Saturday, March 31, 2012

Smoked Turkey Efo Riro

My boyfriend, Stephen, is frequently the object of other people's jealousy.

Why, you ask? Because every Saturday, I spend my morning and early afternoon cooking food for him to take to work for the next week.

Yes, he really is that spoiled. Yes, he does know how lucky he is and appreciates it greatly. And no, I don't mind do it. I'd much rather spend my Saturday cooking for him than to let him continue eating fast food for every meal.

I always try to make sure he has at least 3 different meals that he can rotate through out the week.

Here is one of the meals I made for this week.

Smoked Turkey Efo Riro
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1 1/2 lb smoked turkey
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large pieces
5 Roma tomatoes, seeded
6 habanero peppers
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 inch fresh ginger
Salt and pepper
2 t extra virgin olive oil
1 c chicken broth
1 T curry powder
2 c frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of extra liquid

Remove skin from smoked turkey and cut into bite size pieces. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add turkey to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until slightly crispy. Put red bell pepper, tomatoes, habanero peppers, garlic, onion, ginger, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add mixture, chicken broth and curry powder to skillet with turkey. Stir to combine and bring liquid to a simmer. Stir in spinach. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Smoky Chicken and Rice

I've recently become obsessed with smoked paprika. It's so tasty, but not spicy. It just has this great warm, smoky flavor that adds a bit of comfort to your food without adding pounds to your waistline. It's really a win-win situation.

Oh, and please excuse the not-so-great picture, people were hovering. I felt pressured.

Smoky Chicken and Rice
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1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb. shrimp, thawed and peeled
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 T. smoked paprika, divided
1 T. dried oregano
1 c. diced carrots
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 c. organic chicken broth
2 c. instant brown rice
1 c frozen peas
3 scallions, chopped

Season chicken breast and shrimp with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken to the skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet. Add carrots to the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook carrots for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and garlic to skillet and cook for another 3 minutes. Add chicken and chicken broth to skillet. Bring broth to a boil, season with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and dried oregano. Stir in brown rice and shrimp, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Let simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until broth is absorbed. Add peas and scallions to skillet. Put cover back on skillet and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bombay Fish Curry

Margaret Mead was once quoted as saying, it is easier to change a man's religion than his diet. I think I agree. Between trying to get my boyfriend, Stephen and my dad to start eating healthier, sometimes I feel like I am beating my head against a wall. Stephen is starting to make some (slow) progress. And I'm very proud of him for his small changes. He has stopped eating corn and peanuts, and is trying to make better choices with the his protein intake. So I was very excited to make this fish curry for him and to throw as many veggies in there as I could. He only slightly complained about the amount of veggies.

Bombay Fish Curry
adapted from Cooking Light
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1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. cod loin, cubed
Salt and black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 c carrots, cubed
1 1/2 T curry powder, recipe here
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground red pepper
1 1/2 c chicken broth
3/4 c frozen peas
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped

In a small bowl, mix together curry powder, cinnamon and ground red pepper. Season cod with salt, pepper and half of curry mixture. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook fish for 1-2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Remove fish from skillet. Add onions and carrots to skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes, until tender. Stir in chicken broth and the rest of the curry mixture. Simmer chicken broth for 2-3 minutes. Stir fish into broth. Turn off heat and stir in peas. Top with cilantro.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Sauce

I'll admit it, I'm not a big fan of blueberries. Never have been. I don't know, just something about them. But this sauce... well, it's just crazy good. So good, I keep making it over and over again.

I have thoroughly enjoyed it on chicken, bison, salmon, red potatoes, a spoon. I'm telling you, crazy good.

Lemon Blueberry Sauce
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12 oz fresh blueberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 T agave nectar
Pinch of salt

Put blueberries, lemon zest, agave nectar and salt in a medium pot. Cook blueberries over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After the blueberries start to burst, simmer sauce for 10-12 minutes, or until it reduces to desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oven Roasted Salsa

This salsa is amazing. Really amazing. And easy to make. The hardest part to making this salsa is trying to let it cool down before eating all of it. I think it's perfect partner is sweet potato chips.

Oven Roasted Salsa
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2 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, cored
1 onion, quartered
2 Serrano peppers
3 garlic cloves, still in paper
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 c fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

Place tomatoes, onion, Serrano peppers and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Broil in oven for 10 minutes, or until skin on tomatoes starts to bubble and char. Turn tomatoes, onion and peppers over and broil for another 10 minutes. Peel garlic from paper, remove stems from peppers and peel as much skin off the tomatoes as possible. In a blender or food processor, place cilantro, lime juice, onion, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Blend until well chopped, or to your desired consistency. Optional: if you would like a thicker salsa, strain it through a mesh strainer.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chipotle-Mango BBQ Sauce

The last 2 months have been crazy. In a number of ways, both good and bad. But mostly good.

-Work has been a struggle for me. On April 29th, my supervisor was apart of the cuts in our district. So my coworkers and I had to emotionally deal with losing our supervisor while trying to figure out how to close the school year without her. If possible, I now have even more respect for what she did.

-In May, my doctor, asked me to write a meal plan for the specific food lists of her patients. This was a big task that made my brain hurt, but was so rewarding to accomplish.

-Toward the beginning of June, I went to Illinois to visit my parents. We were in Peoria, where I got to see my good friend from college, Dani. Then my mom and I went to Michigan City, IN, to visit my aunt.

