Chicken in Poblano Cream Sauce

Over Superbowl weekend I charred some poblano peppers and made a creamy sauce and cooked it with some seared chicken thighs and legs. OMG!! Amazing. I swear my tummy clapped. The sauce is a combination of spicy, creamy, and dreamy. I foresee this sauce being used for shrimp and many kinds of meats. It kind of tastes like queso sauce but without cheese.

Chicken in Poblano Cream Sauce. YES!!!

Chicken in Poblano Cream Sauce. YES!!

Ingredients:

  • 6 pieces of thigh / legs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt or light salt
  • 2 cans of table cream
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • large zip lock bag
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoon salted butter
  1. In a large skillet, melt 1/2 the butter and sautee onions and set onions aside.
  2. Over an over flame, char the poblano peppers until they’ve blackened all around. Immediately move them to a ziplock bag, seal, and let sweat for 5 minutes. Remove peppers and using the knife, peel off skin and remove seeds. Slides the peppers in thin 1/4 inch strips.
  3. Heat remaining butter on medium high heat and sear chicken with skin side down until brown. Flip the chicken over to cook the other side. Add the garlic, peppers, sauteed onions, salt, cumin, fresh cracked pepper, and table cream and simmer for 1 hour with lid.
  4. Serve with a side of steamed vegetables to keep it keto-friendly! Enjoy!

Low-carb Cheeecake Brownies

Anyone else here love cheesecake and brownies but not the sugar or carbs? I feel you.

Rich chocolatety low-carb brownie cheesecake

Rich chocolatety low-carb brownie cheesecakes

It’s been exactly 1 month since I’ve started the Ketogenic diet. Here’s the status update: I’ve lost 10 pounds, relying on coffee less and less, and even though I miss eating noodles when going to out for Thai food and making late night runs for ice cream, I feel GREAT! I love the way my body is transforming and all the energy levels. To celebrate my 1 month journey, I began to experiment with low-carb cheesecakes. This recipe is a winner and with only 1g of carbs per serving, they are great for when I have sweet cravings.

God Bless the folks who invented cream cheeeeese!!!

Low-Carb Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bites

  • 8 oz. full fat cream cheese
  • 3 packets of stevia
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 12 mini cupcake liners
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using an electric mixer with wire whisk, whip cream cheese until nice and fluffy.
  3. Add in stevia, cocoa, vanilla, and eggs and mix for 1 minute.
  4. Line 12 mini cupcake liners and spray each with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Fill batter to the top of each liner and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely and chill for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

72 calories, 1.75 net carbs, 6g fat, 2g protein per serving

Keto-friendly smoothies

Good afternoon! I am fully immersed in the Ketogenic diet and smoothies in the morning and lunch are so easy to do. Here are this week’s smoothie meals.

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Strawberry Chia Pudding + Chocolate smoothie for breakfast

Mix 2 T chia seeds with 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 T unsweetened cocoa, and allow seeds to bloom for 10 minutes.

Separately, blend 1 T goji berries, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, a scoop of protein powder, and 1/2 cup coconut milk.

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Spinach and Strawberry smoothie

Blend 1 cup fresh spinach, 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup soft tofu, 1 T chia seeds, 1 cup coconut milk.

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Strawberry Chia Pudding + Spinach Mango smoothie

Blend 1/4 cup strawberries with 1/2 cup coconut milk then stir in 3 T chia seeds and let bloom for 10 minutes.

Separately blend 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup soft tofu, 1/2 cup coconut mimlk, 1/4 cup frozen mango chunks. Combine chia pudding and smoothie and boom!

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Carrot Cake smoothie

Blend 1/4 cup raw carrots, 1/2 cup tofu, 1 T chia seeds, 1/2 an orange, 1 cup coconut milk, 2 heaping T coconut chips, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 t ground cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.
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Raspberry Coconut smoothie 

Blend 1 cup coconut milk with 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 2 T coconut chips, 1/2 cup soft tofu, 1 T chia seeds, 1/2 t flax meal.

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Strawberry smoothie bowl

Blend 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup soft tofu, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 T chia seeds.

Happy New Yeeeeear!

Happy New Year everyone! May God bless you abundantly with health and good eatings throughout the year. As for me, I am making lots of changes in diet for health reasons. I made a great small investment when I purchased the Nutribullet so I’ve been on a smoothie kick as of late and it is so much fun and easy to create a healthy concoction that takes like 2 minutes and then I’m on the go. I live between 2 major cities and I’m always on the road and I realize this could really be something I can stick with. It’s easy, quick, and most importantly, super healthy. I have to share some smoothie recipes that I really love!

 

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Super low carb Tofu-Strawberry smoooothie bowl.

Blend 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup soft tofu, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 T chia

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Green avocado & chia berry breakfast bowl

Blend 1/2 kiwi, 1/2 avocado, 1 cup fresh spinach, and 1/4 cup frozen pineapples. Separately blend 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 4 frozen strawberries, splash of pomegranate juice. Mix 2 smoothies in bowl and add toppings.

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Coconut Spinach Chia pudding and Triple Berry smoothie bowl.

Blend 1/2 cup baby spinach and 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 tsp of agave. Stir 3 T of chia seeds in and allow to bloom for 10-20 min. Separately blend the following frozen fruit 1/4 cup each: blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and 1/4 cup pomegranate juice. Combine chia pudding and smoothie and go crazy with toppings.

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Strawberry Piña Colada smoothie bowl with Coconut Chia pudding.

I topped it with toasted coconut chips and GF berry granola. Blend 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen pineapples, a handful of coconut chips and 1 cup coconut milk. Separately, mix 1 T chia with 1/3 cup coconut milk and allow seeds to bloom for 10 minutes then add a little agave. Add pudding and smoothie to bowl and add your favorite toppings.

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Creamy CHOCOLATEY strawberry chocolate chip bowl (dessert smoothie)

Blend 1 cup frozen strawberries, 2 T semisweet chocolate chips, 2 tsp cocoa or cacao powder, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1 cup coconut milk. Boom and done!

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Pumpkin Chia pudding and Berry smoothie

Stir together 1/2 cup coconut milk with 2 T chia seeds, 1 tsp agave, and 2 T pumpkin puree and let bloom for 10-20 min. Separately blend 2/3 cups frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup frozen peaches, 3 frozen strawberries, 1 tsp flax meal, and 1/2 cup pomegranate juice. Top smoothie over chia pumpkin pudding and enjoy!

Bánh Bèo: Steamed rice pancakes with minced shrimp and mung beans

Vietnamese people love to snack throughout the day so street food in Viet Nam is ubiquitous and varies depending on the region. Bánh bèo is a really good example of this. They are tiny steamed pancakes made with rice and tapioca batter then topped with mashed mung beans/fried green onions/croutons/minced shrimp/shredded pork or crispy pork rinds. In the northern region of Viet Nam, bánh bèo is topped with ground pork. In central Viet Nam, especially in Huế, the pancakes are thinner and topped with minced shrimp and and served in the bowls they were steamed in. Unlike their counterparts, the Southern version is thicker and topped with mung beans, green onions, shredded pork or minced shrimp. What completes the dish is the sauce that it’s served with called nước mắm chấm (fermented fish sauce, garlic, chilies, vinegar, lime, sugar). The sauce it spicy and sweet, sour and salty making it a harmonious combination for something really delicate like the pancakes. Staying true to my hereditary roots, I’m going to show you how to make the southern version. It’s so flavorful and fun to make! image

To start, mix rice, oil, salt and tapioca flour with water and whisk until there are no more clumps and let sit overnight or for at least 1 hour. The longer the batter rests, the better the texture of the pancake!

batter

batter

Fill the bottom part of your steamer with water and bring to a medium low boil.

Vietnamese steamer

Vietnamese steamer

Soak your mung beans water and drain. Repeat several times until the water is clear. Then add more water with mung beans in a pot and bring to a medium boil.

mung beans

mung beans

Cook until tender.

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Blend the beans in the food processor until it forms a smooth paste then set aside to cool.

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Add shrimp to the food processor and pulse until it forms a paste like mixture.

minced shrimp in the making

minced shrimp in the making

Dice and sautee shallots and garlic in a little oil

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Add the shrimp, garlic, fish sauce, and pepper.

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The liquid will cook off and should look like this!

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Add some oil to the chopped green onions and microwave for 1 minute.

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Lightly grease the muffin tin and ladle batter 1/4″ of the tin. Cover and steam for 5 minutes and carefully remove with oven mitts. Use a knife to remove the cooked pancakes. Like this!

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Once you get the edge, the rest should come out easily.

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Aren’t they so cute? You know you did it right if there’s a small dimple in the center.

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Smear a little bit of mung bean paste, add minced shrimp, green onions and serve with the sauce.

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Batter

  • 7 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 lb white rice flour
  • 5 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegeetable oil

Toppings

  • 2 cups of chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 pound of cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined,
  • 1 cup of shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 cup of mung beans and 3 cups of water.
  1. To start, mix rice, oil, salt and tapioca flour with water and whisk until there are no more clumps and let sit overnight or for at least 1 hour. The longer the batter rests, the better the texture of the pancake!
  2. Fill the bottom part of your steamer with water and bring to a medium low boil.
  3. Soak your mung beans in 2 cups of water and drain. Repeat several times until the water is clear. Then add 3 more cups of water with mung beans in a pot and bring to a medium boil. Cook until tender.
  4. Blend the beans in the food processor until it forms a smooth paste then set aside to cool.
  5. Add shrimp to the food processor and pulse until it forms a paste like mixture.
  6. Dice and sautee shallots and garlic in a little oil
  7. Add the shrimp, garlic, fish sauce, and pepper.
  8. The liquid will cook off and the shrimp should look coarse.
  9. Add some oil to the chopped green onions and microwave for 1 minute.
  10. Lightly grease the muffin tin and ladle batter 1/4″ of the tin. Cover and steam for 5 minutes and carefully remove with oven mitts. Use a knife to remove the cooked pancakes.
  11. Once you get the edge, the rest should come out easily. You know you did it right if there’s a small dimple in the center.
  12. Smear a little bit of mung bean paste, add minced shrimp, green onions and serve with the sauce.

Bánh Cuốn Thanh Trì

Buckle up readers, we’re headed to the northern region of Viet Nam to Thanh Trì.  Thanh Trì is the district of the prominent city of Hanoi, famous for one dish called Bánh Cuốn. They are thin crepes made from rice and tapioca flour batter and is cooked over a non-stick steaming tray then stuffed with minced garlicky pork and mushrooms, and topped with fried green onions and shallots and dipped in a tangy sauce called nước mắm pha. It’s delicious and fun to make!

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Recipe yields 3-4 servings

Batter

  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil

Filling

  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of wood ear dried mushroom (soak with hot water for 5 minutes and drain)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

Accoutrements

  • sautéed green scallions in vegetable oil
  • crispy fried shallots
  • sliced pork sausage (chả lụa or giò lụa)
  • blanched bean sprouts
  • nước mắm pha
  • 1/4 cup of cooking oil and brush

 

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, water, oil, and salt and mix until there are no longer clumps. Allow batter to bloom and rest for at least 1 hour before using.

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In a sauté pan heat oil over medium heat then brown pork until no longer pink. Add in garlic, salt, and black pepper.

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Add in the wood ear mushrooms and stir then set aside to cool.

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Fill a small boiling pot until 1/2 filled with water. Bring the water to a boil on medium heat. Then set a nonstick pan over the boiling pot (this will be your steamer). Using a brush, lightly grease your pan with a few drops of oil.

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Ha! Instant Crepe Steamer!

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Stir the batter and using a ladle, add about 1/4 cup of batter at a time to pan and swirl until the bottom of pan is covered. Cover with lid and allow to steam for 30-45 seconds. Remove and invert crepes into a tray.

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This is how I like to set up: raw batter near the stove, filling, tray for rolling, and a plate for the finished product.

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Add a tablespoon of the pork and mushroom mixture, and fold and set aside. My favorite way to fold these is somewhat like an eggroll. Fold the front flap over..

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Then fold in the left and right flaps..

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Roll it towards the top to seal in the filling and move it to a serving plate. Now repeat until there is no batter left behind!

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You can serve it plain and leave the toppings on the side..

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Or  you can go crazy and put it all on there! I hoped you enjoyed making these. Happy eating!

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Let’s Get Cooking!

  1. In a large bowl, combine both flours, water, oil, and salt and mix until there are no longer clumps. Allow batter to bloom and rest for at least 1 hour before using.
  2. In a sauté pan heat oil over medium heat then brown pork until no longer pink. Add in garlic, salt, and pepper and the wood ear mushrooms and stir then set aside to cool.
  3. Fill a small boiling pot until 1/2 filled with water. Bring the water to a boil on medium heat. Then set a nonstick pan over the boiling pot (this will be your steamer). Using a brush, lightly grease your pan with a few drops of oil.
  4. Stir the batter. and using a ladle, add 1/4 cup of batter to pan and swirl until the bottom of pan is covered. Cover with lid and allow to steam for 30-45 seconds. Remove and invert crepes into a tray.
  5. Add a tablespoon of the pork and mushroom mixture, and fold and set aside. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until no more batter is left.
  6. Arrange the rice crepes on a plate and sprinkle with fried shallots, green onions, pork sausage, and bean sprouts. Serve with nước mắm pha on the side.

Steak Fingers with Peppered Gravy

I looooooooooove steak fingers! Brings me back to childhood. We were able to make these delicious steak fingers gluten-free by substituting with Bob’s Mill All-Purpose gluten-free flour and adding the same flour to make the gravy. So tasty!

Gluten-free steak fingers with peppered gravy

Gluten-free steak fingers with peppered gravy

Yields 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds of round steak, tenderized and cut into 1 inch strips
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Gravy

  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 cup of milk together.
  3. Dip strips of steak in the flour mixture and coat then dip in the egg mixture and dip one last time in the flour. Dust off excess and set aside.
  4. Heat oil on medium high heat and cook strips until browned on both sides. Remove a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Pour the pan grease off pan but reserve about 2 tablespoons. Return pan to medium heat and add in butter then 1 tablespoon flour. Stir in remaining milk and add fresh cracked pepper. Whisk until there are no more clumps. Plate steak fingers and serve with gravy. I also like these with mashed potatoes! <3