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Greek Yogurt Extravaganza

17 Apr

 

This week I gave in to my deep love for greek yogurt.  If you haven’t used it in recipes, you’re missing out.  Besides the obvious parfait and breakfast uses, it’s a great, healthy substitute in many recipes that use mayo or sour cream.  I decided to search for a recipe that involved both salmon and greek yogurt.  My main gal, Martha Stewart, came through for me with a recipe for Roasted Salmon and Herbed Yogurt.  With that recipe in mind, I thought asparagus would be a good side dish, and heck why not use greek yogurt with the asparagus as well.  A quick google search, and I decided to go with an asparagus soup.  I modified a recipe from whole foods for Creamy Spring Asparagus Soup substituting greek yogurt for sour cream.

The two dishes were relatively simple, but for timing I enlisted my favorite sous-chef.

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Chris as given the task of snipping parsley and dill from our potted patio herbs, and then chopping them into tiny bits.IMG_0933

He then mixed the herbs in with our greek yogurt of choice, Fage.

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Meanwhile, I chopped the light green and white parts of our gigantic leek, and then browned the pieces in a bit of butter.

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While the leek browned, I peeled and chopped a yukon gold potato into one inch strips.

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After about ten minutes, I added the potatoes and chicken broth to the leeks, and brought the liquid to a boil.

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I then reduced the heat, added the chopped asparagus, and let the mixture simmer until everything was nice and tender.

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While the soup simmered, Chris mixed together the herbs, greek yogurt, dijon, salt and pepper.

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Everything for the salmon was ready long before the soup, so Chris stuck the yogurt mixture in the fridge and relaxed while I prepped the blender.  I had some time to spare, so I improvised and chopped a bit of garlic for the salmon.

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With approximately 10-15 minutes to go on the soup, Chris placed the salmon in a baking pan, covered in the herbed yogurt sauce, and topped it off with chopped garlic.  He couldn’t resist giving our three cats a taste of raw salmon.  They are definitely sushi lovers like their mama and papa.

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Once the potatoes and asparagus were tender, I poured the mixture into a big blender and set it to purée.  Chris finished off the purée and then complained about how tightly I put on the top to the cat rubbing up against his legs looking for more delicious, raw fish.

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Once pureed to our satisfaction, I poured the soup back into the pot and brought it to a boil.  The timer sounded for the salmon just as I finished the soup.  Could we have actually timed everything perfectly tonight?  Unfortunately, no.  Chris cut into the salmon and found it still a bit raw in the center after 15 minutes at 450.  We had to stick the salmon back in the oven for another 10 minutes, and that was even a bit too much.  It amazes me how quickly fish goes from undercooked to overcooked.

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Before realizing the salmon needed more time, I had spooned the soup into bowls, and topped it with croutons, parmesan, and freshly ground black peppercorn.  Not wanting our soup to get cold, we finished it off while the salmon baked.  It was absolutely delicious!  I loved the flavor and texture, and the topping I improvised was perfect.  It tasted like spring in my mouth.

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When the salmon finished, we cut a small portion for us each, added a bit of lemon, and sat down to finish the latest Game of Thrones episode.  The salmon was delicious.  I always worry about salmon tasting fishy, but it didn’t at all.  The garlic roasted perfectly on top, and was a great addition.  The herbed yogurt was fresh and moist.  Overall a fantastic dish, and I’m sure it would have gone great with the asparagus soup.

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My Kitchen Is Now A Thug Kitchen

17 Apr

Spinach Cooler

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I am in love with the recipes and photos on thugkitchen.com.  I’m planning on trying a few recipes this week.  There’s no finesse needed for this smoothie.  Frozen bananas, cucumber, spinach, pineapple, coconut water, orange juice, flax, and mint.  Toss it all in a blender and done.  It was good, but not perfect.  I feel like the banana overpowered everything a bit.  I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit the next time.  Maybe less banana, more pineapple.

 

 

 

Low Guilt Dessert: Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake

21 Jan

Chocolate Zucchini CakeA great dessert from the Flat Belly Diet.  All you need is dark chocolate chips, zucchini, greek yogurt, and your basic cake ingredients.  The cake turned out light and fluffy.  The icing is just melted dark chocolate – no added sugar.

 

Turkey Meatloaf with Walnuts and Sage

10 Dec

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Hands down the best turkey meatloaf I have ever made. The walnut adds a nutty salty/sweet flavor that goes oh so well with the turkey and sage. I paired it with a Bok Choy and Garlic Skillet (also a FBD recipe).

Hummus-Crusted Baked Chicken Breasts

10 Dec

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A quick easy baked chicken recipe: Cover the chicken breasts in hummus (this keeps it moist).  Season with lemon, paprika, rosemary, and balsamic vinegar. Bake 35 minutes at 450. While the chicken is baking, make a quick salad with butter lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, oil, vinegar, and pepper.

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Un Mélange: Making It Work On The Weekends

22 Oct

The Fruits of My Labor

(Chris was sick today, so I was on my own in the kitchen)

I always find that no matter how much I plan, something gets in the way of at least one or more meal for the week, leaving a mix of food that will spoil if not used.  My solutions this weekend – firing up the oven, and diving into my Flat Belly Diet Cookbook.  The result was an odd, but delicious mixture of food.  Above you’ll find (clockwise starting at your bottom left) spicy peanut sauce, broiled curry chicken satay, cucumber relish, and roasted potatoes with tomatoes.

Peanut Sauce: Peanut butter (surprise, surprise), coconut milk, cayenne, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and chicken broth.  It’s mixed together and then cooked for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.  It came out smooth and delicious, with just the right amount of kick.

Chicken Satay: Thin cut boneless, skinless chicken breast marinated in curry powder, lime juice and oil, cut into strips, and then broiled for 8-10 minutes on each side.

Cucumber Relish: Peeled cucumber chopped with red onion and marinated in vinegar and sugar.  Topped with peanuts and cilantro.

Roasted Potatoes: Chopped potatoes roasted in olive oil, pepper, and salt.  Topped with Gorgonzola cheese and pecans.

Roasted Tomatoes: Chopped tomatoes roasted in olive oil, garlic, basil, pepper, and salt.

Drink: Muddled mint, lime juice, and tonic in a mason jar.

Breakfast For Tomorrow

(Our leftover fruit baked in an oat crumble)

From Food52: Chopped pears and apples mixed with flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Drizzled with maple syrup, ginger, orange and lemon juice, and orange and lemon zest.  Covered in a mixture of oats, flour, brown sugar, butter and pecans.  Okay, okay, so this one isn’t part of the diet.  There is a plus side: No rotting fruit from last week, and it’ll be better than just skipping breakfast.
I’ll let you know how it goes.  Until then – sweet dreams!

 

Mason Jars and Bento Boxes

18 Sep

 

Mason Jar Breakfasts

    

Thanks to The Yummy Life Chris and I are now enjoying delicious breakfasts in mason jars.  On the left is a Greek yogurt parfait with flax-seed granola, raspberries, mango, and blackberries.  I usually eat Greek yogurt in the morning, and I’ve tried all sorts of brands and flavors with different fruits, jams, and granola.  A recipe in my new favorite pink cookbook inspired me to buy plain Greek yogurt and add my fruit or granola on my own.  I started out making them in bowls or cups, but moved on to the mason jar after starting the overnight oats as well.  The various parfait were delicious, but I grew tired of eating the same thing every day.  To spice up our breakfast, I looked around online for more recipes particularly ones that involved oats.  That’s when I found the Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal recipes on The Yummy Life blog.  I recently made the Almond Mango version from the blog (pictured on the right), and it was fantastic.  I take some liberties: I typically use almond milk instead of skim milk (unless Chris requests otherwise), and I haven’t tried it with chia seed yet.  I also prefer more than 1/4 cup of oats, as listed in the recipes, but this is likely due to the missing chia seeds).  I’ve made a few of the flavor suggestions from the site, and now I’m trying a few of my own creations.  Right now I have a Maple Peach Blackberry Twist soaking in my fridge for breakfast tomorrow.  I can’t wait!

Bento Box Lunches

For a long time now, I’ve had this horrible habit of forgetting to eat all day and then making up for it at dinner.  Granted this has a lot to do with the nature of my job.  All day I’m bouncing around from a school to a house to park and so on.  The point is I go where my clients are, and I drive a lot.  During the work day, my car is the only home base that I know.  Unfortunately, this means I don’t get to bring my lunch and stick it in the fridge at the office.  I’ve tried packing lunches with ice packs for my car, but the boring sandwich and chips thing never really stuck.  I recently bought this Lock&Lock bento-style lunch box from Amazon.  It’s awesome because now I can pack a variety of dishes, keep everything separate, and prevent sogginess.  I’m using tuna salad, egg salad, and roasted nut recipes from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook, along with hummus, dried fruit and veggies.  I make the tuna or egg salad at night twice a week (they last 2-3 days in the fridge), and I chop the veggies the night before.  Chris and I both loved the Dilled Egg Salad – the fresh herbs and spices were perfectly balanced, and the Dark Chocolate Roasted Nut Mix – cocoa, brown sugar, pecans, and hazelnuts.  Chris gets the same lunch as me, but he’s using a Zojirushi lunch jar.  It’s really a neat, modern-looking way to pack lunch, and I love that it doesn’t need an ice pack.

I believe this is one of those “you know you’re an adult when…” moments.  You know you’re an adult when you get super excited about packing lunch in a bento box, making breakfast in a mason jar, and eating healthier!  I’ll update the post with better pictures soon!

 

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