Archive for Food

The BEST Kale Caesar Salad You’ve Ever Had….I Promise

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Hi everyone! Today I want to share one of my go-to recipes that I probably make twice a week because I love kale and I love caesar salad. This recipe is another one of my Snap Kitchen inspired recipes (see another one here). I am addicted to the kale caesar at Snap Kitchen, and I think this recipe is pretty close to theirs, if not better. Here’s how you make it:

Ingredients:

One large bunch of Tuscan Kale- center stem removed and chopped

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

8 anchovy filets packed in oil

1 garlic clove- chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

salt/pepper to taste

croutons (I make my own gluten free ones)

1/2 cup golden raisins

Directions:

Add the lemon juice, anchovies, garlic, and dijon mustard to a blender and puree until smooth. Next add the olive oil slowly, and blend until you have a creamy dressing. Add half of the parmesan and salt and pepper and mix for just a few seconds. Now your dressing is done. You can make the dressing ahead of time and store it for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Add the dressing to the kale and toss together. Add the remaining parmesan,  golden raisins, and croutons. That’s it! Enjoy it as a meal or as a side. I love to just eat a large portion by itself for lunch. Try it and let me know what you think.

xo

Layla

 

My New favorite drink: Matcha Green Tea Latte Recipe

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Happy Friday! Today I want to share my sort of new obsession, which is Matcha Green Tea lattes. I am one of those people that LOVES coffee, not because I need it to stay awake or be alert, but because I love the taste and smell. When I was pregnant, I couldn’t drink coffee for several reasons, so I tried to come up with a substitute. I had heard that green tea powder is really good for you (full of antioxidants), but I wasn’t so sure about the taste. WELL, I looked all over the internet for some ideas, and this is the recipe I fell in love with. It is so easy to make; in a couple of minutes you have a frothy delicious latte for 1/4 of the cost of Starbucks.

You will need:

Matcha Green Tea Powder (I like this one)

Vanilla Almond Milk- or whatever milk you like

Sugar (I use Stevia or Truvia)

A milk frother (I bought this one)

First, pour one cup of vanilla almond milk into a large mug. Microwave the milk for about 1-2 minutes or until it is HOT. Then add a teaspoon of Matcha Tea powder and mix really well until almost all the clumps are gone. If you used unsweetened almond milk, you will probably want to add sugar. I use one packet of Truvia. Then use your handy milk frother to mix it all together and make a nice frothy layer at the top. If you don’t have a milk frother, you can just mix everything in a blender and it will make it frothy.

Try it out this weekend!

xo

Layla

 

 

Paleo Dinners: Havana Beef with Quinoa

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Hi Everyone!

Today, I want to share a meal that was inspired by one of my favorite meals at Snap Kitchen. If you don’t have a Snap Kitchen where you live, it’s basically a place you can go to pick up quick, healthy, and usually gluten free ready-made meals. The only problem is that normally, a small meal will run you about $8.75, so I decided to make my own! I usually make a huge amount and freeze what we don’t eat that night in individual freezer bags. This meal is packed with protein, and is really delicious! If you are trying to lose weight, or just want to have a healthy and easy recipe, this one is for you.

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef (I used organic beef)
1 small onion diced
1 can black beans- drained
1/4 cup Spanish olives (pitted and chopped)
1 1/2 cup quinoa (I mixed red and white quinoa together)
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt/pepper to taste

Directions: In a large pan, saute onions and beef until the beef has browned. Add turmeric, cumin, paprika, and salt/pepper to taste. Add the black beans, olives, and raisins.

In a separate pot, cook the quinoa according to the instructions. The general rule of thumb for quinoa is 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid. So for 1 1/2 cups of quinoa, use 3 cups of water or stock. Once the quinoa has cooked, add it to the beef mixture. Mix everything together, and check if you have added enough salt.

Remember: most canned beans, olives, and broths have salt, so you may not need to add very much. I like to serve mine with wedges of lime.

