March 5, 2021

Fish Po' Boy Sandwich


With the coming of Spring, I'm already dreaming of dining al fresco and seafood dinners. Unfortunately, in the Midwest there's likely still months before patios and rooftops open up (sans heaters), so I am still ordering takeout quite a bit. However, there are dishes that taste much better fresh than delivery or pickup. And since many are staying home more, it's a great opportunity for us to learn how to make recipes we usually just order from restaurants.

One dish I've recently made at home for the first time is a po' boy sandwich. I love a good po' boy, with its crunchy bread, crispy seafood, and delicious sauce, it never lets me down. And it's actually really simple to make at home as long as you have the right ingredients. The most important ingredient being the seafood!


I'm partnering with Gorton's Seafood again to create this fish po' boy sandwich. As I've shared before, I love their products and always keep them in my freezer. Their fish is wild caught and their whole fillet fish are flash-frozen at the peak of freshness. I love fish because it's a great source of protein and natural omega-3s. 


This po' boy sandwich is super simple to make! It is a new dish on rotation for mealtimes. The recipe I'm sharing is adapted from Serious Eats' recipe. And I hope you try it out for you and your family and let me know what you think!

FISH PO' BOY SANDWICH

Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

For the Fish:
  • 4 Gorton's Seafood frozen fish fillets (I used the Fish Sandwich Fillets)
  • 2 Tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
For the Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup Kewpie mayonnaise (You can use any mayo)
  • 2 Tbsp drained prepared horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp Cholula hot sauce 
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Sandwich:
  • 4 sub-style French rolls
  • 4 Gorton's Seafood frozen fish fillets (I used the Fish Sandwich Fillets)
  • 4 Lettuce leaves (I used Romaine lettuce)
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • 16 dill pickle chips
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, ground black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
  3. Lay out frozen fish fillets on half of baking sheet. Sprinkle above seasoning mixture over both sides of fish fillets.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine all sauce ingredients together.
  5. Open French rolls and place them on other half of baking sheet so they are open faced up.
  6. Place rolls and fillets in over. Set timer for 16-18 minutes. Flip fish fillets and remove rolls from oven halfway through.
  7. While fish finishes baking, start assembling sandwiches by placing a generous amount of sauce on open faced side of rolls.
  8. Layer lettuce, tomato slices and pickles on each sandwich. Once fish is done cooking, add one piece to each sandwich. (I cut each fillet in half to fit in the sandwich.)
  9. Enjoy!


January 17, 2021

Chicken Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner

Happy New Year! 

What a year it has been and we're only halfway through January! I know many of us are happy 2020 is over, but I know 2021 will have trials of its own. I hope we take everything we learned in 2020 into this year. For many, cooking is something you have learned when staying at home. It has brought me so much joy to see people grow more comfortable in the kitchen. I know I have had a lot of fun learning new recipes, creating new recipes and dabbling in different cuisines. 

With the new year comes new year resolutions. I'm sure many of you may have resolutions that involve eating healthier. It's always a goal of mine, especially given my line of work and what I expect of my patients. But I'll admit that I'm not the best at eating healthy especially during busy work weeks.

And sometimes it can be a pain to eat healthy food. Whether because it's too much work or it just doesn't taste delicious. This is why I love sheet pan meals. They're simple, quick, healthy and tasty!

What makes my sheet pan meals extra amazing is Al Fresco's Chicken Sausage. Their chicken sausage is fully cooked and comes in multiple flavors which makes them perfect for any cuisine you're in the mood for! It's why it's my go-to protein when I have a busy week and don't have time to meal prep. 

Just add whatever vegetables you have on hand and season however you want! You can serve over rice or eat it on its own.


CHICKEN SAUSAGE SHEET PAN MEAL

Serves 2-4 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package Al Fresco Chicken Dinner Sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 4 cups of Chopped fresh vegetables (I used Zucchini and Yellow Squash)
  • 1 Chopped yellow onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil (I used avocado oil)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Other seasoning to taste (I used Lemon Pepper and Smoke Paprika here)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Place dinner sausage, all vegetables and garlic on a large baking sheet pan.
  3. Drizzle cooking oil and sprinkle black pepper and other seasonings over sausage and vegetables.
  4. Mix everything with hands until well combined.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes on middle rack. Flip halfway.
  6. Enjoy!

