Stir Fry “Rice”

I am not a huge fan of making one food try to be another, but this time I’ll make an exception because these taste buds are so dang happy!

Even Hannah liked it!


Stir Fry Cauliflower “Rice”

  • 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 head cauliflower, processed to a rice-size
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/2 tsp-1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-4 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (0r mixed frozen veggies)
  • 1/ cup shredded cabbage

And by request, here’s the video how-to! Happy Cooking!


You HAVE Got to Try This!

Seriously. No, I’m not selling something.

I made THE BEST dinner tonight. It was so good, that it will be a regular weekly meal in our house.

A group of friends are doing a Whole30 month (eating only whole foods for 30 days, eliminating sugary processed foods.) I did a Whole30 month last December and liked it for the most part, although I’m not a huge fan in general of eliminating entire food groups. (Whole30 eliminates legumes and dairy, but adds them back in during a reintroduction phase at the end.)

Alicia, a trainer friend of mine, messaged me and asked if I had the cookbook, and to try the Romesco Shrimp. She said it was really good. Sadly, I don’t do shellfish (it’s a texture thing for me) but she thought chicken would work well, too. Eager to try something new and after reviewing the necessary ingredients, I had most all of them on hand. Why not? I’m almost sick of salad and hard boiled eggs at this point anyway.

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Here’s the recipe for the Whole30 Romesco sauce, which would be awesome over fish, or grilled chicken, too!

Romesco Sauce via Whole30:

2 tablespoons cooking fat (I used avocado oil)
½ cup almonds, chopped
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

MELT the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the almonds and toast for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the chili powder and paprika and cook until the flavors open up, about 30 seconds. Finally, add the tomatoes, mix into the ingredients, and cook, stirring to bring up the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan, until the tomatoes are warmed through, about 2 minutes.

TRANSFER the sauce mixture to a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on low speed until the sauce is smooth, then pour into a serving dish or glass storage container.

ALLOW to cool before refrigerating; the sauce will keep for up to 5 days.

Here’s the link for the shrimp version. Below is how I tweaked it!

3 medium zucchini (about 4 cups of “noodles”)
2 tablespoons cooking fat
¼ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh
parsley leaves
Romesco Sauce (see above)

Instead of peeling the zucchini first as in the original recipe, I just wash up the veggies really well and use a spiralizer. (Confession: I like to spiralize EVERYTHING! It makes it fun, the kids think everything is noodles and will actually eat them! And, yeah – it kind of looks like curly hair so I’m in!) I have a little hand spiralizer that I picked up at our local grocery for about 6 bucks, and it’s pictured in the little slideshow.

MELT the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the fat is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, toss to coat with the onion and garlic, and cook stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a serving bowl.

The original recipe also called for steaming or boiling the zoodles, but I find sautéing them in a bit of avocado oil with salt and pepper worked just fine. If you choose to boil them, simply drain the “zoodles” when they are al dente and transfer to a serving dish or individual plates. SPRINKLE the chicken with the parsley, toss, and spoon over the zoodles. Spoon the Romesco Sauce over the chicken and zucchini and serve!

If I had had more room in my stomach, I would have eaten more. I would swim in a vat of this stuff and eat my way out! It was seriously that good. Oddly enough, the sauce has an almost parmesan flavor and texture – it fooled my mouth into thinking there was cheese of some kind involved. So good!

It’s the kind of good that as I sit here drooling thinking about my dinner, I’m so excited for lunch when I plan on eating more!!!

Bon appetit!

Soup Saturday

After teaching spin this morning and training a few clients, I decided to turn this dreary rainy weather into food prep day so we’d have delicious meals ready to roll through the week. There is nothing quite like a road trip to remind us why home cooked food is awesome!

Yesterday I made this yumminess:


I’m more of a “throw it in the pan and see what happens” sort of cook. It’s the way my mom cooked growing up and more often than not, it turns out great.

Roughly, this is what I did:
2-3 tablespoons sesame oil, 2-3 tablespoons coconut aminos, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced, 1 package of lean sirloin strips.

Brown the meat and ginger and garlic in aminos and oil. Remove meat from pan and set aside in foil covered bowl. I then added a couple dashes more of the oil and aminos and then threw in the veggies; water chestnuts, carrots, celery, broccoli and cabbage. Stir fry until fork tender, then add steak back in. Top with a few more dashes of aminos and diced green onion. Sprinkle sesame seeds and serve! Also Whole30 compliant!

Speaking of Whole30, remember that? I followed it about 85-90% for 4 weeks, then we went on vacation. (I did not want to be the lunatic packing food for a cross-country drive.) Here are my takeaways from my Whole30ish:

  1. I’m not good with eliminating food I love. Yes, it’s only 30 days. No, it isn’t a huge deal, but often it sets us up to fixate on the food we aren’t “allowed” or that isn’t “compliant”.
  2. Not a huge fan of the Facebook groups associated with Whole30. I’m sure not all of them are like this, but the one I was in for “first timers” had a LOT of disordered eating patterns. Lots of legalism and “keeping with the rules”. Yes, I know that’s the point, but again – long term goals in mind – this sets people up for “failure” when they don’t “comply”. I really hate the language, too. So legalistic. Barf.
  3. I do love that it encourages a whole lot of veggies and fruits. Whole30 definitely makes you a label reader and there isn’t anything wrong with that! There is so much sugar in many things that really don’t even need it. The premise of eating only whole, real foods is definitely a good thing.
  4. Pickles. Yum. Found some with no sugar added: Bubbies! Cloudy and weird, but so tasty!prod_pure_kosher_dills_lg
  5. It got me back in my kitchen playing with my culinary skills. LOVE that. I love cooking and enjoyed planning, chopping, and prepping.
  6. I liked that there wasn’t snacking. There wasn’t 6-8 meals a day. Even though I enjoy food prep, I also would like to not live my entire life in the kitchen. There are 3 components to meals: proteins, veggies/fruit, and a healthy fat.  I was full in between, due to healthy fats like olives and avocados. Hmmm, avocados…..Yum!
  7. I learned that I actually can drink coffee black. I even liked it!** That’s one thing I will be taking away from Whole30 is that I will continue drinking it black. I noticed when I did put cream in, I didn’t care for it as much. Who knew?!  (**Liking black coffee – but still a coffee snob. My favorite is french press from freshly ground beans.)
  8. I noticed a big reduction in bloating. Because I didn’t do a “proper reintroduction” I don’t have the specifics on what causes bloating for me. Legumes or dairy. Those are main culprits for bloating for most people.
  9. Finally, overall I think if people give it a try and feel better – great. It’s a reset for your digestive system. I don’t care for the crazed adherence to legalism that many Whole30 participants exhibit, and many over a long period of time. I don’t think it’s wise to eliminate entire food groups without checking with a registered dietician or your health care provider.

So there are my thoughts on Whole30.

For today’s food adventure, I started with chicken soup. Daughter is sick with a cold and looks like Hubby is headed in the same direction. Nothing like chicken goodness to cure what ails you!

Starting with a mirepoix, the french word for raw, roasted or sautéed vegetables – usually carrots, celery and onions – with butter or olive oil, is the flavor base for a wide variety of dishes. (Ooh look – I’m fancy using french!)

Ahem. Anyhoo. Starting with the veggie base, I added a precooked chicken and some fresh herbs. Basil, thyme, and rosemary are herbs that pair well with chicken (in my not so humble opinion) and nothing punches up flavor like fresh rather than dried herbs.

I then added chicken stock and a bit of milk to give it that creamy feeling, without the heaviness of a true cream soup with flour or cornstarch. Hubby loved it and daughter scarfed it up!

Next up I made some spicy pantry chili.

Crockpot chili is a great way to use up whatever you have on hand. Onions, jalepeno, and fresh garlic sautéed with fresh ground beef (or bison or turkey) bring out scrumptious flavors. Add cumin, chili powder, onion and garlic powder, then all desired canned beans and 1-2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes to the crockpot. After the meat is browned thoroughly, add it to the crockpot to join the beans and tomatoes. This is where I doctor the spices. Adding more cumin or chili powder for that taco-y taste, (yes, that’s a word!) or red pepper flake for more of a kick. Adding a second jalepeno adds a nice level of heat, too.

Now it’s evening and it’s still raining. I have a full tummy, a full fridge and now I think it’s time for a nice glass of red vino and a snuggle with my dogs!

Happy Soup Saturday!

I Don’t Think I’ll Miss My Toast

My niece over at Hangin’ By A Thread texted me last week a picture of this book, Whole30, with the description: This is my December.

Hmm. Not one to let a challenge go by, (without further investigation) I jumped on board saying, “Hey! I’ll do it with you. It’s only 30 days, right? No big deal that it’s December.” So off I trotted to pick up the book.

I then posted on Facebook (because it’s not a commitment until it’s on Facebook, right?!) that I was checking this out and it might be fun. I was in a bit of a food rut and looking for some kitchen inspiration anyway.

I began reading just the preface and loved the snarky tone right away. I love it when authors tell it like it is with some tough love. This is full of it! If they are going to say, “Don’t eat this!” making me laugh is the least they can do.

After getting the gist of what our December was going to be like, I headed off to the grocery to do a “toe in the water” test. Much of what is described in the book is how we try to eat most of the time anyway, with just a few tweaks, mainly legumes and dairy. I’m in south Texas – beans are in abundance! But hey, for 30 days – who cares? If beans are a culprit of bloating, why not eliminate them and see what happens? As I read further, that’s what much of this Whole30 deal is about. It’s a reset button on your digestive system. Sure, one could eat this way indefinitely, but it’s really more of a way to eliminate sugar and processed foods to see what happens in your body. Acne, diabetes, bloating, energy and sleep levels, and so much more are shown to improve without dairy, legumes and grains. Now, I’m not doing this for the rest of my life. I will have flour again. I’m not doing this to lose weight. I’m not a Paleo convert. (No one needs to stage a nutrition intervention!) I’m still not a fan of long-term elimination of entire macronutrient food groups, unless directed to do so by your doctor or dietician. But what a fun experiment for 30 days!! Let’s just see what happens! (At the very least, we’ll come away with a few new meal ideas in our repertoire!)

After unloading the groceries and rearranging the fridge to accommodate all that yummy produce, my daughter and I set to work. She loves to help in the kitchen and a Kitchen Sink Stir Fry provides lots of opportunities to do just that!

It was a hit! Mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, chicken, garlic, cabbage and Brussels sprouts was what we had, so that’s what we used! Hannah even liked the Brussels sprouts! We simply sautéed the chicken with the minced garlic in
Coconut Aminos (a soy sauce alternative, can be found in most grocery stores, typically in the gluten free section) and sesame oil. It was tasty, filling, but didn’t make us feel like taking a nap!

This morning was a mental health/recharge day for me. I had a nice long run with my fur babies. I’m working on next week’s programming for my clients, and general housekeeping junk. (You know, the really exciting stuff like laundry and dishes.)

Pausing for lunch, I decided to try my hand at a brunchy scramble. I love scrambles and stir-fries because of the single pan to clean up, and it’s also a great way to incorporate a TON of veggies, not to mention clean out the fridge of odds and ends!

Starting with a couple of strips of bacon (uncured, not made with sugar), diced bell peppers, cubed butternut squash, and a handful of Brussels sprouts were added.

Then some mushrooms and  julienned zucchini joined the party. (My little julienne peeler is the bomb! Love that thing for zucchini noodles, carrots for salad – it’s amazing!) Two scrambled eggs made it complete!

Finishing up with sliced avocado and some halved cherry tomatoes, let’s just say I’m glad I enjoyed this alone, because sharing this deliciousness wasn’t gonna happen!

I think it’s safe to say I’m probably not going to miss my morning toast over the next month! Here’s to diving in to the next 30 days!