Category Archives: Plan Ahead Meals

Hatch Chili and Sweet Potato : Chicken Enchiladas

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This is a fun spin on chicken enchiladas and if you are looking to eliminate processed/GMO foods (like corn tortillas) you will love this. This is  ALMOST a dairy free version and can easily be dairy free with one tweak., don’t add the cheese 🙂  It’s also gluten free.

I’m in love with hatch chilies and I always look forward to August when they come out!

The sweet potato gives these enchiladas a nice texture and the slight sweetness goes great as a replacement for corn tortillas. Give it a try and let me know how it goes 🙂

Sweet Pot Enchiladas

Prep: 30 min

Cook Time: 15-30 min

Makes: 7 enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breast, cooked and shredded. Get pasture raised chickens.
  • 3 Hot Roasted Hatch Chilies and 3 Mild Roasted Hatch Chilies, remove the top.
  • 1 Organic Purple Onion, small (about 1/4 Cup).
  • 1 Organic White Onion, small (about 1/4 Cup).
  • 2 Cloves of Wild Garlic
  • 1/2 C. Organic Coconut Milk (you can use lite if you would like).
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Celtic Salt.
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 or 2* Organic Sweet Potato, sliced thinly long ways on mandolin.
  • 1 Teaspoon of organic coconut oil for baking dish.
  • OPTIONAL: Kerrygold Cheddar Cheese (Grass Fed Cow Cheese) for topping the enchiladas if you desire.

Instructions:

  1. Blend up hatch chilies, onions, garlic, coconut milk, and spices in a blender until consistency of salsa.
  2. Cook on med / low for 25 min.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add sliced sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook for 6 min. Drain and set aside.
  4. Reserve 1/2 Cup of hatch chili salsa. Mix chicken into the remaining large portion of salsa.
  5. In a large baking dish smear the coconut oil down and lay down 7 or the 14 sweet potato slices (I broke some while slicing so I just placed them back together).  *If you want them all to be “perfect” you may get 2 sweet potatoes to have reserves just in case…
  6. Add chicken and salsa mixture to each potato and top with another slice of potato. Once you are done take the reserved salsa and put a little bit on the top of each potato enchilada then sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Either reserve dish to bake later or bake NOW at 300 F for 15-20 min.
  8. If you are waiting for later, heat oven to 375 F and bake for 30 min or until warm all the way through.

Yum

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Green Curried Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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This is an awesome and simple meal that’s full of flavor and a heat, a good heat… not too long lasting but just right.  This is a good dish to prep early in the day and cook later on for dinner!

It’s under 400 calories (about 375 ), approx: 19 grams of fat, 40 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and under 10 carbs (mainly complex).

Curry Bella

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 10-25 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb Ground Chicken Breast
  • 2 Large Portobello Caps
  • 1 Cup Organic Spinach Packed (Fresh or frozen will do).
  • 1/4 Cup Onion, diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1/3 C. Organic Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Pepper
  • 3 tsp. Green Curry Paste
  • 1 tsp. Organic Coconut Oil
  • 5 Cashews, chopped

Preparation:

  1. Steam Portobello caps for 6 min. Pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
  2. In medium skillet on medium high, add coconut oil, onion, and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add ground chicken breast and cook until 90 % done or so.
  4. Add curry paste and coconut milk and reduce heat to low, simmering for 10 min. Stirring often.
  5. Place a mound of the chicken mixture onto each cap. If you are cooking immediately preheat oven to 350F and bake for 10 min. If you are cooking later, place meal in fridge until ready to cook, when ready, preheat oven to 375 F and cook for 20-25 min or until hot.
  6. Top with a pinch of chopped cashews.

Serve with green beans or a salad. 🙂

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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Crockpot Chicken, Carrots, and Mushrooms with Lentils and Wild Rice

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This a great healthier  week night meal that is easy to set up and can cook in as little as 4 hrs in the crock while you are off at work or running errands.

This is not the greatest photo, but it was late and I was hungry 🙂

Chicken and Lentils

Prep: 10 min
Cook Time: 4-8 hrs
Serves: 4 ish

Ingredients

  • 6-8 organic chicken thighs, remove fat (the ones I had were small so we had 2 each)
  • 2.5 cups no sodium chicken stock ( I like homemade or Kitchen Basics)
  • 1 cup blend of wild rice and lentils (pick your favorite)
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • .5 cup chopped carrots
  • .5 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon thyme
  • .5 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Place stock in pot, add rice, veggies,oil, and herbs: stir.
  2. Add chicken thighs to pot, season lightly with salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. ( I do 4 on high)
  4. Serve, salt and pepper to taste. 

Sous Vide Herbed Lamb Loins

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If you haven’t noticed…I’m absolutely loving my Sous Vide Supreme. The lamb loins were on sale at my local grocer so I bought 3 instead of 2. Normally one is enough for me (they are about 5 oz each with the bone). The sous vide ensures that these little lamb loins will be cooked to a perfect 134 degrees.

Lamb Loin

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 2-4 hrs
Serves: 2

Ingredients.

  • 2-3 lamb loins
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • .5 TBS fresh thyme, remove from stem
  • .5 tsp sea salt
  • .5 tsp pepper
  • Butter

Instructions

  1. Heat sous vide to 134 F.
  2. Chop garlic and herbs and blend together with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat loins with herb and garlic mixture on both sides.
  4. Cut 3 slices if butter and place on top of loin
  5. Vacuum seal loins separately in bags
  6. Submerge in water bath for a minimum of 2 hrs and max of 4 hrs.
  7. Once done seat on hot oiled grill for 1 min on each side.

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20 hr Sous Vide Pork Belly with Five Spice Rub on a Bed of Collards and Mashed Potatoes

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This pork belly will melt in your mouth… not in your hand.  I am LOVING my new cooking device, the Sous Vide Supreme, it’s the coolest thing ever!

I made this pork belly for NYE and it was a hit! It’s super simple (if you have a Sous Vide device). 🙂

Sous Vide Pork Belly

Prep: 15 min

Cook Time: 20-25 hrs

Serves: 8 Tapas sized portions

Ingredients:

  • 1.5lbs whole pork belly sliced into 8 same sized portions
  • 1 TBS Five Spice Powder
  • 1/2 TBS Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground fennel
  • Pam/butter for greasing skillet (not that you REALLY need it, but just for good measure incase your pan is too hot).

Instructions:

  1. Heat Sous Vide device to 160 F
  2. Mix herbs and seasonings together in a small bowl
  3. Coat pork belly portions in rub throughly
  4. Vacuum seal each portion separately
  5. Immerse in Sous Vide that’s heated to 160F for 20-25 hrs
  6. Take out and either sear the belly fat side down on a hot skillet to get a nice browned top or reserve in fridge until ready to fire and serve.
  7. Serve on top a mound of collards or greens and mashed potatoes.

I made a nice tarragon cream sauce to garnish on the side of the plate. It went nicely with the pork and the fennel notes.

Pork Belly

Enjoy and Cheers!

Vegan Italian Sausage – You won’t believe it’s not meat!

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I recently did a 40 Day Yoga Challenge where I wasn’t eating any meat other than seafood. During that time Evan and I went to a party at our good friends Liz and Kyle’s house for some Paella! She made vegan Spanish chorizo for some of the other non meat eaters and I instead of using real meat (thanks Liz)! It was awesome, texture and all, that’s right… I said it… texture and all- and even better it wasn’t made from tofu! I made her version during my 40 Day Challenge in my own Paella at home with great results. So I decided to make an Italian version for fun a couple of nights ago. It turned out fantastic, even Evan was a big fan!

This Italian sausage goes great in pasta dishes or in a salad like you will see below. I’ll also include the nutrition facts 🙂  It contains 16 grams of PROTEIN!, pretty good for a vegan “meat” 🙂

I made this simple salad today for lunch: Baby Kale, Spinach, Red Onion, Cucumbers, Grape Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, and of course my Italian Vegan Sausage. With a Greek Yogurt, Lemon, Sage, Sirracha Dressing. It hit the spot!

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Serves: Approximately 9 : 2 oz servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C. Pinto beans, rinsed. You can use canned beans- I used canned organic beans…
  • 1 C. Organic vegetable broth
  • 1 TBS. Olive oil
  • 2 TBS. Light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Lemon zest
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 1/4 C. Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/4 C. Nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBS Basil, chopped very fine
  • 1 TBS Oregano
  • 1 TBS Marjoram
  • 1/2 TBS Onion powder
  • 2 tsp. Red pepper flake
  • 1/2 TBS Black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Set up steaming apparatus. (Large pot, little bit of water, steam tray, and lid.)
  2. Lay out 3 sheet of foil to wrap sausage in. A sushi roller will help for this later.
  3. Mash beans well in medium bowl.
  4. Add all ingredients IN ORDER to bowl.
  5. Once all ingredients are added, knead “dough” with hands until all ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Divide dough into 3 balls, roll each ball out into a link shape and place each one on a separate sheet of foil. This is where the sushi roller comes in handy… Roll the foil around the link and use the sushi roller to roll and compact your link making it nice and firm. Twist off ends of foil and repeat with the rest.
  7. Place sausages in steaming apparatus and steam for 40 min on low/medium.
  8. Unroll- careful they will be hot and let cool. Then you can slice and cook up on the stove to get some crispiness if desired. DO NOT USE HIGH HEAT, they will burn.

Serve as you wish! On a salad, pasta, sandwich, wrap, the possibilites are endless.

Paella Made with Vegan Spanish Chorizo!

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

Marx Foods Fire and Ice Contest : Chile, Yuzu, and Jasmine Tea Granita

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This granita is a flavorful multi-dimensional creation that starts off cool and tart and builds with a fiery heat from the Thai and tepin chilies. It’s a short lived heat that surprisingly keeps you coming back for more. It’s sure to take your taste buds on a roller-coaster!  I’m submitting this to the Fire and Ice Contest held by Marx Foods. I will post the link where you can vote for my creation as soon as it goes live. I appreciate the support as always! To read more about the contest click here. VOTE HERE NOW 🙂

Serves : 2

Prep: 10 min

Set Time: 3 hrs

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C. Yuzu Juice
  • 1/4 C. Water
  • 1/4 C. Jasmine Tea
  • 1/4 C. Agave Nectar
  • 1 Thai chile, ground
  • 2 Tepin chiles, ground
  • 2 Cherries, pitted

Instructions:

  1. In a mortar and pestle, grind chilies, seeds and all.
  2. In a small/medium pot combine all ingredients and heat to a simmer for 10 min.
  3. Strain liquid, removing chilies and cherries. Reserve liquid and cherries.
  4. Place liquid in a shallow container and freeze for 3 hrs.
  5. Slice cherries and reserve.
  6. Once liquid is frozen, churn up with two forks and serve, garnishing with the soaked sliced cherries.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation from Marx Food for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Cucumber Yuzu and Lavender Granita

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This is the perfect little frozen treat to make at home. It’s so refreshing and so simple to make.

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 20 min

Set Time: about 2-3 hours or so, or until mostly frozen.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large organic cucumbers peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 C. White sugar ( I would like to try this with agave nectar next time).
  • 3/4 C. Water
  • 1/4 C. Yuzu Juice
  • Fresh basil
  • Sea Salt (if desired).
  • 2 sprigs of fresh lavender

Instructions:

  1. Juice cucumbers if you have a juicer, if not blend in a blender and strain through a mesh strainer or cheese cloth, reserve juice.
  2. Heat water and yuzu juice to a boil, adding lavender sprigs. Stir in sugar and create a simple syrupy substance, once sugar is melted take off heat and let cool. Remove lavender sprigs and discard.
  3. Combine juice and syrup in a shallow plastic plan.
  4. Freeze until mostly frozen, scrape icy mixture with a fork to “fluff” up.
  5. Serve with a basil and salt garnish.

Enjoy and cheers!