vinegar would work fine here too

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Throw the tomatoes, cheese, olives and basil into a bowl.  Add olive oil and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Add more dressing or seasoning to taste.

What I love about this recipe is that it is so darn easy!  It’s the perfect dish to bring to a barbecue or pot luck or can be portioned out for a single meal.

The measurements shown above are merely suggestions.  Feel free to make this your own.  I personally prefer a balanced tomato to cheese ratio as each bite must have a piece of each before it enters my mouth.  Which is why I am obsessed with the Ciliegine Fresh Mozzarella Cheese from Trader Joe’s because it matches the size of the tomatoes perfectly :)

So for those of who have tomatoes coming out of your ears, here is one more recipe to add to your repertoire.  I promise you will love it.  I just can’t promise you it will make it to the dinner table before it’s half eaten.

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Raspberry Chicken with Homemade Rice Pilaf

Raspberry Chicken with Homemade Rice Pilaf - In Her Chucks

Fresh fruit.  It’s one of my weaknesses.  I can’t won’t go a day without it.  In fact, I love it so much, I do my best to incorporate it into every meal of the day.  Breakfast…Homemade crepes topped with fresh berries.  For a snack…Apples slices with cheese.   Lunch…Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken.   A meal isn’t complete without a piece of fruit in the mix.

But when it comes to dinner, some people might find incorporating a piece of seasonal fruit into their meal prep a bit of a challenge.  Sure, you can enjoy a piece of fruit as a healthy dessert but I’m talking about throwing sweet and delicious fruits right into your savory dishes.  I tend to have a habit of it (Braised Pork with Fuyu Persimmons, Sole with Grapefruit-Thyme Butter, Citrus Crusted Tilapia with Blood Orange Salsa, and the list goes on and on) but this is the dish that started it all.

My mom has been making Raspberry Chicken for us as long as I can remember.  It’s one of my most requested dishes when I go to visit.  Not only is it absolutely delicious but it is the perfect way to celebrate the beauty of one of my favorite summer fruits…raspberries!

And because this meal wouldn’t be complete without a side of homemade rice pilaf, I have included that recipe for you too :)

Raspberry Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup onion, chopped

4 tbsp raspberry vinegar

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp canned crushed tomatoes

1 cup fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preparation

1.  Melt butter in the skillet.  Season chicken breasts with a bit of salt and pepper and cook for about 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.

2.  Add the onions to the skillet and cook covered over low heat until tender (about 15 minutes)

3.  Add the vinegar to the skillet with the onions and raise the heat cooking uncovered (stirring occasionally) until vinegar is reduced to a syrupy spoonful.

4.  Whisk in the chicken stock, cream and crushed tomatoes and simmer for 1 minute.  Return the chicken breasts to the skillet and gently simmer in the sauce basting often.  Cook until the chicken is done and sauce is reduced and thickened (about 5 minutes).

5.  Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and keep warm.   Add the raspberries to the sauce and cook over low heat for 1 minute.  Do not stir the berries with the spoon, just swirl them in the sauce.

6.  Serve the chicken on a plate with the sauce along with the rice pilaf (recipe below).  Garnish with flat leaf parsley.

Recipe slightly adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook

Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp butter

1 medium yellow onion, minced

2 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 cups of chicken broth

3/4 cup basmati rice

1/4 cup spaghetti sticks, broken into 1-1 1/2 in pieces

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preparation

Heat oil and butter together in a large skillet.  Add onions and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for one minute, stirring frequently.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add rice and spaghetti, stirring to combine with garlic and onions.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until rice and pasta begin to lightly brown.  Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Once the liquid is boiling, turn heat down to simmer and cover, cooking for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.  Fluff the cooked rice mixture and add chopped parsley.

What I love most about this meal is how simple and easy it is to make.  However, the complex flavors and beautiful presentation are sure to impress both your family or favorite dinner guests.

So hurry out to your local farmer’s market and pick up a pint (or two) of raspberries and get cooking.  Your taste buds will be sure to thank you :)

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Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies

Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies - In Her Chucks

 

When it comes to celebrating Mother’s Day, there are a million things you can do for your domestic goddess to make her feel special.  Whether it’s a handwritten card, a bouquet of flowers, or a sentimental piece of jewelry, this Sunday is all about appreciating the wonderful mamas for everything they are to us.

