Sticky chicken thighs

Looking for quick dinner ideas? This sticky chicken thighs recipe is one of those. And because I make it in the Ninja Foodi (that has been such a time saver), a healthy and tasty dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes.

Total time: 20 minutes. Serves:4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bone-in chicken thighs, fat trimmed (can be with or without skin)
  • For the sauce:
    • 1tbsp sesame oil
    • 1 tsp garlic, minced
    • 1tbsp ginger, minced
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 4 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
    • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
    • 2 tbsp honey
    • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce (optional if you dont like it too spicy)

Method

  1. Pour 1 cup water in the Ninja Foodi pot
  2. Place reversible rack in the pot, making sure rack is in the higher position
  3. Arrange chicken thighs , skin side up on the rack. Assemble pressure cooker making sure release valve is in the Seal position
  4. Select Pressure and set to high. Set time to 5 minutes. Select Start/Stop to begin
  5. While chicken is cooking, in a bowl, stir together the ingredients listed under the sauce and set aside
  6. When pressure cooking is complete, quick release the pressure by moving the pressure release valve to the Vent position. Carefully remove lid when the unit has finished releasing the pressure
  7. Gently move the skin to the side and brush both sides of the chicken with the sauce
  8. Close crisping lid. Select Broil and set time to 5 minutes. Select Start/Stop to begin
  9. At 5 minutes, open lid and baste with the two tbsp of sauce that was set side. Close lid, select Broil and set time to another 5 minutes. Select Start/Stop to begin
  10. When cooking is complete, serve chicken topped with spring onions on a bed of rice and with a side of steamed vegetables of stir fried green beans

Energy Bars

Craving a snack? Want breakfast-on-the go? I can’t say enough good things about these bars. No syrups, artificial ingredients, or colors. Minimal, clean and good-for-you ingredients, and takes less than 10 minutes to pull together. 

We have always been a physically active family and need snacks that are clean and healthy. This bar takes barely any time to make, is no-bake and is easy to take with you. They hold well in lunch-boxes, sports bags and school bags and easy for breakfast on the go.

I have 2 flavors of these and have included both. Less than 20 minutes for both and store them in the fridge for up to a week (that’s if they are not all eaten up before that!)

Ingredients for ChocoNut Date Bar

  • 1.5 cups Medjool pitted dates
  • 0.5 cup walnuts
  • 0.5 cup almonds
  • 3 tbsp chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp.chocolate powder

Ingredients for Cashew Date Bars

  • 1.5 cups Medjool pitted dates
  • 1 cup cashews

Method for both bars

  • If the dates are dry, sock in warm water for 5 minutes and then drain the water
  • Make sure dates are pitted i.e. no seeds, prior to use
  • Add the nuts to a chopper or food processor. Chop fine.
  • Add dates and other ingredients the recipe calls for
  • Grind all the ingredients together
  • It blends together within a minute or two. Take out the mixture and lay it on a sheet of wax paper
  • Form into rectangle shape using your hands or a knife to shape the edges
  • Slice into squares or small bars
  • Store in fridge or can also be eaten at room temperature
Cashew Date Bars
ChocoNut Date Bar

Spicy Mustard Sauce

A delicious sauce to have on hand – on sandwiches, with roast meat, or just a dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Method:

Whisk ingredients. Serve at room temperature


Pigs-in-a-blanket (Ninja Foodi / Air-fryer)

What to do when the kids come home starving? This is an easy, quick snack especially when made in the air-fryer. Be ready for it to be devoured within minutes

Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Smoked sausages (can use beef or pork and also use hot dogs cut into smaller pieces)
  • I package puff pastry or pie crust dough (I prefer puff pastry but have also used pie crust depending on what I had on hand)
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour

Method:

  1. Set the pastry sheet to thaw
  2. Pre-heat Ninja Foodi (on Air Crisp setting) to 375F
  3. Sprinkle flour on work surface. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on work surgace
  4. Roll pastry sheet into 12x14inch rectangle. Cut the pastry into 3×3 inch long sections
  5. Place 1 (3×3 inch) piece of pastry on the work surface and place 1 sausage crosswise across the center of the pastry. Roll the pastry around the sausage and press to seal
  6. Repeat with remaining sausages and pastry
  7. Place the wrapped sausages onto a tray in the Ninja Foodi
  8. Let it air crisp for 5 minutes. Open the cover of the air fryer, and flip over the wrapped sausages with a pair of tongs (it will be hot) and air crisp for another 5 minutes
  9. Serve with a side of mustard sauce

