Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Coconutty Happiness

I’m home by 6:00pm tonight. Workout behind me this morning and no plans this evening! How in the world did this happen? Score! So I cranked the Madonna Pandora station and got to work on dinner…but clearly not before a little bit of dancing! Hey, its Madonna and life is a mystery!

So I’m using a lot more coconut product these days for a couple of reasons. The first is that I absolutely effin love the stuff! I have loved coconut since I was a kid and even my cupcake choice for our wedding was coconut! Luckily for Josh, we had several flavors so he wasn’t subject to my coconut obsession. As a side note, I ate two of these cupcakes at 5am the morning after our wedding for breakfast on the way to Greece! Hey, I’m the bride, I’ll do whatever I want! The second reason is that the more I read about coconut, the more I find it’s actually much better for us than I ever knew. I was always scared of it because of its high fat and calorie content. But lo and behold, some genius has decided its healthy and I’m on the bandwagon!

So I’ve stockpiled coconut milk and oil in my house! I’m even putting it in my coffee as a dairy substitute! But typically if I’m thinking coconut milk for a dinner situation it is some kind of curry. Frankly, I may be more obsessed with curry than coconut. So I made a coconut curry shrimp that cured me of all my cravings! And I’m certain you’ll love it too!

Coconut Curry Shrimp:

1lb shrimp
1 can coconut milk
2tbsp red curry paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
½” fresh ginger, minced on a microplane
juice of one lime
sprinkle cayenne pepper

Mix coconut milk, curry paste, garlic, ginger, cayenne and lime juice. Marinate the shrimp in half the mixture for an hour or so. Whatever you have time for. Then skewer and grill your shrimps. They won’t take long, 3 minutes or so per side depending on shrimp size. DO NOT overcook them….there is nothing worse in life than overcooked seafood! Heat the rest of the coconut milk mix in a small sauce pan over medium heat and put cooked shrimp in the sauce constantly stirring for 2 minutes. Then spoon them onto a plate garnished with fresh basil. And voila! Spicy and coconutty!

I paired this with a salad. This particular salad was pretty rockin if I do say so myself. I found these fabulous organic baby kale. Yes, kale, not spinach! 

Here’s the deal…

baby kale
mixed greens
*both Olivia’s brand
orange pepper
sliced almonds
coconut flakes
shredded fresh basil

Basically pile this up like any other salad. I mixed up some fig balsamic vinegar with olive oil and pepper to dress it. Because of the coconut and basil the salad was completely cohesive with the shrimps. I love when I can carry an awesome flavor through the whole meal without it becoming overwhelming.

At the end of the dinner, Josh says, “Thank you for making me eat healthy!” Big Eater Small Body VICTORY!

High Five and Salud!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Middle Egg

I am currently consuming eggs at a rapid pace. This is so strange for me because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a breakfast eater. I have been doing it because it is fueling me for my days. Period. However, I’ve found myself really embracing the incredible edible egg! So much in fact, that I made a dinner with them GASP!

It is no secret that I love Middle Eastern food. So I made this great dish called Shakshuka Sunday night. I was a little concerned that it would be too far out of the realm of “dinner” so I also made Kefta Kebab. Anyway, those two middle eastern flavors should work nicely together and if not, shut up and eat it anyway, right? *wink wink

So I ventured into a dish I was incredibly unsure about. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Usually the greatest food risks breed the greatest successes. I mean, whoever said, “WOW! That’s a great plain old plate of food!” That’s right, no one!

So here’s the skivvy on this incredible edible Middle Eastern dinner albeit a little Americanized as my buddy Ray felt due to the addition of chili powder. What can I say…oh wait, what I said to him post dinner was, “Not too bad for a white girl!”

½ medium onion, diced
2 jalepenos, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-7 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
6 large eggs
fresh parsley, chopped

In a cast iron skillet put a splash of oil, I used coconut, over medium-high heat. Add onion, jalapeño, and bell pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes. Then add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, s&p. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes really start to break down. You can go longer, just eye ball it. You want it to look more like a sauce than a salsa. Then crack 6 eggs into the sauce, arranging them evenly. Put the whole skillet, covered, into a 400 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the whites are firm and well, white. Take out and sprinkle with fresh parsley. COULDN’T BE EASIER!

Kefta Kebab
*Ok disclaimer, there are a million different recipes for this and they all pretty much taste the same! Ha! But here’s mine

1-1  ½ lb beef
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
*I actually did this in the food processor and recommend it that way but if you don’t have one, don’t sweat it
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Put all the kids in the pool together. Mix thoroughly and let sit in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours. Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes or more. Then form the beef into 8 equal logs. Skewer the beef. Preheat the grill to 400 or 450. Or screaming hot if you don’t have a thermometer on your grill. Grill on each side for about 4-5 minutes.

Now, these two dishes can be eaten independently of each other, but I’m the kid who swirls everything around on my plate. So make your choice. But I ate this concoction piled up on romaine lettuce leaves. Basically, Shakshuka then beef. It was AWESOME! I added a few banana pepper rings as well. Here’s my only thing….make sure that when you stack this masterpiece, you get some egg. Your mind will tell you not to mix it, but just do it! Trust me!

All were full and we moved on to watching some extreme waterslides with smiles!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sexy Legs!

Welp I’m back from Paris approximately 3-5 pounds fatter than I was when I left. Yup, you can see the baguettes and croissants poking out of my belly and the creamy soup hanging out on my thighs. Wouldn’t change my consumption last week for anything. I don’t mind eating pretty healthy most of the time if when I go to the food Mecca of the world I have no guilt. And clearly there was no guilt. Well, not until I got back. So I got back into my workout routine and a predominantly protein and veg meal plan.

When I cleansed, the food was set right out for me and I didn’t really bother to think outside the box on how to make it delicious while staying within the parameters of the cleanse. But now that I have a general idea that protein and lots of fiber dense veggies help you lose weight and feel great, I can adapt them to taste good. Which, if you know me, is IMPORTANT!!

So tonight I decided to make Asian inspired chicken legs. I stole a recipe from Food Network as I actually never cook them and pretty much the only way I’ve ever had them is fried. But I wanted to grill them. The problem is, chicken legs take a while to cook all the way through. So, thank you, Food Network for a fabulous Apple-Honey Drumsticks recipe. Per usual I modified it a bit. And per usual, I think my way is better! Wink Wink

Here’s the breakdown
6 chicken legs
olive oil
salt & pepper
2 cups apple juice
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
zest of one lemon
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken in a cast iron dutch oven. If you don’t have this, a glass Pyrex will do fine. Cover the chicken in a little olive oil and sprinkle salt & pepper. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Turn the legs over and lower heat to 300 degrees. Cook another 20 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, mix apple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, lemon zest and red pepper flakes in a sauce pan and cook for approximately 25 minutes. Let it cool. Then preheat your grill to about 400 degrees. You want it screaming hot because you’re not cooking the chicken, just charring it. Put your chicken on the grill and brush with the sauce; turning and coating several times. Then pour any of the left over sauce on top of legs after you’ve removed them from the grill. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

I served this with a green salad and some grilled asparagus which also doesn’t take long on the grill so you can put them on at the same time.

The chicken was super tender and spicy sweet! Absolutely fabulous actually. And the best part really was that I learned how to cook something I’ve only ever seen deep fried! Now that’s a Big Eater Small Body WIN! I’m sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I did!