Tag Archives: meal prep

Asian-style marinated chicken with Chinese rice 

My third chicken marinade is Asian style! This marinade has Sirracha (hot), soya sauce (salt), a dash of fish sauce (ferment), rice wine vinegar (sour), sesame oil (flavour) and sweet chili sauce (sweet)!


Does chicken with rice, which I made using Asian spices.


I diced the chicken and pan fried it until fully cooked in some olive oil.



Was totally delicious! 

xxSerena 

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Marinating organic chicken breasts meal prep

I finally found a pack of organic chicken breasts at Costco. 


I decided to divide the pack into three. Two chicken breasts per freezer ziplock bags. 

I washed them, dried them and marinated the first two in freshly dried basil, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 


Chicken breasts are versatile since you can eat them or cook them so many different ways. I will share with you the other two marinades in future blog posts.

For the basil, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar marinade I decided to pan fry the breasts after marinating for eight hours.

Then I served over chopped greens and a quinoa kale mixture.


I made an extra serving for lunch at work the next day.


It was good. Next time I will add half an avocado and a extra drizzle of balsamic for more healthy fat and flavour. 

What’s your favourite marinade for chicken breasts? Look for future blogs to see how I marinated the other two servings! 

xxSerena 

Stuffed baked portobello mushrooms recipe

I love stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms hold stuffing really well and to be honest I love stuffed fish, stuffed cabbage, stuffed pastry, the list goes on and on. I like something delicious inside  something already delicious! Anyways I’ll stop the ramble before this gets off-topic. Back to my stuffed Portobello mushrooms.

Stuffed baked Portobello mushrooms ready to enjoy, hot out of the oven. Photography by Serena Alibhai
This recipe makes two stuffed mushrooms. For a dinner of two you can serve this as the main course along with a side of salad, pasta or potatoes.

Ingredients:

2 portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed
1 teaspoon olive oil

For the stuffing:

2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano
Half teaspoon hemp heart seeds
Half a small red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Fry onion with salt and oil for five to 8 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. In a bowl combine yogurt, Parmesan, hemp seeds, salsa and cooked onions.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fill portobello mushroom caps. Place a tiny bit of olive oil under each mushroom cap before placing on cookie sheet or foil.
  5. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Portobello mushrooms. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed and baked. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Tender, great flavor and delicious. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
They were delicious. And very filling. Check out this link for some nutritional facts for portobello mushrooms:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/9170/2

Do you like mushrooms? Have you ever made stuffed mushrooms? How do you make them?

xxSerena

What I brought to my office Christmas potluck

Our area was given the responsibility of “appetizers.” Easy right? I don’t know about that. There are a lot of appetizers to choose from. I didn’t have a lot of time and I was taking the train to work so I didn’t want to carry a lot with me.

So I made a batch of homemade jalapeño pimento cheese. And a package of crackers.

If you have been reading my blog the past year you know I love pimento cheese.

And I always make it fresh. And if you make it fresh too and remember: always use real, high-quality, sharp cheddar cheese. Some countries call sharp extra strong or extra old. Buy the good stuff!

Also, another tip: I use my KitchenAid stand mixer to mix these ingredients. It gives a fluffy light texture to the pimento cheese.

So delicious! The perfect spread for vegetarian sandwiches as well.

Ingredients:

One block sharp cheddar cheese, grated
One block Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
Quarter cup full fat mayonnaise
Quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper
Quarter teaspoon garlic powder
One jar drained pimentos
1 tablespoon finely chopped marinated jalapeño peppers

Directions:

  1. Take the Philadelphia cream cheese out of the fridge and place on the counter for a couple of hours to soften.
  2. Grate the cheese.
  3. Put all ingredients in the mixer and mix for five minutes.
  4. Spoon into clean containers. Refrigerate for at least two hours so flavors can blend.
  5. Serve over crackers, in sandwiches, with vegetables or stir into pasta as a sauce.

Use the best quality sharp cheddar cheese you can find. Photography by Serena Alibhai
Open and grate the cheese. This cheese is preserved in wax. Photography by Serena Alibhai
Mix cheese, jalapeño and cream cheese together.
Add pimento. Photography by Serena Alibhai
Mix well to combine flavors and texture. Photography by Serena Alibhai
After it’s made, tap the container down and refrigerate over night of if you can’t wait at least an hour! Photography by Serena Alibhai
 

I love homemade pimento cheese! I hope my coworkers enjoy it too!

Here are some pics of the actual “appetizer” portion of our potluck! 

 

“Bacon jam” with baguette. Photography by Serena Alibhai

     
Spinach dip with bread and six layer dip with chips. Photography by Serena Alibhai
  

Real McDonalds chicken McNuggets! Photography by Serena Alibhai
   
Hey, there is my pimento cheese with crackers! Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Photography by Serena Alibhai
 

What are your favorite appetizers to bring to potlucks? What did you bring to your office potluck?

xxSerena

My great vegetable sandwich

This is a “building idea” blog. In the following, if you decide to keep reading, you will find ideas on how to build your own delicious healthy vegetable sandwich as I did mine.

First:

Choose a great tasting high-fiber delicious fresh bread. I chose something called purple loaf that I found at the farmers market. 

  
   

Second:

Choose toppings that you love. These include thinly sliced cucumber. I sliced mine on a small cute handheld mandolin.

  
Also include shredded carrots, red peppers, olives, pesto, green leafy things, marinated aubergine,thinly sliced apple, tomatoes, okra or slices of potato.

   
   

Third:

Use complementary spreads.

I spread almond butter on one side of my bread and a hot sweet mustard on the other. This may not sound complementary but vegetables are different from meat or fish or chicken. 

Flavors that might not go together in your mind made go beautifully in a vegetable sandwich. Think of fig jams with peanut butter or a hot lemon salsa with sunflower seed butter.

   
 
Have you ever made a vegetable sandwich? How did it go? Do you think you’re going to try making a vegetable sandwich?

xxSerena 

Creamy tangy homemade salad dressing

Usually I drizzle extra virgin virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and a couple cranks of salt and pepper on the greens.

But since I’m trying to keep my work salads purely vegetarian this week, I thought I would up the ante on the salad dressing.

This was my concoction. I think it’s pretty good.

I made enough salad dressing here for about 3 to 4 salads. I’m not very generous with dressing.

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
A couple of shakes Worcestershire sauce
1 squeeze anchovy paste
Half teaspoon garlic pepper
Couple of cranks sea salt
2 dashes balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sour cream

Directions:

Mix all together. Keep in fridge for up to 72 hours. Use on salad as dressing.

Start with extra virgin olive oil.
Maille Dijon Mustard is my favorite.
Worcestershire sauce is hard to spell. And pronounce. Also it adds great flavor.
Making salad dressing.
Anchovy paste.
Garlic pepper seasoning.
Grind in sea salt.
Mix your homemade salad dressing.
Mix in sour cream.
Add balsamic vinegar.

 

Mix homemade salad dressing thoroughly.
Use homemade salad dressing on greens.

Do you make your own salad dressing? If so, what is your favorite?

xxSerena

Meal prep: 3 steps to my perfect work salad 

This salad changes slightly, depending what is in season, but mainly the basics are the same.

Everyone has different taste buds, dislikes and likes, but I think it’s possible for everyone to enjoy… truly enjoy… A great salad every day.

Plus a salad is easy to take to work. You can put it in the fridge as soon as you get in, it doesn’t stink up your area and it’s easy to clean afterwards.

I start my process with greens. And then I layer. It took me a while to discover which greens were my favorite. Then I add at least one healthy delicious fat, one lean protein and the rest is just healthy vegetables or toppings that I like.

Step one:

The greens

I decided on a combination of two different types of greens because I like the way the flavors mingle.

Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

I layer the greens in my lunch box container.

I always chop my greens because that way you can fit more greens in and you can eat your salad neatly. Big huge leaves or pieces of vegetables are hard to fit in your mouth!

Ideally you want four large handfuls of greens to chop. When you chop it up, it will settle nicely into the bottom of your container.

First layer of work salad. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Chop your greens. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

Step two:

Dressing your salad

If it doesn’t taste good and you’re not going to eat it so what’s the point?

Don’t bother with store-bought dressings. The matter what the label says it’s not in the healthy fat category. Healthy fats will be things like avocado, nuts, seeds, cottage cheese, sardines, salmon, mackerel, pate or liver.

So for me, dressing is fresh lemon, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. These minimal but delicious seasonings bring out the freshness of your greens, your protein and mingle well with your fats to create a great tasting salad.

Lemon adds great flavor. Add just a bit so your salad doesn’t get soggy. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

Step three:

Top with your favorite stuff.

I like to keep it simple.

Even though I had carrots, cucumbers, some great tomatoes, cottage cheese and some other delicious ingredients, I decided to keep it simple.

I chose rotisserie chicken breast, some flavorful olives and goat cheese.

Chicken breast on bed of greens. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Olives. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Goats cheese, chopped olives and chicken breast on greens. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

And then just to make sure everything was going to taste great, I added a light drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar on top.

Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top if you wish. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

And then of course put the lid on, place and lunch bag and into the fridge. Meal prep done, salad ready for tomorrow’s lunch.

What do you prepare for your work lunches? Do you ever take salads? So interested in hearing what you guys do!

xxSerena

Wild Atlantic salmon and steamed butter broccoli dinner

Even if your salmon is frozen solid, you can make this healthy dinner quickly, with few ingredients, and enjoy the delicious freshness. For this dinner we will be using flash frozen wild salmon and frozen organic broccoli florettes.

Flash frozen seafood is actually very fresh. Because they freeze the fish immediately after it is caught, the nutrients remain until you defrost. The best way to defrost is put your fish in a plastic bag and let it sit in a pot of cold water. The fish will be ready in about half an hour. 

   
 Your marinade will incorporate sweet, salty, sour and also a flavor of dots to complement your wild salmon. Oh and before we begin – make sure your ingredients are the best quality you can get. Always choose wild fish over farmed. 

Marinade ingredients:

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Horseradish mustard

One clove crushed chopped garlic

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Once your fish is defrosted you will dry it, and place the fish skin side up into the marinade bowl. Use your fingers to massage marinade into the meat of your fish including the sides.

   
    
 
Meanwhile steam your broccoli for five minutes. Then season with butter and salt and pepper. 

   
 
Place your fish in a hot pan skin side down into 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Cover. Let’s steam for 8 to 12 minutes. Check on your fish after eight minutes because depending on the thickness it may need more or less time in the pan. If you wish to caramelize the top, use a fish spatula to flip your fish for a minute. 

  
This dinner is low in carbs, nutrient dense, high in vitamins and fiber. It’s the perfect dinner to eat if you want to lose fat. Best of all it is fresh, home-cooked and so delicious.

xxSerena 

Fried egg tomato and avocado sandwich

Another blogger created this wonderful combo and I’m passing it along to you guys. This sandwich will knock your tongue in the dirt.

You will need eggs:

Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

First you are going to slice your tomato and season it with salt and pepper. Then cut up half an avocado. Season that also, squirt lemon on the avocado. Choose a ripe, soft avocado, like butter.

Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

Then season with mustard, and the piece de resistance: A perfectly fried golden egg.

Best sandwich ever. Photography by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

Put it altogether and voilà! A great fried egg sandwich with tomato and avocado.

Photography and food styling by Rizwan Alvi @rizwanalvifoto

What’s your favorite egg sandwich?

xxSerena