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Tropical Smoothie with Toasted Coconut Flakes

Tropical Smoothie with Toasted Coconut Flakes

Hello Monday.

Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was blah - most of it was spent in bed trying to get over a flu/sore throat/cold combo - not good. I have not bee sick in a long time. Plus, laying about not doing anything was surprising difficult for me - but I had to listen to my body and take some time to rest - not quite 100% but doing a whole lot better. As you ca guess, kitchen time was non existent except for recreating this smoothie which was the only thing I could keep down. 

Also with the temps in these parts clocking 100 degrees and above - it was helpful to have something cool and refreshing.  I  am obsessed with smoothies. I did a whole summer series of smoothie recipes over on the lifestyle blog last summer and I still refer to those recipes to get through hot summer days and/or get healthy eating habits back on track.  - This recipe is the perfect escape from the heat.

IMG_0651.jpg

What you need

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup mango chunks
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 banana 
  • handful coconut flakes, toasted

How To

Combine all the ingredients except the coconut flakes in a blender and blend until you have a smooth consistency.

Toast the coconut flakes in oven at 325 F for 5 to 7 minutes or in a medium skillet over medium heat for the same amount of time.

Sprinkle toasted flakes on smoothie and serve.

Seared Fish Salad on a bed of Greens (and corn and black bean salad)

Seared Fish Salad on a bed of Greens (and corn and black bean salad)

New year = New Goals (Resolutions)

If you are like me , some of your goals and resolutions are fitness related. For me, it is less about the weight and more about living healthy and getting fit (basically, no more hyperventilating when I go up the stairs). I also want to start incorporating some healthy habits - eating better, infusing some clean and healthy meals into my life.

Anywhere you fall on that getting fit spectrum - I have got a great, delicious and healthy meal for you today. It reminds me a little bit of summer and it is seriously yummy stuff. A Seared fish salad and the best part --- it is served on a bed of corn and black bean salad. This is one of my favorite meals at the moments and pan seared fish, I mean , how can you go wrong - it is my preferred way to make fish. The hardest part of this recipe - is getting the fish marinated That's it, once you have that, everything else is easy peasy.

What you need

For the Salad

  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

For the Fish

  • 2 fillet of Fish (Tilapia), thawed
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sirachi sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Jucie from half lime
  • Green - Spinach, Kale or Lettuce

The Salad

In a mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients for the salad and let it rest in the fridge until fish is ready.

The Fish

Rinse fish and place in a bowl. Combine cumin, sirachi, lime, cilantro , parsley and oil in a bowl, whisk together, then pour over the fish and cover. Place in fridge to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place grill (or pan) over medium to high heat. Once the surface is heat, place marinated fish fillet in heated pan (surface) and let the heat sear it on wach side for two to three minutes on each sides. Flip the fish over to cook the other side.

Layer it - Start with a layer of greens, then pour a generous amount of corn and bean salad over the greens. Break the fish up and place over the corn and bean. Drizzle with you favorite dressing and enjoy.

Greek Salad Fritatta

Greek Salad Fritatta

I love making frittata. Like fritters, there is an endless possibility of frittata recipe you can create. Start with a base recipe and add in just about anything you like. This recipe was inspired by the ingredients of Greek salad. I am having a yawning for summer at the moment - I know if's only been gone 3 weeks or a month and half (depending on where you live). To cure my longing for the summer, I decided to make fritatta inspired by a Greek salad. Oh my gosh , this is so simple and so so good. Grab the basic ingredients of a Greek salad - onions, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese - I skipped the cucumber. Add spinach, eggs and spices and you have a very delicious "i want to make this every weekend" frittata.

greek salad fritatta
greek salad fritatta

What you need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup red onions
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup spinach

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 F

Combine eggs, garlic, 3/4th of the cheese, oregano and cayenne pepper; then beat lightly.

In a oven-safe skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add olives and onions and cook until onoin is soft, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and stir to cook with onion and olive for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in spinach, stir and cook for a minute.

