Category Archives: Meals

Sausage Sandwiches with Tangy Peppers and Onions

My best friend got me into spicy sausage with peppers on crusty Italian bread. This is basically the same yummy sandwich she makes but I wanted to try something a little different so I cooked the peppers and onions with garlic, capers, and Italian parsley and used red wine vinegar while sauteing. You can cook this meat on the grill, griddle, or skillet. I used my griddle. This makes about 4 smallish sandwiches and the ingredients are approximate. A little more or less of something is fine depending on your taste.

Ingredients

  • Spicy, sweet or a mix of both sausage
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves- chopped
  • Bell peppers, 1 yellow, 1 red- sliced
  • Yellow onion, 1 half-sliced
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • Fresh parsley, a palm full- chopped
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Crusty bread

Take your sausages and cut them lengthwise down the center making sure not to cut all the way through. (If you cut all the way through no problem just cook them in halves.) You want to keep the casing to be intact enough so the sausage doesn’t fall apart. Flatten out the sausages as best you can for easier sandwich shapes. Cook these on a med-high flipping occasionally until slightly charred.

While those are cooking heat olive oil in large frying pan on med heat. Add garlic and cook for about a minute or two. Add onions and cook till slightly translucent. Add peppers and raise heat to med-high. Add 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar and allow mixture to cook for approx 5 minutes or until liquid has cooked out, stirring occasionally. Add parsley, capers and the remaining 1 Tbsp of vinegar. Stirring mixture, and cooking till liquid is gone and the strong vinegar smell is weakened. Really scrape the bits off your frying pan to get all the flavors working. Salt & pepper to taste.

I used a rosemary and olive oil bread, a bed of lettuce, and a slice of provolone to make these super yummy, spicy, tangy sandwiches.

Yum!!

Advertisements

Crispy Salmon with Artichoke Hearts, Sautéed Spinach and a Lemon Caper Sauce

My favorite thing about this is how little time it took. From prep to finish I spent about 20 minutes on this beautiful meal.

There are quite a few tastes going on in this dish. To maintain the distinctive flavors I cooked everything separately, and to keep the flavors working together I used the same pan for all the veggies and then made a sauce out of what was left in the pan.

Salmon is such a heavy, almost buttery fish. It’s full of natural oils and holds up well when cooking. This made it perfect for achieve a light crisp, adding texture to the meal. (Serves 2)

Ingredients

Fish

  • Salmon fillets, 1 per person
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of olive oil

Veggies

  • Fresh spinach, about 2 handfuls per person
  • 1 glove garlic, chopped
  • Good balsamic vinegar, few splashes
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, cut in half
  • ½ can stewed tomatoes
  • Dijon mustard, about ¼ tsp
  • Chicken stock, roughly 1 cup will be used
  • Lemon juice, roughly ¼ cup
  • Capers, about 2 tbp
  • Flat leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped, about 1 tbsp

Side of couscous (optional). As per box directions.

Tools

  • Non stick frying pan for fish
  • Frying pan or wok for veggies
  • Pot for couscous (optional)

Start by prepping your veggies. Wash and chop parsley. Strain, rinse and (if needed) cut artichoke heart in half. Set aside.

Season fish with salt and pepper on skinless side.

Heat frying pan on med hi, adding a little olive oil to the pan.  When oil starts to smoke add fish, seasoned side down. Judging by the sides of the fish, you’ll be able to see when salmon is cooked halfway through. Flip once. Roughly 7 mins each side.

Add a few drops of olive oil to veggie pan and cook artichoke hearts on med heat until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

Add a little olive oil to veggie pan. Heat on med hi and add garlic. When garlic begins to cook add spinach and stir. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper; stirring. When spinach has just wilted, remove and add to plate. (Also plate fish.)

In veggie pan, simmer tomatoes with roughly half a cup chicken broth, about 1 tbsp lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and a splash of balsamic. Stir thoroughly and add artichokes.

Allow liquid to cook out of pan, then plate veggies.

