Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tuscan Chicken Soup

When we were getting ready to travel between Spokane and Seattle, the weather turned rainy and cold so a soup sounded like the perfect lunch for traveling.  I love to make something hot that I can put in a thermos so each person can eat whenever they want.  Sometimes we like to stop long enough to eat lunch together or long enough to turn on the generator to be able to use the microwave or make another cup of coffee.  Knowing that we have a number of options is great and allows us to eat whatever we want while traveling.

This soup was quite different for a Tuscan soup, since it contained no beans; the pureed cauliflower was a substitute for that component.  It also had radishes in it which seemed very much like pieces of potatoes once it was done.

Tuscan Chicken Soup
Makes 8 servings

Cauliflower (1 pound)
Carrots (2)
Onion (1)
Celery (2 stalks)
Garlic (2 cloves)
Baby spinach (4 cups)
Radish (1/2 pound)
Fennel seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
Oregano, dried (1/2 teaspoon)
Chicken broth (3 cups)
Chicken, cooked (3 cups)
Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup), optional

In a large pot, combine 5 cups of water with the cauliflower, 1/2 of the carrots, and onion over medium high heat.  Simmer until tender and then blend until smooth (if using a regular blender, process in batches).

In the large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat and saute the garlic and celery until tender (2-3 minutes).  Add the puree, the rest of the carrots, spinach, and radishes.  Add the broth, fennel, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender.

Add the chicken and heat through.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Slightly adapted from Low Carb One Day

Our rating:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I loved the creamy and saucy texture of this filling spooned over a baked sweet potato.  It was a nice change of pace for dinner.  A nice green salad on the side to round out the meal was perfect.

Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Makes 4 servings

2 (8-10 ounce) sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces sweet or spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 cup marinara sauce
2 cups (2 ounces) spinach leaves
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and place a piece of aluminum foil under the rack to catch any drippings from the potatoes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Scrub the potatoes and pierce all over with a fork.  Place potatoes in oven and bake for 45 minutes to one hour until tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

Add the sausage, and using a wooden spoon, break up the meat into 1/2-inch pieces.  Cook until brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the marinara sauce and spinach.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the cream cheese until the mixture forms a creamy sauce.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut a slit in the top of each potato and gently squeeze the ends to form an opening in the top.  Spoon the sausage mixture over each potato.  Garnish with chopped Italian parsley.

Adapted from iVillage

Our rating:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Macadamia Nut Crusted Sole

I love it when I stumble across some fresh Dover Sole, which I seem to find on the west coast easier than I find it on the east coast.  I found a couple of sole fillets, which I decided to coat in a combination of minced macadamia nuts with some grated orange peel and salt and pepper to taste.  A quick saute in some butter and finished with a squeeze of lemon made the perfect entree for dinner.

Our sides were mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed French green beans with caramelized shallots.

Macadamia Nut Crusted Sole Fillets
Makes 2 servings

2 tablespoons macadamia nuts, chopped
1/2 orange, zested
1/2 pound (or 2 fillets) sole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
Lemon Wedges, optional for serving

Process the macadamia nuts in a food processor until finely chopped but not turned into a powder.  Combine the chopped nuts with the orange zest on a plate.  Season the sole fillets with salt and pepper to taste.  Coat the top of the sole evenly with 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter.  Press the sole fillets into the nut mixture and press both sides to make nuts adhere.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt remaining tablespoon coconut oil or butter and saute sole fillets on each side for 2-3 minutes per side.

Slightly adapted from Paleo Diet Plus Plus

Our rating:

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs

The sound of sun-dried tomatoes blended into meatballs and then smothered with a creamy pesto sauce sounded really good and the taste turned out to be just as good.  I started with organic, grass-fed ground beef and added fresh chopped herbs, minced sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.  The beef mixture was formed into meatballs which were pan-fried and finished in the oven.

While the meatballs were finishing in the oven I made a pesto sauce (without cheese) using walnuts, basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil and a little bit of coconut cream.

The combination of the meatballs covered by the creamy, herb filled pesto was fabulous.I served these meatballs over sauteed zucchini.

Sun-Dried Meatballs with Creamy Pesto Sauce
Makes 6-8 servings

2 pounds ground beef (organic, grass-fed preferably)
2 tablespoons chives, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut oil

For the Pesto:
1 cup walnut halves
1/2 cup extra virgin oil oil
2-3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup coconut cream*

* Chill one 13.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk and the cream will solidify on the top, scoop this out to measure your 1/2 cup of coconut cream or place can in freezer for 1 hour and scoop out cream.  Save the rest and use in a soup or curry.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all of the meatball ingredients and mix together except for the coconut oil.  Shape into golf ball size meatballs.

Heat a skillet over medium to medium high heat and add the tablespoon of coconut oil.  Once the oil is melted and the skillet is hot, add the meatballs.  Brown the meatballs on all sides in the hot pan in batches adding a little more coconut oil if needed.

Transfer the meatballs to a large sheet pan, cover with foil and cook in the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the pesto.

In a food processor or blender, start by blending the walnuts, olive oil, garlic, and salt and process until smooth.  Add the remaining pesto ingredients and process again until smooth.

To serve spoon some of the pesto over the meatballs.

Slightly adapted from Everyday Paleo

Our rating:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Boiled Lobster

While touring the Spokane, Washington area, I found a local supermarket called Yokes Fresh Market which was a real gem of a store.  I have been amazed at the variety of local grocers offering all kinds of organic produce and meats.  The Yokes I visited had a one day special of Maine lobsters at $11.99 per pound.  I realize this was no bargain but it was live Maine lobsters.  I simply boiled it in sea salted water and served it with clarified butter.  To me that is the way to have lobster.

I served this with a Caesar Salad (without the croutons).

Boiled Lobster
Makes 1 serving

1 lobster (1 1/4 - 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted

Fill a large pot with water (at least 3 quarts of water) and bring to a boil.  Add salt and stir to dissolve.  Plunge lobster in boiling water, head first and cook for 10-15 minutes depending on size.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes after removing from water.

Serve with melted, clarified butter.

My rating:

Paleo Barbecued Ribs

Ribs are such a summertime food and when the weather starts consistently hitting the 80's, I start craving ribs.  I know that so many people like to grill them, but I have found the oven to be the perfect tool for turning out consistent, perfectly cooked ribs.  I roast the ribs, simply seasoned with salt and pepper, in a roasting pan for an hour.  I then smother them with barbecue sauce and roast again for 20 minutes.  I slather again and roast for another 25 minutes and this gives me perfect ribs every time.

I served these with grilled corn on the cob (another craving, since it's not one of our recommended vegetables), and broccoli slaw.  This meal is summer on a plate.

Paleo Barbecued Ribs
Makes 2 servings

1 pound ribs (I used pork baby back)
Coarse Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce:
15 ounce tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon ground onion powder
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Start with the barbecue sauce by placing all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cut ribs into two manageable size pieces, season with salt and pepper and place in roasting pan.  Roast for 1 hour.

Slather ribs with some of the barbecue sauce and roast for another 20 minutes.  Slather again with sauce and roast for another 25 minutes.

Serve with remaining barbecue sauce in a bowl.

Adapted from Paleo Cupboard

Our rating:


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Potato, Spinach and Kale Frittata

I can rarely get away with making any kind of an egg dish for dinner, however I do sneak in a frittata every once in a while.  For some reason Gerry does not view eggs as dinner food.  Since this frittata was full of potato slices, spinach and kale this worked for dinner with a nice side salad. 

Potato, Spinach and Kale Frittata
Makes 4-6 servings

6 whole eggs, beaten
2 egg whites, beaten to foamy, soft peaks
1 leek, finely sliced, soaked, drained and dried
2 small red potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into thin half moon slices
1 heaping cup kale, roughly chopped
1 heaping cup spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 cup prosciutto, cut into small dice

In a 10-inch skillet, pour the olive oil.  Over medium heat, poach the leeks for about 2 minutes until they start to become soft.  Add the potato slices and poach, over low heat, for an additional 10 minutes.  Add the prosciutto bits and cook over medium heat to crisp up the prosciutto stirring frequently.

