Tag Archives: dinner

Black Bean and Charred Pepper Quesadillas

Some of the best food ideas come from inspiration of others. This one is no exception. I love Mexican food, and I have a soft spot for quesadillas. I think the reason behind my adoration for ‘dillas, is the ability to make it a handheld and of course, the combinations of flavors. I tend to be simple with my ingredients, but as I try to focus on more plant-based meals lately, I decided to keep this guy a vegetarian-friendly option.

I love making tortillas from scratch (which is super easy to do, and I’ll make that recipe this summer in the new digs.. oh yeah, WE’RE MOVING!), but for this go round, we used Siete brand tortillas. Siete is a family-operated and owned company that makes grain free tortillas, tortilla chips, queso, and hot sauce! They boast quality ingredients in their products, and I must say, they are no joke. I love them. You can find them here!

To start, I chopped all of my peppers and charred them on the burner, yep, like flat out burnt the sides of the peppers right on the flame… #ballin. I diced and chopped them up and sprinkled a bit of paprika, set them aside. Next, I drained and rinsed the black beans and began to warm the tortillas. I used a regular size 12″ frying pan (with no oil, you want the outside of the tortillas to crisp) and let the side get hot. I added in the peppers, black beans and Mexican cheese blend (I bought at the store) and began to assemble the quesadilla.

I let the tortilla sit on each side to brown for approximately 30 seconds, but I would use a spatula to check underneath occasionally. I used a plate (or my hand, which resulted in a burn) to flip once I added the second tortilla to the top. You will hear the sizzle of cheese and if you lip a side of the quesadilla and it doesn’t come off quick, you’ll know you have one to two more minutes until it is done.

Repeat for the remainder of the tortillas (I used eight, making four mini quesadillas) and use a pizza cutter to make the perfect triangles. Served with guac, sour cream, and a drizzle of hot sauce and you have an awesome dinner (or snack!) NOMaste 🙂

Chicken Alfredo

If there’s one thing to know about me, it is that I am not much of a sauce person. I’m not one to order a pasta in a marinara sauce, or make a sauce (although I have a killer red sauce, or gravy, that I should make sometime soon). However, I am a lover of all things cream. I use cream in my coffee in the morning, and if I can make a sauce that incorporates cream (such as a tomato cream sauce) I’ll do it. I figured it was finally time I tried an alfredo sauce.

Alfredo, after speaking with a few colleagues today, is not high on the “Oooh, that’s what I’m craving” list. It tends to be very heavy and laden with sugar and additives. Unfortunately, for things to live on shelves, additives and artificial ingredients are required. What I love about cooking and creating is using fresh ingredients and quality brands. I’ll say time and time again, quality is what matters. I’d rather spend my whole paycheck on items that make me feel good, and brands that stand by their product every single time. To make this alfredo, I used fresh parmesan that I grated (by hand), grass-fed butter, grass-fed cream, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. I also added in garlic powder. Simple and quality ingredients to make one decadent and rich (and surprisingly not heavy) sauce.

Let’s talk about the chicken. I took organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cut them into smaller chunks. I seasoned with paprika, turmeric (hello anti-inflammatory benefits), sea salt, and garlic powder (I <3 garlic). I let the chicken sit for a while to marinade in the seasoning. The chicken turned a gorgeous golden color as it sat in the spices.

I heated a pan and added olive oil. Layering the chicken into the pan, I set the heat to medium and seared the chicken for several minutes on each side, then quickly tossed each piece around until each piece turned less pink. I poured in chicken bone broth (I love Kettle and Fire) and turned the heat to low. A while ago I purchased these chopped basil cubes by Dorot, and I wanted to use them up so I tossed two of them into the chicken as well. I covered the chicken and let simmer for 35-40 minutes on a low flame, stirring and turning the chicken to be sure it does not stick.

Once the chicken was done cooking, and the alfredo sauce finished thickening, I made the Banza pasta and tossed it altogether in a bowl. I cracked fresh pepper and dried rosemary on top to garnish (even though I should get comfortable using parsley or other garnishes) and it was so delicious. I’m quite proud of how far I’ve come with cooking, and hope you are able to enjoy this meal with family and friends, just like I did! NOMaste.

Pan Seared Herb Chicken

Chicken, it’s what’s for dinner. I have to be very honest, chicken can be so boring and mundane, especially when it’s chicken breast. It dries out very easily, due to it being lean and low-fat. It can also be chewy if cut wrong, and can go rancid if kept out or in the fridge too long. One thing I love to do is bread chicken breasts and make chicken cutlets, but being that I am completely revamping my nutrition, that’s not an option. I threw out my grill pan a while ago because I butchered it (see what I did there?), so how else should I make chicken? *LIGHTBULB* I can pan sear it!

A while ago, I purchased Herbes de Provence from Trader Joe’s and can not stop using it. I’ll use it in marinades, seasoning for vegetables, sweet potatoes, and decided tonight was a perfect opportunity for using it with chicken. I have not pan seared chicken in a very long time, solely because I always have a horrible outcome: chewy, under-seasoned, barely cooked chicken because I lose my patience. The trick I used was extra butter. Yep, you heard right, butter. I swear by Kerrygold butter because it’s grass-fed and has a delicious taste, also really good for cooking! I pan seared my chicken tonight in the butter and it was everything I needed. Here’s how it went down:

  • Start by rinsing three pieces of chicken breast (preferred organic). Trim the sides and slice thin. Pat dry and place in a large bowl.
  • Take four tbsp of the Herbes de Provence and pour into the bowl of chicken.
  • Mix together by hand so that all the chicken (and both sides) are fully coated. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat a large sauce pan. Cut 3 tbsp of butter (do not freak out here) and melt in the pan.
  • Add the chicken (three at a time) into the pan. Sear on each side for 6-7 minutes. You’ll know when the chicken is ready to flip when the sides of the chicken turn white.
  • Repeat for the remaining chicken breasts.
  • Top with pesto (my recipe linked here) and pair with veggies!

Here’s a picture tutorial for those who need some visuals (#multimodallearningbaby)

I hope you enjoy this one, it’s very straightforward, simple ingredients, and oh so yummy! NOMaste 🙂

Cauliflower “Fried” Rice

Bienvenidos semana tres de Reset. For those who are confused, I did not move to Spain. I am currently approaching week THREE of my reset and am super excited to see subtle changes to my body as well as my overall health. I am feeling more energized, my pants fit easier, and my face doesn’t look like I am carrying acorns in my cheeks. My reset isn’t about dropping weight as it more of just looking and feeling like my best self. I weighed myself, and was legit depressed for two days about the number, but honestly, it is JUST A NUMBER. I want to get back to health and healthy foods, something I have a major passion for. I wanted to try incorporating cauliflower into my meals and this was the best way, making a “rice”.

I bought store bought, so sorry for those who want to make it from scratch. I have done this and I’ll tell you, it’s a mess. Buying store-bought cauliflower rice is the easier way, and it’s hassle free! I accidentally ordered a Misfits Market box of 18, yes 18 POUNDS, of vegetables, so there is virtually no excuse not to use them. We got Anaheim peppers (which are milder than jalapeño peppers, but can depend based on origin), cabbage, onions, jalapeño peppers (8 of them… hello salsa!), string beans, avocado, and more. I’m grateful to have received (and been able to keep) the produce even if it were by accident. If anyone is willing to try, and be open for whatever is delivered, definitely check them out!

Cauliflower rice is not so different than traditional fried rice, except it holds more moisture. I started by chopping an onion, carrots, cabbage, one Anaheim pepper, and green beans. I heated a large sauté pan and added avocado oil (my favorite brand is Primal Kitchen). I tossed in the chopped onion, pepper, and carrots to simmer and sweat. I then added in the chopped cabbage, let it seam, then after five minutes, threw in the green beans. I cooked with a cover so everything can wilt and render down, mainly for the cabbage to bring out its moisture.

