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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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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How to Make Sushi at Home

How to Make Sushi at Home

My friend, Chef Nik Gastfield, was recently featured on a local morning show (The Jam TV Show). The 3-minute clip is packed with great tips to help you learn how to make sushi at home. It’s super easy to do, all you need is:

  • Your fish (and other ingredients of your choosing)
  • A knife
  • A cucumber wrap

I suggest you check out the video below, featuring Chef Nik Gastfield from AO Sushi to learn a couple things about making sushi at home.

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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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Quick and Easy Quinoa with Avocado Dressing

Quinoa with Avocado Dressing

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.

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Greek Yogurt Apple Salad

Greek Yogurt Apple Salad

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.

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Low Sugar Granola Bars

Low Sugar Granola Bars

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.

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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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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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