Coconuts for Easy Veggie Coconut Curry!

Coconuts for Easy Veggie Coconut Curry

A few weeks ago, after returning from an amazing tropical vacation in Belize with the Hubby and Fam, I decided to whip up this tropical dish to help keep that vacation high alive! I love all types of ethnic foods and different spices. However, please note, because some people get confused:  Just because something has spices, that does NOT mean it is spicy! This dish is loaded with healthy veggies and best of all, you can really make this dish your own by adding or subtracting the veggies that you like.  I loaded up this dish with tons of veggies, and because of that, I happened to have leftovers for days! So definitely note that this makes A LOT OF FOOD.

I adapted this dish from an AMAZING food blog called, The Minimalist Baker. Her dish looked so delicious, but I wanted to add noddles and more vegetables. But do check out her recipe if you want something more minimalist…hehe.

Coconuts for Easy Veggie Coconut Curry at speckledyellow.com

Now, the serving size is normally for 4, but because I added so many veggies and noodles, I would say this could easily serve 6 people.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 Bell Pepper
1 small head of Broccoli, diced
1/2 Small Green Cabbage, chopped
1 8oz can of Sliced Bamboo Shoots
2 Large Carrots, diced
1 Tiny Yellow Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tbsp curry powder
pinch cayenne powder
2 cans coconut milk
1 cup veggie stock
1 package of rice vermicelli noodles
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat a very large pot, saucepan, or wok over medium heat with 1 Tbsp coconut or olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, carrot, broccoli, cabbage, and red pepper. Cook, stirring often until softened 10-15 minutes. Add the bamboo shoots and cook for another 5 minutes.

2. Add in the curry powder, cayenne powder, veggie stock, coconut milk and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat a bit and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes. Taste and season more if needed!

3. While the curry is cooking, follow the directions on the back of package to cook the rice vermicelli noodles. (Most say to cover with hot water and let stand for 10-15 min).

4. You have two options for serving:
a. Serve the curry over the vermicelli noodles.
b. Mix the vermicelli noodles into the curry so they really take on all the spices and curry flavor! This is my favorite option. I    recommend mixing the noodles in with the curry and letting them sit and soak up all the flavors for a few moments before serving!

Coconuts for Easy Veggie Coconut Curry at speckledyellow.com

Coconuts for Easy Veggie Coconut Curry

Recipe adapted from the Minimalist Baker

Wild Rice Pilaf with Dried Cranberries and Pecans

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This is a perfect side dish to pair with any meal, lunch or dinner! I am not gonna lie, I ate this by itself for breakfast a few times because it’s just that good! The flavors are perfect for a Fall and Winter pallet, especially if you need a side dish for a Holiday dinner! This is super quick and easy and you can see below that I paired it with my Oven Baked Pecan-Crusted Dijon Chicken for a delightful dinner! This rice pilaf dish as yummy dried cranberries in it, and I am a big supporter of dried fruit in anything and everything, so any chance I get to add some, I will!

IMG_5076 Ingredients
* 4 cups chicken or veggie stock
* 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or vegan butter
* 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
* 23 large shallots, minced
* 2 cups wild rice or 2 cups short-grain brown rice and wild rice mixture (I use Lundberg Wild Blend Rice, picture below)
* 1/2 cup cranberries
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper

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Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Add the stock to a pot and simmer over medium-low heat.
3. In an over safe casserole or dutch oven melt the butter with the oil. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent about 2-3 minutes.
4. Then, stir in the stock, dried cranberries, bay leaf, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.
5. Bring to a simmer, stir and cover.
6. Next, transfer the casserole or dutch oven to the oven and bake until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender about 40-45 minutes.
7. Make sure to remove the bay leaf and thyme springs, if used, when the dish has finished cooking and prior to eating.
8. stir in the pecans and serve!

Original Recipe from Williams-Sonoma.com

Oven Baked Pecan-Crusted Dijon Chicken

Oven Baked Pecan-Crusted Dijon Chicken

This chicken dish it the ULTIMATE, MOST AMAZING chicken you will ever eat in your life!!!!! I made this pretty much every day for a week straight and then I shared the recipe with all of my friends. It is also a great dish if you are hosting a dinner party or having a friend or two over for dinner! I have also chopped up the chicken and put it on top of salad for a delicious chicken salad lunch recipe.

The dijon mustard keeps the chicken moist and adds delectable flavor, while the pecans and bread crumbs create a crispy crunch. Sometimes I feel like I am eating a healthier version of chicken fingers!  I paired this with my Wild Rice Pilaf With Dried Cranberries and Pecans which I will be posting next!

Oven Baked Pecan-Crusted Dijon Chicken

Ingredients
* 1 cup pecans, toasted
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs (make your own or purchase already made. I used gluten-free crumbs)
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or one pack (if the chicken breasts are large, I like to cut them in half to create a cutlet)
* 1/4 cup honey mustard
* 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
* salt and pepper to taste

Continue reading

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Healthy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup!

This soup is like a yummy sip of fresh Autumn air. It has a sweet buttery taste and is oh so fun to make! The buttery scent of the roasting butternut squash filled my kitchen with a lovely aroma. It was almost like I purchased a butternut squash Fall scented candle, but nope, just roasting one up in the oven! The mix of squash, green apple, and sage is just perfection, and the pumpkin seeds on top add a delectable crunch. Usually, you find these soups to have heavy cream, but the almond milk definitely did the trick and no cream was harmed in the making of this soup.

I have been eating this soup for practically the past two weeks. The first time I made it I wanted to drink it like a smoothie, and this week ,I have been dancing around the kitchen as I eat if for lunch everyday! It’s literally THAT GOOD! The husband seriously, seriously….seriously approves! At first he asked for just a little bit but I poured him a large bowl and he was convinced he wouldn’t finish it all. Well folks…he licked the bowl clean!!!!!!!!!

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup!

Ingredients

* 4 pound whole butternut squash
* 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Butter (or regular butter if you prefer)
* 1 medium Granny Smith apple
* 8 fresh sage leaves
* 2 large garlic cloves (instead you can use 1/2 medium yellow onion if so desire)
* 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth
* 2 1/2 cups water
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/3 cup almond milk (option: you can use heavy cream instead)
* 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (toasted or not toasted)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Grab the butternut squash. Heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes to make it soft. Chop off both ends then peel the butternut squash. Cut the squash lengthwise in half and scoop out the seeds.

3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the Earth Balance butter up so it’s melted. Place the squash onto the baking sheet cut-side up and brush the butter onto the squash coating all sides and in the center. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.

5. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium diced pieces. Get the garlic ready, or if you do not have a garlic press, chop it up into fine pieces. Melt the remaining tablespoon of Earth Balance butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, garlic (either the tiny chopped pieces, or use a garlic press), and sage, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

6. When the squash is ready, take it out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes. After it has cooled, dice it into 1-2 inch pieces and place into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and garlic. Stir gently, breaking up some of the butternut squash pieces.

7. Add the broth, water, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a medium simmer, stirring occasionally about every 15 minutes, and breaking up any large pieces of the squash. Next, remove from the heat and stir in the almond milk.

8. Finally, pour the ingredients into a blender until smooth. You may have to do this in batches if it does not all fit. (quick trick just in case: Remove the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and cover the space with a kitchen towel to allow steam to escape and prevent the blender lid from popping off). Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed and enjoy with some pumpkin seeds on top to add a flavorful crunch!

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup!Healthy Butternut Squash Soup!Healthy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup!

 

Recipe adapted from HERE

Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa and Peanut Sauce

Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa and Peanut Sauce

I can officially announce that this dish is a slice of tofu heaven! The past week, I kept seeing pictures of chicken lettuce wraps and then of course I started dreaming of chicken lettuce wraps. The delicious crunch of the lettuce and sweetness of the sauce; I just could not stop envisioning taking a massive delectable bite out of something sooo good but at the same time low carb!  However, I had tofu and no chicken at home. Well not to worry, I found this recipe from an adorable blog called, Cookie + Kate. It incorporates everything you could possible want in a healthy meal and  I give this a million thumbs up!

Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa and Peanut Sauce

Though I have to admit it, I made this during the summer when mangos were in peek season and oh so delicious. But even though it is Fall, we can still have an occasional burst of some summery food to remind us that summer will come again…..not for a while, but it will someday return! For now, this is a great light meal to have, especially if you have a tropical vacation coming up sometime soon!

Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa and Peanut Sauce

INGREDIENTS

Crispy Baked Tofu
* 1 (15 ounce) block of organic extra-firm tofu
* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari sauce
* 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch

Peanut Sauce
* 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
* 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
* 2 Tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari sauce
* 2 Tablespoons honey or agave nectar or maple syrup
* 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
* 1/2 lime, juiced
* 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

Mango Salsa
* 2 ripe mangos, diced
* 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
* 1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
* 1/2 lime, juiced
* (optional 1 jalapeño, minced)

EVERYTHING ELSE
* Large head of lettuce or even a head of green cabbage
* Optional: peanuts
Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa and Peanut Sauce

Click below for the recipe instructions and more pictures!  Continue reading

Quick and Easy Seasoned Lime Chicken

Quick and Easy Seasoned Lime Chicken

The quickest most perfect chicken ever! It gets me every time how delicious, easy, and quick it is! I’ll admit it, I may make this at a dinner party one day and tell everyone it took me hours to marinate and that I am a serious gourmet cook….Major LIE! These little suckers are like garlicy, zesty, perfectly spiced pieces of chicken. DELICIOUS! It is certainly in my rotation for what to cook each week, that’s for sure.

Ingredients:
Extra virgin olive oil
cilantro
2 limes
2 Medium/large garlic cloves
chili powder and/or paprika for sprinkling!

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Cooked just enough so each side has a nice golden color. The seasoning, lime, and garlic somehow add this amazing crispness that is ohhhh so good! This dish is definitely toss and go, and the type of recipe that you can chat, or just drink lots of wine while cooking and not mess it up! Hehe

Directions:

1. Cut the chicken into about 1 inch chunks.
2. Heat oil just enough to coat the entire bottom of the pan.
2. Toss in the chicken and cook on each side (WITHOUT MOVING) for 3 minutes on medium heat (depending on your stove) or until you start to see the cooked white part of the chicken starting to move about half way up the piece. When you flip the chicken it should be lightly browned and golden.
3. As the other side cooks:
a. sprinkling chili powder and/or some paprika to your liking (I sprinkled just enough to coat the chicken).
b. squeeze half a lime of the chicken.
4. Stir the chicken and squeeze the other half of the lime and add the garlic.
5. stir for a moment and then transfer to a dish.
6. Use the other lime to squeeze over the chicken to your liking. Quick and Easy Seasoned Lime Chicken

 

 
Quick and Easy Seasoned Lime Chicken

Lemony Lentil Soup

Lemony Lentil Soup

This soup reminds me of my Mom. Not that the soup looks like my Mom or anything like that, but she used to make a soup just like this and with every bite it’s a little piece of nostalgia! With her being a Vegetarian and being the main cook in the house, I grew up eating mostly lentils, tofu, beans, and vegetables. Her lentil soup had just the same amount of  zest and flavor as this one!

Lemony Lentil Soup

I thank my Mom for all my ways of healthy eating. My parents just visited us in Boston this past weekend, and my Mom and I got into a long conversation about how “healthy” eating tastes so normal to us. Our taste buds would much prefer that kale salad with tofu and sunflower seeds than a juicy hamburger. I know it’s so odd, right? My Dad would definitely have to disagree as he was rolling his eyes at us during this whole conversation. I guess you can say that if my body and organs could talk, they would congratulate my Mom and I on this healthy food preference, giving us the ‘healthy food eater’ medal of honor.

Well here it is, a healthy delicious soup that doesn’t actually have to taste “healthy” and it’s HUSBAND APPROVED!!

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp coconut oil (you can also use olive oil or sesame oil instead)
2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves or 4 small ones
1/2 tsp minced ginger
2 carrots chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp curry powder
7 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I use low sodium)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Click to see the directions!  Continue reading

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