Tag Archives: kacy meinecke

Make This Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad with Blackberries and Grilled Baguette Croutons

Don’t you love those moments in the kitchen when inspiration strikes and the result is a meal or dish so outstanding that you have to shout it from the rooftops…or at least from your blog?

This salad is my most recent moment of a) we have nothing to eat, b) those tomatoes are going to go bad soon so I should use them, c) and I guess I have some greens, too, d) and what about blackberries…

roasted tomato salad

You know the drill. This time, a Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad was the result of desperate brainstorm. And if this is the result, let desperation be your muse always!

I had these baby heirloom tomatoes just begging to be eaten and every time I looked at them – so tiny, so juicy, so pretty – all I could think was how incredible they’d be roasted. Drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and crushed garlic, my hypothesis was on the nose. The entire house was filled with their tantalizing aroma, their tender skins burst just right, and they became the shining star in an otherwise ordinary salad.

balsamic tomatoes

On a bed of fresh spring greens, I chopped bites of baby mozzarella. I like to buy as close to fresh as possible, which is the containers of mozzarella balls soaking in water. (more…)

Celebrate Spring with a Batch of Carrot Cake Muffins

Let’s be honest, muffins are just breakfast-approved cupcakes. But why does dessert get to have all of the fun? There’s really not an answer so we made one up in the form of a wholesome carrot cake muffin for breakfast. Trust us on this one.

I don’t even like carrot cake, and it was all I good do to eat just one of these. So, maybe I do, in fact, like carrot cake?

carrot cake muffins

With spring’s arrival, it’s hard not to lunge head-first in to the freshest produce around. Carrots are an early arrival, ready for picking in April and throughout the summer months. Whether brunching, celebrating Easter, Mother’s Day, or just looking for a better weekday breakfast, these muffins are a bright addition to your menu!

carrot cake pancake ingredients
This recipe has all the components of a good muffin recipe and a good cupcake recipe and you get to have it at breakfast without any awkward self-doubt. Wholesome carrots, sweet pineapple, and warm vanilla combine with whole wheat flour to make a pretty darn healthy muffin. (more…)

This Pile of Trashcan Nachos is Not Yo Average Plate of Melty Cheese and Chips

My husband has the completely normal sweet tooth. I, on the otherhand, have what he lovingly refers to as a grease tooth. Keep your cookies and candies, I’ll take the chips, and fries, and the cheese. The hotter and meltier on that cheese, the better, please!

One of my favorite guiltiest indulgences is nachos. This is not the plate of tortilla chips and cheddar cheese nuked until crispy of our youth. These are grown up nachos. These are my trashcan nachos, and they come piled high with all the meat, beans, peppers, and, of course, cheese.

trashcan nachos avocado

These are light, gooey, crispy nachos. These are big and bad on flavor like any nacho worth its weight in salsa should be, but they are leaner and lighter.

Fully loaded, these nachos don’t skimp. I start with blue corn tortilla chips. These tend to be sturdier and don’t get mushy when they cook (read: I don’t need as many). I get an organic variety that’s unsalted.

turkey nachos

Then, we fill ’em with fiber. Fresh bell peppers, juicy Roma tomatoes, and creamy black beans get tossed across the chips. Each bite is more filling than a chip and cheese, plus, it’s one of those easy, sneaky ways to add some extra veggies to my day.

We really trim the fat by using ground turkey instead of ground beef. I season the turkey the same as I would any other taco meat – green chilis, sauteed onions, cumin, coriander, ancho chili powder. You can season yours however you like! (more…)

Spice Up Fall with a Chicken Taco Soup Recipe That’s Simple and Satisfying

It is the crunchy season, aka fall, and that means it’s soup and stew season, too. Woohoo!

I love fall. Like lovvvve fall.

Not such a fan of the soups though. I’m more of a stew and chili kind of girl, if I have to be. But a few years ago, I found a compromise in my Crock Pot and it has become my family’s single most favorite meal of fall and winter.

I used simple, healthy Mexican ingredients — a food genre I swear I could eat every single day — stirred them up, and started filling bowls with Taco Soup.

chicken tortilla soup

It’s one of those slow cooker meals that fills the house with intoxicating smells for hours until you’re so hungry you’ll risk third degree burns on your tongue just to get that first taste! (more…)

Twice Baked Shepherd’s Pies Makeover a Favorite Winter Classic with Baked Potatoes

New on our “cozy food” seasonal menu rotation is a made-over classic. It’s the Shepherd’s Pie like you’ve never tried it before. It’s usually not my thing – loaded with lamb and mashed potatoes – two foods I don’t particularly care for. But I’ve got a pretty big thing for the baked potato.

I made a Shepherd’s Pie that’s a little leaner, bigger on flavor, and maybe even cuter.

Call them miniature. Call them single-serve. Call them dinner! These Twice-Baked Shepherd’s Pies are bound to be a staple of your winter menu.

twice baked potato shepherd's pie

I skipped the mashed potatoes because, like I said, I’m a little un-American and truly can’t stand the stuff. But, a baked potato, much less one that’s been baked twice, I’m all over that.

Then I cut the lamb and even skipped over the beef and went right to ground Italian turkey sausage – super lean with a great taste that fits right in here. (more…)

Score a Win with Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad at Your Next Football Tailgate

Nothing is better than tailgating season. And nothing is better than buffalo-flavored anything at a tailgate. Which would then suggest that this Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad is the best food of tailgate season. At least that’s how our math works.

It’s that big, bold buffalo flavor that you love, in a less fatty serving.

We’ve taken everything you love about a big platter of wings, blue cheese dip, and fresh veggie sticks and tossed it all with whole grain penne pasta. Think of it as the buffalo chicken platter deconstructed.

buffalo chicken pasta ingredients

Frank’s Red Hot is kind of the definitive sauce for buffalo-flavored dishes, but we also like the new buffalo flavor from Tabasco. Any hot sauce will work, and you can use as little or as much as your fierce taste buds can handle.

Loaded with crisp, fresh veggies, you aren’t as likely to pass these over when they are tossed with the pasta. And rather than an endless bowl of blue cheese dip, which can run more than 500 calories alone, we give you a generous 1/2-cup shake of the crumbles. All the flavor for around 50 calories! (more…)

You’ll Fall in Love with This Harvest Chopped Salad with Orange Ginger Vinaigrette

Summer is over but my salad bowl is still full! I’m a big fan of the big a– salad trend. Just a plate piled high with greens, veggies, berries, nuts and frankly anything else you want – it’s an entree that never disappoints. I always finish feeling full, satisfied, and not weighed down.

With Autumn as my muse, and my refrigerator quickly filling with the early seasonal produce, I crafted an entirely new entree salad. And it’s gooooood.

beet quinoa salad

“How is this even real?” was our photographer’s reaction upon tasting hers. And then she proceeded to demolish the rest of the food props.

Our Harvest Chopped Salad is like a farmers market truck unloaded in your kitchen. And then it rained down this homemade vinaigrette and what bloomed was just the best darn thing you’ve eaten in a while!

fall salad ginger vinaigrette

With red beets, carrots, quinoa, and ginger, this salad is not only hearty and satiating, but it’s also a great way to get your food experimentation on. If it’s been a while since you’ve tried some of these ingredients, or presents the first time, get after it! All of the complementary flavors blend perfectly together and it’s so darn pretty you won’t have any choice but to want to eat it. (more…)

Creamy Parmesan White Wine Sauce with Pasta for a Guilt-Free 419 Calories!

If I were going to be stranded on a desert island, and I could take only one food with me, it would be macaroni and cheese. It is the single most comforting comfort food. With its chewy noodles, gooey sauce, and creamy mouthfeel, I’d have no qualms about eating that every day.

But here in the real world, that’s hardly an option. The stuff in a box actually tastes terrible and is laced with chemical ingredients that kind of ruin the whole experience when you think about it. And if you really go for it at a restaurant, a bowl of chicken Alfredo at Olive Garden has 1500 calories! The classic mac at Macaroni Grill has nearly 700 calories… in the kids serving!

chicken alfredo
Nah, that’s not going to work. I’d like a big bowl of pasta, tossed in cheese sauce, and I’d like it for less than 500 calories.

This pasta in a white wine Parmesan sauce is very real, much more likely to happen that the desert island scenario, and comfort food I can enjoy without any discomfort of guilt. Why? It rings it at 419 calories for the whole bowl! (more…)

Make Mint Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Your Favorite New Dessert

Who doesn’t have too much zucchini right now? It’s one of those good problems to have as summer turns to fall. A high yield garden means tons of fresh veggies for you, but honestly, how many zucchs can you eat in a day, a week? At some point you’ve got to start giving them away.

Or baking them. In to bread. The most delicious bread.

There’s zucchini bread, which sure, everyone loves. But now, there’s Mint Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. It’s a real thing. We made it.

mint chocolate chip zucchini bread

It’s a very real thing baked full of freshly grated, garden-picked zucchinis, fresh mint leaves that could have very well come from your garden, too, and sweet little morsels of chocolate. (more…)

Pick a Peck of Homemade Sweet and Spicy English Cucumber Pickles

I will never buy pickles from the grocery store ever again.

I’ve seen the light.

I’ve tasted victory.

Why didn’t I figure this out sooner?

When I remember the summer of 2013, it will be the Summer of the Pickle!

homemade pickles

My grandfather planted a beautiful garden in his backyard this spring. We’ve been reaping the benefits of his hard work all season and I couldn’t be more thankful. My house doesn’t allow for a garden, so when he emailed and asked, “what would you like me to plant?”, I sent him a list that probably took him by surprise.

At the top of that list were English cucumbers. A thinner skin, sweeter taste, and fewer seeds, English cucumbers are a much better eating experience than the ‘ole standard cucumber. While not an issue when grown in the backyard, when bought at the store, English cucumbers typically come without the layer of wax found on regular cucumbers. And they’re prettier. For what that’s worth!

english cucumbers

Grandpa’s harvest has been good, which means we’ve had English cucumbers out the wazoo. A girl can only eat so many before she starts daydreaming about getting rid of cucumbers. So I asked my three-year-old sous chef, and pickle aficionado, if she’d like to spend a Saturday making pickles. She was delighted at the invitation and we set to slicing a heaping pile of cucs. (more…)