Honey Orange Shrimp

Honey Orange Shrimp 1
During Lent I ate a lot of shrimp. I’ve never been a big fan of seafood but shrimp has always been something I could tolerate. During the past month and a half, honey walnut shrimp has become a new favorite of mine. I decided it was about time to try an at home version but I wanted to change it up a bit since Joel doesn’t like nuts. So I took out the candied walnuts and added some orange zest to make it our own.
Honey Orange Shrimp 2
Not only is this a tasty recipe, but it’s really quick and simple too. The shrimp are dredged lightly in cornstarch then cooked in a small amount of olive oil. While the shrimp were cooking I whipped up the sauce, lightly steamed broccoli and warmed up some brown rice. Less than 30 minutes FTW.
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Honey Orange Shrimp
recipe adapted from Le Crème De La Crumb

2 lbs large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 Tbsp. olive oil

for the sauce:
2/3 cup mayo
1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
1 orange, zested

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the shrimp in the cornstarch. Place shrimp in a single layer in the skillet and cook about 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove to paper towel lined plate.

2. Meanwhile, mix sauce ingredients together. Toss sauce and shrimp together and enjoy.
Honey Orange Shrimp 4

Lime Yogurt Pie with Strawberries for Pi Day

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This pie is totally doing double duty. Not only is it perfect for Pi Day tomorrow but it would be the perfect green dessert for St. Patrick’s Day too. Two holidays taken care of with a sweet, yet light treat. Super important now that we’re gearing up for spring and summer.
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I started to tell you all the story of how this pie came about on Wednesday. My main {little} man is always thinking up recipes we should make and this is the newest edition straight out of the mind of Noah. He named it Yogurt Scrunchful Pie. He makes up words on the daily and explained to me that scrunchful means it has to have some crunchy stuff in it. Alrighty then.
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I was planning on making this completely no-bake but the dude thought we should bake the crust so that it would be crunchy (don’t forget the scrunchful). Well, with the smooth filling it would be nice to have a bit more texture so we went with it. Seriously, does he understand that about the palate already or was he just born with it? Either way, he’s pretty awesome in my book. I almost used his name for the title of this post but worried you guys might think I went off the deep end.
Lime Yogurt Pie 3
I thought about some yummy flavor combinations before we set off to the grocery store for our ingredients but they were all shot down for lime. Oh, the opinions of four year olds. He doesn’t get much control over meals (what do you mean we can’t eat pizza every night of the week?) so we went with his choice this time. And I did manage to talk him into some macerated strawberries on top “to make it fancy.”
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The filling consists of yogurt and Cool Whip, that’s it. We went with Greek yogurt and lite Cool Whip to keep it low on calories and sugar but still super refreshing and satisfying. The filling has such a light consistency, even after frozen. I foresee many of these pies in our future. Especially since it’s so easy and can be made ahead of time.
Lime Yogurt Pie 5
I have literally thought of dozen of flavor combinations that we have to try this summer. Coconut yogurt with unsweetened coconut mixed into the crust. Vanilla yogurt and a few dollops of peanut butter with a chocolate cookie crust. Lemon yogurt with strawberries folded in. Mixed berries. I could go on and on.
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And don’t worry, I didn’t leave anyone out of this collaboration. I had my other little assistant at my feet during the photo shoot. And although she has a bad case of the flu, she was still pretty irritated that she didn’t get all.the.pie.right.now. That girl will let you know what’s up.
Lime Yogurt Pie 1
Lime Yogurt Pie

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the filling:
2 (5.3 oz.) containers lime Greek yogurt
1 (8 oz). lite Cool Whip

For the strawberries:
2 cups strawberries, washed and sliced
Zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1. For the crust: mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together. Press into a pie plate along the bottom and up the sides. Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

2. Gently fold yogurt into the Cool Whip. Spread evenly into the cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

3. Remove pie from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, mix strawberries, lime zest and sugar in a small bowl and leave at room temperature to macerate. When ready to serve, cut pie into wedges and top with strawberries.

 

Roasted Green Beans

I’m a parent to a picky four year old. He used to eat everything I put in front of him but as he’s gotten older, he’s gotten more and more selective. This is all very unfortunate as I have branched out since starting up this little blog and make a lot of unique meals that are not so common here in the Midwest. My palate has really increased and I am way less picky than I used to be. Of course there are still things I don’t enjoy but I’m pretty proud of some of the things I make these days.
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Green beans are a veggie I have had a hard time supporting. They just aren’t appealing to me but since I have a child to set an example for, I choke them down so that he can see that I was eating them “to make me healthy and strong.” That line works sometimes. He likes muscles.

Last week I decided to roast them in hopes that they would be a bit more bearable to consume. I love the transformation of veggies when they are roasted, especially cauliflower. They get all brown and crispy and all their natural sweetness comes out. I figured it could only up the green beans game. It doesn’t just make them bearable but really tasty! Seriously, I actually enjoyed them and went back for seconds. Pretty sure this is the only way green beans will be prepared in my house going forward. And an added bonus, they are so easy for a weeknight meal.
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Roasted Green Beans

12 oz. fresh green beans
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp. roasted garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Flip, then roast another 10-15 minutes.

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies 2
Sometimes during the holiday season, you get busy and stressed with your mile long to-do list. Right? So sometimes you need a really easy cookie recipe to whip up so that you can just get something marked off the dang list. That’s how I felt this weekend as I kept adding more and more things to my to-do rather than getting anything checked. I mean, seriously, getting an entire household ready for Christmas by the 22nd with a husband working late every night is kind of hard. But I was determined to get my Christmas baking done this past weekend so that Joel could take a bunch to work and I could deliver some treats to our wonderful friends.

I kept perusing my ever-growing list of treats then had the stupid idea of going on Pinterest…and found a gazillion more recipes I wanted to try. But it ended well because I found this super simple 4 ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe in the meantime and ultimately decided to pare down my list. I decided on cookie dough bites (pretty much my favorite thing ever), old fashioned iced oatmeal cookies, pretzel m&m rings, peppermint brownies (which I will share later this week) and these giant beauties. I baked them all up yesterday and promptly gained 4 pounds in the name of food blogging. I had to taste them to make sure they were good. Well, I’ve made the majority of the items on my list before so I guess I can’t put all the blame on you. Darn it.
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While we’re on the topic of overeating, I’m kind of ready for the new year so I can get back on track. The holidays really throw me off and a new year brings revived discipline.

But let’s not talk about discipline now, let’s talk about thick cookies as big as your head. These cookies call for 4 ingredients which you may already have in your pantry. And you won’t guess the 4th ingredient….Bisquick. I wasn’t sure at first but was willing to try it since they were so easy and quick. And I’m so glad I did.
4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies 1
They are soft, thick and not too sweet or rich like a lot of peanut butter cookie recipes. Although the recipe calls to make them huge, you certainly could scale them down to fit on your holiday cookie trays. Make sure to try these simple recipe to help you get that next thing checked off the list!

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe from Averie Cooks

1 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use natural or homemade for these)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup Bisquick

1. In a stand mixer, stir together peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until combined. Add Bisquick and stir to combine.

2. Using 1/4 cup measure, roll balls and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Smash halfway down with a fork twice, making a crisscross pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until just set. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes so they can firm up. Cookies keep in an airtight container for 1 week.

Crispy Baked Pork Chops {Clean Eating}

Crispy Baked Pork Chops 1
So, I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in a few months due to a certain little girl. A little girl that is going to be one next week! She should totally be sleeping all night, am I right? Well, she did last night and I have to tell you, I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I’m actually a pleasant person today. Have I told you me without sleep is not a pretty picture? For reals.
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Getting enough sleep means I still have energy by the end of the day to cook a decent meal. And this meal totally screams fall to me. Hearty, pork chops covered in homemade whole grain breadcrumbs with a huge helping of broccoli mashed potatoes on the side.
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And did I mention this deliciously filling meal is healthy and clean? You’re welcome.
Crispy Baked Pork Chops 5
Crispy Baked Pork Chops
recipe adapted from Sugar and Spice by Celeste

4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 6 to 8 ounces each, 3/4 to 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat
4 slices whole grain bread bread, torn into 1 inch pieces
3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp)
2 tbsp. olive oil
Ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, place bread into a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and garlic. Mix until well combined. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool to room temperature. Bump oven temperature up to 425 degrees F.
2. Once crumbs are cool, mix in parmesan cheese, thyme and parsley. Next, set up an assembly line of ingredients. Place flour in a pie plate, mix eggs and mustard in another pie plate then breadcrumbs in another. Roll pork chops in flour, eggs then breadcrumbs and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 17-25 minutes or until cooked through (mine took 20 minutes).

Chicken Roll-Ups {Lightened Up and Clean}

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Noah is starting preschool in less than a week. Seriously people, how did this happen? It seems like just yesterday he was my sweet little baby and now he’s four and uses words like ridiculous and spectacular. I’ve been looking forward to this all summer but now that it’s upon us I’m kind of freaking out. It will be nice to have some time to devote purely to Hannah and to just have one crazy child to handle but I’m going to miss his hilarious antics. Like the fact that he now says por favor and gracias instead of please and thank you. Or his one man band routine (he was playing four instruments at once, that’s talent). Or the fact that as I type this he should be napping but instead he’s singing “Timber” at the top of his lungs. It’s hard to be mad at the kid. But seriously, go to sleep kid or you will be a pill later….
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So with the school year upon us, I’ve been on the hunt for healthy and easy meals to throw together on busy nights. I received a ton of new cookbooks and magazines for my birthday so I went right to them to solve my problem. This recipe originally called for ricotta and roasted red peppers as the filling but I decided to alter it a bit to make a chicken cordon bleu-esque dinner that was still clean and healthy.
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This chicken dish looks fancy and complex but really is simple and quick to get on the table. And as you all know Joel hasn’t exactly been thrilled with my recent clean eating adventures but he really loved this meal. I made it last week and he has already mentioned a few times that he would love to have it on the menu again soon.

To keep it light but filling, I served this alongside some roasted cauliflower and grilled zucchini.
Chicken Roll-Ups {Lightened Up} 1
Chicken Roll-Ups
recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

4 4-ounce chicken breasts,each cut crosswise into 2 thin pieces
1/2 cup ricotta
1 tsp. dried basil
8 thinly sliced low sodium and nitrate free ham
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line up chicken on a cutting board and lay a slice of ham on each. Combine the ricotta and basil then spread evenly over the ham. Roll up and secure each piece with a toothpick. Season with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge chicken through it, shaking off excess.

2.Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes per side (until browned). Transfer chicken to a baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove toothpicks and slice into rounds.

Shredded Beef {For Tacos, Burritos and Such}

Shredded Beef
Growing up, I always thought my mom made the best tacos ever…and guess what? I still do. They are one of my favorite things she makes. This is THE shredded beef that makes those tacos so glorious. I never order tacos at a Mexican restaurant because they just never compare to hers and I am always left disappointed (same goes for lasagna, hers is bomb). Whenever she goes home to visit, this is the number one meal request for her to make.
Shredded Beef
And this shredded beef is so so easy to make. Basically sweat down some onions and garlic, sear a chuck roast, throw it all in a crock pot and cook it all day. Doesn’t get much simpler than that. I love this recipe for busy days and I make them often on gymnastics night. That way, we can come home and dinner is waiting for us.
Shredded Beef
Don’t think that this is just for tacos either. Whip up some burritos or enchiladas with it or go traditional with beef and noodles. All delicious. Trust me.

When I make this for my family, it always bring me back. I love that food can do that.

Shredded Beef for Tacos {Crock Pot}

3 lb. boneless chuck roast
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1. Heat a saute pan that is large enough to hold the roast over medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Once hot, add onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened and carmalization begins. Dump mixture into a crock pot.

2. Bump up heat of pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil to pan. Sear chuck roast on each side until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Place roast on top of onions and garlic in the crock pot. Add 1/3 cup hot water to the saute pan and scrape it to get all the browned bits off the bottom. Add water and browned goodness to the crock pot.

3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Remove fat and shred.