Smashed Chickpea Salad Toast

Happy Friday and September!  The birthday celebrations continue this evening but today I’m spending lots of time prepping for the ECU tailgate tomorrow.  Hopefully this weekend and into next week I’ll be able to cross off a few final bucket list items before having to say “farewell” to the Summer of 2017 on Wednesday (I’m lucky that I’m able to take a couple of days off from teaching so that I can enjoy the time that Big Guy has off work).

This recipe is one that I honestly didn’t think I would share with you – I whipped it up simply because I had all the ingredients on hand and I needed a quick dinner on Thursday night after working out with a client.  However, immediately after digging in, I knew I had to share the recipe.  Y’all – this smashed chickpea salad toast is awesome.  It reminds me a lot of chicken salad and egg salad but I loved the texture from the crunchy celery and the sour pickles gave the entire batch of salad so much flavor.  The salad is not overly mayo-y thanks to lemon juice and I anticipate this becoming a lunch time meal that I keep on rotation.  You could also top a salad with the chickpea mixture or you could simply use crackers to scoop instead of using bread.


I hope you all have a wonderful looonnngggg weekend and if I disappear at the beginning of the week, don’t be alarmed.  Cheers!


Dijon-Herb Crusted Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

I love salmon.  I find myself ordering it when we’re out and about but I rarely cook it at home.  I decided this week that this needed to change.  Not only is salmon delicious but it’s incredibly healthy and full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Big Guy has been traveling this week for work so on Monday night I had a solo dinner date with the most delicious dijon-herb crusted salmon with a creamy dill sauce.  This recipe came together fast and had so much flavor.

The salmon is seasoned with salt and pepper before being baked for 10 minutes.  While the salmon is baking, prepare the dijon-herb crust.  The panko topping includes crunchy panko (I used gluten-free breadcrumbs), fresh herbs (I used thyme and basil), EVOO and dijon mustard.  I also prepped the dill sauce while the salmon was baking.  Simply mix together 2% Greek yogurt, fresh dill, a little milk and a splash of red wine vinegar.

When the salmon is done cooking, evenly divide the panko mixture on top of each piece and press gently to adhere.  Broil for about 1 minute.

Serve the salmon with a dollop of the creamy dill sauce.


On the side I enjoyed some roasted tomatoes that I threw on the baking sheet with the salmon and added a little EVOO, salt and pepper plus herbs.

I absolutely adored the crunchy herb topping and you must make the dill sauce that gives the dinner a lot of freshness and creaminess.

Salmon for the win.

Chickpeas with Spiced Carrots, Dates and Pistachios

Let me introduce you to my new favorite refrigerator staple:  Chickpeas with Spiced Carrots, Dates and Pistachios.


This salad comes together in no more than 10 minutes and it’s the perfect lunch or light dinner.  In fact, I cannot wait to eat leftovers for lunch today.  Prep this salad on Sunday and you’ll be able to eat on it all week long.

This no-cook salad involves one bowl and a simple list of ingredients.

The “dressing” is a quick mix of EVOO, cumin, cinnamon (!!!) and a little salt.  The powerhouse ingredients include canned chickpeas (if you use dried, more power to you), shredded carrots, chopped dates, cilantro and pistachios.  I served the salad on a bed of lettuce last night and an extra sprinkle of flaky salt.

It’s sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s savory, it’s salty and it’s full of good-for you stuff.




Seared Yellowtail Tuna with Avocado Salsa

Last night was one of those evenings when I didn’t really mind that I had to cook a solo-dinner.  Unfortunately, I eat a lot of dinners during the week by myself because of Big Guy’s work schedule but fortunately that means I can eat whatever I want.  And last night, I wanted tuna.  

The tuna was seared to absolute perfection by getting the grill pan screaming hot, coating the pan with coconut oil spray and then cooking the tuna for about 2 minutes on each side.  It was perfectly rare on the inside but the outside had a lovely crust.  Without a super hot pan, you can forget the outside having a great texture.

And with the tuna, a simple avocado salad.  My avocados were super ripe so it ended up being like a really chunky guacamole but you won’t hear me complaining.  The salsa mixture included avos (duh), halved tomatoes (so ready to have some growing in the garden), sliced red onion, basil (instead of cilantro because I had some in the fridge), gah-lic (and lots of it), lime juice, salt, pepper and some diced jalapeño for a little heat.


So fresh.  So delicious.

I’ll be single every Tuesday night if dinner looks like this.


Fried Egg and Avocado Toast

Big Guy is finally back in town after being in Asia for a little over two weeks and I’m so excited to have him back at home.

And as much as I missed him being around the house, I enjoyed making a few dinners that he wouldn’t have enjoyed as much as I did.

Fried Egg and Avocado Toast is the perfect B, L or D (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and incorporates three of my favorite things.  Fried egg.  Avocado.  Toast.

avo toast

A toasted piece of bread (I used a slice of Udi’s Gluten-Free bread) and topped with smashed avocado.  The creamy avocado is topped with crunchy, earthy sprouts and a perfectly fried egg.  And to top it all off, a spoonful of salsa and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

And while I don’t think I’ll ever tire of simple avocado toast, sprouts and salsa added lots of flavor and texture to the combo.

This is a single-girl’s dinner if I ever saw one.

Orange-Glazed Salmon with Olive Quinoa

If I had it my way, I would have a home-cooked dinner on the table every night of the week.  And while I make this happen most nights, there are some nights where Big Guy and I have different schedules.   Between Big Guy having work commitments and my every-growing social commitments, it’s just not feasible to always eat together.  And I confess (I’ve confessed this before) that on the nights that Big Guy is away during the dinner hour, I rely on cleaning out the fridge (aka the cheese drawer) for my dinner.

But this week I was craving a nice home-cooked meal and Big Guy having other plans didn’t keep me from making an incredible dinner.  (Another confession:  our fridge was as bare as I’ve ever seen it at the beginning of the week and I’m not sure I could have created much from “cleaning out the fridge.”)

And since I didn’t have to worry about anyone’s taste buds but my own, I went with salmon.  I’m a lover of all food from the sea but salmon is one of my favorites.  I went through all of my salmon recipes before deciding on Orange-Glazed Salmon with Olive Quinoa.  This recipe ultimately was my pick because it was for two servings – which was perfect.

I cooked 1/2 cup quinoa in 2/3 cup of water until all the water was absorbed.  While the quinoa was cooking, I mixed together the glaze for the salmon.  In the mix:  maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice, Dijon mustard, garlic (and lots of it!) and some freshly cracked black pepper.  I topped the salmon fillets with the glaze and placed in the oven on BROIL for 6 minutes.  No more, no less for a perfectly medium piece of salmon.

While the salmon was cooking, I fluffed the quinoa with parsley, chopped olives, salt and pepper.

Such a delicious dinner.

Another confession:

This dinner was eaten on the couch with a side of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Oh, yes.  My guilty pleasure.