Chinese Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Bok Choy

Hiiiiiiiii. I haven’t posted for a while because I have been suffering from recipe-block. I’ve learned that’s a real thing. I would either cook something and not think it came out well enough to post, or I wouldn’t like the photos. OR…I just couldn’t think of anything new and it has been driving me loco. Getting ready for a big move so the stress of that hasn’t helped…

I asked someone very dear to me if he had any suggestions on what I should cook next. He said I should do something with shrimp and peppers. That got my brain mush swirling. I wanted him to know his ideas are valuable to me. I was committed. And peppers are pretty awesome. All the kinds of peppers. Shrimp is pretty awesome too. Definitely my favorite pink food.

Taco Tuesday had JUST happened and I needed to cook something ASAP before this blog turned to dust. I bought some Bok Choy, which I thought I might use in a curry but my brain started dancing around and I started dreaming up a taco that would be just different enough from a Taco Tuesday taco, but you know…still a taco. A Taco Thursday type of taco. This taco right here ——>

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Looking at the picture of this Thursday taco is making me hungry and it’s Friday. My reward for finishing this post is getting to cook a Thai curry…sans Bok Choy. I think I am finding it’s better to post hungry.

Anyway, this was crazy easy to make and extremely time efficient. It was done 30 minutes earlier than I planned. A delicious mistake. And the Bok Choy can roast while you are preparing everything else. Niiiiiice.

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I ended up using Rudi’s spelt tortillas which I flipping’ LOVE. They taste exactly like regular bleached white flour tortillas except they have the nutritional benefits of spelt (my latest fav grain)…I cannot taste the difference. CAN. NOT. And they are soft too, not like icky gluten-free tortillas (though if you find a gluten-free tortilla that doesn’t taste like hardened wax paper please let me know)…Rudi’s is the illest.

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Now, the secret weapon. This jar of chili garlic sauce I found in my cabinet that I totally forgot I even bought. This is Lee Kum Kee brand and I found it at my local Whole Foods Market. If you can’t find it at your market, you can order it on Amazon.com!

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If I were to try this recipe again I might add some raw shredded cabbage for a little extra crunch, though the water chestnuts help with that too. Crunchy is my favorite flavor. 🙂

Here’s how you can make it yourself:

Ingredients 

1/2 pound large white shrimp, peeled and rinsed in cold water

1 medium red bell pepper, cubed

1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce

3 heads bok choy, separated and halved length-wise (if too wide)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

chopped cilantro for topping

salt & pepper to taste

spelt (or your preferred) tortillas

 

Directions

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

On a foil lined baking pan, line up the cleaned, separated bok choy stalks and drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss a little with hands. Place in oven for 20 minutes, flipping the pieces over half way through.

In a large skillet melt the coconut oil on medium and add the garlic and bell pepper. Sauté about 10 minutes or until pepper starts to soften. Add shrimp and water chestnuts and toss until all is coated and the shrimp starts to turn pink.

Lower heat and add the chili sauce, soy sauce, ginger powder , chili flakes and salt/pepper. Sauté for another 5 minutes or until shrimp is completely pink and cooked.

Remove bok choy from oven and heat tortillas. Add shrimp mixture to tortillas. Top with 2 slices of roasted bok choy and chopped cilantro. Serve with a big salad.

Stuff. In. Your. Face.

Ok, whew…curry time!

xoxoxo

PK

Enzo Amore Cacciatore (GF/Low Carb)

Wow, I have been waiting a loooooong time to post this recipe. I have made it four times now, tweaking it, trying to perfect it because I now consider this one of my signature dishes. If made properly, the chicken falls apart at the bone and a knife is never needed. It’s packed with veggies and protein. It can be made alone to fulfill low carb/keto/paleo diets, paired with pasta or the way we do it; with a warm & crusty bread to soak up all that flavorful sauce.

It may or may not be named after one of my favorite pro wrestlers. I am a woman with complicated taste.

