Fiesta Rice Salad

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This “salad” is my go-to at the moment to take and share at potluck type meals with friends. Every single time I make it I have people asking me for the recipe, so I figured it was time to put it on the blog! Not only is it something different, it’s also good for you and it contains one of Eleni’s all time favorite foods – chickpeas! I’ve had people tell me that they really thought they hated chickpeas until they ate this….so don’t knock it ’til you try it! I often double the recipe if we’re going somewhere with a big crowd, since it’s quite cheap to make too. At home we’ve had this with thick juicy steaks, chicken or burgers, but honestly it’s quite good by itself for lunch!

Ingredients:

4 or so cups of cooked basmati rice (which is like 2 cups uncooked)

1 can whole kernel sweetcorn, drained

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 can black beans, drained

1/2 red onion, chopped very small

1 red bell pepper, chopped small

3 or 4 big handfuls of raw spinach, chopped

The juice of 1 lemon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

– Mix all together in a big bowl, and serve or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Easy peasy! If it seems sticky or too dry, add a drizzle or two of olive oil or an extra squeeze of lemon before serving.

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Fiesta Rice Salad

Potato, Pea and Bacon Pie – A Fall Must-Have!

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This is one of my favorite pies ever….this is high in comfort and indulgence! I’ve adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Puffy Pea ‘n’ Potato Pie – the original concept came from him, but I’ve changed quite a bit and added my own flair. Serve all on its own as a main dish, or leave off the puff pastry at the end and you’ve got a beautiful side dish that guests will adore.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp all purpose flour

One sheet of puff pastry (they usually sell boxes of two sheets in the frozen section)

1 egg, beaten

1 onion, chopped

2 large potatoes, chopped into small cubes

500g frozen peas (a regular sized pack)

1 large knob of butter (probably about 2 tbsps)

1/2 a large iceburg lettuce, finely shredded

1 cup chicken stock

4 heaped tbsps ricotta cheese

A pack of cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces

– Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Throw your onions in a pan with a generous lug of olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes until starting to soften, then add the potatoes into the mix. Stir pretty well and cook for a few minutes more before adding the peas, butter and flour. After a few minutes add the lettuce and the bacon and cook over low-medium heat for about another 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for another 10 or so minutes until the potato is cooked. Stir in the ricotta cheese well and season with salt and pepper to taste.  

Pour the entire mixture into a pie dish and cover with the puff pastry. With a pastry brush, paint the pastry with the beaten egg and use a knife to cut a slit into the middle of the pie. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up. Enjoy!

Painting the pie

Potato, Pea and Bacon Pie – A Fall Must-Have!

HEALTHY Loaded Sweet Potatoes

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I’m kind of in love with this recipe, because it’s easy, fresh, loaded with protein & other good stuff and obviously very yummy! Plus look at those amazing colors – anyone you serve this too will feel special, I guarantee it! This can stand alone or be a side dish – I’ve done it both ways.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 baked sweet potatoes

A handful of fresh spinach, chopped

Half a can of drained whole kernel sweetcorn

Half a can of drained black beans

Half a can of drained chickpeas

Half a red bell pepper, chopped

A squeeze of lemon juice, to taste

– Combine all the ingredients except for the sweet potatoes into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stuff your sweet potatoes with this mixture and you’re done….it’s that easy! You may have some leftover filling which is delicious on its own or good as a starter for a salad of leftovers the next day. Enjoy!

HEALTHY Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Quinoa Bites with Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese

It has been quite a while since I’ve blogged, and I do apologize for that. I always knew this summer was going to be busy, but I had no idea just how busy it would end up being! I have recently discovered the joyful grocery store that is Trader Joe’s. We have to drive 20 minutes down the road to Asheville, but it is SO worth it. I need to do a blogpost on all the wonderful things I buy there on a regular basis, as it’s a fantastic place to buy toddler snacks that aren’t necessarily marketed for babies and are therefore cheaper. Anyway I decided to go out on a bit of a limb on my Trader Joe’s trip this week and I bought a bag of quinoa – my first ever! I’m not one for ‘hype’ but I have to say, quinoa is totally living up to it’s reputation in the Pruett household. These bites are so delicious, all three of us love these and have been snacking on them since I made them. They make great midday pick-me-ups or you can have a couple for lunch. These are packed with protein and give a great boost of nutrition and energy. The original recipe is from Alida’s Kitchen, but of course I tweaked it!

Quinoa bites

1 cup quinoa, cooked in 2 cups chicken broth

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups raw broccoli, finely chopped

1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Salt & pepper

a splash of paprika

–  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. 

Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases (I did this to prevent mess, but you could also just grease the tin and put the mixture straight in). 

Mix all the ingredients together, and distribute the mixture evenly between all the cupcake cases. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy! You can refrigerate these and eat them cold or heat them up in the microwave. So yummy!

Quinoa Bites with Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese

Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

The original recipe is from mylifewellloved.com but I made a few changes. This was such an easy and yummy meal! I actually made double the recipe and took one load to some friends who just had a baby – a great meal to share with others since it’s all in one dish and easy to reheat!

Chicken spinach bake

 

8oz cooked rigatoni pasta (or really any kind!)

Olive oil

Clove of garlic, minced/chopped finely

Half an onion, chopped

3 or 4 handfuls of fresh spinach, torn up

About 3 cups of cooked chicken, shredded

14oz can of diced tomatoes

8oz packet of cream cheese, softened

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt, Pepper

– Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. 

Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil until soft. In a large bowl combine the onion, garlic, pasta, spinach, cream cheese, tomatoes, seasoning and chicken. 

Transfer to an oven proof dish and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more until cheese is golden and bubbling. 

Enjoy with some good bread!

Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge made with Coconut Oil

Choc PB Fudge

 

My super generous and lovely friend Sarah gave me a huge tub of coconut oil – I was SO excited. Of course, I took to Pinterest immediately to find out about all the wonderful things I can do with it. This recipe was on of the first things I found and since I already had all the ingredients, I made it that same day. I can honestly say that I crave these more than I do Lindt chocolate now! I actually have a whole bag of Lindt chocolate sitting in my fruit bowl (I know, my fruit bowl is filled with chocolate…) because I’ve been munching on these instead. The good news is that these are SO MUCH BETTER FOR YOU! I can’t wait to make these again, and I’m thinking about making mini ones for Eleni’s first birthday party. I found this recipe on My Recipe Magic. It can be made paleo-style if you have a nut-butter, but I only had peanut butter (which is not paleo since it’s technically a legume)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge made with Coconut Oil:

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

1/2 cup nut butter (I used peanut, but you could use almond, hazelnut etc)

1/4 cup honey

– Blend everything together in a food processor/ blender/ smoothie maker. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and pour the mixture in. You can fill them up as much as you want, just bear in mind that the thicker they are, the longer it will take them to set. I did mine about 3/4inch thick. 

Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge or 10 minutes in the freezer. I did mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. If you take them out, eat immediately before they melt!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge made with Coconut Oil

Chicken Burgers for Everyone!

The Pruetts’ new spring/summer obsession: chicken burgers! Healthy, juicy and packed full of flavor – not to mention super easy to make from scratch. We always have ours on wholewheat buns with spinach instead of lettuce and some kind of cheese! On sunny days we take Eleni’s high chair outside and eat on the porch – absolute bliss. These chicken burgers are the cherry on top of our already-sweet dinnertime memories!

Eleni spring

Basic Chicken Burger Recipe

1lb ground chicken (we always, ALWAYS buy organic, hormone & antibiotic free chicken)

A mixture of half Panko breadcrumbs, half normal breadcrumbs (I honestly eyeball the amount, it just needs to be the right consistency for burgers – not too moist and not too crumbly, able to hold a patty shape on it’s own)

Salt & pepper

1 egg, beaten

– Mix all these together, and you’ve got the perfect chicken burger base! Now you can leave these as they are, throw them on the grill or in a skillet on the stove and they’ll be delicious, but below are two variations that we absolutely love!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers

chili lime cilantro chicken burgers

Basic chicken burger recipe

1/2 a red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

A handful of chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more if you like it hot!)

The juice of about half a lime

Wholewheat buns

Pepperjack cheese, sliced (to go on top)

Avocado, mashed or sliced, if you want (Chris hates it, I love it!)

Fresh spinach (to go on top)

– Mix all the ingredients except for the last three together in a bowl. Form into good sized burger patties and either throw them on the grill (Chris does the cooking part for me) or in a skillet on the stove and cook until done. If you want, you can put the buns on the grill to toast them for about 30 seconds to a minute too. Build your burgers by adding pepperjack cheese (for a little extra kick), fresh spinach, avocado – anything you want! We usually serve these with tortilla chips and a yummy black bean salsa.

 

Chicken & Mushroom Burgers

chicken mushroom burgers

Basic chicken burger recipe

About half a pound of mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 a white onion, finely chopped

Wholewheat buns

Fresh spinach (to go on top)

Provolone cheese, sliced (to go on top)

– Mix the first three ingredients together in a bowl. Form into good sized burger patties and either throw them on the grill (Chris does the cooking part for me) or in a skillet on the stove and cook until done. Build your burgers by adding fresh spinach, provolone cheese, mayonnaise – whatever you think would go well! We served these with baked sweet potatoes (with butter, wrapped in foil and cooked on the grill until soft) and salad. So yummy, so easy and so healthy!

 

Chicken Burgers for Everyone!