Enjoy!

xo

Layla

Fig and Mascarpone Bruschetta

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One of my favorite easy appetizers to make is bruschetta, and this Fig and Mascarpone bruschetta is perfect for the end of summer, when the figs are perfectly ripe. It only takes minutes to prepare, and the result is as pretty as it is delicious.

Ingredients: Serves 4 (two pieces per person)

  • 4-5 Figs (I used black mission figs)
  • One loaf of dense, crusty bread (I chose French country bread)
  • Mascarpone Cheese (Italian cream cheese)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
Directions:
1. Cut bread into 1/2 inch slices and brush one side with olive oil. Place in the oven at 350 degrees until the edges are golden.
2. Wash figs, and cut vertically into thin slices.
3. Spread about one tablespoon of mascarpone cheese onto each slice of bread. Layer the fig slices over the cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Optional: I like to sprinkle a tiny bit of grey salt over the top to give it a nice salty crunch. But use sparingly because it is very salty.
5. Arrange on a platter and enjoy!

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I hope you enjoy this simple, chic recipe! Also, you can join me on my Chic Chef Facebook page here.

xo

Layla

Kale, Cranberry, and Pumpkin seed Salad

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One of my favorite salads of all time is the Central Market Kale and Pepita Salad that you can buy from their prepared foods section. I have been trying to recreate this salad for a while, and I finally think I’ve got it! If you are a fan of this salad, this version is really close to the real thing, and you can make it at home. Here’s how you make it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Kale greens (washed, de-stemmed, and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce (I use Liquid Aminos which has less sodium)
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar or Honey
  • I/4 cup Toasted pumpkin seeds or Pepitas
  • 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp Candied Ginger (I left this out because I don’t like the taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Whisk all of the wet ingredients together and toss with the kale greens. Add the pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and ginger and light toss to combine everything. Let the salad sit for 15 minutes so that the kale softens. Serve and enjoy!

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, and let me know how you like it!

Also, don’t forget to “Pin” this recipe for future use.

xo

Layla

 

“Chic” Popcorn

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I haven’t shared a food post in a while, mainly because of my hectic schedule, but today I wanted to share a quick and delicious snack idea with you. I love to snack on popcorn, and lately I have been making different kinds of popcorn at home. I found this great blog called Versus from my Kitchen, where he shares 3 very “chic” gourmet popcorn recipes. I love that he added the fresh herbs to the popcorn, and the thyme and sea salt one is to die for. Check out all three of his recipes here.

I also wanted to share one my favorite popcorn recipes, which is a truffle and parmesan popcorn. As you may know if you have been reading my blog for a while, I love anything with truffle on it. I recently made a batch of truffle parmesan popcorn, and it disappeared rather quickly. All of these recipes also make great gift ideas. Just place them in a cellophane bag with a nice bow, and voila!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels
  • 2 Tbsp Canola oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp Truffle Oil (more if you like a stronger truffle flavor)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  •  Place a few kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once the kernels pop, add remaining kernels to pot and place lid over it (leaving a gap for steam to escape).
  •  As the kernels pop, shake the pot until the popping slows down to about 2-3 second between pops. Remove from heat.
  •  Melt the butter in a small pot or in the microwave. Add the truffle oil to the melted butter.
  • In a large bowl, toss the popcorn with the melted butter/truffle oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Then add the grated parmesan.
  • For presentation, you can add some fresh herbs like rosemary or chives to give it a pop of color.
I hope you enjoy these fancy popcorn recipes! Let me know how you like them.
Have a great weekend and don’t forget to join me on my Facebook page here.

xo

Layla

 

Instafun

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I hope you are having a great weekend! Join me on Instagram @ chicchef.

xo

Layla

Poached Pears w/ Mascarpone filling

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I am not much of a dessert gal; I prefer savory any day. However, I love poached pears. Depending on how you poach them, they can have just the right amount of sweetness to finish off a great meal. If you really want to impress your dinner guest, this is the dessert to make. It is really easy, and looks so chic! Here’s how to make them.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 4 pears (I used bosc pears)
  • 1 bottle of Cabernet sauvignon – you can use any red you like
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lemon sliced thinly
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar

First, you need to peel, half, and core your pears. I kept the stems on for presentation.I used a melon baller to remove the core and make a nice nest for the mascarpone filling.

