Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mediterranean chicken

Mediterranean chicken over cauliflower carrot mash

We don’t do much chicken here at 488, but last night we loved every last bite of this fabulously flavorful and warming dish.  It was cold and beautiful big flakes of snow were steadily falling as I warmed up the oil and got ready to create our dinner.  The house was soon filled with the aromas of the sunny mediterranean as the chicken browned and the wine and tomato-based sauce simmered on the stove.  It was about this time that I cranked up the volume of the NCAA basketball tournament and poured myself a big glass of Sauvignon Blanc–what a way to end the day!  Soon enough, it was time to sit down for dinner.  Let me tell you, it was absolutely amazing.  The briny olives and capers were tempered by the sweet garlic and wine and the savory, simple chicken.  I served the chicken over my cauliflower carrot mash, which added even more sweetness to the meal.  We started the meal with a simple, but spicy mustard green salad with a garlic balsamic dressing and washed it all down with some sparkling water AND another glass of wine.  Andy went on and on about the diverse, strong, yet comforting flavors in our meal–it was the perfect combination from start to finish.  We like live chickens roaming the farm, laying eggs, better than those found in the grocery store, so it probably won’t happen again here at 488 anytime soon, but it will definitely happen again!

Oh, and we have faired pretty well in our bracket so far– 14-4.  How does yours look?

Bon Appetit!

Mediterranean chicken

Servings ~4-6 (we love leftovers!)

  • 2# deboned chicken–we used a combo of breasts and thighs.  Free range, antibiotic, hormone free!
  • salt, kosher or sea, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 T vegetable oil, coconut oil, or olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, julianned
  • 1 c dry white wine
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 2 T capers, chopped fine
  • 1/2 c black olives, sliced
  • 1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 oz prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 T red onion, finely diced
  • 1 T dry oregano, double if using fresh
  • 1/2 T dry thyme, double if using fresh

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken and brown it–2-3 minutes per side.  Remove the chicken from the pan.  Add the proscuitto, chipotle pepper flakes, and bell pepper slices to the pan and cook until the proscuitto starts to brown.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the garlic and cook another minute or two.  Add the wine to deglaze the pan.  Add the oregano, thyme, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth, stir well and cook for about 2 mintues.  Add the capers, olives, and chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle the red onion over the chicken.  Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken falls apart (you may need to cook it longer).   Stir once or twice while it is simmering to keep the chicken well covered with the sauce.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed.  If you want the sauce to thicken a little more, remove the lid and cook for 5 minutes or more.  Serve over a big scoop of cauliflower carrot mash (it would also be delicious served over rice, quinoa, or regular garlic mashed pots).  ENJOY!

 

 

 

Cauliflower and carrot mash

There are so many great alternatives to mashed potatoes, I replaced them long ago here at 488 with rice, quinoa, and/or mashed cauliflower–depending upon what best suited the dish or meal.  Recently, I have started pumping up the mashed cauliflower to provide not only more important nutrients, but more color and FLAVOR!  The carrots, with just a hint of sweetness, pairs well with many of the herbs that I like to add to the cauliflower mash–rosemary, thyme, dill, basil, oregano, mint!  This colorful mash provides such a nutrient advantage over the traditional mashed pot, it won’t be just your tongue that is thankful for the change!  Give them a try the next time mashed potatoes are on your dinner menu or just on your mind!

Cauliflower and carrot mash

~4 servings

  • 1 head of cauliflower, separated into pieces
  • 1 large carrot, peeled or 3/4 c baby carrots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 T butter or olive oil.  Optional, depending upon your preference.  They taste fine without the fat, so you can leave it out if that better suits your dietary needs.
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes.  Optional
  • Fresh chopped herbs.  Optional

Steam the cauliflower, carrots, and 3 cloves of garlic in a steamer basket for 20 or so minutes, until very soft.  Place in food processor or use your mixer to puree with the butter (or oil), salt, peppers, and herbs (optional) until smooth.  Crush the last two cloves of garlic into the mash and stir it well.  Serve nice and hot!

My fav muffin–Coconut banana gluten free

Baby bits of coconut sprinkled on top add a nice crunch

Get ready to read the recipe for your new favorite muffin!

