Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Caramelized Salmon with Asparagus, Snap Peas, and Carrot Slaw

Salmon and Veggies

1/4 c cane sugar
1/4 c water
1/4 c onion, very finely diced
1lb salmon, cubed in 2" cubes
1 tsp soy sauce
1 c asparagus, chopped
1 c snow peas
salt and pepper to taste

Place the sugar into a skillet and heat until melted and brown. Add the water (be prepared for it to bubble!).
Cook the onion until just translucent.
Add the salmon, caramelizing/browning on all sides, and cooking just through.
Add the soy sauce and toss. Finish with the vegetables and seasoning, remove from heat and cover to let the vegetables steam for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!

Carrot Slaw

2 c carrots, finely shredded
1/4 c lime juice, freshly squeezed
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Last night's dinner was simple, healthy, and totally fabulous. I borrowed some inpiration from the latest Fine Cooking Magazine to come up with this dinner. The fish and vegetables were served on top of whole wheat pearled couscous, and the carrot slaw on the side made the meal. The fish was sweet, and perfectly tender. The carrot slaw gave enough acidity and crunch to balance it all out, and the couscous added a nutty grain flavor. So healthy and so easy:)  There were some happy mouths over here.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cauliflower Parmesan

A few weeks ago D forwarded me a New York Times cooking segment on "parmesans". There were the traditional chicken and eggplant variety, but hidden in the midst was this cauliflower parmesan recipe. D was the one to actually suggest that we try it out, and because I love all things broccoli-and-cauliflower I was more than happy to obligue.

This picture does not do this meal justice. The flavors were fantastic. The cauliflower was crispy on the outside, and gooey and delicious on the inside. The cheese was just right (especially after a few minutes carefully watched under the broiler to finish it off). No one missed any meat at all this is very hearty dinner.

I served the cauliflower on top of spinach spaghetti. Everyone agreed that this meal was a total hit!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quick and Easy Sourdough Pretzels

Let me start by saying that these soft, scrumptious, and sourdough pretzels felt like cheating! They didn't require any sort of boiling before baking, and they didn't require any rising after shaping! Ah ha! In other words, these were pure genius. Way to go KAF! And, of course they gave me the extra excuse I needed to feed my sourdough starter.

L is home from school on "break" this week, but unfortunatly J is in school, so we're juggling three different schedules, and trying to stay sane. I thought it would be fun to invite some of L's little friends over for a pretzel play-date. It was a success. These were perfect for the attention span of 3 year olds, and within about a half-and-hour we were all munching away on these really tasty treats. Salty and sweet...and totally scrumptious!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oat, Quinoa, Flax, Coconut Granola

2 tbs butter
2 tbs coconut oil
1/4 c honey
3 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 c rolled oats
1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
3.4 c quinoa, rinsed and drained
3/4 c pecans, chopped
1/2 c sliced almonds
1/4 c milled flaxseed
2 tbs chia seeds
1 c dried cherries

Preheat oven to 300F.
Place butter, coconut oil, honey, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt into a small sauce pan. Heat until just simmering.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the dry ingredients (leaving out the dried cherries). Pour the heated mixture onto the dry ingredients and fold through.
Spread the mixture onto 2 baking sheets, in one thin layer. Bake for 20 minutes, gently toss, and bake for another 10-15 or until the granola is just starting to brown.
Once cooled, mix in the dried cherries.

I've been wanting to make a granola with quinoa for a while now. Kind makes a few that I literally can't stop eating. I love the crunch that the toasted quinoa gives, and we all know how much this family likes a good granola!

I used this toasted oat, coconut, and quinoa granola recipe as my guide, but I really struck out on my own with many additions and tweaks. This granola is FANTASTIC! It's sweet, crunchy, hearty, and just full of amazing tastes and textures. I slightly overbaked one of my pans (hmmm, uneven oven, perhaps), but even a tad bit beyond "golden" still tastes great. This is a keeper!

Carrot Cake Energy Balls

1 c shredded carrots
10 dates, pitted
1/2 c pecans
1/2 c sliced almonds
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt
about 1/3 c unsweetened coconut flakes, for rolling

Place the carrots and dates into the bowl of a food processor, and process until sticky.
Add the nuts, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Process until a large ball forms, and the mixture is fairly uniform in texture.
Place the coconut flakes into a shallow bowl.
With wet hands, roll the carrot mixture into a ball, and roll through the coconut flakes. Chill or freeze, and enjoy!

My really great nutritionist friend had to create a couple of energy ball recipes for her work. She was SO kind, and forwarded me the recipes. I loved the idea of a "carrot cake" ball because I simply adore carrot cake! So, I tweaked her recipe a bit to fit with what I had around, and what I love, and voila! These balls are "amazeballs"! They are sweet, texturally delightful, and full of goodness. The kids love them too, but I think I'll be fighting D off from eating them all up first;) Ha!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

I can't share my secrets in the chance that I actually open my ice cream shop one of these days, but man, this homemade chcoolate chip cookie dough (with homemade ok-to-eat raw cookie dough) was out of this world;)

Grain Bowl with Kale, Sweet Potato, Fennel, Feta, and Tahini Dressing

 When I saw this Bon Appetit article on "How to Make the Grain Bowl of Your Lunchtime Dreams", I know this would be a fabulous dinner in our home.

I chose to use red quinoa, purple rice, kale (tossed in apple cider vinegar), roasted sweet potato and fennel, and I topped it with avocado, feta, fresh chopped basil and parsley, and my yummy tanini dressing.

I'm not going to lie, D was skeptical as I was assembling the bowls, giving me the "that's way too healthy" look! But, after a couple of bites, he was sold, and exclaimed, "I didn't expect this to be really awesome!". Proof is in the pudding too because the man took the leftovers for lunch. And, as I was typing this he walked by to comment "that dinner was so great". The man is right...it was truly fantastic!