SWASHBUCKLED! (S2E9): Ryan’s Life Hacks for Sweet Abs

What can we say, except…[You’re] Welcome! This week, we celebrate all foods Ryan Haringa, our favorite demi-god amongst men! He sings, he acts, he’s intelligent… Okay, mostly we’re just obsessed withi his perfect abs. Marie got her hands on Ryan’s meal plan, and this week she and Amanda are setting out to get a “Body by Ryan” by cooking the things he eats every day: ground turkey, spinach, bell peppers, and…Peanut M&Ms*?

*Peanut M&Ms not available at Trader Joe’s. Discover the answer to this dilemma and more, by watching now.


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Following a diet plan that called for rock solid abs meant that Amanda’s refrigerator was full of healthy ingredients. Unfortunately, it was stocked with the same items that Marie brought (thus the spite bag reference).

But with most reducing diets, when you deprive yourself and restrict calories, you usually start to crave high fat, high sugar and generally unhealthy foods…which you’ll see in action in this episode. We don’t know how Ryan does it! (must be those daily 6 MnM’s! and One Bars!

Ingredients featured in this week’s episode:

 

Couple notes about the meals we prepared:

  • The zoodles were great. When we make this again, we’ll use a leaner ground turkey. The additional fat adds a great mouthfeel and flavor, but we would use a little extra heart healthy olive oil instead.
  • When you make zoodle bowls, add the zucchini at the very end. The longer they cook, the more fluid they release and turn mushy. We suggest you add the zucchini and parmesan, then turn the burner off. Top with cheese and put in the broiler for a minimal amount of time. The zucchini will soften enough with the other hot foods in the pan and in the oven.
  • We added protein powder to our ice cream. It tasted pretty good, but didn’t last in the freezer. Not because we ate it all, but because it solidified to a point it was inedible. If you choose to do this, we suggest eating within the hour of making or enjoy as a milkshake.

zucchini noodles

Spinach, Bell Pepper & Turkey Zoodle Bake

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

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Turkey
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Enjoya Peppas
  • 1 Bag Spinach
  • Salt and Pepper 1/2 tsp each
  • 1 large or 2 medium zucchini
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Tomato Basil Hummus
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Quattro formaggio cheese

Directions

  1. Over high heat add ground turkey. Add salt & pepper. Cook through. Remove and set aside. Drain turkey fat. While this is cooking, spiralize zucchini.
  2. In the same pan, add olive oil. Once hot, add in peppers and sauté for a few minutes. Once soft, add spinach and let cook for another minute. Add in hummus.
  3. At the last minute, turn off burner and stir in zucchini noodles and parmesan. Top with Quattro fromaggio cheese and place in the broiler (low) for a few minutes (watch closely).  Remove and top with parsley and serve.


6 mnm ice cream

High Protein Sundae with Exactly 6 Peanut MnMs

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup full fat Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/3 cup Chocolate Covered Peanuts
  • 6 Mnms
  • Chocolate Syrup

Directions

  1. Combine ice cream and protein powder in a blender and blend on high speed for 30 seconds. Turn on low and add chocolate covered peanuts and mnms.
  2. Transfer to individual bowls and top with chocolate syrup.


 

 

 

 

 

SWASHBUCKLED! (S2E6): Italian-ish

This week, we go deep into Marie’s Italian roots to make something, kind-of, Italian-ish? None of the ingredients that were provided were very Italian-y, but they all were delicious to eat on their own, and in the dish!

Watch this week’s episode here:


Ingredients Featured in This Week’s Episode:


 

This week, we dive deep into Marie’s “non-white girl” roots, and make some vegetarian stuffed peppers and take a fun twist on a traditional caprese salad.

The stuffed peppers are full of fiber from the veggies, whole wheat cous cous and black beans, while being packed with flavor from the jalapeño artichoke dip and fragrant cheeses. We both loved the stuffed peppers and preferred the green ones over the yellow (which was a surprise to us both!)

