Month: June 2014

Flourless Apricot Cobbler

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Woah, woah, woah where have you been?

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I know this is what you are probably thinking! I know, I know, I am sorry. I have been so bad this week with my posts. Okay so here’s the deal. We just got my husband back, in my house, forever! It has been far too long! We finally got him back for good from the military and I am never giving him back! It is so good to have him home.

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We have been busy moving stuff, unpacking, organizing. Yeah no, we still aren’t done yet. Not even close! Someday it will all get organized and then we will probably move again. So, that’s where I have been all week. Busy, busy, busy. There was no way to do the bloggity blog thing.

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Alright, now that I am done checking in with all my peeps (that’s you!) we can get started! So guess what? My Aunt Linda has fruit trees and gave me a huge bag of apricots straight off her tree! Say what!? I was looking at the bag and thinking… Hmm what do I want to do with these? Make jam –> boring OR apricot cobbler–> yes, please!

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What I love about this cobbler is that I can eat it completely guilt free. There is no added sugar, no oil or butter, no flour. How is that possible. It is basically like a raw cobbler if you have ever had one of those, except I bake it in the oven for a bit because lets be honest –> who wants to eat a cold cobbler!?

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Enjoy those yummy summer stone fruits! If you don’t have apricots you can use any other stone fruit as well!

Flourless Apricot Cobbler
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 9
If you like a thin crust use only half of the macadamia nuts. Three cups of macadamia nuts makes a thick crust!
Ingredients
  • FILLING
  • 6 cups fresh apricots, cubed
  • CRUST
  • 3 cups salted macadamia nuts for a thick crust or 1 1/2 cups for a thin crust (if you get unsalted, just add a little salt to it) * See note above
  • TOPPING
  • 2 ounces dates (about 12 dates)
  • 1 cup unsalted walnuts or almonds (add a small pinch of salt)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Throw 3 cups of the apricots into a blender and pulse until slightly chunky, not completely blent
  3. In a medium sized bowl add the partially blent apricots and the cubed apricots together and mix well
  4. In a food processor add the macadamia nuts and pulse until the macadamias are in small bits and you can pinch the nuts together and they stay up
  5. Dump the macadamia crust into a 8×8 pan and flatten it out by pressing it down evenly into the pan
  6. Add the walnuts or almonds, dates and coconut sugar to the food processor
  7. Pulse for about 10 seconds and then taste it to see if you want to add a pinch of salt
  8. Continue to pulse until it is broken down enough for it to pinch and stay up
  9. Pour the apricot mixture on top of the macadamia crust
  10. Top with the walnut and date topping
  11. Place it in the oven for 15 minutes, uncovered
  12. Serve immediately
  13. Add my homemade coconut whipped cream to the top! You can find it on my Raw Key Lime post –> http://nilsenpantry.com/2014/05/03/raw-key-lime-pie-parfait/

 

Loaded No Flour Oatmeal Cookies

IMG_2597How many of you have ever asked your kids what they wanted for breakfast and their answer was, “A cookie!”

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What if your answer could be, “Okay!” Well, it can! With a little sneaky baking you can make your children feel like they are eating a cookie, but really they are eating a big bowl of oatmeal.

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Don’t you just hate brown bananas! Even though I love banana bread, even more so my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread , sometimes I want to make something different. As a food blogger, I hardly have eat the same thing more than a few times because the whole point is to try out new recipes. Therefore, I had to think outside of the typical “banana bread” mindset and create something new.

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I bet you have everything for this recipe right in your pantry. No need to run to the store. There are a lot of things you can substitute for if you don’t. But, you DO need brown bananas. These oatmeal cookies are very chewy and moist. They are loaded with chocolate chips and raisins too. The only thing they are missing is flour, butter, oil and dairy. Who needs them anyway. I promise you wont miss them at all!

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No Flour Oatmeal Cookies
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 2 1/3 cup quick oats or regular oats blent up halfway in a blender
  • 1 cup natural chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, melted (agave or maple syrup)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. Take out two mixing bowls
  3. In one bowl mix together the bananas, honey and peanut butter
  4. In another bowl mix together the oats, raisins, chocolate chips and salt
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  7. Scoop out about 2-3 tablespoons worth of mix and place it on the parchment paper
  8. Take a fork and press down the mix to form a flattened cookie (the cookies are not going to spread or rise, so however you form them is how they are going to be)
  9. Put the cookies in the oven for 13-15 minutes, but no more than that
  10. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack
  11. The more you let them cool the firmer they will get

 

Heirloom Squash Spaghetti

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Have you ever heard of an heirloom (not tomato) squash?

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They taste like zucchini but look like a little mini flower pumpkins. It really is a thing, I swear! The first time I ever had one of these was in a risotto, which I will be working on later, and it was absolutely incredible!

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I saw some of these gorgeous squash at Whole Food’s Market the other day and just had to get them. They are so pretty! Hey- some people like puppies, I like pretty food. Get over it! I almost wanted to put them in a vase, but I didn’t want people to think I was weird or anything (no comments, please). I thought about what to do with these beauties for a couple days and then it hit me!

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Why not make a meat sauce spaghetti and submerge these bad boys in it. Meaty spaghetti sauce simmering around the most beautiful heirlooms I ever saw! It was a match made in heaven. *sigh*

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There is nothing worse than a blah spaghetti sauce, well maybe there are worse things for you, but not me! I promise you this sauce has more flavor than you can imagine. And the whole thing is topped with fresh basil. Yummy yummy!

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There is no real excuse for you to not make this. It is healthy, delicious, beautiful and is done in less than 30 minutes. Who says you can’t have dinner ready in 30 minutes? You can even set the table and wash the dishes before it’s done simmering away.

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Heirloom Squash Spaghetti
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound spaghetti; cooked, drained and rinsed (I used Tinkyada, which is a gluten free, brown rice pasta, but you can use anything you have)
  • 1- 29 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1- 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (nothing too sweet!)
  • 1 pound ground turkey thigh meat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, thinly chopped + extra chopped basil for topping
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 6 heirloom squash (I used half green and half yellow), ends cut off
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for topping
Instructions
  1. In a large pot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, and onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes until they are translucent
  2. Add in the ground turkey meat and a good pinch of salt and pepper
  3. Once the turkey meat is browned add in all the tomato sauce, white wine, Herbes de Provence, parsley, oregano, basil, bay leaves and tomato paste
  4. Simmer the sauce on low for ten minutes
  5. Add the heirloom squash and cook on medium heat for another 15-20 minutes, until the squash is cooked
  6. Mix in the pasta and coat it in the sauce
  7. Top with chopped basil and shredded or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  8. Serve!

 

Sesame Noodles with Chicken

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Holy moly bowl of amazingness!

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I absolutely love zucchini noodles. Have you ever had zucchini noodles? I love how easy they can be used to replace pasta. I have used them as a pasta, lasagna and now as an add in!

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But, here is the real question –> Have you ever had carrot noodles? Carrot noodles? How is that even possible! This gives the dish a nice light sweet flavor. You’ve got to try them!

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You guys, seriously, the colors that the zucchini and carrot gives is off the hook. That’s still cool to say, right? Plus, I love the meals that just automatically have vegetables in them. That is the worst when you have this gorgeous meal done and then you think oh crunky dunk I totally forgot a vegetable! Hmm.. how about carrot sticks for dinner. Ha! I have seriously done that. Applesauce is a vegetable too, right? Hey, you get desperate sometimes!

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These sesame noodles have your good carbs, veggies, protein and the whole thing comes together in 30 minutes!

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Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

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Sesame Noodles with Chicken
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
For all of the carrots and zucchini, this is what you are going to do. Lay each one flat on a cutting board. Hold each one down with one hand and using the other hand take your potato peeler and peel from top to bottom long, thick ribbons of the vegetables. You will not be able to get every single bit, just do your best and you can always chop up the rest really small and add it in.
Ingredients
  • 2 carrots, peeled (See note above)
  • 2 zucchini, peeled (See note above)
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti, cooked
  • 1 1/2 pound chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame chili oil (or chili oil)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Coconut Aminos
  • 2 green onion stalks, finely chopped (white and green parts)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated Xylitol
  • 1-2 teaspoons red chili flakes, depending on how spicy you like it (1 teaspoon is very mild)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds (I used both)
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl add the melted coconut (grapeseed or any other mild oil that you have on hand), sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, sesame chili oil, Coconut Aminos, green onions, garlic, Xylitol, red chili flakes, coconut sugar and salt to the bowl and mix well
  2. In a large pot add your cooked pasta (if it isn’t in there already!), carrot and zucchini ribbons, diced chicken and the sesame sauce that you prepared in the medium sized bowl
  3. Gently mix until everything has been coated in the sauce
  4. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the vegetable ribbons are cooked to al dente.
  5. Top with sesame seeds and serve!

 

Santa Fe Chicken Salad

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Oh Hello Lovelies!

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Today I want to talk about salads. Why is it that salads taste so much better when we go out? It’s like “Oh my gosh, we are going out to eat, I HAVE to get a salad!” It is very strange. I think they put a bunch of addicting garbage in it to make us come back because we get frustrated when we can’t make them as well at home.

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What do they add to these salads that make them so D-Licious! Honestly, I think we just aren’t doing it right! But, have no fear, Nicole is here. Okay, I know that was cheesy, but to make up for it I do have a totally rad and delicious salad that I am going to share with you!

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There are two places I love getting a BBQ salad, Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen. Yes I know, I am totally guilty when it comes to paying $15 dollars for a salad at these places. It is just so darn good, they suck me in, can’t stop… until… NOW!

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My Santa Fe Chicken Salad I swear is so much better than both of those places and plus there is a bonus because it is way better for you. Nothing fried, no added sugars, no chemicals, no battered onion rings, no heart stopping salad dressing,  just the good stuff!

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I have been munching away on this salad for the past few days for my lunches. If it is just you, you can totally cut the recipe in half. However, if you love this type of salad or if you have a large pack of gremlins in your family that sneak in your fridge and eat everything, then this recipe will be the perfect size.

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Also, if you have yet to try my Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing , shame on you! You guys it’s amazing and incredibly easy. The blender does all the work and the blender is only on for about 15 seconds! Give it a try!

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Santa Fe Chicken Salad
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Don’t add salt to the boiling water for your corn on the cob. It will toughen it! I added about a tablespoon of granulated Xylitol to mine to help sweeten it up.
Ingredients
  • 2 heads of Bibb lettuce, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds of cooked chicken, diced
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 ears of corn on the cob, boiled for five minutes and then cut the corn right off the cob ** SEE NOTE ABOVE!
  • 3 stalks of green onions, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 limes, quartered for a total of 8 slices
  • 1 cup of barbecue sauce of choice (I used Bone Suckin’ Sauce)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Pepper and salt to taste for the Parsnip Chips
  • Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing–> http://nilsenpantry.com/2014/04/22/coconut-milk-ranch-dressing/
  • Optional- Shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
  2. Peel off the peel of both parsnips
  3. Lay the parsnips down on a cutting board and while holding it with one hand, take the other hand and peel long ribbons of parsnips until you can’t get anymore out of them
  4. Take the strips and lay them on a baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle olive oil, pepper and salt over them and coat them with your hands.
  6. Massage the seasonings and oil into the parsnips
  7. Throw the parsnips into the oven for a total of 35 minutes, but be sure to turn them every ten minutes
  8. While the parsnips are cooking up get your salad ready!
  9. Toss your lettuce, chicken, cabbage, beans, corn, green onions, tomatoes, avocados and cheese (if using).
  10. Mix the salad well
  11. Top with Parsnip Chips, barbecue sauce, a lime wedge (squeeze it over the top of your salad) and my homemade Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing!

 

Kitchen Sink Chicken Roast

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Howdy!

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I can’t believe Summer is officially coming next week! I don’t know about you, but in the Bay Area the weather has been up and down, up and down. On Monday it was about 100 degrees and yesterday it was in the 60’s. Seriously, whats up with that? Take the sweaters out, or leave them in the storage containers? I don’t have enough room in my closet to hold clothes for Summer and Winter!

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You can’t beat California weather! You could pretty much go to the beach most days throughout the year, especially if you live in San Diego! So, really, I shouldn’t be complaining, but we do pay for it big time to have California weather. A majority of everyone’s paycheck goes directly to housing. Right now, housing prices are up the yin yang! You can’t find a 1 bedroom condo in our area for less than $350,000. I remember when my parent’s generation could buy a house for less than that. A house! You could buy a 1,500 square foot home with four bedrooms for $250,000. Maybe I should have had them buy me one back in the day and save it for me. Oh well, one could dream. Truth is, back in the day that’s all my parents could afford. It was paycheck to paycheck to pay a mortgage on that. Times have  surely changed.

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Times have also changed in the kitchen. So many times I get asked by people how I have time to get everything done and still get a meal on the table. This Kitchen Sink Chicken is a prime example of how I try to fit it all in.

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Some days you just have to do a couple shortcuts to get it all done! You have to throw what you have into a dish and bake` it in the oven calling it a day! Sometimes you don’t have time to run out to the store for two extra things, or time to chop up every vegetable in existence, or even time to stand in front of the stove waiting for something to boil.

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For those days, it sure is nice to have an option like this. You don’t have to have every ingredient that I have in this recipe either. It is very versatile. If you only have chicken breast or thighs, great, or if you only have carrots and potatoes that is wonderful too. That is why it’s called kitchen sink, just throw it all in and walk away!

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Kitchen Sink Chicken Roast
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4-5 pounds of chicken (I bought a whole chicken and had them cut it into 9 pieces [2 breast, 2 thighs, 2 wings, 2 drumsticks and the back])
  • 1 carrot, cut into sticks
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large beets (the actual root, not from a can), sliced
  • 1 pound mini sunrise medley potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons white truffle oil
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 6 teaspoons of Italian seasonings
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Take out two casserole dishes (mine were about 2.5 quarts), unless you have a large dutch oven to fit everything in (you will need to cook longer)
  3. Divide and layer the beets, onions, carrots, and potatoes between the two dishes
  4. Divide the chicken stock and pour it over each dish
  5. In a large bowl mix the white truffle oil, olive oil, 4 teaspoons of Italian seasonings, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and mix well
  6. Coat all of the chicken in the oils, divide the chicken up and layer it on top of the vegetables in the baking dishes
  7. Divide the mixture between the two dishes and pour it over the chicken and vegetables
  8. Grind some more black pepper over the top of the chicken and sprinkle about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning over the top of the chicken in each baking dish
  9. Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour

 

Apple Breakfast Cookies

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I eat two snacks a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Without my snacks my blood sugar would crash. I can’t live without my snacks. My car, purse, stroller, you name it there is probably a snack in there. I keep them everywhere in case of an emergency.

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If you eat as many snacks as I do, you may need another idea! Yes, yes?! If I eat 2 snacks a day that means 14 snacks a week, 56 snacks a month, 672 snacks a year and quite possibly if you lived to 100 years old, you could have had 67,200 snacks by the time you died. Woah, thats a lot of snacks. Do you have that many options to peak your interest for 67,200 snacks?

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What kind of snacks do you eat? I always try to balance my snacks with a carbohydrate and a protein, that way it doesn’t spike my blood sugar and it burns more efficiently.

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One of my favorite snacks is apples and peanut butter. Who doesn’t love peanut butter. I love peanut butter everything. Peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter in my yogurt, peanut butter on my toast, peanut butter in my oatmeal and scoops of peanut butter.

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I wanted to change up one of my old favorites and swap it for a super hyped up version! Want to know what’s in it? Too bad. No, seriously too bad. Alright fine, here we go. This apple cookie has peanut butter (obviously), mini chocolate chips and granola!! Sweet, creamy, crisp, tart, crunchy, heavenly apple cookies!

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Enjoy this amazing snack, or breakfast, or dinner, or whatever!

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Apple Breakfast Cookies
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 apple ( I love pink lady apples)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons mini dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of granola of choice
Instructions
  1. Core the apple
  2. Slice the apple into 6-8 slices
  3. Spread peanut butter on top of the apples
  4. Top with granola and mini chocolate chips
  5. That’s it!

 

Lightened Up Baked Ziti with Zucchini

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I love Italian food, but lets face it Italian food doesn’t love my butt and thighs! Italian food is filled with high-fat cheeses, butter, heavy oils and lots and lots of white starchy pasta. Whenever I go to an Italian restaurant, which isn’t that often, I have such a hard time figuring out what I can eat. It seems like everything is bad for you and there are so many hidden ingredients.

