Avocado Mango Salsa on Salmon and Coconut Rice

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Swap out 2 cups of water for a can of coconut milk next time you make rice. Oh my heavens, best thing ever. It’s such a nice compliment to the fish and sweet hot salsa. We ate the leftover rice with cinnamon and whole milk for breakfast the next day and it was wonderful then, too.

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This salsa was the result of a box of mangos I picked up from Costco. I made it twice in one week, it was such a hit. The first time, I used more avocado, the second, I added cilantro. It’s a flexible recipe. Play with it. I used it as a topping for a steak salad for lunch and ate some on corn chips. It’s a fresh burst of flavor and you’ll find yourself finding all sorts of ways to eat it. Leave the jalapeno out of some for the sensitive palates (ie 3 year olds) and you’ll keep everyone happy. I served it with a side of curry roasted carrots. Nom.

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The fish wasn’t anything special, but I needed the protein and this salmon had more flavor than tilapia or sole, though both of those would work well, too. I baked the fish in a bit of olive oil and lemon under foil at 350 for 12 minutes. Easy.

It’s a quick dinner, but certainly not boring. Perfect for summer, perfect for kids, perfect for patio dining.

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Avocado Mango Salsa
Adapted from Allrecipes here and here

Ingredients:
2 mangoes – peeled, seeded and diced
1 Tbs white sugar
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 tsp salt

Instructions:
Mix together the mangoes, sugar, vinegar, cilantro, jalapeno and salt. Gently fold in the avocado and serve.

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Rogan Josh on Cauliflower Rice

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This is exactly the sort of food I love to make and eat. I picked up a pound of lamb meat at the Capital City Farmers Market from a local rancher and am so glad I prepared it this way.

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The spice blend is complex, but once you have it mixed up, you can keep it on hand for a year. If you can help it, make Rogan Josh, let it cool a bit, cover it and put it in the fridge until the next day. Reheat it then over the stove with a bit of extra water if needed and then serve. The extra time brings the flavors together gorgeously and allows you to plan ahead when you have a long weekend like this one for meals in busier times. Enjoy!

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Rogan Josh on Cauliflower Rice
Adapted from Melissa Joulwan at The Clothes Make The Girl

Ingredients:

for lamb:
1 tsp coconut oil or olive oil
1 lb. lamb or beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk (or full fat plain yogurt)
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper
3 Tbs homemade Rogan Josh seasoning (see below)

for cauliflower:
1 tsp coconut oil
1 head cauliflower, stem removed and cut into florets
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice

for seasoning:
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cloves
3/4 tsp ginger powder
4 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs + 1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbs + 1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs + 2 tsp cumin
2 Tbs + 2 tsp coriander
1 Tbs + 1 tsp salt
cayenne: 1 tsp for very mild, 2 tsp for medium, 1 Tbs for hot-ish

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Instructions:
for the seasoning: First things first. Mix up the spice blend, take out just 3 Tbs and set aside. The rest can be stored in a glass jar with a lid for the next time you make Rogan Josh. Also just a wonderful spice blend to have on hand for a big impact on beef, chicken, spinach, carrots, etc.

for the lamb: Sprinkle meat generously with salt & pepper. Toss to coat. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and brown well on all sides. (Here’s a tip from Melissa: respect the contact. Put the meat in there and let it be for at least 5 minutes so it gets a nice brown crust – resist the temptation to stir it around. Give it some private time and it will reward you for your generosity.)

When the meat is brown, add the chopped onion and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the rogan josh seasoning to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the coconut milk and water to the skillet. Mix well, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let the meat braise in the coconut milk for 1-2 hours. When time’s up, remove the lid and let the sauce thicken a bit… maybe 2 minutes or so.

for the cauliflower rice: About 15 minutes before the lamb is done, prepare the cauliflower. Heat the tsp of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. In a food processor, put half the cauliflower florets. Use the pulse button to chop up the cauliflower to rice sized pieces. This should be about 15 pulses. Don’t over do it or you’ll get mush. Dump the cauliflower into the heated pan and repeat the steps with the second half of the cauliflower florets. Once it’s all in the pan, add the salt, and stir frequently until the cauliflower is soft and has given off some liquid, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and lemon juice. Toss well and serve with the prepared lamb on top!

This is so much better the next day and the day after that. Make sure you have leftovers!

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Chicken Coconut Curry

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I wasn’t sure if I should share this recipe because I already have a Coconut Curry, Chicken Curry, Curry Meatballs, Curry Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, and Chicken Curry on Cauliflower Rice in the archives. Each are excellent and this is as different as the rest. Still curry, still chicken, still coconut, but independently magnificent. I suppose I just like curry. I’m not trying to be authentic because I generally turn to this sort of dish when I want a big healthy meal without a lot of fuss or time. There are tons of different curry blends out there, so test a few to find your favorite. I love the Lemon (Yellow) Curry from Frontier. It has turmeric, coriander, cumin, lemon peel, black pepper, freeze-dried whole lemon, cardamom, cinnamon, dehydrated garlic and cayenne. Yum!

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Chicken Coconut Curry
Adapted from The Clothes Make The Girl

Ingredients:
Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 large onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup coconut milk
Chicken
1 lb. chicken thighs
3 Tbs coconut oil
Topping
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

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Instructions:
Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high, melt the coconut oil. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper and saute until it’s nicely browned and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side.

Take the meat out of the pan, turn the heat down to medium, and throw in the onion, garlic, and green peppers with a pinch of salt. Stir fry until the onions are tender, brown and starting to carmelize, about 10-15 minutes.

Add the spices to the veg and add the coconut milk. Simmer until the sauce thickens a bit.

In a small dry skillet over medium low heat, cook the flaked coconut until it just starts to brown, stirring well. This will only take a couple minutes.

To serve, pile the chicken over steamed veggies, squash, cauliflower rice, or brown rice. Or just a glorious pile of chicken in a bowl! Top with a scoop of sauce and sprinkle the coconut on top. Lime wedges on the side for bonus points.

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Baked Fish with Tomatoes, Capers, and Lemon

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I’ve made this twice in the last week and will probably find it in regular rotation now. These are all things you can keep on hand and they go together with just minutes of prep. It’s amazing hot out of the oven and is actually wonderful reheated and eaten over baby spinach for a big salad at lunch the next day. Lean, full of protein, tons of flavor … perfect.

Baked Fish with Tomatoes, Capers, and Lemon
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
4 (4-ounce) trout or tilapia filets
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced or stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbs lemon juice

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Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the fish filets on both sides with the salt and pepper and lay in a 9″x13″ dish. Pour the olive oil on the filets and turn to coat. Add the tomatoes, onion, capers, garlic, and lemon juice, and place in the oven. Cook the fish until the flesh is lightly golden and flaky, about 13-18 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is. Serve over quick sauteed chard or other hearty green.

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Whole Slow Cooked Chicken

Take a chicken out of the fridge in the morning, quick spice up, drop in a slow cooker, and come home to chicken heaven for dinner! The veg mash is pretty incredible and the chicken meat is so juicy cooked low and slow this way. Great alternative to a roast chicken if you don’t have the time.

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Whole Slow Cooked Chicken
Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food

Ingredients:
1 onion, finely sliced
2 carrots, finely sliced
4 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 chicken
Spice Rub
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

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Instructions:
Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Put the onion, carrot, and celery in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Remove any giblets from the chicken, rinse the chicken, and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mixture all over. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts. Quarter the lemon and put inside the chicken cavity. Put prepared chicken on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker, cover it, and turn it on to low. There is no need to add any liquid. Cook for about 6 hours (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Don’t forget to make homemade bone broth with the carcass!

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Apple Dijon Burgers

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Totally marvelous.

Apple Dijon Burgers
Adapted from Civilized Caveman

Ingredients:
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1/2 apple, shredded
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp coconut oil or other choice of fat
2-4 tsp aged balsamic vinegar

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Instructions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, apple, onion, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well. Using your hands, form 4 even size burgers. Have your grill (bbq or stove top) on medium heat (350-400 Degrees F) and grill for approximately 5-6 minutes per side or until done to your liking. Once you place your burgers on the grill, fry the egg over easy in the coconut oil in a skillet over low heat and set aside. You can now plate your burgers how you see fit. I used spinach as a base, added the burger, topped with the fried egg, and drizzled everything in a sweet, aged balsamic. Seriously delicious.

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Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

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I’ve made these so many times in the last year, but when I went to find the recipe in my index last night, I realized I’d never made a post of these simple, dreamy, wraps. I suppose I’d always looked them up on Macheesmo, one of my favorite food blogs, with lots of Tex-Mex fare.

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These wraps are really adaptable year round. In the summer when there are so many local peppers, those go in place of the mushrooms. Sometimes I’ll add shredded zucchini or carrots. It’s an easy way to tuck in more vegetables and the spices are just wonderful, but can be overwhelming if you don’t have some cool toppings. Guacamole is not optional.

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Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from Macheesmo

Ingredients:
1 pound ground turkey
6 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander, ground
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbs coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 Tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
Butter or Romaine lettuce leaves

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Instructions:
In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the ground turkey, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon and stirring well until all the pink is gone. Drain the excess liquid from the turkey carefully and put the turkey in a bowl to the side. Put the skillet back on the heat and melt the coconut oil in it. Add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in all the spices, salt, hot sauce, coconut aminos, and cooked turkey. Stir well. Remove from heat and put the mushroom turkey mixture in a serving bowl. Wash and separate the lettuce leaves and arrange on a serving plate. Make your lettuce wrap at the table, spooning the mushroom turkey mixture into lettuce leaves and topping with salsa, lime, cilantro, and/or guacamole.

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Pecan Encrusted Tilapia with Orange Jicama Salsa

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A four ounce tilapia filet has 110 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 carbs, and 23 grams protein. A four ounce tilapia filet from your freezer also has about 0 flavor. But this is a great fish because it’s firm, with great texture, and it takes on the flavor of anything you add to it. The pecan crust adds another texture and makes the fish richer with the good fats in the nuts. Getting it just a bit blackened works for me, too. It has another depth to the flavor and makes the pecans come forward.

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The salsa is simple and really bright. I ate mine with a bit of the red chili and wow! I loved it. Aurelia ate the salsa without the chili pepper and decided she liked the fish once I took the “breading” off of it. So, toddler friendly enough and the best protein we had all day.

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Pecan Encrusted Tilapia with Orange Jicama Salsa
Adapted from PaleOMG

Ingredients:
For the fish
4 tilapia filets
2 egg whites, beaten
1 1/2 cups pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 Tbs coconut oil, divided

For the salsa
1 orange, peeled and diced
1/2-1 fresh or dried hot chili pepper
1/2 jicama, peeled and finely diced
juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbs)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
pinch of salt

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Instructions:
Add your pecans and coconut to a food processor. Pulse until they turn into the size of breadcrumbs. Fine, but not getting to a paste. Then add your seasonings along with the salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to incorporate.

Whisk your egg whites in a separate large, flat bottomed bowl. Now put your pecan bread crumbs on a plate or any wide dish that will be convenient enough to put your filets in. Now heat up a large skillet with 2 Tbs of coconut oil on medium heat.Dip your tilapia in the egg whites then transfer over to your pecan bread crumbs and coat on both sides. Repeat with another filet. Add pecan crusted tilapia directly to your hot pan. Cook for 3-6 minutes per side, depending on how big your filets are. Clean out your pan, heat the other 2 Tbs of coconut oil and repeat with the last two filets.

Now chop up all your ingredients for you salsa, add to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. I made one bowl of salsa with the chili pepper and one without. You can make this as spicy as you like. Once fish is done cooking, top it off with your orange jicama salsa. I served the fish on a bit of smashed roasted squash, but it will be great on its own, too.

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Sesame Beef with Broccoli and Peppers

Impossibly scrumptious.

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Sesame Beef with Broccoli and Peppers
Adapted from FitViews

Ingredients:
2 lbs beef stew meat
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
1 Tbs honey
1 Tbs sesame oil
1/2 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce (I used half and half)
1 cup beef stock
4 cups broccoli florets
2 bell peppers, sliced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs black sesame seeds

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Instructions:
Add all ingredients except the broccoli and peppers to your slow cooker, mix well and cook on low for about 6 hours. Add the broccoli and peppers, stir well, and cook for an addition 1 to 2 hours on low. Ladle into bowls, getting plenty of sauce, and top with some sesame seeds before serving.

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Baked Salmon with Lemon Dijon Sauce

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This is such a classic combination, it hardly warrants any commentary from me. It’s a simple vinaigrette and I think baking salmon in a sauce this way is the easiest way to get a juicy, flavorful filet with little effort. The flavors are perfectly suited to salmon and the fish can stand up to the might of lemon zest, garlic, and mustard. I served it on some garlic smashed potatoes from a rump roast dinner made the other night. Topped with plenty of fresh parsley, this is a filling and delightful meal with lots for your palate to take in. As usual, I made far too much, but I’m looking forward to lunches of cold salmon on greens and Aurelia can finish half a filet on her own in any sitting, smart girl.

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Baked Salmon with Lemon Dijon Sauce

Ingredients:
4-6 salmon filets
zest and juice of one large lemon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 small onion, finely sliced

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Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, mustard, honey, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. In a 9″x13″ baking pan, line up the salmon filets. Pour the sauce over the salmon and turn the salmon over to coat all sides before sprinkling the onions on top. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on how thick the filets are. They should be light pink on the outside, but still hold a bit of bright pink in the center of the thickest part. Remove from oven when just done, plate with a scoop of onions and sauce, and serve hot.

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