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Sriracha Chicken Fried Rice

18 Sep

I get excited when I have leftover chicken, really excited. Leftover chicken = chicken fried rice! Fried rice is a super quick meal that comes together in just 15 minutes but also uses up any leftovers in your fridge.

You can really work this recipe with whatever you have on hand. I used green onions and garlic, but you can use sweet onion, white onion, red onion or even no onion.

Throw in some scrambled eggs and peas, toss with tamari, hot sesame chili oil, and sriracha. This dish comes together with very little time and tastes amazing!

Sriracha Chicken Fried Rice

serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
  • 3 green onion, diced, separate green and white
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sesame chili oil
  • 2 tablespoon Tamari ( gluten free)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced
  • 4 cup cooked brown rice

Directions:

  1. In a small frying pan, quickly scramble the two eggs, set aside.
  2. Heat grapeseed oil on high in a large wok until the oil appears shimmering.
  3. Add the white part of the onion, garlic, and ginger.
  4. Stir quickly, when the onion starts to turn golden, add the chicken and rice.
  5. Continue to stir, slowly add in the sriracha sauce, fish sauce, hot sesame chili oil, and Tamari.
  6. Add in peas and scrambled eggs, cook until all ingredients are coated with sauce and fully cooked.
  7. Remove wok from heat, portion into bowls and top with the remaining green onion.

Strawberry Balsamic Salad

9 Jul

Yet another salad post, but this one is so exceptionally good, my fiance could not stop raving about it and immediately asked for seconds. This salad should really be called strawberry spinach salad with candied pecans, blue cheese with a strawberry chia seed balsamic vinaigrette, but for obvious reasons I’ll go with strawberry balsamic salad. None the less this salad has a complex flavor profile that will rock your taste buds!

The candied pecans are the most time consuming part of the recipe but they are well worth the extra 20 minutes. Or you can always just buy candied pecans or use toasted pecans and save on extra sugar.

I love to experiment with salad dressings and I wanted to make this one super fresh and special. I started with fresh squeezed orange juice and add to that strawberries, chia seeds, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, whoa it’s a kick in the mouth! The chia seeds not only thicken the dressing but they also add omega 3’s, fiber and protein. If you haven’t tried chia seeds yet this is a simple way to sneak some into a meal.

Strawberries are by far my favorite fruit,  I eat them all year round, but summer strawberries are the best. This salad showcases strawberries in a more savory way that will surprise you.

Strawberry Balsamic Salad

serves 2

Ingredients:

  • approximately 6 strawberries, sliced( more or less to taste)
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans ( homemade or store bought)*
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoon chia seed
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, tops removed
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions:

  1. Place the first four ingredients in a medium bowl and toss together.
  2. Take the rest of the ingredients and place in a blender or food processor,  blend until combined and smooth.
  3. Pour salad dressing over salad and serve.

*Candied Pecans recipe

  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans

Boil sugar, salt, honey,and water in a saucepan until it reaches 242 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add vanilla and pecan. Stir to coat.

Place pecans on a lined cookie sheet. Separate pecan from on another and allow to cool 15 minutes until coating is hardened.

Keep the extra candied pecans in an airtight jar.

Fiesta Black Bean & Corn Salad

5 Jul

It is summer in Texas, which means it rarely dips below 100 degrees around dinnertime. Because of this heat and the abundance of fresh organic veggies from our garden, we eat salads more nights than not during summer.

I have been experimenting with salad dressings. I have been trying to make them healthier but also more flavorful. Finding the right ratio of flavors can be tricky, it is a trial and error process. The first experiment for a zesty dressing for this salad was a big fail, but I gave it another go and I found success!

I used red bell peppers, red cabbage, red onion, jicama, and romaine for the base of the salad. Then added corn and black beans, baked tortilla strips as garnish and a creamy spicy cilantro dressing t0 bring the whole salad together.

Fiesta black bean and corn salad

serves 4 entree salads

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 6 cup romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup jicama, julienned
  • 2 cup fresh corn, boiled or roasted on the grill ( removed from cob)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 5 corn tortilla, cut into thin strips

Dressing

  • 1/2 jalapeno, to taste
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 4 tablespoon Greek yogurt 0%
  • 4 drops liquid stevia or any sweetener to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place tortilla strips evenly on baking sheet.
  3. Bake tortillas until the slightly curl on the edges and are crisp. Around 6 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients, and toss until combined.
  5. In a blender or food processor add all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Right before serving garnish salad with tortilla strips, add dressing and toss.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

28 Jun

Quinoa is fast becoming a staple in this house. Not only is it a complete protein, it is also loaded with fiber, iron, and calcium. And best of all quinoa is gluten free!

This salad tastes like summer. The inspiration for this salad is the abundance of red bell peppers and cilantro in my garden. I paired my peppers with fresh roasted corn and black beans.

The sauce for this salad is simply apple cider vinegar and olive oil. It perfectly enhances the flavors of the season in this salad.

I used half black quinoa and half plain quinoa, in an effort to increase the color appeal of the salad, but any quinoa will work.

Serve this salad hot or cold!

Mexican Quinoa Salad

serves 4 entree salads

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cup water

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 1/2 cup fresh corn, roasted and removed from cob

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Cilantro, garnish

lime wedges, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan add quinoa and water. Cook uncovered until water is boiling, cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes; or until no water remains.
  2. In a deep saute or large saucepan add olive oil, heat oil on high heat until oil shimmers. Add onion and red bell peppers, cook until soft; around 4 minutes. Then, add in corn and black beans and reduce heat to medium.
  3. Pour apple cider vinegar over the veggie mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. When quinoa is done, add it to the veggie mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Remove from heat, either serve immediately or chill for an hour and serve cold.
  6. Just before serving add cilantro and squeeze a little lime on top.

Sweet and Spicy Spinach Salad

19 Jun

This salad has it all, it’s slightly sweet, spicy crunchy and nutty.

Spinach is the base of this is salad, then I loaded it up with carrots, daikon, shredded red cabbage and red bell peppers.

The dressing has a citrus sweetness and a spicy kick that pairs perfectly with the crunchiness of the salad.

This salad is great to serve as a side salad or can stand alone as an entree salad.

Sweet and Spicy Spinach Salad

serves 4 side salads or 2 entree salads

Salad

5 cup baby spinach

1/2 cup daikon, julienned

1/2 cup carrot, julienned

1/2 cup jicama, julienned

1 cup red cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced

1/4 cup red onion, sliced

Sweet and Spicy Dressing

1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari

2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

2 tablespoons red onion, diced

1-2 teaspoon garlic chili paste, optional

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan cook orange juice over medium heat until it is reduced by half.
  2. Add orange juice, honey, tamari, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, red onion, and garlic chili paste into a blender or food processor. Pulse until dressing is smooth.
  3. Add all salad veggies together in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Toss until completely combined.
  4. Serve immediately or dressing can be kept separately in the fridge until ready to use.

Coconut Cream Pie Bars

7 Jun

Do you crave those expensive store-bought fruit and nut energy bars? I did, but I discovered I can make my favorites at home with just a few ingredients and at a fraction of the price. My first experiment is with the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar. The Larabar website lists the ingredients as dates, coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil. I varied the recipe a little based on what I had on hand, so no cashews in this bar.

Chopping the nuts alone in the food processor ensures the nuts don’t become powdery. Remove the nuts and add the dates pulsing them into a sticky paste. Then combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand.

I like small bites. So I cut these bars into 2″ x 2″ squares, wrap them up individually and store them in the fridge.

Coconut Cream Pie Bars

makes 18 2×2 bars

Ingredients:

  • 20 dates, pitted (medjool dates work best)
  • 1 cup almonds, raw
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Put almonds in the food processor and pulse until almonds are finely chopped but not powdery. Remove almonds to a medium size mixing bowl.
  2. Place pitted dates into the food processor and turn on, scrape down sides as needed. Remove dates when they resemble a sticky paste. Then add to the almonds.
  3. Add coconut and coconut oil to the almonds and dates, mix by hand until completely incorporated. Wear gloves to help with stickiness.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper or foil. Press mixture into the pan creating an even thickness. You can make the bars as thick or thin as you would like.
  5. Place pan into the freezer for at least an hour. Remove and flip upside down onto a cutting board and remove backing.
  6. Cut bars into whatever size you would like and wrap each individually for storage or in an air tight container. I like to store mine in the fridge, but  the bars can be stored unrefrigerated as well.

Orange Sesame Kale Salad

5 Jun

This salad will knock your socks off, and maybe change your mind about raw kale. The inspiration for this salad came from a kale salad that I tried a few months ago. The original salad though was way too sweet and had a bit too much oil. So this is a healthier remake of a healthy salad.

I choose fresh squeezed orange juice for the base of the dressing. To that I added minced ginger, Tamari, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, olive oil, garlic chili paste, and black sesame seeds.

The key to making this salad super tasty is to thoroughly coat the kale with the dressing. Top with roasted Pepitas, dried cranberries and raw blanched slivered almonds. Once combined the salad should sit for at least 30 minutes for the best taste.

Orange Sesame Kale Salad

makes 6 side salad servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Curly Kale
  • 8 ounces orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon gluten free Tamari
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (toasted or white will work as well)
  • 3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted Pepitas
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raw, blanched slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Wash kale, remove the thick rib and tear into bite size pieces. Place kale into a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl add orange juice, sesame oil, honey, tamari, rice wine vinegar, garlic chili paste, minced ginger, and olive oil. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour dressing over the kale and toss until all the kale is coated.
  4. Top the salad with the pepitas, cranberries, and almonds.
  5. Let salad sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Spicy Spinach Dahl

4 Jun

This dish combines my love for beans, Indian flavor and some heat. Dahl or dal is a generic name for a stew made from lentils, peas, or beans. It can be prepared in an almost infinite number of ways. I have been working on this recipe for some time now and think it is just about perfect.

This particular recipe calls for chili powder, turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin, garam masala, cayenne, and salt to give it that warm and rich taste.

I used coconut oil instead of olive oil or butter, because it adds a richness to the flavor. After heating the oil up in the pan, I add the spices and let them cook until they are highly aromatic.

I love that this dish also has plenty of spinach! It not only adds color but also vitamins and flavor.

Spicy Spinach Dahl

(makes approximately 6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil (olive oil or butter can be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 12 ounces spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Soak the lentils in water for 20 minutes.
  2. In a deep saute pan or large saucepan, bring water, lentils, turmeric, salt, and chili powder to boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. In a separate saute pan, add oil, garam masala, mustard seed, and cumin, heat until the spices are bubbly and highly aromatic.
  5. Add onion to the spices and add a pinch of salt.
  6. Cook until the onion is soft and transparent.
  7. Add the spinach to the lentils and let cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add onion and coconut milk to the lentil and cook until heated through out.
  9. Serve with rice.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

29 May

This Brussels Sprout salad is a game changer. I came across this recipe from Gluten Free Girl last fall, I tried it with some modifications and it was good but not fantastic. I recently revisited this recipe and modified it yet again and this current version is amazing!

Although I love Brussels Sprouts this salad is the first time I have eaten them raw and I have to say I love their crunchy kick. To make quick work of shredding the Brussels sprouts I used a mandolin. Just watch your fingers!

After you have shredded the Brussels Sprouts the rest of the salad comes together quite quickly. The addition of Shredded Parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts creates the base for the salad.

My secret ingredient is a French Dijon mustard that packs quite a kick! I suggest you use a spicy Dijon, to give the salad a bite that will stand up against the Brussels sprouts. Making the vinaigrette in a jar makes easy work of emulsifying.

Toss the vinaigrette into the Brussels sprouts and try to share, if you can.

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons spicy Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Use a mandolin or food processor to shred Brussels Sprouts, place shredded Brussels sprout in a large serving bowl.
  2. Shred Parmesan cheese onto the sprouts and add the toasted walnuts.
  3. In a small jar with a lid add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Replace lid and shake until vinaigrette is completely combined.
  4. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to combine.
  5. Enjoy!

Healthy Brownie Bites

27 May

After a very long hiatus, I am back with lots of new healthy recipes to share. I have spent my time away traveling, gardening, and of course, cooking!

This new recipe came to me after experimenting with homemade Larabars. I wanted something healthy with no processed sugar but a great chocolate kick, these delicious Brownie Bites are what I came up with.

These no bake brownie bites are powered by the goodness of pecans, walnuts, dates, and coconut.

Process nuts, dates, and coconut until finely ground.

Once nuts are processed add in vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and water. Process these until the whole mixture becomes a well combined paste.

Form the brownie batter into small balls and roll in coconut until thoroughly coated.

These brownie bites are a quick and easy guilt free treat!

Healthy Brownie Bites

(makes approximately 24 1″ inch balls)

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup pitted Dates; roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup pecans
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder or all natural cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut; for garnishing.

Directions:

  1. Add dates, pecans, walnuts and coconut to food processor, pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add to nut mixture, vanilla bean paste, cocoa, and water; then, pulse until all ingredients form a dough. Add more water if the mixture still looks dry.
  3. Remove the dough from the food processor and form into 1” inch balls.
  4. Roll the balls in a bowl of shredded coconut to coat.
  5. Place coated balls in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
  6. Keep chilled balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, if they last that long. 🙂