Tomato Herb Risotto

As soon as it gets cold outside, I start craving comfort food. Specifically cheesy comfort food. While tomatoes are not known to be a winter veggie these cherry tomatoes are easy to find and make the perfect sauce for risotto!

I was always terrified of risotto after watching way too many failed Top Chef dishes. Risotto is surprisingly easy. This one is extra creamy with lots of parmigiana. The tomato herb topping can be made in 15 minutes and adds a huge flavor punch!

The burrata is optional, but definitely adds extra creaminess. Plus bonus protein! 

Chop up your favorite herbs and sprinkle lots of fresh cracked pepper to finish!

Ingredients:

1 cup Arborio rice

6 cups of warm chicken broth (bone broth works best, vegetable broth can be subbed as well)

1 cup of parmigiana

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

1 shallot sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup of chopped herbs (I used basil)

1 piece of burrata or a scoop of ricotta

2 tbsp of Italian seasoning

1/4 cup of heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

On a lined sheet pan place the shallots, tomatoes, and garlic. Drizzle with one tbsp of olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil. Add in the cup of rice and lightly toss. Add in the broth one cup at a time bringing to a simmer. For the next 15 minutes or so keep stirring letting each cup of broth absorb. 

Lower the heat and add in the parmigiana and cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Chop the roasted garlic. Top risotto with the garlic, tomatoes, shallots and pan sauce. Add in burrata. Add lots of fresh cracked pepper and chopped herbs. 

Tips*

If the risotto sets before you are ready to serve or is too thick add a little more broth right before serving

Use warm broth to help the rice absorb quicker

I hope you try it out!

Enjoy!

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Parmigiana Chicken with wine sauce

We love a good pasta dish especially when the weather cools down. This dish gives you all the flavor with less calories than most Italian restaurants.

Crispy chicken tenders with a parmigiana crust top our capellini with garlic and mushrooms. Best part of this recipe is you can add or swap ingredients. Don’t like mushrooms? Add tomatoes or olives. Love mushrooms and want to toss in sun dried tomatoes? Delicious!

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken tenders or chicken breast

1/2 cup of potato starch or AP flour

1 cup panko

1 cup grated parmigiana

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 cup of milk or almond milk

1 cup of Marsala wine or dry white wine

2 tbsp of butter (grass fed works best)

2 chopped garlic cloves

1 cup of chopped button mushrooms

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Juice from one lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Pasta of your choice and 1/2 cup of pasta water

Directions:

Cook your pasta and reserve 1 – 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In a bowl, mix the panko, parmigiana, and Italian seasoning

Toss your chicken in the starch/flour. Dust off any excess

Dip into your milk

Toss in the panko mix. Make sure the chicken is fully coated.

Heat a skillet over medium high and add olive oil. Cook chicken until both sides are crispy and brown. Internal temp should be 165 degrees.

Set chicken on a cooling rack or paper towel.

Add the butter, garlic, and mushrooms to the skillet.

Cook until garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms are tender. Add the wine.

Let reduce to around a quarter cup then add the pasta water and lemon juice.

Let simmer until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the parsley.

Add chicken back in and serve over pasta.

I hope you try this super easy pasta! We will definitely be eating this all fall/winter.

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Caramelized Onion and Beef Pizza

Pizza is a huge hit in our house! We love making it at home and changing up the toppings.

This pizza plays off classic flavors, but it just a little more special with sweet caramelized onions, crispy ground beef, and calabria chilies.

You can use whatever cheese you love, but I really like the Tillamook Italian blend. The thick cut pieces of provolone and mozzarella melt nicely. Then top everything with a handful of fresh herbs!

Ingredients

  • Premade crust or dough of your choice. I used the DeLallo pizza dough kit
  • 1/2 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 cup of white onions sliced
  • 1 cup of marinara
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 3 tbsp of chopped Calabria chilies
  • 1 cup of cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped herbs

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 450
  • Roll out your dough or place premade crust on a baking sheet
  • Drizzle olive oil and spread out chopped garlic
  • Bake based on package directions and set to side
  • In a sauté pan, cook your ground beef
  • Drain out the excess fat and add onions, sugar, and butter
  • Cook until onions are golden and tender
  • Spread marinara and chilies over the crust
  • Top with cheese then sprinkle meat and onions over the top
  • Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly
  • Top with herbs and enjoy!!!

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Easy Empanadas with Jalapeño Dip

There is a Cuban restaurant around the corner that makes super simple delicious empanadas. Beef or chicken, crunchy with an amazing dip.

I do not know anything about an authentic empanada, but I do know what would go well with a similar dip.

My version has roasted onion, potatoes, butternut squash, ground beef, and mozzarella. I used frozen empanada dough from my local grocery store. These seem to be pretty accessible. I found them at Walmart, Kroger, and Publix.

Best part is how easy it is to make these! I froze the filling and was able to make them in minutes.

Ingredients

For the empanada

Ground beef cooked and drained

2 cups of butternut squash and gold potatoes cubed

1 small yellow onion chopped

Mozzarella cheese (I like fresh grated for extra melt)

Empanada dough ( I’ve found this in the frozen section at Walmart, Kroger, and Publix)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt and pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic

For the dip

1 cup sour cream

1 small ripe avocado

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 fresh jalapeño seeds removed

Juice from 1 lime

Directions

Let your empanada dough defrost.

Roast your squash, potatoes and onion until fork tender.

Add to your beef.

Season and mix.

Take a dough circle and fill it with the beef fixture leaving room to fold over.

Top with cheese.

Fold the circle in half.

I dip a fork into water and push the ends together. Just make sure it is nice and sealed.

You can bake or air fry at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (or until golden)

You can also deep fry at 350 degrees for 1-2 minutes per side.

For the dip

I dump everything into my blender and blend until creamy. Season with salt and pepper. This keeps fresh for up to 5 days in a sealed refrigerated container.

You can also freeze the empanadas. They reheat beautifully! I hope you try these out. Definitely experiment with your fillings! I want to try a breakfast version soon!

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Instapot Creamy Tomato Soup with Caramelized Onions

Is it cold where you are? We are in Georgia and it was 70 degrees on Christmas, but today it is 24 degrees. I love the cold because it makes me feel like it is okay to stay in the holiday spirit for just a littttle bit longer!

This soup is perfect for the cold weather! I would honestly eat it any time, but the creamy heat just warms you from the inside out.

Last month a was a little under the weather and my amazing husband came home early to bring me Panera tomato soup and grilled cheese. That combination brings back so many memories for me. My grandma would warm a can of campbells tomato soup with a little milk and cheddar anytime I was sick. This is slightly more grown up, but the same yummy idea.

The caramelized onions pair really well with the tomatoes and cream. Topped with lots of cracked black pepper and grilled cheese croutons, you will definitely win over kids and adults alike!

Creamy Tomato Soup

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • Instapot

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 slices sour dough bread
  • 1/2 cup cheddar
  • 1/2 cup grated parm

Instructions
 

  • Heat up the instapot and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm add your onions and sugar. Keep them moving so they do not burn. Once the onions start to turn golden brown you can add the tomatoes and broth. Turn on your soup setting for 45 minutes.
    Once finished you can use an immersion blender to smooth out the broth or you can put a few cups in a regular blender. (Just make sure you wait until the soup is not boiling hot!) Add the cream, basil, and parmesan cheese. At this point you can salt and pepper to taste. I really like mine with lots of fresh cracked black pepper!
    Toast your sourdough with the cheddar on top. (I did mine really quickly in the air fryer) You just want the bread slightly crispy and the cheese melted. Cut into cubes for your topping.

This is an easy way to have a warm comforting dinner with hardly any effort! The carmelized onions and parmesan just take a traditional soup up a level. Enjoy!

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Low Carb Pesto Chicken Quesadilla

Sometimes I just really crave pasta. Something about a big bowl of noodles with garlic bread is so comforting after a long day. Pesto specifically has been on my mind.

Since I’ve been eating low carb low sugar I typically only have pasta once a month if that. I had to find an alternative that wouldn’t be so heavy! Sprouts came to my rescue once again!

You can get these ingredients at any grocery store or even make them from scratch, but if you have a sprouts close to you definitely check these out!

I really like the tortilla factory low carb tortillas. They crisp up similar to a corn tortilla and only have 3 net carbs.

I bought the sprouts house made pesto which is extra heavy on the garlic. It is very similar to how I make mine. Mostly herbs and garlic!

I almost used mozzarella cheese, but then decided on Monterey Jack. If you can find cheese without rbgh hormones added that is what I like to use. It melts way faster and is a lot better for you.

For the chicken I just used rotisserie chicken from the deli- skin removed. I like to keep this on hand for salads during the week!

Then a little red sauce for dipping!

Ingredients

Rotisserie chicken shredded

2 tbsp of pesto

1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Low carb tortillas

1 tsp of butter

Directions

Heat a non stick skillet to medium

Add the butter

Coat the pan

Add your tortilla and spread with pesto

Top with 1/4 cup of chicken and 1/4 cup of cheese per tortilla

Let the cheese start to melt

Fold in half and flip

Serve with your favorite sauce!

Enjoy!!!!

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Smoked Pork Sliders

Do you ever shop the bargain cook book section at Barnes and Nobles? I get suckered in every time! I came home with two cook books the other day that are filled with inspiration. Since I’ve been doing Keto I feel like I was in a cooking rut.

These buns clearly are not low carb, but Patrick is not on the diet so I wanted to surprise him. These are inspired from a couple different recipes I found. Which is usually how the best creations come about!

I don’t have a smoker so I just used my charcoal grill. I tossed in some Jack Daniels wood chips to get the smoked taste. The trick here is to cook the meat for 275 degrees for at least 3 hours.

The charred meat on the sweet roll with sriracha mayo and pickles is spot on! I did pair the meat with a whole thirty bbq sauce, but Patrick hated the sauce haha! Not sweet enough for him.

If you are doing low carb this meat is perfect for you. Low sugar and so tasty! If you aren’t low carb it’s still wonderful!

Ingredients

3 lb pork shoulder/butt

Salt

1/2 cup or sriracha

2 tbsp of garlic powder

2 tbsp of smoked paprika

1 tbsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 cup of melted butter

1/2 cup of mayo

Pickles

Hawaiian rolls

Directions

Heat grill or oven to 400 degrees

Rub the sriracha (leaving 1 tbsp out) over the pork and salt liberally

Let sit in the fridge uncovered while the grill heats up

Wipe the pork down with paper towel to dry it

If using the grill use the top rack or put to the side of the coals

Rotate the meat for an even cook every 15 minutes or so

The grill will cool to 300-275 on its own

Lower the oven temp if roasting

Season with the garlic, paprika, pepper and salt liberally again

Turn every 30-45 minutes

Once the pork hits 160 degrees remove and let rest for 30 minutes

Once cooled shred and pour the melted butter over top

Mix the remaining sriracha with the mayo

Serve on the rolls with pickles

Enjoy!!!!

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Sweet and Spicy Sticky Chicken

There is a restaurant near us that serves a platter of super spicy crispy chicken, potato wedges, pickled radish, cold corn and tons of dipping sauces.

We were shopping the local section in Publix and came across locally made pepper jellies. I knew right away I wanted to make a glaze with the peach jalapeño jelly. If you can’t find fruit pepper jelly you can get a regular pepper jelly and add peach jam.

I made this chicken the other day and Patrick liked it so much he requested it again last night! Lightly breaded chicken perfectly crispy and salty. The glaze really takes it over the top.

The mix of pepper jelly, honey, jalapeño and soy sauce is just a magical experience when it mixes with the salty chicken.

Ingredients

Chicken thighs boneless skinless

1 cup flour/1 cup cornmeal or 2 cups of autrys chicken breading

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp salt / pepper

2 tbsp of peach pepper jelly

1/4 cup of honey

2 tbsp of soy sauce

1 fresh jalapeño sliced

Oil for frying

Directions

Preheat oil to 350 degrees ( I like to use a cast iron skillet or large soup pot

In a large ziplock bag or Tupperware add the four/cornmeal (or breading), salt, pepper and garlic.

Add the chicken and shake until fully coated

Fry until cooked through around 160 degrees it will rise as the chicken rests

Season liberally with salt and pepper

In a sauté pan whisk, honey, pepper jelly, soy sauce and jalapeño. Heat over low until combined

Drizzle over the chicken

We like to serve ours with potato wedges and garlic greens!

Enjoy !!! ( with lots of sriracha!)

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Crispy Salmon BLT

Our wedding is only a month away! I cannot believe how quickly everything has come together. We have been working on the finishing touches and the weather has not cooperated with my projects. It has been non stop rain. I’m hoping this means it will be nice and dry by the time the wedding day is here.

These Salmon BLTs are perfect for adding a little freshness during this dreary weather. Lemon aioli, spicy pepper bacon, juicy tomato, and fresh cut lettuce all do their part to liven up my favorite salmon.

You can use Texas toast or a lettuce wrap for these. We like the Publix onion rolls. They soak up all the aioli in the best way.

Ingredients

Green leafy lettuce

Tomato

Thick cut bacon (we like pepper crusted bacon)

1/4 cup of mayonnaise

Juice from 1 lettuce

Tsp black pepper

1 small white onion sliced

Bread

Fresh salmon filets

2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil

Steak seasoning or a blend of garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper

1/2 tsp dill

Directions

Rub the filets with oil and season liberally

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Fry each side in a cast iron skillet

Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through

Fry a few pieces of bacon and use the excess fat to sauté the sliced onion

Mix mayo, lemon and pepper

Slather on both pieces of bread

Add tomato slices and lettuce

Add the salmon

Top with the onions and bacon

Now there is nothing left, but to enjoy multiple times a week!

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Sausage Pappardelle Zucchini

This past weekend I went to the most beautiful wedding! Patrick’s sister was married on this adorable rustic farm. She did an awesome job pulling everything together. One of my favorite parts was the smell throughout the venue. It was a blend of wood and fresh flowers. It made me think of Christmas. I had the honor of making her cake! She wanted a strawberry cake which is one of my favorites to make! I made a cream cheese buttercream and the filling was made with strawberry preserves from a local farmers market. 

Sausage Pappardelle Zucchini
Recipe Type: Low Carb
Author: Kellie Rice
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Low carb zucchini pappardelle with spicy sausage and marinara
Ingredients
  • small white onion chopped
  • handful of fresh herbs chopped (parsley, basil, and oregano)
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 4 links of spicy sausage
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 3 zucchinis spiraled
  • grated cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a pan drizzle the sausage with olive oil
  3. Add half of the chopped onion and the mushrooms
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until the sausage is golden brown
  5. Let cool
  6. In a sautee pan heat up a little olive oil, the onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper
  7. Add the zucchini for sautee for 5 minutes
  8. Remove the zucchini and set to the side
  9. Add a little more olive oil in the pan, the whole tomatoes (break up with a fork), tomato paste, and sugar
  10. Cook down for about 15 minutes
  11. Slice the sausage and add to the sauce with the roasted mushrooms and onions
  12. Season with salt and pepper
  13. Add in the fresh herbs
  14. Pour sauce over the zucchini and grate the cheese on top

 

Zucchini noodles are the closest I can get to the real thing. These thick spirals of zucchini are sautéed with fresh garlic and olive oil. I made Patrick’s portion with a blend of zucchini pappardelle and egg noodles. If you aren’t concerned with the carbs that is a super delicious way to ease yourself into the zucchini noodle world.

We picked up these spicy Italian sausages from Whole Foods. I roasted them with olive oil, mushrooms, and onion. They are perfect with this marinara sauce!

This sauce is  a blend of fresh garlic, herbs, crushed whole tomatoes, olive oil, tomato paste, and crushed red pepper. You can just toss the zucchini lightly in the sauce, but I love extra sauce for the zucchini to soak up.

We love fresh grated cheese on our pasta. When you are using such simple ingredients it is important to pair with a really good quality cheese. I really like pecorino or parmesan. Something with really good texture and salt.

zucchini papparedelle

I hope you try this recipe! Enjoy!

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