Month: May 2013

tasty tuesday: steak chimichurri tacos, black bean dip, salsa and GA peach salad- JAM

Well, it was the last time crunched tasty tuesday of the MIA season. We suffered a demoralizing defeat, though it was to a team that beat every team they played this year via mercy rule. Nonetheless, good year MIA!

But, now for the food. This food:


Jealous? I know.

Knowing it was my turn, and I would suffer from time crunch, I tried to think of something that could be quick with plenty of advanced prep. Thats when I remembered a time I saw a Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives (the only way to stomach Guy Fieri) where they went to a mexican cantina that made awesome looking steak chimichurri burritos. The skirt steak cooks quick, is easily sliced, and can we whipped into tasty tacos in seconds after that.

You of course have to have the chimichurri and the steak marinating hours in advance…

After looking up several recipes, I set about making the chimichurri sauce with as many herbs from bungalow garden as possible, landed with rosemary, thai basil, oregano, and cilantro. MMM, fresh herbs.

Chimichurri Steak Tacos:

1 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
5 cloves garlic
tbls. Oregano, Thai Basil, Rosemary
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
To taste: Red pepper flake, salt, pepper, cumin
2lbs skirt steak

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until all herbs are well chopped and it resembles a loose paste.

Slather onto the steak (which if it is more than 1/2 inch thick you will need to cut in half to make thinner) and marinate for as long as you can, but at least 2 hours, and less than 2 days.

Heat a range grill to medium high and grill about 7 minutes per side, until the ends are crispy. This will make a good medium to medium rare.

Slice it like so:


… At an angle, across the grain, into thin slices.

Grill your tortillas and pile them up with steak, a little cilantro, raw onion and queso fresco and EAT.


I also wanted to expand on the GA grown nature of things and make a peach salad. With some GA grown Red Boston Lettuce and two thin sliced peaches, I had had a solid salad in less than 3 minutes. I topped it with an impromptu dressing of Olive Oil, White WIne Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, minced Peach, lemon juice, and Queso Fresco. Shake it in a mason jar and pour. Five minutes, tasty salad.

While I was grilling the steak, I heated a can of black beans in a pan with some butter until hot. About a quarter cup of queso fresco went in there and melted and a with a little spoon work became a hearty dip to go along with my mostly GA Grown salsa.


3 Better Boy Tomatoes
1/2 Large GA Sweet onion
1 Whole jalapeno, de-ribbed and seeded
1/4 Cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp Hot and Spicy oregano

Blend it all in a food processor. Eat with chips. I didn’t make the chips.

In the end, in less than twenty minutes of cook time we had a great taco station:


And some great plates:


I highly recommend this for a quick execution meal. I also highly recommend skirt steak. This is the first time I have used it, but there is great flavor and it so tender. I will return to this well many times.

tales from the egg: pastrami short ribs, boston butt, lemon pepper and spicy chicken


When you have a Big Green Egg you try to find excuses to use it. This past weekend, I started by just inviting some friends over, but then our friend Meg realized that with the return of Arrested Development, we should host a bigger shin-dig and have a full on BBQ fest. The BBQ and Bananas event was born (yes, we had frozen bananas, ice cream sandwiches, juice boxes, cornballs, the works). It was a lot of fun. (H/t Corey Bennett, Tim and Leila Regan-Porter, Melanie Bruchet (of the Cooking up Happy blog), and Lauren Morrill Ragusea (Find her in a bookstore near you!) for bringing the above themed goodies)

I want to have a special space here at the Bungalow for my many egg-ventures. I have gotten adept at basic ribs and pulled pork, but I am hoping to greatly expand by repertoire. I started this past weekend with some pastrami-brined short ribs. I got the inspiration from an Esquire article about some guys in Houston making classy bbq. I figured I could do the same.

