Monday, April 29, 2013

Let's Go Fishing!
I was inspired for this recipe by a beautiful Steelhead Trout my fiance, Jody Lake, caught in the Thunder Bay River last weekend.  You really can't get anything fresher, but any white flesh fish would work wonderfully for this meal.  
Honestly, I wasn't sure what would go great with this fish, since I don't cook with it a lot, but luckily a container of pearled couscous was calling to me from the pantry.  Paired with the ever present grapefruit that I always seem to have on hand and more kale, you have dinner fresh from my kitchen to yours.  I was surprised how easy this was to bring together in less than a half hour.  Enjoy!

-1 TBSP grapefruit zest
-Juice of one pink grapefruit, divided
-White flesh fish like Trout or Whitefish (4 servings)
-3 TBSPs olive oil, divided
-2 TSP red pepper flake, divided
-1 cup pearled couscous
-2 cups chopped kale
-1 shallot sliced thin
-2 cups water or stock (chicken or fish)
-salt and pepper to taste
Marinate the fish in one half of the grapefruit juice and 1 TBSP of olive oil.  Set aside.  If you have left over grapefruit vinaigrette from this recipe (click here)this would work great too.  Set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Ready to eat?  Take your zester or box grater and run the outside of a well cleaned grapefruit across it.  Don't go down too far into the white pith.  In a small bowl, add 1 TBSP of olive oil to the other half of grapefruit, zest and 1 TSP red pepper flake.

Set a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat and add 1 TBSP olive oil, kale, shallots and dust with 1 TSP of red pepper flakes.  Stir frequently until the kale has wilted but is still vibrant green and add a splash of water.  Stir until the water has evaporated and remove from the pan.

Return the pan to heat, wipe out excess water and add dry couscous.  Allow the couscous to toast until slightly browned then add water to the pan.  Stir frequently and cook until the water has evaporated completely, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, while the pearl couscous is cooking, take the fish out of the marinade and prep the grill.  The fish will take about 5 to 8 minutes each side to grill.  Be sure to season each side of the fish with salt and pepper.

To finish the meal, add the kale and shallot back to the couscous then stir to combine.  Dress the couscous to taste with grapefruit juice, zest, olive oil and red pepper flake mixture.  Dust with a bit of salt and plate 3/4 of a cup per serving of fish.  This recipe serves 4.

I'd love to hear your feedback!  
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Detox your Diet with this Colorful Veggie Salad

The all vegan ingredients featured in this recipe not only taste good, but they also have natural detoxing properties. Combine a few ingredients into a simple salad that pairs well with most main meals. 
Believed by many to have good-luck properties, cabbage (and other cruciferous vegetables) promotes healthy liver function, stimulating the body's natural detoxification process.  The extra fiber in beets increases the production of antioxidant enzymes in the liver, helping the body eliminate bile and other toxic substances.  Carrots have a high vitamin A content and are a natural defense against colon cancer.  This recipe makes a bunch, so tossed together with a wonderful, unique dressing you'll be delighted and detoxified all week long!
Salad Ingredients:
-2 whole beets, cleaned and shredded
-4 whole carrots, cleaned and shredded
-1/2 head of shredded cabbage, suggesting Savory cabbage
-3 green onions sliced on a diagonal
-1/3 cup of raw sunflower seeds
-1/3 cup of currants
Dressing Ingredients:
-1/3 cup olive oil
-3 TBSP lemon juice (start with 2 and add another if needed)
-2 TSP apple cider vinegar
-1 TSP braggs liquid aminos (or tamari)
-2 TBSP Tahini
-1/2 TSP cumin
-1/4 TSP cinnamon
Using a box grater or food processor, grate the beets, carrots and cabbage and toss together in a large glass or ceramic bowl.  In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients and toss with the green onions, currants and sunflower seeds into the veggies and let it "cook" the veggies in the refrigerator for a few hours.  The flavor will intensify and meld the longer your salad sits, so use it as a super food side in your meals this week and see how amazing you feel in one week.  Serving size is 1 cup.
I'd love to hear your feedback!  This recipe has tons of veggie goodness, but not nearly as much as a glass of shakeology. If you haven't tried it or head of it before, email me today! I drink a shake a day for breakfast. It's amazing and tastes GREAT! 
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Monday, April 15, 2013

Learn a new culinary trick:
Segmenting citrus will allow you to wow your family with your amazing knife skills and add new recipes to your toolbox!  You will need a sharp straight edge knife, cutting board and a bowl.  For your first try, start with a larger fruit like grapefruit.
Step one: Cut off the ends of the grapefruit.  This is about 1/4 inch on each side. Not sure what the ends are?  This is where the stem would be and the opposite side of the fruit.
Step two:  Set the fruit on one of the flat ends and follow the curve of the fruit to cut off the peel.  Continue to cut until all the peel is off and the flesh is revealed.
Step three:  Clean up the flesh by removing any pitch (white rind) that is still left.
Step four:  I would recommend doing this part over a bowl since the fruit will release a lot of juice.  Slice toward the center of the fruit on both sides of the fibrous white membrane, leaving just the fruit to fall into the bowl.  This is the tricky part, so don't get discouraged if every piece isn't perfect!  Want a visual?Click here for a short video clip.
Step five: Squeeze the membranes to release the remaining juices and reserve for a grapefruit vinaigrette recipe, like the one below!

Shrimp with Red Quinoa, Snow Peas and Grapefruit Warm Salad

You will be able to pull this recipe off with your new kitchen skills!  This recipe is a unique combo of fresh and bright flavors that combine for a meal that will leave you feeling satisfied but not weighed down.
-2 cups fresh snow peas
-1 TSP olive oil
-1 pink grapefruit, segmented
-16 larger tiger shrimp, defrosted
-1 TSP butter
-2 garlic clove, minced
-1/2 cup red quinoa
-1 cup water
-1 TSP cayenne pepper
-1/2 cup chopped scallion greens or chives

Place quinoa, cayenne pepper and water in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Meanwhile, add the butter and garlic to a saute pan over medium heat.  In a separate saute pan over medium high heat, add 1 TSP olive oil.  Add the shrimp and snow peas to their saute pans at the same time.  Stir the snow peas frequently, but only flip the shrimp once, salt and peppering beforehand.  Don't overcook the snow peas, as they should be bright green and slightly snappy.  The shrimp will be pink and opaque when done.  Remove from heat and add the snow peas to the quinoa with 4 TBSP of the vinaigrette.  Place in a serving bowl, do the top with segmented grapefruit and make a well in the center of the mix.  Add the shrimp and dust the top with chives.  Serves 4.
For the Vinaigrette:
-1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-fresh cracked black pepper
-dash of cayenne pepper
-1 TSP sea salt

Place in a bowl or jar and whisk/shake into a quick and delicious dressing!

Monday, April 8, 2013

If you are looking for some advice on how to eat healthy on a budget here it is!
1.  Make a Shopping List
Rather than aimlessly wandering the supermarket, sit down before you go to think about what you need for the week.  Having a list of the ingredients you'll need will save you time and money.
2.  Eat More Beans and Legumes
Beans are a high-quality source of protein and a good dose of heart-healthy dietary fiber.  A typical serving provides 7 grams of fiber, not to mention they are easy to store and inexpensive.  Always rinse well to remove the canning liquid that is high in sodium.
3.  Buy Frozen
Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as beneficial for you as fresh, and usually much cheaper.  Often they are already cooked making them quick and easy too!
4.  Make Your Own Ready Meals
Rather than buying pre-packaged meals try making your own.  Make large batches of stews, chilis and soups and simply freeze individual or family portions. Pair with a healthy salad or whole grain roll and you have a complete meal. Not to mention frozen soups/chili are always crockpot friendly.

Fresh Herb and Roasted Tomato Tortellini, Kale and Beans

This recipe uses meat as a condiment, meaning, it is a highlight of the dish, versus the main feature.  This style of cooking is better not only for your waistline but for your bottom line too.  Meat is typically the most expensive item per pound in your shopping cart and the highest in calories so it makes sense to limit your intake.  I'm not saying cut it completely, I'm just giving you some options, and this recipe is a great one!
-1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed well
-1 small package of fresh tortellini
-1 TBSP red pepper flakes (optional)
-2 TBSP olive oil
-1 head of Kale, stemmed and chopped well
-2 to 3 ounces of leftover protein (chicken, ham, steak)
-3 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
-3 TBSP basil chiffonade
-1 small package of grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed
-Fresh cracked black pepper
-Sea salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Place 1 TBSP olive oil in an oven proof skillet or dutch oven.  Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with a dose of sea salt.  Place in the hot oven until they start to crack and wilt, about 15 minutes or less.  Remove from oven, but keep the oven hot.  
While the tomatoes are baking, bring a salted pot of water to a boil, add the tortellini and kale and cook for 6 minutes.  Drain and quickly add to the skillet of tomatoes. Toss in rosemary, protein, butter beans and red pepper flakes and stir briefly to combine. Drizzle the top with the remaining 1 TBSP of olive oil and black pepper. Return the skillet to the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove, stir again briefly and top with basil.  Serves four.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Meal Planning
Life is busy!  How can we bring balanced, healthy meals into our lives, while still juggling soccer practice, meetings, classes and work?   Just like you would anything else important, plan ahead.  
The key is to know what you're going to make for dinner before 5pm.  Do this by making a menu for the week each Sunday and planning for some cooking days and some leftover days.    For example:
Fish Tacos!
Monday-Grilled fish and lemon tomato risotto
Tuesday-Leftover grilled fish into tacos with lemony cabbage slaw
Wednesday-Stir-fry with cabbage and wasabi Greek yogurt sauce
Thursday-Whole wheat wraps with stir fry veggie filling and peanut sauce
Friday-Simple! Shakeology and a mixed green salad with peanut dressing
Saturday-Splurge! Dinner out
Sunday-Hearty stew cooked in a crockpot while you're out shopping for the next week!

Lemon Tomato Risotto
-Four 3/4 cups vegetable broth
-1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes
-1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or onion
-1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
-1/4 cup dry winter wine or 1/8 cup of vinegar
-1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
-1 TSP grated lemon rind
-2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
-1 TBSP unsalted butter
-1/4 TSP salt

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 TSP olive oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes or until tender.
Bring vegetable broth and tomatoes to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Keep warm over low heat.
Stir in rice to shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in wine; cook until liquid is absorbed (about 30 seconds), stirring constantly.  Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Reserve 1/4 cup broth.  Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next.  Remove from heat; stir in reserved 1/4 cup broth and remaining ingredients.