SWEET AND SAVORY

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chicken is such a versatile protein. It's able to take on many different flavors. Here's a one pot meal that is packed full of flavor and textures that will have you coming back for seconds! 

chicken stew with plantains

CHICKEN STEW WITH PLANTAINS

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Serving: 4

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large, ripe plantain or 2 small ones, chopped in 1/2" pcs
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1/4 cup of diced olives
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 grated lime zest and juice
  • 1 grated orange zest and juice  

raw chicken

1. Coat the chicken thighs with the lime and orange zest, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper.

bell pepper and plantains
 
canned tomatoes and olives
 
chopped plantains 
2. Add the olive oil to a hot pot and brown the chicken

cooked chicken

cooked chicken

3. Remove chicken and place on a plate. Now add more olive oil and brown the plantain pieces. 

cooked plantains

4. Once the plantains have browned (be careful not to burn them), remove and add the bell peppers and onions.

cooked onions and bell peppers

5. Once cooked, add the chicken, plantains, juices, tomatoes and olives into the pot.


6. Simmer for about 30 mins and serve over rice!

chicken stew and plantains

WHEAT FREE

Thursday, April 2, 2015



Do you guys see anything new with the blog? If you've noticed, I've added a "gluten free" tab at the top. Why the addition, you ask? Well, here's the background story to that...

I've had chronic plaque psoriasis since I was about six years old. If you don't know what chronic plaque psoriasis is, please click here. 

I remembered that exact moment when I was waiting at the doctor's office to determine the fate of my skin. I also remembered the aftermath of that day very clearly as well. See, I had developed a lesion near my nether regions and that was the exact spot they scraped a piece to test. Trips to the potty in the following days were not so happy. 

A few days later after the skin scrape, I was diagnosed with chronic plaque psoriasis. If you know a thing or two about this autoimmune disease is that you'll know that it's incurable, as in, I'll have it for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Then came the dozens of visits to dermatologists to find any sort of relief since the lesions were spreading and growing in size. Oral medications to medicated shampoos to topical steroid creams to skin rinses and nothing seemed to keep the lesions away for long. The problem was that the skin cells regenerated at such an incredibly fast rate that they would become immune to all medication.

Not only was the medication expensive, but so were the plethora of doctor's visits. It was also very embarrassing to be a child and having this issue. I constantly covered up for fear of someone noticing the ugly red scaly patches all over my body. I had an insane LOVE for turtlenecks back then.

I suffered for about twenty five years until very recently when the gluten free craze came about. I started reading forum after forum about how omitting gluten from your diet would clear the psoriasis immediately. At first I was skeptical. What do you mean it could clear patches within days?!?! That was absurd to me. Why didn't the doctors ever mention that all these years?? And how would I survive without my breads and pastas?? There were so many questions running through my mind.

After reading about several success stories, I decided to give it a try! Luckily, the grocery stores offered so many gluten free alternatives for bread and pasta that after several weeks of trying out the new diet, I didn't miss them at all.

Fast forward to about a month later on the new diet and I kid you not, my lesions noticeably shrank in size. It such a wonderful feeling! I knew that relief had to come from within.

It's been about six months since I've started this diet and all the lesions on my elbows and knees have completely vanished. The lesions from my scalp have diminished drastically as well. There are still some areas that are more stubborn than others, but all in all, my skin has improved exponentially!

This is a great resource on learning about the disease and reading questions and answers from those that have been affected : https://www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/

MAKE THAT DOLLAR LAST A LIL LONGER

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Photo taken from Popsugar.com

Don't you just hate it when you spend hours at the grocery store rummaging through mounds of fruits and veggies for the perfect ones only to spoil or rot after several days in the fridge? Here are some tips to help preserve the life of your groceries so you'll actually get a chance to use them and not throw money down the drain week after week.



1. Wrap the top of your bananas with plastic wrap so that they won't ripen as quickly.

2. Place wet herbs on top of paper towels or newspaper to dry before rolling them within the paper towels and placing in the fridge.

3. If you feel like you won't get a chance to finish that loaf of bread before it molds, just throw it in the freezer until you're ready to use it.

