Tag Archives: Side Dishes

Panko Encrusted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach, Mushrooms, & BACON

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I haven’t stuffed chicken breasts in a while so I figured I do something a little different than the usual “cordon bleu” style. These tuned out fantastic! The hardest part is making the incision into the breast big enough and so that you don’t pierce the backside, you really want to be able to stuff as much goodness in there as possible (and keep it in)! 🙂

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 25-30 min (depends on thickness of breasts used).

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Free range chicken breasts, place a large slit in breasts without piercing through other side.
  • 1 C. Spinach
  • 1 C. Arugula
  • 2 Slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 Shallot, or 2 TBS, minced
  • 1/2 C. Baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • Parmesan Reggiano, shaved 2 TBS
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Paprika
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 C. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 TBS Butter

Instructions:

  1. Cut produce as described above, and heat medium skillet on medium high with 1 TBS olive oil. Once hot add garlic, shallots, and greens. Saute for 2 min until softened. Add the chopped crispy bacon to mixture and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Prep Chicken. Divide greens mixture and insert into breasts. Nestle the parmesan shavings on to the top of mixture inside of breasts.
  3. Pre-Heat oven to 375 F.
  4. Prepare two bowls one with beaten egg (add salt, pepper, and paprika to this beaten egg and mix well). The other bowl will have the panko. Dip each breast into the egg and spice mixture then into the panko, make sure you coat the breast evenly and thoroughly. Repeat with other breast. Refrigerate for 10 min to set.
  5. Heat medium or large skillet on medium heat with 1/2 TBS butter and wait until hot. Add breasts and DO NOT FLIP or touch for 3-4 min (time it or your panko will fall off the breasts). I often will spray the tops of the breasts with olive oil spray while the bottoms cook so that when I flip them they will have something on them to “brown” and not burn… instead of using more butter… So you will cook the breasts for 3-4 min on each side then transfer to the oven for 20 min or until done.
Serve with a salad or veggie of choice 🙂 and enjoy!
Cheers!

Curried Chicken Naan Wraps with Tabbouleh Salad

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I love curry anything and Tabbouleh, I could probably eat it every week! This is a simple week night meal especially if you aren’t making the naan, humus, and Tzatziki. All of those ingredients can be usually store bought if you’re in a crunch! I  usually make my own but when I made this I was exhausted and my husband laughed at me when I said this was my “easy cheat meal”…  Meaning I didn’t make it all from scratch…He thought I was crazy and loved it all. I felt like I was cheating, mainly because I knew I can make all of those things pretty well. It just adds another hour minimum of work and lots of dishes to clean 😦  Needless to say sometimes you just gotta cheat and it’s not like I caved and ordered a Domino’s Pizza :)… YUCK! So for all you Austinites out there if you need to cheat to make this meal go to Whip In pick up some house made Naan, some Grandma’s Hummus, and some Tzatziki (you can get the Tzatziki at HEB if they don’t have any, I have not personally bought the Tzatziki there only the hummus and Naan).

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 10-15 min

Serves: 2 -With extra tabouli left over for lunch the next day 🙂

Ingredients:

For chicken 

  • 2 Free range chicken breasts, about 4-6 oz each, cubed.
  • 2-4 Pieces of  warmed Naan  (you may want extra to dip in your hummus).
  • Grind in a mortar and pestle : 1 tsp Hot Madras Curry Powder, 2 threads of saffron, 1 tsp Garam Masala, 1/4 tsp Tumeric, and 1 tsp. black pepper. I will be making a ZBD blend of this as well available for purchase very soon!
  • 2 Lemons, juiced.
  • 1-2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS butter
  • Cucumber slices
  • Tomato slices
For Tabbouleh 
  • 1/2 C. Wheat bulgur, soak in 2 cups of hot water for 20 min covered- until soft.
  • 1 Large organic tomato, cubed (get a firm one).
  • 1/4 C. Finely chopped mint, organic
  • 1/2 C. Finely chopped parsley, organic
  • 2-3 TBS Quality olive oil
  • 1/4 C. Organic lemon juice
  • 1/4 C. Scallions, organic
  • 1 TBS. Pepper, fine
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1tsp. Garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Soak bulgur wheat in water and transfer to a strainer, then to a medium mixing bowl. Add components from above and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. It’s even better the next day 🙂
  2. Prep chicken and heat butter in large skillet on medium high until butter is bubbling. Add chicken and spices and toss so chicken is covered. Add lemon juice and cook until chicken is done. About 10 min depending on cube sizes. Get a nice browning on the chicken. Warm Naan in oven for about 4-5 min on 350 F. while chicken finishes up.
  3. Once done place chicken in Naan wraps and top with cucumber and tomato slices and drizzle to Tzatziki on top if desired and serve with a side of Tabbouleh and Hummus!
  4. I like to serve the hummus with some extra Naan. Enjoy!
Cheers!


Sausage and Tomato Basil Farfalle Casserole

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I love making casseroles early in the day and then popping them in the oven for dinner, there’s just something about not having to cook after a long day of  work or play! It’s even better when you’re lucky and your husband/wife does the dishes afterwards (and no… putting soapy water in the casserole and letting it soak over night does not count as “doing” the dishes) 🙂 This is a delicious meal that will have you coming back for seconds… I promise!

Also as an added bonus, when you subscribe to my blog and comment on my posts you will be entered to win some of this sweet sweet ZestyBeanDog Fine Herb Blend you keep reading about oh so often! I will be doing a special subscriber give-away on the 31st! Good luck!

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 25-35 min

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Sausage, ground fresh
  • 1-2 Shallots, minced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 C. Sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 Can of organic tomatoes, diced (don’t drain the juice).
  • 1 Large organic tomato, sliced (discard top and bottom).
  • 1 C. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 C. Parmesan Reggiano, grated (You should know by now, THE GOOD STUFF) 🙂
  • 1 TBS ZestyBeanDog Fine Herb Blend or your own fine herb blend
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 C. Fresh Basil (half in casserole, 1/2 on top when done as garnish).
  • 1/2 TBS. Butter
  • 2 C. Farfalle, I prefer whole wheat

Instructions:

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add Farfalle and cook right before it’s al dente.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet on med high, add garlic and shallots and cook for 1 min until fragrant. Add sausage and then brown it.
  3. Add Mushrooms and can of tomatoes and mix well, add spices and simmer for 10 min. Turn off heat.
  4. Add pasta to sausage mixture and mozzarella cheese and mix well.
  5. Transfer mixture to medium casserole, place sliced tomatoes on top and top tomatoes with parmesan cheese, bake at 350 F. for 20 min if baking right away, if reheating from fridge bake for 35 min or until done.
  6. Once done, garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!
Cheers!

It’s my 100th Blog Post! Pizza made with Brussel Sprouts, Bacon, Shallots, and Garlic!

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One of my favorite meals to eat and cook is pizza, I eat it once a week! So I figured why not do a pizza for my 100th blog post… I also will enclose a peek into what we ate over the weekend at the end of the post (as well as a very interesting cake we saw at HEB). I hope you enjoy and thanks for keeping me motivated to blog over the last 100 posts. Cheers!

This is my favorite pizza I’ve made so far! It was amazing! The brussel sprouts go so wonderfully with the bacon and shallots, it’s like a match made in heaven 🙂 I even ate a slice today for breakfast, cold… just had to make sure it was still good!

Prep: 25 min

Serves: 2-4

Cook: 18-20 min

Ingredients:

  • Dough, make your own or find some pre-made or frozen dough. (Some speciality stores like Whole Foods or Central Market will have some). Enough to make a large 14-16 inch pizza
  • 15 Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 4 Slices of bacon, I love Applegate Farms nitrate free bacon.
  • 2-4 Shallots (about 1/4 C.), sliced long ways
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 C. Mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/4 C. Provolone, shredded
  • 1/4 C. Parmesan Reggiano, shredded (and some extra for topping). * Remember! Use good quality cheeses for best results 🙂
  • 4-5 oz of Muir Organic Tomato Sauce (add 1/2 TBS of herbs de provence, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp red pepper and pinch of salt and stir). I like thin sauce, but you can add more 🙂
  • 1 TBS of an Italian herbs de provence for the top of cheese.
  • 1/2 tsp of Thyme for top of cheese.
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon for sprouts

Instructions:

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 375 F. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place brussel sprouts cut side down.  Baste sprouts with olive oil and lemon juice. Bake for 15 min and remove from oven. Turn oven up to 425 F when done for the pizza.
  2. Cook 4 slices of bacon to almost done, (so it’s not completely crispy). I do it in the microwave for about 3.5 min on paper towels, but all microwaves are different so if you choose this route, just keep an eye on it. When done, cut bacon up in chunks, about .5 inch x .5 inch.
  3. On prepared dough, lay down sauce, cheeses, herbs, bacon, sprouts opposite side up this time, shallots, garlic, and then top with grated Parmesan Reggiano. Bake for about 15-20 min or until cheese gets golden and crust is crisp.
  4. Enjoy!

Sneak Peek into Zestybeandog’s Weekend….

Evan’s Fried Egg Sandwich, it was huge!
The whole shabang…
My Salad… House smoked salmon and bacon, a poached egg, with avocados and house dressing.

Evan’s First Bite: This thing was ginormous!
MAX and Cheese, Crazy good truffled mac and cheese from Max’s Wine Dive

Beer at the Gingerman
Crazy Barbie Cake at HEB…
Thanks for coming to the Zestybeandog Blog once again!

Cornish Game Hens with Roasted Carrots and Taters served with an Arugula Salad with Prosciutto and Citrus Dressing

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My favorite part of this whole dish is the salad, I could eat a enormous bowl of it, it’s so delicious… refreshing and savory!

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 1-1.5 hours depending on size and if you stuff the hens.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Game hens, cleaned and innards removed
  • 4-6 Carrots cut however you’d like
  • 6 New potatoes, quartered
  • 4 C. Arugula
  • 2 Slices of prosciutto
  • 1/4 C. Parma Reggiano (good stuff NOT Digiorno).
  • 1 TBS Butter
  • 1/2 TBS Zestbeandog Fine Herb Blend, or you can make your own herb blend with things like dried parsley, sage, etc…
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
Dressing for Salad
  • 1 TBS Lemon juice
  • 1 TBS Grapefruit juice
  • 6 Grapefruit segments, remove the pith part, see how to do it here
  • 2 TBS Red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
  • 1/2 TBS Zestybeandog Fine Herb Blend
  • 1 pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of honey or agave nectar ( you can sub some quality sugar if you don’t have these but add about a TBS).
I usually put the ingredients in a tupperware container that seals well and shake it up to mix well…

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare veggies and set aside.
  3. Get a medium to large casserole dish and place hens side by side, if you are going to stuff them do so now ( I make a breadcrumb stuffing with some old freezer bread if I have it, celery, shallots, chicken stock, and maybe some bacon…). Next you will season your birds: Melt butter and then mix lemon juice with it, baste birds evenly and sprinkle ZBD fine herb blend, salt, and pepper on birds. You can do this again mid way through cooking if you’d like just melt some more butter and add lemon like you did before cooking.
  4. Place carrots and potatoes into casserole surrounding hens. Toss midway through cooking. Cook for 1-1.15 hrs depending on weight and if you stuffed, stuffed things usually take about 10-15 additional min.
  5. While hens and veggies cook, prep you salad and dressing.
  6. For the salad toppings… the crispy prosciutto and reggiano: Place two slices of prosciutto into the oven for about 20 min or until browed and crispy then break into pieces. For the cheese spread the 1/4 C. of reggiano onto a microwave safe plate (spread evenly and thinly) and microwave for 45-1 min let cool and peel of plate and place onto a paper towel, let it sit and then once hardened it should also break up nicely…if not it needs to bee cooked longer or you need a better quality cheese, some can be too oily and that makes it hard to work with for this purpose. These go on top of dressed salads as garnish (a delicious garnish at that)!
  7. Take salad dressing and toss the arugula and citrus in it and top with garnishes.
  8. Check hens and make sure they are done, juices should run yellowish or clear, not pink, you can always cut into one to make sure (when I first started cooking with chicken… if I was unsure, I do this and keep the one I cut for myself, it took me a long time to get comfortable with not cutting into them…). Try not to overcook…
  9. Once everything is in order then you can plate your masterpiece and enjoy!
CHEERS!

Hatch and Serrano Chili Panko Encrusted Tilapia with Smashed Potatoes and a Pistachio and Citrus Salad

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This is a great way to use the hatch chilies that you might be seeing all over town right now!  I chose tilapia for this dish but you could use catfish or cod.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Fish filets, your choice on how big (a little under 1/2 a pound each will do).
  • 1/2 Hatch chili, minced finely
  • 1 Serrano, (1/2 sliced very thin, 1/2 minced finely).
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 C. Panko bread crumb
  • Salt, pepper, and fine herb blend 1/2 tsp of each
  • 2 Potatoes, scrubbed, cut up to boil (leave skin on, that’s where all the nutrients are).
  • 1/4 C. Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 C. Light sour cream
  • 3 TBS Butter
  • 1 tsp. Black truffle salt
  • 2 TBS Shallot, minced (for whole recipe you will need one medium sized shallot, half for potatoes and half for dressing).
  • 2 Green onions, sliced
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 Cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 Grapefruit, cut this way
  • 2 TBS Pistachios, shelled (Fresh)
  • 1/2 Orange, zest it
  • 1/2 Orange, juiced
  • 1/8 C. Red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 TBS Agave nectar
  • 1 tsp Fine herb blend
  • 1 TBS Shallots, minced
  • 3-4 TBS Olive oil or you can use Pam to cut calories

Instructions:

  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a medium pot, add cut up potatoes and cook until tender/done. While potatoes are cooking…
  2. Prepare fish, wash, gather two bowls and a plate. Crack egg in first bowl, whisk. Add panko, hatch and serrano peppers, and salt, pepper, and fine herb blend 1/2 tsp of each to crumbs and mix with hand.  Take fish filets and dip into egg mixture then into panko and coat whole filet throughly on both sides. Repeat. Place breaded fish on plate and place in fridge.
  3. Drain potatoes and place back in pot, add sour cream, cheese, butter, garlic, 1/2 of the shallots, truffle salt, and green onion and mash roughly. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat large skillet on medium high with olive oil or pam, add filets, and cook for 4 min without turning!!! After 4 min turn and cook for an additional 4 min without turning, after you have browned both sides cook until done (about 2 min on each side more).
  5. While fish is cooking make up your salad and dressing add spinach to bowl, add grapefruit and nuts.  For the dressing, get a plastic container with a tight sealing lid and add:
    • 1/2 Orange, zest it
    • 1/2 Orange, juiced
    • 1/8 C. Red wine vinegar
    • 2 TBS Olive oil
    • 1 TBS Agave nectar
    • 1 tsp Fine herb blend
    • 1 TBS Shallots, minced
And shake to mix well.  Dress salad and check on fish.  Once fish is done plate up your meal, garnishing with a few serranos that you sliced thinly earlier.  Enjoy!
Cheers!

Chicago Dogs at Home…in Texas

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Need a Quick, Easy, and Under 300 Calories Labor Day Grill Plan? (It’s under 300 calories IF you use an Orowheat Sandwich Thin rather than the buns in the picture) 🙂

Prep: 2 min

Cook Time: 5-8 min

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 Applegate Farms Hot Dogs You can use regular or organic, these are the ONLY hotdogs I’ll eat, they are free of fillers, nitrates and preservatives and they are delicious and low fat!
  • 2 Buns of your choice, or Orowheat  whole wheat sandwich thin split in 2.
  • 2-4 Sport peppers
  • 4 Tomato slices, I like Heirloom or green ones if available.
  • Yellow or spicy mustard
  • 2 pinches of 2 % cheese (about a TBS).
  • 1/4 tsp. Celery salt
  • 1 Claussen spear, split in half long ways.

Instructions: (It’s simple)

  1. Cook dogs on skillet or grill, turning so you get a nice brown dog.
  2. Assemble : Bun, Mustard, Cheese, Dog, Peps, Tomato, Pickle Spear, then sprinkle with celery salt! Yes, you can top with mustard as well if you want double mustard.
  3. Enjoy with a cold beer 🙂
Cheers!

Duck Egg Omelette with Pickled Chorizo and Micro Green Garnish

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Duck eggs are not too different than that of a free range chicken egg.  I prefer the taste of the duck egg and like the fact that they are far more dense than a regular egg.  They have a nice texture that sets up well.  They are considerably more expensive than a free-range egg (about a dollar a piece).  You can find them at most farmer’s markets, Central Market or Whole Foods. I don’t often make eggs so duck eggs are a nice treat (I usually do egg whites if anything).  The pickled chorizo bites give this omelette a burst of  unique flavor!

Prep Time: 10 min (see #1 below for pickled chorizo time).

Cook Time: 10 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 3 Duck eggs, scrambled in a bowl
  • 1 C. Baby spinach
  • 1/2 C. Pico mixture (onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime).
  • 1 oz Cabbot 50% cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 Pinches of micro greens
  • 2 TBS pickled chorizo, See #1 below for details
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil
  • Pinch or sea salt and pepper

Insructions:

  1. For the pickled chorizo, you can do one of two things… you can create your own brine mixture (vinegar, salt, and seasonings or use pickle juice from some Clausen pickles).  Get some basic Spanish chorizo links ( I bought a pack of 3 and cut up 2), less ingredients the better. Cut up into small cubes 1mm X 1mm so really small…and soak for 24 hours.  If you are on a time crunch you can get away with a few hours, just know it won’t be the same… For this recipe you don’t use that much pickled chorizo, it’s just a garnish. I’m making another dish this evening that will use it again.
  2. Cut up produce for pico and spinach.
  3. Heat 1 tsp of butter/olive oil in a medium skillet on medium.
  4. Crack duck eggs in a small bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Add 1/2 of egg mixture to skillet, then add a handful of pico and spinach, grate .5 oz of Cabbot cheese on top and cook for 1-2 min, fold over omelette and continue cooking for 1-2 min and flip, cook for 2 min on other side and remove omelette.  Repeat with remaining egg, produce, and cheese. Garnish tops of omelette’s with pickled chorizo and micro greens.
  6. Serve with beans and avocado.  I like to garnish the plate with Sirracha hot sauce for a little kick!
Cheers!

Shrimp and Veggies

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This is a quick and healthy dinner that’s satisfying and tasty!

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 30 Min (3o min if you make potatoes, 10 without).

Serves: 2-3 (May have some left over for a small lunch).

Ingredients:

  • 16 Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Squash, sliced and quartered, thick chunks
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced and quartered, thick chunks
  • 1/2 C. Baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • .5 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Fine herbs
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning blend, I make my own but you can use Zatarran’s or something similar, look for one that doesn’t have MSG.
  • Pinch of pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut produce
  2. Peel shrimp, rinse, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large skillet, add garlic and sauté until fragrant, add shrimp, cook for 2 min on each side until golden. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  4. Cook veggies in other TBS of olive oil for about 7 min and add seasonings and stir to coat all the veggies, mix in shrimp for about a min and mix well.
  5. Serve with potatoes or your choice of side.
Cheers!

My Favorite Delicious and Healthy Low Calorie Lunch, it’s packed with protein!

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This recipe is only 310 calories (210 if you omit the crackers) and 30 grams of protein (great for after a workout)! I eat this on a regular basis and love it! The carrots and pickles give it a nice crunch, especially if you are omitting the crackers.

Prep: 3-5 min

Cook: NONE

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can of low sodium chunk light albacore tuna in water, I like Bumble Bee brand
  • 1 Handful of carrot sticks, chopped
  • 2 Clausen pickle spears, chopped
  • 1 Small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 TBS Kraft light mayo, made with olive oil
  • 1 TBS spicy mustard
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
Mix together and serve with crackers of your choice! Enjoy 🙂