Hummus crostini is one of those recipes that doesn't really count as a recipe. Consider this recipe an assembly of delicious food combinations that results in a lovely appetizer with amazing flavor. The base of this crostini is store bought crostini bites found in the bakery section of the grocery store. These are also easy to make by slicing a crusty French baguette into 1/2 inch slices, drizzling with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to be baked until crispy in a 375 degree oven for about 6 minutes. Watch them closely so they do not burn. Mine crostini came from the bakery department for a low price and they were already pre-seasoned.
These crostini are topped with a roasted red pepper hummus from the deli aisle. Caramelized onions, which are chopped sweet vidalia onions caramelized in 2 TBSP of butter in a non-stick pan. Carmelizing onions on a medium heat takes approximately 10 minutes, stir them occasionally so they do not burn and reduce heat if they are cooking too quickly.
For a fresh element, a sprig of tarragon makes them feel complete with a fresh pop of green color.
The options are endless for flavor combinations with hummus flavors and varieties. These would also be amazing with a black olive hummus topped with a sliced roasted red pepper.
Fiesta chicken is filled with flavor as a protein element to a dinner dish, the fresh avocado salsa really brings this chicken together with flavors of chili spice, garlic and lime juice. To round out the flavor profile, serve this chicken with a side of cilantro lime coconut rice
2 chicken breasts thawed
olive oil for drizzling
Trader Joe's chili lime seasoning spice
3-4 TBSP chopped cilantro
1 red bellpepper
3-4 TBSP red onion
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup corn fresh or frozen
1 TBSP lime juice
salt to taste
Cilantro lime coconut rice ingredients:
1 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 TBSP butter
2 TBSP chopped cilantro
salt to taste
It is easiest to prepare this dish in steps for time management and to ensure everything will be ready to serve at the same time. I begin by preparing the salsa, which can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 hours prior to serving. Since this salsa has fresh avocados, they will begin to brown if stored with the salsa for too long. If you wanted to make this fresh salsa farther in advance, you could make the entire dish without the avocado and add the avocado at the end just before serving.
After making the fresh salsa, I prepare the cilantro rice, and while the cilantro rice is cooking I cook the chicken thoroughly for the finished dinner. Thinking backwards from your dinner start time, this dish can be prepared in 30 minutes prior to dinner from start to finish!
1) Begin by dicing the bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, and avocado into roughly 1 cm square pieces.
2) Gently toss all ingredients in a medium sized bowl with the corn, cilantro, lime juice, and salt to your flavor profile.
3) If you will not be serving this salsa right away, store in an airtight container for up to 2 hours without losing color quality.
Cilantro Lime Coconut Rice
1) Prepare rice of your choice according to package directions.
2) While the rice is cooking, prepare the coconut, cilantro lime sauce by heating 1 TBSP coconut oil, 1 TBSP butter, and 1 TBSP lime juice for 30 seconds in the microwave or until just melted. Stir in chopped cilantro
3) When rice is finished cooking, add the rice marinade mixture and stir to combine. Taste for flavor, and add salt if needed. Cover with a lid to preserve heat until serving.
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) Drizzle thawed chicken with olive oil and liberally season both sides with the Trader Joe's seasoning mix
3) In a cast iron skillet, drizzle 1-2 TBSP olive oil to coat the pan and sear the chicken on both sides for 3 minutes each, or until golden brown on each side.
4) Slide the cast iron skillet into a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until chicken or cooked throughout without any pink.
Paprika garlic shrimp, parmesean quinoa, and spicy garlic kale make both a healthy and delicious dinner bowl. I love dinner recipes that make me feel like I am eating something really nutritious and filling, but also has amazing flavor. The paprika garlic shrimp are the perfect protein element in this bowl, not leaving you feeling as though you had a heavy dinner. My favorite part of this dinner bowl is honestly the spicy garlic kale, if you are not a kale lover, you should try this recipe just for the kale!
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp granulated garlic
20 medium shrimp (I use frozen, uncooked)
3 TBSP grated Parmesan
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 TBSP butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups washed and chopped kale
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TSP fresh garlic
1/8 TSP red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1) Thaw shrimp completely in a bowl of warm water, ensure the water is not hot so it does not begin cooking the shrimp. Once the shrimp is thawed, coat in the paprika and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside until cooking time.
2) Prepare quinoa by boiling 1 cup water in a small saucepan, once the water is boiling add 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa. Reduce the temperature to low and cook for 10-15 minutes until the water is no longer present. Remove from the heat and add butter and Parmesan. Stir to combine, taste for flavor and add salt and pepper as desired.
3) While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the kale for the dinner bowl. In a non-stick skillet, heat 2 TBSP olive oil with fresh garlic and red pepper flakes. Once the oil is fragrant with the garlic, add the kale and toss to completely coat the kale in the hot oil. Cook on medium heat, until the kale wilts 3-4 minutes.
3) To reduce the number of dishes during clean up, in this step I scoot the cooked kale to 1/2 of the non-stick skilled and reserve the open 1/2 of the skillet to cook the shrimp. Cook shrimp until it is no longer translucent, overcooked shrimp can become chewy.
4) Prepare the dinner bowl by adding equal portions of Parmesan quinoa and spicy garlic kale, top this dish with the paprika garlic shrimp. A spritz of lemon adds a perfect amount of freshness to complete the dish.
Moroccan chickpea stew is an easy throw together dinner that cooks itself in the crock pot for amazingly easy flavor. Using fresh ingredients as well as conveniently canned ingredients makes this recipe easy to create. The meal truly comes together with a side of quinoa or cooked rice along with a tang of plain yogurt or sour cream. The bitter greens add a unique flavor to bring this stew into a complete dinner meal. A fresh sprinkle of cilantro rounds out the flavor profile as an additional element of freshness.
3 garlic cloves crushed or 1 tsp granulated garlic powder-the garlic press i use is located in a link at the bottom of this page
1 butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes *I had a large butternut squash, I reserved approximately 1 and 1/2 cups of this cut squash for my butternut squash and sage pasta. Butternut squash freezes well for later meals
1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas drained and washed
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp grated ginger or ginger paste
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
3 cups chicken broth
greens: I used a spring blend
sour cream or plain yogurt
cilantro for garnish
1) Combine all of the listed ingredients in the crock-pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours. During the final hour, remove the lid from the crock-pot to release added moisture and thicken the stew.
2) To prepare the bowls, add 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup bitter greens, 1 cup of cooked Moroccan chickpea stew, garnish with diced cucumbers, a dollop or sour cream or yogurt, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
This stew saves nicely as a leftover!
I adapted this recipe from www.simplyquinoa.com/slow-cooker-moroccan-chickpea-stew/
Kitchen tool favorite:
This is my favorite garlic press
These cast iron pork chops are amazingly delicious and searing them first delivers all the flavor. This recipe begins with 4 pork chops from the meat section in your local grocery store. I actually had these pork chops frozen for close to a month before cooking them last night.
Allow the pork chops to thaw completely, if cooking from frozen for the best flavor. Drizzle each side with olive oil, salt and pepper. For added flavor I added a lemon pepper blend blend from the spice aisle in the grocery store.
In a large cast iron pan brown 4 tablespoons of butter. Sear each seasoned pork chop for 4 minutes on each side. Slide the pork chops in the cast iron pan into a preheated 350 degree oven for an additional 10 minutes to ensure they are each cooked thoroughly. Upon removing the pork chops from the oven, throw in 1 cup of thawed sweet peas. I served these pork chops and peas along side mashed potatoes.