Salmon Grain Bowl

Lent is a good time for a lot of things – praying more and figuring out how not to eat meat on Fridays are two of the big ones for me. I don’t know why, but tell me there’s no meat, and that’s literally all I can think about eating.

With little planning last Friday night, I found a sorry amount of veggies left in the refrigerator, salmon (see! at least I was trying to not eat meat) and some pesto. I suddenly remembered a delicious grain bowl recipe I made last summer and started compiling what I had. It turned out delicious!

Ingredients:

So for this Friday, give this guy a whirl to stay on track this Lenten season:

Fresh salmon: 1/2 – 1lb depending on if you want leftovers

Farro: 2 cups

Veggies: I like broccoli and cauliflower

Pesto: bottled or homemade

Balsamic vinegar

Parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375
  2. On a sheet, toss cauliflower with salt, pepper and olive oil (cauliflower takes longer to roast so put it in first). Roast for 25-30 minutes
  3. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper on salmon
  4. On the same sheet (or separate, your call) toss broccoli olive oil, salt and pepper
  5. Pop pan with salmon and broccoli in for roughly 15-20 minutes depending on how big your cut of salmon is.
  6. Cook Farro according to instructions
  7. When the veggies come out of the oven, grate parm over the top
  8. Layer in a bowl: farrow, veggies, salmon and pesto.
  9. Drizzle with balsamic to taste
  10. Eat and enjoy!

Ok, yes. I did get a little out of control with the parm. But it was delicious!

 

 

 

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Fiesta Salad

If you have ever hosted dinner and served Mexican food, you might have found yourself in the same predicament as I usually get in; what kind of veggie side dish do I serve?? There’s corn and there are beans, but I’m always a little perplexed what else to include.

I’m here to solve our problems! I give you – Fiesta Salad!!

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I came across this recipe and I’ve made it my own with a few additions…not only is it delicious, it’s gorgeous!! I’m dying waiting for my tomatoes to grow so I can do the homegrown version.

Here’s how to whip it up:

1 English cucumber with stripes of skin peeled off and then quartered.

1 pint of multicolored cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size (you want the cucumber and tomatoes about the same sizes).

1 quarter of a shallot, diced – red onion works too, the shallot is just a more delicate onion flavor.

Splash of olive oil.

Lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Mix it all up and voila! Instant pretty and it’s delicious too. I also like to use balsamic vinegar instead of the citrus juice. The sweet acidity makes it oh so delicious. But, it does darken it a little so don’t put it on until right before you serve it.

Buen Provecho!

THE Best Kale Salad

The only thing you need to know is that A. Peter agreed to try this. B. He had seconds. And C. he said I should make it again and soon. Boom. Best recipe ever.

1 bunch Black or Tuscan kale, de-veined and chopped into small pieces

1/3 of a lemon

1 tsp garlic paste

2 count olive oil

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup graded (powdery) Parmesan cheese

Dried cranberries

Roasted pumpkin seeds

 

At least an hour before you’re ready to eat, toss chopped kale, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and some salt and pepper. Make sure to work everything into the kale to tenderize it. Set aside for at least an hour.

Cook quinoa according to directions. Toss hot quinoa with the kale mixture. Add Parmesan cheese, some cranberries and seeds. Mix and taste for more lemon (it’s easy to add too much at the start!). Serve room temperature or chill.

Kale is super sturdy so this salad keeps really well over night!

If you are a fan of True Food Kitchen’s kale salad, you’re going to love this. It’s really similar and you could add in bread crumbs instead of the quinoa for the TFK version. Just go easy with the lemon.

Pinterest in Action

I found these lovely little appetizers on Pinterest and made them last weekend for a dinner party. The picture doesn’t show the final product, which was drizzled in olive oil and balsamic reduction, but it does the little beauties justice. In addition to adorable, they are delicious! Little basil leaves wrapped around mozzarella balls and grape tomatoes…bite sized caprese salad!

Oh, and I made the cake plate – more on that in a later post 😉

 

Love and Cooking

To me, cooking is love. Making a meal for your family is an expression of how much you care for them. So this Valentine’s day, we’re doing dinner in. I’m making of PW’s favorite dinners: marinated flank steak, sauteed mushrooms, twice baked potatoes and cookies that B helps make. I’m hungry just writing it!

See my post on Scottsdale Moms Blog today for the recipes: http://scottsdalemomsblog.com/

And do me a favor and pretend that we are making Valentine’s cookies and not Christmas cookies in Baylor’s pic – k? Sometime’s there’s just not enough time and or cold medicine in a week to stage a holiday appropriate pic!

Pasta Fagioli

I am so fortunate to have become good friends with the other two room moms from Baylor’s class. They are incredibly funny, smart and freakishly talented multi taskers. And they like wine so we were a match made in heaven.

We sipped and snacked on Monday night at Postinos. I’m embarrassed to say that it was my first time there (look, I like to ride my bike and I live where I can do that to like 15 great restaurants, why go where I have to drive?!). We all ordered a cup of the Pasta Fagioli with sausage and it was awesome. I googled around and found a great recipe. It’s soup, but very hearty and great for a meal.

My  variations are that I used fresh herbs because I had them, hot Italian sausage (Safeway meat counter), kidney instead of cannaleni beans and I added 3 tablespoons of butter to the final mix, just to give it a little more flavor. I loved this recipe because it was a chop-and-dump-into-pot variety which is my favorite. Be sure to add the Parmigiano on top, it really pulls it all together.

Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onions, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 carrots, peeled & chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage links or 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled ( can use turkey sausage)
    • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
    • 1 tablespoon dry basil
    • 1 -2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
    • 1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juice
    • 3 -4 cups vegetable stock or 3 -4 cups chicken stock
    • 1 can progresso cannellini beans
    • 1 cup ditalini or 1 cup small shell pasta
    • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
    • parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.
  2. Cook onion in oil 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, celery and carrots and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add and brown crumbled sausage.
  5. Add basil, oregano and red pepper.
  6. Toss to coat.
  7. Stir in tomatoes and stock.
  8. Bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  10. If necessary, add an additional cup of stock or water and stir in beans and tiny pasta.
  11. Simmer for 6- 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  12. Stir in parsley and serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe credit from:http://www.food.com/recipe/pasta-e-fagioli-italian-soup-with-italian-sausage-38088

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Ok, so I’m into butternut squash right now. It’s just so easy. And tasty and I can buy it at the farmers market and it’s almost impossible to get a bad squash…in other words, I heart butternut squash.

I came up with this recipe after seeing a magazine cover and almost drooling on myself while waiting to check out at the grocery store. I make a rule not to buy stuff like that at the grocery because I think it’s over priced (but then I never buy it at all so really, I save a lot this way). So I took a mental picture and decided to try it out. And the results? Delicious!

And yes, CO, this does count as a recipe because you have to roast the squash.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (duh)

1 box of pre-made cheese ravioli (like Bertoli and they are usually in a cold case near the deli)

Fresh spinach

Olive oil

Butter

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Slice the squash long ways making two halves. Scoop out the seeds and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the squash, insides facing up, on a foil lined try into the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes. Really, it’s hard to let it go too long and it’s better than not enough time. It should be fork tender when ready.

Cook ravioli according to the instructions. When done, place in a tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan and add ravioli to saute. Add in spoonfuls of the cooked squash and stir gently. Add in the basil leaves (diced) and let all the flavors blend together (about 3 minutes). Plate and serve!

The beauty of this dish is that the final product looks way fancier than it has any right to given the amount of effort that goes into the dish. This would be great for a dinner party, especially when there are vegetarian guests.