Turkey and Brie Panini with Apple Pear Chutney

I’ve been dying to use my cast iron grill pan!  I just couldn’t decide what to grill.  This morning my fiance suggested a panini and I decided it would be perfect!  The grill pan worked amazingly and made beautiful grill marks.  If you don’t have a grill pan, you could certainly use a George Foreman grill, or something similar.

Paninis are great because you are getting a nice hot sandwich, with out it being slathered in grease or butter.  You can simply make your sandwich and then grill it, no grease necessary.  Also, you can use a nice lean meat like turkey, rather than having a greasy burger.  You can also add some nice fresh greens to your sandwich to help add nutrients.  I used spring mix.  I also used a nice, healthy whole wheat bread with a seeded crust.

The chutney I made for this was really easy and super flavorful.  It was great on the panini.  This chutney was very versatile.  It would go great with fancy cheese and crackers, crostinis, or as a topping on a protein such as ham, turkey or lamb chops.  It is something you can really get creative with.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6):

2 Granny smith apples, diced

2 Pears, diced

1 Small yellow onion, diced

2 jalapenos, diced

1 T garlic

1 T ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

S&P, to taste

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar.

1 Pound sliced turkey breast

Spring mix blend

1 package of brie, cut in thin slices

Whole wheat bread of your choice


  1. In a lightly oiled and heated saute pan, add the first 15 ingredients (from diced apples down to apple cider vinegar).
  2.  Stir over medium heat, until all the liquid is gone and the apples and pears have softened.
  3. Once the chutney is fully cooked, you can take off the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat your grill pan over medium heat.
  5. Build your paninis one at a time with brie, spring mix, turkey, and then the chutney.
  6.  Place one panini on the grill and press down with a bacon press or a spatula.  Leave on one side for about 90 seconds and then flip and press the other side down for 90 seconds.  This will allow the brie to melt and for the grill marks to form.
  7.  Repeat last step for all of your paninis.
  8. Serve immediately after they come off the grill!



Veggie Frittata with Goat Cheese

I am off work today, so last night I kept thinking about breakfast.  That’s what I do, I lay in bed at night and think about what I’m going to eat in the morning.  Any way, I decided I wanted to make a frittata.  My wonderful fiance got me lot’s of kitchen stuff for Christmas, including some cast iron skillets.  I love my cast irons and they are great for making frittatas.

You can really do what ever you want with a frittata.  I chose to pack mine full of veggies and top it with a little goat cheese.  I love trying all different cheeses lately, so I thought goat cheese would go well with this.  For the veggies I included spinach, onion, zucchini, sweet potato, and tomato.  This is a really great way to start your day because you are getting protein from the eggs and sweet potato, vitamin C from the tomato, fiber from the zucchini, iron and many nutrients from the spinach.

INGREDIENTS: (Serves 6-8)

1/2 A sweet potato, sliced

1 Small yellow onion, diced

1/2 A zucchini, sliced

1 Small tomato, sliced

1 Cup baby spinach

12 Eggs, beaten

2 Ounces goat cheese, crumbled

S&P, to taste


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2.  Oil and heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet.
  3.  Slice and/or dice all veggies, but keep them separated.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes to skillet first.
  5.  When the sweets begin to soften, add the onion.
  6.  When the onion is translucent, add the zucchini.  Keep stirring.
  7. Add the tomatoes when the zucchini begins to soften.
  8.  Reduce heat and begin beating eggs.  Don’t forget to salt and pepper the eggs.
  9.  Add the spinach to the other vegetables and give a light stir.  Don’t let the spinach wilt down too much. Top with the crumbled goat cheese.
  10. Pour the beaten eggs over top. Raise the heat to medium high and allow the bottom to set.  You should not be stirring once the eggs have been added.
  11.  Once the bottom and sides are starting to firm, put the skillet into the oven for about 10 -12 minutes or until the eggs are completely firm and cooked.
  12. Remove from oven and serve hot!

Protein Packed Vegan Brunch Bowl!

What a great and healthy way to start the day after sleeping in!  I absolutely love having brunch and this bowl was so easy and super nutritious.  I decided to make this a vegan brunch because the ingredients in this are all great for getting protein in a vegan diet.  I used a super grain mix of quinoa, millet, and buckwheat, which are strong sources of protein, fiber and iron.  The sweet potato is also a good source of protein, along with fiber and Vitamin A!   I topped this with avocado to add a nice healthy fat to the dish, plus I just want avocado on everything! For all you non-vegans out there, this would also be wonderful with a nice gooey, over easy egg on top, which would add even more protein to this awesome brunch bowl.

Another added bonus to this recipe is that it doesn’t make a lot of dishes, since it is cooked all in one pan!

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

1 cup super grain blend

2 cups organic vegetable broth ( I used low sodium)

1 sweet potato, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup dandelion greens

1 T crushed red pepper

2 avocados, sliced


  1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a saute pan.
  2. Add grains and chopped sweet potato.  Lower heat to simmer and cover.
  3. Cook covered 16-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Chop up other veggies.
  5. When the liquid is absorbed, lower heat and add in all the other veggies and crushed red pepper.
  6. Stir about 3 minutes until the greens are wilted.
  7. Serve with avocado topping!

Fancy Pita Pizzas!

So I got very side tracked and I haven’t posted in a while! I ran into my friend Katie (who is very supportive of my blogging), and she reminded me that I have been slacking on the recipe posting! It was just what I needed and here I am back at it!

I love making pita pizzas.  They are a great way to make a quick, easy, personal sized pizza.  They are so much fun to make, since you can really do what ever you want with them.  I decided to be fancy and make one with peaches and brie, and one with pesto and caprese toppings.  The great thing about making these pizzas at home is that you are controlling your portions, but also the ingredients.  I chose whole wheat pitas with fruit and veggie toppings, which is a much healthier way to enjoy pizza.  Also, shout out to my brother for giving me some cute little tomatoes from his garden, which were featured on my caprese pita pizza.

Here’s the recipe!

INGREDIENTS: (one pita pizza per person)

Peach Brie Pita Pizza:

Whole wheat pita bread

1/2 ripe peach, sliced thinly

1/2 cup dandelion greens

5 thin slices of brie

1 T olive oil

drizzle of honey

basil, for topping

Pesto Caprese Pita Pizza:

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

1 T pesto

1 small tomato, thinly sliced

1/2 cup dandelion greens

2 garlic cloves, thin sliced and cooked in olive oil

6 small mozzarella balls

basil for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a sheet tray with foil.
  2. Place pitas on the tray and drizzle one with olive oil, and spread pesto on the other.
  3. Place dandelion greens on each pita.
  4. On the pesto pita, place tomato slices, then cooked garlic, and then the mozzarella balls.
  5. On the olive oil pita, place brie slices, then peach slices, and then a drizzle of honey.
  6. Cook in oven for about 10-12 minutes, until cheese is fully melted and hot.
  7. Top each Pita Pizza with chopped basil and serve!

Spicy Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

I have been OBSESSED with chickpeas lately! I think it’s because they are so versatile, healthy, hearty and delicious.  Chickpeas are great because they pack in a lot of fiber and protein and can be prepared so many different ways.  The way I chose to prepare them is from the Thug Kitchen cook book.  The recipe in the book is for Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini Dressing.  Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well I chose to use the same recipe just for the chickpeas in the wraps I made.  The rest I tweaked to make it my own.

These wraps were absolutely delicious and would make for a great lunch or appetizer!  The spicy chickpeas with the roasted carrots and onions made for such a hearty and comforting flavor.  I also used fresh cut pepper and cucumber for a crunchy, cool addition to the wraps.  Unlike the Thug Kitchen recipe, I decided to use butter lettuce instead of tortillas, although this would be great on tortillas or pita if you prefer.

So, here is my tweaked recipe… be sure to check out the link to the Thug Kitchen website!! So many great things to try and to make your own!

INGREDIENTS:(Serves four, two lettuce wraps each)

1 Head of butter lettuce, leaves separated

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 cucumber, cut into strips

1 red onion, julienned

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into match sticks

4 cups cooked chickpeas (I used a bag of frozen)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 T maple syrup

1 T soy sauce

1 T paprika

1 T cumin

2 t garlic powder

1 t cayenne pepper

Olive oil



  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prepare the lettuce, bell pepper and cucumber, set aside.
  3. Cut the carrots into match sticks and place on a sheet tray with olive oil and S&P coating.
  4. Roast 20 minutes and then add the julienned onion, also coated with oil, S&P.
  5. Roast another ten minutes.
  6. While the vegetables are roasting, combine the spices in one bowl and the lemon juice, syrup, and soy sauce in another.
  7. With 5 minutes left on the roasting veg, heat chickpeas in a saute pan with olive oil for about 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice mixture and allow to cook about another minute before stirring in the spices.
  9. Now the vegetables should be done roasting and the chickpeas are seasoned and cooked!
  10. Serve the chickpeas in butter lettuce wraps with the roasted vegetables and the pepper and cucumber!
  11. Enjoy!!

Crock Pot Coconut Curry Turkey

Today has been one of those really rainy, cozy, stay inside and watch movies all day type of day.  I have been wanting to make a crock pot concoction, so today was perfect for a nice hot comfort food.  I decided to make curry turkey and vegetables.  What’s great about using the crock pot is you can dump all your veggies and a big ol’ turkey breast, and a couple hours later, you have all the flavors combined deliciously with beautiful tender turkey you can shred up with a fork.  This is really easy and great for if you have to run errands, or if you just want to relax while your dinner cooks itself.

I love turkey because it is so delicious, a great source of lean protein, and it contains omega-3’s! Also, I combined the turkey with a wonderful variety of veggies so that there is lots of fiber and nutrients, as well.  Curry is a great way to season foods because it is zero calorie and provides A TON of flavor.  Now, I did use coconut milk and water, so its not a zero calorie sauce, but these flavors go great together and coconut milk is a healthy fat when used in moderation.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4, maybe some leftovers)

1 Can light coconut milk

1 16 oz bottle coconut water

1 large boneless turkey breast

3 T Curry powder

1 t Cayenne

1 t Garlic Powder

1 sweet potato, cubed

1 gold potato, cubed

2 cups peas

1 cup chopped celery

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup chopped carrot

chopped green onion, for topping

S&P, to taste


  1. Turn crock pot on high and empty can of coconut milk into it.  Allow to melt.
  2. Stir in a table spoon of the curry powder.
  3. Add the turkey breast and sprinkle salt and pepper on it.
  4. Chop all the veggies and add to the pot along with the coconut water and the rest of the seasoning.
  5. Allow to cook 4 hours and then remove the turkey breast and shred with two forks.
  6. Add turkey back to the pot and cook another half hour.
  7. Serve with green onion sprinkled on top!

* I added a bit of sriracha to mine for a little extra spice.

“Fried” Zucchini Caprese

The other day I was poking around in my Mom’s garden and saw that she had the most beautiful basil growing. It was so bright green with lovely purple stems, I absolutely had to take some. I’ve been wanting to make some sort of Caprese dish, so the fresh beautiful basil was a perfect find.  Caprese uses basil, tomato, and fresh mozzarella as the main ingredients.  Although Caprese is great on its own, I decided to add “fried” zucchini.  When I say “fried”, I mean that it looks and tastes fried, but it is actually breaded and baked in the oven, which is a much healthier cooking method than deep frying in oil.

This dish is so tasty, simple and pretty.  It would be great to serve as an appetizer, or a side dish.  You really can’t go wrong with Caprese, its certainly a crowd pleaser!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):

2 zucchini

3 eggs, whisked

2 cups Italian bread crumbs

1 container multicolored cherry tomatoes

1 container fresh small mozzarella balls

Fresh basil leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

Balsamic Glaze

S&P, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the ends of the zucchini, then cut in half length wise, then into quarters, and then cut width wise to make them shorter.
  3. Dip each zucchini piece into the egg wash, and then coat in bread crumbs.
  4. Place each piece on a sheet tray lined with foil.
  5. Drizzle the zucchini with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. While the zucchini is baking cut your tomatoes in half, and cut the mozzarella balls into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
  7. When the zucchini is done, arrange them on a plate, top with mozzarella, tomatoes and a zig zag of balsamic glaze.  S&P to taste and finish the dish with a few of those beautiful basil leaves!