Archive | January, 2013

Entree: Baked Salmon with Lime and Herbs

30 Jan

So the other day I was craving fish…definitely not my usual go-to dinner. We had some frozen fresh salmon caught by my aunt and uncle so I decided to try to bake it in foil in the oven. It turned out so moist and delicious!! I apologize for the bad quality phone pictures…I wasn’t prepared :S

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Ingredients:
filet of salmon
one lime
white onion, sliced
minced garlic
salt, pepper, thyme, oregano
splash of oil (olive is fine)
aluminum foil

Recipe:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut a large enough aluminum foil to house your salmon filet (with extra room on the sides to make four “walls” around the salmon.
3. Place aluminum foil sheet onto cookie sheet and frozen salmon filet in the center of the foil, making sure it is covered 360 degrees by the foil. (I didn’t thaw my salmon, but if you did it would greatly reduce the cooking time…not sure how it would turn out. Also, a thinner piece of salmon than what we used would also result in less cooking time.)
4. Cut lime in half and squeeze lime juice from each half onto the salmon.
5. Add onions, garlic, spices, and a splash of oil. (We used a really thick and large filet, so we used about 1TB minced garlic.)
6. Cover with another piece of foil and bake in the oven for 1-1.5 hours! (A few times during baking, I took the salmon out and spooned the liquids back onto the salmon.)
7. The salmon is done when it is no longer dark pink and tender. It should be able to be cut easily with a fork. 🙂
8. Enjoy!

There are lots of variabilities, but I hope you enjoy the general concept of flavor!

Entree: Chicken Verde Enchiladas

28 Jan

Yesterday I had an idea for some great little enchiladas. Corn tortillas are not my favorite…I have always loved flour tortillas…but crisping them up in the pan made them so much more appealing! These took only about 10 minutes from start to finish. There are a few things I would do differently next time, but these were definitely tasty!

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup white onion
2 chicken tenderloins, thawed
1/2 cup fat free refried beans
7oz. can chili verde sauce
Your Favorite Salsa
salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder
4 corn tortillas (this is how many you can make with this amount of ingredients)

Recipe:
1. Dice onions and cut chicken into very small pieces.
2. Heat refried beans and set aside.
3. Over medium-high heat, cook chicken and spices.
4. Once chicken is cooked, add onions and half of the can of chili verde sauce (about 1/4 cup) and turn heat down to medium.
5. Once onions are cooked, take off the burner.
6. Place one corn tortilla on a plate (in the future, it would be easier to soften the tortillas) and add beans and the chicken mixture. Put some beans along the seam and then roll to make a tiny burrito.
7. Repeat for the other three tortillas.
8. Heat a pan with some olive oil to medium-high.
9. Once oil is hot, add one or two of the burritos and let the side face-down get crispy before flipping to the other side and letting that side get crisp.
10. Add oil between each burrito crisping process.
11. Plate and add additional chili verde sauce along with salsa if you wish.
12. Enjoy!

Entree: Madras Curry Vermicelli Noodles

26 Jan

My boyfriend and I have eaten at an amazing Asian Bistro restaurant in Sequim a few times, and we order their vermicelli curry noodles every time. One night, after dinner with his grandparents, his grandpa said he could easily make the dish at home…and he proved it that same night! This is a pretty easy meal if you have the right ingredients. After preparing the tofu and vegetables, it only took us 10 minutes to throw it all together!

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Ingredients:
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large package of extra firm tofu, cut into small blocks and patted dry with paper towels (courteousy of Benjamin James Goebel)
2 large eggs
An estimated amount of dry rice vermicelli noodles to serve two (we bought ours in the Asian section of central market…be warned, when they are dry they are impossible to break apart into portions.)
~1TB madras curry powder (available at any indian market)
~1 cup green onions, chopped and set aside for garnish

Recipe:
This made enough to serve two satisfying portions 🙂

  1. In a small sauce pan, bring ~2 cups water to a boil.
  2. In a separate, large sauce pan, over medium-high heat with a little oil, cook tofu until the cut pieces become more stable on their own (defined edges).
  3. Add celery to the tofu and stir for a few minutes.
  4. Next, stir in the onion and mushrooms.
  5. Add the noodles to the boiling water (keep in mind that the noodles are not the main part of the dish when deciding amount) and cook for ~1 minute, until they are pliable. (they are very thin so they cook super fast.)
  6. Drain the noodles (using a knife to cut them into smaller pieces so that they are easier to stir…don’t be afraid to cut too much) and add to the vegetable mixture.
  7. Mix everything as well as you can.
  8. Crack two eggs directly into the mixture and stir. (the eggs make the noodles spread more easily.
  9. Once the scrambled egg is cooked thoroughly throughout the mix, add ~1TB madras curry and stir well.
  10. Add additional curry powder if needed, then serve the stir fry in two bowls. Top with fresh chives and mae ploy sweet chili sauce.
  11. Enjoy!!

Soup: Chicken and Vegetable

23 Jan

Sorry for a lack of pictures! I Made this easy soup on a worknight…it turned out to be a great hot, filling soup that worked really well for lunch or dinner! Feel free to improvise 🙂

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Ingredients:
~3 cups water
~2 raw chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces
1 can garbanzo beans
1 head of broccoli, cut into smaller pieces
1 or two celery stalks, diced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 of a can of carrots (I had this as leftovers from a different meal…fresh carrots would be better)
rosemary, basil, salt, pepper, garlic

Recipe:
1. Boil chicken in water (an amount that will cover the chicken) with some salt and rosemary until chicken is no longer pink and has become tender (until you are able to use a fork to break the chicken apart).
2. Add the celery and cook until celery structure is broken down a little.
3. Add broccoli and cook until broccoli has turned green and less rigid.
4. Add onion garbanzo beans, carrots (unless yours are raw), pepper, and basil.
5. Once onions are cooked (more transparent), and before the other vegetables are overcooked, the soup is done!

Soup: Andouille Sausage Cajun Chili

18 Jan

This is the best chili I’ve ever made! Simply spicy and satisfying. Chili is always a great option if you need a quick meal, and this recipe makes enough to last for days! If you want less spice, add less jalapeno or less seasoning…and you can always downsize the recipe 🙂

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Ingredients:
1 can tomato paste
2 cans tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 package of andouille sausage, diced (I used Hempler’s and it was sooo tasty!)
3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green), diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 ts minced garlic
1 TB (or more) creole seasoning (Zatarain’s is delicious)

Recipe:

  1. Cut and prepare all ingredients.
  2. On medium-high heat, stir the sausage, garlic, and jalapeno until slightly browned.
  3. Lower heat to just medium and stir in bell peppers. Cook for a few minutes, until the peppers are more tender.
  4. Add onion and creole seasoning and stir thoroughly.
  5. Add all canned tomatoes and beans and bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer.
  6. Eat whenever desired! The longer it simmers, the better. 🙂
  7. Enjoy!

Entree: Curry Vegetables and Tofu Collard Green Rolls with Spicy Red Pepper Tomato Sauce

6 Jan

This is the most time-intensive entree I’ve made so far (one hour just to prepare and about 20 minutes of baking!) but it is also the most delicious dinner I have ever prepared!

It is truly incredible!!

I was watching “Giada at Home” on Food Network yesterday morning and was amazed by how original and unique this dish really is…here is Giada’s recipe:
http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/recipes/785/swiss-chard-rolls-with-wild-and-brown-rice-and-indian-spices

I made a few alterations…

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Ingredients:

1 can vegetable broth

Fresh Ginger

1 cups rice & quinoa blend (mine is from costco)

olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 small bunch of green onions, diced

1/2 can of cooked, sliced carrots

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup raisins

~6 oz. extra-firm tofu, diced (and dried with paper towels)

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 cup light coconut milk (make sure to shake the can extensively before opening)

1 small can of pineapple, drained

salt & pepper

~1/2 bunch of collard greens

1 jar spicy red pepper tomato sauce

Recipe:

Rice:

  1. Bring vegetable broth and 3 thin, circular slices of fresh ginger to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiled, add rice and quinoa blend. Immediately reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for ~25 minutes or until blend is cooked and tender. Drain if needed. Once cooked, move pan off stove.

Filling:

  1. In a medium non-stick skillet, add olive oil and heat to medium-high.
  2. Once heated (you can test by adding drops of water to the pan and seeing them dance), add onions. (Original recipe says to add green onions towards the end of cooking everything, but I added the yellow and green onions in the very beginning and it turned out tasty.) Continually stir.
  3. Once onions are cooked through (yellow onions almost transparent) add minced garlic and minced ginger to the pan and stir.
  4. Next, add raisins, diced & dried tofu.
  5. Once incorporated, add curry powder, cumin.
  6. Pour the coconut milk all over the mixture, cover the pan, and simmer (a few minutes) until coconut milk is reduced.
  7. Add salt, pepper, and pineapple.
  8. Stir until everything is incorporated, then take pan off burner.

Rolls:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Bring ~2 cups water with a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium/large saucepan.
  3. Lightly grease a large casserole dish with olive oil (I used two smaller casserole dishes).
  4. Pour a layer of ~1 cup spicy red pepper tomato sauce into the casserole dish(es). (It is better to have less sauce so it doesn’t take over the dish.)
  5. Break off large stems from collard green leaves and rinse in cold water.
  6. Each roll is made one at a time. Drop one leaf in the boiling water. Once vivid green & pliable, use tongs to take the leaf out and onto a paper towel.
  7. Quickly pat the leaf dry and lay out on a cutting board.
  8. Put a scoop of both the rice (leaving behind the large slices of ginger) and the filling.
  9. Roll however works best (like a burrito) and place each roll (in a single layer) in the casserole dish on top of the sauce, seam side down.
  10. Repeat until you have run out of either the filling or the rice.
  11. Pour ~1 cup of spicy red pepper tomato sauce on top of the rolls in your casserole dish(es).
  12. Bake casserole dish(es) uncovered at 400 degrees until sauce is boiling (about 20 minutes). The baking will allow the flavors to mix and for everything to come to the same temperature.

VOILA!! Takes about 1.5 hours for the whole dish (hopefully less time after making it more often)…but it is SOOOO worth it.

Tastiest dinner I have ever made!