Summer Zucchini Minestrone


This easy soup recipe is the perfect way to incorporate fresh local veggies during the summer season.
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Ingredients:

  • 28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 4-5 small zucchinis, diced
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 large vidalia onion
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 3 fresh cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups of organic spinach
  • 1.5 teaspoons of organic chicken soup base
  • 3-4 cups of filtered water
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of organic cannellini beans

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Steps:

  1. Start by taking a medium sized sauce pan and coat the bottom with olive oil, turn heat on medium and add the onions, basil and parsley stirring frequently for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes (if they are whole cut them into bite sized pieces first), beans, water, salt and pepper and the soup base.
  3. Cover the pan and let simmer over medium to low heat for 30-35 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parmesan and red chili flakes.

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Avocado Toast


My husband always orders this at a local breakfast place we go to and I decided to replicate it at home. What I love about the flavors in this dish is the sea salt and fresh lemon. It’s so simple to make and keeps you full for so long. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 eggs over easy or poached
  • Olive oil spray (to coat the pan)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 small lemon
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of your favorite oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1 slice of your favorite multi grain bread
  • 1 small tomato sliced (optional)

Steps:

  1. Start by dicing the avocado and place into a bowl, add the oil, sea salt (to taste) and a little bit of fresh squeezed lemon and mash until you have received guacamole like texture.
  2. Toast the bread.
  3. Take a medium sized skillet and coat with olive oil spray. Cook the eggs to your liking.
  4. Smear the avocado onto the bread, place the tomatoes (if you’re using) on top of the avocado and finally the eggs. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with fresh lemon. NOM! IMG_0962

Sunny side eggs over arugula


I really like incorporating greens into my breakfast. This dish is so simple but there’s something that feels really gourmet about it. The flavors are fresh and distinguished and it’s  just delicious! This would also be great for lunch and a light dinner too.

Ingredients:

  • Farm fresh organic eggs (however many you want)
  • Avocado oil (to drizzle)
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I like pink Himalayan salt)
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese (to sprinkle)
  • Olive oil spray (to coat the pan)
  • Arugula (desired amount)
  • Grape tomatoes (desired amount)
  • Green onions (desired amount)
  • 1 tsp pesto

Steps:

  1. Start by taking a medium sized pan and coat with olive oil spray over medium heat. After the pan has warmed up add the eggs.
  2. While the eggs are cooking take the desired amount of arugula onto a plate. Drizzle with avocado oil, lemon and parmesan cheese.
  3. In the same pan the eggs are cooking add the green onions and tomatoes and let cook for 3-5 minutes to bring out their flavor. Cook your eggs to your desired consistency and place over the arugula.
  4. Top with the tomatoes, green onions, salt and pepper and pesto. I happened to have homemade pesto in my fridge but you can buy any store brand for this. Enjoy! image

Panko crusted halibut


When I was home over the holidays I wanted to treat my family to a yummy home cooked meal. Naturally I went to Wegman’s because I miss not having one nearby now that I live in Florida. The halibut that I got there was literally out of this world. My mom even said it was the best fish she had ever tasted! I don’t normally cook with butter, but I felt like since I was splurging on a beautiful piece of fish I had to indulge a little. I used Wegman’s lemon butter sauce, and it was so delicious. If you can’t find this product or something similar then just make your own by melting some butter, lemon, garlic powder and salt and pepper.

The sides are self explanatory I steamed some asparagus (I like to keep them crunchy) and drizzled some olive oil, lemon and fresh Parmesan cheese over it. For the mushrooms I used a tiny it of butter, pan seared some shallots and garlic and let them cook for about 5-7 minutes. This dish turned out amazing, restaurant quality for sure. It all came back to the quality of the fish, you’ll definitely want to make sure you find fresh fish for this recipe to turn out right.  If you can’t find halibut I just recently made this same recipe with Cobia and it was very similar to Halibut- white and flaky.  Ask your grocery store what they have available, here is a list on seafood that you may find helpful.

Ingredients:

  • Halibut (however much you need)
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggwhites
  • Lemon (as needed)
  • Lemon butter sauce (drizzle as needed)
  • 1 tsp butter

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take the fish out and rinse, pat dry and set aside.
  3. In a non-stick skillet warm up the butter over medium heat.
  4. While the butter is melting, dip the fish in the egg whites first and panko breadcrumbs second.
  5. Carefully place the fish on the skillet and let cook on each side for 3-5 minutes or until its golden. You can add more butter to the pan if necessary.
  6. Take a baking sheet and wrap with aluminum foil and smear some butter on it. Place the fish on the pan and take the lemon butter sauce and drizzle it on both sides. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Do not walk away from the fish keep your eye on it, when the color is a bright white it’s done. Serve with a fresh lemon wedge. fish

