One & Done Dinner- Salmon, Sprouts, & Sweet Potato

Hey Cats!

I hope everyone is having a good week! I’ve got a few projects coming up at work, so it has been a busy week, and it’s only Wednesday! When life gets busy, it can be really easy to eat whatever’s fast and doesn’t require a sink full of dishes. So basically Chick-Fil-A, pasta, or anything else that’s probably fried and severely lacking in nutritional value. However, I’ve found that eating crap when you’re busy makes you feel even worse and slows you down when you don’t have time to be slowed down. Lately, I’ve been experimenting to come up with healthy dinners that are more exciting than my usual chicken-quinoa-roasted brussels sprouts combo, and require less clean up. I crafted this little trio last week and it’s already made a repeat appearance! Pecan-crusted salmon, a baked sweet potato, and roasted Brussels sprouts (lol if you thought I could stray from this) with goat cheese- sounds pretty involved, right? False. Let me show you how it’s done.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 small sweet potato

-1 portion of salmon (I either get the 4oz serving from the fish counter or get a large piece and cut it in 3rds and freeze the rest!)

-1 tablespoon of butter

-1 tablespoon chopped pecans

-1 tablespoon grated parmesan

-1 tsp dry ranch dressing mix

-1/2 cup brussels sprouts,  quartered

-olive oil

-honey

-goat cheese crumbles

-almond butter (optional but HIGHLY recommended. Highly)

Here’s what you do:

1.First, you’ll need to bake the sweet potato by itself for a bit. Wash your sweet potato and poke holes all over with a fork- just don’t stab yourself (I have done this. Raise your hand if you’re not surprised). Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your tuber. You can just place it on the middle rack of your oven, no pan needed!

2. While your sweet potato is baking, do what you need to do. Live your life. Unload your dishwasher. Throw a load of laundry on. Do your workout for the day. Sit on the couch and watch trash tv. Neglect to write a blog post. It’s up to you. This is your time.

3. When your timer has about 15 minutes left, prepare the rest of your dinner for baking. Cover a baking sheet with foil whilst rejoicing that this is the only thing you will have to wash.

4. Prepare the salmon by following steps 1-4 of this recipe. Yes, I’ve made this before, but it was solo. This time it has friends. If you’re not feeling fancy, you can always simply season your salmon with salt, pepper, and dill!

5. Next, prepare your sprouts. Here’s my process: chop off the hard stem on the bottom, hopefully taking the outer leaves with it. Peel off a few layers of leaves until it looks clean. (always wash them first, by the way) Chop the little sprout in half, then in quarters. If the quarters are still large, I’ll chop them again! Toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper- this can be done on the pan!

6. Then, assemble the pan. Place the salmon on one side, sprouts on the other, and the sweet potato in the middle. Fits perfectly!

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7. Increase the heat to 425, and bake everything for another 20 minutes, until the salmon is cooked thoroughly and the sprouts are crispy!

8. Next, dress it up! I drizzled honey and crumbled goat cheese on the brussels sprouts, thanks to Bites of Bri. Ugh, so good I nearly cried. Then, instead of cinnamon and sugar on my sweet potato, I put a dollop of almond butter on top after a recommendation from my coworker (thanks, Natalie!). Changed. My. Life. It’s so creamy and delicious. I was afraid it would be too sweet but it is excellent. You will die. And then come back to life to thank me profusely.

9. Enjoy your gourmet dinner and then enjoy only washing one pan!

Side note: when I told my mom about this, I kept going on about how “it only took one pan!”. Eventually she asked me, “Is that because you only have one pan?”. No, it’s because I’m lazy. But honestly, I’m not even surprised, because I also told her that day that I had made toast in my oven in a loaf pan. Because I’m resourceful. And I’m not married so people don’t think I need/want nice kitchen appliances such as a toaster. I digress.

Do you have any one-and-done dinners? Please share, I hate washing dishes!

That’s all for meow!
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Recipe- Tangy Summer Salad with Salmon

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday! This week is both flying and crawling at the same time, if that’s possible. I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately, but it’s also SO HOT in Houston that just the thought of turning the stove on makes me sweat. I typically make a pizza or other fun dinner for myself on the weekend, but after laying out at the pool all day Saturday, I needed something light, but obviously still delicious and filling. So I decided to combine a citrus salmon recipe that I love with a homemade version of my favorite Salata salad. And it was so good I made it without the salmon for lunch until I ran out of kale.

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Okay first we need to address this MASSIVE salmon plank. I asked for 4oz, and the little fishmonger just haphazardly whacked off a chunk, weighed it to get the price, and wrapped it up without noticing that it was 6oz. I’m fine with more fish, but I also had to pay more for it, which I wasn’t too pleased about. Also, it was so large that it just fell apart when I tried to plate it, so that’s why it looks kind of sad. But hey, I did the best I could and it’s delicious so that’s all that matters, right?

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 serving of Honey Garlic Lemon Salmon– this recipe from The Whisking Kitchen is SO good!

-1 cup kale, rinsed and chopped

-1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped

-3-4 large brussels sprouts, grated or finely chopped

-1 small granny smith apple, thinly sliced or diced

-1/4 cup cooked quinoa

-2 tbsp pine nuts

-2-3 tbsp goat cheese (feel free to go crazy here, I sure did)

-lemon vinaigrette dressing- I used Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Lemon, in the refrigerated section.

Here’s what you do:

1. First, prepare the salmon. It has to marinate for at least 30 minutes, so plan for that. ALSO cook it on a foil-lined pan, because I cannot tell you how long it took me to scrub the burnt honey off my pan.

2. Finely chop the kale and spinach and add to a very large mixing bowl.

3. Add the brussels sprouts, apple, and quinoa and toss.

4. Next, add the pine nuts, cheese, and dressing. Toss until everything is fully coated with dressing. I usually just pour my dressing over the top, but tossing your salad ensures every bite is tasty!

5. Serve your salad with your salmon on top, and enjoy!

What’s your favorite light summer meal? Let me know!

 

That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

Hey Cats!

Yes, I am indeed alive (barely). I have been so insanely busy over the last few weeks it’s not even funny- I’m talking being at home for maybe two hours other than sleeping every day. Yikes! But, Thanksgiving and Christmas break are coming, so I will have some time to rest and focus on the blog for a while, which makes me really happy! I’ve discovered quite a bit during my absence, so I decided to return with Friday’s Five and show you what I’ve been loving lately.

1. What I’m Reading- The Skimm

the-skimm

So a few weeks ago in my Health Communication class, we were talking about how important it is to be aware of current events, and how millennials aren’t doing a great job of staying on top of that. One of my classmates mentioned The Skimm, a daily email that gives a rundown on the happenings of the world, and once I saw it for myself, I was in! This is going to make me sound like a total nerd, but reading my Skimm email is probably my favorite part of the morning now. It  makes its way to my inbox around 6 or 7 am with a sassy subject line like “Bye Felicia” or “So fresh and so clean” and I just love it. It shares 5-7 snippets of news each day in an easy-to-read, slightly snarky voice, which is right up my alley. From the Uber media meltdown to updates on Palestine and how Washington is adjusting to the GOP taking over Congress, the Skimm will fill you in.  So if you’d like a side of responsible citizenship with your morning coffee (you do),  sign up today!

2. What I’m Buying- JCrew Factory Quilted Jacket

jcrew quilted jacket

PRAISE HIM. PRAISE THE LORD. I have been literally dying over this JCrew Factory quilted jacket in Olive Moss for months. It was on sale back in September, but since it wasn’t that chilly I thought it could wait. I was wrong, so very wrong. Have you ever heard the phrase “nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy”? Well for me, it was this. The price went back up, and the temperatures went down, and every morning for about three weeks all I could think was “Why the crap did I not buy that jacket?” Luckily, I received an intriguing email from the Crew yesterday, so I decided to make a quick price check, AND IT WAS 50% OFF PLUS FREE SHIPPING. I laughed, I cried, I ran downstairs for my credit card without batting an eye. It is mine and will be here next week(ish), so stay tuned!

