Chicken Tacos… All “Thai’d” Up!!!

In my hiatus from this blog, I HAVE been cooking. I usually take 1-2 days per week where I do not do a lot of cooking… we eat leftovers, or eat at a Chipotle or Zoe’s or something… or MOES! 🙂 But… I definitely have been cooking. I have so many pictures of meals that I have made over the past couple of months, I’m trying to organize them and figure out which recipe that I wrote down, the pictures correspond to. Oops! It’s been a bit overwhelming around here lately, but in a definitely good way! I’m BACK though! I may take a hiatus here and there, but I will always return to share some new, fun, FRESH and whole ingredient recipes!!

So, I found a great Thai Chicken taco recipe, but they used a lot of peanut butter and peanuts in the recipe. I personally do not use either in my home… so this is my “re-vamped” peanut-free version. And… it’s DELICIOUS!!!! It has SO much flavor… seriously… BURSTING.

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Chicken Tacos – Thai’d Up

Serving Size – 3-4

Ingredients:
For Marinade:
1/2 cup orange juice – I juice some clementines I had in my fridge that worked PERFECTLY
1/4 cup Liquid Aminos OR Soy Sauce (low sodium)
2 tablespoons local honey
1 tablespoons grated FRESH ginger
1/2 lime, juiced
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
s&p to taste or preference

For Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoon Sunflower Seed Butter (Or any nut butter of your choice)
2 tablespoon liquid aminos (as referenced above… you can also use soy sauce)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 tsp cayenne powder

For Thai’d Tacos:
4 large organic carrots, julienned
2 sweet mini red peppers, deseeded and sliced  thin
1 head of cabbage, pull 6-10 whole leaves, thinly slice or shred rest
5-6 chicken tenderloins
2 TB coconut oil
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper
Cilantro, limes wedges, sriracha sauce for topping

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Directions:
For marinade, combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl, whisk, and add chicken tenderloins.  Cover and marinate as long as you can. I marinated for 30 minutes because I was a bit more rushed. You can even marinate overnight for even better results!! If needed, just marinate while you chop and julienne all of the veggies.

When ready to cook, heat the coconut oil in medium to large size skillet. Combine all ingredients for dipping sauce in a bowl and mix well.  Refrigerate sauce until ready to serve.  Remove chicken from marinade and cut into 1 inch cubes. Put chicken into the heated oil, along with the remaining marinade. Cook chicken until no longer pink (8-10 minutes) and when the chicken is about done, toss in the julienne carrots and the peppers and slightly toss until they are heated, but not soft. Assemble your Thai tacos with chicken, red pepper slices, shredded cabbage, dipping sauce, cilantro,and any other condiments of your choosing.  Enjoy!
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And now, for the quote of the day:
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What’s in Your Pantry?

(FYI, this is NOT my pantry, it’s found on GOOGLE search under the term: pantry. BUT, if anyone wants to come to my house and come and help my pantry LOOK like the above picture, let me know!)

So I was chatting with one of my friends and she was saying she sees a recipe on here and looks in her pantry and she doesn’t have any of the ingredients! And, of course, I realize that not everyone shops WITH me! People don’t see what I always keep stocked. People don’t see my meal plans! 🙂

I COULD just go to people’s house and cook for them… because, actually, I’d really like that. How fun would teaching people how to cook and cooking for them be? Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d LOVE it! It’s such a passion of mine, to cook, and passing it on to anyone would be a blast!

Moving on…

I decided to list my “staples”. Things that, if I run out, I always try to replace them when I go again. That’s also where the “Out of Milk” app comes in handy, because I quickly add it on there so that I don’t forget next time I shop!

So, here goes:

MUST HAVES in my pantry, fridge and freezer:

1. Zucchini – when in season

2. Frozen veggies – my favorite is corn, broccoli, peas and green beans.

3. Carrots and onions – my favorite is a sweet yellow onion

4. Bread – it’s actually for my kids, but I always have some. It’s a tragedy if I run out before the 2 weeks is over!

5. 1/2 and 1/2 and Heavy Cream – for coffee AND cooking

6. BUTTER!!! A MUST have!

7. Flour, sugar, honey, baking soda, baking powder and flax meal – all of these last a WHILE and I don’t have to replace them very often.

8. At least 1 jar of Organic Pasta Sauce – whether it’s for my little boy’s meatballs, or something else. I make sure I have 1

9. At least 1 type of “pasta”. So, Quinoa, Couscous or a high fiber, Whole Grain Pasta

10. Lettuce (dark and leafy) or baby spinach – for all SORTS of dishes!

11. Greek Yogurt FULL FAT and PLAIN – a must have for a snack (add a little honey to some plain greek yogurt, stir and EAT for a high protein snack!), for cooking, baking and also in place of sour cream it works amazingly!

12. Garlic – I either buy it in a jar with olive oil already minced, or a fresh clove… just depending on how I feel

13. Spices I always have in my cupboard: Oregano, Cumin, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper, Turmeric, Curry Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Italian Seasoning, Cayenne Powder, Dried Basil, Dried Thyme, Dried Parsley, Dill

14. My favorite FRESH herbs: Basil, parsley, cilantro. I don’t always keep these because they go bad quite quickly. I have fresh herbs growing in my garden in my yard during the spring and summer, and then in the fall and winter, I purchase certain herbs (if I feel fresh is worth the cost) for specific recipes.

15. Lemons and Limes- I try to have at least 3 of each

16. Avocado – when they are in season, I usually by 5 or 6 when I shop for the 2 week time period. I buy them when they are still hard and let them sit out on the counter. When they start to get ripe I transfer them to the fridge and they stay good until my 2 week period of time (between shopping trips) is up!

17. Chicken Tenderloins from Trader Joes – these are just… the best. I’ve bought fresh, frozen etc from many other places and nothing quite compares! The frozen Chicken Tenderloins from TJ wins out every time!

18. Fish/Shrimp/Seafood – I’m picky about this. I do NOT always have these. Even if I’ve planned a recipe for any one of these and I go to the store and they don’t have any wild caught at a good price… I do NOT purchase it. I will change my recipe to something more cost effective. I have certain rules. And I don’t like to pay more than $8.99/lb for wild caught shrimp.

19. 1 lb. of ground beef. I like no-hormones, all natural ground beef. If I’m lucky World Market or Earth Fare will have some fancy shmancy grass fed ground beef that I stock up on when it’s on sale! But… if not, I get the highest quality for the best price possible. Sometimes I only buy 1 lb for the 2 week period and make it last. Just depending on the price.

20. “Fancy Beef” – steak, ribs, short ribs, beef tips, sirloin, roast. I don’t make these often. I try to plan it ahead of time if my budget allows, or when it’s on sale. I will sometimes put a meal plan on the list for a roast, etc just in case there’s a good price on it when I’m shopping. If there isn’t, I don’t make it for that time period, but I save it on my pinterest board for when it does! Or… if my husband and I have an at home date night.

21. Carrots! I like to buy the large 2 lb. bag of full size organic carrots. My kids even like it because they act like bunnies! 🙂

22. Potatoes – I buy either Yukon Gold or Sweet potatoes. Whichever is on sale or what I’ve planned for that time period.

23. Cheese – Parmesan Cheese, cheddar, shredded, block, cottage cheese, etc. I try to have at least 1 on hand. Also… depending on price. Sometimes cheese is BOGO!

24. Canned tomatoes or salsa. I like the off-brand of Ro-Tel (fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis). You can do A LOT with salsa or canned tomatoes! No joke!

25. Beans – canned. Like, black beans, Pinto Beans, cannelini beans. You can put them in soup, chili, salad, make refried beans on your own… the options are HIGH! And… they are cheap! There are times I can get them for under $0.50/can!

26. Tomato Paste – You saw my tube of tomato paste in a previous post. You can do so much with so little of it! Tortilla soup, enchiladas, chili, pizza or spaghetti sauce, etc. A little can go a long way!

27. Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth… SOMETIMES Beef Broth – because I make a lot of my own sauces instead of buying them, these are essential. I can use this in a soup, chili, baked dish, sauteed dish, quick or baked, oven or crock pot… I try to keep 2 in my pantry. I don’t always use them, but I’m always glad I have them in my pantry! They keep for a long time too!

28. Things for my kids to snack on: hummus, cucumber, apples, grapes, strawberries (depending on when in season/on sale) raspberries, crackers, chips, pita chips, etc. I don’t always get ALL of these, but usually 2 or 3 of them.

