Asian Pasta Salad with Very Teriyaki

An Asian Pasta Salad with edamame, red cabbage, shredded carrots, and very teriyaki dressing!

Asian Pasta Salad - Very Teriyaki

It’s Spring and that means finding cold salad dishes that can be made in advance that are healthy and so easy to make.

I first had this pasta salad last summer and have been literally been thinking about it ever since. I really do not like pasta salads that are based with mayo – I find them so heavy! This can be a problem when all summer long you go to BBQ’s and people serve pasta salad that is made with mayonnaise! You are much better off making your own pasta salads as you can control what ingredients go into it.
Asian-Pasta-Salad-Very-Teriyaki

I love anything that is teriyaki and asian inspired. One of my favorite marinades is Soy Vay’s Very Teriyaki Marinade and Dressing. It is great to marinate your proteins in over the summer before you throw it on the grill. Of course making your own fresh marinade is always a great option, but sometimes we need easy meals, and this sauce does just that.

This asian pasta salad would be great with whole wheat pasta, brown rice pasta, traditional bow ties pasta, and possibly even zoodles. You can also pick your favorite “add-ins” to customize this pasta salad. I went with edamame, red cabbage, and shredded carrots. But green peas, bell peppers, and peanuts would make a great addition as well.

Edamame, Carrots, Shredded Red Cabbage

Edamame, Carrots, Shredded Red Cabbage

I hate having half a box of pasta that just sits in the pantry so I used the whole thing. It makes a lot, which is great for leftover night!

Serves 4-6

Asian Pasta Salad with Very Teriyaki 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 box of bow tie pasta (12 ounces)
  • 1 bag of frozen shelled edamame cooked according to package
  • half a head of red cabbage shredded thin (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup of Soy Vay Very Teriyaki Marinade and Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili oil (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

What to do: 

  1. Cook the pasta according to package, al dente, and let cool to room temperature.
  2. While pasta is cooking whisk together the Soy Vay Very Teriyaki Dressing, rice wine vinegar, and chili oil in a large bowl. Put to the side.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage, carrots, and edamame to the dressing mixture. Toss in the cooked pasta until well mixed. Garnish with sesame seeds.
  4. Eat at room temperature or put in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat!
    Asian Pasta Salad

It’s that easy.

This asian pasta salad would also make a great lunch, picnic item, side dish at dinner, or to have at at BBQ.

Let me know what your favorite pasta salad recipe is!

Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

~Hunter

 

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Zucchini Noodles “Zoodles” and Meatballs

 Zucchini Noodles – Zoodles – with Marinara and Meatballs!

Healthy Spaghetti and Meatballs

I am a huge fan of spaghetti and meatballs but I try not to eat pasta too often and save it for special occasions. But the problem is there are so many great dishes that pair with pasta because it is a nice base to soak up whatever sauce you put on top.

Today I decided to go with tomato sauce and meatballs but you could also do a nice pesto, garlic and oil, or anything you would put on traditional pasta.

So I have had my spiralizer since January now and I have been experimenting with different ways of cooking the noodles as well as the best way to use my new gadget. I found that as I used it more the noodles did get better.

Here are a few things I noticed:
-You should try and use large zucchinis when spiralizing I find they work better (about 1 per person)
-I also found that zucchini has a lot of water in it! You can avoid some of this water and the soggy aspect of the noodles by: Making the zoodles and then letting them sit with paper towel to squeeze some of the water content out. Some recipes say to let the zucchini sit with salt on them because it draws the water out but personally I did not find this extra step necessary.

-There are also two different types of spiralizers I have tried.

Zucchini Noodles

Zoodles using the hand held spiralizer.