My yogi friend, Sarah shared this recipe on her blog and I just had to give it a try.  I have now made these fantastic muffins 3 times in the 2 short weeks since she posted the original recipe.  I didn’t have many of the ingredients that her recipe called for, so I modified it with what I had in the pantry AND to lower the fat just a little.  It worked beautifully and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.  My hubby gets so excited when I walk into his office with a hot pot of tea and a freshly baked muffin.  Maybe you should surprise your loved one(s) with this super moist and delicious muffin this afternoon?!

Bon Appetit!  XO

Fresh from the oven!

Coconut banana muffins

Servings: 6 large muffins

 

 

  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 c applesauce (organic, unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla bakers cane sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 ripe bananas, lightly mashed (mine were pretty small)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (AP flour does not sub well for coconut, so try almond if you can’t find coconut)
  • 1/2 c (plus about 2 T for sprinkling on top) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese or Vietnamese cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease the muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.  Spoon into the muffin tin.  Sprinkle the muffins with the coconut flakes.  Bake for 25-28 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clear.  Serve with a cup of hot tea or a large glass of coconut milk.  ENJOY!

 

My asian slaw

My asian slaw

Remember last summer when I had all of that cabbage in my garden–ripe, crispy, delicious, and ready to be consumed?  Well, here is the recipe for one of the many salads that I made with my bounty.  I found the original recipe on Pinterest and have probably made it 20 times since then.  Both the color and flavor are huge in this dish PLUS it is loaded with all sorts of good nutrition!  Enjoy it as a side salad or as your main course, like we do!

My asian slaw

Servings:  2-4 depending upon the size

  • 4-5 c. slaw mix (organic)– Make your own for a super fresh and flavorful salad
  • 2 bell peppers, julienned — I use red and orange
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (use the green part, too)
  • 1 carrot, grated or chopped into very thin coins
  • 1/4 of a red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 c dry roasted peanuts and/or cashews, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 T grapeseed or veg oil
  • 1/8 c toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 + t sirachyra, depending upon your palate
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2-1 ” ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 T peanut butter

In a large bowl combine the first seven ingredients–set aside enough chopped cilantro and peanuts to garnish the salads.  Cover the bowl and shake to evenly distribute the ingredients.  In a small bowl combine the remainder of the ingredients and stir well.  Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning so it has a nice and strong flavor.  When you are ready to serve, add the dressing and most of the nuts (reserving a few for garnish) to the salad and once again cover the bowl.   Shake to coat the salad with the dressing.  Plate and garnish with the cilantro and peanuts.

Isn’t this gorgeous with all of the bright colors?

Veggie Enchiladas

Veggie Enchilada

We eat this dish often here at 488 and never tire of it!  It is filled with all sorts of veggies and beans and topped with nutritional yeast uncheese sauce , for a meal that will please not only picky meat-eating adults, but young kids, who turn their noses up to anything vegetable.  I used to roll them up and make more traditional enchiladas, but now I just layer with corn (gluten free) tortillas–like a lasagna.  It is much easier, takes a lot less time AND you can fit more into your pan.  You are going to love that fact, because it is even better on day 2!  Cheers to being full–heart, mind, and belly!!

Veggie Enchiladas

Servings ~9

  • 1 can of black beans, cooked according to my mexi-black bean recipe
  • 18corn tortillas, gluten free
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes, or as much as you like!
  • Splash of agave nectar
  • Splash of fresh lime juice
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 1 spanish sweet paprika
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 c frozen corn
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped–I used orange and yellow
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 c grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 c sliced black olives
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce, or make your own like I did.  I even made my own chili powder following Alton Brown’s recipe
  • 1 1/2 c uncheese nutritional cheese sauce
  • 1 container of dairy free sour cream
  • Fresh avocado slices
  • cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Add a splash of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of a lasagna pan, to coat the pan.
In a large skillet over medium-low, cook the onions in the EVOO for 5-7 minutes, until they start to soften.  Add the garlic, jalapeno, tomato, bell pepper, splash of agave nectar, lime juice, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper flakes and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the peas and corn and cook for another 5 minutes, until they are thawed.Add 6 (less or more, depending upon the size of your pan) corn tortillas to line the pan.Prepare the beans and uncheese, cheese sauce.Add a thin layer of beans (use about half of the beans) to the top of the tortillas.  Next, add a layer of the cooked veggies (use about half of the veggies).  Sprinkle 1/2 of the chopped olives on next.  Squeeze a lime over the veggies, add 1/2 of the sour cream, 1/3 of the enchilada sauce, and 1/3 of the uncheese sauce.   Add another layer of tortillas and repeat the process.  Add the top and final layer of tortillas and coat the top of the tortillas with the last of the enchilada and uncheese sauces.  Sprinkle some ground cumin and chipotle pepper flakes on top and bake for about an hour.  Check it at about 45 minutes, if the top is getting too brown, place a layer of aluminum foil over the pan to stop the top from getting to brown or burning.  Make sure you let the enchiladas cool for 15 minutes before you serve.  Serve with sliced avocado, sprinkle of cumin and a squeeze of lime over the top.  ENJOY!

Roasted brussels sprouts unplugged

 

Roasted brussels sprouts

The one vegetable I couldn’t get my hubby to eat was brussels sprouts.  No matter how hard I tried, he refused!  Then I went to Costa Rica and left him alone for 4 weeks…I bet you can already guess his new favorite vegetable.  Thats right, brussels sprouts.  To be more precise, roasted brussels sprouts with loads of garlic!  When I asked what inspired him to purchase brussels sprouts at the store, he said he was buying every other vegetable available, so why not give the dreaded sprout another try?  Yep, it brings happy tears to my eyes to know that when he had the option he choose loads of vegetables (even one that he didn’t think he liked!) over the trashy junk he could have easily purchased to fill his belly while I was away (french fries, tator tots, chips, etc.), HE CHOSE VEGGIES!   So below is the recipe that he made many times during that long month and what changed his mind about this super veg!
Before I share the recipe, I am going to quickly talk about the health benefits of eating this super fab veg!  Brussels sprouts are from the same family as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, collards and kohlrabi.  They are a cruciferous vegetable with lots of fiber, so be prepared for a little extra gas production.  They are high in vitamins A and C–a couple of our favorite antioxidants!  It also provides high levels of indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane which boost DNA repair in cells and may block the growth of cancer cells.  Sound like something you should be eating?  Give this recipe a try!   The roasted sprouts are not just healthful, they are delicious!  I have already made them 5 times in the short time I have been home.  They are so good, I even made them as an hors d’oeuvres for a happy hour I hosted last week and they were a HIT!

Roasted brussels sprouts unplugged

  • 1 # stemless brussels sprouts, cleaned
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • sprinkle of salt
  • dash of crushed black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 t powdered dried onion (or more)
  • 1/4 t sweet spanish paprika
  • 1 T Avocado oil (or a good cooking oil)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Throw all ingredients in a ziplock bag.  Shake to coat the sprouts with the oil, garlic and dry ingredients.

Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Stir once or twice to be sure all sides are nicely browned.

Eat and enjoy!

 

Lemon and thyme quinoa with shrimp

Light and bright quinoa with veggies and shrimp!

Take a look at the picture of our dinner from last night.  Each and every bite was fresh, light, full of flavor and great nutrition–it was so good, I can’t stop thinking about it!  The only disappointment is the fact that there are no leftovers!  Give it a try so you can see (taste) exactly what I am talking about!  ENJOY!

Lemon and thyme quinoa with shrimp

3-4 Servings

  • 1 c quinoa
  • 1/4 t sea or kosher salt
  • 1/8 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1 3/4 c water
  • 1/2 # shrimp, uncooked–this can be fresh or frozen
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 # asparagus, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 c spinach
  • 1 + T EVOO
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • splash of dry white wine
  • 1 t dried chives or 1 T fresh chives
  • 1 t dried parsley or 1 T fresh parsley

In a medium pot, add quinoa, salt, 1/4 t pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, 1/2 t dried or 1/2 T fresh thyme, 1/2 t dried or 1/2 T fresh chives, 1/2 t lemon zest and water, stir well.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly.  The quinoa is fully cooked when the grains are al dente.

