Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls were inspired by a seasonal salsa I picked up at Trader Joe’s this past week. I wanted to create the feeling of a Tex-Mex-style bowl but with flavors of fall. This salsa was the PERFECT addition. Featuring cast-iron sirloin steak, crispy spicy broccoli, goat cheese, and pepitas, these bowls are healthy, filling, and remind you of crisp weather.

Ingredients needed to make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

To make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls, you’ll need the following:

Tools used to make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

These bowls couldn’t be easier to whip up, making them perfect for a wholesome weeknight dinner. The only special piece of equipment needed is an oven-safe skillet. I prefer to use my cast-iron for the best sear, but any oven-safe pan will work. Here’s the one I use most frequently. In addition to a great skillet, you’ll need the following kitchen tools:

How to make Harvest Steak and Goat Cheese Bowls

I love these bowls because of how quickly they come together. The hardest part is cooking the rice, which is where you’ll want to start, as it takes the longest. After the rice gets going, you’ll season the broccoli with cumin, garlic, and cayenne, then roast them for 15-20 minutes until crispy. The steak takes no time at all, and gets seared on the stovetop for a couple minutes each side, then finished in the oven with the broccoli.

As for the assembly of the bowls, simply arrange the broccoli and sliced steak over the rice, crumble the goat cheese, drizzle the salsa over, and finish with pepitas! It’s so simple and makes enough to serve four. I’m typically only feeding Jeff and myself, so I love saving the other two bowls for a meal prepped lunch for the next day. It’s so delicious!

Looking for other hearty bowls?

Give these recipes a try from The Ardent Cook archives!

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Bowls with Blue Cheese Celery Slaw

Ponzu Greens and Grains Bowl

Red Curry Pulled Chicken with Turmeric-Lime Rice

Recipe Ingredients

1 ½ cups white rice (dry)

3 cups broccoli florets (from 1 large head)

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp salt, plus more for seasoning steak 

One 1-1 ½ lb sirloin steak

½ cup roasted, salted pepitas

2oz goat cheese, crumbled 

1 cup Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest Salsa

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium pot with a lid, combine 1.5 cups white rice with 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir, and cover the rice. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
  2. While the rice cooks, roast the broccoli. Spread broccoli into an even layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with the cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Roast for 15 minutes until the broccoli is tender and florets are beginning to brown and crisp.
  3. Heat a cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Season the steak on all sides with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and swirl in the pan. Add the steak. Cook for 2 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer pan to the oven and let the steak finish cooking for another 7-9 minutes until it reaches medium. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of the steak should read between 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Let steak rest on a plate for at least 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain.
  5. Assemble the bowls. Spoon rice into the bottom of each bowl and divide the broccoli between them. Add a few pieces of sliced steak to each bowl, then top with crumbled goat cheese. Spoon 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Fall Harvest Salsa over each bowl, and top with pepitas. Serve bowls immediately, or store in air-tight containers for up to 4 days in the fridge for easy prepped meals! Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Whipped Feta Dip

Whipped Feta Dip is the perfect unexpected addition to any appetizer spread. Served alongside dippers such as seeded crackers, toasted pita, or crudités, the salty bite of the feta leaves you coming back for more after each bite.

Ingredients needed to make Whipped Feta Dip

The first ingredient in Whipped Feta Dip is, well, feta cheese. My recipe calls for 6oz, although I typically buy feta in 8oz blocks. So, I’ll just use 3/4 of the block and return the rest to the fridge for crumbling over salads or other miscellaneous uses. Then, you’ll need roughly 2oz of cream cheese. I actually love to use an almond-milk based cream cheese for this dip, because the nuttiness compliments the tangy feta so well. But, almond-milk cream cheese, or any vegan cream cheese, is typically more expensive and using the regular old blocks will work (and taste) just as good. Here’s the list in its entirety:

  • Feta cheese
  • Cream cheese
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs, such as thyme or oregano
  • Crackers or toasted pita bread

Tools used to make Whipped Feta Dip

Whipped Feta Dip is the perfect snack because it truly requires one kitchen tool to make: a food processor. Limited dishes means more time to enjoy your appetizer and the company of those you’re sharing it with. I use this food processor and have for a few years now. I love it because of the versatility!

How to make Whipped Feta Dip

This unique appetizer couldn’t be easier to pull together. Simply throw all of the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor, pulse until its combined and the texture has become slightly fluffy, and spoon into a bowl. Arrange your crackers or pita around the whipped feta, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper, and fresh herbs of your choice. Quick, easy, and wonderful!

Looking for other dip ideas?

Give these other appetizer recipes from The Ardent Cook a try!

Turmeric Cauliflower Hummus

Muhammara-Style Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Cheesy Black Bean Skillet Dip

Recipe Ingredients

6oz room-temperature feta (I buy an 8oz block and use about ¾ of it)

2oz room-temperature cream cheese

Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tbsp)

Olive oil, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper, for serving

Fresh herbs, such as thyme or oregano, for serving

Crackers or toasted pita, for serving

Recipe Instructions

  1. Allow the feta and cream cheese to come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe. To do this, I take them out of the fridge a few hours before I plan on using them.
  2. Add the feta, cream cheese, and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is creamy and slightly whipped in texture.
  3. At this point, you may transfer the room temperature dip to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with fresh herbs and black pepper. Alternatively, chill in the fridge for a few hours, then proceed with garnish. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Roasted Apricot Chicken

Roasted Apricot Chicken is my take on an old homemaker’s recipe that typically consists of chicken roasted in a sauce of apricot preserves and store-bought Thousand Island dressing. The old version is warming, sticky, and downright delicious. However, since I’m not a huge fan of preservative-laden store-bought dressings, I endeavored to try a version with a homemade Thousand Island and it turned out phenomenal! I enjoy this chicken served over rice, couscous, or roasted cauliflower, and it never disappoints!

Ingredients needed to make Roasted Apricot Chicken

Since we’re making our own dressing here (which is, of course, optional) the ingredient list is a bit lengthier than usual. It’s nothing you can’t handle, I promise. To make the actual chicken, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs and drumsticks (bone-in, skin-on)
  • Apricot jam
  • Thousand Island dressing (homemade, or store-bought)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, for greasing

The ingredients in my homemade version of Thousand Island dressing are likely ones you already have in your pantry or fridge, which is a plus. Trust me here, it’s SO much better than store-bought ones. It’s tangier, a little spicy, and just so much more well-rounded in flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sour cream OR plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Ketchup
  • Juice from a jar of dill pickles
  • Hot sauce (I love this locally made one)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Tools used to make Roasted Apricot Chicken

In stark contrast to the ingredients list, you don’t need that many kitchen tools to make this delicious Roasted Apricot Chicken! To start, you will need a cutting board and chef’s knife to chop up all that delicious fresh parsley for both the dressing and the garnish. In addition, you’ll need the following:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large cast-iron skillet (at least 12 inches in diameter) OR 9x13in baking dish
  • Whisk
  • Lemon juicer (optional, but handy, and this is the BEST one EVER)

That’s it! Let’s get to cooking!

How to make Roasted Apricot Chicken

The process to make this Roasted Apricot Chicken could not be simpler. You start by combining all of the ingredients for the Thousand Island dressing in a mixing bowl. Make sure you use one that is large enough to add the apricot jam to once the dressing is finished, so you don’t have to dirty another bowl. If you aren’t using homemade Thousand Island, you can skip that step.

Once your dressing is made, add the apricot jam and whisk to combine. Pour the entire mixture over the chicken and place in the oven. The sauce will be thick to start, but thins out as the chicken cooks and releases its yummy juices. Once the chicken is cooked through, I like to let it go under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the tops of the chicken.

Garnish the whole thing with more fresh parsley, and serve with sides of your choice! I love spooning all that luscious sauce over steamed rice, couscous, quinoa, or roasted cauliflower. It’s so tasty!

Looking for other mouth-watering chicken recipes?

Try these other recipes by The Ardent Cook!

