Category Archives: Healthy Meals

Raw Zucchini Noodles and a Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

Do you know what this is?

It’s zucchini noodles!

What are zucchini noodles? Well, they’re not really noodles, but rather, they are very thin strips of raw zucchini. I have a spiral slicer, and thought I’d put it to use making noodles. I wanted something grain-free to eat with a chicken curry, and this was just the thing.

The spiral slicer does make this super-easy, but if you don’t have one, you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, flat noodles. Just peel the zucchini lengthwise into long strips, rotating as you go, until you get to the seeds. If you want, you can saute the noodles really briefly (like for a minute, tops), but I even enjoy them totally raw. They make the perfect base for any saucy dish. While I enjoy spaghetti squash as well, zucchini is a lovely change. (and since zucchini is in season, why not?)

So how about that curry?

This is definitely an easy weeknight curry. I didn’t make the curry paste from scratch. (shocker, I know) I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste. This made the whole dish come together much more quickly. While it’s not a traditional Thai curry (I haven’t seen many Thai curries with red cabbage and yellow squash…I just threw them in there because I had a ton of vegetables in the house that needed to be eaten, and it sounded tasty to me.), the flavors still worked well together. It was warm, slightly spicy, and comforting – all great attributes in a curry. (Aren’t saucy curries like, the ultimate comfort food? They are to me – and it doesn’t matter if it’s an Indian curry, a Thai curry, a Jamaican curry, or a totally-new-invention curry. They all make my belly happy.) And those zucchini noodles? They kept it from feeling heavy. In the summer, that’s a definite plus.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

2 T coconut oil, divided

1 T Thai Kitchen red curry paste

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c coconut milk

1 5-inch piece lemongrass, smashed with side of knife (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or omit)

3 Kaffir lime leaves (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or sub a bit of lime zest)

1 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 ½ c sliced red cabbage

1 tomato, chopped

2-3 T cilantro, chopped

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Swirl to heat, and add curry paste. Stir the paste around for a few seconds to get it sizzling. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, and add to the skillet. Stir until the paste is evenly coating the chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, and Kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened well and flavors have melded. Adjust seasoning to taste.

While the curry is simmering, heat another skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and swirl. Add the squash and cabbage and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned and the cabbage is starting to wilt. Add the tomatoes and stir for a moment. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the curry and stir. Serve on top of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or steamed rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 3-4.

8 Comments

Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetables

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Life As A Plate (Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, Crockpot Chili)

grain-free primal bread

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is one of my favorite blog events. I’ve said it time and time again, but I love the opportunity to really get to know another blogger – test their recipes, read a lot of their posts, and the best part – taste their food. This month, Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is being hosted by Sea over at Book of Yum. (She’s also the creator of this great event.) I was excited to adopt one of my new favorite bloggers – AndreAnna at Life As A Plate.

AndreAnna is inspirational to me. She struggled with weight issues (her story is here), but finally has found a new life through eating primally (via the Primal Blueprint – check it out over at Mark’s Daily Apple) and through Crossfit. She’s completed a Warrior Dash. Her blogs are definitely entertaining – one minute, you’re laughing at her wit, and the next, she will bring you close to tears as she shares deep, emotional, inspirational streams of thought. She cooks amazing meals that make me drool. In short, she is a badass. (I do believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used that term on this blog, but it’s by far the best descriptor I have for her.)

So what does little Tasty Eats At Home do when adopting AndreAnna? Try to keep up! I love primal/paleo eating. I have dabbled in and out of this for a while, finding that I feel better with fewer grains, fewer starches, and much less sugar (even natural sugars). So I knew her recipes would jive with my body. But what to make? Surprisingly, I made foods that aren’t normally associated with this time of year – rosemary olive oil bread and crockpot chili. Why? Well, the bread was just calling my name – and I had rosemary in the garden – and the crockpot chili didn’t involve any heating of my kitchen at the way-too-hot-to-think hour of 6pm. (I avoided that issue with the bread by baking it early in the day on Saturday.) Both were amazing.

The bread was soft. Pliable. Moist. Brittany enjoyed it at dinner (in fact, she had 4 slices!) with butter. I enjoyed it unadorned, restraining myself from matching Brittany slice-for-slice. I omitted the parmesan cheese, but threw in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes for a punch of flavor.

The chili was just as satisfying. In spite of the heat, I had a generous bowl (plus a tiny bit of a second helping) for dinner, and then portioned myself out some more for lunch the following day. It was even better the second day, and was a hearty meal I looked forward to eating. I didn’t put the ingredients in the crockpot in stages, as I wasn’t home to do so, but dumping everything in together and leaving it to simmer for hours worked just fine. I enjoyed it with onions and cilantro. Yum.

There are many, many more delicious recipes I could devour from AndreAnna’s blog. Collard greens? Yes, ma’am! And she and I must think alike, because she posted a kohlrabi slaw recipe too (looks SO good). And just in case you think there isn’t room for dessert on a primal diet, AndreAnna has desserts covered too.

After reading her latest post, I am further inspired. AndreAnna has the drive to push herself hard, encourage others to do so, but also has an incredible amount of grace. I think that I’ll also sign up for Warrior Dash next year- even if I finish last, I know I’ll finish. Thanks AndreAnna!

11 Comments

Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Soups

Roasted Chicken, Stuffed with Pistachios and Green Olives

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, they say. Okay, perhaps that’s not such a great cliche for a food blog. Don’t want any negative mental images in your minds, dear readers! So scrap that. Instead, how about this:

There’s more than one way to stuff a chicken.

Yeah, that doesn’t have the same ring to it. Oh well.

The point of my saying this is that when I was testing out recipes for the Gluten-Free Summer Cooking Event with Lindsay Olives, I actually made this recipe first. Why? Well, honestly, because I didn’t completely read the part where “summer cooking” was involved. Roasting a chicken? Not exactly summer cooking. But I love roasted chicken so much, that I immediately gravitate towards it at any given opportunity. That includes incorporating green olives into a recipe.

So the pistachio, green olive, and raisin stuffing I made for these curried chicken breasts? It works perfectly stuffed inside a whole chicken as well. The curry seasoning works too, and rubbed all over, makes for a deliciously flavored chicken skin. (Our favorite part of the chicken in the Tasty Eats At Home household.) Normally, I dislike stuffing whole chickens. Stuffing, in the traditional sense, is some bready concoction that ends up drawing juices from the bird. This makes for dry meat that you can barely choke down. But a stuffing made from pistachios, olives, and raisins? Not the same. The stuffing and the chicken work synergistically – the stuffing is more intensely flavored from the juices, and the bird gains some flavor from the stuffing. Yes, it has to cook longer (so if you wish to wait until the weather cools to crank up the oven, I don’t blame you), but it’s so worth it.

Here’s how to do it. Not hardly any different than those chicken breasts. Don’t have any Lindsay green olives? Check out my giveaway here!

Roasted Curried Chicken with Pistachio-Green Olive Stuffing

1 chicken, 3-4 lbs, patted dry (smaller is better here)

1 ½ T Madras curry powder

1 t salt

½ c roasted unsalted pistachios

2 medium garlic cloves

1 c Lindsay Naturals green olives

½ c raisins

1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix curry powder and salt together in a small bowl. Rub spice mix inside and out of the chicken, including between the skin and the breast meat.

Pulse pistachios in food processor until coarsely chopped and place in small bowl. Pulse garlic and olives in food processor until chopped (not finely). Stir in pistachios along with the raisins and olive oil.

Stuff the chicken with the stuffing. Secure legs with twine and tuck wings under the body, and place on a roasting pan.

Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to roast until juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, 40-60 minutes more. Transfer  to a carving board and tent with foil. Allow to rest 10 minutes and serve.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes

Curried Grilled Chicken Breast with Pistachio-Green Olive Stuffing (and a Giveaway!)

This summer has been hot. If you live in just about anywhere in the U.S. (Pacific Northwest excluded), you’d agree with me. We’ve been hitting 100 degrees or more for nearly a month straight here in North Texas, but we’re not alone – the heat seems to be causing us all quite a bit of discomfort across the country. The last thing a great many of us want to do when it’s so hot is turn the oven on, so we head out to the grill. I’ve definitely been taking advantage of our grill this summer – it seems that most every night I’m firing it up. In addition to keeping the kitchen cool, it’s definitely easier for cleanup. So when Wendy of Celiacs In The House invited me to participate in a Gluten-Free Summer Cooking Event with Lindsay Olives, I jumped at the chance.

