Double-Sesame Noodles

Big Guy and I had plans for a date night out last Friday night.  Except I couldn’t decide where I wanted to go and the couch sounded so much more fun than putting on “real” clothes and shoes.  #9monthproblems  Don’t worry, we’re still going to try and squeeze in a date night out before the end of this weekend but honestly my desire to go out doesn’t exist.

So instead of going out last night, I made us double-sesame noodles and we plopped on the couch and watched a few Netflix shows.  It was glorious.  And don’t even think that take-out is easier – because it really isn’t.  In fact, I bet this dinner was ready in half the time it would have taken me to call a take-out place (I’m not even sure who I would call), place my order and then drive to pick-up said order.

Big Guy really liked this dinner.

Soba noodles along with purple cabbage, green onions and shredded chicken are tossed in a nutty sauce that is down right addicting.  The base of the sauce is tahini – so if you’ve bought a jar for another recipe and aren’t sure how to use it up, make this!  Along with the tahini, you whisk in water (to help loosen things up), toasted sesame oil (the whole “double-sesame” thing), lime juice (for some tartness and to liven up the dish), Sriracha (for a little kick) and salt.

Once everything is tossed together, simply dig in with your chopsticks.


Because chopsticks make any meal more fun.


Thai Chicken and Vegetable Curry

PSA:  If you have a little one, make sure to get your car seat checked.

Big Guy thought I was crazy for wanting to go to the fire station (it’s free!) to get the carseat checked before BG arrives, but I knew that it was the smart thing to do.  Yes, I am educated.  Yes, I am 34 and capable of reading directions and watching videos on installation.  But even still I learned something.  And it only took five minutes of my afternoon yesterday.

The end.

Back to regular programming…

I made this hearty dinner last week and it’s one of those meals that is somehow better the second time around.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved it the first time but the leftovers were spectacular.  A little time in the fridge lets all the flavors mingle a little more.

Because of all the veggies, you don’t even use a full pound of chicken.  I used chicken thighs which are cut into bite size pieces and then browned in a little EVOO.  Remove from the pan and then cook your potatoes, onion and bell pepper in the same Dutch oven (or large skillet).  Add in your garlic, followed by the curry paste (find it in the international aisle) and the kale (I used a mixture of baby greens).  Once the greens wilt, add in the coconut milk and stock.  Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

The curry is served on top of a bed of quinoa along with a sprinkle of cilantro.



White Bean Soup with Garlicky Croutons

Any one else out there suffering from the “I can’t get warm” syndrome???  It’s been down right cold this week.  There’s no better cure for “chilled to the bone” than soup.  This soup is creamy and thick without being heavy.  And to contrast with the silky soup, crunchy, garlicky croutons on top.  

To start the soup, sauté chopped carrots and onion in a little EVOO until softened.  Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding in stock, water, salt, pepper and white beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, prep your croutons.  I used the last of Dave’s Killer Bread (my absolute favorite sandwich bread – and you can find it at Walmart) that we had and simply cut into cubes.  Toss with a little olive oil and salt and place on a sheet pan.

Once the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, add in the kale (I used a baby green mixture), whole milk and parmesan cheese.  Let stand for 5 minutes while you broil the croutons.

Keep an eye on the croutons – you don’t want them to burn!


The soup is served with the croutons on top and I absolutely loved every single bite of this warm dinner.  It seriously warmed me up.

p.s. While it was frigid all week, they are calling for 60 degrees on Sunday.  BRING IT ON!

Yummy Salmon Burgers with Slaw

Big Guy was traveling for work earlier this week so I planned to sneak some salmon onto the menu.  Knowing that he’s not a fan of salmon, I thought it was the nice thing to do.  These salmon burgers require a handful of ingredients and they are insanely delicious.  But don’t forget the slaw – I think my favorite bites included both the salmon burger and the slaw.  Oh, and dill is mandatory in my opinion.  I adore dill and it really makes this dish shine.

I used canned salmon in this recipe but I do not recommend using Trader Joe’s canned salmon.  Unfortunately, the Trader has disappointed me.  The salmon was filled with lots of bone and cartilage.  Once I worked my way through the salmon, making sure all the foreign objects were removed, the salmon was great.

Anyways, don’t let that above paragraph turn you off from these delicious “burgers.”  Simply mix together the salmon, breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free), eggs, salt, garlic powder and herbs (DILL!) in a bowl.  Shape into patties (I ended up making six small burgers) and cook in a little EVOO on the stovetop until browned on both sides.

