Shrimp Taco Salad

We love mixing up our protein options by incorporating fish and seafood into our menu planning. This salad is the perfect way to bring shrimp to your lunch table in under 30 minutes. Tajin is a Mexican seasoning blend of chili powder, lime and salt. We eat it on just about anything – fruit included! Using the tajin gives the salad a citrusy punch that is complimented by the yogurt and avocado crema salad dressing. We have intentionally made this salad to be on the lighter side, but if a salad just won’t cut it for your appetite, this recipe can easily be put in taco shells or tortillas and topped with cheddar or cotija cheese to bulk it up. For us, this is a perfect weekday lunch to have while working from home.

Shrimp Taco Salad

  • Servings: 2 lunch servings
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A lunch salad that is filled with flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes; a great recipe for a weekday lunch while working from home.

Shrimp Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs tajin

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 package (8 oz) coleslaw mix
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 single serving package (5.3oz) non-fat Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Season and cook the shrimp. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and tajin. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil and cook the shrimp fully through (about 3 minutes per side). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and 1/2 avocado and mix until the avocado is fully blended with the yogurt. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, tomatoes, beans and cooked shrimp. Toss with the yogurt/avocado dressing.
  4. Optional – if you want to make this dish more hearty, you can put the salad mix in a tortilla to make a wrap or serve as individual tacos.


Tortellini Minestrone

This recipe for minestrone soup has been in our winter rotation for almost a decade. Minestrone is something that we usually wouldn’t order at a restaurant because quite frankly, we are busy eating pasta and other Italian dishes we crave. We love to make this soup at home because we can pack it with vegetables and rich herby flavors. If we are watching our food choices, we usually make this soup with butternut squash. But to make it a little more kid friendly (and frankly more crowd pleasing for everyone) we have chosen to add tortellini. Who can say no to cheesy pasta being added to everything? The tortellini adds richness and decadence to the soup and makes it a favorite for everyone in the family.

Tortellini Minestrone

  • Servings: 4-6
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Our favorite recipe for minestrone, made kid friendly with cheesy tortellini!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 24 oz chicken stock
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 package pre-made cheese tortellini (about 16 oz)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • sliced basil, for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven soup pot over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic to the pot; saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and fragrant. Add the rosemary, thyme, and cannellini beans; sauté another 3-4 minutes or until the rosemary and thyme are fragrant.
  2. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the tortellini. Cover and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the tortellini is cooked through. Uncover and add the spinach to the pot. Stir it around and cook a few minutes for it to wilt.
  3. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in large bowls with a bit of grated parmesan cheese and some fresh basil.


Larb Lettuce Wraps & Bowls

Larb is a traditional meat salad found in Laos and Thailand. It is one of our favorite dishes to order on a Thai menu when we are trying to eat healthy because it’s light and really refreshing. What makes this dish bright are the many herbs and spices mixed into the meat mixture. It is usually served with sliced cucumber and sliced jalapenos for some kick. With everyone having different goals this time of the year in regards to their eating habits, we’ve made this recipe a little bit of a choose your own adventure story. Watching the calories? Serve the larb in lettuce wraps with lots of added vegetables. Needing a bit more? Serve the larb over a bed of white rice. This is a great weeknight dinner and made extra fun when everyone gets to make their own version!

Larb Lettuce Wraps

  • Servings: 8 lettuce wraps
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Our quick and easy variation of larb – a delicious, healthy and herby salad found in Laos and Thailand.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sambal oelek or your favorite chili paste
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • bib lettuce – divided into 8 cups
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • jalapeno, sliced for garnish (optional)
  • cooked white rice, if you plan to make rice bowls

