Lemon Chardonnay Chicken

This is an easy weeknight dinner recipe that is also pretty enough to serve guests at a small casual dinner party. The citrus sauce is the perfect combination of savory and sweet. The leftovers (if you have any) are great for lunch the next day too! Enjoy!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

4-6 boneless chicken breast cutlets (see notes)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup Chardonnay (or you can use white cooking wine)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 green onions (white and half of green section, chopped)

4-6 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped

6-8 Tablespoons butter (divided)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

For Chicken:

Pat the chicken with a paper towel to dry.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Lightly flour chicken and place into a large frying pan with approximately 3-4 T. butter melted in the pan and fry until golden brown about 5 minutes per side.  Be careful not to burn the butter.  Chicken will not be fully cooked.  Place chicken in a warm oven while you make the sauce.

For Sauce:

Add 3-4 T butter to pan. Saute the onions and garlic in the butter on low heat.  Add wine and lemon juice.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken to the sauce, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes more or until fully cooked.   Serve over rice. Yummy!

Notes:  

Chicken – you can purchase chicken cutlets or chicken breast fillets in your local grocery store or you can cut them yourself but slicing a boneless chicken breast in half to form thin patties.

Flouring Chicken – Place about 1/4-1/2 cup flour in a shallow baking dish.  Dip and flip the chicken fillets into the flour to lightly cover them before cooking. This ensures that chicken stays both moist and tender.

Best Ever Dumpling Sauce with Dumplings

This tangy sauce provides the perfect balance of heat, acidity, savoriness and sweetness to dumplings. It can also be used over noodles, wontons or mixed with fried tofu. My dear friend Bini taught me how to make home made dumplings for Lunar New Year several years ago. It’s a lot of work but oh, so fun to do with a big group of friends. I cheat and buy frozen dumplings in the freezer section of my grocery store to save time. They are not as delicious as Bini’s but ALOT easier. Freezer-section dumplings come in chicken, pork or vegetable varieties and are the key to an easy weeknight meal (or a great party appetizer).

Pair the dumplings with this tasty sauce and you’ll be hooked!

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time:15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Serving 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I like the low sodium variety)
  • 2 tbsp water or broth from dumplings (if boiling dumplings)
  • 1 tbsp Chile garlic sauce (I use “Tuong Ot Toi Vietnam” or you can use Go Chu Jang which is a Korean chili pepper sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp chili oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar 
  • 2 tbsp chinese black vinegar (or Worcester sauce)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds 
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • chopped fresh scallions (cut on a diagonal)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 12 pieces store-bought or handmade dumplings

Instructions

  1. Wash and chop the fresh ingredients (cilantro, scallions, garlic)

2. Mix all except the last ingredient (dumplings) together in a small bowl.

3. Prepare handmade or store-bought frozen dumplings based on your preference (steamed or pan-fried). The package often tells you how to prepare them. Check out the process at the end of this post on steaming and pan frying dumplings.

4. Pour the sauce over the plated dumplings and garnish with more scallions and cilantro. You can also dip the dumplings into the sauce if you prefer. Adjust the chili oil or chili garlic sauce to your heat preference. Enjoy!

Preparing Chinese Dumplings

Boiling (option 1)

  1. Fill a pot two-thirds with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the dumplings, so they can fit in a single layer.
  3. Cook them until they float (about three minutes)
  4. Fish them out of the pot and drain them.

Pan Frying (option 2)

Using a small amount of oil, you can pan fry frozen dumplings. Cooking frozen dumplings is a process that takes between 20 and 25 minutes and is best done with a non-stick pan with a thick heavy bottom to distribute the heat better.

  1. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pan and heat on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the frozen dumplings and cook for 2-4 minutes on each side. Don’t move them too much. You just want them browned.
  3. Add boiling water to cover half the height of the dumplings and bring to a boil.
  4. Cover the pan and let the dumplings steam until their bases are golden and the water has almost evaporated.

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

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.

Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss

I love how Dr. Seuss was able to use humor and rhyme to teach young and old alike great life lessons, this one, the art of decision making…

The Zode in the Road by Dr. Seuss

Did I ever tell you about the young Zode,
Who came to two signs at the fork in the road?
One said to Place One, and the other, Place Two.
So the Zode had to make up his mind what to do.
Well…the Zode scratched his head, and his chin and his pants.
And he said to himself, “I’ll be taking a chance
If I go to Place One. Now, that place may be hot!
And so, how do I know if I’ll like it or not?
On the other hand though, I’ll be sort of a fool
If I go to Place Two and find it too cool.
In that case I may catch a chill and turn blue!
So, maybe Place One is the best, not Place Two,
But then again, what if Place One is too high?
I may catch a terrible earache and die!
So Place Two may be best! On the other hand though…
What might happen to me if Place Two is too low?
I might get some very strange pain in my toe!
So Place One may be best,” and he started to go.
Then he stopped, and he said, “On the other hand
though….
On the other hand…other hand…other hand though…”
And for 36 hours and a half that poor Zode
Made starts and made stops at the fork in the road.
Saying, “Don’t take a chance. No! You may not be
right.”
Then he got an idea that was wonderfully bright!
“Play safe!” cried the Zode. “I’ll play safe. I’m no dunce!
I’ll simply start out for both places at once!”
And that’s how the Zode who would not take a chance
Got no place at all with a split in his pants.

Lesson: Don’t over-analyze every decision.  Just do it!

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

DFTSI Spice Cranberry Sauce

Spiced Apple Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, pippin or McIntosh
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Directions:

Use a potato peeler to peel the orange rind of the orange. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from 1/2 of the orange and set the juice aside. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the rind and the water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Peel, core and quarter the apple. Cut into 1/2-inch dice and place in a saucepan. Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. Add to the apples along with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan partially. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, the apple is tender and the cranberries have burst, 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a heatproof bowl and let cool for 1 hour before serving. Or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving. Transfer the cranberry sauce to a sauceboat and pass at the table.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Series, Thanksgiving & Christmas, by Chuck Williams (Time-Life Books, 1993).
Servings: 10-12

 

Summer Vegetables

My daughter and I started a SP cleanse once together that required us to refrain from grains, dairy, nuts, meat or fish during the purification process.  We were getting bored with simply raw or steamed vegetables and fruit along with our SP Shakes.

Here is a yummy side dish we stumbled upon via Blue Apron, that is both full of flavor and guilt-free too.

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6392Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

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Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 ounces of summer beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6368

1.  Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce.  Snap off and discard the bean stems; cut into 2-inch pieces.  Half the tomatoes. Peel and mince the garlic.

 DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6372
2. Cook the vegetables:

In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the beans; season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add ½ cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has cooked off.

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6373

Add the tomatoes and garlic; add a little bit more of sea salt and pepper if needed. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl. Enjoy!

DFTSI Summer Vegetables _6392

15-Minute Thai Coconut-Broccoli Soup Recipe

Can’t wait to try this yummy goodness!

food to glow

A 15-minute vegan take on the Thai dish, tom kha kai (chicken coconut soup). A green soup in disguise. Hopping from family gathering to party to dinner. Zapping in and out of airports and train stations. Catering like a boss for family and friends. Too.Many.Cocktails. The holiday season definitely takes its toll. Not only on one’s routine and normal diet, but also one’s  motivation to get back to real life – which unfortunately isn’t fruit-spiked mugs of glögg, and 8 a.m. slices of stollen. 

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