Food is the gateway to the soul. Some days are easy while others need a little “umph”. Sometimes getting in the kitchen and getting to work is the best way to deal with these types of days rather than hitting up the closest fast-food restaurant or extremely overpriced foods that normally leave you feeling somewhat defeated. Cooking is fun and simple and these proven recipes will remind you how fun and simple life can be also.
Some foods are known to have certain affects on the body. Oysters and chocolate are known to be aphrodisiacs. Salmon helps to give you vitamin B12 and anti-oxidants. Your body tends to crave certain random food at times to let you know what it is lacking. I tend to always crave a salad or sushi after a long night out the following day.
Here are 5 easy recipes that your family will love:
1. Chicken Divan:
I can remember eating this as kid and just being so contented. Back in those days I could and would consume massive amounts of rice and cheese. Of course I now substitute rice and what used to be bread dipped in butter that topped it with cauliflower rice and ground almonds. My mom had handed me this recipe while I was in college, after meeting my fiance I looked into his mother’s cook book and she had nearly the same recipe with a few changes. I took what I liked and came up with this one.
- 1 pound of chicken breast, boiled and cubed
- 2 cups of boiled rice or cauliflower rice
- 2 cups of cooked broccoli
- 12 oz of sliced mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp of butter or olive oil
- Almond flour or ground almonds
- 1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp mayonaise
- 1 small onion
- Salt and Pepper
- Dash of ground nutmeg
- Grated Cheddar Cheese
- 3 Tbsp Butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. In a skillet melt the butter or oil with the small onion until the onion is carmelized and translucent. Add the minced garlic and the sliced mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid. Pour the mushroom soup, lemon juice, salt pepper, nutmeg, and mayonaise into the skillet and mix. Set aside. In a medium sized casserole dish, place the rice or cauliflower rice at the bottom, then add the cooked broccoli, followed by the chicken. Pour the mushroom mix over the chicken. Cover the top of the casserole dish with grated cheddar cheese. Then place the ground almond flour completely over the cheese. Using a cheese grater, take the last 3 Tbsp of butter and grate over the almond flour, so that it will become crisp. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until almond flour is a golden brown.
2. Grilled Salmon with Pesto Cream Sauce
This recipe is probably from one of the first times I made salmon and oh did it start a salmon obsession! I absolutely loved the sauce and could’ve eaten it with a spoon, however, my fiance didn’t like it, he said it made the fish too heavy. The fish however is lovely with or without the sauce.
- (3) 6 oz. Wild caught Salmon filets with skin-on
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz. neufchatel cheese, cubed
- 1/8 cup of 2% milk
- 1/8 cup of white wine, I prefer Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 Tbsp basil pesto
Heat grill to medium heat. Brush both sided of salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill skin sides down for 10 minutes or until flaky. Meanwhile, cook cheese, milk, lemon juice, and wine on medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, until melted. Add pesto once cream is off the heat. Serve fish with sauce on top. It will be hard not to want to eat the crunchy skin- I sometimes eat it :).
3. Brown Sugar Meatloaf
I never grew up eating meatloaf, my family admitted, they never liked it, too bland, too dry, too everything. I decided to give it a go and merged all the things I enjoyed from all the times I had ordered the dish. I normally like to eat this with some roasted broccoli.
- 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef
- 4-5 strip of bacon
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3/4 packet of meatloaf seasoning
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp Tamari Sauce (a gluten free soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup of 2% milk
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup of fresh chopped parsley
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- Salt and Pepper
- 3/4 cup of almond flour or bread crumbs
- Thick sliced tomatoes- about half an inch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Mix meat, meatloaf seasoning, milk, egg, salt, pepper, parsley, almond flour or bread crumbs, and garlic together for main loaf. Place sliced tomatoes at bottom of pan. Form loaf and place on top of tomatoes. Mix sugar, ketchup, tamari, and Worcestershire sauce. Spread over the meatloaf. Place the bacon over the sauce and loaf, this will help to keep the sauce from dripping down the sides, while also adding a little more flavor. Bake for 1 hour.
4. Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)
Perfect if you are under the weather and want something light yet filling. A good side to eat this with is jasmine rice and a fried egg (over medium, just so the yolk is runny). Break the egg over the white rice, and eat each spoon of soup with a little of the rice. Amazing! There is also a way to cater each bowl to each persons tastes. If you want more salt, add fish sauce; more heat, add red chilli flakes; too sour, add sugar; too hot, add coconut milk; too salty, add lime juice.
- 4-6 cups of Chicken Stock
- 1 Stalk of lemon grass, processed
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 fresh red chilles, finely sliced
- Red chilli flakes or thai chilli sauce
- 3 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 handful shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 12 medium raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 handful chopped broccoli
- 1 sliced tomato
Pour stock into deep cooking pot and bring to a boil. Add processed lemon grass and boil 1-2 minutes (add upper stalk of lemon grass for extra flavor). Add garlic, chilles, lime leaves, and mushrooms. Reduce heat and simmer 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and veggies until all are fully cooked. Reduce heat to medium-low and add coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir well then ready to serve.
5. Pan-Fried Flounder
It sounds deceiving, but it is healthy and it is delicious yet so simple it gets past the radar I feel like more than it should. I love eating this with a artichoke and green olive salad drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar dressing.
- 4 filets of flounder
- Salt and Pepper
- Herbs du Provence
- Almond Flour
- 3 Tbsp butter- enough to cover skillet and compensate for absorption
Pat fish filets dry with paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, and Herbs du Provence. Rub almond flour on all sides of fish. In a pan melt butter, enough to compensate for absorption, so the fish will not stick to the pan. Make sure the butter is fully heated and the pan is hot, normally the butter starts to bubble. Pan fry the fish for about 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other side, flipping only once. The almond flour should be golden brown and crispy by the time you take it off.