Directions

  1. Prepare the vegetables. Mince the garlic, ginger and shallot and set aside. Thinly slice the red onion and set aside in the same bowl as the garlic mix.
  2. In a large sauté pan, sauté the pork over medium heat. You do not need to add any oil to the pan, the fat from the pork will start to render as it is heated. Use a spatula to break up the ground pork into bite sized pieces.
  3. Sauté for five minutes and add the garlic, ginger, shallot and onion to the pan and continue to stir and sauté for another 5 minutes. The onion should start to soften and the pork will be completely cooked through.
  4. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sambal oelek. Stir completely so that all of the ingredients are combined. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the sauce is mostly soaked up by the pork. Remove the larb from the heat, set aside, and add the lime juice.
  5. Lettuce Cup Preparation: Place a 1/4 – 1/2 cup serving of larb into each lettuce cup. Top with sliced cucumbers, cilantro, and jalapeno.
  6. Rice Bowl Preparation: Place 1/2 – 1 cup cooked rice on the bottom of a bowl. Layer with a 1/2 cup of larb and top with sliced cucumbers, cilantro, and jalepeno.


Potato and Leek Soup

We love soup pretty much all year round, but right after the holidays we have them on our menu regularly. Soup is great on a cold day, easy to make, and an ideal option for a healthy meal when we have our hearts set on January resolutions. The crunchiness of the leeks combined with the creaminess of the potato makes this soup taste indulgent without adding any dairy. You can have this soup as a full meal or pair it with a side salad or sandwich for a delicious lunch option during your workweek.

Potato and Leek Soup

  • Servings: 4 entree servings
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A healthy soup recipe to kick off January resolutions with easy substitutes for vegan and vegetarian food preferences.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 5 leeks, chopped – whites and greens separated
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock (option to use vegan stock)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, shallot and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the whites of the leeks and sauté an additional 5-10 minutes or until the leeks start to soften.
  3. Add the potatoes, greens of the leeks, and 4 cups of the bouillon to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer with the soup covered for 15-20 minutes or until you are able to easily poke a fork through the potatoes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to your desired consistency. We like to have about 1/4 of the mixture remain whole and blend the remaining. The different textures of the whole potatoes and leeks bring a nice crunchiness to the soup. Once the soup is blended, add additional stock if you prefer your soup a little thinner. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup hot and top with cheddar cheese (if desired).


Maple Dijon Salmon

This is the recipe that converted Tuck’s dad from straight up refusing to eat salmon to requesting it on the menu once a week. If you are looking to bring some of your picky eaters out of the dark and into the light when it comes to fish, this is your recipe. We love this Maple Dijon Salmon because it tastes out of this world and is made from just a few, simple ingredients. Less is always more in the kitchen, and that is especially true when you use high quality products. We prefer to use whole grain Dijon mustard if you can find it, but any nice Dijon will work just fine. The same goes for the maple syrup: a finer quality means that you only need a few tablespoons for the sweet and piney taste that is the signature to this dish. 

Maple Dijon Salmon

  • Servings: 4
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Our tried and true salmon dish that will convert the pickiest eaters in your family!

Ingredients

  • 4, 6 oz filets of salmon
  • 3 tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 385 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the pieces of salmon skin side down on the sheet. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the pieces and season each with the paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, and minced garlic. We suggest starting with 2 tbs maple syrup and tasting the sauce before adding the third. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  4. Use a spoon to generously top the salmon pieces with the maple dijon sauce.
  5. Bake the salmon for 12-13 minutes for medium, 15-16 minutes for well done. Use a knife to peel the salmon away from the skin and serve.


Butternut Squash Bisque

We are the first to raise our hands and admit that packing in the veggies in the wintertime isn’t easy. Salads in the snow are a tough sell. Soup, however, is on the menu many days of the week. This recipe for Butternut Squash Bisque is one of our favorite healthy recipes that we make over and over again. Unlike most butternut squash soups, this recipe drifts more towards the savory side than the sweet side. We love how the licorice flavors from the fennel brighten up the squash; honey crisp apples adds a touch of sweetness and ras el hanout packs a savory curry punch. For those unfamiliar, ras el hanout is a North African spice blend that can be found at most mainstream groceries or linked here for online ordering. The result is a rich soup loaded with flavor, but not loaded with calories. It’s very simple, clean, and healthy; a great recipe to start the new year.

