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garden green bean and radish salad

Our summer officially started today.

NO ONE got up this morning at 5:30 AM, at least no one that didn’t want to get up. NO ONE had to shower or eat before 8. NO ONE, meaning one child in particular whom we love a lot, even though he might not be sure after reading this. We have all been cringing from 5:45-7 AM every school morning for 9 months. It’s time to be done with that for just a little while! Summer means NO ONE is sleepily running into doors on accident, or loudly shutting the medicine cabinet, or the refrigerator, or the front door and coming back for forgotten items and repeating that last one too many times. 😭 And possibly more important than anything, NO ONE will have to hear his parents yell “SHUSH!” like their lives depended on it and crimes were committed. 

This morning was heaven in the household, coffee and quiet without shushing, no early risers from noise, and everyone who wanted to sleep still sleeping.

Speaking of heaven, everything in Minnesota seems lovely right now, am I right? Green things, breezy things, sunny things, patio things, no mosquitos  . . . I know, I’ve had 1 morning and everything is love. 

When I made this salad a few weeks ago, I decided to plan my garden around it. Or did I plan my garden favorites and then make this salad? Who cares. I love green beans and radishes and thought they needed to go together. It’s pretty much a Nicoise salad without the potatoes, although you could certainly make it a potato salad if you like.

One of my essentials on a weekly basis is to make some kind of salad dressing or sauce that can hopefully go with multiple options. The recipe below includes the salad dressing with extra enough to keep in a jar for the week or two. We like it here for lunch with chicken and/or eggs, or added to greens for a quick side to dinner!

This salad celebrates my long awaited summer, with NO ONE waking up for the next 3 months unless they want to.

garden green bean and radish salad
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By:
Makes: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces of green beans, ends trimmed and cut 1-inch lengths, about 2 cups
  • 1 can of chunk white albacore tuna in water drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup radishes thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sliced scallions
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 2-4 hard boiled eggs
  • 3-4 cups fresh spinach or greens, optional
Lemon dressing ingredients
  • 1 lemon squeezed and strained
  • ½ cup light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 garlic clove crushed, optional
Creamy lemon dressing ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise - only added at the end of recipe!
Instructions
Lemon dressing base:
  1. Make 2 salad dressings. For the lemon dressing, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, crushed garlic if you are using, and salt & pepper.
  2. Save this dressing in a jar for at least a week, longer if you don't add the garlic!
Creamy lemon dressing:
  1. Whisk together 2 Tablespoons of lemon dressing and 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
  2. Set aside for the end.
Salad:
  1. In a large bowl, combine cold and blanched green beans, tomatoes, scallions, radishes, capers, olives and drained tuna broken up into pieces.
  2. Pour creamy lemon dressing over the top and gently stir together.
  3. Add hard boiled egg slices on top (don't mix in), sprinkle eggs and salad lightly with salt and pepper and a drizzle of lemon dressing if you wish, and serve.
  4. If you want to make a larger salad, toss spinach greens with extra lemon dressing as the base and top with green bean salad on top.
Makes 3-4 servings!

I might have just screamed SUMMER with my typing fingers but NO ONE heard it. 🙏

HAPPY SUMMER!

~Heather

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“Give me all the green things!” That is literally what my mind is screaming come January and February.

arugula and beet salad

Along with “Dear God, how can it be so cold?”, and the inevitable “Why do we live here?” You can’t fully understand how obvious and annoying it is to still be asking these Q’s unless you’ve lived here your whole life, so shush on my bad attitude. (Which is getting slapped in the face by the past week’s 60°?!)

On a more sensible note, beets. There really is no bad time to roast one. It’s one of those neglected vegetables that I easily pass by if not reminded that roasting beets is not hard.

And a beet salad? So, so good. Especially now.

It’s so easy and special that Evie wanted to show you herself. Watch and learn my adult friends. And if you want to skip ahead to the recipe, all the details are there too. 😉

And once they are cool, here are Ev’s learned tricks to removing the beet skin and making a delicious salad. (She’s honest too so listen for the whispers!)

Reasons you can too?

Folks, she’s 5. Beets are sometimes the color of sunshine or valentines. Arugula is the color of grass. The almonds? Dear, don’t you forget the toasted almonds or the soft goat cheese! AND if you are extra hungry, which is a good thing to notice, put an egg on it! Yum.