Stir the ingredients to make sure it is evenly distributed in skillet, reduce heat to low, then pour in the egg mixture to evenly cover the skillet. Let it sit for 45 seconds to a minute. Then place skillet in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until eggs set.

Take out of oven and let it rest for a few minutes, then slide onto a cutting board and slice into wedges. Serve with toast, biscuits or fruit and garnish with remainder feta cheese.

Note: Watch the egg as it bakes, make sure to take it out before it browns onto.

Serves 3 / 25 minutes

Asian Chicken Squash Spaghetti

Asian Chicken Squash Spaghetti

This was the first Christmas I have spent state side in about 7 years. Although, that was not my first choice, I did not want to wallow, I wanted to make the most of it. I went through my Christmas eve routine of carol service, take out thai or chinese, cheesy Christmas movies and loaded hot chocolate. Then Christmas day was spent with friends stuffing my face with food and been generally full to the brim all day. I was in a food coma for hours afterward, 

With all of that food on Christmas day, I decided to try for something very light for dinner tonight, this Asian Chicken Squash Spaghetti is always a good one, I have made this several times the last few month. I am on my way to the stores to pick up some squash spaghetti, so what better time to share the recipe with y'all.

This Asian Chicken Squash Spaghetti recipe is  money and can be pulled off in about 30 minutes, and once you get past the whole prepping squash spaghetti thing, this is a VERY easy recipe.

A few things about this recipe, the chicken marinade is essential. With regards to the Squash Spaghetti, the Kitchn has a really great step by step for prepping squash spaghetti.

Recipe Notes. A medium squash spaghetti will create about 5 cups. You only need 3 cups for this recipe, save the remainder 2 cups for another squash recipe , like this Squash Spaghetti and Turkey Soup. Also, if you are serving this to guests, go ahead and save the squash spaghetti  boat to use for serving.

What you need

  • 1 medium squash spaghetti 
  • 4 oz chicken breast, about 1 1/2 cup, cubed 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon red crushed pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 small chicken stock cube
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil + 1 tablespoon for tossing

How To

Preheat oven to 350 F

In a mixing bowl, mix chicken, ginger, hoisin sauce, minced garlic, salt and red crush pepper in a bowl. Cover and place in fridge to marinate for 30 to 40 minutes.

For the spaghetti squash. Slice the squash lengthwise down middle. Place face down in a baking tray, fill baking tray with 1 to 2 cups of water (you want to make sure the bottom of the pan is covered with water . Place tray in over for 35 to 40 minutes.  

After 40 minutes, take it out, flip and use a fork to to get the spaghetti strings. Click here for the Kitchn's step by step guide. 

In a sauce pan over medium to high heat, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil and soy sauce. Once oil is heated, turn heat up to high, add in the chicken, cayenne pepper and chicken stock cube and toss until cooked (make sure to toss continously, so you don't burn the chicken.

Once chicken is cooked, turn heat down to medium low, add in spaghetti and remainder sesame oil, toss and let it simmer on low heat for 7 to 10 minute. Then serve.

Serves 2 / 50 minutes

Chicken, Grape and Almond Salad

Chicken, Grape and Almond Salad

creamy chicken, grape and almond salad

I made this recipe just before I began my November tour of the East Coast. I am typing up the recipe while waiting to board my flight back to Dallas which has been delayed for 4 hours (really hoping it does not get cancelled). Because of the delay I am forced to have dinner at the Philadelphia airport and the food offering here combined with having to eat take out all week has me longing for this dish and wishing I was home , catching up on my DVR and having this for dinner.

A few things to note about the creamy chicken part of this recipe, you can toss in some cooked pasta with the creamy chicken if salads are not your thing. I think the chicken is so rich by itself that for me serving it with anything other than salad will be over indulgent. Then let's talk about the salad - it's got everything - veg, fruit, nuts - basically my perfect salad combo. When I am trying to eat healthier, I usually just double up on the ingredients for something more filling or I add in some grilled tofu. Either way you choose to take this recipe it is a win win.

I thought long and hard about how to introduce this dish (how was I gonna sell it to you so that you add this to your menu) - but everything I came up with just did not seem fitting. So I am just gonna say this - it is simple, delicious, and quick  - make it, love it , thank me.

creamy chicken , grape and almond salad

What you need:

The Salad

  • 1 cup red grape
  • half red apple
  • 1/2 medium zuchinni
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 cup of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • half lemon
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad

The Chicken

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • knob of butter (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 chicken breast (enough for 1 cup)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad

How to:

The Salad

Grate celery, zuchinni, apple and squeeze out the juice from the zucchini. Then toss grated fruit and veg into the spinach. Half the red grapes and add into the spincah mix with 2 table spoon shaved almonds. Add a tablespoon olive oil and juice from half a lemon. Toss together.

Let the salad rest while you cook the chicken

Creamy Chicken

In a sauce pan , heat 2 table spoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat. Add in chicken and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add in cream, along with oregano, tarragon, parsley, pepper and pinch of salt, cook for 5 minutes or until sauce is lightly thicken.

Serve chicken with salad

Serves 2 / 25 minutes

creamy chicken, grape and almond salad
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad
creamy chicken, grape and almond salad

Zucchini and Sausage Hash

Zucchini and Sausage Hash

Oh boy ! This recipe is ah-mazing, seriously one of the best things I have made. It started out as a lot of my recipes start - a glance at the "best buy date" of the contents of my fridge. My zucchinis were on their last leg and I was not willing to throw them out. I was planning on making a traditional hash with potatoes, but then I thought, why not try it with zuchinni instead - if it turns out great - I get a healthy meal, a new recipe and good use for the zucchini. Let me just say #bestdecision.

Quick thing about this recipe - it fits the adage , it gets better with age and it really is more that just a breakfast item. I served this with scrambled eggs and biscuits, but it is also great tossed into pasta or a sandwich filling and as soon as I done typing this up, I am going to try a grilled cheese version.

What you need:

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 red onion
  • smoked sausage
  • 1 table spoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • grated parmeasean cheese, for garnish

How to:

Grate zucchini, onion and sausage. You want about 1 1/4 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 cup grated onion and sausage.

Heat up your pan, add the zucchini, onion and minced garlic. Let the heat cook it until it is welted (about 5 minutes). Then add the oil, sausage, pepper and tiny pinch of salt. Let it cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, stiring constantly.

Scrambled eggs:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon cream 
  • knob of butter

Beat the eggs and cream with salt and pepper. Heat up the butter, pour in egg mixture and keep stiring until egg is cooked

Serve hash with scrambled eggs and toast or biscuits.

Serves 2 / 30 minutes

Baked Salmon in Spinach and Caper Sauce

Baked Salmon in Spinach and Caper Sauce

Ah - this week has been cray cray. I have been starring at books and computer screens all week, the words are starting to run together. I needed something light and quick and this was the perfect recipe. Usually I go for pasta when I want quick, but I have been on a pasta fest lately (see here and here), I wanted to switch things up a bit. The sauce is the best part of this recipe  - baked salmon is great and all, but this sauce makes it so much more. I adapted the recipe slightly from this recipe by crepes of wrath. Sydney says this is one of the best things she has ever made in 2014 (and I have to agree completely). 

This is a recipe you can make yours - I baked my salmon instead of broiling it. I also added capers to the sauce to give it my own twist.  Switch up the greens. Sydney's recipe used ramps, but I used spinach - she suggests using tender greens - so no kale or chards.

What you need

The Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup green onions
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • pamesean cheese, for garnish (optional)

How To:

The Sauce

In a sauce pan, brown the butter. Roughly chop spinach and green onions. Add green onions to butter and cook for about 3 minutes, then add caper and cook for about a minute. Add spinach and cook until it is wilted down. Add cream, pepper (and a pinch of salt if needed).  

The Salmon 

  • Salmon filet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

How to:

The Salmon

Preheat oven to 250 F. Create a boat with the foil, coat the foil with butter, salt and pepper. place salmon fillet on the buttered surface, season top of salmon with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  Wrap up the foil and baked in oven for 10 to 12 mins for medium rare or 12 to 15 mins for well done. 

Plate the salmon and drizzle sauce on top (garnish with pamesean cheese)

Tip: Capers are naturally salty, so I suggest giving it a taste before adding salt.

Quinoa Salad with Apple, Pomegranate and Almond

Quinoa Salad with Apple, Pomegranate and Almond

Quinoa Salad with Apple, Pomegranate and Almond

While travelling for work, one of the great struggle is eating good, healthy and hearty meals. It is usually a toss up between frozen dinners and crappy takeout. I usually go for the forzen dinners (of the organic variety), makes me feel better about what I am eating; except for last week - I went on a binge fest that include eitenmenn's deviled cake for lunch one day and several unhealthy choices. While home over the weekend, I wanted to remedy that not so smart move with some smart choices, I also wanted it to be quick and easy - that is where this quinoa salad recipe from Stephanie at I am a food blog came in handy - I bookmarked the recipe a few month ago and there was no better time to reach for it. Stephanie's recipe called for apple, cranberries and hazelnut. I went with apple, pomegranate and almond instead - it was so good.  You can find Stephanie's recipe here.

Quinoa Salad with Apple, Pomegranate and Almond

What you need.

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 apple of choice, cured and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 toasted shave almonds
  • seed from half a pomegranate
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh herbs, for garnish

Heat skillet over medium low heat, add oil and celery. Cook until celery is tender, without browning. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, celery, toasted shaved almond, apple and pomegranate. Squeeze lemon juice on, drizzle with a touch of oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Let it rest for 30 minutes to allow flavours to meld. Serve, garnish with fresh herbs and enjoy.

Quinoa Salad with Apple, Pomegranate and Almond

    Toasted Walnuts and Feta Butternut Squash Soup

    Toasted Walnuts and Feta Butternut Squash Soup

    On my last grocery run, I picked up some squash to make butternut squash risotto, but then the temperature dropped in Texas and I could not resist the urge to make a soup. There is a butternut squash apple soup recipe by the Barefoot Contessa that has been bookmarked for about a year, but I did not have apples at home (the struggle). I had walnuts and feta (i always have walnuts and feta) . I have always loved that combination those flavor with squash in a salad. I took a chance and combined the ingredients in a soup recipe. 

    What you need:

    • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
    • Olive oil
    • 2 tablespoon butter
    • 1 cup onion
    • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 garlic gloves)
    • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 brown sugar
    • 1 cup half and half
    • 1 cup walnut

    How to:

    Spread squash in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes

    In a large pot over medium heat, heat up 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon butter. Add onions, garlic and a pinch of salt , cook until onions is tender (about five minutes). Add nutmeg, pepper, brown sugar and paprika and cook for about a minute. Add roasted squash and cook for 5 minutes.

    Add in vegetable stock and bring to a boil till tender. Then puree in a food processor or high power blender till  smooth (or your desired consistency). Pour the soup back in th pot, stir in the half and half. On medium low heat cook for about three minutes. If the soup needs more flavor, add some salt.

    Toast the walnut for about five minutes in oven (watch it to make sure it does not burn).

    Serve with a drizzle of cream, then top with toasted walnut and feta cheese on top. 

    Serves 1 / 40 minutes

    Avocado and Yogurt Dip + Weekly Links

    Avocado and Yogurt Dip + Weekly Links

    When it comes to my favorite foods – I have a tendency to get stuck in a roth in the way I prepare it. With avocados, it’s always guacamole and when I want to get fancy – maybe I toss it in a salad or blend in a smoothie. I have been trying to switch things up - here is an avocado recipe that I am enjoying at the moment.