Category Archives: Meals

Entertaining with Asian Spring Rolls

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

Yesterday, here in Madison, it was the hottest day of the year so far. .  79 degrees!!! It was glorious. I love how the weather causes people to have a smile on their face and a spring in their step. I picked up some tulips and channeled my inner Ina and put a little bouquet together.

The warm, perfect weather and flowers always make me happy. And I love seeing spring produce everywhere.

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

Spring rolls aren’t new here on my blog but these spring-inspired ones are!

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

I used all the spring veggies I could get my hands on.  . can you see the mangos, fennel and spinach? Ah, these spring rolls were sooooooo good. I’m sharing my tips and suggestions for Entertaining at Home with Asian Spring Rolls on the Kitchenthusiast KitchenAid blog.

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

If you’ve never had an Asian food inspired party, you need to. They are so fun and, with these spring rolls, we’re talking delicious, easy, and fresh food, and you can even set up the table DIY style!

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

For me, it’s not a successful spring roll party unless you have a great dipping sauce. Making your own peanut sauce at home is super easy so please try to make your own . . you won’t regret it and it will taste so much better than buying a bottle at the Asian market. Click over for my peanut sauce recipe!

Enjoy!!

Entertaining with Asian Spring Rolls
 
Recipe yields: 25 full-size spring rolls, or 50 when cut in half
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer or Main
Cuisine: Asian

Ingredients
For the peanut sauce:
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • Roasted peanuts for topping, optional
For the spring rolls:
  • 1 package Rice Paper Wraps for Spring rolls (available at all Asian markets; look for the large round ones, comes with 25 sheets of rice paper)
  • Large bowl of very hot water
For the spring medley spring rolls:
  • 4 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 2 mangos, peeled and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 10 to 12 asparagus spears, blanched
  • 1 to 2 cups radicchio, chopped thin
  • 1 to 2 cups raw fennel, sliced thin (white bulb part only)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
For the traditional version spring rolls:
  • ½ large Daikon radish, peeled and cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half crosswise
  • 3 to 4 cups green leaf lettuce, shredded or chopped
  • ½ pound fresh shrimp, peeled and cooked
  • ½ large red bell pepper, sliced thin lengthwise
  • 1 bunch fresh green onions or scallions, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

Instructions
For the peanut sauce:
  1. Using a large to medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients, from the peanut butter to the sesame oil.
  2. For the rest of the instructions and to see the full recipe card, please visit The Kitchenthusiast blog.

To see the complete recipe card, to read my post and to get my tips, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

Delicious Vietnamese-style spring rolls made two ways! With fresh in-season spring vegetables and a traditional version! And don’t miss out on this amazing homemade peanut sauce recipe! So easy to make! Step-by-step photos and great tutorial! #springrolls

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with KitchenAid USA. Thank you for supporting me in working with the brands that I use and love.

 

 

Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

At this point, you may be thinking that I have asparagus running through my veins now. Well, that might be the case and I am just fine with that.

I might have a slight asparagus addiction right now. When the people at my local grocery store (who see me a few times a week) tell me I’m going overboard, that will be my sign.

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Until then, here’s yet another way to enjoy asparagus my friends. An asparagus pesto spread that you can put on a sandwich, on a pizza, on crostini, eat with crackers, raw veggie sticks and more!

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

And play around with the recipe. .  add more heat, or don’t. I kept it vegan, so there’s no cheese but some parmesan or pecorino would certainly be a nice addition to this!

I’ve also been obsessed with carrot ribbons, y’all. Break out the vegetable peeler and just go to town. Aren’t they pretty?!

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

The other night we were at my friend’s house for dinner. I actually made this pasta for them and brought over some fruit for dessert. My friend, Rina, is recovering from surgery so friends had sent her ice cream from Santa Barbara (where she used to live) from a place called, McConnell’s, and others brought ice cream from a local place in Madison called The Chocolate Shoppe. So, needless to say, we had a little ice cream party.

This, of course, when I’m in the middle of training and eating healthy and trying to cut down on my sugar in-take. I did have some ice cream. I mean, come on, I couldn’t resist the best ice cream in Santa Barbara and this is the actual flavor name: “This $&@! Just Got Serious”, from The Chocolate Shoppe in Madison. It’s “smooth salted caramel ice cream brimming with rich sea salt fudge and salted cashews.” Damn, it was so good.

So, there will be some faltering in the healthy eating arena I’m sure. .  which will be coupled with big veggie wins like this sandwich.

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Lunch has never looked so good. I loved the asparagus pesto in here, along with all the crunchy veggies and soft, creamy avocado ..  Also, I’m a condiment and dressing freak so I dipped my sandwich in balsamic dressing while I was eating it. .  you can be more civilized and spread your dressing (or hummus on the toasted bread). Veggie lovers, you need to try this!

Power up with this healthy, veggie packed Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto! Fresh, filling and flavorful, this veggie sandwich will not disappoint! #vegan #vegetarian #healthy #vegansandwich

Vegan Power Sandwich with Asparagus Pesto
 
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I used sun dried tomatoes from a jar, packed in olive oil. Leftover asparagus pesto can be enjoyed with crackers, bread or with raw veggies. Prep time includes time to roast the asparagus. You can cut and prep the veggies while the asparagus is on the oven.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2

Ingredients
For the asparagus pesto:
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, hard ends removed, roasted and cut into 2 inch pieces*
  • 3 to 4 sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup whole almonds or almond slices
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • red wine vinegar, to taste
  • light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if needed
For the sandwich:
  • 4 whole wheat bread slices, toasted
  • ½ large cucumber, sliced thin lengthwise
  • raw shaved fennel, white bulb only
  • 1 large tomato, sliced thin
  • 1 large carrot, peeled to create ribbons
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 to 2 ripe avocados, sliced
  • Serve with: Your fave creamy balsamic dressing, or just oil and vinegar or some hummus

Instructions
For the asparagus pesto:
  1. *Let the roasted asparagus cool slightly before placing into the food processor. Place the roasted asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, minced garlic, cilantro and almonds in a food processor and pulse/process a few times until just blended.
  2. Sprinkle in some salt (start with just a pinch) and crushed red pepper flakes, if using, and pulse a few more times to blend together again. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil (if needed) and pulse again. Taste and adjust any ingredients as needed. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
For the sandwich:
  1. Spread the asparagus pesto onto one slice of bread and top with the cucumbers, fennel, tomato slices, carrot ribbons, and sprouts. Top the other slice of toasted bread with the avocado slices and place on top of the other side.
  2. Slice and serve with your fave creamy balsamic dressing, or oil and vinegar or some hummus. Alternatively, you can spread the dressing or hummus on the second slice of toast before placing on top of the other side of the sandwich.

 

More fabulous asparagus pesto recipes to check out:

 

Lemony Pesto Pasta with Asparagus

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

So, I am officially in training mode until June 27th. That’s the day of my friend’s half marathon WE are training for. . I would run it with her, but I will be in Chicago for Eat Write Retreat.  My first ever (and only) half marathon was in 2001 in San Francisco, 14 years ago. Oh my gawd, has it been that long? But, on the up side, I’m proud of myself that I’m still a runner! I decided to join my friend and actually join a running/training group to get back into shape and just for my love of running. Running with a group of people is so much more motivating.

Running, cross training, weight training (my Tracy Anderson workout videos at home), free yoga at our running center and eating healthier. . if I could eat pesto everyday, I would.

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

Just look at this gorgeousness.

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

We’re in April, so I’m all about spinach pesto. I also love to mix in some fresh arugula. .  adds a nice peppery-ness!

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

And then I added roasted asparagus and almonds because I’m still on the asparagus train and will be for the next couple of months!

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

You guys, THIS is the pasta dish to try this weekend. Do it!!!

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

Lemony Pesto Pasta with Asparagus
 
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Recipe yields about 2 cups of pesto. Any leftover pesto can be enjoyed with toasted bread, more pasta or crackers. Cook time includes time to roast the asparagus and cook the pasta.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the pesto:
  • 2 to 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic; whole or minced
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
  • ¼ cup freshly grated (or chunks) of Parmesan
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes if desired
For the pasta:
  • ½ lb. cooked fettuccine
  • 1½ cups spinach pesto
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 spears roasted asparagus with lemon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • sliced almonds
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Combine the spinach, arugula, garlic, and almonds in a food processor and pulse until blended. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined and smooth. Add the Parmesan and pulse until well combined. Season with salt and add the crushed red pepper flakes if using. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
For the pasta:
  1. Using a large saute pan or mixing bowl, combine the cooked, drained pasta with spinach pesto. Mix together until all of the pasta is nicely coated with the pesto and add a light drizzle of olive oil if needed. Add in the roasted asparagus and gently mix together again. Squeeze the juice from ½ a lemon, and sprinkle with sliced almonds and garnish with some freshly grated parmesan if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Click here for the Roasted Asparagus with Lemon recipe.

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

Posts this week that I’ve loved reading:

  1.  Anna’s Beets and Berries Smoothie. I’m making this today! Smoothies, here I come! And I want to see a difference with my complexion!
  2.  Melanie’s post about TheWhole30 ok, where have I been? Who is doing this and who’s had success with this? Why can I not have greek yogurt, peas, chickpeas, lentils or tofu?!! Thinking of doing a modified version of this. If anyone has read the book, It Starts with Food, I’d love to hear from you!
  3.  Amanda’s post on How to Quit Sugar which got me thinking. .

Your tastebuds will have a party with this Lemony Spinach Pesto Pasta with Roasted Asparagus. Flavorful, fresh and so delicious! You have to try this!

The Best Chinese Chicken Salad

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

I always need a week to recover when coming back home from a vacation or trip. That week is spent catching up on laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, emails and I’m always tired just getting the kids back into the swing of things as well. And getting my 4 year old up in the morning and ready for school is a feat in itself. She is so not a morning person.

That first week back home usually means quick and easy dinners: making spaghetti, ordering pizza and picking up a rotisserie chicken. We love rotisserie chicken. I will usually make rice or mashed potatoes and roast some veggies and we are set.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

The other day I discovered two half eaten rotisserie chickens in the fridge, salad, carrots and cabbage. So, it’s like this Chinese Chicken Salad was meant to be.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

I’ve also joined a running group with my friend who is training for a half marathon (I’ll be training and running with them but not running the actual half marathon this time around because I’ll be out of town) so I’m trying to eat healthier and lighter for the next few months.

GNOs (girls night out) don’t count. On those nights, I am allowed whatever I want to eat, drink and dessert. Or two. Because you don’t mess with GNOs. Makes perfect sense to me.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

I had this salad the other day for lunch and devoured it again for dinner. It’s that good.

I wouldn’t call this a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad. .  but it’s close enough and I was able to use what I had in the fridge, which is a win-win in my book. At any given time, if you open my fridge, I’m sure to have a spring mix salad, baby arugula and baby spinach ..  so use what you have.

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

And if you want to go more traditional, pick up some romaine lettuce. Either way, it’s all good.

The dressing, the amazing salad dressing, the fresh real oranges (please don’t use oranges from a can or container), the rotisserie chicken (time saver!) and all the bright, colorful veggies make this salad. I hope you try this soon!

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

The Best Chinese Chicken Salad
 
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Recipe yields a little more than 1 cup of salad dressing.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup brown rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet red chili sauce (I used Thai Kitchen)
  • ½ tablespoon Korean hot pepper paste (Gochujang)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, split
For the salad:
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 3 to 4 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 6 scallions, diced; split
  • ½ head cabbage, sliced thin
  • ½ head red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3 to 4 cups fresh spring greens mix or romaine lettuce, chopped
  • orange slices from 1 to 2 oranges
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • sliced almonds

Instructions
  1. Using a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, honey, hoisin, sweet red chili sauce, gochujang, vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil. Taste and adjust any ingredients as needed. Set aside.
  2. Using a large skillet, heat the remaining sesame oil over medium heat. After a minute or so, add in the shredded rotisserie chicken, carrots and half of the scallions. Mix until heated through and add in the cabbage and red cabbage and drizzle in half of the dressing and mix again until everything is well coated with the dressing. Saute for about 3 minutes and remove from the heat.
  3. After a minute or two, (you don’t want the chicken to be too hot), add in the fresh greens and toss together, drizzling with a bit more dressing if desired. Serve and garnish with orange slices, fresh cilantro, sliced almonds and the remaining dressing.

Recipe adapted from Cooks Country

The BEST Chinese Chicken Salad you will ever make! All the great flavor of a traditional Chinese Chicken Salad and loaded with fresh ingredients, you have to try this!

Spring Medley Frittata

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

They say when you marry someone, you’re not just marrying that person, but the person’s family too. Lucky for me, when I married Paul, I married into a pretty cool family. We were all living in CA, and we lived like 10 minutes from each other, so needless to say, we got together often.

Easter was always a fun and food-filled holiday for us and there was always Easter brunch, the much anticipated Easter egg hunt and Easter dinner. Yeah, we go big.

This year, we are celebrating Easter Sunday with friends at their place, so I wanted to make something delicious and something that could also travel well. I’m obsessed with all things spring so this frittata is packed with spring’s bounty. I love how you can see the vegetables in this frittata on top. And I stuck the frittata under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top slightly.

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

This frittata is quick, easy and delicious . .  and I’m kind of inventing something new here. A new way to eat a frittata. I did it with pizza so why not a frittata?

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

People everywhere will be doing this. You just watch. Salads on foods. It’s the next big thing.

It shouldn’t surprise you that Easter is one of my children’s favorite holidays. .  we do stress the significance of the day to my girls and they get it. But their faces light up when the Easter egg hunt begins.

Candy in plastic eggs. Can it get any better?

Normally, I would be stressing a little about brunch, but this year I planned my menu ahead of time and did my shopping early. I still have a little more shopping to do but most of it is done. With one stop into ALDI, I picked up all of my ingredients for my frittata and some essentials for Easter Sunday.

Appleton Farms Ham from #ALDIUSA

I seriously love shopping at my local ALDI. Everyone is always so nice and it’s quick and efficient and I can always find what I need. Have an ALDI near you? Be sure to stop in on Saturday to take advantage of Easter specials!

A lot of people have asked me about organic products at ALDI. They have organic dairy and produce so you can rest assured you are buying quality foods for your family and saving some money in the process. Everything I purchased for my frittata was only $20.01!! Can you believe that?!

SimplyNature Organic Milk from #ALDIUSA

This frittata is packed with fresh, spring vegetables and everything you need to make a delicious frittata!

Spring Veggies

 

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

eggs

And the delicious, light and fresh salad that goes on top!

Ingredients from ALDI USA

This frittata is the best! Take advantage of spring veggies and make this! Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter and . .  who else is making a golden egg for their Easter egg hunt?!

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

Spring Medley Frittata
 
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Note: Top with the salad right before serving.
Author:
Recipe type: Main or Side
Cuisine: Brunch
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
For the frittata:
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup SimplyNature Organic 2% Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Burman’s Dijon Mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of Happy Farms Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 oz. SimplyNature Organic Baby Spinach
  • 5 spears asparagus, blanched and cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
For the salad topping:
  • SimplyNature Organic Spring Mix
  • Radishes, sliced thin
  • SimplyNature Balsamic Vinaigrette or balsamic glaze

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (or full broil). Using a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the mozzarella cheese and set aside.
  2. Using a cast iron skillet, or any large oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and mushrooms and sauté until tender, for about 5 minutes. Add in the baby spinach and blanched asparagus and cook until the spinach leaves become softened, for about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the egg mixture, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook until set, for about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until golden brown on top. Be sure to watch your frittata carefully. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 to 7 minutes before topping with the spring salad mix. Add some sliced radishes if desired and salad dressing. Serve and enjoy!

 

Celebrate spring's in-season veggies with this delicious spring medley frittata! Perfect for breakfast, brunch or any meal of the day!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with ALDI. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. Some of these items are Special Buy or Seasonal items that are only in ALDI stores for a limited time and may no longer be available.

 

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

Bright, delicious and with all the right hints of lemon, this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon couldn't be easier to make! And it's so delicious! You've got to try this!

You guys. .  it’s April 1st?! We’re officially in spring. .  woot woot!!! And April 1st is my wedding anniversary so happy anniversary to me and Paul! (and no, I am not joking). 

Spring, for me, means two things: in-season yummy spring vegetables and spring cleaning.  And I’m excited about both.

I cannot get enough asparagus these days . . it’s my fave spring vegetable, not only for it’s looks but also for how versatile asparagus is ..  and delicious.

Bright, delicious and with all the right hints of lemon, this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon couldn't be easier to make! And it's so delicious! You've got to try this!

I blanch them, sauté them, roast them, bake them. .  and yesterday, these babies were literally my dinner. Like, this was all I ate. Because I ate almost the entire bunch.

For dinner. Because they were soooo good.

Bright, delicious and with all the right hints of lemon, this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon couldn't be easier to make! And it's so delicious! You've got to try this!

Have you guys ever roasted asparagus with lemon zest? This was my first time doing it and now I’m wondering what the hell took me so long. I got the idea from my friend, Jen, who always squeezes a little fresh lemon juice over her veggies when she roasts them. I usually just use extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt, and no pepper if it’s for the kids.

The lemon zest is magical.

Magical! and delicious.

Bright, delicious and with all the right hints of lemon, this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon couldn't be easier to make! And it's so delicious! You've got to try this!

Easter is on Sunday and I’m making this again, only this time, I’m roasting 2 lbs. of asparagus. One pound for me and one for everyone else.

I love this time of the year ..  the weather is gorgeous, the sun is out and kids are actually playing outside. It’s also just a few months before summer so we try to tidy up and get organized around the house. I started with my pantry towards the end of last year and then it kind of stopped there.

But now I have some of the best OXO cleaning and organization tools for my kitchen!

OXO Compost Bin

Can I tell you how excited I am for this compost bin?! I’ll admit it, I used to compost all the time when I lived in Washington but ever since moving here to Wisconsin, I haven’t done a thing. And do you know how much I cook?! and how much I could have composted? Thank goodness I have this compost bin from OXO now. No more food scraps in the garbage over here! I’m so excited!

OXO also sent me this Good Grips Expandable Utensil Organizer!

OXO Good Grips Expandable Utensil Organizer

I love how large it is and the adjustable dividers help you organize more utensils in less space by allowing them to fit in opposite directions in one compartment. You can also adjust the location of the dividers to accommodate utensils of different shapes and sizes, or remove the dividers completely for open compartments.

Completely customizable! I love it!

IMG_6293-15

And there’s even room for all my extra OXO gadgets and kitchen tools!

IMG_6285-14

The other OXO kitchen organization tool I got that I am in love with is the Foldaway Dish Rack! We totally needed a new dish rack and one that features a plate rack that holds plates or bowls neat and upright, and is safe for delicate dishware, like my favorite plates that I use all the time when I photograph. The ones that I always hand wash! When the plate rack is folded down, it leaves the middle of the Dish Rack open to accommodate large bowls, cookware, and more. The convenient cup racks hold cups, mugs or wine glasses inside the rack to prevent dripping on the counter.

Since we just got home from Dallas, I haven’t had a chance to get my kitchen sink organized, but that is on my list for Friday!

Have you finalized your Easter menu yet? If not, you’ve got to add my Roasted Asparagus with Lemon to your menu! You will be so glad you did. Trust me.

Bright, delicious and with all the right hints of lemon, this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon couldn't be easier to make! And it's so delicious! You've got to try this!

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Side dish
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. asparagus, tough ends removed or broken off
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay your asparagus on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on some salt and freshly ground pepper. Lastly, sprinkle on the lemon zest over the asparagus (you can just use your grater/zester right over the asparagus).
  2. Roast until the asparagus is tender and just turning golden, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy!

Bright, delicious and with all the right hints of lemon, this Roasted Asparagus with Lemon couldn't be easier to make! And it's so delicious! You've got to try this!

Disclosure: I was selected to be a part of this campaign (#OXOSpringCleaning) through OXO’s Blogger Outreach program. This is not a paid post. All opinions expressed here are my own.

 

Korean Style Cauliflower Rice

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this!

It’s Friday!!! Woot woot!!! We survived another week!

We’ve been in Dallas and have been having so much fun and my brother’s family and sister’s family arrive tonight so my kids are so excited to see their cousins!

Spending time with family. Seriously, this is what it’s all about.

I love that all of our kids can get together and play and love seeing each other. Ah, if only we could all live in the same state! A girl can dream . .

Well, today, I’m bringing you something I am obsessed with. Something I seriously hope you will try. .  I might say this about every recipe (don’t we all?) but I sooooo mean it with this one.

If you’re a fan of cauliflower, you have to try cauliflower rice! I’m telling you, this is not to be missed. I love dishes that turn something as beautiful as a head of cauliflower into something like this.

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this!

All with the magic of a food processor.

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this!

I am guest posting today over at Everyday Maven for my friend, Alyssa, who recently had a baby and is spending some quality time with her newborn. If you haven’t visited Everyday Maven, you need to. Alyssa has a great “why I started the blog” story, and has a ton of delicious mostly Paleo, Whole30 & Gluten Free recipes and she loves Korean and Asian Foods! She even has this great post on how to make cauliflower rice and a delicious recipe for Ginger Coconut Cauliflower Rice.

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this! #cauliflowerrice

My Korean Style Cauliflower Rice that I am sharing today uses some of my favorite Korean food ingredients and yes, has a little heat. Big flavor, a little spice, lots of texture and it’s healthy! OK, so maybe the fried egg on top doesn’t make it completely healthy but I couldn’t help myself.

How could I not top this with an egg?! So, head on over to Everyday Maven for my post and this recipe! I hope you enjoy!

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this! #cauliflowerrice

Korean Style Cauliflower Rice
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Korean-ish
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
  • 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower, green leaves removed and cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, split + more if desired
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 8 oz. package mushrooms, finely diced (I used cremini)
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 2 to 3 asparagus spears, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Korean hot pepper paste (Gochujang)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • fresh green onions, diced for garnish
  • half raw zucchini, julienned and finely diced for garnish
  • Fried egg for serving, optional
  • roasted sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions
  1. Using a food processor, place the cauliflower chunks inside and pulse until it becomes a cous-cous like texture. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. Using a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat one tablespoon of the sesame oil, after a minute or two, add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. For the rest of the instructions and to see the entire recipe card, please visit Everyday Maven.

For the rest of the instructions and to see the complete recipe card, please visit Everyday Maven

Packed with big flavors, veggies, kimchi and some heat, this Korean Style Cauliflower Rice does not disappoint! Cauliflower rice lovers, you need to try this! #cauliflowerrice

 

 

 

Scalloped Potato Casserole with a Twist

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

I love scalloped potato casserole dishes. .  and love to vary them up all the time. Last year, I topped my potatoes with sliced tomatoes and now, I seem to do this all the time. I love the freshness and burst of flavor that the tomatoes add.

Easter is right around the corner so I wanted to add a little something special.  . so I added my favorite pesto in between the potato layers.

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

You guys have to try this! This casserole dish is not only stunning but it’s also delicious! Seriously so much flavor with the pesto!! This would be perfect for your upcoming Easter brunch!

I hope you check out my post and the recipe, posted over at The Kitchn. Oh and there’s talk of golden eggs. . does anyone else do this for your Easter egg hunt?

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

Scalloped Potato Casserole with a Twist
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8

Ingredients
For the basil and arugula pesto:
  • PAM Canola Oil Cooking Spray
  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¾ cup arugula
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
For the scalloped potato casserole:
  • PAM Original Cooking Spray
  • 3 to 4 large unpeeled Russet potatoes; washed and cut into ⅛-inch thick slices (for best results, use a mandolin slicer)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Gruyère or Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 5 to 6 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 to 2 fresh garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • Light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Coat your food processor with PAM Canola Oil Cooking Spray. Combine the basil, arugula, parsley, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse again until smooth. Season with salt, taste and adjust any ingredients as necessary. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. To see the rest of the instructions and the complete recipe card, please visit The Kitchn.

To see the rest of the instructions and the complete recipe card, please visit The Kitchn.

Impress your friends and family with this Scalloped Potato Casserole at your next party or holiday brunch! Layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with pesto and then topped with tomatoes and a light bread crumb topping, this casserole will be the star at your table! #Easter #brunch

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with PAM Cooking Spray and The Kitchn. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

 

Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

Hey everyone!! We’re on Spring Break and I’m in Dallas with the girls visiting my parents. Do you remember Spring Break as a kid or a teenager? I think I just remember lounging around the house, sleeping in late and hanging out with friends.

Since my parents live in Texas, we try to visit as much as possible so the girls can see their grandparents. Anyway, should be a really fun week!!

Let’s get to these tacos!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

You guys . . these tacos are filled with some of my favorite things: swiss chard, asparagus (which I can’t get enough of these days), black beans, farro and more!

And to make these tacos even better, I made an avocado crema . . with a secret ingredient!!!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

I love the avocado crema on these tacos!! Adds such a fresh and creamy taste!!! I LOVED these tacos!