One Pot Veggie Penne Pasta


I have seen these one pot veggie pasta dishes on Pinterest for a while now and have been dying to try it out.  Most of them are inspired by Martha Stewart’s One Pot Meals cookbook. I was a little skeptical at first because I love sautéing my veggies, but I figured I would give this method a try. I just used the vegetables I had in my fridge. This recipe turned out delicious, my husband said it taste like a vodka penne which is good considering I didn’t use any cream- just cheese. I prefer my normal method of making veggie pasta, but this one pot pasta dish is tasty and easy so I would still recommend it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 1 organic zucchini -quartered
  • 12 oz grape tomatoes -quartered
  • 4 large basil leaves torn
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon -squeezed
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (I was out so I used a few cubes of this)
  • 12 oz of whole wheat penne
  • 4 cups of veggie broth (I had to drain a little out at the end)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red chili flakes to taste (if desired)

Steps:

1.) Add the penne, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, Parmesan cheese, veggie broth, onion, salt and pepper, chili flakes, garlic and lemon.

2.) Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat stirring frequently. Let cook for 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is tender. If all of the broth hasn’t evaporated then strain out the remainder.

3.) Add the mozzarella cheese and stir until melted, serve and enjoy! image

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Eggplant Parmesan


Eggplant Parmesan is hands down my favorite meal of all time. I love everything about it. I’m always hesitant to order it at a restaurant because it takes a lot of time and effort and you can definitely tell when people take shortcuts. For me it’s all about consistency. This recipe is a lot of work, about two hours in the kitchen, but the result is mouthwatering and totally worth it. I’ve seen recipes where people just bake it and skip the frying part, but I promise you it’s worth it to take the extra time to make this dish the right way. Eggplant is a very watery vegetable so it’s essential to get some of the water out, otherwise you end up with a yucky texture. I cut the eggplant and then dust it with ground sea salt, as you’ll see in the picture below the salt sucks the water out of the eggplant. imageAnother way to make your life easier while making this recipe is to set up a nice prep station. Get all of your ingredients out and ready to go and make sure you clean up after yourself as you go, otherwise it can be overwhelming. You will be multitasking, so establishing a clean functional prep space is clutch. I was thoroughly ecstatic about the way that this eggplant parm turned out and if you’re in the mood to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty (with breadcrumbs) I promise you it will be so worth it!

Ingredients:

Steps:

1.) Start by cutting the eggplant, lay the pieces out on and dust with sea salt- let them sit for at least 30 minutes or until you see the water come out.image2.) If you’re going to make homemade marinara follow this step, if not please skip to step 3. Drizzle some olive oil on a large skillet and turn the heat to medium. Add the halved onion, celery, bay leaves and garlic, fresh basil and parsley, dried Italian herbs and let cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes and simmer for at least an hour and half. When pouring the sauce on the eggplant just use the red sauce, avoid the onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves.image3.) Once the eggplant has been sitting for at least 30 minutes pat eggplant with paper towels to absorb the water. Set yourself up with a nice work area, take 5-6 eggs and whisk in a bowl. Take the Italian breadcrumbs, Italian panko breadcrumbs and flour all equal parts and mix together (you can use just breadcrumbs- I just find this mixture to result in the perfect consistency.) image4.) Dip the eggplant in the eggs and then coat in breadcrumbs (*Tip- after a while the breadcrumbs can get clumpy- I dump them out and make a new mixture about halfway through to ensure a nice even coat. It’s also helpful to do this right near the sink so you can rinse your hands off when you need to.) Spray the breaded eggplant with a light coat of olive oil spray on both sides.

5.) Get two skillets out and coat with vegetable over medium to high heat. Once the oil is warm add the eggplant. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the eggplant is golden brown and then flip and cook on the other side. Set the fried eggplant off to the side and repeat this step until all the eggplant has been fried. (*Tip- you will have to reuse the skillets since there will be a lot of eggplant. Run some water in on the skillet in between rounds and add new oil to keep the oil fresh.)imageimage6.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take your favorite pan and spray with olive oil, take the fried eggplant and put on the bottom of the pan. Add sauce (just enough on each layer to cover the eggplant,)  cheese (desired amount,) fresh basil and repeat until you get to the top of the pan! I had about 4-5 extra fried eggplants that I just set aside. imageimage7.) Cover the eggplant with aluminum foil and place in the lower rack and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover let rest for about 5 minutes and ENJOY the fruits of your labor.image image

Angel Hair Pesto Pasta with Sauteed Vegetables


I was craving a yummy pesto and started flipping through some of my favorite cookbooks. I was inspired by Vitamix kale and basil pesto recipe and the Oh She Glow’s avocado creamy pasta. I handed a bowl of this to my husband while he was on work phonecall and he blurted out “oh my god this is outstanding,” haha so I think it’s safe to say this dish was a home run! If you wanted to simplify this dish you could leave out the sauteed onions, squash and tomatoes, but I just love the color they add. Either way it will be delicious!

Ingredients:image

  • For the pesto: 1 avocado, 2 cups of spinach, 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 lemon squeezed, 1 tsp. sea salt, 3 cloves of fresh garlic, 3/4 cup of organic extra virgin olive oil, 2 cups of fresh basil, 3 tablespoons of pine nuts.
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 cup of organic grape tomatoes diced (sun-dried tomatoes would be a great alternative)
  • 1 organic medium yellow squash
  • 1 box of your favorite angel hair pasta (I tried this kind for the first time and absolutely LOVED it!)

Steps:

1.) Start by adding all of the ingredients for the pesto into a Vitamix or food processor. Blend for 30 seconds or until you’ve achieved desired consistency.

2.) Cook the pasta according to the package directions. It’s best to cook it al dente since you will be mixing it back into warm ingredients.

3.) Add a little bit of olive oil to a medium pan and turn on medium to high heat-add the diced onions and let caramelize for 5 minutes or so. Add the squash and tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.

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4.) Add the pasta (do not rinse with cold water, just strain) to the pan with the sauteed veggies. Add the pesto…you will not need all of it just pour and mix until achieve desired amount and save the rest for leftovers!imageimage

Easy Sweet Potato Dinner


After a gorgeous run on the beach and a quick dip in the water I was  famished. During the week I typically  don’t like my dinner to take more than 20-25 minutes to prepare. This meal has become a go to for my hubby and I. It’s so filling and nutritious, but you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself…which I am big on (otherwise I’ve been known to go off the deep end  and eat a large pizza to my face, but that’s another story.) The avocados are so delicious right now in Florida so I have been taking advantage of that! I took some shortcuts as you will notice below, in the interest of saving time. I also think this meal looks kind of festive for Halloween!0520

  • Four small ripe avocados
  • Four small sweet potatoes or two large (I made more for leftovers)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt-and-pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro paste (you can use fresh if you’d like)
  • 1 small lime
  • About a cup of light Mexican blend cheese
  • One can of organic black beans (rinsed)
  • One and a half cup fresh pico de gallo (fresh store bought or you can make your own)

Step one: Place the sweet potatoes in the microwave for 7 to 9 minutes depending on size (you can also cook them in the oven at 425 degrees until fork tender.)

Step two : Cut the avocado in half (dicing it makes it easier if it’s not completely ripe…see picture below), spoon into a bowl and mash, add the olive oil, cilantro paste, garlic powder, pepper  salt and lime juice. Mix well!

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Step three: Take the rinsed black beans and pico de gallo and place in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.

Step four: Turn your oven on broil. Take the sweet potatoes out of the microwave and cut them in half (see picture below) drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle cheese and place in the oven on broil until the cheese has melted.

sweet potatoStep five: Take the potatoes out of the oven and mash a little with spoon. Add beans and guacamole and enjoy!

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 🍴

xo,

               Taylor

P.S. -pictures from my run tonight!

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I’m back! Sun-dried Tortellini with Fresh Vegetables


After a whirlwind of a year, moving down to Florida and renovating a condo I am finally feeling settled in my new environment and have decided to start sharing my recipes again since it brings me a lot of joy! I made this sun-dried tortellini dish on Friday night and it’s what inspired me to start blogging again. Hope you enjoy 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of your favorite tortellini (I used this and it was AMAZING)
  • 8 small assorted sweet peppers diced
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red chili flakes to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Italian Herbs Paste (I LOVE this ingredient- you can buy it at almost any grocery store)

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Steps:

  1. Start by cooking the tortellini according to package directions.
  2. While the tortellini is cooking take a large skillet and add the olive oil and onions over medium to low heat. Let cook for about 3-5 minutes or until onions start to carmelize. Add the garlic and peppers, stir frequently and let cook for another 5-7 minutes or until it becomes tender.
  3. Add the lemon, salt and pepper, chili flakes and Italian herb paste into the pan.
  4. Once the tortellini is done, strain and add it to the other pan. Stir in the spinach until it wilts..sprinkle some fresh Parmesan cheese on if you desire-Bon Appétit!!

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Creamy Vegetable Curry


I made this recipe last week on a brisk fall day. I was craving something spicy and paired it with a fruitier red wine.  I took this recipe from the Oh She Glows cookbook, I have tried about 5 of her recipes now and I love how easy and delicious they are. I cannot believe that I have never made cashew cream before! The dish didn’t have dairy in it yet it was so creamy and rich. This will be a go to meal in our household from now on.ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 green chile or jalapeño, seeded, if desired, and diced (optional) #I used less than 1/2 tsp. of my chile because it was so hot
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, seeded ad chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mild yellow curry powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Basmati rice, for serving *I used organic frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s instead
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
  • Toasted cashews, for serving

Steps:

  1. In a blender, combine the cashews with 3/4 cup water and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir int he green chile (if using), potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, tomato, curry powder and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the cashew cream and corn. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet with a lid. Simmer, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Stir every 5 minutes throughout the cooking process. If the mixture starts to dry out, reduce the heat and add a splash of water or oil and stir to combine.
  4. Serve the curry over a bed of basmati rice and sprinkle with cilantro leaves and toasted cashews.

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