Chili Lime Couscous Salad

Another great batch cook lunch salad. This one is great with a hand full of shredded rotisserie chicken as the protein.

vegetarian, vegan

Chili Lime Couscous Salad

1 cup Israeli couscous

1.5 cups water or stock

Olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced into thin moons

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch broccolini, chopped

1 small bell pepper, chopped

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Juice & zest of 2 limes

1 large scallion, sliced into thin rings

Tajin, salt & pepper

Slice the onions into thin moons. Sauté in a glug of oil over medium/medium-high heat 10-15 minutes or until softened and beginning to color.

Add the garlic & couscous and sauté 1-2 minutes.

Add the water or stock and simmer 10 minutes.

Add the broccolini and half the lime zest and sauté an additional 5 minutes or until the broccolini & couscous are both cooked to your liking.

Add all the chopped veggies and the other half of the zest to a large bowl. Toss with the lime juice and a good glug or two of olive oil.

Add the couscous when done and toss.

Sprinkle generously with Tajin, salt & pepper, toss. Taste for seasoning, adjust & toss again.

Serve with your protein of choice.

Makes 5 – 6 servings

Fish Taco Bowls

Another great grab-n-go lunch option. These fish taco bowls are pretty great.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Fish Taco Bowls

500g fresh fish (I used King Fish, but any firm fillet will do)

Couple Tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Your favorite spicy seasoning

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Juice of 1 lime

1 avocado, chopped

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

3 cups red cabbage, shredded

1/2 small red onion, cut into thin half moons

Small bell pepper, diced

100 grams feta (my favorite is Sheeze or Veg Life)

Good glug olive oil

Tajin

Salt & pepper

Preheat your air fryer to 400 for 3 mins. Skin, de-bone and cut the fish into bite-sized cubes.

Toss with a liberal amount spicy seasoning and cornstarch. Blast with a couple hits spray oil and air fry 7 – 10 mins, tossing a couple times and blasting with more oil.

While the fish nuggets are working, prep all the veggies and add to a large bowl. Add a couple glugs olive oil, the lime juice and liberal shakes of Tajin, salt and pepper.

Toss to combine and taste for seasoning. I ended up repeating the seasoning process 3x.

To serve, layer the salad in a bowl over some leftover rice or grains and add a hand full of the fish nuggets.

Makes 5 – 6 servings, depending on how much fish you have per serving

Grab-N-Go Tuna Pasta Salad

This is a great salad to make once and have ready to grab & go for lunch. Perfect for busy weeks.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Grab-N-Go Tuna Pasta Salad

1/2 box or bag your favorite pasta (mine is gluten-free protein chickpea pasta)

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 medium cucumber, diced

1 medium bell pepper, diced

1 can tuna, drained (my favorite is chili oil packed tuna)

100g feta, cubed (my favorite is from Sheeze or Veg Life)

1 scallion, minced

2 Tbsp red onion, minced

Olive oil

3 Tbsp balsamic glaze

1 tsp lemon juice

Garlic powder

Black pepper

Finishing salt

Red pepper flakes

Make the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prep all the veggies and add to a large bowl.

Add the tuna and the pasta (drained) when that is done.

Add generous sprinkles of all spices, the lemon juice, a glug or two of olive oil and the cheese. Toss to combine, taste for seasoning, portion and serve.

Makes 5 – 6 servings

Smoky Honey Chicken Salad Sandwich

Yep – another chicken salad sandwich. I was in love with the bread I bought this week and had a bunch of leftover chicken.

gluten-free

Smoky Honey Chicken Salad Sandwich

2 small leftover chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp honey

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp tahini

1 chopped yellow pepper

1 c chopped snow peas

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Your favorite wrap for sandwiches

In a large bowl, whisk together the chili powder, honey, cinnamon, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice and tahini to make a dressing.

Chop the chicken, pepper and snow peas and add to the bowl. Thinly slice the scallions and add. Toss well to combine and serve in a wrap.

Makes 2-ish large wraps

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