Author Archives: Laura Youngquist

Butter & Parmesan Baked Scallops is a quick and easy meal that will leave you and your family or guests, speechless!  The large sea scallops are baked to a lovely opaque color in yummy pool of lemon and butter.  No fuss, no searing, and little clean up! The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Ever so lightly spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.  If you are doubling the recipe or using very large scallops, use a 9×13 baking dish instead. Make sure the scallops are completely thawed.  I like to put mine in a strainer for a few minutes to really pull any liquid out.  I then pat them dry with a paper towel and place them in an even layer in the baking dish.  You want to leave a little room in between each scallop so it cooks evenly. … Continue reading

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Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Pasta with Shrimp is an Italian inspired seafood pasta recipe.  It’s decadent, easy, and you’ll love it!  I’m always looking for an excuse to use sun dried tomatoes.  I love the sweet yet tart flavor and the chewy texture.  They add some incredible flavor to any dish, especially when you use some of the oil from the jar to sauté other items vs traditional olive oil.  It’s a great combination of tender shrimp, creamy sauce, and sun-dried tomatoes in every bite. The recipe can be found here. Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil.  Cook the noodles according to package instructions.  I like to use fettuccini noodles, but any noodle shape will work just fine.  Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water before draining.  Then drain the noodles and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  I suggest using the … Continue reading

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Beyond Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers are a bright and colorful dish complete with roasted peppers, rice, veggies, and a plant-based protein.  Stuffed peppers are traditionally made with ground beef but a few simple substitutes and voila, you have yourself a vegan meal.  You can use any color bell pepper (use a variety of colors for a nice plating presentation) or even substitute the Beyond Beef with another plant-based protein product.  Anything goes while you are creating this meal because these peppers are a meal in itself! The recipe can be found here. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F.  Set aside an 8×8 baking dish (if using 4 bell peppers) or a 9×13 baking dish (if using 6 bell peppers). Use a knife to remove the tops of the bell peppers.  Don’t remove too much of the top because you want to fill as much of the pepper … Continue reading

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We recently tried Beyond Meat Plant-Based Ground Beyond Beef in Sloppy Joe format and let me tell you, it was delicious!  I think Sloppy Joe’s transport you back to your childhood where you ate dinner around the family table.  It was a classic meal and a staple in a lot of homes growing up.  However, tastes have changed for some people and others follow a plant-based diet, so a traditional Sloppy Joe just won’t cut it anymore.  That’s where Beyond Meat comes in! Beyond Beef BBQ Sloppy Joe’s are the perfect meal for anyone following a vegan diet or for someone who wants to give it a try.  It’s a plant-based recipe the whole family can enjoy!  The Beyond Beef BBQ Sloppy Joe’s are just as meaty as the traditional version and can be dressed up a bit with onions or peppers. The recipe can be found here. Start by … Continue reading

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St Patrick’s Day is fun day to celebrate, whether you are Irish or not.  You can typically find a parade or two around town, Irish themed food and drinks at your favorite restaurant or bar, and plenty of people wearing green!  It’s a festive day to celebrate and will unfortunately look a lot different this year due to COVID.  BUT…that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate at home! We are going to celebrate by having breakfast for dinner.  You don’t tend to hear of too many Irish breakfast foods but we’re going to make it work!  The food doesn’t have to be Irish necessarily but can be themed to fit the event.  In this case, we’re going to make Shamrock Cinnamon Rolls and Shamrock Fried Eggs.  So instead of being traditional Irish food, we are shaping the food and adding some green elements to fit with the typical colors of … Continue reading

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Every so often I like to make a vegan dish for a few reasons.  First, the food is actually delicious (don’t knock it ‘til you try it) and second, I have friends and family members who are vegan (or follow a similar diet), so I like to have a few recipes in my back pocket in case I’m ever entertaining them.  I’d rather be accommodating so they know they can comfortably eat at my house than have them eat before coming over.  And truly, the food is quite good, in addition to being good for you! Bruschetta Pasta is one of my to-go dishes.  It is a vegan dish, but you could easily add parmesan cheese or a little shredded mozzarella if you aren’t following a special diet or don’t have dietary restrictions.  I like this pasta because it’s very light and refreshing.  Think of traditional bruschetta, but instead of … Continue reading

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French Onion Soup is one of my favorite soups, so I thought, why not try to make a slight variation and create a tasty weeknight meal.  The end result is French Onion Chicken Skillet.  It’s made with caramelized onions, juice chicken, yummy broth, and deliciously melted cheese.  It’s a great meal option and leaves you with some tasty leftovers. The recipe can be found here. Start by heating oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and thyme, and season with salt and pepper.  You can adjust the seasonings to your taste later on in the recipe.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to caramelize.  This should take about 15-20 minutes.  There is nothing better than the aroma of onions caramelizing and knowing you will get to enjoy every last morsel! Add the garlic to the skillet and stir to combine (another amazing smell!).  Cook for … Continue reading

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Looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal that is also flavorful and delicious?  Look no further!  Meatless Monday has a new fan favorite…. Lentils & Vegetables in Peanut Sauce.  This is a vegan / vegetarian meal that’s packed with fresh vegetables and protein.  I chose some of my favorite veggies to use in this dish, but you can add any veggies you like.  You can add mushrooms, squash, snap peas, you name it! The peanut sauce is what really brings it all together.  It’s bursting with flavor and is rich and creamy.  I think it tasted great when coated on the veggies or when mixes with some white rice.  So good!  And this dish comes together in about 20 minutes. The recipe can be found here. Start by adding the peanut butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce (or tamari), lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, sriracha, cayenne, salt, sugar, sesame oil, … Continue reading

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Monte Cristo Sandwiches are my new go to sandwich!  They are served warm, so the cheese is perfectly melted, the bread is toasted, and the meat just seems to be extra tender and juicy.  It’s not quite a panini, because you aren’t pressing the sandwich or grilling it, but instead you are baking it.  I like to use French Toast as the bread as well.  It adds a little extra something to each bite! The recipe can be found here. Start by cooking the bacon according to package instructions.  Set aside. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Make the French Toast.  In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cinnamon.  A pie plate or small baking dish works really well for this. Preheat a griddle to medium heat (or use a skillet).  Melt a small amount of butter on … Continue reading

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Have you ever tasted gnocchi so good that it melts in your mouth?  Light, pillowy morsels that are tender and airy make the best gnocchi.  We recently had this experience at a restaurant near our house and wanted to recreate the meal.  Ultimately, our goal was to recreate the perfect Homemade Gnocchi, which is in fact what we accomplished. For those of you that aren’t familiar with gnocchi, it’s more of a dumpling than pasta.  Gnocchi is made from potatoes that have been riced and mixed with flour and eggs.  They also have these little ridges (or cavities) that are very helpful at holding sauce.  Once mixed with a homemade or store-bought sauce, you’ll have a gourmet meal! The first recipe I want to share with you is for Homemade Gnocchi.  The gnocchi really does melt in your mouth.  It’s very light and fluffy and pairs with the homemade sauces (I’ll share those recipes next) really well.  It’s less … Continue reading

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