Weekend Restaurant & Recipe Finds

As much as I love travel and exploring new places, I love being back home for relaxing no-plans weekends with my husband. We bought our house about a year and a half ago and are still working on getting it decorated and organized and I just love being home in it. It’s one of the places where I feel most creative and most inspired and so, not surprising, I love spending some of a Saturday or Saturday morning creating recipes or doing some mini ingredient prepping for the week here (reminder, I’m not really a complete “meal prepper”. I do, however, like to have lots of different ingredients on-hand to put meals together quickly). So, this weekend, Kyle and I enjoyed a balance of going out to dinner with friends and staying in, enjoying being home, and and me cooking just a little. Here are some of the favorite places and things that we ate!

  1. Jose

Jose.JPG

Friday night we met some friends at Jose. The wait was much shorter than I had anticipated, the service was great and the food fantastic. These shrimp tacos were absolutely scrumptious. The spice rub was a little bit spicy but the pineapple added a sweet note and the slaw was slightly tangy and the avocado pulled everything together. There was a lot going on with these tacos but it was all fresh and full of flavor. I will absolutely go back for these!

2. Ten Minute Mediterranean Tuna Melt

Tuna melt with grapes.jpg

I finally got to finalize the recipe for this tuna melt. I discovered it last month when I had about 15 to 20 minutes at home to make and eat dinner before an evening meeting. This is so simple and I love the flavor combos. I like it so much that I went in the fridge on Sunday to incorporate the leftover tuna salad over mixed greens. However, apparently my husband loves it too because there was nothing left when I got to the fridge :) Next time I’ll make sure to make a double batch! To get the recipe and read more on its nutrition info, go to my original post here!

3. Grilled Chicken with Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce & Spinach Butternut Squash Salad (an ellie krieger recipe)

Bourbon BBQ Chkn and BN Squash Salad.JPG

As many of you know, I just received Ellie Krieger’s new cookbook, You Have It Made. So, currently, many of my recipes that are not my own are hers from this cookbook. I’ve always been a fan and that appreciation continues as I am cooking my way through her latest book. Kyle and and I had this meal Sunday night (FINALLY got our grill to work!!!) and both loved it. And the great thing is that it makes leftovers for lunch! Yesterday I made the salad again (I’m currently storing all ingredients, including the dressing, separately) and topped it with beans to mix it up a bit. I’ll probably do it again today but add leftover BBQ chicken. This was a delicious meal AND I think it’s a great option to make if you are having company over. Much of it can be prepped ahead, but even if it’s not, prepping and cooking this meal doesn’t have to take all of your attention like some other dinners. You can definitely prepare this and still chat and socialize with your company (or do chores or play with the kids!).

Hope one of these gives you a fresh and simple meal idea for this week, this weekend, or one of your busy weeks to come.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

Ten Minute Mediterranean Tuna Melt

Ten Minute Mediterranean Tuna Melt

Hello!

I posted this tuna melt on my stories a while back and had some of you wanting me to share the recipe. So, I’m finally getting it up! This is such a simple meal. You can literally put it together in ten minutes. This meal is full of fiber, whole grains, complex carbs, protein, omega 3’s (healthy fats), and calcium.

This Weekend's Recipe & Restaurant Finds

This Weekend's Recipe & Restaurant Finds

Happy Monday! Waking up this morning, I decided that I want to try adding a new series of weekly posts. Each week, I would like to post a list of delicious recipes and restaurants that I find over the weekend or the previous week. By posting Monday morning, my hope is that it gives you time to check the recipes or restaurants out yourself and then either include the ingredients in your next weekly grocery trip or pencil the restaurant into your next family outing.

I hope you find this helpful! Posts should be short and sweet but I wanted to make sure I shared my quick, simple and tasty finds with you

My Favorite Five - Ingredient Breakfast Sandwich

My Favorite Five - Ingredient Breakfast Sandwich

I discovered the breakfast sandwich by chance.  It wasn't at McDonalds or another fast food place.  It was something my mom would make on slow Saturday mornings for herself to sit and enjoy.  I remember one morning at our place on the lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas, waking up and walking into the den to find mom taking her first bite of that eggy cheesy sandwich.  It looked like she was loving it and so, of course, I was curious.  I asked for a bite and was hooked!  After that, slow Saturday mornings (which typically meant the ones at the lake because all other Saturday mornings I was up at the rink at 5:45 AM skating) meant egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches.  It wasn't anything over the top, simply 2 slices of whole wheat bread, egg and American cheese, but to me it was just a touch away from gourmet. 

Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese Pizza

If you've been following along, you know that I have been working on, and loving I might add, this new pizza recipe.  The idea started from a magazine clipping I found in my old binder of recipes collected throughout college and grad school.  However, I've added and edited and played around with so many ingredients since then that I can't actually remember what the original recipe was, other than the fact that it used thyme and goat cheese.  Today I'm sharing with you the recipe results of many tests and tastes.  While this recipe is how I like it best, you can make a variety of little ingredient changes and I bet it will still be wonderful!  In fact, I alternate between two varieties and I want to share that quickly with you before diving into the recipe..

VARIETY #1:  THICK CRUST

Goat Cheese Thyme Pizza.JPG

One way I make this, and actually the first way I ever tried it, is on Whole Foods fresh pizza dough that I roll out and use for my crust (I hear Trader Joe's has a fresh whole wheat pizza dough too that is really good).  This version makes a thicker fluffier crust that yields a delicious pizza where the toppings kind of bake into the bread.  Ahh, so, good!  Not only is this option delicious but it can also be an easy way to get more calories and carbohydrates in your young growing athlete that has daily games and practices, depleted energy stores, and increased energy and nutrition needs. This option does take a little more time because you have to flour a surface and roll out the dough, but if time allows, I think it's absolutely worth it!  And, because it has a thicker crust, you or your athlete can throw on more favorite toppings!

