15 Minute Chicken and Broccoli. (GF/DF)

All the flavors of the classic dish, but on the table in under 15 minutes!

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This recipe is for all of you who are super busy but want a quick, easy meal on the table in 15 minutes at the end of the day.
Read: EVERYONE.
AmIright?!
I thought so.
So here’s the deal: with a tiny bit of alacrity, you definitely CAN have this recipe done in under 15 minutes start-to-finish.
Promise!

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I’m slowly getting over my fear of making Asian-inspired dishes. This one was super simple and turned out really well, especially considering how quickly it all comes together. In order to get this done in 15 minutes or less, you’ll have to multi-task a little bit. But that’s okay, because you’re a kitchen rock star and can totally handle it.
Here’s how easy it is to do:
The chicken gets chopped up into bite sized pieces and cooks on medium-high heat. The higher heat will help it stay really moist and tender. Bonus: it also cooks faster! 5-6 minutes is probably all you’ll need to have it cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, you’ll whisk up your sauce.
Now, if you’re like me and want to have plenty of sauce to mix into the broccoli/rice, you’ll be happy to know I doubled the original amount.
There’s nothing worse than a dry dish, ya know? We can’t have any of that going on here.

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Speaking of broccoli, you have some options as far as how you want to cook it:
#1) You can add it to the pan once the chicken is done cooking.
Pro: Same pan! No extra mess!
Con: It will take longer to cook and this will become a 20 minute dinner.
#2) You can steam them in a separate pot.
Pro: It can steam away while the chicken cooks. Yay multi-tasking!
Con: More clean up because of the extra pot.

Either way works, it just depends what your priority is: dinner on the table ASAP or as little clean up as possible.

For a complete meal, serve the chicken and broccoli over some rice (hello, 10-minute boil-in-bag rice!) and enjoy!

15 Minute Chicken and Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1lb chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Broccoli florets

For the sauce:

  • 6 Tbsp GF Tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
  • 4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

1). Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.

2). While the chicken is cooking, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

3). If steaming broccoli in a separate pot, bring water to a boil and place in the steamer basket. Alternatively, you can add the broccoli to the pan with chicken and cover to cook for a few minutes.

4). Once the chicken is cooked through and the broccoli is crisp-tender, add the sauce mixture to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional), and serve over rice, if desired. Enjoy!

Servings: About 4. Recipe adapted from here.

Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon. (GF/DF)

Put an Asian flare on your regular salmon dinner with this easy but flavorful Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon! 

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My husband and I both love salmon, and it is definitely my go-to for a quick weeknight meal. It bakes in just 20 minutes, and it’s so good for you!
Unfortunately, even as a cooking blogger, I’m totally guilty of living in a salmon rut.
It goes something like this: salmon + a sprinkle of creole seasoning. Baked in the oven.
BOOM.
Done.
Dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat.

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And honestly? It’s really good.
We love it.
And if you haven’t tried salmon like that, you should plan on it.
But, when I get a chance to catch my breath from our whirlwind daily schedules (summer please hurry!), I get inspired to experiment!

This honey sesame ginger salmon, though?
Amazing.
I’ve mentioned before how I usually steer clear from Asian-style dishes because I’ve had a few complete failures in the past, so I was a little bit hesitant to try this recipe.
One bite and my husband and I both looked at each other in disbelief. It’s that good.

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You do need to plan ahead and let the salmon marinade for about 30 minutes, but you can work on prepping your side dishes during that time. (Or throw in a load of laundry…watch a re-run of Friends…waste time on Pinterest. You know, whatever.)

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The rest of the recipe is pretty self-explanatory. A lot of the ingredients in the marinade also appear in the honey ginger glaze. You’ll add the glaze on top of the salmon after it finishes baking. You can see how the marinade caramelizes on the salmon, and the glaze just takes it up a notch!

One last note–there’s a teeeeeny bit of sriracha in the glaze, but overall this dish is not spicy! If you’re worried about it, feel free to omit that ingredient completely.

Honey Sesame Ginger Salmon

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons GF tamari, or coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

For the honey ginger glaze:

  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons GF tamari, or coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1). In a large bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Add the salmon and allow it to marinade for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Turn the salmon occasionally.

2). Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Add the salmon, along with the marinade, to the dish and bake for about 20 minutes.

3). While the salmon is baking, in a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients. Serve salmon immediately with the honey glaze.

Servings: 4. Approximate nutritional information per serving: Calories: 395 Carbs: 20g Fat: 24g Protein: 14g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 16g Points+: 10 Recipe adapted from here

Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

A gluten-free copycat of a restaurant favorite that’s full of bold flavor!

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Even before I had to begin eating gluten-free, I always loved lettuce wraps. They’re light, crunchy, and (mostly) healthy. When I came across this recipe, I was hopeful it would be a successful Asian dish I could make at home. The verdict? Definitely a keeper.

I broke down and bought a new-to-me ingredient for this recipe: mirin. I did a lot of research trying to figure out a way to get around purchasing it, but none of the replacements were any more convenient. I used to shy away from cooking Asian dishes because of the long list of ingredients I didn’t have in my pantry. About a year and a half ago I broke down and finally bought some of those staples, and I’m so glad I did! Now I have a little corner in my pantry dedicated to those types of ingredients. They last quite a while, so if you’re wondering if you should invest in those specialty ingredients, do it!

Ok, back to this awesome recipe.

After the small pieces of chicken breast are coated in a mixture of corn starch and GF soy sauce, the go into a hot skillet until cooked. The cornstarch helps give the chicken an amazing texture when it cooks. The last step is to let the chicken and zucchini/garlic simmer in a perfectly sweet-and-spicy sauce, giving each bite tonsssss of flavor. We both thought it was pretty spicy (in a good way!), so be ready for it!

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I used gluten-free soy sauce but you can use regular if that’s not an issue for you. If you aren’t a fan of lettuce wraps, you can also serve this over rice! Thanks to the quick stir-fry method, this came together really quickly, making it a great weeknight meal. I hope you’ll try it!

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Kung Pao Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1lb chicken breasts, chopped very small
  • 3 Tablespoons GF tamari or soy sauce, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoons + 1 tsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped small
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Lettuce leaves (I used butter lettuce but iceburg or baby romaine work well too)

1). In a large bowl, combine the chopped chicken breast with 1 Tablespoon soy sauce and 1 Tablespoon cornstarch. Make sure each piece is evenly coated.

2). Add the other 2 Tablespoons of GF tamari/soy sauce, mirin, sriracha, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and sesame oil together in a bowl.

3). In a small separate bowl, stir the water into the remaining Tablespoon of cornstarch, THEN stir into the soy sauce mixture (from step 2). Set aside for later.

4). Heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan (or wok, if you have one) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink. Remove from pan to a plate and set aside.

5). Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to the pan and add the zucchini. Stir fry until crisp tender. Add the minced garlic and stir fry for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

6). Add the chicken back to the pan along with the sauce from step 2. Let it simmer for a few minutes until it reduces slightly.

Servings: 5. Approximate Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 177  Carbs: 11g Fat: 7g Protein: 20g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Points+: 5 Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

This crisp, cool cucumber salad is sure to help you cool off during the hot summer months! Topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas and peanuts, this dish can be a meal in itself.