Roasted Beet Arugula salad with toasted almonds

Who knows what 2017 will bring but if you are curious, follow me here or here, and I’ll let you know whenever something worth repeating gets made and shared!

Here are the details!

Roasted Beet Salad with Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Almonds
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By:
Makes: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 clamshell of arugula
  • 1 bunch of beets washed and stems cut off, leave whole and unpeeled
  • ½ - 1 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1 - 4-ounce log of fresh goat cheese (look for goat cheese that is soft!)
Lemon Dressing Ingredients
  • 1 lemon squeezed and strained for seeds and pulp
  • ½ cup light olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper or more to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Wrap washed beets in foil tightly, set on a pan and let them roast for about 50 minutes to an hour.
  3. Let them cool in the foil for at least 30 minutes or so.
  4. When cool enough to handle, unwrap the tinfoil partially and use the tinfoil to rub off the beet skin. Red beets will leave a temporary stain so wear plastic gloves or use tinfoil carefully.
  5. When all the skin is off, cut the beets in slices or chunks as you wish.
  6. For dressing, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper. Dip a piece of arugula into your dressing to taste and add more seasoning as desired.
  7. For almonds: Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and add almonds, stirring gently until almonds are evenly browned.
  8. I like to add dressing a few spoons at a time to a whole bowl of greens to make sure all the greens are coated, save extra dressing to pass if you'd like.
  9. Assemble salads with dressed greens, almonds, goat cheese, and sliced beets.
Optional: Put a fried egg or two on top! (How to make an over-easy egg!)
Makes about 4-5 lunch size salads!

Enjoy!

~ Heather

P.S. Thanks, Evelyn, for being my current sidekick in the kitchen. Cooking with my young (and older) kids has been one of my favorite memories with my kids. Cole told me when he was 4 that we would one day have a restaurant called the People Place where all people could come. (Love this inclusive way that is IN him.) Ella at 5 would draw me pictures of different restaurants and name them like her “Strawberry Cafe”. (Love her desire to create food and spaces.) Ev keeps all of these memories alive in our family with her youngest spirit, and we are so grateful for the time to play and learn about food and life, together.

 

 

 

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the story of my everyday food

Just in case you’ve wondered if “she” even makes things anymore, I do! I do!

Though since the beginning of this year it’s mostly been over here. I’m working with (and working out at) Bodies by Burgoon these days. While I haven’t been able to post as much here, I’m still making and sharing, a lot. (Scroll to the bottom for the evidence!?)

Here’s an update on my almost daily breakfast hash, still going strong since 2014.

sweet potato hash with brussels and kale

For those of you who know me personally, you know my cooking has been on a trip over the last years. Yes it’s cliché, but every twist and turn really has belonged. My cooking and overall life has changed but perhaps not in the way you would think. 

Learning to cook with wine and butter and herbs as an adult was life changing. While it was never something I did every day, it taught me what really good food tastes like and taught me to play with quality ingredients. Every time I had something less quality, I was disappointed, and this was not me becoming a food snob but a learner of food and life. In short, cooking wasn’t just about eating amazing things, it was the love of creation, learning, and sharing that had me hooked early on. 

As an adult, I did however struggle with what to feed my kids and how to afford the healthier stuff for a group, day to day. I would splurge on new recipes for the weekends but during the week, I floundered and ended up with a strange mix of healthy one day and eating out the next, quick foods we really didn’t want to eat but could afford, and a lot more grains and dairy than any of us needed.

Which led me and my family to begin connecting dots with our health overall. When my daughter ate sugar she got really sick, every single time. When my son didn’t drink enough water or ate too many processed foods, he got headaches. When I ate gluten my joints hurt and my injuries increased. When we ate good food and whole ingredients we felt good, when we didn’t we felt bad and got sick in one way or another. It now seems so obvious but it took more than a few hits to recognize the patterns.

In the last years I have been learning to cook everyday food (saving the weekend wine and butter for occasional still) with quality ingredients, and again it has been life changing. AND it has taken resources. Eating good food costs money period. I don’t care what anyone says! It also takes cognitive space. If you are in any kind of survival mode or have too full a load or a financially stressed plate, changing the way you eat can feel impossible. 

To know what delicious food is and to equally know how good clean food makes me feel, has helped me stay determined not to settle with imitations and quick fixes on a daily basis and the weekends. The paths have started to converge and therefore what we are eating has evolved. 

