Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dolma Wrap


Lunch is always hard to get excited about.  The same patterns are repeated and that cherished one hour break becomes just as dull as a limp salad or ham sandwich.  But, who has time to brown bag anything else in the morning?  The magic is what you put in the middle of the mundane.  I've recently become obsessed with wraps since I've been trying to limit my bread consumption (a little problem).  Because they are just a little different, for some reason my imagination is a little more creative with them.  Meet Dolma Mediterranean Wraps.

Little Treasures

Dolmas are the ultimate meat substitute for my kind of wrap.  These marinated rice stuffed grape leaves are little jewels that can make a wrap or salad way more exciting to eat.  Fresh or in the can will due, but I prefer canned actually because they have been marinated longer in olive oil and lemon.  My favorite brand is Divine, but you can find them usually in the Greek section of any major grocery store.

I usually stuff my Mediterranean wraps with dolmas, hummus, tomato, goat cheese and lettuce.  This whole wheat wrap pictured was especially sinful stuffed with dolmas, goat cheese, avocado, sundried tomatoes and a crack of pepper.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sweet Chili Pulled Chicken and Shredded Cabbage Wraps

This was a super easy peasy Trader Joe's meal I concocted from my love of Moo Shoo pork and veggies.  Instead of pork, I used baked chicken.  Instead of hoisin-based sauce, I used Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce.  Instead of flour wraps, we used wheat tortillas.  Dave and I are also OBSESSED with TJ's Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas.  Seriously, if we stuffed them with shredded paper, it would taste great.

2 bone-in free-range chicken breasts
1 bag of shredded cabbage (or half a full of head cabbage, shredded)
1 bottle of sweet chili sauce
1 bag of whole wheat tortillas

The Method
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat 1 T. in a large frying pan and sear the chicken for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Then, place the chicken in a separate baking and bake for 30 minutes in the oven.  When the breasts are cooked thoroughly, pull the meat off the bone and shred it with 2 forks. Throw in the chicken, the cabbage and the whole bottle of chili sauce back in the frying pan and cook on low-medium heat until the cabbage is somewhat wilted. Warm the tortillas in the microwave or on a heat skillet.  Stuff em' with the mix. Enjoy! 

Holy Guacamole!

Boy, did I flake out on this blog for a while.  I have great excuses, though: I planned a wedding, moved apartments, got married, went on honeymoon and and and .... no excuses.  There will be a plethora of recipes coming your way now. Sorry, folks. Life happens.

vows etc_low

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Healthy Fish 'n' Chips

There are almost as many fish 'n' chips shops in Seattle as there are in London.  And boy, is it tempting to try them all.  Fortunately, there is hope for us, yet.

I had some leftover cod from my  Thai Lime Fish Stew recipe, and decided to make an oven-fried version of this sinful meal. This is an easy-peasy recipe that requires less cooking time than my cornflake chicken recipe. You totally feel like you are indulging with "oven-frying," but you are cooking with less oil and roasting rather than frying your food.  The outcome is a crunchier, less greasy, healthier version of Fish 'n' Chips.  You are also cutting down on your starches by substituting carrots for potatoes.   

Ingredients (fish)
1-2 1b white fish (like cod), cut into 1 inch wide strips
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 cup plain corn flakes
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1 t. parsley
1 t. dill
1/2 t. tarragon

The Method (fish)
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  In one bowl, whisk the egg, set aside.  Place the corn flakes in a large plastic baggie, seal it, then pound the corn flakes with your hand until they are ground to small bits.  Open baggie and add the salt and herbs.  (If you don't want to use a plastic baggie, use a plate.)  Place the flour on a separate a plate and dip the fish strips in it until they are each lightly coated.  Then, whisk the egg in a separate bowl and dip each floured fish strip in it, and shake off any excess.  Lastly, coat both sides of the fish in the corn flake mixture.

Place the coated fish strips on a greased, foil-lined cookie sheet and lightly spray them with cooking oil. 

Place in oven on one side for 5-10 minutes.  Then flip them over and heat for an additional 5-10 minutes.  They should crisp to a light, golden brown color.   