Afterwards, I pushed all the vegetables aside so I can add in the egg, there is no excluding this part, it is the best part of fried rice. I scrambled the egg and tossed it together with the veggies. My last step was to add the cauliflower rice, so with a helping of garlic powder and salt added, I poured in the bag of cauli-rice and stirred. This sat cooked for 8 minutes, so the cauliflower can begin to sweat (there’s a lot of sweating happening in this dish).

I seasoned with a generous helping of coconut aminos and sesame oil and continued to let it cook for another 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand still, then ladled into large bowls for my lunch for the week. The taste of this dish is very umami and while it does not taste 100% like the real fried rice, it is a pretty darn delicious rendition! NOMaste 🙂

Cauliflower “Fried” Rice

Course Dinner
Cuisine Healthy, Meal Prep, Vegetables
Keyword dinner, healthy, meal prep, veggies, whole30
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 cups
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 1 package Cauliflower Rice
  • 1/2 large onion chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 1 cup red cabbage chopped
  • 1 cup green beans chopped
  • 1 Anaheim pepper chopped and cleaned
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • garlic powder to taste
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep all vegetables by slicing and roughly chopping the onions, carrots, pepper, cabbage, and green beans.  Separate the cabbage and green beans from the onions, etc. Set aside

  2. Heat a large sauté pan, add in avocado oil, then stir in the onions, carrots, and pepper.  Stir and coat with oil for five minutes.

  3. Add in red cabbage. Cover and let sit for five minutes. Stir once or twice to prevent burning.

  4. Add in green beans.  Cover and let sit for five minutes. Stir to prevent burning.

  5. Push vegetables aside, and add in the egg.  Scramble egg and stir in with the vegetables.  Season with garlic powder and sea salt.  Cover and let sit for three minutes.

  6. Pour in cauliflower rice.  Stir to mix together. Cover and let cook for eight minutes, stirring occasionally.

  7. Add in coconut aminos and sesame oil. Stir together.  Let cook for another three to five minutes.  Serve immediately.

Seared Grass Fed Sirloin

Ahhh, steak. The creme de la creme when you think of a “fancy” meal. There are plenty of nights where I crave a fatty cut of steak or a bolognese (in fact, I have a bolognese recipe… here), and I have a soft spot for skirt steak or short ribs. On other nights, a nice sirloin will do. I have to confess, I’ve never been a pro with making steak; I tend to overcook and make it inedible. It usually comes out tough and chewy, even when cutting against the grain. This steak is an exception to my “I screwed up the steak, again” curse, and it’s so easy you’ll slap yourself (but don’t).

One thing that I never compromise for is the quality of meat. It is SO important to know where your meat comes from, and get the best cuts. I always shop for grass-fed meats, and love using Butcher Box for meat. Their product is top notch and can feed a large family for a few weeks. You can skip a month, two months, and add specials like their bacon (THEIR BACON IS LIFE CHANGING) or burgers. Either way, consider buying grass fed meats, if there’s one thing you change to your budget, do this. I won’t bore you with science behind it or research from articles I’ve read and podcasts I’ve listened to, but the quality of meat matters. Period. Trader Joe’s does make solid grass fed meats, including steak.

I started by soaking the steaks in olive oil, instead of coating the pan with oil. Why? This eliminates the crackling and sputtering of the oil, that’s why sparky! For the seasoning, I used a more-than-generous amount of fresh cracked ground pepper and pink sea salt. I seasoned both sides and let the steak get to room temperature. Using a cast-iron skillet, I heated the pan then slowly added the steaks. These steaks were about 3/4″ -1″ thick so I gauged my time carefully. We like our steaks more medium/medium rare, so I seared the steaks for 4 minutes on each side, then threw it in the oven on BROIL for a good 5 minutes. For medium well, add 2-3 minutes per side. The most important piece is to LET THE STEAK REST. The steak will tense up if cut into right away, the same as man-handling it right out of the fridge. Let the steak do it’s thing!

I sliced small dollops of butter to top on the steaks for additional fat and goodness, and paired it with potatoes. Typical meat and potatoes dish, but oh so satisfying.