Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Spring is one of the most magical times of the year. I love the warmer temperatures, longer days, cherry blossoms and blooming flowers. I don’t love the dent in my wallet because of copious Allegra purchases, that being said. 😏

I also love spring produce! Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and while I cringe at off-season prices – I’ve bought it for $5.99 / lb. before, sad but true – I revel at being able to buy it for only $1.69 / lb. now. YEAH! It’s so easy to sauté on the stove quickly to toss with some pasta or serve as a side dish – I love to have it with some 7-minute eggs and red cabbage sauerkraut for breakfasts – but I also love to roast a bunch at once for an easy meal prep option. A solid full bunch gives me about 2 – 3 days of a vegetable side for my lunches during the work week.

I’ve got a quick and easy way to roast up some asparagus, tried and true. No frills, just a good recipe. Very…Pinterest-friendly. Haaaa.

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch asparagus, cleaned and woody ends removed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or neutral-flavored oil of choice
  • 1 lemon
    • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
    • 4 – 6 slices of lemon
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 425 °F .

2.) Arrange asparagus on lightly-greased rimmed cooking sheet.

3.) In a small bowl, combine olive oil and lemon zest. Drizzle evenly over asparagus; lightly roll and toss with hands to ensure even coating.

4.) Top asparagus with lemon slices, sprinkle with salt, and place in oven for 20 – 25 minutes; be sure to check after about 15 minutes of cooking, depending on how the temperature may distribute in your oven and the thickness of the asparagus. Remove when roasted to liking!

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Spicy Cilantro Hasselback Potatoes

I’ve always admired the beautiful specimen that is a Hasselback potato. It is both fancy and homey, both elegant and comforting, both something you may find at a top-notch restaurant or in your mother’s kitchen.

I admire it…for I don’t have the patience to make my own. Ha!

The gorgeous sliced effect of the Hasselbeck potato takes a bit of effort and patience, and though I try to stay calm, my mind always runs at about a mile a minute. Sometimes, it takes wicked amounts discipline for me to complete more ornate cooking and baking tasks. Pie crusts? I smush them down with my fingers, because I don’t care if it’s pretty! I just want it to taste good! However, when it comes to food styling, I flip on a dime and get more zen and careful. Go figure.

Well, I took the time to slice some taters, and the result was worth the care and time put into it. Pretty lil’ babies, aren’t they?

This recipe can certainly be adjusted if you want to add butter; since I’m still on my dairy-free diet, I’m going a strict oil route here. I’m not complaining, because I’m a gal that loves her olive oil! (Vengo dall’eredità italiana!) I recently discovered a new brand, The Blue Olive, and I got a bottle of their Baklouti Green Chili Fused Extra Virgin Olive Oil.It’s…got a kick, to say the least! My bland palate got an education. Ha! But when you mix it with some cilantro and bake it into the potatoes, the heat is slow and low, leaving a lovely little tingle in the back of your mouth. It’s an amazingly comforting winter dish, perfect for these brick winter days…or even for these milder winter days that are a complete 180° turn from last weekend! (Hello, 50°F! Goodbye 10°F!) Even better, The Blue Olive has their main store up in Pawling – perfect for those north of NYC! It’s literally across the street from that town’s MetroNorth station. Shop local, y’all!

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NOTE: Thank you to Bryce from The Blue Olive for providing me with this olive oil for testing purposes!

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Spicy Cilantro Hasselback Potatoes
(Makes two large potatoes; serves 2 – 4)

Ingredients:

– 2 large Ruseet potatoes, skins scrubbed
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/8 cup Baklouti Green Chili Fused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (See Before We Get Started…)
– 1/4 cup cilantro, cleaned and minced
– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Before We Get Started…

– If you do not have this specific brand of olive oil – substitute a spicy olive oil of your choice or add 1/4 teaspoon chili powder to 1/2 cup regular olive oil and thoroughly blend.

– The method I use to slice the potatoes is listed in Step #2. For other ways to slice potatoes, please look here!

– If desired, substitute regular olive oil with 1/4 cup melted butter; I am currently eating dairy-free as of the time of this recipe’s development, so please indulge, as I can not. Ha!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) To slice potatoes, place potato on a firm surface and place two chopsticks on either side. Use a large sharp knife to slowly and carefully slice down into the potato until the knife’s blade reaches the chopstick. This insures that the potato is sliced but the bottom remains in tact, allowing for the “fan” effect of the hasselback potato. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet or roasting pan and set aside.

3.) Whisk together both types of olive oil, cilantro, garlic powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Using a food brush, carefully dab between each potato slice with the oil mixture. If necessary, add more oil and / or cilantro if you start to run low. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture on top of potatoes.

4.) Bake for 60 minutes; at the 30 minute mark, check on potatoes and baste / brush with any extra oil in the bottom of the pan.

5.) Remove from oven, top with additional cilantro, if desired, and serve immediately! If there are leftovers, refrigerate; to reheat, drizzle with a glug of olive oil and place in a 350°F degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes until warmed through and slightly crispy on top.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Summer Squash & Red Onion Pizza

I’m a gal that loves her pizza, and I am blessed to live in one of the undisputed pizza capitals of the country. I mean, within three blocks of my apartment, I have a Domino’s, a Papa John’s, a Little Caesar…

😏

But in all seriousness, between Pizza Palace up here in my my ‘hood (Inwood, baby!) to Sal & Carmine’s on the Upper West Side to hot spots like Roberta’s and Emily, it’s easy to be close to a good slice.

That being said, I always love to take a break from the traditional and funky NYC slices for something that’s a bit more nutrient-dense.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

One of my favorite Instagram healthy living foodies is Elia of Feed Your Sister. Over the past few months, she’s introduced me to some excellent products to add to my pantry. One of these products is the gluten-free cauliflower-based crusts from Calilfour Foods. Now, I have no major food allergies or aversions (…save for my freak Brewer’s Yeast allergy, but it’s pretty damn easy for me to avoid beer and Vegemite. Ha!) and have found no change within my body if I’m eating gluten or not. Still, eating something cauliflower-based is definitely better than eating a ton of refined carbs within a traditional pizza crust. I attended a networking event Elia hosted a few weeks back, and she generously gifted all of her guests with two of their plant-based crusts!

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Ahhhh, the possibilities…

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

I decided to go with what I had a large amount of in my vegetable crisper: summer squash and red onions! I spread a generous layer of ricotta cheese over the baked crust, loaded it with the squash and onions, topped it with fresh mozzarella – because of course – baked it per the directions, and I had a light but satisfying meal. Also, it was easy! Start to finish, it took less than 30 minutes.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

Let’s be honest: I love a quick meal that’s healthy and allows me to get back to binge watching shows on Netflix in the evening. Haaa.

summer squash red onion pizza califlour foods

NOTE: This post was not sponsored by Califlour Foods. I am merely an enthusiastic new fan. Ha!

Summer Squash & Red Onion Pizza
(Makes 1 pizza, approximately 10″)

Ingredients:

– 1 Califlour Foods crust of choice!
– 4 ounces ricotta cheese
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
– 1/4 cup yellow squash, thinly sliced
– 4 ounces fresh mozzerella, sliced

Before We Get Started…

– You can sub in 1/2 cup zucchini or 1/2 cup yellow squash if that is all you have!

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or place crust on pizza stone. Once the oven is ready, bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

2.) In a small bowl, mix ricotta and salt. Spread mixture evenly on crust, just stopping short of the edges. Layer on sliced zucchini and yellow squash. Top with mozzarella. Place back in oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3.) Remove from oven and serve immediately!

Sautéed Broccoli and Zucchini with Fried Egg

Sautéed Broccoli & Zucchini with Fried Egg

You guys…June is totally kicking my butt!

Is it REALLY the 18th already?!?!

I can’t even.

*yawn*

I’ve been so busy with so many things – at work and in my personal life – and there haven’t been enough hours in the day for me to write up and photograph a proper recipe in quite some time. I’m hoping to pop out at least one good one next Saturday, but…the way my month has been going…haha…busy busy busy! 

WELL, in the interim, I want to post this. Starting today, I started a new series on my Instagram feed – click here for your viewing pleasure, but of course! – which I am called “Screenshot Recipe Sunday”. After talking with both my followers and my fellow food bloggers / food Instagrammers, I’ve heard pretty loud and clear that a lot of y’all, while you love visiting food blogs, also love recipes that are simple to just take a screenshot of on their phones. I’m attempting to embrace that – goodness knows I love the same thing – and this was my first entry, a simple mix of sautéed veggies with a fried egg.

It’s insanely easy and customizable, and…well…pretty damn easy. While I will be posting the recipes on Instagram, I will also be posting them here each week.

I hope you enjoy this!

Sautéed Broccoli and Zucchini with Fried Egg

Sautéed Broccoli & Zucchini with Fried Egg
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (I use Nutiva Refined Coconut Oil)
– 1 medium zucchini, diced
– 1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon butter or ghee or neutral-flavored oil
– 1 egg

Directions:

1.) Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add oil; once oil is shimmering, add vegetables. Season with garlic powder and salt. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. Scrape up any brown bits, but don’t allow vegetables to get burned. Remove from heat, place vegetables on a plate, and set aside.

2.) In a small saute or frying pan, heat butter (or alternative) over medium heat. Gently crack egg into pan and cook as desired; as photographed, a sunnyside up fried egg will take roughly 5 minutes to cook, as all of the whites should be set before serving. Remove from pan and place on top of vegetables. EAT.

Baked Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon, & Zucchini

Baked Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon, & Zucchini

All hail the baked chicken breast, the reigning queen of meal prep perfection!

I use my fair share of chicken breast when making my work lunches on any given week – it’s a lean protein that always leaves me feeling full, satisfied, and energized – and it’s so easy to dress up with any flavor, especially as the seasons change. Over this relatively chilly spring that’s been hanging over NYC – the high is supposed to only be 59°F on Wednesday, JUNE 7TH – I’ve been using many warming spices when dressing my breasts…heheh…such as turmeric and cumin. If the weather won’t bring that summery feeling to our city right now, I’ll at least jump start it with some bright summery flavors.

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This recipe is a take on an Inspiralized recipe from last month, Lemon-Herb Chicken with Roasted Artichoke and Zucchini Pasta with Feta. I made it a handful of times and it’s delicious! I am a huge fan of spiralizing my vegetables and do it multiple times a week; it’s great for meal prep! That being said…sometimes…I’m too lazy to pull out my spiralizer and my urge to use my big chef’s knife to chunk up some vegetables gives me more satisfaction. Ha! So this recipe is a non-spiralized adaptation of that original excellent spiralized recipe. I ditched the feta and added some different spices, but the magic in both recipes, I believe, comes from the vegetables. The liquid from them helps keep the chicken breast incredibly juicy; as I use boneless for this recipe, keeping in moisture is very important, as bone-in chicken does yield a naturally moister meat.

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This is great for meal prep because a 12 – 16 ounce chicken breast will yield four 3 – 4 oz. servings of chicken and a nice serving of vegetables for each; I do supplement mine with some more vegetables or a grain, which is my hot tip to you! Some brown rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower would be an awesome accompaniment!

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Baked Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon, & Zucchini in all of its meal prepped glory!

Baked Chicken with Artichoke, Lemon, & Zucchini
(Adapted from the Inspiralized recipe for Lemon-Herb Chicken with Roasted Artichoke and Zucchini Pasta with Feta)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

– One 3/4 lb. – 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
– 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided into two 1 tablespoon servings
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 large or 2 medium zucchinis, rinsed and diced
– 1 cup canned quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon turmeric
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– A rectangular baking dish works well here, such as an 11″ x 7″, though a small square baking dish (8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″) will also work well.

– A good “duh” statement, but if you can’t find quartered canned artichoke hearts, buy whole ones and quarter them yourselves. If you buy artichoke hearts marinated in oil, it’s up to you whether you want to rinse off the marinade or not; I prefer to use canned artichoke hearts that come packed in water.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.) Place chicken in baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and pepper and spread / massage into chicken breast. Don’t forget to wash your hands once you’re done! (Infection control!)

3.) In a large bowl, toss zucchini and artichoke hearts with lemon juice, garlic powder, and turmeric until well combined. Place vegetable mixture on top of chicken; vegetables should cover as much chicken as possible.

4.) Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165°F. Remove from oven; if some of the artichoke pieces have slightly browned or crisped, that is fine! (And delicious!) Allow chicken to sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.