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Friday, August 22, 2014

{Mexican Sweet Corn Salad}

Sweet corn, one of those summer time staples that I just cannot seem to get enough of!  There is something irresistible about really good sweet corn.  Do I sound like a crazy person rambling about corn?  Maybe, but you know I am right!  

I love cutting fresh sweet corn off the cob and tossing it into salads, or using it as the star ingredient of the salad like I did here!  I combined fresh ingredients and bold flavors together to create this delicious mexican inspired sweet corn "salad."  The spicy green chilies add just the right amount of heat while playing into the sweetness of the corn.  Fresh cilantro adds unique flavor while the simple squirt of fresh lime brightens the whole dish up!  Perfect as a light lunch or dinner salad or the perfect side dish for fajitas or tacos!  

Mexican Sweet Corn Salad
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 4-6 

6 Ears of Corn - Shucked and corn cut off the cob 
1/4 Cup Onion Finely Chopped 
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Pepper
1 - 4 oz can green chilies (I used Trader Joe's Fire Roasted Green Chilies) 
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil 
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder 
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder 
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin 
1 - 15 oz can chickpeas drained 
1 Large Handful Fresh Chopped Cilantro 

1- In a skillet coated with cooking spray saute onion until translucent.  Add in green pepper and saute until tender (2-3 min). 
2- Add corn into the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.  
3- In a small bowl whisk together chili powder, garlic, cumin and olive oil.  
4- Pour olive oil mixture over corn and saute for another 5 minutes.  Stir in chickpeas. 
5- Top skillet with fresh cilantro and serve. 

**Serve as a salad or as a side dish to grilled meat, fajitas, or tacos.  Delicious topped with a little shredded cheese and avocados!  


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{Baked Seasoned Kale Chips}

Kale, a green leafy veggie that kinda scared me at first!  Yes, I admit... me the veggie loving queen was scared to try kale at first.  But you know what, kale has truly become one of my favorite leafy greens!  Just check out a few of the delicious kale salads that have been featured on the blog, here and here!  

But kale chips have been my most recent obsession!  Kale chips make the perfect crunch snack or even a delicious side dish to accompany dinner.  These crunchy green chips are effortless to make and are down right tasty!  Just toss chopped kale with a bit of olive oil, seasonings and bake to crispy perfections!  Now go conquer your kale fear (if you have one) and bake these little beauties today! 

Baked Seasoned Kale Chips: 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 2-4

2 Teaspoons Olive Oil 
1 Large Bunch Dinosaur Kale - Roughly Chopped 
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
1 Teaspoon Garlic 
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin 
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder 

1- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2- In a medium bowl toss chopped kale with olive oil and spices.  Rub kale for 2 minutes to ensure that olive oil and spices are evenly distributed. 
3- Spread kale out on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crunchy and slightly browned.   I usually stir the kale after it has been in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure even browning. 


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

{Cheesy Baked Zucchini Noodles}

Seriously, the veggie spiral cutter that my sister purchased a few weeks ago has become my favorite kitchen gadget!  I am obsessed and cannot stop experimenting with "zoodles!"

For the longest time I have been wanting to try a baked "pasta" recipe but could never get myself to spend the hour baking a spaghetti squash!  Not to mention making zucchini noodles was out of the question because I didn't have the fancy shmancy veggie spiral cutter.  Well that has all changed and I am about to share with you a delicious and super cheesy baked zoodle recipe!  My mouth is watering just thinking about it! 

Anyways, this baked "pasta" recipe has all the flavor and comfort food qualities of the typical baked pasta, only with less carbs and more veggies!  Win, win, right?  Easy enough to make on a hectic weekday night and delicious to reheat for lunch the next day!  Top with grilled chicken, shrimp or your favorite protein source for a complete meal.  Make sure you serve with some crusty french bread to soak up the remaining marinara sauce!  

Cheesy Baked Zucchini Noodles
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 6 

4 Zucchinis 
1 Cup Marinara Sauce 
3/4 Cup Part Skim Ricotta 
1 Cup + 1/4 Part Skim Mozzarella 
1/4 Onion Chopped 
3 Garlic Cloves 
1 Tablespoon Basil 

**Grilled Chicken, Shrimp or other protein source for serving

1- Cut zucchini into "noodles" using a veggie spiral cutter into a large bowl.  Toss zucchini with 1 cup cheese (reserving the remaining 1/4 cup for the top) Set aside.
2- In a skillet coated with cooking spray saute onions until translucent add garlic and basil and saute until garlic is fragrant.  Set aside. 
3- In a small bowl mix together marinara sauce and ricotta until well combined.  Add onion mixture to the marinara mixture and mix until well combined. 
4- Pour marinara mixture over zucchini noodles.  Toss zucchini noodles until evenly covered with sauce.  Pour zucchini noodles into an 8x8 inch glass baking dish.  Top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.  
5- Bake zucchini noodles in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. 

** Serve with grilled chicken, shrimp or protein of choice!

Check out these other delicious Zucchini Noodle Recipes from around the web! 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

{Spiral Cucumber Salad with Tomatoes}

I am seriously in love with my sisters spiral veggie cutter (check it out here)!  I used it to make zoodles for this delicious "pasta" recipe and I used it last night to make this fresh and summery cucumber salad! I am obsessed!  I have already thought of about a million ways to use this ingenious kitchen gadget!  

This salad screams summer to me and the best part about it was I used all local farmers market produce!  Side note, can you believe that this past Saturday was the first time I had been to the farmers market all summer?  I know... its sad and I am embarrassed to admit that!  We can talk about my laziness later.  Right now we need to talk about this salad and how simple yet delicious it is!  The simple dressing gives a hint of flavor to the fresh cut cucumbers and the fresh tomatoes add texture and more flavor!  A little salt and pepper help amp up the flavor without taking away from the produce!  Make as a side dish or enjoy as part of a light lunch! 

Cucumber Salad with Tomatoes 
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 2-4

 1 1/2 Medium Cucumber - Cut with vegetable spilar 
1/2 Cup Grap Tomatoes - Halved 

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
2 Teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar 
1 Teaspoon Honey 
1 Teaspoon Garlic 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 

1 - Cut cucumbers with spiral veggie cutter (we used this one)
2- Toss cucumber and tomatoes together lightly in a bowl and set aside. 
3- In a small bowl mix together olive oil, balsamic, honey and garlic.  
4- Pour dressing over cucumber/tomatoes and toss until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

{Zoodles with Pesto}

I have been sitting on this recipe all week, and dreaming about how delicious it is.  And, yes I am just now getting around to sharing it with you!   My mind has been consumed with other things I guess, like wedding planning, engagement photos and the list could go on and on and on.  Better late then never though, right?

So lets talk zoodles... Are some of you wonder what the heck a zoodle is?  Let me explain.  A zoodle is a "noodle" made out of zucchini, and they are hands down delicious!  My sister got this amazing little gadget this past weekend that slices veggies into thin, noodle like strands.  Check out the deets here.  Anyways when I saw she bought this little gadget I knew we needed to try it out!  We sauteed onions, garlic and mushrooms with the zoodles.  We finished off the zoodles with a garlicky pesto, sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese.  Delicious!  Add in grilled meat of your choice for some added protein!

Zoodles with Pesto, Sun Dried Tomato and Parmesan
Brunch N'Cupcakes
Serves 4

5 Medium Zucchinis (Sliced with a ____) 
1/2 Medium Onion 
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
1/3 Cup Chopped Mushroom 
1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (Non - Oil Packed) 
1/3 Cup Prepared Pesto (I used Trader Joe's) 
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese 
Salt and Pepper to Taste 

**Protein suggestion for serving  - Grilled Chicken Breast or Shrimp. 

1 - Heat a skillet coated with cooking spray.  Add in onion and cook until tender, stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add in mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender. 
2- Add in your sliced zucchini noodles.  Cook until zucchini is tender.  About 7 minutes.  
3- While zoodles are still in skillet pour prepared pesto evenly over the zoodles.  Stir until pesto is well incorporated.  Top with parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes and serve! 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

{Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes}

Baked potatoes are my go to, super fast and easy week night dinner staple!  Because lets be honest, we have all had those nights where we don't even want to spend 15 minutes making dinner!  I love to cook but sometimes just the thought preparing a meal makes me want to throw in the towel and have cereal for dinner!  

Well, that little rant about not wanting to make dinner really has nothing to do with the recipe I am going to tell you about today!  Well expect for the fact that this is a baked sweet potato recipe that is!  But, I can promise you that these twice baked sweet potatoes are delicious.  And I can promise you that they are easy and take little to no time to prepare!  I lightened up these flavorful twice baked sweet potatoes by using greek yogurt instead of sour cream and packed them full of sauteed veggies!    Don't worry I left all the cheesy goodness in these potatoes that we have grown to love about traditional twice baked potatoes!  Enjoy these twice baked sweet potatoes as a simple meal or enjoy as side to grilled chicken or shrimp! 

Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
Brunch N'Cupcakes 
Serves 3-4 

4 Small Sweet Potatoes Washed and Dried(I used one large and a small... all we had!)
1/2 Cup Broccoli Florets 
1/4 Cup Onion Chopped 
2 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt (I used 0%) 
1/3 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Shredded Cheddar Cheese 
2 Garlic Cloves Minced 
1/2 Teaspoon Salt 
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin 

1- Pierce each potato with a fork and place on plate.  Microwave the potatoes for 8-10 minutes or until tender when pricked with fork. 
2- Set potatoes aside and allow to cool.  In the mean time heat a skillet sprayed with cooking spray and sautee onions until translucent.  Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Finally add broccoli to the skillet and cook till tender.  Remove skillet from heat and set aside.  
3- Grab your potatoes and slice each one down the middle.  Carefully scoop out the inside of the potato into a bowl.  Slightly mash the potato in the bowl.  Add yogurt and spices to mashed potato and mix until well incorporated.  Next stir in 1/3 cup cheese and the veggies.  Mix once again until well combined.  
4- Carefully lay potato skins out on a baking sheet and carefully stuff each potato skin with the potato/veggie mixture.  Top each potato with 1/2 Tablespoon of cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted (about 10 minutes).  

** Top your potatoes with sour cream or greek yogurt if you wish!  Serve the twice baked sweet potatoes as a the main meal with steamed veggies or as a side to grilled meat! 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

{Berry Acai Bowl}

When it comes to breakfast I can be what you would call a creature of habit.  To me breakfast needs to be simple, easy/quick to prepare and keep me full for hours.  I have a handful of "go to" breakfast that I cycle through; Including Greek Yogurt with Berries, Overnight Oats, Smoothies... just to name a few.  But recently I have been getting into something a little different for breakfast... Acai Bowls!

My sister introduced me to the brand called Sambazon a few weeks ago,   Sambazon is a  Unsweetened Acai smoothie packet that works great for making Acai bowls!  I have been blending my Acai packets with strawberries, a bit of honey and stirring in chia seeds in the end.  The next morning I drop in a few blueberries, a dab of greek yogurt and breakfast is served!  If you're look to switch up your morning breakfast routine, I suggest giving this Acai bowl a whirl!

Berry Acai Bowl 
Brunch N'Cupcakes
Serves 1

1 - Sambazon Unsweetened Acai Packet (I get mine at Whole Foods) 
6 Strawberries washed and quartered 
Honey to Taste - I use about 2-3 Teaspoons 
1 Tablespoon Almond Milk (I used Unsweetened Vanilla) 
1/3 Cup Blueberries
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds 
1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt  (I use 2% Fage) 
**Yogurt for serving

1- Run Acai Packet under warm water for 5 minutes to that slightly.  
2- Add strawberries, acai packet, almond milk and honey in blender.  Blend ingredients until smooth. 
3- Place acai mixture into a tupperware container, stir in chia seeds and allow to sit over night. 

To serve - Stir in Blueberries and Greek yogurt the next morning and Enjoy!  I will sometimes top mine with a bit of granola for a little added crunch! 

Happy Eating!