Ingredients (carrots)
1 bag of carrots
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. herbs of choice (I used thyme and rosemary)
Sprinkle of course sea salt

The Method (carrots)
Line a cookie sheet or roasting pan with tin foil and spray it with oil.  Cut your carrots (I got a big cheap bag of Thumbelinas at my farmer's market.) into quarters and place them flat in one layer on the cookie sheet. Spray them with olive oil and sprinkle your favorite flavored vinegar and herbs on them (I used fig balsamic). Roast in oven at 500 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, then flip for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt.

Ingredients (optional "tartar sauce")
1/2 c. Low-fat or 0% Fat Greek Yogurt
1 T. Relish
1/2 t. dill

The Method
In a bowl, mix all ingredients together and use as a dip for you fish.

Note: Peas also go quite well with oven-friend fish!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thai Lime Fish Stew

I have been sick much of 2010.  First with a horrible stomach virus, then strep throat, then a cold and then a sinus infection.  I'm hoping I am done being sick for the year!  I did a lot of plane traveling before I got sick, which may be why I caught such a horrible bug that sent me on a never-ending string of illness.  I am not one of those crazy Bikram people who go to class when they are sick (thinking that being in heat will break their fever or the other day I had this guy's raging case of Athlete's Foot in my face during the floor series, ugh).  I believe it is not only disrespectful to the class, but to yourself.  Nevertheless, not making it to yoga for a while has been a horrible damper on my physical and mental health.  I depend on Bikram for my spinal health, my depression and my insomnia.  

While under-the-weather, I made tons of different healing soups.  This soup especially, was pleasing to my mind, body and spirit.  It's light, flavorful and perfect for dinner after hot yoga.  I love the lime intensity along with the fresh veggies and flaky white fish.  Next time, I might not even include the rice noodles as it could be just as good without the extra calories.  Hope you enjoy it!

Inspired by Jaden of Steamy Kitchen
Serves 4
* 8 oz fresh or thawed cod
* 2 tablespoons coriander 
* 4 whole cloves
* 1 cinnamon stick
* 1 quart vegetable stock, preferably homemade
* 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
* 1 tablespoon of pressed ginger (I used the jar kind)
* 4 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 cups chopped bok choy
* 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
* 2 oz. rice noodles (I prefer Tinkyada brand)

* 1-2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped- for garnish 
* 1-2 tablespoon chopped green onions 
* 2 whole limes (1/2 squeezed lime per bowl)
* 1 squirt of Sriracha
The Method
1. In a large soup pot, add the broth, soy sauce, onion, ginger, bok choy, edamame, cinnamon stick, coriander and cloves (I suggest putting the cloves in a spice mesh ball for easy removal) and cook for 20 minutes on medium-high heat.  

2. Cut the cod into 1 inch pieces and add it to the pot.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium heat.

3. Remove the cinnamon stick and mesh ball (or sift out the cloves individually). Add the noodles to the pot and cook on medium heat until they are soft (approx 5 more minutes).

4. To serve, ladle into bowls, squeeze half of a lime into each bowl, a squirt of Sriracha, and the chopped cilantro and green onion as garnish. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Banilla Nut "Ice cream"

It's been getting warmer in Seattle, and naturally, ice cream is what my Sweet Tooth desires.  The New York Times and several foodie bloggers have convinced me that there is nothing more genius than frozen banana ice cream.  That's right, one banana, one serving of delicious ice cream.  All you need is either a food processor or a blender.  You can add any other fruit or sweetness to it as you desire.  I added 1 tablespoon almond butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

The Method
Peel banana and throw all ingredients into food processor and set on puree for a few minutes.  Scrape the sides in between blending.

Blend until smooth like frozen yogurt.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunrise Hash

This is a quick, protein-rich, delicious alternative to your standard egg breakfast.  I took leftover roasted yams and squash and topped them with canned kipper, avocado, eggs and hot sauce. Talk about flavor explosion!  The sweet vs. salty dynamic flavors were definitely at work here.  I felt charged up for the rest of my day! 
Any cubed roasted veggies
2 eggs, poached
1 can kipper filets
1/2 avocado, cubed
2 squirts of your favorite hot sauce

Friday, March 12, 2010

Protein Wrap

"Hey what's for lunch?  I'm hungry like now?"

How about 4 food groups in one meal then some fruit for dessert?  This is one of my favorite easy-not-greasy quick meals.  If you like tuna salad, then give canned smashed sardines a try!  A revival of these omega-3-friendly fish is making a big comeback in the foodie world.  Their taste is rich and does not require adding much to the mash to make it flavorful, unlike tuna fish. This wrap is a protein punch before attending hot yoga.