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Next, combine the red wine, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and a few slices of lemon to a large pot, and bring to a boil.

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While the poaching liquid is coming to a boil, you can make your mascarpone filling. Simply combine the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and whip until smooth.

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Once the liquid is boiling, add the pears, making sure they are not overlapped. You want them all to poach evenly.

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Bring the liquid to a simmer, and cook the pears until they are fork tender. You may need to flip them carefully during the cooking process. My pears were very ripe so it only took about 15 minutes.

Red wine reduction sauce: After you remove the pears and set aside to cool a bit, bring the remaining liquid to a boil until it reduces to a syrup consistency.

Presentation: Add a spoonful of the mascarpone filling to each pear, and then drizzle the red wine reduction over the tops.

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Enjoy! These are seriously delicious! Let me know how it turns out. You can also pin this recipe by using my “Pin It” button below the picture.

xo

Layla

Moroccan Fusion Soup

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I am fortunate to have Moroccans in my family that have introduced me to some amazing Moroccan home-cooking. Traditionally, Moroccan food is meant to be cooked slowly and enjoyed slowly, but for busy days, this is a great Moroccan-inspired soup recipe. It has elements of Moroccan and Thai cuisine, which is why I call it fusion soup. It is super easy; you just add all the ingredients into a pot, and let them do their magic. This is a great hearty soup that is perfect for my vegetarian readers as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato or yam (cubed)
  • 2 Green Apples (cubed)
  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 1 can light Coconut milk
  • 1 can crushed fire-roasted tomatos
  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp thai chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Salt/ Pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to a large pot and cook covered on medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.

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Enjoy!

Speaking of Moroccan cuisine, I can’t wait for Around the World in 80 plates to start on Bravo. It’s like Top Chef meets the Amazing Race. They will be visiting Marrakech, and cooking some amazing dishes for sure!

xo

Layla

 

 

 

 

Mini Egg Frittatas

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It’s been a while since I have done a food post, since I have been so wrapped up in fashion lately, but I just had to share this cute brunch recipe with you all. Brunch has to be one of my favorite meals, because it is an excuse to eat breakfast foods later on in the day. I recently experimented with this mini frittata recipe, and it was a big hit! It is so easy to make, and it is perfect for large groups because you can make as many as you want at once (depending on how many muffin tins you own). Here’s how you make them.

Ingredients:

8 Large Eggs

1/4 cup Milk

1/4 cup Half and Half

1/3 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese

4 oz. Smoked turkey (you can also use ham)- chopped into small pieces

1 medium sized onion (chopped)

2 stalks Green Onion (finely chopped)

Salt/ Pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. First, slowly saute the onion in olive oil until it becomes caramelized. Here is a really good lesson on how to do that. You can also make the caramelized onions ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. Beat 8 large eggs with the milk, half and half, salt and pepper until they become frothy. Then, carefully fold the caramelized onions and all the other ingredients into the beaten egg mixture. You don’t want to mix too vigorously because you will take the air out of the eggs mixture and your frittatas will not puff as nicely.

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Spray your muffin tins with nonstick spray. Then fill the muffin tins with the egg mixture.

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Place it in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes until the frittatas become slightly golden and puff up. You may need to periodically rotate the muffin tin to make sure they all cook evenly.

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Carefully remove them from the muffin tin, and serve while they are still warm.

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This is the perfect addition to a brunch spread, and I could really eat these any time.

Enjoy! Let me know how they turned out!

xo

Layla