Monday, January 24, 2011

Pad Thai - My Version!

My daughter India has been placed on a restricted diet to try and clear up any excess candida from her system and to basically 'cleanse' her system of a lot of the junk that she has built up in it - so since she's on a no wheat, no dairy, no yeasts and sugars diet, I decided that it would be good for all of us to participate and support her....of course that means that I have to make some serious adjustments to some of my regular recipes!

Since I had some leftover chicken from the Moroccan Chicken & Quinoa dish that I made on Friday night, I thought why not pad thai?  This is not exactly a traditional version, but one that is DELICIOUS and got two thumbs up from all members of the family!

6 3/4 cups of water, divided
1/2 pound of uncooked rice flour noodles
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce ( I used Braggs since there's no wheat in it)
2 tbsp agave syrup (or you could use brown sugar)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 lb skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into 1" strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup green onions, sliced into 1" pieces
2 tsp paprika
2 cups fresh pea or bean sprouts
lime juice

  • Place the uncooked noodles in a large bowl and boil the 6 cups of water.  Pour over the noodles and leave for 4 to 5 minutes (stirring slightly to ensure the noodles are immersed in the water).  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place back in bowl and set aside.
  • Combine 3/4 cup water, soy sauce and agave syrup.  Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tsp EVOO in stir-fry pan or wok over medium-high heat.  Add eggs; stir fry 1 minute.  Add eggs to the bowl of noodles.
  • Heat 1 tsp EVOO in pan, add chicken and garlic and stir-fry for 5 minutes.  Add to the bowl of noodles.
  • Heat 1 tsp EVOO in pan and add onions and paprika; stir-fry for 3 minutes.  Add to the bowl of noodles.
  • Heat the soy sauce mixture in the pan and add noodles mixture; cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Remove from heat, toss with sprouts and serve.  Squeeze a wedge of lime over each dish and ENJOY!
**You can add peeled and deveined shrimp to this dish!  Just stir-fry with the green onions!!**
**It is also nice to top each plate with some chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts for a truly authentic taste!**
**Since Greg and I like our food spicy and we aren't technically on this diet, I added a liberal amount of sambal oelek to each of our dishes!!!  YUM!**

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kale Chips

This was introduced to me by my friend Cindy who made them as a snack for one of our scrapbooking retreats, and it was love at first taste!!!  Strangely enough everyone in the family loves them except Devon - and this is a kid who eats ANYTHING...oh well, more for us!  Anyway, it occurred to me that there are plenty of people out there who are looking for a healthier snack food that helps them achieve their 5 - 10 a day, and who don't know about this.

This is a simple, healthy and satisfying snack (especially for someone like me who LOVES chips and could easily eat a bag in a sitting!!!)  They're crispy but seem to almost melt in your mouth after that first delightful bite?!  Next time you're having a snack-attack, grab a bunch of kale and make your own chips!

1 bunch of kale, ripped into 'chip' sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp seasoning salt (can also use lemon pepper, cajun seasoning, sea salt...the sky's the limit!)

  • Toss the kale with the olive oil and seasoning salt.  Spread evenly out on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Place the pan into a 350F oven for 10 to 12 minutes - keep an eye on the kale as it can go quickly from crispy to burnt! 
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly (although this doesn't take long!) and enjoy!!

**Kale is a superfood - it contains phytonutrients which help the liver neutralize potentially hazardous cancer causing substances.  Also kale is a great source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, iron, manganese, potassium and calcium...delicious and good for you!!!**

Moroccan Chicken & Quinoa

I can hardly believe it has been an entire month since I last made an entry!  I hope everyone had a great holiday season and isn't getting too frozen with the punishing weather we've been experiencing this January.  Two weeks ago Greg and I went to the Mayan Riviera to check on our vacation villa that is being constructed in the gated community of Grand Sirenis Resort....+32C every day and lovely sunshine...sigh!

Anyway, upon our return I took India to see a naturopath due to some health issues she's been experiencing and it was suggested that she go on a diet that excludes wheat, yeast, dairy and nightshade vegetables...a little bit of a challenge for a girl who lives on carbs and dairy!!  Not so for me!  I borrowed a book that I bought my girlfriend Kathy for Christmas, "Quinoa:  The Everyday Super Food" and found this incredible recipe.  Reminds me when Greg and I were in Morocco!  YUM!

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp butter or EVOO
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup diced onion
1 cup water
2 tsp orange juice
pinch salt
2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • To prepare the chicken, combine the cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and coriander in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat and place the chicken breasts in the pan.  Fry for about 5 minutes, until they are nicely browned.  Flip the chicken over and add the onion, water, garlic, orange juice and salt.  Toss in the spices.
  • Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink.
  • While the chicken is simmering, prepare the quinoa by bringing the quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 7 minutes.  Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
  • Remove the quinoa from the heat and toss with the butter, honey and salt.  Stir in the cinnamon.
  • To serve, divide the quinoa among 4 plates and top each with a piece of chicken.  Pour the sauce over top.  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 2 days.
**Prior to placing the quinoa in the pot with water, thoroughly rinse it in a sieve to remove the bitter saponin which coats the exterior of each grain**
**Identified as one of the world's healthiest foods, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) has a complete combination of all life-supporting nutrients, making it an ideal whole food to incorporate into your daily lifestyle!  It is very easy to prepare, regardless of your cooking ability and is a nutritionally superior source of non-animal protein with optimal amino acid content, gluten-free and is a complex carbohydrate to help regulate blood sugar levels!!  WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?!**