June 29, 2015

Meatless Monday: Mushroom Faux Dogs (aka Portobello Pups)

Meatless Monday Mushroom Faux Dogs
Happy Meatless Monday! And happy it's finally-summer-even-though-it-doesn't-feel-like-it-at-all! I'm excited to have an extra long weekend for the Fourth of July because my company is closed on Thursday AND Friday. Three day week for the win! 

I absolutely LOVE hot dogs in the summer (well, year round), especially on the Fourth so when I saw this amazing recipe for 'Portobello Pups' (how cute!) on Pinterest from Love & Lemons I stopped, dropped, and drooled. Marinated portobello mushrooms are grilled to smoky, tasty perfection and topped with a homemade salsa for pure deliciousness. I don't have a grill (yet! my new apartment has a 'grilling area'!) so we cooked the mushrooms in a cast iron skillet and it worked just as well, though the 'shrooms did lack the characteristically summer grill marks. 

I'm a mustard-topped hot dog purist, so obviously these pups were covered in the bright yellow stuff, but you can do ketchup if you're one of those folk...
Meatless Monday Mushroom Faux Dogs
Mushroom Faux Dogs
Recipe modified barely from Love & Lemons
Serves: 2 | Serving Size: 2 dogs | PointsPlus: 6
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced into 4 long slices
  • 4 light, whole wheat hot dog buns
  • Homemade salsa topping
    • 1/2 cup red onion
    • 1/2 cup chopped baby tomatoes
    • squeeze of lime
    • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
    • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Meatless Monday Mushroom Faux Dogs
  • In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic, and mustard and brush onto the portobello slices until they're coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large, cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook mushroom strips on each side, about 3-4 minutes until they are tender and juicy. Toast hot dog buns and place mushroom strips into the buns.
  • Combine red onion, tomatoes, lime juice, and jalapeno in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Top off each mushroom faux dog with lots of homemade salsa topping and mustard. 

Meatless Monday Mushroom Faux Dogs
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June 23, 2015

Spicy Chicken Tacos with Goat Cheese

Spicy chicken tacos with goat cheese

It's Taco Tuesday here at Hard Parade and I am SO excited to share these babies with you! I found this recipe on the Weight Watchers Pinterest account earlier in the year and it has ended up in my meal rotation quite a few times since. I mean, I love goat cheese on literally any and everything but its tangy, creaminess is especially delicious on top of these tacos. It plays really well with the spiciness of the chicken (and of course, extra added hot sauce). 

The chicken is quickly braised in a simmering tomato sauce, which makes it fall apart and full of flavor. Everything comes together in a soft taco shell (even though I am a hard shell kinda girl) and topped with crunchy slaw. I like to top all my tacos with snappy radishes, so I've added them to this recipe but they're totally optional, depending on your preference! 
Chicken tacos for Taco Tuesday, only 8pp for two
Spicy Chicken Tacos with Goat Cheese
Recipe modified just slightly from Weight Watchers
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 2 tacos | PointsPlus: 8
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 8 small corn tortillas, warmed (I hold them over the open stove flame and toast them up!)
  • 1 cup cabbage OR broccoli slaw (I like to use both!)
  • 4-oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup radishes, julienned (optional but highly recommended!)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges, hot sauce for serving
  • Combine tomato sauce, onion, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside
  • Coat a saucepan with cooking spray. Add chicken and brown about 2 minutes per side
  • Add tomato mixture to pan and pour in 1/4 cup water, or however much is needed to cover the chicken. Reduce heat to low, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 35 minutes. Remove chicken from tomato sauce and place on a plate to rest
  • Increase heat to high and cook sauce, stirring until sauce reduces and thickens, about 5 minutes
  • Meanwhile, shred the chicken then add to reduced sauce and heat through
  • To serve, top each tortilla with 1/2 cup chicken, slaw, radishes, 1 tbsp goat cheese,  and 1 tbsp cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime juice and hot sauce over the tortillas and eat up!
Spicy chicken tacos
Here's another version with broccoli slaw and pickled onions. YUMMMMM!

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June 22, 2015

Meatless Monday: Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Meatless Monday | Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Hi, friends! I'm back! I started a new job in the middle of May and it has been a little difficult getting back into a regular blogging schedule with all these new responsibilities and hours on my plate BUT I am back at it and am promising LOTS of tasty, easy to make meals in the days ahead. 

I really like this riff on traditional pasta salad because it loses the fatty mayo and dressings and subs in spicy arugula and tons of roasted vegetables to fill your belly. Top it all off with tangy goat cheese that melts into the warm noodles and I am in HEAVEN! You can mix in whatever vegetables you like, the more the better! As always, I added in several squirts of hot sauce to spice it up :) 

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad
Serves: 2 | Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups pasta, 2-oz. cheese | PointsPlus: 8
  • Assorted vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces
    • Asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, etc! 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 12-oz. whole wheat rotini or other short pasta
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 4-oz. goat cheese, softened
  • Preheat oven to 350f
  • Place vegetables on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until browned, at least 30 minutes
  • While vegetables are roasting, bring water to a boil and cook pasta as directed. Drain and set aside
  • Combine vegetables and pasta noodles in a large bowl. Mix in arugula and divide among two bowls
  • Top with goat cheese and more freshly cracked black pepper. Add hot sauce if an extra kick is desired! Serve immediately or chill for a more authentic 'pasta salad'
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June 1, 2015

Meatless Monday: Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches

Meatless Monday: Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
Meatless Monday: Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
My boyfriend is obsessed with caprese salads. If it's on the menu, he's ordering it. He loves mozzarella and could eat a ball of it like an apple. Anytime I find a healthy recipe that's a riff on a caprese, I add it to our meal list for the week because I know it'll be super tasty and a big hit at home.

I've been following Meatless Monday for over a year and a half now and I love finding new and creative ways to go meatless. I haven't gotten tired of it yet and it's no surprise I haven't when I can make tasty meals like these zucchini caprese sandwiches! 

I think you can substitute the zucchini for eggplant if you'd like. I have a love-hate relationship with zucchini to be honest (and with eggplant, too) so I'm still trying to figure out an alternative. My crazy sister doesn't like tomatoes but I don't know what you can substitute those with because they're the rock of this sandwich. Don't skimp on the tomats. Or the balsamic. I also used different rolls both times I made this (see the difference above) and both were equally delicious. 
Meatless Monday: Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
Recipe modified from Cooking Light
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 sandwich | PointsPlus: 9
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 medium zucchini, trimmed, and cut into long ribbons
  • 4 (2-oz.) ciabatta rolls, split and toasted
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 6-oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Preheat the oven broiler
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Arrange zucchini in the pan and cook on either side until slightly browned. Set aside
  • Split the ciabatta rolls in half and brush the cut sides with olive oil. Top evenly with zucchini, tomato, mozzarella, and basil. Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with the other half of bread
  • Place the sandwiches under the broiler and heat until slightly melty, making sure the basil doesn't burn
Meatless Monday: Zucchini Caprese Sandwiches
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