Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce. I’m in love with this quick and easy no-frill pasta dish. It has Kale in it which is a highly nutritious vegetable. It has numerous health benefits and happens to be pretty darn tasty. Check out my cookbook for “The Seasoned Life” for a quick “Kale Chip” recipe that is sure to be a favorite. And for those of you that are scared of anything green. Give it a try! It turns out to be a smooth and silky sauce that pairs perfectly with pasta. Share your favorite way to eat kale in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo-Ayesha

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

12 ounces favorite pasta (I used orecchiette pasta)
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped.
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped.
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
Two tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
2-3 cups fresh kale, ribs and stems removed.
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon each)

 

Cook your pasta according to the package directions.

Remove the pasta from the boiling water and set aside. Add your chopped kale to the water and quickly blanch for 1-2 minutes and remove.

In a blender or food processor add blanched kale, garlic, onion, parmesan, lemon, and nuts. Stream in olive oil and puree until smooth.

Add kale sauce to your cooked pasta and toss to coat! Serve immediately!

Seared Scallop And Teriyaki Bowl

Seared Scallop and Teriyaki Bowl. Who needs takeout when you can whip up a meal in just minutes. And you can use any protein or rice you have on hand. I love the subtly sweet and rich flavor of scallops, and they take little to no time to prepare. You just need to make sure they are completely dry. A wet scallop won’t sear properly. The teriyaki sauce is sweet yet tangy with a little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. You can use this sauce in so many different dishes. Dinner in a bowl is my kind of meal. I hope that you enjoy it.

Thanks,

Xo- Ayesha

Teriyaki Sauce

1 cup of soy sauce
1 cup of water
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
One tablespoon honey
One tablespoon ginger, minced.
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced. (Depending on your taste)
Pinch crushed red pepper flake
Slurry to taste.

Heat a small pot at medium-high heat and add all ingredients. Cook until sugar has dissolved.

Slurry-

Two tablespoons cornstarch
Two tablespoons water

Mix until combined.

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add slurry a little at a time until you get the desired thickness.

Assemble bowls with cooked rice, protein, vegetables and drizzle with sauce.

Scallops-

Pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a large pan with one tablespoon of olive oil and butter at medium-high heat. Sear the scallops on each side for 2-3 minutes per side. You want a golden color with a slightly firm touch. Remove from pan and serve immediately!

Turkey Sloppy Joe

Turkey Sloppy Joe. Sure to be one of your next dinner favorites. Sloppy joes are one of those comfort foods that you grew up eating, but probably don’t admit to liking as an adult! Barbecue like sandwiches that consist of sauce and ground beef or as my mom says “Minced meat.” The “sloppy” sauce came out of a can but let’s be honest when you were a kid who cared? So this is a decidedly healthier spin on your classic sloppy without losing that delicious sweet and tangy flavor we all love.  Using ground turkey and most ingredients you probably already have on hand like onion and bell pepper. I mean what’s not to like about a meal that combines a hearty meat mixture nestled inside a bun and is oh so SLOPPY! I hope you enjoy it.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Turkey Sloppy Joe

 

Turkey Sloppy Joe

1lb ground turkey
One tablespoon olive oil
15 ounce can tomato sauce
One small red onion, diced.
One red bell pepper, diced.
Two cloves garlic, minced.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika (You can substitute regular)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Buns, for serving.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown your ground turkey until cooked through. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Saute the mixture for 1-2 minutes and add the remaining ingredients. (Obviously not the bread!) Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.

Spoon mixture inside of your favorite bun. Toasting the bread is also a nice touch. I like to serve it with homemade sweet potato chips or fries and some crunchy cucumber slices!

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti. Hey everyone! Here is a recipe that’s easy enough for a busy school or work night. Now we all love those classic comfort foods that we had as a child. And baked ziti was one of my favorites. Its loaded with cheese, pasta and meat sauce. Not to mention a very inexpensive and easy throw together meal. Now this recipe is a lightened up baked ziti. We start with a flavorful ground turkey that’s tossed with a velvety butternut squash sauce. And topped with fontina cheese and baked until bubbly and golden. I use ground turkey in place of ground beef to lighten it up. The roasted butternut squash is pureed into a sauce alongside a little cream and chicken stock. This meal will honestly fool even the pickiest of eaters. It looks and tastes like a decadent cheese sauce. I hope that you enjoy this comforting casserole as much as we did. Leave a comment below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

8oz pasta, cooked. (You can use ziti or whatever pasta you have on hand.)
Two tablespoons olive oil
4 cups roasted butternut squash (See below)
1lb ground turkey
One cup sweet onion, finely chopped.
Two garlic cloves, minced.
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
One cup Mozzarella, shredded.
4 ounces fontina cheese
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. And saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add ground turkey and seasonings, break into pieces and cook until browned about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a blender add roasted squash, cream, stock, salt, and pepper. If it is too thick for your liking, you can always thin it out with a little leftover pasta water.

Add butternut squash sauce and mozzarella with the turkey mixture. Combine with pasta and transfer mixture into a prepared baking dish. Break off chunks off fontina cheese and place over the top of the pasta.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and browned. Serve immediately.

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp. Now In my cookbook “The Seasoned Life” I have a recipe for “Sweet Chili Shrimp Wraps” they are quickly fried and served inside butter lettuce with a jicama salad, and they are oh SO delicious! My condiments of choice are always sweet chili sauce and ketchup. There are always bottles of it stashed in my cupboards and refrigerator. This recipe is a simple pan-seared shrimp that incorporates sweet chili sauce without the frying. It’s a quick and easy recipe when you are looking to have a flavorful meal in twenty minutes or less. (That’s counting the rice cook time!) What is your favorite way to prepare shrimp? (Fried, pan seared, grilled?) Comment below!

Enjoy,

Xo-Ayesha

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp

1 Pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional.
One shallot, minced.
1-2 cloves garlic, minced.
3 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I prefer Mae Ploy)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
One tablespoon brown sugar

 

Add spices and one tablespoon of olive oil into a large bowl and mix well until a paste is formed.

Place dry shrimp in the bowl and toss to coat. (You have to dry your shrimp after you rinse them. Shrimp tend to absorb water and will change the outcome of your dish!)

Now in a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce, soy, lime juice, brown sugar and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in one tablespoon of olive oil to heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook for about 1 minute before adding the shrimp to the pan and cooking for 1-2 minutes per side. Do not overcook! Remove the pan from heat and pour the sauce mixture over the shrimp and stir to coat the shrimp evenly.

Serve over jasmine rice or pasta and enjoy!

 

Lamb Ragu

Lamb Ragu. Let’s throw it back to this delicious and crave-worthy dish. This rich and creamy, pasta is a spin on the traditional spaghetti sauce. Served over your favorite pasta. And flavored with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and a little red wine. Perfect for lunch or dinner! You can’t go wrong. This just may be your new favorite dinner to make. My kids were a big fan of this. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Lamb Ragu

 

Lamb Ragu

1lb ground lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
2 cloves garlic, minced.
One small red onion, diced.
Three cups cremini mushrooms, sliced.
One cup full-bodied red wine (I used cabernet)
One cup sour cream
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
1 1/2teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/12 tablespoons brown sugar (Of course I’m going to use it!)
1lb box favorite pasta (I used fusilli pasta)
Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure to salt your water! Add the pasta and cook according to instructions. Drain pasta. And set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ground lamb into the pan. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and Herbs de Provence.

Break up your lamb as it browns. Letting all of the liquid evaporate in the pan until you see little bits start to stick to the pan. Add mushrooms.

Add wine and deglaze the pan by getting all those brown bits off the bottom of the pan. (So much flavor!!) Let the wine cook down to half its size. Add the whole tomatoes and gently break up, simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and sour cream and mix well.

Serve over the pasta. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and freshly chopped basil.

