Mango Steak Salad

Don’t you just love it when you are EXCITED for lunch?  Mr. Rodgers and I are making a renewed effort to eat really healthy!  And because of that…it means lots of salads!  When some people think of eating lots of salads…it’s with a big sigh and an “I can do this!”  Well…the day I ate this salad….I couldn’t WAIT to devour this bad boy.  I had prepared it the night before and was thinking about it all day until I got a break from work so I could try it!  That’s right…you can make salads you will be excited for!  And this is one of them!  DEFINITELY!

The steak in this was so tender and delicious, the mango was sweet (one of my favorite flavors!), and the romaine was the perfect texture.  The crunch!  Yay!  You gotta try!

Oh…and did I mention that I got the inspiration for this recipe from a $3 cook book my husband bought me?! YAAAAAAAAY!!!  THREE DOLLARS!!!!  YAY!!  So…this is adapted from….

Steak Mango 2That book!!  Yay!!  It’s got fun recipes…check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Salads-Love-Food-Parragon-Books/dp/1781867275

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz (at least) Tenderloin Steak or something similar…I believe what I found was a top round
  • 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Lg Clove Garlic, Slice
  • 1 package Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (about 1 1/2 C), Quarters
  • 1 Small Onion, or about 1/4 of a large one, Dice
  • 1 Mango, Peeled, Pitted, and Sliced into strips
  • 2 tsp Agave
  • 1 1/2 Limes (juice)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Romaine Hearts

 

And here’s how you do it!!!

  1. Slice the steak into strips against the grain.  Place it into a Ziploc baggie with the garlic and fish sauce.  Marinate for as long as you have, preferably over night.  🙂
  2. Put the onion, tomatoes, and mango in a medium bowl.
  3. Squeeze lime juice over the mixture in the bowl, and drizzle with agave.  Stir so that everything is combined and coated.
  4. Chop or tear your romaine hearts into bite sized pieces.
  5. When just about ready to eat, take out your skillet (preferably cast iron, my favorite!) and melt the coconut oil over high heat.
  6. Add the sesame oil, and then the steak and sear just about a minute, so that it is browned on both sides but still tender!
  7. Add the meat to the bowl with the tomato mixture.  Stir so it is also coated in the yumminess.
  8. Put a layer of lettuce down in a bowl, and then spoon on a few good scoops of the meat mixture into the middle of the lettuce.
  9. BAM! EAT IT!!!

 

Unfortunately, through the transfer of phones between husband and I (Mr. Rodgers is by far the BEST man in the world…and let me take the phone update so I can take better pictures)…I lost the pictures of the process!  But…it’s a salad…it’s pretty simple, I know you can do it!  So here’s the end product!!  YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!

Steal Mango Salad

 

 

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Chicken Sweet Potato Curry Skillet

My husband LOVES curry.  A lot.  It shows up in almost everything that he makes.  Scrambled eggs.  Omelets.  Chicken.  Everything.  So when I found this recipe in one of my favorite cook books, Deliciously Healthy Vegetables, I knew I had to try it out.  A few tweaks here and there, and we had a really fantastic, hearty and warm meal.  Add a little quinoa and you got your protein, your veggies, your curry, your textures…what more could you want?!  I love one pot dinners.  And I love using my cast iron skillet.  So all in all, this meal made me very happy.  And how perfect to bust it out now that squash and sweet potatoes are making their appearance for fall?  You’re gonna love this!

PS…I know I have said it before, but you should all look in to this cook book.  I have not tried one thing out of it yet that I don’t love!!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts (If you have a big cast iron skillet.  You may want to use fewer if its small)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 C Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder (This is for a mild flavor.  If you want it to pop, add a little more.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon (I had to add this because Mr. Rodgers always uses cinnamon with his curry!)
  • 1/2 C Fresh cilantro chopped…or 1 tsp dried

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut chicken breasts in half length wise.  Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in your skillet over medium heat.  Cook your chicken for a few minutes per side to get a sear.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Now add the sweet potatoes and onions and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to brown and soften.  Add garlic and ginger and stir, cooking until fragrant (about a minute.)
  4. Add coconut milk, salt, pepper, curry, cinnamon, (and cilantro if you are using dried) and stir.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Put the chicken pieces back in the skillet and simmer for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender.
  6. Pile steaming hot quinoa on plates, top with chicken, sweet potatoes, and the sauce, then sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!!  Perfect description:  COMFORT!

Peectures!

 

Chicken Scallopini 2Chop your sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes…

Chicken Scallopini 1Prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Chicken Scallopini 3Cut chicken breasts in half length wise.  Season generously with salt and pepper.Chicken Scallopini 4

Melt the coconut oil in your skillet over medium heat.  Toss in the chicken.

Chicken Scallopini 5Cook your chicken for a few minutes per side to get a sear.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Chicken Scallopini 6Now add the sweet potatoes and onions and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to brown and soften.

Chicken Scallopini 7

Add garlic and ginger and stir, cooking until fragrant (about a minute.)  Add coconut milk, salt, pepper, curry, cinnamon, (and cilantro if you are using dried) and stir.  Bring to a boil.

Chicken Scallopini 8Put the chicken pieces back in the skillet and simmer for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender.

Chicken Scallopini 9Pile steaming hot quinoa on plates, top with chicken, sweet potatoes, and the sauce, then sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!!  Perfect description:  COMFORT!

 

 

 

Cabbage Rolls – Pizza Style!

Last time I made cabbage rolls, I kinda freaked out….as in a “where have you been all my life?!” sort of freak out.  It inspired me in a big way, because the possibilities seemed endless!  So, here is my first “possibility!”  I thought of it all by myself, yay me!!

The flavor of this was surprising…it was mild, but so satisfying and delicious.  I just love the amount of protein in these!  Now I don’t know about you, but part of my “eating experience” is the way it feels to bite into the meal.  Well this…was definitely a happy teeth meal!  It’s like a giant meatball…crammed with quinoa which is extra protein for extra satisfaction…wrapped in a veggie!!  Man!!  It’s wonderful!  These ones I made in the crock pot.  But I have this feeling they would be just as good or even better cooked in the oven.  It’s amazing the different flavors you get when you cook it in the crockpot versus the oven.  The flavor was great in the crock pot.  I want to know what it would be like to cook it in the oven!  So if you try it that way, let me know how it turns out!!!

Okay!!  Are ;you ready for pizza…cabbage roll style?!  Or cabbage rolls…pizza style?!  Whichever you prefer hehe.

So, here’s what you need:

Sauce:  (Why yes, yes this is Budget Savvy Diva’s Pizza Hut Copy Cat Pizza Sauce, sub agave!  That lady makes wonders happen in the kitchen!)

  • 2 Cans Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1 tsp Agave
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder (or more…if you like it extra garlicy like I do :D)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Cabbage Rolls:

  • 1 Head Cabbage (At least 10 leaves)
  • 1 lb Turkey Sausage
  • 1/4 C Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1/4 C Red Onion
  • 1/4 C Dry Quinoa
  • 1/4 C Almond Milk
  • 1/4 C Olives, Sliced
  • 1 Egg

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, you gotta get your sauce started so it can simmer and get all the flavors to their full potential.  Just dump it all in a sauce pan, stir it up, bring it to a boil, then turn it down and simmer while you prepare the rest.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the whole head of cabbage.  Boil for 2-4 minutes, until it is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl with your hands, like you’re going to make a burger or meat balls!
  4. Drain cabbage leaves and cool just long enough to be able to handle.
  5. One at a time, pull a leaf off of the head of cabbage and lay out on your work space.  Take a 1/4 C of the filling and form into a meatball shape at the end of the leaf.  Roll it up and tuck in the ends, like a burrito.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the leaves and filling.  Stack them in your crock pot  (or a dish if you are trying to oven method to let me know how it goes!).  Pour the pizza sauce over top, and cook on low for about 8 hours.  Make sure you use a 4 quart crock pot, they will probably burn in a larger pot.

Peectures!!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls .5Gather all the seasonings and things you need for the pizza sauce!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls .75Pour the tomato sauce in a sauce pan and stir in the seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the cabbage rolls are ready.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 5Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place the cabbage inside.  Boil for 2-4 minutes, until tender.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 1Meanwhile, gather your other ingredients.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 2Chop and slice your veggies.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 3Put all of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 4Combine with your hands.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 6One by one, pull a cabbage leaf off and lay flat.  Put 1/4 Cup of filling in a ball at one end and roll up…

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 7And tuck in the ends…

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 8Kind of like a little cabbage burrito!!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 9Stack them up in your crock pot or dish if you want to try the oven method.

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 13Pour in your sauce…

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 12Make sure it’s all smothered, then turn it on low for 8 hours.  Your house will fill with wonderful smells!!!  Now I will show you pictures of after it is cooked!  Unfortunately, things cooked in a crock pot are a little hard to take pretty pictures of.  But I did my best, so check it out!!!

Pizza Cabbage Rolls 14

Yummy!

Pizza Cabbage 15Yummmmmy yummmmmmy!

Pizza Cabbage 16

Cucumber Tuna Cups (A Light, Protein Filled, Gluten Free Lunch!)

And did I mention that this is also quite easy?!  Well, it is!   Another great way to use up any left over cucumbers  from the summer garden! 🙂  They’re just so cute, too!!  I just love these little guys, yay!!  I bet you have never had tuna like this!!!!!! Oh oh oh…it’s a really cheap lunch too!  So much good news, let’s get down to business!!  Ready, set, GO!!!!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Large Cucumber
  • 1 Can Tuna
  • 1 Tbsp Mayo
  • 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Red Onion, Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 1 or 2 Pickles, Sliced
  • Sharp Cheddar, Sliced into small squares
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Peel your cucumber (leaving a few green strips if you want it to be extra pretty).  Chop into approximately inch long slices.
  2. Chop your celery and onion, slice your cheese and pickles.
  3. Take a melon baller and scoop out some of the insides of each slice of cucumber.  It should be like a little cup!
  4. Open your can of tuna and drain.  Dump it into a bowl.
  5. Add mayo, olive oil, celery, red onion, capers…and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash.  Mix until combined. Taste, and adjust.
  6. Take a spoonful of the tuna mixture and place it into each cucumber “cup.”  Top with a small slice of cheese and pickle!  Eat and enjoy!!

I think they’re just so precious!!  And they would be so great for a brunch or luncheon!!

Peectures!!

Cucumber Tuna Cups 1

Peel your cucumber (leaving a few green strips if you want it to be extra pretty).  Chop into approximately inch long slices.

Cucumber Tuna Cups 2

Chop your celery and onion, slice your cheese and pickles.  Take a melon baller and scoop out some of the insides of each slice of cucumber.

Cucumber Tuna Cups 3It should be like a little cup!

Cucumber Tuna Cups 4

Open your can of tuna and drain.  Dump it into a bowl.  Add mayo, olive oil, celery, red onion, capers…and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash.

Cucumber Tuna Cups 5Mix to combine.  Taste and adjust!!

Cucumber Tuna Cups 6Take a spoonful of the tuna mixture and place it into each cucumber “cup.”

Cucumber Tuna Cups 7Top with a small slice of cheese and pickle!  Eat and enjoy!!

Creamy Caulifower Soup

Looks yummy, right?!  Today is the PERFECT day for a steamy pot of creamy soup!  However…though creamy soups are my favorite, they are usually on the bottom of the list as far as health goes.  But the rain and wind and bite in the air absolutely called for a creamy soup.  So I can not tell you how thankful I am that last night I made this Cauliflower Soup!!!  My tummy is happy…and warm!  And come to find out…it is even more tasty the next day!

