Thursday, August 25, 2016

Spicy Tuna Cakes

I love crab cakes, fish cakes, any kind of seafood-related food in patty form, really. They can be such an easy pop-in-the-oven weeknight meal, served up with salad, that we used to always have them on hand in the freezer or fridge. Until I tried to make my own, that is! These are so yummy, have a bit of an Asian flare if you serve them up with sweet chili sauce, like I did this time, and take all of 5 minutes to make. Pop them in the oven, and dinner is done! The grated and finely chopped veggies added into this recipe help to pack extra goodness into every bite, making this a really easy meal that you can feel good about.

For the dressing on the spinach, I combined 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce with 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp rice vinegar (you can substitute white wine vinegar). If you want some real spice, sriracha or wasabi mayo would probably be great with these, too! Actually, now that I mention it, I'm dreaming up a spicy tuna burger with wasabi mayo...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Butternut Squash Mac and "Cheat"

Meatless Monday meets a healthy, dairy-free "mac and cheese" in this yummy butternut squash pasta dish. I definitely recommend reaching for whole wheat pasta in this instance; this recipe just won't be the same without it!

When my daughter was born, we found that she had a reaction any time that I ate dairy, so I had to get a bit creative with my cooking and find dairy-free alternatives to meals that I loved until she grew out of her sensitivity. This isn't mac and cheese, per se, but the creamy pureed squash won't have you missing cheddar at all. I added some warming spices, like nutmeg and cumin, and the wholewheat pasta stands up to these flavors perfectly.

If you're staying completely dairy free, omit the Parmesan from your breadcrumbs and add a pinch of sea salt.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Leftover Rescue: BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

We love a Sunday roast dinner in our house, but the leftovers can get a little monotonous. This week, I completely transformed some leftover roast chicken into a flavorful barbecue dish that is sure to please the whole family.

My husband and I both love dark meat, so we usually eat the legs/thighs when I roast a chicken. So, for this recipe, I used the leftover breast meat. If you have leftover leg or thigh meat, it works just as well, and you might even be able to trick chicken breast lovers into eating some dark leg meat for once!

I whipped up a batch of quick homemade coleslaw to go on the side - 1/2 head of shredded cabbage, 2 tbsp free range mayo, 1/2 tsp organic honey, 2 tbsp white vinegar (I used rice vinegar, but that's just my personal preference), and a dash of white pepper. If you're whipping some coleslaw up to go along with your meal, I recommend doing it before you begin cooking the potatoes, so that it has plenty of time to sit, marinate & mingle in the fridge.

So there you have it! An easy Monday recipe that mixes up some leftover chicken. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Huevos Rancheros

I am usually not a breakfast person, but this week the little one has had me up at the a**crack of dawn each day, so by breakfast time my body thinks it's time for lunch. Mexican food and I have a long history of breakfast dates, and this is my take on easy homemade huevos rancheros. If you're a bit hungover on the weekend, or just want to mix up your brunch game a bit, sink your teeth into this colorful dish. Just a little disclaimer: this is by no means an "authentic" dish. It's just one of my favorite Mexican-inspired breakfast concoctions - so if you're a diehard authentic Mexican fan, please forgive me! Wink wink :) 

To skip a few steps in the cooking process, you can opt for canned organic black beans. If you're using dried. you'll want to soak them overnight (or, if you make this for dinner, start soaking them in the morning). I soaked 1/2 cup dried beans with 1/2 tsp baking soda in 2 cups of boiled water. Then, before cooking them, I drained the water and rinsed the starchy black water off. The beans were then boiled until fully cooked, drained again, and then finally cooked according to the recipe below. A long process, I know, but if you love black beans (I certainly do), then you can make a bigger batch and use them for all sorts of things: quesadillas, nachos, burritos, etc. Or, like I mentioned, skip it and go for the can.

If you're a spice lover, like me, then a good splash of Cholula hot sauce on top is just what the doctor ordered - especially if you're nursing a hangover. Too spicy for ya? A dollop of natural yogurt can take the edge off. Or just pile it all on and hope for the best. Yum!