Breaded Lemon Pepper Chicken & Asparagus

We all need a few easy go-to dinners that require minimal ingredients, minimal time, and have crowd-pleasing flavors.  This breaded lemon pepper chicken with oven roasted lemon asparagus on the side is exactly that!  Easy, delicious, inexpensive, and full of fresh summer flavor!

(Of course if you’d like to prepare only the chicken or only the asparagus, take either part of this recipe and add it into your given meal of choice, but they really do pair wonderfully together!)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

FOR THE ASPARAGUS

1 Bunch Asparagus (around 50 small/thin stalks)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt (around 7 grinds or to taste)

Black Pepper (around 15 grinds or to taste)

1/2 Lemon

FOR THE CHICKEN

1 – 1.5 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Thinly Sliced (I used 1.4 lbs)

1/2 Cup Flour of Choice (I used White Whole Wheat)

1/4 Cup Dangold Lemon Pepper Seasoning

4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1/2 Lemon

Directions:

FOR THE ASPARAGUS

Preheat the oven to 425°

Rinse the asparagus and trim off the ends

Place them in a ziplock bag, pour in the olive oil, and distribute until evenly coated

Add the salt and pepper into the bag and evenly cover

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and evenly spread the asparagus across the pan

Cook for 9 minutes, flip, then cook for another 9 minutes, or until they’ve reached your preferred texture

Once they’ve been removed from the oven, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top before serving

FOR THE CHICKEN

While the asparagus is cooking, place the flour and lemon pepper seasoning onto a plate and mix together

Melt half of the butter in a medium-large pan on medium heat

Coat each piece of chicken with water, then cover them with the flour and spice mixture

Cook the chicken in the pan for around 4 minutes per side if thin (adding time for thicker pieces until cooked all the way through)

The remaining half of the butter can be added into the pan between cooking chicken pieces if it runs dry

Once the chicken is all removed from the stove, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top before serving

Plate the chicken with the asparagus

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Raspberry Oat & Honey Yogurt Bowl

This combination is a recent favorite of mine when it comes to needing a quick and easy yet nutrient-dense breakfast or afternoon snack! The ratios can be adjusted to your liking, but think overnight oats meets granola bowl!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

Plain Greek Yogurt (I used nonfat)

Quick Oats

Hemp Hearts

Local Honey

Frozen Raspberries

Directions:

Start with a helping of the plain greek yogurt

Mix in a large sprinkle of the quick oats for texture

Stir in a spoonful of the hemp hearts for some omega 3s and iron

Add a generous drizzle of the local honey

Top with the frozen raspberries

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Sunbutter Berry Overnight Oats

Don’t throw out your nearly empty Sunbutter, Peanut Butter, or Nut Butter jars!  They make the perfect vehicle for overnight oats to go!  This breakfast is perfect for a grab-and-go meal when you’re traveling or heading off to work or school.

It doesn’t get any easier: Simply add your ingredients into the jar, combine, refrigerate, and serve.  It’s creamy, filling, not overly sweet, and filled with nutrient-dense ingredients!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

The End Of A Jar Of Sunbutter

1/2 Cup Rolled Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Powder

1/3 Cup Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Freeze Dried Raspberries

1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Water

(Optional) Extra Sunbutter for serving (from your next jar!)

(Optional) Sweetener of choice such as a dash of honey

Directions:

Add the oats, chia powder, and greek yogurt into the jar

Stir with the water, making sure to incorporate any remaining Sunbutter coating the jar

Stir in the dried raspberries

Refrigerate covered for about 24 hours

Once ready to eat, enjoy topped with extra Sunbutter, fresh or additional freeze dried berries, and/or optional sweetener of choice

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Berry Chocolate Protein Smoothie

This smoothie provides such an energy boost!  Whether you’re looking to fuel a workout or simply jumpstart your day, it’s sweet, filling, packed with fruit, and so easy to whip up!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

3 Oz Fresh Raspberries

1/2 Cup Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt

2 Frozen Bananas (sliced before freezing to ease blending)

1 Packet Nibmor Traditional Hot Cocoa (dry)

1/2 Cup Water

Directions:

Blend and enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Easy Vegan Fruit & Seed Smoothie

This 4-ingredient snack couldn’t be easier to make!  Keeping a stash of a variety of frozen fruit in the freezer is so helpful when creating smoothies on a whim.  I love combining handfuls of it with some sunflower seed butter and water which beautifully blends into a sweet, creamy, and refreshing snack that just so happens to be vegan and gluten free!