Growing up, it was our tradition to bring my mom breakfast in bed.  In our younger years, my dad would help my brother and I prepare a fancy morning feast, but as we got older, my brother and I were determined to do it all on our own.  Unfortunately for my mom this meant watered down coffee and frozen waffles (which were still frozen).  But it’s the thought that counts ;)

So to redeem myself, I have prepared a fresh batch of Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies for the woman who has helped to shape the person that I am today.  She is my very best friend and forever hero…my mom :)

Ingredients

Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
Zest from 1/2 grapefruit

Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
Zest from 1/2 grapefruit

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cookies:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth.  Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.

 

Recipe slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via foodnetwork.com

What I love most about these cookies is how light and fluffy they are.  Pretty much makes you feel like you are biting into a cloud.  A grapefruit cloud that boasts just enough citrus essence to give it an awesomely tangy kick.  Sounds like a metaphor for motherhood.  A mother who is soft and sweet but zesty enough that her kids know better than to mess with her.  It’s the perfect balance.

So in honor of the upcoming holiday, why not whip up a batch of these cookies for your mommy dearest, put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea and enjoy your Mother’s Day Weekend :)

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Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Happy Easter everyone!  Today is a joyous and wonderful celebration of our Savior’s resurrection.  It is an opportunity for a fresh start, a rebirth and a great time to reflect on the incredible blessings we all have in our lives.

We have been preparing for this holiday for the last week.  Harper helped me by dying Easter eggs, my friends and I have been busy planning the perfect Easter feast and today Harper enjoyed herself on her first Easter egg hunt.  And she sure didn’t waste time digging into her egg hunt loot…

Easter Egg Hunt

As much as I love Easter candy (peeps, Cadbury eggs, life-size chocolate bunnies), I love homemade baked goods even more.  During this time of year I usually like to prepare my festive treats with carrots.  The Easter Bunny really puts on the pressure to come up with new and inventive ideas to use his favorite veggie (seen here and here).  But this Easter I decided to take a new path and utilize my favorite fruit instead.  Luckily, this cake is so good, I don’t think the Easter Bunny will mind.

Ingredients 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

Zest of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 oz plain Greek yogurt

1 lb fresh strawberries, diced

1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (10-15 cup pan).  Sift together the 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

3.  Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.  Gently fold them into the batter.

4.  Pour the batter into the Bundt pan.  Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.  Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5.  Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.  Once cooled whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the powdered sugar.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Recipe slightly adapted from A Spicy Perspective

What I love most about this cake is how incredibly moist it is.  Whether the credit belongs to the yogurt or the berries, I don’t care…it’s like buttah baby!  But one thing that really does deserve more credit in this sweet treat is the role of the lemons.  From the title alone, you wouldn’t know that not only is the cake topped with a lovely, light and tangy lemon glaze, but the batter has hidden lemon zest and a hint of lemon juice as well.  Which pretty much makes this dessert more of a refreshing sip of strawberry lemonade in a cake form.

So whether you’re hunting for Easter eggs, waiting for the Easter bunny to bring your goodies or enjoying a Sonrise service this Sunday, make sure you end your day with a slice of this delicious spring time dessert :)

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Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew - In Her Chucks

After what seemed like a pretty cold winter for us Californians, the temps are finally starting to rise.  The days are getting longer and spring is just around the corner.  But I can’t say goodbye to winter without sharing a great stew recipe that is sure to warm you up from the inside out.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup Marsala wine

1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes

1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

3 to 4 cups beef broth

2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and sauté until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes.  Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour.  Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot.  Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala wine.  Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add the butternut squash and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine.  Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef and squash.  Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.  Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Recipe from Giada De Leurentiis via FoodNetwork.com

The flavors in this stew are incredible.  You have the sweetness of the squash, the rich smokey flavor of the Marsala wine and of course the fresh aromas of the rosemary and thyme.  And like most soups and stews, this dish is even better the next day once the flavors have had the chance to meld together even more.

As excited as I am to start breaking out my shorts and flip-flops in anticipation for beach weather, I am going to miss the hearty and delicious comfort foods of the colder months.  What are some of your favorite recipes to keep you warm during the winter?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

PS:  Congratulations to Katie of Baking and Swimming for winning the 3 Month Subscription to Conscious Box!  Thank you so everyone who entered.  Stay tuned for more awesome giveaways coming your way soon :)

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Lime Squares with Pistachio Graham-Cracker Crust

Lime Squares with Pistacio Graham-Cracker Crust - In Her ChucksBecause it’s Saturday, and I am sitting home relaxing, by myself, while Harper and Freddie enjoy some daddy daughter time, I thought I would sneak in one of my new favorite recipes.