Add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock, 1 tsp lemon juice, and capers to veggie pan. Bring to boil; whisking vigorously. Be sure to scrap all the bits of flavor stuck on the pan.  Pour over fish. Top with fresh parsley. Yum!

Chicken, Rice, and Veggies with Tandoori, Sweet Curry and Coconut

I love Indian food so I tried making some stuff at home;  not  authentic, but tastes amazing and totally killed the craving.

There are plenty of markets that sell tandoori and curry seasonings. I got my from penzey’s spices. They have a great online catalog you can take a stroll in and find all kinds of awesome stuff each time.

With this you can pretty much add as much or as little of the spices as you prefer.

Tandoori chicken is marinated over night in yogurt and spices and then cooked in a very hot clay oven. Cooking it at such a high temp locks in the juices, but since I don’t have a clay oven I just set mine at it’s highest temp.

Ingredients

Tandoori Seasoned Chicken

  • Chicken, either boned pieces, or tenderloins, enough for 2-4 ppl
  • 2 cups of plain yogurt, roughly
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tandoori seasoning, or 2 small palms full
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove chopped garlic

Rice

  • 1 cup basmati, or Indian rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp sweet curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Veggies

  • 1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Couple large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp sweet curry powder
  • few shakes turmeric
  • few splashes chicken broth
  • few splashes coconut milk

Extras

  • Nan bread, (you can find this in the bakery at most grocery stores)
  • Spices: salt, pepper, onion powder, tandoori, curry.  Taste food while cooking. if you think it needs more of something make adjustments
  • Chutney of your choice (I’m using mango), lime pickle (would be near chutney in grocery store)

Tools

  • Baking pan or oven safe skillet for chicken
  • Skillet, med-lg for veggies
  • Pot with lid for rice

Marinate. Combine yogurt, tandoori seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice in a lg bowl, blend, and add chicken, making sure to coat all sides of each piece. Leave this in your fridge overnight.

Set your oven at the highest temp it’s got.

Cook your rice as per instructions on box/bag but switch the water out for chicken broth and coconut milk. So if it call for 2 cups water, do 1 1/4 broth and 3/4 coconut milk. It doesn’t have to be that exact ratio as long as the amount is the same. Stir in all seasonings and cover and cook.

Prep your veggies.

Put chicken in baking pan/ skillet and stick in oven. Turn this once and cook for about 20 min or until blackened.

Heat oil in other skillet and begin to cook onions and carrots. Once they start getting soft add tomatoes and spices. Let cook for about 10 mins and add spinach. Mixing. Veggies are ready when tender, roughly 15-18 mins.

Once everything is finished, plate. Then add chicken broth and coconut milk to veggie skillet (without veggies) and whisk while on med/hi heat for about a min. Pour over rice and veggies.

Sun Dried Tomato, Artichoke, and Goat Cheez French Bread Pizza with Balsamic Reduction, and Grilled Zucchini

This guy is full of flavor. You could make it as an appetizer or a meal. There’s a bit of prep work, but nothing too difficult. This recipe serves 2.

** I made this with sun dried tomatoes, chopped, and cooked in olive oil, but I would recommend either using a food processor to chop the tomatoes and using that to make a paste, or just buying a sun dried tomato spread.

Ingredients

  • Sun dried tomatoes, chopped as fine as possible
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, washed
  • 2 zucchini, cut
  • 1/2 loaf french bread, cut in half, length wise
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 pkg goat cheez
  • 1 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, or more if you want to make extra to store
  • Olive oil, have about 2 cups on hand
  • Olives of your choice, optional

Tools

  • Sauce pan
  • Skillet
  • Griddle
  • Baking sheet

To make the balsamic reduction just heat vinegar in sauce pan on low heat to release steam.  Let vinegar reduce by a bit more than half and set aside to cool. ** Don’t waste your money on expensive balsamic for this. Reducing the vinegar makes it taste amazing, no matter what.

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut the veggies and set each aside.

In frying pan add about 1 tbsp olive oil and artichokes. Cook on med/hi heat till golden brown. Set aside.

Toast pine nuts on med heat. These will cook very quickly, so keep and eye on them. Set aside.

In sauce pan heat about 1/2 cup olive oil and garlic, on med heat. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. ** Like I said before tho, in the future I would just buy some sun dried tomato spread and use that. This was quite tasty, but didn’t sink into the bread as much as I would have liked.

Season zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Heat griddle to med/hi and cook for roughly 6 minutes each side, or till slightly charred.

Cut bread and hollow out some of the middle.

Drizzle olive oil over bread; add tomatoes, artichokes and goat cheez. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over pizza.  Place on baking sheet and cook for roughly 10-15 minutes, or to liking.

Plate zucchini, olives and pizza. Top pizza with toasted pine nuts and balsamic reduction. Mmmm.

Filet Mignon with Stuffed Green Olives

Filet mignon is the easiest to cook.  When you’re buying it you want to look for a pinkish red, not a dark color.  It’s also good when you can see fat marbled through the meat, making it prime.  It’s on the more expensive side but not out of control.  I spent about 20 bucks at the grocery store for this meal for two. $10 for the meat and the rest on olives and salad stuff.

Ingredients

Filets

  • Filets, 1 per person
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Dressing

  • 2-3 large olives, or 4-5 small guys
  • 2 tbsp cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brine from olive jar
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • pepper

Also

  • Stuffed specialty olives, with garlic, pimento, almonds, whatever you like
  • Salad, of your choice. I used mixed greens, orange pepper, cucumber and tomatoes

Tools

  • Skillet
  • Blender

Preheat your oven to 375.  Season filets with salt, pepper, and a few drops olive oil. Add olive oil to pan and heat on hi. Once olive starts steaming, add filets.

Sear filets; roughly 2 or 3 mins each side.

Turn off stove and place skillet with filets into oven. Cook for 5-6 min for rare, 8-10 for med, and over 10 for well done.  All ovens can be different so be sure to cut center of steak and check out if the coloring suits you.

While those are cooking, make your salad.

In blender add dressing ingredients…

.. and blend.

Once meat is cooked let sit for a few minutes. Then plate salad, olives, and filets.  **I pour a little of the dressing on to the steak. This goes really well with a bloody maria.

Ceviche Style Fish with Whipped Avocados, and Salad

I love this salad. It’s really light and fresh, but still manages to fill you up.  The three parts of this salad work very well together, but you can use them separately in other recipes. This recipes serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as a side.

Ingredients 

Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • Few handfuls of grape tomatoes, cut in half 

Ceviche Style Fish

  • Tilapia fillets, 1 large or 2 small per person
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ small red onion finely chopped 

Whipped Avocados

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, white would be best to keep coloring in avacados
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ avocados
  • ¼ cup water

Tools

  • Bowl
  • Large ziplock
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large skillet
  • Blender

Prep fish by combining olive oil, 1/2 lime, salt, pepper and fish, in bowl, and coat. Store in fridge till ready to use.

Add chopped cilantro, onion, and juice of 1 and 1/2 limes to large mixing bowl. Put in fridge till ready to use.

Peel and chop cucumbers, halve tomatoes, slice pepper. Add veggies and mixed greens to ziplock, and store in fridge.

Add fish and liquid to large frying pan, and cook on med/hi heat. Cook fish for about 5 minutes on each side, then chop fish using the edge of your spatula. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. **Traditional ceviche uses acid from the citrus to cook the fish.  I do this because it’s much faster and still tastes really good.

Combine cooked fish and ceviche mix.

In blender combine ingredients for whipped avocados; blend. If mixture has difficulty blending add a little more water, stir, and blend.

Mix salad, and plate. Top with fish mixture and whipped avocados; eat!

French Toast with Ham, Mushrooms and Cheez, and a Side Salad with Hazelnut Raspberry Vinaigrette

This is a really easy recipe for a killer breakfast, brunch, or even dinner. When you’re choosing breakfast food it’s always hard to choose between sweet and salty; this combines the two very nicely. The dressing for this salad is really nice. I’m not a huge fan of fruity dressings but this is so light and refreshing.

Ingredients  

  • Loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, thick slices, 1 per person
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup soy milk, or milk
  • Generous dashes of cinnamon
  • Few shakes of nutmeg
  • Thin sliced deli ham
  • Good sliced cheese, mild Swiss, cheddar, or American
  • Mushrooms, button/white or of your choice
  • Maple syrup
  • Mixed greens
  • ¼ cup hazelnut oil
  • 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, preferable raspberry flavoured, if not add splash of fruit juice
  • Few shakes onion powder
  • Few dashes dried parsley
  • Few dashed dried basil
  • Salt and pepper 

Tools 

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 2 large frying pans
  • Blender
  • Whisk or fork

Start by slicing your bread into thick pieces.

 

 

Add eggs, milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg to mixing bowl and whisk.

 

 

Add bread to bowl and allow to soak while you prepare the rest. Flip bread a couple of times while soaking.

Clean mushrooms and slice.

Add mushrooms to pan along with about a 1/4 cup of water and begin to cook on med/high heat. Adding water gets to mushrooms cooking and allows them to release their fluid easier. Season with salt and pepper and a few dashed onion powder. Mushrooms will shrink in size and darken, approx 7-10 minutes.

To make the dressing, add to blender: hazelnut oil, balsamic, few shakes onion powder, dried parsely, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Blend. Taste. Adjust if necessary.

Add a little butter to your frying pan and begin cooking french toast. About 5-7 minutes each side on med/high heat or until golden brown.

Once your breach is crispy on one side- flip, and top cooked side with ham, mushrooms and cheez. Allow bread to finish cooking.

In a ziplock bag add mixed greens and about 1 and 1/2 tsp of dressing to bag (or to liking but in my opinion less is more) and shake. This is my favorite way to dress salad. **Some sliced fruit or berries would go great with this salad, but I didnt have any.

Pour a generously sized pool of maple syrup on plate and place french toast on top so it’s sitting in it. Top with few shakes dried parsely and course salt. Plate salad, and viola! A yummy savory and sweet dish!

Seared Scallops with Black Berries, Vegetable Ribbons, and Noodles, in Peanut Sauce

This is a really yummy meal with nice flavor combinations. I actually thought it up and tried it for the first time tonight. Win! Its super easy and takes about 20 mins from start to finish.

Ingredients

  • lg ocean scallops, 5 per person
  • noodles of your choice, I used whole wheat lo mein, per person width of bunch should be about the circumference of a quarter
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 scallion
  • black berries, about 3 per person, cut in half
  • 2 big handfuls of snow peas/snap peas
  • bottled peanut sauce, or make your own
  • 2 dashes ginger
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter

Tools

  • 1 pot, for noodles
  • 1 large frying pan for scallops
  • 1 small frying pan for berries
  • vegetable peeler

Ok, start by prepping your veggies. Chop scallions and set aside..

Trim ends off snow peas and slice long ways.

Use peeler to make ribbons out of carrots.

Begin cooking noodles as directed on package. Keep and eye on this and be mindful not to overcook.

Trim muscle off of scallops by simply pulling it off. You can find this by feeling the edge of the scallop; the muscle will feel tougher.  You can see it here. Season scallops with salt and pepper.

Add butter to lg frying pan on med/hi heat. Allow butter to melt and spread around by tilting the pan. Add scallops.

Let the scallops cook on med/hi heat for roughly 7 minutes each side, or until golden brown.

Once noodles are cooked, strain, return to pot, and add carrots, snow peas, and 1 tbsp of peanut sauce to the noodles. Stir this up and add more peanut sauce, to taste. The heat from the noodles will slightly wilt veggies, but still leave them crisp and fresh tasting.

Add berries, ginger, and balsamic vinegar to small frying pan, and cook on med heat.

Press berries with utensil, soften and mash a bit to make a sauce. This should be done in about 5 minutes, or less.

Plate noodles, and scallops. Top scallops with berry sauce, and add scallions to entire plate.

Mmmmmm…

Mini Burgers with Leeks, Goat Cheez, and Carrot Fries: with Photos

These little burgers really fill you up. Plus, they look cute.  The carrot fries are definitely winners. Tasty side without all the bad fat.

Ingredients

Burgers

  • Ground beef or sirloin (per lb.)
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic, fresh or jarred
  • few shakes onion powder
  • 1 small shake chili powder

Carrots

  • Carrots, preferably organic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • few shakes onion powder
  • salt and pepper

Leeks

  • 1 leek stalk
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp worcestershire

Rest

  • Goat cheez
  • Small rolls

Tools

  • Frying pan
  • Griddle, or another frying pan
  • Baking dish
  • med/lg bowl
  • lg ziplock bag

Ok, first quarter your carrots length wise. **Be very careful. I’m right handed and the easiest way for me to do this is cut them in half, starting at the middle and pulling right, then flipping it around and finishing the remaining side. Same process for quarters.

Put carrots in ziplock bag and add ingredients.

Seal the bag, trying to keep a lot of air in it. Shake. Set aside.

Cut leek into small slices.

Fill a bowl with cold water, add leeks and seperate. Dirt will fall to bottom of bowl; scoop leeks off top and place on a couple paper towels. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add ground beef and ingredients to bowl, and mix with hands. Ewww. Form into little burgers and put in fridge.

Put carrots in baking dish and stick in oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Add leeks and ingredients to frying pan, and cook on med heat.

Cook these till mildly wilted and darkened. Turn off stove top.  **If these cool too much before serving, heating them on med/hi for less than a minute will do.

Turn griddle to med/hi and begin to cook burgers. About 5 minutes each side.

Once 2nd side has been cooking for 5 minutes, poke center with prong, or sharp knife. If the liquid that comes out is too pink, let cook a little longer.  Judge how cooked the meat is by this liquid.

Toast rolls and plate, adding goat cheez to top roll. Assemble burgers, carrots, yum..

Seared Tuna Steak, Mixed Greens, and Lemon Mint Dressing: with Photos

This is a really fresh, tasty and totally healthy salad.  Nice and summery, but great in any season.

My major tip for this meal would be to start talking to the people that work at the seafood counter. I ask them stuff all the time because a lot of the things they have look pretty intimidating.  If you don’t know how to cook scallops, or crab legs, or whatever, the fish monger will be able to help.

Also, I encourage you to tweak things.  The only times I actually measure is when baking.  Other than that I eye it out, guess, taste test, and adjust.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • about 10-15 mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp small capers
  • 5 shakes worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp juice from olive jar
  • 1 dash ginger
  • 5 dashes chili powder
  • pepper, to taste

Tuna Marinade

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • few shakes dried parsley
  • 1 chopped garlic clove, or 1 tsp jarred
  • few shakes lemon pepper

Rest

  • Tuna steaks, ahi, sushi grade, 1/person
  • Mixed greens, judge per person
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 large, or 2 small, orange bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • Palmful of olives, roughly chopped

Tools

  • Griddle, or frying pan
  • Blender

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and coat tuna. Place in fridge while you make the rest of the meal.

 

Slice and chop your veggies.

 

An easy way to dice tomatoes is to chop off the top, and make slices straight down, not cutting all the way through.

Then do it in the other direction.

Then turn on side and chop.

Add all veggies, and mixed greens to a large ziplock bag and put in freezer to cool.

Add dressing ingredients to blender and blend.  Make sure you taste this and add more oil it it is too tart, or more lemon if too oily. If you think it can handle more mint add that too.  Make it yours. No matter how you tweak this the color of the dressing will be almost a lime to chartreuse green, and look great on the fish.

Turn your stove to med/hi, and heat griddle.  Begin to cook fish about 7 minutes each side.

Let fish rest until you are ready to flip.  Then transfer to plate or plastic cutting board.  Let sit a few minutes then slice fish.

Get out your bag of salad and pour a little of the dressing into bag. About 1/4 cup, depending on how many people you have.  Seal bag and shake about to distribute dressing and mix salad.

Plate salad, top with fish, and drizzle dressing over fish.

Yum!