Juice of One Lemon

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Posting this here because I often need to know it:

• 1 lemon yields 3 tablespoons juice (1.5 oz; 45 ml)
• 1 lime yields 2 tablespoons juice (1 oz; 30 ml)

Source: thekitchn

Quick tip: Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave

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I learned how to steam spaghetti squash in the microwave this week. Very simple, didn’t heat up the whole house, and this method is quite clever. It doesn’t require you to set the two halves side by side: “cook any size spaghetti squash in half the usual space and doesn’t require plastic wrap at all. “

We served it with chicken apple sausage, red sauce, and garlic bread. Leftover squash is delicious sprinkled with the 3-2-2 blend (3 parts salt, 2 parts black pepper, 2 parts garlic powder). You might also like spaghetti squash with a little melted butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Southwest Quinoa Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing

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Cook’s notes: This recipe reflects the flavors of our region and is simply delicious. We had leftover sweet potatoes to use. It is vegetarian (vegan) and quite hearty. 

Combine all items in a bowl:

2 cups cooked quinoa
1.5 steamed medium sweet potatoes: Scrub, pierce with a fork, and microwave it on the potato setting. Let cool, then peel and dice.
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or more, to taste), halved
1/2 to 3/4 avocado, diced
1 to 2 diced scallions

Add the dressing and stir to coat. 

 

Chili-Lime Dressing

This is easy to make in a mini food processor or blender. You can also put the dressing ingredients in a tightly sealed jar and shake vigorously to combine. Makes 1/2 cup.

3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Proportional Trail Mix with Rosemary Nuts

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Very easy to eat

Very easy to eat

Cook’s notes: I searched for “trail mix ratio” guidelines and came up with this combination. Greatist has a wonderful article on healthier trail mix combos. 

The ratio I used:

  • 37.5% — 3 cups nuts 
  • 25% — 2 cups dried fruit
  • 25% — 2 cups grain items, such as cereal, pretzels, crackers, or popcorn
  • 12.5% — 1 cup sweets / chocolate

 

This recipe makes 8 cups total and is great for serving at parties. Serving size is 1/4 cup scoop. The recipe for the rosemary nuts is at the bottom of this post. I’ve made it several times on its own; highly recommended.

  • 3 cups toasted rosemary roasted nuts: 6 oz. almonds, 6 oz. cashew pieces, and 6 oz. pecan halves
  • 8 oz. dried pineapple pieces (about 1-1/3 cups)
  • 4 oz. dried cranberries (about 3/4 cup)
  • 6 oz. sesame sticks (about 2 cups)
  • 6 oz. dark chocolate chips (about 1 cup)

 

Simpler version: Serving size is still just a 1/4 cup.

  • 3 cups toasted rosemary pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

 

 

Rosemary Nuts

1.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups nuts: pecan halves, unsalted cashews, or skin-on whole raw almonds
1 sprig fresh rosemary, snipped with kitchen scissors
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper

Melt the butter in large skillet over medium-low heat.

Once the butter starts bubbling, add the nuts in a single layer and stir until coated. Add rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Toast the nuts in the skillet, stirring often, until slightly darkened and aromatic (about 8 to 12 minutes).

Place toasted nuts on a paper towel to drain and let cool to room temperature. 

Adapted from nomnompaleo

Honey-Paprika Chicken Thighs

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A colorful plate with lots of fruit and vegetables.

A colorful plate with lots of fruit and vegetables.

Cook’s notes: Another winning recipe from J.M. Hirsch. I totally forgot to add the 1 cup of olives, and this dish still turned out fantastic. Leftovers are tasty even if the chicken is cold.

Menu:

  • Honey-Paprika Chicken Thighs
  • Sweet potato (steam in microwave)
  • Roasted broccoli and cherry tomatoes 
  • Fruit salad without added sugar (recipe from Hold the Sugar): pineapple, pitted fresh cherries, black seedless grapes, orange sections, and blueberries

 

HONEY-PAPRIKA CHICKEN WITH ROASTED ORANGES
Start to finish: 40 minutes (15 minutes active)
Servings: 8

4 navel oranges
1/4 cup smoked sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons chicken broth, white wine, orange juice or water
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 cup mixed marinated olives, sliced

Heat the oven to 400 F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice off and discard the ends of each orange. Cut each orange crosswise into 4 thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer over the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin and ginger. Stir in the honey and broth to form a thick paste. Rub the paste thickly and completely over each chicken thigh, then set the thighs in an even layer over the orange slices. Scatter the olives over the chicken.