Red Curry Pulled Chicken with Turmeric-Lime Rice

Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings

Quick(er) Chicken Shawarma with White Sauce

Chicken with Nectarines and Crispy Prosciutto

Crispy Cast-Iron Chicken Thighs with Black Pepper Gravy

Recipe Ingredients

For the Roasted Apricot Chicken

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks, patted dry 

1 10oz jar apricot jam

2 cups Thousand Island dressing (homemade or store-bought)

Parsley, for serving

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

¾ cup sour-cream or plain, full-fat Greek yogurt

½ cup ketchup

⅛ cup dill pickle juice (from a jar of store-bought dill pickles)

2 tbsp + 1 tsp hot sauce, such as Frank’s 

¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce

Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tbsp)

Small handful (approx. 3 tbsp) fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large cast-iron skillet OR glass baking dish (at least 9×13, but larger will work).
  2. Make the thousand-island dressing, if not using store-bought. Add all dressing ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, and season accordingly. Add apricot jam and whisk again until combined.
  3. Add the chicken to the skillet or baking dish, skin side up, and pour sauce all over.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, place under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the skin has browned. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with parsley and enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

The Ardent Prep: Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

This is the third recipe in The Ardent Prep series “Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions.” To visit the original blog post, click here. To see the other two recipes in this meal prep series, click the links at the bottom of this page. I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy recipe!

Ingredients

Remaining prepped rice

Remaining 1/3 prepped chicken

Remaining 1/2 prepped caramelized onions

1-2 heads kale

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 16oz bottle Balsamic vinegar

1 4oz log goat cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, pour entire bottle of balsamic vinegar and simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until liquid amount has reduced by two-thirds and the vinegar is thick, resembling a glaze, approximately 12 minutes. The liquid should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.
  2. Remove stems from kale and roughly chop the leaves. In a medium skillet, saute garlic in 1 TBSP olive oil until fragrant. Add kale and stir to coat in the olive oil and garlic mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cook until kale is wilted.
  3. Assemble the bowls. Add rice to the bottom of a bowl and top with sliced chicken, caramelized onions, and the sauteed kale. Top with goat cheese crumbles and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  4. Store remaining balsamic glaze in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Drizzle over roasted vegetables, use as salad dressing, or enjoy as a topping on pizza. Enjoy!

Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

The Ardent Prep: Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

This is the second recipe in The Ardent Prep series “Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions.” To visit the original blog post, click here. To see the other two recipes in this meal prep series, click the links at the bottom of this page. Note that there are no caramelized onions used in this recipe. The onions are used in the other two meals. I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy recipe!

Ingredients

2.5 cups prepped rice

Approximately 1/3 prepped chicken breast, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated

1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 16oz can full-fat coconut milk

1-2 heads broccoli, cut into florets

Cilantro and lime wedges, if desired, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive or coconut oil over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add garlic, ginger, and jalapeno*. Saute until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.
  2. Add turmeric and stir to coat the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno mixture. Allow the spice to “bloom” by cooking it in the hot pan for about 30 seconds. Then, add entire can of coconut milk.
  3. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened and glossy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a separate pot, steam broccoli florets, approximately 6 minutes or until tender.
  5. Assemble bowls. Add rice to the bottom of a bowl and top with sliced chicken and steamed broccoli. Spoon curry sauce over the top of the bowls, using as much or as little as you like. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges, if desired. Recipe will yield about 3 adult-sized bowls.

*for added heat in this recipe, leave seeds in jalapeno. Alternatively, add crushed red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper to taste.

Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

The Ardent Prep: Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

This is the first recipe in The Ardent Prep series “Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions.” To visit the original blog post, click here. To see the other two recipes in this meal prep series, click the links at the bottom of this page. I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy recipe!

Ingredients

2.5 cups prepped rice

Approximately 1/3 prepped chicken breast, cubed or shredded

Approximately 1/2 prepped caramelized onions

2 bell peppers, any color, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, grated or minced

1/4 pound American Cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and slightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
  3. To the skillet with the peppers and garlic, add rice, chicken, and caramelized onions. Fold ingredients together and spread into an even layer in the skillet. Taste for salt and pepper, and add accordingly.
  4. Cover rice mixture with sliced American cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Enjoy!

Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze

The Ardent Prep: Chicken, Rice, and Caramelized Onions

Happy Easter everyone! I’m spending today with endless cups of coffee, a nature walk, and a free spiral-cut ham that we got on rewards from the grocery store (no shame here). One of the positives of this quarantine for me has been the opportunity to fully immerse myself in Spring and all that this season has to offer. I think Spring is often overlooked because of our desires to get out of the cold weather and move directly into summer, but it’s really one of my favorite seasons! I’m thankful for the opportunity to slow down a bit and watch the flowers bloom.

This meal prep series was inspired by feedback I got from you all on Instagram. The concept was to take a “base”, in this case chicken and rice, and come up with 3-4 quick, easy ways that you could change up that base throughout the week. While most of us do have more time now that we’re home, I think there is also a pressure to be even more productive than we would normally be in the office, and therefore meals get overlooked in exchange for a quick snack while you mute yourself on a conference call. The idea of this meal prep series is that you spend 30 minutes or so prepping your base, then an additional 15-20 minutes for each meal. I visualized a schedule that goes something like this:

Sunday: Prep base ingredients. Store in containers in fridge.

Monday: Make Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet for dinner. Store leftovers for lunch next day.

Tuesday: Make Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry for dinner. Store leftovers for lunch next day.

Wednesday: Leftovers, if any.

Thursday: Make Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze. Store leftovers for lunch next day.

Friday: Leftovers, if any.

Alternatively, you could do your prep and make a meal all in one shot in the kitchen. It really just depends how you want to make this plan work for you. I will say that this isn’t a comprehensive, feed-your-entire-family-for-a-week meal plan. This is basic. You get roughly 2-3 adult-sized portions per meal, and if you live with boys, good luck making it last. However, if you live alone or with one other person, this is a pretty decent way to feed yourselves using simple, healthy ingredients with minimal effort during the work week. You can always feel free to bulk up these recipes even more by adding additional sides of vegetables or another side dish. The point of this recipe series if to provide a framework that is digestible, delicious, and open for interpretation!

The grocery list is provided to be used at the beginning of the week, with the assumption that you already have a few staples like olive oil, salt, pepper, and butter. You can certainly feel free to swap out any vegetables you don’t like, change up your protein, or use a grain alternative instead of the rice. Be mindful that your final product should be about 8 cups of whatever rice or rice alternative you are using, so take that into account when making a swap there! Seafood would be excellent in the Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry or the Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat cheese bowls, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a swap for the Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet. Make this recipe your own and don’t be afraid to swap something interesting!

I hope you enjoy the first installment of The Ardent Prep. If this concept is well-received, I would love to make this a regular occurrence on the blog. Your feedback is always appreciated, and I’ve been loving seeing all of your recipe photos. It means the world! If you decide to make any of these recipes, don’t forget to share and tag me @theardentcook on Instagram!

Grocery List

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 

1 knob fresh ginger, approximately 1 inch

1 head of garlic

1-2 large sweet onions 

2 Bell peppers, any color

1 medium jalapeno pepper

1-2 heads of broccoli

1-2 heads kale

¼ pound sliced White American cheese

1 4oz log Goat cheese

1 16oz can full-fat coconut milk

White rice (4 cups dry)

1 16oz bottle Balsamic vinegar 

Ground turmeric

Prep Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake chicken breasts with olive oil, salt, and pepper until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions. If using a grain alternative, be sure that your final products yields close to 8 cups. Each recipe calls for approximately 2.5 cups of rice, give or take.
  3. While chicken and rice cook, melt 1 TBSP butter or other cooking fat in a medium skillet. Finely slice onion crosswise and add to the skillet along with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat onions in the butter, and saute over low heat until onions are slightly golden and resemble a jammy consistency, at least 20 minutes. Be careful not to cook onions any higher than low heat, at the risk of burning them.
  4. If choosing to make one of the meals at this point, continue with instructions for those recipes, linked below. Otherwise, store all ingredients in separate containers in the fridge and use according to recipe instructions throughout the week. Enjoy!

Chicken Cheesesteak Skillet

Turmeric Ginger Coconut Curry

Caramelized Onion, Kale, and Goat Cheese Bowls with Homemade Balsamic Glaze