Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sesame Noodles

I was turned onto sesame noodles many years ago when I was in the military.  I thought it sounded strange at the time because it’s a cold noodle salad that I got from some hole-in-the-wall Chinese food place.  I loved it and got it a lot.  I came up with a version that most closely resembled what I had except I put the veggies in and they did not include that in my noodles.  This way I am getting a more well-rounded meal out of it! 

  • ½ Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • Juice of 1 Lime (about ¼ Cup or so)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1” Piece Fresh Ginger, grated
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Package Soba Noodles (or 1 lb. box of Whole Wheat Spaghetti)
  • 2 Bell Peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 Scallions, sliced
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro Leaves, rough chopped
  • ¼ Cup Sesame Seeds, toasted
First: whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, olive oil, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Second: cook noodles until tender, drain, and rinse with cold water to cool off. 

Third:  add noodles, peppers, scallions and half of the cilantro to the dressing and toss.

Finally: serve topped with cilantro and sesame seeds…yum!

This is an amazing vegetarian salad but can be easily converted to a full on meat-eaters meal by adding grilled chicken or steak!  I love this as is most of the time and doesn’t make me too full but certainly satisfies.  I love using Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles) as they are light and super healthy but some whole wheat spaghetti will work just fine as well, it just takes a few minutes longer to cook the noodles.  I know this will please!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Smoky Mulato Chili Salsa

I love salsa and it doesn’t always have to be hot and spicy.  This one is great as it has a nice smoky flavor and not all of the heat of many salsa recipes.  This salsa is good on anything, especially eggs. This is especially perfect for those who do not care for spicy foods…it ROCKS!

  • 3 or 4 Dried Mulato Chilies
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • ½ Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup Tomato Puree
First: put the chilies in a small pan and add water to just cover; bring to a boil, turn heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes or so, to soften.

Second: put softened chilies in blender with lime juice, onion, garlic, salt, and tomato puree; blend until thoroughly mixed; add enough of the chili water to achieve desired consistency.  (make it a little on the watery side as you will be cooking this salsa)

Finally:  pour the salsa into a saucepan and cook until thickened a bit, about 5 minutes.  (the idea is to cook out the rawness out of the salsa and thicken) 

This is a great go-to salsa recipe that can be easily changed using any similar sized dried chili.  I love to experiment with different chilies as they all have different flavors and notes.  Keep in mind that different chilies have different heat levels but that is usually noted on the package.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lightened-Up Chicken and Waffles

Most people are familiar with chicken and waffles, or at least heard of it.  I love chicken and waffles but I don’t really make it because it’s really not great for you...until now.  I was so happy with the way my OMG Oven Fried Chicken came out that I decided to give it a healthy re-vamp!  If you have never tried it you must give it a shot…if you have had it before you NEED to have this version.  It hits all the same sweet and savory spots but is much healthier.  Typically you would have this with maple syrup (the fake kind) but I prefer it with either 100% pure maple syrup or honey.  

  • 1 Recipe of OMG Oven Fried Chicken (or your favorite fried chicken)
  • ½ Cup 100% Pure Maple Syrup or Honey (I really love honey with this one!)

Cornbread Waffles:

  • ¾ Cup Cornmeal
  • ¾ Cup Flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 ½ Cups Buttermilk
First: prepare the chicken and make the waffles while that is cooking.

Second: whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, and buttermilk until just combined.

Third:  cook the waffles according to your waffle iron instructions

Finally: serve it up how you like, I am good with one waffle and one piece of chicken cut in half and stacked…drizzle with syrup or honey and EAT!

I like the OMG Oven Fried Chicken with breadcrumbs for this one.  I mentioned before that I make my own bread crumbs and this is one PERFECT use for them!  Just save your money and throw some aging bread in your food processor and pulse until you have crumbs! Works great and I prefer them over the stale crap in the store.  Anyway, try this recipe…it is so good!  That classic savory/sweet combination is the highlight and the texture of the crispy, juicy chicken and savory cornbread waffles…YUM!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

OMG Oven Fried Chicken

So there are a million baked “fried” chicken recipes out there.  Some think the key is buttermilk, yogurt, etc.  The reality is that chicken breast has no flavor and the flavor comes from what is on it.  So the key is to make it stick to the chicken.  Most of what I’ve seen does not have the important first step of preparing the chicken for the wet stuff!  Corn starch is the best for this as it does not make it thick and pasty…in fact it makes the wet stuff stick amazingly which is what we want since that is where the flavor is.  Now, I know this is supposed to be healthy and you may be wondering about the mayonnaise.  I use the Olive Oil based mayonnaise for one and only a small amount for the whole recipe for two.  You need some fat so don’t worry…it’s all good!