I was inspired by the opportunity. I was to create a recipe using Lindsay Olives that involved summer grilling. I love olives. Not everyone in the house agrees – Brandan and I are the only ones that are interested in olives. But the Lindsay olives were different. They were less briny, and more buttery than the typical green olives. These olives would pair perfectly with some unlikely companions, I decided – madras curry, pistachios, and raisins.

I opted to make a stuffing with the olives, combining pistachios, garlic, and raisins, and rolling chicken breasts seasoned with the curry around the stuffing. Secured with a toothpick, the rolled chicken breasts held the stuffing quite well, even through turning on the grill. The presentation on the plate was quite a bit “fancier” than what is typically served at our house, but the beauty of the dish was that it was simple to make. I could find many an excuse to make this again and again over the coming months. It’s a great dish for company (or even for making your family feel special). A bonus? Even my husband and my sister (she was visiting one night when I trialed the stuffing), who both typically snub olives, enjoyed the stuffing.

Because I enjoyed these olives so much (Thank you, Lindsay Olives, for sending them to me!), and because Lindsay Olives must be in a particularly generous mood, I’m also giving away a sampler of Lindsay Olives Naturals and Re-closeables to a lucky winner! To enter, leave me a comment telling me what you’d like to make with Lindsay Olives. The giveaway will end Saturday, July 30, 2011, so hurry!

And now, onto the recipe:

Curried Grilled Chicken Breast with Pistachio-Green Olive Stuffing

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 ½ T Madras curry powder

1 t salt

½ c roasted unsalted pistachios

2 medium garlic cloves

1 c Lindsay Naturals green olives

½ c raisins

1 T olive oil

Place a chicken breast under a piece of plastic wrap and pound until about ½ – ¾ inch thick with the bottom of a heavy skillet or saucepan. Repeat with each breast.

Pulse pistachios in food processor until coarsely chopped and place in small bowl. Pulse garlic and olives in food processor until chopped (not finely). Stir in pistachios along with the raisins and olive oil.

Mix curry powder and salt together in a small bowl. Season each chicken breast with a generous amount of the spice mix. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the pistachio-olive mixture into the center of each breast. Carefully roll up the breast to encase the stuffing, and secure with a toothpick or two.

Prepare grill for indirect heat – if gas grill, turn all burners to high and close the lid. When the temperature reaches 400 degrees, lift the lid and turn off half of the burners. The area over the turned-off burners is the indirect heat area. If using a charcoal grill, light briquettes and let burn until covered with ash. Mound them on one side of the grill. The area over the section with no coals is the indirect heat area.

Brush the grates in the indirect heat area with oil. Place chicken down on the oiled grates. Close lid on gas grill. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken, close lid and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Check for doneness, and if necessary, turn again grill until chicken is cooked through and the stuffing is hot. Remove and cover loosely with foil to allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes

Easy Sardine Salad – The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen (Giveaway!)

A while back, Skyhorse Publishing contacted me about a book to review. The publicist told me that a great majority of the recipes in the book were naturally gluten-free, but were also approachable to any guest at the dinner table. Her recommendation and the title of the book drew me in. The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen – Glorious Meals Pure and Simple, by Levana Kirschenbaum. The majority of my cooking is 100% whole foods, so this sounded like a perfect addition to my cookbook collection (which currently has outgrown all available bookshelf space, and is now occupying some pantry shelf space, as well as space above my kitchen cabinets, and there are more without a home right now. I may have a problem…). I readily agreed to review the book, and asked for some additional copies to share with you all in a giveaway. Of course, they agreed!  

This book was just as was described to me. There are countless delicious, mouth-watering, healthy recipes made from real, whole food ingredients in this book. Homemade harissa? Curried apple kale soup? Moroccan turkey patties in lemon sauce? Just hearing those recipes makes me hungry. I currently have about a dozen recipes bookmarked in this book to make. But late one evening, when I was on my own for dinner, I decided to whip up a super-easy recipe for sardine salad.

