Sweet Chili Salmon Bowl Recipe

This Sweet Chili Salmon Bowl is a simple and refreshing weeknight meal. | themillennialmenu.com

These gray, dreary days here in New England need a fun, feisty boost - enter this Sweet Chili Salmon Bowl recipe. Everything yummy piled high in a bowl topped with tangy sweet chili sauce brings the heat to these chilly winter days. The whole meal takes 30 minutes or less. All you need to do is preheat the oven, get the rice cooking and some water boiling, roast your salmon, and cook your veggies. The final touch is drizzling the sauce right over the top of it all - and digging right in!

One of the things I love about this recipe is it's super flexible - you can put the salmon on top of just about anything, from basmati rice, like I use here, to brown rice to quinoa. I love broccoli and edamame together for the veggies, but you could also add shredded carrots or sub in snow peas. There are plenty of options for the sweet chili sauce - whether you take the easy (and still delicious) way out and go with my mom's favorite Iron Chef brand or get adventurous and make your own, it's just the right addition of tangy, sweet heat to a bowl full of fluffy rice, flaky, moist salmon, and tender veggies.



Sweet Chili Salmon Bowl

Makes 2 servings
Other Recipes With These Ingredients: Sweet Chili SauceSweet Chili Calamari Salad // Salmon: Coconut Lemongrass Salmon
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  20 minutes
Total Time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry basmati rice (yields 1 cup cooked) Substitute: brown rice, white rice, quinoa, etc.
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/4 cup edamame
  • 1 serving of salmon - (4-6 oz., depending on your appetite)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce, to taste
  • Salt, pepper & olive oil




Dietary Substitutions:
Gluten Free: Make sure to buy a gluten free sweet chili sauce.
Dairy Free
Not Vegetarian or Vegan-Friendly

Directions:

BEFORE YOU START: GET THE RICE GOING
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. I cook my 1/2 cup basmati rice in the Instant Pot in just 4 minutes - it's magical. The Instant Pot has exploded across the internet in recent weeks - but it's been a favorite of mine for over a year now. Find out why it's the one appliance you can't live without. Learn to cook the normal (and longer) way here
2. While you're at it, start 2 cups of water boiling in a small sauce pan and 2 cups of water boiling in a steamer.

ROAST THE SALMON
3. Drizzle your salmon with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast at 425°F until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145°F If you have a meat thermometer (and you should, because it's one of my Five Kitchen Essentials), this will be much easier to do. If you don't, no worries! Salmon is done when it is opaque (not translucent like raw fish) and flakes with a fork - about 12-15 minutes. Learn how to known when your fish is done.

COOK THE VEGGIES
4. Using the boiling water you started in step 2, boil 1/4 cup frozen edamame for 3-5 minutes, until tender.
5. Using the water you started in step 2steam 1/2 cup broccoli 5-6 minutes, until tender. (I do this in my double boiler steaming pot)

ASSEMBLE
5. 
Once the rice is done, your salmon is cooked, and your veggies are tender, assemble everything into a bowl. I layer the rice on the bottom first and splash about a tablespoon of rice vinegar over it for flavor. Then, I scoop the veggies on top and place the salmon on top of that. Glaze the salmon and the veggies with 2-3 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce. 

Yum.


Lunch Tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - This zesty bowl is exactly what you need to liven up your work day. I would store a little extra sweet chili sauce on the side to add on top after you heat it up for lunch - I'm a big sauce person :)

STORING - Enjoy the salmon within 1-2 days of cooking it so your fish doesn't get funky.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - If you have extra sweet chili sauce, test out my Sweet Chili Calamari Salad for another light and flavorful meal. If you buy more than one portion of salmon, my recipe for Coconut Lemongrass Salmon is quite delicious. 


Warm Cheddar Ale Dip Recipe

Warm Cheddar Ale Dip is the perfect crowd pleaser this Superbowl! Cheesy, gooey, delicious - and EASY! | themillennialmenu.com

The Superbowl is coming up (Here in Boston we're pretty excited about the Patriots!) and it's time to share one of my most popular recipes among friends: my Warm Cheddar Ale Dip recipe. Most of my friends who read this might not even recognize it by this name because to us, it's simply known as "beer cheese." Beer cheese is legendary and has gotten us through many fun nights.

My beer cheese recipe has seen it all - spending the night in a cabin with two dozen friends became a tradition senior year of college, and I've hiked in beer cheese up a mountain or through a trail in the pitch black an absurd number of times. The first time, I made it beforehand and carried it still warm...uphill...in the dark. The next time I learned to make it when we got there but either way, the pot was always empty when we left. I'm excited to share it with you today because it is one of my more sentimental recipes, associated with s'mores and campfires and the great outdoors and also semi-formals when we'd have friends over beforehand (because why not eat gooey cheesy beer dip in a nice dress?). And, it's here just in time for an epic Superbowl party - because beer and football simply go together.

The secret is using high quality ingredients since there are so few in the recipe in the first place - sharp Cabot Cheddar cheese, a solid ale (I went to college right along the border of VT and NH so I'm a fan of Switchback or a seasonal Harpoon option. Whatever you choose to dip in it (some have been known to eat it with a spoon), be sure it's high quality. I recommend a crusty baguette or loaf of fresh sourdough bread. Say hello to your biggest crowd pleaser.


Warm Cheddar Ale Dip

Depending on who you are (and who you're friends with), this can serve 8-10 people.
It makes about 3 cups of beer cheese.

Other Recipes With These Ingredients: Beer: You know what to do here // Cabot cheese: Grilled cheese.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups shredded Cabot cheddar cheese (depending on how thick you want your dip to be)
  • 1 - 12 oz. bottle of beer (an ale works best, or a lager)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard (optional)
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 loaves of good bread (like sourdough) or 2 baguettes




Dietary Substitutions:
Vegetarian Friendly
Not Gluten Free, Vegan, or Dairy Free Friendly

Directions:

BEFORE YOU START: SHRED YOUR CHEESE & SLICE THE BREAD
1. Shred 2-3 cups of Cabot cheddar cheese
2. Slice your bread/baguettes into slices or chunks for dipping.

MAKE THE DIP
3.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan. 
4. Whisk in the 3 tablespoons flour and 1 teaspoon ground mustard (if you're adding it).
5. Season with ground black pepper, if you'd like.
6. Once the flour & butter mixture starts to bubble, pour in 1 12-oz. bottle of beer and whisk for 1 minute.
7. Slowly add the 2-3 cups Cabot Cheddar cheese, whisking as you go. Add as much as you want until the dip is the consistency you want.
8. Let the dip heat through, whisking frequently, 3-5 minutes.

SERVE & ENJOY

8. Serve warm with fresh sliced bread.

Yum.


Extra Ingredients

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - Drink the beer. Make grilled cheese with the Cabot cheddar. The end.


Homemade Maple Pecan Granola Recipe

Homemade Granola is healthier and tastier than the sugary, store bought stuff. Plus it's SO easy! | themillennialmenu.com

Granola is my go-to breakfast and snack option. It's crunchy, chock full of goodness, and just a little sweet. But this recipe for Homemade Maple Pecan Granola changed the granola game for me. This stuff is addicting - and so so so much healthier for you than any granola you're buying from the store. Some store-bought granola's have more sugar in a serving than a piece of chocolate cake - I'd rather have the cake! My recipe has only 1 cup of pure maple syrup as a sweetener - and that's it. Plus, you'd never know because it's so yummy.

If you can stir things together and preheat an oven, you can make homemade granola. It's THAT easy. Be sure to store your granola in the fridge to keep it fresh for as long as possible - though I can't say mine lasts very long in my house! I eat a beautiful yogurt parfait every day as my morning snack at school, layered with plain Greek yogurt, a scoop of granola, and fresh berries. I never have to add sugar to my plain yogurt when I have granola because it's just so flavorful - I think it's the toasted pecans. Mmm. It's also great with milk - or just by the handful.

My version is centered around gooey maple pecan goodness, but the coolest part about homemade granola is you can vary up the ingredients. Want to try cranberry pistachio granola? or maybe chocolate almond? Go for it. Stick with 4 cups of oats, 1 cup of oil as your base (I like coconut oil, but canola also works), and 1 cup of pure maple syrup, and add whatever mix-ins you'd like. 



Homemade Maple Pecan Granola

Makes about 6 cups of granola
Other Recipes With These Ingredients: Old Fashioned Oats: Make a hearty bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or add a scoop to your muffins or breads // Coconut oil: Use as a substitute in your favorite baking // Ground flax seed: add to your smoothies and oatmeal
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (Substitute: sweetened coconut flakes)
  • 1 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil (Substitute: canola oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

*Note: You can really use anything you want in your granola. I recommend starting with the oats and keeping the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla, and playing around with the mix-ins. Some suggestions: walnuts, chia seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruit (mixed in after you bake), and more! 




Dietary Substitutions:
Gluten Free: While all of these ingredients are naturally gluten free, ensure that they are not contaminated by reading the packaging - especially on the oats.
Dairy-Free, Vegetarian & Vegan friendly

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. 
2. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or use my favorite non-stick aluminum foil (find out why it's my secret to easy clean up)
3. Toast your 4 cups old-fashioned oats on the baking sheet in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
4. While the oats are toasting, whisk together 1 cup pure maple syrup, 1 cup melted coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla in a small bowl.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the toasted oats, 1 cup sliced almonds, 1 cup chopped pecans1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, and 1 cup ground flax seed and stir together.
5. Pour the syrup-vanilla-oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to evenly coat.
6. Spread the mixture back out on your baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. 

Yum.


Lunch Tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

 
Easy Homemade Granola is great for snacking, breakfast, or with Yogurt! | themillennialmenu.com
 

STORING - IMPORTANT: The granola should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for longer shelf life and to prevent the oils from going rancid. While this will take a long time, it's always better to be safe. Your granola should last at least 2 months in the fridge if it is well-sealed - and likely even longer.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - I keep all the extra ingredients on hand for making MORE GRANOLA. It's just that good! You can also try substituting coconut oil into your recipes, adding a handful of ground flax seed to your smoothies, cereal, or oatmeal, and a scoop of old fashioned oats to your favorite muffin or quick bread recipe.

Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce Recipe

Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce are a light and delicious meal to start the new year! | themillennialmenu.com

After all of my indulgent holiday meals (no regrets), I'm ready for something light and tasty. This recipe for Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce is just what I needed this week to ease me into 2017. These wraps are packed with protein (thanks to chicken and quinoa!) and flavor (hello, homemade peanut sauce!) so they'll fill you up while keeping your taste buds happy. 

I love how the chicken strips crisp up in the skillet as the garlic, ginger, and sesame oil infuse into the chicken. Then it's another burst of flavor from the homemade peanut sauce. The secret ingredient? Water! I was doubtful about this, and was tempted to add more soy sauce or peanut butter when things just didn't taste right. But water really is the trick. It thins out the sauce, keeping it from getting too gloopy, without adding anymore salt or flavor to an already-intense array of flavors. We dipped everything in our leftover peanut sauce - dumplings, spring rolls, even just cut up veggies as a snack. I recommend making a double batch! Finally, you simply top the lettuce (your wrappers!) with quinoa, chicken, grated carrots, peanuts, and cilantro and drizzle the peanut sauce on top. Warning: dinner can get a little messy. Just go with it!



Crispy Chicken Lettuce Wraps With Peanut Sauce

Makes 2 servings
Other Recipes With These Ingredients: Chicken: Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken // Quinoa: Freezer Friendly Mexican Stuffed Peppers // Peanut sauce: over soba noodles or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls or dumplings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the chicken & marinade:

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

For the wraps:

  • 4 leaves bibb/Boston/butter lettuce {See grocery guide for more info}
  • 2 carrots, peeled & grated 
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/3 cup dry)
  • Cilantro, for garnish Optional

For the peanut sauce:* Note, this recipe is flexible. Add more or less of any of the ingredients to make a sauce to your liking.

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice Optional
  • Water, as needed




Dietary Substitutions:
Gluten Free: Make sure to use gluten free soy sauce.
Vegetarian: Skip the chicken, sub tofu.
Vegan-Friendly: See vegetarian solution. Dairy-Free Friendly

Directions:

Optional: If you want to marinate your chicken beforehand (for more flavor, but totally optional), start with Step 5 up to 24 hours in advance.

BEFORE YOU START: PREP THE VEGGIES
1. Tear 4 lettuce leaves off the head of bibb lettuce to use as your wrappers.
2. Grate your 2 carrots. I use a cheese grater for this! 
3. Crush 1/2 cup peanuts. I usually put them in a plastic bag and hit them with something hard (like an olive oil bottle or a metal spoon).

MARINATE & COOK THE CHICKEN, COOK QUINOA
4. To make the quinoa: turn one burner on high. Add 2/3 cup of water to the sauce pan. Add in 1/3 c. dry quinoa. Once the quinoa comes to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and let the quinoa sit for 15 minutes. Read more about how to cook quinoa *PRODUCT PLUG: Quinoa takes 1 minute to cook in the Instant Pot, read about why you need one here While that's happening...
5. Slice your two chicken breasts into thin strips. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic,  and 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger to a bowl and toss the raw chicken strips in the marinade. Season with salt & pepper and stir. Let sit, refrigerated, for up to 24 hours. If you don't have time to marinate it, that's okay. Just move on to step 2.
6. Preheat a pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. 
7. Once the oil has heated, add the chicken strips to the pan. The pan should be hot enough that the strips sizzle when they are added to the pan (so they can get crispy!). Stir the strips around so that they are evenly cooked. After the first minute or so, add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan and stir so the chicken is coated.
8. Continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, making sure the strips brown and get crispy as you cook - pressing down on the strips with a spatula might help you get the crisp on them. When it's done, the chicken should no longer be pink or translucent, but white and opaque. 