Blueberry pear smoothie

Smoothies are full of vitamins and minerals with a lot of flavor to jump-start your day. Not only is it nutrient-packed, it also keeps hunger pangs at bay, definitely a better alternative to snacking on calories. This fruit-only smoothie is a nice alternative to a green-smoothie, sweetened with a dash of honey!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cold milk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey (or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 cups sweet blueberries
  • 1 cup pear, seeded and chopped

Method:

Add ingredients to a blender in the order listed above. Blend, pour and enjoy!


Ginger, spinach and pear smoothie

How about a warming smoothie to get you through the winter?

Green smoothies are one of the best ways to start your morning. It’s nutrient dense and is an easy and quick way to get in a healthy meal, especially for those on-the-go. Get a good blender and mix in the right vegetables and fruits and your aversion to drinking a green smoothie will quickly dissipate. Spinach is low in calories, but high in folate, calcium, fiber and vitamins. It is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Try this smoothie which couples spinach with ginger and pears. Pears support heart, brain and gut health and ginger has anti-cancer and anti-inflammation properties but also keeps the sore throat at bay.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 ripe pears, diced
  • 1tbsp ginger, diced (or less if you are not a ginger fan)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 4 pitted dates (I use this for sweetness)
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 scoops flax

Method:

Blend all ingredients. And enjoy….this is a smoothie that can tide you through lunch.


Nana’s scrambled eggs – Bhurji

When we ask the kids if they want scrambled eggs, we have to be specific. Is it “milky-eggs” or “Indian-style”? The latter is how my mom made it for us – also known as bhurji in India. Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions and mushrooms, is an antioxidant filled start to the day!

Servings: 4 Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 medium red onion, diced fined
  • 1 cup Baby Bella mushrooms, diced finely
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small green chili, de-seeded and chopped fine ( jalapeno works well)
  • 1/8th cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Pepper, to taste (I use 1/2 tsp)
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add pinions and fry on medium flame for 2-3 minutes until onions are soft and translucent
  • Add mushrooms and chili, give it a stir and let it cook for 3-4 minutes
  • Add tomatoes and cook on medium-low flame for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes are soft
  • Break the eggs into the pan. Let cook for a minute and then scramble it with a spoon. If you like, you can beat the eggs before putting it into the pan
  • Add the milk, stir it into the eggs and turn flame to low. Cover and let it cook it for 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir
  • Add in the cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until the liquid dries off depending on how dry you like it
  • Turn off flame
  • Serve hot with toast or chapatis and a dash of ketchup
Fry onions in pan until translucent and soft
Fry mushrooms and green chili
Fry the tomatoes
Fry the eggs and at the end, add cilantro
Cook till liquid dries up
Serve with a dash of ketchup on toast or with chapatis/tortillas


Healthy Chorizo Burrito Bowl

This Chorizo Burrito Bowl while packed with Mexican flavors, is a healthier than any version you’ll get in a restaurant but still just as delicious! Not only is it healthy, it’s a quick, delicious meal. Home-made chorizo takes center-stage on a bed of Cilantro Lime Rice along with tomato salsa, corn, black beans, lettuce, and so creamy guacamole. Pack it for lunch or get a quick dinner on the table, it’s a guaranteed favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup – Lettuce, shredded
  • 1 tbsp – lime juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup – Cooked Chorizo
  • 1 cup – Cooked Black Beans (see linked recipe for home cooked black beans or use canned – just rinse before using)
  • 2 cups – Cilantro Lime Rice
  • 1/4 cup – Queso Fresco cheese (I avoid it to keep it healthier, but use it for the kids)
  • 1/4 cup – Greek yogurt (replacing sour cream with yogurt makes it healthy while providing the same, delicious, creamy flavor
  • 1/4 cup – Pico de Gallo
  • 1/4 cup – Corn Salsa
  • 1/4 cup – Guacamole

In a rush: You can make it easier by using store bought chorizo (I have used V&V Supremo brand when in a pinch), and canned black beans – just rinse it out before using.

