Petrale Sole in Tomato Caper Sauce

Wow, I must have been inspired today to have created a dish with just 5 ingredients and $3 per serving, in just a little under 20 minutes. So, I’d like to share this new recipe with my time-constrained, budget-conscious friends who want to eat clean and healthy but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen or a whole pay check doing so.

Petrale Sole Dish

Petrale Sole in Tomato Caper Sauce
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Petrale sole is a good source of low-fat protein and calcium.
Ingredients
  • 2 wild petrale sole fillets
  • ½ cup chopped San Marzano tomatoes in can
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • cilantro to garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring chopped tomatoes and butter to a boil, then simmer on low for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse sole fillets under cold running water and pat with a paper towel until very dry.
  3. Add to simmering sauce, cover saucepan, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until sole fillets are opaque.
  4. Serve on it's own, over rice, or your grain of choice; garnish generously with cilantro and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Notes
*The sole cooks very quickly; I used fillets that weighed about .15 pounds (68 grams) each and it took only 3 minutes to cook. Adjust time depending on weight and thickness of fillets.
*I actually did not use salt in the recipe as I found the capers to "salt" the dish enough.

 

Everyday Chicken

Today I’ve decided to share my secret ingredient to quick and healthy meals. It’s this everyday chicken that I always have on stock, or can prepare in just under 15 minutes to add to any meal I am having – a salad, a soup, a rice bowl…

It is inspired by Pina and Lucia, two beautiful ladies I worked for in Milan who owned a charming little pastry shop on via Madonnina called Di Viole di Liquirizia. There, we simply threw some chicken breasts straight from the package into a smoking hot stainless steel pan. What came out of it was this amazing pan-fried chicken that tasted like it was fresh off the grill! We topped their signature Caesar Salad with it, which sold out each day. This technique cannot be used at home as it would surely set off the fire alarm, so I’ve adapted it for home cooking.

First you will need a pound of chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably free-range) sliced thin into cutlets. Rub them with a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon paprika.

chixpix1

 

Next, heat a heavy non-stick pan over medium heat and cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side.

chixpix2

 

Cool completely and transfer into an airtight container as is, or cut up into chunks. Stored properly in the fridge, this will be good for 5 days.

chixpix3

 

Tonight I was short on time and just had this for dinner with some brown rice, cilantro, and a delicious Singaporean Chili Sauce, home-made by my friend Jackie in Florida.

ChixCilantroBowl

 

Enjoy!

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

HB EggsHard-Boiled Eggs are one of my favorite foods to have for breakfast, as a snack, or protein to balance out a meal. I’ve tried many different methods and have found that the method I share below is the easiest way for me as a busy working bee. It is best to use “old” eggs as they peel much easier, and use the best quality eggs you can afford (preferably, organic and cage-free). Boiled properly, they are convenient and portable, and last about a week in the fridge. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and vitamins including B vitamins and folic acid. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, they actually help raise HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels. So go ahead and enjoy them! The yolks are the best part, and depending on what the hens are fed from your egg source, they can also be full of omega-3s.

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
Print
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 Eggs (preferably about a week old)
  • Water
Instructions
  1. Put eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with cold water up until an inch over the eggs
  2. Set saucepan over medium heat for exactly 18 minutes
  3. When the 18 minutes are up, place saucepan under cold running water for about 2 minutes
  4. Peel those for immediate consumption, and store the rest unshelled in a bowl in the fridge (lasts about a week)
Notes
As breakfast or a snack, roughly chop 1 - 2 eggs. Sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice and season with salt, pepper, and your favorite dried herbs and spices.

 

Mexican Rice Bowl

Ever feel so tired at the end of a long work day that the last thing you want to do is prepare dinner? It’s the holidays as well, and treats and sweets abound in the office. Days like this, all I want is chocolate! But the body knows better, and it’s begging for some nutrients. It helps that I always have some brown rice and chicken breasts on hand, and if they’re already cooked, even better. So tonight I made a quick run to grocery and got the other ingredients and put this together in a jiffy.

Mexican Rice Bowl
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thin, lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup cooked brown rice
  • 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ cup black beans in can, rinsed and drained well
  • ½ avocado
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne powder
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and cayenne powder. Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat and cook chicken 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  2. In the pan and oil you used to cook the chicken, add brown rice, lime juice, and cilantro and heat rice through over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer rice into a bowl and top with tomatoes, avocado, and black beans.
  4. Chop cooked chicken and add into bowl.
  5. Mix all together and adjust seasonings according to taste.
  6. Garnish with remaining cilantro and enjoy!
Notes
*You can go crazy with the lime juice and cilantro on this one like I did! The base recipe is meant to be enhanced according to your personal taste.
*Also, you may sub the chicken for beef. Use tenderloin cut into ½ inch cubes, seasoned with salt, pepper, and cayenne, and quickly sautéed over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes or according to your preferred doneness.
*This dish is yummy whether you eat it hot, cold, or at room temperature so it's great for "baon" (brown bag lunch) to work for those who are avoiding the microwave.

Mexican Rice Bowl

Quick and Easy Green Sauce

Green SauceThis is a versatile sauce you can use on practically anything – pasta, fish, steak, salads, steamed vegetables, and so much more! Any greens and nuts you have on hand will work. I have made this with arugula, spinach, basil, and macadamia and cashew nuts with great results. This recipe uses 50% cilantro and 50% parsley and walnuts and is a little bit on the bitter side and has a fresh and tangy flavor on it’s own. It’s a good way to use up your greens and herbs before they go bad.

Serving Suggestions: Toss with your favorite pasta or steamed vegetables, spread on Baked Salmon or Steak, as a salad dressing (mix equal parts green sauce and extra virgin olive oil and season to taste)

 

Quick and Easy Green Sauce
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro, packed
  • 1 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley, packed
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water, optional
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except water
  2. Purée until mixture comes together and forms a paste
  3. Add water a little at a time if you would like a thinner consistency
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper

 

Wild Mushroom Soup

MushroomsMushroom Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cremini mushrooms grow into portabella mushrooms, if allowed to mature, which are high in fiber and potassium. Shiitake Mushrooms are sometimes referred to as “medicinal mushrooms” and are a good source of protein, iron, and B Vitamins. They are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and also for supporting the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Mushroom Soup
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, fresh
  • 6 oz. portobella mushrooms, fresh
  • 6 oz. cremini mushrooms, fresh
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First clean the mushrooms: Quickly rinse or wipe each mushroom with a damp towel. Trim off tough parts or the ends of the stems if needed, then slice the mushrooms to about ¼ inch thickness. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat until the leeks begin to brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are brown and tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the almond flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the almond milk and parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.
Notes
*It is not usually advisable to wash mushrooms as they supposedly lose flavor; however, I found that giving them a quick rinse and wiping them dry does not have any major effects on the flavor of this soup
*Be patient with simmering this soup long enough to bring out the full flavor of the mushrooms

Banana Chai Protein Smoothie

Banana Chai SmoothieThis is a filling, protein packed and fiber rich smoothie in a Chai flavored base. If consumed for breakfast, this will keep you going and full of energy until your next meal with no need for snacking in between. On top of the protein powder, chia seeds are added which are extremely high in iron, calcium, folate, and magnesium and are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants.

Banana Chai Protein Smoothie
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond milk or coconut milk, or combination of both
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ¼ cup roasted, unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1 serving Chai-flavored, plant-based protein powder with <5g of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Instructions
  1. In a blender, blend milk and spinach until smooth
  2. Add the frozen banana in small pieces and blend
  3. Add the nuts, protein powder and chia seeds and blend until smooth
Notes
*Buy a bunch of ripe bananas, peel them and freeze them in plastic bags for easy access
*The riper the banana, the sweeter your smoothie will be

 

Savory Oatmeal Porridge

Oatmeal CaldoThis recipe is a healthier version of one of my favorite comfort foods – arroz caldo. Arroz caldo means hot rice in Spanish. In the Philippines, it is usually served for breakfast or merienda, or when one is down with a cold or the flu. It is a savory porridge made with chicken and white rice in a ginger-flavored broth, garnished with green onions, browned garlic, lemon or calamansi juice, and hard-boiled eggs. In this recipe, old-fashioned rolled oats is used in place of white rice to make this dish better for your health. Oats (NOT instant oatmeal) are rich in fiber and antioxidants which help lower cholesterol levels and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and protect against breast cancer in women.

Savory Oatmeal Porridge
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, bone and skin on, cut into pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced ginger
  • 4 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • INGREDIENTS FOR GARNISH:
  • Spring onions, chopped
  • Garlic, finely chopped and sautéed until golden brown
  • Lemons or calamansi
  • Hard-boiled eggs, sliced in half
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and brown chicken pieces slightly on each side and set aside on a plate.
  2. Sauté garlic and ginger; return chicken pieces to the pot and pour in the water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to low and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken pieces to a plate and add the oats to the pot. Simmer until the oats are cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, debone and remove skins from the chicken and chop into cubes or shred.
  5. Ladle porridge into bowls, top with cubed chicken, and garnish with spring onions, sautéed garlic, and hardboiled eggs. Squeeze some lemon juice on top.
Notes
*Chicken pieces may be left intact
*Porridge must be a little soupy in the end as the oats will absorb the broth and the porridge will thicken as it cools; you may use more of less oats or water depending on how thick you want your porridge to be