dough bites & upcoming doughiness

doughbitesWelcome to another slice of Dough Bites!  I have slowed down in blogging a bit over the past month or so.  There are a lot of boring factors as to why that I won’t bore you with.  However, my blog has become my little baby and I won’t give it up.  Since I started Not So Doughie back in October, I gained a lot of dedicated readers & fans.  I love the kitchen & will always have a big passion for food.  Here’s a bit of what’s going on through the eyes of the Dough-ster.

+  Paige at A Dose of Paige contacted me to be a monthly recipe contributor on her blog.  I was delighted about the offer & tomorrow my pilot post will be up and running!  Be sure to check back in tomorrow.

+  Yesterday we went kayaking and my arms feel like jello.  Note to self:  start lifting weights.

+  June 15th marks the 1 year anniversary that we got our babies kitties.  I cannot imagine life without my little furballs, Ma’am and Toby.  They are such a joy to our family.  Except when my shoe gets eaten:
badkittyshoe

+  My hair is naturally medium brown.  For the past year, I’ve had an auburn/reddish/carmel color going on.  It’s summertime and I’ve never done it, but I decided to try out blonde.  Not full out bleach blonde here, but some lighter highlights.  Selfies are for d-bags, but yeah I took one.

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+  My Stitch Fix comes on Wednesday & I cannot wait!  If you don’t get stitch fix, please do yourself a favor and sign up.  Be sure to use my link!

+  This week’s menu for dinner consists of:  Summer Corn & Shrimp Succatash, Gnocchi with Snap Peas & Dill, Beef Enchilada Stuffed Peppers.  I’m not sure if I will be blogging any of these, but they will be on instagram for sure.

+  Thursday our town has their fireworks.  They shoot them off in the field right next to our town house.  So we literally have front row seats.  I don’t have a dinner planned for this evening.  What do you suggest for a quick & easy or a eat outside meal?

+  I get a lot of food magazines and tear out recipes I want to make.  I have a binder that I keep them in, but it is exploding and has no sense of organization.  I just added this to the 10000 other things on my “to organize” list.

+  Coming up on the blog:  Raspberry & Vanilla Pudding Trifles, Garlic Thyme Pot Roast, & probably one of the recipes from this week’s menu.

Until next time,

xoxo

 

Spaghetti with Kale Pesto

Hi everyone!  Happy Tuesday 🙂  My blogger friend, Becca at Two Places at Once contacted me to do a guest post on her blog while she is off getting married.  If you’ve been a frequent reader, you will remember that we did a swap back in February.  Blueberry Scones on this blog & Steamed Mussels on hers.  Of course, I didn’t pass up the opportunity to appear on her blog.

I love pesto, but my basil plant is not yet producing enough leaves so I put a spin on it & tried kale!  It was super delicious so head over to Two Places at Once to see my post & the recipe!

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Open Faced Greek Burger

{summertime burger}

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This is my second Sunday in a row that I made a Greek-inspired dish.  I don’t know what it is, but Not So Doughie can’t get enough of all the fresh flavors.  Today, I made a Greek Quinoa Salad that I will be sharing in a few posts!

Last weekend we (not me) went camping at a nearby campground.  The boys stayed the night, but I headed home for a comfortable sleep in my own bed.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind camping and can do the whole sleeping on the ground thing, but the tent was small & it wasn’t in my cards for the night.  Anyways, we bought some ground beef to make some burgers over the campfire for Chase (I opted for grilled shrimp, Bryan, hot dogs).

We had some beef leftover so Sunday night Bryan and I had a make-your-own-burger night.  He concocted some Asian inspired spicy burger while I created this delicious and fresh Greek burger.  This is a great burger for summer.  It is light (go bunless or use just the bottom portion), refreshing, and quick to prepare.  Reduce the calories a bit more by using ground chicken or turkey.

Burgers and hot dogs are staples in my family’s summertime dinner rotation, but sometimes we have to switch up the flavors so we don’t get burned out.  Throughout the summer, I plan to create some healthier, globally-inspired burgers.  First up on the list, my Open Faced Greek Burgers.

Open Faced Greek Burgers

Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  15 minutes   |||   Cook TIme:  7-10 minutes   |||   Servings: 4 |||   Difficult Level:  Low/Medium

Ingredients:
For the burgers:
1lb ground beef (or chicken/turkey)
4 tsp fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbsp red onion, minced
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp Marrakesh Za’atar
salt & pepper
4 tomato slices
red onion, thinly sliced
feta cheese
4 burger buns, bottoms only

For the cucumbers:
1 cucumber, small diced
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 Tbsp white or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp dill, chopped
1 Tbsp red onion, minced
salt and pepper

Directions
1.  In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the burger.
2.  Use hands to thoroughly mix together.  Do not over handle.
3.  Heat grill to medium and once warmed place burger over direct heat.
4.  Cook for 3 minutes and then flip burger.
5.  Cook an additional 4 minutes for a medium rare.
6.  Top with feta cheese and cook an additional minute or two.
7.  In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the cucumber salad.  Keep in fridge until ready to serve.
8.  Place a small but of cucumber on the bun.  Top with burger –> tomato –> cucumber –> red onion.

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Curried Cauliflower

{whole foods copycat}

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See what I did there?  bolded the cat part.  Crazy cat lady at heart 🙂

You guys, I love Whole Foods.  It’s too expensive for my lifestyle though.  The main thing I love is the salad bar and prepared foods section.  It’s about a $9 lunch so I only allow myself to go about every 2 weeks.  I have several favorites all of which I plan to recreate.  To name a few:  Sriracha brussell sprouts, cold sesame noodles with cucumbers, balsamic roasted beets, artichoke spinach dip, casear pasta salad, and the curried cauliflower.

My goal is to try to make my own version of these and compare them to the real deal.  I only get the curried cauliflower every once in awhile because they are pretty rich and a flavor that requires “having a taste for”.  But I mean, who wakes up and says “Omg I am totally in the mood for curried cauliflower”  No one.

 

And that’s the special  thing about the Whole Foods prepared food section.  The one by work varies often so when my favorite ones appear that “taste” immediately happens.

I usually get the little plastic container thing and give myself a small little bit of several items.  Note to self:  do not overload on cherry tomatoes their weight makes your salad $15.  It really is the perfect lunch.  I don’t think there is a Love Your Lunch recipe that beats a Whole Foods lunch.

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However, if I can recreate all the delicious things at Whole Foods I will be able to bring them to lunch myself (and probably be cheaper too!).  I am going to attempt a little series that will be my Not So Doughie (not that WFs is doughie) version of my Whole Foods favorites.  So up first:  Curried Cauliflower

curried cauliflower

Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme:  25-30 minutes   |||   Servings: 4 |||   Difficult Level:  Low

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions:
1.  In a small bowl, combine the oil and all of the spices and garlic.  Stir to combine.
2.  Toss in the cauliflower and use your hands to thoroughly coat the pieces.
3.  Spread over a baking sheet and put in the oven at 350 degrees.
4.  Roast for about 25-30 minutes until fork tender (depends on size of the pieces)
5.  Remove from the oven and put into serving dish.
6.  Add the peas and cilantro, stir and set aside.  The heat from the cauliflower will “cook” the peas.
7.  Serve warm or chilled.

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Enjoy!

Strawberry Tomato Basil Salad

{deconstructed tomato mozzarella}

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It baffles me knowing that when I was younger I hated cheese.  I really don’t understand people who don’t like it.  It is one of the items I would take with me on a deserted island (given the island is thriving with assorted fruits and veggies).  I blame a portion of a little excess weight gain solely on cheese.  The devil, I swear.  It tastes just so damn good.  The whole lot:  cheddar, blue, mozzarella, brie, parmesan – I love them all.

I always thought fresh mozzarella was one of the more gross looking cheeses.  Soft, white, jiggly pieces.  They often made an appearance throughout my life and I always avoided the creepy things.  Until one day, I decided at a family Christmas party I would give it a try (this was in the midst of my growing cheese obsession).  Needless to say, I think I ate the entire platter with sliced tomatoes – something I have always loved.

Remember when I did the love your lunch series?  I shared a quick lunch idea for a Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread.  I’m pretty sure I spilled my love for this amazing combination in that post.  It has only since grown as the weather warms and sometimes just a light little lunch or dinner is needed.  After eating a late lunch the other day, I wanted to come home and prepare something very simple, quick and light.  I was craving a Tomato Mozzarella salad, but didn’t have any mozzarella on hand.  I scrounged the fridge for what I had and set to work reconstructing a unique version of my beloved salad.

Enter the characters:  Sweet, plump strawberries.  Tart tomatoes.  Refreshing basil.  Creamy feta.

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I started by halving the strawberries and dicing the tomatoes.  I cut the basil into julienned ribbons and mixed the three together.  A simple balsamic honey dressing was drizzled over and topped with the feta cheese.  The sweet, salty, and tart flavors create a great combination.  This salad can be made to serve at a BBQ or as a simple lunch or side dish.

strawberry tomato basil Salad

Recipe By: Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme:  0 minutes   |||   Servings: 2 |||   Difficult Level:  Low

Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries, halved
1 cup tomatoes, diced
6-7 large basil leaves, julienned *see photos*
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper
dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:
1.  In a bowl, combine the strawberries, tomato and basil.  Stir to combine.
2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil and honey.  Season with salt and peppers.
3.  Pour over strawberries and tomatoes, stir to combine.
4.  Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.

IMG_4055Enjoy

Simple Fresh Herbed Reds

{meat & potatoes}

herbedpots

Another side dish strikes again!  I love red potatoes.  Well, I love potatoes.  However, I know my body doesn’t necessarily need the sugars and carbs that come along with them.  However, for some reason I pretend eating red potatoes is healthier.

I’ve made them every which way:  mashed, smashed, boiled, roasted, potato salad, sauted into a hash.  Their mild flavor allows any flavor to stick nicely to them.  Also, their small shape results in a quick cooking potato.  My go-to definitely is a simple roasted red potato.  I usually quarter them and then roast with some olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Boom.  Done and done.  However, the night I decided to make these I had no intention of putting on the oven (I had the self cleaner on and it already made the house hot enough).

Now, my method for making this little side dish isn’t the most nutrient-saver friendly, but it was quick and tasty.  Sometimes, quick and tasty are my best friends.  I took a few of the potatoes (washed) and put them into a plastic bag and cut a small vent.  Into the microwave they went to steam to perfection.  It was about 6-8 minutes until they were fork tender.  Tossed them in my fresh herbs and plated them with our spicy sausages.

Sometimes there’s just something delicious and comforting about a basic meat and potatoes dinner.  This super simple side dish is ready in minutes, but tastes fresh & flavorful.  If you are a busy mom/dad/person, this is something to add to your “quick dinners” list.  They go well with any type of meat, poultry or fish.  Afraid of the ol’ microwave?  Half the potatoes and roast in the oven then toss with the herbs.

I hope you all are having a great week thus far and enjoying our beautiful summer weather!  Speaking of… wouldn’t these potatoes pair nicely with a delicious juicy grilled steak??

simple fresh herbed red potatoes

Recipe By:  Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme:  6-8 minutes   |||   Servings: 2 |||   Difficult Level:  Way Low

Ingredients:
6-8 medium red potatoes
1 Tbsp extra virg olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp fresh sage
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.  In a ziplock bag, place the clean potatoes and close.  Pierce a small hole for a vent.
2.  Microwave for 6-8 minutes or until fork tender.
3.  While they cook, chop the herbs then combine with the oil, salt, pepper and parm.  Stir to combine.
4.  Carefully remove from the steam bag from the microwave.  Let cool 1 minute.
5.  Remove potatoes and half them.  Instantly toss with the oil/herb mixture.  The heat from the inner potato will warm and wilt the herbs.
6.  Serve immediately.

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Enjoy!

Speedy Parmesan Thyme Risotto

{creamy, savory goodness}

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If you follow along with me on Instagram, you most likely saw my picture of my visit to the meat market.  I was introduced to this little gem and will be headed there on a weekly basis.  The place is called Market Place Meats & Deli and is relatively close to our house.  It was bright and sunny 2 Sundays ago so I went on a solo adventure to the meat market.  I fell in love.  Not only are there a huge selection, but the prices are amazing.  Added bonus, my butcher is Polish and said each Sunday he will teach me a couple of words/sayings.

He suggested some “petite steaks” which were sliced flat iron pieces.  He said they are great for weeknight meals because they can be put on the grill for a few minutes and be done.  I got a couple of other things:  chicken breasts, chicken sausages, and ground chuck, all for $19.00.

The night I planned to make the steak I wanted to pair them with some bold side dishes.  I planned to make my Lemon Parmesan Risotto recipe, but knew I had to hurry home from work in order to get it going in time.  Needless to say, I didn’t get home early enough.  However, I still wanted to make it.

PHOTO BOMB!!!!!

PHOTO BOMB!!!!!

Do you have a recipe that you love, but wish it was easier/quicker to prepare?  Risotto is one on my list.  I love risotto.  I don’t have time for risotto.  Therefore, our relationship is very weak.  To make an absolutely delicious and A+++ risotto you must be prepared to be patient and have about an hour to stand around, periodically stir a pot for about an hour.  This working lady ain’t got no time for that kinda dinner.

Fear no more.  I cheated on the slow cooking risotto and sped up the process resulting in a creamy risotto.  I even used brown rice!  The key to my speedy risotto is to cook the rice according to the directions on the package and before all the water is absorbed you add a little more at a time.  At first I thought there was no way this was going to work, but it did and I am happy & ready to experiment with different flavor combinations.

In the next few posts, you will notice that I will be featuring a lot of side dishes.  This is because the meat market pieces don’t require a lot of jazzy sauces and recipes.  They are simple and can be accompanied by a fancy side dish for a perfect weeknight meal!

Sara’s speedy parmesan thyme risotto

Recipe by:  Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme:  25 minutes   |||   Servings: 4-6  |||   Difficult Level:  Low

Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice [preferably 15 min or less cook time rice]
2 cups water + an additional ~2 cups
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.  Combine rice and water in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat.
2.  When a small bit of water remains, add 1/2 cup and increase heat to medium.  Stir often.
3.  Slowly add 1/4-1/2 cup water at a time until the rice start to become creamy.
4.  Add butter, parmesan and spices.  Stir to combine.  You may need a small amount of water again.
5.  Stir in thyme and season with salt and pepper.IMG_4016

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