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I suggest if you want Italian food, make it at home! This way you know exactly what is going inside. Plus, it is usually cheaper. If you go out to a nice Italian restaurant you may get a bowl of spaghetti for $20. What the what what? Why is Italian food so expensive? It is just pasta!

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This Baked Ziti has quite a few steps, but it is really easy and so delicious. I used a lean Italian sausage, lower fat mozzarella cheese, skim ricotta cheese, greek yogurt and absolutely no butter. I made this casserole with gluten free noodles as well. I then added another little spin to it by adding in layers of thinly sliced zucchini!

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It is cheesy, saucy perfection! Most of the ingredients you will be able to find right in your pantry!

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Enjoy!

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Lightened Up Baked Ziti with Zucchini
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
If you are trying to cut out some of the cheese, cut out the 1/2 cup in the middle for layering, just put a little bit on the top because there is plenty of cheese in the noodle mixture.
Ingredients
  • 16 ounce ziti pasta; cooked, rinsed and set aside
  • 2 pounds ground Italian sausage (not in casing)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups yellow onion, finely diced (about one medium sized onion)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 jar of marinara (1 pound, 9 ounces; 3 cups)
  • 1- 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes and liquid
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shreds (I used a 3-Cheese Blend from Whole Foods- Made up of fontina, asiago and parmesan)
  • 3 cups of mozzarella cheese (2 cups for cream and 1 cup for layering) (This was VERY cheesy, so if you aren’t a huge cheese fan you could easily cut the cheese almost in half)
  • 3 zucchinis, very thinly sliced
  • Italian parsley or basil for garnish, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a pot, heat the minced garlic, chopped onions and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and cook until the onions are translucent (about 3 minutes)
  2. Add in the Italian sausage and cook until browned (break down the sausage as small as you can)
  3. Once the meat is browned, add in the marinara, 1 can of whole tomatoes plus the liquids, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste
  4. Take a potato masher and mash the whole tomatoes down, creating smaller bits and releasing their juices
  5. Simmer the sauce for about 20 minutes on low/medium heat
  6. While that is simmering lets start the cream for the pasta
  7. In a large bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, greek yogurt, the egg, 1/2 cup parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and salt and pepper to taste
  8. Mix in noodles and completely coat them with the cream
  9. Cook the zucchini in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil; add salt and pepper to taste (Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until bright green, not cooked all the way)
  10. Grab a 4 quart baking dish (3 quart will not be large enough, believe me I tried!)
  11. Grease the bottom with a little coconut oil
  12. Scoop out about 3 ladles of the sauce into the baking dish, just enough to have a thin layer cover the bottom of the dish
  13. Top the sauce with half of the noodles, then top with half of the sauce, top with half of the zucchini and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (SEE NOTE ABOVE!)
  14. Repeat one last time with the rest!
  15. Bake on 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, once everything is melted and bubbly
  16. Allow about 5-10 minutes to set out of the oven before serving

 

Pineapple Fried Quinoa

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Hello Friday!

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Good to see my old pal Friday again! I love Friday. I don’t really know why. It doesn’t necessarily mean my week/job is over, hello baby and bloggity, bloggity, blog. However, I still love it because I know that someone has a couple days off. I mean hey, do I really need a reason to have some excitement in my life!

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How many of you have ever been to a Thai restaurant and got the pineapple fried rice? How many of you got it “To Go” and ate the whole thing by yourself? Me? No I have only done that twice, I mean never. The point is, it’s so ridiculously delicious and really fun to eat because you get to scoop all the grub right out of this massive pineapple. Oh man, now I’m salivating!

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I decided to run with that idea but to make a twist with it by turning it into Chinese fried rice and making a second twist by turning the rice into quinoa. Are you dizzy yet? So we went from Thai to Chinese and then from rice to quinoa. Oh well, if you don’t get it then just follow the directions and you will be fine!

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This version is healthier than Chinese fried rice and Thai pineapple fried rice. There are a lot of unknown oils, sugars and greasy meats in the restaurant dishes. Plus, the white rice has no real nutritional benefit to us. Whereas quinoa does, plus it is packed with protein and is gluten free! Can’t beat that!

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Have a beautiful weekend!

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Pineapple Fried Quinoa
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry tricolor quinoa, cooked according to package (usually it is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of liquid, I used chicken broth for the liquid instead of water)
  • 2 cups chicken broth, to cook the quinoa
  • 12 ounces of turkey kielbasa cut into 1/4 inch pieces, cooked
  • 1 whole pineapple, cut a section out (take your knife and put it next to the stem and cut down
  • 1 cup pineapple, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (scoop the pineapple out of the pineapple boat and use that to cut the pineapple for the 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup diced carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced onions, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 6 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2-4 Thai Bird’s Eye Chili, smashed (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, from the drained pineapple
  • 3 scallions, thinly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
Instructions
  1. Take your pineapple and a knife and set the knife on the top right next to one side of the stem and slice down all the way
  2. Scoop out the pineapple (so the boat is hollow) from the pineapple boat and cut up 1 cup of pineapple and set aside
  3. Take a large bowl and set the pineapple boat in it upside down so any excess juice can drain out
  4. In a large pot cook 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 cup onions, 1 cup carrots and the minced garlic
  5. Cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes until the onions have become translucent
  6. Push the veggies in the corner and add the whisked eggs
  7. Let them set in the pot until almost scrambled and then mix the eggs in with the vegetables
  8. Add in the quinoa, meat and pineapple and gently stir
  9. Turn the heat off
  10. In a small bowl add the Bird’s Eye Chili, fish sauce, coconut sugar and pineapple juice and mix well
  11. Pour the sauce over the fried quinoa
  12. Add in the scallions and gently mix
  13. Scoop into the pineapple boat
  14. Top with cashews and serve!

 

Warm Broccoli and Brussel Sprout Salad with Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

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Crunch, crunch, munch, munch… Oh hey, don’t mind me I am just chomping away over here with this yummy salad. I don’t even know if I could call this a salad. It doesn’t taste like salad and it sure doesn’t feel like I am eating a bowl of salad. So what am I eating then? Well, that’s a good question and I have no idea how to explain it. This is like… HEAVEN! So so YUMMY!

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You guys, I have totally made this twice in four days. So, pretty much I have been eating this for four days straight. Can’t get enough, must keep eating, yum yum, in my tummy, ahhh, so GOOD! So what is this salad that’s got me buzzing about. I don’t know if I want to even say because you might buy all the broccoli and brussel sprouts and then I can’t keep making this EVERYDAY. What if I start turning green? Can that happen? Oh well, for now I am just loving this. And if you don’t like it I wont cry because that just means there is more for me!

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Most of the ingredients you probably already have. You may only need to go to the store for the veggies! Even better is that this recipe is done in no time. How does 25 minutes sound? Sounds good to me!

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This is a great way to serve your veggies in a different style to change it up. Hey, the kids might even like it. My little Graeyson sure did!

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This salad should be served slightly warm, not hot or cold, just warm. The colors in this salad are so bright! I love all the textures in the salad too! They are fun to look at, but also to munch. When you are ready to serve this delicious bowl of yum, drizzle on the tangy/creamy dressing and bam! I mean pow! I mean… so DARN good!!!

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Enjoy!

Warm Broccoli and Brussel Sprout Salad With Homemade Poppyseed Dressing
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • SALAD
  • 2 cups broccoli (floret and short stem only, not the stalk), sliced (mandolin or cut thinly into strips with a knife)
  • 2 cups brussel sprouts, sliced –> same way as the broccoli
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds, chopped
  • 2 chicken breast, grilled and chopped (about 1 1/4 pound of chicken)
  • Pinch of salt to season almonds
  • Salt and Pepper to taste for salad
  • HOMEMADE POPPYSEED DRESSING
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated xylitol
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (honey or agave)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppyseeds
  • Small pinch of Himalayan salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes
  4. Add the broccoli and brussel sprouts to the skillet and saute until bright green, about 3 minutes (Don’t cook all the way, you want them to be slightly al dente still, not mushy!)
  5. Place the chopped almonds, 1 tablespoon coconut oil and a pinch of salt on a baking sheet and bake the almonds until golden brown, about 5 or 6 minutes
  6. Throw the vegetables from the skillet into a bowl and toss the chopped chicken in
  7. In a small blender or food processor add all of the dressing ingredients and blend well
  8. Top the salad with almonds and dress the salad just before serving so it doesn’t become soggy.
  9. Serve!