Greek Chickpea Salad

Delicious all on its own, atop a slice of toasted fresh bread, or served with pita slices to share, this Greek Chickpea Salad is such an easy, fresh, springtime meal, snack, or party contribution.  It also works wonderfully as a meal prep option to have on hand in the fridge throughout the week.

This recipe could very easily be made vegan if the feta was replaced with a vegan cheese.

If you’re feeding a larger group, it’s simple to double the quantity.

Finally, it’s super versatile if you prefer to add more or less of any of the ingredients!

Servings: Approx. 5

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Dill 
  • 1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Finely Chopped Cucumber
  • 21 Sliced Kalamata Olives
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 Cups Prepared/Canned Chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Feta Cheese Crumbles
  • 2 Chopped Medium Tomatoes
  • Sea Salt, To Taste
  • Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste

Directions:

Chop the fresh herbs, cucumber, tomato, and olives, and set aside

Squeeze the lemon juice and set aside

Drain, rinse, and dry the chickpeas

Optional – Peel the chickpeas (This is not required, but I find them to be more enjoyable this way!  After the rinsing process, you will see the outer layer beginning to peel off of them naturally.  They will pop out of their casings easily.)

Place the chickpeas in a large bowl

Add in the olive oil, cucumber, lemon juice, and herbs, and stir

Add in a small amount of salt, pepper, and red pepper, and stir again (You can add more later if needed.)

Next, mix in the feta, tomatoes, and olives

Add additional salt, pepper, and/or red pepper to taste

Serve, and enjoy!

[Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.]


Love these types of flavors?  Check out my Easy Greek Pasta Salad too!

Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches

Seasoned breaded chicken strips, honey mustard tang, and smokey gouda cheese; these Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches pack a huge flavor punch!  We recommend serving them up with a side of your favorite fries.

The baked chicken portion of the recipe can also be made on its own if you enjoy having chicken tenders on hand for snacking, salads, etc.  They’re very versatile!

My husband gets the credit for this one as it was his perfect solution for switching up burger night.  It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser! 

Servings: Approx. 4 Sandwiches 

Ingredients:

FOR THE CHICKEN

  • 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 Cup Flour (we used white whole wheat)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Tangy Garlic Spice Blend (linked, or equivalent)
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

FOR THE HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Coarse Ground Dijon Mustard
  • 5 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

TO SERVE, FOR EACH SANDWICH

  • A Brioche Bun
  • Lettuce
  • Dill Pickles
  • Red Onion Slices
  • A Smoked Gouda Slice

Directions:

PREP AND BAKE THE CHICKEN STRIPS

Preheat the oven to 425°

Cover a baking sheet with foil (to prevent sticking)

Spread the flour on a large plate, and beat the eggs together in a bowl

In another medium-sized bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic spice blend, onion powder, salt, and pepper 

Slice the chicken breasts into 2-3” strips

Roll each chicken strip in the flour until coated, then dip into the eggs. Roll the egg-covered chicken in the breadcrumb mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet

Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes – The breading should be browned and crispy when done

MAKE THE SAUCE

While the chicken is baking, prepare the honey mustard sauce

Melt the butter and whisk it together with the mustard, honey, and spices until the sauce is smooth

(Note that the sauce may thicken if left to stand. Briefly reheating it in the microwave will return it to a more liquid state)

ASSEMBLE SANDWICHES

When the chicken is ready, dunk each breaded strip in the sauce until fully coated 

For each sandwich, place chicken strips on a warm brioche bun and melt a slice of gouda over them. Top with lettuce, onions and pickles

Enjoy!

Egg, Spinach, & Mushroom Pasta

If you love cheese, eggs, and veggies, you cannot go wrong with this easy Egg, Spinach, & Mushroom Pasta!  From the red pepper and garlic to the salty eggy coating to the cheesy bites of mushroom, this simple dinner is a winner when you need a tasty weeknight meal.

While this combination is inherently vegetarian, you could easily add in a meat option such as traditional or chicken sausages.  You could also keep it vegetarian but add some extra protein with veggie sausages as well.  It works perfectly as a side or light main meal as it is, and can be transformed into a heartier main meal with this optional addition!

Servings: 4 Mains or 8 Sides

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz Pasta Of Choice
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 2.5 Cups Diced Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 5 oz Baby Spinach
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste
  • 1 Tsp Dried Basil
  • Parmesan for serving

Directions:

Prep by mincing the garlic with a press, dicing the mushrooms, and measuring the spinach 

Boil water to prepare to cook the pasta according to package instructions

While the water is boiling and the pasta cooks, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic to a large wok or skillet and warm up the garlic on medium heat

Add in a few red pepper flakes, to taste

Add in the mushrooms and spinach, and cook until the veggies are done to your liking

Turn the heat down to low

Scramble the eggs in a bowl and set aside

Just before draining the finished pasta, take out about 2 spoonfuls of the boiling water and mix it into your scrambled eggs

Drain and rinse the pasta, then add it into the veggie mix and coat evenly, adding in the third tablespoon of olive oil as well to keep it from sticking

Add in salt and black pepper to taste, the basil, as well as another pinch of red pepper flakes

(I would recommend starting with less red pepper and having more available for serving so that you don’t accidentally add more than you’d like)

Add the scrambled egg mixture, tossing the pasta mix continuously for a minute or two, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking

Tear up the cheese slices and mix in until melted evenly

Taste test to determine if additional salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes are needed

Serve with parmesan cheese along with extra salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Enjoy!

[Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.]


Love eggy pastas?  Try my Egg & Sausage Carbonara!

Crispy Salmon Fish Tacos

CRISPY, FLAKY, BREADED SALMON!

We love fish tacos in this house, and these Crispy Salmon Fish Tacos are an easy and tasty crowd-pleaser!  After our recent introduction to deliciously crisp deep-fried salmon, my husband was inspired to incorporate a crispier, breaded, oven baked salmon into this meal and it turned out beautifully: the perfect combination of both crispy and flaky!

When it comes to the toppings, they certainly can be customizable to your preferences, but our tip would be don’t skip the chipotle mayo!  It’s a must as it really does tie all of the flavors together. 

Servings: 16 Tacos (or about 5 servings)

Ingredients:

FOR THE FISH

  • 1.5 lb Salmon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Flour (we used white whole wheat)
  • 1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Corn Or Flour Tortillas (corn recommended for flavor!)

TOPPINGS (SUGGESTED / TO TASTE)

  • Squeeze Of Lime
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Raw Coleslaw Mix
  • Sliced Serrano Peppers
  • Thinly Sliced Radishes
  • Chipotle Mayo Of Choice
  • Cilantro To Garnish

Directions:

PREP

Preheat the oven to 425°

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking

Remove the skin from the salmon and cut it into small fillets (about 3” long) and pat dry

Season the fish liberally on both sides with salt and pepper

Mix the flour and paprika in a large plate or shallow bowl

Scramble eggs in a bowl

Mix the Panko with the chopped cilantro in a medium sized bowl

BREAD AND COOK THE FISH

Roll the fillets in the flour mixture until coated evenly on all sides

Dunk and cover the fillets in egg, then gently roll them in the Panko mixture until thoroughly coated

Place the breaded fillets on the pan and bake for 10-12 min at 425° – The fish texture should be flaky with a lightly browned, crispy breading

ASSEMBLE TACOS

Slice the fillets into thin pieces and place in warmed tortillas

Add the squeeze of lime over the fish before other toppings 

Top with avocado, coleslaw, radishes, and peppers

Drizzle with chipotle mayo and garnish with cilantro

Enjoy!


Looking for a way to use any leftover breadcrumbs? Try these Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches!

One-Skillet Beef & Veggie Empanada Filling

This One-Skillet Beef & Veggie Empanada Filling is a must-try!  The ingredient preparation is so darn simple and it’s all combined in a single skillet!  You can use either a homemade or store-bought dough of your choosing to then bake the savory pastries.  This recipe fills about 13 medium-sized empanadas making it a perfect choice for a group meal, or for easily reheated leftovers in a smaller household.

The flavors make salsas and guacamole natural toppings for serving, and the level of spice can be adjusted by adding more or less cayenne.

Servings: Filling For Approx. 13 Medium Empanadas

Ingredients:

1 Yellow/Sweet Onion, finely chopped

1 Large, Or 2 Small, Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced

2 Full Sized Carrots, peeled and finely diced

3 Garlic Cloves, minced or crushed

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Cup Beef Broth

1 Lb Ground Beef

2 Tbsps Tomato Paste

2 Tsp Chili Powder

1/2 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Cayenne

Sea Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

Additionally:

2 Eggs + 1 Tbsp Cold Water For Egg Wash

Directions:

[If you are making a homemade dough, prep ahead of time, refrigerate, and bring back to room temperature accordingly.  If using a premade/frozen dough, follow package instructions for thawing.]

Finely chop the onion

Peel and dice the potatoes

Peel and finely dice the carrots

Mince the garlic (or use a garlic press)

In a large skillet, add the olive oil and then all of the above (onions, carrots, potatoes, and garlic) and start cooking on medium heat

Stir veggies often, adding in splashes of water if they are getting dry

Once the veggies have softened significantly, add in 1/2 a cup of the beef broth, then once it cooks off, add in the other 1/2 cup

If additional softening of the veggies is still needed, continue to cook with splashes of water until cooked thoroughly

Add in the ground beef, disperse, and cook evenly among the veggie mix, continuing to add splashes of water if too dry

Lower the heat

Add in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper

Taste test and adjust the spices to your taste (I recommend a lot of salt and pepper)

The final consistency should be slightly mushy (see photos) 

Remove the skillet from the heat

[From here:

Preheat the oven to the specific temperature required for your dough

Cut the dough into circular shapes

Fill the empanadas

Fold over

Seal by pressing with a fork

Brush with an egg wash if your dough requires it

Bake according to your dough instructions – For my dough it was around 30 minutes at 400º, but this is variable!]

Serve final empanadas with the salsa or guacamole (or both!) of your choice

Enjoy!

[Leftovers can be stored sealed in the refrigerator.]

Egg & Sausage Carbonara

This Egg & Sausage Carbonara is a long-time family favorite!  Originally inspired by Rachael Ray’s 1998 version of her Spaghetti Carbonara: Pasta with Bacon and Eggs (found in the First printing of 30-Minute Meals), this easy pasta dish was made by my mom often when we were young, and still now when we all visit home.  Doubling the ingredients can make it a perfect choice for feeding a crowd, and for the vegetarians, it’s an easy swap to use your favorite veggie sausages instead!

Servings: About 4

Ingredients:

4 Mild Or Spicy Italian Chicken Sausages Of Choice, such as Bilinski’s

(Traditional Italian sausage can be used if preferred over chicken)

1 Pound Spaghetti

4 Minced Garlic Cloves

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Plus Extra For The Sausages

4 Eggs

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Black Pepper And Sea Salt, To Taste

Directions:

Slice the sausages into 1/2 inch pieces, and cook them with olive oil over medium heat until browned and crispy.  They can then be removed from the pan and set aside

Boil water for the pasta

Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, evenly pour in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and heat up the garlic on low heat (sprinkling in some red pepper flakes to taste)

Just before draining the finished pasta, take out about 3 spoonfuls of the boiling water and add it into your egg mixture

Drain and rinse the cooked pasta and add it to the skillet of garlic and olive olive, turning the heat up to medium

Coat the pasta evenly, then add in your cooked sausage pieces

Pour in the scrambled eggs, and toss it all together for about 1 minute, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking

Remove from heat, and mix in the parmesan and a generous amount of black pepper

Serve with extra cheese, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste

Enjoy!

Ingredient recommendations linked!

Dad’s Famous Salmon Dinner

If you’ve never been a salmon lover, I’m about to change your mind!  My Dad didn’t think he liked salmon either, but in 1999, my mom gifted him James McNair’s “Salmon Cookbook”. He took on a combination of recipes, adjusted them to his particular taste, and created the ultimate salmon dinner.  Ever since, whenever friends or family come to visit, even those who say they don’t like salmon, he serves up this particular plate and wows them every single time!

Between the butter, lemon, shallots, and super soft texture, the fish will literally melt in your mouth.

THE FISH

The book’s “Herb-Roasted Salmon” recipe

Adjustments

-Of all the herbs listed, only dill is used

-He adds extra butter atop the fish in the oven; roughly 4 tablespoons (or to taste!)

-When removing the skin, he also removes the majority of the dark meat along the backbone.  Yes, this reduces the Omega 3 content a bit, but it’s the secret to removing the “fishy” taste for those who prefer that!

THE FISH SAUCE

The book’s “Beurre Blanc” recipe

Adjustments

-Instead of letting the majority of the liquid evaporate as indicated, he leaves a bit more of the liquid intact in the pan

SIDES

A Garlic and Olive Oil Couscous (such as the 365 option from Whole Foods)

Grilled Yellow, Orange, or Red Bell Peppers Bell Peppers (in your marinade of choice, such as an Italian dressing)

GARNISHES

Extra dill, lemon slices, and bell pepper tops (or whatever you have on hand!)

Based on his dedication to plating the meal perfectly, I think it’s safe to say I know where I got my love of food photography from!

It goes without saying that we all highly recommend the cookbook.  It has inspired countless great meals in our house!

Visit my Amazon Storefront to pick up a copy for yourself: www.amazon.com/shop/bakeandbewell

#CommissionsEarned #Ad

Easy Greek Pasta Salad

Meal prep doesn’t get easier than this Easy Greek Pasta Salad!  Perfect for use as a ready-made side dish or main meal, this recipe takes only minutes to prepare and can last you all week long!  The real best part is how customizable it is:  If you have alternate vegetables you’d prefer to substitute, use them!  If you want a bit more protein, add meat!  If you enjoy extra cheese, add more feta.  There are endless variations!

If experimenting in the kitchen isn’t your thing, fear not.  I promise this particular ingredient combo will be a crowd-pleaser at your next summer cookout, potluck, or family dinner.  No occasion?  No problem!  I love having this dish on hand for pre-made meals to go.  It’s the perfect work lunch.

It’s packed with tons of colorful veggies for a nutrition bonus, and depending on the serving size the batch can stretch a long way! 

Servings: 5 – 6 medium/large (or around 10 very small sides)

Ingredients:

Directions: 

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and then set aside to cool off

Chop up the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber into bite-sized pieces

Using a very large bowl, coat the cooled pasta in half of the greek dressing (Cooled cooking pots or baking dishes work well too.  Choose whatever you have on hand.)

Add the chopped veggies to the bowl

Then add the black olives and feta to the bowl as well

Add the remaining dressing and toss until all is evenly mixed

Add sea salt and black pepper to taste

Garnish with fresh parsley

Enjoy!

[Leftovers can easily be stored sealed/covered in the refrigerator.]

Ingredient recommendations linked!


Love Greek flavors? Try my Greek Chickpea Salad!

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!

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!