White Bean and Spinach Soup with Brown Rice.

For as much as I love food, I really struggle when it comes to lunch time.  Most days, I end up either dining out or ordering in and if not, I’m just eating slices of deli meat out of the fridge (who has time to make a sandwich?!).  So naturally, I was pretty stoked for the lunch themed swap.

I put the Baby Burrito (who turned ONE yesterday, holy cow that was a quick year!) down for a nap while the Fruitaholic watched a movie and spent a bit of quality time in the kitchen.  A big pot of soup is pretty darn genius when it comes to lunch food – Cook once, eat all week!

Bonus?  This soup is not only super healthy, it’s also super filling. With a slice of bread, it’s the perfect meal for a chilly fall day.

White Bean and Spinach Soup with Brown Rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. Can White Beans (such as Great Northern), drained and rinsed
  • 3-4 Leaves Fresh Basil, chopped
  • Pinch of Dried Thyme
  • 6 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 15 oz. Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Rind Parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Rice, uncooked
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 16 oz. Bag Baby Spinach, chopped

Instructions

Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onions and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in the beans, basil and thyme.

Add the broth, tomato sauce and salt and pepper. If using, add the parmesan cheese rind. Simmer 10 minutes.

Add the rice to the pot, cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the rice has cooked through, add the spinach and stir until wilted. If using, remove the parmesan rind.

http://www.thejeyofcooking.com/white-bean-and-spinach-soup-with-brown-rice/

Spinach and Chickpeas.

Two posts in a row, WHAAAA?

I had a few readers ask about the side that was pictured in the Greek Yogurt Chicken post so I figured I’d get it up on the blog ASAP rather than let it sit in my ‘to be blogged’ folder with the many, many recipes I’ll hopefully one day get around to putting up here.

So, this post will be just like the dish – quick and easy.  It takes less than 20 minutes to prepare (easily made while the chicken is in the oven), uses minimal ingredients and is pretty darn tasty to boot.  Oh, and it’s super healthy too.

Spinach and Chickpeas.

Adapted from Clean Eating

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. Olive Oil
  • 18 oz. Spinach
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 15 oz. Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. Dry Whole-Wheat Panko
  • 1/2 tsp. Sweet Paprika (I used Smoked Paprika)
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar

Instructions

Heat a large skillet over medium-high.

Combine the chickpeas, panko, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and stir until coated. Add the chickpea mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are slightly toasted, about 4-5 minutes. Return the chickpeas to the bowl.

Set the skillet back over the burner and heat the oil. Add the spinach and garlic and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the chickpea mixture back to the skillet and cook until the beans are heated, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar.

http://www.thejeyofcooking.com/spinach-and-chickpeas/

Greek Yogurt Chicken.

So it seems as though lately I’ve only been posting whenever there’s a swap.  I’m trying to fix that, honestly.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but there just aren’t enough minutes in the day.  The Fruitaholic is back at school and taking a few extracurriculars on the side, the Baby Burrito is enrolled in a class while he’s at school and I’ve been trying extra hard to make it to the gym 3-4 times per week.  I feel like I spend my entire life shuttling kids around and by the end of the day, I just want to curl up in a ball.

We’ve started on a clean/healthy eating kick and when I saw this recipe, I knew it would be a winner.  The yogurt topping was tangy and kept the chicken really juicy whilst baking.  And even though the broiler and I have had our fair share of issues in the past, letting the chicken sit underneath the flame until just brown and a bit crispy added a lovely finish to the dish.  The best part is that all of the ingredients are ones we keep stocked so we’ll be adding this meal to our repertoire for sure!

Greek Yogurt Chicken.

As seen on Cooking With LT

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breast Cutlets
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Seasoned Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine the yogurt, cheese and seasonings in a small bowl and stir until well mixed.

Place the chicken in a greased baking dish and top with the yogurt mixture. Use the back of a spoon to spread the sauce evenly over the chicken.

Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 35-40 minutes.

If desired and keeping a watchful eye, place the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes until browned and crispy.

http://www.thejeyofcooking.com/greek-yogurt-chicken/

Veggie and Feta Pasta Salad.

When the Fruitaholic was born, I was the only one amongst my friends who had a baby.  Friendships tend to change with various life events so when he was four months old, I joined a stay at home moms group.  It was the one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Having a baby can be incredibly isolating and I was extremely grateful to find a group of other new moms with similarly aged babies.  I’ve remained friendly with most of those women and it’s been an amazing journey watching all of the children grow.

So when the Baby Burrito came along, I did the same thing.  Because the babies were all born in the Fall/Winter, we met at a bakery each week to chat over coffee.  Once Spring rolled around, we took advantage of the nicer weather and started taking our outings to the local farmers market.  You can find us there every Wednesday morning.

What does any of this have to do with pasta salad, you ask?  Well, all of the main components of this swap recipe came from ingredients purchased from the market *and* served to those mamas at our very first “Moms Night In” where we ate lots of tasty food and drank waaaaaay too much wine.  It was a fabulous night.

I loved the Greek flavors of this pasta salad.  They were even better the next day!

Veggie and Feta Pasta Salad.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Lb. Pasta
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, quartered and diced
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
  • For the Dressing!
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed or pressed
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. White Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake the colander to remove as much excess water as possible.

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until emulsified. Pour over the pasta mixture and mix to evenly distribute the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

http://www.thejeyofcooking.com/veggie-and-feta-pasta-salad/