peanut cabbage slaw with herbs + chicken.

Last post, we made chicken with braised cabbage. As cabbage heads are normally HUGE, there is typically always some leftover. With that leftover cabbage, and two of the chicken breasts AND the onions (that I quick pickled!), we have this recipe, which is perfect for lunches! A cabbage slaw tossed in a quick peanut dressing, highlighted with some herbs, and topped with that leftover chicken. So easy and so delicious!

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The dressing uses some of the vinegary pickling liquid, but if you choose to not pickle the red onion, use unseasoned rice vinegar. Here is a great tutorial on pickling red onions – they keep for weeks, and are a great way add a pop of tart flavor to your dishes! The base of this slaw is cabbage and red bell pepper, but I added some sliced cucumber, as I was positively swimming in it! Feel free to add any veggies you have on hand — carrots would be a lovely addition!

If packing for lunches, mix the dressing, add to the bottom of a jar/container, layer with the chicken and then the cabbage slaw. Enjoy!

cabbage slaw with herbs + chicken.
from Buzzfeed Food.

ingredients
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon liquid from pickled onions or rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup pickled red onions
1/2 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
8 ounces cooked chicken breasts, sliced

directions
In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, fish sauce, pickling liquid/fish sauce and olive oil until smooth and well combined. Add cabbage, bell pepper, pickled onions and toss with the dressing until the slaw is well coated.

Divide between two plates and top with chicken. Serves 2.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

 

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pan roasted chicken with braised cabbage.

I’m not sure if it is due to my strong Polish heritage or what, but I LOVE cabbage. It is so versatile, it lasts forever, and it’s a bit of an unsung food hero, in my humble opinion. I also feel like it gets brushed aside in favor for its more trendy cousins, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts, and I love an underdog. Ergo, here we are — where I’ll be showcasing cabbage in two different preparations over the next few days. First up – a braising recipe so easy and quick, it’s perfect for weeknights, or for meal prepping! Pan-roasted chicken with braised cabbage.

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Cabbage lends itself easily to being cooked, where it becomes tender and sweet with minimal effort. Here, we will briefly saute it with some red onion and the leftover marinating liquid, and it gets roasted in the oven with the chicken. The result? Soft, tender leaves punctuated with with the sweet-tangy flavor of the onions, cooked down in the vinegar and fish sauce (<– don’t be afraid… fish sauce is ALL about the savory, umami flavor!). I used chicken breasts that I sliced in half as I prefer their flavor, texture, and lower calorie count. If you prefer, use chicken thighs – if using skin-on, make sure to saute long enough to render out the fat and create a crispy skin.

This is a simple dish with loads of flavor – what could be better?

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pan-roasted chicken with braised cabbage.
from Buzzfeed Food. 

ingredients
4 chicken breasts or breast halves (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 small head of green cabbage, cored and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
sea salt
black pepper

directions
To marinate the chicken, combine the garlic, ginger, vinegar, fish sauce, and olive oil in an air-tight container. Add the chicken and shake everything together. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least an hour, and up to 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from the marinade; reserve the marinating liquid. Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry and season with sea salt and pepper.

Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat with a teaspoon of oil. Add the chicken and cook, 4-5 minutes per side, until lightly golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and set them aside. Turn the heat down to medium, add the red onion and saute for about one minute, until the onions begin to soften, about a minute. Add the cabbage, and marinating liquid and stir to ensure the cabbage is coated. Bring to a boil, add the chicken atop the cabbage and place the skillet into the oven to roast for 15-18 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and the edges of the cabbage are lightly browned.

Divide the cabbage mixture amongst to plates and top with a chicken breast for each. Serves 2, with 2 chicken breast halves leftover.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

 

 

white wine + shallot vinaigrette.

This dressing. I want it on everything. I think it may be my favorite homemade dressing to date. It is SO. GOOD.

I’ve been eating this so simply — spooned over sliced half moons of cucumber; cucumber that I had left over from last week’s pasta salad. I enjoyed that combination so much, I actually went out and bought more cucumbers just for the dressing! YUM.

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This is absurdly simple to make – especially if you have a blender! I tend to mix up my dressings in the blender — usually due to laziness. I don’t have to worry about a perfect mince of the garlic and shallot, and the mustard and honey emulsify beautifully with the whizz of the blender; yielding a thick, almost creamy dressing. If you don’t have a blender or don’t want to dirty it, never fear! Simply toss all the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined.

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This is tangy, light, yet super flavorful. It is Italian dressing-esque, but a more delicate flavor, thanks to the white wine vinegar. Feel free to use champagne vinegar in place of the white wine, and red wine in place of the apple cider if that’s what you have on hand. I recommend using a neutral oil; olive will overpower the other flavors. You can also use dijon in place of the whole grain mustard, but I love the bite of the whole grain. Enjoy this tossed with fresh, crisp romaine, in a pasta salad, or, over chopped cucumbers like me!

white wine + shallot vinaigrette.

ingredients
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
2 tablespoons shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons raw honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
scant 1 cup neutral oil such as grapeseed or avocado

directions
In a blender, add all ingredients except the oil. Turn the blender on medium-low, and stream in the oil, increasing the blender speed for 30-45 seconds, allowing the dressing to come together.

Makes about one cup. Keeps for 2 weeks refrigerated.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible** 

roasted sweet potato salad.

People feel really seriously about potato salad. Mayo, or no mayo? (<– NO. Never. Yuck.). Eggs? Chopped pickles? Celery? It can be made a plethora of ways, but for me, the idea of potato salad is almost always better than the reality. I too often find them bland and unappealingly gloppy. Aside from the warm, vinegary German potato salad I grew up on and LOVE, I always tend to be disappointed. HOWEVER. I stumbled upon the idea of a sweet potato salad and was immediately intrigued. You guys. I have your new summer staple picnic salad!

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Yes. This salad combines roasted sweet potatoes with crunch red bell peppers, scallions, roasted frozen(!) corn, dressed in a bright yet lightly sweet honey dijon lime dressing (<– use agave for a vegan dish)! The original recipe I used for inspiration included black beans and cilantro, but I decided to keep it simple and omitted the cilantro simply because it didn’t look good at my grocery store the day I was there. I would also probably skip the cilantro for parties, as many people have a vehement dislike for it. There is so much going on here, you won’t miss it. Promise. 🙂

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As a bonus, this is better the longer it sits as the flavors will be allowed to mingle and marry. Letting it rest for 30 minutes is necessary, but you could make this a day ahead – so convenient for busy schedules! I served this with chicken enchilada meatballs and tortillas, but this would be amazing inside the tortillas for vegan tacos or enchiladas! Enjoy this new warm weather favorite.

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roasted sweet potato salad.
adapted from Averie Cooks.

ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.25 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon each)
1 cup frozen roasted corn (thawed)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
3-4 scallions (green parts), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey (agave if vegan)
1/4 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
pinch of cayenne (optional)

directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss the cubed sweet potatoes with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. On a baking sheet lined with foil and nonstick cooking spray, add the sweet potato. Roast in oven for 30-45 minutes, tossing about halfway through, to ensure even browning. Check potatoes for doneness around the 30 minute mark; they are done when they can be pierced easily with a fork but are not falling apart.

While the potatoes are cooking, slice the red peppers and scallions and add them to a large bowl along with the thawed corn. In a small bowl, whisk together the tablespoon of olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, lime, salt, pepper and cayenne until emulsified.

Once the potatoes are done cooking and at room temperature or slightly warm, add to the bowl with the vegetables, pour the dressing over top and toss gently to combine.

Let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Keeps well for up to 5 days. Serves 4 as a side.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

roasted salmon salad with honey-dijon vinaigrette.

I just showed you how to meal prep salmon, so let’s turn those portions of delicious fish into a delicious workday meal!

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This salad is so simple – just toss some chopped romaine, baby kale, carrots, cucumbers and sliced almonds with an easy honey-dijon vinaigrette and top with the salmon (warmed or not!). As you can see, I used a whole filet to top my salad; that I had warmed slowly in a pan on the stovetop. For work lunches, I recommend flaking some cold salmon atop your salad (store separately from the greens until just ready to eat).

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Not only is this great for meal prepping, it’s also a great ‘clean out’ recipe! Toss whatever vegetables you have into the salad bowl, top with a sprinkling of almonds or walnuts, or even some leftover fresh herbs. Possibilities are endless.

roasted salmon salad with honey dijon vinaigrette.

ingredients
2 salmon filets, cooked
1 romaine heart, chopped
4 cups baby kale
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup mixed vegetables such as cucumber, bell pepper, celery, etc. (optional)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
sea salt and pepper
dressing:
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
dash of sea salt and pepper

directions
In a blender or small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients and then whisk in the olive oil until well combined and smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.

If serving immediately, toss together all salad ingredients except for the salmon. Divide amongst two plates and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing (you will have dressing left over). Top with salmon filet each and serve.

To prep: toss together the salad ingredients except the salmon and dressing. In containers, add the salad greens/vegetables. Store salmon separately in an air tight container; same with dressing.

Makes 2 entree-sized salads. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

super simple roasted salmon with lemon.

Honestly, the title says it all. This is SO. EASY. and it’s my preferred way to meal prep salmon!

Yes, you read that right. Meal prep that includes fish. It can be done! To be fair, cooked fish is more delicate than other cooked proteins (chicken, etc.), so it’s best to consume the salmon in 2 days after cooking it, 3 at the most, IMHO.

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My salmon filet was 1 3/4 pounds, but I cut it in half and used one half for this recipe/prep, and the other I cut into 3 filets and slathered with a sweet chili glaze for that evening’s dinner. Fish markets and places like Costco are great to get affordable, fresh whole filets; my cost was under $15 for almost 2 pounds.

I like this simple cooking method because it lends itself to a myriad of meals/ways to consume. My favorite way is to top a salad with some flaked salmon (<– look for this next!), but you can: eat chilled with roasted asparagus, chopped hardboiled eggs and olives for a riff off of a nicoise salad, fold into a a fish cake (use this recipe and replace the tilapia with salmon!), or toss into cooked pasta with some lemon, cream and fresh herbs. Honestly, the possibilities are endless.

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To ensure proper storage, once cooked, divide into portions (I usually keep the portions in tact, but flake if you prefer), wrap in aluminum foil and store in air tight storage containers. You can absolutely heat up leftover fish, but be kind to your coworkers, and only do that at home. 🙂 Chilled leftover fish is delightful!

easy roasted salmon with lemon.

ingredients
1 pound salmon filet (one whole piece or individual filets; your choice)
nonstick olive oil cooking spray OR 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 lemon, sliced

directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, add the whole filet (or cut into two, as I did). Spray the salmon with olive oil spray or brush one teaspoon oil onto the filet. Season with salt and pepper and top with lemon slices.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, 15 for medium-rare, closer to 20 for well done. General rule of thumb is 4-6 minutes per half inch thickness. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Salmon will keep well for 2-3 days wrapped tightly in foil and stored in an air-tight container.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

red lentil + kale soup.

It’s lentil soup time! This time, with kale. Mmmm. Kale is my cheese. It makes everything better.

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Still with me? Hooray! Thanks for staying, even after that kale comment. It may seem so basic, but it’s true! I’ve loved kale (and all other leafy greens) long before kale had its trendy moment in the sun. It is *especially* wonderful in soup, as its hardy texture stands up to the cooking process without turning too soft and wilty. If lentils aren’t up your alley, try these soups with kale: this has been a long time favorite that I need to make soon, this is so comforting and this one is vegan and uber allergen friendly!

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This lentil soup is a little different for me, as I did not puree it at all; it is as brothy as a red lentil can be. 🙂 Chop the kale into bite size pieces before you add it at the end of the cooking process so that it’s nice and manageable, and is similar in size to the tomatoes, carrots and celery. If you want a spicier flavor, use hot paprika in place of the sweet or toss in a few crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy this! It’s delightful, especially with some toasted naan.

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red lentil soup with kale.

ingredients
1 cup split red lentils
15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with their juices
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalked, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2-3 cups (not packed) curly kale, thinly chopped

directions
Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add the tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to turn translucent and soften. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for and additional minute. Add the paprika, ground cumin, turmeric, coriander, salt and pepper and stir to combine and allow the spices to ‘bloom’.

Add the lentils, tomatoes and vegetable stock and stir to combine. Stir, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, partially cover and let cook for 12-15 minutes, until the lentils have softened but still retain most of their shape (you do not want them to completely fall apart in this recipe).

Add the kale and let cook for 5-7 minutes longer, until kale has softened.

Serve immediately or let cool completely before storing and freezing. Serves 4 as a main, 6-8 as a starter (1 cup).

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

savory cabbage pancakes (okonomiyaki).

These savory cabbage pancakes are a fantastic way to use up leftover cabbage!

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These are called okonomiyaki in Japanese, and  they are such a great way to use up that huge head of cabbage you probably have leftover from another recipe. Perhaps this soup? Even when I ask for the clerk to cut the cabbage in half or me, I still seem to always end up with so much leftover. Never fear though, because cabbage lasts FOREVER.

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To make these, we are simply shredding the cabbage, carrot and adding them to a quick batter. To make quick work of this, you can use the grating blade of a food processor like me, or simply grate over a big box hole grater. In a method similar to these fish cakes, I really like to form the patties and let them set up for a few minutes before cooking; it’s paramount to the success of them holding their shape. Carefully flatten the cakes while in the pan, and they’ll achieve a nice, even browning and cook faster, due to them being flatter.

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I enjoyed these simply with some sriracha drizzled over them, but some toasted sesame seeds would be equally divine!

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okonomiyaki.
adapted from budget bytes.

ingredients
2 eggs
1/2 cup tepid water
3/4 cup white rice flour (up to 1 cup)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1.5 tablespoon tamari or GF soy sauce
4-5 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grapeseed oil, divided into 1 tablespoon portions
1 teaspoon sriracha, for topping

directions
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, sesame oil and tamari. Add flour by the 1/4 cup to prevent lumps. Add the cabbage, carrot and scallions and mix well to combine.

Form into 10 patties, about 1/4 cup mix for each patty. Set them on a platter and refrigerate them for 10-20 minutes.

Heat one tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Cook patties in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, slightly flattening the patty to ensure an even cook on each side. Using a fish spatula or other thin spatula, flip over and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until golden brown on each side.

Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm (alternatively keep warm in a 250 degree oven). Serve drizzled with sriracha.

Makes 10 cakes.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

chicken, tomato + cabbage ditalini soup.

Yes, I’m bringing you another soup. What can I say, my blog is a true reflection of what I actually eat, and I’m eating soup. You would be eating it as well, with single digit temperatures and feet of snow on the ground! And you should, regardless of the weather outside! This is flavorful, filling, healthy, and satisfying, thanks to the addition of pasta in the soup.

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I very rarely use pasta noodles in my soups, but I was craving a ‘noodle soup’, and I’m a frequent visitor to reddit’s r/eatcheapandhealthy subreddit, and they had a thread some months back about favorite soup recipes. So many of them sounded delightful, but there was one in particular that caught my eye: a tomato and cabbage broth-based soup that used ground turkey and orzo, but I swapped in a diced chicken breast and ditalini pasta. Any small, short pasta will work in this, and feel free to use ground turkey or chicken in place of the cooked, diced chicken. You’ll be surprised at how far a single chicken breast and a half cup of dry pasta will go in this veggie-packed soup.

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Serve with a slice of toasted, seeded whole grain bread and enjoy this twist on chicken noodle soup. As a very January-esque bonus, a serving of this soup is under 200 calories! So go ahead, have some bread. 🙂

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chicken + vegetable ditalini soup.
inspired by and adapted from a reddit eatcheapandhealthy subreddit! 

ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups savoy or green cabbage, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
28 ounce can stewed tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup ditalini pasta, uncooked
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 dried bay leaf

directions
In a 1.5/2 quart pot, heat water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and the chicken breast, and poach until the chicken breast is cooked through, about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the breast. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.

In a large dutch oven or heavy soup pot, heat the tablespoon of oil and add the onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent browning. Add the cabbage, salt, basil and turmeric and stir, allowing the spices to become fragrant and coat the onions, garlic and cabbage. Cook for 2 minutes further until the cabbage begins to soften and the onions are translucent.

Add the stewed tomatoes (undrained), chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken and bring to a boil. Add the ditalini pasta and reduce to a simmer (medium/medium-low), stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot and cook for 15 minutes until the pasta is cooked through. Remove the bay leaf and add the pepper. Stir, taste to add more salt if desired.

Serve immediately or allow to continue to cook on very low until ready to serve. Freezes well.

Serves 6.

Indian mulligatawny lentil soup.

Hello from crazy, unpredictable upstate NY! Our weather here has been all over the place, with the past two days reaching in the high 50s, with a forecasted low tomorrow of -1! Never fear, however, because I have just the recipe to fill you up, keep you warm, keep you energized for all that shoveling (boo) with this vegan, gluten free soup! That’s right – SOUP season is back with a vengeance. Hooray!

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Today it’s Indian mulligatawny soup, which I made recently during the cold snap that hit much of the U.S, with temperatures in the negative 20s and 30s with the wind chill. Mulligatawny is a British soup with Indian origins, and literally means ‘pepper water’. This soup is very spicy, but you can scale the pepper down to your taste preferences. We get some of the spiciness from all the warming spices, as well as the fresh ginger. The coconut milk added at the end cools it down some and adds a nice creaminess to the finished soup. This freezes beautifully, so make a double batch for an easy dinner when winter seems never-ending. 🙂

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Indian mulligatawny soup.
inspired by the wanderlust kitchen.

ingredients
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced (can sub 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced, (scale back to 1 tablespoon if you prefer less heat)
1 medium firm apple, peeled and diced
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup red lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (canned)
cilantro, to garnish
slivered raw almonds, to garnish

directions
Heat a large, heavy soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once shimmering, add the onion and carrot and cook for 3-4 minutes. Once onions and carrots are slightly softened, add the garlic, pepper, ginger and apple and cook, 2-3 minutes longer, until all the vegetables are tender, reducing heat to medium if needed (you want the vegetables/fruit to sweat [cooking with no color]). Add the tomatoes, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Add the 3 cups of vegetable stock and lentils and stir to combine again.

Increase heat to a rapid simmer and then reduce to medium-low and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened.

Using an immersion blender (or a stand blender), puree about 50-75% of the soup (I pureed about 75%, but next time I would go a little less, I like a chunkier texture). Taste, and add the sea salt and pepper. With the heat on very low, add the coconut milk and stir to combine and let rest for 5-10 minutes for flavors to meld.

Serve, topping with chopped cilantro and silvered almonds. Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter course.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible*