• Lemon Orzo Salad with Chicken or Chickpeas

    You can make this salad with chicken or keep it vegetarian by adding chickpeas.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. orzo
    • Salt
    • 4 mini cucumbers, chopped
    • 2 c. grape tomatoes, sliced
    • 6 oz. feta
    • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
    • 1/2 c. mint, chopped
    • Chopped cooked chicken or 1 can of chickpeas, drained
    • Mixed lettuce greens

    Dressing:

    • 2 lemons, zest and juice (about 1/3 c.)
    • 2/3 c. olive oil
    • 2 TBSP honey
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced
    • Salt and Pepper, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and orzo and cook until al dente. Once it’s done, rinse it with cool water and let it drain thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl.
    2. Meanwhile, prep all the salad ingredients.
    3. Add the dressing ingredients to a jar or small bowl, and whisk/shake until well combined.
    4. To the bowl with the orzo, add cucumbers through chicken/chickpeas.
    5. Toss the salad with the dressing. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
    6. Serve salad over mixed lettuce greens.

    Lemon Orzo Salad with Chicken or Chickpeas:

  • Bulgogi Bowls

    Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 lbs. thinly sliced top sirloin, flank steak, or rib eye
    • Sesame oil

    Marinade:

    • 1/2 c. soy sauce
    • 1/2 of an Asian pear, grated (may sub sweet apple like Fuji)
    • 6 TBSP brown sugar
    • 2 TBSP sweet Japanese rice wine (may sub dry sherry)
    • 2 TBSP sesame oil
    • 2 TBSP Gochuchang 
    • 8 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 TBSP freshly grated ginger
    • 1 tsp. pepper
    • 6 Scallions chopped
    • Rice, salad greens, Cucumbers and Carrot salad, kimchi, etc.

    Directions:

    1. Add all of the marinade ingredients to a freezer bag and whisk to combine. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to overnight (flank requires overnight).
    2. When ready to cook, let beef sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat some sesame oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.
    3. Working in 4 batches, add meat (grabbing meat with tongs so excess marinade drips off) in a single layer and let sear 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook and addition 1-2 minutes or until browned but barely cooked through then add sesame seeds and stir to combine. Transfer to a plate and cover tightly with foil. Repeat.
    4. Assemble Bowls: Add salad greens and rice to bowl. Top with beef, cucumbers and carrots, kimchi, etc.

    Bulgogi Bowls:

  • Poblano Macaroni and Cheese

    Recipe from Cooking Con Claudia.

    Ingredients:

    • 4 poblanos, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
    • 16 oz. elbow macaroni
    • 6 TBSP butter, divided
    • Small onion, diced
    • 8 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp. salt to taste
    • 6 TBSP flour
    • 2 c. chicken broth
    • 2 c. milk
    • ½ c. crema
    • 5 oz. cheddar cheese
    • 5 oz. pepper jack cheese
    • 5 oz. mozzarella cheese

    Directions:

    1. Set oven to broil.  On a baking sheet add the poblanos and roast all sides until charred.  Once charred place poblanos in a Ziploc bag and seal the bag.  Let the poblanos steam in the bag for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, remove poblanos and peel the skins, remove the seeds and stems, and chop.
    2. Cook pasta according to box, slightly undercooked.
    3. Heat 3 TBSP butter in large skillet over medium-high heat; then add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes, until translucent.  Add garlic, chopped poblanos, pepper, smoked paprika, and salt and cook for 1 minute.
    4. Create a well in the center of the skillet with the veggies surrounding the well and add the remaining 3 TBSP of butter and melt.  Once melted and the flour and stir until flour is dissolved.  Then add the broth, milk, and crema, and bring to a light boil.
    5. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the cheeses, and stir until cheese is melted.  Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine.  The macaroni and cheese will thicken as it cools.

    Poblano Macaroni and Cheese:

  • Greek Salmon Bowls

    Recipe adapted from Midwest Foodie.

    Ingredients:

    Dressing/Marinade:

    • 5 TBSP olive oil
    • 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
    • 2 TBSP fresh chopped dill
    • 2 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
    • 2 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

    Salmon:

    • 1 lb. salmon

    Orzo:

    • 1 box of orzo
    • 2-3 TBSP butter
    • 2 TBSP lemon juice

    Salad and Toppings:

    • Mixed Greens
    • 1 (15 oz.) can artichoke hearts
    • 1 c. halved grape tomatoes
    • 1 c. sliced English cucumber
    • 1 c. pitted assorted olives
    • 1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
    • 1 (14 oz.) can of chick peas
    • 4 oz. feta chees crumbled

    Tzatziki Sauce or Easy Lemon Dill Sauce:

    • 1 c. sour cream
    • ½ c. fresh dill
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Salt, and pepper

    Directions:

    1. Dressing/Marinade: Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dill, parsley, oregano, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper to a mason jar. Shake until well combined and emulsified.
    2. Salmon: Place salmon on a baking sheet, and cover with about 1/3 of a cup of the dressing mixture. Place in the cold oven and then turn the oven on and set to 400*. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily.
    3. Orzo: While the salmon is baking, cook the orzo according to package in salted water; drain and return to pot. Add butter and lemon juice.
    4. Easy Lemon Dill Sauce: Combine ingredients in a bowl.
    5. Assemble: Add mixed greens and orzo to plate/bowl. Top with salmon an toppings of choice – artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onion, and feta. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Top with Tzatziki or Easy Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce.

    Greek Salmon Bowls:

  • Lemon Sugar Cookies

    Recipe adapted from Modern Honey.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. cold butter, cut into cubes
    • 2 c. sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 3 lemons, zested
    • 1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
    • 3 c. flour
    • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • Sparkling crunch sugar

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350*.
    2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest and stir to combine.
    3. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix just until combined.
    4. Drop dough onto light colored baking sheet.
    5. Bake for 9-11 minutes (usually 11 minutes). Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with sparkling crunchy sugar.

    Lemon Sugar Cookies:

  • Greek Chicken Bowls

    Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

    Ingredients:

    Chicken:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1.5 lbs. chicken breast, bite size pieces
    • 1/2 c. fresh oregano, chopped
    • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
    • Pinch of salt and pepper
    • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
    • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

    Orzo:

    • 1 box of orzo, cooked according to package
    • 2-3 TBSP butter
    • 2 TBSP lemon juice
    • 2-3 TBSP fresh dill, chopped

    Whipped Feta:

    • 8 oz. feta cheese
    • 1c. sour cream
    • 2 TBSP olive oil

    Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette:

    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 2 TBSP lemon juice
    • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 TBSP fresh dill, chopped (optional)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Salad:

    • Greens
    • Tomatoes, chopped
    • Red onion, sliced
    • Artichoke hearts
    • Chick peas
    • Cucumber, sliced
    • Kalamata olives

    Directions:

    1. For the Chicken: In a large skillet, toss together the olive oil, chicken, oregano, paprika, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is browned all over and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and garlic, cook another minute. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
    2. For the Orzo: Bring a stockpot to boil, then add a generous amount of salt. Cook according to package, and then drain. Put cooked orzo back in pot, add the butter and stir until melted. Then add the lemon juice and dill.
    3. For the Whipped Feta: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. The feta can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
    4. For the Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette: In a mason jar add the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, dill, and season with salt and pepper, and shake to combine.
    5. Assemble: On the plate or large bowl add a smear of whipped feta, then add orzo to overlap the feta, top the orzo and feta with the chicken, then add the salad. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

    Greek Chicken Bowls:

  • Chipotle Salmon with Mango Salsa

    Recipe adapted from Carlsbad Cravings.

    Ingredients:

    Wet Rub for Salmon:

    • 2-3 lbs. of salmon
    • 2 TBSP butter
    • 2 TBSP honey
    • Zest of 1 lime
    • 2 TBSP lime juice
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. smoke paprika
    • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. pepper
    • 1/2-1 tsp. chipotle powder

    Mango Salsa:

    • 3 mangos, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1/3 red onion, diced
    • 1-3 jalapenos, seeded and minced
    • 1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/8-1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 3 TBSP lime juice
    • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar

    Directions:

    1. Prepare mango salsa: Add all Mango Salsa ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to evenly combine. Taste and add additional jalapenos, salt or lime juice. For best flavor, chill salsa in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
    2. Preheat oven to 400* F.
    3. Line a large jelly roll pan with foil that extends 2” past the pan edge on each long side (so you can fold the sides up). Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place salmon in the center of the foil skin side down.
    4. Whisk all the Wet Rub ingredient together in a medium bowl. Pour rub on salmon and evenly rub all over the top. Fold up all the sides of the foil snugly around the salmon (but don’t cover salmon). Let salmon rest 15-30 minutes to come to room temperature (you can make the mango salsa during this time).
    5. Bake salmon uncovered at 400* F for 12-15 minutes (depending salmon thickness), then broil 3 minutes.
    6. Garnish salmon with fresh lime juice and mango salsa. Season with salt to taste.

    Chipotle Salmon with Mango Salsa:

  • Lemon Chicken Orzo

    This dish is the complete package of comfort food. The recipe below is doubled to be served as a main dish. If you want this as a side, halve the recipe below.

    Adapted from Salt & Lavender

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 4 TBSP butter
    • 1 medium onion chopped
    • 6 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 2 c. uncooked orzo pasta
    • 4 c. chicken broth
    • 4 TBSP lemon juice
    • 2 c. heavy whipping cream
    • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
    • 1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 6-10 oz. fresh baby spinach
    • Salt & pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Add the oil, butter, and onion to a pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes.
    2. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning, and orzo. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often (this infuses the orzo with more flavor and toasts it a little).
    3. Stir in the chicken broth, lemon juice, and cream. Once it starts to bubble, continue cooking for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring fairly often. You will probably need to turn the heat down a bit (to medium or even medium-low). It should gently bubble vs. furiously boil, and you don’t want the liquid to reduce too much before the pasta has cooked.
    4. Stir in the chicken.
    5. Take the pot off the heat, stir in the parmesan and spinach, and cover the pot for 3-5 minutes or until it has thickened up to your liking. Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately.

    Lemon Chicken Orzo:

  • Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas with Chipotle Peach Salsa

    Recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

    Ingredients:

    Crispy Chicken Carnitas:

    • 2 lbs. chicken breast
    • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 TBSP chipotle chili powder
    • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 12 oz. bottle of Negra Modelo beer
    • 1 TBSP honey
    • Juice of lime
    • Warm tortillas and toppings: crema, avocado, feta, cilantro, pickled onion

    Chipotle Peach Salsa:

    • 1/2 c. salsa verde
    • 1/4 c. (or less to taste) chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped
    • 1/2 c. chopped ripe peaches
    • Salt

    Directions:

    1. In the bowl of the Instant pot, combine chicken through beer. Cover and cook on manual for 10 minutes; then quick release.
    2. Preheat broiler. Remove meat from the Instant pot and shred. Add meat to a baking sheet and then add 1/4 c. of the cooking liquid and lime juice. Drizzle hone. Broil for 2-5 minutes, until crispy. Add more cooking liquid if necessary. Watch closely.
    3. For the salsa: combine all ingredients in a blender and blitz until combined. Season with salt.
    4. To serve: add carnitas to tortilla and top with salsa and desired toppings.

    Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas with Chipotle Peach Salsa:

  • Lighter Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

    So flavorful and comes together in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.

    Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 lb. spiral pasta or other short cut pasta
    • 4 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 lb. chicken, cut in bite size pieces
    • 1 TBSP plus 1-2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 bell peppers, sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 c. chicken broth
    • 1 c. milk
    • 3-4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 TBSP basil, chopped

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta al dente according to the package, and then drain.
    2. Meanwhile, heat skillet to medium high and add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, onion, chicken, and 1 Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes, and then remove chicken from pan onto a plate.
    3. To the skillet, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, the bell peppers, and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes, until peppers are soft. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook another minute, then add broth and milk. Then add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Stir in parmesan, then add the pasta and cooked chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add basil.

    Lighter Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta: