Gluten Free Chicken Pad Thai

SOOOOOOO delicious!!

  • 1 Tbs. Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Shallot
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 lbs. Chicken breast
  • 3/4 Fresh Cilantro
  • 3 Tbs. Chopped Scallions
  • 1 1/2 Cup Bean Sprouts
  • 1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Siracha
  • 1/4 Cup Fish Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Liquid Amino Acids
  • 1/4 Cup Oyster Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Crushed Peanuts
  • 16 oz. Flat Rice Noodles

In a sauté pan, pour a little sesame oil and heat over medium. Beat the eggs and pour into heated pan, scrambling as they cook. After cooked completely, set aside. Pour a little more of the sesame oil into the pan and throw in the chicken, cut into cubes.

While the chicken is cooking, stirring occasionally, cook the rice noodles as instructed (I boil for about 4 minutes because I like them cooked al dente).

Once the chicken has cooked thoroughly, remove the chicken, leaving the juice and add the diced shallot into the pan, stirring a few times while the shallot softens. Once the shallot has softened, add the egg and chicken back into the pan. Toss together and add the noodles. Finally, pour the liquid ingredients over everything and toss together. Finally, add the cilantro, peanuts and bean sprouts and toss once more. Serve immediately and ENJOY!!

I enjoyed this tonight with some Grower’s Reserve Chardonnay…because, you know…I like to drink wine while I cook…and eat;)

Blueberry Reduction Pork Chops

So sometimes (very often, actually), I don’t follow any recipe, nor do I write down what I’m doing as I do it. Last night’s dinner was a perfect example of that, but I’ll tell you what I did the best I can!

This was a thick-cut boneless pork chop. I had 4 total, which equaled around 2 lbs. In my cast iron grill pan, I sprayed cooking oil so the pork chops wouldn’t stick and heated over medium-medium/high. I placed all 4 pork chops and sprinkled them with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried parsley and a little cayenne pepper. Once they started to brown on the bottom, I flipped them over and repeated the same seasonings. Once they were about 1/2 way cooked through, I put them in a preheated oven of 350 for about 10-15 minutes.

In another cast iron skillet, I cut up parsnips and purple carrots. On the stove top on medium-medium/high heat I poured a little grape seed oil and added the parsnips and carrot. I then sprinkled them with cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg and a little pink sea salt. Once they started to soften, I put them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

The broccoli was simply steamed and sprinkled with lemon pepper!

But the REDUCTION SAUCE was to die for! I put a small container of blueberries with a little chicken broth on a small pot on the stove over medium heat. I mashed the blueberries with a potato masher and allowed them to cook down a little then turned the heat to medium/low. I added more chicken broth (only about 1-2 Tbs. each time), about 1 Tbs. whole grain Dijon mustard, about 1 Tbs. of honey, and about 1 Tbs. of balsamic vinegar. I allowed that to all slowly cook together and kept tasting it to see what it needed. This was a thick reduction and it was delicious!! My husband was really skeptical (I don’t know why he doesn’t just trust me at this point?!) but he put a little on the side. Once he tried it, he got up and poured this all over his pork chop!!

I paired this dish with Panilonoco Cabernet Sauvignon!

Modified Jessner Peel Day 1

During the winter months, I like to do at least one, more aggressive chemical peel to rid my skin of dead skin cells, generate newer skin growth and treat any imperfections such as hyperpigmentation and fine lines/wrinkles. I really like the Modified Jessner peel by Glo Therapeutics with their Enzyme added to the treatment.

I use this service in my treatment room at the salon and my clients’ love the results. Some see more flaking afterwards than others and if you have an event or vacation coming up, I usually tell people to wait because you don’t know how your skin will react in down time and how long it will have that dry, peeling appearance. (If you do have an event, I recommend the Pro 5 Exfoliant, which doesn’t require any down time).

This is a picture of my skin right after the treatment this morning and I will post pictures in the upcoming days to see how my skin reacts and the final results in about a week.

  1. In the Modified Jessner Treatment I did today, I first used the Glo Therapeutics Enzyme, which is a 5% Salicylic Acid, 3% Bromelain, 1% Papain, Pomegranate and Cranberry blend (Great for aging, hyperpigmentation, and acne). I left that on for 5 minutes and rinsed off with water (this enzyme DOES heat up!)
  2.  I dried my skin completely and applied the Peel Prep, (kind of an “itchy” feeling) which preps the skin for the chemical exfoliation.
  3. After that dried, I applied the fist layer of the Modified Jessner, which is also great for aging, hyperpigmentation, and acne (this also heats up quite a bit, but I found the longer it stays on, it starts to subside, which is why you can add layers). This has 14% lactic Acid, 14% Salicylic Acid, 14% Resorcinol, Raspberry and Lycopene
  4. After 2 minutes, I added the Lightening Serum, which aids in diminishing any hyperpigmentation more thoroughly (this has 2% Hydroquinone, 2% Salicylic Acid, 5% Lactic Acid, Kojic Acid, Azelaic Acid, and L Ascorbic Acid).
  5. After 2 more minutes, I added another layer of the Modified Jessner and let it sit for 4 minutes.
  6. I finally neutralized the chemical with Glo Therapeutics Neutralizer (Calcium Carbonate, EGCG ((derived from green tea)), and Shea Butter). This actually burned significantly at first, which is due to adding anything damp to the chemical but calmed down after the 2nd application. The calcium carbonate (better known to us as baking soda) is what neutralizes the chemical and makes it stop working, kind of like throwing baking soda on a fire!

My skin was immediately re-texturized! It felt SO smooth and plump. I am really excited to see if I have any peeling and how my skin looks and feels after about a week. This is an AWESOME treatment to do before your wedding!! I recommend it at least a week before the big day so your skin has time to heal completely.

 

Paleo BBQ Chicken

  •  

  • 2.5 Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 6 oz can Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup 100% Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 2 Tbs Molasses
  • 1 Tbs Grape seed Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Minced Onion
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp 21 Season Salute (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves

 

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the tomato paste, apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup water. Add the honey, molasses, grape seed oil and mix well. Add all of the seasonings and mix once more.

In your slow cooker on high, put the chicken breasts and pour your sauce on top. Spread it out and pour the other 1/4 cup water. Cover and allow to cook for about an hour and a half or until the chicken is easy to pull apart with 2 forks. After shredding the chicken apart, cover and turn heat to low. Allow to cook for at least another 1/2 hour.

I served mine over mashed cauliflower with fresh scallion!

(Mashed Cauliflower: Remove stems from half a head of cauliflower and steam the crowns until you can puncture with a fork. Drain and put in your food processor, blend until smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl and add 1 Tbs half and half, cracked pepper and salt to taste. I also add a sprinkle of fresh grated parmesan! Top with scallions.)

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I have to admit, sometimes when I’m cooking, I don’t know what I’m really making until it’s done. This started out as a chicken tortilla soup, and about an hour into the slow cooking process, I decided to add a thickener, wild rice, lentils, peas and carrots. This soup was SO deliciously tasty and such a good snow day treat! My husband and I ate almost the whole crockpot full the first day! This soup was EVEN BETTER the 2nd day!

I didn’t write the recipe down as I went on, but here’s the basis of what I did and I hope you can recreate it in your own way. Please leave any questions below and I will happily give you any tips I can!

I started with 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, one small chopped shallot and about 16 ounces of organic, low sodium chicken broth. I covered each chicken breast in taco seasoning and a little cumin, and cooked the ingredients on high in my slow cooker for about an hour and a half. I added more chicken broth, uncooked wild rice (about 1 cup), lentils (about 1/4 cup), and some frozen peas and carrots. I covered it up again and allowed to cook for another hour or so, stirring occasionally. I then pulled the chicken apart with 2 forks (which was really easy) and added about 1/4 cup half and half. I took a little bit of butter (about 1/4 stick) and heated that in a small skillet on the stove until it melted. I added 1/4 cup low fat milk and finally, to thicken, about 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch (you can also use Arrow Root or Corn Starch to keep it gluten free) and continuously stir. This only takes a few seconds, as the mixture will thicken REALLY QUICKLY! Add this to the soup immediately and turn the slow cooker to Low.

Add salt, pepper, thyme, 21 Season Salute (from Trader Joe’s and GREAT in soups!), and the rest of the chicken broth (total of 32 ounces). Let this sit for as long as you can, as the soup will thicken over time. I served this with a few crackers and red wine (obviously).

I probably let this soup cook for at least 4 hours from start to finish before we ate any. I allowed it to cook on Low for the rest of the day and finally turned it off before bed. The next day, I heated it up with a little more chicken broth!! Soooooo good!

Clean Us!! (no purchase necessary)

If you’re like most girls, you probably have a small collection of makeup brushes. A few you probably use every day, some are there for when you’re feeling a little creative, and others are just there hanging out in the back. We’ll call those the wallflowers.

Whether you use them every day, or just on occasion, they NEED to be cleaned. These are tools that have makeup, dirt, bacteria and free radicals chillin’ inside them. You can actually do some damage to your skin when you don’t properly clean them, SO I have a little trick that’s easy and costs me nothing.

Chances are, you have a shampoo bottle or 2 that sit in the back of your shower somewhere behind the new body wash and an old cream cleanser. Maybe it’s even made it’s way into the back of your linen closet, where I keep the products I’ve tried but don’t love and don’t have the heart to throw away just yet. Dust that shampoo bottle off and USE it to clean your makeup brushes!! You won’t feel so bad about wasting money and you won’t have to go out and buy that expensive brush cleaner from Sephora.

After I wash my makeup brushes with warm water and shampoo, I take a small travel-size spray bottle, fill it with rubbing alcohol and spray each brush with it before I lay them flat to dry. Now your brushes are clean, disinfected and ready to be used on your delicate face! I do this about once a week!

My wedding “diet”

Our wedding in Punta Cana was the best day of my life so far! I have never had so much fun and I got to come home married to the best guy I’ve ever known.

Like any bride, I stressed and wanted to make sure I looked my best and felt good about myself for the big day. I wanted to look back on our pictures with confidence and reflect how happy I am. I think a huge fear was that I would see pictures of myself and focus on my insecurities and wish I had tried harder to become my healthiest self. I knew I had the skill to create great recipes, I knew I had the determination and drive to get to the gym, but who doesn’t want a glass of wine or 2 at the end of the day?

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a glass of wine while I cook! Who doesn’t want to skip a day or 2 at the gym during the week? I do, and I did! Let me also just say, I am NOT a gym rat! I go to the gym on a regular basis about 3-4 times a week, max. I take Body Pump, which is a Les Mills program and also do the stair master for cardio. I like to sweat, it makes me feel productive.

I ate really well before the wedding, but got creative and looked forward to making these dishes because they were full of flavor. I discovered how to eat healthy food high in fiber and protein and low in sugar, salt and fat WHILE making sure I was full and satisfied. I did drink wine. Not every single day, but I did. I ate dessert, but it was usually a cup of Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax granola or a protein mini muffin and a cup of sleepy-time tea as opposed to something more fattening.

I will post as many recipes as I can and will happily answer ANY questions you have! I’ll try to give you any advice I can and tell you what worked/didn’t work for me. Just ask!

Almond Meal “Chicken Tenders”

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Do you find yourself craving chicken tenders? The salt really calls to me sometimes, too! I cut 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast into “tender” sized pieces.

Preheat oven to 400, line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with any cooking spray (I used Trader Joe’s Olive Oil Spray, just be careful under ingredient list if you have any allergies)

Pour some almond meal (another Trader Joe’s purchase) in one bowl and an egg in another. Wash and dip each chicken tender in the egg and then roll in the almond meal until completely coated. Lay each piece on the baking sheet and spray again with the cooking spray (so the tops get a little crispy).

Sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if you like) to taste and bake for 20 min.

For the guacamole dip, I just crushed up 1 avocado, poured about 1 Tbs lemon juice and 1 Tbs lime juice, 1/2 plum tomato (cut into little pieces), about 1/4 cup chopped purple onion, 1 diced garlic clove, some salt to taste and fresh cilantro. (I LOVE cilantro, so I put a lot, but you can add as much as you like! I chop up to get the flavors going and mix it all in!) *You can also use a honey mustard or buffalo sauce as dippers too!

You can make these “Buffalo” style simply by rolling them (once cooked) in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I recommend this instead of other “Buffalo” sauces because they tend to add butter. Frank’s Red Hot has very minimal ingredients and adds LOTS of flavor! I serve with celery and carrots, add some ranch dressing if you’re feeling frisky!