I Eat Therefore I Cook

Effortless Cooking for Busy Lives

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Roasted Avocado Salsa

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This dip takes classic flavors and turns them on their heads. The roasted veggies give the salsa a slightly smoky flavor while still maintaining its creaminess. This would be great for a party or just sitting by yourself eating a whole bowl (I won’t tell, I promise). I used this as a side to one of my many Mexican inspired dishes. The key is to let it sit for a few hours in the fridge to let the flavors blend.

Place all ingredients on a baking sheet.

Roast avocados till then are slightly browned.

Dice avocado in the skins.

Add the corn, tomatoes, lime and cilantro.

Roasted Avocado Salsa
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Smoky, roasted avocado, corn, tomatoes and jalapenos mixed with fresh lime and cilantro.
Ingredients
  • 5 avocado, halved
  • 2 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned
  • 1 tomato, halved
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler. Place avocados, corn, tomatoes and jalapenos on a baking sheet. Broil avocados until browned on top, about 3-5 minutes. Remove avocado from baking sheet. Set aside. Continue to cook until jalapenos, tomatoes and corn get a slight char. Remove from baking sheet.
  2. Within the skin of the avocado, dice into bite sized pieces. Add the a medium bowl. Repeat for all avocados. Cut corn off the cob and add to salsa. Dice tomato and mince jalapenos and add them.
  3. Add cilantro, pepper and limes. Mix until evenly combined. Serve with chips. ENJOY!

 

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Short Rib & Barley Soup

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This is a real “stick to your ribs” kind of soup. I usually eat about half a bowl and am super full.  It is so comforting and perfect for fall. The basis for this recipes comes from my grandma (Hi Grandma!) as she used to make this for us quite a bit as a kid. I loved it so much that I decided that I had to share it with all of my lovely readers. It seems like it takes a long times to cook, but most of the time is just letting the soup simmer. There really is not a whole lot of “hands-on” cooking time. I made this on a busy weekday and you can too. Enjoy!

Brown short ribs and add carrot, celery, onion and garlic.

Add tomatoes and broth. Let simmer for about an hour.

Short Rib & Barley Soup
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Tender, Moist Short Ribs with Creamy Barley and Veggies in a Flavorful Soup.
Ingredients
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 2 Lb. Boneless Short Ribs
  • 1 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 3 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TSP Paprika
  • 2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Italian Seasoning
  • 2 (14 oz) Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 (14 oz) Boxes Beef Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 3 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2/3 Cups Regular Pearl Barley
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
Instructions
  1. In dutch oven, heat oil medium high heat. Add short ribs and brown on one side ( about 3 minutes). Flip over and brown on the other side, about another 3 minutes.
  2. Add onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, pepper and Italian seasoning. Stir until evenly combined. Add beef broth, water and chicken broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cover. Simmer until meat is tender about 1 hour.
  3. Add barley and stir. Simmer about 50-60 mins until barley is tender and cooked through. Remove beef and shred into bite sized pieces. Add back to soup and serve. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve. Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

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So if you took a chocolate chip cookie and a pumpkin muffin and mixed them together, you would have these bars. And yes they are egg less, which sprung more out of necessity than planning. You all know what I am talking about. The moment where you realize your ran out of eggs, and there is no way you are running out to get some more. But even egg less, these are so good. I think we ate most of them in one sitting. Grab some fresh out of the oven and a big glass of milk and you have heaven on a plate. The pumpkin spice flavor mixes with the chocolate chips for some great eats.

Make the batter.

Add extra chocolate chips on top (of course).

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Moist pumpkin spice bars with gooey chocolate chip pieces. A perfect fall dessert.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 (15 oz) Can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 TBSP Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TSP Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 TSP All Spice
  • 6 oz Chocolate Chips, Divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 8 by 8 glass baking dish with butter.
  2. Make batter. In a medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients, pumpkin puree, yogurt, butter, and vanilla. Mix until evenly combined.
  3. Add sugars, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and all spice. Stir until evenly combined Fold in 3/4 chocolate chips into the batter.
  4. Pour batter into glass dish, spreading it evenly. Top with reserved chocolate chips.
  5. Cook until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Salmon Tostada Salad

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The salmon just keeps on coming. It has been so cheap lately that I have had to contemplate “how can I use all this salmon?” Seriously. First world problems. But it has lead me to be a bit creative with my salmon. This is a fresh take on a tostada that takes out all the heaviness and grease and replaces it with healthy omega-3s and fiber. Eat this a couple of nights and watch how healthy your skin becomes.

Add green chilies and salsa on top of a fillet of salmon. Make a foil packet and place in oven.

Make avocado cream, get out lettuce, cheese, cilantro, salsa.

Bake tortillas in the oven to make it crispy.

Salmon Tostada Salad
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Moist, flaky salmon baked in salsa and chilies tops a black bean tostada salad.
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SALMON:
  • 2 8 oz. Fillets of Salmon
  • 1 4 oz can green Chilies
  • 3 TBSP Salsa
  • FOR THE TOSTADA:
  • 1 13.6 oz Box Re-fried Black Bean with Green Chilies
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 3 TBSP Salsa
  • 3 cups Romaine Lettuce, shredded
  • 2 TBSP Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 2 TBSP Cilantro, Chopped
  • 3 TBSP Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Tomato, Diced
  • FOR THE CREMA:
  • 1/4 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 Ripe Avocado, Mashed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add a fillet of salmon to foil. Top with 1/2 green chilies and 1 1/2 TBSP Salsa. Wrap foil up tightly so that no steam escapes. Repeat with other fillet. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.Remove from foil and flake salmon.
  2. Spray both sides of tortillas with olive oil spray. Place on baking sheet and cook until tortillas are crisp, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat beans in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Make avocado crema in a small bowl. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Once warm, spread a layer of beans on the tortillas. Top each with cheese,salsa, lettuce, red onion, tomato, and cilantro. Add flaked salmon and top salmon with avocado crema. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Sourdough Patty Melts

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To tell the truth, I have never had a patty melt before I made these myself. Traditionally, these are made with rye and sometimes mayonnaise, but I am not a fan of either. So I made this with sourdough, cheddar,provolone and pickled onions. These were so easy to make and really delicious. Be warned that these are very rich, so I suggest a lighter side such as roasted asparagus or a salad. This is a great meal for weeknights. Everyone will love these.

Brown the ground beef and caramelize the onions.

Melt butter in a frying pan and assemble the melts. Cook them on each side.

Sourdough Patty Melts
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ground beef seasoned with spices and herbs, then topped with gooey cheese and caramelized and pickled onion.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 TSP Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 Thin slices sourdough bread
  • 1 1/2 TSP Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
Instructions
  1. In a medium frying pan over medium high heat, add ground beef, thyme, garlic, onion powder, paprika and pepper. Cook until browned and cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium frying pan over medium high heat, add butter. Once melted, add onion and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add red wine vinegar and stir into onions. Cook for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Assemble patty melts. Lay provolone on bottom piece of bread. Add 1/2 of ground beef on top. Add onions on top of beef and cheddar cheese on top of that. Top with bread. Repeat for other sandwich.
  4. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, add 1 TBSP Butter. Once melted, add sandwiches to pan. Once bread is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes,flip to other side and cook until other side is golden brown and cheese is melted, about another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Upside Down Apple Muffin Cake

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Oh my goodness this cake was so delicious. As I was looking to make this cake, I stumbled on a box of cinnamon muffin mix and decided to use that instead of making the whole thing from scratch. Boy, was that an amazing surprise how good this turned out. The muffin mix makes this super quick to make and is also a showstopper of a presentation. Try it for a quick breakfast this weekend. Everyone will love it.

Cut up green apple pieces and place in a standard sized cake pan.

Add brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and butter on top of the apples.

Mix the muffin batter as directions suggest.

Place batter on top of apple and brown sugar mixture.

Upside Down Apple Muffin Cake
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Moist Cinnamon Cake Topped with Gooey Apples and Brown Sugar Topping.
Ingredients
  • 3 whole green apples, peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 TSP Cinnamon
  • 1 TSP All Spice
  • 1 TBSP Butter, Chilled and Diced
  • 1 15.2 oz Box Betty Crocker Cinnamon Streusel Muffin Mix
  • Needed for the Mix:
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard cake pan with butter. Layer apples on the bottom of the cake pan. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon and all-spice on top of apples evenly. Place cubes of butter on top of mixture.
  2. Make muffin batter according to package instructions, substituting greek yogurt for oil. Discard streusel topping or save for another use.
  3. Spread evenly on top of apple and cinnamon mixture.
  4. Place in oven and bake until cake is fully done, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. When slightly cooled, run a sharp knife around the edges. Place a plate on top of cake and invert the pan so that the plate is on the bottom. Gently tap pan to release cake. Remove pan and you have your cake. ENJOY!

 

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Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

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When this is baking in the oven, I really looks like and smells like macaroni and cheese. But this is so much healthier that traditional macaroni and cheese. Spaghetti squash lends itself well to any flavors you add to it, so herbs and cheese makes it taste delicious. This is the perfect side dish for any fall meal.

Roast the squash in the oven.

Scoop out the squash and add, cheese, olive oil, herbs and spices.

Top with cheese and panko.

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Creamy spaghetti squash with cheese and herbs, topped with crunchy panko.
Ingredients
  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese,
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TSP Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 TSP Fresh Oregano, Chopped
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Panko
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash with knife a couple of times. Place on baking sheet and place in oven for about 1 hour, or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife.
  2. Turn up oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Let cool and slice in half. Remove seeds from squash with spoon. Scoop out squash insides into a large bowl. Add olive oil, mozzarella cheese, thyme, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Mix together until evenly distributed.
  4. In a 8 by 8 glass baking dish, place squash mixture in pan. Spread evenly. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top evenly. Sprinkle panko on top evenly. Place in oven and cook until panko becomes golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy.

 

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Salmon Over Orzo Risotto

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One of my favorite dishes was the Baked Salmon Risotto from Giorgio’s Italian Food in California. Over the years, I have perfected a very close copycat recipe that is so easy and delicious. The orzo is creamy with pieces of tomato and artichoke hearts with a flaky, seasoned salmon. And this only takes a few minutes to cook.

Brown Onions and garlic.

Add chicken broth.

Add orzo.

When orzo is fully cooked, add tomato and marinated artichoke hearts.

Season salmon and slice into pieces.

Pan fry the salmon in a medium high heat.

Salmon Over Orzo
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Creamy Orzo Risotto studded with tomato,marinated artichoke hearts and topped with seasoned, flaky salmon.
Ingredients
  • 4 TSP Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Orzo
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 4 oz. Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • 2 8oz. Pieces of Salmon
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, add 2 TSP olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add orzo and cook until some of the pieces turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and let simmer until orzo is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, artichoke hearts and Parmesan cheese. Stir until combined.
  2. Meanwhile, cook salmon. In a large frying pan, add 2 TSP olive oil. Add salmon with skin side up and cook for 4 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove salmon from pan.
  3. Serve with orzo on the bottom and salmon placed on top. ENJOY!

 

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Crock Pot Whole Chicken

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This recipe is too easy. I especially love this when I want to do a roast chicken, but I don’t want to stay home and wait around for it. This recipe does tend to be more moist than the classic roast chicken, as it steams very nicely. Cooking it in wine makes a great sauce to put on top of the chicken and any side dishes you make with it.

Place the chicken in the crock pot with garlic, onion, ,lemon, herbs, seasoning and wine.

Crock Pot Whole Chicken
Author: Meagan {I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Moist chicken cooked in wine, herbs, lemon and seasonings.
Ingredients
  • 1 3lb Whole Chicken, innards removed
  • 2 Lemons, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 TBSP Thyme, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Oregano,chopped
  • 1 TBSP Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 TBSP Parsley
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • 4 oz. White Wine
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in the crock pot. Stuff chicken with 1/2 lemon, garlic and onion. Sprinkle pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder on top of the chicken. Place the rest of the lemon slices on top of the chicken.Place remainder of onion slices around the chicken.
  2. Sprinkle herbs over the top of the chicken. Pour white wine into crock pot around chicken.
  3. Place lid on chicken and cook for 4 hours on high. Slice chicken and serve with wine sauce made in the crock pot.

 

 

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Quick Cashew Chicken

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Craving some takeout but don’t want to eat all that MSG,Sodium and fat? Make some cashew chicken at home super quick. And it really does taste like it came from your favorite Chinese takeout place. The best part is that it reheats great, so you can have it for another dinner or take it for lunch.

Chop the veggies, ginger and garlic.

Cut up the chicken. Marinate with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar  and cornstarch.

Cook chicken in a large frying pan with garlic and ginger.

Add veggies and cook until tender. Then add sauce to the pan.

Quick Cashew Chicken
Author: Meagan { I Eat Therefore I Cook}
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Moist chicken with crisp veggies, crunchy cashews in a savory sauce.
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
  • 2 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 cup Snow Peas
  • 2 Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 3/4 cup Roasted Cashews
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • FOR THE MARINADE:
  • 1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Mirin (Chinese Rice Wine)
  • 2 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Corn Starch
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 2 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP 1/2 Oyster Sauce
  • 1 TBSP Mirin (Rice Wine Vinegar)
  • 1/2 TSP Sugar
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
Instructions
  1. Dice chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place chicken in a glass dish, add soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar and corn starch. Mix together. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add olive oil and heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add snow peas, bell peppers, and onion. Stir and cover with lid. Cook until veggies become tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile make sauce. Stir all ingredients in a small bowl. Add sauce to frying pan.Toss with chicken and veggies and turn down to medium. Let thicken, about 2 minutes. Add cashews and toss with chicken and veggies. Stir, serve and enjoy.