{Whole30} Chicken Fajita Poppers

These chicken poppers are deliciously flavored with fajita seasoning. They are easy to make and Whole30 compliant.

The battle between Jhuls 1 and Jhuls 2 is still ongoing. Who are they, you ask? Both of them are me. Jhuls 1 is the determined one and positive thinker, and she’s the one telling me that I can do this Whole30 thing again. She’s too boring to be with. Jhuls 2 is the cheerful one and always hungry. Even if she has tummy pain, she can still eat ice cream. Mostly, Jhuls 2 is the one active. Jhuls 1 will be the one in-charged when she thinks that Jhuls 2 has eaten enough naughty foods and starting to complain about the joint pain.

Now that Jhuls 1 is on, I am sharing you a Whole30 recipe. I have seen a recipe for Chicken Fajita Poppers from Jessie and I thought of making the same, but using the chicken fajita recipe I have on the blog. The chicken fajita poppers are baked and I did it using a muffin pan. Usually, it is done on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper or an aluminum foil, but I was feeling lazy to form the chicken mixture into balls, so I did use a muffin pan. When the chicken poppers were baked for 15 minutes, I removed them from the muffin pan and moved them to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet to continue the cooking by broiling them. You can skip the broiling and add more 5-10 minutes to the baking time.

I served these chicken poppers with my homemade harissa-tahini sauce and they were amazing! These can be enjoyed with salad as well.

I am sharing taking these at Fiesta Friday #215. This week’s co-hosts are Laurena and Alex. Thanks, lovely ladies and thanks, Angie!🌺

Chicken Fajita Poppers

Ingredients:

  • 400g chicken breasts or boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika (or use regular paprika or regular smoked paprika)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a greased mini muffin pan.
  2. Wash the chicken and pat dry. Cut into chunks
  3. In a food processor, add chicken and pulse until minced.
  4. Add bell peppers, onion, oil, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Pulse until everything is combined. Transfer to a bowl.
  5. If using a muffin pan: fill the greased muffin pan holes with the chicken mixture. If using a baking sheet, line it with aluminum foil and shape the chicken mixture into balls or you can make them flat like small patties.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, then broil the chicken poppers until charred. (Broiling is optional. If you don’t want to broil the chicken poppers, bake them for 5-10 minutes more. Baking them longer than that will give you dry chicken poppers.) (Please see notes below.)
  7. Take out the cooked chicken poppers and enjoy them with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes:

I used a muffin pan when I baked them for 15 minutes coz I was lazy to shape them into balls using my hands. Haha! I moved them to a foil-lined baking sheet to broil. I think I over-broiled them. Ugh!

I noticed that it is easier to remove the chicken poppers when using aluminum foil compared with a parchment paper. Use what works for you.

Oven temperatures vary – I baked mine for 15 minutes and broiled them till charred. Again, see what works for you.

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Coffee Oat Smoothie

A perfect coffee drink if you’d want it on the healthier side. 

I got used to not consuming a lot of coffee since I started with green tea. And then I omitted coffee or anything caffeine from my system for three months (??) due to the thought that anything I consume with caffeine might affect the effectiveness of the medicines I am taking. That’s according to Dr. Google, by the way.

When I started seeing a new doctor, he told me that it is fine. I wanted to smile from ear to ear and do a happy dance. I started my relationship with coffee again… slowly – trying my best to consume only during weekends, when café-ing out (new word??) with friends (doesn’t happen often), and when having a very bad headache (black sugar-free coffee is so good with my headaches) which happens weekly. Well, the taking of coffee during headaches – I try to resist coz imagine this >>> Jhuls in a hospital bed with coffee as my dextrose!<<< I still would want to control my consumption of coffee – Dr. Google would want me to.

I was doing very well at avoiding coffee, but the craving started. And that’s bad! I wanted coffee so bad, but I don’t want that black sugar-free coffee – I wanted SOMETHING coffee. Uhm, maybe a coffee milkshake from a coffee shop? How about a mocha cake? Both are not good choices if I also want that SOMETHING coffee on the healthier side. My brain doesn’t work properly when it comes to thinking about healthier choices so I asked Pinterest’s help. I got so many choices and they were all looking so good. I’ve looked into some ideas and I settled down to making a coffee smoothie with oats since I have all the ingredients. I’ve read that when adding oats to smoothies, rolled oats are better. I used the quick-cooking one coz that’s what I had.

I added about 1/3 cup of oats at first, but I found the smoothie thin so I added more to make the oats ½ cup in total. Of course, you can adjust the ingredients of your smoothie however you like it. I love mine like this and I love this smoothie – I can taste the coffee and bananas at the same time. I like the taste of coffee to be strong so I didn’t add any sweetener.

Coffee Oat Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana, cold or frozen
  • 125 ml strong coffee, cold*
  • 125 ml milk (I used whole milk), cold
  • ½ cup oats (I used quick-cooking)*

Instructions:

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately.

Notes:

  1. This recipe makes one serving. Feel free to double or triple the recipe.
  2. I dissolved 1 heaping tbsp ground coffee bean in 125 ml warm water & chilled in the fridge. It is up to you how strong you want your smoothie to be. You can also add sweetness to your smoothies like honey or maple syrup.
  3. You can start with ¼   cup oats and see if the consistency is enough for you. I used ½ cup coz I liked my smoothie thicker.

 

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{Whole30} Swoodles with Cashew Sauce

Spiralized sweet potatoes, spinach, sweet onions, mushroom and bellpepper served with creamy cashew sauce. The cashew sauce goes very well with the tender-crisp sweet potato noodles.This is a good thing to enjoy if you want a light, but filling and satisfying meal. Our vegan friends would enjoy this, too. 😉 

I have a habit of procrastinating.

I have a habit of reading comments or emails and doing this ‘mental reply’, thinking later on that I have replied. I find out later on (days, weeks and even months) that I haven’t and reacting ‘Huh?  I replied to this one!’ I am like that 99% of the time.

There are so many things I want to delay (except eating, of course) without any valid reason. Do I need one?

But it is not nice (to the tummy) to delay trying out recipes. I know you also have a long list of recipes to try, but would you delay something like this??

Probably not.

I found a name (from the internet, of course) ‘swoodles’, and I loved it. Well, it is a shortcut for sweet potato noodles (in case you are not aware) and I am taking the name as well coz I am sharing a dish with sweet potato noodles.

I finally have my own spiralizer (Yay!) and making swoodles is a must! The swoodles is served with a very creamy and super delicious cashew sauce. Also, the dish is with spinach, onions, bellpepper and mushrooms. What a filling and yummy meal! The dish is also very easy to prepare – blend the soaked cashews along with some water, garlic and salt; cook the veggies for a few minutes and they are ready to be combined. I used a high-speed blender in making the cashew sauce and the sauce came out really creamy. The source recipe found the sauce to be more than enough for the swoodles. I always overdo the sauce, so the sauce is just enough for the swoodles I made.

I am taking this healthy and yummy dish at Fiesta Friday #211. Our co-hosts this week are Lily @ Little Sweet Baker and Alisa @ Livin Well. Thanks, ladies, and thanks to Angie as well. Happy Fiesta Friday!

