WTF: The Easiest Stir-Fry Ever

Yea yea, I know, I haven’t posted a recipe since April. I don’t really have an excuse – I just haven’t been writing much, though cooking plenty. So let’s just skip all the apologies and whatnot and get down to business.

If you saw my post on the SlowCarbSnacktime Facebook the other day, I mentioned that I want to start a new series of posts for the blog entitled “What’s in The Fridge” or WTF. After some feedback from friends and readers, I realized what the people want: fast and easy options for living a slow carb life. Many of my recipes comes from the same “base” recipe – once you know how to cook a type of dish or protein, you basically have free reign to make it your own, fit it to your needs and the foods you have on hand. I’ll be sharing some of these “build-a-bear” style recipes to help you get things started, with some ingredient recommendations to make it your own.

Before we get started with the recipe, a mini update just to say that I have changed my Instagram username. Neither blog nor their respective Facebook pages will be changing, but I decided to update my IG to something more inclusive of the actual content I post and to better reflect my personality. You can now find me on Instagram @lipsticksanddeadlifts.

On to the easiest stir-fry ever! Due to the make-your-own style of this recipe, I have not included any photos for the time being.

You will need: 
Large non-stick pan
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Spatula
Tongs

Ingredients: 
1 lb sausage in casings (pork or chicken)
10oz bag frozen pepper strips
10oz bag frozen sliced mushrooms
1 onion, halved and sliced thin

Seasoning & Spices: 
salt
garlic powder

Since I’m working with frozen veggies, it takes a bit longer to cook, but it’s worth it for the added nutrients.* Heat a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat and dump in the peppers and mushrooms – you don’t need any cooking fat right now, the veggies need to defrost and lose some of their water. Stirring occasionally, cook the veggies until the water begins to evaporate (7-10 minutes) and then add in the onions. The onions will also let go of some water – once all the liquid has evaporated, add your cooking fat (ghee, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, etc), salt, and any herbs or spices you like.

mild-links220_0Once the vegetables begin to caramelize, add in your sausage links. I prefer to use uncooked sausages and usually buy Mulay’s brand, but cooked sausages like Aidell’s Organic are just fine too! Just be sure to check your ingredients. If you are using raw sausage, let them cook for 5-7 minutes, turning once – continue to stir the veggies as well. Using tongs, remove the sausages one at a time to the cutting board and slice them into rings. If you are using pre-cooked sausages, you can slice them right away.

Continue to cook the veggie-sausage mixture until the sausages are cooked through, mixing occasionally so that nothing sticks to the pan. Serve immediately.

***

Okay, so that’s my basic sausage stir-fry, but you can make it work with almost any veggies you have available. Here are some options that I have tried or would, but you can use whatever you like:

  • fresh or frozen sweet peppers, sliced
  • fresh hot peppers, chopped
  • fresh or frozen mushrooms, sliced
  • onion (any kind)
  • scallions
  • shallots
  • broccoli
  • cabbage, sliced
  • green beans
  • carrots

Some herb and spice options, though I would not recommend using them all at once:

  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • Chinese five-spice
  • oregano
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • white pepper

*Notes:

If the veggies you’re buying are out of season, you’re better off buying frozen vs. imported. Produce begins to lose nutrients once its picked and the longer it takes to get to your plate, the less you benefit from it!

Advertisements

Two Years: My Top 20 Recipes!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been TWO YEARS since I first created SlowCarbSnacktime. It’s been a long road learning how to eat properly and fuel my body, and there’s still a very long journey ahead, but it has been such an amazing and educational adventure so far and I’ve come up with so many healthy slow carb recipes along the way. There’s many more to come, but for now, I’m celebrating two years of SlowCarbSnacktime with my top 20 recipes.

All 20 of these recipes are grain, gluten, sugar, corn, potato, rice, and soy-free. Two recipes use some dairy, but I’ll make sure to note that in the list. I will also note paleo and whole30 compliant recipes (they are obviously all slow carb compliant). Items marked “vegetarian” are either vegetarian or can easily be made so by changing an ingredient such as swapping out chicken stock for vegetable stock.

  1. Amazeballs: Super Scallion Turkey Meatballs – paleo/whole30 – I used ground pork rinds instead of bread crumbs to give these meatballs the fluffiness they need without the carbs you don’t want.
  2. B^3: Butternut Bacon Bitespaleo/whole30 – It may take a few minutes to wrap these precious little pieces of squash in strips of bacon, but I promise it’s worth every second of your time.
    IMG_20140101_092322
  3. Butternut Squeek Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – There are few things better than a hot butternut squash soup on a cold winter day… this soup with butternut squash plus leeks is one of them.
  4. Chicken Liver Mousse – dairy – Okay, I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of butter in this recipe, but it is one of the easiest things to make for a classy dish to stun your guests without sacrificing protein. Also tastes great with eggs for breakfast, or by itself on a very large spoon…

    Beautifully set. Dig in!

    Beautifully set. Dig in!

  5. Decontamination: Ginger Chicken Souppaleo/whole30 – The perfect comeback to any cold, my chicken soup is infused with a ton of ginger to help combat the ickiest of feelings. A favorite of my dad’s to fight back against chronic sinus infections.
  6. Duck Duck Asparaguspaleo/whole30 – Crispy asparagus oven-roasted in duck fat. The way to my heart is through my stomach.
  7. Easy Peas-y: Split Pea Soup w/ Sausage – One of The Boyfriend’s favorites, I boil the sausage in chicken stock and then use that stock in the soup. So rich, so good.
    IMG_20131118_102852
  8. “Gazpacheaux” Gazpachovegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This cold tomato soup is a perfect snack to beat the summer heat or spoon into shot glasses for a classier kind of party.
  9. Hold the Sizzle: Fiery Chicken Fajitas – paleo/whole30 – This spicy little stir fry is a great option for a protein-packed dinner for two and tastes great with strips of beef too!
  10. Holy Crap! Garlic Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – Over 20 cloves of garlic and a whole head of cauliflower into the pot for a super smooth, bright white soup.
  11. Kimchi Fried Cauli-Rice – paleo/whole30 – Cauliflower rice, kimchi, eggs, and bacon fat. What more could you want?
  12. Lamb Chop’s Play Along: One Baaaaad Burgerpaleo/whole30 – This ground lamb burger with fresh rosemary is so juicy, sticking it on a bun would just be a waste.
  13. Perfect ‘Stachio Guacvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – My copy cat version of the stunning guacamole at Jose Garces’ El Vez. Never pay $14 for guac again.
    P1010122
  14. Red Lentils are Dal-iciousvegetarian – My take on a traditional Indian dal, prepared in a slow cooker using red lentils and a ton of fresh spinach. I crave this all the time and it’s a great dish entirely on its own, paired with a meaty protein, or even reheated in a pan with some eggs!
  15. Rosemary Bone Brothcrockpot, paleo/whole30 – This slow-cooked broth is made from beef soup/marrow bones and cooks on low for nearly two days to extract all the vitamin goodness from the bones. When it’s cold, it looks like jell-o, but warm it up for a mineral-packed cup of life. Seriously, I know how cheesy that sounds, just try it. It’s amazing.
    20140523_1634433
  16. Saturday Morning Shakshuka / Date Night Zoodlesvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – These two quick dishes pair great together for a meal so tasty, you won’t even realize there’s no meat!
  17. Sweet Hundos: Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomato Saucevegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This super easy tomato sauce is made with “Sweet 100’s” cherry tomatoes and is unlike any sauce I’ve tasted before. I just couldn’t get enough and ate half the jar with a spoon. Serve with just about anything.

    Mmm saucy!

    Mmm saucy!

  18. Top Secret Deviled Eggs / Devilish Egg Salad – My go-to potluck dish and an easy alternative for cravings at home.
  19. Tiny Viking Funerals – cheat day, dairy – Jalapenos stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese. A cheat day treat guaranteed to knock the socks off all your friends.
    20140209_1734100
  20. Whatsername Fish Tacos – Chickpea flour-crusted tilapia fillets and large lettuce leaves make for this delicate but delicious taco dinner. You won’t even miss the tortillas.

Southwestern Turkey Bowl

Between grad school, daily life, makeup nerdery, preparing for another trip back east, and a recent trip to Israel (followed by a vicious cold), I’ll be honest – I haven’t felt much like writing recipes lately.

Last week I had a bit of an eye-opening encounter with an old friend who reminded me that I’m not alone, that it’s okay to share even when everything isn’t fine and dandy, and that health comes first. She was right, and health definitely comes first – mine and yours. Taking care of myself starts, in many ways, with eating the right foods and I started this blog with the promise of sharing them with you guys. Not really doing good work if I’m keeping all the recipes to myself, am I? So, while there hasn’t been anything super extravagant lately, here’s a few quick meals coming up for those days when you’re running low on spoons.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Southwestern-inspired Turkey Bowl

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground turkey
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 Serrano peppers, chopped

Seasoning:
1 tsp granulated garlic
fresh cilantro
cumin
chipotle powder
salt and pepper, to taste

For guacamole:
1 large ripe avocado
dried parsley
red pepper flakes
lime juice

turkey bowl

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers, onions, and granulated garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onions soften and slightly brown. Stir in beans, cilantro, and ground turkey. Season immediately with salt, pepper, chipotle powder, and cumin to taste and stir well to incorporate. Continue on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 7-10 minutes or until turkey is completely cooked through.

While your entrée is sizzling away, prepare guacamole following THIS recipe. I left out the pistachios this time (mostly because I didn’t have any), but I’m sure they would add a nice crunch.

Serve turkey-bean mixture in a bowl and top with guacamole and fresh cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!

Sweet Hundos: Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Mmm saucy!

Courtesy of our lovely next-door neighbors, late last week I found myself with close to four pounds of cherry tomatoes in the kitchen, mostly of the irresistibly orange Sweet 100 variety. We couldn’t possibly eat them all, and soup was out of the question – have you ever peeled that many tiny tomatoes? I certainly wasn’t going to. So here it is, oven-roasted cherry tomato sauce: so good, I literally ate half the jar before it had cooled enough to put away.

For this recipe, you will need: 
Large baking pan (glass recommended)
Food processor
Heat-safe jar (glass recommended)
Plastic bags for freezing (optional)

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100, or other variety)
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
1-2 tsp onion powder
2-3 tbsp high quality oil (olive or avocado)
~ 0.5 oz fresh basil (10-15 g)

Gently remove stems from all tomatoes and rinse with cold water (I saw a hobo spider while out in the garden, so I made sure to wash them really well).

Pour 1-2 tbsp oil in a glass pan, tilting the pan to cover most of the bottom. Add tomatoes, garlic, onion powder, and an additional 1-2 tbsp of oil and carefully toss – you want to be gentle so the tomatoes don’t break, but you also want them to be coated with the onion powder and in a flat layer.

Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until tomatoes are soft and wrinkly and liquid is lightly boiling. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Oven ready!

Oven ready!

Transfer full contents of the pan (including any liquid) to a food processor. Add fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until desired texture is reached (some people like it chunky, but I like it pretty smooth).

Transfer sauce to a heat safe container like a mason jar and let cool before storing in the fridge.

Serve with… basically everything. I put it in my roast chicken and even in a sausage and pepper stir-fry! Or just eat it with a spoon, ’cause it’s really that good.

20140902_1639377

This recipe makes about one quart of sauce. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen in a ziplock bag for 1-2 months (to defrost, place bag in a bowl of warm water).

Hold the Sizzle: Fiery Chicken Fajitas

If you’re anything like me, you really love fajitas. You love fajitas almost as much as you hate burning your fingers on the damn cast iron skillet that restaurants insist on serving your food on. Every time, they tell me, “don’t touch the plate, it’s hot” and every time, I burn myself one way or another. Never again!

Ingredients: 
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 jalapeño peppers, or equivalent
3 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar

Seasoning: 
3 tsp cilantro
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp True Lime (or 1 tbsp fresh lime juice)

Necessary Appliances/Special Equipment: 
1 medium-sized bowl
1 small bowl for mixing spices
1 large non-stick pan
1 rubber baking spatula or equivalent (large spoon, etc)

Slice chicken breasts into strips, about 1/2″ thick by 1″-2″ long and place into a medium-sized bowl. Remove seeds from hot peppers and slice into thin strips, add these to the bowl as well.

In a small bowl, combine all the herbs/spices and stir with a fork (if using fresh lime juice, do not add this in yet). Add 3 tbsp avocado oil, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp lime juice (if using), and all herbs/spices to the bowl of chicken and peppers. Mix gently but thoroughly with rubber spatula or spoon, making sure chicken is evenly coated. Allow chicken and peppers to marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

Marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

Marinate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

Heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat – you won’t need to add more oil since the chicken has been marinated in some. Dump entire bowl of chicken/pepper mixture into the pan. Sautee over medium heat until chicken is fully cooked through – since the pieces are small, it will be difficult to check the internal temperature, so I usually cut one of the larger pieces in half to make sure the inside is fully cooked.

Serve immediately.

The Controversial Carrot: Pureed

20140303_1640566

We’re back! I’m back! As I shared in my last post, The Boyfriend and I went off to celebrate his 30th birthday by exploring Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC this past weekend. We had a great time, a lovely experience with airbnb (our first), and ate an insane amount of great food. We only spent one night/day in Seattle, but thankfully got to spend some time at Pike Place Market (and picked up some of the most beautiful produce I’ve ever seen). On Saturday, we ventured out to Gastown in Vancouver for birthday dinner at L’Abbatoir and I tried sweetbreads for the first time! I’m proud to report, they are delicious. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the guts to prepare them myself, but definitely won’t shy away the next time I see it on a menu. (I will post plenty of pictures from our adventure once I have finished sorting through all of them!)

One last thing before we get to the recipe: I need your help! Yes, you! Right there! Saveur Magazine is holding their 5th annual Best Food Blog Awards and it would mean the world to me if you would take a few seconds and help nominate my blog for “Best Special Diets” blog HERE. Note: multiple categories are absolutely permitted, so feel free to click “new blog” and “cooking blog” too if you want. I will love you forever!

Okay, now on to the rebellion! The carrot is absolutely a controversial veggie for slow carb eaters, and should be eaten in moderation (if at all). That said, The Boyfriend and I did just get back from vacation so our fridge is practically empty, and my body is seriously craving some fresh veggies. I rarely use carrots otherwise so I’m going to let this one go and enjoy my vitamin-packed purée. You will need an immersion blender or food processor to complete this recipe, links to my products of choice are below.

So. Many. Carrots.

So. Many. Carrots.

Ingredients: 
5 lbs whole carrots
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 15-oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
5-7 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ghee or grass-fed butter
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp high quality oil (olive or avocado)

Seasoning: 
2 tsp salt (for the water)
freshly cracked salt, to taste
freshly cracked white pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste

Appliances/Special Equipment: 
Immersion blender (recommended) or food processor

Remove any carrots split down their entire length (they are a pain in the @$$ to peel and I don’t like ’em), remove ends from remaining carrots and discard. Peel carrots and chop into rounds, 1″-2″ in length.

Add chopped carrots to a large stockpot with 2 tsp of salt, cover with water at least 1″ over the carrots and bring to a boil. Allow carrots to simmer for 30 minutes.

After the carrots have been simmering for about 15 minutes, begin the second half of the purée:
In a second, smaller stockpot, combine the butter beans, onion, and garlic with 2 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1 tbsp rice vinegar over medium-low heat. Stir often, gently mashing the beans as they begin to soften.

Once the carrots have simmered for 30 minutes and are mashable (you can test this with the back of a wooden spoon), drain and add carrots back to the stockpot. Return pot to stove over medium heat and dump contents from second pot into the carrots (bean mixture). Add 1 tbsp of oil as well as your salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir well.

Using an immersion blender in the pot, or transferring the carrot mixture to a food processor, blend until desired texture is reached – I like it mostly smooth with the occasional chunk of carrot.

Finish with a sprinkle of coarse salt before serving (optional).

First Attempt: Spinach is Dal-icious

Indian cuisine is excellent for warming weeknight meals, if you can avoid the rice (pretty much impossible, especially if you crave the spicy stuff like I do). Dal – a mild stew-like side dish of split lentils, peas, or beans – is one of The Boyfriend’s favorites so today I’m attempting to make my own with yellow split peas and spinach hold the rice. There are hundreds of different recipes online, but you know I don’t reallyyyy like to follow recipes, so I’m going to mix them all up and see what happens!

You can find most of these ingredients in ethnic markets or in the bulk section of a well-stocked supermarket – we found nearly everything at WinCo.

IMG_20140103_083725

Ingredients:
2.5 cups yellow split peas
4-5 large handfuls baby spinach (about 1/2 of a 16oz tub)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 Serrano pepper, diced
5-7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
5 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp white vinegar
2.5 cups water
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter or ghee

Seasoning: 
3 tsp salt, divided
1.5 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more optional)
1/4 tsp mustard powder

Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse split peas with cool water. Fill a medium-sized bowl with 2.5 cups cool water and soak peas for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas and water from bowl to a large non-stick pan, add 1.5 tsp salt, and bring to a boil. Lower to medium heat and allow peas to simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes. If your pea mixture looks very thick, add water one cup at a time (in total I ended up adding about 2.5 more cups of water throughout the cooking process – not all at once). At this point, stir in 3 tsp of lemon juice and turn off heat.

In a separate, medium-sized non-stick pan, melt 1.5 tbsp coconut oil and 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the onions, pepper, garlic, and ginger and sauté until onion begins to soften (about 4 minutes). Turn heat to low and add cumin, turmeric, coriander, red pepper flakes, and mustard powder to the onion mixture; mix well. Continue sautéing vegetables for another 3-5 minutes before adding onion mixture to the split peas.

Bring pea and onion mix back to light boil on medium-low heat, cover with lid, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes; stir every 8-10 minutes. When there is about 10 minutes left on the timer, stir in 2 tsp white vinegar and 2 tsp lemon juice. After 30 minutes of simmering, the peas should be soft but not mushy. Add 2 tbsp butter, stirring until it melts, then add spinach while continuously stirring (gently). Re-cover pan with lid for 3-5 minutes or until spinach wilts. Serve immediately, as is or with cauliflower rice.

IMG_20140103_062714