Friday, November 17, 2017

Chicken Schwarma Bowls

I've shared this recipe with several friends already and thought, instead of sending a photo of the wrinkled page I tore from my Cooking Light magazine and my suggested changes, I should just post the recipe here!  I've made this for my family several times and we love it!  We call it "Mediterranean Pile-Up"

3 cups skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (thank you, Costco, for your delicious and affordable rotisserie chickens!)
3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp cumin, divided
1/8 tsp paprika
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp tahini (don't skip this!)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups cooked grain like farro, quinoa, or brown rice
2 cups chopped cucumber
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
chopped kalamata olives, optional
crumbled feta cheese, optional

Cook grain of choice according to package directions.  I like to use chicken broth for part or all of my cooking liquid.

Place chicken and oil in a large bowl; toss to coat.  Combine 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, and paprika in a bowl.  Add spice mixture to chicken mixture; toss to coat.

Combine remaining 1/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/4 tsp cumin, yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a small bowl.  Set aside.

To season chickpeas: In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas with 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt. 

Place 1/2 cup cooked grain in each of 4 bowls.  Top each serving with about 3/4 cup chicken mixture, 1/2 cup cucumber, 1/2 cup tomatoes, about 1/3 cup chickpeas, and a large dollop of Greek yogurt mixture.  Top with parsley and black pepper.  Serve with pita chips.


My family likes to build their own bowl, so I just serve all the toppings separate and let everyone pile it up.  We also really like kalamata olives and feta as optional toppings.  This can be served warm (I microwave the chicken and chick peas), room temp, or cold. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

week of September 11

Rainbow Power Kale Salad - my son was gone for this meal, but my girls liked it far more than I thought they would!  I think the different colors and textures made for a beautiful and delicious salad.  Keep the dressing and peanuts on the side and you'll have great leftovers for the week.

Oven Fajitas - a standard favorite

Green Taco Wraps - a made "real" meat as well, but we put our fillings in lettuce leaves and everyone was happy.  If, like me, you don't have a food processor and use a Vitamix for food processing, make sure to put the walnuts in before the lentils to avoid too many mushy lentils.

Date Night!

Chicken Curry - I first tried the recipe on the side of the Patak Mild Curry Paste jar, but have made some changes and we all enjoy this dish:

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbsp curry paste
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained of juices
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1/2 cup coconut milk

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add onions and saute a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook just until fragrant (1 minute).  Add chicken pieces and cook about 5 minutes, until starting to brown.  Add curry paste and mix well.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Bring to a low boil and simmer, uncovered, 20-25 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and sauce has thickened.  Stir in coconut milk and cook just until heated through.  Serve over rice or with naan bread!

Friday, August 18, 2017

week of August 14

Orecchiette and Spinach Soup - I used red pepper instead of tomatoes and it was still great!

Mediterranean Couscous and Chicken wraps - one of my go-to summer meals

Mexican pile-up

Sausage, Quinoa salad, and watermelon - perfect for a pool picnic!
For the salad I combined:
quinoa cooked in chicken broth
garden cherry tomatoes, chopped
garden lemon cucumbers, chopped
fresh basil, chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper

leftovers before guys' night at the ball park and girls' night at the salon =)


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Heaviland Menu Swap - Summer edition

Jessie and I have been swapping menus about once a season for over five years!  We choose a week and send each other a menu consisting of 5-6 new recipes (that we've made but the other person hasn't), plus a bonus dessert and/or breakfast idea.  It's always such a fun food week!  Shopping for different ingredients, cooking new meals, introducing the family to foods that aren't necessarily part of our regular routine, and all the while thinking of my dear friend.  

Hawaiian Fried Rice - use fresh pineapple!

Chili-Lime Chicken Kebobs with Honey Lime Fruit Salad - grating lime zest on the fruit took our normal fruit salad to a new level.  I should have marinated the chicken longer to get more of the chili-lime flavor.

Fruit, Nut, and Goat Cheese Salad - if I had to pick a favorite meal from the week it would be this: so simple, but absolutely delicious.

Banh Mi Sandwiches - I doubled the meatballs and made these when we hosted dinner for our community group . . . several asked for the recipe afterwards which is always a good sign!

Italian Mac and Cheese - what's not to love about noodles, meat, and cheese cooked together?!

