In these last few weeks, I’ve been having a lot of fun cooking at home. Don’t get me wrong, I usually cook my own meals, but of course, as everything, it goes in waves. Sometimes I’m really excited to cook and I look up recipes, sometimes I just get chicken and veggies and eat it until I can’t anymore, and other times, well I skip the grocery altogether and order Green Chef for weeks on end.
Right now, I’m really trying to eat healthier meals at home, and instead of eating out, I am attempting to make more fun meals at home that I look forward to eating. I’m on a mission to feel better, look better, all by eating better, and of course, dancing my butt off.
So, I’ll share some recipes I’ve been living off of lately, most of them are from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, “Cravings“, and one is from “What’s Gaby Cooking” – one of my favorite food bloggers as of late.
Chicken Lettuce Wraps
When I got my first apartment as a single woman in Baton Rouge, I lived within blocks of a P.F. Chang’s. I ordered takeout probably once a week, and I usually got their chicken lettuce wraps. I also gained weight, because even though they looked healthy, they were NOT.
So you can imagine my delight when I saw a very similar-looking recipe in Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook. I made them, and packed them in my lunch right alongside coconut rice (recipe below) and it was to DIE for.
3 Tbsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp. light soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Sriracha
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1½ Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 lb. ground chicken
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens kept separate
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
½ pound white mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and finely chopped
½ cup finely diced canned water chestnuts
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 heads butter lettuce, leaves separated
- Make the sauce: In a bowl, combine the chili sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, Sriracha, vegetable oil, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, and ginger.
- In a bowl, mix 2 Tbsp. of the sauce into the ground chicken.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When shimmering-hot, add the chicken and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet, then add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, then add the water chestnuts, bell pepper, and the rest of the sauce and cook, stirring, until cooked through and the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the scallion greens.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set out with the lettuce leaves.
Sweet and Salty Coconut Rice
…I mean the name pretty much says it all, but this shit is so good, and shockingly pretty guilt-free. I made the first batch of this for the chicken lettuce wraps, and then and second batch to go with a recipe I found on Pinterest (I’ll talk more on this next week). I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of this rice – yum!
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- In a dry saucepan, toast the coconut flakes for a few minutes until they brown.
- Place toasted coconut to the side.
- Add full can of coconut milk, 1 can full of water, sugar, rice and salt to saucepan.
- Stir and bring to low boil.
- Cover and cook just like you would any other rice. Once done, fluff and add toasted coconut to the top. Serve!
Sweet Chili and Mustard-Glazed Salmon Fillets
It’s been a long time since I’ve treated myself to homemade salmon; it’s always kind of expensive, but it’s really healthy and filling. Since I have been doing so well not eating out, I decided to put my extra dollars toward the good stuff, and it was well-worth it. I’ve been eating it for dinner this week with brown rice and broccoli and am loving it.
- 4 (6 ounces ) skin-on center cut salmon fillets
- Salt and pepper for taste
- 2/3 cup of Thai sweet chili sauce
- 2 tbs sambal oelek (I couldn’t find this in my usual grocery store, so I skipped it)
- 2 tbs large grain mustard
- Position rack 4-6 inches from the heating element and preheat the broiler.
- Season salmon all over with salt and pepper. In a small bowl stir together the Thai sweet chili sauce, sambal oelek, and mustard.
- Pour the mixture into a large cast-iron skillet. Set skillet over medium-high heat until the mixture boils.
- Lay the salmon skin side up, in the sauce. Cook the salmon until it turns pale pink about 2 minutes, then move the skillet to the oven and broil until the skin gets crispy about 3-4 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring and scraping until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce from the skillet onto the salmon. Serve immediately.
Healthy Loaded [Southwestern] Sweet Potatoes
As I mentioned earlier, Gaby, from “What’s Gaby Cooking?” is one of my favorite food bloggers. One thing I really love about her is that she hosts weekly Snapisodes on her SnapChat @WhatsGabyCookin and she presents a yummy recipe step-by-step.
She is also completely available to ask questions! I’ve sent her countless cooking questions via SnapChat, and she always helps me out. I try to pay her back by sending her snaps of all of her recipes I’m making!
Anyway, she made this recipe on a Snapisode a few weeks ago, and it looked so easy and yummy, I added it to my list of things to try. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 California Sweetpotatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 cup frozen charred corn (I used canned ‘Mexicorn’)
- 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup salsa (any variety will work)
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives (I used red onion)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Finely chopped red onion
- Pico de Gallo
- Sour Cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Using a knife or a fork, carefully poke holes all over the sweet potatoes. Place the California sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet and transfer to the heated oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes until fork tender.
- Remove the California sweetpotatoes from the oven and slice them open. Scoop out a bit of the inside to make room for the stuffing.
- Season the interior with salt and pepper and set aside.
- In a medium bow, combine the corn, black beans, cheese, salsa, chives and cilantro and toss to combine.
- Using a spoon, stuff each sweetpotato with equal parts of the mixture until overflowing. Add extra cheese on top if desired.
- Transfer the stuffed sweetpotatoes back into the oven and let bake for another 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and sprinkle with optional garnishes. Serve immediately.
See? So easy! And you can pretty much put anything you want on it. I kept it meatless, but you could add shredded chicken or taco meat… whatever! I’m no expert on kids, but I think this would be a good way to get them to eat veggies. I made five of these potatoes and have been packing one to eat for lunch each day, along with 1/2 an avocado that I mash on top. It’s divine!