Guilt-Free Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

I just got back from a wonderful trip to my parent’s house in Calgary, Alberta and feel so refreshed and energized for the fall! There’s a crispness in the air back home in Chicago that just makes me so excited for cooler temperatures and fall recipes. I used to SO not be a fall person (I grew up in deserts and the tropics and never had to wear a sweater), but now that I’m a legit Midwesterner, I really appreciate the beauty of seasons. And it’s much easier taking my baby out for walks now that it’s not ridiculously humid and in the high 90s. 🙂

ANYWAYS, I recently shared this pasta on my Insta Stories and decided it was too good not to share on the blog! I LOVE using sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil for pasta and chicken recipes. It’s such a good hack for easy-to-prepare sauces that immediately lends a ton of flavor to any dish. You can also check out my recipe for Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomatoes in a Garlic Cream Sauce.

For this particular recipe, I used Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta, which makes this dish healthy, gluten-free, and guilt-free. The pasta is a new find for me; it’s so good and so filling that I seriously cannot believe it’s not real pasta! Love the texture too. Hope you enjoy the recipe, and leave a comment if you plan to try it! It’s GREAT for meal-planning for the week. Just skip the chicken if you want to go veggie 🙂

Ingredients (serves 4) 

1/2 an onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, grated or smashed
1 box of baby bellas, sliced
6 oz spinach
6 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
8.5 oz sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta, cooked according to packet directions
1/2 cup pasta water
1 cup parmigiano reggiano
Oregano, red chili flakes, and s&p

Recipe

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic and let brown slightly, then add the onions and stir till golden. Add the chicken thighs and fry each side for a few minutes until almost fully cooked. Then add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil. Stir everything together until the chicken pieces are fully cooked and nicely coated with the sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil. Lower the heat and add heavy cream, pasta water, and salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for five minutes or so until the sauce is nice and thick. Finally, add the spinach, cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano, and seasonings (oregano and lots of red chili flakes for extra spice!). Serve with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and enjoy for dayzzz!

Tandoori Chicken Tacos

Here it is! My recipe for tandoori chicken tacos, which I guarantee is probably the easiest, no-fuss recipe you’ll find out there. My mother-in-law makes these all the time in the summer (with a more legit tandoori marinade) and they are so so scrumptious that I needed to figure out how to make a lazy girl version for myself. Enjoy, and leave a comment if you plan on trying these at home! You won’t regret it 🙂

Ingredients (serves 2)
*As with all cooking, I usually just eyeball/adjust these ingredients to taste, but here’s my best estimate for measurements

6 chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 an onion, sliced into long pieces
6 flour tortillas
1 teaspoon Canola oil

For the marinade:
1 tablespoon plain or Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
Red chilli powder to taste (I like mine spicy, so 1 teaspoon)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Canola oil

For garnishing:
*Completely customizable, but here’s how I like mine!

2 avocados, sliced into long pieces
Greek yogurt
Montamore cheese (sweet, creamy, and tangy!)
Cholula Hot Sauce

Recipe

Mix the marinade ingredients into a large bowl. Fold in the chicken thighs, mix well, and let marinate for at least a few hours in the fridge (the longer, the better!). While the chicken marinates, you can prep the other ingredients so that your taco bar is ready to go as soon as the chicken is prepared.

Heat 1 teaspoon of Canola oil on a large saucepan on medium to high heat. Fry the onions until they’re slightly brown and caramelized, and set aside on a separate plate. In the same oil, fry the chicken thighs until brown on each side (this will take a few minutes), add any additional chilli powder (for a bolder look and taste), and then lower the heat and cover until the chicken is cooked fully. Once the chicken thighs are cooked, add in the caramelized onions and mix. You should have a nice creamy chicken mixture with not too much gravy. If your gravy appears thin, then cover and cook for longer.

To serve: Add a spoonful of the chicken mixture to your flour tortilla and garnish with a few avocado slices, a teaspoon of Greek yogurt, cheeeeese, and a generous helping of that amazing Cholula Hot Sauce. Ready, set, DEVOUR. And then repeat until your belly is full 🙂 The perfect weeknight dinner for your Taco Tuesdays!

Quick & Easy Salmon Zoodle Bowls

I’ve been on a health kick recently, but with all my recent travels and the start of wedding season, it’s been tough to stick to a steady routine and diet. So many decadent distractions everywhere! That’s why I love super simple recipes that are easy to whip up in the kitchen, but still good for you. Salmon is my go-to protein for weeknight dinners, and I’ve recently been pairing it with a little bit of pesto, garlic, tomatoes and zucchini noodles. So light, refreshing, and packed with a ton of flavor.

Here’s my recipe for Salmon Zoodle Bowls – everything you dreamed of for those busy weeknights. What are some of your tips and tricks for eating healthy with a busy schedule? I’d love to hear from you!

When you’re off your blogging game and Instagram Story is the best picture you have…

Ingredients (serves 2) 

1.5 tbsp olive oil
4 zucchinis – washed, peeled and spiralized into noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 small salmon fillets, cut into three pieces each and marinaded in a little bit of olive oil, s&p and the diced garlic
1/2 a tomato, diced
2-3 tsp of pesto, depending on your taste
Grated parmesan cheese

Recipe

First, prep your zoodles. Lightly fry the spiralized zucchini noodles in 1 tbsp olive oil and garnish with salt & pepper and any other spices to your liking. I usually add some onion powder and parsley flakes, but you can also add red chilli flakes for an added kick. This should only take a few minutes – avoid frying for too long, or the zoodles will become mushy and let out moisture. Keep em’ crispy! Once this is done, arrange the zoodles in a bowl.

Next up, take your salmon pieces (already marinaded in olive oil, s&p and garlic) and lightly pan-fry them for a few minutes on each side in half a tbsp of olive oil. As you’re frying them, drop in the diced tomatoes and add pesto over the salmon pieces. Stir this mixture so that the pesto combines with the tomatoes and coats the salmon. Cover until the salmon pieces are completely cooked (this should taken around 5-10 minutes longer depending how thick the salmon pieces are).

Spoon the salmon, pesto and tomato mixture over your zoodles. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese, freshly cracked pepper and a little more pesto if you please. Enjoy! Guilt-free and delicious.

Chicken & Mushrooms in a Light White Wine Sauce

Hi everyone, and Happy St. Patty’s Day! I seriously can’t believe we’re already at March with weather consistently in the mid-50s in Chicago. I mean, doesn’t it feel like Christmas was just yesterday? I’m so sorry with how terrible I’ve been at keeping up with my blog, but my February was a complete blur. My husband was away in DC for a mandatory course, my mom was visiting me (which means I barely cooked all month and was spoiled by her Indian food), work was absolutely crazy, and I spent a whirlwind weekend in NYC for my golden birthday. February just flew by, but I’m feeling good about March. I’m boycotting St. Patty’s Day (no day drinking or green river for me!) and focusing on resetting and getting some much-needed zen back into my life. On the blog front, this means that I’m back with tons of new blog posts and recipe ideas that I can’t wait to share with you!

Today, I’m sharing with you one of my easiest go-to chicken recipes that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner but elegant enough for guests. Feel free to customize the ingredients a bit – want something richer? Go ahead and add more white wine and heavy cream. Want something lighter? Sub the heavy cream with a splash of milk and it’s just as delicious. Enjoy!

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Ingredients (serves 4) 

6 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion, or 1 shallot, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
White wine, to taste
Splash of heavy cream or milk

Recipe

Marinate the chicken thighs in salt and pepper, to taste. Melt the butter on a large saucepan on high heat. Once heated, fry the onions and garlic till the mixture becomes slightly translucent. Add the chicken thighs, fry on each side for a few minutes till they begin to brown. Add the mushrooms and a splash of white wine (I usually add a little less than 1/2 cup) and fry the mixture together. Lower the heat slightly and add heavy cream or milk. Stir the mixture together, add more salt and pepper to taste, cover and let the chicken cook fully. Garnish with thyme leaves and serve with salad or over a bed of pasta. C’est fini!