Garlic Ginger Chicken Marinade

luluesque_garlic ginger chicken marinade

This is a marinade recipe for the adventurous palate. I used it to marinade the chicken for some banh mi sandwiches. Since I don’t have a working grill, I sautĂ©d the chicken thighs in a skillet, over the stove. They browned and caramelized nicely and tasted delicious! Even the kiddos that were over for an event wanted this recipe so that “their mommies can make it at home too.” 🙂


  • 3 lbs organic skinless, deboned chicken thighs ~ rinsed, drained
  • 3 tbs fish sauce
  • 3 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 3 tbs granular sugar
  • 3-5 tbs lemongrass ~ minced (you can buy this pre-minced at your local Asian grocer)
  • 3-5 tbs fresh ginger root ~ grated
  • 6 cloves garlic ~ peeled, minced
  • 1 large purple shallot ~ peeled, finely chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper ~ optional


  1. In a large container with a lid, combine the liquid ingredients and sugar. Stir until sugar has somewhat dissolved. Add the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallot, and black pepper.
  2. Wear some disposable gloves. Add the chicken and massage the marinade into the meat.
  3. Cover the chicken and allow to marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 1.5 hours. It’s best to let it marinade overnight.
  4. The next day, when you’re ready to cook the chicken, simply heat some cooking oil in a stainless steel pan over medium-high heat. Brown the pieces on both sides, adding more oil as you need to avoid the meat sticking to the pan.
  5. Once you’ve browned the meat, add the marinade sauce to the pan. Let the marinade bubble and simmer, then reduce the heat and cook until the marinade caramelizes. Flip the chicken a few times so that it’s coated on both sides. Cut into the chicken to make sure it’s cooked.
  6. You can serve the chicken in banh mi sandwiches, with a fresh salad, or top it on a bed of fluffy rice, with a side of steamed veggies. Super healthy and delicious! Enjoy! 🙂


Cozy Chicken Chowder

luluesque_cozy chicken chowder

Wow, it has been many moons since my last post and “Lulu Original” recipe! I’ve been a tad bit busy, to say the least. I think you’ll like this recipe. I was inspired to make a cozy soup that was relatively quick and easy to make now that we have lost 1 hour of sunlight and the mercury has dipped well below 32°F.

Many of the ingredients may already be in your refrigerator and/or freezer, so just pop by your local grocer and pick up that rotisserie chicken.  As always, I encourage you to use organic ingredients if possible. Some vegetables just aren’t available organic, but it’s ok!

Enjoy! 🙂


  • organic avocado oil
  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 1 lb rotisserie chicken legs ~ shred the meat into desired size and discard skin and bones
  • 1 medium yellow onion ~ washed, peeled, and diced
  • 8 large cloves garlic ~ peeled, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ lb white potatoes ~ washed and cut into small cubes
  • 5 large stalks organic celery ~ washed, ends discarded, cut into desired size
  • 2 medium organic carrots ~ washed, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large poblano ~ washed, seeds removed, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 bag (16 oz) of organic vegetable mix (peas, green beans, carrots, corn)
  • organic curly parsley ~ washed, stems discarded, and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt ~ to taste
  • evaporated cane sugar ~ to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper ~ to taste
  • red pepper flakes ~ optional


  • 1 cup organic, unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1  cup water
  • sea salt ~ to taste
  • evaporated cane sugar ~ to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper ~ to taste


  1. Prep all your vegetables and flour mix.
  2. In a large stock pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat.
  3. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent and aromatic. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and sauté until half cooked.
  4. Add the 10 cups of water, chicken, and 2 bay leaves.
  5. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Skim off the foam and discard.
  6. Lower heat to medium for a  soft rolling boil.
  7. Add sugar, salt, and any spices you’d like.
  8. Slowly stir in the flour mixture and cover the lid.
  9. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Enjoy and stay warm!

*NOTE: I used 3 small potatoes and 2 chicken legs because I prefer my soup to be more “soupy” than with chunks of stuff.

Kale, Pollo, Sweet Potato, Hominy Soup

kale-pollo-sweet potato-hominy soup-a

Folks, I think winter has finally passed and spring is well on the way. This may be the final bit of cooler evening temperatures until Autumn!

Back in January 2013 I tested a delicious recipe from one of Clean Eating magazine’s back issues. I wasn’t able to post the full recipe at the time, but here it is now: modified, improved, and then some! This time in lieu of mushrooms, I’m adding hearty hominy, along with sweet corn kernels. My darn sweet neighbor introduced me to hominy, and now I’m obsessed with them! The best way to describe hominy is that they are like “chewy nubs.” Enjoy! 🙂