While the salmon burgers are cooking, prep your slaw.  Since I was only cooking for myself and no one likes soggy slaw, I only made one serving of the slaw.  Into a bowl:  shredded cabbage, Greek yogurt (I used about two tablespoons), splash of vinegar, salt, garlic powder and a drizzle of lemon EVOO (totally optional). Oh, and more herbs (DILL!).

Serve the hot, crispy salmon burgers on top of the cool, crunchy slaw with a sprinkle of salt.


So satisfying and so healthy.  And packed with omega-3s which means I’m going to have a super smart baby.  hah.


Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale

The snow is finally starting to melt!  It’s been brutally cold and despite the fact that we’re having a major warm-up towards the end of the week, I know that we still have some frigid days in our future.  Big Guy and I don’t eat a lot of soup because we really only enjoy it when it’s cold outside.  However, we both love peanut soup – a soup that is inspired by a West African recipe.

Last night was the perfect evening for soup.  After a day of driving back from Charlotte, we wanted something comforting and cozy yet healthy.  Spicy Peanut Soup with Sweet Potato and Kale comes together in a flash on the stovetop but the recipe has adaptations for both the slow cooker and the instant pot.  There’s no excuse not to make this soup (which is actually more like a stew because of the thickness).

To start the soup, onion, garlic and jalapeño is sautéed in olive oil until softened.  Then you add in the sweet potato.  I cut my sweet potatoes pretty small but you could totally do bigger chunks – especially if you’re cooking this in the slow cooker.  Allow the sweet potatoes to brown just a little bit and then add in the fire roasted tomatoes (juice and all), coconut milk, water, salt, curry powder and peanuts.  Trust me on the peanuts.

This simmers until the sweet potatoes are tender.  Add in the peanut butter and the chopped kale and allow to simmer until thickened and the peanut butter has melted into the entire pot of soup.

Serve with an extra sprinkle of peanuts on top.


So delicious!  I know peanuts seem a little weird in soup but I can’t stress to you how incredible this dish tastes.


Sausage Ragù Over Polenta

Hey friends!  I hope you’re having a great week.  It’s absolutely frigid here – I don’t think we’ve gone above freezing since last Saturday – which is very rare for us.  The dinner recipe I’m sharing today is actually from last week.  The truth is, I haven’t “cooked” (a recipe, that is) since New Year’s Day because I’ll be gone this weekend and we have lots of leftovers to eat.  Hopefully I’ll be back in the kitchen next week armed with a meal plan and delicious recipes.

About this sausage ragù – it’s comforting and delicious and perfect for these cold evenings.  The best part – it’s ready in 25 minutes.  I even took a few shortcuts with this recipe by using the food processor to chop the carrots and onions.  To start making the sauce, brown your sausage (or you could use ground beef or turkey) and crumble.  Season with pepper and remove from the skillet and into a bowl.  Add the onions and carrots and minced garlic to the same skillet you used for the sausage (and don’t wipe out all the yummy flavor!) and cook until tender.  After about 5-7 minutes, add your sausage back into the pan along with a little water and canned tomato sauce.  Cook for one minute or simmer until your polenta is ready.

The polenta (aka grits) is made by adding the dried polenta to boiling water.  I used 5-minute polenta so it was literally ready in no time.  Once thickened, stir in parmesan cheese.

Serve the sausage ragù over the warm polenta with a sprinkle of parsley on top.


Simple yet incredibly delicious and I promise your whole family will enjoy this dinner.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

It’s one of the busiest weeks and upcoming weekends of the year!  Save yourself some time and sweat by letting the crock pot take care of dinner.  This homey Cuban dish is simply stewed beef with vegetables.   To my surprise, it uses a flank steak as the beef portion.  I’ve honestly never put a flank steak in the slow cooker and I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out.  Guess what – flank steaks work wonders in the slow cooker.

This meal does require about 15-20 minutes of prep work but then the slow cooker does the rest.  The flank steak is cut into four pieces and then seared before being added to the  slow cooker.  The onion, bell peppers and garlic is then sautéed in the same pan before being added to the slow cooker along with raisins.  Yes, raisins.  Don’t be scared – you don’t taste “raisins” instead they bring a little sweetness to the dish.  Finally, stock (I used chicken), fire-roasted diced tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, oregano plus salt and pepper are mixed together before being poured all over the beef and onion mixture in the slow cooker.  Cook on low for about 8 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Once cooked, shred the flank steak (it literally fell apart on me) and add in olives and a little fresh herbs (I used parsley instead of cilantro).

Served over rice, this dinner is complete.


Hearty and filling but incredibly healthy.  This recipe is also freezer-friendly (simply leave out the olives and herbs until after reheated).  Unfortunately I won’t be freezing any this time around but I’m considering making a whole batch just for the freezer.

4 days until Christmas!