Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 27)

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A healthy week of dinners planned out to make life easy!

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan Week 27. I’ve added some of my family’s favorite Mexican inspired dishes for Cinco De Mayo. Don’t forget that Sunday is Mother’s Day! Everyone is going to my mom’s for Mother’s Day and as my aunt can’t tolerate gluten or dairy, I am bringing a simple 5 ingredient almond cake that is light, easy and gluten free. I’m also hosting a twitter party Monday with 1800Flowers at 1pm EST where they will be giving away over $1000 in prizes! #AllABoutMom

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Pictured below is The Skinnytaste Meal Planner where I plan my dinners for the week (you can of course use any meal planner). Meal planning is a great way to get organized before heading to the supermarket to get ready for the week! My breakfast is usually something quick like eggs with fruit, a smoothie or avocado toast. We’re a family of four, so if a recipe serves more, it’s either packed up for everyone’s lunch or eaten the next day as leftovers. If you would like to see some of the previous week’s dinner plans, click here

Easy healthy Skinny Taste dinner meal plan for the week

Skinnytaste Dinner Plan (Week 27)

Monday: Loaded Baked Sweet Potatoes
Tuesday: Skinny Chicken Enchiladas with Mexican Brown Rice
Wednesday: Easy Crock Pot Chicken and Black Bean Taco Salad
Thursday: Grilled Flank Steaks with Tomato, Red Onion and Balsamic
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Dinner Out
Sunday: 5 Ingredient Almond Cake with Berries
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Cajun Shrimp Kale Caesar Salad

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Everyone’s favorite caesar salad using hearty kale greens! And made even more epic with perfectly seasoned cajun shrimp.

Cajun Shrimp Kale Caesar Salad - Everyone's favorite caesar salad using hearty kale greens! And made even more epic with perfectly seasoned cajun shrimp.

I love a good caesar salad.

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Blueberry Orange Brunch Cake with Agave and Pistachios

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Orange Brunch Cake - SUPER YUMMY because it's made with olive oil and whole oranges! topped with whipped cream and blueberries and you're in fancy brunch business. | pinchofyum.comTracking Pixel
This post is sponsored by Wholesome!® – we used their Organic Blue Agave in this recipe, and many more, because YUM!

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Okay, first of all, let’s pause for a moment of reflection on the fact that this is a BRUNCH CAKE. Really the main word that comes to mind is LUSH. It is cake without being *cake* while still being cake. Do you feel me?

This is very much a brunching wow-factor that doubles as second breakfast if you need brunch vibes in your life on a Wednesday.

Time for some straight talk. When I think of Pinch of Yum and what I want it to be, I always come back to this: IS THIS A RECIPE PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY MAKE? That’s what I want this blog to be. *nervously side glances the fancy cake*

And so usually the question that filters my decision to post a recipe or not is: IS THIS A RECIPE THAT I WOULD ACTUALLY MAKE?

I mean, for sure, I have a level of appreciation and respect for beautiful food. Like the fancy cakes of Instagram and cupcakes from our local little Copper Hen and even this fruit pizza that my sister makes just to shame me, I’m sure of it.

But friends, I have somewhere between 0 to -100% interest in spending hours, minutes, or really even seconds decorating food. I just don’t. That part of my brain is broken. Maybe it’s a vulnerability complex – I’m not good at it so I don’t want to try? or maybe it’s just plain and simple – that I don’t want to do it. I mean, HELLO. Can we get to the eating part already?

Orange Brunch Cake - SUPER YUMMY because it's made with olive oil and whole oranges! topped with whipped cream and blueberries and you're in fancy brunch business. | pinchofyum.com

This might be a good time to mention that, considering I was born without decorating and fancy food abilities, it probably looks as if this lovely brunch cake may have taken me years to put together. Good solid YEARS of my life. I’m not a fancy food girl. This is not a secret. We know this. So this princess cake must have been my life’s work up till this point, right?

No. Very wrong.

Wholesome! Agave | pinchofyum.com

The truth of the brunch cake? ONE HOUR is the truth of this brunch cake.

Plus or minus a little time depending on how much whipped cream you eat out of the mixer and/or how many finger swipes through the whipped cream cake layers you need to try to cover up. But generally speaking, this is no more complicated than making quick bread.

