As professional recipe developers and food photographers, we spend most of our days cooking — and, let’s be honest, stuffing our faces — in our West Bottoms studio. We love playing with food, and love eating it even more, but a majority of our time is spent creating recipes and taking photos for clients. Sometimes, we’re using an immersion circulator to sous vide beef tongue or alligator (Jeff was more on board with that one than I was), and other times we’re recreating fast-food items.
So, naturally, we were thrilled when, late last year, KC Magazine (on the web at ThisIsKC.com) asked us to put together some healthy recipes for the new year. We saw it as an opportunity to showcase a few of our favorites — the flavorful, easy weeknight meals we make for our own families.
Here are five healthy-ish weeknight meals we actually do make, and eat, at home.
1. Quinoa Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale
A tart balsamic vinegar-and-mustard-based sauce coats roasted butternut squash and shallots, which are all tossed with kale and quinoa pasta and topped off with Green Dirt Farm’s Farmer’s Cheese. GET THE RECIPE
2. Balsamic-Glazed Pork Porterhouse with Brussels Sprouts
The pork, seasoned with only salt and pepper, really shines in this dish. It’s served over a bed of Brussels sprouts and sweet apples drizzled with Café Provence balsamic vinegar reduction, a tart, ready-made concoction available from French Market, right around the corner in the Prairie Village Shops. GET THE RECIPE
3. Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables
These roasted chicken thighs are, quite literally, the least you could to make a healthy weeknight dinner. Just chop up some vegetables, and throw them in a Dutch oven with chicken thighs, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Tellicherry Peppercorns from Wood + Salt add a slightly smoky essence. You can easily double this recipe, or just double the amount of chicken thighs. GET THE RECIPE
4. Bison and Sweet Potato Chili
For this flavorful bison and sweet potato chili, you’ll make your own delicious chili seasoning. We made this chili on the stovetop in a dutch oven, and it was ready in just over an hour, but you can also make it in the slow cooker. GET THE RECIPE
5. Chile Crunch Salmon with Coconut Rice and Kale
This gluten-free, Asian-inspired salmon is our newest go-to weeknight dinner. Flavorful salmon is served over crispy kale and fluffy coconut rice. The real star of this dish, however, is our new favorite condiment, Chile Crunch. We’re obsessed with it. It’s a blend of fresh roasted chiles, garlic, onion and spices that can be found at Season + Square in Brookside. GET THE RECIPE