Archive of ‘Simple Ideas’ category

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Coming off of weeks of vacation, birthday celebrations, and the ultimate candy holiday, Halloween, low carb is key to our survival right now. I always like November because it gives you a break before the real heavy eating starts. By now, spaghetti squash is no secret to the endless possibilities of carb replacement. I made chicken alfredo with it and it was perfect! Totally satisfying and hearty without the food coma.

I started by first baking a whole spaghetti squash in the oven at 350 for about an hour. This time depends on how large your squash is; mine was pretty large. After the squash is cooked, cut it open lengthwise and let it cool (it will be very hot!). Once it has cooled slightly, spoon out the seeds in the middle. Take a fork and pull out the strands of squash; it will look like noodles! I like to toss mine with a olive oil and salt and pepper. Place aside.
Our alfredo is just heavy cream in a small saucepan with 2 smashed garlic cloves in it. Let the cream simmer over medium heat for just about 5-10 minutes, until the cream has thickened. For the two of us, I used just about 3/4 cup of cream so adjust according to how much you need. I shredded some rotisserie chicken and added it to the squash. Then just pour the cream over the chicken and squash and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. This is definitely an easy and quick meal that feels healthful. Enjoy!

Breakfast for Dinner

So my plan for the section, “Dinner Plans” was to show you meals I make throughout the week that aren’t really a recipe but something that might inspire you for a quick and simple dinner. Since I work full time and by the time we eat, it is now dark outside, I started to shy away from this segment. Natural light is best when taking pictures of food and by the time dinner is made there isn’t any natural light, I didn’t want to post a pic that wasn’t up to my standards. But I’ve had a change of heart! I won’t let lamp lighting get the best of me! So here it goes! Dinner Plans: The Dark Ages. Glad you’re here with me! (more…)

One dinner I can always easily throw together is breakfast. Scrambled eggs, omelettes, fritattas, fried eggs are all on my mind when making dinner. I also use breakfast for dinner as an opportunity to use up any veggies that are almost going bad. This dinner is scrambled eggs with butter, roasted bacon (the new way to cook bacon), and garlic parsley mushrooms and onions. Place bacon on a sheet pan and roast at 375 for about 12-15 minutes, depending on what you like your bacon to be like (crispy, chewy, etc). Saute onions until translucent, add baby bella mushrooms. Once water has evaporated from mushrooms add garlic and thyme. Cook for another minute then add parsley. You are done! PS. I always love a leetle bit of mayo on my egg sandwich. It’s a Cracker Barrel thing! Happy dinner making!

Portobello Pizzas

Can I just address the elephant in the room? You might not like mushrooms, let alone huge ones with gills that look like they could fit small a child in one. I get it. I love mushrooms and sometimes wish they had the nutritional value of something very green. I like to use them as a meat substitute or to add a little substance to a dish if a starch isn’t included. These pizzas have been a great summer staple, using ripe grape tomatoes and fresh basil. Those big gills are also removed so these ‘shrooms are more appealing to eat. (more…)

They don’t really taste like pizza but are a good substitute for the carby counterpart if you’re like me and could eat your weight in delicious crust. I’ve made this with sausage and ground beef. Both were yummy. I’m sure some ground turkey would also suffice. This meal is quick with no musses or fusses, just what I like for a weeknight meal. As you can see, Chris loves this dish and I do too. ¬†For a fun hors d’oeuvres, you could stuff baby portobellos with the same mixture. I would say the world is your oyster but I don’t want to make my texture sensitive friends feel more uncomfortable.

I will see you guys tomorrow for our first ever free giveaway! I hope this Thursday flies by for you! Unless you are at the beach, then I hope it’s very long.

Roasted Veggie Sandwich with Goat Cheese

So I had this for dinner last night and was going to post about it later in the week. After my first bite, I knew I had to post it today! Last night was a rare occasion wherein I only had to cook for myself! The possibilities! Why is it that when our men are away, us women cook vegetarian food? Or that’s how it is in my house at least. I don’t always need meat in my meal but Chris is a ravishing beast without it so I try to always include it. I will, however, make this sandwich for him later on and I bet prosciutto or bacon would be a lovely addition. This sandwich doesn’t have to be vegetarian but the veggies are definitely the attention getters here. (more…)

I cut up a variety of vegetables, all the same size, tossed them with extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper and roasted them in a 425 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. Have you roasted onions before? You’re welcome. I also used eggplant, red bell pepper, summer squash, zucchini, and mushrooms (gotta love CSAs!). I then made a salsa verde with 2 kinds of basil and crumbled some goat cheese. You can use any type of bread or roll for this but the ciabatta roll takes the cake. I split it open, spread the salsa verde on the bottom half (be liberal! You want this to be dripping!) and goat cheese on the top. Add hot veggies, top with the other half of the roll and cut on a diagonal. So many flavors that all seamlessly work together. You won’t be upset when you’re told to finish your vegetables!

Sorry for the lack of pictures. My lighting wasn’t the greatest (thanks summer evening storms!) and I was too hungry to have patience. We are only humans, right? Happy sandwich making!

Roasted Salmon with Dill Salsa Verde

I would apologize for the carby overload this week but in reality, I think you should be thanking me. I’ve given you a reason to eat carbs, unabashedly, and in the most marvelous way possible. Alas, it’s summer time and although we binge eat at our cookouts, we also have to play it cool. When it’s super hot outside, I like to do minimal cooking possible. “Throwing together” is more my pace when I’m sweating just from walking 2 steps from my car to my house. I also love a yummy sauce that doesn’t need to be reduced over the stove; just a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and we’re in business! But really, eating light can be a great and rather delicious idea. And what better season to do it in? The herbs are plentiful, the veggies are crisp, the fruits are juicier than ever.

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I use salmon for this dinner but I think any white, mild fish would taste just as great! I season my salmon with salt and pepper and I roast it at 275 for about 20ish minutes. Meanwhile, I take a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, parsley, dill, juice of half a lemon, one tablespoon of chopped capers, and one clove of minced garlic and throw it into a mixing bowl. Can you predict what comes next? We mix! This is our dill salsa verde and it’s fresh, herbacious, and the right amount of garlicky. If you were expecting the salsa verde you get at Mexican restaurants, I apologize for that disappointment. But this Mediterranean version is great to try this summer on fish, chicken, pork, or, why not, steak! Get creative with the herbs too!

Roasted Salmon with Caramelized Onions and Fennel topped with a Pea Shoot Salad

Salmon is always a must for me during the week. Whether I make it into tacos or place a simple white wine sauce over it, it tends to be an easy meal regardless. And that’s what I need during the week: easy peasy.
This meal is hardly a recipe, just one of those “throw together” gigs. The onions and fennel add a nice warmth to the salmon, while the pea shoot salad adds a vinegary freshness. If you have never had pea shoots before, they taste similar to alfalfa sprouts (yum!) but are crisper and cleaner. For multiple reasons, I prefer Wild Sockeye Salmon over the Atlantic Farm Raised Salmon. I’m not imposing on your salmon beliefs, just encouraging you to try it out!

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I generally like to cook my salmon in the oven versus pan frying it so my house doesn’t smell like fish for the next couple of days. Also, I’m not a salmon skin fan so I don’t care if it’s crispy or not, it’s coming off! The oven is at 275 and the fish is seasoned with salt and pepper. Then it is cooked to a medium, about 20 minutes(although 15 minutes for medium rare is the preferred way to go and you won’t get as much as that “white stuff” if you cook it medium rare). Since I just mentioned it, let’s talk about that “white stuff”. It is also called albumin and it is the result of the fish releasing fat and losing moisture as it cooks. So the less time you cook it, the less albumin will be on your fish. I’ve done my thorough research on why the “white stuff” occurs and have decided I’ve been too hard on myself. The white stuff won’t stand between me and my salmon. It can be removed just fine!

Ok, back to the meal. While the salmon is roasting, take half an onion and half a fennel bulb and thinly slice. Add to a skillet with olive oil at medium heat and cook until a deep golden color (about 20 minutes). To assemble the pea shoot salad, just combine pea shoots (about 1 cup per person), rice vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Take the salmon out, remove skin (if you wish), top with caramelized onion mixture and pea shoot salad.
Tip: If you want an even simpler meal for these hot days of summer, don’t cook the onions and fennel. Just thinly slice (almost shaving them) and add into the pea shoot salad!

PS. This recipe is for 2 people, using 2 salmon fillets. Adjust according to your taste and family!