This is a snack-size portion, but if you were looking for more of a meal you could easily double the measurements.  I love drinking this as a side with a sandwich at lunch, or as a mid-afternoon bite.  It’s one of my favorite ways to add a couple extra servings of fruit into my day!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

1 Large Frozen Banana (sliced before freezing to ease blending)

12 Frozen Dark Cherries

2 Large Frozen Strawberries

2 Tbsp Sunbutter

2/3 Cup Water

Directions:

Blend and enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Roasted Brussels Sprout Pasta

If you’re a fan of crispy roasted brussels sprouts, you’ll love this super easy pasta dish!  It can function as either a side or main meal depending on what you’re serving.  You can use any type of pasta that you prefer.  I’ve personally utilized everything from traditional Italian wheat pastas to legume and lentil pastas (which are great for a gluten free and protein-packed alternative).

Speaking of protein, if you’re looking to add in a little extra, the addition of a chopped sausage (either traditional meat or veggie-based) would be a delicious option.

If you’d like to prepare the dish for a group, simply multiply these single serving measurements by the amount of diners.  For optimal taste and texture, it’s best to eat this one right away while the brussels sprouts are still warm and crispy from the oven!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 Pound Brussels Sprouts

1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to thoroughly coat)

Sea Salt (to taste)

Black Pepper (to taste)

FOR THE PASTA

1 & 1/3 Cups Pasta Of Choice (dry)

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt (to taste)

Black Pepper (to taste, generous amount recommended)

TO SERVE

Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

FOR THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Preheat the oven to 400°

Cut the bottoms/tips off of the sprouts and peel off the outer layer

Cut each sprout in half (smaller ones can be left whole)

Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper

Spread evenly on a baking sheet

Cook for about 35 minutes (stirring/flipping halfway) or until the outside is brown and crispy

FOR THE PASTA

Based on the cooking time for your pasta of choice, prepare it according to the package instructions timed to finish around when the sprouts will be coming out of the oven

Once cooked and drained, add pasta to serving bowl

Coat lightly with the olive oil

Season with salt and pepper to taste

TO SERVE

Mix the roasted brussels sprouts into the pasta

Add additional salt and pepper if needed after taste testing

Add parmesan cheese to taste when serving

Enjoy!

Chocolate Cherry Protein Oats

Let’s face it, we can’t always know what we’re going to want for breakfast tomorrow. I love the thick and creamy consistency of overnight oats, but rarely do I prepare any the night before the craving hits. My solution: “Instant Overnight Oats”. It’s simple – Prepare quick cooking oats with water in the microwave, then include roughly 1/2 a cup of plain greek yogurt (per 1/2 cup oats) in with your other ingredients and voilà! Slightly cooled and creamy oats à la traditional Overnight Oats. This Chocolate Cherry variety only requires 4 ingredients, is high in protein, and takes less than 5 minutes to make!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Quick Oats

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used nonfat)

1 Packet NibMor Hot Cocoa

Fresh Or Frozen Cherries

+ Water for the oats

Directions:

Cook up the oats with water (I use the microwave)

Stir in the hot cocoa packet

Stir in the yogurt until creamy and evenly combined

Mix in the cherries

Enjoy!

If you’re looking to enjoy the meal warm, fresh cherries would be recommended.

If you’d rather the meal be cool like traditional Overnight Oats, the combination of using frozen cherries and cold yogurt will bring the temperature down. The warm oats will thaw the frozen fruit while transferring their chill into the rest of the bowl.

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Healthy Sherbet Smoothie

Last week our temperatures rose to nearly 100° and it’s only April!  When the heat is that intense, the kitchen becomes filled with iced (decaf) coffees, margaritas, and of course, smoothies.  This Healthy Sherbet Smoothie is a new favorite!  It’s super thick like a shake, only requires 4 ingredients, and is both protein and vitamin-rich.  It makes for a great snack to beat the heat!

Servings: 1

Ingredients:

1 Serving Frozen Peaches (approx. 1 cup)

1/2 Cup Lakewood “Orange & Carrot” Juice

1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used nonfat, but full fat would be delicious as well!)

1/2 Of A Chopped Large Frozen Banana (or 3/4 Of A Chopped Small Frozen Banana)

Directions:

Blend together until creamy

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

If you’re looking to transform mac and cheese from a simple weeknight meal into a restaurant order copycat, I have the secret: A crispy breadcrumb topping!  It makes all the difference!

This pasta bake is quick and easy with only simple ingredients needed.  It’s also quite customizable.  Should you have a preference to use a different type of cheese or vegetable, it can be made entirely your own.

That being said, I highly recommend this particular combination!  The broccoli is very complimentary in both taste and texture, and there’s just the right amount of subtle kick from the pepper jack that really ties all of the flavors together.

The contrast of the crispy cheese and breadcrumb topping paired with the saucy pasta center makes this meal perfect to serve hot from the oven, but in a smaller household it can easily be stored as leftovers for readymade meals or sides in the days to follow.  This recipe makes 6 servings, and whether you’re feeding a group or meal prepping for yourself, it’s designed to make the cooking as easy as possible. (Cue the cheese slices in lieu of shredding!)

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

3 Cups Elbow Pasta (dry)

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1/4 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour (or flour of choice)

1 Tsp Sea Salt

Black Pepper (about 10 total rotations from the grinder)

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 1/4 Cups Oat Milk

1 3/4 Cups Vegetable Broth

8 Slices Mild Cheddar Cheese

5 Cups Broccoli (measured while frozen/raw)

1/4 Tsp Paprika

2 Slices Muenster Cheese

2 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese

1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Directions:

STEP 1

PREP

Preheat the oven to 350°

Grease a 9 x13 inch baking dish

Cook the broccoli (I microwaved from frozen), cut into small pieces, and set aside

STEP 2

COOK THE PASTA

Prepare the elbow pasta according to the package instructions.  Be sure to rinse it with cold water once drained

STEP 3

CREATE THE SAUCE

While the pasta is cooking, in a wok/vessel of similar size, melt the butter

Stir the flour into the melted butter until evenly combined

Stir in the sea salt, half of the black pepper (about 5 rotations from the grinder), and the cayenne

Add in the oat milk and vegetable broth, cooking and stirring on medium heat until well blended

Melt in the 8 slices of cheddar, stirring until smooth

STEP 4

COMBINE THE FILLING ELEMENTS

Add the cooked pasta into the sauce

Add in the cooked broccoli pieces

Add in the other half of the black pepper (5 rotations from the grinder) and the paprika

Transfer into the greased baking dish

STEP 5

CREATE THE TOPPING

Tear the 2 muenster slices and the 2 pepper jack slices into small pieces, and evenly disperse over the top of the pasta

To follow, top with the bread crumbs

STEP 6

BAKE

Bake for around 17 minutes

To brown and crisp the top, broil for an additional 2 and 1/2 minutes.  Rotate the pan, then broil a second time for 1 and 1/2 – 2 minutes (or until lightly browned)

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly

If desired, an additional sprinkle of salt can be added when serving

Enjoy!

[Leftovers can easily be stored in the refrigerator by simply covering up the cooking dish and storing it in there as is.]

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Burrata Artichoke Bison Burgers

A few years back, my husband was given a burger patty press for Christmas.  His parents got one for themselves as well.  Ever since then, the burger wars between them have been escalating!  Who can craft the ultimate burger?!  This Italian-inspired bison burger is my husband’s latest entry into the family burger competition, and it turned out so delicious that I wanted to share it with you all!

He named it “Under the Tuscan Bun”, let me add!  A unique name for a unique burger falls within the rules of the family burger battle.

This recipe makes four burgers, but after tasting the burrata / sun dried tomato / artichoke relish combo, I’m betting you’ll be tempted to eat two at a time!

Ingredients:

FOR THE PATTIES

4 oz Fresh Basil

2-3 Cloves Garlic (depending on preference)

1 lb Ground Bison

3 Tbsp Grated Parmesan

Black Pepper (to taste)

Sea Salt (to taste)

FOR THE ARTICHOKE RELISH

1 14 oz Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus extra on hand to adjust final consistency)

1 Bunch Fresh Parsley

1 Pinch Kosher Salt

½ Lemon

TO SERVE

4 Burger Buns Of Choice (Brioche highly recommended!)

Sun Dried Tomatoes (to taste)

8 oz Burrata

Directions:

STEP 1

PREP THE PATTIES

In a food processor, finely chop the basil and garlic

Combine the basil and garlic mixture with the ground bison along with the parmesan, black pepper, and sea salt

Form into 4 patties

STEP 2

PREP THE ARTICHOKE RELISH

Mince the artichoke hearts and sauté in them in the tbsp of olive oil until lightly browned

Transfer to a bowl to cool

Chop the fresh parsley leaves

Add the parsley to the artichoke hearts

Add the pinch of kosher salt and squeeze the 1/2 lemon into the mix

Add olive oil as needed until mixture reaches spreadable consistency

STEP 3

COOK THE PATTIES

Cook each bison patty for roughly 3-4 mins on each side on medium-high heat

STEP 4

ASSEMBLE

Toast or warm a burger bun

Add a bison patty

Spread the artichoke relish generously onto the top of the patty

Add sun dried tomatoes and burrata to taste

Enjoy!