WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Thai Sweet Chili Salmon and Spinach Salad January 11, 2012

Filed under: Fish,Side dish,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 11:35 am

Here’s a healthy and yummy dinner for you!

Broiled Salmon with Thai Sweet Chili Glaze
Recipe from HERE

Basically, I just combined some Thai Sweet Chili sauce and soy sauce, marinated the salmon in it for about an hour, and broiled it.  Then I topped the salmon with some of the same sauce after it was done.  Delicious!!

Spinach Salad
This simple spinach salad has been my go-to side dish lately.  All I do is put a ton of fresh spinach in a big bowl and top with balsamic vinegar, honey, and EVOO.  Then I toss it really well and let it sit for like 15 minutes so the spinach breaks down a little.  This salad is good on its own, or you can top it with whatever you want.  Last night, I used toasted pecans and shaved parmesan.  Simple and tasty!


Tuna Melts October 7, 2011

Filed under: Fish,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 11:03 am

Our dinner last night was totally one of those it’s-Thursday-and-I’m-running-out-of-groceries-so-I’m-gonna-invent-something dinners.  I wanted tuna melts, but didn’t want it on regular bread, so I decided to use some garlic toast I had in the freezer.

Open-Faced Tuna Melts on Garlic Toast


  • Tuna
  • Mayo
  • Chopped onions, pickles, celery, whatever you normally put in your tuna salad
  • Garlic toast
  • Sliced cheese


  1. Cook garlic toast until barely crispy
  2. Top with tuna salad and cheese
  3. Place back in oven until cheese is melted, you might need to put it under the broiler for a minute or two



Crabby Pants August 25, 2010

Filed under: Fish,Salad — WannaBe Chef @ 10:26 am

Am I throwing you all for a loop with my morning posts?  I kinda like it.  Have I ever told you about my love for imitation crab meat?  Haha.  Well, I love it, and I’m going to give you a little lesson about it.  You know how it comes in flakes or sticks?  Well the sticks are no good.  And sometimes you get a batch that’s kind of mushy… also no good.  You want a nice, firm, sweet “crab.”  Yes, I’m a fake crab expert.  I picked up a two-pound, yes TWO pound, package of it the other day.  It was the flake kind, and it was not mushy at all.  It was perfect.  Then I made this crab salad for dinner last night.  It was also quite perfect.  Wanna see?

Crab Salad
Inspired by “Crab and Grilled Corn Salad” from Cooking Light magazine, Sept 2010 issue, p. 92


  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 pound imitation crab meat, flake style, chopped
  • veggies, finely chopped – I used red peppers, celery, and green onions
  • Light mayo – approx. 2-3 Tbsp
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • hot sauce


  1. Saute the corn in a skillet until slightly charred.  Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Remove corn from heat and let cool.  In the meantime, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the corn to the crab mixture and stir to combine.  Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
  4. Serve crab salad plain, on bread, or in lettuce cups. 

I would have looooved some cilantro in this, but the grocery store was out 😦  Enjoy!


Experiments June 10, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Fish,Oatmeal — WannaBe Chef @ 6:48 pm

Bonjour, my dears.  I had some very tasty treats today, so let’s chat…

Breakfast:  So I think I found a way to make my beloved oatmeal pancakes even better.  Yes, you read that right.  Last night while I was lying in bed going insane trying to fall asleep, it came to me.  OAT BRAN.  Yes, I bring you the oat bran pancake.

Oat Bran Pancake
makes 1 serving

  • 1/3 cup oat bran
  • 1/3 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 banana, halved
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • lots of cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • splash vanilla
  1. Smash half of the banana in a bowl
  2. Add the oat bran and other dry ingredients
  3. Stir in the vanilla and egg whites, and combine everything well
  4. Let mixture sit for about 2-3 minutes to let it thicken a little
  5. Cook pancake till golden brown on both sides
  6. Top with the other half of the banana, 1/8 cup light syrup, and 1/2 Tbsp PB

WOW.  That’s all I can say.  This thing was HUGE and puffed up more than my usual oatmeal pancake.  I could barely finish it!  This whole plate, toppings included, has about 330 calories which is the perfect amount to keep my full for 4+ hours.  (FYI:  the pancake base (oats+egg white+seasonings) has 140 calories, so you can make it as high or low-cal as you want.)  YUUMMMM.  Wanna see the fluffy inside?   

