Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baked Herb Salmon with Avocado Sauce over Quinoa

After a great day, what better way to end it than with a great meal! I had been thinking about this dish ever since I downloaded the interactive Giada De Laurentiis healthy recipes. Love her! I love putting my own twist on dishes. 
Pre heat the oven to 450. For Quinoa: 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water (to make your quinoa super tasty use vegetable or chicken broth in lieu of water). Bring to boil and let all water absorb.
For Avocado Sauce: In a food processor add 1/2 avocado diced, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, 1/8 kosher salt, 1/8 ground pepper, add 2 tablespoons water and process til smooth. Cover the dressing for 15 minutes to an hour for the flavors to blend.
For Salmon: Whisk together the oil, chopped basil, chives, salt and pepper. Brush salmon with mixture.  Place salmon, skin side down, on a non-stick baking sheet.  Bake for about 12-15 until cooked through.

Nice way to spruce up a simple meal!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Quinoa: 1 cup quinoa
             2 cup water

Avocado sauce: 
             1/2 avocado
             2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
             1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
             1 small minced garlic clove
             1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
             1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
             1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
             1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salmon:
             4 (4-ounce) salmon fillets with skin
             2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
             1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil leaves
             1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
             1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
             1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
                           




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Body Scrub

What better way to get out of that yucky winter skin than with a refreshing body scrub!?
I'm sure some of you don't know but I'm an esthetician and love all things skin care! If there is anything that I love more than skin care and cooking, it's putting them together!
I chose this Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Body Scrub because I found it only appropriate with all the baking I've been doing. 
If you have a mixer you will want to use your whisk attachment to whip the solid coconut oil for 10 minutes, stopping at 5, scraping down the edges and then whipping again for another 5.
Zest the lemons. If you don't have a zester you can use a vegetable peeler and then mince the lemon peels. You want the zest to dry for about an hour before you add it to the mix. 
Add in sugar, almond meal, lemon zest, poppy seeds, vanilla extract and mix for another 1-2 minutes. Put scrub into an airtight container and let sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge so it can become more crystal like. 
Scrub away that dull winter skin and get ready for soft, glowy, summer skin!! 
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Solid Coconut Oil
4 lemons
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 almond meal
1 cup white sugar

While I was waiting for the Zest to dry I made myself a nice little Master Cleanse with cayenne pepper, agave nectar, and the 4 peeled lemons! Cheers!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mozzarella and Pesto

Happy Monday Foodies!
I'd like to consider myself a pretty creative person, so getting to put a little creativity into my cooking is always right up my alley!

I try to plan out my weekly meals so I'm not back and forth to the market all week. While meal planning I always ask my girlfriends what they'd like to have because I'm not going to eat all this food myself. So this popped up on the request list last week :) 
Preheat the oven to 425 F while you're prepping the chicken
On a cutting board, you are going to cut a deep pocket into each chicken breast.
Place a teaspoon of pesto into each pocket.
Cut the cheese into 4 slices. Place a slice of cheese in every pocket. (You can also buy the pre-sliced mozzarella from Trader Joes.)

Tuck everything into the pocket, wrapping a slice of proscuitto to enclose the filling. Make sure the seam is underneath. 
Place chicken in an ovensafe dish and arrange tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the wine over the chicken and drizzle with olive oil. 
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cut into the middle of the breast to make sure there is no pink or red.
Cut chicken breasts in half diagonally. Place on dish, spoon over some juices and ENJOY!

Ingredients
4 skinless chicken breast fillets
4 teaspoons green pesto
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
4 thin slices of proscuitto
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup dry white wine ( my fave dry white is Sauvignon Blanc) but you can use whatever you'd like) or chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
sald and pepper

This recipe serves 4 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Morning Quickies

Get your mind out of the gutter!  I'm talking food here!

I've been trying to stay on the healthier side of breakfast foods lately and came across these quick fixes, that I absolutely love!
Avocado Toast
Toast wheat bread. Slice whole avocado. Drizzle with lemon and olive oil. Pinch of red pepper flakes and sea salt. Sometimes I even add a little feta or goat cheese! Enjoy some healthy fats!

Greek Yogurt & Granola
1 Cup greek yogurt. Half banana. Hand full of raspberries. 1 cup granola ( I love Trader Joe's Gluten Free Loaded Fruit and Nuts, it's sooooo good!!). 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds.

Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding takes a little more pre planning but it's really easy. 
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp sweetener, I like to use agave but you can use honey or maple.
Mix all, cover and leave in fridge for about an hour. Check on it after an hour and stir so it doesn't get lumpy. You may return it back to the fridge or serve it right away.

Just to give you a little 411 on Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds come from a plant called Salvia Hispanica grown in Mexico dating back to the Mayan and Aztec Cultures. "Chia" means strength! It is said that these mexican cultures used chia seeds in food and beverages for a source of energy. So put down that coffee and pump up the chia seed intake! :)
  • Chia seeds have more calcium than milk
  • More omega 3's than fish oil
  • More antioxidants than blue berries 


For a late afternoon snack when I'm craving something a little sweet I'll add dark chocolate shavings :) Yummmm!
Enjoy! 

Xo,
Celeste 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Tonight I was so proud when my batch of Pumpkin Seed Brittle came out! I had tried to make a batch last night but was rushing around the kitchen also making dinner. Let me tell you, not the thing you want to rush or it just won't set right! :(

ROUND 2! Practice makes perfect after all and it came out amazing tonight, so I thought I would share this yummy recipe with everyone.



I saw this recipe on Honestly Yum and emailed my sister in law right away and said "I have to make this for Thanksgiving!!!" but thought I'd give it a whirl beforehand.








Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin seeds, plus a handful more for dipping
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips
  Start off by toasting the pumpkin seeds over medium heat in a pan. Constantly stir the seeds so they don't burn. You'll know when to stop when they start to get golden and you can smell them. Some may even start to pop. 
  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In a medium saucepan clipped with a candy thermometer (make sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan), heat water, sugar and corn syrup over medium high heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it starts to boil. Stop stirring and let the mixture boil until it reaches 285 degrees. You may have to turn the heat up to high if the temperature isn’t increasing. ( You must use a candy thermometer or it will not set right if it does not get to the right temp! TRUST ME, Remember round 1? lol)
Stir in the pumpkin seeds and continually stir the mixture so it doesn’t stick to the bottom until the temperature reaches 300 degrees. (Stir quickly, it will burn!) Remove from the heat and stir in all the spices, vanilla extract, baking soda and butter, just until combined. The baking soda will cause it to bubble up a bit, but that’s normal.

You'll want to work fast here, pour the mixture over the baking sheet and using the back of a wooden spoon spread across the sheet evenly. Allow the brittle to harden completely at room temperature, or for a quicker finished product pop it in the refrigerator for about a half hour or until completely hardened.

Chocolate: Temper the chocolate chips to dip the brittle into. Use this microwave method, which starts by microwaving 3/4 of the chocolate in a bowl in 20 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and then stirs in 1/4 of the chocolate to “temper it.” I’m not sure how accurate it is but it’s easy and works well enough for me!

Finely chop a large handful of raw pumpkin seeds and place on a flat dish.  After dipping the brittle in the chocolate, dip the ends in the raw pumpkin seeds and sprinkle with some sea salt.

And there you have it! Definitely a have to for holiday baking!

XO
Celeste



Brussels Sprouts Chicken Salad with Almonds

Ever get home from work, open the fridge and hope for some magical dish to be there? Wishful thinking! I usually just stand there and hope for some creativity to pop into mind, or I'll google the main ingredients that I do have. That's how I came up with this salad!

I haven't been much of a brussels sprouts lover unless its done just right (Like at Cleo in Hollywood, their brussels sprouts, are to die for!) Trust me this salad will become your go to for brussels sprouts, it's that good!


I wish I had taken more pictures, I took a video but for some reason it won't load. You can check it out on my instagram :)

Brussels Sprouts Chicken Salad with Almonds

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, cubed 
  • 4 cups sliced Brussels sprouts (for me it was about 20)
  • ½ cup almonds 
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
  1. Prep the salad: Prepare the chicken. Prepare the Brussels sprouts by very thinly slicing them. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until chopped (or buy the packaged slivered almonds). Place in a small skillet over medium high heat with no oil or butter and toast until golden brown, stirring or shaking constantly.
  2. Make the dressing: In the small skillet, saute the butter and onion over medium high heat until the onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onions to a food processor. Add the lemon and olive oil. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the Brussels sprouts in the empty sauteed onion pan and place over high heat. Stir for 1-2 minutes until you can smell them and they turn bright green. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, toss the the Brussels sprouts, almonds, chicken, dried cranberries and Parmesan.
  4. Toss the dressing and salad together. Serve warm or cold. If you plan to keep leftovers, keep the dressing separate.



Enjoy!

Xo
Celeste 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Guilt Free Lasagna


Zucchini Lasagna

I had posted this a couple weeks ago on my instagram and have finally made the time to post it for those of you who have been asking me about it :)

I found this recipe on Skinny Taste, so many amazing recipes! You can find the exact recipe here .

It's gluten free and pretty easy! Just one little tip, make sure you have a slicer for the zucchini, because if they're too thin, you will have a problem! The slices need to be about 1/8 or they will flop all over the place and make grilling them harder than it needs to be. 

The recipe calls for lean beef but you could always change it up for ground turkey or maybe even spinach for an all veggie approach! Hope you all enjoy! It was so yummy!

Ingredients:  
  • 1 lb 93% lean beef
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8" thick
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta
  • 16 oz part-skin mozzarella cheese, shredded (Sargento)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 large egg

Xo

Celeste