Butternut Squash Bisque

  • Servings: 4 entree servings
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A simple, healthy soup to make clean eating easy as we start the new year.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, stem removed and sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 32 oz butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
  • 2 honey crisp apples, core removed and sliced
  • 1 tbs ras el hanout + more for garnish (optional)
  • 32 oz chicken stock (you can sub vegetable stock to make this dish vegetarian)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and fennel to the pot. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to become translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, butternut squash, apples, and ras al hanout to the pot. Saute for another 10 minutes, or until the butternut squash starts to brown. Brown = flavor, don’t skip out too early or you will lose the best part of this soup!
  3. Add the chicken stock to the pot. Give everything a good stir, season with salt and pepper, cover, and let the soup cook for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is pureed and an even consistency. We like our soup on the thicker side, but if it is too thick for your liking you can thin it down with water, milk, or cream. Taste and season again with salt and pepper as necessary.
  4. Serve the soup in large bowls with an additional sliced apple and sprinkle of ras al hanout, if desired. A loaf of crusty bread will go a long way with this soup as well.


Beer Braised Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

During the fall and winter months, it is so comforting at night to have a warm cooked meal on the table. The problem with that is we don’t always have the time to be in the kitchen for hours on the weeknight. This recipe helps bring both together by giving you a delicious meal that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. This is a fun Mexican spin on a traditional shredded chicken. The beer, limes, and dried chiles blend together for a tangy, citrusy chicken that has just a hint of heat. We love this recipes because there are endless options for how you can use this chicken. We put it in tacos, over salad, or even on a burger bun- you can truly incorporate this any way you would like. We have found through some trial and error that our favorite beer for this recipe is a lighter ale, specifically, Corona. The key to cooking with any alcohol is that if you like to drink it, you will likely enjoy eating it as well. So if you don’t like Corona, just swap it out for something that suits you.

Beer Braised Instant Pot Chicken

  • Servings: 6-8 for taco preparation
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A quick & easy recipe for shredded chicken that is perfect for tacos, enchiladas, and salads.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 4 dried guajillo chilis (these can be found in the Mexican section of most grocery stores)
  • 6 oz Corona Beer or another beer of your choosing
  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (~6 chicken thighs)
  • 1 lime, cut into segments

Directions

  1. Put the Instant Pot on the sauté setting and add the olive oil and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the salt, pepper cumin, chilis, beer, and limes to the pot and give everything a quick stir. Place the chicken breasts into the Instant Pot and try to submerge them in the liquid as much as possible. It’s ok if they are not fully submerged. Switch the Instant Pot setting to the Pressure Cook setting on High and set for 12 minutes.
  3. Use the quick release once the chicken has finished cooking. Use two large forks to shred the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve in tacos with rice and salad or in any other format you would like!


Semi-Homemade Vegan Burrito Bowls

Tuck’s dad watched the documentary “Game Changers” on Netflix a few weeks ago and has been trying to eat vegan as much as possible since. Inspired by our usual Chipotle order, we made these tofu burrito bowls. We love the taste and texture of the tofu – it is loaded with spices and crumbled to resemble taco meat.This recipe falls into the semi-homemade category because we have purchased a majority of the burrito bowl toppings pre-made at the grocery store. We have included a recipe for the black bean and corn salsa, but you can purchase a similar product at the grocery store if you want to skip that step as well. Thanks to these grocery store helpers, this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and is a healthy, filling recipe for a weeknight dinner. 

Semi-Homemade Vegan Burrito Bowls 
Makes: 4 servings 
Prep Time: 30 minutes    Total Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients for the Burrito Bowls: 

  • 1 box firm tofu
  • 1 packet taco seasoning 
  • 1 package cilantro lime Right Rice (can sub pre-cooked brown rice) 
  • pico de gallo 
  • guacamole (you can use our recipe or buy it pre-made from the store!)

