Category Archives: Light Meals

Healthy Chicken and Wild Rice Stuffed Bells

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Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 1 hr and 20 min (for slow cooking rice)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chicken breast, diced into small chunks
  • 1 C. Uncooked brown and wild rice blend
  • 2 Bell peppers, any color
  • 2.5 C. Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, diced
  • 1/4 White onion, diced
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 TBS Olive oil, for chicken

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice in chicken stock according to directions on package.
  2. Chop onion, jalapeno, garlic, and chicken accordingly.
  3. Sautee the 4 ingredients above in olive oil and add spices, cook until browned. Place in medium mixing bowl.
  4. Cut tops of bells and wait for rice to finish.
  5. Add 2 large scoops of rice to chicken mixture and stir well, spoon mixture into bells. You will have rice left, save for another meal.
  6. Place in oven for 20-30 min on 375 degrees.
  7. Serve with black beans or pinto beans.
Enjoy, Cheers!

Summer Squash and Bison Soup

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Prep Time: 20 min

Serves: 6-8

Cook Time: 2-6 hours (can be done in the crock pot if need be).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Bison, from a reputable source
  • 2 C. Tomatoes, diced (or canned will do).
  • 2 Summer squash or zucchini from the farm, cubed
  • 2 C. Mixed bells, sliced
  • 1 Medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Large can of black beans
  • 1 Hot pepper of your choice, minced
  • 2 C. Chicken broth
  • 2 C. Beef broth
  • 1/2 TBS. Cumin
  • 3 TBS Chili powder blend
  • 1/2 TBS Cumin
  • 1 TBS Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 3 Limes, juiced

Instructions

1. Brown meat, onions, and garlic in a large skillet until meat is cooked.

2. Add squash and cook for an additional 3 min.

3. Empty canned goods into crock pot or regular large pot and then empty the skillet full of meat, onions, garlic, and squash into the tomato and bean mixture and stir.

4. Add the chicken and beef broth and seasonings, stir.

5. Cook for 4-5 hours on low in crock pot or 2 hours on low on the stove top. Add lime juice when done.

Serve with cheese, tortilla chips, and avocado if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.

Simple Favorite That Will Knock Your Socks Off! Grilled Cheese with Black Truffle Salt

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Prep Time: 3 Min
Cook Time: 5 min
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
-Butter, 1 tsp
-2 slices of bread, I like whole wheat
-2 Slices of provolone cheese
-1 Pinch of black truffle salt

Instructions:
1. Butter bread on one side of each slice of bread
2. Place cheese slices in-between bread
3. Cook for about 2.5 min on medium high on each side until browned
4. Sprinkle truffle salt on top, not too much!!!

Don’t know where to get black truffle salt??? Try Savory Spice Shop or Marx Foods! it’s expensive, but you only need a PINCH!

Enjoy

Super Delicious Thai Beef Salad

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Prep Time: 10

Marinate Time: 4hrs to overnight

Cook Time: 3 min (depending on thickness of meat).

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Flank steak or your choice of cut, 1/2 ” thick or so
  • 1/2  Cucumber sliced, you can get fancy if you want or just plain ol’ slices
  • 1 Carrot, sliced
  • 4-5 Thin slices of yellow onion
  • 1 Handful of cilantro
  • Mixed greens, your choice on how much.
  • 1 tsp Canola oil
  • Marinade ingredients: 2 tsp chili paste (I use garlic chili paste), 1 TBS fresh minced ginger, 1 TBS minced garlic, 1/4 C soy sauce, 1 TBS fish sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 pinch of pepper.  Mix in bowl.
Instructions:
  1. Mix marinade and place meat in a ziplock or bowl and pour marinade over meat.  Refrigerate for 4+ hours.
  2. Cut up produce and arrange salad in bowl.
  3. Heat large skillet on high, add canola oil. Remove meat from marinade DO NOT DISCARD MARINADE, take marinade and pour into small sauce pan, heat until boiling for 30 seconds then pour into a coffee cup and place into freezer while you cook your beef.
  4. Once skillet is hot, add beef and cook for about 1.5-2 min of each side (or longer if you like it well done).
  5. Slice meat and place on salad.
  6. Pour remaining marinade on both salads. Add cilantro to top of salad.
  7. Serve with soup if desired.
Enjoy

Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa

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You’re going to love this quick and healthy meal!  Great for a weeknight or weekend!

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 8-10 min

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4  4-6 oz Mahi Mahi filets (Wild)
  • 1 Mango, diced
  • 1/2 Red onion, diced finely
  • 1 Handful of cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1/2 Poblano pepper, diced finely
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced (save other 1/2 for fish).
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 TBS Olive oil
Instructions:
  1. Combine all ingredients except the fish and olive oil and mix well.
  2. Heat large skillet on medium high with olive oil, squeeze remaining half of lemon juice on filets and salt and pepper and place meat side down skin side up and cook for 4 min or so.  Flip and cook for 3-4 more minutes or until done.  Fish should have a nice sear on top.
  3. Spoon salsa evenly on all filets.
  4. Serve with your choice of veggies/sides.  I chose mashed sweet potatoes and a field green and watercress salad with baby bellas, blackberries, and cashews.  For the salad I made a simple dressing of red wine vinegar, a dash of oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar.
Enjoy!

Mahimahi on FoodistaMahimahi

Did You Know That Hunger Is Problem All Around Central Texas?

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Here’s a little change of pace from my typical recipe post, don’t worry there is still a easy, healthy, and affordable recipe at the end 🙂 I’d like to share something I’m involved with right now.

I recently was accepted into the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance, a tight knit group that’s mission is to work together with our peers to set a standard of transparency and fairness in food blogging. We will also support each other and our community through classes, social events, and philanthropy.  With that being said I’m not only super excited to be a part of this group but eager to tell you about our first philanthropy project with the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.  We were asked to blog, share our thoughts, and write about the face of hunger so here it goes.

If you haven’t heard of SNAP it’s the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-AKA “food stamps”.  The minimum one can receive is $16 per month and the average household in need receives around $275.  Some obvious disadvantages: I found it to be very unfair that if you are a convicted felon for a drug offense after 1996 you are completely ineligible for ANY benefits but you could be a convicted rapist or child molester and still qualify for benefits… Hmmm something is not quite right about that.  Also if you live in Texas be prepared to encounter the daunting task of filling out a short novel just to see if you may qualify (oh and if you don’t, don’t expect to hear back from them).  Not only is the paperwork ridiculously time consuming but I bet that there are some that are eligible for benefits (but are not applying) due to the pain of applying or not knowing how to properly apply.  I went online and started filling out the paperwork to see what it consisted of, 6 min later and I  had given up…

An Interesting Fact: Did you know that 248,544 are income eligible, but don’t receive (they aren’t applying) SNAP thus reducing economic activity… Central Texas misses out on $630,000,000 through lost economic activity.

Naturally, as gas and food prices rise more and more individuals and families are effected.

FROM SOMEONE THAT HAS BEEN THROUGH IT:

I interviewed a former SNAP client to get some uncensored opinions and asked these 5 questions:

1.  Q: Did the long process of applying dissuade you from ever applying or renewing your application?  A: “Yes, all the paperwork was a pain. ”

2. Q: Did it help you and your family enough to make a difference? A: “It did help out a lot, what sucked is I had to lie & say I was seperated so I can get anything at all… then I find out theres couples or singles w/out kids, but no jobs who got a lot more than I did w/3 kids. =/”

3.Q: Have you ever been embarrassed or felt you were judged at the store when checking out? A: “Wasn’t too much embarrassed but did feel judged about it.”

4. Q: Was it easy for you to get help when needed? A: “Not really, too much paperwork & waiting. A lot of the info they ask for doesn’t seem necessary to me. Like I said I know people who are single w/no kids who don’t have a job & that qualifies them for emergency foodstamps. crazy huh.”

5. Q: Did you ever sacrifice feeding yourself or your family to pay another bill like rent or electricity?  A: “Yes we have had to sacrifice the feeding for bills… we would eat though…. go over to a family members house or something.”

This is a real problem, if you know someone that is in need of these benefits, let them know about the CAFB and SNAP!  If you don’t, you can make a DONATION or VOLUNTEER at your local food bank, any little bit helps!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe high in protein and nutrients that will make your dollar stretch and leave you satisfied!

Zesty Tuna Salad on Crackers or Bread

Serves: 4 for sandwiches, or several for snacks with crackers, can be refrigerated for 2 days.

Prep Time: 5-10 min

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz can of Tuna in water or oil, the large can(I used the tuna in water).
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS plain greek yogurt or mayo
  • 1 TBS mustard
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zest
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Drain tuna and empty contents into a medium bowl.
  • Chop produce and empty into bowl.
  • Add yogurt or mayo, lemon juice/zest, and mustard and stir mixture until mixed throughly.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Enjoy on bread or crackers!

THE FACTS:

  • About 48,000 different people receive emergency food assistance from CAFB in any given week.
  • CAFB serves nearly 300,000 people each year.
  • 41 percent of CAFB clients are children.
  • 95 percent of CAFB partner agencies say they could no longer serve their clients if the Food Bank shut down tomorrow.
  • More than a third of CAFB’s older clients go for extended periods without food.
  • 1 in 5 families served by CAFB experience the physical pain of hunger.
  • Almost half of CAFB clients have at least one working adult at home.
  • Almost half of the families CAFB serves have to choose between buying food and paying utilities.
  • 82 percent of CAFB clients are not homeless.

Source:  Hunger in America 2010: Central Texas Report

According to Feeding America’s preliminary data, 442,263 (17.8%) Central Texans are estimated to be food insecure.

Ahi Tuna Club Sandwich with Zesty Aioli

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Check out this EASY and healthy twist on a BLT!

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 4-6 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of whole grain or wheat bread, toasted
  • .5 lb Ahi Tuna Steak (Sashimi grade).
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tomato, sliced- I used a roma
  • 4 slices of Applegate Farms uncured turkey bacon, cooked (this is important to use a quality brand)!
  • 2 Handfuls of of fresh spinach
Aioli
  • 1/4 C olive oil mayo
  • 1/2 TBS spicy mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper for aioli
  • Pinch of chervil, dried- or parsley, dried
  • Mix all together to make your aioli

Instructions:

  1. Heat a medium skillet on medium high, add 1 tsp of olive oil and once hot add tuna steak to skillet.  Cook for 2-3 min on each side, should be pink in the middle.  You can make the Aioli while cooking the tuna.
  2. Toast bread slices while slicing tuna AGAINST the grain carefully, about a centimeter thick if possible.
  3. Assemble sandwich, aioli on top slice.  Bottom slice: spinach, tuna, bacon, tomatoes, then top slice that has aioli.
Enjoy!  Serve with some veggies or baked chips!

First Korean Meal at Home in Austin TX: Bibimbap

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Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs, local and free range
  • 1/2lb-1lb Top Sirloin (marinated in soy, ginger, garlic, and green onion). Partially frozen, so it’s easy to slice thin. Slice then marinate.
  • 2 C. Daikon radish, sliced into “sticks”.
  • 2 C. Carrots, slided into sticks.
  • 2 C. Mushrooms, your choice
  • 2 C. Zucchini  (1 large Zucchini will do).
  • 2 C. Bean Sprouts
  • 2 C. Cooked jasmine rice
  • Sriracha hot sauce, or chili garlic paste will do

Instructions:


The Rest
  1. Cook rice as directed, while rice is cooking cut up produce accordingly.
  2. Cook partially frozen sirloin in large skillet until done. Set aside.
  3. Once rice is done assemble bowls: rice on bottom veggies circle the top in 5 sections.
  4. Cook duck egg to your liking, I like both of my sides cooked for about 2 min on each, Evan likes just one side cooked for about 1.5 min. Cook egg on medium high on a non stick skillet.
  5. Place egg on top of veggies.

Asian Style Hodgepodge Soup

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Healthy, Quick, and Simple Soup, Great for Lunch or a Side for Dinner!

I served this soup with pan seared Ahi Tuna on a bed of  seasoned cabbage.

Prep: 5 min

Cook: 10 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 C. chicken broth, free of MSG (You can use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian).
  • 1 Medium purple headed turnip, thick julienne
  • 2 Medium carrot , thick julienne
  • 1 Quarter of an onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Can of baby corn
  • 4-6 chunks of fresh broccoli
  • 1 TBS scallions
  • 1 tsp of chili paste (more or less to taste depending on how hot you want it).
  • 2 TBS soy sauce (light).
  • 3 TBS lime juice
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 TBS green onions, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Bring chicken stock to a boil, add all produce except broccoli and green onions.  Boil for 2 min
  2. Add lime juice, soy sauce, and chili paste.  Boil for 5 min.
  3. Slowly whisk in egg, make sure soup is boiling.
  4. Add broccoli and cook for 3 more min.

Serve with green onion.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup…It’s got a whole pound of Broccoli in it!

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Mmmm… Mmmm… Good and NOT in a Processed Campbell’s Soup Kinda Way!

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 15-20 min

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1LB Organic broccoli (fresh, not frozen).
  • 1 Medium shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 Large onion, chopped
  • 2 Large organic carrots, sliced
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 and 3/4 C Sharp Cheddar
  • 4 C. Chicken stock, look for free-range and free of MSG (or vegetable stock).
  • 1/2 C. Organic half and half
  • 4 TBS Organic flour
  • 3 TBS Butter
  • 1 tsp Fresh organic thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, boil fresh broccoli and carrots for 2 min, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking.  Reserve a handful of broccoli for the very end.
  2. Melt 3 TBS of butter in pot on medium, add onion, shallots, garlic, and thyme cook for 2 min, stirring constantly.
  3. Add 4 TBS of flour then slowly whisk chicken stock into mixture until dissolved.  Add broccoli and carrots and cook for 2 min on high.  Add garlic powder, paprika, and pepper.
  4. Puree mixture with either a hand blender or food processor.  (May want to do this in batches, depending on your blending method).
  5. Return to pot if need be and add half and half and cheese, stir well until all of the cheese is melted.
  6. Add broccoli reserve to pot of soup and salt to taste (about 1 tsp of sea salt to start).
  7. Serve with croutons or crackers.

Broccoli