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Tag Archives: easy

Paleo Chicken Nuggets

Hi my name is Morgan and I am a five year old when it comes to chicken nuggets or tenders. Whenever hubby and I go to Citi Field for a Mets game (LGM!) I always get the same. exact. thing: Chicken tenders and french fries with a shake (from Shake Shack because duh…). I’ve ventured off the beaten path once and got a sausage and peppers, and the game wasn’t the same. What’s not to love about tenders and nuggets? They’re crispy, fried, juicy, and honey mustard makes for the perfect pairing. No questions asked.

I love using cassava flour to make nuggets, tenders, and cutlets because not only is it grain/gluten free, it’s provides such a depth of flavor from the yucca root itself. I use Thrive Market’s Cassava Flour – found here (also if you use the banner, you can get $20 shopping credit when you sign up for a membership!) and love the texture of it. Cassava is also super versatile and is usually a 1:1 ratio for subbing out AP flour when baking. The way the chicken crisps up when battered in cassava flour is very similar to using breadcrumbs.

Here’s what you’ll need for these paleo nuggets:

  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Thrive Market Non-GMO Cassava Flour (or preferred brand)
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried rosemary
  • 4 tbsp avocado/olive oil
  • 3 tbsp grass fed butter
    • having a blend of healthy fats to shallow fry the chicken in helps with the crispiness and less splatter.
  • dipping sauce of choice
    • we used Cedar Foods tzatziki sauce.

For these nuggets, it’s as simple as a four-step process:

  1. Rinse and pat dry your chicken. Slice each breast into bite size pieces.
  2. Pour the cassava flour and dried spices into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Add chicken pieces to the flour and mix together to fully coat each piece.
  4. Heat a skillet/large pan with oil and butter on medium heat and begin to place several pieces into the skillet. Let each piece sit for 3-4 minutes per side. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

I swear this will become a family favorite, and will definitely be a weeknight go-to as this is one simple and quick dinner to pull together, especially if you have the chicken cut ahead of time. This could be delicious as chicken alfredo, thrown in with some broccoli for a stir fry, or just as is with a dip and veggies on the side!

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Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

I am a sucker for a good chinese food take out night. The flavor, the greasiness, the dumplings (I am obsessed with dumplings), and the overall deliciousness of the cuisine. I know that American-style chinese food is not necessarily compatible to the real deal in China, and American-style chinese food tends to have a significant amount of sugars, sodium, and soy sauce, which causes my belly to get upset pretty quickly. I have always wanted to dabble at making a stir fry, so I figured tonight was the perfect night to do so.

I love recipes that call for simple ingredients, such as this one. I’ll keep the narrative light on this recipe but will say that I swear by Coconut Aminos. Coconut aminos acts as soy sauce and even sometimes a teriyaki when sugar is added, as it’s made directly from a coconut and has a lot more nutrients than soy sauce. I don’t prefer soy products so this is a great alternative, especially when paired with rice wine vinegar and a toasted sesame oil.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 bag pre-cut broccoli florets (or two small heads of broccoli cut at the florets)
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 3-4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bundle of stir fry rice noodles

To start, dice the chicken breasts into smaller bite size pieces. Heat a large pan to medium heat and add in oil and minced garlic. Add the chicken to the pan and begin to cook until all pieces are fully white, they are more than likely not cooked through but the chicken will cook as you layer in the sauce and broccoli. Add the broccoli and the sauces (coconut aminos, rice wine, and sesame oil). I would also add that you can lessen or increase the amount of each sauce as you desire. I also added a sprinkle of salt and pepper and red pepper flakes for good measure and a nice kick! Cover and let sit for a few minutes until broccoli becomes soft, and stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, Boil 4-5 quarts of water. Add in the stir fry noodles and turn off the heat. Let the noodles soak for 8-10 minutes and add them to the chicken and broccoli. The sauce will start off thin, but as the noodles are added and stirred, the noodles will absorb the sauce so feel free to add a bit more of rice wine vinegar or even 1/4 cup water if you desire. I promise frontloading the 3-4 tbsp of all of the liquids will be just enough.

The results are a lighter, healthier, and umami-satisfying version of the OG Chicken and Broccoli from your local take-out. NOMaste 🙂

Tzatziki

I have three ingredients that fill me with such glee (yes, I said glee) every time I cook: fresh garlic, fresh onions, and basil. Any time I use these when testing a recipe or just cooking in general I can feel my entire body dance and sing, because cooking is my therapy and I just love it! I also have some favorite cuisines that I like to cook, and this year I vow to experiment with different dishes, such as enchiladas, homemade goulash, and more greek recipes such as Spanakopita and homemade tzatziki.

I’ve made tzatziki in the past, but it was all watery and had minimal flavor. I learned from my mistakes, tasted several versions in my lifetime, and figured out just how I wanted it to taste. I LOVE dill, so for me having a rather heavy hand on the dill was not a problem. My biggest issue was ensuring it was cream enough to stand up to lamb loin shanks (which is a forthcoming recipe) and had enough seasoning.

Here’s the full list of ingredients and measurements:

  • 3-4 tablespoons of thick yogurt, I prefer Siggi’s Triple Cream, plain
  • Several sprigs of dill, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped into very small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped very fine
  • Salt
  • Pepper

I added all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisked together, until it was a thick mixture. Add in a dash of salt and pepper as you need, to balance out all of the flavors. It should taste of cucumber, garlic, dill and yogurt. This is a great dip to make for pita chips, meats, or even with fries! NOMaste 🙂

Brown Rice Ramen with Sesame Spinach and Bok Choy

If you live in the Northeast, you can attest to how cold it has been recently, and will only get colder this weekend. While I love the idea of falling snow: a blanket of untouched, white glistening flakes of snow, I have a disdain for the slushy-mess post-snowfall. The winter is a take it or leave it kind of season, but does provide us with yummy “winter is here” style dishes (no this was not a reference to G.O.T, but I CANNOT WAIT FOR APRIL!)

Hubs and I tried Ivan Ramen in the city (that is, Manhattan, for the non-local readers) and it was seriously so good. It was the first ramen-bowl I’ve ever had and tasted like a dream (if dreams had a flavor… it would be umami). I recently purchased some ramen from my all-time favorite online market Thrive Market, and decided to try making my own. I saw several people on the Insta making ramen so I thought “This cannot be too difficult to make.” I was right, it really was pretty simple!

You probably know this, but bok choy has some incredible benefits to it: it’s a leafy green, so that is self-explanatory. It also has gut-healing benefits, provides your body folate, calcium, and vitamin B6 too! I never knew how to actually cook bok choy until I woman’d up and just sautéd it in coconut oil, tossed in toasted sesame oil and coconut aminos. I did the same with the spinach, but added some garlic powder. Setting the veggies aside, I started on the broth.

I LOVE bone broth, and am currently trying to find time to make it from scratch, but until then, I’ll use quality bone broth from a carton. I used my thrive bone broth, then threw in some Kettle and Fire chicken mushroom, for some extra umami flavor. I put this in a large pot on high heat until it boiled, then added in the ramen, lowering the flame to simmer/low. The ramen only needs approximately 5-7 minutes. I poured some soup in a bowl, scooped out the ramen, layered in the veggies, and chowed down.

I think for next time, I’ll add some corn, bamboo shoots, and a poultry, like chicken. Stay tuned for an update! Nomaste 🙂

Brown Rice Ramen with Sesame Spinach and Bok Choy

Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian, ramen
Keyword asian, ramen, Soup, vegetables
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 Cartons Bone broth
  • 3 Blocks/Pieces Ramen
  • 2 large Boy Choy
  • 1 cup Baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Coconut aminos
  • Garlic powder to taste

Instructions

For the vegetables

  1. Slice the bok choy so that the leaves are separated from the base of the vegetable.  Cut leaves in halves so they are smaller.

  2. Heat a pan on medium heat.  Add coconut oil

  3. Place bok choy into pan and coat in the coconut oil.  Add in some sesame oil and coconut aminos. Cook until the leaves are fully wilted.  Take out and set aside

  4. Repeat the above steps for spinach, and add garlic powder.  Set aside.

For the ramen/broth

  1. In a large pot, pour three cartons of broth and turn heat on high.  Cook until broth begins to boil.

  2. Add in ramen. Stir.

  3. Once ramen begins to separate, pull apart with a fork and stir.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until noodles are to your liking (al dente).

  4. Ladle soup into a bowl and layer vegetables on top.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve immediately.

New Years Eve Throw-down! Appetizer 1: Potato Skins

365 days, 525,600 minutes (I had to get a RENT reference in there), 52 weeks, 12 months, blah blah blah… It’s the NEW YEAR BABY! I have mixed feelings about celebrating the new year. Some years I went out with friends (we did do Manhattan three times for NYE, and it was absolutely worth it), some years I worked at restaurants and made bank, and then others I spent at home drinking champs solo and eating everything I wanted. This year was the latter, minus the drinks (I had one glass) and add a pup and a husband.

When you think of traditional appetizers, whether for NYE or at a restaurant, say Applebee’s, what comes to mind? I automatically think of quesadillas, buffalo wings, spinach dip, and potato skins. My favorite are buffalo wings, but since I didn’t feel like doing those, I opted for some skins. Shockingly, these are pretty easy, but do take a while to prep and make; they also take up a lot of time in the oven – in and out three times in fact! The end result is totally worth the prep and time.

*fun fact: I worked at Applebee’s and loved every second of it. Hands down their best apps were the quesadillas, boneless wings, wonton tacos, and mozzarella sticks*

Choosing the type of potato for potato skins actually does matter. Russet potatoes tend to stand up to a triple bake and holding “loaded” toppings like sour cream and cheese. They have a bit more starch to them and can bake in 45 minutes. I started by rinsing the potatoes and placing them on a sheet pan, baking them at 375* for 45 minutes. If you sense that they are burning, fear not, just turn the heat down to 350*. Once they’re done baking, let them cool and begin to cut in half.

After cutting, you need to scoop out the insides, leaving a slight layer of potato in the skins. MAKE SURE YOUR POTATOES ARE COOL. This will burn if they are not cool enough to handle. Scoop out the insides, melt butter and spread the melted butter on the insides of scoop skins. Sprinkle some salt on then and bake again for 5-7 minutes, turning them over to brown on the top.

These babies are now ready to melt with cheese and your favorite toppings. Throw the skins back in to bake with cheese until the cheese melts. Layer onto a plate and top with chives, sour cream, bacon, etc. Fun, festive, and freaking delicious! Nomaste 🙂

Potato Skins

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 12 skins
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 6 Russet potatoes large
  • 2 tbsp Butter melted
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup Chives
  • Sour Cream as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Rinse potatoes and place on baking sheet.  Bake in middle rack of oven for 45 minutes.  Lower heat if needed.

  3. After baking, let cool until the potatoes are cool enough to handle.  Cut potatoes in half and scoop out the centers, leaving a 1/4″ thick layer of potato.

  4. Melt butter and spread on each skin. Sprinkle salt.  Bake for 5-7 minutes, turning potato skins over to brown midway through baking.

  5. Take potatoes out and sprinkle cheese.  Bake for the third time until cheese is fully melted and bubbling.

  6. Add favorite toppings such as chives, sour cream, and bacon.