In case you’ve missed any of these recipes posted on bodiesbyburgoon.com, here you go. They might be more simple than my weekend food, but the test crew at home has given them all thumbs up and continually asks for more, and that to me makes them worth sharing. It’s our weekday fare and feel good food of 2015 and 2016. While not every recipe below is my own, I’ve made every single one multiple times. Thank you #fitfam!

Broccoli, Grapes, and Chicken Salad with Yogurt Dressing:

broccoli, grapes, and chicken salad with yogurt dressing

Tiffany’s No-Bake Energy Bites:

TIffany's no-bake energy bites!

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes:

Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes!

Asian Chicken Quinoa Salad:

Asian Chicken Quinoa Salad by Christine

Avocado, Mango, and Papaya Salad:

Avocado, Mango, and Papaya Salad by Heather

Our new favorite anytime meal and so easy to have prepped and read to make would be Jen’s recipe for Family Breakfast: 

Jen Patnode's breakfast bowl

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Double Take’s Aces & Eights Salsa by Tiffany:

EDskyviewavocadogood

Ground Turkey Burgers:

Heather's Ground Turkey Burgers

Bowls with chicken sausage and Jen Eck’s Grilled Veggie Slaw:

Grilled Veggie Bowl

Changing the way you eat (or changing anything!) is hard, and there will be great resistance from the inside and outside. What do you want, what do you need, and who is on your team? How do you find some space so you can choose and not just wait to be chosen by circumstances that will eat you up? Do that, go towards finding some space, and whatever you do, don’t quit. XO

~Heather

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pan seared pork tenderloin with cherry sauce

Someone recently asked me when I started cleaning up my food. It’s funny because I kind of feel like it’s been a forever and ongoing process. I wonder if that’s how it feels for a lot of us. I’ve long been looking for a path that is sustainable, and the search has kept me learning and trying new things. Whether I’m judging a food by taste or how it makes me feel, I’m also not content repeating things that don’t work. Remember fat free cheese? I only had to try that once.

When it comes to how a food makes me feel? Well that one has required more work to change and to really believe that foods were making me feel like junk, even if I was only eating them once a week. I probably started experimenting with eliminating foods about 8 years ago. Over time and many stops and starts, I’m now realizing that what I really want and crave is good food that doesn’t drag me down or set me back.

pork tenderloin rubbed in salt and cumin

The trouble is, I once learned how to make a delicious sauce. The first time I scraped browned bits from a pan with wine, I was hooked (and quite possibly cried. ?) I still feel so proud every time I do that. Consequently, I’m sometimes afraid that eating healthy or making good changes might mean those days are over. Which is crazy! It’s not like I was deglazing pans with wine every night of the week or something. But fear never lets you try anything and talks in absolutes, right?

cherry sauce on pork tenderloin

Which brings me to this cherry sauce. Fear says sauces can’t be made unless they are loaded with sugar, butter, wine, or cream? Says stinking who? Time to experiment.

As it turns out, if you cook cherries, they break down into a thick sauce without needing to fuss with sugar. Shockingly, naturally sweet fruit makes a naturally sweet sauce, no sweetener needed. Ha. Jokes on us all.

bag of frozen dark sweet cherries from Whole Foods

Add a few spices and a seasoned pork tenderloin? This sweet and savory plate of delicious dinner is yours.

pork tenderloin with cherry saucepork tenderloin with cherry saucepork and cherries

Here you go!

pan seared pork tenderloin with cherry sauce
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By:
Makes: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2-1 pound pork tenderloins
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoons ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of clarified butter or olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onions
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 bag of frozen sweet cherries (naturally sweet with no sugar added.)
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or a couple of pinches)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a small bowl combine cumin, salt, and pepper.
  3. Lay your pork tenderloins on a board and generously rub spice mixture until all sides are generously covered. Let set for 15 minutes while you get the cherry sauce started.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter or heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium high heat.
  5. Add your onions and stir occasionally until they are softened and start to brown, 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add your cumin and allspice and stir to combine and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add your cherries, balsamic vinegar, cayenne, and ½ cup water to pan, stir to combine. Leave on medium high until the cherries thaw and liquid is boiling. Turn to simmer and continue to cook the cherries and sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. If the cherries are sticking to the bottom, add a bit more water and turn it down. If the sauce is too runny, turn the heat up and cook for a bit longer until it's more thickened and cherries start to fall apart.
  8. In an oven proof skillet melt remaining oil or clarified butter in an oven proof pan on medium high, when fat is hot add your pork tenderloins.
  9. Sear on one side for about 2 minutes and turn for 2 minutes on the opposite side. Keep turning and cooking until all sides are lightly browned. Do this for 7-8 minutes total, turn down heat as necessary so they don't burn but brown instead.
  10. When all sides of both tenderloins are seared, put skillet in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and check for doneness. When you put a meat thermometer in the thickest part it should read 140°. If you don't have a meat thermometer, pierce the center and if the liquids run clear or faint pink, it's done. In addition, if you push your finger into your tenderloin and it springs back to shape, it is done. If it needs more time, put it back in for a couple minutes.
  11. When pork is ready, let it rest for 5 minutes.
  12. Slice the tenderloins and serve with thickened warm cherry sauce.
Serves 6-8

