Mediterranean Veggies with Basil Chicken

I was inspired to make this colorful and light veggie dish after having something similar at an organic café in Minneapolis. It was so easy to recreate and pairs wonderfully with a variety of proteins – chicken, shrimp, fish, garbanzo beans – or just by itself. I’ll describe how I made the chicken, but feel free to leave it out or substitute your favorite protein.

You’ll need:

• 2 chicken breasts, tenderized (i.e. pounded flat with a meat hammer)
• 2 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/8’s
• 1 bunch asparagus, cut in 1/2’s or 1/3’s
• 2 zucchini, spiralized into zoodles
• Feta cheese, to taste
• Butter or ghee
• Garlic, 2 minced cloves or 1 heaping tablespoon of pre-minced
• 1/4 cup water

Use to taste for both the chicken and the veggies:

• Dried basil
• Dried oregano
• Onion powder
• Salt and pepper
• Cooking oil


1. Cook the chicken first. First, pound it nice and flat, then season the top with basil, oregano, onion powder, and salt and pepper. Heat cooking oil in a pan on medium heat, and place chicken into the pan. Let it cook halfway through, then flip it to sear the top side.

2. Once seared, flip the chicken back over, add a tablespoon or butter or ghee to the pan, and baste the chicken. Test for an internal temp of 165, and set aside to rest when done or very close to that temperature.

3. Heat oil in a stir fry pan, and sauté garlic. Once fragrant, add asparagus. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan, then cover and steam asparagus for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add in the zoodles and tomatoes, heating through until zoodles are at desired tenderness. While they are cooking, add in 2 tablespoons of butter/ghee, mixing with the garlic and natural vegetable juices to form your sauce.

5. Add in all seasonings to your preference.

6. Sprinkle feta cheese on top and let heat just briefly before serving with the chicken.

Shock Guac

In case you’ve been living under a rock, I need to alert you to the wonders of the avocado. Rather boring looking from the outside, the avocado contains a bright green “healthy fat” that can take a dish from ZZZZ to yippee! I admit, I’m dorking out on avocado, but it’s SO good. I even use it in place of a banana in my smoothie sometimes, which creates a silky texture more suitable for a spoon than a straw.

Anyway, my 4 year old could make regular guacamole, but this one is NOT for her tiny tastebuds. I debated on whether to call this Guaca-holy moly, but ended up with the even classier title. The credit for this recipe goes to my husband, but the name was all me. 🙂

2 ripe avocados, mashed
4 t lime juice
10-12 jalapeño slices, chopped
1/2 t onion powder
2-3 t crushed red pepper
3 pinches salt
2 pinches pepper

Stir it all together until well blended. Eat on top of basically anything, including roasted sweet potatoes, eggs, rice, or alone with chips or veggies.


Asian-inspired Salmon with Stir-fried Vegetables

For the Salmon:
Salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
1 T Butter

For the veggies:
Bell peppers, thinly sliced
Zucchini, cut into small sticks
1T Sesame oil
2 T Stir fry oil
Salt and pepper
Mongolian fire oil, if desired

For the sauce:
1 T Pad Thai sauce seasoning packet
1/2 C water
2 T Soy sauce or liquid aminos

Rice or grains of some sort

I was so grumpy the other day. Just ask my husband. Super grumpy. I knew I needed to do something to get my head on straight, and what better than a super delicious supper (paired with a vodka tonic)? I stopped at a fresh seafood place on my way home (Yes, we have these in South Dakota…okay, we have ONE, but it’s good!) and picked up a few fillets of Atlantic salmon with the skin on.

I had a few colorful bell peppers and zucchini in the fridge and decided to slice those up in a different way, making them long and thin. You could really use whatever vegetables you want. I just love the bright colors of bell peppers.


1. Sauté your choice of veggies in cooking oil (I use a mediterranean blend) until they are not crisp but not mushy, adding a little sesame oil, stir fry oil if you have it, salt, and pepper while they cook. To spice it up, add some Mongolian fire oil or other hot oil. Once the veggies are cooked, move on to the salmon. (It’s expensive, so I always make an effort to not do anything else when I’m cooking it, which is very hard for a scatterbrain like me).

2. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper, then prepare to cook it. (I used a nonstick copper pan, got it nice and hot, drizzled some oil in, and got that nice and hot too so the salmon skin would sear when I placed it in.)

3. Let the salmon cook skin side down for the majority of the cook time. (I can’t tell you how long that is, since it really depends on the thickness of your fillet, but somewhere between 3-7 minutes.)

4. While the salmon is cooking, add some butter into the pan and baste the salmon with the melted butter. Flip the salmon when it is getting close to cooked through so you can get a nice gentle sear on the top where you’ve been basting it. (Sometimes I do this too soon and have to flip it back over.)

5. Set salmon aside to rest, then make the sauce.

6. Any sort of Asian-inspired sauce would work, but I used a tablespoon of pad Thai seasoning, simmered with water and liquid aminos until it thickened into more of a glaze.

7. I had a package of seven grain something or another from Costco, so I threw that in the microwave.

8. Plate it all up and enjoy!

Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes for Lunch

I never liked sweet potatoes growing up. They were weird and mushy, and people would always try to cloak them in marshmallows. I wasn’t going to fall for it. Then one day, I met the rustic, vibrant, self-assured tuber that is the roasted sweet potato. Allow me to introduce you as well.

How to make them:

Preheat over to 425.

Peel, then dice 2-3 sweet potatoes into relatively similarly-sized pieces*.

Put potatoes on oiled cookie sheet.

Drizzle or spray oil over potatoes.

Add salt and pepper.

Mix by hand until evenly coated.

Roast in oven for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender and slightly browned.

*If you scrub the skin well, you don’t have to peel them, but most people prefer them without skin.

Once you have roasted the sweet potatoes, your options are endless. They last a week in the fridge and can be reheated as a simple side. They also add great body to chili (recipe to come). One of my favorite combinations, though, is roasted sweet potato and a runny egg yolk. Mmmmmm. So good. So healthy.

Want to add a little extra? Roast up some diced bell pepper with the sweet potato. Add avocado on top of the egg. Use some hot sauce.

Lunch is served.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce

Warning: This is not your typical recipe blog.  I am not claiming to be a great cook. Gordon Ramsay would be so appalled at my knife skills, he wouldn’t even be able to blast me with a string of his famous profanities. I am impatient with recipes, I have random food allergies, and I am notorious for forgetting to pick up the things on my shopping list. I love to cook, though, and sometimes it turns out!

This dish was one of those occasions. I grabbed some pre-made butternut squash ravioli just because it sounded like fall. I think I’ve finally gotten sick of pumpkin spiced everything, but butternut squash is just a whole different beast. Just be careful if you try ever try to peel one yourself. Last year, I almost took my pinky off and have since vowed to buy mine pre-cut…or better yet, already inside of ravioli.

I boiled up the ravioli and let it sit in the strainer with a little olive oil so it didn’t stick together, then I got started on the sauce. You could certainly do the sauce while you’re waiting for the ravioli, but the cook time on the ravioli is so short that I knew I would get distracted and either overcook the ravioli or burn the sauce, so I just did them separately.

I’ve never made a brown butter sauce before. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a brown butter sauce before, but it seems to be pretty popular on Masterchef, so what the heck.

I started out with 1/4 cup butter in a pan, slowly heating it so it browned but didn’t burn. As the butter was heating up, it started spitting everywhere, so I switched to a bigger pan in the middle of it all.  At that point, I was sure this sauce was doomed, but we had to eat something, so I kept going. It takes awhile for the butter to brown up, and it’s kind of a weird thing to watch if you have never experienced it. I kept thinking, is this right? What is that brown stuff? Is the bottom of my pan flaking off? Am I poisoning my family? Oh! That’s what brown butter looks like, dummy!

I didn’t have heavy cream like a real chef, so I dumped a cup of skim milk in there and hoped for the best. Then I grabbed my little shaker of sage leaf and said a quick prayer that sage doesn’t expire. I let it all simmer together for a minute or two, then added 1/4 cup of parmesan from the green shaker thing plus some salt and pepper. I actually do have an amazing herb garden (with lots of mojito mint), so I threw in some fresh parsley too. I spooned it over the ravioli, and voila! Dinner is served!

I honestly don’t even know if the photo looks appetizing to anyone else, but I do know that my hubby dug around for an extra piece of bread so he could get every last drop off his plate. I just went ahead and licked mine.


1/4 cup butter – brown this up in a BIG pan, stir a lot for 5+ minutes.

Then add:

1 cup skim milk &

1 tbsp sage leaf

Simmer all together until milk is warmed through, then add:

1/4 Parmesan cheese

Parsley, if you have it


Serve over ravioli.  Boom. Dinner.



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