 

VARIETY #2:  THIN CRUST

pizza_baked.JPG

My second variety is made on the Trader Joe's already-made whole wheat pizza crust that you find in the bread aisle.  I mostly like this version because of how quick and simple it is.  Wednesday night I cooked this variety for some girlfriends.  I got home around 6:00 p.m. and only had to focus on prepping the toppings.  Once the girls were over, I assembled the pizza and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes and it was done.  I don't know about you, but that's my perfect idea of entertaining on a weeknight - a dish that everyone will enjoy and that allows you to be present with your company, not have to put all of your attention on cooking.  This is the variety that I'm going to share with you today!

PIZZA TAKEAWAY...

I always hear people say, "oh pizza is bad".  Oiy, feels like a punch to the stomach.  While, yes, some pizzas provide less fueling and health - promoting ingredients than others and when eaten too often, in too big of quantities over a long period of time can promote weight gain and other health concerns, I cannot say that pizza is "bad" and here is just one of my examples why.  This pizza uses a whole wheat crust from Trader Joe's (or something similar), easy to make homemade blistered & crushed tomatoes, sweet caramelized onions, soft crumbly goat cheese and fresh thyme.  And, while this is one of my favorite flavor combos, it is just one example,.  You can put any variety of your favorite veggies, cheeses and herbs and spices on here or throw in some chicken or lean ground beef if you want.  A perfectly fueling & filling option if you ask me!

So, here you go, my Mushroom, Thyme and Goat Cheese Pizza..

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

Mushroom, Thyme & Goat Cheese Pizza

INGREDIENTS:

TJ's crust.JPG
  • 1 Trader Joe's whole-wheat pizza crust
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons olive oil + 1/2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil (last 2 tsp optional)
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 - 8 ounces of mushrooms (your choice - I love picking a variety!), chop larger ones but smaller ones can be left whole
  • 1/2 of a medium white or red onion, sliced into half moons
  • 4 to 6 ounces of crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons of fresh thyme
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat the broiler on high.

2.  Line a medium-size rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

3.  To a medium-size skillet, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.

4.  Add mushrooms to the heated skillet and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until softened.

 5.  While the mushrooms cook, in a medium-size bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Spread the tomatoes out on half your lined baking sheet.  6.  In the same medium-size bowl toss the onion slices with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Spread the onions out on the other half of the lined baking sheet next to the tomatoes.  7.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and let cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes, until onions and tomatoes begin to charr and the tomatoes burst.  Mix with a heat-proof utensil about half-way through.  8.  Once mushrooms are done cooking, turn off the burner and set aside.  9.  Once tomatoes and onions are done cooking, remove from the oven and turn off the broiler.  Gently crush the tomatoes with a fork (being careful not to squirt yourself with tomato juice!) and set aside.  10.  Change the oven setting to Bake at 400 degrees F.  

5.  While the mushrooms cook, in a medium-size bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Spread the tomatoes out on half your lined baking sheet.

6.  In the same medium-size bowl toss the onion slices with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Spread the onions out on the other half of the lined baking sheet next to the tomatoes.

7.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and let cook under the broiler for about 10 minutes, until onions and tomatoes begin to charr and the tomatoes burst.  Mix with a heat-proof utensil about half-way through.

8.  Once mushrooms are done cooking, turn off the burner and set aside.

9.  Once tomatoes and onions are done cooking, remove from the oven and turn off the broiler.  Gently crush the tomatoes with a fork (being careful not to squirt yourself with tomato juice!) and set aside.

10.  Change the oven setting to Bake at 400 degrees F.  

 11.  Place pizza crust on a pizza stone or a large baking sheet and brush with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.  12.  Then spread the tomato - onion mixture in a thin even layer, leaving a little room on the edges.

11.  Place pizza crust on a pizza stone or a large baking sheet and brush with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

12.  Then spread the tomato - onion mixture in a thin even layer, leaving a little room on the edges.

 13.  Top pizza crust with mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme.  This picture was from a trial where I added the mushrooms raw.  You can do this if pressed for time, but I thought the mushrooms had a better texture and were more thoroughly cooked when sauteed before adding to the uncooked pizza crust.  14.  Place prepped pizza in the 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted.

13.  Top pizza crust with mushrooms, crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme.  This picture was from a trial where I added the mushrooms raw.  You can do this if pressed for time, but I thought the mushrooms had a better texture and were more thoroughly cooked when sauteed before adding to the uncooked pizza crust.

14.  Place prepped pizza in the 400 degree oven and cook for about 20 minutes until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted.

 15.  Remove from the oven and slice into 4 to 6 triangular slices (or however many you want!)  OPTIONAL - you can whisk together the lemon juice and last 2 teaspoons of olive oil and drizzle over the pizza before slicing and serving.  It adds a little pop of flavor!  

15.  Remove from the oven and slice into 4 to 6 triangular slices (or however many you want!)

OPTIONAL - you can whisk together the lemon juice and last 2 teaspoons of olive oil and drizzle over the pizza before slicing and serving.  It adds a little pop of flavor!  

 16.  I always like pairing my pizza with a different salad.  Sometimes I keep it simple with spinach and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sometimes I throw together lots of mix-ins and a fun dressing.  Anything works!  17.  Serve and enjoy!

16.  I always like pairing my pizza with a different salad.  Sometimes I keep it simple with spinach and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sometimes I throw together lots of mix-ins and a fun dressing.  Anything works!

17.  Serve and enjoy!