1) Vegetable Spiralizer Maker – It is hand held and only comes with two different size spirals. I found this one easier to clean and a little quicker. The noodles, come out a little flatter and less round but it is super easy and very little clean up. Inexpensive. $13.00 Amazon
2) Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer: This is more of a machine and involves a little more set up time but also gives you more options. I like the texture and shape of the noodles better with this machine then the hand held because it is a continuous spiral. The noodles are rounder which resembles pasta. You also get multiple blades where you can change the shape and size of the spiral, which is nice. A little more expensive. $26.00

For this recipe I used the first option and it worked rather well. Once you prepare the meatballs this recipe takes very little time at all. I also speed it up by using my favorite jarred tomato sauce – Rao’s Marinara Sauce. A home made sauce would work nicely.

What you need:

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • a little less than half a cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • your favorite tomato sauce
  • zucchini (1 per person)

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine your ground beef, parsley, milk, egg, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until just combined and form meatballs.
    Meatballshome made meatballs
  2. Bake for 12-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Make sure they do not over cook, depends on preferred size.
    Zucchini and meatballs
  3. While meatballs are cooking spiralize zucchini and let sit wrapped in paper towel to draw some of the moisture out.
  4. Once meatballs are cooked remove from oven and heat a medium-large saute pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Take the zucchini and saute for about 2-5 minutes just until warmed through, season with salt and pepper. Move to a bowl.

    Zucchini Noodles -"Zoodles"

    Zucchini Noodles -“Zoodles”

  5. In the same pan take 1 cup of marinara sauce and heat it in the sauce pan. Take 3 or 4 meatballs depending on size and put in marinara sauce, until the sauce begins to simmer.
    Zoodles and Meatballs
  6. Spoon the desired amount of sauce over your zoodles and place meatballs on top. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and a little bit of parmesan cheese.

    Zucchini Noodles - Zoodles - and Meatballs

    Zucchini Noodles – Zoodles – and Meatballs

Notes: If you let your zucchini sit with sauce on it for a long time before eating the sauce will become watery as the zucchini releases water. It’s best to eat it right away to avoid this.

Enjoy your low-carb zoodles and meatballs!

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Barley Spring Salad

Barley Spring Salad

Barley Spring Salad

A barley, mushroom, asparagus, zucchini, and petite white bean salad.

 This cold salad is perfect for a spring time lunch.

In the spring the winter layers start to come off and I want to eat a little lighter. I love this barley spring salad because you can make it in the beginning of the week and bring some for lunch at work! Love being prepared for the week. 🙂 Not to mention this Barley Spring Salad is loaded with protein to keep you going throughout the day.

Barley Salad with Asparagus, Mushrooms, Zucchini and White Beans

Barley Salad with Asparagus, Mushrooms, Zucchini and White Beans

In the Spring time the vegetables and herbs start to come alive in the markets. I love the asparagus, the fennel, and the mushrooms during this time of year. It makes me excited that in just a few short weeks I will be starting my garden again! Last year, we had such success with all of the plants we are going to make it even bigger this year. I will keep you posted on some gardening tips and the progress of the garden in general later this month.

So when I was going to make this spring salad I went to the super market and I thought I bought farro but it turns out I was in such a rush, like most of the time, and I actually grabbed barley. So, I went with it. Because farro and barley are similar grains in turned out pretty much the same, you can use either also. Whatever your preference.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I have some homework to do!

Enjoy 🙂

Barley Spring Salad

What you need:
  • 6 ounces of sliced mushrooms (you can use white or more exotic assorted mushrooms)
  • about 4 pieces of asparagus cut into small pieces (use what you have). Asparagus – you do not need a whole pack of asparagus – buy the whole thing but use the rest for something else.
  • 1 small zucchini cut into little pieces (see picture)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can of petite white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of barley cooked according to package
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
What to do:
  1. Cook the barley or farro according to package and cook until most of the water is absorbed and the grain is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, strain extra water if necessary and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. On a baking tray toss the zucchini, squash, asparagus, and mushrooms to coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, tossing half way, until the vegetables are roasted but not burned.
    Barley Spring Salad - Roasted Vegetables

