Yogurt Lemon Dip

yogurt lemon dip

If you’re like most, you tend to make the same things for dinner over and over again. Whether it be because you’re pressed for time and you know exactly what you can whip up in 15 minutes or you try to make your fussy eater happy while everyone else at the dinner table groans because this is the third night this week you’ve grilled chicken.

I came up with this a few weeks ago and it has become a “regular” at my dinner table.  It doesn’t matter if I’m grilling chicken or shrimp.  It goes with so many different entree’s… for instance, lamb burgers!  And if you’re not adventurous on a weeknight, try this dip spread on warm naan and baked turkey meatballs!  I’ve even gone as far as munching on gluten free, brown rice crackers with this dip while preparing dinner!  I can’t get enough of it!  The lemony-garlic combo is perfection!  (That is, if you like lemon and garlic) 🙂

Try it next time you want to liven up that grilled chicken.  Let me know what you think!  Enjoy!!

Yogurt Lemon Dip

1 container plain Greek Yogurt

Zest from 1/2 Lemon

1 Garlic Clove – minced

1 handful fresh Flat Leaf Parsley – chopped

Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour for flavors to meld.  Keeps in refrigerator 5 days.

Greek Quinoa Salad

quinoa salad

This past weekend I hosted a Gluten Free / Vegetarian Party.  What a great party!  The house was full of friends, laughs, food, & wine… what more could you want on a Friday night?

My buffet table was jam-packed with the most beautiful array of bright colors from the raw salads to the homemade veggie dips to the golden hue of the butternut squash & carrot soup.  Not  only do I have the most amazing group of friends… they can all cook like a master chef!

I made a brown rice & quinoa salad with roasted vegetables. Nothing too fancy or too complicated. But when I make a dish like this,  I typically like to cook “more than enough” grains so I have them for the rest of the week.  It makes preparing lunches and dinners a lot easier when crunched for time.

Today I made a quick salad with the leftover quinoa.  I added a few of my favorite vegetables, my favorite cheese and some grilled chicken.  The flavors reminded me of a greek salad. So there you have it… Viola!  Greek Quinoa Salad!  It always seems to be the things we whip up without following a recipe that become our favorite meals.  This is definitely one of them!

You can keep it vegetarian… just omit the grilled chicken.  🙂

GREEK QUINOA SALAD (w/ Grilled Chicken)

2 Cups cooked Quinoa

1 Cucumber, diced

1/2 pint Grape Tomatoes, diced

1/4 Red Onion – sliced thin

1 Small Red Pepper – diced

Handful of fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley

1/2 Cup pitted Kalamata Olives

1 Cup crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 TBS fresh Dill – chopped

Salt  & Pepper

2 Grilled Chicken Breasts – cut into bite sized people

Combine all vegetables with the Quinoa.  Whisk oil & vinegar  with dill and salt & pepper.  Pour over salad.  Add grilled chicken.  Toss with wooden spoon.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving.  Serves 4.  (Keeps refrigerated 5 days)

quinoa salad

Crunchy “Garbage” Salad

crunchy garbage salad

Salads that go “crunch!” are my favorite!  The raw, wholesome, beautiful colors of a slew of veggies mixed together always inspire me to continue to eat healthy on a daily basis.

garbage salad prep1

Don’t let the word “garbage” scare you.  It’s just a play on words from when I first came up with this salad.  As you can probably guess, I was cleaning out my refrigerator at the time.  I have been making this salad for my family, friends, and clients for the past 7 years.  And every time I make it, it’s a new creation.  I always start with organic broccoli but one day I may have a few stalks of bok choy instead of celery.  The vegetables can change each time… it’s a preference thing.  If you like cauliflower over broccoli, use it instead.  Play with your food!  Use my recipes as a starting point, but get creative in your kitchen.  Use the foods you like.  Look at the colors when all combined… if it’s raw vegetables in a rainbow of colors it most likely will taste amazing!   The fresh flavors of it all will never disappoint!  Let me know what you come up with!

JACQUI’S CRUNCHY GARBAGE SALAD:

1 head organic broccoli – cut into bite sized pieces

1 red pepper – diced

1 cucumber – diced

2 stalks of celery – diced

1 zucchini – diced

1/4 red onion – sliced thin, cut small

2 carrots – diced

1 handful grape tomatoes – diced

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup black beans (canned, rinsed well)

1 cup raw cashews

4 TBS olive oil

3 TBS balsamic vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients in large bowl – adjust vinegar to oil ratio if needed (depending upon taste) and add salt & pepper. Let sit room temperature about ½ hour until all absorbed. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

Serves 4

Chia Breakfast Pudding

chia pudding 2

Every so often I try to come up with a new breakfast.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good omelette or homemade oatmeal pancakes (I’ll be posting that recipe soon!) but somewhere along the way I like to just delve into something as healthy as a fruit & vegetable smoothie but a little heartier; a little different.

I know Chia “Pudding” is nothing new, but there are so many add in’s to try to change it up a bit.  Today’s recipe I used unsweetened Almond milk – but in the past I’ve used Chai Tea and Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Soy Milk and even just filtered water.  My favorite is the Chai Tea… it adds more depth to the flavor.

I usually serve my chia pudding with blueberries but I’ve also prepared it using strawberries and mango.  And because I like the crunch factor, I always use nuts!  Next time, I’m thinking of using granola.  Depending on your tastes, you can add in Raw Honey, Cinnamon, Mint, Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, etc.  But feel free to use what you prefer.  Make your own creation 🙂  Get creative!  Have fun with breakfast again!  And let me know what you come up with… I’d love to hear what your favorite “mix-ins” are!

BLUEBERRY & ALMOND CHIA BREAKFAST PUDDING

3/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

3 tsp. Raw Organic Honey

1 tsp.  Vanilla extract

4 tsp Organic Chia Seeds

1 TBS Organic Blueberries

Combine first 4 ingredients.  In a serving glass place blueberries in the bottom and pour mixture over them.  Refrigerate until set (about an hour or 2).  Once set, sprinkle Organic Cinnamon, Chopped Almonds and some Blueberries.  Drizzle with another teaspoon of Raw Honey.    Serving: 1  (Recipe can be doubled)

Brown Rice Salad

brown rice salad2

Build your body healthy with this quick recipe!

It’s the  perfect lunch or mid-day snack!

We should always have the right protein, the right grain and the right greens in each of our daily meals.    A complete breakfast would be a green smoothie consisting of dark, leafy kale and/or spinach, apple, banana, hemp hearts and almond milk.  Throw in a few berries if you aren’t too crazy about drinking a  “green” drink.

images spinach

Lunchtime can be the most difficult time of the day for most of us to eat a healthy meal.  We all want something quick and easy; yet filling and good for us.  Try this healthy Brown Rice Salad…  you can use leftover Brown Rice or cook a few cups to have throughout the week to use and get creative with ingredients you have on hand.

BROWN RICE SALAD:

1 Cup Brown Rice

1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries (or Cherries)

2 Cups Baby Arugula (or Spinach or Kale)

1/2 Cup Raw Almonds (or Raw Cashews)

Salt & Pepper

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1 TBS Olive Oil

Serves 2

*Can add crumbled Feta Cheese

** Can add shredded grilled Chicken

Hope you like this as much as I do!  Let me know!  Enjoy!!

Spicy Chicken w/ Arugula Salad

spicy chicken hero

It’s time to spice things up in the kitchen on these cold February nights!

If you’re like me, you crave comfort foods during winter months.  Even though I live in the south, the nights get cool (if not cold) and it’s dark by 6:15PM every evening.  We can easily get stuck in the mindset when we hear “comfort food” we tend to think it equals “A LOT of time in the kitchen”.   Therefore, we may not even want to attempt anything “comforting”; but this recipe is different! The warm, smokey spices bring just enough heat and the sauce just enough comfort!  I added a quick Arugula Salad (got this tip from my sister.  Thanks Christina!!)…  just toss a bag of baby arugula with store bought “greek salad” (found in the deli section usually) and sprinkle with pink himalayan sea salt. Viola! Done!  (Honestly, I could make a meal out of that alone!!)

spicy chicken skillet

What I love most about this sauce… it literally thickens in about 2 minutes!  No standing idly by the stove, constantly stirring.  Its quick and delicious!  What more can we want during the week??!!

SPICY CHICKEN

3 Chicken Breasts

Salt & Pepper

3 cloves Garlic – minced

2 quick dashes of Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 TBS Butter

2 TBS Olive Oil

1/4 Cup 1/ & 1/2

1/4 Cup Cream Cheese

Make a “paste” using the garlic, cayenne, paprika and mustard.  Salt & pepper the chicken breasts.  Rub the chicken pieces (both sides) with the paste.  Heat a skillet on medium heat – warm the oil and butter and place the chicken so as not touching each other.  Cover 3/4 of the pan and let the chicken brown & simmer about 15 minutes (depending upon thickness) and turn.  Recover 3/4 of the top and continue cooking until cooked through (an additional 10 – 15 minutes – again, depending upon thickness).  Transfer chicken to plate.  Whisk in 1/2 & 1/2 and cream cheese until well blended; add the chicken back to the skillet and let simmer on low heat in sauce for about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh flat leaf parsley and serve with sauce either on the side or drizzled over the chicken.   Serves 4

** If this is too spicy for you or your loved ones, you can serve plain greek yogurt on the side to cool things down a bit.

spicy chicken plated

Let me know if you decide to make this… and what you think!  I’d love to hear your responses!!  Enjoy!!