Quinoa Black Bean Burger with Red Pepper Spread

Quinoa Black Bean Burger with Red Pepper Spread | jessicagavin.com #vegetarian #burgers

I’ve been searching for a good vegetarian burger recipe, just to switch things up a little bit and because it’s almost labor day which means summer is drawing close to an end, waaaahhhh. We’ve come a long way from the sawdust, hockey puck, loveless veggie burger, that’s for sure. If I had to dream up a delicious and satisfying meatless burger, I would still want protein, and the combination of quinoa and black beans are two fantastic choices. So off I went, crafting a quinoa black bean burger that would put a smile on anyone’s face, something meat eaters and vegetarians could both enjoy!… 

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Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Cauliflower Sauce

Creamy Chicken Broccoli Pasta with Cauliflower Sauce | jessicagavin.com

Did I tell you that our little James is eating solids now? Yep, he is grabbing stuff right off our plate and is enjoying tasting or tossing them, depending on what he likes. It is fun watching him explore his palate, and I have found that he likes a little seasoning and the bland stuff I used to feed him just isn’t cutting it any more. Knowing that he’s trying more foods, I still want to offer healthy options whenever possible. I’m not surprised that James loves pasta just like his DaDa.

There are so many whole wheat pasta varieties now offered at the market which makes me a happy mom. My little and big guys at home really liked this chicken shell pasta with creamy cauliflower sauce, little did they know it was good for them too!… 

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Crunchy Mexican Tostadas with Shredded Chicken

Homemade crunchy chicken Mexican tostadas recipe | jessicagavin.com

What’s a girl to do with a bunch of lonely leftover chicken? Sometimes a mom’s gotta get a little bit creative with meals, but that doesn’t mean it’s got to lack in the flavor department, am I right? You know what is awesome? Crunchy things, like a fried corn tortillas. Who doesn’t like those cute little crispy triangles, especially dipped in some guacamole? My self-control goes right out the window!

However something even more glorious is layering different flavors on top of each golden crisp tortilla, and Mexican tostadas are like a mariachi band serenade of flavors and texture for your taste buds. You won’t think this is silly once you try it and start dancing, show me what you got!… 

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Spicy Sriracha Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

Fast recipe for Spicy Sriracha Honey Chicken Stir-Fry | jessicagavin.com

When 6 o’clock rolled around at my house when I was just a little sprout, I would instantly hear the rustlings of my mom and grandpa busily shuffling around the kitchen. They were conjuring up something seriously delicious for dinner. Within a few moments, the sounds of cool meat sizzling in hot oil appeared and then the rhythmic clang of a hard metal spatula hitting the side of a hot wok continued until a feast for a hungry family of six was presented on the table.

It was pretty awesome how quickly dinner could be ready, plus so much flavor infused into each enticing bite. Cantonese cooking is all about the sauce, typically a yummy savory and sweet sauce to toss with any protein or vegetable.

Now with my own family to care for, I’m short on time from daycare pick up to bedtime. Fast and flavorful meals have become a necessity. I recently began my obsession with Sriracha, the spicy ruby red thick chili sauce that people use on just about anything! I’ve discovered that it’s even more incredible in a big bowl of steaming hot sriracha honey chicken stir-fry, nom nom nom!… 

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Asian Soba Noodle Salad With Soy Dressing

Bowl of Asian soba noodle salad with citrus dressing | jessicagavin.com

When I think of Asian noodles, a hot steamy bowl of pho always come to mind. However, summertime calls for a cool and refreshing noodle salad to satisfy your taste buds. An Asian soba noodle salad with soy dressing is just what you need. A healthy, light and really delicious meal packed with fresh vegetables! Trust me, you NEED this and you will be happy you spent 30 minutes or less chopping up a storm in the kitchen for this blissful dish. … 

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Family Style Marinated Grilled Flat Iron Steak

Marinated grilled flat iron steak sliced and served with coleslaw | jessicagavin.com

Hey you juicy piece of steak, get in my belly NOW! Wow, you guys won’t believe how unbelievably tender and delicious this marinated grilled flat iron steak is, it’s pretty amazing. I was inspired by our recent restaurant visit to Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA during our anniversary trip to Napa.

Jason and I had a similar dish and I wanted to recreate all of the goodness at home. This cut of beef is really lean and tasty on its own, but adding marinade for a few hours, or even days, if you have time really infuses more flavor and tenderness into each irresistible bite. Excuse me as I stop drooling so we can talk more about how to make this family style feast happen!… 

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Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce | jessicagavin.com #italianrecipe

These cheesy pasta shells make me smile. The first time I had oozy cheesy stuffed pasta shells, I was hooked! It’s such a simple yet comforting meal, and I think being a kid I thought the shape was really neat. In fact, my mom used to buy a big bag of these pre-filled pasta shells from Costco so I could just heat them up, top with sauce and have them whenever my heart desired. Nothing fancy, but I really liked them haha.
My husband Jason also grew up eating stuffed shells, but he was lucky enough to have his Italian mom Joan make them from scratch! I wanted to make a throwback nostalgic dish for the both of us so I stuffed jumbo pasta shells with spinach and cheese filling and them topped it with some homemade tomato sauce with sausage. Each cute little shell was delicious and satisfied our childhood cravings. I hope you enjoy this spinach and cheese stuffed shells with meat sauce recipe as much as our family does!

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Savory Spiced Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

Savory Spiced Lamb Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce served with quinoa tabbouleh | jessicagavin.com

It’s officially June which equals SUMMER!!!! This also means grilling, grilling and more grilling, yay! There is nothing quicker, easy and tasty as throwing some spiced lamb kabobs on a hot sizzling BBQ. It only takes a few minutes to make and I always like serving this dish with lots of side options, like a cool and creamy homemade tzatziki sauce. It really is the perfect condiment for eat savory lamb bite and grilled vegetables. Make sure you have a tank full of gas and fire that BBQ up. Let’s get the summer started right by making your neighbors jealous with the smell of savory spiced lamb kabobs with tzatziki sauce, whoot!… 

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Quinoa Tabbouleh with Lemon Garlic Dressing

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Lemon Garlic Dressing | jessicagavin.comTabbouleh is hands down my favorite vegetarian side dish at any Middle Eastern restaurant. This salad features all of the freshest vegetables, herbs and grains, then tossed in a pungent olive oil and lemon dressing. It’s really nice and light, refreshing and simple to make. I made a super healthy quinoa tabbouleh version that is packed with protein and vegetables that I’m sure all of you tabbouleh fans will enjoy…. 

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Grilled Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Coleslaw

Grilled Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Coleslaw | jessicagavin.com #bbq

I swear I just blinked and spring was pretty much over! It’s just a few more days until memorial day, which means it’s time to fire up the grill for the summer. I love grilling, there are less dishes to clean and I get to cook outdoors! We are big fans of pulled chicken sandwiches and I figured it was about time to make them at home.

I don’t own a crock pot, and don’t want to wait for hours for the chicken to slow cook in the oven. A great compromise is adding a generous amount of spices to tender chicken thighs, grill them over a hot flame, and your meat is ready to be smothered in BBQ sauce in way less time. I’m ready, how about you? Ready, set, grill!… 

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