Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fiesta Chicken Bowl

I have spent the last couple of days with a heavy heart thinking about the tragedy that happened in Boston on Monday. I flew to Minneapolis around noon on Monday and landed just after 3pm. I had dozens of texts and messages when I landed, and I quickly learned what happened. I am beyond thankful that everyone I know was OK, but I can't stop thinking about all those who were heavily affected both physically and mentally. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved, and I can only hope that nothing like this will ever happen again.

Amidst all of the tragedy, it has been inspirational watching the city come together even from afar. I have mixed emotions for my travel home on Friday with only 4 more days in Boston before I move. In my last few days, I plan on seeing as many friends as possible, feeding people delicious food cooked from my heart, and soaking up all of the positive experiences and energy that Boston gave me throughout the two-year roller coaster. As you reflect on the events from this week, all I can say is to grab your loved ones, make a beautiful meal, and appreciate the little things in life because life and love are as precious as anything.

Fiesta Chicken Bowl: Serves 2, Prep time: 5 min, Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients:- 1 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 cup sweet bell peppers, chopped
- 8 oz. poached chicken, chopped or shredded
- Fine sea salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 avocado, sliced

1. Heat oil over medium heat
2. Add onions and garlic and cook until lightly browned, turning often (about 10 minutes)
3. Add peppers and chicken (chicken should be pre-cooked) and cook for another 5 minuntes
4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then top with avocado slices

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sweet & Savory Moroccan Chicken

Who likes moving? Most people assume that I love to move given the fact that I am about to move into my EIGHTH home in 6 years, but that couldn't be further from the truth. While I love to be out and about and travel, I truly am a homebody, and I appreciate a good sense of stability and home more than anyone. I'm hoping that move #8 is a lucky one, because it has been a rocky road for sure! Today was quite a day, and my apartment is upside-down. I met a few interesting characters from Craigslist, and I successfully sold the majority of my furniture. Now I just need to get through 5 whirlwind days of travel for work, and I will officially be in the home stretch. My blog will be a bit neglected over the next week or two, but I am almost up to my 100th recipe, so you should have plenty to keep you busy in the meantime.

Tonight's recipe is thanks to a trifecta of inspiration: a chicken tagine dish that my friend Kat made to one of our ladies' night potlucks, all of the amazing spices in the food in Dubai, and my new favorite restaurant in Naples called  Bha! Bha! Persian Bistro that I tried with mom and Ron. My entire apartment smelled heavenly while this cooked, and it couldn't be any easier. You will love this dish! 

Sweet & Savory Moroccan Chicken: Serves 8, Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 40 min

- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless organic chicken thighs
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 8 oz. dried apricots
- 8 oz. dried plums / prunes (get pitted!)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Rinse chicken, pat dry, and arrange in 2 pans
3. Add sliced onion and garlic
4. Drizzle the olive oil on top and mix to combine
5. Add all spices
6. Top with apricots and plums
7. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through with no pink


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Broccoli Butternut Soup

Today is a great day for so many reasons. Most importantly, I started my day with a 5-mile run. I haven't written anything in my blog about my running challenge because I wanted a solid month under my belt to erase any fear of quitting. Many of you know that running is my absolute least favorite activity. It makes me feel like a 300-lb. elephant flopping around, and my poor little flat, bunion-filled feet get miserable. I love essentially all other exercise, but I have never been a runner. In a moment of madness last month, I decided that I should create a 20-week running challenge for myself building up to 10 miles. The thought of running 10 miles seems so insanely impossible, but I am constantly reminding myself that it is purely mental. I try to exercise every day and have a great fitness level, so there is no reason I can't overcome my arch nemesis (the treadmill). I am proud to say that tomorrow completes my fourth week without a single slip from my training schedule and a total of 57 miles logged. I am now officially accountable to reach my goal, so I will keep you updated on my progress! 

Today's recipe is another soup! I know I am a little obsessed with creating new soups, but they have been so great for breakfast since I strayed from my old go-to of oatmeal. I decided to make broccoli butternut soup because I liked the way the name rolled off my tongue. I had to include a picture from my recent trip to Florida because the scenery matches this soup perfectly! I don't know about you, but I think this is the sign of a great day. Time to cook up a feast for tonight's farewell paleo potluck... have a fantastic weekend!

Broccoli Butternut Soup: Serves 8+, Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 65 min

- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions, chopped
- 1 large head of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 1 bag baby carrots, chopped
- 1 bag celery hearts, chopped
- 4 large broccoli crowns, chopped
- 1.5 lbs. butternut squash, cubed
- 5-6 cups organic vegetable broth/stock
- Sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat
2. Add onions and garlic and cook for 10 minutes until soft
3. Add carrots and celery and cook for another 10 minutes

4. Add broccoli, squash, and broth to the pot
5. Bring to a boil and then cover the pot and cook on low for 45 minutes
6. Remove the pot from the heat and puree using your immersion blender or food processor.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Garlic Chicken Vegetable Soup

I am sorry to admit that I have been neglecting my blog! With the upcoming move, craziness at work, and loads of travel, I am a bit behind on sharing my recipes. Before I fully shift into Spring gear, I need to share a few leftover recipes that I have enjoyed over the past few weeks. Soup has been a regular part of my weekly routine for the past few months, and this great take on chicken soup was a perfect breakfast (yes, breakfast) a couple of weeks ago. I sadly missed the farmers market due to travel, so I stopped into Foodies, grabbed every veggie that looked good, and threw them together to make soup. As I prepare for life back in the office, I am going to be doing a lot of meal planning and cooking ahead like this!

On another note, I am thrilled to announce that I am officially pre-certified as a health coach and can start seeing clients. I am really looking forward to working with people on adding balance and happiness to their lives by adopting healthy and holistic lifestyles. It is a busy time for sure, but it feels great to know that I am working on something that is making a difference in the world. Anyone interested in a free consultation should fee free to reach out. I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Garlic Chicken Vegetable Soup: Serves 8, Prep time: 20 min, Cook time: 70 min

- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions, chopped
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 head of garlic, diced
- 1 bag baby carrots, chopped
- 1 bag celery hearts, chopped
- 2 turnips, peeled & chopped
- 16 oz. mushrooms, chopped
- 2 lbs. chicken breast
- 2 quarts organic, no-sugar-added vegetable or chicken broth/stock
- 1 large bunch of kale, stems removed & chopped
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat
2. Add onions, leek,and garlic and cook for 10 minutes until soft
3. Add carrots, celery, turnips, and mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes
4. Lay raw chicken breasts on top of the veggies, and then add the broth/stock
5. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover the pot and let simmer on low for 45 minutes
6. Add the kale and let cook on low for another 5 minutes
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Turkey & Veggie Mash Bowls

There are 22 days until the big move, and I have about 5,000 things to do in the meantime! Most important of all will be celebrating the birthdays of my mom and Mal down in Florida. I can't think of a better weekend plan than being down in Naples with my two favorite ladies (and Rosey) for some quality workouts, pool time, farmers markets, dinners out, and nonstop chatting/hugging. It doesn't get much better than that in my book.

I have to share something very gross with you. I was on Amtrak this afternoon heading back to Boston after a meeting in Providence, and the guy in front of me was scratching his head. He must have had a cut or bump or something, because he picked at it, and then ATE it! I should've apologized in advance for this story, but it just boggled my mind. He was a successful-looking businessman in his 40s, and he straight up ate his head scab. In hindsight, this probably isn't the best story for a food blog, but I really had no choice but to share it :)

Switching gears (hopefully you can build your hunger back), tonight's recipe is a turkey and veggie mash bowl. I had made something similar with sweet potatoes on the bottom, so I figured I would switch it up and try the carrots. I have to admit that I prefer the sweet potato version, but this was still great. I actually ate this for breakfast for a full work week which was perfect because I made it all in advance. If you aren't into a savory breakfast, try it out for lunch or dinner!

Turkey & Veggie Mash Bowls: Serves 5, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 25-30 min

- 6 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped 
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil

- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped

- 2 large green peppers, chopped
- 2 heads of broccoli, chopped
- 1lb. mushrooms, chopped
- 1 lb. organic ground turkey
- Fine sea salt and pepper

1. Boil a pot of water. When boiling, add carrots and boil for 20 minutes or until soft
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat 
3. Add onions and garlic and cook 5-10 minutes until soft. 
4. Add ground turkey and cook about 10+ minutes until cooked through (no more pink)
5. Add peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms, and cook another 5-10 minutes until everything is cooked
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste
7. Drain the carrots, return them to the pot and mash with a potato masher
8. Split the carrot mash among 5 containers/bowls, and then evenly distribute the turkey/veggie mixture on top.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Sea Bass Ceviche

Lots of updates from blog central! Since my last post, I have decided I am moving out of Boston and subsequently got my apartment rented, found a new one, worked in Stamford, went to a baby shower, and celebrated Passter/Eastover with the fam. It has been a wonderful and crazy week, and now the countdown for the big move is on. I am so excited for my next chapter, and I am looking forward to sharing my new adventures (and recipes) that I have along the way. 

Tonight's recipe is a beautiful spring sea bass ceviche that Ryan and I made in Dubai during a cooking class at the Taste of Dubai. It was an amazing food festival with all of the top restaurants and shops, famous international chefs, cooking demonstrations, classes, live music, and more. We had a great time, and we learned how to make our first ever ceviche. It is the simplest dish imaginable, and it is perfect for the warmer spring and summer days ahead! This recipe passes my test for freshness, color, texture, and taste. The recipe was a small one for two tasting plates, so feel free to double (or triple) the recipe if you are making it for a bigger group. Be amazed as the fish naturally "cooks" on its own when mixed with the lemon juice!

Spring Sea Bass Ceviche: Serves 2, Prep time: 5-15 min, Cook time: none!

- 5 oz. sea bass fillet
- 1/4 cup chopped avocado
- 1/3 cup chopped hearts of palm
- 1/2 cup chopped papaya
- 1/4 cup sliced radish
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/3 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 small chopped jalapeno
- 1 Tbsp finely diced garlic
- Juice from one lemon
- Sea salt & pepper

1. Slice the skin off the sea bass, and cut it into bite-sized pieces
2. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and squeeze lemon juice over the fish
3. Stir the fish so it is coated well, and let sit for about 5 minutes
4. Add all other ingredients, mix well, and serve!