Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe


Sometimes we end up with kind of random ingredients at the end of the week. This is what happens when I go grocery shopping on an empty stomach and I go a little produce happy without a solid plan in place.  Today was that day. Bone-in chicken breasts, beets, and an ungodly amount of kale. I knew what to do with the chicken, but wasn’t sure what we would eat with that chicken. A kale salad seemed too obvious…I wasn’t feeling it for tonight.

I did a quick search through my recipe apps to see what I had favorited, or saved. Which is where I found a recipe (Epicurious) with perhaps the most fun name ever…Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe Salad! Unfortunately, it was a salad…but the flavors looked amazing, so I adapted it to make dinner tonight. Oh. My. Word. Delicious!


2 Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

3 cloves garlic, halved

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Salt/Pepper to taste

2 Tbsp Butter

Preheat oven to 325*

I soaked my chicken for 4 hours in a cold water bath with 2 Tbsp of sugar and 4 Tbsp of salt in the refrigerator. You can skip this step if you are pressed for time or forgot to do it.

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the vegetable oil in a cast-iron (or heavy) pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken in the cast iron pan skin side down. Arrange halved garlic around the chicken. Set a timer for 4 min. I recommend a splatter guard, it gets messy! When the timer goes off, stack the garlic on top of the chicken breasts and top each with 1Tbsp of butter. Put in preheated oven for 30min. Increase oven temperature to 425* and roast 10 more minutes.

While the chicken gets delicious…

Beets Don’t Kale My Vibe

3 rainbow beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 small red onion, diced

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp agave nectar

Salt and pepper to taste

4-6 cups chopped kale

3 cups of cooked wild rice

Preheat oven broiler

Combine beets, onion, vinegar, and agave nectar in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Dump the bowl of beets onto the baking sheet and make sure beets are in single layer. Broil beets for 6-7 minutes or until browned. Put a piece of foil over the baking sheet and continue broiling another 7-8 minutes or until tender.

Cook wild rice according to package directions. In the last 10 minutes, add kale to the rice and finish cooking. When the beets are finished under the broiler, add them to the kale/rice mixture.

Plate and top with chicken.

High-five yourself for making something delicious out of what is left in the refrigerator!



Tuna Poke Bowls with Brown Rice and Kale

IMG_6664.PNGWe’ve subscribed to Blue Apron, which I’ve grown to love. The convenience of it is nice, but truthfully, what I like best about it is that it causes me to try ingredients and flavor combinations that I wouldn’t normally try out. While I love testing out new recipes, I tend to stick to the ingredients and flavor combos that I know are winners. I’ve seriously NEVER used so much vinegar in my cooking (That-Boy-I-Love swears he hates vinegar, the recipes that he has enjoyed  from Blue Apron would say otherwise).

When I came across this recipe in my Cooking Light magazine, I knew we needed to try it out. We are big fans of this happiness! You guys, this was super delicious! I generally do Ahi Tuna as a salad topping, but the brown rice and kale combo was spot on.

If you, like me, don’t live in a place where Yellow Fin Tuna is guaranteed fresh and sushi grade, you may want to sear it just a little. This is probably all in my mind, but I think that in Colorado, the searing is a safer choice to make sure it is delicious (food source peeps, please tell me all the reasons I’m mistaking!).

Recipe is here, if you want to try the seared version, substitute the raw Tuna for a pan with Sesame Oil over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper your Tuna to taste and then sear both sides. We like the raw so I truly just sear it. The only other adjustment, I didn’t have brown short grain rice, but I did have brown rice couscous. So, I made that. I’m assuming that the results are equally tasty with either!


Recipe on Cooking Light here.



Trout with Beurre Blanc Sauce over Pasta

Trout with Beurre Blanc Sauce

Weeknight dinners should, in my opinion, come with the following qualities:

  1. Be quick- 20 minutes is good, but ready in under 15 is better.
  2. Be delicious, obviously or why bother?
  3. Make you feel fancy, like you actually spent more than 15 minutes preparing and are now pampering yourself at the end of a long day with an awesome meal.
  4. Include wine as an ingredient… because then you have a bottle of wine open that needs to be enjoyed!

Our meal tonight came about with these qualities in mind along with a refusal to stop at the grocery store for additional ingredients. I filled out government forms for school today and was in no kind of mind frame to be around people or grocery stores.

Trout with Beurre Blanc Sauce

Trout with Beurre Blanc Sauce over Pasta


2 trout fillets



herbes de provence (instant fancy)

1/4 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio)

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

cooked pasta (we had spaghetti on hand)

1 cup frozen peas

Trout with Beurre Blanc Sauce


Cook pasta according to package directions.

For the Beurre Blanc: put the wine, shallot, peas and garlic in a saucepan and reduce over medium high heat for 10 minutes until there is almost no wine left.

Remove from heat and quickly whisk in butter. Return to very low heat, do not allow to boil.

Meanwhile, season trout fillets with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. Place on baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Place pasta on plate topped with trout and Beurre Blanc sauce.

Notes: Make sure that trout is fully de-boned. Mine was, That-Boy-I-Love’s was not. I enjoyed mine more!

I had peas handy, but I think I would prefer fresh green beans or asparagus the next time around!

Weeknight happiness!

Ahi Strawberry Mango Salad Happiness

Ahi Strawberry Mango Salad Happiness

This week was the first week back to school, That-Boy-I-Love was also out of town ALL week long. This, my friends, is the perfect storm of truly terrible cuisine come dinner time. Frozen pizza, sandwiches, cereal, and left-over creamed spinach/caprese salad (that was okay).

Tonight was the redemption of a week of awful meals (if you can even call them that).

Ahi Strawberry Mango Salad Happiness

 Ahi Strawberry Mango Salad Happiness Ahi Strawberry Mango Salad Happiness

Ahi Strawberry Mango Salad…also known as fresh end-of-summer happiness!

The loose recipe (because I didn’t use any measurements, just what looked about right):

  • 5 large strawberries, diced
  • 1 small mango, diced
  • 1/4 c. onion (I used white because it is what I had, but red onion would have been better), diced
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 3 mini red/yellow baby bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large basil leaves, diced
  • 3/4 lbs of sushi grade Ahi Yellowfin Tuna steak
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • White (or black) pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Swirl of Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Myer Lemon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Citrus Balsamic Vinegar

How to make your mouth happy:

Swirl some extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil until it thins and a swirl of the pan coats the bottom of the pan. Salt and pepper tuna to taste. Add Ahi Tuna to the heated pan and sear each side, or cook to desired doneness (we like ours seared on the outside, raw on the inside). Remove from pan and chop into large pieces.

In a medium bowl, mix together strawberry, mango, baby bell peppers, onion, and basil. Add 2 Tbsp Myer Lemon Olive Oil and Citrus Balsamic Vinegar to the mixture and stir until coated.

Split baby spinach between serving dishes. Top each with half of the fruit/dressing mixture. Top with avocado and Ahi Tuna.

Ahi Strawberry Mango Salad Happiness

Enjoy this moment of happy freshness.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Happiness (the only acceptable chocolate chip cookie recipe)

This is the only acceptable chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I grew up with these cookies…which instantly makes them the best (at least in this house).  These are the chocolate chip cookies that my mom made.  The ones that ended up in our lunch box with our PBJ, chips, and apple.  The best part: they have oatmeal in them.  This instantly qualifies them as breakfast food too.  Obviously, that makes them the best!

photo 1

Jancy’s Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies


  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats oatmeal
  • 1 large bag semi sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Beat together butter and sugars in large mixing bowl.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix.
  • In separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda.
  • Add oatmeal to the flour mixture.
  • Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture.  Mix until incorporated.
  • Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Roll 2″ balls and place 2″ apart on baking sheet.
  • Bake 7-9 minutes or until just beginning to brown on bottom.

These are pretty dynamite as a snack, dessert or, like my dad does it, for breakfast.

That, my friends, is Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie happiness.

photo 2photo 3

This is all kinds of happy.

Stuffed Roasted Vegetable and Cheese Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze Happiness

Full disclosure, when I was a kid I hated meatloaf.  Hated.  I may have even asked what was for dinner, learned that it was meatloaf, and subsequently called every friend I knew to get “invited” to dinner at their house.  My mom is an amazing cook.  I loved almost everything that she served.  Meatloaf was not one of them.  I hated the dryness and lack of flavor. I really hated the thick goopy ketchup on top.

You may be wondering why I decided to give meatloaf another go after a history like that.  Jonathan and I recently had dinner at a friends house where they served stuffed meatloaf.  It was delicious!  It gave me a whole new vision about what meatloaf could be.  I searched today for a recipe similar to what she created but came up empty.  So, I made up my own version.  We just finished eating and it didn’t even last long enough for me to take pictures.  Maybe next time 🙂

I stuffed my meatloaf with diced carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms and parmesan.  Other than that, the meatloaf is pretty “normal” with the addition of balsamic vinegar.  I think that you could use any veggies that you have on hand (squash, zucchini, etc.) and the result would be equally yummy.

The following is my version of stuffed meatloaf for 2.


  • 1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 diced carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (divided)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb of ground chuck
  • 1/4 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (divided)
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (divided)


  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, salt, pepper and cook until almost soft (5- 8 min).  Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk together herbs and egg in a large bowl. Add meat, panko crumbs, 1/2 of cheese, 1/2 of ketchup, 1/2 of balsamic vinegar and mix until just combined.
  • On a lined baking sheet, mold meat into a “boat” shape with the center hollow.  Mix remaining cheese and vegetable mix together.  Put this mixture in the center of the hollow boat.  Shape the meat up, over the vegetable mixture so that the mixture is enclosed and mold into a meat loaf “roll” shape.    Bake the meat loaf for 1 hour.
  • Whisk together remaining ketchup, crushed red pepper and balsamic vinegar.  Brush over meatloaf and bake 15 more minutes.  Slice and serve!


Jonathan is a big fan of gravy so I added some prepared beef gravy to the table for him.  This is so not the meatloaf of my childhood.  It is cheesy, flavorful and delicious.

This is meatloaf happiness.