Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter

15 Aug


Hello, again! I’m back from Canada, and I don’t think I even picked up an accent while I was away :) Toronto was a really fun city, and Niagara Falls is BEAUTIFUL. If you haven’t been, be sure to add it to your list of places to see. Didn’t you all love the Meatless Monday guest post from Sarah while I was away? She did a great job, and that recipe is definitely going on my menu soon. *round of applause for Sarah*

Now, I honestly haven’t done ANY cooking since we got back to town last Monday. Can you believe that? Well, I have a small excuse… last week was my birthday! And I got spoiled royally which meant quite a bit of eating out to celebrate. That’s the way it should be, right? Right. So I pulled this recipe from a folder of posts that have yet to be written, and I have to tell you, I’m wondering why I didn’t post this much sooner!

This is the perfect weeknight recipe, coming together in just a matter of minutes, and has a really nice, complex flavor. The crunch and nuttiness of the pepitas paired with the brightness of the lime and the richness of the butter is a fabulous combination for topping off the salmon, and the chili powder just adds a dab of spiciness. All in all, one of the best salmon dishes I’ve tried in a while, and definitely worth a taste.

Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter
2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon butter, melted
the juice and zest of one lime
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 4-ounce Atlantic Salmon Fillets

Place pumpkin seeds in a small bowl with butter, lime zest, lime juice and chili powder. Set aside.

Generously coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook until browned and just cooked through in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the salmon to a plate. Add the butter-lime mixture to the hot pan; stir until the butter is melted. Serve the salmon topped with the sauce.

Serves 4.
From Eating Well.

Meatless Monday: Mexican Quinoa Casserole

8 Aug

I am currently out of town, and while I’m away, I asked Sarah, one of my favorite meatless bloggers, to do a guest post for Meatless Monday for me. I am so excited with what she came up with and can’t wait to try it once I’m home! I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome and be sure to check out her blog for lots of great healthy living tips.

Hey there! My name is Sarah and I blog over at Sarah Snacks. I’m so excited to be here and that Liz asked me to do a Meatless Monday guest post today.

I’m a big fan of Meatless Monday! Going meatless just one day a week can have numerous benefits including reducing your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, reducing your carbon footprint and saving resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

While I’m meatless every day, you may not be able to (or even want to) go completely meatless. And that’s okay! One meatless day can help. It can help your health. It can help the environment. And it can help the animals. One of my favorite quotes is: ”Don’t do nothing just because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.” – Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

This is one of my favorite recipes for Meatless Monday! It’s so easy and inexpensive! Oh yeah, and it’s delicious!! If you don’t like or don’t have quinoa you can use brown rice instead.

Mexican Quinoa Casserole
Ingredients:
3 cups cooked quinoa*
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jar of your favorite salsa
a couple of handfuls of your favorite cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sautee onion, bell pepper, and garlic until tender.

Stir together the quinoa, sautéed veggies, beans, corn, and salsa.

Pour into a 9×13 pan and sprinkle the top with your cheese.

Bake for about 30 mins or until the cheese is nice and melty.

Serve with more salsa, a big spoonful of guacamole, and some tortilla chips for optimal scoopage!

Oh, and the leftover casserole makes a KILLER burrito filling!!!

*Tip for cooking quinoa… I cook mine in my rice cooker! I do equal parts quinoa and water and turn it on. It turns out perfect and fluffy every single time.

To print the recipe, click here.

CEiMB: Chicken Pepian

4 Aug

I am currently out of town so please bear with me if I don’t respond to your comments in a timely manner. I promise to get back to you as soon as I’m settled back home. Be sure to check back Monday for an awesome guest post!

Several weeks ago, my good friend Bri of Yoshimi vs. Motherhood was the CEiMB host of the week and chose this Chicken Pepian. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t have my food processor readily available, and I was afraid the blender I had would not stand up to the task of making this tomatillo sauce. I was incredibly disappointed to not be able to cook along with the group that week, particularly once I read the positive reviews. I used this recipe as an excuse to dig my food processor out of storage, and it was well worth the effort.

Even though this recipe sounded a little complicated at first, the dish was very easy to make and came together quickly. I only have two notes for the next time I make this dish: First, I will probably just grill the chicken then serve it alongside the Pepian sauce OR I will use cutlets instead of thick chicken breasts because the pan-frying method didn’t work well for me with this recipe. Second, I will either only make half the sauce or be ready to freeze the other half. I’ve got about half the sauce in my freezer right now as the recipe yielded way more than what we used with four pieces of chicken, but I’m looking forward to having it on-hand when I’m looking for a quick chicken dinner.

Chicken Pepian
10 medium tomatillos (about 3/4 pound)
1 poblano pepper, halved, seeds removed
1 medium onion, quartered
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup no salt added vegetable broth
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
5 whole peppercorns
2 whole allspice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tsp salt
4 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat the broiler. Remove papery outer layer from tomatillos then rinse them in warm water to remove some of their natural stickiness. Pat dry, then cut into quarters. Toss tomatillos, poblano, quartered onion and garlic with 4 teaspoons of the oil, place on a baking sheet and broil until charred, about 10 minutes.

