5 Ingredient Easy Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms.

Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms are a perfect appetizer or side dish–and they’re so easy to make!

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Mmmm. Mushrooms.
They’re so polarizing.
It seems like people either fanatically love them or absolutely loathe them.
Me?
I’m on Team Mushrooms all the way.
I’m the person who actively seeks out the dish with mushrooms on the menu.
And I’m guilty of taking the mushrooms off my husband’s plate because he won’t eat them.

So, I assume if you’re still reading that you’re on Team Mushrooms as well.
In which case, YOU NEED TO MAKE THESE GARLIC BUTTER MUSHROOMS.
They’re sooooo garlick-y and butter-y and mushroom-y. Yep. I’m making up words over here.
That’s how good they are.

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There are five (count ’em!), FIVE simple ingredients to make this dish.
Two of them are salt and pepper.
Do those even count? No? So really just 3 ingredients, then.
Garlic + butter + mushrooms = magic.

The big trick with the mushrooms comes to cleaning them.
You probably already know this, but you can’t rinse them under water.
Instead, you need to use a wet paper towel and gently wipe down each one.
It’s a little time consuming, but it’s worth it in the end!

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Two more things to note about the recipe:
#1: Trim the ends of the mushrooms so they’re flat and even with the rest of the mushroom. This will help the garlic stay on top of them instead of falling in between them.
#2: You will want to mince up your garlic as tiny as you possibly can so it’ll stay on the mushrooms.

5 Ingredient Easy Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz white or baby bella mushrooms, cleaned with a wet paper towel
  • 1/4 cup butter (I used KerryGold grass-fed butter, but you can even make them vegan by using Earth Balance!)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced as finely as you can
  • salt
  • pepper

1). Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat it to 400F. If you do not have a cast iron skillet, you can use a pie pan or a casserole dish, but you will not preheat the oven with either of those inside.
2). Using a small knife, trim the ends of the mushrooms so they’re flat and even with the rest of the mushroom. Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and carefully arrange the mushrooms in it.
3). Place the butter and garlic in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds or until melted. Spoon the garlic butter over each mushroom cap. Make sure to try to keep the garlic on top of the mushroom instead of letting it fall in between. Season the tops with salt and pepper.
4). Roast for about 25-30 minutes until tender, basting them about halfway through the cooking time. Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 131 Carbs:5g Fat: 12g Fiber: 1g Protein: 4g Points+:4 Recipe originally from here

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Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad with 3-Minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing.

 Up your salad game with this restaurant-style Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad! A quick but impressive 3-minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing ties it all together.

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May = Strawberries!
And, also the end of the school year. Womp womp. It’s always bittersweet!
I have been creating lots of delicious recipes for you the past month, so get ready for lots of cooking and baking inspiration to come your way this summer!

Today I’m sharing TWO summer ideas with you. One is a salad, and the other is a 5-ingredient dressing that will be ready in 3-minutes or less AND will compliment the salad perfectly! I even have a bonus mini-recipe for candied almonds at the bottom of the post!

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So, this salad. Just look at it! Swoon. I love adding fruit to my salad for a little natural sweetness, and ripe strawberries are the perfect way to achieve that. This Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad is perfect for serving company or just enjoying on a weeknight. It’s simple. Ready?

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Spring mix.
Ripe strawberries.
Sliced/slivered almonds for some fun crunchy texture.
My 3-minute strawberry balsamic dressing (recipe below).
Crumbled goat cheese aka chèvre.
The goat cheese is slightly tangy but suuuuuuuuper creamy and compliments the strawberries perfectly. SO. GOOD.

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And then there’s this strawberry balsamic dressing. I’ve been making it for about 6 years now and it never disappoints. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of strawberries but he LOVES this dressing.

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This dressing is sooo quick and easy to make (3 minutes max!). There’s absolutely no reason to buy dressing when this is so easy to make. And, unlike some pre-packaged fruit dressings, there are no food dyes here; that beautiful pink color comes straight from 5 whole strawberries! I love how naturally colorful food can be.

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You’ll have to use some sort of blender to blend the strawberries together with the other ingredients. I used to use my immersion blender, but now that we have a Vitamix, I use it instead. It cleans itself so it’s just a little more convenient! But seriously, use whatever blending appliance you’ve got. Even a food processor should work nicely here.

Along with the strawberries, you’ll add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, a little honey and a touch of salt. Blend it up and BOOM. Done! I like to store my homemade dressings in mason jars so I can give it a quick shake before serving, but you can store it however you want in the fridge.

3-Minute Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 5 large strawberries, ends cut off
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons honey (use 1 Tablespoon unless your berries aren’t very sweet, in which case add a little more)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1). Combine all ingredients in a food processor, immersion blender, regular blender, etc. Blend until smooth.

2). Serve immediately or store in the fridge. Enjoy!

