SES-A-YOU, SES-A-ME!

LASDI ©

LASDI©

I think we are all the busiest person we know these days.  I know I am!  I am really trying to get every piece of the Life As She Does It quadrant perpetuated, and sometimes that means no time for a healthy dinner, or no energy for one......or BOTH!  But I have learned from the tragic example of ex-300-pound me that not carving out that time or energy can cost both my hips and my wallet!  The other night after a crazy-busy day, I found we had two tuna steaks in the freezer, some lettuce, cabbage and onion, and some sesame seeds in the spice cabinet.  This dinner litch-rah-lee took five minutes to make, was inexpensive, healthy, delicious, and SHEtox Week Two-friendly!

SESAME TUNA OVER ASIAN SLAW SALAD

4 tbs coconut oil

2 tuna steaks

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp coriander

2 cups toasted sesame seeds (for color: 1 cup black, 1 cup regular)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/2 cup toasted sesame oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 head lettuce, shredded

1/2 head cabbage

1/2 onion, slice fine

1/2 cucumber, sliced

4 radishes, sliced fine

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy skillet (I use my cast-iron skillet, of course!) on medium-high heat.  While it is heating, mix sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, coriander, and sesame seeds in a small bowl.  Roll your tuna steak (see notes) in the spice and sesame seed mixture until all sides are coated and press down into the steak with your fingers.  Place the coated tuna steaks carefully into heated oil and cook for 45 seconds before turning and heating on the other side for 45 seconds (see notes).  With tongs, carefully stand up the steaks on it's perimeter and sear for five seconds on each side, and remove from heat.  Place on a cooling rack or paper towel.  Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sea salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl ans whisk for about 45 seconds.  Add the vegetables to the bowl and stir.  Serve on a plate with the tuna on top.  Delicious, fast, and inexpensive!  (Ses-a-ME!!)

NOTES: If your tuna is frozen, as mine was, run the water from your faucet until it gets warm, almost hot and put in a bowl.  Place your tuna steaks in the bowl for about a minute or two and they will be ready to roll in your sesame seeds and seasonings to sear!  If you like your tuna somewhat rare, the recipe above is good.  If you like your tuna a little more medium, sear for one minute on each side.  Like it cooked through?  Cook for one minute, fifteen seconds on each side.  It will still be fantastic!  Trust-a-me!

YES, PEAS!

SHE2016

SHE2016

I LOVE the part of the Life As She Does It quadrant that allows me to cook for people.  It truly is a joy for me.  This catering job was for my home church and was a lot of fun to set up for, too.  The May menus to choose from included Kentucky Derby (of course!) and that is what they chose!  The menu was made up of Kentucky Bourbon Chicken, Muddy Mash,  Southern Greens, a Mint Julep Pea Salad, Honey Biscuits, and Pecan Pie for dessert.  WOW!  Well, believe it or not, everyone went WILD for the pea salad (said no one ever!!).  They really loved it and asked me about it for days afterwards.  And even if you don't typically care for peas, trust me when I say you should VERY MUCH still try this at home!  It's also perfect for the Spring-time warmer weather!

MINT JULEP PEA SALAD

1 bag frozen peas, thawed and drained

1 small pkg Spring mix greens, chopped fine

3 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded

4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped roughly

1/2 cup mint, diced fine

1 cup sour cream

2 tbs milk

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

The ease of these peas is CRAZY!!  Watch this: Mix all ingredients.  Serve.  BOOM

NOTES:  I use organic ingredients, but I think as far as flavor for this recipe it is not absolutely necessary.  I do notice the texture of organic sour cream is different from that of the regular.  I also notice an empty bowl every single time I make this!!

 

 

HAM IT UP!!

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

This was a Christmas catering job, and it was so much fun!  The menu was magical, and not only perfect for the season, but great for the cooling winter months!  There was Shiner Bock beer bread with sweet honey-cream butter, bacon-wrapped green bean almandine stacks, a honkin-huge bowl of salad with honey mustard vinaigrette, sweet potato casserole with home-made marshmallows melted on top,  red velvet stack cakes, and the most gorgeous ham with orange-balsamic-honey-mustard-and-clove glaze.  And that, Ladies & Gents, is the recipe that follows!

ORANGE BALSAMIC HONEY MUSTARD & CLOVE GLAZE

juice and zest of a large orange

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 cup honey

2 tbs ground clove

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Baste ham as it bakes, and pour remaining glaze over the ham as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Let rest.

NOTES: I used organic aged balsamic and orange blossom honey, but I'm certain any variation on this recipe with similar ingredients would taste just as amahz!!

TASTES LIKE CHICKEN

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

I am so grateful to have a partner in life that doesn't ever turn up his nose at anything I cook and put in front of him to eat (even though sometimes he REALLY wants to!).  He never even batted an eyelash when I announced a few years ago we were going to start Meatless Mondays (even though he REALLY wanted to!).  So I do my best to make those nights as chock-full of flavor as possible.  The great thing about tofu is that it is a flavor absorber! So this particular night I went with pan-seared tofu, heavily seasoned to where it really tasted like chicken!  Pair that with a beautiful warm Lima bean salad and some creamy greens and you won't even believe yourself how good this meal is!  Meatless Monday for the win!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

SEASONED SEARED TOFU

1 block organic tofu, extra firm, sliced about 1/2-inch thick

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

Mix all the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over both sides of each tofu slice.  Heat evoo in a heavy pan on medium for about a minute-and-a-half.  Cook each slice for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and desired consistency is reached.  Serve with whatever your heart desires.  (But I'd go for the warm Lima bean salad recipe below if I were you!)

NOTES: Using organic tofu keeps your conscience clear about not allowing GMOs into your diet.  Do not overcrowd your pan or else you will not get a good sear on the tofu.  Too many pieces will steam it instead.  I did 4 at a time.  Serve with anything you like, but if I were you, I'd go with the warm Lima bean salad recipe below!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

WARM LIMA BEAN SALAD

1 bag frozen Lima beans, thawed

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

sea salt

pepper

1 cup parsley, chopped coarsely

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

juice of one lemon

In a pot, sprinkle enough evoo to cover about half of the bottom and heat on medium for about a minute-and-a-half.  Add the Lima beans and let them brown well before stirring.  Continue to cook, only stirring after the Lima beans have browned well and are cooked through, about ten minutes.  Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.  Add parsley, feta, and lemon juice.  Mix well.  This is truly INCREDIBLE STUFF, even if you are not a Lima bean fan.  

NOTES:  Just for a pretty plate, I mixed power greens (usually raw spinach, kale, etc.) with some mayo, sea salt and pepper and added it to the plate.  But the tofu and Lima beans on their own is pretty hearty!  This meal is high in fiber and low in carbs!  HUGE IN FLAVOR!!

Left Chop

chipotleturkeychop

I was at my local grocery store that happens to carry whole-and-natural foods, and found the most beautiful turkey chops (which actually taste just like pork chops if cooked correctly) so I bought them.  When I got home, I saw I had leftovers that would make this meal something GRAND.  Check this out:  I had leftover roasted potatoes from dinner the night before, leftover unused red cabbage from salad that week , leftover onion and cilantro from a meal train meal, leftover chipotle in adobo sauce from fish tacos, and leftover cream sauce I made for the fish tacos as well.  Woo!  That's a-lotta-leftovers!!  But it was such a beautiful meal no one ever would have known......except I'm sharing the secret with you!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

SEARED TURKEY CHOPS WITH ADOBO CREAM SAUCE

one package turkey chops

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

sea salt 

pepper

1/2 cup home-made cream sauce from fish tacos (or ranch dressing or sour cream with some seasoning)

2 chipotle in adobo peppers, chopped, with sauce

1 tbs butter

Sprinkle a pan (I use my cast-iron skillet, of course!) with enough evoo to cover the bottom and heat on medium heat for one minute.  Meanwhile, sprinkle the chops with sea salt and pepper on both sides.  Cook in pan for five minutes on both sides.  Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

While chops are resting, in the same pan the chops were cooked in and on medium heat,  add chopped adobo peppers and adobo sauce and cook about two minutes.  Add cream sauce and cook another two minutes until creamy and cooked through.  Add butter to smooth.  Turn off heat and let butter melt.  POUR OVER CHOPS AND BE PREPARED FOR HEAVEN IN YER MOUTH!!

NOTES: For less heat, use one pepper or just the sauce.  I just cannot STAND leftovers and couldn't let those two peppers go to waste!  It was perfect heat for us, but could be too much for others.  If so, add a little cream or more cream sauce.  Serve on top of the leftover roasted potatoes to make it magical.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

MEXICAN CABBAGE

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

red cabbage, sliced chunky

leftover onion, chopped (about one onion)

leftover cilantro, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

sea salt

pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

In a heavy pan, sprinkle enough evoo to cover the bottom of the pan and heat on medium heat for one minute  Add remaining ingredients and cook for about five-to-ten minutes, or to desired consistency.  

NOTES: Serve alongside chipotle chops and leftover roasted potatoes for an amazing experience.  TRUST ME.

 

 

Creamy Dreamy (Leftovers?)

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

I had leftover pasta from sausage ragu night.  I had leftover roasted chicken from Sunday Supper.  I had leftover salad I had used as a side.  I loathe waste so I can't throw it all away!  What's a girl to do?  Simple!  Throw it all into a bowl and smother it in a creamy, dreamy sauce and give it a name everyone is familiar with, like Pasta Chicken Salad, and voila!    No more leftovers!

CREAMY PASTA CHICKEN SALAD

leftover pasta (or just make some!)

leftover roasted chicken, de-boned and shredded (or some store-bought rotisserie)

leftover salad, consisting of spinach, lettuce, carrots, celery, green onion and cucumber (or cut up these veggies or any veggies you like!)

Toss this all together in a bowl.  Await dressing.

CREAMY DREAMY DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup milk

1 tbs prepared horse radish

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

sea salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

slight squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Put all ingredients into a jar with lid and shake or place in a bowl and whip with a whisk.  Pour over pasta chicken salad and eat.  Close your eyes, let out a slight moan of deliciousness.  Repeat.

NOTES: Carb-free or low-carb?  Prepare the chicken and salad with dressing first and set some aside.   Add pasta for everyone else and mix!

 

 

Chunky Monkey & Stroganoff

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

The Hubster and I had a very rare 'spare' night; meaning we had a weekend night all to ourselves.  So we got a dollar-rent-a-movie, and I, without wanting to go grocery shopping (that would take up our free night!), I made an easy dinner with whatever I had in the house.  So with a box of organic pasta, some sour cream and a package of ground turkey I made some stroganoff in the crockpot while we went all-out leisurely.  Since there was absolutely no lettuce in the house (HIGHLY unusual) I made a salad with what veggies I did have.  Turned out to be a chunky salad(ish) with my own monkey dressing (I called it that because I use a little coconut water to make it, which makes me think of a monkey in a tree......plus it rhymes with chunky!)  Needless to say, everything (including the rare-spare evening) was delicious!  Life.  is good.

CHUNKY MONKEY SALAD

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks

2 celery stalks, cut into bite-sized chunks

10 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

 8 radish, quartered or halved

1/2 onion, chopped coarsely

Load all ingredients into a bowl and cover with monkey dressing!  That's IT!

NOTES: I used some yellow heirloom grape tomatoes that were aching to be-used-or-go-bad.  They were a perfect complement to the crunchier veggies.

CHUNKY MONKEY DRESSING

1 cup mayo

1/4 cup coconut milk (more if you want it thinner)

1 sprig thyme

sea salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

Put all ingredients in a jar or a container with a lid.  Shake, shake shake!  Pour over your salad!

NOTES: FANTASTIC for summer!

CROCKPOT STROGANOFF

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

1 pkg ground turkey

extra virgin olive oil

1 can (or organic box) cream of mushroom soup

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 tbs Italian seasoning

sea salt 

pepper

Sprinkle enough evoo to cover bottom of crockpot.  Put all ingredients in crockpot and stir.  Put on high heat, about four hours.  If you are home, stir from time-to-time, if not, be sure to break it all up and stir prior to serving.  Serve over pasta.  Garnish with parsley, if desired.

NOTES:  I don't use the cream of mushroom soup in a can because I really do think it affects the flavor.  I use organic boxed cream of mushroom soup, which you can find in the natural section of your regular grocery store.  You can replace the ground turkey with beef, if you want, but omit evoo if you do.  I used a box of organic rotini, but since I'm low-carb and the kids are no longer living at home, I only used a little for Adrian.  So be on the lookout for the leftovers to resurface!

Love Stack!

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

I love food.   And there are some foods that bring back sweet memories for me.  A beautiful antipasto is one of them.  (Yes, I just described an antipasto as 'beautiful')  The array of Italian meats and cheeses, the colorful tomatoes, carrots, and zucchini, the tangy marinated artichoke hearts and pop of garbanzo beans that add texture to the tray?  Oh, yes, My Friends.  SWEET MEMORIES.  Well, I wanted to try something a little different; something easy with less fuss, and something that would taste like that beautiful memory, while creating a new one.  THIS??  This is GENIUS.  It has all the antipasto flavors, resembles a lasagna, and tastes like a slice of heaven.

ANTIPASTO SALAD STACK

1/4 pound sliced salami

2 carrots, ribboned

1/2 head Romaine lettuce, shredded into ribbon-like pieces

1/4 pound smoked provolone cheese

1/2 container grape tomatoes, quartered

1 large zucchini, ribboned

1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, juice/oil reserved for dressing

home-made balsamic (or your favorite store brand)

1/4 pound sandwich-sized pepperoni

1 jar garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

1/4 pound sliced mozzarella cheese

FOR DRESSING:

1 cup mayonnaise

juice/oil reserved from jar of artichoke hearts

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

parsley, chopped, for garnish

In a square baking pan, layer salami, carrot ribbons, and Romaine ribbons,  On top of that, layer the provolone cheese grape tomatoes, zucchini ribbons, and artichoke hearts.  With a light hand, barely drizzle the balsamic dressing over this layer.  It is now time to layer the pepperoni, garbanzo beans, and red onion (see notes).  For the final layer, place your mozzarella cheese on the top, and then gently-but-firmly press down on the entire salad stack.  Cover with foil or non-stick cling wrap and place in the fridge.  At this point, you will need something heavy to place on top - I used my gallon of milk, which fit perfectly into the square pan.  Let this sit for at LEAST an hour.  Meanwhile, mix your dressing ingredients and refrigerate as well.  When ready, slice CAREFULLY into squares - oh-so-carefully so as not to disturb the meat layers and have them slide around.  Take your spatula and plate one of those beauties.  Pour your dressing on top and garnish with the parsley.  A knife and a fork helped me put each bite into my mouth while keeping the layers in tact.  And oh!  The MEMORIES!

NOTES:  You can substitute any deli meat and cheese you like, as well as the veggies.  TOTALLY replaceable with whatever you like!  It's also low-carb for those of you that care about that part.  They key here is the stacking and pressing.  Also, my Aunt Frannie said if you are one of those people that don't like the bite in the red onion and want to take it out, soak it in cold water for ten minutes after slicing.  

Want to see how easy this was in real-time?  Click HERE to see!