Warm Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad

Well friends, it’s back-to-school day over here! One down, one to go next week and as wonderful and adventurous as our summer was together I think we are all ready for some structure and space…getting back into the swing of schedules is feeling so good already!

Our summer break dinners seemed to be so loosey goosey this year. Most nights, dinner ended up being a game time decision based on how late our day ran. Even if I meal planned for one thing, chances are we’d end up squeezing in one more afternoon activity which made me change the plan for lack of time. So needless to say, this mama is so excited to be back on a schedule of meal plans!

This Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad is just one of those dishes that will fit so nicely into our weekday dinner plans. It’s super fast and can easily be prepared in under 30 minutes…and if you make the vinaigrette ahead of time you’re looking at 20 minutes or less…can’t complain about that!

It’s the perfect summer to fall transitional dish because it uses all of the wonderful tomatoes available right now, yet it’s got a small bit of a comfort factor while still being light. And it tastes super yum too…an awesome way to switch up how you serve salmon!

To all of you parents sending those kiddos off to school as of recent, I wish you a smooth transition and a wonderful, fun-filled year for both you and the kids. And for you teachers…you are EVERYTHING. Thank you for being such a bright light in our kiddos lives…you are shaping the future, truly!

Xo

Warm Grilled Salmon and Orzo Salad

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 Garlic Clove, grated or pressed

2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Salmon/Salad

1 1/2 Cups Orzo

4 (4-6oz) Skinless Salmon Filets, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Cups Baby Spinach

2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts, optional

2 Tablespoons Chopped Basil

Directions

For the Vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a small jar, cover with a lid and shake until well combined. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For the Salmon/Salad

Cook Orzo according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Preheat grill over medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and gently rub to ensure the are well coated, adding more oil as necessary. Place Salmon on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Flip and finish cooking until the fish is opaque and cooked thru, about 3 more minutes. Remove salmon to a plate and set aside.

Add the spinach, tomatoes, feta and pine nuts to the Orzo. Drizzle on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Flake the salmon with a fork, divide Orzo Salad among dishes and top with salmon and basil. Serves 4.

Grilled Chicken + Street Corn Grain Bowls

If we are buddies on Instagram chances are you saw this bad boy in my stories a few days ago. I received quite a few recipe requests from you guys so delivering this one to you makes me super excited!

There’s not a whole lot I can say here because nothings going to fully translate how out-of-control-yummy these bowls are until you take a bite. Think Street Corn on steroids…that’s packed with nutrients and vitamins. But the taste? My gosh, you guys, it’s almost just not right! Almost.

You know I’m a condiment gal, through and through. So slap this smokey, savory, slightly tangy sauce on anything and I’m sold. But on top of fresh in season-veggies, perfectly seasoned chicken, sweet corn and hearty, protein packed quinoa completely hits it out of the park.

It’s easy-peasy to put together and the leftovers make outstanding lunches for the rest of the week. This is absolutely in my top 3 favorite recipes that have come to life in my kitchen this summer…I hope you love it as much as we do!

Grilled Chicken + Street Corn Grain Bowls

Ingredients

For the Sauce

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

2 Garlic Cloves, grated or pressed

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

For the Bowls

1 Cup Quinoa, cooked according to package directions

Olive Oil

1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast’s

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Ears Peeled and Cleaned Sweet Corn

2 Red Bell Peppers, sliced in half, stems removed and seeded

1 Zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise

1 Avocado, diced

3 Cups Baby Arugula, loosely packed

1/2 Cup Crumbled Queso Fresco

Fresh Cilantro, for garnish

Directions

For the Sauce

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside. Can be made up to two days in advance, just store in the refrigerator.

For the Bowls

Preheat outdoor grill to medium high heat.

Drizzle olive oil over the chicken, peppers and zucchini and rub it in to coat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with chili powder, onion powder and salt.

Place the chicken on the grill and cook on one side until nice dark grill marks form, about 5-6 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook until completely cooked through and juices run clear. Remove from grill and set aside to rest while you grill the remaining ingredients.

Place the corn, peppers and zucchini on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until grill marks start to form on all sides; do not over cook as you still want them to have a ‘bite’ to them. Remove from heat. Slice the chicken and cut the veggies into bite sized pieces. Cut the kernels of corn off the cob.

In a large bowl gently toss the quinoa, peppers, zucchini, arugula and corn with your hands. Divide among plates and top with avocado, Queso Fresco, and sliced chicken. Top the bowls off with a heaping spoonful of the sauce and cilantro. 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. Continue reading

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?  Continue reading

Apple Cinnamon Pastries


It’s starting to officially feel like fall, guys! How have you been celebrating? Give me all the warm coffee, crunchy leaves, cool, refreshing air, pumpkins, corn mazes, scenic colors that will blow your mind…and APPLES! It’s all happening in our neck of the woods and if I could just pile on an extra couple months of this stuff I’d be one over-the-moon mama. Minnesota truly feels like the most magical place this time of year.

We had our annual apple orchard trip a couple weeks ago and, well, if you know me you know that it’s my very favorite family outing of the year. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the most incredible scenery with my four favorite humans just simply isn’t a terrible way to spend a Saturday. We got to show the baby all the ropes this year…and man the big kids are becoming pro pickers! Here are a few photos from the day Continue reading

Chicken ‘Cordon Bleu’ Rolls


Ok, so this is basically a result of crap, what am I going to make for dinner? I had chicken tenderloins in the fridge and no plan in sight and, truth is, we all need a ‘recipe’ that really doesn’t call for a recipe at all. Something we can just throw together thoughtlessly with no fuss that we can remember off of the top of our heads. So here she be. Continue reading