Blackened Tilapia

Blackened Tilapia

1 ½ TBSP paprika
½ TBSP onion powder
½ TBSP salt
½ tsp. ground white pepper
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. garlic power
¼ tsp. celery seed
Dash cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 tilapia loins
1 TBSP olive oil

In a small bowl mix together spices.  Coat all sides of the fish with the spice mixture and if time allows place back in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Heat a medium skillet to medium high heat.  Add olive oil to hot pan and allow the oil heat for 30-60 seconds.  Place the fish in the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until fish is opaque and can be flaked with a fork.  Remove from the pan and serve with rice and vegetables.

This is one of our new favorites- we make it at least once a month and everyone is begging for seconds. Recipe adapted from   

Poppy Seed Muffins

Poppy Seed Muffins

3 eggs*
2 1/2 cups white sugar
½ cup plus 2 TBSP safflower oil
½ cup applesauce

1 1/2 cups milk (rice milk can be used)

¼ tsp. Stevia (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

¾- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (or more until you get the right consistency)
1/8 cup frozen apple juice concentrate (orange juice concentrate or milk may be used as well)
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract

Beat together the eggs, 2 1/2 cups white sugar and oil. Add in milk, Stevia (optional), salt, baking powder, poppy seeds, vanilla, almond flavoring, and flour. Mix well.  Bake in paper lined muffin cups at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20-23 minutes or mini muffins for 13 minutes.  The tops should be browned and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.  Remove muffins as soon as you can while still warm/hot and dunk tops into glaze. Turn right side up and cool on a cookie rack.

These are so good!  I love the zing the apple juice concentrate gives the glaze but the rest of my family prefers them without a glaze.  They freeze very well.  Recipe modified from

*3 TBSP chia seeds and 9 TBSP of water can be used in place of the eggs.  The texture of the muffins change dramatically, they have a more spongy texture and need to be cooked 3 minutes longer. 

Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps

Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps

3 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP honey

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts- cut into ¾ inch pieces
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely minced*
1 TBSP fresh grated ginger*
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz. can) sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed

½ cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1 head Boston or romaine lettuce, wash and separate lettuce leaves
White rice

Combine soy sauce and honey in a small bowl; set aside.  Heat a medium size sauté pan over medium heat.  Once the pan is very hot, drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the pan.  Wait a few seconds for the oil to get hot.  Sauté the chicken over medium heat, then season with salt and pepper.  Once chicken is almost cooked through, add the garlic, green onions and ginger.  Then add the water chestnuts and most of the soy sauce mixture.  Continue cooking until chicken is fully cooked.  Divide lettuce leaves among individual plates.  Spoon prepared rice into lettuce leaves, spoon the chicken over the top, then top with cashews and remaining soy sauce mixture. 

*A microplane is perfect for tool for quickly grating garlic and ginger.  It’s a great investment for the kitchen.  While you are grating the ginger, go ahead and grate the entire thing.  Freeze TBSP proportions of the grated ginger in an ice cube tray.  Once fully frozen, transfer the ginger cubes into a ziplock bag and return to the freezer.  Next time you make this dish, simply thaw one of the ginger cubes.   

This is one of our new all time favorite dishes.  It’s super simple, doesn’t have any dairy or gluten and we all love it.  It was easy to throw together, makes fantastic leftovers and is fun for kids to assemble their own “lettuce boats.”   Thanks to my friend Reed for introducing me to this dish and for his mom Carol Taylor for the recipe.  It’s a winner. 

Crispy Oven Baked Fries

Crispy Oven Baked Fries
Adapted from The Purple Foodie

8 garlic cloves, minced (or grated using a zester)
6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
5-6 medium russet potatoes, each cut into 12 wedges
3 TBSP arrowroot powder, tapioca starch or corn starch
1 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. chipotle Pepper
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. paprika  

Preheat oven to 440° F.  Combine the garlic and oil in a small sauce pan, warming it until the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.   Bring a large stock pot to a boil, then par-boil the potatoes for 8 minutes, then let them dry by laying them in a single layer on a kitchen towel for a few minutes.  Combine the arrowroot powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, chipotle pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the spices over the hot potatoes and toss well to coat.  Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and garlic.  Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or crinkled tinfoil.  Drizzle the olive oil/garlic mixture over the potatoes, then bake, turning once, until deep golden brown and crisp, 30 to 40 minutes.
A huge thanks to The PurpleFoodie for this amazing recipe!  These fries are super crispy, with the perfect amount of spice.  We have made these several times, varying the recipe a little bit each time.  Arrowroot powder and tapioca starch work equally as well.  Crinkling tinfoil as the base on the cookie sheet does help the fries cook more quickly without the need to turn the fries as much.  A Silpat works well too.  These fries do have a lot of heat with the cayenne pepper, for a milder fry, skip the cayenne all together.

Shredded Chicken Tostadas

Shredded Chicken Tostadas

Diced tomatoes
Diced olives
Shredded lettuce

Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 400 F.  Brush the tortillas lightly with olive oil and lay the tortillas flat, in a single layer, on a baking sheet.  Bake the tortillas in the oven for 7 minutes or until they are crispy and golden brown in color. Keep an eye on them as they are baking to avoid burning any tortillas.   Top with warm beans, rice, and chicken.  Then garnish with tomatoes, olives, lettuce and guacamole.  Enjoy!

*For a simple and fast guacamole I mash an avocado in a bowl or mortar and pestle.  I add a splash a lime juice, a small amount of salt, smoked ground paprika, ground chilpotle pepper and garlic powder.       

Tostadas are like flat tacos that are usually made by layering refried beans on top of a flat corn tortilla and then adding a variety of different toppings, like chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, cheese and salsa. They're festive and colorful and taste so good!  They are easy to make especially if you have the shredded chicken and refried beans already prepped in the freezer.