Category Archives: Light Meals

Kiwi and Mango Nigiri : It’s Easy Being Green : Marx Food Contest!

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marxZestyBeanDog has entered another Marx Foods Contest!  They are just too much fun to not partake in! Marx Foods send you a box of sample sized goodies and the rules are simple:  You have to use at least two ingredients and then blog the recipe. This time around there will be 2 winners, one from internal vote and one from public vote (that me means YOU, my dear friends). Voting will begin on Tuesday at which point I will add the new link to my blog. Then you can check out all the recipes and vote for your favorite one!  The winners get $100 in Marx Food Store Credit and you know I need that BAD!!! I’m all out of  YUZU juice! 😉

I chose to use the Bamboo Rice, Cardamom, and the Mint Herb Crystals to create a Kiwi and Mango Nigiri. This was a tasty and whimsical play on dessert and sushi that I will be making it again for sure, probably for a dinner party. The cardamom infused bamboo rice was subtle yet alluring and the slight crunch of the crystalized mint paired surprisingly well with the mango and bamboo rice.  I couldn’t resist doing kiwi not only because it’s green but also because I love it and the little seeds gave a great texture to the nigiri. The nigiri was then served with a orange honey marmalade and rice wine sauce. Overall it was a fun dish, to eat and to make!

Nigiri

Prep Time: 60 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Serves: Makes 8 Nigiri

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Boil 1 Cup of water add crushed cardamom pods and seeds, let sit for 10 min on simmer. Strain and reserve water for rice. 
  2. Add rinsed bamboo rice to water bring to a boil, add 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, cover and simmer for 20 min or until done.
  3. Cut up kiwi and mango thinly to arrange on top of rice.
  4. Let rice cool for about 20-30 min.
  5. Make 8 nigiri mounds with your hands and place fruit on top and garnish with crystalized mint and real mint.
  6. Serve with honey orange marmalade with a splash of rice wine.

Enjoy with a glass of wine!

Goodies

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Pan Seared Ahi Tuna with a Cilantro Ginger Slaw

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This is a delicious and healthy lunch or dinner dish that is super simple to prepare. You will love it!!!

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 6 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ahi tuna steaks (I like to do about a 4-5 oz steak).
  • 2 cups Green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups Purple cabbage, shredded
  • 2 TBS Pickled ginger
  • 3 TBS Cilantro, chopped rough
  • 1 TBS Black sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coconut oil

Dressing for slaw

  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Agave nectar
  • 1 TBS Yuzu juice
  • 2 TBS Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Wasabi paste

Instructions:

  1. Wash Ahi and pat dry, season with salt and pepper. Place in fridge while you prep slaw.
  2. Mix cabbage, cilantro, sesame seeds, and ginger in a medium mixing bowl. Place in fridge.
  3. Mix up slaw dressing and reserve, dress right before serving.
  4. In medium to large skillet heat 1 tsp of coconut oil on medium high.
  5. Sear tuna for about 3 min on each side, at the end of the second side sear the edges quickly- serve rare.  You can always cook longer but do not over cook! You want it to be pink in the middle. 🙂
  6. Place tuna on top of dressed slaw salad! Serve with anything else you like, I did sweet potato gnocchi!

Happy Belated 2nd Birthday ZBD & Vegan Black Bean Burgers

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Hello Friends! As the summer winds down, I hope to find some more time to blog. It’s been one crazy few months and I have not had a dull moment yet. I’ve missed blogging and reading your blogs so I’m very happy to get back to it. While I was away ZestyBeanDog turned 2 in July!  I missed it… does that make me a bad blog Mom? 🙂  Happy Belated Birthday ZestyBeanDog! 

These burgers are wonderful and great for a filling lunch or dinner. They are low in fat and calories and high in fiber and have a decent amount of protein. You can make these as is and they will be vegan, adding some low fat cheese  (as shown in picture above) will add some protein but will obviously not be vegan BUT tasty 😉 I will say these were awesome tasting but if you are expecting it to have the texture of meat, they will not quite (most freezer brands do not). I will be experimenting with that in the near future and see what happens. For now here is something not to be missed.

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Serves: 2 large burgers or 2 medium and 1 small

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can low sodium black beans, drained well
  • 1/2 Cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 TBS Shallots, diced
  • 1 tsp. Chia Seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp. Flax Seeds, ground
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 TBS water

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon. Transfer mixture to food processor (I love the Ninja).
  2. Blend all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing for about 20- 30 sec. It should not be liquidy or too dry. It will however be soft. Mold into patties and place on a plastic wrapped plate, cover and let set in fridge for at least 20 min.
  3. Turn skillet on medium and spray with pam or you can use regular olive oil. Once hot cook burgers for about 6-7 min on each side until golden brown and hot all the way through.
  4. Serve on your choice of bun with any toppings you like! It goes great with some sauteed kale!  I love Cabot 75% as a reduced fat cheese, it’s very good!

Nutrition Facts for Black Bean Burgers includes 1/4 of a medium avocado.

Without Avocado

Strawberry and Pecan Spinach Salad + OXO Giveaway : Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker

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Summer is here (I live in Texas remember) and that means it’s salad time in ZBD land. I love salads year round but there’s just something about the summer time that makes them taste better! Included in this post is a chance for you to win your very own OXO Salad Dressing Shaker! See details on how to win at the end of the post 🙂

Strawberry and Pecan Spinach Salad with a Lemon Poppy Yuzu Dressing 

Prep: 10 min

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 C. Baby Spinach
  • 2 C. Strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 C. Pecans

Dressing:

  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1/8 C. Yuzu Juice
  • 1/4 C. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 C. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 TBS. Poppy Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea salt

Instructions:

The Salad Dressing Shaker by OXO makes it easy to measure with the handy measurements on the side. Add in this order for ease: Olive oi to 1/4 marker, yuzu to 1/3 marker, apple cider to 1/2 marker, then add lemon juice and poppy seeds/seasonings. Shake well before pouring. Can store for up to a week in the fridge.

My thoughts on the OXO Salad Shaker…

I love everything about it:

  • The rubber grip helps to well keep a “grip” on it even if you get a bit of oil on your fingers which is nice.
  • I love the measurement marks, I usually eyeball but this helps me for writing my recipes for dressings out and being a blogger that comes in handy a lot.
  • I love the simple spout thats sealed with a rubber grommet, it allows your finger to rest on top for added security. I haven’t had it leak out once no matter how hard I shake it. I’ve had shakers in the past where this is not the case and I end up with oil and vinegar all over my cabinets 😦 This simple design is actually the best I’ve seen. Best of all you can use it one handed!
  • It’s BPA free which is a plus for times when making a warm dressing! No leeching BPA’s into your dressing is always a plus!
  • It’s all sealed wonderfully so you can leave the dressing in the shaker for multiples days in the fridge, depending on your ingredients some may even last a couple of weeks.
  • It says it’s dishwasher safe, but I know this product will probably last me much longer if I hand wash it, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I like my gadgets to last a long time 😉
  • It holds a 1 1/2 C. capacity which is plenty for me.

I haven’t found any cons with this product and plan on doing a follow up in 6 months.

*I received 2 OXO Salad Dressing Shakers for FREE, one for myself and one to give away to one of my loyal followers. All opinions I have expressed are my own truthful ones. I have not been paid by OXO or any affiliated company to write this review. I signed up  for OXO’s Blogger Outreach Program.

Here’s 5 ways to enter to win: (doing all 5 means you have 5 entries) 🙂

  1. Subscribe to my Blog if you aren’t already and leave me a comment saying you’ve done so or already are an awesome fan.
  2. “Like” OXO on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OXO and  leave me a comment saying you’ve done so.
  3. “Like” ZestyBeanDog on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zestybeandog and leave me a comment saying you’ve done so.
  4. “Pin It” (this post)  on Pinterest  and leave me a comment saying you’ve done so.
  5. Share This Post on your Facebook page and leave me a comment saying you’ve done so.
I apologize for any inconvenience but this is limited to U.S. Residents ONLY. 

Good Luck! The winner will be announced May 1st 2012! Cheers!

Bacon, Kale, and Duck Egg English Muffin Sando

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Some mornings call for a “special” breakfast, more than just the typical bowl of cold cereal 🙂 These are easy to make and are sure to please. 

Prep: 10 min

Cook Time: 6 min

Makes: 1 Sando

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Slices of cooked bacon, nitrate free, broken in half
  • 1 English muffin, sliced and toasted
  • 1 Duck egg
  • 3-4 pieces of kale
  • 1 TBS yuzu juice
  • 1 slice of cheese, your preference or omit all together.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Butter

Instructions:

  1. Heat medium skillet on medium high with butter, crack duck egg into skillet and cook for 2-3 min on each side deppending on how runny you like it 🙂 placing cheese on second side for the remaining 3 min until melted.
  2. Wilt kale in yuzu juice for about 2 min tops in separate skillet.
  3. Assemble sando, muffin, egg,cheese, bacon, kale, and muffin top 😉

Enjoy and Cheers!

Fancy Pants Capicola Grilled Cheese with an Arugula and Kale Salad

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So I’m on a grilled cheese kick if you haven’t noticed, so simple and so good… How could you not LOVE fancy pants grilled cheeses (I guess if you didn’t care for cheese *GASP*)? 🙂

Prep: 3 min

Cook: 5 min

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 Slices of 9 Grain bakery bread
  • Butter, or substitute like Earth Balance
  • 2 Slices of cheddar cheese, I did use 2% milk cheese, regular cheddar is great too! 😉
  • 1 Slice of Capicola
  • 1 Pinch ZestyBeanDog Fine Herb Blend (coming VERY soon for purchase 🙂 ).
  • 1 Handful of kale (stems removed) and one handful of arugula
  • Your favorite dressing, I made a lemon herb cesar to go with mine.

Instructions:

  1. Heat small skillet to medium high, butter bread on one side of each slice, layer : Bread, cheese, capicola, cheese, bread. Cook for 2 min on each side or until golden, sprinkle with ZBD fine herb blend and kosher salt.
  2. Enjoy with your kale and arugula salad!
Cheers!

Chicken, Spinach, and Arugula Cesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

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Easy and delicious salad (that even dudes like).  I’m not a huge fan of romaine lettuce so I used baby spinach and arugula and it was great!

Prep: 5 min

Cook: 10-15 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts, raw
  • 2 C. Arugula
  • 2 C. Spinach
  • 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 Loaf of french bread, frozen or a few days old is best, so it’s hardened
  • 2 TBS Olive oil
  • 1/2 TBS Zestybeandog Fine Herb Blend
  • Sea salt, pepper, and extra herb blend for chicken.
  • Cesar dressing, I use Annie’s Naturals Cesar Dressing and add more lemon juice, pepper, salt, and parmesan to taste. Or you could make your own, I was going to BUT I’m fresh out of anchovies… 🙂

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut up bread into crouton sized chunks, take olive oil and “baste” on to bread, sprinkle with herb blend and salt. Bake until golden (5-8 min) watch them!
  3. Season chicken breasts with herb blend, salt, and pepper. Cook in medium skillet on medium with olive oil or butter (not much about a TBS) until done.
  4. Mix up arugula and spinach and separate into two bowls. Add cooked chicken, croutons, and dressing to top of salad. Sprinkle top of salad with parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper. Enjoy
Cheers!

4 STEP Simple Chicken Thigh and Veggie Soup in the Crock Pot

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This is a super easy dish to prepare in the crock pot for busy days! It’s healthy and prepared in four simple steps. Cooking this dish with bone in thighs give it a great flavor and is easier than other methods where you have to cut, cube, brown, pull etc…

Prep: 10 min

Cook Time: 7.5 hrs on LOW

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Free-Range chicken thighs, most of fat removed (as much as you can) I just peel it off with my hands and discard.
  • 32 oz Kitchen Basics no sodium chicken broth
  • 32 oz Kitchen Basics regular beef broth
  • 3 Large organic tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups or 1.5 cans).
  • 4 Stalks of celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Can of black beans
  • 1.5 C. Corn, fresh is best (or one can).
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • 1 TBS Sea salt, fresh ground pepper, mexican oregano, and chili powder (1 TBS each of these).
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder, freshly ground is always better 🙂
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 TBS Zestybeandog Fine Herb Blend (Coming soon for purchase).

Instructions:

  1. Cut produce that needs to be cut up and place in crock. Empty (drained) can of beans into crock as well.
  2. Skin chicken thighs and place in crock.
  3. Add stock to crock.
  4. Add spices. Cook for 7.5 hrs on LOW or 4 on high. Chicken should come right off the bone.
Serve with a little Monterrey Jack or cheese of your choice and crackers if desired. Watch for the bone. I serve one thigh for each person with the soup, the meat comes off the bone very easily.  You can remove bone from thighs if desired before serving.

Shrimp and Veggies

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This is a quick and healthy dinner that’s satisfying and tasty!

Prep: 10 min

Cook: 30 Min (3o min if you make potatoes, 10 without).

Serves: 2-3 (May have some left over for a small lunch).

Ingredients:

  • 16 Large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Squash, sliced and quartered, thick chunks
  • 1 Zucchini, sliced and quartered, thick chunks
  • 1/2 C. Baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • .5 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Fine herbs
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning blend, I make my own but you can use Zatarran’s or something similar, look for one that doesn’t have MSG.
  • Pinch of pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut produce
  2. Peel shrimp, rinse, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large skillet, add garlic and sauté until fragrant, add shrimp, cook for 2 min on each side until golden. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  4. Cook veggies in other TBS of olive oil for about 7 min and add seasonings and stir to coat all the veggies, mix in shrimp for about a min and mix well.
  5. Serve with potatoes or your choice of side.
Cheers!

My Favorite Delicious and Healthy Low Calorie Lunch, it’s packed with protein!

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This recipe is only 310 calories (210 if you omit the crackers) and 30 grams of protein (great for after a workout)! I eat this on a regular basis and love it! The carrots and pickles give it a nice crunch, especially if you are omitting the crackers.

Prep: 3-5 min

Cook: NONE

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can of low sodium chunk light albacore tuna in water, I like Bumble Bee brand
  • 1 Handful of carrot sticks, chopped
  • 2 Clausen pickle spears, chopped
  • 1 Small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 TBS Kraft light mayo, made with olive oil
  • 1 TBS spicy mustard
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
Mix together and serve with crackers of your choice! Enjoy 🙂