Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich

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I’m a little embarassed to admit it, but this recipe was inspired by a sandwich that I used to order whenever I ate at Red Robin (which was twice a week when I was in college… a million years ago). After I graduated and had to support myself on my meager wages as a wedding planner, I was forced to stop my over-indulgent bi-weekly dining habits, and learn how to feed myself. This teriyaki chicken sandwich was probably the first copycat recipe that I ever attempted, and because it’s so easy and delicious, it’s also the longest running copycat recipe that I’ve ever attempted. Over the years I’ve tweaked the teriyaki ingredients a little, but the other components (pineapple, Swiss cheese, and mayo) have all stayed the same. And you know what? Call me sentimental, but this oldie-but-goodie is still one of my favorites! Continue reading

Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho (with a kick!)

When I created this blog nearly 8 months ago, I was living in Kansas and knee-deep in one of the bitterest winters the Mid-West had seen in years. At the time, my family and I were surviving on weekly soups and hearty meals to keep ourselves warm, so it seemed perfect to name my food blog SoupBowlRecipes! It was an obvious choice for someone who was freezing and didn’t have the foresight to consider that they would eventually move to one of the hottest states on the planet, where, for at least 6 months out of the year, the thought of making soup is unbearable. And now here we are in Texas, in mid-August, where the temperature for the past few weeks has been hovering around 100°F and shows no signs of breaking. So what’s a girl supposed to do? Well, what every good soup blogger does when life hands them lemons – make lemonade! Or in this case, I’m taking my farmers’ market tomatoes and making a refreshing gazpacho! Continue reading

Cider Salmon in Parchment

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Howdy, ya’ll! Sooo…it’s Monday again, and if you guys are anything like me, you may have gone a bit overboard on the indulgent eating this weekend, and perhaps are feeling a little sluggish and somewhat guilty about it today. Well, I’ve got good news for you! It’s the beginning of a new week, which means you get to start fresh, plan some delicious meals, and get back on that healthy-eating wagon I like to call “The Never Ending Summer Diet.” Continue reading

Olive Stuffed Arancini

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Arancini is a traditional Sicilian dish made of little balls of rice that have been rolled in seasoned breadcrumbs, then fried in oil. Yum, right?!  The rice (or risotto) can be left as-is or stuffed with a variety of tidbits like cheese, ham, peas, or my personal favorite, olives. The first time I tasted one of these mouthwatering flavor bombs was on a walking food tour through Greenwich Village while I was living in Manhattan. I was handed this crispy round thing that looked a little bit like a hushpuppy, but was so much better. Since then, I’ve seen them on menus at the occasional Italian restaurant, but not nearly as much as I’d like to (seriously, these things need to become more mainstream!) – so I decided to make them myself. And share them with you. Because I’m nice like that. Continue reading

Chicken in Parchment

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The other night I made one of my all-time-favorite weeknight dishes, Chicken in Parchment, and I thought, Holy cow! This is a super easy, super delicious, super healthy meal — why haven’t I shared it with my readers yet?! And the answer is…I have no idea, because it’s totally something you guys will love. The only special element this recipe requires is parchment paper, which many of us have in our kitchens anyway, and a some mad scissor skills (but if you can cut a paper heart, your golden!). Honestly, this is the most flavorful and healthy way I’ve found to cook white meat. You see, baking the chicken (or fish, which I’ll post next week) in parchment packets, with just a trace amount of liquid, allows you to steam the meat in it’s own broth, making it really moist and tender — kind of like a personal sauna for your chicken. Continue reading

Seared Sea Scallops in Coconut-Key Lime Curry Sauce

Aside from being a mouthful of a title, this Thai-inspired dish packs a mouthful of flavor! Sweet coconut milk, tart key limes, and spicy curry set the perfect backdrop for luscious, perfectly seared sea scallops (which I’ll teach you how to make in your own kitchen). Now I know what you’re probably thinking: This dish sounds a little too fancy for a weeknight, maybe I’ll just call in an order of Pad Thai instead. No – don’t do that! Sure, it may be easier, but come on, live a little! I’m telling you, make this simple dish tonight, Instagram your photos, then return to work tomorrow feeling like Mario Battali. I promise you’ll be a better person for it. Continue reading

Baked Southwest Egg Rolls with Creamy Salsa

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I have a major weakness for Southwest egg rolls. It’s my kryptonite. Just one whiff of them can bring me to my knees, and every time I see them on a menu (and that’s a lot since our move to Texas), I have to order them. I’m not sure who it was that first came up with this Asian fusion work of art, but they should be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for brilliance in food discovery. Alright, maybe that’s going a bit too far, but that’s how much I love them. Now, with that being said, I realize that these fried little goodies aren’t the most nutritious things you can put into your mouth, and with bikini season still in full swing, I’m not yet willing to abandon my healthy eating habits and devour these by the handful, like I inevitably do once sweater season strikes. But just because the weather is warm and the clothing trends skimpy, doesn’t mean I should completely sacrifice my favorite go-to appetizer, right? At least that’s what I was thinking last weekend when I was having a serious snack-attack. Hungry for something savory and satisfying, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own less fattening version of the Southwest egg roll. Made with brown rice, lean chicken, and baked instead of fried, I feel better (at least a little bit) about attacking these guys with reckless abandon. Which I did. — Don’t judge.

Baked Southwest Egg Rolls

Makes 14

  • ½ cup dry brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1½ cups corn kernels, fresh or canned
  • 1 cup precooked rotisserie chicken (white meat, skin removed), roughly chopped (*omit to make this a vegetarian dish)
  • 1 bell pepper (red or orange), chopped
  • ½ cup jarred salsa
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 Tbsp diced canned jalapeños (substitute mild diced green chills for less heat)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 14 flour tortillas, fajita size
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water
  • parchment paper

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Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add rice and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until rice is soft and all the water has evaporated from the pot. Once rice has finished cooking, fluff with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, pour half of the black beans into a medium bowl and mash with a fork until most of the beans are crushed.IMG_9237

To the same bowl, add cooked rice and all the other remaining ingredients (except the tortillas and egg wash), and stir until combined.IMG_9254

Fill a ¼-cup measurer with egg roll filling and drop it into the center of a tortilla.IMG_9259

Bring 2 sides of the tortilla upward, then use your other hand to press on the outside of the tortilla, forming the filling into a log running down the center of the tortilla, stopping ½-inch from each end.IMG_9260

Fold the bottom of the tortilla up towards the center, then fold both sides inward, creating an envelope.IMG_9261

Brush the open end of tortilla with the egg wash and fold inward, sealing the egg roll.IMG_9266 IMG_9263

Place egg roll seam-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then brush the top of the tortilla with egg wash, covering the entire surface.IMG_9265

Repeat with the remaining tortillas.IMG_9268

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until egg rolls are golden brown and crispy to the touch. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with Creamy Salsa for dipping (recipe below).IMG_9270

Creamy Salsa

  • 1 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • smoked paprika for garnish

Mix salsa, sour cream, and salt together until smooth. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. Creamy Salsa can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.IMG_9287

Sidekick: Serve with a light and refreshing beer, preferably of the Mexican variety: Pacifico, Modelo, Sol, Dos Equis, Victoria, or Carta Blanca.

Cold Asian Noodle Salad

IMG_9116 On steamy days like these, I absolutely hate slaving over a hot stove — an outdoor grill is fine, but my kitchen stove? No thank you. Lately I’ve been cooking much of our dinners in the mornings when the temperature is still cool, then refrigerating everything and assembling the meal right before we eat. This “cook & cool” method (I just made up that term, do you like it?) works really well for pastas, rice, and other hearty grains because they store well, and taste great chilled. For this Cold Asian Noodle Salad, the pasta only takes a few minutes to simmer, so it’s easy to do right before you leave for work. Just drain the noodles, then cover and refrigerate (and if you’re feeling extra ambitious, chop the veggies and store separately in the fridge). Then when you get home, all you have to do is whip up the dressing, then toss everything together. Voilà! Done! And this easy summer salad can be served alongside grilled chicken, or dished up as a vegetarian entrée. Either way, you’ll thank me tonight when you’re enjoying a cool meal on the patio rather than sweating in the kitchen. Continue reading

Salmon Burgers with Wasabi Tartar and Quick Pickled Cucumbers

IMG_8913While my husband and I were on our Alaskan cruise in June, I had one of the best salmon burgers I’ve ever eaten at a local brewery in Skagway. It was one of those meals that while you’re eating it you keep saying, “Wow, this is good. No, this is really good!” over and over and over again. About halfway through devouring the burger I came up for air long enough to take a picture of it so that I could recreate the deliciousness in my own kitchen. After sitting down and talking to my grill-master husband, we concluded that the best course of action was to lightly season the fish, then grill it over low heat on a cedar plank to give it some smokiness. And I must say, it was delicious. Whether eaten by itself or in burger form, this method should be the new way you cook your salmon. Continue reading

Jalapeño-Cheddar Burgers with Chipotle-Lime Ranch Dressing

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Yesterday I posted my all-time favorite gourmet hamburger recipe (that I could seriously eat every single day, they’re that good!), but let’s pretend for a moment that bacon and blue cheese aren’t your thing. No biggie. I get that some people have a problem with “stinky cheese,” as my mom refers to it. Okay, so maybe you’re looking for a burger that’s a little less fancy and a lot more folksy. In that case, kick the mud off your cowboy boots and try on this spicy Tex-Mex burger for size. Continue reading