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Category: Food (Page 2 of 5)

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Coconut shrimp. I adore this easy and elegant appetizer.  The coconut and panko are a crunchy coating to the tender and sweet shrimp. The recipe comes together in very little time and is quite a stunner on the table. You could also easily double the recipe, serve with rice and veggies, and enjoy a scrumptious meal.

I will always have a sweet spot in my heart for coconut shrimp. It was one of my father’s favorite foods. That may not mean much to you but my father was one of those people who considered food as not much more than fuel. He wasn’t the most satisfying person to cook for because when you asked him what he thought of a meal you had prepared for him his most common response was ‘it was okay.’

Coconut ShrimpA

Nevertheless, he did love coconut shrimp. I will admit that I often cringed when he ordered the deep-fried version of coconut shrimp out at a restaurant. Therefore, I began testing recipes where I baked the coconut shrimp rather than fried it in oil.

I made him this version numerous times and often received the elusive compliment that he thought it was delicious. You can pair these shrimp with commercially prepared mango salsa (I like Costco’s) for a quick dipping sauce. On the other hand, you can easily blend up the spicy mango dipping sauce recipe listed below and have enough left over to dip all kinds of crazy delicious foods into it.

Coconut Shrimp

Pairing the coconut shrimp with this spicy mango sauce is new for me though. My father probably would not be crazy about it but I love it. You get a little bit of sweet from the mango and coconut milk and some heat from the Sriracha and chipotle chili powder. I think it is a perfect complement to the shrimp and it could not be easier to pull together.

How to Make Coconut Shrimp

Coconut Shrimp

Spicy Mango Sauce

Here is the link to my post on how to make spicy mango sauce or you can follow the directions below.

Ingredients

1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

¾ cup canned coconut milk

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 lime, juice and zest

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1/2  teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Place ingredients for sauce in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Put sauce in a canning jar or covered container for one hour.

Coconut Shrimp

If you are interested in other Asian-inspired recipes, here are few to try:

Veggie Enchiladas

Veggie Enchiladas

My main goal in life is to incorporate more vegetables in the food that I prepare for myself and my family and friends.  Okay, calling it my main goal in life may be an exaggeration, but it is a very important consideration in my cooking. Vegetables are full of healthful nutrients. They are also proven to reduce the incidence of most lifestyle-related diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These veggie enchiladas are delicious AND nutritious!

Veggie Enchiiladas

Eat Your Veggies

So, do you still need convincing about why sneaking adding vegetables into every meal is important? Okay, here it goes, vegetables are cheap. Who could argue with adding more budget-friendly food into your diet? Vegetables are also delicious. Stick with me on this one.

This veggie enchilada recipe is for you if you not a veggie lover. Or, it is also for veggie lovers who live with and cook for veggie-resistant people, I encourage you to try introducing new veggies to your crew and/or new preparations of veggies.

Veggie Enchiladas

For example, most people can behind the idea of eating a tray full of warm, cheesy enchiladas. Right? What if you added some delicious roasted vegetables to the beans and cheese that most people expect in their enchiladas? I tried this out on family and they gobbled up the enchiladas. As a result, I effectively and deliciously added an extra serving of vegetables to their day!

For this recipe, I roasted sweet potatoes, red peppers, and red onions in order to bring out the sweetness of the vegetables. By seasoning the veggies in in olive oil and chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper, they take on a smoky, spicy flavor.

Veggie Enchiiladas

Once you are ready to start assembling the enchiladas, spread refried beans on a tortilla, top with roasted veggies, add finely chopped kale and cheese on top, and then roll up! Then, you slather on enchilada sauce and more cheese, no one will be the wiser about the big favor that you have done for them.

Leftover Filling

If you have any of the filling leftover, you can use it to make:

  • Huevos rancheros – warm corn tortillas, top with refried beans, leftover veggies, fried egg & salsa
  • Frittata – Beat eggs in a bowl, add leftover veggies to greased pan to warm, add egg mixture and cook until set
  • Quesadilla – Warm up leftover veggies, place a tortilla in pan, add veggies and shredded cheese, top with other tortilla, cook until golden on both sides. Slice into 6 pieces and serve with salsa

Here are a few other recipes that are chock full of veggies for you to consider:

If you would like other veggie-filled recipes delivered to your mailbox twice per month, sign up for my newsletter in the side bar to the right.

Veggie Enchiladas

 

Greek Buddha Bowl

Greek Buddha Bowl

One of the things that I love about Buddha bowls is that you get a complete meal in a bowl.  Hello Fun Seekers’ reader Mila inspired this Greek Buddha Bowl. I combined the flavors that you typically associate with Greek food, like feta, olives, red onions, and a spicy yogurt sauce into a hearty and healthy meal. This Greek Buddha Bowl recipe is the second in a series of Buddha bowl recipes here at Hello Fun Seekers. The first post was a Mexican food inspired Fiesta Buddha bowl.

Are there flavor combinations that you love that would make a great Buddha Bowl? I would love to hear them in the comments below. I am thinking about Thai flavors or maybe sushi roll flavors.

Greek Buddha Bowl

Ingredients and Swaps

Along with their versatility, I adore the way a Buddha bowl incorporates a grain (in this case, farro), vegetables (zucchini, red onion, and red pepper), and beans (garbanzos) into a nutritional powerhouse of a meal. All that is needed is a delicious sauce and perhaps a few toppings and dinner is done. But, the beauty of a Buddha bowl is the way the recipe can be adapted to incorporate your favorite flavors.

There are no rules here! Swap out ingredients that you or your family are not crazy about with ingredients that are more palatable to you. If you aren’t a zucchini fan just replace it with something else that is green. How about broccoli? Or, perhaps spinach suits you better? Don’t roast the spinach but you could sauté it if you didn’t want to use it raw.  However, you can use it raw and the spinach would likely wilt a little bit when combined with the warm grain and roasted veggies and be incredibly delicious.

Greek Buddha Bowl

Have you tried farro? Farro is a wheat grain often used in Italian cuisine. Until recently, farro was sometimes difficult for me to find at the grocery store. Thankfully, I can regularly find farro at Trader Joe’s and sometimes in the bulk bins of many grocery stores. Farro has a slightly chewy texture and nutty flavor when cooked. If you can’t find farro you can substitute other grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or barley in this recipe.

Greek Buddha Bowl

Greek Buddha Bowl

Seven Chili Recipes that Tom Brady Might Eat on Sunday if He Weren’t Playing in the Super Bowl

Blow Your Mind Black Bean Chili

I am sure you have heard all about Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s diet in the media last year. If not, you can read about it here in an article which features an interview with their private chef.  Let’s face it, it is intriguing to think about fueling your body the way a professional athlete and super model do, isn’t it? But, oy! No dairy? No fruit? No peppers? No tomatoes? That’s too many ‘no’ foods for me.

Or, maybe you don’t care what Tom Brady eats but you do have friends or family members who are vegetarians. You may be flummoxed by what to serve them for dinner. I am looking at you Mom. My poor Mom. Two daughters and both are vegetarians. Two grand kids and they are also vegetarians.

 Meatless Chili Recipes

Don’t avoid having your veggie-loving friends and family over for dinner because you can’t think of anything to cook for them. I am here to assist! I have assembled seven recipes for meatless chili from a few fellow food bloggers which not only taste great but also are super hearty. These recipes are meant to show that vegetarian food is so much than a lettuce and tomato salad.

These recipes are full of vegetables, beans, and whole grains. All the stuff that doctors and nutritionists recommend that we eat. So, even if you aren’t a vegetarian or cooking for vegetarians, I encourage to add a vegetarian meal to weekly meal planning.

Blow Your Mind Black Bean Chili

Photo by Hello Fun Seekers

  1. Blow-Your-Mind Black Bean Chili 
Lentil Bean Chili

Photo by Apples for CJ

  1. Lentil Bean Chili
Vegan Vegetable Stew

Photo by Vintage Kitty

  1. Vegan Vegetable Stew
Crock Pot Green Chili Soup

Photo by The Hungry Waitress

  1. Crock Pot Vegan Green Chili Soup
Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Photo by Healthy Happy Mama

  1. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili 
Meatless Quinoa Vegetarian Chili

Photo by Cooking with Janica

  1. Meatless Quinoa Chili 
Smoky Vegetarian Chili

Photo by Umami Girl

  1. Smoky Vegetarian Chili with Pinto Bean and Corn 

7 Vegetarian Recipes

Blow-Your-Mind Black Bean Chili

Blow-Your-Mind Black Bean Chili

Are you ready for football to be over for the season? I know that I am.  Honestly, this year I couldn’t care less about either team that is playing in the Super Bowl. The only thing I am excited about is hanging out with friends and eating delicious food.

After Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl is the next big event in the Olympics of food.

You want to bring a dish to the party that will be delicious and Instagram-worthy. You may want it to have some sort of nutritional value. I always prefer homemade food, cooked from scratch, because I am weird like that. I want my food to be made from ingredients from the Earth rather than chemicals in a factory.

Blow Your Mind Black Bean Chili

My daughter often laments when she visits my house that my kitchen is full of ingredients rather than food. I take this as a compliment, although, I know it is not intended as such.

Super Bowl Appetizer Ideas

So, for weeks I have been trying to decide what to bring to the Super Bowl party that we will be attending this weekend. I can’t decide between snack food such as a dip with chips and veggies like this Roasted Carrot Hummus or Guacamole with Clementines or bringing something more substantial.

Blow Your Mind Black Bean Chili

Some of the people attending the party are meat and potatoes people and a few are vegetarians. So, I want to bring something that will appeal to everyone.

Keeping that in mind, in addition to the dip recipes listed above, I have a really delicious chili recipe to share with you. The Super Bowl and a pot of chili go together like wine and cheese. Am I right? Chili is a perfect party food. It can be made ahead of time and then kept warm in a slow cooker so it is ready to eat at half-time.

Blow-Your-Mind Black Bean Chili

This Blow-Your-Mind Black Bean chili is sure to please your football loving friends. I am so in love with this chili recipe! It is full of black beans and wheat berries (more on these in a minute) which makes it a super satisfying.

Blow Your Mind Black Bean ChiliThe addition of mushrooms also lends meaty texture to the chili which may keep the carnivores at the table from grumbling. The smoky flavor comes from chipotle chili powder. If you like extra heat and smoke, you could add a chopped up chili pepper and some of the sauce from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. The chili is meatless which is perfect if you have vegetarians coming to party and hearty enough that the carnivores may not miss the meat.

If you aren’t familiar with wheat berries, I encourage you to give them a try. You boil the whole grains in liquid, usually water or broth, until cooked through. The process is similar to cooking rice. They have a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. You can find wheat berries in the bulk section of many super markets or packaged in the grocery aisle with other whole grains. Wheat berries are sometimes referred to as hard red winter wheat.

Blow Your Mind Black Bean Chili

Plus, suggest having a selection of toppings available so that guests can customize their chili bowls just the way they like them. Some of my favorite chili toppings are:

  • Avocado
  • Green onions
  • Lime wedges
  • Grated cheese
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Sour cream

Blow Your Mind Black Bean Chili

White Beans and Tuscan Kale

White Beans and Tuscan Kale

I love to spend a few hours cooking on Sunday in order to set myself up with healthy, satisfying meals for the week. One dish that I often cook on Sundays is a large pot of beans. Canned beans are convenient but there is something special about cooking dried beans which you can infuse with your favorite flavors. Plus, cooking them at home also allows you to control the amount of sodium that you put into the beans.

Heirloom Beans

Recently, I have become obsessed with heirloom beans. Luckily,there are few companies that are preserving the incredible diversity of beans beyond what you will find canned in the grocery store. There are two companies whose gorgeous beans I haven’t been able to resist in the past. With names like Tongues of Fire, Orca, and Rattlesnake, these heirloom beans are really beautiful, like little works of art. They make me want to buy all the clear glass containers to store them in my pantry. #pantrygoals

Rancho Gordo is a California-based company that specializes in dried heirloom beans. The other is Zursun Heirloom Beans, an Idaho-based company that also sells an amazing collection of dried beans, many of which, you may not have ever seen before. I know I haven’t seen them available anywhere in regular grocery stores. I encourage you to check out the selection of beautiful beans that both companies sell.

White Beans and Tuscan Kale

About This Recipe

In this recipe, I used Zursun’s Flageolet beans which are a favorite of the French for their cassoulet. These white beans are prized for their delicate flavor and pretty pale green color. You could use any dried white beans and they would be perfectly fine.

While the beans cook, they soak up the favors of the sage, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. The beans cook until they are creamy consistency. You add the kale, spicy red pepper flakes, and more cheese right at the end and cook until the kale wilts.

White Beans and Tuscan Kale

You end up with a stew-like consistency. You can ladle it into a bowl or spoon it on top of slices of toasted crusty bread. This meal is so hearty and satisfying; I guarantee that you will love how it warms you up from inside on cold winter days. If you have any leftover they will taste even better the next day in your brown bag lunch. I promise!

White Beans and Tuscan Kale

White Beans and Tuscan Kale

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Roasted Carrot Hummus

I saw Giada De Laurentiis make this recipe for Roasted Carrot Hummus recently on her Food Network television show Giada Entertains. I grabbed my computer during the episode and searched for the recipe on the Food Network website.

I was able to locate the recipe for Roasted Carrot Hummus but the photograph of the food on the website seemed a disservice to the appetizer that Giada demonstrated on her show. Isn’t the photo above of the Roasted Carrot Hummus much more appealing than the one posted below from the Food Network website?

Roasted Carrot Hummus

The photo of Roasted Carrot Hummus from the Food Network website

The experience that I had watching Giada’s show and many other similar experiences on the Food Network website inspired the new series that I am starting today. The focus of this series is take awesome recipes from the Food Network and to cook them at home. Then, the important part, we are going to take good photos of the recipes. The Food Network’s website has consistently terrible photos of their recipes. Did I mention that?

Roasted Carrot Hummus

I often feel frustrated when I want to pin a recipe from Food Network to my Pinterest account. The photographs of the food that come up are rather uninspired. I work hard to curate Pinterest boards that are full of tantalizing recipes and sometimes I won’t pin a recipe despite how good it sounds because the photo is bad.

So, I am taking on the challenge of a photography project to create beautiful photos of recipes that I see on the Food Network. This way I can pin the recipe and hopefully give the recipe the Pinterest love that it deserves.

Next up in this photography challenge

Here are few examples of delicious-sounding recipes that are paired with sad photos on the Food Network website. I plan to make and photograph these over the next few months.

Parmesan Pomodoro

Original photo from Food Network website

Rigatoni with Greens

Original photo from Food Network website

Southwestern Potato Salad

Original photo from Food Network website

See what I mean? Life is too short to post recipes with mediocre pictures.

Don’t you think the pin below would get a lot more repins on Pinterest than the one next to it?  This is important if you are an avid Pinterest user.

If you come across a poorly photographed recipe on the Food Network, shoot me an email with a link to the recipe and I will add it to the list of recipes that need to be photographed again. Also, I need a good hashtag for this project. If you can think of something clever, leave me a comment below.

Onto to the recipe, I made a few adjustments to the original recipe. I added tahini, cumin, and reduced the amount of oil.

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Tator Tot Poutine

Tator Tot Poutine

It’s time for some real talk. You guys know that I typically focus on whole food, plant-based recipes here on Hello Fun Seekers. But sometimes you need something else. Call it comfort food or Super Bowl food, or whatever you need to justify this delicious but in no-way-healthy dish.

I want to share with you guys a dirty little secret of mine. I love tator tots, despite the fact that they represent everything that I hate in food. Frankenfood. This is what I like to call processed food made in a factory that bears little resemblance to the natural food from whence it came. What the hell are those ingredients?

Tator Tot Poutine

That being said, I love tator tots. I can’t help myself. But, I do try to limit my tator tot fix to the occasional treat. This recipe is nod to our neighbors to the North. Canadians have an unparalleled level of expertise on hockey, beer, and poutine. For the uninitiated, poutine is traditionally a snack of French fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy.

In general, I am not a fan of fried foods and never fry food in my kitchen. The mess! The smell! No thank you. But, I can get 100% behind baking a tray of tots. See the note in the recipe for tips on crisping up baked tots.

Tator Tot Poutine

The key to this Tator Tot Poutine is timing. You want all the components to come together at the same time. Layering the hot Tater Tots, room temperature cheese curds, and bubbling gravy all come together is the key to successful poutine. So, be sure to have all your ingredients prepped and think through the timing of this dish so it will be perfect.

If you are looking for other comfort food or Super Bowl recipes, may I recommend?

Tator Tot Poutine

Guacamole with Clementines

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

Clementines, Mandarins, Cuties, Halos, whatever you call these delicious little gems, they are easily found at grocery stores this time of year. I nearly always have a bag of them in my fridge during the winter months. They travel well, are super sweet, and let’s face it; seasonal fresh fruit is scarce this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. But, this small citrus fruit shines when it is cold outside.

So, why not add a little oomph to your guacamole with chopped up segments of clementines? That is exactly what I did here.  I took a handful of those easy to peel clementines and cut each segment into thirds. I wanted the pieces to be substantial enough that you get a burst of sweetness in a bite but not so big that you would have worry about keeping it balanced on a chip.

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

Everyone loves guacamole. I mean, if you don’t love guacamole then you confuse me. We can still be friends and everything, but I don’t understand how anyone can resist dipping a chip into a bowl of fresh creamy guacamole. Actually, if you don’t like guacamole, let me know, I will invite you over to my place. More guacamole for me!

A local restaurant here in Salt Lake City called Taqueria 27 offers a ‘guacamole of the day’ (G.O.D.).  They offer up some wild combinations.

Recent G.O.Ds include:

  • red apple, Anaheim pepper, and pickled red onion
  • grilled onions and jalapenos, lime and queso fresco
  • blueberry, gorgonzola, habanero, and balsamic

I don’t love all of them but I do appreciate the chef’s commitment to using interesting ingredients.

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

That is what inspired me to add clementines to a batch of guacamole last weekend to snack on while the NFL playoffs were on. Plus, the Superbowl is coming up in a few weeks which always feature the best game-snacking opportunities of the year. I believe I once heard that the statistic that more avocados are sold Superbowl weekend than any other time of the year.

This recipe doesn’t stray too far from a traditional guacamole recipe other than I bumped up the heat a little to complement the sweet from the clementines.  I love the sweet and spicy combination with the traditional creaminess of the avocados and acidity of the lime. Recommended!

Do you have a favorite non-traditional ingredient that you like to add to your guacamole? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

A few other ideas for your Superbowl party:

Guacamole with Clementines, aka, Cutie Guacamole

Greek Pizza with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Greek Pizza with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Do you have a few dinner recipes in your arsenal that you go to when you need a quick, healthy dinner? Veggie burgers, bean and cheese burritos, and popcorn are mine. I know popcorn isn’t technically dinner but on occasion, paired with a glass of wine, it is the best I can do.

It can be easy to outsource dinner to take-out or delivery but its January and we are committed to sticking with our healthy eating goals, right? Right! So, let’s skip take-out and add some new quick and healthy recipes to our collection.

Greek Pizza  with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Easy | Healthy |  Quick

What I love about this recipe is not only quick and healthy but the Greek flavor profile is delicious too. The only cooking involved is chopping the veggies and roasting them in the oven. Everything else is just an assembly job.  The pizzas can be totally customized to suit your taste and the tastes of your families. Hate olives? Skip them.  Love artichoke hearts? Add them.

Use a whole wheat pita as a base. You can use regular white pita too, of course, but using whole wheat bumps up the nutrition. Hummus is the sauce. You can use prepared hummus or homemade. I love making hummus at home but there are so many delicious commercially prepared tubs of hummus out there that I almost always pick up a few containers to keep in the fridge when I grocery shop.

Greek Pizza  with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Easy | Healthy |  Quick

The only step in this recipe that can be considered cooking is this one. You will chop up vegetables into uniform pieces to encourage them to roast together in harmony. If some of the veggie pieces are huge and others small, the small pieces may burn before the large ones cook through. So, uniformly chop your veggies and drain then rinse a can of garbanzo beans. The roasted beans add a little crunch to the pizza.

Warm the pitas in the oven while the veggies roast and all you have left to do is assemble pizzas and pat yourself on the back for sticking to your resolutions.

Greek Pizza  with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Easy | Healthy |  Quick

Greek Pizza with Spicy Yogurt Sauce | Quick | Easy | Healthy

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