Method:

  1.  In a bowl, combine cabbage, lime juice, and salt . Combine and refrigerate until needed
  2. To serve:
    1. Layer each serving bowl with half a cup of the Cilantro Lime rice. Top rice with black beans, Chorizo, lettuce, cheese, yogurt, pico de gallo, corn salsa and guacamole, spreading it evenly across the bowls.
    2. Enjoy!

Note:

  1. If using store-bought chorizo, it will need to be cooked
    • Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp of oil
    • When oil is hot, add 1/2 a chopped onion. Fry onion for 2-3 minutes and then add chorizo.
    • Sauté for 7-8 minutes on a medium flame, stirring and breaking the meat up with the spatula, until it is fully cooked through and meat turns from bright red to reddish-brown

Black Beans

Tender, delicious black beans for just about any dish that calls for black beans like burritos, or a Burrito Bowl or Santa Fe Chicken. Yes, takes longer than beans from a can but so much better for you. Black Beans are full of protein, fiber, folate and magnesium. Cook up a pot and have them ready for soups, salads or just a side.

Servings: 6 cups when cooked

Time – if using a Pressure Cooker: 5 minutes prep time + 25 minutes cook time; if using stove top: 5 mins prep time + 1 hour cook time

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried black beans
  • 1 small red onion, diced fine
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 6 cups water

Method:

  • Rinse the black beans twice, throwing out the water after each rinse
  • Pressure Cooker Method:
    • Next day, in a pressure cooker, heat the olive oil
    • When oil is hot, add in the bay leaves. Once leaves splutter, add in the garlic and onions. Stir for a minute and then add in the cumin powder, chili powder, beans along with the water
    • Close the pressure cooker and close steam valve. Set to high pressure for 25 minutes total. Then allow the pot to naturally release steam for 15 minutes
    • To serve, stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Add salt and/or adjust seasonings, if needed
  • Stove Top Method:
    • In a large pan, heat the olive oil
    • When oil is hot, add in the bay leaves. Once leaves splutter, add in the garlic and onions. Stir for a minute and then add in the cumin powder, chili powder, beans along with the water
    • Bring the water to a boil then cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low. Set timer for an hour and let the beans simmer. After an hour, check the beans – they should be plump and easy to press through with a fork. If still tough, continue to simmer in 5 minute increments until soft. If needed, add a little water.
    • When done, turn off the stove.
    • To serve, stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Add salt and/or adjust seasonings, if needed
  • Beans can be used right away in various recipes like a burrito bowl or Santa Fe Chicken stored in fridge for 5 days or in a well-sealed container in the freezer
Burrito Bowl
Santa Fe Chicken

Mexican pork stew

30 mins to get dinner on the table before ravenous kids burst through the door! All I had on hand was some pork in the fridge. A quick combination of pork, and beans in a tomato broth with some spices that are often used in Mexican recipes, resulted in a hearty stew that we enjoyed on a cold winter’s day.

Serves: 4 Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Bone-in pork loin – cut into small cubes while keeping the bone – adds flavor. Alternatively, 1 lb pork shoulder, small cubes
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 15.5oz can white beans ( I had cannellini, you can use white kidney or pinto beans)
  • 1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt, if desired
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Method:

  • In Pressure cooker:
    • Put oil in pressure cooker
    • When hot, add the onions, garlic and jalapeno. Fry for 2-3 minutes until onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally
    • Add the chii powder, cumin powder, smoked paprika, oregano and black pepper powders and stir for a minute
    • Add in the pork pieces and stir to coat the meat with the spices
    • Add in the diced tomatoes, beans and broth
    • Close pressure cooker and pressure cook for 15 minutes
    • When done, let pressure off, remove kid and garnish with the lime juice and cilantro
    • Serve with crusty bread or Mexican Cilantro Lime rice
  • On stove top:
    • In a large, heavy bottom pot, heat oil
    • When hot, add the onions, garlic and jalapeno. Fry for 2-3 minutes until onion is soft and translucent, stirring occasionally
    • Turn flame to medium heat, add the chili powder, cumin powder, smoked paprika, oregano and black pepper powders and stir for a minute
    • Add in the pork pieces and stir to coat the meat with the spices
    • Add in the diced tomatoes, beans and broth
    • Stir, cover and cook on medium-low for about 25 minutes
    • When done, remove from heat and garnish with the lime juice and cilantro
    • Serve with crusty bread or Mexican Cilantro Lime rice