Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Zucchini Enchiladas (Keto)

It's been so long since I have blogged and I have literally been cooking up a storm for the past.... gosh it seems like months now. I have sadly failed to blog all of the yumminess I have been concocting. I decided to take the plunge and do this again. I know I need to keep up my blog, share my passion and hopefully it will inspire some of you to do the same.
This recipe is very special to me because of the amazingness I created. Little did I know, this recipe would not only serve it's purpose as our yummy dinner, but it would become an emotional recipe for me.
In June my great grandmother (Grandmama as I would call her), Rosa passed away. It still seems almost hard to believe that she is gone. She was the one person that seemed to hold our family together and it's so hard to know that we won't visit that house that we all would come to for our family gatherings. When she got sick though, I feel like it almost brought all of us closer and our bond as cousins became stronger.
Although it's hard to make it down as often as I would like to, but lets face it, traveling with 3 kids (with one who gets severely carsick) can be hard sometimes, but we make it down to visit everyone when we are able to.
After she had passed, we started to go through things in her house which definitely was hard, but that's where I'm getting to with this recipe I promise.... I got this little kitchen gadget from my Grandmama.... It was a rectangular device, no bigger than a 2x4, made of plastic, with these little inserts, once for cheeses, and a mandolin.... When I saw this recipe, I knew exactly how I would make these Keto Enchiladas.... With the Mandolin attachment.....
When the day came to make this recipe, I took a deep breath, said a prayer and said, "Grandmama, I know you're with me today... please guide my way as I make this." After I said the quick prayer to her, it was as if she was standing there with my in my kitchen. Her presence was with me and I shed a few tears before I started and then proceeded to make this amazing meal that to me would not have come out the way it did without her there with me that day in spirit.
As I made those zucchini slices with that mandolin, my hands just seemed to glide with perfection using this tool..... and they came out amazing.... Jack even liked them, which by the way he hates zucchini, but he loved this carb free meal.
I recommend trying this out, it's simply perfection in an enchilada.


Keto Zucchini Enchiladas

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbs. EVOO or ghee (extra virgin olive oil)
kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
3 c. Shredded chicken
1 1/3 c. red enchilada sauce, divided (Check Sugars and Carbs)
4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 c. Shredded Monterey Jack
1 c. shredded Cheddar
Sour cream, for drizzling
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt. Cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic, cumin and chili powder and stir until combined. Add shredded chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce and stir until saucy.
On a cutting board, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler  or mandolin to make thin slices of zucchini. Lay out three, slightly overlapping, and place a spoonful of chicken mixture on top. Roll up and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini and chicken mixture.
Spoon remaining 1/3 cup enchilada sauce over zucchini enchiladas and sprinkle with both cheeses.
Bake until melty, 20 minutes.
Garnish with sour cream and cilantro and serve.

I chose to serve mine topped with avocado and a side of Mexican Cauliflower Rice



Monday, January 23, 2017

Caprese Chicken

This 2017 is going to be my year of new recipes. I have been trying new recipes and I'm ready to share them all with you. Most will probably be healthy because Jack and I are on a new journey together. A new journey of healthy living, staying healthy and being active with our children. So far this lifestyle has been going amazing.

Along with trying these new recipes, I am going to be writing more, sharing these recipes, the ups and downs along this journey. We're very optimistic about what is in store for us and it's going to be AMAZING!

Last week I had some of my girlfriends over for our weekly girls night so I tried this 21 day fix recipe and it was so good I had to make it again on Sunday for my parents. I made way too much of course, so Jack got to indulge in the leftovers for work. He was very pleased with the meal too. So this meal was definitely a WIN in my book.

Ingredients:
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to uniform thickness
- 1/2 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- 1 cup lightly-packed fresh basil, torn


Directions:

To Make The Chicken:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. (You will know that it is ready when the oil is shimmering, or it sizzles when you place a drop of water in the oil.) Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear. Remove chicken and set aside.

To Make The Balsamic Reduction:

Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced by half. Remove and set aside.

Putting the dish together:

Plate the chicken, then top with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Serve warm.

I served this dish over spaghetti squash. You could serve over butter noodles as well depending on your personal preference.



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chicken and Ham Pies



Who doesn't like pies for dinner? So this is another "kid" recipe and this is something you can all make with your kiddos and have them help out in the kitchen. The kids wanted to make this one for dinner, so I prepped all the ingredients for them.

When it came time to cook, neither of them wanted to budge helping... however once I cooked everything, they wanted to do the fun part and put the pie crusts on top of the ramekins. As Brooklyn made a border around the ramekin, she shrieked, "Mommy! This dough feels like Play dough!" She loved it.

The kids did so great putting the crusts on and my little mini Brooklyn is a perfectionist like me, her dough had to be perfect on top of each pie.




Chicken and Ham Pies

Ingredients:
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock (I used homemade chicken bone broth.... so good)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbs. crème fraiche
1 tsp. dried herbs
salt and pepper
1 tbs. vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
12 oz. chicken breast, cubed
4 oz. cooked ham, cubed
3 1/2 oz. frozen peas
12 oz. store-bought pie dough
1 egg, beaten

Directions:
Place the butter, flour, stock and milk in a medium saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat, and continue whisking with the whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and add the crème fraiche and herbs.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, then simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Heat oil in a large frying pan and add the chicken and onion.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened and the chicken has browned.

Stir the chicken and onions into the sauce, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the head and stir in the ham and peas. 

Preheat oven to 400.  Let the mixture cool slightly, then divide it between four small individual pie dishes or one large one.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, then cut out four circles, slightly larger than the top of the pie dishes.  Use the scraps to make thin strips to cover the edges of the pie dishes (this is the part Brooklyn thought was like playing with playdough).

Brush the edges of the pie dishes with the egg, then press on the strips of pie dough.  Brush with egg again, then place the pie lids on top.  Use your fingers to seal the edges of dough together.

Brush tops with egg and make a cross in the top of each pie to allow the steam to escape.  Cook for 20 minutes at the top of oven, until the pie crust is puffed and golden.

Variation:  Use vegetable stock in step 1.  In steps 3 & 4, omit the chicken and ham. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes and add 12 oz. cooked potatoes, carrots and parsnip and 3 oz. corn when you add the peas.

Let Cool Slightly and Enjoy the Yumminess!



Fruity Granola

Man.... Life can sure throw you for a loop sometimes... The life of a stay-at-home police wife.... I keep telling myself I need to update my blog with new recipes and then life happens and a day turns into a week, a week turns into a month and a month turns into several months.

My last entry was in May, and I am sorry to all you viewers who have missed my cooking and haven't had the chance to try a new "Crystal dish" recipe... I am going to honestly try to make more time for all of you... try new recipes and share those recipes with you.

Since my last entry, I have done a lot more cooking with my little ones in the kitchen. It's been great and they actually want to try and cook, so I got a Childrens Cookbook. They are having a blast picking out the menu items for the week and love helping.

I am trying to do more natural cooking for the kids and trying to eliminate anything processed from our households so that we can nourish our bodies with greatness.

This granola was so fun to make and Brooklyn loved making this one. Nicholas only helps sometimes, but when he does he's all for it. This was Brooklyn's pick from the cookbook so he didn't want to help. He's not really a granola kid for the making part, but he loves the eating part of it.

Granola is a great go-to for a quick breakfast. You can eat this over yogurt, or even pour a little milk over it and eat it like cereal. I hope you all enjoy this one.

Fruity Granola

Serves 8

Ingredients:
2 tbs. sunflower pol
6 tbs. pure maple syrup or honey
3 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried banana chips, broken into small pieces
3/4 cup raisins
milk or plain yogurt to serve

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400. Heat the oil and maple syrup or honey in a saucepan over low heat. Pour the maple syrup and oil mixture into a large bowl with the oats, hazelnuts, and pumpin seeds.  Place the mixture onto a baking sheet, spread it out, and cook in the over for 10 minutes, or until the granola turns golden brown color.  Let the oat mixture cool on the sheet and then pour into a bowl.  Add the dried banana chips and raisins to the mixture and stir well. 

Serve your granola in a bowl with milk or a spoonful or plain yogurt.

TIP:  Store your granola in an airtight container and have it for breakfast a few times over a couple of weeks. 

Enjoy!




Saturday, May 21, 2016

Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Mash and Garlic Kale

Cauliflower is one of those forgotten vegetables.... its so versatile... I eventually want to cook my way through cauliflower and eat cauliflower for 30 days.... I'm looking forward to when I get the opportunity to start that challenge.

The kale in this recipe was amazing... I'm always trying to push kale on my hubby because it has so many great health benefits, but again, this recipe was no different... kale was a no-go for him... Can't blame a girl for trying, right?

I hope you all enjoy this one. It was easy to cook and the entire family loved this recipe... Even my 9 month old devoured the food!!!


Ingredients
For the Cauliflower Mash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup shredded cheese, like sharp cheddar or havarti
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For the Kale
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • 1 package kalettes, if you can find them! OR 3 cups chopped kale
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
For the Shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. shrimp (enough for 4 people)
  • a few good shakes of garlic salt, chili powder, cayenne, and/or black pepper

Instructions
  1. For the cauliflower: Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the cauliflower and garlic. Saute for a minute or two, until the garlic is really fragrant. Add the milk and 2 cups broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the while beans and mash roughly with the back of a large wooden spoon - I loved the rustic, chunky texture of this. Stir in the cornmeal and things will start to thicken a bit. Adjust the consistency by adding in the last cup of broth as needed. Stir in the salt and cheese and season to taste.
  2. For the kale: Heat the bacon fat in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Add the greens and garlic and saute until softened. For the kalettes, I added a little water at the end to sort of steam them to finish them off. Remove kale and wipe out pan with a paper towel.
  3. For the shrimp: In the same skillet, add the oil over medium heat. Pat the shrimp dry. Add to the pan and sprinkle with seasonings to taste. Cook for just a few minutes and then add a quick splash of water or broth to the pan (about 2 tablespoons) to pull the browned bits and spices into something of a saucy-coating for the shrimp. It's delicious.
  4. Serve the shrimp and kale over a big pile of cauliflower mash! SO yummy.



Chipotle Cod Burrito Bowls with Coconut Cilantro Lime Rice and Spicy Strawberry Salsa

First for foremost, I wanted to apologize to all my viewers to not providing you with a new recipe in a while.... Lets just say, Life happened... times got super busy... Our third child was born in August... A beautiful baby boy. Now at 9 months old, I have made a commitment to myself to start blogging more often. I need to for me, I mean, why should I not blog.... I am doing what I love.... I love to cook, I want to share with all of you my passion for cooking, my newest recipes, the recipes of others that I have tried.

I'm excited to move forward with my blog and with all of you... we're in this together. Here is one of my newest recipes I have tried. I found this recipe on Pinterest. Originally, the recipe called for Mangos, however the mangos were no good at the stores when I was shopping... I'm a little OCD when it comes to my produce. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we all did.

Chipotle Cod Burrito Bowls with Coconut Cilantro Lime Rice and Spicy Strawberry Salsa

Cod
  • 1 pound wild-caught, skin on, Cod
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 whole chipotle chiles, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
  • 1 cup light, canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups coconut water (or water)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Spicy Strawberry Salsa
  • 1 medium size ripe mango, peeled, pitted + diced
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded + chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • To serve
  • tortilla bowls
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 ears of corn on the cob grilled corn, kernels removed from ears
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • greek yogurt or sour cream
  • shredded cheddar + crumbled cajita cheese
  • fresh cilantro

In a medium bowl combine the olive oil, chipotle chiles, garlic, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and onion powder. Whisk to combine. Add the cod and toss well. Cover and place in the fridge while you start the rice.

Add the coconut milk and coconut water to a medium size pot. Bring to a low boil and then add the rice, salt, unsweetened coconut and coconut oil. Stir to combine, then place the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook ten minutes on low and then turn the heat off completely. Let the rice sit on the stove, covered for another 20 minutes (don't take any peeks inside!). After 20 minutes remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Add the cilantro and lime juice, toss well. Keep warm.

Meanwhile make the salsa. Add the diced mango, chopped strawberries, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, pinch of cayenne and a pinch of salt to a medium bowl. Toss well, cover and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Once the grill is hot, add the cod, skin side facing up. Cook about 4-5 minutes and then flip and cook another 4-5 minutes or until crisp and mostly cooked through. Remove from the grill. Remove the skin and either flake with a fork or chop into chunks. This can also be done in a skillet if desired.

To assemble the bowls divide the rice among 4 tortilla bowls or regular bowls. Add the lettuce, black beans and corn. Divvy up the fish and then top each bowl with salsa, cheese, and a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream. Eat!











Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Garlic Chicken & Israeli Couscous

So much has happened since I last blogged..... I completely fell off track with blogging and fun new cooking ideas, but I'm back and so excited to share some new recipes with all of you....

I recently gave birth to my third child and although my nights seem to be sleepless, I've had so many cooking ideas on my mind.... There's a lot in store for the future and I cannot wait to throw some new recipes out at you!!!!

Here's my latest attempt. I got this recipe from the wonderful Anne Burrel and I altered her recipe a bit... 

I absolutely loved this meal. My husband doesn't like the small couscous so I was hoping he would like this couscous, but no luck.... I guess he's just not a couscous kind of guy.... But here you go, for those of you who need a little couscous in your life. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 whole garlic bulbs
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 large bunch thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground (I toasted in a pan and ground by hand with a mortar & pestle)
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 to 10 parts
  • Couscous:
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups medium-size Israeli couscous
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced thin on the bias
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 zucchini, green part only, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 scallions, white and green, sliced thinly