Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quinoa for Breakfast

Here's a super quick, healthy and delicious breakfast idea for both weekday morning and lazy weekends. The quinoa just takes 10 minutes to cook, and you add the rest of the ingredients in at the end. I've obviously been trying to be super healthy these last few months before the wedding, and this one is a winner. The quinoa is full of protein -- 24g / cup compared to 6g/ cup in oatmeal. I'd say that's a good way to start the day!

I'm off to the Philippines on Monday, so I'll be enjoying this lazy weekend at home with Brian before I head out. I'm going to head to one of the Filipino islands while I'm over there on the weekend, so stay tuned for some seriously beautiful pictures via Instagram!
Breakfast Quinoa
makes 3-4 servings

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 fresh berries (blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, etc.)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
sprinkling of ground chia seeds
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter (optional)

This one is super simple! Start by mixing the quinoa, water and a pinch of salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. 

Add the rest of the ingredients straight to the pot and mix thoroughly. Add some additional fresh berries to the top for serving. Enjoy!

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Recipe Refresh! Tequila Chicken Tacos

Whether it's Tuesday or the weekend, I'm always ready for some tacos. I made a Tequila Chicken Taco recipe way, way back in the day and decided I needed to refresh the recipe. It's one of my favorite taco recipes. The recipe makes a ton of chicken, which I've been eating all week on salads, alone, on top of rice, with some slaw. Doesn't matter what you eat it with, it's drop dead delish. 

I'm also rekindling my love for Cilantro Chimichurri in this post. If you didn't make it before, now's the time.

Tequila Chicken Tacos 
makes 25 tacos (aka tons of leftovers)
for the chicken:  
2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1 yellow onion (diced)
1 poblano (seeds and stem removed, diced)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 small can diced green chilies
1/4 cup tequila
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 lime (juice)
olive oil
toasted ground cumin or regular cumin
dried oregano
ground coriander
chipotle powder or smoky paprika
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves

for the tacos:
corn tortillas (warmed)
cilantro chimichurri rice
low fat Greek yogurt
cilantro chimichurri slaw (recipe below)

Let's get that chicken seared off first. Cut chicken breasts in half and cover in spices listed, salt and pepper (no bay leaf). Crank up the heat to medium-high over a Dutch oven and add olive oil. Drop the chicken breast in and sear on 1 side for 3 minutes, flip and sear on the other side for 3 more minutes. You will likely have to do this in 2 batches unless you have a giant pot. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Lower heat to medium and add a little more olive oil. Add onions, poblano, garlic, green chilies with their liquid, a few shakes of each spice, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Let cook and soften for about 5 minutes. You may have some brown bits at the bottom of the pan at this point. Carefully, add the tequila to deglaze the pan. Let cook down and reduce for 3 minutes.

Now, add the tomatoes, chicken broth and lime. Go ahead and add some more of the spices at this point with salt and pepper. Bring up to a simmer. Once simmering, add the chicken with all the accumulated juices on the plate back to the pot. Lower heat to low, cover and let simmer for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, shred the chicken with 2 forks. I shredded it directly in the pot into big chunks. Taste the liquid and add more of any spice you think is missing. Let simmer once shredded for 15- 20 minutes. That's all!

Serve tacos with warmed corn tortillas, some rice (cilantro chimichurri if you have time to make the cilantro sauce!), Greek yogurt and some slaw like the one below!

Cilantro Chimichurri Slaw
makes 5-6 servings

1/4 head red cabbage (shaved on mandolin)
1/2 cup low fat Greek Yogurt

Combine all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Here's one last wintery recipe before we totally jump into spring and summer. Although, this is kind of a good transition recipe. It's a soup, but it's seafood soup which is pretty summery to me. I'm a huge fan of clam chowders, especially the non-cream based ones. This version of a Manhattan Clam Chowder stays pretty true to a traditional one, but I've added some diced shrimp to give it a little extra bulk. 
Hope you guys enjoy this one!

Manhattan Clam Chowder
makes 1 pot soup

4 slices thick cut bacon (diced)
3 carrots (diced)
3 - 4 stalks celery (diced)
1 yellow onion (diced)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp dried oregano
3 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups Yukon Gold potatoes (diced)
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
3 (6½-ounce) cans chopped clams
1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (rough chop)
salt and pepper

Get that bacon going first. Heat a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, oregano, bay leaf, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Note: All your veggies should be cut to similar sizes so they cook evenly.

Deglaze the pan with white wine. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Next, add the clam juice and water. Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes once boiling. Add some salt and pepper. Cover and let let simmer for 10 minutes. 

Add the fire roasted tomatoes and bring back to a simmer. Add a pinch of salt. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Next, add in the clams and chopped shrimp, and make sure the heat is on low. Only cook for another 5 minutes in order to cook through. 

Remove bay leaves and serve immediately.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Trip to Poland + Tomatillo Chicken Soup

First let me start by saying this soup recipe is honestly one of my all time favorites. I love any type of Mexican dish that comes with salsa verde, tomatillo sauce, green sauce, you name it. So when I decided I wanted to make a soup one Sunday afternoon, I knew I had to incorporate that yummy green sauce.

I love making soups and actually think it's probably my specialty (people always ask me what it is). I recently learned at a wedding shower my aunt and cousins threw me this past weekend, that soup is Brian's favorite thing I make. After learning that I naturally had to make one for him!

Okay, so on to Poland. I'm off to Poland on Monday for work. I'll be in Krakow and I'm so excited to see it. I've heard all good things about the food and city.  Pierogis, sausages, mustards. Yum. I'm also going to be about an hour away from Auschwitz which I will likely go to, to pay my respects and learn more about such a chilling part of recent history. 

I'll definitely be documenting my trip in Poland, so stay tuned via Instagram!

P.S. Brian and I are doing the Napa triathlon this weekend! I'm just doing the sprint but I'm so scared to jump in the water! We're also under the 4 month mark until the wedding. OMG!

Tomatillo Chicken Soup
makes 1 big pot (6-8 servings)

1 lb ground chicken or boneless skinless chicken breasts
10 - 12 tomatillos (paper removed and rinsed)
1 yellow onion (diced)
7 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 poblano
1 can mild or hot green chilies
3 tsp cumin
3 tsp oregano
3 tsp green chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 lime (juice)
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
olive oil

for the toppings
fresh cilantro
queso fresco
non fat Greek yogurt
red onion (diced)
red cabbage (shaved on mandolin)
lime slices
avocado cubes

You're going to multitask to begin. Get three things going around the same time. 

Turn on your broiler. Place tomatillos on foil lined baking sheet and pop under the broiler. Let one side char for about 4 minutes, then flip over and let the other side char for another 4. Remove from broiler and set to rest.

As tomatillos char, char the poblano on a gas burner or pop into the over under the broiler with the tomatillos. Let all sides char. Let cool once charred, then remove stem and most seeds before dicing up.

As tomatillos and poblano char, heat a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat and add olive oil. Drop in ground chicken or chicken breast and add 1 tsp cumin, oregano, green chili powder and 1/2 tsp coriander. Add some salt and pepper as well. Let cook for about 7 minutes until browned a bit. It may not be entirely cooked through, but that's okay. Remove to a plate.

Lower heat to medium and add a bit more olive oil. Add onion and garlic, with 1 tsp cumin, oregano, green chili powder and 1/2 tsp coriander. Let cook for 5 minutes. Add in diced poblano and can of chilies. Let cook for another 3 minutes. 

Add the whole charred tomatillos with their skin and all juices. Crush a little bit with your cooking utensil and mix everything to combine. Add salt and pepper. Add the juice of 1 whole lime.

Add all chicken broth with remaining cumin, oregano, chili powder and coriander. Add an extra dash of salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling lower heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, puree with an immersion blender until mostly smooth. Add chicken back in and let simmer for 20 minutes over low heat. If using chicken breast, let simmer for 45 minutes until chicken is super tender. 

Serve in a bowl with lots of fresh cilantro, cabbage, Greek yogurt, onions, lime juice, avocados and queso fresco. Feel free to leave anything out, or add anything else that sounds yummy.

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