spring fusilli pasta and peas with chicken, asparagus, and herbs

I have really become a fan of fast cooking and prep ahead meals these days with a little one who’s needing more and more of my attention and another on the way in a few months! I always have a few pieces of poached chicken on hand in order to add some much needed protein to our dinners quickly. Just bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, pepper, oregano, cloves of garlic, anything that you may have laying around in the spice cabinet, then add the chicken. Let simmer lightly for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breast. And now you have a perfectly moist addition ready to go!

This is a recipe I adapted from this month’s Cooking Light magazine. I think adding a little extra EVOO and dijon really helped keep these fresh flavors moist and blending nicely! It’s a great dish for weeknights or to make in large batches for when you have friends and family over. Here’s the springtime recipe of Fusilli Pasta and Peas with Chicken, Asparagus, and Herbs.

Spring herbs, peas, and asparagus make this a tasty family favorite!

Spring herbs, peas, and asparagus make this a tasty family favorite!

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speedy spanish weeknight paella

A few years ago I had the opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad in Spain. After staying in the capital of Madrid, we travelled up to the northern coast and landed in the seaside town of San Sebastian. A beautiful city not only known for its two unique beaches, tapas affectionately known as “pinxtos,” and ritzy neighborhoods, but also boasts some of the freshest seafood I’ve ever tasted.

This traditional Spanish dish may seem like a task, but Bon Appetit’s recipe is so simple, you’ll be enjoying a glass of sangria while you wait for it to practically cook itself! I added a little extra liquid while the paella was simmering and I stirred slightly midway through cooking, but other than that, here’s their unaltered beginners version of Weeknight Chorizo and Clam Paella!

An impressive weeknight dish that's simple!

An impressive weeknight dish that’s simple!

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“real simple” mustardy pork chops with spring vegetables

Something about fresh seasonal vegetables that hold just a bit of their crunch absolutely screams summer time! This is a dish I adapted from this months edition of Real Simple. With a few fresh, fast ingredients, it makes for a perfect weeknight meal with huge flavor. Here’s my Foodetarian version of Mustardy Pork Chops with Spring Vegetables.

A "Real Simple" dinner dish for the warm weather!

A “Real Simple” dinner dish for the warm weather!

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mediterranean dinner: melitzanosalata dip and greek marinated chicken kebobs

I absolutely love any type of mediterranean dish. The fresh flavors combined with healthy cooking methods make this cuisine one of my favorites to prepare and serve my family. This Melitzanosalta dip varies from recipe to recipe but always starts with a base of roasted eggplant while marinating the chicken in rich Greek yogurt and acidic lemon juice keeps it moist and tender during cooking. I like serving with grilled lemon wedges for an added touch of flavor at the table. Here’s my weeknight travel dish of Melitzanosalata Dip and Greek Marinated Chicken Kebobs.

Healthy Mediterranean Feast

Healthy Mediterranean Feast

A traditional blend of Greek flavors

A traditional blend of Greek flavors

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carrot and citrusy orange muffins with homemade cream cheese frosting

Another successful sweet treat baked! I’m beginning to think my little guy is my good luck charm! Note to self: when sending hubby to the grocery store, make sure you’re prepared to get creative. Here’s how I handled a 5lb bag of carrots when the list said 6 ounces…Carrot and Citrusy Orange Muffins with homemade Cream Cheese Frosting. Luca loved them and once again, I felt good about sharing this sweet treat :)

Carrot and Citrusy Orange Muffins

Carrot and Citrusy Orange Muffins

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blueberry muffins with cinnamon crumb topping

Luca and I are becoming adventures in our old age! This week we tried our hand at baking (once again!) and it was a success (see messy, blueberry baby pic at bottom :) ). These Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Crumb Topping are fast, simple, and tailored for the chef with two left pastry thumbs. Perfect for a special Sunday morning treat or snack, these muffins bring my favorite berry to the table.

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

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chicken tostadas with smashed black beans

Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by an awesome Tuesday taco alternative, the tostada! This open faced version of the family favorite layers smashed black beans, seasoned poached chicken, tangy onions, spicy salsa, and rich, creamy avocado and sour cream, with just a hint of citrusy cilantro. These are just a few of my favorite toppings but you can adjust according to your own families taste buds. And poaching the chicken leaves it so juicy and tender, your diners will think you let it simmer all day! Here’s my quick recipe for Chicken Tostadas with Smashed Black Beans.

All the makings for a perfect layered taco alternative!

All the makings for a perfect layered taco alternative!

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