The Magic Green Sauce

It’s 60 degrees and sunny here, you guys! I just want to dance and scream and hug everything in sight! Can you feel my squeeze of excitement?!

We’ve been firing up the grill for dinners over the last week and boy does it feel good. Less mess in the kitchen, more fresh food, and QUICK…the grill is just so quick! And just as the grill has come out of hibernation, so has this magic green sauce. I know I’ve told y’all about it before in some way, shape or form. But this stuff has been made at least 5 times over the last week…I double the recipe in hopes of it lasting us a while but it just gets smeared, smothered, poured and drizzled so much that I can’t keep up! I need to get that herb garden going:)

There are so many uses for this sauce…it’s legit magical. Nick and I’s VERY favorite condiment. Drizzle it on any grilled meat or fish and you’ll never need a chimichurri again. Serve it with fresh veggies and you can say goodbye to ranch. It’s pure bliss as a vinaigrette for any green salad. Or over roasted or baked sweet or russet potatoes. And my kids fave: drizzled over a caprese salad. Georgia will fight you to the death for the last bite;)

We basically put it on all the things…like ALL! Its bright and fresh and transforms any basic prepared meal into something special. If I could force you to make just one recipe of mine…this one would be up there on the list!

The Magic Green Sauce

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups Fresh Parsley Leaves

3/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves

1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro Leaves

1 Garlic Clove

1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Honey

2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2-3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

Place the parsley, basil, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil, starting with 1/2 a cup and adding more if needed until you’ve reached your desired consistency-i usually go with a little over half a cup-and process until smooth. Serve at room temperature or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Our Favorite Granola

Hello friends, happy almost-spring! It’s raining and gloomy here in Minnesota…but I’ll take it, because it’s 39 degrees and the mounds of snow are slowly getting washed away. I’m beginning to see the light!

If you follow along on Instagram, you know that I shared some ideas on how we buy our yogurt and put yogurt parfaits together. And as I was talking about it, I realized I haven’t shared our go-to granola recipe as of the last few years with you. Shame on me!

This recipe is super adaptable…you can use whatever nuts or seeds your family prefers. You can also leave out the coconut or add in dried fruit like raisins or cranberries after it’s done baking if you’d like. The version I have below is our favorite…but I’ll be sure to add substitution options into the recipe so that you can create your own.

It’s also the PERFECT recipe for your kids to help with. It’s so easy and requires only measuring and mixing with your hands…my kiddos love to help with this! It keeps really well in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a couple weeks…and you can also freeze it too. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Our Favorite Granola

Note: you can easily add dried fruit to this..just stir it into the mixture right when it comes out of the oven. Also, if you prefer a sweeter granola go for 4 tablespoons of syrup…if you prefer a more mildly sweet version go for 3. If you’d like to keep this recipe gluten free, just be sure that the oats you are using are gf.

Ingredients

3 Cups Rolled or Old Fashioned Oats

1 Cup Finely Chopped Walnuts-or any combo of Chopped Nuts or Seeds

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Chips-you can swap out for coconut flakes

3-4 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup, see note above

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Finely Ground Sea Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Spread in an even layer on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring halfway in between cooking. Remove from oven, cool and store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Friends! Happy holidays! How are things?

It’s the season of madness in our home..we’ve got 4/5 birthdays over the holiday season so things have been pretty nutso around here. We are also going through a small home renovation…so add being displaced from our home for a short time…and living in our basement with three small kids for a while..and well, things have felt a tad chaotic. I’m really just not the best at feeling good about unsettledness. But I am SO grateful for the fun changes we are making to our home…and the light is totally being seen at the end of the tunnel! Trying my best to stay present to my family throughout all of the hustle and bustle..so I apologize for my lack of blogging.

So basically, with all of the crazy has come way too much eating out for my liking. I mean my kids no longer want macaroni and cheese because they’ve had too much. That’s certainly a sign that we are ALL extremely excited to get back to our kitchen and home cooked meals!

On the nights that the mess has allowed me to use the kitchen, these potatoes have made a frequent appearance. There’s hardly any prep and I always have the ingredients in my pantry. They are something I can always count on my whole family gobbling up..and they make the perfect side for basically any protein. A great addition to the weekly meal rotations!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

Ingredients

1 1/2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, cut into 1-2 inch pieces

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Onion Powder

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 Teaspoon Dried Dillweed

1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 and place cut potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil on top and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients all over; toss well to coat. Place in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown, stirring twice in between cooking. Serves 4 as a side.

Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Look, you guys

It’s here. My most favorite, beautiful, scenic time of year. I told the kids it was supposed to snow this week so we had to ask Alexa when the first technical day of winter is. Do you want to know what she said? December 21st. Yet we have snow in the forecast for today, November 6. You try explaining all of this to a 4 year old. Why oh why can’t crispy, cool autumn fulfill its assigned 3 full months?! Winter is so dang greedy and aggressive around hereūüôĄ

But we certainly won’t stop celebrating autumn in this house until that far away day in December…and this yummy Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce will certainly be a constant in our fridge. I’m addicted. My kids could take down an entire batch in one sitting. I even got a “I want to eat this every day of my life!” from Jude. Winning.

It’s both tart and sweet with the perfect amount of warm cinnamon running through it. Incredibly slurpable by itself with a spoon, but my kids also love it for breakfast on top of plain Greek yogurt. A happy happy happy autumn, indeed, even if it does snow today!

Cinnamon Apple Pear Sauce

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

7 Medium Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and quartered

4 Medium Ripe Pears, cored and quartered

Zest and Juice of 2 Navel Oranges

Zest of 1 and Juice of 2 Lemons

3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into four pieces

1 1/4 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Allspice

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Place all ingredients in a oven safe pot or Dutch oven and stir to combine. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, let cool just slightly, place in a blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency.

Walnut Crusted Chicken Autumn Salad

Truth: I have no idea where this salad came from. I was in kitchen madness mode…one thing led to another with no plans in sight and this salad is what we ended up with. And I must note, it was a wonderful WONDERFUL ending.

The chicken has just the perfect crunch and flavor…and paired with roasted beets, sweet pears, tangy goat cheese and a mustard-balsamic vinaigrette…I’m basically just salivating at the mere thought of it!

It’s a lovely switch up to boring old chicken salads and I think our future will see much much more of this crusted chicken..so num!

Walnut Crusted Chicken Autumn Salad

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

3 Teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup

3 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Pepper

For the Salad

1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, divided

1 Pound Beets

1 Cup Walnuts

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

1 Egg + 2 Tablespoons Water

1 Pound Chicken Breast Tenderloins, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper

2 Tablespoons Butter

7 Ounces Arugula

1 Ripe Pear, diced

1 Avocado, diced

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa, optional

1/2 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

Directions

For the Vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a glass jar, cover with a lid and shake well to combine. Alternatively, whisk together in a small bowl. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 4 days, bringing it back to room temp before serving.

For the Salad

Preheat oven to 400. Season beets with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon olive oil; toss to coat. Wrap each beet tightly in foil and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until beets are tender. Remove from foil, let cool slightly and rub the peel off with your fingers (wrapping them in foil will help the peel slide right off). Dice peeled beets and set aside.

Add the walnuts and corn starch to the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10-15 times or until walnuts are chopped fine. Place the mixture on a large plate.

Mix the egg and water together in a large bowl.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the seasoned chicken to the egg mixtures and toss to coat well. One by one, dredge the egg-coated chicken in the walnut mixture and place in the prepared pan. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes, or until crust in nicely browned, flip and then repeat on the other side. Remove from pan once cooked through.

Add the arugula, beets, pears, avocado, quinoa and goat cheese to a large bowl. Drizzle on half of the vinaigrette and gently toss to coat, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among serving plates and top with a piece of crusted chicken. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette on top, as desired. Serves 4

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

SONY DSC

Heres the deal, you guys.  I’m going to be frank with you.  I am getting lazy.  Like LAAAAZZZZYYYY.  Yes, you can still count on me to get a decent dinner on the table most nights…but man, I’ll find a shortcut.  Now don’t get me wrong..I love a good Sunday spent in the kitchen…but these weeknights are all about saving time.

I feel like life has progressively taken me to this place of minimal effort.  And yes, the weather these days must have something to  do with it, too.  But it used to be, you know, pre-kids, I was putting hours into dinner.  Hours.  Meticulously dicing, pureeing, grinding, whatever it took to make the food absolutely delicious.  Then one kid…two kids..came along and it has gradually shifted from hours of effort to literally strategizing how I can get this meal on the table as quickly as possible.  What shortcuts can I take that wont sacrifice taste?  How can I make this easier, not only for myself, but for you, my NP people…because Lord knows you don’t have the time either, friends.   Continue reading

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bites

SONY DSCYou aren’t going to believe these. ¬†Truly.

Let’s just start with the fact that they involve only 5 simple ingredients.

And then lets discuss the fact that there is no cooking involved.  Or blending.  Or pureeing.  Or effort.  None.

SONY DSCAnd then let’s talk about how much more healthful they are than your typical store-bought white sugar packed peanut butter chocolate granola bars.

Continue reading