Orange Chicken Salad Sandwich

This sandwich makes a light dinner or decent sized lunch. The orange dressing is kind of a pain, but it’s worth it. Next time, I would double the recipe.

gluten-free

Orange Chicken Salad Sandwich

2 leftover boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped (rotisserie chicken would work great)

1 orange, peeled and wedged

2 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 c baby fennel, chopped fine

1 scallion, sliced thin

2/3 roughly chopped herbs – I used a mix of mint, basil & cilantro

Lemon juice

1 Tbsp sambal olek

2 cloves garlic, grated

Your favorite mayo – I used Kewpie

Slivered nuts (optional) – I used pistachios

Baby spinach (optional)

Some type of wrap to make it a sandwich

First, the P.I.T.A. dressing. Simmer the orange wedges, honey and vinegar in 300ml of water for about an hour. You want this mix to reduce to a thick syrup when blitzed. Pull and blitz until smooth.

The rest is easy to assemble. Add everything but the mayo, lemon juice, spinach & wrap to a large bowl.

Combine well. Add just enough mayo to stick together, hit with salt & pepper and lemon juice to your taste.

To make a sandwich, pile as much as your wrap can handle on a bed of spinach leaves and roll.

My wraps were large so I only had 2 and was bummed about that

Spicy Salmon Sushi Bowl

This is a killer way to have weeknight sushi at home – for much less. It’s delicious, quick, and can be dressed up a bunch of different ways.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Spicy Salmon Sushi Bowl

1 fillet boneless skinless salmon

Hot spice mix (my favorite was made to go on chicken for Nashville chicken)

1 tsp brown sugar

A little oil

1 c sushi rice

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 c water

3 Tbsp Kewpie mayo

2 tsp sambal olek

Avocado

2 carrots, chopped and air fried until browned

Sesame seeds

Furikake or nori bits

Scallions

Pickled ginger, sliced

First, make your rice in your preferred method by combining the rice, 2 fills of the cup measure, rice vinegar, sesame oil and a little salt. I cook mine on the ‘rice’ setting of my slow cooker.

While the rice is going, preheat your air fryer for 3 minutes. Add the chopped carrots, salt, pepper and a little oil and cook, tossing a couple times, 15-18 minutes or until your desired brownness is reached. Set aside.

Chop the salmon into bite-sized pieces and toss with the hot seasoning and brown sugar. Air fry 7-8 minutes, gently tossing once until browned. Set aside.

Make your spicy mayo by combining the Kewpie & sambal. Set aside.

Slice the avocado. Set aside.

Slice a couple scallions. Set aside.

Chop the pickled ginger. Set aside.

To assemble, layer about a cup of the sushi rice in your bowl and fill with desired toppings. Garnish with sesame seeds and furikake or nori bits. Drizzle with spicy mayo.

Serves 2 for dinner

Pesto Chicken Salad Wraps

These are some dang good wraps and I’d like to bathe in this dressing.

gluten-free

Pesto Chicken Salad Wraps

1 packet boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 Tbsp chicken breasts

Pre-cooked bacon (I used turkey bacon)

1 avocado

Fresh basil

2 wraps (mine happened to be gluten-free)

Nutritional yeast

Crisp lettuce

Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp pesto

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp lemon juice

4 Tbsp Kewpie mayo

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Cut the chicken into strips and toss with 2 Tbsp pesto. Cook in your preferred method (I air fried mine for 10 minutes).

Mix your dressing ingredients together.

Slice the avocado, separate a few leaves lettuce, and get your bacon out and ready.

Zap your wrap for about 20 seconds in a slightly damp towel to steam.

To assemble, slather a generous amount of dressing on your wrap. Top with a couple leaves lettuce, bacon, a few strips chicken, and about a quarter of your avocado. Sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast and snipped basil. Wrap and enjoy.

Makes enough chicken for 4 servings

Pesto Chicken Meatballs with Sundried Tomato & Corn Pasta

This is a great way to fake having access to fresh ears of Summer corn that is worth eating.

Who me, missing good – or even terribly edible – corn? Never. The perils of #expatlife. We certainly don’t have Silver Queen, and the ears of corn we do get are mealy and gross. Frozen it is.

gluten-free

Pesto Chicken Meatballs with Sundried Tomato & Corn Pasta

1 lb ground chicken

2 Tbsp pesto

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

2/3 c frozen corn

1 large zucchini, chopped

5 sundried tomatoes, chopped

4 slices precooked bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon)

2 Tbsp pesto

Half a box of your favorite pasta (I used a chickpea pasta)

Nutritional yeast (optional)

Fresh basil (optional)

Combine 2 Tbsp pesto with the minced garlic, baking soda and ground chicken and form into ping pong ball sized meatballs. Cook in your preferred method (I air fried mine for 10 minutes).

Put your pasta water on to boil and cook pasta to al dente. Reserve a little pasta water to help build the sauce when draining.

Salt, pepper & oil

Sauté the corn and zucchini in a little oil spread in large pan over medium-high. Hit with salt and pepper and let go until browned in bits.

Add the sundried tomatoes and bacon and let go another minute or two.

Add 2 Tbsp pesto, the pasta, and enough pasta water to loosen the pesto up to form a sauce. Toss and serve with the meatballs, snipped basil, nutritional yeast and a few cracks black pepper.

Serves 3 – 4 for dinner

Hawaiian Pizza Chicken Bowls

I’m firmly team any way I can get pineapple – including on pizza. Yum.

gluten-free

Hawaiian Pizza Chicken Bowls

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Your favorite pizza sauce (mine happens to be a red pepper & garlic spicy pesto, but you do you)

Vegan mozzarella (the mozzarella I used was fairly tasteless and could have really been skipped)

8 slices ham or prosciutto (I used turkey prosciutto)

1 can pineapple rings (I much prefer canned in juice)

Italian herb mix

1 cup basmati rice cooked in veggie stock

1 large zucchini, chopped

4 – 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced

Oil, salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C/375F and prep a baking sheet. Chop the zucchini and slice the mushrooms. Set aside.

If your rice isn’t already made, start this now.

Season the chicken generously with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Spread a thick layer of pizza sauce over top. Top that with a couple slices ham/prosciutto, and cheese. Add a ring or two of pineapple on top of that, and sprinkle with more seasonings.

Arrange on the baking sheet with the veggies. Drizzle veggies with oil, salt, pepper and more Italian seasoning.

Bake 15 – 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are done to your liking.

When the rice is done, add a couple Tablespoons of your pizza sauce and the rest of the pineapple (cut into chunks).

Serve chicken and veggies over this nice rice.

Serves 4 for dinner

Sofrito Meatballs

Popular in Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American cuisines, Sofrito is one of the world’s mother seasonings. This salsa-like insta bomb has a little of everything – perfect for building flavor layers quickly. Like these meatballs, which need pretty much nothing else to taste amazing.

gluten-free, paleo, Whole30

Sofrito Meatballs

1/2 c cilantro

2 small tomatoes

5 cloves garlic

1 small white onion

2 medium Cubanelle peppers

2 Tbsp citrus juice (lime or lemon)

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 c olive or avocado oil

Salt & pepper

1 lb ground meat (I used beef)

1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

To make the sauce, whiz together the cilantro, tomato, garlic, onion and pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil to make a nice chunky salsa. Season with the citrus juice, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper. Set aside.

To make the meatballs, combine the beef with about a quarter cup of the sofrito and some additional salt & pepper. Cook as usual.

Serves 3 – 4 as part of a meal

Peachy Chicken

This dish surprised me. I had envisioned a kind of rice salad, but as it turns out, this dish lends itself much better to a warm but light almost stew.

Sounds weird, but it totally works.

gluten-free

Peachy Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

1 smallish yellow onion, sliced

1.5 c green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

3 peaches, sliced (about 2 cups)

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1/4 c basil leaves, thinly sliced

Hand full slivered almonds

1 Tbsp butter

Red pepper flakes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

A base (I served with black rice cooked in vegetable stock)

Put a large pan that has a lid over medium-high heat. Add a turn or two of olive oil and bring up to temp.

Slice the onion into thin half moons and sauté until they are beginning to soften.

When the onions are ready, push to the sides of the pan. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper and sauté until golden. Remove the chicken.

Add the garlic and balsamic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vinegar is reduced by half.

Add the peaches, honey, tomatoes and green beans. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken back into the pan, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low.

Simmer 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

If your mix is a bit too wet, remove the chicken again so it doesn’t get rubbery and sauté the mix over medium-high with no lid until some of the excess liquid evaporates.

Add the butter while this is going on and stir to combine.

Top with the basil, almonds and red pepper flakes. Serve with the base of your choice.

Serves 4 for dinner

Umami Meatballs

These are great – and versatile – meatballs. I served mine with a quick red pepper sauce, crisped potato rounds and cukes one day, a simple veggie pasta the next, and tucked into a pita with tzatziki sauce the third. Delicious any way you slice it.

gluten-free, paleo

Umami Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef

4-6 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, minced

4 ounces mushrooms, minced

Salt & pepper

2 tsp. mushroom powder (optional)

Another good meat spice – I used a red Georgian blend, but your favorite would be fantastic here

Combine ingredients and roll into ping pong sized balls. Cook as you like to cook meatballs – I did mine a touch small and air fried them for 10 minutes.

Red Pepper Sauce

2 roasted red peppers (jarred)

3 sundried tomatoes (jarred)

3 Tbsp. peanut or other nut butter (or sunflower!)

2 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. garlic powder

Salt & pepper

Blend to combine.

Serves 3 – 4.

Dilled Breakfast Toasts

This dish makes a nice light dinner or decent breakfast.

vegetarian, dairy-free

Dilled Breakfast Toasts

2 slices your favorite bread, toasted (I had a nice chewy rye on hand)

2 eggs

Hand full cherry tomatoes

Tablespoon snipped dill

Dairy-free chive cream cheese

Red pepper flakes

Salt & pepper

Toast the bread and fry the eggs to your liking. I wanted runny yolks and it was delicious.

Add the tomatoes to a pan over medium-high and sauté until blackened in spots and ready to pop. You can help them a bit to pop – I kinda smashed mine so they deflated and wouldn’t be dangerous to eat.

Spread a generous layer of cream cheese on the toast, top with the snipped dill and red pepper flakes and egg. Salt & pepper to taste.

Serves 1 for dinner or 2 for breakfast

Pineapple Fried Rice with Meatballs

This is a great meal full of natural juice from the pineapple and luxury from the coconut rice. The meatballs I could happily have on repeat.

A note on the ground chicken: if you, like me, cannot for the life of you find ground poultry in the store (seriously. I looked in multiple stores for a couple weeks and nada), you can whiz a packet of boneless skinless chicken in your food processor (or Ninja). It works just fine, but if you use breasts – it lacks a bit of fat.

gluten-free

Pineapple Fried Rice with Meatballs

Meatballs:

1 lb ground chicken (or boneless skinless chicken chunks)

1/2 onion, minced (or whizzed with the chicken chunks)

1/2 c cilantro, chopped (or whizzed with the chicken chunks)

1 jalapeño, minced (or whizzed with the chicken chunks)

3 cloves garlic, minced (or whizzed with the chicken chunks)

2 Tbsp hot sauce

1 Tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos

2 tsp date molasses

2 tsp – 1 Tbsp spice blend (I used a hot chicken mix and it was great)

1/2 tsp baking soda

Generous pinch salt & pepper

Form into roughly ping pong sized balls and cook with your preferred method – I pan fried mine over medium; I also love to bake in a 400F oven for 15 – 20 mins.

Sides:

1 can pineapple cubes in juice, drained

1 red bell pepper, chopped

Sauté the pineapple and pepper in a little oil over medium-high heat until the pepper is soft and the pineapple is browned in bits.

Last week’s coconut rice

Topper:

1/3 c cilantro, chopped

2 scallions, chopped

To serve, combine the rice with the pineapple/pepper mix, top with cilantro & scallions and plunk a couple meatballs alongside.

Serves 4