SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E1): Lonely Alcoholic White Girl Soda

I am so excited to introduce my new project with The Fearless Flying Kitchen – SWASHBUCKLED!!

My best friend, Marie, lives a block away and works at Trader Joe’s. Every week, she is going to bring over FOUR INGREDIENTS that are absolutely random and completely unknown to me. My challenge is to create a dinner with what she brings to me and what I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. We film the whole thing for you to witness, and we call it SWASHBUCKLED!

Here is the first episode, followed by the recipes of what we came up with. I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think about our new show in the comments!

Sunchoke and Fennel Chicken Picatta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Flour (can sub All Purpose Gluten Free Flour)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5 Sunchokes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Fennel Bulb, diced (and dice the fronds for seasoning)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (optional)
  • 1 Lemon, both zest and juice
  • 1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Peach Simpler Wines (or white wine of choice)
  • 1 Sprig fresh rosemary, diced or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • GARNISH: Icelandic Style Plain Yogurt (or greek yogurt, or sour cream) and sprig of rosemary.
  • SERVE ALONG SIDE: Brown Rice, Quinoa, or a Whole Grain Pasta

Directions

  1. Cut chicken breasts into cubes. Season with salt and pepper then toss in All purpose Flour.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken breasts and brown on each side (about 3-4 minutes on each side. Does not need to be cooked all the way through just yet). Remove from skillet and place on paper towel to remove some excess oil.
  3. In the same skillet, add sunchokes, fennel, garlic and lemon zest. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add lemon juice, chicken broth and white wine (peach simpler wines). Add rosemary and fennel fronds. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and reduce for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Serve alongside grain of choice. Garnish with Icelandic Style Greek Yogurt and Rosemary Sprig.

 

Arugula and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Roasted Coconut Sesame Seeds

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup arugula
  • 1 Cup Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup Strawberries, Sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Coconut and Sesame Seeds Clusters
  •  Fresh Ground Salt and Pepper
  • Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1 Lemon Juiced
    • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 Tbsp Honey

Directions

  1. Mix together dressing ingredients. Rinse arugula, Brussels sprouts and fruit and dry completely.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine arugula, shaved Brussels sprouts, salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of mixed dressing. Add fruit and toss well. Arrange on plate and add coconut and sesame seed clusters.

 

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Spinach, Mushroom & Beef Lasagna

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna

Growing up, lasagna was this elusive meal only consumed by cats that sounded like Bill Murray. For some reason, we never ate it at my house. Perhaps it is the lack of Italian ancestors in my family tree? I am not sure.

Any who, fast forward about 20 years, my best friend invites me to her dad’s lasagna party. Every year, her very Italian (and awesome) father cooks multiple pans of delicious lasagna and opens his home to about a hundred of their closest family and friends. This was one of the best parties ever, not only because the wine flowed as fast as the videos of Father Guido Sarducci, but the lasagna was incredible. Now, long story short, at this point in my life, I had eaten my fair share of lasagna, but I still hadn’t ever made it. So, when the time came, I asked my friend to give me some pointers, and what does she do? She straight up gives me a link to re-create her fathers lasagna. Score! So, for the past few years, this has been a stand-by recipe. Only recently have I started to alter it to make it more of “my own.”

I did a couple of tweaks to make it a healthier choice, such as swapping regular ricotta for non-fat, decreasing the amount of meat, and using more veggies. And I am willing to bet that as soon as TJ’s starts to carry whole wheat lasagna noodles, that will be another swap!

Spinach and Mushroom Beef Lasagna

 

lasagna ready for oven Fearless Flying Kitchen

Ready for the oven!

Ingredients:

  • Lasagna Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Ricotta Cheese Mixture (see recipe below)
  • 1 bag mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (12) lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Fresh if possible)
  • 1 tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. Make sauce (see below)
  2. Make ricotta mixture (see below)
  3. Butter 13×9 dish
  4. Assemble: noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/3 sauce, Parmesan and a little more mozzarella (but not too much)
  5. Bake at 350 for 35-40 min. Let sit a few minutes prior to serving.

Lasagna Sauce

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna from The Fearless Flying KitchenIngredients

  • 1 lb 96/4 ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bag mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach
  • 1 jar Tomato Basil pasta sauce

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, start to brown ground beef. Once it starts to release its juices, add diced onions and cook until meat is starting to brown and onions are starting to soften. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms begin to soften. Add pasta sauce and put to simmer on a low heat for about a half an hour. Towards the end, add spinach until just wilted and remove from heat.

Ricotta Cheese Mixture

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna from The Fearless Flying KitchenIngredients:

  • 1 container non- fat ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined.

Suggested pairings: 

A nice Chianti

sautéed zucchini sprinkled with parmesan cheese

A light salad with balsamic glaze, meyer lemon olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

Tortilla-Crusted-Chicken-Tenders-Main

Chicken tenders seem to be a classic food item that appear on kids menus across america. Often these crispy crowd pleasers are battered or breaded and deep fried (or at least pan fried!) Not necessarily something I want my kid having on a daily basis. They also are on the “no-no” list for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, due to the bread crumb coating.

But have no fear, the Fearless Flying Chef is here to rescue this disastrous meal!!

The first task at hand was to make it a meal that kids (and adults) with food allergies and sensitivities can enjoy. The second was to eliminate the deep fryer (because, let’s be honest, I don’t even own one and don’t plan on buying one). After a few tweaks to your standard chicken strips recipe, this one was definitely a keeper.

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I have made a version of this before with regular hummus and bread crumbs, and it was a hit. So I decided to give it a “South of the Boarder” twist with the Cilantro& Jalapeño Hummus as the binder and crushed White Corn Tortilla Chips as the breading. This makes for a slightly messy and little more involved process, but the end result is worth it!

Tortilla Crusted Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

  • 8 Chicken Tenders (one package)
  • Half container of Cilantro & Jalapeño Hummus
  • 2-3 Cups Tortilla Chips, Crushed
  • Finely Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare a 9X12 glass baking dish by spraying lightly with your favorite cooking spray. I used coconut oil spray (my first time using this product), but also stock my cabinet with a sprayable Olive Oil.
  2. Crush tortilla chips (in food processor or manually) and pour out into a dish.
  3. Stir hummus well, then smother each chicken tender with hummus until covered. I used about half of a container for this. Then drudge the chicken tenders into the tortilla chips until covered. Place on prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese (lightly).
  4. Once all of the chicken is smothered and drudged and placed in the baking dish, place in oven in a center rack for ~ 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F. Turn once and sprinkle other side with cheese.
  5. Remove from oven and let rest ~5 minutes.

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I served this meal with Corn on the Cob, and honestly, had such high aspirations for making a delicious grilled corn. But instead, I went the lamest route possible and MICROWAVED it. Olive still loved it, and my husband and I ate it up just fine. But it probably would have been so much better if I grilled it for a few minutes too. I also heated up a can of Organic Black Beans and sautéed some zucchini and bell peppers in a little bit of Olive Oil as a side (with just some salt and pepper). Very simple and nutritious sides. We also had watermelon as an appetizer. It was intended to be served with dinner, but it never lasts long in our home. Definitely doesn’t last long enough for a picture!

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Bell Pepper and Steak Stir-Fry

 BELL-PEPPER-AND-STEAK

As much as I love to cook, some nights, I just want to pop something in the microwave or order take out. Call it laziness if you want. I call it just, being human. But, what I consider the ultimate, is when I can cook dinner from scratch that involves minimal effort on my part. My biggest TJ’s  “splurge” is usually on pre-cut meats and vegetables. I call it a splurge because it usually costs a few bucks more to get a food item processed. But those few minutes I am spared are well worth it! I mean, come on, the thought of making soup from scratch was a little daunting before I the wonderful Mirepoix Mix, am I right?? Another pre-sliced and diced item I regularly purchase is the Beef Steak Tips, which I decided to bust out for dinner tonight. You can, of course, always use regular tenderloin or sirloin, and just slice into chunks or strips.

When I think of “easy dinner,” my mind jumps right to clean up, which means my easy dinner usually involves no more than 1 pot or utensil. I have seen a bunch of one pot pasta dishes on Pinterest, and I’ll admit, I am a little nervous to try them. I just can’t wrap my head around how it would taste good to throw raw onions and uncooked pasta and tomatoes in a pot with water and have it com out tasting delicious. I hope to prove myself wrong in the future, but, For now, I’ll just stick to crock pots and woks.

Some of my favorite veggies to cook with beef  are bell peppers and onions. I often pair my carne asada with fajita style peppers and  onions. Same with sausages. I wonder why I even thought I would choose a different veggie for my easy mid-week stir fry? I am sure there are great combinations out there. What do you put in your stir-fry? Leave me a comment!

 

Bell Pepper and Steak Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive or peanut oil, divided
  • 1 lb package of beef tips
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bag of microwave brown rice

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar

Directions:

  • Put 1 Tbsp of oil in wok or large pan, and heat on hight. Once oil is hot, add onion and bell peppers and cook until they just start to get soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.
  • Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for sauce in a separate bowl.
  • Add other tbsp to pan, and add beef tips (salt and pepper to taste prior to cooking). Cook until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add cooked bell peppers and onions, diced tomatoes and sauce mixture cook for another 5 min. Sauce will thicken a little bit. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite whole grain rice. I prefer the frozen brown rice that can be microwaved for 3 minutes and serves two.


Estimated Nutrition Information Per Serving (does not include rice):
Calories: 316   Carbs: 18g   Fat: 17g   Protein: 24g   Sodium: 720 mg   Sugar: 7g

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

Background: I have been wanting to post a recipe for Stuffed Peppers for a long time on here. Only catch…I really didn’t have one that was just right. I would look up recipes online and they just wouldn’t be what I wanted. Some turned out  like meatloaf inside a pepper while others lacked flavor or didn’t have an ideal texture. One time I attempted to make stuffed peppers, the bell pepper was still very crunchy, so the next time I boiled the peppers before stuffing and baking, and that just removed some of the flavor.  I am happy to report that I finally figured it out (all by myself I might add!) and might have come up with the combination for the perfect stuffed pepper. Have you had any of these problems while making stuffed peppers in the past? Am I the only one?? Let me know in the comments below. 

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers with a simple side salad.***

Often, especially in January, I will ask my husband what he wants for dinner and his response is always “Something Healthy.” The first thing that pops into my mind is this delicious Veggie Quinoa Bowl that I make. Second is always Stuffed Peppers (and if you were curious what number three is, that would be my Lentil and Veggie Soup). The one thing that all of these dishes have in common is they are chock-full of vegetables.

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 8.03.53 AMI always have some 96% ground beef on hand. I prefer to use this over other ground meat options. Higher % fat ground beef just is too fatty and needs to be drained before proceeding. And, yes, if you were wondering, this equates to me using a lower fat meat because I am lazy. I also sometimes feel that ground turkey ends up being too dry, and I usually don’t use meat substitute unless I am cooking for a vegetarian (but even then, I usually would just use beans or lentils). The 96% Lean Ground Beef also has a long shelf life because of how it is packaged, and so you can have it hanging out in your fridge for a while. If you don’t use it quickly it also freezes really well (just de-thaw in the fridge the night before you want to cook with it). I will use this for Stuffed Peppers, Meat Loaf, Pasta Sauce, Spanish Zucchini, and Mushroom Burgers.

IMG_0121Pasta Sauce is also another item always on hand in my kitchen. I usually like to make my own pasta sauce from scratch using canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil and oregano (and SALT). Mostly just keep it simple, but when I want to impress, I’ll follow this Buzzfeed Recipe for the Best Tomato Sauce, Which is pretty dang good. But it is time consuming, so in a pinch, it is always good to have a simple jar of tomato sauce on hand. You can also quickly turn it into pizza sauce when you add a half jar of tomato paste to it. I recently learned a trick from my mother-in-law, which is to sautée onion and brown ground beef in a pan and then just add some Tomato Basil Tomato Sauce form a jar, and it will taste very home-made and is very quick and easy.

My favorite thing about making Stuffed Peppers is it is a completely standalone dish. You don’t need much else to go along with it aside from a salad and maybe a breadstick if you want (which…My favorite comes in the bread section of Trader Joe’s, or you could make some using their Pizza Dough, like this recipe from Stick Baby and the Snail). It also isn’t too terribly labor intensive, and you can easily forget it once it goes in the oven.

Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

  • Four Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green, whatever you prefer)
  • 1 Jar of Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce
  • 1 lb 96% Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Zucchini, Diced
  • 1 Bag of Sliced White Mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Organic Breadcrumbs
  • Salt, Pepper, Basil and Garlic Powder to taste
  • Mozzarella Cheese (fresh or shredded)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef in skillet, once cooked through and brown, add diced zucchini and mushrooms. Break the mushrooms up into smaller pieces (you can either cut them even more before you add them, or just break them up in the pan while they cook).
  3. Once vegetables start to look tender, add about a half cup of marinara sauce and mix well. Just make sure everything is covered, so add a little bit more if you need to. Let that cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add breadcrumbs and mix well. The texture of the mixture should stick together and be very clumpy. Add additional breadcrumbs until this texture is achieved.
  5. Meanwhile, while all of that has been cooking, add about half the jar of pasta sauce to a large pyrex dish (9X12 or large enough to hold all of your peppers) and spread evenly. Prepare the peppers by slicking them in half long ways and removing the stem and seeds. Place them skin-side-down in the pasta sauce.
  6. Add a little bit of mozzarella cheese to the inside of each bell pepper half (if you want to elevate this dish, use fresh mozzarella on the inside. I had some on hand and it was delicious). Then fill the peppers with the meat and veggie mixture. Should be enough to fill all of the bell pepper halves, feel free to push the meat-veggie mix down if it is overflowing. Top bell peppers with more mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake for ~35-40 minutes at 375. Serve with a nice little salad and breadsticks or rice.