Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce & Sauteed Vegetables

Crab Cakes adapted from
Vegetables courtesy of Plated Perfection

Last night we were craving crab cakes (because why not?!). I wanted to make a healthier version, so I went to one of my favorite blogs - Her recipes are so tasty and healthy at the same time. I was a little short on the crab meat, so mine turned out a little too "liquidy"...make sure you have enough crab meat! The flavor was great though and so was the sauce! Enjoy!

Crab Cakes
  • 9 ounces lump crab meat, picked free of shells
  • 1/2 cup (about 13) reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2 finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise (I used greek yogurt)
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro (or parsley)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

  • Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce
  • 1 tbsp roasted peppers (jarred)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise (I used greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice

  • Sautéed Vegetables
  • ~1/2 cup zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • ~1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ~1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of salt-free Italian blend seasoning
  • 1 tb olive oil

  • Directions:
    For the sauce, in a small blender (or magic bullet) puree greek yogurt/mayonnaise, lime juice, roasted pepper and chipotle pepper. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, combine crushed crackers, eggs, scallions, pepper, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold in crab meat, careful not to over mix so the crab remains in large chunks. Gently shape into patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before baking.

    In a skillet, heat 1 tb olive oil and toss in the garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the vegetables and seasonings and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake about 8-10 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Drizzle red pepper chipotle lime sauce over crab cakes and serve with the vegetables.

    Lemony Salsa Verde Scallops with Mashed Cauliflower

    Lemony Salsa Verde courtesy of Epicurious
    Mashed Cauliflower courtesy of Plated Perfection

    This recipe was perfect for a healthy weeknight meal, and the sauce was very bright and refreshing. It would also be great on a mild, white fish!

    Lemony Salsa Verde
    1/2 lemon (with peel), seeded, chopped (I didn't include the peel)
    1 finely chopped small shallot
    1 finely chopped garlic clove
    Salt and pepper
    1 cup olive oil (I adjusted this to about 3/4 cup olive oil)
    3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    Lemon juice
    1 pound fresh sea scallops
    1 tb olive oil

    Mashed Cauliflower
    1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
    1 tb butter
    salt and pepper to taste
    splash of skim milk

    Combine 1/2 lemon (with peel), seeded, chopped, 1 finely chopped small shallot, and 1 finely chopped garlic clove; season with salt and pepper. Let sit 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup olive oil, 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.

    In a pot, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower and boil approximately 10-15 minutes or until somewhat tender. Drain and add to a large bowl. Using a masher, begin to mash the cauliflower and add the sour cream, butter and salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.

    In the meantime, heat the 1 tb olive oil (or butter) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat dry and season the scallops with a dash of salt and pepper. Sear on each side for approximately 3 minutes until browned on each side. Serve scallops with the salsa verde on top, alongside the cauliflower.

    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    Prosciutto & Vegetable Frittata

    Courtesy of Plated Perfection

    It's been quite some time since I've made a frittata, and since we are kicking off "Dry August", I figured a healthy breakfast to have on hand for the next few days would be ideal. In an attempt to lose some weight, we have decided not to drink in August (with the exception of our wedding anniversary and another event), but otherwise, it'll be a lot of staying in and cooking this month! Get ready for more posts! This frittata came out great and will be so easy to heat up the next couple of mornings. You can get creative with your ingredients, but this is what I had on hand and it went great together! Give it a try!

    8 large eggs
    1/4 cup skim milk
    1/4 cup shredded cheddar (optional)
    1/2 zucchini, diced
    1/2 shallot, diced
    1/2 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
    1-2 tb olive oil
    4 oz diced prosciutto (I buy this already packaged from Citterio - it's much leaner than pancetta)
    dash of salt and pepper
    non-stick cooking spray
    parsley (for garnish)

    In a saute pan, heat 1-2 tb olive oil and cook the zucchini and asparagus over medium-high heat for approximately 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add in the shallot and cook another 1-2 minutes. Toss in the prosciutto and stir together to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl to cool off for a few minutes (you don't want to add a hot mixture to the whisked eggs as it'll start cooking them). While the vegetables are softening, whisk together the eggs, milk, cheese, and a dash of salt and pepper. Also add a dash of pepper to the vegetable mixture (you won't need the salt with the prosciutto). Preheat the broiler to high. Once the vegetables have cooled a bit, add them to the egg mixture. Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the egg/vegetable mixture. Heat the mixture over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, until the sides are set but there is still a loose egg mixture in the middle. Place in the broiler and broil for 5 minutes on high heat, with the oven cracked. Remove and top with parsley and serve.

    Thursday, July 27, 2017

    Chicken & Zucchini Saute "Two Ways" with Mexican Brown Rice

    Saute Courtesy of Plated Perfection
    Mexican Brown Rice Adapted from Skinnytaste (

    Last night we were both craving Mexican food. Originally, I was going to try a new recipe that was super healthy, but I decided to splurge and make some new tacos and also toss in a quesadilla. The Mexican brown rice was a nice addition and made me feel a little more healthy :) The saute itself  would be great on its own, on a salad, or just over rice! This was delicious - give it a try!

    Chicken & Zucchini Saute
    2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
    1/2 zucchini, diced into bite size pieces
    1/4 - 1/2 yellow onion, diced
    1 garlic clove, diced
    ~ 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    ~ 1/4 tsp cumin
    ~ 1/4 tsp chili powder
    ~ 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
    dash of salt and pepper, to taste
    1/2 lime, juiced
    1-2 tb olive oil
    1/3 cup enchilada sauce (I used green chile)

    Mexican Brown Rice
    1 bag of cooked (unseasoned) brown rice
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/4 onion, finely diced
    1/4 cup diced tomatoes
    1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, minced (I left out because I didn't have one)
    1 garlic clove, minced
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    ~ 1/2 tsp cumin
    ~ 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    dash of chili powder
    dash of salt and pepper, to taste
    dash of lime juice
    chopped cilantro, optional

    Heat a skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for approximately 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and tomatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes over medium heat. Add the cooked chicken, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, and enchilada sauce. Stir well and cook until the chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Top with lime juice and stir.

    Mexican Brown Rice  
    Cook the rice according to package directions and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and jalapeno (if using) and cook another 2 minutes or so. Add the tomato paste, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir together over medium heat - cook for 2 minutes or so to incorporate all of the flavors. Top with cilantro.

    Serve the chicken & zucchini mixture either in a taco, on a salad, or on the rice.
    Taco: Fill the taco with the chicken & zucchini mixture and your favorite toppings and serve with rice.
    Quesadilla: Fill a tortilla with the chicken mixture and cheese and saute with a touch of olive oil until the cheese is melted through. Top with my favorite sauce - Herdez Guacamole Salsa and sour cream!

    Monday, July 24, 2017

    Grilled Bison Ribeye with Garlic Asparagus

    Courtesy of Plated Perfection

    This past weekend I was able to go to the Farmer's Market where some of my favorite, local farms are represented. Cibola Farms out of Culpeper, VA is my favorite spot to buy bison steaks - they are SO good and they have such an amazing variety.  This go around, I went with the bison ribeyes and we cooked them on the Big Green Egg tonight with some asparagus. It was super easy and the marinade I used only took a little time to provide a lot of flavor. This can be cooked on any grill, or on the stove top in a grill pan!

    2 bison steaks
    ~1/2 cup your favorite marinade (I used Stubb's Beef Marinade with soy, garlic, and red pepper)
    ~ 2 tb Chicago steak seasoning (I eyeball this and just coat each side with a reasonable amount)
    Bunch of asparagus, tough stems snipped
    1 clove garlic, diced
    dash of salt and pepper
    2 tb vegetable oil
    dash of shredded parmesan cheese, to top asparagus

    Marinate the steaks in a glass dish for a couple of hours if you can. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before putting them on the grill. Top with the steak seasoning and brush with the oil. Coat the asparagus with the remaining 1 tb oil, salt, pepper, and toss with the garlic. These are going to vary based on what cooking device you're using. In our case, we heated the Big Green Egg to about 500 degrees, so that when we opened it to put the steaks in, it would drop down to 450-475 degrees. We cooked them for about 5 minutes per side, and it came out a bit more done than we'd usually go for -- but I was following a blog post I saw online. Next time, I'd say go for about 3 minutes per side. When the steaks come off, put the asparagus on the grill in a vegetable pan. Grill for about 6 minutes and top with parmesan before serving.

    Thursday, July 13, 2017

    Santa Fe Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats

    Adapted from Skinnytaste (

    We are once again on a mission to cook as healthy as possible this week -- but not lose good taste! I will warn you that this recipe is a bit time consuming (maybe just the first time you make it), but it was so worth it. This was SO delicious!!! We also had a lot of leftover filling, so I can't wait to eat that for lunch today and tomorrow. The nice thing is that you can get creative with the filling - put it in a taco or on a salad, etc. Definitely give this a try!
    NOTE: The recipe below is my adaptation.

    16 oz. 94% lean ground turkey
    3/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
    3/4 cup corn, fresh or frozen (I bought frozen and microwaved them before adding them in)
    2 tb canned jalapenos, diced (I didn't have fresh on hand)
    1 large tomato, diced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    2 tb fresh cilantro
    1/4 cup onion, chopped
    few dashes of cumin (to taste)
    few dashes of smoked paprika (to taste)
    salt, to taste
    5 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
    1/4 cup shredded carrots, diced
    1/2 cup jarred salsa
    shredded, reduced-fat Mexican cheese (1 tb per zucchini half)
    Herdez Guacamole salsa (I used this on top of each zucchini half)
    reduced-fat sour cream, for topping as desired

    Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a small spoon or melon baller, hollow out the center of the zucchini halves, leaving 1/4-inch thick shell on each half. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside 1/2 of a cup to add to the turkey filling (squeeze excess water with a paper towel) discarding the rest or save to use in another recipe, along with the shredded/diced carrots. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water. In a large skillet, brown the turkey and season with salt. When the turkey is browned, add onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, diced tomatoes, reserved zucchini and carrot, cumin and smoked paprika. Mix well and simmer on low, covered for 20 minutes. Remove lid, add corn and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until all the liquid reduces. Place the salsa in the bottom of a large baking dish (or two medium size dishes) and place the hollowed out zucchini cut side up in the dish. Using a spoon, fill the hollowed zucchini boats dividing the filling equally, about 1/3 cup in each, pressing firmly. Top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through. When serving, top with the guacamole salsa and a few dollops of sour cream!

    Monday, July 10, 2017

    Chipotle Orange Glazed Salmon with Roasted Broccoli

    Salmon courtesy of Good Housekeeping Magazine

    Monday -- the day that we usually try to start fresh and eat healthy. We were successful tonight and went for some broiled salmon with broccoli. The sauce for this recipe was very easy in a mini food processor (or you could use a blender) and it's pretty quick! You could serve this with whichever vegetables you want if trying to cut back on carbs - I just had broccoli on hand. This sauce does have a bit of heat, but it's full of flavor. Enjoy!

    NOTE: For the broccoli, I just tossed that with some olive oil and table blend seasoning and roasted at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes before broiling the salmon.

    1/2 cup orange juice
    2 tsp adobo sauce (from chipotle chilies)
    1 chipotle chile, chopped
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    4 pieces skinless, boneless salmon

    Arrange oven rack 4-6 inches from the broiler.  Preheat broiler on high. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil. Meanwhile, mix the orange juice, adobo sauce, chipotle chili, garlic, and cumin in a mini food processor or blender. Season the salmon fillets with some salt and brush them with the sauce. Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until opaque throughout.