Avocado Greek Yogurt Dressing

In a food processor, blend:

Avocados
Plain Greek yogurt
Olive oil
Cilantro
Cracked pepper

No specific measurements- add as much of each to your taste or thickness preference.

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Pumpkin Banana Bread with Praline Pecans

It’s about that time of year again- FALL! My absolute favorite :) What would a little pre-fall celebration be without some baking?? Oh the fall baking list is endless. Be prepared for lots of recipes coming your way. The first day of autumn is officially this Sunday, the 22nd, so let the countdown begin!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Praline Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all pourpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup praline pecans for topping (chopped and optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves together.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, pumpkin puree, bananas, eggs and yogurt together.
  3. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and mix until well blended. Add in the chopped pecans if you wish.
  4. Place batter in a lightly greased bread baking pan and then top with the chopped praline pecans and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
  5. Bake at 350F until golden brown- about 60 minutes.

**Once cool, refrigerate bread (wrap in tin foil) to let the bread gel together and become more moist/ gooey. (Optional- but my preference!)

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Fresh Bruschetta Penne

In season now: tomatoes! Hip hip hooray! One of my favorite foods :) soo delicious. And what’s better than making sauce with tomatoes? That’s right- marinating them. So simple, fresh and did I mention delicious??

Here’s my recipe for a light, summery dish full of tomato goodness and other fresh herbs.

Fresh Bruschetta Penne

Ingredients:
-1 lb penne pasta
– 3 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
– 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
– ½ cup olive oil
– 1 tsp salt
– ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
– 1 cup packed basil, cut into ribbons
– 8 oz mozzarella, cut into small cubes
– flaked sea salt for seasoning

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Directions:
1. In a large bowl, gently toss together the cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with and let marinate for at least 30 minutes and no more than one hour at room temperature.
2. Set a large pot to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions (I like to also use whole wheat pasta).
3. Toss the hot pasta with the marinated tomato mixture.
4. Top with a generous sprinkling of flaked sea salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Perfect pairing with wine for a lovely summer dish!

xxx SSG

Mexican Corn Salad

One of my favorite summer recipes… Like, ever.

(Spicy) Mexican Corn Salad

Ingredients:
2 TBS butter
3 cups corn (about 4 ears) cut from the cob
½ jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
3 TBS mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, grated
2 green onions, sliced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juice
2 TBS cotija or feta (my fav) cheese, crumbled
Chili powder, to taste (the spicier the better to me!)

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.
2. Add the corn, toss and let it sit and cook until charred. Mix and toss and let it char again about 6-10 minutes.
3. Add the jalapeño, sauté for about a minute and then remove from heat.
4. Mix with the remaining ingredients.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature!

So easy and delicious! A huge favorite at parties or cook-outs! Serve with tortilla chips or use to top salsa, greens, or even grilled chicken!

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xxx SSG

Mexican Egg in a Nest

Rise and shine! Sunday mornings for me are what I look forward to most weeks. I normally get to spend them with my sister so I always love to cook breakfast for us. This morning I was really inspired and was craving something with a kick to it…. So today I made a Mexican-inspired egg in a nest. Still somewhat healthy but a little indulgent as well! Here’s what I did:

Cut the center out of a piece of whole grain wheat toast (I use the bottom of a small cup to cut it out).
Place toast in frying pan and crack one large egg into it. I like to keep my yolk runny but that’s all up to you! Cook to your liking. Don’t forget to flip!
Slice up some cheese.. I used spicy habanero cheese for some serious kick. Melt on top of toast and egg.
Meanwhile, throw a slice of turkey breast in the frying pan and let it cook for about a minute or two.
Spread fresh avocado or guacamole like I did (also spicy!) and then add the slice of turkey breast over top.
Top with fresh tomato slices and some pepper and enjoy!

So easy and quick to make! It’s also very filling and looks great on Instagram ;)

xxx SSG

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Garlic Herb Prime Rib with Shiitake Port Wine Sauce and Roasted Rosemary Vegetables

For Christmas, my family and I don’t normally do anything too traditional or go all out but this year we decided to try out the Christmas dinner feast- mainly because I wanted to cook something fancy, of course. And boy, am I glad I did! We debated on different types of meat and what not but when it came down to it, we decided on prime rib. If you are a newbie, prime rib is pretty simple and easy if you follow the directions. This was actually my first time trying to roast a prime rib and it was definitely a good choice. Not fool-proof but I can share some good tips from my experience with you as well. I know it is a bit late but I wanted to try and post this before New Years if anyone was looking for a good, fancy recipe to wow their guests with.

First, you can choose any type of seasoning or rub you’d like, but I went with a garlic and herb rub. I highly recommend this too. Lots and lots of juicy flavor!

For this recipe, I was working with about 5 and 1/2 pounds of prime rib so you can add or subtract as much as you’d like.

Garlic Herb rub recipe:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • about 1 and 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • about 2 – 3 tablespoons freshly cracked pepper
  • about 1 – 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoons of dill seed
  • about 2 – 2 and 1/2 tablespoons Montreal seasoning (set aside, for crust only)

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.

Rub entire prime rib with olive oil (not the 3/4 cup from above) to begin.

In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients above minus the Montreal seasoning- that comes last. You can add or subtract whatever you would like here depending on how strong or light you want the taste.

Once mixed well, place the prime rib in a roasting pan- size does not matter unless you are wanting to make an au jus sauce to go along with it, then use a smaller pan so that the juices from the meat do not evaporate.

Pour the wet rub over the meat and spread generously over the entire thing. Once the meat is will coated with the wet rub, coat the meat with the Montreal seasoning- I added more, depending. This will make for a nice crust and seal in the rest of the flavors of the wet rub.

Cook the meat at 450 degrees F for about 30 minutes just to sear it and hold in the juices.

After that, turn the oven down to 325 degrees F and cook the meat for about 15 minutes per pound. (Do not add water to pan and do not cover.)

While the meat is cooking, you can start on the shiitake port sauce which pairs fabulously with the flavorful meat and vegetables!

This shiitake port sauce is pretty easy to make as well. For best results,watch carefully and do not make too far in advanced unless you are going to refrigerate for later use- which is also okay to do.

I am going to give you the recipe as I originally made it, but as my suggestion, I would recommend you double it as it did not make very much and some of it will evaporate while cooking.

Shiitake Port Wine Sauce recipe:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup chopped shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup port wine or other sweet red wine
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

What to do:

Toss mushroom caps in flour and set aside.

Combine wine, shallots, and vinegar in a medium skillet or pot and bring to a boil. Cook until thick- about no longer than 3 minutes. (Be careful, this will evaporate and can also burn- just make sure to watch it). Reduce the heat to medium/ medium-low. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and rosemary. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in Dijon mustard. Reduce heat to low and cover.

Roasted Rosemary vegetables recipe:

(This recipe is soooo simple but absolutely delicious!)

Simply cut up desired amounts of sweet potatoes, carrots and cauliflower.

Toss vegetables lightly in olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper and fresh thyme.

Spread evenly in a roasting pan and add in some sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Cook, uncovered for about 45 minutes or until tender, stirring/flipping veggies occasionally.

This meal is one of my favorites. It was a huge hit at Christmas and would also be good for any other kinds of dinner parties and special occasions. The prime rib is not too bad to cook and the wine sauce with mushrooms pairs so well with the meat. (This sauce would actually be really good if poured on top of mashed potatoes!) The vegetables are the easiest part of the meal but also very simple, yet full of flavor.

Get to cooking!

xxx SSG

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Fit Fajitas

For the past few months, I’ve been on a serious grilling kick! I like to try to have a dinner that involves meat or some type of protein and veggies- something that will keep me full and satisfied but not stuffed. I’ve found that grilling is a fun way to keep me eating healthy meals. Usually, I grill extra so that I have easy and delicious leftovers for the next day as well. The other night, I was cooking for more than just two and so I decided to get a little creative. My sister has found a recipe for fajitas that sounded good so I thought I would give it a try.

This is a seriously simple recipe!

What You’ll Need:

  • Lean, boneless, skinless, chicken breast meat (I used the ” chicken tender” size and then cut a breast peice into strips as well.
  • Red and Green bell peppers
  • Red Onion
  • 1 Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Lettuce cups

Sprinkle the chicken breast with the cayenne pepper (to taste or desired spiciness). Squeeze the desired amount of lime juice over the chicken and add some zest from the lime as well. Let sit for about 30 minutes to soak up all of the flavor.

Cut up the bell peppers and onion into thin slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in tin foil.

Place chicken and tin foil of peppers and onion on grill until well cooked!

I used lettuce cups to wrap the fajitas instead of tortillas to make it healthier! Top with salsa or cheese and cilantro and enjoy!!

xxx SSG

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