winner winner chicken dinner

chicken with snow peas

WE’VE GOT A WINNER!

This chicken with snow peas is one of the top 5 recipes I’ve made over this past month – and since I’m only sharing my favorites with you then here you go! This tastes so good you won’t even know that it’s good for you – in fact I’ll be making it over and over again even after I finish this whole “diet” ordeal.

As most of our recipes come about – FH had been begging for chicken and snow peas. However, good luck going to a Chinese restaurant and not ending up with mystery ingredients (or soy sauce) in your meal – So my mission began.

What was my mission exactly? To find a way to make FH’s beloved chicken and snow peas Whole-30-approved. I found this recipe on All Recipes (remember that site? apparently it’s still a thing!) and it looked pretty easy to modify to fit our diet… and I was right! Swapped the corn starch with arrowroot powder, used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and added/subtracted whatever veggies I wanted and voila (is there a Chinese word for “voila”?) DELICIOUS CHICKEN AND SNOW PEAS WAS BORN.

Only six days left on the Whole 30 and I can see ice cream on the horizon (although, honestly, I’d settle for a bowl of rice or quinoa at this point!). Aren’t you excited to see Wee Eats get back to normal with photos taken with something besides my iPhone? And recipes including our beloved friend Mr. Sugar? I am.

chicken with snow peas

Ingredients

    For the sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I use Imagine brand)
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ground ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • For the stir fry
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 9 ounces snow peas, washed and dried
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil; divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • Scallions, diced, for serving
  • Cauliflower rice or regular rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the sauce, set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, slice chicken breast and toss with 1 Tablespoon of coconut aminos.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Add chicken (in batches, if necessary, to avoid over-crowding the pan) and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside in large bowl.
  5. Add remaining sesame oil to pan and add the onions and carrots to the pan. Cook until onions are translucent (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  6. Add chicken and snow peas to pan, sprinkle with white pepper and toss to combine.
  7. Add sauce to pan and stir to combine. Heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 more minutes.
  8. Taste and add salt or pepper (or even a hint of red pepper flakes) if needed.
  9. Serve with rice or cauliflower rice, or eat on its own (it's that good).

Notes

Recipe adapted from All Recipes

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/24/chicken-with-snow-peas-and-a-whole-30-updat/

chicken with snow peas | wee-eats.com

barbacoa steak salad with cumin-spiced sweet potatoes

whole 30 chipotle steak salad

Well, we’ve passed the halfway mark on this Whole30 thing and one thing I have been eating a lot of this month is salads.

So many salads. Like, all the salads.

This day in particular I wanted tacos. But, since I can’t eat tortillas, cheese, rice, or sour cream, I made a salad instead.

It’s basically the same thing (not really).

However, this recipe passed a very important test. The FH test. You see, at some point during this ordeal FH decided he was going to support me, stand by my side, and eat only what I could eat (at least, while I was around).

I mean, he saw the cruelty in pigging out on chips and cookies while I was chewing on lettuce on apples… If that’s not love then I don’t know what is.

This is probably one of our favorite Whole 30-compliant recipes that I’ve made so far (along with that delicious cauliflower soup).

As an added bonus, it’s super easy to make. Don’t let the mile-long recipe throw you off – You throw all the meat stuff together in a slow cooker and cook it on low for a bajillion hours until it’s fall-apart-tender.

While that’s cooking, you chop up some veggies ( I chose onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and roasted sweet potatoes), and then when you’re ready to eat just cook up some cilantro-lime cauliflower “rice” alongside so you can pretend like you’re eating rice.

As for the Whole 30?

17 days down, 13 more to go!

I haven’t gained any super powers yet (unless wanting to fall asleep while walking up a flight of stairs or being able to quickly find “sugar” in any of its numerous forms on an ingredient label count as super powers).

HOWEVER, my skin has cleared up significantly and is softer than a baby’s behind, my belly feels less gross and bloaty (generally speaking), I’m sleeping better than I have in ages, and I have the added benefit of just knowing that I”m doing something good for my body. That counts for something, right?

