15 minute Teriyaki Salmon

teriyaki salmon

Happy Be-lated Memorial Day!!  Who needs a healthy dinner idea to get back on track after the holiday weekend of barbecuing, eating sweets, and having one too many cocktails?!   My hand is raised HIGH!  Continue reading

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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!

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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

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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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Gluten Free Salmon Cakes

Wild Salmon is a major staple ingredient in our home.  It’s one of those foods we eat at least two times a week if not more.  Oddly enough, it’s the only protein I can get my little girl to eat.  She might eat three bites of chicken before she throws it all in the floor…beef she won’t touch with a 10 foot pole…BUT salmon?!?!  Oh yes!!  The girl will eat up some salmon!!

My mother-in-law is a wonderful cook and Salmon Cakes are one of my favorite things she makes when we go over for a visit.  The last time she made these for us I wrote down the recipe so I could create my own version of them.  I’m not going to lie – these bad boys turned out super yummy!  Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.  I’m a lover of all things SAUCE.  Meaning:  I love dipping my protein or really anything for that matter into a sauce.  So, I made a Dijon Mustard Remoulade to go with my Salmon Cakes.  This part is optional…These cakes are still good with or without the remoulade.

These salmon cakes are really perfect for any occasion.  A fancy brunch served with your favorite kind of egg… You could make these smaller and have a one-bite appetizer… Or do what I did and make them for dinner!  The leftovers are still good too!  Heat them up on medium heat in a dry pan and cover the pan to keep the heat trapped in…keeps them moist!

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Yields: 12 Salmon Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2-6oz cans wild salmon in water, drained
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups mashed potatoes (I used organic Russet potatoes), about 4 good size potatoes
  • 1 large organic onion, small diced
  • 1 tbsp organic garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 2 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Gluten Free All Purpose flour
  • 1 egg plus 2 tbsp water, whisked
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
  • oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Get your potatoes going first – In a large pot boil water on high heat and add the potatoes.  This takes a good 20-30 minutes.  When the potatoes are fork tender, take them out of the water, let them cool for a couple of minutes, then pull the skin off.  It should come off pretty easily.  Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp of fat until translucent.  Add to a big bowl and let them cool.  Open up the cans of salmon and drain them.  Add to the onion/garlic mixture.  Add the mashed potatoes to the salmon mixture and season with the thyme, salt, and pepper.  Add the eggs and stir until well incorporated.  You want it to look and feel moist.
  3. I used a 1/3 measuring cup to measure out each salmon cake.  Place the measured out cakes on a sheet pan and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Using 1/3 measuring cup gave me exactly 12 cakes.  You can always make these as big or as small as you prefer.
  4. While you get the flour, egg wash, and bread crumbs ready heat up the fat for frying on medium-low heat.  I love to use my cast iron skillet for this. You want enough fat to cover the bottom of the pan.  I use equal parts of olive oil and butter.
  5. Put the Gluten Free AP Flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper.  (You may need more.  I just like to start with 1 cup and add as needed.)
  6. Whisk the egg and water in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Put 1 cup of Gluten Free bread crumbs on a plate and season to taste with salt and pepper.  I added 1-2 tsp of dried thyme to my bread crumbs.
  8. Now start the assembly line!  Grab a salmon cake, dip it in the flour on all sides, dip it in the egg wash, and then the bread crumbs.  Make sure your fat is hot…add the salmon cakes to the skillet and fry until golden brown on both sides.  This takes about 4-5 minutes per side.  REPEAT until all of your cakes are done.
  9. This part is completely optional… I made a Dijon Mustard Remoulade while my cakes were frying.  *2 heaping spoonfuls of organic mayo (1/4 cup), *2 tbsp Dijon mustard, *2 tsp hot sauce, *1 tsp garlic powder, *1 tsp dried thyme, *salt and pepper to taste.  Mix everything up in a little bowl and serve with the salmon cakes.  You’ll love it!

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I flatten my salmon cakes out just a tad while they’re frying.

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Wild Salmon and Sauteed Kale

Our wedding is officially over as of this past weekend!  It’s a bitter-sweet moment.  One of those moments where you’re totally relieved that you never have to think about any wedding planning again, but kind of sad that the likelihood of you ever feeling like a princess will probably never happen again either!  It ended up being the most beautiful day I think I’ve ever experienced in my life so far.  I’m sure every bride says that…whatever!  I’m saying it too!  If it had been any more perfect I’m not sure what we would’ve done?!  Every detail small and big fell into place with such ease and beauty…and OMG, the FOOD!!!  The FOOD was AMAZING!!!  I’m not just saying that either…it was seriously incredible.

We had cocktail hour after the ceremony where we had h’ordeuvres that were indigenous to our backgrounds.  For example:  my h’ordeuvres were southern foods – fried mac ‘n cheese bites, fried chicken bites with a honey-maple glaze, and cornbread stuffed Cajun shrimp with a lemon aioli.  Omar’s h’ordeuvres were Caribbean inspired – mini beef empanadas, fried plantains with a fruit chutney, and something else that I cannot for the life of me remember at this moment… I’m not going to lie, it was perfection.  Make you wanna slap yourself silly it tasted so good!   Dinner was a plated meal served with a delicious crab salad…a petite filet, mahi mahi, the most amazing risotto I’ve ever put in my mouth, and asparagus.  We had to throw something green on the plate!

Our Miami Dolphins cake, yes, we had a Miami Dolphins cake!  My husband is a HUGE fan!  The cake had two different flavors:  vanilla amaretto and chocolate amaretto.  It was seriously one of the BEST cakes I’ve ever put in my mouth!  I would kill for a piece right now…OMG!!  Clearly, we had no leftovers…. Kudos to the chef and baker!!!  Our meal would’ve sucked without you!!!

So, after a weekend of eating not-so-healthy, I decided we needed a good home-cooked, healthy meal!  Yes, I’m ashamed to say that this is the first time I’ve cooked a decent meal in quite sometime… If you’re looking for a quick and super easy, yet full of flavor, meal to make – THIS my friend is your meal!

Yields: 2 servings

  • 1 – 1.25 lb wild salmon
  • 2 tbsp fat
  • 5-6 cups fresh kale, washed, trimmed, and chopped
  • 1 cup organic sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • couple pinches of crushed red pepper, optional
  • goat cheese, for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium size saute pan add some fat on medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot add the sweet potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic.  Let this cook together and become translucent for another 5-6 minutes.  Add the kale, chicken stock, crushed red peppers, salt and pepper.  Let this simmer on low heat until you’re ready to eat!
  2. In another saute pan or cast iron skillet, add some fat and let it get hot on medium-high heat.  Season the salmon on both sides however you like.  This particular night I just used salt and pepper.  Add the salmon to the hot pan skin-side-down first.  Let this cook 2-3 minutes, then flip it and let it cook another 2-3 minutes.  I like for my salmon to be cooked around medium.  If you like it more well done, by all means, cook it longer!
  3. When serving my salmon and kale, I topped the kale with a little bit of goat cheese.  It was freakin delicious!  This of coarse is optional.  Eat your heart out!  And please go back for seconds!!!

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And now…for a little sneak preview of our wedding pics!

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Yes!!! I’m MARRIED to the most gorgeous man in the whole wide world!!!