Brining the night away…

After picking up some quality short-ribs, I set out to brine. In a large bowl I added hefty amounts of pickling spice, coriander, pepper, sea salt, paprika, and thyme. I added hot water and whisked until the dissolvable bits were dissolved and let it sit for a couple of minutes. I placed the ribs in a gallon freezer bag and poured the brine over the top. In the fridge, the ribs brined for over 16 hours.

Note the every recipe for pastrami will call for pink salt. This is designed to help in the brining by adding a distinct flavor while preserving a good color. I unfortunately could not find natural pink salt.

After the brine, as with a good many things, you have to pat these guys dry. I made a special rub of sea salt, whole peppercorns, coriander, and paprika in the food processor, milling the spices until coarsely ground. Add the rub to each rib, being sure to coat the entire top, meaty portion.

With the smoker ready to go and some smoked apple chips handy, head outside! After the chips were added, I got the egg up to 300 and smoked the ribs for about 3 hours, until they began to get a little stringy and easily pulled from the bone.

You guys...

You guys…

Now, for this iteration of the pulled pork. Instead of my usual sweet and spicy rub, I made a special herby rub this time. Salt replaced sugar as the heaviest ingredient and used its friends cumin, thyme, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flake, ground mustard and cinnamon do the work. After coating the butt in canola oil, I applied copious amounts of the rub and let it sit in the fridge for about four hours. It may of have to go on the grill at midnight and smoke for 12 1/2 hours in an applewood bath, but it was well worth it as you see.

So much flavor.

So much flavor.

I am a fan for mopping the butt a few times and flipping a couple of times in the process, just not for longer than an hour per time with the fat cap down. The whole point of slow smoking a shoulder butt is to melt the fat into the muscle and create a juicy, hand pickable meat like so…


For a mop, this time, I used red wine, cider vinegar, water, and some of the rub. I added a little bit of rub (which I added sugar later in the process) after each mop. If you do it this way, you will not need sauce, but if you must, I’ll help you make your own sometime.

In my efforts to get a little more diverse, I invested in Myron Mixon’s new book. He has some great pointers and an excellent lemon pepper chicken recipe. In deference to him, I will not post his recipe online, but know that it uses lemon curb as a base for the marinade and includes fresh garlic, black pepper, lemon juice, and hot sauce. You add this to a whole chicken coating the bird under and over the skin. Smoking with applewood for an hour and half, and then letting it rest for 15, will render a super juicy, easy to carve into pieces, bird.

The second bird I did (same time and process and the above) with a homemade spicy marinade. I mixed turbinado sugar, kosher salt, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, and red pepper flake with louisiana hot sauce and rubbed the bird down. This was a seriously spicy, full flavor bird. You can tell they wanted to be cooked.

Party Fowl

Party Fowl

All told, this was one heck of a spread. I can’t tell you any of the amounts of the above since you will come to realize this is more art than science, but a good rule of thumb is to start your rubs with your featured flavor (salty or sweet) and go 4 parts of it to 1 part of your next spice. Then, for the remaining spices, only use 1/4 of the amount you used for the second ingredient. I like to layer the rubs in a bowl and use sight to gauge my taste and then mix them up before applying.

As always, be adventurous, trust your taste, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

tasty tuesday: chicken+avocado soup and summer squash+chive pancakes


Hello everyone!  I know, I know…it’s not a Tuesday.  Last night, I had some of my Junior League girls over and we had a great time!  Tonight, however, I committed to my new recipes and chose two yummy creations by Skinnytaste.  Skinnytaste is a superb website for lighter recipes, and each listing comes with complete nutrition facts!

Tonight’s selection was Chicken and Avocado Soup and Summer Squash and Chive Pancakes.  Warmer weather doesn’t usually inspire me to make soup, but this soup is so light and fresh that it jumped right off the screen and said “make me!”  The avocado is a lovely addition to the soup giving it depth of flavor without coming off too heavy.  The Summer Squash and Chive Pancakes are a savory dish similar to fritters or latkes.  The chives in our herb garden are abundant, so this recipe spoke to me as well as a way to experiment with an herb I don’t use often.  This recipe is a great entrance to summer as yellow squash is one of the banner crops of a Georgia summer.  I have good memories of my mom cooking yellow squash and Vidalia onions in the summer as a side dish, so this recipe reminded me of her!

In short, you’ve got to try both of these recipes.  Both are super easy to make and disappeared quickly off of our plates!

Chicken and Avocado Soup
Adapted from Skinnytaste

5 cups chicken broth
2 chicken breasts
1 tomato, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups scallions, chopped fine
1 fresh jalapeno, minced
2 ripe avocados, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
4 lime wedges
2 tsp. olive oil
salt + fresh pepper to taste
pinch cumin
pinch chile powder

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 1 cup of scallions and garlic. Sauté about 2 minutes then add tomatoes and sauté another minute, until soft. Add chicken stock, jalapeno,  cumin and chile powder and bring to a boil. Add chicken breasts and cook in the broth.  Simmer, covered on low for about 15-20 minutes.

Next, remove the chicken breasts and shred chicken with two forks.  Place shredded chicken back into the pot.

In four bowls, fill each with, 1/2 avocado,  remainder of the scallions, and cilantro. Ladle soup over these and serve with a lime wedge.

Summer Squash and Chive Pancakes
Adapted from Skinnytaste

3 yellow summer squash
1 egg
1 egg white
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
pinch fresh cracked pepper
olive oil

Add squash to a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cover; cook until soft. When soft, drain; add to food processor and pulse a few times until chopped. Add 2 cups of squash to a medium bowl. Combine squash with remaining ingredients except oil and mix well.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, when hot spray lightly with oil and reduce heat to medium-low. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter, slightly flattening them with the back of a spoon and cook a few minutes or until golden. Turn and cook the other side until golden. Set aside and repeat with the remaining batter.

meatless monday: asparagus goat cheese pasta, caprese salad- JAM


Man, why would I just start craving a Caprese salad. I know it is a nice, bright dish with fresh basil and tomato and big globs of cheese– in other words, all good– but what would cause me to want it all of a sudden? Whatever it was, thank you. I’d also like to thank Deb Perelman of The Smitten Kitchen for the recipe I used. I felt like I need to go back to basics after going on a few off book adventures of late.


Who could resist?

I also went to the Smitten well for tonight’s main, a nice gooey goat cheese pasta. Goat cheese when mixed with hot pasta and a little oil and water makes the easiest cream sauce you’ve ever made. I tweak her recipe a bit with a little garlic and a visit to Bungalow Garden.


I can smell these guys through the screen.

This is one of those recipes where the ingredients really matter. The herbs have to be fresh, the tomatoes have to be ripe (I used “ugly ripe” heirloom tomatoes, the pasta needs to stand up to flavor of your good chevre (cannot used crumbles). Even if you are using quality ingredients, this meal is not going to break the bank and it is going to make a ton of food. Wonderful delicious food cast down from Nomulus and Nomus, the founders of Flavortown.


Things got fancy, this is from Italy.

Caprese: Altered from

3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound peak-season tomatoes diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 15-ounce can white beans
A handful of chopped basil plus 1/4 cup olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Bed of red leaf lettuce

Stir it up and go to town.

Asparagus Goat Cheese Pasta: Altered from

1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of elephant garlic, lightly roasted
Grated lemon peel from 1 whole lemon
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, oregano, rosemary, thyme
2 4-ounce log soft fresh chevre (1 regular, one with herbs
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Boil the pasta with salted water for about 6 minutes. Add the cut asparagus to the water and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so. Drain, but retain some of the water for a gooey sauce. MIx the herbs, garlic, oil, and cheese in a bowl. Add the hot pasta and the water and stir until it looks like this:


It’s the mac and cheese you never knew you wanted all the time.

 Enjoy the adventures, y’all. Both of these recipes are prime for tweaking. Share your ideas!

lunchbox life: buffalo chicken quinoa salad


ONE MORE WEEK OF SCHOOL!  I have had a great year of school, but every teacher (and student, for that matter) yearns for that final afternoon dismissal bell in May.  Unfortunately, this will be my last lunchbox life post for a little while, but I’ll be back on August 1!

I found several different versions of this recipe on Pinterest, so I combined a few different ideas and settled on this one.  Have you ever tried quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”)?  It’s an earthy grain that’s rich in protein and fiber, and it works well as an alternative to pasta in salads.  It seems kind of strange to pair a super healthy grain with something junk food-worthy like buffalo sauce, but it’s a really tasty combination!  I served this on a bed of mache greens, which look and taste a lot like baby spinach, and added some deliciously in-season strawberries.

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup buffalo sauce (Frank’s or your choice)
1/2 tsp garlic powder


In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse quinoa under cold running water. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine quinoa and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Whisk well and set aside.

Heat a saucepan  over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes or until nearly cooked through. Add the broccoli and saute for about 2-3 minutes or until bright green and slightly tender. Remove from heat and stir in carrots and celery. Add about 1/3 of the buffalo sauce and stir.

Transfer the chicken and veggies to the bowl with the quinoa and toss with the remaining dressing. Add the blue cheese and the green onions. Toss again and serve warm or chilled.


tasty tuesday: smoked turkey, pimiento cheese, and sriracha bacon sandwiches, fried okra, mashed sweet potatoes- JAM

It's not a Whopper, but I can see why you might be confused.

It’s not a Whopper, but I can see why you might be confused.

When I heard tale of sriracha bacon, I dreamed of this sandwich. A nice smoked turkey, pimiento cheese, and bacon, mmmm. There is a lot of flavor here, as the bacon spoke for itself and the rub of on the turkey provided some great notes against the creamy spice of the cheese. A thick slice of heirloom tomato rounded out the dish. I would have preferred ciabatta instead of the onion roll I used, but sometimes you are beholden to the whims of the grocer.

This is something that I definitely need to tweak some more, but this version is certainly good enough for repeat visits. It was my first adventure into homemade pimiento cheese or candied bacon, so honing the craft is necessary. What tweaks would you make to a sandwich like this?

Some notes on the Turkey:

I smoked the turkey on the egg the night before. I used a standard rub of sugar, salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and ground mustard.

whole turk

The tenderloins and thighs were one for about an hour at 200. They got a nice helping of Jack Daniels barrel chips and applewood for their trouble. The flavor and texture came out perfect, see:

sliced turk

The sweet potatoes were a nice compliment to the spice going on in the sandwich. I roasted medallions of the beautiful tuber that had been tossed in olive oil, salt, and cinnamon and then mashed them with just a dab of milk. Creamy and good.

The okra was also a first attempt for me. I think it was quite the success, with whole okra breaded in cornmeal, flour, and salt, pepper, and garlic. As someone who never ate okra as a kid, its clear I have some catching up to do!

All told it was a great meal, but I know I can make it better on repeat visits. I encourage you to make something similar on your own and let me know what you come up with!


1/2 cup sliced smoked turkey, white and dark meat

2 spoonfulls of pimiento cheese of your choosing (I used a Palmetto Cheese approximation)

1 strip of sriracha candied back

1 slice of heirloom tomato

1 bun of choice

Grill sandwich until warm throughout.

Pimiento Cheese:

8 oz extra sharp cheddar

8 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup mayo

salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, curry powder, to taste

1 medium jalapeno, minced

4 oz jar of pimientos, drained.

Combine ingredients in a mixer with a paddle attachment.


For each strip of bacon, brush a healthy dose of sriracha on one side with pastry brush, sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in over at 350 for about 20-25 mins.