    Barley Spring Salad – Roasted Vegetables

    Barley Spring Salad Roasted Vegetables

    Barley Spring Salad Roasted Vegetables

  3. In a large bowl put a little bit of olive oil, juice of half a lemon, parsley and whisk until well combined. Fold in the roasted vegetables, small white beans, cooked barley, salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/4 teaspoon).
    Barley Spring Salad  Ingredients

    Barley Spring Salad Ingredients

    Barley Spring Salad Ingredients

    Barley Spring Salad Ingredients

  4. Garnish with toasted sunflower seeds (I had some laying around from another recipe so I thought it might be nice).

You can serve this warm, room temperature, or cold!

You can substitute any of your favorite vegetables to be roasted almost anything will work, this is what I had on hand!

~Hunter

Biscuit Pot Pie

biscuit pot pie

This Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie uses flaky biscuits as the crust topping and healthier sweet potatoes as well as the traditional vegetables you will find in any good pot pie.

This is comfort food and one of my all time favorites! 🙂

Biscuit Pot Pie is something I have been wanting to try and make for a while now. I did not make my own biscuits for this recipe but next time I will definitely try to! I hear it’s not too difficult. The main reason I did not make my own is because of lack of time. Instead, I used the low-fat biscuits you find in dairy section – and they were still great!
biscuit pot pie

While doing research to prepare for this recipe I thought of using sweet potatoes instead of traditional russet or red. I did not see a lot of recipes using sweet potatoes but I think that it added a great flavor and healthy aspect to the dish! Besides sweet potato I used carrots, celery, peas, onions, and I had half a squash so last minute I threw that in there – yum!
biscuit pot pie

The only downside to the sweet potato is as I’m sure your aware of is that they take a long time to cook. You have to be sure to give time to cook your potatoes at a low simmer with the carrots, onions, and celery – until tender! If you do this your sweet potatoes will be perfect in the Biscuit Pot Pie. I also used chicken that I had leftover from making stock for my Matzo Ball Soup. Half of the chicken went into the soup and the other half in to a container so I could re-purpose it for a new recipe!

If you are a fan of classic Chicken Pot Pie you have to try this Biscuit Pot Pie… you are missing out!

What you need:

  • 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken (you could use rotisserie chicken if you want)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • about 4 diced carrots
  • 3 or 4 sliced in half and diced into small pieces
  • 2 small sweet potatoes peeled and diced to the same size of the carrots
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • half a green squash diced (optional)
  • about 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of milk (plus a little more if needed)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 can (16.3 0z) Pillsbury Grands! Flaky Low-Fat Biscuits

What to do:

  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Next add the sweet potato and saute for another minute and add the celery and carrots. Cook for another 10 minutes until sweet potatoes begin to soften.
  2. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and thyme and bring to simmer. Add the green squash and frozen peas, cover and cook until sweet potato are tender (about 10 more minutes).
    biscuit pot pie
  3. While the sweet potato is cooking whisk together the milk and flour. It should be a little thick.
  4. When sweet potato is tender stir in the shredded chicken. Next mix in the milk-flour mixture and the filling should begin to thicken. (If it looks like it needs to be a little thicker add a little more milk and a little more flour).
    biscuit pot pie
  5. If making a head stop here and pour into a 9×13 baking dish cover and refrigerate. If you are going to bake it now preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Place the biscuits over the top of the filling mixture should be enough to cover the top of the pot pie.
    biscuit pot pie
  7. Bake for about 12-15 minutes. Check biscuits at 12 and make sure they are not over cooking. Take out and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
    biscuit pot pie
  8. This makes nice leftovers the biscuits soften nicely in the microwave – if you are lucky enough to have leftovers!

Serving Size: 1 Biscuit Per Person

Enjoy!!!

~Hunter

What’s you favorite way to eat Chicken Pot Pie?

