Quickie: Coconut-Chili Shrimp & Snow Pea Brown Rice “Risotto” (gf)

Need a quick dinner idea? Have little time but want lots of flavor? Do you have a pound of shrimp or chicken and a green vegetable handy? Let’s do this.

risotto

COCONUT-CHILI SHRIMP & SNOW PEA BROWN RICE RISOTTO

Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, or 1 lb chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bag ready to eat snow peas, or 2 cups other green vegetable (broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic paste, such as Huy Fong
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste (or increase chili garlic paste by 1/2-1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 scallion, sliced (optional)
  • juice of a lime (optional)

Directions:

Heat the coconut oil in a deep saucepan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp or chicken and cook, stirring, until no longer pink (3 minutes for shrimp, 5 minutes for chicken). Remove the cooked shrimp or chicken to a plate and add the coconut milk, chili paste, salt, and red curry paste to the pan; bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer, allowing the sauce to reduce to about half. Add your green veggie and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the rice, shrimp or chicken, and lime juice, stirring to combine, and cook two minutes more (or until rice is hot). Top with sliced scallion and serve! Easy snow-peasy!


Quickie: Easy Blender Hummus (v, gf)

Sometimes you just need an easy snack. Something nutritious and fast that you can have around for a while or feed a crowd with. My answer? Hummus. Friends coming over on short notice and you don’t know what to serve? A hummus and veggie tray. Have kids? Want to make lunches with minimal ingredients so you’re not cooking all week? Consider hummus sandwiches, pitas, or snack packs. Need a healthy afternoon pick-me-up at work? Hummus and chips. You see where I’m going with this. I mean, really- throw all ingredients into a blender. Blend. Serve. Who doesn’t love a recipe like that?

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Here’s Buzzfeed’s take on how to eat hummus all day long. And here’s Bon Appétit’s list of 10 things to do with hummus.

EASY BLENDER HUMMUS

Adapted from my beloved Mark Bittman

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, drained with liquid reserved
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika or smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • roasted garlic cloves, optional
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a large blender or food processor bowl; you can halve this recipe easily. Blend, pouring in the reserved liquid from the garbanzos until the hummus is as smooth as you’d like (you may need to scrape the bowl). Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve, refrigerating leftovers. Enjoy!!

a cross-section of hummus fixins

a cross-section of hummus fixins


Quickie: Hard Boiled Eggs with Dukkah (veg, gf)

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m in love with the Heidi Swanson cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. This lovely little snack is straight from her book, with a Trader Joe’s-loving twist: I bought my dukkah pre-made. Sacrilege, I know! And while Heidi’s recipe for homemade dukkah is lovely, I couldn’t pass up a high-quality shortcut for $2.99.

eggs

Dukkah is an Egyptian seasoning blend made of nuts and spices, and is often mixed with oil and used as a delicioud bread dip. Heidi suggests drizzling a hard-boiled egg with a bit of olive oil and sprinkling with dukkah as a quick and flavorful snack.

dukkah

This idea has been tantalizing me for months and when I found my jar of dukkah at TJ’s, it was game on. This is much less a recipe than an idea and an inviting way to try a possibly unfamiliar spice blend. So, let’s talk hard boiled eggs and have a snack, shall we?

HARD BOILED EGGS WITH DUKKAH

Inspired by Heidi Swanson

  • pre-made dukkah, available at Trader Joe’s, or made with Heidi Swanson’s recipe
  • eggs
  • olive oil

My foolproof method for hard-boiling eggs is this: place your eggs gently into a pot and cover with cold water, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and remove from heat, allow to sit- covered- for 15 minutes. When 15 minutes is up, float the eggs in a bowl of ice water before peeling. This will prevent those icky green rings around the yolks. Peel, cut an egg in half lengthwise, drizzle with a bit of oil and sprinkle with dukkah. Delicious!

ice bath


Quickie: Peanut Butter & Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Dip (veg, gf)

Pretty simple entry- this is a healthy and delicious dip for apples, bananas, and probably anything else you can slather it on. It’s a quick and easy snack you can make a large batch of and keep in the fridge for a fast and filling and high-protein accompaniment to fruit. Here it is!

does a body good

does a body good

PEANUT BUTTER & CINNAMON GREEK YOGURT DIP

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups fat free Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp- 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (two large dashes)

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Quickie: Broccoli Slaw, Grilled Bok Choy, and Rice Noodle Salad with Salmon and Avocado (pes, gf)

We had about an hour to buy and make dinner last night, before my beloved and long-lost husband was shipped out again ahead of a winter storm for work. I felt obligated to fill him with omega-3s and veggies before he left, really laying down HARD the enticing groundwork to get him to come back. I like the guy! Hang out with me and eat delicious dinner salads!  Come back! Here’s what my feminine wiles and I came up with:

salad

BROCCOLI SLAW, GRILLED BOK CHOY, AND RICE NOODLE SALAD WITH SALMON AND AVOCADO

Ingredients:

Lemon-sesame vinaigrette recipe below.

  • 1 bag broccoili slaw (we bought our ingredients at Whole Foods; their version is julienned broccoli, carrots, and red cabbage)
  • 1-lb salmon plank
  • 1 1/2 tsp jerk seasoning or other all-purpose seasoning or 1 tsp soy sauce mixed with 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp honey (no need to add this if you used soy sauce)
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced and a few inches of green tops discarded
  • 3 oz cooked or uncooked vermicelli rice noodles (you could instead use 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice)
  • handful shredded carrot, optional
  • 1 head bok choy, washed and root cut off
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • sesame oil  

Directions:

Disclaimers: This is mostly a quickie entry because I was cooking like the wind and neglected to take any step-by-step photos. So this is where your spectacular imagination comes in!! Really. Right now. Another note- I labeled this a vegetarian entry because the salmon could easily be left out or replaced with tofu or edamame.  Here’s what we’re doing: MAKE NOODLES, MAKE SALMON, TOSS VEGGIES, DRESS AND SERVE. Let’s get started.

Boil water and cook rice noodles according to package directions. Rinse and pat salmon dry. Top salmon with 1 tsp honey and sprinkle with jerk seasoning; set aside. Drizzle or brush the bok choy leaves with a small amount of sesame oil. Heat a well-oiled grill pan or saute pan over medium-high. Once hot, grill or wilt the bok choy leaves about two minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board and cut into pieces. Alternately, you could cut and saute in a saute pan for 3-4 minutes.

Turn the heat in the grill pan down to medium. When it has cooled a bit, place salmon in pan skin-side down and cook for 5-6 before flipping. Since you have a few minutes now, you can whip up and dress the salad base. Toss the broccoli slaw, green onions, carrots if you’re using them, cooked noodles or rice, and bok choy in a large bowl. Drizzle with your dressing of choice and toss. Set aside.

When the salmon is done, serve dressed salad in bowls and top with the lovely fish. Garnish with a few slices of avocado. This would be great with: cilantro, other salad greens, chicken, well-marinated flank steak, bean sprouts, more red cabbage or green cabbage… the list goes on and on. Just use what you have in the fridge. It will all work. This is man-hooking salad!

LEMON SESAME VINAIGRETTE: 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sesame seeds, juice of 1 lemon, pinch of kosher salt, 1 tsp honey. Whisk together. Drizzle in olive oil as desired until emulsified. De. Lish.


Quickie: Chicken and Vegetables, Roasted in Cast Iron (gf)

This is a lovely and impressive dish that involves very minimal effort, and can be made with (more or less) what vegetables you have available. And I’ve included a pan gravy recipe below! Since this is a quickie entry, let’s get to it:

chicken veg

CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES, ROASTED IN CAST IRON

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken leg quarters, washed and split into a leg and a thigh
  • a cast iron pan or deep, heavy casserole dish
  • 1/2 bag carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4-5 stalks celery, washed, ends trimmed, and cut in half
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4-5 fresh thyme sprigs
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper

Directions:

Heat your oven to 400 degrees, placing rack in the middle of the oven. Arrange vegetables and thyme in the bottom of your cast iron pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil.

Place your washed, dried, and split chicken pieces over the vegetables, and sprinkle those with salt and pepper. Coat your fingertips with about a teaspoon of olive oil, and rub the chicken pieces well, rubbing some oil (and salt) under the skin. Repeat until pieces are well-coated, using 3-4 teaspoons of oil. Pop the pan in your hot oven and roast for 45 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. So easy! So pretty! So delicious! Enjoy.

Here’s a little brainstorm of substitutions that could be made:

  • rosemary sprigs or dried thyme instead of thyme
  • cut potatoes or sweet potatoes instead of veggies listed
  • leeks or ramps instead of yellow onion
  • add a halved lemon to the pan

Also, you’ll have some delicious pan juices left from this recipe. Here’s a simple formula for pan gravy:

Pour pan drippings into a measuring cup, let sit for a few minutes, and  pour off all but 1/2 cup fat.  Add 1/2 cup fat back to pan, whisk in 1/2 cup flour over medium heat, and cook until hot and thick. In a large measuring cup, measure remaining juices (fat has been discarded), and add chicken stock to equal four cups. Add to pan and allow to cook- when it bubbles, cook for 1-2 minutes to cook off floury taste, then remove from heat. Taste and season accordingly.


Quickie: Chicken Avocado Omelette, or: “One Way To Use Grilled Leftovers” (gf)

Today’s breakfast was fast, easy, healthy, and used leftovers! Fast, easy, healthy are pretty much the qualities I look for in cooking a perfect meal, and I was able to use some extra grilled chicken from earlier in the week. Be still my thrifty, beating heart. Here’s an idea for how to use those summer leftovers of your own- don’t forget that steak would work well, too!

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CHICKEN AVOCADO OMELETTES

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 eggs
  • 1 leftover chicken breast, heated and cubed
  • Half an avocado, sliced
  • Pico de gallo
  • Shredded cheese of your choice

Directions:
Whisk 2-3 eggs for the first omelette. Pour into heated omelette pan. Cook until edges are firm, then lift edges with a spatula to allow runny egg to flow under and cook. Sprinkle with cheese as desired, and add half the cubed chicken. Fold in half. Cook for a minute more, then slide onto a plate, garnishing with avocado and pico de gallo. Repeat and serve. Delicioso!

As we ate this morning, the possible moral dilemma of eating chicken and eggs at the same time came up. Is it wrong? The chicken, the egg? Together? Like a really delicious punch line to the classic joke? We didn’t decide. Probably out of guilt, since we had polished off both chicken and egg. I can say that if it is wrong [and topped with buttery avocado] I don’t want to be right. Enjoy!


Quickie: 4-Minute Bibimbap Fake-Out (veg, gf)

Had four minutes yesterday morning to whip up something that would feed me for two lunches. That’s all the intro needed.

with first Sriracha application

 4-MINUTE BIBIMBAP FAKE-OUT

Ingredients: