Fall Stir Fry with Spaghetti Squash

Don’t you love those “DUH!” moments??  Those times when you have an idea and feel like a genius for having said idea…but also feel like an idiot for not having that idea earlier?  That is what happened with this recipe!!  For quite a while now I have been taking favorite noodle recipes and substituting in spaghetti squash!  Now as I have mentioned before, I do not think of or present the dish as a noodle dish when I do this…or the people consuming will expect it to taste exactly like noodles.  But if you present it as a great spaghetti squash recipe, they will be overjoyed with the flavor, and they will be expecting it to be so different from noodles that they will be pleasantly surprised!

Well.  We love stir fry in this house.  But I had pretty much given up on noodle stir fry, even though it is my favorite version.  Why had I never considered spaghetti squash stir fry?!  But I was looking through this wonderful book you will remember:

 

DHV

…and I stumbled upon a recipe called “Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables.”  Aka…chicken stir fry with noodles.  I thought “oh man that looks tasty…” then suddenly….palm meet face!!  SPAGHETTI SQUASH!

The great thing about this is that it is more of an idea than a recipe.  Stir fry is such an open ended thing.  It is so great because as long as you keep veggies in your fridge and some for of soy sauce and sesame oil…you don’t even have to plan ahead.  You just chop chop, toss it in a wok and BAM!  Nutritional dinner!!  🙂  Most of you probably already know how to do that!  I just wanted to open your eyes to the new possibilities with spaghetti squash!  But nevertheless,  here is the general idea of what I did!

 

The ingredients:

  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Head Broccoli or Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2-3 Large Chicken Breasts, Cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 or 2 Bell Peppers, Julienned
  • 1 or 2 Large Carrots, sliced
  • About 1/4 Lg Head Red Cabbage, Sliced
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey (Optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash in advance, however you prefer to do this.  I stab mine a bunch then roast at about 400* for an hour or so, turning once.  It is done when the skin is very tender and easily pierced.  Remove seeds and remove the flesh in strands with a fork.  Set aside.
  2. Salt and Pepper your chunks of chicken.  Heat the coconut oil in a wok and add chicken.  Stir and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through…about 5-8 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Add your onions into the wok and cook for about 2 minutes, until starting to get tender.  Add garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds or so, then add in the rest of the veggies (minus the squash).  I did not pre-cook my cauliflower but if you don’t want a crunch in the middle of your cauliflower or broccoli, feel free to steam or boil for a few minutes before hand. 🙂  Cook all the veggies, stirring, until everything is getting tender-crisp.
  4. Add the chicken back in and stir.
  5. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  Dump over stir fry.  Stir in.
  6. Add in the spaghetti squash strands and toss it all together.  Heat it through, then remove and serve!  Garnish with sesame seeds if desired!!  ENJOY!!!

Peectures:

SS Stir Fry 1

Cook your spaghetti squash first! In the meantime, cook your chicken.  Set aside.

SS Stir Fry 2

Add your onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add in garlic and stir, cooking about 30 seconds.  Then dump in the rest of your veggies, minus the spaghetti squash.  Cook until everything is tender crisp.

SS Stir Fry 3

Add in the chicken and cook and stir..

SS Stir Fry 4

Then add in the sauce…and last but not least the spaghetti squash!  Toss everything to coat, heat through, then remove and serve!!

 

 

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Teryaki Chicken Burgers

Paleo.  It has been the most rewarding lifestyle we have tried.  Not to mention, it is quite satisfying since you get to eat so much protein.   The only issue I have run into is figuring out enough interesting ways to cook meat.  One fail-proof option is burger patties!  You just have to be constantly thinking of creative new ways to prepare them to keep it interesting!

Lucky for me, I found this book at my favorite store for cook book shopping, Five Below:

 

Grill It

(Feel free to check it out here)

 

Since it is a book of grilling recipes, most of them are protein-based.  And there are plenty of burger recipes, just waiting to be adapted to clean-eating standards.  Now I would like to share one of those with you!!  I love how there is a great flavor…but also veggies snuck in there!  And another thing I just adore about burger patties is that, even though we are transitioning to cooler days, you can still rock these puppies!  Be it an outdoor grill, grill pan, or a good old fashioned cast iron skillet…burgers will satisfy your tummy and your taste buds!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 Carrot, Peeled and Grated
  • 2 Green Onions, Minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Ginger Paste (or fresh grated)
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • A few shakes Red Pepper Flakes
  • Toppings of choice

