Chicken & Steak Tacos with Cauliflower Tortillas

Leave a comment
Dinner / Prep Approved

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and we were talking about the delicious tacos we had when he was out here visiting. During prep, we definitely cannot have tortillas but I was definitely craving them! So an idea popped in my head, a long, long time ago, I made cauliflower pizza crust and it reminded me of corn tortillas. It was definitely time to get “prep approved” creative!

One of my favorite way to prepare chicken is drop them in the slow cooker with my favorite hot sauce/salsa and let it do it’s thing. Super easy, super yummy, a definite winner!

Saso Roaste Three Pepper Sauce is my choice for this chicken. Two chicken breast, half of the bottle of the hot sauce and 2 hours on high in the slow cooker.

20141021-DSC_7958

20141021-DSC_7962

20141021-DSC_7978

20141022-DSC_7981Once the chicken is done. Shred the chicken, pour the sauce over it to keep the chicken moist and set aside until ready to use.

20141022-DSC_8039Cauliflower Tortillas

1 head of cauliflower

2 egg whites

1/2 tsp of xanthan gum

4 tbsp of chopped cilantro

1/2 tsp of ground cumin

zest of 1 lime

juice of 1/2 lime

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with coconut oil spray.

20141022-DSC_7986

Cut cauliflower into florettes and pulse in a food processor until it’s a little finer consistency of rice. Place riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for another 2 minutes. This is the part I don’t like very much, wringing the water out of the cauliflower. Using cheesecloth, squeeze as much water out as much as possible. It will be hot but my hands are used to it but I recommend using heat resistance gloves.

20141022-DSC_7990

20141022-DSC_8001Add all the ingredients to the cauliflower and mix well. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the mixture onto the baking sheet. Make sure not to crowd them. This mixture made 8 tortillas. Flatten the tortillas with your hand making sure they are thin enough but not leaving any wholes or gaps. Make sure they’re even as well!

20141022-DSC_8006

20141022-DSC_8015Bake for 10 minutes on one side, flip and bake for another 7 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let cool on a cooling rack. These can be stored in a ziploc bag in the fridge for a few days. They didn’t last a day in our household. Before serving them up, I heat them up on my cast iron skillet and let the edges brown a bit.

20141022-DSC_8020

20141022-DSC_8045  Using the chicken I made earlier, I made some tostadas and tacos. Topped it with chopped cilantro, onion and lime mixture with homemade guacamole.

20141022-DSC_8035

20141022-DSC_8024Every third day, Vince and I enjoy lean steak for dinner. So before going to bed the other day, I threw the steak in the slow cooker along with Saso Chipotle Pepper Hot Sauce and let it cook over night on slow heat.

20141023-DSC_8060This were so delicious and definitely satisfied my cravings for some tacos! Lauren and Yoko are coming over for Sunday dinner and we are trying some fish tacos with fresh slaw. I’ll let you know how those turns out!

Hope you enjoy these as much as I did. By the way, I left one of the tortillas a little bit too long on the skillet and it crisped up and it was so good by it self! Crunchy, limey goodness!

20141022-DSC_8049

Advertisements

Sunday Brunch: Spicy Sweet Potato & Chicken Hash

Leave a comment
Breakfast / Main Dish

If you haven’t noticed, Sundays are my breakfast or brunch recipe days. We’ve had a very busy week. The past two weeks, most of our meals during the week have been plain chicken or ground turkey and steamed veggies. I haven’t had the chance to experiment in the kitchen.

Yesterday, Vince and I had a full day and started with Strength and Conditioning Class at our gym at 9 am. Then we went from one appointment to the other. Today, I started my day with a great cardio session and on the way to the gym, the weather was just so great and the colors of fall was just beautiful. The lack of spices and flavor in food the past few days, made me crave something hearty and full of flavor. And Rocky pretty much sums up how I felt after a very long week.

20141020-DSC_7943I knew I can have sweet potatoes and lean protein for meal three. That’s where Sweet Potato Hash came to mind. I can add bold flavor without added calories and fat and it’s very hearty!

20141020-DSC_7934Spicy Sweet Potato & Chicken Hash

8 oz of sweet potatoes (steamed or cooked in microwave like baked potato) cut in 1/2″ cubes

8 0z of grilled chicken cut in 1/2″ cubes

1/2 of a large red onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bunch of asparagus spears

3 fresh sage leaves

3 stems of fresh thyme

3 fresh stems of rosemary

2 pinches of oregano

3-5 pinches of red pepper flakes (more or less, depending on your preference)

1/2 tsp of smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

2 whole eggs

20141020-DSC_7909

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a seasoned cast iron skillet with a little bit of coconut oil and when it’s very hot and smoking a bit, add onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes until caramelized. Turn heat down to medium. Then add cubed sweet potatoes and let it cook a few minutes then stir to get all sides of the potatoes to crisp up.

20141020-DSC_7912Add chicken, spices and fresh herbs. I kept the sage, thyme stems and rosemary whole so I can pick them out later on. These could be over powering sometimes that’s why I didn’t chop them up and added them to the hash. I did however want them to fragrant the hash a bit with those very “fallish” flavors. After a few minutes, add asparagus spears and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

20141020-DSC_7917Crack the eggs on top of the hash and place in the oven for a few minutes until the egg is cooked and the yolk is at the doneness you desire. I prefer the yolk to be a bit runny. It just adds that richness to the dish.

20141020-DSC_7927

My little helper in the kitchen. When I’m in the kitchen, you can count on Maddie to be there as well.

20141020-DSC_7938

Tuna Two Ways: Ahi Poke & Seared Tuna Salad

Leave a comment
Dinner / Main Dish / Prep Approved

Fridays are usually steak nights in our household. But sometimes fatty fish are just the perfect replacement. Vince and I went to the market and saw this beautiful tuna steak and it was the perfect protein for our steak night.

The beauty of the perfect protein like Ahi Tuna is that you don’t have to over cook or do a whole lot to it. That’s why I wouldn’t really call these recipes, they’re super easy and super fast to make!

20141018-DSC_7903

Vince and I used to go to this restaurant and I always order the tuna poke. The problem with that dish is that it’s laden with sugar and fat. So I thought that with basic ingredients, I can replicate the flavors and highlight the beauty of the tuna without all the sugar and fat in one of my favorite dishes of all time.

Ahi Tuna Poke

8 oz of sushi grade ahi tuna, cubed

3 tbsp of coconut aminos or low sodium tamari

1 tbsp of sugar and sodium free rice vinegar

2 tsp of chili paste (depending on how spicy you like it)

1/4 cup of green onions, chopped

1 tsp of sesame seeds

1/2 tsp of toasted sesame oil

pinch of ground white pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. I couldn’t wait that long, so while that was marinating. I was preparing the grilled tuna steak.

20141018-DSC_7895Seared Ahi Tuna & Mixed Grens with Lemon Mustard Dressing

Lightly spray the tuna steak with coconut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with ground mustard and sesame seeds.

Grill on a very hot grill for 2 minutes or less on each side, depending on the thickness of the steak. Once cooked, cover with foil, set aside and let it rest.

20141018-DSC_7887

For the salad dressing:

1 tbsp of course ground mustard

zest and juice of 2 lemons

2 pinches of red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp of toasted sesame seeds

salt and pepper to taste

Mix well and lightly coat fresh mix greens with the dressing. Slice seared tuna steak in thin slices and serve on top of salad.

20141018-DSC_7899After you enjoy some of the amazing tuna poke!

Chocolate Espresso Pancakes

comment 1
Breakfast / Dessert / Prep Approved

Nothing better than Sunday mornings and pancakes….and chocolate.

One thing I’ve been craving a lot of lately is chocolate. The funny thing is I’m not usually a sweets person but lately chocolate anything soulds like a winner to me!

20141012-DSC_7857I’m in prep for another 5 weeks, so I had to get a bit creative in getting my chocolate fix in. Cocoa powder to the rescue! I’m obsessed with special dark cocoa dutch powder. It’s definitely a life saver, along with Truvia.

20141012-DSC_7863

 Chocolate Espresso Pancakes

1/2 cup of rolled oats

4 egg whites

1/2 scoop of Fiber DX

1/4 tsp of baking soda

1 tbsp of stevia

1 1/2 tbsp of cocoa powder

1 tbsp of espresso powder

Topping:

1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder

4 tbsp of hot water

1 tbsp of ground cinnamon, plus a few pinch to sprinkle on top

Combine all ingredients together in a blender and blend until it forms a batter. If batter is too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time.

Spray a preheated pan with coconut oil and cook pancakes over medium heat about two minutes per side.

Mix protein powder with water until it forms a thick syrup. Top pancakes with cinnamon and syrup.

20141012-DSC_7865

I enjoyed mine with a nice cup of hot green tea matcha. After my show in 5 weeks, I may try adding some chocolate chips in these and maybe real syrup.

 

 

 

Steamed Chicken and Leaks “Dumplings”

Leave a comment
Main Dish / Prep Approved

Something about Sundays that makes me crave some dim sum. Asian food is my comfort food. I could eat it all day! Since I’m on prep and dim sum is not really on the diet plan, I was trying to figure out a way to satisfy this craving.

While waiting for the red snapper to finish cooking in the steamer, it gave me an idea for chicken dumplings. I knew there’s no way I could have dumpling wrappers so I had to think of alternate way to wrap the chicken in. I happen to have a head of cabbage in the fridge (napa cabbage would have been ideal for this but this is all I had). These dumplings are full of flavor and super easy to make, especially with a food processor.

20140930-DSC_6598Steamed Chicken Cabbage Dumplings

2″ knob of ginger, roughly chopped

2 stalks of leaks, roughly chopped

2 stalks of lemon grass, soft parts only, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 lime, zested

1 can of sliced water chestnut, rinsed

1/2 pint of sliced mushrooms

2 chicken breast

salt and pepper to taste

20140930-DSC_6601Add all ingredients except for chicken, water chestnut and mushrooms. Pulse a times until well blended. Add the remaining of ingredients and pulse until chicken is ground. Be careful not to make it too pasty. Set aside.

20140930-DSC_6605In a medium wok, boil water and set steamer up. Separate cabbage leaves and steam cabbage for a few minutes until pliable.

Using an ice cream scoop for uniformity, scoop one scoop of the chicken mixture in the steamed cabbage leave and wrap tightly and steam for a 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Slice dumplings into two and serve with spicy garlic ginger sauce.

20140930-DSC_6610

20140930-DSC_6627

Steamed Red Snapper and Baby Bok Choy with Spicy Garlic Ginger Soy Sauce

comment 1
Dinner / Prep Approved

I have been a bit busy. I’ve been working on this post for almost two weeks now! Vince and I went to the Asian Market a couple of weeks ago and there were so many different kinds of fresh fish. The Red Snapper definitely caught my eyes. Tilapia is usually the go to fish of body builders but we’re a bit tilapia’d out in this household.

I was inspired to make a very simple dish that made me think of Philippines. There’s something about cooking a fish whole in a bamboo steamer with amazing aromatics. Fresh and clean flavors and fast!

20140929-DSC_6465Steamed Red Snapper and Baby Bok Choy with Garlic Ginger Soy Sauce

1 Whole Fresh Red Snapper

2 stalks of lemongrass

1 bunch of cilantro

peel of 1 lemon

2″ knob of ginger

1 jalapeno

2 green onions

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

20140929-DSC_6468Clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Slightly spray with coconut oil and seasoned inside and out with salt and pepper.  Add the remaining ingredients in a wok or pot and fill halfway with water and bring to boil.

20140929-DSC_6471I have a bamboo steamer but any kind of steamer you may have will work. Lay a few leaves of bok choy on the bottom steamer and lay your seasoned fish on top.

20140929-DSC_6475On the second steamer, place your baby bok choy. Cover and steam until fish and bok choy are done. It took about 10 minutes for me.

20140929-DSC_6478

20140929-DSC_6481Spicy Garlic Ginger Soy Sauce

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2″ ginger, julienned

a pinch of two of red pepper flakes

1 tsp of sesame oil

4 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos for gluten free option)

6 tbsp of no sodium, no sugar rice vinegar

In a small pan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute ginger and garlic and add pepper flakes. Add soy sauce and vinegar and set aside in a bowl. 

20140929-DSC_6491Serve with steamed jasmine rice and enjoy!

Oh that Awesome Pumpkin Soup!

comments 2
Dinner / Prep Approved / Side Dish

As I sit here on my chair next to the window and feeling the cool air flow in to the apartment. I’m dreaming about going to the fridge and heating up a nice bowl of pumpkin soup that I made last night, but I won’t, because I can’t.

I did however enjoy it during lunch today and it was amazing! So did my training partner Lauren and she said it was amazing as well. 🙂

Yesterday, right after I made my kiddos their cookies, I continued on with the pumpkin craze. We’ve had cool fall weather and some rain the past couple of days and I thought a pumpkin soup would be the perfect carbs to accompany my paprika chicken.

I’ve made many different versions of pumpkin soup before and most of them used some kind of cream. I’ve even used silken tofu as a cream substitute but for this one, because of restrictions of prep as well, I kept it pretty simple and pure. I must say, you don’t miss the cream at all!

20140929-DSC_6518Pumpkin Soup

1 whole bulb of garlic

1 small to medium size sweet potato (peeled and cubed)

1 medium red onion (cut into sections)

1 small pumpkin (peeled and cubed)

5-8 fresh sage leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp of coconut oil

1/2 tbsp of smoked paprika

1/2 tbsp of cayenne pepper

1-2 cups of no sodium, no fat vegetable stock (make your own if you can or you can even do with just water if in a pinch. The roasted vegetables are so flavorful that water will do)

salt and pepper to taste

20140929-DSC_6531Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pumpkin, sweet potato, onion and sage in a baking dish. Lightly spray with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until vegetables are very soft.

20140929-DSC_6509Cut the top of garlic bulb, wrap in aluminum foil and place in a ramekin. Smear a little bit of coconut oil on top and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place in the oven and let it roast for about 30 minutes.

20140929-DSC_6534

Warning, the combination of garlic and the pumpkin with sage roasting in the oven will fill your house with the most amazing aroma!

20140929-DSC_6545Once the vegetables are done roasting, pick out the sage leaves except for 2-3 of them and set aside for garnish later. Transfer the vegetables to a dutch oven (or any pot you have) along with the roasted garlic (out of the skin of course).

20140929-DSC_6547Over medium heat and with an immersion blender, start mashing the veggies and adding the vegetable stock 1/2 a cup at a time.  I know it doesn’t look delicious in the picture but that’s what it looks like when you’re mashing veggies in a puree!

20140929-DSC_6550Keep adding the liquid and blending the mixture until you’ve reached desired consistency. I prefer my soup to be a bit creamier rather than thin, so I stopped at 2 cups of liquid. Again, this will depend on the size of vegetables that you started out with. Once I’ve reached the consistency that I want, I added the paprika and cayenne pepper and black pepper.

See the splatter on the side of my pot? Yeah it wasn’t easy taking a picture and blending at the same time! If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can do this in a blender or food processor as well although a food processor won’t give you “body” (air) that you would get with a blender to help thicken the soup. You may have to do this in batches with way as well.

I did save some of the pumpkin seeds and roasted them with some paprika and cayenne pepper. They made a great garnish along with the roasted garlic and sage leaves.

20140929-DSC_6558The hardest thing for me was that I couldn’t eat this right away! I had to wait til the next day and had to limit myself at 4 oz! It was delish! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies for Four Legged Kiddos

Leave a comment
Paw Approved

Yesterday was my handsome Rocky’s birthday and decided to make them pumpkin peanut butter cookies rather than taking them to store and getting them a doggie cup cake.

20140929-DSC_6527I’ve made these cookies before but never with oat flour or with pumpkins.

I don’t know about you but I’ve tried using canned pumpkin puree before and I just don’t find it very pleasing. Making your own pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins is super easy and so much better without all the preservatives and other things added to it.

20140928-DSC_6372

Make sure you buy sugar pumpkin or pumpkins pies and not the large ones you use for jack o lantern.

20140928-DSC_6374Cut the pumpkin in half and remove all seeds and all the fibrous stuff.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place pumpkins skin side up on a baking dish or sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until a fork goes through the skin easily.

20140928-DSC_6397

20140928-DSC_6402Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and puree in the food processor (you can mash it by hand as well if you don’t have a food processor). Notice the color? It’s actually a bright yellow and not dark orange like you get from the can. That dark color typically is achieved when you add the pumpkin pie spices to the pumpkin puree (cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar..etc). The fresh, pure pumpkin puree should be bright yellow-orange color.

20140928-DSC_6413Store your pumpkin puree in an air tight container and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. This doesn’t last long in our household!

20140928-DSC_6428 Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies

1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter

2 egg whites

2 1/2 cup of oat flour

1 tsp of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in food processor with dough blade and pulse until all ingredients are mixed well. The dough will be a bit sticky.

20140928-DSC_6432

Place dough on a floured surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thickness. You can cut in whatever shape you wish. I just happen to have a bone shaped cookie cutter for my dogs. Place cut dough on cookie sheet in a preheated (350 degrees) oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

20140928-DSC_6437

20140928-DSC_6438

Watching the cookies bake in the oven.

Watching the cookies bake in the oven.

20140929-DSC_6522

Waiting patiently….

20140929-DSC_6505These cookies will last up to three days in an airtight container. Although I have a feeling, they may not last that long with these two.

20140928-DSC_6452

20140928-DSC_6455They are definitely birthday boy approved!

“Chipotle” Chicken Bowl

comments 2
Dinner / Prep Approved

Yesterday was one of those days. Instead of getting on the treadmill after work for some cardio. Vince and I hit and our four legged kiddos took a very long walk around the neighborhood instead. The weather couldn’t be more perfect. It was exactly what I needed; fresh air, leaves turning and just enjoying the outdoors. It was quite refreshing.

When we got back to the apartment, I wanted to cook something eventhough I had meal prepped for the night already. Cooking calms me down. So I thought, that my version of “Chipotle” chicken bowl would be perfect. I have everything I needed and a lot of people have been asking me for the recipe.

Chicken breast can be very bland but the great thing about is that it can take on any flavors you add on to it.  A few months ago, I was craving some Chipotle but I couldn’t have it during prep. I was determined to replicate the flavor without all the fat, sodium and carbs that I didn’t want and need.

The key to having the great chicken is marinating it in whatever seasoning you choose for at least 4 hours, overnight is best. (For the sake of the post, I didn’t marinate the chicken ahead of time).

20140924-DSC_6272I like to make my seasoning mixes ahead of time and store them in air tight containers so I always have them ready.

Chipotle Dry Rub:

3 parts chili powder

2 parts chipotle chili powder

2 parts cumin powder

2 parts dried oregano

2 parts dried cilantro leaves

1 part onion powder

1 part garlic powder

1 part paprika

1 part red pepper flakes (or more/less depending on how spicy you want your rub to be)

20140924-DSC_6269Apply dry rub to the chicken liberally. Massage the chicken with the rub. Put in a bowl, cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.
20140924-DSC_6307Make sure your grill is preheated to a medium high heat and sprayed with coconut oil spray so the chicken doesn’t stick. Do not touch or move the chicken around. Close the lid and let the chicken cook. In my experience, a few minutes per side will do or when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

When the chicken is done, put in a plate and cover with a foil and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will give the juices some time to redistribute in the meat, so you don’t end up with a very dry chicken. This is very important!

Grill your veggies while the chicken is resting. I had bell peppers, onions and jalapenos in hand so I used those. Slided them up and grilled them (well Vince did).

20140924-DSC_6314

I also made some cilantro lime rice to go with my chicken.
20140924-DSC_6281

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 cups of cooked jasmine rice or brown rice (this can done with quinoa as well)

A handful of cilantro finely chopped

1 large lime juiced

salt and pepper to taste

a spray of coconut oil if rice is too sticky.

20140924-DSC_6287

20140924-DSC_6297Assemble all your ingredients in a bowl and serve it with a dallop of hot sauce (I love garlic chili paste on mine).

It’s very obvious that this doesn’t have the condiments that makes “Chipotle” bowls chipotle…(sour cream, corn salsa, cheese, guac). I can’t have that during prep so I didn’t add it on there, but you can definitely add it to yours!

20140924-DSC_6341My little helper in the kitchen.

20140924-DSC_6343

 

Sugar Free Meringue Cookies

Leave a comment
Dessert / Prep Approved

Friday night, my coach, Yoko and training partner, Lauren came over for dinner and we watched the live broadcast of the Olympia.

We made some kale chips to snack on while waiting on the delish steak dinner that Vince was grilling. Lauren suggested that we make some meringue cookies for dessert and use stevia instead of sugar. Why didn’t I think of this before??! I’ve made the “dirty” version of these cookies before and they’re delish but why not clean them up?

I was skeptical whether using stevia on the meringue will hold up since the reaction between the sugar and egg is part of what makes the puffy stiff texture, but at this point, we needed a clean dessert to try.

For the first batch, I made almond lemon flavored ones. The batter came out looking good and they piped well but they flattened out a bit as soon as they cooked. We didn’t care, they tasted great but a little sweeter than usual (it’s the uber sweetness from stevia).

The second batch, I made vanilla chocolate ones but for some reason, the batter for this batch was not stiff at all and they were completely flat when they were done cooking. We didn’t care, they still tasted good!  Four body builders on prep, eating flat, not fully set chocolate meringue cookies straight out of baking sheet was too funny. I wish we had a picture!

So all weekend long, I thought about what can I do differently to make these meringue cookies work. Then came the idea of Xanthan Gum, it’s a stabilizer used a lot in baking, especially when it’s a gluten free recipe. It makes a dough doughy without the use of wheat.

So today I gave it a try and they came out the right consistency, held their shape up and pretty darn good!

20140922-DSC_6172Sugar Free Meringue Cookies

3 egg whites (you have to use fresh eggs for this, I haven’t had luck with liquid egg whites)

2 1/2 tbsp of stevia or 1/2 tsp of stevia extract

1 tsp of vanilla extract (or whatever flavor you would like)

zest of 2 lemons

1/4 tsp of xathan gum

1/4 tsp of cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

20140922-DSC_6184Make sure not a drop of the yolk or shell gets in your batter. 20140922-DSC_6194Zesting the lemons is one of my favorite part. The lemon zest smells amazing!

20140922-DSC_6191Set your mixer on medium high and beat the eggs until frothy. Add cream of tartar, vanilla extract and lemon zest and turn mixer to medium high setting and slowly add the xathan gum. This is when you can add cocoa powder if you are making chocolate flavored ones.

20140922-DSC_6198

Beat the eggs until peaks are formed. Transfer the mixture in a piping bag and pipe on little clouds onto a lightly sprayed baking sheet.

20140922-DSC_6212I sprinkled a little bit of cocoa powder on some and a little bit of cinnamon on some of them for a little variety.

20140922-DSC_6210

Bake for an hour or until the center is completely dry. I like to leave them in the oven (with the oven off) after they’re done cooking for about 15 minutes to dry them out a bit more.

20140922-DSC_6244

I’m thinking I’m going to try some green tea flavored ones and other flavors I can think of. I will post an update once I do. Enjoy!