Oriental Chicken Lettuce Boats

One of my favorite restaurants in the cities is Big Bowl.  My sister and I typically get the chicken lettuce wraps for quick little appetizer.  I whipped these up for my mom and sister this weekend with my own copycat recipe! Fully approved and enjoyed by all! 🙂 FYI just a tad messy and eating it with a fork looks stupid.

Ingredients

(3 servings)

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Green Pepper

1/3 cup shredded Carrot

1 can sliced water chestnuts

3 chopped chives

1 Bundle Romaine Lettuce

3 servings Rice Noodles

Dressing

1/2 Tbs grated ginger

1 Tbs Soy Sauce

2 Tbs Teriyaki Sauce

1 Tbs sesame oil

2 Tbs Honey Ginger Balsamic

1/2 Tbs Rice Vinegar

Crushed Honey Sesame Cashews (Trader Joes find)

  1. Chop chicken into small pieces and pan fry. (Olive oil and sesame oil combo, twice as much regular olive oil to sesame oil)
  2. Once chicken is cooked add sliced peppers, onion, carrots and water chestnuts.  Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Prepare the rice noodles according to package.  I bought mine from Trader Joes in the refrigerated section- just boil for two minutes.
  4. Add noodles to chicken stir fry mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl mix all the ingredients for the dressing, add to chicken stir fry mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  6. Wash lettuce and fill the lettuce boats with refrigerated mixture.  Top with chopped honey sesame cashews! Enjoy!

Tomato Basil Zucchini Pasta

One of the most important aspects of a good spaghetti sauce is having meat in it.  Whether it be ground beef or ground turkey….it is a must.  To spice it up, I used grass-fed buffalo meat which is a wonderfully lean and flavorful choice.  I used up the rest of my tomatoes and created a delicious sauce as well!

Ingredients

4-5 servings

1 lb ground grass-fed buffalo

1/2 white onion minced

3 large tomatoes

1 6 oz can Tomato Paste

1/2 cup to 3/4 water

7-8 leaves fresh basil minced

4 Tbs Olive Oil

1/2 Tbs Oregano

1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning

1 clove Garlic minced

a good shake of Salt, pepper, garlic powder

2 Large Zucchinis

  1. Cut tomatoes in half place in baking dish with 2 Tbs olive oil, salt, garlic powder and oregano.  Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. IMG_7801
  2. In a blender, add roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 Tbs olive oil and 1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning . Pulse for 10 seconds.
  3. Pour into a pot and set to a simmer (low medium heat), Add water slowly.
  4. Chop up onion, garlic and basil (mince).  Add to the sauce. Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Stirring occasionally. IMG_7802
  5. While that cooks, in a separate pan start browning buffalo meat on medium heat. Add to sauce when cooked.
  6. For the zucchini, I cut into thin strips by using a cheese slicer.  Otherwise using a sharp knife and a steady hand will work.  OR even better is a fancy veggie spiralizer.
  7. Boil zucchini noodles in a sauce pan with 2-3 cups of water for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  8. Assemble a bed of noodles and a thick coat of tomato sauce! Enjoy!

Garlic Chicken and Veggie Soup

Rainy days call for soup and grilled cheese.  So, that is exactly what was on the menu for tonights dinner.  Crock pot recipes are my favorite because it does the work for you.  This recipe was basically a combination of what I had in the fridge and it turned out superb.  You can alter the recipe with different veggies or meat, but I think this was prime!

Ingredients

(serves 4-5)

1 Garlic Seasoned rotisserie Chicken

1 cup uncooked Minute brown rice (cook in chicken broth and garlic clove for extra flavor)

1 yellow summer squash

1 red bell pepper

1/2 carton white mushrooms

1/4 cup white onion (minced)

1 clove garlic (minced)

salt/pepper

1 box Swanson Chicken Broth, (4 servings worth) *will need more if cooking rice in chicken broth

Toppings – Sharp Cheddar cheese, Plain Full Fat Yogurt

  1. Separate the chicken, removing the skin and bones.  Chop up chicken into small pieces.  I did not use the entire chicken but about half.
  2. Chop up squash, red bell pepper, white mushroom in to small pieces.  Mince onion and garlic.
  3. In the crock pot add container of Swanson Chicken Broth, chopped veggies, onion, garlic and chicken.  Cook on low/medium heat for 1-2 hours.  This allows for the veggies to soften for a while before adding the rice.  Adding the rice/grain or noodle early on in the cooking process can lead to a mushy disaster.  Especially if you make enough for leftovers.
  4. Last step, cook the rice adding the 1 cup of rice to 2 cups chicken broth until prepared al dente.  The rice continues to cook in the crock pot, so it doesn’t have to be fully cooked right away.  Throw in whole garlic clove (removed at the end of cooking process, just enhances flavor, or add pinch of garlic salt).  Add rice to crock pot with other ingredients.  Leave crock pot on low heat for another hour.  Top with cheddar cheese or plain full fat yogurt.  Grilled cheese sandwich on the side doesn’t hurt either! 🙂 Enjoy

Basil Quinoa Chicken Salad

Refreshing side or lunch option with a range of different ingredients! Inspired by a dish I had at a local Mediterranean restaurant.

Ingredients

serves 3-4

2 Chicken Breasts

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or rice alternative)

1 cup Chicken Broth

1/2 bundle of asparagus

Seeds from one pomegrante

8-9 leaves fresh basil

1 1/2 Tbs Lemongrass Mint Balsamic

2 Tbs olive oil

salt, pepper for seasoning

  1. Bake, stir fry or grill chicken.  Another option is to just buy rotisserie chicken breast and chop up into small pieces.
  2. Cook quinoa, typically one part quinoa to 2 parts water.  I use chicken broth instead of water to add flavor.
  3. Wash, cut and boil water and add the asparagus in a pot for 5-6 minutes until mildly tender.
  4. Cut pomegrante and remove seed, throughly picking off the white, peel around the seeds
  5. Add all ingredients into a bowl.  Chop up basil and mix with balsamic and olive oil.  Add the dressing to the mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Salt pepper and ENJOY!

Fruit Parfait To Go!

Need a snack to go?  Fruit parfaits are an easy snack you can prep ahead of time and pack up for a quick snack at work.  I packed mine up in a mason jar and had a lil picnic!

Ingredients

about 1/2 cup Granola (Look in older posts for my homemade granola recipe)

Dairy free almond milk yogurt container 6 oz (or dairy kind if you prefer)

Spoonful of honey

Spoonful of shredded Coconut Flakes

1/2 chopped Peach

1/2 Banana

3-4 chopped Strawberries

  1. First layer add the chopped fruit.  Putting the fruit on the bottom works best because the juices can all sit at the bottom without getting the granola too soggy.
  2. Second layer yogurt and honey.
  3. Lastly top with nutty, cinnamon granola! Pack it up, and enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Banana Rice Cake

Need a snack idea? Dark chocolate, banana and peanut butter should solve that problem!

Ingredients

Salted Plain Rice Cake

1 spoonful Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

1 Small Banana

1 spoonful regular peanut butter

  1. Spread a good heap of dark chocolate pb on a rice cake, slice up banana and top the cake! I add an extra spoonful of pb to keep me satisfied for a while! Enjoy!

Potato Coin Nachos

The art of a crispy potato coin is something I’m still working on.  My aunt makes them the best but I think the key is to have the potato cut super thin, coated in olive oil, and baked at high heat for only ten to fifteen minutes.  Anywho, potato coins beat tortilla chips for me when it comes to making nachos. Topped with banana peppers, chicken, bacon, tomatoes and cheese.  Noms

Ingredients

1/2 Chicken Breast

3 Strips of Bacon (I have beef bacon that my uncle got from the farmers market- SALTY THICK CUT GOLD)

3 Little Red Potatoes

7-8 Grape Tomatoes

1/4 cup Cheese of choice ( I use Daiya)

Banana Peppers

Salsa, Greek Yogurt and Guac are great toppings! Or

Special Sauce (threw all my favorite seasoning and condiments together)

2 Tbs Avocado oil mayo, 1 Tbs Ketchup, Splash of Franks Red Hot,  Dash of garlic salt, creole seasoning and pepper! Enjoy

  1. First pre-heat oven to 400.  While that preheats, chop and pan fry chicken and bacon.
  2. Chop up potatoes into THIN slices and coat BOTH sides of the potato with olive oil.  If you have a fancy brush use that or just give them a good coating. Through some salt on.  Bake for 10-15 Minutes, Flip half way through.
  3. Chop up tomatoes and banana peppers into small pieces.
  4. Grab a plate, layer the crispy potatoes,meat,peppers,tomato and cheese.  Give it a good nuke in the microwave and top with salsa,guac or desired topping!

Bang Bang Honey Chipotle Chicken Stir Fry

Taking a fun spin on a run of the mill stir fry.  I love the combination of sweet and spicy and these ingredients mesh perfectly.  Start to finish it only took me about 20 minutes to make.  🙂

Ingredients

Chicken Breast

1/2 cup Broccoli Florets

1/2 Red Bell Pepper

1/2 cup chickpeas

5-6 baby Carrots (or get the crinkle cut because they are more fun)

Minced Red onion

Chipotle seasoning

dash of Red Hot Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Sesame oil

1/2 Tbs Honey

  1. Chop up Chicken and pan fry in olive oil and sesame oil.
  2. Add chopped broccoli, onion, pepper and peas. Fry together for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until tender.  Remove from heat
  3. Lastly add chipotle seasoning, red hot sauce and honey.  (If you leave the honey on the hot pan for too long it will become a caramelized burnt mess.)
  4. EAT UP!

Peaches N Milk

Need a quick snack idea! Give this a go! Ready in five minutes and is a tasty little bite for a spark of energy!

Ingredients

(1 serving)

1 Peach

spoonful coconut oil

1 Tbs honey

1tsp cinnamon

1/4 Coconut flakes

handful of nuts (new fan of pepitas)

1 cup almond milk

1) Slice up peaches into .5 inch slices and pan fry in oil and cinnamon for two to three minutes

2) In a bowl lay your peaches and top with nuts, coconut flakes, honey and almond milk.  Simple as that! Also good with homemade granola 🙂

Baked, Seasoned Lemon Salmon with Avocado Cilantro Dippin Sauce

For starters I am thankful for having so many relatives in town.  Not only do they let me use their kitchen, but they supply me with good food, wine and company.  As far as the meal went, I had a few restrictions to meet everyones needs and preferences; no gluten, dairy and relatively low carb.  It wasn’t much of struggle and the meal just kinda worked its way together thankfully! Here’s a photo of Uncle Dave in his shining moment of glory! Image Ingredients (3-4 servings) Thick Salmon Flank 2 Tbs Olive Oil 1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice Salt, Pepper, Minced Garlic Avocado Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce 1 Avocado 2 Tbs Avocado Mayo 5-6 pieces Chopped Cilantro 1 Tbs Lemon Juice salt, pepper, garlic salt Green Bean Bacon Bake Bag of Stemmed and Ready Green Beans 5-6 Strips chopped bacon Paprika Brown Sugar Balsamic Tomato Basil Salad 1 container grape tomatoes 9-10 small Fresh Mozzarella balls 7-8 leaves Fresh Basil Balsamic, Olive Oil, Salt Directions 1) For the salmon the baking time depends on how thick cut your salmon piece is.  Ours was BIG! Wrap the salmon foil with  olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings.  Slice the salmon horizontally and place lemon slices in between. 2) Cover the salmon with more foil and bake in a pan at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Check and see if the salmon falls apart. If not bake for longer. Avocado Dressing 1) In a blender, add one avocado, mayo, cilantro, garlic and lemon juice.  Blend.  Add seasonings.  If you want a thinner sauce add olive oil to thin it out. Green Bean Side 1) Slice and fry up bacon (until cooked but not crispy because it will be baked later). Add Smoked Paprika, sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and a good coat of balsamic dressing.  Note- buy the good balsamic from an olive oil store, it has a sweet smooth taste versus the bitter crap from the grocery store.  An investment but TOTALLY worth it. 2) In a small cooking pan add the green beans and coat with the bacon and sauce.  Don’t drain the grease from the bacon.  It adds a lot more flavor and keeps things from drying out. 3) Bake at 325 for 20 minutes Mozzarella Tomato Basil Side 1) Wash and slice up tomato in half 2) chop up fresh basil until minced 3) Cut mozzarella balls in half 4) Add tomato, basil, mozzarella into a small bowl.  Add a few tablespoons balsamic and olive oil.  Add salt or greek seasoning on top.  Place in the fridge to let flavors marinate together. ENJOYYYYYYY!!!!!