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Easy Stuffed Poblano Peppers

stuffed poblano pepper

Easy, baked southwest stuffed peppers with ground beef with bold, savory flavors served on top of a bright and colorful cilantro sweet potato and cauliflower rice.

Southwest Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Latin, Mexican, Southwest
Servings: 2

Equipment

  • knife
  • cutting board
  • sheet pan
  • saute pan

Ingredients

  • 2 each poblano peppers (cut in half, seeds removed)
  • 12 oz lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup red onions (diced)
  • 8 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 4 oz diced green chiles (drained)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups sweet potato and cauliflower rice (recommend Green Giant's brand)
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  • Arrange the poblano peppers in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 10-15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, add oil to a pan on medium high heat and saute the onions until they soften
  • Next, add the ground beef and season with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Continue to saute for about 5 to 8 minutes until the meat is browned and cooked through
  • Then, stir in the roasted diced tomatoes and diced green chilies
  • Heat the sweet potato and cauliflower rice in the microwave according to the packaged instructions
  • Once the peppers have cooked from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes and carefully spoon in the ground beef mixture into each pepper half
  • Serve the stuffed peppers on top of the sweet potato and cauliflower rice
  • Garnish with fresh diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro

Notes

Note: Feel free to add additional toppings such as shredded cheese, guacamole, or sour cream. You can also add beans, corn, or other veggies to your ground beef mixture. 

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Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Crumb Bar

cranberry crumble

This Pumpkin Cranberry Oat Crumb Bar can easily lift your spirits with the satisfying flavor of something sweet, spicy, and warmth. 

Ease of Making: Medium

The texture is hearty with the rolled oats, chopped walnuts, and aromatic pumpkin spice. This dessert combines the best flavors of fall with pumpkin puree, dried cranberries, and vanilla extract.

Meal prep tips for Cranberry Crumb Dessert Bars

  • Bring the butter to room temperature so that it is easier to cream together with the sugar
  • You can use either dried fruit or fresh cranberries with this recipe
  • Finely chop the walnuts so that they are easier to fold into the batter and no one gets a big chunk of walnut in their bite
  • Cool the crumb bar before trying to cut them
  • You can also freeze them and reheat them when you are ready to enjoy them

Pumpkin Cranberry Crumble Cake

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12

Equipment

  • mixing bowls
  • spoons
  • mixer

Ingredients

  • 1.25 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice (or ground cinnamon)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 each eggs
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  • In a bowl, add the softened butter and sugar and whisk them together until creamy
  • Next, add the eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract and whisk it together
  • Then, add the pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the flour in batches and continue to mix it all together
  • Afterwards, add in the rolled oats, cranberries, and chopped walnuts
  • Grease a baking dish and pour in the batter
  • Place it in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the center is fully cooked. Test it with a toothpick by inserting it into the center of the cake. If cooked, it should come out clean
  • Allow it to cool before slicing into bite size squares

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Creamy Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Roasted Pistachios

mashed cauliflower

This cauliflower mashed “potatoes” is so much creamier than you can ever imagine. It is filled with such great flavor and serves as a great low-carb alternative to your classic mashed potatoes.

Ease of Making: Easy

This would make a perfect side dish for any cold winter feast and will be a great addition to Thanksgiving entrees. 

If you’re looking for an easy side dish to prep for the holidays, try this dish. No need for peeling and cooks in less time than your classic mashed potatoes.

How to Cook Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

  1. Start with steaming your cauliflower florets.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the garlic.
  3. After the cauliflower florets have gotten tender, add the garlic and florets into a blender.
  4. Season with salt and blend until smooth.
  5. Place the cauliflower in a heated pot and mix in the butter, sour cream, and parmesan cheese
  6. Top it off with fresh chives and roasted pistachios

Meal prep tips for Mashed Cauliflower

Does cauliflower really taste like mashed potatoes?

While the texture may be close, they will not exactly taste the same. Cauliflower will naturally be blander because of the water content. Try roasting the cauliflower instead of steaming for a firmer mash. Roasting it will also give it a sweeter and nuttier flavor. We also added the same herbs that we normally would add to mashed potatoes such as chives.

