healthy

Focaccia Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Focaccia Grilled Chicken SandwichIf you missed my love story about focaccia, you can read it here. The love is real. So real, in fact, that my recipe makes 2 whole loaves of the magical bread. That’s stupendous if you are having guests for dinner. It might even be stupendous if you are super duper hungry and plan to eat an entire loaf in one sitting. Don’t judge, please. I can neither confirm nor deny that this may or may not have happened.

Focaccia Grilled Chicken SandwichHowever, since it’s currently just Travis and I typically eating the focaccia recipe at our house, we usually have plenty of leftovers. Perfect for creative leftover recipes like this focaccia grilled chicken sandwich! I’d like to say that this is a totally Italian take on a chicken sandwich…But then I threw some guacamole in there and made it a bit of a mutt of a recipe. Sorry I’m not sorry about that. It’s too delicious to be sorry.

Why is this focaccia chicken sandwich a winner? The bread is salty and rich, the cheese and guac are creamy, and the chicken and veggies are fresh and delicious. Oh, and then throw some herbs/spices on there and BOOM! You have a taste explosion. In your mouth.

Focaccia Grilled Chicken SandwichSo, first make the focaccia and enjoy it for all it’s worth with some pasta or whatever you may desire. Then, take what’s left and make yourself a sandwich that will leave you asking for more.

Focaccia Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Yields 4
Chicken sandwich with an Italian twist...focaccia bread, mozzarella cheese, and Italian herbs
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 thick loaf of focaccia*
  2. 1 pound grilled chicken, sliced
  3. 4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (about 6-8 ounces total)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian herb blend
  5. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  6. 4 leaves of romaine lettuce
  7. 1 tomato, sliced
  8. guacamole (about 2 tablespoons per sandwich)
Instructions
  1. Slice the focaccia loaf into quarters. Slice each quarter in half so there is a top and bottom half.
  2. On a parchment lined baking sheet, place the bottom halves of the focaccia topped with the grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, oregano/Italian herb blend, and red pepper flakes. Put the top halves of bread on the baking sheet next to the bottoms halves, cut side up (so they can toast).
  3. Broil on high until the cheese melts and the bread is lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add lettuce, tomato, and guacamole.
Notes
  1. *I used my focaccia recipe to make this sandwich.
  2. This is only a guide to a sandwich. Please, make it your own with this recipe as a starting point! Then share what you made in the comments!
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

No Salt Taco Seasoning

Taco SeasoningI know I’m a bit late here but I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and new year celebration! I find it hard to write 2017 on anything without wondering where 2016 went. Thinking back, this past year has sure been one to remember. Travis and I suddenly transformed from a couple to a family of 3 in a blink of an eye when our little guy arrived in August. There have been so many sleepless nights and diaper changes and too little time for cooking but we’ve made it so far!

Taco SeasoningOur first 2017 adventure involves wondering if we need a larger house. It’s funny how a house that seemed to work so well with the 2 of us gets loaded down so quickly with endless things for a tiny human being. He’s SO little…yet he requires SO MUCH stuff. My mind is baffled by that. Between looking what seems to be nonstop at houses online and a couple houses in person, I have to admit that I haven’t had a lot of extra time to come up with new and exciting recipes. What do I do when I have no time? I revert to my “go to” dishes that are simple and quick. Tacos are just that. And this taco seasoning can’t get much more simple!

My favorite part of this seasoning is that if I have ground meat (which is usually something I have in my freezer), I can make tacos with the spices already in my pantry! Don’t have tortillas?? What to do, what to do? I make them with this also simple but *amazing* recipe!

I’m sorry that I’m making it hard for you to come up with excuses not to make tacos. I’m not really sorry though because it’s hard to be sorry for something like that. I mean, they’re delicious. Top these tacos with a little salsa, guac, lettuce, and cheese and you’re on your way to an amazing meal. If you’re feeling fancy, make some rice or beans as a side and then it’s an extra special taco night!

So whether you’re busy like I am, or have all the time in the world, here’s to a new year with new adventures and more cooking!

