15 Minute Chicken and Broccoli. (GF/DF)

All the flavors of the classic dish, but on the table in under 15 minutes!

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This recipe is for all of you who are super busy but want a quick, easy meal on the table in 15 minutes at the end of the day.
Read: EVERYONE.
AmIright?!
I thought so.
So here’s the deal: with a tiny bit of alacrity, you definitely CAN have this recipe done in under 15 minutes start-to-finish.
Promise!

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I’m slowly getting over my fear of making Asian-inspired dishes. This one was super simple and turned out really well, especially considering how quickly it all comes together. In order to get this done in 15 minutes or less, you’ll have to multi-task a little bit. But that’s okay, because you’re a kitchen rock star and can totally handle it.
Here’s how easy it is to do:
The chicken gets chopped up into bite sized pieces and cooks on medium-high heat. The higher heat will help it stay really moist and tender. Bonus: it also cooks faster! 5-6 minutes is probably all you’ll need to have it cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, you’ll whisk up your sauce.
Now, if you’re like me and want to have plenty of sauce to mix into the broccoli/rice, you’ll be happy to know I doubled the original amount.
There’s nothing worse than a dry dish, ya know? We can’t have any of that going on here.

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Speaking of broccoli, you have some options as far as how you want to cook it:
#1) You can add it to the pan once the chicken is done cooking.
Pro: Same pan! No extra mess!
Con: It will take longer to cook and this will become a 20 minute dinner.
#2) You can steam them in a separate pot.
Pro: It can steam away while the chicken cooks. Yay multi-tasking!
Con: More clean up because of the extra pot.

Either way works, it just depends what your priority is: dinner on the table ASAP or as little clean up as possible.

For a complete meal, serve the chicken and broccoli over some rice (hello, 10-minute boil-in-bag rice!) and enjoy!

15 Minute Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1lb chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Broccoli florets

For the sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp GF Tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

1). Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.

2). While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

3). If steaming broccoli in a separate pot, bring water to a boil and place in the steamer basket. Alternatively, you can add the broccoli to the pan with chicken and cover to cook for a few minutes.

4). Once the chicken is cooked through and the broccoli is crisp-tender, add the sauce mixture to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional), and serve over rice, if desired. Enjoy!

Servings: About 4. Recipe adapted from here.

Lemon Herb Salmon Patties. (GF/DF, Paleo)

These stunning Lemon Herb Salmon Patties are incredibly filling and so healthy! Enjoy them in a sandwich, on a salad, or with your favorite vegetables!

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I’m slightly obsessed with these Lemon Herb Salmon Patties.
They’re super filling and hearty, plus they’re so healthy! Lots of protein and Omega-3’s going on here. Love it.

If you’re guilty of getting in a salmon rut like I am sometimes, you’re going to love this simple and fresh dinner idea, especially because it’s quick enough to make on a weeknight.
Getting the patties together took maybe 5-7 minutes, and then it’s about a 4 minute cook time on each side. You could definitely have these on the table in less than 20 minutes!

For this recipe, you’re going to use the food processor to cut up the salmon so it will form burger patties.
Yup. Did you know you can grind up your own meat in the food processor?!
I use my food processor quite a bit, but I had never done this before. Please tell me I’m not the only one!
All you have to do is cut your salmon into chunks, put it in the food processor and pulse it for maaaybe 10-15 seconds. Once it’s ground up it’s ready to go!
This machine is magic, y’all. Is there anything it can’t do?? No? Okay then.

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I served the salmon patties two ways–once on top of a salad and once along some roasted vegetables (yay brussel sprouts!!), but you could definitely turn these into a sandwich if you’d prefer. They’re really sturdy and won’t fall apart on you.

To keep this meal gluten and grain free, I used almond flour as a binder. The original recipe called for a cup of cooked quinoa, which would be great if you have leftover quinoa, but having to make it is an extra step (and pot!) I’d rather not deal with since almond flour worked well!

You may be wondering what that dollop is on top of the patties. We noticed they’re a tiiiiny bit on the dry side if you don’t have some sort of sauce on them. Tartar sauce would be a good option. My husband used a thick blue cheese dressing in a pinch, but then I made a homemade ranch-type of sauce which is what you see pictured here. I’ll include directions for that below in case you want to make it. It’s super easy, but it does require an immersion blender.

Lemon Herb Salmon Patties

Ingredients:

  • 1lb raw salmon, skin removed
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 red or yellow onion, finely diced (as tiny as possible!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • juice of 1 lemon (If you only use 1/2, the lemon flavor doesn’t shine through)
  • salt and pepper

1). In the bowl of a food processor, add the raw salmon and pulse until it’s evenly ground and starting to be sticky.

2). Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and add the salmon. Mix to combine. Lightly score the mixture into 4 sections. Form the 4 pieces into burger patties.

3). Add a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the salmon patties and cook for about 4 minutes per side. Remove when they’re cooked through and no longer pink. Enjoy!

Servings: 4. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 364 Carbs: 3g Fat: 23g Protein: 32g Fiber: 3g Points+: 9 Recipe adapted from here.

For the homemade ranch-style sauce:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup extra light (must be extra light!) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Immersion blender

1). Important: You will need an immersion blender to do this. Place the egg, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt into a mason jar or container with tall sides. Put the immersion blender in the container so it’s resting at the very bottom, then turn it on. Let it blend like this for several seconds, then slowly and gently move it up so it blends all of the mixture. This should take less than a minute.

2). Once it’s blended through, add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks! If you want to make it into a thinner dressing, add a tiny bit of water at a time and stir until you get the consistency you want.

