Salsa Verde Shredded Chicken with Rice & Beans

I love rotisserie chickens. There are so many options for the meals you can make – posole, enchiladas, tacos, etc. For this meal, I just like to shred up a breast and eat that for an easy Phase 1 meal. Mixed with salsa verde (homemade Tomatillo Salsa or Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde), avocado, and my favorite Rancho Gordo La Paloma sauce. I can’t handle any spice so this is the mild hot sauce for me!

Alternatives to a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken:

  • Poach a chicken breast in a pot of boiling water: cover a chicken breast with cold water in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Shred and mix in the salsa.
  • Cook the chicken in a slow cooker with a jar of salsa verde on high for 2-4 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Shred and mix in the salsa.

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Ingredients:

  • 4-6 oz. chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 cup beans (black, pinto, white, kidney)
  • 1/2 rice (cauliflower rice for Phase 1, TJ’s frozen brown rice for Phase 2 or 3)
  • 1 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • Roasted bell peppers (I love mini bell peppers – I like to buy a big bag and use them in as many meals as I can)

Directions:

1. Pre-heat cast iron pan and roast peppers until they make popping noises.

2. Mix shredded chicken and salsa verde for an even coating. Top with avocado and hot sauce of your choice (sugarfree!).

3. Warm up rice and beans. This is such a simple meal to assemble, so I use canned beans and frozen rices that can be heated up in 3 minutes. Top beans with feta.

Makes enough for 1.

Fish Stew (Coippino)

This is a great soup year-round, especially if you’re trying to survive a San Francisco summer, where the dish originates. I like to make this when I have a variety of frozen seafood that I need to use up, but obviously it’s best when everything is fresh! Soup base can be made ahead and/or frozen for later.

Adapted from Epicurious.

INGREDIENTS

  • Soup Base
    • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 medium onions, finely chopped
    • 1  bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
    • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 green bell pepper, diced
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I like the TJs tube)
    • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine or red wine vinegar
    • 1 (28- to 32-ounces) can whole plum tomatoes
    • 1 cup bottled clam juice
    • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Seafood (any combination works, depending on what you have and/or like)
    • 1 lb king crab leg
    • 1 1/2 lb. small hard-shelled clams, scrubbed
    • 1 pound skinless white fish (red snapper, halibut) fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
    • 3/4 pound sea scallops
  • Fresh Herbs
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
    • Garnish with fresh basil leaves and small whole leaves
  • Phase 2: Accompany with whole wheat bread
  • Phase 3: Accompany with sourdough bread

Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot.

2. Add garlic, onions, bay leaf, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper and cook until onions are softened.

3. Add bell pepper and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

4. Add wine and boil until reduced by half.

5. Add tomatoes with their juice, clam juice, and broth and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

6. While stew is simmering, hack crab leg through shell into 2- to 3-inch pieces with a large heavy knife. Add crab pieces and clams to stew and simmer, covered. Set aside opened clams. Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes.

7. Lightly season fish fillets, shrimp, and scallops with salt and add to stew, then simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

8. Discard bay leaf, then return clams to pot.

9. Plate and garnish with parsley and basil. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

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.

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.

 

Breakfast Scramble

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup chopped vegetables (bell pepper, onion, etc)
  • 1 Tbsp cheese (feta, cotija, shredded cheddar/jack combo) or 1/4 avocado
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • ¼ cup tomato salsa
  • Cilantro
  • 1 corn tortilla (optional for Phase 1 & 2)

Directions:

1. Heat up a pan and drizzle with oil.

2. Chop up vegetables and add to pan once hot. Cook for 5-10 minutes.

3. In a bowl, scramble eggs with milk or water and add to the pan.

4. When eggs are almost cooked through, add cheese and beans and mix.

5. Plate with tortilla and top with salsa and cilantro.

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

 

Kabobs with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 3-6oz chicken or lamb, marinated in Greek Yogurt Marinade for 2-12 hours
  • ½ cup brown rice (cauliflower rice for Phase 1)
  • ¼ cup Tzakiki
  • 1 tomato, Roma or Beefsteak
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1 piece pita bread (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line a pan with aluminum foil and add meat.

2. Add whole tomato to the pan. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

4. Chop bell pepper and eggplant into slices and grill them on the stove until cooked through.

5. Prepare Tzakiki.

6. While meat and vegetables are cooking, prepare brown rice. I use TJs frozen brown rice, so that it only takes 3 minutes in the microwave.

7. Plate and enjoy.

Enough for one. Double, triple, quadruple portions 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.

Southwestern Bowl

This is another throw-together, all in one bowl meal. This recipe works for all Phases, but for Phase 2/3 you can swap the caulk rice with brown (or even white) rice, add some jicama, and up the carbs. This bowl works no matter the ingredients – as long as you have a base of rice and beans, the rest just adds to it.

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Ingredients:

  • 3-6oz protein (steak, chicken, shrimp, fish)
  • ½ cup black or pinto beans
  • ½-1 cup cauliflower rice (sub brown rice for Phase 2, white rice works for Phase 3)
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Tomato, chopped, or tomato salsa
  • Radish, sliced
  • 1oz cheese (cotija, feta, jack)
  • 2-4 Tbsp Avocado Crema

Directions:

1. Spray protein with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. For steak (tri tip), shrimp, or fish (tilapia), grill for 5 minutes on each side in a preheated cast iron pan. For chicken, I will often use the breast parts of a rotisserie chicken.

2. Prepare the rice. I use frozen cauliflower rice or frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s, and both take about 3 minutes in the microwave to heat up. I portion out the 1/2 and save the rest in container for later.

3. While the protein is cooking and the rice is heating up, chop and prepare vegetables.

4. Mix all ingredients together and top with the Avocado Crema. Garnish with cilantro.

Makes 1 serving.

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.

Herb-Roasted Chickpeas

Adapted from PopSugar.

To prepare the chickpeas (garbanzo), rinse and dry the beans thoroughly. The drier they are, the crispier they’ll become. I like to rub them with paper towels, and this helps to remove the papery skin.

Ingredients:

  • 2 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400º and prepare the chickpeas.

2. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet, spritz them with olive oil, and add the herbs.

3. Roast for 25-30 minutes.

4. Portion into 7 1/2 cup servings.