Archive | April, 2014

Chickpea Tomato and Cucumber Salad

15 Apr

Chickpeas have many health benefits. They are high in fibre and protein, and they have low glycemic index (how fast sugar enters the blood stream). Enjoying as little as 1/2 cup of chickpeas daily can keep you feeling full and consuming fewer calories. Including chickpeas to  your diet each day can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of heart disease. My husband gets tired of salads with lettuce, so this is a great alternative to our weekly menu.

Salad ingredients: Place in a bowl

  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, quartered and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Dressing: Mix together

  • juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 glove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs of parsley and/or basil
  • 1/2-1  tsp chili pepper

Toss to combine the salad and dressing together. If you are an onion lover, add green or chopped sweet onions to this salad. Chill before serving.

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Cedar Plank Salmon with Cracked Peppercorn-Orange Glaze

8 Apr

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Today is my birthday,  and I am trying new recipe idea. Yes, my husband can not cook, but he sure can open a fabulous bottle of wine!  I did have a choice of going out for dinner, but I chose to grill out and enjoy the beautiful Florida spring evening at our own patio.                                                                                                         This recipe idea is combination of my favorite ingredients: salmon, spice, ginger and fruit. My birthday meal was delicious. I will repeat this very soon.

  • 2 oranges juiced (about ⅔ cup)
  • 1 tsp fresh orange peel
  • 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tsp cracked peppercorn
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 small shallot, peeled, very finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound of salmon fillet

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients (except salmon) and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Let cool. Place salmon fillet in a deep dish, skin side up, pour sauce over, marinate 20-30 minutes. Place the salmon on the cedar plank. Save the marinade and place in a bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes to kill bacteria. Grill the salmon about 20 minutes marinating after 15 minutes. Enjoy.

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Arugula Caesar Salad With Scallops

5 Apr

All salad greens are healthy. They are very low in calories, but not all give you a good dose of nutrients. Arugula is one leafy green vegetable that stands out as a rich source of many vitamins and minerals.  Arugula contains about eight times the calcium, fives times the vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, and four times the iron as the same amount of iceberg lettuce.  However, if arugula is too strong for you, try this dressing with your favorite greens.

  • 3 cups of arugula
  • 1 pound of large scallops
  • fresh ground pepper
  • lemon wedge
  • pita chips (optional)

Dressing:

  • 4 tbs plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • glove of garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Whisk the the dressing ingredients together. Toss together with the arugula.  Heat 1 tbs of olive oil in a sauté pan on medium hight heat. Dry the scallops with paper towels. Season with fresh ground pepper. Place the scallops in the pan. Cook about 2 minutes each side or until sides are caramel brown . Squeeze lemon juice on top and remove from heat. Plate the arugula and top with scallops and optional pita chips.

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Asian Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

3 Apr

Roasting vegetables brings the sweetness and flavor out of them. I typically use shrimp in my stir fry type of dishes, but this sauce goes excellent with fatty fish like salmon. This seriously is one of the most interesting and best salmon recipes I have made in a long time. If you do not like salmon, try it with chicken on swordfish.

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes,, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 pound of salmon, skinned and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pound of mushrooms

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup low sodium gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup natural rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with 1/2 tbs olive oil. Add cinnamon, season with pepper and toss again. Spread spread on a cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes. In a bowl toss the broccoli florets with 1/2 tbs olive oil, season with pepper. Push sweet potatoes to one side of the cookie sheet and arrange broccoli on other side. Bake 10 -15 minutes.                                          Whisk the sauce ingredients together. In a wok or nonstick pan, heat remaining 1 tbs of oil over high heat, add the mushrooms, cook 1 minute, add the salmon, turning occasionally until browned on all sides, 3 minutes but not cooked completely.  Set salmon and mushrooms aside on a plate. Add the sauce mix and simmer until thickened (2-3 min). Reduce heat to medium, add the vegetables and salmon back to pan. Turn gently to coat, 3 minutes.

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