Ingredients for the Corn & Black Bean Salsa 

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 1 large ear of corn, kernels removed 
  • juice of 2 limes 
  • 1/4 red onion, diced 
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro 
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 tsp cumin 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Remove the tofu from its packaging and drain any excess water. Use paper towel or a kitchen towel to press the tofu and remove as much liquid from it as you can. Crumble the tofu and put it onto a cookie sheet, sprayed with cooking spray. Season the tofu well with taco seasoning, using your hands to coat well. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is crispy but not dry. 
  3. While the tofu is cooking, cook the Right Rice according to package directions. It will take about 12 minutes to cook once you bring the water to a boil. 
  4. While the Right Rice is cooking, make the black bean and corn salsa. Gently mix all of the ingredients in the salsa (black beans – cumin) together in a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
  5. Assemble the burrito bowls. Divide the Right Rice, tofu, and black bean salsa evenly amongst four bowls. Top with guacamole, pico de gallo, and any of your other favorite taco bowl ingredients. 

Edamame Rice Salad

We weren’t exactly sure what to name this dish… is it a carb? Is it a salad? Is it a vegetarian entree? It’s a little bit of everything, thanks to an abundance of veggies in this dish. Cooking at home for nearly every meal since March has given us a chance to experiment with recipes that go the extra distance and last for more than one meal. Zhuzhing up leftovers feels like a much easier task than cooking new recipes for every darn meal of the week. This Edamame Rice Salad fulfills that task perfectly. Leftovers hold up really well for a few days in the refrigerator. We can add grilled chicken, shrimp, or avocado to give leftovers a new look. Best of all, it’s a quick and easy recipe that keeps us eating healthy all week long. 

Asian Veggie Rice 
Makes: 6+ servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes   Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients For The Salad:

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups lightly packed chopped purple cabbage 
  • 2 cups frozen edamame beans, no shells 
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 bell peppers, diced 
  • 4 scallions, diced 
  • 2/3 cup cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds 
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds 

Ingredients for the Dressing*: 

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 4 tbs rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp chili paste
  • salt to taste

Directions: 

  1. Heat 4 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the brown rice and reduce the pot to a simmer. Cook according to package directions, about 30 minutes. 
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop the other vegetables and make the dressing. Whisk the dressing ingredients (vegetable oil – chili paste) in a medium bowl until they are combined. Season to taste with salt, set aside.
  3. When the rice has finished cooking, fluff it with a fork to release some of the steam. Add the frozen edamame to the rice, give it a quick stir, and cover for 5 minutes. This will help thaw the edamame and bring the temperature of the rice down, closer to room temperature. 
  4. Make the salad by combining the brown rice- bell peppers in a large bowl. Add half of the cilantro and scallions and half of the dressing; toss to coat. Top with the remaining cilantro, scallions, dressing, sliced almonds, and sesame seeds to serve. 

*If making the dressing from scratch isn’t in your plans, substitute with any of your favorite Asian salad dressings from the grocery store. 


Almond Butter & Berry Smoothie

We are still on the smoothie train and love having a little something sweet to look forward to in the morning when it’s time for breakfast. This Almond Butter & Berry Smoothie is one of our favorites. We blend a mix of chia seeds and flax seeds into the smoothie which makes it thick and gives it the smoothie a great texture. It is packed with antioxidants, protein, and fiber- the perfect way to start the morning!

Almond Butter Berry Smoothie 
Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes    Total Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries 
  • 1 tbs flax seeds
  • 1 tbs chia seeds  
  • 1 heaping tbs almond butter (peanut butter is fine too) 
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice) 
  • granola, for topping (optional) 

Directions: 

  1. Place all of the smoothie ingredients (frozen berries – almond milk) in a blender and blend until smooth. Top with a few spoonfuls of granola, if you wish, for serving. Enjoy immediately.