Yield: about 1 1/4 cups. Serving size: 1 Tablespoon. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 101 Carbs: 0 Fat: 11g Protein: 0g Fiber: 0g Points+: 3 Recipe adapted from here.

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.

30-Minute Shortcut Beef and Vegetable Ragu. (GF, DF, Paleo)

The most flavorful ragu ever! Perfect for a weeknight meal, and a great way to sneak in some veggies!

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I had NO idea how amazing this meal was going to be when I made it.
So. Much. Flavor!!
My husband proclaimed it one of his favorite meals ever. So simple, but seriously amazing.

You know it’s a winner when you genuinely look forward to the leftovers, and this sauce reheats beautifully–it’s almost better the second day! You can serve it over pasta, gluten-free pasta, or spaghetti squash (my favorite!).

Speaking of which, click here to learn how to cook spaghetti squash!

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Okay, so what makes this sauce so wonderful?

  • From start to finish, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Always a win, especially on busy weeknights. Thanks, food processor, for making this so quick and easy!
  • Everyone loves spaghetti and meat sauce, right? Right. Gotta love dishes that will appeal to your entire family.
  • The ingredients are simple. Humble, even. But, when they come together, they create a rich, cozy sauce. The key is using high quality beef (grass-fed), and marinara sauce.
  • The “shortcut” in this shortcut ragu is the marinara sauce. It’s (gasp) store-bought. Normally I’m all about making everything from scratch, but sometimessssss life gets crazy and you need a quick meal. Find a high-quality marinara sauce and it will make this meat sauce taste like it has been simmering all day.
  • My favorite –> Hidden veggies! In order to sneak some vegetables into the sauce, I threw them in the food processor first until they were chopped up teeny tiny. My husband hates mushrooms but didn’t even know he was eating them!

Hooray for adding nutrition and making a meal go further in a healthy, cost-effective way! I love it.

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Quick tip: double this recipe and freeze it!

30-Minute Shortcut Beef and Vegetable Ragu

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (I used 90/10)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped (I used a handful of baby carrots!)
  • 1 rib of celery, roughly chopped
  • 4oz sliced mushrooms
  • 24 oz high quality tomato-basil marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • cooked pasta (regular or GF), or spaghetti squash
  • salt and pepper

1). Heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat and add the ground beef. While it is beginning to brown, add the onion and garlic to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

2). Add the carrot, celery, and mushrooms to the food processor. Pulse until minced. Add to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.

3). When the ground beef is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, add the marinara sauce and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Reduce heat slightly and place a lid partially on top of the skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4). Stir in fresh basil. Taste and re-season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve over cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.

Servings of sauce: about 6. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 203 Carbs: 16g Fat: 7g Protein: 18g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 8g Points+: 5 Recipe adapted from here

1-Minute Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake.

A rich, indulgent chocolate cake that’s gluten-free, full of chocolate flavor, and made in a mug. It’s the easiest cake you’ll ever make! 

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Baking is fun, but it’s not something I do often. In fact, I rarely bake unless there’s an event coming up where a dessert is requested. With only 2 people in our home, there’s no need to have large quantities of desserts lying around, and I try to keep our sugar consumption to a minimum.

With that being said, every now and then there are times when one of us (ok, me) would really like a sliver of (gluten-free) chocolate cake. How am I supposed to have just a sliver without baking an entire cake and having the rest of it on our kitchen counter for days? Solution: 1-Minute chocolate mug cake.

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Have you ever made a mug cake? My first attempt was in college, and it was aaaaaawful. Talk about tasteless cardboard! Bleh. I blacklisted all mug cake recipes after that major fail.

But then, a few years ago, I had great success making a vanilla mug cake, and my faith in these types of recipes was revived. Just a couple weeks ago I came across this recipe and thought–why not?! I’m so glad I tried it because it turned out great and it was a fast way to make a small amount of gluten-free cake–perfect for 2 people.

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Reasons I love this recipe:

  1. It makes 1 large mug, perfect for two people to share.
  2. It does not require heavy clean-up. Just a measuring spoon, fork, and a mug!
  3. It is EASY. If you can measure and mix, you can make this.
  4. It is rich and will definitely satisfy your chocolate craving.
  5. It is super quick to whip up. Just 1 minute of cooking, after all!

All in all, you can probably make this in 3 minutes, and that includes measuring and cooking. I know some of you out there barely have 5 minutes to spare, so this recipe is perfect for you busy folks!

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Did I mention it actually tastes good? It’s sweet, chocolate-y, and rich. Mine almost had 2 textures to it: light fluffy cake towards the top and rich fudgey brownie on the bottom. This may have been due to the fact I didn’t mix in the baking soda enough, but I actually loved this happy accident. It’s like having my two favorite chocolate desserts in one!

I think if you leave the baking powder out completely you’ll end up with just a chocolate brownie. I haven’t tried that yet, so if you try it, let me know!

1-Minute Gluten Free Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil (or butter, if you prefer)
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons gum-free all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used King Arthur’s GF mix)
  • About 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips

1).  Add coconut oil and sugar to a large mug, mason jar, or ramekin.

2). Put the mug in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds, then stir.

3). Whisk in the egg and vanilla until well-combined.

4). Mix in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork. Mix until very-well combined, then stir in the chocolate chips.

5). Microwave for 1 minute and check to see if it’s cooked through. Mine was perfect at this point but microwaves vary, so add 15 seconds. Do not overcook it or it will become very tough.

Servings: 2, or 1 very generous serving. Approximate Nutritional Information: Calories: 263 Carbs: 33g Fat: 14g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 21g Protein: 4g Points+: 7. Recipe adapted from here.

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.

 

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