Category Archives: Main Meal

Gluten-Free Main Meal Poultry

Insanely Delicious Spicy Basil Chicken

Hi friends! Anyone else glad that it’s Wednesday already? Me, me, me! This week is cruising along and I am not complaining. Travis and I have fun weekend plans on the horizon, so I am itching to get there.

I’ve got an AWESOME weeknight recipe for you guys today. This Spicy Basil Chicken is definitely going to be on regular rotation for me. I’ve made a lot of stir fry recipes and this is easily one of the best.

Insanely Delicious Spicy Basil Chicken with Brown Rice l It's healthy, gluten-free, and easy enough to make on a weeknight! The whole family will love this dish. l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Reasons why I love this recipe:

  1. It’s freaking delicious. Duh.
  2. You can make it under 30 minutes. (Because who has more time than that on a weeknight?)
  3. The veggies are completely customizable, so you can just use up what you already have.
  4. Many of the ingredients should be pantry staples – especially if you like to cook Asian food.
  5. Leftovers are REALLY good.

Shall I go on?

Insanely Delicious Spicy Basil Chicken with Brown Rice l It's healthy, gluten-free, and easy enough to make on a weeknight! The whole family will love this dish. l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I think this recipe would also be delicious with shrimp, but for a vegetarian alternative, I’d bet tofu would be great, too!

Insanely Delicious Spicy Basil Chicken with Brown Rice l It's healthy, gluten-free, and easy enough to make on a weeknight! The whole family will love this dish. l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Spicy Basil Chicken Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Chicken + Vegetables
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2-3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup shallots, minced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces.
  • 2 cups bite-sized broccoli florets
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • brown rice for serving
Spicy Basil Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey
  • 4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2.5 teaspoons sriracha or other asian chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Whisk 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch together in a medium bowl. Add the chicken cubes and coat the chicken in the soy sauce mixture. Set aside.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine all of the Spicy Basil Sauce ingredients. Whisk together to incorporate the cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of canola oil and once hot, add the shallots. Saute for 1 minute, until they begin to soften. Add half the chicken to the pan, browning on all sides for 2 minutes. Do not cook fully. Remove the chicken from the pan and place into a bowl. Add the second batch of chicken and repeat. Add the browned chicken to the bowl.
  4. Add an additional Tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the bell pepper and onion and saute for 2 minutes. Next add the broccoli and saute for an additional minute. Add the garlic to the pan, adding additional oil as needed to ensure nothing burns. Saute until the vegetables are soft and cooked.
  5. Add the chicken back into the pan. Then add the Spicy Basil Sauce and mix thoroughly to coat the chicken and vegetables. Remove from heat and stir in the sliced basil.
  6. Serve immediately with brown rice.
 

 

 

 

Insanely Delicious Spicy Basil Chicken with Brown Rice l It's healthy, gluten-free, and easy enough to make on a weeknight! The whole family will love this dish. l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Gluten-Free Main Meal Poultry

Chicken Masala with Figs and Golden Raisins

I had a very busy day on Saturday and by the time I got home around 5PM the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner. Ever have those nights?

I do! More often than I’d like to admit.

But we had a bunch of leftover ingredients in the fridge that I wanted to use up before our upcoming trip, and since I hate to waste food, I used that to motivate myself to get off my lazy butt and cook something. Earlier last week, I bookmarked a Nigella Lawson recipe that looked absolutely delicious, so I decided to recreate her dish using what I had on hand.

Chicken Masala with Figs and Golden Raisins l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This Chicken Masala with Figs and Golden Raisins is the perfect comfort dish for a cozy night at home. Everything gets cooked in one pan, which makes cleanup soooo much easier.

On a side note, does anyone else get really excited about one-pan dishes!? Meeeeee!

Chicken Masala with Figs and Golden Raisins l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I highly recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe because they stay very juicy as the masala simmers. But if you prefer chicken breasts (or if that’s what you already have), they’ll do the trick.

Vegetarians and vegans, I am sure this would be great with organic tofu as well. If you try that version, let me know.

Chicken Masala with Figs and Golden Raisins l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We ate this masala with whole wheat couscous, which was great at soaking up all of the sauce. Yum!

 

Chicken Masala with Figs and Golden Raisins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup dried figs
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cloves (or ¼ teaspoon ground)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 large cloves)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1.5 onions, chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 Tablespoons tomato paste, diluted in ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Combine the dried figs and raisins in a medium bowl with 2 cups of hot water. Soak for 2 hours. (Or soak in a bowl of cold water overnight.)
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, cloves, red pepper flakes, cardamom, garlic and ginger. Add ¼ cup water, and stir to make a paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of oil. Add half the chicken and brown on all sides for 4-5 minutes. Do not cook completely. Remove from pan and onto a plate or bowl, set aside. Add the remaining chicken and repeat, adding to the bowl once browned.
  4. Add the remaining Tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the cinnamon stick. Add onions and salt, and sauté until onions begin to soften, 3 minutes. Add the spice mixture and stir. Add the chicken back to the pan, then add the figs, raisins and their soaking liquid. Stir. Next, add the diced tomatoes and diluted tomato paste.
  5. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, remove the cover from the pan and allow the liquid to reduce for the remainder of the cooking time. Serve hot with couscous and sprinkle each dish with fresh cilantro.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.
Chicken Masala with Figs and Golden Raisins l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Main Meal Travel

Photos from Paso Robles + This Week’s Meal Plan

Hi guys! I hope you had a great holiday week! I took a good old detox from blogging and much of social media, and it felt SO GOOD to just be in the moment.

We took a short trip to Paso Robles, CA to do a bit of wine tasting from Tuesday to Thursday last week. Neither of us had ever been, but we’d heard such great things about the area! Here are a few photos from our trip.

We saw a beautiful rainbow on our drive up. Such a rare sighting around here…because it never rains!

Paso Robles Trip

Wine tasting at Halter Ranch.

Paso Robles Trip - Halter Ranch Winery

Gorgeous sunset to end our first day.

Paso Robles Trip - Sunset

Starting Day 2 bright and early with…more wine!

Paso Robles Trip

Barrel rooms at Sextant Wines.

Paso Robles Trip

We stopped into Summerwood Winery, which happened to be dog friendly. We met two adorable Boxer pups, who belonged to a family also wine tasting there. We ended up staying and chatting with the family for over an hour because we had so much in common!

Paso Robles Trip - Sommerwood Winery

It was chilly the whole time we were in Paso Robles, so I lived in this blanket scarf my mom bought for me over Thanksgiving. I took this picture to send to her, but didn’t have cell reception at the time – so there you go, Mom! 😉

Paso Robles Trip

Perfect wine tasting eats to fill up our bellies. Delicious burger from Firestone.

Paso Robles Trip - Firestone Brewery

Before heading back to LA, we made one final stop at Barrelhouse Brewing. It was only fair that Travis get to taste some beers after all that wine!

Paso Robles Trip - Barrelstone Brewery

After a week filled with indulgences (ahem, wine on wine on wine), Travis and I are both looking forward to some healthy meals. We did a HUGE grocery shopping run at the Whole Foods in Venice on Saturday morning. The entire time we were taking bets on how high the bill was going to be…but it’s all good because we seriously had no food in the house and we were way overdo for a restock!

 

Here’s this week’s dinner plan:

Sunday (last night): Apricot-Glazed Chicken with Whole Wheat Couscous and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Monday: Dinner out with Travis’s sister, Justine

Tuesday: Barramundi with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes + Roasted Broccoli

Wednesday: Turkey Chili

Thursday (New Year’s Eve!): Party at our friend’s house

Friday (New Year’s Day): TBD

 

Hope you guys have a great week!

Gluten-Free Main Meal Poultry

Perfect Roast Chicken with Grapes and Red Wine Pan Gravy

Hi friends!

Are you ready for a crazy delicious recipe this morning? This Roast Chicken recipe is PERFECT. Hearty, delicious and healthy.

For me, a roast chicken is the epitome of fall comfort food. I love throwing a whole bird into the oven on a Sunday evening when I have a bit more time to cook. Since there are only two of us, there are always leftovers, but Travis and I always enjoy them in salads or soups the next day.

Perfect Roast Chicken with Grapes and Onions

I know for many, cooking a whole chicken can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from making this! I’ve made this recipe many, many times, making small tweaks here and there to ensure a perfectly juicy bird on the inside and crispy skin on the outside.

There are no tricky steps. I promise you can master this, and in the end you’ll be so happy that you did.

Perfect Roast Chicken with Grapes and Onions

Adding grapes to a roast chicken recipe might sound a bit unusual, but I guarantee it’s a delicious contrast against this savory protein.

The red wine gravy, made in the last step, is an essential component – don’t skip this!

Perfect Roast Chicken with Grapes and Onions

Enjoy this roast chicken, grapes, and vegetables with a warm grain salad, such as whole wheat couscous or barley for a well-rounded, delicious meal.

Perfect Roast Chicken with Grapes and Onions

Bon Appetit!

 

Perfect Roast Chicken with Grapes and Red Wine Pan Gravy
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 5 lb. whole chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Remove the giblets from the chicken. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Place the chopped onions and carrots in the middle of a large cast-iron skillet. Carefully put the chicken on top of the carrots and onions, using the vegetables to prop the chicken off the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with chicken with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and pepper all over. Stick one stalk of fresh rosemary in the cavity of the chicken. Sprinkle additional chopped rosemary on top of the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken with the juices. Add the the grapes and garlic to the pan around the chicken. Cook, basting every 15 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked, about 45 minutes. If the skin starts to brown too quickly, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the chicken.
  4. The chicken is done when it registers to 165 degrees with a meat thermometer. When fully cooked, remove the chicken, grapes, and vegetables from the cast iron and place them on a large serving platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  5. Set the cast iron on the stovetop. Turn heat to medium, and add the red wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom to incorporate any browned bits. Reduce until the liquid starts to look like a sauce, about five minutes. Remove from the heat.
  6. Serve the chicken with the roasted grapes, onions, carrots, and red wine pan gravy.
 

Main Meal Poultry Sandwich

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Sandwiches

With school and work starting up again after summer vacations, many of us are in need of new lunch options to throw into the mix. Personally, I always try to bring my lunch to work because it is cheaper, healthier, and I love knowing what I am eating. While I’ll always love sandwich classics like PB&J and turkey & cheese, I also get excited when I pack a new combination.

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Sandwiches Recipe

If you love Greek salads, this chicken pita sandwich is for you. It has all the delicious flavors of a true mediterranean meal, packed into a healthy and hearty whole wheat pita. I used my homemade avocado hummus for this sandwich, but any tasty packaged hummus will also work.

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Sandwiches Recipe

I love the crunch from the cucumbers and the tangy bite from the feta and olives. Feel free to leave out the chicken for an equally satisfying vegetarian lunch option. I hope you love this as much as I do!

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Sandwiches Recipe

 

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4-5 oz. cooked rotisserie chicken
  • ⅛ cup diced cucumber
  • 2 Tablespoons crumbled feta
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted red pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons minced red onion
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ⅛ cup hummus (try my avocado hummus)
  • 2 whole wheat pitas rounds, sliced in half
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl mix the chicken, cucumber, feta, red pepper, olives, red onion, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spread the hummus inside each pita half. Divide the chicken mixture between the four pita halves and serve with additional hummus and cucumber slices.
 

Grilling Main Meal Poultry

Tandoori Chicken

I have a new delicious chicken recipe for you! The past few weeks in LA have been particularly warm, so Travis and I decided it was a great excuse to use the grill last Saturday night.

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

We made this delicious Tandoori Chicken that I adapted from an old Food and Wine issue. Recently, I’ve been making mostly slow cooker meals and stir frys with chicken, but for this meal I was craving that special charred flavor that only comes from the grill.

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

A heck of a lot of spices go onto this chicken, so make sure your spice cabinet is well-stocked.  Spices are one of my biggest tips to new cooks. I’ve spoken to lots of friends who decide not to make a dish just because they don’t have the spices OR they make the dish, leave the spices out, and then complain that it was nothing special. Well…..duh! A key component was missing!

Invest in a wide variety of spices, my friends! First of all, they last forever, so it is money well spent AND they make such a difference in the flavors of the dish. When I’m in my creative moods in the kitchen, I love opening up our spice cabinet, pulling out lots of different jars and sprinkling a little bit of this and that into my dish. It’s so fun and I love the way it makes my kitchen smell.

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

I chose to marinate the chicken for a few hours before we threw it on the grill just to ensure it was nice and juicy, but if you’re short on time this is optional.

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

I loved how crispy the skin got on the grill. The level of spice suited my taste buds, but if you prefer extra heat, try adding additional cayenne pepper.

I decided to make a mild side dish because I didn’t want anything to overpower the chicken. I made a less-sweet version of these glazed carrots by cutting the honey in half and adding some freshly grated ginger to pair with the ginger in the chicken.

 

Tandoori Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
  • ⅓ cup fat-free greek yogurt
  • 1.5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 6 large chicken legs or 12 chicken drumsticks (about 4 lbs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro, chopped (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the seven spices (garam masala through cayenne) until they are fragrant, 3 minutes. Transfer the spices to a medium bowl to cool. Stir in the greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and canola oil.
  2. Using a serrated knife, make 3 slashes in each chicken leg (or drumstick). Place the chicken legs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Then add the spiced yogurt mixture and rub it all over each chicken leg. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 2 hours (optional, but this ensures more flavorful and moister chicken).
  3. Cooking on a charcoal grill: Heat a charcoal grill to medium heat. Cook the chicken over indirect heat for 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway.
  4. Cooking in the oven: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and set a rack on a large baking sheet ( the rack ensures that the bottom of the chicken gets crispy as well). Arrange the chicken legs on the rack and roast for 30-35 minutes until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. For even crispier chicken, after it is cooked through, set the broiler to HIGH and place the chicken on the top tack. Roast for an additional 4 minutes until the skin is nicely crisp.
 

Beef and Lamb Main Meal

Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus

I decided to take a break from my slow cooker this week. Don’t get me wrong, it took serious effort to pull myself away. I am just so in love with the concept of prepping everything ahead of time and coming home from work and not having to do a darn thing!

Travis and I have made these pita pizzas twice now. The first time we followed a recipe from Cooking Light, but this time we adapted it to make our own, changing the flavors and cooking technique slightly.

IMG_1587

We used Whole Wheat pita, lean ground sirloin, avocado hummus and fresh cilantro.

Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus

The flavors are amazing, but the mix of textures on this pizza is really what does it for me. We used a very doughy pita, so when you combine that with smooth hummus and good quality sirloin, it all just melts in your mouth.

Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus

This pizza comes together in under 30 minutes, so I think it is perfect for a weeknight meal.

I brought leftovers for work the next day. I just packed the pita, hummus, and sirloin mixture all separately and then ate it all as a sandwich instead – also a delicious way to do it!

 

Pita Pizza with Ground Sirloin and Hummus
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1lb ground sirloin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium tomato (chopped) OR ½ cup jarred tomato sauce
  • 4 Whole Wheat Pita Rounds
  • Hummus (any kind will do - I used Avocado Hummus)
  • Fresh Cilantro
Instructions
  1. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium high. Add the ground sirloin to the pan, cook for 3 minutes until browned, stirring often to crumble the meat. Remove the sirloin from the pan.
  2. Add the olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and bell pepper, and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, oregano and salt. Saute for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato or tomato sauce. Cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. Stir in the cooked sirloin.
  3. Preheat broiler to high. Place pita rounds on a baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes on each side until crisp. Be sure to watch them as to not let them burn.
  4. Spread about 2 Tablespoons of hummus on each pita. Top each pita with about ½ cup of the sirloin mixture. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
 

 

Beef and Lamb Gluten-Free Main Meal Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I think it is safe to say I am slow cooker obsessed.

Let me preface all of this by saying, yes, I know I am WAAAAAY late to the slow cooker game. For a while now, everyone  has been telling me that I needed to get one. Given my busy work schedule and limited time in the evenings, I always acknowledged it would be a very helpful appliance to have in my kitchen. I loved the idea of coming home from a long day of work and having dinner already made and ready to eat!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

When I arrived back to LA last week from my trip to Boston, there was a GIGANTIC package sitting on my porch. I was ecstatic when I opened it up to find a new shiny slow cooker from my brother and sister-in-law for the holidays! Seriously. Perfect. Gift. Remember when I told you Dave is the #1 gift giver? Well, he and Morgan nailed it again.

I broke in my slow cooker this weekend by making a delicious beef stew.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I prepped everything after breakfast on Sunday morning and then threw it all into the slow cooker for 7 hours.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

I have made beef stews in my dutch-oven before, but despite long cooking times in an oven on very low heat, I still always found the beef was never as tender as I would have liked. I was excited to see what would happen to the beef this time by using the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Holy Moly, was this beef tender! It was falling apart just by the slightest touch from my fork — just the way I like it.

The best part was that when the evening rolled around (Sunday evening always seems to come too soon, doesn’t it?), I didn’t have to do anything! I just stirred in a few final ingredients and the stew was warm and ready to eat!

This was the most delicious beef stew I have ever had. The addition of the brown ale really amps up the flavor in the broth and after slow cooking all day, the beef, carrots, and potatoes were so tender and soaked with rich flavor through and through.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Travis and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was one of those meals where we both sat there not talking to each other, just saying “Mmmmm” with every bite we took.

Yup, I am so hooked on slow cooking. I am honestly sorry I waited this long to try it! If any of you guys have great slow cooker recipes, please pass them my way. I am ready to try everything!

 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs trimmed boneless chuck roast, cut into 2 inch pieces (I recommend buying 2.5lbs because once you trim the excess fat it will be about 2 lbs)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced in half and cut into ½ inch thick slices
  • 12oz Nut Brown Ale (I used Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale)
  • 1¼ cups unsalted beef stock, divided* (I used Stock Options Classic Beef Stock)
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Parsley for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Add about a teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add half of the beef to the pan, cook for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and place in a heat-proof bowl. Repeat by adding another teaspoon of oil and the remaining beef. Remove the beef and any leftover juices from the pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the garlic and onions and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the ale to the pan, scraping down to loosen any bits from the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of stock and the remaining 1¼ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper (*NOTE: If you could only find salted beef stock omit the added salt at this point, but add the pepper). Bring to a simmer.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Add the beef, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
  4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup stock and flour, stirring with a whisk. Stir the flour mixture into the stew and cook for 13-15 minutes until thickened. Stir in the red wine vinegar and dijon. Discard the bay leaves. Serve with fresh parsley.
Notes
**Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Appetizer Main Meal Poultry Turkey

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce

Sunday night’s dinner came together very quickly, which was exactly what I was hoping for.

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce

I promised myself this weekend would be all about relaxing, catching up on the one million errands I had to do, and just straight up chilling.

It ended up being all about the one million errands I had to do.

Where the hell did the time go?

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce

So by 5PM on Sunday night, all I wanted was food, food, and FOOD.

I was getting seriously hangry (definition: a state of severe hunger that leads to anger). AKA: Avoid me at all costs.

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce

Travis and I were going to make a big batch of our beloved Turkey Meatballs, but I was even too impatient to let those simmer. So instead, we took an old Asian Turkey Burger recipe and adapted it to make little meatballs.

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce

And a little dipping sauce to go along with them.

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce

This dish would be a great appetizer to serve at a dinner party as your guests sip on a cold beer or glass of wine.

For me, it was perfectly satisfying for dinner – especially considering it all came together in under 30 minutes.

 

Asian Turkey Meatballs with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce
 
Ingredients
Asian Turkey Meatballs
  • 1 lb. white ground turkey
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (I used Ian's Whole Wheat Panko)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for more spice)
Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh scallion
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Form the meatballs into 12 balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 14-15 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and immediately remove the meatballs from the baking sheet onto a different plate or platter to prevent them from overcooking
  3. Serve hot with the dipping sauce (recipe below)
  4. To make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce through the water. Sprinkle with the scallions and the sesame seeds.
Notes
*Dipping Sauce adapted from Skinny Taste
 

Breakfast Gluten-Free Main Meal

My Favorite Protein Pancakes

I am a MAJOR breakfast advocate.

If you’re my friend (or my mom!) and you’ve told me that you tend to skip breakfast, I have most likely given you a “YOU NEED TO EAT BREAKFAST” speech. They’re not kidding when they say it is the most important meal of the day, people. Besides, if you eat a healthy breakfast, you are more likely to start your day on a healthy track and less likely to binge on unhealthy junk for lunch and dinner. It’s science. It’s proven. Believe me.

People often ask me what I often eat for breakfast. The answer is: it changes. But whatever it is, I always make sure it has a big dose of protein and fiber / whole grains to get me going. My weekday morning routine is quite hectic – I like to get to the gym by 5:30AM so that I can be out the door for work by no later than 7:30AM. So weekday breakfasts are most often  protein smoothies (my favorite recipe to come!) because I can make them at home in two minutes, but drink it in the car on my way to work:

photo (14)

If I have more time in the morning (i.e. the weekends) my go-to breakfast is making these protein pancakes. You may have seen various protein pancake recipes floating around the internet. Most often protein powder is in the mix, but the protein in these pancakes comes from eggs, egg whites, and rolled oats (Gluten-Free).

Protein Pancakes Recipe

I love these pancakes so much that on the weekends I typically jump right out of bed just so I can make them immediately. I eat mine with Almond Butter on top for an added dose of protein and healthy fats. (Dear lord, I really eat a lot of nut butter, don’t I?)

Protein Pancakes Recipe

As someone who must eat every 3 hours, I PROMISE you that these will keep you full for even longer than that.

I also love them so much that on certain weeknights when I don’t have time to make a “real” dinner I have breakfast for dinner and make these instead. It certainly pleases my taste buds!

My Favorite Protein Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 whole egg*
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few good shakes of cinnamon (about ½ teaspoon)
  • ⅓ cup old fashioned rolled oats (quick cooking oats give a chewier consistency and steel cut won't work here)
  • ½ banana sliced into ⅛" slices
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Almond Butter for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat a large non-stick skillet to medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, egg whites, vanilla and cinnamon. Add the oats and banana slices and stir well to combine. The mixture’s consistency won’t look like it will form into pancakes, but I promise it will!
  3. Pour the mixture onto the skillet to form two separate pancakes. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with Almond Butter.
Notes
*Alternatively you can sub the 1 egg for 2 egg whites (making it 4 egg whites total)
 

 

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