Wow, talk about a long hiatus from posting anything! For those of you who used to follow me… my sincere apologies, for anyone seeing any of my posts for the first time…Welcome! 🙂
A lot has happened over the past two years. I quit a horrible job, started a new amazing job, got settled, then subsequently lost track of time. To keep things interesting me and the husband decided to buy a detached house before the market in the Lower Mainland made it impossible to own a house. We got in the market just in time but still over paid…that is another story all together. Last year, we got ourselves into a full scale renovation of said over-priced house. That was an adventure to say the least! Once the dust settled, we had turned an un-kept, filthy house that was stuck in 1995 into a place we could call home. Surprisingly, there was only one major melt down during the entire process. In the end, I got my dream kitchen and our marriage came out stronger. We turned a delivery of 220 boxes from Ikea into something spectacular! Here is a quick before and after:
So now that you are all caught up…on to the cooking and food 🙂
- 6 Chicken Breasts (cut into 1″ strips)
- 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 9 Garlic Cloves (grated)
- 3 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
- Juice from 2 Limes
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 2 Lemongrass Stems (cut into 1″pieces)
- 2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (no msg)
- Roasted Sesame
- Fresh Cilantro
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- Place your Coconut Oil and Chicken Pieces into a cast iron pot. Cook on high until chicken is lightly browned. (about 8 minutes)
- Add in your broth and the rest of the ingredients . Mix well and bring to a boil.
- Turn down the heat to low and cook covered for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Scoop out your chicken strips and dice/shred them up on cutting board.
- With a slotted spoon, remove and discard the pieces of lemongrass.
- Return the now shredded chicken to the broth mixture.
- Let it cook on low for about 20 minutes to allow the chicken to take on even more flavour from the broth mixture.
- Top your chicken with the toppings and serve over rice or quinoa.
A week ago we decided to go out for a dinner and a new item on the menu caught our eye. They were spicy green beans and they were delicious! Ever since then I have wanted to try my hand at making these. Last night as we were leaving from the vet, my father-in-law drove past us and my husband quickly gave him a call to let him know he was spotted. Earlier that morning I had put in a ridiculous amount of pork into the slow cooker so I figured why not invite him over for dinner. However, all we had at home was just that, pork. Now I also had some of my recently pickled onions but my father-in-law flat out refuses to eat onions so those were off the table for him. (The recipe for those amazing things will be posted soon along with the pork) Alright back to the beans. I had recently picked up some lovely looking green beans at the market for the purpose of attempting to recreate the spicy beans from the dinner. So last night was the night I gave it a shot, I have to say for something so easy and quick, they were delicious! If my father-in-law hadn’t shown up soon after I made them I think me and my husband would have easily polished them off as an appetizer.
- 1 Pack of Green Beans
- 2 Small Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (grated)
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 ½ Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 ½ Tbsp Chili Flakes
- 1 ½ Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
- Fresh Pepper to taste
- Rinse your green beans and cut off the tips a bit for freshness. Set aside.
- Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat up your wok and pour a little bit of water mixed with some olive oil into the bottom.
- Once the water is bubbling, throw in your beans and sauté them until they are bright and starting to get a bit golden (approx. 5 minutes)
- Pour in your sauce and cover the beans. Saute them for about a minute more.
- Remove and serve right away.
I’m back! After a couple weeks spent gallivanting across Scotland and Ireland for my first wedding anniversary with my amazing husband I have had to come back to reality. Lucky for you, this involves me cooking again! The last couple of days have been spent cleaning, unpacking and doing the dreaded laundry *shudder* so last night marked only day 3 of me cooking again.
After a solid two weeks of having others cook for us and enjoying some heavy but delicious meals, we both noticed our clothes getting a little snugger than they were prior to our vacation. I do not regret it one bit! After all “we were on vacation” so when the server asked if I wanted another pint of Guiness with my chicken and mushroom cream pie the answer was naturally a YES please!
