Hanger Steak w/ Orange-Oregano Chimichurri

How is it already the middle of November?  I can’t handle it!  Totally over the darkness I now have to drive home with.  BOO!

In an effort to brighten up your week, I wanted to share this Chimichurri recipe with you.  It’s a citrusy, delicious way to top off your steak, chicken, or really anything!  We tried this recipe back when we did our first round of the Bon Appetit Cleanse and both Dave and I just loved it.  The sauce is easy to make too, give it a try soon 🙂

Also, I can’t type “Hanger” steak without thinking of being “Hangry”… hmmm…


Hanger Steak w/ Orange-Oregano Chimichurri
(4) Servings
Recipe from:  Bon Appetit


1½ lb. hanger steak, center membrane removed, cut into 4 pieces
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
2 tsp. vinegar (red wine, cider, or white wine)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tsp. olive oil, divided


  1. Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Combine garlic, oregano, and orange zest in a medium bowl; using the back of a spoon, crush with ¾ tsp. salt until fragrant. Mix in parsley, orange juice, and vinegar. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified; season chimichurri with salt and pepper.
  2. Season steaks all over with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add steaks and cook, turning once, until browned and medium-rare, 4–6 minutes per side. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing against the grain. Serve steaks with chimichurri.

So good!  Enjoy!  I served this steak with Sweet Potato wedges and a spinach salad.

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Roasted Pineapple with Honey & Cashews

It has been so ridiculously cold this winter, I cannot stand it!  It’s Wednesday night and all anyone can talk about is the upcoming snow storm we’re expecting.  It’s supposed to last all night and into tomorrow, ending in the evening on Thursday.  I’m just over it!  It’s all over the news, twitter and facebook… shut up people!  Let’s talk about how the Phillies started Spring Training today!!

Snoop can show you exactly how I feel!

Snoop can show you exactly how I feel!

All I keep thinking about is how badly I wish I had another pineapple to make this dessert again.  But I don’t have one… and it’s already snowing.  BOO!

Stelly loves the snow!  The doggies are so excited.

Stelly loves the snow! The doggies are so excited.

Roasted Pineapple with Honey & Cashews


1/2 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Orange Juice (I used Trader Joe’s fresh Tangerine Juice)

3 Tablespoons Honey

1 ripe Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

1/4 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt

1/3 cup Raw Cashews, coarsely chopped

2 Tablespoons torn Fresh Mint Leaves


1.  Preheat oven to 450.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.*  Stir the brown sugar, OJ, and honey in a large bowl until sugar dissolves.  Add pineapple and carefully toss to coat in the mixture.  Let marinate, tossing occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Place pineapple on the prepared sheet and reserve the marinade.

2.  Roast the pineapple for 15 minutes.  Turn, brush with marinade, and roast until tender and caramelized (10-15 minutes longer)  Drizzle remaining marinade over the pineapple and let cool slightly.

3.  Divide pinapple among bowls (Dave and I ate the entire thing ourselves!!).  Spoon greek yogurt alongside.  Garnish with cashews and mint.  

Slighty adapted from:  Bon Appetit

*Make sure to line the entire pan!  The marinade is very liquidy and mine leaked all over the pan- it was a tough one to scrub off when I was finished.

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What’s so funny about this recipe is that I originally posted the Bon Appetit version on my facebook so I would remember to try it!  Dave’s Mom thought it was mine and re-posted on her own wall showing me off!  I was happy to have all the love but that was enough inspiration for me to make it myself.  It’s probably the best dessert I’ve ever had.  After the Banana Cream Pie at Chef Vola’s.  

The original recipe uses pistachios, but Dave loves cashews and I had ’em so i used those instead.  Also, you can swap out the greek yogurt for some creme fraiche if you’re feeling fancy.  Whatever you do- don’t skimp out on the fresh mint.  Seriously.  It’s like a dollar at the grocery store and you can use the rest in tea and in recipes like this (I made it last week and holy moly it’s amazing).  While every single part of this dessert has its own perks… the mint… oh my gosh…. the mint.  It just makes this dish.  I don’t know why but it just does and it’s SO GOOD.

Anyway, this is a super easy dessert that will seriously impress people, so give it a try.  I can’t wait to make it again!

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch : BA Cleanse 2014

The POMEGRANATE holds a dear place in my heart.  In Judiasm, this seedy red fruit symbolizes fruitfulness and fertility.  It is a symbol and a fruit that was very prominent in our trip to Israel.  We came across many vendors selling cupfuls of fresh pom juice and enjoyed it throughout the trip.  I even purchased a small piece of art that’s shaped like a pomegranate!

The pom juice in Israel was amazing!  It was only like $3 too... could you imagine getting a 16oz of fresh pom juice here for $3?!

The pom juice in Israel was amazing! It was only like $3 too… could you imagine getting a 16oz of fresh pom juice here for $3?!

When we arrived home from Israel, I was determined to find one of these contraptions we saw in Israel that allowed the vendors to make the pom juice so quick.  I didn’t have such luck and could only find industrial juicers that were way too expensive.  About a year later, our friend Donny remembered my quest and bought us one as our housewarming gift.  It’s awesome!  We use it to juice both poms and oranges… very cool!

Regan and I enjoying fresh juice in Tel Aviv in Israel

Regan and I enjoying fresh juice in Tel Aviv in Israel

Anyway, the pomegranate shows up in a few recipes during the Bon Appetit Cleanse, which I just love.  This breakfast recipe is something I had never tried before and it was a huge success.  I’ve made the multigrain hot cereal before with bananas, but the pomegranates offer that crunch and a bit of sour flavor to make it interesting.

Multigrain Hot Cereal w/ Pomegranate & Crunch


1/4 cup Multigrain Cereal (I use Trader Joe’s, it’s like $2 in the store)
2 Tablespoons Pomegranate Seeds
1 Tablespoon Spiced Pepita and Cashew Crunch
2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk


Prepare multigrain cereal according to package directions (boil in a pot with water, stirring occasionally). Top with pomegranate seeds and Spiced Pepita and Cashew Crunch; drizzle with nut or soy milk.

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

I was super psyched to share a new brekfast recipe with you.  I normally have plain Kashi cereal, greek yogurt, or some egg whites for breakfast… not really anything to write home about!  That’s what is so great about the cleanse… it forced me to try new recipes for EVERY meal, not just dinner!

The Pepita Crunch in this recipe I absolutely love.  I have used it on so many recipes so far.  I even wrote about it on the blog already!  Make sure you have this made in advance so breakfast is easy in the morning.

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts.  This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD!  Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts. This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD! Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast?  Try these!

Smoked Salmon Hash w/ Egg & Fried Basil

Smoked Salmon Hash w/ Egg & Fried Basil

Biggest Loser Pancakes... amazing!

Biggest Loser Pancakes… amazing!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Hot Cereal

Peanut Butter & Jelly Hot Cereal



Spiced Pumpkin Seed & Cashew Crunch : BA Cleanse 2014

The Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse is all about cooking healthy, whole foods, and trying new recipes to keep you excited about cooking.  For Dave and I, this has been the “reset” button we needed to hit after eating not so well during the holidays and to gear up for a year of lookin’ good for our wedding!

Before the first day of the cleanse, we had to make a few recipes that we used throughout the days to have on hand like salad dressing, herby tahini sauce, and this amazing Seed&Nut Crunch.  It was a lot of work the first day, but I loved having my own homemade ingredients throughout the week.

Bon Appetit's Crunch... wow!

Bon Appetit’s Crunch… wow!

This crunch has become my new guilty pleasure.  I guess if it’s part of the cleanse, I don’t even have to be that guilty!

The crunch is delightfully spiced with just a hint of sweetness and adds some really nice texture to so many of the recipes.  We even had to make a second batch because we liked it so much!

I really wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s so versatile.  We put the crunch on salads, on hot cereals, yogurt, and even on some of our side dishes.  The spices can be modified to fit your personal tastes too.  I think this is one recipe we’ll totally be taking with us as we finish the cleanse and continue on with our healthy living.  Love it!

Spiced Pumpkin Seed & Cashew Crunch


Nonstick Spray
1 Large Egg White
1 teaspoon Light Agave Nectar 
½ teaspoon Garam Masala 
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅛ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup Raw Cashews, coarsely chopped
¼ cup shelled Raw Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup shelled Raw Sunflower Seeds 


Preheat oven to 300°.

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk egg white, agave, garam masala, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add nuts and seeds and toss to coat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to baking sheet, letting excess egg drip back into bowl. Bake, tossing once, until mixture is golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.

Recipe adapted from:  Bon Appetit

The crunch was the perfect texture to top this salad of roasted carrots and beets

The crunch was the perfect texture to top this salad of roasted carrots and beets

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts.  This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD!  Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts. This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD! Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!


I totally recommend making double this batch right from the start.  If you’re going to even think about snacking on this… just do it.  It’s so good.

Keep an eye on the crunch while it’s baking, my oven tends to burn nuts and seeds when I try to “toast” them, so I like to have the light on and check every couple minutes or so.  The mixture might be a little soft when you take it out, so wait until it cools completely to try it for the best taste.

Check out these other recipes from the #BACleanse…

White Bean Salad w/ Parsley & Pom

White Bean Salad w/ Parsley & Pom

Also, follow me on Instagram (@GoodtobetheCook) to see other pics from our cleanse experience!  Many more recipes to come.

White Bean & Pomegranate Salad : BA Cleanse 2014

Anyone following on Instagram knows about “the cleanse”. (and if you aren’t … go follow now!)

At the time of the last post I wrote, Dave and I were starting a little new year challenge to follow Bon Appetit’s “Food Lover’s Cleanse“.  Now that we’re almost done, I will have some time to tell you all about it!  I cannot wait to share some of the new recipes I’ve learned with you.  It’s been a week and a half full of prepping and cooking but it was worth it.  Both of us have really enjoyed the cleanse, and after the first two days and the re-discovery of clementines, we really never felt hungry.

The first cleanse recipe I want to tell you about is for an amazing side that was made by DAVE!  He has been such a big help during the cleanse since it involves so many recipes and a ton of time in the kitchen.  I had to share this side dish with you, I was SO impressed!

This bean salad is very easy to make- it’s light and fresh with the parsley and crunch of the pomegranate arils but hearty and full of fiber!

I never get a chance to make interesting sides, so this one has to get some special recognition!

White Bean & Pomegranate Salad


1 (15oz) can Cannellini Beans, rinsed

1/3 cup Pomegranate Seeds*

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 cup Scallions (thinly sliced whites and pale green parts only.  Cut on a diagonal)

2 Tablespoons fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper


Toss beans, pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, oil, scallions, parsley, and ½ tsp. salt together in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. (Doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?!)

*Here’s some help on how to de-seed your pom!

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

This side would be great with really anything, but we ate it on our cleanse along with some pan-roasted chicken topped with a Red Pepper-Walnut Relish- the recipes for those are found below!  I was super psyched about the chicken- the recipe called for some pan frying on the stove and for the chicken to be finished off in the oven… this meant I was able to use one of our new pans!  YAY!


Red Pepper Walnut Relish:  Recipe Here

Pan-Roasted Chicken:  Recipe Here

Pipette w/ Bacon & Peas

​​What’s funny about this recipe is that the inspiration came from a Bon Appetit article called “12 Ways to Cook w/ Ricotta“.  I bookmarked this pasta dish along with the hundreds of other recipes I save.  The other day, it caught my eye and I decided to make this for dinner but whoops… I had no Ricotta!  I improvised and ended up with a really yummy pasta without the starring ingredient.
The original recipe also used a really pretty pasta shape called Campanelle which I didn’t have.  I chose to use my Pipette since it was also cute and different from your typical Penne, Elbows, or Shells!  (I’ve always had a huge crush on pasta shapes… it’s strange)
Photo Cred: finecooking.com

Campanelle, Photo Cred: finecooking.com


Photo cred: thekitchn.com

Pipette, Photo cred: thekitchn.com

Pipette w/ Bacon & Peas


1/2 box Pipette Pasta

4-6 Pieces of Center Cut Bacon, chopped

1/4 Onion, sliced

3/4 cup Frozen Peas

1 Tablespoon Cream Cheese 

2 Tablespoons Fat Free Sour Cream

1 Tablespoon Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Fresh Black Pepper, Parsley Leaves


1.  Cook pasta in salted water to al dente according to the directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the chopped bacon, stirring occasionally until it starts to crisp up.  Add the sliced onion and cook, still stirring until the onions are softening up a bit.  Add the frozen peas and continue to cook making sure you don’t burn the bacon.  

3.  Melt the cream cheese, sour cream, greek yogurt, and most of the parmesan cheese over the drained and hot pasta.  Stir to combine.  

4.  Once the peas are heated through and the bacon is cooked crisp to your liking, pour the mixture over the sauced-up pasta.  Sprinkle with black pepper and parsley.  Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by:  12 Ways to Cook w/ Ricotta

If you cut the bacon into this size, it will shrink up nicely but still maintain a large enough piece to really notice it in your dish!

If you cut the bacon into this size, it will shrink up nicely but still maintain a large enough piece to really notice it in your dish!

This is the point where the mixture is just done... the bacon is crisp and the onions are just starting to brown

This is the point where the mixture is just done… the bacon is crisp and the onions are just starting to brown

So pretty!

So pretty!

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Woo-Wee!  This recipe is so yummy!  I have to appreciate the rare occasion where I am allowed to eat bacon for dinner.  Both Dave and I devoured our portions and I had to be careful we didn’t over eat since this wasn’t the healthiest meal!  While I assume making this dish with ricotta cheese would be delicious, I didn’t miss it at all.  The rich bacon grease drippings mixed with the creaminess of the pasta sauce was more than enough flavor to make this recipe spectacular.  It might sound strange, but try it!  It just works.

Oh, and i left the salt out on purpose, you totally don’t need it when there’s bacon involved!!

Check out some of my other BACON recipes!

Breakfast Baked Potato

Breakfast Baked Potato

One-Pan Hashbrown Breakfast

One-Pan Hashbrown Breakfast

Corn & Potato Chowder

Corn & Potato Chowder

“New” Chicken Parmesan

I was looking for an easy but delicious recipe that would be good to make for four instead of my typical two.  I had friends over for dinner… friends who love food like I do… so something boring or ordering pizza was not gonna happen.

After about an hour of searching through my saved recipes on the internet, I remembered a really super simple recipe I saw in a Bon Appetit recently that I thought would be perfect:  “New” Chicken Parm.  I recalled that the chicken was not fried and then cooked in sauce, resulting in a healthier chicken parm… AND a potentially sauce-free dish for one of my guests who doesn’t like sauce (he’s crazy, right?).

Those two points sold me, and have the potential to give this dish a permanent spot in my repertoire.  I love finding classic comfort food recipes with new twists and tricks to make them healthier.

New Chicken Parm

Modified from:  Bon Appetit


1.5 lbs of Thin-Sliced Chicken Breast (8 breasts)

1/4 cup EVOO 

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Mix

1 12-oz container of Grape Tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 cup +1/4 cup (divided) Parmesan Cheese, grated (I used Reduced Fat) 

1 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs

1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (again, I used Reduced Fat)

1 jar Prepared Tomato Sauce

Fresh Basil, chopped or torn


1.  Preheat the oven to 500.  Whisk the oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning mix into a large bowl.  Dump the tomatoes into the bowl and stir to coat the tomatoes with the oil mixture.  Remove the tomatoes reserving the oil mixture, spreading the tomatoes out onto a foil-covered baking sheet and put in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring about halfway through.  Remove them once they are starting to brown.

2.  Prepare a large baking dish with cooking spray.  Combine 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs onto a plate.  Place a chicken breast into the garlic-oil bowl and mix around.  Let drip off and then dredge into the bread crumb-parm mixture.  Coat completely, then carefully place in the baking dish.  Do this for every piece of chicken breast.  Your tomatoes should be done by now too- remove them and place aside.

3.  Cook chicken for about 8-12 minutes, then remove the baking dish to sprinkle on the crushed red pepper, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and 1 cup Mozzarella.  (I kept my cheese on the lighter side).  Place back in the oven and cook until the chicken is done (firm to touch), about 2-3 more minutes depending on thickness.  If the cheese is starting to cook too fast, place aluminum foil on top.

4.  Remove the chicken and plate with a side of tomato sauce, the roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil.

Besides the fact that this chicken turned out to be sooo delicious, there are a few things I really liked about it:

1.  Chicken is dredged in flavored olive oil (and not a lot of it) instead of egg.  The bread crumbs still stuck on really nicely.  It made the chicken light and crispy.  

2.  The chicken is not fried like in most Chicken Parmesan recipes.  

3.  Tomato Sauce is not added on in the baking process, preventing the chicken from getting soggy.  

4.  Roasted tomatoes.  Nom nom nom.

I served the “new” Chicken Parm with a side of whole wheat Spaghetti, sauteed Green Beans, and a sliced baguette with spiced olive oil & Whipped Ricotta.  The four of us had one seriously tasty feast!

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Chicken has baked once and is now cheesed- ready to go back in for a nice melt.

Chicken has baked once and is now cheesed- ready to go back in for a nice melt.

Here's that amazing Whipped Feta with a few roasted tomatoes ontop... click for the recipe!

Here’s that amazing Whipped Feta with a few roasted tomatoes ontop… click for the recipe!

I told you it was a feast :)

I told you it was a feast 🙂

Closeup of one delicious meal.

Closeup of one delicious meal.

Even Stella was tired after such a meal!  :)

Even Stella was tired after such a meal! 🙂

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