Whole30 Swoodles with Cashew Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 130 g cashews
  • 180 ml water + you need more for soaking
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 fat clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red bellpepper, chopped*
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms, sliced*
  • 400 g sweet potatoes, peeled & spiralized*
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped (for garnish)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, add cashews and cover with water. Make sure the water is 2 inches above the cashews coz they will puff a bit. Soak for 2 hours or more. (I soaked mine for 3 hours.)
  2. When cashews are ready, remove the soaking water and rinse very well. Place the rinsed cashews in a blender (I used a high-speed blender) along with 180 ml (3/4 cup) water, garlic and salt. Turn on the blender and puree until very smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over high heat, add onions and cook until little caramelized, but make sure not to burn them (about 5-7 minutes). Add bellpepper and mushrooms and cook until soft.
  4. Add spiralized sweet potatoes and cook until tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and add spinach and mix until spinach is wilted.
  6. Place on a plate and add sauce. Garnish with parsley and season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Notes:

  • My 1/2 cup is = 125ml and 1/4 cup is = 60ml. You can omit these veggies (bellpeppers and mushrooms) and use whatever you fancy.
  • I used about two medium-sized sweet potatoes. I used  OXO Good Grips 3 Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer (the green blade for spaghetti). And no, this is not sponsored. I got the spiralizer as a gift. 🙂
  • If you find the cashew sauce more than enough for the swoodles, why don’t you try it with Sweet Potato Fritters or Harissa Sweet Potato Fries? Plus, you can find so many recipes to try it with.

Source recipe: Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce by Pinch of Yum

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{Whole30} Coriander Lime Chicken Wings

The Not So Creative Cook is also the-not-so-good-in-describing, so can I just give you an advice? Do not finish these all by yourself!

Can you get somebody who will do the meal planning for you without having to complain what the person prepares for you?

I’ve been doing this meal planning thing for my Whole30 meals, but I’ve been fighting with myself a lot like, ‘Ugh! You just made that last week. Try something new?‘ or ‘You don’t have coconut aminos, how could you ever do that?’ I am starting to think that I have another person living in the same body as Jhuls (that’s me, of course).

When both Jhuls (the meal planner and the one complaining) get tired of arguing, they always settle for a very simple recipe (no more room for complications here!).

Sooooo, both settled for these Coriander Lime Chicken Wings.

The recipe is very easy to follow – prepare the ingredients, mix the marinade and chicken (save part of the marinade for later), let the chicken embrace the marinade for 20 minutes or so, then roast them. For the remaining marinade, mix it with ghee (or butter, if not doing Whole30 – ohhhh, so good!) then coat or brush the chicken pieces with the mixture, broil and they are ready to be devoured in minutes. 😀

They are so so good and you can even finish with a help (or you can by yourself – I won’t judge, haha!). I don’t want the chicken to be spicy, so I just used red chili for garnish. 😀

I am taking this at Fiesta Friday #202 with our lovely ladies – Angie, Aunt Juju & Laurena – thanks for hosting! Happy Fiesta Friday!!!

Whole30 Coriander Lime Chicken Wings

Initial note: Please do adjust the measurements according to your liking.

Ingredients:

  • 800 g chicken wings, split
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 2-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp ghee (or butter if not doing Whole30)
  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • Red chili, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry chicken wings using paper towels.
  2. In a bowl, place the chicken and season with salt & pepper.
  3. In another bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, finely chopped coriander, paprika and cumin. Add about 2-3 tbsp of the mixture to the chicken, mixing them to coat very well. Keep the remaining marinade in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Let the chicken marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight. (If marinating overnight, please bring the chicken to room temperature before roasting.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prepare a baking sheet wrapped in aluminum foil. Place a rack above then place the chicken on the rack. This is done to cook the chicken evenly. If you are concerned about the drippings, you can use it later. 😉
  6. Roast the chicken for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  7. Meanwhile, take out the remaining marinade and place in a small saucepan. Add 2-3 tbsp of the marinade and cook just until the ghee is melted.
  8. When chicken is cooked, transfer the chicken to a bowl. Pour the dripping on the pot with ghee mixture and mix. Pour this mixture to the bowl with chicken and mix to coat.
  9. Return back the chicken on the rack (with the aluminum-lined baking sheet as well). Broil until crisp/browned, turning the chicken occasionally. Remove from under the broiler. You can use the remaining heated marinade to coat the broiled chicken.
  10. Place on a serving plate and garnish with chopped coriander.
  11. Best served immediately.

Source recipe: Spicy Cilantro Lime Baked Chicken Wings by The Defined Dish

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Kalamata Olive Hummus

Take your hummus to the next level by adding Kalamata olives – the saltiness of the olives along with the brine gives the plain hummus an extraordinary make over

Kalamata Olive Hummus 2
sorry for the not-so-good-quality of the photo

I fell in love with hummus about three or four years ago (?).

At first, I thought hummus can’t be more exciting. I thought:  having a bread on the side, some veggies and scrambled egg would keep me love the old, plain hummus like no other.

The good thing with hummus – when you have the basic recipe, you can add whatever you fancy. I have tried with roasted red bell peppers and it was amazing! I have also tried this Gochujang Hummus – oh my! It was really good!!

So it happened that I had kalamata olives and I don’t know what to do with them (I only eat olives when they are in pizza). I had to look for recipes and this caught my attention. Again, I was like, ‘Why I haven’t thought of that?

You know what happened next – I took my food processor to do its job. I used the same Easy Microwave Hummus recipe I have on the blog and added chopped kalamata olives along with its brine.

Thanks for the inspiration, Christine!

Oh my! This Kalamata Olive Hummus is so good I could eat the whole thing in one go! The saltiness of the olives and that brine – it is extraordinary! If you are a hummus lover, you’d definitely love this twist! Trust me coz I really did!

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 200. No co-hosts for this week, so we will come back on Tuesday to vote for our favorite recipes. 😀 Thanks to our lovely Angie for hosting! Happy Fiesta Friday, people!

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, water reserved (optional: you can reserve 1 heaping tbsp for serving later)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp olive brine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To serve (optional):

  • Olive oil
  • Few pieces chickpeas
  • Paprika
  • Roughly chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Separate the chickpeas and its water. Reserve the chickpeas water for later.
  2. In a bowl, place your drained chickpeas and remove the skins by taking pieces with both of your hands and rubbing them together. You will notice that the skins with be removed easily and float, then you can easily discard/pour out the water along with the skins.
  3. Wash the skinned chickpeas and drain.
  4. Place the chickpeas in a heatproof bowl and put back the reserved chickpeas water.
  5. Add the garlic cloves and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Let cool.
  6. In a food processor or blender, add in the microwaved chickpeas with garlic along with chopped Kalamata olives, brine, lemon juice, salt and tahini. While the food processor/blender is mixing, add olive oil. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust the seasoning at this point, if desired.
  7. Transfer to container and place in the fridge to thicken up and develop flavor.
  8. To serve, drizzle more olive oil, pitted Kalamata olives, chickpeas, roughly chopped parsley and paprika. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies or pita bread.

Note: Skinning the chickpeas is totally optional. You may start with 1/3 cup tahini and add as needed.

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{Whole30} Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers

These Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers are so good that you’d want to put one after the other in your mouth. They are Whole30 compliant and baked (yay!), so they are good for you.

Some of you might say, ‘Wow! Congrats on keeping up with your Whole30!’

Honestly, I don’t do the 30 days anymore. It’s Whole6 now – haha! I strictly follow the Whole30 rules for 6 days and then I will have a rest (okay, cheat day!) for one day. If there are more holidays, then that is good! Haha!

Meal planning for Whole30 approved foods can be a little pain if you don’t have all the ingredients like the one I’ve always wanted to have – coconut aminos (send me some??). So you have to think or look for other recipes that will surely make your taste buds happy like these Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers…

I ran out of ideas and I asked Pintrest for help and I came across Michelle’s Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers. Good timing – I had homemade mayonnaise during this time. If you will check, the first one I made was yellow and this is white (looks like the real thing – yay!) – it is because I just put a tiny bit of mustard and well, my egg yolk was too pale (boo!). But I am glad it turned out AMAZING!

