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Recipe: Mexican Beef Quinoa Casserole

We love this healthy, protein packed meal for weeknight family dinners!

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves minced garlic
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese (a combo of cheddar & mozzarella is great)
–toppings
sliced green onion
fresh avocado
fresh cilantro
chopped fresh tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9X13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
Cook quinoa to package directions, remove from the stove top & fluff with a fork. Combine the 2 cheeses in a bowl.
In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium high until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper & garlic. Cook a few minutes until softened and fragrant. Add the ground beef, chili powder, cumin and salt. Continue to sauté until the ground beef is cooked through (about 5 minutes) Add the drained tomatoes and chipotle pepper. Combine well, heat for 2 minutes then remove from heat. Stir in the black beans, quinoa, sour cream and 1 cup of the cheese.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly in the pan. Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake the casserole uncovered until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Broil for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned.
Watch so the cheese does not burn. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes, garnish with chopped cilantro, green onion, avocado and tomatoes.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: DIY Lunchables with Salami & Cheese

We love making our own lunchboxes with healthy ingredients you can find at the store or in your garden.

1 lunchbox plus snack

1 ounce unprocessed cheese
1-2 ounces uncured salami
some gluten free, low salt rice crackers (or any crackers you wish)
leafy salad greens
cut & cleaned veggies
fresh fruit or homemade apple sauce
homemade granola or muffins

Choose a bento box and arrange the ingredients so they each have their own compartment.

We do not eat salami too frequently. It is part of our mindfully balanced meal plan. You can find it cured or uncured if you are looking for it. Even meats labeled as “uncured” are still “cured” with natural nitrates found in sources such as beets, sugar, celery and sea salt. Instead of salami you could use any other meat, poultry or protein source you desire. Watching your fats? Go with a low-fat cheese instead of a fuller fat one.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: DIY Lunchables with Salami & Cheese

We love making our own lunchboxes with healthy ingredients you can find at the store or in your garden.

1 lunchbox plus snack

1 ounce unprocessed cheese
1-2 ounces uncured salami
some gluten free, low salt rice crackers (or any crackers you wish)
leafy salad greens
cut & cleaned veggies
fresh fruit or homemade apple sauce
homemade granola or muffins

Choose a bento box and arrange the ingredients so they each have their own compartment.

We do not eat salami too frequently. It is part of our mindfully balanced meal plan. You can find it cured or uncured if you are looking for it. Even meats labeled as “uncured” are still “cured” with natural nitrates found in sources such as beets, sugar, celery and sea salt. Instead of salami you could use any other meat, poultry or protein source you desire. Watching your fats? Go with a low-fat cheese instead of a fuller fat one.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Cast Iron Skillet Grilled Cheese

This grilled cheese is simple to prepare and absolutely irresistible. If you don’t already own an inexpensive cast iron skillet, the time is now to get one!

1 grilled cheese

2 pieces your favorite bread (We LOVE sourdough)
4 ounces your favorite cheese (sliced no thicker than 1/4 inch) Asiago, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Pepper Jack, etc.
mayonnaise
salted butter, a few pats

Heat your cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Melt a big pat of butter while its heating up. Swirl the butter in the pan to coat it evenly. Use an oven mitt so you don’t burn your hand on the skillet handle. Have a heavy plate, lid or a fry pan ready so you can place it over your grilled cheese as it cooks.
Coat each piece of bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Top each slice with cheese & then make a sandwich. Place the sandwich in the hot pan. Let the first side cook until golden brown. Flip & do the same to the other side.
Add more butter to the pan & swirl it around. Flip sandwich again. Now you need to watch things carefully, it’s easy to burn your sandwich. Place the lid or another pan over the top of your sandwich & watch the cheese start to melt. Flip a number of times, covering & watching the bread carefully, adding more butter as grilled cheese absorbs it.
Remove from pan when the bread is crispy & browned and the cheese is completely melted. Serve immediately.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Family Favorite Frittata

4-6 servings

2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
8 large eggs, beaten
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (*see notes)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. When hot, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for another minute.
Add the peppers, cook for another 8 minutes or until everything starts to brown just a small bit. Stir throughout cook time to make sure everything cooks evenly.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs with a splash of cold water. Mix in the cheeses, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the peppers. Shake the pan just a bit to evenly distribute the eggs over the peppers. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the eggs just start to pull away from the pan.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the frittata is cooked. You can insert a knife or skewer into the center to check.
Serve straight out of the skillet or gently slide onto a serving dish.
Leftovers are great served warm or at room temperature.

I use goat milk feta cheese in this recipe. I love it’s robust flavor. I also enjoy sheeps feta for that reason. Cow milk feta is just fine if thats what your prefer.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Kale, Bacon & Cheddar Quesadillas

You can have these delicious quesadillas ready in under 30 minutes. Perfect for entertaining or easy weeknight meals.

1 tbsp olive oil, plus another splash
2 cups cleaned, pat dry & chopped kale
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
7 slices baked bacon, crumbled
4 (10 inch) spinach flour tortillas
2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro for serving

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the kale and cook about 3mi nutes until wilted. Season with some salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Add a splash of oil to the pan, when it’s warm heat one of the tortillas for a minute or so until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the pan, place on a plate. Place another tortilla in the pan, top with the cheese. Cook a minute, until the cheese starts to melt and top with one half of the kale mixture and some bacon. Top with the tortilla you just browned. Cook another minute or two until cheese is completely melted. Repeat this process with the rest of the ingredients, saving a few tablespoons of bacon for garnish.
Transfer cooked quesadillas to a cutting board and slice with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Serve immediately topped with bacon crumbles and cilantro.

My favorite way to cook bacon:
It comes out nice and crispy without splattering your kitchen counters & stove top. https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/perfectly-baked-bacon/

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Kale, Bacon & Cheddar Quesadillas

You can have these delicious quesadillas ready in under 30 minutes. Perfect for entertaining or easy weeknight meals.

1 tbsp olive oil, plus another splash
2 cups cleaned, pat dry & chopped kale
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
7 slices baked bacon, crumbled
4 (10 inch) spinach flour tortillas
2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro for serving

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the kale and cook about 3mi nutes until wilted. Season with some salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
Add a splash of oil to the pan, when it’s warm heat one of the tortillas for a minute or so until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the pan, place on a plate. Place another tortilla in the pan, top with the cheese. Cook a minute, until the cheese starts to melt and top with one half of the kale mixture and some bacon. Top with the tortilla you just browned. Cook another minute or two until cheese is completely melted. Repeat this process with the rest of the ingredients, saving a few tablespoons of bacon for garnish.
Transfer cooked quesadillas to a cutting board and slice with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Serve immediately topped with bacon crumbles and cilantro.

My favorite way to cook bacon:
It comes out nice and crispy without splattering your kitchen counters & stove top. https://newmm2019.wpengine.com/recipe/perfectly-baked-bacon/

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Bacon & Feta

This Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Bacon & Feta will brighten up your days, nights & everything in between.

4 – 6 Servings

8 ounces Ditalini or any small pasta
12 ounces (1 bunch/2 1/2 cups) Blanched Asparagus, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 ounces Baked Bacon diced small
7 ounces Feta Cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced Green Onion
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
Garlic Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain & transfer pasta to a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice & olive oil.
Blanch asparagus. Have a bowl of ice water handy & a colander. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add asparagus & cook for about 2 minutes or until bright green. Drain the asparagus in the colander & immediately transfer to the ice water. Let asparagus cool completely.
Toss the pasta with asparagus, feta, bacon & green onion & ranch. Season to taste with garlic salt & pepper.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Bacon & Feta

This Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Bacon & Feta will brighten up your days, nights & everything in between.

4 – 6 Servings

8 ounces Ditalini or any small pasta
12 ounces (1 bunch/2 1/2 cups) Blanched Asparagus, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
10 ounces Baked Bacon diced small
7 ounces Feta Cheese, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced Green Onion
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing
Garlic Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain & transfer pasta to a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice & olive oil.
Blanch asparagus. Have a bowl of ice water handy & a colander. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add asparagus & cook for about 2 minutes or until bright green. Drain the asparagus in the colander & immediately transfer to the ice water. Let asparagus cool completely.
Toss the pasta with asparagus, feta, bacon & green onion & ranch. Season to taste with garlic salt & pepper.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Spring Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Bacon & Feta

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Caprese Pasta Salad

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Mexican Polenta Casserole

Ingredients

Directions

~ Marla Meridith