Lemony Tomato Chicken

Who is interested in lighter recipes to ring in the New Year? I am all for comfort food and the beauty of this dish is its light & comforting! Perfect to add to your menu rotation now or in the New Year. Can we just talk about the New Year! I am glad that we can keep 2020 in the past but it’s so bittersweet to say bye to a year full of just so much. I know that everyone’s experiences have been different. All of our minds have been tested; emotionally, mentally, physically. Just remember to hug the ones you love most and don’t forget to take care of YOU! I hope each of you tackles something magical in 2021 that fills up your cup. Personally, I cannot wait to get back to running.

Now for this Lemony Tomato Chicken that will surely have you wondering why you never made it before! Let’s break it down!


Ingredients

  • 3-4 boneless chicken thighs, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour/regular flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • sage, for garnish

Instructions

Clean your chicken thighs and remove any excess fat. Lightly coat your chicken thighs with flour on both sides. Heat a medium sized skillet (I used my cast iron 10 inch pan) over medium heat and add olive oil. Place chicken thighs in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until the crust becomes golden. Remove chicken from the pan and add a splash more olive oil. Add the cherry tomatoes and mix around until they are fully coated. Keep heat on medium and cook the tomatoes for 3-4 minutes until they start to blister and pop. Add the garlic and stir continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the wine and mix together. Apply pressure to the tomatoes to help the burst process (this will also help add flavor to the sauce). Add lemon juice and let simmer for 2 minutes. Place chicken back in the pan and let simmer for 4 minutes. Flip chicken and let simmer for 3 more minutes. The sauce will reduce by half and turn into a creamy thick sauce that coats the chicken. Plate the chicken and add more sauce and tomatoes on top. Garnish with chopped sage and enjoy!


Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers

These are too good not to share! Always trying to find balance in my eating without sacrificing flavors or what I am eating. These Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers have everything you need to feel full and fueled! I love buffalo chicken – usually on football sunday over wings or cauliflower bites! I love playing with the flavors and that’s why they work so perfectly in this dish! A combination of chicken thighs, shredded carrot, celery & 90 second rice come together with a tasty buffalo sauce and then stuffed inside green bell peppers! YUM!


Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce (I use The New Primal Medium Buffalo Sauce)
  • 1 tbsp shredded carrots
  • 1 tbsp sliced celery
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced and seeds removed

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken thighs in oven safe pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove and add buffalo sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove chicken thighs from oven and shred with two forks. Add the carrot and celery and mix everything together. Place back in oven and cook for 5 more minutes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Slice your green bell peppers in half (top to bottom) and remove the seeds. Place the four pieces of bell pepper in the water and let them get soft. Drain water and remove from the pot.
Place 90 second rice in the microwave to cook. Remove the chicken thighs from the oven and set aside. Once the rice is complete, add 1 cup to the shredded chicken mixture.
Prepare a sheet pan lined with foil. Add bell peppers belly side up and stuff each with the chicken & rice. Place in the oven until the edges become crispy, about 3 minutes.
Top with a lemon yogurt sauce or sour cream and green onions and enjoy!


Butternut Squash White Bean Naan Pizza

I am loving all things butternut squash right now! Looking for comforting and versatile ways to cook with it that are a little out of the ordinary. Taking one ingredient and working it so that you can have multiple meals is my jam – saves time and money! Outside of the traditional, yet delicious butternut squash soup and roasted butternut squash – this is a roasted butternut squash and white bean naan pizza! Yes, this is as good as it sounds!


Everything starts with a peeled butternut squash – it seems daunting but really is quite easy with a good vegetable peeler! I roasted my squash at 425 degrees for 22 minutes flesh side down and then flipped over and cooked for 18 more minutes! I add a generous amount of olive oil all around the squash so that it can cook evenly. So now that we have the basics, let’s break down how to make this naan pizza!

Ingredients

1/2 roasted butternut squash
1/2 cup cannellini beans (cooked in the can is what I used) + more for topping
2 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
2 whole grain naan
TOPPINGS
1 link chorizo sausage
sliced red onion
sage & thyme
goat cheese


Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the preheated oven. Follow directions above for roasting butternut squash. Hot out of the oven, combine the squash with the cannellini beans to a blender and mix until nice and smooth (you may need to add a pinch of water to get the consistency you want). Remove pan carefully and place naan on pan. Combine olive oil and garlic and spread on top of the naan. Split the squash and bean mixture across both pieces of naan and spread so that it almost reaches the sides. Now the fun part: toppings! I added cooked chorizo, red onion, cannellini beans, thyme & goat cheese to one. A vegetarian version would be everything minus the chorizo and I added sage and a balsamic glaze for an extra kick of flavor!

This one is EASY, good and you can get creative with the toppings! Let me know how you like it and what else you like to make with butternut squash!


News Ways to Eat: Sweet Potatoes

Since I shared with you in my last post the best way to cook a sweet potato, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Stuffed Sweet Potato recipes to help inspire you next time you make them! Yes, sweet potatoes are a great side dish; baked, fried, roasted, smashed – seriously you can eat them so many ways… but why not make these the star of the show, the roots of the dish that bring it all together.


Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Sweet Potato
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato
Balsamic Chicken & Tomato Stuffed Sweet Potato
Breakfast Stir Fry Stuffed Sweet Potato

a fullbellythyme secret – leftovers are GREAT resource for your next stuffed sweet potato creation! Also, before you start stuffing, the easiest way to reach your full stuffing potential is to take a fork to the center of the sweet potato and mash in the middle so there is a hollow area for the deliciousness that awaits!

Philly Cheesesteak

This one was a no brainer – who doesn’t love a philly cheesesteak? I prepped about half a pound of ground beef and cooked it with diced onions, peppers & mushrooms in a sauté pan over medium heat. I added a little Worcestershire Sauce, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes! Create some space in the center of your sweet potato, stuff with the ground beef mixture then top with a handful of mozzarella cheese – microwave for 1 minute until the cheese has melted. Top with sliced green onion & enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken

This is a sweet and spicy combination you will want to run to make! Buffalo sauce is a hit or miss for me, I like it in moderation but down enjoy it on everything. Grilled chicken cooked in a cast iron skillet with The New Primal Medium Buffalo Sauce. I added a bit of butter to the pan to help the flavors of the buffalo sauce blend! I steamed so broccoli florets and added them to the pan once I flipped the chicken over. After the chicken has cooked through, I shredded it using two forks. Again, carved out a little hole in the sweet potato and got to work stuffing! This combination was so good – the heat from the buffalo paired so well with the natural sweetness of the sweet potato!

Balsamic Grilled Chicken & Tomato

This one kind of happened on accident. It was a combination of trying to use up produce in my fridge, using that last piece of chicken and trying not to waste! But am I glad this one happened – holy cow!! This one screamed summer and this balsamic tomato mixture is something I can’t live without. A whole pint of cherry tomatoes into a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Stir frequently until they really start to blister and get soft. Take any utensil and pop them so they burst! Now add about 2 T of balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes until the flavors are combined. I ended up cooking the chicken in this very mixture so that all the flavors would bleed together. Slice the chicken. Stuff with tomatoey jam first then add chicken on top with more tomatoes. Finish it with basil! YUMMMMMMM.

Breakfast Stir Fry

You might be curious what a breakfast stir fry is? Well, simply, it’s leftover stir fry with an egg added to it! I am a culprit for taking leftovers and adding an egg and calling it breakfast – but hey why not! This one was GOOD! And could be perfect for lunch or dinner. This stir fry was a clean out the fridge stir fry; mushrooms, broccoli, peppers & corn mixed with a combination of rice vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic, honey & red pepper flakes. Rejuvenated in the microwave, stuffed into a sweet potato and topped with a delicious runny fried egg. This combo was extra tasty because the runny yolk doubled as a tasty sauce.

Now go stuff some sweet potatoes and share with me what you create! xx


New Ways To Eat: Peach Salsa

Do you ever want to make a recipe but maybe don’t know what goes well with it? A special recipe that uses a few ingredients that aren’t already in your pantry? A sauce or dip that you use once that just finds a nice hiding place in the back of your refrigerator for a week or so? And then you think, DARN IT! that was good – I wish I remembered it was back there! Trust me… been there, done that SO many times!

I want to show you that you can make something tasty and use it multiple times so that you avoid waste and savor the flavors as long as possible. So, lets take the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa that I made – (that was SO FREAKING GOOD – and I am probably going to make it again because I miss it already) and see how we can incorporate it into multiple lunches/dinners. Cooking for one or two can be hard and I am the first to admit I do not like eating the same thing over and over and over again – BUT I will show you how to take something tasty, like salsa, and pair it with a few different entrees so that you can find a happy medium of not wasting but changing up your meals more!

First up! FISH

I love love love pairing a fresh fruit salsa with fish. The fresh, sweet flavors pair compliment the subtle, light flavors of fish (even salmon!) This is a pan-fried filet of cod paired with rice and the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa.

To prepare the fish: prepare one dish with bread crumbs (I always season mine with garlic powder, onion powder and paprika) and one dish with a beaten egg. Take the cod filet and coat with the egg wash mixture – transfer the filet to the bread crumb mixture and make sure it’s coated evenly on all sides.
To cook the fish: Transfer to a cast iron skillet or a non-stick pan. Add a generous amount of oil to the pan (1/4 cup-ish) – turn pan on medium heat. Once pan is very warm, lay the fish down and sear each side for about 2-3 minutes. TIP: to avoid the fish sticking to the pan, after about 30 seconds in the pan take your tongs and shimmy the fish around so that it does not adhere to the pan throughout the cooking process. Once seared on all sides, place in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked thoroughly.
Now the easy part! Mix a ½ cup of rice (brown or white) with ½ cup of the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa. Place rice mixture on the bottom of the bowl and then top with your fish filet. The cod is flaky and when you get a little bite of the fish, rice & salsa it makes for a perfect bite! This would also pair well with salmon, shrimp, crab cakes, tilapia or bronzino!


Now let’s talk TACOS!

I always have corn tortillas on hand in my refrigerator because I am a firm believer that you can transform anything into a taco and it will taste amazing! Here I went Crispy BBQ Chicken Taco with Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa! WOW! This salsa pairs so well with the sweet and tangy flavors of the BBQ sauce. This would taste equally delicious with grilled BBQ chicken instead of crispy. I also made a quick garlic lemon yogurt sauce (because I love sauces)! Just take a big spoonful of Greek yogurt + juice of one lemon and a little minced garlic or garlic powder – mix together!

To build the tacos: start with a warm corn tortilla, add a little of the Greek yogurt sauce on the bottom, add arugula, then your BBQ chicken, a few slices of red onion, a big spoonful of the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa and then finish off with a dollop of the Greek yogurt sauce! You won’t be disappointed adding this salsa to any taco creation – I promise!


Classic Dip!
Yes, I found myself on multiple occasions eating this salsa straight out of the bowl with grain-free tortilla chips AND sweet potato chips. It was perfect and pairs with any type of chip, chip alternative, vegetable you could dream of.


Honorable mention (didn’t take any photos)
Soft Scrambled Eggs with Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa – holy cow the best way to start your morning!

Now hold onto the late summer peaches as long as you can, make this salsa one more time and enjoy it throughout the week! Tell me how you used the Sweet & Spicy Peach Salsa throughout the week and what you made with it!


The Perfect BLT

If you know me, you know I LOVE a good BLT. If you don’t know me, here is me telling you I LOVE a good BLT! I don’t know what about the combo makes me smile but it does. I think it’s the crispy bread, the lush lettuce, juicy tomatoes and crispy bacon! The moment you bite into the sandwich and the bacon, lettuce & tomato meet for the first time – it’s like a salty, lush, juicy combination that is truly delicious. I know that it’s a classic combo and can be found in most deli’s and even on restaurant lunch menus – but I am here to tell you how to make the perfect, and I mean MOST perfect BLT at home. I am going to break down all the different types of lettuce and tomato, tips on how to get that perfect crispy bacon & even a little homemade bagel recipe. Get your pen and paper out, take notes and then go try it out for yourself!

Ok – so it’s in the name – bacon, lettuce & tomato. Those are the important factors to this sandwich.
BACON: needs to be crispy. Half of the beauty of this sandwich is the crispy bacon. It gives the sandwich and the perfect bite definition and meaning. The salty component of the bacon also makes my mouth water and pairs perfectly with the tomato. Quick tip getting the perfect crispy bacon every time; the oven! So here it is and you’ll never make bacon differently again.


Preheat your oven to 375
Place bacon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and flip bacon and place back in the oven for 3 more minutes. **all ovens are a little different so after the initial 10 minute window watch the bacon so it doesn’t burn (but also if you don’t like it as crispy)

LETTUCE: this piece of the puzzle is important because you want to make sure the flavor and texture of the lettuce doesn’t overpower the other flavors of the sandwich. I know that some sandwiches can become complex and people are into that now so I am giving you options; Bibb Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce & Arugula. Bibb lettuce tastes like butter – I love it. The texture is soft and lush. Romaine has the crunch factor! I love a good crunch on a BLT. The arugula is for the out of the box BLT lover. With a spicy flavor and more of a earthy texture this one is perfect if you are looking to kick up your BLT game!

TOMATO: The tomato can arguably be the toughest decision. Given our current season (summer) all tomatoes taste like pure heaven. This one might truly be a convenient factor (homegrown if you are fortunate to have them), local because we all love to support local! Heirloom because well they are gorgeous, juicy and come in so many different colors! And the sweet cherry if you like little pockets and bursts of tomato in your sandwich. All are great options – just find the ripest and you’re good to go!

Ok, so now we have the basics identified. There are two other factors that are very important (to me at least). The bread and the sauce! Any homemade or local bread would taste amazing, bagels are my personal favorite (and I have even tried corn tortilla’s – hello BLT tacos!) I truly think the biggest make-or-break factor with the bread is it has to be TOASTED!!! I don’t have a toaster so I heat my oven up and place it in the broiler section to give it some color – if you go this route you should check on it ever 2 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn!

What ever sauce you go with it just make sure YOU like it! Nothing worse than having this amazing sandwich and a sauce you can’t stand. My two favorites are spicy mayo (mayonnaise + sriracha) & honey mustard (dijon mustard + honey + olive oil). You can obviously buy these from the store but I usually have the staples at home to make a small batch whenever I need!

Remember, toasting the bread is crucial so that it can hold up to all of the internal components – no one likes soggy bread!
Now to assemble:
Toasted Bagel
Spicy Mayo (on both sides)
Bibb Lettuce
Heirloom Tomato
Crispy Bacon

Now add the other side of the bagel on top and baboom, you have just created the best dang BLT, ever!!

I did try to make homemade bagels back in April and they actually turned out really good – so linking the recipe below if you don’ t have access to delicious bagels (we are so spoiled in NYC). I have no clue why but this sandwich is seriously next level for me on a bagel! My go-to is usually an everything bagel but the bagel shop accidently gave me sesame (I love sesame too) so we worked with it!
EASY GLUTEN FREE BAGELS – makes 4
>Gluten Free/Whole Wheat Flour
>Fat Free Greek Yogurt
>Baking Powder
>Salt
>One Egg
>Bagel Seasoning of Choice
Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1 cup of flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder & 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Then add 1 cup of fat free greek yogurt. Mix together until a dough forms. Remove from the bowl onto a floured surface and knead the dough (use your fist to press down on the dough. This helps the gluten strands to warm and stretch in the dough which makes it springy & elastic). Then separate dough into four sections. Roll each section in a ball and create a hole in the center. Spread out until a bagel shape forms – repeat until you have four complete bagel shape pieces. Whisk one egg and wash each bagel (taking egg mixture and essentially painting it on the bagels – this will help the bagels get golden and allow the seasoning to stick!) Top with your favorite bagel seasoning and bake in the 375 degree oven for 25 minutes! Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half, toast accordingly and ENJOY!


Protein Pasta Salad

Are carbs scary? Why do people think this? I love carbs – always have always will! Did you know carbs are important to the basic functionality of our bodies and burning energy?
I get it, there will always be something negative to say about pasta, bread, etc. but I am here to help you learn to love the beauty that carbs are! Variations of pasta come from so many different cultures and they are all so damn tasty! Today I am highlighting the innovation that is plant-based protein pasta! So many brands are getting on the band wagon of protein pasta and I am here for it!

I am using Barilla Protein + Penne – 100% plant based protein with a classic pasta taste, but any pasta (protein or not) will work PERFECTLY for this easy summer pasta salad.
Growing up pasta salad to me was loaded with mayonnaise and that just wasn’t really my favorite thing. Mayonnaise covered cold pasta? ew! This pasta salad is seasonally focused, fresh and freaking delicious!

Tomatoes are at the peak of season and are so dang juicy!! These cherry tomatoes are great for this but honestly whatever tomatoes you have will taste great! Kirby cucumbers (or any cucumber) sliced thin and then the fresh mozzarella! I am blessed that my neighborhood is packed with small localized stores aka really good Italian Markets that have fresh mozzarella! I love that more markets are prioritizing fresh products and finding mozzarella is so much easier!
I think this dish really comes together with this balsamic based marinade! Combine balsamic vinegar with rice wine vinegar, pinch of dried oregano and red pepper flakes. The flavor profile is tangy, savory, spicy and just too good to pass up! Combine all ingredients with marinade and let sit while you make the pasta!

Cook the pasta based on the boxed directions, drain and let cool slightly. Toss in with the vegetables and marinade and toss until well combined. The beauty of pasta salad is it’s the perfect dish to make ahead and store in the refrigerator. The marinade has time to work its magic and soak into the pasta and vegetables for an even better end product!
I always add the fresh herbs at the end because I enjoy the final touches and really adds that final kick of flavor! I finished this meal with fresh basil & sliced avocado. You can eat this for a delicious snack, add grilled chicken or shrimp for a balanced dinner or eat for breakfast because there are seriously no boundaries with any food.

Pasta salad is EASY and can be so so tasty! If you’re looking to add an extra punch of protein, the new-ish plant based protein pasta’s are a great way to get extra protein in while enjoying a classic dish!

follow and tag me on @fullbellythyme if you make this!


Loaded Bell Pepper Nachos

Nachos are great, there is no denying that! They are that perfect bite every bite kind of snack or meal that are great when watching sports – at least that’s when I love eating them! That crispy chip, the flavorful protein (chicken, beef, pork, beans….the possibilities are endless), the cheese – THE CHEESE! and then all of the toppings! These are nachos with a twist – same indulgence with some healthier substitutes!

Let’s be honest, a crispy corn tortilla is the perfect vessel to load up all the amazing toppings. It’s going to be hard to match the texture and the durability of a corn tortilla chip, trust me! BUT with a little engineering and proper cook times there is one substitute that holds up and passes the vessel test! Bell Peppers to the rescue! When cut into “chip like” pieces, these are a great and healthy alternative to the corn tortilla chip! I used green and red because they have different flavors – but can imagine yellow and orange would be quite tasty! Then the fun begins – the building!! Like I said before, the possibilities are endless here and this is your time to get creative!

I am focusing on balance in my life. I think balance looks a little different for everyone and I think that’s an amazing thing. Balance for me is making sure I am filling my body with real foods but also enjoying that glass of wine as I relax at the end of a busy week. When I make more intuitive choices in my diet (picking the real food option over maybe the processed option) I tend to feel fuller and more fulfilled. But hey, it’s balance and like I said it looks different for everyone! A few other ways to make these even healthier loaded nachos:

-Use ground chicken or ground turkey (leaner cuts of meat) and add on the seasonings! I love to season with cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper!
-Cumin baked beans or refried beans are insane and would pair with this amazingly!
-Yogurt based sauces – it’s so easy to make a flavorful sauce that tastes just as good as sour cream.

LOADED BELL PEPPER NACHOS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 5 oz ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup shredded low skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup tomato
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup non -fat greek yogurt
  • Cilantro, handful
  • 2 limes

Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce

mix together the non-fat greek yogurt with 1 TBSP of cilantro and juice of 1 lime. Mix together until a creamy dressing forms. Add water to create a thinner style sauce.

Quick Tomato Salsa

combine tomato, red onion, cilantro to a food processor and pulse together. You can add jalapeno if you like it a little more spicy!

Nacho Assembly

Preheat oven to 375. Cut bell peppers into ‘chip’ sized pieces. Place on a line baking sheet and place in oven. Cook for 5-8 minutes until they are soft but still hard. Cook ground chicken or ground turkey and add any seasoning you would like (a little cumin, chipotle powder, salt & pepper works well). Drain and rinse black beans. Remove bell peppers from the oven and layer on the ground turkey, black beans and mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven until cheese is nice and melted (5ish more minutes). Remove from the oven. Remove parchment paper from the pan by grabbing the corners carefully and place on a large plate. Now we will top! Add the Quick Tomato Salsa, Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce, pickled red onions, avocado and finish with more cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice! Enjoy!