Let’s Make Rustic Oven-Baked Zucchini Cakes with Our Chef!

Oven-Baked Zucchini Cakes

For a while I’ve been wanting to make homemade tater tots – they’re trendy and everyone loves a good tot. I wanted to make my own recipe, something a little healthier, like a broccoli version similar to this one. Last weekend I decided to give it a shot, but I was fresh out of broc and had a zucchini staring me down in the fridge.  Zucchini tots it was. Only, I was feeling especially lazy and didn’t break out the food processor. Instead, I went the “rustic” approach and roughly chopped up a zucchini and shallot for this recipe. I quickly realized these were not going to hold up in tot form, but like any great “chef” I pivoted quickly and opted to make these Rustic Oven-Baked Zucchini Cakes instead! They turned out perfect, honestly. I was surprised, but they tasted like a savory potato pancake, except slightly better for you.

I added quinoa to the recipe last minute too. It was not cooked quinoa. I think it worked out well though, despite the fact that most baked goods with quinoa call for the quinoa to be pre-cooked. I thought it did a nice job of absorbing some liquid out of the Zucchini Cake and also providing a soft crunch in the finished product.

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Slow Cooker Beer Chicken

Slow Cooker Beer Chicken

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, and this Slow Cooker Beer Chicken is the perfect dish to enjoy while watching the millionaires play their game.

Key and Peele Slow Cooker Chicken
Watch Key and Peele

You can easily impress your guests (and/or yourself) with this Slow Cooker Beer Chicken that takes minimal effort to make. Throw it on a bun with some BBQ sauce, or eat it plain with some rice and veggies. Your call.

All you need to get started are two key ingredients:

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Easy Cilantro Lime Rice

Easy Cilantro Lime Rice

As of April, I have been prepping lunch on Sunday’s for the week. The first recipe I made was this Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe, and since then I have been making a wide variety of slow cooker chicken dishes to eat with rice and vegetables all week. It’s pretty healthy, very simple, and extremely affordable to do. It can get a little bland though when repeated over and over again. For the first time this past Sunday, I decided to take the rice to the next level and make this Easy Cilantro Lime Rice to enjoy with some chicken and vegetables.

It was good, put bluntly, and reminded me of Chipotle’s popular rice offerings. Was it better than Chipotle? I don’t want to call out one my favorite restaurant chains, but I think it gave it a run for its money. And speaking of money, this option is definitely more economical, costing only $0.80 per serving.

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Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Lunches are tough to plan for the week, not to mention actually prep and cook. It can be hard to find the motivation some Sunday’s to spend time in the kitchen making food for the work week instead of enjoying the last few hours of the workday. This past week, I was feeling especially uninspired. Just what you want to hear at the beginning of a recipe post.

I had already made Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing, Healthy Buffalo Chicken Bites, Slow Cooker Avocado Chicken Salad, and Spicy Soy Sauce Basil Chicken, I was running out of ideas, to be honest. Then hit it me, I remembered a simple classic from my childhood – BBQ chicken with rice. I had BBQ chicken and rice every night throughout middle school and high school. Okay, not every night, but once a week easy. The idea made me excited to whip up my own version.

When revisiting this childhood classic I wanted to keep it easy and simple, and nothing is easier than the slow cooker. You could make BBQ chicken with two ingredients – BBQ sauce and chicken. I was looking for something a bit more flavorful, so I added some onion, garlic and vinegar to the slow cooker to spice up this Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken while still keeping the recipe simple with only 5 ingredients.

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Spring Arugula Salad with Homemade Balsamic Dressing

Spring Arugula Salad

This past weekend the weather actually warmed up a bit in Chicagoland, I think it actually hit 60 degrees at one point. Not bad for early March. It motivated me to start embracing the warm weather and begin breaking out some Spring recipes, the first of which is this delicious and simple Spring Arugula Salad with Homemade Balsamic Dressing. It is the perfect Spring lunch, and is great as a side or an appetizer for dinner as well. This easy salad has 5 ingredients:

  • Arugula
  • Strawberries
  • Goat Cheese
  • Red Onion
  • Pistachios

Spring Arugula Salad Close Up

The homemade dressing is just as simple, and it takes this salad to the next level of salad greatness. It’s a simple balsamic dressing made with two parts olive oil and one part balsamic vinegar. I also threw in a touch of honey, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper for good measure.

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How to Make French Press Coffee in 5 Easy Steps

How to French Press Coffee

Today you’re going to learn how to make French press coffee at home. Brewing coffee at home is a great way to save money. It’s actually the first thing I would tell you to do if you were looking to cut costs in the kitchen.

You know why?

You can drink coffee at home for one year for about the same price of buying coffee from a coffee shop for one week.

Yes you read that right, the savings potential is through the roof. If you’re interested in learning more about just how much you’d save, my long-winded rant can be found here.

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No Bake Peanut Butter Balls

No Bake Peanut Butter Balls

I’m not necessarily a huge baker. The last time I baked it was about 3 months ago to make these Homemade Pop Tarts with Honey Blackberry Filling. They were awesome, but I decided to switch it up this past weekend and make these No Bake Peanut Butter Balls for 3 great reasons:

  1. It was hot and I didn’t want to further heat my apartment up with the gas oven.
  2. Gas costs money.
  3. I would need to crank the AC to cool off the apartment after baking, which uses electricity, which costs money.

So, instead, I whipped up some No Bake Peanut Butter Balls. They turned out to be a great summer dessert that were easy to make (only 6 ingredients!) and affordable too.

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How to Make Aioli at Home

How to Make Aioli at Home

I have been on a burger kick lately. They have always been one of my favorite foods, specifically bison burgers, but bison burgers can be expensive when ground bison is not on sale. To further fuel my burger kick, I bought a pound of ground beef at the grocery store last weekend and planned on making burgers all week. Typically, I’ll settle for ketchup and mustard on top of my burgers – just plain ketchup and yellow mustard. Sounds basic, but its a classic combination that just works. However, feeling inspired by a recent sauce I made – Easy Arugula Walnut Pesto, I decided to up my sauce game once again for these burgers and learn How to Make Aioli at Home.

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How to Make a Healthy Bison Burgers at Home

Healthy Bison Burgers

When making burgers, I usually try to switch up the flavor combinations every time to keep things fresh, but these Healthy Bison Burgers really stood out because of their simplicity. => Want a full list of Burger recipes? Get here All Recipes from Meredith Corporation.

Bison burgers have quickly risen as one of my favorite foods. Bison is healthy and delicious, but can also be expensive. I did my best to battle the costliness of these Healthy Bison Burgers by “stretching” my ingredients to get the most bang for my buck. I made 1/4 burgers seem slightly bigger by mixing some mushrooms into the ground bison mixture. Mushrooms have a great meaty texture and take on the flavor of the burger, and it worked like a charm in this recipe. The one watch out with mushrooms is that they absorb water, so make sure to soak them in some olive oil to prevent them from making your burgers dry.

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Ramekin Eggs: How to Perfectly Bake Eggs

Ramekin Eggs

I recently discovered how to bake eggs in the oven using ramekin dishes, and it’s an interesting and unique way to whip up your weekend eggs. I have been getting tired of regular scrambled eggs lately – they have been too bland for my super sophisticated palate. Baked ramekin eggs remind me of a cross between a poached and over-easy egg. They’re gooey in the middle but not completely runny. The best part about making ramekin eggs in the oven is that they come out like one of the molded eggs from a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich, except that it’s made fresh by you! Nice job.

Ramekin Eggs Sandwich

These eggs can be made by themselves or topped with any combination of ingredients. I wouldn’t try to fit more than 3 or 4 extra ingredients in there though, if you do, it will get too crowded and it won’t cook evenly. I went with broccoli, cheddar cheese and turkey sausage this past weekend. It turned out egg-celent.

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