Sardines, you ask? Aren’t those the gross little canned whole fishes? Okay, before you click away, hear me out. To many, sardines are a bit off-putting. I understand that. But they sure pack a nutritional punch. For people like me who can’t consume dairy, there aren’t many calcium-rich foods out there. But sardines are an exception. They pack nearly half of the daily requirement of calcium, thanks to those tiny edible bones. They’re also a great source of protein and omega-3s. For the price (a can of sardines costs about a dollar), they are one of those “must-have” budget foods in your pantry. If you’re skeptical about the taste, this salad is a great way to start. The tahini, lemon, and greens cut the “pungent” flavor of the fish, and when you’re mixing the ingredients together, you won’t see the skin and bones of the sardines. If you try it, you just might find these little fishes to be to your liking. While I’ve long adored sardines (particularly in another salad recipe I found over at City|Life|Eats), this recipe further established my love for them. It definitely was the perfect light meal.

Sardine Salad, from The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, reprinted with permission

2 cans sardines, skin and bones on, oil and all

1/4 c tahini (sesame paste)

4 scallions, sliced very thin

Juice of 2 lemons, or a little more to taste

Ground pepper to taste

Splash of bottled hot sauce

4 cups very finely chopped romaine, watercress, or sprouts, or a combination (I used spinach)

Mash the sardines with their oil and the tahini with a fork in a bowl. Add the scallions, lemon juice, pepper, and hot sauce and combine thoroughly. Fold in the greens and mix. Makes 8 servings. (of course, I ate more than 1 serving as a main meal…)

And now, the giveaway. I am giving away two copies of The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen by Levana Kirschenbaum, courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing. To enter, leave me a comment.

To gain additional entries, post about this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook, and come back and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The giveaway will end Sunday, July 31, 2011.

Good luck!

20 Comments

Filed under Appetizers, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Salads, Seafood

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

A few weeks ago, my husband surprised me. Little did I know he’d been tucking away money, but he sat me down, whipped out some cash, and told me that it was for a new VitaMix. I nearly cried, I was so excited. I ordered it right away, and it arrived at my doorstep a few days later.

Of course, the first things I made with it were my morning smoothies. No real recipe there – often I toss a fruit or two, some spinach, some protein powder, and give it a whirl. But now, the smoothies are creamy. No more chewing bits of spinach! This Blueberry Spinach Mint Smoothie is even more of a delight in my new blender. Lately, I’ve been throwing fresh, ripe peaches in the blender and making creamy peachy concoctions. Delish.

But the VitaMix can do so much more than just make smoothies. You can actually “cook” soup in the blender – just blend on high speed for a few minutes, and I promise you, your soup will come out creamy, smooth, and HOT! It’s amazing. But it can also blend batters for baked goods. My first attempt? A chocolate zucchini muffin – without the addition of oils.

I wanted a little treat for breakfasts that wouldn’t be too rich, too sweet, or too indulgent. This muffin definitely delivers. You’d never know there was zucchini in the batter, as the VitaMix takes care of all of those little pieces. The muffin is denser than some, but I found it really enjoyable. Just the right amount of texture for a good, hearty muffin.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

1/4 c brown rice flour (30 grams)

1/4 c potato starch (35 grams)

1/2 c sorghum flour (60 grams)

1 t baking soda

1/2 t baking powder

2 T cocoa powder (12 grams)

1/4 t guar gum

1/4 t salt

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t allspice

1/4 c egg whites

1 t vanilla extract

2/3 c coconut palm sugar (100 grams)

2 c coarsely chopped zucchini (255 grams)

1/2 c chopped pecans

1/2 c raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with papers.

Combine brown rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, guar gum, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Whisk until completely blended.

Place egg whites, vanilla, coconut palm sugar, and zucchini into blender and secure lid. Select Variable 1, then turn machine on and quickly increase speed. Blend for 15 seconds or until everything looks uniform. Stop blender and add dry ingredients. Secure lid and continue to blend for 20 seconds or until everything is uniform. If necessary, use tamper to press any ingredients into the blades.

Stop machine and pour mixture into large bowl. Mix in nuts and raisins by hand. Spoon into muffin papers 2/3 of the way full. Bake 16-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes 1 dozen.

This post is linked to Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten-Free, hosted at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.

18 Comments

Filed under breakfast, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Daring Cooks: Handmade Gluten-Free Fettucine with Basil-Walnut Pesto

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks’ July hostess.  Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine.  She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with.

Of course, those recipes were merely inspiration for my dish. I went off to find my own gluten-free pasta recipe. I’ve made gluten-free pasta only once before (an egg-yolk ravioli that was tasty, but my pasta was too thick and heavy), so this was still a relatively new experience for me. I wanted to make sure I made it thin and light this time around. I wanted it to be delicious. Lucky for me, Shauna over at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef made pasta just a few days before I did. Her pasta was beautiful, and I loved the way she opted to incorporate psyllium husk to increase the flexibility/stretchiness of the dough. I’ve been using psyllium husk a lot more lately in my baking, and am enjoying the results. I was sold.

I wanted the flavor and texture of the pasta to shine through, so I wanted a sauce that wouldn’t overwhelm or cause the dish to be too heavy. After all, we’ve had temperatures at 100 degrees or more for nearly two weeks now, so a lighter dish was definitely a plus. My garden is overflowing with basil, so I opted for a fresh, bright, dairy-free pesto. Basil is one of those herbs that just screams summer to me. It was the perfect compliment to my pasta.

The pasta was somewhat finicky to make – rolling it thin wasn’t much of an issue, however, I had a bit of trouble with it breaking while rolling. After a bit of practice and patience, though, I fell into a rhythm. It started to work. I now understand why so many people love making pasta. It’s as soothing as making bread – a slow, repetitive, and strangely comforting process. I started to fall in love myself.

Once the pasta was all rolled and cut, the rest of the process was easy. Glazing the walnuts in the maple syrup, and then a quick blitz in the food processor, and the pesto was finished. The pasta took only 2 minutes to cook. A quick toss, and we were more than ready to eat.

So eat we did.

 

Gluten-Free Fettucine, adapted from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

3 oz white bean flour

3 oz millet flour

3 oz potato starch

1 t psyllium husk powder

1 t kosher salt

1 large egg

4 egg yolks from large eggs

1 to 2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 T water

Combine the flours, psyllium powder, nutmeg, and salt in the bowl of the food processor to combine the flours. Mix the egg, egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the water. Pour the liquid into the flours. Run the food processor on pulse 8 to 10 times, then look at the dough. If the dough has formed crumbs that stay together when pressed, you’re done. If they are a little too dry, add the remaining olive oil, then pulse, look, then add more water, if necessary. If the dough looks a bit too wet, add another tablespoon of flour.

Turn out onto a dry, clean surface. Gather into a ball with your hands and press together. Once a ball is formed, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Cut ball of dough into 4 pieces. Lightly flour your working surface with any of the flours you used for the pasta. Roll out one of the pieces of dough in a rectangle until very thin, as thin as you can get it without breaking. Cut with a pizza cutter into strips, carefully placing each strip onto a plate. Cover the cut pasta with a damp cloth as you go.

To cook the pasta, bring a large, well-salted pot of water to a boil. Carefully lower your pasta into the water and cook for 2 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through but still retains some bite. Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil, then your sauce/pesto.

Serves 4.

Vegan Basil-Walnut Pesto

1 1/2 c walnuts

1 T maple syrup

1 T olive oil

1 1/2 c fresh basil leaves, packed

1 1/2 c fresh parsley leaves, packed

2 1/2 T nutritional yeast flakes

juice of 1 large orange

7 cloves garlic, peeled

1 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

1 t brown rice vinegar

In a small skillet at medium heat, add the walnuts, maple syrup, and olive oil. Cook, stiring slowly for 2-3 minutes or until syrup clings to the walnuts and starts to caramelize. Remove and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add basil, parsley, nutritional yeast, orange juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and brown rice vinegar and pulse, scraping the bowl as you go, until everything is finely chopped, but not a uniform paste. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

12 Comments

Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Pasta, Vegetarian