Dinner tonight, I made a fresh garden salad with roasted sweet potatoes, crispy panko tofu and caramelized onions. I love warm salads, because you can make them into a substantial main course while keeping the meal light and healthy. With the extra potatoes and onions, you could make a mean egg hash the following morning! Check it out:
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1 small bag peeled sweet potatoes, chopped into
bite sized pieces
Salt, pepper, dried thyme, basil, garlic and onion powder
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with spices and olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook about 25-30 minutes and browned.
Crispy Panko Tofu
1 package firm tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 cups panko bread crumbs
Salt, garlic and onion powder
Toss cut tofu in panko and spices until well coated. Add thin layer of olive oil into skillet over high heat. Cook on both sides of tofu until crispy.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
|German Cabbage, Gnocchi, Crispy Kale and Soy Glazed Pork Chops|
Last night I brought over a homemade pesto pizza to my parents house for dinner. We tried to grill the fresh pizza, but the heat was too high from the coals and the bottom of the crust burnt. Thankfully, the top was salvaged and the pizza was of course devoured despite our set back ;). On the pizza, I layered my own almond pesto on the bottom as the "sauce" and topped it with fresh peas, broccoli and fresh mozzarella cheese. For the main course, my mother prepared a delicious meal of sweet German cabbage, crispy kale, cheesy gnocchi and soy glazed pork chops hot off the grill...to say we ate well would be an understatement! I watched my mother prepare the cabbage but did not get an exact recipe from her. Below you'll find a rough guess of her cabbage recipe as well as my almond pesto.
Mom's Sweet German Cabbage
I head red cabbage
Apple cider vinegar
Cut cabbage into small threads, and saute over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Once cabbage has softened a bit, add a splash of vinegar and saute for a minute. Then add a tablespoon or two of the jam and mix well. For a little extra sweetness, add a few teaspoons of brown sugar and saute 1 more minute. Serve immediately with pork chops, spaetzle or cheesy gnocchi.
1 bunch fresh basil
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together, drizzling olive oil into mixture until moist. Spread mixture onto fresh pizza dough, veggies or your favorite protein.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Last year I was gifted with a set of ramekins as a wedding gift. Over this past year I let them sit in the pantry unused, until today! I found a recipe in Cookinglight magazine and set out to make spinach and parmesan souffles. Souffle has received a reputation of being fussy to make, yet with a little time, they can be quite simple and an impressive statement to your guests. I love the individual portions ramekins provide, while allowing you to freeze extras for a healthy snack on the go!
Click here for a link to the recipe!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Tonight I made up a new recipe, blue corn crusted shrimp and cheesy grits. I love the blue color these chips render on the plate. Nobody wants to eat a plate of food all one color, so I sauteed a bit of spinach for nutrients and color. I am also a huge fan of grits, I suppose it's the earthly, nutty texture of this grain that I so adore. Grits are to be cooked by the package directions, with the exception of sharp cheddar and butter added at the end for flavor. The shrimp are super simple to prepare- great for kids or a cocktail party!
Blue Corn Crusted Shrimp
8-10 large shrimp
1 egg, whisked
2 cups blue corn chips, blended into tiny bits
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean shrimp and set aside. Mix blended corn chips with a few pinches of cajun seasoning and pour onto a plate. In a small bowl, pour whisked egg. Dip shrimp into egg and then into blue corn blend, fully coating the shrimp. Place on baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, turning once.
*Plate shrimp over grits, as I have done, serve as an appetizer or over your favorite salad!
Friday, March 16, 2012
What a wonderful, promising day it's been, nearing 80 degrees in March and the smell of spring is in the air. When the weather teeters over 70 degrees my appetite automatically shifts into craving lighter fare such as salads and fish. This reaction must be somehow innate, possibly a primal instinct for the change in crops from winter starches to leafy greens in the spring and summer. Tonight I wanted to keep dinner light and fresh, so I decided to sear swordfish with an herby cilantro pesto. On sale at the market today was a bunch of asparagus for $1.99, so of course I had to go for that! Swordfish is a relatively firm and mild fish making it a great agent for powerful citrusy sauce pairings. Follow my recipe below for a fresh and light summer/spring dinner.
(makes about a cup)
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 squeezed fresh lemon juice
Drizzle of olive oil- enough for pesto be blend easily
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor, and spoon over fish, grilled meats or vegetables.
Pan Seared Swordfish
2 1 inch swordfish steaks
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch salt and pepper
Mix oil through pepper in bowl until well combined. Place room temperature swordfish steaks in ziplock bag and pour marinade over fish. Refrigerate in marinade for 30-60 minutes. When ready to cook, heat large skillet over high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Sear about 2 minutes on each side, or until medium rare. Please note that swordfish is meant to be served medium rare, do not overcook.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Tonight I made a unique dish using black rice. Black rice, also known as purple or forbidden rice is produced from black heirloom plants. Black rice is traditionally grown in Asian countries, yet has emerged in other tropical environments such as Brazil. Black rice has many health benefits, including 18 amino acids and numerous vitamins. It has a dense, nutty texture and flavor. When cooked, the rice transforms into a shade of purple, from the anthocyanin content. I stumbled upon a recipe by chef Aladim Alves, in Food & Wine Magazine. I found the recipe to be fairly simple and delicious. I love the white wine paired with a smokey tomato sauce to heighten the nuttiness of the black rice. The recipe calls for squid and shrimp, but I decided to just use shrimp as a cost saver.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Today I made a simple peanut sauce pasta using wonton noodles and bok choy. Wonton noodles, also called wanton mee, is a Cantonese noodle popular in Singapore, Thailand, China and Malaysia. These noodles are often found in soups or stir-fries. I bought my noodles fresh at United Noodles in Minneapolis (as featured in past postings). To create this meal at home, cook your noodles to package directions, then fry them lightly in a pan with hot sesame oil. Toss blanched bok choy, noodles and peanut sauce featured below and waalaa!
Click here for the peanut sauce recipe!
Spring is here. 70 plus degrees in early March and there is no turning back. I must say, I have a real love for Minnesotans, Saturday when the temps sky-rocketed, so did the streets and the lakes with just about everyone and their mom emerging out of hibernation to salute mother spring! As a tribute to the earths transformation into green, I have highlighted a few of my favorite green snacks and sides... dig in!
Kale chips!! Potato chips LOOK OUT, we've got your healthier, tastier replacement. A friend of mine introduced me to this easy recipe. All you have to do is cut up some kale, toss with olive oil and salt, arrange on a baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes at 300 degrees, turning twice. Set out for guilt free snacking!
Sometimes the simplist things are the best, like this roasted asparagus brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper. All you have to do is bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. Delish!
HIDDEN SECRET ALERT: $6 mussels and fries available at Sea Change 3-6pm and 8-10pm!! Sitting in a bed of butter, white wine, shallot and a crostini topped with a creamy basil pesto will have you dying for more. The mussels taste fresh and juicy, well worth the $6 happy hour price tag. I highly recommend you try this great deal ASAP :)
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
|Begun Borta (eggplant), Chashi Motor Paneer (cheese and peas in |
creamy almond and cashew gravy), basmati rice and
Moghal Saagwalla (spinach, onion and lamb).
|Onion Bhaji, eggplant- potato- cauliflower pakoras and papadam (cumin wafer)|
|Condiments for appetizer platter: tamarind, cilantro and pickled onion|
Click here for a link to their website!
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Dinner last night was a unique but delicious combination of scallion, tofu, carrot, brussels, and wide stick lomein noodles. Personally, I believe brussels sprouts are one of the greatest vegetables. I cannot understand why they are so despised by a good portion of society. Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, feature significant anticancer compounds, and are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. What's not to like?! For my dish, I simply quartered the brussels, and stir-fried them together with the carrots and scallions until lightly browned. I also stir-fried the cooked lomein in a small amount of oil to crisp up some of the edges and pan fried my tofu, resulting in a a crispier texture. Last but not least, I added my favorite korean sauce for flavor. Featured below is a recipe for a korean stir-fry sauce.
Korean Stir-fry Sauce
1/4 cup diced green onion
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp chili paste
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cold water
1 tbsp cornstarch
Mix ingredients and allow to boil in a small sauce pan, then reduce heat until thickened.
Korean Stir-fry Sauce