Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chicken Egg Roll Bowls

When it comes to lunches, I prefer a meal that is protein-rich that won't weigh me down. I'm a huge fan of Asian flavors, so this dish hits the spot. Chock-full of lean chicken and colorful veggies, this is a meal you can prep and enjoy throughout the week (and feel good about). I like mine served with a healthy dose of sriracha on top, but if you aren't fond of spicy food, simply finish your bowl with an extra splash of tamari or soy sauce.


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add the tamari (or soy sauce) and transfer the mixture to a bowl.




2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onion, garlic, ginger and mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes.


3. Add the cabbage and carrots and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the cabbage has softened slightly. Add the cooked chicken back to the pan and finish with chili garlic sauce and sesame oil.






4. Scoop the mixture into serving bowls and garnish with sriracha, green onion and sesame seeds.



Chicken Egg Roll Bowls
Serves 4

All you need:
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, divided
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari (or gluten-free soy sauce)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
5 oz. shittake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 small green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrot
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Sriracha, sliced green onion and toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

All you do:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add the tamari (or soy sauce) and transfer the mixture to a bowl.
2. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the onion, garlic, ginger and mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the cabbage and carrots and cook for 5 minutes longer, or until the cabbage has softened slightly. Add the cooked chicken back to the pan and finish with chili garlic sauce and sesame oil.
4. Scoop the mixture into serving bowls and garnish with sriracha, green onion and sesame seeds.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Red Curry Mussels

Mussels are one of my favorite appetizers to order if they're on a menu. I'm not sure if it's the mussels or the yummy broth they're served in that I like more, but either way I'm hooked! I have a party coming up where the client wants mussels, so I decided to try out some fun ideas. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast this recipe came together! Serve these with plenty of toasted bread for dipping and you've got a delicious appetizer or light dinner that's quick and packed with nutrients.


 1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, red pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.


2. Add the curry paste, ginger and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and lime zest/juice and bring to a boil.


3. Add the mussels, cover the pan and cook for 6 minutes. Finish with cilantro and salt, to taste (you won't need much).

4. Spoon the mussels into serving bowls and ladle some broth over them. Serve with toasted bread on the side for dipping.


Red Curry Mussels
Serves 2-3

All you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (15 oz.) can coconut milk (full-fat)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 lb. mussels (fresh or frozen)
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
Salt, to taste
Toasted sliced sourdough or baguette bread, for serving

All you do:
 1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, red pepper and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add the curry paste, ginger and crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and lime zest/juice and bring to a boil.
3. Add the mussels, cover the pan and cook for 6 minutes. Finish with cilantro and salt, to taste (you won't need much).
4. Spoon the mussels into serving bowls and ladle some broth over them. Serve with toasted bread on the side for dipping.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Gluten-Free Strawberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Fresh berries are something I always to try to keep on hand because they remind me of summer (I'm sure some of you are also hoping for sunshine sometime soon...). I have some clients who are gluten-free, so it's nice to have options like this to share with them as a breakfast or dessert item. These bars are full of yummy almond and coconut flavor and the berries and lemon add a perfect pop of tart sweetness.

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine the oats, flour, almonds, coconut, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour in the coconut oil and stir until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of the crumble, then press the rest in an even layer onto the bottom of the prepared pan.




3. Scatter the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle them with cornstarch, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Sprinkle the remaining crumble over the top. Bake for 35 minutes.




4. Cool the bars until room temperature, then transfer the pan to the refrigerator to cool completely; slice and serve.


Gluten-Free Strawberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars
Makes 9 bars

All you need:
1 cup gluten-free oats
3/4 cup almond flour
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat an 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine the oats, flour, almonds, coconut, sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour in the coconut oil and stir until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of the crumble, then press the rest in an even layer onto the bottom of the prepared pan.
3. Scatter the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle them with cornstarch, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Sprinkle the remaining crumble over the top. Bake for 35 minutes.
4. Cool the bars until room temperature, then transfer the pan to the refrigerator to cool completely; slice and serve.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Blueberry Feta Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette


Lunch is normally the most difficult meal for me to plan, yet I know it's just as important to have a balanced meal in the middle of the day to keep me full throughout the afternoon. Salads like this one are a great option! This one in particular is full of fiber and protein (and tastes amazing). I eat this salad by itself since there is a good amount of protein from the quinoa and nuts, but feel free to toss in some diced chicken or salmon for an added protein boost.

1. Place vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar; close lid tightly and shake until combined (or whisk the ingredients together in a mixing bowl).



2. Place salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve.





Blueberry Feta Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Serves 6

All you need:
Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons honey

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup fresh blueberries
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

All you do:
1. Place vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar; close lid tightly and shake until combined (or whisk together in a mixing bowl).
2. Place salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Garlicky Goat Cheese, Feta and Shallot Dip

In our household, we are all about having healthy snacks around in case a sweet or salty craving hits. Normally on Sundays I will prep a bunch of fresh-cut fruit and veggies, energy bites and some sort of dip to go with the veggies. In this case, I had some feta and goat cheese in the fridge (my two favorites) so I came up with this quick and easy dip. Josh took the tub of dip to work the next day and ate all of it (which probably defeats the point of calling it a healthy snack...), but at least that means it got good reviews. Enjoy this dip as an after school (or in our case, after work) snack or make it as an appetizer for your next gathering.


1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.


2. Place the goat cheese, feta, yogurt, sour cream, milk, parsley, salt, pepper and hot sauce in a food processor. Processor for 30 seconds, or until smooth.


3. Add the shallots (and any remaining olive oil from the pan) and pulse until chunky (about 5 times). Scoop the dip into a serving bowl. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.



Garlicky Goat Cheese, Feta and Shallot Dip
Makes 2 1/2 cups

All you need:
1/4 cup olive oil
6 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
Pretzels and fresh cut veggies, for dipping

All you do:
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
2. Place the goat cheese, feta, yogurt, sour cream, milk, parsley, salt, pepper and hot sauce in a food processor. Processor for 30 seconds, or until smooth.
3. Add the shallots (and any remaining olive oil from the pan) and pulse until chunky (about 5 times). Scoop the dip into a serving bowl. Serve immediately or keep cold until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Grandma's Spaghetti Sauce

My Grandma Heringhausen was one of a kind. She was beautiful inside and out, and whenever people ask me where I first learned to cook, I tell them from her (and my mom, of course). When we were really little, my sisters and I would take turns stepping up on a stool to help her make pancakes (which we called pan-e-cakes because they were mini) and sausage. She was an awesome cook, and I often remember walking into her house and smelling this sauce simmering. The ingredients are so minimal, but the magic happens as the sauce cooks. My dad would eat this sauce by itself (which is totally fine), but I like mine with a little pasta to help soak up all the flavor.

I've been missing my Grandma a lot lately since she never got to see me become a chef. I know she would love listening to all my cooking stories! So this blog post is dedicated to her and I hope I'm making her proud.


1. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat and add the parsley, onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft.


2. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.


3. Brown the ground beef in a separate skillet, then add to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for three hours, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.






Grandma's Spaghetti Sauce
Serves 8

All you need:
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
4 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat and add the parsley, onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft.
2. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
3. Brown the ground beef in a separate skillet, then add to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for three hours, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.