Thai Red Curry Noodle Bowls

These curry noodles are cradled in a complex broth that features sweet, tangy, savory, spicy, and creamy notes to it. Top it off with some fresh onions, crunchy peanuts, spicy peppers, and awesomely seasoned chicken for an unrivaled eating experience. You will be filling your body with healthy food and you won’t even know it because you’ll be too busy being in heaven. Don’t try telling any of this to a toddler. They will just whine at you. Trust me, I tried.

Thai Red Curry Noodle Bowls


Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Noodle Bowls

  • 4 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 6 oz dry rice noodles
  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 16 oz broccoli slaw mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Garnish

  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • green onions, sliced
  • cilantro
  • chopped, roasted peanuts

Instructions

  1. Slice the chicken breast thinly across the grain. Add it to a bag or bowl with the marinade ingredients and toss to combine.

  2. Read the instructions for your rice noodles. If they need to be cooked get the water boiling. If they need to be soaked get a bowl of cold water. Prepare noodles according to package directions. 

  3. Add the dry ingredients to a small bowl (bullion through ginger). Slice the onion and bell pepper. Prepare your garnishes.

  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil for 5 minutes. The medium heat will help prevent grease fires if your attention is diverted. Turn the heat up to high and watch it carefully for about a minute. 

  5. Once the oil is smoking the slightest bit, add the chicken. Spread the chicken in a thin layer in the bottom of your pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip. Cook an additional minute.

  6. Remove chicken from pot and add the last tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add onions and peppers and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli slaw mix and cook an additional 1 minute.
  7. Add water to the pot and scrape the bottom to remove the delicious browned bits. Add the coconut milk, curry paste, lemon juice, peanut butter, and the dry ingredients. Stir to combine and then simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the noodles and chicken. Stir to combine. Serve immediately with desired garnishes.

I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that normally when I garnish I do it for the photo. Not the case with this dish. Do not skip the garnishes! The noodles and broth are delicious. But the contrast of the yummy broth with something fresh, something spicy, and something crunchy is too amazing to pass up.

Sometimes I wonder where people get their ingredients or what brands they use. For the noodles it doesn’t matter much. The first two times I made these noodles I used some brown rice noodles that I bought at an Asian food store probably 2 years ago. We didn’t really like the noodles the first time we tried them, so they sat in my pantry for forever. Fortunately, the broth for these curry noodles saved them from the trash can. I’ve also used the noodles below that you can find at most grocery stores, and they turned out great that way too. But I prefer slightly thicker rice noodles for this dish if you can find them.

For the curry paste, I used this one. You can find this stuff everywhere when you don’t live in the South. Since I do live in the South, I have to go to Publix. They have the fancy stuff.

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t she make a noodle dish with coleslaw mix recently?” Well this dish uses broccoli slaw, so it’s totally different! But I couldn’t find broccoli slaw when I photographed this, so the photos actually have cole slaw mix. I swear they are totally different! These noodle bowls will change your life in a good way. Try them today!

Enjoy!

That Red Curry Noodle Bowls – Get Hooked on Cooking – These curry noodles are cradled in a complex broth that features sweet, tangy, savory, spicy, and creamy notes to it. Top it off with some fresh onions, crunchy peanuts, spicy peppers, and awesomely seasoned chicken for an unrivaled eating experience. You will be filling your body with healthy food and you won’t even know it because you’ll be too busy being in heaven. Don’t try telling any of this to a toddler. They will just whine at you. Trust me, I tried.

Vegetable Lo Mein

I think of this as cheater lo mein because it’s filled with vegetables, but you just have to chop 1 onion and 1 bell pepper. It’s super easy and somewhat kid-friendly (can’t be perfect in that department). And it’s vegetarian while still being satisfying and filling.

Vegetable Lo Mein


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

Lo Mein

  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 lb tri color coleslaw mix
  • 7 oz lo mein noodles

Sauce

  • ½ cup oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Garnish

  • green onions or cilantro optional

Instructions

  1. Start a pot of water boiling for your noodles. Peel and slice onion. Seed and slice red bell pepper. In a small bowl whisk eggs until well-beaten. In another small bowl mix together the sauce ingredients.
  2. Add lo mein noodles to the boiling water. Cook according to directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While lo mein noodles are cooking, heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray and cook eggs until dry, not creamy. Remove eggs to a bowl. Wipe out pan if bits of egg remain.
  4. Heat non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the peppers and onions. Stir-fry the peppers and onions for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove peppers and onions to a plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add coleslaw and stir-fry 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted.
  6. Add lo mein noodles, sauce, peppers, and onions to the pan with the coleslaw. Toss to combine and top with green onions or cilantro if desired.

Recipe Notes

Tip: food prep is important when stir-frying so we have all the prep in the first step. Don’t try to prep in the middle!

We like to eat vegetarian on occasion to save money and to stay healthy. Neither of us care for tofu or tempeh, which can make it harder than just substituting our favorite meat dishes with a vegetarian protein. I’m not willing to sacrifice on flavor to eat vegetarian (shocker, right?). This veggie lo mein is super satisfying and packed with flavor.

I said this is somewhat kid-friendly because in theory kids like pasta, right? My toddler has been extra picky lately so the first time I made this, I used two of her favorite vegetables, broccoli and corn, and I patted myself on the back that I had made a dinner that she would eat. Well, not only did she refuse to try it but she told me she now hates broccoli and corn. So that’s fun. She did end up trying it (it was that or go hungry) and loving the noodles but she adamantly refused to eat the vegetables. I believe her specific opinion was, “Yummy, it’s sweet! I love sugar!” Then she requested it for dinner the next week so I patted myself on the back again. The next week she said she hated it. That’s real life with a toddler for you.

You will not regret making this quick lo mein. It is great on its own or you can serve it with your favorite asian meal.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Lo Mein – Get Hooked on Cooking – I think of this as cheater lo mein because it's filled with vegetables, but you just have to chop 1 onion and 1 bell pepper. It's super easy and somewhat kid-friendly (can't be perfect in that department). And it's vegetarian while still being satisfying and filling.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo

Chicken alfredo gets a healthy boost from spaghetti squash and broccoli without sacrificing flavor. It is a new family favorite around our house.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 lb spaghetti squash
  • vegetable oil for drizzling
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder for sprinkling
  • 2 broccoli crowns, chopped into florets
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan

Instructions

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds. Drizzle some oil inside the hollow of each spaghetti squash half. Use your fingers to spread the oil all over the inside of the spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with salt, garlic, and pepper.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place both squash halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove squash from oven and add the broccoli florets to the baking sheet. Sprinkle broccoli with salt and spray broccoli with cooking spray. Return broccoli and squash to oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the chicken and sauce near the end of the roasting time. Place a non-stick frying pan on the stove on medium heat. Allow to heat for 5 minutes. While the pan is heating, cut chicken into ¾ inch cubes. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot pan. Allow the oil to heat about 2 minutes until hot.

  5. Add chicken to the hot pan. Turn stove heat up to high. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir the chicken to coat it in seasoning and oil. Leave it in a single layer in the pan for 2 minutes to develop some color. Flip or stir the chicken and allow it to cook another 2 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
  6. Add cream to pan and allow to thicken stirring occasionally, 5-8 minutes. Add parmesan and stir for about 1 minute until parmesan is incorporated. Add chicken and cook until chicken is cooked through. The chicken may already be done from the previous step, if this is the case just stir to combine. Remove from heat and allow to thicken about 5 minutes.
  7. While the sauce is thickening use two forks to shred the spaghetti squash. Add squash and broccoli to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley and additional parmesan if desired.

Recipe Notes

When heating the pan, we use medium heat because that gets the pan hot enough without damaging the nonstick surface. Once we add the chicken we turn the heat up because non-stick pans don't retain heat well.

Pasta is not my favorite meal, but the rest of the family goes gaga for it, so we end up eating pasta pretty often. I need a lot of cheese and cream if I’m going to get excited about pasta. Enter chicken alfredo. I don’t make it often (newsflash: it’s not super healthy). But with this many vegetables I can justify it every once in a while without batting an eye.

Roasting the broccoli gives it an extra flavor boost. You can put it right on the baking sheet with the spaghetti squash after the first 30 minutes.

We would love to hear about your favorite pasta dishes. Let us know in the comments!

Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo – Get Hooked on Cooking – Chicken alfredo gets a healthy boost from spaghetti squash and broccoli without sacrificing flavor. It is a new family favorite around our house.

Doritos® Taco Salad

Yes, you should eat this salad. It has Doritos® in it, but weren’t you looking for an excuse to eat Doritos® guilt-free anyway? A delicious combination of crisp, healthy ingredients and indulgent delights.

Doritos® Taco Salad


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 dinner salads

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained
  • cup taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup mild Pace salsa
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 romaine hearts
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos® regular or party-sized, depending on how naughty you feel
  • sour cream optional

Instructions

  1. Add lean ground meat to a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat until done. Add water, beans, taco seasoning, cumin, and garlic. Cook until beans are hot and sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Wash your lettuce and chop lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Dice your tomato. Slice your cucumber length-wise into quarters and then slice the other way into ⅛ inch slices.

  3. Add vegetables to a large salad bowl. Top with meat-bean mixture. Add ranch, salsa, and crushed Doritos®. Toss to combine and serve immediately. Top with sour cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

I normally make this salad ⅓ at a time and put the remaining meat-bean mixture in the fridge for later. ⅓ of this salad will make a filling meal for 2 hungry adults. 

I was talking to my Mom over a year ago, and she told me, “Jen made me the best taco salad while I was visiting her. You have to get the recipe.” Well, I can’t pass up the opportunity for a good recipe, and I have been making it ever since.

Jen’s original recipe called for cheddar, but I did an experiment on my cheese-obsessed husband. The first time I made it with cheese, the second time I left it out. He didn’t notice any difference so I decided to nix the cheese. I’m going to be in serious trouble if he ever finds out he missed a potential cheese consuming opportunity.

You may be thinking, “Doritos®? In a nice healthy salad? What are you trying to do to me?” But I promise you, it’s worth it. To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to live in a world where I can never eat chips. We have a fairly strict chip policy in our house. Neither my husband nor I have any self-control, so we only buy them if they are part of a meal. Or if my husband coerces me. Whichever comes first. So now you’re thinking, “Are you using salad as an excuse to eat chips?” Yes, yes I am.

But seriously, there are some nice healthy aspects to the salad. The original recipe has lettuce as the only vegetable because that reduces chopping. I kept it simple by only adding cucumber and tomatoes. I highly recommend the cucumber if that’s your thing. It complements the heavier flavors of the salad beautifully, and it is so quick to chop a cucumber. But make it your own by removing ingredients or adding avocado, corn, cheese, cilantro, or anything that makes you happy. Although, Jen will be upset if you leave out the ranch dressing, salsa, or chips. So let’s not upset Jen and make some delicious Doritos® Taco Salad!

Enjoy!

Doritos® Taco Salad – Get Hooked on Cooking – Yes, you should eat this salad. It has Doritos® in it, but weren’t you looking for an excuse to eat Doritos® guilt-free anyway? A delicious combination of crisp, healthy ingredients and indulgent delights.

Parmesan Ranch Chicken

This is one of my most requested recipes so it’s about time I got it up on the blog. Parmesan ranch chicken is perfect if you are feeding picky people. It’s amazing if you are tired and you need a quick meal. It’s a secret weapon for unexpected guests. It’s delicious enough for special dinners and celebrations. It comes together with just a few minutes of prep and only takes 10 minutes to bake!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large, boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Remove all fat from outside of chicken breast. Slice against the grain into ½ inch thick slices.
  3. Add chicken to a large bowl. Pour on half the ranch and toss to coat. Add additional ranch as needed to coat chicken.
  4. Spread chicken out on the bottom and up the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle with about half of the parmesan, breadcrumbs, and garlic. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with more parmesan, breadcrumbs, and garlic and toss again.
  5. Spray an aluminum foil-lined cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken in a single layer on baking sheet. Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray (this helps the chicken crisp up).

