52 in Review

Funny how it took me until March to realize I never ended my 2013 resolution with a blog post summarizing all the recipes I tried over the course of fifty-two weeks.   This isn’t meant to be a review of each recipe, but rather an easy reference for all the recipes that helped me accomplish my goal.  Some are easy 30 minute dinners and some took hours in a crock pot, but each and every one was special to me in 2013.  I truly enjoyed making each and every one of these dishes and I hope you take the time to enjoy them as much as I did!

Week 1- Crock Pot Lasagna
Week 2- Bacon Wrapped Honey Mustard Chicken
Week 3- Garlic Chicken Pasta
Week 4- Turkey Burgers
Week 5- Warm Spinach Salad
Week 6- Shrimp Fried Quinoa
Week 7- Peanut Butter Cupcakes
Week 8- Lemon Butter Salmon
Week 9- Parchment Paper Chicken
Week 10-Glazed Salmon
Week 11- The Perfect Grilled Cheese
Week 12-Avocado Pasta
Week 13-Healthy Egg Salad
Week 14- Baked Fries & Pesto Aioli
Week 15- Kale Pesto
Week 16- Asian Inspired Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Week 17- Bacon Cheddar Cauliflower Chowder
Week 18- Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Week 19- Peanut Butter Cup Birthday Cake
Week 20- Peanut Butter, Apple & Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie
Week 21- Bacon & Cheese Pull Aparts
Week 22- Turkey Meatball & Caprese Pasta
Week 23- Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad
Week 24- Pesto Chicken
Week 25- Cauliflower Crust Pizzas
Week 26- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Week 27- Spicy Asian Noodles
Week 28- Cajun Chicken Fettucine Alfredo
Week 29- Asparagus Avocado Quinoa Salad
Week 30- Southwestern Salad with Cajun Chicken
Week 31- Sweet Chili Shrimp Pizza
Week 32- Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches
Week 33- Bacon & Pea Macaroni & Cheese
Week 34- Balsamic & Peach Flatbread
Week 35- Crunchy Quinoa Salad
Week 36- Chicken Pad Thai
Week 37- Chicken Chopped Salad
Week 38- Bacon Wrapped Drumsticks
Week 39- Steak Gorgonzola Pizza
Week 40- Caramelized Pineapple Quinoa & Salmon
Week 41- Spinach & Feta Fritatta
Week 42- Chopped Chicken Cabbage Salad
Week 43- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bites
Week 44- Chipotle Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
Week 45- Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Salad
Week 46- Parmesan Broiled Tilapia
Week 47- Steamed Artichoke & Spicy Aioli
Week 48- Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Week 49- Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
Week 50- Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
Week 51- Pesto & Prosciutto Pizza
Week 52- Bacon Wrapped Top Sirloin Roast

I did it!!  A new recipe each week and then some.  So proud of myself for accomplishing my resolution.  Here’s to many more recipes to come!

Week 52: Bacon Wrapped Top Sirloin Roast

Bacon Wrapped Roast

I haven’t had a homemade Christmas Eve dinner in a few years- so this year I decided to cook a formal holiday dinner for my boyfriend and my mom. When I think of Christmas, beef roasts, yorkshire pudding and green beans are the dishes that come to mind. I found this delicious recipe on Pinterest and augmented it because I could not find a beef tenderloin at the grocery store. The balsamic glaze adds a complex flavor profile that screams happy holidays! Not only does this recipe free up space in the oven for other dishes, but the low heat setting, let’s you set it and forget it, so you can wrap presents, prepare side dishes, or just put your feet up and relax!

Bacon Wrapped Roast

1 – 3-4 lb. beef top sirloin roast
10 strips thick pepper bacon
1 small onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3/4 cup beef stock
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp flour
Salt and Pepper

Bacon Wrapped Roast

Salt the pepper the whole roast thoroughly. Lay the bacon strips out on a clean work surface, touching each other, so they create a rectangular sheet of bacon.

Lay the roast across the bacon and carefully wrap the bacon ends over the top. Secure the bacon strips by “sewing” toothpicks through the ends.

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Place the whole roast toothpick-side-down, in the skillet. Brown the bacon on all sides, turning as needed, about 10 minutes.

Place the beef in a 5-6 quart Crock-Pot and pour the pan drippings over the top. Place the sliced onion, garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs around it. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the whole tenderloin, then cover and turn the Crock-Pot on low. A crock-pot beef roast will be perfectly medium-rare when the temperature reaches 130 degrees F–3-4 hrs, depending on weight and thickness.

Once the temperature reaches 100 degrees, mix the flour and sugar together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar and mustard into the sugar until there are no clumps. Then whisk in the beef stock. Pour the mixture around the beef, cover, and continue cooking until 130 degrees F is reached.

At 130 degrees F, remove the roast and cover with foil for at least 10 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise to 135 degrees as it rests. If needed, allow the balsamic glaze to continue simmering until thick.

To serve, remove the toothpicks and slice the roast into thin rounds. Top with rich balsamic glaze!

Week 51: Pesto & Prosciutto Pizza

prosciutto and pesto pizza
Is there a more fun way to spend date night then coming up with your own winning pizza combinations and baking them in our own oven? I don’t think so, but then again, I’m easily pleased. Ever since I discovered the premade pizza dough at Trader Joe’s, I’ve been hooked. It makes it so easy to make your own pizza. Not only can you make it healthy, but you know exactly what you’re putting on the pie, no mystery toppings here. We opted for a Pesto & Prosciutto Pizza because it was quick and easy and we didn’t need to spend too much time prepping the ingredients. We artfully decorate our pie, tossed it in the oven, started watching a movie and before we got to the good part, dinner was ready. Easy, peasy, date night idea. What are some of your favorite stay in date nights?

prosciutto and pesto pizza
Premade Trader Joe’s Pizza Dough
Olive Oil
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Prosciutto, thinly sliced

prosciutto and pesto pizza
Follow the directions on the package of pizza dough. After rolling out dough, brush the crust with olive oil and liberally top with pesto. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and lay thin slices of prosciutto on the dough. Sprinkle with basil and bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is browned and crust is crispy.

Remove from the oven and top with fresh arugula.
prosciutto and pesto pizza

Week 50: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
It’s been a few weeks without a new and exciting quinoa recipe, have no fear this roasted veggie salad will not disappoint those eager taste buds.  This recipe if perfect to make on hump day- it’s quick and easy- all you have to do is chop up your veggies and roast them while, the quinoa cooks.  Combine and viola- fresh, healthy & colorful dinner done in 30 minutes or less.  If you need more protein- try frying an egg on top and enjoy how the flavor the yolk adds to this delicious meal.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 lb asparagus
1/2 large red onion
2 bell peppers
Baby arugula
Olive oil
Kosher salt/pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. basil
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Crumbled goat cheese, to top

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Preheat oven to 425. Cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces, and cut bell peppers and onion into 1 inch squares. Place in a large baking dish. Add cherry tomatoes, and toss all veggies with olive oil to coat, then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions. When quinoa is finished, immediately place in a large bowl and toss with arugula.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil and olive oil for the dressing, and add to quinoa. Mix well to thoroughly combine. Add roasted vegetables, stir. Top with freshly ground pepper and goat cheese crumbles.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Week 49: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats


Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

I have seen a million and one variations of this recipe on the internet since I became a pinterest junkie. With a trip to Thailand planned for January, Bill and I decided it was time to focus on our health and fitness before we spend a week on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This recipe might just be the best recipe I’ve made this year- not only is it tasty and delicious, it’s filling and healthy. I probably only needed to eat half the squash boat, but I couldn’t help finishing every last bite of this veggie lasagna.

This dish would make the perfect dinner party entree- not only is it easy to make, but the presentation is top notch. How could anyone not be impressed with their own individual squash boat meal?

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

4-6 small spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head garlic
1 pounds spicy italian chicken sausage, or Italian seasoned ground turkey
4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
1/2 a sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoon fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
basil, for garnish

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast in a baking dish for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Allow to cool and then squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl and mash with a fork, set aside.

At the same time roast the squash. Slice the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake about 30 to 45 minutes, or until the squash is just tender enough to scrape into strands. Remove from the oven and scrape the squash into strands.

Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.

While the squash is baking, in a large skillet, cook 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the pancetta over medium heat, stirring, until the pancetta is lightly browned. Add the onion, thyme and sage and cook, stirring until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Crumble in the chicken sausage and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Break up the meat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until well browned.

Add the tomatoes and basil to the skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15-20 minutes. Once the sauce has thicken a bit, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the mashed garlic.

To assemble the boats, remove a little of the squash strands from each boat. Then place a layer of the meat sauce on top of the remaining strands, then a layer of the cheese, then layer the removed squash strands on top of the cheese and divide the remaining meat sauce among the boats. Lastly, top with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese. Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until the squash are warm throughout and the cheese is browning. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes. Garnish with basil.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats