August 10, 2017

Whole Foods Cracklin' Cauliflower

Whole Foods opened up across the street from our neighborhood. Like, literally, across the street. It has been a long time coming and highly anticipated, so when they finally opened their doors, I went THREE times on the first day! The ever-changing salad bar is our bank account's downfall. Every day at noon it keeps calling my name, taunting me with quick, easy, and healthy options for lunch when I'm hangry.  

I always get a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a bigger receipt than I had hoped for. So, I decided that I would start making batches of these sides in my own kitchen so that I could enjoy them all week long without the guilt. You can purchase the Whole Foods Market Cookbook on Amazon!

First up, one of my absolute favorites, the Indian inspired Cracklin' Cauliflower! It's so good that I recommend making at least a double batch!

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February 20, 2017

NY Times Seared Brussels Sprouts

One of my favorite things to cook on my cast iron skillet is this simple seared brussels sprouts recipe from the NY Times. Using the cast-iron helps me achieve the charred affect, which is what really brings out the flavor of these brussels sprouts. So if you tend to burn things then this is definitely the recipe for you. These tend to disappear quickly so I make an extra large batch for a quick and healthy side during the week as they store well in the fridge and are easily reheated in the microwave. 

February 6, 2017

Flourless Brownie Muffins

Last Valentine's Day, Morgan made these healthy chocolaty brownie muffins from Beachbody for his classmates. After kids scarfed them down and parents found out they were made out of garbanzo beans, we had several requests for the recipe. These brownies are flourless so they are a great option for those following a gluten-free diet.

If you are looking for more veggie-hiding recipes check out these Avocado Fudgicles and Black Bean Brownie recipes.

February 4, 2017

Moe's Famous Queso (Copycat Recipe)

After my dad retired from over 40 years of paper mill management, he did a short stint working at Moe's Southwest Grill before he and my mom moved down here to Maryland. After working a shift, he would often bring home Moe's famous queso and heat up their fresh tortilla chips in the microwave. I started craving Moe's queso, this unique white cheese dip packed an addicting heat that I had never had at any other Mexican restaurant. I started searching the web looking for the best copycat recipe and found this Queso Blanco Dip recipe via Seeded at the Table. This is the closest replica I could find to Moe's queso, I think it's right on the money.

Here are my go-to recipes for guacamole and restaurant style salsa.

February 3, 2017

Aunt Peg's Wicked Good Cocktail Meatballs

These cocktail meatballs are like New England girls, they fit in at any type of gathering and they'll definitely impress your mom. So whether it's game day served in a crockpot or a more formal affair served on a toothpick, make a batch of these for a guaranteed crowd pleaser.


Got IKEA? Over the holidays I was pressed for time when I volunteered to cook breakfast and lunch for a Teacher Appreciation pot-luck at Morgan's school (it's his last year there so I went a little overboard) and also needed to bring an appetizer to a UMD holiday party later that night. Luckily we have an IKEA right down the street so I beelined it towards the marketplace section and grabbed a couple of bags of their famous meatballs. Genius! Using IKEA's pre-cooked meatballs tremendously cut down on my production time and cost. Not gonna lie, I was definitely nervous about using pre-made meatballs but they were a HUGE hit!

This recipe is so easy it doesn't even need a GNG recipe card!

1. Mix together a bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Rays Original) and one can of Ocean Spray's Whole Cranberry Sauce.

2. Place pre-cooked meatballs in crockpot.

3. Pour barbecue cranberry sauce over meatballs and give them a gentle stir.

4. If using frozen, pre-cooked meatballs, cook on high for at-least three hours and then turn to warm setting until ready to serve. If using freshly cooked meatballs simply turn crockpot on warm setting until heated through and ready to serve.

GNG Tip: Wanna add a little spice? Finely chop a Goya chipotle pepper with a smidge of its Adobo sauce and add it to the mix.

February 1, 2017

Greek Marinade for Grilled Chicken

This Greek Marinade for Grilled Chicken recipe via the Black Peppercorn is a meal planning must-have. I've used it many times for clients that are looking for healthy, quick, and easy make-ahead meals. When prepping meals for the week ahead, I marinate the chicken on Saturday nights, grill on Sundays, and then I have delicious ready to go chicken that can be served several ways for several days.