Monday, June 29, 2015

Grilled Salmon with White Bean and Spinach Salad

Another great way to enjoy salmon.
Healthy and delicious!
For The Salmon
1-1/2 lbs salmon
1/3 C olive oil
2 T lemon juice
2 T orange juice
2 T chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper
Cut the salmon filet into 4 pieces.
Combine the remaining ingredients
in a small jar and shake to blend.
Marinade the salmon for 1-2 hrs.
covered in the refrigerator 
before grilling. 

 Meanwhile prep the salad and 
vinaigrette. When you have everything
 else ready to go, preheat the grill to 
high heat. Grill the salmon for 
3-4 minutes per side. 

Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1 C olive oil
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1 T minced onion or shallot
1 T minced fresh parsley
1 T minced fresh basil
salt and pepper
Combine in a jar and shake to blend.

1 lb baby spinach, cleaned
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 tomato, chopped
Warm the beans in the microwave.
Toss spinach, tomatoes and beans
together in a bowl. Dress salad
with desired amount of vinaigrette.
Add (garlic) salt and freshly ground
pepper to taste. 

To Serve
 Place salmon, hot off the grill
on top of the dressed salad. Pass 
vinaigrette as a sauce to accompany
 the salmon. 


Links: Between Naps On The Porch,

Friday, June 26, 2015

3-Ingredient High Protein Pancakes

It doesn't get any easier than this!
Just throw 3 ingredients into a blender
for healthy pancakes that are
full of fiber and protein . 
Did I mention that they are good too?
Top with whatever you like: butter, syrup 
or your favorite jam. Try applesauce and 
cinnamon. They are all tasty.

High Protein Pancakes
1 C cottage cheese
1 C oatmeal
2 eggs
Put the cottage cheese, dry oats,
and eggs in a blender and blend until
smooth. Preheat a griddle to med-hi.
Grease pan with spray or butter. 
Pour batter onto griddle. Cook until
browned on bottom, about 1-1/2 min.
Flip and cook another minute until golden.
Serve with butter, maple syrup, or jam. 
makes 4-6 pancakes

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Grilled Pesto Shrimp

After you've made basil pesto from my 
previous post you're all set to make this easy 
and fast grilled pesto shrimp.
Toss large peeled shrimp with enough pesto to 
coat. Use any amount you need. 
 Let marinade for at least 30 minutes.
Grill on your outdoor grill or in a cast iron skillet
on medium high for a few minutes on each side.
Don't overcook the shrimp. Pile onto a plate and
squeeze some lemon over the top. Serve over
pasta that's been flavored with a bit of pesto,
or on top of a salad, or as an appetizer.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Basil Pesto

Fresh pesto is bursting with herby garlicky bold 
flavors. Whenever my basil plant starts to get
 "leggy" I give it a good trim. It encourages the
 plant to get thicker, and it will make a 
great pesto. 
Strip the leaves from the stems.  Wash them
 in cold water in the bowl of a salad spinner. 
Rinse several times if needed until the water
 is clear. Then spin the leaves dry. 
I don't follow an exact recipe, just toss it all 
in the food processor and give it a good whirl, 
but I'll give you the recipe below to get you 
started. You can add more or less of anything 
to get it to your liking. You can also use almost
 any nuts: pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews or
 even sunflower seeds. Toast them in a
toaster oven for a flavor boost. You can 
even leave out the nuts. If I'm making a small batch and I'm
out of nuts, I'll leave those out. 
Add the nut, garlic, basil and cheese, to the bowl
of a food processor. Process until chopped.
With the machine running, slowly add the
 olive oil until it reaches your desired
consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Add a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch
of red pepper flakes, if desired. 
Pulse a few times to blend.
Total processing time will be
about 1-2 minutes. 
Store in a lidded jar adding a light film of olive oil
 on top of the pesto. So many ways to use it: with 
grilled shrimp, salmon, in a sandwich, as a dip with
 warm crusty bread, in pasta, topping for an omelet, 
grilled chicken, and more.
You'll want to make it all summer long. 

Basil Pesto
2-3 C tightly packed basil leaves
2 L cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 C nuts, toasted 
(pine nuts, almonds, walnuts
cashews, sunflower seeds)
about 1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C parmesan cheese
1/2 t salt ~ 1/4 t pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
spritz of lemon juice
Wash the basil leaves in cold water
and dry in a salad spinner. Add the nuts, basil
cheese and garlic to a food processor; process until
chopped. With the machine running add the oil and run
until pureed. Season to taste with salt, pepper,
red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. 
Run again to belnd until desired consistency. 


Monday, June 15, 2015

the Cubano ~ Grilled Cuban Sandwich

When you grow up in Miami you know all about 
the Little Havana area and the great Cuban food.
Now I live about 1 hour away, but managed to 
visit the famous Cafe Versailles twice last
month when I needed to go to Miami to 
renew my passport. Now I get my Cubano fix
at home. It's a great sandwich!
To make an authentic Cubano you need:
Cuban bread
roast pork slices
boiled ham
pickle slices
Swiss cheese
Yellow mustard
and butter.
I always plan on making this sandwich whenever
I make a pork roast. I know there'll be great
Cubanos the next day. You can maybe leave out
the roast pork if you don't have any, but change
 too many other ingredients and you won't have
 a real Cuban.
You'll have a nice grilled ham and cheese
sandwich instead.
Of course there is only one bread that works
best, and that's Cuban bread.  Why Cuban bread?
Cuban bread is under baked 
so it's not ready to eat when you buy it.
 It's meant to be grilled, toasted or warmed
 in the oven without getting overly browned or
 dried out.  It compresses nicely and gets golden
brown and crunchy when  grilled. Most
 grocery stores carry Cuban bread now. 
If all else fails, use Italian or French.
I had the roast pork slices leftover from 
made earlier and I always plan on making
Cubanos with the leftovers. 
 Lightly toast the buttered bread
and warm the pork slices.
 Start layering. Pork slices,
 Boiled ham,
Swiss cheese,
and Yellow mustard.
 Butter the outside and grill.
It should be thin, hot, crispy, and oozing delicious
 melted cheese.
Golden brown and pressed.
Cut diagonally to serve.

~ Cubanos ~ 
Grilled Cuban Sandwich
Cuban bread
roast pork slices
boiled ham
pickle slices
Swiss cheese
Yellow mustard
and butter.

Using a grill or cast iron skillet heat the pork
slices on one side. Slice the bread 
in half horizontally and butter the cut side. 
Place buttered side down on the grill
 and grill until lightly toasted. Remove the bread 
to a cutting board and lay on the pork, pickles, 
cheese and ham on one side. Slather the yellow 
mustard on the other side and put together.
Butter the top of the bread and place buttered
side down on the grill. Butter the bottom side. 
Close the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes until
heated, browned, and the cheese melts.
Remove to the cutting board and cut
diagonally into long triangles. 


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cuban Mojo Roasted Pork Loin

This is the easy  way to do it.
You'll get a perfectly tender and juicy roast pork.
I just use bottled
Mojo marinade from the grocery store.
Mojo, a delicious citrus and garlic marinade.
Marinate a pork loin in enough Mojo sauce
to completely cover. This is about a 3 lb loin roast.
Poke some holes all over the pork to allow the
 sauce to flavor the meat. Marinate overnight. 
The next day when you are ready to roast,
season generously with salt, pepper, and 
Adobo All Purpose Seasoning.  I used
Goya Adobo here too. Put it on a rack
 and roast fat side up @400ยบ for 1 hour.
Let rest, covered with foil while you
make some great gravy to go along with it. 
 Add about 1 C water plus 2 t beef bullion powder
 or 2 cubes to the pan. Place over a burner on
medium- high heat scraping up and browned  bits.
Dissolve 1 T cornstarch in another 1 C cold water.
 Whisk into the pan and stir until it comes to a
simmer and thickens; about 2 minutes.
Taste for seasoning adding more if needed.
 Lower the heat to keep warm. Pour into
a heated (rinse in hot water) gravy boat.
Slice the pork into thin slices. I served it with
mashed potatoes with lots of gravy and
a green vegetable.
Save some pork slices for great Cubanos ~ grilled
Cuban sandwiches.
Coming up in my next post, Cubanos! 


tip: I buy a large pork loin at Costco and
cut it in half. One for dinner now and one for
the freezer. You can add the Mojo marinade
to the bag and freeze it all together. Then 
it thaw in the fridge for about 2 days 
before roasting. Have the meat at
room temperature before putting it
in the oven, or add 10 minutes to the
roasting time. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

No-Bake Energy Bites

These are fast and easy to make for that
quick high protein energy boost.
They're perfect with a cup a joe when 
you're on the go, or after a run or sports. 
You probably have all the ingredients
except for the ground flax seed.
That you can can find in your grocery
 store by the other nuts.
 You can add a bit more honey if you like it
sweeter, up to 1/3 C total. You can also add
coconut, raisins, or craisins if you like. 
 Combine all the ingredients well.
Roll into balls. It makes about 22.
Freeze on a baking sheet until firm.
Then store in an airtight container in
the freezer or refrigerator. 

No-Bake Energy Bites
1 C oatmeal
1/2 C ground flax seed
1/2 C mini chocolate chips
1/2 C peanut butter, chunky is good
1/4 C honey
1 t vanilla
Mix well and roll into balls.
Put on a baking sheet and freeze
until firm, about 1 hour. Put into a
 container and store in the freezer
or refrigerator to grab anytime.