Lemon Tahini Fish

Lemon Tahini Fish

When trying to eat low fat, but high protein, I love to incorporate white fish into my diet. Cod is one of my favorites because it’s flavorful and inexpensive; I also enjoy making halibut. I’ve always said Nashville would be the perfect place to live, if we were bordered by an ocean, and had fresh access to seafood.

This recipe is great for meal prep, has only a few ingredients, and is super easy to make.

What is Tahini? Tahini is a paste made from ground up sesame seeds, and also the main ingredient in hummus (God, I love hummus). It contains 20% protein, which is higher than most nuts. It’s high in calcium, and also contains phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron. If you have digestion problems, tahini is great to eat, due to high alkaline mineral contents (which also can promote weight loss).

This recipe pairs well with my tabouli salad and toasted pita bread. It is keto, paleo, Whole30, and pescatarian.

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Lemon Tahini Fish
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1/2 medium lemon, juiced
3/4  tahini
3/4 c water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 black pepper
4 white fish fillets (6 oz each), cod or halibut
1 tbsp fresh parsley

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking pan with cooking spray, or parchment paper.
2. Bake fish for 10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, make the tahini sauce. In a mixing bowl, add lemon juice, tahini (make sure it’s stirred well), water, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix throughly.
4. After fish bakes for 10 minutes, remove from oven. Evenly spread tahini sauce on fish fillets.
5. Bake for 15-20 more minutes. Fish should flake when pierced with a fork.
6. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Tried my recipe? Comment below or tag me on Instagram!

Make Your Own N’awlins Muffuletta

Make Your Own N’awlins Muffuletta

Down in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, there’s an old Italian grocery store famous for its Original Muffuletta Sandwich created by Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Lupo. Central Grocery was opened in 1906 by Lupo, and the shop still brings in hundreds of locals, tourists, and foodies from around the world every day.

The iconic store is lined with fresh pastas, aged cheeses, cured pork, and a wide assortment of other delicacies that I really wish I could have taken on the plane home. As I was waiting to board my flight back to Nashville, the woman sitting across from me had a plastic bag beside her feet. And, what do ya know – it was a Central Grocery bag, filled with two perfectly wrapped muffulettas. Even though I had eaten one just two hours before, I almost offered to pay her for one of them… I am dead serious.

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So, what exactly is a muffuletta, and what makes it legendary? Salvatore developed this sandwich with a mouth-watering olive spread (consisting of capers, pickled Italian vegetables like cauliflower, pepper, and pimentos), kalamata and green olives, garlic and herbs), Genoa salami, mortadella, hot capicola, provolone cheese, all on their fresh-baked muffuletta bread. It’s so good, you really would smack your momma for a bite.

When you order in store, you’ll notice sandwiches are wrapped, and piled high. In other words, they’re not made to order. How come? Well, that’s the key to this recipe. The sandwiches are pre-made so the olive oil from the salad marinades into the bread, bringing out the intense flavor of the olive spread. The first time I made my own, I failed to do this, and it was not the same.

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If you Google other muffuletta recipes, you’ll notice many of them make their own olive salad. I say skip the trouble, and buy Central Grocery‘s own jarred salad – you’re saving yourself the hassle, and buying THE salad they use in-house!

Now, if you can afford it, and want to try one of the OG sammies without flying to NOLA, you can. For $109, Central Grocery will overnight you two muffulettas packed on ice (shipping included) through Goldbelly.com. Cool concept, but I enjoy making my own!

TIP: It is difficult to find traditional muffuletta bread outside of New Orleans. Traditionally, it is a round loaf with sesame seeds. It’s okay to use French, Ciabatta, Italian, or make your own with this recipe.  The bread is VERY important to the integrity of thesandwich and should be a large, thick-crusted, round loaf of bread! Good things can not be rushed.

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N’awlins Central Grocery Muffuletta 
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 (10-inch) loaves round Italian bread with sesame seeds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
16 oz of Central Grocery Olive Salad spread
½ pound Genoa salami, thinly sliced
½ pound ham or spicy capicola, thinly sliced
½ pound mortadella, thinly sliced
½ pound provolone, thinly sliced

Directions:
MAKE AHEAD
1. Horizontally slice loaves evenly in half with sharp bread knife.
2. Dip brush in olive oil, and brush generous amounts of oil onto insides of sliced bread (the inside, not the outside!)
3. Add a thick layer of olive salad to both insides of bread loaves.
4. Chill in fridge overnight.

