Roasted Potatoes

29 Oct

I make roasted potatoes frequently as a starch/carb side dish. Depending on what I’m cooking, I use a variety of spices. Last night, my potatoes accompanied a grilled salmon, marinated in EVOO, crushed garlic cloves, liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative) and ground pepper. My other side for dinner was roasted brussels (those are just tossed in EVOO, salt and pepper). Here is how I prepared my taters last night.

Ingredients

  • Yukon gold potatoes (cut into 2 inch cubes – usually, I can just cut the potato into 4’s, but if they’re larger, you will have to make adjustments)
  • EVOO – probably close to 1/4 of a cup? Just drizzle to make sure the potatoes are covered, but don’t overdo it.
  • healthy does of kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch onion powder
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • pinch of paprika
  • about 1.5 tablespoons or so of parsley (when it’s garden season or if I have it on hand, I like to use fresh, but I had to use dried last night, which is still just as good)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  • Combine all of the ingredients and make sure the potatoes are evenly coated – I like to combine in a tupperware so that I can cover/seal the container, shake it around to combine evenly and then dump onto the cookie sheet
  • Transfer the combined product onto a cookie sheet – I like to line mine with foil and spray it with cooking spray so that when I’m done, I can simply throw away the foil instead of having to wash another dish
  • Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are browned and fork tender. You may want to pull them out about half way through to toss them around again and make sure they aren’t sticking to the bottom of the cookie sheet.
  • NOTE – I like to start cooking them with the flesh down…I may be weird, but it seems to brown the flesh better when I cook them that side down…once the flesh starts to brown a bit, I toss them around/flip them over

Enjoy! Please leave a comment to let me know your suggested variations.

Quick & Easy Salmon Marinade

29 Oct

Last night I grilled salmon and I used this quick and easy marinade…try it out

Ingredients

  • Liquid Aminos* (this is a healthy alternative to Soy Sauce – all natural and no preservatives)
  • 4 large garlic cloves – peeled and smushed
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the salmon, liquid aminos, garlic, EVOO, and pepper in a ziplock bag or tupperware if you want to be eco-friendly and let the salmon marinate for at least 15 minutes before grilling – I typically use about a 2 to 1 ratio between the aminos and EVOO and the amount of pepper is up to you – I only like a little
  • Make sure to leave the salmon out while its marinating to bring the fish to room temperature before grilling – this will help the fish to cook more evenly

I grilled my salmon over medium heat – skin side down for the first 7 minutes or so and then on the other side for another 2-3 minutes

I served mine with roasted potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts

*I have included an image of the Liquid Aminos below in case you’re interested. Of course you can always use soy sauce in the marinade if you prefer – either way is delish…

Mushroom & Artichoke Pasta Recipe

28 Oct

Last night I made a really good pasta dish on a whim that I wanted to share with you. It didn’t take much time (probably about 30 minutes from start to finish) and it was a perfect accompaniment to the cold weather outside (SNOW up here) and the burning wood stove inside.

Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 onion
  • 6 large cloves of garlic (or more depending on your taste buds)
  • 1 package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cans of quartered artichokes (make sure they are in water, not oil) – drain these
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • Fresh spinach – about 8 oz
  • [OPTIONAL, but highly recommended] About 1/4 cup of good red wine (I used a delicious Valpolicella) – I would recommend something robust and hearty
  • About 1.5 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 package of spaghetti
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • [OPTIONAL] Mozzarella cheese and/or Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Pour yourself a glass of the wine (I can’t cook a pasta dish without this very important first step)
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place the rack at the very top
  3. At this point I typically start to bring my big pot of water (with a lot of salt – think sea water here) to a boil – once it reaches a boil, if you are not ready to add your pasta, just lower the heat until you’re ready to bring it back up to a boil and add the pasta. I do this so that when I’m about 10 minutes from being done with my sauce, I can quickly turn the heat to high to get my water boiling again and add the pasta so that it’s done cooking by the time I’m ready to serve – a little trick my Mom always uses. I know this isn’t great for energy-saving, but I’m usually really conscious so every once in a while isn’t so bad 🙂
  4. Strain the tomatoes, but make sure to keep the juice and set aside
  5. Spread the tomatoes out on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray and then drizzle a healthy dose of EVOO over top and then sprinkle with salt and pepper – make sure you have enough EVOO to completely cover the tomatoes
  6. Place the tomatoes in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes or until the top has charred a little
  7. In the meantime, heat the EVOO over medium heat and once it is heated, add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and saute until the onions start to sweat – probably about 5 minutes
  8. Add the garlic and saute for one more minute
  9. Add the mushrooms and one more pinch of salt and saute until the mushrooms start to release their juices (this should only take a few minutes)
  10. Add the artichokes and toss around for a minute or two – by this time the tomatoes should be ready…
  11. Add the tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, wine, pinch of sugar and tomato paste
  12. Bring this to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer so that the juices may reduce
  13. At this point, your water should be boiling for the pasta and you should add your spaghetti to the water, as well as a little EVOO – while the spaghetti cooks, your sauce should be thickening up nicely and you may add the spinach and mix around until the spinach is wilted (I would wait until your pasta has about 5 minutes left)
  14. Once your pasta is ready, strain and then put it back into the pot and back on the burner. Add the butter and mix around so that the pasta is coated – this will allow the sauce to stick to your pasta

To Serve

  • So, a lot of times, I’ll add the pasta to the sauce, but since I cooked the entire package of pasta last night, I decided not to because I didn’t think there would be enough sauce. Therefore, I put the pasta in the bottom of the bowl, I then sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese, then topped that with a couple of ladles of sauce and then topped that with a few little chunks of mozzarella cheese (I just rip it right off the hunk of mozz)
  • Pour yourself another glass of wine – you should need a refill by now – and ENJOY your meal because life is good!

Lentil Soup Recipe

27 Oct

Last night, I made lentil soup for dinner. It was fast, easy, delicious and filling. Of course, it was also healthy and provided a great source of both protein and fiber. Here’s what I did – no exact ingredients…just play around with it and taste as you go…

Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes – I bet roasting these ahead of time would be good too
  • 8 cups of reduced sodium vegetable or chicken stock (I used chicken last night) – you may also substitute 1/2 with water if you prefer
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Cumin (I probably used about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • About 5 splashes of hot sauce
Directions
  • Heat a healthy dose of EVOO over medium heat in a large dutch oven or pot – I typically use enough to cover the bottom of the pot
  • As that’s heating up, rinse/drain the lentils and pick out the bad ones
  • Once EVOO is heated, add the onion, celery and carrots and sprinkle with a healthy pinch of salt – saute until they start to sweat and the onions become translucent (probably between 7-10 minutes)
  • Add the garlic and continue to saute for about 1 minute
  • Add the lentils and mix it around with the veggies
  • Add the can of tomatoes and mix it around
  • Add the stock, pepper (probably around 1/2 tsp), cumin and hot sauce and give a stir
  • Bring soup to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low
  • Simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils are tender
  • [OPTIONAL] Take about 6 ladles full and blend in a blender (or use a stick blender) and then stir it back into the soup
To Serve
  • Last night, instead of bread, I used my last pita and made pita chips. I also served the soup over a little bit of rice and really enjoyed that
  • To make the pita chips, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pita into 8 pieces. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and arrange the pieces of pita on the cookie sheet. Drizzle the pita with olive oil and then sprinkle with a little garlic salt, freshly ground pepper and a teeny tiny bit of kosher salt. Rub that mixture into the pieces of pita so that they’re evenly coated. Place the cookie sheet in the oven in the top rack and bake for about 5 minutes or so (keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn). They are ready when they are browned and crispy.
  • Place a little rice on the bottom of your bowl [OPTIONAL], ladle the soup over the rice, sprinkle with a little parsley to garnish and add a few pita chips to the side of the bowl
Enjoy! Please leave your comments if you have recommended modifications!