How to make mashed cauliflower creamy?

Mix in cheese, butter, sour cream, and milk to make it rich and smooth.

What can you eat with Mashed Cauliflower?

It is a great side dish to accompany any roasted or pan-fried protein such as tender roasted beef, pork chops, or roasted chicken.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes” with Roasted Pistachios

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • boiling pot
  • steamer
  • immersion blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 6 each garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios (shelled)
  • 2 tbsp chives (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Boil water in a large pot. Place the cauliflower in the steamer and place it over the large pot. Steam for 15 minutes until the cauliflower is tender
  • Next, add olive oil to a medium pot and saute the garlic for about a minute until it is toasted
  • Add the cauliflower, garlic, and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth
  • Scoop the cauliflower into another heated medium sized pot and stir in the sour cream, butter, and parmesan cheese. Add salt to taste
  • Top it off with freshly chopped chives and roasted pisatchios

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How to Make Instant Pot Beef Ragu

Beef Ragu

Tender, melt in your mouth, shredded beef that is comfortingly satisfying for the cooler weather.

Ease of Making: Easy

Here’s a savory and rich beef ragu simmered in diced tomatoes, garlic, Italian seasonings, and fresh herbs that is perfect for the fall comfort meal. Enjoy it over a bed of pasta or mashed potatoes.

This is the perfect dish to batch cook for the colder weather. It is quick and easy to make but tastes like it’s been simmering all day long. Make it a weekly staple for your family dinners or bring it to holiday gatherings and make it the new family favorite.

How to Cook Beef Ragu in the Instant Pot

It’s easy to make a tender roast in the Instant Pot, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps:

  1. Turn on the Saute Setting and start browning your meat followed by adding the aromatics such as onions and garlic.
  2. Sprinkle in the seasonings.
  3. Add any liquid. In this recipe we used diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and dry red wine.
  4. Close the Instant Pot and seal it.
  5. Press the meat/stew setting and set your timer.
  6. After it finishes cooking, carefully release the quick release for the steam (following the manufacturer’s instructions).

Meal prep tips for Instant Pot Beef Ragu

How much meat can you cook at one time?

For a 6 quart size, you can fit 4-6 lbs of meat. However, you will need to take into consideration the other ingredients such as the cooking liquids and additional veggies. For this recipe, we kept it around 2 to 3 lbs.

Does the meat need to be completely covered in liquid?

You normally will need at least one cup of liquid. The protein itself already contains water that will sweat out, and there is additional moisture from the vegetables.

What can you serve with Beef Ragu?

We love to eat it with egg noodles, but you can also serve it with veggie noodles such as spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash for a low-carb spin on this recipe. Creamy polenta is also a nice change from pasta or you can serve it on top of mashed potatoes or fluffy rice pilaf.

What to do with leftover beef ragu?

This Instant Pot beef ragu freezes really well and can keep up in the freezer for up to three months. However, you can also make sandwiches with the leftovers or add them as a topping to your baked potatoes.

Instant Pot Beef Ragu

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • knife
  • cutting board
  • spatula
  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs boneless beef chuck roast (cut into 2 inch chunks)
  • 4 each garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup white onion (diced)
  • 1 each small carrot (diced)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 each bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Place the Instant Pot on the saute setting on high heat
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and add oil to the Instant Pot
  • In small batches, add the beef and cook on all sides until evenly browned (about 3 to 4 minutes). After each batch has browned, remove it from the pot and set it aside for later.
  • Next, add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Stir it all around for 2 minutes
  • Then, add the tomato paste and stir for another minute. Afterwards, pour in the wine and scrape any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot
  • Finally, add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasonings, ground cinnamon, and bay leaves
  • Carefully add the beef chunks back into the liquid
  • Turn off the saute setting and select the manual setting to adjust the pressure to high and set the time for 30 minutes. Make sure the valve is in the sealed position
  • After it has finished cooking, follow the manufacturer's directions for quick-release of the pressure
  • Remove the beef from the Instant Pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Place it in a deep serving dish and pour the remaining sauce on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with fresh pasta, rice pilaf, or mashed potatoes. Garnish with additional freshly chopped basil

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How to Make Easy and Healthy Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Crispy golden brown pork chops ready in less than 10 minutes! These easy pan-fried pork chops come together quickly, are bursting with flavor, low carb, and make for a perfect weeknight dinner.

Ease of Making: Medium

This pork chop recipe is prepared on the stovetop and uses thinly sliced boneless cuts that sear in a hot skillet with a beautiful golden-brown crust. It’s served on top of garlic mashed rutabaga mixed with spinach, a combo superfood side dish that is also a great low carb option to use instead of potatoes.

Pork often gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but choosing the right cut provides some health benefits. Some cuts can be high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and calories, but if you’re looking for a healthy option, always choose lean cuts such as tenderloin, loin chops, and sirloin roast. 

Lean cuts of pork are high in protein, low in fat, and have more B-Vitamins than other types of meats. B-vitamins that contribute to boosting energy by helping with metabolism and energy production. Pork also delivers iron that helps carry oxygen and potassium that helps regulate blood pressure. It provides all these essential nutrients, while still being about lean as chicken.

How to Cook Pan-Fried Pork Chops

  • Keep the seasoning simple and season both sides
  • Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat
  • Add oil and add the chops
  • Sear on each side for 3 to 5 minutes
  • Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 145F
  • Set it aside for a few minutes before slicing the pork

Meal prep tips for Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Rutabaga and Spinach

Pan-frying is a quick and easy cooking method to get the maximum flavor on proteins and sear in the juices. 

Pork chops are known for being classic comfort food, less expensive and fatty than beef, and relatively easy to prepare. However, lean cuts can often be tough due to its lower fat content. Therefore, using the right cooking technique is key.

Marinating your protein overnight can help tenderize lean cuts just like these pork chops and actually help speed up the cooking process.

Add oil to a hot pan (medium high heat). Prior to placing the pork chops in the pan, use paper towels to wipe off any excess marinade. This will help get a good golden brown sear and avoid it from steaming in the pan.

Add the pork chops to the pan and let them cook and sizzle. Cook on the first side for 3 minutes before flipping it over. You want the meat done and cooked all the way through, but because they are so thin, it should be quickly cooked. 

Pair them with a comforting side dish just like the garlic mashed rutabagas and spinach medley or check out our:

Pork chop side dishes:

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Rutabaga and Spinach Recipe

Crispy golden brown pork chops ready in less than 10 minutes! These easy pan-fried pork chops come together quickly, are bursting with flavor, low carb, and make for a perfect weeknight dinner.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Pork Chop and Marinade

  • 4 each small boneless pork chops (thinly sliced about 3 to 4 oz each)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Rutabaga and seasonings

  • 1 each small rutabaga
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 each garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil note: can use butter for more flavor

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise en Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, large saucepan, skillet, tongs, fork/potato masher
  • Marinate the pork chops with the seasonings. Preferably overnight, but at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
  • Peel the rutabaga and cut into chunks. Peel the garlic

Cooking Method:

  • Place the rutabaga in a saucepan with water and 1 tsp of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low medium and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes until it is fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, add oil to a pan on medium high heat and sear the pork chops on each side for about 3 to 5 minutes until it is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 145F
  • Once the rutabaga cooks, drain it completely. Add the olive oil and seasonings and mash with a fork. Once it is mashed, mix in the spinach
  • Serve the pork chops on top of the mashed rutabaga. Eat and enjoy!

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Easy Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs Recipe

Kebabs are one of the tastiest dishes stacked with tender marinated meats and bright colored veggies. Not only do bell peppers and cherry tomatoes add great flavor to this dish, but they are also full of essential nutrients that are good for your health. Bell peppers and cherry tomatoes are great sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium. A diet rich in vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancers. The fibers help keep your digestive tract working properly. Along with being full of nutrients, they are low-calorie and deliver a satisfying bite.

Ease of Making: Easy

What I love about kebabs is that there are so many ways to make them and so many flavors from all over the world that you can incorporate. They are easy to make and can be cooked on a grill, in the oven, or in an air fryer just like these chicken kebabs. Serve them with your choice of sides such as a salad, in a pita, on top of a bed of rice pilaf, or additional veggies. 

Meal prep tips for Air Fryer Mediterranean Chicken Kebabs

The Air Fryer is great for meal prep. It is the perfect size for roasting veggies and cooks large portions of protein. Therefore, you can batch cook multiple food items without having to pre-heat the oven and waste all that oven space. 

The air fryer essentially is like an amped-up oven. The difference is that it has a fan and it utilizes a more compact space to facilitate fast cooking. The fan circulates the air around making food items crisp which is similar to what you could get from deep frying, minus the extra added fat. With normal baking ovens, there is a lot of humidity, so it’s difficult for an outer crisp to occur. 

Sometimes using a leaner cut of meat such as chicken breasts can result in dry tough meat. Which is why marinating your meats prior to cooking is a good technique to prevent it from drying out and making it chewy. Marinades have acidic components that help tenderize meats and make them juicy. They also help reduce the time of cooking. 

This recipe’s marinade incorporates some flavor spices such as paprika, cumin, turmeric powder, and minced garlic which all offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help boost immunity.

If you’re using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to prevent them from scorching.

Layer the ingredients on the skewers and place them in the air fryer basket.

Side salads and pita bread with dip make great side dishes for kebabs.

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
  • 1 each red bell pepper
  • 1 each small red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Chicken marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey note: you can use agave nectar or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp juice of a lemon

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: skewers, cutting board, knife, air fryer (or oven)
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 10 minutes
  • Cut the chicken into 1.5 chunks. Mix together the marinade and marinate the chicken overnight or at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
  • If using the oven, preheat oven to 425F
  • Cut the bell peppers and red onion into chunks

Cooking Method:

  • Assemble the kebabs using skewers. Layer the chicken with the veggies.
  • Place in the air fryer and cook at 360F for 15-18 minutes (until internal temperature is 165F). If using the oven, cook for 20-25 minutes, until the outer edges are golden brown and chicken is cooked through an internal temperature of 165F)
  • Serve with your choice of sides and sauces. Examples: salad, pita, couscous, rice pilaf, or tortillas, etc

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Easy Air Fryer Steak Kebabs Recipe

Kebabs are such a fun and great meal that you can enjoy with friends or family. Everybody loves eating food on a stick, especially kiddos! It’s also a great way to pack flavor and healthy ingredients together on a skewer. 

Ease of Making: Easy

Kebabs are traditionally cooked on a skewer over a fire or baked in an oven so that it can roast.  Roasting is one of the healthiest ways to prepare your meals because it results in minimal losses of vitamins and nutrients.

Advantages of roasting:

  • Good quality meat is tender when roasted
  • Vegetables maintain their heart-healthy fiber and vitamins and minerals for fighting disease
  • Food is more appealing because it has a desirable texture and color by turning crispy and golden brown
  • Unlike stovetop methods such as sauteing or stir-frying, It is a cooking method that allows you to be hands-free and requires minimal involvement in the cooking process

Using a roasting pan in an oven is usually the best way to roast food because it allows the oven heat to reach as much of the surface of food as possible and allows the air to circulate. 

However, if you don’t have a roasting pan and don’t want to wait to heat up your large oven, then an air fryer will do perfectly. It has a basket that holds food similar to a roasting rack and the fan allows the air to circulate the heat evenly around the food giving it that golden brown crisp.

Meal prep tips for Air Fryer Beef Kebabs

  • Cooking beef kebabs in your air fryer not only saves you time, but cleanup is also incredibly easy, and it also tastes amazing.
  • Make sure to measure your air fryer to check that your skewers you are using actually fit inside of your air fryer. 6 to 8-inch skewers tend to fit best in most air fryers. And if you are using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to keep them from burning
  • When cutting veggies, make sure they are all the same size chunks the meat so that they all cook evenly. Use a variety of colorful vegetables like bell peppers and even add fruit such as pineapple
  • One of the best cuts of beef for kebabs is the Sirloin cut. It is relatively tender, lean, and fits into a balanced diet. In addition, it is budget-friendly. Other good beef choices are flat iron, strip steak, and even tenderloin.
  • Sometimes using a leaner cut of meat can result in dry tough meat. Therefore, marinating your meats prior to cooking is a good technique to prevent it from drying out and making it chewy. This marinade combines pantry friendly items such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dijon mustard, and spices such as oregano and garlic powder. One of the tasty components that result from marinating meat is getting that distinct flavor from a good golden brown crust when the protein cooks. Adding a sweet component such as honey yields in that delicious crust when cooked at high heat.

Air Fryer Beef Kebabs

Kebabs are such a fun and great meal that you can enjoy with friends or family. Everybody loves eating food on a stick, especially kiddos! It’s also a great way to pack flavor and healthy ingredients together on a skewer.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean top sirloin
  • 1 each yellow bell pepper
  • 1 each small red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

Beef marinade:

  • 3 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar note: you can use honey, agave nectar or white sugar

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: skewers, cutting board, knife, air fryer (or oven)
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 10 minutes
  • Cut the beef into 1.5 inch chunks. Mix together the marinade and marinate the beef overnight or at least 30 minutes prior to cooking
  • If using the oven, preheat oven to 425F
  • Cut the bell peppers and red onion into chunks

Cooking Method:

  • Assemble the kebabs using skewers. Layer the beef with the veggies.
  • Place in the air fryer and cook at 400F for 8-10 minutes. If using the oven, cook for 10-12 minutes, until the outer edges are brown and beef is cooked through
  • Serve with your choice of sides and sauces. Examples: salad, pita, couscous, rice pilaf, or tortillas, etc

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Meal Prep Salmon With Butternut Squash Noodles

This Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles is easy and simply perfect for a light and refreshing weekday lunch. It’s a great low carb meal with minimal ingredients that you can make in less than 20 minutes.

Easy of Making: Easy

When it comes to eating healthy, it’s all about including a balance of proteins, veggies, smart carbs, and healthy fats. This meal delivers a powerhouse of nutrients that will help you meet your health goals.

Salmon is a great source of protein that will help you keep full longer. It is also rich in healthy fats such as Omega-3 Fatty acids which may promote weight loss and decrease belly fat. Salmon is also high in B Vitamins which is important in helping the food you eat into energy, creating and repairing DNA, and reducing inflammation that can lead to heart disease. It is also tasty, versatile, and widely available. 

This baked salmon is paired with a superfood medley of butternut squash spirals, cherry tomatoes, and arugula. Butternut squash is a low calorie, low carb, a sweet, and nutty ingredient that makes a great addition to many savory recipes and is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage and reduce inflammation which may reduce your risk of several chronic diseases. 

To add flavor and pack it with even more nutrients, we mixed it in with arugula that has a distinctive peppery flavor and a great source of calcium and folate. The addition of tart flavors from the cherry tomatoes pair well with the savory and nutty flavors of this recipe.

So not only is this recipe tasty, but it is also packed with nutrients to help you meet a healthy and balanced diet.

Meal Prep Tips for Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles:

How to pick the right salmon:

There are several types of salmon, such as pink salmon, red salmon, and Atlantic salmon. Any of these types can taste delicious in the oven. 

You do however want to make sure you choose a filet with firm flesh when you are buying at the store. When you gently press the fillet with your finger, it should spring back. You also want to avoid any fish that are dark around the edges or brown/yellow discoloration. And be sure to smell the fish. It should smell like saltwater or the sea smell and not have a strong fishy smell.

Baking salmon delivers soft, juicy, and tender salmon on the inside with crispy edges. 

The key to evenly cooking the fish is to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes until it comes to room temperature, otherwise, other parts of the fish might overcook while the other parts are still raw.

How to use frozen salmon:

If you are using frozen fish, be sure to let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight and also allow it to come to room temperature before baking.

The great thing about salmon is that you don’t need a lot of seasonings to make it taste good. However, you don’t want to add salt too early, otherwise, it will draw out the moisture if left for an extended period of time. For best results, salt the salmon right before you place it in the oven to cook.

Fish cooks fairly quickly, however, cook time will vary depending on the thickness. The thickest part of the salmon should look opaque and the layers within the salmon should flake apart easily.

Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles

This Baked Salmon with Parmesan Butternut Squash Noodles is easy and simply perfect for a light and refreshing weekday lunch. It’s a great low carb meal with minimal ingredients that you can make in less than 20 minutes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 2

Ingredients

Salmon

  • 12 oz salmon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Squash Noodles

  • 10 oz butternut squash noodles
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, sheet pan, parchment paper, skillet, tongs
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F
  • Mince garlic, slice cherry tomatoes in half
  • Marinate the salmon with the seasonings and olive oil. Place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper

Cooking Method:

  • Place salmon in the oven and bake it for 10-15 minutes
  • Add olive oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Saute the garlic and butternut squash noodles for 3 to 5 minutes. Add seasonings and continue to stir until butternut squash is tender
  • Add fresh tomatoes and arugula
  • Top off the noodles with shredded parmesan cheese
  • Serve the salmon on top of the noodles. Eat and enjoy!

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Easy Caribbean Chicken And Rice In The Oven

Oven-baked chicken and rice was a staple growing up in my household. I mean who doesn’t love baked chicken? My parents would whip up mouthwatering baked chicken thighs seasoned in a tasty rub served on top of fluffy soft rice. 

Ease of Making: Medium

This recipe adds an island flair using Caribbean spices such as allspice and cayenne pepper. It is served on top of turmeric-infused rice pilaf with sauteed aromatics such as onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic. 

And my favorite part of the dish is pairing it with diced pineapple. The sweet and tart flavors of the pineapple pair well the savory and spicy flavors of the Caribbean species. 

This is definitely a dish that is vibrant and full of flavor and a great twist on chicken and rice. 

Meal Prep Tips for Caribbean Chicken with Turmeric Rice Pilaf

Many recipes normally start with searing chicken on the stovetop and rendering out the fat to get it crispy and golden brown.

For this recipe, there is no need for that extra step because the seasoned chicken will roast in a hot oven and the oven will do all the work. 

If you want to keep it low fat, remove the skin or you can use boneless chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken thighs in this recipe. Just be sure to reduce the amount of time you cook the chicken by about 10-15 minutes. Use a thermometer to make sure that the chicken has cooked to an internal temperature of 165F,

What rice should I use?

Long grained white rice is what you normally would use for rice pilaf, but you can also swap it out for brown rice or barley which are great whole grain options. If you want to keep it low carb, then use cauliflower rice as an option.

Caribbean Chicken with Turmeric Rice Pilaf

This recipe adds an island flair using Caribbean spices such as allspice and cayenne pepper. It is served on top of turmeric-infused rice pilaf with sauteed aromatics such as onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks (can use fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 4 each leg quarters
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Rice Pilaf

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grained rice (for low carb option: use 4 cups of cauliflower rice)
  • 2 cups water (omit if using cauliflower rice)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 2 each cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, roasting rack, oven, sauce pot, spatula
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F. Marinate the chicken with the seasonings and coat with olive oil
  • Dice the onions and bell pepper. Chop the onions and mince the garlic.

Cooking Method:

  • Place the chicken in the oven for 35-45 minutes. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the rice pilaf. Add oil to a pot on medium high heat.
  • Add the onions to the pot and saute until it softens and turns translucent, then add the garlic, bell peppers.
  • Next, add the rice and seasonings. Mix well until the rice is toasted and fully coated with the seasonings. Then add the green onions.
  • Pour in the water and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the leat to low heat and let it simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender. (Note: If you are using cauliflower rice, omit the water. Just saute the cauliflower rice on medium high heat for about 5 to 7 minutes until it is cooked and tender)
  • Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork.
  • Serve the chicken with the rice pilaf. Top it off with fresh pineapple. Eat and enjoy!

