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Delicious Dish: Steamed Sea Bass with a Citrus Soy Sauce

March 13th, 2014 No Comments

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Amongst my friends, it’s a joke how terrible I am at food photography, mediocre at plating, yet despite it all and the mess in the kitchen I’m a pretty solid as a cook.  So you’ll have to go with me on this one.  It’s amazing.

Sea Bass with Citrus and Soy

via Epicurious (published in Bon Apetit Magazine March 2002)

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice**
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 6-ounce sea bass fillets

** I had the juice bar at Whole Foods juice a whole pineapple.  OR I’ve use lemon juice mixed with a little agave.

Mix first 6 ingredients in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Add fish; turn to coat. Chill 2 hours, turning fish occasionally.

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Place steamer rack in large skillet. Arrange fish on rack. Pour marinade into skillet under rack and bring to boil. Cover skillet and steam fish until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Transfer fish to plates. Remove steamer rack from skillet. Boil marinade until reduced enough to coat spoon, about 6 minutes; spoon over fish. Top with green onions (optional).

I usually top it with oranges.  Here I’ve paired it with green beans sautéed in toasted sesame seed oil, quinoa with cilantro, and SoCal sunset.  Doesn’t get much better in my book :)

Sunset in venice, ca

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Best grilled cheese ever?!

March 6th, 2014 No Comments

By the looks of it, I’m going to go with “HELL YES!”  I stumbled across this recipe from Partial Ingredients on my friend Joe’s Facebook page and was instantly drooling.

I haven’t been cooking lately, hence the lack of recipes on MTM.  Not to worry, I’m firing up the oven on Friday so there should be something exciting to see next week.

BUT…

I don’t know if my dish will beat this bad boy.  This grilled cheese has everything I love sandwiched between two pieces of bread, which makes it even more heavenly. Plus, a dollop of cream and cilantro on top.  I mean….

Partial Ingredients is a food blog without much background about the blogger.  She lives in central California, seems to cook often, and adapts recipes to her liking.  For example, she says she came up with this recipe using leftovers from a Mexican meal.  I would have never thought of a grilled cheese, but here it is in all its glory!

Evereyone always wants to add meat to a grilled cheese which makes it too heavy.  Admittedly, this version is loaded with fat, yet I’m going to guess eat bite is worth it.  We can lighten it up with less avocado and maybe adding some spinach.  Make it as you will.  My advise, just make it!

Roasted Jalapeno and Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Via Partial Ingredients 

(Makes 3 sandwiches)
Printable Version

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bread, cut in half
  • 6-7 jalapenos, halved with seeds removed
  • whole milk queso fresco, sliced thin
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced or mashed
  • Sour cream

Directions:

  1. On the broiler setting, roast the jalapenos cut side down for about 5-6 minutes, or until the jalapenos are just starting to char.
  2. Place a few slices of cheese on one slice of bread. Add the jalapenos on top.
  3. On the other slice of bread, spread a thin layer of sour cream.
  4. Assemble the sandwich and grill for several minutes until the cheese is melted.
  5. Add the avocado slices onto the sandwich after grilling.

 

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Like you need another reason to add avocado + recipe

February 6th, 2014 No Comments

January's famous egg sandwich

 

You love avocado already: it’s delicious and it’s “good fat.”  But guess what, there’s more!

Studies have shown that if you add avocado to leafy greens and tomatoes, your body is able to absorb 200-400% more of the veggie’s nutrients.  Hopefully that doesn’t hold true for the “nutrients” in fried tortilla chips….that study has yet to be done ;)

January, my friend and founder of January Labs (the skincare line I rave about), puts avocado pretty much everything.  Here, she’s making her famous egg sandwich which I am treated to at least once a week (#luckygirl).  She does a few things to make the finished product more than just your average egg dish.

JANUARY’S FAMOUS EGG SANDWICH

Ingredients

Putting it all together

For the eggs:  Put the gas on medium high and get the skillet hot. Coat with a thin layer of coconut oil.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and quickly cover with a lid.  Cook until whites are done.  Now for me, the whites don’t get done enough before the sides dry out, so I’ll gently flip each egg once.

While the egg is cooking start to toast the muffin, slice the tomato, slice the avocado.

Start to stack: muffin, then avocado, then tomato.  Sprinkle with salt.  (Himalyan sea salt has a light flavor so you can be generous).   Top with egg over easy.  Sprinkle with salt, grind pepper, sprinkle with herbs (they will make a huge difference).

So easy, so simple, so delicious!

 

 

 

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No hassle Super Bowl snacks

January 23rd, 2014 No Comments

After years of throwing football parties, I’ve realized people don’t come for the healthy food.  In fact they almost use the Super Bowl as an excuse to not eat healthy. That being said, I can’t serve crap at my house, I just won’t do it.

