Category Archives: Savory

Pull-Apart Buffalo Chicken Bread

Do you ever watch one of those recipe videos that make a super delicious dish look so easy? That’s where I got the inspiration for my next recipe.

I saw this video (or a shortened version of it) on Buffalo chicken bread and knew I had to have a go at making it. Buffalo chicken is one of the wonders of this blue marble we call Earth. Seriously. Add cheese and bread to the mix and I’m completely sold.

College students, however, cannot thrive off of these infamous delicious-yet-not-nutritional meals. So I made the recipe a tad bit healthier. Here’s what I did:

  • 2 cans pizza dough
  • 2 cups steamed and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup Buffalo sauce
  • 1/3 cup scallions
  • 1/3 cup chopped kale and spinach
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough from each can and cut into 15 squares. Set aside. In a bowl, mix the shredded chicken, buffalo sauce, scallions, kale and spinach, garlic powder, pepper, and half the cheese. Distribute equally onto each square. Once there is no more Buffalo chicken mix, sprinkle cheese on each pizza square. Melt butter in a microwave, and brush over each square. Put the pizza squares into a loaf pan, and add remaining cheese and butter right in the pan. Bake in oven for 40 minutes.

Because this recipe calls for 1 cup of Buffalo sauce, I decided to not add any salt. But, I knew without the addition of a few seasonings, this would still be a bland dish. That’s where the garlic powder and pepper come in handy.

However, my biggest change here is using spinach and kale. With all the cheese, including these leafy vegetables wasn’t obvious (taste-wise) at all. If anything, I’m pretty sure they added a little bit of texture and crispiness.

While it’s not totally guilt free, this dish allows you to indulge and get a good amount of vegetables too. I also really liked the concept of using pizza dough for a “pull apart bread” dish and would make it again with other ingredients. Cheers!


Easy Spinach Pie/Spanakopita

This was my first time ever making a spanakopita. I have seen my mom make them countless times, but it wasn’t until I made my own that I understand how frustrating they are to make. The end result though? Amazing. It’s a great way to get several servings of spinach without compromising taste.

I looked to this recipe for inspiration, but I found myself changing a few ingredients.

Here is what I did:

  • 2 pounds of thawed (or fresh) chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 sheets of 9 x 14 inch filo dough
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pan, put 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Chop the onions, and fry them alongside the garlic. After they are a little brown, put the spinach in the pan. Let this cook for about three to five minutes. Put the spinach mixture into a bowl and let it cool. In a separate bowl, add the feta, mozzarella, sour cream, and eggs. Add the parsley with the cheese mixture. Drain the spinach mixture, and mix it with the cheese mixture. Add some salt and pepper.  In a 7 x 11 inch greased pan, put one sheet of filo dough. Brush with olive oil, and repeat until there are four olive oil-brushed sheets of filo dough. Put the spinach filling inside. Fold any excess filo dough into the pan. Add one sheet of filo dough to the top of the pan, brush with olive oil, and repeat three more times. Put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

The reason this was so frustrating is because filo dough is so delicate. It dries a few minutes after being exposed to the air, but luckily a package of the stuff comes with many MANY sheets of dough. If it wasn’t for that, I would have messed up my spanakopita. Luckily, I didn’t.

The original recipe calls for ricotta cheese. I used mozzarella and sour cream instead. Ricotta sounds like a great addition, but I did not have any on hand. Even if I did, I love the addition of the mozzarella in the spinach pie. It makes for a creamy filling. The outside is nice and crisp, though! It’s what I love about spinach pie.

It’s best served hot, but don’t be afraid to refrigerate left overs. To reheat, put a slice on a baking tray and leave it on 350 degrees for three to five minutes. I also like to broil the slice for a minute after it’s been baked, as it really makes it crispier. Cheers!

Garlic-Mozzarella Puffs

One day, after experimenting with puff pastry, I had a desire to make something savory out of it. I had some cheese left and plenty of garlic, and thus, my garlic-mozzarella puffs were born.

I had no expectations going into this, but the end result was so delicious that I had to share this recipe. I looked up some sort of savory garlic croissant recipe for reference and I found this one. Here’s what I did:

  • 4 x 4 inches of puff pastry, or enough for 3 pieces of pastry
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the puff pastry into pairs of your favorite shapes. In a bowl, put the butter, garlic, and oregano and microwave for 20 seconds. On one cut portion of the puff pastry, put some mozzarella cheese and butter-garlic mix. Cover this portion with another piece, and roll it to desired shape. Cover with more butter-garlic and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until it reaches a golden brown color.

Before you taste this, your sense of smell will taste you. This recipe fills the house with a delicious buttery and garlic smell. Once ready, I suggest dipping it into some marinara sauce.

The mozzarella cheese makes the puff creamy! It’s a great lunch or dinner food, and certainly a great snack for guests. Impress them with this original idea or just indulge by yourself. Cheers!

Whole Wheat Soft Tacos

Tacos are a great dish to make if you want to get creative. Now that I am trying to be a little healthier, I thought “how can I make the regular tacos that I enjoy so much healthy?”

And the answer to that is… whole wheat tortillas!

I decided to make some chicken tacos, and for the first time ever I used a whole wheat tortilla. Using this recipe for inspiration, I created my own. Here is what I did:

  • 2 chicken tenderloins
  • 2 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons medium salsa
  • 2 tablespoons of Adobo (with cumin) seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1/4 cup of packaged shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Start by cutting the chicken up into three pieces per tenderloin. Cover the chicken with the Adobo seasoning and flour. Put the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook it until it is slightly browned. In a separate pan over high heat, warm the tortillas for about 30 seconds to a minute. Distribute half of the lettuce to each taco shell. Put one tablespoon of sour cream in each, followed by the cheddar, salsa, and chicken.

In all honesty… these have been the best tacos I have ever made. I think the seasoning played a huge part in its success. Adobo seasoning can be used for so many foods, and chicken is definitely one of them.

With the added benefit of whole wheat tortillas, this recipe is one of my favorites. Cheers!

Easy Whole Wheat Pie Crust

Pies are one of my favorite desserts. There are so many variations and recipes to experiment with! My past as a chubby child, though, has made me hyper-aware of how bad white flour can be for your waistline.

Every time I indulge in a dessert, actually, I usually think about how bad it is for me. Call me a worrywart, anxious, etc. but it’s how I live my life. For this very reason I decided to make a whole wheat pie crust.

It’s true that the sugar in any dessert is just as bad for you as the white flour. With a whole wheat crust though, you can feel less guilty! Or eat more dessert and have the same amount of guilt. Either way you win.

Following this recipe, here’s what I did:

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • cinnamon to taste (optional)

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Put all the dry ingredients in a 9-inch pie or cake pan. Mix in the oil (or butter) and then put the milk in. Take a fork and continue mixing it for a few minutes. With clean hands, push the crust into the edges of the pan. Put it in the oven for 15 minutes to harden. Fill with your favorite filling and voila!

I only used this pie crust for a pumpkin pie, so I’m not sure how well it fares for a savory pie like a quiche. If you do decide to use it for a savory dish, omit one teaspoon of sugar and definitely do not use the cinnamon.

This pie crust is also grainier than a store bought one, or one that would require more time. This is meant to be used in a hurry, though personally I loved the taste and will keep experimenting with this pie crust. It especially goes with pumpkin filling, and a pumpkin pie made from this recipe will also not get as soggy as a “normal” pie crust. For those reasons, I will keep on using this recipe. Cheers!

Sauteed Spinach with Feta Cheese

Spinach is a great way to meet your nutritional goals. It’s filled with vitamin K and fiber, as well as a whole bunch of other good stuff.

Personally, I love spinach because it reminds me of home. Spanakopita (which I swear I will make one day!) is a popular Greek dish that translates to as “spinach and feta pie” in English. That dish is my inspiration for my sauteed spinach with feta cheese. It’s almost a deconstructed spanakopita!

I followed this recipe and then made my own. Here’s what I did (for two servings):

  • 5 oz of frozen of fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 oz of feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lemon juice to taste (optional)

Put the olive oil in a pan and put it over medium heat. Add the spinach and water, as well as the onion and garlic powder. Let it cook for about five minutes. Add the feta cheese and let it cook for one more minute. Put it on a plate and the add the salt and pepper. The lemon juice is optional, some of my roommates did not like the taste of lemon juice when I made it for them. However, I think it adds that extra burst of acidity and flavor.

This dish really reminds of home. I want to make it for my mom one day, and see if she has any improvements.

Sauteed spinach with feta cheese is an easy way to get some nutrients and enjoy them as well. Cheers!

Shakshuka… With Cheese!

Eggs are a college student’s best friend. Seriously.

Last month, I bought 60 eggs for about four dollars at Walmart. I had to ask an employee if the huge carton was priced correctly, because I couldn’t believe it. Buying in bulk really came in handy.

You’ve seen me use many eggs in a recipe before. However, I have never been as excited to cook some eggs as I was with this recipe. I was craving a cheesy, tomato-y breakfast one day and immediately knew what I wanted: shaksuka with cheese.

I followed this recipe but here’s what I did differently:

  • 1/2 jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I use a chunky vegetable sauce)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan on medium heat. After it melts, put half the jar of the tomato sauce in with all of the seasonings except the parsley. After the tomato sauce is boiling, crack both of the eggs in the pan. Let them poach for around 5 minutes. Put the mozzarella cheese and the rest of the parsley and remove the pan from heat. Toast the slices of bread and then butter them and put them on a plate. With a spatula, place the poached eggs on the toast. Let it cool for a little and bite in.

I definitely overcooked this the first time I attempted my shakshuka. However, even overcooked it wasn’t that bad. A perfectly poached egg, though, should be your goal. When perfectly cooked, a poached egg is soft and a little bit runny. The taste is amazing.

The cheese really gives this dish a bit more appeal; after completing this recipe I now want to make this for breakfast every day. I see it in my future! Shakshuka with cheese every day. I can’t wait. Cheers!