Roasting Veggies: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

SNACKS

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Another great muffin recipe that can serve as breakfast on the go or as a lunchbox treat.

Oatmeal Raisin Nut Butter BitesThese are not new to We Eat For Real – we just love them.  Since they can get a little soft, I sometimes freeze them if they are going to be in a lunchbox. Per Per my little one, they are “perfect” by lunchtime.

DINNERS

Sweet Corn with Beets and Basil and Grilled Chicken Sausage This is an impressive and side dish that doesn’t take a lot of effort other than to boil the corn and beets.  After that, it’s a matter of chopping up some basil and stirring in the cheese.

Warm Butternut Squash Quinoa Humph…I “over roasted” (a.k.a. burned) the veggies.  I programmed my oven and headed out the door for my little one’s horseback riding lesson.  When I returned, my veggies were blackened.  Unfortunately, this is not a Cajun recipe 😦  This was a sad, sad moment in time as this dish really showcases natural sweetness that emerges when veggies are roasted.  Do as I say, not as I do and keep a closer eye on roasting veggies!

One Skillet Chicken Fajitas – Nothing new to see here.  Just a tried and true recipe that makes the weekly menu list more often than not.  Who doesn’t love a one skillet meal that allows everyone to create their own favorite fajita?

15 Minute Swiss Chard Pesto Quinoa Bowl and Organic Greens (Salad) with Garlic Vinaigrette – Apparently, I was on a quinoa roll this week. It’s quite versatile as you can tell from this week’s meal plan. This particular recipe is a really fast option.  This is especially true if you use a store bought pesto. Luckily, we can all find “clean” pesto fairly easy. It may be in the specialty area of your local supermarket, but they are out there 🙂

Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta with Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s House Salad – I feel as Italian as a Kentucky chick can when I make this meal. If you use fresh, good quality ingredients, this dish is molto buono! Don’t feel like chicken? Leave it out. It will still be fantastic and ready about 10 minutes sooner. That’s saying something because it’s a 25 minute meal!

Game Day Mexican Pasta Salad – Mexican pasta?? Is that authentic Mexican food? Doubtful! However, it worked out great for tailgating. I never take a mayo based dish for tailgating (makes me nervous).  Due to this, I had to rework the original recipe a bit. I used goat cheese in place of mayo, but I think Greek yogurt could work too.  Next go round, I’ll change the pasta to increase visual appeal – maybe a multi-colored spiral of sorts. 

I hope something makes your belly smile…

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bites

Adapted from Super Glue Mom

 

Wet ingredients

½ c. creamy almond butter (alternative: nut butter of your choosing)
¼ c. raw honey or maple syrup (or 1/8 c. of each)
1 t. organic vanilla extract

Dry ingredients

¼ c. coconut flour
5 T. oats (I’ve used old fashioned or quick cooking oats)
2 T. ground flax seed
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. sea salt
Stir In
¼ c. organic raisins
Directions: In a small bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix together with a rubber spatula or your hands. Add in the raisins. If the mixture seems to wet, add a bit more coconut flour. If too dry, add a bit of water. Using a tablespoon to measure, roll the dough into bit sized balls with your hands. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Sometimes, I freeze these for about 10 minutes to speed things up a bit. Store in refrigerator (or freezer).


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted from My Whole Food Life


2 c. gluten free oat flour (make your own by grinding old fashioned oats in blender or coffee grinder)
2 t. baking powder
½ t. sea salt
2 ripe bananas
¼ c. unsweetened organic applesauce
¼ c. maple syrup
¼ c. organic milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/3 c. chocolate chunks (try my favorite chocolate liberty chocolate bars)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray/grease a muffin tin. In small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt). In a larger bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in the remaining wet ingredients (applesauce, maple syrup, milk, & vanilla). Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks. Fill muffin tins ¾ full and bake 10-12 minutes.


Sweet Corn With Beets and Basil With Grilled Chicken Sausage

Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 ears of organic corn, husked
8 baby beets, trimmed and scrubbed
1-2 T. fresh basil, chopped
2 oz. goat cheese
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions: In a large pot of salted water, boil the corn until cooked (about 4-5 minutes). Remove corn and set aside, retaining the water. Add the beets to water and simmer until soft (about 30 minutes). Remove the beets and allow them to cool slightly. Before peelings the beets, protect your hands with “sandwich bag gloves.” Once the skins are removed, dice the beets and place them in a bowl. Cut the kernels from the cobs, add them to the beets. Gently mix to combine. Top the salad with fresh basil and goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Do not over stir the salad or all will become pink.

Serve with grilled preservative free chicken sausage.


Warm Butternut Squash Quinoa

Adapted from Shape

 

1 small butternut squash, chopped
2 organic apples, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 c. Brussels sprouts, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp. cardamom (optional)
Chopped parsley for garnish
Sea salt and pepper
1 c. quinoa, optional (consider cooking in vegetable stock for even more flavor)
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the squash, apples, Brussels sprouts and onions with the olive oil, cardamom, and salt/pepper. In a single layer, add vegetable to the baking sheet – do not overlap. Roast for 45-50 minutes, flipping halfway through roasting. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the quinoa per the package directions (replace the water with vegetable stock). Remove the quinoa from the heat and keep covered until veggies are done roasting. In a large bowl, add the roasted vegetables and quinoa. Stir in the feta and chopped parsley. Season with sea salt/pepper to taste. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.


One Skillet Chicken Fajitas


Fajitas
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
2-3 large organic bell pepper, seeded/sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes OR (3-4 chopped medium, fresh tomatoes)
Note: if using fresh tomatoes, add ¼ c. of salsa
2 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
sea salt/pepper
whole wheat tortillas (idea: Ezekiel brand tortillas)

Optional Fajita Fillers:
canned organic black beans, drained & rinsed
organic shredded cheese
organic Greek yogurt or sour cream
salsa
avocado, sliced
Directions: Warm a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Season all sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. To the skillet, add the olive oil and chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned on all slides (about 5-6 minutes). Add onions and green peers, cooking until the peppers are softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute). Immediately add all remaining ingredients. The tomatoes will sizzle in the skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer. Allow some liquid to cook out (about 10 minutes). Season with salt/pepper to taste. Serve fajita mixture with whole wheat tortillas and your favorite fajita fillers. Enjoy!


15 Minute Swiss Chard Pesto Quinoa Bowl

Adapted from Table For Two


2 c. organic quinoa
4 c. stock (vegetable, chicken, or just plain water)
6 c. organic swiss chard, washed, de-stemmed, roughly chopped
(Alternatives: other organic greens…spinach, kale, arugula, etc.)
4 T. basil pesto
½ t. sea salt
½ c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions: Cook quinoa according to package directions, substituting the water with vegetable stock.  Once the quinoa is cooked, stir in the remaining ingredients: swiss chard, pesto, sea salt, and Parmesan cheese.  Plate and top with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit more Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Organic Greens (Salad) with Garlic Vinaigrette
Salad Ideas
2 handfuls of organic greens
¼ c. olives
Cherry tomatoes
2 T. gorgonzola cheese (alternative: your preferred cheese)
Directions: Gently toss all salad ingredients and top with the Garlic Vinaigrette.

Garlic Vinaigrette
¼ c. balsamic vinegar (alternatives: apple cider vinegar, white balsamic vinegar)
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. local honey
sea salt/pepper, freshly ground
Directions: Add ingredients to a lid with a jar. Shake and pour over organic greens salad.


Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta

Adapted from Menu Musings


3-4 organic chicken breasts (pound out to ensure even cooking)
Sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
3-4 T. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 c. organic tomatoes, chopped
4 t. garlic, minced
3 T. organic butter
1/2 c. organic basil, chopped
1 lb. 100% whole wheat pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Directions: Warm a deep, large skillet to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Don’t be shy.  The olive oil will be the base for the sauce. Season both sides of the chicken with sea salt & freshly ground pepper. Add the chicken to the olive oil and saute for 6 minutes on one side.

In the meantime, cook the pasta in salted water. If you time this right, both the sauce and pasta will be ready at about the same time. When the pasta is done, drain it. Do not rinse!!

Flip the chicken, and allow to to cook another 4 minutes before stirring in the tomatoes.  Things will get a bit explosive with sizzling and bubbling at the edges. Two minutes later, add the basil and then the garlic. Finally, stir in the butter. This butter is not really optional. I’ve omitted it once.  It just wasn’t not the same! It’s only 1 tablespoon, and it’s organic- relax 😉. Reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 2 minutes (not a minutes less).  Cut the chicken into slices on the bias before returning it to the skillet. Season the sauce with sea salt/pepper to taste.

Plate the pasta and sauce. Top with a drizzle of good quality olive oil and Parmesan cheese!

Our Take on Smashing Tomato’s House Salad
Salad
Organic greens of your choice
¼ c. chopped walnuts
½ red onion, sliced
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese
Balsamic reduction (see recipe below)
Balsamic Reduction
1 c. store bought balsamic vinegar
4-5 drops organic stevia drops (optional) (alternative 1 t. honey)
Directions: In a small sauce pan, add the balsamic vinegar and stevia. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer until it has reduced by one-half (about 30 minutes).  Stir occasionally. It’s ready when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.


Game Day Mexican Pasta Salad

Adapted from The Recipe Critic

 

1 lb. 100% whole wheat pasta
1 c. organic corn, frozen or fresh
½ pint organic cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ to ½ c. Kalamata olives, chopped
½ can organic black beans, rinsed
¼ red onion, chopped
½ organic bell pepper, chopped
4 oz. goat cheese
1 c. salsa
¼ c. olive oil
Sea salt/freshly cracked pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Directions: Cook the pasta in salted water. During the last two minutes of cooking, add the corn to the boiling water. When the pasta is al dente, drain the corn and pasta.  Do not rinse!

In a large bowl, stir together the cherry tomatoes, beans, onion, and bell pepper. In a small serving bowl, whisk together the goat cheese, salsa, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and garlic.  Pour the dressing over the veggies and stir.  Once the pasta and corn are cool, gently stir them into the mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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