Quick and Easy Chicken Gyros

No long-winded story to weave here. This is just a total win for a busy weeknight. Seriously. It’s healthy and fresh and takes less than 30 minutes start to finish. INCLUDING a super easy homemade tzatziki sauce that you might want to put on everything! Shall we? Here you go.

quick homemade tzatziki sauce
* 1/2 a large cucumber, seeded, peeled, diced
* 4t minced garlic
* 2T dried dill
* juice of 1/2 a large lemon
* 1/2-1t salt
* 1/4t freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/2C plain Greek yogurt

* 1lb thin cut chicken breasts
* Greek seasoning (Italian seasoning would work too)
* olive oil
* 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
* 1/4-1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
* pitas
* crumbled feta cheese

Make your tzatziki! Put all the tzatziki ingredients in a blender. Purée until blended. Taste and adjust salt/pepper/lemon to taste as needed.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Pay each chicken breast dry, and then sprinkle generously with Greek seasoning. Cook a few minutes per side. Thin cut breasts cook really quickly. You don’t want them to overcook and dry out, so really just 2 minutes or so per side should do it. Cut each breast into thin strips.

Assemble your gyros. Either fill your pitas or top them with a few pieces of chicken, some fresh red pepper strips, some onions, and crumbled feta. Spoon some of the tzatziki sauce on top and enjoy!

Brown Sugar-Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

We eat a lot of meatloaf. When something clicks, especially for kids, you pay attention. But I can’t just keep making it the same way. There are only a few staple dishes and meals I don’t mess with at all. I guess I get bored making the same Rolodex of recipes so I usually try to vary even simple basic dishes. Like meatloaf. This one is good. And super easy to make. But the magic is in the glaze topping. Here you go.

* 2lbs lean ground turkey
* 1 sweet onion, diced
* 2 eggs
* 1/2t ground black pepper
* 1/3C seasoned breadcrumbs
* 1 T Worcestershire sauce
* 1t garlic salt
* 1t onion powder
* 1/2C marinara sauce
for the glaze
* 1/4C brown sugar
* 1/4C ketchup
* 2t grainy dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Mix together the turkey, onion, eggs, pepper, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion powder, and marinara sauce in a large bowl with your hands, careful not to over-mix. Transfer the mixture into the baking dish and form it into a loaf.

Add the brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard into a small bowl and mix until well-combined. Spread the glaze mixture over the meatloaf, and then put the baking dish into the oven. Bake for an hour and 20 minutes, or until the meatloaf is cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes and then slice and serve.

Quick and Tasty Spinach and Basil Pesto

Pesto isn’t just one thing. I think I always thought it was. A straightforward basil pesto was all I knew. Recently a friend mentioned that she had made “all kinds of pesto” this summer and a light bulb just went off in my head. DUH. So I decided to whip up my own variant. Now, obviously I didn’t stray too far from the foundation, but it was the first time I colored outside the pesto lines! And it came out great. I’ve used it on pasta and as a sandwich spread – delicious and so so fast! Two of my favorite “ingredients” – as you know. Anyway, here you go.

* 1 1/2C baby spinach leaves
* 3/4C fresh basil leaves
* 1/2C toasted pine nuts (optional; could also use walnuts, or no nuts if you’re nut-free)
* 1/2C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 4-6 cloves garlic
* 1t salt (Kosher or sea salt preferred, but regular table salt will do just fine)
* 1/2t freshly ground lemon pepper
* 1/2 a large lemon, juiced and zested
* 1/2-3/4C olive oil

In the food processor, blend together the spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and approximately 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When it’s well-blended, add olive oil, up to a total of 3/4C depending on smoothness, while the food processor is still on.

When your pesto has achieved the texture of your preference, you are done. And that is the whole she-bang. I do not like my pesto completely smooth, but you may want to keep going. Go slowly with the additional olive oil so that you can reach your desired consistency without over doing it. Use it as you like. It will keep in the fridge as-is for about two weeks. If you want to refrigerate it for longer, just add a little olive oil to the top of the container and it will last longer. It also freezes really well. Boom!

Have you made pesto before? Do you go traditional, or do you mix it up? This successful endeavor makes me want to try all kinds of variations! What about you?

Quick Tomato-Sweet Corn-Mango Salad

We had fish tacos again the other night, and man do I love these fish tacos. They’re so easy and quick and seasonal and yummy. And I love playing with the topping salads I end up pairing with them. So many possibilities!

On this night, I wanted something colorful, bright, acidic, and tart, and this quick little tomato-corn-mango salad hit the mark. It worked really well with the light flaky fish, and was equally delicious on top of the tacos and on the side as a separate salad (which I also ate for lunch the next day). Here you go.

* olive oil
* 1C frozen sweet corn
* 1 large mango, chunked
* ~2C grape tomatoes, halved
* 1/2 a small yellow onion, chopped
* handful cilantro, chopped
* 1-2 limes
* pinch sea salt

Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a saute pan and add your corn. Cook, tossing and mixing occasionally, until you get a nice roasted char on the pieces. Remove from heat.

Halve your tomatoes, chop your mango into chunks, and chop your onions. Add these and the warm roasted corn to a bowl and mix through. Rough chop your cilantro and add that to the bowl. Mix together.

Juice your limes over the bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Then mix it one more time and serve.