feta

Asparagus and Dried Cherry Arugula Chicken Salad

The idea for this salad came from the idea of transitioning from summer to fall. It combines some ingredients I personally relate a little more to summer (i.e. asparagus and cherries) and pulls them together with some fall flavors. 

As I was making this, I started to question myself. Do this really work together? But at the end of it all, I was definitely happy with the final result. Not only does it look good, but it blends sweet, salty, savory and of course summer and fall really well.

Here's what you'll need:

-4 cups baby arugula
-12 spears of cooked asparagus, cut into fourths (I baked mine at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes)
-5 oz cooked chicken (mine was baked but feel free to cook on stovetop, grill, etc.)
-1/4 cup walnuts, chopped or in pieces
-1/4 cup red onion, chopped
-4 tbsp feta
-2 tbsp dried cherries
-1 tbsp maple syrup

For the dressing:

-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp maple syrup
-1 tbsp water 

Instructions:

1) In a pan on the stove top, heat the red onion for about a minute over medium high heat.
2) Add in the walnut, turn down to medium, and let cook for about another minute.
3) Add in the tablespoon of maple syrup, and allow it to coat the nuts and onion. Cook for about a minute, and remove from heat.
4) In two bowls, split the arugula. Top each with half of the feta, asparagus, dried cherries, chicken, and walnut and onion mixture.
5) In a bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Top each salad bowl with half of the dressing.
6) Enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comment below, and feel free to subscribe for e-mail updates!


 

Spiralized Zucchini Summer Salad with Balsamic Chicken

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If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a huge fan of grilling. I'd probably be just fine (if not really happy) grilling most of my meals. It's pretty simple. You can make a delicious marinade and just let your ingredients soak it up the fridge for a bit before throwing it on the grill, or you can just add some seasoning and throw it on.  Then you flip it over a couple of times, and, voila, a delicious, flavorful meal. Plus, in the meantime, you can prepare whatever else you need for your dish.

As August is creeping by (it's somehow almost half way over), I want to utilize that grill as much as possible. I decided to use another of my favorite tools, the spiralizer, to make a fresh, summer-inspired salad.

Here's what you'll need:

-3 chicken breasts (the nutrition info accounts for 5 oz chicken breasts)
-1 1/2 large or 2 medium sized zucchini, spiralized (I used the ribbon blade but any will do)
-1/2 avocado, cubed
-1 ear of corn
-1/2 large tomato, cubed
-1/8 red onion, chopped
-1 granny smith apple, cubed
-6 tbsp feta

For the marinade:
-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-1 clove of garlic, minced
-A dash of Himalayan sea salt
-A dash of black pepper

For the dressing:
-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-1 tbsp olive oil
-3 tsp spicy brown mustard
-1/2 clove of garlic, minced
-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag, add the chicken, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes to an hour (the longer the better).
2) Heat up the grill.
3) Peel down the husk of the corn (without removing) and discard of the corn silk. Pull the husk back up to cover the corn, and toss it on the grill. The corn will cook for a total of 20-25 minutes (rotating every 5 minutes or so).
3) After about 5 minutes, add the chicken to the grill. The chicken will cook for about 7 minutes on each side.
4) In the meantime, chop up your ingredients if you haven't already done so, and make the dressing.
5) Remove the chicken and corn from the grill when they are done cooking.
6) Let the chicken sit for about 5 minutes, and then cut it into slices.
7) Cut the corn kernels off the cob.
8) You can either mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl or create individual bowls. I tend to do the latter. Add the raw zucchini noodles. Top them with apple, onion, tomato, avocado, corn, feta, and finally the chicken. Add on some dressing, and enjoy!

The mixture of the raw zucchini plus  the fresh tomatoes, apple, and onion mixed with the grilled chicken and corn is the perfect summer meal. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and let me know what you think below! Also feel free to sign up for (free) e-mail updates on new posts.

Spiralized Greek Salad with Chicken

I’m not sure if my extreme love for Greek salads is shared everywhere, of if it’s a tri-state area thing. Either way, everyone should try a Greek salad. It is a perfect mix of everything that is delicious. The sweetness from the red onion and tomato mixed with the saltiness of feta and olives, and don’t even get me started on the dressing. They’re just amazing and also versatile. They can easily be made vegetarian of vegan, or you can add in some anchovies or chicken.

I had my first (and favorite) Greek salad at a diner. I still go to this specific diner just for the Greek salad. They’re typically made with lettuce, onion, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, feta, and sometimes bell peppers and anchovies. I decided to take one of my all-time favorite salads, and give it a little twist using my spiralizer.

Here's what you'll need:

For the chicken:
-8 oz chicken breast, cubed (about 1” cubes)
-1/2 tbsp olive oil
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-1/2 tsp oregano
-dash of salt and pepper

For the salad:
-2 cucumbers, spiralized (I used the 2nd blade for a little bit of a thicker cucumber noodle)
-2/3 large tomato, chopped
-1/8 of a red onion, chopped
-20 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
-6 anchovy filets (optional)
-4 tbsp feta

For the dressing:
-2 tbsp red (or white) wine vinegar
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1/4 tsp oregano
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-salt and pepper to tast

Instructions:

1) Heat up the 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, and add the clove of garlic. Gook for about a minute, and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink (about 10-12 minutes).
2) Add the 1/2 tsp oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for an additional minute or two to make sure that the chicken is fully cooked through. Remove from heat.
3) Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, and set aside.
4) In two bowls, split the cucumber noodles. Top each with half of the onion, tomatoes, olives, and feta. Add anchovies as desired.
5) Top each bowl with half of the chicken.
6) Add desired amount of dressing, and enjoy!

If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, feel free to leave off any meat and/or cheese. It will still be delicious, trust me! Let me know what you think, and please subscribe to e-mail updates for new blog posts below.

Arugula, Feta, & Balsamic Red Onion Omelet

Everybody has one of those weekends where you come to Monday feeling bloated and full. I wanted to start off my morning with something of substance, but I didn't want something too heavy. That is where this omelet came into play. It's a vegetarian omelet with some added freshness and a nice combination of sweet, salty, and bitter flavors.

Here's what you'll need:

-1 egg, 2 egg whites (3 eggs total)
-2 1/2 tbsp of feta cheese
-1/4 cup of fresh arugula
-1/8 red onion chopped
-1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) In a bowl whisk together the 1 full egg and 2 egg whites. If you so choose you may make it all egg whites, all full eggs, or whatever combination you're feeling. I chose 1 egg and 2 egg whites to make it a little lighter, but I still get the healthy fats of the 1 egg yolk.
2) Heat up a skillet and toss in the chopped red onion. Let the onion cook for about a minute or so.
3) Add in the balsamic vinegar to the onion and continue to cook for another minute.
4) Remove the onion from the pan and place to the side. Wipe the pan clean.
5) Add the egg mixture to the pan and cover. This allows the steam from the pan to cook the top side of the eggs as well. Once the eggs are no longer runny, flip over the egg mixture.
6) Add feta evenly on top of the egg mixture and re-cover to melt the cheese a bit. At this point you can reduce or even turn off the heat.
7) After about a minute, add the arugula and red onion to the top of the eggs. Fold the omelet over and serve.

I chose to add a side of baked aspargus because I'm a sucker for asparagus. Other good side options might be a slice of Ezekiel toast with avocado and flax seed or mixed fruit if you aren't a fan of asparagus. I hope you enjoy, and I'd love to hear what you think!

Spinach and Feta Turkey Meatballs Over Zucchini and Quinoa Linguine

I try to go food shopping every Sunday with a meal plan in mind for the week, but this week not so much. I picked up a lot of vegetables and some pretty standard proteins that I knew I'd have no problem using. Tuesday comes, and I was sitting at work thinking about what's for dinner (as I often do). I know I have this ground turkey sitting in the fridge, but I just didn't feel like a taco salad or a burger. How about a meatball? Spaghetti and meatballs? Meh still kind of boring. I start running through the list of what's in my fridge. I started with feta which ultimately led me to this kind of Mediterranean inspired twist on spaghetti and meatballs.

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Here's what you'll need:

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For the Meatballs:
-1 lb of ground turkey
-1 clove of garlic
-1 egg
-1/4 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs
-1/2 cup of spinach, chopped
-1/4 cup of green onion (white and green parts), chopped
-1/4 cup of feta
-Salt and pepper to taste

For the Pasta:
-2 zucchinis, spiralized
-1/2 lb of quinoa linguine
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 clove of garlic
-1 tomato, chopped
-1 tbsp of capers
-Oregano and red pepper flakes to taste

-Sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese to top it all off

Instructions:

Meatballs:
1) Thoroughly mix the ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, green onion, feta, garlic, spinach, salt, and pepper by hand in a large bowl.
2) Shape meatballs about 2" in diameter and place evenly on a baking sheet (should form about 6 meatballs) and bake at 400 degrees for 20 mins.

Pasta:
1) Cook the quinoa pasta according to directions - generally around 6-9 minutes.
2) Cut off the ends of the zucchinis and spiralize each.
3) On a stove top, heat up the olive oil in a pan with garlic. Once the pan is hot and garlic has cooked for about 30 seconds, add the zucchini noodles. Cook for a few minutes (3 to 5 on medium high heat) until the noodles are softened. Add in red pepper flakes and oregano as desired and remove from heat.
4) Once the quinoa linguine is cooked, add it in with the zucchini noodles.
5) Add in capers and fresh tomato and mix.
6) Serve pasta mixture, top with two meatballs, and sprinkle with desired parmesan cheese.

This meal will make about 3 servings, so feel free to increase or decrease amounts accordingly.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!