Easy Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Well folks, me and the Hubs are back in the car and on our way home to Florida. I had an excellent weekend back on the west coast celebrating my best friend’s wedding! The wedding and the bride were absolutely gorgeous! We spent Friday getting our nails done and then of course rehearsal. Saturday morning and afternoon just seemed to fly by while we were getting all dolled up and before we knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle! Although it was a blast, I am totally wiped out from all the traveling I have been doing for the last month! It will be so nice to get back home and not have to go anywhere for a while!

I made this soup before I left for Cali again. I still wasn’t feeling too hot and wanted something really easy. It was perfect because I had a hankering for some coconut curry soup and this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, totally my kind of weeknight meal!

Easy Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, chopped

– 1 cup carrots, chopped

– 1/2 green pepper, diced

– 1/2 red pepper, diced

– 4 cups chicken broth

– 1 can light coconut milk

– 1-2 tbs. Thai red curry paste (depending on how much curry flavor you would prefer)

– 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts

– salt and pepper to taste

– Optional garnishes: fresh lime juice and cilantro

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the carrots, red pepper, and green pepper and saute for about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste.

2. Add the chicken broth plus 1 cup of the coconut milk. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes or so to allow the veggies to soften and to let the flavors develop! Garnish with additional sliced red pepper and/or a splash of more coconut milk.

Mushroom Stuffed Brie


Hi Friends! I’m back in California for my best friend, Crystal’s, wedding this Saturday. I’m so excited for her and am so glad the big day is finally here!

Ok, so there is nothing attractive about this stuffed brie. Like seriously, it’s pretty hard to make a chunk of ooey gooey cheese stuffed with crap look attractive. But, let me tell you, this ooey gooey cheese stuffed with crap was AWESOME! I could not stop eating it. I don’t even want to know how much cheese I ate, it’s just too embarrassing. This is another recipe I made with my girlfriends last weekend. Although the night was low in carbs, it was obviously not low in fat, LOL! Mushrooms tossed in some white wine and garlic and then stuffed into brie cheese. Does it get any better than this?!! You could taste some of the white wine with almost every bite, which made it even more prefect!

We bought a larger round of brie this time around! I do recommend that if you plan to make this and have a piece of brie that is more than 7 ounces, you might want to consider almost doubling the mushroom recipe. We used a 13-inch round piece and I felt it could have used way more of the mushroom stuffing!

Mushroom Stuffed Brie

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

– 1 7-8 ounce round piece of brie cheese

– 1 cup mushrooms, sliced and cleaned

– 2 garlic cloves

– 1 tbs. finely chopped onion

– 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

– 1/4 cup white wine

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the piece of brie in half using a sharp knife and place on foil or in a 8X8 baking dish.

2. In a saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and the wine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the wine is mostly absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Scoop the mixture on one half of the cheese round. Place the other half on top. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted to your desired consistency.

Low-Carb Creme Brulee

Happy Hump Day! It’s so nice to only go to work for one day and then already be half way though the week, isn’t it?! This past weekend, Amanda and Lisa came over for a day of low-carb cooking. We had lots of fun in the kitchen and the girls got to experience me squeezing around lights, a bed, and desk to take blog photos in my guest bedroom/office/studio. It was kind of nice to have two assistants to help this time around! Hubs used to help me, but it often ended in us wanting to strangle each other so I decided it was not good for our marriage, LOL!

Anyway, we wanted to have a nice little dessert and Amanda suggested we make this creme brulee. It was really easy to make and was pretty tasty considering it had no sugar. By sticking with heavy cream, it still had that smooth and creamy texture. I think next time, I might add some more vanilla for extra flavor or possibly try making this a chocolate creme brulee! Now, there was one problem. What were we going to do about the brulee topping?! I don’t know too much about this, but I have read that sugar substitutes like Splenda and Stevia won’t burn, so if any of you guys know more about this or know of a substitute that would work here, please let me know! We wanted to still have that crunch on top so we toasted some pecans in a little bit of butter. Although I love breaking that hard, sugary topping, the nuts were a great sub!

Low-Carb Creme Brulee

From The Low-Carbist

Serves 3-4*

Ingredients:

– 2 cups heavy cream

– 4 egg yolks

– 1/2 tsp. vanilla

– 2 tbs. Splenda granular or Stevia

– dash of salt

Pecan Topping:

– 1 tbs. butter, melted

– 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat just until bubbles start to form. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, salt, vanilla, and Splenda or Stevia. Gradually whisk in the cream. Strain the mixture.

3. Divide the mixture evenly amongst ramekins or creme brulee dishes. Fill a large baking dish with some water and then place the ramekins into the dish. The water bath should come up about 1/4-1/3 of the way over each ramekin. Carefully add more water if needed. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set, but slightly jiggly. Chill for 1 hour.

4. Melt the butter in a bowl and add the pecans. Toss to coat them evenly with the butter. Then, lightly toast the pecans in a pan on the stove or in the oven. Spread the pecan topping evenly over each ramekin. Chill for another 3-4 hours and then serve.

Notes:
– In regards to the serving size, I used creme brulee dishes and actually only got three servings out of this recipe. Since creme brulee dishes are not as tall, we filled them up most of the way. If you use smaller ramekins, you may be able to get four servings or of course, you can just put less of the custard in each dish.

Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

Whew, I don’t know about you guys, but I am SO glad to have today off. I definitely needed an extra day this weekend to get things done around the house, do some work, and catch up on some of the sleep I lost over the last two weeks while I battled the plague! I am finally feeling mostly better, but I still have a bad cough and my asthma has really been acting up. And the fact that is is cold here certainly doesn’t help! I’m hoping that I will have kicked this cough before I have to fly back to Cali later this week!

So, this pasta. Remember last week how I complained about how crazy crowded my grocery store always is? Yeah, well, my original plan for this pasta was to use chicken sausage and kale. However, due to the madness at the grocery store, they were out of both the sausage and the kale!! What the heck?!! So, I had to change things up. I sauteed some chicken and used spinach instead which worked really well in this dish, but you could easily swap out the chicken for any sausage or even fish. And as for the veggies, I just used spinach, but this would be great with any combo of spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, kale, etc.! So many possibilities! And you all know my love for lemon, so this pasta was a winner in my book!

Lemony Chicken and Spinach Pasta

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

– 1/2 lb. pasta (I used Dreamfield’s penne to keep the carbs down)

– 1/4 cup chopped onion

– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

– 3/4 cup skim milk

– 1/2 cup chicken broth

– 1 tbs. flour

– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

– 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

– 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

– 2 lemons

– 3 cups fresh spinach

– 1 lb. cooked chicken, diced or sliced into thin strips*

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a pot, cook pasta according the the package instructions. While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 1-2 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and toss to coat all of the onion and garlic.

2. Add the broth, milk, juice of one lemon, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Stir until well-mixed. Add the spinach and chicken. The sauce should thicken. Remove the pasta from the water, drain, and then add to the pan with the sauce and chicken. Toss to coat. Add the zest of one lemon, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and serve with additional lemon wedges (I squeezed even more lemon juice on top of mine!)

Notes:
– You can cook your chicken however you would like to cook it. I made my Lemon Balsamic Chicken to use for this recipe!

Berry Citrus Bread

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m so excited because today you can find me posting over at A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis! I was ecstatic when I received an email from him and I am so honored that Chef Dennis asked me to do a guest post for him!

I decided to share my recipe for Berry Citrus Bread. It’s delicious and healthful and it’s packed with fruity goodness! So please hop on over and check out my recipe and say hi to Chef Dennis!

Whole Wheat Margherita Flatbread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Ok, I think I know one of the reasons I don’t like going to the grocery store. It’s the hoard of people. Perhaps it’s the small town that I live in, but seriously, my grocery store is always packed when I go. So packed that I can barely get down the aisles. WHY?! Is there nothing better to do here than go to the darn grocery store?! And let me just say that I don’t like crowds. I don’t like people being all up in my grill!! And why, oh why is that that whenever you get to where you want to be, someone is always in the freaking way of the food I want to grab. For example. I wanted to get some mozzarella cheese for this pizza. It took me at least 5 minutes to finally get to it because a couple just stood in front of all the cheese and were discussing what types of cheese they needed for the week. I stood there thinking, “DUDES, I know what cheese I want, get the heck out of my way! BLARGHHGHGHGHGHGHGH!”. I know, I have zero patience. I’m like the scrooge of the grocery store. And of course, it didn’t help that I was still pretty sick this weekend. Within 5 minutes of walking in, I was getting all sweaty. BLARGHGHGHGHGHGH! Ok, I’m done with my rant and my BLARGHGHGHing.

I hope you enjoy this pizza. It’s good…and stuff…

Whole Wheat Margherita Flatbread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Flatbread Recipe from How Sweet It Is

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1 tsp. baking powder

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1/4 tsp. black pepper

– 1/2 cup water

– 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for brushing

– 3 garlic cloves, minced

– 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

– 2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced thin

– 2 tbs. fresh basil, chiffonade

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1 cup balsamic vinegar

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan, dissolve the brown sugar with the balsamic vinegar. Bring the balsamic vinegar to a light simmer. Simmer until the vinegar is reduced by half (about 15-20 mins). Let the vinegar cool and it should thicken. You can make this reduction sauce in advance if you would like.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, water, and olive oil with your hands until a dough forms. Then place the dough on a floured work surface. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. You do not have to worry about rolling the dough out into a perfect circle or square! I think the odd shape makes it look nice and rustic :). Place the dough on a baking mat or on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5-7 minutes just until the dough just slightly starts to crisp up. Remove from the oven.

3. Brush the top of the flatbread with extra olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Distribute the garlic, then the cheese, tomatoes, and the basil evenly over the flatbread. You can also sprinkle the top with another pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the balsamic reduction over the pizza. Bake for another 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining balsamic vinegar if desired.

Notes:
– You do not need to use all of the balsamic reduction if you don’t want to! Feel free to use as much or as little as you like!