Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mexican beans, rice, veggies with Avocado sauce

I know lots of people do "themes" for each night of the week, thus making menu planning easier. That just does not work with my personality. Not really sure why, it just doesn't.

The only exception is Mexican Monday's. This tradition goes back almost eight years now, before we were even dating. Aspen Grove, the camp we worked at together, always did Mexican Monday's and it was the best meal of the week. We have always done Mexican Monday's to remember the good ol' days.

This recipe is so easy it is laughable. However in the words of John "it is fantastic."

Mexican beans, rice and veggies with Avocado Sauce

Spanish brown rice
Refried beans without the refry
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 zucchini
1/2 c. corn
1 avocado
2 T. greek yogurt
1/2 T lime juice

Prepare rice and beans.

In a food processor combine avocado, yogurt and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Peel and dice zucchini, cut peppers into strips. Heat olive oil* in large skillet over medium heat. Add veggies, cook 4-5 minutes, then add corn. Salt to taste.

Place rice, then beans, then veggies on a plate. Top with avocado dressing. 

This would go great with a homemade wheat tortilla, I didn't think of that until too late so I served it with a flour tortilla. Very yummy!

*I used habanero olive oil, it adds a kick! I love it! If we didn't have that I would add a habanero pepper, or just a jalapeno pepper with the veggies.  
Iphone photo, I just don't have the patience to take a great picture of my dinner-I just wanna eat!

**I am not a lover of onions, but you could throw those in as well.

Spanish Brown Rice

I got this recipe years ago from my Dad. I have made it so many times I never even look at the recipe anymore. Now I have lost the recipe, but here is more or less how I make it.

Spanish Brown Rice

1 c brown rice (I use bastami)
1 clove garlic-minced
1/4 c. sweet onion (you can use any onion, sometimes I use shallots because I don't really care for onions)
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/2-3/4 c. salsa
1 T. olive oil

Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Cook garlic and onions for about 2 minutes. Add seasonings and cook until hot but not steaming (you don't want to burn them). Add rice. Stir and cook about five minutes until rice starts to brown-don't burn it though!!

Add 1/2 c. salsa and 1 1/2 c. water. Bring to boil then simmer about 50 minutes. 

*if you want more of a kick add some hot sauce, or use more salsa and less water (3/4 c salsa and 1 1/4 c water)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Seared cod with fruit balsamic sauce

We have been waiting on military orders for about six months and we finally got them this week! This means we need to start preparing our freezers/fridge for moving. I had one serving of cod left in the freezer and wanted to use it up tonight. 

Of course I wanted something healthy, but I also wanted a yummy sauce to pour over it and my rice. I found this recipe and tweaked with a little. I didn't want a sauce that was too wine tasting, I wanted a sweet sauce. 

We also need to start using up some of our olive oils and balsamic vinegars. We belong to a club where we get amazing olive oils and vinegars quarterly. The problem is we have too much (if that is even possible) to move with us. We have an apricot balsamic vinegar that has a very sweet taste to it, I saw it sitting on my counter and knew it was perfect.

Seared cod with fruit balsamic sauce

2 cod fillets
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 egg
sea salt and pepper
2 T. grapeseed oil
1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400

Place egg in a shallow dish, beat slightly. Pour bread crumbs into a shallow dish.

Heat oil in an ovenproof pan until very hot.

Rinse fish and then pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. Dip the flat side of the fish in the egg then the bread crumbs. 

Sear fish in oil.

Place skillet in oven. Cook 3-4 minutes, flip fish and cook another 3-4 minutes. 

Rub fish with a little butter. Serve over rice covered in sauce with fresh lemon juice on top.

balsamic sauce
3/4 c. fruit balsamic vinegar
1/3 shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 T half and half (I used fat free)
1 T butter
1 dash thyme
Parsley leaves

In saucepan combine vinegar, thyme shallots and garlic. Cook over medium heat until reduced. Once sauce is reduced to a syrup slow add half and half while whisking. Bring to a slight simmer. Add butter and whisk until melted. Remove from heat and add parsley (I used two dashes of dried parsley-our fresh herbs section of the commissary is lacking a little right now). 

*olive oil cannot withstand the high temperate of this recipe. Grapeseed oil is a healthier alternative to canola or vegetable oil

Mediterranean stuffed tomatoes with quinoa and vegetables

The other day I was feeling in the mood for something light for dinner, with lots of flavor, veggies and not a salad. I kept craving this stuffed cherry tomatoes I made for John's promotion in May, but I knew that wasn't quite "meal" material. I took that idea and ran with it. I LOVED the end results. Light, flavorful and lots of yummy veggies plus super nutritious quinoa.

