whip it up wednesday

this week I bring you the best thing since sliced bread (which to me, wasn’t that big of a deal to begin with, but alright).

healthy alfredo sauce.

now, I am a firm believer that healthy things don’t┬átaste less delicious than their unhealthy counterparts.. but this is not a Cheesecake Factory alfredo sauce. that being said, it also will not be clogging your arteries like a Cheesecake Factory alfredo sauce – so it all evens out.

make sure you have a blender or food processor for this endeavor. other than that, all you need is a pot of boiling water.

ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

2 Tbsp butter (that’s 1/4 of a stick)

1/2 c chicken stock

2 cloves garlic, minced

~1 c of milk

a few dashes of hot sauce

salt and pepper

parmesan cheese, optional but recommended

method:

boil the cauliflower for about 10min until soft. drain and put into blender with butter, garlic, and chicken stock. once that is blended well, add just enough milk to make the consistency you would like. for me, it took about a cup. the last three ingredients should be added to create whatever level of seasoning you prefer, but I highly recommend a bit of parmesan cheese to deceive your brain (however futile) into thinking about Cheesecake factory alfredo.

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pasta, green beans steamed in the microwave, and pre-cooked chicken – fast and delicious for a week night!

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whip it up wednesday: peanut zoodles

whip it up wednesday is a new weekly (eek, someone hold me to this) series I want to start to give people options for quick fixings. in the middle of the week, making anything with too many steps or too many ingredients can be a real inconvenience – so we need something we can whip up fast. hope you enjoy!

zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles) are one of my favorite things to make because they take almost no time. if you don’t have a spiralizer, i highly recommend purchasing one. i got mine on amazon here, and you can use it for all kinds of veggies besides zucchini.

this recipe could easily be made with spiralized carrot noodles, rice noodles, or even ramen noodles – whatever you have lying around, all these options are quick.

ingredients:

2 zucchini

2 heaping spoons of creamy peanut butter

1/4 c soy sauce

sriracha or other chili sauce, to taste

splash of milk

method:

spiralize your zucchini and give the pile of noodles a couple chops (otherwise you get one super long noodle which is only fun to eat for about 5 seconds). put the zucchini in a pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. allow the zoodles to cook down until they release a little excess water, which you can then drain.

in a separate vessel (i do this in a Pyrex measuring container so I can mix and measure in the same thing to save dishes), add all other ingredients and stir to make the sauce.

dump the sauce into the pan, and stir the zoodles well to coat. the peanut butter should melt nicely and make a creamy sauce.

ALL DONE! in about 10 min ­čÖé

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I used my zoodles as a side dish to salmon and roasted asparagus last night. for a great salmon recipe, see my teriyaki salmon recipe here.

foodie friday: roasted leeks and mushrooms with baked eggs

before making this dish I had never worked with leeks before, and BOY what a mistake that has been. fun fact: there’s a Pokemon who uses a leek as a weapon. his name is Farfetch’d. anyways this particular brunch item (which you can definitely also eat at dinner) uses a single sheet pan, which you can line with aluminum foil and then have absolutely zero clean up. no dishes!!!

when you’re cooking with leeks, be sure to wash them properly or you will be eating some dirt with your food. you’ll want to chop off the top of the leek (the darkest green part) and slice through the very bottom of the white bulb so that all the little fronds separate. rinse them thoroughly to get all the gritty stuff out of there. then you can chop them up and they’re ready to go.

ingredients:

2 leeks, washed and chopped

one container of mushrooms, chopped (should be about 2 cups)

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

3-4 eggs

 

method:

toss your chopped leeks and mushrooms in a bowl with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. spread the vegetables in a single layer on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake at 400F for 10min, until soft. your veggies will shrink in size as they’re cooking. remove the pan from the oven and use a spoon to make little craters among the vegetables. crack your eggs into the craters, then carefully put the pan back into the oven for 5-10 more minutes. the timing on the eggs will depend on how runny you like your eggs yolks to be. cook a little longer if you want them to be more done.


I could eat this whole pan by myself, so definitely double or triple depending on how many people you’re serving. this would be great served alongside some crostini (aka toast).

 

 

foodie friday: garlic shrimp

wow I have been slacking on these posts! but not slacking on the cooking, I assure you.

this week I tried out THE easiest shrimp recipe I’ve ever made, and I think that’s really saying something because shrimp is very easy and quick to cook.

on the other hand, it is not that fun to clean, but is something that I think is kind of therapeutic. so you can either buy the deveined, shell-already-removed kind of shrimp (which will either cost you a mountain of gold or will be frozen)… or you can do what I do and buy them with the heads on and spend a small chunk of time ripping their heads off and cleaning them. use a pair of scissors to cut up the back and it will be easy to pull the shells off, I promise!

 

now, once they are cleaned and ready to go, you need about 12 min until dinner is ready.

ingredients:

1.5lbs shrimp

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp white wine

half lemon

 

method:

mix all ingredients except lemon in a bowl, then transfer shrimp to a baking dish (I used pyrex) and bake for 7min at 475F. at this point, the shrimp will be cooked, but I kick it up to broil for the last 2-3min to get a nice color/flavor on them.


once you take them out of the oven, squeeze the lemon over the top, and you’re done! this could also easily be garnished with some parsley or any fresh herbs you have around.

foodie friday: pasta with lemon cream sauce

Happy Friday everyone! We’ve been on a bit of a protein streak here, so I figured I’d give you some variety with this pasta side that will go with almost anything. Pair it with some salmon, or roast chicken and arugula salad like I did. (I definitely cheated and got a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but when a whole cooked chicken is $8 and raw chicken meat is $6/lb it’s hard to say no the the prepped food!)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 c sour cream

1/2 c half and half (or milk, if you prefer)

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 c Parmesan cheese, shredded (I use Kraft, no need to spend oodles of $ here)

1 pkg whole wheat pasta – linguine, spaghetti, whatever long noodle you like

salt

 

Method:

Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. PLEASE make sure you use salted water so that your pasta retains flavor as it cooks. If you weren’t taught to salt your pasta water, change your belief system right now. That being said, do NOT salt the pasta after it’s already cooked – that will make it icky.

While pasta is cooking, heat the garlic in the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Use a good sized pan for this since you’ll be adding all the cooked pasta in eventually. Add sour cream and stir until melted, then add half and half. Zest, then juice the lemon into the pan. It is very difficult to zest a lemon once you’ve already juiced it, so make sure you zest it first, then cut it in half and squeeze the juice out. Careful not to get seeds in the pan! Turn the heat down to low and add in the Parmesan cheese.

At this point, you should taste your sauce. Is it super sour from both the lemon and sour cream? Thin it out with a little more half and half. I personally love the zippy taste, but I realize everyone has a different palate.

Once your pasta is finished, strain it out in a colander, and add it into the sauce. DO NOT rinse your pasta in cold water. You want the pasta to be warm and starchy so that it will absorb as much flavor from your sauce as possible. Sauce does not stick to cold pasta.

After tossing your pasta in the cream sauce, crack some black pepper all over and top with more cheese if you’d like.

 I chose to serve it with peppery arugula leaves and roasted chicken. Remember we’re trying to balance salt, sweet, sour and spice for a truly tasty dish.

Have fun creating your plate!

~~Christianne

foodie friday: teriyaki salmon

Cooking fish at home is something that intimidates many people (hence the outrageous price of fish and seafood dishes in restaurants), but I’m hoping that I can help y’all conquer that particular fear.

The main things to remember are: pick a great sauce/marinade, use foil, always remember you can add time to the oven, but you can’t take it away ­čÖé

With those things in mind, let’s get started on a great homemade teriyaki sauce. The key to a delicious and well-balanced sauce or dish is the balance of flavors: salt, sweet, sour, and spice. You will notice that I purposely picked ingredients for this sauce to contain each of these.

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c honey

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of your choice)

10-12 drops of hot sauce – I like this both for its acidity and heat

1 lb salmon fillets

chopped green onion, optional

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients. If you are making more than one pound of fish, feel free to double the recipe as needed. I’ve been told several times that this fish could never have too much of this sauce on it.

Plop your salmon onto the foil and douse it generously with the sauce. (Do you like my word choice today? plop plop plop). Fold the foil around the salmon to seal it in, loosely.

Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes, until it is opaque. If you need to keep adding a few minutes at a time, don’t fret. Remember, it is always better to take it out a little early and add more time than to totally dry it out and be stuck with bad food.

Once it’s opaque and flaky, pull the foil down so the fish is exposed and stick it back into the oven for about 2-3 minutes. This gives it a nice color and a beautifully caramelizes the honey in the sauce.

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see how it’s no longer see-through? that means it’s done.

Chop some green onions on the top for a little pop, and you’re ready to serve.

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Happy fishing!

~~Christianne

 

foodie friday: jalape├▒o popper chicken

Welcome to the first edition of Foodie Friday! This is when I try out a recipe that’s new (to me) and bring you the step by step and successful results. I will never give you a recipe that turned out to be yucky, and hopefully you’ll be able to recreate them at home.

This recipe contains lots of dairy. But it is both gluten-free and low carb. AND SO DELICIOUS OH MAN.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breasts or tenderloins (cheaper!)

6 oz cream cheese, room temperature

2 jalape├▒o peppers

1 cup shredded cheese (any type, I used Mexican blend)

bacon (optional, but amazing)

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with foil.

Pound the chicken until thin. I do this by putting a piece of plastic wrap over the chicken, then whacking it multiple times with a full jar of salsa. Just make sure you don’t get any raw chicken meat onto your salsa jar – unsanitary!

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Put your thin chicken pieces on the lined baking sheet. Now to make the filling.

Seed (remove the seeds) and then dice (chop into small pieces) the jalape├▒o peppers. Put these, along with the cream cheese and shredded cheese, into a bowl and mix them around.

Dollop generous spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture onto your chicken pieces, then fold the chicken over onto itself. It should look something like this..

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Now if you’d like to add some extra flair and flavor, you can wrap the chicken using strips of bacon. This will help keep the filling from oozing out and instantly upgrade your food, because who doesn’t love bacon? That being said, if you don’t love bacon you could wrap your chicken with butcher’s twine. Or take the laissez-faire route and just let it ooze with cheesy goodness. I did half bacon, half au naturel. (Why am I using so many French phrases today? I don’t even know French.)

Put these chickies in the 400F oven to bake for 25-35 minutes.

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Once they come out, snap a picture and send it to me!!! Hope you enjoy.

~~Christianne

Welcome!

Hi everyone, and thanks for visiting the page.

I’m just starting this blog even though I have been posting about food and teaching on social media for quite a while. Somehow it never occurred to me to combine these two things that I love into a single media form… until now!

I plan to try lots of fun recipes to bring you a new one each week – complete with lots of photos and step by step instructions – as well as tips and tricks to make cooking at home seem less daunting.

I welcome your feedback and suggestions!

~~Much love, Christianne