Fried Rice

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Monday is commonly a sluggish day for most people. Its the start of another busy and long week ahead. Getting your feet back on the ground after having a day or two off over the weekend can make being proactive hard to come by right away. Even after work your probably not in the mood to cook anything, that’s just how Mondays roll.

When your in a lethargic state of mind and don’t feel like going above and beyond to make dinner, fried rice is an easy meal. One bowl fills me up and you can have it ready in less than 30 minutes!

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Active Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 30 Minutes

Serves: 2

Mise en Place:

-2 Cups of cooked Rice

-3 Cloves Garlic, minced

-1 large Carrot, peeled, cut small

-1/2 Yellow Onion, small dice

-8 Brussels Sprouts, stem cut off, peeled, cut in 1/4’s

-1 Cup Cabbage, thinly shredded

-2 Eggs

-1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

-1/4 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce (Mae Ploy)

-1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil

-1 Teaspoon Sambal

-Salt &Pepper, TT

Other Tools:

-Oil or butter

Method of Prep:

-Heat up a large saute pan oven medium heat. Once pan is hot, add in oil or butter to coat the pan.

-Add in Brussels sprouts and carrots. Season with salt and pepper, saute for 2 minutes.

-Add in garlic and cook until light brown in color. Add more oil or butter if needed.

-Add in onions, stir and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

-Increase heat to medium high. Add in sweet chili sauce, stir. Cook an additional 2 minutes.

-Add cabbage and mix together.

-Add rice in, half at a time. Mix until well incorporated.

-Add sesame oil and soy sauce, stir. Season to taste.

-Push all the rice to the back of the pan leaving an opening in the front. Crack both eggs, season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 1 minute and then scramble for an additional 1 minute.

-Mix eggs into the rice mixture until incorporated.

Enjoy!

**Serving suggestion:

Instead of scrambling eggs into your rice, add a fried egg on top πŸ™‚ If your GF and want to enjoy a delicious bowl of fried rice, eliminate the soy sauce. Use brown rice instead to give it the fried color. The results in taste are still delicious!

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Grain Free Crust

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The grain free diet has seem to become quite popular recently. There are various ways to follow the diet, and although I’m not following it, I have taken up an interest in working with a lot of grain free recipes as I’m finding them to be tasty, plus it benefits my readers who are on that diet or who cant eat grains due to celiacs disease (Gluten Free). There are a few names for the diet such as paleo diet and primal diet. I’m not on a grain free diet but those who are say they find it beneficial to their physical and emotional well being. if your merely curious about going grain free or if your already a full on grain free foodie, this is a good starting recipe to use in your baking. I tested this recipe out making what i call a quiche but due to my lack of cream on hand it could be called a frittata. Whatever you decide to call it, this crust works great.

Keep in mind, this recipe includes coconut and almond flour, therefore the taste is a bit more sweet than savory (Think of a graham cracker). When you go to plan a recipe to use this crust with, make sure all your flavors will work well with the sweet and nutty flavor from the crust.

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Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 20 Minutes

This honey graham cracker flavored recipe is: Gluten Free/Grain Free/Dairy Free

Mise en Place:

-1/4 Cup Almond Flour

-1/2 Cup Coconut Flour

-1/4 Teaspoon Salt

-1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

-1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

-1/4 Cup Honey

-1 Egg

Other Tools:

-Mixer

-Pie pan

Method of Prep:

-Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

-In a mixer combine both flours, salt, and baking soda on medium speed.

-Mix in liquid ingredients (honey, coconut oil, and egg). Continue to mix on medium speed until everything is incorporated.

-In a greased pie pan, place the crust in it. Press down until flat all over the bottom of the pan. (I find starting from the middle and working my way out to the edges works best.) Poke base a few times with a fork.

-Place pan in the oven and cook until golden brown approximately 15-20 minutes. Be sure to rotate pie pan after 10 minutes to ensue all around golden brown color.

-Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before filling.

Enjoy!

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Roasted Beet & Brussels Sprout Salad With Mustard Vinaigrette

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Warm greens unless they are collards, kale, or chard just doesn’t sound pleasant to me. I’ve always enjoyed nice crisp and cold lettuce when eating a salad. I had a recall of a spinach and warm bacon dressing salad that was warm when eaten. I liked the concept and have switched things up to make a warm winter salad great for this time of year. The acidity in the vinegar creates a delicious pop with the greens and vegetables. You can take the time to make your own dressing as I did (which is the better option) or you can use a dressing of your liking. (To save time on making this salad, roast your beets ahead of time)

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Active Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour

Mustard Vinaigrette:

Yield: 1 Mason Jar (8oz)

Mise en Place:

-3 Tablespoons Honey

-1 Tablespoon Black mustard (You can use Dijon, just use 2 Tablespoons instead)

-1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

-3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (Grade B is the best)

-1 Cup Olive oil

-Salt & Pepper, TT

-Splash White Truffle oil

Other Tools:

-Vitamix or Blender (Immersion stick), whatever you have on hand to best make dressings with.

Method of Prep:

-In your blender of choice, add honey, mustard, cider vinegar and salt/pepper. Place lid on and blend on medium high speed (setting 6 on your vitamix).

-Slowly add in oil until consistency coats the back of a spoon (you may need more than 1 Cup of oil).

-While still blending, add in a splash of truffle oil.

-Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. You may need to add in more honey. You want to aim for a nice balance of acidity, mustard, and sweetness levels.

Salad:

Yield: 2 Salads

Mise en Place:

-1 Beet, roasted and peeled

-6 Brussels Sprouts, cut in 1/4’s

-1/2 Yellow onion, julienne

-Mixed Greens

-Goat Cheese, for garnish

-Pumpkin Seeds, for garnish

Additional Tools:

-Saute pan (I used my cast iron skillet)

-Large mixing bowl

-Cutting board

-small roasting pan (brownie pan works best)

-Kitchen rag that you don’t mind peeling beets with

Method of Prep:

-Set oven to 350 degrees. (If your going to roast 1 beef for this salad I recommend roasting off a few more for yourself and reserve for another recipe later in the week. I roasted 4).

-Coat beet(s) in a small amount of oil, salt&pepper. Place in roasting pan and add a small amount of water in the bottom of pan (about 1/2 Cup). Cover with plastic wrap and again with foil. Place in oven and roast for 50 minutes.

-While beets are cooking, cut onions and Brussels sprouts. (Be sure to cut off the stem of the brussels and remove the dark green outer layers.)

-Remove beets from oven, take off foil and plastic (which has more than likely melted away therefore you will need to pick around for it) and let cool for 5 minutes.

-Heat up a pan on medium high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter or oil. Add in spouts and onions. (if you have any bacon fat on hand this is a great time to add that in as well for added flavor!)

-Sear veg. until both are a beautiful golden brown all around color.

-Peel your beets using a kitchen towel (preferably one that you don’t mind getting stained as beet color may not wash out right away.)

-Cut both ends off of one beet. Cut that beet in half once and then in half two more times until you have small bite size pieces.

-In a large mixing bowl, place mixed greens and add in about 1/4 Cup of mustard vinaigrette. Gently toss together and place in a serving bowl.

-Top salad off with the hot brussels and onions. Place beets along the sides of the bowl (about 8 pieces). Garnish with a small handful of pumpkin seeds and sprinkle with goat cheese.

-Mix up and Enjoy!

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**Note: To be honest, I didn’t measure any of the ingredients out for the dressing. I’ve been making dressings for years and the appropriate amounts just come to me. You need to be the chef on that recipe. Adjust as needed until you have the right consistency and flavor your looking for. If you use the black mustard, go easy because its a very strong flavor. I recommend starting with no more than 1 1/2 tablespoons and adjusting from there. If you have a lot of honey I would use about 1/2 Cup of honey instead of both honey and syrup. I ran out of honey and had to roll with what I had on hand to make it happen.

 

Summer Rolls

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I have a huge desire for Asian food. I would much rather go to the local oriental market and grab all the necessities I need to fix a fabulous meal than go out to a Chinese or Thai restaurant and get it made for me. One of my preferred choices when it comes to Asian cuisine is summer rolls. They are so fresh and full of crisp flavor from seasonal vegetables and herbs. Super simple to make and inexpensive. These rolls are perfect for a hot summer day, however, because its only January, I find them a perfect match with some curry!

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Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 25 Minutes

Yield: 6 Summer Rolls

 

Mise en Place:

-6 Spring roll wrappers

-1/2 Yellow onion, julienne thin

-1 Red Pepper, julienne

-1 Carrot, peeled, julienned

-1/2 Mango, peeled, julienne

-6 Basil Leaves

-12 Cilantro Leaves

-1 Cup Rice, cooked

Additional Tools:

-1 large bowl of water

Method of Prep:

-Place 1 spring roll wrapper in water and soak for about 20 seconds until soft.

-Carefully place wrapper on the counter (Paper tears easily once wet, use care when moving around to avoid tearing paper.)

-Place 1 small handful of rice on the bottom of the wrapper. (leaving about 1/2 inch room at the bottom for wrapping)

-Press rice down and begin to lay vegetables on top. garnish with herbs.

-Roll the bottom up to cover the rice. Fold both sides in and then continue to roll tightly until sealed shut.

-Repeat the above steps until finished.

-Dip in sauce of choice

Enjoy!

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Sauce Recommendation(s):

-Mae Ploy (A sweet chili sauce that can be found in all oriental markets or in the Asian (international)Β  section of your supermarket or walmart)

-Hoisin (Garnish with 1 tablespoon of chopped peanuts and 1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro) Can also be found in the international isle.

 

Chicken Pot Pie

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Imagine that it’s 72 degrees outside with mild humidity. The sun has just set and your getting ready to fix dinner. When its warm outside there are lots of possibilities running through your mind of what to make for dinner and something piping hot is probably not one of them. However, If your craving good comfort food then that’s another story. Now I know its January and comfort food is at its peak currently unless your living in south FL where it’s still 78 degrees during the day and a chilly 68 at night.

All I could think about for dinner last night was chicken pot pie. I was in desperate need of comfort food like its 20 degrees outside and chicken pot pie is exactly what I had in mind. This is an excellent recipe to warm up to on a freezing winters night!

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Active Time: 30 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour

Mise en Place:

-5 Stalks of Celery, Small dice

-2 Carrots, Peeled, small dice

-5 Garlic Cloves, minced

-1 Sheet Puff Pastry

-4 Cups Chicken Stock

-1 3/4 Sticks Butter

-1 1/2 Cups Flour

-1 Pint Whole Milk

-1 Egg

-3 Bone in Chicken Thighs

-Salt & Black Pepper, TT

Additional Tools:

-Pastry Brush

-Baking dish

-Sheet tray

-Stock pot

-Sauce pot

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Method of Prep:

-Place chicken thighs and chicken stock in a small sauce pot. Bring stock to a simmer and cook until chicken cooked through about 15-20 minutes.

-In a large stock pot, caramelize your carrots in a little oil on medium high. Add in celery, garlic and onion. Stir.

-Remove chicken from liquid, dice up and add to the stock pot of vegetables. Set stock aside.

-Add butter and stir until melted. Add flour to the stock pot (making a roux). Cook for 5 minutes on medium low heat to cook off raw flour flavor (watch the heat level because the roux tends to burn easily. Be sure to constantly scrape the bottom of the pot to keep roux from burning).

-Slowly add stock and stir until combined. Simmer for 10 minutes.

-Add milk and stir until mixed. You should have perfect consistency by this point (looks almost like a chowder).

-Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

-Pour in a baking dish. Lay puff pastry on top and pinch edges together against sides of pan to seal. DSC_0098

-Brush top of pastry with egg wash. (Mix egg with 1 tablespoon of water)

-Place pan on a sheet try and bake in the oven at 375 degreesΒ  for 8 minutes on the top rack of your oven. Reduce heat to 275 on the broiler setting and move pan to the bottom rack and continue cooking for another 8 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown (and delicious)!

Enjoy! Caution!!! Contents inside are extremely hot! Don’t burn your mouth like I did πŸ™‚

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