3. What I’m Doing– Songfest

songfest

Part of the reason I’ve been so insanely busy is because I’m participating in Songfest, an annual fundraiser hosted by Chi Omega sorority at Texas A&M. Each year, different sororities, fraternities, and other organizations pair up and prepare a seven-minute dance routine to perform and compete to raise money for their philanthropies. My sorority (Sigma Phi Lambda) and our partners have been working SO HARD, and tonight and Saturday are the show! Hopefully we will win, but if not, I’ve had a great time dancing and making new friends!

4. What I’m Eating– Spicy Brussels Sprouts

spicy brussels sprouts

I know, I know. Brussels sprouts again. I’m sorry, but they’re my favorite vegetable, and we should all just be glad that I’m voluntarily eating something green. But I came across this recipe for spicy brussels sprouts a week or two ago, and finally tried them earlier this week (speaking of, have I told you guys the story about how my garbage disposal/dishwasher was broken for almost a month? Well it was, and those were trying times- I cried). Just add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little kick- SO GOOD.

5. What I’m Laughing At

cats and money

This, for obvious reasons.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! That’s all for meow!

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Friday’s Five

Hey Cats!

Happy Friday! I’m at home for the first time in a month, and it’s so nice! It’s always refreshing to just be with my family and relax, shop with my mom, and sleep in my big bed.

It was a pretty uneventful week, but it was still great! Here’s what I loved this week:

1.

bachelorette

 

The Bachelorette finale was on Monday, and Andi picked Josh- just as I suspected. My roommates and I have loved watching and providing snide commentary this season, much of it directed at Josh. Or Cody. I could tell from early on that Andi would pick Josh, and I don’t blame her- now she can stay in Atlanta, doesn’t have to take the bar exam for another state, and can probably get her DA job back- if anyone still wants a reality star defending the state of Georgia in a court of law. Don’t get me wrong- I loved Andi and the fact that she was a well-educated professional, but I think it’s going to be hard for her to go back to that life.

2. I got some new pajamas this week and I was almost late to work because I didn’t want to change out of them- twice. Oops! I got these super-soft, light pants and breezy tank from Target, and they’re perfect! I was worried about getting hot in the pants, but they’re really thin, so it’s cozy but not too warm.

3.

brussels sprout chips

I made these brussels sprouts chips recently, and they were amazing. Brussels sprouts are my new favorite vegetable, but I had an unfortunate incident with my latest bag, so I’m done for a while.

4.

Hilary-Duff-Chasing-The-Sun-2-600x337

 

It finally happened. Hilary Duff has new music, and I’m dying. She was my favorite singer when I was in junior high, and I’m still mildly obsessed with her.I occasionally listen to my old CD’s on long drives (#noshame), and she definitely deserves some credit for my high self-esteem. Thanks, Hillz. 

5. My birthday is Sunday and I can’t wait! I know I keep talking about it, but I’m just so excited- mostly because of cake and my birthday dress. More on that later! 

I’m linking up with Amy & Karli today for Oh Hey Friday!

 

Have a great weekend! That’s all for meow!

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Roasted.

Hey Cats!

Happy Weekend! I’m off of work today, it’s payday (I think), and I get to see my sea-star tomorrow- it’s a great day.

I’ve never been very big on vegetables. As a child, I was forced to stay at the dinner table long after the rest of my family to finish an appropriate amount of peas or green beans- quite the dramatic scene I can assure you. When I went to college and started cooking for myself, I would microwave a small bowl of frozen green peas or frozen corn with every meal, so I could tell my mom that I was eating vegetables. However, I’ve recently discovered a new way to prepare vegetables that’s quite delicious- roasting them!

I’ve done this with brussels sprouts (my personal favorite), asparagus, and corn. Here’s my recipe for each:

Brussels Sprouts:

1. Halve or quarter brussels sprouts, depending on the size, and place on a baking sheet.

2. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Stir to coat.

3. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.

 

Asparagus:

1. Wash asparagus and trim off the ends. Line the stalks up on a baking sheet.

2. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Toss to coat.

3. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

 

Corn:

1. Spread frozen corn evenly on a baking sheet.

2. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Stir to coat.

3. Broil at 500 degrees for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on this- I set the smoke alarm off in my house the first time I made it!

 

I love roasting vegetables because it’s a delicious flavor and it’s SO easy. I’ll usually stick both the veggies and whatever chicken I’m also cooking in the oven at the same time, and it’s a real time-saver. Lately, I’ve been throwing a handful of cherry tomatoes on the pan as well and letting the skin break and roast- so good. If you’re looking for a quick way to prepare your vegetables, or if you’re not the biggest herbivore like myself, you should definitely try roasted veggies. Your mother will be so pleased that you’ve finally learned to eat your greens- at least mine is!

That’s all for meow!

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Recipe- Easy Cheez-It Chicken

Hey Cats!

I’ve been getting creative with my dinner this week in an attempt to use up all of my food before I go home for a few days. It’s a challenge, but it’s led to some delicious creations that I’ll definitely be making again! The other day I was staring into the pantry and a box of Cheez-It’s caught my eye. Who knows how long they’d been there, but it gave me an excellent dinner idea- breaded chicken using crushed-up Cheez-It’s instead of bread crumbs. It’s crunchy, cheesy, and incredibly easy- everything I ever want out of dinner.

Also, these are measurements for 1 chicken breast, so if you’re wanting to make a larger batch, adjust accordingly!

Here’s what you need:

-1 chicken breast, thawed

-2 tablespoons flour

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 egg

-A few dashes of hot sauce (I use Tabasco)

-!/2 cup Cheez-Its, crushed

Here’s what you do:

1. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Next, mix together your flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

3. Then, whisk together the egg with a few dashes of hot sauce- just for a little kick!

4. Crush your Cheez-It’s and add them to a separate small bowl. You can do this with a rolling pin, or you can release all your end of the semester frustrations and pound them with your fists, like I did. It’s your personal preference.

5. Set the three bowls in an assembly line, like I did with my cute little ombre bowls.

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6. Then, take your chicken breast and dip it first in the flour, making sure it’s coated, then the egg, then the cracker crumbs. Make sure when you dip it in the cracker crumbs, it’s coated well- you may have to get a little messy!

7. Bake in a greased baking pan for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked all the way through.

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I had mine with rice and my latest favorite veggie, roasted brussels sprouts. A delicious, easy meal for the middle of the week!

That’s all for meow!

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Wednesday Pins-Day

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday! I’m so excited for today, because this is the last day of finals, which means my roommates will be done with tests, and I won’t be by myself all day. It’s been nice to relax and not have any responsibilities for the past couple of days, but I’m ready to do fun summer activities with my friends! Since I’ve had all this free time, I’ve been doing plenty of pinning, and I’ve come across a few things I’d like to share with you all!

mirrored pots

First are these cute mirrored plant-holders. (Is that what they should be called? Help.) I love the modern look the mirrors give the plants, and it would work well in a variety of home decor styles. The website isn’t in English, but the photo itself is fairly self-explanatory. Just 5 square mirrors and some hot glue and you’ve got yourself a nice little craft. If I had a green thumb I would be more eager to go for this project, but I typically kill all things green within two weeks, so I might have to adapt this to work with something other than plants.

keyhole earrings

Next are these Keyhole Earrings from sonya renee. My roommate has a similar pair, and I’m mildly obsessed with them. They’re a perfect dainty touch to any outfit, and the classic shape ensures that they will be a staple in your jewelry collection for years to come. These are definitely on my purchase list for this summer!

brussel sprouts

Next is this delicious recipe for roasted brussels sprouts from Cakes Cottage. Brussels sprouts are my new favorite vegetable, and I make them multiple times a week, not a joke. I’ve sauteed them before and enjoyed them, but I think roasting is my favorite. I love how they get really crispy- SO GOOD. Instead of the garlic aioli sauce in this recipe, I typically dip them in a little Greek yogurt mixed with a splash of lime juice and a sprinkle of dill, and it’s everything. If you’re looking for a new side dish, give this one a try- you’ll love it!

george

Finally, I have this adorably hilarious meme of Prince George sassing it up on the Australian tour. I’m so sad that’s over, because between Kate’s ensembles and George’s shenanigans I was incredibly entertained.

That’s all for meow!

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