Tag Archives: dinner

Italian Turkey Meatballs

It’s the middle of August already. Time really goes faster regardless of a global pandemic, and with an infant now it’s like every month whizzes by in the blink of an eye (no, I didn’t intend on rhyming). Sundays have become a day of meal prep for the week, as both my husband and I are now working from home, it’s way easier to have meals almost fully prepped for the week so we don’t have to wait until practically 9pm to eat. We tend to take care of Rowen before we eat but now that he’s sleeping a bit later, we’re eating earlier and he hangs with us. This baby boy is going to be so spoiled with homemade foods when he turns 6 months next month!

Back to the purpose of this blogpost: meatballs. These aren’t a staple in my home, but I love when I make them. This time around, I opted for a lighter version and used ground turkey meat. The usual ingredients are in them too such as Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and an egg. I also throw in dried herbs like oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. I like making my own marinara sauce, but Rao’s or Jovial foods makes a delicious sauce with very clean ingredients so sometimes keeping it simple is best.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 package ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried basil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder

Preheat your oven to 400*. The beauty of meatballs: everything goes into the bowl at the same time! Mix the egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, seasonings, minced garlic, Worcestershire, and ground turkey together in a bowl until fully combined. The balls should be sticky but form a solid circle a little smaller than the size of your palm. This mixture should form 12-13 meatballs.

Spray some non-stick oil spray onto a tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Place each meatball on the sheet with space in between. Bake for 20 minutes. In the meantime, begin to heat your marinara of choice (I do have a homemade marinara sauce recipe but will save that for another post) and once the meatballs are done baking, add them to the sauce and simmer for another 35-40 minutes. Serve with pasta, risotto, or my personal favorite: sliced and baked sweet potatoes (upcoming blog post!).

Tostada Tacos

Time is flying, and we’re still at home. Weather is getting nicer, and we’ve fired up the grill several times already this summer. While my creative juices are beginning to flow again, I find myself gravitating towards easier, more simpler dishes and recipes, given that my husband and I are still navigating parenthood with a 3.5-month-old.

We initially bought flour and corn tortillas to make crunchwrap supremes, then realizing the flour tortillas were too small opted for cheesy gordita crunches. Upon opening the flour tortillas, we noticed they went moldy *Sigh*. Ultimately, we decided to just make tacos, but I had already poured avocado oil in a pan to fry up the corn tortillas. I decided to stick with frying the corn tortillas up a bit and made them into traditional tacos, with a tostada twist.

These were so easy to make, and I used Siete Foods brand Taco seasoning, which was INSANELY delicious. How have I not had this before? You can find this seasoning online at Thrive Market (my go-to for a lot of products and groceries) or at Whole Foods.

Step 1: Pour oil of choice into a shallow frying pan just enough that it coats the bottom of the pan and then an extra 1/4″.

Step 2: Heat the pan on medium and add two tortillas at once. Let them fry for about a minute or two on each side, or until you see them start to bubble and lightly brown on the sides.

Step 3: Let sit on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Assemble as you would tacos with all of your ingredients: tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, taco meat, hot sauce. Enjoy!

The texture of these tacos is a little crisp with a perfect bend in the tortilla, mixed with the mildly-spicy Siete Foods taco seasoning, I’m already anticipating making these again next week; NOMaste and stay safe!

Classic Breaded Chicken Cutlets

There’s nothing like simplicity in a time like this. Staple ingredients, basic recipes, and home cooking somehow taste so much better and flavorful than complicated and obscure meals sometimes. I can get a little too over-complicated sometimes when it comes to cook, and ESPECIALLY baking, so I am always working to reflect on what I’m doing: how many swaps did I implement this time? What was the measurement of this ingredient? How long should I bake or sear it for? How do I remedy too much salt? Too liquidy? These are some of the questions I am always asking myself when in the kitchen, but with classic recipes like chicken cutlets, the measurements and taste somehow always come out perfect.

I’m not diagnosed with celiac or gluten intolerance, but I just feel better when I don’t eat a whole ton of bread or gluten. Sure, I can take down a massive french toast, or a large hero sandwich from a deli, but 9 times out of 10 I feel like garbage afterwards, largely because of the bread. That’s not to say I don’t indulge, but I am mindful, and that’s why a lot of my cooking and baking is directed toward gluten-free. However, I will N E V E R say no or turn down a good chicken cutlet. Who doesn’t love a tender, juicy, crispy on the outside piece of delectable chicken?

If you’re a novice cook in your kitchen, this is THE recipe for you. It’s incredibly simple, with standard ingredients, and once you’ve mastered the chicken cutlet, you can ramp it up with chicken parm, chicken cutlet wraps, chicken cutlet salads, and even chicken pasta bakes! Let’s get started…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and filleted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil, and probably more to coat the pan
  • Cast iron skillet or deep frying pan
  • 3 dinner plates
    • one for the breadcrumbs
    • one for the breaded chicken
    • one for post fried chicken to sit on paper towel
  • Salt
  • Pepper

To start, get your “assembly line” together, meaning: arrange your plates and bowl for the egg-wash. You’ll have a plate (or I use a cutting board) of the filleted chicken breasts, bowl of egg wash (Just cracked and whisked eggs), plate of breadcrumbs, and extra plate to put the breaded chicken before you fry it.

  1. First, rinse and pat dry your chicken breasts. Lay flat on a cutting board and fillet them: you’ll place a hand on the chicken breast, take a slicing knife, and cut the chicken breast horizontally in half from one side to the other, this will make one chicken breast into two thin sliced breasts. Repeat for all pieces (if you have four large breasts, you’ll end up with eight!). Then, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Crack your eggs. Whisk them together and leave as is.
  3. Take your cast iron skillet or your deep frying pan and place onto the stove. Pour enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and add another two tbsp. You want enough oil in the pan so that there’s minimal splatter, and so the oil crackles/fries the chicken enough without sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Begin to make the cutlets. Take a piece of chicken, dip into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs, coating both sides evenly. Place on plate and repeat until all chicken is breaded.
  5. Heat your skillet/pan on medium heat. You may need to play around with the heat so that the cutlets do not burn. Layer two or three pieces of chicken into the pan and let them fry for 3-4 minutes per side. Overcooking the chicken will burn the breading and will also dry out the chicken – our goal here is a golden crust with a juicy bite!
  6. Place the fried chicken cutlets on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat this step until all the chicken is cooked.

I swear by this method, and it is pretty standard from what I understand, but I wanted to add this recipe here for anyone who is venturing into the cooking world, for anyone who has attempted cutlets but forgot how much oil or how to fillet a chicken. This recipe will become your backbone of cooking and will virtually take you anywhere when it comes to being in the kitchen. Have fun, stay safe, and happy frying!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fingerling Potatoes and Tomatoes Skillet

I guess there’s no better time than the present to start getting creative in the kitchen, and becoming way more comfortable with simple, easy recipes with ingredients found in the kitchen or pantry. It’s a struggle to find onions, chicken toilet paper (still) and obviously cleaning products, so I write this blog entry with gratitude that I have been lucky enough to snag delivery windows for groceries. I pray that this pandemic is over sooner than later, and that we don’t return to normal – because that wasn’t working. I hope we come back to a space of kindness, thoughtfulness, awareness of what we have taken for granted in the past, and eternal respect for our heroes in scrubs, in grocery stores, delivery uniforms, and classrooms. With that being said, I present to you one of the most delicious chicken skillet dinners I’ve ever made. Like, ever.

One of the beautiful things about using a cast iron skillet is that everytime you cook with it, it absorbs the seasoning from the previous use, and it adds a different dimension of flavor to the dish. I had the skillet out on the counter, drying from use for a bolognese (link to that recipe here) and decided to use it again for chicken. I may need to get a few more of these skillets because I am slowly becoming obsessed. Cast irons, when thrown in the oven, help with overall crispiness to the dish and helps with even cooking. It’s safe to say I was very pleased with how this recipe came out, especially with the fingerling potatoes and tomatoes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb or package of bone-in and skin-on chicken thighs, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1.5 cups fingerling potatoes, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Chili Lime seasoning from Trader Joes – (or chili powder, onion salt, garlic powder, paprika.)
  • Dried basil
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preheat the oven to 375*. Rinse and pat dry the chicken and put into a bowl. Pour your seasoning into the bowl with the chicken (chili lime, garlic powder, dried basil, salt) and toss to coat – be sure to massage the seasoning into the chicken. Pour one tbsp of oil into the bowl with the chicken and mix again, then place the chicken into the skillet. Rinse the fingerling potatoes and tomatoes and slice in half. Throw the vegetables in a separate bowl with salt, pepper, and dried rosemary. Pour the remaining olive oil into the bowl and toss to combine.

Pour the vegetables into gaps of the skillet, and assemble around the chicken as shown below. Bake in the middle rack for just over an hour (65-70m is perfect). Serve as is or add a side salad 🙂 A delectable meal, perfect for staying at home; stay safe and well friends!

Beef and Bean Chili

It’s March, and while it’s not necessarily Spring yet, it’s certainly starting to feel like it. I’ll also admit that I haven’t had my usual energy to do much cooking or prepping, so this week is about keeping things simple and delicious, and helping my husband not spend money on lunch everyday for the rest of the week. Nevertheless, chili is something that I have always loved making because you can virtually make anything into a chili. I have a traditional chili on the blog already, but decided to ramp this one up with black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and roasted corn, all ingredients easily found in Trader Joe’s. I must admit, I couldn’t stop “taste testing” this one as it simmered.

I’ll keep this blog post super simple and cut right to the ingredients and recipe directions, because mama’s tired and needs her sleep (after all, we only have 10 more days until bub is due and I’ll need as much sleep between now and then as possible!).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn
  • 2-3 tbsp Chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A shake of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large pot (I love my Staub cocotte), add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Add in chopped onions and saute until fragrant.
  2. Add in ground beef and brown until done. Add in can of crushed tomatoes, and seasonings (you’ll more than likely need more seasonings as the chili builds).
  3. Rinse and drain black beans and garbanzo beans, add them to the chili and stir to combine. Add in the cup of frozen corn and add a second round of seasonings (as desired, taste the chili first – when I did this I noticed it needed more smokey flavor so I added more chili powder).
  4. Turn heat to low/simmer and cook for another hour, stirring occasionally as to not burn the bottom.
  5. Serve with rice, potatoes, or quinoa!
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