Healthier Baja Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Fish Tacos with Corn Salsa, Cabbage Greek Yogurt Cilantro-Lime Slaw, and Cilantro. 

Fish Tacos with Yogurt Slaw, Corn Salsa, and Cilantro

Fish Tacos with Yogurt Slaw, Corn Salsa, and Cilantro

I love tacos. I used to want to eat tacos all the time when I was younger. Nothing fancy just ground beef with some taco seasoning and some fresh toppings. Since then I have been trying all different types of tacos – but truly found love with fish tacos.

These Baja Fish Tacos are so easy to make and make a great Spring/Summer meal. They are light and are packed with flavor and protein. The lime juice adds a fresh bright flavor to these tacos. I also use red cabbage which gives great color, helps detoxify the body, helps keep blood pressure from getting high, and is also a brain food. In the cabbage slaw I used greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise to help keep this recipe light- plus I don’t really care for mayo. I also love to use red cabbage in my salads because this recipe does not use the whole head of cabbage – so you will have leftovers.

I lightly fry the cod fish fillets to provide a light crispy exterior and perfectly tender inside. You do have to be careful though because cod is very delicate and the filets were starting to fall apart if you touch them too much while they are cooking. Handle with care!

Another reason I am obsessed with these Baja Fish Tacos is the fact that this is my first time making homemade tortilla chips with corn tortillas. It’s so easy and they are so fresh, perfect to scoop up the fish and corn that falls out of your tortilla at the end! All you have to do is stack and cut the soft corn tortillas into wedges, toss with a light coating of vegetable oil and spices, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes rotating trays half way through – or until crispy. Make sure each chip lays flat on the tray or they won’t be crispy.

Home-made Tortilla Chips

Home-made Tortilla Chips

Here’s what you will need:

For the Taco:
1 pound of cod fillets cut into cut into 2-by-1/2 inch pieces (or preferred white fish)
1 cup all purpose flour
a little paprika, chili powder, and cumin (just a pinch of each)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 package of corn tortillas

Corn Topping:
1 can of corn – rinsed and drained (fresh is best when it is in season)
1 green bell pepper chopped to the same size as the corn
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
dash of chili powder

For the Cabbage Slaw: 
4 cups of shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 head)
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime & zest
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
about 3/4 cup of low-fat plain greek yogurt
1 tsp agave nectar

What to do: 

1. Make the Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Slaw by whisking together greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, vegetable oil, agave, salt and pepper. Then mix in the shredded cabbage. Let sit while you prepare the tacos.

Greek Yogurt Slaw with Cilantro-Lime and Agave

Greek Yogurt Slaw with Cilantro-Lime and Agave

cabbage slaw
2. Make the Corn Topping in a small bowl by mixing together juice of 1 lime, cilantro, vegetable oil, dash of chili powder, salt and pepper. Then stir in the corn and green bell pepper.

3. Prepare the fish filets: Cut the fish into taco size pieces and put aside. Make the seasoned flour dredge by combining 1 cup all purpose flour, a little paprika, chili powder, and cumin (just a pinch of each), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. As you are making the dredge heat a large skillet up with a little bit of vegetable oil (enough to coat the bottom)- you do not need to completely submerge the fish.

4. Once the oil is very hot take a few fish fillets and dredge in flour mixture evenly covering the fish and carefully place in the skillet. Fry in batches about 2 minutes on each side (maybe less if your fish is thin – or until golden brown). Remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Season with salt and continue until finished.

Cod cooking

Cod cooking

5. Warm the tortillas up in a 275 degree oven until warm and slightly crisp as the fish is cooking. Now it’s time to assemble your taco!

6. Take 2 taco shells and place a little cabbage slaw on the bottom, then place a piece of fish, the corn topping, a little more slaw, cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Baja Fish Tacos

Baja Fish Tacos

Happy Taco Tuesday! Enjoy this delicious recipe!

~Hunter