Sweet & Spicy Ginger Green Beans

Photo from Milk Street

Ingredients

Recipe by Milk Street. My alterations are always in parenthesis.
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional – I use 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided (I use 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 pound green beans, stemmed and halved on the bias (I just snap them into smaller pieces)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • Ground white pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until beginning to smoke. Add the beans and cook, without stirring, until beginning to color, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the water and immediately cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook until the beans are bright green and barely tender, about 2 minutes.
  4. Clear a space in the center of the pan, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil (I don’t add any more oil) to the clearing. Stir in the ginger and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the sugar-fish sauce mixture into the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened and coats the beans, about 1 minute.
  5. Off the heat, stir in the vinegar.


Beaming Rockstar Smoothie Copycat (my favorite smoothie)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Almond milk
  • Coconut water (at the end if needed for thinning)
  • 1/2 frozen banana or (1/4 Avocado to make low-glycemic)
  • 1 date or (1 teaspoon Yacon syrup to make low glycemic) (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Beaming *Protein Powder
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 teaspoon coconut butter (optional)
  • 5 cubes of Ice
  • Add: blue spirulina, adaptogenic mushroom blend (I skip this)

My additions – sometimes I throw in a spoonful of cacao nibs or 2 tablespoons of granola

*A comparable protein powder substitute that is much more affordable. I use 1 scoop of the unflavored whey plus 1/2 scoop of MRM Vanilla Veggie Protein with Superfoods (see image below).

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a high speed or regular blender. If adding cacao nibs, blend a bit first and add at the end to maintain crunch.

My sub for Beaming Protein Powders. Veggie one found at Sprouts. Unflavored on Amazon.

30 Minute Cardamom-Lime Chicken and White Beans

Photo from Milk Street
The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch chunks (bone-in would also work, but would need more cooking time)
  • 2.5 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper, divided
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 bunches scallions (2 bunches are plenty) thinly sliced, white and green parts used separately
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (I usually omit this or use just a pinch)
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom (I omit this – too strong of a flavor for me)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannelloni beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I use 1 teaspoon Better than Bullion with 1 cup water)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (approximately 2 limes)

Directions

  1. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high, melt the butter. Add the chicken and scallion whites, then cook, stirring once or twice, until both the chicken and scallions begin to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, garam masala, cardamom, turmeric, 1.5 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the bean liquid, broth, lime zest and juice, then bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until the chicken is opaque when cut into, 5 to 7 minutes (I like to cook this, partially covered, for at least 15 minutes to allow the chicken to get really tender.
  5. Stir in the scallion greens and the beans, then cook until the beans are heated through, another 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Tip: Don’t forget to save the liquid when draining the beans. It adds both body and flavor to the dish. If you do accidentally discard it, simply increase the chicken broth to 2⅓ cups. The braising liquid will be thinner, but the dish will still be tasty.


Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats

Adapted from Elie Krieger.

Also check out my other favorite recipe for overnight oats – Swiss Burcher Muesli

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 cups blueberries, divided (I use 1 cup)
  • 2/3 cup whole natural almonds, divided (I use 1/2 cup)
  • 1.5 cups nonfat or 1% milk
  • 1 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt (not Greek-style)
  • 1/3 cup all-fruit blueberry jam (I use 3 tbsp low-sugar blueberry jam)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then chop them coarsely (I put them in a ziplock bag and pound them into smaller pieces).
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, yogurt, jam, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the oats, chia seeds, and half of the almonds.
  4. Stir in most of the blueberries, leaving out some for topping.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly among four 12-ounce (1[1/2]-cup) jars. Top each with the remaining blueberries and almonds. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature. (Note: the nuts on top will soften a bit in the refrigerator. If you want them extra-crunchy, sprinkle them on right before serving).
The jars will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition facts calculated using my recipe alterations

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 267 
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g12 %
Saturated Fat 2 g10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 8 mg3 %
Sodium 76 mg3 %
Potassium 322 mg9 %
Total Carbohydrate37 g12 %
Dietary Fiber 6 g23 %
Sugars 17 g
Protein 13 g26 %
Vitamin A 6 %
Vitamin C 5 %
Calcium 66 %
Iron 6 %

Beet & Carrot Salad with Black Rice & Kale

This salad is inspired by Mendocino Farms’ Healthiest Side Dish in the World.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded raw beets (about 3 small beets)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (about 3)
  • 2 cups shredded kale (about 3 stems)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup sliced roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup black rice (this measurement is for uncooked) – add as much black rice as you’d like – the more the heartier.
  • a few tablespoons chopped, fresh mint
Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Directions

  1. Boil the black rice in about 2 cups of water until tender, approximately 20 minutes (or follow package instructions). Drain.
  2. Shred the beets and carrot (I use the shredder attachment on my food processor).
  3. Remove the stems from then kale and shred or chop finely.
  4. Meanwhile place all ingredients for dressing into a jar with a tight fitting lid. The salad will only need about half this amount so save the rest for another salad or just make a half batch
  5. Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss with about half of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing as needed.

Black Bean & Corn Salad (low fat)

Adapted from Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans (14 ounces), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels (rinse in cool water to defrost quickly)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • A few basil leaves, julienned or a handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (taste with one tablespoon and add another tablespoon if necessary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Crumbled tortilla chips for serving

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss again and serve with crumbled tortilla sprinkled on top.


Oatmeal Pancakes (Gluten Free)

My son was 6 years old the first time he tried these and asked why we were having dessert for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 carrot (optional)
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (or any flour)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (optional)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a high speed blender, liquefy the carrot and milk. Pour the milk into a bowl and stir in the oats. Let sit for 20 minutes or overnight.
  2. After 20 add eggs, vanilla and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Mix the two bowls together. If the batter seems too thick, add milk – one tablespoon at a time – until the consistency is pourable.
  5. Heat a greased griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Use the back of a spoon to help spread the pancake so it’s not too thick.
  6. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip and cook the other side until lightly browned.
  7. Note: These pancakes tend to brown quickly. Adjust the heat as necessary. You may need to lower the heat and cover the pan if they seem to be browning too quickly.

3 Bean Salad

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fullsizeoutput_60f3.jpeg

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (canned works too)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 white or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Set up a large bowl of ice water. Add the green beans to the pot and cook until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Drain and plunge the green beans into ice water. Drain again.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss well. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight (the longer it sits the better); and toss again before serving.


Summer Gazpacho

Photo from lavenderandmacarons.com

Adapted from lavanderandmacarons

Ingredients

  • 6 very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 slices slightly stale bread (optional)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper (or Anaheim Chile)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for a richer soup, use up to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine, apple cider, sherry vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Roughly chop tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy but still with some texture.
  3. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  4. Chill Gazpacho in a refrigerator for 30 minutes or serve at room temperature topped with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, chives and a drizzle of olive oil.


Egyptian Barley Salad

Original recipe by Americas Test Kitchen

When I made this I found it needed additional dressing than the recipe called for.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups pearl barley (do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ cup)
  • 6 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Cook barley according to package instructions, as brands may differ; or try ATK’s instructions: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain barley, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk oil, molasses, cinnamon, cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Add barley, raisins, cilantro, and pistachios and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread barley salad evenly on serving platter and arrange feta, scallions, and pomegranate seeds in separate diagonal rows on top. Drizzle with extra oil and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 41g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 7g fiber, 320mg sodium