Nutritional Information for Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce

Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce

Plate your pork with cauliflower rice, spaghetti squash, and/or broccoli for sides.

Enjoy!

~Heather

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slow cooked beef tinga

slow cooked beef tinga

While I love to cook, bake, and experiment in the kitchen, I’m with any of you who might dread the 5 pm dinner decision. What do we have? What do we make? Who’s cooking? While 5 pm is not the ideal time to begin asking these questions, it happens more than I like.

Do you ever do the math? 105 times a week someone here in my house is potentially hungry, 52 weeks a year. Are you kidding me? That’s a lot.

We all have a barrage of decisions coming at us on a daily basis, beyond just the 21 personal meals a week (not including snacks, your potential family, and/or your pets)! In an interview a few years back, Michael Lewis did a leadership story and quoted President Obama on how he wears and eats the same thing every day so he can “routinize” his life and “pare down his decisions”. I loved the idea of this but wasn’t always sure how to apply it without disturbing my need for creativity at the same time.

Over the last couple of years I have routinized my breakfast and love all the benefits of having this decision off my to do list. I just haven’t been able to do the lunch and dinner, at least not yet. I have however, been prepping things ahead of time when I can (#sundaysetup), and it’s getting at some of the same freedom for the weekdays.

Sunday Set-Up

Every time I’ve made this Tinga recipe in the past, it’s gone in the oven. This past month I went all crockpot with it. While I haven’t always had luck with slow cookers and meat (tastes dry and washed out), the desire to make weeknights less problematic lead me to try again. The smells alone drew cheers from the Bursch crowd, even when I repeated it 2 weeks in a row.

slow cooked shredded beef tinga

If you don’t want tacos, a side of this meat with vegetables, rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa makes a perfect bowl of dinner as well. Don’t forget to top it all with avocados (squeezed with lime and a sprinkle of salt).?

avocados with lime and salt

Here’s the recipe!

Slow Cooked Beef Tinga
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: Adapted from Rick Bayless
By:
Makes: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, about 1 lb, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 2-3 lb chuck beef roast (pork shoulder or combination of chicken thighs and chicken breasts work too!)
  • 1 28 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of beef broth (plus 2 tablespoons for the end)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 chipotle chiles en adobo seeded, rinsed, and chopped (Whole Foodshas gluten free option)
  • 2-5 teaspoons of sauce from chiles en adobo
  • 1 small to medium onion sliced or chopped
  • Optional: 4-6 oz fresh chorizo and extra beef broth
Serve with avocado slices, lettuce wraps or corn tortillas, cojita or queso fresco Mexican cheese
Instructions
  1. In the bottom of your slow cooker layer your chopped sweet potatoes, then lay your beef on top.
  2. In a medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients together and pour on top of beef.
  3. Cover and turn your slow cooker to high for 6 hours.
  4. When the meat is done, pour off the liquids into a saucepan and turn on high. Let the liquid boil and cook down into more of a thick sauce. I'd let it go for 15 minutes or so if you can. Add more beef broth if the mixture gets to dry.
  5. If adding chorizo, fry in a pan until cooked through and browned. Splash a tablespoon or two of beef broth in the pan to scrape up the browned bits and add the chorizo + bits on top of beef.
  6. When you have cooked down the liquids pour them back on top of your meat and potatoes.
  7. Separate the beef with two forks into bite size chunks and stir the meats, potatoes and sauce together gently. Don’t over mix or mash.
  8. Serve with toppings listed above.
For the oven, place meat, then potatoes, then sauce mixture in a roasting pan with a lid. Cover and cook on a low 300° for 2½ -3 hours. Cook down liquids if needed (not as much liquid this way) and add chorizo step to finish if desired.

slow cooked beef tinga nutritional information

Slow Cooked Tinga with Beef, Pork, or Chicken

This idea that we can (need to) reduce our cognitive load makes a ton of sense to me. As a food lover and creator, this has been complicated because it’s my thing. But like I said, it’s not my thing 105 times a week when all I really want is to get creative and try something new once or twice a week.

Now that I thought about that aloud with you, I’m seeing things a bit more clearly. How about you? What’s your number, what’s your load?

~Heather

 

 

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Greek meatballs with lemon yogurt dressing

I love meatballs. They are the quintessential burger if you ask me. (Pssst, ask me.)

2Edmeatballinback2

No one has to bother removing a bun or thinking they are less than without the bossy bread. Relief.

Edspooningyogurt

They can be baked, fried, or broiled. Options.

broiling meatballs

They can be forked, tooth picked, lettuce wrapped, or handled. Classy or casual.

Greek meatballs with yogurt dipping sauce

The ONLY downfall with meatballs is how good they taste and perform when stuffed with fatty meat, cheese, and bread. Ugh, deliciousness. When I’ve experimented by removing these items, the flavor changes (obviously), and the meatballs can lean towards hard and dry.

I do not give up easily. I wanted a meatball for everyday, ones that can pack a punch in protein and flavor but are not high in fat and fillers. It’s tricky.

Last week, I shared my recipe for chop chop Greek salad over at Bodies By Burgoon.

chop chop Greek salad

Having had bits and pieces in my fridge for a few weeks, it was the natural outcome in meatball form. The grated cucumber, olive oil, and egg keep them moist and hold the it altogether without the bread and fatty meat.

Needless to say we’ve been eating some meatballs around here. Testing, testing, 1-2-3.

Evie eating meatballs

And here is where we landed: Greek meatballs in a lettuce wrap with lemony yogurt dressing. I tossed a few Kalamata olives, scallions, and cucumbers on top because they were already prepped for my #sundaysetup salad above.

Greek meatball lettuce wraps

Here are the details!

Greek meatballs with lemon yogurt dressing
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By:
Makes: 8
Ingredients
Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground chicken or turkey (dark meat is best for flavor and juiciness)
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • ½ cup cucumber grated (peeled and seeded first)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red pepper
  • ¼ cup green onions finely chopped (white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (2 teaspoons dry oregano if you prefer)
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
Dressing Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped mint (optional)
Optional Toppings
  • Lettuce wraps with chopped red peppers, green onions, Kalamata olives, Feta, and/or mint leaves.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to broil setting and lightly brush broiling pan or cookie sheet some extra olive oil.
  2. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine both meats using 2 forks so you don't over mix. Mix just until the two meats are combined.
  4. Add all ingredients for the meatballs, gently fork together until just combined.
  5. Using a small scoop or heaping tablespoon roll meatballs form mixture the size of a golf ball. Set on prepared pan. You should have 24-30 meatballs in all.
  6. Broil on a rack about 6 inches from the top for 4 minutes. Remove from oven, turn each meatball, and broil for 3-4 minutes longer until browned and cooked thru.
  7. Serve meatballs with lettuce wraps and lemon yogurt dressing. Top with Kalamata olives, red peppers, cucumbers, and or mint if you wish.

Nutritional Information for Greek meatballs with lemon yogurt dressing

Greek Meatballs with Lemon Yogurt Dressing

Perhaps this week I will eat this salad and these meatballs in the same sitting, or at least the same week. When all of the pieces are prepped, the options are endless. 😉

Enjoy!

~Heather

Lately I’ve been busy writing over here at bodiesbyburgoon.com and talking about food, of course! I’m working with my gym community on something we are calling Sunday Set-Up, also known as #sundaysetup. I’ve long known that a secret to success in many areas of my life is all in the set up. Whether it comes to parenting, teaching, husband traveling, work, and personal health, being set up is my key to staying sane. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram, or search #sundaysetup for inspiration. 

 

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chicken fried wild rice

chicken fried wild rice

I totally forgot about wild rice until I made those stuffed apples in December. Then the half empty bag of rice was sitting there staring at me from my cupboard. Which is what Kale did for months every time I opened the refrigerator. I made kale chips a few years back and the leftover fresh kale just glared at me until I had to toss it. This throwing away of food bothers me sooooo much so I just kept buying it (and growing it) until I found a way to like it. It’s my own personal brain hack – applying the perfect amount of pressure helps me to create and try, try again.

The wild rice takes about an hour to make so it’s perfect for a prepping day, or when you have other things to do. It cooks itself and stores easily in the fridge until you want to create something delicious.

wild rice

Prep your chicken, squash, rice, and kale ahead of time and this dish can be ready for dinner in 5 mintues. FIVE MINUTES, people. This is why I neeeeed to set myself up for the week, a little pain on one day is my gain in the days to come. We all loved it and Tim suggested it could be great as a cold salad too. Smart guy.

#sundaysetup

Here you go!

Chicken Fried Wild Rice
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By:
Makes: 3
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice according to your packaged directions (about ⅔ cup dry)
  • 1 cups of cooked chicken diced (about 1 chicken breast)
  • 1 cup of chopped squash or sweet potato
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil for roasting squash
  • 2 cups of kale leaves finely chopped (stems removed)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoon of coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries (optional)
  • coconut aminos or soy sauce to pass
Instructions
  1. Prep the wild rice, chicken, and kale. Set aside or refrigerate.
  2. To prep squash, chop into small cubes and put on a cookie sheet. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over pieces. Using clean hands make sure every piece has a little oil on it as well as the pan. Roast in a 400° oven for 15-20 minutes until tender.
  3. When ready to combine, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of sesame oil in a large sautè pan on medium high heat until it is thin and moves easily to coat your pan bottom.
  4. Toss in your crushed garlic and stir it around for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  5. Add rice and chicken and let it fry for about 30 seconds, stirring.
  6. Next add squash letting it fry for 15 seconds, then stir, fry for 15 seconds, then stir.
  7. Stir in the kale and cranberries if you are using. Let it fry and start to wilt as you continue to stir, about 1 minute.
  8. Last, drizzle your coconut aminos in the pan, give it a stir to combine and immediately cover for 1 minute to create a little hot steam for your kale to cook a bit more.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve with extra aminos, soy sauce, and/or hot pepper sauce on the side.

My family of 5 ate this for lunch. For dinner I’d probably double it for the 5 of us and add a salad or more roasted vegetables on the side. One onion averse friend of mine might just notice there are no onions in this recipe, eh hem. This is very unusual for me, but you could add scallions to the stir fry section of your recipe. Or steamed brocolli. Or cauliflower. Last but not least and listed as optional above, dried cranberries. While I didn’t include them in the nutritional facts below, look what I found at Whole Foods:

Eden Organic dried cranberries sweetened with apple juice

Cranberries NOT sweetened with sugar and corn syrup! This made me very happy and I might just be adding a little tablespoon here and there.

Chicken Fried Wild Rice Nutritional Information | shemadeitshemight.com

You get the picture. Just prep it and make yourself something simple and satisfying in 5 minutes. Done.

Chicken Fried Wild Rice

Enjoy!

~Heather

Speaking of prepping, learn more about #sundaysetup over here!

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stuffed apples

I’m over here today writing for Bodies by Burgoon and sharing a recipe created by Molly Herrmann from Kitchen in the Market.

These stuffed apples were so simple and very satisfying. Add it to your collection for 2016!

stuffed apples

Click over here to another little corner of my world and check this healthy recipe out!

~ Heather

 

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individual butterscotch custards

butterscotch custard

We pretty much forgot to eat sugar in December, I mean like really eat sugar. (Don’t hate me and stop reading!) It wasn’t completely on purpose but more like saying we didn’t get a chance to go sledding. Sledding isn’t a part of our daily life, we have to go out of our way to do it, and there has to be a decent amount of snow to really be worth a ride down a bumpy hill. I’m not sure if this is working, but I’m going with it.

I think a few years ago I stopped making desserts that sit in the house for more than a day. If we make them, we enjoy them in that moment, guilt free, and then promptly give the rest away. Phew! This has been brilliant for me personally. I love to make and share, but I do not love staring at cookies for days.

While I don’t make sugar a part of our daily life at home anymore, when it’s a birthday or holiday we really go out of our way to make it worth it, something truly special. Like Jaime Oliver’s Brazilian Donuts I made with gluten free all purpose flour and dipped in dark boozy chocolate for Christmas morning. Yesssssss.

Jaime Oliver's Brazilian donuts

And that would be our present philosophy/goal on sugar: It has to be worth it–good enough and worth the consequences, because there are some for most of us.

This butterscotch custard makes the list of worth it for all of us in Burschland. It was the one dessert I actually made this Christmas, not counting the breakfast dessert donuts, ha! It’s made from scratch and a gluten free dessert option to boot.

I’ve made it every which way:

Butterscotch custard with whipped cream and chocolate shavings:

butterscotch custard with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

Butterscotch custard with bananas, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings:

butterscotch custard with bananas and whipped cream

Butterscotch custard a la creme brulee with the tiniest sprinkle of salt:

butterscotch creme brulee

And my personal favorite, butterscotch custard with bananas bruleed:

butterscotch with bananas bruleed

I’m taking this recipe with me into 2016, even if I don’t pull it out until next Christmas! 😉 And since I made this again for a photo shoot, I have a couple left just waiting to give away. 😉

Individual Butterscotch Custards
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Makes: 6
Adapted from Gourmet, October 2003
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of water
  • 2 tablespoons of turbinado or coarse sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream and chocolate topping option:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup, honey, or sugar
  • a dash of vanilla or bourbon if you wish
  • 1 dark chocolate bar chunk to make sprinkles
  • Optional: banana slices
Brulee topping option:
  • 2 tablespoons of coarse sugar or turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional: banana slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. In one medium sauce pan whisk 1½ cups of cream, 6 tablespoons of brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Let mixture heat until just simmering.
  3. In a new medium sauce pan combine raw sugar and water over medium to high heat. With a clean whisk, mix until sugar is dissolved. Set your timer for 5 minutes and let it bubble and brown, stirring occasionally. When the timer is up remove from heat and add your hot cream to the sugar water mixture. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until fully combined.
  5. In a slow steady stream, pour hot cream mixture into the egg yolks whisking as you pour, or set your mixer to slowest stirring speed while you pour your cream into your moving mixer.
  6. Once combined, pour the liquid through a strainer into a large glass measuring cup. You should have about 2 cups total. Skim off the foam with a spoon.
  7. Divine your liquid into ramekins, brulee dishes, or oven proof mugs. I've used any of these options.
  8. Set your dishes on a rimmed metal cookie sheet or cake pan.
  9. Pour boiling water (from teapot) into the larger dish so the water surrounds the ramekins and creates a water bath to bake and steam your custards.
  10. Set your cookie sheet or pan of water and custards into your 300° oven for 35 minutes. Take a peek at your custards. If they seems wet and jiggly in the middle, give it another 3-5 minutes to set.
  11. When ready, remove ramekins from water bath with tongs or hot pads, and set on a wire rack to cool.
  12. Custards can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. (They can also be made ahead, cooled, and refrigerated.)
Whipped cream and chocolate topping:
  1. Whip cream with a teaspoon or two of maple syrup, honey, or sugar on high until soft peaks form. Taste and add more sweetener, a splash of vanilla or a teaspoon of bourbon if you like.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, run the blade down the side of a chocolate bar to make shavings.
  3. Top custards with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.
Brulee topping:
  1. Sprinkle cooled custards with a teaspoon of sugar across each surface. (If desired, sprinkle the smallest pinch of salt in addition for added flavor contrast.) Using a creme brulee torch, scorch the top to melt the sugar.
  2. If you are adding bananas, layer thinly sliced bananas across the top, sprinkle with sugar, and torch.
(If you do not have a torch, place sugared brulees under the broiler for 30 seconds or so until bubbling and melted.)

nutritional label for butterscotch custard

Butterscotch custard four different ways!

Happy New Year!

~Heather

 

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delicata squash and kale salad

kale

Everything I am about to share with you is a gift for the remainder of your Thanksgiving week. It’s a hug in the form of greens. It’s positivity sandwiched before and after your indulgent Thanksgiving day. In case I’m confusing you here, it’s actually a salad, but it accomplishes both hugs and positivity.

Roasted Delicata Squash and Brussels - roasting delicata squash and brussels for a side vegetable dish or a topping for my kale salad is so easy and delicious. AND guess what? No peeling of this squash and they roast up in 20 minutes. |shemadeitshemight.com

You are going to want to eat it today, if my pictures do it any justice. AND since you will be in the grocery store with every other single person in your city tomorrow (ugh!), you are going to want to just grab more kale and squash because a) they are both probably on sale and b) you know Thursday is going to make you feel like you need only salad for your whole weekend to come. Kale leading you in and kale leading you out.

toasted pumpkin seeds - All you need is 10 minutes and raw pumpkin seeds to make this yummy crunch for your salads, hash, or a light snack on their own. |shemadeitshemight.com

If by chance you’ve been asked to bring a salad to your Thanksgiving festivities? Bring this one. Even if your family is like mine and for some reason has taken it on as their cause to dislike kale. I say, bring it on.

It is one of the best salads I’ve had in a long time, like since my last kale salad craving I suppose. Around this time of year I tend to seek a salad to lighten my lunch life. Last year I was on repeat with the beloved Kale and Brussels Salad shown below. (Still love and yes please.)

kale and brussels salad - this salad is one of our old time favorites. The toasted almonds, pecorino cheese, and creamy lemon dressing make it outstanding. We love this recipe if for lunch and as a side dish when we entertain. | shemadeitshemight.com

But this year, this week, this month, has me looking and loving my lunch again thanks to #almosttwentyyears and #newyork. A week ago I had just flown to NYC to meet up with Tim and sat down at our hotel restaurant, Marta, for a for lunch date with myself. Tim recommended the Pollo Salad which was delicata squash, brussels, kale, perfectly pulled chicken, toasted pumpkin seeds and some kind of amazing dried cheese. I went from this lunch to 3 more days of incredible meals all over NYC, but this salad did not leave my mind come Monday. I think it’s because it was beautiful but also felt attainable in the near future.

delicata squash - this squash variety is by far the easiest to roast and prepare! All you need to do is scoop out the seeds and cut it up! And they hold their shape while cooked. We love to add it to our kale salad recipe or as a side dish. | shemadeitshemight.com

Delicata squash, friends. Do you all know about this? I might be the only one who has somehow skipped over this particular squash in the past, but this is why I LOVE eating out and traveling. It’s the exposure to a world of people and food that is different but so very good. I very easily found delicata at Whole Foods last week, as if I’d walked by it a million times. No worries, this is what I know now: you don’t have to peel it. What? This is like revolutionary squash eating for the lazy/busy person. The thin skin cooks perfectly and holds the soft squashiness together in one great bite. Such a bonus.

roasted delicata squash and brussels sprouts

If I were bringing it to Thanksgiving I would skip the chicken obviously but for lunch I’d do it just this way.

Delicata squash and kale salad with chicken and toasted pumpkin seeds - you are going to want this delicious salad before your week is over. The roasted squash you don't have to peel and the simple ingredients of kale, brussels, pumpkin seeds and mustard vinaigrette make it a recipe to keep. Change up different vegetables, add chicken if you want. | shemadeitshemight.com

Here is my salad selfie for the rest of November, sandwiched of course before and after some brown sugar pecan topped sweet potatoes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Delicata Squash and Kale Salad
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By:
Makes: 4-6
Ingredients
Salad
  • 1 delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 big handfuls of brussels sprouts, ends removed and halved
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large bunch of kale, leaves removed from thick center stem and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup raw and shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts pan fried or grilled, sliced into strips
  • Pecorino cheese grated or thinly sliced (optional)
Vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Spread your raw pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet and roast for 8 minutes. Continue toasting if some are still green, until evenly brown but not burned, check every few minutes until puffed and lightly brown. Shake a little salt on top and stir around, scrape onto a plate to cool.
  3. Toss squash pieces and halved brussels with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a rimmed cookie sheet. If vegetables look dry, add a little bit more oil to make sure they are lightly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. When your vegetables have cooked for 20 minutes, stir and check to see if squash and brussels are tender by poking with a fork. If you prefer either vegetable to be cooked more, return to oven for 5 minutes more at the most.
  5. To prep salad, toss kale pieces with a couple tablespoons of dressing at a time, making sure that each piece gets coated. Give greens a good stir and see if you need more dressing.
  6. Spread your greens on a large serving platter or individual plates.
  7. Top greens with warm squash, brussels, and chicken pieces. Sprinkle with ½ of your pumpkin seeds and grate pecorino cheese on last if you are using.
  8. I like to leave extra dressing, cheese, and pumpkin seeds on the table so individuals can add more as desired.

delicata squash and kale salad - you are going to want this delicious salad before your week is over. The roasted squash needs no peeling and the simple ingredients of kale, brussels, pumpkin seeds and mustard vinaigrette make it a recipe to keep. Change up different vegetables, add chicken if you want, or make this without chicken for the perfect Thanksgiving side dish! | shemadeitshemight.com

Nutritional Information for 6 servings of Delicata Squash Salad

Enjoy!

~H

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