Monday, April 30, 2018

Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders

With picnic season right around the corner, fried chicken is often a staple. I had hot chicken when I visited Nashville a few years back and I was immediately hooked. This chicken has just the right amount of heat and sweet. I like serving mine over waffles, but it's also great served over a bed of greens and drizzled with buttermilk ranch. So much yummy flavor!



1. Combine chicken tenders, buttermilk, hot sauce and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, pepper and the remaining tablespoon of salt. Add chicken and toss to coat.


3. Heat oil in a deep skillet (I prefer cast-iron). Once hot, fry chicken until golden, turning occasionally, about 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.



4. Combine the sauce spices in a small metal bowl and add 1/3 cup frying oil; whisk to combine.


5. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and brush with sauce. Drizzle lightly with honey and serve.




Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders
Serves 4

All you need:
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken tenders
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free or regular)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying

Sauce
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/3 cup frying oil

Honey, for drizzling

All you do:
1. Combine chicken tenders, buttermilk, hot sauce and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, pepper and the remaining tablespoon of salt. Add chicken and toss to coat.
3. Heat oil in a deep skillet (I prefer cast-iron). Once hot, fry chicken until golden, turning occasionally, about 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
4. Combine the sauce spices in a small metal bowl and add 1/3 cup frying oil; whisk to combine.
5. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and brush with sauce. Drizzle lightly with honey and serve.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Green Chile Tamale Pie

If you're looking for a simple and delicious meal that your kids will love, look no further than this tamale pie. I've been using this recipe for years for kids cooking classes because it's the perfect meal for kids to help make. The taco spiced beef mixture and sweet cornbread topping are a one of my favorite flavor combos. And while this dish is definitely a meal in itself, I would recommend serving it with roasted broccoli or green beans for added nutrition.



1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add beef and cook until no longer pink.



3. Add spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add green chiles, tomato sauce and cheese and stir to combine. Remove pan from heat.



4. Combine cornbread topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and spread evenly over the beef. Bake for 20 minutes.



5. Let the tamale pie sit for 5 minutes before serving.



Green Chile Tamale Pie
Serves 4-6

All you need:
Chili
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated white cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping
1 (8.5 oz.) box cornbread mix
1 egg
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen, thawed)
1/2 cup freshly grated white cheddar cheese

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add beef and cook until no longer pink.
3. Add spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add green chiles, tomato sauce and cheese and stir to combine. Remove pan from heat.
4. Combine cornbread topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and spread evenly over the beef. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. Let the tamale pie sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cremini Mushroom Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

I'm a big fan of making any comfort food healthier, but the trick is always making sure it still tastes great. This cauliflower alfredo sauce is so smooth and creamy, you can't even tell there's cauliflower in it, making this a perfect dish for picky eaters (feel free to leave out the mushrooms if needed, but I love the flavor they add). And since the sauce is already gluten-free, feel free to swap in gluten-free noodles instead of the campanelle.

I like serving this with a big leafy green salad and a glass of crisp white wine. So tasty!



1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and boil under very tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Finish with parsley and lemon zest and remove pan from heat.




3. Using tongs, place cauliflower in a blender. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.


4. Add milk and cheese to the blender with the cauliflower and process until smooth. Pour into the pan with the mushrooms and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.



5. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss gently until all the noodles are well coated. Transfer pasta to serving dishes and garnish with parsley and parmesan.





Cremini Mushroom Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
Serves 6

All you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
Zest of 1 lemon

3 cups cauliflower florets
8 oz. campanelle pasta
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and boil under very tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Finish with parsley and lemon zest and remove pan from heat.
3. Using tongs, place cauliflower in a blender. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
4. Add milk and cheese to the blender with the cauliflower and process until smooth. Pour into the pan with the mushrooms and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
5. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss gently until all the noodles are well coated. Transfer pasta to serving dishes and garnish with parsley and parmesan.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Chicken Caesar Salad with Lemony Parmesan Croutons and Julienned Radish

Today I was craving a big salad after several days of eating out for birthday celebrations. Everyone loves a good Caesar salad, but this one is highlights the flavors of spring with the addition of radishes and lots of lemon juice and zest. The best part of this salad (in my opinion) are the crispy, crunchy parmesan sourdough croutons, which are super buttery and nutty. I would recommend making a few extra so you can snack on them later!




1. Preheat oven to 375. Place bread cubes, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Spread the bread cubes evenly onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Finish with lemon zest.





2. Meanwhile, place the dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.


3. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes, then dice.



4. Place lettuce, radishes, half of the croutons, diced chicken and dressing in a large bowl and toss until well combined. Transfer salad to a serving bowl and garnish with more croutons.






Chicken Caesar Salad with Lemony Parmesan Croutons and Julienned Radish 
Serves 6

All you need:
Croutons
2 cups sourdough bread cubes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon

Dressing
4 anchovy filets
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 large romaine hearts, trimmed and chopped
8 radishes, trimmed and julienned

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Place bread cubes, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Spread the bread cubes evenly onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Finish with lemon zest.
2. Meanwhile, place the dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Let rest 5 minutes, then dice.
4. Place lettuce, radishes, half of the croutons, diced chicken and dressing in a large bowl and toss until well combined. Transfer salad to a serving bowl and garnish with more croutons.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tofu Stir-Fry with Almond Butter Citrus Sauce

Stir-fries are a great go-to meal for busy weeknights. I particularly love adding crispy tofu to my stir-fries since it adds great texture and protein. For this stir-fry, I also decided to add broccoli and cauliflower for color and added nutritional value.  And the delicious almond butter sauce, which is a flavor combination of salty, sweet and tart (thanks to the citrus zest and juice) makes this dish irresistible.

If you would like to use a different protein besides tofu, I recommend cubed chicken breast or thinly sliced beef tenderloin.



1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.



2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat tofu with cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Add tofu to the hot oil and fry, stirring often, until lightly crisp. Transfer to a bowl.




3. Add broccoli and cauliflower to the skillet and cook until lightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add sauce and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add tofu and stir gently to combine.




4. Scoop quinoa into serving bowls and top with stir-fry. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve.




Tofu Stir-Fry with Almond Butter Citrus Sauce
Serves 3-4

All you need:
Sauce
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon  honey
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)
1 (12 oz.) package super firm tofu, pressed dry and cubed
Cornstarch, for coating tofu

2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
Quinoa, for serving
Chopped whole roasted almonds, for garnish

All you do:
1. Whisk sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat tofu with cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Add tofu to the hot oil and fry, stirring often, until lightly crisp. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Add broccoli and cauliflower to the skillet and cook until lightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add sauce and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add tofu and stir gently to combine.
4. Scoop quinoa into serving bowls and top with stir-fry. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve.