Clean Eats, Recipes

Asian Style Stir Fry w/ Simple Homemade Peanut Sauce

I am a big fan of stir-fry since you can add any veggies you have on hand to a skillet, add a protein, a sauce and ‘wa-la’, you have a meal! Now, sure you can buy plenty of off-the-shelf peanut sauces, but I find that when I end up buying one, using it once and then I don’t get around to using it for a while. Months later find it in the depths of my fridge and end up tossing it – what a waste. I hate wasting food. So, I started making my own since I almost always have the ingredients on hand that I need to whip up my own simple peanut sauce and with way fewer additives and for a lot less money too! Plus, I can use high quality nut butter, or sub in almond butter if I need to keep it peanut free for allergy concerns. People always rave about this one and I can’t tell you how simple and healthy this is! Plus, if you happened to just make the crock pot roasted chicken, this is a great same-week meal to use up some of that chicken you have on hand.

THE WHAT:
STIR-FRY INGREDIENTS
½ box rice noodles (I prefer brown rice, but regular will do just as well)
4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Coconut Oil
garlic powder, sea salt & pepper
Small white or yellow onion - chopped
4-5 med sized carrots – sliced (slice all about the same size so they finish cooking
at the same rate)
1 yellow or red bell pepper - chopped
1-2 cups chopped mushrooms (white button or baby bella)
2 handfuls of rough chopped spinach or kale
1 Tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 clove finely chopped garlic

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
Fresh cilantro
Chopped peanuts

SIMPLE PEANUT SAUCE
In small bowl, whisk together the following
2 heaping Tablespoon peanut butter (almond butter could work too)
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
5 Tablespoons water (basically add water as you whisk to desired thickness)

THE HOW: 

  1. Fill a large pot with water and add 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the water – bring to a boil
  2. Rub the boneless skinless chicken thighs with EVOO
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder, sea salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Grill chicken thighs approximately 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through and they are not pink inside – Don’t overcook and dry it out
    • Alternatively, you could sauté the chicken in a skillet
  5. After letting chicken rest a few minutes, slice chicken and set aside.
  6. In a skillet or wok, add approx 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil or EVOO and sauté chopped onions over medium heat until translucent (3 mins)
  7. Add the sliced carrots and cook 2-3 minutes.
  8. Cook the rice noodles for 4 minutes (or per package instructions).
  9. Add the chopped bell pepper and baby Bella mushrooms along with the ginger and garlic and cook another 4-6 mins (until the peppers are cooked but still crunchy)
  10. When all is cooked, add the chicken and chopped greens and sauté until greens are wilted.
  11. Add your cooked noodles to the wok with cooked veggies and chicken.
    NOTE: You could also throw this mixture over rice if you don’t have any noodles on hand.
  12. Pour the peanut sauce over the mixture in wok and toss all together. Add a little water if its too thick, or let it simmer for a couple of minutes on low to thicken it up to your liking.
    Optional: Top with chopped cilantro and rough chopped peanuts
    Optional: Top with 1-2 scrambled eggs (cooked separately) prior to servingServes 4
    ENJOYAsian Stir Fry_Peanut Sauce BLOG
Random Thoughts

Clean Cleanse

Brown rice quesadilla with ground bison chard, mushrooms and Daiya "cheese" w/ guac
Clean Lunch – Brown rice quesadilla with ground bison, chard, mushrooms and Daiya “cheese” w/ guac.

If it seems like have be neglecting my blog lately, well your right, I have! I’ve decided to embark on a 21 day cleanse called the Clean Cleanse. (cleanprogram.com) and this has taken all of my extra time and energy. Time because I am preparing 99% of everything I put in my (and my husbands) bodies. And energy b/c this cleanse has really drained me this time around. I think I had/have a lot of toxins to flush and I also have had trouble making time to sleep longer.

I did this cleanse a few years ago and really liked the results and felt like it was a program I could stick with. I tried a juice cleanse once and thought I was going to starve to death or choke someone! I made it 1.5 days though a 3 day juice cleanse. I hate not finishing something, so this really bothered me. However, on the Clean Cleanse, your eliminating all of the potential allergenic foods (diary, gluten, soy, corn, eggs…along with sugar, caffeine, and alcohol). You have a smoothie or soup breakfast and dinner (with a 12 hour fasting window in between) but you can eat a solid lunch meal and solid “clean” snacks. This allows the body to detox and reduces inflammation in the body. In essence, you are letting the digestive system rest/recover. I stuck with it for 21 straight days the last time and never felt better! I slept great, my energy was awesome (after an adjustment period), and I felt lighter and lost those few extra pesky pounds my body wanted to hang on to. My husband did it with me and I think the effects were ever stronger on him. He even had an acute case of eczema disappear after trying prescription strength creams for weeks.

So, I’m 2 weeks in right now and this time around has been very different for me. One, is my low energy, but that is mostly due to lack of sleep. See, now I have a toddler and he gets me up around 5am. I find it difficult to get to bed earlier than 10pm, but that’s really what I need to be doing. Also, I got swollen lymph nodes in my armpit and behind my left ear. It’s not uncommon for me to have swelling in the one behind my ear when I’m fighting something off. But the armpit one is really annoying. I’m going tonight to try a lymphatic massage to try to drain them. I hope it works. I’ve read that this is common during a cleanse as toxins try to find their way out of the body. On a good note, I’ve dropped 5 pounds and feel lighter and my body feels more supple. I feel good when running (for the first time in a long time) and more flexible when doing yoga. That part of it has been great.

Anyway. Just checking in with anyone who reads this and I’ll be back soon. Hopefully I can make it another week and then get back to posting some good recipe ideas when I have more time.

-Jamie

As a side note. I dont work for The Clean Program and I’m in no way affiliated with them. The views above are only from my personal experience.
Clean Eats, Recipes

Guilt-Free Banana Coconut Blender Ice cream

banana ice cream (2)Healthy yet creamy ice cream doesn’t get any easier than this! Being lactose intolerant can be a terrible thing when an ice cream craving comes on. Now, I’m a BIG fan of store bought coconut milk ice creams, but they are typically loaded with sugar. Plus, they cost a small fortune. I’ve seen a few recipes on frozen banana blender ice cream and made a few tweaks, some experimental runs (no one complained about the first couple batches, but I wanted to find just the right consistency). I think I’ve found a mix that really works. This is best done in a high speed mixer, but I’m thinking that maybe you could let the frozen bananas soften a bit and then do this in a regular blender and just let it set up in the freezer a little longer. If someone gives that a try, please let me know how it went!banana ice cream (3)

Lately, with all of my experimentation, I’ve been buying an extra bunch of bananas (or two if Im at Costco) and letting them get super ripe before throwing them in the freezer (fully intact peal and all). Leaving them in the peal prevents freezer burn. When you are ready for them, just use a paring knife and peal the skin off of the frozen banana. Then, I usually cut them into thirds before throwing them in the Vitamix. You WILL need your tamper for this if blending them fully frozen.

Add the coconut cream, coconut milk, blend until smooth and DONE. Really, that’s it! Eat it directly, or let it set up 20 mins – 1 hr in the freezer and then top and serve. I like the consistency a little better after it sets up a while.
A quick note on canned coconut milks…they are not all created equal. I really like the quality of the Native Forest brand. It has a good amount of super thick cream on top and tastes great. There are other great brands out there- just make sure you find one with a super thick cream on the top of the can or your ice cream will end up runny.

Talk about guilt free, its like eating a banana and drinking some coconut milk! No added sugar and only 2 ingredients! And from the taste, no one would even know.

INGREDIENTS: 
 3 frozen bananas (pealed)
 1/2 heaping cup coconut cream (thick cream from the top of a full fat/original can of coconut milk
 1/4 cup of the milk (sometimes looks watery) from the bottom of the can of full fat/original can of coconut milk
TOPPING IDEAS:
 Fresh sliced strawberries
 cashew meal
 shredded coconut
 candied pecans (if your really feeling decadent)
 a good quality dark chocolate shredded over
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender with a tamper
  2. Transfer to glass bowl
  3. Chill in freezer for 20 minutes – 1 hour (or enjoy right away)
  4. Scoop into serving bowls, add desired toppings and ENJOY!

Serves 4

Clean Eats, Recipes

Clean Energy Rice Bowl

Clean Energy Rice Bowl_blog Ok. I know I promised to post more recipes of last weeks meals, but I had a friend request this one. I threw this together one day when she was meeting me to go for a bike ride but hadn’t eaten lunch and was going to stop for fast food somewhere! What?! Fast food?! Don’t do it I said! I had leftovers from my lunch and so I threw this together for her. Apparently this super easy bowl was a big hit. For dinner this week, I grilled some tuna steaks to go with it, but the tuna is totally optional. The hard boiled egg really adds all of the protein you would need. If you are vegan (or just not an egg eater), you could easily substitute with some lentils or garbanzo beans for your protein.

I’ve read a fair amount on soaking grains before use to aid in digestion. I usually soak it 24 hours, but anything helps. Soaking rice and then rinsing can also remove some of the arsenic from your rice as most rice tends to have a fair amount of arsenic. I personally feel like it helps with my digestion, though it tends to make the rice a bit more sticky and less fluffy, which doesn’t bother me. I also try to use homemade bone broth to cook my rice in. Bone broth is one of the best ways to get calcium and other essential minerals through your food (Ill share how I make bone broth in another post). Some folks even say it helps with their joint pains. But whether you believe that or not, it certainty makes your rice taste amazing!

INGREDIENTS: 
 2 cups brown rice (soaked if you have time)
 4 cups bone broth (optional to cook rice with)
 1 large tuna steak (or 2 small)
 2 cups fresh or frozen organic broccoli 
 1 avocado
 2 eggs
 1/3 cup cilantro (approx 1 handful of leaves)

FOR THE LIME VINAIGRETTE:
 1 lime, juiced
 1 teaspoon agave nectar syrup (more if you like it sweeter)
 3 Tablespoons EVOO
 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  1. Soak rice up to 24 hours.
  2. Strain water of of rice and rinse thoroughly.
  3. Cook 1 part rice to 2 parts liquid using bone broth, store bought broth, or just water. Brown rice usually takes approx 25-30 minutes after soaking.
  4. Whisk together all ingredients for the lime vinaigrette in a small bowl.
  5. Brush the vinaigrette over the tuna steaks and allow to sit while the rice is cooking. You could also marinate them over night if you plan ahead.
  6. Make your hard boiled eggs –
    • Place 2 eggs in a pot and cover with cold water.
    • Place on medium heat, allow them to come to a rolling boil, place a fitted lid on the pot and turn off heat.
    • Allow to sit for 12 minutes (could do 1-2 mins less for a softer yolk)
    • Rinse under cold water, then fill pot with ice water.
    • Once cool, peal eggs and slice.
  7. Cook your broccoli –
    • In small pot bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and add the 2 cups of frozen broccoli & cover with lid.
    • Cook frozen broccoli 3-4 minutes until warmed through.
    • Fresh broccoli should take less time, about 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to over cook.
  8. Cube up the avocado.
  9. Finely chop the cilantro.
  10. Heat up your grill or a saute pan.
  11. Cook your tuna steaks 3 minutes per side. You want them medium rare.
  12. Allow steaks to rest 5 minutes and then flake apart meat.
When rice is ready, create your bowl(s).
For each bowl layer the following: 
* Place 1/2 - 3/4 cups brown rice in the bottom.
* Add 3/4 - 1 cup broccoli
* Add sliced hard boiled egg
* Add avocado
* Add flaked tuna steak meat
* Sprinkle with cilantro
* Drizzle with lime vinaigrette

I usually make an extra large batch of rice for the week and use it all week long. I’ve been on a rice bowl kick lately – my new thing is burger bowls. Such a healthy way to enjoy a burger. Plus burgers store and freeze well, so it makes for a quick meal if you have a few extra cooked burgers in the freezer. I just thaw a burger throw it over my extra rice from the fridge, and just cook some fresh veggies to go with. Easy.

ENJOY!
Serves 2

Clean Eats, Recipes

Crock Pot Whole Roasted Chicken

In my previous post, I promised a simple crock pot roasted whole chicken. I had made a Costco run and grabbed two organic whole chickens (you have to buy two at Costco). So, I froze one, and used one to make the recipe below. It doesn’t get any easier than this. I always set it all up in the crock pot the night before, put the lid on and throw it in the fridge. In the morning, there is always just too much to do to get out the door on time. I like just pulling it out of the fridge, sitting the crock in the basin and turning it on low before leaving for work. Of course, this is also a great way to cut down dinner prep on a busy weekend. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of this one. It was a super busy weeknight. Ill add one later when I make this again, which will be soon!

INGREDIENTS: 
 1 whole chicken (I prefer organic)
 1/2 cup water
 2 teaspoons dried French thyme
 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced garlic)
 2-3 teaspoons ground sea salt
 1 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Unwrap the chicken and remove any giblets from the cavity (freeze or refrigerate these  these to make bone broth)
  2. Rinse off the chicken and place breast-side down in the crock pot.
  3. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the crock pot
  4. Sprinkle the thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper over the chicken
  5.  Put on the lid and cook on low for 10-12 hours (Im sure it would be done in 8 hours, but I just let mine go until I get home from work)

When ready, carefully pull the cooked bird out of crock and place on large plate or platter. Clean all of the meat off the bone and save the carcass for bone broth.

There are so many options on how to serve this! One of my favorites is over a salad. I love making a “kitchen sink” salad with whatever I have on hand. Throw some roasted chicken over it and dinner is served!

If you are single or have a small family, this chicken would freeze well to save for another time.

ENJOY!
Serves 6-8