Mediterranean stuffed tomatoes with quinoa and veggies

3 large tomatoes
1/4 large onion
1 clove garlic
1 red pepper
1 zucchini
1/2 cup spinach
2 T. Greek kalamata olive roasted garlic spread (this could easily be made in the food processor by blending olives, roasted garlic, olive oil, and a little crushed red pepper).
Lemon juice
3/4 c. quinoa
Feta cheese
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400

Cook quinoa according to package directions

Finely dice veggies. Heat 1/2 T olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, pepper, and zucchini. Cook about five minutes or until veggies soften. Add spinach and cook 1-2 mins more.

Cut off tops of tomatoes and take the seeds out. Brush the outside with olive oil and place on cookie sheet.

Combine quinoa, veggie mixture, olive spread and feta cheese to taste. Stuff each tomato with 1/3 of the mixture. Top with more feta and drizzle with a little olive oil. 

Bake for 15-20 mins. Squeeze lemon juice on top before serving.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spinach Coconut Rice

Spinach Coconut Rice

1-2 T olive oil
1/4 chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 c. brown rice
Coconut milk
Two handfuls spinach

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until softened, stir in rice. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Following package directions replace coconut milk for water. Cook according to package directions. Once rice is cooked add spinach, cover and let sit 5-10 minutes.

I served this with salmon covered in pomegranate glaze-so so so yummy! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A little more than just a BLT

Our first summer in Montana my sisters came to visit. All of us headed up to Glacier National Park. We stayed in Whitefish and enjoyed a fun family dinner at a local restaurant. Both my little sisters orders a BLT without lettuce and tomato. They were both shocked to be served bread with bacon on it. 

A couple weeks ago I was talking with one of these sisters while doing my shopping. I passed the bacon and just had to have a BLT. I mentioned this to my sister and she makes some joke about the BLT incident. One she was trying to pin it all on my other sister and two it still wasn't clear if she knew what really is on a BLT.

When I got home I decided to make a BLT that would provide my sisters with more than just bacon. Super simple, but so much yummier! Plus I would like to think with the added veggies a little bit healthier :)

Whitefish BLT's

Center cut bacon
Tomato slices
Red, yellow and orange pepper slices
BBQ sauce (preferably homemade)

Toast two slices of bread, cover one with mayo one with BBQ sauce. Then pile everything else on. Enjoy!

p.s. dear sister, please make sure you cook the bacon first. I know I didn't write that, and it seems like you need a little extra help when it comes to BLT's :) lots of love!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Curry Broccoli Slaw Nann Bread Sandwiches

Our lives have been completely up in the air for about five months now. We know we are moving, we just don't know when or where or what John will be doing once we do. We were told (by a pretty high ranking officer) that we would find out John's next job by then end of the week, two weeks ago. Now they are saying another two weeks, maybe more maybe less. Most days our spirits are high as we wait the news we laugh and joke most nights that "tomorrow is the day" because we have been told that for about three months.
But about every three or four weeks I have one of those days where the uncertainty just weighs on me. Yesterday was one of those days. There was a couple of other things we were waiting on and it seemed like all we were getting was unclear answers or no's. John sweetly offered to take us out for dinner, I asked for a raincheck because probably by next Friday and still no news I will need that. Instead I wanted to create a meal, something new and fun to take my mind of things. Also something simple because I really didn't want to have to think. 
I had some leftover broccoli slaw from a recipe I had made earlier in the week that I wanted to use up, but curry was sounding good too. Then I remembered we have some Curry Mustard. That's when it all came together. It was so yummy and simple.

Curry Broccoli Slaw Nann Bread Sandwiches

3 T Plain Greek Yogurt
2 T Curry Mustard (we use "Global Gardens" for our fancy food items, you could just combine mustard and curry powder)
1 t Lemon Juice
1/2 T Rice Vinegar
1/4 C Toasted Slivered Almonds
1 Apple-Diced
1/2 Bag Broccoli Slaw
Nann Bread

Whisk together the yogurt, mustard, lemon juice and vinegar-set aside. Combine broccoli slaw, apple, and almonds. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Refridgerator 30-60 minutes (this will allow the slaw to soften slightly). Cook nann bread according to package. Brush with olive oil and fill with slaw. Enjoy!