-My Aunt Alice and I went to see my nephew, Luke, at his boy scout camp. It was a long, hot, but fun adventure.

-My best friend from college, Erin, got married last week. I had the honor of being one of her bridesmaids. I went up to Chicago in May for her Bachelorette Party, then Stephen and I just returned from the wedding and a Chicago visit this week. Such a great time!

-All of these events have been very significant in the last 2 months, but the most significant is that I'm going back to school!!!! I enrolled at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. It is based out of New York but is an online program. It is a year long program that officially starts July 11. At the end, I will be a certified Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant. I am so very excited about this journey that I am about to take and can't wait to share my new knowledge with all of you.

Chipotle-Mango BBQ Sauce
*I doubled this recipe and used half as a marinade and the other half to baste the chicken the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Coconut Pumpkin Mini Muffins

I have been gluten and dairy free for just over a year now. But I'm still just not that into gluten free baking. I don't know, maybe it's all the weird, expensive ingredients. Or that I try to eat as many whole foods as possible. I think the only reason I have done any gluten free baking is for my gluten free nieces.

I saw this recipe using coconut flour and was really excited to try it out. Even if you are not gluten free, these muffins are so good, you will love them. They don't even taste gluten free to me.

Coconut Pumpkin Mini Muffins
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adapted from Gluten Free Fever

1/2 c coconut flour
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c canned pumpkin puree
6 eggs
4 T coconut oil, melted
1/3 c agave nectar
1 t vanilla
1 c chocolate chips (dairy free option)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda and salt. In a mixing bowl, start mixing pumpkin puree with a mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, allowing each one to thoroughly mixed in before adding the next. Add coconut oil, agave nectar and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated. Whisk in dry ingredients until most of the lumps have disappeared. Stir in the chocolate chips. Grease mini muffin pan with cooking spray or use mini muffin paper cups. Put about 2 tablespoons into each muffin cup, or fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 14-16 minutes, or until just cooked through.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pesto Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes

It's a cold, dreary and rainy day in Dallas.

I work for Dallas Independent School District in Central Staff. (Which means that I'm not on a school campus.) In Texas, education is facing major budget cuts and on Friday we had over 200 people laid off in Central Staff.

It's a cold, dreary and rainy day. And it seems to be very fitting.

It was represented by empty spaces in the parking lot. Office doors closed that are usually open and inviting. Words of sympathy and encouragement spoken softly to those who lost someone close to them.

Those of us left, walking around in a daze. Asking questions of the unknown to come. Wondering how to make it without our colleagues. Trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of the jobs left behind.

But we are the lucky ones. There are over 200 people who are left to pick up the pieces of their lives. On this cold, dreary and rainy day, they did not have the option to come to work.

Pesto Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes
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1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, split in half
Salt and pepper
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 c fresh basil
1/4 c walnuts
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 c chicken broth
1 lemon, juiced
2 Roma tomatoes, cut in half, lengthwise

Coat tomato halves with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until most of the liquid is cooked out. Put basil, walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper, chicken broth, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. In a large skillet, heat 2-3 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute chicken for 4-5 minute per side. Slice tomato halves. Top chicken with pesto and roasted tomatoes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spicy Mushroom Chicken

Sometimes I come across a blog (or two), like this and this, that make me wish I was a better blogger. And by that, I mean a better writer. Don't get me wrong, I became well versed in writing the blah, blah, blah's during college to make my professors think I knew what I was talking about. But I'm not, nor will I likely ever be the type of writer who moves people with my words, whether with humor or through inspiration. And I'm OK with that. It also doesn't help that I like to be short, sweet and to the point. I mean really, this post is already getting a little too lengthy for me. Oh well, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Even if it is gluten free.

But I think I'm going to at least try to improve my blog writing skills... maybe tomorrow.

Spicy Mushroom Chicken
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2 1/2 lbs chicken thighs
2 t extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 slices salami, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 c shittake mushrooms, sliced
1 c cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 glove garlic, minced
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T
chipotle puree
1 T tomato paste
2 c chicken broth

In a dutch oven or oven-safe pot, sear salami over medium high heat until crisp. Remove salami from pan. Add oil to pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Sear chicken for 6-7 minutes per side. Remove chicken. Saute onion, mushrooms, rosemary and red pepper flakes for 7-8 minutes, or until mushrooms browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Stir in chipotle puree and tomato paste. Add 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and using wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the dutch oven. Add chicken back to the dutch oven and add the rest of the chicken broth. Cover and bake in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Top with salami and scallions.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Caribbean Jerk Stew

My boyfriend, Stephen, LOVED this stew. He doesn't think about or care that the weather is already too warm for stew down here in Texas. All he cared was that it's spicy and it contained steak.

This was originally a ground turkey chili, but Stephen is not a fan of ground meat and he says he doesn't like 'chili'. So weird.

Caribbean Jerk Stew
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adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs chuck steak, cubed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, grated
2 habanero peppers, finely chopped
3 T fresh thyme
1 T smoked paprika
1 t ground allspice
1 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3 c beef broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
12 oz lager beer (Redbridge if you want gluten free)
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1 t agave nectar
2 T apple cider vinegar
Scallions, thinly sliced, optional

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add steak, season with salt and pepper and cook until browned. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and habanero. Stir in the thyme, paprika, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in beef broth,, tomatoes, beer, Worcestershire, agave nectar and vinegar. Simmer for 30 minutes until steak is tender. Top with scallions.