Hummus-Crusted Chicken

hummus-crusted-chicken-1INGREDIENTS:
– 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– Salt and pepper
– 1 zucchini, chopped
– 1 yellow squash, chopped
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 1 cup hummus
– 1 Tbsp. olive oil
– 2 lemons
– 1 tsp. smoked paprika or sumac

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare one large baking dish or two smaller baking dishes with cooking spray.
2. Pat the chicken dry. Season the chicken breasts with generous pinches of salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini, squash and onion with olive oil until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.
3. If using one baking dish, place all of the vegetables on the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Lay the four chicken breasts evenly on top, then cover each chicken breast with the hummus so that the entire breast is covered. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the chicken and vegetables. Then sprinkle the pan with smoked paprika or sumac.
4. Thinly slice the remaining lemon, and place the slices in between the chicken and vegetables if desired.
5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serves 4.

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Spicy Fish Taco Bowls

spicy-fish-taco-bowls-1-2INGREDIENTS:
– 2 tilapia fish fillets
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp cumin
– ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 green onions, chopped
– 1 red bell pepper
– 1 cup corn kernels
– 1 cup black beans
– Salt and pepper to taste
– ½ avocado, cut in small pieces
– 1 lemon
– 2 cups cooked brown rice

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a small bowl mix the cumin, cayenne pepper and chill powder. Rub generously over the tilapia fillets on both sides.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fish to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. You want to make sure it gets almost blackened and that the fish is cooked through, inside it should be white. Remove fish from skillet and shred with a couple forks.
3. In the same skillet add, garlic, green onions, corn and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper if preferred. Stir and cook. Let it cook for a couple minutes then stir again. You want to make sure the corn is brown and looks roasted. Add beans and cook until beans are heated through.
4. To serve, layer rice, corn/bean mixture, fish, avocados and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.

Chili

chiliINGREDIENTS:
– 2 cans black beans
– 1 can salsa
– 1 lb ground turkey
– 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
– Onion
– Hot sauce

DIRECTIONS:
1. In saucepan, cook ground turkey. Add chopped onion and desired seasoning.
2. Once cooked, add salsa (do not drain), fire roasted tomatoes and one can of the black beans (do not drain).
3. Drain and mash the second can of black beans. Add to pot of chili and stir.
4. Add hot sauce to taste. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and cheddar cheese if desired. Serves 6.

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

oreo cheesecake cupcakesINGREDIENTS:
– 20 Oreo cookies (12 left whole for the bottom of cupcakes and 8 chopped for the filling)
– ¾ cup powdered sugar
– 1 lbs cream cheese
– 2 egg whites
– pinch of salt
– ¼ cup heavy cream
– ¼ cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 300 F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and place 1 whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each cup.
2. Beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar until it’s smooth.
3. Add eggs whites one at a time and mix until combined but use medium speed and do not over mix it. Add pinch of salt and mix. Fold in coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
4. Fill each cup over the Oreo cookie, almost to the top
5. Bake for about 25 minutes (untill the centers apear set and the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
6. To make chocolate ganache, melt the chocolate and stir in the heavy cream until combine evenly.
7. With a spoon spread the ganache over the cooled cupcakes and let them cool completely at room temperature before storing them in the fridge. Serves 12.

Salmon with Garlic & Dijon

baked salmonINGREDIENTS:
– 1.5 lbs salmon fillets
– 2 Tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
– 2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, pressed
– 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
– 1/8 cup light olive oil (not extra virgin, pick something with a higher smoke point)
– 2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. In a small bowl, mix together: 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, 2-3 pressed cloves garlic, 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp of pepper, 1/8 cup of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice.
3. Slice salmon into even portions. Lay them onto a lined baking dish with the skin-side-down.
4. Generously brush all sides of salmon with sauce and top with fresh slices of lemon. Bake at 450°F for 12-15 min or until just cooked through and flaky. Serves 4.

Mussels in White Wine Sauce

mussels in white wine sauceINGREDIENTS:
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, chopped
– 3 Tbsp. butter
– 2 1/2 lb. mussels, well scrubbed and debearded
– 1/2 cup white wine
– 3-5 small tomatoes, chopped
– 1 bay leaf
– salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
– 2-3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS:
1. To clean mussels, scrub the shells well under running water. The beard, a fibrous tuft near the hinge, should not be removed until just before cooking. Grasp it close to the shell and pull on it with a firm tug. Once the mussels have been thoroughly cleaned, remove and discard any shells that are open or broken and that do not close when tapped.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Then add the onion, garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Turn up the flame to high and add the mussels. Pour in the white wine, bay leaf, fresh parsley, salt, ground pepper and stir for about 1 minute.
4. Stir in the tomatoes, cover and cook for 5 minutes until all the mussels have opened. Discard any mussels that did not open. Serve the mussels in large bowl with the broth and baguette slices for dipping. Serves 4-6.

Sirloin Steak

sirloin steakINGREDIENTS:
– Sirloin steak
– Kosher salt
– Ground pepper
– Vegetable oil
– Thyme
– Butter

DIRECTIONS:
1. Forty-five minutes before cooking, take your steak out of the fridge and dry it thoroughly with paper towels.
2. Season steak with lots of salt and some pepper.
3. Heat cast iron skillet over high heat.
4. Dry steak a second time. Add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the skillet. Use tongs to place steak on the pan.
5. Cook steak for 2 minutes on high. Flip steak and start to brown other side.
6. Continue to flip every 2 minutes until your steak reaches an internal temperature of 120°F (rare). Will take about 6 minutes.
7. To baste, turn your heat down to medium, and add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter to the pan. Let the butter melt and just barely start to bubble, then add about 5 sprigs of thyme. Baste the steak by spooning the melted butter over the top of it, repeatedly.
8. After a minute, flip the steak and keep basting. Check the temperature of your steak again. It’s done when it’s at 130°F (the low end of medium-rare).
9. Remove from skillet and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 2.

Mac ‘n Cheese Sauce

mac n cheese sauceINGREDIENTS:
– Butter
– Flour
– Milk or cream
– Cheese
– Spices

DIRECTIONS:
1. Melt butter (like 4 Tbsp)
2. Add an equal amount of flour (so again, 4 Tbsp.)
3. Whisk to combine and cook for a few minutes so that flour doesn’t taste raw.
4. Add around 2.5 cups of milk or cream and whisk again.
5. Add desired seasoning such as a teaspoon of dried mustard, cayenne for kick, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, etc.
6. Fold in cheese and stir until melted evenly. Fold sauce into cooked macaroni and stir to ensure sauce is distributed evenly.

Cannoli Dip

cannoli dipINGREDIENTS:
– 2 cups ricotta cheese
– 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
– 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
– Cannoli chips or waffle cone chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Beat ricotta cheese and mascarpone cheese together in a bowl until smooth; add sugar and vanilla. Continue to stir mixture until sugar is completely incorporated.
2. Fold chocolate chips through the cheese mixture.
3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 10 minutes. Serve with cannoli chips or waffle cone chips. Serves 10.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted-Brussels-SproutsINGREDIENTS:
– 1 pint brussels sprouts (about a pound)
– 4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to coat bottom of pan
– 5 cloves garlic
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Trim bottom of brussels sprouts, and slice each in half top to bottom.
2. Heat oil in cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers; put sprouts cut side down in one layer in pan. Put in garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Cook, undisturbed, until sprouts begin to brown on bottom, and transfer to oven. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sprouts are quite brown and tender, about 1/2 hour.
4. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serves 4.