9/30/16

Dinner In 15 Minutes: Baked Atlantic Wild Caught Cod With Pickled Fennel & Onions


Need a quick and healthy dinner? Try my Baked Atlantic Wild Caught Cod With Pickled Fennel & Onions.

Most Friday nights I go salsa dancing, and the last thing I want to eat for dinner is something heavy that will weigh me down. A few weeks ago I made a healthy piece of Atlantic wild caught cod with pickled fennel and red onions with tomatoes and lemons. This dish is made in 15 minutes and goes well with a big salad. If you want a more filling meal, serve the fish over mashed potatoes or with a side of roasted potatoes.

Baked Atlantic Wild Caught Cod With Pickled Fennel & Onions
Serves 1

Ingredients
olive oil
8 ounce fillet of Atlantic Wild Caught Cod
salt
1 layer pickled fennel
1 layer pickled red onion
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
fennel tops
lemon slices
optional: white wine

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Lightly coat your baking dish with olive oil.
3. Put fish in the baking dish and season lightly with salt. Top with fennel, onions, tomatoes, fennel tops and lemon slices.
4. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of white wine (this is optional).
5. Bake cod for 15 minutes or until the fish is flaky and cooked through.

You'll feel so virtuous after eating this ;)

Happy Friday!

9/28/16

Pressure Cooked Pork Bowl With Corn & Black Beans Inspired By Skinnytaste



My Pressure Cooked Pork Bowl With Corn & Black Beans inspired by Skinnytaste recipe is THE perfect lunch bowl for fall. Yes, the weather is getting cooler, but it doesn't mean you have to load up on carbs and cheesy sauces. You can still eat a pretty healthy lunch or dinner that's satisfying, colorful, quick to make and is packed with a lot of flavor.

I saw Gina's recipe for Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken and liked the use of cumin to spice up the black beans and corn. I did not have the time to make a slooooooooooooooooow recipe. Plus, I already had some pressure cooked pork on hand and decided to use that with a few extra ingredients (Castelvetrano olives!) to make my own version of Gina's dish.

Pressure Cooked Pork Bowl With Corn & Black Beans Inspired By Skinnytaste

Ingredients for 1 bowl
olive oil for sauteing
1/4 small onion, diced
3/4 cup frozen corn, defrosted
3/4 cup black beans (home cooked or canned and drained)
to taste: cumin powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt
1/2 cup pulled pork
1 tomato, diced
1/2 avocado, sliced
lime juice
3-5 Castelvetrano olives, pit removed, "flesh" chopped

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender.
2. Add corn and black beans, season with cumin, garlic and chili powders and salt. Saute until cooked through.
3. Add pulled pork and warm through.
4. Serve the above mixture in a bowl topped with diced tomato and sliced avocado.
5. Squeeze lime juice on top of the bowl and add olives.
Optional: top with fresh cilantro.

This was such a satisfying meal. You can make it a bit more substantial by serving it on top of a roasted sweet potato or roasted diced butternut squash.

9/26/16

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Sandwich With New Sabra Spreads

Back in August Sabra invited me to come back to Richmond for the hummus factory tour, to check out their renovated kitchen, meet some of the other SabraTastemakers and learn about the newest product in their line up.

Spreads! 

Yes, now you can squeeze out hummus directly onto your sandwiches. I'm not saying I'll forego mayonnaise forever, but these Sabra Spreads are a great alternative. First, they come in 3 fun flavors. My favorite is Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper. The other two flavors are Garlic Herb, which is great in egg salad or tuna sandwiches, and Honey Mustard, which reminds me of my days of working at KFC when I was in High School.

Not only are these spreads vegan, kosher, gluten free and non-dairy, but they also have zero cholesterol and contain 75% less fat than mayonnaise. If you are watching your weight, or if you simply like delicious food, you'll love these.

To feature my favorite Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Sabra Spread, I made a Vegetarian Sandwich. I hope you will check out Sabra's new spreads and create your own sandwiches with them!

Disclosure: Sabra provided samples and compensation for the recipe development, but all opinions are my own. Make sure to check out other recipes I developed using Sabra products!


Vegetarian Sandwich With New Sabra Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Spread
Ingredients for 1 sandwich
2 wholewheat slices of bread, toasted
1-2 tablespoons Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Sabra Spread
1/2 roasted pepper, sliced
1 layer pickled fennel
1 layer pickled red onion
2 slices Muenster cheese
2 slices lettuce

Directions
1. Build your sandwich. Slice in half. Eat.


If you are looking for these spreads in your store, you'll find them in the deli section. Of course you can also squeeze out the hummus based spreads for dipping your vegetables or chips!


Learn more at Sabra and go make a sandwich!

9/23/16

TGIF: Happy First Weekend of Fall


Raise your hand if you are ready for the weekend! I'm raising both of mine. I am! Trust me.

I'm ready for cooler weather, gathering with friends for pho and brunch (two separate days), covering the greys with henna (oh the joys of being a girl), napping and sleeping better, dancing, and doing a bit of cooking.

Find whimsy in unexpected places. That's my challenge for you for this weekend. Last week I found a little fennel heart in the jar of pickled fennel I made. Adorable, yes?


And if you are looking for a great brunch, make fried rice with defrosted peas, kimchi, any sort of meat and a fried egg. And make sure not to overcook the egg like I did. No one is perfect.


9/21/16

AmazonFresh in Northern VA and MD: The Grocery Store at Your Doorsteps

If you know me, you know that 1) I have little patience 2) I like things that are incredibly convenient 3) I believe time is money.

Perhaps that's why I've been an Amazon Prime member for several years. Yes, there's a fee, but it allows you to get free shipping and handling on many items. Need a last minute gift? You got it! Need a box of toilet paper and don't have a car and don't want to schlep it? No problem: order it on line. Plus, there's music, Transparent, and Catastrophe!

Last week, thanks to a gift card from Amazon, I was able to try out AmazonFresh. If you live in Northern Virginia or Maryland, you can now order pretty much anything you'd normally buy at a grocery store from the convenience of your own home and have it delivered the same day to your door or choose a date in the near future! You can either pay a monthly fee of $14.99 {in addition to your Amazon Prime membership} or try it for one month for free and see what you think.

Here's why this is great:
1) you don't have a car and are sick of carrying groceries by hand
2) you are sick and don't want to bother friends to bring you soup, milk and bread
3) you are coming home after a long vacation and want to have a few necessities and fresh produce waiting for you when you fly in

In fact, you can order everything from fresh meat and seafood, to frozen pizza, baked goods, dairy, pet supplies and beauty products!


When figuring out what to order, here are the things that I thought about:

1) I wanted to order fresh produce to check out the quality and freshness
2) I wanted to be a bit reckless and order fresh fish!!!
3) To make sure to get enough for $40 minimum to qualify for free delivery, I ordered a large container of detergent and a few random things.

My thoughts
1) The ordering process was incredibly easy. You can use preset categories to search for specific items or type in what you want in the search box.
2) AmazonFresh did a lovely job of suggesting extra items you may want to add to your order. For example, when I selected Atlantic Cod, I was asked if I'd like to also buy a lemon and parsley.
3) If you are into organic produce and products, you will find a wide selection of such items on AmazonFresh.
4) The prices were comparable to what I would pay otherwise at my grocery store.
5) I really liked the option of getting my order delivered for the 4-6pm "window." This allowed plenty of time to use the fish I ordered to make dinner!
6) You even have an option to order local products: in Northern VA this means Compass Coffee, Cake Love products, etc.

Basically, I'm a fan!!!

Disclosure: Amazon provided me with a gift card to try AmazonFresh service. All opinions are my own.

9/19/16

What To Do With Fennel: Pickle It! Cheater Pickled Fennel Recipe


Let's have a quick chat about fennel. I used to strongly dislike it, but then changed my mind and now love it in salads, soups, and even omelets!

When I was in Seattle, I had a salad made with zucchini, pesto and pickled fennel at Delancey and loved the texture and flavor of pickled fennel. It was bright, crunchy, and not as licorice'y as it tends to be normally.

When I came back to DC, I decided to make my own version of pickled fennel by reusing a pickling solution from store-bought vegetables I had in the fridge.


What To Do With Fennel: Pickle It! Cheater Pickled Fennel Recipe
Ingredients
1 fennel bulb, cored, thinly sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
pickling liquid from store-bought pickles or other marinated vegetables

Directions
1. Fill a glass jar with sliced fennel and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
2. In a small pot bring to a simmer pickling liquid (you'll want enough to fill the jar of fennel).
3. Pour the simmering pickling liquid over the fennel and allow to cool before putting the jar in the refrigerator.
4. Allow a few days for the fennel to pickle. Use it in salads, sandwiches, or as a quick snack.


How do you like to eat fennel?

9/15/16

TBT: Where To Eat In Seattle AND A DIY Magnet Project

I'm back from Seattle. Technically, I've been back since Saturday night, but my jet lag is still strong and my body can't figure out which time zone it's in.

I wanted to share a few photos of a couple new and old places I went to while visiting family and friends in Seattle. Make sure to read/scroll all the way to the bottom of the post because there'll be a super easy DIY project waiting for you!

1. Kobe burger at The Butcher and The Baker. This was pretty spectacular. I skipped the bacon and ate the patty with a fork and a knife because there was no way this monstrosity was going to fit into my mouth. Juicy. Flavorful. Beyond filling. The kale slaw made me feel a bit better about eating so much meat, and I went for an hour walk around Green Lake after lunch.


2. Delancey: this was my second time at Delancey, and it did not disappoint. The short menu changes frequently, so choose whichever pizza sounds the best to you. I really liked that there was an option to choose two different combinations on one pizza.

Not to miss, if you go soon, is the summer squash salad with pickled fennel and pesto.



3. Jebena: Of course there are plenty of Ethiopian restaurants in DC, but I'm always up for having Ethiopian food. This place is small, but has a great menu with options for breakfast, and an incredibly warm and welcoming service.

Have you ever had foul? It's a dish of fava beans topped with tomatoes, onions, feta, chillies and eggs served with warm French Bread (on the left).


4. Bongos: Seattle's weather was perfect for an outdoor lunch at Bongos. The tables and chairs are placed directly into the sand on a large patio...you almost feel like you are in the Caribbeans!

Definitely make sure to get their fried plantains!




While at Bongos, I picked up a bunch of bottle caps and turned them into magnets by adding a magnet (with super glue) to the underside of the cap. How cute are these?


Where have you eaten lately?

9/12/16

Watermelon, Tomato & Nectarine Gazpacho Recipe: Easy as 1, 2, 3


Happy Monday! I'm back from Seattle, and the jet lag is for real!

Today I want to share with you an incredibly simple Meatless Monday gazpacho recipe I made before my trip to Seattle that's still quite appropriate as this summer heat is here to stay for at least one more week. Oy.

Watermelon, Tomato & Nectarine Gazpacho Recipe: Easy as 1, 2, 3
Ingredients
3 parts yellow seedless watermelon
2 parts tomatoes
1 part nectarines, pit removed

salt to taste
drizzle of olive oil
cubed cucumbers

Directions
1. Puree watermelon, tomatoes and nectarine and season with salt
2. Pour gazpacho into bowls and drizzle with olive oil
3. Top with cubed cucumbers

I used yellow watermelon because that's what I had, but you can use whichever watermelon you have. Clearly seedless is the best ;)

9/10/16

Happy Weekend: Hibiscus Rum Cocktail with Mint

It's Saturday! Happy weekend.

I'm flying back to DC after a week of family and friends time in Seattle.

Last night my twin and I hung out with a movie, picnic dinner, and a cocktail.

Use any amounts of the following: mint, lime, ice, hibiscus aqua fresca, Fresca, rum! 

Start by muddling mint and lime juice in a glass, then add the rest of the ingredients. 

Enjoy!




9/2/16

Hello From Seattle

Happy weekend! I'm in Seattle visiting family and friends. Yes, it's raining, but that's alright. Cheers to the weekend and a week of fun and good food.