No Salt Taco Seasoning
Easy homemade no salt taco seasoning
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Prep Time
1 min
Prep Time
1 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  2. 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  3. 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  4. 1 teaspoon paprika
  5. 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes (or powder)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in airtight container or spice jar.
Notes
  1. To use with taco meat, brown 1 pound of ground turkey or beef in a skillet. Drain the excess fat. Add 1.5-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and a splash of water (about 1/4 cup) to the skillet along with the ground meat. Combine until the meat is coated with seasoning.
Adapted from A Chookie Chookie
Adapted from A Chookie Chookie
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Would I call this a dressing? A Sauce? Yummy stuff I would eat by the spoonful straight out of the jar? Um…I mean I would never do that. I’m way too ladylike. WAY to ladylike *cough, cough*.

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Whatever the case, and whatever you would like call this recipe, just make it. This creamy avocado-y yogurt-y goodness is totally worth trying at least once in your life. And then you will realize that once is not enough and decide it’s worth trying at least 1000 more times. More or less.

Creamy Avocado DressingThis recipe is loosely based off of a ranch-style dressing so it’s perfect for salads (I *love* this on a taco salad!). I also put it in a buffalo chicken wrap. Incredible way to cool down a spicy wrap! This would also be amazing as just a sauce for spicy grilled chicken or fish. OH MY! Anything spicy should automatically be paired with this dressing/sauce. No questions asked.

Creamy Avocado DressingMy recipe has buttermilk in it (since, like I said, it’s kind of based off of a ranch dressing), but you can totally up the amount of yogurt or olive oil if you don’t have buttermilk. I just love the buttermilk to give it that extra creamy, decadent texture. AHHH, I made this awhile ago and just talking about it makes me want to make it again. Like right now. SO GOOD!

Creamy Avocado DressingLet me get to dreaming about what to put this dressing on next. I expect to hear soon what you used this avocado magic dressing on (that’s what I should have called it…magic dressing). Yum!

Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing
Creamy, ranch-style avocado dressing
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium avocado
  2. 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  3. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  4. 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons lime juice (or juice from about 1 lime)
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  7. 1 tablespoon diced fresh chives
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. olive oil, optional, to reach desired thickness
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the olive oil) in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add olive oil (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and blend if the dressing is too thick.
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Roasted Kohlrabi and Potatoes

Kohlrabi and PotatoesHaving a newborn has completely changed my view of food. My food thoughts these days consist of things such as: “How can a little baby pack away that much food? He must be a magician,” and “I’m SOO hungry…I will eat anything. Seriously. Anything.” (Breastfeeding moms, are you with me there? I can eat all day and still be hungry). Oh, and my favorite recently pondered question is whether or not I have somehow turned from human to milk-making machine. Because sometimes I feel like that’s my new job. Actually, that is my new job along with professional cuddler, diaper changer and swaddler. I’m learning on the job. I think my client is happy but he doesn’t talk yet.

Kohlrabi and PotatoesAlong with these very deep and profound thoughts (hey, they’re profound if you’ve been sleep deprived), there’s just no more TIME! I was always the person that used cooking and baking as my calming factor after a busy day. Kind of like yoga for someone who can’t balance on one foot. No joke, I made a hot dog the other day on an indoor electric grill and was proud of myself for the amazing feat I accomplished…I don’t even like hot dogs! Well, except for at a good summer cookout. But that was one good hot dog because I made it myself! One step at a time…I’ll get back to making full meals I’m sure!

So I guess where I’m going with all this rambling is that despite the fact that the next several recipes I’ll post, including this kohlrabi and potato recipe, are fairly simple and 100% delicious, I was smart enough to stock up on recipes and photos prior to baby’s arrival. I don’t feel like you all would be impressed with a recipe on how to make a hot dog. Just a hunch.

Kohlrabi and PotatoesBack to the reason you’re here…I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of potatoes so let’s jump right to the kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is a mystery ingredient for many. I must admit I had no clue what it was or how to use it prior to acquiring this fine specimen from VanScoy Farms awhile back (again, I made this before the little guy arrived). After some research, I found a simple recipe and was on my way. I personally think kohlrabi kind of tastes like brussels sprouts a little. You can disagree though. I won’t take it personally.

