Best Ever Quick Chicken Noodle Soup


Happy flu/cold season! Has it hit your house yet? Fortunately the kids have managed to dodge the flu (please, karma, don’t jinx me here) but we’ve all had a round of yucky colds. And, as I made this recipe for about the 5th time since Christmas, it occurred to me I don’t think I’ve even shared it with you!

I realize “best ever” is fairly aggressive, friends. But for as little time and ingredients you need to put into this soup I’m not sure you’ll find an easier recipe that yields this kind of superior comforting, savory flavor. My kids love this…and I wish you could see the baby kicking those chubby feet when he gets to indulge in a piece of crusty bread that’s soppedup all of the broth…it’s a sight for sore eyes! It just has that warm, healing effect. Such a staple!
Best Ever Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon Butter

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, both sides liberally seasoned with salt and pepper

1 Large White Onion, peeled and halved

10 Cups Chicken Stock + 1 Cup Water

2 Bay Leaves

3 Carrots, peeled and sliced

2 Cups Dried Pasta, cooked el dente

Directions

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes, or just until it begins to turn golden. Flip the chicken over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. 

Add onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, water and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pot, turn heat to medium, cover the pot partially and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and place on a plate. Shred with two forks. Remove the onion pieces and discard. 

Add the carrots and shredded chicken/juices to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove bay leaves and season the soup, to taste, with plenty of salt and pepper.

Place cooked pasta in bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Serves 4+

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chorizo Queso Dip


Well, friends, the Vikings lost. While I’m not much of a follower of the NFL, that game was a major deal in our home. Mostly because we were excited to watch our hometown team while having an “appetizer dinner” on the couch….but nonetheless, my heart couldn’t help but break a little for those players. It was a good run, MN! 

Our dinner consisted of the worlds largest charcuterie board put together by the kids complete with dips, fruits, meats, chocolate, nuts, the whole she-bang…and this queso dip. This little gem of a queso dip!

Huge fans of queso around here, we are. Anything that involves gobs of cheese and tortilla chips is always welcomed. But this ones a keeper!


The star ingredient? Pub cheese! I tell you what…that stuff sneaks it’s way into so many things around here when we are up for splurging. And I can guarantee you it makes THE best macaroni and cheese…I’ll share that ditty with you sometime soon. But it does a darn queso proud, for sure! Pair it with the smokiness of ground chorizo and I’ll just go right ahead and dive in head first;)


This recipe is so stinking easy…and perfect for any gathering. Just 4 ingredients, to boot. Yes! 

4 Ingredient Slow Cooker Chorizo Queso Dip

Ingredients

1/2 Pound Ground Chorizo

8 Ounces Sharp Cheddar Pub Cheese

8 Ounces Cream Cheese, cubed

3/4 Cup Your Favorite Prepared Salsa

Directions

Cook chorizo in a skillet over medium high heat until nicely browned; drain on paper towel.

Add cooked chorizo and the remaining ingredients to the bowl of a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until everything comes together and is nicely melted. Serve in slow cooker on warm setting with tortilla chips.

Korean Steak Tacos


My guess is if you’ve ever had Korean Beef Tacos in any way, shape or form I’m not going to have to do much convincing here to get you to make this recipe. But just, in the tiniest case, that you’ve never been blessed with such a delightful experience, let me just say a few words of encouragement…

Sweet, savory, perfectly melt-in-your-mouth steak. Let’s start there…


Then, let’s smear on some lime avocado…you know, for the smooth, creaminess factor.

And a crunchy, slightly sweet, spiced-up fresh, bursting-with-flavor slaw of cabbage, carrot, green onion, jalapeño and cilantro…just to ice that sweet little cake


And then. Fireworks. Rainbows. Balloons and streamers, friends. This one…it’s quick, simple and the biggest tastebud party known to human kind! You must, y’all, you just MUST make this one!!! 

Korean Steak Tacos

Notes: if you are not concerned about gluten, feel free to use soy sauce instead of tamari. Also, any high heat oil such as canola will work instead of grapeseed oil.

Ingredients 

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro

1/4 Cup Honey

3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

2 Tablespoons Tamari

1 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil or other high heat oil

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 (1-1 1/2 Pound) Flank Steak, sliced into thin strips. 

2 Teaspoons Rice Vinegar

3 Cups Shredded Purple Cabbage

2 Carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips

1 Jalapeño, stem removed and sliced

4 Green Onions, sliced thin

2 Avocados, mashed

1 Lime, juiced + sliced lime, for serving

Salt + Black Pepper, to taste

Corn Tortillas

Directions

Place flank steak in a plastic bag. In a medium bowl whisk together the cilantro, honey, sesame oil, tamari, grapeseed oil and garlic. Set 3 Tablespoons of the mixture aside and pour the remaining mixture over the flank steak, sealing the bag and tossing to coat. Refrigerate for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours. 

Add the cabbage, carrot, jalapeño and green onion to a small bowl. Stir the rice vinegar into the remaining 3 Tablespoons of marinade and drizzle the marinade over the top of the slaw. Toss to coat and set aside.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill plan over high heat. Add the steak in a single layer and cook for 2 minutes without stirring. After two minutes, stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally or until steak is no longer pink on the outsides. 

Stir avocado and lime juice together and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Smear avocado on corn tortillas, top with steak and prepared slaw and squeeze additional lime juice over the top, if desired. Serves 4. 

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Bowls with Avocado-Cilantro Dressing


Happy New Year, friends! I hope your 2018 has been off to a great start!

Nothing like starting the year off with a bright, healthy, oh-so-yummy new meal to add to your rotation, right? This time of year meals can get so mundane for me. I love a good soup or stew, don’t get me wrong. But with the lack of fresh ingredients available the inspiration for new dishes can just be way more challenging. But I’ll take the challenge…because this one is a sure thing! 

It certainly nothing fancy, but it’s a hit with the whole family. The chicken is so simple..just set it and forget it in the slow cooker. So aside from making a simple dressing, all that’s left to do is gather a few kitchen staples and throw them all together.

 The the avocado-cilantro dressing can be made well in advance. And you’re going to want to go ahead and make a double batch of that stuff…it’s basically my bff these days. On sandwiches, salads, eggs..you name it. It’s a wonder! 

I hope youre seeing that beautiful sun shining today like we are here in MN. 29 degrees and sunny is feeling awfully tropical right about now..soaking it up for sure! Xo

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Bowls with Avocado-Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients

For the Chicken

1 White Onion, peeled and quartered 

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Cumin

1/4 Teaspoon Paprika

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Cup Chicken Stock

1-1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast’s

1/4-1/2 Cup Prepared BBQ Sauce

For the Avocado-Cilantro Dressing

1 Avocado, mashed

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 Cup Mayonnaise 

2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Whole Milk

1/4 Cup Cilantro Leaves, chopped

Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

For the Bowls 

1 15oz Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 Cup Frozen Corn, defrosted

1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced

1 Small Red Onion, thinly sliced

Shredded Red Cabbage

Chopped Baby Spinach

Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Directions 

For the Chicken

Lay Onion pieces in the bowl of a slow cooker and top with chicken. Sprinkle on garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika and salt. Pour chicken stock over the chicken and cover. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until chicken is easily shredded with a fork. Remove onion, if desired, shred the chicken and toss with desired amount of bbq sauce.

For the Avocado-Cilantro Dressing

Wish all ingredients together in a medium bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

For the Bowls

Divide all ingredients among bowls, top with shredded bbq chicken and drizzle with avocado-cilantro dressing. Serves 4

 

Baby Food: Savory Lentil and Veggie Purée 


Ok mamas, papas and caregivers…can we talk baby food super briefly?

 Man am I learning that sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go the store bought food route which I’m totally ok with..i love all of the healthful options they make these days and it’s so convenient. But here’s my beef…why do these companies feel the need to make everything taste sweet?! Even if those jars have spinach, green beans or peas in them they often times still wind up putting pears or apples in the bulk of the ingredients. I love that my baby is getting veggies “snuck in” to these varieties because of the nutrients. But I also want him to taste savory…and learn how delicious veggies can be in savory form.

So this recipe right here is just that. All three of my kiddos have adored this puree so I wanted to share it with you. You don’t need fancy tools or steamers to make delicious  food for your baby…you won’t believe how simple and easy this is to prepare. And wait till you try it…I will confess that I eat a fair share of this stuff myself:) It’s the perfect way to get those savory tastebuds rolling and so full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients! 

Savory Lentil and Veggie Puree

Notes: this makes a large batch so it’s wonderful for freezing!

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces 

1  Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped into large pieces

1 Yellow Summer Squash, chopped into large pieces

1 Yellow Onion, chopped into large pieces 

1/3 Cup Dried Lentils

2 1/2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Directions

Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add all the veggies and cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes. Add lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and partially cover the pot. Cook at a heavy simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are very tender. Cool slightly.

Add the soup to a blender and process until a smooth purée forms. Keep leftovers chilled in refrigerator or freeze in individual portions.

Cranberry Almond Muffins


I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving! And now we enter the holidays…bring on the warm, cozy food! It’s a great time of year to utilize all of the gorgeous fresh cranberries around and this recipe celebrates them in the most wonderful way.

It took me a couple try’s to get this recipe right….and now, I feel pretty darn good sharing it with you because man, oh man, are they a treat!

These muffins are filled with amazing spice and the perfect amount of sweetness. The tart cranberries add the most incredible touch. And that almond extract….oh my heavens it takes these over the top! 


They are sweetened with pure maple syrup and can be made gluten free so easily by using a gf all purpose flour. Such a healthy treat that my family can’t get enough of. Breakfast made so easy!

Cranberry Almond Muffins

*note: if you don’t have oat flour on hand you can easily make your own. Just place rolled oats in a blender and process until they are in a powder-like flour form.

Ingredients

1 1/4 Cups Oat Flour

3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour or Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Cup Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt

2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

6 Tablespoons Butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract

1 Cup Fresh Cranberries

Sliced Almonds, for topping

Directions 

Preheat oven to 375. Mix the cranberries and 2 Tablespoons maple syrup in a small bowl; set aside.

Add the oat flour, AP flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a small bowl, whisk and set aside. 

In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, eggs, syrup, butter and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the cranberries and gently fold in until just incorporated.

Spoon into 12 greased muffin tins and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Makes 12 Muffins 

Banh Mi Bowls


It is with a giant amount of salivating that I present to you my most favorite recipe these days..the Banh Mi Bowl. I’m getting all giddy already, guys! Too good. Just too stinking good.

If you’ve been hanging out around here for any length of time you’ve probably figured out that I go batty for Asian food in any form…but the Banh Mi Sandwich trumps them all for this gal. Remember this one? 

If you’ve never experienced a Banh Mi Sandwich I highly suggest you run your cute tush to your favorite local Vietnamese deli or food truck. You’ll usually find the crusty, chewy bread filled with savory pork and piled high with pickled veggies…and topped with a spicy mayo that will blow your mind. Again, getting giddier by the minute over here!

So I’ve turned my favorite sandwich into a healthy bowl that is easy enough for a weeknight meal and yummy enough that you may want to make a double batch so you can eat leftovers throughout the week. My whole family loves these…my husband and I eat them as-is and my weirdo kids demand cheese sprinkled on top so I just go with it; if it floats their boat I’ll surrender.


These are so perfectly comforting for this chilly weather. A big old bowl of your favorite grain topped with such a flavorful, warm,  savory ground chicken, sweet, tangy, crisp veggies and a sriacha mayo that you just may want to go at with a spoon:) These are such a must-try!

Banh Mi Bowls

Ingredients

For the Pickled Veggies

2 Cups Shredded or Thinly Sliced Carrots

1 English Cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced 

3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Honey

For the Sriracha Mayo

1/2 Cup Mayonaise

1 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce-add more for more heat
For The Chicken Filling

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Chicken

2 Garlic Cloves, minced 

2 Tablespoons Tamari (you can use soy sauce if gluten is not an issue)

2 Tablespoons Sesame Seed Oil

2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Tablespoon Sriracha 

3 Green Onions, thinly sliced

Salt + Black Pepper, to taste

For the Bowls

Prepared Brown or White Rice or Quinoa

Cilantro, for garnish

Directions

For the Pickled Veggies

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl and let stand at room temp while you do the other steps. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

For the Sriracha Mayo

Mix all ingredients together and set aside. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

For the Chicken Filling

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Brown chicken, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. Stir in the remaining ingredients and let simmer for 5 minutes over medium low heat, stirring occasionally and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

For the Bowls

Pile rice or quinoa in a bowl. Top with a heaping mound of Chicken Filling, Pickled Veggies and Sriracha mayo and sprinkle with cilantro. Serves 4+