SPICY THAI COCONUT CURRY STIR-FRY with Gluten Free Noodles, Cilantro & Peanuts

You’ll go nuts over this one-pot vegan noodle dish that offers both a rich aroma and a flavorful sauce of coconut curry. It’s perfect for those with a Keto lifestyle or are diabetic and are looking to cut not only carbs, but reduce calories, sugar, gluten and dairy. It satisfies, both the sweet and savory pallet and is so easy you can serve this weeknight meal for two in just about 30 minutes. You can add chicken breast strips too if you want to pack in more protein and aren’t on a vegan-restricted diet.

Spicy Thai Stir Fry

Total Time

25 minutes

Prep Time

10 minutes

Servings

2

INGREDIENTS

1 -2 Bell Pepper (Red, Yellow or Orange, your choice)

1 Lime

4-6 oz Gluten Free (dry) Ramen Noodles

(I personally like Healthy Noodles brand Plant based carb substitute. They are pre packaged for two and pre-cooked and oh SO easy)

1 oz Veggie Pho Stock Concentrate  

4-8 oz Button Mushrooms like cremini

1⁄4oz  Cilantro (roughly 10 sprigs) 

5 oz Coconut Milk (shake or stir as it often separates in package)

1 oz  Sweet Thai Chili Dipping Sauce (I like Thai Kitchen brand)

1 Clove Garlic 

1⁄2oz Peanuts (roughly chopped)

1 1/2 tsp  Curry Powder 

1 TBSP Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Salt

Pinch Pepper

1 PREP 

  • Wash and dry produce.
  • Halve, core, and thinly slice bell pepper into strips. Trim and thinly slice mushrooms. Peel and mince garlic. Quarter lime. Roughly chop cilantro. Roughly chop peanuts.
  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil to prepare the noodles. If using soy-based Healthy Noodles, simply rinse and drain the noodles in the pre-measured package and skip step 3.

2 COOK NOODLES 

  • Once water is boiling, add Ramen Noodles to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1-2 minutes.   
  • Drain and rinse noodles under cold water for at least 30 seconds. Toss noodles with a drizzle of oil; set aside. (Keep empty pot handy for next step.) 

3 COOK VEGGIES 

  • Heat 1 TBSP oil in empty pot over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and mushrooms; season with 1⁄4 tsp salt  and a pinch of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 5-7 minutes. 

4 MAKE SAUCE 

  • Add a drizzle of oil to pot with veggies and reduce heat to medium. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant,
    30 seconds.
  • Stir in chili sauce, stock concentrate, half the coconut milk (you’ll use more later), and curry powder.

5 FINISH STIR-FRY 

  • Add drained noodles. If needed, stir in  a splash or two of remaining coconut milk until everything is thoroughly coated in sauce. 
  • Remove pot from heat; stir in juice from half the lime. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. 

6 SERVE 

  • Divide stir-fry between two bowls. Top with cilantro, peanuts, and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with any remaining lime wedges on the side. 
Gluten free, dairy free and vegan

Lemony Chicken Rice Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes            Cook Time: 40 minutes          Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves 6

298 calories/serving

Ingredients

2 sticks celery chopped finely

2 medium carrots peeled & chopped finely

1/2 medium onion chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons flour

6 cups chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1.5 pounds uncooked chicken breasts

1 cup uncooked white rice (or orzo if you prefer)

3 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste

1 tablespoon chopped parsley or to taste

Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Sauté the celery, carrots, and onions in a large soup pot with the butter and oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and cook for another minute or so.

Pour in chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved, then add the Italian seasoning and chicken. Bring the soup to a boil.

Cover the soup (lid slightly ajar), and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. I keep the lid off and stir it fairly often because it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.

Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up, then add it back in. Add the lemon juice, parsley, and season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. ( I like to add even a little bit more lemon juice but you decide).  Serve immediately.

This soup can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months and simply thawed and reheated on the stove.

Gaby Inspired Pan-Roasted Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1/4 to 1/3c. olive oil
  • 1.5 lb. baby eggplant (Japanese or Baby variety), sliced in half lenghthwise and diced into 2-3 inch pieces if Japanese and larger variety of eggplant
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Vinaigrette-
    • 2 T. lemon joice
    • 1/2 c. olive oil
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 c. grated Pecorino (or your favorite hard cheese. I like Spanish Manchego)
    • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
    • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Process

  1. Make your vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant and turn often for about 15 minutes. Add more oil if eggplant starts to burn- you want it to caramelize.
  3. Transfer eggplant to a large bowl and toss with (more oil!) about half of the vinaigrette.
  4. Save the rest of the vinaigrette for your salad.
  5. Sprinkle with more Pecorino if desired and serve.

Caprese Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

recipe note: Balsamic vinegar comes in many forms. I recommend a higher quality one to get the fullest flavor. Many balsamic vinegars found in grocery stores are very thin – like water. Higher quality ones often found in specialty shops are aged longer and are slightly thicker (not as thick as balsamic glaze, but somewhere in the middle of the two). 41-Olive offers many choices.

ingredients:

4-6 skinless boneless chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer)
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (I mix it up with the colorful heirloom variety)
10 large basil leaves, finely chopped
4-6 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced in 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices
balsamic vinegar, to taste (My newest favorite is BlackCherry from 41-Olive)

directions:

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken thighs or breasts and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken, cover pan, and cook for about 10 minutes. Flip chicken breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked thoroughly (or has reached an internal temp of 165°F).

While chicken is cooking, in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add tomatoes and continue sautéing until tomatoes skin starts to soften/wrinkle, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Set aside.

Once chicken has reached desired doneness, top each chicken piece with 1-2 slices of mozzarella (depending on how thick you sliced it). Pour tomato mixture on top. Cover pan with lid once more and let the mozzarella melt, about 1-2 minutes.

Lastly, drizzle with a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.

Thai Marinated Cucumber Salad

This sweet and tangy salad is a perfect side dish all year around.  It is super easy to make and the flavors get even more delicious as it marinates.  Allowing it to marinate at least 10 minutes is key.  If possible, allow it to marinate over night as I think it is even better the 2nd day. 

 Makes: 4 Servings

Time: 20 minutes to overnight

  Ingredients

  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 2-inch Piece Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Small Bunch of Thai Basil (optional)

Instructions

1.Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger.  Trim off and discard the ends of the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise and then again so that the cucumbers are spears.  Then cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion; place in a small bowl with the vinegar and set aside.

2. Assemble & marinate the cucumber salad:

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and ginger, and as much of the onion-vinegar mixture as you’d like. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

3. Finish & serve your dish:

Transfer the marinated cucumber salad to a serving dish; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pick the Thai basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves and add to the salad just before serving.  Enjoy!

30-Minute Coconut Curry Chicken

Super Simple and Super yummy! This recipe mimics the traditional Thai curry but without so many hard to find ingredients. It’s so easy that it is perfect for a weekday meal.

Ingredients:

10 oz. of Organic Jasmine Rice (found in a 3-pack in the freezer section of many grocery stores like Trader Joe’s)

13.5 oz. can coconut milk

1 Tbsp. curry powder

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

2 oz. butter or ghee

1 lb. skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus four sprigs

1-2 mini red peppers, sliced (optional for garnish)

Procedure:

  1. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add coconut milk and curry powder. Stir until combined, then add the fish sauce and butter. Stir until the butter is melted.
  2. Add the chicken and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. After the chicken has simmered for 10 minutes, remove the lid and simmer for an additional 15 minutes until the liquid had reduced by 50% and the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink in the middle).
  4. Stir in the fresh cilantro and remove pan from heat.
  5. Pop the bag of rice in the microwave for 3 minutes or as directed on the package.
  6. To assemble, add 3/4 cup of the cauliflower rice and 1/2 cup of the curry mixture to individual bowls and place a fresh cilantro sprig on top.

Blueberry, Feta and Carmelized Onion Flatbread

 
I recently went blueberry picking for the first time while visiting my sister and her family in VT over the summer.  We stumbled upon the Organic Sunshine Valley Berry Farm right off the Vermont Route 100.  They gave us  a blue bucket and pointed us to the rows of blueberries just ripe and ready for picking.

You may not know this but blueberries have several health benefits along with being a tasty treat.  They boost memory, support heart health and are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and fiber.  That little adventure to the Berry Farm inspired me to share one of my favorite pizza recipes that boasts beautiful and sweet blueberries.  This savory pizza is oh so good!  I often make it for special occasions during blueberry season because it both pretty and tasty.  But don’t feel you have to reserve it for just special times – It’s easy, has just a handful of ingredients, and is delicious too.

Blueberry, Feta and Carmelized Onion Flatbread

DFTSI Blueberry Feta and Onion PizzaIMG_3771

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 naan flatbreads
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • kosher salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • micro  greens or baby arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the naan/flatbread on the baking sheet and lightly spray or brush with water. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium low heat. Add the onion and season with a pinch of salt to taste and red pepper flakes. Cook the onions until it is wilted, about 3-5 minutes and stir in the honey, and continue to cook a fe more minutes letting the onions caramelize. Remove from heat.
  • While the onions cook, stir the ricotta and feta cheese in a small bowl. Spread the ricotta mixture over the naan/flatbread, and top with the honey caramelized onions. Sprinkle the blueberries on top.
  • Place the naan pizzas into the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the blueberries are just about ready to burst, the cheese has softened, and the naan is toasted. Remove from oven, cut into squares or slices, sprinkle with arugula and enjoy immediately.
 
 

Mom’s HomeMade Chicken Stock

So many delicious soup recipes include chicken stock as the base for the broth. You can buy it in a box at the grocery store but in my opinion, homemade stock takes your recipe up a notch. It takes a bit of planning/preparation, but I think it is a game changer. Here is my go-to chicken stock recipe. It is my variation of Ina Garten’s but I make it in smaller batches. Try it out. It just might become your favorite too.

Yield: 2 quarts

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time 2-4 hours

Ingredients

1 whole roasting chicken (or 3 bone in chicken breasts)

1 large onion, quartered

2 carrots unpeeled and cut into thirds

2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into thirds

5-6 sprigs of fresh parsley

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

5-6 sprigs of fresh dill

4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise

2 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

Directions

Dump all ingredients in a large stockpot. 

Add about 3 quarts of water to the pot (at least enough water to cover all of the ingredients).

Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 2-4 hours.

Strain the contents in a colander and discard all the solids.

Chill the stock overnight or use in your favorite soup recipe.

You can also pack in freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

Italian Sausage Soup

As the weather starts to change, so does my cooking.  Warm hearty soups replace summer’s repertoire of grilled and barbecued fare.  This cozy soup recipe will warm you up this fall.  It’s both satisfying and comforting.

Italian Sausage Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb. Italian sausage – mild or spicy (broken up out of skin or sliced with skin on)
1 large onion (cut into ½ inch dice)
4 cloves minced garlic (or more if you like)
1-16 oz. can crushed Italian tomatoes (or plain crushed tomatoes with a few shakes of Italian seasonings)
32 oz. chicken broth (Homemade if you can.  See my favorite recipe here)
2 large (or 3-4 medium) zucchini (cut into a ½ inch dice)
2 T fresh basil  (Use just 1 T if using dried Basil)
1/4 cup pasta noodles (like elbow macaroni)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1.  Brown sausage with onion and garlic in a medium frying pan (drain fat).
2.  In a large pot, add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, zucchini, basil, and pasta noodles.
3.  Add sausage, onion and garlic mixture to the pot.
4.  Simmer slowly for 1 hour.  Enjoy!

Psst!  Soup can be frozen for up to 2 months and then reheated for a quick weekday meal.

Guilt-Free Creamy Tuscan Chicken

IMG_1468

Low Carb Creamy Tuscan Chicken

Low Carb Creamy Tuscan Chicken is rich and satisfying with lots of sun-dried tomatoes and spinach.  I love the parmesan cream sauce. It is one of my very favorite low carb meals and it is perfect for the keto diet.

Prep Time 10 minutes / Cook Time 15 minutes / Total Time 25 minutes / Servings 4 / Calories 495 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup  sun-dried tomatoes (approximately 1/2 of a 4 oz jar )
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach
  • 2-3 medium zucchini squash, zoodles (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.Season chicken with lemon pepper.
  2. Add chicken to skillet and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. Add onion to skillet and cook for about 3 minutes to soften.
  4. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  5. Add white wine or chicken broth and cook until reduced just a bit and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.Add Parmesan and stir until melted.
  7. Add sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.Stir in spinach. Cook and stir until spinach is wilted.Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Optional:  Many italian dishes are served over a bed of pasta.  I like to avoid the carbs and use zoodles instead.  Make the zoodle noodles with either a mandoline or zoodle maker.  Place on a paper towel to remove some of the excess water.  Add 2 T of olive oil to a pan and heat on medium heat.  Add zoodles to pan, and add salt and pepper to taste and stir for about 2 minutes.  Add more slat/pepper to taste and stir again for two minutes or so until just a bit limp.  Place zoodles on a plate and then add the chicken and sauce and serve.
  9. Enjoy!