MAKE THE SAUCE
9. To make the peanut sauce, add 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 clove minced garlic, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice to a bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until everything is dissolved together. You'll likely need to add water to thin the sauce out and dilute the strong flavors a bit. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, tasting as you go. Stop when it tastes the way you want it to! Note: If you have a blender, you can just add this all to the blender, it will be easier to just pulse everything together.

ASSEMBLE THE WRAPS
10.
Since you're making two servings, lay out two lettuce leaves on top of each other on one side of the plate and two on the other. These will be your outer wrappers. Spoon half of the quinoa onto one wrap and one half of the quinoa onto the other. Divide your grated carrot and peanuts between the wraps. Add the chicken on top, drizzle with peanut sauce, and garnish with cilantro. 

Yum.


Lunch Tomorrow, Storing, & Extra Ingredients

LUNCH TOMORROW - One of the best things about this recipe is it's easy to pack for lunch and still tastes delicious regardless of whether you heat it up or not. Make sure to store the peanut sauce on the side and add it when you're ready to eat. If you'd like to heat it up, bring the lettuce separate from the chicken and quinoa mixture.

STORING - Store the lettuce and peanut sauce separately in the fridge, and make your wraps and add the sauce right before you enjoy. With the cooked chicken, you should enjoy within 3-4 days.

EXTRA INGREDIENTS - Make a salad with extra lettuce to bring for lunch or as a side dish to another dinner this week. Use extra carrots as a snack with hummus or ranch dip. Toss extra peanut sauce with soba noodles for a delicious noodle dish with veggies. And use up the rest of the cilantro in my Five Minute Fish Tacos or Shortcut Shakshuka.


The 5 Most Popular Recipes of 2016 (and 2017 preview!)

Happy New Year's Eve, all! In honor of the end of 2016 (thank goodness, to be honest) I'm taking a look back at the 5 most popular recipes of 2016. In 6 months of blogging, these 5 recipes have been visited, shared, repinned, and liked the most. I can see why, these recipes are among my favorites too. 

In addition to sharing some of the best recipes from the year, I also want to give you a 2017 preview for what you can look forward to in the coming year from the Millennial Menu! In 2017, I'll continue to bring you delicious and easy recipes for millennial and non-millennial readers alike, plus tips and tricks for navigating your kitchen and the grocery store. In addition, I'll be doing more travel recommendations as part of the Millennial Menu On the Go series. I currently live in Boston so get ready for a long list of my favorite spots. I also plan on including restaurants I love in New York, D.C., and all my favorites from studying and traveling abroad during college. I'm extremely blessed to be traveling back to Rome in April, where I studied abroad in 2014, and can't wait to share my favorite places in the Eternal City with you (all on my shiny new DSLR camera that I didn't have when I studied abroad there!). Look forward to a huge Rome post coming at you sometime early May. 

I'm also officially opening things up for suggestions and feedback. If there's something you're looking for from the blog, please let me know. Whether it's a recipe that looks too complicated you'd like to see a millennial menu twist on, tips for how to cook a certain type of food or a challenge you need guidance on in the kitchen, or simply restaurant recommendations, reach out via my Contact page, social media (linked at the top right of the blog), or the comment section right below on this post. And now, on to the good stuff: the food! 

 
 

This Creamy Asiago Pasta with Sun-dried Tomatoes recipe is delicious and honestly, it's almost better leftover once the pasta has soaked up the creamy asiago sauce - meaning you can make a whole box of pasta at the beginning of the week and enjoy it more than once. Another bonus? It's on the table in 30 minutes.

 
 

Maybe it's because this picture looks so damn delicious, but this recipe for Butternut Squash & Sage Tortellini took off on Pinterest. I could eat the smooth, creamy butternut squash sauce with a spoon. Mmm.

 
 

Shakshuka is so in right now, so it's no surprise that this Shortcut Shakshuka recipe is one of my most popular. Tons of flavor and depth in under 10 minutes - as little as 7 if you're fast.

 
Super Simple Tomato soup is perfect for making big batches for the freezer. Tastes amazing with grilled cheese, too! | themillennialmenu.com
 

Nothing beats a warm, hearty bowl of this Super Simple Tomato Soup recipe. Everyone needs an easy to make, easy to freeze soup - this one's the winner. Enjoy it with a cheesy, gooey grilled cheese. Plus, tomatoes are a superfood!

 
Everyone loves ordering BBQ Chicken Pizza - now you can make it at home! 15 minutes and you're ready to eat. | themillennialmenu.com
 

Everyone loves BBQ Chicken pizza, and this recipe allows you to make your own Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe at home, in 15 minutes. Use my favorite Stonefire Naan for your crust and check out my other pizza recipes!

happy-2017