  • 1 Pound Chicken Breast, pounded to about ½ inch thick
  • ¼ Cup Corn Starch
  • 4 Egg Whites (or 2 Eggs)
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups Corn Flakes (crushed) or Bread Crumbs
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

First: coat the chicken breast in corn starch and shake it off making sure there are no lumps of corn starch on the chicken. (I find putting it in a large zipper bag works perfectly for this)

Second: whisk together the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; coat the chicken nicely in the mixture.

Third:  add the corn flakes or breadcrumbs into a shallow dish and coat the chicken completely. (The key here is to press the breading firmly onto the breast, especially if using corn flakes)

Finally: Place the chicken on a rack over a sheet pan and bake for about 20 minutes.

I have used both corn flakes (pictured) and regular bread crumbs (that I make) and it comes out amazing either way!  Just small things make a difference…use the corn starch in the beginning, bake it on a rack, and do not over cook it and you will have PERFECT chicken!  I call it OMG chicken because that is exactly what I said when I tried it. It is THAT good!  It actually led to another recipe that I am posting tomorrow!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blackberry Smoothie

Everyone likes a smoothie, at least from time to time.  I love smoothies almost as a complete meal replacement or just as part of a meal.  The great thing about smoothies is they are so versatile and so easy to make.  If you want to make a full meal out of it you will just need some protein and fiber.  Add protein powder, tofu, or yogurt for protein.  For fiber the, PERFECT addition would be psyllium powder (husks).  I do like to supplement with smoothies because of the fact that I love to eat.  It keeps me feeling less guilty, less bloated, and more healthful! (Note: this recipe is for one pretty good sized smoothie…feel free to double it if you are sharing!)

  • 1 Large Banana (for sweetness and thickness)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Blackberries
  • 1 Cup Milk (I use soy, coconut, etc…whatever I have on hand)
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
First: add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and thick. 

Finally: drink up!  It’s that easy…the hardest part of this is cleaning your blender.

How simple is that?!  I know it is not much, but that’s the point!  I think it is important to think about health and what we are eating.  If you like to indulge from time to time as I do then you will benefit greatly from incorporating smoothies into your life OFTEN.  I try to have at least one smoothie a day.  I prefer tofu or yogurt for protein if I am going that route rather than protein powder…I feel it is more natural and less processed so easier for your body to utilize it. 

If you are having a smoothie for breakfast and do not want to add the extras then you should get your protein and fiber another way.  An excellent way is to have a slice of whole grain toast with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter…a low-carb way to complete a meal is to just get your protein – have a stick of string cheese or a hard-boiled egg!  Use your imagination and stay healthy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Moist Pumpkin Muffins

I love when fall arrives and pumpkin is back!  Here is a pumpkin muffin recipe that I developed to add some nutritional value and make the whole process simpler.  Nothing irritates me more than having a ton of dishes to deal with when I’m done baking so I made this to just go into one bowl!  My tool of choice is my whisk…which I LOVE.  These muffins are moist and full of great nutrition.  It’s all about the choices we make in our ingredients, right?!  If you like you can get whole wheat or whole grain pastry flour and us just that and it will have equally great results.

  • 1 Can Pumpkin (15 ounces)
  • 4 Eggs
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ Cup Almond Milk
  • 2 Cups Pure Cane Sugar (unprocessed)
  • 1 Cup 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • 3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Heat oven to 350 degrees

First: put pumpkin, eggs, oil, milk, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk it like crazy until well combined.

Second: sift the flours and baking soda right into the bowl and whisk until JUST combined…do not over mix.

Finally: fill standard muffin cups to top edge and bake until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 33 – 35 minutes.  NOTE: this makes about 18 muffins

This could not be easier.  If you don’t have or don’t want to get maple syrup then just use sugar (you could also use honey).  I think the maple syrup mellows out the sweetness a little and gives it a little different dimension.  I suggest you make these ASAP and freeze some.  I couldn’t possible go through all of these at once so I just freeze half and save them for later.