Quinoa Salad

 Cold, fresh, and delicious! Great for summer BBQ's or a nice simple dinner at home! This salad is amazing with grilled shrimp!! Oh hot summer nights how I love you... nothing better than grilling outside while the kids are playing in the yard! It's the small things that get me!!

1/2 red onion, Minced
5 tomatoes, roma, dice
1 large cucumber, dice
1-1/2 cup quinoa
1 Tbs chopped cilantro

1/8 Olive Oil
1/8 Tamari
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 lime, juice

~ Cook quinoa as directed (use chicken broth instead of water)
~ Place cooked quinoa in fridge for at least 1hr.
~ Cut all veggies. Mix dressing in separate small bowl.
~ Remove quinoa from fridge. In large bowl toss quinoa, veggies, and dressing.
~ Place back in fridge for 30 min for all flavors to marinate. Enjoy

Bacon Date Shrimp

Hot night in the Desert called for these babies!!! You won't be sorry!!! Sweet and Salty... probably every women's perfect combination of flavors!!
17 jumbo shrimp
34 pitted dates
17 slices of bacon
Servings 4
~ Peel and clean shrimp
~ Grill bacon for about 6-8 minutes then remove (Bacon takes longer to cook than shrimp)
~ Slice dates in-half but not completely through (butterfly cut). Place 2 dates on shrimp (1 lower, 1 higher).
~ Wrap shrimp and dates with bacon. use toothpicks to hold in place.
~ Grill until shrimp and bacon are finished and crisp.

*Tip- try not to double layer bacon when wrapping shrimp... under layer won't cook as well.

Oriental Cabbage Salad - "Cook With Me"

A MUST TRY!!!! I have made this so so so many times since it was introduced to me by the one-and-only Monica Valadez!! AMAZING flavor, unbelievably EASY, and CLEAN ingredients!!! Tamari is just too good to be true... it adds incredible flavor to this dish and perfect for parties or just a simple dinner with the family! This is NOT YOUR AVERAGE ORIENTAL SALAD... so try it and be amazed!!!

1 head green cabbage, thinly shredded
2-3 green onions
almonds, toasted
sesame seeds, toasted

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tamari
2 TBS rice wine vinegar

Servings 4
~ Thinly shred cabbage, rinse, and place in bowl
~ In separate bowl whisk olive oil, tamari, and vinegar.
~ Pour tamari dressing over cabbage and toss. Top with almonds, sesame seeds, and green onion.

Joe's Scramble

Joe's Scramble is a dish from the famous Pikes place Market... while visiting Seattle  (where I'm originally from) my mom and I walked down to Pikes Place for a great breakfast at Lowe's. She ordered her usual breakfast "Joe's Scramble" and I followed... AMAZING!! So of course because it was so delicious I had to re-create this dish to share with YOU!! Sometimes you fall in love with a restaurant dish and then try to re-make it at home, only to result in total failure.. but this was not the case.  Joes scramble was super easy and turned out exactly like I hoped!!! Perfect switch up for morning eggs!!

9 eggs
10-12oz sausage (a little spicy is good)
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 cup spinach
3 green onions, chopped
fresh parmesan cheese, shredded

*For fluffier eggs, add 1/8 cup half & half (or milk) while whisking eggs

Servings 4
~ In frying pan cook sausage over medium-high heat until done. Add mushrooms and cook another minute.
~ whisk eggs together in small bowl and add to sausage mix.
~ Cook until almost done, add spinach, cook until slightly wilted.
~ Top with green onion, parmesan, and Serve.

Creamy Balsamic Chicken

This recipe... WOW!!! Here is another dish from one of my dearest friends, Monica Valadez who I absolutely LOVE cooking with... This girl can cook!!! We've been having a blast wiping up some dishes together... great talks, great laughs, and great food!! This dish is AMAZING and yet extremely easy!!! I was actually a little shocked by the flavor... I knew it was going to be good but this was better than good!! Monica also threw together an oriental cabbage salad that was equally as shocking and amazing, which I will share in my next post. Basically the whole night was a home run and she continues to surprise me!!
 So thank you Monica for sharing yet another amazing recipe with The Girl Cooks Clean!!!
6 Thighs & 6 drumsticks, with skin (Or your choice of chicken)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 TBS balsamic
salt & pepper
coconut oil
Servings 4-6 
~ Salt and pepper both sides of chicken
~ In large pan fry chicken in some coconut oil over medium-high until cooked through and golden brown (slight crispness to skin)
~ Romove chicken from pan and set aside. Keep chicken drippings in pan.
~ Add heavy cream and balsamic to pan with chicken drippings. Wisk together (add a little salt if needed).
~ Place chicken back in pan and simmer in sauce for 10 minutes.

The Best Shish Kabobs - "Cook With Me"

This recipe is definitely close to home and one of my all time favorites!!! It's my dads famous barbequing and my moms famous marinade... Craved by many friends and family!!! My mom also has her own fabulous low carb food blog, The LC Kitchen!! 
When we have a BBQ with guests, this dish is always the huge hit and LOVED by all!!
This was a family affair... I chopped everything, mom marinated, and dad grilled. Nothing better than a warm night under the stars with an amazing family and great food!! Try this Family Favorite and I promise it will become YOUR summer hit!!!

5 lbs. ribeye beef (or choice beef)
 OR chicken breasts
5 Zucchini or squash
5 red peppers
5 white onions
10 mushrooms
30 oz tamari
1/2 cup sesame oil
3 TBS garlic paste
**Tip - When using wood skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using to prevent them from burning.
Servings 6-8 
~ Cut all meat and vegetables the same size... about 1 inch thick
~ in a bowl combine tamari, sesame oil, and garlic (Marinade)
~ Place Meat in large bowl and pour 1/2 marinade over and marinate for 45 minutes (if using beef) or 15-20 minutes for chicken. toss often to soak all meat.
~ Place veggies except mushrooms in a large bowl and pour the rest of the marinade over and marinate for 20 minutes. Toss often to soak all veggies.
~ Remove veggies from marinade and set aside. Place mushrooms in the same marinade and toss for 1 minute and remove from marinade. (mushrooms are like a sponge they will soak up very very fast so only leave in for 1 minute)
~ Build your kabobs!
~ Grill until meat is finished and enjoy!!
Meat 45 min
Chicken 15-20 min
Vegetables 20 min
Mushrooms 1 min

Mexican Beef Stew - "Cook With Me"

This is one of my most favorite things to do, finding out other people's Healthy Family Favo
rites!!! This one comes from Monica Valadez and man can she cook!!! This Stew has unbelievable flavor and the combination of all the ingredients along with the toppings are outstanding!! After having a blast cooking together, we all sat down (including 4 kids) and enjoyed this AMAZING stew... it was a HOME-RUN and my daughter absolutely loved it!! So thank you Monica for sharing one of your Healthy Family Favorites with us... I will be back for more!! :)

 I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW YOUR HEALTHY FAMILY FAVORITE... so to all my friends and family, if you would like to share your favorite healthy recipe, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook with you and feature YOUR fabulous recipe on The Girl Cooks Clean!!! I will be starting a new section on my blog called "Cook With Me" where I will feature YOU and your Healthy Family Favorites!! Please email "Cook With Me" to thegirlcooksclean@gmail.com along with your info and the name of your recipe!

2 cups white kidney beans (uncooked or canned)
12 oz bacon, 1/2 inch pieces
2-1/2 lbs flat steak, quarter inch cubes
1 onion
4 tomatoes
1 batch of cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups beef stock

onion, diced
avocado, diced

**Using uncooked beans - cook beans in 6 cups of water and throw in 1 clove of garlic. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 hours.