Upon our return and a moment of panic when I couldn’t find an appropriate work outfit we both knew we had to get back on track with our eating habits. From this came a wonderful, easy and might I add Paleo dinner idea last night.
I had been wanting to try my hand at an almond chicken for awhile now, the main thing stopping me was my husband of all things. Not for reasons you may think though. Bless his heart, he has been helping me out before I get home from work by washing and prepping the chicken breasts. However, out of habit he would also marinate the chicken. Now normally I would never object to this, but for this meal that I had in mind I needed un-marinated chicken breasts.
Last night I came home to cleaned un-marinated chicken and quickly got to work. This super easy and quick meal was not only healthy, it was delicious!
- 2 Chicken Breasts (washed and fileted in half)
- 1 Egg (beaten)
- 1 Cup Almond Meal
- 1 Handful Sliced Almonds
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
- Juice from Half a Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Ground Fresh Ginger
- Place your cut chicken in a shallow dish and “marinate” it with the lemon juice and ginger. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- In another shallow dish put in your egg and beat it.
- In another shallow dish assemble the almond meal, sliced almonds and seasoning.
- Pre-heat your oven to 415 degrees F.
- Take your marinated chicken and let the lemon juice drip off a bit (you can decide how much ginger you want on each piece by rubbing it in a bit at this stage).
- Dredge the chicken through the egg on both sides followed by the almond mixture. You may need to sprinkle the meal by hand to fully cover the chicken.
- Place your “breaded” chicken breasts on a lightly greased baking rack. Place some more almond slices on top if you wish for extra crunch.
- Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until they turn golden.
I have been a bit under the weather lately as you can tell from my last post. With that said, I have been looking for quick meals with a lot of taste. And for some reason I have been craving spicy and tangy food the last two days. So after I finally dragged myself to the kitchen wrapped in a blanket the other evening I was looking for anything I could manage to make in under 30 minutes. This is what was scrounged up, basically my take on chili chicken. While dousing chicken in a chili sauce would have been much easier I made the sauce from scratch and it only took 5 minutes. Within 30 minutes I was back to be being curled up on the couch.
You will need 4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken breasts cubed and seasoned with some paprika.
For the Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Minced Ginger
- 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 3 1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- Juice from 1 Lime
- 1 Minced Garlic Clove
- 1 Tbsp Chili Flakes
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
For the Garnish:
- 2 Green Onions (finely chopped)
- 1 Handful of Fresh Cilantro (finely chopped)
- Sesame Seeds
1) Combine the above in a bowl.
2) In a large pan or wok heat up your Olive oil with about a tablespoon of water. Toss in your cubes of chicken and cook until they are no longer pink.
3) Add in the sauce and cook until it is no longer watery. (approx. 5 mins) Let the chicken brown a bit in the sauce then toss in the garnish mix.
Combine it all and serve with your choice of side. I myself did fresh cubes of cucumber.
Feeling under the weather?
Sometimes during the winter and even early spring months it is not uncommon. With cold and flu season in full swing chances are you will come down with a cold at least once during this time. Spending the majority of my time in an office setting in close proximity to people coughing, sneezing, blowing their noses and refusing to stay home when they are sick I often find myself in fear of catching a cold or whatever is ailing them. Besides the hand sanitizer and box of Lysol wipes I have at my desk to wipe my desk, computers, phone and mice, I have a pretty awesome tea collection going in my drawer as well.
I am not a big fan of the traditional medicine used these days by people who have colds, from pills and syrup to lozenges. I do not even remember the last time I bought a bottle of cough syrup for that matter. While my husband at first was skeptical of my natural alternatives and all gung-ho for his Dayquil and Halls slowly he has come around and I find himself making himself Ginger tea and taking a few drops of Oregano Oil when he feels a cold coming on.
I am not going to discount the traditional medicines out there, to each his own. I have used them myself but if and when I can, I try to stick to something more natural rather than pumping my body that is trying to fight off a bug with chemicals and things I can’t pronounce. Here are my favorite home remedies and natural alternatives to some common problems we find ourselves faced with during cold and flu season. Remember, these are my opinion only and since I am not a doctor do not take this as a cure all and always talk to your doctor before trying something new if you are unsure of how you may react. Wow I totally sounded like a commercial for a new drug haha. Anyways without further adieu…
For the overall “I think I am coming down with something” feeling:
I always take a Vitamin C followed by 2-3 drops of Oregano Oil under my tongue and wash it down with some juice. (Do not put the oil ON your tongue, you will not like your experience)
I usually replace my store bought tea with a natural one when I feel under the weather and below is the recipe:
Ginger, Lemon & Honey Tea (pictured above)
- 3-4 Slices of Fresh Ginger
- Juice from 1/4 Lemon
- 1 Tsp Honey (I tend to use Organic)
- Hot Water
Combine all the above in your favorite mug and let it brew for a few minutes then drink. (PJ’s and a cozy blanket are highly recommended as well)
For the “I have a cactus stuck in my throat” sore throat feeling:
Salt Water Gargle
- 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup Warm water
Combine the above in a cup and let the salt dissolve. Let the water cool a bit then gargle a few times. Do NOT swallow the water. Do this at least 2 times a day.
For the “I may need a vacuum to unplug my nose” feeling:
When I was young I would get chronic sinus infections. Dealing with facial pain is very debilitating and pair it with a stuffed nose and you will definitely not be a happy camper. When I was younger I absolute hated doing these steam inhalations but now both myself and my hubby do them to help ease a stuffed nose and facial pain.
- Fresh Mint (or a mint tea bag if no fresh mint is available)
- Pot of Boiling Water
Bring a medium sized pot half way filled with water to a boil and throw in the mint. Take it off the stove and place it on your table. Sit in front of it and place your face over it then cover your head with a towel. Take deep breathes in to inhale the steam.
*Do not put your face too low so you do not burn yourself with the steam and always have a box of tissues handy.
And finally for the “I should not have eaten that” upset tummy feeling:
Pepper Vodka Shot
Now, this one always gets a good tease from my husband followed by “wow you are so Polish” lol
It may sound funny but if something is upsetting your tummy and you are feeling queezy… try a shot of straight vodka with fresh ground pepper. It will either cause you to throw up whatever is making you queezy or settle your stomach.
Hope some of these help 🙂
Last night after watching some Top Chef Canada I was inspired. The contestants were each given a country and they had to cook up a meal with inspiration from each specific country. I was obviously not on this show but I decided to play along. I chose Thailand since I had a lot of the right ingredients sitting in my fridge already along with the defrosted Basa fish. What turned out was this lovely Basa with a ginger and basil infused broth.
This was super easy and quick to make and made for a nice flavorful dinner. 🙂
- 2 Basa Filets (defrosted if frozen)
- 4 Fresh Basil Leaves
- Juice from 1/2 a Lime
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Ginger (minced)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
- 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 Tsp Sesame Seed Oil (optional)
- White Pepper (to taste)
- Sesame Seeds and Chopped Green Onions for garnish.
1) Rinse your fish and place into a greased glass baking dish.
2) Combine all the above ingredients besides the garnish into a mortar & pestle. Grind the ingredients together to allow the flavors to combine.
3) Pour the sauce onto your fish and let it sit for about an hour to allow for it to marinate a bit.
4) Heat your oven to 500F. (I drizzled 2 Tsp of sesame seed oil over the fish at this point as well) Place our fish in the center of the oven and let it broil for 10 – 15 mins depending how thick your fish is.
5) Remove and garnish.
I used the broth that turned out as a sauce for our rice and it was lovely.
** Quick note: If you are ever marinating food in a glass baking dish in your fridge make sure you take it out at least 30 minutes before you pop it in the oven. If you do not let the glass come to roof temperature it can shatter in the oven due to the extreme temperature difference**
Yes, I learned this the hard way years ago.