Easy Arugula Walnut Pesto

Arugula Walnut Pesto

Last weekend I made Arugula Walnut Pesto and I’ve been reaping the benefits of this unique recipe all week. Typically, a pesto recipe contains basil and pine nuts, but basil is pretty expensive in large quantities and I’m a huge arugula fan, so I decided to make the swap. I knew walnuts could be a sub for pine nuts too, so I gave it a shot.

I originally made this Arugula Walnut Pesto for some pasta we were having the same night. It worked as expected – adding a fresh, garlicky flavor to the pasta. The recipe made 20 servings though, so I had a lot of pesto left to use. Slightly sick of pasta, I experimented with this flavorful pesto all week on pizza, garlic bread, breakfast sandwiches and turkey melts. It was delicious. Every. Single. Time.

The arugula and walnut worked just how I expected them to in the recipe, but the toasted garlic and salty parmesan really shined through and elevated whatever it was used on. Here are my 5 favorites uses for this pesto (besides pasta):

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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 Braised Guinness Lamb Chops with Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

Braised Guinness Lamb Chops

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.

Braised Guinness Lamb Chops Cut

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.

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How To Make Cauliflower Rice

How to Make Cauliflower Rice

I once had someone tell me cauliflower was their favorite vegetable and I really didn’t understand why. I’m a pretty big vegetable guy and could think of countless options that would be better than bland, flavorless cauliflower. Anyway, it wasn’t until recently I realized just how versatile cauliflower can be – it can make pizza crusts, tater tots, and even rice. If you are looking for the latter, you came to the right place, this article is all about learning how to make cauliflower rice.

I was on the fence about cauliflower rice for awhile, but there are a couple clear benefits:

  • You get the vitamins and nutrition from a vegetable (more nutrition info below)
  • It makes for a lighter dish (good for summer time, I suppose)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not avoiding brown rice or other grains, just trying something new. I have heard a lot about cauliflower rice the past couple years, and it was surprisingly good when I made it myself.

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Homemade Pop Tarts with Honey Blackberry Filling

Homemade Pop Tarts Main

I ate pop tarts every single morning as a kid. Cold, never toasted, and with a glass of milk – it was my go-to. Feeling nostalgic,  I decided to re-make my childhood favorite and created these Homemade Pop Tarts with Honey Blackberry Filling. They came together surprisingly easily, and tasted better than my go-to breakfasts of yore.

I took “homemade” very seriously in this recipe and scratch-made everything: the dough, the filling AND the frosting. The best part is that I only used 8 ingredients:

  1. flour
  2. salt
  3. butter
  4. cold water
  5. egg
  6. blackberries
  7. honey
  8. powdered sugar

To me, the extra work to scratch-make everything was worth it, and it was a fun weekend activity. Cooking and baking can be pretty relaxing sometimes. Though, if you are in a bind you could also just pick up some store-bought dough and jam (for the filling) and make this a lot easier on yourself.

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No Bake Maple Tahini Cookies

No Bake Maple Tahini Cookies

I’m now three recipes in since buying tahini a couple months ago (yes, it does last that long in the fridge). The first two recipes were a salad recipe (Basil Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing) and vegetable recipe (Roasted Tahini Ginger Carrots), so I decided it was time to switch it up and make a dessert recipe – No-Bake Maple Tahini Cookies.

I like this recipe for a couple reasons, it’s:

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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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Easy Blackened Chicken Pita with Mint Yogurt Sauce

Blackened Chicken Pita

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.

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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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Rosemary Dijon Pork Loin

Rosemary Dijon Pork Loin Main

My wife hates the smell of bacon. It’s kind of weird. She also hates the smell of coffee in the morning, so not really sure we can trust her. Needless to say, she was not a fan of when I made this delicious rosemary Dijon pork loin last Sunday afternoon. Its tasty, herby aroma filled the apartment. Or in her words, “it smelt like death.”

After opening up all the windows and airing the place out, I was able to slice this pork and chow down. It was the perfect Sunday late lunch, but it also heated up well all week for lunches and dinners.

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Spicy Honey Balsamic Chicken

Spicy Honey Balsamic Chicken

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, chicken is a healthy protein choice, but can also be extremely bland and boring. I’m always looking for ways to spice up this healthy protein. In the past, I made Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken and Spicy Soy Sauce Basil Chicken, but this time I created a new chicken recipe utilizing balsamic vinegar and honey, both of which I had handy in my pantry. The result –  Spicy Honey Balsamic Chicken. It didn’t disappoint.

This recipe is perfect when made and eaten fresh (obviously), but also works great as a meal prep recipe. I made 1 pound of chicken on Sunday night and enjoyed it all week long with some rice and cooked vegetables. The tangy and spicy chicken would also work great in a simple stir fry recipe!

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