Best Ever Banana Bread Muffins

What do you do with that bunch of bananas that you just bought and have already begun to over-ripen before you’ve had a chance to eat them? Make amazingly crowd pleasing banana bread muffins of course!

These muffins combines the sweetness of a bananas and the fluffiness of bread to create a tasty and moist flavor bomb that will leave you wanting more and more. Fortunately this recipe yields 18 muffins so there’ll be plenty to share or freeze and hoard for yourself.

The secret ingredient here is the buttermilk. Buttermilk works it’s magic to transform this recipe from dense and overly sweet to a moist, fluffy, and light addition to the day. Have it for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea, as a midday snack, or as a side with your meal. You can even have it as a special treat at the end of the day.

Best Ever Banana Bread Muffins

Moist, fluffy, and full of sweet banana flavor. What more could you ask for in a banana bread muffin? 

Print Recipe
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 18 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 5 - 6 large over ripened bananas mashed
  • 4 cups flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

  2. Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the softened butter and sugar.

  3. Mix in 1 egg at a time, then add the baking soda and salt.

  4. Slowly mix in the buttermilk.

  5. Add the bananas. 

  6. Gradually mix in the flour, one cup at a time. 

  7. Fill your greased or lined muffin tins. 

  8. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown. 

  9. Unwrap and enjoy!

Bacon and Cheese Turkey-burger Soup (Crockpot Recipe)

What do you do when you’re crazing a tasty classic bacon cheese burger but also want a hearty healthy soup? Make some delicious Bacon and Cheese Turkey-burger Soup of course!

Bacon and Cheese Turkey-burger Soup (Crockpot Recipe)

This healthy soup has all of the classic flavors of eating a hearty burger with the belly warming satisfaction of enjoying a warm bowl of soup. 

Print Recipe
Course: Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 10-13 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • 6 cubes beef bullion
  • 6 cups water boiling
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 medium dill pickles diced
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice optional
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Turn your crockpot on to the low setting. 

  2. Chop and in a large deep skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. 

  3. While the bacon is cooking, add the melted butter and spices to the crockpot.   

  4. Mix tomato paste into the butter and spice mixture. 

  5. Once the bacon is nice and crispy, use a slatted spoon to scoop out the bacon and let drain on a paper towel then set aside. Keep the bacon grease in the skillet. Add the ground turkey to the bacon grease and brown. I like to break up the browned meat with a potato masher. 

  6. Add the ground turkey to the crockpot with all it's juices. 

  7. Stir in the diced dill pickles. (Don't be scared of the pickles, they take this soup from ordinary to extraordinary!) 

  8. Stir in the shredded cheese until melted. 

  9. Boil the water and stir in the beef bullion cubes until completely dissolved. Then slowly stir broth into the crockpot. Cover and let cook for 3 hours.

  10. Whisk in softened cream cheese and let cook for 10 minutes or until it's fully incorporated.  

  11. Turn the crockpot off and whisk in the heavy cream. 

  12. Serve in bowls, top with the crispy bacon and enjoy.

Shredded Enchilada Chicken (Crockpot Recipe)

Since Mexican food is a favorite of mine, I’ve created and perfected, in my humble opinion, this version of enchilada chicken. It is creamy, juicy, cheesey, and full of flavor. The best part is that it’s so simple to make and it’s so versatile that it can be used in a variety of meals from tacos to burritos to Mexi-bowls. This is also a potluck crowd pleaser!

Something magical happens to chicken as it cooks low and slow in a crockpot. It soaks up sauces and stays moist from it’s own juices. My favorite part is that the beautifully flavored and tender chicken begins to fall apart all on it’s own. This shredded enchilada chicken is a great dish that tastes like your Abuela slaved over a hot stove all day. When in fact all you have to do is toss some ingredients into a crockpot and leave it to do all of the work while you take all of the credit.

Shredded Enchilada Chicken (Crockpot Recipe)

Turn up your typical taco night with this super tasty Mexi-Cali version of enchilada chicken. This shredded chicken can be used in tacos, burritos, Mexi-bowls, and more. It's so full of flavor that you won't believe how simple it is to make. 

Print Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken tenderloins can substitute with chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup enchilada verde sauce
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese shredded (can substitute with 1 addition cup of cheddar)
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • your favorite add-ins rice, tortillas, avocado, lime, cilantro, sour cream, salsa...

Instructions

  1. Set your crockpot to the low setting

  2. Add your taco seasoning to the crockpot and then slowly add in the enchilada sauce while mixing it into the taco seasoning. You want to get a wet thick paste consistency that's not watery, so add as much or as little sauce as you need to get the right thickness. 

  3. Stir the chicken into the seasoning and sauce mixture. (The chicken doesn't need to be evenly coated) Cover and let cook for 4 hours (6 hours if you're starting with frozen chicken)

  4. While the chicken is cooking, shred your cheeses and set them aside for later.  

  5. In the last 15 minutes of cooking, pull out the chicken and shred. The chicken should be falling apart and easy to shred. I usually just use tongs and a fork. 

  6. Put the chicken back into the crockpot and stir in the softened cream cheese. Let cook for 10 minutes or until cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated. 

  7. Stir in the shredded cheeses until all of the cheese is fully melted.

  8. Then serve it any way you like it, in tacos, on top of rice, on a spoon...

    My husband loves to pile it into a burrito with some extra cheese, fresh salsa, and sour cream. 

  9. I love it on top of avocado with fresh salsa and sour cream for a tasty low-carb friendly Mexi-bowl. 

Crockpot Creamy Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

Soup has always been my comfort food and being Italian, tomato soup one of my favorites. I’ve tried for years to make a soup that my great grandma would be proud of and this is it! It has a classically rustic Italian flavor that warms and fills the belly just like Italian food should.

This soup has a slight sweetness from the roasted tomatoes that plays well will the herbaceous fresh basil. The creaminess gives it a beautiful texture that makes it a thick and hearty soup that is perfect as an entree or pair it with a salad for a light meal.

Creamy Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

This creamy smooth version of a classic tomato soup is bursting with flavor. The roasted tomatoes and fresh basil make it a treat for the senses. 

Print Recipe
Course: Soup
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 10-12 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil finely diced
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar I used a low carb sugar blend
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Equipment

  • 5 quart crockpot
  • 1 immersion blender

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 450 degrees 

    Chop tomatoes, onions, and basil. Set the basil aside for later. 

Roasting the Tomatoes and Onions

  1. Spread tomatoes and onions on a large foil covered cookie sheet

  2. Sprinkle with salt to taste 

  3. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the tomatoes and onions

  4. Roast for 20 minutes until tomatoes and onions are soft to the touch 

  5. Pour the roasted tomatoes and onions into a bowl with as much of the juice as possible 

Making the Soup

  1. While the tomatoes are roasting, set your crockpot on the low setting

    You can cook on high but low and slow is my favorite way to crockpot 

  2. Add canned tomatoes (with the liquid), tomato paste, and all-spice to the crockpot 

  3. Stir in the roasted tomatoes and onions with their juice

  4. Stir in the chicken stock or broth 

  5. Let cook for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high 

  6. Here comes the fun part

    Blend everything in the crockpot with the immersion blender until smooth

  7. Slowly stir in the heavy cream

  8. Stir in the basil

    You could also put the basil in before you blend for a completely creamy feel

  9. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes or until the cream is fully incorporated

  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste

  11. Serve and enjoy

    This recipe makes 8 servings because I love leftovers 

Recipe Notes

Some tasty things that you might like to go with this soup are a toasted bread of your choice or chips made from cheese as a low carb option

You can make cheese chips in the oven by placing shredded cheese on a greased cookie sheet and cooking at 350 degrees until the cheese starts to brown slightly and let cool, they'll crisp up as they cool. Or you can make them in the microwave on a microwave safe plate and cooking at 30 seconds at a time until they begin to brown and then let cool. 

Parmesan and cheddar cheeses are my favorites but if you intend to use Parmesan you should cut back on the salt in the soup.  

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is getting to use my immersion blender. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one. You can use a traditional blender, but it will make for extra work.

This recipe was created with the intention to have leftovers so it can be cut in half if you desire.

 

How to Make Baked BBQ Steak Fingers

The other day I was worn out, didn’t want to spend the money on delivery and had a serious craving for comfort food. I went to my fridge and noticed I had a bottle of Rudy’s BBQ sauce that was about to expire and some steaks I never used. I could make a standard steak and pour BBQ sauce on it, but I wanted comfort food. That’s when it hit me.

Let’s make steak fingers, but bake them instead of frying them to make them “healthier”. At least that’s what I’m pretending. I don’t know if this was a thing before, but they came out awesome and I’ll be making them again.

This recipe is incredible easy, quick and tastes awesome. I’ll definitely be making these baked BBQ steak fingers again for an appetizer, lunch, or a snack.  Let me know how they turn out for you.

how to make bbq steak fingers

Baked BBQ Steak Fingers

These baked not fried steak fingers make a perfect appetizer. lunch, or snack with a tangy BBQ sauce kick. 

Print Recipe
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 filets sirloin
  • 4 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce I used Rudy's BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and a small smear of olive oil or non stick spray. 

  2. Next slice the steak into slices as shown and place the BBQ sauce in one bowl. In another bowl place the breadcrumbs with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

    recipe for bbq steak fingers
  3. Now dip the steak slices into the BBQ sauce and then run them through the breadcrumbs. You'll see on some of them I did a second dip in the BBQ sauce. Either way worked because you cover them in BBQ sauce again later anyways.

    how to bake steak fingers
  4. Now line them on the baking sheet and cook them for 12 to 20 minutes, depending on how you like your steak cooked. 

    how to make steak fingers
  5. Last let them cool and plate them. Pour some extra Rudy's BBQ sauce on them (or whatever your favorite BBQ sauce is) and serve.

    steak fingers recipe

Recipe Notes

To get Rudy's BBQ Sauce by clicking here

How to Make a Cajun Shrimp Roll – Yum!!!

If you’re from the mid-Atlantic through New England, shrimp rolls, lobster rolls and crab rolls are part of summer.  They’re something you crave the minute you get to the shore and think about during the winter.  They’re light, creamy and amazingly do not have to be high in calories.

This recipe is one that came with my hello fresh subscription, but I modified it to make it taste a bit more the way I like mine.  I’ll give you a couple of the options below.

how to make a shrimp roll

Cajun Shrimp Roll

This shrimp roll is almost as easy to make as it is delicious. It took no time, was easy to clean up and is almost guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

Print Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 12 medium or large shrimp
  • 2 tbsp mayonaise low fat or reduced calorie
  • 1-2 tbsp sour cream low calorie
  • 1 tbsp butter or low calorie substitute
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 bunch tarragon chopped
  • 1 lemon zested and halved
  • 2-3 radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • arugula leaves washed and dried
  • 2 buns Ciabatta cut in half (bottom half thicker than the top)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Cajun seasoning or Old Bay seasoning
  • sea salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Gather your ingredients 

    ingredients for a shrimp roll

Make the Shrimp Roll Filling

  1. Start by boiling salted water and toss in your shrimp until they're cooked. Next rinse under cold water. If you bought precooked shrimp you can skip this step. Now cut the shrimp into chunks (however large you'd like them to be).

  2. Next pile on the lemon zest, scallions, 1/2 of the tarragon, juice of 1/2 of the lemon, the mayonnaise, sea salt and black pepper to taste 

    what goes into a shrimp roll
  3. If you like it with a kick, the Cajun seasoning or old bay seasoning. Then mix together and set aside or in a fridge.

    shrimp roll mix

Toast Your Buns

  1. Take the halves of the buns, roll or ciabatta bread and smear butter or extra virgin olive oil on them. Next place on a pan over medium heat so they toast. I prefer this to toasting them in the oven. I also like to burn mine a little bit.

    toast your buns

Make the Salad Dressing

  1. Rinse your arugula and mix in the radish slices. Set this aside. Now take the sour cream, remaining tarragon, juice from the other half of the lemon, a large drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste and mix this together. Now combine this with the arugula and radishes and then plate.

Assemble, Plate, and Enjoy

  1. Add the buns to the plate and then add the shrimp roll mix to the bun or whatever bread you're using. The last step is to enjoy. It's that easy to make a shrimp roll.

Recipe Notes

If you want to see other awesome recipes and variations I've made from Hello Fresh.  Click this link to see what I've tried.

 

Prosciutto, Peach and Fig Pizza

If you want something amazing for summer, this prosciutto, peach, and fig pizza is an amazing option. Not only does it incorporate some amazing summer flavors like California figs and white peaches, but it is sweet, light and perfect for snacking on or for lunch. It’s also super fun and easy to make.

proscuitto basil peach and fig pizza

Prosciutto, Peach and Fig Pizza

Most people will never have thought about a sweet pizza or fig pizza before, but when you get the salt from the prosciutto and the basil, the peaches and the balsamic glaze, you'll wonder why you haven't tried something like this before.  

Print Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made pizza dough rolled out to fit your pan
  • 3-5 slices Prosciutto ripped into pieces
  • 1 ball Buffalo mozzerella shredded into chunks by hand
  • 1/2 white flesh peach sliced into wedges
  • 4-6 California figs quartered
  • 2 tbsp sweet balsamic glaze I used vanilla fig but you could use peach, nectarine, vanilla, etc...
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion or 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch Italian basil leaves stems removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • sea salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 and gather your ingredients. 

    ingredients for a fig, peach and procuitto pizza
  2. Roll out your pre-made pizza dough on a pan or baking sheet and spread the extra virgin olive oil over it while sprinkling on a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Now add the figs, mushrooms and white peach slices to the pizza crust.

    fig peach and mushroom pizza
  3. Next you'll want to add the garlic and onion and drizzle the balsamic glaze over the pizza. 

    fig peach and proscuitto pizza recipe
  4. Now add the cheese over or in between everything and then top it with the basil and prosciutto. 

    how to make a summer pizza with figs
  5. Then place the pizza in the oven for about 12 minutes turning it half way around half way through the cooking time. I used the top rack.

Recipe Notes

If you want the brown spots you see in pizza shops on the cheese, turn your oven up to a broil and then place the pizza back under it for about a minute or two. Watch it closely though so it doesn't burn.

And that’s it.  Making this incredible summer pizza is easy, it’s fun and everyone will love how sweet and delicious it is. Leave a comment below and let me know how it turned out for you.

Spicy Jalapeno and Dijon Roasted Potato Salad

I was getting ready for a trip the other day and needed to clear my fridge. That’s when I came up with the idea for a roasted potato salad. When I realized I had jalapenos, white corn and other delicious things sitting around, I thought, why not roast it all. That’s when this recipe came together.

It’s incredibly easy to do and besides roasting the veggies, it won’t take much time at all.  If you want to spice up your summer with an amazing new recipe, you have to try this one out!

spicy jalapeno and roasted dijon potato salad recipe

Spicy Jalapeno and Dijon Roasted Potato Salad

This recipe for a spicy roasted potato salad is incredibly easy to make and everyone will love it. You get the texture of breakfast potatoes with all of the goodness you expect from a dijon potato salad and a small kick from the roasted jalapeno peppers. Don't worry, the heat doesn't come through that strong because of the mayonnaise and other ingredients.

Print Recipe
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 large russet potatoes chopped into large chunks
  • 1/2 large red onion half finely sliced, half finely chopped
  • 3-4 ears of sweet white corn kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 large jalapeno peppers diced
  • 6 cloves garlic 3 minced, 3 coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp spicy dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Gather your ingredients.

    ingredients to make spicy jalapeno and roasted dijon potato salad recipe

Roast the Vegetables

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take two baking sheets and place your vegetables on them. On the first place your potatoes with the minced garlic. 

    roasting garlic and russet potatoes
  2. The other baking sheet gets the chopped garlic, corn and jalapenos.

    roasting corn garlic and jalapenos
  3. Now drizzle everything with the extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Make sure everything is coated and start cooking the potatoes for 12 minutes. Take them out and turn them over. 

    roasted corn garlic and jalapenos
  4. Now place the potato tray and the corn tray into the oven for another 12 minutes or until the potatoes have a nice char on them. Then take them out and let cool.

    how to roast garlic russet potatoes

Make the Mix

  1. In a large bowl combine the white wine vinegar, mayonnaise, onions, dijon mustard and mix them together. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Once mixed together, cover and place in the fridge until your roasted veggies have cooled.

    how to make the sauce for spicy dijon potato salad

Combine Everything Together

  1. Once the veggies are completely cooled down, combine them with the mix folding everything together then serve and enjoy. 

Recipe Notes

If you want to cut through it a bit more, you can always squeeze half of a lemon in it. Fresh basil would taste amazing with this and you could also chop chives or scallions and add them too.

Leave a comment below if you’ve tried this recipe and let me know what you think.  Thank you for reading!

Spicy Garlic Stir Fried Beef Tips

What I love about this recipe is that if you don’t want to use this delicious garlic chili sauce (Huy Fong Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce, 8 Oz)to make it spicy, simply substitute sriracha for it. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry sriracha, simply click the link above and search for it and you’ll find a ton of options to buy. Anyways, if you’re craving a sizzling stir fry and love beef tips, this recipe is 100% for you.

It’s easy to make takes me less than 25 minutes and is always amazing. The original recipe was part of my HelloFresh subscription, but I modified it to make it spicy delicious. Here’s how.

Spicy garlic stir fried beef tips

Spicy Garlic Stir Fried Beef Tips

Get ready for an amazing spicy beef stir fry that you won't believe you actually made on your own. 

Print Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beef tips
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 chunk fresh ginger minced (1 tbsp
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic chili sauce Huy Fong Vietnamese Chili Garlic Sauce, 8 Oz (you can substitute with 2 tbsp of sriracha)
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Optional Veggies

  • bok choy quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • broccoli crowns
  • mushrooms thinly sliced
  • any other stir fry veggies that you'd like to add (carrots, snap peas, celery, baby corn...)

Instructions


  1. This recipe is made in three parts. The first is to cook your rice in salted water. So start boiling water and then salt it.

  2. Next combine the soy sauce and chili garlic sauce with the ginger and minced garlic cloves into a bowl with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

    how to make spicy stir fry sauce
  3. Season the beef tips with sea salt and pepper and toss them into the mix. Make sure you've coated everything and then let it sit for 5 minutes to soak up the sauce.

  4. Once marinated, toss the beef into a large pan, a wok or a skillet and let it cook for about 5 or 6 minutes.

    spicy stir fried beef recipe
  5. Once the beef is cooked to the right temperature, add in your veggies and continue to toss, stir and let cook for another 4 or 5 minutes until everything is fragrant, wilted, crisp and delicious.

  6. Once the rice is done, remove it from the pot and plate it. When the spicy stir fried beef is ready, place it on top of the rice and let it cook to a safe temperature to eat. 

This is a definite must make again and one that I think you’ll love to do as well. Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out for you.

Pan Seared Peppercorn Chicken

When you think of a peppercorn sauce you think steak.  The two go hand in hand.  I even shared an amazing recipe for a peppercorn filet here.   As part of my HelloFresh subscription they gave me a wait, that works twist on this classic steak sauce.  Instead of using a beef broth, why not go chicken and then pan sear the breasts.  It was a huge light that went off and I ended up making a few more adjustments to add some extra heat.

peppercorn chicken recipe

Pan Seared Peppercorn Chicken

You're going to love this easy to make recipe for pan seared peppercorn chicken and your house is going to smell amazing while you're cooking it. 

Print Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • 1-2 tbsp black peppercorns crushed
  • 2 tbsp low fat sour cream
  • 1 shallot thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Then heat a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. While the oil heats up, season the chicken breasts with sea salt and ground black pepper.

  2. Now pan sear them for 3 or 4 minutes on each side and then place them in the oven for another 5 minutes or until they're cooked thoroughly.

  3. While the chicken is in the oven add your thinly sliced or minced shallot to the pan you seared the chicken in but on medium heat. Once they're softened, add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. While it's heating, scrape the burned bits off the bottom and let them incorporate into the stock.

  4. Once it's reduced half way, remove from the heat and add the sour cream and crushed black peppercorns. I like to add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder for a nice extra kick. Another fun thing is to add a few pinches of cayenne pepper or chili powder pepper for spice.

Recipe Notes

If you want to add a ton of texture to this, take the chicken breasts and smear them with sour cream and then pour breadcrumbs with chili powder, sea salt and garlic powder and then start searing and baking them. All of these make amazing options for an easy and fun to make pan seared peppercorn chicken.  

This meal matches perfectly with margaritas, white wine sangria as well as bellinis and fruity drinks.  You could even do a mojito or a vodka and soda with a twist of lime.  You’ll love this for lunch and it can even be made for dinner.  Let me know what you think and which version you decide to make if you give it a try.

Avocado Grits with Spicy Sautéed Shrimp

Southern food is almost always comfort food.  However, the original recipe I found for this (before modifying it) was under 500 calories per person.  I did modify it to go from reduced fat milk to skim milk and I removed the cheese, but I also added in half of an avocado, garlic powder, etc… so I’m not sure what the current calorie count is.  Anyways, regardless, this is a food that I can have for dinner and not feel guilty for eating.  It’s southern food meets diet food which is something I didn’t think existed.

Avocado Grits with Spicy Sauteed Shrimp

Avocado Grits with Spicy Sautéed Shrimp

You're going to love this easy to make twist on a classic and the best part is that it took less than 25 minutes to make. 

Print Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch collards rinsed and chopped (not too small)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup grits
  • 1 and 1/2 cups skim milk (you can substitute with a high fat milk if you prefer)
  • 1/2 very ripe avocado
  • 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder separated in half
  • 12 shrimp
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley chopped
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by pouring 1 and 1/2 cups of water into a pot with the milk on high heat. Once it starts boiling add the grits and whisk it for about a minute. Reduce to a low boil or low heat for 2 minutes and then cover it and let it finish absorbing each other while whisking every few minutes to make sure it doesn't get too thick. (If it does, don't worry...mine was caked to the bottom of the pot.)

  2. While the grits are cooking, add a drizzle of the extra virgin olive oil to a large pan on high heat and toss in your collards. You'll hear a really loud crackling sound which is awesome. Keep browning them until you have a really good texture (about 3 or 4 minutes) then toss with the garlic in the pan for about 30 more seconds. Now remove them and set them aside in a large bowl.

  3. In the same pan, add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil but reduce the heat to medium. Now add in the halved cherry tomatoes and season them with salt and pepper. Once they've cooked for about 3 minutes they'll start bloating and charring and that means they're done. Add to the collards and then season with sea salt and black pepper.

  4. At this point your grits should be ready for the avocado. Chop it into large chunks and then add about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and the avocado. Now mix it in with a large beater or spatula.

  5. Once the grits are ready, add another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to the pan you made the tomatoes and collards in and toss the shrimp, chili flakes, other tablespoon of garlic powder and sea salt and pepper and let them sauté over medium heat tossing every couple minutes until they're cooked.

  6. Now plate your grits, on top place your collards and tomatoes and then add the shrimp to it. It's that easy to make and it tastes amazing.  

Recipe Notes

It paired perfectly with a heavy white like a chardonnay but could also do a sweet Vidal wine or even a light sauvignon blanc.

I was shocked when I realized that this dish could actually also fit into my diet calorie wise.  It might not fit yours so check with your nutritionist and doctor first, but I’ll definitely be making this one again.

The original recipe was part of my HelloFresh subscription.

Jalapeno and Beef Stuffed Poblano Peppers

If you want an amazing and easy to make lunch recipe, these jalapeno and beef stuffed poblano peppers are amazing.  I had the idea the other week when I made spicy meatball subs and today realized I needed to use a few ingredients that were going to go bad.  The results are these incredible stuffed poblano peppers that you’ll love!

This is super easy to do.  You can either mix everything at once, or build the flavors.  Because this is a lunch recipe and you need to be done quickly, I took the short route.

jalapeno and beef stuffed poblano peppers

Jalapeno and Beef Stuffed Poblano Peppers

This amazing and easy to make jalapeno and beef stuffed poblano pepper recipe is perfect for lunch for up to 4 people. 

Print Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 poblano peppers sliced in half with seeds and core removed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped or diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 - 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 of a large red onion chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • BBQ sauce

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. While it heats, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper on a baking sheet and place the halved poblano peppers on it.

  2. In a large bowl add the other ingredients and mix well. Once mixed, fill in the empty poblano peppers. If you have extra meat mixture, make meatballs and bake them on the sheet.

  3. Now place the stuffed peppers in your oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until they're cooked thoroughly. While they're cooking, pour BBQ sauce on your plate to serve the pepper in and then wait for them to finish cooking. I went and got work done.

  4. Once the stuffed poblanos are done in the oven, take them out and let them cook. Plate them and serve them.

Recipe Notes

You could also save a couple of them and have them for dinner.  They're that good.  If you do have them for dinner, pair them with a light red that has a big bite and lots of tannins like a Petite Sirah or a Napa Cabernet.  They'll match perfectly.  However, if your cabernet is too dry, the spice from the peppers (it's really not that bad to be honest) might not taste too good which is why I like petite sirah for this.  A sangiovese or Chianti can do well too.

If you decide to make this recipe, come back and leave a comment with how it turned out.  Thank you again for reading and don’t forget to join my newsletter so you can get all of our new recipes, wine reviews and more!