4. Make sure to throw out that bad apple or else it will spoil the surrounding fruits.

5. Organic milk may cost a bit more than regular milk, but it can last in the fridge up to several weeks longer. 

6. If your berries are about to spoil, wash and then freeze them for future smoothies, breads, or pies. 

7. To help your guacamole from oxidizing, add the avocado seed in the center of it.

8. Store ginger in the freezer.


9. Don't put bananas in the fridge, they will get brown very fast.


10. Store mushrooms in a paper tray, not a plastic bag.


11. Store eggs and milk in the coldest part of your fridge and not the door where they could spoil much faster.


12. When buying ground beef or ground turkey in bulk, section it out to 1/2 lb baggies so that they will be much faster to defrost.

HELLO THERE...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Hi everyone! I'm sure you all are wondering where I've been the last 8 months, so to tell you the honest truth, LIFE happened. I know that using the excuse that "life happened" shouldn't deter me from sharing my love of food with you all, but man, juggling a full-time job, planning a wedding, squeezing in quality friends and family time, and oh, training for my first triathlon has been a feat in itself! So something had to give and that little something was this blog. Don't worry friends, this blog will return with full force! 

VERSATILE CHICKEN

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Due to recent health issues, I've taken out quite a few items from my diet. The biggest category that was deleted was red meat which included beef, pork and lamb. Since doing this, I've had to be creative with ways to incorporate chicken into the diet without growing tired of it. This certain recipe is very versatile since it can be eaten as fajitas, with rice or on top of a salad which is a win win in my book!

CITRUS CHICKEN

Prep time: 5 mins + 8 hrs overnight marinating time
Cook time: 15 mins (if cooking on a pan)
Serving: 4-6

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 chicken breasts, scored
  • 2 limes
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup citrus juice (mango juice, orange juice, or guava juice) I chose mango lemonade because that was available in my fridge




1. Combine all ingredients into a metal mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 


2. Take chicken out of fridge and let it get to room temperate before cooking. You can either grill, bake or cook the chicken on a pan with a bit of oil.


3. Slice the chicken and enjoy with just about anything. I chose to make chicken fajitas!


TASTE OF THAI

Saturday, June 28, 2014




Even though I can't eat much spicy foods, I always seem to make an exception for spicy Thai food. Thai food can be made mild, but what's the fun in that if you can't liven it up a bit with some spice? Just one of those Thai chili peppers will definitely be enough for an entire dish. 

Below is my take on a traditional Thai dish called Gai Pad Prik Khing which translates to stir-fry chicken with red curry paste. Since I didn't have any chicken breasts available, I used ground turkey and it came out amazing! 

THAI STYLE STIR-FRY GREEN BEANS AND GROUND TURKEY

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Serving: 4-6

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs green beans, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 palm sugar block
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
  • 1 thai pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbs red curry paste




1. Cook the ground turkey in a wok or skillet with a bit of oil.


2. Once cooked through, place the ground turkey in a bowl and set aside.


3. Mash up the palm sugar into smaller bits and add to the wok with the curry paste and kaffir lime leaves. Let the sugar and curry cook down a bit.


4. Add the ground turkey back in and continue to cook. 


5. Add the green beans, mushrooms, fish sauce and thai pepper to the wok. Cook for a few more minutes until the green beans are cooked to your desired crunchiness. 


6. Serve with a bowl of white or brown rice.



THAT CARIBBEAN TOUCH

Monday, June 23, 2014


I've always been a beach baby. Give me sun and water and I'm set! There's just something absolutely soothing about hearing the ocean's waves crashing into the sand and rolling back out to sea. Ahhhhhhh, paradise.

Last year, my fiance and I visited the Bahamas on our annual beach trip. While there, I got the chance to taste deliciously authentic Bahamian/Caribbean cuisine. Their diet consisted mostly of seafood (especially conch) and fish, rice and beans (called "peas and rice"), and tropical fruits. Most of the seafood was prepared by being grilled or made into a ceviche. Since the seafood was prepared with minimal ingredients, we were able to truly taste it without all of the additional mumbo jumbo.

Since that trip, I've tried to incorporate Caribbean influences into my cooking. Below is a recipe for a tropical inspired fish that is quite easy, yet very tasty!


COCONUT CRUSTED BAKED FISH

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Serving: 4

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 filets of a white fish (Halibut, Grouper or Bass all work)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 lemons



1. Pre-heat the oven to 365 degrees F. Season the fish filets with garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to your liking.


2. Add the melted butter and smother all over the filets. 


3. Mix the bread crumbs and coconut flakes in a separate bowl. Add each filet to the mixture and coat evenly.


4. Place the filets on a nonstick baking sheet and place into the oven for 15-20 mins. 



5. Serve with a wedge of lemon and enjoy!