Summer Salad Rolls

These Vietnamese style salad rolls are my new obsession! I cannot stop making (and eating!) them, I made the first batch last week and have made two more batches since. They are so tasty, light and relatively easy to make once you get the rolling down. Salad rolls are usually done with shrimp but I’m allergic so it was chicken for these guys. I think adding a little bit of fruit made them really special, it brings a sweetness and tones down the spicy sauce a bit.

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The most tedious part is the prep. You have to do a lot of chopping, once everything is ready and you start rolling things go pretty fast. The best part of these is that you can basically put in whatever you want and substitute or add things the more you make them. This batch I put in plums and cabbage, then took that out next time and used pink lady apples and spring mix instead, I think the apple was better.

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What you’ll need for the wraps:

  • One – two red bell peppers, sliced thin
  • english cucumber cut in half then sliced thin
  • 3 plums, cored and sliced thin
  • red cabbage cut into thin slices
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks (I bought a bag of pre cut matchstick carrots to save myself some time)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, shredded
  • Rice vermicelli noodles (find in the “asian” section of any grocery store – cook as directed)
  • rice paper wrappers (find in the “asian” section of any grocery store)
  • one bunch cilantro, use to your liking

A note on using the rice paper. I fill a pie plate with luke warm water, and the key with these is to get them just the right amount of soft and wet. I soaked two at a time, about two and a half minutes. If you have never used them before, they start out hard and crispy. Lie them in the water, touch them periodically to see how soft they are getting. It might take a few tries, but don’t get discouraged – too soft and they’ll rip, still too crisp and they’ll rip. Once you get a few good wraps you’ll know the right texture to take them out at. I also found wrapping them on a wooden cutting board was the easiest because the wraps will be soaked when you take them out of the pie plate, it will absorb a little bit of that water so they’re easier to work with and they won’t slide around like on a plate.

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What you’ll need for the dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons natural rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
  •  1 tablespoon all natural honey

Whisk it all together! This sauce does definitely have a bite to it, my husband preferred it with a little more peanut butter, I prefer it with a little less – do whatever works for your tastes.

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Now start rolling those babies! Soak your rice paper then transfer to your rolling area. I always build in the middle of the paper then wrap them like a fajita; fold up the bottom, fold up the sides and roll up to the top – you really want to tuck as you’re rolling to the top or they can get messy, the wrappers will get a little sticky as they dry and self adhere. I usually did my rice noodles first, laid peppers on one side of the noddles and cucumbers on the other, topped with plum, chicken, then finished with cabbage and carrot, I added cilantro to all of mine but I love cilantro, I know some people hate it.

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Your final product should be a pretty snug wrap, it might take a few times – I had no clue what I was doing at first.

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Then you can drizzle the wrap with the peanut sauce or dip as you eat.

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These refrigerate really well, just make sure they’re in an air tight container or the wraps will harden and get stale. I made a bunch and ate them for lunch all week. Then when those were gone I made a new batch with a few changes to the filling and made my husband eat them for dinner, I love them!

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This recipe was adapted from buzzfeed.

Enjoy! Have fun making them and mixing up the recipe!

 

 

 

 

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chicken with a twist

Ryan and I are going to Osoyoos next week so we’ve been trying to keep it pretty healthy around here because I know I’ll be spending the next two weeks in a bikini drink copious amounts of wine! Sometimes it feels like all we ever eat is chicken breast so I’m always looking for ways to change it up. That brought me to this bell pepper chicken recipe that was a big hit!

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Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1.5 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized red bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 medium sized yellow bell pepper sliced thin
  • half a medium sized red onion sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle of dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 450. Rub the chicken breast with mix of salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder. Warm 2 TSP olive oil over medium hot skillet, brown chicken (about 2 minutes a side) and place in to foil lined baking dish.

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Bake at 450 for about 12 to 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1.5 tbsp oil in same skillet add the pepper and onion and sauté until tender but crisp. Once they have gotten tender add the chicken broth to the pan and stir everything together well, bring to a boil and boil for about 6 minutes until the broth is almost all evaporated.  I also added the dried rosemary at this time.

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Then stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper again. Serve over chicken.

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I served them with white wine and crinkle cut yams fries. Once you have cut your yams into fry size, lay them flat on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper, bake at 450 for about 10 minutes, flip them and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes.

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Ryan ate the leftover chicken a couple days later with some shredded jack cheese melted on it and thought it was delicious!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Oscar Sunday

I know we are way past the Academy Awards now but I don’t think it’s ever too late to look at the fashions and throw a recipe in the mix! Last year we got together with some family and put some money on the different categories, which I of course won because I am a pop culture hound. This year it was just me and the husband, which ended up being a nice lazy Sunday; slept in, went for a run, made a nice dinner and watched the Oscars with a huge bag of popcorn (with salt and vinegar seasoning obviously).

My picks for best dressed as follows….

2nd Runner Up

Charlize Theron in Dior

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Not that crazy about the sheer skirt/train situation but her bod looked so amazing and I loved the sheer straps and the necklace. (source)

Silver Medal

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada

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When I first saw this I thought it was sort of plain, but when you saw her move and walk the skirt was glistening like fairy dust. The dress looked so amazing on her skin, she looked like a modern day Cinderella at the ball. (source)

Winner Winner

Kate Hudson in Versace

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I mean, do I even need to say anything about it? The fit, the half cape, the way it moved. The whole thing was to die. (source)

I thought Ellen was such a good host, so funny and I of course retweeted her group selfie.

For dinner I made honey lime chicken, baked yams and a cucumber salad. It was good to make this chicken on a day off because I marinated it for like 5 hours. In that time I was able to do a hair mask and go on the treadmill.

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I love having a treadmill at home, it’s so nice when it’s this ridiculous deep freeze weather. We also have a few set of weights, so working out is so convenient – just head to the basement and watch your “stories” while doing it. I use the “Dreamy Hair Treatment”  from Uniquely Pure, it’s all natural and home made. The mask is coconut oil, argan oil, bergamot, rosemary and chamomile.  I put it directly on my dry hair and leave it on for hours and hours, I have extremely coarse, curly, and dry hair though so in terms of the amount of time you leave it on – use at your own risk! Then I wash, condition and style like normal. My hair feels like spun silk after. You can find them here.

Honey Lime Chicken

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • minced garlic and ginger
  • pinch of cumin
  • season with salt and pepper before baking

Combine all ingredients besides chicken and salt and pep in bowl and whisk well, when you are ready to cook preheat oven to 400. Pour mixture over chicken breast in a baking dish. I covered and left in the fridge for 5 hours, but only because I had all day, marinating for an hour is fine. Flip the breasts halfway through.

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When you’re ready to bake them, squeeze a fresh lime over all three breasts and season with salt and pepper.

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Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

I also pre made the cucumber salad to let it marinate through the day.

Asian Cucumber Salad

  • two cucumbers, sliced very thin
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • sprinkle of chili flakes
  • sprinkle of sesame seeds

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Whisk everything but your cucumbers together, then fold cucumbers into mix and toss to coat. I marinated for several hours, then strained before serving.

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I served the chicken and salad with baked yams, just because I love yams and they are so good for you. They’re so easy to make. Just peel and chop a jumbo yam, mix olive oil with s&p, oregano, parsley and a little cayenne pepper and drizzle that mix over chopped yams on a cookie sheet. Right before I put them in the oven I sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 400, flipping twice. I like them best when they are soft on the inside and a little toasty on the edges.

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Tomorrow I am making a thin mint truffles and oreo truffles, so check back for those as well as an outfit post that will include my new hair colour I’m on the fence about. Have a great weekend!