Lunch:  Big ole salad with just romaine, strawberries, feta and raspberry vinaigrette.  On the side is half of a flat out wrap filled with deli chicken, miracle whip light, tomatoes, and fresh basil. 

Dinner:  I like to call dinner an experiment.  I’m not quite sure what to call it, but it was very loosely based on this recipe.  I sort of just remembered the basic ingredients and threw this together.  It turned out pretty well!

Baked Salmon over Veggies and Orzo Broth  <—longest name ever
measurements and times are approximate, as usual! 
Makes 2 servings 

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry orzo
  • 1 small package sliced, white mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped in large-ish pieces
  • 1-2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 5-6 small green onions, sliced
  • handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • seasonings to taste:  Worchestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt/pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and parmesan cheese
  1. Season the salmon with salt, pepper and garlic powder – bake at 400 to desired doneness
  2. Bring the broth to a boil in a high-sided skillet, add the orzo.  Let the orzo boil for a few minutes, then add the zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers.
  3. Let the veggie/orzo mixture boil/simmer until veggies are tender and orzo is al dente.
  4. Stir in the green onions and basil.
  5. I added some more broth at this point to make it more “soup-like.” 
  6. Add seasonings, tasting and adjusting along the way.
  7. Pour “soup” into two bowls, top with a little parm and the cooked salmon.  Flake the salmon into the soup as you eat.  Yum!

That’s all for today, friends!  I’m excited for that 2% pineapple Chobani later!  Hehe. 

Let’s try some questions:

  • Do you like to follow recipes or “create” meals and see what happens?
  • Do you like feta cheese?  I loooove, love, love it, but some people I know absolutely hate it.
  • Ever tried an oatmeal pancake?  In case you haven’t noticed, I could probably eat them every day for the rest of my life 🙂

Best. Chicken. Ever. April 13, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Chicken,Favorites,Fish,Products,Salad — WannaBe Chef @ 5:44 pm

No babbling/whining/venting today… I’m just gonna get straight to the eats!

Breakfast was a Breakfast Cookie and a big strawberry.  In the cookie:  1/3 cup old-fashioned oats, 1/2 scoop Jillian Michael’s Vanilla Creme Protein Powder, cinnamon, pinch of salt, 1 Tbsp crunchy raw almond butter, 1/2 smashed banana, splash of almond milk.  I really liked the texture of this cookie (it was “wetter” than my previous cookies).  I’m not sure if I liked the banana in there, though, which is probably what it made it more moist, but yeah.  I just kept thinking of the mushy, gloppy texture of the banana as I was eating… 

Lunch was pretty much a clone of yesterday’s salad.  Everything was the same except the leftover salmon instead of chicken and Annie’s Light Honey Mustard Vinaigrette instead of homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  I have to say, yesterday’s combination was better!  I think the balsamic would have paired much better with the salmon.  This was still really good, though. 

After lunch, I decided I needed to wander around Super Target for a few things.  Good idea / bad idea.  Of course I spent waaay too much money, but I made some great foodie finds!  I’ve been drooling over these two items that I constantly see in blogs, but haven’t been able to find them till now:  Cookie Dough Luna Protein bars and Greek Olive Sabra!!!  I haven’t tried the hummus yet, but you can bet I tore right into one of those bars the second I walked in the door.  The inside reminded me of the nougat inside a Three-Musketeers bar, and the chocolate coating wasn’t overly sweet.  There were also a few little crunchies inside with the nougat and chocolate chips.  YUH-UMMM.  Best part is they’re under 200 calories! 

Dinner was a new chicken recipe I found over on Macaroni and Cheesecake.  Click the link for the recipe.  I followed the recipe exactly.  Hoooly crap, this was the best meal I’ve made in a long time!  The sauce was extremely flavorful, and the taste was spot-on to the real thing that you’d get in a Chinese restaurant.  It was a teeeeny bit on the hot side from the cayenne, so I would cut down on that next time.  There will be a next time for this dish, believe me!!  Please, do yourself a favor, and go make this!!

Don't worry, I had some broccoli with this after the photo session!


The Watermark April 12, 2010

Filed under: Fish,Life,Potato,Products,Salad,Side dish,Sweets,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 8:08 pm

You may notice there are FOUR pictures in this here post.  I won’t say too much about it, as to not jinx it.  I will say that I’ve noticed that the pics I put my watermark on seem to upload, while the naked ones give me the “IO Error.”  I’m sure it’s just coincidence or my weird superstitions of sorts, but whatever it is, I’m rolling with it.  Let’s start with lunch since breakfast was just leftover quiche. 

In the beautious salad:  spinach, 2 huge strawberries, feta cheese and leftover yogurt-marinated chicken (heated up).  I made a quick vinaigrette consisting of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  It was AMAZE.  I’m thanking my new blog friend for the inspiration on this one! 

Dinner, although it doesn’t look all that appetizing in the picture, was also delicious.  Let’s start with the brussels sprouts.  I’m usually not a fan of them, but Wayne loves them, so I gotta make ’em every now and then.  Again, it’s a texture thing with me – you never know if it’s gonna be funky, mushy or crunchy when you bite into it.  I’ve found that sauteeing them instead of boiling makes for a much better product.  I started these in a covered saute pan with a little water to get them heated through, then I took off the lid, added some garlic/salt/pepper/olive oil and let them sautee.  These were actually pretty tasty!  Next up are the potatoes.  I know these are floating around blogs, but I don’t know where they originated.  The Pioneer Woman maybe??  Basically, you take red skinned potatoes and cook them (boil, microwave, whatever), then smash them down with a potato masher and roast them till brown and crispy.  Of course, you must season liberally and add a bit of olive oil or butter to each one.  Lastly, the salmon.  It looks like there’s a lovely sand paste on it, right?  Well, it’s just a mix of balsamic, dijon, olive oil, salt pepper (hello, salad vinaigrette!), and bread crumbs.  Then I just spread the “paste” onto the fish and baked until done.  Very tasty dinner! 

Snackage included yummmmy PopChips I got at Target. 

After I hit Publish here… I’m off to make another Yoplait Smoothie like this one.  They are soooo good!  Just add 1 cup of skim milk, blend and you’re done. 

Ta-ta for now!


Grasping at straws February 25, 2010

Filed under: Fish,Life,Meatless,Salad,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 7:14 pm

I don’t know why I hesitate to write posts that only contain my random eats and no recipes.  After all, some of my favorite blogs are food diary / random style.  *Shrugs*  Oh well, I guess if you’re looking for a recipe tonight, you’re SOL! 

Dinner last night:  Giant clean-out-the-fridge salad with baked salmon, tomatoes, bread & butter pickles, banana peppers, green onions, mozzarella cheese, Annie’s Light Honey Mustard Vinaigrette, and Tribe Forty Spices Hummus.  Holy yummmmmmm.

I had a kind of shitty day at work today.  Ugh, just in a shitty mood overall, I guess.  *Sigh*  Wayne is working late (big surprise), but at least he isn’t bringing his laptop (aka WORK) home tonight, so maybe we can talk to each other for more than 5 minutes.  Anyway, I had a ridiculously strong craving for eggs and toast, and since I wasn’t gonna wait around for Wayne and make a “real dinner,” I decided to just make the most random meal ever.  I can’t even tell you how good this was.  As my mommmmy would say, it really hit the spot.   

2 over-mediumish eggs with Frank's on top of dry toast, alongside steamed sweet potato with best dippers ever (hummus and BBQ), all topped with a sprinkle of green onions. How's that for a long-ass description??

Before this glorious dinner, I stopped off at Rite-Aid to get a couple little pick-me-ups.  Yeah, it’s pretty pathetic I get my retail therapy at freaking Rite-Aid, huh?

Diet A&W in my fishbowl-on-a-stem glass.

Awesome "Deeply Violet" (aka "goth") nail polish to match my mood! Don't zoom in on that thumb, totally smudged it...

Fun new gum flavor, going with the purple theme. Must be inspired by my sis's upcoming wedding purple! Airy, are you out there??