Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Baked Rockfish with Caper Chimichurri

Adapted from Weight Watchers

This recipe was originally found in Weight Watchers magazine, but it was for salmon on the grill. I adapted this to use fresh, local rockfish baked in the oven. The sauce remained the same! It was really tasty and healthy as well. I paired this with some wild rice and roasted delicata squash. For the squash, I simply cut it in half and scooped the seeds out, topped it with olive oil and Italian seasoning and put it in the oven a little ahead of time on 400 degrees. I then took it out with the fish. Enjoy!

1 pound rockfish (or whichever fish you choose)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tb fresh oregano leaves
1/2 small shallot, chopped
1 1/2 tb capers, rinsed and drained
1 tb red wine vinegar
1 tb water
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
8 tsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Put parsley, oregano, shallot, capers, vinegar, water, garlic and red pepper flakes in bowl of a food processor; process until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in 2 Tbsp oil. Transfer chimichurri to a bowl; let sit at least 30 minutes (or make ahead and refrigerate for up to one week). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, bring rockfish to room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes; brush with remaining 2 tsp oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place rockfish, skin-side down, in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the fish is flaky. Top with the chimichurri!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Shrimp & Scallop Zucchini Noodle Scampi

Courtesy of Plated Perfection

Today was back to the grind - some folks had their kids starting school today, and for us, it was back to work after a nice long weekend in NYC for our anniversary. We really did it up this past weekend with great food + drink -- so tonight, we felt the need to eat something on the lighter side! This was something I just threw together, since I had so many fresh zucchini on hand, and it turned out well. The only thing I would change is that the sauce could have been a little thicker -- but it was still tasty and had a lot of flavor. Give it a go!

Serving Size: 2-3 portions

1/2 pound fresh sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (and I removed the tails)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup white wine (Chardonnay would work - I had Sauvignon Blanc on hand)
2 tb grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tb olive oil
1/2 tb butter
dash of lemon pepper seasoning
dash of red pepper flakes, optional (I really wanted to put these in there, but had run out - sad!)
4 zucchini, medium sized, spiraled into noodles
handful of fresh artichokes, marinated and chopped roughly

In a large saute pan, heat 1 tb olive oil and 1/2 tb butter over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high heat and sear the scallops on each side for approximately 2 minutes. Season each side with a dash of salt and pepper. Remove the scallops once browned and keep warm on a separate dish. Add 1 tb olive oil to the same pan and add the shrimp. Season these as well, and cook on each side approximately 1 minute until pink. Remove and add to the plate with the scallops - covered in a tent of foil to keep them somewhat warm. Add another tb of olive oil and saute the garlic over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes if you have them. Add in the zucchini noodles, white wine, lemon juice, and stir. You can also add the zest at this point. Season with a little lemon pepper and a bit more salt if desired. Toss in the artichokes and mix well. Reduce the wine down about half and add the parmesan cheese to help thicken. Add in the shrimp and scallops to mix with the sauces a bit, but gently. Serve immediately!

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Courtesy of Beachbody Blog

My friend tipped me off to this recipe last week. It's healthy, but still delicious and will meet your cravings for mac & cheese! This makes enough for a 13x9 pan, so this is perfect for freezing the leftovers!

1 lb. dry whole wheat macaroni (I had whole wheat penne on hand)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
3 cups cubed butternut squash
1¾ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 Tbsp. low-fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
Nonstick cooking spray

Finely chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add onion and bell peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Set aside.
5. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
6. Place squash mixture in a blender or food processor; cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.
7. Combine squash mixture, macaroni, onion mixture, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired; mix well.
8. Place macaroni mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.
9. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Tip: Blend small batches of hot liquids in blender or food processor since they expand during the blending process, therefore decreasing the chance of overflowing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Creamy Spicy Cauliflower "Risotto" (Buffalo Ranch)

Courtesy of Hidden Valley

For those that know me, it's no secret that I adore anything with buffalo sauce in it - anything. In an attempt to be somewhat healthier, I decided to look for new recipes containing cauliflower "rice" instead of actual rice -- and came across this gem! It sounded a little odd at first, but the taste was great and we both really enjoyed this side. We had to make ourselves put the fork down - literally. I think this would also be great if you added grilled chicken - to form a sort of buffalo chicken ranch dish, but tonight this was simply a side to go along with our bison steaks. Enjoy, and you're welcome!

1/2 cup Hidden Valley Buffalo Ranch (I couldn't find this, so mixed my own Ranch with Buffalo Sauce)
3 tb olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 head cauliflower, core removed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tb chopped fresh parsley (I was out of this, so left it out)


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower and cook 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper, and cook until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and cook 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the dressing and parsley. Serve hot. This can be made up to 1 day in advance and reheated in a skillet over medium heat.

Seared Scallops and Zucchini with Lemon-Herb Feta

Zucchini Courtesy of Weight Watchers
Scallops Courtesy of Fine Cooking

I made this recipe earlier this week, and it was very fresh and healthy - just what we were looking for. Our goal this week is to stay in and cook until Friday! I bought the zucchini from our Farmer's Market and the scallops were bought fresh as well - so this came out great! This is pretty quick and easy for a week night meal - give it a go!

Seared Scallops with Herb-Butter Pan Sauce
1 lb dry, larger sea scallops (muscles removed)
1 tb + 3 tb unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
1 tb olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tb diced shallot
1/4 cup dry white wine or white vermouth
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs (they recommend chives and parsley, but I used thyme and rosemary that I had on hand)
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest

Remove the tough abductor muscle from the side of each scallop (some scallops are sold with the muscle already removed). If you feel any grit on the scallops, rinse them under cold water. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels; surface moisture impedes browning. Heat a 10- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oil and butter, if using, and heat until quite hot. Pat the scallops dry once more and put them in the pan in a single, uncrowded layer. Season with salt and pepper and let sear undisturbed until one side is browned and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear until the second side is well browned and the scallops are almost firm to the touch, 2 to 4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, transfer the scallops to a plate, and set them in a warm spot. Let the pan cool for a minute before you make the sauce.

Zucchini with Lemon-Herb Feta
3 tb crumbled feta (I used mediterranean seasoned feta since I had it on hand)
2 tb minced mint leaves
1 tb olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 medium scallions, minced
4 small zucchini (about 1 1/2 pound) - I used two larger zucchini from the Farmer's Market
1/2 tsp salt

In a small bowl, combine feta, mint, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and scallions; set aside. Trim ends off zucchini and slice in half lengthwise; slice each half into 4 or 5 chunks. Place zucchini on a baking sheet (or other flat surface) in a single layer; coat both sides with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Off heat, coat a grill rack or grill pan with cooking spray; heat over high heat. Cook zucchini, carefully flipping once, until grill marks are evident and zucchini is softened, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Arrange zucchini slices on a platter and serve with reserved feta topping.