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

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.

From the Archives: Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Parmesan roasted green beans are an easy side dish that can accompany chicken, fish, steak, pork, or any dish! The simple roasting method brings out the best in the green beans, giving them a unique flavor and delightful texture. No bland, mushy green beans here!IMG_0839

The first time I roasted green beans was life-changing; I never knew they could taste so good! My husband and I don’t particularly care for the green veggie unless it’s roasted. The texture and flavor completely changes so that even green-bean haters love them this way!

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I originally posted this recipe last year in conjunction with my easy crock pot bbq chicken, but this simple recipe deserves its own post. For the last couple years this has been my tried-and-true green bean recipe, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Trust me, if you haven’t roasted green beans yet, you must try them. And then let me know how they turn out. I promise they’ll win you over this way!

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Sometimes I’ll add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese when I take the pan out of the oven, and sometimes I won’t. The parmesan adds another dimension of flavor and saltiness, but if you don’t have any or are cutting out dairy for dietary reasons, they’re still delicious as-is.

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They key is to season them well. Season with quite a bit of freshly cracked pepper, sea salt, and garlic powder before baking, then taste one out of the oven and re-season, if necessary. I like to season them once they’ve been tossed in olive oil and are laying flat on the baking sheet because I feel it gives me better control, but you can also season them as you combine them with the oil.

One last trick I use: I always cover my baking pan in foil for virtually no clean up. I lightly spray it with cooking spray before adding the green beans. Works every time!

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz green beans, washed and dried
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

1). Preheat oven to 425F. Line a pan with foil for easy clean up. Mix the green beans with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Make sure they are all in one even layer on the pan.

2). Bake for 10 minutes. Mix the beans lightly and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese (optional).

Serves: about 4. Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 62 Fat: 2.9g Carbs: 8g Protein: 2.7g Sodium: 38g without salt

Recipe adapted from: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/11/roasted-parmesan-green-beans.html

 

Amazing Crock Pot BBQ Pork (Tenderloin)

Are you ready for the most flavorful, restaurant-quality crock pot bbq pork? Y’all, this recipe is unreal!!! AND easy!

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Many people put pork in the crock pot plain, then shred it and add bbq sauce. Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. Is it the best method? Not quite. See, when you follow the aforementioned method, the meat relies solely on being slathered in bbq sauce for flavor. On its own, pork tenderloin is pretty bland. Still delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it definitely needs a little something extra. That missing piece to the puzzle is a mixture of spices creating a dry rub! Here’s what they look like BEFORE being placed in the crock pot:

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Now, this can be done up to 24 hours ahead of time and refrigerated; however, if you forget or don’t have time to put the meat in the fridge overnight, you can simply coat the pork in the spices right before placing them in the crock pot. I have made this both ways and both were equally successful and delicious. It seriously only takes a few minutes to take the extra step of mixing the dry rub together, but it makes a world of a difference in the finished product. By using a dry rub, you infuse the flavors into the meat, which means the meat has great flavor on its own. In turn, you’ll find you won’t need to use as much bbq sauce.

I use pork tenderloin for this recipe. Pork tenderloin is very lean and is a healthier choice than pork shoulder, but you could certainly use that if you prefer. We personally love the pork tenderloin! If you use 2 pork tenderloins as pictured above, you will have a lot of bbq! If you have a smaller family, you can actually freeze it in ziplock bags after you shred the meat for future use. Alternatively, you could just use one tenderloin!

Remember when I posted how to perfectly shred chicken using a Kitchen Aid mixer? I use that same trick with pork! It turns out perfect every time and is so much easier than using 2 forks. See?

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From here, place the pork on a plate (or bun) and drizzle with your favorite bbq sauce! One of my college roommates sent me a bottle of sauce from our favorite local restaurant where we went to college, so that’s what I used! Yum.

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Amazing Crock Pot BBQ Pork (Tenderloin!)

  • 2 pork tenderloins, washed, trimmed of any visible fat, and dried
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Cooking spray

For the dry rub:

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons table salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1. In a small bowl, combine all the dry rub ingredients. Evenly coat the pork tenderloins with the dry rub. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 3 days. (You can also skip this altogether and place them directly into the crock pot to cook!)

2. Spray crock pot with cooking spray and add the pork tenderloins. Add 1/4 cup water and place the crock pot on low for about 6-7 hours, or until pork is tender.

3. Remove pork from crock pot and shred (using my kitchenaid mixer method or with two forks). Serve with preferred bbq sauce and enjoy!

Servings vary depending on the size of your pork tenderloins.

Nutritional information for 4 oz pork: Calories: 163 Fat: 4g Carbs: 0g Protein: 29.3g  WW PointsPlus: 4

Recipe adapted from: http://www.beantownbaker.com/2009/03/crockpot-pulled-pork.html 

How to Make Perfectly Shredded Chicken in the Crock Pot and KitchenAid Mixer

I want to share with you one of my most favorite, most used kitchen tricks: how to make perfectly shredded chicken! You know all those recipes that call for “cooked, shredded chicken breasts”? This is how I make mine, and it could not be simpler. The great thing about it is you can cook a lot of chicken at one time, shred it, then use it for a variety of recipes throughout the week or even put it in a freezer bag and freeze the excess.

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First: cooking the chicken in the crock pot. 

1) Spray your crock pot with cooking spray.

2) Put as many chicken breasts as you’d like in the crock pot. These can be thawed or frozen. If using frozen, simply adjust the cooking time.

3) Season with lots of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

4) Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 3 hours. If using frozen chicken breasts, you will need to add an additional hour or two to cooking time. Keep in mind crock pots all heat up to different temperatures–test the chicken with two forks and see if it comes apart easily. If it does, then you’re done!

You may notice I did not add any chicken broth or water to the chicken–I have done it both ways, and it works out with or without the additional liquid.

Second: transfer the cooked chicken breasts into the KitchenAid mixer.

The first time I tried this method of shredding chicken breasts, I was so skeptical. It sounds crazy to throw cooked chicken breasts in your KitchenAid mixer and let it run, but it works perfectly every time. Simply turn it on low and let it run until the chicken is shredded. I typically add back several spoonfuls of the chicken broth left in the crock pot to ensure it does not dry out. Taste the chicken and add more salt/pepper/garlic powder if needed.

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It only takes one to two minutes for the mixer to shred the chicken perfectly, and then you can use it for all kinds of things. Here are a few recipes and ideas:

-Add BBQ sauce and make BBQ chicken sandwiches

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-Make Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

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-Add salsa and create a Mexican flavored salad

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-Add pesto and make pesto chicken paninis.

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-Make baked chicken taquitos.

IMG_20130730_183409-You can also add leftover shredded chicken breasts to salads, pasta dishes, soups, and sandwiches. The possibilities are nearly endless!

Stay tuned for the pesto chicken panini and baked chicken taquitos recipes very soon!

(My New Favorite) Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing + a Salad Idea

I apologize for the lack of posts this month! My husband and I were on vacation and just returned a couple days ago, but have no fear: I have LOTS of delicious recipes I have been waiting to share with you!

This summer I have really enjoyed experimenting with new homemade salad dressings (like this fabulous red pepper jelly vinaigrette). After perusing the ingredient list in pre-packaged dressings, I decided it would be worth the extra few minutes it takes to whip up my own. If I am running low on time, I really enjoy a simple toss of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to do the trick. But, one of the best parts about today’s recipe is that it makes a large quantity, so you can store it in the fridge and use it for weeks to come. Dedicate 5 minutes to making this once a month and you won’t have to use the store-bought stuff anymore. It’s a pretty good deal, don’t you agree?

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This dressing is flavorful but works with any combination of vegetables you can throw together. Consider it your blank canvas, knowing whatever you decide to add to it will pair beautifully. A little tiny bit also goes a long way. Seriously–just a spoonful should be plenty for a large salad!

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A few weeks ago I had a friend over and we ate this salad before we went swimming, and it was perfect. Light but filling, the addition of chickpeas was ideal to boost the staying power of the dish. In the salad was spring mix, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and a sprinkle of reduced-fat feta cheese. It reminded me of a blend between an Italian and Greek salad, and it was so refreshing!

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Creamy Garlic Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave

1). Place all ingredients in blender (or food processor) and blend on medium high for 30 seconds or until well mixed. Store excess in an airtight container in refrigerator. If dressing solidifies when cold, let sit at room temperature until liquid, then stir. Enjoy!

Servings: 16 (1 tbsp per serving)

Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 68 Carbs: 1g Fat: 7g Protein: 0g Sugar: 1g Fiber: 0g

WW PointsPlus: 2 

Baked Greek Chicken Breast

I love Mediterranean food.

Perhaps it has to do with my time living abroad in Spain eating chicken schwarma regularly, or maybe because I grew up eating Mediterranean inspired meals at home, but either way I find it delightful. Did you know that Mediterranean cuisine is deemed one of the healthiest in the world? It’s true!

I recently posted a recipe for homemade tzatziki sauce and a Greek-flavored couscous salad. Today’s recipe goes with both perfectly!

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I drastically cut back the amount of olive oil used in the marinade. The original recipe called for 2 tbsp, but I only used 2 tsp and I thought it was plenty.  The rest of the marinade was easy and wonderful. Lemon juice and red wine vinegar help tenderize the chicken as it marinades, while the garlic and oregano add the Mediterranean flavor I love so much. After marinating for hours, the chicken then is baked for 30 minutes. Dinner in 30 minutes?! Check.

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I chose to create a Greek salad and used the tzatziki sauce I mentioned earlier as a dressing. Talk about flavorful-wow! And so light! Alternatively, you can serve this on pita and make a gyro, or along a side dish of your choice. Either way, this chicken is definitely a keeper!

In the summer I would love to throw this chicken on the grill instead of baking it in the oven. It would be great as kebabs, too! If you try it, let me know!

*This recipe is gluten free! I added a new gluten free category off to the side because I received some requests!*

Baked Greek Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 lbs chicken breasts/tenderloins, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • salt
  • pepper

1. Combine all ingredients together in a ziplock bag. Mix well and allow chicken to marinate for at least 1-2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350F (you could also cook the chicken on a grill pan). Place chicken in a single layer in a pyrex dish sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Serve on top of a salad, along this cool couscous salad or as a gyro with tzatziki sauce. Enjoy!

 

Servings: About 6. Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 154 Fat: 6g Carbs: 1g Protein:32g Sodium: 500mg before added salt

Adapted from ellysaysopa.com