Hey hey! Hope you are having a great week. This was a dense work week for us, as we have been trying to work ahead, as we leave for Australia in a couple weeks for my sister’s wedding. I am so excited for some sunshine and to celebrate some of my favorite people. I know a handful of you live there and we’re grateful for the few suggestions of places to eat and things to do. I mostly need all the good juju for a 14-hr. plane ride with a 3 and 4 year old ok? Thanks.
I threw in a shrimp dish this week, so that’s something new. I think you’re really going to like the chicken wraps and the cookies are like chewy brownie wonderfulness. I hope you find some things you like. Have a good one!
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I am assuming you have sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a higher heat oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Check your stock on these before you head to the market, and check off any other items you may already have. As you continue to use these recipes, you will see repetition of my favorite ingredients. For example, while real maple and pine nuts are pricey pantry staples, they won’t sit in the pantry, you’ll use them in upcoming weeks. Use bulk bins at your local health food store to buy in smaller quantities if you prefer.
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Meat & Dairy
recipe 01: Sheet pan sweet potato nachos
The potatoes get roasted, and then dressed up with your favorite taco ingredients. If you have the time, make the Cauliflower Chorizo from week 16. Or, if you would like more protein, use shredded chicken (Or even the chicken from Melissa’s Tinga Tacos from Week 23!) or prepared carnitas.
Because these will be customized to taste, be sure to reference all the notes below. On the grocery list, I included salsa, cilantro, black beans, and avocado, but the rest will need to be added per your taste. I made the headnote on the grocery list too!
If you have pre-made taco seasoning, which typically includes salt, you can use that in place of the salt, cumin, and chili powder.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: You could roast the sweet potatoes in advance. Give them a quick go in a hot oven to reheat, along with the beans and any meat you are adding, and top from there.
Use it Twice: Any leftover toppings can go into a burrito bowl.
Kid Friendly: I put the potatoes on a plate and let them dress them up on their own…which basically just means beans and cheese, but oh well.
Carnivore Addition: Add warmed, prepared carnitas, shredded chicken, or leftover steak.
Low Carb: You could use roasted cauliflower florets with the same seasoning, and load those up. It will be a little lumpier, but still taste good!
Dairy Free: Try the dairy free nacho sauce from Siete Foods. It can be found in the section with the refrigerated hummus at Whole Foods, in the area with the refrigerated tortillas. Trader Joes also carries a vegan “nacho” sauce near the hummus. It’s not my favorite, but warmed up, it’s better than nothing if you are avoiding dairy.
Extra Credit: Try it with the Cauliflower Walnut Chorizo from Week 16.
For the sweet potato “chips”
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2” coins
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
1 cup cooked black beans, drained if canned
Queso fresco or cotija cheese
vegan nacho sauce – Siete Foods
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Pickled red onions or sliced green onions
Preheat the oven to 425’. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
Toss the potato coins in the oil, salt, cumin and chili powder, and spread them in an even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the potatoes over halfway way through.
If you are adding any meat, add it when you flip the potatoes. Add the beans, and warm everything together for another 5 minutes in the oven.
From there, decorate the potatoes like you would a taco - sour cream, avocado, onions etc. You get the idea. Garnish quickly and enjoy them warm!
recipe 02: Greek gyros with yogurt tzatziki
There are repeat ingredients in both the sauce and wraps. Plan ahead for an overnight chicken marinade. While you’re cleaning up dinner the night before, quickly mix together your marinade ingredients and let the chicken marinate, covered, overnight. The vegetarian swap is mentioned below.
I know people feel indifferent about mayonnaise, but it is for texture here. It helps keep the sauce thicker. You can use all yogurt, but it will be on the thinner side. If you cannot find Persian cucumbers, use an English cucumber. I would say 1 average English cucumber is about 3 Persian cucumbers.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: Marinate the chicken and make the tzatziki a day in advance.
Use it Twice: Any leftover chicken or toppings make for a great chopped salad.
Kid Friendly: Mine like it without the veggie toppings, but otherwise, it’s basically a taco!
Dairy Free: You can use a coconut or cashew based yogurt for the sauce. Yes, the texture of the sauce will be a little different. I know these ingredients are more expensive.
Vegetarian Swap: Replace with chicken with crispy roasted chickpeas. Dry the beans at well as you can, toss them in a thin coat of oil, salt, dried oregano and some cayenne or dry harissa seasoning. Roast them at 425’ for 25 minutes. Use those in place of the chicken.
Low Carb: Load the chicken, sauce and goodies in a lettuce wrap.
For the chicken marinade
1 cup whole milk, plain greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of two lemons
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. sea salt
1.5 lbs. chicken thighs
For the Tzatziki
2 Persian cucumbers, seeds scraped out, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1 cup whole milk, plain, greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper
dash of cayenne
1/2 cup fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 Persian cucumbers, sliced thin on a diagonal
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Baby tomatoes, halved and quartered
Kalamata olives, chopped, if using
Pita or flatbreads
Mix the marinade ingredients together. Pound the chicken to an even 1” thickness if you get some huge ones. Marinate the chicken at least 4 hours, but overnight is ideal. Before grilling, bring the chicken out to room temperature.
Make the tzatziki. In a food processor, add the seeded cucumber, garlic, and red onion. Give it a few pulses to break down. Add the yogurt, mayonnaise, zest and juice of the lemon, salt, pepper, cayenne, and give it a quick pulse. Add the parsley and dill, mint and pulse it a few more times. Taste for seasonings and adjust. The sauce can be kept, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Prepare your toppings.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Grill the chicken for about 8 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let the chicken rest 5 minutes, then chop it. While the chicken rests, warm the pita or flatbread.
Put a generous swipe of the tzatziki on the bottom of the wrap (or lettuce wrap), top with chopped chicken, more tzatziki, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, fresh parsley, and olives if using.
recipe 03: Citrus shrimp coconut rice bowls
I don’t care much for shrimp personally, but I am trying to cast a wide net around here, so let’s give it a go. The sub of using tofu, tempeh, or chicken thighs with the same marinade would be great as alternatives, see notes below.
I tried a similar recipe from Bon Appetit around the holidays when they offered a few recipes that didn’t require a lot of prep - a relief during a busy season. I tinkered with things and like this simple bowl below.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: You can make the dressing/marinade and rice in advance. Do not over marinate the shrimp or the citrus will cook it.
Use it Twice: Leftover shrimp is a little weird for me, but maybe permissible on a salad?
Kid Friendly: Halve the amount of sriracha if yours are sensitive to spice.
Vegetarian Swap: Replace the shrimp with cubes of extra firm tofu or tempeh. For the tofu, you’ll want to press out excess moisture, let it sit in the marinade for a while, then I prefer to bake it on a parchment lined sheet at 400’ for 25 minutes. The same goes for the tempeh, but it benefits from a longer soak in the marinade.
Low Carb: Replace the rice with sautéed cauli rice.
for the rice
1 cup brown rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water or broth
Big pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
for the shrimp
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. sriracha
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 lbs. jumbo or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
for the salad
3 oranges, different varieties
3 Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/2” thick
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bundle of cilantro
2 large avocados
Toasted sesame seeds
Start your rice. Rinse the rice. Put it in a pot with the coconut milk, water, a big pinch of salt and the ginger. Give it a stir, bring it up to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. About 30 minutes.
Whisk orange juice, sriracha, honey, soy sauce, oil, and 1 Tbsp. lime juice in a bowl. Set aside half the dressing for serving. Add shrimp to the remaining sauce and toss to coat; season with salt. Let it sit, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the citrus salad. Use a sharp knife to peel the citrus away from the peel and pith. Cut the citrus into 1” pieces. Transfer it to a bowl along with the cucumber, scallions, and remaining lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix.
Heat 2 Tbsp. of a neutral oil (avocado, grapeseed, or sesame work) in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, char the shrimp, about 3 minutes per side. This can also be done on the grill.
Arrange your bowls with coconut rice, a few shrimp, citrus salad, and some sliced avocado. Spoon more sauce over the top, top with toasted sesame seeds, and enjoy warm.
recipe 04: Chocolate puddle cookies
Makes about 17 cookies
These are like a meringue brownie hybrid. Super simple, short ingredient list, and all can be done in one bowl or mixer. I grabbed the original from 101 Cookbooks and just changed a few directions. Since I am already warming the oven to bake the cookies, I toast my walnut pieces in the oven for 10 minutes while it is preheating, and proceed from there.
Tips of The Week
Make Ahead: Because there is no baking soda or powder in the dough, I suppose you could make the dough in advance, and bake them off when you’re ready. If the dough is chilled, they will not puddle quite as much, or, you can leave the dough at room temperature for a bit before baking.
2.5 cups of walnut halves and pieces
4 egg whites
4 cups/1 lb. powdered sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder (Dutch processed gives a deeper flavor)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Big pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 320’. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly toast the walnuts in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet - about 10 minutes until just fragrant. Remove to cool completely.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or large bowl. Whisk up the egg whites - they don’t need to be fluffy meringue by any means, just for a minute. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt. Give the walnuts a rough chop, add them to the bowl and mix to combine.
Make puddles of dough, about 1 heaping tablespoon in volume, with plenty of room on the baking sheet for spreading. I can get 8 on a sheet MAX. Repeat on the second sheet.
Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, rotating the sheets half way through for even baking. They may look a little raw in the center, but will firm up as they cool.
Once cooled completely, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.