Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cook Day with TheCrystalDish





Life is so funny sometimes. Some days are great and then some days, days like today are simply amazing. Who knew that a kitchen full of 5 women would be just what the doctor ordered. A kitchen to teach, bond, laugh, and share my gift with. It was truly an honor to share what I am so passionate about with these 5 beautiful ladies. We all have our different stories, our different backgrounds, some meat eater, some vegetarian, but in the kitchen we are all ONE…. ONE in the Kitchen…

Years ago I had originally started up a meal prepping biz on the side where I would just meal prep for people and drop off meals to them, but then you know, life happens…. That whirlwind of life happens and it hits you sometimes…. WHACK!!!! And then 3 years later…. Now a mom with 3 kids, a little bit more freedom now that all three are in school, 4 years since I auditioned for Masterchef, 3 years since I had my youngest and 3 years since I really gave some time to me…. Time to do what I love… and that’s cooking and teaching others to cook. 

Today when we started, It was so natural for me to teach…. So easy for me to deligate these duties and I loved it, loved every minute of it… Is this what I was meant to do in life? Teach others to cook? Was it a sign? Well if it was, then HELL YEAH!!!! I’ll take it because my soul felt amazing when I was done teaching and my cup was full and overflowing with positive energy and I’m sure the pure essence of the food we made today was permeating on my clothes as I left my girlfriend Amanda’s house who so graciously offered to host at her home. 

As a busy mom of 3, I’m always looking for meals that my kids will eat and different ways to make some comfort food favorites into healthier versions. We made an abundance of food today…. From Thai Turkey Meatballs to an amazing healthier version of chicken parmesan…. And when I say amazing… oh yes, that’s just what it was and it was lightly breaded… but guess what? Not with flour! Cause Flour is a NONO if you’re on the Arbonne 30 days to Healthy living, and let’s face it, it’s not good for us anyway, so I of course found a healthy alternative…

So let’s get to the food right, cause that’s why you’re all here, you want the FOOD FOOD FOOD!!! The Meat! The grit! The veggies!!!!! Why am I holding out on you? OK… I’ve made you wait long enough…. Here are the recipes… I hope you all enjoy them and try some of them for yourselves! 

Happy Cooking and Good Health! 

~ Crystal 

Thai Turkey Mini Meatloaves

Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1/8 cup mint, chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 ½ tsp ground curry powder
¼ cup basil, chopped
½ tsp dried tarragon
1 egg
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbs sriracha 

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients into a large bowl for mixing…. Here’s where you get a little dirty. Make sure your hands are clean of course and stick those babies into that bowl and start mixing up that mixture with your hands until everything is well combined. After everything is mixed together, get a ½-1 cup sized measuring cup depending on the size you want your mini meatloaves. Place meat mixture into measuring cup and then turn measuring cup over and put meat onto a greased baking sheet. The measuring cup is so all your little meatloaves are all the same size. And here’s what I do for those of you who have littles, use ¼ cup for your littles and it’s perfect kid sized. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on size of meatloaves until no longer pink and slightly browned on top.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving. 





Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients:
4-5 Chicken Breasts
2 eggs
½ cup almond milk
1 cup almond flour
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp tarragon
½ tsp rosemary
½ tsp thyme
2 tbs avocado oil or cooking spray for pan
Marinara Sauce (Simple Recipe Below)
Almond Mozzarella Cheese
1 large Spaghetti Squash

Instructions:
Alright ladies and some of you gentlemen… here’s where you’re going to take out some of your aggression. Place 1 chicken breast in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper (either works great, I typically prefer plastic wrap, but they both get the job done!). Here’s where it gets fun, next you’re going to take the flat side of a mallet and start pounding the chicken breast until it’s about an inch thick. I usually give it a few good whacks on one side, flip it over and then give it a few more good whacks… This is what I meant by take out some aggression, but remember…. Don’t mutilate you’re chicken, we’re not making ground chicken, we’re just giving it a good whack to tenderize that baby a little bit! Once you’re done with the first breast, go ahead and set it aside on a plate and repeat the whacking process for the remainder of those chicken breasts.

Next you’re going to put together your dredging station, so you’ll need one bowl/deep plate for your egg and almond milk (this mixture should be whisked together), and the other bowl/deep plate mix together your almond flour, paprika, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper.  






The Girls - We shared many laughs and it was such a great morning to cook great food together.




My beautiful friend, Amanda.... Thank you for opening up your beautiful home to us and hosting this event.



My sister from another mister... Maricris, my filipino soul sister!!! Love this girl right here!



Doing what women do best. Bonding and conversing around a kitchen island while we cook.



And back to work.....



These beauties.... On the left we have Radishes that we quartered, lightly drizzled with avocado oil and thyme, and on the right we have white sweet potatoes that we drizzled with a little avocado oil and tarragon.  Cook these in a 350 oven for 30-40 min until tender, rotating every 15 min





Look at these beauties.... Veggie Noodles. Have you ever seen something so beautiful?  These are yellow squash.



Right here we have the homemade marinara we made for the Chicken Parmesan.

Marinara

Ingredients:
28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato paste
5 garlic cloves minced
1 white onion minced
2 tbs fresh basil minced
1 tsp fresh tarragon minced
1 tsp rosemary minced
1 tsp oregano minced
1 tsp sage minced
1 tbs avocado oil

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm avocado oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic cloves and sauté until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and cook 20-30 minutes until your sauce is cooked through... Here's the Fun Part...... Using either an immersion blender or regular blender, pulse mixture to desired consistency.

I myself like my sauce a little this for Chicken Parmesan, but it completely depends on your preference.


Here are some more pictures from our day of fun: