Tag Archives: easy

Southwestern Salmon Cobb Salad

8 Jul

IMG_20130629_205249_059

Do excuse my brief hiatus again.  Cooking a lot had fallen on my list of priorities having been really sick recently.  Also, my car was hit on my street and ultimately ruled a total loss.  Thus, I’ve been in settling out mode with insurance and researching mode with replacing my car.  All has worked out in the end- no one hurt and I ended up with a settlement amount that was more than the worth of my car due to the very low mileage and excellent condition (pre-accident of course) of my car.  While I’m sad to say goodbye to my little Scion TC, I am happy to welcome an Acura TSX into my world. 

So it is time to get back to some good eating!  I had never had salmon atop a salad until this recipe as it kinda seemed gross to me for some reason.  I like salmon with a salad on the side so I’m not sure what my issue was.  In any case, I’m a changed lady.  This Eating Well recipe is great and the flavors are unique as salads go in my opinion.  What else do I love about it? It is filling yet nutritious (4 servings; each @ 385 calories; 22 g fat ( 8 g sat , 9 g mono ); 13 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 37 g protein; 7 g fiber; 696 mg sodium; 1476 mg potassium). It also did not take 2 hours to prep rather just a half hour tops.  The recipe notes to skin the salmon, but I just cooked on the Foreman where the salmon meat and skin separate pretty effortlessly.  The recipe link does offer tips re: skinning the fish and oiling the grill if you go that direction.  I like to share the ways I find easiest with you all of course.  Give it a go! 

Ingredients:

IMG_20130629_201933_229

  • 1 1/4 pounds wild Alaskan salmon, skinned (see Tips)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles, plus 1 tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo, divided 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream (or plain greek yogurt which is what I chose to use)
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 10 cups mixed salad greens (romaine is just fine too!)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high (or George Foreman to around 350 degrees).
  2. Cut salmon into 4 equal portions (I portioned after cooking). Brush with adobo sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Oil the grill rack.  Grill the salmon, turning once, until opaque, about 3 minutes per side (no need to turn on Foreman).IMG_20130629_203157_770                                                                                                            
  4. Combine sour cream (or greek yogurt), vinegar, water, minced chipotle and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Toss greens in a large bowl with 1/2 cup of the dressing.
  5. Divide the greens and salmon among 4 plates. Top with avocado, tomatoes and blue cheese. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Advertisements

June Cooking Club: Chilled Grape and Almond Soup

24 Jun

IMG_20130615_195149_054 
It’s been a few months since I’ve participated in cooking club with my co-workers.  Last time was actually in March when B and I hosted (still owe you a post about that iteration actually!)  I’ve missed the secret ingredients cherry and flowers respectively.  What have I missed since this thing started?  Earning the trophy for best dish!   This time I was determined to take it home.  The secret ingredient was grape and I decided to make 2 dishes to increase  my odds 🙂  Consequently, I received an email with a very promising sounding recipe for Chilled Grape and Almond Soup

To continue with a theme of starters, I researched Welch’s website.  I arrived at making Tangy Grape BBQ Meatballs for my other dish.  While cooking club participants seemed to enjoy the meatballs, I have to say that I was not a big fan of the recipe.  I feel that meatballs should have a consistency of browned/ slightly crisp on the outside and tasting more meaty than overpowered by any sort of filling to hold them together on the inside.  These meatballs, while cooked through, were too moist for my liking.  B agreed with this.  Thus, I don’t intend to promote that dish all that much with my readers!

The Chilled Grape and Almond Soup is worth encouraging you to try though (recipe below). I’ve heard of other chilled soups not turning out so well. My friend, Megan, from cooking club had one such story to share where her boyfriend attempted a similar sounding chilled grape soup for this event and it tasted awful. 😦 He’ll have to make this one sometime! It is silly easy too- you simply do some food chopping/measuring prep, blend it together in a blender or food processor, and chill. The creativity of recipe and taste were there and then I simply added the presentation factor. I did it right this time, because we won! The other awesome dishes included: a shrimp cup, grape salad, and chicken and grape kebabs. The drink category included old school Snoopy grape snowcones (adult style of course) and drunken purple cows featuring plenty of ice cream, grape juice, and vodka. Stiff competition, but Gleason’s purple cows took the win. See photo slideshow at the end of this post.

IMG_20130615_210534_056

The trophy is pretty freaky, huh? It has been through a lot since its original gold plated gnome existence. The only rule is you must add to it once you win. Due to a tragic car accident, the gnome’s head was lost, but a stuffed animal duck head was gained. The flag, flowers, green bow, and stand are among other fabulous additions. July’s cooking club theme is MUUUUURRRICA: A Backyard Potluck which will feature dishes you bring to a cookout/potluck and plenty of red, white, and blue attire- hopefully of the fantastic tacky persuasion.
 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs seedless green grapes, destemmed
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 scallions, white & light green parts, chopped
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 dill sprigs, chopped
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine grapes, cucumber, almonds, scallions, vinegar, yogurt, cream cheese, olive oil, buttermilk in food processor or blender, and process until mostly smooth – leave some texture.
  2. Stir in salt, pepper, dill, and cayenne. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. IMG_20130615_164640_374

  4. Serve ice cold, garnish with fresh chives, thinly sliced cucumber rounds or grapes and fresh chives and/or some additional dill.

 
Other Grape Cooking Club Photos:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Skinny Coconut Shrimp

17 Jun

IMG_20130606_202107_208

Coconut shrimp is not a dish you usually think of as skinny, but you can make it that way thanks to Skinnytaste.  This recipe serves 8 assuming 3 shrimp and 1 TBSP of the sauce with the following stats: 162 calories/ 3.4 g fat/ 10.2 g protein/ 15.7 g sugar.  Now we had this for dinner (with a little bit of leftovers) not as an app yet the shrimp portion still came out to around 400 calories each which would not happen in a restaurant setting, my friends.  I will say we were approaching the sinner meal line since I made us our own individual dipping sauce bowls and the apricot preserves were not of the sugar-free persuasion.  I indulged and maybe you’ll decide to as well.  Blanket statement of caution: dipping sauces, dressings, and other ancillary items like cheese, nuts, etc. can take your caloric intake to new levels in your meal.  It’s like those people who don’t count drink calories when they’re dieting.  When you’re banging out 2-3 margaritas at happy hour and wondering why the lbs aren’t falling off, consider looking at the “nutrition” facts on one of those bad boys.  Point being the that extras do matter if you’re not moderate about them.  No judgement here- I am the same girl who made my own dipping sauce bowl for this recipe after all- just a tip to be mindful of whether you’re eating out or cooking in!  Enjoy this shrimp recipe that I’m so happy I stumbled upon.

Ingredients:

IMG_20130606_193122_299

  • 1 lb (24) large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined (weight after peeled)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour (you will only use 1 tbsp)
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch salt
  • non-stick spray

For the Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves (you can use sugar free)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or a tad less if you’re very sensitive to spice)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Position one of your racks in the middle of the oven.
  2. Spray a non-stick baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Combine coconut flakes, panko bread crumbs, and salt in a bowl.  Place flour in a small dish.  Whisk egg in yet another dish.
  4. Lightly season shrimp with salt (I threw them in a large ziplock bag, added the salt, and gave it a great shake to distribute evenly).  Dip shrimp in the flour shaking off the excess, then into the egg, and finally into the coconut crumb mixture.                                                                                                   IMG_20130606_194347_949
  5. Lay shrimp on the cookie sheet and spray the top of the shrimp once more with cooking spray.  Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. Turn shrimp over after the first 1o minutes and continue cooking for 6-7 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
  8. Remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce.

Skinny Cilantro-Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Milk

29 Mar

IMG_20130301_210642_718

Have you been observing Lent?  Congratulations to those who have and those who have not been eating meat on Fridays.  If you’re a vegetarian or vegan it probably was not too tough for you, but us carnivores have a little challenge remembering that chicken, beef, pork etc. may not make participate in our meals on these days.  Remember that while I’m not married to observing Lent and the meatless Fridays tradition, I do generally follow it since I eat with Bryan most Friday nights.

Here is one more dish that is quick and super tasty for your last meatless Friday!  The tomato-coconut broth is velvety smooth and tastes indulgent, but this is a Skinnytaste recipe so your fat content is far less than what you might assume as you munch away (10 g fat/ servings with 4 total servings in this recipe).  Have a fabulous Easter weekend!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeled)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz can light coconut milk (50% less fat)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat  OO over a low heat. Add red peppers and sauté until soft (about 4 minutes).
  2. Add scallion whites, 1/4 cup cilantro, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook 1 minute.
  3. Add tomatoes, coconut milk and salt to taste.
  4. Cover and simmer on low about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend together and to allow the sauce to thicken.
  5. Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes. Add lime juice.
  6. To serve, divide equally among 4 bowls (or 2 for double servings.  You’re looking at around 520 calorie meal if you have 2 servings/person like we did) and top with scallion greens and remaining cilantro.

Pepperoni Dip on the Lighter Side

1 Mar

IMG_20130203_190407_498

I had made this dip back in February for a Super Bowl party (YAY RAVENS!), but I certainly think it is fabulous for any sort of entertaining/ large gathering event you may come across.  I am labeling this as a “sinner meal” even in spite of lightening it up from my friend’s original recipe on her blog, Table for Two.  Reason being that I think it is good to be real with yourself that lighter does not mean light.  Cheese and pepperoni are certainly amongst ingredients you want to be moderate with in your diet.  So make this, eat it, and enjoy it- all while remembering that moderation guiding principle!  Shout out to Table for Two one of many doozy recipes.  I’m certain your palette will be pleased!

Ingredients:

IMG_20130203_170318_965

  • 2 (8 oz.) packets of reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded, plus more for topping
  • 1 cup pepperoni, sliced to half moons, plus additional whole pepperoni slices for topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream (or greek yogurt), mozzarella, pepperoni, basil, and olive oil.    IMG_20130203_175449_601
  3. Spread mixture in a rectangular casserole dish and smooth out the top using a spoon.
  4. Cover the top with more mozzarella cheese.
  5. Arrange whole pepperoni rounds on top of the mozzarella.              IMG_20130203_180300_096
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until mixture is bubbly and cheese is good and melty.
  7. Serve hot with tortilla chips or sliced bread.  Be cautious not to burn your mouth!

Coconut-Lime Tilapia

18 Feb

IMG_20130213_201153_509

The Lenten season has arrived which means no meat Fridays around our house.  I am not a very religious person and thus don’t have to follow this, but I usually do to help Bryan stay on track.  Completely vegetarian meals don’t appeal to us much so getting creative with fish dishes is a must.  I stumbled upon this recipe in a recent edition of Women’s Health Magazine.  I love these tropical flavors and have never cooked with coconut oil before so it was a new cooking adventure.  You can buy liquid or solid coconut oil for cooking.  I found that the solid coconut oil was cheaper and a little more reasonable health stats wise.  It melts very quickly too so you’re not adding a lot of time to your prep.  This is what it looks like below.  It is very subtle and almost waxy like consistency.  Hope this is a meal you’ll consider for your Lenten season!   

IMG_20130213_193944_472

Ingredients:

  IMG_20130213_192951_575

  • Zest of 3 limes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, divided (This can be found at a local health food store or somewhere like a Vitamin Shoppe)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted, divided
  • 4 (5 ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 8 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (fresh is best)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions:

1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine lime zest, garlic, salt, pepper, and 4 teaspoons coconut oil.

2. Coat tilapia fillets with the oil mixture on both sides. Place fillets, two at a time, in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden and crisp.

IMG_20130213_200028_856

3. In a large bowl, toss spinach with the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice. You may sautee the spinach or serve fresh- more like a salad.  I opted to do a quick sautee and serve with couscous.  Divide amoung four serving plates with a fillet, and drizzle with lime juice.  If the table is for two, consider saving the second filet for lunch!

Perfect Tortilla: How Perfect Are We Talkin’?

18 Jan

IMG_20130118_120925

You may have seen the Perfect Tortilla infomercial which boasts its product’s ability to provide a healthy and fun way to enjoy a tortilla bowl.  Bryan really wanted this item to be added to our repertoire of fun kitchen items (other such items we own include a tabletop popcorn maker, deep fryer, fondue pot, and Skookie which is a cookie skillet.)  The set comes with 4 tortilla molds and a recipe booklet with sweet and savory ideas. 

I typically buy 10-12″ whole wheat, low carb tortillas and simply heat them in the oven until a little crisp.  I fill them with low-fat browned ground turkey seasoned with El Paso low-sodium taco seasoning.  I’ll top with myriad of extras like lettuce, salsa, Wholly guacamole, a little reduced-fat cheese, and greek yogurt in place of sour cream.  Serve with black beans on the side and you’ve got yourself one flavor-bursting, reasonable meal!  The only change to this is that I used the Perfect Tortilla this time.  I simply put the tortilla in the mold, ensured it was flush with the edges, and baked for about 8 minutes.  It did, in fact, make the normal taco meal I love a lot more fun!  This goes to show that a little novelty can go a long way.  I’m excited to try different recipes  in my Perfect Tortilla. 

Do you have a favorite fun kitchen item that makes a meal 10x more fun?