salmon and tomato baked in foilI’ve said this before but now it’s official, baking fish in foil is my favorite way to cook dinner; it’s so easy to make and the clean up process couldn’t be faster. I found this salmon and tomato baked in foil recipe and couldn’t wait to try it. You don’t need very many ingredients for this dish, most of which you probably already have, it doesn’t take much prep work and once its in the oven you can sit back and relax.

Contrary to what the recipe says, the salmon and  tomato baked in foil does not take 20 minutes to bake, you need at least 30-40 minutes for the fish to fully cook through while it’s in the foil..don’t worry the fish will still be nice and juicy. Perhaps it’s just my oven, but salmon always takes at least 30 minutes to cook through…20 minutes leads to raw, under cooked fish.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sweet Thai TofuAs you know by now I always incorporate a vegetarian dish into my weekly menu rotation and most of the time I include tofu, otherwise the hubby really complains that it’s not filling enough. Most of the tofu dishes I make are Asian inspired so I stuck with that theme and made sweet Thai tofu. This dish has a whole lot of goodness going on from the pineapple, peppers, onion, corn and of course the tofu.

The original recipe doesn’t’ call for the tofu to be marinated but I know from experience that tofu tastes better if it’s marinated so I used my typical tofu marinate recipe. I added a lot of pineapple to the sweet Thai tofu dish which made it a bit too sweet so next time around I would tone down the amount of pineapple and add more corn to the mix. I also added some sweet chili sauce which really added a nice flavor and a bit of spice. This dish would also work really well with chicken and I intend to try that would in the coming weeks.

Sweet Thai Tofu Sweet Thai Tofu

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Roasted Potatoes with Green BeansI always make sure to incorporate veggies into my dinners in some shape or another, either by having a vegetarian entree, a salad or a side of roasted veggies. I know that not everyone is into veggies and prefer more starchy items like pastas and potatoes so when I came across this roasted potatoes with green beans recipe I was excited to make and share it.

This recipe couldn’t be easier to make as all you need to do is boil some potatoes and then either cook them on a skillet with the green beans or roast them with the green bean – either way you can’t go wrong. The potatoes come out nice and crispy and if you add some old bay to the spice mixture…perfection.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

cranberry and spinach stuffed chicken breastStuffed foods always seem so fancy to me and something that takes too much effort for what its worth. I was always deterred by the idea of the actual stuffing process – getting all of the ingredients into the piece of meat and tying it together without having everything fall out like an explosive volcano.  As usual, I got over myself and decided to just go for it and make cranberry and spinach stuffed chicken breasts.  The chicken is stuffed with cranberries, spinach, pecans, garlic, shallots and rosemary…pretty good combination if you ask me.

Stuffing the chicken breasts wasn’t as daunting as I imagined. I sliced the breast almost to the end making sure not to slice the breast all the way so that I could fit the maximum amount of cranberry and spinach goodness. Cutting the twine and getting it around the breast was kind of annoying but pretty easy nonetheless.  Once the breasts were stuffed, I seared them for a few minutes and then let them bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes turning them over half way. I chose this method since I like my chicken a bit more dry but if you prefer your chicken on the juicy side just cover the baking dish with foil to keep in the juices.

The end result was pretty good if I do say so myself. The cranberries were tart but the maple syrup made them a bit sweet. Next time around I’d try adding butternut squash and also making some sort of sweet sauce to pour over the cranberry and spinach stuffed chicken breasts as it would add more flavor and moisten up the chicken a bit without it being too juicy.

On a side note, the original recipe called for turkey tenderloin but my grocery store didn’t have it (get your act together Wegmans!) and it also called for butternut squash but I was honestly just too lazy to deal with the peeling and chopping. Additionally, I didn’t have any sage on hand so I used rosemary and used spinach instead of kale.

cranberry and spinach stuffed chicken breast cranberry and spinach stuffed chicken breast

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Balsamic chicken breasts Balsamic chicken breasts are the easiest dinner item to make…ever. We eat lots of chicken so I’m always looking to find a new chicken recipe and balsamic chicken breasts are a  must try if you’re a chicken fan. The original recipe calls for thighs but I prefer white meat so that’s that, I also added oregano to the spice mixture and an extra onion since caramelized onions are just delicious.

The original balsamic chicken breast recipe is made in the oven but I completely overlooked that part and ended up cooking the chicken in the skillet and really enjoyed the flavor. Towards the end of the cooking process add more salt, pepper and oregano as the suggested amount is definitely not enough.

IMG_4747.JPG

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

mujaddara with caramelized onions I have a favorite Mediterranean restaurant in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio called Mezze. It’s been open for a few years and it’s very simple but so so good. They have the best falafel, kabob and mujaddara. That restaurant was the first time I tried mujaddara and I instantly feel in love with it; it was such an interesting flavor that I never bothered to recreate it. That is until I was browsing through my favorite food blogs and came across a mujaddara with caramelized onions recipe that was calling my name.

A few weeks ago my mom went on a lentil binge and bought a few pounds of various lentils and ended up giving all of them to me, so ever since I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate them into my dishes. Luckily this mujaddara with caramelized onions recipe called for lentils, so I was all in. The dish is pretty simple in nature, as it only contains lentils, brown rice, onions and a few spices but the end result is delicious.

Since I only cook for 2, I used 1/2 of lentils and 1/2 of rice instead of a cup of each and it was the perfect amount. If you do halve the recipe, make sure to halve the amount of broth you use too, otherwise the mujaddara will turn into mush.

caramelizing onions for mujaddara mujaddara with caramelized onions

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

BBQ chicken and sweet potato rice bowlWe all know that I’m obsessed with all in one bowls since you have both an entree and a side dish in once compact bowl, which makes for easy eating and easy clean up. I’ve tried so many all in one dinner bowls, like tofu or chicken filled with rice and veggies but I haven’t tried once with sweet potato rice. This BBQ chicken and sweet potato rice bowl is nothing short of delicious.

The chicken is very easy to make as it all it requires is some salt, pepper and your favorite BBQ sauce. The sweet potato rice is a tiny bit more time consuming but it’s well worth it…trust me, give it a shot. The original recipe calls for kale but since I didn’t have any on hand, I used spinach and was perfectly happy with the flavors.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

fried okra with ginger, garlic and chilies I feel like okra is such an overlooked vegetable, maybe because many people don’t know what to do with it. You see okra in BBQ places where its served  deep fried or in Indian restaurants where its in a red sauce but I feel like there aren’t very many home okra recipes – or I just haven’t seen any. I like to make okra but I usually just drench it in milk and cornmeal and fry it so when I came across this fried okra with ginger, garlic and chilies recipes, I was all over trying it.

This okra recipe is refreshing and pretty light and pairs well with beef, fish or chicken. The okra is good, but the shallots, ginger and garlic are what really bring the flavor in this dish so don’t be afraid to add extra.

cooking fried okra with ginger, garlic and chilies

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

vegetarian spring rollsVegetarian spring rolls are light, healthy and a perfect lunch or snack. These traditional Asian appetizers are always wrapped perfectly and always look so pretty at restaurants and they can look, and taste, just as great at home.

I always want to eat vegetarian spring rolls for lunch but they do take some prep work, so I decided to slice everything up in the morning, or the night before, so that when lunch time rolls around all you need to do is assemble and eat. I made these spring rolls with vermicelli noodles, yellow and red peppers, carrots and tofu, but you can fill these vegetarian spring rolls with anything you like.

making vegetarian spring rolls making vegetarian spring rolls vegetarian spring rolls IMG_4644.JPG

Vegetarian Spring Rolls
 
Ingredients
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • ½ pepper, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of vermicelli noodles
  • ½ block of tofu
  • 5-10 spring roll rice wrappers
  • Sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Boil the vermicelli noodles according to the package directions.
  2. In the meantime slice the carrots, peppers and tofu into strips the length of you finger and set aside.
  3. Once noodles are cooked drain and rise with cold water.
  4. Pour luke warm water into a shallow dish or baking dish and soak the rice paper for 30 seconds to a minute or until the rice paper is soft and flexible. Make sure to do this one at a time or else the rice paper will stick to each other. You can also just run warm water over the rice paper and that will work just as well.
  5. Place the rice paper on a place or cutting board and fill with the noodles, pepper, carrots and tofu. Take the bottom of the wrapper and fold it over the fillings. Then take the left side of the wrapper and fold it over the fillings and tightly roll, and in the meantime take the top of the wrapper and fold it over and continue rolling until the spring roll is complete.
  6. Mix the sauce ingredients into a bowl and serve.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Grilled Portobello Mushroom BurgerIt’s starting to get warm outside and I’m beginning to crave grilled food. I absolutely love sitting outside on the patio in the spring/summer and enjoying some grilled vegetables and burgers so when I came this grilled portobello mushroom burger I had to try it, even if I did grill indoors.

I grilled the portobello on a grill pan and it was so juicy and flavorful, even thought it was only marinated in red wine, it was more than enough. I did marinate it for an hour as opposed to the suggested 20-30 minutes. I opted not to use the prosciutto since I don’t eat pork, but regardless these portobello mushroom burgers were delicious and I can’t wait to eat them again.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail