Friday, August 14, 2009

Recipe: Fettuccine with Smoked Salmon

My parents just came back from an amazing trip to Alaska. They enjoyed their one week cruise exploring this beautiful state. I've never been, but that is one place on my list of travels. My parents brought back two gifts for me--nail polish and canned smoked Alaskan Salmon. Guess they thought I could use a little bit of both! The company, Salmon etc., recommends many recipes that may be made from their selections of salmon. I made smoked salmon fettuccine. The salmon is so flavorful that not much else is needed with the pasta. I ate it with a side of steamed broccoli and squash.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 17 minutes

*6 oz. can of silver lining smoked salmon
*3 T butter
*2 T green onions
*1/2 pint heavy cream
*Juice from half a lemon
*1/2 bunch parsley finely chopped
*Box of fettuccine

1. Cook half of fettuccine according to package directions.
2. Melt butter in skillet.
3. Add green onions and salmon.
4. Cook 2 minutes over low to medium heat.
5. Add the cream and lemon juice. I also added a splash of white wine.
6. Simmer until it thickens. About 8 or so minutes.
7. Pour over fettuccine
8. Serve and Enjoy

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recipe: Roasted pepper stuffed with spiced couscous

The other day, I was at the gym doing my regular workout of weight training and cardio. Usually, between exercises I rest for a minute or two to catch my breathe. During my break, I read the advertisements for health that are posted on the walls. The ads usually cover a myriad of topics including exercises, eating tips, stress relieving ideas, and ways to lead a happier life. A recipe for stuffed peppers caught my eye. So, I logged the recipe in the back of my mind to try at a future date.

The spiced couscous recipe comes from a cookbook entitled Food Made Fast: Vegetarian. I actually bought this book for 5 bucks at Ross!! They had tons of cookbooks by the way. The recipe from the book uses squash instead of peppers. I added a few changes, but the results were delicious. The recipe is simple, healthy, and has wonderful flavors from the cinnamon and ginger. The raisins, apples, and almonds add great texture as well as flavor.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes (or less)

*2 -4 different colored peppers (I used red and yellow)
*1 T Olive oil
*1 cup vegetable broth (I used chicken broth because that was what I had on hand. If you use vegetable broth, this would truly be a vegetarian meal)
* 3/4 cup couscous
*1/2 t ground cinnamon
*1/4 t ground ginger
*3 T toasted sliced almonds
*2 T dried raisins
*2 green onions finely chopped (white and green parts)
*1/2 golden delicious apple cored and chopped
* 1/2 t Salt
* pepper (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350degrees.
2. Cut peppers in half and remove the flesh from the inside. Place on a baking pan, cut side down. Brush with olive oil.
3. Cook the peppers in the oven for 8 - 10 minutes or until tender.
4. Meanwhile, boil the vegetable broth in a small pot. Stir in the couscous, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper. (Hint: The couscous absorbs the broth quickly. So, either stir in the seasonings first and then the couscous or have all of your seasonings pre-measured in a small bowl so that you can dump them in right away).
5. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes (or until all liquid is absorbed).
6. While the couscous sits, toast the almonds in a small saucepan on medium high heat. Stir constantly so that the almonds do not burn. Cook until fragrant.
6. When couscous is ready, stir in the almonds, raisins, onions, and apple into the couscous.
7. Stuff the peppers with couscous. Stick in the oven for an additional 2 minutes.
8. Serve and enjoy.

This recipe is so easy and extremely healthy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday Wine: 2007 Robert Hall Viognier

A warm, sunny summer's day deserves a nice Viognier. The boyfriend and I found a great one with Robert Hall.

First off, let it be known that we love the Robert Hall Winery. This beautiful winery is located in the Central Coast of California, in a well-known wine region called Paso Robles. If you're in this area of California, it is worth a day (or two, or three) to explore the wineries. The Robert Hall Winery is very inviting with its open tasting room, amphitheater that looks out towards the vines, and the boce ball pit. We were so impressed with the establishment and the wines that we signed up for the wine club! Now, twice a year we come home to a huge box of wine at our front door--you can't beat that.

Viognier, a white wine, is a great one to drink due to its full body and variety of the flavors. Some people liken it to Chardonnay. They are usually high in alcohol content and not necessarily too sweet. The boyfriend felt the Robert Hall one had a metallic finish (he's more of a connoisseur than I am). Viognier seems to be gaining some steam --as it is being produced more.

So, hopefully there is a small selection in your local grocery or wine store. If you see one, try out one from California, Southern France, or any of the other regions that are starting to produce Viognier (even Virginia is jumping in on all of the fun).

Bison Burgers with Parmesan Potatoes

This afternoon I sat down in front of the television to relax. I'm on summer vacation and only have about 4 more days of freedom. So, I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Rachel Ray was on. I love catching her show just to see what she's preparing. It just so happened she was preparing a recipe of burgers and fries. I had the perfect idea for dinner this evening. I already had the ground meat and the mushrooms. Luckily, I live within walking distance of the grocery store. So, within a 15minute trip, I had the other ingredients, too.

For my recipe I used ground bison from the local farmer's market instead of her recommendation of veal and sirloin. Bison meat is very lean, healthy, and flavorful. I wish we had Farmer's markets each day of the week here--I would probably spend all of my money there. If you have a FM nearby, it is worth the trip (and money) to try meat from animals that have not been pumped with hormones and are fed from the grasses of the land. Also, instead of using the Marsala wine, I used leftover Pinot Noir from the night before--yum!

Here is the original recipe from the Rachel Ray website. The parmesan potato recipe is at the bottom of the burger recipe.

Bon Apetit.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Egg Taco ( Omelette with vegetables)

I had a huge amount of vegetables and herbs left over from other recipes. Therefore, I decided to experiment with an omelette for breakfast, which ended up looking more like a taco rather than an omelette. This is a great recipe to use for experimentation--so be as bold and daring as you'd like to be! Take a visit to your fridge and pull out all of the veggies and herbs (I used both fresh and dried) that you have to make your own egg taco. Also, this is a fantastic way to get your one daily serving of vegetables early in the morning. You'll get your day started off well with this egg taco!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes

*2 eggs
*Veggies (For this one, I used 3 slices of a yellow squash cubed, 1/4 cup baby bella mushrooms, 1/4 chopped red and green pepper, and one green onion chopped)
*1T cilantro
*1tsp thyme (I used dry)
*1 T olive oil
*2 T freshly grated cheese (I used leftover gruyere--mixed cheese works great, too, and tastes awesome)
*fresh ground pepper
*pinch of salt

1.) Add olive oil to a small pan. Heat oil on medium high heat.
2.) When oil is hot, add the green and red peppers. While the peppers cook cut the other veggies. Add the other veggies.
3.) Sprinkle with thyme and cook until the vegetables have softened. While the vegetables are cooking beat 2 eggs in a small bowl. Add freshly chopped cilantro, green onions, ground pepper, and a pinch of salt. Mix together.
4.) Place vegetables on a plate and set to the side.
5.) Turn the heat down to medium low (you want the eggs to cook slowly so the bottom doesn't burn). Add the egg mixture so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Let it cook until the edges begin to brown.
6.) Use a spatula to slowly lift the edges. Once you can get the entire spatula underneath, flip the omelette.
7.) Cook on the other side for another 2 minutes.
8. ) Add grated cheese to the top of the omellette and the veggies to half.
9.) Fold over, remove from the pan. And, enjoy.