Smoky Maple BBQ Salmon

Smokey and delicious

For this salmon recipe, I created a spice paste using hickory smoked sea salt, cumin, and smoked paprika, to create an earthy, smoky flavor, blended with maple syrup, for sweetness. If you like a little heat in your barbecue flavor, I recommend adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes to the spice paste.

This is a great recipe for meal prep lunches or a really easy weeknight dinner. Pair it with my gluten free, dairy free “mac & cheese” or Mexican sweet corn sweet potato salad.

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Smoky Maple BBQ Salmon

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

For the Salmon

  • 1 lb Salmon Fillets
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Hickory Smoked Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper optional

Instructions
 

For the Salmon

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine the spices and maple syrup.
  • Place the salmon fillets on a lined baking sheet and brush with the spice mixture.
  • Bake the salmon for 25 minutes, or until done.

Notes

Cook’s note: soak your cashews in hot water for approximately 30 minutes before preparing this recipe. You may skip this step if using a high speed blender.
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Mexican Street Corn Sweet Potato Salad

Okay, so this recipe has a really long name but is not nearly as complicated as it sounds to make. It’s packed with delicious flavors. Perfect for a side dish in your summer meal prep menu. Or take it along to your next barbecue. I paired it with my Smoky Maple BBQ Salmon but it will also work alongside chicken. This dairy free, gluten free salad is a great summer dish!

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Mexican Street Corn Sweet Potato Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb Sweet Potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 large clove Garlic unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 Bell Pepper diced
  • 3 Green Onions sliced
  • 1 15oz Bag Frozen Corn
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Raddish for garnish thinly sliced (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven for 425 degrees.
  • On lined baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes and clove of garlic with the avocado oil, salt and pepper.
  • Roast the potatoes and garlic until soft, about twenty minutes.
  • Prepare the corn according to package instructions. Heat a dry, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the corn and toast.
  • In a large bowl, add the toasted corn, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, and green onions.
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the mayonnaise, roast garlic clove, and lime juice until smooth.
  • Add the mayonnaise mixture to the potato mixture and stir to combine. Garnish with additional green onions and raddish slices.
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Gluten Free, Dairy Free “Mac & Cheese”

Guilt-free, satisfying comfort food

Since overhauling my diet in 2019 to a more anti-inflammatory friendly way of eating, it meant avoiding gluten and dairy. Gluten hasn’t been that difficult of a transition. It has it’s challenges but there are so many substitute products available now, it really hasn’t been that bad. But dairy, that has been really tough. Keep in mind, I grew up in the mid-west where we smother literally everything in cheese. Like, we put cheese on our cheese. So avoiding dairy was a big change!

What I really like about this recipe is, you really don’t miss the dairy. It has that yummy, creamy, comforting texture and a delicious flavor. A lot of vegan mac & cheese recipes I’ve run across typically call for white potatoes, which are part of the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables.

There are a lot of conflicting opinions on whether or not nightshade vegetables contribute to inflammation in the body. Personally, I avoid them and replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes, which are anti-inflammatory friendly. But everyone is different and may be affected differently by certain foods. Bottom line, use what best fits your diet or what was recommended by your healthcare provider. My recipe here calls for sweet potatoes, which also gives that familiar yellow color to the sauce.

For the salmon, I created a spice paste using hickory smoked sea salt, cumin, and smoked paprika, to create an earthy, smoky flavor, blended with maple syrup, for sweetness. If you like a little heat in your barbeque flavor, I recommend adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes to the spice paste.

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Gluten Free, Dairy Free “Mac & Cheese”

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz Gluten Free Pasta
  • 1 medium Sweet Potato peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup Carrots peeled and diced
  • 1/2 medium Onion diced
  • 3/4 cup Water preserved from cooking the vegetables
  • 1/2 cup Raw Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the pasta according to package instructions and set aside.
  • In a small pot, add the potatoes, carrots, and onions. Add cool water until the veggies are covered.
  • Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until the veggies are tender, about ten minutes.
  • When the veggies have finished cooking, use a ladle to carefully measure off 3/4 cup of cooking liquid.
  • Add the veggies, reserved cooking water, and the remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add the sauce to the pasta and stir to coat.
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Israeli Rice and Beans

Easy and flavorful vegetarian lunch or delicious side with meat or fish

This is a great recipe to keep at the ready for a quick, vegetarian lunch. It’s also a great side dish to pair with chicken or fish. Rice and beans is a traditional Sephardic dish that has become increasingly popular across Israel.

I opted to make this version with canned beans, in order to save time. But to really do it right, I recommend using dried beans and slow cooking this dish to really develop the rich flavors. But for a quick lunch version, this works just fine.

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Israeli Rice and Beans

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Israeli

Ingredients
  

  • 15 oz can Cannellini Beans
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 small Onion diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Rice prepared according to package instructions

Instructions
 

  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the onions and saute about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  • Add the beans, tomato paste, and spices. Cook another minute.
  • Add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the sauce thickens.
  • For a meal prep lunch, place a layer of rice in the container and top with the bean mixture. Refrigerate until ready to heat and eat. This recipe makes two lunch servings.
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Charoset Briks

A sweet twist on a Middle Eastern classic

Charoset: A sweet, dark-colored paste made of fruits and nuts, eaten at Passover seder. The Ashkenazi version is traditionally made with apples while the Sephardic version contains dried fruits like dates and figs.

What am I going to do with my leftover charoset? That’s how this recipe came about. I made a large batch of Sephardic-style charoset and had some left after Passover. I also remembered a recipe for an Israeli version of Tuna Briks I made a while back. These were a mixture of tuna, harissa, capers and spices wrapped in phyllo dough and baked. So I decided to combine the jam-like charoset with freshly purchased phyllo dough to create sweet briks.

Phyllo dough can be a tricky product to work with. It’s important to work quickly and to keep unused sheets covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out. For the purpose of this recipe, I made sure my charoset was at room temperature. The finished product was like an elevated fig cookie. Yum!

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Folding Your Charoset Briks

Once you have layered your phyllo dough, cut it into thirds.

Place one tablespoon of the charoset filling at the end of each strip. You’ll need to work quickly to keep the phyllo from drying out.

Fold from the corner of the phyllo, bringing the dough up over the filling to create triangle.

Brush the end of the phyllo with egg wash to help seal the briks.

Place the completed briks on a baking sheet, coated with cooking spray. Brush the outsides with egg wash prior to baking.


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Charoset Briks

A sweet twist on a savory favorite
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Baking Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Israeli, Jewish

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pkg Phyllo Dough defrosted
  • 1 Egg lightly beaten
  • Cooking Spray

For the Charoset

  • 1/2 lb Mejool Dates pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lb Turkish (Calimyrna) Figs coarsely chopped
  • Zest and Juice of One Orange
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Powdered Ginger
  • 1 cup Water

Instructions
 

  • Start by making the charoset and allowing it to cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a large cutting surface. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Layer one sheet of phyllo over and coat light with cooking spray. Repeat until you have layered five sheets of phyllo.
  • Starting at the short end, cut the phyllo sheets into three strips.
  • Place one tablespoon of the charoset at the end of each strip. Bring the corner up over the charoset to create a triangle. Continue to fold the phyllo around the filling until you reach the end. Dab the end with the beaten egg to seal. Repeat with the remaining filling.
  • Place the completed briks on a baking sheet, coated with cooking spray. Brush the outside of the briks with egg wash and place in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the phyllo is a golden brown.
  • Allow to cool and enjoy.

For the Charoset

  • Place the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and allow to simmer about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens and the fruit has broken down.
  • Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend to a chunky texture.
  • Allow the charoset to cool to room temperature before making the briks.
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Chili Salmon Grain Bowl with Mango Salsa

Perfect for a spicy and delicious lunch

I like to keep things as simple as possible when I’m putting together my meal prep menu for the week. This salmon dish goes together very quickly and easily. Yet, it’s packed with flavor.

For this meal, I elected to make the mango salsa myself. You can definitely use a jarred fruit salsa, if you prefer. I never seem to have good luck when it comes to picking out mangos. So I took the easier route and went with frozen mango chunks instead. Frozen fruits are processed at their peak so you know you’re getting flavorful fruit. Obviously, it’s not quite the same as fresh but this is one way to avoid issues with fruits being out of season.

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Chili Salmon Grain Bowl with Mango Salsa

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

For the Salmon and Quinoa

  • 1/2 cup Quinoa cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 lb Salmon Fillets
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Salsa

  • 2 cups Mango Chunks thawed if using frozen fruit
  • 1 small Red Onion diced
  • 1 small Yellow Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 small Jalapeno diced, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • Cilantro finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the Salmon and Quinoa

  • Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions.
  • In a skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat, until it shimmers.
  • In a small bowl, combine the spices. Rub the mixture over the top of the salmon fillets.
  • Place the salmon in the pan, skin side down and cook approximately five minutes. Turn the fish and cook an additional three minutes. Return the fish to the skin side, reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and allow the salmon to cook through.
  • To assemble, place a layer of quinoa in a meal prep container. Top with a salmon fillet. Add the salsa to a separate well of the meal prep container. If not using partitioned containers, store the salsa separately until ready to eat.

For the Salsa

  • Add the salsa ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
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White Bean Hummus

For when you forgot to soak the chickpeas

This recipe was invented, not out of some desire to create a reinterpretation of a favorite condiment or some kind of hipster riff on a classic. I was sitting at my computer, getting some work done on my book blog, just about to wrap up and head into the kitchen to get to work on meal prep. And I realized, I forgot to soak chickpeas the night before. The only canned beans I had on hand were cannellini bean. White bean hummus it is!

This recipe is for an Israeli style hummus, which is a little thinner and smoother than other hummus. It’s a great snack with crackers or vegetables. I also really like it as a dressing over salads or as a dip for kebabs.

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White Bean Hummus

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Snack
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 15 oz can Cannellini Beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Check the seasoning and add water, a tablespoon at a time, if too thick.
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Chicken Shawarma Salads

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Chicken Shawarma Salad

A flavorful salad, perfect for meal prep

Shawarma is a delicious, spiced, Middle Eastern classic. And one that I absolutely love! This version includes a spice mixture of cardamon, cumin, and coriander, giving the chicken a wonderfully earth, smoky, and complex flavor. Then it’s diced over refreshing greens, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

Finally, for the dressing, I use a classic Israeli hummus. Or in this case, I use a white bean hummus. You’ll have to check out the recipe to learn why.

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Chicken Shawarma Salad

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 3 lunches

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cardamon
  • 1 tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

For the Salads

  • 4 cups Mixed Greens
  • 1 Bell Pepper sliced
  • 1/2 cup Matchstick Carrots
  • 1 small Cucumber sliced

Instructions
 

For the Chicken

  • Combine the spices and coat the chicken pieces generously.
  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on each side until deep brown.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and allow the chicken to cook through. About 30 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to cool slightly.

For the Salads

  • In your preferred meal prep containers, divide the mixed greens, bell pepper, and cucumbers.
  • Remove the chicken from the bone (if using bone-in), dice and divide over the salads.
  • Refrigerate the salads until ready to eat. Add white bean hummus before enjoying.
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White Bean Hummus


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Chipotle Chicken Salad

Sweet and spicy

Summertime is almost here. The weather is finally warming up and that has me in the mood for light and fresh food when I’m creating my meal prep menus for the week.

This salad is a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. It’s mixed greens, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado, and spicy chicken.

The dressing in this case is mayonnaise-based. I used a combo of mayo, honey, lime juice, and a little sauce from chilies in adobo. It also adds a nice creamy element. If you’re not into mayo, it could be swapped for avocado instead.


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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 lunches

Equipment

  • Mini food processor

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs Chicken Thighs
  • 1 tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

For the Salad

  • 3 cups Mixed Greens
  • 1/2 cup Strawberries quartered
  • 1 cup Sweet Corn prepared to package instructions and cooled, if using frozen
  • 2 Green Onions sliced
  • 1 Avocado diced

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise or 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp Adobo Sauce from chilies in adobo

Instructions
 

For the Chicken

  • Combine the spices in a small bowl and generously coat the chicken pieces.
  • In a pan, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, about three to four minutes per side.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Allow the chicken to cook through, about 30 minutes for bone in pieces.
  • Once cooked, set the chicken aside and allow to cool.

For the Salads

  • To assemble the salads, divide the salad ingredients evenly between two meal prep containers.
  • Dice the chicken and add to the salad.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat. Keep the dressing on the side to avoid the mixed greens getting soggy.

For the Dressing

  • Add the dressing ingredients to a mini food processor and proces until combined.
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Spicy Tuna Nachos

Fun with fusion food

I really enjoy sushi and, like most people, I’m a big fan of nachos. So I decided to bring the two together. These nachos are all the flavors of a spicy tuna roll.

I start with making the chips from wanton wrappers. I prefer to bake them but of course they can be fried. I cut the wrappers on a diagonal, spread them in a single layer on a backing sheet. Then they’re brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt and sesame seeds.

For the tuna steak, I whisk up a quick marinade of coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, garlic-ginger paste, and a little honey. I find tuna steak can be a little bland without at least a quick marinade. Even fifteen minutes adds a lot of good flavor.

When building the nachos, I create two layers. Start with half the chips, top with half of the nacho toppings and drizzle with the sriracha mayo. Then repeat. Add some fish roe to the top and you’re all set to serve. This way all the good stuff gets distributed among the chips.

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Spicy Tuna Nachos

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients
  

For the Tuna

  • 1/2 lb Ahi Tuna Steak
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil

For the Wanton Chips

  • 20 Wanton Wrappers cut diagonally
  • 1 Egg whisked
  • 1-2 tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • Himalayan Salt to taste

For the Nachos

  • 1 cup Coleslaw Mix
  • 2 Green Onions sliced
  • 1 Radish sliced
  • 1 small Cucumber sliced
  • 1/2 Avocado diced
  • 1/4 cup Matschstick Carrots
  • Fish Roe for garnish (optional)

For the Sriracha Mayo

  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Lime Juice

Instructions
 

For the Tuna

  • In a bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, vinegar, honey, and garlic-ginger paste.
  • Add the marinade and the tuna steak to a resealable bag. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  • In a pan, head the avocado oil over medium-high heat. Sear the tuna steak for 90 seconds on each side.
  • Set the tuna aside to rest.

For the Wanton Chips

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • On a large baking sheet, lined with a non-stick mat, lay out the cut wantons in a single layer.
  • Brush the wantons with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds.
  • Bake about 10 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly before using.

For the Sriracha Mayo

  • Add the mayo ingredients to a small food processor and process until combined.

For the Nachos

  • On a large plate, layer about half the chips. Top with half of the other ingredients and drizzle with about half the sriracha mayo. Add a second layer of chips and the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with the remaining mayo. Garnish with fish roe, if desired.
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