Basil Pesto Pasta Primavera

8 Aug

I haven’t written in forever, but wanted to share this quick and easy meal I just made with most of the ingredients coming from my garden. I work from home and I am going away tomorrow for a couple of nights so I wanted to make a nice meal for myself for lunch today with enough leftover for my husband to have dinner tomorrow night. This recipe serves 2 so add/deduct as necessary.

Basil Pesto
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – I probably used about 1/2 cup
Handful of pine nuts
Big bunch of basil
1-2 cloves of garlic smashed – depending on how much of a kick you want
Juice from half of a lemon
About 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan
Salt & Pepper to taste

I combined all of the ingredients in my “Magic Bullet,” although you could of course use a different type of food processor or a blender.

Set the pesto aside. Then, start to boil the water for the pasta. I like to use Brown Rice Pasta vs. regular or whole wheat. It cooks very fast and I have found that it has much less carbs than whole wheat pasta. While the water is boiling, chop up the veggies you would like to saute for the pasta. Today I used a fresh zucchini from the garden, some leftover grape tomatoes and 1/2 an onion. I tossed those around in a pan with a little EVOO while my pasta was cooking.

Once I drained the pasta, I transferred it into a large tupperware (since I would be saving the other half for my husband’s dinner tomorrow night), added the pesto, then added the veggies and mixed it up. Done and done.

Delicious, fast, easy and best of all…healthy! Enjoy!

Grilled Ahi Tuna Salad

2 May

Last night, I made a really good marinade for grilled ahi tuna. I wanted to quickly jot it down so that I wouldn’t forget it and so that I could share it with you. I don’t use measurements so please use your taste buds to figure out if you need a little more/less of an ingredient.

First, I smashed and peeled about 5 cloves of garlic and put them in a large ziplock bag. The I patted the tuna steaks dry with a paper towel and then sprinkled with pepper.

In a small bowl, I whisked together about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a splash of sesame oil, a splash of rice wine vinegar, juice from 1/2 a lime, about a tablespoon of soy sauce, about 1 teaspoon of hoisin sauce, a pinch of ground ginger (I would have grated ginger, but didn’t have any in the house), about 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 green onion finely chopped, 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice. Add this mixture to the ziplock with your garlic and then add the tuna and let it marinate (I had mine marinating for about an hour)…I think that’s about it – may sound like a lot of stuff, but it was SOOOO good.

After I grilled the tuna (preheated the grill to high and then seared for about 2-3 minutes per side), I placed the tuna steaks in a dish with sesame seeds and coated each side.

I sliced the tuna and served it over a nice salad with a homemade wasabi vinaigrette salad dressing. The vinaigrette was pretty simple – I whisked together EVOO (about 3 tbsp) w/ about 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar, a splash of soy sauce, about 1 teaspoon of wasabi paste (I am not the biggest fan of wasabi so if you enjoy it, you may want to use about 1 tbsp to get more of the flavor to come through), pepper to taste, a sprinkle of dried oregano, a sprinkle of onion powder and a sprinkle of garlic powder.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I have also seared the tuna, sliced it up and served as an appetizer for company. To garnish, you can sprinkle scallions over the tuna and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.

Salmon, Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta

29 Mar

I love using leftovers to make a great lunch. When I went grocery shopping on Sunday, I intentionally bought more salmon than I would need so that I would have leftovers to play with.

Last night, I made grilled salmon and grilled asparagus – I had a little piece of salmon and 2 pieces of asparagus left. Today, I chopped up the asparagus and salmon into chunks. I also quartered 3 artichoke hearts.

I then cooked some organic brown rice pasta noodles. While that was cooking, I quickly sauteed the salmon, asparagus and artichoke in a small frying pan with 1 tablespoon of basil pesto.

After I drained the cooked pasta, I added it back to the pot, threw in the salmon, asparagus, artichoke, pesto mixture, added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. I mixed this up and put it in a bowl for a great lunch. This took me about 7 minutes start – finish and required me to wash 4 dishes. Not bad!