Kohlrabi and PotatoesTo prep the kohlrabi, remove any stem or leaves. Slice it into quarters and cut the core out. Peel the kohlrabi through the outer fibrous layers (if you have a bigger kohlrabi like I did, make sure to get through all the outer layers to the completely white part or you’ll end up with tough sections. I learned from experience). After that, you’re ready to dice and use!

Kohlrabi and Potatoes

Roasted Kohlrabi and Potatoes
Serves 4
Simple and tasty roasted vegetables
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. 1 pound petite potatoes, halved if large
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. zest from 1/2 lemon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1.5 teaspoons fresh)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1.5 teaspoons fresh)
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place diced kohlrabi and potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper over the top and toss. Spread out vegetables into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, toss, then bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
Notes
  1. You can use larger potatoes, such as red potatoes. Just cube them into pieces the same size as the kohlrabi.
Adapted from Sweet Phi
Adapted from Sweet Phi
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Sesame Ginger Green Beans

Sesame Ginger Green BeansThere’s nothing more summer-like than fresh green beans. So green and fresh and crisp. YUM! We’re growing green beans in our backyard…the rabbit that keeps popping up around our yard appears to enjoy them. There are lots of blooms on our green bean plants. The baby green beans look like they have great potential. Usually the day after I notice a couple green beans that are close to full grown we find some nice stems that were eaten clean by that very sneaky bunny.

Sesame Ginger Green BeansHowever, I have to say that I did save 1 green bean from said rabbit and it can be seen here in these pictures! Yes, one single green bean. A little sad, but still, I’m like a proud parent. I have no idea which lonely green bean is ours unfortunately, but it’s in there! The rest came from my mother-in-law, who brought them from VanScoy Farms, so I could still be assured that they would be fresh and delicious.

Sesame Ginger Green BeansThis recipe is little different from other green bean recipes with its slightly Asian inspired ingredients. I guess you could say I’m embracing the spirit of the Olympics and thinking more global. Plus they’re delicious. Let’s be honest, delicious is my main concern here. Also, slightly spicy, which adds a new and interesting flavor to the green beans. I’m so used to the typical salt and pepper take on fresh green beans, which is also delicious, I may add. This just seems like a great way to “spice” up your green bean eating experience…no pun intended. Ok, pun intended.

Sesame Ginger Green BeansSpeaking of the Olympics, have any of you been sucked into the games like I have? I’ll start by saying that I don’t know much about sports. The only sport I ever participated in was cross country. If anyone knows the rules to cross country you know there aren’t any really. Pretty much just stay on the path and run the fastest. However, I somehow legitimately feel like I’m a sports expert all of a sudden for every summer sport ever. Travis and I have no problem doling out scores on gymnastics and diving, talking about who has the best chance for swimming or cycling based on their turns and form, and watching beach volleyball like our lives depend on it. I’m pretty sure the irony only grows when you think about the fact that I’m almost 9 months pregnant, sitting on the couch, and eating ice cream while this occurs. Maybe I’m living vicariously through the athletes, remembering what it was like to touch my toes…

Sesame Ginger Green Beans
Serves 3
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
  2. 1 tablespoon honey
  3. 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  9. 1/2 cup frozen peas
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
  11. 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. While it is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath by adding ice to a large bowl of water.
  2. Add the beans to the boiling water for approximately 4 minutes (a little less if they are small or more if they are large). Remove beans from the water with tongs and place directly in the ice bath. This will help stop the cooking and keep the beans bright green. Let them sit about 5 minutes in the ice water.
  3. Drain the beans and pat dry with a towel. You can refrigerate them at this point to finish later, if desired.
  4. Mix the honey, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha in a bowl.
  5. Pour sauce mixture into a large saute pan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the sauce becomes bubbly (about 2 minutes).
  6. Add in green beans. Heat until warm. Add in peas and salt and pepper, to taste. Saute until peas are heated through. Top with sesame seeds.
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/