Posts tagged ‘main dish’
What’s a girl to do when the fridge is running on empty and she’s in need of a speedy meal? All I had besides a shelf of staples (coconut milk, chia seeds, tahini and coconut butter) was the following:
- half a container of roasted red pepper hummus
- half a carton of grape tomatoes
- several cups of cooked spaghetti squash
So that’s I made for my lunch concoction… the simplicity of the dish far exceeded the complexity of the taste. I added a tablespoon or so of hemp seeds with a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper and it was a tasty dish!
I should have known hummus would be good with spaghetti squash…it’s compliments just about everything! I’ll be making this again on purpose with a few more add-ins for some additional bulk. I am thinking chickpeas or navy beans, sautéed greens and roasted broccoli or caramelized onions. (I have a weird thing about always wanting something green on my plate.)
4-Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Hummus “Pasta”
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Quick
drizzle of olive oil
4-5 grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarted
2-3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1/4-1/3 cup of roasted red pepper hummus (or your favorite flavor – roasted garlic would be delish)
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
salt and pepper to taste
Your favorite add-ins if desired (roasted veggies, chickpeas, grilled chicken or crumbled sausage etc)
- In a small skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add squash and tomatoes and saute until warmed through.
- Stir in hummus and hemp hearts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
*This serves one person; for a weeknight family meal quadruple the ingredients. You could always microwave all of these ingredients for a 5 minute meal as well.
Slow cooker meals are a lifesaver after a long day of work. I get home, I’m hungry and I’d prefer not to spend a couple hours in the kitchen. I’d rather heat up or whip up something quick to eat and be able to enjoy “free time” outside of work in the evenings. While cooking is certainly a passion, it can seem more like a chore at the end of a busy day.
When I find a recipe that can be used as a base for multiple meals, it’s a definite winner. This slow cooker pulled chicken is just that. I served this dish as a filling snack over a half of an avocado, over a bowl of cooked grains and lentils with green onions, as an add-in to a smoky veggie soup and as the main dish with some cabbage slaw and pickled onions. You can also serve this in a wrap, over a salad, in a panini, as a pizza topping or as a topping to a baked potato or yam. Can you say endless possibilities?
Let’s not forget the BBQ sauce — Apple cider vinegar is such a versatile ingredient and I love love LOVE the taste! It’s bold and tangy, and adds a lovely zip to dishes from soups and salad dressings to marinades and main dishes. While lemon and lime juice have their places, apple cider vinegar has a place in my heart all it’s own. Naturally, when I came across Lauren’s recipe for a Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken and Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ sauce, I knew I had to make it.
This month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment was Lauren’s delicious and crafty blog Sew You Think You Can Cook. I knew Lauren was a great match when I came across fun flavor combos such as her Hummus Waffles with Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Sweet Potato and Chorizo Hand Pies, Coconut Shrimp with Bloody Mary Dip and Parsnip and Blueberry Baked Oatmeal. While I chose her Pulled Chicken and Apple Cider BBQ Sauce, with my newfound love for parsnips, you can be sure Lauren’s baked oatmeal will be made in the next week or so!
I made a few changes to Lauren’s recipe based on what I had on hand. I had a combo or chicken breasts and boneless, skinless chicken thighs and I really loved the flavor that the richer thigh meat lent to this dish. I swapped out the sweetener for maple sugar and used smoked salt instead of regular sea salt. I made a special grocery store run to buy gluten-free beer…I didn’t want to swap that out so I could stay true to the recipe, though now I have several bottles of beer to experiment in other recipes :) Thanks Lauren for this recipe, I’ll be making this again!
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken (recipe adapted from Sew You Think You Can Cook)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or a combo (I used 2 chicken breasts, 4 chicken thighs)
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp granulated sweetener (maple sugar, sucanat, coconut sugar)
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard powder
1 tsp cayenne (can reduce if you are sensitive to spicy food)
1 bottle or can (12 oz) gluten-free beer
sea salt and pepper to taste (I used smoked salt)
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper generously. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
2. In a small bowl combine paprika, garlic powder, sweetener, mustard powder, and cayenne. Sprinkle over the chicken.
3. Pour beer into the slow cooker. Cook on LOW 5-7 hours until the chicken shreds easily.
4. Serve as a sandwich, wrap, over grains, over avocado, as a pizza topping, on top of a salad and drizzle withe apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce (recipe below).
Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce (recipe adapted from Sew You Think You Can Cook)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free
1 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 Fresno chili pepper, deseeded and halved
2 tbsp sweetener (coconut sugar, maple sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 – 30 minutes, or until a desired consistency is achieved. Remove the garlic and chili pepper, if used.
Costco carries wild-caught langostino lobster tails, and my better half, his daughter and I are all seafood lovers so naturally we could not resist this purchase. While it’s a bit pricier than chicken or veggies, we stretched the 2 pounds of this sweet langostino over three meals…and this garlic chive pesto pasta was one of the delicious results.
I rarely eat pasta, maybe twice a year when a random craving hits or I come across a “fun buy” and I give into indulgence. We bought this scrumptious gluten-free garlic chive pasta at Pike’s Place Market on our Seattle vacation this summer and “pasta guy” convinced us to sample a variety including “dark chocolate”. While I was tempted to buy anything chocolate, we settled on a bag of garlic chive “rooster comb”…simply because you can’t go wrong with Italian! Any gluten-free pasta can be used but our specialty pasta added some extra pizazz and flavor to the dish.
