summertime skillet

I am always on the hunt for simple, healthy weeknight meals that become my lunch the next day. When looking for healthy recipes I always look for a few things — lots of vegetables, a key protein, and something I can duplicate with ease. When I came across this recipe by Iowa Girl Eats, I checked off all 3 of my necessities.


  • 1 3/4 cup of vegetable broth (I prefer the boxes over the cans)
  • 1 cup quinoa (my protein!)
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and then sliced (half moons)
  • 2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
  • 3 green onions
  • heaping handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Honey Lemon Dressing

  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned
  • salt and pepper to taste

1.) Boil vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and cover. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 25-30 minutes until the broth has been absorbed. You will be able to fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let the quinoa cool down as you prepare the other ingredients

2.) Combine the ingredients for the honey lemon dressing. Whisk and set aside as you cook the quinoa and vegetables.


3.) Heat EVOO in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until you smell the aroma. Add zucchini, corn, green onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Make sure you do not overcook your vegetables as you want them to be tender. This will be about 5 minutes of cooking time. Add the slightly cooled quinoa and half the dressing into the pan and cook for one more minute.

veggiesveggies 2quinoa veggies

4.) Add remaining dressing, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and mint to the skillet and combine evenly. I allowed about 10-15 minutes for the dish to cool so it could be a refreshing summertime meal. Enjoy!


What is your favorite summertime dinner recipe? Do leftovers become lunch the next day?



spicy chicken enchilada stuffed shells — yes, this is real.

This recipe is my salute to all the amazing characteristics of Mexican and Italian food — spice, carbs, and just the right amount of cheese. I came across this recipe on Bev Cooks and knew I had to test it out in my own kitchen. This is an excellent option for Mexican Night at the home or the next pot luck with friends. I definitely have one upped myself with this one. Bev, thank you for the inspiration.

spicy chicken enchilada stuffed shells

  • 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning
  • about 20-25 jumbo shells (a little less than one box)
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 5 chipotle peppers with adobo
  • few dashes of favorite hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup flower
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • cilantro for garnish

1.) Boil water and cook jumbo shells while you prepare the enchilada sauce. To prepare the enchilada sauce, in a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in medium saucepan. Add cumin, garlic, pepper, and 2 chipotle peppers with adobo, flour, and tomato paste. Whisk mixture constantly for about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and add a few dashes of hot sauce. Next, bring sauce to a boil and then reduce and simmer until thickened. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Set to the side.

sauce1 sauce 2

2.) Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts and sear for about 6-7 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then chop breasts in small pieces. Once your shells are cooked, drain and set to the side.


3.) Saute fresh spinach in a large skillet until wilted. Boil ear of corn and then cut off the cob. Combine chicken, spinach, and corn into a bowl. Add 3  minced chipotle peppers with adobo and mix thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

mixed bowls

4.) Pour 1/2 the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Make sure you coat the entire bottom of the dish heavily. Stuff each shell with a small spoon with the chicken/spinach/corn mixture and arrange into rows in the casserole dish. Pour the remaining of the enchilada sauce on top of the shells and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for the final 5-10 minutes to brown the cheese. Garnish your dish with chopped cilantro and you are ready to wow your loved ones!

shellsshells sauceshells cheese

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How do you usually prepare stuffed shells? Do you have a favorite Mexican/Italian combination recipe?


chicken wonton tacos for mom

In honor of my lovely mother’s birthday today, I wanted to make sure I shared one of the recipes I prepared for her on Mother’s Day about a month ago. My mom is a selfless and dedicated woman. She constantly puts others before herself so this year I decided to actually kick her out of her own kitchen and prepare a lunch of light bites for her. One of the favorites of the afternoon were the chicken wonton tacos. This dish has chit. chaat. chew. written all over it — quick, easy, and delicious. I suggest you make this at your next get together with friends and family.

Adapted from Heart Mind and Seoul
chicken wonton tacos

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 20 square wonton wrappers
  • 5 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • few dashes of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, lightly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons mexican cheese, shredded
  • red pepper flakes — to taste
  • salt and pepper — to taste.
  • cooking spray

1.) Fill a pot of water and add chicken breasts. Poach chicken until cook through. Shred chicken with a fork and knife and add to a bowl for mixing.

2.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine chicken, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, cilantro, and mexican cheese and mix thoroughly. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste.


3.) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and apply cooking spray. Place 1-2 tablespoons of chicken mixture into the center of each wonton wrapper and pinch the opposite corners together to create the taco shape. Repeat for each of the wonton wrappers. Place on the cookie sheet. Reapply another coat of cooking spray on all wontons

on tray

4.) Bake for about 10 minutes or until wontons are golden brown


5.) Serve with your favorite salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or hot sauce.

My mom fell in love with the recipe so much that she made it for her friends the following weekend and it was a hit. What is your favorite quick, easy, and delicious appetizer to make and is mother approved?

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom!