Balsamic grilled chicken and vegetables

I was going to start off this post with some sort of excuse as to why I haven’t posted in months and months, but all you really need to know is that I’m back.  And with a vengeance, I might add.   Well, mostly just with healthier recipes.  Just a little vengeance.

After a semester abroad in good old New Z-land, eating mostly junk and indulging in, uh, calorie-laden beverages, it’s time to pull on my bootstraps (21st century translation: belt loops on those too-tight jeans) and get to work.   Besides a boring corporate internship in Brooklyn, I’ve been working two days a week for a woman who has a massive organic garden.  Just to get sappy for a second, it’s given me an incredibly genuine new appreciation for vegetables and the ridiculous things you can do with them.  They’re not just for throwing on your sandwich, people! Or at your friends.  Unless they’re being jerks.

Poor attempts at humor aside, the woman cooked myself and the other interns up an unbelievable lunch spread.  But until I get her to like me enough to share some of the recipes, here’s a good old summer classic.  Now I know I’ve posted other pretty pictures of similar foods on this blog in the past but let’s face it – do you ever really get sick of looking at pictures of food? You shouldn’t, anyway.

Grilled Chicken

  • 5 chicken breasts cut into strips
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup worhcestshire sauce
  • ¼ balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Any dried herbs you want (I used thyme, parsley, and basil)

Combine lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, and herbs in a plastic bag or container.  Add chicken and seal.  Massage until each piece is evenly coated.

Getting a little more artsy

You can use whichever vegetables you want for grilling, but I also stick to the classics : onions, peppers (except green, because I think those taste funny), zucchini.  If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll grab some asparagus, sweet potatos, pineapple, and scallions, too.  Toss with salt, pepper, and a half cup of balsamic vinegar and grill.

Just as a forewarning/disclaimer, I WILL be posting a tofu recipe soon.  That’s right, carnivores, the unsubscribe button is right there.  Just kidding.  Seriously though, don’t unsubscribe.  I’ll put a bacon recipe up soon. Promise.


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Kale Crisps

Hungry for a snack? This is as close as you’ll get to a potato chip without feeling guilty or greasy.   Seriously, it’s almost better than potato chips.  Way crispier, too! 

Here’s how to do it:

Preheat the oven to 350 and spread out pieces of kale off a baking sheet.  Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake for about ten minutes, until edges begin to brown. 

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Spagetti Squash

Squash "Pasta"

Served with homemade tomato sauce in the squash shell!

Now, the holidays are over. Which is sad and all, of course. But on the bright side, no reason to worry about that rotten old naughty-or-nice routine. Sorry, Santa! I guess what Im trying to say here is if you’re going to be rotten any time of the year, this is your chance! So, what are you going to do? Well, I’m going to trick all my friends and family to think that they’re eating pasta, when they’re really eating squash, full of vitamins and other healthfulness. I’m cruel, I know.

So how does it happen? Roasting the squash softens the inner fibers, resulting in tons of stringy strands. Use tongs or a fork to remove them, and they literally have the exact same texture as angel hair pasta. They are more or less flavorless, meaning they go well with any sort of sauce. Honestly, my parents still think it was pasta, and hey, who am to tell them it wasn’t?

Just as a disclaimer, halving the squash can be pretty difficult, especially if it’s not ripe enough (look for a pale yellow color, rather than ivory).

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 butternut squash, halved and cored
4 tablespoons olive oil

Just as a disclaimer, halving the squash can be pretty difficult, especially if it’s not ripe enough (look for a pale yellow color, rather than ivory). Be careful!

Preheat the oven to 400. Rub the olive oil on the squash, and place them face down on the oven. Cook for about 35 minutes, until the insides are soft. Let cool for about five minutes, then remove the “pasta” from the skin of the squash into a separate bowl using tongs or fork loosely. Add your favorite sauce, and that’s all there is to it.

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Filed under Comfort Food, Pasta, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I avoided sprouts for a long time.  Like the plague, really.   Not for any real good reason, except that it seemed like they were the most hated vegetable of all time. Seriously, it’s not just me right?  These poor things are mentioned in every family sitcom dinner skit of all time, kids refusing to try them, refusing to finish them etc.  Well, I tried this recipe and you know what? I don’t why the sprouts got so much bad press.  Poor little guys.

Anyhow, try out this recipe. Join the (quasi) movement, and bring back Brussels Sprouts!

  • 1 pound of brussels sprouts, halved and stems chopped
  • ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts
  • 3 slices of bacon, crumbled (optional)
  • 3 gloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Grated parmesean cheese

Preheat the oven to 400. Toss the raw brussell sprouts with the olive, honey, and garlic.  Cook for about eight to ten minutes until the edges start to brown.  Take out and toss with the bacon and garlic and cheese.  A delicious winter side.  Try it ou, and tell me what you think!

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Filed under Appetizers, Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Pizza

And on whole wheat, too!

This one just so happened to be a result of being too lazy to go to the grocery store. Funny how that happens, right? Arugula is probably one of my favorite greens because it’s light and peppery taste. Goat cheese one of my favorite cheese for it’s creamy texture and it’s flexibility.  Proscuitto one of my faorite (although more expensive…) meats because of it’s saltiness and because of how unbelievably thin they can cut it.  Something strange about how much better things taste when they’re cut so thin.  In conclusion, you should definitely try this delicious creamy yet light salty yet simple, salad yet pizza.

Anyway, here’s the recipe!

What you’ll need:

  • Pizza dough – I get mine from the local grocery store for a dollar, but your favorite pizzareia will likely sell you some as well
  • One bunch of Arugula– Preferably baby argula
  • Goat Cheese – No more than about 4 oz
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto, cut into strips – It’s more expensive, but buy the imported kind! It’s worth it, promise.
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts – Optional, but adds a nice crunch!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Now that I think about it, that’s the only temperature I ever pre-heat to…no explanation there.  Spread out the dough on a cookie sheet, and crumble and springle the goat cheese over.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until crispy.

While that’s in the oven, whisk together the dijon mustard, olive oil, balsamic, lemon, and honey in a small bowl.  Pour the dressing onto the arugula, just enough to coat.  Put the dressed arugula onto the pizza, and top with the pine nuts and the strips of prosciutto.

Cut into small squares for a perfect appetizer.

Let me know what you think!


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Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon-Ginger Dressing

Alright, this one is pretty idiot-proof.  If you mess this one up, you’re a lost cause.  I’m totally kidding, but it really is just about as simple as it gets.  Simple yet refined, of course!  The ginger and soy give it that Asian flare, making this dish a great addition to Edamame rice or Asian spring rolls.

For the Snap Peas:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400.  Place a piece of tin foil on a baking sheet, and add snap peas.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes, until tender. Let cool for about 15 minute before adding dressing.

For the Dressing:

  • 1 lemon, zest-ed and juiced
  • 2 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (rice vinegar, if you have it)

Combine all of the above ingredients, except for the Olive oil, in a small bowl.  Slowly add the olive oil.

Toss the snap peas with the dressing, and you’re done! Let me know what you think.


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Herbed Chicken and Broccoli over Linguini with Red Pepper Pesto

I don’t know why, but I hate spaghetti.  Maybe it’s too cylinder, maybe it’s too slippery, or maybe it’s just because it’s association with red sauce, which I don’t like all that much.  Anyhow, that is why we are using linguini!  The obviously superior relative of spaghetti, it holds onto any respective sauce incredibly well, and twirls superbly into a fork.  Just my opinion… anyhow, here we go with the recipe!

Red Pepper Pesto:

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • a cup of roasted red bell peppers (out of the jar is fine)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoon parmesan cheese
  • 4 cup fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, or walnuts

Combine all of the above, except for the oil, into a food processor.  Slowly add the oil. Coat the linguini (which you cook according to the instructions…) with the pesto.

Herbed Chicken:

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch strips
  • ½ of the juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

After cutting the chicken, place in a plastic bag with the other ingredients.  Let marinate for 30 minutes.  Place into large skillet on medium heat, coasted with olive oil.  Cook chicken for about four minutes on each side, until completely cooked.  Remove from heat.

For the Broccoli:

  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ of the juice from 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon (hopefully the same lemon as above!)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

I wish I could take credit for this masterpiece.  But, I cannot.  The amateur gourmet, whoever he or she or they are, really did a great job with this one.  Preheat the oven to 425.  Make sure the broccoli is completely dry.  Cut into small florets, but not too small.  Put the broccoli on a cookie sheet, and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes, and after it’s done add freshly grated Parmesan, another tablespoon of olive oil, and the remaining lemon juice and zest

Put the chicken and broccoli over the linguini, and enjoy!


Filed under Chicken, Pasta