Parsley Salad with Pecans & Dried Cranberries

Parsley Salad with Pecans & Dried Cranberries {Domesticated Academic}

This salad is light, refreshing and highly addictive! I’ve been working to integrate more whole grains in my diet. The best way for me is to make a big batch of something on the weekend so I can eat off of it during the week. I saw the idea for a parsley based salad from budget bytes and really liked the fresh herb as the green in it. Since fall is here in full swing, this is also great because it’s not quite so heavy. Fall often brings warm, comforting, gooey foods and I’m also trying to NOT eat those for every meal. This is perfect. I mixed chicken with it for lunches for a satisfying bite and spruced it up with more vinaigrette when it dried up a bit.

Parsley Salad with Pecans & Dried Cranberries {Domesticated Academic}

You can mix up your grains on this. From brown rice  to quinoa, to bulgar, it’s up to you. You could even make this out of orzo or any kind of fun pasta. Be mindful of the amount of vinaigrette you make, you might want more. My vinaigrette recipe is BASIC (not basic like the college girls are currently using) but basic in the sense that it’s a single batch with some nice flavors but not overly heavy. Spice it up, add more salt and pepper, whatever makes you happy. I like extra garlic and extra mustard, but that’s just my taste preference.

You’ll need:


  • 1 c. cooked brown rice that’s been cooled
  • 1 c. cooked quinoa that’s been cooled
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, clean & dry
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins), chopped roughly


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • salt + freshly cracked pepper to taste
  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together while the quinoa and brown rice are cooking and cooling so the flavors will marry. Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork or whisk until combined. Set aside.
  2. Rinse parsley and pat dry with paper towels or dry in a salad spinner. Finely chop the leaves and put in a bowl for mixing.
  3. Roughly chop the cranberries and pecans. Place in bowl with parsley.
  4. Top with the cooked and cooled quinoa and brown rice.
  5. Top with dressing and lightly toss.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers | Domesticated Academic

Comforting and filing without being too heavy leaving room for football food and plenty of pumpkin everything, these burgers are up to the challenge! Fall is here. And the stuffing of my face with yummy things is coming. Not all the things are bad things, but not all the things are exactly good things either. In a vain attempt to have good things to put in my mouth that don’t involve the words “homemade macaroni and cheese” I was rummaging through my freezer to make room for other things and came across a bag of frozen black beans. Hmmmmm…..brain…..thinks……

Black Bean Burgers | Domesticated Academic

Now before I get ahead of myself: the beans in the freezer–I have been trying to buy dry beans, soak them, use what I need and freeze the rest. It’s cheaper to do this and the beans freeze really well. I made a batch of turkey chili, using kidney beans I’d soaked and froze a bag for something fun later. I had the bag of black beans in the freezer since March and there was no freezer burn on them and they had not dried out or didn’t disintegrate when I defrosted them. A great way to maximize the dollars. I get a bag of beans for $1.25 or just one 16 oz. can for the same price for half of the product. No brainer. You can soak almost anything overnight with little effort if you’re worried about your time costing money.

Back to ma’burgers. I was craving them. The local watering hole makes one hell of a black bean burger and I wanted some. I make these and will sometimes throw in some tuna, feta, and black olives, but this time around, I wanted straight up burger. If you don’t have any greek seasoning (I make my own & store), you can check out your own recipe online to help you out. I’m not the boss of you. You know how to cook. I know it! If you like your burgers a little mushier, cut the bread crumbs by half. If you like a drier consistency, stick with the half cup.

You’ll need:

30 min. total

  • 2 cans (32 oz) black beans, drained
  • 1/2 medium onion (cut in chunks)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (cut into chunks)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. greek seasoning
  • olive oil
  1. Put the onion, green pepper, and garlic in the food processor (or chop them ultra fine if you don’t have a food processor) and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add in the bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, greek seasoning and the black beans.
  3. Pulse until combined and chunky, don’t pulverize the beans.
  4. Turn out the mixture and hand mix if necessary to make sure everything is mixed well. You want to see some of the beans!
  5. Shape into patties. This recipe will make 4-5 very good sized patties.
  6. In a skillet on medium heat, saute the patties in olive oil until brown on each side, 4-5 min. on each side.
  7. Serve or store for quick lunches. These also freeze nicely.

Balsamic green beans & cherry tomatoes w parm

Balsamic Green Beans With Tomatoes |Domesticated Academic

Warm weather means bountiful produce and I’m thinking ahead to fresh beans cooked with fresh cherry tomatoes and topped with some balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! Is your mouth watering too?

Balsamic Green Beans With Tomatoes |Domesticated Academic

I was lamenting that it was cold and yucky during a stretch of rainy weather and took to the grocery store to cheer me up. Not exactly a good coping technique, but thankfully, I made this healthy choice! Fresh green beans were looking good and a pint of festive cherry tomatoes also landed in my basket to be whisked away to an exotic location: my kitchen. Cook the beans to your desired tenderness, I prefer to keep them a bit firm, the same with the tomatoes-do what you like to eat.

You’ll need:

20 min.

  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until they become translucent.
  2. Add green beans and chicken stock. Put a lid on the pan so the beans will cook down until desired tenderness, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Turn heat off of pan and cover. Let stand for about two minutes, or until cherry tomatoes are heated through or starting to break down.
  5. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Sprinkle parm over the top before serving.

Veggie Noodles | Domesticated Academic

Veggie Noodles

Spicy Bacon Sprouts | Domesticated Academic

Spicy Bacon Sprouts

Spicy Butternut Squash & Cheese Soup

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this because it comes together in a snap, has some spice and cheese, and you can enjoy your produce all winter long if you’re as lucky as I am. My generous mom sent me home after Christmas with a garbage bag FULL of onions and butternut squash. I appreciate her kindness and generosity because I do love me some squash. I don’t have a good space to store them in my rental so my priority was to cook them down and freeze the puree in order to add it to mac and cheese and other recipes all winter. The squash is a gorgeous color, is very versatile, and is loaded with healthy things.

I add milk but if you’re looking to lighten things up, go for stock, skip the cheese, or add less and go half on the cheese and go half milk, half stock. The modifications are endless here and the soup base itself is an excellent vessel for all kinds of things. Shredded chicken or a handful of veggies can help add even more bulk to this soup or stretch it out if some extra guests show up.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup | Domesticated Academic

I cook my butternut’s down in the crock pot. Cut the top off and put in a crockpot with about 2 cups of water for 4 hours on high. The squash will fall apart and you can dig out the meat without slicing your fingers off trying to peel the hard gourd. I did the whole bunch of squash and froze them in 2 cup increments for later use.

You’ll need:

30 min.

serves 4

  • 1 (2-3 lb) butternut squash, cooked (i cook mine down in the crockpot, cut the top off & cook on high for 4 hrs. w about 2 cups of water in the crockpot)
  • 1/2-1 cup of milk (depending on how thick you like your soup)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of hot sauce (i prefer sriracha)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice
  1. Put the cooked squash and milk in a food processor or blender and puree.
  2. Put the contents in a saucepan and turn on medium heat.
  3. Stir or whisk and add more milk if desired
  4. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir or whisk to combine.
  5. Add cheese last and combine.
  6. Serve hot.

French Onion Soup with Tortellini | Domesticated Academic

French Onion Soup with Tortellini

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup | Domesticated Academic

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Super Simple Cranberry Relish

Super Simple Cranberry Relish | Domesticated Academic

You’ll love this cranberry relish because it’s super simple to make, uses fresh ingredients, and you can control how much sugar goes into it–the can is good for somethings but serious cranberry relish is right here! My mema used to make this every year and while I usually steered clear of it when it was on the table, I found that it made its’ way to my plate on leftovers. This cranberry relish is REALLY GOOD on turkey & stuffing sandwiches, as a spread, and most of all: inside a fatty grilled cheese. Yeah, I said it, FATTY….like a fat kid fatty…..

Super Simple Cranberry Relish | Domesticated Academic

I’d like to have a serious conversation. About cheese. And cranberry sauce. And how they really go very well together. If you’re skeptical, please just try it. ONCE. If you don’t like it, email me. I’ll make you a new grilled cheese. 🙂

You’ll need:

30 minutes

  • 1 12 oz. package of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • the zest of one orange
  • sugar (to taste)
  1. Put all of this into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Wait for it…..
  3. Pop, pop, pop, your cranberries will burst b/c cranberries are filled with air and it’s gotta go somewhere….
  4. Simmer for about 15 minutes until everything is cooked down.
  5. Add sugar to taste, some like it more tart, some like it less…
  6. Cool. It will get much thicker.

Put on bread with brie and brown that sucker up.

Put on leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches.

Spread it like jelly.

Eat with spoon.

Die and go to foodie heaven….

