Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am back in the kitchen again.

Alright, alright, so its been about 6 months since my last entries.
I am going to put a little more effort into this blog.

Each Sunday after church, I sit at my dining room table and write down a
list of meals for the week-dinner, mostly.
I decided to share with you what I am making each day- It is going to be super!
I hope you enjoy this, and maybe you can find a few of your favorites here too.
As you know {or may not know}, the Nielson clan don't eat meat.

{We don't take after our ranch-raising stock-that's for sure. Just a little heads up}.
And hey, if you have something to share, send me a e-mail and I will try it out.
I always love new foods to cook


{Beginning tomorrow (23rd)}

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peanut butter coconut tofu

(It looks gross, but its delish...tofu soaking in coconut peanut butter sauce)

Every night Jane asks if I am making tofu.
I think perhaps I never make it much because you have to make it right or it tastes bad.
That means, It is a dish that you have to focus while making.
At the grocery store with Jane yesterday, we passed the tofu and without asking, she chucked 2 containers into the cart.
So, tonight I made tofu. In honor of Jane.

  • 2 pounds firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons of natural creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, cut into wedges
  • 9 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1 1/4 pounds bok choy, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, stem and green pieces separated
  • 1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed
  • 5 paper-thin slices fresh ginger
  • Lime wedges, for serving

(I love bok Choy)


  1. Halve tofu block lengthwise; slice each half into 8 rectangles. Arrange on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; top with more paper towels and another baking sheet. Weight with canned goods or a skillet. Refrigerate overnight or at least 20 minutes.
  2. Heat canola oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook tofu until golden, Add can of coconut milk and peanut butter. Keep on low.
  3. In skillet over high heat, cook onions, red pepper, and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons canola or Olive oil until browned, 5 minutes. Next, add bok choy stems; cook 3 minutes. Add peas and ginger; cook 1 minute.
  4. Add tofu to vegetables and stir until well combined.

(The vegetables steaming in the pot)

Serve over brown or jasmine rice. (we have jasmine tonight) and add soy sauce and fresh lime on top. Yum enjoy.

Check back and I am surprise you and cook/ blog more often.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Soup

Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Soup


4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1 Medium head Cauliflower, cored and cut into 1" piece flowerets
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable broth (canned or homemade)
2 cups half and half
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cups blue cheese
such as: Gorgonzola, Danish blue cheese, Stilton, or Blue Costello
1/8 tsp kosher salt

Chopped fresh basil
blue cheese crumbles

Can also add a few fresh made croutons or a few crosstini.

In a stockpot or large saucepan, heat butter;add onion and garlic, saute until soft. Add the cauliflower and celery; cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add broth and bay leaves. Cook on medium heat until cauliflower is soft, about 5-8 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Transfer to food processor or blender in batches. Return to pot. Or use a hand held immersion blender, and puree until smooth.

Mix cornstarch into half and half. Add mixture to pot, with pepper, blue cheese, and salt. Taste, add more salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to simmer on low-medium heat, until thickened. Be careful because of half and half not to burn bottom of pot or overheat and cause curdling. Serve with garnish of choice.

Recipe and photos by Marie at Best Wishes Marie... just a person "trying to make sense of it all."
one letter at a time. Thanks, Marie!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Black Bean Burger Recipe with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

Stephanie, your courage and kindness are inspiring. I am sending you many healing thoughts.

In my early twenties, I worked in a restaurant that, while sporting a fair share of meat and seafood dishes on the menu, was staffed by a pack of vegetarians. Not that they actually travel in packs, but they all seemed to congregate in this restaurant. I was one of the lone meat eaters and felt like a mink-wearing socialite at a PETA meeting. Aside from the typical array of salads, the only vegetarian option on the menu was the veggie burger. My experience, to that point, with veggie burgers was one unfortunate meeting with the dense, chewy frisbees of flavorless protein that were first introduced into the mainstream market. After much coercion by my plant-eating friends, I bit the proverbial bullet and ordered the restaurant’s veggie burgers. Black beans, rice, herbs, and spices had me hooked. While I may not have revoked my meat-lovers’ membership, I can say that I am content to work at least one vegetarian meal onto our menu each week. I’ve come a long way, baby.