The caprese salad was a slam dunk…if you removed the chocolate. Cherries with Mozzarella and Basil was a delicious flavor combination. The dark chocolate pretzels made things a little weird, so when you make this at home (which you should!) we recommend just saving the pretzels on the side to eat on their own (a perfect dessert!)

 

Black Bean Cous Cous and Veggie Stuffed Peppers.png

Black Bean, Cous Cous and Veggie Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Cous Cous, cooked according to package directions (1 cup water + 1 Cup Cous Cous + 1 Tbsp butter + Salt)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini quartered and sliced
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 Can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Artichoke and Jalapeño Dip
  • 12 Tbsp Quatro Fromaggio (divided so each bell pepper gets 2 tbsp)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Rinse bell peppers and slice in half. Remove seeds. Rub all sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place bell peppers skin side up on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or foil). Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onion, celery and carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for a few more minutes. Then add mushrooms, butter, salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cup of the cooked cous-cous mixture (can save the rest to use as a salad topper), can of black beans, and tomato sauce. Let cook down for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through. Mix in artichoke & jalapeño dip thoroughly.
  4. Remove roasted bell peppers from the oven. Turn over. Place 1 tbsp of Quattro Fromaggio cheese at the bottom, fill with 1/6 of the filling mixture, then finish with another tbsp of cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.


Cherry Caprese Salad

Cherry Caprese Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 18 Reinier Cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 package mozzarella balls (about 12), halved
  • Large handful of basil (about 20 leaves), Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Fresh Ground Salt and Pepper (about 1/4 tsp each)
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Optional (and not recommended): Chocolate covered Pretzels

Directions

  1. Rinse cherries, pit and halve them, Combine in a bowl with mozzarella balls and basil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with balsamic glaze on top.
  2. We added the chocolate covered pretzels as the challenge for this dish, but it definitely didn’t do this beautiful and delicious salad any flavors. We made it again without the pretzels and it was so great. But the pretzels were fantastic on their own!


 

 

Head over to our PATREON PAGE to become a patron of Fearless Flying Kitchen and check out outtakes from this week as well as Mr. Critic’s reaction.

SWASHBUCKLED! S2E2: New York! New York! (+ Giveaway!)

We have our first special guest of the season, a Mate from New York City! Plus, he is a vegetarian and expects the food to be #slammin‘. Will Amanda and Marie be able to come together and make some delicious food?

Watch the episode here:


Ingredients featured this week include:

 

First, let’s start off with our GIVEAWAY!

Trader Joe's Mystery Packs

Mystery Pack of Regional Bags

Every Christmas, my mom and I would always buy each other the mystery packs of regional bags that Trader Joe’s sells. You can usually only get the regional bags from that specific area of the country, but the mystery bag packs have three random regional bags. It is always so much fun to get different bags and see what represents other cities.

Little did I know, that all along, my mom was just gaming for the New York City bag, ands always so disappointed when she never got one in the bags. Our friend, and Mate all the way from New York City, brought us some regional bags, making us able to use our last mystery pack for a giveaway!

We will be GIVING AWAY this mystery pack of regional bags as well as some of our favorite non-perishable swag from Trader Joe’s.

To enter the giveaway you need to do the following three steps:

  1. Make sure you are SUBSCRIBED to our channel on YouTube
  2. COMMENT on any BLOG POST on The Fearless Flying Kitchen blog (must be dated 5/21/18 or later).
  3. Subscribe to our NEWSLETTER (CLIKC HERE to do that)

For extra bonus entries:

  1. Find the mystery pack giveaway post on FACEBOOK – like that, share it with your friends, tag your friends, and comment. You get a point for each interaction!  (you must be following Fearless Flying Kitchen on Facebook to count)
  2. Find the mystery pack giveaway post on INSTAGRAM – like that, comment on it, and tag your friends. You get a point for each interaction! (you must be following Fearless Flying Kitchen on instagram to count)
  3. Like and comment on any of the Swashbuckled videos on YouTube and get an extra point for each interaction!

Giveaway will end on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at midnight PST. Winner will be announced on the episode of Swashbuckled on Monday, June 11.


