Posts tagged ‘healthy’

June 14, 2011

Shrimp Salad in a Cup

This year has been pretty big for my husband and me. I graduated medical school and am starting my first real job. We moved into our first house, and my husband graduated his Weekend MBA program. I am so incredibly proud of him for being able to accomplish this (and do extremely well in the program) while having a full time job. In celebration of this,  a couple weeks ago, I threw him a graduation party at our home.It was an open house and had mostly appetizers and finger foods. This was one of the finger foods that went over extremely well. This shrimp salad in a cup is extremely easy to make and is perfect for summer get togethers. It’s light and refreshing and looks impressive as well.

Shrimp Salad in a Cup

Ingredients:

15 Mini phyllo cups

1 cup finely chopped pineapple
1 cup finely chopped green apple
1 tbs finely chopped cilantro
white head less shrimp, one for each cup (keep the shrimp tail)
1 tsp dry parsley leaves
salt
pepper
In a bowl, mix the shrimp with salt, pepper and dry parley leaves.
Line the shrimps in a baking pan and roast them for 10 minutes at 400 F.
In another bowl, mix pineapple, green apple and cilantro with some salt and pepper.
Pour a spoon of salad mix into the cup and then, place the shrimp on top.

Source: Adapted from Sunshine & Simple

June 3, 2011

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Grilled Chicken Ceasar Salad

Summers in the Midwest are absolutely perfect for grilling. Grilled dinners are actually some of my favorite because it’s the closest my husband and I come to ‘couples cooking’. I usually prepare the food (marinade it) and he does the manly ‘grilling’ and feels involved. Recently, we’ve gotten very much into making salads with grilled additions (grilled chicken, grilled fish, etc). This is a semi-traditional Chicken Caesar Salad (except we didn’t use onions since my husband hates them) that is filling and delicious but still healthy. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Ingredients
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 roma tomatoes
3 slices country-style bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I omitted this because husband and I aren’t fans of croutons)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6-oz each
1 large head romaine lettuce or 3 hearts of romaine, chopped (we used ‘spring mix’ because it’s what we had on hand)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350-450 degrees) and preheat a grill pan.
In a blender or food processor, pulse the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until dressing is emulsified.
In a medium bowl toss the tomatoes and bread cubes with 2 tablespoons of the dressing if making croutons.
Pour 2 tablespoons of the dressing over chicken and turn to coat evenly. Marinade 10-20 minutes.
Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill chicken over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the meat is firm to the touch and opaque all the way to the center, 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice. The chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
During the last 2-3 minutes of grilling, spread the tomatoes and bread cubes in a single layer on the grill pan and cook until the tomatoes start to blister and the bread is toasted, turning occasionally. Remove everything from the grill and let the chicken rest for 3-5 minutes so the juices inside can redistribute. Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.
In a large bowl toss the lettuce with the dressing a cheese. Divide the salad chicken, tomatoes, and croutons evenly among serving plates. Serve immediately.

Source: Handle the Heat

June 1, 2011

Salmon with Strawberry and Tomato Salsa

Salmon with Strawberry Tomato Salsa

 

Summer has finally made its way to Michigan! I’m not quite sure what happened to Spring, but we went from frigid 30 degree weather to blistering heat with 90 degree weather and daily thunderstorms. This wouldn’t be so bad if we had a working air conditioning, but given that we don’t, I’ve been able to spend maximum 10  minutes in the kitchen with a hot oven/stove. This recipe is one that I’ve held onto for years (proof of that is that the original blog that I got it from doesn’t even exist any more). It’s a perfect light summer recipe that takes ten minutes to throw together and takes advantage of the delicious strawberries that are on sale right now. Happy summer!

Salmon with Strawberry and Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

4 salmon fillets
juice of half of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
1/4 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 beefsteak red tomato
1/4 yellow tomato
4 scallions, white and light green portion diced
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp olive oil
drizzle of honey
dash of salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat broiler on low. Line baking sheet with tin foil, folding edges upwards to contain mess.
Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto tops of each fillet and generously season each with salt and pepper. Place on the bottom rack of the oven (away from broiler) and broil on low to desired doneness, about 10 minutes dependent upon thickness of fillets.
Meanwhile, prep remaining salsa ingredients and combine in medium bowl. Stir to combine and let sit.
Remove salmon from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Using small spatula, remove salmon from skin (skin should stick to the tinfoil and be easy to remove) and place on plate.
Top generously with strawberry and tomato salsa and serve hot

Source: Adapted from Good Things Catered (a blog that unfortunately no longer exists)

March 8, 2011

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Last weekend, my sister-in-law welcomed her first baby, my fifth niece, Clara. I haven’t gotten to meet her yet, but from the pictures, she looks precious. Knowing that as new parents, my sister-in-law and her husband are likely not getting much sleep and definitely not having much time to cook, I decided to make them a couple easy dishes (homemade hummus and chicken enchiladas that will be posted soon) that they can enjoy. Since I spent the weekend working in the emergency department, I wanted to make them something that wouldn’t take a whole lot of time to put together. Taking only a few minutes to make, but tasting gourmet, this hummus was the perfect solution. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can really alter it to please your palate by changing the amount of lemon and garlic you add. My only regret was that I didn’t triple the recipe to have enough for myself for the week.

Homemade Hummus

Ingredients

2 cups canned chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup or more water

Directions

In a food processor, add 2 cups of chickpeas, 1/4 cup tahini, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of 2 lemons, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, several pinches of salt, and some fresh ground. Pulse until roughly chopped.
Turn the food processor to on and pour about 1/2 cup of water in a steady stream until the hummus is blended nicely. You may need to add a little more water and olive oil to get the desired consistency
Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
Serve with pita or fresh vegetables.

Source: A Couple Cooks

February 28, 2011

Grilled Balsamic Steak Salad

 

Grilled Balsamic Steak Salad

I’ll be honest…steak is not one of my strong suits. This could possibly have to do with the fact that I don’t eat red meat. I’m always interested in finding different ways to marinate and  prepare  steak but then when it comes to actually grilling it and taste-testing it,  I’m completely useless. So, this dish is pretty much  as close as my husband and I come to cooking ‘together’ in  our kitchen. I marinate the steak and then he stands over me while I  grill it going  “Flip it! Now! Now!” It’s  pretty amusing. And he of course does the taste testing to determine if it’s a good recipe. That was pretty much the case with this recipe. I prepared  the steak and we jointly grilled it. It was actually husband’s idea to throw it over spinach and toss some cheese on (which  surprised me tremendously). Overall, I’d say this was a success.

Grilled Balsamic Steak Salad

Ingredients

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
2-3 cups Spinach leaves

Directions

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak, turning to coat; seal and marinate at room temperature 8hours or overnight, turning once.
Remove steak from bag; discard marinade.
Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 Tbsp butter.
Sprinkle both sides of steak with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Add steak to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
When turning the pan, put the other 1/2 Tbsp of butter on top of the steak.
Remove steak from pan; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Tent with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices.
Place steak over bed of spinach and cheddar cheese.

Source: Adapted from: Cooking Light
*Disclaimer: Steak was grilled to medium by my husband, Francis,  because I’m completely incompetent when it comes to steak grilling.

February 26, 2011

Sauteed Spinach

 

Sauteed Spinach

In my house, it is a battle to get my husband to eat vegetables, which is unfortunate since I love veggies. I am constantly trying to find new ways of cooking them to make them ‘edible’ for him.  Over the years, I have found that adding garlic and butter to vegetables will make him at least give the vegetable dish a shot, so when I stumbled upon this recipe for sauteed spinach, I knew I had to give it a shot. It’s so quick and easy to make and although the picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s really flavorful. My proof that it was a good recipe? Husband finished his whole portion.

 

Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients

1 lb spinach (2 bunches)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more if needed
1 Tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Directions

Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining. Put the spinach in a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is just beginning to brown.
Add the spinach to the pan, packing it down a bit if you need to with your hand. Use a couple spatulas to lift the spinach and turn it over in the pan so that you coat more of it with the olive oil and garlic. Do this a couple of times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and turn the spinach over again. Cover the pan and cook for an additional minute.
After 2 minutes of covered cooking the spinach should be completely wilted. Remove from heat. Drain any excess moisture from the pan. Add a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from: Simply Recipes

January 18, 2011

Indonesian Grilled Swordfish

 

Indonesian Swordfish

Whenever I eat swordfish, I think of that line from Finding Nemo about the “fish with a nose like a swooord”…wow, I know that movie way too well, but it’s one of those movies that just makes me feel good whenever I’m having a terrible day.

This fish is an Ina Garten recipe and while absolutely delicious and healthy (a bonus), I have a confession…an appalling and shocking confession. Okay. Here it goes: I don’t like Ina Garten. I know…how could a person not like the Barefoot Contessa? Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s a wonderful chef and has a lovely personality, but because of her and her popularity, people have been calling me Ina (enunciate the ‘I’) as opposed to the proper way to pronounce my name Inna (like the ending of Tina or Dina or Nina…EEEEnna). I will still continue to love her food and make it all the time, but I do get a bit disgruntled whenever I introduce myself to people or they see my name and say “Oh! Ina! Like the Barefoot Contessa!!!”. Alright, enough of  the rant.

This swordfish is as delicious as it is simple to make. It has a ton of flavor and the best part is that I bought  this swordfish on sale (frozen, but on sale) at the grocery store 🙂

Indonesian Grilled Swordfish

Ingredients

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
vegetable oil spray for grille pan
2 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup minced or finely chopped ginger root
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Swordfish steaks

Directions

Combine the soy sauce, vegetable oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger root, garlic, and mustard in a bowl.
Pour the sauce in a bowl and place swordfish stakes inside, ladling the marinade over the fish.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Heat up a grill pan with vegetable oil spray.
Cook swordfish steaks approximately 8-10 minutes per side, brusing with extra sauce every time you flip the steaks.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, Back to the Basics

January 4, 2011

Blackened Salmon

 

Blackened Salmon

As a medical student, I am always looking for new ways to make dinners…and quick! On those nights when I come home late and want nothing but to curl up on the couch with a Snuggie (yes…I’m a Snuggie person), dinner does not have a very high priority in my mind. Luckily, I came up with this dinner. It’s simple, delicious and does not take much time to make. Pair it with steamed green beans or mashed potatoes and voila; an easy solution to a weeknight meal!

Blackened Salmon

Ingredients

2 6oz salmon fillets
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix together Paprika, salt, red pepper flakes, oregano and basil in a small mixing bowl.
Pour melted butter over salmon fillets.
Sprinkle spices over salmon fillets and rub them in.
Cook salmon for 20-24 minutes.
Enjoy!

Source: Innochka’s Kitchen