In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 4 slices stale or toasted whole wheat sandwich bread to form breadcrumbs. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add 1 medium onion, chopped, and sauté until soft. Add 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper (membranes and seeds removed – unless you like more heat), and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Saute for additional 2 minutes.

Scrape the mixture into the food processor. Add 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed, 1 ¼ cups cooked brown rice, 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until the beans are chopped, but not pureed.

Scrape the black bean mixture into a large bowl. Add ½ of the breadcrumbs and ¼ cup chopped cilantro. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until combined.

Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form into patties. If the mixture is too moist to form patties, add more breadcrumbs. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap and cover with additional plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet (preferably not nonstick, so a good crust can form) set over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for 4 minutes per side.

Cilantro-Lime Mayo

In a small bowl, combine ½ cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Stir well.

Lightly toast 4 whole wheat buns. Spread 2 tablespoons cilantro-lime mayo on each bun, and top each with a black bean patty, 2 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese (found in most supermarkets), 1 slice large tomato, and 3 slices avocado. Serve.

Printable recipe (the link for the printable recipe is

Dara can be found cooking up an array of meat and vegetarian dishes at Cookin’ Canuck.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beachy Green Pesto Pizza. Classic Marinara, Too.

Today's guest is Kathy from Lunch Box Bunch. She's sharing her recipe for two delicious versions of vegan pizzas - her Beachy Green Pesto Pizza and a classic Marinara:

Sandy pizza is no fun, except when the "sand" is the crispy chewy cornmeal crust of my paradise-approved beach boardwalk pizzas.

Beach boardwalk pizza:
that greasy, cheesy not-so-healthy fare that tastes perfect on a sunny day, just got a lot healthier with my mini beach pizzas. You make them at home (sandy shore not included, sorry.) You have to try my Beachy Green Pesto Pizza. With a thick spicy lemon pesto sauce and thick slices of vegan mozzarella cheese. And for all the green-afraid out there, I've thrown in a classic tomato marinara and cheese too. Both pizzas are vegan. Recipes and photos ahead. So turn up that "ocean waves" track on your itunes and start flipping some pizza dough....

Why Pesto? I love using homemade pesto as a pizza sauce. And since it is thick and rich, it works perfect for this beach boardwalk pizza-not too light-and just flavorful enough. The pine nut pesto adds that rich taste you are craving as you lounge by the shore.

Now let's get to the recipe...

Beachy Green Pesto Pizza
makes 1 mini pizza, 6 "

1 cup pizza dough
*tennis ball sized, multi grain or whole wheat is healthier than white dough
4 Tbsp pesto sauce (recipe below)
5 strips vegan mozzarella cheese
*I like Follow Your Heart brand
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup corn meal
red pepper flakes
1 tsp pine nuts

*You can also use my cheesy walnut pesto recipe here (this one is a bit simpler)healthy
1/2 bunch basil
3/4 cup pine nuts, raw
2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/2 cup Italian parsley

Before Baking:

To Make:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
Blend until smooth. I like a thick pesto for this pizza, so if you need to add more pine nuts or basil, go ahead.
You may also want to add more salt-do a taste test first.

I get my pre-made multi-grain pizza dough from Whole Foods. But Trader Joe's and other supermarket's now carry fresh pre-made pizza dough. You can even buy it from some local pizzerias.
Punch out the dough.
Knead it a bit on a corn meal floured surface.
I like to do a few pizza dough tosses in the air before rolling it out with a rolling pin.
Using your fingers, press out the dough so that the outer crust is much thicker than the inside crust. The thinnest part of the crust should be the center.
Rub 1 Tbsp olive oil allover the front and back of the pizza dough.
Drape the bottom of the dough through your cornmeal.
Let the pizza sit and rise for about 5-10 minutes.
Now you can start layering your pizza.
Spread the pesto thickly on the crust.
Drape the cheese over the pesto.
Sprinkle the pine nuts over the cheese.
Drizzle 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil on top of the pie.
And brush the crust with the other 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil.
Sprinkle a bit of corn meal on the top and sides of the crust.
You're done!
Bake the pizza at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Broil the pizza for 3 minutes to bubble the top cheese layer.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and some fresh red pepper flakes.

Next up, the Classic Marinara Beachy Cheese Pizza...
Before Baking:

Classic Marinara Beachy Cheese Pizza
makes 1 mini pizza, 6 "

1 cup pizza dough
*tennis ball sized, multi grain or whole wheat is healthier than white dough
3 tomato pizza sauce (bottled or my recipe below)
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, grated
2 Tbsp vegan cheddar cheese, grated
*I like Follow Your Heart brand
3 white button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 fresh garlic clove, sliced thin
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup corn meal
red pepper flakes
1 tsp pine nuts

Pizza Sauce
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 small tomato
1/4 cup basil
pinch of parsley leaves
1 Tbsp lemon juice
*blend all in a mini food processor

I get my pre-made multi-grain pizza dough from Whole Foods. But Trader Joe's and other supermarket's now carry fresh pre-made pizza dough. You can even buy it from some local pizzerias.
Punch out the dough.
Knead it a bit on a corn meal floured surface.
I like to do a few pizza dough tosses in the air before rolling it out with a rolling pin.
Using your fingers, press out the dough so that the outer crust is much thicker than the inside crust. The thinnest part of the crust should be the center.
Rub 1 Tbsp olive oil allover the front and back of the pizza dough.
Drape the bottom of the dough through your cornmeal.
Let the pizza sit and rise for about 5-10 minutes.
Now you can start layering your pizza.
Spread the pizza sauce on the crust-thinner amounts in the center of the pizza.
Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.
Sprinkle the pine nuts over the cheese.
Lay the mushrooms on top.
Sprinkle a few red pepper flakes.
Drizzle 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil on top of the pie.
And brush the crust with the other 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil.
Sprinkle a bit of corn meal on the top and sides of the crust.
You're done!
Bake the pizza at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Broil the pizza for 3 minutes to bubble the top cheese layer.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and some fresh red pepper flakes.

Thanks so much, Kathy! Recipes and photos originally posted on the Lunchbox Bunch blog.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shrimp & Garbanzo Bean Korma Curry

Wait! Don't go onto the next post, if you don't think you like curry you must try this one. If you think curry might be too strong of a flavor for your kiddos, you have to try this one. It is a milder taste and very creamy with the coconut milk. ALSO! If you aren't big into coconut like some of my family you might very well still like coconut milk, that is what I have found here in my house.

Shrimp & Garbanzo Bean Korma Curry
• 2 lbs of shrimp, cleaned, shelled and deveined
• 1 large onion
• 1 fresh green chile
• thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
• small bunch of cilantro
• can of garbanzo beans
• Olive Oil
• 2 T of butter
• 2/3 cup of korma or mild curry paste (I like the Patak's brand)
• can of coconut milk
• 1/2 cup of water
• 1/2 cup of sliced almonds
• 3 T. unsweetened shredded coconut
• fresh pepper and kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups of plain or Greek style yogurt
• 1 lemon
1. Get your shrimp ready (devein, unshell, clean, etc.), slice your onions, mince your chili, peel & mince the ginger, chop up the cilantro and drain your garbanzo beans.
2. Add your olive oil and 2 T of butter to a skillet and put on high head. Add in your chile, ginger, onions and cilantro. Be careful not to burn it but cook it until golden. Which takes about 7 minutes
3. Add in the curry paste, coconut milk, half of the almonds, the garbanzo beans, coconut, water.
4. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. Keep on eye on it to make sure it is not drying out, you can add a bit more water if you need too.
5. Then throw in the shrimp, shrimp doesn't take too long to cook so after 5-7 minutes it should be done. When your shrimp is cooked, add in the salt & pepper
6. Serve with some yogurt, sliced almonds and squeeze a bit of lemon over the top.

I like to serve this with turmeric brown rice, all you do is add some tumeric into your water when the cooking the rice and wala! Beautiful yellow turmeric rice.

~Vanessa Brown~
Owner of

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fish and Garbanzo Bean Burgers

Fish & Garbanzo Bean Burgers

1 lb of tilapia or white dover, or any white fish
1 cup canned garbanzo beans
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten

Salt & Pepper
Mini–whole-wheat buns or rolls
Romaine lettuce
Tomato slices
Tartar sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Put fish in sprayed pan and season with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Bake until flaky, 7 to 10 minutes.

