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Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Food’

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.

BACON-WRAPPED HALIBUT WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES
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.

LEMON SAUCED DORY, OR OTHER WHITE FISH
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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Cashew Tofu

Today is Tofu Tuesday in my house.

I have a list of about 7 tofu dishes we love that I cycle through, and this one is my absolute favorite.

When I was a teenager in Missouri, I worked as a hostess at a popular Asian restaurant. They make a cashew chicken that I crave. Crispy white meat chicken battered and fried, topped with oyster sauce, and sprinkled with cashews and green onions. I practically lived off that cashew chicken during high school.

When I moved to Texas, I was heartbroken to discover cashew chicken here is completely different. It has sauteed chicken, a white sauce, and is loaded with celery. It simply cannot satisfy my craving. For the last 14 years I’ve had to settle with having my favorite food once every couple years during visits to my hometown.

I have tested and tested and tested various ways to make the sauce and have come up with one that satisfies my craving. The only difference is that at home, I prefer to pour it over crisped tofu instead of fried pieces of chicken. If you don’t like tofu, please, try this with chicken. It’s good. The only different prep for the chicken would be to batter it in flour to fry instead of the cornstarch I use for the tofu.

CASHEW TOFU
Downloadable PDF of Cashew Tofu

  • Press 1 16-ounce package extra firm tofu 1 hour or more before making the meal
    • Do this by draining the water the tofu is packaged in
    • Cut the tofu into 1-inch steaks
    • Place the steaks between paper towels – I use 6 paper towels topped with 5 tofu steaks, topped with another 6 paper towels, another layer of 5 tofu steaks, and another layer of 6 paper towels.
    • Top with either a large skillet or heavy pot
    • If using a cast iron skillet, as I do, place a layer of parchment paper on top of the paper towels to keep the moisture from harming the cast iron.
  • When ready to make the meal, chop:
    • 1/4 cup cashews
  • Toast cashews over medium low heat in a dry skillet – do not burn!
  • While cashews toast, chop:
    • 4 green onions
  • Set aside chopped green onions and toasted cashews
  • In a medium saucepan, combine:
    • 3/4 cup brown rice
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 Tablespoon butter (I use Smart Balance brand 50/50 butter)
  • Bring water to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes
  • While rice is simmering, prepare the tofu
    • Remove the pressed tofu steaks from the paper towels
    • Cut each into cubes
    • In a large bowl, combine:
      • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
      • 1 teaspoon dried garlic
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
    • Place cubed tofu in bowl and toss to coat with cornstarch mixture
    • In a large, deep skillet, heat:
      • 4 Tablespoons canola oil
    • Once hot, pour cubed tofu into skillet and cook over medium high heat until crispy and browned, about 17 – 20 minutes, separating stuck-together pieces and stirring periodically
  • While tofu is cooking, prepare sauce by combining in a small saucepan:
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 Tablespoon Tamari or light soy sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • Whisk ingredients together, then bring to a simmer over medium low heat until thickened
  • Once tofu is browned and crispy, pour sauce over tofu
  • Serve over rice, sprinkled with green onions and cashews

Cubed tofu in cornstarch mixture
Cubed, pressed tofu in cornstarch mixture

Chopped green onions
Chopped green onions

Toasted Cashews
Chopped, toasted cashews

Cashew Tofu
Cashew Tofu, served over brown rice

Yum, yum, yum, yum! I’m so excited I can make this anytime I want and satisfy my craving for that addicting cashew chicken I lived on as at teen. I usually serve steamed broccoli alongside, since it’s a family favorite veggie.

What is your favorite restaurant meal? Do you make a version of it at home?

Downloadable PDF of Cashew Tofu

~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 Zest and Quinoa

I often don’t spend much time on side dishes when cooking dinner for my family. I usually put most of my attention towards the main dish and stick with steamed or roasted veggies seasoned simply with salt and pepper for the rest of the meal. A few nights ago, however, I decided to use the rest of the red quinoa that was in my refrigerator. In a desire to dress it up a bit, I came up with a lemony quinoa mixed with crumbled feta. It was delicious!

LEMONY QUINOA WITH FETA AND ALMONDS
Downloadable PDF of Lemony Quinoa with Feta and Almonds

  • In a medium saucepan, combine:
    • 3/4 cup red quinoa
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Turn heat off and let quinoa sit a few minutes to absorb the rest of the liquid, if any is remaining.
  • Stir in:
    • Zest from one lemon
  • Serve 1/2 cup of the lemony quinoa on a plate or a small bowl.
  • On top of each serving of quinoa, sprinkle up to:
    • 1/4 cup crumbled feta (I use reduced fat)
    • 2 Tablespoons slivered almonds

Lemony Quinoa with Feta and Almonds

Couldn’t be an easier, tastier side dish to fish or chicken. It would also be wonderful with some fresh chopped parsley, but my parsley is just starting to grow back after it quit growing during the 80-some days of triple digit heat we’ve had so far (I think I read yesterday marked 87 days, or today will?).

The lemon really makes the quinoa pop and the feta adds a nice creamy texture while the almonds add a light crunch. All in all, it tastes very fresh and delicious. This will be on the regular side dish rotation from now on.

Downloadable PDF of Lemony Quinoa with Feta and Almonds

In other news, I found that a couple of friends “pinned” a couple of my recipes to Pinterest, as did someone else not too long ago! I was very excited to see my posts pinned on a few boards here and there – thank you for liking them enough to pin them! If you haven’t checked out Pinterest yet, it’s quite addicting!

What are your favorite quick and easy side dishes?

~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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BBQ Chicken Enchiladas with Mexican Rice

Last week, I posted about these delicious BBQ chicken enchiladas that had my kids eating helping after helping. But it wasn’t just the enchiladas they loved. They oohed and aahed over the rice as well, gobbling up seconds of it on top of all the enchiladas they were eating.

I’ve made numerous variations of Mexican Rice in the past, but this one was the most popular with my family. That came as bit of a surprise to me since in my opinion, this is the most unorthodox version I’ve made. But I have to say, it was delicious. And the nutritional punch is enough to make any parent happy.

MEXICAN RICE WITH SPINACH
Downloadable PDF of Mexican Rice with Spinach

  • In a medium saucepan, combine:
    • 3/4 cup brown basmati rice
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 Tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Bring water to a rapid boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, add:
    • 1 10-ounce package extra fine cut frozen spinach, thawed
    • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • Cover, return to a simmer, and continue cooking another 20 minutes, or until all moisture is absorbed

This is a great way to add more greens to dinner. Just change the chili powder and ground cumin to other spices to really change up the flavor. Use thyme, or oregano, or basil, or parsley and some lemon zest. Sprinkle some toasted slivered almonds on top for a delicious and easy rice pilaf.

How do you sneak greens and other healthy foods into your family’s meals? I’m lucky that I don’t have to “hide” ingredients from my kids; they’ll eat sushi, broccoli, tofu, brussel sprouts, and nearly anything else I put in front of them. In fact, I’m probably the pickiest out of all of us!

Downloadable PDF of Mexican Rice with Spinach

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas with Mexican Rice

~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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