Archive for the ‘Fish’ Category

Baked Salmon over Pasta with Vegetables

I finally own matching dishware for a service for 12! I was ecstatic the day I brought them home. Hubby, however, just wanted dinner because it was late by the time I brought the new dishes home. I threw dinner together while I washed a couple of my new salad plates to serve it on.

The dinner was incredibly tasty for something so quick and easy. So much so, that I’ll definitely be making it again sometime when we have the kids. They’ll love the pasta and veggies, and they’re always asking when we’ll be having salmon again because it’s one of their favorite foods. Besides, when “my stepmom’s good food” makes one of your kids’ required “things I like” lists for school, how can you not make them what they like?

Serves 2; can be doubled easily to serve more

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stovetop
  • Line a baking sheet with foil
  • Place 2 6-ounce salmon steaks on foil, skin side down
  • Drizzle olive oillightly over the salmon, brushing it to coat all of the meat
    • I have rosemary and pink peppercorn infused olive oil my cousin made for Christmas that I love to use on salmon. I think it adds the perfect hint of spiciness and flavor.
  • Season the salmon generously with salt and black pepper
  • Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness; I baked mine for 20 minutes
  • While salmon bakes, add 1 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni to the boiling water and cook according to package directions
  • A few minutes before the pasta is done, add 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables to the pasta and continue to boil
  • Once pasta and vegetables are done, drain and toss with 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Divide the pasta with vegetables evenly between two plates
  • Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan and cracked black pepper to taste over each serving of pasta and vegetables
  • When salmon is done baking and easily flakes with a fork, take a metal spatula and carefully remove the steak from the skin and place on top of the pasta with vegetables. I don’t grease the foil specifically so the skin sticks to the foil and the salmon steak slides right off the skin.

Baked Salmon over Pasta with Vegetables

The measurements for the pasta and veggies are an estimate. I had leftovers of already cooked macaroni in my refrigerator that I simply warmed up with some frozen vegetables in the microwave. This meal is incredibly easy and fast to put together. The Parmesan is a must with the pasta and veggies, really adding a punch of flavor. Be sure not to under-season the salmon before baking. You need that seasoning to enhance the flavor of the fish.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~


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Oven Fried Catfish

This crazy easy meal has been sitting in my “to-post” queue for a while now. Every time I’d look at it, I wasn’t ready to post it. Probably because it’s not really a recipe. It’s 3 ingredients; 4 if you count the bagged cole slaw kit. Talk about an easy dinner. You could make your own cole slaw from scratch, or serve whatever other side you prefer (my top choice is always mashed potatoes – something I contribute to growing up in the Midwest on my grandma’s mashed potatoes).

Serves 2; easily doubled (or more) to serve more people
Downloadable PDF of Oven Fried Catfish

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Line a baking sheet with foil
  • Spray foil with cooking spray
  • In a shallow dish, mix:
    • 1/2 cup cornmeal
    • 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Lite Creole Seasoning; adjust amount to your own liking
  • Dredge 2 catfish fillets in the cornmeal mixture, coating thoroughly on both sides
  • Place fillets on foil-lined baking sheet
  • Spray fillets lightly with cooking spray
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, or until cooked through and cornmeal coating is crisp
  • Serve with cole slaw or side of your choice and preferred dipping sauce, such as tartar sauce

Oven Fried Catfish

I love turning to this meal when I don’t have a lot of time for cooking, which has been my life the last couple of weeks. First, it was the back-to-back birthday celebrations (one with friends, one with family) for our now 12-year-0ld, followed by my sudden urge to scrub our entire house for the last week. I’ve been scrubbing walls, doors, baseboards, blinds, cabinet doors, and everything in between, one room at a time since early last week. I promise, once I get over my cleaning obsession, I’ll get back into posting regularly. Though, with my other new obsession of Pinterest, I have a ton of recipes “pinned” to try instead of creating my own…

Tonight, our simple, minimal ingredient dinner will be roasted potatoes with seared sea scallops and my standard lemony white wine butter sauce.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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Bacon Wrapped Halibut and Roasted Veggies

Bacon-wrapped halibut is my favorite meal to serve for date night at home. It’s usually what I’ll make for Valentine’s Day if we don’t go out to dinner (which we usually don’t – neither hubby or I like the big crowds for such holidays).