As you know, I have been doing my best to stay on the straight and narrow.  But yesterday we had company over for dinner and I couldn’t help but be a little naughty.  For the main dish I whipped up a delicious Sweet Potato Turkey Shepherd’s Pie using the 2 pound garnet yam I got in my box.  On the side I served a fresh green salad topped with persian cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, shredded carrots and candied pecans.  It was a yummy and healthy meal that left our tummies satisfied.

But I couldn’t let our guests leave without a small sweet indulgence.  And this simple and easy dessert hit the spot!  The flavors are clean and refreshing and the pistachios give the crust an extra crust that complements the silkiness of the filling.

Ingredients

For The Crust:  

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan

2/3 cup shelled pistachios

1 cup (4 ounces) graham-cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon grated lime zest (about 3 limes)

For The Filling:

2 large egg yolks

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with melted butter.  Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.

2.  In a food processor, finely grind pistachips with graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and zest.  Blend in butter.  Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan.  Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes.  Cool crust, 30 minutes.

3.  To make the filling:  In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk.  Add lime juice; whisk until smooth.  Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges.

4.  Bake until set, about 15 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving.  Using parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to cutting board.  With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp kitchen towel between each cut.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Even though this recipe is easy to make, it does take some time to complete (mostly because the crust has to cool and the bars need to chill).  So allow yourself a few hours to prepare these.  But once made, these will last a few days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  That is, if everyone doesn’t eat them all at once :)

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  You only have until March 11th to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!

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Homemade Granola Bars & A Giveaway!

Homemade Granola Bars- In Her Chucks

I love a good, healthy, and hearty snack.  It curbs my hunger between meals and helps perk me up during a midday slump.  Unfortunately, many of the “healthy” snacks you find at the grocery store aren’t really healthy at all.  Instead, they are full of unnecessary ingredients such as corn syrup, preservatives, and artificial flavors.  You might as well make a beeline for the donuts (a personal weakness).  Or, to ensure that you are giving your body the fuel it needs to get through the day, make your favorite snacks at home.  And these Cranberry Almond Granola Bars are a great place to start.

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup ground flax-seed

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1-ounce unsalted butter, plus extra for pan

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 1/2 ounces chopped dried cranberries

Preparation

Butter a 9 by 9-inch glass baking dish and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, and ground flax seeds into a half-sheet pan.  Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, combine honey, brown sugar, butter, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat.  Cook until the brown sugar as completely dissolved.

Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F.  Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, and stir to combine.  Turn the mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.  Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipe slightly adapted from FoodNetwork.com via Cupcakes and Cashmere

Not only are these bars super delicious, they are super simple to make!  In fact, I might even go as far as saying they will have you swearing off packaged foods forever (Unless of course you are starving and stranded at a gas station in the middle of nowhere without your homemade stash.  Then you might make an exception).  And like my homemade granola, the possibilities are endless.  So you will never get bored with all the combinations you can think up.

Hungry for more healthy snacking ideas?  Conscious Box is full of them!  In fact, they were the ones who introduced me to Amazing Grass which sparked my Fresh Start Challenge.  They are always inspiring me to live a healthier, happier, more sustainable life.

There are lots of exciting things happening over at ConsciousBox.com.  For starters, they have a brand new website.  One of my favorite features is that you can earn points for rating the samples in your box which can then be used towards some great discounts on your favorite products.

And in celebration of their new site launch, Conscious Box is giving away a 3 month subscription (a $59 value) to one lucky reader.  

Here’s how to enter…

1.  Head on over to ConsciousBox.com and create a profile (this is totally free) and leave a comment here telling me you have done so.

2.  “Like”  ConsciousBox and In Her Chucks on Facebook and post a comment on their wall telling them what you thought about their new site (ps: don’t forget to tell them “In Her Chucks” sent you!).

3.  “Share” Conscious Box’s new page with your FB friends and leave a comment telling me you have done so.

4.  Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you have done so.  If you already subscribe to my blog, then leave me a comment telling me that you are already subscribed (and thanks for the support!).

5.  Pin this giveaway and comment here with a link to your post.

The more entries you have, the better your chances are to win.  The giveaway will close at 12:01 am on March 11th.  A winner will be randomly selected and announced on March 12th.  Make sure to include your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

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Tomato Basil Bisque

Tomato Basil Bisque - In Her Chucks

I am a meat eater through and through.  No meal is complete without a big lump of protein on my plate.  So when I went through my Fresh Start Challenge meal plan and saw that there was a vegetarian soup on the menu, I was skeptical.  I mean, I love veggies, and I love soup, but can’t we toss some chicken in there to boost up the heartiness factor?  Well let me just say, this soup is perfect just as it is!  Not only was it incredibly delicious, but it was definitely hearty!  The quinoa and goat cheese help to bulk up the texture and give it enough protein to keep you full and satisfied without weighing you down.

Ingredients

4 large carrots, chopped,

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp Tamari

2 tbsp coconut oil, divided

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

28 oz can whole tomatoes, drained

1 cup organic marinara sauce

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 tsp honey

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1/4 tsp Celtic Sea Salt (more or less to taste)

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Dashes of dried thyme, rosemary and oregano

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 cups chicken broth

Prepared quinoa

Goat cheese

Preparation

1.  In a large soup pot, heat the Tamari and 1 tbsp coconut oil over med-high heat.

2.  Stir in the chopped onions, celery and bell peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes before adding the garlic, carrots and about 1/2 cup chicken.  Sauté another 5 minutes.

3.  Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, basil, broth, salt, marinara sauce and remaining spices (wait to add the remaining 1 tbsp coconut oil and nutritional yeast until the very end before pureeing).

4.  Let soup come to a boil and cook on low-med heat for about 1/2 hour, allowing all of the flavors to meld together.

5.  Pour all of the contents from the soup pan into a blender, along with 1 tbsp coconut oil and the nutritional yeast.  Blend on high for about 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.

6.  Portion out soup into bowls and add prepared quinoa, mix until combined.  Top with crumbled goat cheese.

Recipe slightly adapted from Amazing Grass:  Fresh Start Challenge

What I love most about this dish is how super duper easy it is to make.  Just throw everything in a pot, let it hang out for a bit and then toss it in the blender.  And with enough soup for 4-5 servings, there is plenty to share or hide away in the freezer for later ;)

PS:  Congratulations to Tiffany T for winning the Amazing Grass Giveaway!  And a big thank you to everyone who participated.  Cheers to a Fresh Start!

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Chicken and Swiss Chard with Couscous in Brodo

Chicken and Swiss Chard with Couscous in Brodo

Believe it or not, this has been one cold winter for us Cali folks. The other day Freddie texted me this picture from the car…

photo

Yeah…36 degrees. In these parts that’s considered unacceptable. But if I were to find the silver lining in all of this (which I like to do), 36 degrees is the perfect weather for a warm bowl of soup :) Especially when it’s easy to make, contains ingredients you already have in your fridge and super, duper delicious!

But before we get to the recipe, let’s settle something here. What the heck is brodo? Well, according to my Google search, brodo is another word for broth or clear soup. Nothing special, but when you add it to the title of your recipe, it makes it sound so much more fancy. And these days, I’ll take all the fancy I can get :)

Ingredients

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts,

2 garlic cloves, smashed

3/4 cup Israeli couscous

3/4 cup thinly sliced carrots

1/2 bunch Swiss chard, center ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2 inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup fresh dill fronds

2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives

Lemon wedges (for squeezing)

Preparation

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and garlic, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate; let cool. Shred into bite sized pieces; set aside.

Return broth to a boil and add couscous; cook until al dente, 7-8 minutes. Add carrots and continue to boil until carrots are crisp-tender and couscous is cooked through, 2-3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in Swiss chard; season with salt and pepper. Divide soup among bowls and garnish with dill and chives. Squeeze a bit of lemon over each bowl and serve.

Recipe from Bon Appetit

What I like most about this soup is the crisp, clean flavors. The dill, chives and lemon really bring this dish to life by adding a subtle sweetness. But don’t let this healthy dish fool you…it’s darn hearty! Between the couscous, chicken and Swiss chard your belly will be happily full. And the leftovers? Even better. The longer you let the flavors mingle, the more delicious it will become. So bring on the cold weather Mother Nature…because I got soup for days!

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! You have until February 1st to get your entries in. Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks. Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway. Good luck!

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