In the meantime, beat the eggs in one bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.  Beat the egg whites in another bowl, until soft, foamy peaks form.

Move the vegetables from the oil in the pan into the whole egg mixture.  Incorporate the kale and spinach as well.  Then fold in the beaten egg whites and mix well.

Remove most of the oil from the skillet, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons.  Over low heat, pour the egg mixture into the pan.  Cook for about 5 minutes, pushing the sides in with a wooden spoon or spatula,  in order to create rounded sides.  Place a plate or flat cover over the frittata and flip it over onto the plate.  Then slide it back into the skillet.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so until eggs are set.

Can be served warm or cold.

Slightly adapted from The Saffron Girl

Our rating:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spice Rubbed Lamb Kabobs

The recipe I wanted to use for these kabobs called for a spice called Za' atar which I couldn't find anywhere.  I did find out that it contained sumac, sesame seeds, thyme and oregano.  I created my own spice rub with toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, dried oregano, chili powder, and onion powder.  I sprinkled this mixture over the kabob meat and let them marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.  I drizzled the seasoned meat cubes with some olive oil and tossed them around to coat all over with the spices and olive oil before skewering.  They went on a medium-high grill for a couple of minutes on each side for perfectly grilled lamb cubes.

I served these with brown rice and a side of Broccoli Slaw Mix which I sauteed in coconut oil.

Spice Rubbed Lamb Kabobs
Makes 4 servings

1 pound pastured lamb kabob meat (I used boneless lamb sirloin, cut in bite-size pieces)
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Olive Oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh oregano, chopped (optional)

In a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle grind or pulverize the sesame seeds.  In a small bowl, combine the ground sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, chili powder, onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Place the lamb cubes in a glass casserole and sprinkle over the lemon juice, zest and dry seasoning mixture.  Toss to evenly coat spices and allow to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss again to evenly coat with spices and oil and sprinkle with black pepper.

Thread meat cubes on skewers and grill on medium-high for 7-10 minutes until charred on all sides.  Remove from grill and season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Garnish with freshly chopped oregano, if desired.

Adapted from My Living Nutrition

Our rating:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Coconut Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa

I have really been on a coconut and mango salsa kick which has a very tropical feel.  I think it's time to move away from the tropical feel after this one.  The contrast of the shrimp and coconut in the cakes along with the sweet mango and crunchy jicama was delightful.  Everything was served on a bed of lettuce and dressed with this Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette.

Coconut Shrimp Cakes with Mango Salsa
Makes 4 servings

For the shrimp cakes
1 pound cooked shrimp, (shelled, cleaned, tails cut off)
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
2 green onions, sliced thinly
Zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg
Squirt of Sriracha
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Coconut oil, for frying

For the salsa
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced jicama
1/2 cup diced English cucumber
1 avocado, peeled and diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Sriracha, to taste
Salt, to taste

For the salad
Salad greens
Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette

To make the shrimp cakes:
Pulse the 1 cup of coconut flakes until coarsely crumbled.  Remove 1/3 cup of processed coconut and set aside.  Add the shrimp to the coconut in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped and almost paste-like.  Transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl.   Add the remainder of the shrimp cake ingredients (except for the coconut oil).  Mix thoroughly.

Place the reserved 1/3 cup coconut in a shallow dish.  Form patties from the shrimp mixture (about 2-inches across) and press both sides of the patties into the coconut.

Put enough coconut oil into a medium-sized pan to coat the bottom well.  (About 1/4-inch will do.)  Heat over medium-high the until the oil begins to "shimmer" and it splatters when you flick water into the pan.  Working in batches, fry a few of the patties at a time, flipping once, until they're golden brown on both sides.  Transfer to a stack of paper towels to drain and keep warm.

To make the salsa:
Combine all salsa ingredients into a medium bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve shrimp cakes over dressed salad greens.  Top with mango salsa and drizzle with Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette.

Slightly adapted from Perry's Plate

Our rating:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Missoula MT to Spokane, WA

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there.  A year ago today, this is what our family was doing.

This was our youngest daughter's wedding and everyone was a part of the big day.  This picture includes me and my husband, our three girls with their husbands and our two precious grandchildren.

As I mentioned last week, we started our week in Missoula, MT at Jellystone RV Park, which was a great RV park.  Gerry tried his hand at fly fishing in Rock Creek, he didn't catch anything but this was something he had been looking forward to for quite some time.  He still enjoyed himself even without the fish.  I spent a couple of afternoons at the pool since each day started out cool but warmed up to the low 80's by the afternoon. 

We spent a couple of hours touring the Flathead Lake region north of Missoula and at the base of Glacier National Park.  The lake is huge and is surrounded by many snow-capped mountains so the scenery was incredible.

We left Missoula and headed to Spokane, WA.  The drive through the mountain ranges was beautiful.  We are now at Spokane RV Resort which is a golf RV resort.  The view from the front of our motor home is overlooking the 9th tee box so this is turning out to be a complete golf experience with the US Open going on at the same time.  We alternate between watching golf on TV and the players outside the window. 

We played a round of golf on Saturday afternoon and Gerry played an early round again Sunday morning.  This resort has a hot tub which we have enjoyed a few times.  Even though this RV resort is called Spokane RV Resort, it is probably 30 minutes or so to get to the city, so we have not explored the Spokane area.

Gerry's food choices for Father's Day were this:

Breakfast:  Baked Oatmeal with Apples (which was chosen before he made his 6:22 a.m. tee time, so I will be making this tomorrow morning)

Lunch:  Grilled Jalapeno Turkey Burgers, topped with Guacamole, a side of Greek Salad, and Strawberries for dessert

Dinner:  Grilled T-bone Steak, Baked Sweet Potato, Sauteed Mushrooms, Carrots, and a Dark Chocolate Dove Bar for dessert

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cilantro Grilled Chicken Thighs

Fortunately, both of us love cilantro (which I guess has a lot to do with living in Texas for 18 years) since that was one of the main ingredients in this grilled entree.  They do need to marinate for a couple of hours, so be sure to factor in the extra time.  Once they are marinated, all they need is some grill time over medium heat.  These turned out beautifully, crispy skin, char flavor, and juicy and tender inside.

I served these with an oven roasted vegetable medley, of carrots, rutabaga, onion and zucchini.

Cilantro Grilled Chicken Thighs
Make 2-3 servings

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 cup cilantro, washed, dried and stems removed
6 mint leaves, washed and dried
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper (optional)

In a food processor, combine cilantro, mint leaves, lemon juice, salt, pepper and the olive oil.  You may need more olive oil to make a smooth blend.

Place chicken thighs in a glass pan just big enough to hold them.  Cover them with the cilantro mixture and marinate, covered in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat grill to medium heat.  Grill chicken thighs for about 30 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes until done to 160 degrees.

Slightly adapted from Sweet Cheeks

Our rating:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Coconut Cod with Mango Salsa

I love it when I find a local market with some good looking (and smelling) fresh fish.  Really fresh fish should smell like the ocean and not very fishy.  The cod I bought was nice and fresh.  I seasoned it with salt and pepper and coated it with coconut flour and simply sauteed them in coconut oil.  I sauteed them over medium heat on each side until golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side).  I rounded out the tropical feel by topping it with a mango salsa.  Our sides were pureed cauliflower and oven roasted broccoli.

Coconut Cod with Mango Salsa
Makes 2-3 servings

3/4-1 pound cod fillets
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil

For the salsa
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion (I used white since that's what I had on hand)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare salsa, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let flavors blend.

Season fish with salt and pepper and coat with coconut flour.  Melt coconut oil in saute pan over medium heat and saute fish for about 5 minutes per side until golden brown.  Serve topped with the mango salsa.

Our rating:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lamb Lettuce Wraps

I love creating warm things that you can put in a lettuce leaf, roll up and crunch away on.  This one had pieces of lamb that were sauteed in coconut oil, topped with tomatoes and cucumbers and drizzled with a sauce made with avocado as the base for a tzatziki instead of yogurt.  These were delicious and I loved the way all the flavors blended together with the contrast of the warm meat and the cold, crunchy lettuce.

Lamb Lettuce Wraps
Makes 2-3 servings

1 pound lamb stew meat
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4-6 large romaine lettuce leaves, cleaned
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or regular tomato, diced)
1/2 cucumber, finely diced
1 lemon, cut in half

Avo-Ziki Sauce
1 ripe avocado
1/4 cup grated cucumber
1 small clove garlic, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped

In a small mixing bowl, season the lamb with sea salt, black pepper and oregano.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil and then place the lamb pieces in the pan.  Cook the lamb approximately 2-3 minutes until it is browned on one side and flip to brown the other side for another 2 minutes or so.

Once the meat is cooked, chop it into 1/2-inch pieces.

Place the romaine lettuce leaves onto serving plates and top with the chopped lamb, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber.  Squeeze lemon over each lettuce leaf, then drizzle with the Avo-Ziki Sauce.

For the Avo-Ziki Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or with a hand blender.

Slightly adapted from Practical Paleo

Our rating:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Perfect Roast Chicken

There is nothing like the crisp, salty skin and juicy cooked interior of a perfectly roast chicken. 

I have played with different recipes over the years and always come back to this simple preparation.  I take a whole organic chicken and rinse it all over and dry it well with paper towels.  I like to season the inside with salt and pepper and insert a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme.  I brush the outside with a mixture of melted butter with dried herbs and salt and pepper generously.  I put the whole bird in a 375 oven for 20 minutes and brush again with more herbed butter.  Roast for another 20 minutes and then baste with the juices from the roasting pan and roast for another 20 minutes (twice).  I butter or baste every 20 minutes for a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes to 30 minutes until the temperature reads 160 degrees in the thigh.  This turns out the perfect roast chicken for me.  I served the chicken with a mashed root vegetable mixture and some rainbow colored carrots.

Perfect Roast Chicken
Makes 4 servings

1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
3 tablespoons organic grass-fed butter
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (rubbed in the palm of your hand to crush and release the oils)
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter and stir in herbs until well combined.  Brush half of butter mixture over chicken set in a roasting pan.  Place in oven for 20 minutes.  Brush chicken with remaining butter mixture and roast again for 20 minutes.  Baste chicken with juices/butter mixture in bottom of pan and roast for another 20 minutes.  Baste again and roast again for another 20 minutes.  Check chicken with meat thermometer in thigh (it should register 160 degrees).  If not done, continue roasting and basting in 10 minute increments until done. 

Our rating:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lemon Turkey Tenderloin

I found some local, organic turkey breast tenderloins at the market and decided to cook them this way which turned out beautifully.  It was a very simple process of creating a marinade with Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, thyme and garlic powder.  I let the turkey marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature and then placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet.  They went into a moderate oven for about 45 minutes and then allowed to rest for about 20 minutes.  This gave us a nicely flavored, perfectly moist piece of meat.  Our sides were oven roasted yams and broccoli.

Lemon Turkey Tenderloin
Makes 3-4 servings

1 (1 1/2 pound) turkey tenderloin
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Cut tenderloin in half crosswise.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well.  Spread over all sides of the turkey.  Cover and marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or refrigerate up to 24 hours.

When ready to eat, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place tenderloins on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Roast turkey for 45-55 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.  Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let stand 8-10 minutes before serving.

Slightly adapted from Busy Cooks

Our rating:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Copper River Salmon

While we were in Billings, Montana, I found a co-op type store called Good Earth Market which I loved.  The produce was either organic or locally grown and they had a wonderful selection of organic, grass-fed meats.  They also had a limited supply of fresh Copper River Salmon.  The season is only 3-4 weeks long so it is wise to buy it whenever you see it.  We snagged a whole fresh salmon, weighing about 4 pounds (which will give us several meals) and were thrilled at the price of $9.99 per pound.  Gerry cut the fish up into 4 salmon steaks (two of which we had for dinner that night) and 4 fillets (probably 10-12 ounces each).  We individually wrapped and froze all the extra salmon to enjoy at least once a week for several weeks.  What an unexpected bonus at a little local market!

I served the salmon steaks with oven roasted asparagus spears.

Seared Salmon Steaks
Makes 2 servings

2 salmon steaks
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Butter, organic grass-fed
Lemon Wedges, optional 

Combine the sea salt, lemon zest, thyme and black pepper in  a small bowl.  Rub seasoned salt mixture on both sides of the salmon steaks.  Heat a skillet (I used cast iron) over medium high heat, melt butter and sear salmon for 3 minutes.  Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until done to your preference.   Serve with lemon wedges.

Our rating:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wyoming and Montana

As I mentioned last Sunday, we traveled to Casper, Wyoming.  We found Wyoming to be quite mountainous to travel through and very windy.  We quickly realized that we could not keep any of our awnings out during our stay.  My first full day in Casper, I decided to explore the town a little and visited the Fort Caspar Museum.  I learned a lot about the history of Wyoming and found this Fort to be part of the Oregon Trail.  In addition to the museum building they also had an area of the reconstructed fort showing a quite accurate display of what daily life would have been like.  I actually spent a couple of hours at this museum.

Glad my kitchen in the motor home is more user-friendly than this one!

The next day I visited three different museums and enjoyed each one even though they were quite different.  I started with the Tate Geological Museum, which is housed on the grounds of Casper College.  I then toured the Werner Wildlife Museum where I learned about the wildlife indigenous to Wyoming.  I finished my day at the Veterans Memorial Museum, which covered everything from World War 1 through Desert Storm.

Me and Dee, the Mammoth

We traveled from Casper, Wyoming to Billings, Montana. Once we familiarized ourselves with the area, we found time for the following:

A round of golf at Yegen Golf Club
A driving tour of the Rimrocks (a range of rocks that form a ridge around the town)
A tour of Moss Mansion
A visit to the Pictograph Caves

Golf at Yegen Golf Club

The Rimrocks

The Moss Museum

There were quite a few options of things to visit in the Billings area and these were just a few of the spots.

Today, we traveled from Billings to Missoula still in Montana and can’t wait to start exploring.  The scenery between the two cities is filled with mountain ranges (some snow-capped) with meandering rivers along the route.  I think this is the most picturesque state so far with Colorado coming in a close second.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Crockpot Brazilian Curry Chicken

There is nothing like the ease and convenience of crockpot cooking every once in a while.  I especially love it when I'm getting ready to spend the day exploring a new area.  All the ingredients for this dish went into the crockpot and left to cook on low for about 8 hours to turn out a delicious dinner.  I served this with a side of brown rice. 

Crockpot Brazilian Curry Chicken
Makes 6-8 servings

1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken breasts (or whatever suits your fancy)
3/4 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4-6 tablespoons curry powder
2 bell peppers, chopped into 1-inch cubes (I used orange and red)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
dash of red pepper flakes

In the bowl of the crockpot, add coconut milk, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, curry powder,  salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and whisk together.

Add in peppers and onions.  Next add in chicken and pour broth over the chicken.  Mix all ingredients together to completely cover the chicken in the curry mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Slightly adapted from Paleo OMG

Our rating:


Friday, June 7, 2013

Seared Tuna with Chinese Salad

This has been a family favorite for quite a few years now and often requested for birthday celebrations.  The key to this recipe is using impeccably fresh tuna (just one bite of fishy tasting tuna can spoil this salad).  This recipe seems long and quite complicated but it really is simple to make.

Sear Tuna with Chinese Salad
Makes 2 servings

1 tablespoon soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
1 lime, juiced
splash rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
4 teaspoons hot Chinese mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup Grapeseed oil
Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 head Chinese cabbage, such as napa or savoy, shredded
 1 bunch watercress, hand-torn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 hothouse cucumber, sliced thin
2 green onions, sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts
2 radishes, sliced thinly in circles
1/4 cup radish sprouts, optional
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup canned mandarin orange segments drained
1 sushi-quality tuna steak, such as Ahi (8-12 ounces)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon Grapeseed oil

To make the vinaigrette:
Whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, mustard, and honey.  Gradually drizzle in both oils, as you constantly whisk, until the dressing thickens and comes together.  Add a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to give the vinaigrette bite.

Combine the cabbage, watercress, cilantro, cucumber, green onions, radishes and carrot in a bowl.  Use your hands to toss the salad.  Then add the radish sprouts, almonds and mardarin oranges and lightly toss again.  Don't dress the salad yet because it will get soggy.  Cover it and put it in the refrigerator while you deal with the tuna; the contrast of the chilled salad and warm tuna is fantastic.

Rub both sides of the tuna steak with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the sesame seeds out on a plate and lightly press each side of the tuna steaks into the seeds.  Heat the grapeseed oil and remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Lay the steaks in the hot pan.  Sear the tuna for about 3 minutes until the sesame seeds form a crust.  Flip the tuna steaks over and cook the other side 3 to 4 minutes longer for rare.  Slice the tuna on a slight angle into 1-inch thick slices.

Toss the salad with half the vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper.  Divide the salad between two plates, lay the tuna slices on top, and then drizzle with the remaining dressing.  Elegant presentation.

Slightly adapted from Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen Cookbook

Our rating:


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cilantro Citrus Vinaigrette

Since we love to have salads at lunch, I'm always on the lookout for a way to change up our usual vinaigrette.  There is an endless variety of ways to change up a vinaigrette and I found this one to be quite good.  I started with lime, lemon and freshly squeezed orange juice, added rice vinegar, sea salt, and honey in the blender.  I drizzled in grapeseed oil and finally added some chopped cilantro. 

A delicious way to change up a salad.

Cilantro-Citrus Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 1/2 cups 

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, stems removed

In the jar of your blender, combine citrus juices, vinegar, garlic, salt and honey.  Blend until ingredients are complete combined.  With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream.  Add cilantro and blend until the cilantro has broken down but still maintains some of its texture.  Serve with greens, on any type of salad or use as a marinade.

Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

My rating:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thai Red Curry Sausage

If you follow my blog at all, you know how much I love Thai food.  If you don't follow my blog, you will now realize how much I love Thai food and Italian Sausage.  I knew I had to try this recipe when I realized that it combined two of my favorite food profiles: Thai and Italian.  This recipe included Italian sausage combined with a red sauce made from sauteed vegetables, Red Curry Paste, tomato paste and canned coconut milk to produce a mouth-watering dish.  I served this mixture with brown rice.

Thai Red Curry Sausage
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon pastured butter, ghee, or bacon fat
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 package of Italian sausage or sugar free beef franks
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
1 cup unsweetened original coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the onions, and cook until they are translucent.  Add the garlic and sausage.  Turn down to medium heat and saute for 6-7 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomato paste, red curry paste, and the coconut milk.  Simmer until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slightly adapted from My Living Nutrition

Our rating:


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jalapeno Turkey Burgers

The burgers we have been eating are positively delicious and if there is a topping such as sauteed mushrooms or guacamole, we don't even miss the bun.  This turkey burger turned out very flavorful and moist with the addition of onions, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno pepper and spices.  Gerry grilled them perfectly and we topped them with homemade guacamole.

Jalapeno Turkey Burgers
Makes 8-10 burgers

3 pounds ground turkey
1 1/4 cups white onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes


Using clean hands, mix together ground turkey, onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, ground cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.  Divide mixture and form into 5 ounce patties.  Grill over medium-high heat until burger is cooked through.  Flip when bottom side of burger no longer sticks to the grill grates.  Top with guacamole if desired.

I made a full recipe of these and followed these directions for freezing:
Using whatever raw burgers you are not planning on eating immediately, alternate patties with squares of parchment/wax paper.  Place on a sheet pan and place in freezer for a couple of hours until just barely frozen.  Place in a freezer bag, label and freeze.  Thaw before grilling according to directions above.

 Slightly adapted from Once A Month Mom

Our rating: