Cashew Crusted Citrus Cod

I found your next dinner party entree! This cod takes 20 minutes from start to finish and is an absolute stunner when plated. Not to mention, it’s extremely light and healthy; Perfect for that first dinner party of the new year when everyone’s still on their diet kick. Just keep in mind that not everyone loves fish (my husband hates it), so know your guests (or don’t be afraid to ask) before picking it as the star of your show.

When buying fish, I prefer to always buy wild-caught. I once watched a documentary on farm-raised fish and just cannot, will not ever go back. Also, your fresh fish should never actually smell fishy (if it does, it’s not fresh), but more so smell like the ocean. Scales should be shiny, gills red, and eyes clear of cloudiness. The typical serving of fish per person is 8 ounces (1/2 pound), however I always buy extra. Since fish is so light, people tend to go back for seconds.

*I prepared an 8 oz. piece of fish for myself (remember, my husband hates fish), but will double the recipe below for a typical serving of 2.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb. wild caught cod
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews, crushed into crumbs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 blood orange, halved
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • pink himalayan sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  1. Preheat your oven to 400º and line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Lay your fish scale side down (I had the skin removed from my filet, however you can still tell which side is the “skin” side.)
  3. Drizzle the melted butter over the filet. Juice half of the lemon and half of the blood orange, pour juice over fish. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika. Gently press the cashew crumbs onto the entire exterior of the fish filet. Place 3 thinly slices rounds of lemon and 3 slices of blood orange on top of the filet. Finish by sprinkling the fresh parsley on top.

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  1. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

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Cauliflower & Broccoli Egg Muffins

The Meal Prep Monday’s have commenced for 2019. Yes, I know it’s Tuesday. I had every intention of posting this yesterday, however I have a 6 month old and do parents of babies actually even have schedules? No. No we do not. Which leads me into an important topic: Time. Although we all have started trying to eat a little better, it can be hard finding the time throughout our busy weeks to cook on demand. This is where meal prepping comes in.

If it wasn’t for meal prepping, I wouldn’t be able to make my baby’s food, avoid restaurants on my lunch hour, or have a home cooked meal *almost* every night. By taking a few hours out of my Sunday (I cook on Sundays, but will be sharing my recipes on ‘Meal Prep Mondays’), I can save myself an enormous amount of time during the week so just maybe I can sit down and relax with that glass of wine.

My husband and I will wash and chop fruits & veggies so they’re conveniently ready to go for the week, making prep time for dinners cut into half. We’ll make a batch of egg muffins (what I’ll be sharing today) and hard boiled eggs for breakfast and snacks on the go. I’ll be sharing our easy ‘meal prep chicken’ that can literally be used for anything throughout the week (ie – topping salads, chicken salad, wraps/sandwiches, pastas, Mexican dishes, etc.) and it’s so simply done in the crock pot. Lastly, we’ll prep our veggies. Anything from sautéed broccoli, roasted cauliflower mash, shaved brussel sprout salad, roasted acorn or butternut squash, the list goes on.

Another tip when meal prepping for your week is to actually meal plan. By doing this you can prep one certain food and get multiple uses/meals out of. For example, I’ll roast a ton of butternut squash for the week. For dinner one night we’ll have it as a side to our main dish. The next day I can add it to a quick frittata that’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For dinner one night you can add it to a pasta dish, like these Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells. Lastly, with the leftovers we’ll whip up a batch of Butternut Squash Soup. *BONUS* if you have babies, you can puree it for them, too!

Time is precious! By following a few easy tips and getting into a routine, we can easily spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing all the other things (Bachelor and wine, anyone?! Okay, fine. I’ll go to the gym…….)

I know I’m calling these egg “muffins,” however they’re technically in a doughnut shape. I have this silicone doughnut tray that is just an absolute dream to use for these because it’s 1. easy to clean and 2. naturally non-stick, so they pop right out! You can purchase it here.

What You’ll Need:
yields 9 egg muffins

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups egg whites
  • 1 small broccoli crown, chopped
  • 1 small cauliflower crown, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 slices uncured turkey bacon (such as Applegate)
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I prefer avocado or coconut)
  • money saving tip: egg whites and turkey bacon are SO MUCH CHEAPER at Costco!
  1. Preheat your oven to 375º. Over medium heat, add your cooking oil to a frying pan. Sauté your broccoli, cauliflower, and onions just until they are soft; About 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In the same frying pan, cook your turkey bacon for about 3 minutes per side.  Let cool and then chop into pieces.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk your eggs and egg whites until combined. Stir in your sautéed veggies, turkey bacon, cheese and seasonings.

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  1. Carefully spoon the mixture into your tray. Place into your oven and bake for 25 minutes or until eggs have set completely. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from tray. Enjoy!

*If using a silicone tray, first place on top of a cookie sheet and then fill with egg mixture. Silicone trays are flimsy and it’s easy to spill if you try to transfer to the oven sans the cookie tray.

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Butternut Squash & Cashew Cream Stuffed Shells

All my plant-based friends and family – this ones for you! Even though you most definitely don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy this dish. I whipped this up for a family dinner I was hosting (I made sausage baked ziti and my cousin is a vegan), and everyone loved it. I topped my shells with this Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce, but you can surely enjoy them without it as well.

When creating vegan/vegetarian dishes, adding plenty of flavor and nutrients is key! I have really enjoyed studying plant-based diets, as it really makes you think about cooking in a whole new way. Exploring plant-based replacements for things that you so carelessly grab on a day-to-day basis, thinking of ways to incorporate nutrients that can easily be overlooked; It’s a new world of cooking.

Don’t worry, I still love my meat! I am just definitely going to make a better attempt at exploring different options and thinking of ways to make my ‘normal’ meals more vegetarian/vegan friendly.

Ingredients:

  • 16 pasta shells, jumbo
  • Cashew Cream (recipe here)
  • 1 portobello mushroom, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 lb. baby spinach, sautéed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Toss your squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes or until soft.
  2. Boil your pasta shells until al dente and carefully remove from the water. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a pan, drizzle olive oil. Add your chopped portobellos and minced red onion, sauté for 5 minutes. Add baby spinach and cook for an additional minute.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add your cashew cream. To the cream, add roasted squash, mushrooms, onions, and spinach. Carefully stir, ensuring your not mushing the vegetables. butternut squash stuffed shells 1
  5. Fill each of your pasta shells with about 2 tablespoons of mixture and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with this Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes (remember, everything’s already cooked so we just want to heat it up!)

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Enjoy!

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Chicken Pot Pie

Happy Humpday! Last night via Instagram stories I shared this easy Chicken Pot Pie in a cast iron skillet with you and I am loving how much you guys are loving it. Head over to the gram if you want to cook along with me step by step 🙂

Monday, my entire house got smacked with our first cold of the season. I don’t know about you guys, but when my family and I are feeling under the weather, there’s nothing better than some comfort food. My favorite thing about this chicken pot pie recipe is that by doing it in the cast iron skillet, it’s a ONE pan meal (A.K.A – ONE DISH! those dirty sons of bitches.) My second favorite thing? It’s actually a lot “lighter” of a recipe than your typical pot pie (okay, minus the biscuits, but those are good for your soul.) There’s no half & half, cream, or condensed soup involved. This is just a few fresh ingredients incorporated with some protein to help get your family back on their feet. There are things to get done and nobody wants to be slowed down!

So whether you’ve caught a cold or you’re just craving a hearty home cooked meal, take a dive into this recipe and you won’t regret it (I promise!)

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Want a printable version? Click here.

Chicken Pot Pie 2

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Light Blue Cheese Dressing

My husbands favorite! We use it for salads, buffalo wings, dipping veggies – you name it. Subbing the sour cream with greek yogurt will give you less fat and more protein without compromising any flavor. Feel free to use fat-free, low-fat, or regular mayonnaise based upon your preference 🙂

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Simply combine all your ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a mason jar for storage – it will stay fresh for 1 week.

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Autumn Salad: Chicken, Pear, Walnuts & Blue Cheese

I have recently found myself making this salad week after week….after week (sometimes more than once a week!) You can prep it in steps, which makes it so easy to whip together after a long day. Usually on Sundays my husband and I will meal prep for the week, so we’ll cook a big batch of chicken that’s ready to go for the week. I make the candied walnuts (recipe here) in large batches and store them in a mason jar, so those are ready to go too! This way, I literally just have to put a bed of arugula in each bowl, cut up a pear and add all my other “ready to go” ingredients. Dinner during the week doesn’t have to be hard!

I prefer to “dress” my salad with fresh squeezed lemon and drizzle of balsamic glaze, but my husband prefers my “healthier” blue cheese dressing (recipe here!)

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • arugula or spring mix
  • 1 ripened pear, cored and chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • candied walnuts
  • spray oil
  • garlic powder
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • rosemary
  • balsamic
  • 1 lemon

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I begin by pounding out my chicken breasts until they’re about 1/2″ thick. This will ensure they’re tender (tough, chewy chicken is a dinner ruiner.) Spray the bottom of a frying pan, place the chicken breasts, and turn the heat to medium-low. Squeeze half of a lemon and pour the juice on top of the breasts. Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. After about 10 minutes, flip the chicken and season the opposite side. Let cook for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes has passed, add a drizzle of balsamic to the pan and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes on low. Remove your chicken from the pan and cut into strips.

Place a bed of either arugula or spring mix (any lettuce will do, however I’ve found that these two options work best) into your salad bowls. On top of each salad add 3-4 ounces of chicken strips, half a pear, 1/4-1/2 a sliced avocado,  1 ounce walnuts, and 1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles. Dress with the juice of half a lemon and balsamic or light blue cheese.

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