Carrot Cauliflower Thai Curry Bisque

This plant-based bisque is easy, healthy and delicious. Cauliflower is an anti-inflammatory vegetable loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, and carrots are not only high in fiber, but they also contain antioxidants that can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. If you’d like to spice it up add more curry paste or garnish the bisque with Sriracha sauce.

Carrot Cauliflower Thai Curry Bisque
Makes 4 servings.
Ingredients
2 Tbs coconut oil
3 ½ cups fresh cauliflower crumbles or riced cauliflower*
2 cups carrots, peeled & chopped
½ onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbs red thai curry paste
1 cup broth, vegetable
1 can full fat coconut milk
Chopped cashews or almonds for garnish.

In a medium stock pot heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower, carrots, onion and garlic. Stir in the curry paste and salt; sauté for about 5 minutes. Once onions are translucent pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

When the carrots are tender pour in the coconut milk. Use an immersion blender (or a blender) to purée until smooth. Simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes. Taste for salt and heat, adjust seasonings as desired. Pour bisque into bowls, garnish with chopped cashews or almonds and enjoy!

* Substitute 2 cups of cauliflower florets, chopped

Sun-Dried Tomato & Chicken Pasta

I came across the most amazing sun-dried cherry tomatoes at Trader Joe’s. When I saw these lovely tomatoes the first thing that popped into my head was a creamy pasta sauce. It’s not the healthiest meal but it sure is yummy. These Trader Joe’s cherry tomatoes are considered semi-dried tomatoes, marketed for an antipasto platter, but they work amazingly for pasta. If you can’t find these specific tomatoes you can use sun-dried tomatoes in oil, just make sure to drain most of the oil before using. For this recipe I used chicken thighs but you can use chicken breast if that is you preference. I also prepared pasta from scratch, however you can use just about any pasta you like. I hope you enjoy. 

Ingredients
Makes 4 servings.

8 oz pasta; fettucini, pappardelle or penne
3 Tbs olive oil, separated
1.5 to 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken
S&P to taste
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream
shaved Parmesan, for garnish

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes on one side. Flip the chicken thighs to the other side and cook for 5 more minutes, or until cooked through. Place chicken on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. Slice chicken and set aside.

Using the same the same skillet sauté the tomatoes and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Make a béchamel by adding butter and flour to the sun-dried tomatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the broth and cream, whisk until smooth. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper as needed. Bring to a light boil, and continue to stir periodically until the sauce has thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Return chicken to the sauce and mix well.  Reduce heat to low and cook the pasta according to instructions. Drain pasta and place individual servings onto plates or one large serving bowl. Top with sauce and garnish with shaved Parmesan.

Teriyaki Chicken Bowl

I’ve been looking for some new weeknight recipes to add to my repertoire. Specifically something on the healthy side and easy to throw together. There are a few steps in this recipe but it is easy peasy! You can skip the teriyaki recipe and just purchase your favorite brand. You can even buy frozen mixed veggies, but fresh are way better. For this recipe I used white rice but brown rice or quinoa would work well too!

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl
Ingredients
Makes 3-4 servings
1 cup teriyaki sauce
2 lb chicken breasts
2 carrots, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup shelled edamame
2 cups broccoli florets
1 ½ cups rice
½ tbs sesame seeds, for garnish

For the teriyaki sauce:
3/4 cup soy sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbs diced ginger
1 tbs diced garlic
2 tsp rice wine vinegar

Place teriyaki sauce ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste for flavor, add more sugar or ginger is desired. Set aside ½ cup of sauce for the chicken marinade. Marinate chicken breasts in ½ cup of teriyaki sauce for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Pour remaining sauce into a small pot and heat until slightly thickened. If you like a thicker sauce add ½ tablespoon of cornstarch and mix well.

Cook rice according to instructions. For the vegetables, fill a large pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Arrange the carrots, red bell pepper, edamame and broccoli in a metal steamer basket*; place in the pot. Cover and steam the vegetables to desired tenderness, about 4 to 6 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve. Heat grill to 500⁰. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until cooked through, about 7-8 minutes per side. Let rest 3-5 minutes before slicing. To serve place a scoop of rice into a large bowl. Top with steamed vegetables, sliced chicken, sesame seeds and a drizzle of reserved teriyaki sauce.

*If you don’t have a steam basket just place a little water in a large pan with the vegetables cover and steam.

Whipped Goat Cheese Phyllo Bites

I love using Athens Mini Fillo Shells for appetizers and mini desserts. These shells are so versatile, you can fill them with savory fillings like spinach and artichoke dip or sweet fillings chocolate mousse. For this recipe I bake the shells first and fill with a whipped goat cheese for a cold appetizer. You can also bake the shells with filling for a warm appetizer.

Whipped Goat Cheese Phyllo Bites
Ingredients
Makes 6-10 appetizer servings.

2 packs Athens Mini Fillo Shells
1 cup red grapes, halved
2 tbs honey, plus more for garnish
1 tbs thyme
12 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, plus more if needed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 375⁰. Toss grapes with thyme and honey, set aside. Place goat cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Add more heavy cream if needed, just make sure the mixture is thick not runny.

Remove the Athens Fillo Shells from packaging, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Once the shells have cooled fill with whipped goat cheese and top with honey thyme grapes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

beef tenderloin

Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Makes 6-8 servings
Ingredients 
1 tbs sea salt
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs cracked pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 (3-4-pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed

Preheat oven to 300⁰. Combine salt, sugar, baking soda and pepper in a small bowl. Set tenderloin on sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle salt mixture evenly over surface of tenderloin and rub into tenderloin until surface is tacky. Tuck tail end of tenderloin under about 6 inches to create more even shape. Tie with butchers twine. Rub top and side of tenderloin with olive oil and sprinkle with a little more cracked pepper.

Place tenderloin on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 130°F (medium-rare). Cover loosely with aluminum foil; let rest about 20 minutes before slicing. 

*I like to serve my beef with blue cheese compound butter. Just soften 1 stick of butter, place it in a food processor with some green onions a clove of garlic and 2tbs cup blue cheese, S&P. Blend until smooth, spread it in a strip on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Place in the fridge until it hardens then cut and serve.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Makes 6 servings.

3 acorn squash
3 tbs olive oil, separated
½ onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 cups quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup diced celery ribs
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tbs dijon mustard
2 tbs honey
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Mix well to emulsify.

Preheat the oven to 400⁰. Cut off each end of the acorn squash, then cut in half. Spoon out the seeds and stringy bits. Drizzle each squash with two tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the squash on a non-stick baking sheet, cook for 20 minutes.

Sauté the garlic and onion in one tablespoon of olive oil.Once the onions are translucent add in quinoa to toast, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, salt & pepper, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.Fluff with a work and toss with celery, cranberries, pecans and balsamic vinaigrette.Taste for seasoning. Add more salt & pepper as needed.

Remove acorn squash from the oven and fill with quinoa mixture. Return to the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes more or until squash is softened. Serve warm and enjoy!

Roasted Brussles Sprouts with Bacon

Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays. If you’re like me you’re already planning what to make for your feast. This recipe is the perfect addition to any menu in the fall but especially Thanksgiving. There are a few steps to this one but it is worth the time. If you’re not a bacon fan just leave it out, it’s just as yummy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with BaconRoasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
Makes 8 servings
2 lbs brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
1 tbs olive oil
1 lb bacon
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup balsamic reduction*
S&P

Preheat the oven to 400⁰. Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. Place the bacon on the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes. Remove bacon from the baking sheet with tongs, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, chop into large pieces and set aside.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the trimmed Brussels sprouts in water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove sprouts from water and transfer to ice water to cool. Drain and let dry. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half, place into a bowl and lightly toss with the chopped bacon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning, add more salt and pepper as desired.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. Place the Brussels sprouts mixture onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with cranberries. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until deeply browned, tossing pan every 10 minutes for even cooking.
Place the Brussels sprouts into a serving dish and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve warm and enjoy.

*You can find pre-made balsamic glaze at most grocery stores, alternatively you can reduce 1/2 cup of quality balsamic vinegar for 10-15 minutes, until thickened.

**Turkey Day Tip: If limited on space in the oven, boil the brussles, cook the bacon and add the cranberries. Set aside until ready to cook.

Simple Arugula Salad

I’m always looking for new salads to add to my menus. Most of the time they are loaded with fruits, vegetables and of course cheese. This simple salad recipe is the perfect addition to just about any meal because it is so simple. I used Meyer lemons for this recipe but regular fresh lemons will do the trick too. It would even taste great topped with some grilled shrimp or chicken. I hope you like it!

Ingredients Simple Arugula Salad
Makes 2-4 servings.
4 cups baby arugula
½ cup Marcona almonds
½ shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
zest from 1 Meyer lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all vinaigrette ingredients, except the oil, in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and then while the blender is running, slowly add the oil. Puree for until it is well combined. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Add more sugar if needed and pulse again until combined.

Place the arugula into a mixing bowl and pour on desired amount of salad dressing. Use tongs to toss the salad. Place on plates to serve and top with Marcona almonds and pecorino or parmesan cheese.
Enjoy!

 

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services. Visit www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!

Korean Beef Soba Noodles

This gluten-free recipe is so tasty and good for you containing protein and vegetables all in one dish. There is some prep involved, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. Vegetarians can skip the beef or replace it with tofu. If you are using wooden skewers for the beef, make sure to soak them first so they don’t burn on the grill. If you like more sauce on your noodles, double the ginger sesame sauce. And as always, modify with more sugar if you like sweetness, or more chili paste and Sriracha if you like the heat. Get creative to really make this dish your own!

Korean Beef Soba Noodles
Makes 4-6 servingsKorean Beef Soba Noodles

Ingredients
For the beef:
¼ cup tamari*
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tsp red chili paste or Sriracha (add more if you like heat)
1 ½ pound top sirloin or skirt steak, sliced thin

Whisk together the tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and chili paste in a large bowl. Marinate the steak in the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes at room temperature while you prepare the soba noodles.

Ginger Sesame Sauce
½ cup tamari*
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs honey or brown sugar
2 tbs white miso (optional)
2 tbs freshly grated ginger
1 tbs chili paste or Sriracha

Whisk together sauce ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified. Set aside.

For the soba noodles:
1 tbs olive oil
2 carrots, peeled & julienned
½ red bell pepper, julienned
1 small head bok choy, chopped
1 shallot, sliced thin
6 oz shiitake mushrooms, rinsed & sliced
2 bunches of buckwheat soba noodles
1 cup frozen shelled, edamame
For garnish: sesame seeds & green onions

Prepare all of the vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook soba noodles according to package directions and add the edamame for last 3 minutes. Rinse with warm water; drain well and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté carrots, bell pepper, shallot & shiitakes until softened. Add the ginger sesame sauce, soba noodles and edamame. Keep warm while you cook the beef.

Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Thread the meat onto the skewers. Grill for 3-6 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done to your liking. Remove from skewers and place on top of the soba noodles and vegetables and serve warm. Garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

*You can substitute soy sauce for tamari but it contains gluten.

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services. Visit www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!

Loaded Potato Soup

Who doesn’t love comfort food? This loaded baked potato soup hits the mark, is simple and delicious!

 

Loaded Potato Soup
Ingredients
Makes 4-6 Servings

Loaded Potato Soup2 tbs butter
3 garlic cloves
½ yellow onion, rough chopped
4 cups of peeled and chopped russet potatoes
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme
1 cup of heavy cream
1 large broccoli crowns, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped

For garnish:
Cheddar cheese
Green onion
Sour cream
Chopped, cooked bacon

Heat butter in a large pot on medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic, onion and potato and cook until the onions are translucent. Next add the broth, cover and cook on med/high for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove ½ cup of the cooked potatoes and set aside. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and thyme. Using an immersion blender, pureé the soup or put into a blender in batches. After the soup is smooth, add the cream, broccoli, carrots and the cooked potatoes. Cover and cook on med/low for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream & bacon. Enjoy!!!

 

Chef Arica Davis – Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services. Visit www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party. Let me do the cooking for you!