Chile Lime Salmon with Coconut “Nice” Rice and Mango Salsa

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted so I’m feeling a bit rusty…the summer has been hectic with lots of travel and weekends spent with family and friends.  I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting back into my normal routine, although I haven’t gotten back into working out in the mornings.  For now I’m just glad my schedule has allowed me to get in those workouts after work.  At some point I’ll get back to mornings because it’s so much easier to get it done first thing and know that no matter what the rest of the day throws at me, I’ve gotten a healthy start.

Being out of my routine has left me feeling a bit stressed and drained at times and working out in the evenings means less time to prepare a healthy dinner.  So our meals have consisted of things that cook up much more quickly, or don’t require any cooking at all!  The most time consuming part of this recipe is chopping up the fruit and vegetables for the salsa.  Even so, it can be done in the amount of time it took to get the rice going and the salmon in the oven to cook.

The mix of cool and crunchy fresh fruits and vegetables in the salsa totally makes this dish and makes it perfect for summer when you don’t feel like eating something hot and heavy.  Plus the mix of colors make it so beautiful that you can’t help but scoop it into your mouth :).  Using a store bought seasoning mix also cuts down on time and the ingredient list for this dish.

I used my favorite simple method for cooking the salmon.  This method can be used for cooking salmon for just about any dish with varying flavor combinations.  It leaves the salmon perfectly cooked and moist in the center, with a slightly crunchy texture on the edges, which I love.  The key is to get a pan that comes with a grill tray or rack.  This allows the salmon to cook evenly all around and achieve the slightly crunchy exterior with a few minutes on broil.  Line the bottom with foil for easy cleanup – extra bonus!

Here are some similar pans to the one I use:  11X13 or 9×13

Salmon Roast Pan

I used both frozen salmon filets as well as frozen riced cauliflower in this recipe – having some staple frozen items on hand makes it easier to prepare healthy meals when I haven’t done a great job of planning ahead.  To quickly thaw the salmon, I simply placed the individually wrapped frozen filets in slightly warm water for about 20 minutes (don’t use hot water or you’ll start to cook the salmon!).

For the “nice” rice, I used a mixture of both cooked rice and riced cauliflower.  The riced cauliflower is an easy way to sneak in some extra vegetables, but you could certainly just use rice – just double the amount of rice and coconut milk called for in the recipe.  I don’t think this would work well only using riced cauliflower, as you wouldn’t be able to get as much coconut flavor into the riced cauliflower without making it mushy.  If you do try it though, let me know how it turns out!

Alright, on to the recipe…

Salmon Coconut Rice Mango Salsa

Ingredients:

Servings:  4          Time:  30 minutes

  • 4 x 5-6oz salmon filets, thawed if previously frozen
  • 2 T chile lime seasoning, divided, such as Trader Joe’s
  • 1/2 C jasmine rice
  • 12 oz frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 C plus 2 T lite coconut milk
  • 1 t olive oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mango Salsa:

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, cored and diced small (about 1/4 inch dice)
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 mini persian cucumbers or seedless cucumbers, diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 2 limes, juiced + zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Combine the rice and 1 C coconut milk in a small sauce pan and cook according to instructions
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line broil pan with foil.  Place salmon skin side down on grill rack.  Sprinkle with approximately 1 T of chile lime seasoning blend.  Place salmon in oven and cook to about medium wellness, 10 – 12 minutes.  Turn oven up to broil, and continue to cook salmon for another 3-4 minutes.  Remove from oven once slightly crisped on the outside and set aside.
  3. While the salmon cooks, dice fruits and vegetables for mango salsa and toss to combine.  Ensure lime juice thoroughly coats the diced avocado to avoid browning.  Add additional 1 tablespoon of chile lime seasoning to salsa mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Once rice has finished cooking, remove from heat.  Heat a small amount of olive oil or butter in a small saute pan.  Add frozen riced cauliflower and saute until heated through.  Add cooked rice to pan, stir to combine, adding 2 remaining tablespoons of coconut milk to mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Plate 1/4 of cauli rice mixture, 1 salmon filet, and 1/4 of mango salsa mixture and enjoy!

Nutrition info:

580 tot cal, 23g fat, 51g carb, 44 g protein


Basil Chicken Coconut Curry {DF, GF}

I love curries of just about any type.  Curry is also surprisingly versatile, especially when paired with chicken, which naturally lends itself to being flavored in just about any way imaginable!

Last week, I was feeling a bit uninspired, and happened upon a recipe for basil chicken with coconut curry sauce, which sounded delicious!  I saved it, thinking I would come back to it at some point.  That some point happened to  be that very evening!

While at the grocery store, I was perusing the vegetable and produce section and realized that asparagus season is upon us!  I don’t know about you, but for me, asparagus is just SOOO much more enjoyable during the spring months when it’s in season.  So I put a few bunches of it in my cart, and aha!  inspiration hit!  Why not bump up the vegetable factor in that basil chicken recipe and add some seasonal vegetables such as asparagus!  I also knew I had some frozen peas in the freezer at home, so I ran with the idea.

What a great decision it was!  This smelled DIVINE while simmering away and was oh so delicious and flavorful! It was pretty hard to sit there and let it simmer as my mouth was watering from the smell!  I nearly burned my tongue because I didn’t wait long enough to dig in after serving it up.

It’s actually pretty mild as far as things in the curry department go, so if you’re new to curry, give this a shot!  Even if you’re a curry aficionado, I guarantee you will love this!   It’s a curry that just about anyone could get on board with!

Basil Chicken

Basil Chicken Coconut Curry

Servings: 4          Total active time:  ~ 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch peices
  4. 1 C frozen peas
  5. 1 14oz can light coconut milk
  6. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1/8 – 1/4 t cayenne
  8. 1 1/2 T dried basil
  9. 1/2 t chili powder
  10. 1 t ground ginger
  11. 1 T curry powder
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
  13. 1 T cornstarch (gluten free)
  14. 2 T olive oil
  15. Fresh basil for serving
  16. 3 C riced cauliflower** or cooked white rice

Instructions:

  1. Combine chili powder, curry, cayenne, salt and pepper in a large bag or bowl.  Toss with chicken to coat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat.  Cook onion, garlic, and dried basil for a few minutes until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add chicken, asparagus, and peas and continue to saute until chicken is cooked through.  Add about 1/2 of coconut milk.  Thoroughly mix remaining coconut milk with cornstarch and add to pan.
  4. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve over cooked, riced cauliflower or rice, top with finely chopped basil, and enjoy!

**For the cauliflower rice, I used a bag of frozen riced cauliflower.  I heated a small amount of olive oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat, added the frozen cauliflower, and sauted until it was heated through.  I lighted salted it and added a few grounds of fresh black pepper as well.

Nutrition info (including 1/4 of the riced cauliflower):

396 total cals, 36 g protein, 30 g carb, 16 g fat

Note:  CeceOnTheGo participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  The products linked are products actually used when preparing this recipe

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes {gf, df}

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I try NEVER to skip breakfast.  Especially since I typically work out in the morning before work, I’d be a hangry mess by mid-morning if I skipped this important meal!

I also make sure to incorporate at least 20 grams of protein into my breakfast, as otherwise I’m prone to the dreaded blood sugar crash.  I used to be a carboholic in the mornings, generally eating only dry cereal and a banana, along with my coffee.  After wondering why, for the longest time, I was consistently feeling shaky, slightly nauseous, light headed, and on the brink of a major headache around 10:30am, I finally figured out that I was likely experiencing an insulin spike following my carb-loaded breakfast which resulted in low blood sugar and all the aforementioned symptoms.

So, alas, protein is a must in ensuring my first meal of the day sets me up for success! This generally means I tend towards savory breakfast items.  But sometimes I still crave something sweet so I started experimenting with protein pancakes.  I probably make these once a month, usually on a weekend morning, as a special treat.  This version incorporates sweet potatoes, but I’ve also done variations such as banana + slivered almonds, frozen blueberries + walnuts, even added powdered peanut butter for some extra deliciousness!  The possibilities are endless really…you may just need to adjust the non-dairy milk amount or coconut flour to get it to the right consistency.

I also recently started adding collagen protein to my pancakes, along with each morning in my cup of coffee, in smoothies, in oatmeal, really just about anything!  Warm or blended foods tend to work best as it can get a bit lumpy when incorporated into cold things.  A good brand should be flavorless, unless of course you’re looking for more of a flavored version.  Collagen consumption has many reported benefits and personally I’ve seen a definite effect in the strength of my hair and nails.  The link to the product above also contains a good description of some of the other reported benefits such as anti-aging, bone and joint health, and gut health.

Sweet potato pancake batter

The batter turns a bit orange, partly from the coconut flour and partly from the sweet potatoes.  As you can see, I also try to leave the sweet potatoes a bit lumpy as I like the texture of them.

Cook these over medium-low heat to allow them to cook through as well as to hold together better.  Let them hang out long enough until they slide around on the pan easily.  I constantly get too impatient and end up with broken apart, ugly pancakes.  Luckily I only ruined the first few of this batch and was able to get a few that were picture worthy!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Protein Pancakes {gluten-free, dairy-free}

Servings: 2-3

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium sweet potato, cooked
  2. 4 large eggs
  3. 2 scoops collagen powder, optional
  4. 1/4 C coconut flour
  5. 1/4 C cashew milk or non-dairy milk of choice
  6. 1 t pure vanilla extract
  7. 1 T coconut sugar, honey, or pure maple syrup
  8. 1 t cinnamon
  9. 1 t salt
  10. 1/4 t baking powder
  11. 2 T coconut oil, divided
  12. Toppings of choice, such as drizzled almond butter and chopped nuts (pictured); thawed, frozen berries; additional maple syrup or agave syrup, gf granola, etc.

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, add eggs and lightly beat with a whisk.
  2. Add cashew milk, vanilla, 1 T melted coconut oil, sweetener, cinnamon, and salt and whisk to combine.
  3. Add baking powder, coconut flour and collagen powder, whisking just until no large lumps remain.
  4. Add the cooked sweet potato and use the whisk to incorporate and break up slightly as necessary, leaving it a bit lumpy.  At this point, you could include whatever add ins you want, adjusting the non-dairy milk or coconut flour as necessary.  Tip:  I didn’t have a cooked sweet potato on hand so I scrubbed one and then heated it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes until it was soft.  Then I cut it in half and used a spoon to scoop out the inside and discarded the skin.
  5. Working in batches, heat about 1/4 T remaining coconut oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.  Once oil is melted and the pan is heated, add small amounts of batter, approximately 1/4 C, to the pan.  Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes or until fully set, flip, and cook other side for additional 3-4 minutes.
  6. Top to your heart’s delight and enjoy!

Nutrition Info (based on 2 servings, without toppings):

450 total cal, 25 g protein, 29 g carb, 25 g fat

 

Note:  CeceOnTheGo participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  The products linked are products actually used when preparing this recipe