Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sweet Roasted Corn Salad

I had a pot luck cook out to go to tonight and I tried and tried to figure out what I wanted to take.  I just couldn't make up my mind.  I follow this blog called Easy Natural Food.  Debbie does a Summer Salad Sundays where people can log in and post their favorite salad recipe.  So I thought this would be the perfect place for me to go and find a recipe.  I found this recipe at a blog called Whole Foods on a Budget.  I have to say this recipe is super simple to make, looks festive and bright and everyone loved it.

Sweet Roasted Corn Salad
1 - 16 ounce bag of frozen corn (I used the corn that I took right off the corn cob last year)
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 large cucumber, seeded and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, mined
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
Lay corn on a cookie sheet (I used a non stick foil on the pan so clean up would be easy) and broil at 550 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully.  Pull out when it just begins to brown.  The roasting sweetens the corn and adds a smokey flavor.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicken Skewers with Barbeque Marinade

Haven't made chicken on the grill for a while.  I really wanted to make a marinade for the chicken.  I did a little digging and found this in my collection of many many recipes.  It is a simple and easy recipe.

1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons tamari
1 tablespoon sucant 
Splash of Texas Pete (similar to Tabasco)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
8 drops of liquid smoke
1 smashed garlic clove, optional
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix.  Pour over chicken.  This seemed like just enough for 3 chicken breasts.  If using more chicken than this, double the recipe.

Chicken on Skewers
3 Boneless chicken breasts
Cut each breasts on the breasts longest side.  Cut them into strips.  Place strips onto a skewer by weaving the chicken in and out of the skewer.  Add several strips to each skewer.  Place in a dish and add marinade.  Marinate for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Place chicken onto a 450 degree Fahrenheit grill for 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 5 minutes.  Baste a little bit of the marinade in the beginning.

Grilled Spinach
Fresh spinach cooked is fantastic.  I thought what about cooking it on the grill?  I mean we have cooked other  vegetables on the grill so I figured why not spinach.  Take freshly washed spinach and add it to a large piece of foil.  Add a couple of pats of butter and 2 pressed cloves of garlic.  Fold foil in half so that it makes a square (or almost a square - doesn't have to be perfect) and pinch the sides so that it is closed tight.  Place on the warming rack of the grill (not over direct heat).  Put the spinach on the grill at the same time you put the chicken on.  It will look like a huge amount of spinach but remember it will wilt down.

The chicken was placed on top of a small pile of cooked jasmine rice.  Fresh tomato slices were added as well.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baked Salmon with Quinoa Salad

I am sorry that I have been a way for a while.  I was at GFWC (General Federation of Women's Clubs) International Convention, which is a volunteer organization.  As we all know that when we are away from home you eat food that maybe isn't that good for you.  Of course in this case since I was at a convention I was eating the normal plate dinners that hotels and convention centers served.  I couldn't wait to get back into my kitchen today and make something, so that is what I did!

Baked Salmon
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place salmon onto a cookie sheet lined with foil (I only do this because it makes clean up easier), drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. 

Quinoa Salad
Prepare quinoa according to package directions.  
Few sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
Half of a fresh green onion (green and white parts), thinly sliced
About 1/8 to 1/4 cup pine nuts
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir to incorporate ingredients.  Place cooked salmon on top of a hearty spoonful of quinoa.

This meal was also served with a small side salad of fresh lettuce from the garden.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Whole Roast Chicken

I hadn't cooked a whole chicken in a while and had a craving for one roasted.

I used a rub recipe from the Grassfed Gourmet cookbook.  I sliced fresh onions and lemons.  I added some onion and lemon slices to the bottom, so that the chicken could sit on them.  I added a few slices of the onion and lemon to the cavity of the chicken.  I also stuffed in some fresh parsley.  Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and use rub all over.  Cook the chicken at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1-1/2 hours (depending on the size).

Chicken Herb Rub
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried oregano

The leftover chicken will be used to make homemade chicken salad and the carcass will be used to make broth.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Grilled Tuna

There is nothing better than tuna on the grill, or at least that is my opinion.  The tuna we got came from SeaBear who have excellent seafood.  As I was making part of this meal I told my husband that I don't know how this experiment will turn out, his comment was your experiments always turn out great.  I have to say he was right.

Grilled Tuna
2 tuna steaks
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup tamari (soy sauce)
2 cloves garlic crushed
Combine lemon juice, tamari and garlic.  Place tuna in a container and add liquid.  Marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature.  Heat grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place tuna on grill and cook for no more than 4 minutes per side.  This depends a lot on how you like your tuna cooked.  Our tuna was rather thick and we like our tuna more on the rare side.

Fried Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Mixed Mushrooms
I had a package of soba noodles and decided that this would be our side dish.  Sometimes it is a matter of digging through the pantry to see what you have and what you want to cook.  I try to plan meals out so that I have the ingredients on hand but sometimes that doesn't necessarily work.
Cook 1 package of soba noodles to package directions
1 package of frozen mixed mushrooms, thawed
Fish Sauce
In a skillet add a little bit of ghee, let melt over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and cook slightly.  Add cooked soba noodles.  Toss noodles with mushrooms.  Continue to cook.  Add a little bit of fish sauce (this will add a nice flavor to the noodles).  Continue to cook, turning constantly until a few noodles become crispy.  Serve with tuna.

Along with the tuna we had a side salad.  The salad consisted of salad greens we picked up at the farmers market on Saturday.  A fresh diced tomato and fresh feta cheese was added.

On the bottom part of the picture is a breakfast radish from our garden.  My husband is a big fan of radishes, I am not. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grilled Brined Pork Loin

A friend gave me this recipe.  I saw it and it sounded fantastic, so I made it and will make it again. When I made this I left the meat in the brine for about 8 hours, the next time I make it I plan on leaving it overnight.

4 cups water
½ cup sugar
½ cup coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
4 cups ice
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch thyme
½ orange zest, removed in strips and fruit reserved for garnish
12 whole peppercorns, plus fresh ground pepper (not sure why just 12, I used a few more)
1 boneless pork loin (2 pounds) - (mine was actually smaller and worked just fine - just had to adjust the cooking time)
coarse ground mustard for serving

Bring water, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a large pot, stirring to dissolve.  Remove from heat.  Add ice, bay leaf, thyme, orange zest, and peppercorns, and let cool completely.  Place pork in a non-reactive dish, and completely cover with brine.  Refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours.  Remove pork from brine, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.  Pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.

Heat grill to medium.  Grill pork, covered with vent open, turning every 6 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees Fahrenheit, about 32 minutes.  (Pork will continue to cook to proper doneness as it rests).  Transfer pork to a cutting board, and let rest 15 minutes.  Slice pork, and squeeze orange over slices.  Serve with mustard.  

Along with the pork loin.  I cooked whole sweet potatoes and was served with a fresh straight out of the garden salad. 

I first cooked the sweet potatoes in the microwave and then wrapped them in foil to finish on the grill.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Ultimate Comfort Food

Do you ever have that moment where you really want something but you just don't know what it is?  That was actually me last night.  My husband actually made dinner for me last night, which was so wonderful, but I really wanted macaroni and cheese but stayed out of the kitchen so that he could work his magic.  So tonight I decided that I really wanted mac and cheese so that is what I made along with other comfort food.

1 pound grass fed ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup A.1. Steak sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (I used a fresh spring onion that I picked up at the Farmers Market)
In a large bowl combine beef, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of steak sauce, egg, pepper and onion.  Shape into a loaf and place in a loaf pan.  (using only 1 pound of meat will not fill an entire loaf pan).  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.  Brush remaining steak sauce onto top and bake for 10 minutes more.

Here is the recipe for the macaroni and cheese sauce which is the recipe that comes with a Vitamix blender.  You can do this same recipe on the stove in a double boiler (just heat the first ingredients and then add the cheese until it melts). 

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups of cooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups milk
1 cup cubed american cheese or other mild yellow cheese (I used a raw milk sharp cheddar and a colby style cheese)

Bread crumbs
Mix sauce with cooked macaroni in a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with a non stick cooking spray.   Add a bread crumb topping and bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.

To go along with this meal we had some frozen chopped spinach.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Salmon with Strawberry Peach Salsa

My inspiration for this dish tonight was the farmer's market.  I went to the market this morning and of course was in awe of all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that were available.  I bought some strawberries and just figured I would make some kind of dessert with them but instead decided on a simple little something to go over some baked salmon.  The salmon we got was from SeaBear.

Salmon with Strawberry Peach Salsa
Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit
Place salmon on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake in oven for about 15 minuets.
Strawberry Peach Salsa
1 pint Strawberries
2 peaches
1 very small amount of Italian Parsley
Wash and hull strawberries, cut strawberries into small pieces.   Place a pan of water onto the stove and bring to a boil.  Add peaches to the water and let cook for just about 2 minutes (depending on how thick the skin is).  Remove peach from water and add to a bowl of ice cold water.  Pinch the skin of the peach it should come off very easily.  Remove all of the skin.  Cut peaches in half and remove the pit.  Cut peaches into chunks and add to the strawberries.  Dice up parsley and add to strawberries and peaches.  Mix gently with a spoon.  Spoon over cooked salmon.

Along with this meal we had a small salad of greens and tomatoes, served with a homemade french dressing.