Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables. Happy Friday everyone! Here is a quick recipe to serve alongside your main dish this weekend. And this side dish (Or main if that’s your preference) can be put together in a flash! Deliciously seasoned and roasted vegetables are coated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup before being roasted to perfection! But please don’t overcook it. Always set a timer to avoid mishaps in the kitchen. (You can also use your oven or microwave timer) It is a lifesaver/food saver! Nothing smells worse than overcooked broccoli! Maple and balsamic give this dish a sweet and sour flavor. This is seriously the easiest, simplest, and the BEST way to roast your vegetables.

Enjoy

Xo- Ayesha

 

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

2 cups broccoli florets

One zucchini, sliced and quartered.

One yellow squash, sliced and quartered.

One orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped.

One yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped.

One small red onion, peeled and cut.

Two tablespoons olive oil

Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional.

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl add chopped vegetables.

In a small bowl mix balsamic, maple, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.

Season the vegetables with spices and salt and pepper to taste. Add vinegar mixture and gently toss to coat.

Lay evenly on a non-stick baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup. Who doesn’t love a warm and comforting bowl of soup on a chilly day? (Or any day in my case) This soup is incredibly easy to throw together. You can easily omit the curry if your not a fan of that flavor. The rich and sweet flavor of the butternut squash is infused with cream, garlic, onion, brown sugar and curry! Just the right balance. A warm filling and flavorful soup that’s perfect for fall and winter. What is your favorite way to cook butternut squash? Leave a comment below.

Enjoy

Xo- Ayesha

 

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

One tablespoon olive oil
One small white onion, sliced
Two garlic cloves, minced
One butternut squash, 6 cups cubed. (Feel free to use the pre-cubed packaged fresh squash)
2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (Can substitute half and half or coconut milk)
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch cinnamon
2 Tablespoons creme fraiche, plus more for serving. (greek yogurt can be substituted)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pepitas (Optional)

*Tip* You can also freeze this for up to a month!

 

Heat oil in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat.

Once the pan is hot add onion and garlic, cook until the onion is softened about 2-3 minutes.

Add in your butternut squash. Stir well and add in seasonings along with a pinch of salt and pepper. You can season some more at the end.

Add in your cream, stock, and sugar. Stir well.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Or until your squash is fork tender.

Carefully transfer your soup to a blender. You can also use an immersion blender straight in the pot.

Add in two tablespoons of creme fraiche. Puree until smooth.

Return to pot and adjust your seasonings. Continue to cook over low heat for another 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with your desired garnishes!

 

Panzanella Salad

Throwback Thursday! With my end of summer Panzanella Salad. What better way to use produce than to make a Panzanella salad. Which is a traditional Italian “bread salad.” Crispy croutons made from toasted baguette cubes along with fresh, crunchy veggies bring this powerhouse salad together. Drizzle with a little dijon vinaigrette love, and you can’t go wrong. Gardening is such a joy to my family and me. Nothing beats growing something with your own hands and watching it flourish. We’ve created so many delicious recipes using various tomato plants, cucumber, zucchini, and watermelon.

Along with so many amazing fresh herbs. Start your own garden! It’s a fantastic way to get the kids involved too. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Panzanella Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
1 long baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
One orange bell pepper, seeded and cubed
One red bell pepper, seeded and cubed
One English cucumber halved and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons capers

For the vinaigrette:

1 clove finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.

Spread cubes of bread onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Baked in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden all around. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, mix tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss well.

Serve immediately, or allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 25-30 minutes. (The longer it sits the better it gets!)

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta. Heres another quick and flavorful meal to make when you are short on time. And as a busy mom of three, I am always looking for a recipe that can be put together in a flash. I made this for my family this week, and it was a hit.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta

1lb pasta, spaghetti.
1lb peeled, deveined shrimp
Three tablespoons olive oil
One clove garlic, minced.
1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped. (about a handful)
One tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 stick salted butter (I always buy grass-fed)
1/2 cup white wine (plus more for drinking!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl add shrimp and season with lemon pepper seasoning before carefully tossing to coat.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Add in garlic and butter and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan by adding in the white wine. Making sure to get any bits off the bottom of the pan. (That’s flavor!) Season with pepper and add in chopped parsley. Remove from heat. Now add the cooked shrimp mixture to the cooked pasta and top with parmesan. Gently toss to coat. You can add in reserved pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce. Serve hot and garnished with extra parsley and parmesan is desired. Enjoy!

*Tip* reserve about 1 cup of pasta water to stretch the sauce if needed!

 

Fig And Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets. Hey everyone! Now I’m always on the hunt for a new and exciting approach to cooking salmon. And this dish is so darn flavorful and pairs one of my favorite proteins with FIGS! I’m a colossal fig lover, naturally, since I live in California where most of the nation’s fresh figs are grown. Their subtly sweet creamy and seedy texture makes them great for both sweet and savory dishes. And the combination of sticky figs and orange is a winner in this recipe. A great sauce that adds the perfect amount of tangy and sweetness to the salmon. Are any of you fig lovers? Share in the comments below. Have a great week!

Xo- Ayesha

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

 

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Ingredients:

12-16 ounce salmon fillet, cut into four pieces.
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Orange Fig Sauce:

1 cup California figs, stems removed and halved.
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut stems from figs and cut into quarters. Place figs, orange juice, balsamic, and mint in a small pot. Bring to a boil and allow the sauce to reduce about 15-20 minutes. Once your figs have reduced and softened remove from heat.

In a blender add in hot fig mixture along with honey, dijon, and salt. Blend at low speed until well combined. It will be thick! But will melt wonderfully over the hot fish.

Drizzle your salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon, skin side down on a lined baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and flaky, about 12 to 15 minutes. Brush sauce liberally over salmon and serve with steamed rice.

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Wraps

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Wraps. I’m craving something spicy and sweet! And this shrimp wrap hits the spot. Spicy and decadent wrapped in crisp lettuce and topped with some crunchy toppings like jicama, onion, and mango. Mango is always a staple in my household. And the sriracha honey is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. You can easily modify this and grill the shrimp instead of pan frying it and serve family style with all the fixings. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo-Ayesha

Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Wraps

1lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed.
One tablespoon butter (unsalted preferably)
One tablespoon olive oil
One tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
One tablespoon sriracha
One tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 jicama, cut into matchsticks.
One mango pitted and cubed.
Cilantro, for serving.
1/2 red onion, peeled and diced.
Butter lettuce leaves for serving

Mix honey and sriracha together in a small bowl.

Season your shrimp with spices and sriracha honey mixture in a large bowl and set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.

Add the seasoned shrimp to the pan. Cook for until golden brown and opaque throughout, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and remove from heat.

Serve the shrimp in lettuce leaves and top with desired accompaniments!

Turkey Sloppy Joe- A Spin On A Childhood Favorite

Turkey Sloppy Joe. Sure to be of your next family dinner favorites! Sloppy joes are one of those comfort foods that you grew up eating, but probably don’t admit to actually liking as an adult! Barbecue like sandwiches that consist of sauce and ground beef or as my mom says “Minced meat.” The can of sauce has sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and other not so healthy items but let’s be honest when you were a kid who cared? This is a healthier spin on your classic sloppy joe but still has that delicious sweet and tangy flavor we all love. I mean whats not to like about a meal that combines a hearty meat mixture nestled inside a bun and is oh so SLOPPY!

Here I made this with lean turkey meat and most ingredients you probably already have on hand like onion and bell pepper. What makes these healthy? Well first off, they’re a bit leaner thanks to lean ground turkey, but they are also lower in sugar thanks to a homemade sauce that’s been toned down. That’s the best part about cooking from scratch. You control what goes into your food and how much you use. You still get to make those childhood favorites but in a healthier way. I hope you enjoy it.

Let’s get sloppy!

Xo- Ayesha

 

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! (My kids layer the cucumber inside of their sandwiches.)

Enjoy!

Morning Roasted Pear Oatmeal

Morning Roasted Pear Oatmeal

Now I am always looking for ways to spruce up our household favorites. So I wanted to share with you a quick and flavorful take on an oatmeal recipe that the adults and kids will like this coming weekend. I pair Irish cut steel oats with a little cream and brown sugar and roasted pears. The house will smell like the holidays all over again as you roast your pears away! For the kids, I sometimes just take the roasted pear and just pour the yummy oatmeal over top. It’s like a pear bowl. The kids will love it. It truly amazes me all the things you can add and mix in to truly transform a plain old bowl of oatmeal. I hope that this becomes a new household favorite.

Xo- Ayesha

Morning Roasted Pear Oatmeal

3 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
One tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch sea salt

Add cinnamon and oats into a pot and bring water to a boil. Stir well and cover. Adjust heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Do not overcook! Remove from heat and add butter, sugar, cream, and pinch of salt. Top with roasted pears and a drizzle of pear juice from the pan. Serve immediately.

Roasted Pears

Three pears, cut into halves.
Two tablespoons butter, melted.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Quarter and core the pears. (Use a melon scooper or small spoon.)

Place pear halves in baking dish. Brush pears liberally with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture on top evenly.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Allow to cool and transfer to a cutting board. (Reserving sauce in pan)

With or without skin on chop into cubes.

Serve over top of oatmeal.

Enjoy!

A Deliciously Simple Pasta With A Fancy Name “Cacio e Pepe”

A Deliciously Simple Pasta With A Fancy Name. “Cacio e Pepe” is a classic dish that utilizes simple ingredients and turns them into something so delicious. A Roman dish that means “cheese and pepper.” It’s tossed with olive oil, cracked black pepper, butter and grated cheese. Here I threw some sauteed mushrooms over the top but that’s entirely up to you. Traditionally the recipe wouldn’t call for that. I’m all for adding extra flavor. A meal that is perfect for a late night craving or when my kids want something quick to eat. They can handle the peppery taste and my kids really LOVE pasta of any kind! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Oops almost forgot my mushrooms!!

Cacio e Pepe Pasta (Cheese and Pepper)

1/2 pound pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted.
3/4 cup Pecorino-romano cheese, grated.
3/4 cup Parmigiano-regiano cheese, grated.
Coarse ground black pepper (About 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons)
Kosher salt to taste
Sauteed sliced mushrooms. (optional)

In a large pot bring water and bring to a boil. Salt your water with about one tablespoon of salt. Add in pasta and cook according to the cooking time on the box. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid (water) from the pot and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil and black pepper. Heat until the pepper begins to sizzle. Add in 2-3 tablespoons of water along with butter and stir well. Transfer hot pasta into the pan and coat with pepper mixture.

Add in cheese and toss until all of the pasta has been coated and doesn’t stick. Season to taste and serve.

I added some sautéed mushrooms over the top of mine. They were just baby portabello mushrooms that were sauteed in butter with a little salt.

**Make sure you serve with the option of extra black pepper and cheese if wanted.**

Simple Turkey Chili

Happy Friday! Heres a simple to make “Turkey Chili” that will jumpstart your weekend. This recipe is full of fresh vegetables, lean turkey and full of flavor! Can you believe that the end of winter is approaching us? Which means locking up most of our hot winter meal recipes in a box until next season. I personally could eat chili or soup year round. It’s such a comforting meal to have any time of the year.

With very little preparation you just have to smell and wait while it out as it simmers away. Ground turkey is also low in sodium and a very lean meat to cook. I add in three types of beans and some crushed tomatoes. I also like to put out toppings such as cheese, sour cream, corn chips (Don’t knock it till you try it!), and even my jalapeño cornbread croutons and everyone just serves themselves. Perfect meal to end the work week. Whats your favorite version of chili? Share in the comments below.

Xo- Ayesha

Simple Turkey Chili:

Two tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup chicken stock
One 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained.
One 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained.
One 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
One red bell pepper, diced.
One white onion, diced.
Two garlic cloves, minced.
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt. (you can use more to your taste.)
1 bay leaf

For serving: (optional)

Shredded cheese (I prefer cheddar)
Sour cream
Corn chips or jalapeno cornbread croutons

Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Now season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add in the turkey and seasonings making sure to break into small pieces. Cook until no longer pink and cooked through.

Add beans, stock, and tomatoes, reduce heat to low. Allow it to simmer for about 25-30 minutes until the flavors have developed. Discard bay leaf before serving.

This dish pairs well with my Jalapeno cornbread croutons. Click the link for the recipe.

Enjoy!

Wedge Salad Skewers

Hey everyone! Heres, another crowd pleaser that will be sure to impress. Wedge salad on a skewers with crisp iceberg lettuce, bacon, and tomato. Topped with a blue cheese dressing, red onion, and a balsamic drizzle. Simple and delicious! I dare you to try this recipe with my brown sugar bacon. You can find the recipe in my cookbook “The seasoned life.” This is a slight twist on a classic steakhouse wedge salad. I’m guilty of probably ordering a wedge salad anytime we go to a steakhouse. Just don’t forget my red onion! I love that for something so simple it packs a lot of flavors. And the tangy and easy to make blue cheese dressing is the perfect complement to this salad. Does anyone love a wedge salad as much as me? Leave a comment below.

Enjoy,

Xo-Ayesha

 

 

 

Wedge Salad skewers

6-8 slices cooked bacon, cut into quarters.
1-pint cherry tomatoes
Head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters.
One red onion, finely diced.
Blue Cheese Dressing recipe (recipe below)
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled.
Balsamic glaze, optional.

Remove outer layer of lettuce head and the stem. Slice lettuce into quarters and slice into bite-sized wedges to fit on the skewer. Assemble the skewers by layering lettuce, bacon, and tomato.

Drizzle creamy dressing on top of the skewers. Top with diced red onion and gorgonzola cheese crumbles. Drizzle with a little balsamic glaze and enjoy!

Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
One tablespoon red wine vinegar
One tablespoon sugar
Dash of Worcestershire
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste. (I used about a teaspoon each)
1/3 cup blue cheese (I prefer a creamy Danish cheese)

Simply place everything but the blue cheese in a mason jar or bowl and combine thoroughly. Add your crumbled blue cheese and carefully mix. You want it to be chunky! If you like your dressing to be thinner just add more milk.

Jalapeno Cornbread Croutons

Happy Monday everyone! Today I wanted to share a basic cornbread recipe that transforms into a delicious topping for your next favorite soup, salad and more. Jalapeno cornbread croutons! I just throw a little jalapeño into the cornbread mixture a little heat. But you can omit that step if you are not a fan of it. You can even make your cornbread a couple of days ahead of time. Its then cubed and baked off until crisp croutons are created. Crispy and buttery with a touch of heat. An irresistible combination. The croutons while crisp on the outside are nice and chewy inside. I’ve used these to top Caesar salads, chowders and of course my game day chili! what do you like to eat with cornbread? Share below.

Enjoy,

Xo-Ayesha

Jalapeno Cornbread Croutons

2 cups jalapeno cornbread, cubed.
2 Tablespoons butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add croutons to a large bowl.

Drizzle with butter and toss.

On a large rimmed baking sheet evenly distribute croutons.

Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Serve warm over soup, salad, or chili.

Basic Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
One tablespoon baking powder
One teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
One large egg, lightly beaten.
One tablespoon jalapeno, finely diced. (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl combine all of your dry ingredients and mix well.

In a small bowl add milk, oil, egg and mix well.

Add wet mixture to dry and combine well. You can now add your jalapeño if you choose to.

Pour into a buttered pan or cast iron skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until pick comes out clean.