Citrus Scallops and Quinoa Salad

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As I have been doing this blog (sparingly to be honest), it has made me venture into things that I normally would not eat or attempt. This is especially true in light of the fact that I am trying to eat healthier (venturing into baking isn’t awesome on your body when you live by yourself…). Thus my foray into the magical worlds of quinoa and kale (although there is no kale in this recipe). I bought some quinoa on a whim and decided to try and make it, but man is it boring. So I thought I’d try and spice it up a bit (or in this case, sweeten), by making it into more of a citrus salad. And because I need some kind of protein, I added some seared scallops to go along with it. The result was a really good, light meal that I did not feel guilty about eating. So give it a go and let me know how it turns out for you.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked to instructions
  • 1 lb large sea scallops, washed and dried
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into slices
  • 2 navel oranges, cut into slices
  • 1 large avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions

  • Cook quinoa to instructions
  • Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl
  • Wash and pat dry the scallops, salt and pepper to taste
  • Sear the scallops in a large pan over med-high heat
  • Mix the quinoa and the dressing, using a fork to combine
  • Add the avocado, grapefruit, and oranges and mix again
  • Add the scallops and in my case sautéed spinach as well
  • Eat and not feel guilty!

Shrimp Ceviche

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Anyone looking for a simple, healthy(ish), refreshing snack?  I was and had just bought some shrimp the other day, so I decided to make this recipe. I actually found this recipe sitting in my work’s lounge in a binder that was promoting healthier lifestyles/habits/eating (I work for a hospital) and while most of the recipes were a bunch of different salads (boring…) this one actually stood out to me. I don’t have the actual recipe as I kind of saw the ingredients and riffed off that, so here goes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 small/1 large avocado, pitted and cut into small cubes
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 5 limes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a pan over medium heat, add a tsp of oil and cook the shrimp thoroughly
  • Cut the shrimp into small pieces and place in a large bowl
  • Add the onion, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and mix
  • Add the lime juice and mix
  • Salt and pepper to taste and mix again
  • Refrigerate for ~15 minutes before eating
  • Eat with tortilla chips or by itself (could potentially be a salad I suppose)
  • Enjoy!

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Corn and Asparagus Salad

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Since living in Fresno, it has been really hot, something that I am definitely not used to coming from the Bay.  I have also been trying to be healthier…”trying.”  I have been making a lot salads recently, but man salads suck.  So this one involves asparagus and corn, which let’s be honest, is so much better than lettuce.  I got the recipe from food network and Paula Deen.  Don’t worry though, there’s no butter in it.  It turned out pretty good, but you definitely don’t need all the dressing that this recipe makes.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears of yellow corn, shucked
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup basli, chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

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Directions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the corn for ~3 minutes
  • Pull the corn out and place in an ice bath
  • Blanch the asparagus in the same boiling water for ~1 minute
  • Pull out the asparagus and place in ice bath
  • Remove the kernels of the corn using a knife
  • Cut the asparagus into ~1in pieces
  • Place asparagus and corn in a bowl, along with the basil and onion
  • For the dressing, mix the sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl
  • Drizzle some of the dressing over the asparagus, corn, onion and basil until well coated
  • Mix thoroughly and serve!

Hawaiian Hoisin Spare Ribs and Pineapple Slaw

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Hey, so it’s been awhile (2 months) since I have last posted, which when I think about it is a really long time. It’s not like I haven’t cooked in 2 months, but I guess nothing worthwhile?  This is a recipe I did awhile back and it turned out really well.  I got the recipe for the ribs here and made both the ribs and the slaw.  They complement each other nicely with the citrus and crispness of the slaw to contrast the sweet and savory of the ribs.  However, for the slaw, the recipe requires a lot of ingredients so I left a lot of things out, which didn’t detract from it at all IMO. Also, this requires a lot of stereotypical Asian ingredients, so thankfully I have most of this at home. But if you don’t, it does require a lot.

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Ingredients:

Ribs:

  • 5 lbs spareribs/baby back ribs
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth

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Slaw:

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion/scallion
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 1 cup julienned red pepper
  • red and green cabbage shredded (I used the premade slaw mix from the market)

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the hoisin, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes
  • Bring to a boil and let simmer until a thick glaze. Remove from heat and let cool
  • @ 275 degrees, place a wire rack in a large baking dish and pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the dish
  • salt and pepper the ribs on both sides, wrap in foil, and place on baking rack
  • Wrap the whole pan in foil and bake for 1-1.5 hours
  • Let the ribs cool for ~15 min and then drizzle/coat the ribs with the glaze
  • Broil for ~5 min making sure not to burn the glaze
  • After removing the ribs and letting stand, drizzle a little more glaze
  • For the slaw, whisk together the honey, vinegar, and soy sauce
  • Slowly add the oils while whisking, and then add the cilantro, peppers, and green onions
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • In a bowl, mix the cabbage (or premade mix) and the pineapples
  • Toss in the dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Enjoy!

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Caprese Salad

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Congratulations Jenn for getting into MBA school. As a celebration, I told her I would cook her something, and lo and behold she requested a salad…boring right? Well she also requested to have mozzarella cheese incorporated some how, so I immediately thought of a caprese salad. Now I have never made a caprese salad before, but was shocked how simple it really is. It’s not exactly my fave salad though, so maybe thats why. But interestingly enough, I told my sister what I was doing and she said she LOVED caprese salad…who knew? Definitely not me lol.  Anyways here it is!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3 tomatoes on a vine, sliced
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • EVOO

Directions

  • Layer the slices of cheese and tomatoes with a basil leaf in between
  • Sprinkle with salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Drizzle EVOO over
  • You can also add balsamic vinegar or a reduction to the dish but I chose not to
  • Eat this super refreshing salad

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Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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So I decided to try a Meatless Monday thing and made a classic grilled cheese sandwich, that I paired with a tomato bisque soup and basic salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich?  There is just something nostalgic and comforting about it.  But in the past and growing up, I always made it with slices of American cheese. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually love American cheese and think its delicious, although others might feel that it’s too processed, which I can understand.  This time, I tried to be slightly more sophisticated and used parmesan and mild cheddar cheese.  I read somewhere that it is better to use 2 different types, with one being saltier (parmesan). So I kinda went with it, and actually it turned out pretty good. Although, I don’t think you can eff up a grilled cheese unless you burn it super bad, but even then, there’s a market for that.

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Ingredients:

  • Bread (whatever kind, I just used regular good old fashioned white bread)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • In a small mixing bowl, toss the 2 types of cheeses together and blend them together
  • In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 tbsp of butter and add the slices of bread
  • When slightly toasted, flip the bread and add the cheese blend to both slices
  • When the cheese begins to melt, flip one slice on top of the other
  • After a few minutes, flip the sandwich to finish melting the cheese and toasting the other slice of bread
  • Cut and enjoy like your inner kid wants to

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Picnic Broccoli Salad

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At the request of the ladies in my life to eat healthier, I have been making more salads than ever before. When they asked, my first thought was boring! Then I requested if mac salad, potato salad, and pasta salads count, but apparently they do not. Thus, today is a broccoli salad, complete with mayo, bacon, and cheese…yummm healthy….Actually, it’s not unhealthy and its pretty good too. I mean you can always make it unhealthy by adding as much crap as you want into it, but I kept it pretty simple.

Ingredients

  • 3 heads of broccoli, florets chopped into eatable pieces
  • 1 cup mayo
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 6+ strips of bacon (up to you)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • Halved grape tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (as much as you desire)
  • Chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
My bacon is happy

My bacon is happy

Directions

  • Blanch the broccoli florets in a pot of boiling water, drain and set aside
  • Mix the mayo, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar in a bowl
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crispy, dab with paper towel to get excess oil off
  • Chop the bacon
  • Add the bacon, onions, tomatoes, nuts, and cheese to the broccoli and mix well in a large bowl
  • Add the sauce and mix thoroughly (use enough to coat well, but you don’t need to use all of it)
  • Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 min
  • Serve and enjoy

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Seared Tuna with Asian Vinaigrette Salad

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My uncle loves to go deep sea fishing, and recently went out for tuna. He caught some yellowtail and some yellowfin. Every time he goes I always ask for some, and this time, he delivered! Tuna is pretty expensive to buy, so getting it fresh for free is pretty awesome. I seared the tuna and served it over a salad with an asian vinaigrette. The salad was made from a spring mix and napa cabbage cut into strips like a slaw.

Ingredients

  • Tuna loin
  • Spring salad mix
  • Napa cabbage
  • Grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Some chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

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Directions for tuna and salad

  • Rinse the tuna and pat dry with paper towels
  • Grind black peppercorns onto a plate and roll the tuna loin in the pepper
  • Pour a little canola oil into a pan on high heat
  • Sear the tuna for a few seconds on each side, place on a plate and put it in the freezer for a few minutes to stop the cooking process
  • Cut the napa cabbage into strips, halve the tomatoes, and thinly slice the red onion

Directions for vinaigrette

  • Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat, then mix the sugar in until it dissolves
  • Combine the oil, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, and cilantro
  • Pour in the vinegar and sugar mix
  • Mix the dressing and chill in the refrigerator for ~20 minutes

Slice the tuna into ~ 1/4 inch slices and serve over the salad. This was my first time making an asian vinaigrette, and I really liked it. I was getting tired of balsamic dressings, so this was a nice alternative. The napa also added a different flavor and textural element which was nice. Overall, the salad was really good and I used the leftover dressing again the next day. And then there’s the tuna, which is always delicious. Hope you enjoy!

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Strawberry Fields Salad

Strawberry Fields Salad

I haven’t been doing my part in our joint blog so Nate coerced me in writing this one or else he wasn’t going to post anymore. 😛 Nate and I threw an intimate dinner and game night about a week ago so I’m deciding to share a small piece of what chef Nate had prepared. Today, I will be presenting a super easy quick recipe that is perfect for summer. It’s a strawberry balsamic salad with feta cheese. I’ve actually been eating this salad for several days since it was so yummy (mostly because I can’t cook). It’s really great for lunch or as an addition to a main course.

Main Salad Ingredients

  • Spring Mix
  • Walnuts
  • Strawberries
  • Feta Cheese

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Lemon
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 tbsp Strawberry Balsamic
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper

Recipe

  • To make the salad dressing, mix all the ingredients listed above in a small bowl.
  • Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice into the dressing. Mix well.
  • Slice the strawberries thinly for the salad
  • Mix the spring mix, strawberries, and walnuts together
  • Now add the strawberry balsamic dressing to the salad
  • Add fresh feta cheese as desired

That was pretty easy right? I don’t even think I needed the steps for the recipe. The feta cheese wasn’t too overpowering since it was balanced well by the sweetness of the strawberries. Overall, it was an awesome start to the meal and was our only veggie for that night. Bon appetit! 🙂

 

 

Somen Salad

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Today was really hot, so I decided to make a salad for lunch. Now when I say salad, don’t think lettuce with this one. This is more of a “pasta salad” with somen noodles, a really thin Japanese noodle. I got this recipe from my mom because I loved it as a kid growing up. She always loathed making it because of all the cutting, but did it anyways because she knew how much I liked it. The recipe itself is super easy, its just slightly labor intensive when it comes to adding stuff, due to chopping and julienning. But if you have a peeler that juliennes like I do, then its pretty quick. I should get my mom one so that she can keep making this for me lol. Anyways, here it is.

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Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • 5-8 slices of deli ham, chopped (or some other kind of meat)
  • 2 eggs, fried, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, julienned
  • ~1 lb of somen noodles (the package I bought was 14oz)

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Instructions

  • Mix the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and ginger in a bowl and refrigerate
  • Boil the somen noodles until cooked (be aware, they cook fast), and then rinse with cold water (you want the noodles to be fairly cold when you eat)
  • Fry the 2 eggs
  • Chop/julienne the cucumbers, eggs, green onions, and ham
  • Add them to the noodles, pour the sauce over it, mix, and enjoy!

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