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes | Domesticated Academic

Horseradish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

No Knead Garlic Parmesan Knots | Domesticated Academic

No Knead Garlic Parmesan Cheese Knots

Holiday Sides: Bourbon Creamed Spinach

bourbon creamed spinach | domesticated academic

You’ll love this recipe because it’s super easy, a bit less fatty than some of the other creamed spinach recipes, and you can whip it up in just a few minutes, making it the ultimate fancy side dish. It can be our little secret that it’s not super time consuming to make 🙂 A nice bag of spinach was in my CSA share last week and I was looking for something different than a simple saute. I was also rewarding myself with a big ol’ steak and thought about how steakhouses serve creamed spinach with their perfectly grilled steaks. Challenge accepted!

bourbon creamed spinach | domesticated academic

Say hello to my friend Wild Turkey American Honey! (Hello, I love you) You don’t have to add the alcohol, but it does add a nice hint of flavor and will make it pop. Don’t take my word for it. I also understand if you’re weary but if there’s no kids to feed, go ahead….you know you want too!

You’ll need

20 min.

  • 3 tablespoon Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1/2 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 shots Wild Turkey American Honey
  • 1 cup Milk
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil or butter
  • 12 ounces, weight Baby Spinach
  1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Sprinkle in flour and whisk together.
  3. Cook over medium heat for five minutes or until light golden brown.
  4. Add onion and garlic and stir together, cooking for another minute.
  5. Deglaze pan with whiskey and allow the alcohol to cook off for about one minute.
  6. Pour in milk, whisking constantly, and cook for another five minutes while you cook the spinach.
  7. To cook spinach, melt about 3 tablespoons butter or use olive oil in a separate pot.
  8. Add spinach in increments until all incorporated, and cook until wilted but not soggy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. Season the cream sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  10. Add spinach to the cream sauce, stirring gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Queso Stuffed Peppers | Domesticated Academic

Queso Stuffed Peppers

Low Carb Stuffed Peppers | Domesticated Academic

Low Carb Stuffed Peppers

Biscuit Bottomed Veggie Quiche

veggie biscuit quiche | domesticated academic

You’ll love these because they’re simple to make, can be made with a variety of extra ingredients, and freeze really nicely for busy mornings or meals on the fly. My life is starting to amp up. I’m heading out to collect data again which will mean late nights working. Late isn’t midnight, but more like 8 p.m. and the last thing I’m going to want to do it is cook anything. I make 12-18 of these, let them cool and then freeze them. Coming home at 8 p.m. means I’m just in time for good/bad tv but have missed the ‘motivation bus’ to make anything remotely good and healthy. Pulling two of these from the freezer, zapping them for a minute or two, and pairing them with a piece of toast or otherwise innocent vegetable is routine for me. I hope I never get sick of eggs…..

veggie biscuit quiche | domesticated academic

Individual quiches are a lot of fun. Get your people in the kitchen to make what they like and they’ll be more apt to eat them. If you’re single living like me, you can get wild-I threw in some cayenne pepper to the egg mix to knock my own socks off. It worked. No one’s gonna knock ’em off for me, time to take matters into my own hands people!

REMEMBER; USE NON-STICK SPRAY or they will be the devil of you later when you’re trying to get the egg off the pan. Egg isn’t one of the best binders in baking for nothing folks!

You’ll need:

30 min.

  • 1 tube of flaky layers biscuits
  • veggies of choice chopped small (i used broccoli & green pepper)
  • cheese of choice (i used sharp cheddar)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt & pepper
  • non-stick spray
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray 12 cup muffin pan with non stick spray-be generous!
  3. Open can of biscuits and break each one in half ‘layer wise’ or along the layers.
  4. Put each half in the bottom of each muffin tin.
  5. You’ll have extra biscuits so you have options: get out a second muffin tin and make more scrambled eggs up OR make a few yummy biscuits to just eat 😀
  6. Crack all of the eggs and combine with milk and salt and pepper, scramble well in a bowl.
  7. Take veggies and cheese (meat optional) and sprinkle into bottom of muffin tins, a tablespoon of each, eyeball it.
  8. Pour egg mixture over each cup until about 2/3 full. The more egg, the higher they’ll bake up! Hope you sprayed that non-stick spray generously!
  9. Bake for 20 min. or until eggs are firm and not ‘jiggly’ in the middle.
  10. Have fun with this recipe! Amend it, add some cayenne pepper to spice it up, add several kinds of cheese! Get crazy!

Tortilla Eggs | Domesticated Academic

Tortilla Egg Cups

sausageeggs2 (Small) (Small)

Weekend Sausage Eggs