Tag Archives: healthy

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 🙂

Zucchini Lasagna

Lately, I have been trying to incorporate as many vegetables as possible when cooking. Whether its sautéing all the older veggies in the fridge and throwing them into pasta, or adding them as a side to a nice piece of steak. Either way, getting our vegetables in on a daily basis is important for overall health. As it is passover week, we are steering clear of bread products, and I decided it was time to recipe test a fan favorite, lasagna. Only, this lasagna, is made solely from zucchini. BOOM. (mic drop)

Zucchini happens to be one of my all time, OG vegetables. It is versatile, easy to cook, and a slow-resistant starchy vegetable. It’s also predominately made out of water, so it can be very filling due to the water content. Nevertheless, I decided that tonight was the night to make lasagna using zucchini as the noodles. Granted, it definitely does not taste the same as regular noodles, it was still rather yummy. I also don’t have a mandolin, so I had to make sure my slices were fairly thin, but not too thin that they would break easily. I should mention here, that I laid the zucchini out with salt to wick the moisture out, as I stated zucchini holds a lot of water (even after baking, there was still a good amount of water).

The lasagna is assembled much like a regular one would. Start with some marinara on the bottom of the pan to hold the zucchini in place. Then, add in the first layer of zucchini (I used a 13×9 pan and fit six zucchini slices across the bottom). I added ricotta and smoothed it across (as best as I can) to coat the zucchini. Next, dollops of marinara sauce, followed by a thin coating of mozzarella cheese. I repeated this until I had no more zucchini left (approximately equal to 4 layers).

I topped off the final layer with a generous serving of cheese, and baked this in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Towards the end, about 3-4 minutes, I turned the oven to broil. Let cool down for a bit before serving, especially as the zucchini will let out a lot of moisture so this will help everything set. This is such a good party dish, although it is a bit difficult to assemble. Still, very tasty, and healthy 🙂 NOMaste!

Shrimp Scampi

Finally, the weather is catching up to the changing seasons. April is upon us and while it started out rather dreary, it’s starting to grow warmer, days later, and sun shining stronger. A perfect example of this is getting sunburnt just sitting out in the sun for one hour. Literally, ONE hour. I digress. Part of my journey this week for fish week is to try out new recipes that I have been yearning to try, which obviously includes shrimp. We had a slight mishap with flounder (which went rancid way too quickly…) and so I resorted to shrimp a day early.

Shrimp is one of those proteins that I feared cooking with. I always get nervous about over-cooking it, or under-cooking so that it’s practically raw. This was my moment, to try and make shrimp that tastes really delicious in a sauce I know I can make with my eyes closed: Shrimp Scampi. The amount of butter, garlic, and lemon juice used for this recipe may sound like a lot, but in fact, with the shrimp on a low simmer in the scampi sauce, the results were perfect. Tender pieces of shrimp, cooked to perfection, with a side of broccoli rabe and on a bed of Banza rice (we all know my obsession with Banza. If you haven’t tried Banza yet, you can find it here!)

I started making this dish by defrosting shrimp in the sink as I went to work. I was actually very surprised to see that when I came back, the house didn’t smell like shrimp, which already meant I was winning. I rinsed the shrimp and decided to cut it into smaller pieces, I tossed the shrimp with salt and set it aside. In a large pan, I added two tablespoons of butter and layered the shrimp into the pan, heat medium. I let the shrimp sit for two minutes then flipped over, adding in chopped garlic.

I continued to cook the shrimp and toss with the garlic, butter, and added in two tablespoons of lemon juice. I lowered the flame to low heat and simmered the shrimp for another three to four minutes. Simultaneously, I made my Banza rice (cooked similarly to orzo). Once the shrimp were done, I took a scoop of the rice and plated the shrimp on top, and sprinkled fresh grated Parmesan cheese for finish. I must say, this was a home run. Round two, I will be sure to add some more green, like fresh basil or parsley. NOMaste 🙂

Shrimp Scampi

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian, Seafood
Keyword butter, easy, garlic, italian, scampi, seafood, shrimp
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 15-20 medium Shrimp wild, cleaned, deveined and peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped, but not finely.
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup banza rice (or regular rice)

Instructions

  1. Start by cleaning shrimp and pat dry.  Cut shrimp into smaller bite size pieces and toss with salt.  Set aside

  2. Heat a large pan on medium heat, and add the butter to melt.  Place shrimp into the pan and sear for two minutes. Turn shrimp over and continue to cook for another two minutes.

  3. Add in the chopped garlic and lemon juice.  Turn heat to low and continue to cook the shrimp, tossing and flipping regularly.  Let simmer for five minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, prep Banza rice or regular rice as package indicates.  Take some of the scampi sauce and mix with the rice.  Layer shrimp on top of the rice and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.

Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Chili

Happy April! It’s literally feeling more and more like spring, even if it was relatively cold outside today. The flowers are budding, the birds are chirping, and I cannot wait for the warmer weather to fill my apartment with spring air. March came and went in a snap, and I feel like it had its ups and downs with weather, which always causes colds, sniffles, and questions of “what is appropriate for dinner?” I will always be the first one to opt for something quick and easy, and making a chili in the crockpot is no exception.

This was my first time ever making a chicken chili. It definitely has a different feel to it than a traditional beef or turkey chili, and I have to say I really loved it. It was a good balance of spicy and savory, from the chipotle powder to the sweet corn kernels, this is something everyone can enjoy, and did well as a lunch leftover.

I started by rinsing two large chicken breasts and laying them flat in the slow cooker. I measured out about 2-3 tbsp each of dried basil, dried thyme, chipotle powder. cumin, onion powder, garlic, powder. Then I took some red pepper flakes and added them to the mix. Sprinkled in some salt and pepper, then added crushed tomatoes (my personal favorite) and The New Primal Classic marinade (you can find this here!).

I mixed everything together then poured in a can of cannellini (white) beans and a can of sweet corn. Stirred again, placed the top on the slow cooker and set the setting to low cook for 6 hours.

Feel free to top with cheddar cheese, a dollop of greek yogurt, or eat over some sweet potato (maybe fries?) NOMaste:)

Power Banana Walnut Muffins

*UPDATE: I tried them again and added in 1/4 cup avocado oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and swapped cane sugar for coconut sugar and they came out insanely moist and delicious!!

*Am I the only one who has one option when it comes to using old, over ripe bananas? I always think about making banana bread, but for some reason it never comes out right (I have said I am not the best baker…). I decided to bake, with no recipe, and bake from the heart. Let me say, I saw the broadway show, Waitress, and was inspired by the songs to bake today, as well as I had time to kill and figured why not? If they’re awful, I can always try again! Thankfully, these not only came out good, but were VERY tasty and so easy! My husband even loved them! *WIN*

I know the basics of a baking recipe include sugar, flour, and depends on the fat added, if any. I decided to skip the butter or oil and go with sugar, flour, eggs, ripe banana, walnuts, baking soda (which helps the muffins rise), vanilla extract, collagen power, and a pinch of kosher salt. The reason I am calling these POWER muffins is because they’re made with healthy alternatives such as organic cane sugar (Not very alternative but I wanted to get rid of the sugar I had, don’t judge me) and cassava flour. I also included a scoop of collagen power. The benefits of collagen is profound: helps with joints and muscles, hair growth, skin, and nails. It also helps with aging. YUP.

I started by adding sugar, 2 cracked eggs, and vanilla extract to a medium sized bowl and whisked. Then, I peeled and diced the bananas and whisked them into the wet mixture. In a separate bowl, I added the dry ingredients: flour, collagen powder, salt, and baking soda. The trick to getting these muffins very airy but moist is to whisk the egg/banana mixture until the batter becomes foamy/bubbly. The bubbles will help expand the muffins and hold moisture, causing the natural layers of the muffin and “bounce” to them. Add the wet into the dry mixture and whisk to blend. Throw in a handful of chopped walnuts and scoop into a pre-greased muffin tin.

Bake at 425 degrees for 11 minutes. I was aiming for 12 minutes, but at around 11 minutes I started to smell them and saw they were golden brown. I cannot wait to hear how you liked these ones, they’re definitely going to be made (and tweaked with) again! NOMaste 🙂

Power Banana Walnut Muffins

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American, Healthy, muffins
Keyword banana, collagen, healthy, muffins, paleo, walnut
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Author nomastehungry

Ingredients

  • 3 Bananas very ripe
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Cane sugar organic
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Cassava flour
  • 1 scoop Collagen powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pre-grease a standard muffin tin. Set aside

  2. In a medium bowl, crack two eggs and add the 1/2 cup sugar.  Mix together with a hand mixer or a whisk.  Add in the ripe bananas and vanilla extract.  Whisk until mixture forms small air bubbles and looks a little “foamy.”
  3. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking soda, collagen powder, and salt.  Mix together.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk to combine all ingredients.  Add in chopped walnuts and whisk again.

  5. With a tablespoon, scoop and pour batter into each muffin cup, fill with batter halfway to allow room to rise.  Bake for 10 minutes or until you can smell the muffins.  Let cool for two minutes.

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