zucchini & chicken spaghetti

Sean and I were watching the Stanley Tucci special where every episode he is in a different region of Italy. In one episode, he was making Spaghetti Alla Nerano which I have never heard of! In that particular recipe, they fried zucchini and then blended up some of it to make a puree. We decided to put our own spin on this classic recipe (largely due to the fact that we wanted to make it more simple and add chicken!) and it came out so good. As much as I love tomato based sauces, this butter and garlic sauce was velvety smooth and full of flavor!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 16 Oz. Brown Rice Spaghetti
  • 1 Lb. Chicken Breast
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 3 Zucchinis, Sliced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/4 Stick of Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Drizzle Olive Oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sliced zucchini.
  3. Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Saute until zucchini become tender.
  4. Boil a large pot of water and cook the spaghetti per the package directions.
  5. Once spaghetti is cooked, drain but keep a cup of pasta water on the side to use later.
  6. Coat each chicken breast in the flour and set aside.
  7. Remove the Zucchini once tender and set aside.
  8. Cook each chicken breast until done.
  9. Once done, remove chicken breast and cut in to pieces.
  10. Put minced garlic, butter, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of pasta water and dash of salt + pepper in the pan and stir as the butter melts to combine.
  11. Once butter is melted, put the spaghetti, chicken breast, and zucchini in the pan and toss to coat everything in the sauce.
  12. Serve in a pasta bowl and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, and enjoy!

Chicken Piccata W/ Brown Rice Pasta (GF/DF)

I have made this dish a few times and it is always a winner! It is simple to make, and the lemon flavor really adds a refreshing taste to this comforting dish. We LOVE italian food but sometimes are craving a dish without a tomato sauce base. This is a great dish to switch up your italian meals! I did not use capers when I made this, but definitely feel free to add some if you wish as capers traditionally goes on chicken piccata.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Brown Rice Pasta (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli)
  • 2 Chicken Breasts (slice each in half, OR buy 4 thin sliced breasts)
  • 2 Lemons, juice one and slice the other thinly.
  • 1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Tapioca Flour
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, sliced.
  • 1 Cup GF Chicken Broth
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced.
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Capers (Optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook brown rice pasta per package directions.
  2. Slice chicken breasts in half to make cutlets (if you buy thin sliced chicken breast, skip this step)
  3. In a shallow bowl, combine tapioca flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a pan with 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.
  5. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour mixture coating both sides. Shake off excess in bowl.
  6. Cook each piece of chicken in the pan for about 4 minutes each side. You just want the outside to be golden brown, adjust the heat as needed to avoid burning. Remove when done and set aside.
  7. Lower the heat on the pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. Add sliced onions and cook until it becomes translucent.
  9. Add minced garlic and stir for about a minute.
  10. Add broth and lemon juice. Raise the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring.
  11. Add 1 Tablespoon of tapioca flour to thicken the mixture slightly, stir to combine.
  12. If using capers, add in to the pan.
  13. Place chicken back in the skillet.
  14. Cover the chicken with the sauce then top the chicken with sliced lemons.
  15. Lower heat to bring it to a simmer, cover pan and cook for 5-6 minutes.
  16. Serve chicken on top of the cooked brown rice pasta, and enjoy!

Egg Roll In A Bowl (gf/df)

I know for me, growing up in New York means that we LOVED our Chinese take out. Whatever dish you got from the local Chinese restaurant, you always got a warm egg roll with your meal. This dish truly reminded me of that classic egg roll with the same Asian flavors, only difference is that I felt good after eating it because it is healthy. Hope you enjoy it!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb. Ground Chicken
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion, diced
  • 5 Cups Cabbage (any type), cut into thin shreds
  • 1.5 Cups of Carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 Cup GF Chicken Broth
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ginger, minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2.5 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos
  • 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Green onions, chopped (to put on when serving)
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds (Optional, to put on when serving)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Brown Rice

Instructions:

  1. Prepare 1 cup of brown rice per package directions.
  2. Set heat to medium and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil in the pan. Once heated up, add ground chicken. Cook until chicken is almost cooked.
  3. Move chicken to the side of the pan and add onions with another tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, ginger and carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Combine vegetables and chicken together.
  6. Add broth to the pan and stir.
  7. Add the cabbage, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then cover with a lid.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender enough to your liking.
  9. Once done, add toasted sesame oil to the pan and give it a final stir.
  10. Serve over the rice and add the green onions and sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Indian Butter Chicken (gf/ df)

Butter chicken is something that always sounded so good to me, so I finally gave it a try and it did NOT disappoint! This recipe is not only gluten free but also dairy free. It is so full of flavor, rich and creamy that you will have a hard time believing it’s healthy. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (diced)
  • 1 Red Onion (Diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • 4 Garlic Gloves (Minced)
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • 1 28 Oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder
  • 1/2 Lemon (Juiced)
  • 2 Cups Brown Rice

Instructions:

  1. Prepare brown rice per package instructions.
  2. Add avocado oil to a saucepan over medium heat, when pan is heated up add chicken.
  3. Add ALL spices to the chicken and stir to combine.
  4. Add garlic and onion to the pan.
  5. Allow chicken to finish cooking and the onions to become slightly translucent.
  6. Add tomatoes and coconut milk and stir to combine.
  7. Lower the heat to let the mixture simmer.
  8. Use a ladle or other big spoon, remove 1/3 of the sauce from the pan into a small bowl.
  9. Add arrowroot powder to the sauce that is in the small bowl and mix until it is smooth.
  10. Add the arrowroot mixture back to the pan and stir to combine.
  11. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. You will see it start to thicken up.
  12. Add lemon juice when ready to serve and stir.
  13. Serve atop the brown rice and enjoy!

Butternut Squash Chili (gf/df)

I LOVE butternut squash! It is a versatile ingredient that you can incorporate with so many different types of cuisines. It really blends well with all different types of flavors. This chili is a GREAT slow cooker recipe! When we got home from work, had a hearty soup waiting for us that makes the whole house smell SO good. This is yet another recipe that proves you do not need meat to make a hearty meal. The poblano peppers in the recipe adds a comforting, warm spice to to the dish (but not too spicy!). This recipe makes about 8 servings so plenty to save in the fridge for lunch and/or dinner!

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut Squash (peeled, seeded and chopped in cubes)
  • 3 15 Oz can Kidney Beans (drain + rinse)
  • 1 Large White Onion (chopped)
  • 2 Poblano Peppers (seeded and chopped)
  • 13.5 Oz Can of Chopped Green Chiles
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas (drain + rinse)
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 28 Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Cups GF Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt + Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Make sure all vegetables are prepped per the above.
  2. Sauté the onions, poblano peppers and garlic either on your stove OR directly in your Instant Pot (sauté feature!).
  3. Put veggies in the slow cooker (if not already in), and add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Cook on low for 7 hours, or high for 3 hours.
  5. Once the squash is fork tender, you will know it’s done. Enjoy!

Lentil Soup (gf)

After I graduated from college, I lived with my mom until I moved to Florida. When my mom and I weren’t eating roasted chicken or having dinner at our favorite diner, we were eating lentil soup. I love lentil soup because it is hearty and full of vegetables! I make this lentil soup in our Instant Pot and it so easy and fast to prepare (see bottom of page for directions on how to make this in a regular pot!). This recipe makes enough for 8 servings so more than enough for a whole family and/OR lunches to bring to work! Just pop it in your fridge or freeze for a later date.

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 Carrots, chopped.
  • 4 Stalks of Celery, chopped.
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, minced.
  • 3 Cups Green Lentils
  • 1.5 Large Onion, chopped.
  • 28 Oz Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 8 cups (2 containers usually) Chicken or Vegetable broth, low-sodium GF
  • 6 Cups Baby spinach
  • 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons Dried Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • Parmesan Cheese for topping (OPTIONAL!)

Directions:

  1. Add carrots, celery, garlic, lentils, onion and tomatoes to Instant Pot.
  2. Add in Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Thyme and Garlic Powder.
  3. Add in Broth, stir to combine.
  4. Set Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK, set for 35 minutes on HIGH and let it cook. When it is done, set valve to quick release.
  5. Once it is safe to open, stir in spinach until it wilts.
  6. Taste and add in more spices if desire.
  7. Serve in soup bowls, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

**You can definitely make this in a regular pot if you don’t have the Instant Pot. You would just need to cook the ingredients in steps 1-3 in a large pot, bring to a boil and once it is boiling turn down the heat so it simmers for approximately 1.5 hours, or until lentils are fully cooked.**