arugula and feta farro (or Orzo), brussels sprouts cranberry quinoa salad, feta arugula chicken sausage frittata, chicken with baked sweet potato fries, shrimp scampi with spaghetti squash, & breakfast cookies


Breakfast Cookies – A great grab and go, guilt free breakfast item.  Or, it’s a great treat for when a cookie craving hits!


Arugula and Feta Farro (or Orzo) with Pan Seared Chicken Sausage –This is a quick, impressive dinner option -great for entertaining.  It’s crazy easy, yet it tastes like hours of kitchen time was spent creating it. I usually double this recipe to ensure we can enjoy it all over again at lunch.

Brussels Sprouts Cranberry Quinoa Salad & Chicken Sausage – I know, I know, you “hate” Brussels Sprouts. This time, they are shredded and served as salad greens.  The traditional overcooked, stinky, and mushy Brussels sprouts are nonexistent here.  My original intent was to serve the chicken sausage on the side.  However, at the last minute, I decided to slice it and throw it in the salad.  Outcome: Great success.

Feta Arugula Chicken Sausage Frittata – A quick and easy dinner option with endless ingredient options.  No feta?  Substitute another cheese.  No arugula? No problem-another organic green like spinach, kale, or swiss chard will work.  No meat in the fridge? Go without.  Regardless of your chosen combination, this will turn out great every time.

Pan Seared Chicken with Baked Sweet Potato Fries – Sweet potato fries are a great substitute for traditional fries.  They’re especially yummy with smokey paprika seasoning.  Consider using the same seasoning for your chicken too.

Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash  – A friend recently shared this recipe with me – Thanks Shannah! I chose to microwave the spaghetti squash instead of roasting for the sake of time.  It made an otherwise time consuming recipe ready in no time.

Hope something makes your belly smile…

Breakfast Cookies

Adapted from Weelicious 

Dry Ingredients
1 c. whole white wheat flour
2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. sea salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. flax seeds

Wet Ingredients
1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (alternative: soften coconut oil)
1/2 c. organic, unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 c. pure maple syrup (alternative: honey)
1 large organic egg
2 t. organic vanilla extract

Stir In Ingredients
1/2 c. organic raisins (alternative: dried, unsweetened cranberries or cherries)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a larger bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. You can do this by hand or alternatively in a mixer. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir a few times by hand. Finally, fold in the stir in ingredients by hand. Use a large scoop to create individual cookie dough mounds. Bake on a silicone lined baking sheet or baking stone for 12-15 minutes (slight browning at the edges = done).

Arugula and Feta Farro (or Orzo) with Pan Seared Chicken Sausage

Adapted from Organize Yourself Skinny 

Lemon Garlic Dressing Ingredients
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
2 lemons, juiced
¼ t. sea salt and pepper

Farro Ingredients
2 c. farro (whole grain) (alternative: 2 c. whole wheat orzo)
4 c. organic chicken broth (alternatives: vegetable broth or water)
2 c. organic arugula (OR organic kale), reserve the remaining greens for the salad
1c. + ½ c. feta cheese, grated

(Tip: Buy a block of feta and grate it yourself. Prepackaged feta crumbles have additives!)

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt/pepper and set aside.

If using farro: To a medium size stock pot, add the broth or water.  Bring bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook per package instructions. When done, drain the farro and return it to the stock pot.

If using orzo: To a medium size stock pot, add the broth or salted water and bring to a boil.  Add the orzo.  Refer to package directions to achieve al dente pasta. When done, drain the orzo and return it to the stock pot. (Note: reserve about 1 c. of the cooking liquid).

Prepare the chicken sausage by pan searing while the farro (or orzo) is simmering.

Mix in the greens (arugula or kale) and feta to the warm farro (or orzo).  Once the greens have wilted, pour in the lemon-garlic olive oil and mix to combine.  Season with sea salt/pepper to taste. If using orzo, add some of the reserved cooking liquid.  (You’ll find that whole wheat pasta tends to soak up any available liquid and so the additional liquid is needed.)

Serve the chicken sausage alongside the farro (or orzo).  Alternatively, slice the cooked chicken sausage and stir it into the prepared farro (or orzo).

Brussels Sprouts Cranberry Quinoa Salad & Chicken Sausage

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven 

Salad Ingredients
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, rinsed and ends trimmed, sliced with a food processor (or by hand)
1 c. dry quinoa
1 c. dried organic cranberries (check ingredients for added preservatives and sugar – sometimes organic sugar cannot be avoided)
2/3 c. slivered almonds, (toasting optional)
1/3 c. feta, roughly shredded
Orange vinaigrette (see below)

1 pkg. preservative free chicken sausage

Directions: Cook the quinoa according to package directions. When finished transfer to the refrigerator to quickly cool it.

While the quinoa cooks, heat a large skillet to medium heat, and cook the chicken sausage. Rotate while cooking to ensure evenin heating.

Prepare the vinaigrette and set aside.

Once the quinoa and chicken sausage are underway, slice the Brussels sprouts in the food processor (or by hand).  To a large serving bowl, add the Brussels sprouts along with the cranberries, almonds, and cheese.

Once the chicken sausage is fully cooked, allow to cool slightly before slicing.  Add the chicken sausage along with the quinoa.

Top the salad with the orange vinaigrette, and gentle stir.  Season with salt/pepper to taste.

Orange Vinaigrette
1/4 c. freshly-squeezed orange juice (alternative 1 large orange, juiced)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. apple cider vinegar
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions: Whisk together all ingredients.

Feta Arugula Chicken Sausage Frittata  

1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 links, preservative free chicken sausage, chopped
Large handful of organic arugula, roughly chopped
¾ c. organic feta, crumbled
5 organic eggs (alternative: 3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites)
Sea salt/freshly cracked pepper
Salsa, optional topping
Hot sauce, optional topping

Directions: Preheat oven to 375.  In an oven safe, nonstick skillet, heated to medium, add the olive oil.  Brown the chicken sausage for about 5- 7 minutes.

In the meantime, in a small bowl whisk the eggs.  Add the cheese, stir, and set aside.

To the skillet, add the  onions and sea salt/pepper (to taste).  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Add the arugula to the skillet, stirring often.  Continue cooking until the greens are softened.  Add the garlic, cooking until fragrant (about a minute).

Pour the cheese/egg mixture evenly atop the skillet.  Allow the eggs to cook until the edges begin to firm up.  Place the skillet in the oven for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking the eggs.  The frittata is done when the eggs in the middle of the skillet have firmed up.

Carefully remove from the oven and allow to rest for 3-4 minutes.  Serve in “pizza style” slices from the skillet OR ensure the frittata is loose by running a nonstick spatula around the edges of the frittata and invert the skillet on a plate.  Enjoy as is or with top with salsa and/or hot sauce.

Pan Seared Chicken with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Adapted from Broke and Bougie 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries (1 sweet potato per person)

3 sweet potatoes, skins removed
2 T. coconut oil (melted) or olive oil
1/8 to ¼ t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. sea salt

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 475 degrees (bake not convection).  Slice the potatoes (skins removed) into French fries.  In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with the oil and dry seasonings.  Line a baking dish with parchment paper or foil.  Arrange the fries on the pan (do not allow them to touch one another or they won’t get crispy).  Cook for 10 minutes, flip, and cook 8 to 10 additional minutes or until done to your preferred crispness.

Pan Seared Chicken
2-3 organic chicken breasts
Sea salt, freshly ground
Black pepper, freshly ground
½ T. Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute (alternative: another dry, preservative free poultry seasoning)
½ t. or less olive oil

Directions: Heat a skillet to near medium heat.  Pound out the chicken so its thickness is even to ensure even cooking. Sprinkle both sides with salt/pepper and the dry seasoning.  Coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil, giving the pan a swirl or two around.  Place the chicken breasts on the pan (do not move around once placed other than to flip on the other side). Approximately 7 minutes later, flip the chicken.  Notice how far up the side of the breast it is cooked.  If the color change is about ½ of the way, you can estimate it will likely take the same amount of time on the flipped side.

Ideally, the chicken is flipped only one time in the skillet.  Never ever cut into the chicken while cooking to see if it’s done.  All of the juices run out and the result is dry chicken.  Once the chicken has cooked on both sides, remove it from the heat and allow it to rest for several minutes before cutting.

Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash

Adapted from Lighten Up 

1 lb. wild caught shrimp
2 spaghetti squash,
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small red onion,  thinly sliced
1 lb. organic asparagus, woody stems removed and sliced into 1” sections
1.5 lemons, zested and juiced
2 T. olive oil
1.5 T. organic butter
Sea salt
Red pepper flakes

Directions: Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  Place upside down in a microwavable dish with a lip.  Add 1 tablespoon of water and cover with plastic wrap.  Pierce the plastic wrap with a tiny hole to allow steam to escape.  Cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until the skin is super soft to the touch.  Repeat this process with the other spaghetti squash.

While the squash cooks, heat a large skillet to near medium, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Add the garlic, onion, and asparagus and season with a pinch of sea salt and red pepper flakes. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the shrimp, lemon zest and a pinch of sea salt  and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 more minutes. (NOTE: shrimp cooks fast! You want it to begin to tighten into a curl and turn from translucent to opaque.) Then, quickly add the lemon juice and a 1.5 tablespoon of butter. Give it a quick stir and remove from the heat.

With a fork, scrape the spaghetti squash to remove the spaghetti-like strands and add it to the skillet. With tongs, toss it with the shrimp mixture. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Plate and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and some Parmesan cheese. 


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