Quick Chicken and Rice with Green Beans

This simple, tasty and healthy chicken and rice with green beans makes a perfect bring to work lunch. 

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It’s not always easy coming up with titles for recipes. You want to give as much detail as possible but you don’t want one that is so long it’s not worth reading. So I had a few ideas for this recipe. My first question for myself was do I emphasize the green beans or the chicken? Do you have that problem when writing recipes? How do you decide? 

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I love this recipe. I’m all about trying to get the food made quickly most days. If I don’t I find myself snacking during the process if I’m really hungry and then end up eating more calories than I should. This doesn’t always happen but there are those days when I’m ravenous and I think it’s usually when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. 

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This recipe relies heavily on food that was made ahead of time. I try to make extras of basics to save myself time in the future. I am a fan of make ahead because it gives you some freedom from the kitchen a little sooner just when you might need it. 

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Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cheese
  • 1-8.8 ounce package ready to serve whole grain brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked chopped chicken
  • 1/4 cup cooked chopped turkey bacon
  • 1 cup steamed chopped green beans

Directions

  1. Heat a medium saucepan on low-medium heat. Add butter and melt. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Pour in milk and continue whisking until combined. 
  2. Sprinkle in cheese and mix until cheese is melted and combined. Set aside. 
  3. Meanwhile heat rice according to package instructions. This will take about 90 seconds. Place chicken, turkey bacon, and green beans in a bowl. Heat in microwave 2-3 minutes. Microwave ovens vary. Mix together rice, chicken, turkey bacon, green beans and cheese sauce. Mix together and serve hot. 
  4. Serve this with a light salad. 
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Matchstick Fries with Pea Pesto

There is no better way to eat fries. These are baked in the oven for 30- 35 minutes and you are on your way to potato bliss. 

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Potatoes are currently in season here in the Midwest and I am so happy. I love potatoes. Usually in the form of chips and fries, Oh and Mashed Potato volcanoes are a favorite request around here. 

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This recipe is so easy and works great as an appetizer. The pea pesto takes these fries to a different level. Yes, fries are good with ketchup but this pesto is thick and full of flavor. 

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I dipped three at a time. Don’t you? Who eats one fry at a time? 

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Serves 3-5

Ingredients for Matchstick Fries

  • 3 medium russet potatoes, cleaned and sliced into thin matchsticks which are about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. 
  • 1/4 cup Spanish olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions for Matchstick Fries

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Cover two baking trays with foil and spray generously with oil. 
  2. Place fries in large bowl and pour oil on top of potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss to combine. Place on trays and heat in oven 30-35 minutes, flipping once during cooking. 
  4. Serve with Pea pesto.

Ingredients for Pea Pesto

  • 1-1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions for Pea Pesto

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Serve with Matchstick Fries.

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Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Must make pumpkin, must make pumpkin, must make pumpkin! (Hear the chant?) I am absolutely sure it’s time to make pumpkin cookies! 

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I hope you’re ready to be bombarded with recipes that include pumpkin. 

I know it’s early but I must divulge I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I made the call. It was time to do it! 

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As these baked in the oven I loved the aroma that breezed through the house. Good thing it was one of those cooler days when you don’t mind the oven being on.

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When you make cookies without lots of sugar and eggs what you get is a chewy almost sponge like consistency. I like that texture. My favorite guy said he prefers crispy. Hey, I like crispy too and they have their place but I don’t want to eat cookies that are filled with lots of sugar all the time.

Once in a while is ok. I’ll even post recipes now and again with more sugar than usual. These cookies got a thank you from my taste testers. Now isn’t that all anyone really wants?

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Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon organic sunflower oil
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup pumpkin pie mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the sunflower oil, milk, yogurt, pumpkin pie mix, and cinnamon.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in the big bowl.
  5. Add the chocolate chunks and stir to combine. 
  6. Drop by 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie onto the prepared baking sheets, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until slightly browned on edges. Cool on the pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes

This sweet potato and salmon cakes recipe is less than 10 ingredients (woo-hoo) and super quick to prepare (oh yeah)!

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Happy September 1st and it’s officially meteorological fall! One of my favorite seasons for food, outdoor activities, and holidays. Here we go!

So I had some sweet potatoes sitting on my counter for about a week. They were taunting me. I was in the mood to make something new but had no real motivation to find a new recipe.

I think I’ve hit that wall that all food bloggers get stuck at. I’m gently climbing over it. The spark for ideas is slow going lately. I’m second guessing stuff like title names and ideas for new combinations. I’m having trouble picking backgrounds. I don’t know what it is. 

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Here’s a perfect example of my brain fog. I named these cakes but I really think they are more like burgers. I was even thinking about making them into meatballs. Even though my brain is acting out I managed to make these really tasty sweet potato salmon cakes. So like I said I’m climbing ever so slowly and gingerly over that wall. 

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I served these with a sour cream and yogurt mixture, a lime wedge, a handful of arugula, a sprinkle of green onions, and at the last minute some hot sauce (not shown). I made some spanish rice for a side but was not really pleased with the outcome on that. I’ll have to try that recipe again but with a different rice.

So even though I’m feeling stuck, I find myself thinking about recipe combinations, reading cookbooks, cooking magazines, and craving new ideas. I bought a few new props the other day and have them sitting on my table waiting for a new recipe to fill them. I’m all over pinterest collecting new ideas. So I know the flame is still burning, it’s just on low the last few weeks. The heat of that flame will return and when it does all will be right with me and my brain. 

What do you do to get out of your creative funk? 

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Makes 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, and diced
  • 3-5 ounce canned salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 tablespoon bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Cook diced sweet potato in a zip and steam bag. Heat in microwave 5-7 minutes. Microwave ovens vary.
  2. Place sweet potato in a small bowl and mash using a fork or better yet a potato masher.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Heat a pan on medium high heat and spray with oil. Scoop out a 1/2 cups worth of salmon mixture and place in pan. Smash down gently with your hand and spray top side. Cook for 3 minutes per side and serve hot. 

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Quinoa Almond Breakfast Bites

With these protein filled breakfast bites you’re sure to have a spring in your step today. 

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Well, it’s stormy here and the expected high temperature is 93 degrees fahrenheit. Yuck :( 

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What’s that you say about not having time for the most important meal of the day? 

With just 6 ingredients you are on your way to a healthy breakfast or snack. Hey, you might even try to pass these off as dessert. I did. 

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These no bake quinoa almond breakfast bites are perfect! Oh and pretty much anything drizzled in chocolate helps. 

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Makes 14

Ingredients

  • 12 pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2-3 teaspoon water
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

Directions

  1. Place dates in food processor and pulse until it forms a ball. Remove from food processor and place in a medium bowl.
  2. Add almonds and pulse until almonds a re coarsely ground. Do not pulse longer to make them into a powder. 
  3. Add quinoa, coconut flakes, and dates. Pulse until combined. 
  4. Place mixture in medium bowl and a few teaspoons of water. Mix to combine and mixture is sticky. 
  5. Using a teaspoon, scoop out mixture and form into 14 logs. Place on a plate and set aside.
  6. Melt chocolate  chunks in microwave safe bowl at 20 second intervals until melted. Stir after each 20 seconds to combine. Drizzle on logs and place in refrigerator 1/2 hour to 1 hour or until chocolate hardens. Serve with your favorite beverage. 

This recipe is adapted from skinnyms.com

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Roasted Vegetables on 4 Ingredient Skillet Flatbread

Roasted vegetables make for a light lunch or dinner. Serve with 4 ingredient skillet flatbread and you’ve got a healthy meal full of color. 

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The hardest part about this meal is all the chopping. Once you’re done with that it’s easy street. You can always buy pre-cut vegetables and then there’s no excuse. 

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What I really like about this recipe is how it brings out the sweetness. Have you tried roasting vegetables? Well here’s your chance. 

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Oh yum! This recipe also goes great with curried lentils, rice and beans, sourdough bread with cheese, a piece of salmon, and even on a tuna sandwich. Should I go on? Roast some veggies today!

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Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1-12 ounce bag broccoli florets
  • 4 carrots equal to about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 medium zucchini equal to 2 cups
  • 1 medium sweet potato equal to 2 cups
  • 4 green onion stalks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil plus a little extra for the roasting pan
  • salt and pepper
  • feta cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse broccoli, carrots, zucchini, sweet potato, and onion stalks.
  3. Peel  zucchini and sweet potato. Chop vegetables to desired size for roasting and place in a large bowl.
  4. Pour olive oil onto vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. 
  5. Place vegetables on oven safe tray and roast for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with feta cheese and 4 Ingredient Skillet Flatbread.
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Sweet Potato Fries Topped with Madras Lentils

Sometimes you just can’t beat ready to go meals. Packaged sweet potatoes and lentils go great together. This will become your next go to meal. It’s such a great combination! 

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I’ve made this combination before with fresh cut sweet potatoes and lentils that I spiced myself. Yes, I know this recipe is probably not the healthiest recipe and I didn’t label it as such. This is more of a semi-healthy take on one of my favorite meals. A few years ago I found a super delicious vegetarian Curried Poutine. I couldn’t get enough. Such great flavors! 

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I honestly don’t know why I haven’t mentioned this sooner. When I’m craving fries smothered in something, this is my go to recipe. 

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Here’s a great Meatless Monday idea. Try this recipe and let me know what you think. 

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Serves 3-5

Ingredients

  • 1-32 ounce package sweet potato fries
  • 2-10 ounce packages 1 step-1 minute madras lentils ( I buy Tasty Bite)
  • 1-15 ounce can lentil beans drained and rinsed ( I buy Brad’s Organic)
  • 1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese (or any strong flavored cheese)
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and cook sweet potato fries according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile place packaged lentils and canned lentils in a saucepan and heat through. 
  3. Chop spinach into long strips and set aside. 
  4. When sweet potatoes are done remove from oven and using tongs place a nice helping of sweet potato fries on a plate and top with lentils,  cheese and spinach. 
  5. Serve warm.
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