Chicken & Sweet Potato with Peanut Sauce

Hey all– Do you have evenings when you’ve been over-indulging all week and just want something healthy and fast that you can just throw on to a plate??  This is really more like a salad where you just pile things up– not really much cooking. .  It was hearty and satisfying — and I’ll pretty much eat anything if you drizzle some peanut sauce on top!

1 cup brown rice
1/3 tsp. salt
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into bits
4 tab. olive oil –divided
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 boneless chicken breast
2 cups spinach, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tab. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. sesame seeds

Peanut sauce:
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tab. soy sauce
2 tab. peanut butter
2 tab. olive oil

Cook the brown rice with 2 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Peel and cut the sweet potato.  Mix it with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper.  Spread the sweet potato bits on a baking sheet and bake it all at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender.

While that’s baking.  Heat 2 tab. of the olive oil in a skillet. Filet the chicken breast, slicing horizontally to make two flat pieces.  Cook them 3 or 4 minutes on each side until the chicken is browned and cooked through.  Remove from the heat and cut in slices.

To make the sauce, whisk together the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, peanut butter and olive oil until it’s creamy and smooth.

When the rice is done and the sweet potato is cooked, pile half the rice on each of two plates.  Top with the slices of chicken, a pile of sweet potato and a bed of spinach.  Garnish with the avocado and cilantro.  Drizzle on a little sauce and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.  (makes enough for two platefuls).

Red Lentil Veggie Bowls with Coconut Milk Peanut Sauce

Hello all– Here’s dinner tonight.  I bought a giant bag of red lentils– so I’m on the lookout for recipes to use them all up!  Plus, I love anything with peanut butter– and add sweetish coconut milk.  Perfect!

And now dinners done. Dishes washed and I’m about to kick back with a book I’ve been dying to read– At Home in the World— about a couple that takes their 3 smallish children on a 9 month trip around the world!  So far I’ve been with them across China.  So amazing and just fun! I’ll get back to you about the book when I finish…  What are you reading??  I’d love to hear!

1 cup white rice
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup red lentils
1/4 tsp.salt
2 tab. olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 tab. chopped fresh basil
garnish: lime wedges, basil leaves, chopped peanuts

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup peanut butter (or a little more if you love it like I do!)
1 tab. fresh ginger, peeled minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. soy sauce
2 tab. cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce*
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tab. sugar (optional)
1 cup coconut milk

Cook white rice and 1/2 tsp. salt according to the directions on the package (mine is just with 2 cups water 10 minutes at a low simmer)

Cook the lentils with 1/4 tsp. salt in 1 1/2 cup water for 8 to 10 minutes.  Taste to see if they are thoroughly cooked, but still firm.  Then pour them into a colander in the sink to drain off any water.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the peanut sauce– peanut butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, cilantro, 1/4 tsp. salt, sugar and coconut milk — until it’s well blended.

In a large skillet, heat the 2 tab. olive oil.  Drop in the chopped carrots and red onion and cook 3 minutes until they start to soften.  Then add in the red pepper and zucchini and cook 2 minutes more.

Finally, add the peanut sauce mixture to the skillet and simmer on low for 4 more minutes.  Then stir in the drained lentils.

Serve the rice in bowls topped with the saucy lentils & veggies.  Garnish with chopped peanuts, lime wedges and/or basil leaves.  Enjoy!!

*I used 1 meagre teaspoon of the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and it was enough for me.  But the recipe I worked from used 3 or 4– plus some dashes of Sriracha sauce!  So spice it up as much as you want!


Ginger Peanut Salmon

IMG_2435Hello friends–  Maybe it’s just because I was raised on good old peanut butter sandwiches, but I do love peanuts in just about anything.  The years we lived in Spain, we’d drive 3 hours south to Gibraltar to find the British grocers so we could buy peanut butter!  And in between times, I’d grind up peanuts and salt in the food processor for my own lumpy version of peanut spread.  So, or course, when I saw this recipe i just had to give it a try.  Spicy peanut-y good.
1 tab. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger grated
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tab. soy sauce
1 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce*
juice of 1/2 lime
2 or 3 tab. water–optional
2 tab. olive oil
1 pound salmon, cut in 4 pieces
salt & fresh ground pepper
1 green onion, chopped to bits,  for garnish

Heat the oil in a pan.  Drop in the garlic and the ginger and cook 1 minute.  Then stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce and lime juice.  If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit of water.  Set it aside.

Heat the 2 tab. olive oil in a pan.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper.  Brown it on high heat, 1 minute on each side.  Then slide it into a 350 degree oven for 4 or 5 minutes, to keep it moist and cooked through.  Serve the salmon topped with the peanut sauce and a sprinkle of green onion.