How to Peel Garlic Easily!

Garlic is one of those herbs that adds so much flavor and health benefits to food, but many people avoid using this incredible fresh herb because it’s kind of  pain to peel. When I taught cooking classes I ran into a lot of people with very interesting ways of peeling garlic. The most popular was the ‘smash with the knife’ method.  I was taught in cooking school that while this method works, it smashes the heck out of your clove making it difficult to mince or grate properly. So today I am going to share two ways that make peeling garlic a snap while keeping the clove intact!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

How to Peel Garlic Easily!

Two Ways to Peel Garlic: Plan A, No Special Tools Needed

The first method is for the person that thinks ahead…simply soak garlic cloves in warm water. Yep, that’s the big secret. Soaking garlic cloves in a small bowl of warm water makes the peels swell and you can literally slide the skin right off with your knife, or even your fingers. Just plop the cloves into warm water 30 minutes or more before you plan to use them. the earlier the better actually. Easy peasy, but it does require forethought. If you are in a bit more of a hurry, move on to the next easy option.

How to Peel Garlic Easily!

By the way, my cute little bowl is from Anthropologie!
Shop House & Home Top Picks at Anthropologie.com.

Plan B: The Quick Method

If you are not the type of person that thinks ahead or you don’t have time to soak, my next go to is this handy dandy rubber tube that instantly peels garlic! No mess, no fuss and it works every time. It only costs a few bucks and lasts forever. I am not big on kitchen gadgets because I use my knife (an 8″ Wusthof Ikon Chef’s knife) for just about everything, but I LOVE this thing! All you do is place the clove in the center of the tube, press down and roll. The peel comes right off. And it’s easy to clean, just rinse and put away for the next time.

How to Peel Garlic Easily!

So there you have it, no more struggling to peel garlic. I hope I just made your life in the kitchen a little easier. After all, the easier and more convenient something is to do, the more likely you are to do it. Enjoy your new found skill!

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Chicken and Peach Grilled Naan Salad Wraps!

I am a huge fan of grilled naan. It’s delicious all by itself, but fill it with a flavorful salad and you have yourself an amazing meal! Greens, leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken, soft goat cheese and fresh peach salsa all drizzled in a champagne vinaigrette and wrapped in warm naan fresh off the grill…your family is going to love these Grilled Naan Chicken and Peach Salad Wraps, and you’ll love them too because they are so simple to make!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

Chicken and Peach Grilled Naan Salad Wraps!

The Salsa:

We start with fresh peach salsa! It’s as simple as dicing fruit and tossing together with herbs, lime juice and some jalapeño peppers. So flavorful and rich in antioxidants. I love it when food not only tastes great but is also good for you! If you need to learn how to handle hot peppers click here.

Chicken and Peach Grilled Naan Salad Wraps!

The Salad:

For these wraps I used a green mix that includes sprouts. I love that extra nutrition and texture. But you can use your favorite greens, whatever they may be. To keep it simple I dice up an organic rotisserie chicken, but if I am lucky enough to have leftover roasted chicken I use that. I add plenty of soft goat cheese, then drizzle it all in a simple champagne vinaigrette and toss!

Chicken and Peach Grilled Naan Salad Wraps!

The Dressing:

So, so simple. Just whisk together a little olive oil, champagne vinegar, honey and a little sea salt and pepper. Drizzle over the greens, chicken, and goat cheese, then toss. Scoop the salad into warm, fresh off the grill naan and top with peach salsa. Swoon. Summer in a wrap!

Chicken and Peach Grilled Naan Salad Wraps!

The Recipe: Chicken and Peach Grilled Naan Salad Wraps!

Tips and what you will need: if you aren’t sure how to handle a hot pepper click here for a tutorial. You can grill the naan on a BBQ or on a grill pan on the cooktop. To make this recipe gluten free, use GF naan or pita!

3 votes

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Chicken and Peach Grilled Naan Salad Wraps!

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A simple summer meal made with fresh peach salsa and warm naan straight off the grill!