I might as well have called this the “everything but the kitchen sink soup,” given the lengthy name! 🙂

kale-pollo-sweet potato-hominy soup-b


  • organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion ~ peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic ~ peeled, sliced
  • 10 cups filtered water
  • 1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes ~ peeled and diced
  • 1 lb organic or free-range boneless, skinless chicken breasts ~ cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1-2 ears corn ~ cut kernels from the cob
  • 1 can (30 oz.) golden hominy
  • 1 large bunch organic kale ~ tough stems removed and leaves coarsely torn
  • dried oregano
  • organic evaporated cane sugar ~ to taste
  • sea salt ~ to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper ~ to taste
  • scallions (optional) ~ chopped
  • cilantro or Italian parsley (optional) ~ chopped
  • jalapeños (optional) ~ sliced


  1. In a large, stainless steel stockpot, heat the oil on med-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until they are an aromatic golden brown.
  2. Add potatoes and chicken. Sauté until about 1/2 cooked (about 5 minutes). Add more oil as needed, to avoid the chicken from sticking to the pot.
  3. Add water, corn, hominy, oregano, and spices of your choice. Bring it to a boil for about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down and let the soup simmer until the chicken and potatoes are cooked (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Turn off stove. Remove the pot from the burner and fold in the kale with a metal ladle.
  6. Garnish with sliced jalapeños, scallions, and cilantro or parsley.

Banh Mi Sandwich

luluesque_Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches

I recently attended a very fun sunset-watching picnic with some friends. We had a nice spread of Spanish-style tapas along with fruit, cheeses, chilled white wine, desserts, and these delicious Vietnamese “Banh Mi” sandwiches. Each person had their own and was able to “build” it according to their taste buds.

*Recipe makes 6 sandwiches

  • organic rotisserie chicken ~ skinned, deboned, shredded, and dark & white meat mixed together (my local grocer offers these daily for about $10)
  • ciabatta-style baguettes ~ cut in 1/2 at an angle
  • pickled, julienned daikon and carrots ~ optional (I love this stuff, but it’s not for everyone)
  • 3 pickling cucumbers ~ washed & thinly sliced, lengthwise
  • organic arugula leaves & arugula flowers
  • organic cilantro leaves & cilantro flowers
  • mint leaves
  • spicy sauce
  • low sodium tamari
  • Asian chili paste ~ optional (I just throw these into a blender and pulse: rice vinegar, peeled garlic cloves, hot peppers, dash of sea salt, dash of sugar, and a dash of white distilled vinegar)
  • patĂ© ~ optional (It’s extremely hard to find a pork-free product, but you can make your own with chicken livers and onions.)


  1. Slice the baguette down the side, leaving enough bread for a “hinge.”
  2. Spread a thick layer of paté on one internal side of the baguette. Sprinkle enough tamari to your liking. Spread the chili paste on the other side of the baguette.
  3. Layer the cucumber slices.
  4. Stuff the baguette with as little or much chicken, arugula, cilantro, mint, and pickled daikon & carrots as you please.
  5. Serve with an extra side of arugula, mint, cilantro, and cucumbers. Enjoy! 🙂

Caldo de Pollo

The first time I ever had Caldo de Pollo, it was so delicious, I was instantly hooked! It was at a restaurant called El Sol y La Luna in Austin, TX. This recipe is, more or less, just me throwing together what I remember seeing in my bowl, then modifying it to my taste. This is my “feel good” soup when the mercury starts to drop or if I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Caldo de Pollo is delicious and undoubtedly MORE nutritious than your average canned chicken noodle soup! Instead of using zucchini, I opted for calabaza squash.


  • 5-6 tbs grapeseed oil (use more if necessary)
  • 1 bulb garlic ~ peeled and smashed flat
  • 2 small shallots ~ thinly sliced
  • 3-4 large skinned chicken breasts ~ washed and cut into chunks
  • 1-2 ears of corn ~ washed and cut into chunks
  • 3 medium organic carrots ~ washed and cut into chunks
  • 5-6 large organic celery stalks ~ washed and cut into chunks
  • 5-6 medium calabaza squash ~ washed, cut into chunks (See the “chunking” pattern? Good!)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole cremini mushrooms ~ washed and cut into halve if they are large
  • 8-10 cups filtered water
  • organic cane sugar ~ enough to season to taste
  • sea salt ~ enough to season to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper ~ enough to season to taste
  • fresh avocado slices
  • 1 small-medium lime (I have learned that the smoother and thinner the rind, the juicier the fruit) ~ cut into wedges
  • finely-chopped purple onions ~ for garnish
  • chopped cilantro ~ for garnish

*In a large stainless steel stockpot, heat the oil on medium-high and sauté the shallots for about 30 seconds. *Add the garlic and sauté until the pieces become aromatic and golden-brown. *Add the chunks of chicken and sauté until they are lightly brown around the edges and are half cooked. *Add the corn, carrots, and celery and sauté for about 4 minutes. *Add the water and bring to a boil, skimming off any scum along the way and discard. *Turn the heat down to achieve a soft rolling boil for about 5 mintues. *Turn off the burner and add sugar, salt, and black pepper to taste. *Leave the pot on the burner and add the mushrooms and calabaza squash. *Place the lid on top and walk away for about 20 minutes. The trapped heat will cook the squash just right. *Serve the soup with finely chopped purple onion, chopped cilantro, sliced avocados and a wedge of fresh lime.