Going back to the Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers – what can I say aside from the fact that I ALMOST finished everything in one go? Haha! These are so cute and delicious that you’d want to put one after the other in your mouth. Since they are Whole30, I am sure you know that they are healthy, too.

The ingredients are not too much – ground chicken, sweet potato, garlic powder, onion powder, spring onions, arrowroot powder (can use coconut flour), olive oil (or coconut oil) and paprika (it is just too good with sweet potato). This is also super easy to make as you’ll only need to mix all of them and shape them into golf-size balls and bake them. Yes, my friends! These are baked! Make them now??

I am taking these with me at Fiesta Friday # 199. Thanks to our hosts this week, Aunt Juju, Mollie and Angie. Happy Fiesta Friday, my friends!!

Whole30 Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers

Ingredients

  • 400g ground chicken
  • 2 ½ cups sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup spring onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper greased with cooking spray.
  2. Grate the peeled sweet potato using a grater or food processor. Place the grated sweet potato on a kitchen towel and squeeze out the liquid and discard. Transfer  to a large bowl.
  3. To the bowl of grated sweet potato, add the rest of the ingredients. Using your clean hands, mix until well combined.
  4. Wet your hands (if necessary) and take out about a size of a golf ball and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until mixture is finished.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through (I forgot this step – ugh!). If necessary, you can place the poppers under a broiler for 1-2 minutes to make the outer crispier.
  6. Remove from the oven and let the poppers cool down for about 10 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.

Source recipe: Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers by Unbound Wellness

Notes:

  • I made 24 chicken poppers.
  • I served this with Whole30 compliant homemade mayonnaise.

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{Whole30} Skillet Cauliflower “Arroz” Con Pollo

Chicken and cauliflower rice dish with kalamata olives cooked in fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and seasoned with sazon seasoning. 

It is really fun exploring cauliflower rice recipes. I never knew you can enjoy cauliflower rice in so many ways – from the plain fried rice to adding various flavors like Mexican or Spanish flavors. This time, I made this delicious Spanish style cauliflower rice. It is seasoned with Sazon seasoning.  It is with chicken, too. So you’ll have a whole meal.

The chicken is cooked first with fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and sazon seasoning. When the chicken is done, riced cauliflower is added to the skillet along with kalamata olives (or green olives) and a small quantity of brine. The brine from the olives gives saltiness and a unique flavor to the dish as well so you might want to watch the salt when you adjust your seasoning.

Gina, the author of Skinny Taste, used tomato paste and green olives. I used fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and kalamata olives coz they were the ones available in the kitchen. I also made Gina’s sazon seasoning which is made of coriander, cumin, annatto powder, garlic powder, salt and oregano. Everything blended perfectly!

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 198. Thank you to our ladies this week, Aunt Juju, Liz and Angie. Happy Fiesta Friday, lovely people, and have a fantastic weekend!

Skillet Cauliflower “Arroz” Con Pollo

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole legs (you can use 4 chicken thighs or 4 drumstick), skin on, bone in
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red bellpepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can / 400 ml fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sazon seasoning
  • 300 g riced cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted + 1 tbsp brine

Instructions:

  1. Wash and pat dry chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a non-stick skillet (or cast iron) over medium-high heat, add a small amount of olive oil.
  3. Brown the chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Remove and transfer to a plate for later.
  4. On the same skillet over low-medium heat, add the remaining olive oil.
  5. Sauté garlic, onion, bell pepper and parsley until fragrant.
  6. Add in fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and sazon seasoning. Put back the chicken in the skillet and cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through cooking. (If the sauce gets dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time.)
  7. When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken again and transfer to a plate.
  8. Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet along with the olives and brine, and cook for 5-8 minutes or until riced cauliflower is cooked. Adjust seasoning if required.
  9. Turn off the heat and return back the chicken to the skillet on top of the cooked riced cauliflower.
  10. Garnish with parsley.

Source recipe: Skillet Cauliflower “Arroz” Con Pollo by Skinny Taste

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{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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{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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