Quick & Easy Meals

Category: Quick & Easy Meals

Wholesome meals that can be prepared and made in 30 min or less!

Summer Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Summer Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette- A fresh salad made of seasonal summer produce and a simple homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette that is bursting with flavor!
A fresh salad made with seasonal summer produce and a simple homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette that is bursting with flavor!

Its the 21st again, and that means it’s Recipe ReDux time! This month we were asked to share a recipe of a favorite kitchen staple that we make from scratch but used to purchase in the past. I immediately thought of how I now make a lot of my salad dressings from scratch. You wouldn’t believe how simple they are to throw together and taste so good!

One salad dressing that is a favorite in our house is this Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. Simply whisk together some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, ground mustard and viola you have a wonderful homemade dressing that is bursting with flavor. I love that when you make your own dressings, you can totally customize it to your preference/salad theme, and they don’t taste as overly sweet/heavy/sugary/salty like some bottled dressings can be. Not to mention, you typically have the ingredients in your kitchen already!

Read more

Caprese Quinoa Bake

Caprese Quinoa Bake- A fresh and easy casserole dish made of a delicious combo of tomatoes, basil, ground turkey, onion, parmesan and white wine then topped with caprese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
A fresh and easy casserole dish made of a delicious combo of tomatoes, basil, ground turkey, onion, parmesan and white wine then topped with caprese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Hello! I have been slacking lately! Life has been busy the past month. I’ve been cleaning our house like crazy getting it ready for showings (it finally sold last week, yay!), holiday gatherings and getting ready for baby #2! We just found out last week we are having a BOY!! Noelle will just love being a big sister. I don’t think she quite understands it yet, but she knows theres talk about a “baby brudder”. 🙂

We decided to surprise everyone by announcing the gender on Easter. I made a coconut cream cake and filled it with blue jelly beans. Such a fun way to announce and the cake was sooo yummmy.  I’m not much of a cake person, but home made cake is just so amazing!!  Especially this recipe.

Read more

Pizza Squares with Cauliflower Crust

Pizza Squares with Cauliflower Crust- Perfect for entertaining, this low carb, gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza is easy to make, has simple ingredients and tastes so good!
Perfect for entertaining, this low carb, gluten-free cauliflower crust pizza is easy to make, has simple ingredients and tastes so good!

“I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.”

If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a cauliflower craze going on! Who knew this simple cruciferous vegetable would be so versatile? Lately I’ve seen recipes for roasted cauliflower, cauliflower gratin, rice, breadsticks, cheese sauce, tater tots and mashed cauliflower! I’ve even tried a few and they are all so good.   What a great way to sneak in some veggies or just enjoy them in new ways!

I was excited to try out these Pizza Squares with Cauliflower Crust for the January Recipe ReDux contest sponsored by Cabot Cheese. The lovely folks at Cabot Creamery sent us a variety of samples of their amazing cheddar cheeses. Wow. What a treat! My husband and I happen to looooove sharp cheddar. I will definitely be buying more in the future!

The challenge of this contest was to create lightened up snacks/apps/finger foods for entertaining. Even though the holidays are over, we’ve still got the Super Bowl next week and what could be more delicious than munching on homemade pizza, guilt free! You seriously can’t even tell you’re eating cauliflower.

Read more

Southwestern Cobb Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Southwestern Cobb Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing-A Mexican twist on a classic salad, spiced up with an easy homemade dressing. This salad is so colorful and bursting with flavor and nutrients.
A Mexican twist on a classic salad, spiced up with an easy homemade dressing. This salad is so colorful and bursting with flavor and nutrients.

This is by far one of the tastiest salads I have made.  I love southwestern flavors on just about anything! When I saw the Recipe ReDux theme for January is “Start Smoking in the New Year”, I knew I wanted to do another recipe using my beloved chipotle peppers   !  So here I bring you…Southwestern Cobb Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing!

Back in September I posted my Smoky Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad (click to check it out!) where I gave some tips on pureeing and freezing a whole batch of chipotle peppers for future use. Well to make this awesome Chipotle Ranch Dressing, all I had to do was grab a cube out of my frozen stash. Easy!

Read more

French Toast Sandwiches with Balsamic Onion, Peppers and Bacon

French Toast Sandwiches with Balsamic Onion, Peppers and Bacon- Looking for a new sandwich recipe? You must try these delicious and savory sandwiches made French toast style with crusty bread and filled with caramelized balsamic red onions and peppers, turkey bacon and muenster cheese.
Looking for a new sandwich recipe? You must try these delicious and savory sandwiches made French toast style with crusty bread and filled with caramelized balsamic red onions and peppers, turkey bacon and muenster cheese.

Four more days until Christmas! Wow time sure goes by fast. It seems like it was just Halloween. Even though the holidays are always such a busy time of the year, I try to enjoy it as much as I can by doing fun and simple activities with family. Whether it be making silly paper snowmen with Noelle, dancing to Christmas music or walking the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. I just love Christmas.   

This is our little Noelle’s 2nd Christmas but it’s the first that she understands it a little more. She’s learning that this weird guy with a white beard says “ho ho ho”, she tries to sing along to some Christmas songs (that girl loves to sing!) and has already unwrapped a gift she found under the tree (looks like we have to wait on putting them out early!). 

On another note, I have an easy lunch or dinner recipe I am sharing today that is great for around the holidays or for those busy days when you need to whip something up quick. Incase you missed it, I also recently posted my Italian Baked Eggs with Veggies which is another great meal to make that requires little prep work. Check it out!

Read more

Italian Baked Eggs with Veggies

Italian Baked Eggs with Veggies-The perfect quick meal for those busy days! Simply combine marinara, cooked veggies, milk, eggs and cheese in a ramekin and bake for 20 minutes for delicious cheesy Italian baked eggs!
The perfect quick meal for those busy days!  Simply combine marinara, cooked veggies, milk, eggs and cheese in a ramekin and bake for 20 minutes for delicious cheesy Italian baked eggs!

Everyone have a nice Thanksgiving? We had a good time going to my parents’ house in Fountain Hills for the parade and then Thanksgiving meal later in the day.  So yummy.  My parents are great cooks!  It was also nice for Noelle to have both of her great grandpa’s there!

Now we are on to Christmas…I can’t believe it!

Now that we are in full holiday mode, I’m sure we are all feeling really busy and a bit stressed! The recipe I am sharing today is perfect for those days when you need a meal that is delicious and requires very little thought, prep and extra ingredients. I have made this plenty of times when I didn’t get around to making dinner plans or grocery shopping. It tastes like you went the extra mile, but really its super simple to make. Pretty much zero cooking skills needed.   

Read more

Skinny Pumpkin Alfredo

Skinny Pumpkin Alfredo-Pumpkin + Pasta? Yes please!  These pasta noodles are tossed in a flavorful creamy pumpkin alfredo sauce.  Not only delicious but also healthier for you than the typical alfredo sauce.
Pumpkin + Pasta? Yes please! These pasta noodles are tossed in a flavorful creamy pumpkin alfredo sauce. Not only is it delicious but also healthier for you than the typical alfredo sauce.

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

‘Tis the season for pumpkin galore! Whether you like pumpkin or not, you pretty much can’t escape the frenzy.  For those of you who happen to be pumpkin obsessed like me and also happen to enjoy a comforting bowl of alfredo pasta, you will  this dish!

This is my all time favorite alfredo sauce. It’s so addictive, I could pretty much just eat it off a spoon 🙂  And better yet it’s much healthier then the typical high fat and salt alfredo sauce from a jar. It uses olive oil instead of butter to provide some healthier fats, non-fat milk and low-fat cream cheese (I think this is what really makes it yummy!). By adding the pumpkin puree and a few extra herbs, it makes a fantastic seasonal dish and provides an extra dose of Vitamin A.  Combine it with some fresh steamed veggies and grilled chicken to make it a balanced and wholesome meal.  

Read more

Easy Thai Peanut Noodles

Easy Thai Peanut Noodles-Seriously so simple to make, a unique way to use spaghetti noodles and delivers a scrumptious dose of vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats.
Seriously so simple to make, a unique way to use spaghetti noodles and delivers a scrumptious dose of vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats.

“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

National Pasta Month Logo

Happy National Pasta Month! I was presented with the opportunity to participate in a recipe challenge contest put on for Recipe Redux members by the National Pasta Association to share some pasta dishes that fit into my healthy lifestyle. So for the next week I will be sharing a few mouthwatering and nutritious recipes using pasta.

Today I’m excited to share my Easy Thai Peanut Noodles, one of our new favorite meals! For awhile now I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a tasty pad thai but with out the fish sauce, rice noodles and less common ingredients that I’d have to buy and probably use only once. Finally I came across this version I have adapted, which uses spaghetti noodles and other ingredients you probably already have in the kitchen. It is seriously so simple to make and is ultra flavorful. It is also a great dish for the little ones to try. Our little Noelle can easily pick it up as a finger food and its not too saucy/messy. Win-win!

Read more

Savory Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade Croutons

Savory Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade Croutons- The perfect bold and savory soup for fall time, and it’s so simple to make!  The croutons are the cherry on the cake ☺
The perfect bold and savory soup for fall time, and it’s so simple to make! The croutons are the cherry on the cake. ☺

What better way to start celebrating fall then enjoying a cozy bowl of Savory Butternut Squash Soup? And then top if off with the most amazing delicious homemade croutons! Yeah, I’m still pretending we’re having fall weather over here in Arizona (it’s still 100 degrees). But a girl can dream right? It was actually the perfect day for soup when I made this because we were having a cooler rainy day. Hence the light looking rainy-ish in my photos. Maybe it worked out in my favor though?

This soup has such an amazing flavor. With the onion, garlic, vegetables and herbs it has more of a bold and savory taste vs. a sweeter apple or pear butternut soup. Plus, the added chopped vegetables heighten the flavor and give it a little more texture.

Read more

Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Quinoa

Chicken, broccoli, mushrooms and quinoa baked in an easy homemade cheese sauce and topped with toasted breadcrumbs.  A lightened up and fresher version of chicken casserole without all the salt and butter!
Chicken, broccoli, mushrooms and quinoa baked in an easy homemade cheese sauce and topped with toasted breadcrumbs. A lightened up and fresher version of chicken casserole without all the salt and butter!

Happy Labor Day! We are enjoying our weekend so far just relaxing around the house, visiting with family,  playing outside in the pool and eating lots of yummy food.  I love to cook on the weekends, especially big breakfasts.  This morning we had whole-wheat pumpkin pancakes. (yes I’m already getting my pumpkin fix- hah) Mmmm.

For dinner last night I made Cheesy Chicken and Vegetable Quinoa. We’ve had this meal plenty of times not only because it’s tasty and healthy, but also I can usually get little Noelle to eat it! It’s always a win when I can find a healthy vegetable dish she likes. It has just enough homemade cheese sauce and crunchy toasted breadcrumbs on top to make this a mouth watering yet nutritious comfort food.

Read more