Friday, May 22, 2015

A Little Catch Up, Some Inspiration and A New Recipe: Sesame Cashew Chicken with Curried Cauliflower Soup and Raita

Green Girl Goodies LLC, May 2015

After a year of no posting, I find it quite ironic that I am posting another Indian-inspired recipe!  It has been a long hiatus but I hope that this time I am truly able to stay up with my weekly recipe sharing.

I just wrapped up an amazing cleanse called “The Ultimate Reset” by Team Beachbody.  The reset is a 21 day program with supplements, a full recipe guide and coach support and it really lived up to all it promised.  The program helped me gain energy and motivation, not only to stick to a more healthy diet, but also to take charge in my life and to truly pursue my dreams!  In the 21 days I was using the program I turned Green Girl Goodies into Green Girl Goodies LLC.  I have my business banking set-up, am working on the final business licenses, and already have a few private classes lined up!  In addition to my blogging, I now offer private/group cooking classes as well as private chef services in and around the Seattle Area.  I hope to one day take the company to the next level and also offer meal delivery service, making it easier for others to enjoy my healthy meals, even if they don’t have time to cook!

I am so thankful for what the reset program did for me that I decided to join the Beachbody team.  I am now a coach for Team Beachbody so I can share the inspiration and motivation my coach shared with me with others looking for a change in their life.  My new business package should arrive any day and I’m thrilled and proud to say I will not only own my own company, but I will also be starting another small business on the side, all while working a full time job (and maybe a part time summer job soon), posting all my healthy, home cooked meals on I.G. and FB and keeping up with my daily yoga and exercise routine.  It feels great to be busy and I’m more motivated than ever to take the blog and my career to the next level.

I have simplified things a little with my posted recipes and will be posting less pictures than I did in the past.  Also, for you Seattle area residents, coming soon I will have pricing for some of my basic private/group cooking classes on the blog as well!

Enjoy this delicious meal and for those of you waiting for the last promised recipe, Greek “Fu-ttata”, don’t worry, I will get it up here soon.

Live Well and Happy Eating!
Jess, The Green Girl and Manager of:
Green Girl Goodies LLC

Sesame Cashew Chicken with Curried Cauliflower Soup and Raita

For the Chicken:
Yield 2 / 4 oz servings

2 / 4 oz Chicken Breasts
1.5 tb Cashew Butter
1.5 tb Tahini
1 tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tb Lemon Juice
1 tsp Agave
1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
Optional:  Raita (recipe below), Toasted Cashews, Chopped Cilantro, Baby Spinach

-          Combine all ingredients (except the chicken) and blend well.  Coat the chicken evenly and marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 4.
-          When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 375.  Remove the chicken from refrigeration to take the chill off while the oven heats.
-          Place the marinated chicken in a baking dish lined with foil and bake for 14 – 18 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165.
-          Serve immediately garnished with Toasted Cashews, Chopped Cilantro and Raita if desired; I recommend both!  I served my on a bed of baby spinach to add a healthy touch to the dish as well.  If you put the hot chicken right onto the spinach it will wilt it slightly which adds a pleasant texture difference!

Curry Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Yield 6 Small or 4 Large Servings

2# Cauliflower, cut into large florets (approximately 1.5 heads)
9 oz Onion, yellow, cut into large chunks (approximately ¾ of a large onion)
1 oz Garlic Cloves, crushed (approximately 8 medium cloves)
½ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tb Curry Powder
1 tb Kosher Salt
3 c Vegetable Broth
3 c Water
1 tb Lime Juice
1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Optional: Raita (recipe below) and Chopped Cilantro

-          Preheat the oven to 425.
-          Blend together the olive oil, curry powder and salt.  Pour the mixture over the cauliflower florets, onions and garlic and toss to coat evenly.
-          Place the cauliflower, onions and garlic on a foil lined tray and try your best to get the onions and garlic underneath the florets so they don’t burn.  Place the water and vegetable broth in a large stock pot and bring to a low simmer while the vegetables cook; turn off the liquid before it reaches a rolling boil. 
-          Bake the vegetables for 40 – 55 minutes until the cauliflower starts to char.  If you see any onions pieces or garlic that got black and hard, discard them before adding them to the liquid.
-          Add the vegetables to the hot broth a blend, preferably using a hand emersion blender.  If you do not have one, blend the mixture in a batches using a food processor or blender and return to the pot once pureed completely.
-          Add the liquid aminos and lime juice and heat over low heat until the soup is hot again and to let the flavors meld together.
-          Garnish the soup with cilantro and raita to taste.  The soup is delicious on its own but I highly recommend the garnishes to take the flavor to another level!

Yield 4 – 5 2 / 3 oz servings

¾ c Plain Honey Yogurt (I recommend Nancy’s brand)
1/3 c Cucumber, small dice with seeds removed
1/3 c Tomato, small dice with seeds removed
1/3 c Red Onion, small dice
1 tb Cilantro, finely chopped
1 tb Lemon Juice
½ tsp Kosher Salt

-          Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to blend.
-          The raita is best eaten a few hours after it is prepared but is good for 2 to 3 days stored in an airtight container, properly refrigerated.

Up next…
Greek Style “Fu-ttata” served with a Cucumber Spinach Salad

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Indian Style Mustard Seed Potatoes with Coconut Milk

Green Girl Goodies, May 2014

As a child growing up I didn’t see a lot of Indian restaurants around or ever eat much Indian food.  Living in the Silicon Valley for 10 years all that changed.  Some of our cafés had such a high Indian population that we would bring in a Guest Chef from outside the company to cook true authentic Indian food.  This begins the tale of my love affair with Indian flavors and cuisine. 

As a gift one year my Area Manager gave me the book “5 Spices, 50 dishes” by Ruta Kahate.  It looked interesting and once I tasted the amazing meals created by our Indian guest chefs I was hooked.  The variety of complex flavors created with minimal ingredients was so impressive.  Not to mention Indian cuisine is full of creative and interesting vegetarian options which I always love.  The secrets of Indian cooking lie in utilizing the proper techniques to draw out the rich flavors of the spices, garlic, onions, ginger and chiles.  I carefully listened, watched and assisted the Indian chefs whenever possible to learn more. 

These Indian-inspired rich and creamy potatoes are great as a meal in itself but would also be a delicious side dish to chicken, beef or lamb.  If you choose to eat the dish alone, serve it on a bed of fresh spinach or other greens of your choice for some added nutritional value and flavor!

Yield 2 Entrée Portions or 4 – 6 Side Portions

2 c Yukon Gold Potaoes, ¼” cubes
¾ c Onions, julienned
½ c Carrots, small dice
1 tsp Garlic, sliced

1 tb Canola Oil
2 tsp Cumin, ground
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp Cayenne
1c + 1 ½ tb Coconut Milk
¾ tb Kosher Salt

-  Heat a large saute pan and once hot, add the oil.  Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds.  Immediately cover the seeds with a lid, lower the heat to as low as possible and let the seeds sizzle slightly until browned and they begin to pop.

-  Increase the heat to high and add the onion, garlic and carrots.  Cook them on high, stirring occasionally until evenly browned.

-  Once the vegetables are evenly browned, add the spices and toss to coat the veggies and lightly toast the spices.

-  Add the potatoes.  Toss them to coat evenly with the spices and brown them slightly.

-  Add 1 c of coconut milk.  Make sure to stir the coconut milk before you measure your cup as it separates in the can.

-  Cover and stew on medium high heat until the potatoes are 80% done.  Remove the lid and reduce the liquid until it is 90% gone.

-  Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 ½ tb of coconut milk.  Recover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is completely reduced.

- Serve immediately.  I didn’t have any on hand but the dish would also be delicious garnished with chopped cilantro.

Up next…
Greek Style “Fu-ttata” served with a Cucumber Spinach Salad