In a medium sauce pan add 1/2 of the oil and 1/4 t chipotle pepper flakes and warm over medium-low heat.  Add the bell pepper, asparagus, and the remainder of the chives and cook until the vegetables are al dente, about 5-6 minutes.  Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.

Add the rest of the oil and garlic and cook over medium-low heat for about a minute, do not brown, just soften the garlic.  Add the shrimp, broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/4 t black pepper, parsley, the rest of the thyme, and splash of wine and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the cooked veggies and the spinach to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes stirring to wilt the spinach, warm the veggies, and coat them with the sauce.  If your shrimp was frozen when you added it to the pan, make sure that they are fully cooked (opaque and pink), then strain the veggies and shrimp, removing them from the pan, until all that remains is the liquid.  Set the veggies and shrimp aside.  Turn up the heat to medium-high and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes to concentrate the sauce.  Taste the sauce and if needed, adjust the seasonings to best suit your palate–you will want a strong flavor since you add very little to the dish.  Remove from heat.

Put a big scoop quinoa in a bowl for serving.  Add a generous helping of the veg/shrimp mix and pour 2-3 T sauce over the top.  Serve with a pinch of parsley and/or chives on top.  Wash it down with a nice and light white wine, like a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc!

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citrus meets fish

Cod with orange zest, tomatoes, and red onion. YOU MUST TRY IT!

Oranges are in season now and WOWZA are they sweet and juicy! I bought a big bag at the store the other day and have been adding them to just about everything coming out of my kitchen–smoothies, salads, sauces, and desserts. Last night I decided to try using one in our main dish. I dolled up a boring piece of cod with orange zest and boy was it good. Check out this 488 original and let me know what you think about citrus meeting fish!
Bon Appetit!

Citrus meets fish

Servings:  2

  • 2 cod steaks (fillets)
  • 1/2 t sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t ground chipotle pepper flakes
  • 4-5 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • juice and zest from 1/2 orange
  • 1-2 t butter, melted
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional), just a sprinkle.  You may sub a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for the parm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel.

Put the diced red onion in a roasting pan so it will set directly under the cod fillets.  Place the cod fillets on the onion.  Sprinkle fresh orange juice on top of the fish.  Melt the butter and brush each fillet with butter.  Sprinkle the dry ingredient mix evenly over the 2 fillets and do the same with the orange zest.  Place the tomato slices on top of the fish to cover the entire surface of the fish.  Add a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast to the top of the tomatoes.

Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the cod.  Turn the oven up to broil and cook for another minute or two, just enough to lightly brown the top of the fish and cheese.

Serve immediately and ENJOY!

 

 

Quinoa bean salad

Have you ever heard the saying that “Love isn’t easy.  Especially the really good kind.”?  Thank you Nicole Williams, but I respectfully disagree! This quinoa salad is probably the most delicious and healthful salad that I have ever made.  Let me tell you, that I fell for it–hard and fast!  Even my hubby fell in love with this one, nearly licking every last grain of quinoa from his bowl!  Why is it so good, you ask?  I guess it is the crazy good mix of ingredients with color, flavor, and interesting texture.  Not sold yet, keep reading for more reasons to enjoy this big salad.  This one dish can be the salad AND main course for your next meal–all in one (big) bowl, for easy kitchen prep and cleanup!  The protein and fiber from the beans and quinoa are super filling, so you will leave the table completely satisfied!  Plus, the ridiculous number of micronutrients it provides will help fuel your body to fight disease and clear out unwanted toxins!  Again, all in one big, satisfying bowl!  Can you feel your heart soften?  Not yet?  Well then, I guess you will just have to make it yourself and see how easy it is to fall in love with this gorgeous grain salad.

Isn’t this salad gorgeous?

 

Quinoa bean salad Servings:  2-4, depending if served as a main course or a side

  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 3/4 c water
  • generous dash of salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 t dried basil, or more to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 t (or more) dehydrated onion
  • 1/2 c chopped black olives, chopped or sliced
  • 3-4 c grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 can drained and rinsed great northern white beans
  • 1 can drained black beans
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2-3 T basalmic vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil (I used tuscan flavored oil)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 t lemon zest, or more to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 c spinach
  • 1 c arugula
  • lots of freshly ground pepper

Bring the first 6 ingredients plus 1/2 t lemon zest to a boil in a medium sized pot.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa is al dente.  Remove from heat to cool to room temperature. While the quinoa is cooking, make the dressing in a small bowl by mixing together the basalmic, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.  Add a generous dash of salt, pepper, and hot pepper, to taste.  Set aside. In a food processor, chop the spinach and arugula into small pieces.  Set aside. In a big bowl, mix the tomatoes, black olives, red onion, 1/2 t lemon zest, and the dressing until well combined.  When the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, add it to the veggie mix.  Then add the spinach/arugula mix to the bowl and stir until well combined.  Serve immediately or it may be refrigerated and served cold.  No garnish is necessary, but a sprinkle of lemon zest and/or a generous sprinkle of freshly ground pepper is nice! Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

 

Deconstructed Nachos

I know I promised you some of my favorite recipes from my stay at Anamaya Resort in Montezuma, and they will come.  Today though, I am sharing a recipe from my week with my hubby in Ojochal, Costa Rica.  Ojochal is a beautiful, small village on the Pacific coast, known for its  unspoiled beaches AND fabulous restaurants!  Once we were settled into our house, we conducted an extensive (ok, maybe about 10 minutes!) google search to narrow down our dining choices to only the very best-of-the-best, for our short week-long visit.  Through our search, we discovered a small, quaint place, Adelante, for a casual afternoon snack and drink.  It had a cool, comfortable atmosphere, with a great deck, a good beer list, and really spectacular and relatively healthful munchies.

Their deconstructed nachos were absolutely phenomenal and the presentation was simple and so stylish!  A couple of nights ago I decided to give them a try here at home.  Great idea!  They were so easy and we loved every bite.
Yes, they are just nachos, so you can use whatever toppings you like.  We prefer a meatless, minimal cheese nacho so that is exactly what I made.  What makes these nachos really special is the presentation, so make them fit your style!  Here is a picture of what I created.  Do you like my style??

Is your mouth watering like mine??

Deconstructed Nachos

Servings:  as many as you like!

  • corn tortillas, use a pizza cutter to cut into 4 pieces/tortilla
  • sea salt
  • pam cooking spray or oil
  • cheese of your choice.  I used shredded cheddar mix (very minimal) on these, but I think a thin slice of pepper jack, goat, or a high quality mozzarella would be great!
  • cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • black olives, cut in half
  • ripe avocado
  • ripe mango, cut into very thin and small slices
  • salsa
  • lime, cut into wedges
  • jalapeno, thinly sliced (not pictured)
  • cilantro, chopped (not pictured)

Preheat the oven to around 400 degrees F.  Use convection if your oven has that feature.

Slice your tortillas into quarters, place them on a cookie sheet.  Spray them with cooking spray or use a brush to add a very light oil to the top.  Sprinkle with a light dusting of finely ground (powdered) sea salt.  Bake until golden brown (about 10 minutes in my oven).  You may need to turn the cookie sheet to make sure the pieces are cooking evenly.  When they are just starting to brown pull them out of the oven and add the cheese.  Bake for another 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the chips are nice and crispy.

While the tortillas are cooking prep the other toppings.  Cut the tomatoes and jalapenos into thin slices and mangoes into thin and small pieces.  Dice the onion.  Slice the olives in half and fill them with your favorite salsa.

Make the guacamole according to your favorite recipe.  I like my guac very simple.  Here is what I usually do:  mash the avocado with a big squeeze of lime, a generous sprinkle of sea salt, chipotle pepper flakes, and cumin.  Add diced red onion.  Mix well.

Build the nachos!  Take a look at my picture to build like I did.  I had two different nachos.   1.  guac, tomato, olive 2.  guac, mango.  I wish I would have had fresh jalapenos and cilantro to add to the festive dish, but no such luck!  Instead, I sprinkled a mix of ground chipotle pepper and cumin over the top and garnished the plate with a lime.  I served them with fresh salsa and a big mug of Matilda!

Bon Appetit!