Great Baked and Flaked Salmon Bowl with Lentils

Time to switch it up a bit and move to some heartier dishes!  I haven’t posted in a few days because of meal deliveries and a gig.  Great fun!

So, today’s recipe involves probably the best food you can put into your mouth:  salmon.  It has the best of the best including high omega 3s, low calories, high protein…it’s just amazing!  And we’re going to pair it with several other tasty health foods:  lentils and kefir. (Remember kefir on the probiotics list?) It’s a more nutrient-powered form of yogurt. (You can buy it in a drinkable form, too.) It has a slightly thinner consistency than the yogurt we are used to, and a wonderful tangy, almost lime-y flavor.  Let me tell you what it does for salmon…wow!

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To make this recipe for 2 people, you will need:

  • two 3-4-oz. salmon filets, baked 375 for about 10 minutes), cooled, and flaked
  • 1 cup (dry) black lentils (or other color!), pre-cooked (about 30-35 min.)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced English or Persian cucumber
  • 1/2 cup very thinly shaved fennel or 1 TBL. chopped red onion (or both!)
  • 1 TBL olive oil

For the Kefir sauce:

  • 5-6 TBL. kefir yogurt
  • 1/2 TBL honey if you think the kefir is too sharp
  • fresh chives, snipped
  • fresh dill or fennel fronds, snipped
  • flat-leafed parsley
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated
  • black pepper and kosher salt to taste

Stir together the kefir sauce ingredients and let stand.

Stir the oil, fennel or red onion, and a little salt into the cooked lentils and place into the bottom of your 2 bowls.

Top the lentils with the cucumber slices, then the salmon.

Drizzle the salmon with the kefir sauce and enjoy this healthy bowl warm or at room temp!

CHEERS to your health!!

 

 

 

 

A Side of Roasted Corn

So, we’re all loading up on the fresh corn that’s readily available at the market now.

I, personally, like to prepare a side with green beans and Mexican flavors to make the flavor of the corn POP!  It looks like this:

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We have several great veggies here and a different treatment for green beans, if your family doesn’t normally want to eat them!!

For 2 people, you would need:

  • 3 ears of corn, roasted (pull down the husks about 4 inches, remove what silks you can, then drizzle a little olive oil on the corn and fold the husks back up)
  • a large handful of green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 of a red bell pepper, sliced thin, then cut into small cubes
  • a large clove of garlic, minced
  • several slices of a red onion, diced
  • crumbled cotija cheese (Mexican parmesan)  or feta

Roast the ears of corn for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Boil some salted water and blanch the green beans for 3 minutes, then cool quickly in cold water to stop the cooking.

In the same pan, make a turn of olive oil (about a TBL.) and slowly cook the red onion, red bell pepper, then garlic.

Cut the slightly cooled corn off the ears and mix with prepared beans, bell pepper, garlic,  and red onion. Add 1/8-1/4 cup cotija cheese and stir lightly.

It’s colorful and inviting as well as tasty—and you’ll even eat the green beans!!!

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Slaw

Ever think of making your “cole slaw” with a vinaigrette instead of all that mayonnaise?

Well, here’s how it will look–you can see the cabbage and carrots!!!

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Depending upon how much cabbage slaw you buy, or slice your own, thinly, from a halved cabbage, for two people you might start with:

  • two cups of cabbage, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated carrots
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 4 TBL white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • several turns of freshly ground pepper
  • fresh parsley for color and a pop of flavor

Taste the dressing at this point.  If it’s not sweet enough for you, and you miss the sweetness of “cole slaw”, add a bit more honey. Stir dressing into your slaw, cover and refrigerate for awhile, so flavors can meld.

We have made a healthier salad here by avoiding granulated sugar and all the fat of mayonnaise. You get enough (good) fat from the olive oil.

And it’s quite pretty, especially if you add a little chopped red bell pepper!

 

 

Fave Salad #5: Watermelon-Cucumber

With Father’s Day this Sunday, maybe you would like a delicious and QUICK salad for that important man in your life!! (Or eat it yourself!  haha!)

 

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For 4 people, you will need:

  • 4 cups of watermelon, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 4 cups of cucumber, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 10-12 basil or mint leaves, or a combo of both, stacked, rolled into a “cigar”, and sliced
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar, dark or white
  • a sprinkle of salt
  • a few good turns of freshly ground pepper (pepper is amazing on melon and fruit!!)

Arrange cut veggies and feta, along with a little salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss them lightly and add basil/mint.  Drizzle balsamic over all –maybe you will need as much as two TBL.

It’s done!! Quick, right?  Enjoy it, so fresh and cool!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to my father and husband and son!  Good men are hard to find!

3-Grain Bowl: Fave Salad # 4

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This one is a charmer, especially if you’re looking for a salad/bowl to hold you from lunch onward.  For the three grains, I used a combination of spelt, brown rice, and pearled barley…for color and texture differences.

For two people, you will need:

  • 1 cup grains, hopefully a combination of brown rice, spelt, and pearled barley (I am sure a little quinoa would fit in here well, too)
  • 1/4 cup diced, red onion
  • about 10 grape tomatoes, yellow, red, orange, halved
  • 5 or 6 Klamato “brown” grape tomatoes (or other), quartered into wedges
  • 1/3 cup well-crumbled feta
  • 1 mini cucumber, peeled (leave some peel strips for color), quartered lengthwise, then diced
  • 6-8 basil leaves, stacked, rolled into a “cigar”, and sliced crosswise
  • extra-virgin olive oil (better for us than canola, because of the processing)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Bring 1+1/2 cups flavored water (chicken bouillon, crushed garlic clove, wedge of onion, salt and pepper–pick at least one of those so your water isn’t just plain) to a boil.. Rinse the grains and drain.  When the water boils, add the grains and simmer for 15 minutes. At that point, turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan and allow the grains to absorb the flavored water and plump up, 12-15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, place the halved multi-colored tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add garlic salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 425 for about 12 minutes until they are browning. When finished, allow them to cool, then chop.

When you have all ingredients ready, put all (except the Klamatoes) together and stir lightly, adding a TBL of the olive oil.

Arrange your salad in bowls (atop chopped romaine lettuce for extra volume, if you wish), and decorate with the Klamatoes and a bit of pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

FAVE Salad #3 : Dad’s Escarole with Bacon and Onions

Today I want to add a recipe from growing up in Ohio: Dad had a wonderful vegetable garden and, although he called these greens “endive”, the grocery stores now label it as “escarole.”  This is a delicious warm salad that can easily double as a side to mashed cauliflower, potatoes, or cauli-potatoes<–last is best!

But…wait…it has bacon in it!! How can that be healthy?  Well, we shall substitute turkey bacon and have the treat and eat it, too!

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For 2-3 people, you will need:

  • one head of escarole, leaves separated and rinsed well then chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 strips of turkey bacon per person
  • 1 TBL. olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion, chopped (Dad’s new spring onions were best, if you can find them!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • cider vinegar to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • a bit of honey (optional)

Drizzle the olive oil into a large saute pan. Add the bacon strips and crisp them. Remove the bacon to a paper towel. Chop when cool.

In that wonderful turkey bacon oil you have created, sweat the onion, trying not to brown, just soften it. Add the garlic and keep the heat at med. low.

Add the leaves of escarole and stir them, coating with the oil.

When the leaves are starting to wilt, add a couple TBL of cider vinegar, a few shakes of salt and pepper. Stir and taste.

If the dressing seems to have enough flavor for you, just wilt the escarole a bit more, trying to keep some of the color.  A little crunch is really good.

If not enough flavor, add another TBL. of vinegar. If too sharp, add a squirt of honey.  You’ll know when you have it right, because you’ll say, “Mmmmmm.”

Toss in the turkey bacon bits and serve warm.

Fave Salad #2

Black Rice and Pistachio Salad 

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This one is not only healthy, but pretty…and a little unusual.  You’ll enjoy using it as a side, too, while still warm, as a gorgeous pilaf under a beautiful white halibut filet.

I have added another photo of the salad, so maybe you can appreciate its beauty and the variety of ingredients.

For this preparation, you will need for 2 people:

  • 1/2 cup black rice (the best is “forbidden rice”)
  • 1/2 of a navel orange
  • 1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBL. Champagne or white-wine vinegar (maybe more, to taste)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped TOASTED pistachios
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced; more for garnish
  • 1/2 fresno chile, seeded and minced (about 1 TBL.)
  • 2 TBL. rough-chopped dried cherries, tart recommended, but not necessary

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.

For the orange, cut supremes from the flesh–no peel or membranes.  Cut the supremes into 2 or 3 pieces each for the salad and squeeze the membranes for the juice.

In a medium bowl, whisk the orange juice with the oil, vinegar, 1/8 tsp. salt, and black pepper to taste.  Add the rice, pistachios, scallion, chile, cherries, and orange segments. Toss to combine.

Allow the salad to sit at room temperature, lightly stirring it now and then, for 20-30 minutes, to meld the flavors. Serve at room temperature as a salad, topped with extra scallion.

If using as a side dish (as with the halibut), plate it while still warm.