Spicy Clams & Pasta

Spicy Clams & Pasta

Chrissy Teigen Sunday night dinners have become a staple for my girlfriends and me. Not only are the recipes in Chrissy Teigen’s “Cravings” cookbook easy to follow, but so far all of them are amazingly delicious. So far I have hosted two Sunday night dinners featuring recipes from the “Cravings” cookbook. The first dinner, we went a little overboard, we made three different recipes – the crispy prosciutto salad, street corn and fish tacos (ALL amazing by the way!), so when it came time to plan the menu for our second dinner, we opted to try just one recipe and make it the star.

We decided on Pepper’s Spicy Clams and Pasta and set off to the best seafood counter in town, Santa Monica Seafood to get the best clams this side of the 405. Armed with clams, pasta, and Justin wine we returned to my place and let the cooking party begin. Pepper’s Spicy Clams and Pasta is a quick and easy recipe once you de-sand all the clams. My advice is to drop your clams in a large bowl of water for 30 minutes, pop open a bottle of wine (don’t drink it all – you still need some for the recipe!) and enjoy 20-30 minutes of girl talk until your clams are de-sanded, then it’s time to get to work!

Spicy Clams & Pasta

Kosher salt
12 oz dried linguine
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
2 T extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. Manila clams, scrubbed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the linguine until al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and return it to the cooking pot.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When the butter foams, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is fragrant and very lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and pepper, increase the heat slightly, and cook until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add the clams, increase the heat, cover, and cook just until the clams open, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the opened clams to the pasta pot. (If some clams are stubborn, re-cover the pan for another minute or two; if the clams still don’t open, ditch them.) Taste the sauce and add salt to taste.

Add any remaining cooked clams and all the clam liquid to the drained pasta. Warm through over medium heat, adding the reserved pasta water as needed to help bind the sauce. Toss in the parsley, divide the pasta and clams among bowls, and garnish with more parsley if you want.

De-sand yo clams
Sometimes clams have sand. You want no sand. So, first of all, see if there are any already opened clams. Tap on them; if they don’t try to close back up, toss them and let them rest in peace. Place the totally-sealed-shut clams in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let them sit for 20 minutes. You’ll see some sand in the bowl after they sit. Then carefully lift them out of the bowl and scrub all over their shells, especially the hinge, with a clean, stiff brush under running water to remove any extra grit.

Recipe from “Cravings” by Chrissy Teigen also found here.

Spicy Clams & Pasta

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

I first discovered my love for homemade chicken pot pie last summer and I’ve been mildly obsessed ever since. I constantly looking for new ways to make old recipes exciting and this was a no brainer – swap out the individual ramekins and make it a casserole – done and done. All the same veggie filled chicken yumminess, but without the hassle of cleaning separate baking dishes. A love whipping this dish up on a Monday night and enjoying leftovers for the next couple of days. There’s something about chicken pot pie that is so comforting and makes your day or week instantly better. Personally, I love this recipe because of how many veggies there are, some pot pie recipes end up with way too much buttery filling that you feel sick. Not the case with thus version, all the different veggies keep you feeling full without being stuffed. What are some of your favorite pot pie filling options?

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

8 tablespoons salted butter, divided
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced and rinsed in a bowl of water
2 cups sliced tricolor carrots
2 cups chopped asparagus
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups shredded chicken
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Pillsbury croissant dough, cut into circles
1 large egg, beaten

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×11 glass baking dish with nonstick spray.

To make the filling, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium high heat. Add leeks and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and cook, while stirring, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in peas and chicken.

To make the sauce, melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken stock and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce has begun to thicken, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add sauce to the chicken-vegetable filling and gently toss to combine and transfer to the glass baking pan.

Top with croissant dough, I opted to cut the dough into 8 small circles. Brush each crust with the beaten egg.

Place into oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

Okay, so I have been seeing people post about spirit animals for the last couple of weeks. Personally, I have no idea what my spirit animal would be. I draw a blank even thinking about the topic. But if a meal could be a spirit animal, I hit the nail on the head. Seriously, this salad is light yet filling, complete with savory and sweet, and who can resist creamy burrata cheese? Am I right or am I right? It’s got all my favorite Italian inspired elements – cheese and pesto – plus, a sweet surprise with the beets and balsamic. I could probably eat this salad every single day and not get sick of it. Although, I’m sure my waist line wouldn’t appreciate a daily dose of burrata, my taste buds certainly would ;]

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

1 tomatoe on the vine
3 beets, cooked, skins removed
1 ball of Burrata cheese
1/2 cup arugula
pinch flaked salt
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tsp pesto
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

Combine pesto and olive oil, and set aside. Slice the burrata cheese into ½ inch this slices, and arrange on a platter. Drizzle half of the pesto oil over the burrata slices.

Slice the beets into wedges and toss with a little olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Arrange on the platter.Cut tomatoes into wedges, arrange on the platter with a pinch of flaked salt. Toss the greens in the remaining pesto oil and top the salad. Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper.

Tomato, Beet and Burrata Salad

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

I am constantly on the hunt for simple recipes that are chock full of flavor using natural ingredients. While, I love all of these ingredients separately, I wasn’t sure this recipe was going to have enough punch to satisfy my taste buds, but I’m not as bad as Bill he’s constantly dousing all of his food with hot sauce. However, I was pleasantly surprised, all the flavors really worked together to create one amazing dish that packs loads of fresh flavor into one bite. Everything is so simple, yet goes together perfectly. You even have an amazing combination of texture, from soft yet crispy sweet potatoes to the gently sauteed kale, this dish leaves nothing to be desired.

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
2 sweet potato, peeled and cut in cubes
2 cup corn kernels
4 cups kale, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Rinse chicken thighs in water and pat dry.  Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a medium size skillet heat the coconut oil and melt the butter together. Add chicken thighs to skillet and cook on both sides until golden.  Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, we will continue cooking it in the oven.

Drain all but a tbsp of the fat from the skillet, and add onion, cooking until translucent. Add sweet potatoes and cook for three to four minutes, until slightly browned.  Add corn and cook for 2 more minutes. Add chopped kale, toss everything together and cook for another minute. Add the wine and season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked vegetables to the prepared baking dish. Place the chicken thighs over the vegetables and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until chicken cooks through and sweet potatoes are fork tender.

Serves 4 // 287 calories

Recipe from Jo Cooks.

Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potato, Kale and Corn

Chicken Parmesan over Zucchini Noodles

Chicken Parmesan over Zucchini Noodles

I am beyond words obsessed with zoodles – not only are the veggie swirls super cute and photogenic, but they are healthy to boot! I love pairing them with meatballs and marinara sauce for a quick and easy dinner, so when I saw a lightened up version of chicken parm featuring these bad boys, I knew I had to try it out. And don’t worry this recipe doesn’t disappoint. The flavor packed heirloom tomato sauce paired with the crunchy panko baked chicken, all on top of fresh zoodles is an easy way to get a few servings of veggies and end the day with a full belly. Sometimes healthy options are always the most filling, but this recipe not only fills me up, but the flavor profile puts a smile on my face. How can you a resist a meal like that?

Chicken Parmesan over Zucchini Noodles

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped
fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced and divided
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about ¼ cup), divided
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
½ cup whole-wheat panko
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Cooking spray
4 medium zucchini
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, very thinly sliced

Chicken Parmesan over Zucchini Noodles


Preheat oven to 425°. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add thyme, 4 garlic cloves, and shallot; cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 8 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.

Combine yogurt and Parmesan; spread over both sides of cutlets. Combine panko and garlic powder. Dredge cutlets in panko mixture. Place cutlets on a wire rack coated with cooking spray. Place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes or until done.

Using a julienne peeler, peel zucchini lengthwise into strips, stopping at the inside part containing the seeds; discard seeds.

Preheat broiler to high. Top each cutlet with 2 tablespoons sauce; top sauce evenly with mozzarella. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add remaining 2 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute. Add zucchini; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Toss with remaining sauce, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and half of basil.

Arrange ¾ cup zucchini noodles on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 chicken portion; sprinkle servings evenly with remaining half of basil.

Serves 4 // 400 calories

Recipe from Cooking Light.

Chicken Parmesan over Zucchini Noodles