Dredge okra in a spiced flour mixture. Wash dredged okra in beaten egg and roll in the a cornmeal flour breading. Fry in canola oil over medium heat until golden brown. All of the spices are to taste. The cornmeal, flour ratio should be 1/1.

Mashed sweet potatoes:

3 whole sweet potatoes

2 tbls olive oil

salt and cinnamon to taste.

1/4 cup milk.

Cut the potatoes into discs and toss in oil and spices. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft. Mash with the milk until creamy.

meatless monday: white bean burgers with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella + kale chips


Happy (meatless) Monday!  I hope everyone had a great (or bearable, at least) return to the work week.  I was delighted to learn that my yoga class was outside today, so I’m still basking in the glory of Vitamin D and beautiful weather.  Namaste, indeed!

The beautiful weather enjoyment continued when Alex and I took our dinner outside to eat on the back deck.  Summer, can you hear me?

If you like black bean burgers, I think you’ll really like these white bean burgers.  I researched a few different white bean burger recipes, but the one listed below is a combination of several ideas.  The taste is quite mild, but the aromatics of the burger make for a lovely sensory experience.  I realized later that if you leave off the mozzarella cheese and the rye bread (but who would do that, right?), this meal would be totally vegan!  Who knew?  My hat totally goes off to vegans, but a world without cheese is not one I want to live in.  Can I get an amen?

If you’ve never tried kale chips, I have one word for you: YUM.  If you love salty snacks like me (I’ve never met a chip I didn’t like), then you’ll be all over this vitamin-rich superfood-turned-snack food.  They are SUPER easy, inexpensive, and will change your world as it pertains to dark leafy greens.  Three words: just try them.

White Bean Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella

Makes 4 burgers

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed or chia seeds (I used chia)

1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp. paprika

2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

4 slices fresh mozzarella (don’t skimp on this by getting it pre-sliced)

8 slices dark rye bread (or any bun/bread you choose)

Turn your oven onto the broiler setting.  Place sun-dried tomatoes, chia seeds, basil, oats, garlic and paprika in the bowl of a food processor and process until blended.


Add beans and pulse briefly until mixture just comes together in a ball, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Be careful not to fully puree the beans but rather leave them chunky.

Preheat grill pan (or flat-bottom pan) to medium-high heat. Form burger mixture into 4 even patties.  Grill burgers, covered, for 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and heated through.


Place patties on the broiler pan and top with mozzarella cheese.  Broil until the cheese is melted and looks like this:


Toast bread or bun of your choice and top with your selection of toppings.  I used redleaf lettuce and dijon mustard.  Add the cheese-topped patties, assemble sandwiches, and enjoy!

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale

2 Tbsp. olive oil

3 dashes of hot sauce (I like Cholula)

2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425F.  Remove stems from kale and tear into bite-size pieces; place kale pieces in a mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and toss thoroughly in the mixing bowl.  Place seasoned kale pieces evenly on a cookie sheet; do not let leaves overlap.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  Enjoy like chips!

sunday special: big green egg steak, bourbon sautéed mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and fried onion rings-JAM

...Happy Mother's Day

…Happy Mother’s Day

Good Sunday night, everyone! After traveling the roads of west Georgia for the last several days and eating out several times, I was ready to dive in to a good home-cooked meal and I wanted steak. Because we had a late lunch for Mother’s day, we had some time for leisure, so I was able to get a good rub and have time for it to set and get the grill up to 600 before firing it up. Also, Eleta said she wanted onion rings and who am I to deprive.

Ain't to proud to beg, sweet onion.

Ain’t too proud to beg, sweet onion.

The recipe I learned for Onion Rings comes from the great Emeril. Soak the thin rings in buttermilk and hot sauce (I used Sriracha, of course) for a least an hour. Dredge the rings in flour spiced with pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic powder and drop straight into a hot vat of canola oil (Medium high, until a water droplet instantly pops). Fry for about 6 minutes, or until they look like this:

What can I say, it's a talent. You can do it, too.

What can I say, it’s a talent. You can do it, too.

Serve with Sriracha ketchup, which is just Sriracha and ketchup, spiced to your contentment.

I also wanted to make some nice ‘Shrooms, because they are often the best compliment to a grilled steak. With some butter and garlic and pepper already in the pan, I dumped the mushrooms in let them sweat a little before adding a healthy dose of Worcestershire sauce, and once glazed, I tossed in some Maker’s Mark:

Drink up, Little Shroomies, Drink up!

Drink up, Little Shroomies, Drink up!

After this, I covered and simmered for about 10 mins, until most of the sauce was absorbed and then spiced once more with a little garlic and olive oil. A few more tosses in the pan and to the plate with them.

As a green compliment, a little roasted broccoli goes a long way. This time I just used a little toss of olive oil, salt and pepper. Perfect at 450 for about 20 mins.

Also, drink some craft beer when you sunday cook. Your mother would be proud.


Preheat grill at 550 for at least 20 mins

Season steak, covering each side with garlic powder (or fresh, if available), paprika, and kosher salt.

Onion Rings

Slice two Vidalia onions into thin ring

Cover with buttermilk and season with about 1 tbls Sriracha or hot sauce

Dredge in flour and to taste: salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder

About 4 cups canola oil, enough for about 3 inches in a deep sauce pan


8oz white button mushrooms

2 tbls butter

Garlic, pepper, salt, too taste

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Makers Mark

1 tsp olive oil


2 broccoli crowns

1 tsp olive oil

kosher salt and pepper.

Add a good knife, a good friend, a good beer, and good appetite and a good time will be had.

lunchbox life: grilled chicken, zucchini, bell pepper, and goat cheese wraps

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend!  We kicked off the weekend by attending my cousin’s wedding at the lovely Historic Banning Mills in Whitesburg, GA on Friday night.  On Saturday morning, we began our five-hour long zip line tour of the property.  If you have not been on a zip line before, you absolutely have to try it!  I’m still on an adrenaline high!

When we got home from all of the wedding and Mother’s Day festivities, Alex decided that he wanted to grill steaks on the Big Green Egg (our pride and joy).  I, of course, did not oppose this idea, and I suggested that he grill some chicken for me for this week’s lunches while the grill was hot.  Lucky me!

The marinade I used for my chicken breast was totally made up off the cuff, and you can prepare your chicken any way you like.  I let my chicken marinate for about an hour in the refrigerator with about 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cracked black pepper, 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 dashes of Cholula hot sauce, and about 1 tsp. each of fresh sage, oregano, and thyme.

Grilled Chicken, Zucchini, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Wraps

2 chicken breasts, grilled and seasoned

1 zucchini

2 bell peppers

4 oz. soft goat cheese

5 tortillas (I like La Tortilla Factory’s whole wheat, low carb tortillas)

cooking spray

Halve the zucchini lengthwise and throw it on the grill cut side down.  Flip at least once.  Do the same for the 2 bell peppers (I chose yellow and orange for a pretty color).

When the chicken is done, let it rest at room temperature for about 20 minutes before slicing it into 1/2-inch thick pieces.  Match the zucchini and bell pepper slices to the size of your chicken strips.


Spread about 3/4 oz. of goat cheese on each tortilla.  Next, fill each tortilla with even amounts of chicken, zucchini, and bell pepper.  Fold tortillas burrito-style and set aside.


Spray a medium pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat.  Place the burrito fold-side-up onto the pan and set another smaller pan on top.  Place a large canned good item on top of the smaller pan (I used jellied cranberry sauce because, well, it was leftover from the holidays, but it doesn’t matter what you use).  After about 1 minute, remove the top pan, flip the wrap, and place the pan on top for another two minutes.


*If you have a panini press, you can certainly use that instead.  I don’t have one, and this method works just fine!


I’m having my grilled wraps with strawberries because they are in season right now and are super cheap at the grocery!  Thanks to my friend Melanie for the money-saving tip!


tasty tuesday: salmon with marinated vegetables+salmoriglio with a side of curry chickpea soup


If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “what the heck is salmoriglio?”  Well, we can be each others’ good company, because I only found out when I looked at the recipe that salmoriglio is simply a lemon and herb sauce originally from Southern Italy.  If you love the flavors of lemon, garlic, olive oil, and herbs together, you’ve probably made one before anyway.  Perhaps now we’ll both get it right on Jeopardy!?  Oh wait, are we the only ones who watch Jeopardy! under the age of 70?  Moving on…

I was searching for a springtime recipe, and this one hit all of the right notes–salmon, veggies, lemon and herbs–plus I wanted to use some of the tasty herbs in our small backyard garden.  I love the pop of color from the succulent tomato and the crunch from the thinly sliced celery!  This only-slightly-adapted recipe comes from Hugh Acheson‘s A New Turn in the South cookbook.  You might recognize Hugh from Top Chef on Bravo TV, or from his Athens restaurants (Five & Ten and The National), or from his new eatery in Atlanta, Empire State South.  Alex and I went to Empire State South for his birthday last December, and if you haven’t been, pick out a dull weekend and make it your destination.  It’s definitely worth the trip!

The soup is the warmer complement to this springtime meal.  I found the recipe on a blog called palate/palette/plate, and I am looking forward to exploring her blog more!  I started looking for a curry chickpea soup after I had a lovely cup on Saturday from Macon’s own The Rookery.  They change their soup of the day frequently, so if you go and they have the African Curry soup, definitely check it out!  I especially appreciate the broth version of a curry soup as opposed to a creamy version made with coconut milk.  I like that version fine, but I enjoy the texture of the broth version much better.  This soup has tender chickpeas and mushrooms with a slight crunch of almond.

Tonight’s Tasty Tuesday is leaving no taste bud behind!

Salmon with Marinated Vegetables and Salmoriglio

Adapted from Hugh Acheson’s A New Turn in the South

10 fresh green beans, blanched until tender

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small yellow squash, cut thin

2 celery stalks, cut thin

4 asparagus stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 carrot, julienned

1 scallion, cut on the diagonal

1/2 cup Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette (recipe to follow)

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. chopped fresh mint leaves

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 (5 to 6 oz.) wild salmon fillets, skin removed

1/2 cup salmoriglio (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Cut the green beans into 1-inch lengths and place in a large bowl.  Add the tomatoes, squash, celery, carrots, asparagus, and scallions.  Add the vinaigrette and gently toss.  Season with 1/4 tsp. of salt and add the herbs.  Set aside at room temperature while you roast the salmon.

In a large oven-safe fry pan warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Evenly season the salmon fillets with 3/4 tsp. salt.  When the oil is just about smoking, place the salmon in the pan.  Let the salmon cook for 3 minutes, then turn it over.  Cook for 3 minutes more, turn again, and place in the oven for 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place a salmon fillet onto each plate.  Sauce with the salmoriglio and a heat of the marinated vegetables.


3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. lemon zest

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.  The sauce will also keep for a week in the refrigerator.

Shallot-Thyme Vinaigrette

6 stems of fresh thyme

1 shallot, minced

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup white wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

Place all ingredients into a Mason jar, shake, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Remove the vinaigrette from the refrigerator and strain the solids out of the dressing. Discard the solids and place the vinaigrette back into the jar.  Shake well before using.

Curry Chickpea Soup

Adapted from palate/palette/plate

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 tsp. curry powder
dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a medium pot, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and almonds and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add curry powder, stirring to coat; cook an additional 2 minutes.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and saute mushrooms until moisture is released; they should be browned and soft.

When the onions, almonds and curry are fragrant, add chickpeas, chicken stock, sauteed mushrooms and a dash of cayenne pepper to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Ladle into bowl and use cilantro for a garnish!