Orange Brunch Cake - SUPER YUMMY because it's made with olive oil and whole oranges! topped with whipped cream and blueberries and you're in fancy brunch business. | pinchofyum.com

Guys, in my journey for a regular person’s pretty cake, I tried so many different things to make this cake amazing and *almost literally* sparkly and Instagram-worthy like #cakegoals, and then (here’s the not awesome truth) I got legitimately mad at all of them for being too slow and particular and tedious. That was a SUPERfun weekend. Don’t you wish you would’ve been in the kitchen with me? I think they call it a hot mess or something. The five “test” brunch cakes and various decorating attempts of that weekend shall no longer be mentioned on this blog.

So I eventually channeled my frustration with the lush cake life and landed on something so simple and so stunning and straight up EASY that also happened to completely blow up my brunch game and make me look like I had skillssss, man.

While being still A RECIPE THAT I WOULD ACTUALLY MAKE.

ohmygosh. On point and on brand.

Orange Brunch Cake - SUPER YUMMY because it's made with olive oil and whole oranges! topped with whipped cream and blueberries and you're in fancy brunch business. | pinchofyum.com

It’s just this is all:

  • AMAZING cake made with olive oil and a whole orange. I can die happy.
  • Real whipped cream.
  • Blueberries.
  • Pistachios.
  • More agave on top to look like you know what you’re doing with cakes.

The beauty of the whipped cream layer is you just sort of plop it on in big swathes and give it a swirl with a spatula and WHOA. It looks amazing. THIS IS MY KIND OF DECORATING. Same with the rest of the crew – blueberries, pistachios, and agave are color and texture magic all on their own.

Friends, when you do make this, I fully expect pictures. Tag me, snap me, email me, do what you need to do. For the heart and soul of this blog, I need to know that I’m right in saying that this is a faux fancy cake that people will actually make. And adore.

Orange Brunch Cake - SUPER YUMMY because it's made with olive oil and whole oranges! topped with whipped cream and blueberries and you're in fancy brunch business. | pinchofyum.com

Also guys. We’re using Wholesome!® Organic Blue Agave in this recipe which is our favorite. Have I mentioned that before?

Their organic sweeteners that are not only practical and accessible (s/o to TARGET), but they are also non-GMO and fair trade. Win win!

Also, gurl got a packaging makeover! Their new bottle for the Organic Blue Agave is made from up to 30% recyclable plant-based PET, which means it’s a more sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging option. And that picture above shows what it looks like after SOMEONE has used a large amount of it for sweetening real, thick, creamy whipped cream and then eaten it by the heaping-wooden-spoonful for an inappropriately wonderful “DINNER.”

The adults have officially left the building.

Whole Orange Cake with Agave Syrup
Author: Pinch of Yum
Serves: 12
 

Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE:
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • ¼ cup Wholesome!® Organic Blue Agave
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM AND TOPPINGS:

Instructions
  1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick spray or parchment paper on the bottom (I cut mine to a circle so it would fit right in there).
  2. ORANGE MIXTURE: Place the oranges and agave in a food processor and pulse until a pulpy juice forms. Set aside.
  3. CAKE: Whisk the sugar, eggs, and olive oil and mix until incorporated. Stir in the orange juice mixture. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir until just combined. Transfer batter the prepared cake pans and gently knock the bottom of the pan on the counter to eliminate bubbles in the batter. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the tops spring back. Let the cake cool to room temperature to avoid melting your whipped cream layers.
  4. WHIPPED CREAM: Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy. Fold in the agave. Spread whipped cream on top of the first cake, staying close to the center so you don’t get whipped cream overflow. Then gently place the second cake on top, and top with another layer of whipped cream. Cover with blueberries, pistachios, and agave.

Notes
I also took the juice of a few oranges and simmered it down into a thick syrup, whisked with a tiny bit of agave, and poked holes in the finished cakes and poured my “orange syrup” over the cakes. Makes it extra moist and amazing. Totally worth the addition of one extra step between baking and frosting.

In general, I like this cake refrigerated! Especially once it’s had a soaking of orange syrup if you decide to go Next Level with the whole thing.

