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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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.

Green Pesto

This pesto can be made with any variety or combination of green vegetables or herbs, including leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, or a mix of fresh herbs. For a cheaper version, substitute walnuts for a nuttier flavor. No matter the ingredients, the end result is a versatile and easy way to infuse your meal with nutrients and flavor.

Adapted from Food Network.

Combine and mix with an immersion blender:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups of green vegetables or herbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Kosher or Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Makes enough for 4-8 servings.

Chimichurri Sauce

I put this sauce on everything, from tri tip (marinated), to a Southwestern Bowl, to fried eggs. It has a fresh and bright flavor, and adds a great dose of color to the meal, too. When I don’t have both bunches of herbs, I will substitute basil or more oregano, or whatever I have handy.

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

Combine and mix in an immersion blender:

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 3 Tbsp fresh oregano (optional)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 red onion, minced or 1/2 shallot, minced, optional

Makes enough for 8-10 servings.

Turmeric Coconut Milk Marinade

Adapted from Chrissy Tiegen’s Cravings cookbook.

Combine in a container with 1 lb chicken for 2-12 hours:

  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4-8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 in fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 tsp Kosher salt

Makes 3-5 servings. Dip chicken into Peanut Sauce.

Alternative marinade using yogurt and peanut sauce with canned coconut milk on PureWow