Video

Easy Caribbean Chicken with Turmeric Rice Pilaf. This dish hits all the right spots with notes of sweet and savory flavors, coupled with a delicious rice side.

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How To Make Salmon Cakes In A Skillet

These crispy salmon patties are a healthy meal prep protein option. Canned foods often get a bad rep, however canned salmon can be very nutrient-dense. One serving can provide up to 16 grams of protein, heart-healthy fats, and multiple micronutrients. 

Ease of Making: Easy

Growing up we used a lot of canned tuna, so using canned salmon in this recipe is a great switch. Eating salmon has been linked to anti-inflammatory properties, brain, heart, and bone health and due to its high protein content helps you stay feeling full longer.

And yes, canned salmon can be higher in sodium, however, pairing them with fresh veggies such as this corn and arugula salad can lighten it up and make it part of a healthy balanced meal.

Arugula has a distinctive peppery taste unlike other salad greens adding another flavor component. Adding other sweeter tasting veggies such as corn and red bell peppers can complement the flavors. Arugula is actually part of the cruciferous family such as Brussel sprouts and broccoli and is known to have high cancer-fighting agents. This high fiber salad option is low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and fats and has vital nutrients that help support the immune system. 

Meal Prep Tips for Pan-Fried Salmon Cakes with Corn and Arugula Salad

One of my favorite things about cooking is the ability to be creative and take food and transform it by simply adding a few ingredients and changing the flavor profiles. Take this canned salmon, for example. Canned fish often has a really fishy profile, but making them into salmon cakes with other ingredients can definitely upgrade a simple can of salmon. 

First, be sure to drain the can before placing the salmon into a mixing bowl. Then you’ll want to add your choice of veggies. I like to use bright colored veggies such as red bell peppers, red onions, and green onions. 

Then, you will want to include some sort of binder such as breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard to keep the patties packed together to keep it from crumbling when you pan fry them in the pan. Add your choice of seasonings and spices and mix it all together until it forms a paste-like texture.

You can use your hands to form the patties into balls and then flatten them in the pan, but a great tool to use is a small 2 oz ice cream scoop. I use this tool anytime I have to scoop and portion out for recipes. It saves time from having to roll it into a ball and it evenly portions out your serving sizes. 

Place the portioned out balls into the hot pan and use your spatula to flatten them out into patties. Have a plate lined with a paper towel to help drain the excess oil. Afterward, serve them on top of fresh greens with other veggies such as sweet corn.

Salmon Cakes With Corn and Arugula Salad

These crispy salmon patties are a healthy meal prep protein option. Canned foods often get a bad rep, however canned salmon can be very nutrient-dense. One serving can provide up to 16 grams of protein, heart-healthy fats, and multiple micronutrients.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 12 oz canned salmon
  • 2 each eggs
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup corn (frozen or canned)
  • 4 cups arugula salad
  • 4 tbsp choice of salad dressing recommend vinaigrette dressing

Instructions

Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):

  • Gather your equipment: cutting board, knife, mixing bowl, mixing spatula, flat spatula, saute pan
  • Dice red onions and red bell peppers into small pieces. Chop green onions
  • Drain canned salmon
  • Defrost corn if frozen, drain corn if canned

Cooking Method:

  • Place the canned salmon in a mixing bowl and crack two eggs. Mix well until eggs are incorporated.
  • Next, add the peppers and onions and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
  • Then, add the mayo and dijon mustard and mix.
  • Finally, add the breadcrumbs and mix until the mixture forms a paste like texture.
  • Add oil to a saute pan on medium to high heat. Using a 2 oz scoop (or a large spoon), scoop out the salmon mixture into the pan. Make sure to not over crowd the pan.
  • Then, using a spatula, flatten the round salmon mixture into flat patties. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it is golden crispy. Flip it over to cook on the other side for about a minute until golden crispy.
  • Remove the patty from the pan and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  • Serve salmon cakes on top of a bed of arugula salad with corn. Add any additional fresh veggies to your preference and top it off with your choice of dressing. Eat and enjoy!

Video

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