Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Greek Lamb with Yogurt Mint Sauce

Courtesy of Ina Garten & Food Network

Two words describe this recipe -- Treat Yourself! This recipe was great and I've been wanting to make it for quite some time. I love Ina Garten and have seen the episode where she makes this lamb just looked so delicious, and it didn't disappoint! I highly recommend marinating the lamb chops as long as you can -- she recommends up to overnight. I was able to marinate for about 8 hours and it was fantastic! Definitely give this a shot and enjoy!
NOTE: I asked the butcher to go ahead and cut the individual chops for me, off of the frenched rack.

Ingredients - Lamb Chops:
4 large garlic cloves
3 tb chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 racks of lamb, frenched and cut into 8 chops (I only cooked one for 2 people)

Ingredients - Yogurt Mint Sauce:
6 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
2 tb fresh chopped dill (the store was out, so I had to skip this one)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tb olive oil (I ended up using 2 tb)
1 tb lemon juice (I ended up using 2 tb)
7 oz greek yogurt (I used Fage Nonfat)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions - Lamb Chops:
Place the garlic, rosemary, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the herbs are finely minced. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and red wine and combine. Place the chops in a glass or ceramic dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour the marinade over the chops, turning to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. When ready to cook, prepare a grill with one layer of hot coals or turn a gas grill to medium-high heat. Remove the lamb from the marinade, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with the cold Yogurt Mint Sauce.

Directions - Yogurt Mint Sauce:
Place the scallions, mint, dill, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until it's a coarse paste. Add the yogurt, salt, and pepper and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. NOTE: If this ends up too salty for you (mine did), I added a bit of agave nectar.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Seared Tuna Steak

Courtesy of Plated Perfection

This is a bit of a delayed post, but this is a super easy recipe for searing tuna. You can serve it with either a salad or whichever side you prefer - the recipe is for the tuna itself. This was super tasty and I was fortunate to have found some fresh tuna at the market - yum! Caveat - these are estimations as I roughly measured the ingredients.

1-2 tuna steaks (personally I only buy when fresh)
1 tb sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
1 tb chopped ginger (I used the pureed ginger)
1/2 lime, juiced
dash of pepper
sesame seeds, for garnish after cooking (optional)
2 tb olive oil, for the pan (not for the marinade)

Sprinkle the tuna steaks with a small dash of pepper (if desired). Mix the remaining sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the tuna steaks in a shallow bowl or dish so that the tuna steaks are laying flat. Flip the tuna steaks so that they are evenly coated. Let marinate for approximately 20 minutes. Do not marinate for too long or the citrus will start to cook the tuna. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat with olive oil. Once the oil is heated, sear the tuna steaks for approximately 1-2 minutes per side. I prefer the tuna pretty rare, so this will allow it to be rare in the middle. If you'd like it cooked through more, sear for closer to 3-4 minutes per side -- that will cook it through more.

Salmon Baked in Foil

Courtesy of Plated Perfection
Once again, I know it's been a while! I've been cooking previously posted recipes lately but this one is new for once! It's super easy and one that you can just throw in the oven and walk away (for a bit anyways). The salmon comes out super moist and the seasoning turned out well I thought. I used fresh salmon (because that's the only way I roll). Give it a go - this is a pretty easy weeknight dinner! Enjoy!

2 salmon fillets (mine were 6 oz. each)
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 tb olive oil
1 tsp italian seasoning (I used salt-free)
1 tb lemon juice
1-2 tb fresh mint, diced  (I didn't measure)
dash of salt
dash of pepper
aluminum foil

Mix together the garlic, olive oil, italian seasoning, lemon juice and mint. Season the salmon fillets with a dash of salt and pepper. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a glass dish and pour the marinade over the salmon. Cover as well as possible. Place in the refrigerator for an hour (or as close to that as possible). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and place each one in the middle of a square of aluminum foil. You want to be able to seal the foil on all edges, so make sure the sheet is big enough. Spoon whatever marinade is left over the fish and seal around all edges. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. The salmon will be cooked through at this point, but remains very moist. If you'd prefer it cooked a bit under, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Smokey Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Sauce

Peppers created by Plated Perfection
Avocado Sauce by Minimalist Baker (

It's been a while since I've posted any recipes, but I wanted to get this one up here since a few folks showed some interest. We were overseas traveling for a couple of weeks and then I was sick for about a week, so I apologize for the big gap! These stuffed peppers I tried to make on the healthier side and they were delicious. I think I could eat the filling alone and be a happy girl! They make great leftovers as well. Definitely give these a go. You could even make these vegetarian if desired and just leave out the ground turkey/add more vegetables. The spices were also eyeballed - use more of what you like (personally, I loved the smoked paprika). Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers Ingredients:
4 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded (I use a variety of colors)
1 lb ground turkey (lean)
~ 1 cup cooked & drained brown rice (eyeball how much rice you want in the filling)
1/4 cup chicken broth (I used the bone broth for more flavor) - you'll use this in batches
~3/4 cup tomato sauce (unsalted)
~1 tsp cumin
~2 tsp smoked paprika
~1 tsp garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
shredded cheddar cheese, for the topping
1 tb olive oil
dash of salt

Avocado Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 small avocado, cut into chunks
1 cup cilantro, stems removed (personal preference)
3 small limes, juiced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tb agave nectar (or sweetener of your choice)
water to thin

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the rice, strain and set aside. I used the boil-in-the-bag kind since I had it on hand. Wash, cut and seed your peppers and place in a greased baking dish (I used 13 x 9). Set aside. In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey with a tb of olive oil. Toss in the spices (cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper). Add a dash of salt as well. Stir in the tomato sauce (use as much as desired) and a bit of the chicken broth. Simmer together until browned. Stir in the black beans and rice and incorporate all of the ingredients together. Fill the peppers to the top so that the mix isn't falling out. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the foil, top each pepper with a spoonful of chicken broth that is left over and a dash of cheddar cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes. Top with the avocado sauce before serving.

For the avocado sauce, a food processor/blender will make this much easier on you. Toss in all ingredients except for the water. Puree together. Add the water and remove the avocado from the sides of the food processor/blender. Puree a bit more and serve.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Lightened Up Shepherd's Pie

Courtesy of Plated Perfection

Since we will be out of the country for St. Patrick's Day, I figured we'd get in the spirit and make Shepherd's Pie a little early. We are also trying to be healthy, so I made a few modifications to your normal shepherd's pie to make it lighter. The only thing I'd change is that next go around, I think I'll stick to lean ground beef instead of using lean ground turkey - it got a little dry in my opinion and was a bit crumbly. Still tasty, but just my lessons learned!

Cauliflower + Potato Topping
·      1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
·      1-2 yukon gold potatoes (you can also omit this and just use cauliflower - I just figured I'd throw a few in for creaminess)
·      1 tablespoon butter
·      1/4 cup low fat sour cream (optional)
·      dash of salt and pepper
·      splash of skim milk

·      2 tb olive oil
·      1 small onion, diced 
·      2 celery ribs, diced (approx.)
·      1 cup peas (approx.)
·      2 carrots, diced (approx.)
·      2 cloves garlic, minced
·      1 pound ground turkey (or you can use lean ground beef)
·      1/4 cup homemade beef broth
·      splash of worcestershire sauce
·      1 tb tomato paste (or ketchup would do)
·      1-2 tb chopped fresh rosemary
·      1-2 tb chopped fresh thyme
·      salt and pepper to taste
·      shredded cheese to top the cauliflower (use one that melts well)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish and set aside. You can use 3 quart, but it will be pretty thin. In a large pot, steam or boil the potatoes and cauliflower until tender. I steamed them separately and set aside. Heat 2 tb of olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and cook until beginning to soften, around 5 minutes. Add the peas once they've softened. Add the ground meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, rosemary, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Let simmer while you prepare the topping.

Add 2 tb of butter, the sour cream and skim milk. Season with salt and pepper. Mash the potato and cauliflower mixture until smooth. To assemble, spread the filling on the bottom of the dish. Top with the cauliflower and potato mixture and smooth with a spoon. Cover with shredded cheese, if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Poached Halibut in Hot & Sour Broth

Courtesy of Cook Fresh Magazine

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope the holidays were enjoyed by all, but now it's back to reality! It's the time of year where you have a chance to hit the reset button and I'm doing just that. Nick and I are vowing to consistently work out and stay in and cook healthy on a MUCH more normal basis. Tonight I kicked this off with some fresh halibut. This recipe serves 4, so I have two more servings left over. I thought this was a tasty dish, and unique. I'd definitely give it a try. Don't be put off by the word "hot" in the title -- for me, it was sweeter than I expected. Next go around, I think I'd kick up the heat with additional hot sauce. I think I'd also add a dash of lime. I served this with a side of veggies, but next time, I think I'd toss in some zucchini noodles or a small mound of rice into the broth.


2 Tbs. soy sauce
4 halibut fillets, 1/2 lb. each (about 1-inch thick)
1 qt. homemade or low-salt chicken broth
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbs. tomato paste
2-1/2 Tbs. cider vinegar (I was out, so used white wine vinegar - I'd definitely recommend the cider vinegar)
12 quarter-size slices fresh ginger, cut into thin strips
1/4 tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce
1/4 cup sliced scallions (greens included)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Drizzle the soy sauce over both sides of the halibut fillets. Cover and refrigerate.
In a 12-inch sauté pan, combine the chicken broth, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, ginger, and Tabasco. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook gently for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming foam as necessary. Add the fillets, cover, and poach gently at a bare simmer over medium-low heat until the flllets are slightly firm to the touch and the centers are almost opaque (make a small slit with a knife to check), 6 to 8 minutes; the fish should be slightly undercooked at this point. Turn off the heat and let sit covered for another 2 minutes.
Divide the halibut and broth evenly among four shallow bowls. Sprinkle generously with the scallions and cilantro and serve with a spoon for the broth.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blackened Rockfish with Avocado Crema

Adapted from Delightful Mom Food (

I was fortunate to find some local, fresh rockfish and man was it delicious! I just did a simple blackening season and then made some avocado crema on the side. I based this off of a recipe from the aforementioned blog, but made some changes. Below is my version! I just served this with Whole Foods prepared sides because 1) I love them and 2) I was tired and didn't feel like preparing all courses! Give this a go -- definitely had a kick, but not too crazy :)

fresh rockfish filets, about a pound total (this worked for 2 for me)
Blackening Seasoning:
1 tb smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Avocado Crema Sauce:
1 cup guacamole (or avocado if you have it)
1/4 cup light sour cream
1/2 lime, juiced
dash of salt
1 tb of water to thin it out

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the fish with the blackening season. Place in dish and bake for approximately 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. They may need 20 minutes if they're on the thicker side. In the meantime, puree the avocado crema sauce in a mini food processor - set aside until ready. Serve the fish with a side of the crema, or on top with some veggies! Enjoy!