Place tomatillos, poblano, onions and garlic, cilantro, broth, jalapeno, pumpkin seeds and spices and salt in a blender and blend on high until totally smooth, about 30 seconds.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in skillet and cook the chicken until browned on both sides and nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Add Pepian sauce to skillet, covering chicken pieces. Bring to a simmer and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve chicken topped with sauce and garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Serves 8.
Modified from Ellie Krieger.

Shrimp in Lemony Garlic Sauce

1 Aug


There are few recipes that I will make repeatedly, but this is one that I have made probably dozens of times. Why? Because it is so easy and so good! It’s been ages since I last made it, and I’m not sure what the reason behind the hiatus is because now that it’s made a reappearance, I know it will be requested again and again. Similar to shrimp scampi, this dish has all the lemony, garlicky goodness without all the rich butter that can be heavy and greasy. I usually serve the shrimp with brown rice, but it would be awesome over whole wheat pasta as well.

I’m heading out to Toronto first thing tomorrow morning and won’t be back for a week, so if I’m unable to respond to your comments in a timely fashion, know that I’ll get back to you once I’m home. I hope you all have a fabulous week and I’ll be sure to share some of my pics when I get back! I’ve never been to Canada before, so I’m VERY excited, especially about seeing Niagara Falls! Have you been? Thoughts?

Shrimp in Lemony Garlic Sauce
cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt-free lemon pepper seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Arrange shrimp in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine lemon juice and next 5 ingredients; pour over shrimp.

Bake at 425°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until shrimp are done.

Serves 4.
From Weight Watchers.

CEiMB: Noodle-Vegetable Salad

28 Jul


I’m still recovering from an icky stomach bug that I’ve had most of this week, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet. Danica was our lovely hostess of the week for CEiMB, and she chose Soba Noodle-Vegetable Salad and Chicken Satay. Since I made the chicken quite some time ago and didn’t much care for the peanut butter sauce, I opted to stick with just the Noodle-Vegetable Salad this go-round. It came together quickly and seemed to be a hit with my book club girls!

Noodle-Vegetable Salad
5 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded carrots
1 medium green bell pepper, julienned
2/3 cup basil, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
the juice and zest of one lime
1 teaspoon fish sauce

Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain and cool. In a medium to large bowl, combine noodles, leek, carrot, bell pepper, and basil. Combine all dressing ingredients, season with salt to taste, add to noodle mixture, and toss lightly.

Serves 8.
Modified from Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life.”

Meatless Monday: Penne with Spinach and Arugula in a Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce

25 Jul


You know what’s awesome? Using an ingredient you haven’t had the best success with in the past only to discover that you actually love it. For me, this time at least, I am talking about arugula. I’ve tried it in a few different recipes in the past and never really been a fan, but I have to tell you, it really sings in this dish. The peppery bite adds something fantastic against the citrusy hint of lemon and sweet fresh basil. The ingredient list is short, but the end result is incredibly flavorful and fragrant!

Penne with Spinach and Arugula in a Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce

1 13.25-ounce box of whole wheat penne
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
5 ounces baby spinach and arugula blend, roughly chopped
2 cups fresh basil, roughly chopped

Prepare the pasta according to package instructions, being careful to cook only until al dente.

In a small bowl, mix lemon zest and juice with ricotta and parmesan cheeses. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add greens and basil, cooking until they are just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese mixture.

When pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before straining. Toss pasta into cheese and greens mixture, slowly adding pasta water as needed to form a creamy sauce.

Serves 6.
Modified from Fine Cooking

CEiMB: Sloppy Joes

21 Jul


This post is for my dad because, of all the things I’ve cooked over the past two months, this is the dish he keeps talking about. There’s been several dishes that he told me he would like to see again, but as he’s learning, I don’t really prepare the same recipe twice very often. So after he finished eating these Sloppy Joes, he looked at me and said, “When are you going to make these again? I want a date!” It’s only been a few weeks since I made them, but they have become his new mark to which all other recipes have been compared. “This was good, but it wasn’t Sloppy Joes.” “When are we having Sloppy Joes again?” These are the phrases that have become commonplace around the dinner table.

It’s crazy to me that the standout recipe is for something as simple as Sloppy Joes, but leave it to Ellie Krieger to turn such a traditional kid-friendly meal into something grownups will love too. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I ate a Sloppy Joe, and it definitely wasn’t something we ate regularly when I was growing up. I was just browsing through the recipes that the CEiMBers have already made that I missed and decided to give these a try. Well, needless to say, dinnertime around here may never be the same again. Luckily for my dad, his birthday is coming up, and I know just what to give him :D

Even though the rules have changed over at Craving Ellie in My Belly and we are now only posting every other week, I have lots of Ellie recipes to catch up on and will continue posting regular Thursday CEiMB recipes, at least for a while. We’re always looking for new members, so feel free to join in at any time!

Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 15-ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed
12 ounces no salt added tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can of no salt added tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
8 whole wheat sandwich buns

Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.

Serves 8.
Source: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger

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