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!

Avocado Pudding

Just trust me on this one…

I saw the incomparably Martha Stewart on the Today Show last week showing off recipes and dishes from her new clean eating cook book. The last recipe was for chocolate pudding made with avocados….yes you read that right. And judging by the reactions of the co hosts, it was pretty awesome.

I tried to make it this weekend in secret so that I could pass it off to the kids as real pudding. I knew as soon as they saw the green goodness of the avocado, they would run away in terror. But I swear they know the sound of the drawer where the Cuisinart is kept and as soon as they hear it, they come running to help push the buttons. I told Baylor that the only way she was allowed to help was if she agreed to eat the final product. She reluctantly said yes and we proceeded to mix and sample and mix and sample until we got just the right combination of ingredients. When she finally got to sit down with a bowl, her reaction was priceless; “this IS pretty good!”

And this guy? The proof is in the pudding, er, picture.

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The best part is that they get a guilt free dessert that is pretty close to a healthy food. Oh Martha, you’ve done it again!

Martha’s Avocado Chocolate Pudding recipe can be found here:

http://www.marthastewart.com/1050437/chocolate-pudding

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.

Sophia’s Amulet Popciles

Oh man. If you have kids who watch Sophia the First and or anything on Disney Junior, I’m sure you’ve seen, heard and been asked about Sophia’s Amulet Popsicle. I gave into the pressure and so we set out to get all our ingredients and supplies – which was an adventure in itself.

Our overall experience was a good one. However, those jerks over at Disney make the supply list sound like a walk in the park; “fill an oval shaped ice cube tray”. Who the hell has an oval shaped ice cube tray handy?? More over, where do you find such a thing? Same goes for the popsicle molds – they have horizontal, flat molds. Which are impossible to find unless you want to spend $20 on Amazon. Arg. 

So, we improvised. We used on sale, grocery store molds for both the pops and the amulets. We filled the ice cube trays less than half way to make small amulets. Then after the popsicle were set, I pulled them out, laid them flat on some foil, put the amulets on and then back into the freezer. Turns out after the first round, Auggie did not like the amulets and Baylor was content to eat them separately so I call it a win!

If you want to try them out on your own, here’s the link: 

http://cdn.dolimg.com/magic-of-healthy-living/pdf/recipes/disneydishes_sofiapopsicles.jpg

Happy chefs

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Not too shabby, huh?

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Green Smoothie

Before Baylor was born, I came across a recipe for a green smoothie. For some crazy reason, I was intrigued. I gathered up my ingredients and created one of the most delicious smoothies I’ve ever had and the main ingredient is….spinach!

I drink these every morning and usually one in the afternoon when I get snacky for something sweet. I make about 8 red cups and keep them in the fridge for easy access. It fills you up and gives you a big dose of fruits and veggies in one tasty drink!

smoothie

Ingredients:

1 large box of baby spinach

4-5 kale leaves deveined

3-4 large carrots – chopped

12-16oz frozen pineapple check

12-16oz frozen strawberries

12-16oz frozen blueberries

12-16oz frozen raspberries

1 bottle Vitamin Water Zero

Water

 

~In a Cuisinart or blender (I use a Cuisinart), blend spinach, kale, pineapple and Vitamin Water. Add plain water if need be to get the mixture really smooth.

~Pour mix into approximately 8 red cups – each about half way.

~Blend strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and carrots (might need to do in two sets) with hot water until smooth.

~Fill remaining half of cups, cover and refrigerate. Enjoy!

 

 

Summer Corn Chowder

I found a recipe for corn chowder and it was amazing – I added in a few things that the recipe didn’t call for that I think made it extra delicious! It’s the perfect excuse to hit the farmers market or road side stand and load up on fresh corn. It makes for a light dinner or a great starter or side dish.

This recipe could totally be vegan/vegetarian by leaving out the bacon, butter (use olive oil) and cream.

Ingredients:

6 large ears of sweet corn – shucked and silks removed

2 slices of thick cut bacon

3 tablespoons of butter

1 large diced onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup diced celery

1 medium red potato cut into half inch cubes

1 tsp marjoram

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of paprika

Sour cream for garnish

 

Directions:

– Cut the kernels of corn off the cob. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs for the corn “milk”. Set both aside.

– In a heavy pot, boil corn cobs with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Discard the cobs and reserve the liquid.

– Dice bacon and throw into a large pot. Saute until crispy. Add butter, onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Reduce the heat, add celery and sprinkle with salt. Once veggies are soft, add the potato, marjoram, cayenne and paprika. Add corn stock. Bring to a boil then cover and lower the heat for 20-30 minutes. Add almost all of the corn (reserve about a cup) and simmer for 10 more minutes.

– I used a food processor for this next part, but a blender would work too – just be sure to cover it so you don’t get hot liquid all over the place! Pour the cooked mixture into the blender / processor and blend until smooth. Add blended puree back to the pot and add the remaining unpureed corn and milk to the mix. Season with salt and pepper and heat the additional corn through (about 5 minutes). Serve with a dollop of sour cream!