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper White Bean Chili - I was surprised by how well this chili went over with the entire family.  It was delicious!  And not too spicy (though you could kick it up a notch if you wanted to)

Frosted Banana Bars

Welsh Breakfast Cakes

Saturday, July 8, 2017

week of July 2

Sweet Greens and We The Pizza take-out for a dinner picnic on the Capitol lawn for A Capitol Fourth concert rehearsal

Fourth of July BBQ at Steve and Vallerie's!

Lemon Shrimp Orzo Pasta

Chickpea Stew

Filipino Adobo Chicken - this is the third chicken adobo recipe I've tried and it's by far the easiest to pull together

pizza at a birthday pool party

Sunday, June 25, 2017

week of June 19

Harissa Ravioli - from Super Natural Everyday

dinner with community group

Mostly Not Potato Salad - from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Everyday; with potatoes from our garden!

leftovers - which included this yummy quinoa salad, one of my favorites!

homemade pizza

dinner with friends

Saturday, June 17, 2017

week of June 12

Mexican Pile-up

Honey Garlic Chicken with rice and edamames

Chicken salad on baguette with olives and watermelon


Harissa Ravioli

Sunday, June 11, 2017

week of June 5

BLT salad

Lebanese Chicken with hummus for community group

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Posole Salad  (I skipped making the actual dressing this time.  Instead I drizzled olive oil and added a pinch of salt to each plated salad then served it with a thick wedge of lime.  Still deliciously good!)

Bratwurst with veg and fruit - Dad's dinner of choice when he's in charge


Sunday, June 4, 2017

week of May 29

Memorial Day dinner with friends - I took these delicious cookies and fruit

hot dogs, mac-n-cheese, and leftover chipotle - a friend dropped off leftover food for the kids, so Ryan and I kept things easy and ate our leftovers also!

Oven Fajitas - a family favorite

Mongolian Beef over Cauliflower Rice - my mother-in-law gave me a spice-of-the-month gift and my first set of spices arrived!  Included with the spices was a recipe card for this meal (the recipe I made is very similiar to the link).  It was my first try at making cauliflower rice, and it was good!  Having a food processor would have made things easier.  I had to put the cauliflower in my vitamix in batches.  But it was otherwise a quick and easy meal that everyone enjoyed.

Date night here!

Chick-fil-A dinner with friends before a baseball game

Sunday, May 28, 2017

week of May 22

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry - this was the first time I'd tried this recipe, though I've made other yummy crockpot chicken curries before.  We got home later than expected, so the dish was cooking much longer than the recipe said, but it still turned out great.  I liked the leftovers even better.

Community Group meal

Mediterranen Cous Cous and Chicken Wraps - a great meal for a picnic dinner with friends at our local park

Date night!

Chickpea Wraps and Chicken Salad - my contributions for an overnight stay with friends at their farmhouse

Taqueria la Placita - we took Big Daddy out for the most delicious authentic tacos around!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

week of May 15

BBQ chicken, sweet potatoes, and Cucumber Strawberry Balsamic Salad

Bratwurst, mashed potatoes, and Strawberry with Feta Salad
(but I made this Strawberry Vinaigrette instead)

Chicken Posole Salad

Eggs and toast with homemade strawberry jam

Dinner at church

Oven Tacos

Sunday, April 9, 2017

week of April 3

Mexican pile-up - this is my go-to for delivering a meal.  I took this to two different families, feeding three families this night, and the extra work was barely noticeable.

Harisa Chili from the freezer

Chicken Salad sandwiches

Tomato Basil Soup with salad and sausages

Date night

Saturday, April 1, 2017

week of March 27

It was a week full of busy evenings, which made for quick meals and pulling things from the freezer

Smoothies, Eggs and Toast

Mexican Pile-up

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

dinner with friends

Big Daddy's Pizza

Sunday, March 26, 2017

week of March 20


Potato Chicken Green Bean Bake

Chicken Noodle Soup with bone broth


Brown Bag dinner while watching Big Brother's basketball game

Greek Pasta Salad

Sunday, March 12, 2017

week of March 6

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Egg in a Toast Hole with sweet peppers and fruit

Crispy Caramelized Pork Ramen Soup - still a family fave!

Costco Lasagna

Chicken and Apple Sausages with sweet potato fries and salad

Sunday, March 5, 2017

week of February 27

Beef and Barley Garden Stew - one of my favorite use-whatever-random-veggies-I-can-find recipes.  Start with sautéing ground beef and chopped onions, add some garlic, throw in a bunch of chopped tomatoes or a couple cans of undrained diced tomatoes, then finish with some broth and whatever chopped veggies sound good to you.  Season to taste.  I also like to add about 1/2 cup of barley to make the finished product thick and more stew-like.  This pot included potatoes, turnip, carrot, parsnip, cabbage, and celeriac.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Beet, Feta, and Arugula Salad with homemade vinaigrette - my contribution to our community group dinner.

Greek Pasta Chicken Salad - I use some of this dressing to marinate the chicken.  I mix the cooked chicken with cooked penne pasta, chunked cucumbers and tomatoes, sliced kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and toss it with more of the dressing.  My family devours this!  And my son was thrilled when he realized that the entire meal, which I serve in one large bowl, has something included from every food group!

Pizza and salad

Date-night in: Swiss Chard Tacos with spiced black beans while kids ate leftover pasta salad

Acorn Squash with Rice Pilaf (again!)

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars - a new breakfast that we all enjoyed in the morning, and as a snack the next few days.  I made several changes from the original recipe that are reflected below:

2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp coconut oil (not melted)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 heaping scoop plant-based protein powder
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
6 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp maple syrup
juice of one lemon
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or any kind of chopped nut)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 8x11 baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the banana, maple syrup, oils and vanilla.  Using electric or hand mixer, mix until smooth.  Add in the oats, protein powder, cinnamon and salt and mix until well combined.  Mixture will be wet.  Transfer the mixture to the pan.  Smooth it out with a spatula and press it down evenly.  Bake for 10 minutes.

While bottom layer is baking, in the same mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the topping layer until well combined.

After first layer is done baking, remove pan from oven.  Pour topping layer over and spread it out evenly, pressing it down into the base layer.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Allow the bars to cool and set for 15-20 minutes before slicing into square servings.  Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

week of February 20

*Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale and Bacon Quiche - I made my first-ever quiche crust!  It worked!  Some changes I made to this recipe: used half whole wheat flour, used pastry cutter instead of food processor, used 8 eggs, and mozzarella cheese.

Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pilaf - I love this meal.  Half the enjoyment for me is making up the pilaf recipe as I go.  This time I included some rotisserie shredded chicken, celery, onion, garlic, toasted almonds and craisins with the wild rice cooked in chicken broth.

Dinner at neighbors' home

Brats, sweet potato fries, salad (Dad's dinner of choice when Mom's not home)

BBQ out with friends

Sunday, February 19, 2017

week of February 13

This week I got sick, so my husband stepped in and helped big time with dinners.  And no one went hungry.

Chicken Fried Rice - leftover rice makes for the best fried rice!

Sausage with roasted vegetables

Eggs, Bacon, and Daddy Cereal (AKA Post Great Grains Raisins, Dates & Nuts)

Costco Pizza

Mexican pile-up

Sunday, February 12, 2017

week of February 6

*Oven Fajitas - super easy . . . my family ate the entire pan!

*Pizza Sandwich Melts - another delicious meal with no leftovers.  See below for recipe.

Honey Garlic Chicken with edamames and shared with friends

Vegetable and Cheese Frittata from SNED by Heidi Swanson with sourdough whole wheat bread - I used cauliflower and topped it with mozzarella cheese

Green Lentil Soup to share with a refugee family

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for community group dinner

Pizza Sandwich Melts, from One-Pan Recipes by Better Homes and Gardens:

Use ciabatta rolls.  Cut rolls in half.

Cover large roasting pan with tin foil.  Preheat oven to 350.

Line pan with bottoms of the bread rolls.  Use the following ingredients to layer on the roll bottoms:
one 12-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup thin strips green sweet pepper
3 to 4 oz. sliced pepperoni
one 2.25 oz. sliced pitted ripe olives, drained
Top with 6 oz. shredded smoked mozzarella cheese

Spread cut sides of roll tops with one 8-oz. can pizza sauce (or make your own) and place on top to make sandwiches.

Combine the following and then pour evenly over sandwiches:
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

Bake, covered with foil, for 25 minutes at 350.  Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted and roll tops are light brown.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

week of January 30

Mexican Pile-up


Stuffed Bell Pepper soup from a freezer meals cooking party.

Dinner at Bidwell with friends - I highly recommend the wood-fired Moonpie pizza!

Dinner with my aunts and uncles . . . I took this apple crisp for dessert.  Next time I'll try mixing apples and pears.

Thai Beef with Coconut Rice

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week of January 23

Popcorn, Apples, Nutnana smoothies - first night of my husband being away, so I kept it simple and fun for the rest of us =)

Green Lentil Soup from Super Natural Every Day.  I love lentils.  And soup.  This was a delicious combination.  I only blended half the lentils to keep some texture in the soup.  Make sure to add a little water or broth when reheating.

