Salmon Maki Rice Bowl

This rice bowl has all of the components that go into a Maki roll except for the seaweed.  It’s healthy and delicious and most importantly it’s easy to make.  I like to use Basmati rice because it has a lower glycemic index.  The avocado and salmon both have healthy fats and important vitamins and minerals.  Eat the rice bowl warm or cold and garnish it with soy sauce, ponzu sauce, wasabi or picked ginger.  All of these items can be found in the asian food aisle at your local supermarket.  Enjoy!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                           Cook Time 15 – 20                         Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp ponzu sauce (a less intense soy sauce with citrus)

1 tbs honey

Juice of 1 small orange

1 lb fresh or frozen salmon

1 cup of dry basmati rice cooked according to package instructions

1 avocado chopped into cubes

1/2 english cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped

 

Mix together the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Place the salmon skin side down in a casserole dish and pour the marinade over the top.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  In the meantime, cook the cup of dry rice per package instructions.  Chop the avocado and cucumber.

When the fish is cooked through place it in a bowl over a scoop of rice and spoon the marinade over the top.  Add the avocado and cucumber to the top and garnish with ponzu sauce, soy sauce, wasabi or pickled ginger.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken lettuce wraps are low calorie, low carb, low fat and low cholesterol but I promise you won’t mind that it’s missing all that bad stuff.  The bean sprouts and water chestnuts add a great crunch to the meat mixture and the sauce gives it a great Asian flavor.  (I bet it will be dripping down your arm by the end of the meal.)  These lettuce wraps make for a quick dinner or a healthy appetizer.  It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals and I am sure it will become a repeat on your dinner menu as well!

Prep Time:  15 Minutes                     Cook Time:  15 minutes                     Serves 4

Ingredients

2 lbs ground chicken

1 red bell pepper diced

5 oz can of peeled and sliced water chestnuts (chopped)

2 heads of Boston Lettuce

12 ounces of fresh bean sprouts

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

2 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce

Salt and Pepper to taste

Place 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a large non-stick skillet and add the chopped bell peppers.  Cook for 3 minutes until softened.  Add the ground chicken and stir for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through.  While the chicken is cooking cut the stems off of the heads of lettuce and peel away each whole leaf and pile onto a plate.  Mix together the soy sauce, fish sauce and corn starch and add to the chicken along with the bean sprouts and water chestnuts.  Stir to combine.  Add the hoisin sauce and bring to a boil while stirring.  Serve in a bowl so that each person can make their own wraps with hot sauce, siracha or chili sauce if desired.

 

 

Rosemary Pork Loin Dinner

What could be better than only one dirty pan in the sink after dinner?  You can make this meal quickly and easily with just a little chopping and everything cooks at the same time in one pan.  The sweet and tangy Roasted Applesauce recipe on this blog compliments this pork nicely.  If zucchini, carrots and potatoes aren’t your thing swap them out for mushrooms, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or peppers.  The best way to eat pork is slightly pink in the middle so that it remains juicy and tender.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                     Cook Time:  30 – 60 minutes               Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1.5 – 3 lb pork tenderloin (excess fat trimmed)

5 carrots peeled and cut on the bias into 2 inch pieces

2 large zucchini cut into 1 inch rounds

2-3 large potatoes cut into cubes (skin on or removed depending on preference)

2 shallots peeled and cut into thick round slices

2 tbsp avocado oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground pepper

1 tbsp fresh rosemary (strip the green leaves from the stem and chop coarsely)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place the chopped vegetables in an even layer on the bottom of a large casserole dish or baking pan.  Sprinkle with 1 tbsp oil and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper.  Toss to coat the vegetables.  Place the trimmed pork loin on top of all of the vegetables and rub with the remaining 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and 1 tbsp oil and rosemary.  Place into the oven for 30 – 60 minutes depending on the thickness and weight of the tenderloin.  When a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees remove it from the oven and place the loin on a cutting board and cover it with foil for 5-10 minutes to allow the meat to rest and the juices to redistribute.  Cut the tenderloin into thick slices and serve with the vegetables and optional applesauce.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

You can make this meal using condiments that you have in your pantry and it’s a delicious and healthy dinner that you can feel good about serving to your family. The basmati rice has a lower glycemic index than your basic white rice and the chicken is a great lean protein.  Coconut oil is a healthy fat that has been shown to reduce inflammation and it also imparts a great flavor to the dish.  Once you become more familiar with the recipe you can add any vegetables that you’d like – mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, zucchini, etc.

Prep Time:  30 minutes                       Cook time:  15 minutes                Serves 4

1.5 – 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp coconut oil

3 – 4 bell peppers in assorted colors cut into 1-inch pieces

6 scallions cut on the bias (white and green parts separated)

1 20 oz can cubed pineapple with 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice reserved

2 cups of dry basmati rice cooked to package instructions (optional)

  1.  Cook the rice according to package instructions.
  2. In a large bowl toss the chicken with 1 tbsp each of soy sauce and cornstarch.  Add 1 tsp ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp cornstarch, vinegar, ketchup honey and 1/2 cup pineapple juice. (If you forget to reserve the juice or wish to use fresh pineapple simply use 1/2 cup of water in place of the pineapple juice.)  Whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet and cook the chicken until browned – 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  5. Add the peppers and white parts of the scallion to the pan and cook until softened – 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan along with the chicken and green parts of the scallions.  Bring the mixture to a boil to thicken the sauce – 3 minutes.  Serve immediately over rice.

 

Zucchini and Pepper Egg White Quiche

This is the easiest recipe and so versatile but also presents well.  It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Make it the day before and all you have to do is cut a slice and warm it up.  Serve it with a salad and you have a healthy lunch or have it for breakfast with a crispy hash brown and a side of ketchup.  This quiche is full of lean protein and veggies so there’s no guilt.  If you would prefer to use whole eggs simply substitute the egg whites with 4 whole eggs.  Going to a pot luck?  Need to make something for the teacher luncheon?  Have a friend who just had a baby?  You get the idea……..

Prep Time:  10 minutes                  Cook time:  60 minutes                   Serves: 8

 Ingredients

1 cup liquid egg whites

3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese – optional  (Romano is a Sheep’s milk cheese that some lactose intolerant folks can tolerate much better than cow’s milk)

1 small zucchini small diced

1 small red pepper small diced

1  frozen pie shell (bottom only)  I prefer 9″ deep Oronoque Orchards, which is dairy free

https://www.mrssmiths.com/products/pie-crusts/pie-crusts-oronoque-orchards.htm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place egg whites, almond milk, cheese, salt, pepper, zucchini and red pepper into a medium bowl and whisk together to combine.  Pour all of the ingredients into the frozen pie shell on a lined baking sheet.  Place in oven for 1 hour.  Remove and serve hot or cool and store in the fridge covered for up to a week.

Other variations:  Lean turkey breakfast sausage, chive and cheddar / Spinach, feta (Sheep’s milk cheese) and chopped tomatoes / Zucchini, carmelized onions and grated Romano cheese / Ham and Swiss cheese / Bacon, goat cheese and mushroom / Mushroom, bacon and chopped tomatoes / Asparagus, red pepper and grated cheese

Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken

I was never a person who liked fruit or nuts on my salad, but I fell in love with the sweet and salty crunch of this satisfying and healthy meal.  The crunchy pecans compliment the chewy dried cranberries which provide a nice contrast to the sweet and tart apples.  The chicken adds extra protein to keep you full longer and the goat cheese is optional but adds a wonderful creamy texture.  Make this gem for dinner in under 30 minutes!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                 Cooking time:  15 minutes                       Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 oz of washed lettuce (romaine or mixed greens work well but if iceberg is your favorite then go for it!)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

1 cup of Nonni Netta’s Spiced Roasted Pecans or store bought roasted glazed pecans

1 cup of chopped apple

2 lbs of grilled or baked chicken breast

1.5 cups of Apple Cider Vinaigrette or your favorite dressing

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and either bake or grill until cooked through.  Slice the chicken into strips and set aside.  You can either serve all of the ingredients separately and have each person assemble their own salad or add all of the ingredients to a large bowl filled with lettuce and toss with vinaigrette.  Either way, you’ll be eating something different tonight that took under 30 minutes and it won’t be coming from a drive thru.  Yum!

 

 

Easy Restaurant Style Baked Fish

Who doesn’t love that buttery cracker crusted baked fish that is served at restaurants?  Make something special tonight that is also surprisingly quick and easy.  I love to serve this fish with some sautéed zucchini and a baked potato.  I truly feel like I’m eating out, but of course with a lot less calories and no dairy.  I hope this will become one of your favorite dinners.

Prep Time:  5 minutes                  Cook Time:  25-35 minutes           Serves:  4-5

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 2 lbs of cod or haddock

1/3 cup melted coconut butter (such as spreadable Olivio Coconut Butter in the dairy aisle)

3 cups of crushed dairy free crackers (I like the 12 grain crackers at Trader Joe’s, but any cracker will do)

1 tsp dried dill weed

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place fish in a casserole dish.  Melt the coconut butter in a medium bowl and set aside.  Place the crackers in a gallon sized resealable bag and let the air out before sealing.  Crush the crackers with a wine bottle by rolling it up and down the bag or simply use your hands.  Pour the crushed crackers into the melted butter and add the salt, pepper and dill.  Mix until the crackers are completely coated.  Pour the cracker mixture over the fish and place in the oven for 25 – 35 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.  The fish will be cooked when it flakes easily with a fork and is completely opaque in the  center.  The crumbs should be browned, but if they start to brown too much simply cover with foil.  Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon.

Yummy Mini Meatloaves with a Tangy Glaze

Want something different for dinner to replace your usual repertoire?  Here is the solution!  You can even make these the day before and pop them in the oven when you get home.  Using ground turkey or chicken is much leaner than beef and hiding the veggies not only fools your kids into eating healthier, but it also adds a ton of flavor.  Top it with the tangy glaze and you have a winner that your family will beg for every week.

Prep Time:  15 minutes          Total Cook Time:  Approximately 40 minutes        Serves:  3-4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb of ground turkey or chicken

8 oz sliced mushrooms

1 carrot small diced

1 shallot sliced

1 tbsp avocado oil

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Sweet and Tangy Glaze (optional)

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup yellow mustard

2 tbsp grown sugar

Place mushrooms, diced carrots and shallot on a small lined sheet pan with salt, pepper, oregano and oil and toss gently until coated.  Place the sheet pan with the veggies into a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes until tender.  Remove the veggies and place them into a food processor and blend until it resembles a paste.  Stir the vegetable mixture together with the ground meat, egg white and breadcrumbs until combined.  Form into flat patties that are the size of a slider hamburger and place on a lined baking sheet.

Stir together all of the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl with a whisk.  Once smooth, spoon sauce onto the top of each formed patty.  (This is the point at which you could place these into the fridge and cook them the next day.)

Place the meatloaves into a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your meatloaves.  Once the edges of the patty are browned and the center is cooked through they are ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Healthy Stuffed Peppers and Eggplant

This is the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold day and can even be prepared in advance.  It holds up well when frozen, so make extra.  The grated Romano cheese is optional.  (I find that I can tolerate Romano cheese because it is a sheep’s milk cheese, but it can be easily omitted.)  The Basmati rice has a much lower glycemic index than your typical white rice and the ground chicken or turkey means a lot less fat and cholesterol when compared to the traditional ground beef.  The addition of the veggies adds nutrients and flavor.  (My girls call it rainbow rice.)

Ingredients:

3 Cubanelle peppers (also called Italian peppers)

1 large (or two small) eggplant

3 tbs avocado oil

1 cup frozen spinach

1 celery stalk diced

1 carrot diced

1/2 red bell pepper diced

1 shallot diced

1 tbs salt

1 tbs ground pepper

3 tbs fresh chopped basil

1 lb of ground chicken or turkey

3 cups cooked basmati rice (1 cup of dried basmati rice prepared according to package instructions)

3/4 cup grated Romano cheese

4 cups of canned or homemade tomato sauce

Cut off the top of the Cubanelle peppers and remove the ribs and seeds inside leaving the body of the pepper intact.  Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the white flesh with a large spoon.  Reserve the flesh of the eggplant and chop into cubes.  Place the peppers and eggplant into a large casserole dish.  Set a saute pan over medium heat and add the oil and diced vegetables along with the spinach and eggplant flesh.  Add the salt and pepper and cook the veggies for approximately 10 minutes until softened.  Add the ground meat and cook through.  Once cooked, turn off the heat and add the grated cheese, 1 cup of the reserved tomato sauce and the cooked rice.  Stir to combine and then spoon the mixture into the eggplant and peppers.  Pour the remaining 3 cups of sauce over the stuffed peppers and eggplant.  Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Uncover after an hour and allow to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your peppers and eggplant.  Enjoy!

Healthy Lactose Free Chicken Stroganoff

One dish meals are fabulous, aren’t they?  This one is quick, easy, healthy and tastes delicious.  I use lactose free sour cream to add  richness to this dish, while still keeping it lactose intolerance friendly.  I like to serve this dish over egg noodles, but you can certainly choose rice if you prefer.  The substitution of the chicken instead of the traditional beef cuts down on fat and cholesterol.  If you don’t have fresh dill, the dried dill will be just as tasty.  Enjoy!

Prep time:  5 minutes          Cooking time:  20 minutes          Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes

Salt and ground pepper

3 tbsp of avocado oil (or other oil)

1 shallot diced

1 lb of sliced white mushrooms

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup lactose free sour cream

Chipped fresh dill for garnish or 2 tsp dried dill weed

12 oz of wide egg noodles

Add oil to the pan and the chopped shallot at medium heat ensuring that the shallot doesn’t burn.  Add the mushrooms and chicken to the pan and sauté for 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  When the chicken is no longer pink add the chicken stock.  Simmer uncovered for 8 minutes until the liquid has thickened.  Stir the mustard into the liquid and cook for another 2 minutes uncovered.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and sprinkle with dill.  Serve over cooked egg noodles.