Ingredients

Peach Salsa:

3 cups fresh peaches, diced

1/4 cup red onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1-3 teaspoons jalapeño pepper, minced finely (see link above to see how)

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

sea salt and pepper to taste

Champagne Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

pinch sea salt and a few turns freshly ground black pepper

The Salad:

4 cups fresh salad greens (I used a mix that included sprouts)

4-5 oz soft goat cheese

2 cups diced rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken

fresh peach salsa (recipe above)

6 pieces of naan bread, grilled

Instructions

Salsa Prep:

Dice peaches and chop herbs (to see how to handle a hot chili pepper click link in body of post)

Place everything except jalapeño in a bowl, squeeze with fresh lime juice and add a little sea salt and fresh pepper. Add jalapeño a teaspoon at a time until you are happy with the heat (1 teaspoon is mild, 2 medium, anything more will be heading toward hot!) Stir and set aside. Note: unlike other salsas, peach salsa is best used fairly quickly. I usually make it right before serving, at the very most make it one day ahead or the peaches get soggy.

Salad Dressing Prep:

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk

Salad Prep:

Place greens and chicken on a platter, use fingers to drop small amounts of goat cheese over salad. Toss with desired amount of dressing.

Grilling naan:

If grilling on a BBQ preheat clean grill to 400 degrees. When grill is hot, place naan on grill and cook until grill marks are established, turn bread over and cook until grill marks form on second side. Remove from grill

If grilling in a grill pan on the cooktop, heat pan on high heat, add naan and cook until grill marks are established, turn bread over and cook until grill marks form on second side. Remove from grill.

Plate:

Scoop generous portions of salad into naan, top with peach salsa, fold and eat!

Courses Dinner

 

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Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

I have become a bit of a baker. It didn’t used to be my thing, but it is slowly becoming exactly that, my thing! I was always more of a cook than a baker, making meals without a recipe, tossing in whatever I felt like and experimenting. With baking though, you need to be precise, measurements matter, and quite frankly that was annoying to me. But then I discovered that when it comes to baking, as long as you get the base right you can still play with flavors. And that is exactly what I did with these Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Orange Zest Glaze!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes  The Cake Batter:

These sweet little cupcakes are made with the same batter as my Blueberry Lime Cake, but I cut the recipe in half and subbed the lime for orange zest. That little experiment turned out 12 of the most lovely cupcakes I have ever eaten. Quite dreamy if I do say so myself!

Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

How to Zest an Orange:

Use  a microplane to zest citrus, scraping just until the white is exposed and then move onto a new area. There is nothing like the aroma of freshly grated citrus and it adds so much flavor to baked goods!

The Glaze: To quote The Beetles, let it be, let it be…

The glaze for these charming little cakes is as simple as whisking together powdered sugar, orange juice and zest and spooning onto slightly warm cupcakes. Then you just let it melt and go where it goes. You don’t have to make it perfect, in fact I think the imperfections make them perfect! There I go with the free form cooking again. But that’s my advice. Let it be people, let it be.

Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

The Recipe: Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

Tips and what you will need: this recipe makes 12 cupcakes, if you need more of course you can double up. Fresh blueberries are preferred but in a pinch you can use frozen (thaw first!) You will need a cupcake tin, cupcake liners, and a microplane for the orange zest. As always I prefer vanilla paste over extract.

2 votes

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Orange Blueberry Buttermilk Cupcakes

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Yield 12 cupcakes

Beautiful orange blueberry cupcakes with orange zest glaze! I make this recipe with fresh blueberries. When in a pinch you can use frozen, just thaw them first. These cupcakes taste great the day you make them but are also wonderful a day or two later!

Ingredients

The Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup soft butter (1stick) room temp 
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
  • zest of half of one large orange (you will use the other half for icing)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 2/3 cup cultured buttermilk (room temp)
  • 3/4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, dried and stems removed (plus a few more for the top of cupcakes)

    The Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of half a large orange
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice (give or take)

Instructions

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350, place oven rack in center position, place cupcake liners into cupcake pan and spray with organic cooking spray. Set aside

Cake Prep:

Place flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside

Use a microplane to zest orange, scraping the skin of the orange until the white is exposed and then moving to a new area

Use a mixer to beat together butter, sugar, coconut oil and orange zest until smooth

Add vanilla paste or extract, eggs (one at a time) mixing until incorporated

Add buttermilk and flour alternately and mix until smooth

Gently stir in blueberries by hand

Spoon into cupcake liners (3/4 full), tap pan on counter to take out any bubbles

If desired, place 2-3 blueberries on top of batter and press them in a little. This way you will have berries showing on the top of each cupcake

Bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so, you'll spoon the glaze on while still warm

Glaze prep:

Whisk together powdered sugar, zest and juice

Glaze should be pretty thick, you'll be spooning it onto warm cupcakes so it will melt a bit and become spreadable. But if needed, add a few more drops of orange juice to thin out.

