Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicken Marinara, Spinach Linguine, and Roasted Asparagus

Use your favorite spaghetti sauce to create an EASY baked chicken dish, add your favorite pasta, and try this Re-DIQUE-ulously De-LISH-ious roasted asparagus! (Even my kids, who like the canned stuff dipped in mayo liked it!)  (A few pieces were sampled before the pic was taken.)

Baked Chicken

  • Chicken pieces, about 8 thighs or breasts, skinless
  • Jar of spaghetti sauce*
  • Seasonings to taste 

Purchase or prepare skinless thighs or breasts, as you prefer -- if the pieces are very large, divide them so the sauce can permeate more easily. Simply rinse and place the chicken pieces in a casserole dish, cover with a jar of marinara or any flavor of spaghetti sauce, add extras of whatever you like -- garlic, Italian herbs, rosemary, basil -- and bake in 400 deg F oven for 45 minutes.  What could be easier?

*I have found that a very light marinara sauce gives less flavor than a full-on spaghetti sauce. I've also tried this with 3-cheese spaghetti sauce, and it was very good. Parmesan or Romano cheese at the table is a must for this dish.

Roasted Asparagus
  • Fresh asparagus, 1 bunch
  • 2 T olive oil or other (I like avocado oil)
  • 1 T fresh garlic from the jar (or mince your own)
  • 1 or 2 T Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
  • A few shakes of sea salt, pepper
  • Lemon juice from one lemon

After the chicken goes into the oven, wash the asparagus, and cut about 2 inches from the ends. Place on a (foiled-covered) tray, drizzle oil, sprinkle cheese, and shake seasonings (not lemon juice) over them and toss to coat thoroughly. Lay the pieces out in a single layer.

Bake for about 10 minutes in a 400 deg F oven -- check for roasted appearance and possibly cook another couple of minutes.

Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them for a tasty symphony of flavors.

Spinach Linguine
  • Spinach linguine or other pasta, 4 to 6 servings
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Water 

During the last 10 minutes that the chicken is baking, prepare pasta according to the package.  This one was a really nice 3-minute pasta with a light flavor that complemented the chicken dish well, but any pasta works, even reg'ol' spaghetti!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Powerhouse Salmon with Red Onions, Pesto, Lemon, Tomatoes

Healthy eating is a growing priority in my life, and I bet in yours, too!  Not only is this recipe delicious, fast, and easy, it combines super good-for-you ingredients. This whole meal was inspired by a list of the top foods to help the body fight those baddies of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and help you feel fabulous. And my family loved it -- thus earning its spot in my blog!

Here it is, ready to go in the oven for 12 minutes:

Here's what the whole meal looks like, if you were to come to dinner at our house -- help yourself!

Side dishes:

  • Organic broccoli steamed in the microwave, drained, then tossed with olive oil, Trader Joe's 21 seasons blend, salt & pepper, and Parmesan
  • A grain blend from Trader Joe's with orzo and other goodies (cooked like rice, it takes about 10 min)

And here's how to make the salmon:


  • Salmon -- about 6 oz per person -- I used two medium fillets for my family, and we had leftovers
  • Red onion -- half -- sliced thinly, then roughly chopped
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Pesto sauce, 1/2 cup  (or a blend of basil, olive oil, salt & pepper, and Parmesan)
  • Olive oil, 2 T (or avocado oil, or other healthy oil)
  • Lemon juice, half or whole lemon, to taste


Thaw salmon if frozen, either overnight in the fridge, or soaked in its package in a sink of cold water for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pull out all your ingredients, your chopping board, and knife.

Peel and cut the red onion in half and slice one of the halves very thinly, then chop the slices roughly -- see the photo.  (I chopped the other half up and stored it in the fridge for later use on salads, etc.)  It needs to be thinly sliced because it won't be cooked long

Remove salmon from packet and rinse in cold water; drip dry for a moment. Lay in a casserole dish of about 9 x 12 inches.

Blend pesto sauce, oil, and lemon juice, then pour over salmon.  Sprinkle onion over salmon. Add cherry tomatoes beside the salmon.

Bake for 12 minutes, test for desired doneness by checking the center -- my family prefers it just cooked, barely flaking, not dried out.