Between travel and work, the past couple weeks have been busy and action-packed. It’s a huge cliche, but there are not enough hours in the day. Since I’ve been strapped for time, I’ve also been eating out more and subsequently spending more money on food than necessary. To get back on track, I decided to make something super easy for lunches this week. I baked some chicken and veggies, and whipped up this Quick and Easy Quinoa with Avocado Dressing. It took less than 30 minutes to make and only had 5 ingredients, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the weekend.
Blackened Chicken Pita with Mint Yogurt Sauce go great together, like MJ and Pippen, Brady and Belichick, Chandler and Joey, Shrek and Fiona. You get the picture. The heat of the chicken is matched perfectly by the cool tang of the mint yogurt sauce. Each only having a handful of ingredients makes this flavorful pita recipe super easy to make.
I first made blackened seasoning last summer over the Fourth of July. I was grilling at my then Fiance’s (now Wife’s) parent’s house and drinking my favorite beer (manly) and covered the entire chicken breast in black pepper before tossing it onto the grill. Plain and simple, yes, but the result was pretty dang good.
This time around, I upped the seasoning game slightly and added some other spice and flavor to the mix, including red pepper and paprika. The combination was quite tasty, and hot. If you like spicy food then this recipe is for you! It’s not quite grilling weather yet, so I baked this in the stove, but cooking it on the grill would work great too. You also do not need a cat measuring cup to make this recipe, but if you’re into it the Amazon link is below.
I recently discovered how versatile beer is for cooking. I typically fall back on IPAs, pale ales or anything with hops. Though, with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I decided to break out the Guinness and make these Braised Guinness Lamb Chops with Rosemary Sweet Potatoes. I have been cooking with beer frequently, and have been pleased with the results (check out this Slow Cooker Beer Chicken to see what I mean). This recipe did NOT disappoint either. The sauce was rich and tangy, and the lamb was tender. It was exactly what I was looking for in a St. Patrick’s Day recipe.
The recipe is easy to make too. It’s what I would call an “easy braise” – you will be done in about an hour. Plus, you’re idle for most of that hour so you can enjoy it hanging with friends or watching The Office like I did.
Valentine’s Day is a great time to showcase your cooking skills, so for those of you who will be cooking at home, I wanted to provide some of the best Valentine’s Day Recipes on the web right now. Get ready for a lot of heart shapes and red velvet recipes – to no one’s surprise.
Breakfast recipe number two coming at ya.
And this one is a classic breakfast sandwich featuring eggs, avocado, and other delicious accompaniments.
This won’t be the last sandwich you see on Economical Chef either. Sandwiches are a great way to deliver flavorful, filling meals for minimal dollars. And I am all about spending minimal dollars.
Only one week is left until the Super Bowl, and for those of you who will be watching, you will also probably be eating. This coming Sunday usually consists of pizza, wings and beer, but below are some healthier recipes that give the classic game day grub a run for it’s money.
With that, here are the seven best healthy recipes for the Super Bowl.
I have a bad habit of buying groceries I don’t need each week at the grocery store. Not that I buy a bunch of cereal and candy bars and chips, but I’ll oftentimes buy bread when we already have a loaf at home or I’ll get pasta without knowing we have a couple boxes in the pantry. In this case, and for the past couple weeks, I have been buying grass-fed beef that is on sale even though we already have 2-3 lbs in the freezer. It’s an annoying habit that I need to break, but the extra food always gets used in the form of countless sandwiches, pasta bakes, and in this case, Grass Fed Beef and Quinoa Meatballs.
If you’re wondering why there is quinoa in these meatballs, the main answer is “money.” Meat is expensive, and quinoa is slightly more affordable and packs a good amount of protein. Rather than use breadcrumbs in this recipe, I decided to switch it up and use quinoa. It worked great and kept a couple extra bucks in my pocket.
A few weekends ago I drove about an hour and a half to go to an Apple Orchard outside of Chicago. Picking my own produce (apples, berries, and peppers) for the week was fun, and the low prices really made the long drive worth it. We walked away with well over 20 apples, two containers of berries and a few peppers for about 20 bucks. Now, I’m sitting on more apples that I know what to do with, so I decided to make a simple version of a Fall apple salad – Greek Yogurt Apple Salad.
I recently made Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing and have had nearly a full jar of tahini sitting in my kitchen ever since. One of my pet peeves is buying a unique ingredient (like tahini) and only using it for one recipe. Then is sits in my pantry or fridge until the expiration date rolls around and I end up tossing it in the trash. Talk about wasteful. So in a defiant moment I decided I would not fall victim to wasted tahini and came up with a couple recipes to ensure I use it all. First on the docket are these nutty and delicious Roasted Tahini Ginger Carrots.
These carrots are really easy to make too. It took me about 40 minutes one Sunday night, and more than half of that time was spent sitting and watching the new Silicon Valley, a show I really think anyone would enjoy and is quickly climbing the top TV comedies of all time list for me.
If you have some tahini sitting around like me, or just can’t get enough of the sesame paste, here are some other recipes that can help you put it to get good use:
I am a huge consumer of granola bars and granola. Mainly because I like to snack on the go, and granola bars are a simple solution to that need. I have had one pet peeve with granola bars for some time though, and that is that a vast majority of them are loaded with sugar. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, many of them are just “candy bars in disguise.” I decided to try to solve this problem and made some delicious, healthy and filling Low Sugar Granola Bars.
These Low Sugar Granola Bars have more protein than sugar per serving! Plus, they have a delicious maple and vanilla flavor that makes you forget their low in sugar. I made a small-batch recipe this time to last me through the week (I made eight 100 calorie bars), but feel free to double, triple or even quadruple the recipe below and freeze the bars to last much longer.
I first made homemade pecan butter a couple of years ago when I was diagnosed with a peanut, dairy AND gluten sensitivity. Turns out I wasn’t “sensitive” to any of those foods… and that’s one year of eating I will never get back. I’m not bitter.
If there’s one good thing that came out of restricted eating, it’s that I discovered homemade pecan butter. This recipe is delicious and has a deep and delicious roasted pecan flavor. Probably because it’s made with roasted pecans.
It’s also really easy to make and like this homemade granola recipe, it’s super addictive. This pecan butter is great on toast, as a dip for pretzels, spread on a banana and really with most things you’d expect nut butter to be great with.
I want to make something clear though – I love peanut butter. It’s cheap, it’s healthy (for the most part) and it’s super versatile. One of my favorite food combinations of all time is crunchy peanut butter + banana. Sometimes you just need to mix it up though, and when you do mix it up, I hope you make this recipe and steer clear of the overpriced nut butters at the grocery store that are usually more than just nuts (looking at you palm oil).