Coconut Oil – Your Pantry Workhorse

coconutoil

I joke that I could survive on vinegar, baking soda, and coconut oil.  These are so versatile!  Coconut oil is very trendy right now – but I think it’ll be here to stay because the stuff is amazing!  There are so many things you can do with it!  Just search on Pinterest and you’ll find a zillion things you can do with it (just don’t fall for the sunscreen idea – trust me, this porcelain sister got BURNT on the beach and added fuel to the naysayers as I slathered it on).

Cook with it (duh!)

I hope that this is not new to you – go for it!  It’ll add a subtle, nice flavor to your dishes.  Full of healthy fats (get outta our lives you nasty Canola oil!) and is stable for high heats (unlike olive oil).

Eye Make Up Remover & Face Wash

So I’ve been using coconut oil to remove my mascara and eye make up and (believe it) as a facial wash.  Yup!  No, my face isn’t a oil slick, it’s actually really healthy – not too oily and not too dry since I started doing this.  It’s the BEST.  I was always someone who avoided oil in my beauty products, but washing with coconut oil has done WONDERS.  Try it!

Lovely Legs

You know that beautiful glow you see on well-moisturized legs?  No need to get baby oil (eww) or any such lotion – just rub some coconut oil and you’re done!  Natural glow!

Goop Be Gone

I recently purchased some cute, clear glass dishes after I realized that the same two tiny dishes were continually being used again and again.  They were sold individually and each had a really sticky sticker on them that didn’t want to come off.  Before I entered ‘Goo-Be-Gone’ on my shopping list, I decided to give it a go with the coconut oil.  I slathered it over the sticky residue, gave it a good scrub, and washed.  GONE!  Saved some money (and storage space by not having to purchase ANOTHER product for my cleaning closet).

Please share how you’ve been using coconut oil in the comments below!

North African Spiced Salmon

My friend Candice is someone who will send me a text or call me up and say, “Hey, I’m coming to get away for a few days.  Is that cool?” and she’ll come!  She’s a great guest because she enjoys alone time when I’m at work or I have already planned events, and she is great to spend time with!  I think that, even though we are very different in many ways, we could live together and it would be a good thing for both of us.  Perhaps one day….

On her last visit Candice and I arrived home late on a week night and were HUNGRY (verging on HANGRY) and so I knew I needed to pull together something quickly.  I knew I had a slab of salmon from the farmer’s market and my spice rack is always stocked with great items.  So I made this and DANG!  It was GOOD!  I hope that you enjoy this one as much as we did (and continued to enjoy on salads and such the following days).  Until your return Candice!

salmon

Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
juice of 1 clementine
1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds skin-on salmon fillets (I used 1 full side salmon filet)

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Mix the coconut oil, juice, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and cayenne in a small bowl to form a paste.

Place the salmon on a broiler baking pan with skin- side down and massage the spice sauce over the salmon.

Place the salmon  in the oven, baking for about 12 minutes.  Check the salmon – you want it perfectly done – not over or under cooked :)

Serve immediately.

Great idea for leftovers!  So yummy - check out the lemon tahini dressing on the blog!

Great idea for leftovers! So yummy – check out the lemon tahini dressing on the blog!

West African Chicken Stew

africanchickenstew1

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (divided)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (no sugar added)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sprinkle the chicken enthusiastically with salt and pepper. Heat an enamel dutch oven over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil and allow it to melt. Add the chicken in a single layer and brown well on both sides, about 10 minutes. (Don’t crowd the pan; cook in batches if you need to.) Remove the chicken to a bowl to catch the juices.
  2. In the same pot, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, cook the onions and ginger until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, cayenne, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and water, stirring to combine. Add the chicken into the sauce, along with any juices it released. Increase the heat to bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 25 minutes.
  3. Add the sunflower seed butter and vanilla to the pot and mix to combine. Heat through, about 5 minutes, then serve.

Great with cauliflower rice or coconut rice

africanchickenstew2

Quick Egg Drop Soup

Confession – I sometimes eat soup for breakfast.  I find traditional breakfast foods to be boring sometimes, so I’ll find different things to eat in order to keep things fresh and new.  Today, I decided some quick, homemade egg drop soup would be good.  So here it is:

eggdropsoup

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups vegetable/chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon coconut aminos

1 scallion, sliced

2 eggs

Salt to taste

freshly ground pepper to taste

pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 avocado for garnish

 

Methods

Heat broth over medium high heat in a small sauce pan.  Add ginger, sesame oil, coconut aminos, and pepper.

Meanwhile crack your eggs in a bowl and scramble with a fork

When broth reaches a boil, add the eggs and stir.  Add the salt and cook until the eggs are cooked.  Add the scallion and cook for about a minute.  Remove from the stove,  and pour into a bowl.  Add the cayenne pepper and avocado and enjoy!

Creamy, Tangy Tahini Dressing (that’s actually good for you)

So, you miss those creamy salad dressings, but stick to the vinaigrettes because of all of the nasty things that are in that ranch?  I have found a delicious, creamy dressing that I can use when I want something a little different.  Enter Creamy, Tangy Tahini Dressing (CTTD).  So quick and easy!

salad dressing

 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons tahni

Juice from 1 lemon

3 cloves of garlic through garlic press

sea salt and pepper to taste

Apple Cider Vinegar to taste

I like to combine my ingredients in a small mason jar and give it a good swirl and mix with a fork or spoon and then shake it up.  Serve on your chosen salad!

IMG_6809

Mulligatawny (and BONUS RECIPE! Cauliflower Rice)

In a previous post I gave a great recipe for mulligatawny, a fantastic, rich, satisfying Indian stew.  This time, I’m cleaning it up and making it very healthy, without sacrificing ANY flavor.  You’re welcome!  This was my project during ‘Snowmageddon 2015′.  It’ll keep you warm, cozy and satisfied.  Oh, and that cauliflower rice recipe?  You want that too?  BONUS!  You’ve got it!

mulligatawny

Ingredients:
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
3/4 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch coins
2 medium stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium granny smith apples, diced (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch cayenne (or, if you’re like me, a BIG pinch)
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth (bonus points for using homemade bone broth!)
2 cups water
1 cup canned coconut milk (full fat)

1 batch cauliflower rice (see recipe below)


Directions:

1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large enamel dutch oven over medium-high heat, then add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil. When the oil is melted, add the chicken in a single layer and brown. Remove cooked chicken to a bowl to catch the juice.

2. Add 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil to the pot. Add onions, carrots, celery, apples, coconut flakes, and garlic. Sauté 7-10 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot, curry powder, salt, chili powder, allspice, cayenne, and bay leaf. Add to the vegetables and stir around until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add the broth and water to the pot and stir to combine. Add the chicken into the liquid and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, 45 minutes. Stir the coconut milk into the pot and simmer uncovered, 10 more minutes.

4. Serve on top of cauliflower rice

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

cauliflower rice

Let me tell you, I LOVE this stuff!  It’s FANTASTIC when serving your Whole30 Asian meals.  You totally won’t miss out.  Trust me!  It’s even faster to make than traditional rice!  Now, if you have someone who is really wanting traditional rice, go with my fantastic coconut rice recipe.  You’ll be so happy you did!  For the rest of you, here is a wonderful, versatile side.

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4-1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (depending on the size of your cauliflower and your tastes)

Methods

1.  Cut off and discard all leaves and green parts off of cauliflower head and chunk head into pieces

2.  Process head in food processor until cauliflower is in small grains like rice (duh!) – some of it may need to be removed it hit the larger chunks

3.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat

4.  Add cauliflower and saute until it turns to a slightly beige color – don’t worry too much about the color – just get it nice and sauteed.  Add salt towards the end

5.  ENJOY!

Paleo Pad Thai

Such a great, delicious classic dish!  Now it’s even better!  All healthy ingredients that you can enjoy.  I LOVE this recipe for this popular Thai treat.

padthai

Pad Thai Sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
dash ground cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 cup coconut milk

Directions:
1. Place all the ingredients except the coconut milk in the bowl of a food processor and whirl until well blended.

2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper, then add the coconut milk. Process until it’s blended and smooth. Store covered in the fridge.

Pad Thai Ingredients, serves 2
1 batch pad Thai sauce
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup snap peas, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
6-8 ounces cooked chicken breast, diced

garnishes:
chopped cashews
sliced scallions
minced cilantro
squeeze of lime juice

Directions:
1. Crack the eggs into a small bowl, and use a fork to beat them with the coconut aminos. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons coconut oil  to the skillet, and when it’s melted, pour in the eggs and let them spread like a pancake. Reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid, letting the eggs cook until they’re set and beginning to brown on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and lightly brown the other side. Remove the eggs from the pan and cut into strips with a sharp knife.

2. Using the same pan, increase heat to medium-high and add 1 teaspoon coconut oil to the pan. Sauté the onion carrots, and snap peas, stirring with a wooden spoon, until they’re crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the spaghetti squash, chicken, and cooked egg to the pan and, stirring with a wooden spoon, cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the pad Thai sauce to the pan and stir-fry until everything is well-blended and hot. Divide among two plates and add your chosen garnishes!  Delish!

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