2. In a food processor, puree beans, parsley, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Put bean mixture into a large bowl with the egg and crumble in fish. Gently mix with your hands until it’s mixed, then form into 8 small patties.

3. Coat an ovenproof skillet with cooking spray and put over medium heat. Add burgers and cook until brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip them carefully and place in oven for 5 minutes.

4. Serve on mini-buns with lettuce, tomatoes and tartar sauce.

Shopping Local Tip: Depending on where you live Farmer's Market season is here or about to be here! Call your local city office and ask if there are any in your area. Grab your kiddos and hubby and make a family outing out of it. Chat with the vendors to learn more about their farms, crops, life etc. Have your kids involved in the conversation too so they start to develop a direct relationship with where their food comes from.

Buying Organic Tip: Sure organic seems to be just a trendy word to use nowadays but now that the term "organic" is federally regulated do you know what it REALLY means? Read up on the ATTRA federal guidelines to really learn why organic is much better to feed your cute families & friends.


Recipe and photo courtesy Vanessa Brown of and

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Perfect Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos is one of our favorite family dishes although it has taken quite a while to find the “perfect” recipe but I think we have done it!

PART 1: Fish
• 1 lime, juiced
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 12 ounces of Dover or Tilapia
• 16 (8-inch) corn or flour tortillas
• Canola oil
• 4 ounces tempura flour
• 8 ounces prepared tempura batter made with cold water
• 6 ounces panko bread crumbs
In medium bowl combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly. Add the fish and toss to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Warm tortillas on grill or pan. Cover with a towel to keep warm.
In a medium Dutch oven, heat the canola oil to 350 degrees F.
• Remove fish from marinade, shake off excess, dredge in tempura flour, and dunk in cold tempura mixed batter. Roll in panko bread crumbs, pressing panko onto fish. One by one add fish to oil, making sure to keep the fish pieces separated. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

PART 2: Sauce
• Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
• 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
• 1 jalapeno, sliced
• 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
• 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
• Salt and pepper

Preheat grill or use side burners of the grill. Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and jalapeno and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the mixture in the blender and add the hot sauce, oregano, cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

-Crisp shredded lettuce (not in picture)
-Dollop of cold sour cream
PERFECT fish tacos!

Recipe and photos courtesy Vanessa Brown of and

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thai Vegetable Wraps

Thai Vegetable Wraps

1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
1 T. sesame oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 maple syrup
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 T. chopped ginger
1 T. chopped red chile
2 T. soy sauce
1 cup almond butter
1/2 head of cabbage
6 large collard green leaves
1 mango cut into strips
1 big carrot cut into thing sticks
A bit of cilantro, basil and mint


1. Mix the cashews, sesame oil and salt in a bowl and set aside for later.

2. In a blender puree the ginger, lemon juice, maple syrup, soy sauce and red chile. Add the almond butter and if you need to some water so you can get a batter like consistency.

3. Cut up the cabbage and add in the almond butter mixture. Toss well so it is combined well.

4. Take your collard green, cut out the center rib and divide the leaf in half with a knife. With the underside facing up spread out all your leaves. Then put a few tablespoons of the cabbage mixture across the bottom third of the leaf leaving 1 inch at the bottom clear. Then take your cashew mixture and put some on top. Then lay sticks of carrot, mango and some sprouts on top. Next put on some of the basil, cilantro and mint.

5. Fold the bottom of the leaf up and over the filling really tightly and tuck the leaf under the filling and roll forward. Put the roll seam side down on your pretty serving plate to serve with dipping sauce (recipe below).

Dipping Sauce

4 T maple syrup
2 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
Bit of salt

Mix all ingredients really well

Recipe and photo courtesy Vanessa Brown of

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spaghetti Squash Confetti

The first time I made this about a year ago I still remember my girls screaming, "THE PUMPKIN IS TURNING INTO SPAGHETTI NOODLES!" You have to try it just for that fact, it is pretty fun to watch pasta noodles come out of a squash.
Spaghetti Squash Confetti
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 1 whole spaghetti squash
• 3 fresh tomatoes
• 2 vegetables of your choice
• Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
• Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and season with olive oil, salt and pepper on all sides. Place the squash flesh side down on cooking tray with foil covering all of the exposed skin. Roast for 45 minutes tp 1 hour or until tender.
• Meanwhile, saute two of your favorite chopped vegetables with oil, salt and pepper. I like to use zucchini and yellow squash but you can use whatever you have on hand.
• When the spaghetti squash is done simply pull your fork through the flesh and it will come out like spaghetti noodles!
• Combine the “noodles” and sauteed vegetables and serve with chopped fresh tomatoes. Sprinkles with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Buying Local: I love this time of year, the tomatoes taste know REAL tomatoes! Run by the local farmer's market or stop by a roadside stand and pick up some fresh tasting bright red tomatoes. Then let your kiddos pick out the other two vegetables in this dish, they really do love to pick.

Buying Organic: Tomatoes are just a given to buy organic, have you tried a taste test of a regular tomato from the grocery store and an organic one? The results alone will have you switched to organic, at least for tomatoes!

Recipe and photos courtesy Vanessa Brown

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tofu stir-fry.

This is a delicious dinner to make.
Be sure to serve over brown rice.
Mr. Nielson likes when I add 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
(to the cornstarch mixture.)
Or not.
Either way, this is goood.

1 pound firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 small onions, cut into wedges
9 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1 large red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1-inch squares
1 bunch bok choy cut into small strips, stem and green pieces separated
1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed
5 paper-thin slices fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons cold water
lime wedges, for serving

1. Cut and drain tofu for 20 minutes
2. Transfer tofu to a shallow dish in a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil with 1 tablespoon water. Pour over tofu. Marinate 5 minutes (save marinade)
3. Heat canola oil, cook tofu until golden
4. Stirring occasionally, cook onions in skillet over high until browned, add mushrooms for 2 mins, add red peppers, and bok choy stems; cook 3 minutes. Add peas, and ginger; cook 1 minute. Add marinade, cornstarch mixture, bok choy greens, and tofu. Cook until heated through. Season with soy sauce as desired. Serve with limes and over brown rice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Whole Wheat spaghetti with garlic zucchini and tomato

This is a delightful summer dish, and easy to make!

Whole wheat spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil
course salt and pepper
small red onion cut into thick slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large zucchini cut lengthwise into sticks
2 plum tomatoes cut lengthwise into strips
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Boil noodles in salted water
Sautee 3 garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes
Add zucchini and 1/2 cup water. Let sit on med. for 10 minutes
Add tomatoes, onions and 1 tablespoon of oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Add cheese.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Herbed Whole Wheat pasta with lemon butter

This is a great dinner that can be made in under 20 minutes. So if you are like me and Mr. Nielson who reserve Friday nights as date night, this meal will be a great one to make in advance for the babysitter to feed the kids.
Instead of leaving the local pizza joint's number for your babysitter, leave her this meal and save that extra $15 bucks on dessert with your lover.
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, and chives
  • crumbled feta
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
  2. Stir in butter, lemon zest, juice, and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Add some of the reserved pasta water to adjust consistency, if needed. Top with crumbled feta.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fish Tacos

I used orange roughy as the fish filler. Next time I am going to use tilapia, I thought it was somewhat too "fishy", plus it made my whole house stink.
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 small red cabbage, thinly shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, one half minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound tilapia fillets, (or other firm white fish), cut into 16 equal strips
  • 8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. In a large bowl, combine sour cream and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to another container; set aside for serving. Toss cabbage, scallions, and minced jalapeño with remaining sour-cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil and remaining jalapeño half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In two batches (starting with larger pieces), cook fish until golden brown on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard jalapeño.
  3. Meanwhile, warm tortillas according to package instructions.
  4. To make tacos, fill tortillas with slaw, fish, and fresh cilantro leaves. Drizzle with reserved sour-cream mixture. Serve immediately.

Orange-Avocado Salsa

I made this salsa and placed the orange roughy (salmon would be good too) on top. It was delightfully sweet.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 1/2 firm, ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk lime juice and honey until combined. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Slice off both ends of each orange. Following the curve of the fruit, slice away peel and white pith. Cut oranges into quarters lengthwise; slice sections crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Transfer to bowl along with onion and avocado; toss gently to coat with dressing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Portobellos with Leeks and Spinach

What is better than a portobello mushroom?
A portobello mushroom with wilted spinach, leeks and feta cheese on top. This is a very light, healthy dinner. The crumbled feta(for the salty flavor) on top with ground pepper really made for a delicious dinner.
  • 2 leeks
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta/ I also used fresh mozz placing them around the spinach.
  1. Trim dark-green parts from leeks; slice leeks crosswise, and soak in cold water. Swish leeks to help loosen dirt. Repeat with fresh water until you no longer see any grit at bottom of bowl. Lift leek slices out of water, leaving grit behind; drain them thoroughly on paper towels.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place mushroom caps, gill sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until caps are just tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Top with leeks, spinach, and cheese; season again with salt and pepper. Bake until spinach wilts and cheese starts to brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Whole-Wheat pasta with Kale and chopped apples.

This dish is quite fulling. The apples give it a little crunch. Chopped walnuts would be a nice little topper as well.

6 garlic cloves, chopped.
1 granny smith apple, chopped.
1 (1 pound) kale, thick stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup coarsely grated fontina cheese, plus more for serving
Cook garlic in skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Add half the kale; cook, tossing until just wilted, 2 minutes. Add remaining kale, apples and season with salt and pepper; cook, tossing until all the kale has wilted, 2 minutes. Add broth, and simmer until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add kale and fontina; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add reserved cooking water as desired. Divide pasta among plates; top with more cheese.
Herb Biscuits
I also used fresh thyme and sage. Any combo will do.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, fresh chives, baking powder, and salt. Using a fork or your fingers, work in butter (cut into small pieces) until small pea-size clumps form. Mix in milk until the mixture comes together as a sticky dough.
Using a 1/3-cup measure, drop 8 mounds of dough onto a nonstick baking sheet; pat down slightly.
Bake until biscuits are golden brown, rotating baking sheet halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mexican Lasagna

If you like to make casserole type dishes, this one is for you. Mr. Nielson really liked it, and wanted me to make a note of it for future dinners.

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
Nonstick cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (15.5 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup prepared salsa (mild or medium)
8 ounces pepper Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, combine cilantro, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with as much spinach as will fit; pulse, adding remaining spinach in batches, until coarsely chopped.
Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Lay 4 tortillas in bottom of dish (they will overlap slightly). Layer with half of beans, salsa, spinach mixture, and cheese; repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese and pressing in gently.
Cover dish with foil; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil, and continue baking until golden, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Coming soon: oatmeal and whole wheat bread

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Black bean chili, with buttermilk skillet cornbread

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
  2. To the pan, add chiles, beans, tomatoes and their juice, 2 cups water, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
  3. In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cups of the stew. Return the puree to the pan, and add frozen corn; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Buttermilk skillet Cornbread:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet; place in oven until butter is melted and pan is heated through, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and buttermilk.
  3. Carefully remove hot skillet from oven; immediately pour butter into the buttermilk mixture, and whisk to combine. Using a pastry brush, coat bottom and sides of pan with remaining butter.
  4. Stir cornmeal mixture into buttermilk mixture until just moistened.
  5. Scrape batter into hot skillet; bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Whole Wheat Pizza and Pesto

2 3/4 Cups whole wheat flour 1 envelop active dry yeast 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 teaspoons sugar add yeast to one cup warm water, let sit. mix dry ingredients, together then add olive oil. add yeast mixture and combine kneading for about 5 minutes. Let rise for 30-45 minutes roll out, add ingredients cook in oven at 450 for about 15-18 minutes.

Pluse 3 ups basil levaves with 1/2 Cup olive oil and 1/4 cup pine nuts.
Add 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup cheese in food prosessor until finely chopped
Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and process until smooth.

Grilled tofu with red-potatoes, peas, and crushed peanuts

  • 2 container (14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • curry powder-I use a lot, just add to your liking.
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1 box (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 4 red potatoes cut in cubes
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • Cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)


  1. Cut tofu into strips, Arrange tofu in one layer on a baking sheet lined with 3 layers of paper towels; cover with three more layers. Place another baking sheet and a weight on top. Let tofu drain until towels are soaked, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile cook red poatotes until soft, drain and set aside. Season with salt.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and cook, turning until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tablespoon oil, onion,and curry powder. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add coconut milk and 1/2 cup water; bring to a gentle simmer. Return tofu to skillet. Add green beans and potatoes, cover, and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add crushed peanuts, serve over rice if desired.