The version above is not my favorite I’ve made, but it’s still good. In the recipe below, I’ll note what to change to make it the version I prefer.

Halibut is an expensive fish at our local grocery store, but buying just for the two of us is still way cheaper than going out to eat for date night. Don’t get me wrong – we still go out. As a lover of food, I enjoy being treated to a dinner I didn’t make. But sometimes, it’s really fun to have date night food at home. And this meal couldn’t be easier.

Downloadable PDF of Bacon Wrapped Halibut with Roasted Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • In a small roasting dish, place:
    • 14 baby Dutch potatoes, rinsed well
    • 10 radishes, rinsed well with stems and long root ends removed
  • Coat vegetables lightly with olive oil (I keep a spray bottle of olive oil that ensures I coat them with just enough that’s needed and no more)
  • Sprinkle vegetables with salt, black pepper, and dried thyme to taste
  • Toss vegetables to distribute the seasonings
  • Set vegetables aside while you prep the fish
  • Season 2 4-ounce fillets halibut with salt and black pepper
  • Variation pictured:
    • Sprinkle with dried basil and dried oregano
    • Place a layer of crumbled feta cheese on top of the fish
    • Wrap fish with 3-4 slices bacon (I used the fully cooked variety since that’s what I had on hand)
    • Place on a lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet
    • Place fish and veggies in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork and veggies are browned
  • My preferred variation:
    • Spread a layer of garlic & herb flavored soft goat cheese on the fillets
    • Wrap each fillet in 3-4 slices of bacon
    • Place on lightly greased foil-lined baking sheet
    • Place fish and veggies in oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until fish flakes with a fork and veggies are browned

Veggies prepped for roastingPrepped halibut
Bacon Wrapped Halibut and Roasted Veggies

Use whatever vegetables you prefer. I happen to love roasted radishes. Roasting sweetens them a bit, but they keep a slight peppery edge. Baby Dutch potatoes are super yummy roasted. The fully cooked variety of bacon gets quite crispy, so I’d suggest either covering the fish loosely with foil while baking, or using uncooked bacon slices. I keep the fully cooked variety on hand because it’s so easy for the kids to warm up for their breakfast without any grease splattering on them.

Using soft cheese, such as a spreadable goat cheese, is preferable to crumbled feta, just because it stays on the fish. I only had feta on hand this time around. It was okay, but I preferred the robust flavor and texture of garlic and herb goat cheese.

If steak is more your thing, whip up some bacon wrapped filet mignon, place a dollop of herbed butter on top, and serve with these roasted vegetables for a variation of this dinner that’s just as easy and yummy.

This is also an easy meal to double or triple when in need of a fancy dinner for guests. Keep the cost down by using a different white fish, or using boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Downloadable PDF of Bacon Wrapped Halibut with Roasted Vegetables

What’s your favorite date night at home meal?

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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Lemon Sauced Dory

Wednesdays are the busiest days at my house. It’s trash day, lawn-watering day (and with no actual sprinkler system, that makes me the lawn waterer), and vacuum/mopping day. Wednesday is also a day one of my strength training workouts falls on. And of course after that, I have to walk the pup 3 miles or he’ll drive me batty the rest of the day.

Usually all these tasks are enough to wear me out. That’s why on Wednesdays, I make really easy, fast meals of fish. White fish cooks in mere minutes and served with a quick steamed veggie, means that I have dinner made in about 30 minutes or less.

Yesterday, I had a sudden impulse to do some fall gardening, which really kept me busy. I put fresh, nutrient-rich soil around all my rose beds, and planted two Chapel Hill Lantana by the back porch.

Needless to say, I had no energy to even consider a complicated dinner. I’m very glad I had already planned Lemon Sauced Dory for the menu. It’s quick, easy, tangy, and yummy. And did I say it’s quick?

I can’t remember if I first this sauce on the back of a frozen fish package or where, or even if the measurements are the same as that first recipe I saw, but this is one of my favorite ways to have fish, with a lemony, buttery, white wine sauce poured over it, with bits of thyme and tangy capers.

Serves 2
Downloadable PDF of Lemon Sauced White Fish

  • In a medium, deep skillet over medium heat, heat a minimal amount of olive oil, 1 teaspoon or less
    • I have a spray bottle of olive oil, and I just spray the pan lightly
  • Place 2 fillets of dory, or other white fish you prefer in the heated skillet
    • I use dory because it’s only $3-4 for a frozen bag of 5 fillets, making it very economical, and easy to always have on hand in my freezer
  • While one side of the dory cooks, season the top side with salt and black pepper to your preference
  • Zest 1/2 of a lemon over the tops of the fish evenly
  • After cooking for 4-5 minutes on the first side, flip fish over and season the cooked side with salt and black pepper – no need to add lemon zest to this side if you have none left
  • Cook another 4-5 minutes, or until fish is cooked through
  • Remove fish from skillet
  • The skillet should be somewhat dry with brown bits stuck to it at this point
  • Over medium heat, pour in 1/4 cup white wine
    • Be careful, it may splatter from the heat
  • Add 2 Tablespoons butter and stir until melted
  • Add:
    •  1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon capers (optional)
    • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Let simmer about 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly browned from the butter
  • Pour sauce over fish

Lemon Sauced Dory 2

I keep bags of the Ore-Ida brand steam and mash potatoes in my freezer. They only take 10 minutes in the microwave, so in the time I made the fish, I also steamed the potatoes. I quickly mashed them with some butter and sour cream and in 15 minutes, we had dinner. And it was SO GOOD! I love having this quick and easy meal on our dinner rotation. If your kids are fish eaters, they’ll love the lemony sauce. And the lemon zest cooked onto the fish really adds a pop of lemony flavor. Just don’t tell them it’s dory, or use another fish, if they’re sentimental to the characters in Finding Nemo.

Downloadable PDF of Lemon Sauced White Fish

What’s your favorite quick and easy go-to meal to make when your day is too exhausting to think about more than take-out? I was very tempted to use the Subway coupons that came in the mail yesterday instead, but this dinner was faster than getting in my car to get the sandwiches.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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Skewered Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Basmati Rice Tabbouleh

This meal was one of my favorites I’ve made recently. I subscribe to Opera Girl Cooks, a blog that always has delicious, healthy recipes. While I admittedly don’t often make many of the recipes posted, I fell in love with her Basmati Rice Tabbouleh the second I saw it in my email (check out her Mango and Lime Lassi, as well. So good!)

Back to the Tabbouleh: I typed the ingredients into my grocery list (using the NOTES on my iPhone – the standard feature I can’t live without), and brainstormed about what else to serve. It didn’t take long for me to decide on jumbo scallops. I was craving seafood, but couldn’t interest myself in shrimp or salmon. But rich, buttery scallops seemed a perfect complement to the tabbouleh and my craving. This decadent meal was so flavorful, and even with the bacon, within the 500-calories I’m allowing for dinner.

Makes 5 skewers

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
  • Place a roasting rack on top of the foil to elevate the skewers
  • Rinse desired vegetables. I used:
    • 10 grape tomatoes
    • 4 pearl onions (for two of the skewers)
    • 6 mushrooms (for three of the skewers) – wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel instead of rinsing under running water
  • Place whole vegetables in a bowl
  • Toss with:
    • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
    • Pinch of salt
    • Dash of ground pepper
  • Pat dry:
    • 10 jumbo scallops
  • If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them thoroughly before using
  • On a paper towel, spread out:
    • 10 slices of Hormel brand fully cooked bacon
    • I like using fully cooked, because it crisps just enough when baking with seafood with no need to worry about overcooked fish with undercooked bacon. It also has less fat, and I just prefer using it over raw bacon since I only use bacon as an accompaniment and don’t want it’s flavor to overpower the featured dish
  • Wrap a jumbo scallop in one slice of bacon, skewer to hold bacon in place, then skewer two of your chosen vegetables, and repeat with a second bacon-wrapped scallop and two more vegetables
  • Place skewer on baking wrack, and continue until skewers are complete
  • Brush each scallop lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Bake for about 12 minutes
  • Turn skewers, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Bake another 12-15 minutes or until scallops are just cooked through – do not overcook
    • You can press gently on the scallop to feel how firm the cooked scallop is – this is how I judge when mine are cooked, much like when cooking a steak
  • I baked mine for a total of 25 minutes
  • Serve with the Basmati Rice Tabbouleh for a healthy, flavorful meal

Skewered bacon-wrapped scallops with vegetables

Skewered Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Basmati Rice Tabbouleh

I had a total of two skewers, but that’s a big serving. Jumbo scallops are very filling since they are loaded with protein. Next time I make these, I’ll probably put three scallops per skewer and make that one full serving.

The scallops were so rich and buttery, and the tabbouleh so fresh. It was a very filling and satisfying meal, but not one you’ll feel guilty after eating.

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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Salmon Spread on cracker

After a morning of:

  • 5 sun salutations (these are the most effective way for me to warm and stretch every muscle before a run),
  • followed by a run of 2.5 miles (still building to the 3-mile mark),
  • then taking the Pup to the dog park for a couple of hours,
  • watering the plants and herbs (which are finally giving up their will to live in this 3-digit weather),
  • and scrubbing the entire downstairs, doing laundry, and vacuuming the whole house,

all I want is one of my favorite, no-cook-on-a-hot-day, quick lunches for a light mid-day meal before tackling the rest of my day.


Cream Cheese, Horseradish sauce, Dill

Salmon Spread

From REAL SIMPLE MAGAZINE’S Dinner Tonight: Done! recipe book

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine:
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I use fat free)
    • 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
    • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
    • 4 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly
  • Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices and fresh veggies.

The recipe book calls for salt and pepper to taste, but I never add any. To me, the horseradish and rich flavor of the smoked salmon and the bright, fresh dill are enough.

This is my favorite summer lunch served alongside a bowl of Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup.

Salmon Spread on cracker

This is also a great make-ahead lunch to take to work to change things up a bit from take-out or the daily sandwich. Just be sure to include an ice pack if you don’t have a refrigerator at work to stow your lunch bag.

What’s your favorite no-cook lunch?

Off to sip an espresso latte while figuring out what to make with three large bags of organic carrots . . . any suggestions?

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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I’m excited about my container garden – multiple containers, that is.

Growing Beets
My beets are really happy, especially since I moved them inside yesterday now that it’s 105 daily in Central Texas.

Parsley, Chives, Sweet Basil, two kinds of Oregano, and Mint are all growing nicely.

Smaller Herbs
And here’s the Dill, Sage, and Marjoram that were just planted a couple weeks ago.

Tonight’s dinner featured the sage, chives, and mint, along with one of my new favorite ways to add flavor, Fire & Flavor Cedar Papers.

Soaking Cedar Papers
Soaking the cedar papers, using my “garlic bowl” to keep them submerged. Soak for 10 minutes.

Lightly brush two tilapia fillets (cut in half lengthwise to make four fillets) with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with a sage leaf, and wrap in the cedar papers, tying with kitchen string (included with the cedar papers).

Wrapped tilapia fillets.

Grill. I used my counter-top grill, but you could use an outdoor grill, of course. Being 105 degrees outside, the counter-top grill is a wonderful way to make a yummy dinner without getting heat stroke in the process.

While the cedar papers soaked in water, I began the side dish:

(Downloadable PDF of Creamed Spinach)

  • Squeeze excess water from 10 ounces thawed extra fine cut spinach.
  • Heat 4-5 sprays of olive oil (from a spray bottle) in a deep skillet.
  • Add the spinach and cook a minute or two.
  • Add 1 large clove minced garlic and cook another minute, stirring.
  • Season with a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Add 1 1/4 cups plain soy creamer.
  • Simmer about 15 – 20 minutes or until the creamer is mostly evaporated and thickened.
  • Add 1/4 cup finely grated Zerto Reggianito cheese (or Parmigino-Reggiano cheese) to the spinach and stir until melted in.

Served with creamed spinach and toasted baguette smeared with margarine and topped with snipped chives.

Unwrap tilapia – of course, do not eat the cedar papers, not that I really need to tell you that.

Mint Tea
And enjoy with a glass of mint tea iced with mint ice cubes. The ice cubes I keep on hand in my freezer throughout the summer as a way to use my bounty of mint. The tea is brewed with two 5-inch sprigs of mint to infuse the tea.

This dinner was awesome! The cedar smelled amazing and infused a to-die-for flavor into the tilapia. The spinach was creamy and rich, and the toasted baguette was the perfect texture accompaniment to the dinner, with the mint tea offering a perfect beverage to wash it all down. Easy, yummy, and oh-so-healthy. What a wonderful summer dinner!

~Ingredients to nourish the body put together in ways to nourish the soul to share with family and friends to nourish the heart~

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