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  • Cilantro Lime Rice | How to Make Chipotle Rice

    I’ve been making this rice for my clients for years now. It’s always a favorite because its flavorful and goes great with Mexican and Asian foods. Yes, I got the idea from Chipotle!
    It’s easy to make  and the biggest takeaway from this post is SOAK your rice. I always soak my rice 20-30 minutes before cooking it now because it makes it fluffier. I always use white rice too because they say brown rice has higher levels of the metal, arsenic. Try soaking your rice and tell me what you think. You’ll never go back?

    Cilantro Lime Rice

    Ingredients (serves 4):

    • 1 cup Jasmine or Basmati rice
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. olive oil
    • ½ lime, zested
    • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves

    Equipment:

    • Small to medium pot with lid
    • Microplane or fine zester
    • Fine mesh strainer

    Directions:

    1. Soak rice in the same pot you’ll cook it in. Add rice and fill with water to at least 1 inch above rice. Let soak 20-30 minutes. Then, drain with a strainer and rinse briefly. Then, place rice back into the pot and add suggested water (read rice packet). Bring to a boil, add salt and oil. Then, lower to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.
    2. After 15 minutes,  remove lid and add zest of ½ a lime and chopped cilantro leaves. Stir in. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
    Serve with Fajitas or Tacos.
    Lime zest (left) and chopped cilantro (right)
    Stir in and enjoy the aroma

    More Recipes You Might Like: 

     

     

     

    Keep Cookin’

    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen




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  • Teriyaki Soba Noodle Salad

    I made these noodles for meal prep because they hold over really well. The sauce is homemade with a few ingredients so I feel good about eating it. It’s finished with herbs and sesame seeds. I’d pair it with teriyaki salmon.

    Soba Noodle Salad

    Ingredient(for 2):
    • 2 portions soba noodle (4oz.)
    • 2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
    • 2 Tbsp. Fresh basil, chopped
    • Sesame seeds for garnish
    Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsp. Tamari or soy sauce
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • ½ tsp. Ground ginger
    • 1-2 tsp. Brown sugar, agave or honey
    • 2 tsp. Sesame oil
    • 1 Tbsp. Boiling water
    Directions:
    1. Boil soba noodles according to package directions. Then immediately drain and rinse under cold water.
    2. Make the sauce by adding all sauce ingredients together and dissolving sugar. Mix sauce into soba noodles.
    3. Mix in chopped herbs and sprinkle with sesame seeds at the end. Enjoy hot or cold.

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  • Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Banana muffins | Dairy-free and Gluten-free Breakfast Muffins

     
    I recently made these muffins for a meal prep client. They are the perfect healthy snack or breakfast option. They aren’t too sweet and are packed with peanut butter for protein. I hope you enjoy these little morsels. 
     
     
     
     
    Course Breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Snack
     
    Servings 12 muffins
    Calories 218 kcal
     
    Ingredients
    Wet ingredients:
    • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium ripe bananas)
    • ¾ cup natural creamy or crunchy drippy peanut butter (just peanuts and salt)
    • 2 large eggs
    • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tablespoon dairy free milk of choice (I like almond milk)
     
    Dry ingredients:
    • 1 cup gluten free oat flour* (you can make your own — see notes section)
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips (dairy free, if desired, plus 2-3 tablespoons for sprinkling on top)
     
     
     
    Directions: 
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Line a 12-cup muffin liner with muffin liners and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray to prevent muffins from sticking to liners.
    2. In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients together. I smash the bananas with a fork in a measuring cup first. And then, mix it with the other ingredients. 
    3. Next stir in the dry ingredients except chocolate chips until smooth. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Evenly divide batter into muffin liners.
    4. Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool and enjoy! 
    Makes 12 muffins.
     
    Recipe Notes
    *How to make oat flour:  make your own gluten free oat flour by simply placing gluten free oats into a blender and blending/pulsing until they’re smooth and resemble flour. This is the cheapest option. For this recipe, you’ll most likely need at least 1 1/2 cups of gluten free rolled or old-fashioned oats to make about 1 cup gluten free oat flour.
     
    You can make this with almond butter or other nut butter. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    More gluten-free breakfast recipes you might like: 
     
     
     
     

    Keep Cookin’

     

    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     

     





     
     

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  • 10 Dairy-free and Egg-free Meals | High-Protein Healthy Meals

    Are you allergic to eggs or dairy? Or cook for someone who is?
    Here are 10 dinner ideas that are dairy-free and egg-free. Many of them are gluten-free as well. Hope it helps you save time looking for recipes. 

    1. Steak Chimichurri Bowl (Gluten-free)

    4. Salmon with Tomatillo salsa (Gluten-free)

    5. Roasted Lemon Chicken  (Gluten-free)

    7. Mole de olla (Beef Stew) (Gluten-free)

    I hope these recipes help you out. Here are a few breakfast ideas that are also egg-free and dairy-free. 

    Keep Cookin’


    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     

     





  • The 6 FREE Plant-Based Resources I Use as a Healthy Chef

    I do a lot of meal prep for families who are eating less meat. 
    Sometimes I need inspiration to keep the menus fun and fresh each week. So, the resources below are my go-to’s when I’m out of creative ideas. 
    I hope they help you get more inspired too! Here are my favorites. 

    My favorite go-to for recipes

    Purple carrot

    I started using their meal kits and love all their international fusion recipes. It makes plant-based recipes more fun than just roasted veggies or quinoa bowls. One of my favorites is Coconut Tofu with Crunchy Date Slaw. 
    Purple Carrot

    Simple, easy, international

    Blue Zones website 

    If you love to travel like me, you’ll get your international fix from the Blue Zones. The Blue Zones are places in the world where people live 90 to 100 free of disease. So these recipes come from Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Japan and Loma Linda, California. I’ve made many of these recipes. They are simple to make and they come out well. Sometimes I add a bit more salt or spices because they are that simple. But in the Blue Zones they have flavourful fresh herbs they have on hand to flavor dishes so it makes sense they don’t need too many spices or salt. https://www.bluezones.com/recipes/

    Best for plant-based classics

    Forks over knives

    You might have heard of Forks Over Knives because they have a magazine and made a movie. Their website is easy to use and their recipes are simple. If you are just getting started eating more healthy, there’s a great website to get started. Here is 10 of their best recipes: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-menus-collections/10-most-popular-forks-over-knives-recipes-ever/
    Forks Over Knives

    Quick and no-fuss recipes 

    Engine 2 diet

    This diet was created by Rip Esselstyn, a former fire fighter. Supposedly fire fighters have high rates of heart attacks so he decided to focus on his diet to prevent disease. The recipes on his site look easy and simple but could use better photos sometimes. I like to get ideas from there. They are quick and a bit heavy-handed for me. But, with a feminine touch they could be given the spotlight. 

    Chef Cynthia Louise

    I found her on YouTube and love her laid back energy and style. She is a trained chef and makes the beautiful food you want to jump into the screen and eat. 
    She’s based in Bali so sometimes she uses too much coconut for me, but her recipes are fantastic overall. You can find her recipes in the YouTube description of the videos. I’ve tried many of them and they turn out well. I even bought her book, Plant-based Love stories. 

    T. Colin Campbell

    Dr.Campbell became well-known from working on the China Study book. It basically says that the Chinese who didn’t drink milk and eat lots of meat were healthier because of that. He has given Ted talks on the vegan diet and they became very popular. 
    His website has over 500 recipes and there are easy to use filters if you want gluten-free or low-sugar recipes etc. I have only tried some breakfast recipes but there are many different internation foods that look fun to try. 

    Keep Cookin’


    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     

     





  • Salmon with Tomatillo sauce, Roasted Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes | Meal Prep Favorites | gluten-free weeknight dinner ideas

    I love this combo of salmon, tomatillo sauce and roasted asparagus. I make it often for my meal prep clients. 
    The tomatillo sauce goes really well with the salmon because its tart and acidic. The salmon is fatty and rich so it needs something acidic to cut the fat. Adding a sauce also holds the salmon well and prevents it from drying it out when you heat it up. 
    Sometimes I serve it with black forbidden rice or cauliflower rice. 

    Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

    Ingredients (for 2): 
    • ¾ lb. tomatillos (about 10-15), in husk
    • 1 jalapeño
    • 1 garlic clove
    • ¼ white onion
    • 2-3 Tbsp. cilantro

    Directions: 

    1. Preheat oven to 425. Place all ingredients except cilantro on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or husks are golden brown and tomatillos and onions are very soft. 
    2. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Remove tomatillos from husks and discard husks. Peel garlic clove and onion if needed. 
    3. Add into a blender or use an immersion blender. Process until smooth. Add a good pinch of salt. Add cilantro too and process. Spoon over cooked salmon. 

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    Pan-Roasted Salmon

    Ingredients (for 2): 
    • 2 6-oz. filets of salmon
    • 2 tsp. grapeseed oil
    • salt and pepper

    Directions: 

    Get a nonstick pan nice and hot. Then add the oil to the pan. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Add the salmon flesh side down first and don’t touch for 3-4 minutes or golden brown. Then, carefully flip. Cook for additional 5-6 minutes or cooked through. For more tips on making restaruant-style salmon, see a previous post here

    Roasted Asparagus

    Ingredients (serves 4): 
    • 1 bunch thin asparagus spears, trimmed
    • ½ bunch cherry tomatoes
    • ½-1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ¼-½ teaspoon sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (Optional) 

    Directions:

    1. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). 
    2. Place the asparagus and cherry tomatoes into a parchment lined baking tray, and drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer.
    3. Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Sprinkle with lemon juice just before serving.

    Keep Cookin’


    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     

     





    This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page.

  • The 6 FREE Plant-Based Resources I Use as a Healthy Chef

    The 6 FREE Plant-Based Resources I Use as a Healthy Chef
    I do a lot of meal prep for families who are eating less meat. 
    Sometimes I need inspiration to keep the menus fun and fresh each week. So, the resources below are my go-to’s when I’m out of creative ideas. 
    I hope they help you get more inspired too! Here are my favorites. 

    My favorite go-to for recipes

    Purple carrot

    I started using their meal kits and love all their international fusion recipes. It makes plant-based recipes more fun than just roasted veggies or quinoa bowls. One of my favorites is Coconut Tofu with Crunchy Date Slaw. 
    Purple Carrot

    Simple, easy, international

    Blue Zones website 

    If you love to travel like me, you’ll get your international fix from the Blue Zones. The Blue Zones are places in the world where people live 90 to 100 free of disease. So these recipes come from Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Japan and Loma Linda, California. I’ve made many of these recipes. They are simple to make and they come out well. Sometimes I add a bit more salt or spices because they are that simple. But in the Blue Zones they have flavourful fresh herbs they have on hand to flavor dishes so it makes sense they don’t need too many spices or salt. https://www.bluezones.com/recipes/

    Best for plant-based classics

    Forks over knives

    You might have heard of Forks Over Knives because they have a magazine and made a movie. Their website is easy to use and their recipes are simple. If you are just getting started eating more healthy, there’s a great website to get started. Here is 10 of their best recipes: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-menus-collections/10-most-popular-forks-over-knives-recipes-ever/
    Forks Over Knives

    Quick and no-fuss recipes 

    Engine 2 diet

    This diet was created by Rip Esselstyn, a former fire fighter. Supposedly fire fighters have high rates of heart attacks so he decided to focus on his diet to prevent disease. The recipes on his site look easy and simple but could use better photos sometimes. I like to get ideas from there. They are quick and a bit heavy-handed for me. But, with a feminine touch they could be given the spotlight. 

