Sweet Potato Curry Lentil Soup

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When I first started this blog (a year ago this month! Wow, time flies!) I maintained a pretty good balance of posting both recipes and crafts. Lately I’m realizing that as my squishy baby becomes less squishy and more of little marathon runner/mountain climber in-training, I’ve defaulted to a lot of my go-to recipes – things that are tried and true and can be prepared either with one hand as Baby P “helps” or that I can prepare in the time it takes him to finish his own dinner while he is confined to his high chair, lol. The other night when I was meal planning for this week and scanning through my “tried and true” Pinterest board, I kept coming across my own original recipes and became determined to test out one of the many recipes that I’ve been cooking up in my head recently but haven’t had the time to actually try out. So that is how I came to whip up this delicious Indian-inspired soup, perfect for a chilly fall or winter day! Aside from the fact that I love a jazzed-up spin on an old classic like lentil soup, I also love that this could totally be a “pantry-meal” a.k.a. something you could make using items that you already have on hand which makes it SUPER easy and super cheap as well. Two final and super important benefits of this recipe is that it is both super healthy and freezable! I made a big batch so that I was able to freeze the half we didn’t eat and simply heat it up for a quick meal another night.

SWEET POTATO CURRY LENTIL SOUP

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large tomato diced (or substitute 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes)
  • 8-10 cups chicken or vegetable broth OR 8-10 cups water and 2 Tbsp. bullion or chicken/vegetable base
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: In a dutch oven or large pot heat the olive oil and add in garlic, onions, carrots and celery and cook until just soft.

Step 2: Add in diced tomatoes and spices, season with salt and pepper and allow to cook for about 2 minutes then stir in lentils and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 35-45 minutes until lentils are cooked and sweet potatoes are soft.

Step 3: If you like your soups really chunky you can omit this step but I use an immersion blender to blend the soup up a bit, leaving some chunks but so that the smoothness of the portion of blended potatoes and lentils give the illusion of a heavier soup even though this is a light recipe. NOTE: If you don’t have an immersion blender simply ladle about 2-4 cups of soup into a regular blender or food processor, blend and then return that to the pot with the rest of the soup.

Meal Planning – Week of August 10th

This week was pretty easy as far as our meals went. Since the weather finally dealt us some non-stormy cards we were excited to get back outside and grill! As usual I tried to plan my meals so that the components of the first few meals could work easily into the meals later in the week, after all less prep work for Mama means a happier squishy baby :).

SUNDAY // Chicken Sushi Rolls with Bacon and Red Pepper Aioli – this is one of my original recipes and one of our new favorites. Since it takes a bit longer to prepare than our weeknight meals we prefer to make this one on a weekend day so that we can spend a little extra time preparing it together.

MONDAY // Shredded Beef Fajita Quesadillas – These were just a quick little something I whipped up using the left over beef from my Beef Barbacoa Tacos that we made on Friday. I simply used burrito sized tortillas, shredded cheddar cheese, sauteed onions and peppers, black beans and corn. Not only did using the left over beef help me stretch a buck, I saved some time by sauteing a large batch of peppers and onions so that I could use the extra in our Skinny Cheese Steak Sammies on Wednesday!

TUESDAY // BBQ Bacon and Chicken Kabobs – I used 4 cubed chicken breasts, two red peppers, 6 strips of bacon sliced into 2″ pieces, two onions cut into quarters and separated, threaded them onto metal skewers sprinkled with salt and pepper and basted with barbecue sauce before grilling. I grilled them until the chicken was cooked through and the bacon was crispy, basting a few extra times during the cooking process. Not only are these delicious but they are easy to prepare and a fun twist on regular chicken kabobs.

WEDNESDAY // Skinny Cheese Steak Sammies – This is my personal take on the traditional Philly Cheese Steak. I use sliced grilled skirt steak to keep the meal low cost, sauteed peppers and onions (the ones that were left over from my quesadillas), thin sliced provalone cheese (in place of cheese sauce to keep it light), broiled on a hoagie roll with some homemade chipotle mayo.

THURSDAY // Greek Salad Wraps – I grilled a few chicken breasts using my Quick Greek Marinade then cubed them and served all of the components of a Greek salad in a wrap – red onions, yellow peppers, sliced kalmata olives, sliced grape tomatoes, spring mix lettuce and feta cheese with Greek style dressing. This is my simple way of making a meal out of a simple Greek salad!

FRIDAY // Grilled Shrimp Tacos – This was an easy fix that I kind of made up by using ingredients I already had on hand. Since I always keep a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer it’s easy to pull some out as needed. I marinated the shrimp in a bit of lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili powder then grilled them on skewers. I then served them in 6″ tortillas with a bit of chipotle mayo and spring mix lettuce (both left over from meals earlier in the week).

SATURDAY // Ordered In 🙂 – Since Saturday was our DIY day we ordered a pizza so we continued to craft the night away 🙂

Check out all of my favorite recipes on my “Tried and True” Pinterest board!

Greek Sliders

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Not so surprisingly I decided to come up with another Greek inspired recipe this week 🙂 We were coming off of an awful eight day rainy spell and were itching to get out and grill and since I usually always have feta and frozen spinach on hand, these Greek style sliders were easy to throw together. While I love a good, juicy burger when we’re out, I almost prefer to prepare them at home to both ensure that they are fresh (not frozen) and to save on our fat intake by using a leaner ground beef. I love these little sliders, once I get around to posting my Dad’s Greek meatball recipe you’ll see that the two recipes are very similar, however, since the meatballs are baked it’s nice to have a grilled variation in the form of a recipe so that we can switch it up! Additionally, I love a “fun” burger (I’d say “gourmet” but my use of cost saving ingredients somewhat prevents me from doing so, lol), so if you like these check out my recipe for Kitty’s Mediterranean Turkey Burgers (I use the same Lemon Dill Sauce on these burgers!) and keep an eye out for more burger recipes to come 🙂

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Squishy baby wishing he could try one of the yummy sliders! Actually, I’m not even sure if this picture is from that day but he is just so cute I had to share it anyway 😛

GREEK SLIDERS (makes 12)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef (I used 93% lean)
  • 5 oz. chopped frozen spinach
  • 3/4 cup feta crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped Italian Parsley
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced (yellow, white or red is fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper 
  • Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Prepare frozen spinach according to package directions. Once spinach has cooked squeeze out any excess water by either wrapping it in a clean dish towel and squeezing out the excess liquid or placing the spinach in a strainer and pressing with a dish towel or large spoon. 

Step 2: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand until just combined, do not over mix. slid1

Step 3: Form 12 small patties of equal size (or 6 regular sized burgers if you prefer not to do sliders) and brush with olive oil. Grill to desired degree of doneness (is that a word? lol) and enjoy! I serve mine up on mini buns with Lemon Dill Sauce (this time I didn’t have any fresh dill on hand so I just used dry, no big dill lol).

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Meal Planning – Week of July 27th

Okay, as I suspected I would be a little behind in posting my weekly meal plans, but I’ll hurry and get this one up so I can catch up! This particular week was pretty simple as our meals went, we even got to dine out on a weekday since J’s Aunt Maryann and Uncle Ron came by for a visit and treated us to dinner 🙂 Since I was going to be doing some extra cooking for a baby shower I was hosting, I planned this week’s meals accordingly, using some of our favorite no-fuss meals.

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This menu isn’t totally accurate since we ended up not dining out Saturday 🙂 If you like my menu, check out this pic’s link to my DIY Menu Chalkboard!

SUNDAY // Homemade California Rolls – lately we have been making homemade sushi! We have been loving our sushi nights, particularly because it’s a fun meal for us to prepare together. I will update this post with the details of our sushi recipe and method soon, but for now it’s pretty straight forward. For this meal, we prepared a simple California roll using imitation crab meat, cucumber, carrots and avocado, but also added some mango and spicy mayo!

Not bad for our first time!

Not bad for our first time!

MONDAY // Dinner Out

TUESDAY // Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps – we are a big fan of these, as they are super healthy and easy to prepare! A bonus is that they make a great re-heat for lunch the next day and sometimes we even eat it served over rice or noodle instead of in the lettuce wraps. We will usually make a double batch so we get lots of left overs!

WEDNESDAY // Slow Cooker Pepper Steak – I love almost anything prepared in the slow cooker but I especially love this meal as it is easy and super delicious. To save money I will often use a thin sliced top round or chuck in place of sirloin.

THURSDAY // Quinoa Black Bean Veggie Burgers – these are one of my absolute favorites, hands down! A bonus was having my hubby love them as well, as he tends not to be a fan of veggie burgers. I know so many vegetarian recipes claim that “you won’t even miss the meat” but in this case it is 100% true. J’s boss even asked him for the recipe, haha.

FRIDAY // Appetizers – I was so stuffed from eating appetizers at the baby shower (I’ll link that post to this one as soon as I write it) that I had no desire to eat dinner and J had no problem gobbling up the left overs as well, lol.

SATURDAY // Gnocchi with Sausage and Spinach – this was just a little something I came up with while trying to think of a way to jazz up a plain package of Trader Joe’s gnocchi. I decided to do a healthy non-soup version of Olive’s Garden’s Zuppa Tuscano (the cream based soup with gnocchi, sausage and spinach). I loved that I was able to incorporate the “cauliflower alfredo” sauce into the recipe since it is one of my favorite things ever!

Check out all of my favorite recipes on my “Tried and True” Pinterest board!

Meal Planning – Week of July 20th

So I know I had previously mentioned that I would try and post my weekly meal plans, both for the benefit of anyone that cares and for me to refer back to when trying to plan future weekly meals. Anyone that has tried to stick to a strict budget while maintaining a healthy diet knows the challenges that this combo can pose. In our house we don’t follow any particular diet plan, we just try to eat mostly healthy meals prepared by healthful methods of cooking. I plan on creating a separate post regarding our budget, but we try to stick to a strict $50.00/week grocery budget (this doesn’t include household goods like cleaners, toilet paper and other non-food items available at the grocery store, only food). We also don’t buy lunch food, I just prepare large enough dinner meals that reheat and pack well so that they can be eaten for lunch by both myself and J the following day. Personally, I am always looking for new dinner ideas (a big reason I waste so much time on Pinterest, haha), so the purpose of these “meal planning” posts will mainly be to share some new meal/recipe ideas with my friends, followers and fam! If I can be as diligent as I hope to be with these weekly posts, I plan to eventually make a whole “meal planning” category. 

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The menu, as displayed in our home 🙂 I ended up replacing “summer quiche” with another recipe, however, I will be posting that soon! Check out this pic’s link to my “DIY menu chalkboard”!

SUNDAY // Chicken Cordon Bleu – I stretched a buck by purchasing a large package of chicken breasts and using them in both this meal and my Panini recipe below. Instead of spending the extra money on thin sliced breasts, I slice the large breasts and pound them thin myself.

MONDAY // Fried Rice – I love this recipe! It really is very close to “restaurant quality” as the creator claims it to be and it’s super cheap to prepare! I added some roast pork that I had left over from one of our weekend meals but usually I’ll just add extra scrambled eggs as the protein element. 

TUESDAY // Almond Crusted Shrimp – Prepared in the same fashion as my Almond Crusted Flounder, so simple and delicious and I only use a little bit of oil to fry them up but if you’re trying to be super healthy you could always bake them. 

WEDNESDAY // Baked Felafel – This is one of my favorite recipes! I serve it with my Skinny Tzatziki and yellow rice. I always double this recipe so that we will have enough for lunch the following day. I also tend to add a little extra flour, my mixture is always a little looser than hers looks in her prep pics. 

THURSDAY // Grilled Chicken & Summer Veggie Paninis – This was simple as grilling up some thin sliced chicken breasts, zucchini and summer squash. I like to use veggies in our cooking that I can also steam up and serve to baby P. I finished it off with some sliced gouda (I bought the cheap Sargento slices, well, because they’re cheap, lol, but also because they melt quickly) and some of my simple Red Pepper Aioli that I always keep on hand. Instead of using artisan breads for my paninis I instead buy a loaf of Italian bread, cut it into thirds and slice it (digging a little out of the middles before forming the sandwiches), they crisp up nice and cost as little as $1 for a loaf! 

FRIDAY // Grilled Steak Rolls – This was the first time we tried this recipe and we loved it! We used a cheap cut of thin sliced top round beef and a combo of peppers, onions, zucchini and summer squash. Instead of balsamic glaze we substituted teriyaki sauce to give it an Asian flare, it reminded me a lot of beef negimaki (little beef and asparagus rolls served in a lot of Japanese restaurants).   

SATURDAY // Since we had a birthday party to attend this was our night “out” but typically we will choose one night of the week to either order in or go out to a restaurant, just to give me a break from cooking 🙂

Check out all my favorite recipes on my “Tried and True” Pinterest board!

Almond Crusted Flounder

I should really entitle this post “Almond Crusted Anything” but since my favorite preparation of this recipe is with flounder I will name it as such. I love this recipe because it is so simple and with the exception of pan frying (although you could always bake it!), is extremely healthy! It is so hard to get my hubby to eat any seafood besides shrimp and since I love seafood so much I feel like doing cartwheels anytime I get a thumbs up on a fish recipe, lol. I have had almond crusted or pecan crusted flounder at restaurants before and absolutely loved it, so when I decided I wanted to attempt to make it at home my original plan was to just find a recipe online and go for it. The problem was that so many of the recipes I came across included some pretty weird ingredients or wanted you to combine breadcrumbs with the crushed nuts and I wanted it to be simply almond crusted in order to achieve that really wholesome nutty flavor. So after deeming Pinterest useless on this one (gasp! lol) I decided to just use pulverized almonds as the breading on my flounder, figuring that it would work seeing as how I recently buzzed up some oats and used those in place of oat flour, same idea right? The finished product was amazing! I’m sure everyone is sitting there like “umm, duh! You know a million people have probably done that before, right?” lol, but hey it’s new to me so I’m thrilled to have figured it out and to be able to try it out on all different seafood and meats from this point forward! I don’t really pay as much attention as I should to eating “whole” so when it happens by accident and is this delicious I like to give myself a big ol’ pat on the back 🙂

p.s. sorry for the lack of pictures this time! Since I was expecting this to be a complete fail I didn’t document the cooking process at all but I will update this post with pictures just as soon as I make it again which I promise will be very soon!

ALMOND CRUSTED FLOUNDER (makes 4 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pieces of flounder, skin and bones removed
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • canola or vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Start by blending your almonds to a fine consistency (mine was a little more coarse than flour but any consistency will likely do, if you prefer your breading to be a little more coarse go for it), I did so by using a coffee grinder as I think it is the easiest way. You can always use your food processor if you don’t have a coffee grinder, I just hate having to lug that giant thing out 🙂

Step 2:  In a medium sized dish beat the two eggs with about a tablespoon of water. In a separate bowl of similar size, season the flour with salt and pepper (about a 1/2 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp. of salt will probably do but it all depends on your preference).

Step 3: Now you are ready to bread your fillets. Working one at a time, coat each piece of flounder with flour then dip into the egg mixture and finally into the crushed almonds.

Step 4: Once all of your fillets have been breaded, heat the butter and oil (about 2 tbsp. or enough to coat the bottom of the pan) in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once your butter/oil mixture is heated place the fillets into the pan (if you do not have a large enough pan just work in batches, switching out the oil and butter if it becomes too brown) and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until almond crusting is crispy and browned. Enjoy!

If you are looking for a lighter preparation of this meal try spraying with a bit of cooking spray and baking at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. If you don’t like flounder try on another firm white fish or on shrimp, scallops or chicken!

Skinny Crockpot Broccoli & Cheese Chicken Chowder

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As usual I have a million projects going on and have a bunch of recipes from the last few weeks that I’ve been meaning to post, each of which I’m super excited to share with you, but since it’s a rainy, gloomy day on my end (as it was when I came up with this recipe) this soup recipe seems fitting. Now as you can imagine, soup is rarely on our menu during these summer months when it feels like it’s nine million degrees outside, but as I previously stated, every now and again we’ll get a dreary day that warrants a soup fix. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I love Panera’s broccoli cheese soup, but being that I really have no business eating anything in its full-fat form until I reach my goal weight, I’ve been forced to explore healthier soup options and this inspired me to come up with a “skinny” version of broccoli cheese soup (and I already had the ingredients on hand).

So upon hunkering down for fake hurricane Arthur, lol, I prepped this recipe and threw it in the crockpot, I decided to add chicken in order to satisfy my hubby’s need for a “meal” (we often disagree on whether or not pasta or soup without meat constitute a meal, I say yes, he says no way, lol) and because I had two chicken breasts left over from the yummy crockpot chicken fajitas I had made a few nights prior. This soup was super easy and was a huge hit! The chicken makes it hearty so you’re less likely to miss the heavy cream and extra cheese. Speaking of heavy, I actually now find myself to prefer the “skinny” version of many recipes, because while comfort food is delicious I tend to feel like a sluggish blob after finishing a meal, where as after enjoying the skinnier version I find myself feeling satisfied but less blob-like 🙂 If you’re a broccoli cheese soup fan try this one out and let me know what you think, it’s super easy (thank you, crockpot!) to throw together andeasy on the wallet as well! In your face, Panera (just kidding, I love you lol)!     

SKINNY CROCKPOT BROCCOLI & CHEESE CHICKEN CHOWDER

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped broccoli (or use fresh) 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. (or 2 cubes) chicken flavored bullion (I had the granulated version on hand)
  •  1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Add cubed chicken, diced carrots, diced onions, bullion, black pepper, garlic powder and thyme to the crockpot (if using fresh broccoli add at this point as well), and set to high for 4 hours, adding frozen broccoli when there is about 1 hour remaining.

before

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before adding cream and cheese

before adding cream and cheese

 

Step 2:  Once time is up add the half-and-half, shredded cheese and corn starch (use some liquid from the pot to dissolve the corn starch before adding it to the pot so that it won’t clump up) and stir to combine. Cook on high for an additional 30-45 minutes. Enjoy! I was too lazy to whip out the emersion blender, but if you like a less chunky soup, blend it up a bit. I served mine with some shredded cheese and crackers, not bad for a two step cooking process, huh? 🙂

I didn't puree mine and it was great, feel free to give yours a buzz if you want it to be a smoother soup :)

I didn’t puree mine and it was great, feel free to give yours a buzz if you want it to be a smoother soup 🙂

Banana Nutella Protein Muffins

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As so many men are, my husband has been blessed with a super fast metabolism and needs to eat a TON to keep from losing weight (must be nice huh? I eat one crab rangoon and am bloated for a week, lol). Given this fact, I am always looking for creative and healthy ways to provide J with snacks throughout the day in addition to the lunches (yes, multiple lunches – why can’t failure to gain weight be my problem? lol) I pack him, because if he were to buy all of his meals/snacks at work we would literally have zero money, haha. I’ve had a lot of success with sending him with “protein balls” (we’re a big fan of this recipe for no bake energy bites) or little egg muffins (I’ll post my version of this recipe soon!), but we’re always looking to switch it up. Since he prefers his pre and post workout meals to be something quick and not too heavy, I decided to create a recipe for flourless protein muffins. In coming up with this recipe, I adapted it from several that I viewed online, just omitted flour and added extra egg whites and nutella since I had it on hand (and who doesn’t love nutella?). Well, I whipped up a few batches during the fake Independence Day hurricane while we were stuck in the house, and J gave me the thumbs up! Granted he will eat anything, but I tried one myself and really like it, you won’t even miss the flour in the recipe (probably because of the yummy nutella lol). Needless to say these went right into the snack rotation for the next work week, since they will keep in a ziplock bag or container for about 3-4 days, I am able to make a large batch on Sunday and have them ready to go for the week. Try these out in place of your protein or power bar, as they are super high in protein and are much more cost effective!

BANANA NUTELLA PROTEIN MUFFINS (MAKES 6)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup Nutella (sub peanut butter or another form of nut butter if you wish)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (or vanilla, whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 Tsp. baking powder

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix all ingredients together until smooth. 

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Step 2: Line a muffin tin with six cupcake or muffin liners (I use the foil ones) and fill each about 3/4 of the way with muffin batter.

I didn't use muffin liners for my first batch but will from now on for easy clean up.

I didn’t use muffin liners for my first batch but will from now on for easy clean up.

Step 3: Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops are no longer gooey and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Enjoy!  

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Grilled Thai Tacos with Peanut Sauce

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So the weather has been getting progressively nicer, creeping into the high seventies and finally into the eighties today! Southern summer is in full swing (must have blinked and missed spring, lol). Needless to say with the exception of rainy days (and even on some of those too lol), I plan to prepare most of our meals on the grill. As I’ve said before I like to switch up our protein intake during the week (chicken and beef get boring), so I always keep frozen shrimp on hand. Since the nearest Thai restaurant is about 35 mins away (not to mention, the nearest payday is about a week away lol) I decided to satisfy my craving for some Thai with a little homemade Asian fusion in the form of Thai tacos! After a busy day of baby-birthday-partying and errands, us Schulzes reconvened at home to throw together a quick marinate for our shrimp before heading to the park so J could see baby P swinging on the swings like a big boy for the first time (awwwww!). Upon arriving back home we shuffled P off to bed (6 pm sharp lol am I a lucky mom or what!?) then J and I fired up the grill and whipped up a quick peanut sauce for these DELICIOUS Thai tacos, which were ready in 15 mins flat! These were another winner, and like so many of my other recipes, made with mostly pantry ingredients. If you like Thai/Asian inspired food, definitely throw these on the menu, they are quick and easy, can be made with any form of protein and like my hubby says “anything with peanut sauce is good!”.

First things first, how cute is baby P on the swings!?

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Okay, now that you’ve had your squishy baby fill, here’s the recipe 🙂

GRILLED THAI TACOS WITH PEANUT SAUCE

TIPS 

  • Use a store bought peanut sauce if you are in a rush.
  • Switch it up: use the sweet chili marinade as the sauce and the peanut sauce as the marinade.
  • The recipe for the peanut sauce makes quite a few servings, freeze the other helpings in smaller portions and thaw in the fridge the night before making this recipe the next time (because there will be MANY next times 🙂 ) or use with other Thai dishes (satay anyone? yummmm).

For Thai Tacos:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. frozen shrimp (feel free to use fresh shrimp or any other protein for that matter)
  • 2 Tbsp. Chili Garlic Sauce (available in oriental section of most grocery stores, feel free to use any chili paste or sauce or if you prefer a non-spicy dish use red curry paste instead)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 cups shredded napa or other cabbage
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced (for garnish, optional)
  • 6-8 flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup peanut sauce (store bought or see recipe below)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Defrost your shrimp by placing in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes, then remove shells and tails (if not already cleaned). If you are using another protein disregard this step.
  2. Meanwhile, combine chili sauce, honey, lime juice and sesame oil in a freezer bag.thai
  3. Add shrimp or other protein to bag and allow to marinate 30 mins or overnight (for shrimp or fish marinate only about 30 mins).
  4. Preheat grill or grill pan.
  5. Skewer your shrimp and grill for about 4 mins on each side or until pink.thai1thai2
  6. Heat your tortillas on the grill or for a few seconds in the microwave, then assemble your tacos by placing a few grilled shrimp topped with cabbage and a drizzle of peanut sauce with green onions for garnish. Enjoy!thai3

For Peanut Sauce:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (about 1/2 can)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 tsp. chili sauce or siracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to combine.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
  3. Allow to simmer for about 10 mins until slightly reduced and thickened.
  4. Serve with above recipe or any other thai dish! Note: this will make several servings, I divide them and freeze in small sandwich bags for later use.

Healthy Mini Summer Chicken Pot Pies

potpie

After coming off of a super fun long Easter weekend with my hubby and squishy baby, it was sad to lose J to another dreaded full week of work, lol. Luckily P and I were able to fill our time with lots of outdoorsy things since it was in the high 70s all week! We even got to host our own little belated Easter egg hunt and picnic in our backyard and it was a huge hit  with our baby and mommy friends. Since the weather was going to be questionable today, I figured it would be the perfect time to give the grill a break and try out my idea for a “summer” chicken pot pie recipe. I don’t dabble in paleo (no pasta or potatoes, is that a sick joke!? lol) but apparently cauliflower based everything is all the rage for those folks, so a few weeks ago I gave the cauliflower “alfredo” sauce a go and it was AMAZING (and freezes well which gave me the opportunity to use my left over sauce in tonight’s recipe!). When I triumphantly posted my cauliflower dish on Facebook, a friend of mine had suggested using the sauce as a base in a chicken pot pie – genius! Even without the heavy cream-based sauce I still felt that chicken pot pie was a little heavy a dish for the beautiful weather we have been having so I decided to lighten it up a tad more by using zucchini and summer squash in the veggie mix (plus squash and zucchini were next up for baby P to try food-wise so I was going to be buying them anyway). So tonight with J off early to hang with my sweet squishy (I know I’ve mentioned before how P does not like super involved recipes lol) I gave this recipe a go. Truthfully, I was a little worried that without the hearty sauce the finished product would be too watery and much less flavorful – I could not have been more wrong!!! This was a homerun to say the least, my hubby even said he liked it better than my regular pot pie recipe! I’m literally enjoying my second right now as I type because it was THAT good lol. These will without a doubt be going into our regular recipe rotation, they are hearty but not heavy and the leftovers even make perfect little lunches. If you’re looking for some almost-guilt-free summer comfort food, look no further (and let me know what ya think!).

 

HEALTHY MINI SUMMER CHICKEN POT PIES

*Recipe makes 6 mini pot pies, using 6 6oz ramekins. If you use 4 or 10oz ramekins your portions will vary.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced chicken (I used left over grilled chicken breasts)
  • 1 package frozen or refrigerated pie dough (mine came with 2)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 1 red potato, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  •  1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 cups Cauliflower Sauce (I used 1 head of cauliflower instead of the 3 that the recipe calls for, other than that I followed the recipe to the letter. If you are preparing the sauce specifically for this recipe just use an extra cup of the boiling vegetable broth in lieu of the starchy pasta water that is called for)
  • 1 egg + 1 tbsp. water

DIRECTIONS

  1. If your pie dough requires defrosting remove from the freezer, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Begin by dicing all of your vegetables and chicken.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   IMG_5787IMG_5788
  3. Heat the oil in a  large pan and add the onions, squash, zucchini, potato, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until veggies begin to soften (about 7-10 mins. The potatoes will still be hard, they will finish cooking in the oven).
  4. Once veggies begin to soften add frozen peas, corn and cauliflower sauce. Stir and allow mixture to heat through.
  5. Unroll your pie crusts and use one of your ramekins as a guide to cut around the edge of the ramekins and set aside.           IMG_5790    IMG_5792
  6. Add about a cup of the vegetable mixture to each of your ramekins (depending on the size of your ramekins this will vary). IMG_5791
  7. Lay each piece of pie dough over each ramekin then seal the edges using a fork (if your ramekin does not have a flat edge just disregard this step), then using a knife cut a few small slits in the top to vent each pie.IMG_5793IMG_5794
  8. Beat the egg and water and brush the tops of each mini pie, this will help them brown. IMG_5795
  9. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until tops are golden and filling I bubbling. IMG_5797
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 mins before serving, enjoy!!! IMG_5798