For a half-time “dinner” I’ll serve chicken (see a grill-less recipe below)  and a big salad.  Otherwise, it’s snacks galore around my house.  In the past I’ve put a little too much effort into the snacks and I didn’t get to enjoy the party.  With this list I’m going to try and help you avoid that.  As my friend Kim would say, here are some “easy breezy” snack recipes that are healthy and indulgent.

FARMER’S MARKET CROSTINIS

Farmer's Market Crostinis

I made these on Christmas for guests to much on while I prepared dinner.

All you need is a baguette, something that spreads, and your favorite fresh veg.

For the plate above I:

  1. Sliced and toasted the baguettes
  2. Spread on either avocado or vegan all nut milk ricotta (amazing BTW)
  3. Added arugula tossed with dressed with olive oil, salt, and lemon
  4. Topped with either sliced persimmon w/a drop of honey or tomato and basil.

FRESH DIPS 

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I posted all of my dip recipes in October.  Honeslty, the only thing work the hassle is the guac and the home-made ranch dressing (which is greek yogurt and spices).  Queso dip from scotch is pretty amazing too. Otherwise, buy the salsa and hummus you love!  

KIND NUT CLUSTERS 

KIND Bars as snacks

I would have NEVER thought to tear up KIND bars and serve them in a dish at a party.  But!  I received a pitch from their publicist a week ago offering alternative suggestions to just chowing down, and this was one of them.  Last weekend when we were low on food at the house and people were coming over, I busted out a couple KIND bars from my purse and served them.  If people didn’t rave about the snack, I wouldn’t recommend it to you.  To my surprise, served next to chips and salsa, the sweet nut clusters were a hit!

SUPER EASY BAKED BBQ CHICKEN

(Please excuse the old pic!)

If for some reason you’re not grilling, here’s how you can make an impressive chicken in the oven. This is my mom’s recipe so you know it will a quickie.

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast per person
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce (check for corn syrup please!)
  • Put chicken in baking pan and cover with sauce as much as possible. Save some sauce for later.
  • Bake at 350 until cooked through.
  • Serve with extra sauce.

Sounds too simple to be edible, but it’s delicious.

LAST YEAR’S RECIPES

I make this list every year! Here’s what I suggested last time:

The most popular recipe I’ve ever posted is one of them: Baked Avocado Fries. Unfortunately you can’t make these ahead of time, but the rest of them you can.

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DIY Granola Protein Bars

January 16th, 2014 No Comments

DIY Protein Bars

One of the reasons a granola bar isn’t a satisfying snack is due to their lack of protein.

Sara Forte, blogger at SproutedKitchen, came up with a tasty solution!  Her granola protein bars aren’t PACKED with protein, but there’s enough in there to keep me full and fueled for at least 2 hours.

As she says in her cookbook (which I LOVE, thank you Rhelda), you can put whatever you want in these as long as the ratio of dry goods to rice syrup and water is the same.

GRANOLA PROTEIN BARS

Makes 12 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup brown rice crisps (I use plain rice cakes broken up)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder (whey, egg, or vegan)
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • Parchment paper

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Spread oats and nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and barely toast them in oven.  About 10 minutes. Turn down head to 300.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together brown rice syrup, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  Add toasted oats and nuts, rice cereal, and protein powered.  Stir until everything is coated.  Stir in cherries.

3.  Line 8×8 baking sheet (I’ve used a rectangular one as well) with parchment paper.  Make sure to leave excess paper on the sides.  Dump granola mixture onto pan.  Using a large spoon or your fingers, press the mixture down compactly (wetting the spoon or fingers with warm water when they get sticky), being sure to push it all the way to the corners.  Bake until the top is slightly toasted, 23 to 25 minutes.

4.  Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan.  When totally cooled, pull them out by the parchment paper.  Cut bars into equal size.

To store them, wrap them individually in plastic wrap.  They will keep for about a week.

Sprouted Kitchen Granola Protein Bars

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Maple syrup on my salad? You betcha!

December 5th, 2013 No Comments

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The other night at a dinner party I was blown away by the salad they served.  Spinach never tasted so good! The reason, it tasted like waffles…with a side of bacon :)  And I couldn’t exactly put my finger on why.  When I asked the chef she spilled her secret: maple syrup!

This salad is sweet with a hint of savory.  Perfect to serve with chicken and butternut squash.  That’s what popped into my mind.  I’m sure you’ll find tons of other combos and additions to make it your own.  Guests will love it because it’s so unexpected and unique.

FALL SALAD WITH MAPLE CIDER DRESSING

Salad

  • Spinach
  • Chopped fuji apples
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bacon
  • Blue cheese
  • avocado
  • Candied walnuts

(I’m not a blue cheese fan so I opted out of that and the walnuts.  Honeslty, I didn’t miss them)

Maple Cider Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Chopped chives to taste
  • Garlic, salt, pepper to taste

 

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6 ways to lighten your load for Thanksgiving

November 14th, 2013 No Comments

For those of you who host family and friends at your house, you must be getting stressed already.  So much to do!  As much as I’m sure you love it (I would), it doesn’t hurt to be efficient and take some of the angst out of the event.

Here are 5 suggestions to hopefully help lift some of the weight off your shoulders:

1.  DELEGATE THE DISHES

People are always asking what they can make or bring.  This year take them up on their offer.  Make a list so everyone brings one dish.  Be prepared to offer a recipe so they don’t feel intimidated by having to hunt for a credible one online.

Here is a list of links to healthy basic recipes I think you’ll love.  Also consider this Whole Wheat Dressing.  Click here to get my recipe for pumpkin pie from scratch.

2.  USE FRESH VEG

Substitue the calorie-killing baked dishes with salads or grilled veg.  People might actually find the greens refreshing combined with the heavier dishes.

Try these hearty salads you can make ahead of time.

3.  ORDER THE BEST PECAN PIES EVER

Even though I’m totally against bringing purchased food to holiday parties, I make an exception for Goode Company Pecan Pies.  Admittedly, they are better than mine.  One bite into it and people’s jaws will be dropping begging for the link to order for Christmas.  Order them NOW so you save on shipping.

4.  LIMIT YOUR PLATES, GLASSES, AND SILVERWARE

People are notorious for just grabbing plates and glasses like they’re disposable.  Inform guests there is one plate and glass per person, and they’re welcome to fill it up as many times as they’d like.  Stick to it!  For dessert, maybe you use nice paper plates.

Also, before the feast begins, make sure the dishwasher is completely empty so you can load it to the brim as people finish eating.

5.  EAT BREAKFAST

If you’re starving yourself to “save room” for the feast, let me fill you in on why that’s a bad idea.  First of all, if you don’t eat breakfast, your metabolism won’t be raring to go when it’s time to dig in.  If you’re hungry, you’ll snack while you wait or double down when you fill your plate. Finally, without a meal, your blood sugar will be low which means you’ll be cranky and irritable.  Thanksgiving is stressful enough without your body working against you.

6.  DO YOUR FLOWERS 2 DAYS AHEAD

When you buy fresh flowers, they need a couple days to open.  If you do them a couple days before the feast, you’ll get the task checked off your list and the arrangements will have time to come to life.

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Are you a big dipper?

October 17th, 2013 No Comments

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I love nothing more than throwing parties: for dinner, football, birthdays, swimming, or just because.

To kick off, I’ve found I really can’t go wrong with homemade chips and fresh veggies to snack on with an array of dips.  I can make make the dips a day ahead and don’t demand attention.

Here’s a list of my favorites.  You’ll find they’re easy to make and satisfying to mingling friends.

Fresh Guacamole

  • 3 avocados, diced
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 tomatoes diced with the seeds scooped out
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • chopped cilantro
  • salt, pepper, squeeze of fresh lime juice

Ranch Dressing

  • 2 cups non-fat greek yogurt
  • package of ranch seasoning (use sparingly to taste)

Pineapple salsa

  • 1 pineapple, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped scallion, green part only
  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced fresh jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Ultimate Cheese Dip

  • 6-8 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy
  • 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 4-6 jalapeno’s, chopped and deseeded.  The seeds will make it fiery hot.
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup diced green onion
  • 1 cup of crushed crackers
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted

Prehead oven to 350. Combine all ingredients except last 3 in a baking dish so your dip is about an inch thick. Combine last three ingredients and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 20-30 min until bubbling. (Recipe via Simply Gourmet)

White bean hummus

  • 1 can canneleni beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus 4 TBSP
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed garlic
  • salt, pepper, dried oregano

Pulse in a food processor until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Chips

  • Fresh tortillas (wheat, flour, corn, your choice)
  • Canola Oil
  • Paper towels
  • Sea salt

In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 in of oil until hot. Test by wetting your hand and dropping water into the oil.  If it pops, it’s ready.  Cut tortillas in quarters or in eights.  Gently place first batch in oil.  Wait for underside to brown and then flip.  Take one out, let it cool, and test to make sure it’s not chewy.  Remove chips and lay out on paper towels to cool.  Put int a bowl and sprinkle salt.  You have to watch the chips AT ALL TIMES.

 

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