thai sweet chili chicken tenders.

Do you ever have recipes that you saw once upon a time ago, told yourself you’d make it in the near future, and then it sat bookmarked for eons? Just me? Well, today’s recipe takes inspiration from that very scenario! I had a recipe for sweet chili chicken bookmarked FOREVER and when I got an invite to a Spring dinner party, I knew it was time to make them. Never mind our Spring theme turned into an icy pajama party theme, as we were dealing with an ice storm warning. In mid April. I love you, upstate NY!

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You guys. I served these as an appetizer, but they would be perfect for a main dish alongside some asian slaw! These are SO yummy. The heat is super subtle and mild here, but you can up the crushed red pepper for more daring palates.

The secret to these is the refrigerator or ‘resting’ period after you bread them! Seriously. Just like in these fish cakes, resting them is essential and non-negotiable. That sounds harsh, but I want you to have successful tenders!

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Once the breaded chicken bakes, they get a quick dunk in the cooled and thickened sauce (basting them with any extra) and a quick final bake to help the sauce cling and get sticky sweet! Top with some sliced almonds and cilantro and serve! These are a great party appetizer, or serve with the aforementioned slaw or even just steamed jasmine rice.

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thai sweet chili chicken.
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats. (<– as a bonus, her recipe is GF!)

ingredients

1.5 chicken breasts, cut into 1/1.5×1.5/2 inch tenders
2 eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened nondairy milk
1/2 cup rice flour or all purpose flour
sea salt and pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs (or rice chex, matzo meal)
1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

sauce:
1/2 sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced

directions
Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray (or brush with oil) and set aside.

In a food processor, add the almonds and process until they are a small crumb and pour into a shallow dish. Add the panko and process until small crumb and add to the almonds, seasoning lightly with sea salt and pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside. In a third shallow bowl, add the rice flour (or AP flour), smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper.

Using the wet hand/dry hand method (only one hand handles the chicken), dip each chicken piece into the flour, shake off excess, and then dunk into the egg mixture, and then into the panko/almond mixture, pressing to ensure the crumbs stick to the chicken. Place each piece onto the prepared sheet pan and once done breading all the chicken, refrigerate the pan for 30 minutes at minimum.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While chicken is resting, combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucier and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium/medium-low and lightly simmer for 5-7 minutes  until sauce has thickened and reduced slightly.

While the sauce is simmering, spray the tops of the chicken with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over, spray again with cooking spray and bake for an additional 7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and lightly golden brown.

Pour reduced sauce into a wide bowl and then dunk each piece of baked chicken into the sauce using tongs, ensuring to completely coat the chicken piece, and then place each piece back onto the sheet pan, topping with an extra sauce. Bake for 4-5 minutes longer, taking care to ensure the chicken does not burn.

Serve, topped with cilantro and almonds. Serves 8-10 as an appetizer, 4 as an entree.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

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easy spicy stir fried noodles with egg.

Asian-inspired food is a favorite here at my home. So much variety, it’s quick to put together, and it always. makes. a. ton.

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Hi! Sorry for my unexpected silence; work, school, my birthday, and valentine’s day have all transpired in the past few weeks and it has meant lots of eating out, frozen pizza (<– ugh, I know), and very sporadic meals. I finally (!) went to the supermarket and did a proper meal plan. Before that however, I decided to use up some things hanging out in the fridge so I wouldn’t be tempted to waste food by throwing it out. We are all about reducing food waste in my household!

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I had some celery that I had been throwing into morning smoothies, so I used that with some sweet onion, aromatics like garlic and ginger combined with a slightly sweet but decidedly spicy sauce tossed with some eggs and a fresh thin Chinese noodles: Chinese takeout fake-out that comes together in less than 20 minutes. This is very similar to my refrigerator clean out stir fry  in that you can use whatever you have on hand! Don’t like celery? No problem – sub in carrots or green beans. Want to add some cubed tofu or leftover ground pork or shredded chicken? Go ahead! Add shrimp at the end of cooking the vegetables if you’re feeling the crustaceans that day. Point is, possibilities are endless, and oh-so-delicious.

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spicy stir fried noodles with egg + veggies.
sauce adapted from budget bytes. 

ingredients
1/2 package (about 8 ounces) fresh ramen or thin lo mein noodles (can also be ‘fresh’ noodles from the frozen section; do not use dried, shelf stable noodles)
2 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil
2 eggs, whisked
2-3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
lime wedges, for serving (optional)
cilantro, chopped, for serving (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, to garnish (optional)

sauce:
3 tablespoons chile garlic sauce (sambal olek)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)

directions
Boil noodles according to package directions (typically boil a pot of water, add noodles and turn heat off. Let cook in hot water for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain.

While noodles are cooking, heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and ginger and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Push the veggies to one side of the pan and add the whisked eggs and scramble them into the pan, mixing with the vegetables as they cook. Add the sauce and the noddles and mix well to incorporate, turning the heat to medium/medium-low and allow to cook/stir-fry for additional 1-2 minutes (add a splash of water or a splash of soy sauce (about 1 teaspoon max of soy) if the noodles seem dry.

Remove to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro, lime and sesame oil if using.

Serves 4.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

sesame-tahini chicken noodles.

This dish. Oh my, you guys, this. dish. More specifically, this sauce. Who knew tahini was so amazing in an Asian-inspired dish?? Chrissy Teigen, that’s who. Yes, this recipes comes from her fabulous cookbook, Cravings, which I bought for my food-loving friend MC. She almost didn’t get it because once I flipped through it, I found about 800 recipes that sounded incredible and that I needed to make. Clearly, I’ll be buying a copy for myself!

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I did however, jot down a few of the recipes to make sooner rather than later, and man, if the rest of the recipes in her book are as good as this one…. I’m a goner.

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This recipe puts a delicious, luscious twist on sesame noodles by including tahini in the dressing. It provides a nutty flavor and thick, smooth sauce. I recommend blending the sauce instead of whisking, to completely puree the garlic and help everything emulsify. Make sure to toss the noodles with the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil to help prevent them from sticking together. To round out the meal, serve with some steamed broccolini, green beans, or bok choy.  To make gluten free, use rice noodles in place of the pasta.

Most importantly: make this. It’s DELICIOUS!

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sesame-tahini chicken noodles.
slightly adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.

ingredients
sea salt
8 ounces chicken breast
8 ounces dried thin spaghetti/linguine
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup grapeseed or peanut oil
1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons chili oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 garlic clove, minced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
steamed chinese broccoli, to serve alongside, optional

directions
Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil and add a pinch of sea salt. Poach chicken for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked thoroughly, remove to a plate and let cool. Save the poaching liquid and bring it back to a boil if needed. Cook the pasta noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse.

While noodles are cooking, add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, peanut/grapeseed oil, tahini, soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, honey, cayenne and garlic to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl or jar and set aside.

Transfer noodles to a large bowl and use a clean paper roll to gently pat noodles dry. Toss noodles with remaining sesame oil.

Shred chicken and add to noodles. Add dressing and toss to coat. Garnish with scallions and serve.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

hoisin chicken stir fry with sweet potatoes + cabbage.

During these busy days of December, I rely on recipes that are super quick to whip up so I can save myself from an unhealthy meal on-the-go while running seemingly endless errands for the upcoming holidays. This hoisin-spiced stir fry definitely fits the bill of fast, simple, healthy, and oh-so-delicious!

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I normally dislike when hoisin sauce (essentially a Chinese barbecue sauce) is a major ingredient: I find that on its own, the flavor is overpowering for me. However, mixed with the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, a pinch of red pepper flake and the vegetables: the finished dish was aromatic, complex and balanced.

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The longest part of this dish is the cooking of the sweet potatoes: covering the skillet partially and slicing them relatively thin is essential to keeping the cook time under 12 minutes. Adding a splash of water helps prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan and avoiding too much browning. Once that’s done, the rest of the cooking comes together in no time flat.

I think you’ll love this creative take on a stir-fry as much as I did! It’s wonderful for using up leftover produce – as a bonus, cabbage, celery and sweet potatoes last forever in the fridge and pantry, so this is easy to whip up any time!

hoisin spiced chicken stir-fry with sweet potatoes.

ingredients
2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds, then cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped into half moons
8 ounces skinless boneless chicken, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 cups green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (about 1/4 medium head)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
pinch of crushed red pepper, optional

directions
Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and onion; stir-fry until yams are just tender, adjusting heat if browning too quickly and adding water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 12 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from the pan, set aside on a plate.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add chicken, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry 3-4 minutes. Add cabbage; stirfry until chicken is cooked through and cabbage is wilted but still slightly crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in hoisin sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in 1/2 cup cilantro.

Transfer stir-fry to serving bowl; sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

butternut squash congee with fried ginger.

This is congee dressed up in its autumnal finest. We’ve had our fair share of Indian summer weather here in NY, with temperatures in the high 80s for the majority of the past week. Luckily, the weekend has brought relief, by way of temperatures in the low 60s with a gentle breeze. PERFECT for this incredibly simple yet warming congee turned soup.

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Have you had congee? It is essentially a rice porridge that is commonplace in East and Southeast Asian cuisine. On it’s own, it is typically served as a side dish, dressed up with vegetables, meat or seafood, and it’s transformed into a main dish entree. This is very simple to make, and you’ll be amazed at how the simple ingredients transform into a finished dish that is nuanced, fragrant and complex. The shredded squash will melt into the dish during the long, slow simmer. Finished with some brightness and freshness with the basil, cilantro and fried ginger and served with crusty bread on the side, this dish is perfect when you want cozy, comfort food that you can feel so good about.

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The pulsed rice will help release some of the starches and it will thicken the congee; the consistency is very similar to oatmeal once it’s finished.

butternut squash + ginger congee.
from cooking light magazine.

ingredients
12 ounces (weight) butternut squash, peeled and grated
1/3 cup long grain white rice
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 teaspoons fish sauce
1 inch piece fresh ginger, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

directions
Add the rice to a small bowl and cover with water. Let stand for ten minutes and then drain. Add the rice to a food processor and pulse until the rice is in small granules.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the rice and the grated butternut squash and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the fish sauce, sea salt, stock and water. Increase heat to high until the mixture starts to boil. Stir, reduce heat to low and partially cover. Let the mixture simmer for 75-90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and creamy.

When the mixture is almost done, heat a small skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the ginger slices and fry for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Turn the heat off and add the sugar and pepper to the congee. Split the congee amongst four bowls, and top with fried ginger, basil and cilantro. Serve with crusty bread if desired.

Makes four 1 cup servings. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

 

 

 

 

clean-out the refrigerator stir fry.

What a title, eh? Along with soups, curries, frittatas, and salads, stir-fries are another wonderful way to use up all those odds and ends in your refrigerator. They are especially forgiving to vegetables.

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During my market shopping, I picked up a few red bell peppers because, well, why not? I figured I’d use them one way or another. When it became clear that I was going to have one leftover or go to waste if I didn’t act quickly, I soon decided to throw together a stir fry featuring that bell pepper, kale, carrots, and celery from last week’s market haul that needed to be used up before going bad, and topping it off with some leftover cooked chicken from a dinner party I had on Saturday. I had both rice noodles and brown rice in my pantry, and decided to go with rice, although you could use whatever your heart or pantry desires!

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The most important thing to remember is use what you have, and to add them to the wok or pan in order, starting with the vegetables that will take the longest to cook: carrots and onions, in my case. If using leafy greens like me (bok choy, spinach, etc.), I like to add them when I add the sauce, just to let them wilt a bit. The sauce I’m using is a very simple, all-purpose stir fry sauce, and it can be modified to your liking. I don’t add garlic or ginger to this sauce, instead I fry them in the oil at the beginning of the cooking process to infuse the oil. Garlic, ginger and jalapeño in my case, but you could use a combination of all three, or sub in scallions if you’ve got those to use. The addition of the cornstarch makes the sauce thick and glossy, and you’ll be hard pressed to believe that you aren’t eating takeout!

To make this dish gluten free, please sub dark and regular soy sauce with tamari which is naturally GF, and be use to use a GF cornstarch (you can also just leave it out, but the sauce will not be as thick).

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I hope you enjoy this as much as I do; you can feel especially good about not wasting food while making such a delicious dish!

refrigerator clean-out stir fry. 

ingredients
4 cups mixed vegetables, sorted by vegetable (I used onion, carrot, celery, red bell pepper, kale)
6 ounces cooked chicken or other leftover protein, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil + 1 teaspoon sesame oil

stir fry sauce:
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (use all regular, low sodium if you do not have dark soy)
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1.5 teaspoons brown or coconut palm sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice, for serving
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)

directions
Heat grapeseed and sesame oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat.

While the oil is heating, make the sauce: Add together the soy sauces, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sugar, sesame oil and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to combine and dissolve the cornstarch. Set aside.

Once oil is shiny but not smoking, add the ginger, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes, until the oil is fragrant but the ingredients are not burned. Add the vegetables in order of thickness/hardiness (carrots, onion, celery first for me) and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the bell pepper and any other vegetables besides greens and cook for an additional minute.

Add the cooked protein, greens and scant 1/4 cup of the sauce with 1/4 cup water. Stirring frequently, allow the mixture to cook and thicken up over 2-3 minutes (reduce heat if the mixture is thickening too quickly/starting to boil).

Remove from pan to a serving platter along with cooked rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and/or peanuts if desired.

Serves 3-4.

NOTES: The stir fry sauce recipe will make more than you need for this recipe. Store the remainder in the refrigerator, and it will keep well for up to four weeks.

chicken egg roll bowls.

Egg rolls are one of my most favorite guilty pleasures. I cannot get Chinese take out without getting an order of those crispy, fried delights. Even bad egg rolls are good egg rolls. When they’re crazy good? They should be illegal. At least the calorie count (which can top 800 calories!) should be illegal. What do I do when the craving hits and I still want to be able to wear my crop tops and fitted dresses with confidence? Delicious egg roll bowls!

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That’s right; we are forgoing the deep fried won ton wrapper in favor of a super flavorful  mixture of ground lean chicken, cabbage and other aromatic vegetables that tastes exactly like an egg roll! If you want to be even more authentic, use ground pork in place of the chicken; I just wanted an extra-lean dish. To make this paleo-friendly, use coconut aminos in place of the dark and light soy. To make this gluten free, swap in tamari or coconut aminos for the soy sauces.

I garnished with fresh cilantro leaves, but you could top with sliced scallions, crushed peanuts or sliced almonds, or those crispy Chinese noodles if you want a little hint of decadence. 🙂 Top with sriracha if you so please, and enjoy this guilt free dinner that will be on your plate in less than 20 minutes!

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chicken egg roll bowls.
adapted from Whole New Mom.

ingredients
1 pound lean ground chicken
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
16 ounce bag shredded coleslaw mix OR 6 cups shredded green cabbage and 2 cups shredded carrots
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon reserved
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine) or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of coconut palm sugar (1/8 teaspoon) optional
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sliced scallions, to garnish
sriracha, for serving

directions
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat with one tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil. Add ground chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and cooked through. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes until the onions become mildly translucent and soft. Add cabbage, carrots, light and dark soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar if using. Combine together to allow sauce to distribute and cook for 7-10 minutes longer on medium heat, allowing the sauce to thicken and the vegetables to soften. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Plate, and add cilantro and scallions. Top with sriracha if desired. Serves 6.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible**

 

japchae (Korean glass noodle stir fry) with beef.

Have you ever heard of japchae? I hadn’t, until I was standing amongst boxes and bags of noodles at the Asian section of my grocery store. I was intrigued by a small tube of sweet potato glass noodles. I am always on the lookout for gluten free noodles, as I try to limit my gluten intake as I tend to have an inflammatory reaction if I consume too much. On the package of the sweet potato noodles, there was a recipe for japchae, which was compromised of stir fried vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, squash), tossed with a simple soy and sesame sauce, served with thinly sliced beef. Sold! Once I got home, I did a little research into japchae, and immediately added it to list of must make dishes.

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I am so glad I did! Japchae is a dish that is typically served at parties and special occasions. It is so flexible! Can be served hot or cold, as a side dish with just the veggies and noodles, or served as a main dish, topped with meat, seafood or tofu, like I did here. You can use any vegetables that you have in your fridge, or that are in season. I used baby white mushrooms, julienned carrots, and napa cabbage, topped with scallions and sesame seeds. You can use any vegetable that you would use in a stir fry – bell pepper or green beans would be delicious here! I went veggie-heavy as per usual, but you can scale down or up to suit your ingredients and your preferences.

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These noodles are treated in a similar fashion to rice noodles. Soak them in warm but not boiling hot water for 30 minutes, and then once ready to use, you will cook them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then add to the pan with the vegetables, beef and sauce. These are the brand of noodles I used:

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As a bonus, this dish is incredibly  travel friendly. It can be eaten hot, warm, room temperature, cold, you name it! I particularly enjoyed it straight out of the fridge; the flavors had time to meld and the texture of the noodles was best when cold. Enjoy this Korean specialty, all!

japchae with beef.

ingredients
4 ounces sweet potato glass noodles
1/4 cup low sodium tamari
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot chili oil
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup napa cabbage leaves, sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 scallions, light and dark parts, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
8-10 ounces top sirloin or flank steak

directions
Soak noodles in room temperature water for at least 30 minutes. Cook in boiling water for 30 seconds, and drain. Run cool water over the cooked noodles to stop the cooking process and then toss with a half a teaspoon of sesame oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.

Combine tamari, coconut palm sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside 2/3 of marinade. Use the remaining 1/3 to marinate the steak for at least one hour, but can leave up to 12.

To cook steak: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium high heat and sprinkle the steak with black pepper (no salt needed as the tamari is salty). Cook 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare, 5-6 minutes for medium/medium well. Remove, and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice very thinly against the grain. Set aside.

Heat the hot chili oil and grapeseed oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and carrots and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, and then add the cabbage and mushrooms. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes longer, just until vegetables soften slightly and get color to them. Add the steak, noodles and reserved marinade and reduce heat to medium, stir frying everything together for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Plate on a large serving bowl/platter, and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve immediately, or chill prior to serving.

Serves 2-3.

light chinese chicken salad with sesame ginger vinaigrette.

It seems ubiquitous that my 100th post(!) is a salad. I suppose it would be completely appropriate if my salad was lemon-themed, but let’s face it, I am just not that organized, and lemons were not in my meal plan this week, aside from my daily warm lemon water routine (<– SO good for you!).

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However, today’s recipe is a salad of Asian inspiration, which is fitting, seeing as Asian flavors are ones that I never, ever tire of. Do you have flavors/cuisines like that? Even with the copious and frankly embarrassing amounts of ginger I consume on a weekly basis, I can never get enough. So I bring you a light and healthy Chinese chicken salad. I don’t think this recipe is authentically Chinese in any realm, but these salads have enjoyed massive popularity for years. Sadly, most restaurant versions are positively laden with sodium and fat, and before you know it, your “healthy” meal has turned into a calorie bomb. No thank you.

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Here, we are grilling our lean chicken breasts (you can use boneless, skinless thigh meat if that’s what you prefer), throwing tons of delicious veggies into our salad, and topping off with a delicious dressing that is rich, thanks to the sesame oil, but not cloying at all. Sliced, roasted almonds provide the crunch factor, and provide us with healthy fats which keep us fuller, longer. This is one recipe I can make over and over again, and never tire of. I hope it’ll do the same for you!

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light + healthy chinese chicken salad.
inspired by many of the Chinese chicken salads I’ve had over the years. 

1 heart of romaine, chopped
2 cups savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup roasted, sliced almonds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
sea salt and black pepper

dressing:
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari, or gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sriracha or chile-garlic sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
1 tablespoon diced fresh ginger

directions
To make the dressing: combine all ingredients except oil into a blender. With the blender on medium, stream in the tablespoon of oil to emulsify. Pour into a container and set aside.

To cook chicken: Turn the grill, grill pan or heavy cast iron skillet onto/over medium-high. Season chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. If using a grill pan or skillet, add in one teaspoon of grapeseed oil to the pan to heat. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and the juices run clear. Remove to a platter, and cut into thin slices.

To assemble salad: In a large mixing bowl add cabbage, lettuce, carrots, red bell pepper, cilantro, almonds and sesame seeds. Add half the dressing, and lightly toss. Top with chicken and additional dressing if desired.

Serves 2 as a main dish salads.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

thai chicken noodles with red peppers + basil.

Happy Thursday! This week sure has seemed long, hasn’t it? I’ve had a series of deadlines and deliverables looming over me, both at work and for school, so my free time has been greatly reduced. Who needs to sleep??

While amounts of sleep may be variable, the need to eat certainly is not! I know we all need  easy dishes that come together quickly and stay delicious for next day lunches. Today’s recipe is just that: a rice noodle dish positively loaded with veggies and protein to keep you full and satisfied through the most stressful of days. I’m not sure how authentically Thai this dish is, but I promise you it is positively delicious!

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I like the thin brown rice noodles for this, often called ‘stir fry’ noodles at the grocery store. The brown rice adds additional whole grains and fiber, but if you cannot find, simply substitute white ones. I let them soak until they are just shy of soft, as they will cook a bit in the wok, and continue to soften as they sit. Six ounces of baby spinach (weight) may seem like a lot, but it wilts quickly and you’ll be surprised at how much it cooks down.

Serve with some sake, or a crisp white wine, and congratulate yourself on cooking a healthy, filling meal in less time than it takes to order takeout!

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thai chicken noodles with red peppers + basil.
a ‘PTL’ original. 

directions
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh, minced ginger
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
3 scallions, sliced
1/2-3/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
6 ounces baby spinach
1/3 cup fresh basil, minced
1 lime, juiced
8 ounces thin brown or white rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
sea salt and black pepper, if desired (optional)

directions
Heat oil in wok over high heat.  Stir fry chicken for 3-4 minutes, or until no longer pink.

Add bell peppers, ginger, and garlic; sauté until peppers just begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add green onions; toss 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, lime juice and crushed red pepper.

Toss to blend, about 1 minute. Add thai rice noodles. Add spinach in 3 additions, tossing until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute for each addition. Mix in basil. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Toss consistently, to prevent the noodles from sticking.

Serve immediately. Serves 3-4.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible*