Busy People Cooking

“THE ONLY THING I LIKE BETTER THAN TALKING ABOUT FOOD IS EATING.”

— JOHN WALTERS.

To start a blog or not to start a blog…This decision seemed to be on the forefront of my mind for a few months. However, every time I was on the cusp of officially starting my blog, the floodgates of doubt would open in my mind. But FINALLY, today I decided to commence my food blog, The Tiny Fork, for busy people. *Cue happy kitchen dancing*….. because YES, you must ALWAYS dance when cooking and baking. Loud music is appreciated too.

I chose the focus of my blog, The Tiny Fork, to be for busy people because nowadays who is not busy? Whether you are a busy momma with a family or a single bachelor, we are all stressed and anxious about the hectic lives we are living. So, that is where my food blog will HOPEFULLY make your life a little bit easier and DEFINITELY a lot tastier. I purposely chose to help YOU, my fellow busy people, because cooking tasty food should not be complicated or stressful, but rather enjoyable. I promise to you that my recipes will also be practical because let’s be real, the best part about cooking is EATING. I want these recipes to be easy, breezy, beautiful (remember America’s Top Model Cover Girl commercials?), so that you can have a happy, full belly. Hangry is not a pretty look on anyone….

I decided to create a blog for busy people because I also PROMISE to not have SUPER looooooong posts before my recipes. WE AIN’T GOT NO TIME FOR THAT. As a home chef, that was my PET PEEVE, I would scroll and scroll and then finally I would find the recipe (but after I nearly forgot what recipe I was even searching for). So, that means THIS post, my FIRST post, will be the longest one! I won’t blabber in my future posts……pinky promise!!

So, that leaves me with my final thoughts about how I want you to enjoy these recipes that are HEALTHIER. They will always have (mostly) FRESH, REAL ingredients. But……Do you see how I said healthier, but not healthy? Well, it’s because where you will typically find a recipe calling for heavy cream and lots of butter, I will simply use half and half, which is HEALTHIER (I know I am pretty proud of myself, too). I am a firm believer that food should be tasty and fresh, but practical for BUSY PEOPLE. So, if you are ready to cook and eat with me, then let’s begin!

**Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate, if you click any of the links that I have available and make a purchase (either the products that I post or anything else) within 24 hours of clicking my link, I will receive a commission. So, naturally it would make sense if you want to purchase anything, you can go through my links/ads! Hey, if you want to help your girl pay for grad school that would be MUCH APPRECIATED! <3 **

Happy Cooking and Eating,

Jill <3


Shredded BBQ-Beer Chicken Tacos with Toasted Corn Salsa and Cilantro Aioli Sauce

This is my most prized taco recipe yet! Okay, it’s my first and only published taco recipe, but still this is my new favorite taco! While I love my carne asada street tacos, however these tacos are a one way ticket to FLAVOR TOWN. With the combination of the toasted corn salsa, cilantro aioli sauce, and the delicious shredded BBQ-Beer chicken, I absolutely love these tacos. My family also LOVED these tacos, if licking their fingers clean was any indication…

My inspiration for these beautiful tacos is beer. Okay, before you judge my unclassiness, let me explain! If you don’t love beer, or even like beer, I DARE YOU to not love these tacos! Yup, with daring, I’m bringing back the golden, childhood years. Personally, I love my beers, preferably the red ales, stouts, and porters. They have such a robust, rich flavor that I thought it would be perfect to add to my chicken!

While the shredded BBQ-beer chicken is the star of this taco, however I also love the addition of the toasted corn salsa. Normally, I make regular salsa with all the tasty works, however I thought I would add toasted corn for a nice nutty flavor and an additional texture to the salsa. Now, let’s discuss the cilantro aioli sauce. This sauce is perfect for complimenting the spiciness of the toasted corn salsa. It is a simple combination of 1 avocado, 1 cup of cilantro, 2 limes zested and juiced, and pinches of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Boom, now you have these delicious tacos! Let’s get cooking! Cue the piano! *The recipe is found at the bottom of the page!*

Add one bottle of beer (you can use whatever you prefer), one bottle of BBQ sauce (not pictured, but it was Stubbs Chili, Lime, Ginger Marinade (for pork, but I used chicken), pinches of salt and pepper, and 2-3 teaspoons each of smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Make sure the chicken breasts are completely submerged into the mixture!
Make sure to shred the chicken around the 4 hour mark, and continue to cook for more flavor!
The toasted corn adds a nutty flavor and a different texture to the salsa.
Place everything in the food processor in small to medium sized groups. Add pinches of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Zest and juice the limes.
Don’t forget to add the toasted corn once it has completely chilled!
Mix in the toasted corn with the salsa and enjoy!
The Cilantro Aioli sauce is made from 1 avocado, 2 limes zested and juiced, 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1 cup of cilantro, pinches of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Print Recipe
Shredded BBQ Beer Chicken Tacos with Toasted Corn Salsa and Cilantro Aioli Sauce
These tasty tacos are a taste of heaven with every bite!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Passive Time 5 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Shredded BBQ-Beer Chicken
Toasted Corn Salsa
Cilantro Aioli Sauce (Add more spices to taste)
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Passive Time 5 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Shredded BBQ-Beer Chicken
Toasted Corn Salsa
Cilantro Aioli Sauce (Add more spices to taste)
Instructions
Shredded BBQ-Beer Chicken
  1. Turn the crock pot on high heat for 5 hours. Or, you may adjust the settings according to your cooking needs. Once fat is removed, place chicken breasts gently into the crock pot.
  2. Add 1 bottle of beer of your choice, 1 bottle of BBQ sauce of your choice, and the spices including salt, pepper, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. Make sure chicken breasts are fully submerged in the liquid.
  3. After 4 hours, gently shred the chicken breasts using forks inside the crock pot. After 5 hours, it is ready to serve and enjoy!
Toasted Corn Salsa
  1. On low heat prepare a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Add washed corn and salt and pepper to the large skillet. Toast for 10-15 minutes or less time on higher heat.
  2. Remove corn kernels from heat and place in freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill for salsa.
  3. Wash all vegetables and begin cutting tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, and jalapenos into medium sized chunks to place inside the food processor in small to medium sized groups.
  4. Once vegetables are cut into smaller pieces using the food processor, zest and juice the limes. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Cilantro Aioli Sauce
  1. Add mayonnaise, avocado, lime juice and zest, cilantro leaves, and spices, including garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste to blend in the food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

When I think of my favorite pizzas, this one is always the first to POP into my mind! While I have shared with you my other personal favorite pizza, however this pizza is a serious SHOW STOPPER. This BBQ Chicken Pizza will make you wanting seconds, or even thirds! It simply is that tasty, yet oh so easy to make! The best parts (yes, parts as in plural) about this pizza are that it can be ready within 30 minutes AND it is so affordable to make! I call that a win-win for me! This BBQ Chicken Pizza features many precooked ingredients (the rotisserie chicken and the pizza crusts), so it is made with your busy schedule in mind! My cheap and busy heart is so happy with this pizza!

When making this pizza, I tried to experiment as I cooked the cilantro and placed the pizzas onto prepared baking sheets. Personally, I was not a fan of the cooked cilantro, and preferred the flavor of the fresh cilantro when added on top of the cooked pizzas. As for using prepared baking sheets, I HIGHLY recommend it because it cooked the pizzas, yet the crusts were still soft and chewy. Sigh…. In the past, I have cooked pizzas directly on the racks and it leaves the pizzas with too much of a crunch for me! Now, let’s get cooking! Cue the clarinet (shout out to my brother)! *My recipe is found at the bottom of this post.*

Print Recipe
BBQ Chicken Pizza
A tasty pizza that will be ready within 30 minutes!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
servings (1/4 crust per serving)
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
servings (1/4 crust per serving)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut tomatoes into thin slices and set aside. Cut and pluck cilantro and set aside. Shred the rotisserie chicken and set aside.
  3. Prepare two baking sheets with aluminum foil and non-stick spray. Place pizza crusts onto each baking sheet.
  4. Begin to assemble pizzas, by evenly covering both pizza crusts with BBQ sauce using a basting brush.
  5. Then, add mozzarella cheese onto both of the pizza crusts. Add sliced tomatoes after the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Add shredded rotisserie chicken on top of the tomatoes. Then, add pinches of salt, pepper, and dried minced garlic evenly on both pizzas. Finally, top pizzas evenly with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Once the oven is preheated, place both baking sheets into oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. You may also place the pizza crusts directly onto the rack for a more crunchier finish on the pizzas.
  8. Remove from oven. Place fresh cilantro evenly on top of both pizzas. (I added my cilantro to the pizzas while they were baking, but I prefer it fresh on the pizzas!) Slice and enjoy!

Blackberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

If you are anything like myself, you want dessert, but you don’t want to typically spend HOURS baking something delicious. However, don’t get me wrong, I DO love those baking days, where heavenly flavors mingle together to float throughout my house. But alas, today I clearly needed a tasty treat FAST to provide me with some comfort after my PAINFUL berry picking debacle!

The best part about these fresh blackberries was that I actually picked them straight off the vine at a local berry picking farm. Organic berries for the WIN! While this adventure made me happily reminisce over all the times I have done this as a child with my family, however my reminiscing was cut ABRUPTLY SHORT. Here, I am picking the biggest, juiciest blackberries EVER and BAM I look down and multiple wasps are landing on me stinging my ankle! I immediately take off running, throwing my berries to the ground, and start stripping off my shoe and sock. That was DEFINITELY not my proudest moment. After I recovered, I realized how ABSOLUTELY CRAZY I responded, but what can I say, I am a baby when it comes to pain! My ankle immediately puffed up like a balloon and even now it hurts. But, I am happy to say, I did NOT give up and continued berry picking after my fiasco. Yes, my momma did NOT raise a quitter.

My favorite part about these blackberry ice cream sandwiches is that people will think you spent HOURS making these sweet, yet light treats! The hardest part is WAITING for the tasty, ripe blackberries to macerate (or simply to draw out the juices in these berries to make a syrup). The rest of the process is EXTREMELY EASY and FAST, you can practically do this in your sleep! So, without further ado, let’s get to baking! Cue the flute! *The recipe is found after the pictures!*

Prepping the biscuits is as simple as basting them with coconut milk and dusting them with cinnamon!
Here are the ingredients for the berry mixture, minus the blackberries!
These berries BETTER taste amazing, I NEARLY died for these babies. Okay, died is being a tad dramatic.
Mix all those ingredients together, cover, and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour!
Once the biscuits are sliced and cooled, assemble the blackberry ice cream sandwiches! Enjoy!
Print Recipe
Blackberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
A tasty, refreshing dessert that is great for sharing with guests or enjoying alone!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings (muffins)
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings (muffins)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for biscuits.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet for the biscuits. Place biscuits 1-2 inches apart and baste with coconut milk and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in preheated oven for 12-16 minutes, once they are lightly golden brown.
  3. Mix together in a medium sized bowl blackberries, white sugar, lemon juice and zest, and dried orange peel. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour for the berries to macerate, creating a syrup with the juices from the berries.
  4. Once berries are ready and biscuits are cooked and cooled, assemble ice cream sandwiches by slicing the biscuit, placing ice cream on one side of the sliced biscuit, and the blackberry mixture on the other side of the sliced biscuit. Enjoy!

Roasted Salmon with Dill Aioli Sauce

As much as I love all food and certainly am NOT a picky eater, however I can count the amount of fish that I enjoy eating on my one hand alone. Shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab, and sometimes swordfish….are my fishy favorites. So, when I devoured this roasted salmon while taking a fun cooking class with my mom, I was ASTONISHED that I enjoyed it so much. I learned from this chef’s class that when you ROAST salmon (or any fish really) it yields a LESS fishy flavor, rather than when you barbecue fish. She explained that the barbecue actually makes the fishy flavor more pronounced. Fun fishy facts, am I right?! Also, she continued to explain that roasting anything in the oven truly transforms and caramelizes your ingredients to bring out a rich, savory flavor. So, naturally that means when I designed my recipe, I added some tasty roasted butternut squash to sit on a bed of arugula with dill aioli sauce drizzled on top. Mmmm…are you hungry yet?

This roasted salmon dish is the EASIEST AND FASTEST DINNER you will ever make! I promise you that while it is so easy to make, it certainly doesn’t lack in flavor and it’s VERY HEALTHY. Salmon is easily one of the healthiest fish you can eat, so your heart will thank you!! Plus, the best part is…this entire meal can be made under 20 minutes! The salmon cooks within 8-10 minutes, the butternut squash roasts within 15-20 minutes, and you make your dill aioli sauce while the food is roasting! I saved EVEN MORE TIME by buying prewashed and precut butternut squash because TIME IS MONEY, my busy people. Without further discussion, I present to you Roasted Salmon with Butternut Squash and Dill Aioli Sauce! Cue the flute!

The butternut squash is now roasted. It is crisp, yet still tender!
Salt and pepper is all you need to roast these slices of salmon!
Let’s make that tasty, dill aioli sauce!
This creamy, dill aioli sauce makes approximately one cup!
All done, now let’s eat!
Print Recipe
Roasted Salmon with Butternut Squash and Dill Aioli Sauce
A delicious, roasted salmon recipe that will leave you craving more!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings (4 ounces per serving)
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings (4 ounces per serving)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare two baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.
  3. Evenly place butternut squash onto one of the baking sheets. Lightly drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian dried seasoning to preference. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until lightly crisp, but still slightly tender. Check and stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  4. Slice the salmon into 6 even slices. Place onto baking sheet with appropriate spacing and feel for any bones. Then, cover with paper towel to dry out salmon.
  5. Prepare dill aioli sauce by putting garlic cloves, salt, pepper, juice and zest of a lemon, mayonnaise, capers, and fresh dill into a food processor. Pulse until it is smooth. Add more dill, salt, or pepper to taste.
  6. Remove the paper towel from the salmon and place the baking sheet into the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven once the white stuff is oozing from the salmon to indicate it is done. This white stuff is a coagulated protein, safe to eat.
  7. Plate your arugula first, then top with roasted salmon and butternut squash, and finish with the dill aioli sauce drizzled on top. Serve and enjoy!

Pesto White Pizza

When you want pizza, yet you don’t want to spend hours waiting and cooking your pizza dough to become a crust, you buy a premade pizza crust!! Add ANY fresh, yummy ingredients to your already made pizza crust, and BOOM you have a delicious homemade pizza! Sounds great, right?! If you are enthusiastically nodding your head right now, then you have certainly come to the right site! You get a pizza crust, of course you get a pizza crust, and you do too in the back! *Cue channeling my inner pizza-crust-loving Oprah!*

Personally, I love ANY and EVERY pizza…I simply don’t discriminate against pizza. But, this Pesto White Pizza is the BOMB.COM and SCREAMS summertime if you ask me! It is perfect to eat with your family or share with your friends at a party! Plus, all your loved ones will love that this savory, easy pizza can be made under 30 MINUTES! This Pesto White Pizza features basil pesto (premade from a jar), mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, marinated artichoke hearts, prosciutto, ricotta cheese, fresh minced garlic, and topped with fresh arugula, halved cherry tomatoes, remaining prosciutto, crushed red pepper flakes, and fine ground pepper! This pizza can easily be vegetarian friendly if you substitute the prosciutto with tofu! Let’s get cooking and eating, my Tiny Fork Family! Good thing for commas, or it would sound like I eat my Tiny Fork Family! Cue the electric guitar!!

So far, this is the best premade pizza crust that I have found and it was on SALE!! My budget-loving heart was happy about that!
This premade basil pesto was AMAZING! Yes, I could have made it, but I am all about saving TIME!
I added lots of mozzarella because um…cheese. That’s all I need to say!
Minced garlic from fresh cloves! Trust me DON’T buy the jars of pre-minced garlic, it isn’t as tasty!
The basting brush made adding the basil pesto a BREEZE!
Now, let’s put these BABIES in the oven! YUM!
Immediately out of the oven, add crushed red pepper flakes and fine ground pepper.
Top with arugula, halved cherry tomatoes, and prosciutto!
Print Recipe
Pesto White Pizza
A perfect light, yet savory pizza paired nicely with wine or beer!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes (until cheese is melted and bubbly)
Servings
servings (1/4 crust per serving)
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15-20 minutes (until cheese is melted and bubbly)
Servings
servings (1/4 crust per serving)
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mince garlic cloves. Chop prosciutto into thin strips. Chop marinated artichoke hearts into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Add basil pesto evenly and generously onto both pizza crusts with a basting brush.
  4. Add mozzarella cheese first, then chopped marinated artichoke hearts, strips of prosciutto, and clumps of ricotta cheese equally onto both pizza crusts. Top both pizzas with Parmesan cheese. Set aside a small handful of the prosciutto to top both pizzas once cooked.
  5. Once oven is preheated, place pizzas directly onto the racks for a crisp, lightly golden finish. Cook until cheese is melted and bubbly or between 15-20 minutes.
  6. While pizzas are cooking, chop cherry tomatoes into halves and set aside. Gather your arugula.
  7. Remove pizzas from the oven once done. Top with crushed red pepper flakes and ground pepper. Then, finish with fresh arugula, halved cherry tomatoes, and remaining prosciutto on top! Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

At night, the weather becomes slightly cooler and just MAYBE this means fall could be fast approaching. I can practically feel the crisp, cool breeze greeting me like a long lost friend. As I imagine myself sipping a glass of rose, I can seemingly taste the refreshing, sweet notes of watermelon and strawberry dance along my tongue. The perfect complementing, comfort meal that comes to my mind is Spaghetti and Meatballs. Since my recipes are for busy people, I always try to be mindful of the amount of time and effort it takes to cook my meals. So, I used store bought meatballs and garlic bread (from Walmart surprisingly), but I made my own marinara sauce with fresh basil. Without further tantalizing you with these upcoming crisp, fall nights, I will share with you my spaghetti and meatball recipe.

While I do have a tasty and easy meatball recipe that I will share with you in the future for other dishes, however for this spaghetti and meatball recipe I used store bought meatballs with added Parmesan and garlic. I firmly believe that fast, easy meals are AMAZING. Personally, I don’t enjoy cooking with those recipes that require you to use practically 20 different pans and demand hours of washing dishes after. If you agree with me, then we will get along just fine! If not, then you are either a brave soul or you really listened to my rule, “if you cook, they clean!” Now, let’s cue the alto saxophone and get cooking and eating Spaghetti and Meatballs!! Fare una spaghettata…which I believe that means to eat spaghetti in Italian!!

Print Recipe
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for the garlic bread and meatballs.
  2. Line a baking sheet (with a lip) with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly spray with a non-stick spray. Evenly place the meatballs on the baking sheet and place sheet in the oven once preheated.
  3. Bring a pot of water (4-6 quarts) to a rolling boil. Add salt following the directions on the back of the package. Keep the pot covered with the lid to bring the water to a boil faster. Add noddles once the water is a rolling boil.
  4. While the water pot is heating, open the cans of crushed tomatoes and add them both into a medium sized sauce pan over low heat.
  5. Chop fresh basil leaves and mince garlic cloves. Add them to the sauce pan of crushed tomatoes. Also add Italian dried seasoning, dried/rubbed sage, coarse (or fine) ground black pepper, and brown sugar to the sauce pan of crushed tomatoes. Then, the cover sauce pan with a lid to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. After 25-30 minutes, or meatballs are a golden brown, remove from the oven. Then, remove aluminium sheet or parchment paper from the baking sheet with the meatballs and set aside.
  7. Place more foil or parchment paper with non-stick spray on the baking sheet and add garlic bread, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese on top of the garlic bread pieces.
  8. When the noodles are ready, drain them and set aside. Remove garlic bread from oven once it is a golden brown.
  9. Once every component is ready, plate the noodles first and cover with the marinara sauce. Add meatballs, garlic bread, Asiago cheese shavings, and fresh parsley leaves to complete. Serve and enjoy!
These babies are already MADE! Just pop them into the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes! Can you say EASY, PEASY?!
LOOK at that these beautiful basil leaves!
These dried spices make for a flavorful, robust marinara sauce!
Also, add 3 tablespoons of brown sugar to cut the acidity of the crushed tomatoes. 1 more tablespoon to go!
Yum, they are a beautiful, golden brown!
Finally, drain your noodles and plate them first. Pour over your marinara sauce and add a few meatballs to your plate! Don’t forget to add some garlic bread because marinara sauce + garlic bread = HEAVEN.

Teriyaki Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

“Good Food, Good Mood”

Yes, “good food, good mood,” may just be my life motto. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will say I am truly the happiest when eating. I always thought about being a chef because of my insatiable love for food. But later, I realized that I could share all of my food ideas without the stress of being a chef. I mean the standing on your feet for hours on end, rushing to get the orders out while ensuring the quality of food is excellent, and practically always moving, carrying, twisting, bending as fast as humanly possible…no, thank you, I am a slow poke chef. You chefs are my heroes. So, without further blabbering, let’s get to the Teriyaki Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry! **Cue the triangle! Yes, that is ACTUALLY an instrument!!**

When I think of a chicken and veggie stir fry, so many different ideas POP into my mind. But, because I love making my dishes balanced in colors and flavors, I decided to add carrot (coins), strips of red bell pepper, fresh broccoli, organic brown rice, chicken, teriyaki sesame seed sauce, and topped with fresh cilantro. All of these fresh, simple ingredients are easy and relatively cheap to find, especially on Amazon Fresh! If I lived in an area that wasn’t rural, I WOULD LOVE to have fresh food delivered to me with just a click of a button! We, busy people, don’t have time for grocery shopping! Check it out below!

The best part is that this dish, Teriyaki Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry, can be cooked within 35 minutes! Here are a few secrets..the rice is frozen, so you can heat up each pouch within 3 minutes and the teriyaki sauce is already made! EASY PEASY! YES, only 35 minutes and it will be READY to feed those hangry loved ones….or simply yourself. The longest step of the recipe is cooking the chicken to be a beautiful, golden brown. (Like a lovely tan that I will never have…sigh, a girl can dream). Okay, let’s get back on track…Last but not least, this recipe can easily be transformed into a vegetarian or vegan friendly dish by simply removing the chicken. After trying this tasty Teriyaki Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry, I hope you will be ready for seconds!

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, sliced into strips

4 pouches of organic, brown rice (frozen)

1 head of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 bag carrot slices (coins/disks)

1 cup of teriyaki sesame seed sauce

3 organic chicken breasts, chopped into cubes

1 teaspoon of fine black pepper

Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, cold-pressed

Yields: 6-8 servings/1 per person

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 35 min

  1. First, slice the tops of the red bell peppers off and remove the insides. Then, chop the red bell peppers into thin strips. Set aside.
  2. Next, chop the head of broccoli into individual florets (or the pieces of broccoli). Set aside.
  3. Then, wash off the cutting board to remove any remaining parts of the broccoli. With the same cutting board, slice the chicken in half and then strips. Then, cut strips into individual cubes of chicken.
  4. Drizzle olive oil in cooking pan over high or medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, place cubed chicken into the pan. Add black pepper.
  5. Occasionally stir the chicken gently until it is golden brown. Keep the lid on to cook the chicken faster. Once it is golden brown, add 1 cup of teriyaki sesame seed sauce.
  6. Heat the brown rice pouches in the microwave individually following its directions.
  7. While heating the rice, add all of the vegetables and cover the cooking pan with the lid. Serve chicken and vegetable mixture over rice once the vegetables are as crisp or tender as you prefer.
  8. Enjoy!
Once golden brown, add the teriyaki sesame seed sauce.

**Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate, if you click any of the links that I have available and make a purchase (either the products that I post or anything else) within 24 hours of clicking my link, I will receive a commission. So, naturally it would make sense if you want to purchase anything, you can go through my links/ads! Hey, if you want to help your girl pay for grad school that would be MUCH APPRECIATED! <3 **


Spicy Steak Salad

As I am bingeing on “Outlander” from Netflix, I realize that I should probably make a LIGHT, HEALTHY dinner recipe because I am being such a couch potato. Yes, lazy days can be the BEST and I do cherish them because life is all about balance. Three episodes in, I realize that I am very HUNGRY…maybe even hangry some would say…so I don’t want to go cooking for hours on end. As much as I love cooking and dancing (always together), however I completely understand how we, busy people, need food FAST (but healthy). Yes, I do admit bingeing on “Outlander” is not actually considered being “busy.” So, here comes another end of the summer recipe! *Cue the trumpets* (Yes, I know we are bringing out new musical instruments every RECIPE!!)

Indeed, this GLORIOUSLY DELICIOUS salad is called Spicy Steak Salad. Why such a silly name for a majestic salad like itself? Well, let me explain. First of all, I love alliteration altogether (see what I did there?). Secondly, it’s an inside joke within my family. But, since you are kindly a part of The Tiny Fork Family (psssst go subscribe NOW to make it official), I will let you in on the joke. Obviously the meat present is REALLY called carne asada. But alas, my mom always forgets what the meat is called…Hence, let’s have spicy steak tacos..salad…okay, you get the idea. Maybe it’s not that much of an inside joke, but it makes me love her more nonetheless. Now, back to this beast of a salad. It has all the right ingredients to get you excited for actually eating a salad, ESPECIALLY if that’s typically not your thing. Okay, I am not singling anyone out, but you know who you are. It has fresh greens, spicy steak, ranch dressing, cheddar jack cheese, avocados (um…my favorite food EVER), ROASTED corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and a lime squeezed on top! Last but not least, it is pretty perfect with a Corona on the side too. Cheers, let’s get cooking and eating the Spicy Steak Salad!!

Ingredients

1 lb package of carne asada/sirlion flap meat

1 container (10.5 ounces) cherry tomatoes/Cherubs Heavenly Salad Tomoatoes, halved

1 bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves chopped from the stems

1 can of RINSED corn (fresh if you have it)

Light drizzle of extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil to coat the pan

1 can of RINSED black beans

1 avocado, sliced

1 lime, sliced in wedges

1 cup of cheddar jack cheese

1 large bag of mixed fresh greens

Ranch dressing (to taste and preference)

1/4 teaspoon of coarse black pepper

Directions

Yield: 4 servings/1 serving per person

Prep Time: 12 min

Cook Time: 25-30 min

  1. Preheat the barbecue grill to medium heat. Once at the desired temperature, place meat on the grill and cook meat for the amount of time depending on how you want it cooked (rare, medium rare, medium well, well done).
  2. While the meat is cooking, place a cooking pan over medium heat on the stove and lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Rinse the canned corn (this removes excess salt that comes from the can) and place in the heated pan. Add coarse black pepper.
  3. Next, chop the cherry tomatoes in halves, the cilantro leaves off their stems by gathering and cutting at the top of the bunch, limes into wedges, and the avocado into slices. Set the halved cherry tomatoes, slices of avocado, sliced lime wedges, and cilantro leaves aside.
  4. Remove meat from the barbecue grill and slice meat into thin strips.
  5. Finally, place greens on a plate and top with handfuls (or to preference) of black beans, cheddar jack cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, and cilantro. Finish with strips of the meat, squeeze the lime juice all over salad, and drizzle with ranch dressing on top.
  6. Enjoy!!
Here are some of the tasty, fresh ingredients…including cherry tomatoes, cilantro, black beans, and corn (before I halved the cherry tomatoes and roasted the corn)!
ALL DONE!! Thank you in advance for understanding that I didn’t take as many pictures of my steps because I was…HANGRY. I appreciate the support!

**Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate, if you click any of the links that I have available and make a purchase (either the products that I post or anything else) within 24 hours of clicking my link, I will receive a commission. So, naturally it would make sense if you want to purchase anything, you can go through my links/ads! Hey, if you want to help your girl pay for grad school that would be MUCH APPRECIATED! <3 **

Happy Cooking & Eating,

Jill <3


Veggie Summer Medley

August is here and I honestly could not be happier that summer is almost ENDING. Yup, I have said it. I am officially ready for cooler weather, fall clothes, soups (YUM), and OF COURSE pumpkin and marshmallow Bath and Body Works candles. While I surely have a solid, committed relationship with ALL THE air conditioners (and of course my boyfriend), but I can’t wait to wear BOOTS WITH THE FUR (circa 2008) and jeans without dying of heat exhaustion. So, in the spirit of the ending of summer, I will share with you a few (actually) SUMMER dishes that are light, relatively healthy, and definitely TASTY. For starters, let’s begin with the Veggie Summer Medley. (YES, it’s a vegetarian dish, but I do also eat MEAT). DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!

Without further ado, I present to you, my fellow busy people, the Veggie Summer Medley. This TASTY pasta dish features zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried/fresh basil, minced garlic, coarse black pepper, pasta, and fresh creamy mozzarella!! Yes, all FRESH vegetables and SIMPLE ingredients that you know and can easily find in ANY and EVERY local grocery store. As I have promised in my ORIGINAL POST, I will simply stick to my recipe (NO unnecessary BLABBERING). But, even those family members who obsessively love meat, also looooove my Veggie Summer Medley without realizing that there isn’t any meat! So, I hope that you LOVE and ENJOY this Veggie Summer Medley as much as we do!

Ingredients

2 zucchinis, sliced into disks and halved

2 yellow squash, sliced into disks and halved

2 eggplants, chopped into cubes (leave skin on)

2 containers (10.5 ounces each) cherry tomatoes/Cherubs Heavenly Salad Tomatoes

1/3 cup fresh Mozzarella chopped into cubes

1 cup of extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive oil, extra drizzle for cooking pan for vegetables

1 pound/box of corkscrew-shaped macaroni (Cellentani)

1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of coarse black pepper (can add more to taste later)

2 teaspoons of dried basil, fresh basil leaves for garnish

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

Directions

Yield: 8-9 cups

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hr

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
  2. Bring a pot of water (4-6 quarts) to a rolling boil (20-30 minutes). Once boiling, add pasta and salt. Stir gently and occasionally for 11-15 minutes. *Salt helps to keep your noodles from sticking to each other.*
  3. While your water is coming to a boil, begin to prepare your cherry tomatoes by adding extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil, coarse black pepper, and minced garlic to your prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheet (with a lip on it to prevent any spills) in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, slice zucchinis and yellow squash into disks and then halved. Chop fresh mozzarella into cubes and set aside. Pick a few basil leaves and set aside for garnish. Then, chop eggplant into cubes last, as it begins to brown quickly.
  5. Heat a light drizzle of olive oil in a large to medium cooking pan over medium heat. Cover cooking pan to saute the vegetables faster. *For faster results, cook over high heat, but stirring more frequently.*
  6. The vegetables should be tender, but still slightly crisp. Once tomatoes are tender, add all of the contents from the baking sheet to the cooking pan on the stove.
  7. Reduce to low heat as you stir together all of the vegetables and slowly add the mozzarella cubes.
  8. Drain and add the cooked pasta to all the vegetables and mozzarella.
  9. Serve with fresh basil, Parmesan, and black pepper to taste.
  10. Enjoy! It is even better the next day when the flavors blend together!

**Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate, if you click any of the links that I have available and make a purchase (either the products that I post or anything else) within 24 hours of clicking my link, I will receive a commission. So, naturally it would make sense if you want to purchase anything, you can go through my links/ads! Hey, if you want to help your girl pay for grad school that would be MUCH APPRECIATED! <3 **

Happy Cooking & Eating,

Jill <3