Kale Salad with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar Mustard Dressing

Kale Salad with Peaches (3) WM

ok, ok.  I know that it’s snowing in Colorado and is cold pretty much every where in the country, but I wanted to post this recipe that I made in the summer.  You can still get kale, so that’s good.  Maybe add fall fruit like an apple?

Serves 2

time: 10 minutes or so

 

Salad Ingredients:

handful of kale per person, washed and torn into small pieces

2 peaches, pitted and sliced into bite sized pieces

goat cheese (or feta), sprinkle for each person

 

Dressing Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic binegar

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon honey

salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1) Wash / tear the kale.  Wash / cut the peaches.

2) Make the salad dressing in a small bowl stirring vigorously to combine all of the ingredients.

3) Add the kale & peaches to the salad dressing, mix to coat the produce.

4) Place salad on each plate and sprinkle the crumbled goat or feta cheese on top.

 

Kale Salad with Peaches (11) WM

Honey Mustard Chicken, with whole mustard seeds

Honey Mustard chicken (9) WM

 

Honey & mustard just go together.  Use it as a marinade to chicken and you have a winner.  As with all marinades make sure you let the chicken sit in the marinade for a bit before you cook the chicken.

 

Serves: 4

Time: 2 hours (including 45 – 60 minutes of marinading)

 

Ingredients:

boneless / skinless chicken breasts or thighs (enough for each person, I did about 6)

1/2 cup stoneground mustard

2-3 tablespoons whole mustard seeds

1/2 cup honey

1 lemon, juiced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

 

Directions:

1) Whisk all of the ingredients in a bowl; add the chicken breasts/thighs and let marinade for about 45 – 60 minutes at room temperature.

2) Fire up your grill, the coals will be ready when they aren’t flaming or red and have turned to a nice gray color.

3) Cook the chicken evenly on both sides until cooked through.

4) Serve with your favorite beer and side.

 

 

Honey Mustard chicken (6) WM

Honey Mustard chicken (8) WM

Sauteed Zucchini

Sauteed Zucchini  (36) WM

Zucchini is pretty dang good.  I love sauteing the veggie, and this recipe added a little extra something to my normal olive oil, salt & pepper “recipe”.  My husband thought there were too many capers, I thought the amount was perfect – so I would use a little to start and then add some more if needed.

 

ServesSauteed Zucchini  (12) WM

Sauteed Zucchini  (16) WM

serves 4

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

3 zucchini, cut into thick-ish round slices

olive oil

3 garlic gloves, smashed

small handful of mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Slice the zucchini into thick-ish rounds.

2) Heat a skillet on medium-high heat; drizzle in some olive oil. When the pan/oil is hot place the zucchini in the pan in one layer.  Continue cooking the zucchini until both sides are brown and the zucchini is soft.

3) Meanwhile, chop the rest of the ingredients and brown the pine nuts lightly.

4) Remove the cooked zucchini from the skillet, add in the chopped veggies & browned pine nuts, drizzle in a bit of balsamic vinegar, add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to coat the  zucchini. Sprinkle the feta or goat cheese on top.  Serve immediately.

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (20) WM

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (28) WM

 

Spicy Plum Pork Chops

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (4) WM

 serves 4

time: approximately 1 hour

 

This dish is pretty simple – just use some red plum jam and add a few spices and you have a marinade.  You could BBQ, oven bake, or pan fry the chops – just make sure that you don’t over cook the chops so that they are nice and juicy.  Serve with some rice and green beans, link to the recipe is below.

 

Ingredients:

4 pork chops

1 cup red plum jam

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Sriracha

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce

coconut oil

 

Directions:

1) Mix together all of the ingredients after the pork chops; place the rinsed pork chops in a gallon sized zip-lock bag, pour in the plum sauce.

2) Let the pork chops and plum sauce marinade for 20 – 30 minutes.

3) Heat up a skillet and scoop out some coconut oil, once the oil is hot (sizzles when water is splashed into the skillet) place each of the chops in the hot skillet.  Cook the chops on high for about 5 minutes each side, until the sides are a little caramelized.  Turn the head down to medium-low and continue to cook the pork chops until cooked through, rotating sides.

4) Serve with Asian style green beans here and a starch like rice if you wish.

 

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (1) WM

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (20) WM

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (16) WM

Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (16) WM

You’d never guess what’s in this amazing chocolate cake (except if you read the title of this recipe 🙂 ).  Yep, it’s quinoa.  You can’t even tell at all.  It’s probably one of the most moist chocolate cakes that I have had.  My sister is celiac and came into town so I made this cake so that she’d have dessert at my friend’s birthday party.  For some reason the cake came out of the pan in two pieces, so I made what was supposed to be a two-layer cake into a “dirt cake” (I’m not sure what else to call it, but it’s like the “dirt cake” I had as a kid minus the gummy worms).

I am going to try making this recipe again and hope that I have better luck with the cake coming out of the pans so that I can actually have a beautiful looking layered cake 🙂  I added the whipped cream that was supposed to be the frosting into the mess of cake and also made vanilla pudding.  This doesn’t keep that well so eat it the day you make it (and refrigerate covered until you do).

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (6) WM

Chocolate Quinoa Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked to package directions (plus a tad bit more water) & cooled

1/3 cup milk

4 large eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Cake Directions:

1) Cook the quinoa, make sure that it is completely cooked and not crunchy at all.  Set aside to cool.

2) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8-inch round pans, line the bottom with parchment paper (I think I skipped this step because I used Wilton’s cake release, don’t skip this step).

3) Blend together the milk, eggs & vanilla in a food processor.

4) Add the cooked & cooled quinoa and butter to the milk, eggs & vanilla mixture in the food processor.  Blend until completely smooth – you do not want chunks of quinoa.

5) Wisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Then stir in the quinoa mixture from the food processor.

6) Pour the cake mixture evenly into your two pans.

7) Bake the cake for about 30 minutes / until it is cooked through.

8) If the cake comes out of the pan in one pieces (!! I hope yours does !!) skip the vanilla pudding step.  Or, break your cake up in a decorative dish if you want to add the vanilla pudding.

 

Vanilla Pudding Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon butter

 

Vanilla Pudding Directions:

1) While the cake is baking, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles – be sure that you don’t over cook or burn the milk!  Turn down to low.

2) Stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.  Pour the mixture into the heated milk a little bit at a time, stirring during each addition.

3) Continue to cook the pudding until it thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil!!

4) Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.

5) Pour into a bowl and let cool in your refrigerator.

 

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

small container of heavy whipping cream

sugar

vanilla

 

Whipped Cream Directions:

1) With the wisk attachment beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.

2) Gently stir in the sugar & vanilla to taste – don’t add too much sugar as this will be going into the already sweet chocolate cake with the vanilla pudding.

 

Cake Assembly:

1) Pour the cooled vanilla pudding and whipped cream into the dish with the crumbled chocolate quinoa cake.

2) Gently stir together until it’s all combined; serve chilled the same day.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (8) WM

Sweet Potato & Pork Tacos

sweet pot tacos (27) WM sweet pot tacos (1) WM

I really dug this recipe.  I had sweet potato tacos at a local food truck, but decided that they needed a little something else, so I added pork and red quinoa.  Amazing.  Add the sharp white cheddar cheese and I had a hard time stopping myself from eating them!!

 

serves 4

time: about half hour

 

Ingredients for the pork & sweet potatoes (this amount for each, so double the ingredients below)

pork tenderloin, cubed

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon brown sugar

pepper

salt

coconut oil

 

Everything else

1 cup uncooked red quinoa (you can use white, but I like the color that the red quinoa adds)

avacado

sharp white cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)

corn tacos, about 2-3 for each person or double if you use two taco shells per taco

 

Directions

1.Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.

2. Mix together the seasonings for the pork tenderloin, place the cubed pork in a bowl and coat with the seasoning.

3. Mix together the seasonings for the sweet potatoes, place the cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl and coat with the seasoning.

4. Heat up two skillets (or do the pork / sweet potatoes one after the other) with a scoop of coconut oil.  Once the coconut oil sizzles if you splash a little water in the skillet saute the pork until it is cooked through and the sweet potato cubes until they are soft.  After they are cooked place on a plate and cover until all of the rest of the goodies are ready.

5. Cut up your produce, grate the cheese.

6. Heat your tacos in a skillet until they are hot, then place all of the ingredients on top and enjoy!

 

 

sweet pot tacos (15) WM

sweet pot tacos (13) WM

sweet pot tacos (8) WM

sweet pota tacos (10) WM sweet pota tacos (4) WM sweet pota tacos (2) WM

Grilled Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken (2)WM

My husband has really wanted to make tandoori chicken in our Green Egg ever since we got it, so about 2 years.  We finally did and it was awesome!  Our homemade tandoori chicken isn’t as read as what you get in most restaurants, my husband said that’s because they add red food coloring.  I’m ok with our less red tandoori chicken! Raita is a Greek yogurt based sauce that is fantastic to eat with spicy Indian food!

 

Tandoori Chicken (22) WM

time: overnight + 2 hours

Chicken Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
fresh ginger, roughly one inch, peeled and chopped finely
2 tablespoons paprika
one lime, squeezed
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
mix of chicken pieces, about 2-3 a person
Veggie Ingredients:
broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
onion, sliced thickly
bell pepper, sliced thickly
Chicken Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken in a food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Place the chicken in a ziplock plastic bag, add the marinade mix the marinade around the chicken and refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and leave on the counter for 30 minutes.

4. Get your grill ready.  For charcoal arrange the coals on either side of the grate, leaving a space in the middle.  Light and let sit for about 1/2 hour until the charcoal turns gray/black. For gas grills, heat one side to medium-high heat and leave one side without any heat.

5. Remove the chicken from the marinade; place the sliced side veggies in the bag with marinade after you remove the chicken.

6. Place the chicken on the unheated part of the grill.

5. Close the grill lid and grill the chicken for about 90 minutes until cooked through; turn the chicken every 20 minutes.

6. Serve the tandoori chicken with the chilled raita, veggies, and rice.

 

Raita Ingredients:

small container of plain Greek yogurt
one lemon, squeezed
garlic, crushed
1/8 white onion, chopped
tomato, diced
cucumber, peeled and diced
mint, chopped
salt
pepper
cumin seeds
Raita Directions:

1. Squeeze lemon, chop up veggies.

2. Stir into the Greek yogurt, season to taste.

3. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

 

Tandoori Chicken (20) WM

Tandoori Chicken (3) WM

Sauteed Bok Choy

Sauteed Bok Choy (3) WM

If you haven’t tried bok choy I suggest that you do!  You can saute it, or cut it up and add it to stir fry.   The Livestrong website says that it is low-calorie & zero-fat  that also has lots of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.  “In fact, one cup of shredded raw bok choy contains about half of your daily requirement for each of these nutrients. Plus, you’ll get healthy levels of folate and vitamin B6”.  Bok choy has over 70 antioxidant phenolic substances, including numerous hydroxycinnamic acids, which have often been referred to as “chain-breaking” antioxidants due to their method of scavenging free radicals.

 

This is a super simple and quick “recipe”.

Ingredients:

1 whole baby bok choy per person

salt

pepper

coconut oil

toasted sesame oil

 

Directions:

1) Wash each bok choy, slice each in half length wise and then wash again.  Sprinkle the cut side with a little bit of salt & pepper.

2) Heat a large enough skillet for all of your bok choy on medium-high heat.   Scoop a little bit of coconut oil into the pan and let it melt.  Once the oil is hot (flick a little water in the pan) add each bok choy, cut side down.

3) Let the bok choy brown a little, maybe for 5 minutes, then place a lid on the pan so that the leaves wilt a little.  Once the bok choy is soft and brown remove from the heat, drizzle a little toasted sesame oil on them and serve immediately.

 

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (16) WM

The first time that I had lamb was when I was in college; it was served with mint sauce and it was absolutely disgusting.  The second time I had lamb was a few months after I graduated college and my college friends and I went up to Guerneville, CA for a weekend to celebrate all of the libra birthdays (there were a ton of us!).  My one friend and I were camping and had brought hot dogs and other boring camping food.  We had befriended some older guys who were camping, and they invited us over for some fun drinks (I believe margaritas) – yes they camping in style, now know as “clamping” but that term wasn’t around in 2005! haha.  As we were sipping on our drinks dinner some how came up.  We told them that we were having hotdogs, and they said “No you are not!  You are going to have some lamb with us!).  They had been marinading the lamb in rosemary and white wine.  Again, this was camping and they were eating like queens!  I was blown away by my first grilled lamb.  Ah.maz.ing.

So, that’s my lamb story, after the dinner in Guerneville I became a believer of lamb.  The guys showed me that lam in fact is not nasty.

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (2 WM)

Ingredients:

lamb chops (one per person)

1 cupsbalsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

5 springs fresh rosemary, chopped finely

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

salt

pepper

cast iron pan

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat your oven’s broiler.

2. Combine the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, chopped rosemary and crushed garlic in a small pot over medium high heat.  Once the mixture has come to a boil reduce to medium low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until it has thickened.

3. Place the cast iron skillet in the oven so it gets hot.

4. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper on each side.  Place the lamb chops in the hot skillet Let one side sizzle for a second, then flip over.  Place the skillet with the lamb chops in the broiler and broil each side for roughly 3 minutes.  Lamb is like beef, you can eat it when it’s still pink (and you really, really don’t want to over cook it).  Which reminds me, I should have taken a picture with one of the lamb chops cut open.

5. Once the lamb chops have been cooked, place on each plate and drizzle with the balsamic rosemary reduction.  Serve with a fresh salad, and the carb of your choice.

 

Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (22) WM Balsamic Reduction Lamb Chops (8) WM

 

Buttermilk Baked/Fried Chicken

buttermilk fried chicken (20) WM

I made fried chicken a few years back after watching Driving Miss Daisy.  I could not believe how much oil it took!  It was rather gross.  The problem is that I love fried chicken, so this recipe is pretty much a compromise.  Fried slightly and then baked, so you still get that yummy crunchy coating.  Serve with these easy buttermilk biscuits.

buttermilk fried chicken (11) WM

buttermilk fried chicken (1)WM

Ingredients:
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
4 tablespoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, diced
chicken drumsticks & thighs
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
cast iron skillet
Directions:

  1. For the chicken marinade: stir together the buttermilk, dijon mustard, hot sauce, paprika, salt, pepper, chopped onion and diced garlic in a bowl.
  2. Place the chicken in a plastic storage bag and add the buttermilk mixture, then squeeze the outside of the zipped bag to coat all of the chicken.  Place the bag of chicken & buttermilk marinade in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. The next day, when you are ready to eat preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Pull out the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  5. Pour out the breadcrumbs out on a flat dish.  Press the chicken pieces into the breadcrumbs to completely coat all sides.
  6. Heat your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Once it is hot pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan.  Heat up the oil, then gently place the chicken pieces in the skillet.  Brown each side of the chicken for about 4 minutes until they start to turn brown.  You may have to do this in two batches or use two cast-iron skillets.
  7. Once all of the chicken pieces are browned in the skillet transfer the entire skillet with chicken to the oven and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

buttermilk fried chicken (18) WM buttermilk fried chicken (7) WM