Asian chicken sandwich with Sriracha mayo

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After watching a marathon of ‘Food truck wars’  and drooling  every time the Nom Nom  truck came on screen I knew I had to cook up some  bánh mì  ASAP.  I never was one to follow rules ( or recipes) so after checking out a few variations online I decided to put my own spin on it and  (I don’t use this term often but…) It was oralgasmic.

I started off by making pickled carrots (sans daikon because I forgot to grab one at the store DOH!) which are super easy to make, the recipe I used is right HERE.  Next I put the chicken breast in the crock for 3 hours until it shredded easily and then let it simmer while I finished off the rest. A little bit of sriracha mayo magic and toasted buns later and I was in foodie heaven.

This sammy packs up nicely for picnics or lunches or you can just shove it on your face and then eat your leftovers out of the fridge like I did.

*Makes 6 sammiches

What you need

  • buns of choice, toasted. There is much debate about the perfect  bánh mì  roll but I used a ciabatta roll and LOVED it
  • 2 lbs of chicken breast or more if you want to eat more
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • cilantro, mint & basil
  • sriracha
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup veggie oil ( I used grape seed)
  • picked carrots or for a quick and simple route use shredded carrots soaked in rice wine vinegar
  • cucumber slices
  • tamari/soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • lemon slice
  • tsp of mustard
  • sea salt
  • lime

How to make it

Chicken

  • in a crock add chicken breast and 2 cups chicken broth, cook on high 3 hours
  • when chicken is ready shred and remove all but about 1/2 c of broth and let simmer on low for half hour while you prep everything else
  • when you are done prepping and ready to assemble sammies heat up coconut oil on the stove and toss chicken in the oil
  • add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste
  • cook until edges are crisp

Sriracha mayo

  • in a food processor add 2 egg yolks
  • squeeze about a tablespoon of juice from a lemon and whisk together with egg
  • add in mustard and whisk
  • slowly add oil drop by drop until you notice the mayo coming together
  • increase the amount of oil you add until you are all out
  • mayo should be white and thick like well…mayo
  • add sriracha and a bit of sea salt to taste, more sriracha is more spice

Garnishes & assembly

  • chop about 1/4 c each of basil, cilantro and mint and toss together
  • peel and slice cucumbers
  • Make picked carrots HERE or shred carrots and soak for half hour in rice wine vinegar
  • toast bun
  • spread mayo on both sides and assemble with chicken and garnishes and splash of lime.
  • EAT! NOM!
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Coconut, Chocolate & Chia Pudding

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When a chocolate craving hits, it really hits and now amount of  fruit or honey will satisfy. The other day I was home sick and suddenly had an intense craving for chocolate and no way to run to the store.  I looked in my fridge and cupboards and gathered up any sweet treat supplies I could find and whipped up what is probably the most delicious dessert I have had in ages.

This pudding is light and fluffy and full of coconut deliciousness, it reminds me of a pudding version of a chocolate macaroon.  The best part is, eating this is 100% guilt free since there are no sugars  and when you use raw cacao and chia it adds even more goodness. If you are like my kiddo and  the texture of shredded coconut gives you the heebeegeebeez then you can omit it for a creamy version.

What you need

  • sugar-free shredded coconut
  • raw cacao powder or dutch cocoa powder although the cocoa will not have the same health benefits
  • 1/4 c raw honey
  • 1 can coconut milk, frozen ( pour it into a bag and then freeze to make it easier)
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • 1/4 milk of choice, use non frozen coconut milk or almond milk

How to make it

  • in a bowl soak chia seeds in milk of choice for half hour
  • in the blender puree  frozen coconut milk, honey and cacao powder
  • fold in shredded coconut (optional)  and chia seeds
  • let sit in the fridge for at least an hour
  • Enjoy!

 

 

 

Cuppow Review

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I absolutely love cuppow! As a mason jar-aholic I often find myself with a lap full of coffee when one of the kiddos decides to pounce on me mid-drink.  I found out about cuppow when I was searching for a mason jar straw to keep spills at bay and I immediately contacted them to get some lids. When they came in the mail the kids and I went right out to the cafe to try them out. The barista and owner were both intrigued by my nifty little top and the kiddo could barely wait to try it out.

The tops easily fit a straw or you can use them as a sippy. The kiddo stole my straw  when I looked away so I tried it out as a sippy and I have to say I think I preferred it that way. Having a straw usually means I end up chugging a drink and the slow pour top allowed me to enjoy my drink longer.

The cuppow is not only limited to drinks either, I use the cuppow as a top on my honey jar and it pours the perfect amount to drizzle on top of toast, sammies and oatmeal.  I have even used cuppow for salad dressings, balsamic drizzles and to strain out the juice when I shake up a little cocktail in my mason jar.

Cuppow is BPA and Phalate free and made of food grade plastics and are 100% American made. This company is commited to creating as little waste as possible and keeping it local and giving pack to their community.  At just $8 a top it is definitely worth giving a try!

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Mini raw pies

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I took a little break from blogging to get my daughter ready for her first year of school, visit the Hopi reservation to see my mother and  get excited about food again.  Summertime is full of amazing produce but a lot of times I find myself cooking the  same things over and over- beet chili, garden pizza and pasta. It can get pretty boring so I spared you all the re-run recipes and took a little time to experiment and try to come up with new ways to use my summer foods.

With my daughter starting school soon I have also been experimenting with making lunches and have come up with some adorable finger foods to pack for her and this recipe is one that I can not wait to send her to school with.  Raw pies are great because it tastes like you are eating a sinful treat but really you are pretty much eating a power bar. These mini pies pack up nicely in a small Tupperware and the chia seeds really hold the filling together nicely. You don’t need to freeze these pies just leave it in the fridge for a few hours and they are ready to go!

* makes 6 mini pies

What you need:

  • 1 cup soaked almonds ( soak almonds in water for 1 hour)
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 c flax meal ( if you don’t have meal regular flax will do)
  • 1/2 cup each of 2 berries, I used blueberry and strawberry
  • 1/4 c chia seeds
  • 1/4 c honey simple syrup (in a jar mix 1 cup honey and 1/2 c warm water, shake until dissolved and store in fridge! great for coffee and smoothies!)
  • wax paper and cupcake tin

How to make it

  • mix chia seeds and honey simple syrup in a bowl and let sit for half hour
  • blend berries and chia mixture together and sit it in the fridge while you make the crust
  • in a blender mix almonds and dates
  • Place crust in a bowl and mix with flax meal
  • line cupcake tin with wax paper
  • press crust into cupcake tin making sure it is packed firmly
  • spoon in filling
  • let sit in fridge for a few hours to firm up
  • devour!

Earth Lust Bottle Review

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When I went in search of  the perfect bottle  I only had a few requirements: It must be stainless steel, it must be BPA, PVC and phthalate  free and it has  to keep breast milk warm . I have tried so  many bottles and sippy cups  I lost count and the babe has rejected them all.  Scout is exclusively breastfed and all the sippy cups we tried are either an  unnatural shape, too hard to they release liquid to quickly.

The first thing I noticed about the Earth Lust bottle was that their sippy cup top was soft and flattened out like a nipple, Scout loved it right away. We were relieved to finally find a bottle that she didn’t instantly toss back at us and just in time since we were about to head out on a road trip. 1000 miles later the babe still loves her sippy and has even started to learn how to hold it and feed herself using the removable handles.

Besides water of course I have added home-made bone broth and fruit and veggie juices and  after the bottle rolled under a seat and was lost for days it still washed out clean and didn’t have any sort of odor. This bottle has also fallen off a cliff and rolled out of the car many times and has held up really well, a definite win in my book.

The bottle top cover, although it wasn’t designed for it, worked really well as a snack container and has become the babes favorite  vessel to eat from. The bottles come in 2 designs and come with both a nipple and sippy top  for both babies and tots.

Although Earth Lust bottles are not made in the US because of a lack of stainless steel producers this company still make sure their bottles are ethically produced using all non toxic materials.

http://www.earthlust.com

https://www.facebook.com/EarthLust

Home made mayo

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Mayo is one of my guilty pleasures, I knew it wasn’t good for me and yet I still found myself sneaking it into the cart. Once I cut out all processed foods I resisted buying it altogether, that is until I figured out how to make it myself.

Even all natural mayo has extra ingredients ( and a hefty price tag )  but conventional mayo has ingredients that just should not be consumed, what the heck is disodium EDTA? With a product that should just be oil and egg why risk consuming chemicals when it is so easy to make!

Once I figured out how to make my own mayo I started experimenting with flavors and textures and  my love affair with this creamy condiment became stronger than ever. This recipe is for a basic mayo base but try my suggested alterations below and don’t be afraid to come up with  your own!

What you need

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar ( i like apple cider but you can use white too)
  • 2 teaspoons or lemon juice
  • 1.5 cups of oil, I used olive oil, avocado blend
  • salt to taste

How to make it

  • add egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and lemon juice in a mixer with a whisk attatchment
  • whisk until mixed
  • turn whisk to med-high and slowly add oil, mayo should turn white and thicken up when done
  • store in a mason jar in the fridge

Variations

  • Add garlic paste to make an aioli, for a twist use roasted garlic
  • add mulberry and dijon mustard for a sweet and spicy twist, recipe HERE
  • Add aioli and use as a dip for fried, recipe HERE
  • add chipotle or bbq sauce for a spicy spread
  • use horseradish mustard for a bit of a kick
  • add fresh herbs like chives or rosemary

Coconut, Almond & Date Shake

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After watching one of my favorite cooking shows, Trippin’ out with Alie & Georgia,  where they venture to southern Cali and tried a date shake I knew I had to have one…like right now. Thankfully my husband is amazing and he drove me over to WinCo to get some bulk dates.   I wasn’t really interested in drinking a ton of ice cream and as usual following a recipe seemed like such a drag so I reinvented the date shake and made this semi-healthy meal in a cup!

This date shake is super thick and rich and quite filling. I don’t care if there is ice cream in this drink, I had it for breakfast and have no regrets. Try it with a burger  with dates and bleu cheese!

What you need

  • 1/4 cup of almonds ( soaked for at least half hour)
  • 1/2 c dates
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 c vanilla ice cream ( Use coconut bliss  or greek yogurt!)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

How to make it

  • soak almonds  for half hour and drain
  • add almonds and dates to blender until well blended
  • add coconut milk, ice cream, ice and cinnamon and blend until smooth

**For a superfood boost soak 4 tbsp of  chia seeds in coconut milk overnight before adding to the shake!

Happy Family Review & Giveaway

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I love making all of my families food from scratch at home but when it comes to baby food I don’t always have the time to whip up some puree for the babe. Once the little one got the hang of the basics like avocado, mashed banana and mashed yams I wanted to let her try some more adventurous treats. It is so very important to me that my babies food be REAL, pure , healthy and organic so when I found Happy Family I was excited to not only see it was GMO free and organic but that it contained  a great variety of fruits and veggies and even superfoods like chia and quinoa.

Happy Family brands has everything from baby foods and snacks to smoothies for us adults and everything in between.  The babes favorites were the  simple combos like pear and peas and the banana, beet and blueberry combo and  I admit I stole a few sips because it was just so yummy.  You can squeeze a little into a bowl or drink it right our of the pouch, my  ‘do it myself’ babe preferred to sip it right from the pouch while the kiddo liked to squeeze a bit out into her oatmeal or mix it in her applesauce.

This companies healthy foods for kiddos are not limited to just squeeze pouches, the food that was devoured the quickest were the Happy Yogis and Happy Creamies! Happy Yogis are yogurt bites mixed with fruit while the Happy Creamies are the non dairy coconut milk version with a bit more adventurous flavors, both dissolve quickly in the babes mouth and  were enjoyed by the whole family.

Another great snack that will be making a return appearance in the  big kids school lunches is the  Sunny Buddies sunflower and jam bites. I love that these snacks do not contain peanuts since a lot of schools forbid it because of allergies. The jam in these snack bites are made with various fruit puree and contains NO SUGAR, what more could a mom ask for?  WE also tried the  Veggie Pals -carrot orange apple chews that tastes like little bites of smoothie, they were wonderful and although I tried to ration them they were gone in a day.

Overall I am quite in love with Happy family- sugar-free, all natural, organic, contains awesome superfoods like chia and they give back. Happy Family donates a portion of their proceeds to FEED, helping to fight  hunger and malnutrition in children around the world. Along with donations to fight hunter Happy Family also committed to using sustainable packaging and  sourcing as many ingredients as possible from American farmers.

Best of all Happy Family would like to offer of one you dear readers a Happiest Traveling Family package!

ENTER HERE

Happiest Traveling Family Package

(1) Happy Yogis

(1) Happy Tot Plus

(1) Happy Tot Greek Yogurt

(1) Happy Munchies Veggie & Fruit Crisps

(2) Happy Times

(2) Happy Squeeze (pouches for all ages, especially adults!)

All natural dog treats: A dogs review

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Eating and living healthy is very important to me and my dog’s food and treats are no exception. We have  a Seppala husky that we adopted from our local arctic dog rescue and  he is one pampered pooch. Loki is 4 years old and has lived a hard life so I feel  like it is only fair that he gets healthy and yummy treats.
 The biggest reason I choose to feed Loki real whole foods is for his fur, as you may know Husky dogs shed like there is no tomorrow but a healthy diet can help a lot. Besides spoonfuls of coconut oil, fish oil  and home made broth I try to give Loki tasty and healthy treats to help with his shedding. Here are a few of his favorites that he has tried and loved. He is quite a picky dog considering he used to ( and still does) eat trash so when he likes something you know it’s good.

Wet noses

Wet noses are probably his favorite and since it comes in a variety of flavors he is never bored.  This company is local outside of Seattle, WA and are specifically designed to be nutritionally beneficial to dogs using organic ingredients. The flavors are quite unique unlike any I have found before like carob &  mint, agave & pear, hemp seed & banana and a ton more. By far Loki’s favorite was the carob & mint and the Dogranola. When he sees me pulling out a box he practically tramples me and will show me all the tricks he knows before I even ask.
Wet nose uses only human grade organic ingredients and does not contain  corn , soy or wheat.

Bone Zappetit

Bone zappetit was my favorite treat for Loki and really helped when he was blowing coat. Bone zappetit is made with superfoods that I love and I am going to admit right here, I tried a bite. When I opened the bag of  yoda shaped treats the smell was amazing and I couldn’t resist nibbling a corner to  try it and it was yummy! Loki  loved the you-maca-me-nuts and  will sit under the shelf where they are hidden and whine for more.
Bone Zappetit treats contain no preservatives and are made to order and made by a chef!

Honest Kitchen

Honest kitchen was a win win for he both of us. I used their dehydrated dog food to make puppy popcicle to keep him cool on these hot summer days, he loved the pops and I loved that it kept him occupied for a bit.  Honest Kitchen uses only whole foods that are never cooked so all the good  vitamins and nutrients stay put.
Honest Kitchen uses only human grade food and no food is ever cooked, canned or processes to retain all the nutrients. They also use only non GMO foods, free range chicken and turkey and wild caught fish.

Sesame kale chips & Raw kale salad

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I love kale so much, it is so rich and filling and  full of vitamins….it’s kind of like the meat of greens. Kale is an incredibly versatile plant and can be used as a pesto , sauteed  or in stews  but y favorite ways to eat it are raw and as a kale chip.

When eating raw kale it is always best to massage your kale first. I know , I know It sounds a bit weird to be giving your greens a massage but trust me on this. Kale is a  bitter green that is quite tough and to be honest  a little bitter. When you massage your kale you are breaking down the cellulose structure  making it more palatable, easier to chew and easier to digest.

Another awesome thing about kale is that just one cup contains  34 HEALTHY calories and zero fat along with a good portion of fiber. Kale also has a full days worth of vitamin A,C and K  as well as some calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Whew! Now you can see why I am a bit obsessed with this green so  try out these recipes and get eating!

These 2 recipe are made at the same time  so grab a big bowl!

What you need

  • 2 bunches of kale
  • sesame oil
  • Braggs amino acids or tamari  or soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sesame seeds
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 c almonds soaked at least 30 minutes, best if overnight ( Rad why you should soak your almonds HERE)
  • optional , dried cherries

How to make it

  • preheat oven to 175-200 depending on how hot your oven gets. My oven gets too hot so I use the lower temp.
  • separate the kale from the middle vein, this vein is touch and hard to chew
  • rip the kale into chunks and add to the bowl
  • add  sesame oil and soy sauce to taste
  • massage your kale  kind of like kneading bread. You will know it’s done when the green is no longer bitter and it is silky
  • toss with sesame seeds, about 2 tbsp
  • separate kale in half and add  one half to a baking pan and place in teh oven for 20 minutes or so until the edges are crisp, the chips will crisp up more as it cools
  • for the other half add  lemon juice
  • shred carrot and add to salad
  • add drained  soaked almonds, patted dry
  • optional (but it think its awesome) chop up some cherries and toss in as well
  • eat!