Category Archives: Main Dish

Balsamic Vinegar Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Skewers

We grill a lot. Which is weird because I have a food blog and only like one real “grillin” recipe. There is a really simple explanation.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!

I cannot operate our grill.

It is a charcoal smoker/grill and I just don’t get it. There is some sort of science behind lighting a charcoal grill and it makes no sense to me. The placement of the coals, the air flow…I know all of those things matter, but I don’t know why. After about year five, Mr. Maebell stopped trying to teach me and just accepted the fact that the grill is just his territory.

Do you see me complaining? Nope.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!

The only time it is inconvenient is when I want to grill something for the blog, and he isn’t around. Which has been the case lately. Fortunately, we had the same night off and I put him to work. I actually had no idea what I was making when I started this meal. I had chicken and zucchini so I just kind of rolled with it. I marinated all of the ingredients in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a little dijon and a handful of spices. I put the chicken and zucchini on skewers, grilled them, and topped with crumbled feta and freshly chopped basil.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!
It was fantastic! It had a ton of flavor, it was super easy, and made a quick healthy meal. Usually, when I make kabobs I use different meats and lots of different veggies. This was a less fussy version with simple well chosen ingredients.

Balsamic Vinegar Chicken and Zucchini Skewers, super simple and healthy!

Sometimes less is more!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Balsamic Vinegar Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Skewers
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, cut into small chunks
Instructions
  1. In a measuring cup or bowl mix the first nine ingredients (balsamic vinegar-salt). Make sure your marinade is well combined.
  2. Place your cut up chicken breast into a plastic bag and pour in half of the marinade.
  3. Place the zucchini pieces into a plastic bag and pour in the second half of the marinade.
  4. Let your meat and veggies marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Heat your grill to 400 degrees.
  6. (If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before assembling your kabobs.)
  7. Assemble your skewers, alternating chicken and zucchini.
  8. Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  9. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and crumbled feta cheese.

 

Bacon, Ham, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce

Sometimes when I ask Mr. Maebell what he wants for dinner he looks at me with pleading eyes and says, “please..just something simple.”

Ham, Bacon, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce

I have said before that spouses of food bloggers will someday need a support group. I totally stand by that. Sometimes I get caught up in an idea and go a little overboard. The dinner might be good, but it is a little much. Or the other side of that is that I get an idea, spend a lot of time on it, and then decide it is terrible and we eat cereal for dinner. That also happens a lot.

So, when he politely asks me to chill the heck out with the meals I don’t really blame him. That is kind of what happened the night that I made this wrap. Luckily, it ended up being a no fuss meal that was actually pretty darn impressive. I combined a lot of basic staples together to make a really filling wrap. Some deli ham, a couple slices of cooked bacon, an egg, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and of course a nice little sauce to top it all off.

Ham, Bacon, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce

This has quickly become one of our favorites. It can be thrown together in under 20 minutes and is sure to please even your pickiest eater!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bacon, Ham, and Egg Wrap with Honey Dijon Sauce
Recipe type: Wrap
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese
  • 4 lettuce leafs
  • 4 slices of tomato
  • 2 large tortilla wraps (I used Udi's gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet on medium to medium low heat and cook the bacon until crisp, approximately 4 minutes on each side. Remove bacon from skillet and place on paper towels.
  2. Wipe the skillet clean and return to heat. Place each tortilla in the skillet for bout 30 seconds, or until lightly browned. Place each tortilla on a plate. Top with 2 teaspoons of the honey dijon, two slices of ham, one slice of cooked bacon, one slice of cheese, two leaves, two tomato slices, and set aside.
  3. Spray the skillet with cooking spray and carefully pour a beaten egg into the skillet. When the egg is set, flip, and let it cook an additional 20 seconds. Remove from heat and place on wrap.
  4. Carefully roll your wrap and slice down the center.

 

Spicy Sausage Black Bean Pasta

Spicy Sausage Black Bean Pasta, a one dish, 30 minute meal that is delicious and gluten free!

What kind of grocery shopper are you? Are you super organized and only buy what you need? Do you follow your list to a T? Or are you a free spirit that will purchase whatever looks good? Most of the time I am a strict list follower. We already spend so much money on food that if I get things that I don’t need for that week it would get out of control quickly. So, I normally don’t have much left in my pantry at the end of the week. But last week I found myself in a pinch and needed to make something quickly with only what I had on hand. My first thought was to make breakfast for dinner (that is my go to, I will never turn down bacon and eggs) but I did have a couple things in the cabinets so I decided to get creative.

The result was a super tasty pasta dish loaded with flavor. Not only was it good, but it took just one dish and it was ready in less than 30 minutes! It doesn’t get much better than that!

Here is how I did it!

Spicy Sausage Black Bean Pasta, one dish, 30 minute meal, and gluten free

I thinly sliced some andouille sausage, chopped an onion and sauteed them in a little olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. I tossed in a can of rinsed black beans, rotel, tomato sauce, and some water (not pictured) and then gave it all a good stir. I also threw in some spices and dry rotini noodles.

Spicy Sausage Black Bean Pasta

When everything was mixed well, I  just covered the skillet and let everything simmer for approximately 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the pasta was tender I stirred in some cheese to make it extra creamy. And topped the whole thing off with a little extra cheese on top and some chopped green onions.

Spicy Sausage Black Bean Pasta

Voila! It really is that simple!

Just some basic pantry staples and some andouille sausage are transformed into an easy cheesy pasta dish that your whole family will love!

Spicy Sausage Black Bean Pasta

5.0 from 4 reviews
Spicy Sausage Black Bean Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 link andouille sausage (1/2 a pack of Johnsonville Andouille Sausage)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups dry pasta (I used Gluten Free Barilla Rotini)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package taco seasoning* (or spices listed below)
  • 1 cup cheese
  • chopped green onions for garnish
Instructions
  1. Thinly slice sausage, and finely chop the onion. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and onion and saute until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. (3-4 minutes)
  3. Add the can of drained and rinsed black beans, the undrained cans of rotel and tomato sauce.. Stir in the cup of water, dry pasta, and taco seasoning (or spices*)
  4. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium low. Let the mixture simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When pasta is tender, stir in ¾ cup of cheese, and top with remaining ¼ cheese, place lid back on pasta just until cheese melts. Top with chopped green onions.

* If you prefer not to use packaged taco seasoning or do not have it on hand these spices work great:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Are you ready for this?

A four ingredient, yes, FOUR ingredient, healthy, fast, delicious dinner!

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers

In other words, this little dish is kind of a miracle!

We are loving these little sweet peppers. Have you tried them? You can find them next to the bell peppers in the produce section. At my grocery store they come in a small bag (about a pound) or a large bag (about two pounds). I usually opt for the big bag and add a handful to things like pasta, omelets, veggie kabobs, or stuff them with things. I just love how handy they are!

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers, a simple FOUR ingredient dinner that is healthy and gluten free!

In this case, I had a bowl of shredded chicken, a jar of pesto, a bag of sweet peppers, and some mozzarella. Turns out, that simple combo makes for a fantastic dinner!

You can probably guess how to go about this. Just wash and slice your peppers and remove any seeds. Toss the shredded chicken with the pesto. Stuff the chicken in the peppers, top with cheese and bake. Voila! Dinner is ready! These are fabulous as is, but I also really loved them dipped in warm marinara and served with a nice big salad!

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Sweet Peppers, a simple FOUR ingredient dinner that is healthy and gluten free!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breast, cooked and shredded*
  • 1 jar of pesto (mine was 6.25 ounces)
  • 2 pounds sweet peppers, sliced and seeds removed
  • 1½ cups mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Wash and remove tops from the peppers. Slice and remove any seeds. Lay pepper halves on a large greased baking sheet.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the shredded chicken with the pesto and toss to coat.
  4. Add a heaping spoonful of chicken to each pepper and top with cheese.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. *I just put two chicken breast in my smallest crock pot, lightly seasoning with salt and pepper and added 1 cup liquid (water or chicken broth works) and let it simmer on low for 8 hours. I drained off all liquid and shredded the chicken.

 

Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap

Grilled Zucchini Wrap

I am so happy to be sharing today’s recipe with you. Actually, all of the recipes for this week make me excited. It is a full week of girl food!

That sweet Mr. Maebell ran off a couple weekends ago to do manly things with his manly friends and left me and the pups to fend for ourselves. I don’t especially like when he leaves, but to be totally honest with you I had a pretty good weekend. :)

I watched Steel Magnolias three times and bawled like a baby. I made Greek Salad, this Zucchini sandwich, sipped on smoothies, and perfected the best granola bar ever. I made sangria, gave myself a pedicure, and took a bubble bath. I made an avocado face mask, went shopping, and binged watched Gossip Girl until I couldn’t handle Blair Waldorf anymore.

Grilled Zucchini Wraps

I didn’t do a single load of laundry, I didn’t put away a single dish. I never ventured to the grocery. I only have clean floors because we have one of those robot vacuums and I decided it wasn’t too much effort to, ya know, just push a button. I decided it is appropriate to forgo adulthood one weekend out of the year. Turns out, weekends like that are good for your soul.

Today, I have my favorite wrap! This wrap is packed with grilled zucchini, veggies, cheese and hummus! It is my version of Jason’s Deli Zucchini Grillini, and it is great and so simple!

Sliced zucchini is tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper then grilled. The grilled zucchini is then placed on a nice big tortilla topped with kale,  red onion, tomatoes, cheese, and then a heaping dose of hummus.

Grilled Zucchini Wraps

Mercy. This is good.

One of my favorite things about this is how versatile it is. You can change up the veggies based on your personal preferences. Don’t have kale? No big deal, just throw in some spinach! Just use whatever fresh summer produce you have on hand! Just be sure not to skimp on the hummus. It is what makes the whole wrap come together so nicely. I used Sabaras Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, but you can make your own or use whatever flavor you like most.

Grilled Zucchini and Hummus Wrap

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap
Recipe type: Main Dish, Lunch, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 zucchini, ends removed and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tomato, sliced or handful of cherry tomatoes
  • ⅛ cup sliced red onion
  • 1 cup kale, tough stems removed
  • 2 slices white cheddar or chipotle gouda cheese
  • 2 large Udi's gluten free tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons hummus
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet or grill to medium heat.
  2. Remove the ends from the zucchini and slice length wise into strips. Toss sliced zucchini in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place sliced zucchini directly on grill and let cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Set zucchini aside.
  5. Place the tortillas on grill for approximately one minute, or just until grill marks are visible and tortillas are pliable.
  6. Remove tortillas from grill and assemble wraps, 2 tablespoons of hummus, one slice of cheese, zucchini slices, ½ cup kale, onion and tomato slices.
  7. Wrap tightly and enjoy immediately.

 

Steak Lo Mein

Generally, I have a stockpile of recipes waiting in the wings to share with you. I have my little planner where I organize what I am going to share and when. Usually, that works really well. It keeps me from posting a zillion of the same types of recipes in one week and helps ensure that there is a bit of variety here. However, sometimes I have a recipe that is so great I have to grab my white out and rearrange my whole planner. This Steak Lo Mein is so darn good I couldn’t wait to share. So, I bumped a granola bar recipe to next week because I think you need to make this. Like, right now.

Steak Lo Mein

I used to be really intimidated by Asian foods. Have you taken a good look at the ethnic food section at the grocery? It is full of different oils, spices, and sauces. Most of which, I have no idea how to use, some of them I can’t even pronounce. Eventually, one day I decided to take the plunge. I purchased a handful of things and decided to experiment. Those basic ingredients were sesame oil, sriracha, rice vinegar and of course soy sauce. It was this group of ingredients, plus a few extra that I used to create the Spicy Kung Pao Chicken that I shared a while back. This Steak Lo Mein uses those ingredients but the sauce is richer and sweeter. It is the perfect combo to pair with pan seared steak, peppers and onions and freshly cooked noodles. Top this with some sesame and red pepper flakes and you have perfection!

Steak Lo Mein

A huge plus is that this is a filling, healthy meal that is easy enough to prepare on a weeknight. The sauce takes just a minute to mix up, slice the vegetables and steak (or purchased already cut steak like we did with the Philly Cheese Steak Wraps), throw it in a warm skillet to cook for a couple minutes, boil some noodles and you have a 30 minute meal on your hands!

Steak Lo Mein
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4+
 
Ingredients
  • 1 12 ounce package of spaghetti noodles (I used Barilla gluten free)
  • 1 pound sliced steak (flank or top round work well)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • sesame seeds and red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, honey, oil and garlic together in a small measuring cup or bowl. Stir until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  3. When noodles are tender, drain and rinse with warm water. Place back into pot and drizzle sauce over noodles. Toss to coat. Cover noodles and keep warm. Be careful not to let them harden.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Place steak strips in skillet. Let the steak cook without stirring for 2-3 minutes to get a good color.
  5. Stir steak and cook 2-3 minutes more, remove from skillet and set aside.
  6. Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil and add sliced bell pepper and onion. Let cook for approximately 5 minutes or until tender.
  7. Add cooked steak, peppers and onion to noodle mixture.
  8. Toss mixture so that everything is evenly coated with sauce.
  9. Top with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes if desired.

 

 

 

Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks

Eggplant and Mozzarella Stacks

Sometimes my inner vegetarian just cannot be contained. Lately, I have been all about fabulous meatless meals, this is probably no coincidence that Mr. Maebell has been working long hours so it has just been me, myself, and I around this little house. Last weekend I made lunch for myself and I decided to experiment a little bit. I had already made this fabulous marinara, so my first thought was of course, pasta. Instead I opted for eggplant.

I haven’t bought an eggplant since, oh I don’t know, like 2008, but while I was at the market they were right in front of me with a big yellow .99 sticker on them. Okay sure, why not. Turns out, it was a great impulse buy. This lunch was a show stopper and done in about 15 minutes!

Sliced Eggplant

I had a big ball of fresh mozzarella and i could envision these cute little petite stacks with alternating lightly fried eggplant and sliced cheese drizzled with marinara. So, I sliced the eggplant then used a biscuit cutter to cut out circles. I got 8 circles out of my eggplant. This method does mean you waste more of your eggplant than if you just sliced it, but I was just cooking for me so I didn’t worry about it.

I just threw some flour and spices together in a shallow bowl, beat and egg with a little milk in another and double dipped them. Then fried them up in a little oil. I just stacked everything right on top of each other and voila! I actually dipped mine in warm marinara too because while the little drizzle of marinara looks pretty for the photo I pretty much wanted the whole thing dunked in it.

Eggplant and Mozzarella Stacks

The only thing to consider is that if you are making several servings of this you may want to turn your oven on low and keep the cooked eggplant in the oven as you go, and then assemble while the eggplant is warm. Alternatively, if you want your cheesy gooey and melted assemble and let them sit in a warm oven for a couple minutes. This is super easy to adjust based on your preferences! The next time you hear your inner vegetarian calling remember these Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks

5.0 from 5 reviews
Eggplant Mozzarella Stacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 egg plant, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup flour (I used gluten free AP flour)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ ball of mozzarella, sliced
  • ½-1 cup marinara
Instructions
  1. Slice eggplant and use a biscuit cutter to remove circles from eggplant.
  2. In a shallow bowl combine flour and all seasonings, in a second bowl combine the milk and beaten egg.
  3. Dip eggplant into flour, then egg, then repeat so the eggplant is double breaded.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place cook eggplant 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove eggplant from skillet.
  5. Assemble stacks alternating eggplant, cheese and drizzle with marinara sauce and basil. Serve with additional marinara sauce for dipping.

I used the Balsamic Vinegar and Roasted Tomato Marinara for this, but you can use whatever you prefer!

As always, I made this dish using gluten free ingredients. I use Glutino Gluten Free Pantry All Purpose flour or Gluten Free Bisquick in place of flour.