Category Archives: dinner

Blackened Salmon with Lemon Spinach Cous Cous

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In a word, Yum.

This meal is SOOOOO quick to make and super healthy, full of omega 3’s, iron, and protein.  Plus, Myles loves it!  😀

I’ve had the cous cous recipe for years…and it is one of the few that has stood the test of time!  I love it now just as much as the first time.

lemon spinach cous cous

Blackened Salmon

Ingredients:

2 salmon fillets

1 tsp butter

1 tsp cajun seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.

2. Prepare the salmon by washing and patting dry.  Season with cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.

3. Add the butter to the hot pan; place the salmon skin side down into the skillet and cook for about 5-6 minutes (the skin will be crispy); carefully flip to cook the other side, covering with a lid to lightly steam, until the flesh is light pink and flakes easily with a fork.

 

Lemon Spinach Cous Cous

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups veggie broth

1 cup cous cous

1 tsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 cups spinach, washed and sliced fine

juice of 1 lemon

a small handful of pine nuts (optional)

freshly grated parmesan (optional)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat.  Add the cous cous and cover. Remove from the heat and let steam for 5 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a wok over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and pine nuts and saute until fragrant.

3.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat.

4. Stir in the lemon, cous cous and black pepper.  Sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

 

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Spicy Black Bean Burgers

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I am ever on the hunt to find a good veggie burger!  So, when my old cafe friend Kelly passed on this recipe I couldn’t wait to try it! Unfortunately, black beans are almost impossible to find in the UK.    :/   Fast forward two years, I finally found them in Waitrose (a store I try to avoid, as it is so expensive…ah, well).

These burgers have quite a kick to them, so feel free to switch up the spicing if you want something more mild.

 

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

1 can of black beans

1/2 bell pepper (any color), minced

1/2 a small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp Sriracha

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Method:

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat.

2. Meanwhile, mash the black beans with a fork in a medium sized bowl.

3. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.

4. Form the patties in your hands (they will be very wet!) and add to the oiled skillet.

5. Cook on both sides until browned.  Serve on a multi-grain bun.

 

Chicken and Cashew Stir-fry

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Part 1 of the Chinese Fake-away.

One of my favorite dishes to order at a chinese restaurant is the Kung Po Chicken (tofu).  It’s spicy and it involves cashews…I’m in!

So, when I found this recipe online which is reminiscent of it, I jumped at the chance to make it! I love finding recipes that can easily convert to veg, and a good stir-fry definitely fits under this catagory. The dish cooks very quickly, so have everything prepped and ready to go in before anything hits the wok.

chicken and cashew stir-fry

Chicken (Tofu) and Cashew Stir-fry

Ingredients:

2 chicken breast or 1 block of tofu, cubed

olive oil

1 green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1-2 birds eye chilies, opt.

1/4 cup sliced scallions

1/8 cup cashews

2 tbsp cornstarch (corn flour)

1/4-1/2 cup water, depending on how saucy you like it 😉

4 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1-2 tsp Sriracha

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Method:

1. Place a wok on high heat.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by stirring together the cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Whisk in the hoisin sauce, Sriracha, and white wine vinegar.  Set aside.

3. Add a good drizzle of olive oil to the pan and immediately add the chicken (or tofu). Keep the wok moving!

4. When the chicken is white on all sides (or the tofu is crispy on all sides) add the peppers and onion, stirring constantly.

5. Toss in the cashews and half the scallions.

6. Add the sauce, cooking until thick and hot.  Feel free to add more water at this stage to loosen it up.

7. Serve with steamed rice, sprinkling the remaining scallions on top.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.cooklikeachampionblog.com/2011/02/cashew-chicken-stir-fry.html

 

 

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Salsa

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When I first moved to Pennsylvania, back in 2003, I worked as both a waitress and cook at this little place called Peacocks Cafe.  One of our signature dishes was the chicken and cheese quesadillas (or quack-a-dillas if you asked my friend Val).  They are very quick and easy to prepare and can be varied to suit many tastes.  I made the chicken and cheese for my hubby last night, a plain cheese one for Myles (well…don’t tell him, but I minced up some peppers and threw those in as well :P)  and these Spinach and Mushroom ones for me.

Serve them with salsa, guacamole or sour cream, if desired.

quesadillas

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

Ingredients:

1 handful of spinach, washed and sliced fine

1/2 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced fine

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil

2 tortilla wraps (I used 50/50 blend of white and wheat)

1/4 cup grated cheddar

Method:

1. Saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms in the olive oil over medium high heat until soft.  Add the spinach, salt and pepper, cooking until the spinach wilts.  Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, drizzle some more olive oil in the pan and dip the tortillas into this  on both side to distribute the oil.

3. Leave one tortilla in the pan, cover with cheese and the spinach mixture and top with the other tortilla.  When the bottom starts to brown, carefully flip over to cook the other side.

4. Remove from the heat and cut into wedges.  Serve with salsa.

 

Here is a very simple salsa recipe that is quick and easy to make.

Homemade Salsa

Ingredients:

1/2 of a red onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 tomatoes, diced and smushed

2-3 jalepenos, diced

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped fine

juice of half a lime

1 tsp brown sugar, optional

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Mix together all ingredients, tasting to adjust the seasoning.

2. Alternatively, blend for a smooth salsa.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

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We are a bit pizza-crazy in this house.  The hubby will eat any pizza, but me…I like a good gourmet!  Unfortunately, no new veggie options yet, as I am still lovin ‘the Tricolore too much!  But, here is Paul’s all time favorite pizza.

I’ve made this with and without bacon…both are nice (so I’ve heard) so use your discretion! If you do, be sure to fry it until it is nice and crispy first.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

1 Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (recipe follows)

1 chicken breast

olive oil

a pinch of salt

BBQ sauce

1/2 cup red onions, sliced fine

1 red pepper, diced

fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

parmesan cheese, grated

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 400*F (200*C).

2. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper; bake for 25-30 minutes, or until white in the middle.  Cut into cubes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the pizza base by stretching and shaping one portion of dough onto a lightly greased pizza pan.  Thin and crispy is best!

4. Sprinkle the dough with salt and a little drizzle of olive oil. Spread on the BBQ and top with the remaining ingredients.

5. Set the oven to 500*F (260*C). Bake for about 15 minutes or until you get a hollow sound when the crust is tapped.

 

Basic Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

1 tsp instant or active dry yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 cups plain flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup olive oil

Method:

1. Place warm water in a bowl; sprinkle yeast over top and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together plain flour, whole wheat flour and salt.

3. Drizzle oil in slowly as you stir, to distribute evenly.

4. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast water. Stir until the dough comes together in a sticky, gooey mass.

5. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and place dough inside.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 2 hours.  Feel free to place in the fridge at this stage for up to 4 days. (It rises just fine)

6.  When ready to use, section into 4 separate doughs for a thin crust, 2 for thick.

 

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Risotto

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While my two year old can eat pretty much the exact same thing every week, Momma needs some variety!  So, I decided to branch out a bit.  This recipe is really great, as it takes minimal extra effort to make something new and visually pleasing for me, whilst making Myles his comfort food.

Plus, I still have pesto in the house.  Waste not, want not!

bello mushrooms with risotto

 

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Risotto

Ingredients:

1 recipe for Parmesan Risotto (excluding the peas)

4 portobello mushrooms, rinsed

olive oil

salt and pepper

pesto

parmesan

a handful of baby spinach leaves

Method:

1. Cook a batch of Parmesan Risotto.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400*F (200*C).

3. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.

4. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping over half way through.

5. Remove the mushrooms from the oven; fill with risotto, a tsp of pesto and sprinkle with shaven parmesan.

6. Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves.

 

Salmon and Spinach Fish Cakes

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This is another one of the original four recipes! Though we seem to eat this every week, I still love them.  They are very simple to make, easy to prep ahead of time and are full of all kinds of healthy goodies. 

Make sure that you don’t overcook your potatoes, as they need to be firm enough to hold together the rest of the ingredients.  A knife inserted into them should slip through, but not tear them apart. 

Feel free to make these up to 8 hours in advance!  They need at least 1 hour in the fridge to meld, but any additional time after that does nothing but help.

fish cakes

Salmon and Spinach Fish Cakes

Ingredients:

6 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped

3-4 salmon fillets

2 handfuls of spinach, washed and chopped fine

1 tsp lemon zest, optional

olive oil

butter

salt and pepper to taste

whole wheat flour to coat

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 400*F (200*C). Place the salmon fillets, a small drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper into individual aluminum foil packets on a baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the fish is light pink and flakes easily.

2. Meanwhile, boil potatoes until just done, approximately 10 minutes.  Drain and mash with a small knob of butter (don’t be afraid to leave them lumpy!  This enhances the flavor).  Season with salt and pepper.

3. Once the potatoes are mashed, add the chopped spinach , stir to mix and cover to allow the spinach to steam.  Add lemon zest, if using.

4.  Flake the salmon, paying extra care to remove any bones that might be present.  Add the salmon to the mash.  Let cool until able to touch.

5.  Make patties by flattening some of the mix between your hands.  Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate at least an hour.

6. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Coat each patties with flour on both side.  Fry on each side until brown, adding oil as needed.