Cilantro Lime Rice and Beans and Chicken Sausage

Transitioning back to “real life” from vacation is always a challenge. So in meal planning for this first week back, I tried to keep things simple and inexpensive and healthy. After all, we need to recover from all angles after a week of amazing fried seafood overload! And this dinner meets all of those needs: almost one pan; cheap, basic ingredients; easy and quick; and healthy. Here you go.

* ~2T olive oil
* 1/2 a red onion, chopped
* 3T minced garlic
* 1t ground cumin
* 1 1/2C long grained rice
* 3C low sodium chicken broth
* 14.5oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 4oz can mild diced green chilies
* salt
* pepper
* 10oz package fully cooked chicken sausage of your choice (I used a kale and shallot-flavored variety)
* 1/2C cilantro, chopped
* juice of 1 large lime
* additinal lime wedges for garnish (optional)
* Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
* avocado slices for serving (optional)
* hot sauce or sliced jalapeño for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and cumin and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the rice and stir to combine. Add the black beans, green chilies, and broth and bring the pan to a boil.

Immediately reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring once or twice.

While that’s simmering, cut the sausage into half-circle slices and brown lightly in a pan.

When the rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed, remove the pan from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken sausage and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Whipped Goat Cheese, Ricotta, and Tomato Pie

I spent the weekend with one of my best friends who was visiting from out of town. And it was wonderful. And guess what I didn’t do? I didn’t meal plan or grocery shop for the week. So I fully planned to order in tonight. But then this came together. And what do you know? It was pretty awesome. Totally simple, weeknight-friendly, and seasonal. All around win. Here you go. 

* 1 prepared pie crust (or make your own, of course)
* 12oz goat cheese
* 1/2C ricotta cheese
* 3 egg whites
* 4 large ripe tomatoes
* salt
* freshly round black pepper
* dried thyme
* olive oil
* honey (trust me)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick spray and transfer your crust into it.

Add the goat cheese, ricotta cheese, and egg whites to a food processor and while together.

While that’s spinning, slice the tomatoes and sprinkle generously with salt, black pepper, and thyme.

Build your pie: layer the cheese mixture into the crust; top with a layer of tomatoes; repeat. Finish with tomatoes on top.

Drizzle olive oil over the pie and bake for 40 minutes. Let the pie cool 3-5 minutes to allow it to set and then serve with a drizzle of honey. YES PLEASE. Enjoy!

BLT Turkey Burgers

Most people choose turkey burgers as the healthier option- I guess I’ll have the turkey burger. I actually just really like turkey burgers. Truly. My husband, like many, thinks turkey burgers are the lesser burger. And one of his big complaints is that he thinks they tend to be dry. So I’ve gone about trying to come up with a turkey burger recipe that would prove to him that the turkey burger can hold its own. Here you go.

* 1lb ground turkey
* 1/8C Greek yogurt
* 1/8C grainy dijon mustard
* 2 green onions, chopped
* 1T Worcestershire sauce
* 1t salt
* 1/2t black pepper
* 1 1/2t garlic powder
* 1/4-1/3C bread crumbs
* 1/4t cayenne pepper
* olive oil
* 8 slices thick cut, applewood smoked bacon
* 1 Roma tomato, cut into thick slices
* 4 leaves butter lettuce
* spicy dill pickle slices
* 4 pretzel buns, split

Mix together the turkey, yogurt, mustard, green onions, Worcestershire, and seasonings in a bowl until well combined. Form into 4 even-sized patties.

Heat a little olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook the burgers 10-12 minutes, flipping once.

Meanwhile, cook your bacon to your liking.

Assemble your burgers: place a leaf of the lettuce on the bottom half of the bun, and place a burger on top. Add pickles and condiments of your preference (I’m not going to tell you whether to use ketchup/mustard/mayo/whatever–do your thing!) on the burger. Then too with two slices of tomato and finish with two strips of bacon. Top bun that baby and enjoy!

Even the Mister was impressed–and had seconds!

Simple Grilled Flank Steak

Everyone needs a few good marinade recipes in your back pocket for summertime grilling. That’s just a fact. Here’s a delicious marinade you can put together with other proteins–it’s basic and straightforward and delicious–but I really like it paired with grilled flank steak. It’s strong and crisp and holds up really nicely next to the melt in your mouth goodness of a well-grilled cut of flank steak. Pop this marinade on your meat and then grill it up when you’re ready. 10-15 minutes on the grill and you’re golden. Here you go. 

* 1lb flank steak
* 1/3C olive oil
* 3t (heaping) minced garlic
* 2t dried oregano
* 1t salt
* 1/4t freshly ground black pepper
* juice of 1/2 a lemon

Add all of the ingredients to a large zip-top bag. Make sure to get all the air out of the bag and close it up. Then massage the bag around to make sure the marinade gets over all the meat. Refrigerate for as much or as little time as you have, anywhere from a half hour to 6 or 8 hours even.

Grill 5-7 minutes per side, to desired doneness. Allow to rest 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving. BADDA BOOM, BADDA BING!