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.

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

Coconut Rice

Yum. This rice is rich, *and* has hidden veggies – I’m calling that a win-win.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Coconut Rice

1 c basmati rice

1 can coconut milk

2 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp soy sauce or coconut aminos

Juice + zest of 1 lime

2 tsp neutral oil

2 tsp mirin (optional)

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

1 c zucchini, grated

Combine and cook how you normally cook rice – I did mine on the “rice” setting of my electric cooker. Mix in the raw grated zucchini and serve.

Serves 4 – 6 and goes great with next week’s recipe

Mediterranean Spiced Hash

This deeply-spiced potato hash is great for a quick weeknight dinner – or as the centerpiece of a nice brunch. Serve with eggs, chicken, sausages, or leftover shawarma meat for a nice protein boost.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Mediterranean Spiced Hash

3 small yellow potatoes, chopped fine

2 big hand fulls okra (or asparagus, or green beans – whichever you can find), sliced into rounds

Big hand full cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small cucumber, chopped fine

Big hand parsley, chopped fine

1 red onion, diced (about 1/3 c)

Neutral oil

Stock or water + chicken flavoring (I used Magic Sarap)

4 Tbsp zaatar

2 tsp sumac or lemon powder

2 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp smoked or sweet paprika

1 Tbsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper

Squeeze lemon juice

In a large pan over medium/medium-high, heat a couple turns oil. Add the potatoes and onion once chopped and sauté until beginning to soften, cutting the heat down if things start to get too brown.

Add the okra (or other veg) and stir a minute or so.

Add 1/4 c of the stock or seasoned water. Stir.

Add all the spices + generous lashes of salt and pepper.

Stir frequently, adding more water if your mix dries out and starts to burn, until the potatoes are cooked through and your okra de-slimes. Your potatoes will look super spiced and a sort of gravy will form. This is what you want.

To finish, toss with the cucumber, parsley and tomato. Taste and hit with a little lemon juice, salt or pepper if needed.

Serves 3 – 4, depending upon what you pair it with

Basil Curry Comfort Rice

This is like a green hug in a bowl. Coconutty, silky, and freakin addictive. This was all I ate until the bowl ran dry. Bonus: it was hands-off to make.

gluten-free

Basil Curry Comfort Rice

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped

1 bunch basil leaves, divided into 2 piles

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 inch knob fresh ginger, minced

2 jalapeños, seeded or not and minced

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 bunch broccolini, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 can coconut milk

1 c. (ish) your favorite stock (I added a bouillon cube to the pot + 1 fill of the empty coconut milk can of water)

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (check your labels!)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce (check your labels!)

1/2 c. your favorite rice (I used unwashed sushi rice)

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. cardamom

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. cumin

Generous salt & pepper

Add everything but half the basil & the broccolini to the bowl of your slow cooker. Slow cook on “soup” for 1 hour.

At the :35 minute mark, add the broccolini.

In 10 – 15 more mins, add the second half of the basil (I chopped this half, intending to fish out the whole pieces but it turned out not to be necessary).

Let that go another 5 minutes and pull the whole thing.

Serves 4 – 6 depending on your self control around ricey comfort dishes

Salsa Shrimp Pasta Salad

This is a fresh, crunchy and satisfying salad perfect for when the mercury is hovering in the punishing zone and you don’t want to be bothered with having to face a hot dinner.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Salsa Shrimp Pasta Salad

1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp, boiled and chopped

2 cucumbers, chopped

1 jalapeño, deseeded if desired and minced

1 smallish red onion, chopped

1/2 c. your favorite salsa – fresh or jarred; I went jarred

1 avocado, chopped

Juice of 2 limes

1/2 box chickpea pasta, cooked to al dente and drained

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. chili powder (or chipotle powder)

Generous sprinkle salt, pepper & red pepper flakes

Cherry tomatoes and chopped scallions for garnish if you’ve got either

Boil your pasta to al dente and drain. Set in a large bowl.

Peel and de-vein the shrimp; boil to cook. Drain and set to cool.

Chop the veggies and add to the pasta bowl.

Chop the shrimp into thirds when cool. Add to the bowl.

Add the salsa, spices, avocado, lime juice. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add a little more if necessary.

Top with the garnishes and serve. I ended up sprinkling all but the first serving with a little more pepper and flaky finishing salt and that was about perfect.

Serves 4

Hot Honey Chicken Bowl

This is a great one to keep in your back pocket. This chicken is [fire] and would be fantastic in a cold summer salad (I’m thinking a mandarin affair), or a quick stir fry. Yum.

gluten-free

Hot Honey Chicken Bowl

Chicken:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Generous salt & pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 c. honey

2 Tbsp. sambal olek

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

More salt, pepper, cayenne & red pepper flakes

Bowl:

1-2 zucchini, cut into moons & air fried until nice and brown with a little salt, pepper & oil

2 carrots, shredded

1 avocado, chopped

2c. quinoa or cous cous cooked in broth with salt & pepper

Juice & zest of 2 limes

Sauce:

1/4 c. your favorite yogurt (I used a thick Skyr-style soy)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning powder

Hand full of chopped chives or scallions to garnish

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with the garlic powder, cornstarch/arrowroot powder, cayenne & a generous sprinkle salt & pepper. Blast with a little spray oil and air fry on 400 15 mins or until crispy and done (shaking and re-spraying a couple times through the cook time).

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, honey, sambal, minced garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce/coconut aminos and a generous sprinkle each of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin. Toss the chicken with the sauce and set aside.

Prep the grain bowl bottom and veggies.

Assemble as you wish.

Combine the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, thinning out with a little water if you want a more pourable sauce.

Top with the scallions or chives.

Serves 4

Moroccan Tfaya Dressing

This is a sweetish, rich, luxe topping that can be used a bunch of different ways.

I’ve had this batch slathered onto bread, and used as a topper for a veggie-based couscous dish coming next week. In restaurants, I’ve had it as a sort of dip for roasted meats as well.

gluten-free, vegetarian

Moroccan Tfaya Dressing

1/2 cup golden raisins

3 small red onions, peeled and sliced thinly

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp honey

1/2 cup water

Generous amount black pepper

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

Generous pinch salt

Pinch saffron threads

Slice the onions thinly and add to a pot over medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the saffron) and simmer :30 – 1:00 or until the onions are on their way to breaking up and the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup. Add the saffron in the last 10-15 minutes.

Serve over next week’s couscous dish, slathered on bread, as a dip for meats or tossed into scrambled eggs.

Serves 4 – 6

Gochujang Chicken Stir Fry

I love Gochujang. This is a quick to throw together dinner that manages to be low calorie and packed with flavor.

gluten-free* (check your Gochujang label!)

Gochujang Chicken Stir Fry

1 lb. ground chicken

1 large carrot, diced

1 bell pepper (any color), chopped

1.5 c snap peas (tipped and halved)

1.5 Tbsp gochujang

1 tsp sambal olek

2 Tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp honey

2 tsp butter

Sesame seeds

A little oil

Chop the veggies and set aside. In a large pan over medium high heat, warm a couple teaspoons oil.

Add the chicken and carrots. Stir fry until the chicken is brown and the carrots are just beginning to soften.

While the chicken is working, whisk the sauce ingredients (the rest of the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and butter) together in a small bowl. set aside.

When the chicken is ready, add the pepper and snap peas and continue to stir fry until the veggies are done to just about your liking.

Add the sauce and continue cooking a minute or two, stirring frequently, to combine fully. Add the butter and stir until it melts.

Serve with rice (or not). Garnish with sesame seeds.

Serves 4