Wednesday, January 30, 2013

One-Pan Wonder: Roasted Tilapia, Broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts

Ever since I made the salmon and brussels sprouts over the weekend, I've been thinking of other healthy meals that can be made in a pan. Here's what I made tonight! I was totally exhausted and it all came together quickly.

What You Need:
For the fish:

  • 2 filets white fish, I used tilapia 
  • a couple of tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice
  • minced garlic, probably 2 cloves worth
For the veggies:
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 C chopped pecans
  • sprinkling of goat cheese, or other cheese of choice.
What To Do:

  • Put fish filets in a ziplock bag or baking dish with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Cut up veggies.
  • Toss with oil, salt, pepper, and pecans. If you don't want to dirty a bowl, put in a baking pan and toss.
  • Put in oven, set timer for 20 minutes, stir once while cooking.
  • After 20 minutes, make room for the fish and place it in the same dish.
  • Allow to cook for about 10 more minutes. My fish filets were thin and only took 9. Thicker filets might take up to 15 minutes.

  • Take it all out. Sprinkle veggies with goat cheese and enjoy!
You'll notice that this is an awful lot of veggies for 2 fish filets. I like to have leftover veggies to add to my lunches all week, and prefer fish fresh...adjust as necessary for your needs.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rick's Mushrooms

This is a recipe I got while staying with T's friend Rick up in Montana. He made them for us to go with steak, and that's how I made them. It's very easy and only needs a few ingredients, but here is your warning: IT TAKES A REALLY LONG TIME for all that red wine to boil down. So start this long, long, long before you even begin prepping anything else!! Warning #2: it is shocking how much the mushrooms cook down, so it really is best to make at least the full 16 ounces. Or more. Okay, no more warnings or you won't want to make these-and they're really good.

What you need
  • 16 ounce package of mushrooms. Button are fine, I used baby bellas.
  • enough red wine to cover up the mushrooms. 
  • a few tablespoons of butter
  • garlic salt.
What to do:
  • Wash and slice the mushrooms. A lot of people don't wash their mushrooms, and you can do whatever you want, but I do. They grow in dirt and manure. 
  • Melt 2-4 T of butter in a big pan. Ah, go ahead, use 4.
  • Add the mushrooms, toss to coat in butter, and give them a few minutes to cook down a bit.

  • Pour the red wine over the mushrooms-almost to the top of them.

  • Keep the mixure simmering to allow the wine to cook all the way off. This can take an hour+. Plan accordingly.
  • When you think they are done, they're not. turn up the heat a bit and add garlic salt. I didn't measure how much. Taste test and add more as needed. allow them to cook some more and carmelize a bit. Steam your veggies and cook your steak now. (I don't know if mushrooms really do carmelize, but they get even more delicious). 
  • Serve. Good as a side and great on steak or other meat. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

One Pan Wonder: Pesto Salmon and (Goat Cheese Pecan) Brussels Sprouts

I didn't take pictures since I was using someone else's recipe. But, this was amazing and I know I'm going to want it again!! I can usually remember most things, but not always times and temperatures, so I'll record those here. I also really love that it all cooks up in the same pan.

This isn't totally my own recipe, but I'm posting it here like a "recipe box" so I can refer back to it when I'm ready to re-create. And let me tell you it is worth re-creating!!

1. I prepared the brussels sprouts (almost) exactly as described here, on Kalyn's Kitchen. I put them in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.

2. I added salmon, lightly covered with olive oil, in the same pan, and set the timer for 5 minutes.

3. After 5 minutes, I flipped the salmon and topped each piece with 2 T. of homemade pesto. I reset the timer for 7 minutes.

4. Remove everything from the oven. I topped Kalyn's brussels sprouts with goat cheese-that was my only change, and ate with salmon.

IT WAS SO GOOD! And healthy to boot!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bison (or beef) Fajitas

My order of bison meat included some strips, so I decided to make fajitas. You could make this with any pound of steak, beef or bison! One pot to cook and it came together pretty quickly!

What you need:
-1 lb. meat, cut into strips
-1-2 bell peppers, cut into thin strips

-1 onion, cut into slices
-olive oil
-toppings--I used a chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, grated Mexican cheese blend and some Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Marinade ingredients:
-1/4 C tequila
-1 T lime juice
-2-4 cloves chopped garlic
-2 T chopped cilantro
-sprinkle of red pepper flakes
-salt and pepper

What to do:

  • Combine marinade ingredients and add meat. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for 1-24 hours.
  • Saute onions and bell peppers in oil, over medium-high heat, for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  • Remove vegetables into a bowl and saute meat until cooked. Discard marinade.
  • Add vegetables back in, while heating tortillas.
  • Assemble fajitas in tortillas and add toppings; enjoy!
A great way to use leftovers is to heat them up and serve over arugula-a healthy salad!

Circulon Contempo 12-In. Hard-Anodized Stir-Fry Pan (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Crockpot Cooking Tips (especially for working folks)

Do you hate getting up early, but want to use your crockpot while at work? Well then this post is for you. Some crockpot recipes are "dump and go" but most require some prep work. The key here is to PLAN AHEAD. Unless you like getting up early and aren't rushed in the morning, planning is critical!

Once you choose your recipe and have all ingredients on hand, follow the following steps. Often I can do them while preparing dinner!

Step 1: Cut up all veggies. Put them in a big bowl for the fridge.

Step 2: Prepare meat, if needed. Often meat needs to be trimmed, cut up, and browned. Get it all ready to go and put in a container.
Above: Everything I need to make my beef barley veggie soup: the glass container has browned, cut up meat and the white container has chopped carrots, parsnips, bell peppers, celery and mushrooms.

**Tip: You can lengthen the cooking time, if desired, by using frozen meat. I browned the meat for my recipe tonight, then put it in the freezer because it will be cooking a bit longer than the recommended 8 hours. You can also use frozen chicken breasts, saves a lot of time!!**

Step 3: Get out all other ingredients (canned goods, spices, etc) and put them right next to the crockpot. Go to bed.

I  double checked the recipe and made sure I had all spices and canned goods, and even the cooking spray for the crockpot, ready to go in the morning! I am not a morning person so I don't like to leave much to chance!

In the morning just dump it all in and go off to work!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stuffed Acorn vs. Butternut Squash Showdown! Not really.

You want the honest truth? I only made this because I needed to use a butternut squash and refused to peel it or cut it more than in half. And you know where that got me? I cut my palm open while cutting an acorn squash in half. Moral of the story? When it comes to winter squashes, you just can't trust them....but keep dealing with them because they are so, so delicious.

So here's a recipe.

Serves 4-6
What you need:
2-3 squashes (butternut or acorn or combination thereof) 2 squashes will allow some leftover stuffing, 3 squashes will use it all.
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C raisins
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 C quinoa, rinsed
14 oz (1 can) of broth of your choice
1.5-2 T. cumin
salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Slice your squashes in half and scoop out the seeds. Be careful, please. Microwaving for a couple minutes (after a couple of knife-pokes) helps soften them up.
  • Place squashes, cut-side down, in a baking pan with about 1/2 an inch of water, to help the steaming, and put them in the oven. Set timer for 30 minutes.
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan on the stove, and saute the carrots and celery until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and saute some more. Add cumin, peppers, raisins, salt and pepper, and turn heat to low.
  • In a separate pan, put chicken or other broth and turn to high. Rinse quinoa, and add to pan when boiling. Cover pot and lower heat to simmer. It should take about 10 minutes.
  • Check squash, if soft, take out of oven and cover.
  • When quinoa is done, add to pan of veggies.
  • When squash is done, add a scoop to each squash. Enjoy with a green salad!
Love it!

What I don't love? My pictures...I got a new camera and I'm not sure how to force it to use the it's even harder to make food pictures that look good...bear with me!