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Summer heat is in full-swing here in Georgia! I love everything about summer: the long days, the time we spend outside, the fresh veggies from our garden, and even the heat! Having said that, it’s soooo important to stay hydrated when it’s this hot outside. Drinking lots of water is key, but did you know the food you eat can help keep you hydrated as well? That’s where this cucumber salad comes in! It’s refreshing, crisp, cool, and hydrating. The flavors are (you guessed it!) thai-inspired, but you’ll like this even if you don’t like thai food. Remember–it’s not thai food, it just has some common ingredient combinations you would find in that type of cuisine. Cilantro, red bell peppers, peanuts, etc. Quick confession: thai food is not my absolute favorite, but I loved this salad!IMG_1106

If you’ve got cucumbers growing in your garden, this is a great way to use a couple of them. In my opinion, they’re the focal point of the salad. To get the salad going, the cucumbers, red onion, red bell pepper, and cilantro all take a nice swim in a rice wine vinegar marinade. They need about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together, which is the perfect amount of time to finish making the roasted chickpeas, if you want them. The chickpeas are totally optional here. They add a big crunch factor and an extra 7g of protein per serving, but my husband actually preferred it without them. It’s up to you!

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If you want to make the chickpeas, you’ll need 1 can of them. Rinse, drain, and dry them before tossing them with olive oil and spices. Lay them on parchment paper and roast for about 30 minutes, depending on your oven. These actually make a great little snack on their own!

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Thai-Inspired Hydrating Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:
For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1.5-2 tbsp sugar (this is a must to offset the strong tang from the vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the salad:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
  • Roasted spiced chickpeas (optional)

For the roasted chickpeas:

  • 1 can (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric (I omitted)

1). Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Roll them in-between two paper towels to make sure they are completely dry before proceeding, otherwise they will not get crispy.

2). In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas with the olive oil and spices. Toss well to ensure even distribution of the spices. Roast for 20 minutes before stirring them around. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until the they’re golden brown and lightly charred on the bottom.

3). While the chickpeas roast, whisk together the seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

4). Peel the cucumbers, chop off the ends, and slice them in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds from each half of the cucumbers and discard the seeds. Slice the cucumbers thinly into half-moon shapes.

5). Toss the cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper, and cilantro in the dressing. Let them sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinade while the chickpeas finish cooking. Let the chickpeas rest about 5 minutes before adding to the salad. Top with roasted peanuts. Enjoy!

Servings: about 3 as a main dish, or 6 as a side dish. Approximate nutritional information for 1 main dish serving: Calories: 275 Carbs: 40.5g Fat: 6.9g Protein: 12.7 g Fiber: 9.5g Points+: 7

Recipe adapted from: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/06/05/thai-inspired-hydrating-cucumber-salad-with-roasted-spiced-chickpeas/

 

 

 

Salmon with Sriracha and Lime Sauce

I LOVE salmon because it is so healthy (Omega-3s!) and it only takes 20 minutes to bake, making it a great option for busy weeknight meals. When I’m really in a time crunch, I season it with my go-to creole seasoning and throw it in the oven. We love it that way, but I also love experimenting with new ways to make it. In this version, the salmon is topped with a flavorful mixture of lime juice, lime zest, sriracha sauce, and maple syrup before baking–no marinating required! Then, after baking, the salmon gets sprinkled with a bit of fresh cilantro on top. The cilantro adds a bright pop of flavor and color! Did I mention this is all happening on top of a parchment-lined baking sheet, which results in virtually no clean up? Just throw the parchment paper away and you’re done! I told you, this one’s perfect for a weeknight meal.

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The really neat thing about this recipe is the fusion between Asian and Latin flavors due to the combination of sriracha with lime and cilantro. This recipe was my first go at using sriracha. I know, I know…I’m a bit late to join the sriracha club. I was hesitant to use it because I was afraid it would be way too spicy, and sometimes I’m a wimp in the heat department. Although sriracha is very spicy by itself, when mixed with other ingredients (in this case the lime juice and maple syrup), it is definitely not too spicy. Bonus? There are only 5 calories in a teaspoon, but it packs a flavorful punch, making it a valuable ingredient. This salmon can be served along either an Asian flavored side dish or a Latin one! Even a salad would be perfect.

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This is a unique but simple way to completely change the way you cook salmon. Let me know what you think!

Salmon with Sriracha and Lime Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro

1). Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place salmon on parchment paper.

2). In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice/zest, maple syrup, sriracha, and salt. Pour over salmon.

3). Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Servings: 4 Nutritional Information per Serving: Calories: 219 Carbs: 4g Fat: 9g Fiber: 0g Protein: 28g WW Points+: 5

Recipe adapted from: http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2013/04/salmon-sriracha-sauce-lime 

 

Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Spicy Sweet Slaw

This recipe was passed on to me by a friend at work and I am so glad I decided to try it!

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For me, the star of the show in this recipe was the slaw. The flank steak was very juicy and tender due to the marinade, but I loved the unique flavors in the secondary recipe.  While the flank steak was delicious and had the perfect amount of salt from the soy sauce, the slaw balanced everything out by being both sweet AND spicy. Very spicy, actually. Because it was the first time I made this recipe, I followed the original recipe and used both peppers. My husband and I both agreed it had too much heat. Next time, I will be using just one (and that is how the recipe is written below). Even with the extra kick, it was great!

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And, in case you’re reading this and thinking that you won’t be making this recipe because you do not care for slaw…well, neither do I! Or at least, not the traditional mayonnaise-based slaw. This was light and so flavorful. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this version.

It is peak grilling season, so why not fire up the grill for a delicious and healthy meal? A couple thin strips of flank steak paired with the slaw on the side made for a perfect, light dinner.

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Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Spicy Sweet Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 1 1/2-pound flank steak
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 red jalapeño, thinly sliced into rounds with seeds removed
  • 5 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 9 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions

1) Combine the 1/4 cup soy sauce, oil, ginger, and garlic with the flank steak in a resealable bag. Marinade as long a possible (preferably 8 hours or overnight). Turn the bag occasionally.

2) In a medium sauce pan, heat the sugar with seasoned rice vinegar over medium heat until sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Add jalapeño and remaining 2 teaspoons ginger. Place cabbage and green onions in a bowl.

3) Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand while grilling, tossing occasionally.

4) Grill steak until cooked to desired doneness, about 6 minutes for medium-rare or 8 minutes for medium. Transfer to a cutting board. Allow meat to rest about 10 minutes and then cut into slices against the grain. Serve with slaw and enjoy!

Serves: 6 

Nutritional Information for Flank Steak: Calories: 153 Carbs: 1g Fat: 10g Protein: 15g Sugar: 1 g Fiber: 0g

WW PointsPlus: 4 

Nutritional Information for Spicy Sweet Slaw: Calories: 69 Carbs: 12g Fat: 0g Protein: 1g Sugar: 9g Fiber: 0g

WW PointsPlus: 1

Recipe adapted from: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Asian-Flank-Steak-with-Sweet-Slaw-242464 

Ginger-Soy Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting cauliflower brings out a delightful, nutty flavor. I’ve mentioned this before in this post on how to roast cauliflower. Today, we are kicking it up a notch with a simple ginger-soy sauce that is added after roasting. This sauce makes for some of the most interesting cauliflower I have ever had! It also pairs very well with the healthy stir fry recipe from earlier this week!

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Adding the sauce after the florets roast allows the Asian flavors to absorb into every bite, truly transforming this cauliflower into something special. The fresh ginger root grated into sauce is what adds the majority of the flavor, so I would not recommend substitute dried ginger. If you do try it, let us know in the comments how it turns out. Quick tip: did you know you can freeze fresh ginger? Wrap the ginger whole (with skin still on) in aluminum foil until later use. It will actually be easier to peel and grate frozen!

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If you are like me and are always looking for interesting (and delicious!) ways to cook cauliflower, try this recipe. It could not be simpler and more unique!

Ginger-Soy Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 1 green onion, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Roast for 25 minutes, or until tops are slightly browned and stems are easily pierced with a fork.

2) Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the cauliflower to serve.

Servings: 4. Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 79 Carbs: 9g Fat: 4g Protein: 3g Fiber: 4g

WW Points +: 2 Old points: 1

Recipe adapted from: Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites Cookbook