  6. Bake on the bottom rack of your oven for 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Check chicken by slicing the thickest piece and looking for any pink color.

When I was a kid we used to have parmesan chicken bites for dinner all the time and they were gone so quickly you had to fight for your share. I have two older brothers and two younger sisters and when my brothers and I were all teenagers at the same time the amount of calories consumed rivaled feeding an NBA basketball team. Ranch dressing takes my childhood favorite to a whole new level. Use caution if feeding ravenous teenagers.

We don’t eat a lot of meat in our family so this is a four serving recipe for us. If you normally eat a large meat course expect this to only feed two of your family members. I normally double it to have leftovers. I’m not the type to eat parmesan chicken just once. Did I eat the leftovers for breakfast straight out of the fridge? Yes, and I don’t feel ashamed.

I love to serve lots of veggies with this, since it is not my lightest meal. Roasted potatoes and broccoli are my go-to sides, but it was delicious with hummus and veggies that I already had on hand. Can you tell I was trying to get photos taken before my daylight was gone? What’s with the sun setting before 5:30? Doesn’t it know I’m trying to food blog over here?

Enjoy!

Parmesan Ranch Chicken – Get Hooked on Cooking – This is one of my most requested recipes so it’s about time I got it up on the blog. Parmesan ranch chicken is perfect if you are feeding picky people. It’s amazing if you are tired and you need a quick meal. It’s a secret weapon for unexpected guests. It’s delicious enough for special dinners and celebrations. It comes together with just a few minutes of prep and only takes 10 minutes to bake!

 

Our Healthiest Recipes of 2017

Happy New Year everybody! Are you all working on your New Year’s resolutions? If you’re an anything like us, you enjoy finding easy ways to improve your health. We love healthy, simple recipes so we thought we would share our 16 healthiest recipes of 2017!

Taco Quinoa

This is on of our favorite quinoa recipes. It is quick to throw together, it has the comfort of cheesy Hamburger Helper, and it is loaded with healthy ingredients.

Taco Quinoa

Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus for Beginners

We love hummus as a quick and healthy snack at our house. What we don’t like is the price tag on store bought hummus. This recipe is super easy and delicious.

Sweet & Tangy Peanut Stir Fry

There’s something about an amazing peanut sauce, and this one hits the spot. Pair it with your favorite stir fry ingredients for an unbelievably delicious meal.

Indian Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower

This yummy dish is so warm and comforting, perfect for a cold winter night. Best of all, you can make it in your slow cooker!

Creamy Mushroom Quinoa

My personal favorite quinoa recipe. It reminds me of Thanksgiving stuffing but brings some healthy ingredients to the mix to make this a great comfort food to start off your new year!

Orange Sunrise Smoothie

The perfect vitamin C burst to help you hit your fruit quota for the day!

Greek Quinoa

This is a great main dish or pairs perfectly with some grilled chicken or hummus for a flavorful and veggie-packed meal!

Cheesy Beef & Black Bean Casserole

I pretty much can’t say no when it’s time for a nice, hot Mexican casserole. Yum, yum, yum!

Indian-Fusion Tacos

I could eat these tacos every day for weeks without getting tired of them. Latin and Indian ingredients combine to make these tacos explode with flavor!

Korean Veggie Pancakes

Shredded vegetables never tasted so good. With a food processor these come together in a snap. With a crispy exterior and a delicious dipping sauce, your waist and your taste buds will thank you.

Roasted Mexican Cauliflower

Mexican seasoning plus roasting bring out amazing flavor in a vegetable that is chock full of vitamins. Don’t delay, make this for your next taco night!

Cajun Spinach Quinoa

With tons of veggies and quinoa you may be questioning whether this is a delicious dish. Well, I tried it out on a bunch of comfort food-loving southerners and it got rave reviews!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

It’s not too late to take part in pumpkin season. These bars taste like pumpkin pie, but they are a satisfying and filling breakfast!