29. Sunflower Seed Butter and Jelly and Preserves (I use this in place of any “nut” butter) – for sandwiches and cooking and snacking

30. Organic Old Fashioned Oats – for breakfast or baking!

31. Last, but not least OLIVE OIL Organic Olive Oil. I use it daily!

If I have all of these “essentials” as I call them, I can make a meal pretty easily! I can mix up the ingredients, or buy a few “odds and ends” and make something new and fancy! Seems like a long list when I put it all down, but I don’t have to buy these every time I go shopping, so that helps with cost. Healthy and whole ingredients and an endless amount of meals you can make with these ingredients! I do buy a few different things for my kids like chicken nuggets, etc… (if I don’t make them that week)… but overall these are my must-haves.

What are your go-tos? Anything that you MUST have in your fridge or pantry?

Let me know!

And now, for the quote of the day:

You need to release the load that God never meant for you to carry and focus on what He has called you to do.

What Kind of Food is Healthy and Why??

My  husband and I had a chat the other day about how different we eat now than when we first got married. When we first got married I didn’t do much thinking about what kind of food we were putting into our bodies. I bought pre-packaged easy to make quick meals. I worked full time and so did my husband. When a recipe had more than 3 ingredients it felt really overwhelming.

Fast forward to having my son… he is allergic to … well.. A LOT. I had to learn to make everything from scratch. I had to learn to read EVERY label. I had to figure out thing like…

Autolyzed Yeast = MSG
Whey Protein = Dairy
Red #40 and Blue Lake dye is NO GOOD
Hydroxytoluene (BHT) = a product also used in jet fuel and embalming fluid
Yellow #5 = derived from coal tar and may contain up tp 10ppm of lead and arsenic
Propylene glycol alginate (E405) = derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol.
Polysorbate 60 = Made of made of corn, palm oil and petroleum, this gooey mix can’t spoil, so it often replaces dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products.
Textured soy protein concentrate, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, modified cornstarch = All of these are basically different names to hide ingredients that either contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or form MSG during processing

A little scary huh? All of these things are hidden in ALL KINDS of food! Cereal, salad dressing, protein bars… things we THINK are healthy… and these are IN them! And how easy is it to make our own dressing?? EASY! SOO EASY!

The list could go on and on and on. I read labels of everything I purchase. The less I recognize the ingredients, the more I will put it back on the shelf and figure out how to make it on my own. The cool thing is that I have learned that cooking isn’t overwhelming… it’s FUN! I can make my own BBQ sauce, Teriyaki sauce, bread, chicken nuggets, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, smoothies… I can do copycat recipes too! Basically what I see in the store and I don’t like the ingredients used to “preserve” or “keep freshness” (like BHT!!) I go home and try to make it on my own. There have been quite a few FAILS… hahaha, but a lot of WINS!

I have learned alot having a son who has food allergies. What’s in your food? What do you have for breakfast? How are you feeding your body? Did you know that if you work out 2 hours a day EVERY DAY and still eat junk all day long… you are NOT healthy?

Once again, I’m going to mention Dietitian Cassie: http://www.dietitiancassie.com/

I have learned a lot just reading her blog! She talks a lot about REAL food!

From http://www.realfoodchallenge.org/about/realfood

Real Food is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth.  It is a food system–from seed to plate–that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Some people call it “local,” “green,” “slow,” or “fair.”  We use “Real Food” as a holistic term to bring together many of these diverse ideas people have about a values-based food economy (see our Real Food Wheel).

This is about more than supermarket labels. The Real Food Challenge has developed an innovative Real Food Calculator, which provides in-depth definitions of “real food” and a tracking system for institutional purchasing.  With this tool, “real food” is broken down into four core categories: local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. Click here to learn more about the Real Food Calculator

Also this blog: http://www.foodrenegade.com/the-basics/real-food/

Back in the 1920s, a dentist named Weston A. Price grew dismayed by the rapidly declining health of his patients. Suspecting that the introduction and acceptance of newfangled industrial dietary changes were at the root of this turn for the worse, he traveled the world in search of healthy populations.

He found them.

These people didn’t eat refined sugar or white flour, didn’t cook with vegetable oils, and didn’t eat food canned with modern methods. They also didn’t have heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.

They did eat foods high in vitamins and minerals, animal fats (including butter), and organ meats. And, roughly 60-80% of their diet was enzyme-rich — either fermented or raw. Plus, they prepared their foods according to centuries old traditions.

They ate real food.

We need to be re-educated. We need to think about what’s in our food and what we are putting into our body. They came out with Splenda to get all of us to stop using aspartame… did you know that Splenda is made with chlorine?! I am becoming more and more of the firm believe that the closer my food is to it’s natural form the better. I personally do not want to do the RAW food diet… I like cooked foods… fancier, etc. But I’m not afraid of butter and oil. I’ve stopped counting calories and focused more on REAL and healthy foods.

What happens when I eat too many veggies? If I fill up on a large bowl of fresh vegetables? I am full. I am full of real food and I don’t have guilt.

Now, I am not opposed to grains… and I am going to try and see how I can replace my pastas… cuz those are my favorites! But I am working on using more real foods. I’m going to try to also use the non-refined and white/bleached flours and THINK about what I put into my body. My body is God’s temple, I am going to take care of it the best I can!

Healthy Replacements for White Flour Snacks

It has fortunately become quite easy to replace enriched flour with healthy alternatives, especially with whole wheat flour. But don’t forget that there are other options that can add variety to your meals such as rye, quinoa, millet, and brown rice flour and sprouted grain products.

I like to snack on alkalizing fruits, whether dried or fresh, and sometimes add a few nuts such as almonds or walnuts and some sesame seeds that are naturally high in calcium. Dried fruits mixed with nuts are easy to carry around so you can have a bone-healthy snack anytime of the day.

Check out those blogs! Let me know what you think!

Pork Loin Chops in a Crock Pot

I love crock pot meals when I am really busy. The other day I had a ton going on, and I knew I was not going to be home to cook dinner, but wanted my sweet hubby and my brother who was helping with the kids, to have dinner. The nice thing about crock pot meals is that when you do have time, in the morning, you can toss everything in and not think about it for the rest of the day! It was so great just knowing it was there and not having to rush before I had to leave.

So… CROCK POT meals! You can use it in the summer or the winter… cold or hot outside… there’s always a good reason to use a crock pot.

Pork Loin Chops in a crock pot:

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Servings: 2… so double for more…

Ingredients:

1 butterflied pork loin chop – 1.5 lbs
1 TB flavored vinegar (I used a pear/cranberry vinegar that I got from an oilery)
2 TB olive oil
Cooking spray to grease the inside of the crock pot
1 onion sliced thin
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
5 carrots cut into large pieces
8 yukon gold potatoes quartered (I washed and did NOT peel)
1/4 cup white wine
2 TB unsalted butter
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup chicken broth

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Directions:

Cut up the carrots, onions and potatoes and set aside. Take the pork loin butterflied pork chop (or 2 separate thick-cut pork chops) and salt and pepper both sides evenly. Heat a skillet on medium and put 1 TB olive oil in the skillet. Sear both sides of the pork chop for 2-3 minutes per side and place into the bottom of the crock pot. Put all of the veggies and starches on top. Sprinkle all the seasoning and then add the liquids. Then take the butter and cut into small pieces and placed intermittently on top of the meat and veggies. Let cook for 6-8 hours on LOW or 4-5 hours on HIGH.

It is a wonderful blend of sweet and salty… it’s got a great savory taste with just a hint of sweet. My husband and brother RAVED over this, and the pork just FELL APART when it was ready. WINNER!!!

Try this one for sure!!

And now… a bit of a giggle for the quote of the day:

This blackboard was in a pub/restaurant in Devon, UK and I have kept the photo ever since to remind myself that I should not be afraid to try something new and that no matter how old I get, there are still new people to meet, experiences to have and things to learn every day!

“7 Layer Salad” … or Taco Salad…

My daughter asked for tacos again. Ha. She’s obviously her father’s daughter. She ate GREAT tonight. Me, I wanted to make something that was using the same ingredients, but using less carbs. So… I saw this salad, or “7 layer dip”.. although I can’t see using this as a dip honestly. I also should have put this into a clear bowl so that all the layers could have been seen from the outside when I took pictures. It was quite pretty to be honest! And, as I was about to take a picture it fell… and I was so sad!

But… this is a DELICIOUS salad, or … dip… but it’s a bit messy. That’s ok though. It makes up for the messiness and lack of being a “pretty” dish with flavor. That’s all that’s really important anyway!

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 lb. grass fed ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/2 cup PLAIN Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
  • 1 tomato sliced and diced
  • taco seasoning
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of black olives, sliced
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of salsa

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Directions

Start by cooking the ground beef through until there is no longer any pink. Drain the fat. Then, add the taco seasoning and the amount of water said on the back of the taco seasoning packet. (If you use homemade taco seasoning, it’s about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of water). Stir until well incorporated. Add 1/2 of the black beans to the hamburger meat.

Next chop the lettuce, black olives, tomatoes and the avocado. Place the avocado in a small bowl and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and the garlic powder. Stir and set aside.

Starting with the lettuce on the bottom of a bowl, add each layer on top of the next, ending with sprinkling the cheese on top. I then drizzled salsa over top.

You can eat this as a salad, like I did… crunch a few chips over top to still get a few chips and crunch in without eating as many chips as you would have if you ate the whole thing with chips… or… go for it and just eat it with scoops chips! Delicious either way right?!

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See, a delicious, messy and just a #getinmybelly moment!!! 🙂 ENJOY!!!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Hang on

Tropical Coconut Crusted MahiMahi with Coconut Lemon Rice

I am still learning how to cook fish. Each fish type is a bit different. You cook salmon differently than you would mahimahi. You make tilapia differently than you do mahimahi. All different textures and thicknesses. So, for me, it’s a bit hard to take the time and effort to master each one. I am getting closer with salmon… SO CLOSE!! 🙂

This recipe… MASTERED MahiMahi! I’m telling you, it’s AMAZING! If you follow it closely, you will be quite happy with how it turned out! IF you love coconut that is. 🙂 Seriously… tropical and fresh, flaxy and tender… this is an awesome recipe!

I was inspired by this recipe: http://www.bubblews.com/news/788347-coconut-crusted-mahi-mahi-recipe

I changed a few things, so the recipe below is mine, but the inspiration DEFINITELY came from the recipe above!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I used 2 pieces of dried whole grain bread and blended in my NutriBullet)
3/4 cup of Sweetened Flaked Coconut
1 teaspoon of finely zested lemon zest
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 (6 oz.) mahi mahi fillets
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Coconut Rice:

1 cup rinsed White Jasmine Rice
1 can light coconut milk
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

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Instructions:

Rice:

Place rinsed jasmine rice into a Rice Cooker and then pour the can of Light Coconut Milk over the rice and let cook. Will just switch to warm when it is done. When the rice is done, put it into a large glass bowl and add the lemon juice and salt and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside covered to keep warm waiting to serve with the fish.

Fish:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and then line a baking sheet with Aluminum Foil and spray it with cooking spray. You can use a Cooking Spray Mister.

If you do not have Panko Bread crumbs, or other PLAIN breadcrumbs, you can do as I did. I took 2 dried pieces of whole wheat bread, placed it into my nutribullet, and ground it into crumbs! Worked perfectly!! You can also use a Food Processor or a Blender.

Now take a small glass bowl and add in your bread crumbs, coconut, lemon zest,  and lemon juice and whisk your ingredients together. Then drizzle 2 tablespoons of your olive oil over your coconut mixture and mix the olive oil into your ingredients. Set this aside for use later.

You now want to liberally seasoning both sides your mahi mahi filets with your salt and pepper.

Now place your mahi mahi on your prepared baking sheet and place them into your preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove your baking sheet from the oven and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over your mahi mahi fillets. Then divide your coconut mixture between your fillets and cover the entire top of each fillet with your mixture. This will create a wonderful crust when baked. Now return your baking sheet to your oven and bake until golden brown and your fish can flake easily with a fork. This should take an additional 10 minutes.

Then remove your coconut crusted mahi mahi from the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve over rice and with a veggie.

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You will TRULY enjoy this! My husband gave it the gold seal and said that he’d order this at a restaurant and then go back for more! It’s seriously  one of the best recipes for MahiMahi I’ve ever had!!!! I will definitely be making this one again.

And now, for the quote of the day:

31e6ea871a81730607c281d983d251c7

Lemon-Dill Salmon Over Buttery Pasta with Peas and Spinach

I’ve been trying to perfect salmon for a WHILE. Like, a serious while. I can’t quite get it perfect, but I’m getting there!!!

I have definitely learned to not attempt to cook it from frozen. Always thaw it. Ha. Should be obvious, but I like to try shortcuts. 🙂

I have also learned, yesterday, that it’s hard to cook it perfectly while paying attention to it when you have two little kids. Most likely, on that day, your three year old will run into the kitchen with blood pouring out of his lip while he is scream-crying with your 5 year old girl running after him (also crying) screaming “I didn’t do it on purpose!”. Yes, that happened last night while I was trying to perfectly cook my salmon. Let’s say that it was ALMOST perfect! Pretty good huh??!!! I was proud of that accomplishment after such a “traumatic” incident. He was fine by the way… his big sister just bopped him… hopefully it really was “by accident”.

So, luckily at that time, the salmon had JUST gone into the oven to finish, and my pasta was done and was “marinating” in the butter. So, if I can do it, YOU CAN TOO!! 😉

Try this one out if you like Salmon!!

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This is for 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tso kosher salt
  • 2 medium salmon steaks (filets)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1TB olive oil
  • 3 TB butter
  • 1/2 lb. farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach rough chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh or dried Dill Weed (I used dried)
  • 1 Tb parmesan cheese
  • splash of white wine for cooking and deglazing the pan

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Meanwhile, if you’re using whole grain pasta, cook it in water according to package directions.
  • Drizzle olive oil in an oven safe skillet like mine or Oven Safe Chef’s Classic Skillet and heat to medium.
  • Place salmon steaks skin side down into the hot skillet to get a nice crispy skin.
  • Top the salmon with salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic and the dill.
  • Place the butter into the pan with the salmon and melt. (Put skillet onto medium low – 3, and melt butter).
  • Put a splash of white wine into pan if desired.
  • Spoon the butter/lemon/wine sauce over the salmon for 2 minutes and then place pan with the salmon in it directly into the oven. (Which is why you need to have an oven safe pan shown in the link above or similar).
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon. Remove the salmon from the oven BEFORE the white albumin starts to ooze out. It’s not fun to have on your salmon. REMEMBER TO USE A HOT PAD  WHEN YOU REMOVE IT!! Once the salmon is removed from the oven, remove salmon from pan and SAVE the sauce. Place the salmon onto a plate and let sit for 5-7 minutes.
  • Transfer the noodles and peas into the butter sauce remaining in your skillet and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garnish with dill.
  • Serve into bowls.
  • You can either leave the salmon steak whole, or you can “shred” it with your fork and disperse it throughout the dish as I did below.
  • ENJOY!! This one is a winner!!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

Most won't think this belongs here, but emotions can run hot sometimes and peaceful protests can get out of hand. So this is an important thing to remember, for everyone involved.

Shrimp over Mashed Cauliflower – PFC, Paleo, Low-Carb!

There is always a bit of a fad for diets as the years go on. Low-carb does seem to stick around though. There is something to be said for cutting out bread and pasta and definitely seeing results. I love my carbs, definitely, but I do understand the benefits of decreasing the frequency of eating them! So, yesterday I decided to try something I have been nervous to do. Mashed Cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes or grits. Scary huh??!!! But you know what? They were good! I wouldn’t say I couldn’t tell they weren’t cauliflower. I mean, you can tell. But they are creamy, and satisfying! Definitely helps that carb craving! Delicious! Then, when paired with some cajun jumbo shrimp, who could ask for more??!! Protein, a bit of all natural whole fats, AND some “carbs” in the veggies! Perfect! This one is a quick and easy recipe too!

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I’ll try my best to give ingredients and directions and what I used for each separate item.

Shrimp:
  1. 10 frozen jumbo shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  2. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  4. splash white wine (optional)
  5. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  6. dash cayenne powder
  7. 1 tsp Emerils Bayou Blast
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste

Shrimp Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a small glass Bowls or ramekin and set aside. Set frozen shrimp onto a foil lined cookie sheet that has lips on each side like : Cookie Pan

Drizzle Olive Oil over the shrimp and splash with white wine (if desired) and sprinkle the dry ingredients over top of the shrimp and toss a bit to get completely coated. Place into oven and bake for 12-16 minutes until white/pink and cooked through, no longer any transparent parts of the shrimp. Place onto a generous helping of the mashed cauliflower and top with some shredded cheese of your choice!

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Mashed Cauliflower:

1/2 large head cauliflower
2 TB butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 carton chicken broth (or water if you prefer – vegetarian)
1/4 cup whole fat Greek Yogurt (PLAIN!!!!)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Set a stockpot of chicken broth (or water) to boil over high heat.

Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6-10 minutes, or until well done. Drain well. Immediately after, transfer to a large Glass Bowl or plastic bowl.

In a bowl with an hand mixer or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the butter, greek yogurt, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper until almost smooth. Then stir with Spatula.

Set aside and keep warm.

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Quickly, for the spinach… if you so desire… it’s just wilted spinach. You toss a LARGE handful of spinach into a skillet with a TB of butter, salt and pepper and a bit of hot sauce… sautee until the softness that you desire…or wiltyness?? 🙂 I just created a word… right? Or not. Whatever.

Oh, and if you wonder what dishes I use… they  are hard to find! My husband and I got them for a wedding gift… but here’s a link just in case you are interested! http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Sango-Splash-16-piece-Dinnerware-Set/4012688/product.html

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot Meal

This is an incredibly easy dish that everyone in the family will love! It’s easy and makes your whole home smell delicious as it cooks throughout the day! Cheesy, warm and filling, packed full of protein!
Crockpot meals aren’t just for the winter! You can definitely make good use of the trusty Crockpot during the spring and summer as well! You can use it to make tender meat for a taco, or  a filling enchilada dish like this one so you don’t have to heat up your kitchen when you turn your oven on!
Definitely toss this in your Crock-Pot and give it a try! The leftovers were even amazing!

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Chicken and Quinoa Enchilada Crockpot Meal

INGREDIENTS

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup frozen or fresh whole kernel corn
2 cups homemade enchilada sauce (recipe follows)
1 15-ounce can of Organic Diced Tomatoes, Fire Roasted with Medium Green Chilies

1/2 tsp garlic powder
6 chicken tenderloins
Handful of grape tomatoes
1 cup un-cooked White Quinoa
+ ½ cup water
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon salt and Âź teaspoon black pepper)
1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
optional: chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, sour cream and a but of lime squeezed over top

Enchilada Sauce

1 1/2 TB oil (I used olive oil)
1 TB chili powder
2 cups chicken broth
6 oz. Tomato paste (1 small can)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper

Stir together until well blended (with small wisk if you have one) and pour over other ingredients listed above.

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INSTRUCTIONS

Add beans, corn, chicken tenderloins (mine were frozen), 1/2 of homemade enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes and chiles, quinoa, water, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to the greased slow cooker. Stir everything together.
Pour remaining can of enchilada sauce on top, then sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover and cook 4-5 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low.
Uncover, top with tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, and chopped cilantro and serve.

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And now for the quote of the day:
I’ve got glitter growing outta my head! 😉

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Quick and Easy Skillet Cabbage with Kielbasa

Sunday night and I need a quick dinner that’s filling, but won’t make me regret it the next morning. When you think Sunday dinner, what do you normally think? I usually think Chinese takeout, pizza, popcorn, oh… the list of easy options where I don’t cook could go on for quite a while! But tonight, I am remembering that I am in a fitness challenge group, and that I will be posting a picture of what I am eating. This, in turn, helps me to keep accountable to eating healthier! So… Cabbage and turkey kielbasa it is!

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Ingredients

2 TB butter or margarine
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced (I use all natural and nitrite/nitrate free turkey kilebasa)
4 TB olive oil for sauteing
Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup or so) plus zest
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Dash (or more if you’d like!) Hot sauce

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Directions

Heat olive oil in the skillet on medium heat. Place chopped cabbage into the skillet. Add onion and garlic. Sautee until cabbage starts to get slightly more tender (about 3-5 minutes). Add lemon juice, zest and butter and sausage. Stir until cabbage is soft, bit still has a bit if crunch (unless you like it softer). Season with salt and pepper to taste  Serve with hot sauce or a bit of cheese if you’d like. It’s good as a main dish and also as a side dish! Quite filling too! Give this one a try if you want something to make with ingredients you most likely already have in your fridge and have no clue what to make! Isn’t that how great recipe are made?!

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Enjoy!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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