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Monday, May 2, 2016

Recipe Review from 4/28/2016

It's been a bit of a interesting week, so I'm splitting this post into two.  Come back on Wed and see what excitement we had!

Mean while, I will leave you with a beautiful picture of our forsythia and some meals:

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) leftover brats   (S) leftovers
Mon (Yoga/Bkgrp/Legion)  leftovers
Tues - (Yoga) Hawaiian Fried Rice  (reviewed here)
Wed - Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Thus (Field office/Yoga) - leftovers
Fri -out
Sat (l)  Salmon with couscous   (S)  pasty with peas

Lunches - Tabouli salad with veggies, fruit, luna bars, yogurt.

Tabbouli salad (Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)  vegetarian, vegan option**
A quick search of my blog and I realized I've never reviewed this dish.  It's been a long standing favorite of mine, perfect for spring and summer, great for lunches, picnics or potlucks.

This comes together in about 30 minutes, but is better when served the next day to allow all the flavors to meld.   Ingredients can be altered to suit tastes and tastebuds - it's that kind of recipe.

I've altered some of the quantities to make this serve between 8 and 10, depending on how much else is being served.  This made enough for seven lunches total.

1 1/2 cup dry bulger wheat
2 1/4 cups boiling water

1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 - 2 garlic cloves, minced
black pepper, to taste

4 scallions, finely minced (green and white parts)
~ 1 cup packed minced parsely
10-15 fresh mint leaves, minced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Optional (but I add them)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 small zucchini OR cucumber, diced
crumbled feta cheese**   omit for vegans

1.  Combine the bulger and boiling water in a medium-large bowl.  Cover and let stand until bulger is tender, at least 30 minutes, minimum.

2.   Combine salt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and black pepper, and mix well.  Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

3.  Combine all ingredients, including add-ins and mix well.  Can be served cold or warm.  I like to top with feta cheese, but that is easily omitted. 

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tacos (Ckng Lght, May 2016)  gluten free
These were darn tasty!  I did move around the directions when compared to the original recipe because the order they had the directions in wasn't logical.  This way, all the toppings and tortillas are ready to go when the chicken is done.

I did omit the 1/2 tsp red pepper for fear that these would be too spicy for us.  They weren't and in fact, I could have left it in or halved it.  For heat sensitive taste buds, omit the red pepper and increase the amount of butter.

These made enough for one meal for two of us, and one leftover meal for one.  Definitely easy and quick enough for a weeknight meal. Recommended!

photo from
2 (6 oz)  skinless boneless chicken breasts  (I used turkey tenderloins)
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp hot sauce (recommended and I used Franks Red Hot)
1 tsp unsalted butter, melted (1 used 1 tbsp)
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
2 tbsp buttermilk
2 tbsp mayo
1 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced (I skipped)
8 (6") corn tortillas

1. Combine buttermilk, may, and cheese in a bowl, mashing tow a fork to combine.  Add lettuce and celery to bowl; toss to coat.  Set aside.

2. Warm tortillas according to package directions. 

3.  Heat a grill pan over medium high heat.  Cut chicken in half horizontally to form 4 cutlets; sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Arrange on  pan coated with cooking spray.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until done.  Remove from pan; thinly slice.

4.  Combine hot sauce, butter, and red pepper; stir with a whisk.  Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat.  Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas; top with lettuce.  Serve.

Lemony Salmon with White Wine Couscous  (Ckng Lght, May 2016)
Another one touted at "Superfast" and while, yes, it is quick and easy, it's by no means 20 minutes quick and easy.  It took me nearly 15 minutes alone to 'finely chop' the carrots and I consider myself decent with a knife!

This is a dish where you want everything in place before you start because things move quickly once food hits the pan.    I also did some changes to simplify:  I grilled the salmon outside and I cooked the couscous with the veggies. 

photo from Scifi with Paprika blog
2 tbsp 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp olive oil. divided
4 tsp lemon juice, divided
4 (6oz) salmon filets
1 1/8 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 tsp finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup water **
1 cup hot cooked couscous  (I used Israeli**  adjust water to package directions)

1) Preheat grill to 350*   (If using oven, preheat to 450*)

2) Heat a medium sauce pan over medium high heat.   Add 1 tsp oil to pan.  Add carrots, shallots, and garlic to pan.  Saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Add couscous to pan, stir and cook 1 minute.   Combine 1 tbsp lemon juice, 5/8 tsp salt (or to taste), 1/4 tsp pepper, and wine in a small bowl,  add to carrot mixture and stir.  Add 1 cup water to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer about 5 minutes.   When water is nearly gone, cover, remove from heat and set aside. 

3) Combine yogurt, chives, 2 tsp oil and 1 tbsp juice;  stir with a whisk.  Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper to taste.  Rub with 2 tbsp yogurt mixture.    [If using oven, heat a skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tsp oil to pan.  Add fish, skin side down; cook 2 minutes.  Transfer to oven and bake at 450* for 5 minutes turning once.]    Oil grill, place salmon fish side down and grill for 5 minutes, turning once.    Note - or cook until salmon is done because not all filets are equal.

4) Serve fish over couscous with extra yogurt/chive mix on the side. 

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