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Monday, May 23, 2016

Recipe Review from 5/16/2016

A busy end to the week with errands, yoga classes, and a field day to one of our fine northern lakes that had me grabbing a take-n-bake pizza for simplicity.  Busy-ness peaked with a 6.7 mile hike on Saturday followed by a potluck supper.  Sunday was catch-up day, with lots of laundry hung out to dry, yard work, and cleaning and putting all the hike stuff away.   Whew!

The Meal Plan
Sun (L) leftover bbq chicken  (S)  Cajun Shrimp Linguine
Mon (yoga)  leftover pasta
Tues - Brats and corn
Wed - Thai bowl with Salmon
Thurs (yoga)  leftover brats
Fri (yoga)  take-n-bake pizza
Sat (SHT hike, Potluck supper)  Spicy Kale and Quinoa Salad

Cajun Shrimp Linguine (Ckng Lght, May 2016)  gluten free option**
Tasty! Tasty! Tasty!  And very quick and easy to prepare.  Not too many modifications/alterations, just my usual dried herbs instead of fresh (I refuse to pay those prices) and some alterations to suit our tastes.  I did bump up the pasta to 8oz, because it's easier to deal with half a box of pasta rather than some odd amount.

This is touted as being ready in 40 minutes from start to table and it was spot on.  I even had time to start dishes before hand.  Recommended.

photo from
6  ounces whole-grain linguine or fettuccine**  (I used 8oz)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning (I used Penzeys)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 heaping tsp dried) chopped fresh thyme, divided 
3/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced (I used 4)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup half-and-half   (I used goat milk)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup pasta cooking liquid.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine Cajun seasoning and shrimp in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shrimp mixture to pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp mixture from pan. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.

3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and 1 tablespoon thyme; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red pepper and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Add reserved 1/3 cup cooking liquid, salt, bay leaves, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaves. Remove pan from heat; stir in shrimp and pasta. Stir in half-and-half. Cook 1 minute over medium heat or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme.

Thai Crunch Salad with Salmon (Ckng Lght, May 2016)  gluten free
May cooking light had an article on "bowls", the idea being you layer your ingredients (like the picture) for a healthier more balanced meal.  Bowls are simple, combining startches, with veggies, a small amount of meat, topped with something yummy like nuts.  If you like nuts.   I've made two bowls so far and I will admit, they are moderately fast from prep to table and filling.  Downside with bowls (or not...) no or very minimal leftovers.

I adjusted the recipe below to suit my tastes - I don't do peanuts or peanut butter.   Argh!  I just realized I subbed tahini for the sauce instead of miso as I intended! still tasted good and just goes to show that you can be creative.  I swapped out rice for the quinoa just to use up my brown rice.   I cooked the edamame with the rice (why cook it separate?), grilled the salmon, and everything assembled into a bowl.  Mine looked almost as photo worthy as the picture itself.

I doubled the recipe below to serve two people and had leftovers to make lunch for one. 

photo from
2/3 cup cooked quinoa  (I used brown rice)
2 tablespoons matchstick-cut carrot
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons steamed edamame
1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
3 ounces broiled salmon
1 teaspoon chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Sesame-Peanut Sauce:
1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter  (I used 1 tsp miso tahini)
1 teaspoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1. Top cooked quinoa with carrot, red bell pepper, edamame, cabbage, and salmon. Sprinkle with peanuts.

2. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and lime juice, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle over bowl.

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad  (The Glowing Fridge Blog via Pinterest)  gluten free, vegetarian
 My main observations right off the bat are: this takes longer than 30 minutes to prepare.  It takes nearly 20 minutes alone to cook the quinoa, and then you WILL want to let it cool and if you've done anything with quinoa, you know that those darn little grains hold heat a long time.   I also simplified the washing/chopping of the kale by buying two package of baby kale.  You could chop that more finely, but why?

I made this for a potluck event, and fortunately had the foresight to make the quinoa, corn, and black bean mix in the morning before a day of hiking.  Assembled the rest after hiking and comments from the group were very positive.   Don't be put off by the amount of Franks Red Sauce, it adds zing without a lot of heat. 

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
photo from The Glowing Fridge Blog
6 cups chopped kale, de-stemmed(One package baby kale)
1/2 red onion, chopped  (I forgot...)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn

Spicy Dressing
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup hot sauce of your choice (I used Franks Red)
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cumin
sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium sized pot, combine 2 cups of water with 1 cup of quinoa and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.

2. In a large salad bowl, add the kale and the onion.

3. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add in the black beans and corn to the pot. Mix it up. You could just add these over the kale but I wanted to warm up the beans and corn. Add the quinoa mixture over the kale and mix.

4. Prepare the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix and enjoy

Author Notes Stays fresh in the refrigerator up to 2 days.
Can replace quinoa with rice and add any additional veggies you like. Bell peppers, tomato, avocado etc.

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