While I know I haven’t been great about posting this month I can assure you that I have been cooking up a storm. I’ve been busy testing out a crazy amount of recipes so that I can bring you a few of my recent favorites. Today I present to you my favorite appetizer, entrée, and dessert! Whether you decide to test them out individually or all together for one fantastic meal I think you’ll enjoy them very much.
Appetizer: Healthy Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip
This recipe is a healthy take on 7 layer dip. I like it as a filling snack or as a light appetizer before an entrée. Would also make for a great party dish.
- 8 oz. hummus
- 1 tomato, diced
- ½ cup diced cucumber
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 2 canned artichoke hearts, chopped
- 2 roasted red peppers (4 halves), diced
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
- Kalamata olives, chopped (optional), for garnish
- In an 8- by 8- square serving dish, spread the hummus evenly on the bottom. Layer the tomatoes and cucumber over top.
- Dollop the yogurt over the vegetables, then gently spread with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the yogurt with salt and paprika.
- On top of the yogurt, layer the artichoke heart, roasted red peppers and feta cheese. Sprinkle the parsley over top and garnish with olives.
- Serve with fresh vegetables, pita chips or crackers.
Entrée: Honey Balsamic Chicken with Veggies (From Tip Hero)
I was scrolling my Facebook feed the other day when I noticed a friend shared this dish from Tip Hero. I’m always looking for ways to get creative with chicken dishes so this caught my eye. I kid you not this may be THE BEST DISH I’VE EVER MADE (thanks to Tip Hero)! The flavor of the sauce is out of this world. This will be a dish that I will make over and over again for years to come.
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds chicken breasts (4 each), trimmed
- 1½ pounds baby red potatoes, quartered
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
- In a medium bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, a tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Stir well to mix.
- Place the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the top. Seal and toss the chicken to evenly coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken marinates, place the potatoes and cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and toss the green beans with the potatoes and tomatoes.
- Remove the marinated chicken breasts from the plastic bag, reserving the remaining marinade in the bag. Place the marinated chicken, evenly spaced, on top of the vegetables. Pour the marinade from the bag over the top of the chicken and vegetables.
Dessert: Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (From Texanerian)
Dessert is my main jam and there’s nothing I love more than a ooey gooey brownie. I love making low guilt versions of these treats and fellow blogger, Texanerian had just the recipe I was dreaming of! Adding zucchini to my brownies is a great way to sneak in some veggies and still enjoy a fulfilling dessert. I took these bad boys to my coworkes who genuinely seemed to enjoy them. I even had multiple requests for the recipe.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar or unrefined sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour or whole spelt flour or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (45 grams) coco powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (about 300 – 320 grams) peeled and grated zucchini
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line an 8″x8″ pan with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar, and apple sauce and let this sit for 5 minutes to let the coconut sugar dissolve.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder (sifted if lumpy!), baking soda and salt. Make sure there are no clumps before going on to the next step.
- Add the dry mix to the wet, gently stir until combined. Be sure not to over mix!
- Then fold in the zucchini and 1 cup chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan and even the surface with a spatula.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (14 minutes for the half batch) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle doesn’t come out gooey. It might still be sticky – just not have raw batter on it.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to one week in the refrigerator. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator right from the beginning due to their high moisture content.
There you have it: a meal sure to impress anyone that won’t hurt your waistline. Now I’m off to the grocery store and ready to get back to my test kitchen! Happy weekend to all of you!