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Snow Pea & Radish Salad

When I lived up north and had a big vegetable garden, it was a miracle if the snow peas made it into the house.

Same for the sugar snap peas. I’d stand out in the garden and eat them right off the vines.

Even snow peas from the store shine in this simple and easy salad.

Crisp and clean with just a bit of kick from our friends the radishes.

Here’s what you need:

Snow Pea & Radish Salad Ingredients

Snow Peas, Radishes, Green Onion, Walnut Oil (or olive oil), White Wine Vinegar, Sugar, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Snow Pea & Radish Salad Shopping List

In a perfect world, we would take the time to trim and pull the sting off each and every snow pea.

If the peas weren’t super fresh and tender or if my mom was coming over for dinner, I certainly would take the time to remove the little string. However, I don’t have a problem with the little pea string so I just let that step slide.

Give one of your raw peas a quick bite and you’ll quickly discover if you need to take the string off the side or not.

Put 2 cups (8 ounces) of snap peas in a microwave safe dish with about 1 Tablespoon of water. Cover and microwave for only 1 minute.

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Click HERE, there’s more!

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Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon

This simple recipe for Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon also comes with a public service announcement.

Attention Fish Lovers:  Copper River Salmon is now in season!

Like its salmon friends Sockeye and Coho, Copper River Salmon are wild caught, fresh salmon that enjoy a very specific and short season each year.

The Copper River runs through Alaska and empties into Prince William Sound. Every year from late May through June, if you’re lucky your store will get fresh Copper River Salmon.

It’s redder, richer in all those good essential oils, and sweeter than any other salmon I’ve tried. There is absolutely nothing remotely fishy about the flavor. In fact, it almost has a nutty quality.

Since the fish is so mild and has such a particular flavor, it doesn’t need much in the way of seasoning. My go to recipe is to grill it on a Cedar Plank either with a simple topping of salt & pepper or with a slightly more robust mustard coating.

Since it was pouring rain when I was getting ready to grill my salmon last week, I looked for an alternative that didn’t involve me getting soaked. Happily I had a salmon recipe on Pinterest that looked perfect for my glorious red piece of Copper River Salmon.

Here’s what you need:

Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon Ingredients

Salmon, Sweet Chili Sauce, Green Onion, Sesame Seeds (not pictured), Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon Shopping List

This recipe is the definition of simple and easy. You get a lot of bang for your buck with only a few ingredients.

Place your lovely salmon fillet (mine has the skin on one side) in a dish and season lightly with salt & pepper.

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I plan on about 6-8 oz. of fish per person so I have just under 1 pound for two of us.

I like to cook my fish in one piece rather than in individual servings to help keep the fish from drying out. It doesn’t look quite as nice for presentation but I’d rather have moist, tender fish over pretty slices any day.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Smoky Roasted Potatoes

I thought we should make a new category here at Idiot’s Kitchen…Super Simple Sides!

Smoky Roasted Potatoes are a good place to start.

You can’t get much better or more simple than potatoes roasted in the oven.

Add a little (or in my case, a lot) of smoked paprika and ordinary potatoes are transformed with smoky goodness.

By the way, my first cat’s name was Smokey so it is killing me to spell smoky (the adjective) without the E. Looks totally wrong to me so I looked it up. Smokey with an E for proper nouns (cat names) and without for adjective/recipes.

Here endeth the grammar lesson.

Here’s what you need:

Smoky Roasted Potatoes Ingredients

New Potatoes, Olive Oil, Smoked Paprika, Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Smoky Roasted Potatoes Shopping List

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

I love small red skin potatoes – sometimes also called new potatoes. No need to peel them, just give them a quick wash and dry.

Cut 2 pounds of potatoes into halves or quarters depending on their size. You’ll want these to be bite-sized, good for spearing with a fork right off the tray.

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Speaking of the tray, grab a big one. You don’t want these potatoes to be crowded or they will steam rather than roast. It’s better to use 2 pans if you need more room.

For many recipes I cover my tray with foil but for this recipe I do not. I want to be able to flip the potatoes and doing that would make holes in the foil. Also we want the potatoes in contact with the surface of the tray so they get golden and crispy.

Clean up isn’t bad at all, so for this one, skip the foil.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Pretty in Pink Smoothie

Showing my age with this one…

The Pretty in Pink Smoothie!

This movie actually showed up on my TV a couple of days after I made this smoothie so the name stuck.

I also got sucked into watching the end of the movie for the millionth time…making the dress, big fight with that jerk Blane, and of course the famous prom scene.

Ah, the heart of the 80s. Good stuff.

(google image)

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Also good stuff? This smoothie!

Here’s what you need:

Pretty In Pink Smoothie Ingredients

Banana (optional), Cherries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Greek Yogurt, and Vanilla Almond Milk.

Click here for a Pretty in Pink Smoothie Shopping List

Also optional is the Healthy Seed Trio…what I like to call my Smoothie Extras of Chia, Hemp, and Flax Seeds.

I almost always use flax seeds in every smoothie. The hemp I like better in green smoothies because they have more of a grassy flavor. Chia seeds don’t seem to have much flavor but they do and protein and tend to make the smoothies super thick.

Smoothie Extras

That being said, the raspberries in this smoothie are already pretty seedy, so if seeds bug you either skip the extra seeds or be sure you really blend this until it’s ultra smooth.

Click here, there’s more!

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Poke Tuna Bowl

Poke Tuna Bowl

Last week I posted a photo of my experimental Poke Tuna Bowl dinner on Instagram and Facebook and got a reaction I did not expect.

Instead of people saying “Ewwww, raw fish,” I got “How did you do that?” and words like “scrumptious” and “awesome.”

Well, of course I think so, but I already love sushi.

For those of you new to this, Poke Tuna (pronounced Po-keh, two syllables, not like poke with a stick) is originally from Hawaii. In Hawaiian, poke is a verb and means ‘to cut or chop into pieces’. Often served as a marinated salad, here it is incorporated into the ever popular rice bowl.

Traditional Poke Tuna usually has just a simple sesame marinade on it. However, I figured we should spice things up with a bit of Sriracha Mayo.

What you put in the bowl with the poke is up to you!

Here’s what you need:

Poke Tuna Bowl Ingredients

Ahi Tuna (Sushi Grade Tuna), Cooked Rice (not pictured), Cucumber, Avocado, Carrots, Lettuce, Green Onion, Tamari (GF) or Soy Sauce, Sriracha Mayonnaise, Sesame Oil, Pickled Ginger, and Sesame Seeds.

Click here for a Poke Tuna Bowl Shopping List

Plan ahead! What I’m not showing you is the rice, happily cooking about 20 minutes before I started making my Poke Tuna Bowl. Any kind of rice will do…white, brown, sushi, etc. If you want to make life really easy make your rice ahead (even days ahead) or stop by your favorite Chinese restaurant and buy a container of rice to go.

The most important ingredient in Poke Tuna is the tuna. Since we’re eating this raw, you want only the best and freshest. Unless you live in Hawaii or California, that often means flash frozen tuna fillets.

I found these individually wrapped, 4 oz. tuna fillets at Sam’s Club. (I’m searching for some other place that sells them because I do not want to join Sam’s Club as I already have a Costco addiction. But if I have to, for tuna this good I will fork over my money and join.)

These thaw very quickly in the fridge. The bonus to using frozen fillets is that you can make this dish in a flash if you have tuna stashed in your freezer.

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Click HERE, there’s more!

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GF Panko & Lime Baked Fish

Today is National Donut Day so of course I’m posting recipes for fish!

As you probably know, almost 2 years ago, I had to go gluten free (as in no wheat, no flour) to save my poor ailing innards.

I have many friends who have embraced GF baking but I have not had their level of success. So sadly, no GF donuts will be gracing our website today.

However, I have excelled in taking some of my favorite dishes and converting them quickly and simply to gluten free.

Take this recipe for Easy Baked Fish from waaaaay back in 2011. It was always one of my favorites but after going gluten free, I’d sort of forgotten about it.

Here’s what you need:

GF Panko & Lime Fish Ingredients

(This is the old picture but most of the ingredients are the same.)

1 pound flaky white fish (cod, snapper, swai, etc.), 1 lime, 1 shallot (not pictured), fresh parsley, panko bread crumbs (GF or regular), mayonnaise, butter, salt & pepper.

Click here for a Gluten Free Panko & Lime Baked Fish Shopping List

The easy substitution of GF breadcrumbs for the store bought panko is not really a big deal. It’s made even better if you skip the super expensive store bought GF crumbs and make your own.

When I only need a small amount of bread crumbs, I have a super sneaky fast method:  Take 2 pieces of GF bread (I usually have Udi’s) and pop them in the toaster.

When they’re all toasty and golden brown and pretty dried out, tear them into chunks and put them in the food processor.

Making Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs

I always have a bag of bread ends in the freezer for this purpose.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Marinated Skirt Steak with Cucumber Radish Salad

Time to fire up the grill for an unusual but extremely tasty dinner.

Marinated Skirt Steak with Cucumber Radish Salad borrows big flavors from Vietnamese cuisine.

A simple marinade provides depth of flavor to the steak which cooks quickly to tender deliciousness on the grill.

A crisp salad of cucumbers & radishes, along with some rice noodles rounds out the meal.

Quick, easy, and exotic.

Here’s what you need:

Marinated Skirt Steak Ingredients

1½-2 pounds skirt steak, cucumber, radishes, limes, jalapeño pepper, green onions, garlic, fish sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, sesame seeds, fresh mint (not pictured/optional), rice noodles, shredded carrots (not pictured/optional), salt & pepper.

Click here for a Marinated Skirt Steak with Cucumber Radish Salad Shopping List

One of the things that I love about this recipe is that the meat marinates in only about 30 minutes. You can put this together right before you cook rather than having to remember to marinate hours earlier.

If you are one to plan ahead, the original recipe does say that you can marinate the meat longer if you’d like, up to 24 hours, but the flavor from only marinating 30 minutes was extremely prominent so I wouldn’t worry about needing to marinate it for hours on end.

Use a microplane or other small grater to remove the rind or zest from 2 limes, equal to about 1 Tablespoon.

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Squeeze the juice from 3 limes to equal 1/3 cup.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Cool Cucumber Corn & Avocado Salad

Do you remember that old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercial? “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!” “Well, you got peanut butter on my chocolate!”

I feel exactly that way about Cool Cucumber Corn & Avocado Salad!

You know how fond I am of my funky salads so it was only a matter of time before two recent favorites collided.

“You got Cucumber & Avocado Salad on my corn!” “Well, you got Mexican Corn Salad on my avocado!”

TWO GREAT TASTES THAT TASTE GREAT TOGETHER! (Thanks, Reese’s!)

Here’s what you need:

Cucumber Corn & Avocado Salad Ingredients

Fresh Corn, Cucumber, Avocado, Green Onions, Lime, Fresh Basil, Olive Oil (not pictured), Mayonnaise, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Cool Cucumber Corn & Avocado Salad Shopping List

Like the Mexican Corn Salad, we want to cut the corn kernels off of 4 ears of corn and quickly cook them in a pan.

However, for this salad we want the cooked corn to cool completely so be sure to start the corn first before you do any other chopping.

If you need handy corn cutting off the cob instructions, click HERE for the nifty two bowl trick.

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Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a non-stick pan.

Add the corn kernels (I like to use a combination of white & yellow corn) and cook them quickly until they are just tender but not brown.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Ultimate Mango Lassi

I’m just going to go ahead and brag and say that I make a damn good smoothie.

It’s not like smoothies are rocket science, but it is fairly easy to go wrong if you’re just indiscriminately adding handfuls of spinach willy nilly with your fruit.

Pro Tip – Brown smoothies are no fun no matter how much they still taste like strawberries.

But this, THIS smoothie was by far the best that I’ve ever made.

So good that I’ve deemed it the Ultimate Mango Lassi!

For those not familiar with the term Lassi, it’s a yogurt based drink popular in India. Mango is by far the most well known lassi flavor in the US, but apparently in India they have both sweet and savory lassis.

What sets this apart from other mango smoothies is the addition of cinnamon and cardamom. Just a tiny pinch of each totally changes the flavor into something warm and slightly exotic.

Here’s what you need:

Ultimate Mango Lassi Ingredients

Mangoes (fresh or frozen), Plain Greek Yogurt, Vanilla Almond Milk, Cinnamon, and Ground Cardamom.

Click here for an Ultimate Mango Lassi Shopping List

I drink smoothies almost every day so I’ve added a few extras to help bump up the fiber, nutrients, and protein.

My go-to trio of smoothie extras is Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, and Flax Seed.

Smoothie Extras

If you’re a regular smoothie enthusiast, I think it’s worth the extra money and effort to include some or all of these seeds in your smoothie. You’re getting 3 of the Superfoods here…all adding protein, fiber, and those important Omega-3 fatty acids we’re supposed to be eating.

The main reason I decided to go with this seed trio is that by adding it to my smoothies every day, I am getting enough protein so that the smoothie satisfies my hunger throughout the entire morning. If I eat just a fruit only smoothie, I’m starving an hour later.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Spring Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks

I’ve been on a lucky roll lately in trying new recipes.

Sometimes you try something that looks good on paper but the end result just isn’t all that inspiring.

Other times you try something thinking, “Okay…this could be good” and are totally blown away.

Spring Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks is one of those blow you away (in a BIG WAY) recipes!

Traditional Roasted Chicken, while a staple at our house, can sometimes feel like in a fall or winter meal. After all, Thanksgiving dinner is all about a giant roasted bird.

This chicken, however, makes me think SPRING! Spring leeks, spring new potatoes, spring greens/arugula, spring dill.

Then to top it all off, a delightful and light drizzle of tangy yogurt sauce. Yes, yogurt on chicken.

Go with me on this one. It’s amazing.

Here’s what you need:

Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks Ingredients

Chicken, White New Potatoes, Leeks, Garlic, Lemon, Fresh Dill, Baby Arugula (optional but recommended), Olive Oil, Sriracha Sauce, Plain Yogurt, Cumin, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Spring Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks Shopping List

Plan Ahead! For the best flavor, this chicken needs to marinate for 30 minutes. It can even marinate up to 8 hours if you really want to plan ahead. I’ve always just started the chicken marinating first thing then by the time I get everything else ready to go, read a couple of emails, pour a glass of wine, the 30 minutes has passed.

For the marinade, combine 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, 2 Tablespoons of Sriracha Sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. Whisk to combine.

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2 Tablespoons of Sriracha has a bit of a kick to it. I taste it more in the potatoes than in the chicken. To me, this is not overly spicy but if you are sensitive or cooking for kids, you might want to try this with 1 Tablespoon of Sriracha at first. Otherwise, go for it!

Click HERE, there’s more!

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