Dinner in a Pinch + Simple Mustard Chicken

We all have nights where we just need dinner on the table NOW.  Maybe we forgot to meal prep, maybe we’re too busy to even think about planning ahead, or maybe you forgot to defrost the chicken you were going to use and are left with the random things in your fridge for dinner…

Whatever the case, we’ve all experienced a night where dinner in a pinch is what we’re looking for.  Dinner in a Pinch Round-Up + Simple Mustard Chicken | Life Healthfully Lived Continue reading

Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto

Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully LivedYup. Cauliflower is back.  I know you’re probably getting a little tired of seeing it featured in my dishes but you know what?  You’re wrong.  Cauliflower is the magical unicorn of the vegetable world and I love turning it into all sorts of things from taquitos to sauce to sweet and sour bites to mac n’ cheese.  It’s awesome and you’re going to have to deal with it.

Which should be easy if you’re stuffing your face with this tasty meal.  Most people tend to shy away from risotto because it takes a really long time to cook and even if you follow all the steps it somehow still tastes like you didn’t do something right.  Or is it just me chomping away and still uncooked rice?  Just me? Ok.  Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully Lived

Moving on.  If you think risotto is too fussy or you’ve never made it before then you need to try this cauliflower risotto because it is the exact opposite of fussy.  It doesn’t take long to make and you don’t have to stand over the stove stirring until your arm falls off like with regular risotto.  Again, just me?  This risotto is still creamy and rich like regular risotto but it’s also nice and light with all the fresh spring-y vegetables.

One other note about this meal, I really think that what gave this dish the depth of flavor I was going for was the Sherry I used to deglaze the pan.  I know some people don’t like to use alcohol in their cooking (to each their own) and you can use water or broth instead but I don’t think it will have the same taste.  Other than that, this risotto is straight forward and will have you licking your plate clean.  Still just me?

Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower RisottoZucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, riced (you can grate it for bigger pieces which I did or run it through your food processor for smaller pieces)
  • 2 medium zucchini’s, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup peas, if frozen make sure they’re thawed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup onions, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sherry (I used this one) or other dry white wine or water/broth
  • 1/2 cup water/broth
  • 1/2-2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds (or pine nuts if you can shell out the small fortune a 1 oz bag costs)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions until they’re soft then add in the garlic.  Season this with a little salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add in the riced cauliflower, adding a little more oil if needed, and season again with salt and pepper.  Cook for another five minutes until cauliflower is soft and just starting to get a little brown. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese over top.
  3. Pour in the 1/4 cup sherry and deglaze the pan.  Cook and stir everything until most of the liquid as evaporated.  Add the zucchini and peas and pour in the water/broth and coconut milk.  Stir everything together and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and parsley.  Top with the toasted almonds and taste to adjust the salt and pepper.  Zucchini and Pea Cauliflower Risotto | Life Healthfully Lived

Asian-Style Green Beans

Are Chinese buffets still a big thing?  I haven’t been to one in many years, but for a while when I was younger my family and I would go often.  It was just easier because everyone could get what they wanted and it was good for my notoriously picky sister because there were always a few things like pizza and chicken nuggets.  Which of course are Chinese.  Asian-Style Green Beans | Life Healthfully Lived

One of my favorite things at the buffet were the green beans.  They were crispy, crunchy, green, sweet, and salty.  They had those huge granules of salt and garlic and they balanced so well with the other flavors.  I would always get numerous helpings and could have easily made a meal of them.

Of course, they were probably SUPER high in sodium and flavorings that might not have been the best but when compared to the other offerings at the buffet (I’m looking at you General Tso’s chicken and crab rangoon) they were a pretty good choice.  The other day I had a hankering for those green beans and decided to make my own healthier version and I’m pleased to say I think I got pretty close!Asian-Style Green Beans | Life Healthfully Lived

Fresh green beans are making their way back into grocery stores so you should be able to find them pretty easily.  But if you can’t don’t worry, you can use frozen green beans too.  Give these green beans a try at your next meal and I guarantee your family will polish them off.  At least, my husband did….

Asian-Style Green BeansAsian-Style Green Beans | Life Healthfully Lived

  • 2 cups fresh green beans, ends trimmed (if using frozen make sure to thaw them first)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 to 2 tsp coarse sea salt (if you don’t have coarse that’s fine just adjust the amount so it’s not too salty)
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos (you can use soy sauce or liquid aminos too)
  1. Heat a little oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the minced garlic and swirl everything around the pan a few times.
  2. Add the green beans to the pan and then add the onion flakes, ginger, and salt.  Stir so everything is mixed together.  Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the coconut aminos over the green beans, stir everything together, and cover.  Lower the heat to low and cook for another 2 minutes.