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Monday, August 5, 2013

Recipe Review from 7/29/13

This weekend found us back on the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Ride which runs from Grand Rapids to Virginia with multiple routes.  We did the 48 mile option (Marble to Virginia) which I clocked at 52 miles.   This was my forth time riding this and the Husbands third.  I absolutely love the scenery, the trail, and how well organized this ride is. 

Saturday we were on the first bus to Marble and gentleman in the seat next to engages us in conversation.  Come to find out we saw his crash on the Big Hill with the 90* left turn last year!  He was being carried out on a backboard to an ambulance parked on 169 when we came through.   Wild.  Anyway, no severe injuries and he was back for another go this year.

Our overall stats were: 52 miles, 3:40, for avg 14 mph.  Respectable, I think, given the trail dynamics and wind.

Longest ride of the year for both the Husband and I - a nice milestone.  And I hit 303 miles for the year.  Perhaps 500 will be attainable yet if I can keep consistent with my mid-week 20 mile rides. 

And, not to be lost in gushing about the bike ride, I made several notable meals for the week:

Quinoa Salad  ( Lght 2012)   vegetarian, gluten free
I shortened the prep time on this significantly because I made it at 530am in the morning for lunches.  To hasten cooling time, I spread the quinoa out in a large bowl.   Granted, it was still warmish when I added the rest of the ingredients, but it was all going into the fridge or lunchboxes and then a fridge.   I did my usual cucumber/zucchini substitution and ended up skipping the fresh herbs (ran out of time for the oregano and I didn't want to buy mint).  About 4-5 servings. 

photo from
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa (or regular)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) diced seeded tomato 
  • 1/2 cup (1/2-inch) diced seeded cucumber  zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 lemon wedges
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and place in a large bowl. Let cool 1 hour.
  2. While quinoa cools, combine oil and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Let stand 20 minutes.
  3. Add dressing, tomato, and next 4 ingredients (through chickpeas) to quinoa; toss well. Add cheese, and toss gently. Serve with lemon wedges.

[Halibut] with Bacony Corn Saute  (Ckng Lght, Aug 2013)    gluten free
This was quick to pull together and I loved the corn saute!  I grilled the fish instead of pan frying - which never works for me anyway.  I also subbed Lake Trout for the halibut because I had a package in the freezer and it goes great on the grill.  You could easily use frozen corn for this if fresh is out of season or not available.

Actually, I could easily make just the corn saute and eat that as a dish!  But it would go good with just about anything:  polish sausage, grilled pork or chicken, steak.  Very versatile.  
photo from
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless halibut fillets (I used Lake Trout)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 center-cut applewood-smoked bacon slice
  • 2 1/4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter 
  • 3/4 cup (1-inch) sliced green onions 
  • 4 lime wedges
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add fish to pan; sauté 4 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked to desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan; keep warm.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add bacon to pan; cook 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add corn to drippings in pan; cook 3 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in butter; cook 1 minute or until butter melts. Stir in crumbled bacon and green onions. Serve with lime wedges.

Fresh Mozarella, Tomato and Basil Pizza  (Ckng Lght, Aug 2012)  Vegetarian
I used some frozen pizza dough I had in the freezer, putting it in the fridge 24 hours before I wanted to use it.  It was supposed to sit for an hour on the counter, but I rushed that cause it was my hope to fit in a bike ride that evening (ha!).  When rolling it out I put it between parchment paper and wax paper and it stuck to the wax paper like gum to the the pavement on a 90* day.  Arrgh!   Then I brain farted having bought a tomato and I used cherry tomatoes instead.  Found my tomato while eating dinner. 

This is good, a store-bought crust would probably have worked just fine and simplified things greatly. 

And I didn't get out for my bike ride....

photo from
  • 12 ounces refrigerated fresh pizza dough
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 (6-ounce) heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).
  2.  Let dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Place basil, garlic, and 2 tablespoons oil in a mini food processor; pulse 3 times to form a paste. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; pulse until smooth.
  4. Roll dough into a 14-inch circle on a floured surface; pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Arrange dough on pizza stone. Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons basil mixture over dough. Top evenly with cheese, tomatoes, and pepper. Bake at 500° for 12 minutes or until crust is browned and crisp. Top with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons basil mixture; sprinkle evenly with salt. Cut into 12 slices.

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