Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baked Chicken Nuggets




These little beauties are a much healthier alternative to your fast food finds. You can eat these without feeling an ounce of guilt and are a perfect way to bring out the kid in any adult or even to serve to your little ones-- they won't be disappointed. Also, you can make a larger batch & freeze for later & a quick lunch when you're in a crunch. The husband is always beyond excited when he gets fried chicken and loved this version even though they were baked! You can mix and match the flavors in the breadcrumbs, such as adding coconut flakes, chili flakes for spice, Parmesan cheese for an Italian twist, experiment with it-- promise you'll have fun.This recipe uses minimal ingredients & is relatively quick to prepare, although, your hands might get a little messy ;)






Baked Chicken Nuggets: (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:
1 chicken breast
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 T water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  • Prepare the chicken. Cut into smaller pieces (about 1 inch). Prepare remaining ingredients: whisk egg + water in a separate small bowl. Place flour & bread crumbs on their own individual bowls or plates. 
  • Take a piece of chicken, toss in flour, then coat dip in egg wash, & coat in bread crumbs. Place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cut one nugget to ensure they are thoroughly cooked through.
  • Serve along side vegetables, salad, or home cooked fries. Enjoy!



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DIY Bread Crumbs


It's funny how you change when you get older & things start bothering you that before you were mindless about... My dad use to always hate that us kids would never eat left overs, now being on my own, I hate to waste food! Ha, I always try to find every way possible to not waste food. I have found a new appreciate for him putting up with us all those years...

So this recipe comes in to play because what do you do with the the end slices on your loaf of bread? Do you eat them? Do you toss them? Well, I use them up of course! I will most likely use them for croutons in a salad or like this post turn them into breadcrumbs. It's way too easy not too! Basically add 3 to 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender & viola you have your own healthier & incredibly cheaper breadcrumbs, plus way more convenient as well. 

Ingredients:
2-4 slices of bread
1/4 cup oats
2 Ts flax seed
Spices & Herbs*

*Note: add salt & pepper if you would like, I try not to add additional sodium to recipes when I can help it, but really this is up to you because you can adjust the flavors to a certain recipe you might be using it for (chicken nuggets, topping for casserole dishes, binding a burger, chicken parmesan  etc)  or just keep it plain to adjust for later use, or just simply add basic flavors such as basil or oregano, or a special Italian mix for most common versatility.


Directions:


  • Add spices & herbs, toasted bread by chunks-- breaking it into pieces, pulse together until thoroughly chopped & all ingredients our mixed together. Keep it in a air tight container or zip-lock bag. 

    • Toast bread until browned/crisp. While those are toasting, simply place flax seeds first in food processor or blender, grind. Add oats, pulse until broken up, yet still flaky. 

     

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Spicy Shredded Beef

    This shredded beef has a little kick to it, but makes it a whirlwind of flavors in your mouth from the spice & juice from the slow simmering meat. What is great about this beef is that is so versatile, especially for your favorite Mexican dishes-- tacos, enchiladas, burritos. We like to top our tacos with diced onions, fresh cilantro, avocado, & some homemade salsa, yum! I'll make a batch of this up & it lasts us a few meals depending on how we cook it of course. If spice isn't your thing, just tone it down a notch by eliminating 1/2 the chili's. 

    Spicy Shredded Beef:
    Ingredients:
    1/2 lb cut of beef
    2 chipotle chilis (from a can)
    1-2 tbs chipotle sauce
    1 lime
    1 tbs Tapatio Hot Sauce (optional)
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp chili powder or paprika
    dash of salt & pepper
    water (about 3 cups)
    1 tbs olive oil


    Directions:
    • Heat a large a pot over medium heat & add oil. Season the meat with some salt & pepper. Place the meat in the pot & brown both sides (about 1 minute each). 
    • Add the remaining ingredients and let it become fragrant together.
    • Pour enough water into the pot, just slightly covering the meat. Cover & turn to low heat. Let simmer for 45- 60 minutes. Check the water level every so often to make sure it doesn't cook down too low, you want to keep some in it at all times to not burn it & have some leftover juice. Meet should be cooked through-- check with a knife.
    • Remove from heat & let it sit for about 15 minutes before shredding.Take 2 forks and begin shredding, place in a container & pour remaining juice over. 
    • Substitute in any of your favorite dishes, but most likely, Mexican. 

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Coconut Green Smoothie


    It's getting pretty hot here in La Paz already, so smoothies are making their way back into our diets.  And I am all about getting my vegetable servings in where I can. I actually love green smoothies as they are refreshing, nutritious,  healthy, & delicious-- you can't even taste the greens. 
    Often I like to eat smoothies with a spoon with some added toppings, yum! Smoothies are great too as they are so versatile-- you can omit something if your not a big fan or substitute what you have on hand. For example, not a fan of avocado, try Greek yogurt. Don't have bananas, opt for some other tropical frozen fruit. (Although keep in mind the banana helps sweeten it & is actually one of my favorite natural ways to sweeten my breakfasts & baked goods. Give this one a whirl & let me know your special takes on your favorite green smoothie, enjoy!

    Coconut Green Smoothie: (serves 1)

    Ingredients:
    1/4 avocado
    1 cup coconut milk (or your choice)
    1 handful of spinach
    1/2 frozen banana
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
    1 cup ice

    optional add-ins:
    nut/seed butter
    granola
    unsweetened shredded coconut

    Directions:

    • Toss everything into your blender, whirl until smooth & completely mixed. 
    • Pour into a bowl or glass, add any additional toppings, and drink up. 

    Thursday, April 4, 2013

    Spring Vacation in Cabo

    One perk about being a teacher & living in La Paz, is you also get to enjoy the vacation time off & a quick drive to Cabo San Lucas. So we took the opportunity for a nice little getaway for a few days. I packed a ton of food with us as I know our place would have a mini kitchen and wish I took a picture we had so much leftover... haha! Better to be over prepared, right? Needless to say it was packed with tourists, spring break in CABO, duh-- it made us feel back in San Diego actually... But we enjoyed the time to ourselves, relaxing, & the beautiful weather.

    On Wednesdays, Cabo has their Go-Karts 1/2 the price, so Sam made sure to stop by & actually met up with a few friends who also happened to be vacationing in Cabo too. Sam killed it out there & it was super fun to watch him, he actually got an extra lap in than all the others because of his speed. 


    We brought our bikes along the trip for easy transportation. We attempted a few times to travel up & down the elevator to get to & from our room, but it ended up being much easier to take the stairs. Shopped around a bit like any tourist would & found some much needed sunglasses (pictured below). 




    We made a couple visits to the beach, it was only a 5 minute bike ride away, loved it! 

    We ate out only a few times because like I mentioned, I packed a TON of food. No vacation is complete without a few splurges ;)

    But we ate out on the beautiful harbor one night for a more fancy dinner, made a trip to Costco for the famous hot dogs & pizza, and of course got in our fair share of tacos!