Citrus Cilantro Chicken Skewers

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One of the things that means the most to me whenever I’m having people over for dinner, or hosting my “girls night in,” is being able to prepare foods ahead of time and even in some cases, make them in advance of a party.

This tasty and delicious dish can be prepared up to a day in advance of a summer BBQ or it can be prepped in the morning before you leave for work.  Just throw them on the grill when you get home and they’re ready to go in under 10 minutes.. Not a bad deal and they are low calorie too!

Tasty, easy, and low cal!?! To me, that’s the perfect recipe for summer!

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders

4 meyer lemons (regular lemons can be used too, but when meyer are in season, I jump at the chance to use them)

3 clementines

3 limes

A bunch of cilantro (I know, I know, but I’m obsessed with this herb these days)

1 jalapeño, diced with the seeds

1/3 cup chopped green onion, green parts only

2 tablespoons avocado oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Slice 2 meyer lemons, 1 clementine, and 1 lime and place them in a ziplock bag.

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I think this combo of citrus looks so beautiful together!

Now juice 2 meyer lemons, 2 limes, and 2 clementines

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Again, I’m loving this color combo.  It’s so summery!

Pour the juice in the ziplock bag.

Take a bunch of fresh cilantro and give it a rough chop (nothing fancy) and place that in the bag as well.

Now dice up a jalapeño and throw that in the bag, seeds and all, along with the green onion.

Now place the chicken in the bag and seal it.

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How yummy does that look!?!

Now place the bag in the fridge and allow it to chill for at least two hours.

You can’t go wrong with this because the longer it sits, the tastier it will be. 🙂

At some point, you want to soak the skewers in water for about an hour to ensure they do not burn when you place them on the grill or grill pan.

Once you are ready…

Thread the chicken onto the skewers.

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Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper (optional) to taste.

Brush the grill or grill pan with the avocado oil.

Heat the grill or grill pan over medium-heat to allow it to get hot before placing the skewers on it.

Grill the chicken for 4 minutes, then flip it, and grill it for another 4 minutes.

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For the next remaining minute or 2, you can flip the skewers as much as you like or rearrange them to ensure they are grilled evenly.

Enjoy! Because these are to die for!

And I bet you can’t eat just one! 🙂

 

Diner-Style Plantian Cakes (aka pancakes)

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I absolutely love pancakes! I think they are one of the best breakfast treats in the world! I have probably consumed a stack at every breakfast stop along the Northeast.   From Sugar & Spice in Vermont to The Original House of Pancakes in New Jersey to the Mad Batter in the beautiful Cape! I think you get the picture! 😉

Pancakes are so universal! They pretty much go well with everything from chocolate chips to blueberries! And the shapes are endless! I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found herself making Minnie Mouse on the griddle or a few hearts here and there…

This delicious pancake recipe is one of my favorites! It has just the right amount of everything! And I have to tell you that as I’m typing this, I’m doing everything I can to resist eating the last few, simply to avoid entering into a food coma, this early in the day!

Happy Sunday!

(I love Sunday breakfast)

4 ripe plantains

3 large eggs

Coconut oil, for cooking

1 vanilla bean (inside scooped out)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sea salt

Place the plantains in the food processor along with the inside of the vanilla bean that you scooped out.  While on pulse pour the eggs slowly through the top of the food processor and allow the mixture to blend and become very smooth.

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You can see the vanilla bean! I love that!

I get so excited about food! Haha! 🙂

Now add the baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt, and give it another few pulses until it’s blended together.

Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl.

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How delicious does that batter look!?!

Over medium heat, melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil on the griddle or skillet, depending on how you cook your flapjacks! 🙂 Allow the griddle or skillet to get hot.

Using a ladle or spoon, place the mixture on the griddle or skillet and allow the pancakes to cook for about 3-4 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.

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Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Continue cooking the pancakes until all of the batter has been used, adding more coconut oil as needed.

I like to top mine with Kerrygold butter and pure maple syrup!

Enjoy! 🙂

Sausage Bolognese Sauce

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I recently had the most delicious tomato & sausage soup.  It was absolutely incredible and I’d never really thought to put the two together before.  Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for that recipe.  My favorite guy made it for me and the very next day, I woke up craving it all over again.

Ever since then I’ve been thinking about this amazing combination.  I mean, many of us are familiar with eating sausage & meatballs with our Sunday sauce, but this was different.  With the sausage out of the casing, all the flavors were released and intertwined with the tomato and it took my taste buds to whole new level! 🙂

That dish inspired me to incorporate sausage into this already yummy meat sauce.

Feel free to enjoy this with spaghetti squash, zoodles, all alone, or with a bowl of your favorite Cappellos pasta! 🙂

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 1/2 pounds hot or sweet italian sausage (I prefer hot)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, diced

5 ounces of sweet mini peppers (red and/or orange)

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup of chicken stock (preferably homemade)

Two 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes (with no preservatives, or you can dice up your own, but be sure to use the tomatoes and the juice from them)

28 ounces of tomato sauce (you can use your favorite, I use my family’s homemade Cappabianca Tomato Sauce)

6 ounces of tomato paste

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

4 bay leaves

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Remove the sausage from their casing and place them in a large pot or dutch oven.

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Add the ground meat and heat both over medium-heat until they are totally browned.

I find it’s easier to break the meat up using a fork. 🙂

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Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it in a bowl.  Set aside.

Discard any grease in the pot, but do not clean the pot.  Drizzle in the olive oil.  When it is heated, throw in the onions and peppers.  Stir them around for about 1 1/2 minutes, and then add the garlic.  Stir and cook for an additional minute.

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Pour in the chicken stock and allow it to bubble up and reduce for about 1 1/2 minutes.

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Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.  Stir to combine, and then add the sugar, salt, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper and bay leaves.  Stir, and then add the cooked ground beef and sausage and stirring to combine.

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I think bay leaves make everything look pretty! 🙂 And how I love fresh herbs!

Place the lid on the pot and allow to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

After an hour, add the minced parsley, and allow the sauce to simmer for an additional 1/2 hour without the lid on.  This will allow it to slightly thicken.

Discard the bay leaves before serving.

Garnish each bowl with a sprig of parsley and enjoy! 🙂

Btw, this sauce freezes nicely! And makes about 14 cups!

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Enjoy!

Meatloaf Sliders & Fresh Baked Buns

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There are so many different dishes one can make out of ground meat.  From hamburgers to chili to meat sauce to meatballs.. the list of ideas are endless!

Last night, I wanted to make something a little different.  Something that could potentially be a hit, but something that would include a twist.

I also needed to make something I could freeze because all of my tasters are beginning to protest.  Who’s putting on weight, who’s fridge is full, etc.

Luckily my sister was with me last night and in honor of her boyfriend who declares his favorite food to be “meatloaf,” (how can you not love a man who declares that!?!) we came up with this delicious dish!!!

I’ve also included the recipe for making the buns because they are so yummy, can be frozen for later use, and they go with just about everything!!!

And I almost forgot, they make the house smell terrific! 🙂

Sliders meet the loaf

1 1/2 pounds of ground meat

2 eggs

3/4 almond milk

1 1/4 almond flour

1/2 small onion diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup fresh sage chopped

1 tablespoon dried parsley

3 large cloves garlic minced

1/4 cup all natural ketchup

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 teaspoon of ground mustard

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

And all the toppings you like.. I chose bacon, spinach, onion, pickles, and tomatoes! 🙂

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well combined.

Shape into approximately 15 (meatball size) patties.

Please them on a wire rack on a baking sheet.  This will allow some of the fat to render from them.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Once you take them out of the oven allow them to rest for up to 10 minutes, so they retain their juice.

Sesame & Caraway Buns

(recipe makes 6, so I typically double it since you can freeze them)

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 eggs

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)

A bunch of sesame seeds, caraway seeds, and if you like.. poppy seeds! Or use all 3 for “everything” buns! 🙂

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder, and garlic and onion powder, in a mixing bowl.

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In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, apple cider vinegar, and honey.

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Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then stir in the melted coconut oil until everything is combined.

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Using a spoon or my personal favorite.. an ice cream scooper, scoop the dough into muffin tins.

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Now, sprinkle your choice of seeds on top.

I usually do a 1/2 dozen sesame seeds and a 1/2 dozen caraway seeds because I love the taste of rye bread!

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Bake them for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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You’ll notice they rise nicely.

Allow them to cool before cutting them in half.

*If you’re going to freeze them, place them in a zip lock bag, but be sure to remove as much air as you can from the bag, so they do not get freezer burn.  A little tip from my Sis! 🙂

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Sesame Chicken Zoodles

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It seems I’ve finally gotten past my southwestern cravings and moved on to something a little more Asian.  Although, I’m not ready just yet to stop using that fresh cilantro.  Did I mention I love cilantro?? Probably a few times, but aside from loving all fresh herbs, and I do believe “fresh” makes all the difference in a dish.. Cilantro has the ability to transform almost anything into a complete and utter wow! That said, I couldn’t resist using it in this delicious dish!!!

I love Asian food and this amazing dish can be served with either chicken or beef.. hot or cold!

It’s also incredibly light and packed with protein and veggies.. should you be cutting back as we get closer to those highly anticipated summer months. 🙂

So, here goes…

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins

1/4 cup coconut aminos

2 tablespoon coconut sugar

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 tablespoons olive oil (plus, 1 tablespoon for the wok)

1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced (green parts only)

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1 cup cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

3 large zucchini

*A spiralizer will be needed for this dish.

Combine the coconut aminos, coconut sugar, garlic cloves, vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a mixing bowl.

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Place the chicken tenders on a grill or grill pan over medium heat, brushed with olive oil, and grill until they are done.  Anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

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Transfer to a plate and allow them to cool.

Then place them in a zip lock bag and add 3 tablespoons of the sesame dressing.

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Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Now for the fun part…

Using the spiralizer, you can begin to make your zoodles! 🙂

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium heat and add in your zoodles.

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I have to admit, I think zoodles are adorable! I don’t know what it is about them! 🙂

Be sure to only cook them for about 3 minutes while tossing them continuously.  You don’t want to cook them all the way through as they should maintain some crunchiness!!!

Transfer zoodles to a mixing bowl.

Remove the chicken from the fridge and begin slicing it and placing it on top of the zoodles.

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Add your sesame seeds, green onions, cilantro, and sesame dressing…

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And give it a good toss…

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All finished.. Eat up! And Enjoy! 🙂

 

Pineapple Pico De Gallo & Homemade Tortilla Chips

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I’m not sure what it is lately, but I’ve been in a southwestern state of mind! Whipping up the likes of bacon guacamole, to jalapeño margarita’s, and now.. pineapple pico de gallo.

I think like everyone else, I’m counting down the days to summer! And looking forward to warm nights, sitting outside, having cocktails with my closest friends, and catching up on life! Making plans to hit the beach, take a hike, or catch a concert on a whim! It’s all got my mind reeling and just like my choice in outfits, and color, often times reflect my mood, so does my choice in food.

While I can take full credit for this delicious pineapple pico de gallo recipe, I cannot say the same for the tortilla recipe.  However, I wanted to give you both because they are an excellent combination and neither is too tedious to whip up on a whim.

Whim?? There’s that word again..

This pico de gallo is a home run! It goes great with chips (someone said it’s national chip day??) it also goes great with fajita’s, tacos, or all alone.. No matter how you eat it, you’re going to love it! It’s an absolute “wow!!!” So, dig in..

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1 small pineapple, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

4 mini sweet red peppers, seeded and diced

4 mini sweet orange peppers, seeded and diced

4 mini sweet yellow peppers, seeded and diced

2 whole jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced

1 whole bunch of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon sea salt

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How pretty does that look?? I love cilantro!!

Throw all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss it together.

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Now let’s move on to the chips..

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

1/2 cup of flax seed meal (this gives it that delicious taste of corn)

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Place almond flour, flax seed meal, egg whites, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until a ball of dough forms.  Place on a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper.

Sprinkle arrowroot flour on the dough, so it does not stick to the rolling pin and roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick.  Another option is to place parchment paper on top of the dough while rolling it out.

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Cut into triangular wedges.

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And transfer on to a baking sheet.

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How cute are these?? Btw, I love these silicone baking mats.  They make life so much easier! 🙂

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Transfer to a baking wire rack to cool.  This will allow them to become extra crispy!

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Now……….

Dip and enjoy!!! 🙂

Bacon Guacamole with Plantain Chips

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I absolutely love avocados!!! For as long as I can remember, I would eat them every chance I got with salt and a little lemon juice.  I find the taste to be simply divine!!!

Obviously this makes me a sucker for guacamole.  I simply can’t resist it!!!

Years ago, my sister picked up a guacamole cookbook which I read in it’s entirety, and began experimenting with different guacamoles.  To say I’ve used some interesting ingredients over the years, would be an understatement, but you’d be surprised at how versatile this side dish truly is!

This latest recipe calls for bacon and after trying this out, we all decided that moving forward, every guacamole should include bacon.  It’s ridiculously good!!!

For those that do not follow a Paleo lifestyle, I highly suggest serving this or any other guacamole recipe up, with plantain chips.  There is something about the level of saltiness and texture of the plantain chip, that makes it a perfect match with the taste of an avocado.

Sure you could always opt for the traditional tortilla chip, but guacamole and plantain chips are a match made in heaven!!! 🙂

3 ripe avocados

4 ounces of grape tomatoes, cut into quarters

1 quarter red onion, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 jalapeño, minced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Juice from 1/2 a lime

3-4 well done slices of bacon, finely chopped

Combine all of the above ingredients.

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They look so vibrant together! I almost feel bad mashing them! 😉

 

Using two spoons mash and chop the guacamole together until it’s well combined and the level of chunkiness is to your desire.

(I have found this is the best way to mix guacamole)

Serve up! And enjoy! 🙂