How adorable are these South Carolina wine glasses that one of my bridesmaids got us for our engagement?
Hi everyone! Sorry for being MIA for the last couple of months…I’m not sure if you heard the news yet – but I am excited to share with you all that Trevor and I are engaged!! Not only are we engaged, but Meaghan is my maid of honor! Super exciting 🙂
This healthy bachelorette has been wedding planning like woah! Of course, we have been meal planning and cooking healthy meals and I am excited to getting back to sharing some of my recipes with you all.
Here is a recipe I made the other night that is perfect for a summer weeknight dinner out on the porch, or to bring to your 4th of July picnic. It’s a great side dish for grilled salmon or chicken, or even put it on a bed of arugula for a refreshing summer lunch. If you start snacking it on for breakfast, that’s not the end of the world either. The best part? It has 5 just ingredients!
Simple Cucumber & Watermelon Salad
Serves: 2 servings, 2 leftovers
- 3 cups watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 large local cucumber, cut into half moons
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- Cut the watermelon and cucumber.
- In a large glass bowl, add the watermelon cubes, cut cucumber, olive oil and lime juice. Toss to combine.
- Add in the feta cheese and toss the salad to mix ingredients evenly.
- Serve cold – can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
When I was younger, in upstate NY as soon as the leaves started to change my parents would take my brother and I on a trip to go apple picking. Although we lived close to quiet a few, my mother would always say that we were going to take the 30 minute drive to Samascott Orchards because it had the best apple cider doughnuts.
When I moved to Charleston, I seriously missed the leaves changing, the crisp temperatures and of course apple picking. Don’t get me wrong – the beach in October is awesome, but it would have been nice to be closer to some apple orchards. Now in upstate SC, we are close to SO many apple orchards and I definitely take full advantage of that. My boyfriend is from Idaho, where they don’t have apple orchards, and I was able to introduce him to the wonderful world of picking your own apples 🙂 The only thing is, I swear the apple cider doughnuts in upstate NY are 110% better than what we have had in SC. I am probably biased, but it encouraged me to make my own! (Photo taken at Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC)
These apple cider doughnuts are portion controlled, as they are much much smaller than a regular doughnut and are made with whole wheat flour – increasing their full factor and antioxidants. I hope you enjoy and happy fall y’all!
Baked Whole Wheat Apple Cider Doughnut Holes
Servings: 24-30 doughnut holes
- 1.5 cups apple cider
- ¾ cups skim milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 4 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon, combined
- Begin by bringing the apple cider to a boil, and condensing the flavor by boiling for about 15 minutes (be careful not to burn it though!)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Meanwhile, prepare your wet and dry ingredients. Combine the skim milk, melted butter, vanilla and egg in a small bowl. Once the apple cider is condensed, add in the cider to the wet ingredients and mix using a whisk.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and combine using a whisk. The consistency should be that of waffles (thicker than pancakes).
- Using a mini-muffin tin, fill each muffin cup half way with dough. Bake for 15-18 minutes on 350.
- Remove doughnut holes from the oven and let cool. Roll in butter/olive oil mixture, followed by the cinnamon sugar mixture and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- Repeat steps 6-8 until all of the dough is used up – and enjoy!!
I have heard from many of our followers that they have gotten spiralizers recently, and I am so excited about that!! I love how you can take one of your favorite pasta dishes, and create it into a healthy low carb dish that literally takes half the time.
This dish is inspired by a recipe I saw on Pinterest. I added some flare and used low carb zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti (which has 45 grams of carb per 1 cup cooked…a cup of pasta is not very much!). Proof that any pasta recipe you see can be transformed into a guilt-free dish by using zucchini or summer squash noodles! What are some of your favorite pasta dishes that you want to make with the spiralizer? Be sure to leave a comment and/or recipe below and we will try to re-create it!
Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Serves: 2 (or 1 and 1 lunch)
- 6oz grilled chicken breast, sliced
- 3-4 zucchini
- 2 Tablespoons julienne cut sun dried tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
- Black pepper
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Spiralize zucchini using the medium sized noodle blade (like spaghetti).
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan. Add zucchini and sun dried tomatoes and toss to cook about 2-3 minutes.
- While zucchini is cooking, combine the rest of the olive oil, lemon juice & zest, ricotta and black pepper in a small bowl and mix with a fork.
- Add the ricotta sauce to the zucchini noodles and toss to coat.
- Divide the noodles between 2 large bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 of the sliced chicken breast and lemon slices.
- Grate Parmesan cheese over each bowl, serve and enjoy!
Your long weekend starts NOW! I have been in craft cocktail mood lately posting all of these drink recipes, but I promise I will get back to blogging about food soon 🙂
Here is a Memorial Day Weekend cocktail recipe that uses one of our favorite products, Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka! Before we started our “real jobs,” Meaghan and I took a trip out to Wadmalaw Island, SC (45 min from Charleston) to the Firefly Distillery and Irvin House Vineyards. I believe our actual words were “why go wine tasting when you can go vodka tasting?!” We had a blast at the distillery, it is a very quaint farm with lots of dogs and wildlife. Bonus: they give you a free Firefly shot glass for tasting! Since 2011, I have been quite a few times, and may now have a complete set of Firefly shot glasses. Ok maybe I like Firefly a little too much…
Meaghan & Brittany at the Firefly Distillery June 2011
So many Firefly shot glasses
We hope you enjoy this delicious cocktail that uses Firefly Skinny Tea and LaCroix sparkling flavored water, totaling in only 96 calories per drink! Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
Mint & Lime Skinny Sweet Tea Cocktail
Ingredients for 1 drink:
- Add the mint leaves and Firefly Vodka to the bottom of a small mason jar. Muddle the mint to infuse the Skinny Tea with the natural flavor.
- Add 6oz of La Croix Lime to the mason jar. Fill the rest of the jar with ice.
- Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy by a bonfire on a warm southern summer night.
Has anyone else been to the Firefly Distillery? Which flavor is your favorite?
Hey winter – enough is enough!
If you saw our Facebook post on Friday, the weather in Greenville, SC vs. Boston, MA is very different right now. Ranging 30-50 degrees! For those of you in the Northeast .. I am so sorry. You have put up with enough snow, ice and cold.. you all deserve spring!! I grew up in upstate NY and went to ‘Cuse, so I totally get it. March weather is seriously the worst.
Today I thought I would bring a little hope for spring through food. Check out my springy tasting avocado strawberry salad with goat cheese and walnuts. This salad is a great meal for one, whether it be for lunch or dinner. You can add some lean protein to it too to make it heartier (think grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon). The strawberry brings a refreshing sweetness, while the goat cheese and avocado give a welcomed creaminess to the salad and the walnuts give the perfect amount of crunch. The avocado also gives some “meat” to the salad, as it is full of healthy good fats, and also keeps you fuller longer. Remeber: don’t be afraid of fats!! While I totally and completely love everything about the 90s, I do hate how fat phobic it made everyone. Incorporating good fats in your diet (like nuts and avocados here) will help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Bonus: They have a much better full factor than carbs, which make you crave more and more.
Enjoy, and don’t worry, spring is coming!!
Avocado & Strawberry Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
- 2-3 cups arugula
- 1/4 medium size avocado, sliced
- 3-4 medium sized strawberries sliced
- 1 oz goat cheese
- 1 Tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Fresh ground black pepper and dried herbs to taste
- Add the arugula to a large bowl.
- Top with the sliced avocado, sliced strawberries, crumbled goat cheese and chopped walnuts.
- Dress the salad with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper and a small amount of fresh dried herbs (such as basil, if desired).
- Toss and eat!
What are your favorite spring foods?
Soup, as you can probably tell by this point, is a definite staple in my diet. Especially since this has been a record breaking winter up in Boston, at about 100 inches of snow so far, I need vats of this stuff on hand. As Jimmy Fallon would say, EW. Soup can be utterly dull and boring which is what I try to avoid at all costs by adding tons of herbs, parmesan cheese, and lemon juice. I also poach the entire chicken breast in the soup which adds a nice chicken-y flavor without all the work of dealing with bones etc. Hope you enjoy!
Parmesan Herb Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 7 carrots, diced
- 1 tbsp herbes de provence
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- 1 – 1.5 lbs chicken breast
- fresh ground black pepper
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup whole wheat pasta noodles
- 1 cup fresh chopped parsely
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped dill
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1. Place a pot on medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and red onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stiring frequently. Add carrots and herbs de provence, stir frequently and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the lemon juice, whole chicken breast, pepper, broth, and water. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken breast is cooked through completely.
3. Once chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and place in a large bowl. Using two forks, shred the chicken into bite size pieces. You can also dice the chicken if you prefer. Once finished, place chicken pieces back into the pot.
4. Add pasta noodles and allow to cook for another 10 minutes until they are cooked through.
5. Lastly, add the parsley, dill, and parmesan cheese. Serve with sliced lemon.
Things have really picked up for me and I am totally feeling the full on pressures of working and keeping my head above water with grad school. All while trying to keep a semi normal social life and a balanced exercise schedule. It’s a lot. Things like cleaning and laundry have gone by the way side. I learned in college you should always have at least 14 pairs of decent underwear so you don’t have to do laundry for 2 weeks. Perhaps the rule in grad school is have 21 😉
Right now I’m really looking for easy dinners for those after work, after the gym and before you start studying nights. What I love about this recipe is that you roast both the salmon and the asparagus in the oven at the same time, and takes less than 30 minutes! The flavors and textures pair perfectly together, and it looks so pretty in my Christmas gift from Meaghan!
Roasted Salmon and Asparagus Dinner
For the salmon:
- 3/4 pound salmon, cut into 2 pieces
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the asparagus:
- 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Trim the ends of the asparagus (they are very woody and stringy when cooked). You can do this by simply bending the asparagus near the white bottom and it will typically snap off the woody ends.
- Place the asparagus in a 9 x 11 pan and add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and ground black pepper. Toss together and roast in the oven for 15 minutes until asparagus is fully cooked (but not crispy).
- Meanwhile, place to the two salmon pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Squeeze the juice of 1/2 of the lemon over the salmon pieces.
- In a small cup or mice en place bowl, combine the ingredients for the rub including: dried oregano, sesame seeds, cumin and red pepper flakes. Season each piece of fish with half of the rub.
- Place salmon into the oven with the asparagus once there is about 10-12 minutes left on the timer. Roast the salmon until it flakes with a fork.
- After 15 minutes, remove both the salmon and asparagus from the oven.
- Divide the asparagus in half and place each half on a plate. Top with a salmon piece and enjoy your easy and healthy weeknight dinner!
There you have it! No waiting on different dishes and no multiple cooking methods. Simply roasted in the same oven and finished at the same time.
Happy studying fellow grad students!