What's in my wrap?

Wrap: Low-carb Whole Wheat Wrap
Veggies: Baby Spinach leaves and Roma Tomatoes
Dairy: Crumbled Goat Cheese
Meat: 1 can, fork-mashed sardines (I prefer either the mustard dill or spicy flavors) 
+ a few grinds of the pepper mill


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Avocado Toast

Can we officially call this food porn?

When I see a ripe avocado, I first think of this delicious snack.  I learned about this from my chef friend Dani in Chicago.  It's simple, it's good, it's delicious.  Avocado Toast is good for breakfast or for a tasty protein snack before or after class.
1 piece of whole grain toast
1/2 avocado
1/2 T. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 squirt of lemon or lime juice
1 shake of sea salt
1-2 shakes of crushed red pepper

The Method
Place avocado half on toast and smash with fork until spread to your liking.  Next, a splash of citrus then a sprinkle of EVOO. Add salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No "hoof" Marshmallows

This was a random purchase I made at my local food co-op, and boy am I glad I did.  Who says Vegan sweet stuff isn't good? (Well, I do sometimes...)  These "Dandies" are made by Chicago Soydairy in Lombard, IL and are sooooo tasty.  They're like little candy treats I can't stopping popping in my mouth.  Almost too good to waste dissolving in hot cocoa.  They are the perfect size - if a big and small marshmallow met in the middle.  

Their vanilla flavor explodes in your mouth with a very slight granule texture.  It's almost like eating little bits of frosting.  Mmmmm.  The best part is they are both vegan and gluten free.  Made from beet sugar and 10 calories a piece, these are a great solution to my sweet tooth.  

Nooooo, I'm drowningggggg!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Coconut Curry Tempeh Micro Salad

Let's continue the topic of COCONUT CURRY, which apparently I am addicted to.  
I get so darn sick of eating salad when I want something light, healthy and easy.  Salad every day, blah blah blah.  Unfortunately, when I don't have the time or imagination do make anything different, I have to learn to trick myself into eating one.  Also, when I lived in Chicago, I worked near a Pockets - where I became addicted to their chopped salads.  Seriously, the texture alone could fool anyone into eating salad every day.  It's all about TEXTURE!  All you need to make this is a food processor and your favorite veggies!  What really made this recipe work was topping the cold, fresh, chopped veggies with warm crunchy coconut curry tempeh strips.  CRUNCH EXPLOSION IN MY MOUTH!

My Ingredients
A few handfuls of spinach and romaine
1 peeled carrot
1/2 cucumber
1/3 red onion
A handful of cherry tomatoes
A handful of mushrooms
1 green pepper, sliced and de-seeded

Tempeh Strips
Crumbled Feta cheese
Your favorite dressing (I used honey mustard)

The Method
Throw all veggies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped but not too much or they'll liquidate!  

Next, saute the tempeh strips on medium heat and olive oil until each side turns crispy brown.  You can find tempeh or tempeh strips at health food stores like Whole Foods or PCC.  Finally, top the veggie mix with tempeh, the cheese and your favorite dressing. Viola! Texture does the trick!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Coconut Curry Chicken Strips

Absolutely Delicious and Light.  These strips of chicken are oven baked and have the perfect accent of spicy curry and sweet coconut.  I loved the crunchy texture, and the chicken cooked to a mouthwatering moisture in the center.  I dipped mine in barbeque sauce like a good Southern girl.  

Just make these; you won't be let down.  A Hot Yoga Food Creation.  Do it now.

2 lbs chicken, cut into 1 inch wide strips
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup plain corn flakes
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1.5 T. curry powder
1 T Spike seasoning (optional)
1 t. parsley

The Method
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  In one bowl, whisk the egg, set aside.  Place the corn flakes in a large plastic baggie, seal it, then pound the corn flakes with your hand until they are ground to small bits.  Open baggie and add the seasonings and coconut.  (If you don't want to use a plastic baggie, use a plate like the picture below.)  Place the flour on a plate and dip the chicken strips in it until they are each lightly coated.  Then, dip each strip in the whisked egg, and shake off any excess.  Lastly, coat them in the corn flake mixture.  

Place the coated chicken strips on a greased cookie sheet (I line mine with foil) and lightly spray them with cooking oil.  

Place in oven on one side for 15 minutes.  Then flip them over and heat for an additional 10 minutes.  They should crisp to a light, golden brown color.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Kale Nachos

On New Years Day in the South, it is good luck to eat blackeye peas for luck.  Unfortunately, I forgot to eat mine this year!  But, never-ye-mind because as long as you eat your beans within the month, you'll still have luck in the New Year (my rule...shhh!).  I've also been dreaming about a new Hot Yoga Food recipe: Vegan Spicy Kale-Blackeye Pea Nachos!  This recipe sounds gross at first, but you'll be surprised how good these are (and filling)!  It avoids the bad fried food/dairy rule, but you still get the taste and texture of cheesy, spicy, crunchy goodness!  These aren't too heavy like standard Mexican food, either.  These are great to whip up for lunch or after hot yoga class for a quick dinner. 


1 bundle of kale
canola oil spray

(bean-cheese sauce)
1 can cooked blackeye peas, drained
2 c. water
2 T. or 1/4 cup sliced, jarred jalapenos (depending on your heat endurance)
1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. cayenne
2 T. cornstarch
1.5 T. sea salt
2 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
2 T. nutritional yeast
2 T. chopped black olives

(optional toppings)
light sour cream or greek yogurt
sprinkle of chopped black olives


Preheat oven to 400 degree F.  Remove kale stems by tearing the leaves into large pieces away from the stem.  Discard the steams and dry the torn kale pieces with a paper towels.  Spray a large cookie sheet with canola oil, and place the torn kale pieces in a single layer. Spray again with canola oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast the kale for approximately 25 minutes until the edges of the kale become brown. 

While the kale is crisping in the oven, blend the blackeye peas and jalapenos in a food processor on high until it is a smooth paste.  Add the pepper-bean paste, water and the rest of the sauce ingredients to a medium pot and heat on medium until the sauce thickens.  

Pour the sauce over kale chips, the add dollops of sour cream and sprinkles of black olives on top of the cheese sauce.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bad, bad, bad: COFFEE

Oh, coffee bean, how do I love thee.
Let me count the ways.
You wake me, keep me sane and prevent injuries throughout my days.
You open my eyes, you activate my brain and even help with hangovers - I won't ask how or why.

But, if I drink you again before hot yoga, I will surely die. 

Yes, ladies and germs, I drank 2 cups of coffee yesterday 1 hour before 4pm yoga (the first and only of the day).  15 minutes in, the shakes began.  Shakes were only the beginning, too.  I figured that my system would flush out the coffee pretty soon, especially due to the 50% humidity in Seattle classes lately, but it only developed into rapid heart beats and nausea.  At one point, I thought I was about to have an anxiety attack.  After class was the worst: my stomach flipped over and ran out the door.  Oh, no I shant try a caffeine before class, again.  My body did not break it down like I thought it would have.  Don't risk it, folks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Carrot Fries

Annnndddd, we're back!  After a month of holiday fun and my recent lay-off, I am trying to get back into a routine.  New Years resolutions and all...  

 I declare 2009 to be the year of sweet potato fries. 
I declare 2010 to be the year of carrot fries.

These little gems taste exactly like sweet potato fries but with half the calories.  I like to dip 'em in Annie's Organic Ketchup.  These are great to prep before you leave for night class.  When you get home, pop these in the oven while you prepare the rest of your meal (great with veggie burgers or tofu dogs).

1.) Cut a bundle of peeled carrots into 3 inch quarters like the photo below.  I've really been into organic carrots.  They have a much better flavor, but regular 'ol carrots are fine, too.

 2.) Next, line a large roasted pan with foil.  Lay the carrots in a single layer and glaze them for olive oil.  

3.) Sprinkle them with your favorite seasoning.  I love using spicy Spike.

4.)  Stir the carrots around in the oil and seasoning until they are completely covered in the mix.  This makes sure they don't stick to the foil.

5.)  Cover the top of the roasting pan with foil and roast them at 375 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.  

6.)  Uncover the pan, flip the carrots and roast them on the oven top shelf for an additional 15 minutes (uncovered) until they look crispy and browned on the edges.  

Carrot Fries make white potatoes seem so boring now.  Enjoy!