spinach

BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Hi everyone! My name is Chelsea and I’m the girl creating the recipes and photographing the food behind Chelsea’s Messy Apron. I am so excited to be posting on BHG’s Delish Dish blog. I’ve modified a pasta salad dish with a tangy orange dressing and I think you are all going to love it!

For today’s post I decided to stick with a recipe that is light and perfect for Spring. Salads filled with vegetables always comes to my mind when I think of Spring. So I found a salad on BHG’s site and changed it up a bit. I’ll note my changes throughout the post.

Let’s start with the main ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll start off by boiling some pasta. Just one cup of penne pasta – white or whole wheat.

Next is one pound (or three cups) of cherry tomatoes that you will need to halve. The remaining line-up is ten ounces of baby spinach, some crumbled feta cheese, and three tablespoons of slivered almonds.

The original recipe calls for pine nuts, so you can use those, but I switched to almonds since I prefer their taste.

The last ingredient for the actual salad is chicken.

This recipe calls for grilled chicken. If you don’t have a grill, no problem. You can cook it over your stovetop in a large saucepan. I like to season the chicken with some salt and pepper and chicken seasoning (on both sides).

My favorite chicken seasoning is Mrs. Dash chicken grilling blends. If you cook it over the stovetop it will be quicker to slice it into strips before cooking. If you grill the chicken it should be done at about 170 degrees F and cooked until no longer pink inside. This takes about 6-8 minutes on a covered grill and 12-15 minutes on an uncovered grill. Make sure to flip the chicken if you are using an uncovered grill.

Finally, let’s talk about the dressing.

The base is olive oil + red wine vinegar. It gets sweetened by some honey and orange juice. There is also orange peel in the dressing.

I used a clementine to get fresh juice from and the peel from. I love oranges and orange juice, but I find that clementines have a more tart and tangy flavor when compared to regular oranges.

The dressing is definitely more tart from the clementines than it would be with regular oranges. Feel free to switch and use either or.

You can garnish your salad with some extra orange peel if desired and make sure to sprinkle on that cheese liberally!

To see the full recipe and instructions, click here. Enjoy!

 


Michael Wurm, Jr.

A Year of Pizza: Goat Cheese and Pepper

Well friends, I’m back with another pizza recipe for my Year of Pizza! I was looking for a lighter, spring-inspired pizza to try this time around. When I came across this recipe for Cheesy Red Pepper Pizza, I knew I had a winner. Of course, I couldn’t resist making a few minor tweaks to make it my own.

As with my last pizza, I decided to use homemade dough. In fact, I froze the other half of the dough that I made last time and used it for this recipe. It worked beautifully. Here is my pizza dough recipe in case you missed it.

Pizza Dough:

Ingredients:

3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

Place the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached and combine. Then, as the mixer is running, add the water and the two tablespoons of olive oil. Beat until the dough comes together in a ball. If the dough seems sticky, add a pinch more flour. If the dough is dry, add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Once the dough comes together, knead with the dough hook for about three minutes.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining two tablespoons olive oil, add in the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm area until the dough is doubled in size. This will take about an hour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces. Use both pieces or wrap one in plastic wrap and freeze for a later day.

Once the dough was thawed, I got to work on the toppings. Again, I pulled inspiration from this recipe, but changed a few ingredients.

First, I kept the combination of tomato and red pepper. However, I switched out the mozzarella cheese for goat cheese. I love how goat cheese tastes when it’s warmed up. Plus, it screams “warmer weather” to me. I knew the flavor combination would be perfect.

I also substituted a cup of chopped spinach for the basil. Loading on a superfood makes me feel a little less guilty about eating pizza.

After a quick trip into my oven, this was the perfect springtime dinner. Paired with a glass of white wine, I could have eaten the entire thing myself. This is the reason I love pizza; you can play around with toppings and ingredients until it’s really something you love. You can’t go wrong.

You can find the original recipe here, and the simple changes I made are above. Please let me know in the comments if there’s a pizza you’d like to see me tackle next.

Happy Cooking,
Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Farfalle with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Spinach

I don’t know what it is about the first of October, but right now life seems to be moving faster than a leaf spiraling to earth. Maybe it has something to do with the holiday season on the horizon, pressure to finish up outdoor projects, and trying to savor the fleeting beauty of fall.

With all that’s happening this time of year, I’m always looking for quick, easy, and hearty recipes. One of my favorite simple meals is pasta, but that can get boring. So of course, I was delighted to discover this recipe for Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach in BHG’s collection of 20 Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3. Ding, ding – I think we found a winner!

Even though this recipe had all the elements of a fabulous meal, I wanted to amp up the hardiness a bit. While more vegetables or garbanzo beans would have done the trick, I ultimately decided to toss in some three cheese Italian style chicken sausage.

Not only did the sausage make this pasta more filling, it added a wonderful flavor and spiciness to the dish, making it perfect for a fall dinner. Hearty and warm but still healthy and super simple.

You can find the recipe for this Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach here. While it’s delicious on its own, have fun changing it up to suit your tastes or mood.

Happy cooking and happy fall!

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm


Lisa Appleton

Layered Spinach and Pot Sticker Salad

There’s nothing quite like a crisp refreshing salad on a warm summer day. It’s a wonderful way to take advantage of the fresh produce in season, and without cooking as much, it’s an excellent way to beat the heat. The forecast this past week was full of high temperatures, and this layered spinach and pot sticker salad was my answer.  Juicy summer strawberries? Check! A protein that is more exciting than my go-to grilled chicken or shrimp? Check! Crunchy topper? Check! In and out of the kitchen in less than 30 minutes? Check!

Believe it or not, it gets even better. A lot of the prep work can be done a day before. I made the dressing and stored it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until I needed it; be sure to whisk it well before you use it. Since I was already working with the strawberries, I just continued to slice up the rest and stored them the same way. I did the chips a day ahead as well, so I wouldn’t have to deal with the oven.  Store them in an airtight container at room temperature, and the salad is almost complete. The next day when you go to make the salad, the only thing that you have to do is boil the pot stickers according to the package directions and layer away.

The strawberries were just as juicy and sweet as I’d hoped.  They were a terrific balance to the spinach, which at times can be a slightly bitter green. The dressing had a lovely tang from the red wine vinegar that made it slightly reminiscent of sweet and sour sauce and perfect for the pot stickers. The spiced chips had just the right amount of heat from the cayenne to round out the whole dish. I did tweak the recipe ever so slightly.  I live alone, and there was no reason to make such a large salad, so I halved the whole recipe. Even then I still had 3 main dish portions, so I opted to not actually layer it in a trifle dish. I built each salad individually in bowls with all the ingredients when the time came and added dressing as desired. I also used a baked version of the ridged potato chips because I like them better. I had no complaints about this salad. It’s now my go-to summer salad recipe, and it can be yours too. Find it here! If you’re looking for even more sensational summer salads, check them out here: Our Best Summer Salads.