Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Grilled Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri is a vibrant green sauce made from fresh parsley and other herbs.  This sauce not only tastes great but is also packed with vitamins and antioxidants from the fresh herbs.  It is originally from Argentina and commonly served with grilled meat like flank or skirt steak which is delicious but I also love it with grilled salmon.  The Copper River Salmon is available now so I bought a beautiful filet to grill and made my version of chimichurri sauce to serve with it.  The sauce can be made by putting all the ingredients in a food processor, or roughly chopping everything for a chunkier sauce.  It is great both ways.  This time I used the food processor.  When using this sauce with beef you can use half to marinate and reserve the other half for serving.

Chimichurri Sauce

1 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 garlic cloves
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend well

Store sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 days

Cut a 2lb. wild salmon filet into 6-8 pieces and sprinkle with sea salt

Grill skin side down over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes

Slide spatula in between skin and filet and flip
Discard skin with tongs and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until desired doneness

Serve with Chimichurri and enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gluten-Free Crackers

These crackers are great eaten alone or with a dip or spread.  I like to use the almond flour from Trader Joes and extra sharp cheddar cheese.  There are a few extra steps when baking but it is worth it for a homemade gluten-free cracker.
Place 2 cups almond flour, 2 cups shredded cheddar, 1 tsp baking soda,
1 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp sea salt
and 1/3 cup cold water in food processor

Blend until a soft dough is formed

Cover dough and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes

Use about 1 tsp of dough and roll into balls
Place on silpat or parchment paper lined sheet pan
Cover the bottom of a juice glass with plastic wrap
Press each ball of dough until flat
Bake crackers in oven at 300 for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes then flip crackers over
Turn oven down to 200 and bake for 30 more minutes
Turn off oven and leave crackers in oven until cool
Store cooled crackers in an airtight container


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Orange Delight

This delicious shake reminds me of an Orange Julius, but this version is much healthier with no refined sugars or artificial flavors.  It is best made with freshly squeezed orange juice but store bought is fine too.  You can use a regular or high speed blender for this recipe.

2 cups orange juice
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
2 cups ice cubes
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Combine juice, yogurt, honey, ice, and vanilla in blender.

Process until slushy.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Goodbyn Lunchbox

Goodbyn is an American company located in the midwest.  They make fantastic lunchboxes and bynto boxes!  The lunchboxes have 6 compartments to put food in so you don't need to use any plastic bags.  The smaller bynto boxes have 3 compartments.  The containers come with an 8 oz. drink bottle that can be used for a beverage or a salad dressing.  An adorable sticker set is included for optional decorating.  They are BPA free and dishwasher safe.  These are great for school lunches, work lunches and picnics.  Fill them with healthy food and throw them in a cooler for the drive to the cabin and avoid the drive-thru!  Pita chips and hummus, veggies and dip, chips and salsa, salads, leftovers, fresh cut fruit, the options are endless!  Check out their online store http://store.goodbyn.com
Abby's lunch
PB&J, carrots and dip, pineapple, tortilla chips and water

Fun stickers!

Bynto Box

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cauliflower Puree

This is a great way to serve cauliflower as a side dish.  When I couldn't eat potatoes I would make this cauliflower puree.  I like it better than mashed potatoes and still make it all the time.  The great thing is my kids just love it!  It is so easy!  Cauliflower is packed with nutrients.  It is low in fat, high in fiber and an excellent source of vitamins C and K.  It also contains many cancer fighting phyto-nutrients.

1 head organic cauliflower
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2-3 Tablespoons butter
salt to taste

Fill a saucepan with an inch of water.
Add cauliflower and steam over medium low heat until tender, about 45 minutes.

Drain water from pan.
Add yogurt and butter.

Puree with a hand blender until light and fluffy.
Season with salt to taste.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spinach salad with chicken, avocado and mango

This past Saturday my sister Liz and I hosted a baby shower for our sister Erin.  What to feed thirty-some lunching ladies?  A salad of course, and one that happens to match my new little nephew Liam's nursery(unintended but cool, and I am sure I'm the only odd person who noticed.).  It is also gluten and dairy-free, so most everyone can eat it.  We served an extra large batch of this salad  along with fresh berries and trail bread rolls from Lakewinds.  My thoughtful mother-in-law provided a decadent carrot cake from Buttercream to top it off.  It was a wonderful event to help prepare Erin for the arrival of her first child.  Liam could join us any time now, and we are all anxiously waiting!

This salad worked great for the shower but it is also one I often make just for myself or family.  It is very easy and doesn't take much time.  This is a good one to wrap up in a whole-grain wrap or large lettuce leaf when you are running out the door to softball or soccer practice, which in my family, we are doing every night these days.  To make a vegan, raw or side dish, just omit the chicken.

6 c. organic spinach chopped
2 organic free-range chicken breasts grilled and chopped
1 avocado chopped
1 mango chopped
1/2 c. pecans chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. honey
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

Place chopped spinach in salad bowl
Add chicken, avocado, mango and pecans
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, dijon, honey, salt and pepper
Add dressing to salad and toss 


Monday, May 9, 2011

Fresh Lemonade with Mint

This lemonade is quick and easy to make.  It is sweetened with honey, so no refined sugars, artificial sweeteners or colors.  Just lemons, honey, water and mint.  I use a honey simple syrup which is made by combining two parts honey with 1 part water in a saucepan and heating it on the stove.  Stir well and let cool.  You can keep a batch of honey simple syrup in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  To make the lemonade I use a regular blender.  A Vitamix or other high-speed blender is a little too powerful.  For pink lemonade omit the mint and add 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries.  Enjoy this lemonade on it's own or with Prairie organic vodka for a great summer cocktail.    

Cut 3 organic lemons into 8 pieces each.

Place lemons in blender with 1 oz. fresh mint, 4 1/2 cups water, 1 cup honey simple syrup
 and a pinch of salt.

Blend for only 10 seconds.
 Any longer and it can get bitter.

Strain lemonade through a sieve into a glass pitcher.

Serve over ice and enjoy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Taboule Salad

This fresh summer salad is so easy to make.  I like to use whole wheat cous cous because it has 7g of fiber and 8g of protein per serving.  I buy mine at Trader Joe's but any brand is fine.  I love to eat this salad on it's own for lunch or serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or lamb.

Mix 1 1/3 c cous cous with 2/3 c boiling water, 1/3 c olive oil and 1/3 c fresh lemon juice.
Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

Fluff cous cous with a fork and add 1c chopped green onions, 1 c chopped parsley, 1 c chopped english cucumber, skin removed, 1 1/2 c chopped fresh tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.  Mix well and refrigerate for 15 minutes.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Avocado Burgers

These avocado burgers are a family favorite.  My mother made them often during the summer when I was growing up.  It is still one of the menu items most requested by my sisters and I when she cooks to celebrate our birthdays.  They are easy to make and packed with flavor.  The avocado makes them extra tender and moist.  I like to use organic grass-fed beef.  It is worth paying a little extra for.  If you want to know more about why that is, check out the movie Food Inc.  It is very eye-opening.  With all the added ingredients the patties are fragile and need a little extra care when grilling, but it is well worth it!

In a mixing bowl combine 2 lbs ground beef, 1 mashed avocado,  a 4oz can of diced green chilis, 1/4 cup chopped green onion, 2 cloves of garlic minced, 1 Tbsp lemon pepper, and 1 tsp salt.

Use your hands or a potato masher to mix well.

Form into 8 patties and grill over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.  Top with shredded monterey jack cheese for the last minute of cooking.

Serve on a toasted whole-grain bun with fresh sliced tomatoes.
These are also great without the bun served over mixed greens.