While I prefer pasta warm in general, this dish can also be eaten chilled. I devoured my leftovers straight from the fridge for lunch the next day and it was delightful :) If you are a vegetarian or vegan or just downright want more vegetables, omit the lobster and add another favorite veggie when you saute the summer squash. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and mushrooms would all be delicious additions!
Don’t be deterred from the longer direction list — essentially you blend all the ingredients for the pesto, cook the pasta and saute the veggies with lobster then toss everything together. It’s not as complicated as it may look at first glance!
Garlic Chive Pesto Pasta with Langostino Lobster
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Vegetarian & Vegan option, Sugar-free, Peanut-free, Nightshade-free, Egg-free option
2/3 lb wild caught langostino lobster tails (omit for vegan/vegetarian or sub shrimp if preferred)
9 oz gluten free garlic chive pasta* or your favorite gluten-free pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 yellow squash, diced (can substitute or add zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli etc)
3 cups spinach, baby chard or kale
2 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Slices of fresh lemon for serving
Additional pine nuts for serving (optional)
For the pesto:
1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts (or cashews)
fresh lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1 large garlic clove, minced
large pinch of sea salt (~1/4 tsp or more to taste)
4 Tbsp olive oil
To make the pesto:
1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the pine nuts for a few minutes, but watch carefully since they burn quickly! You can skip this step but the toasted nuts adds another dimension to the pesto.
2. In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine basil through salt and blend for 15 seconds. While the blender or food processor is running, pour in the olive oil and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can pulse all ingredients together for a more rustic pesto until you reach your desired texture. Taste pesto and adjust with more salt and lemon if needed.
1. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of lightly salted water to a rolling boil on high. Add pasta and stir for the first 15 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-high and start the cooking timer once the water returns to a slow simmer or gentle rolling boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente, stirring occasionally.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced squash and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Toss in lobster and greens and cook until lobster is warmed and greens are wilted, a couple minutes, then remove from heat.
2. Drain pasta over a colander, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta back to large pot along with 1-2 Tbsp cooking liquid and pesto, then toss to combine. Add Lobster-veggie mix and fresh chives and toss to combine again. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
4. Portion into serving bowls, sprinkle with additional pine nuts (if desired) and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Enjoy!
Serves 4-5 main dish servings
*This garlic chive pasta contains egg whites, for an egg-free version substitute your favorite gluten-free vegan pasta –penne, spaghetti, elbow etc. will all work here!
Notes: If you can tolerate dairy, this dish would pair well with a sprinkle of parmesan or asiago.
Some nights after work I really don’t feel like cooking….ordering take out or walking over to the hot bar at the health food store sounds much more appealing after a long day. Then I think, wait…I could have this dinner on the table in about 20 minutes…and that’s faster (and healthier) than takeout!
This quick and adaptable scramble bowl is packed with protein, fresh veggies and healthy fats with an option to substitute your favorite vegetable or side. It makes for a hearty breakfast, tasty brunch or a well-rounded dinner with a breakfast flare…and I’m a huge fan of breakfast for dinner :) It may not look like much but this bowl is TASTY!
For extra fluffy eggs, I add a splash of water along with salt, pepper and seasoning along with the egg in my Magic Bullet or Vitamix…talk about a light texture! My mom used to add half n half or milk to our scrambles when I was growing up, but water works well for a dairy-free option. Plus, the water helps steam the eggs a bit and prevent them from drying out quickly :) Feel free to add your favorite veg or meat, but don’t skip the smoked salt and oil if you don’t have to – it takes the dish to the next level!
Smokey Scramble Skillet Bowl
Gluten-free, Grain-free Option, Soy-free, Paleo-friendly, Soy-free, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Dairy-free, Nightshade-free, Easy, Sugar-free
1 Tbsp smoked oil (I used peppered bacon flavored olive oil) or coconut oil (this won’t have as much i
1 1/2 Tbsp water* (optional but makes the eggs light and fluffy)
4 cage-free, organic eggs
pinch of dried thyme or rosemary, optional
large pinch of smoked salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced (can omit or use garlic powder if desired)
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped (red or white works too)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (chopped asparagus, zucchini or broccoli can be added or substituted)
big handful or leafy greens, rough chopped (~2-3 cups; I used swiss chard and baby spinach
1/2 avocado, pit removed & chopped or sliced
1 1/2 cup cooked grain of choice or roasted sweet potato cubes or hashbrowns (for Paleo/Grain-free), warmed
chopped cooked bacon or crumbled breakfast sausage (option, not pictured but can be added if preferred),warmed
chopped chives and/or fresh parsley
more smoked salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of coconut aminos or hot sauce (not nightshade free), optional
- In a blender*, add eggs, water, salt, pepper and herbs (if using). Blend for 5-10 seconds and side aside.
- In a skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions start to turn translucent and soften.
- Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes, then add the greens and cook until wilted, roughly 1-2 minutes. Remove veggies from pan, cover and set aside to keep warm.
- Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil in skillet. Add eggs and let cook for 5 minutes until set and cooked through, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or overcooking. Stir in veggies and chopped avocado, then toss to combine.
- To serve, layer the bowls with grain or potato of choice, meat (if using), veggie and egg mixture and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Season with additional smoked salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with coconut aminos or hot sauce if desired and enjoy warm!
*If you don’t have a blender, you can whisk the eggs, water and seasoning well by hand; I prefer the blender for quicker prep and the texture it yields.
If you can have nightshades, smoked paprika would be a really flavorful addition too!