Are you ever in the mood for pie at 9pm on a weeknight but have zero means to make or buy pie? ………No? Just me? The inspiration for this luscious summer dessert came to me just like that. I wanted a big piece of fruit pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and nothing else was going to cut it at that moment, except for this.
The recipe is as easy as, well, pie. I had a few ripe plums I had just picked up from the produce stand, some vanilla almond milk ice cream, and one of my favorite granolas, and this baby was born!
You start by sautéing halved plums in a little butter. When they start to break down and the juices are coating the bottom of the pan, toss in a tablespoon or two of bourbon and cook off the alcohol for a minute or so. Transfer those to a bowl, top with your favorite vanilla ice cream, and whatever granola you’ve got on hand. Finally, and arguably the most important step, is topping this dish with some flaky sea salt. It brings everything together in the best way.
I hope you give this simple summer recipe a try! It literally takes 5 minutes and can be adjusted based on what you’ve got on hand. If you make this recipe, be sure to share you photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!
2 ripe plums, halved and pitted
1 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp bourbon
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
Granola, for serving
Flaky sea salt
In a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Sauté the plums face down until they begin to break down and juices are circling the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the bourbon. Return to the heat and cook for a minute or so until the alcohol has evaporated.
Transfer the plums to two bowls. Top each bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
For serving, top with granola and flaky sea salt. Enjoy!
Hi everyone! What a week we’ve had. I was muted on Instagram last week as part of the #amplifymelanatedvoices campaign and therefore did not share any recipes or original content. I spent that time listening, learning, criticizing, judging, forgiving, and everything in-between as I took a long, hard look at myself and my privilege as a white female. I’m excited to be back sharing recipes I love, but I know that our fight isn’t over just because a week has come and gone. Our fight is daily. Our fight is behind the scenes. Our fight is HARD. We’ve got to do the work.
This recipe is an ode to the popular #meatlessmonday because it can literally be served as a main course. I cut the broccoli heads in large halves strategically, so they resemble more like a substantial piece of meat rather than the typical way of serving it in florets. You could also make this recipe with cauliflower and it would be very similar.
When I’m craving a boat-load of vegetables, I’ll eat this broccoli dish as-is with some rice and lots of tender herbs (cilantro, dill, basil, etc.), but Jeff prefers a real protein and often opts for a salmon filet thrown on the grill right next to the broccoli (and marinated the same way as well).
The sauce is super versatile, thick, and packed with flavor. Because the sauce spends some time in a saucepan reducing and concentrating all those delicious flavors, I use low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos). If you don’t have low-sodium soy sauce, consider adding a few tablespoons of water before reducing to counteract the saltiness of the finished product. If your sauce still comes out too salty once you reduce it, you can also add another splash of honey, lime juice, or water and it should help. Balancing flavors is so fun, isn’t it?
I hope you enjoy this unique broccoli dish, whether you’re a vegetarian or not. One quick note- if you want to make this dish vegan, simply swap out the honey for a vegan liquid sweetener alternative! If you make this recipe, don’t forget to share your thoughts and tag me in your photos @theardentcook on Instagram! Enjoy!
2 heads broccoli, halved
6 tbsp coconut aminos or low-sodium tamari, divided
4 tbsp sriracha
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 tbsp honey
Juice of 1 lime, divided in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
Wash and trim the base of two heads broccoli. Thoroughly dry them.
Cut each head in half through the stem, so you are left with 4 halves in total.
Place the broccoli halves in a large bowl and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil and 3 tbsp soy sauce. Let sit.
Preheat your grill or grill pan to high heat. While the grill preheats, make the honey-sriracha sauce.
In a medium bowl, combine garlic, 6 tbsp soy sauce, sriracha, honey, half of the lime juice, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Whisk to combine.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the sauce until it is slightly thickened and glossy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Whisk often so the sauce doesn’t burn. Remove sauce from the heat and whisk in the other half of the lime juice.
Grill the broccoli, flipping once until it is charred and tender, approximately 5-7 minutes. If the broccoli is starting to burn too much, allow it to continue cooking on the top rack of the grill until cooked through.
Transfer the broccoli to a serving plate and pour over the sauce. Top with tender herbs such as cilantro, Thai basil, and/or dill. Enjoy!
Happy Memorial Day! I am completely exhausted after moving, but enjoying the nice weather. While I miss the gathering aspect that this holiday usually brings, I’m actually quite happy we can’t go anywhere because boy do I need a night to relax at home.
Because I’m too wiped to even think, I’m keeping this blog post short and getting right to the cookies. The only thing I need to say is regarding whole wheat flour: if you don’t have whole wheat, you may need to use slightly more all-purpose. Whole wheat flour is much more absorbent than AP, and swapping it out may leave you with a slightly soupy dough. The dough itself is stickier than most cookie doughs, but it should by no means be wet/unable to hold its shape. If it seems too wet, just sprinkle in more flour gradually!
And oh yeah, don’t skip the almond extract. It’s the key to making anything taste like birthday cake.
I hope you enjoy these delectable birthday cake cookies, and top them with extra icing! I could’ve made a homemade icing recipe for you, but let’s be honest…. store-bought cream-cheese frosting is where it’s at. Make these, eat these, make them again, and don’t forget to share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!
6 tbsp salted room temp butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup rainbow sprinkles, plus more for topping, if desired
Cream cheese frosting, for topping, if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, butter, vanilla, and almond extract and cream until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
Add eggs and sour cream to the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Gradually pour in dry ingredients until the dough forms. Dough will be wetter and stickier than most cookie doughs- that’s perfect!
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop or two spoons working together, scoop dough in balls onto two parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 7-9 minutes until the cookies have puffed up and the edges are just barely golden brown. Allow to cool completely before moving to a plate or container.
Store on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. These cookies (and the dough) also freeze extremely well! For extra deliciousness, top these with cake frosting and extra sprinkles!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! While this MDW is looking much different than years prior, we can still celebrate the beautiful weather with delicious food and family (from a distance, of course).
This Curried Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas is the perfect addition to your weekend barbecue menu. The kale is hearty and can be made ahead, as it doesn’t go soggy like most other greens. Other bonus? The creamy dressing is completely vegan (thank you tahini), so it won’t be an issue if left out in the sun for a bit too long. If you don’t have tahini, any neutral nut butter will work in its place. I would recommend natural and unsweetened almond or cashew butter. If you do substitute the tahini, make sure whatever you’re using in its place is as runny as possible (i.e., from a newly opened jar with a good amount of oil content). If you use a nut butter that is too firm, your dressing will be difficult to whisk together. If this happens, try adding 1-2 TBSP hot water to loosen everything up!
The most difficult part of this salad is letting the chickpeas crisp in the oven without growing impatient. They do take a solid 25-30 minutes to get totally crisp, but they’re so worth it. The nice part about waiting for the chickpeas to roast is that you give the kale a chance to sit and tenderize in some of the creamy curry dressing, so it becomes silkier and less chewy!
You can top this salad with anything that sounds delicious to you, although I highly recommend the feta, scallions, and dried cranberries in addition to those chickpeas. Other great options would be olives, nuts, or additional veggies.
Regarding the dressing… it’s addictive. In addition to a salad dressing, you can use it as a dip for crudités, a sauce for grilled proteins, or in place of the mayonnaise in chicken or tuna salad.
I hope you keep this salad in mind when you’re planning that MDW menu. Get creative with the toppings and enjoy this low-stress, healthy side that doesn’t skimp on flavor. If you make this salad, don’t forget to share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!
2 bunches kale, de-stemmed and leaves finely sliced
¼ cup tahini (see recipe notes above)
Juice of 3 lemons
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tsp coconut sugar
½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp black pepper
Raisins or dried cranberries, for topping
Thinly sliced green onion, for topping
Feta, for topping
Crispy roasted chickpeas, for topping (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Rinse and thoroughly dry a can of chickpeas. Toss with olive oil, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Spread the chickpeas out into a single layer on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 25-30 minutes.
While the chickpeas bake, prepare the salad. Wash, dry, and remove the stems from 2 bunches of kale. I love to use a mix of lacinato (dinosaur) and curly kale.
Using a very sharp knife, gather the leaves and thinly slice the kale into strips. The thinner you slice, the more tender the salad will taste overall. Add to a large salad bowl.
Prepare the dressing. In a separate bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice, soy sauce, curry powder, coconut sugar, salt, and pepper and whisk until emulsified. Pour 1/2 of the dressing onto the kale and massage it into the leaves with your hands. Cover and let rest at room temperature while the chickpeas finish crisping.
Assemble the salad. Thinly slice scallions and scatter on top of the salad, along with the crispy chickpeas, dried cranberries, and crumbled feta. Drizzle on the remaining dressing, or serve on the side. Enjoy!
One of the harsh realities of adulthood is the fact that not only do you have to prep lunches for the work week, but you also have to prep breakfasts (unless you want to wake up an extra 20 minutes earlier each day, which I don’t). I literally have my morning routine down to theContinue reading “Meal Prep “Kitchen Sink” Quiche”
The pure joy I felt when I flipped this cake out of the pan is comparable to few things in life. It was magical. I mean, I did grease the pan like a crazy person, so I also wasn’t that surprised, but still. Magic. This Nectarine Upside-Down Cake was inspired by the traditional pineapple variety.Continue reading “Nectarine Upside-Down Cake”
I know what you’re thinking…. why would I ever make a hot curry in the summer? I normally would agree with you! Unless of course you live in the Philadelphia area, where it has decided to rain/thunderstorm every single night the past two weeks. Thunderstorms call for comfort food, and this easy curry hits theContinue reading “Aromatic Chicken Meatball Curry”
Looking for a change in your week’s meals? One of my favorite things to do when I’m bored of the weekly meal rotation is to have an ‘appetizer night’ for dinner. We’ll lay out vegetables and hummus, cheese and crackers, the occasional frozen taquito (the BEST), and this black bean dip. It’s so yummy, andContinue reading “Cheesy Black Bean Skillet Dip”
When Jeff came to me with this idea, he had literally no intention of creating a recipe for the blog and was purely concerned about dinner that night. We had a ton of Brussels sprouts to use, three slices of bacon in a forgotten pack, pasta, and a block of Monterey jack cheese, and you would’ve thought he had just found the answer to life’s biggest question when he pronounced that this was what he wanted to make for dinner. Fortunately, it turned out amazing, so I had to share.
You start by quartering the sprouts, dousing them in oil, salt, and pepper and roasting at 425. While those crisp up, cook your pasta according to package instructions and brown up some chopped bacon until crispy. The sauce comes together with some of the rendered bacon fat, a few spoonfuls of flour, milk, and the cheese, plus some seasonings as well.
This dish is simple, comforting, and can be catered towards many different diets depending on the variety of pasta and dairy products you choose to use. Of course, nothing will ever replace the pure indulgence that is bacon fat, real pasta, real cheese, and whole milk, but I’m confident this will be just as amazing if you use a gluten free pasta variety, dairy-free milk, or vegan cheese. I can’t say anything about leaving out the bacon though, that’s a personal matter.
I hope you guys give Jeff’s Spesh a try and post all the photos so he can see how many people love his culinary endeavors- I know I do! If you do make this, don’t forget to tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!
1lb short pasta, such as macaroni, casarecce, or penne
3 slices thick-cut bacon (or more if you have it, Jeff says), diced
1/2 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
2 TBSP reserved bacon fat, or butter
2 TBSP flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup Monterey jack (or similar) cheese, grated
Olive oil, for greasing
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 and bring a pot of water to a boil.
Clean and halve or quarter Brussels sprouts, depending on their size, and place on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until charred and crispy, about 20 minutes.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat, brown bacon until just crispy.
Transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel and remove all but 2 TBSP of bacon fat from the pan.
Whisk in 2 TBSP of flour, stirring constantly until a thick roux forms. Allow the roux to brown for about 2 minutes, being careful not to burn it.
Stir in milk and whisk until the roux dissolves. Add cheese and stir again until it has melted and the sauce is cohesive. Taste for salt and pepper and add accordingly.
Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta and add in half of the cooked bacon. Fold to combine.
Top pasta with the crispy Brussels sprouts, additional bacon, and fresh cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
This recipe for Carne Asada is so versatile, feeds a crowd, and is just downright delicious. I love to serve it stuffed inside tacos, over rice, or as a topping for nachos. The street corn salsa add a fresh, creamy component to the rich meat and the combo is truly awesome.
The beef starts with a simple marinade that is slightly non-traditional (as is everything else I do), and I’ve provided instructions for either a slow oven braise or a quick sear on the grill. The oven braise takes about 3 hours and give you tender, shreddable meat, while the grill version is smokier, charred, and sliceable. Either method is delicious, it just depends what you’re looking for!
I hope you experiment with this recipe to find which cooking method you like better. If you make this recipe, don’t forget to share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram! I love seeing what you guys are up to!
For the Carne Asada
3lb flank steak
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp salt
Optional garnish (see recipe instructions)
Instructions for Oven
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine all ingredients except the steak in a large dutch oven with a lid (or deep roasting pan that can be covered with foil) and whisk together.
Add steak and cover. Roast for 1 hour.
Remove steak from the oven and give it a toss in the liquid. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and return to the oven for an additional 1.5-2 hours. The steak is done when it is falling apart and easily shreds without much force applied.
Serve alongside tortillas, fresh lime wedges, sliced jalapeño, cilantro, white onion, and my Street Corn Salsa for a delicious taco dinner! Enjoy
Instructions for Grill
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag. Marinate steak for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Preheat grill to high heat. Sear steak on one side for 5 minutes. Flip, and cook an additional 2 minutes for medium-rare. Cook longer for meat that is more well-done.
Let steak rest for 15 minutes. After resting, thinly slice steak on a bias, against the grain.
Serve alongside tortillas, fresh lime wedges, sliced jalapeño, cilantro, white onion, and my Street Corn Salsa for a delicious taco dinner! Enjoy!
For the Street Corn Salsa
1 ½ cups corn, off the cob
⅛ cup cilantro, finely chopped
¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
¼-½ cup sour cream, depending on desired consistency
Juice of ½ lime
1/4 cup cotija or queso fresco
Salt, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. For a thicker consistency, use closer to 1/2 cup sour cream. Fold ingredients to combine and taste for salt. Serve and enjoy!
Roast chicken is one of my favorite meals… something about the smell wafting through the house while it cooks, the crispy skin, and those pan drippings! It’s pure comfort. The recipe for the chicken is a staple in my family, although I added my own spin for early Spring to make it a complete meal. Radishes and young May turnips are roasted underneath the chicken and come out tender and glazed in pan drippings. The greens from the tops of the turnips (and radishes, if you’ve got ’em) mimic the sharp flavor of mustard greens and pair wonderfully with the rich drippings. They also offer a fresh compliment to the roasted chicken and root vegetables. I love to dunk pieces of seeded semolina bread or baguette in the sauce. It’s lemony, rich, just the right amount of salt, and it’s literally perfect.
Roasting a chicken can be daunting, and I totally get it. I provided a tutorial in my Instagram stories if you want video to go along with this recipe, but the instructions also explain it. A quick note for the raw meat haters of the world at the risk of getting on my soap box- we’ve got to stop condemning raw meat while ignoring the process that goes into turning a chicken into an edible dish. It is our job as responsible animal consumers to honor the animal, use as many parts as possible, and get comfortable with the raw state of our food. If you’re still grossed, try using gloves while handling the meat to ease yourself into the idea!
I call for butter in this recipe, but any fat will work. Olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, etc. are all great options. Although nothing will replace my love for butter. Additionally, I use radishes and young white turnips. White turnips, or May turnips, arrive in early spring and they’re sweeter and milder in flavor than winter turnips. If you can’t find turnips, carrots or potatoes are a great substitute, although I wouldn’t skip on the radishes. Whatever vegetable you use, try to find one with greens attached. Turnip greens, radish greens, arugula, carrot tops, even spinach would be excellent. The point of the greens are to offer a fresh component paired with the rich root vegetables and chicken.
The pan sauce that is left after roasting the chicken is more of a thin jus. If you’re looking for a thicker gravy, one can easily be achieved by removing the chicken and vegetables and cooking the juices in the roasting pan on the stove with a tablespoon of flour. Whisk the flour in and simmer until thickened.
I hope you enjoy this comforting dish. It’s simple, uses fresh ingredients, and is a true crowd-pleaser. If you give this recipe a try, don’t forget to share your photos and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!
4lb roasting chicken, whole, with giblets removed
3 TBSP butter, melted and divided
1 bunch radishes, halved
1 bunch may turnips with greens attached, quartered, or cut to same size as halved radishes, and greens cut off and set to the side
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 lemon, quartered and seeds removed
Seeded semolina loaf, or baguette, sliced for dipping
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place radishes and turnips (without greens) in the bottom of a cast iron pan just large enough to fit the chicken and vegetables. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the melted butter over top of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
Prep chicken. Remove giblets and pat dry with paper towels. Spoon or brush 2 tablespoons of the melted butter over the sides and season liberally with salt and pepper. Using a piece of kitchen twine, pull legs inward and upward towards the center of the chicken and tie to truss.
Stuff chicken with lemon quarters and fresh herbs. Place chicken in the pan and move vegetables around so they’re in an even layer surrounding the chicken.
Roast for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking at the hour mark with a meat thermometer. The chicken should register 155-160 degrees at the deepest part. When finished, cover lightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
For the greens, remove root vegetables and chicken to a serving platter or cutting board. Toss greens in the warm pan dripping until just coated. The greens may wilt slightly.
Serve immediately alongside fresh bread for sopping up the pan drippings.
This is the final recipe in the The Ardent Prep series “Ground Turkey, Quinoa, and Zucchini.” To view the original blog post, click here. To view the other two recipes in this series, click the links at the bottom of the page. I hope you enjoy this prep series!
Par-baked, halved zucchini (6 halves total)
Pre-cooked 1lb ground turkey
1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s, plus more for serving
1/4 cup pre-cooked quinoa
1/3 cup mayo (or plain, full-fat greek yogurt)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, quinoa, hot sauce, mayo, salt and pepper. Feel free to taste as you go for spice-level and salt, as the turkey is already cooked and there is no contamination worry!
Scoop the centers out of the halved zucchini and discard. The purpose for the par-baking process on prep-day was to allow the centers to be removed very easily.
Stuff the zucchini with the ground turkey mixture. I topped mine with leftover cheddar cheese from the Turkey Burgers prior to baking, however this is not required. They will be just as delicious without cheese, if that works best for you. Bake for 15 minutes, until the zucchini are tender and the boats are slightly browned and crispy on top.
Serve with additional hot sauce, or ranch dressing if desired. Enjoy!
This is the second recipe in the The Ardent Prep series “Ground Turkey, Quinoa, and Zucchini.” To view the original blog post, click here. To view the other two recipes in this series, click the links at the bottom of the page. I hope you enjoy this prep series!
1/2 cup prepared quinoa
1lb ground turkey (raw)
3/4 tsp onion powder
2-3 TBSP flour
3 TBSP barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1 apple, such as honey crisp, core removed and thinly sliced crosswise
4 hamburger buns
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for cooking
In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, ground turkey, onion powder, flour, barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix until just combined. Shape into four equal patties.
Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set to medium heat. Cook burgers, about 5-6 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. When the burgers are almost completely cooked, top each patty with a slice of the sharp cheddar and allow it to melt.
While the burgers cook, set the oven to Broil. Place cherry tomatoes on a rimmed sheet tray and coat in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, watching carefully. The tomatoes will begin to burst at the seams and pucker slightly as they get hot.
Toast burger buns under the broiler if desired, and slather with additional barbecue sauce. Place the burger on the bun, followed by the slice of apple. Feel free to add additional toppings of your choice, such as sliced onion, lettuce, mayo, etc.
Serve burgers with the burst tomatoes and the remaining cubed and roasted zucchini from prep day. Summer came early!
This is the first recipe in the The Ardent Prep series “Ground Turkey, Quinoa, and Zucchini.” To view the original blog post, click here. To view the other two recipes in this series, click the links at the bottom of the page. I hope you enjoy this prep series!
Prepared quinoa (use all except 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup, divided, for other two recipes)
1/2 of the prepared cubed and roasted zucchini (if you divided it into two containers on prep day, simply use one of the two containers)
2 TBSP olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP honey
1/4 cup (about 5) Medjool dates, pitted and coarsley chopped (or raisins)
Handful fresh mint, finely chopped
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add thinly sliced shallot and pinch of salt and sauté 2-3 minutes, until softened and slightly golden.
Add minced garlic and cumin and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
Pour in apple cider vinegar and honey, and stir to combine. Lower heat slightly and allow the mixture to simmer and bubble until slightly thickened and the liquid has reduced by about half. Add chopped dates and allow them to sit in the liquid while it is still hot, to soften. Set aside.
Warm up the quinoa and zucchini in a large mixing bowl in the microwave (or on the stovetop, if preferred). Combine the warmed quinoa and zucchini, chopped herbs, and apple cider vinaigrette (it’s okay if it’s still hot). Taste and add salt/pepper if desired.