Well Dined

26Jan/160

Jasper’s Chili

Well Dined | Chili

You may have heard about Snowzilla, the crazy blizzard that dropped 30 inches of snow in as many hours on the east coast this weekend.  People were were panicking about it all week and preparing for the end of the world.  (Not that they were wrong, our street still hasn't been plowed, 3 days after the end of the storm.)  I knew that we would want some comforting food options, so I made a big batch of chili and decided to revisit and revamp my old recipe for you.

Well Dined | Chili

Hubby likes both ground meat and tiny bits of steak, and not too many beans or extra frills.  So this chili is his extra special version made just for him. Plus I made it in the slow cooker so that it would be easy - that part's for me.

25Aug/150

Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

Well Dined | Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

This week Melissa and Sarah take their vegetarian lunch adventure to the grill!  Woohoo!  We've been meaning to grill all summer, but for some reason every time we pick a day it starts to rain.  This time was no exception - rain was forecasted starting in the afternoon - but we decided to try and grill before it started, and we succeeded!  Finally!

Well Dined | Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

This flatbread had been kicking around in our minds for a while, the product of brainstorming, and I am so pleased with the way it turned out!  Crispy grilled flatbread topped with pesto, grilled and fresh veggies, feta, and fresh basil - the epitome of Summer.

Well Dined | Grilled Vegetable Flatbread

First, we made the flatbread dough - which is very easy and requires no yeast or rising time!  Just flour, salt, baking powder, water, milk, and oil mixed together.

21Apr/154

Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

Well Dined | Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

I have made this salad multiple times in the past two years, but never managed to photograph it or blog about it - until now!  Which is a shame, because it is so delicious and satisfying, and you could have been making it, too.  I'm so sorry!  But I'm sharing it with you now, and I hope that you know how serious I am about loving this salad, because I rarely ever make things more than once.  I even bought pomegranate molasses for my parents so that I could make this for them!

Special thanks to Melissa at Smells Like Brownies, for making it with me again two years after our first time making it together so that we could photograph it.

Well Dined | Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

First thing is first, you must cook some lentils! I use French lentils for pretty much everything because they retain their shape and texture.  Plus, they are a pretty green.

Well Dined | Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

Meanwhile - prep your other ingredients.  Chop your vegetables: onion, garlic, bell peppers.  I love how colorful the bell peppers are, and how pretty they make the salad.  So buy one of those 3 packs that has red, yellow, and orange.  It will make you so happy.  We also had a little bit of a green pepper left over, so we threw that in.

Also use this time to rehydrate some sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water.  The water will become infused with tomato flavor, and will later become part of the dressing - neat!  Not pictured - toast some walnuts.  It releases the oils and makes them so much more flavorful.

16Jul/142

Cioppino

Well Dined | Cioppino

It's time for another collaboration with Smells Like Brownies (although we actually made this back in June, oops!) - not vegetarian this time, but rather pescetarian.  A hearty tomato based broth filled with all kinds of seafood - Cioppino.  Melissa actually chose this dish for her blogging group, the Secret Recipe Club.  For more info on that, check out her post here.

Well Dined | Cioppino

Making the broth takes up the most time in this recipe, but you want to let it simmer and develop deep flavor, so it's worth it.  Olive oil, garlic, shallot, oregano, and a bay leaf go in first; followed by bell pepper, tomato paste, and red wine.  Oh yeah, and red pepper flakes - watch it here, this is where you determine your spice level.  Next comes canned tomatoes in their juices, clam juice, lemon juice, and veggie broth (not stock).  Let it do it's thing for 30 minutes before adding in some mussels.

Well Dined | Cioppino

I meant it when I said this soup was full of all kinds of seafood.  While the mussels simmer away; prep the rest of the seafood - scallops, red snapper (or something similar, like halibut), and shrimp.  Who knew a bunch of raw seafood could look so pretty?