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Combine all the burger ingredients in a large bowl.  Divide mixture into 4 even portions, and form into patties.  If needed, you can form them right on your plate over some foil or wax paper, because the mixture WILL be more moist than regular burgers.  Place them in the freezer just a few minutes until you are ready to grill.  This helps them stay formed.
  2. Preheat an outdoor grill, or a cast iron grill pan or skillet with a small amount of grass-fed butter in the bottom.  Place burgers on your cooking surface and cook for 6-7 minutes per side, until juices run clear and the temperature is at 170*.  I’m sure you know this, but these are not beef burgers so they MUST be cooked all the way through!
  3. Top with whatever you please and eat away!!

 

Peectures!

 

Mix everything together and form your patties:

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 1

 

Cook 6-7 minutes per side, or until done!

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 2

 

And devour!!  Pretty easy, right?!

 

Teryaki Chicken Burgers 3

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry

So. When I cook, I usually end up using a “more is better” sort of theory. A lot of times, it works perfect, because you end up with a lot of flavor. However, it can also hold you back if you think that way ALL the time. Because often times, there is beauty in simplicity! Which is the truth for this stir fry recipe! You see…USUALLY when I make stir fry…I cram so many veggies in it that my HUGE wok is overflowing, and we eat it for days. I just get so excited about cramming everything I can think of into the pan. And it really, truly is delicious. But then…I met this recipe. ❤

I LOVE IT! Really. Its wonderful. And it somehow turns out so pretty, even without overflowing with all the different shapes and colors. The green of the asparagus catches your eye, and the perfect sear on the chicken makes your mouth water! You should try this. It’s great!

Adapted from gimmesomeoven.com! Lovely blog!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Amino Acids (Our better version of Soy Sauce!)
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Lg Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Bunch Asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Scallions, choped
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the first four ingredients. Pour half in a container to save for later.
  2. Chop the chicken and place in a ziploc baggie, then pour the previous mixture over top. Seal it up, shake it up, and place it in the fridge to marinate. Preferably over night!!
  3. Melt your coconut oil over medium high heat; it works best in a cast iron skillet! Plus it just makes it look that much more awesome!
  4. Toss in your asparagus bits and saute until tender-crisp and starting to brown; about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
  5. Add chicken cubes to the cast iron skillet and cook until nicely seared and cooked nearly all the way through.
  6. Add garlic, scallions, and reserved marinade.
  7. Sauté a couple more minutes until garlic and onions are tender and smell delish….and make sure your chicken isn’t pink in the middle!
  8. Add the asparagus back in.
  9. Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds! Serve with some hot quinoa, and spoon the pan juices all over it! YUM!!! SO GOOD!

Perfect hot meal for any season! And it is so kind to the ol’ body!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 1

 

Whisk together the Amino Acids, honey, ginger, and pepper flakes. Reserve half, and dump the rest over the chicken in a ziploc baggie. Place in your fridge and let marinate for as long as you got…preferably over night!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 2

 

Melt the coconut oil over medium high heat, and saute your asparagus pieces until browned and tender crisp…about 5 minutes! Remove from pan.

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 3

 

Add chicken to hot pan and cook until almost done, and you have a nice sear on the sides. See? Pretty!!

 

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 4

 

Add your garlic and shallots and dump in the reserved marinade. Cook until shallots are soft and chicken is cooked all the way through!!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 5

 

Add the asparagus back in and stir it all together…take off heat, add in sesame oil, and garnish with sesame seeds!

Chicken Asparagus Stir Fry 6

 

Yummy yummy yummy!! Eat on top of a pile of hot steamy quinoa with the pan juices dribbled on top!! Hallelujah!

Asian Inspired Salmon Salad (AKA Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon Salad)

You know what I think is amazing?  Those moms who raise a bunch of kids and still have time to cook HEALTHY food that the kids actually love, on top of staying within a small budget.  Forget Superman.  I’d like to see Clark Kent try to do that!  To all you supermoms…you are phenomenal and I want to be just like you when I grow up! 😉  Shout out to my sister-in-love, Becca “Jim” Kirkwood, cause she’s got it down!!!

Anywho.  I just started a blog post with a bunny trail, ha.  Let me explain to you why my mind went there!!

LEFTOVERS.

Wonderful leftovers.  No, really, I love leftovers!  I have been blessed with the Kirkwood inability to make small portions of food.  Us Kirkwoods (or former Kirkwood in my case) always cook for an army.  It actually works out nicely, because the Kirkwood house is the hang out house…my parents are the cool parents that let all their kids have friends over at any time of night…and ALWAYS find something to feed them.  Usually something ridiculous like steak and mashed potatoes with garlic bread, even if its 11 at night.  Or if they are tired they’ll settle for a never ending supply of corndogs and dad’s famous rice krispy treats with essential oils!  Though my apartment here across the country from them is small…it is already starting to have the same legacy.  We have different people sleeping on our couch all the time, and you know how I love to feed people 😀  But lots of times I cook for an army…and it’s just me and Jay, and I have a lot of leftovers.  I still like it.  Cause that means less money spent next month on meals, cause this month’s meals are stretching out.  However, eating the same thing for dinner three or four nights in a row can get a little….”blah.”  So this brings me back to my adoration for supermoms.  Taking leftovers…and transforming them into something else so the family doesn’t know they are eating the same thing.  And BOOM! You saved lots of MOOOOLAH.  That was one of the first tips my sister in law gave me.  Transform your leftovers to save money and eliminate food waste.  I gave her the deer in the headlights look.  Hooooow do you figure out what to make?!  Well guess what.  I came up with this one.  Yeah baby!  Went from a tasty dinner to a creative, light, Asian style salad…all from my little brain!  Go me!  Not Super Mom yet…but maybe by the time I have kids, I will be good enough at it that I can put on the cape 😉

 

Wow.  What an intro!  Enough distraction, let’s get down to business 🙂

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce (or 2 if they’re small)
  • 3 C Spinach
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced or julienned (I decided to julienne mine because…I was thinking Asian…and when I think Asian, I think about our favorite sushi restaurant, Ruyi Asian Fusion.  And it just seemed like something they would do…because their presentation is never ordinary in any way!)
  • 1/4-1/2 a Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • Half recipe of Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon (About 1 lb Salmon, and 1/2 C chutney)

Dressing:  (This will make about enough for 2 platefuls of salad.  If you want to be able to dress the whole salad, you can double it. )

  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • Squeeze of Flaxseed Oil (Optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Citrus (I used lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tsp Bragg’s Amino Acids ( my Soy Sauce substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger, paste or minced
  • Dash of Sriracha

 

And here’s how you do it: (Pretty self explanatory ;))

  1. If you do not have Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon leftovers but still want to make this fantastically tasty salad, then click on the link and get it started now.
  2. Rinse your romaine and chop or rip it into bite sized pieces, and toss them into a bowl.
  3. Rinse and sort your spinach and add it to the bowl.  Toss with the romaine to evenly distribute.
  4. Slice your onions and cucumbers and scatter on top.
  5. Cut your (cold) salmon into small chunks and scatter on top.
  6. Distribute the chutney evenly over the top.
  7. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and serve on the side.  I do this because I hate it when I dress the whole salad and then we don’t eat it all and it gets soggy and I can’t eat it for lunch the next day.  Booooooo!!

 

How yummy does that sound?  Let me tell you a secret.  It was REALLY yummy!  And this is like…bare minimum for the salad…I didn’t have much in the cupboards, but think of all the variations you could do!  Here’s a few of my ideas:

  • Add a small can of mandarins, and sub the mandarin juice in for lemon juice.
  • Add raisins
  • Add apple chunks
  • Nuts or trail mix

What can you think of that would be tasty?!

 

Pictures, ready GO!

Get your veggies ready!  Clean them all, chop them all, and put in a large bowl!

Chutney Salmon Salad 2Chunk your salmon and add it to the top with the sweet bell pepper chutney

Chutney Salmon Salad 3

YUM!  Now take it outside and eat it in the sunshine!!!

Chutney Salmon Salad 4

 

Seriously, this was perfect for a spring front porch picnic with my husband!!  We took the puppies for a morning walk on a beautiful river-side trail and got some exercise…

Chutney Salmon Salad 1Aren’t they ADORABLE?!  The one on the right is mine 🙂  She needs a hair cut…anyways we started the day with fresh air, exercise, and their cuteness, then shortly after got to sit down in the shade, enjoy the sunshine, and eat something light, fresh, and oh-so-satisfyingly tasty!!  Such a good day 🙂

Chutney Salmon Salad 5Hallelujah!!  Enjoy!  🙂