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 46 Carbs: 4g Fat: 4g Protein: 0g Fiber: 0g Points+: 1
Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • Spring mix
  • Ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • Sliced or slivered almonds*
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Strawberry Balsamic dressing from above

1). Add all ingredients to a bowl (I eyeball the measurements depending on what size crowd I’m feeding) and toss together. Serve immediately!

*Note: If you want to get really fancy, make your own candied almonds by sprinkling 3 T brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T water as it heats up to help it dissolve. Watch carefully as the sugar and water come to a boil, then, when the water burns off, you will notice a change in the bubbles. Instead of being wet, they will start to thicken and turn darker. That’s when you add 1/4 cup slivered almonds. Toss them around, let them cool, then add them to the salad!

Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

French Dijon & Basil Potato Salad. (GF/DF)

 A simple French-inspired potato salad perfect for taking to a cookout or picnic this summer! 

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Sooooo I have a little-known fact about myself I’m going to share with you on this beautiful spring day.
Are you ready?
I really don’t care for mayonnaise-based salads.
Especially potato salads, but this also applies to pasta salads, tuna salads, etc.
I know, I know. It’s not a popular opinion. But hear me out.
One reason I don’t care for them is because they’re so heavy, but also because they aren’t conducive to al-fresco dining. You have to keep them cold and refrigerated otherwise you run the risk of making yourself or someone else sick.
Having to worry about that adds stress to what is supposed to be a stress-reducing experience!

That’s where this dijon and basil potato salad comes in. I swapped the mayo for a simple vinaigrette, and topped it off with fresh basil. You’re going to love it! I took it to a function recently and everyone went craaaazy over this simple salad.

Bonus: it happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian and vegan, so hopefully everyone can enjoy it!

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Instead of mayonnaise, you’re going to make a simple vinaigrette with all the usual characters (olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper). I add all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake it up, but you can whisk it together in a small bowl.

Quick trick I learned from my mom and grandma: pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes while they’re still warm so they absorb all the flavors. Then, you can finish it off with freshly chopped basil and it’s ready to go!

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I used baby red potatoes, but you can use yukon gold or whatever you have on hand! I hope you try this dish for your next picnic or cook out!

French Dijon and Basil Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3lbs baby red potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1). Place the quartered potatoes in a large pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and drain the water.

2). While the potatoes are boiling, place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar and shake until well combined. (You can also whisk them together in a bowl).

3). Let the potatoes cool. You want them warm, but not hot. Place them in a large bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over them. Add the basil and toss to combine. Taste and re-season with more salt or pepper. Enjoy!
*Note: This dish is best served warm or at room-temperature, but you will need to refrigerate any leftovers.

Servings: about 8. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 201 Carbs: 27g Fat: 9g Fiber: 3g Protein: 3g Points+: 5 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Coconut Key Lime Energy Bites + 2 Year Blog Anniversary! (GF, DF, Paleo)

Slightly tangy but sweet, these coconut lime energy bites are a perfect light dessert or healthy on-the-go snack option!

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My blog turns 2 today, and I’m celebrating with a healthy little sweet treat: coconut key lime energy bites! If you’ve been reading Audrey’s Apron from the beginning, you know this blog idea had been a long-time dream of mine since college and I finally put it into motion 2 years ago today. A lot has changed in the 2 years that I’ve been blogging. I’m thrilled that so many of you follow this little cooking journey of mine. And it really does make my day when you comment that you made a recipe and loved it!

The biggest change on the blog this year? Probably my photography skills! It’s still a work in progress, for sure, but at least I’m not taking pictures with my phone camera anymore! OH the horrors! My ever-supportive husband got me a real, legit DSLR camera for my birthday this year and it has been so fun using it!

So, I just want to say THANK YOU for following, reading, commenting, tweeting, etc. I love sharing our culinary successes together!

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Back to this yummy recipe. I found these to be a perfectly delicious paleo substitute for key lime pie. They’re much healthier, and bite-sized, so that’s a win!

The coconut is totally optional, by the way.
I just love how it makes them look sort of like little snowballs.
Or truffles.
Yum!
So for all you coconut-averse readers, just know it’s more for aesthetics and you can definitely leave it off.

A word of wisdom: make sure that your dates are in fact pitted before you throw them in your food processor and turn it on.
Otherwise it will begin to jump wildly all over the counter while making an AWFUL noise.
Don’t ask me how I know, just promise me you’ll double check, ok? Ok.
P.S. The dates I bought from Costco most definitely did have pits in them. #IwishIwouldhavedoublechecked.

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So the great thing about this recipe is that the food processor does all the work for you! Throw in some cashews, almonds, dates (pitted!), lime zest & juice, and turn it on! Then all you have to do is form the mixture into little balls and roll them into coconut if you so choose.

Pack them in your lunch, serve them as dessert, or keep a few in your purse for emergencies–these chewy energy bites are perfect for whenever you need a quick boost!

Coconut Key Lime Energy Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • Zest and juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut for rolling, optional

1). In a food processor, add the cashews and almonds. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped.

2). Add the dates and lime zest and juice. Pulse until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture begins to clump together.

3). Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture out and roll it into a ball. Roll in shredded coconut if desired, then repeat with remaining mixture. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days, or in the fridge. Enjoy!

Servings: about 15. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 74 Carbs: 9g Fat: 4g Protein: 2g Fiber: 1g Points+: 2 Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Mashed Sweet Potatoes. (GF)

 5 simple ingredients come together to create a comforting side dish perfect for holidays, guests, or just a weeknight meal!

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It’s the week of Thanksgiving!!! The last month has been an absolute WHIRLWIND and I’m so thankful for a week off to catch up on every area of my life. You too? I thought so.

All you need is a scoop of creamy, lusciously savory spinach & goat cheese mashed sweet potatoes to know holiday time is here. Not that you couldn’t make it year-round (guilty!), but it’s the type of dish that looks and tastes fancy. I mean spinach + goat cheese + sweet potatoes? That could definitely be on a restaurant menu.

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So, if you’re looking for a really unique side to bring to impress all your foodie friends, or you just want to step up your weeknight dinner game, you’ve got to make this dish.

Also–feel free to swap out the spinach for kale depending on what you have on hand! Enjoy!

Spinach and Goat Cheese Mashed Sweet Potato

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (I used 1 large and 2 medium)
  • 4 cups chopped spinach
  • 3/4-1 cup milk (I used non-fat)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Freshly cracked pepper and sea salt

1). Bring a large pot of water to a boil Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Add the sweet potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes or until softened.

2). Drain the sweet potatoes. To the now empty pot, add the spinach, milk, and goat cheese and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat and add salt and pepper.

3). Add the sweet potatoes back to the pot. Mash until you reach your preferred consistency. Add more milk if necessary. Enjoy!

Servings: about 4. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 181 Carbs: 22g Fat: 6g Protein: 10g Fiber: 3g Points+: 5 
Recipe adapted from here. Adapted recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

Grilled Potato Fries.

 Satisfy a craving for french fries with grilled potato fries instead! 

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So here’s the deal. French fries = deliciousness, but also a whole lot of extra oil that doesn’t do you, your heart, or your waistline any favors. Would you believe me if I told you that grilling slices of potatoes results in a crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside-just-like-a-french-fry texture? Well, you should. Because it’s true. And it’s a game-changer for all you fry loving readers looking to eat healthier.

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I promise x 1000 that these will satisfy your cravings for a deep fried french fry. The only difference you’ll notice is in the shape (although you could cut them like matchsticks if you wanted to!), and a lack of excess oil on your fingers. They taste indulgent, but won’t leave you feeling super full. My husband loves a good french fry, and he couldn’t get over how good these are! Make sure to add enough salt, to taste, otherwise they won’t have that salty french fry flavor everyone loves. You could also use your favorite seasoning blend if you’d prefer!

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Maybe your grilling some chicken and trying to keep it healthy. Don’t ruin it with fries; grill your potatoes instead!

Grilled Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • Freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper

1). Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Carefully slice the potatoes in about 1/4″ slices. Toss in a medium bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2). Place the potato slices on the grill and close the lid for about 6-9 minutes. Flip the potatoes and cook again until they’re golden brown and can easily be pierced with a fork.

3). Sprinkle with additional sea salt after grilling and enjoy!

Servings: 4. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 172 Fat: 4.8g Protein: 3.5g Fiber: 3.1g Points+: 4
Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.

 

Baked Pesto Chicken.

Thinly sliced chicken breasts are baked with my lightened-up pesto, then topped with mozzarella cheese! Few ingredients, lots of flavor.

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Last week I shared with you my homemade lightened-up, nut-free basil pesto. One of our favorite ways to use it is on top of chicken! Chicken breast alone doesn’t have much flavor, but the pesto takes care of that little problem. Top it with mozzarella or parmesan cheese and you have a delicious (and easy!) weeknight dinner. If your pesto is already made, you can certainly have this on the table within 30 minutes.

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I served this with a kale chickpea salad (recipe coming soon!), but it is great with just about anything you can think of: pasta, roasted veggies, a big green salad, couscous–whatever you’ve got, it’ll probably work! Leftovers can be reheated as-is, transformed into a sandwich, or cut into bite sized pieces and added to a salad. Get creative!

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This is arguably one of my husband’s favorite dishes, and I love it because it’s so simple to prepare! The lightened-up pesto tricks you into feeling like you’re really indulging, but you’re really not. It clocks in at just under 160 calories, only 6 grams of fat, and a whopping 27 grams of protein!

Baked Pesto Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts, about 1 lb
  • 4 tsp lighter basil pesto
  • 4 tbsp reduced fat mozzarella cheese (parmesan could work well too)
  • salt and pepper

1). Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides before placing them in the baking dish.

2). Carefully spread about a teaspoon of the basil pesto on each chicken breast. Top with 1 tablespoon of mozzarella cheese and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 159 Fat: 6g Carbs: 1g Protein: 27g Points+: 4

Recipe courtesy of Audrey’s Apron.