Category: Uncategorized

Shrimp Ceviche Stacks

IMG_2768 Welcome back!

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We have got a full house this week, let me tell you. No seriously–> I am going to tell you. First, you have me and my hubby, our baby, the in-laws, the grandmother, the brother and sister-in-law and three beds. Hmm… How it this going to work?

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The fridge is so full you don’t want to even make anything because you won’t have room for the leftovers! There are 72 people in the kitchen, people in the bathroom, people in the bedrooms. I am telling you it’s cray cray ville! Plus, I am going on 5 hours of sleep the past who even knows how long!

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Oh well, you gotta enjoy everyone together. It doesn’t happen often enough.

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When Bobby and I were young and free (When was that again?), we went to this restaurant in San Diego called Peohe’s. They have awesome, gorgeous, tasty food. I always love everything I get from Peohe’s. We love getting their crab stack starter. It has a crab meat salad on the top, mango salsa in the middle and then avocado on the bottom. They serve it with these thin, crunchy parmesan crostini’s. Oh man it is so good!

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I had a bunch of shrimp in the freezer so I wanted to make something like the Peohe’s appetizer with them. I made a delicious shrimp ceviche, mango salsa, guacamole and stacked them all on top of each other. We ate this for lunch with sweet potato chips and tortilla chips.

If you don’t make this you are missing out!

Shrimp Ceviche Stacks
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: Makes 2 stacks or 6 filled avocados; feeds about 6-8 for an appetizer
Ingredients
  • SHRIMP CEVICHE
  • 1/2 pound rock shrimp (raw, no tails)
  • 1 teaspoon lime + 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (I used Santa Maria from Whole Foods Market)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup english cucumber cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces and then cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (cut the same way as the cucumber)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • MANGO SALSA
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno, very finely chopped (seeds removed for less spicy, keep seeds in if you like it spicy!)
  • GUACAMOLE
  • 3 avocados + the shells (you will end up with 6 halves, save them if you are going to stuff the shells)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: If you are doing the stack method you will need two cans, remove both ends of the can with a can opener and dry it completely
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet heat up 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  2. Once it is melted add in your shrimp
  3. Season with 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt and 1 teaspoon lime juice
  4. Cook the shrimp until it is cooked (needs to be completely pink, usually about 4-5 minutes)
  5. When the shrimp is done place it in a bowl and add 1/4 cup lime juice
  6. Stir the shrimp so that the lime juice gets all over the shrimp
  7. Wrap the shrimp and set it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes up to overnight
  8. While the shrimp is marinating make the salsas!
  9. Grab two bowls; one for the guacamole and one for the mango salsa
  10. In one bowl mix all of the mango salsa ingredients well, cover and store in the fridge
  11. In the second bowl mash the avocado
  12. Add all of the remaining guacamole ingredients to the bowl and mix well
  13. If using the stack method take the serving plate you will be using and place a small piece of saran wrap on the plate
  14. Place the can on top of the saran wrap and cover the bottom of the can with the saran wrap
  15. Take a rubberband and put it around the saran wrapped part to help hold it in place
  16. Stuff the bottom with about 1 inch of guacamole, then 1 inch of mango salsa, then 1 inch guacamole again and finally on the top place about 1 inch of shrimp ceviche (make sure to drain the liquid from the spoon (with mango salsa and shrimp ceviche) before putting it in the can
  17. Make sure everything is packed tightly
  18. Set the can in the fridge for at LEAST ONE HOUR if possible to allow time for it to solidify together
  19. Repeat with the second can
  20. Once you are ready to serve the stacks take the serving plate(s) out of the fridge and gently lift the can while slowly pulling the saran wrap out for under the can and then set the stack back down on the serving plate
  21. If you are using the avocado shells then you can layer guacamole, then mango salsa and finally shrimp ceviche on the top
  22. Serve with chips of your choice; we enjoy it with sweet potato chips or tortilla chips

 

Almond Crusted Cod

Hey there!

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How was everyones 4th of July? Did you see any fireworks? There are a lot of areas now that don’t allow them. I can’t really blame them. They are pretty dangerous, but they are still a lot of fun to watch. We haven’t seen them for the last two years –> hello baby. He can’t stay awake later than 8pm, so that doesn’t work out so well for a 9:30 pm fireworks show! Maybe next year he will be able to stay awake for it.

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As you all may know by now, I married into a Norwegian family. Norwegians constantly are eating fish and potatoes. Usually they will boil cod or fry it up. I wanted to try a healthier version using coconut oil, spelt flour and almond meal.

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I honestly think I like this version way better than the original version. The almond meal just gives the cod such a nice sweet, nutty crunch. And the coconut oil gives it a lovely tropical flavor. Add a dash of lemon juice and man oh man you have yourself an incredibly satisfying meal!

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Almond Crusted Cod
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • (3) 4-6 ounce cod filets
  • 1/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (I used Santa Maria from Whole Foods Market)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Take out two plates and one bowl
  2. On one plate mix the almond meal and 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning salt
  3. On the second plate add the flour and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning salt
  4. In the bowl, whisk the egg
  5. After patting the cod dry, coat each one in the spelt flour, then coat it in the egg and finally coat each in almond meal
  6. Add the coconut oil to the pan and turn the heat to medium
  7. Add the crusted cod to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned
  8. Remove from the pan immediately, so it doesn’t continue to cook and serve with your favorite veggies and potatoes!

 

Thai Andouille Soup

You know most times you have a love/hate with food? For example, cookies, there is a total love/hate, right? I love the cookies, but I hate the jiggle jaggle it creates on my booty. So, what’s my point? The point is that when it comes to Thai food it is all love, no hate. I adore Thai food! Is that weird? I mean is it weird to adore food –> maybe that’s a food blogger thing.

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I was only recently, a few years ago, introduced to Thai food. I was always scared to try it because of the curry. I am not a fan of Indian food and I thought it was the same thing, but it’s NOT! Thai food is decently good for you and has so much KaBlam (is that a word –> well it is now) flavor. I always leave a Thai restaurant beyond satisfied.

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I have made Pad Thai  before and Tom Kah Gai. If you haven’t tried these, they are a must! Very good and very easy! I honestly think they are better than what you will find at a Thai restaurant. I wanted to change it up a bit. I had some andouille sausage leftover in the freezer and I started thinking soup and then thai. Before I knew it I had the crockpot out and was throwing ingredients in.

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I love using the crockpot because I feel like it saves me so much time and it saves me from cleaning a pile of pots and pans. Plus, I just think the food is much more tender and flavorful!

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I hope you guys enjoy this Thai soup twist!

Slow Cooker Thai Andouille Soup
Author: Nicole Nilsen
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
In the very center on the bottom of the lemongrass stalk is the “goods.” What you want to do is peel off a couple of the dead looking leaves and then cut the top half part of the stalk and set it aside. Take your knife and cut the bottom half of the stalk down the center (the long way) and scoop out the little bit of fleshy part you see. Smash the flesh and mince it. Then cut the rest of the stalk into 1-2 inch pieces. Don’t eat these they are just going to help give the soup flavor.
Ingredients
  • 2.5 pounds of andouille sausage, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices and cooked in a skillet (doesn’t need to be completely cooked all the way)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, see note above for instructions
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips (seeds and stem removed)
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 5-8 ounces of shitake mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces (depending on how much you like them- I’m not a huge fan!)
  • 1 can of full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, give the leaves a nice chiffonade cut
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 Thai Bird’s Eye Chili (This will be a little spicy, so add less if you don’t like it spicy!)
Instructions
  1. Add the sausage, lemongrass, red curry paste, chicken stock, garlic, onion, bell pepper, ginger and fish sauce to the crockpot
  2. Turn the crockpot to high heat and cook for 90 minutes
  3. While that is cooking cut up your mushrooms and basil leaves
  4. After the 90 minutes turn the crockpot down to low and add the mushrooms, coconut milk, lime juice, basil leaves and Thai Bird’s Eye Chili
  5. Cook for an additional 30 minutes on low
  6. Serve!

 

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!