3.5.3208

 

Thanks to Wholesome!® – makers of this Organic Blue Agave – for partnering with us for this post! And for being a great brand all-around.

The post Blueberry Orange Brunch Cake with Agave and Pistachios appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

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Rosemary Chicken Salad with Avocado and Bacon

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This hearty salad is HUGE – perfect when you want a big salad for dinner without the grains. It's also gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free.

This hearty Rosemary Chicken Salad with Avocado and Bacon is HUGE – perfect when you want a low-carb meal that will fill you up! I actually split this between three people, and felt completely satisfied.

This delicious recipe is from Heather Christo’s first cookbook Pure Delicious. A cookbook filled with 150 Allergen-Free recipes including gluten, dairy, soy, nut, shellfish and cane sugar. But don’t be fooled, the recipes are amazing and her photography is stunning!

rosemary chicken salad with avocado and bacon-3

For this recipe, I modified the ingredients slightly to lower the calories buy reducing the olive oil a bit, and using skinless thighs instead of using the skin. If you want to further reduce the calories you can use chicken breast instead and use 1/2 of an avocado. This recipe was a keeper, also great for the summer if you want to make the chicken on the grill.

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

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The simplest and EASIEST way to cook spaghetti squash. And it’s low in fat and rich in protein! Only 31 calories/serving!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash - The simplest and EASIEST way to cook spaghetti squash. And it's low in fat and rich in protein! Only 31 calories/serving!

This is the easiest way to cook spaghetti squash, hands down.

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Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn

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Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn - SUPER good real food salad with a short ingredient list! Cilantro, sweet potato, roasted corn, pepitas, and a homemade chipotle garlic dressing. vegan / vegetarian. | pinchofyum.com

Sweet Potato Noodle Salad?

Yes. I’m fully serious. Sweet Potato Noodle Salad.

I have never loved a salad as much as I do in this moment – a salad whose flavor profile (chipotle meets roasted corn meets cilantro) is at absolute the center of my food happy place and whose entire texture and form just mimics a big ol’ plate of pasta. WHAAAT. Now we’re talking, kids. THIS is my kind of salad.

Can I just tell you something right now? Cooking has made me so happy lately. I was kind of having a moment back a while ago where I didn’t love cooking and I DID love takeout and it was kind of weird when it was happening because I have a food blog. It’s my job to keep writing about how much I love food, and of course I would never share recipes with you that I didn’t love or actually make or actually eat for real in my true day to day life, but it was sort of hard to find the soul of the whole cooking gig for a second there. But it’s all good. Because honestly, I think the change of pace (last week we order pizza, and now this week we make fresh sweet potato noodle salads with chipotle dressing and have a slice of homemade orange cake for dessert) is healthy in that sort of greasy-pizza-is-good-for-your-soul-sometimes healthy way. You know what I mean, right? I lost it, I defaulted to sushi and Thai curry and pizza for a few weeks, and then I found it again.

Found it as in SWEET POTATO NOODLE SALAD found it. Ohhh my spicy stars, this is so yummy.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn - SUPER good real food salad with a short ingredient list! Cilantro, sweet potato, roasted corn, pepitas, and a homemade chipotle garlic dressing. vegan / vegetarian. | pinchofyum.com

Sometimes you just need to get out of your routine and change things up in order to sort of kick-start the system back into Thrive Mode, right? I’m not the only one?

You know in your heart of hearts that you really want and love food and cooking and/or whatever it might be for the rest of you people in the world who don’t love food and cooking (I mean, I can’t even think of any examples because what do people love if not food?) and then the crazy-busy-stress-go-go-go of life happens and you find yourself sort of dreading making meals and dragging your heels when you feel the pull of the kitchen at 6pm. Or maybe you don’t feel the pull of the kitchen at all. Which is alarming for someone who has always identified as loving food and cooking, but also okay. A temporary break-up is okay.

For me, it’s totally a stress and anxiety thing, I think. Teaching the workshops in our studio these last few months – it seriously made me come alive in a new way. But when that part of me came alive, my food brain shrunk back. And now the stress and chaos and anxiety of the workshops has faded a little bit, and life has slowed down, and Bjork went out of town for a few days (not that I WANTED him to be gone, but sometimes just cooking whatever you want for your very own self helps get things back in the groove, love u bb) and now I’m feeling like I have my finger back on the pulse of my familiar old cooking heart. Which is still, in fact, beating. ♡

Yours probably is, too. I’m sure of it. And if you’re not sure, I’ll tell you what will make you sure:

It starts with sweet potato noodles and ends with chipotle dressing and cilantro and roasted corn and pepitas.
Sweet Potato Noodles | pinchofyum.comRoasted Corn | pinchofyum.com

You know those times when you are so excited about food that you just HAVE to eat dinner at 5pm? Me either, barely, because most night we eat dinner at 8pm.

But last night I got a slice of that Must Eat Dinner Now feeling when I got home a little early from the studio and only had myself to cook for. THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES, friends. Out came the wine and cheese because apparently #SoloHappyHour is a thing? I highly recommend. And just like that, with a big ol plate of Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad, heavy on the cilantro, I became that person who eats dinner right at the stroke of 5pm.

Now that I think of it, I guess it’s fitting since I’m turning 30 tomorrow like ohmygosh I’m fine tho. So this is old age? Dinner at 5pm? I guess I can deal.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn - SUPER good real food salad with a short ingredient list! Cilantro, sweet potato, roasted corn, pepitas, and a homemade chipotle garlic dressing. vegan / vegetarian. | pinchofyum.com

SWEET POTATO NOODLE 101:

  • I’m currently using and loving the Inspiralizer. Of all the spiralizers I’ve tried (and I’ve tried many), this one is the best in size, versatility, and quality.
  • Need to prep in advance? You can save your sweet potato noodles for a day in the fridge! SWEET.
  • There is, in fact, so much love for spiralized veggies in my heart that I wrote this post: 8 LIFE-CHANGING WAYS TO USE A SPIRALIZER.

 

Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn
Author: Pinch of Yum
Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
FOR THE SWEET POTATO NOODLE SALAD:
  • olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, spiralized!
  • 4 ears sweet corn (kernels cut off the cob)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh greens – spinach, micro greens, arugula, whatever
  • ½ cup pepitas
FOR THE CHIPOTLE DRESSING:
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 individual chipotle peppers, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  • juice of one orange
  • juice of one lemon or lime
  • generous pinch of salt

Instructions
  1. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potato noodles and toss for a minute or two until softened. See notes.
  2. Wipe the skillet out so it’s dry. Add the corn kernels and turn the heat to medium high. Toss around in the pan every few minutes until roasted-looking. See notes.
  3. Toss the noodles, corn, cilantro, and pepitas together. Save a little of each ingredient for topping the salad if you want it to be extra pretty.
  4. Pulse the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  5. Toss with the salad ingredients and you’re good to go!

Notes
For cooking the sweet potato noodles: you’ll notice a visible texture change when they’re ready – they just sort of relax into the pan instead of being so stiff. You don’t want them to be overly mushy but you also don’t want them to be rock hard and crunchy. Somewhere in between is perfect. For me, 5-ish minutes was about right.

For cooking the corn: this can do a number on your skillet, so make sure you’re using a high quality pan – either nonstick or a really well seasoned cast iron. The idea is to DRY roast them without oil or butter. They don’t get as browned and roasty if you have to put butter or oil in the pan. Also, the less frequently you stir, the more browned they’ll get. I used a nonstick and the bottom of the pan got a little brown but washed out very easily.

3.5.3208

 

Nutrition Sweet Potato Salad

I so badly wanted this salad with Cotija cheese, but alas, we didn’t have any and I was too lazy to drive out and get some. Please, someone, PLEASE add a fat handful of that crumbly, salty Cotija to this and report back. I might cry little tears of jealousy but I’ll be so happy for you.

Note: this post contains affiliate links.

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Kimchi Avocado Quesadilla

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Kimchi Avocado Quesadillas

What’s your go-to 15-minute make-it-from-what’s-in-the-fridge recipe? Mine is a quesadilla. Any kind of quesadilla. You’ll always find tortillas and cheese in my fridge. It’s my PB&J.

The great thing about quesadillas? They’re so easy to dress up! Whether it’s with chicken and apples, mushrooms, green chiles, or in this case, kimchi—spicy Korean pickled cabbage.

Continue reading “Kimchi Avocado Quesadilla” »

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