My Vegan Cuban Buddha Bowl

vegan cuban bowl5(Somebody couldn’t wait to dig in!  Is THAT not the sweetest little hand you’ve ever seen?!)

This Vegan Cuban Buddha Bowl is the BEST thing I’ve eaten all week!  I created this recipe in an effort to get ready for a 4-day-get-a-way to Cuba with the Mister.  Yes, you read that right… We are in fact escaping by ourselves for FOUR WHOLE DAYS.

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Orange Chicken

I was craving a little Chinese food this week… So, this was what I made!  This recipe was adapted from the Dude Diet cookbook.  I swapped a few ingredients out to make it more paleo’ish friendly.  I didn’t use any soy – my husband hates it and honestly I love coconut aminos SO much better than soy sauce.  Once you get all of the veggies and meat cut, you can throw this yummy meal together rather quickly.

Go ditch your Chinese take-out menus and make this at home!   🙂  Continue reading

Faux Fried Rice

Faux Fried Rice is my new favorite invention for my homemade Chinese food cravings.  It makes me feel just a bit healthier when I use quinoa.  And the sesame oil gives it that perfect Chinese restaurant fake out that makes you think, “This doesn’t taste homemade!”

It’s super easy to make…and let me tell ya, I don’t think my husband new that it was quinoa!  🙂  Shhhhhh!!!  If you’re not into quinoa, feel free to use rice.  Watch how easy this is to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 carrots, finely diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp (or less) of minced garlic
  • 2 – 3 cups leftover quinoa
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saute pan on medium-high heat,  heat up the olive oil.  Once it’s hot, add the carrots, onion, and garlic and cook until soft.   (About 7 – 8 minutes give or take.)
  2. Add the quinoa and frozen peas and stir into the veggies really well.  Let this cook for a couple of minutes until the peas thaw out.
  3. Make a little well in the middle of the pan and add the sesame oil.  Let it get hot and sizzling – THEN – stir the oil into everything.  Season to taste.  BOOM!!!  You’ve got Faux Fried Rice!!!

**If you do this with rice, cook your rice a couple of hours ahead of time and allow it to completely cool on a sheet pan.  THEN proceed.**

Serve this with your favorite homemade Chinese dinner!  It’s healthy, full of flavor, and you don’t have to worry about preservatives, MSG, and other nasty garbage you really don’t want to be eating.  🙂

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Chicken Shawarma Delight

There’s much debate about the origin of this absolutely amazing and delicious dish – Chicken Shawarma.  Is it Mediterranean?  Or is it Middle Eastern?  Personally, I could NOT careless!!!  All I think about it is this:  It is freakin DELICIOUS and it’s one of my favorite things to eat!  Anything stuffed into some pita bread and covered with a garlicky yogurt sauce is perfection in my book.

I will say, traditionally you should grill the meat.  My problem is this:  we live in a condo and I can’t have a grill/smoker on our deck… SOOOOO… I did a little pan-sear on the stove and then finished cooking my chicken in the oven.  It turned out beautifully and was seriously super easy to make!  Note:  the longer you marinate the chicken, the better!  I didn’t marinate over night, but I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong if you do.  Once your chicken is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes, then slice it, and throw it in some pita bread with whatever toppings you love.  Below you’ll see all of my toppings.  Now – let’s get to the recipe!

chix shawarma

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 1.5 – 2 lbs organic boneless/skinless chicken breasts (you can leave it whole or cut it into strips)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp (or more if you like it spicy) cayenne

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup plain organic Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced*
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Toppings:

  • romaine or green leafy lettuce chopped finely
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped seedless cucumber
  • sliced red onion
  • whole grain pita bread

*I don’t like raw garlic in my food, so I sauteed about a tablespoon of garlic in a little bit of olive oil until it had cooked for a few minutes.  Let it cool, then add it to the yogurt sauce.  Be careful not to let your garlic burn.  Burnt garlic is no bueno.  If you like raw garlic – disregard this info!  🙂

**I like to dress my greens and veggies with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before stuffing it in the pita too…

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Directions:

  1. Put the chicken and rest of the ingredients in a Ziplock bag and let it marinate for as long as possible.  I had time for about 4 hours.
  2. Put all of the “Yogurt Sauce” ingredients in a bowl, mix it together really well, and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
  3. Once you’re ready to start cooking the chicken preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat up a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.  Add a tbsp of olive oil to the pan.  When it gets shimmery add the chicken.  I left my chicken whole (then cut it into strips later).  Cook the first side.  When you flip the chicken, throw it in the oven for about 6-8 minutes (or until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees).  If you cut your chicken into strips before cooking, it will not take very long to cook.  I would continue cooking on the stove top and not worry about the oven.
  4. While the chicken finishes cooking toast the pita bread for a couple of minutes on a sheet pan.
  5. Now – start stuffing that pita full of chicken, veggies, and yogurt sauce!!  Get ready for your mouth to EXPLODE with excitement!!!  If you want this to be Paleo, ditch the pita bread…

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Thai Beef – 3 Ways!

We LOVE Thai food around here, but we’ve gotten to where we really don’t eat out much anymore…for a couple of reasons:  1) We eat organic 100% of the time at home and when you go out to eat, you don’t always know what you’re eating.  2) We have an 18 month old little girl that has a very small attention span.  Eating a long, leisurely meal doesn’t happen very much right now!  SO…when we’re craving something authentic, I get out my recipe books and start brainstorming!

I’ve made this dish with a rotisserie (shredded) chicken before and it was delicious… so last night I thought I would see how it turned out with grass-fed ground beef.  Low and behold it was so good!  I can always tell when my husband likes something or not.  If he likes it, he immediately says within two bites, “This is really good!”  When he’s not too crazy about it, he doesn’t say anything at all.  Ha!  He’s so easy to read!  (Most of the time!)  With this recipe, he mentioned several times how much he liked it, so I knew it was a winner-winner!  🙂

My husband and I prefer different carbs with our meals…which can be a pain sometimes, but since I aim to please, I make him what he likes!  I could eat a baked sweet potato EVERY SINGE DAY with every single meal.  He, on the other hand, hates sweet potatoes and would rather have RICE.  Below I showed what my Thai Beef looks like on top of rice AND on top of a baked sweet potato… AND!!!  If you have leftovers I made a super yummy breakfast below too.  I had some leftover pancakes in the fridge that I reheated for a couple of minutes, heated up some of the Thai beef to put on top of the pancake, then topped the beef with a fried egg!  Hello, Breakfast of Champions!!!

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Yields: 3-4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut milk (in the can)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 heaping tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 heaping tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Garnish: roughly chopped cashews, cilantro, or green onions

thai beef

Directions:

  1. Decide what carb your serving with your Thai beef.  I baked a sweet potato (for me – which took about an hour) and made a whole grain rice (for my hubs – which took about 30-40 minutes).  Both take a while to cook – so get that started first.
  2. In a large saute pan or Dutch oven – heat up some fat on medium heat.  Add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Then add the garlic and ginger.  Continue cooking for another few minutes.
  3. Now – add the beef and cook until there’s no more pink.
  4. While the beef is cooking add the coconut milk, almond butter, coconut aminos, curry paste, sesame oil, honey, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to a blender and BLEND until smooth!
  5. Once the beef has cooked through, add the sauce and mix until all the beef and onions are covered in that yummy goodness!
  6. Garnish with cashews, cilantro, or green onions (or all three!)… and serve it up!  Don’t forget the wine 🙂

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Leftovers for breakfast!!!

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Stove Top Tandoori Chicken

We love Indian food around here!  Actually, we love just about any food in general… BUT…when it can be made super quick, I love it even more!  My evenings making dinner have recently changed to feeding my baby girl all while chopping veggies and cooking dinner at the same time. Continue reading

Thai Zoodles with a Spicy Almond Butter Sauce

Every year at Christmas my family plays “Dirty Santa”.  Seriously, we have SO much fun playing this!  We have a $20 minimum for whatever you want to buy and usually everybody brings something good!  This year my mom had the most fantastic idea for her present… A SPIRALIZER!!!  I’ve been wanting one for the longest time, so naturally I took measures into my own hands to make sure I GOT THAT SPIRALIZER!!!

I got it and I can honestly say, it’s my new FAVORITE kitchen toy!  I made this recipe last week and I’ve made a couple other little recipes with some “zoodles” (zucchini noodles).  I don’t know why I didn’t get one of these a long time ago?!  If you don’t have one…do yourself a favor and go get one!!!

This recipe is super easy to make and I had a ton of fun making zoodles!  Oddly enough, it was a stress reliever for some reason?!  Not to mention zoodles are so much healthier for you in comparison to pasta.  This meal is super healthy, low in fat, and full of flavor!

salmon and zoodles2

Yields: 2-4 servings

Ingredients:

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • pinch of salt

Zoodles:

  • 2 organic zucchinis, spiralized
  • 2-4 carrots, spiralized
  • 1 small sweet potato, optional, spiralized
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

Choice of meat – salmon, chicken, or steak cooked however you prefer!

Directions:

  1. Get your veggies spiralized, sliced, and minced!  Set aside.
  2. Throw all of the sauce ingredients into a bowl, stir it well, and set aside.
  3. Decide what type of meat you want with this (IF you want meat).  Start cooking your meat to your preference.
  4. When your meat is about 5-7 minutes away from being done start with your veggies.  In a large saute pan on medium-high heat, add some fat to the pan and get it hot.
  5. Add the garlic and onion…saute until translucent. Add the ginger.  Saute for a minute or two.  Now add the veggies.  I don’t like mushy veggies.  I let mine cook for maybe 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the sauce on top of the veggies and stir it up really good with some tongs.  (DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR MEAT!)
  7. Plate it up, top it with the meat, garnish it with something to make it look pretty, and devour this meal!