Friday, July 26, 2013

Meatless Summer Tacos

1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup white onion, diced
4 oz. diced jalapeno peppers
1/4 teaspoon crushed cayenne pepper
dash of salt & pepper
2 cups black beans (in liquid)
1 avocado
juice and zest from 1 lime
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup goat cheese (I used feta)
2 cups fresh coleslaw cabbage mix
20 small corn tortillas
1 cup pico de gallo salsa

1.   Stir together the first 8 ingredients (through black beans) in a medium saucepan.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.  Set aside.
2.  Prepare honey-lime sauce: whisk together lime juice, lime rind, and honey.  Set aside.
3.  Heat corn tortillas in a small saute pan, after coating with non-fat cooking spray or olive oil.
4.  Layer tacos from bottom up: goat cheese, black beans, avocado, coleslaw mix, drizzle of honey/lime sauce, pico de gallo salsa.  Voila!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thai Style Chicken with Mango Rice Salad


2 & 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups Jasmine or other white rice
Peanut or olive oil, for stir frying
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
Finely ground white or black pepper
2 mangoes, peeled, trimmed, and sliced into thin, bite-size pieces (1 cup)
1 bell pepper, seeded, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 red Fresno (milder) or Thai (hotter) chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root, grated
3-4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2-2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup basil leaves (about 20-24 leaves), chopped
1 lime, 1/2 juiced and 1/2 cut into wedges, plus 1 teaspoon zest
Serves 4


1.  Steam Jasmine rice according to your steamer's instructions, using chicken stock as the liquid.

2.  When the rice is about ready, heat a thin layer of oil, about 1 1/2 tablespoons, in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Pat the chicken dry and season with pepper. Add the meat to the pan in a single layer and do not touch for 2 minutes; stir fry until golden, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.

3.  Add a little more oil to the skillet and heat up, then add the mango, bell pepper, chili pepper, ginger and garlic, stir fry until crisp-tender and the mango pieces are light golden at the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

4.  Turn off the heat and add half the basil leaves to wilt. Stir in the lime juice and zest and toss again to combine. Serve the rice and garnish with the lime wedges and remaining basil.  I also toasted sweet coconut, and topped the dish with the coconut and red pepper flakes.  

This is an original recipe based on traditional fried rice recipes.

Fresh Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Salad

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of Balsamic vinaigrette 
Trader Joe's South African Smoke seasoning
salt and pepper
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1-inch thick rings
8 cups baby spinach /power greens mix
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
quarter of a red onion, thinly sliced
Pear & Gorgonzola vinaigrette

1.  Marinate chicken breasts overnight in balsamic vinaigrette in a covered/sealed container in the refrigerator.
2.  Prepare pineapple for grilling.
3.  Slice red onion, wash and drain blueberries, and chop avocado.  Place onion, blueberries, avocado, and crumbled feta on top of spinach/power greens mixture.
4.  Place marinated chicken breasts on grill, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and South African Smoke seasoning.
5.  Grill chicken on medium for approximately 10 minutes per side.  Remove from grill to cool for 10 minutes.
6.  Grill pineapple slices approximately 5 minutes per side.  Cut into 1 inch chunks.
7.  Chop grilled chicken into bite-sized pieces.
8.  Top spinach salad mixture with chicken and pineapple.  Add your favorite amount of pear & Gorgonzola vinaigrette!  

Original recipe taken from Gimme Some Oven

Toasted Coconut Bread

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (your choice)
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 ounces (140 grams) sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
Nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
3.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix.
4.  Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add yogurt, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.
5.  Coat with cooking spray and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
6.  Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
7.  Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.

This recipe is adapted from

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mexican Shrimp Cobb Salad with Baja Ranch Dressing

  • For the shrimp:
    • 16 oz. shrimp, cooked large
    • chipotle chili powder to taste
    • 1 T lime juice
    • salt to taste
  • For the salad:
    • 6 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
    • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, or frozen are all good options)
    • 1/2 c red onion, chopped
    • 1 bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1 english cucumber diced
    • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
    • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
    • 1 c shredded cheese
  • For the Baja ranch dressing:
    • Equal parts ranch dressing and salsa, mixed (for healthier version, you can just use salsa)

  1. In a frying pan, put about a T of olive oil and then cook onion, pepper, and corn stirring and waiting (a couple minutes) until the veggies are cooked and "blackened".  The key part of these directions are the "waiting" part.  That's how they get that roasted feel.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in black beans.  When cooled off a bit, stir in fresh cilantro and lime juice.
  3. Rinse shrimp and cut into large chunks (cutting is optional).  Toss with a little salt, chipotle chili pepper, and fresh lime juice.
  4. In stripes over the bed of lettuce, lay down shrimp, shredded cheese, chopped tomato, chopped avocado, chopped cucumber, and bean/onion/pepper/corn mixture.
  5. Serve with the baja ranch dressing.
This recipe was inspired by one I found on as well as my Baja fish taco bowl recipe.  It was fresh and delicious... hearty enough to be dinner!  I also served some tortilla chips on the side.  It was a big hit for the whole family! Definite repeater!