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Category: weeknight dinner

canned salmon pasta

In case you haven’t noticed, quick and nutritious one pot meals are my thing. I love cooking but with a full-time job, contract work, a busy social life, an interview or two to prepare for (like this recent one), and trying to stay active — not to mention working on my blog — I have no time lately for elaborate meals. But that doesn’t mean I don’t eat delicious ones!

I love a nice bowl of pasta, but making a vegetable or a salad to go with it just seems like extra work sometimes. So I like to load my pasta with vegetables instead. I love zoodles — “noodles” made from zucchini — for this purpose. They are fun to eat and delicious. I like a 60/40 or so mix of regular whole wheat pasta to zoodles. This is a great way to add more vegetables to your usual pasta meal.

Cilantro Pesto

COMMENT

It’s hypothesized that there is a genetic component to cilantro tasting either soapy or herby. Therefore you are probably either a cilantro (AKA coriander/Chinese parsley) lover or hater.

Which is it?

If you answered hater, please disregard this post. If you are a lover like me, read on!

I love using cilantro to add a fresh kick to many recipes. It’s a great addition to salads, guacamole (or practically any Mexican dish), dips, chutneys, salsas or pesto!

I hate buying bunches of cilantro for recipes because you usually only use a small amount and then I never know what to do with the rest. This recipe is the perfect solution! The stems of the cilantro plant can be used too, they are very flavorful and tender, no need to throw them out!

This 1 step recipe can be whipped up in minutes! You can freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray (pop them out after they are frozen and put them into a freezer bag) for quick weeknight meals.This recipe is actually better the second day as the flavors blend nicely so it’s great to make ahead of time too.

Easy as pie pesto!

What to do with cilantro pesto:

– toss with pasta, top with parmesan cheese and a sliced chicken breast (or even grilled tofu!)

– toss with a mixture of roasted sweet potatoes, roasted bell peppers and black beans for a great side dish

– spread on steak, fish, chicken

– mix in with scrambled eggs

-spread on sandwiches, hamburgers or wraps

-topping for bruschetta

– add to a grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato

– drizzle over soups and chili

– toss with cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, red onion and arugula for a great salad

– layer with cream cheese for an easy and unique dip

I think the better question is what can’t you do with cilantro pesto??

Enjoy! :)

cilantro pesto

Cilantro Pesto

Recipe adapted from Rachael Rays Cilantro Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, lightly roasted walnuts or lightly roasted pine nuts ( I even used almonds once in a pinch!)
  • 1 lime (or lemon), juiced
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and upper stems
  • 1/3 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional: parmesan cheese, pepper (to taste)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor, adding extra water or olive oil if needed until the desired consistency. I like it with a bit more olive oil for pasta, but a bit thicker if using it as a spread.

Salsa Chicken

COMMENT

It’s March!!!!!

march_calendar

…. are you wondering why I am so excited??

It’s National Nutrition Month!

How should you celebrate this fabulous month? Making the delicious recipes off my blog is a good start, but why not make a nutrition month goal?

The theme of nutrition month 2013 is “Best Food Forward: Plan, Shop, Cook, Enjoy!”  Here are some tips for some things to try this month:

  • Get each family member to write down their favorite recipe and the shopping list for it; keep those lists on hand for quick ideas when you’re in a pinch at the grocery store
  • Have each family member responsible for planning meals for 1-2 days out of the week (kids are more invested in helping and eating if they help plan and this is a great teaching tool for them as well!)
  • Get a dry erase board and stick it to your fridge, use it to write out your weekly meal plan. That way whose ever home first knows what’s for dinner and can start the prep.
  • Write a shopping list … and stick to it! This will help you spend less money on impulse buys and things you don’t need at the store.
  • Start your prep when you unpack your groceries: hard boil some eggs, wash and chop veggies, put washed fruit in a bowl by the front door, portion and freeze large packs of meat etc.
  • Cook and enjoy food with friends and family. There are countless studies showing the benefits of enjoying good, wholesome foods with others.

If all else fails my most important nutrition month tip is to stick to real, simple foods!

In honor of promoting real and simple food I am blogging about my favorite weeknight chicken recipe. It is so fast (about 5 min to prep) and so delicious!

IMG_9583

Salsa Chicken

Source: modified from allrecipies

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese
  • Greek yogurt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Place chicken breast in a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle both sides of breasts with taco seasoning
  3. Top each breast with 1/4 cup salsa (sometimes I like more, especially if it’s homemade salsa!)
  4. Bake in preheated oven 25-35 min, or until internal temp reaches 165 F
  5. Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese and bake for another couple min until the cheese melts
  6. Top with Greek yogurt and serve

The first time my mom made this recipe she accidentally bought vanilla Greek yogurt to top it with…. and liked it! ..Weird I know… I think moments like this run in the family. What recipe “mistake” have you made that ended up working out?



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