Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Hey there, vegetarians.  I have a stuffed red pepper recipe for you.  These are a healthy take on the classic with red quinoa for rice and lots of veggies.  

Serves 2 - 4.

Kale + Mushroom Stuffed Red Peppers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

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2 oz feta, chopped

5 basil leaves, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 tin diced tomatoes

2 red bell peppers, seeded, halved lengthwise

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a small pot, bring 1 cup water and quinoa to a boil, cover.  Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until water has evaporated.  Fluff with fork, set aside.  

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add garlic and mushrooms.  Sauté 3 minutes more.  Add kale and red pepper flakes.  Cook 1 minutes, stirring.  Remove from heat.  

Stir in quinoa, salt, pepper, feta, basil and lemon.  

Evenly spoon into red pepper halves.  Arrange on lined baking sheet and cover well with foil.  

Bake 30 minutes.  

 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

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There's a restaurant in Ithaca, New York called Maxie's Supper Club that I am obsessed with.  Their margaritas come in pint glasses and there are things like tasso gravy and mighty mighty gumbo on the menu.  They also have chicken fried tuesdays.  (And who doesn't need a little fried chicken on a tuesday?)  

I'm getting carried away.  The reason I bring up my beloved Maxie's is that they have something on the menu that is grilled portobellos with creole tomato sauce.  While I've never seen or ordered it I've haven't stopped thinking how good it sounds.  Cam and I decided to give it a go.

We had sauce leftover and ate it over roasted spaghetti squash.   

(If you are vegetarian, omit worcestershire sauce.  It contains anchovies.)

Serves 4. 

Grilled Portobellos + Creole Tomato Sauce

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 green onions, diced, white and green separated  

1 28 oz tin tomatoes

3 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

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splash worcestershire sauce 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

pinch sugar

8 portobello mushroom caps, cleaned, stems removed

In a medium pot, on medium high heat, cook onion in splash of oil until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add bell pepper, celery, garlic, green onion whites and thyme, cook, stirring, 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, bay, thyme leaves, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir in parsley.  

While sauce is simmering, cook mushrooms on medium high heat in a grill pan on the stove.  About 5 minutes on each side.  Mushrooms can also be roasted in 425 degree oven, loosely covered with foil for 35 minutes.  

Once mushrooms are done, top with warm tomato sauce.  Garnish with green onion greens.  We served ours with kale sauted with garlic.  yum. 

Simple Root Vegetable Side

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I'm new to baby turnips.  They are delicious and now I can;t get enough of them.  This root vegetable medley is easy and full of flavor and pleasing textures.  And it satisfies my new turnip needs.  

Makes 1 large pan.

Simple Root Vegetable Side

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 lb baby turnips, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped

3 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

splash olive oil

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Heat oven to 375.  Toss carrots, red onion, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and thyme in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over large baking sheet.  Roast in oven 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  

Paper Dinner

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Around here we call these fish packets.  Either way, it's great.  Healthy and easy.  You can use any vegetables you like.   Asparagus, broccoli, green beans,  zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and carrots are always great.  

Fish and Vegetables en Papillote

Serves 2.  

1 stalk brocoli

2 carrots

1 yellow squash

5 mushrooms

olive oil

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2 fillets of firm white fish (we used flounder) 

1 lemon, quartered for squeezing

several sprigs fresh thyme

 

Heat oven to 375.  Divide vegetables between two large sheets of parchment paper.  Lightly brush fish with olive oil on both sides and salt and pepper.  Place flsh fillets on vegetables.  Place 2 sprigs fresh thyme in each packet, squeeze some lemon juice over fish and vegetables and fold up. Place on rimmed baking sheet in case they leak.  Cook 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from oven. 

Let rest 1 minute or so before opening.  

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry

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Be prepared to have a lot of soup on your hands.  This recipe makes about 5 quarts.  I like to have huge amounts of healthy things like this around for a quick lunch or dinner during a busy week.  

A quick note on curry powder:  not all curry powders are created equally.  Look for one with fenugreek in it.  This  makes a big difference in flavor.  

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry Soup

Splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

1 14 oz tin LITE coconut milk

6 cups vegetable stock

2 potatoes, diced

4 teaspoons curry powder

1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 14oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped

lime juice, to taste

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In a large (at least 5.5 quart) pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute 5-8 minutes until soft and clear.  Add garlic and ginger.  Saute 2 minutes more.  Add carrots and cauliflower.  Cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Add tomatoes, coconut milk, stock, potatoes and curry powder. Stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Add bell peppers.  Simmer 5 minutes more.  Add chickpeas and kale.  Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.  

 

Green Smoothie

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 Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a delicious holiday season.  (I know I did!)  So I'm back to the gym and trying to eat healthy.  January should will be full of healthy, vegetable filled meals and snacks around here on Meats + Sweets.  

Here's a smoothie to start your year out right.  I've been craving green juices like crazy but have no juicer so this is my solution.  (Those of you with a vitamix blender, I envy you.) 

Makes 20 ounces.  Enough for 2 smoothies. 

Green Smoothie

1 cup frozen pineapple

1/2 cup seedless cucumber, chopped

Leaves of 2 stalks kale, ripped into small pieces

juice of half a lemon

1 cup coconut water

1/2 cup fat free greek yogurt 

Blend all ingredients in a blender until very smooth.  Drink and enjoy!

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Bowl

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So simple yet so tasty.   Serve on its own as a side or over grains, greens or both for a vegetarian friendly meal.  I've been putting seeds on everything lately, I feel they really add something nutritionally and texturally to a dish but feel free to leave them out or change them up to your preference.  

Roasted Autumn Vegetables 

1 lb brussels sprouts, halved

3 carrots, peeled, quartered

1 red onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, whole

1 small fennel bulb, sliced

1 idaho potato, halved, sliced

1 sweet potato, halved, sliced

1 delicata squash, halved, seeded, sliced

olive oil

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4 oz goat cheese, cut up

Juice of 1 lemon

Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme

basalmic vinegar

sunflower and poppy seeds

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss sprouts, carrots, onion, garlic, fennel, potatoes and squash in a splash of olive oil.  Layer on two large baking sheets and season with salt and pepper.  Roast 45 minutes.   

Remove from oven, cool slightly and toss with goat cheese, lemon juice and thyme leaves.  Drizzle with basalmic vinegar and sprinkle with seeds.   Serve alone or with grains, greens or both.  

Tostada Salad + Carrot Ginger Dressing

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Have you ever been to The Organic Grill in the east village?  It's my favorite place for a healthy bite.  I mostly order this tostada salad.  It's the perfect meatless lunch.   It's served as a composed salad but I prefer to toss everything up in a bowl with a ton of the dressing.  

Serves 4 and makes 1 pint of dressing. 

Tostada Salad + Carrot Ginger Dressing 

1 cup uncooked brown rice

3 tomatoes, seeded, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded, diced

fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

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4 sprouted whole wheat tortillas

1 lb mesclun greens, washed, dried

1 tin black beans, drained, rinsed

2 carrots, peeled and grated

4 oz cheddar cheese, grated

for the dressing

3 carrots, peeled, chopped

1/4 cup fresh ginger, diced

1 shallot, chopped

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/4 cup neutral oil (grape seed, sunflower..)

 1/4 cup orange juice (or water)

In a small pot, bring brown rice and 2 cups water to a boil.  Cover, lower heat and simmer until water has evaporated, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat, fluff with fork, re-cover and set aside.   

Toss together tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Salsa should marinate 10 minutes.

Get the dressing going.  Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.   

Place each tortilla on a plate or in a bowl and top with brown rice, greens, beans, grated carrots, salsa and grated cheese.  Serve with dressing.  

 

 

A Healthier Meatball

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Who doesn't like a meatball?  This is a healthier version that uses lean ground turkey breast instead of the usual beef pork combo and spaghetti squash instead of pasta.   

For the sauce, I'm pretty flexible.  I just use whatever fresh herbs I have lying around and then supplement with dried ones.  For this I used fresh thyme, fresh savory and dried oregano which went well with the meatballs.   

Serves 4. 

Herbed Turkey Meatballs over Roasted Spaghetti Squash + Simple Tomato Sauce

2 spaghetti squashes  

olive oil

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1 shallot, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

fresh thyme leaves, from 5 sprigs

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

for the sauce 

olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

fresh herbs and dried herbs

1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes

28 oz tin crushed tomatoes 

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Heat oven to 375.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds.  Lightly oil, salt and pepper squash halves.  Place cut side down on a large baking sheet and roast about 45 minutes or until done.  (A fork will easily pierce the skin and flesh.) 

Meanwhile, get the sauce going.  In a small pot, heat a splash of olive oil and saute onion until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, herbs and chile flakes, cook 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and simmer, 20 - 30 minutes.  Finish with salt and pepper.  

While the sauce is simmering get the meatballs going.  In pan, heat a splash olive oil and saute shallot until clear and soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Add thyme, chile flakes, oregano and fennel seeds, cook 1 minute more.  Set aside.  

In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, and bread crumbs.  Add shallot mixture, turkey, grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Mix ingredients with clean hands until evenly distributed.  Form into 1 inch meatballs, there will be about 12.  

Heat a splash of oil in a pan on the stove and add meatballs.  Turn frequently to cook all sides, cooking for about 10 minutes until internal temperature of meatballs reads 165 degrees.    

OR

Sear/brown all sides of meatballs in skillet on the stove.  Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 8 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.  

Remove squash from oven when done.  Let sit until cool enough to handle.  Use a fork to scrape out flesh into serving bowls.  Discard skins.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with sauce and meatballs.   

 

Chipotle + Turkey Enchiladas

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These enchiladas use the smoky chipotle sauce from the previous post.   

Makes about 14 enchiladas, serving about 7 people.   

Turkey Enchiladas

splash high heat oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 lb ground lean white meat turkey

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/3 cup green olives, pitted, sliced

1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh

handful cilantro, chopped 

prepared chipotle tomato sauce

14 (ish) 6" corn tortillas, room temperature or warm

6 oz grated cheddar cheese

Heat splash of oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onion, cook until onions are soft, about 8 minutes.  Add turkey, cook, stirring frequently, until turkey is done, about 8 minutes.  Add zucchini, olives, corn and cilantro.  Cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.    

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.  Fill each corn tortilla with 1/3 cup filling and a pinch of cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in pan.  Repeat with other tortillas until there is no more filling.    

Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with warm chipotle sauce.  (And maybe more cheese, yes?) 

Chopped Chicken Wrap

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I love a good wrap for lunch, especially one with lots of different things in it.  This one it based on the idea of a chopped salad and uses this Chicken Taco Rub

Serves 8. 

Chopped Chicken Wrap

2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast

2 tablespoons of Chicken Taco Rub

2 limes

1 apple, cored, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

8 green olives, pitted, chopped

1 poblano pepper, seeded, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

8 (10-12") tortillas or sandwich wraps  

1 medium romaine, chopped 

1 avocado, pitted, sliced

Marinate chicken with juice of 1 lime and rub seasoning.  Grill or cook in pan until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Chop and set aside. 

Combine apple, onion, olives, poblano, juice of 1 lime and cumin.  Toss to combine.  Lay out tortillas and fill each with chicken, apple mix, lettuce and avocado slices.  Roll up, cut in half and serve. 

 

 

Tropical Granola Bars

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So good they're dangerous.  It's all I've been eating the past couple days.  Great for a pre workout snack.   

Use old fashioned oats, not instant or quick cooking.  The coconut flakes and dried fruit used are unsweetened and found in the bulk foods area of whole foods.  

Makes 24 bars.

Tropical Granola Bars 

2 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup whole raw almonds

1/2 cup whole raw cashews

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

 1/2 cup dried pineapple rings, chopped

1/2 cup dried mango, chopped

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons flax seeds

2 tablespoons cocoa nibs

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees and roast oats, almonds and cashews for 10 minutes. Cool slightly and transfer to large bowl.  Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees.   

Toss pineapple, mango, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and cocoa nibs with oat and nut mix.   

In a small pot, boil coconut oil, honey, brown sugar and salt for 1 minute.  Combine with granola mix and press into a 13" x 9" pan lined with oiled parchment paper.  

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.   Let cool completely in pan.  Cut into 24 bars and store between sheets of parchment paper in an air tight container.   

Ginger Lime Noodle Bowl

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Noodles!  I'm frequently making demands or dreaming about noodles.   I love them.    This noodle bowl is great for lunch as it is served cold and most of the veggies are fresh and not cooked.    

Serves 4.

Noodle Bowl + Ginger Lime Sauce 

6 oz lo mein noodles  

1 broccoli, chopped

1 cup snow peas, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

2 carrots, match-sticked or thinly sliced

1 package brown tofu, sliced

sesame seeds

for the ginger lime sauce

juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons agave syrup

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, diced

2 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoon soy sauce

Cook noodles using package instructions, usually a few minutes in boiling water.  Drain and set aside. 

Blanche broccoli and snow peas 1 minute in boiling water, drain and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking.   

Divide cooked noodles, broccoli, snow peas, peppers, carrots and tofu in 4 portions.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.  

In a blender, blend lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce.   Strain and spoon onto noodles and veggies.  Toss if you like and eat. 

Veggie Burgers

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I love a veggie burger.  These are very healthy and full of plant based protein from the beans and quinoa.  They are vegetarian, gluten free and vegan if you omit the egg.  (I made these without the egg and they are lighter but tend to fall apart a little bit which is why I consider it optional.)  

Serves 6. 

Veggie Burgers

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

1 large portobello mushroom

splash of olive oil

1 red fresno chile, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 large shallot, diced

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

1 carrot, peeled, grated

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

several turns fresh black pepper

4 sprigs fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon siracha

juice of 1/2 a lime

1 egg, optional

Cook quinoa in small pot with 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Water will have evaporated and quinoa will be tender.  Remove from heat and set aside.   

Cut portobello into quarters and run through food processor until chopped.  Set aside.  

Heat a skillet with splash of olive oil to medium high heat and saute processed mushrooms, chile, garlic, shallot and ginger until tender, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl.  

Run kidney beans, quinoa and carrots through food processor until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add to bowl with mushroom mix.  Add mustard powder, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, fresh cilantro, siracha, lime juice and egg, if using.  Stir to combine.   

Chill mixture in fridge 20 minutes.  Remove from fridge, form into patties and cook in  oiled skillet 3 minutes on each side,   Serve with red onions, pickled anything, lettuce, mayo, siracha, fresh cilantro leaves, tomatoes and carrot matchsticks.  

Smoky Minestrone Soup

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This is another one of Cameron's brilliant soups.  He made it for dinner one night and as soon I tasted it I knew I had to share it here.  We've also been calling this one mexican minestrone but I'm not sure exactly how mexican it is.  Either way, It's smoky and peppery with great texture from all the different vegetables.  I love having a super healthy soups like this that are full of vegetables and flavor.  So very satisfying.  

Serves 6-8.  

Smoky Minestrone Soup

1 cup farro (or barley would be good too)

dash olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 bulb fennel, diced

1 leak, halved & thinly sliced

3 medium tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and diced

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs fresh oregano 

2 bay leaves

1 cup fresh cranberry beans (or use a can of navy beans, rinsed - just add them at the very end) 

2 quarts veggie stock  

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 ancho pepper (dried & smoked Poblano)

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp pimenton (smoked paprika) 

1 small zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

2 cups green beans, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lime

splash Champagne vinegar

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In a small pot, cover farro with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 40 minutes or until tender and not squeaky.  Drain off excess water.  While farro is cooking, prep the veggies and get the soup going.  
 

In a pot, warm some olive oil and add onion, carrots and fennel.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.  Add the leek, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay and cranberry beans, cooking another 5 minutes more.   

Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms, the dried pepper, cumin and paprika.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the beans are creamy and no longer mealy.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until green beans are blanched, bright green and crisp tender.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve over farro and garnish with some cilantro leaves, if you have any around.  

 

Cam's Corn Succotash

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I heart this.  It's so summery and demands a picnic.  For me, no outdoor summer meal is complete without a corn dish and this one, made by Cameron, my husband,  is great.  It can be easily adapted to suit different tastes by changing the lime to lemon and swapping the cilantro for basil.   

Cam has a nice little trick to neatly getting the kernels of corn off the cob and into a bowl with minimal mess.  As shown in the picture, place a cup upside down in the bottom of a large bowl, stand the corn cob on the cup, slice the kernels off and they will fall into the bowl.  When done, remove cup.   

Serves 4. 

Corn Succotash 

olive oil

kernels of 4 ears fresh corn

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 red pepper, seeded, diced

cilantro leaves, chopped 

lime juice

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

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Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add shallot and poblano, cook 2 minutes.  Add corn, cook 2 minutes or until corn is glossy and less starchy.  Add red pepper, herbs, lime juice and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve.  

 

Vegetarian Dinner Salad

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I really don't know what to call this salad but it came about the other night when i was feeling vegetarian and wanted a complete full meal salad, some thing healthy and vegetal with plant based protein.   

serves 4.

Vegetable Barley Lentil Salad

1 cup pearl barley

1 cup french lentils

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, halved lengthwise

5 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise

olive oil

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1/4 lb peashoots, rinsed and dried (salad spinner is great for this)

1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon squash seed oil  

1 tablespoon olive oil

pinch of cayenne pepper

about 12 cilantro leaves, chopped

4 teaspoons pepitas

4 teaspoons roasted sunflower seeds (salted or not is up to you)  

Cook barley in a small pot with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 45 minutes.   Fluff with fork and set aside.

Cook lentils in another small pot by covering lentils with water, no salt, and simmering for 30 minutes.  Drain lentils and set aside. 

Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss carrots with a splash olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place on baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.  Add asparagus to the sheet, toss with a splash of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast, carrots and asparagus for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Make vinaigrette by whisking together champagne vinegar, lemon juice, squash seed oil and olive oil.  Add cilantro leaves, pinches of cayenne and s + p to taste. 

Toss carrots, asparagus and peashoots in vinaigrette.  

To serve, portion barley into 4 dishes, top with portion of lentils, then veggies.  Top each dish with one teaspoon pepitas and sunflower seeds.   


 

Chicken Lettuce Cups

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This is really just a chicken stir fry served in lettuce cups but it's also good eaten on its own, over a salad or over rice.  (To keep things lighter, I like to use a spray bottle of olive oil to coat the pan before cooking chicken or veggies.)  Makes about 4 servings.  

Chicken Lettuce Cups

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cup into thin strips

2 tablespoons soy/tamari + 2 tablespoons soy/tamari

2 tablespoons rice vinegar + 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

dash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 small bunch scallions, white part, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cup into strips

1 carrot, peeled, grated

1 cup red cabbage, thinly chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup peanuts, lightly crushed

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

about 12 lettuce leaves, rinsed, dried

Marinate chicken strips in 2 tablespoons soy and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar for 15 minutes in the fridge.  Remove from marinade and cook in a hot skillet 10 minutes, pouring out liquids as needed.  (I like very well cooked and slightly caramelized chicken so i cooked mine for an extra 8 minutes or so.)  Set aside.  

Wipe out skillet and add a small amount of olive oil.  Saute onion 5 minutes.  Add scallions, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, carrot, cabbage, red pepper flakes and peanuts.  Cook about 8 minutes, stirring frequently so veggies don't burn.  

In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, fish sauce, remaining soy sauce and remaining rice vinegar.  Add this and chicken to skillet.  Add lime juice and stir to combine.

Serve in lettuce leaves.  

 

Chipotle Turkey Chili

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This chili is spicy, satisfying and healthy.  Makes about 8 servings.  

Chipotle Turkey Chili

olive oil

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

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1 yellow onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 poblano pepper, diced

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large tins whole peeled tomatoes, blended smooth

1 cup water

3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried oregano

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon chipotle powder

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tin black beans, drained, rinsed

1 tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed a bit

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

In a skillet, cook turkey 10-12 minutes.  Set aside.  

In a large pot, sauté onion in a dash of olive oil about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, jalapeno, poblano and carrots.  Cook 5 minutes more until onions are clear and vegetables are glossy.  Add blended tomatoes, water, bay leaves, oregano, cumin and chipotle powder.  Simmer 25 minutes.  Stir in bell pepper, turkey, black beans, kidney beans, corn and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.  

Blackened Fish Dinner

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February hasn't included the healthiest of foods here on Meats and Sweets so here's a dinner idea to lighten things up.   

I used tilapia for this recipe but have decided that tilapia isn't my favorite fish.  Use any thin, white fish filets, like red snapper, bass, sole, founder... it's really up to you.   

To help ensure you're making ocean friendly choices in your seafood shopping take a peak at the Monteray Bay Seafood Watch Guide.  There is also a free app.   

Serves 2. 

Blackened Fish

2 fish filets

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

pinch fennel powder

Lemon wedges, for serving

Combine all ingredients except fish, butter and lemon to make seasoning.  

Dredge fish filets in melted butter and sprinkle over both sides of each with seasoning. Cook in a skillet at high heat about 5 minutes on each side until blackened. 

Serve on sandwiches or with a side of vegetables.  I needed something fresh tasting so I served the fillets with vegetables packets.  It was carrots, yellow squash and zucchini folded into parchment paper with olive oil, thyme sprigs, lemon slices, salt and pepper.  Then it was baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 -12 minutes.