You can see what else I’ve been cooking up on Instagram.

barbacoa steak salad with cumin-spiced sweet potatoes

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 10 hours

Total Time: 10 hours, 50 minutes

Ingredients

    For the beef:
  • 1 small (3 pound) chuck roast (or other cut of meat that is good for cooking low and slow)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth ( Imagine broth is whole 30 approved :) )
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle paste (or 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • For the sweet potatoes:
  • 1 or 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • For the cauliflower "rice"
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • For sauteed peppers
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the salad
  • Lettuce of your choice; washed,dried, and chopped (I used romaine)
  • Optional Add-ins
  • Avocado
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa

Instructions

    For the beef*:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Pat steak dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown steak on both sides (don't cook it through, just get some good color on it). Then transfer to slow cooker.
  2. In same pan, add sliced onions and cook until softened but not browned. Add to slow cooker.
  3. Pour chicken or beef broth into pan and scrape off any browned bits remaining in the pan. Add remaining ingredients to broth and stir to combine. Pour over steak in slow cooker.
  4. Set slow cooker to "low" - Cook on low until meat is tender about 8 to 10 hours.
  5. When meat is finished cooking, shred and let sit in juices. Skim and remove fat, if necessary.
  6. For the sweet potatoes:
  7. Heat oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with foil and toss sweet potato chunks with melted coconut oil, salt, and spices.
  8. Roast 30 to 40 minutes until browned, tossing halfway through.
  9. For the "rice":
  10. Process cauliflower in food processor until pieces are about the size of grains of rice. Be sure not to over-process.
  11. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add coconut oil until melted. Add cauliflower rice and a healthy dash of salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover pan and allow cauliflower to "steam" for about 5 to 7 minutes.**
  12. Remove cover and stir cauliflower - I like to get my cauliflower nice and browned so it takes another 5 to 7 minutes or so, but you don't have to cook it that far.
  13. Add the lime juice and cilantro and stir to combine. Transfer cauliflower to another dish until ready to serve.
  14. (***See notes below for oven-method)
  15. For the peppers:
  16. Heat oil in saute pan until shimmering. Add peppers and onions and saute until softened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  17. For the salad:
  18. Assemble salad with lettuce, peppers, onions, etc and enjoy! Top with salsa or a simple dressing, if desired. (Try a vinaigrette with lime, olive oil, and paprika)

Notes

* I usually make my beef the day before and store it in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. When I start cooking everything else, I reheat the meat in a saucepan over low heat.

**Alternatively, you can give your rice a head-start in the microwave. Place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high 2 to 3 minutes, covered with a microwave-safe plastic wrap. Continue with the rest of the steps as directed.

*** You can make your cauliflower rice more "hands off" by roasting it in the oven on a separate sheet pan while you roast your sweet potatoes, stirring occasionally. Add lime and cilantro before serving. (Thanks Shannon for turning me on to this method!)

Beef recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/17/whole-30-barbacoa-steak-salad-with-cumin-spiced-sweet-potatoes/

creamy cauliflower soup (without cream!)

cauliflower-soup 1

Apologies as I’ve been MIA lately. You see, I’m in a bit of a predicament as I’m on an “elimination diet” of sorts. (You may have heard of it, it’s called the Whole 30, or as my fiance is referring to it, “The worst 30 days of his life”) What that means is that I can’t eat like 98% of the things I would normally be eating (cake, cookies, bread, dairy, peanut butter). Instead, my life is filled to the top with fruits, veggies, and protein. So much protein.

I think I even got a case of the meat sweats last night…

So how do you make your life feel normal when you’re on a diet that cuts out most “normal” food? Well, this soup is a good start.

This soup is so good, in fact, that the fiance ate it for like 4 days straight without a single complaint. He has even asked if we could have it again, even though I’m pretty sure that if he even sees one more piece of cauliflower in the kitchen my life may be in peril. Did you have any idea how versatile cauliflower was? I didn’t.

I know what you’re wondering – Can you really get all the luxury of creamy cauliflower soup without any cream?

In short, yes.

cauliflower soup 2

In long, basically there is something about the very low insoluble fiber content of cauliflower  [ insert science here ] that makes it the perfect vegetable for blending into a rich, creamy oblivion. America’s Test Kitchen (where I got the recipe from) does a much better job of explaining it.

Basically, what that means is that you can get that perfect, satisfyingly rich, velvety mouth-feel with zero cream.

Not even a drop.

So even though you feel like you’re enjoying a rich, indulgent soup, you’re actually just enjoying some good-for-you veggies! (Sh, don’t tell anyone!). And although the soup looks really thick and heavy, it doesn’t feel heavy in your belly – Think of it like a creamy potato-leek soup minus the brick that usually ends up in your belly when you finish eating it. So go ahead and have a second bowl!

creamless cauliflower soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

Serving Size: ~1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets (1 head)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (clarified butter, if you're on Whole 30, or even olive oil would probably do.)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 medium onion (between 1/2 to 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
  • 4 to 5 cups water

Instructions

  1. Trim leaves and stem from cauliflower, removing the core. Thinly slice the core of the cauliflower and cut the cauliflower head into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add leek, onion, and salt to the pan with the melted butter. Saute until leek and onion are soft but not browned (about 5 to 7 minutes).
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add half of the cauliflower, along with the sliced core, and enough water to cover (about 4 to 5 cups). Bring water to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook at a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, add remaining cauliflower and return soup to a simmer. Continue cooking another 15 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
  5. When cauliflower is ready, remove the pan from the heat and puree the cauliflower with an immersion blender until smooth.* If desired, add more water to thin the soup. The soup should have a thick texture but be thin enough to settle to a flat surface after being stirred, but should not be thin or runny (maybe slightly thinner than cupcake batter).
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more salt and/or pepper if needed.

Notes

* If you don't have an immersion blender, you can process the soup in a regular blender (in batches if needed). Remember to remove the middle plug (can cover with a towel) to allow steam to escape while processing. Return soup to the pan after processing and add water if necessary to adjust the consistency.

* I topped my soup with bits of roasted cauliflower and some chives to make it look pretty, but you really don't need to add a single thing because it's delicious on its own.

Source America's Test Kitchen

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/12/creamy-cauliflower-soup-without-cream/

Pin It: creamy cauliflower soup (without cream) | wee eats

roasted chickpea blt salad with pesto parmesan dressing

chopped salad 1

We’ve finally reached triple digits here and today they even graced us with the courtesy of an “excessive heat warning” as of 10:00 AM. This warning is technically scheduled until 8:00 PM tonight, but we know better than that. This warning will be renewed daily probably until the middle of September. Yay.

Try as I might, I have not been able to successfully devise a way for FH and I to find an alternate summer residence, where we could work remotely from somewhere that does not feel like the surface of the sun.

Until such a day exists (or until the end of the summer) I am likely to crave all things cold and vegetable-laden. Something about it being a million degrees out makes me want to stay inside and eat cold, crunchy veggies all day every day. Enter this salad.

Crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy chickpeas, and creamy pesto parmesan dressing. What more could a girl ask for?

This salad is from Pinch of Yum‘s latest cookbook Everyday Healthy. This e-cookbook is full of quick and healthy recipes and even comes with a nutrition guide (with substitution recommendations) and a meal planning guide.

I modified the recipe a bit by tossing my chickpeas in olive oil before roasting them (I like the crunch it gives them), upping the pesto in the dressing (call me a basil-holic if you will), halving the amount of tomatoes called for (they are not my favorite), and adding cucumbers. Because cucumbers make everything better.

roasted chickpea blt salad with pesto parmesan dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

    For the salad
  • 1 14-oz can of chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • 2 medium tomatoes, rinsed
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, rinsed
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • For the dressing
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 5 Tablespoons water
  • 3 Tablespoons parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons pesto
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400?F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Drain, rinse, and dry chickpeas.
  2. Toss chickpeas with olive oil and spread on baking sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake 20 to 30 minutes until crisp, tossing halfway through. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, dice tomatoes, cucumber, and bacon to desired size. Toss together with lettuce and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, combine sour cream, pesto, parsley, garlic, parmesan and lemon juice until combined. Stream in water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve salad in bowls and top with chickpeas and desired amount of dressing.

Notes

* Experiment by tossing your chickpeas with other seasonings like smoked paprika and cumin or even with parmesan cheese.

* Will easily serve 4 as a main salad or 6 as a side salad.

* Add more or less pesto to your taste.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Healthy by Lindsay Olstrom

http://wee-eats.com/2014/06/02/roasted-chickpea-blt-salad-with-pesto-parmesan-dressing/

chopped blt salad with roasted chickpeas and pesto parmesan dressing | wee eats

thursday things – mystery doritos, blue tomatoes, and southwestern tabbouleh

It’s Thursday! What you are seeing above is a glorious pineapple-coconut margarita (aka: “Nectar of the Gods”) from Blanco Tacos & Tequila in Arizona. Thursdays are great margarita days, in case you didn’t know. Helps to take the edge off the week and prepare you for the weekend…

I tried all the new Doritos flavors and can confidently recommend that you save your dollars and not buy them. My notes are below – if you have tried them, please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments!

IMG_4457

Yellow has almost a honey-mustard flavor, but then it has lime. It is like sweet-salty-limey flavor that I am not quite sure what they are going for. The only thing I can think of that is sweet, salty, and limey is a margarita, but it doesn’t taste like a margarita. I did actually think of something else it could be the other night but I already forgot. Maybe they’re just going for “zesty lime” in which case they hit the nail on the head, I guess. If they were going for “Mountain Dew” (which the internet seems to think) then, sorry guys. You missed the target (you are slightly closer to the target if you were aiming for “salty Mountain Dew” lol). Red I would describe as “hot as f**k” with a hint of cheddar. Every flavor I would assume they were going for already exists (buffalo wing? hot sauce? tabasco? but they already have “Tapatio” Doitos so… I dunno…) I mean, it takes a LOT of heat for something to make my mouth uncomfortably hot but this one did the trick. Actually, it wasn’t so much my mouth that suffered but every bite sent the spicy powder into my sinuses which then tried to murder me from the inside. If you are into fiery murder, go for it. These are your chips. Blue is definitely a molé flavor – It’s a bit smokey, a bit spicy, and a bit chocolatey, but somehow the flavors combine and cancel each other out making them almost bland with a hint of lingering spice that builds as you continue eating them.

I also found a new favorite snack. They are crunchy and delicious and I can pretend they are good for me because they are made with lentils. I’ve also tried the wasabi ranch flavor (more wasabi than ranch) and the caesar flavor (not the best) and the “lightly salted” (which were also really good) but the tomato basil is my favorite. They are almost always on sale for super cheap at our grocery store so my curiosity finally got the better of me and I picked up a few.

lentil snaps

In other news…

All you dog people can EAT IT because this cat proves that they are just as effective as dogs are at protecting you

Dominique Ansel is at it again with nutella-filled cronut holes… because that’s necessary.

Trader Joes released their Top 25 Products from 2013 and I’ve purchased woefully few of them. Triple ginger snaps, I’m coming for you this weekend!

So apparently I can stop my search for pineberries and grow my own, along with some indigo tomatoes (did you know those were a thing?)…. if I can just conquer this awful curse of killing every plant I touch…. Seriously, I have the equivalent of a plant graveyard on the side of the house.

Confused about whether to use light or dark brown sugar? Serious Eats to the rescue (as usual) – I usually split the difference and use “Golden Brown” sugar… seems like a good choice, right ?

Arizona’s Restaurant Week is this week so if you’re local be sure to check out your options.

Also, when I made my quinoa tabbouleh the other day I also made a “southwest” version. Because I had cilantro and it sounded like fun. It’s basically the same recipe but swap cilantro for the parsley, swap lime for the lemon, and add some avocado. The “official” recipe is below but I stand by my “adjust to your own preferences” recommendation. The recipe is VERY forgiving.

southwest tabbouleh pin

southwestern tabbouleh

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

    For quinoa
  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For tabbouleh
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (or substitute one small shallot for more "pico" flavor)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
  • 4 cups cilantro, loosely packed
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Instructions

    Cook quinoa
  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, until gently toasted. Add water (I use a 1:1 ratio of quinoa to water) and heat to a boil. Cook according to time stated on package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Make the tabbouleh
  3. Chop tomatoes and avocado to desired size and slice green onions (or shallots); set aside
  4. In a food processor, pulse cilantro leafs until finely-chopped but stop before it reaches a paste. Add a drizzle of olive oil and lime juice (sometimes I'll add my onion and tomato here too, just to chop them up a bit more) and pulse a couple seconds more to distribute.
  5. Transfer cilantro to a large bowl, add tomato, avocado, and green onions/shallot. Toss to combine.
  6. Add desired amount of quinoa, distributing evenly throughout.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste, refrigerate 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Taste again and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Notes

You can adjust the rations of vegetables/herbs/quinoa to your liking. I usually don't use all of the quinoa but if you want to give yours more bulk, feel free!

This makes a great side or filling for taco night!

http://wee-eats.com/2014/05/15/thursday-things-mystery-doritos-blue-tomatoes-and-southwestern-tabbouleh/