December 1, 2020

CHRISTMAS 2020 GIFT GUIDE

Photo by: Ayaka Sano (2019)

Today is Giving Tuesday, one of my favorite days of the year! Generosity is a quality that my parents nurtured in me, and for that, I am so grateful. 

*WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD*

As my sister and I grew old enough to know Santa doesn't exist, our parents told us that we wouldn't be receiving gifts from them anymore. Instead, we could use the money they would've spent on our gifts in a way that would benefit others. The very first cause I donated to was sponsoring a child through World Vision. And over the years, I've given to other organizations with missions near and dear to my heart.

But I do love giving gifts. And my favorite gifts are those that are not only beautiful & thoughtful, but also make a difference and positive impact globally and locally! So I thought I'd put together a quick gift guide to share some ideas for gifts that give back! I've ordered the brands alphabetically to make it easy to sort through. 

If you've been following me for a while, you would know that I have been a fan of 31 Bits for years. They hire talented artisans in Bali who create beautiful jewelry out of metal and pay them fair wages. I always know I'm going to be receiving quality pieces whenever I order from them. Most of the necklaces and rings I wear on repeat for years are from this company. They recently released a new Winter collection and I want every piece! But here are a few of my favorites:

  

One cause very dear to me is ending human trafficking. I can't imagine my own friends, sisters, or daughter being sold into sex trafficking. But it is a very real reality for so many people globally and in our own backyards. It is estimated that 20-40 MILLION people are enslaved today. A21 is fighting to seek justice by not only rescuing those enslaved, but also convicting traffickers and providing holistic aftercare to survivors. 
You can donate to A21 or shop their products to contribute to freedom for another life! Here are some of my favorite products:



Now you may know that I love products that are not only stylish, but also ethically sourced. My friend, Abby, has a huge heart for artisans in Kenya and ethical sourcing & practices. So not only are her products fashionable, they are also socially responsible. She sells minimalist jewelry and luxurious bags that are all of high quality and so beautiful! Here are some of my favorites:



Another company you may already have heard about if you have been following me for a while is Elegantees. I am so in love with this company and their big, beautiful heart for bringing an end to human trafficking, but also bringing hope to survivors through employment with fair wages making beautiful clothing. You may remember that I have designed an entire collection with them and a dress last Winter. It was a dream come true and I love that I got to design for a company I truly believe in! Here are some of my favorite pieces that are currently available. And yes, there are tees for men too!



As I mentioned before, ending human trafficking is a cause I will always support. As I live my life in freedom, it's heartbreaking to know that millions of people don't have that freedom. International Justice Mission, or IJM, is an organization I have been supporting for years through monthly support as a Freedom Partner. They have been hard at work by partnering with local law enforcement and justice systems in areas riddled with human trafficking to end it for good. You can make a one-time donation, become a Freedom Partner, or donate to specific causes on behalf of your friends or family. Here are some causes that are important to me:

The Little Market is an amazing gift shop for homemakers, kids, and accessories. I love their heart and vision for a world where all women have the opportunity to earn a fair and dignified income. And every item is ethically made and sourced. Here are some of my favorite items:


Preemptive Love has been a necessary light in this world in the places that are the darkest and hurting the most. They are often the first to respond in war-torn countries, such as Iraq, Iran and Syria. They bring relief to displaced families. They bring hope by creating jobs for vulnerable families and coach them to help them become self sustaining. They are working to unmake violence and be the peacemakers in this world. Here are some gifts from their shop:


I've continued to support World Vision. I love their mission to go to the hard to reach places and to help communities tackle issues like poverty and injustices. They value people and respond to life threatening disasters and emergencies around the world. They have equipped millions of kids through their child sponsorship program and provided clean water for millions of people in developing countries, just to name a few things they have accomplished with the help of donors. As a gift, you can make a donation to specific causes in the name of a loved one. Some causes are: U.S. Coronavirus Family Emergency Kits, Hunger Relief Fund, and giving a struggling family a goat and 2 chickens.

I always love learning about other amazing organizations doing good and other companies/brands with products that give back. If you know of more, please let me know in the comments below!

September 25, 2020

Five Ingredient Friday: Pumpkin Chicken Sausage Pasta

When Al Fresco asked me to participate in a Five Ingredient Challenge using their fully cooked dinner chicken sausage, I knew I had to create a cozy pumpkin dish (I know, so basic!) to celebrate the start of Fall. And wow, I'm going to be making this dish all season, especially when I need a quick and easy weeknight meal!

It's not only the simplest recipe that uses ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and fridge, it's also so delicious, creamy and cheesy! Who knew a five ingredient recipe could be so flavorful! This recipe is also pretty adaptable to utilize whatever healthy ingredients you have on hand.

I used rotini pasta, since I always have rotini on hand, but you can use any kind of pasta for this recipe. You can also use different blends of shredded cheeses. And if you want to sneak in some greens, you can easily add them in! Plus, if you love spicy food like me, you can give it a kick of heat with crushed red pepper flakes.

Al Fresco's fully cooked dinner sausage is an ingredient I always keep on hand in my freezer or fridge. Not only do they have delicious flavors, they're easy additions to pasta, salad, pizza, breakfast scrambles etc. So far this recipe is my absolute favorite use of their chicken sausage! I really hope you give this a try and let me know what you think!

PUMPKIN CHICKEN SAUSAGE PASTA

Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16 oz) of Rotini Pasta, uncooked (You can use any kind of pasta you have on hand)
  • 4 Al Fresco fully cooked Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage links, slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (You can use any blend of Monterey Jack, mild cheddar, mozzarella, and/or parmesan)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Optional: Spinach or any kind of greens you have on hand (ex: broccoli, asparagus)
  • Optional: Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste, for a spicy kick

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta per directions on the box. Once cooked, drain, run under cold water so pasta doesn't stick and set aside
  2. In a non-stick pan or skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Once oil is glistening, add chicken sausage rounds and cook for about 5 minutes. Occasionally stirring so both sides of rounds brown.
  3. Once sausage is browned, add pumpkin puree, half and half, cheese, garlic powder and optional crushed red pepper flakes and greens. Stir and cook until heated through. 
  4. Add drained pasta to pan and combine.
  5. Enjoy!

#5withalfresco #ad

August 31, 2020

Sweet & Spicy Popcorn Shrimp Dinner

 

Meal prep. Anyone consider themselves adept at meal prepping? If you do, please send me your tips my way! I wish I was good at planning my meals for the week, then grocery shop with those specific meals in mind and never having to feel the panic of not knowing what meal I was going to make for work the next day. But, I've learned to make sure I shop for a variety of vegetables and protein. Some fresh and some frozen or canned, so I have a variety of food to work with when I cook last minute.

My go-to last minute meals are sheet pan meals. I love that they require very little prep, leave only a few dishes and utensils to wash and are simple and quick. 

I'm excited to partner with Gorton's Seafood again to share a sheet pan meal using their delicious popcorn shrimp! As I mentioned in my Shrimp Tacos recipe post, Gorton's Popcorn Shrimp is preserved for freshness, non-GMO and full of good protein, vitamins and minerals. I try to always have their popcorn shrimp in my freezer since it's so easy to create a variety of delicious snack or mealtime recipes with it!


This sweet and spicy popcorn shrimp sheet pan meal is simple and full of flavor! I love serving it over rice, but you can serve it over plain noodles or by itself. It's a great recipe for dinner parties or for everyday meals. And leftovers can be packed up for work the next couple days! You can swap out the vegetables for anything else too (snap peas, asparagus, etc). Let me know what you think of the recipe if you give it a try!

SWEET & SPICY POPCORN SHRIMP

Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients:
  • Gorton's Popcorn Shrimp (I used about 3/4 of a package)
  • 1 head of broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sweet Thai chili sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or spray cooking oil)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. In a small bowl, mix garlic, sweet Thai chili sauce, Sriracha and honey until well combined.
  3. Spread out vegetables on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables. Toss to coat.
  4. Add Gorton's Popcorn Shrimp to baking sheet. Drizzle sweet and spicy sauce over shrimp and vegetables. Toss to coat.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Tips of florets should be browned.
  6. Enjoy!

August 28, 2020

Tie-Dye Whimsy

 

I've been wanting to share this whimsical tie-dye dress, but haven't had the energy or time to sit and write a blog post. What a wild season these 6 months have been! So here's this look without any deep thoughts tied to it. I want to say, "I'll come back to write something here one day in the future", but we all know that likely isn't going to happen. But here's a reminder I've been needing to hear a lot: You are enough and you are so loved!!








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