I feel like the title “Creamy Cauliflower Soup” doesn’t do this recipe justice.  I think it should rather be called “Really Healthy Potato Free Low Carb Low Dairy Baked Potato Soup.”  But somehow that just didn’t flow as well.  I wonder why, hahahaha.  It does capture everything that this soup is.  My friend Sarah sent me a really great recipe from skinnytaste.com (great blog!) that was a creamy baked potato soup that is part potato part cauliflower.  Well, Mr. Rodgers and I are getting back on track you see.  The past two months have been absolute madness with me working constantly, which has meant unfortunate amounts of eating out.  Which means…we feel like death.  “Why hello heartburn, where have you been?!”

Well…the death-like feeling inspired us to start afresh this month and be really super healthy.  Starting over with rules we gathered from Maker’s Diet. Being super good.  Which means no more potatoes!  So I took skinnytaste.com’s genius recipe of reducing the potatoes…and just cut them out all the way!  Along with most of the dairy, which you are supposed to keep at 25% or less of your food intake per day.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Head Cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (or more, depending on your tastes)
  • 1 very small onion, or 1/2 a medium onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 C Chicken Broth (Possibly a few Tbsp more later if its too thick)
  • 1 1/2 C Almond Milk
  • 1/2 C Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 6 Chives, Chopped
  • 4 Slices Turkey Bacon, Crumbled (Try and some without nitrites, I found some at the health food store.)
  • Fresh shredded cheddar…just a bit for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (I used lots of both!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add your cauliflower.  Boil until very tender; about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the bacon in a pan and begin cooking it, turning a few times until it is cooked through and ready to be crumbled.  If it is not rendering enough grease, you can add a Tbsp of butter or so.
  3. Chop your chives, onion, and garlic.
  4. When cauliflower is done cooking, drain and place in a soup pot, or the same pot you already used.  Make sure it is over medium heat.
  5. Add broth and almond milk.  Bring to a boil!
  6. When bacon is done, remove from pan.  Now add the onions (not the green ones) and garlic to the bacon grease and sauté until tender.  Add to soup.
  7. Using an immersion blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  OR if you are cool like me and don’t have fancy gadgets like that…put the soup in a blender in batches and whiz until creamy.  🙂
  8. Add the sour cream and half your chives and stir in.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Garnish with more chives, some fresh shredded cheddar, and crumbled bacon…and maybe a few more cranks of fresh black pepper if you are like me 😀

 

Peectures!

Cauliflower Soup 1First, get your cauliflower boiling!  Until very tender, probably like 15 minutes.

Cauliflower Soup 2

While waiting for that to finish, start cooking your bacon.  If your turkey bacon is really lean and not rendering any fat, you can add a small amount of butter so it doesn’t burn and you have some good stuff left in to bottom of the pan, because….

Cauliflower Soup 5You are going to add your onion (not chives) and garlic to that same pan and sauté!

Cauliflower Soup 6Cook until tender and all the goodies on the bottom of the pan have been soaked up and scraped up!!

Cauliflower Soup 3When your cauliflower is done, drain and add to a soup pot.

Cauliflower Soup 4Add chicken broth and almond milk and bring to a boil.

Cauliflower Soup 7Add garlic and onions and stir in…

Cauliflower Soup 8Using an immersible blender or normal blender, whiz until smooth and creamy.  Add more chicken broth if it is too thick for your liking.

Cauliflower Soup 9Add half the chives, salt, and pepper to taste and stir in.

Cauliflower Soup 10Place in a serving dish and top with a small amount of sharp cheddar, more chives, and some of your smoky turkey bacon!!  Doesn’t that look heavenly?!  Now…dive in and enjoy….especially if you are having a rainy evening like me!! 🙂

Cauliflower Soup 11Here is mine beside a version of my Lemon Dijon Broccoli (my favorite way to eat it!!)

 

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 1: Chicken Black Bean Tacos with Spicy Chipotle Sauce

You may be wondering about the title of this post.  What the heck do I mean by Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper?!  Good question.  Once upon a time, I was given a can of Chipotle Peppers from my former boss when their family PCSed.  For those of you who don’t live next door to a military base…that basically means they got orders and moved.  Far away from me.  Boo.  BUT this post is not about my self pity, haha!!!  This post is about Chipotle Peppers.

So, I got this can of Chipotle Peppers.  I had only used them sparingly before, when they were called for in a recipe.  I had never experimented with them before.  Quickly I learned that, although the cans are small…they last a long time cause those bad boys be POTENT!  The realization hit me that….this one little can of peppers could be the inspiration for like 5 meals, because you really only need one per meal to get the spicy smoky delcioiusness laced throughout the whole meal!  So, I officially have 3 meals created from one can of peppers, and at least one more I will soon create with the last pepper or two that I can share with you!  How’s that sound?!  Good?!  Good!!  Let’s get down business!

Sidenote…I can’t take credit for a lot of these ideas.  I took a facebook “survey…”, more of me just asking my friends “What’s your favorite recipe with chipotle peppers?!”  Shout out to Laura Yoder for this beauty!!!  🙂

 

So, here’s what you need!!

  • 1 Package tortillas of choice (Because of the healthy nature of my blog, I went with brown rice tortillas.  I discovered corn tortillas seem to have sugar or corn syrup in them…and you all know flour ones are just…not awesome in the health department. ;))
  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts
  • Taco-y blend of seasonings: You can use my favorite home made taco seasoning recipe, or just do what I did…use what was in the pantry.  I went with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin)
  • 1 C Plain Greek Yogurt (ish)
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
  • Handful fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 lb Black Beans
  • 1 C Corn, fresh or frozen
  • Toppings of choice, ie lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, extra cilantro, etc…

 

And here’s how you do it!!!

 

Chipotle Tacos 11Boil your black beans according to package instructions.  If you want to use a can of black beans you can.  I just love how cheap dry beans are.  And that they don’t have that mystery sludge in the bottom, haha!!

Chipotle Tacos 1Assemble your seasonings, really whatever you want for the chicken!!!  You could even use left over chicken if you want!  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 2As you can see, what I did was just cover the breasts in seasoning!  Throw in your oven and cook until done and juices run clear.  It’s going to depend on how big your chicken is, but usually 30-40 minutes should do it!

Chipotle Tacos 7While that cooks, melt some butter in a cast iron skillet…

Chipotle Tacos 8Toss in your corn…

Chipotle Tacos 9And “fry” just a couple minutes, until it is starting to get browned.

Chipotle Tacos 3Now throw your Greek yogurt, Chipotle Pepper, cilantro, and some of the juice from the lime.  Add some salt and pepper, whiz, then taste and adjust.  You may want to start with half a pepper if you don’t want it to be really spicy.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 4Whiz it until a nice creamy texture and everything is evenly combined.

Chipotle Tacos 5See?  It’s kinda pretty.  Mr. Rodgers likes this picture better…

Chipotle Tacos 6Artsy fartsy pants.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 10Is your chicken done yet?  Take it out and shred it with two forks…careful not to burn your little fingers!!

Chipotle Tacos 12You are ready to assemble!  I like doing things buffet style so everyone can customize their dinner!!  Oh, the tortillas are best warmed up a little bit!!

Chipotle Tacos 13Yummy!!  What do you think?!

SO there you go….Chipotle Pepper Post Number 1, down!!!

Alright.  I have to go now.  I am severely distracted by the fact that I am writing this post in the midst of an Audio Adrenaline Rehearsal.  Kinda fun, I have loved this band since childhood and they are at my church right now.  So, I am going to go now!  Thanks for reading guys!!