~ In large soup pot, cook bacon on medium-low until crisp. then remove and set aside for later. (keep bacon grease in pot)
~ In same pot, brown steak in bacon grease. Add 1/2 TBS salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. 
~ Slice tomatoes in half along with half an onion and place in pot with meat for 3 or 4 minutes (want them to soak up some meat juices and soften a little). 
~ In a blender add 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 batch of cilantro, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and the tomatoes/onion from pot. Blend until completely liquefied. 
~ Add blended sauce to pot along with beef stock and the crisp bacon. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
~ Serving: In serving bowls place a scoop of beans on bottom (with a little bean juice), add stew, and then top with avocado, onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime!!!

Healthy Crepes

 Seriously, who doesn't love crepes!! Crepes for breakfast is a huge tradition on my husbands side of the family... Birthday's = crepes, Christmas = crepes, Special Occasion = crepes. My Mother-in-law makes them and these suckers are AMAZING.... The only problem is that an hour after I consume that little piece of heaven, I feel like CRAP (due to the sugar and flour)!! Sooooo, I thought i'd try to come up with a recipe that still tasted great and didn't leave me with a sugar crash, stomach ache, bloated, and the extra LB's!!! Hope you enjoy this low carb and gluten free treat... I know I do!!

5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 lemon, juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 or 2 TBS Just Like Sugar (OR your choice sweetener)- optional
Topping's of your choice

*If you don't want a sweet crepe, discard the sweetener.

Makes 6 crepes
~ Mix all ingredients together
~ Heat skillet over medium heat. spray with non-stick
~Pour just a little batter onto skillet and tilt skillet around so that it covers the whole bottom (should be a very very very thin layer)
~ Cook about 1-2 minutes or until you see top starting to dry out. Then carefully flip and cook for about 30 seconds.
~ Stuff, roll, and top with your choice of goodness!!

Raspberry Lemon Coffee Cake

3 cups Almond Meal
1-1/4 cup swerve, Just Like Sugar OR your choice sweetener
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 TBS butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
6 oz cream cheese
1/8 cup Jay Robb vanilla protein powder (optional)
1 fresh lemon, juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS coconut oil, melted
1 cup frozen (not thawed) raspberries

Pre-heat oven 350/ Servings 8
This is a layered cake so use 3 different mixing bowls for Streusel topping, cream cheese layer, and cake layer.

Streusel Topping: 
~ Mix 1 cup almond meal, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup sweetener, pinch of salt, protein powder, and 5 TBS of butter (if you don't use protein powder then only use 4 TBS of butter). Mix to create a crumble. Use pastry blender, knife, or fork... whatever works for you. Don't worry if its not perfect, just crumble with hands over the top when needed.

Cream Cheese Layer:
~ Mix cream cheese, 1 egg, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup sweetener.

Cake Layer:
~ Mix 2 cups almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup sweetener.
~ Add sour cream, oil, vanilla extract, 2 eggs, and mix well

The Layers:
~ Grease 9x9 baking dish and layer... cake mix first, then cream cheese, then sprinkle raspberries, and finish with streusel on top.
~ Bake for 40-45 minutes
~ Let cool and set before slicing.

Pesto Chicken Sandwich

Here's a great sandwich recipe to go along with the Gluten Free/Low Carb bread recipe!! It's fantastic!!!

Gluten Free/Low Carb Bread Recipe click here
1 TBS mayonnaise
1 tsp pesto
1 chicken breast (I shredded into large chunks)
Mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup fresh spinach
onion, couple slices
1 tomato

** This is a great sandwich to use up your leftovers... I cooked chicken the night before and just shredded the leftovers and put on this delicious sandwich!! 

~ Mix mayo and pesto together and spread on bread
~ Stuff bread with chicken, mazzarella, spinach, onion and tomato
~ Heat pan over medium. Add cooking spray and carefully lay sandwith in pan.
~ Lower heat and cook on both sides until toasted and cheese is melted. (helps to cover with lid while cooking to melt cheese)

Use Panini maker if you have one!

Brussel Sprouts & Bacon

All I have to say is, my husband will not eat brussel sprouts unless I cook them like this!!

5 slices of bacon, cut
1/2 tsp minced garlic
16oz brussel sprouts 
salt & pepper

~ Over medium-high heat, add bacon to skillet and cook until some of the fat is released.
~ Add garlic, salt/pepper, and brussel sprouts. Cook for 2 minutes
~ Turn heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender and browning (stir once or twice)
~ If you want brussel sprouts and bacon a little browner... turn up heat to high and saute for a minute or two

Bread/Rolls... Gluten Free & Low Carb

Gluten Free + Low Carb + Healthy  BREAD... IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?!....... Yes!!! 

So I've had a lot of people asking for a bread recipe... I've tried a few different ones but coming up with a gluten free and low carb bread that actually taste great, is a little out of my league as of now. I'll get there but until then, I found this amazing recipe from Maria's Delicious and Nutritious Journal... She makes an unbelievable, GUILT FREE bread!!! The flavor is incredible! I don't eat bread so to make this and actually be able to eat bread and butter without feeling guilty, it was a feeling like non other!!! Oooooh bread-n-butter how I've missed you!!! I will be making these a lot!!!!!

1-1/4 cup blanched almond flour
5 TBS psyllium husk powder (no other substitution will work) - I use Now brand
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
3 egg whites
1 cup BOILING chicken broth

**Psyllium Husk is a POWERFUL FIBER with lots of health benefits and can be used in place of white flour in many baking goods!! (51 grams fiber per 1 cup)... For more on Psyllium Husk click here

Preheat Oven 350 /Servings 4
~ In a medium size bowl, combine almond flour, psyllium powder, baking powder, and salt.
~ Add in the egg whites and combine until a thick dough.
~ Boil chicken broth
~ Add Boiling broth into the bowl and mix until well combined
~ Divide the dough into 4 balls or shape it into 2 - 1 inch loafs (will rise 2-3x bigger). place on greased baking sheet and bake for 50-55 minutes. (for loafs cook 50-60min)...
(Poke with toothpick to make sure it's cooked fully... if toothpick comes out clean then its done!)
~ Done... Let them COMPLETELY cool and set before cutting into
*Tip: Spray your hands with non-stick spray before handling dough... makes a big difference and not so sticky.

Dijon Chicken & Mushrooms

Fantastic!!!!! This recipe I actually saw on pinterest and just had to try it... I did change a few things though. I took out the pasta to make it gluten free and low carb, added more mushrooms, added more slivered almonds, and made it with sauteed garlic green beans. Soooooo tasty... my husband was raving about this dish all night!!!  

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 cloves minced garlic
4 oz white wine
3 TBS dijon mustard
2 cups heavy cream
2 cup white mushrooms
1-1/2 cup slivered almond, toasted
salt & pepper

Servings 4
~ Heat coconut oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken, garlic, salt and pepper. Fry chicken until completely cooked
~ Remove chicken from pan when finished. Set aside and keep warm
~ In same pan, add wine and let simmer until it reduces by half  (about 1-2 minutes)
~ Add Whipping cream, dijon mustard, salt & pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens (3-5 minutes)
~ Add mushrooms and then return chicken to pan. simmer for additional 2 minutes.
~ Serve on individual plates and sprinkle with Almonds

** this dish is even fantastic the next day for lunch... after all the flavors have been marinading over night! Yum!!!!

Inspired by Rock Recipes

Taco Stuffed Peppers

I've been really cleaning up my diet lately from corn and most grains... this was a fantastic alternative to taco shells!! So tasty and even the hubby loved them!!

4 red or green peppers
1 lb ground beef OR ground turkey
taco seasoning (GF)
grated cheese

grated cheese
tomatoes, chopped
onion, chopped
black olives, sliced
sour cream

**Tip - The reason I say "GRATED" cheese vs the packaged shredded cheese is because packaged shredded cheese has added man-made ingredients so that the cheese doesn't stick together. Notice that when you grate cheese it sticks together... yep, its suppose to. So here's one step closer to a clean kitchen... start grating your cheese instead of buying packaged shredded cheese!!

Preheat oven 450 / servings 4
~ Slice (lengthwise) and clean peppers (remove stem)
~ In a large coated (spray or coconut oil) frying pan, cook meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink
~ Add taco seasoning to meat and let cook for another minute or two
~ Spoon meat mixture evenly into the 8 halves (peppers). sprinkle some grated cheese on top and place on coated baking sheet
~ Bake uncovered for 10-12 minutes... until peppers are tender. Remove from oven
~ Top with desired toppings and serve

** Also good with black beans and corn added to the meat mixture right before you add the taco seasoning. I did not add these only because of my diet... limiting my corn and carb intake! But very delicious to add!

Egg Drop Soup... Protein Protein Protein

Love this soup cause its so flavorful, filling, healthy, low carb, and loaded with protein!! Love eating this after a good workout!! I'm usually NOT a fan of tofu but in this dish I make an exception, cause its delicious!!! I use to eat Egg Drop Soup as a little girl in my favorite Chinese restaurant and it was my absolute favorite... This one has a very very similar taste and much healthier! Brings back memories!! 

4 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp dried ginger
2 TBS chives, sliced
4oz bamboo shoots, chopped
3oz white mushrooms. chopped
6oz tofu (firm), chopped (OR shredded chicken)
1 cup fresh baby spinach
3 eggs
1/4 cup tamari

** Tip - I've noticed a lot of chicken broths have sugar (usually cane sugar) in them... make sure to READ LABELS and pick one without added sugar!

~Heat in a medium sauce pan chicken broth, chives, and ginger to a boil
~ Add bamboo shoots, mushrooms and tofu. Cook over medium heat for 5 min
~ Whisk eggs and  with a fork fold eggs into boiling broth
~ Add spinach and tamari. cook 2 minutes. Finished!!

Cheesy Quinoa - Mac & Cheese

Time to throw out the overly processed, gluten filled Mac & Cheese and introduce your family to another cheesy dish... A healthy one!!! Trying to get your kids to eat more veggies? Cheesy Quinoa is an easy way to sneak some veggies into their diet... and they'll love it!!

1 cup uncooked Quinoa, rinsed & drained
2 cups chicken broth
Broccoli - or veggie of choice
1/2 tsp minced garlic - or 1 clove, minced
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or 2 cups for extra cheesy)
salt & pepper 

Toppings (optional):
Sour Cream
Hot Sauce

Preheat oven 350 / servings 4
~ Fully cook quinoa as package instructs (use chicken stock instead of water)
~ Chop veggies and lightly saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute a little longer
~ In mixing bowl whisk together cheese, milk and egg. Add salt & pepper. Then fold in quinoa and veggies until fully mixed.
~ Transfer to a greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes

Clean Ice Cream

Perfect for kids and a great treat for YOU!!! My husband is obsessed with ice cream and I use to feel deprived a little when he would eat it in front of me... But now I just keep bags of frozen bananas in the freezer and there ready when I need a treat! Berries on top add the perfect sweetness!! Since our 2 year old can't have sugar... this is a perfect treat for her!!
So Moms, if you want to avoid the sugar filled ice creams along with the energy highs and then emotional meltdowns that regular sugar causes... just switch that junk out for a clean treat like this!! Top it with their favorite topping and they may never even notice!! 
oh yeah, and its SUPER EASY!!!

2 bananas

Toppings of choice:
nuts / granola

Servings 2
~ Slice banana's in 1/2 inch slices
~ Place banana slices in zip lock bag and put in freezer, until frozen.
~Blend frozen bananas in a  food processor or blender until smooth or desired consistency
~ Scoop into bowl and top with desired toppings.