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New Year Eve Throw-down! Appetizer III – Spinach Dip

This has been one hell of a week to say the least. Without going into details, and getting incredibly emotional, we lost a very special person in our family a week ago Friday (tomorrow). My emotions are running rampant; I feel like I could cry or throw a chair at the drop of a hat. Despite this loss, the memories will always live in our hearts and our minds. I’m glad to have spent the weekend with family and survive the loss in our conversations together. RIP.

There’s no great segue into this recipe, except for the fact that I promised to post this recipe, and I’m glad to, especially because I am a major sucker for spinach dip (and coffee cakes from Drake’s, which were always at the ready whenever I saw the angel that left us… ah, a segue).  In all honesty, spinach dip does not need to be or should be difficult to make. It’s combining cheesy ingredients with chopped spinach and artichokes, broiled in a ramekin until the cheesy top is crusty and golden brown, served with chips, and in this case.. Siete chips!

I have definitely brought up Siete chips before, and I will a thousand times over. THEY. ARE. AMAZING. Siete is a grain-free brand that specializes in cassava, almond, coconut, and cashew-based products such as tortillas, tortilla chips, queso, and hot sauce. I love this product and the masterminds behind the company so much I’m doing a GIVEAWAY on Instagram (@nomaste.hungry) this coming week – stay tuned! Anyway, you can buy your Siete products here.

What I love about this spinach dip is that I KNOW what ingredients go into it: cream cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, chopped spinach, artichokes, and garlic powder. All of the ingredients listed are 100% organic and local, I truly believe there is a different in organic produce and products, and you can find most organic items in Trader Joe’s or inexpensive stores too! To start, I thaw a large bag of chopped spinach and drain with a decent amount of paper towels (maybe 2 or 3 double sheets, or a cheese cloth). Draining the spinach takes out the moisture so that the remaining ingredients combine and don’t get soggy.

Next, I melt an 8oz block cream cheese and add in the spinach along with the artichokes. I’ll whisk this around until the cream cheese starts to bubble and melt. Layer in 1/2 cup of parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella, whisking to marry all ingredients together. This is the recipe.

Sprinkle some garlic powder, mix again. Ladle the mixture into a ramekin or oven-safe bowl and sprinkle a final layer of mozzarella cheese. Turn the oven to broil, and broil the spinach dip until the cheese is golden on the sides. Serve with your NEW Siete chips and enjoy 🙂 Nomaste.

New Years Eve Throw-down! Appetizer II: “Pigs in a Blanket”

Who even came up with the “pigs in a blanket” name? Either way, New Years is never NYE without these guys present at the appetizer table. I feel like people never say no to them also, and so that’s why they’re always a hit for parties, large or small.

Franks in blankets are basically small cocktail franks rolled up in crescent roll dough from the container. I cannot express how simple this recipe is, that I won’t be including a recipe at the bottom *GASP*

…still working on my flat lay and making these pics fancy but I’m just living my best life

The reason I chose to make these on my own is because I have honestly always wanted to see if I can make them just as good as the store-bought kind. Survey says, YES!

Alright, here’s the breakdown of ingredients:

  • One 8oz can of crescent rolls
  • One package cocktail franks
  • Melted butter
  • Coarse sea salt

To make these babies is totally simple:

  1. Open canister of crescent rolls and pull apart at the perforated seams.
  2. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and lay out the crescent roll dough
  3. Cut the dough into smaller portions
  4. Take a cocktail frank and start at the thinner end of one of the crescent rolls and roll from one end to the other, pinching at the end. Repeat
  5. Spray a nonstick pan with olive or coconut oil, layer the piggies on the pan, spread the melted butter on top, then sprinkle with salt.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375* (adjust heat as needed).

These will easily become a staple at any event, in fact, I’m planning these for a Superbowl party along with another showstopper: spinach dip! Nomaste 🙂

Coconut Cream and Crushed Tomato Chicken

Just like Bubba said in Forrest Gump about shrimp, there are a million ways to make chicken. You can grill it, bake it, bread it, fry it, broil it, sauté it, and the list goes on and on. There are days where I despise chicken, especially bland, grilled chicken breast on a salad (boring AF), but when chicken is done well, and it’s not always the breast, it can be a show-stopping meal.

The finished plate with crumbled feta on top, a side of sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes.

When I was in my 20s, I was told that the dark meat of chicken is bad for you and that it’s too “fatty” and will make me fat. Now that I’ve had 10 years of learning what foods work for me and my own body, and what foods I find I can and cannot eat, chicken thighs tend to be the cut of the chicken I gravitate toward most. Sure, there is definitely more fat, and there’s NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Ya heard? Fat will not make you fat (at least not in moderation and eating the correct fats). This happens to be a very simple recipe and will cook on its own in a dutch oven (or a crockpot –> on low for 5-6 hours). The difference this recipe makes is two ingredients: Herbes de Provence and coconut cream (NOT milk, cream). These can both be found at Trader Joe’s.

*if you don’t have Herbes de Provence you can use several dried herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, and garlic powder*

I start with the chicken thighs, organic and freshly cleaned, and place them on a cutting board. Sprinkle a generous amount of Herbes de Provence on both sides of the chicken and let sit. Another quick tip: let the chicken sit out to get to room temperature, as this allows the chicken to remain juicy and not tense up as it hits a hot pan.  I heat my dutch oven first then melt 3 tbsp of butter and add the chicken to the butter and let simmer.

Once the chicken simmers and sears on both sides, I add in the crushed tomatoes (I really like Cento 28oz as it yields a lot of sauce and is low sugar) and coconut cream. Cream is a thicker consistency and makes the sauce thicker too. I season with salt and pepper and lower the flame to low and cover. This will sit on low heat for two and a half hours, stirring occasionally. That’s it.

When the chicken is done, it’ll be beautifully pulled and in shreds, incredibly tender and juicy, and delicious with the coconut tomato sauce. Serve with any veggies and potato, or over rice and beans, maybe even fusili pasta?! The possibilities are truly endless 🙂 Nomaste!

Leftover chicken in coconut cream tomato sauce – can be reused for enchiladas…add some chili powder and BOOM!

Coconut Cream and Crushed Tomato Chicken

Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Chicken
Keyword Chicken, coconut, cream, dinner, dutch oven, easy, healthy, simmered, tomato
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 6 Chicken thighs untrimmed
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3/4 can Coconut cream NOT milk
  • Herbes de Provence generous seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Clean and pat dry chicken thighs and lay on a cutting board. Sprinkle Herbes de Provence generously on both sides of the chicken.  Let sit.

  2. In a dutch oven, melt butter and place chicken into pan.  Searing both sides of chicken, about 5-7 minutes each side.

  3. Add in can of crushed tomato sauce and 1/2 can of coconut cream.  Stir to mix liquid.  Judge here if you need more coconut cream, if so, add in a drop more.

  4. Turn heat to low and cover. Simmer for 2.5 hours, stirring occasionally.

  5. Serve immediately with vegetables or sides of choice.

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip “Health” Cookies

I am not a baker. I don’t pretend to be one nor do I play one on television. I just love food. Today, I received my first ever Kitchen Aid hand mixer and was super excited to make homemade chocolate chip cookies. For the most part, I have an idea of what goes into making chocolate chip cookies and was able to gather ingredients easily. However, I always like to alter ingredients and see what I can substitute with healthy ones.

The finished product!

A few years ago I fell upon a type of sugar called coconut sugar and I swear by it when baking. It is relatively a 1:1 substitution for regular cane sugar and is made from the heart of the coconut. I actually use it for a substitution of brown sugar as well, but this recipe calls for both coconut sugar and light brown sugar. It’s low glycemic and has a beautifully sweet smell, except it doesn’t yield such a strong sugary flavor *disclaimer: I did mention these were going to be healthy chocolate chip cookies, so if you’re a sugar-fiend or really enjoy a traditional Toll House cookie, this may not be for you, but in fairness, give it a try and see what you think!* 

I started with my dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisking the flours (1 cup cassava, 1 cup A.P (all purpose)) salt and baking soda. Setting that aside, I took my butter, brown sugar, and coconut sugar and whisked together with my fancy new hand mixer *ooooh, ahhhhh* until it was fully blended and smooth.

After the mix blended, I cracked an egg into the brown sugar and butter mixture and blended on medium speed one at a time (two eggs in total) until fully immersed. I slowly added in the flour and mixed until all the flour was fully blended in and the batter became sticky. I decided to throw in two kinds of chocolate chips: milk chocolate chips and stevia dark chocolate mini chips because #yolo.

On two separate baking trays, cut parchment paper and scoop a tablespoon of batter into your hands and form small balls with the batter. Place on the rack and fill with three rows of four balls (12 in total per rack, 24 balls altogether). Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees, switching the top and bottom cookie trays halfway to cook evenly (and NOT do what I did and have one batch be perfectly brown while the other had black bottoms, sigh… I did say I’m not a baker…)

Let cool and enjoy 🙂 Again, these are not your typical chocolate chip cookies; they will be chewy, a little doughy, definitely healthy, and altogether quite tasty! I can’t wait for you to give these a try! ~ Nomaste

Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip “Health” Cookies

Course Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American, Cookies
Keyword cassava, coconut, cookies, healthy, paleo
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter (or 1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or cocoa nibs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and make sure oven racks are in the middle of the oven.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside

  3. In another large bowl, blend together on medium speed the unsalted butter and two different sugars until fluffy and creamy. About 4-5 minutes.

  4. Crack in one egg at a time into the butter mixture and continue to beat until fully blended.  Add in the vanilla extract and mix.

  5. Slowly begin to pour the flour into the butter mixture and blend on medium speed.  Add in the chocolate chips and mix well, about 2-3 minutes.

  6. Scoop some of the cookie batter into semi-wet hands to form balls and place on two baking trays lined with parchment, making 3 rows of four balls each tray (24 balls altogether).  Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom halfway through.

  7. Take trays out and let cook on the baking trays for 5-7 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

Brooklyn Eats: Glasserie

Cuisine: Mediterranean; Location: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

It was a Monday evening, first day of Hanukkah, and I get a call from my cousin:

“Hey, dinner for Sunday?”

“Sure! Where?”

“I’ll let you know…”

I always trust my cousin for choosing restaurants because he has an adventurous palette and I like trying new foods too.  We were going out to dinner to celebrate the lasts night of Hanukkah and well, to wine and dine together as a family. I get a text with the name, “It’s called Glasserie, btw.”  Of course, I decided to check the menu online and initially, I was confused.  I wasn’t sure what to make of the menu, because some names of the foods involved I was unfamiliar with, but as I researched I grew more excited and anxious to give them a shot.

Sunday rolls around and it’s time for dinner.  I throw on some jeans, makeup, jump in an Uber with hubs and head over to Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  When I tell you that this place is tucked away in an industrial part of town, I am not kidding.  Inside the restaurant lies this adorable, modern, open-style seating with such aromatic smells coming from candles and of course, the food. Hubs and I got there early and we sat at the bar: a glass of red and an Old Fashioned to start as my family rolled in.

We sat down and started ordering: griddle and flatbreads, labneh, tahini, cauliflower, rabbit dumplings, lamb steak, chicken, and scallop crudo. I mean, we absolutely went overboard, but it’s Hanukkah and it’s family, so all is good.

**UPDATE** I took a girlfriend back there because everything was freaking delicious, the hostess remembered me and I got a complimentary glass of cava! I swear people are super kind and this place won my heart with their griddle bread and chicken avgolemono. If you’re looking for a hip, understated, and different restaurant to go with friends and family alike, you need to come here!