{Whole30} Tahini-Marinated Chicken with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Chicken thighs served with garlicky tahini sauce along with refreshing cucumber and tomato salad. This can be paired with rice, couscous or riced cauliflower, or even with pita bread.

When I crave for something to eat, it is brownies most of the time. Surprisingly, I badly craved for anything with garlic and tahini. If you know me well, you already know how much I love dishes with tahini.

I was thinking of making this Garlicky Tahini Chicken from our beloved Selma, but this one is so good with bread and I can’t consume bread when Whole30 is on. I asked for my BFF’s help. Google, of course!😆 And I settled on this recipe. Chicken thighs, cucumber and tomato salad, plus a tahini sauce that sounds close to shawarma (I just guessed that).

It turned out I was right. The taste of the tahini sauce is very close to shawarma. It is too good! The source recipe asked to grill the chicken, but I am too lazy to do that. I used the oven, instead, and I kept the chicken skin. The chicken and the sauce are so perfect together! I was almost tempted to finish the whole thing! The cucumber and tomato salad is simply delicious! The mint gives a refreshing flavor to the dish. I was right to serve this with cauliflower rice. Everything is perfect! Apart from cauliflower rice, this can be paired with rice and couscous. The chicken can be chopped up, too, and make as a filling for pita bread along with the salad and the sauce. And oh, I won’t judge you if you get greedy on the sauce.😉

(January 15, 2018 >> Yay! Corina at Searching for Spice made this one! So so good! :D)

I am also taking this at Fiesta Friday #196, where Antonia and I are co-hosting. Thanks for the party, Angie!

Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless chicken thighs (skinless, if preferred)

For the chicken marinade:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • Salt, to taste

For the tomato and cucumber salad:

  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup firm and ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

To serve, you can have rice, cauliflower rice or couscous

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry chicken thighs. You can remove or keep the skin. I like mine with skin. Place in a bowl or ziplock bag. Set aside.
  2. Combine all the chicken marinade. (Do a taste test and adjust accordingly.) Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the bowl/ziplock bag with chicken. Mix to coat the chicken thoroughly. Keep in the fridge overnight to marinate and develop more flavor. Reserve the remaining tahini mixture and keep in the fridge.
  3. When ready to cook, remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and discard the marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Roast at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Turn on your broil and broil the chicken until top is crisp and developed golden brown color – this step is OPTIONAL. (You can also grill the chicken thighs 4-5 minutes on each side.)
  4. When chicken thighs are cooked, let them rest while you are making the salad.

For the tomato and cucumber salad:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and give it a good mix.

Serve your chicken thighs with your choice of rice. Place desired amount of salad and drizzle the chicken thighs with the remaining tahini mixture. The chicken can be chopped up, too, and make as a filling for pita bread along with the salad and the sauce.

Source recipe: Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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Hot Chocolate Cookies

Cookies flavored with instant hot chocolate with marshmallows and espresso chocolate chunks. Thin and chewy. Perfect with milk, hot chocolate or coffee. 

It is that time of the year again – a time to clean up the pantry. Not literally clean like general cleaning, but getting rid of the stuff that are close to their expiry date.

Hot chocolate mix.

Yeah, I know. How come I let hot chocolate mix stayed in the pantry for too long? I don’t know. Maybe I completely forgot about them knowing that I couldn’t indulge them during Whole30?

And I did general cleaning, literally this time. And found packets of instant hot chocolate mix. I ran to Google for help.

After bumping into many recipes, this one caught my attention. I just changed some of the ingredients to use what I had on hand.

So imagine this – cookies flavored with hot chocolate with gooey marshmallow and espresso chocolate chunks. I used espresso chocolate coz that’s what I had. I must say that the cookies turned out pretty amazing – they are slightly thin and chewy. Even a friend who doesn’t love cookies *insert rolling eyes*, loved these.

I am bringing these at Fiesta Friday #195. Thanks to Angie and our co-hosts, Monika and Sandhya.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 packets of instant hot chocolate mix (I used Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Mocha, 31g each)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks (you can also use chocolate chips, I used espresso chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup regular size marshmallows

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, hot chocolate mixm salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, softened butter, white and light brown sugar. Beat until pale in color. Add in egg and vanilla, and beat again until just combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Add in chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips).
  5. Cover bowl with cling film and keep in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop, take out cookie dough mixture and flatten, enough to enclose 2-3 regular size marshmallows. Make sure that no marshmallows peeking so they wont stick to the parchment paper when baking. Repeat until you finish all the dough. Place dough with marshmallows inside in a baking pan with parchment paper. Keep in the fridge for another hour or up to overnight. (I kept my unbaked cookie dough balls in the fridge overnight to develop more flavor)
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
  8. Place cookie dough balls in the prepared baking sheet with the balls 2 inches apart from each other.
  9. Bake for 10-14 minutes. Let stay in the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. (I tried baking for 10 minutes and I got soft cookies and 14 minutes gave me super chewy cookies which I really loved. Every oven is different so watch your cookies. They will continue to cook as they cool down.)

Note: Using a small ice cream scoop, I made 24 cookies.

Source recipe: Hot Chocolate Cookies by The Girl Who Ate Everything

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{Whole30} Baba Ganoush with Roasted Garlic

This version of middle-eastern eggplant dip is made with roasted garlic which gives a hint of sweetness to the dip. Perfect with cucumbers and carrots. You know what? This is also perfect with roasted veggies to enjoy as a ‘salad’. 

Do you remember me posting about the crazy food budget I was trying to do? Well, it was nearly successful until I ran out of tahini.

There are many stuff I need to have in my pantry, but I think, since I had my relationship with tahini, it is the most essential one. I did try my best to fit a certain food budget each in a week. First three weeks were completely fine. I’ve managed the headaches I had while thinking deeply what meals could I have within that certain amount. I had to divide meals into more than two meals. I was close to celebrating that finally, for the first time since I was born, I’ve learned how to manage a certain amount of money in a month. I was wrong.

It gone wrong when I started to look for a dip. I wanted hummus, but chickpeas are out of the Whole30 circle. I’ve thought of baba ganoush, which I also really love. It was saved in my system (that I would make it on the coming weekend), but later I found out that I ran out of tahini. I had to choose – whether to reboot my system (which I am 99.9% sure not possible) or to stop this insane food budget and get that bottle of tahini to make my tummy happy. As you can see, I choose that latter. I’ve told myself that I think I did well for the first three weeks and it’s time to celebrate. Three weeks sticking to the food budget? That was insane and I am glad I survived three weeks! Phew!

Baba ganoush is a Middle-eastern eggplant dip. This does not require a lot of effort, but it requires patience while waiting for the eggplants to be cooked and for them to cool down before peeling. After that, everything will be the food processor’s job. I’ve read different versions on how to make this and all of them used freshly minced/grated garlic. I’ve made the same at first, but I didn’t like the aftertaste of the garlic. Even after I brushed my teeth, my burp tasted garlic! Yuck! So the second time, I roasted a whole bulb of garlic while my eggplants are cooking and mixed the garlic with the rest of the ingredients and it was A-MA-ZING!

The roasted garlic gave a hint of sweetness to the dip and it was superb!! Baba ganoush and hummus are now having a battle – which one is better. I might try roasting the garlic the next time I make hummus and let’s see which one wins.

Baba ganoush stayed delicious for two days in my fridge. I enjoyed it with cucumber and carrots. I also tried adding cajun roasted sweet potatoes on top of the dip and I loved it, especially when you add harissa-tahini sauce. I could eat this everyday!

Have you tried making baba ganoush with roasted garlic? If not, why not try it? You will love it, I am sure.

I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #195. Thanks to Angie and our co-hosts, Monika and Sandhya.

Whole30 Baba Ganoush with Roasted Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants, 600g in total
  • 6 tbsp tahini
  • 4-6 tbsp lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Roasted garlic, 2 whole bulbs (for roasting garlic, you will need: 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, and aluminum foil)
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Parsley, to garnish
  • olive oil, to drizzle the baba ganoush
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chili powder, to serve (I used kashmiri chili powder)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry the eggplants. Pierce them using a fork and apply a thin amount of olive oil in each.
  2. Turn on the stove top to low-medium and place the eggplants above and cook until soft, making sure to turn them to make sure that they are evenly cooked.
  3. While eggplants are cooking, preheat the oven to 400F. Cut off the head of the garlic bulb, making sure that cloves are exposed. Place in aluminum foil. Pour olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Close the aluminum foil and place in larger baking pan. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until garlic is soft when pressed. (Your house will smell amazing!) When done, remove from the foil and let cool, Squeeze out the garlic from their skins and set aside until ready to use.
  4. When eggplants are done, transfer to a bowl and cover with a plate for 5 minutes. (This is to further steam the eggplants) Remove the lid and let cool down. (I used a portable mini fan to cool them down coz I was very impatient.)
  5. Peel off the eggplants and place the flesh into the food processor.
  6. Add in chopped parsley, tahini, cumin, roasted garlic, olive oil and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Add in lemon and salt according to liking.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate.
  9. Garnish with parsley, paprika or chili powder.

Note: This can be eaten right away or can be kept in the fridge.

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Cookies and Cream Frosted Brownie Bites

These brownie bites are frosted with melted cookies and cream kisses. Every bottom has mini Oreo and can be topped with another mini Oreo, too. These will surely end your brownie cravings.

They are pretty and delicious, aren’t they?

Pretty? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely!

I love brownies in any form. When I saw this recipe from Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust, I knew I had to try them. And with those beautiful kisses on top, I also knew they would be superb! Mine didn’t turn out the way I imagined them to be.

I envisioned them with sturdy cookies and cream kisses, but I completely messed up!

I have captured one standing kisses, though, slowly giving up.

Being me, I knew I can’t stand the thought of waiting for the kisses to harden up again before I could enjoy them. Well, I tried… but I obviously, it didn’t last. After few minutes of waiting, I tried to fit the baking pan in the freezer which caused the soft kisses to shake and you know what happens next. Yes, the kisses slowly lost it’s shape (read: I messed up). The usual impatient me. Sigh!

Then a not-so-crazy, brilliant idea – make the kisses a frosting. They would still be pretty, I thought. And indeed they are!

These are brownies in super cute form with mini Oreos at the bottom. Of course, there should be brownie batter to be called brownie bites, yeah? Then there’s the cookies and cream kisses on top which melted by force due to the action of an impatient lady (no other than me, of course), though, unintentionally. Ehem!

I am happy that these turned out perfectly delish – heaven in every bite. The brownie part is so fudgy! Of course, everything is perfect! It’s like this recipe is perfectly made for me! Perfect for all cookies and cream and brownie lovers! Did I just use the word ‘perfect’ too much? Well, that’s because these are so perfect that I even haven’t thought of the ‘fallen’ kisses after I took the first bite. This recipe makes enough for you and some to give away. Hmm, I prefer keeping everything to yourself. Oooppss!🙊

You can, of course, skip the flattening of the kisses and make them beautifully standing like the one Dorothy did. They are absolutely prettier. However, just in case you’ll misplace your patience along the way, you can do what I did or whatever you can think of. I won’t judge!😁

I am bringing these at Fiesta Friday #194. Thanks to Angie for having this party, along with our co-hosts this week, Petra and Vanitha.

Cookies and Cream Frosted Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

  • 24-28 mini Oreos
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 24-28 Cookies ‘n’ Creme Hershey’s Kissed, unwrapped (if you wish to top them with another mini Oreos, you may double the quantity)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Place  one mini Oreo in each hole. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, vanilla and coffee mixture.
  3. Add in flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix using a spatula, making sure not to overmix them.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop (or 1 tbsp), place in batter into the muffin hole over each mini Oreos.
  5. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until the top doesn’t look too glossy.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave untouched for 1 minute.
  7. Place one kisses on top of each brownie bites and leave for another 10 minutes.
  8. Using another mini Oreo, you can now flatten the kisses. (You can also use the back of the spoon)

Note: You can keep the shape of the kisses, definitely. Please follow Crazy for Crust’s recipe/instruction from the link below:

Source recipe: Cookies ‘n Cream Brownie Bites by Crazy for Crust

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{Whole30} Baked Chicken Breasts with Dates

Chicken breasts cooked with balsamic and apple cider vinegar, then topped with dried rosemary, onions and chopped dates – wrapped in a foil so the chicken embraces all the flavors. Irresistibly sweet and delicious!

Is it true that the body and mind are always in a battle, especially when it comes to food? My answer is yes. Every single time. It is also true that when on the Whole30, you will not feel that insane cravings. Looking at the mouthwatering food photos from Pinterest and Facebook doesn’t make me crave anything. However, when I smell something delicious, that is a different story.

Strangely, my hijab smells like food- something sweet. Thanks to my fabric conditioner which gives me dream of vanilla ice cream. That’s when this certain feeling kicks in. I am denying that it was a craving, so let it be not.

I always keep dates with me. This sweet tooth needs something to munch on, you know.

I eat them as is. I never tried them with anything else, even with cocoa powder or nuts to make energy bars. I came across a recipe that uses dates and chicken together. I had tender chicken breasts remaining from the 1kg I got before which was on sale. So thought – I had dates and chicken – why not try the recipe? The only thing missing was fresh rosemary. I had the dried one and I didn’t think it will make a huge difference if I skip the fresh one. To be honest, I cannot wait any longer. 

Chicken breasts cooked with balsamic and apple cider vinegar, then topped with dried rosemary, onions and chopped dates – wrapped in a foil so the chicken embraces all the flavors. What do you think? For me, they were really deliciously sweet! The smell was incredible. To really feed my brain looking for something sweet, I served this with roasted sweet potatoes. Drizzled with lemon before enjoying? So perfect!

I tried serving this with cauliflower fried rice, but it was a little weird for me, so I left out the cauli rice on my next meal.

I am bringing this at Fiesta Friday #194. Thanks to Angie for having this party, along with our co-hosts this week, Petra and Vanitha.

Whole30 Baked Chicken Breasts with Dates

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • ½ cup onions, sliced thinly
  • 10 dates, pitted & chopped
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Prepare aluminum foil that’s enough to wrap two large chicken breasts. You can double the aluminum foil to make sure the liquid doesn’t leak. (You can do this with baking dish, but I’d like dish to embrace the steam if you know what I mean)
  3. Add in chicken breasts. Pour in olive oil, balsamic and apple cider vinegar. Mix to coat the chicken.
  4. Add dates, onions and dried rosemary on top of each chicken.
  5. Wrap/seal the aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Let the chicken rest before cutting and enjoying.

Source recipe: Date and Shallot Rosemary Chicken by paleOMG

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{Whole30} Fisherman’s Eggs

This dish is packed with nutrients and quick to make. It is also delicious that you’d want the whole dish to yourself. 

Fisherman's Eggs 3

What in the world are Fisherman’s Eggs??

I don’t know. I am asking you. You tell me.

I did ask my BFF Google, but it didn’t give me much answer. Sardines cooked with lots of garlic, then onions (I cooked mine a little longer so it caramelizes a bit and it was amazing), spring onions and eggs – I am in!

Fisherman's Eggs 2I love canned sardines a lot and I love eggs (even more). So having both together in one dish a win-win situation. Also, I don’t know much recipes with sardines – this is a good way to add this recipe to my never ending list. The thing was… I overcooked the eggs AGAIN. Keep up the bad work, Jhuls. Keep multi-tasking and do not focus when you cook! 

Fisherman's Eggs 1The dish is very easy to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. It was totally filling and delicious. It is so perfect with those slices of onions that have been little caramelized. It was a perfect meal to enjoy!

Fisherman's Eggs 4

I am bringing this at Fiesta Friday #193. Thanks to our Angie and to our co-hosts this week, Suzanne and Ginger.

Whole30 Fisherman's Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of sardines in water
  • 1 cup onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp spring onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. In an oven proof pan over low-medium heat, add oil.
  3. Add in sliced onions and cook until caramelized (about 10 minutes). Remove ¼ of the onions and transfer to a plate.
  4. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add in sardines and loosen with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and crack 3-4 eggs over the sardines.
  8. Place back in the oven and bake further for about 5-8 minutes, depending on the doneness of the eggs you prefer.
  9. Remove from the oven and top with spring onions.

Source recipe: Fisherman’s Eggs by Garlic Matters

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{Whole30} Baked Eggs in Smoky Sweet Potato Nests

These baked eggs in smoky sweet potato nests are so perfect that you’d want to everything in one sitting – sweet, salty and spicy. Great to make ahead of time, too. 

How many eggs are allowed to consume in a day? Some say 2 and some say 3. Some say it depends on the rest of the food you consume during the day. I say unlimited. Whaaaat?? You’ve heard (or read) me right. I don’t forbid myself from eating how many eggs I want in a day, but I also don’t eat much and by ‘much’ I mean 6 eggs in a day. When I am really starving, all I want to eat is 2 sunny-side-up eggs – make that with super crisp edges with a runny yolk! Yum! When I am super stressed about anything – the answer is the same. You may probably think I’ll have chocolate in mind, but honestly (and now you know), I’d take eggs again. So when starving strikes + super stressed about clearly anything = 4 sunny-side-up eggs in a day. Cool down! It only happens during weekends. I don’t even know how come I (sometimes) starve during weekends. I may have to reflect on that.

I love my eggs so much that I only choose recipes that are worthy to sacrifice my eggs. Meaning: I’ll choose the recipe with eggs over sunny-side-up eggs. As if I don’t reserve some in case I starve or feel stressed, ha! Also, I am reserving some space in my tummy for sunny-side-up eggs in case of emergency. But making these baked eggs in smoky sweet potato nests might have changed my mind…

Smoked paprika is my new favorite spice. Apart from curry powder, smoked paprika has a very, very special place in my heart (or tummy). I have seen so many recipes like this and they all sounded lovely. But I wanted sweet potatoes and smoked paprika together.

I used hot smoked paprika since I am saving the regular smoked, also in case of emergency. If feeding kids, you can use the regular smoked. I love how the sweet potatoes and eggs tasted with smoked paprika. These were so good that I almost finished everything in one sitting! Hmm, yeah, I may have not eaten them in one sitting, but I ate everything on the same day! Oooopppps!

Today is so fun as I am one of the co-hosts for this week’s Fiesta Friday #192.   The lovely Zeba is sharing the co-hosting duties with me. Join us and enjoy delicious food and good stories. Thanks to Angie for letting this party happen. Please visit the host and co-hosts’ blog, along with the party goers and take time to leave a nice comment on their posts. I am sure it will make everyone smile today.😊 Happy Fiesta Friday!

Whole30 Baked Eggs in Smoky Sweet Potato Nests

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (packed) sweet potatoes, shredded
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 medium eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare muffin pan and generously spray with cooking oil/olive oil spray.
  2. Place your shredded sweet potatoes on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the liquid out. Transfer to a bowl, add olive oil, hot smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Take about ¼ – 1/3 cup of the mixture and use your fingers to press the mixture into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup to create a nest.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nests are golden brown.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully crack an egg over each nest.
  6. Put the pan inside the oven and bake further for about 8-12 minutes or until the desired doneness of the egg is reached. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Let them stay in the muffin pan for about 10 minutes before enjoying.

Notes: 

*You can use regular smoked paprika to be kid friendly. 

You can top them with any hot sauce like Sriracha or any other topping you’d love.

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