Friday, June 24, 2011

HEALTHY not-so-chicken wings!

As you know, my 2 favorite foods are chicken wings and watermelon. I could eat that combo everyday of my life. I actually did for the first 16 years of my life, until something clicked and I broadened my horizons with a variety of food. Chicken wings aren't the healthiest food in the world, but, you can totally get a whole chicken and cut it up and marinate it with it's skin mostly pulled off and grill it to get the same satisfaction with none of the guilt!

1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1/2 cup sambal sauce
1/4 cup GF low sodium Tamari
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 inch chopped ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 T honey

Mix all marinade ingredients together and put in a zip top bag with a chopped up whole chicken (you can use boneless skinless breasts if you so desire, but you'd save a good bit of money by buying the entire chicken). Allow to marinate in the fridge for overnight up to 36 hours. If you don't have some of these ingredients, don't fret! Just omit them and you'll be fine, it will still be delicious. Grill the chicken for about 15 minutes or until done. Chop the chicken once slightly cooled and store for the rest of the week and add it to salads, or if you're weird like me and don't mind snacking on 4 oz of chicken alone, go for it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

tomato tomato...guacamole edamole!

Jake LOVES avocados like he loves shrimp, and that is a lot. He asked me the other day to make him some guacamole as his parting gift. So the loving wife I am, went off to the store to get some avocados, but they were $1.79 for a single avocado! Yeah, I love my husband, but I'm not a dumb shopper. I wasn't about to pay 12 bucks for the avocados to make guac. Instead, I experimented with the edamame I already had in the freezer, which you can get for a $1.50 per bag in your freezer section. Oh yeah, here's to experimenting! Great success! I used the same basic recipe my sister-in-law Christy uses to make her avocado dip, because it's the best version of guac I've ever had. Yay for family that cooks!

1 lb. cooked edamame, drained
1 T water
1 T white wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, sqeezed
2 T green onion, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
1 diced tomato
1 1/2 T olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 jalapeno, chopped
handful of chopped cilantro

Puree the edamame in a food processor or blender with 1 T water. It doesn't have to be smooth, there can be chunks. Stir together all wet ingredients, then add with the edamame in a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. I served these with carrots and celery, but you can use corn chips or whatever you prefer. You can also eat this leftover as a protein-packed snack between meals for the next few days!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

paleo shrimp fajita stir-fry

Recipe adapted from the Paleo Diet Cookbook

I love when I can just throw everything in the fridge in a pan and have dinner ready in 10 minutes. It basically guarantees that you'll be eating healthy that night, rather than reaching for crap that you shouldn't be eating any day of the year. In this case, I simply went to the store and grabbed some fresh shrimp and threw it in the pan with the ingredients I already had at home. Delicious!

2 lbs. shrimp or any meat you prefer
4 T extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 small yellow onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium tomato diced
2 T dark rum (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place shrimp or other meat in bottom of a medium bowl. Combine 2 T olive oil and next 5 ingredients and stir into the shrimp and allow to marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours. Heat 2 T of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the meat until almost done, then add onion and peppers and cook for 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine tomatoes and rum in small bowl, then pour into the skillet with the stir-fry and cook for one minute. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve. I served this delicious dish with my edamole dip.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

jalapeno-butter grilled corn

This is such an easy but delicious side dish. Corn is perfect in the summer, especially sweet corn grilled slowly on a low flame :) You can serve this with any meat dish, with any cookout in place of fries such as with burgers or hot dogs or chicken and steaks.

4 ears of corn
1 stick of butter
1 chopped jalapeno pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper

Simmer last 6 ingredients over low heat while corn and the dinner is being cooked. When corn is off the grill, pour butter over the corn and serve. You don't have to grill the corn, you can boil it but it's just so much more tasty on the grill. But then again, I'm a little obsessed with grilling all of my food :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

kabobs in carbi marinade

My favorite korean food is definitely marinated carbi. Carbi are korean short ribs. However, short ribs are incredibly expensive, and it's just as easy to marinate anything in the same delicious marinade and get similar and wonderfully satisfying results. Pick whatever veggies you want and add them to the mix!

1.5 cups GF low sodium Tamari
1 cup soda such as ginger ale, sprite, or coke
5 cloves garlic
1/3 cup honey or agave
1 T black pepper
2 T sesame oil
1/2 onion finely chopped

Combine all ingredients and place into a zip-top bag with 2 lbs of steak or chicken, shrimp or scallops or whatever you desire, chopped into chunks to be skewered. Marinate in fridge 8 hrs to all night and day. Turn every few hours.

Turn grill to medium high and skewer all veggies and meat and cook through. I served these with my favorite jalapeno-buttered corn, yum!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

paleo chocolate chip cookies- soooo healthy, SO delicious!

From meatnveggies

After having these paleo cookies, made without any flour but blanched almond flour, which is simply finely ground almonds, I don't think I'll ever have to eat another "normal" cookies. These cookies hit the spot!

2 1/2 cups blanched, finely ground almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup warm coconut or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup agave nectar or honey
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, blend coconut oil, honey or agave, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until combined. Fold in the chocolate, then refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes. While in fridge, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper (these cookies are SUPER sticky so do this). Drop 1 T of dough at a time onto the prepared sheets and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten each cookies and leave 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 7-10 minutes until slightly golden, and allow to cool for 20 minutes before moving cookies. Enjoy!!

I love these so much, not only because they are so healthy, but they are PACKED with protein. You can eat one of these as an easy and delicious snack/dessert and you just helped yourself to a homemade protein bar. Enjoy sparingly, because they are still calorie dense, but the calories are GOOD calories! Also, once you open a pack of almond flour, make sure to put it into a sealed container and refrigerate.

Monday, June 13, 2011

chicken caesar salad

There's nothing worse you can get a restaurant than a salad, usually. They are normally coated with fat-filled cheese, fried chicken, fried bread (croutons)... yeah you'd think they're baked the way you are supposed to make croutons, and the list goes on. You get fat free dressing you say? You're doing yourself more harm than good. You eat that fat free junk and your system starts to believe everything you eat that tastes like fat or sugar doesn't need to be broken down and worked out the way real fat and sugar do, because your body gets used to not having to break down the calories. So yeah, you're doing much more harm than saving yourself a few calories.

So here's a great salad for you salad lovers:

spinach or any other leafy greens
chopped cucumbers and carrots
roasted and pulled chicken
grated asiago and parmesan cheese (not much)
home-made caesar dressing

Throw it all together and wa-lah you have a great salad. If you want, you can even toss the chicken in some hot sauce first to give it a little kick. That's some salad flair for you :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

chicken marsala the (light) RIGHT way!

Chicken Marsala is yummy. Jake told me his marsala has always been in some thick nasty yellow sauce- not really sure how the sauce turns out yellow considering it's made in a red wine as well as broth, but it is the Navy who has been preparing all of his marsalas, so go figure.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup italian dressing ( I use Annie's Naturals Tuscany Italian)
1 T GF all purpose flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 T olive oil, divided
1 T butter
1/2 cup reduced sodium organic chicken broth
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Place chicken and salad dressing in resealable plastic bag and allow to refrigerate 8 hrs. to overnight. Drain and discard marinade. Combine flour, italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika and pepper and salt; sprinkle over both sides of the chicken. In large nonstick skillet with 1 T oil and the butter, cook chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer to 13x9 in baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add brother and wine to skillet, stirring to loosen bits, boil and stir for 2 minutes. Strain sauce and set aside. In same skillet, cook mushrooms in remaining oil for 2 minutes and drain. Stir sauce into mushrooms and heat through. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with parsley. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

smokin' awesome salmon cakes w/sauteed spinach

These are totally healthy, totally delicious. The best part about this recipe, is that I threw it together in 15 minutes without having to run to the grocery store for anything, and I wasn't really holding my breath for the result to turn out amazing, and the results were certainly pleasantly surprising. Most cakes like this normally call for bread crumbs of some sort, so absorb the moisture of the meat, but I used pecans to keep it more paleo-ish. Pecans add a sweetness you can't get anywhere else, and I absolutely loved the flavor it added. You can also use walnuts, almonds, peanuts or anything else, including pretzels or breadcrumbs if you just can't do the nut thing.

1 1/2 cups pecans
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
2 small cans (7 oz each) salmon, drained
1/2 finely chopped onion
1/2 finely chopped green bell pepper
1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T olive oil

Blend first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender until fine crumbs appear. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, salmon, onion, green pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and 1/2 of crumb mixure. Shape into 6 1/2-inch thick patties and coat with remaining crumb mixture. In large nonstick skillet, add 2 T olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the cakes for 4-5 minutes per side until lightly browned.

For sauteed spinach:

1 large pepper (I used orange)
1 T olive oil
1/2 of yellow onion- use the leftover from the salmon
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups packed fresh spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T asiago or parmesan cheese grated

In large skillet, saute red pepper, onion, and garlic in the oil until tender. Add spinach and cover with lid for about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper and saute until spinach is tender. Serve on plates then add the grated cheese on top.