Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Bean and Rice Bowls | @girlversusdough #chicken #dinner #healthy #recipe

Wouldn’t it be super neat if you could eat a certain food and it would transport you to the place of its origin? Like if this Caribbean jerk chicken transported me right to a sunny Caribbean beach. That would be just super neat. Just so super duper neat. Just so very — but OH HAI REAL LIFE and your lack of sunny Caribbean beaches.

Real life may not be so super neat, but at least it still includes these tasty, filling and healthy chicken, bean and rice bowls. And I suppose that will suffice (for now).

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Tarragon Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers | @girlversusdough #turkey #burgers #grilling #dinner #20minutemeal

Twenty minutes. That’s all it takes to make these burgers. And an extra approximately 1.5 minutes to eat them all.

We have this situation in our household and that situation is called Elliott and His Insatiable Appetite. The man can eat an entire frozen pizza with ease and polish off bags of chips as a snack. When we are with family, he is always called on to finish the last bites of things, and he always obliges. And following normal serving sizes for recipes? Fuhgeddaboutit.

So when I made these delish tarragon blue cheese turkey burgers — all jazzed up with fresh tarragon, crumbly blue cheese, chopped red onion and homemade honey mustard sauce — earlier this week for dinner, I knew I needed to enjoy my burger to the fullest. Because the rest of them were guaranteed to be gone by midnight.

And they were.

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Tomato Ricotta Phyllo Tart -- a tender, flaky phyllo crust is topped with a bright ricotta spread, fresh tomatoes and herbs. This is a true celebration of summer in food form! @girlversusdough #girlversusdough #appetizer #easysidedish

I don’t have a garden; I can barely keep a basil plant alive. But my parents have had one and my grandmother has one and many of our neighbors and friends have ones that we gratefully reap the bounty of now and then. We also have farmers markets, and I am thankful to each one of those vendors for not only growing their edible wares so well, but selling them to us black thumbs, too.

Tomato Ricotta Phyllo Tart -- a tender, flaky phyllo crust is topped with a bright ricotta spread, fresh tomatoes and herbs. This is a true celebration of summer in food form! @girlversusdough #girlversusdough #appetizer #easysidedish

This post is a celebration of all the freshness and flavor of the garden in a phyllo tart form. In other words: a crispy, flaky, buttery crust topped with creamy lemon-herb ricotta and sliced heirloom tomatoes topped with salt and pepper. My only regret is that I didn’t make this recipe sooner.

(I suppose I regret that poor basil plant, too.)

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Apple and Peanut Butter Granola Bars | @girlversusdough #glutenfree #snack #recipe #granola #healthy

For the past week, I have been on a serious oats kick. Overnight oats, oatmeal, muesli, these apple peanut butter granola bars (obvi) — the list goes on. And I have Bob to thank for it.

Last week I headed out west to Portland, OR for the very first time not only to catch up with and meet some new blog buddies and to explore the amazing city in all its foodie heavenly wonders, but to visit Bob’s Red Mill. And of course, Bob himself (who, by the way, really does look like this in real life). The trip was fantastic and memorable in so many ways, and I already can’t wait to go back.

But I digress. Because oats. Specifically, these oats, in granola bar form with dried apples and toasted roasted peanuts, creamy peanut butter and crunchy honey oat granola. All no bake, all gluten free, all easy to make, all DELICIOUS.

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Slow Cooker Mexican Grilled Corn Dip | @girlversusdough

I have, admittedly, been writing this post in my head for the better part of July. I may have been physically absent on the blog, but my mind has been hard at work this whole time, cranking the gears along that generate all those ideas for recipes to share. Off the grid I’ve been chopping fresh vegetables, slicing juicy fruits, grilling meats and sipping on sangria and icy beers but inside, in my head, I’ve been blogging away all the while.

This month off was just what I needed: to relax, recharge and renew my sense of perspective, re-energize my creativity. But it’s also been a time to shift those gears that have been constantly turning in my mind. And, alongside those glasses of sangria and icy beers, to eat mountains of this slow cooker corn dip. So thank you. Thank you so much for giving me this time.

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Make Your Own Pasta Bar (with three homemade pasta sauces!) | @girlversusdough

I’ve got a lot of feels for today’s post, so bear with me.

Part of the feels comes from the excitement I have over this make your own pasta bar with alllll the yummy pasta sauces. I’ll admit it — I’m a pretty routine jarred pasta sauce buyer. I know, I know. I’m ashamed of it. Especially because whenever I make a homemade pasta sauce and take even one bite, I do a jig in the kitchen, slap my knee and say, “By George, I should be making this all the time!” Or something to that effect (I promise I’m not so weird that I say things like “By George!” At least not often. Ahem).

ANYWAY, I’ve got not one, but three delectable sauces here — including a roasted red pepper sauce, a creamy Parmesan chive mushroom sauce and a garlic alfredo sauce, all made in the blender! — for you to choose from for your next pasta dinner. Or, if you’re in the pasta bar partying mood, you can make all three at the same time along with a big spread of cooked pastas and have your guests go crazy on adding their own sauce and toppings to their pasta bowls. Serve it all up with lots of bread and wine and by George, you’ve got a great party going. AHEM.

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