OK, now back to the food!

We had a #slammin’ time in the kitchen with Kris from New York. The only stipulation was that the food had to be vegetarian, and that Marie would be helping. Since the fridge was stocked for only lasagna, that’s what happened. Amanda made a delicious stovetop, easy lasagna. The combination of crème fraîche and ricotta was a little piece of heaven, and should be done with all lasagna from here on out. We also saved a little extra and topped our endives with it…also great. The sauce of Piquillo Pepper and Quinoa Spread with Whole Crushed Tomatoes was also a huge win. Great flavor and texture. You could just use your favorite jar of sauce if you truly want to make it a one pot meal…but this combo is definitely worth washing that second dish.

The only thing that was off was the mochi rice nugget topping. We all decided that just makes a great snack.  But all in all, this was a great, quick, meal that you can get super creative with. It is perfect for busy weeknights when you need a little hands off time (but still need a meal on the table in less than an hour).

Lazy Lasagna

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 White Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Zucchini, zoodled
  • 1 Bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Jar Piquillo pepper and Quinoa Spread
  • 1 Large Can (28oz) Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 1/2 package Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 package Crème Fraîche
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 5 lasagna noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Mochi Rice Nuggets (Optional)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375˚F. Prepare all vegetables (zoodle, slice and dice). Note, if you don’t have a zoodler, you can always just dice zucchini.
  2. In a large skillet (that can go in the oven), heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add red bell peppers and cook about 3 minutes, then add zucchini. Cook both for about 5 more minutes, then add mushrooms and cook until they have softened.
  3. Meanwhile, combine Piquillo Pepper and Quinoa Spread with one large can of whole peeled tomatoes. Crush whole peeled tomatoes in your hand as you are adding it to the pot. Heat over medium heat to a simmer. Add salt as needed (try it first, and add if it needs it according to your taste buds).
  4. Spread the cooked vegetables evenly around the large skillet. Top with broken up pieces of lasagna noodles. Cover noodles completely with sauce. Cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  5. While the noodles and sauce cook, combine Ricotta Cheese, Crème Fraîche, parsley and parmesan cheese in a bowl and set aside.
  6. After 20 minutes, remove cover and stir noodles. If they have softened, then top with Ricotta/Crème Fraîche mixture (little blobs all over). Top with even more mozzarella cheese, and place in the oven to help melt and brown cheese. Can put in the broiler on low for a little while too. Once brown, remove from oven and enjoy! If you can’t put your skillet in the oven, you could just cover with the lid again and let the cheese melt that way. It will get melty but not necessarily start to brown.

Note – In this episode we decimated half a bag of Mochi Rice Nuggets in the vitamix (or food processor, if you have one), and added it to the top of the lasagna along with the mozzarella and broiled it on low. We don’t recommend this step, but instead, just eat the mochi rice nuggets as a separate snack. However, if you did want to recreate what we did, this is it. 


We, yet again, followed a recipe on the back of a product, and the result was #slammin’! There are always great ideas and suggestions on the back of the package. Marie begrudgingly proved that she can be somewhat useful in the kitchen!

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Baked Belgian Endive with Walnuts, Parmesan & Romano Cheese

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Trader Joe’s…Literaly on the back of the endive package

Ingredients

  • 6 Belgian Endives, trimmed & halved lengthwise
  • 1/8 cup Clarified Butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Romano Cheese Blend
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Toss endives with butter, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in a single layer in an 8X8 shallow baking dish.
  2. Cover with foil and bake on the center rack of the oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Mix walnuts and cheese together and set aside.
  3. Remove endive from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheese mixture. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until cheese is golden.

Hanging out with Kris from New York

Hanging out in the Fearless Flying Kitchen with Kris from New York!

SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E5): Friendzone Your Knife

This week brings a special guest star, Heather Forte, into the kitchen. She is a decent home cook with a self-professed culinary knowledge of a first grader. Her credentials include being a “Top Chef Enthusiast” and knowing what “sous-vide” means. Watch as Amanda leads her through creating a plant-based dinner with the mystery ingredients.

Read on for episode breakdown


Ingredients in this week’s episode:

This week, we brought our friend, Heather down to the Fearless Flying Kitchen. She was expecting to be the peanut gallery, but we decided to put her to work, and let her figure out what to do with the ingredients.

After some deliberation, we decided to make a Vegan curry with the jackfruit as well as other veggies that were in the fridge (zucchini, carrots, potatoes, and garlic). For spice, we added curry powder and a whole jalapeño, which made for a pretty hot curry (so if you don’t like your food super spicy, err on the side of less curry powder and jalapeño.) The Green Goddess Salad Dressing was amazing on its own, and added a more complex flavor to the curry. Since filming this episode, I have used it on several different salads, and its a great staple to have around.

Marie TBT Jackfruit

Marie and her Jackfruit Baby

Jackfruit is having a moment in the culinary world right now, so it was only a matter of time that it found its way into the Fearless Flying Kitchen. Jackfruit is often seen in savory vegetarian and vegan meals because it has a culinary application similar to tofu, in that it absorbs flavors well, and also shreds like meat. In its natural state, jackfruit is absolutely huge (see picture to the right), so the canned version is definitely more convenient for the average home chef. On its own,  jackfruit has a flavor and texture of a plain artichoke heart, but once it was in the curry, it took on a totally different texture and flavor profile. It is a fun ingredient to play with, but since it has no protein, I wouldn’t recommend vegetarians and vegans consider it a “meat substitute” and would still encourage including some other non-meat protein sources (like beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc.)

The Multi-Blend with Vegetables was fine on its own, but it didn’t really do a good job at featuring the curry (which is what we wanted it to do). We all agreed that just a regular Jasmine rice or plain brown rice would have been preferred. After filming, we ended up cooking some boil-in-a-bag rice and combined it with the multigrain blend, and it was a huge improvement.

Lastly, the cocktails. It was really fun to make the licorice simple syrup. I would love to explore making other drinks with the syrup, possibly make some kind of mojito or gimlet with it. Out of the two we experimented with, the Tiki Rum Punch was definitely the better of the two, because it felt more complete. However it was very sweet. Let’s just leave the licorice cocktails as a work in progress, and we’ll update you on when we improve it!

Green Goddess Jackfruit Curry with Multigrain Blend

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

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 Dutch Gold Potatoes, chopped
  • 6 ‘teenage’ Carrots, chopped (but they were small)
  • 2 medium Zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2-1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 20-oz can jackfruit, drained
  • 1 can Light Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Miso Ginger Broth
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Green Goddess Dressing
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 Gloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • 1 bag Multigrain Blend with Vegetables

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in pan. Once hot, brown potatoes and then add carrots and zucchini and jalapeño.* Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until tender.
  2. Add one can coconut milk, 1-2 tbsp of curry powder, 1/4 cup of Green Goddess salad dressing, paprika and garam masala. Cover and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and jackfruit is easy to shred.
  3. Add lime and shred jackfruit and cover until ready to serve.
  4. Meanwhile, cook Multigrain Blend with Vegetables cook grains as directed, but add splash of miso broth to prevent sticking to the pot. We recommend also mixing with Jasmine rice (Trader Joe’s has a great Frozen microwave brown rice that would pair well).

*At this point, I would also add an onion, we just didn’t have any on hand. You could swap out the veggies for any that you prefer.

Green Godess Jackfruit Curry

Licorice Simple Syrup

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 15 Black Licorice
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, uncovered, and let liquid reduce by half. Strain and set aside.

We used the simple syrup to make two different cocktails

Gin-ny Weasley Cocktail

The Gin-ny Weasley

The first was what I like to call the “Gin-ny Weasley” because in theory, you like her and all the ingredients, but there is just something that isn’t right and it just kind of bugs you. She is also a little watered down. To create a Gin-ny Weasley, combine equal parts Gin, Licorice Syrup and Plain Soda Water. Garnish with Basil.

Black Licorice Tiki Punch

Black Licorice Tiki Punch

Heather came up with the second cocktail. She lives and loves Tiki culture and this drink definitely resembles something you would get at Trader Sam’s, and should definitely be enjoyed in a tiki mug. To make, combine 2oz Spiced Rum, 1 oz Licorice Syrup and top off with Blood Orange Soda. Garnish with Basil.

Tacoladas: Beef and Veggie Pie

Beef-and-Veggie-Taco-Pie

Do you remember math class in school? I do, and I remember two things in particular: One, was that I hated it. Two, was that I would get such a rush every time I found out I had the right answer when I checked the back of the book.

I sometimes get that same feeling when I COMPLETELY create and improvise a recipe from scratch. I am talking, no pinterest-ing, no internet searching. Nothing. And then it actually turns out, and it is delicious. Even better when there are lots of vegetables too! Such a rush.

So, behold my Taco Pie, aka. the source of this rush:

Taco Pie

Taco Pie. Er, Casserole. Er, …nevermind

Ok, that seems a little silly after I look at this picture. I mean, it looks like just any regular casserole, right? (Side note – If anyone can come up with a better name for this, please let me know in the comments below. It does not resemble a pie in any way shape or form, that is just what I keep calling it. And I think the term “casserole” can scare some people off with nightmares of cream of chicken soup and mayonnaise. )

From the bottom to the top, this casserole starts out with a hint of my favorite TJ’s salsa (I use the Trader Joe’s Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, but there are many you can choose from, just pick your favorite), then a layer of corn tortillas, cut into triangles.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Now, many of my friends have gone back and forth over “what is the best corn tortilla found on the shelves of Trader Joe’s.” My personal favorite is the “De Mi Abuela: Wheat and Corn Tortillas” because they are a little bit thicker, and have lots of flavor. Not every one in my house is a fan of that one, so I usually end up getting the “Corn Tortillas” that are gluten-free and have minimal ingredients. They are just your regular, run-of-the-mill tortillas. And that is perfectly acceptable in a dish like this, that has so much flavor and other textures going on.

Trader Joe's Corn Tortillas

Left: De Mi Abuela
Right: Corn Tortillas

The next layer is a mix of 6 different veggies that have been sautéed in a little bit of olive oil. You could probably swap out some of the veggies if you have other favorites. It is kind of a cool way to clean out your fridge if you have just a few randoms laying around. While I had my cutting board out, I actually ended up dicing a lot more veggies than this, and then saving them for the following morning to add to an egg scramble.

Nothing more beautiful than a rainbow of veggies in a skillet

Nothing more beautiful than a rainbow of veggies in a skillet

After that layer, add some more corn tortilla triangles, then the layer of ground beef. I like lean ground beef (96% lean) because it is pretty inexpensive, and is easy to freeze and de-thaw. I also ALWAYS have some hanging out in my kitchen. But if you prefer a different type of protein, you could easily swap the ground beef with turkey, or even shredded chicken (YUM!) Simply brown the ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken) in a skillet. It can be the same one you just cooked the veggies in. Then add a can of diced tomatoes and a half packet of taco seasoning. If you like your food on the spicy side, add a little more. If you like it less spicy, add a little less. However, there was enough heat for me and my family with just half a packet.

Put that mixture on top of the corn tortilla triangles, then load the top up with some shredded Mexican cheese and bake in the oven until it is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

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I topped mine with some guacamole, salsa, sour cream and Jalapeño Greek yogurt dip. No, I am not a glutton, just indecisive. I think the Jalapeño Greek Yogurt dip won. It is my current favorite.

And the icing on the cake, is the leftovers are even better. I just love when meals get better with age.

Tacoladas: Beef and Veggie Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 package of mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde (Roasted Tomatillo Salsa)
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into triangle wedges
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 package Mexican cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once warm, add onions and cook for a few minutes, then add bell pepper and cook for another couple minutes. Next, add zucchini and yellow squash, continue to cook for a few minutes. Then add mushrooms and cook for a few motte minutes. Lastly, add the kale.
  3. In a 9×13 glass dish, spread salsa along the bottom of the pan, then spread corn tortillas on top. Put cooked veggies on top. Do another layer of corn tortillas.
  4. In the same large skillet, brown lean grown beef. Once brown, add taco seasoning and tomatoes and cook on low for 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, add to casserole dish. Cover with cheese and bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is starting to bubble and brown. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.

Suggested Side items – Black beans and a salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Cilantro Dressing

Suggested Drinks – Trader Joe’s Organic Mango Lemonade (with or without tequila)

Quinoa Crust Quiche

Quinoa Quiche

My dietitian friend of mine, we’ll just call her Rachael,  has been having stomach issues for the past two years. After going to several doctors, her final diagnosis was IBS, which is usually the “we can’t find anything definitively wrong with you, so we’ll call it IBS so you stop showing up in our office.” Usually the treatment for IBS includes having a balanced diet, exercise and stress management. She did a bit of research on the Low FODMAP diet and after trying it for a few days, her symptoms finally went away and she felt “normal” again.

Since IBS is a very (very) common complaint and diagnosis, we gave the LowFODMAP diet a test run in my house a few months back. I found it very difficult to prepare meals for, because everything I use in almost all of my dishes were on the “no-no” list: ONIONS, GARLIC, WHEAT, LACTOSE, and many forms of FRUCTOSE (many fruits as well as high fructose corn syrup).  For those suffering from abdominal distress and pain, making a few slight dietary changes though doesn’t seem to be an issue.

One of my standard meals I make on an almost weekly basis is quiche. It is my “clean out the fridge” meal that is packed with veggies and I always have the standard ingredients. I also can whip up a crust in less than 5 minutes in my kitchen aid (Using this recipe from William’s Sonoma, but omitting the sugar). Quiche also happens to have an abundance of onions, garlic, wheat and lactose in it (well, mine does any way). I decided to attempt to make a pie crust out of quinoa, since wheat and wheat flour was not allowed.
And to my dismay, it actually turned out pretty good! I was surprised by how much I liked it.

Since I was doing things completely out of the box, I went all out and added some bacon, and used half hard boiled eggs and half raw eggs in the mix (normal quiche recipes don’t use hard boiled eggs)…and it turned out just fine!

So, here is what I did:

Quinoa Crust Quiche

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

QUINOA CRUST:

  • 1 heaping cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients well and mash along the bottom  and up the sides of a 9″ pie pan. Bake for about 10 minutes. Leave the oven on, you’ll be using it again real soon.

QUICHE:

  • 3 strips of bacon, crumbled and cooked
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 big ole’ zucchini, shredded with a grater
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tomatoes (enough to cover the top of the pie)
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (because of the FODMAPS diet, I used Lactaid)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

On top of the baked crust, add bacon and swiss cheese. Cook the zucchini, basil and baby spinach for a few minutes in a pan (I used the same pan that I cooked the bacon in, just drained some of the bacon fat). Add cooked zucchini, basil and spinach to the pie. Mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and red pepper. Pour over the bacon, swiss cheese, zucchini, basil and spinach. Top with tomatoes and goat cheese. Pop it in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the quiche has set.

Serve along side a simple salad of greens mixed with equal parts Balsamic Glaze and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil with freshly ground sea salt and pepper.

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Agave-Maple Butter Sweet Potatoes and Zucchini

I have a friend. Let’s just call her Kellie. She has celiac disease, which means she cannot eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley). She consequently also has a hard time with dairy, so many of the meals we prepare together have to be both gluten-free and dairy-free. There always seems to be magic in the kitchen when we cook together. I am forced to come up with creative ways to prepare meals I normally make. We always end up with a delicious meal that is simple, lots of vegetables, interesting grains, and lean protein. It also ends up being fairly healthy too (except for that time we added bacon to our cauliflower and leek mashed potatoes…although that was pretty amazing)

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I love using pork because it is fairly inexpensive and you can purchase two tenderloins at Trader Joe’s for under $10. It is a perfect option for entertaining because it can feed quite a few people (you can feed probably 6 people with those two tenderloins). For some reason, I always have to pair pork with sweet potatoes, it just makes sense in my head. Lastly, I consulted Kellie for what veggie she would like, and she suggested Romanesco (those little fractal, lime green veggies that seem to be somewhere in between cauliflower and broccoli). My local TJ’s was fresh out of Fresh Romanesco, so we went with zucchini, one of my old stand-bys. Overall, the meal was a success. I tried something new for the baked sweet potatoes (Maple and Cinnamon Butter instead of just butter and brown sugar), which was a really nice treat. The bag of sweet potatoes is another great buy from TJ’s. There were 6 potatoes in there for less than $2, pretty great deal if you ask me!

Now, on to the process:

Pork Tenderloin and Glaze

You can make the glaze ahead of time , which is what I usually do when I make this. Refrigerate until ready to use. When you are ready to cook up the Pork Tenderloins, just give them a rub down with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  You can either combine the sea salt and pepper and oil and then rub it all together, or rub down with oil and then top with salt and pep. Either way, you’ll be fine. I use a large 9X12 pyrex dish for this. Another reason I love this meal is that you don’t have to marinate the meat for a long time prior to cooking. You don’t even need to prepare the glaze ahead of time either. The pork cooks for 10 minutes, and then you pour the glaze on top, so technically, you could prepare the glaze as the pork begins to cook. You’ll be done, start to finish in less than 30 minutes.

roasted zucchini

The zucchini was going to go in the over with the pork, so I prepared it very simply, with drizzles of Olive Oil, and fresh ground sea salt (or kosher salt) and pepper. I just periodically checked on the zucchini and tossed it as needed.

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I use to never make baked sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes) before I learned how easy it was in the microwave. Now, it is my go-to side dish. So quick and easy. Just rinse the potatoes well, poke them all over with a fork or knife, and cover with a damp paper towel.  Microwave the sweet potatoes (6 minutes for the first one, then add an additional 2 minutes for each additional potato) and use caution when removing, because they will be ridiculously hot.

Cinnamon Maple Butter

The Cinnamon maple butter was an experiment, and it was so incredibly successful, I feel like I need to make this by the vat full and swim in it. Just used 2 Tbsp Butter, 1 Tbsp Maple Agave Syrup (my personal favorite for taste and consistency, not because it is any more healthy than other syrup. They all are equally sugar-y. I am sure any maple syrup would be fine) and a few sprinkles of Cinnamon. Probably about 1/4 tsp. If I was making this in a larger portion, I probably would have used the stand mixer, but since my butter was soft already, it was easy to mix by hand.

Now is the part of my blog post that gets a little bit sad…

I was way too excited to eat this meal to remember to take a picture of the finished product.

But I assure you it looked colorful and beautiful and would make you salivate just by looking at it!

So, there you go. A super easy dinner that is perfect for entertaining on a budget and will be a breeze to prepare, even for a novice chef.

Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

2 Pork Tenderloins
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 Cup Apricot Preserves or Jam
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 Tbsp Chicken Broth
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. Coat/rub pork tenderloins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place pork in the oven for 10 minutes.

In the mean time, prepare the glaze by combining apricot jam, dijon mustard, chicken broth, garlic and thyme. After the pork is in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and add glaze, then return pork to the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145.  Remove, slice into 1/2 inch-1 inch thick slices, and drizzle additional glaze on top.

Microwave Sweet Potatoes with Agave-Maple Butter

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: (super) easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

Rinse potatoes well and poke with a fork or knife, about 6 times all over. Cover with a damp paper towel and place on microwave-safe dish.  Microwave the sweet potatoes (6 minutes for the first one, then add an additional 2 minutes for each additional potato) and use caution when removing.

While potatoes are cooking, combine last three ingredients until well mixed. Once potatoes are done cooking and ready to be served, slice down the middle with a knife to expose flesh and top with butter.

Simply Roasted Zucchini

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Three large zucchini or yellow squash
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425. Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch pieces. drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for ~20 minutes, turning as needed.