Archive for August, 2016

TILAPIA AND SUMMER VEGETABLE PACKETS

Much to my dismay, summer is almost over so please make this very simple and delicious summery recipe now.  Wonderful!

ingredients3756550

1 cup quartered cherry, or grape tomatoes

1 cup diced summer squash

1 cup thinly sliced red onion1

12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup pitted and coarsely chopped black olives

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon capers, rinsed

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 4 equal portions

directions

Preheat grill to medium. Combine tomatoes, squash, onion, green beans, olives, lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, capers in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. To make a packet, lay two 20-inch sheets of foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning); generously coat the top piece with cooking spray. Place one portion of tilapia in the center of the foil. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, then top with about ¾  cup of the vegetable mixture. Bring the short ends of the foil together, leaving enough room in the packet for steam to gather and cook the food. Fold the foil over and pinch to seal. Pinch seams together along the sides. Make sure all the seams are tightly sealed to keep steam from escaping. Repeat with more foil, cooking spray and the remaining fish, salt, pepper and vegetables.

Grill the packets until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. To serve, carefully open both ends of the packets and allow the steam to escape. Use a spatula to slide the contents onto plates.

(Adapted from a recipe found on eatingwell.com)

 

 

 

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SAUTÉED SWISS CHARD WITH ONIONS

I often eat Swiss chard when I got out to eat but for some reason, I never cooked it at home. Until now. This is a very simple recipe and just delicious! Swiss chard is a power veg–it’s packed with Vitamins K, A and C.  It’s also a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber. This side dish goes with everything!

ingredients (serves 8)

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3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)

1 1/2  tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2  tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground pepper

directions

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic. Season salt and pepper Cover, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs. Season, again, with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

(Adapted from a recipe found on epicurious.com)

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MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD WITH ROASTED SUMMER VEGETABLES

 

This quinoa salad combines the most delicious summer vegetables so make this NOW while everything is in season. If you’re not a fan of quinoa, substitute a different grain–you can try brown rice, farro or even millet. WONDERFUL!

ingredientshealthy-quinoa-salad-recipe-1

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 small eggplant (about ¾ pound), diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1 small yellow squash, diced

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1½ to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste (about 1 medium lemon)

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

½ cup halved grape tomatoes (quarter any larger tomatoes)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

For garnish: crumbled feta, optional

directinos  

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash between the two baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss. Add a little more if necessary; you want enough to lightly coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the veggies are softened and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set the roasted vegetables aside to cool.

To cook the quinoa, combine the uncooked quinoa (1/3 cup) with ⅔ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside.

To toast the pine nuts, cook them in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they’re turning lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and garlic. Slowly pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify the mixture. Add the tomatoes, quinoa, basil, mint, roasted vegetables and pine nuts, and gently stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and maybe another squeeze of lemon, to taste. Garnish with crumbled feta, if you’d like. Serve at room temperature.

(Adapted from a recipe found on cookieandkate.com)

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DEAR SELF…

I’ve been working with a wonderful woman this summer. She is a school teacher, who has the summer off, and was looking to make some positive lifestyle changes. She was ready to put herself first and to make exercise and moving as much as possible a priority. She was committed.

I know this sounds corny, but watching her over these past few months has been similar to watching a flower bloom. Her energy levels are up, she feels empowered by putting herself first, and she is getting stronger with each passing week. It’s been miraculous.

Soon, she will be heading back to school, which will mean less time and more stress. I recently gave her a homework assignment: I asked her to write a letter to herself and to describe how she is feeling right now. When life starts to get in the way, I want her to look at this letter and read, in HER words, how great she felt this summer. While it seems unlikely now, she will get amnesia and forget this exercise-induced-euphoria.

Exercise, which is simply just moving, static1.squarespaceis one of the most important things you can do for your  mind and body. If you have problems being consistent, focus on the instant gratification that you will get when you’re done. You will feel better, have a great sense of well-being, and feel energized. You’ll even sleep better. And when you’re on a roll, write yourself a letter—it might be the perfect reminder to keep you on track!

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SPICY GLAZED EGGPLANT

This summer, we planted Japanese eggplant in our garden. They are delicious–they are sweet and mild. This is an easy recipe with wonderful Asian flavors. You can find the Japanese seven-spice powder in Japanese markets or on Amazon!

ingredients

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1¼ pounds Asian eggplants (about 4), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut diagonally into 1½-inch pieces

2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

½ teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger (use a Microplane)

1/8 teaspoon Japanese seven-spice powder (sometimes labeled “shichimi togarashi”), or to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

directions

Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt and drain in a colander, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes. Rinse eggplant under cold water and dry well, pressing out any excess moisture.

Stir together mirin, soy sauce, ginger, and seven-spice powder.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté eggplant until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in mirin mixture and cook, gently stirring and turning frequently, until sauce becomes a glaze and eggplant is browned and tender, about 1 minute.

Serve hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with chives.

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.epicurious.com)

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