Chicken Salad Sushi

There’s a sushi place near my house that’s All You Can Eat everyday. It’s actually the best restaurant in the area and not just because you can stuff your face with sushi, sashimi and all the accompaniments (seaweed salad and edamame, please) but because everything is fresh, beautiful and absolutely delicious.

The only thing about eating there is that you have to be hungry enough to make it worth it. While reasonably priced for lots of special rolls, it’s not exactly cheap for an all-the-time kind of thing. Also, the magical experience doesn’t happen if you don’t eat a few appetizers, eat a few rolls, then maybe decide you’re feelin’ some more miso soup.

I was craving sushi the other day but didn’t have anyone to dine with at the time and I wasn’t quite hungry enough anyway. My practical side also reminded me that I had prepped chicken for the week and I needed to save money and eat it.

This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a “throw everything together” kind of thing but it works, and it’s delicious so it’s happening.
IMG_3972Chicken Salad Sushi (makes 2 sushi rolls):

1 piece grilled/baked chicken (this week, I prepped my chicken by rubbing it with a tiny bit of mayonnaise, seasoned with Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning and baked in the oven for about 25 minutes)
1 stalk celery
1/2 slice onion
1 tsp. mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s Canola Mayonnaise)
1/2 TBL. Franks Hot Sauce Ketchup*
1/4 of a cucumber, sliced into thin sticks
1/2 cup baby spinach
2 sheets nori
Small bowl of water

Begin by cutting chicken, onion and celery into small chunks. Place in food processor with mayo and ketchup and process until ground and sticking together (add more mayo/ketchup to taste/consistency if needed).

On one sheet of nori, arrange spinach leaves across the sheet about 1 inch from the bottom. Using your fingers or a fork, gently spread chicken salad on top of spinach.

Place cucumber sticks on top of chicken salad and press down lightly.

Beginning from the bottom, tightly roll nori over the filling and wipe across the sheet with a little water on your finger tip.

Continue rolling to the top and seal with a bit of water.

Repeat with second sheet of nori.

Slice using a sharp, wet knife.

*If you cannot find/don’t have hot sauce ketchup, you could probably use a little more mayonnaise and regular hot sauce.

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What I Ate Wednesday: Lots O’ Oats Edition

What I Ate Wednesday (hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons) is definitely one of my days of the week to read blogs. I love unwinding at the end of the day by checking out her linkup and finding new recipes and pages to read. So, thanks Jenn for hosting!

In an effort to keep things deliciously simple, I ate a ton of oats this week. For breakfast every day!

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Here we have apple cinnamon oats, lemon loaf oats in the next two (coming soon to a blog near you!) and banana bread oats in the last one.

It snowed a little yesterday and has been SUPER cold so warm creamy oats (and coffee) are the perfect way to start the morning.

I dont usually photograph my lunches because they’re generally salads.

Snacks are usually rice cakes, a Quest bar, it depends on the day. Post workout is usually this smoothie in a bowl though.

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Putting whey protein in the blender with something frozen makes it incredibly fluffy. 

Both these smoothies are one scoop of protein powder, a small handful of frozen spinach, 5-ish frozen blueberries, a bunch of ice cubes and a tiny bit of water. Blended until thick and volumous. 

Dinners have been veggie heavy lately. I’m usually not a stir fry lover but I’ve had stir fry three times this week.

Also a mix of breakfast and dinner for dinner (with lots of cinnamon of course)

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and my new favorite side dish of mashed cauliflower. This I sprinkled with a little nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

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Desserts (and sometimes snacks) have been pumpkin bread and no-bake cookie dough!

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What did you eat this week?

Pumpkin Bread

I was in a baking mood this weekend. Even though I’m not Paleo anymore, I try and make baked goods that use Paleo ingredients not only for health reasons but it’s fun to see what can come out of almonds and coconuts.

I had BIG plans to make banana bread, banana bread donuts and something with pumpkin. A word of advice: baked paleo banana bread donuts don’t work so well without a donut pan. They come out very flat. Live and learn.

What did come out of my incessant creating was the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever baked. It rose perfectly, looked pretty and most importantly, is crazy moist and delicious. The only thing I wish I did was throw in some chocolate chips. Luckily, there will be a next time for this bread.

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Pumpkin Bread:

1 cup almond flour
2 tsp. coconut flour
1 tbl. + 1 tsp. vanilla protein powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 flax egg (1/2 tbl. flax+1.5tbl. water mixed and set for a few minutes in the fridge)
1 egg
1 tbl. maple syrup (i used Walden Farms)
2 tbl. peanut butter
1 packet stevia (or two teaspoons regular sugar)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
Shake of ginger
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and liberally grease a small loaf pan. 

In a bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, stevia, baking soda and spices. 

In another bowl, mix pumpkin, flax egg, egg, syrup and peanut butter. 

Add wet to dry and mix thoroughly. 

Add in apple cider vinegar and mix again. 

Pour into loaf pan and smooth out the top. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top springs back and a knife comes out dry and clean. 

Let it cool completely before slicing and removing from pan. Store in the fridge.

Mocha Oatmeal

I took a break away from my computer this weekend when I traveled home for a few days. From Thursday til Monday afternoon, I was laptop less and it was very freeing. While I still had my phone, not wasting time playing around on different sites definitely allowed me to enjoy other things and not worry about what I was missing.

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I’ve mentioned here before that when it comes to food, I am all about volume, especially at breakfast. A few weeks ago, I was perusing a favorite blog, Chocolate Covered Katie, when I remembered she had a volumeous oat trick that I had never tried.

Essentially, you add double the amount of liquid to your oats, cook about halfway, then let them sit overnight to absorb the rest of the liquid. Usually I do this with water for some super fluffy oatmeal but when I was brewing a pot of coffee yesterday afternoon, the idea to throw it into my oats seemed like a good one–and it was. This breakfast is extremely filling and almost tastes like a decadent dessert.

mocha oatmeal

Mocha Oatmeal:

You’ll Need:

1/4 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
A little less than 1/4 cup oat bran (or you could use all oat bran/all oatmeal)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup brewed coffee
1 Tbl. dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 packet stevia
1/2 cup grated zucchini
3 egg whites
1/2 a banana (sliced)

For the topping:
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. peanut flour
Sprinkle of stevia
2-3 teaspoons of coffee (until you can drizzle the sauce)

In a pot, combine the oats, oat bran, coffee and water. Cook on low to medium heat for about 5 minutes or until about half of the liquid is absorbed. Let sit for five minutes, stir, and put into an uncovered bowl in the fridge overnight (or for at least a few hours).

The next morning, put your oatmeal into a pan over medium heat again. There should still be liquid, if not, add a little water (no more than 1/4 cup). Add zucchini, half the sliced banana, cocoa powder and stevia and cook as you would normally, stirring occasionally.

While the oats are cooking, prepare your sauce by mixing peanut flour, cocoa powder, stevia and coffee until it is thin enough to be drizzled.

When almost all of the liquid in the oatmeal is absorbed, pour in egg whites while constantly stirring and stir until they are incorporated. Continue to cook oatmeal, stirring every 20 seconds or so, for another two to three minutes to allow eggs to cook and the remainder of the liquid to be absorbed.

Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Allow it to sit for 1 minute. Add remaining banana slices to the top and drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle with extra peanut flour if desired.

Squash and Pumpkin Chocolate Bread

IMG_1638Two things:

1)I’m the worst bread photographer. It’s officially a lost cause when it comes to making puffy loaves that look cute in their pans and on a backdrop of a table or towel or something. Nope, mine always come out tasty but small. Maybe I should take that as a sign to make the recipe a little bigger?

2) You know how most bread tastes best warm? Well, this tastes great cold. It’s super moist (I know..that word..) so when it’s cold, the texture is just perfect. Bake it, cool it, put it in the fridge and eat it.

Additional note, this is possibly the healthiest bread you’ll eat. Maybe you could find healthier but I mean, it’s low calorie, low carb, low fat and has vegetables AND chocolate. Win.

Squash and Pumpkin Chocolate Bread:

You’ll Need:

1 cup steamed butternut squash
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup regular oats ground into flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 packet stevia
1 tablespoon dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Prepare everything you’ll need for this bread: steam the butternut squash in water and grind the oats into flour. Let squash cool.

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine squash, pumpkin, coconut flour, cocoa powder and stevia in a bowl.

Melt coconut oil and add to a bowl with eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Add liquid bowl to solid bowl and mix. Mix in baking powder and soda.

Grease a small loaf pan and pour batter into pan.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Remove from pan and continue to cool completely.

Eat at room temp or refrigerate, then slice and enjoy! To enjoy as a snack/breakfast, try spreading a piece with peanut butter or making it into a peanut butter sandwich.

Nutrition Per Slice (Serves 10)

43 Calories
6g carbs
2g fat
2g protein
1g sugar

 

Portobello Pizza

I’ve been in a cooking mood lately. Probably because it’s rained every day for the last 3 days and that usually gives off the “stay in the warm house and make things” vibe. 

Let me break something to you: I don’t like pizza. In fact, it is one food I could honestly care less about [*****unless it is mashed potato bacon pizza from a place near me at home. exception to the general rule]. I guess this probably makes me un-American or something (..the irony) but I’m just not a fan. I like the sauce, cheese and toppings part and the crust but I would prefer them separately. Give me some sauce and cheese on a plate with a side of crust, yea, I’d probably enjoy that.

The big portobello mushrooms called to me at the grocery store the other night and the first thing I thought to do with them was make them into pizzas. In my head I figured it could be eaten like one: sliced and bitten in to, I was wrong though. This one needs a knife and a fork. 

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(The first night I put some chicken sausage on top of the mushroom and the second served some chicken up on the side for some protein)

Portobello Pizza (Makes 1):
You’ll Need:
1 portobello mushroom
About 3/4 cup of chopped frozen spinach (could use fresh too)
1/4 cup tomato sauce 
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Protein/Extra toppings of choice–cook ahead of time

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash your portobello and pull out any remaining stem. 

Put in a baking dish (important: juices will run out) and top with spinach, then sauce. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

Remove from oven and top with cheese and your choice of toppings. 

Bake for another 10-5 minutes or until cheese is melty and mushroom is soft.

If you want, sprinkle with your normal pizza toppings, plate it up and enjoy! 

Crazy Creamy Oat Bran

A few years ago, I would have never considered myself an oatmeal person. I wasn’t a fan at.all. My mom always makes them with water which makes them a little sticker and a bit flatter than making them with milk. Now that I like oats, this is okay, but I definitely still love a creamy texture and I’m all about volume. 

I recently discovered oat bran as a breakfast alternative to oatmeal and I am smitten. Not only is it a perfect breakfast because of the slow digesting carbs and a ton of fiber, it’s pretty versatile like oatmeal and is definitely fluffy.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m also a fan of throwing all my foods together in a bowl or on a plate. I don’t know why–I just love everything mixed. So, I’ve been making this breakfast every day for the last two weeks now. It incorporates the carbohydrate (oat bran) with the protein (eggs) and a vegetable (zucchini/pumpkin), a bit of fat (peanut butter) and some dairy (cottage cheese). All the layers of the food pyramid right there (essentially). 

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Crazy Creamy Oat Bran:

You’ll Need:

1 cup water
1/3 cup oat bran
1/3 of a small zucchini peeled and shredded
1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
2 egg whites 
Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice 
1 tbsp. cottage cheese 
1 tbsp. PB2/regular peanut butter/almond butter

To Make: 
Add water, sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to a small pot and boil over medium heat.

Add oat bran and stir until no clumps remain. Add in zucchini and pumpkin and stir to incorporate. 

Stir every few seconds while the mixture cooks.
When the whole thing begins to boil and there is no visible water, stir while pouring in the egg whites. Continue stirring while the egg tries to set and until there is no visible raw egg. 

Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often. 

Remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese. 

Pour into a bowl and top with peanut butter and extra cinnamon if desired. 

Enjoy!