    Chef Cynthia Louise

    I found her on YouTube and love her laid back energy and style. She is a trained chef and makes the beautiful food you want to jump into the screen and eat. 
    She’s based in Bali so sometimes she uses too much coconut for me, but her recipes are fantastic overall. You can find her recipes in the YouTube description of the videos. I’ve tried many of them and they turn out well. I even bought her book, Plant-based Love stories. 

    T. Colin Campbell

    Dr.Campbell became well-known from working on the China Study book. It basically says that the Chinese who didn’t drink milk and eat lots of meat were healthier because of that. He has given Ted talks on the vegan diet and they became very popular. 
    His website has over 500 recipes and there are easy to use filters if you want gluten-free or low-sugar recipes etc. I have only tried some breakfast recipes but there are many different internation foods that look fun to try. 

    Keep Cookin’


    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     

     





  • Perfect Lemon Roasted Chicken by Ina Garten | Party Planning Recipes | Simple Dinner Party Ideas

    Perfect Lemon Roasted Chicken by Ina Garten | Party Planning Recipes | Simple Dinner Party Ideas

    This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten, or Barefoot Contessa. This is my go-to roasted chicken recipe because it works every time. It’s tasty and doesn’t require anything too fancy. 

    It takes about 1 ½ hours to cook the chicken from start to finish. 
    I made this for one of my meal prep clients. She was having over 8 guests, so I made 3 small chickens (3-4 lb. chickens). If you’re just serving 2 of 4 of you, decrease the recipe by 1/3. 
    I roasted the chickens and then cut each chicken into 6 pieces (2 legs with thigh, 2 breast with wing, 2 breast with rib). So, there was a total of 18 pieces of chicken to choose from. They were smaller pieces to choose from, so it worked out perfect. 

    Here is the menu I served: 

    Rotisserie Lemon Chicken (8 portions)
    Tabuli Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Green onion, lemon, parsley, mint, cucumber and tomatoes, 
    Roasted Potato Medley, sweet potato and fingerling

    How to Prepare for a Dinner Party: 

    I made everything about 4 hours before guests came. So, everything was FULLY COOKED. This is super important when you are hosting a dinner party. The last thing you want to worry about is if the chicken is cooked or not when you’re busy entertaining guests. Just fully cook it beforehand, and warm it up when guests arrive. That goes for any dinner party. Always fully cook foods so all you have to do is warm them. You want to enjoy your guests, not be slaving in the kitchen. 
    So, I cooked it a couple hours before, and then cooled down the food and put it in the fridge to keep it at a safe temperature. 
    Then, 30 minutes before guests came, I told my client to put it in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 F. She had a large roasting pan, so she put the potatoes on the bottom, and fully cooked, portioned chicken on top with some of the chicken juices. 
    All she had to do is take it out of the oven,  and take it to the table. 
    It came out amazing. She decorated it with some rosemary. 
    I hope these simple tips make your party planning easier. 

    Here’s the  adapted recipe from Ina Garten that I use. I don’t bother to make the sauce. I just serve it with the chicken juices, strained. 

    Perfect Roast Chicken

    SERVES 8-10
    LEVEL: BEGINNER
    Ingredients: 
    • 3 3-4pound roasting chickens
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 large bunch fresh thyme
    • 3 lemon, halved
    • 3 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
    • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 3 Spanish onion, thickly sliced
    Directions: 
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
    2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.  Bring the chicken out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before roasting if possible. It helps it cook more evenly. 
    3. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavities with 1 bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon in each, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.
    4. Roast the chicken for 1-1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. 
    5. Let chicken rest at least 15 minutes before cutting, or up to 45 minutes. 
    6. Cut the chicken up by removing the legs and thigh first. Then, cut down the backbone to divide the breasts. Cut each breast in half so one half of the breast has a wing. Serve with strained chicken juices. Discard onions. 



    Keep Cookin’


    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     


      

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  • BBQ Pulled Shroom Burger | Plant-Based Dinner Ideas | Chef Cynthia Louise

    BBQ Pulled Shroom Burger  | Plant-Based Dinner Ideas | Chef Cynthia Louise

    I made this for my client the other day and it was sooo good! It’s kind of like a “pulled pork” sandwich that you would find in a proper US barbecue spot. But, it’s just mushrooms! It has a nice texture and works for me.
    I got the original idea from a chef I follow- Chef Cynthia Louise. She has a great book called Plant-Based Love Stories. I changed the recipe up a little. I highly recommend if you need some new plant-forward recipes. She has a warm and loving energy. 

    BBQ Pulled Shroom Burger

    Makes 4 burgers
    • 1 package of each – Oyster, king trumpet, shiitake and button mushrooms, sliced thin
    • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 large shallot, sliced thin
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ½ Tbsp. smoked paprika
    • 3-4 Tbsp. BBQ sauce (I use Unsweetened Primal Hawaiian BBQ sauce)
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Add-ons: 
    • Buns
    • Tomato, lettuce
    • Garlic aioli
    Directions: 
    1. Slice all mushrooms. In a large non stick pan, heat oil and add mushroom and shallots. Do in 2 batches to not crowd the pan. Saute for a couple minutes, or until golden brown (7-10 minutes). It takes a little time for all the liquid to evaporate from the mushrooms. Add 1/2 paprika and salt and pepper halfway through. Then, add 1/2 bbq sauce at the last minute of cooking. Then, take out and reserve. 
    2. Repeat with the remaining shallots, garlic, mushrooms and bbq sauce. Then, combine all cooked mushrooms together.
    3. Make garlic aioli by mincing 1 garlic clove and mix into ½ vegan mayo or other mayo. 
    4. Build burger by putting a little garlic aioli on each bun. Place shredded mushrooms and top with lettuce and tomato. Add more BBQ sauce if desired. 

    Keep Cookin’


    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     


      

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  • Rotisserie Chicken Curry Salad (Savory) | Gluten-Free Healthy Snacks | Meal Prep Ideas

     
     
     

    One of my meal prep clients requests this salad every week. It’s not a sweet curry chicken salad with loads of  mayonnaise that you find in the market. It’s savory and very light. 

     
    I love it because the chicken is flavorful. 
     
    The secret? 
     
    I roast the chicken with curry powder in the oven to infuse the chicken with curry flavor. 

     

     
    Eat it during the week in a wrap or on salad for a quick meal. 
     

    Chicken Curry Chicken Salad

    Ingredients (serves 4): 
    • 2 bone-in chicken breasts
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 ½ Tbsp. curry powder
    • 1 Tbsp. butter
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • Freshly cracked pepper
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 lemon, juiced
    • 2-3 ribs celery, chopped fine
     
    Equipment: 
    • 8″ X 8″ baking dish
    • Mixing Bowl

     
    Directions: 
     
    1. Preheat oven to 425 F. 
     
    2. Place chicken breasts in 8″ X 8″ baking dish or other small baking dish. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp. curry powder, butter, and salt together. It’s easiest if the butter is softened a little. Rub this butter mixture under the skin of the chicken as best you can. Rub all over the chicken. 
     
     
     
    3. Place rubbed down chicken in the oven for at least 45 minutes. Check internal temperature of chicken with thermometer. (It should reach 165 F). Continue cooking for additional 10-20 minutes until 165 F is reached. 
     
    4. Remove chicken from oven and let cool until you can handle it. Then, shred chicken with fork or with your fingers. Cool chicken completely to room temp or keep in the fridge. 
     
    5. When chicken is cool, add chopped celery ½ Tbsp. curry powder, olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix up well and add salt and pepper if needed. Keep in fridge for 3-4 days. 
     
     
     

    You may also like these other meal prep favorites: 

     
     

    Keep Cookin’

     

    Chef Joanna | Chef Joanna’s Kitchen

     

     





      

     

    This post contains affiliated links. Please read my disclosure page.