THE NEXT DAY
1. Assemble sandwiches by layering meats and cheeses on bottom half of sandwiches.
2. Atop of olive salad, layer meats one at a time (salami, capicola, mortadella) followed by provolone. Repeat until you have used up all meat & cheese.
3. Place top sandwich on top, and wrap each sandwich in foil. Allow to sit for an hour or two, to let the flavors meld together.
4. Traditional muffulettas are pressed. Press down with a bacon press if you so wish.
5. Serve, and demolish!

Let me know if you made this recipe and what you thought! Tag your pics on Insta @goodAFeats! xoxo, Amber

Fried Cauliflower Rice

Fried Cauliflower Rice

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Believe it or not, it IS possible to re-create fried rice with cauliflower. When I first tell people this, they never believe me – “But… it can’t possibly taste the same!” That’s where your wrong kiddo, cause it can. I’ll admit, the texture is slightly different, but it can really cure that craving for take-out when all you’ve been thinking about is getting Chinese.

Why cauliflower rice over regular rice? Check out the chart below. 👇

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Many cooks prefer fresh cauliflower, but I think having to chop anything is the devil (probably due to my impatient nature). Frozen, riced cauliflower will taste no different than fresh – plus, it’s cheaper! Save yourself the hassle and grab a bag in the freezer section at your favorite grocery store. My all-time favorite variety is by Green Giant.

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The key ingredient to fried rice, and keeping the authentic taste is in the oil. You MUST use Sesame Oil in this recipe or it will NOT taste like Chinese Fried Rice. Sesame oil is inexpensive and can be founyd most places. I repeat, YOU MUST  USE SESAME OIL. 🙂

This recipe also pairs really well with my Tequila and Lime Shrimp!

TIP: I add extra peas because I like them, and I think the package could use more. Feel free to omit.

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Fried Cauliflower Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 – 2 tbsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger
1 (12 oz) package of Green Giant Riced Cauliflower Medly
1/4 cup frozen peas
4 tbsp Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions
1. Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add garlic and ginger over medium and heat 1 minute.
2. Add frozen cauliflower, and peas and cook 5 minutes. Stir frequently (it helps to steam with a lid over the pot as well).
3. Add coconut aminos, and cook 1 more minute.
4. Stir in egg, and let sit before flipping over. Scramble it into rice mixture.
5. Remove from heat, and eat!

-xoxo, Amber

 

28 Things I’m Grateful For Today (+1 to Grow On)

28 Things I’m Grateful For Today (+1 to Grow On)

Thank you to all the birthday wishes, messages, and texts I received this past week! My best friend, Ashton flew me out for 2 days to her home in North Carolina, and we literally just took it easy and watched Netflix. Over the weekend, I went to the symphony for a Back/Mozart/Elgar showing, ate my fave pizza, and danced the night away at Bourbon Street Blues in Nash. On the day of, I ate Mexican with my family. What a fun birthday, 28 has been!

To celebrate another year of life, I wanted to make a list of things I’m grateful for at this point in my life. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the cynical-ness of the modern world. It’s important to take a step back, and appreciate what we do have, minus all our troubles and sorrows. Below is my list… what are YOU grateful for today?

“Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.” -Ausonius

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28 Things I’m Grateful For (Plus 1 to Grow On)

1. For my travel experiences – Discovering new places and new people is my jam. And eating the local cuisine, of course.

2. The USA – I’m very blessed to live in a country where I’m free to act, and say what’s on my mind without persecution.

3. Fresh flowers

4. Memories of my dad – I had 22 wonderful years with my dad before he passed, and I think about him every day. I will always be a daddy’s girl.

5. My mom – Without my mom, the death of my dad would have been even more unbearable. My mom is a strong woman, and I commend her for the battles she’s had to face. I’m so thankful she lives so close to me now.

6. Hummus + Crackers – Not necessarily together, but I love both.

7. Sheets fresh out of the dryer – I mean, there really is no better feeling.

8. My grandma – The matriarch of our family. My grandma puts everyone before herself no matter what, and shows me what true love is. I’ve told her time and time again we should name a church after her.

9. My house – Nashville is growing, and the house market is competitive af rn. I am so lucky to own a house in a good neighborhood.

10. Handwritten letters – They never go out of style.

11. Sundays

12. New Orleans – For a few reasons: it’s my favorite town (minus Nashvile), and I met my person in this wonderful city.

13. Joe – My person. I can’t wait to see where the future takes us.

14. Music – Music has and always will be a part of my life.

15. The outdoors

16. Cats…specifically mine – If you don’t know how crazy I am for cats, then you must not know me very well. Pretty sure I was an Egyptian in a past life… I love my sweet angels, Albus and Hasty – both tuxedo tomcats. And for the record, I like dogs too.

17. Old books – I love the smell (is that weird? Idc.)

18. Parallel Parking – All my friends make me parallel park for them. It’s a skill, y’all.

19. Concealer – I have really pretty dark circles.

20. The ocean – Because it involves everything I love – the sun, the beach, and seafood.

21. Nutrition and access to healthy food

22. Not being in my early 20s – And they say puberty is rough.

23. The internet – Call me cliché’, but it’s a great way to meet people and have the world’s knowledge at your fingertips.

24. Hulu – Even busy people need to catch up on The Handmaid’s Tale.

25. Manicures – A fresh set of nails make me feel like a brand new woman.

26. NASA –  Real guys go for real down to Mars girls.

27. My friends – My 20s have been a period of learning and growth. Through this, I’ve let go of people who don’t belong in my life, and held onto the ones who do.

28. My friendship with my friend Tim – I lost one of my best friends (practically my brother) when we were only 25. He was the definition of a true friend, and I will never forget his kind heart.

and last but not least…

29. God – With Him, we have so much to be thankful for.

Cheers to a good year. Xoxo, Amber

Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken

Typically, Chinese is one of those food groups we all love, but know it’s filled with so much MSG, fat, and overall, unhealthy. Luckily, it’s not very hard to make your own tasty Asian meals.

Today, we’re going to go over how to make the following:
Sesame Chicken

Later this week, look out for this recipe:
Fried Cauliflower Rice

The difference between my recipe and the traditional one? Mine is grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb, low-sodium, and soy free (soy sauce is SO bad for ya).

Key notes ingredients in this recipe:
Fresh ginger
Fresh garlic
Coconut aminos (a GREAT alternative to soy sauce! Click the link to learn more.)

I try to make my recipes as simple as possible with ingredients that are easy to find. This recipe calls for arrowroot starch, which is a great alternative to flour, and also works well as a thickener in replace of cornstarch. It should be easy to find at most large grocery store chains (Whole Foods will def have it).

This recipe does take about an hour to prep and make, because it’s done in two parts. First, ya gotta batter your little chicken pieces in a beaten egg, coat it with the arrowroot, and then fry it. Then, it’s gotta stew in it’s sauce… Let’s get started!

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Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 lb. raw chicken tenders
1 egg, beaten
Sesame Oil
1/2 c arrowroot starch
1/2 c coconut aminos
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
Heaping tsp ginger, zested
Toasted Sesame Seeds

Directions: 
1. Make your sauce in a mixing bowl, by mixing coconut aminos, honey, red pepper, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
2. Prep chicken, by cutting into 1-2 inch pieces. Place chicken pieces into large gallon ziploc baggie, and add beaten egg. Make sure your bag is sealed! Massage chicken pieces, so all are evenly coated with egg.
3. Heat sesame oil in skillet, over medium heat. Make sure there is about 1/4 inch of oil covering the pan.
4. While oil is heating, put arrowroot starch onto large plate, and begin coating each piece thoroughly in the flour.
5. Once oil is hot, fry chicken pieces 30 seconds per side. The goal is to not cook the chicken in this step. Work in batches (I did 8-9 pieces at a time), and repeat until done. Place chicken aside.
6. In separate saucepan, add your coconut aminos sauce mixture, and turn on medium heat. Let warm up slightly, and add chicken. Coat chicken pieces evenly with sauce.
7. Simmer, and watch your sauce reduce. Do not let it boil – it should not be getting that hot. Adjust your heat down if need be. Sauce will thicken in about 20 minutes time.
8. After sauce has thickened on chicken, remove from pan, and transfer onto plate. Set chicken pieces on plate, and do not stack them. Generously sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve with vegetables or cauliflower rice!

Let me know if you made this recipe and what you thought! Tag your pics on Insta @goodAFeats! xoxo, Amber

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Buffalo Cauliflower

Buffalo Cauliflower

Just because I love to eat healthy a lot of the time, doesn’t mean I don’t miss eating Hooter’s Buffalo Wings with some good ole ranch. Trust me, I miss that. I’m not much of a sports fan but, I enjoy going to watch a UFC fight with friends, order hot wings, and go through a few pitchers of beer. Last time I went to a Hooter’s was roughly a year and a half ago, and I made the mistake of looking at the nutritional facts for a 10 piece wings order. I remember being disgusted at what I saw…

SPOILER ALERT – it’s not good. I’m going to tell you how many fat grams a 10 piece from Hooter’s has, but it’s not pretty. Skip the next sentence if you don’t want to know. Seriously, it will blow your mind.

One order of 10 piece buffalo hot wings is 125 GRAMS OF FAT, y’all. I’m allowed 42 grams in ONE day!

I didn’t order wings that day, and I haven’t since. Will I never order them again? Of course, I will… just not any time soon.

One of my favorite restaurants in Nashville, called Tavern, makes a delicious appetizer of Buffalo Cauliflower, crusted in corn meal, a buffalo sauce, and served with a blue cheese fondue. I wanted to make my own healthy, grain-free version, and whipped this recipe up in a flash. I prefer to pair my wings (or in this case, cauliflower) with ranch – the brand Just Ranch is amazing and inexpensive.

This recipe is KETO, PALEO, VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, WHOLE30, and most importantly DELICIOUS. Does it taste like a chicken wing? Well, of course not, but it still tastes damn good and has all the flavor you need, without the 12 days worth of fat grams. It will curve that craving you’ve been having!

Update: My taste tester, Megan approves of this recipe!


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Buffalo Cauliflower
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
2 small cauliflower heads
1/2 cup almond meal, fine
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash seasoning
2/3 cup Frank’s Buffalo Hot Sauce
Ranch (I use Just-Ranch brand)

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Chop cauliflower into bite-size florets.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix almond meal, water, Mrs. Dash seasoning, and Frank’s hot sauce. Mix well.
4. Add chopped cauliflower to the bowl of sauce, and toss well. Make sure cauliflower is coated on all sides.
5. In a 13″ x 9″ baking pan, or large cookie sheet, grease your pan or use parchment paper. Lay cauliflower out – do not stack pieces up. If you have extra sauce, lightly drizzle it over the cauliflower.
6. Cook for 20 minutes, pull out, and flip cauliflower. Roast another 20 minutes, or until tender.
7. If you want to slightly char the cauliflower, turn the broiler on for 4-5 minutes (make sure you watch it – and don’t let it burn!
8. Dip in your favorite ranch or bleu cheese dressing!

Let me know if you made these and what you thought! Tag your pics on Insta @goodAFeats! xoxo, Amber

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Not Your Average Deviled Eggs

My family has used the same deviled egg recipe for years. A family friend of ours passed the BEST deviled egg recipe down to us, and I LOVE it. There are so many variations out there (the ones with vinegar should be banned), but the recipe we share is my absolute favorite. It’s based with mayo and sour cream, and bacon. I didn’t have mayo or sour cream on hand recently, so I thought, “Why not ranch?

Lemme tell ya – the experiment was a hit. I told my friend I’d bring her some to try and ended up eating the rest for breakfast this morning (sorry, Megan, #noregrets). This one is different from our original Southern recipe. It’s actually creamier!

These are obviously high in protein and keto-friendly. They’re the perfect appetizer for any occasion – parties, dinners, or a snack for yourself!

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Deviled Eggs
Makes 12 egg bites

TIP: If you don’t have an egg cooker, I highly recommend one! They cook eggs effortlessly in 12 minutes.

Ingredients:
6 eggs
4-5 tbsp ranch (Just-Ranch brand)
1 tsp minced onion
2 tsp prepared mustard
4 dashes of hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
Few dashes of garlic powder
Fresh cracked pepper
Paprika

Directions:
1. Boil your eggs. You want them to be a hard-boil.
2. As soon as eggs are finished boiling, remove from heat, and place in a large bowl of ice water for 5 minutes (they will peel MUCH easier).
3. In the meantime, mix ranch, onion, mustard, hot sauce, garlic powder, and pepper in a mixing bowl.
4. After eggs have cooled off, carefully peel them and discard the hard shell pieces.
5. Slice your eggs in half, long ways. Remove yolks, and place the yolks in the mixing bowl with your ranch mixture. Set the sliced eggs aside.
6. Mash yolks and cream into ranch mixture. You want it to have the smoothest consistency possible.
7. With a teaspoon, carefully scoop mixture into each hard-boiled egg cup.
8. Top with paprika, olives, and/or bacon to garnish!

Let me know if you made these and what you thought! Tag your pics on Insta @goodAFeats! xoxo, Amber