Category: Lunch

Cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad

Cucumber, tomato & chickpea salad

I make this cucumber, tomato and chickpea salad, on average, once a week. It’s so easy I could probably make it in my sleep. It’s my go to healthy snack or a quick side for lunch or dinner. I’m sure hubs is sick of it at this point but he continues to eat it with a smile on his face so I will continue to make it.

I make a lot of variations of this salad but the recipe below is generally the basis. It takes 5-10 minutes to put together, depending on how good you are with a knife and prepping the veggies, which is really the only work you have to do. This recipe makes a lot but I keep it on hand in the fridge all week long and, as mentioned above, eat it for snacks or serve it alongside whatever I’m having for dinner.

FYI, this salad screams summer. It’s great to bring to a pot luck or a barbecue. It’s a perfect, easy side dish for any summer party. (more…)

Spicy sausage and lentil soup

Spicy sausage & lentil soup

A few weekends ago I went to Carrabba’s Restaurant for lunch. I don’t go to Carrabbas that often but when I do it’s hard for me to pass up their spicy sausage and lentil soup. It’s probably my favorite thing on their menu. As I was eating it for lunch that day, I thought to myself, this can’t be too hard to make. I tried to really taste the different flavors and components so I could replicate it at home. And I think this recipe comes pretty close. It may not be exactly the same as Carrabbas famous soup but it’s close enough, and really delicious. (more…)

Refreshing cabbage and jicama slaw…and a note about balance


refreshing cabbage & jicama slaw

Wow…The last time I posted was in March. I didn’t even realize how much time had actually gone by since my last post. I knew it had been a while but when I logged in to write this post I was surprised at the date of my last one. Well, life has been busy, that’s for sure. Too busy for my liking. Sometimes I feel like life is a bit of a whirlwind. It’s easy to say, “Oh things have been crazy!” And that’s definitely true. But the flip side is I haven’t been as intentional about blogging and writing as I should be. It’s what I love to do and when I don’t do it I feel like something is missing. But even though I love it, it takes time and brain power and discipline. And lately I’ve been putting that time and brain power and discipline into other things. And I’ve felt drained. I haven’t had the time (or made the time) to be creative in the kitchen, to work on my writing, to read, to do many other things that make my soul so happy. So needless to say, I’m happy to be blogging today. I’m hoping this will be the start of more regular blogging once again. (more…)

Comforting chicken and rice casserole

comforting chicken and rice casseroleThis casserole is dangerous. Because once you make, unless you have super human self control, you won’t be able to stop eating it.

It’s an old family recipe. I’m not exactly sure where it originated, but I think it was my great Aunt Esther’s recipe. My grandma and mom both make it frequently, and recently, I’ve started making it too. I have to admit, I’d kind of forgotten about it but, the other day, my mom invited me over for dinner with some friends of ours and she made this casserole. I couldn’t stop eating it! It had been years since I’d had it last but, that night, I was reminded of its deliciousness. So, last week when I was thinking of what to make as a last minute meal for some friends of ours last week, this casserole came to mind. It’s a great recipe to fall back on when you don’t know what else to make because it’s always a crowd pleaser. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it. Even the kiddos like this one. (more…)

Pierogis with bacon and leeks

Pierogis with bacon and leeks

This is the easiest lunch ever. Good store bought pierogis, or homemade if you have the time, a little bit of bacon, one leek, and some parmesan cheese and black pepper, and you have yourself a delicious and EASY lunch or dinner. I like the Delicious Fresh Pierogi brand, particularly the potato mushroom variety, but use whatever pierogis you can find. And, like I said, even better if you have homemade ones. I happened to be making this lunch on the go, as I so often am, so store-bought it was.

What’s not to love about this? Dumplings stuffed with potatoes and cheese, or whatever you like (there are so many different pierogi varieties), sautéed with bacon and leeks? I mean, come on. It can’t be bad. Well, maybe for your waistline, but your tastebuds will be happy, I promise. (more…)

Black Bean Soup

black bean soup

I should really call this recipe bean soup instead of BLACK bean soup because, truth be told, I actually only had one can of black beans in my pantry when I decided to make this. I used a can of pinto beans as a substitute for the second can of black beans and it was just as good and it actually still looked like black bean soup. So, just pretend it’s truly black bean soup.

I made this soup for lunch one day when I was home sick from work. Nothing I had in my fridge sounded very good and I was craving soup. I always crave soup when I feel under the weather. So, I took stock of what I had in my pantry and came up with this delicious, flavorful, healthy soup. I used chicken broth but you could definitely use vegetable broth and make this vegan. (more…)

Easy steak & black bean quesadillas

quesadilla 3

Mmm…Quesadillas. These quesadillas are my go to quick, easy and satisfying dinner. What’s not to love about a warm, crispy tortilla oozing with melted cheese and meat or vegetables? The awesome thing about quesadillas is that they are incredibly versatile. You can stuff them with just about anything as long as you start with a tortilla and cheese. You could leave out the cheese but why on earth would anyone want to do that? Plus its the glue that holds the quesadilla all together. So, scratch that. You cannot make a quesadilla without cheese BUT you can make them vegetarian or use chicken, shrimp, beef or any other kind of filling you prefer. (more…)

My version of zuppa toscana

zuppa toscana

I don’t care what anyone says about Olive Garden. Their Zuppa Toscana soup is one of my favorite soups around. That and their breadsticks. So good! There are so many different versions of Zuppa Toscana out there and I’m sure they are all good but I decided to create my own based on the Olive Garden version I love so much. I have no idea what they put in theirs but I think my version comes pretty darn close and it’s incredibly simple. It’s also a one pot meal which makes cleanup a breeze. (more…)

Crock pot BBQ chicken sandwiches

chicken 7

On busy days the slow cooker, aka crock pot, is my life saver. Yesterday was one of those busy days for me and I knew I would not feel like cooking dinner from scratch when I got home. Thankfully, I have a slow cooker. Here are just a few of the things I LOVE about the slow cooker:

1. Easy clean up. One pot.
2. Cooking food slowly (especially meat) makes it incredibly tender.
3. It makes your house smell amazing.
4. It does all the work for you. There is very little cooking involved.
5. It’s pretty much fool proof. (more…)

Potato Leek Soup with crispy pancetta

soup 1

I was on pinterest the other day looking through some of the recipes I had pinned (read: thousands of recipes). Sometimes I go looking for new recipes instead of browsing through the delicious recipes I’ve already pinned so this time I decided to look through what I already had in my “pinterest archives”. I found SO many awesome recipes that I had forgotten about pinning. In particular, I was looking for recipes for soup. I’ve been craving soup lately I guess because it’s starting to get cold again. I found this particular soup while I was browsing and thought wow, that looks pretty delicious. Often times I find recipes and wind up changing them completely. I use the recipe for inspiration and then create my own spin-off depending on what I have on hand in my pantry and fridge and what I’m in the mood for. The pinterest recipe was a slow cooker recipe, which I definitely had not planned ahead for and I had other ingredients in my fridge that I thought would work really well with this soup. So, as usual, I changed the recipe quite a bit. Here is my version of it. I hope you love it as much as I did. For the original recipe that sparked my inspiration for this soup, click here. (more…)

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