An Exciting Preparation of Baked Fish

Seafood is so tasty… If it wasn’t so expensive, we would be eating it every night.  It’s awesome when these salmon steaks go on sale at H-Mart for only $5.99/lb!! We buy several packs and store some in the freezer for future use.

Honey Dijon Glazed Salmon

Serves 2

  • 2 salmon steaks
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons, honey
  • 2 tablespoons, dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients (except for salmon) in a small bowl.
  2. Brush over salmon steaks.
  3. Wrap steaks in parchment paper.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Serve with a side of vegetables (photo showcases parisian carrots and peas).

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Another Wonderful Pasta Substitute

I’m such a sucker for Trader Joe’s marketing.  I was grocery shopping over the weekend and picked up a bag of their seafood blend in the frozen section.  Right above the price tag, in a bright neon yellow sign says, “Try it with our Arrabiata Sauce!”  Without hesitation, I grab the sauce that is so brilliantly placed right above the seafood blend and go on my merry way.  A few aisles later, I’ve tossed a bunch of other things into my cart (not on my shopping list) and end up spending way more than expected.

So, what else do I need to purchase to serve with this seafood blend and Arrabiata sauce?  Pasta, of course!!  But, how can I make this a more nutritious meal?  Zucchini pasta!  I bought this amazing julienne peeler from Home Goods for only $2.99.  It’s the perfect tool (small and easy to use) to make zucchini pasta instead of spending money on another clunky tool to add to the mix of kitchen appliances.

Tonight’s dinner features 3 main ingredients, with a few additional spices to enhance the flavors.  It does take some time to prepare, so I wouldn’t call it an easy and quick weeknight dinner, but something to try if you have ~45 mins in the kitchen!

Zucchini Pasta with Seafood & Arrabiata Sauce

Serves 2

For the zucchini pasta:

  1. Using the julienne peeler, strip the zucchini down to the seeds.  Place julienned zucchini into a large bowl.  Season with some sea salt and mix well.
  2. Prior to cooking, squeeze the zucchini pasta to get rid of the excess water.
  3. In a medium sized pot, add butter and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes.  Add zucchini pasta and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until cooked through.  Remove from pot and set aside.

 

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For the sauce:

  1. Using the same pot, add butter and garlic.  Saute until the garlic becomes tender.
  2. Add seafood blend and saute for an additional 5 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. Add half a jar of arrabiata sauce.  Add red pepper flakes (optional).
  4. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve over zucchini pasta.

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And here’s a picture of Ziggy, chillin’!!!

 

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Weekends are always awesome, right?

It’s always interesting when you go into work on Monday and everyone asks “How was your weekend?”  Isn’t the answer always “IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!”?!?  No need to wake up early, drive 20 minutes to the train station, park, walk 5 minutes to get the train platform, spend another 5 minutes (sometimes more if it’s running late, which it always is) on the platform to wait for the train, try to find a seat and be somewhat comfortable on a ~27 minute train ride, fight the other commuters to get downstairs to catch the work shuttle, pile into a crammed vehicle with your other commuter colleagues to get from the train station to the office, and finally arrive at work 1+ hours later.  So yeah, since I don’t have to get up and do that on Saturday and Sunday, then yes, my weekends end up being pretty awesome.

We’re starting to experience Spring-like weather, so I was out and about this weekend.  I went to cardio boxing on Saturday, hot yoga on Sunday, and did some shopping and cooking in between.  We picked up some fresh cod fillets which paired really well with the vegetables we had on hand.  Light and flavorful – the perfect meal to end a great weekend.

Pan Fried Cod with Roasted Red Peppers and Sundried Tomatoes

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cod fillets
  • 4 asparagus spears
  • Olive oil
  • For the breading:
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup, almond meal
    • 1 teaspoon, Old Bay seasoning
    • Sea salt
    • Black Pepper
  • For the topping:
    • 1 roasted red pepper (jarred), chopped
    • 2 tablespoons, sundried tomatoes (jarred, in olive oil), chopped
    • 4 basil leaves, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg.
  2. In another small bowl, mix the almond meal and seasonings.
  3. In a medium skillet over low to medium heat, drizzle olive oil.  Meanwhile, pat cod dry with paper towels.  Dip in egg, dredge in almond meal mixture on both sides.
  4. Add cod to the skillet, cooking for 7 minutes on each side.  Remove from heat.
  5. Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in skillet for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Plate by placing the cod first, then two asparagus spears.  Top with 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of roasted red pepper, sundried tomato, and basil mixture.

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Feeling Lazy

We’ve been eating so poorly lately.  I’ll usually get home around 6 or 7 during the week and am often too tired to cook.  I have tons of recipe ideas buzzing in my head, but am having some trouble finding the energy to work my magic in the kitchen.  I must find a new routine.  We cannot continue eating like this.  One night, I came home and Bjorn had already eaten dinner.  What was his dinner? “Pizza bagels and pigs in a blanket”, hah!

I always love a good salad.  Good salads always require a little bit of extra effort, but it sure is worth it in the end.  The mango and avocado were getting super ripe, so I knew I had to include that in my meal tonight.  Since I didn’t plan ahead, I could only include seafood as my protein (easy to defrost).  Turned out pretty good for a last minute dish!  Took about 15 minutes from start to finish to prepare and cook.

Baked tilapia over chopped Romaine

  • 1/2 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 tilapia filet
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 10 grape tomatoes, halved
  1. Season tilapia filet with sea salt and black pepper.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. Place mango, avocado, grape tomatoes, and lime juice in a bowl.  Mix well.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Place the chopped Romaine on a plate, top with tilapia and mango mixture.  Serve immediately.

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Whoa… has it really been two months?

I can’t believe my last post was in May.  A lot has happened in the past two months, I guess!  I got a new job and we introduced a new member to our family!!!!  We adopted our little Ziggy about a month ago.  He has been an amazing puppy and we are absolutely in love with him.  Our schedule has changed a bit with the puppy schedule (wake up calls at 5:30 every morning, though lately, he has been letting us sleep in until 6 am).  On top of that, my schedule for work has changed because my new job is a bit of a further commute.  Out the door around 7:20 am and often not home until 7:00 pm.  I haven’t really been cooking as much, but I miss it.  We don’t have many plans for tomorrow (Sunday), so maybe I’ll spend some time at my favorite grocery stores and spend the day cooking meals for the week!

Here’s a quick recipe for something that I did make a few weeks ago…

Mussels with Garlic and White Wine Sauce

  • 2 lbs Mussels
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 sprigs of parsley, coarsely chopped
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the garlic cloves.  Saute garlic until nice and golden.
  2. Add mussels and mix well with the butter/garlic mixture.  Saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn to low heat.  Add white wine and simmer for 3 minutes.  Cover for 5-7 minutes, or until mussels open up.
  4. Top with fresh parsley and enjoy!
  5. Optional – Serve with french bread to soak up the wonderful white wine sauce.

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And…… here’s a picture of our little pup!

 

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Chirashi

Shopping at an Asian grocery store opens up so many new opportunities in the kitchen.  I took a special trip to H-Mart this weekend with my parents.  I could spend hours in that grocery store, just getting lost perusing the endless possibilities in every aisle.

Tonight’s meal features a really simple Japanese dish – Chirashi.  No cooking necessary.  I even got the cooked rice bowls.  Just needed to pop that sucker in the microwave.  Everything else was already prepared.  No effort required at all.  And oh so healthy.  I wish we could eat this every night.  But then we’d be broke.

Ingredients: White rice, seaweed salad, pickled daikon radish, salmon sashimi.

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Missing Mama’s Cookin’

I’ve been pretty active in the kitchen, but haven’t been cooking anything new.  Honestly, ever since I discovered mashed cauliflower, we’ve been having that every night for dinner!! Well, maybe not every night, but I did make it 4 times this past week…

Today was a brutally cold day in CT; supposedly the coldest day we’ve experienced in two years!  Winter is definitely here.  My lazy bones were in no mood to cook tonight, so I made instant noodles for myself (Bjorn had leftovers).  I kept thinking of a delicious bowl of noodles that my mom would often make… the silky rice vermicelli noodles, the fresh and flavorful shrimp, and these amazing stuffed fish balls from HMart.  I found this old photo from dinner a few months ago… Maybe I’ll ask my mom to make this for me over the weekend 🙂

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A Filipino meal that’s somewhat healthy!

As you’re probably aware by now, I’ve adapted a semi-Paleo lifestyle.  Personally, I cannot commit to 100% Paleo diet; there are some foods that I can’t give up (being Chinese American, I absolutely love my Jasmine rice, among many other things), but there are also some aspects of the Paleo diet that I don’t understand or agree with.  One of the items excluded in the Paleo diet are legumes.  Based on my research, it seems that legumes are made up like grains.  Multiple sources continue to describe the high amount of lectins, which is a sugar binding protein.  (BTW, I had to google what lectins even were).  I don’t know… I think all vegetables are great for your health and high in fiber, so I’ll continue to consume my legumes, thank you very much.

Since Bjorn is Filipino, I’ve tried a few Filipino dishes in the kitchen, but struggle a bit because a majority of the classic dishes are not the healthiest.  To name a few: Pancit (rice noodles stir fried with meat and veggies), lumpia (fried spring roll), turon (deep fried plantains wrapped in spring roll wrappers), kare-kare (meat, tripe, and oxtail stew with vegetables in a peanut sauce)…

One of the dishes that I learned to make over the holidays was Ginataang Hipon Kalabasa.  Basically, it’s a veggie dish made of kalabasa (squash), long beans, coconut milk, and shrimp.  It’s such a hearty and healthy dish; Bjorn loved it and approved!

Ginataang Hipon Kalabasa (Shrimp with coconut milk and squash)

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks (the traditional dish calls for kalabasa, which is Asian squash, but butternut squash is a tastier alternative)
  • 1 lb of jumbo shrimp (approximately 20)
  • 1 lb of string beans (don’t add this if you want to keep this dish Paleo)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (14 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Olive oil
  1. In a large pot, over medium to high heat, drizzle olive oil and add in onions and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes until onions are translucent.
  2. Toss in butternut squash and string beans.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water and cover for an additional 5 minutes or until the squash is tender.DSC02149
  3. Add coconut milk and fish sauce.  Stir well.  When the liquid comes to a boil, add in shrimp and mix well.  Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

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