By the spoonful, spoon glaze onto cupcakes. Use the back of the spoon to spread the icing towards (but not quite to) the edges. Then let the warmth of the cupcake do the rest! Serve when cool. Enjoy.

Courses Dessert

 

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Penne with Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas and Tomatoes (gluten free option)

Pasta, not gonna lie, I love it! Especially when it’s tossed with loads of fresh vegetables and flavorful herbs and spices. And pasta doesn’t get any prettier than this Penne with Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas and Tomatoes from Sun Basket!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

Penne with Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas and Tomatoes (gluten free option)

Me and Sun Basket….we got a thing going on….

If you aren’t familiar, Sun basket is a meal delivery service that brings fresh, organic ingredients right to your porch and this is why I love it:

  1. Sun Basket saves time~ no going to the store or deciding what to make. Just go online, pick your meals, and everything you need is dropped off at your door!
  2. It saves money~ Less trips to the store means spending less money. Fact! 
  3. Sun Basket teaches you how to cook healthy meals~Each box comes complete with recipe cards, instructions and photos of the finished recipe.
  4. Sun Basket broadens your food horizons~ We all get stuck in a food rut using the same recipes, ingredients, herbs and spices over and over. Sun Basket meals are designed by a talented chef and they offer a different menu every week. No more food boredom! But if you love a meal you can always make it again because you have the recipe card.
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Penne with Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas and Tomatoes (gluten free option)

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About This Dish:

Al dente Penne pasta tossed with protein packed Moroccan spiced chickpeas, fresh arugula, tomatoes, feta cheese, and Marcona almonds: easy, simple clean eating! And the flavors in this pasta are amazing thanks to traditional Moroccan spices. One of the things I love most about Sun Basket is being introduced to spices and flavor combinations I wouldn’t ordinarily be familiar with. For example in this recipe we use Ras el hanout,  a legendary Moroccan spice blend; meaning “top of the shop,” it traditionally contains a spice merchant’s best goods. Here it subtly perfumes this nourishing summery pasta dish. And the Marcona almonds lend a hint of rosemary and sea salt. perfection!

The Recipe: Penne with Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas and Tomatoes (gluten free option)

Tips and what you will need: This recipe makes two generous portions. Of course you can double (or triple) the recipe if you are cooking for more. To save time, prepare veggies and herbs while pasta water heats. You will need the Moroccan Spice blend Ras el hanout. If it’s not in the spice aisle of your grocery store you can have it delivered to your door. Marcona almonds are drizzled in olive oil, sea salt and rosemary and can be found at most grocery stores, but again they can be delivered to your door. Gluten free friends, sub with your favorite GF pasta.

6 votes

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Penne with Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2

Al dente Penne pasta tossed with protein packed Moroccan spiced chickpeas, fresh arugula and tomatoes, feta cheese, and Marcona almonds: easy, simple clean eating!  Ras el hanout is a legendary Moroccan spice blend; meaning “top of the shop,” it traditionally contains a spice merchant’s best stuff. Here it subtly perfumes this nourishing summery pasta dish. 

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces penne pasta (about 2 cups) gluten free friends use your favorite brand of pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 5 ounces chickpeas (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 1 to 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 5 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces Marcona almonds
  • 1/2  teaspoon ras el hanout (a Moraccan spice blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 ounces baby arugula (2 large handfuls)
  • 2 ounces feta (1/3 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt

Instructions

Cook the pasta:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook until just tender but al dente (usually instructions on package are right on) Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water. Transfer the penne to a bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and toss to coat.

While water heats and the penne cooks, prepare the vegetables.

  • Rinse the chickpeas
  • Peel and thinly slice the shallot
  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half
  • Coarsely chop the dill
  • Coarsely chop the almonds

Cook the chickpeas and shallots, finish the pasta:

In a pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chickpeas and shallot. Season with salt and cook, stirring a few times, until the chickpeas are toasted and the shallots are slightly caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the ras el hanout and garlic powder, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the penne and reserved pasta water. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, dill, arugula, feta, and sherry vinegar. Cook until the arugula is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve:

Transfer the penne to individual bowls. Dollop with the yogurt, garnish with the almonds, and serve.

Courses Main Course

Cuisine Moroccan

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Kale Chicken Caesar Salad (with a Gluten Free Option!)

I am in love with this Kale Chicken Caesar Salad. It’s a complete meal, takes less than 20 minutes to make and it’s healthy: fresh organic greens, high quality protein, and plenty of healthy fats!
(This post is sponsored by Chosen Foods!)

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad (with a Gluten Free Option!)

Why All The Healthy Fats?

The dressing on this Caesar Salad is made with coconut oil mayo from Chosen Foods! Coconut oil is rich in MCTs: medium chain triglycerides… otherwise known as healthy fats! Coconut oil + cage-free organic eggs = rich and creamy mayonnaise. It tastes just like the mayo you grew up with, only healthier! Perfect for sandwiches, pasta salads, creamy salad dressings, and more.

    • Non GMO
    • Gluten-free
    • Made with cage-free, organic eggs
    • No coconut flavor
    • Clean ingredients, crazy good taste!

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad (Egg and Gluten Free Option!)

Get a Bottle of Mayo Free!

Chosen Foods Mayo is available at Kroger locations as well as online at Chosen Foods, and you can BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE right now using the discount code: COCONUTBOGO (case sensitive)

The Dressing:

You can make your own Caesar Salad Dressing very easily, and all you need to do it is a bowl, a whisk and five minutes! It’s so simple to do and tastes so much better than store bought that there really is no reason to buy a bottle.

Kale Chicken Caesar Option (Egg and Gluten Free Option!)

The Salad:

The greens in this salad are a combination of kale and romaine tossed with avocado, leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken, and your choice of croutons or Parmesan crisps…or both if you like things extra crunchy.

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad (Egg and Gluten Free Option!)

The Crisps:

Parmesan crisps are easy to make, but many stores carry them and often offer seasoned versions like the one pictured below.  If you would like to make them yourself it’s as simple as freshly grating parmesan cheese and baking on a silicon mat at high temp. You can also make them seasoned by sprinkling with pepper, sesame seeds and garlic powder. Complete instructions in recipe below.

Kale Chicken Caesar Salad (Egg and Gluten Free Option!)

The Recipe: Kale Chicken Caesar Salad

Tips and what you’ll need: if making your own Parmesan crisps you will need a baking sheet and a silicon baking mat. Gluten free friends, skip the croutons or use your favorite GF brand. The Parmesan crisps are naturally gluten free. I use leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken for this recipe.

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Kale Chicken Caesar Salad (with a gluten free option!)

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Yield 4

A delicious complete meal Chicken Caesar salad with avocado, croutons and Parmesan crisps. 

Ingredients

If making Paremesan crisps yourself, please make ahead of time. You can use rotisserie chicken in this recipe or leftover roasted chicken.

Parmesan Crisps:

2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

pepper, sesame seeds, garlic powder are all optional

The Caesar Dressing:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or grated on microplane
  • ⅔ cup mayo 
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more to grate on top of salad
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 generous pinch sea salt, a few turns of freshly ground black pepper

    The Salad:

  • half a head of kale (about 4 cups), ribs removed and chopped
  • half a head romaine (about 3-4 cups), chopped
  • 1-2 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
  • croutons (optional)
  • parmesan cheese crisps (store bought or make your own)
  • sliced rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken

Instructions

If making your own Parmesan crisps:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in upper third of oven. Place a silicon baking mat on a cookie sheet.

Form 6-8 rows of parmesan (about 3" long, 1 inch wide) on a silicon baking mat and press cheese down a little. If using seasonings, sprinkle each row lightly with seasoning. Place in oven for five minutes or until crisps are golden. Allow to cool and become crispy.

Dressing:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside

The Salad:

Wash, dry and chop lettuce. Wash and dry kale, remove center 'ribs' from leaves and chop. Place prepared lettuce and kale onto a platter.

Add diced avocado and croutons if using. Toss with desired amount of dressing. If you have any leftover place in the fridge for up to a week.

Plate salad, add sliced chicken and parmesan crisps. Sprinkle with a little more black pepper and parm if desired and serve.

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy.