Archive of ‘Dinner’ category

Easy Pasta With Zoodles

Zoodles Gluten Free Pasta Spaghetti

I never have become a fan of any gluten free noodles i’ve tried. I’ll have them if I am at a restaurant but don’t like making them at home. Vegetables have so much more flavor than the gluten free noodles i’ve tried. Before I discovered Zoodles, I used to always use spaghetti squash for pasta dishes. I even taught my boyfriend who always gets home from work before I do how to prep the spaghetti squash and get it started roasting to save time after work. It’s super easy to make but just takes so long. Recently I switched to Zoodles and like them so much more. They are delicious and way faster than spaghetti squash so they are perfect for a quick and easy 30 minute meal like this one.

Zoodles Gluten Free Spaghetti Pasta

Here is what you need:
1lb. Sliced Spicy Chicken, Pork, or Turkey Sausage
1 Pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Kalamata olives
1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
Basil
3-4 Zucchinis
Fresh Basil
Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Here is how you make it:
1. Heat olive oil to medium in a large sauté pan.
2. Sauté sliced sausage until fully cooked.
3. While the sausage is cooking, create zucchini spirals with a spiraling tool like the Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer or use a vegetable slicer to create zucchini “noodles”.
4. Remove any excess fat from the meat.
5. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic.
6. Add the tomatoes to the meat and cook covered for 3-5 minutes until soft. You know the tomatoes are done when they crush with very little effort. Once they are done, use a potato masher or back of a large spoon to crush up tomatoes.
7. Add sundried tomatoes, ground pepper, sliced mushrooms, and kalamata olives and stir and sauté until mushrooms are cooked.
8. In a separate pan, sauté zucchini noodles with olive oil until cooked but still slightly crunchy.
9. Place zoodles on plate and top with pasta sauce.

Top with basil and parmesan and enjoy!

Zoodles Gluten Free Spaghetti Pasta

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Green Bean, Shredded Chicken, and Toasted Coconut Salad with Jerk Dressing

One of my favorite places to eat in LA is Lemonade. The variety, lots of healthy options, and awesome flavor combinations just make me happy. Unfortunately the closest one is in Manhattan Beach and although it’s a quick drive there are so many great choices in Long Beach that I really don’t drive up there often. The last time I was there I had this awesome green bean salad and couldn’t find the recipe in their cookbook so I made my own recipe. It’s great for potlucks, to have on hand of quick lunches, or just because. And, it’s totally paleo.

Chicken and Green Bean Salad With Toasted Coconut and Jerk Dressing - paleo and gluten free recipe

Ingredients
1 lb green beans trimmed, cleaned and cooked
1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut

For the dressing combine with a blender or Cuisinart:
2 jalapenos
Juice of 3 Limes
1 tsp Crushed Garlic
1 Tbsp Allspice
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions:
1. Combine the chicken, toasted coconut, and green beans in a bowl
2. Toss with Jerk dressing

Tips:
1. I cook the chicken in a pan on the stove with a little bit of olive oil and shred it with 2 forks after it has cooled.
2. For the green beans, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the green beans. Mine were ready in 4 minutes.
3. To toast the coconut, spread coconut on a piece of foil and toast in a toaster oven for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Chicken and Green Bean Salad With Toasted Coconut and Jerk Dressing

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Lasagna Soup With Zoodles {Gluten Free Recipe With Paleo Option}

This is another easy and fast meal that can be modified to paleo from gluten free just by removing the cheese. It takes about 45 minutes total but only 30 minutes hands on time. It is delicious and tastes just like lasagna, perfect for winter. Keep the leftovers in the freezer for nights when you don’t feel up to cooking and want a fast delicious meal. Here is a photo of the paleo version with an example of the zoodles, zucchini noodles, on top so you can see what they look like in the soup.

Lasagna Soup

Ingredients:
Olive Oil
1 lb Italian Sausage, Casing Removed
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Onion, Diced
2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
32 oz. Chicken Stock
28 oz. Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Zucchinis worth sliced into noodles or Zoodles. (I use the Paderno Slicer and it takes less than 5 minutes)

For Gluten Free Add:
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
8 oz. Ricotta
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan

Instructions:
1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
2. Add Italian Sausage to the pot and cook until browned crumbling the sausage as it cooks. Drain excess fat.
3. Add 3 cloves of garlic, diced onion, oregano, and red pepper flakes and sauté with the meat.
4. Stir in tomato paste until well combined.
5. Stir in chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
7. While the soup is simmering, sauté the Zoodles in 1 tsp crushed garlic and 1 Tbsp Olive Oil. It only takes a couple of minutes if you like your Zucchini still crispy.
8. For Paleo, place zoodles in bowl and cover with soup. Garnish with fresh basil.
9. For gluten free, combine the ricotta and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Place a small amount of ricotta mixture and serving of zoodles in each bowl. Pour in Lasagna Soup and garnish with mozzarella and basil.

Lasagna Soup

Enjoy!

This recipe is modified to be gluten free from Damn Delicious.

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Mama Huizar’s Enchiladas {Gluten Free Recipe}

I am really excited to share this recipe. I asked permission over Thanksgiving to post this amazing recipe from my boyfriend’s mom, Mama Huizar. She is an incredible woman and when you go to her house food just magically seems to appear out of nowhere. It’s magical. It reminds me of my best friend from high school’s mom, Dr. Kellogg. I would go over to her house after dinner and her mom would insist I have dinner number two because if you come to her house you must eat something. I had some of the most amazing Pilipino meals throughout high school with the Kelloggs. And, Mama Huizar also reminds me of my Japanese host mom. She is an amazing cook and food just seems to always magically appear like it is no effort at all. All three of these women have influenced me in so many ways and are definitely still my inspiration. All three of these women worked, had multiple kids, and made it a priority to make fresh and delicious home cooked meals for their families. I think what’s common about all three is the genuinely love to cook for their friends and families and wouldn’t consider otherwise.

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

I first learned this recipe via FaceTime with my boyfriend and his brother translating. Talk about comedy listening to two guys who don’t cook translating cooking instructions. It took a while to perfect it and is still not quite the same as Mama Huizar’s. But, each time I make them they get better and better. You can find all of the ingredients at a Mexican style market like Top Value or Superior if you live in LA. It took a while for me to find the chiles but now I just keep them on hand.

Ingredients:
6 Dried California Chiles
6 Dried Guajillo Chiles
5 Dried Puya Chiles
4 Dried Chile de Arbol
8 Small Tomatillos, skins removed and cleaned
1 Triangle of Mexican Chocolate
1 Clove Garlic
1 Dry Orange Peel about 1″ x 1″ (I slice a piece off of an orange and place it in the toaster oven for about 20 seconds)
1″ Piece of Cinnamon Stick
3 Whole Cloves
8 Whole Peppercorns
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1-1.5 Cups Water
2 Tbsp. Corn Starch
1 bay leaf
Corn Tortillas
Olive Oil
Cotija Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese shredded and mixed in equal parts

Instructions:
Cover the following with water and boil for 4 minutes after water comes to a boil or until soft:
6 Dried California Chiles
6 Dried Guajillo Chiles
5 Dried Puya Chiles
4 Dried Chile de Arbol
8 Small Tomatillos, skins removed and cleaned
Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Remove the above from water and add to a blender with the following:
1 Triangle of Mexican Chocolate
1 Clove Garlic
1 Dry Orange Peel about 1″ x 1″ (I place mine in the toaster oven for about 20 seconds)
1″ Piece of Cinnamon Stick
3 Whole Cloves
8 Whole Peppercorns
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1-1.5 Cups Water

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Blend until fully mixed and smooth and add:
2 Tbsp. Corn Starch to thicken, pulse to combine

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Put enchilada sauce in a saucepan with 1 bay leaf and bring to a simmer.

Heat about 1/2 cup of Olive Oil in a pan. Mama Huizar uses Canola Oil, but it messes up my stomach so I substitute Olive Oil.

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Add tortilla to oil and lightly fry both sides until just before crispy. It needs to be fried long enough so it doesn’t fall apart when you place the tortilla into the enchilada sauce but not too long that you can’t roll it up. You may need to test a few to see what works for you.

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Drop tortilla into Enchilada Sauce and coat all sides.

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Place tortilla on plate and put cheese on top third.

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Roll up tortilla to make enchilada.

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

Sprinkle top with cheese and enjoy! We picked up rice and beans from a local Mexican restaurant for $2. I still haven’t mastered Mama Huizar’s delicious fluffy Mexican Rice, but I promise to post about it as soon as I do.

Mama Huizar's Enchiladas

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Roasted Chicken

A couple of years ago I decided one day that I wanted to roast a whole chicken. I don’t know why it sounded good that day but I am so glad I did. I have to be honest I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I had a mental block about cooking a whole chicken and thought it would be way too hard. I thought it was something only real cooks could do. Boy was I wrong. It is really easy and great for leftovers for lunch throughout the week. The chicken comes out so moist and delicious. And, because prep time is only about 15 minutes and the chicken roasts in the oven for about 1.5 hours, it makes it a super easy dinner. In case you haven’t read my previous posts about roasting, it’s just a fancy word for sits in the oven for a really long time while you do nothing whatsoever.

Perfect Roasted Chicken

This is the recipe I use from Martha Stewart. I follow the instructions exactly, but here are the basic steps.

Place onion slices on the bottom of your roasting pan.
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Place chicken on top of onions. Put garlic salt and pepper inside chicken.
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Add fresh thyme and pierced lemon.
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Cross legs and tie together with kitchen twine. Cover chicken with butter salt and pepper.
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Roast in oven for approx. 1.5 hours for a 6 lb. chicken.
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When breast temperature reaches 180 degrees and thigh reaches 190 degrees, it’s done. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Perfect Roasted Chicken

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Coconut Fried Chicken With Creamy Mango Sriracha Dipping Sauce {Gluten Free and Paleo Recipe}

This is a great 20 minute meal and I love coconut fried anything. This chicken is so good and makes a great meal or paleo appetizers for a party. The mango dipping sauce is delicious and easy. Recently i’ve noticed that anything fried in canola oil bothers my stomach so this was the first time I tried coconut oil to fry in and loved the results. I am going to try this from now on. I am a big fan of this unscented coconut oil and buy it on Amazon. It’s great for baking and, now I know, great for frying too.

Coconut Chicken with Creamy Mango Sriracha Dip Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb Chicken Breast Strips
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Cup Coconut Oil for frying

For The Sauce:
1 Mango, sliced
1 Tbsp Honey
1/3 Cup Coconut Milk
3-4 Drops Sriracha Sauce

Instructions:
1. Melt the coconut oil in a 2-3″ deep pan and slowly bring the temperature to 350°
2. Place the chicken strips into a bowl with a couple of pinches of salt, fresh ground pepper, and cayenne pepper. Toss the strips to coat them in the seasoning, and set them aside.
3. Set up 3 bowls side by side and place coconut flour with a pinch of salt and pepper in the 1st bowl, beaten eggs in the 2nd bowl, and shredded coconut in the 3rd bowl.
4. Dredge one strip at a time into flour, dip it into the beaten eggs, and then into the shredded coconut. Coat chicken well for each step.
5. Fry the strips in batches of 4-5 strips at a time for about 1 ½ – 2 minutes. Turn them very gently with tongs until they are a deep, golden color. Remove from oil and place onto paper towels or a cooling rack to drain.
6. To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Coconut Chicken with Creamy Sriracha Mango Dipping Sauce

This recipe was inspired by this recipe.

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Easy Mussels {Gluten Free and Paleo Recipe}

I do not cook much seafood at home but love to make mussels especially in the winter. One more reason to love mussels is they are super high in omega-3’s, brain-boosting, cholesterol-clearing good fats. Almost as high in Omega-3’s as Salmon. Always buy mussels from a reputable fish supplier. And, when you bring them home, put them in a bowl in the fridge. Do not keep them in a bag because they need air. Before you cook them, rinse thoroughly with cold water. Inspect each mussel and throw away any cracked ones. And after they are cooked, throw away any that do not open on their own. Mussels are super duper easy to make. And, fast too. I like to serve mine in small vintage Le Creuset pots I found on e-bay. They keep the broth and mussels really warm and the variety of colors make for fun table settings.

Easy Mussels Recipe

Ingredients:
1 Stick Grass Fed Butter
1 Tbsp Garlic, chopped
1 Shallot, diced
2 Cups Dry White Wine, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
2 lbs Black Mussels, de-bearded

For the side:
1-2 Diced Jalapeños
1 Diced Tomato
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley or Basil
Lemons
Tapatio

Easy Mussels Recipe

Instructions:
1. Melt the butter in a large pot.
2. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté until soft but not burned
3. Add white wine and bring to a simmer.
4. Add the mussels and cover pot with lid. Cook for about 2 minutes.
5. Shake the pot and cook another 2 minutes.
6. Place any mussels that have opened into bowls.
7. Cover the pot and cook until all of the mussels have opened, about 1 minute.
8. Throw away any mussels that have not opened. Cover the mussels to keep warm.

Serves 3-4. Enjoy!

Easy Mussels Recipe

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Sriracha Cashew Chicken {Gluten Free Recipe}

The near closure of the local Sriracha factory in Irwindale terrified all of Los Angeles a couple weeks ago. The rumor mill was buzzing with “Did you hear the Sriracha factory might close?” and “The chiles are burning people’s eyes.” I personally had thoughts the first day the news broke of buying my local grocery store’s entire supply on my lunch break. What would Angelenos do without our beloved favorite brand of Sriracha? I’ve tried other brands and will never do that again. I think I wouldn’t be able to go to my favorite Long Beach Pho spots, Cyclo Noodles and Pho Hung Phat. And no more post workout runs to Pho Tasty in Cerritos. I would be crying over my Pho reminiscing about the missing perfectly mixed in Sriracha. Thankfully the closure was avoided and we can all go back to our normal routines and Pho lunches and make dishes like this delicious Sriracha Cashew Chicken, a under 30 minute meal. These would be great as lettuce wraps too. Next time I will swap the brown sugar for honey and see if it tastes as good.

Sriracha Cashew Chicken {Gluten Free Recipe}

Ingredients
1 lb Chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 Tbsp White Wine or Vodka
2 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
2 Tbsp Water
1/4 Cup Sriracha
1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar
2 tsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 8oz. Can Water Chestnuts Diced
4 oz. Raw Unsalted Cashews
Green Onions Chopped for Garnish

Instructions
1. Make the marinade by combining:
1 Tbsp cornstarch/water, mix together
1 Tbsp White Wine or Vodka
1 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

2. Place chicken pieces in a glass dish or bowl and add marinade. Toss to coat. Cover dish and place in refrigerator for about 10-30 minutes.

3. Make the sauce in a small bowl by combining:
1 Tbsp cornstarch/water, mix together
1 Tbsp White Wine or Vodka
1 Tbsp Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1/4 Cup Sriracha
1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar
2 tsp Brown Sugar
Mix together and add 1 Tbsp Garlic, Chopped Water Chestnuts and Cashews.

4. Sauté chicken in a large skillet until completely cooked

5. Add sauce and sauté for 1-2 more minutes until heated all the way through

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Sriracha Cashew Chicken {Gluten Free Recipe}

This recipe is inspired by this recipe.

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Mini Lasagna Pies {Gluten Free Recipe with Paleo Option}

I am super excited to share this recipe. I get really motivated to make something that looks amazing that I am not able to eat and this is a perfect example. Heirloom LA is famous for their Lasagna Cupcake. Seriously they look amazing, right? But noodles mean gluten and really bad for my belly so I don’t even want to risk getting sick. But that didn’t stop me. I just made my own delicious gluten free versions and use vegetables in place of noodles. I used to make lasagna with gluten free noodles but was never really satisfied so one day I came up with the idea to use different veggies. Eggplant and various types of squash are the best and have so much flavor. I don’t even miss the noodles anymore. And it’s fun to try it with different vegetables. I changed my version up a bit to make super cute mini individual lasagna pies. These would be awesome for a dinner party or as appetizers. You can just make the same recipe in many different types of single servings. They would be super fun in these Tart Molds too. I can’t wait to make these next time I have a dinner party.

Mini Lasagna Pies {Gluten Free Recipe with Paleo Option}, inspired by Heirloom LA's Lasagna Cupcake

Ingredients for the sauce:
Olive oil
1 package gluten free italian sausage, removed from casing
1 lb ground beef or italian sausage
3 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 32 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes in juice
1 tsp red chile pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Additional ingredients for the pies:
1 Eggplant, sliced thin like lasagna noodles
2 Zucchinis, sliced thin with a mandolin
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, shredded or sliced thin

To make the sauce:
1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in pan to medium and sauté garlic
2. Add sausage and ground beef brown over medium heat
3. Add dice tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper, salt and pepper to pan and combine over medium heat.
4. Add basil, stir, and remove from heat.

To assemble the pies or cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Spray pie tins with olive oil or add a small piece of parchment paper.
3. Place 1 large thinly sliced piece of eggplant for the first layer.
4. Add a layer of sauce.
5. Add a layer of zucchini slices.
6. Add a layer of cheese (except for paleo)
7. Repeat steps 4-6 2 more times. Press each layer down in between and fill every crevice of the pans. The veggies shrink a lot so you want them full.

Bake Lasagne Pies for 25-30 mins at 375 degrees. Check cupcakes at 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

To make them paleo just eliminate the cheese. I know it’s hard to imagine a cheeseless lasagna but trust me it doesn’t need the cheese. The sauce is so good plus the vegetables have so much more flavor than wheat noodles do. It is delicious.

Mini Lasagna Pies {Gluten Free Recipe with Paleo Option}, inspired by Heirloom LA's Lasagna Cupcake

For parties or large groups you can make them in cupcake pans.

Gluten Free and  Paleo Lasagna Cupcake Recipe, inspired by Heirloom LA's Lasagna Cupcake

You can also make them in ramekins.

Mini Lasagna Pies {Gluten Free Recipe with Paleo Option}, inspired by Heirloom LA's Lasagna Cupcake

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Chimichurri Sauce {Gluten Free Recipe}

Steak is delicious. But steak with some amazing green sauce is that much better. You can make it ahead but it’s really fast and doesn’t require much prep. Just blend all of the ingredients in a blender. Nobody really knows the origin of chimichurri sauce but it appears to be from Argentina. I found the original recipe on this site, but then tried some chimichurri sauce at the farmers market that had grapeseed oil and liked it even more. So here is how I modified the original recipe. It tastes great with steak, but you can also serve it with bread, chicken, or empanadas.

Ingredients
2 Jalapeños, stems removed
2 Cups Fresh Cilantro Leaves
1 Cup Fresh Parsley
3 Cloves Garlic
Juice of 3 Limes
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Grapeseed Oil
1/2-1 tsp Kosher Salt To Taste

Easy Chimichuri Sauce {Gluten Free Recipe}

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. I served mine over rib eye steak seasoned with pepper and BBQ’d on medium 2 minutes per side for medium rare.

Enjoy!

Easy Chimichuri Sauce {Gluten Free Recipe}

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