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You want to make sure you get organic, BONE-IN chicken thighs. This makes a huge difference. The bone adds so much flavor when doing a low and slow simmer. Also make sure you get crushed tomatoes and tomato paste with NO ADDED SUGAR. You can usually find these options at Whole Foods or other health food stores. If not, I love Amazon.com for finding ingredients I can’t get at the store.

As far as wine I have made this with both white wine and red wine. It’s really a personal taste. The red wine gives a bolder, more authentic flavor. BONUS: you can drink the wine while you are cooking.

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I prefer whole black olives but SOMEONE accidentally picked up sliced olives. Those worked well too but whole black olives = more traditional.

I would also like to suggest you make way too much because this reheats amazingly and perfect for leftover lunch (though there never seems to be any leftovers in my house). You can freeze it too!

Ingredients 

– 6 bone in organic chicken thighs

– 4 large carrots, sliced

– 8oz sliced white mushrooms

-4 garlic cloves, chopped

-4oz black olives

-1/2 cup cheap red wine

-2 tablespoons tomato paste

-28oz can crushed tomatoes

-1 large white onion, chopped

-4 small tomatoes, chopped

-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

-1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

-2 tablespoons thyme

-2 tablespoons oregano

-2 tablespoons basil

-salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook until they start to soften. Add salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for about 10 minutes. Add wine and stir for about 8 more minutes.

Lower heat and stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the rest of the spices. Place chicken thighs evenly around pan, pushing them down so the sauce covers them. Cover and let simmer on low for 40 minutes, flipping the chicken thighs over every 10 min.

After 40 minutes take off cover and add the olives and fresh tomatoes. Mix in slowly, flipping the chicken thighs over one last time. At this time (if you like) you can wrap some fresh Italian or French bread in aluminum foil and heat in the oven at 400 degrees. Simmer for 15 more minutes. Remove *OPTIONAL* bread from oven. Serve hot.

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xoxoxoxoxo,

KA

Pesto Soba Noodles with Tofu


Here is a dinner I whipped up last night and wanted to share with y’all because it was just so quick, easy and most importantly, packed with crazy awesome flavor. A while back I scored some buckwheat soba noodles in bulk from Amazon.com and have been using them with stir-frys and curries instead of rice buuuuuut I wanted to try something a little different…and the experiment worked out very well for all tummies involved. 

If you eat oil-free this is definitely NOT the recipe for you as it uses a lot of olive oil but I adore olive oil so yeah, that’s what’s up.

I used my Vitamix for the Pesto because I use my Vitamix for EVERYTHING (I’m obsessed) but a food processor or nutribullet type blendy thing will also work.

Ingredients 

1 package buckwheat Soba noodles

1 cup white mushrooms sliced

1 package organic extra firm tofu, cubed 

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 bunch fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup pine nuts, split

4 cloves garlic

1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed 

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt/Pepper to taste
Directions

In a Vitamix or food processor blend the basil, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the pine nuts, olive oil and garlic on a high setting until well processed and smooth. Set aside.

Boil the Soba noodles according to package, drain and run under a cold water. Set aside.

In a large skillet sautĂ©e the mushrooms and tofu in olive oil until the mushrooms are soft and the tofu is lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Switch to low heat and add the spinach and the Pesto sauce, stirring continuously just enough to wilt the spinach and heat the Pesto. Turn off heat, add the Soba noodles and lightly toss until noodles are coated. 

Heat a separate small pan on the stove and add the remaining 1/4 of the pine nuts and dry toast, tossing until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 

Top the noodles with the toasted pine nuts and grub down in front of some Gilmore Girls.

❀ KA

Southwest Millet with Roasted Sweet Potato (vegan, gluten-free)

While I am not a vegan or vegetarian, I am actively trying to eat less meat. Much less. This blog has been a great way for me to experiment with that and this was very much an experiment.

I’ve been fascinated by unusual grains lately and ordered millet, amaranth and sorghum  from Amazon.com. Here is my first attempt cooking with millet.

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2 cups chopped sweet potato

pepper

garlic salt

coconut cooking spray

1 cup millet

80z vegetable broth

1 orange bell pepper chopped

1 onion chopped

2 tomatoes

1 can black beans

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup chopped white mushrooms

hot sauce

 

First you are going to roast the cut up sweet potatoes on a baking sheet (I lined mine with foil), spray with coconut oil spray and add fresh ground pepper and garlic salt. Roast on 375 for 40 min, turning over and re-spraying half way.

While those are baking, toast the millet on it’s own in a big sautĂ© pan with a lid for 5-8 min. Add coconut oil and mushrooms, peppers, onions and mix it all up. Add 2 cups of water and cook covered for 30 min.

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Open the lid after 30 min and add black beans, chopped tomatoes, veggie broth and 1/2 cup more water if needed, depending on whether you like a more al dente or porridge-like texture. Cook an additional 15 min. Add hot sauce to taste.

xoxoxo

D

Sardine Pizza (aka the best pizza ever)

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Ok maybe not the best pizza ever if you hate sardines, but I love those little babies. I have been trying to find natural sources of B vitamins in food and sardines are tiny nutritional powerhouses. In addition to B vitamins, sardines are loaded with protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, D, E, K…and that is the short list. Sardines are badass.

I remember picnics with my dad as a child, he would have tins of sardines packed in marinara sauce and a loaf of freshly baked French baguette. The most simple meal that ignites happy and comforting feelings in my brain. I will always connect sardines with youth and simplicity in my mind. I’m weird.

Annnnnnd of course…I love pizza. Though I did notice that as I changed my diet and begun to eat healthier, my body could no longer tolerate the sodium explosion that was Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Which is weird because I use to LIVE off fast-food and delivery pizza. Now when I eat chain store pizza I always feel gross and bloated afterwards. So I wanted to try to make my own.

This was my first time making a pizza and I swear it was so good I can’t imagine eating crappy chain pizza ever again (excluding real New York pizza…mmmm)…I can’t wait to experiment more in the pizza arts.

The dough is actually really simple to make. Here is a great, easy to understand one from Food.com http://www.food.com/recipe/quick-and-easy-pizza-dough-117532

You can also buy pre-made pizza dough. I’ve seen it at both Whole Foods Market and Trader Joes. Here is my fav:

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I didn’t have a rolling pin handy (just ordered a fancy stainless steel one on Amazon.com but it has yet to arrive) so I pulled and stretched the dough by hand, which is a little more tricky. Either way works. Then I sprayed the stretched dough with some coconut oil spray and set aside on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet (which I also sprayed with a little coconut oil).

Pre-heat the oven to 400.

Grab your favorite sauce or make a super quick and easy one with some tomato paste, garlic, oregano and olive oil sautéed slowly in the skillet.

The fun part. Toppings! Here’s what I used:

1 cup sauce

1 medium tomato, chopped and diced

3 medium balls fresh water mozzarella

1/2 cup feta cheese

2 cloves chopped garlic

2 cans of sardines packed in olive oil

Fresh basil leaves

Pepper

The photo at the top of this post shows how it looks right before I stuck in the oven.

I baked for 15 minutes, then rotated the pizza pan and baked for another 10. That seemed to be perfect. Crisp but tender crust.