Roasted Chicken Legs - my plan was to make this for dinner, but I didn't make it to the right store in time to buy harissa.  Instead, I tossed some halved cherry tomatoes, one lemon cut into eight slices, one red onion cut in wedges, and a few potatoes cut into chunks with some crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  After spreading on a roasting pan, I nestled drumsticks into the veggies, added a little more seasoning to the chicken, then roasted at 400F for about 45 minutes.  It worked great!  Similar to this meal, but even simpler.

Sweet Potato Sausage Hash - served over greens with a fried egg on it.

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili to host community group

Chickpea Wraps for lunch, from SNED by Heidi Swanson - my husband and I both enjoyed this.  I wrapped my chickpea filling in collard green leaves as a wrap.  My husband used a whole wheat tortilla for his wrap with garden greens.  And my oldest gingersnap ate as much as I did using saltine crackers as his scoop!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Week of January 16

Baked Potatoes

*Sweet Potato Miso Soup with Roasted Chickpeas - we shared this with friends.  She and I liked it, but no one else (kids and my husband included) were that impressed.

Dinner with Uncle Steve and Aunt Vallerie



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week of January 9

*Paleo Sweet Potato Chili - I did not expect this chili to have such great flavor!  We put a little cheese on top of ours because we aren't committed to paleo eating (and because, let's be honest, cheese helps my kids get excited about their food!), but it didn't need it.

Potato, Chicken, and Green Bean Bake

British Steak and Mushroom Pie - we discovered meat pie while living in England.  It became my son's favorite food and he still requests this every year for his birthday dinner.  I've experimented with several changes, but I think the original recipe is still the way to go.

Egg Scramble Deluxe - my fancy name for the "use it up" meal.  It's basically a really big omelette without shape!  Cook bacon or warm up leftover meat.  Saute chopped veggies (our favorites are peppers, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions).  Scramble eggs and just before they're done cooking, add the cooked meat, veggies, and some grated cheese.

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

*Perfect Cinnamon Rolls - these are AMAZING!  And they are HUGE.  Prepare to share and freeze.

Kale Salad from Super Natural Every Day.  Another great, simple recipe from Heidi Swanson.  I made this on Monday and ate on it all week for lunch.  I swapped about 1 Tbsp coconut oil for some olive oil and added a teaspoon of an asian chili sauce for a little kick.  The leftovers keep well, but, not surprisingly, the kale and coconut chips lose their crisp when reheating.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week of January 1

I love cooking.  I love trying new recipes.  I love talking with friends about food and recipes and cooking and eating.  I love sharing recipes that I've found and love with other people.  And I refer to this little blog space often to remember what I've made, what we've liked, and to share recipes with people.  So instead of trying to post individual recipes, I'm going for a weekly meal approach.  I'll star the recipes that were new and hopefully do a better job of tracking what I make for future reference.

Mexican Pile-Up - a family favorite: you pile up whatever you want!  Our staple ingredients are: rice, taco meat, chips, lettuce or spinach, black beans or refried beans, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese, cilantro, salsa.  Other taco-type toppings are welcomed when I have them.

Anniversary date night.  Kids had pizza.

*Cinnamon Chili Pork - this was absolutely delicious and everyone in the family liked it - winner!  My youngest asked for a bowl of the red pepper apple salsa for her birthday meal!

Kids were invited to the neighbors' for a last-minute dinner playdate, so we had date night leftovers.

*Roasted Sausage with Mushrooms, Squash, and Polenta - I love polenta, but hadn't tried roasting it before.  Delicious!

1 16-ounce tube refrigerated cooked polenta, cut into 1/2-inch slices and halved (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
2 cups sliced fresh cremini mushrooms
2 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lb. uncooked mild Italian sausage links
1 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425F.  In a 15x10-inch baking pan combine polenta, mushrooms, and squash.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Prick each sausage a few times with a fork.  Place in pan with veggies.  Sprinkle with rosemary.
Roast 25-30 minutes, or until sausages are done, stirring once.  If desired, top with additional rosemary.
Recipe taken from Better Homes and Gardens' One-Pan Recipes magazine

New Breakfast recipe:
Yogurt Biscuits from Super Natural Every Day, by Heidi Swanson.  This is a new cookbook for me and I'm excited to cook my way through it this year with a friend!  It's definitely worth a look from your local library if you enjoy simple, interesting, whole food recipes that are easily adaptable for family-friendly eating.

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