Easy Brussels Sprouts Salad

If you’re not a fan of cooked sprouts, this is a great way to add this superfood to your diet! Raw Brussels sprouts are very mild, and a food processor takes care of your chopping for you.

Chipotle Pot Roast Chili

Sweet, smoky, spicy, warm, and delicious! This chili is the perfect accompaniment for a winter night by the fire.

Tortilla Soup

Nothing chases the winter blues away like a nice hot soup. Ring in the new year with this beautiful bowl of goodness! You won’t regret it.

Our Healthiest Recipes of 2017 – Get Hooked on Cooking – Happy New Year everybody! Are you all working on your New Year's resolutions? If you're an anything like us, you enjoy finding easy ways to improve your health. We love healthy, simple recipes so we thought we would share our 16 healthiest recipes of 2017!

Tortilla Soup

This soup is so easy, healthy, and delicious! The base is fresh and flavorful, and there are so many amazing toppings mixed in that each spoonful is a treat. There’s nothing like the combination of creamy queso fresco, rich avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, and lean chicken. If you are looking to eat healthier this year, why not start with this yummy hot soup? It is packed with tomatoes, avocado, onions, garlic, and chicken. How can you say no to superfoods and lean protein?

Tortilla Soup


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1-2 cups yellow onion, diced (1 medium-large onion)
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 lbs roma tomatoes
  • salt to taste

Toppings

  • 2 avocados
  • 10 oz queso fresco
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 6 corn tortillas cut into strips
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat until hot, 3-5 minutes. Add oil and heat until hot, 30-60 seconds. Add onion, cook 1 minute stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute stirring occasionally.
  2. Add whole tomatoes. You do not need to cut the stems off the tomatoes! You do not need to dice them! But go ahead and do those things if you want. This is a low effort soup but I’m not going to fight you about how much effort you want to put in. That would make it high effort for me.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are very tender.
  4. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or traditional blender until it is very smooth. Return soup to pot and season to taste with salt. I measured how much salt I put in so I could tell you guys, but then I promptly forgot how much I used. ½ a teaspoon sounds like a good starting place though.

  5. While the tomatoes are cooking, dice or crumble the queso fresco, prep your cooked chicken, and dice your avocado.

  6. Add 1 inch of oil to a separate small pot. Heat the oil over medium heat until it crackles when a drop of water is added. Slice the tortillas thinly and fry them 1-2 minutes until crisp.
  7. Serve soup hot with generous amounts of the toppings.

Recipe Notes

Tip: Queso fresco is easy to find at your local grocery store. Look for it in the cheese section.

I had an amazing roommate in college who shared my love of cooking. I still have some meals I make that she taught me and this is one of them. I had never heard of queso fresco before but, once I tried it, I was hooked. Don’t be intimidated by queso fresco; it is easy to find at your local grocery store in the refrigerated cheese section.

I love memories of eating this in our run-down college apartment. Cooking with someone else who loves to cook is a real treat for me. It’s so fun to share ideas and food.

It’s hard to find words to describe this soup because it’s so good and at the same time so unique. The ingredients are simple and they don’t hide behind a large list of seasonings. I don’t want to say “delicious” too many times but it’s hard not to. Stupendous! Fabulous! Fantastic! Too much?

The queso fresco is definitely one of the stars of this dish. It melts slightly when you add it to the hot soup, but doesn’t disappear into the soup like many cheeses would. The fried tortilla strips are the perfect complement to the other flavors and textures.

This soup is so easy there’s no reason to not try it! Bring some healthy deliciousness to your New Year!

Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup – Get Hooked on Cooking – This soup is so easy, healthy, and delicious! The base is fresh and flavorful, and there are so many amazing toppings mixed in that each spoonful is a treat. There's nothing like the combination of creamy queso fresco, rich avocado, crunchy tortilla strips, and lean chicken. If you are looking to eat healthier this year why not start with this yummy hot soup? It is packed with tomatoes, avocado, onions, garlic, and chicken. How can you say no to superfoods and lean protein?

Chipotle Pot Roast Chili

Smoky, sweet, and spicy, this chili has it all! It’s the perfect recipe to warm you and your loved ones up on a cold winter night. This recipe comes together quickly then can simmer on the stove while you get back to your holiday baking or gift wrapping.

Chipotle Pot Roast Chili


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 people

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chuck roast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 15 oz cans red kidney beans undrained
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 chopped chipotle peppers, from a can
  • 2 tsp adobo sauce from pepper can
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Remove large fat veins from pot roast. Cut against the grain into 3/4 inch slices.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until hot. Add oil and heat until oil is hot, about 1 more minute. Add about half of the meat in a single layer and sprinkle it with some of the salt. 

  3. Sear it until it is well-browned, about 2 minutes. Flip it and sear it on the other side. Remove the seared meat to a plate and repeat with the other half of the roast.

  4. Add all the meat back to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes to deglaze the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well to get all the good flavor off.

  5. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover pot and turn heat to low. Simmer about 3 hours, or until meat is tender. 

  6. Remove meat to a plate. Shred with two forks, or allow it to cool about 10 minutes and shred with your fingers.

  7. Return meat to pot and stir to combine. Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning.
  8. You can serve it immediately or let it simmer another hour or so.

Chili recipes can be hard to get right. They need a good balance of different flavors. The chipotle peppers in this chili bring a lovely smoky flavor and a subtle heat to the dish. A little sugar adds the perfect sweetness to complement that smoky heat. The seared pot roast adds a delicious beefy flavor that brings everything together. Don’t skip searing your meat!

You may be wondering where the chips are because chips and chili go together. We love chips, but I can’t keep them in the house or my husband will eat about a pound a day. Two pounds if there’s salsa around. I can’t judge him though because if there’s guacamole I have no self control around chips myself. So, I chose to crisp up some corn tortillas instead and it was a dreamy substitute. Corn tortillas get a bad rap because they have a weird texture cold or even steamed. But once you crisp them with a bit of oil they get such a delicious flavor! Don’t be scared of corn tortillas.

Don’t forget your favorite toppings! We topped this with guacamole, tomatoes, and sour cream.

Enjoy!

Cajun Spinach Quinoa

This comfort food dish will give you all the warmth you need during this crisp fall season. It is packed with healthy ingredients to balance out the smoked sausage and heavy cream. Creamy, dreamy, smoky, spicy, cajun spinach quinoa has it all.

Cajun Spinach Quinoa


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 7 oz smoked sausage, half of a 14 oz package
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper
  • 2 Tbsp adobo sauce, from chipotle can, add less for people who don’t like spice
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • 5 oz frozen, chopped spinach (half of a 10 oz bag)

Instructions

  1. Slice sausage into ¼ inch thick circles. Dice onion and bell peppers. Dice chipotle pepper. Measure 1 teaspoon salt and seasonings into a bowl.

  2. Place large pot or pan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan and let oil heat until it crackles when water is added.

  3. Add sausage to pot and sear 1-2 minutes until browned. Remove sausage to a plate with a spoon. 

  4. Add bell peppers, onions, and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt to pot. Sauté 2-3 minutes until cooked but still crisp. Remove vegetables to plate.

  5. Add quinoa, water, spices, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce to pot. Stir to combine. Make sure all quinoa is submerged under the water. Quinoa left on sides of pot will not cook. 

  6. Cover quinoa. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Simmer quinoa for 12-15 minutes until all water is absorbed.

  7. Remove lid and add cream to the quinoa. Raise heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all cream is absorbed 5-10 minutes. 

  8. Stir in the peppers, onion, sausage, and spinach. Stir about 1 minute until spinach is warmed. 

  9. Season to taste with salt and chipotle sauce. Serve hot with your favorite vegetable.

Yum, yum, yum! Cajun spinach quinoa! Say it with me! Cajun spinach quinoa is definitely one of my new favorite meals. The spinach, the cream, the spice, the sausage! It’s all so delicious. I did not put spinach in this on my first attempt and I was shocked at how much better it is with spinach. Seriously, when is spinach the hero of a dish? It’s your day to shine spinach!

Searing meat is one of the things that elevates food to the next level. There’s something about sausage that makes this statement especially true. If you want a restaurant-quality dish you should almost always sear your meat! Sear your meat! Sorry for being so demanding.

Also, let’s talk about seasoning to taste. I’m going to channel Chef John for a moment. He teaches  how to achieve restaurant-style cooking at home and he loves to emphasize this. If something is under-salted it is your responsibility to fix it! Taste it! Get out the salt shaker! Salt it! Wow, I’m feeling really demanding today. This goes for spice too. If you’re not sure about the spice level start off with no adobo sauce and then add it to taste at the end. I think the heat really adds to this dish. My girls did not agree. To each their own.

This dish makes me think southern comfort food. It would not be out of place at some of the local barbecue places around here. Don’t miss out on this super delicious meal!

Enjoy!

Cajun Spinach Quinoa – Get Hooked on Cooking – This comfort food dish will give you all the warmth you need during this crisp fall season. It is packed with healthy ingredients to balance out the smoked sausage and heavy cream. Creamy, dreamy, smoky, spicy, cajun spinach quinoa has it all.

Awesome & Healthy Korean-Inspired Veggie Pancakes

Korean food is delicious. The drawback of some ethnic food is it can be hard to replicate without special ingredients. But you won’t find any tricky techniques or hard-to-find ingredients in this easy recipe. It is packed with vegetables, but tastes like a sinful cheat meal. Try it today! 

Awesome & Healthy Korean-Inspired Veggie Pancakes


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

Pancakes:

  • 2 carrots (~ 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 medium yellow squash (~ 2 cups)
  • 1 medium zucchini (~ 2 cups)
  • 2 bunches of green onion (~ 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (or an additional 1 cup all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ¾ cup water
  • vegetable oil for frying

Dipping sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 green onion minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions

  1. Cut off the stem ends of the zucchini, squash, and carrots. Don't peel. Use a spoon to scrape out the soft, seedy part of the zucchini and squash.
  2. Use a food processor to grate the carrots, squash, and zucchini.
  3. Slice off the roots of the green onions and the top 3 inches. Thinly slice. All the vegetables together should total about 7 cups. Add additional vegetables as needed.

  4. Add vegetables, flour, chickpea flour, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Mix until vegetables are covered with flour.
  5. Add beaten eggs and water to vegetable/flour mixture. Mix to combine.

  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Let oil heat through. Spread about ¾ cup veggie mixture as thinly as possible in the pan. Having holes in your pancake is better than having it too thick so don't hold back. Spread it thin.

  7. Cook about 5 minutes. Bottom should be well browned. Lift pancake and add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if the pan is dry. Flip pancake. (Don't be scared. They hold together well.) Cook pancake about 3 minutes.

  8. To make dipping sauce mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve pancake hot with dipping sauce.

This dish is closely related to jeon, a Korean pancake. I was first introduced to jeon by my cousin’s husband. He loves Korean food since he lived in Korea for 2 years during his church mission. Well it is delicious, so I tried to replicate it at home and it is easy to make!

This differs from authentic jeon because I use chickpea flour to replace some of the white flour. If you don’t want to bother with chickpea flour feel free to use all purpose flour. Chickpea flour adds extra protein and has fewer carbs than regular flour. Win-win.

Look at all those veggies! I left all my vegetables unpeeled (yes, even my carrots) and you should too! It doesn’t change the flavor but it does make it a lot easier. Use the grater on your food processor to make this recipe in a snap!

This is a great dish to introduce kids gently to new flavors. My picky toddler refused to try this the first two times I made it. Then the third time she took a tiny bite and asked for a second tiny bite. Then she asked for bread with honey. But that’s progress in my book.

Enjoy!

Awesome & Healthy Korean-Inspired Veggie Pancakes – Get Hooked on Cooking – Korean food is delicious. The drawback of some ethnic food is it can be hard to replicate without special ingredients. But you won’t find any tricky techniques or hard-to-find ingredients in this easy recipe. It is packed with vegetables, but tastes like a sinful cheat meal. Try it today!