Soyrizo and Vegetable Egg Scramble

Wow. I have been MIA. We have been been house hunting every weekend and it has certainly kept us busy. Luckily this morning I had some time to pull together and delicious breakfast. I recently heard about Soyrizo, which is basically fake chorizo, and I was very intrigued. I read reviews from meat eaters who were obsessed with Soyrizo. I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t plan on becoming one, but I do try to eat healthy and a nice weekly vegetarian meal can help me achieve that.

Soyrizo (as much as you want, depends on how many eggs you’re cooking, but several tablespoons would be fine)
3 eggs
1/2 of a red pepper, diced
1/4 of an onion, diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 an avocado

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Saute red pepper and onion until soft, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Incorporate the Soyrizo and saute for several more minutes. While the Soyrizo cooks, whisk your eggs in a small bowl (you can add some milk to make them creamy if you want). Add the eggs to the pan and scramble everything together until the eggs are cooked through. Serve in a bowl, for easy eating, and top with sliced avocado. I also topped the finished product with several dashes of Texas Pete, because I pretty mush put Texas Pete on everything.

Soyrizo Egg Scramble

This was delicious. The Soyrizo did not disappoint. You get all the flavor and spices with none of the grease or fat. The red peppers and onions are flavorful and bring a freshness to this dish. Everything marries together to make a very satisfying breakfast. This kept me full through a tough workout and all the way through to dinner. I hope you enjoy!

Cooking Light: Buffalo Chicken Thighs

I found another delicious and budget friendly dinner from Cooking Light that I had to share with you guys. This recipe only costs $2.22 per person. WHAT?! It also only has 318 calories per serving, which is two thighs. And while it may be low on calories it’s definitely not low on flavor. Again, I shopped at Trader Joe’s for more cost savings; however, they did not have any bone-in chicken thighs. I had to get the kosher leg quarters, which is a thigh and a leg. It worked perfectly, but I did have to cook it a little longer.

First, remove all the skin from the chicken. This is a little time consuming but necessary. Then combine flour, salt, garlic powder, and red (cayenne) pepper in a large zip lock bag. Add chicken pieces to the bag one at a time and shake. Make sure every little nook and cranny is coated and then shake off the excess. Discard the flour mixture & bag. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add chicken. Brown on both sides (approximately 5 minutes each side). Transfer chicken to an oven safe dish and bake at 400 (recipe says 375 but I went with 400) degrees. I let mine cook for 45 minutes, even though the recipe only says 8, because the chicken pieces were so big. It was cooked perfectly. When the chicken is done cooking, microwave the butter and hot sauce for 15-30 seconds, until the butter is melted and then drizzle on top of your delicious chicken!

Buffalo Chicken Thighs

YUMMMM. I served this chicken with roasted potatoes. I tossed sliced fingerling potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. I popped them back in the oven for about 5 minutes when the chicken was almost finished cooking to warm them back up. This was my take on healthier bar food, wings & fries! The chicken is deliciously spicy and really tastes just like a fried chicken wing. It was so delicious. The potatoes were cooked perfectly. This chicken would also be fantastic with a side salad topped with creamy ranch or blue cheese. Don’t hesitate. Make these after Thanksgiving!

For some fun Thanksgiving side ideas, see my earlier post on Sweet Potatoes and Brussels! I hope you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!


Cooking Light: Turkey Sausage, Mushroom, and Potato Gratin

Jason and I are in saving mode. We have a February trip in the works for our dear friend’s 30th birthday and we are also saving to buy a house, one day. That being said, I decided that I wanted to look for some budget friendly meals and Cooking Light came to the rescue! This Turkey Sausage, Mushroom, and Potato Gratin was the perfect Sunday dinner and it only costs $2.27 per serving. That is downright economical! I also shopped at Trader Joe’s which also helps your wallet. However, you can’t always find the right ingredients which can be frustrating. They didn’t have spicy Italian turkey sausage, they only had sweet Italian pork sausage, so I had to get creative. The pork sausage added some additional fat, I’m sure, but it ended up tasting delicious. I added quite a lot of red pepper flakes to achieve the spiciness that was missing and it worked perfectly.

First, prep all your ingredients so you really only have to throw everything in the pan. Dice the onion, slice the mushrooms, dice the potato, and shred your cheese. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove the casings from the sausage and brown in a large skillet (as the sausage was browning I added the red pepper flakes for some heat). Once the sausage is cooked through remove it from the pan and let it drain on a paper towel. Wipe out the pan and add a tablespoon of butter. Sauté the onion in the butter until soft and fragrant and then add your mushrooms. Cook for about 6 minutes and then add your potatoes. Cook for an additional 4-6 minutes or until the potatoes have browned slightly. They won’t be cooked through which is fine. Add your chicken stock and sausage to the pan and stir to combine. Pour the sausage mixture into a lightly greased casserole dish and top with Swiss cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes and then uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. I let this sit for a couple minutes which I would recommend because it is piping hot! Spoon into a dish and top with fresh thyme.

Turkey Sausage, mushroom, and potato gratin

This dinner was so satisfying and flavorful. The spiciness from the red pepper flakes was a necessary addition since I was using sweet Italian sausage. The mushrooms just soak up all that butter flavor and honestly I just love mushrooms and onions together. The perfect combo. This dinner takes a little while to cook, so I would recommend this for a weekend. I liked it so much that I’m planning to make it for my family the day before Christmas!

Thanksgiving Sides: Brussels and Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it’s definitely time to start planning your menu! I am not cooking this year, instead we are heading over to Jason’s brother’s house, which will be absolutely lovely. We will get to spend time with their kids and enjoy everyone’s company and not have to worry about too much 🙂 Don’t you just love being a guest?? However, for all of you that are cooking, I thought I would share two recipes that I recently tested out and loved. Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon and Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon. Both of these dishes are fantastic for a regular dinner but also fancy enough to serve over the holidays. And to be honest, these sweet potatoes are my new favorite. I love the addition of honey!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

They are sweet, filling, and warm. Sweet potatoes are essential for Thanksgiving cooking. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt to bring out all the flavors.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Several handfuls of brussels sprouts
4 slices of bacon
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the brussel sprouts for approximately 3 minutes and then drain. Cook bacon in a large skillet, set aside. While the bacon is cooking, halve or quarter your brussel sprouts. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings, discard the rest. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bacon drippings and heat. Sauté the sprouts for several minutes and then add your onion. Sauté for several more minutes until soft and add the garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Once all the veggies are soft and slightly browned, add the crumbled bacon back to the pan. Serve immediately.

Brussels Sprouts

This is comfort food. Everything is better with bacon, that’s for sure. But Bacon and Brussels go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Perfection.

Chicken Teriyaki Casserole

This Sunday I decided to try something new and make this Chicken Teriyaki Casserole from Oh Sweet Basil. It turned out pretty well. It wasn’t necessarily my favorite but it was tasty and filling. The only downside is that it took me a total of 1.5 hours start to finish. You make your own fried rice (I didn’t follow her recipe for that) and your own teriyaki sauce, so there are a few moving parts. I would definitely save this dinner for a weekend.

First pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook jasmine rice to package directions. While the rice is cooking, start your sauce. Bring the following ingredients to a boil and cook for 1 minute: low sodium soy sauce, water, brown sugar, honey, ground ginger, sesame oil, and 1 small minced garlic clove. Mix together in a bowl two tablespoons of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water. Add a teaspoon of the sauce mixture to the corn starch and water and slowly incorporate into the sauce. This will thicken up quickly. Pour ½ the sauce over the chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs) in an oven proof dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, make your fried rice. I came up with this fried rice recipe on the fly and it turned out pretty delicious. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a large wok. Scramble one egg in the oil and set aside. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan and fry rice for approximately 10 minutes (5 minutes each side – flatten rice in one layer and flip after 5 minutes). If the rice isn’t brown enough or crispy enough for you, keep on cooking! Towards the end add your egg back in. Set rice aside. Steam your stir-fry veggies – I did this in the microwave to save some time and they were perfect. Once the chicken is done cooking, carefully shred in the dish and toss with fried rice and veggies and the rest of the sauce. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes. Serve immediately!

Chicken Teriyaki Casserole

This dinner is super comforting and filling. It’s salty and sweet which is the perfect combination. I also love that you know exactly what is in your sauce because you make it! Jason’s main complaint with this dish was that he didn’t love the vegetable combination I chose. I think I would have had better luck if I stuck with mushrooms and broccoli. Overall it was delicious but it didn’t blow me away. Give it a try and let me know what you think!!

Happy Monday!

Anniversary Dinner: Savory Lemon Butter Chicken

Well, yesterday marked our three year wedding anniversary. I truly married the man of my dreams and I couldn’t be happier. We had an amazing wedding and I absolutely love looking back at the pictures. Our photographer, Jordan Brannock did an outstanding job capturing all the details. We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much love from our family and friends, especially on that day.


I wanted to cook something special and new to us, so I pulled together this Savory Lemon Butter Chicken. This dinner really takes minimal effort but the finished product is quite impressive. The keys are to make sure your meat is at room temperature and to resist the temptation to fiddle with the chicken while it’s browning, which is the hardest part.

3 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
Several sprigs of chopped fresh Savory (leaves removed – stems discarded)
1 lemon (juice of half the lemon and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest)
Salt and Pepper
Several handfuls of green beans

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Let chicken come to room temperature. Trim off any excess skin or fat. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Heat olive oil in a heavy oven proof pan over medium heat. Sear chicken in oil, skin side down for approximately 5 minutes. Do not fiddle with the chicken while it’s searing. You really want to develop a nice crispy crust, no one likes flabby skin. After five minutes flip the chicken and let is sear on the other side for approximately 5 minutes. Carefully pop the uncovered skillet into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. When your chicken is almost finished cooking steam your green beans in the microwave (simply place in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave for 3 minutes, easy peasy) and start your sauce. Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan and incorporate the lemon juice and zest. Place the green beans on a large platter and once the chicken is done cooking arrange on top of the green beans and drizzle that delicious lemon butter sauce on top. Sprinkle the entire dish with chopped savory.

Savory Lemon Butter Chicken

This.Was.Delicious. The crispy skin is the best part and the lemon butter adds so much flavor. The green beans are a simple but tasty addition. A small side of roasted potatoes would have been nice too but certainly not necessary. The portion size for this dinner was perfect for two people. Jason devoured two chicken thighs, I had one, and we gobbled up all the green beans. There was nothing leftover! I love when that happens. This chicken is so easy but it tastes like you spent hours on it. This is perfect for a dinner party or a weeknight dinner for two.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

This is not a traditional recipe, but it sure is tasty! I’ve heard of people using sweet potatoes in a Shepherd’s Pie, but I had never tried it before. I decided to give it a whirl on my own and not really follow any recipes. It turned out pretty delicious. There are a couple things I might change next time but overall I was pretty happy. Using sweet potatoes adds so much flavor and nutrients. As I’ve mentioned before, Jason hates white potatoes, so I usually substitute sweet potatoes whenever I can. I also used ground bison instead of ground beef. There is less fat and you don’t comprise on flavor.

1 lb ground bison
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 sprigs of chopped fresh savory
1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon butter

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Boil sweet potatoes for approximately 20 minutes or until soft. Mash with butter and salt and pepper, set aside. Brown the ground bison in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for several minutes. Add garlic, savory, salt and pepper, and carrots. Sauté together for 1-3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and let the ingredients cook together for an additional minute. Make sure to salt and pepper adequately as this will be your last chance! Pour the meat mixture in a large baking dish and cover with the sweet potatoes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. I recommend letting this sit for 10 minutes before digging in to avoid a terrible mouth burn. I speak from experience.

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie 2

Yum! I love this dish. It’s so filling and actually not so bad for you. One tablespoon of butter is the only added fat and you could actually skip that. If I could do this again I would add more veggies. I think it would be delicious with peas and mushrooms in addition to the carrots.

Our three year wedding anniversary is tomorrow and I have a delicious dinner planned, Savory Lemon Butter Chicken. Stay tuned later this week for that recipe. I hope you all have a lovely Monday!

Cooking Light: Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup

Autumn is here, finally!

Autumn Trail
This was taken at High Point State Park which is where Jason works, lucky duck!

However, it actually felt like the start of winter over the weekend, which I did not sign up for. It was cold and rainy. This Sausage, White Bean, and Kale soup from Cooking Light is exactly what we needed. Jason is also really sick so soup was a must. I made a couple changes to this recipe, as I usually do, and I think it greatly improved the flavor.

I used spicy pork sausage instead of Cajun sausage. I removed the casings and browned the sausage in a large cast iron Dutch oven. Once the sausage was fully cooked, I drained the fat and added 3 cups of chicken stock and the can of diced tomatoes, undrained. I let that simmer for several minutes while I added 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Then I added one can of white beans, drained. I let it all come to a boil and then reduced the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. I added the kale and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Right before I served the soup I added ¼ cup of light cream. The below picture is the soup before I added the cream.

Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Soup

This turned out great. Granted I know I added some fat and calories with the cream but it was worth it! It was rich and silky without being heavy. The kale cooks down a lot which is great because I cannot eat raw kale. It’s just too coarse for me. However it’s wonderful in a soup. The sausage had so much flavor and the red pepper flakes added even more of kick which was delicious. I do think it’s important to add the garlic powder and onion powder. It just gives the soup an extra layer of flavor which it needs. I would even consider sautéing fresh onion with the sausage to start.

This soup is wonderful and filling on its own, but I did make Jason a grilled cheese to go along with it. I opted out but you can’t ever go wrong with a grilled cheese and soup.


Farmer’s Market Finds

We stopped by the farmer’s market on Saturday to pick up a few items. I left with organic ground lamb, various produce items, two bottles of wine, and this adorable grey kitten.

Grey Kitten
Take Me Home!

Just kidding, but there was an animal adoption event happening beside the farmer’s market. I walked by twice to play with the kittens and Jason kept donating $ every time I walked over there. We are huge animal lovers and I was maybe 2 minutes away from adopting that cutie. But alas, I think three cats would be too much in one apartment…However, I believe she is still up for adoption and I would be happy to put people in contact with the animal shelter, if they want to giver her a forever home, just leave a comment below if you are interested.

Back to dinner. I originally envisioned the ground lamb being turned into Greek Burgers; however, I changed my mind last minute after a weekend filled with burgers. I went for a brown rice bowl filled with meatballs and broccoli and it turned out great.

Greek Rice Bowls: Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki, Brown Rice, and Broccoli

1.5 lbs ground lamb
2 tablespoons of tzatziki (I used an organic one from Whole Foods)
¼ cup of crumbled feta
½ of a yellow onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup of seasoned panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh mint, to taste
½ cup of brown rice, cooked
1 cup of broccoli, steamed

In a large bowl mix together the ground lamb, half the feta, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and mint. Cook brown rice to package directions. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Form meat mixture into tablespoon sized meatballs. Brown meatballs in the pan on all sides, approximately 3-5 minutes per side, in two batches. It’s important not to crowd the pan so all the meatballs cook evenly. When your meatballs are almost finished cooking, steam the rice in the microwave, it should only take about 3 minutes. To plate, simply add half the rice into a bowl, top with 4-5 meatballs and half the broccoli. Top with tzatziki and the rest of the crumbled feta.

Lamb Meatballs

The lamb has such amazing flavor and the tzatziki adds a cool creamy texture that is to die for. An let’s be honest, feta is always a welcome addition. It’s salty and tangy and it pairs perfectly with the lamb. You might think that the broccoli is a little random, and it is, but it actually works. You could sub for any vegetable you have in the fridge. I had a head of broccoli that needed to be cooked, which is why it found it’s home in this recipe. I also think that a sprinkle of mint on top would have been delicious and possibly a scoop of hummus… feel free to make it your own!

I hope you all have a wonderful week 🙂

Thai Meatball Lettuce Wraps

I’m always looking for new twists on old recipes. These Thai Meatball Lettuce Wraps are just that. I love a good meatball! Almost as much as I love a good taco. It’s really hard to choose a favorite. Meatballs are also just oh so easy to prepare. Simply prep your ingredients and then mix them all together in a bowl. What could be easier? Also, the vehicle by which we eat these tasty treats is wonderfully simple, lettuce. Not only are we cutting down on calories but we’re also making life much easier.

I made these a few weeks ago when I had a friend in town who particularly loves Asian flavors. We all thoroughly enjoyed them. Be prepared to get a little messy, but it’s totally worth it. These meatballs are made with ground pork which adds a wonderful flavor dimension; however, you can easily substitute beef, chicken, or turkey.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine the pork, scallions, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, siracha, salt, and lime juice in a large bowl and mix to combine. Form into small meatballs and place on a greased baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. While the meatballs cook, pull your dressing together for the slaw. I did not follow the recipe for this and used 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper and drizzled over pre-cut coleslaw. Seriously couldn’t be easier. Once the meatballs are done cooking, toss them in the sweet chili sauce. To plate, simply put 2-3 meatballs in a leaf of lettuce and top with the tangy slaw.

Thai Meatball Lettuce Wraps

I challenge you to eat these without a napkin.