Roast for 25 minutes, or until the chicken reaches 165 F.

To serve, divide the chicken thighs and olives between 8 servings plates. Use tongs to squeeze 1 or 2 orange slices over each serving.

Source: J.M. Hirschhttp://www.lunchboxblues.com 

What to pack for lunch: BBQ chicken with quinoa and beans

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This idea comes from J.M. Hirsch, author of Beating the Lunch Box Blues. I got the book from the library and flagged so many pages as good ideas that I bought a copy. He has many wonderful suggestions that don’t require a recipe, such as salad made with strawberries, mint leaves, and balsamic vinegar.

The chicken, barbecue sauce, beans, and quinoa are a fantastic combination.

Menu:

  • Leftover diced chicken, mixed with barbecue sauce
  • Quinoa and beans (1/2 cup quinoa and 1/2 cup drained and rinsed navy beans)
  • Lemon coleslaw with no mayo (recipe here: we used a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix)
  • Apple slices with cashew butter

Best Recipe: Roasted Lemon Salmon

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This salmon dish is simply phenomenal and cooks quickly. Summer squash is an excellent addition to the meal. You can add quinoa or brown rice to the menu as well.

Total Time: 30 min
Prep Time: 15 min

1 lemon
4 pieces (6 oz. each) skinless salmon fillets
Salt and pepper

1 lb. zucchini, sliced
1 lb. yellow squash, sliced
Olive oil
2 teaspoons dried rosemary herb blend

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. From the lemon, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel and squeeze 3 Tablespoons juice.
  3. Lightly coat a 13″ by 9″ glass baking dish with cooking spray. Place the salmon in the dish. Sprinkle with lemon peel, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Roast salmon 14 to 16 minutes or until just opaque throughout.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the vegetable slices in a little olive oil over medium heat until tender. Transfer to medium bowl and toss with herb blend, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and remaining 2 Tablespoons lemon juice.

Arrange squash and salmon on dinner plates; serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from Good Housekeeping.

Thai-Style Quinoa with Salad

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Cooks’ notes:  I had a craving for this dish and pulled together several different recipes to make it. My goal was a peanut dressing that wasn’t loaded with sugar. Quinoa is a great vehicle for sauce and vegetables. This quinoa dish is not authentically Thai, but it is delicious either warm or cold. You can also add sautéed yellow squash and zucchini, shelled edamame, or cilantro and diced peanuts (cilantro tastes soapy to me, so I omit it).

Menu

Make a green salad. Top each serving of salad with a scoop of the dressed quinoa.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa with peanut sauce
  • 2 cups green salad: combine 3 cups green lettuce, 1 cup shredded coleslaw mix, and 1 small English cucumber (diced). Lightly drizzle additional peanut sauce on the salad, if desired.
  • 3 to 4 oz. Add cooked shrimp or chicken, if desired.
  • Drizzle with fresh lime juice.

 

Make the Quinoa

Quinoa:
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
2 cups chicken broth

Vegetables:
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, diced

Dressing:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Quinoa: The quinoa takes about 20 minutes to cook: you can dry toast it first (details). Combine broth and rinsed quinoa in a saucepan, and bring to a  boil over medium-high heat. Cover the saucepan, and drop heat to the lowest setting. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Remove the saucepan from the stove. Let the quinoa stand for 5 minutes, covered. Remove the lid, and gently stir the quinoa with a fork to fluff it.

Vegetables: While the quinoa cooks, cook the vegetables. Sauté the carrots, red pepper, and garlic in a little olive oil over medium high heat for about two minutes until they start to soften. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth.

Assemble: Combine the quinoa and sautéed veggies in a large bowl. Slowly pour some of the dressing into the bowl, starting with just a little bit. You will have leftover dressing. Add more dressing to taste. You want the quinoa to be flavorful but not soaked in dressing.

 

Sources:

Adapted from recipes on these sites: How Sweet It Is (chicken quinoa bowl), Once Upon a Chef, and The Usual Bliss 

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