Chinese Five Spice Beef Soup with Bok Choy

A hearty recipe for Chinese Five Spice Beef Soup with Bok Choy | jessicagavin.com

It finally got me, and got me good! You know that pesky, sneaky, winner takes all cold. Yep! My mommy immune strength has served me well as I was able to dodge the holiday cold and flu season. I even made it a fair amount into James going to daycare with all those kid germs. That poor little guy hasn’t gotten a break since he started, he’s been sick three times already! I’m not surprised it finally caught up with me, I’m thinking those long sleepless midnight feedings, with the blue nose sucker in hand and humidifier blasting to help with babies congestion didn’t help.

Now mama needs some TLC and nothing sounds better than some hot and savory soup! But not the old standby chicken noodle version, I need the big guns to get through this cold. I’m loading up on a beefy and more spicetastic (I think I made up a new word) recipe from the Far East. That’s right, I’m talking about Chinese five spice beef soup with bok choy and other healthy vegetables to save the day!… 

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Panko Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Vegetables

Panko Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Vegetables | jessicagavin.com #recipe

My husband Jason and I have celebrated over 10 Valentine’s days together… probably more but I’ve started to lose count, ha! I love you sweetie! We’ve definitely done the fancy dinners at steak houses, some good then some okay. You know the ones where everyone is packed in like sardines, offered an overpriced prix fix menu and rushed through it for the next seating, soooo romantic!

Times have changed now that we have baby James joining us for our romantic date, I plan to light some candles, put on a Marvin Gaye vinyl record and cook an awesome feast at home! This Valentines Day treat calls for a mouthwatering panko herb crusted rack of lamb with fresh vegetables. Followed by one heart-shaped box of chocolates provided by my husband (wink wink I hope you’re reading this Jason!)…. 

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Pork Stir-Fry with Sugar Snap Peas and Cashews

Easy pork stir-fry with sugar snap peas and cashews | jessicagavin.com #chineserecipes

There are some nights that I just really don’t want to cook, but I reluctantly peak into the fridge and realize that I have everything I need for an easy Asian inspired stir-fry, yes! I forgot how totally awesome stir-frys are because they are great when you’re pinched for time, but still want a protein and veggie packed meal. There is really no measuring needed except for the sauce, just a few chop! chop! chops! on your cutting board and your ready to go. I like to make a seriously easy pork stir-fry with sugar snap peas and cashews. One wok, minimal mess, and dinner is ready to be inhaled quicker than you can finish catching up on the days Facebook happenings, umm hmm…. 

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Baked Zucchini Parmesan Fries with Mustard Basil Dip

Delicious serving of healthy baked zucchini parmesan fries with dipping sauce | jessicagavin.com

Aren’t french fries one of the most awesome foods created by man? I was just having a convo with my husband Jason about how happy I am when I eat those tantalizing spuds, but also how guilty and oily I feel after consuming one too many. It was time for a solution. Of course nothing can really trump a crispy golden potato, but I have an alternative that I think you will enjoy and feel much better woofing down!

Enter, the super zucchini! Baked zucchini Parmesan fries are crunchy and ready to be dipped and devoured in a mustard basil sauce. These oven baked zucchini fries are a healthy, family friendly alternative for a delicious appetizer or side dish, so crank those temperatures up to 425°F so we can pop them in the oven! I’m hungry now, whose ready to dig in?… 

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Chinese Lettuce Wraps With Ground Turkey

Chinese lettuce wraps with ground turkey | jessicagavin.com

I love a big one pot meal, especially when it calls for breaking out my wok ! These savory Asian lettuce wraps with ground turkey have been a weekday go-to recipe for us because it’s got everything you could want; healthy, quick, easy with a flavor kaboom that will make your taste buds rejoice, halle-food-ya!

So I’ve been attempting to keep my New Years resolution going by incorporating more nutritious meals that don’t make us feel like we need to hit the treadmill right after, but it’s still has to be satisfying right? After ordering these chicken lettuce wraps far too many time from Lazy Dog Cafe, I knew that I needed to recreate a similar flavorful recipe at home. So here it is, you’ve been warned that they are pretty darn addicting and in the best way possible…… 

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Hearty Chicken Ale Stew with Vegetables

Hearty Chicken Ale Stew with Vegetables | jessicagavin.com

Brrrr, oh it’s definitely time to make some stew to take the chill out of your bones! I may be experiencing “Cali winter”, aka I still occasionally wear shorts and flip flops on the weekend, but I still crave warm winter foods. To get started we are going to need some chicken (check!), vegetables (double check!), and some beer (check! Wait, whut?!?!).

Oh yes, some BEER. If you haven’t tried adding a little bit of bubbly fermented goodness to your soups and stews yet, then you have been missing out. Not to fret, I have a hot and delicious, bowl scraping, ask for seconds recipe for a hearty chicken ale soup with vegetables coming your way! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be born before 1993 to enjoy this savory dish (gosh I feel old!)…. 

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Wholesome White Bean and Chicken Chili

white bean and chicken chili recipe | jessicagavin.com

It’s football season everyone! I’m actually not that big of a fan, as in no specific team loyalties except the Niners and Raiders are near my hometown, ALAMEDA, whut!, whut! Gosh, do you remember when Joe Montana said he was “Going to Disneyland” after the 49ers won the Superbowl? Geez, a man of my heart.

I may not be a die hard pig skin fanatic (unless you mean the crispy stuff on the outside of a slow roasted porchetta), but I sure do LOVE some Sunday night football food! I definitely don’t mind stirring up a big pot of chili or noshing on fresh chips, salsa and guacamole while the hubs and babes enjoy the game on the lazy boy chair. And guess what, I’m making some soul soothing white bean and chicken chili soup for this Sundays match up, it’s got all the right heat to get you fired up for the game, who’s with me?… 

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Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipe | jessicagavin.com

Nothing says I love you like a piping hot plate of pasta and layering on a crispy breaded chicken is the icing on the cake! My husband grew up eating homemade Italian food that his mom and grandma would prepare. The sauces were always made from scratch (lucky guy!) and the food carefully made with love. Jason’s mom Joan and grandma Rose are amazing cooks! Over the years they have taught me how to make meatballs, fresh rolled pasta, and chicken spadini to make sure Jason always gets to indulge in his favorite foods.

I never try to compete with mama, but I like to make some of Jason’s favorite comfort foods to remind him of home. Nothing puts a smile on my husbands face than a crunchy tender piece of Chicken Parmesan, topped with fresh tomato sauce and gooey melted cheese. Oh yes, I get major points when I make this which I redeem for trips to get  ice cream cones!… 

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Salmon En Papillote with Vegetables

Delicious Salmon En Papillote with Vegetables | jessicagavin.com

Do you find yourself having a Rachel Ray moment? You know, noodling around to figure out how you can make a quick meal in 30 minutes or less on any given weekday? Sunday mornings are typically when I navigate through the super market aisles in search for my weekday meal inspiration. I want to be able to make Jason and I something healthy, flavorful and fast. Sounds like a wish I would make with a magical genie!

We are all strapped for time during the week, speeding through dinner so we can spend those extra minutes relaxing, or for me, snuggling with baby James. So I dug deep into those foggy memory banks from culinary school and had an Aha moment… salmon en papillote! Huh? What the heck is papillote? That’s just a fancy way to say “in parchment” in French, but it sounds much more impressive and romantic in the language of love, so why not! So lets get going, we only have 30 minutes remember?… 

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Moroccan Lamb Stew with Couscous

Moroccan lamb stew recipe with couscous | jessicagavin.com

I’m a huge SPICE girl fan, and I don’t mean the ones from Britain! I mean the savory, sweet, spicy, earthy, pungent Kung pow kick spices that take your taste buds for a roller coaster ride. That’s why it’s hard not to crave a flavorful and hearty Moroccan lamb stew, especially as the weather starts to cool down and I can finally wear my boots and scarves without looking too silly in California. Stews are pretty awesome because you can use more affordable and less tender cuts of meat and transform them into a glorious, tender and rich meaty feast all in one pot. Cha Ching!… 

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