Sunday, July 22, 2012

Easy Chicken Stir Fry

Continuing on my adventure into Asian-inspired cooking I wanted to try a chicken dish this time around. Feeling brave enough to venture out on my own without a recipe to follow I shocked myself that this came out so well the first time around. I chose red onion, scallions, broccoli, and sugar snap peas for my vegetables, but feel free to use any stir-fry vegetables you like. I actually forgot my husband is allergic to sugar snap peas so now he thinks I'm out to poison him. It doesn't take away from the fact that this meal came out DELICIOUS! And now all the leftovers are just for me. Whoo!

I chose to serve this over cauliflower rice, which still makes this a one-dish meal, but you can omit the cauliflower if you don't like it or don't feel like adding an extra step.

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil (plus more if needed)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp plus 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 lb chicken breast, sliced (I bought pre-sliced chicken "chicken for stir fry")
  • 1 large red onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 bunches of scallions, sliced, white and light green parts only
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bag of broccoli florets (or a few broccoli crowns, cut into florets)
  • 2 packs of sugar snap peas (about 12oz to a pound)
  • 1/4 cup raw coconut aminos
  1. Prepare your cauliflower by pulsing the florets in the food processor until they are a rice-like consistency.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt. Saute a few minutes until al dente and put off to the side in a bowl.
  3. Wipe the pan out with some paper towels and heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil over high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and 1 tsp ground ginger. Saute until cooked through but not dried out. Put the chicken on a plate off to the side.
  4. Add 2 Tbsp sesame oil to the pan and add the red onion, garlic and scallions and saute about a minute. Add the broccoli and peas and saute until just soft. Add more sesame oil if your vegetables start to get dry.
  5. Add the chicken to the pan and pour in the 1/4 cup coconut aminos and remaining 1 tsp ground ginger and mix well to coat. Allow to cook another minute or so until the flavors are absorbed.
  6. Remove from heat and serve over a few scoops of cauliflower rice.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Chips

I made some roasted brussels sprouts the other night and a few outer leaves came loose while in the oven and got really crispy. And just as significant as the accidental discovery of penicillin - welcome brussels sprout chips to the world!

One of my favorite snacks are kale chips. I make the lemon kale chip recipe from Elana Amsterdam of I figured brussels sprout chips could follow the same concept.

  • 1lb brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Wash the brussels sprouts and remove any dingy, brown leaves. Use a sharp knife to trim the stem up to the base of the outermost leaves. Pull the leaves off and trim the stem down again to pull off another layer of leaves. Do this until you get down to the paler green wrinkled core. You can discard the cores or save them for use in other recipes.
  3. Place leaves in a large bowl.
  4. With hands or a wooden spoon, massage oil, lemon juice and salt into the leaves.
  5. Spread leaves on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes until leaves are browned and crispy (note they will shrink considerably).
bigger sprouts mean more leaves...

Make sure you trim the stem very close to the leaves because
any thick stem on the leaf will not get crispy when you roast it

The usable leaves from this sprout are on the left and
the pale green core and stem slices are on the right.

Now that's what I call shrinkage...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Recipe Test - Asian Beef with Broccoli

I never thought I would eat something even remotely resembling this after switching to Paleo. When I took the first bite, a stream of happy expletives came pouring out of my mouth that I will spare you all from reading.

Let's just say, I F%$@#* LOVED IT!

I got this recipe from a blog ( who adapted it from the Make It Paleo cookbook (that I don't own, but hey, my birthday is coming up). I didn't change anything, but I did figure out how to cut down on prep time with some shortcuts which I will share at the end. This meal does come together very quickly. I also served mine over cauliflower rice, you know, so I could get the full Chinese Food Takeout experience - so I will add those cooking steps in as well.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1-2 lbs. beef, cut into 1" cubes
  • 4-6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Cut cauliflower into florets (discard the stem and leaves) and pulse in a food processor until you get the consistency of rice.
  2. Heat about a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and a few pinches of salt and saute a few minutes until soft, but not mushy. Let stand off to the side in a bowl. You can clean out the pan by wiping with a paper towel and prepare for the next cooking steps.
  3. Heat sesame oil in a wok or skillet over high heat.
  4. Add garlic and ginger to wok, and saute for 2 minutes until oil is infused.
  5. Add steak, stirring until browned on all sides.
  6. Once steak is seared, add broccoli. Continue to saute over high heat.
  7. Add green onion, and an extra tablespoon of oil if needed.
  8. Add coconut aminos and season with salt, pepper, (and red pepper flakes).
  9. Continue to saute another 2-3 minutes, until all the flavors are combined.
  10. Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and serve over cauliflower rice.

And now time for the SHORTCUTS! mmmm... shortcuts
  1. Buy bagged cauliflower and broccoli that are already cut into florets.
  2. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic instead of mincing.(Don't try it on the ginger;  I did and all it did was smush it and squeeze out the juice.)
  3. Instead of fresh garlic you could also substitute a tsp of garlic powder.
  4. Use about a tsp of powdered ginger instead of peeling and mincing fresh.
  5. Buy beef that is already pre-cut - usually called stirfry beef.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Roasted String Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Shallots

Now that we have progressed into summer I am so happy to hit the produce section in the grocery store each week. Without fail, I have to pick up a carton of yummy heirloom cherry tomatoes. In addition to being delicious and each having their own unique flavor, their different shades of color really class up whatever dish you put them in. I had some string beans sitting in my vegetable drawer right next to the tomatoes so it wasn't hard to put two and two together that these babies needed to hop in the roasting pan together. You can probably get this whole thing into your oven in about 5 minutes.

  • 1.5lb string beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and thickly sliced vertically
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Fresh herbs of your choice (I used chopped tarragon, rosemary, and lemon thyme)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Combine the string beans, cherry tomatoes, and sliced shallots in a large roasting pan.
  3. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and some fresh ground pepper, to taste.
  5. Take any fresh herbs you like and sprinkle them over top. (you could substitute with dry if that's all you have - thyme and rosemary work well)
  6. Give the pan a good few shakes to mix and coat the veggies in oil. (You could even add a few splashes of lemon juice for some extra flavor.)
  7. Roast about 25-30 minutes on a middle rack in the oven, until the string beans are soft and the tomatoes have blistered. Check the pan a few times while roasting and shake again to coat with the oil so none of the veggies burn.