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken. Hey everyone! Here is another tasty meal that can be pulled together in no time. I add chicken breast, salsa, taco seasoning, and a few other spices to my electric pressure cooker. It’s cooked until the meat is juicy and ready to eat which is no more than 20 minutes. And you can use this versatile chicken recipe with tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, and so much more. You can even swap out the salsa for a vinegar-based barbeque sauce and make pulled chicken sandwiches. I used it to make a tostada, which is just frying or baking a corn tortilla and piling it with your favorite toppings. So delicious. I hope that you and your family love this. Leave a comment below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken

*My tostada was topped with beans, pulled chicken, lime crema, avocado chunks, sliced radish, and cilantro.

 

Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken

Four boneless skinless chicken breasts (You could also do boneless skinless chicken thighs)
One jar salsa (Use your favorite brand)
1/3 cup chicken stock
Two tablespoons taco seasoning (Again use your go-to brand or make your own.)
Two teaspoons ancho chili powder

Add the stock and chicken into the bottom of your electric pressure cooker. Now season the chicken with seasonings before topping with salsa. Set your timer to 15 minutes and allow to cook. Once the pressure has released remove chicken to a large bowl and shred using two forks until entirely shredded.

You can add extra sauce out of the pot to your liking.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Mini Chicken Parmesan Style Burgers

Mini Chicken Parmesan Style Burgers. These quick pan-fried mini chicken burgers are a simply flavored spin on chicken parmesan. But In handheld form! Perfect for your next gathering or game night. Chicken parmesan is one of my family’s favorite meals for me to prepare. So I loved creating this fun and delicious spin on a classic. Ground chicken is mixed with some simple seasonings, fresh basil and pan-fried until cooked through before topping it with fresh mozzarella, more basil and a slathering of marinara sauce. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,
Xo- Ayesha

 

Mini Chicken Parmesan Style Burgers

Mini Chicken Parmesan Style Burgers

1lb ground chicken (ground chicken thighs pack a lot of flavors.)
Two tablespoons fresh chopped basil. Plus more for topping.
One tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mozerella ball, sliced.
Marinara sauce, for topping. (Store-bought!)
Buns for serving.

In a large bowl add in ground chicken. Toss in seasoning, chopped basil and gently mix. I like to use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop out even sized burgers and form shape.

Tip- You can moisten your hands before forming burgers. It will help keep the burger from sticking to your hands.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add in chicken burgers and allow to cook 4-5 minutes per side until each side has browned and is cooked through.

Assemble burgers by placing on the bottom of bun and topping with mozzarella, basil., and marinara, Serve immediately.

Tip- Toast your buns. You

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus. Hey guys! Here is an effortless and flavorful way to create a side dish. I love to add a little white wine to boost any traditional vegetable into an aromatic and delicious side dish. Cooking with wine is a great way to add a little flavor to your next meal. Whether you’re deglazing a pan or sauteing with it. The alcohol cooks out as your dish cooks. And using wines that you drink in your dishes versus using “cooking wine” is always the best choice. That way you know what your cooking with already tastes good. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have a glass while you cook! Serve this alongside your next main dish or even as your main dish. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus

 

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus

16oz. Sliced mushrooms
1lb Asparagus, trimmed and sliced.
1 cup white wine (your choice)
Three cloves garlic, minced.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add in mushroom, asparagus, and garlic. Pour in white wine and stir frequently. Cook for 10-12 minutes until tender and wine has cooked down. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Jamaican Style Beef Stew

Jamaican Style Beef Stew. Hey everyone! Now let’s take it back with this quick and easy to make beef stew. Now I gotta say I’m in love with my “Instant Pot”! Not only is it incredibly convenient for this working mama but it takes some of the most time-consuming meals and cooks them in no time. I decided to make a spin on a beef stew with some of my favorite Jamaican ingredients. By using Jerk seasoning and curry powder which are always staples in my pantry. They pack a powerful punch and always give me that nostalgic taste I crave. Along with some coconut milk, scotch bonnet (habanero pepper most places) and ginger.

The stew meat turns out incredibly tender after just 20-25 minutes in the electric pressure cooker. Now anyone who has used a pressure cooker before knows that they can be incredibly intimidating and scary. But this makes it so easy. If you don’t have one just add all of the ingredients into a covered baking dish and do it the low and slow way. But I love that with an electric pressure cooker you can throw it all in and go and before you know it you have tender beef, carrots, and potatoes in a flavorful gravy. Yum!

Enjoy,
Xo- Ayesha

Jamaican Style Beef Stew

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
One tablespoon olive oil
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
One large onion, roughly chopped.
4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced.
1 pound potatoes, cubed.
Two garlic cloves, minced.
1-inch ginger, peeled.
1 cup beef broth
One can coconut milk
Two bay leaves
One sprig thyme
2 tablespoons jerk seasoning
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste. (About one teaspoon each)

Set your instant pot to saute and once it blinks “Hot” add in your olive oil.

In a large bowl coat your beef in flour and seasonings.

Add garlic and seasoned meat into the instant pot and brown for about 2-3  minutes. Deglaze the pan by adding in broth. Making sure you scrape all of the bits and pieces off the bottom of the pan (So much flavor in that!). And add coconut milk and stir well. Now toss in your onion, carrot, potato, thyme, and ginger to the instant pot.

Make sure the lid and steam valve on the instant pot are closed.

Cook on pressure cooker function for 20 minutes then allow to sit for 10 minutes until it has released the pressure. If not thickened to your liking see the slurry note below.

* You can make a slurry to thicken your broth by adding 1/4 cup of the hot broth with 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a small bowl. Now stir into the stew for thickening.

Enjoy!

Delicious Beet And Ginger Juice

Delicious Beet And Ginger Juice. Hey everyone. It’s holiday time! And I am so ready to celebrate the reason for the season with my family and friends. Today I wanted to share this juice recipe that will be the perfect go-to for those busy mornings. And with last minutes gifts to buy, holiday parties to attend and family coming into town it couldn’t come at a better time. Juicing is a great way to pack in your fruits and vegetables. And beets add not only color and flavor but are high in antioxidants and a great anti-inflammatory. I combined it with sweet apples, carrots, and ginger. Chock full of goodness! I hope that you enjoy this easy to make refreshingly earthy and sweet juice.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Beet And Ginger Juice

Beet And Ginger Juice

One large beet, cleaned and trimmed.
Two medium-sized apples, cored. (I like to leave the skin on.)
Two medium carrots, peeled.
1/2 lemon
1-inch ginger, peeled.

 

Follow instructions for your juicer and juice beets, apple, carrot, ginger, and lemon. You can serve immediately.

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce With Hidden Vegetables

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce With Hidden vegetables. Hey everyone! So excited to share this recipe with you. Did you know that sauces are a great way to serve vegetables to your family? Now while my kids happen to love any type of vegetable, I know that not every parent has it this easy. So this is my spin on a regular pasta sauce that is chock full of whatever vegetables and herbs you may have on hand. It’s blended until smooth or left chunky depending on your picky eaters. Then combined with some nutty, creamy fontina cheese, browned meat, and your favorite pasta. The perfect way to feed your family and get them to eat their veggies. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce With Hidden Vegetables

 

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce With Hidden Vegetables

Two tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped.
Two cloves garlic, finely chopped.
2 cups kale
One tablespoon tomato paste
1- 13.5 ounce can whole tomatoes.
Handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped.
1 cups eggplant, chopped. (I had fairy tale eggplant on hand.)
Two teaspoons dark brown sugar (Cuts the acidity.)
One teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces fontina cheese
1 pound cooked ground meat (I used ground lamb)
1 point pasta of choice ( I used rigatoni)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

Add in eggplant and kale and saute for another 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, whole tomatoes, sugar, and thyme. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes.

You can choose to leave this sauce chunky or use a food processor, hand mixer or blender to puree the vegetables (hide them).

Add in fontina cheese to the hot sauce and allow to melt. Before topping with chopped parsley.

You can add your favorite browned meat to this sauce and serve over pasta.

Delicious!