Well Dined | Cioppino

After the rest of the seafood is cooked through, top with fresh basil and parsley and dig in.  Serve with some crusty bread for dipping and eat right away!  This Italian stew is perfect for any time of year - hearty and warming, but not heavy - so enjoy!

17Jul/130

Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

This vegetarian/vegan meal that I made with Melissa of Smells Like Brownies is perfect for summer.  It is light and fresh (but still filling), takes advantage of summer produce, and is packed with protein.

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

All you have to do is combine the ingredients - corn, tomato, avocado, bell pepper, scallions, jalapeno, black beans, cooked quinoa.

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

Then toss with a dressing of lime, olive oil, honey, and cumin.

Well Dined | Mexican Style Quinoa Salad

Top with some fresh cilantro (or parsley if you, like me, are not a fan) and your perfect summer lunch awaits!  You can serve it warm, cold, or room temp - doesn't matter.  The ingredient list is also totally flexible, go with whatever ratio of quinoa to veg you like, take out the stuff you don't like, add in something you do, make it yours.

28May/130

Fresh Homemade Pasta!

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I have been wanting to learn to make my own pasta for years, so I was super jealous when my friend Melissa (you know her by now) got a pasta roller for Christmas.  I had been thinking about getting the Kitchen Aid attachment (versus the hand crank kind) but it is very expensive and I had read reviews about them breaking and being hard to clean.  Melissa said that her manual roller was very easy to use, and invited me over to try it out / teach me how to use it.

Our first experiment was Spinach Ravioli with a Creamy Tomato and Veggie Sauce - yum!

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The first step is to make the filling.  Saute diced onion in butter, then add in frozen spinach (thawed and drained) to cook out any liquid.

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Add in ricotta, Parmesan, and an egg yolk.

17May/130

Juicing

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About a month ago I got really excited about juicing after watching a documentary called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead."  The man in the film goes on a 2 month long juice fast, which I was definitely not prepared to do.  I wasn't even prepared to do the more standard 7-10 day juice fast.  But I did like the idea of using juices to consume large quantities of raw vegetables in a more palatable manner.  So I bought a ton of veggies and went to work.

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I started with a recipe from the doc's website and added a little to it, using carrots, bell pepper, apple, ginger, golden beet, fennel, and mango.

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Gorgeous color!  I used too much ginger, though, it had quite a kick.

31Jan/132

Ratatouille

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Ratatouille - a delicious french vegetable dish that is usually kind of like a stew.  I found a recipe from WendyinKK that was inspired by the more upscale version presented in the Disney film.  Beautifully sliced veggies layered in a casserole - this is so gorgeous and hearty.  It is time consuming though, so be prepared.

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Eggplant, bell pepper, roma tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini.  You will probably want to bust out the mandolin slicer for this one, unless your knife skills are really good.

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Such beautiful slices!  You will need to saute the eggplant and squash slices to release their moisture and enhance their flavor.

24Aug/120

Summer Seafood

I don't normally cook a lot of seafood other than my usual seared salmon, but in the summer I do get cravings for it.  The reason is unknown - maybe because it is light and refreshing, maybe because I wish I was at the beach.  Either way, I have a couple of light and healthy Summer seafood recipes to share with you.

These shrimp tacos are filled out with a slaw of cabbage, corn, fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, and a dab of sour cream.  A great balance between warm tortillas, hot shrimp fresh out of the pan, and cool, crunchy slaw - they are healthy, filling, and super tasty.

This next recipe combines two superfoods into one awesome meal for Salmon Burgers with Tangy Avocado Sauce.

13Feb/120

Mediterranean Salad


This salad is packed with a ton of flavor, and all the vegetables make sure that it is actually a healthy salad. For those who don't know - it is easy for a salad to get out of control with cheese and dressing and restaurant salads can have well over 1000 calories. This salad doesn't need a whole lot of dressing, b/c the ingredients have a lot of flavor. Also - Feta cheese is low-fat and it has a strong flavor, so you don't need to use much.