This is seriously the easiest meal to throw together and so delicious! You can even make the avocado crema ahead of time and store it in your fridge. And if you have leftover filling, just eat the filling by itself for lunch! I wish I doubled the recipe so I could eat more of the farro filling!

So, click on over to The Kitchenthusiast, where I am sharing my post and this complete recipe! I hope you enjoy!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian

Ingredients
For the avocado crema:
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved with the pit removed
  • ¾ cup plain non-fat yogurt (or vegan yogurt)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons salsa verde
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt + more if needed
For the tacos:
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 spears of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch swiss chard (about 4 cups), leaves only; chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 2 cups cooked farro
  • 8 small flour tortillas, warmed
For serving:
  • Your choice of salsa: red or salsa verde
  • Red bell peppers, finely diced
  • Tomatoes, finely diced (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Avocado slices
  • Avocado crema

Instructions
For the avocado crema:
  1. Pulse together the avocado and yogurt in your KitchenAid® Food Processor until smooth. Add in the cilantro, salsa verde, lime juice and cumin and process again for about a minute or so. Season with salt, pulse together again and taste. Adjust any seasonings as needed.
  2. For the rest of the instructions and for the full recipe card, please visit The Kitchenthusiast.

Click here for the full recipe card and instructions.

And in case you missed it, enter my giveaway for a KitchenAid NESPRESSO MAKER here!!!! Good luck and I hope you enter!

Shake up Taco Tuesdays with these hearty and delicious Vegetarian Farro Soft Tacos with Avocado Crema!! Delicious!! #vegetarian #tacos

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with KitchenAid. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own. 

 

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

My spiralizer. Yes, I’m hooked. And not with just zucchini. I’ve been spiralizing broccoli stalks, Chinese radishes, carrots and potatoes. I’m actually reviewing the new Inspiralized Cookbook by Ali Maffucci for The Kitchn and will be giving away a COPY so stay tuned for that post and a chance to win in the next couple of weeks.

This recipe is inspired by this recipe (uh, gorgeous!!) and I changed a couple of things up and added zucchini noodles instead. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can also use a julienne slicer and cut up the zucchini that way. But, if you’ve been on the fence, you need to just buy a spiralizer.

I mean, come on.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

Hello gorgeous.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

I made this dish for my friend the other night and she was amazed at not only the taste and texture, but how the zoodles actually looked. Like real noodles!

As you are reading this, I am presenting to 125 second graders on Korean culture. I decided against the Gangnam Style dance and am teaching the kids how to sing Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes in Korean instead. Thank you to everyone who gave me advice and some great tips!!

I’m totally behind on blog reading and this is why. . I prepped a power point presentation and then realized I’m presenting to 2nd graders so took out a lot, kept it pretty simple but still informational but added just a bunch of images and a couple videos.

You Tube has been my savior lately.

So, after today, I’ll be catching up!!!

And before I get back to this recipe, I need to tell you guys about the Pinterest Party that Liz, Brandy, Carolyn, Anna, Diane, Taylor, Alea, Kim and I are throwing. .  TONIGHT, at 9pm EST!!! And you could win a $500 juicer from KitchenAid (and more!) so JOIN US!!!

Spring is almost here (officially) and the weather will be warmer, we’ll be putting away the jeans and busting out the shorts, dresses and skirts so yes, as much as I love pasta, I’m cutting down on it. And with this recipe, you might not even miss it.

This puttanesca sauce is super easy to prepare and comes together pretty quickly. AND it has so much flavor, you might want to eat this everyday for three days in a row. Just sayin’.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

You guys have to try this.

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Some spiralizer brands are different so just use the blade that will give you the thinner noodles.
Author:
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 large sized zucchini, unpeeled and spiralized with blade C
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about ¾ cup)
  • ½ tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup black olives, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • few slivers of Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions
  1. Spiralize your zucchini and set aside. Using a large sized sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. After a minute or two, add the onions, anchovy paste and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, or until the onions just start to soften a bit.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, olives and chopped basil, turn the heat up and bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to low and simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and toss gently, coating all the zucchini with the sauce. Cook for a few minutes and season with crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Serve with big slivers of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Vikalinka.com

Zucchini Noodles with Puttanesca Sauce .. you won't even miss the pasta!! So delicious and packed with flavor! #zucchininoodles #zoodles #spiralizer #inspiralized #healthy