Pan-Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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This salsa is a homemade version of Trader Joe’s Tomatillo Salsa, and for some reason it took me a long time to start making it myself. Once I started, I can’t stop. I use it to make chicken enchiladas, fish tacos, or just eat straight with chips – (Phase 2 or 3). A great Phase 1 use would be over grilled tilapia.

Adapted from Taste and Tell and Little Spice Jar.

Ingredients:
  • 10 tomatillos (about 3 lbs), quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and ribs removed (keep ribs and seeds if you want it hotter)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves (with skin)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Heat a large skillet and soak tomatillos in a large bowl. Remove the husks from the tomatillos.

2. Add olive oil, tomatillos, jalapeño and onion to the skillet. Sauté on high heat until caramelized on both sides, about 5-10 minutes. Add garlic cloves for the last minute.

3. Transfer to a blender or food processor and add in the cilantro, lime juice, salt (I prefer sea or Himalayan salt) and pepper.

4. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Makes about 2-3 cups.

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Overnight Oats

This is such a great go-to, grab-and-go, easy breakfast. There are many combinations and examples found on the web – everyone has a unique take on this simple meal.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup milk (whole, almond, coconut, soy)
  • 2 Tbsp nuts
  • ½ cup berries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom, (optional)

Directions:

1. Measure ¼ cup steel cut and put in a container (Mason jars are all the rage for this, but I just use my tupperware.

2. Add milk of choice and let sit in the fridge overnight.

3. Top with nuts and berries and enjoy.

Enough for one. Double, triple, quadruple for more people.

 

Steak with Chimichurri & Farro Salad

Ingredients:

  • Steak
  • Farro Salad
    • ½ cup farro
    • ¼ cup chopped cucumber
    • 1oz cheese (feta, goat)
    • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 Tbsp green onions, optional
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • Salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Rinse and drain farro. Transfer to a small pot and add 1 cup water and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until cooked. Farro should be soft and chewy.

2. Bring steak to room temperature and season with salt & pepper on both sides. Grill for 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on how cooked you prefer it. Let steak rest for 5-10 minutes.

3. Prepare Chimichurri, if needed.

4. Chop cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Add salad ingredients to farro once it has cooled down enough that the cheese won’t melt.

5. Plate steak, drizzle chimichurri, and add the farro salad. Alternatively, cut the steak into bite-sized pieces and make a bowl of it.

Curry Quinoa with Shrimp

This is a great meal to put together when you have a bunch of random vegetables in your fridge. There are a myriad of variations for this meal, and each time it turns out slightly different due to the combination of veggies. If you don’t like shrimp, sub chicken. If you don’t like quinoa, sub brown rice. If fresh shrimp aren’t available, frozen shrimp (I prefer large or extra-large) work as well. Like many of my meals, I serve this in my favorite bowls.

Adapted from Vegangela.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. shrimp
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 15oz can coconut milk, full fat
  • ¾ cup broth (or water)
  • 2-3 tbsp green or red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce or 1 tsp crushed red chili pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups colorful veggies (onions, carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli, etc)
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, add quinoa, coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry paste, and Sriracha sauce/red chili flakes (optional). Bring to boil, then set burner to low and cover. Simmer until the quinoa is ready, about 15 minutes.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, chop and sauté the garlic and vegetables.

3. Using the same pan, sauté shrimp until fully cooked.

4. Mix all ingredients together. Garnish with cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

Chicken Posole

My ultimate go-to dinner, year-round. It’s filling and full of flavor, yet light enough so you don’t feel stuffed afterwards. I usually eat it on its own, but you can add a side of rice and beans or top with tortilla strips to bulk it up. It’s also easy to individualize based on taste, since everyone can add their own toppings.

I like to buy a rotisserie chicken and separate the meat into light meat for tacos, enchiladas, etc. and dark meat for soup. If I’m not planning on using it for awhile, I’ll stick the containers in the freezer for later. I always use chicken, but pork works well too.

Depending on the day, I will either make this soup in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or a large pot on the stove.

Ingredients:

  • Soup
    • 2 Tbsp oil (extra-virgin olive or avocado)
    • 1 ancho chile, sautéed (note: I don’t eat anything spicy, so I only occasionally do this)
    • 1 lb chicken (preferably thigh) (sub pork if desired)
    • 2 15oz (or 1 28oz) cans hominy
    • 4 cups of chicken broth
    • Add water, if needed
    • Salt & pepper
    • Optional: Add a can of chili verde or tomatillo salsa (make sure it’s sugar-free) to make a thicker soup.
  • Toppings
    • Green cabbage, shredded
    • Radish, sliced
    • Avocado, cubed
    • Cotija, queso fresco, or feta
    • Cilantro
    • Lime wedges
    • Green onion or red onion, chopped
    • Jalapeño (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat up a frying or cast iron pan on the stove. Put the pot next to it on the stove, or start heating up a slow cooker.

2. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan and brown the chile on all sides. Put chile in the pot or slow cooker. Begin cooking the chicken thighs. If using meat from a rotisserie chicken, shred the meat and put it directly into the pot or slow cooker.

3. Deglaze the pan and pour the liquid into the pot or slow cooker.

4. Add the hominy to the pot or slow cooker.

5. Add the chicken broth to the pot or slow cooker. Add more water if necessary. At this point, the soup is ready whenever it is warm enough, or you can leave it longer at a low simmer for 1-4 hours. Add salt & pepper to taste.

6. Pour soup into bowls (I use these for most of my meals), and top as you like!

Phase 2/3 Add-Ons:

  • Add a side of brown rice and black or pinto beans.
  • Add tortilla strips to turn it into a Tortilla Soup.