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I made this for two people and there was not a leftover in sight. I must say, I was pretty proud of how this turned out. Will definitely be posting more pizza recipes in the future! Maybe every Monday I will make a new, exciting experimental pizza, hmmmmmm…

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xoxoxo

D

Pokemon Salmon

Ok yeah I am totally cashing in on the Pokemon Go craze with that title, whatever, BUT HEAR ME OUT. Pokemon means “pocket monster”. I bake the salmon and veggies in a foil pocket. And a salmon is kind of like a river monster? Whatever, this was awesome, I am trying to get more fish in my diet aaaaaaand, I paired it with an amazing summer salad. Check it out…

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I got me a gorgeous piece of salmon at my sanctuary, Whole Foods Market. Isn’t it pretty? I started by laying it on a big piece of foil on a baking sheet, squeezed the life out of half a lemon onto it’s shiny flesh and then sliced it three times to help it cook through and added bonus, made perfect portions. Then I sprinkled this glorious mixture all over it: Bespoke Provisions lemon rosemary salt! I love this stuff, I even use it to make popcorn (recipe for that coming soon!)…I got this fancy salt on Amazon.com.

I sliced up some zucchini and arranged it around the salmon. The oil from the salmon cooking should be enough to make the zucchini tender and flavorful but I also gave it a very LIGHT spritz of coconut oil spray and some fresh ground pepper.

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Next I topped it with another similar size sheet of foil and folded over the edges, like a POCKET. I took a knife and stabbed three little slits at the top of it.

I then baked at 400 and set my timer for 30 minutes.

While that monster baked I filled a large bowl full of baby greens and things I found in my fridge and cupboards. Tomato, sunflower seeds, a can of garbanzo beans (drained) some leftover cooked golden beets, a ton of pepper and topped with my FAV Lucian Italia fig balsamic from ThriveMarket.com.

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The zucchini was seriously the best I have EVER had. I usually ALWAYS cook zucchini in a skillet but this method was fantastic, will definitely be doing it this way again. Oh the fun lessons to be learned in a kitchen!

xoxoxo

D

Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate

 

I was getting my nails done the other day and the manicurist complimented me on my naturally long, strong nails. I can honestly tell you I have never had that happen before. My entire life I have always had weak, brittle nails that flaked to dust the second they dared to grow past my finger. I use to also have a habit of chewing on them which didn’t help. Throughout my 20’s, to have long sexy nails, I always had to get acrylics. There was just no way my nails could be long naturally, and I had accepted that. Later on as I got into my 30’s and no longer desired stripper nails (I say that with love I am very pro stripper!), I decided I was cool having short nails and switched to getting gel manicures.

I told the manicurist of my secret weapon and she was very intrigued. Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate powder! Hydro what???

Seriously I had never heard of this stuff until I went to visit a friend who happened to be a holistic nutritionist. She was telling me about joint and back pain she was experiencing and how she added this wonder powder to her Tumeric tea and how it saved her life. I wanted to try her Tumeric tea recipe to help with my clinical depression and decided to also try the collagen powder to boost my metabolism. I honestly didn’t really think any of this would do anything. I am skeptical of most supplements but figured it was worth a try as I was trying to heal some health issues naturally.

I ordered the brand she recommended, Great Lakes from Amazon.com. It comes in a HUGE canister for 22.99. HUGE.

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Lakes-Gelatin-Collagen-Hydrolysate/dp/B005KG7EDU/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1469151836&sr=1-1&keywords=great+lakes+gelatin

Well the Tumeric tea did nothing for my depression (though I know other people who swear by it so that was just my experience), but I was taken aback one day when I realized my nails were CRAZY thick and strong and growing long without breaking. It was seriously amazing and I have never seen my nails look like that.

Another benefit is hair and skin. I got one of those hair cuts that was just a WEE bit too short for my liking but it grew out FAST since I have been using this crazy stuff.

I also use it as a protein supplement. It doesn’t have all the sugar and artificial ingredients that most protein powders and shakes have. And it tastes like nothing!

Recommended dose is two tablespoons a day. The directions say you can mix it in your juice or coffee. I have been putting 1 tablespoon at a time per cup of green tea with a spoon of organic raw honey. I don’t even taste it. Now that it’s summer I have been putting it in my iced green matcha tea.

I can’t recommend this product more. It is awesome. Way better and easier to swallow (literally) than collagen capsules and I noticed way more benefits. So incredibly NOT Vegan.

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xoxoxo

D