CHIM-CHIM-CHURRI

LASDI© (photo cred: Adrian Garcia)

LASDI© (photo cred: Adrian Garcia)

Sunday evenings are usually reserved at Garcia Manor. Not always, but we really try to make them our ‘sanctuary’ nights. That can mean hunkering down and resting from the previous week, being productive to get ready for the upcoming week, movie night, catch-up-on-our-shows night, Sunday Supper with pomp-and-circumstance, leftovers on paper plates – any and all of that is acceptable! Most times it means reward night for me! Being the low-carb girl and as-healthy-as-I-can girl when it comes to food, I like to reward myself with something I wouldn’t normally eat. I don’t believe in “cheat days”. Think about it. If you went to your partner and told them you cheated, how do you think they would react? But if you went to them and said, “You’ve been so good to me. I’d like to reward you today!”, don’t you think you would get a completely different reaction? That’s how I feel about my relationship with food and my body. I do the best I can by it, and so sometimes I reward myself with something special!

This reward was on a Sunday evening, so it was the best of two worlds! I don’t eat red meat a lot, but I luh-huh-huuuuv it. I went with a Latin Fusion and made flank steak (grilled, so it was perfect for this hot Texas June summer!), squashed red potatoes, and baked plantains. But let me tell you about the best piece to this reward puzzle: home-made CHIMICHURRI SAUCE! It. Was. MAGICAL!!!!

It made perfect sense to me that the name of it sounded very similar to the song Mary Poppins sings in the magical movie!

Chim chiminey

Chim chiminey

Chim chim cher-ee!

A sweep is as lucky

As lucky can be

Well, it was a full sweep for me, and I was definitely the lucky one!

The magnificence of this condiment is that it not only tastes great on steak or potatoes or with baked plantains, it goes with EVERYTHING. Eggs, shrimp, chicken……the list goes on and on!

So, She-Peeps – REWARD YOURSELVES. May it be ever magical.

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

1 cup parsley

1 cup cilantro

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

1 full bulb of garlic (Yep. The whole thing)

½ onion

½ cup fresh oregano

½ tsp sea salt

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

Put all ingredients into a blender and jush! That’s it! Add more red wine vinegar or evoo as needed, or if it seems a tad too dry as you’re blending. But only a little at a time! Remember: you can always add, but you can’t take away!

I don’t think there will be any, but you can keep any leftovers in a tight-seal container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it in some ice cube trays to just pop them out when needed!!

LIFE'S A BEACH

LASDI©

LASDI©

This particular catering gig was in June, so being the Themer-Girl I am, it only made sense that the summer menu was called Beach Party Roast.  It consisted of roasted salmon, roasted mini-sweet peppers loaded with green onion, cream cheese, and shredded cheddar, roasted asparagus, roasted beach bread, and sandy beach parfaits that I found a recipe for from a Texas-girl blogger.  With all of that yumminess, the peppers got quite a bit of attention.  I had the opportunity to pop a few in my mouth, and could completely see why they were so addictive!  Plus they're easy to make and low-carb!!  Shout out to The Daughts for the cute-and-appropriate title to this post!

MINI SWEET PEPPER POPPERS

1 bag tri-colored mini sweet peppers (about 20) seeded, and cut lengthwise

1 block cream cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 bunch green onion, sliced thin (both green and white ends)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

Combine cream cheese, shredded cheddar, green onion, sea salt and pepper in a bowl.  Microwave for 15 seconds.  Mix well with a spoon and let stand about a minute or two.  Scoop a mound of cheese mixture into each pepper and press into pepper, careful not to over-mound so your cheese doesn't leak out during cooking.  Refrigerate for about an hour.  Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake peppers for 20 minutes; switch oven to broiler and broil peppers until cheese is brown and bubbly - about five minutes.  Let rest five minutes before serving, then pop a few in your mouth before putting them on the table because they go quick!!

NOTES: These are great for your Vegetarian Friends.  For you Meat Eaters, and for extra flavor, you can crumble some bacon into the cheese mixture, or just about anything you like!  I know an entire bunch of green onion seems like a lot, but it really lends an herbaceous, chivey taste to these loves.  For July, and some added heat, I use jalapenos in place of the sweet peppers for hot pepper poppers!  These are great served warm or room temperature and make a great side or appetizer.  

Mellow Yellow

LASDI  ©

LASDI©

So there I was, staring at another piece of fish and wondering how in the WORLD I was going to put it on a plate with  a little variety.  I considered my obsessive compulsivité with colors and months and wondered if I could fit in that it was August and that means yellow.  I looked in the fridge for whatever veggies I might have to help out, and lo-and-behold!  I found yellow squash, yellow bell peppers, and lemons!  I made lemon-thyme cod, sauteed peppers and onions, and yellow squash moots-a-rell au gratin.  This was going to be fun AND delicious to cook AND eat!  This is totally Week Three-friendly for the Detox & Cleanse, low-carb for all you low-carbers, and delicious for all you EVERYONES!!  

YELLOW SQUASH MOOTS-A-RELL AU GRATIN

4 yellow squash, sliced about 1/2 inch thick

1 can rotel

1- 8 oz pkg mozzarella cheese

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs white pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

Place one even layer of squash in a prepared 9x13 baking pan, sprinkle with half the can of rotel, mozzarella cheese, sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Place the rest of the squash in a layer over the first layer, then repeat with the other half of the rotel, seasonings, and cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly on top.

 

BURGER, SHE WROTE

LASDI ©

LASDI©

It is no secret I am a Low-Carb Girl.  But I am only human.  And I have needs, too!!  And sometimes, I just NEEDS a bun for my turkey burger!!  I saw a ton of videos going around for grilled cheese made with cauliflower "bread".  I thought perhaps I could do something similar for a burger.  And let me just tell YOU!!  It.  Was.  EPIC.  Granted, it was not as bun-y as regular bread, but it did the trick!  It satiated a craving, and it tasted great!  I put some smashed avocado on it, then the turkey burger, some home-made spiced mayo, and roasted jalapenos.  My mouth is watering just THINKING about it!!  Oh yea......for all you SHEtoxers, this is Week Three-friendly!!

CAULIFLOWER BURGER BUN

2 cups raw cauliflower

2 tbs almond flour

2 tbs coconut flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbs toasted sesame seeds (I used black for color)

2 eggs

Pulse cauliflower in food processor until fine, and mix all the ingredients together.  Place a cookie cutter or other "shaper"  on parchment paper placed on a baking sheet and put your cauliflower mix into it to desired thickness.  Bake at 400 degrees for about ten minutes, flip it and cook for another ten minutes.  Transfer it onto a hot, dry pan (I used my cast-iron skillet, of course!) or grill, and cook for a few minutes on each side to make it firmer and more pliable.  I made mine an open-faced turkey burger, but feel free to use a top AND a bottom!!  Scandalous!!

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!

NO TEARS HERE!

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I mostly make onion soup in the fall and winter, with plops of brie, and drops of toasted home-made bread.  But with the “She-tox Detox” everywhere I look right now, and Spring moving to Summer, it was time to lighten it up and make it inside-out Cleanse-Friendly.  So I made it with vodka instead of Winter-rich brandy (you can use veggie broth instead, Cleansers!), used a bright seasoning, and made the onions translucent instead of deeply caramelized.  It was unbelievably delicious and ridiculously EASY!!  Paired with a simple salad of Romaine and cucs with home-made lemon-poppy-seed (heavy on the poppy-seed for me, if you please!) dressing, there were no tears involved from THESE onions!

SPRING-TO-SUMMER ONION SOUP       

4 medium purple onion, cut in half and sliced thinly

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pepper

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs herbes de provence

½ cup vodka

1 ½ boxes vegetable broth

Sprinkle enough evoo in a heavy soup pot to cover the bottom.  Heat on medium for about a minute or so and then add onion.  Cook on medium heat for about two minutes and add all seasoning.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent, about five more minutes.  Add the vodka a little at a time, letting it evaporate into the onion each time before adding more until vodka is gone and onion has absorbed all of it.  Add vegetable broth and turn heat to low.  Let simmer fifteen minutes and EAT!!

NOTES:  This is Meatless Monday friendly, too!  If you are on Week One or Two of the “She-tox” Detox, omit vodka and simply use a shot of the veggie broth instead.  The flavor profile changes a bit, but worth it while you cleanse.  This recipe is perfect for Week Three!  Interested in this Cleanse & Detox?  Message me!  Want to help the Texas Flood Victims but not sure how?  Message me!  Want to make some variation suggestions for the recipe?  Message me!!  I love all feedback, and love you She-Peeps!!

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

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!!

RAGU 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.

Like most of America, I love spaghetti and "the sawse".  But sometimes I like to put my own spin on things because I get all hum-drummed out.  So I made some ragu with ground turkey and for The Hubster, used some organic rotini pasta, and tofu shirataki noodles for me, being the Low-Carb Girl that I am.  Add some fresh basil and you've got a beautiful meal that tastes authentic Italian......and DELICIOSO!

GROUND TURKEY RAGU

1 pkg ground turkey

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

sea salt

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs ground sage

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cans tomato paste

1 small can diced tomatoes

2 tbs fresh oregano

6 basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade

shredded mozzarella or Parmesan, for garnish

In a heavy pot, sprinkle enough evoo to cover about 1/2 of the bottom and heat on medium heat for about a minute  Add ground turkey, and add all seasoning, onion, and garlic.  Brown the turkey, using a wooden spoon or silicone spoonula to break it up as it cooks.  Once it is cooked through, bring to low heat, and add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and oregano.  Cook on low for about ten minutes or until heated through.  Serve over pasta of your choice and sprinkle with fresh basil chiffonade.  Add cheese of your choice and mangia!

NOTES: When cooking the ground turkey, be careful not to stir too much or break it up until it starts to cook or it can get tough and dry.  I suggest using a wooden or silicone utensil to break it up so you don't scratch or scrape up your pot  Do not sprinkle with the chiffonade (rolled up and sliced fine) until the end, or it could turn black instead of looking and tasting fresh.  This is a great meal for the end of summer because it just tastes so fresh.